The world’s leaders have saved the planet

The Paris climate talks ended with all 195 nations agreeing to cut carbon emissions to combat global warming.  Previous agreements asked only the developed nations to do so, leaving the developing nations, including mega-polluter China, to keep pursuing economic growth without worrying about energy use and climate change.  This agreement, in contrast, committed pretty much all of the world’s nations, though the richer nations promised economic help for the poorer nations to meet the goals.  See this for specifics.

What struck me was the self-congratulatory words of many of the world’s leaders (from the AP story linked after the jump):

“It’s a victory for all of the planet and for future generations,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, adding that the pact will “prevent the worst most devastating consequences of climate change from ever happening.”

“History will remember this day,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Paris agreement on climate change is a monumental success for the planet and its people.”

President Barack Obama said the climate agreement offers “the best chance to save the one planet we have.”

“The 12th of December, 2015, will remain a great date for the planet,” [French President Francois] Hollande declared. “In Paris, there have been many revolutions over the centuries. Today it is the most beautiful and the most peaceful revolution that has just been accomplished — a revolution for climate change.”

[Read more…]

Prosecute global warming skeptics?

A group of 20 scientists is urging the president to prosecute scientists and organizations  that question global warming. Now a Rasmussen survey has found that 27% of Democrats agree with that approach.  So do 11% of Republicans and 12% of Independents. [Read more…]

The Pope goes all in on environmental issues

Pope Francis published his encyclical Laudato Si  (“praise to you,” from the first words of the document), fully embracing the environmentalist cause.  It warns of global warming, says man is responsible, and calls for sweeping changes to save the earth.  It also, as we will blog tomorrow, makes some sweeping theological changes that constitute a major change in Western Christianity.

You can read the entire document in English here.  After the jump is a news account.  Then I want to pose some questions for our discussion. [Read more…]

ABC’s predictions for June, 2015

We often make predictions here at the Cranach blog, but we also do what often does not happen elsewhere:  we check them.  So it’s fitting to consider the predictions of some ABC programming seven years ago, projecting what June, 2015 would be like.  Gas was supposed to be over $9 a gallon.  Milk cost $13.  And New York City would be underwater.  Among other things.

See one of the videos and read an account of the predictions after the jump. [Read more…]

Prosecuting global warming skeptics

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) says that some global warming sceptics should be prosecuted under RICO  (the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations act).  He argues that some of the anti-global warming research is funded by energy companies, which is what Big Tobacco did in funding research that played down the health hazards of smoking, which brought down the wrath of RICO.  That statute has also been used against pro-life activists, with the approval of the Supreme Court.  We are seeing how unpopular ideas can be criminalized.

You have to read the estimable Mark Hemingway’s response to Sen. Whitehouse’s op-ed piece, linked to and excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

The failure of reality to match up with computer models

The ice caps are supposed to be melting.  But the ice in Antarctica is at record levels.  And the ice at the North Pole, after declining for awhile, is back to normal levels.  So reports a British newspaper, the Register.  I’m struck, though, by a comment in the article that cites,  “This failure of reality to match up with climate modelling.”

That “reality” has somehow failed is rather humorous.  Isn’t computer modelling dependent on what data is programmed into the model?  And isn’t reality always going to be more complex than a model, with far more variables, many of which are unknown to the researcher?  [Read more…]