China announced significant changes in policy related to CO2 emissions. Their target of reductions of CO2 is significant. Especially considering their energy sector, as with the United States, has a significant coal portion.
There has been an important report just released by the Working Group I to the Fourth report of the IPCC. Find this report here. This is their excellent web site. I encourage you to carefully review this site.
There has also been a non-story, bouncing around the media echo chamber, based upon stolen emails and computer-files. I find it hilarious that a press that could not accurately report a science-based story if the future of the world depended upon it, would spend this sort of time on wacko rumors based on stolen files available on a (where else) russian computer server.
The village idiots will soon be publishing books and, with lots of financial help from fringe corporate friends, movies based upon their conspiracy theories. Real Climate describes, accurately, what is going on. This is the most complete run-down on the manufactured FUD attack.
I find it funny that some people call this utterly fake, made up event; climate-gate. In the Watergate Scandal the people who were breaking into a private facility were the criminals and the resulting scandal hurt one political party badly. In this case the small group of people shouting most loudly about this nonsense are on the side of the criminals, who hacked a computer system, moved the files to a server and, oh, wait, no, of course they would identify with the criminals, never mind. This is one of the hacks throwing money at the lunatic fringe.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD); nature doesn’t care about the stupidity we are capable of. We are loading the atmosphere, like a sewer, with billions of tons of greenhouse gases every year, and the resulting feedbacks in complex systems (atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere) that transport heat all over the planet and are more thoroughly understood now than at any other time in our scientific history, are producing measurable changes in climate. We are truly sowing the wind (and acidifying the oceans).
I have been interacting with press people lately and am, once again, struck by the realization that their their sole role is to generate profit for their companies. There is no other reason that newspapers, nightly news programs, etc., to exist. Their only goal is to find a “hook” that will keep the viewers either turning pages and looking at advertisements, or sitting through another commercial on teevee. It’s amazing to see, again, zero money down, no payments for six months, no credit check-based advertisements back on the television. No need to report anything related to these sorts of stories, they don’t generate profit!
Here is a video segment from Tom Tomorrow.
The earth system has reached a critical point, and this is a widely appreciated point in the scientific community. The time for significant, policy driven action, has arrived. With one notable exception, the super major companies have been committed to real carbon reduction for sometime. This is another change in our society, and a fundamental one. How fundamental?
I predict that carbon reduction will be read into the fundamentalist reading of the bible and added as another “biblical truth”, that is the degree to which this fundamental response to the challenge of global climate change, will shape all aspects of our lives. Just as the idea of the biblical truth of an earth-centric universe was replaced by the biblical truth of a sun-centric universe.
Although this may strike you are flip, it’s all happened before, with Galileo Galilei, who recently turned up in the news again. His scientific observations and previously published observations and ideas, led to our “new” view of the solar system, our “new” view of physics, and the world we live in today, with respect to science and technology. For Galileo it was ugly between science and those with political power, and very personal.
“For 95 years after his death, ecclesiastical authorities refused to allow Galileo to be buried in consecrated ground because his findings were considered contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church.”
In the end science won the day, as it always does.
“His body now lies in Florence’s Santa Croce church, opposite the tomb of Michelangelo.”
In hindsight those who opposed Galileo were fools. Politically powerful and dangerous at the time, but now forgotten. One can only be mystified by their closed minds. We are experiencing similar times; science will determine the future.