Friday, August 14, 2015

The View Inside the Magic Kingdom

image is from Skeptic magazine
thanks to Roberta & CLN for the heads up on this one .

2014 stats on how many Americans (U.S.A.) think global warming is happening...

Extension educators note; you can explore the map by county (mine is at 58%)...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Leaving it in the fridge

"To Cut Food Waste, Spain's Solidarity Fridge Supplies Endless Leftovers"

Farm Tech Daze...and oh ya, the toxic release in Colorado

From the folks at Onpoint:
"As populations rise, arable land shrinks and the Earth grows warmer, we look at how technology and big data are coming deep into American farming."

Listen all the way through, to hear about what actually happened the other day in Colorado...

How about The Girl Effect right here?

"The Girl Effect is a movement based on the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world. It’s about getting girls on to the global development stage and driving massive resources to them. It is based on the common belief in the field of International Development that when given the opportunity, girls and women are more effective at lifting themselves and their families out of poverty, thereby having a multiplier effect within their villages, cities, and nations."

Thanks to Mary for the heads up on this one.
She told me about a study that showed that if money goes to a poor female, 70% is used for family needs. Same money to the poor male, 30%.

"Girl Effect" has sparked controversy. Some examples such as this paper , or this one.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

President Obama's Climate Change (yawn) ah, announcement


"Obama Wants You to Think His Climate Plan Is Bold. It’s Not."

 On Point: "Tough new carbon restrictions. What the president is proposing, Germany’s already doing. Will the American people buy in?"

Context Note

"Rate of temperature change today (red) and in the PETM (blue). Temperature rose steadily in the PETM due to the slow release of greenhouse gas (around 2 billion tons per year). Today, fossil fuel burning is leading to 30 billion tons of carbon released into the atmosphere every year, driving temperature up at an incredible rate. "

 just sayin...

For an introduction to the fun filled days of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), go here:

or watch a lecture

Another cool one, looking at the insects:

And one on mantaining our support systems:



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Risky Business in the Southeast

Thanks to Roberta for the heads up on this report:

"The Southeast U.S. and Texas are experiencing an economic boom, mostly due to manufacturing and energy industry growth. But that boom is at risk from unchecked climate change, which could render this region—already one of the hottest and most weather-vulnerable of the country—at significant economic risk. "

Monday, July 27, 2015

The 43 Trillion Dollar Question

Thanks to the CDP for the heads up on this one.

From the folks at The Economist (the oldest business news publication that is still running, since 1843):

The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change

"The asset management industry—and thus the wider community of investors of all sizes— is facing the prospect of significant losses from the effects of climate change. Assets can be directly damaged by floods, droughts and severe storms, but portfolios can also be harmed indirectly, through weaker growth and lower asset returns. Climate change is a long-term, probably irreversible problem beset by substantial uncertainty. Crucially, however, climate change is a problem of extreme risk: this means that the average losses to be expected are not the only source of concern; on the contrary, the outliers, the particularly extreme scenarios, may matter most of all. The findings in this report indicate that climate change is likely to represent an obstacle for many asset owners and managers to fulfil their fiduciary duties."

Full report:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

"Fourth of July revelers find seats among a row of boat docks on the shore of Bass Lake. The docks are normally floating on about ten feet of water, but after years of drought, more and more have nothing but sand to rest on. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times"

 "Documenting California’s Epic Drought. A reporter and photographer on a road trip across California, looking at how the drought has reshaped lives there."
 Should be streaming during later pm of of 07/23/2015.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

One person's threat multiplier/enhancer is another person's biggest problem?

PEW Research Center

" Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat, Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners Focus on ISIS as Greatest Danger"

Meanwhile Speaking of threat enhancers & multipliers 

 "...according to Frank Femia of the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based policy institute advised by senior retired military and national security leaders. He explained in a phone interview:
"It’s far too early, considering this is happening in real time, to figure out what is motivating ISIS and its members. Certainly, the natural resource stresses in the region make things worse. Terrorist organizations can try to control those resources and gain significant influence and power. You can’t say climate change is causing ISIS to do what it’s doing, but it [climate change] certainly has a role to play in the region."

And, re Risk assessment:

Maybe the planet needs more coverage?  A better agent?

Just Released: State of the Climate 2014

 Blunden, J. and D. S. Arndt, Eds., 2015: State of the Climate in 2014. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 96 (7), S1–S267.

They May Have A Different View of Taxes in Melbourrne

 "In Melbourne, Australia, the city assigned trees email addresses so citizens could report problems with them..."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Its the End of the World as We Know it and I Feel Fine*

 In Esquire

"When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job
Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can't really talk about it"

 * when i read the title of the article this REM song popped into my brain

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

A Lecture by Da Man

From 1977. If you have not read this, do it now

Christopher Alexander:

And visit:

China and CO2 reduction

"Behind China’s new pledge to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 60 percent, peak its emissions and generate a fifth of its electricity from clean sources by 2030 are some huge business opportunities...."

Not to mention there dominance in the manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, solar generation sites, pebble bed nuclear, etc.

Neat animate Gif

Courtesy of the folks at:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

News and tools

EPA greenhouse gas inventory tools for local and tribal governments

Local Governments:

 USDA Updates Department Policy for Climate Change Adaptation

 Press release with links:

Monday, June 15, 2015


 "An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order." Wikipedia

A very interesting lecture on the internet, commerce, and society.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Question of Faith

"Meanwhile, a 2013 study in Political Science Quarterly found that “believers in Christian end-times theology are less likely to support policies designed to curb global warming than are other Americans.”

Like duh            I digress. 

The article The surprising links between faith and evolution and climate denial — charted, Washington Post

Could not resist

Monday, June 01, 2015

Market ├╝ber alles baby

This morning's OnPoint:
"We look at the “Uber-fication” of the marketplace.  On-demand services for almost anything, everything, are catching on. Changing our economy and our lives...."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Soil, Water and Adaptation

SMAP radar image acquired from data from March 31 to April 3, 2015. Weaker radar signals (blues) reflect low soil moisture or lack of vegetation, such as in deserts. Strong radar signals (reds) are seen in forests. SMAP's radar also takes data over the ocean and sea ice.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC”

While hiking the other day (state land in Northeastern  Wisconsin) I passed from a sandy type soil to a soil with higher organic and clay content. I started to notice understory flora differences. Now, I do not know enough botany to be one of those folks who can rattle off the names of plants as they walk (me jealous), but I could see differences.  
It occurred to me, has anyone done serious soil modeling with variation for each soil type across a range of temperatures and precipitation?

I know different folks are biting on different parts of this beast, I personally saw the huge experiment the U of Arizona is doing at the Biosphere 2 site.Most soil type data and precipitation data that we need probably already exists (at least for modeling to mid century, and perhaps the paleoclimatology type geologists could lend a had for farther than that...) From all the soil records in different regions. by using those, could we time travel so to speak?

The soil is the placenta of civilization. All other things held equal, good soil leads to complex societies, poor soils lead to simplification.

For those of us in the agricultural lands of the upper Midwest, this is our “permafrost melt” question. It is in "slow motion", compared to the Arctic thrill. Yet, it is the key factor, data, information we need for adaptation planning.  Are we doing enough, is it being “scaled” down enough, to higher resolution in both space and temporally via GIS to be useful in local planning?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Point: The Arctic Rush

"The Arctic Circle is opening up at a gallop as the ice disappears. Oil, gold, armies, spies. Big opportunities and fear of the consequences."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

After the Warming: The Long View

From the Planet Ocean Seminar Series, Feb 2015 Curt Stager, PhD

Video lecture

Important discovery

Thanks to William S for this one.

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Random edits

 As i write this, the Congress of the United States is trying to figure out how to change the Endangered Species Act, so the state governments inter alia, can get around it.
There are plenty of reason to not be amused by this. But perhaps the main one is related to DNA as information. Are politicians and business people competent to edit the DNA "library", for future human generations? Is anyone?

 Picture: Corner of Room at Rotary Meeting, by jay moynihan

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cool, simple, free collaboration tool


An online, multi-user index card board. Maybe up to 20 users? Do not know. Also, the easiest way to share something like this with colleagues i have seen. If you send them the URL for your board, they get kibitzing rights...


This is actually about using it for some elementary school method, but it explains the on line app-site:

And, the beastie itself:

Friday, May 01, 2015

I gotta get on their mailing list

From one of my favorite tech sites

The inadvertent hilarity of the Heartland Institute vs. Pope Francis

"Each e-mail from their press office offers a mix of comedy and tragedy. .."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

From the department of While Rome Burned

Climate Change and Sustainability: A Widening or Narrowing Gap?

"Observers and students of climate change risk, on the one hand, and sustainability advocates, on the other, have been on seemingly diverging paths for the last decade. This may seem contradictory: aren’t these issues so closely related that their paths should overlap dramatically and at least run in the same direction?..."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ruddiman & Peer Review

An interesting piece by Bill Ruddiman ( Ruddiman Hypothesis ) :
"Recently I’ve read claims that some scientists are opposed to AGW but won’t speak out because they fear censure from a nearly monolithic community intent on imposing a mainstream view. Yet my last 10 years of personal experience refute this claim. This story began late in 2003 when I introduced a new idea (the ‘early anthropogenic hypothesis’) that went completely against a prevailing climatic paradigm of the time. I claimed that detectable human influences on Earth’s surface and its climate began thousands of years ago because of agriculture. Here I describe how this radically different idea was received by the mainstream scientific community... " 

Friday, April 17, 2015

What is that droning sound?

"It sounds like science fiction. Unfortunately, it’s not. Lethal autonomous weapons systems. Robot killers. They’re on the drawing board now. Their prototypes and early forms are beyond the drawing board. This week in Geneva, a big UN meeting is trying to keep the genie in the bottle. Human Rights Watch has launched its Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. But technology and strategic competition are ratcheting up. Pushing toward weapons that target and kill on their own. If it sounds like a Terminator movie, it is. This hour On Point: the rise and pushback. Killer robots."

                                     Still from the film Sleep Dealer