Tuesday, July 22, 2014

California and desalination: Blue Economy?

"Since the 1970s, California has dipped its toe into ocean desalination --talking, planning, debating. But for a variety of reasons -- mainly cost and environmental concerns-- the state has never taken the plunge.
Until now...."

Desalination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination

Interesting posibilities.

The process in VERY energy intensive. Can California do this on a large enough scale, to meet their own future water needs?
Having the toughest GHG policy, Can they also apply the state's technology clusters to improve desalanation tehc, water conservation, low water design across all sectors? Can they thereby create a water export market to the parched southwest?

In an optimistic scenario, Will folks where i live, late this century, be buying California's future low water use design tech to reduce the stress on the great lakes?


Thursday, July 17, 2014

What is Sustainability

Perfect for Short Antention Span Theatre, a 4 minute video:

Done by tese folks, including other videos @

Monday, July 07, 2014


"Global average temperatures will rise at least 4°C by 2100 and potentially more than 8°C by 2200 if carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced according to new research published in Nature that shows our climate is more sensitive to carbon dioxide than most previous estimates."
News report:
The Nature Article

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Risky Business

Guess no one can call its authors socialists.

This a.m.'s newspiece:

"Risky Business Project co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer tasked the Rhodium Group, an economic research firm that specializes in analyzing disruptive global trends, with an independent assessment of the economic risks posed by a changing climate in the U.S. Rhodium convened a research team co-led by climate scientist Dr. Robert Kopp of Rutgers University and economist Dr. Solomon Hsiang of the University of California, Berkeley. Rhodium also partnered with Risk Management Solutions (RMS), the world’s largest catastrophe-modeling company for insurance, reinsurance, and investment-management companies around the world."
Executive Summary
Full Report:
Rhodium Group report page: http://rhg.com/reports/climate-prospectus
Rhodium Group full report: http://rhg.com/reports/climate-prospectus

The Risky Business general website: http://riskybusiness.org/

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Name

What’s In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change
"We found that the term "global warming" is associated with greater public understanding, emotional engagement, and support for personal and national action than the term "climate change." ...
The Report:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Curt Stager on Radio Call-in Show

"Dr. Curt Stager, author of "Deep Future: the Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth," joins Martha Foley for a special Natural Selections call-in on climate change and other topics….”

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why the concern over the "common Core" science standards?

The common core science standards in the news , are caught up in the political fight about climate change and also evolution. The CC part is ecspecially important to Kochs/AFP/ National Chamber of Commerce etc. Essentially, the cc science is being labeled as alamist, simply because it is included in the standard.
I would suggest this is also the reason for governor of Wisconsin and the legislative majority raising it to "issue" status. For a look at what the objections are, this piece by the far right Heartland Institute is useful.

National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV)

Thanks to Scott for the heads up on this one.

National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV)
"The USGS National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV) includes the historical and future climate projections from 30 of the downscaled models for two of the RCP emission scenarios, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. RCP4.5 is one of the possible emissions scenarios in which atmospheric GHG concentrations are stabilized so as not to exceed a radiative equivalent of 4.5 Wm-2 after 2100, about 650 ppm CO2 equivalent. RCP8.5 is the most aggressive emissions scenario in which GHGs continue to rise unchecked through the end of the century leading to an equivalent radiative forcing of 8.5 Wm-2, about 1370 ppm CO2 equivalent. .. "

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Little Tipping Point Music

Hmm. Friday afternoon. West Antarctic sheet hitting the tipping point....makes me think of MUSIC!

The Dog Days are Over

What a Day that Was

Can Utility and the Coastliners


And of course............ Gimme Shelter (cover by Patti Smith)

Some News from Down South

"Two studies published this week conclude that a section of the West Antarctic ice sheet has reached a point of inevitable collapse, an event that would eventually raise sea levels more than a meter (three-plus feet). The first study, led by Eric Rignot of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, used NASA satellite and airborne observations to measure how glaciers have been retreating in the region. The other study, led by Ian Joughin of the University of Washington, used a computer model to compare observations of recent melting with projected melt scenarios to see which matches reality best so far. Both studies conclude that the Amundsen Sea segment of the ice sheet has begun an irreversible decline that will result in its loss, possibly as soon as the next few hundred years. ..."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pretty Much Sums it Up

Thanks to Jamie for the heads-up on this one.

There has been a fair bit of research done, and discussion of, the psychology related to the apparent lack of concern about rapid climate change. I think the pic the good folks at http://www.iflscience.com/, recently posted on their Facebook page , pretty much sums up the current state of affairs.

click to enlarge

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

From the Department of Wisconsin Envy of Minnesota

"Minnesota Governor Dayton has signed the bill into law appropriating $29 million from Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”) to 71 individual projects around the state, including $325,000 to the Will Steger Foundation for our Educating Minnesotans about Potential Impacts of a Changing Climate Project! For more information on the other projects and the process please read the press release."
The Will Steger Foundation climate change education blog:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A word from our sponsor

I just got back from a hotel with one of these funny little desk cards. It is an every day example (and this is not a criticism, i am posting on a fundamental point) of how business will do "right" if there is an ROI. In this case, lower cost on electricity use, water use, and labor.
I thought of posting about this, as i sat drinking my first cup in my hotel room (at a conference, held at a huge water-park resort complex (obviously not a sustainability or climate change related event), watching The Weather Channel half-way-decent, (if somewhat breathless coverage) of the release of National Climate Assessment, 2014.
Rapid climate change coverage on the Weather Channel is decent, and probably greater in on-air minutes than any other television source. That makes sense, since there is a relationship between the sturm und drang they report on and the subject....but it is another example of the role of ROI in what is promoted and done, in a market system. A classic example (other than the daily humans behavioring badly-CC politics-posing -as-science spin on Faux News . Dancers should watch Faux News to learn how to pivot. The sources of their financing is of course from other directions ....)
This is symptomatic of what i call, the Economic Socially Obligate Boundary Condition (Will be examined in a hopefully soon to be published ebook). No matter the risk, absent an overriding boundary condition, all decisions come down to the money.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Connecting Human Decisions With Wildlife Decisions

"a particular patch can serve as habitat for animals during different times of the year. A patch of woods, for example, may be a breeding area for some animals while at other times of the year it may serve as a stopover site or wintering site. In many cases, the property may serve primarily as a 'connector' between natural areas -- an important role to permit the movement of animals. "

The book:
The Green Leap: A Primer for Conserving Biodiversity in Subdivision Development
by Mark E. Hostetler
"Written for anyone interested in green development—including policy makers, architects, developers, builders, and homeowners—this practical guide focuses on the central question of how to conserve biodiversity in neighborhoods and to minimize development impacts on surrounding habitats. The Green Leap specifically helps move green development beyond the design stage by thoroughly addressing construction and post-construction issues."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Arctic in the Anthropocene: Emerging Research Questions (2014)

A timely report from the Committee on Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic: Polar ResearchBoard; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council (published by the NAS.
Report by "Once ice-bound, difficult to access, and largely ignored by the rest of the world, the Arctic is now front and center in the midst of many important questions facing the world today. Our daily weather, what we eat, and coastal flooding are all interconnected with the future of the Arctic. The year 2012 was an astounding year for Arctic change. The summer sea ice volume smashed previous records, losing approximately 75 percent of its value since 1980 and half of its areal coverage. Multiple records were also broken when 97 percent of Greenland's surface experienced melt conditions in 2012, the largest melt extent in the satellite era. Receding ice caps in Arctic Canada are now exposing land surfaces that have been continuously ice covered for more than 40,000 years."
What happens in the Arctic has far-reaching implications around the world..."


Monday, April 28, 2014

Adaptation Collaboratory

"This website is a resource for research, education, and collaboration in the area of adaptation and climate change. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Notre Dame. Our team at Notre Dame, and our outreach partners at The Nature Conservancy’s Great Lakes Project, invite you to share your information needs, ideas, tools, and experiences in climate change adaptation."

The Money/Politics Nexus

For today's post in the Dept. of Situational Awareness, a political science paper on the nature of U.S. governance.
Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Winter 2013-2014 Temperature Anomalies on Earth

Where i live, we had an unusually cold winter, by modern standards. But what about the winter for the other 95.53%? *
The Global Temperature Report, hosted by the Earth Sciences Center of the University of Alabama - Huntsville, http://nsstc.uah.edu/climate/index.html is a good site with reliable data to help visualize the answer to that question. On the planetary maps of course, the Southern Hemisphere is in Sumer during our winter, etc.
Here, for example, is the map for January of 2014:
Click to enlarge

*The population of the world in 01/2014 minus the U.S. population.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Speaking of Earth Day...

"In the run-up to Earth Day this year, two major reports were released by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...
Yet, one of the most disturbing stories to emerge around the reports was the New York Times report that language about the need for $100 billion in crisis funds to aid poor nations was removed from the Working Group III executive summary for policymakers during the final round of editing. The action neatly encapsulated the yawning gap between the growing danger of climate change — and growing maturity of climate scientists — on the one hand, and the utter lack of political will on the other."


A Post for Those Who Still Think Humans Will Engage Meaningful in Mitigation

From our friends at RealClimate

RE IPCC AR5 Workgroup 3 report:

"For the first time, a detailed analysis was performed of how the 2-degree limit can be kept, based on over 1200 future projections (scenarios) by a variety of different energy-economy computer models. The analysis is not just about the 2-degree guardrail in the strict sense but evaluates the entire space between 1.5 degrees Celsius, a limit demanded by small island states, and a 4-degree world. The scenarios show a variety of pathways, characterized by different costs, risks and co-benefits. The result is a table with about 60 entries that translates the requirements for limiting global warming to below 2-degrees into concrete numbers for cumulative emissions and emission reductions required by 2050 and 2100. This is accompanied by a detailed table showing the costs for these future pathways." - See more at:

Here is, in full, the 2nd comment posted on site after this article:

"It’s not exactly that the monetary costs will be ‘quite low’ (0.06% Growth per year, etc.), and I think this point was made, but it’s that beneath that aggregate is a substantial– HUGE transfer of investment and wealth across all sorts of entrenched business sectors and interests, with lots of nested localized economies beneath the “country” level whose very survival is on the line (can a deep valley coal-mining town become an efficient solar hub?) As with what you said, these policy decisions necessarily transcend climate realities. When reading this report, I can’t help but think only the most shrill communist/monarchical government structures can pull off these kinds of feats. In America, the local representative system might make it impossible since it takes as few as five states to kill any program idea if its elected representatives find it a loser for them at home. And speaking of ‘home’, it needs to be said again– another huge killer of policy possibilities are environmentalists themselves who deny the reality that their backyard must also be a candidate for the large-scale deployment of energy installations in order to pull off what is said to be necessary — even more-so without Nuclear or Fracking, etc. Every wind-energy and biomass installation projects I’ve been around has faced opposition, and the most successful of the opposers have been, without fail, an environmentalist. They are the ones armed with the knowledge, can manipulate the liabilities, and are a master of appeals for further impact study/review. Given that it now can take up to 10 years to get a new large-scale energy plant installed and online, hitting those 2029 targets are going to require those who want to stand up for reducing/eliminating fossile fuels to also stand up to having lagre scale installations beyond-solar within their own eye-sight. "

Monday, April 21, 2014

You Say "Stone Age" Like it is Something Bad

My last post raised the future-as-stone-age dystopian vision, which at least amongst those condemned to live outside Short Attention Span Theatre, a more common view than you might think.
 I mean, given the current biogeophysical realities, taking past and present human behavior as a guide, it is actually a conservative view of the future. It is at least one of a group of the probable world lines.
We tend to forget that during our rise to our current prominence, most of our time was in a "stone age". If you count our hominid ancestors, That stone age (using stone tools) was close to 2 million years long. We forget that the gather-scavenger, then gather-hunter strategies are a very solid niche. That is illustrated very well in the book Pandora's Seed, by Spencer Wells.

I think the "stone age" I mean, is the Neolithic. This time, if we do simplify to that point, it won't be our first trip to the rodeo, and agriculture and other stuff would make it through the difficulties.
With a drastically reduced population a neolitic style life could go on for a very long time. To quote from the article linked in my last post, "...because we've already stripped away the surface copper and the surface iron. If we knock ourselves out of the first world, we're not going to be able to rebuild a first world."

It is uncomfortable for those of us that have become accustomed to "modern", 1st world lifestyles, to think about this at all. It seems so strange and horrific, that you get mind-freeze then get out of that by dismissing the idea.

For the folks on the cusp, during the later stages of the slide down the slope of complexity, it would be rather unpleasant of an experience. But for later generations, a "neo-neolithic" (or Neolithic II the sequel) would simply be normality. Our emotions are still on that landscape anyway. After a few centuries, the times and lifestyles we have now would be some sort of mythic past.

I'm Not Saying We Wouldn't Get Our Hair Mussed *

"Jared Diamond: We Could Be Living in a New Stone Age by 2114"

* A line from one of my favorite films

Monday, April 14, 2014

My take on Things

The IPCC average annual temperature estimates for the year 2100 are as high as 7.8 degrees C, and seem to favor (one they use,...) 4.8 degrees C.
I take a prudent, conservative approach. By this i mean i base my view of future human mitigation of CO2 emissions is based on the only observable, measurable data. That is, human behavior past and present.
This leads to my view that mitigation will not be a major factor, or should not be, in projecting average planetary temperature in 2100. So i am assuming an 8-12 degree C higher average in 2100, which is the range scientists posit if we simply do what we are doing now.
Just sayin...

IPCC AR5 Mitigation Report

Ah yes. The IPCC gives it the ol' college try...

Summary for "policy makers". (cough):

The full Workgroup 3 report:

Discussion this a.m. on On Point:

The whole 15 years to do something reminded me of one of my favorite old songs

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Showtimes Gets Onboard with Climate Science

Thanks Chris for the heads up:

"Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Bittman and other mega-celebs lend a hand to the new Showtime series, Years of Living Dangerously—where Hollywood meets wake-up call."

First episode, complete:

Series homepage:
Educator's Page: http://yearsoflivingdangerously.com/educators/

May be on Hulu Plus

Friday, April 04, 2014

Coordinating Climate Outreach in the Great Lakes Region

"Initiative leaders from Ohio State University, Michigan State University and University of Wisconsin have partnered with The River Network to continue addressing climate change impacts in the Great Lakes region and to increase capacity of Extension to educate on this topic. Last year, the initiative produced a set of core competencies, a needs assessment of Land and Sea Grant Extension educators and two distance learning courses on climate change and water resources management. This year, the initiative focused on the development of expanded education and outreach networks to address climate change adaptation and sustainable water resource management practices for communities. ..."

UW-Cooperative Extension Climate Ready Communities

UW-Cooperative Extension Climate Ready Communities Initiative
Wisconsin’s communities are at risk from our changing climate. Extension is able to assist communities in identifying vulnerabilities to those risks, and evaluating strategies to prepare for them. UW-Extension’s Climate Ready Communities initiative provides training and support for county and campus faculty looking to work with local government, business, agriculture, forestry and other decision makers to: ..."


Impacts of Climate Change – Part 2 of the new IPCC Report has been approved

From the folks at RealClimate:

"The second part of the new IPCC Report has been approved – as usual after lengthy debates – by government delegations in Yokohama (Japan) and is now public. Perhaps the biggest news is this: ..."

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

CC Art

sculpture by Issac Cordal in Berlin
"Politicians discussing global warming."

Oorah !

Originally written for a local person interested in cc and energy, and planning on joining the Marines.
The United States Marine Corps, Energy & Climate Change

“Marines are modern-day Spartans – our ethos demands that we change the way we think about energy as we train, equip, and lead our expeditionary force…

by 2025 we will reduce by 50 percent our battlefield requirement for energy. By 2020 50 percent of our bases and stations will be net-zero energy consumers.”

USMC Expeditionary Energy Plan

Short Videos:

What drives The Department of Defense, CIA , and NSA towards “sustainability”, is primarily a matter of two things:

The current and future impact of rapid climate Change

Energy for operations

The current and future impact of rapid climate Change

The view in the defense world of climate change is that it is a “threat multiplier/enhancer”. In essence, it makes the strategy, tactics, logistics more complex and difficult. In classic military terms it creates and enhances “friction” *
The best document I have found to date, that illustrates this point, and is a good general guide to the current thinking in the DOD is:
Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security (2011) READ THIS in ENTIRETY http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/dsb/climate.pdf
RE National Security & Climate change (slow download, but a good 16 overview)
American Security Project
The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC®), The search "climate change" results:

General USMC Topic Links:


USMC Publications Electronic Library


USMC Doctrinal Publications


Rapid Climate Change Links, Generally


Rapid Climate Change Strategy (especially the materials in the bibliography)

Energy for operations
Energy (fuels and electricity) are crucial to any military endeavor, and an abundance of energy is crucial to the U.S. conception of full spectrum dominance of the battlespace.
Having your energy logistics separate from that of the civilian sources is basic military common sense. Since the civil government of the United States has intentionally or by non-action decided to maintain a fossil energy base, and given to spatial and temporal problems with tying your logistical framework to that base, an alternative is needed. This is even more important when potential adversary governments are working on ending their own dependence on fossil energy. Hence the Green Fleet and Green Marine transformative change occurring in the military.

 The adoption and transition to renewable energy will increase strategic and operational flexibility. It is also deemed necessary to preserve in this century the key concept in Marine warfighting, maneuver warfare. This is the incapacitating enemy decision-making through shock and disruption

“maneuver is traditionally thought of as a spatial concept, that is, the use of maneuver to gain positional advantage. The U.S. Marine concept of maneuver however is a "warfighting philosophy that seeks to shatter the enemy’s cohesion through a variety of rapid, focused, and unexpected actions which create a turbulent and rapidly deteriorating situation with which the enemy cannot cope."

 MCDP 1 United States Marine Corps Warfighting.

The U.S. Marine manual goes on to say:

"This is not to imply that firepower is unimportant. On the contrary, firepower is central to maneuver warfare. Nor do we mean to imply that we will pass up the opportunity to physically destroy the enemy. We will concentrate fires and forces at decisive points to destroy enemy elements when the opportunity presents itself and when it fits our larger purposes."

Biofuels and renewable tech are now part of the new logistics paradigm.

Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office
Department of the Navy Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Energy as a Tactical Advantage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjdYM7uSWhQ


* “In practice, the conduct of war becomes extremely difficult because of the countless factors that impinge on it. These factors are called friction, which Clausewitz described as “the force that makes the apparently easy so difficult.” MCDP Warfighting, p.13.

An interesting article on extreme weather and CC

From the folks at RealClimate:
"Does global warming make extreme weather events worse? Here is the #1 flawed reasoning you will have seen about this question: it is the classic confusion between absence of evidence and evidence for absence of an effect of global warming on extreme weather events. Sounds complicated? It isn’t. I’ll first explain it in simple terms and then give some real-life examples. ...  "

A couple bits....

Sent in by readers...

Marine base coastal adaptation project

"Deforestation may have far greater consequences for climate change in some soils than in others, according to new research led by Yale University scientists..."

Monday, March 31, 2014

IPCC & Adaptation

IPCC AR5 2014 Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability AR5

Building resilient societies.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ag Decision Dashboard

"Weather and climate patterns are a driving force behind the success or failure of cropping systems. With U.S. corn and soybean production accounting for nearly one-third of global supplies and contributing $100 billion annually to the national economy, the ability to successfully produce crops under more variable climate conditions is critical."

Climate Change and Weather Extremes Video


Reference on science and causality

Thanks to David for this one...

Climate Change: Evidence & CausesThe Royal Society and the U. S. National Academy of Sciences (2014)

Three Good Tools/Papers

Thanks to Anna for these:

Guidance Note 1: "Twelve reasons why climate change adaptation M&E is challenging".

Guidance Note 2: "Selecting indicators for climate change adaptation programming".

Guidance Note 3:"Theory of Change approach to climate change adaptation programming".

Webinar re these:

Join us for a Webinar on Tuesday March 25. Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/854613366 (9:00 AM UTC, 4:00 PM Indo-China Time (UTC+7))

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Walmart Hybrid Semi?

"CEO Doug McMillan said in his blog that he never thought Walmart's sustainability journey would lead to trucks like this.
He's referring to WAVE — Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience — which is just beginning formal testing. The first truck to be built from carbon fiber, it is 20 percent more aerodynamic than current trucks, and its micro-turbine hybrid powertrain can run on a variety of fuels. In addition to Capstone's microturbine there's an electric motor and battery storage system..."


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Defense Technical Information Center Resources

"The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC®) has served the information needs of the Defense community for more than 65 years. DTIC reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense For Research and Engineering ASD(RE). "

The search "climate change" results at The Defense Technical Information Center as of a.m. on date of this post. re-search using space provided at top.

Meanwhile, in the North

"While much of the continental United States endured several cold snaps in January 2014, record-breaking warmth gripped Alaska. Spring-like conditions set rivers rising and avalanches tumbling.
This map depicts land surface temperature anomalies in Alaska for January 23–30, 2014. Based on data..."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Panotano River at Tanque Verde Street Bridge , Tucson  Jay Moynihan 2014

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology