The Climate Show #30: Obama, Sandy and the rabbit

By Gareth Renowden 09/11/2012

Another news special on this week’s Climate Show. With Barack Obama winning “four more years“, and the biggest Atlantic storm ever seen slamming into New Jersey, New York, and most of the northeastern USA, Glenn and Gareth chew over the details and consider the implications. With a side order of accountants PwC being gloomy, agricultural emissions, and a rabbit. (Not you, Eli).

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The Climate Show

Story references

US Election:

6 hours of televised debate and no talk on Climate Change:

President Obama addresses climate change in his acceptance speech:

“We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

Damian Carrington in the Guardian:

What does a second term for Barack Obama as US president mean for action on climate change? The short answer is that some action is now at least conceivable. It would not have been under Mitt Romney, whose statement that the president’s job was not to stop the sea rising was hideously exposed by the inundation of New York and New Jersey by the surge of superstorm Sandy.


Sandy by the numbers: trying to comprehend a stunning disaster: Jeff Masters

George Lakoff, professor of linguistics, Berkeley:

Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy — and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let’s say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation.

There is a difference between systemic and direct causation. Punching someone in the nose is direct causation. Throwing a rock through a window is direct causation.

A systemic cause may be one of a number of multiple causes. It may require some special conditions. It may be indirect, working through a network of more direct causes. It may be probabilistic, occurring with a significantly high probability. It may require a feedback mechanism. In general, causation in ecosystems, biological systems, economic systems, and social systems tends not to be direct, but is no less causal.

US Election/Sandy:

Mayor’s endorsement could turn climate change into a serious election issue – and it might even embolden Republicans – it didn’t – or did it? Guardian.

The best conservative tweet of election night may belong to David Frum, former speechwriter for George W. Bush:

Horrible possibility: if the geeks are right about Ohio, might they also be right about climate?

Nice Real Climate post by Gavin Schmidt, riffing on how wishful thinking about polling came crashing down on election night…

And now it snows:

A winter storm bearing down on the East Coast “First Hurricane Sandy, now Winter Storm Athena for the Eastern U.S.”
Jeff Masters, Climate Central.

Not just the USA

Heatwave in Brazil, typhoons in Asia… Weather Extremes at Weather Underground.

PricewaterhouseCoopers report – heading for 6C

“PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s largest professional services firm, is not known for scaremongering. So it is worth paying particular attention to its latest annual low carbon economy index.
Behind the understated language, it points to a catastrophic future unless radical action is taken now to combat climate change.
“Business leaders have been asking for clarity in political ambition on climate change,” says partner Leo Johnson. “Now one thing is clear: businesses, governments and communities across the world need to plan for a warming world – not just 2C, but 4C or even 6C.”

Common Dreams
Climate Spectator
PricewaterhouseCoopers press release

One-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture

Nature News:

The global food system, from fertilizer manufacture to food storage and packaging, is responsible for up to one-third of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the latest figures from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a partnership of 15 research centres around the world.

Great picture from Pine Island Bay. Via @NASA_ICE at Twitter.

Thanks to our media partners: Idealog Sustain, Sciblogs, and Scoop .

Theme music: A Drop In The Ocean by The Bads.