Any day now the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide measurement station is going to bump through 400 part per million, and stay there for a week or two. In my Daily Blog column this week I ruminate on what that means by taking a look at the last time CO2 stayed over 400 ppm for an extended period.
Pliocene climate is not something that crops up in many history lessons, but what it tells us needs to be much more widely appreciated. It shows where we are heading — where our apparently insatiable appetite for coal and oil is taking us: a drowned world. That simple fact needs to be shoved under the nose of anyone who argues that climate change isn’t happening, won’t be too bad, or will be something we can adapt to. It needs to be engraved on the hearts of the people negotiating international action on emissions, and the politicians legislating to do little or nothing.
My first post at The Daily Blog is also relevant. Comments over there, please.
My column at The Daily Blog this week is all about ice — specifically the start of the melt season in the Arctic, and what that means for the climate of the northern hemisphere.
What’s going on in the Arctic is rapid climate change, and it’s happening now. It’s changing the weather that most of the world experiences. It’s the most important and most visible of the multitude of climate impacts we’re forcing on the planet, and it’s worth watching every day. Will this year set a new record summer low for sea ice? It’s too early to call, but one thing is certain. Northern hemisphere climate has already changed, and will continue to change in ways we’re only beginning to fathom.
The continuing Arctic melt gives the lie to the “no warming since (pick a date)” meme being pushed by the usual suspects. In fact it does more than show Monckton and his sad supporters to be wrong — it shows them to be burying their heads so far into the septic sand that their arses are disappearing. I shall be returning to this theme as the Arctic summer progresses…
In my column for The Daily Blog this week, I dig into the tangled relationship between New Zealand’s electricity system, a multinational mining company, and the New Zealand government, and argue that radical reform of the electricity market would be beneficial for the country:
If Rio Tinto Alcan pull the plug on Tiwai Point, a future government will have the perfect excuse to simplify the electricity system, cut electricity prices and deliver a low-emissions future for us all. High time our politicians faced up to the fact that market-based business as usual is no recipe for our electricity future (or any other, for that matter).
In this week’s column at The Daily Blog, I argue that the government is living in a bubble of unreality by refusing to take climate change seriously.
…the government — in the shape of deputy PM Bill English and minister of everything and Novapay Steven Joyce — has done its best to avoid acknowledging [the] threat [of increasing drought] to New Zealand agriculture. The reason is simple enough. If you don’t understand the issue — or you don’t want to understand the issue — then you can’t design sensible policy to deal with it. Bill and Steven and their friends are locked into a bubble of unreality, one they’ve been blowing around themselves since they took power.
Read the rest at The Daily Blog.
That’s the title of my first post at New Zealand’s new The Daily Blog. It’s an attempt to underline the long term imperative provided by sea level rise, to help a general audience to appreciate that every tonne of CO2 counts. The Daily Blog launched last week. Editor Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury has pulled together over 30 of NZ’s “leading left-wing commentators and progressive opinion shapers to provide the other side of the story on today’s news, media and political agendas”. I’ll be blogging there every two weeks, covering climate science and policy with an eye to the run-in to the next election in 2014. Wish me luck…