Climate Change, Al Gore and Hurricane Hugo
Climate Change Tuesday has been changed to Climate Change Wednesday due to a decrease in the North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation and the associated longitudinal drift.
Before you do anything else, read Jack Shafer on David Von Drehle (with an Achenbach cameo to round out the mutual admiration society). Jack reprints, in its entirety, the great Von Drehle eyewitness account of Hurricane Hugo. Jack writes:
"For my tastes he approaches the purple from the magenta side a couple of times and exceeds his simile quota by a factor of two. But could I write a better hurricane story on deadline? Hell, I couldn't write a better piece if given a month, five naked research assistants, and a crate of whippets."
And now for those of you who are disturbed that the entire planet was once encased in ice and was essentially a giant snowball, a University of Washington scientist says there's no need to panic:
"It has been 2.3 billion years since Earth's atmosphere became infused with enough oxygen to support life as we know it. About the same time, the planet became encased in ice that some scientists speculate was more than a half-mile deep. That raises questions about whether complex life could have existed before 'Snowball Earth' and survived, or if it first evolved when the snowball began to melt. New research shows organisms called eukaryotes -- organisms of one or more complex cells that engage in sexual reproduction and are ancestors of the animal and plant species present today -- existed 50 million to 100 million years before that ice age and somehow did survive....While the ice likely was widespread, it probably was not consistently as thick as a half-mile."
I know I'm relieved.
Meanwhile, for those who might want to hear what real climate scientists say about Al Gore's movie, check out the review and comments at realclimate.org. The reviewer writes:
"For the most part, I think Gore gets the science right, just as he did in Earth in the Balance. The small errors don't detract from Gore's main point, which is that we in the United States have the technological and institutional ability to have a significant impact on the future trajectory of climate change....I'll admit that I have been a bit of a skeptic about our ability to take any substantive action, especially here in the U.S. Gore's aim is to change that viewpoint, and the colleagues I saw the movie with all seem to agree that he is successful."
More comments on "The Tempest" at the Scientific American blog, Roger Pielke, Jr.'s climate policy blog, and at Kevin Drum'sPolitical Animal blog at the Washington Monthly.
The other day, in the Tempest blowback boodle, someone named "Mike" posted the following:
"What a circle-onanism you've got going on here. Not surprising, given how heavily you censor comments. I've tried posting mild and civil criticism of previous posts of yours (and without any puerile euphemism either), and they never even showed up. You must be a very insecure man. So I won't bother explaining what's wrong with your article since it'll just be filtered, like this comment (yes, that's a dare...)
"But you really should at least be honest and explain to people ahead of time that you filter comments heavily -- and make it clear that the purpose of comments on your blog is not to have an actual discussion of ideas, but only as an outlet for fawning praise exulting your greatness."
Dear Mike: I didn't delete any of your comments. There is a mindless software filter to catch obscenities and whatnot, and it can behave in a peculiar fashion, but keep trying. We've had more than 50,000 comments on this blog and I've deleted a grand total of, let's see, maybe about 20 (mostly for personal attacks on other commenters). I think I've deleted one comment in the last three months. I've never deleted a critical comment, period, end of story. This is because I am secure in the knowledge that I am always right.
Also, thank you for reminding us that "Onan the Barbarian" is still available as a handle for boodlers.
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