From the Guardian, George Monbiot explains:
You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the technology.
A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.
Erin Brockovich made Hinkley and PG&E famous (as noted in the movie that bears her name) by helping to uncover the carcinogenic chromium 6 in the ground water in, or near, said town. Now comes this story from a study that concludes the instance of cancer in Hinkley is below “expectations.”
A state survey has not found a disproportionately high number of cancers in Hinkley, a high-desert community that has become the symbol of public fears about exposure to groundwater tainted with carcinogenic chromium 6.
From 1996 to 2008, 196 cancers were identified among residents of the census tract that includes Hinkley — a slightly lower number than the 224 cancers that would have been expected given its demographic characteristics, said epidemiologist John Morgan, who conducted the California Cancer Registry survey.
The survey did not attempt to explain why any individual in Hinkley contracted cancer, nor did it diminish the importance of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. cleaning up a plume of groundwater with elevated levels of chromium 6, Morgan said.
“In this preliminary assessment we only looked at cancer outcomes, not specific types of cancer,” Morgan said. “However, we did look at a dozen cancer types in earlier surveys of the same census tract for the years between 1988 and 1998. Overall, the results of those surveys were almost identical to the new findings, and none of the cancers represented a statistical excess.”
From Yahoo Singapore: It may be that any perceived melting of the icecap is the cause, not of warming per se, but other more important factors, and that glaciers have been retreating for 20,000 years now:
Often ignored or considered a minor factor in previous research, post-glacial rebound turns out to be important, says the paper.
It looks at tiny changes in Earth’s gravitational field provided by two satellites since 2002, from GPS measurements on land, and from figures for sea floor pressure.
These revealed, among other things, that southern Greenland is in fact subsiding, as the crust beneath it is pulled by the post-glacial rebound from northern America.
With glacial isostatic adjustment modelled in, the loss from Greenland is put at 104 gigatonnes, plus or minus 23 gigatonnes, and 64 gigatonnes from West Antarctica, plus or minus 32 gigatonnes.
These variations show a large degree of uncertainty, but Vermeersen believes that even so a clearer picture is emerging on icesheet loss.
Apparently he really does believe warming can be combated on the human level (as much as humans contribute to it), and recommends that higher taxes should pay for it:
Examining eight methods to reduce or stop global warming, Lomborg and his fellow economists recommend pouring money into researching and developing clean energy sources such as wind, wave, solar and nuclear power, and more work on climate engineering ideas such as “cloud whitening” to reflect the sun’s heat back into the outer atmosphere.
In a Guardian interview, he said he would finance investment through a tax on carbon emissions that would also raise $50bn to mitigate the effect of climate change, for example by building better sea defences, and $100bn for global healthcare.
His declaration about the importance of action on climate change comes at a crucial point in the debate, with international efforts to agree a global deal on emissions stalled amid a resurgence in scepticism caused by rows over the reliability of the scientific evidence for global warming.
The Guardian has been decent in its coverage of the scientific problems with the data proffered by the IACC and IPC. The fallout from the non-use of the scientific method has led to calls for “transparency.” Even Lomborg admits there is a trust problem given that peer review was not followed in its intended form.
Ann Althouse posted the conclusion to this piece stating that Lomborg, the environmental skeptic on global warming. TNR thinks that he has turned on his former skepticism because of statements like this:
The world’s most high-profile climate change sceptic is to declare that global warming is “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and “a challenge humanity must confront”, in an apparent U-turn that will give a huge boost to the embattled environmental lobby.
TNR also thinks he may be opportunistic because he is calling for money to be spent:
“Investing $100bn annually would mean that we could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century,”
TNR makes way too much of this if you follow closely the quotes provided. First, Lomborg states that climate change is a “chief concern” that “humanity must confront.” He never says climate change is true. He says the idea of climate change must be confronted, and more specifically, the challenge must be confronted. This does not mean he agrees with those who are making the claim climate change is a scientific truth. Second, he resolves money should be spent to resolve the problem of climate change. Again, this does not mean Lomborg thinks global warming is a truth. It suggests that further study needs to be conducted.
In other words, Lomborg is calling for money to be spent on further study, via the scientific method.
Not according to Dilbert creator Scott Adams.
The greenest home is the one you don’t build. If you really want to save the Earth, move in with another family and share a house that’s already built. Better yet, live in the forest and eat whatever the squirrels don’t want. Don’t brag to me about riding your bicycle to work; a lot of energy went into building that bicycle. Stop being a hypocrite like me.
Laird Hamilton is possibly the best waterman in the world. His big wave feats are wonders to behold. Here he, and his wife, reflect on the damage to the environment as a result of the ongoing (over 70 days now) oil gusher deep underwater in the Gulf:
Not sure how big a story this is, but if true, more countries (Russia in this case) are backing away from the “science” behind global warming.
Meanwhile, one of the leading skeptics (who actually is not all that skeptical about warming), Bjorn Lomborg, claims what most warming alarmists want is untenable:
As I write this in the Bella Center in Copenhagen, I am surrounded by delegates, politicians and activists engaged in negotiating a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Almost every one of them is singing from the same hymn-book: The world’s nations must commit themselves to drastic, immediate carbon cuts if we are to avoid the worst of global warming.
The tune may be seductive, but the lyrics don’t make any sense. Even if every major government were to slap huge taxes on carbon fuels—which is not going to happen—it wouldn’t do much to halt climate change any time soon. What it would do is cost us hundreds of billions—if not trillions—of dollars, because alternative energy technologies are not yet ready to take up the slack.
Update: The British Climatologists purposely left out Siberian temps? [updated from the original news story I linked earlier].