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ICYMI, the head of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study – a previous font of global warming skepticism whose single largest grant comes from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation — has changed his mind. This is from an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times over the weekend:

“Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

You can read the entire NYT piece by clicking here.

 

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While the debate rages on about the Duke-Progress merger and the NC Legislature becomes more determined to create a dirty energy policy for our state, another course is being charted – one that does not involve fracking, offshore drilling, coal-fired power plants or more nuclear power.

© Greenpeace, David Sorcher, 2012

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A very intersting and sobering story in Rolling Stone magazine makes clear again why we need to get off of our butts and get to work NOW on the climate crisis:

“If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.

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This morning, geologist Dr. Rob Young of Western Carolina University has an op-ed in Raleigh’s News & Observer that ought to be required reading for the state lawmakers who’ve decided to listen to the global warming deniers/pseudo-scientists on the matter of sea-level rise.

Young decries the notion that a “compromise” being worked out in the General Assembly would call for a new study (to replace the one he helped prepare as a part of a panel of scientists that advises the state Coastal Resources Commission).

“I have grown weary of hearing our legislators suggest that what we need is a new scientific report on sea-level rise with better science in it. I am told that this is the likely outcome of the compromise being worked out between the state House and Senate.

I have a better suggestion. You have a report that was written by the state’s finest scientists and engineers (at no cost to the state, I might add). If the legislature is really interested in finding the best science, then simply send our report, along with any other reports you like (including those from NC-20) to the National Academy of Sciences for review.”

Amen to that.