Jon Stewart decided to use his first show of 2014 to question the climate change deniers who climb out from under a rock every time it gets cold outside – you know, the ones that work at an entertainment station that rhymes with cocks.
…on the big video screen. [imgur]
“If the storm was just isolated to Rockaway, I would understand the fear. But this wasn’t isolated to Rockaway – this happened throughout all 5 boroughs [of New York] and I think that’s why people feel this isn’t going to happen again. This was the perfect storm.”
Lisa Jackson, Rockaway Properties
Yes, the damaged homes of Rockaway are selling at a discount but what do you do when the ‘Perfect Storm’ becomes an annual event? Deal or not, I can’t understand why home buyers would actively seek out homes that not only suffered significant damage but are still in harm’s way. Oh wait, I found an old Far Side comic that explains it:
“Let’s say you are walking down a trail in the wilderness with your wife and kids, and you come upon a grizzly sow, standing on a carcass. She charges, flat out. You’re in front of your family. What do you do? Just give up? Pretend it’s not happening? Let her maul you and everything your care about? Of course you don’t. You take action. That is how I see climate change. It’s real, it’s threatening everything we love. Not taking action is not an option.”
Todd Tanner, Conservation Hawks in Field & Stream
“Hunters, Anglers, and Climate Change” is the latest video from Peter Sinclair for the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. Are hunters and anglers bellwethers? Most definitely. They see the year-to-year environmental changes to their favorite streams, forests, and wetlands firsthand. [CDCW]
Worst Cruise Ever? Scientists Predict That In 2050, Ships Will Be Able To Sail Directly Over North Pole.
The northern sea route, or trans-arctic passage, has been passable by ships for the last 7 summers and now comes information that the North Pole may be open to ship traffic by 2050. According to a report from Dr. Laurence C. Smith and Scott R. Stephenson, the shortest route connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans will be accessible in 2050 by ice-strengthened ships that can travel directly over the North Pole. From the Guardian:
“The scientists took two classes of vessels and then simulated whether they would be able to steam through the sea ice expected in seven different climate models. In each case they found that the sea routes opened up considerably after 2049.”
The recent opening of the Northern Sea Route, for ship traffic from Norway to China, has saved shipping companies between $230,000 – 400,000 in time and bunker fuel; crossing directly over the North Pole could save shipping companies an additional 40%. To counter these savings, putting a value on the “holy crap!” factor of sending ships over the North Pole in our lifetime is incalculable. Sailing over the North Pole should not be a goal – it should be viewed as an obstacle that needs to be avoided. [Guardian]
The whole childish “you go first” between the US and China on carbon taxes might be coming to an end soon. According to a report in China’s state-run Xinhua news website, taxing carbon emissions is on the agenda for the Ministry of Finance (MOF). From Xinhua:
“The [Chinese] government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, Jia Chen, head of the ministry’s tax policy division, wrote in an article published on the MOF’s website.
It will be the local taxation authority, rather than the environmental protection department, that will collect the taxes.
The government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation, according to Jia.
To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes. A resource tax will also be levied on water.”
As consumers of $400 billion worth of Chinese goods (2011), the US deserves an assist for China’s pollution problem. I never quite understood how carbon tax opposing US politicians could pass so much blame on China for their lack of pollution controls when our consumption of their goods is driving it. At least the Inhofes, Rubios and Bachmanns will still have India to blame and do the “you go first” carbon tax dance with. [Mother Jones]