That might work in a small greenhouse or in a lab, but on a whole planet you’ll run into the fact that the ecosphere is incredibly complex. That extra CO2 means a lot of extra heat, and that will have all sorts of ramifications.
Sure, growing pineapples in Toronto might be fun, but what do you think will happen in Kansas when the summer heat gets cranked up to broil, and changing weather patterns dry up all the rain for a few months at a time?
— Phil Plait at Slate calls The Wall Street Journal’s defense of CO2 is ‘monumentally naive’
"Researchers now say that the Alberta tar sands contain 360 to 510 billion tons of carbon — more than double that of all oil burned in human history. While only a fraction is considered economically recoverable right now, we humans are genius at finding new and better ways to dig junk out of the ground. Digging begets more digging. Once the big spigot is open, TransCanada will have every incentive to milk the massive tar sands basin for all it is worth."
— James Hansen retiring from NASA to focus on climate change, stop Keystone XL pipeline.
"Last month, after the Sierra Club announced they were encouraging civl disobedience for the first time in its 120 year history, 48 individuals, including Sierra Club director Michael Brune, NASA climate scientist James Hansen and 350.org founder, Bill McKibben were arrested outside the White House. Following those actions and the climate rally in Washington D.C., I wrote a post making the case for civil disobedience for climate change. Looking back at my post, I see I am talking about why people feel compelled to engage in civil disobedience, but not the effectiveness of those actions. With the decision over the pipeline looming and speculation that Obama will approve the construction growing, it is a good time to think about the role civil disobedience can play in the climate movement and where it can go from here."
— How can civil disobedience best help the climate?
"As Lloyd has noted on TreeHugger before, stopping the Keystone pipeline won’t keep the tar sands in the ground or the carbon they will produce out of the atmosphere. Trans Canada could build a pipeline to the west or continue shipping the oil by rail, but as KC makes clear, to not speak out against this pipeline is to concede defeat. And when the stakes are a ruined atmosphere or a chance at preventing catastrophe, what choice do we have?"
— Why Keystone matters. It’s not just a pipeline.
"But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late."
— President Obama addresses climate, energy, infrastructure in State of the Union. Read the rest of his speech here. Twitter reactions here.
"Looking back, I underestimated the risks. The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then."
— Nicholas Stern: Climate Situation ‘Far Worse’ Than Previously Thought
"So here’s where we go from here: If you were happy to hear Obama mention his desire to address climate change, you have just opted-in to the movement that will force him to act on this pledge. The cynics among us may claim that Obama’s pledge was empty, merely soundbites he won’t back up with action. To the cynics I say, call his bluff. Join the earnest among us and let us all together pressure this President, this Congress to act. What actions you take will be up to you, but act you must. If we don’t, we too are making empty promises. It was fitting then and it is fitting now to quote Ray Bradbury’s line on optimism: “Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today. It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad—you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.” Let’s make 2013 a good year. Let’s help this President achieve the lofty goals he’s set for himself. Let’s make Obama’s second term the one upon which future generations look back and say, I’ll be damned, they really did it."
- Chris Tackett
Obama Mentions Climate, But Action Depends On Us