Jonathan Chait at TNR smartly dissects the two main arguments against action on climate change. Be sure to read it all the way through for a bonus take-down of the skeptics’ most prominent spear carrier.
And then read this equally smart rejoinder (comment #2) to Chait, which basically asks why he’s wasting his time fighting dead-enders.
Following the logic of that Grist article I cited in my last post, this commentary on the congressional climate bill strikes me as pretty “radical,” coming from a well-respected, mainstream greenie like Bill McKibben:
If you pass half a health care bill, you can always come back in a decade. People will suffer in the meantime, but it won’t grow impossible to fix the problem: The Clinton debacle in the 1990s didn’t mean that we couldn’t try again this year. But, if we don’t do what the science requires on climate change, the situation will get badly out of hand. In the last two years, methane levels in the atmosphere have begun to spike sharply, apparently because warming temperatures are now melting the permafrost that caps large deposits of the potent greenhouse gas. If we let the planet keep warming, we won’t be able to shut that cycle off–we’re clearly much closer to that kind of tipping point than we imagined just a few years ago. Half a job may not be better than no job at all.
Interesting headline by Grist.
Today, if you belong to a green group that is agitating against the congressional climate bill, because you think it’s not strong enough to curb global warming, you might as well be a traitor to the cause. That’s the unmistakable subtext of this Grist story.
Our fearless climate hero is doing double duty as a reporter now. Determined to ice discussion of possible short-term temperature stabilization trends, Scoop Romm touts an “exclusive interview” he scored with Mojib Latif, a Germany-based climate scientist whose work and quotes have become blogosphere fodder for the contrarian crowd, in part because of these two passages in a recent Andy Revkin story:
Mojib Latif, a prize-winning climate and ocean scientist from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel, in Germany, wrote a paper last year positing that cyclical shifts in the oceans were aligning in a way that could keep temperatures over the next decade or so relatively stable, even as the heat-trapping gases linked to global warming continued to increase.
But Dr. Latif, who gives about 200 talks to the public, business leaders and officials each year, said he had been met with confusion and even anger when he tried to describe this normal variation in climate while at the same time conveying the long-term threat of global warming.
That story prompted this apoplectic reaction from Romm and now has prompted our “indispensable” climate hero to ring up Dr. Latif himself, presumably to set the record straight. There’s just one, teeny problem with Romm’s “exclusive interview”: you can’t read it, because Romm hasn’t posted it. All you get are small fragments of quotes interspersed throughout Romm’s bloated 2,500 post. (So much for those shorter posts you promised us, Joe.)
Now I’m pretty sure we can assume that Romm at some point in his interview asked Dr. Latif straight out: Did Andy Revkin misquote you or misintrepet your work? I mean, that’s what Romm and other climate advocats contend, so why wouldn’t he ask Latif that? Well, if Romm posed the question, we don’t know the answer, because it’s not mentioned as part of his “extended” interview with Latif.
So can anyone tell me what is so “exclusive” about Romm’s interview with Latif? Any major clarifications or breaking news? We know Romm is skilled at breathlessly hyping weather disasters, so I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that he can hype his own journalistic contributions as well.