The Climate Bomb

By Keith Kloor | November 25, 2013 8:20 am

All you people indifferent to climate change, listen up:

Global warming is accumulating in the Earth’s climate system at a rate equivalent to about 4 Hiroshima atomic bomb detonations, 2 Hurricane Sandys, or 4 magnitude 6.0 earthquakes per second.

This, according to a new widget created by the folks at Skeptical Science. Such a handy little app!

After John Cook tweeted news of this latest messaging brainchild, an interesting exchange ensued between him and climate scientist Doug McNeall.


Several prominent climate scientists recently urged their colleagues and climate-concerned greens to support nuclear power as a replacement for fossil fuels. I wonder what they think of this new climate communication attempt.

  • jh

    John Cook:

    In the minute or two since I started reading this, 240 atomic bomb’s worth of heating occurred. I didn’t feel a thing. This is *really*scary.

    • zlop

      Shame, for disregarding eco-sustainable biodiversité !
      Are you denying that the heat is hiding in the Ocean Deep,
      and cooking the Sea Monsters, in the Marianas Trench ?

      • jh

        OMG! I hope we don’t cook those Sea Monsters before we understand every molecule in their collective genomes!

        • zlop

          Guilty you are of endangering Sea Monsters
          Used to be a lot around before the Industrial Revolution increased CO2.

          • jh

            Attendant! Find me my sword! I shall fall upon it!

          • zlop

            No sword needed, you are allowed to live until the GMO, Chemtrails, radiation and vaccines end your enjoyment.

            (Obama end to life care,
            Grim Reaper van is not in service, yet)

  • Steve Crook

    “A cognitively sticky way”?

    It has an air of desperation about it. I’m sure it will gain traction with all of those that Cook likes to call friends.

    Will it really get people to pay attention while they’re wondering if they can afford to heat their homes *and* feed the family? Not so much I think.

    • Buddy199

      Putting Thanksgiving dinner on the table is the equivalent of Mom detonating a 0.00025 kiloton U-235 gun-type fission weapon.

  • Tom Scharf

    The endless search for the silver bullet of propaganda continues. A collective yawn occurs. I assume a rolling tally of babies and kittens killed by the denier’s obstruction of carbon taxes will be next. After all, this is only a communication problem since there are no legitimate issues to be debated, right?

  • JonFrum

    Does anyone take John Cook seriously?

    • hunterson

      He takes himself, along with his co-author, very seriously apparently.

      • zlop

        Follow the money,
        He who funds, calls the deception.

  • harrywr2

    Come on….

    We are all ‘NASA Moon Landing Deniers’ according to the Clown Cook, we aren’t going to be swayed by atomic bomb references.

    He and his pals are just going to have to round us up and send us off to re-education camp.(First they are going to need to get some strict gun control measures passed in order to avoid any communication problems during the roundup).

  • J M

    The US consumes 24000 Hiroshima bombs worth of electricity every year. The Sun deposits energy on Earth at the rate of 1950 Hiroshima bomb detonations per second.

  • J M

    Got the numbers from this website:
    Chinese coal consumption and US gasoline consumption would look really impressive in Hiroshimas.

  • Buddy199

    Is “cognitively sticky” the new term for bullshit?

  • sl149q

    Orwell^H^H^H^H^H^H Hitler would be proud

    Parody amended to be more cognitively sticky.

  • Robert Ford

    can i get that in Fireplace Units? How many fireplaces would that be? he must be from the UK.

    • zlop

      How many Woolly Mammoths would that thaw ?

  • hunterson

    “Cognitively sticky”, as Mr. Cook will learn, is a neutral term. Really good impressions stick, and so do really bad impressions. Mr. Cook does not yet realize what sort of impression he is going to stick people with.

    • zlop

      Blocking logic,
      Emotional Trojan Horses defeat perception ?

  • bobito

    If Watts did something like this, the headline on Slate would be ~ “Denialists use nuclear attack to push agenda…”

    • zlop

      Skeptical Séance is a Carbon Disclosure Fund project ?

  • zlop

    “metaphor is to communicate planet’s heat imbalance
    in cognitively sticky way” — Greenhouse Gases Cool,
    IPCC Science failed , bypass logic, scare through emotion.

  • Stu

    That’s pretty scary. I believe about as scary as standing around 8 metres away from a 60 watt bulb.

  • Eli Rabett
  • Judy Cross

    It hasn’t warmed for 10-16 years and you are still carrying on about global warming.
    Global cooling is far more detrimental, and that is where we are headed.
    Why does this get ignored?


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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