Of more than 4,000 academic papers published over 20 years, 97.1% agreed that climate change is anthropogenic
A survey of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals has found 97.1% agreed that climate change is caused by human activity.
Authors of the survey, published on Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, said the finding of near unanimity provided a powerful rebuttal to climate contrarians who insist the science of climate change remains unsettled.
The survey considered the work of some 29,000 scientists published in 11,994 academic papers. Of the 4,000-plus papers that took a position on the causes of climate change only 0.7% or 83 of those thousands of academic articles, disputed the scientific consensus that climate change is the result of human activity, with the view of the remaining 2.2% unclear.
The study described the dissent as a “vanishingly small proportion” of published research.
“Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary,” said John Cook of the University of Queensland, who led the survey.
Public opinion continues to lag behind the science. Though a majority of Americans accept the climate is changing, just 42% believed human activity was the main driver, in a poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre last October.
“There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception,” Cook said in a statement.
As climate change worsens, the internal strains in the environmentalist movement are starting to show.
By Jason Mark
May 15, 2013
About a year ago, on March 26, 2012, Sandra Steingraber, an environmental writer and activist against natural-gas fracking, wrote a public letter titled “Breaking Up with the Sierra Club.” Breakups are never easy, and the letter, published on the website of the nature magazine Orion, was brutal from the start: “I’m through with you,” Steingraber began.
The proximate cause of the split was the revelation that between 2007 and 2010 the nation’s oldest environmental organization had clandestinely accepted $26 million from individuals or subsidiaries associated with Chesapeake Energy, a major gas firm that has been at the forefront of the fracking boom. “The largest, most venerable environmental organization in the United States secretly aligned with the very company that seeks to occupy our land, turn it inside out, blow it apart, fill it with poison,” Steingraber wrote. “It was as if, on the eve of D-day, the anti-Fascist partisans had discovered that Churchill was actually in cahoots with the Axis forces.”
In 2010, the club’s new executive director, Michael Brune, stopped taking Chesapeake Energy’s cash. Brune also made the decision to come clean with the revelation and express regret for his predecessor’s lack of better judgment. “We never should have taken this money,” Brune wrote in response to the breakup letter.
But to Steingraber and many others, the betrayal had been done.
“I call them gang-green,” says Maura Stephens, an activist based in Ithaca, New York, who spearheads several anti-fracking groups, including Frack Busters and the Coalition to Protect New York. “There are a lot of so-called environmental groups that were started with noble ideals—for example the ideals of John Muir—but who no longer live up to their mission. … They do good work on some level, but on this [fracking] they are selling us out.”
The eco-infighting over natural gas is just one example of internecine strains that appear to be intensifying in the green movement. When it comes to prescribing ways to address the planet’s ecological challenges, environmentalists increasingly find themselves at odds with each other. In a way, greens’ predicament is a measure of their own prescience. For at least 40 years, they have been warning about the consequences of overpopulation, the risks of industrial pollution, and the loss of wilderness and wildlife habitat due to human encroachment. Few heeded the warnings in time to halt the first effects of large-scale global pollution and resource depletion, and now the consequences of ignoring the warnings have come to pass. Many global fisheries are on the brink of collapse; nearly half of the planet’s land is dedicated to feeding a global population that will soon reach nine billion; freshwater scarcities in some regions are becoming acute; and, most frighteningly, we appear intent on wrecking the global atmosphere, the ecosystem on which all other ecosystems depend.
May 16, 2013
Standing atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii, with this gorgeous view in front of me, it was hard to imagine that the air I was breathing carried a deadly message. Then again, as the largest volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa is not exactly home to the most welcoming of climates. Ancient Hawaiians only went there to make offerings. Tourists seldom visit. The only reason to drive away from the tropical beaches below, up a poorly maintained road that has potholes within potholes, through several climate zones each colder and less hospitable than the last, is to study, well, the climate.
Since the 1950s, scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory have been monitoring changes in the atmosphere — most prominently, the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide (the primary greenhouse gas emitted by humans). When I was there in January 2012, CO2 was measured at 397 parts per million. That’s nearly 120 ppm above pre-industrial levels, about 80 ppm above the first measurement in 1958 and 47 ppm above what’s considered the safe upper limit.
Last week, for the first time in several million years, we reached the milestone figure of 400 ppm. As a result, this generally overlooked beacon of climate science, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found itself in the news. But in many ways, the news can frequently be traced back to this remote peak in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. From extreme weather to political debate to massive protests like the ones against the Keystone XL pipeline, the research from Mauna Loa is one of the main reasons we talk about climate change and understand that it is the result of humans altering the composition of the atmosphere.
As someone who has been writing about climate change for the better part of a decade, I was primed to visit Mauna Loa when a family vacation led me to Hawaii (woah is my carbon footprint!). But I was also eager to find out what the scientists thought of their research fueling something like an actual climate movement. Station Chief John Barnes, however, was typically scientific in his response, saying, “If NOAA says this is what we predict for climate change, whether you want to do anything about it is a decision for society, not NOAA.”
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/05/13-7
Published on Monday, May 13, 2013 by Common Dreams
Climate change and weather-related disasters forced over 31 million people to flee their homes in 2012, according to a new report, offering a grim look at what the future holds as climate-related disasters are set to rise.
According to the assessment released Monday from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), disasters displaced 32.4 million people in 82 countries last year, with most—98%—being the result of weather- or climate-related disasters likes floods and wildfires.
Call them “IDPs” (internally displaced persons) or “refugees,” and it’s tempting for those who have as of yet been unscathed by such disasters to see displacement as a distant problem. But as the world reaps more and more of what the world’s fossil fuel addiction has sown, the distance may be shrinking.
From the report:
In the longer term, human-induced climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of weather-related hazards, including floods, storms, wildfires and droughts which contribute to most disaster-induced displacement
As Hurricane Sandy showed, climate refugees aren’t limited to the developing world. Over three-quarters of a million people in the U.S. were displaced in 2012 by “the costliest storm disaster” in the nation’s history, the report states.
And “in countries already facing the effects of conflict and food insecurity such as in Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Sudan, we observe a common theme,” Clare Spurrell, Chief Spokesperson for IDMC, said in a statement. “Here, vulnerability to disaster triggered by floods is frequently further compounded by hunger, poverty and violence; resulting in a ‘perfect storm’ of risk factors that lead to displacement.′′
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/05/13-7
Alexander Reed Kelly
May 15, 2013
“We are now in the last moments of an effort to, in essence, effectively extinguish press freedom,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges told “Democracy Now!” in a conversation Wednesday about revelations of the Justice Department’s seizure of work, home and cellphone records of up to 100 reporters and editors at The Associated Press.
Knowing that the United States and the world are on a course toward instability and chaos ensured by irreversible climate change and economic deterioration, the Obama administration and those who expect to inherit its role and powers “want the mechanisms by which they can criminalize any form of dissent,” Hedges continued. The attack on the press, which the AP phone records scandal exposes, is “an excuse to ferret out and destroy legitimate movements that challenge centers of power” by scaring potential whistle-blowers and dissidents into silence.
It works like this, Hedges said: “They pass … for instance, Section 1021 of the NDAA [which allows the government to detain indefinitely anyone suspected of being connected to terrorism]. They pass it in the name of the war on terror, but then they can use it. Anybody can become a terrorist.” This has already happened. In a lawsuit against the Obama administration, Hedges and his co-plaintiffs used leaked documents to show that government officials had attempted to link a group that was close to Occupy, U.S. Day of Rage, to the terrorist group al-Qaida.
“That’s precisely what happened,” Hedges confirmed. “When we allow this kind of thing to go forward, we essentially shut down any ability not only to ferret out what’s happening internally within the mechanisms of power, but to protest or carry out dissent.”
Attorney General Eric Holder has defended the Justice Department’s invasion of press privacy by referring to a proposed national shield law that Obama publicly supported both as a senator and president. Such a law would protect reporters from having to testify in court about information and sources obtained during the course of their investigations. But Holder’s “constant reference to a shield law is absurd,” Hedges said, “because they just violated the shield law by not going to court and informing AP of a subpoena but doing it secretly.”