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Obama gears up for a campaign climate fight

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

In a Rolling Stone interview published Wednesday, President Obama broke out of his self-imposed silence on climate change. He made some remarkable statements, including his belief that the millions of dollars pouring into the anti-science disinformation campaign will drive climate change into the presidential campaign.

Earlier this year, the president omitted any discussion of climate change from his State of the Union address. And he (or the White House communications team) edited it out of his Earth Day proclamation.

But in this interview, Obama was actually the first to bring up climate change, noting it was one of many big issues he’s had to deal with and then slamming the GOP for moving so far to the right on the issue.

The big news was that the president expects climate change to be a campaign issue:

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President Obama edits out climate change from his Earth Day proclamation

Photo by Chuck Kennedy/White House.

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

You’ll be glad to know that in the last 12 months, that whole climate change problem went away. At least that’s the impression left from comparing President Obama’s 2012 Earth Day proclamation with the 2011 one.

Read more: Climate Change

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On Titanic anniversary, James Cameron says climate change is our menacing iceberg

Photo by Magadan.

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

One century ago this weekend, the great “unsinkable” ship ignored warnings of icebergs in the vicinity, maintained a high speed, hit an iceberg because it couldn’t change course fast enough, and sank. Most passengers died, in large part because there weren’t enough lifeboats.

The New Yorker and the Washington Post have devoted major columns to why "we can’t let go of the Titanic” and why "fascination with it seems to be” unsinkable.

Director James Cameron offered his own answer this week, in Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron on National Geographic Channel, which I’ve transcribed here. Cameron, who has also released a 3-D version of his epic blockbuster movie on the doomed ship, made the connection between what happened on the Titanic and our climate predicament:

Read more: Climate Change

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Public understanding of climate change: Getting warmer

I think they're getting it. (Photo by B Rosen.)

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

To go by the polls, the high point of public understanding of climate science was 2006 to 2008. That’s no surprise, since that period saw a peak in media reporting on climate science, starting in 2006 with An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary of Al Gore’s PowerPoint presentation on climate science, and continuing in 2007 with the four scientific assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Disputes on the science were kept to a minimum in the 2008 election since both major candidates -- Barack Obama and John McCain -- understood and articulated both climate science and the need for action. It wasn’t until after Obama was elected with progressive majorities in both houses of Congress and the prospects for climate action became real that the anti-science disinformation campaign kicked into overdrive.

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Shale shocked: USGS links ‘remarkable increase’ in earthquakes to fracking

Photo by Martin Luff.

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) team has found that a sharp jump in earthquakes in America’s heartland appears to be linked to oil and natural gas drilling operations.

As hydraulic fracturing has exploded onto the scene, it has increasingly been connected to earthquakes. Some quakes may be caused by the original fracking -- that is, by injecting a fluid mixture into the earth to release natural gas (or oil). More appear to be caused by reinjecting the resulting brine deep underground.

Read more: Fossil Fuels

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Ire drill: Obama lauds Keystone’s southern leg

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

Once upon a time, Obama said future generations would remember his ascendance as "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

In a Cushing, Okla., speech Thursday, Obama made clear future generations would remember him for something quite different:

Read more: Oil

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The Hunger Games: The world after a climate apocalypse, teen fiction style

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

The revolution will be televised. So will the post-apocalyptic fight to feed ourselves on a ruined planet.

Those are two key themes of the wildly popular young adult (YA) trilogy that begins with The Hunger Games, whose movie version comes out this week. The trailer gives the key plot points:

After what seems to be a climate-driven apocalypse, Panem, “the country that rose up out of the ashes of the place that was once called North America,” is divided into a capitol and 12 districts, who launched a failed revolution many decades earlier.

Read more: Climate Change

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Inhofe: Global warming too costly to be real

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

Did you see the big smackdown Thursday night between MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)? The dean of disinformation mostly just repeated his well-worn falseshoods about global warming, which Maddow shot down.

But there was one remarkable admission from the former chair of the Senate Environment Committee:

I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.

In short, learning about the (supposed) high cost of the solution is what turned him from a believer in climate science to a denier.

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Will global warming ruin football in the South?

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

Back in November, GE’s TXCHNOLOGIST blog pointed out that climate change “could ruin Texas football,” indeed all southern U.S. football:

The effects of climate change, so far, have been most noticeable in Texas, where a terrible drought has dried up football fields in small towns that used to look forward to Friday nights above all. But climate change will have a terrible effect on communities throughout the cradle of football in the Southern and plains states.

Read more: Climate Change

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Bill Gates wants to solve hunger caused by climate change with GMOs

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

Bill Gates is one very confused billionaire philanthropist.

He understands global warming is a big problem — indeed, his 2012 Foundation Letter even frets about the  grave threat it poses to food security. But he just doesn’t want to do very much now to stop it from happening.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Food