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‘One hundred years is not enough’–Yes it is

(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: One hundred and some years of global surface temperatures is not long enough to draw any conclusions from or worry about anyway. Answer: The reliable instrumental record only goes back 150 years in the CRU analysis, 125 in the NASA analysis. This is a simple fact that we are stuck with. 2005 was the warmest year recorded in that period according to NASA, a very close second according to CRU. Because of this limit, it is not enough to say today that these are the warmest years …

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An interview on planning for climate change

An interview I recently did has been published in the newsletter of Caisse des Depots, a state-owned financial institution that performs public-interest missions on behalf of the French government. Also quoted in the interview is Patrick Criqui, Director of the Energy and Environmental Policy Department of the Grenoble LEPII. You can get the full newsletter here (PDF). It's all about the problems posed by the long timescale climate change operates on, and is definitely worth reading. Here is the interview: How can we plan for the long term? How can we take action today to fight against atmospheric greenhouse gases …

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‘Warming is due to the Urban Heat Island effect’ — No, it isn’t

(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: The apparent rise of global average temperatures is actually an illusion due to the urbanization of land around weather stations, the Urban Heat Island effect. Answer: Urban Heat Island Effect has been examined quite thoroughly (PDF) and found to have a negligible effect on temperature trends. Real Climate has a detailed discussion of this here. What's more, NASA GISS takes explicit steps in their analysis to remove any such spurious signal by normalizing urban station data trends to the surrounding rural stations. It is a real phenomenon, …

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Hard-knock New England city welcomes region’s largest solar installation

Brockton, Mass., is championing solar power. Photos: SCHOTT Solar This city was once the shoemaking capital of the Northeast, and over the years it was home to boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, earning it the nickname "City of Champions." Today, however, Brockton, Mass., holds the dubious honor of being one of the region's trash capitals, because of its high concentration of waste-disposal and recycling facilities. And you wouldn't want your kids playing in what's left of the open spaces in this hardscrabble urban area halfway between Boston and Providence. Some of Brockton's remaining parcels are EPA-designated brownfield sites, useless …

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Morgan Bang for the Buck

Morgan Stanley will invest $3 billion in carbon trading and offset projects Investment giant Morgan Stanley announced today that it will invest $3 billion in carbon trading and offset projects over the next five years. Expecting a rush to purchase offsets as the Kyoto Protocol's 2012 deadline approaches, the bank is playing the middleperson -- buying offsets from emissions-cutting projects now, with the plan to sell them to governments and industry later. Most of the industrialized countries signed on to the Kyoto Protocol are lagging on meeting their emissions targets and will need to either buy other countries' rights to …

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Crazed, Greedy Drilling in Texas? You Don’t Say

Natural-gas drilling booms in Fort Worth Forth Worth, Texas, lies atop a huge natural-gas field, and thus is at the center of the biggest urban drilling boom in the U.S. today. The city has leased more than 2,400 acres of public land for natural-gas development; over 600 wells have cropped up in the last year alone, and, says Mayor Mike Moncrief, "we've only just started." It's an economic jackpot for some Fort Worth residents and groups -- the American Cancer Society sold mineral rights to donated land for $5 million, and the Girl Scouts allowed drilling under a summer camp …

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‘Mauna Loa is a volcano’ — CO2 rise is measured on top of a volcano!

(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: CO2 levels are recorded on top of Mauna Loa ... a volcano! No wonder the levels are so high. (image courtesty of Global Warming Art) Answer: Yes, it's true, Mauna Loa is an active volcano. In fact it's the biggest volcano on earth! So, should we suppose that Charles Keeling didn't know that? Well, no, he did know it. And using subtle scientific indicators like "wind direction," he was even able to ensure that his readings were not contaminated by any out-gassing when it was occurring. OK, …

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‘There is no evidence’ — Yes, there is

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: Despite what the computer models tell us, there is actually no evidence of significant global warming. Answer: Global warming is not an output of computer models; it is a conclusion based on observations of a great many global indicators. By far the most straightforward evidence is the actual surface temperature record. While there are places -- in England, for example -- that have records going back several centuries, the two major global temperature analyses can only go back around 150 years due to their requirements for both quantity …

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A new series

We've all encountered them, shuffling across the cultural landscape like desiccated zombies: arguments about climate change that have been bludgeoned with a thousand rebuttals, but keep lurching to life, attacking again and again. Each time they appear, the search begins again for the same rebuttals, the same citations and resources. In the face of this kind of undead onslaught, even Buffy might lose her perk. Coby Beck wants to help. Over the course of 2006, he's written a series of posts called "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic." He wanted to ... ... provide a layman's guide to defending …

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How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

A new series gives you the ammunition No matter how many times they are bludgeoned with informed rebuttals, the same skeptical arguments about climate change keep lurching back to life like zombies. It can get tiresome searching for the same counterarguments over and over again. A new series on Gristmill aims to put all those counterarguments in one place, for easy access. Think of it as a rhetorical ammunition stash. How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic kicks off today -- check it out.

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