News from the paper of record

Al Gore wrote an Op-Ed piece in the NYTimes on 27 February, and I think it is worth reading [LINK]. He covers a little science and a lot of the politics of global warming.

Meanwhile, there is going to be some kind of review of the IPCC reports [LINK]. Let's consider that this is a ~3000 page assessment of the totality of climate change. Over the past month, about three years since the release of the report, two errors have been discovered. One is mentioned in one paragraph of the second report, and misreports the time it will take for Himalayan glaciers to melt [cf. LINK]. Note that this isn't the official IPCC projection for melting, which is in the first report [cf. LINK]. The second error is that in another part of the second report, there's a statement that 55% of the Netherlands is below sea-level. This number was given to the IPCC by the Dutch government [LINK], who now decry it as an error [LINK]. Here, it should be stressed, this statement was not a scientific finding of the IPCC, the report was just using the Netherlands as an example of a country that is susceptible to sea-level rise; it is. I'm not sure why these two errors -- essentially typos -- have caused this firestorm of controversy, nor why that would warrant an independent committee to review the IPCC (which is itself a review). It is theatre of the absurd.

Also in the meantime, the Vermont legislature is working to close down a nuclear plant [LINK].

Vermont might regret this decision, as the EPA is beginning to go forward with a plan to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases [LINK]. As early as 2013 the largest emitters will be subject to regulation. This is later than regulation should happen, but it is good to see that even if the elected politicians won't act to do something, the EPA is going to be able to. Of course, as the article details, democrat congress members from coal-friendly states are trying to stop or slow this regulation. This is a surprisingly obvious example of politicians being beholden to big industry.

No comments: