What a Strange Summer It’s Been in Minnesota

It’s been an oddly disconcerting summer across the great state of Minnesota. Mercifully few violent tornadoes to report on. Instead, meteorologists have been tracking smoke plumes and air pollution, with potentially toxic algae showing up from western Minnesota to Lake Superior and yet another rash of extreme rainfall events.

Monday night as much as 10 inches of rain soaked Vestby, in Vernon County, Wisconsin. Summer floods struck the Mora area, and some farms in southwest Minnesota were underwater for days on end. Dr. Mark Seeley reports the growing season in 2018 is the second warmest on record, trailing only 1988. The new normal? I hope not.

That brightly-shining orb darting between the clouds is the “sun”, and it should be visible today and Thursday with highs in the 70s. 36-42 hours of dry weather, before the next sloppy warm front shoves more T-storms into town Thursday night into Friday night.

The weekend looks sunny, with highs near 80F – maybe a few T-storms flaring up late on Sunday.

Summer is fading fast, but I suspect we’ll see more 80s, even a few more 90s in September.


Extreme Flooding Southeastern Minnesota. Bring Me The News has details on extreme rainfall amounts late Monday and Monday night over far southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin: “Residents in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin are being evacuated with heavy rain causing what weather officials say are “life-threatening” flood conditions Tuesday morning. Between 5-12 inches of rain fell in a belt stretching from Lanesboro in Minnesota to east of Mauston, Wisconsin, an area that includes La Crosse. The National Weather Service says many roads are underwater, and it’s warning people not to cross standing water in a vehicle or on foot. Officials are warning of record floods on the Kickapoo River in Ontario, Wisconsin, which is predicted to surge above its record depth of 22 feet. The NWS says that the situation is “particularly dangerous” for those living in Coon Creek, on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River…”

Latest rainfall amounts from the La Crosse office of the National Weather Service are here.


Smart Phones May Be Used to Better Predict the Weather. Crowdsourcing weather? It’s already happening. Here’s a clip from a post at Phys.org: “…A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones. “The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth’s magnetic field, atmospheric pressure, light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more,” said Prof. Colin Price of TAU’s Porter School ofthe Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. “Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year…”

Photo credit: CC0 Public Domain.




84-Hour Rainfall Potential. NOAA’s 12KM NAM keeps the most extreme (3-5″+) rain amounts over Iowa, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin – most of that falling last night and today. Friday’s T-storms may drop some .25 to .50″ amounts across Minnesota, the best chance of more near the North Shore. Rainfall expected by Saturday morning at 7 AM. Map: pivotalweather.com.


Simmering September. GFS guidance hints at a closed low over the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes roughly 2 weeks out, which may or may not verify. The bigger picture: the pattern still looks unusually warm for much of the USA.


Odd, Potentially Toxic Algae Infests Western Minnesota Lakes. Here’s an excerpt of a recent Star Tribune article: “Outbreaks of an unusual and potentially toxic blue-green algae have been reported in at least five western Minnesota counties, including in Maplewood State Park in Otter Tail County, conservation officials said last week. In addition to Otter Tail, algae outbreaks have been reported in Becker, Douglas, Pennington and Polk counties. The blue-green algae can be toxic, although tests so far haven’t found toxic levels in any of the infested waterways, said Tim James, a project manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Detroit Lakes. However, a similar outbreak several years ago on the Mud River near Grygla in Marshall County killed two dogs who were exposed to the algae. “When in doubt, best stay out” of the water, James said. James attributed the algae outbreaks to a hot, calm summer. Warm, still water provides favorable conditions for algae growth. James added that Minnesota has a longer growing season than it once did…”

Photo credit: Red Lake Watershed District. “A rare outbreak of potentially toxic blue-green algae has affected activities on the Thief River in northwest Minnesota.”


Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – And Lungs. One of many benefits living in Minnesota: clean air. There are few polluting, heavy industries upwind. But a recent story at Star Tribune (below) caught my eye. There have been 9 air pollution alerts this summer in Minnesota; 7 just in August. That’s the most since the current warning system began in 2010. Air pollution still claims an average of 2,000 lives in Minnesota, annually. In this case the culprit was wildfires in the western USA and Canada, sending thick plumes of smoke into the state. Fine particulants, 2.5 microns or smaller, can penetrate the lungs, increasing the risk of asthma, stroke and heart disease.


Behind Uneventful Minnesota Summer Weather Lurks Signs of Climate Change. Josephine Marcotty reports for Star Tribune; here are a couple of excerpts that caught my eye: “…Instead, there were seven air alert days in August, bringing the summer’s total to nine — by far the highest number recorded since the state started using the current warning system in 2010. Though the state’s overall air quality has improved markedly — thanks to fewer coal-burning power plants and stricter pollution and fuel efficiency requirements — airborne pollution still contributes to the deaths of about 2,000 Minnesotans annually, according to the Minnesota Department of Health…Forest fires aggravate a common air pollutant: The smoke carries high levels of fine particulates, 2.5 microns or less, that penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream. That can trigger attacks of asthma, heart disease and stroke. In some places around Minnesota this month, where concentrations reached 100 or more nanograms per cubic meter, breathing the air for a day was like smoking four or five cigarettes...

Photo credit: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune.

A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones.

“The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth’s magnetic field, , light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more,” said Prof. Colin Price of TAU’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. “Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year.”

Prof. Price collaborated with TAU master’s student Ron Maor and TAU doctoral student Hofit Shachaf for the study, which was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-smartphones-weather.html#jCp

A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones.

“The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth’s magnetic field, , light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more,” said Prof. Colin Price of TAU’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. “Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year.”

Prof. Price collaborated with TAU master’s student Ron Maor and TAU doctoral student Hofit Shachaf for the study, which was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-smartphones-weather.html#jCp

A recent Tel Aviv University study suggests that weather patterns that lead to flash floods may one day be tracked and anticipated by our smartphones.

“The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment, including gravity, the earth’s magnetic field, , light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more,” said Prof. Colin Price of TAU’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, who led the research. “Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year.”

Prof. Price collaborated with TAU master’s student Ron Maor and TAU doctoral student Hofit Shachaf for the study, which was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-smartphones-weather.html#jCp



Lane: Second Wettest Tropical System to Impact U.S. Since 1950. Above is a special statement from the Hawaii office of the National Weather Service, highlightingthe 52.02″ rainfall amount from Hurricane Lane in Mountain View, on the Big Island of Hawaii.


Misery Index. Extreme heat or extreme cold around the planet is highlighted in this interactive graphic from earth.nullschool.net.


Think Rivers Are Dangerous Now? Just Wait. So says Mother Jones with a summary of new research and projections into the future: “…As for damages, the global average from river flooding is currently about $110 billion a year. With a 1.5 degree rise, the models predict that could jump 240 percent; for 2 degrees it’s 520 percent, and for 3 degrees it’s a stunning 1,000 percent increase, or a new total of $1.25 trillion a year. Under a slightly more optimistic scenario, which projects slower economic growth, those figures would be lower by about a third. Still, not a good outlook. This does not mean, though, that every region will fare equally. The developing world, where infrastructure isn’t as strong, is more at risk...”

File image: NOAA.


Air Pollution is Making Us Dumber, Study Shows. Details via CNN.com: “Air pollution could be more damaging to our health than previously thought, according to a new study, which found that prolonged exposure to dirty air has a significant impact on our cognitive abilities, especially in older men. According to the study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, breathing polluted air causes a “steep reduction” in scores on verbal and math tests. Researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) examined data from the national China Family Panel Studies longitudinal survey, mapping the cognitive test scores of nearly 32,000 people over the age of 10 between 2010 and 2014 against their exposure to short- and long-term air pollution…”

File image: Martin Meissner, AP.


People Still Aren’t Wearing Sunscreen and Melanoma Rates Are Rising. Here are a couple of excerpts from a troubling post at Quartz: “The prevalence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is growing in the US…Even with advanced sunscreen, truly protecting ourselves from the sun’s rays is a lot of work. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people should be using about an ounce of sunscreen to cover their entire bodies (smaller amounts if only parts of their skin are exposed) every day. This sunscreen should protect from both UVA and UVB rays, and should have a rating of at least 30 for its sun protection factor (or spf), and should be reapplied every couple of hours if you get wet or sweaty. In addition, you need to wait 15 minutes or so for sunscreen to dry after applying before they work at full power. Effective skin maintenance requires a lot of vigilance and planning—it takes the spontaneity out of running out to meet a friend or to jump in the ocean. And even when people do apply sunscreen, they usually don’t even put on enough...”

File image: FiveThirtyEight.


Hurricane Maria Caused an Estimated 2,975 Deaths in Puerto Rico, New Study Finds. CBS News has the latest: “Hurricane Maria killed far more people in Puerto Rico than initially thought, accounting for an estimated 2,975 deaths on the island from September 2017 through February 2018, according to a new analysis. The study found that those in low-income areas, and elderly men, were at greatest risk of dying.  The independent analysis was commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico and conducted by researchers at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. CBS News obtained a report on the findings from Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. To arrive at the 2,975 figure, the study looked at historical death patterns from 2010 to 2017 to estimate how many people would have died had Hurricane Maria not hit the island. That figure was then compared to the actual number of deaths from September 2017 through February 2018…”




Hurricane Harvey is Houston’s Unending Nightmare. The Atlantic reports on Houston, roughly 1 year after The Flood To End All Floods: “…In two days, Hurricane Harvey dumped 51 inches of rain on greater Houston. More than 75 people died in Texas. Of Houston’s 50 victims, most died by drowning. The catastrophic event has prompted an existential crisis of sorts in Houston. Almost every recent administration, including White’s, has made flood mitigation and relief a top priority. With each year comes newer technology, more sophisticated takes on infrastructure, and a deeper understanding of the threats posed by global warming. Yet Harvey has brought the question of Houston’s flood preparedness into sharp relief. For a city looking to outpace Chicago as the third-largest city in the country, it’s an unenviable position to be in. In the past year, Houston officials have thus scrambled to probe what went wrong, and what went right, in the lead up to Harvey, all the while attempting to rebuild the homes and lives of those displaced…”

File photo: DoubleHorn Photography.


Why Hurricanes Like Lane May Become More Common in Hawaii. A good post at Forbes from Dr. Marshall Shepherd: “…This study used the methodology that renowned tropical meteorologist Dr. Kerry Emanuel (MIT) has applied to climate models. The study also found that a term called the Power Dissipation Index also increases. This suggests that overall hurricane intensity will also increase, not just the number of them. Some scientists would counter that the business-as-usual or “worst-case” scenarios are not likely to happen so presenting results from that perspective are misleading. While perhaps a fair point in isolation, it is important to understand the full range of risks on the table. At the scale of weather threats, emergency managers and insurers have told me that they want to the full range of possibilities so I do not have an issue with this approach within a climate context...”


There’s a Time Bomb for U.S. – Mexico Relations Ticking Underground. It’s all about the water, as Quartz explains: “All along the 1,250 miles of border between Texas and Mexico, hidden under hundreds of feet of soil and rock, lie more than a dozen underground aquifers—areas of permeable earth that hold water—that crisscross the national boundaries. They might be the only sources of water the region will have left when the Rio Grande, hit by a one-two punch of climate change and a booming population, inevitably dries up. And yet there is no binational agreement for all this shared groundwater. Texas and Mexico have elaborate sharing agreements for every acre-foot of water that flows through the Rio Grande, which makes sense, especially since the river is dwindling. Making sure both sides are upholding those agreements while the region rides through its regular whiplash of droughts and floods takes up most of the bandwidth of water officials on both sides…”

Graphic credit: “The combined geographical area covered by the 15 aquifers Rosario Sanchez has found that cross beneath the Texas-Mexico border.”


The Electric Car Revolution is Unstoppable Thanks to Elon Musk. Here’s an excerpt of a post at ThinkProgress: “…The DOE explains that a crucial “event that helped reshape electric vehicles was the announcement in 2006 that a small Silicon Valley startup,” would start making an electric sports car with a 200-mile range. “Tesla’s announcement and subsequent success spurred many big automakers to accelerate work on their own electric vehicles,” DOE notes. As Forbes put it two years ago, “Tesla’s Innovations Are Transforming The Auto Industry.” Business Insider made the same point earlier this year. This transformation has led to explosive growth in EV sales globally as well as massive investments by European and Chinese companies…”

Graphic credit: “Electric vehicle (EV) sales have Grown exponentially in the last 8 years.” CREDIT: EVvolumes.com


A Southern Republican Mayor Is Going All-In on Solar. Is solar a fiscally-conservative solution? Yale Climate Connections has the story: “In the small town of Abita Springs, Louisiana, the historical town hall is getting a new roof with almost 200 solar panels. It’s the first stage of a multi-year plan, spearheaded by Republican Mayor Greg Lemons, to convert all the town’s buildings to solar. He also hopes to replace the street lights with solar-powered LEDs. Lemons says the switch to clean energy provides a practical and fiscally-conservative path for Abita Springs. Lemons: “We cannot continue to live off fossil fuel. First of all it’s not going to be there forever, and second of all, as the supply diminishes, the price will go up.” In contrast, clean energy systems are getting cheaper, and the upfront costs are paid off over time with lower electricity bills…”


Dire News About Teens and Reading. A story by Laurie Hertzel at Star Tribune is cause for concern: “…One-third of all high school students do not read for pleasure. Fewer than 20 percent of high school students read every day. This is a tragedy. Instead, their free time is eaten up by video games and social media, which are not, as you know, really reading, even though words are often involved. This news came from professors at San Diego State University, who analyzed data from a decades-long survey project through the University of Michigan called Monitoring the Future. The San Diego professors analyzed the reading habits of more than 1 million teens between 1976 and 2016. That’s a lot of teenagers. What they found was a steep, sharp drop in reading. In the 1970s, about 60 percent of high school seniors read a book, a magazine or a newspaper every day. In 2016, that number was only 16 percent...”

Image credit: Medium.


Screens Are Killing Your Eyeballs, And Now We Know How. One more reason to put the phone down, according to new research highlighted at Popular Science: “...In a recent paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Toledo have begun to parse the process by which close or prolonged exposure to the 445 nanometer shortwave called “blue light” can trigger irreversible damage in eye cells. The results could have profound consequences for consumer technology. Catastrophic damage to your vision is hardly guaranteed. But the experiment shows that blue light can kill photoreceptor cells. Murdering enough of them can lead to macular degeneration, an incurable disease that blurs or even eliminates vision...”

Photo credit: “Put the phone down—or turn on an ambient light!” Deposit Photos.


Why You Should Stop Reading News. Farnam Street has food for thought: “…There are several problems with the way we consume news today:

First, the speed of news delivery has increased. We used to have to wait to get a newspaper or gossip with people in our town to get our news, but not anymore. Thanks to alerts, texts, and other interruptions, news find us almost the minute it’s published.

Second, the costs to produce news have dropped significantly. Some people write 12 blog posts a day for major newspapers. It’s nearly impossible to write something thoughtful on one topic, let alone 12. Over the course of a year, this works out to writing 2880 articles (assuming four weeks of vacation). The fluency of the person you’re getting your news from in the subject they’re covering is near zero. As a result, you’re filling your head with surface opinions on isolated topics. Because the costs have dropped to near zero, there is a lot of competition…”


Sperm Count is Decreasing in Rich Nations – And No One Knows Why. Handmaid’s Tale, anyone? PBS NOVA Next has the story: “Over the past 40 years, sperm counts in men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have dropped by over 50 percent, researchers announced on Tuesday. Researchers examined 7,500 studies conducted between 1973 and 2001. They selected 185 studies with consistent counting methods and performed analyses on data from almost 43,000 men. Their findings, released in Human Reproduction Update, showed that sperm concentration fell from 99 million per milliliter to 47.1 million per milliliter during the span of the study, indicating a 52.4% decline in sperm concentration and a 59.3% decline in total sperm count for men in these nations. What’s more, the scientists found that the decrease in sperm count is not slowing. As sperm counts have implications for morbidity and mortality, these results raise potential concerns for health and fertility...”

Image credit: “Sperm counts in men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have dropped by over 50 percent over the past 40 years.”


Go Ahead and Waste Some Time – It’s Good For You. Here’s Why. I’m fairly good at this; The Washington Post explains why “free time” is so important for healthy brains and healthy outlooks: “…The mind needs periods of rest to replenish itself. Some researchers believe that one benefit of sleep is to give the mind an opportunity to make sense of the input of the day. I would argue that constant external simulation during waking hours, without any time for quiet contemplation, is equivalent to sleep deprivation. The need to rest the mind has been known for thousands of years and can be found in the meditation traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Our hyperconnected lifestyle, without downtime, threatens our “inner selves.” My inner self is that part of me that imagines, that dreams, that explores, that is constantly questioning who I am and what is important to me. My inner self is my true freedom…”


New Research Suggests Evolution Might Favor “Survival of the Laziest”. This story made me happy, courtesy of Phys.org and Slashdot: “If you’ve got an unemployed, 30-year-old adult child still living in the basement, fear not. A new large-data study of fossil and extant bivalves and gastropods in the Atlantic Ocean suggests laziness might be a fruitful strategy for survival of individuals, species and even communities of species. The results have just been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B by a research team based at the University of Kansas. Looking at a period of roughly 5 million years from the mid-Pliocene to the present, the researchers analyzed 299 species’ metabolic rates — or, the amount of energy the organisms need to live their daily lives — and found higher metabolic rates were a reliable predictor of extinction likelihood…”


66 F. maximum temperature on Tuesday in the Twin Cities.

78 F. average high on August 28.

74 F. high on August 28, 2017.

August 29, 1948: An airliner crashes during a thunderstorm near Winona, killing 37 people on board.

August 29, 1863: A devastating killing frost affects most of Minnesota, killing vines and damaging corn.



WEDNESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, comfortable. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 73

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear and cool. Low: 57

THURSDAY: Mild sunshine, T-storms possible late. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 76

FRIDAY: Sticky, T-storms may be strong. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 66. High: 81

SATURDAY: Plenty of warm sunshine. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 65. High: 82

SUNDAY: Some sun, slight PM thunder risk. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 63. High: 83

MONDAY: Steamy, a nagging thunder threat. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 67. High: 86

TUESDAY: Showers and T-storms expected. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 70. High: 77


Climate Stories…

Can We Turn Carbon Dioxide to Stone to Fight Climate Change? Another potential solution highlighted at NBC News: “…One group of researchers in Canada, taking the latter approach, may have hit upon a novel yet ancient idea: harness and accelerate the carbon-absorbing power of rocks. The oceans, soils and trees aren’t the only tools nature employs to capture and store away carbon dioxide. Minerals soak up the gas, too. They just tend to do it over extremely long time frames — far too slow to keep up with the rate at which the world emits carbon dioxide, which is estimated to be about 40 billion tons a year. “We have to learn how to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, because we’ve already put too much into it,” said Roger Aines, a senior scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s energy program, who was not involved in the research…”

Photo credit: “It’s estimated that human activities are responsible for emitting about 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year.” Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters file.


A Hot, Dry, Burning, Eroding, ‘Apocalyptic’ Sunshine State: Links and headlines via Climate Nexus: “Climate change will create a devastating new normal in California of intense heatwaves and destructive fires if nothing is done to curb emissions, a new state report finds. California’s fourth-annual Climate Change Assessment finds that large fires like this summer’s record-breaking Mendocino Complex and Carr fires will increase 50 percent by 2100 and burn 77 percent more land under a business-as-usual emissions scenario. The report also finds 31 to 67 percent of beaches could erode by 2100, deaths from heat waves in cities could double or triple by 2050, and water supply from snowpack could decline by two-thirds by 2050. “These findings are profoundly serious and will continue to guide us as we confront the apocalyptic threat of irreversible climate change,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement.” (LA Times $, SF Chronicle $, The GuardianInsideClimate News, Fortune)


John McCain’s Climate Change Legacy. InsideClimate News has the story: “Among the many battles Sen. John McCain waged in his storied career, it is easy to overlook his fight for U.S. action on climate change. He wrote legislation that failed. He built a bipartisan coalition that crumbled. And when Congress came closest to passing a bill that embraced his central idea—a market-based cap-and-trade system—McCain turned his back. And yet, McCain’s nearly decade-long drive on global warming had an impact that reverberates in today’s efforts to revive the U.S. role in the climate fight. In the Senate chamber and on the campaign trail, the Arizona Republican did more than any other U.S. politician has done before or since to advance the conservative argument for climate action. Today’s efforts to recruit GOP members into the climate movement—appeals to conservative and religious values, the framing of climate change as a national security threat, efforts to stress market-based solutions and the role business leaders can play—all owe a debt to McCain…”


McCain Was a Warrior for the Climate. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Wall Street Journal: “…Long before other Republican lawmakers, McCain spoke out loudly about the dangers climate pollution posed to America and the world. While his colleagues treated climate change as a political issue, or sought to protect their benefactors, the gentleman from Arizona warned about “the melting of glaciers, the dying of coral reefs, and rising ocean temperatures.” If McCain’s colleagues had followed his lead, the risks Americans face from climate change today would be far more manageable and less costly. McCain spoke with young people passionate about climate change during his 2000 presidential campaign. Convinced that “most of the observed warming over the past 50 years is attributable to human activities,” he hoped to build a bipartisan consensus for action. Along with his friend, Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, McCain sponsored the first Climate Stewardship Act in 2003, which would have capped U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions at the 2000 level. The bill failed, but that didn’t stop McCain…”



Climate Change is Real. We Must Not Offer Credibility to Those Who Deny It. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Guardian: “We are no longer willing to lend our credibility to debates over whether or not climate change is real. It is real. We need to act now or the consequences will be catastrophic. In the interests of “balance”, the media often feels the need to include those who outright deny the reality of human-triggered climate change. Balance implies equal weight. But this then creates a false equivalence between an overwhelming scientific consensus and a lobby, heavily funded by vested interests, that exists simply to sow doubt to serve those interests. Yes, of course scientific consensus should be open to challenge – but with better science, not with spin and nonsense. We urgently need to move the debate on to how we address the causes and effects of dangerous climate change – because that’s where common sense demands our attention and efforts should be...”

File image: Skeptical Science.


Climate Researchers Warn Only Hope For Humanity Now Lies in Possibility They Are Making All of This Up. Parody and sarcasm courtesy of The Onion: “…The evidence indicates our planet still might stand a chance of averting a complete climate catastrophe as long as my colleagues and I belong to a cabal of charlatans who are secretly paid huge sums of money to trick everyone into believing excess greenhouse gases will precipitate record-breaking natural disasters and worldwide famine. Otherwise, we’re all doomed.” On a personal note, Vanderwall added that he hopes that one day, his grandchildren will discover that he was involved in a massive, nefarious conspiracy spanning every country on the face of the earth, because it is the only thing that can possibly save them.”