2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #8
Posted on 21 February 2021 by John Hartz
Story of the Week… Editorial of the Week… Toon of the Week… Coming Soon on SkS… Climate Feedback Claim Review… SkS Week in Review… Poster of the Week…
Story of the Week…
‘Absolutely ridiculous’: top scientist slams UK government over coalmine
Exclusive: Prof Sir Robert Watson says backing of Cumbrian mine refutes claims of climate leadership
Prof Sir Robert Watson has led the UN’s scientific organisations for climate and biodiversity. Photograph: Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images
One of the UK’s most eminent environmental scientists has called the government’s failure to block a new coalmine in Cumbria “absolutely ridiculous”.
Prof Sir Robert Watson said the UK’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 to tackle the climate crisis was “wonderful”, but that there had to be a focus on immediate actions. The UK is hosting a UN climate summit, Cop26, in November and Boris Johnson has pledged to lead a green industrial revolution.
“The British government says, ‘We’re going to lead Cop26 in Glasgow, we really care about climate change. But, by the way, we won’t override the council in Cumbria, and we’ll have a new coalmine.’ Absolutely ridiculous!” Watson said. “You get these wonderful statements by governments and then they have an action that goes completely against it.”
Watson has led the UN’s scientific organisations for climate and biodiversity, is a former chief scientific adviser at the UK’s environment department and worked for Bill Clinton when he was US president. He has also held senior positions at Nasa and the World Bank.
Click here to access the entire article as originally published on The Guardian website.
‘Absolutely ridiculous’: top scientist slams UK government over coalmine by Damian Carrington, Environment, The Guardian, Feb 20, 2021
Editorial of the Week…
Texas freeze shows a chilling truth – how the rich use climate change to divide us
The Lone Star State is aptly named. If you’re not part of the Republican oil elite with Cruz and Abbott, you’re on your own
Ted Cruz sports a Texas flag face mask – at Cancún airport in Mexico. Photograph: Dan Christian Rojas/AP
Texas has long represented a wild west individualism that elevates personal freedom – this week, the freedom to freeze – above all else.
The state’s prevailing social Darwinism was expressed most succinctly by the mayor of Colorado City, who accused his constituents – trapped in near sub-zero temperatures and complaining about lack of heat, electricity and drinkable water – of being the “lazy” products of a “socialist government”, adding “I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!” and predicting “only the strong will survive and the weak will perish”.
Texas has the third-highest number of billionaires in America, most of them oil tycoons. Last week, the laissez-faire state energy market delivered a bonanza to oil and gas producers that managed to keep production going during the freeze. It was “like hitting the jackpot”, boasted the president of Comstock Resources on an earnings call. Jerry Jones, billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, holds a majority of Comstock’s shares.
But most other Texans were marooned. Some did perish.
Click here to access the entire opinion piece as originally published on The Guardian website.
Texas freeze shows a chilling truth – how the rich use climate change to divide us, Opinion by Robert Reich, Comment is Free, The Guardian, Feb 21, 2021
Toon of the Week…
Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.
Coming Soon on SkS…
- Hurricanes, wildfires, and heat dominated U.S. weather in 2020 (Bob Henson)
- The internet’s big carbon footprint need not doom the climate (Samantha Harrington)
- SkS New Research for Week #8 (Doug Bostrom)
- The Climate Lesson from Texas’ Frozen Power Outages (Dana)
- John Hartz selected re-post
- 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #9 (John Hartz)
- 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #9 (John Hartz)
Climate Feedback Claim Review…
Viral photo of a helicopter de-icing a wind turbine is from Sweden, not Texas; current power outages in Texas are due to multiple fuel types going offline
CLAIM: Helicopters are using chemicals made from fossil fuels to defrost wind turbines; frosted wind turbines are responsible for blackouts in Texas; “the reason your power is/was out is wind energy’s fault.”
KEY TAKE AWAY: Texas is experiencing extremely cold temperatures due to a current winter storm, causing millions of households to lose power. These power outages are due to multiple fuel types going offline, primarily natural gas. While helicopters can use hot water to de-ice wind turbines, the image in the viral posts is from 2014 of a wind turbine in Sweden. There is no evidence that suggests helicopters are currently using chemicals to de-ice wind turbines in Texas.
Viral photo of a helicopter de-icing a wind turbine is from Sweden, not Texas; current power outages in Texas are due to multiple fuel types going offline by Nikki Forrester, Claim Reviews, Climate Feedback, Feb 17, 2021
SkS Week in Review…
Poster of the Week…