Organization, Presence: Adaptive Management in the Trump Administration

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 10:00 PM GMT on February 03, 2017

Organization, Presence: Adaptive Management in the Trump Administration

Once again, I woke feeling great. Decided I need to think about how to manage my career or, well perhaps, what’s left of it. Think I am going back to my EOS editorial and see if any of what I said made sense.

I am one of those people who feel that there is value of organization and management in our science enterprise. This has been an albatross around the neck of my career; I again and again find myself wandering around on deck imagining how to organize the vital fragments. I have this tedious mantra that organization emerges from complex systems, and that we can do things to seed, fertilize, and accelerate that emergence. It’s not hard to collect scientists together, but it is hard to organize scientists.

We are at a moment when organization will be critical to how the U.S. science enterprise appears in 4 years, 8 years, and 12 years. What I am going to attempt to do in this blog is to think about how to monitor and manage what, presently, feels like convulsions from one outrage to the next.

President Trump: I have seen several analyses of President’s Trump’s psychology, personality, motivations, tactics, and intents. I especially like the articles that say that President Trump’s logic and reason defy understanding. These are people looking to use their models of logic and reason, perhaps even norms of behavior they consider to be established decorum and protocol, and they find no way to frame President Trump’s behavior into compact, rational models.

What we know is that President Trump makes statements that outrage, disrupt, and divert. The statements are often dismissive, insulting, and hurtful. Some statements seem contradictory; many, however, are quite consistent what Mr. Trump has said that he would do. They could be viewed as chaos, “behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.”

We, also, know that we cannot control what Mr. Trump says, and it is unlikely we will evolve to an understanding that allows intuition of his motivations, logic, and reason. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that if we get to a point where we can predict what will come next, then he will change. Being unpredictable is an attribute; chaos is a style of management, of leadership, of negotiation.

What we can control is how we evaluate and respond.

When trying to manage chaos generated by a leader, it is important to monitor the difference between what is being said and what is being done. What is the difference between words and behavior? In the case of a large organization or, in this case, a government, it is essential to look at those who are actually carrying out the operations on the ground – the behavior.

In my course on climate change, I have a short module on argumentation and rhetoric. Understanding the tactics and motivation of, for instance, someone opposed to making greenhouse gas reductions is critical. The motivation is disruption of policy considered, perhaps, damaging to their industry. The tactic is to take on the credibility, legitimacy and robustness of scientists and science-based investigation. While scientists engage in the reaction and diversion defending scientific knowledge and their personal integrity, the disruption of policy development is achieved. Scientists become engaged in efforts to better communicate and complete their knowledge-based results, but the other side of the argument is not really interested in a knowledge-based reconciliation.

One of the most usable analyses of Trump’s use of language I have seen comes from linguist George Lakoff. In a radio interview, Lakoff deconstructs Trump’s tactics. Two common tactics are diversion, to turn your attention away from the important issue, and deflection, attacking and discrediting the messenger.

Chaos as a management tool is well known. Some of us at NASA in the 1990s viewed Administrator Dan Goldin as a practitioner of chaos management. The NASA history states Goldin was taking on a “bloated bureaucracy” through “aggressive management reform.” Familiar words. (I like to remind people that Goldin served as the NASA Administrator the entire Clinton-Gore Administration, with large reductions to the Earth Observing System budget. Partisanship is often not so easy.)

Deflection, diversion, and disruption are tactics of chaos management. They are counterintuitive to the definition of “managed.” They offend our norms of diplomacy, protocol, and decorum. We are affronted and outraged. We respond at an emotional level, and that allows those waiting for the diversion, the operatives, to go into action.

What we can control is how we evaluate and respond. Organization and discipline will be critical attributes for an effective response to the Trump administration’s efforts to deconstruct not only President Obama’s climate actions, but also to weaken a generation of environmental law. Critical in effective response is to depersonalize that which is dismissive, insulting, and hurtful.

What is most clear in the Trump environmental agenda is to damage and diminish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the top of the list are Obama’s Clean Power Plan and elimination of the language of management of carbon dioxide and climate change from the EPA’s public interface. Though commanding outrage, these changes are essentially distractions. They are relatively easy to do, and are in the big picture, largely inconsequential. More consequential will be attacks of underlying environmental law.

I have a growing collection of articles on the EPA archived here. An article that I note from the Washington Post is entitled, “Trump might revisit environmental rules going back decades, transition adviser says.” The article focuses on EPA transition team lead Myron Ebell, and ends with:

In an interview with E&E News Thursday, Ebell raised the idea of cutting the agency’s roughly 15,000-person workforce by two-thirds. Speaking to The Washington Post, he said that he thought cutting the EPA by either a third or a half would be “an aspirational goal,” though he added that he did not know whether the new administration would embrace it.

“I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, that’s a goal,” Ebell said, noting that roughly half of the EPA’s budget is passed through to the states. “The states do most of the work, particularly when it comes to air and water programs.”

During the campaign, Trump raised the prospect of eliminating the EPA, saying at one point, “what they do is a disgrace.” At other points, he suggested scaling it back significantly. “We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”

Ebell noted that Trump would probably propose deeper cuts to the agency than would actually be enacted, because lawmakers are often reluctant to slash the budgets of agencies they oversee. “It you want to achieve significant domestic budget cuts across the government, you’re going to take on appropriators by requesting big cuts.”


Mr. Ebell is, perhaps, representative of the behavior, as opposed to the words, of President Trump’s administration. He has years of steady message; he understands politics; he has stated, directly, what he would like to see happen. My list of articles suggests it is happening.

One response of the climate community is Climate Deregulation Tracker:

About the Climate Deregulation Tracker

President Donald Trump has stated that he intends to undo most or all of the Obama administration’s efforts to address climate change. Many members of Congress have expressed similar intentions.

The Climate Deregulation Tracker monitors efforts undertaken by the Trump administration to scale back or wholly eliminate federal climate mitigation and adaptation measures. The tracker also monitors congressional efforts to repeal statutory provisions, regulations, and guidance pertaining to climate change, and to otherwise undermine climate action. Finally, the tracker will monitor any countervailing efforts to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation in the face of these deregulatory actions.

The tracker will also provide links to related news items, such as updates about federal agency appointments, the removal of climate data from federal websites, and federal actions with indirect implications for climate change.


The Climate Deregulation Tracker helps collect information, but its impact ultimately relies on the emergence of other organized responses to oppose the degradation of our environmental law.

That is more than enough for this blog entry. I fall into the pit of diffuse message.

The climate community, the climate-science community, is not just climate scientists. In fact, our community might not even be majority climate scientists. There are practitioners, professionals, and scientists of all sorts, natural and social, vested in the climate community. There are many activities emerging in our community. The challenge is to focus some of these activities to our behavior on the ground and not to get lost in our words. Because when there is chaos, there is not just opportunity for those who are, perhaps, on the side of chaos.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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182. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:04 AM GMT on March 12, 2017
RickyRood has created a new entry.
179. BaltimoreBrian
11:57 PM GMT on March 10, 2017
To go with my tangentially-topiced theme, Upton Sinclair's final book, The Coal War, posthumously published in 1976. Rejected as "uninteresting" in 1917.



A sequel to King Coal (1917)

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
178. BaltimoreBrian
11:50 PM GMT on March 10, 2017
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
176. Xandra
11:29 PM GMT on March 09, 2017
From Climate Nexus:

Scientists, Leaders Slam Scott Pruitt’s Televised Climate Denial

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in an interview with CNBC this morning that he doesn’t believe carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change.

[...]

The following are quotes from leading climate scientists in response to Pruitt’s remarks.

[...]

Noah Diffenbaugh, Professor in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences and Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment:

“We know that global warming is happening, and that the climate is changing. It’s clear that humans are the primary cause. It’s clear that we are already being impacted by climate change here in the United States. To deny that reality not only is a denial of scientific evidence but it also threatens the safety and security of Americans who face increasing odds of extreme events like the California drought, the flooding from Superstorm Sandy, and the heat wave that decimated crops in the mid-west in 2012.”

John Abraham, Professor, School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas:

"Actually scientists have known since the mid 1800s that carbon dioxide was a major greenhouse gas. This means Mr. Pruitt’s knowledge is close to 200 years out of date."

Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego:

“CO2 is the most important control on climate. Our burning of coal, oil and gas is the dominant cause of the 45% increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution. The biggest unknown about future climate is human behavior. Everything depends on what people and their governments do. Scott Pruitt should begin his new job by accepting the fundamental findings of modern climate science.”

[...]

The following are quotes from business, military, faith, and conservative leaders and elected officials in response to Pruitt’s remarks.

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (ret), CEO of the American Security Project:

“Countries are going to pay for climate change one way or another. The best way to pay for it is by tackling the root causes of climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. If we do not, the national security impacts around the world will be increasingly costly, and borne by our men and women in the armed forces.”

Andrew Holland, Director of Studies, American Security Project:

“It is astonishing that EPA Director Pruitt said that he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change. However, it does not actually matter what he “believes” – by law (as decided by the Supreme Court), he is required under the Clean Air Act to promulgate policies that reduce carbon pollution. It is important that the EPA continues to regulate carbon pollution in order to reduce the risk of serious national security consequences of climate change.”

[...]

Dr. Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association:

“Pruitt is just wrong. Carbon dioxide emissions pose an enormous risk to human health. Carbon pollution is the leading contributor to greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Climate change is causing more heatwaves and drought, more intense extreme weather events, expanded range of disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes and a host of other threats to health. In addition, carbon emissions contribute to increased smog which triggers asthma attacks and aggravates existing lung disease. The science is clear. We need immediate action to reduce carbon emissions to protect public health.”

Aron Cramer, President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility:

“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s statement today questioning climate science is deeply troubling. Businesses in the United States and elsewhere are keenly aware that human activity is remaking the climate in ways that create disruption and business risk. In addition to the obvious and substantial human and environmental damage that will result, his approach will undermine the conditions that businesspeople need to innovate, create jobs, and compete in the global marketplace.”

[...]

Rear Admiral David W. Titley, United States Navy (Ret.):

“Within the science community, the link between CO2 and climate change is as well known as the consequences of stepping out of an airplane and the effect of gravity. In both cases, if you ignore the science, someone is going to get hurt.”

[...]

Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network:

"The science of climate change is well understood not only by every major scientific body in the world but also by the over whelming members of the Christian community. The Catholic Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, the World Evangelical Alliance and The Orthodox Communion all understand the carbon caused reality of climate change and most importantly its threats to God 's children around the world."

David Crane, B-Team leader and former head of NRG:

"It is unfortunate that we have people in positions of authority making statements about global warming that are contrary to established science,” said David Crane, B Team leader and co-chair of its Net Zero by 2050 Initiative. “As the climate changes before our eyes, with the pace of change accelerating and irreversible damage occurring to our polar ice caps and other essential ecosystems, to suggest otherwise is not only an insult to the intelligence of the American people but a danger to the well-being of future Americans.”

[...]

Click here to read full article with more quotes.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
175. CaneFreeCR
10:00 PM GMT on March 09, 2017
Quoting 173. whitewabit:

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Carbon Dioxide Is Not a ‘Primary Contributor’ to Global Warming

Link

The hill we have been climbing has just turned into a mountain !!
And it was a pretty steep hill, too.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
174. 999Ai2016
8:56 PM GMT on March 09, 2017
Soils could release much more carbon than expected as climate warms
Phys.org - March 9.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
173. whitewabit
7:30 PM GMT on March 09, 2017
EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Carbon Dioxide Is Not a ‘Primary Contributor’ to Global Warming

Link

The hill we have been climbing has just turned into a mountain !!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
172. BaltimoreBrian
2:16 AM GMT on March 09, 2017
Only one climate article in Science Daily today. Never seen that happen on a regular work day. Very thin selection.

US desert songbirds at risk in a warming climate

Spring Came Early. Scientists Say Climate Change Is a Culprit.



Photon Jump (NASA video)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
170. CaneFreeCR
11:59 PM GMT on March 07, 2017
Quoting 166. Xandra:

snip
Chemtrails may protect against vaccine injuries, study finds



ROVIDENCE, RI – In a new study coming out of Brown University, researchers concluded that being sprayed with chemtrails actually has a positive effect when it comes to vaccine injuries.

“We sprayed chemtrails over 3 different cities in Rhode Island and then followed children in those cities for 4 years,” said Dr. Frank Defano. “We saw a strikingly lower rate of vaccine injuries in the children from the chemtrail laden cities than the normal population.”

While not all the data are available from the study just yet, it appears as though only 20% of the children who were severely sprayed with chemtrails ended up developing autism after their vaccines; a much lower rate than the 80% who normally get autism from vaccines.

“We are very excited about our findings and are hoping to present the data at several international conferences this summer,” said Dr. Defano. “We really need to push governments to increase their chemtrail use. You know, for the kids.”

Conspiracy theorists are somewhat confused by the news, not knowing how to react.

“Chemtrails are poison and they are making millions of people sick!” said Nina Morocco, conspiracy theorist. “And vaccines are also toxic…and…well….they are both bad and we should stop both of them!”

Governments have been secretly spraying their own countries with toxic chemtrails for decades and it is only thanks to brave mavericks with the ability to make YouTube videos that the general population is finally being informed.

“Sheep, wake up, chemtrails, Monsanto, shills, do your research” said Morroco. Sage advice indeed.
I have to say that between some of the posts like this on WU and some of the articles on HuffPost I have been giggling all day -- it's great! Thank you, Xandra -- this one was the very best!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
169. Patrap
11:00 PM GMT on March 07, 2017
Quoting 165. Xandra:

Atmospheric CO2 for February 2017

406.42 parts per million (ppm)

February 2016: 404.04 ppm

February 2015: 400.28 ppm




"Today%u2019s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended."


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
168. Some1Has2BtheRookie
10:21 PM GMT on March 07, 2017
Quoting 166. Xandra:

From The Science Post:

Chemtrails may protect against vaccine injuries, study finds



ROVIDENCE, RI – In a new study coming out of Brown University, researchers concluded that being sprayed with chemtrails actually has a positive effect when it comes to vaccine injuries.

“We sprayed chemtrails over 3 different cities in Rhode Island and then followed children in those cities for 4 years,” said Dr. Frank Defano. “We saw a strikingly lower rate of vaccine injuries in the children from the chemtrail laden cities than the normal population.”

While not all the data are available from the study just yet, it appears as though only 20% of the children who were severely sprayed with chemtrails ended up developing autism after their vaccines; a much lower rate than the 80% who normally get autism from vaccines.

“We are very excited about our findings and are hoping to present the data at several international conferences this summer,” said Dr. Defano. “We really need to push governments to increase their chemtrail use. You know, for the kids.”

Conspiracy theorists are somewhat confused by the news, not knowing how to react.

“Chemtrails are poison and they are making millions of people sick!” said Nina Morocco, conspiracy theorist. “And vaccines are also toxic…and…well….they are both bad and we should stop both of them!”

Governments have been secretly spraying their own countries with toxic chemtrails for decades and it is only thanks to brave mavericks with the ability to make YouTube videos that the general population is finally being informed.

“Sheep, wake up, chemtrails, Monsanto, shills, do your research” said Morroco. Sage advice indeed.


Chemtrails protect us against the evil hoisted upon us by vaccines? Who knew?

The Science Post
Science, Health, Satire


I will go out on a limb here and file this article under Satire. We know too many will file this under Science, even though they will have no working knowledge in any field of Science.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
167. 999Ai2016
10:07 PM GMT on March 07, 2017
Global greening may soak up less carbon dioxide than projected
New Scientist - March 6, 2017.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
166. Xandra
9:38 PM GMT on March 07, 2017
From The Science Post:

Chemtrails may protect against vaccine injuries, study finds



ROVIDENCE, RI – In a new study coming out of Brown University, researchers concluded that being sprayed with chemtrails actually has a positive effect when it comes to vaccine injuries.

“We sprayed chemtrails over 3 different cities in Rhode Island and then followed children in those cities for 4 years,” said Dr. Frank Defano. “We saw a strikingly lower rate of vaccine injuries in the children from the chemtrail laden cities than the normal population.”

While not all the data are available from the study just yet, it appears as though only 20% of the children who were severely sprayed with chemtrails ended up developing autism after their vaccines; a much lower rate than the 80% who normally get autism from vaccines.

“We are very excited about our findings and are hoping to present the data at several international conferences this summer,” said Dr. Defano. “We really need to push governments to increase their chemtrail use. You know, for the kids.”

Conspiracy theorists are somewhat confused by the news, not knowing how to react.

“Chemtrails are poison and they are making millions of people sick!” said Nina Morocco, conspiracy theorist. “And vaccines are also toxic…and…well….they are both bad and we should stop both of them!”

Governments have been secretly spraying their own countries with toxic chemtrails for decades and it is only thanks to brave mavericks with the ability to make YouTube videos that the general population is finally being informed.

“Sheep, wake up, chemtrails, Monsanto, shills, do your research” said Morroco. Sage advice indeed.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
165. Xandra
8:57 PM GMT on March 07, 2017
Atmospheric CO2 for February 2017

406.42 parts per million (ppm)

February 2016: 404.04 ppm

February 2015: 400.28 ppm




"Today’s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
164. Pipejazz
12:30 PM GMT on March 07, 2017
Sad but not unexpected news from Florida about cancer and superfund sites:

Link
Imagine what extra water immerison will do to those sites.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
162. redagainPatti
5:46 AM GMT on March 06, 2017
Just a set of Hugs and love --- flying around the blogs, trying make sure all and everyone has at least one wave of friendship, hug and love for being a part of what made WU an neat place ...... from the Deep South of USA, state of Mississippi .....

I am in Flickr and now -- DISQUS - (same nick and avatar) and have been in FB, since almost the start due to my kids who first got me into that web... lol ... anyway look for my avatar as it is also the same in here, FB, and DISQUS
I plan to keep that the tiny photo up for a few months..
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
159. BaltimoreBrian
3:43 AM GMT on March 04, 2017
The Great Day of His Wrath (1851), by John Martin. Click painting to expand.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
158. Xandra
9:25 PM GMT on March 03, 2017
From National Geographic:

Siberia's Growing 'Doorway to Hell' Offers Clues on Climate Change

A new study suggests that the expanding hole might provide fresh insight into a warming world.



Some call it a doorway to hell. Or a portal to the underworld. Scientists call it a crater. But everyone agrees that it's getting bigger.

The Batagiaka crater in eastern Siberia, already the largest of its kind, has been growing wider. The most recent measurements, published in February of this year, estimate the crater to be 0.6 miles long and 282 feet deep. These numbers are expected to continue gradually increasing.

[...]

Siberia's crater is caused by melting permafrost, perennially frozen soil that remains in that state for at least two consecutive years. The resulting irregular terrain of mounds and hollows is called thermokarst.

A new study published in the journal Quaternary Research indicates that the crater may allow scientists to view more than 200,000 years of climate change in Siberia. Scientists plan to collect sediment to analyze how the landscape changed as climate warmed and cooled during the last Ice Age. This could provide insights for today's climate change issues. Satellite imagery indicates that the crater expands, on average, by 33 feet per year.

[...]

Increasing thermokarst is not only one result of a warming climate, but it may also be a cause of warming temperatures in the future. Scientist estimate that as much as 50 percent of the Earth's methane gas may be stored in Arctic and Northern Hemisphere permafrost (methane is a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide).

A 2016 study in the journal Nature Communications looked at greenhouse gases released from Siberian permafrost in the last ice age and found that the climate experienced a significant spike in temperatures from this alone. A spike, they believe, that could happen again.

"The Arctic carbon reservoir locked in the Siberian permafrost has the potential to lead to massive emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere,” the study's co-author Francesco Muschitiello told Columbia University's science blog after the study's release.

[...]

Click here to read full article.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
157. Misanthroptimist
11:44 AM GMT on March 03, 2017
Quoting 156. Patrap:

What the Climate models told us years ago, is all underplayed. The obs and events are now outpacing them, a lot. I've been saying this for years that the observations were outpacing the Climate models,greatly.

Our Global Warming is accelerating at a ever increasing alarming rate.

Read. You must stay aware of our shared dilemma.


Climate models as reported are an average of many runs of a given model --as I understand. Therefore, it seems reasonable to state that those averages can be (and probably will be) a bit on the conservative side. However, I think in most cases we are still within the two-sigma range of the averages produced by the models. If that's the case then the models aren't doing badly at all.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
156. Patrap
1:27 AM GMT on March 03, 2017
What the Climate models told us years ago, is all underplayed. The obs and events are now outpacing them, a lot. I've been saying this for years that the observations were outpacing the Climate models,greatly.

Our Global Warming is accelerating at a ever increasing alarming rate.

Read. You must stay aware of our shared dilemma.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
155. Patrap
1:22 AM GMT on March 03, 2017
Climate Change Is Turning Minor Floods Into A Major Problem
The result of increasingly frequent “nuisance” flooding could be even more destructive than disasters like Katrina and Sandy.

By Joseph Erbentraut


It goes without saying that major natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, deservedly, tend to capture far more media attention than less extreme, more localized flooding.

But ignoring those minor storms could prove costly, according to a new study authored by University of California-Irvine researchers and published last month in the Earth’s Future journal.

That’s because the impact of those minor storms could prove even more destructive in the near future. As is the case with extreme rainfall events, these storms are becoming increasingly common due to our warming planet.

Just because these storms tend to fly under the radar both in media and research circles doesn’t mean they should be taken any less seriously, according to study co-author Amir AghaKouchak, a civil and environmental engineering professor at University of California-Irvine.

“Non-extreme weather events don’t get a lot of attention, but we spend a lot of money on them,” AghaKouchak told The Huffington Post. “The cumulative costs are significant and we need to start monitoring them and collecting data to understand them better.”

AghaKouchak was inspired to look into the collective impacts of these smaller flooding events after he learned of the so-called long tail theory, which suggests the cumulative impact of a frequent, minor event could match or exceed that of a rare, major event.

He wondered if the impacts of more common, less extreme flooding events that might strike a coastal U.S. city, for example, a few times per month or a few times a year might similarly match — or even exceed — the impacts associated with major disasters on the magnitude of a Katrina or Sandy.

The results, based on a cumulative hazard index developed by the researchers, indicate that less extreme “nuisance” flooding could prove just as destructive to many cities, over time, as those extreme events.

The researchers’ analysis considered the future risk of flooding events ranging from minor “nuisance” flooding and extreme disasters and compared estimates of these storms’ impacts in 11 U.S. coastal cities.

Their analysis found that five of the cities — San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C. — had estimated impacts associated with minor flooding that was just as, or more, serious than the impacts associated with extreme events.



STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS
Many U.S. cities are increasingly facing the challenge of minor, “nuisance” flooding. The impact over time could prove significant, University of California-Irvine researchers say.

Of course, the study notes, direct comparisons between the varying impacts of different types of storms are difficult to make, particularly when it comes to intangible costs like human fatalities that can be caused by extreme storms.

But still, the costs associated with minor storms can prove tremendous ― and life-threatening in their own right.

“If we act too late, we will have significant negative impacts,” AghaKouchak said.

Such flooding can significantly degrade infrastructure like roads and building foundations. It can also impact sewer infrastructure, potentially resulting in serious public health risks. These minor flooding events are also a drain on municipal budgets — due to the resources required to pump water out of streets — and also can force the closure of schools and businesses.

Rising sea levels spurred on by climate change are contributing to increased frequency, and an increased cumulative effect, of these storms.

In D.C., the study noted, the number of hours of nuisance flooding per year has increased almost 500 percent over the last 50 years, from about 19 hours between the years 1930 and 1970 to about 94 over the past two decades. Projections indicate that number will continue to grow at an increasing rate — to as much as 700 hours per year — by 2050.

To address the problem, AghaKouchak said coastal cities will need to get proactive with flood control measures, though he added that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

New York City is already working to do just that, launching an ambitious flood resiliency plan that includes the large “Big U” project aims to flood-proof lower Manhattan.

The $505 million project, however, is not yet funded fully. And, of course, what works in New York may not work in Miami — or anywhere else for that matter.

“These issues are very local and there is no single recipe for all cities around the country,” AghaKouchak said. “Each city has to come up with their own plan, and each plan won’t necessarily work in other places.”

The issue is growing more serious with time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest sea-level rise estimate anticipates scenarios ranging from 1 foot to an “extreme” 8.2 feet rise by 2100.

Beyond the inconvenience of shutting down roads or schools, the trend could force millions of people from their homes. A recent study estimated that as many as 13.1 million Americans could be displaced if the sea level rises 6 inches by century’s end. An estimated 4.2 million people would be forced out of their homes by a 3-inch rise, according to the study.

Because the stakes are so high, AghaKouchak believes action should be taken— and funded — as quickly as possible.

“This may not get a lot of attention, but beyond a certain point, we will see the impacts everywhere,” AghaKouchak said. “The sooner we take action and plan, the better.”

―-

Joseph Erbentraut covers promising innovations and challenges in the areas of food, water, agriculture and our climate. Follow Erbentraut on Twitter at @robojojo. Tips? Email joseph.erbentraut@huffingtonpost.com.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
154. Patrap
1:11 AM GMT on March 03, 2017
EPA Scraps Rule Requiring Oil And Gas Industry To Report Methane Pollution
The move is sure to delight EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s oil and gas allies.

By Alexander C. Kaufman


In May, the Environmental Protect Agency issued a new rule requiring oil and gas companies to report what equipment they use and how much methane ― a greenhouse gas 40 times more potent than carbon dioxide ― their drilling sites emit.

On Thursday, the agency’s newly sworn-in administrator, Scott Pruitt, scrapped a regulation deemed crucial to cutting planet-warming emissions as part of the Paris climate deal.

The decision, one of Pruitt’s first since the Senate narrowly confirmed his nomination last month, underscores the former Oklahoma attorney general’s deep, friendly ties to an industry he’s now tasked with policing. The move comes days after The Huffington Post reported on the White House’s proposal to slash a quarter of the EPA’s budget and pink-slip 1 in 5 agency employees.

“By taking this step, EPA is signaling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states,” Pruitt said in a statement. “Today’s action will reduce burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”

Pruitt’s relationship with oil and gas players became a flashpoint after President Donald Trump nominated him to lead an agency he sued 13 times as the Sooner State’s top cop.

Pruitt repeatedly joined oil, gas and coal players ― including Oklahoma Gas & Electric and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, an industry-backed group ― in filing lawsuits to stop federal regulations. In 2011, Pruitt allowed Devon Energy Corporation, the Oklahoma City-based natural gas giant, to write a three-page complaint to the EPA under his letterhead, which he later signed.

Last week, the Oklahoma attorney general’s office released emails under court order that shed new light on how chummy relations between Pruitt and the oil and gas industry became during his six years as the state’s attorney general.

The office sued to block the release of more emails that were scheduled to be disclosed this month, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a stay, giving the new attorney general’s office more time to produce the correspondence.

The first batch of 7,564 documents released last week renewed concerns that Pruitt would use his new post to benefit his industry allies, who have donated more than $300,000 to his campaigns between 2002 and 2016. Even more money went to a political action committee and super PAC that paid for Pruitt’s trips to Hawaii and New Orleans.

The now-infamous 2011 Devon Energy letter, published in 2014 by The New York Times, specifically criticized EPA estimates on methane emissions from drilling rigs as inaccurate or too high in hopes of preventing further regulation. Two spokesmen for Devon Energy did not immediately return calls and emails requesting comment on Thursday evening.

Natural gas emits less carbon than other fossil fuels, such as oil or coal, and utility companies are increasingly relying on it to produce electricity as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, technology has made it much cheaper. The shift from coal- to gas-burning power plants has helped to limit the carbon footprint of the utility sector, by far the biggest emitter in the country, but not by much.

But the fracking industry is relatively new, and its effects on the environment are still being studied. Oklahoma is now dogged by man-made earthquakes caused by fracking, which involves cracking bedrock with highly-pressurized, sand- and chemical-laced water to unleash gas trapped below.

Methane leaks, which can cause dizziness and headaches, remain what The Economist called the industry’s “dirty little secret.” Earlier this week, an underwater pipeline in Alaska began leaking natural gas into the scenic Cook Inlet. A massive leak last year in a suburb of Los Angeles, dubbed an “invisible tsunami,” became the biggest natural disaster since the BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

“We must reject as a nation the false paradigm that if you’re pro-energy, you’re anti-environment or if you’re pro-environment, you’re anti-energy,” Pruitt said during his Senate confirmation hearing last month. “I reject that.”

Yet so far, Pruitt’s time at the helm of the EPA has been marked by plans to eviscerate the agency’s budget, halt climate change action and ease restraints on corporate polluters. During his first speech to agency staff last week, Pruitt mentioned a “toxic environment” only once ― to refer to the political rhetoric of his critics.

He did not mention pollution, climate change or environmental destruction at all.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
152. CaneFreeCR
11:48 PM GMT on March 02, 2017
I have to say, I think a lot of our "bloggers" here who have been crying over spilled milk are going to be surprised to find, next month about this time, that the milk has been made into ice cream, flavor of your choice, with toppings of your choice. From the description Jeff has given of the way he expects it to turn out, the Cat6 blog in a new format should be much better, and if it has the same bloggers (meaning blog authors) writing on the same topics, it will be a smorgasbord of interesting topics interestingly treated. I for one am looking forward to it!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
151. Patrap
11:35 PM GMT on March 02, 2017
Quoting 64. JeffMasters:


It's been a long, crazy ride here at wunderground, and this latest round of changes is certainly a big shift. The changes to the blogs will mean that the significant problems we've had over the past year (blog slowness, unavailability, comments disappearing, etc) should resolve--though with any new software upgrade, there will be a shake-out period. I want to thank everyone in the wunderground community that blogged here; you helped make the wunderground a unique place to be. I will miss all the great contributions you made, and I sympathize with the angst expressed here in the comments today.

A new commenting system will be launched, which will allow independent comment threads on different topics--should be a big improvement.

The featured blogs from Portlight, Ricky Rood, Chris Burt, Marshall Shepherd, Lee Grenci, and Steve Gregory will continue to exist, and will have their own landing pages with a unique URL that will have their photo and bio at the bottom; the URL will be, for example:

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/RickyRood/

Jeff Masters




Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
150. Patrap
11:34 PM GMT on March 02, 2017

Top Trump Advisers Are Split on Paris Agreement on Climate Change

By CORAL DAVENPORT MARCH 2, 2017


WASHINGTON — The White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement, the 2015 accord that binds nearly every country to curb global warming, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge.

Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s senior adviser, is pressing the president to officially pull the United States from the landmark accord, but he is clashing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who fear the move could have broad and damaging diplomatic ramifications.

Mr. Trump vowed on the campaign trail to tear up President Barack Obama’s global warming policies, and on the home front he is moving aggressively to meet those pledges with deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and a new E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, who is a skeptic of climate science.

Next week, Mr. Trump plans to sign an executive order directing Mr. Pruitt to start the lengthy legal process of unwinding Mr. Obama’s E.P.A. regulations for cutting greenhouse pollution from coal-fired power plants. Those regulations are the linchpin of the last administration’s program to meet the nation’s obligations to reduce climate emissions under the Paris agreement.

While the president cannot, as Mr. Trump suggested, unilaterally undo a 194-nation accord that has already been legally ratified, he could initiate the four-year process to withdraw the world’s largest economy and second-largest climate polluter from the first worldwide deal to tackle global warming. Such a move would rend a global deal that has been hailed as historic, throwing into question the fate of global climate policy and, diplomats say, the credibility of the United States.

But it would also demonstrate to his supporters that Mr. Trump is a man of his word, putting American coal interests ahead of a global deal forged by Mr. Obama.

On one side of that debate is Mr. Bannon, who as a former chief executive of Breitbart News published countless articles denouncing climate change as a hoax, and who has vowed to push Mr. Trump to transform all his major campaign promises into policy actions.

On the other side are Ms. Trump, Mr. Tillerson, and a slew of foreign policy advisers and career diplomats who argue that the fallout of withdrawing from the accord could be severe, undercutting the United States’ credibility on other foreign policy issues and damaging relations with key allies.

Although Ms. Trump has not spoken out publicly for action to combat climate change, proponents and opponents of such action see her as an ally. Former Vice President Al Gore met with her during the Trump transition, and was ushered in by the “first daughter” to see the president-elect. The actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio even slipped her a DVD copy of his climate-change documentary.

“President Trump Must Not Wobble on Climate Change — No Matter What Ivanka Says …,” blared a Breitbart post on Monday written by James Delingpole, who is close to Mr. Bannon and who leads the website’s coverage of climate-change policy.

Mr. Trump wants to make a decision by next week, say people familiar with the White House’s debate on the climate pact, in order to announce his executive order to undo Mr. Obama’s climate regulations in conjunction with his plans for the Paris deal.

According to leaked budget documents, the president will also propose killing off nearly two dozen E.P.A. programs, including the Obama-era Clean Power Program, climate partnership programs with local governments, Energy Star grants to encourage efficiency research in consumer products and climate-change research. Those would be part of a broader budget submission that would cut the E.P.A.’s funding by 25 percent, to around $6.1 billion from $8.2 billion, and its staff by 20 percent.

“If the goal is to fulfill the president’s campaign promises and implement his agenda, there is no value in staying in Paris,” said Thomas J. Pyle, an adviser to the Trump transition and the president of the Institute for Energy Research, an organization partly funded by the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, who have worked for years to undermine climate-change policies.

Mr. Trump has cited Mr. Pyle’s group as being influential in shaping his energy and climate proposals, including his campaign pledge to withdraw from the Paris deal.

“The two greatest obstacles to a Clexit (climate exit from U.N. Paris agreement) are probably Ivanka and Tillerson,” wrote Marc Morano, a former Republican Senate staff member who now runs Climate Depot, a fossil-fuel-industry-funded website that promotes the denial of climate science, in an email. “Tillerson with his ‘seat at the table’ views could be biggest proponent of not withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement.”

Mr. Tillerson is a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, which, like many major global corporations, endorsed the Paris agreement. While his former company once denied human-caused climate change, it has more recently publicly acknowledged the threat posed by burning oil and supported proposals to tax carbon dioxide pollution.

Asked during his Senate confirmation hearing about the Paris accord, Mr. Tillerson said, “It’s important that the U.S. maintains its seat at the table about how to address the threat of climate change, which does require a global response.”

Under the Paris agreement, every nation has formally submitted plans detailing how it expects to lower its planet-warming pollution. The Obama administration pledged that the United States would reduce its carbon pollution about 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. However, that pledge depends on enactment of Mr. Obama’s E.P.A. regulations on coal-fired power plants, which Mr. Trump and Mr. Pruitt intend to substantially weaken or eliminate.

But under the Paris deal, those numerical targets are not legally binding, and there are no sanctions for failing to meet them. The only legal requirements of the deal are that countries publicly put forth their emissions reductions targets, and later put forth reports verifying how they are meeting the targets. It would be possible for the Trump administration to stay in the deal and submit a less ambitious target.

Even senior Republican voices in the foreign policy debate have said it may be wiser to stay in but keep a low profile.

“There’s really no obligation,” Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview. “It doesn’t require us to do anything. I think they may take a little time to assess whether pulling out makes sense now.”


Foreign policy experts say withdrawing from Paris would have far greater diplomatic consequences than President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the world’s first global climate-change accord, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

“I think it would be a major mistake, even a historic mistake, to disavow the Paris deal,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and under secretary of state under Mr. Bush.

“In international politics, trust, reliability and keeping your commitments — that’s a big part of how other countries view our country,” Mr. Burns said. “I can’t think of an issue, except perhaps NATO, where if the U.S. simply walks away, it would have such a major negative impact on how we are seen.”

The Paris deal is more consequential than Kyoto. Unlike that pact, which required action only from developed economies, the Paris agreement includes commitments from every nation, rich and poor, to cut emissions, including China and India, the world’s largest and third-largest polluters. Also, the science of climate change has become far more certain and the impact more visible in the 20 years since Kyoto. Each of the last three years has surpassed the previous one as the hottest on record.

Some of the United States’ closest allies are urging the Trump administration not to pull out. In a letter to Mr. Trump after he won the election, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany wrote, “Partnership with the United States is and will remain a keystone of German foreign policy, especially so that we can tackle the great challenges of our time.” They include, she wrote, “working to develop farsighted climate policy.”

As Mr. Trump and his advisers weigh their Paris options, one proposal is gaining traction, according to participants in the debate: Mr. Trump could declare that the Paris agreement is a treaty that requires ratification by the Senate. The pact was designed not to have the legal force of a treaty specifically so that it would not have to go before the United States Senate, which would have assuredly failed to ratify it.

“If there are camps forming in the White House, then let the people decide, the elected representatives,” Mr. Pyle said. “Let’s put the question to them.”

Proponents of that idea say it could shift some of the weight of the decision from Mr. Trump to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, at least in the eyes of some foreign diplomats, and of the president’s daughter.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
149. Misanthroptimist
9:23 AM GMT on March 02, 2017
I just found out that WU blogs are going away on 3APR. In the event that I'll be going away, I just want to make sure that I thank Dr. Rood and the many fine people who have commented here over the years. When I first joined WU (during Hurricane Wilma) my opinion on AGW was, "Oh, good. Another end of the world story!" Over the course of a few years of studying the facts, I came to the only conclusion those facts allow -AGW definitely is real.

I then started reading this blog, and posting here when I felt I'd learned enough to have something to say. I've learned many, many things on this blog --sometimes in a spectacularly public and embarrassing way. But I learned. I owe a fair amount of that to Dr. Rood and the knowledgeable people that post here. I will always be grateful for the time and effort that you all have put into posting about this, the most important topic in human history.

Thanks to each and every one of you. I wish you and yours nothing but the best in our danger-filled future. It's going to be a bumpy ride. I hope you all find sufficiently padded places to ride it out.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
148. BaltimoreBrian
1:39 AM GMT on March 02, 2017
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
147. BaltimoreBrian
1:33 AM GMT on March 02, 2017
NASA Climate twitter seems to be OK. From February 24th
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
143. FLwolverine
12:06 AM GMT on February 28, 2017
Quoting 138. BaltimoreBrian:

CaneFreeCR world population is about 1,946 cubed now and that's going up by 1 about every two months. We're getting closer to 2,525 cubed...for now.
If CO2 increases as you project, we will lose the ability to feed even the current population long before we get to 2525 cubed, not to mention places hospitable enough for humans to live.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
142. Pipejazz
6:11 PM GMT on February 27, 2017
Quoting 141. BaltimoreBrian:

Andy Weir's Best Seller 'The Martian' Gets a Classroom-Friendly Makeover Thoughts?

Great idea, but most (if not all) high schoolers already know those words.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
141. BaltimoreBrian
10:16 PM GMT on February 26, 2017
Andy Weir's Best Seller 'The Martian' Gets a Classroom-Friendly Makeover Thoughts?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
139. CaneFreeCR
12:05 AM GMT on February 26, 2017
Quoting 138. BaltimoreBrian:

CaneFreeCR world population is about 1,946 cubed now and that's going up by 1 about every two months. We're getting closer to 2,525 cubed...for now.
SRO
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
138. BaltimoreBrian
8:43 PM GMT on February 25, 2017
CaneFreeCR world population is about 1,946 cubed now and that's going up by 1 about every two months. We're getting closer to 2,525 cubed...for now.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
137. Patrap
6:36 PM GMT on February 25, 2017


Paper thin solar cells on paper can now be produced with inkjet printing. This will allow solar cells to be much cheaper and be placed almost anywhere.

It may still seem far fetched to imagine our houses powered by solar cells in curtains, blinds and windows. But some scientists say it will eventually be possible to print photovoltaic elements on a huge range of surfaces and materials – creating cheap, printable solar cells in place of more costly silicon panels.

Printable solar cells offer exciting potential for generating electricity more flexibly and at a lower cost, wherever the sun shines. In the traditional silicon solar PV we see on people’s rooftops, the most costly component is the silicon material that holds the photovoltaic elements. Silicon is abundant and non-toxic, but it is expensive to process into wafers for traditional rooftop solar PV panels.

New developments in printed solar cells could allow solar energy to be cheaply and easily converted into electricity almost anywhere, including walls, windows, roller blinds, shade umbrellas, and even tents.

The idea of using your tent to harvest power on trips to the beach or a camping weekend could really propel glamping (glamorous camping) to the next level, with free on-site electricity powering life’s little luxuries!

TOWARDS COMMERCIALLY VIABLE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS

Currently, printable solar cells have only reached about 10 per cent efficiency, whereas traditional silicon solar PV cells are closer to 25% efficient. The life span of the printed solar cells is also only six months. So researchers are working to increase their efficiency, weather-resistance and life span to reach commercial viability.

In late 2014, a consortium from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Melbourne and Monash University announced that their printable solar cells were on the verge of commercialisation.

A team of 50 chemists, physicists and engineers – working together since 2007 – hope to see printed solar panels used in low-power applications within the next few years.

CSIRO photovoltaic expert Dr Fiona Scholes explained the team hoped they could achieve a similar power delivery at a significantly reduced cost.

“Silicon is falling in price, but think about how cheap plastic is. The ink is a negligible cost, so the raw materials are very cost effective. This is a big step forward because you can put these cells anywhere you can think of. Also the consistency is better than silicon – they work well in cloudy conditions,” said Dr Scholes.

The CSIRO’s Scholes said although silicon cells are still on top of the market, she predicts printed solar cells will be “a key part of the renewable energy mix”. While the team can’t produce the cells commercially itself, a number of manufacturing companies are stepping forward.

HOW ARE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS MADE?

At the moment, printable solar cells are made by printing a specially developed ‘solar ink’ onto plastic film, similar to the way plastic bank notes are printed.

Whatever the method or the materials used, the solar principles remain the same:

Incoming photons free electrons and send them scattering through the solar cell’s material before being channelled into an electrical circuit.
The efficiency of the solar cell depends both on how well the material captures light to set these electrons free, as well as how effortlessly the electrons travel through the material.

Researchers such as the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium are developing processes for printing solar cells onto all manner of surfaces using various printing, dyeing and spraying techniques. The solar cells can be printed straight onto paper-thin, flexible plastic, as well as onto steel, and can be made semi-transparent for building cladding and windows.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
136. Patrap
6:35 PM GMT on February 25, 2017


Paper thin solar cells on paper can now be produced with inkjet printing. This will allow solar cells to be much cheaper and be placed almost anywhere.

It may still seem far fetched to imagine our houses powered by solar cells in curtains, blinds and windows. But some scientists say it will eventually be possible to print photovoltaic elements on a huge range of surfaces and materials – creating cheap, printable solar cells in place of more costly silicon panels.

Printable solar cells offer exciting potential for generating electricity more flexibly and at a lower cost, wherever the sun shines. In the traditional silicon solar PV we see on people’s rooftops, the most costly component is the silicon material that holds the photovoltaic elements. Silicon is abundant and non-toxic, but it is expensive to process into wafers for traditional rooftop solar PV panels.

New developments in printed solar cells could allow solar energy to be cheaply and easily converted into electricity almost anywhere, including walls, windows, roller blinds, shade umbrellas, and even tents.

The idea of using your tent to harvest power on trips to the beach or a camping weekend could really propel glamping (glamorous camping) to the next level, with free on-site electricity powering life’s little luxuries!

TOWARDS COMMERCIALLY VIABLE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS

Currently, printable solar cells have only reached about 10 per cent efficiency, whereas traditional silicon solar PV cells are closer to 25% efficient. The life span of the printed solar cells is also only six months. So researchers are working to increase their efficiency, weather-resistance and life span to reach commercial viability.

In late 2014, a consortium from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Melbourne and Monash University announced that their printable solar cells were on the verge of commercialisation.

A team of 50 chemists, physicists and engineers – working together since 2007 – hope to see printed solar panels used in low-power applications within the next few years.

CSIRO photovoltaic expert Dr Fiona Scholes explained the team hoped they could achieve a similar power delivery at a significantly reduced cost.

“Silicon is falling in price, but think about how cheap plastic is. The ink is a negligible cost, so the raw materials are very cost effective. This is a big step forward because you can put these cells anywhere you can think of. Also the consistency is better than silicon – they work well in cloudy conditions,” said Dr Scholes.

The CSIRO’s Scholes said although silicon cells are still on top of the market, she predicts printed solar cells will be “a key part of the renewable energy mix”. While the team can’t produce the cells commercially itself, a number of manufacturing companies are stepping forward.

HOW ARE PRINTABLE SOLAR CELLS MADE?

At the moment, printable solar cells are made by printing a specially developed ‘solar ink’ onto plastic film, similar to the way plastic bank notes are printed.

Whatever the method or the materials used, the solar principles remain the same:

Incoming photons free electrons and send them scattering through the solar cell’s material before being channelled into an electrical circuit.
The efficiency of the solar cell depends both on how well the material captures light to set these electrons free, as well as how effortlessly the electrons travel through the material.

Researchers such as the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium are developing processes for printing solar cells onto all manner of surfaces using various printing, dyeing and spraying techniques. The solar cells can be printed straight onto paper-thin, flexible plastic, as well as onto steel, and can be made semi-transparent for building cladding and windows.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
135. CaneFreeCR
1:40 PM GMT on February 25, 2017
Quoting 134. BaltimoreBrian:

In the year 2525

Sea level rise will be 2,525 cm

CO2 will be 2525 ppm

And the world population will be 2525 cubed.
Carve it in stone and set it up somewhere it won't wash away. But. Somehow I doubt that last number, unless you include the population of all vertebrates. I suspect the human population will be less than the square of the number, under the living conditions that will prevail.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
134. BaltimoreBrian
12:54 AM GMT on February 25, 2017
In the year 2525

Sea level rise will be 2,525 cm

CO2 will be 2525 ppm

And the world population will be 2525 cubed.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
133. Pipejazz
5:31 PM GMT on February 24, 2017
Link From the Harvard Chan School Public Health
Impact of climate change on health. Also links to articles and a webcast of the meeting included in this summary.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
132. Patrap
4:13 PM GMT on February 24, 2017


Emails reveal Pruitt's behind-the-scenes collaboration with oil and natural gas giant
Rene Marsh-Profile-Image
By Jeremy Diamond and Rene Marsh, CNN
Updated 4:50 AM ET, Thu February 23, 2017
Scott Pruitt tries to soothe worries at EPA



A letter signed by Pruitt was nearly identical to one sent by a Devon Energy lobbyist
More than 7,500 pages of emails shed light on Pruitt's relationship with the energy company.

(CNN)In June 2013, a top lobbyist at Devon Energy, an Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas giant, sent one of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's top officials a draft letter objecting to recently proposed federal regulations on fracking.

Two months later, Pruitt, who is now the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump, signed a nearly identical version of that letter and sent it to then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. The only difference was the addition of the attorney general's official letterhead and a paragraph citing additional legal precedent to back up the letter's arguments against federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, one of the main ways Devon Energy pumps out oil and natural gas.

The episode was just one of several examples that highlighted the relationship Pruitt and his top aides maintained with Devon Energy and the oil and gas industry during his time as Oklahoma attorney general. This raises fresh questions about how Pruitt will conduct himself at the EPA, which is charged with regulating that industry.

More than 7,500 pages of emails from the Oklahoma attorney general's office obtained and released by the Center for Media and Democracy through an open records request shed light on Pruitt's relationship with Devon Energy, including allowing the energy giant's top lobbyists to draft and edit letters sent to top federal officials on behalf of Pruitt and other state attorneys general.
A CNN request for comment from the White House was not immediately returned.

An EPA spokesman said the agency would not be commenting.
"That's an Oklahoma issue and we are going to remain focused on the environment and environmental issues," EPA spokesman Doug Ericksen said.
CNN has also reached out for comment to the four state attorney generals who co-signed the August 2013 letter to ask if they were aware the letter had been drafted by Devon Energy officials.

More than 7,500 pages of emails from the Oklahoma attorney general's office obtained and released by the Center for Media and Democracy through an Open Records Act shed light on Pruitt's relationship with Devon Energy, including allowing the energy giant's top lobbyists to draft and edit letters sent on Pruitt and other state attorney generals' behalf to top federal officials.
The newly released emails confirm years of cushy ties between Pruitt and Devon Energy dating back to at least October 2011, when Pruitt also signed a letter quietly drafted by Devon Energy officials and sent it to the head of the EPA. That exchange was first reported by The New York Times in December 2014.

That type of exchange took place multiple times in years to come, according to the released emails.
A month before one of Devon Energy's top lobbyists sent the draft letter on fracking to Pruitt's deputy solicitor general Clayton Eubanks, Eubanks gave Devon Energy officials the opportunity to edit a separate letter addressed to the EPA -- this time about the regulation of methane emissions, a dangerous pollutant.

"Attached is the final draft of the methane letter to EPA regarding the 7 NE States NOI to sue over the regulation of methane emissions. We have received good support on this and I would like to get the letter out in the morning. I thought we should insert a sentence or two regarding the recent EPA report indicating their initial estimates on methane emissions for two categories were too high," Eubanks wrote in a May 2013 email to Bill Whitsitt, Devon's executive vice president of public affairs. "Any suggestions?"
Less than three hours later, Whitsitt replied with proposed additions to the letter from him and his team.
The next day, Pruitt sent the letter that included Whitsitt's changes, word-for-word.


At the time, Devon Energy had been leading the fight against the EPA's system of measuring methane emissions.
"There's no mention of Pruitt questioning anything they (the energy industry) are doing or saying. This is a direct cut and paste type relationship," said Liz Perera, the Sierra Club's climate policy director, who said the emails make clear Pruitt "not only has a good relationship [with the] fossil fuel industry but he's dependent on them to provide research and talking points."
Perera said she was especially struck by the absence of any mention of the earthquakes occurring in Oklahoma at the time, which scientists believed to be tied to fracking activity in the state.
"Pruitt never expressed concern about the increased number of earthquakes believed to be linked to the fracking activity in Oklahoma. He never mentioned launching an investigation into the earthquakes," Perera said.

Hundreds of other emails showed regular contact between Pruitt's top aides and Devon Energy's lobbyists and public affairs executives, including frequent phone calls and in-person meetings between those officials -- as well as meetings between Pruitt and Whitsitt.
Whitsitt also sent along talking points and other draft letters to Pruitt's office in 2013 following "conversations with Attorney General Pruitt."
CNN could not immediately confirm whether Pruitt officially used those letters and talking points as well.
The emails also showed that Pruitt was close with other groups beyond Devon Energy.

In a May 2013 email, Pruitt's executive assistant emailed Richard Moskowitz, the general counsel of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers association, after "General Pruitt asked that I email you" to put Moskowitz in touch with Eubanks, Oklahoma's deputy solicitor general.
"Thank you again for the information you provided during General Pruitt's visit and please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else we can do for you," Pruitt's assistant wrote in the email.

Some conservative groups are defending Pruitt's close relationship with the industry. "Despite hyperventilating from fringe groups on the left, these emails show that Scott Pruitt was a dutiful and responsible Attorney General who fought daily on behalf of the people that elected him," Jeremy Adler of America Rising Squared told CNN. "There was no new information in these emails to support the left's anti-Pruitt fever dreams, instead they showed that he behaved like any accomplished public servant, working with key industries in his state to help his constituents."
CNN's Amanda Watts and Curt Devine contributed to this report.




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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.