Boing Boing 

Disney World after humanity's demise


Eledoremassis02's "manipulated photo" series Life After Disney is a series of gorgeously decayed visions for what Walt Disney World will look like long after humans have disappeared from the scene.

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The "mini-ice age coming in 15 years" isn't coming

frostfair

Global warming deniers are posting olde timey photos of the Thames River Frost Fair of 1814 and claiming that a new scientific model reveals we are going to enter a mini-ice age in 2030. But they are skating on thin ice.

Here is the real story:

University of Northumbria mathematics professor Valentina Zharkova recently presented non-peer-reviewed results of new model of the Sun’s interior dynamo to the UK's Royal Astronomical Society’s national meeting. The model predicts that sunspots are going to decrease in coming years, matching sunspot levels seen in the 17th century. Astronomy Now reports thatthe model "shows that solar activity will fall by 60 percent during the 2030s, to conditions last seen during the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715." However, Zharkova said nothing about the effect this will or will not have on the Earth's climate. This didn't stop right-leaning media from gleefully reporting that the Earth will enter a new mini-ice age as a result.

In fact, other studies have shown that a new grand minimum will have little or no effect on global warming. Here's what a 2010 article from Geophysical Research Letters said:

The Maunder minimum is connected to the Little Ice Age, a time of markedly lower temperatures, in particular in the Northern hemisphere. Here we use a coupled climate model to explore the effect of a 21st‐century grand minimum on future global temperatures, finding a moderate temperature offset of no more than −0.3°C in the year 2100 relative to a scenario with solar activity similar to recent decades. This temperature decrease is much smaller than the warming expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century.

What's more, The Washington Post reports that the mini-ice age that occurred during the Maunder minimum "wasn’t so much a global ice age as a cold spell in Europe, and it may have been caused more by clouds of ash from volcanic eruptions than by fluctuations in solar activity."

In addition, the reason the Thames used to freeze over has little or nothing to do with sunspot activity: it was because the old London Bridge's arches prevented sea water from moving upriver, keeping the freezing point of the water close to 0 degree Centigrade. Pure sea water freezes at -2 degrees Centigrade.

The construction of a new bridge in the 19th century, and other landscape changes that made the river flow faster, brought an end to those festivals — less so than the end of the Maunder minimum.

“I’d be surprised if it froze again to the extent where we’d be able to allow large numbers of people on the Thames,” said [Historical climatologist George Adamson].

What's in the Pope's barn-storming environmental message?


There's a lot to love in the Pope's new encyclical on climate, poverty and the environment, and even the terrible stuff is de-emphasized.

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House Republicans hold hearing on politics in science, don't invite any scientists

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The Tory war on science in Canada: a chronology

Nine years of cuts; muzzlings; bad science, retaliatory firings, burned libraries, layoffs, closed investigations, censorship, withdrawal from international accords;

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The American science-denial playbook

Michael Mann, the author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines and creator of the "hockey-stick" climate-change graph used in An Inconvenient Truth, writes in the the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about the uniquely American "witch-hunt" he and other climate scientists are subjected to.

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Privatized offshore cities: the new climate apartheid


Financier-developers with ties to some of the century's most notorious war criminals are building Eko Atlantic, an offshore city near Lagos, to house the burgeoning, confiscatory millionaires of Nigeria, while in the oft-bulldozed slums of Lagos genuine, climate-resilient floating buildings are taking to sea.

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Watching the climate-cholera connection from orbit

Dr. Kiki Sanford on how scientists are predicting outbreaks from an unusual new vantage point.Read the rest

Youtube nukes 7 hours' worth of science symposium audio due to background music during lunch break

Yannick writes, "We live-streamed our second annual Canadian conference of Citizens' Climate Lobby, a day of speeches, with a very interesting panel discussion."

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Handbook for fighting climate-denialism


From 2011, Skeptical Science's excellent Debunking Handbook, a short guide for having discussions about climate change denial that tries to signpost the common errors that advocates of the reality of anthropogenic global warming make when talking to people who disbelieve.

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Leaked docs detail Big Oil and Big PR's plans for a opinion-manipulation platform


The leaked slides were prepared by Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, at the behest of Transcanada, and they constitute a blueprint for tracking and influencing platform that spies on its participants in order to psychologically profile them and nudge them into becoming advocates for the oil industry.

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Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming conference, Medford, Mass, Nov 21-23


Gmoke sez, "As someone who lives halfway between Harvard and MIT and has used that opportunity to monitor the scientists on climate change and energy, this is the first time I’ve seen anyone address these issues from the ecosystem perspective."

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Inviting all Eco-Futurists to Bioneers, Oct 17-19/Marin, with Kim Stanley Robinson


Josh writes, "Boing Boing readers and Eco-Futurists are invited to the 25th Annual Bioneers Summit Conference in Marin, CA, October 17-19. Enter BOING4BIONEERS at check out for an exclusive 25% discount!"

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This one U.S. hotspot produces the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane. Why?

The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan


The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan

A new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and University of Michigan One shows that one small “hot spot” in the American Southwest produces the greatest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the United States.

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20 meaningful things you can do about climate change


Michael sez, "As a volunteer climate change campaigner, over the years I've seen a number of lists of things people can do about climate change. They're often unconvincing."

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Urban living and carbon footprints


Patrick Nielsen Hayden uses an exceptionally silly Guardian op-ed about New York City as a "dangerous, intoxicating fantasy of freedom from nature" to extol big cities' environmental virtues: places where no one need own a car; where energy and resource reclamation and recirculation are common; where, in short, we all need to be.

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Behind the scenes look at Canada's Harper government gagging scientists

Dave writes, "A request to interview a government scientist about his discoveries on 'Rock Snot' (algae) results in hundreds of e-mails, discussions of allowed talking points and, in the end, no approval for interview. Why? Perhaps because the source of the rock snot might be climate change?"

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