Altering facts to fit your reality

This page is being updated.

Thank you for your interest in this topic. We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt. If you’re looking for an archived version of this page, you can find it on the January 19 snapshot.

(the above is from the EPA website)

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday evening that its website would be “undergoing changes” to better represent the new direction the agency is taking, triggering the removal of several agency websites containing detailed climate data and scientific information.

One of the websites that appeared to be gone had been cited to challenge statements made by the EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt. Another provided detailed information on the previous administration’s Clean Power Plan, including fact sheets about greenhouse gas emissions on the state and local levels and how different demographic groups were affected by such emissions.

The changes came less than 24 hours before thousands of protesters were set to march in Washington and around the country in support of political action to push back against the Trump administration’s rollbacks of former president Barack Obama’s climate policies.

Read More

Denial can be a savagely dangerous

Neil deGrasse Tyson says that this video might just be the most important thing he has ever said.  That’s quite a statement considering his long, illustrious career as an American astrophysicist.

Often people aren’t comfortable with science and new ideas.  Some folks are still denying many components of evolution.  Parents are still attempting to dictate what is taught in science class across the nation.

Read More

Seas rise even more significantly than previously thought


A group of scientists says it has now reconstructed the history of the planet’s sea levels arcing back over some 3,000 years — leading it to conclude that the rate of increase experienced in the 20th century was “extremely likely” to have been faster than during nearly the entire period.

“We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries,” said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities. Kopp said it’s not that seas rose faster before that – they probably didn’t – but merely that the ability to say as much with the same level of confidence declines.

The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Seas rose about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) from 1900 to 2000, the new study suggests, for a rate of 1.4 millimeters per year. The current rate, according to NASA, is 3.4 millimeters per year, suggesting that sea level rise is still accelerating.

Read More

2015–the warmest year

U.S. officials stressed that the El Niño pattern alone does not account of the year’s record warmth. “The interesting thing is that 2015 did not start with an El Niño,” Schmidt said. “It was warm right from the beginning.”

Because a strong El Niño still is in place, “2016 is expected to be an exceptionally warm year, and perhaps even another record,” Schmidt said.

The release of the 2015 temperature data prompted statements from leading Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Clinton, in a Twitter posting, said, “Climate change is real. It’s hurting our planet and our people. We can’t afford a president who ignores the science.”

There was no immediate comments from the major GOP contenders, several of whom have been openly skeptical of the mainstream scientific view that human activity is causing the planet to warm. Front-runner Donald Trump has dismissed climate change as a hoax.

According to the NOAA analaysis on Wednesday, every month in 2015 broke previous temperature records except for two: January and April. NOAA also announced Wednesday that for December, the “temperature departure from average was also the highest departure among all months in the historical record and the first time a monthly departure has reached 2°F.”

From a climate policy perspective, the warmth of 2015 is also highly significant. Global leaders in Paris agreed in December that the planet should not be allowed to warm 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures — and ideally, warming should be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible.

Which presidential contenders do not believe that there is climate change?
Read More

Climate change: 2 Catholic legislators, 2 different points of view


Kaine said he was “very, very excited” by “Laudato Si,” Francis’s encyclical on the environment generally and on the need to address climate change in particular — something Kaine places in “an area of fundamental truth.”

“I’m sure he’s not going to opine on whether a carbon tax is better than a cap-and-trade mechanism,” he said. “That doesn’t need to be where he goes — but to say, ‘You know, you guys and everybody in power these days, you’ve got the next generation’s future in your hands, and you don’t want to have to face that question later in life: With the science what it was, and with you having the opportunity to do something about it, why did you choose not to?'”

But Rounds — whose given name is Marion, in honor of the Holy Mother — sees a potential conflict between Francis’s focus on climate change and his oft-repeated calls for greater attention to the poor.

Read More

Papal encyclical blames climate change on human activity

pope climate

A draft of a major environmental document by Pope Francis says “the bulk of global warming” is caused by human activity — a perspective aligned with most climate scientists but still highly controversial to some Americans.

In the draft, portions of which were translated by The Washington Post, the pope takes climate change deniers to task and calls on “humanity” to take steps — including changing manufacturing and consumption trends — to turn back the clock on global warming. He backs the science behind climate change, citing “a very considerable consensus that points out we are now facing a worrisome warming of the climate.”

Although he states that there may be some natural reasons for global warming, he blasts those who claim it is unrelated to human activity, saying “plenty of scientific studies point out that the last decades of global warming have been mostly caused by the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide and others) especially generated by human action.”

The greatly anticipated encyclical, which surfaced Monday three days before its official release, set off a global scurry by environmentalists, theologians, reporters and others attempting to translate the teachings that many predict will influence policy around poverty and climate change worldwide.

The much awaited papal encyclical clearly blames climate change on human activity.  This decree must present quite a dilemma for Catholics world-wide who happen to be climate change deniers.  Catholics are taught that the Pope is infallible.

Read More

Is climate change destroying our health?

Richmond Times Dispatch:

Springtime blooms mark the arrival of pollen season in Virginia, and for allergy sufferers the misery seems to be getting worse every year. In fact, it actually is. Doctors across the U.S. are confirming what climate scientists, who have the tools to study atmospheric and oceanic changes, have concluded — climate change is “unequivocal” and it is already affecting our health.

The real questions are now: How is climate change affecting human health? Who is most vulnerable, and what can be done to stop it? To shed light on these questions, a Virginia research center joined  three major medical societies of allergists, lung specialists, primary care and other specialists to assess their experiences regarding climate and health. Nearly 2,300 physicians responded and 375 were from Southeastern states. These surveys revealed notable findings about how climate change is affecting the nation and the state of Virginia.

Read More

Walker appointee suggests volcanoes are real culprit of climate change


Wisconsin, which has been in the news this week for voting to bar staff of the state public lands board from talking about climate change, is getting a new state official who is skeptical of human contribution to climate change.

Gov. Scott Walker (R) recently appointed Mike Huebsch to the state Public Service Commission, and Huebsch was asked about his views on climate change during his confirmation hearing this week. The Public Service Commission oversees utility issues in the state, including electricity, gas and water.

“I believe that humans can have an impact to climate change, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near the level of impact of just the natural progression of our planet,” Huebsch said, according to the Wisconsin Radio Network. “You know, the elimination of essentially every automobile would be offset by one volcano exploding. You have to recognize the multiple factors that go into climate change.”

Scientists have studied this issue fairly extensively, and concluded that emissions generated by human activity — specifically, the burning of fossil fuels — far surpass volcanoes when it comes to warming the planet. Human activities generate about 35 gigatons of greenhouse gases per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, while all the world’s volcanoes combined spew something in the range of 0.13 to 0.44 gigatons per year. That means the human influence on the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is 80 to 270 times greater than that of volcanoes.

I don’t think there is THAT much geothermal activity going on.  Why do people say things like this regarding climate change?    I believe the readers will have something to contribute on this issue.

Will the ban be lifted?  Will state employees be allowed to say “climate change?”  I guess not talking about something will make it go away?

Majority of Americans support Government action to curb climate change

New York Times:

An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future


In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They are less likely to vote for candidates who question or deny the science of human-caused global warming.


Although the poll found that climate change was not a top issue in determining a person’s vote, a candidate’s position on climate change influences how a person will vote.

So what’s a conservative to do who is a denier? Supporting a candidate who denies probably isn’t such a good idea. Many people think that NOT doing something is irresponsible and immoral. The question becomes, are you willing to take the risk on your own sense of being right? What if you aren’t right? What if it’s too late to make the necessary changes in human behavior?

Maybe we do nothing. Maybe we simply start regulating human beings and how many kids they have. Yes. Population control. Somehow, governments regulating energy consumption, the auto industry, and fossil fuels seems a lot less intrusive.

Climate change: a new pro-life position?


A group of evangelical Christians is taking to the airwaves in Florida to urge Republican Gov. Rick Scott to take action on climate change, arguing that it, too, is a “pro-life” issue.

“I’m pro-life, and I’m pro-family,” says one female voice featured in the ad, sponsored by the Evangelical Environmental Network. “And I do believe we should do all we can to protect our environment. It was given to us by God.”

“Climate change is real. It endangers the health of our children, worsens poverty throughout the world, and threatens our economy,” says a male voiceover. “Call Governor Rick Scott and tell him as pro-life Christians we believe care for God’s creation is one of the greatest moral challenges of our time. Tell Governor Scott now is the time to act to curb climate change.”

Scott has been a target of a number of campaigns asking him to acknowledge the reality of climate change. Earlier this year, Scott avoided a question from a reporter about whether he believes climate change is happening, after previously saying he did not believe it was. A group of climate scientists recently organized a meeting with Scott to encourage him to take action on climate, and billionaire investor Tom Steyer’s group NextGen Climate Action recently launched an ark tour to call him out on the issue. Scott is currently up for reelection in the state, and is facing former Gov. Charlie Crist in a close race.

Evangelical Christians have also been working to convince Scott. The latest ad is running on Christian radio stations throughout the state.

If we are  directed to be stewards of the earth, what these Christians are saying makes a great deal of sense.   If climate change is real, and many folks believe it very much is,  then shouldn’t we all concern ourselves with making the earth as habitable as possible?

All too often, some of those on the right snicker and carry on over any suggestion that we do anything pro-environment.  They act like “tree hugging” is a nasty word and those who do want to conserve the Earth are a batch of sissies.  This mentality needs to be extinguished.


Va Supreme Court rules in favor of UVA: Bob Marshall foiled again


Washington Post:

(Tom Jackman)

Unpublished research by university scientists is exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting an attempt by skeptics of global warming to view the work of a prominent climate researcher during his years at the University of Virginia.

The ruling is the latest turn in the FOIA request filed in 2011 by Del. Robert Marshall (R-Prince William) and the American Tradition Institute to obtain research and e-mails of former U-Va. professor Michael Mann.

Mann left the university in 2005 and now works at Penn State University, where he published his book “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” about his theories on global warming and those who would deny it. Lawyers for U-Va. turned over about 1,000 documents to Marshall and ATI, led by former EPA attorney David Schnare, but withheld another 12,000 papers and e-mails, saying that work “of a propriety nature” was exempt under the state’s FOIA law.

Read More

President Obama: “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society,”

flat earth society

President Obama angrily blasted climate change skeptics during his energy  policy speech Tuesday at Georgetown University, saying he lacked “patience for  anyone who denies that this problem is real.”

“We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society,” Obama said.  “Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to  protect you from the coming storm.”

Earlier in his remarks, Obama said the “overwhelming judgement of science, of  chemistry, of physics, and millions of measurements” put “to rest” questions  about pollution affecting the environment.

 “The planet is warming. Human activity is  contributing to it,” Obama said.

“We know that the costs of these events can be measured in lost lives and  lost livelihoods.”

The president noted that the 12 warmest years in recorded history have all  come within the last 15 years, and said that rising temperatures were increasing  the severity and impact of storms.

He noted that rising tide levels in New York increased the impact of  Hurricane Sandy, while record temperatures killed crops and increased food  prices in the Midwest.

“In a world that’s warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected  by the warming planet,” Obama said.

“Those who are feeling the effects of climate change don’t have time to deny  it — they’re busy dealing with it.”

Read More

Cuccinelli called out over climate change on the US Senate floor

Senator Sheldon whitehouse
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

RICHMOND — U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse frequently takes to the  Senate floor to warn against climate change, having done so, by his count, at least two dozen times in the past year. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before the Rhode Island Democrat got around to calling out Virginia’s most prominent global-warming skeptic by name.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, got a backhanded shout-out in a Whitehouse floor speech last week for his unsuccessful legal battle against a University of Virginia climate scientist.

The battle went something like this:

“In 2010, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli used his powers of office to harass former University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann and 39 other climate scientists and staff,” Whitehouse said in a speech Thursday, which was posted on YouTube. “As a U-Va. grad, I am proud that the university fought back against this political attack on science and on academic freedom.”

Read More

Warmest Winter on record? Climate Change? Nahhhhhhh

climate change

USA Today:

((Doyle Rice)

The winter of 2012-13 in the USA was both warmer and wetter than average, according to data released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Meteorological winter is considered to be the three months of December, January and February.

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during the winter season was 34.3 degrees, which is 1.9 degrees above the 20th-century average, marking the 20th-warmest winter on record, NOAA reported.

As for precipitation, while the Southeast and upper Midwest were wetter than average, much of the West was quite dry, especially in January and February, contributing to below-average snowpack in the Sierra and Rockies.

“Drought conditions continued to plague much of the Great Plains and West,” according to the NOAA report.

Read More