Tag: climate change

Massive ceramic coral reef scuplture by @CourtneyCoral #sciart

“The 28-foot piece pays homage to the Coral Triangle, a Pacific Ocean-based site that spans the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands. Almost 600 different species of reef-building corals exist in this 4 million-square-mile space alone, making it one of the most important under-the-sea stretches in the world. Unfortunately, however, these coral reefs are increasingly threatened by overfishing, pollution, and a changing climate.”

(By Courtney Mattison, via My Modern Met)

This remarkable visualization by @ed_hawkins on climate change is pretty convincing.


By Ed Hawkins.

Climate Change and Aquaman: This makes total sense…


By Mr. Lovenstein.

Brilliant BRILLIANT Doonesbury on climate change.


By Garry Trudeau, via Washington Post

Scientists say the Joint Review Panel Report that approves the Northern Gateway Project is flawed and ignores science.


It would appear that our (Canadian) Government is poised to once again abhor evidence based decision making. Here, scientists have looked over the Joint Review Panel Report that is being used to push forward the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. In essence, they conclude (and for full disclosure, I am one of the signatories) that it “has so many systemic errors and omissions, we – the 300 signatories – can only consider it a failure.”

What are these flaws you ask? Well, the core problems have been outlined in a press release (see below for full press release), and are as follows:

1. The JRP failed to consider important impacts, such as the increased greenhouse gas emissions that could result from oils sands development and burning Northern Gateway oil products in Asia

2. The JRP reached conclusions contradicting the government’s own scientific evidence, including risks to large whales and other marine species.

3. The JRP unjustifiably dismissed the uncertain risks posed by diluted bitumen spills at sea as unimportant risks.

4. The JRP relied on an oil spill response plan that is not yet developed

5. The JRP relied on information from the proponent, without external evaluation.

6. The JRP failed to adequately articulate the rationale for its findings.

The open letter sent to the Prime Minister and asking him to reject the JRP panels can be viewed in full here. The report for the JRP can be downloaded here.

– – –

I have to say that this continued anti-science behaviour from the Canadian Government is so devastating that I feel like the Harper Government now deserves its own meme: hence the silly meme above that is not only animated, but depicts the seriousness of the situation with an elevated facepalm category- the MEGAFACEPALM. Please share widely. (Note: a high quality animated gif can be found here).

– – –

The full press release (June 3rd):


300 Scientists Denounce the Joint Review Panel Report
Their letter asks Prime Minister to reject JRP findings

Vancouver, BC (Tuesday, June 3, 2014) – Scientists from across Canada are asking Prime Minister Harper to reject the findings of the Joint Review Panel (JRP) in the federal decision to approve or reject the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.

In a letter to the Prime Minister signed by 300 scientists from several nations, including fellows of the Royal Society and Order of Canada holders, they say the JRP’s recommendation to approve the oil sands pipeline was based on a “flawed analysis of the risks and benefits to B.C.’s environment and society.”

“The JRP report has so many systemic errors and omissions, we—the 300 signatories—can only consider it a failure,” says UBC associate professor Kai Chan, who led the initiative with SFU assistant professor Anne Salomon and UBC professor Eric Taylor.

“The report does not provide the guidance the federal government needs to make a sound decision for Canadians about the Northern Gateway Project,” Chan says.

The scientists express concerns the Panel omitted important impacts and considered unbalanced, and in some cases, biased evidence that led to a faulty conclusion in its recommendation that Northern Gateway be approved. The JRP assessment, they say:

· Failed to consider important impacts, such as the increased greenhouse gas emissions that could result from oils sands development and burning Northern Gateway oil products in Asia

· Reached conclusions contradicting the government’s own scientific evidence, including risks to large whales and other marine species.

· Unjustifiably dismissed the uncertain risks posed by diluted bitumen spills at sea as unimportant risks.

· Relied on an oil spill response plan that is not yet developed

· Relied on information from the proponent, without external evaluation.

· Failed to adequately articulate the rationale for its findings.

The scientists also point to the Panel’s failure to provide an explanation of how it had reached its conclusions, especially the central one, that the project’s benefits justify its risks and costs.

Download the full letter here: http://chanslab.ires.ubc.ca/?attachment_id=2632 (English) http://chanslab.ires.ubc.ca/?attachment_id=2633 (French)

For More Information, Please Contact:

Kai Chan, Associate Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, UBC: 778-839-9820, kai.chan@ubc.ca

Anne Salomon, SFU Assistant Professor, Resource & Environmental Management, SFU

Rick Taylor, Professor, Zoology, UBC: 604-822-9152, etaylor@zoology.ubc.ca

This is bloody brilliant. “What will climate deniers say after environmental catastrophe strikes?”

Sad, but brilliant, because I fear it’s spot on.

Tom the Dancing Bug

By Rubin Bolling, via Boing Boing.

Han Solo and Chewbacca Weigh In On Their New Hybrid Millennium Falcon



– – –

HAN SOLO: Well, so far, it seems like it’s a pretty good thing. Me, I’m not too up on the technology, but Chewie is pretty good at that stuff. Right Chewie?

CHEWBACCA: Uuuhhhggg. Rrrrggghhh. Hhhgg-aaa. Rrrrn.

HAN SOLO: Yeah, that’s a good point. Chewie just reminded me that this new system has significantly increased our energy efficiency. This basically means less money spent at the pump, and more money in our pockets.

CHEWBACCA: Rrrrrr! Aaaa-Ghhhuuurr. Uuuuhggg.

HAN SOLO: Right. And lower emissions too. Although I don’t get why that would be such a big deal in deep space. Do greenhouse gases do anything out there anyway?

CHEWBACCA: Uuuuhhh-rrrr. Ghhhgggg. Uuugggg. Ggg. Rrrrr-uuuuaa. RRRR! NNHHHUUUR!

HAN SOLO: Alright, alright. Calm down. I’m not saying it’s not a problem. I know there’s science behind all this stuff. It’s not like you haven’t told me to be environmentally conscious like a hundred times already. Look, I’m sorry buddy. I didn’t mean to sound negative like those Empire bastards.


HAN SOLO: Yeah, I know. That would be pretty funny to watch you pull the arms off a one of those guys. Doing that would be carbon neutral too right?

CHEWBACCA: Gghhnn. Nnnnh.

HAN SOLO: Yeah, sure. But listen Chewie, seriously: How would lower emissions in deep space help? I just don’t get it, you know?

CHEWBACCA: Grrrrgh. Uuurhh. RRRggllhh. Hhuu-hhhuu. Auhhh-ghu-gh. RRRRR!. Ggg-rrr, uurrghh. HHGGU! Uuuuhh. Rrr, ggghhu. Huuhhhg. GGGrrr. Uhh?

HAN SOLO: Oh, O.K.. That makes sense. You say you still want fewer emissions because there’s still a lot of flying involved when the Falcon leaves or returns to a planet, or just when she does her cool maneuvers close to the surface. These things still directly contribute to increasing greenhouse gas amounts within the confines of the planet’s atmosphere. Hence, not helping with the global warming problem.

CHEWBACCA: Ggggrrr. Rrrrh. Uuuhhggr. RRRR! Uhhfuckinggghug.

HAN SOLO: Definitely. And you’re right, Tatooine is already too damn hot.

CHEWBACCA: Rrrrrhhg. RRRGGH! Hhhuurrg. Ggrrgh. Huurg. Grrhhg. Guuuaaauu. AAAURRGG! RRRRGGG!

HAN SOLO: Yeah, O.K. I mean I’m basically pretty happy with the modifications. Really, as long as we can still make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, I really don’t care. Plus, I still get to say stuff like “Punch it Chewie,” right? Chewie, you love that stuff.

CHEWBACCA: Ggrrrrgghhaarr.

Brilliant cartoon commentary on climate change issues by Kudelka

The top one, in particular, is brilliant.





By Jon Kuldelka (you can also buy prints of these at the link).

Great info graphic on carbon footprints from various countries (total and per capita)

Click on image to enlarge.


From PS magazine, via Science Borealis

I suspect the I.P.C.C. report might be more effective if it went with acronyms that were more narrative in nature.


The IPCC report1
The YIACCAYII report4
The SCTINFSC report13

– – –

1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

2. Specifically, this would be the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis

3. Or we could go with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change For Realz

4. Yes, it’s about climate change, and yes, it’s important.

5. O.K. So it’s like this report is where several hundred academics get together and try to summarize all available evidence on the science of climate change.

6. Basically the evidence says: climate change is real, it’s not a good thing; and also, it’s partly our fault.

7. O.K. Technically, it’s a 95% likelihood that it’s our fault, but that’s because 100% is the kind of assessment that isn’t possible in the scientific realm.

8. In other words: scientists are as certain as scientists can be about this.

9. Maybe you can say things with 100% certainty in the political realm, but we all know how those kinds of statements tend to turn out.

10. Seriously, it’s all there in the report. Because, you know… Science, it WORKS.

11. For fuck’s sake, just read the goddam report! Or at least try to read a credible news piece on it.

12. And by credible, I don’t mean outlets, lobbyists, political commentary or advocacy groups where funding directly or even indirectly comes from folks invested in fossil fuels and the like.

13. Scientific conspiracy? There is no fucking scientific conspiracy.

14. Also, ask yourself: who would most likely be guilty of that kind of spin? Messaging that is influenced by oil lobbyists with lots of marketing money? Or thousands of academics conspiring in secret faculty meetings and organizing grand exchanges of covert information?

15. Anyway, screw this. The question is, are you on board with what the IPCC is saying?

16. Because if yes, then wonderful! The future just got a little bit better…

17. If no? Well then, that’s a real shame. Isn’t it funny how scientific laws can help us make climatology predictions, but they’re less useful in predicting human behavior? Still, we’re going to go with a 95% certainty that your children and your children’s children are going to be more than a little disappointed with you.

(Originally published at the Science Creative Quarterly)

One academic, out of the 9136 published in recent peer reviewed climate change research, rejects man made global warming.

And that’s just for all papers published from November 2012 to December 2013.


To quote: “I have brought my previous study (see here and here) up-to-date by reviewing peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals over the period from Nov. 12, 2012 through December 31, 2013. I found 2,258 articles, written by a total of 9,136 authors. (Download the chart above here.) Only one article, by a single author in the Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, rejected man-made global warming. I discuss that article here.”

By James Powell.

These giant pastel icebergs by Zaria Forman are stunning. #whoa




From top to bottom: “Greenland #52”, “Greenland #62”, “Greenland #54.” By Zaria Forman. Via Colossal.

Similarities I Noticed Between George W. Bush and the Burning Bush


Natural disasters figure prominently for both.

In their own ways – doing their part to increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Neither necessarily follows international conventions

I gather, both on the same page with this stem cell business.

When they speak, it’s kind of surreal.

– – –

(Originally published at Seed Magazine, December 2006)

Axis-tilt: is the reason for the season. #awesome


Photo source unknown, via Fresh Photons

How long do we have? In preparation of IPCC projected sea level rises. #infographic

Click to enlarge. Note that Vancouver’s altitude ranges from 0m to 152m (mountainous) – the YVR airport is at about 4m.


From Information is Beautiful.



In Canada, After Any International Climate Change Conference: I Fear Correspondence of this Sort will be Sent


“In stark contrast to its cuddly international image, Canada is the dirty old man of the climate world – missing its Kyoto emissions reduction target by a country mile (by 2007, it was 34% above its target) and showing no signs of reigning in its profligacy.” The Guardian, November 30, 2009



What the hell is going on? That conference was a freaking fiasco! What happened? And how is Mr. Environment Minister going to do to fix it?

Stevie (The PM).


Steve buddy!

O.K. We have a plan. A couple of things actually. Most of them revolving around science and stuff, since we keep getting hammered on our stance with what the climatologists are telling us (you know, the IPCC reports and such). Anyway, the plan is multifaceted, and we’re still bouncing off ideas (FYI: if you got any Prime Ministery input, just pass it on), but here is what we have so far:

1. To get the scientific community off our back, we’re going to challenge them to perform definitive, but basically impossible, climate science experiments. Doesn’t that sound great? I wrote that myself. And here’s one just off the top of my head, which I’m calling the TRI-EARTH experiment (also, wrote that myself). Here, we’ll ask scientists to create two other planet Earths, and populate them with identical geology, biodiversity and anthropogenic infrastructure, and then do a compare and comparison. Our current Earth could be the test subject, whereas the other two could represent “controls” (ooh actual science lingo). These would be conditions with (a) zero fossil fuel emissions, and (b) intensive fossil fuel emissions. Scientists would then be asked to collect data for 100 years, and then reconvene with their conclusions. Brilliant right? Oh man, our tech guys are gonna love making that website.

2. To get the environmental community off our backs, we’re thinking of asking the HR Departments of all tar sand companies to actively hire members of the biodiversity community. And we’re not talking scientists here, but actual animals – the cuter and the furrier the better!  Anyway, the idea is that this would be an excellent way to create tension between all those environmentalists. Imagine the debates! I can hear them already: “You can’t shut down the tar sands! Think of the livelihood of our friends, the [insert name of cute furry mammal]. How will they maintain their way of life?” Basically, with the right amount of nuts, we could get a squirrel or two to say anything.  As an added bonus, the irony alone just might get Suzuki’s brain to explode.

3. This one is a biggie! We’re looking into actually creating new scientific laws! Wouldn’t that be great? I mean a good chunk of the data out there is based on rigorous climate modeling, which is powered by scientific laws and mathematical equations (bla bla bla). So we say: why not take matters into our own hands, and create something like a new addition to the Laws of Thermodynamics. I mean, these laws are well known, they come up a lot in climate studies (the first law with its overbearing “energy cannot be created or destroyed” mantra is especially annoying), and as a bonus, they even have too many syllables which we know is always good for added confusion. If we’re smart, we can even make the new law a little “magical” (seriously, maybe something about unicorns – you like unicorns right?). This might make the whole creationism angle a little easier to swallow scientifically (and you know me, I’m always looking for ways to widen our support base).

4. Advertising: and lots of it. Maybe go with either a “Canada is a Climate Change Free Zone” angle (wouldn’t that look great on a t-shirt?); or maybe just a straight up promotion of things to do in a hotter climate. I think the “Hot Canada” idea could sell itself. I’m thinking five words: beach volleyball and umbrella drinks. Hmmm… let me write that down. Could work as a possible slogan.

O.K enough writing… I’m going to send this memo off right now. These are just a few ideas we’re ready to act on. Add on a good old general marketing blitz, and I think we got something that should do the trick. Anyway, just say the word boss and we’ll get on it pronto.




Sounds great. Make it so (I love saying that). Oh and how about this for a slogan, “No more sweater vests!”


Scariest equation ever? Probability of sending inappropriate texts.


From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, via Dave Semeniuk

How We’re Endangering Animals: The Infographic


From Certification Map, via National Geographic

Still Life a la Renewable Energies






“Photographer Mitch Payne, Designer Kyle Bean and Art Director Gemma Fletcher collaborate on a playful still life project which visually represents different forms of renewable energy. Energy extracted from resources which are continually replenished such as Solar,Nuclear and Wind. Each image depicts a glass tank housing various setups acting as ‘energy sources’ which power a lightbulb. The series includes ‘Geothermal’ where coloured gravel is layered up to represent a cross section through earth and ‘Tidal’ where water is seen dramatically splashing like a giant wave within the glass tank.”

From Stem Agency, via Notcot.org

Mini magnetically floating cloud.


Kinetic sculpture. Plexiglas, Magnet, electro-magnetset, Cotton wool. 20x20x40

By Laurent Debraux, via Colossal.

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