Weather Report


  1. Pingback: What if Watts were not so typical of Weather Reporters? – A Few Things Ill Considered

  2. That is terrific. I can't help comparing it to Bill McKibben's overly verbose presentation of some of the same facts - this is far more effective.

    A friend pointed out this item about Canadian oil troubles which has a similar catchy factual feel to it:
    "Ethical Oil: The Puppet Rap"

  3. Thanks, Susan,

    I think it is important to remember that different media have different audiences. If McKibben had not made his case, weather girl would not have had the 5 times the safe limit argument to make; if he had not made it effectively, it would be easier to dismiss her.

    If a less informed person sees this and expresses doubts about it, they will not have a terribly hard time finding someone who has read and understood McKibben's piece.

    I am uncomfortable with McKibben as a replacement for Gore as Fearless Leader, but I have many concerns about Gore's approach as well. For me the only strategy to take is to have information available at all levels of depth and sophistication.

    I had an excellent engineering professor who started the class saying that "different people had different learning styles", and so he wanted information available on all channels available to hi, He wanted a good textbook, good lectures, good homework design, good teaching assistants, and that he did not care which of these the student focused upon.

    I think it applies.

    (And sorry, I didn't much care for the puppet rap. It's to weigh what we should avoid as well as what we should say. I don't think that will convince anybody of anything.)

  4. Tastes differ: I respect yours. However we need multiple lines of communication and the polysyllabic one is overpopulated. I realize the Canadian POV is affected by different problems, but despite some of the poor segues I loved the oil one. Tar sands is a particularly nasty fuel and our willingness to ignore the poor EROEI and multiple failures of that and other forms of extreme fuels is nothing less than tragic. I'd like to reach beyond the academically proficient on this, and also past the vast majority who believe advertisers. Advertisers appear to own us.

    On Gore, I've become a regular at Current TV (if one has time and upscale TV connex, it's getting better - last night was the debut of View participant Joy Behar's new show, and their coverage of the convention was richer than MSNBC's. I could hope the website design improves and recent programs become available on the net.

    I've always thought well of McKibben but it is increasingly obvious that he's nowhere near strong enough as a mass communicator. However, he does a whole lot more than I do. Somebody willing to stick their neck out is worth a whole lot of passives like myself.

    Gore was an early victim of a very effective kill the messenger campaign, and lots of people have snippets of false information about him imbedded in their beliefs. This is very sad.

  5. OK, one more, getting a bit far from global weather, except it's all interconnected:

    (testing to see if this one imbeds like youtube)

  6. Susan, Kai Nagata, and maybe others, helped produce both videos:

    They are promising more satire, not necessarily all climate related, but I'm sure some will be:

    Franke James also comes up with good stuff:

  7. Aside from the death spiral of doom stuff, which is debatable at least, weather girl made a small cluster of substantive errors.

    565 GT C (2.07 TT CO2) is the amount already emitted. If we go by a trillion ton (C) limit, there are only 435 GT C (1.6 TT CO2) left to emit. If we go by a better than even chance of 2 C, the stricter limit it is even less, because according to the Copenhagen Consensus, the 50% chance is at 750 TT C total, leaving us only 205 GT C (751 GT CO2).

    (Conversion factor or 3.67 applied above in parenthetical amounts. Your isotopic ratio may differ slightly.)

    A trillion tons is easy to remember but is measured in weight of carbon. Many disciplines prefer to weigh the CO2, which means a scaling in the proportion of the atomic weight of carbon to that of CO2. American per capita emissions are a bit under 20 T CO2 per person per year, and the world average is 6 T per capita-annum.

    If we want near-certainty (say 95%) of avoiding 2 C, we have already hit the wall. It is too late to achieve that by emissions reductions alone.

    UPDATE: not sure this is right. See below.

  8. According to McKibben's source, the limit for future emissions (for a 80% chance of staying below 2 degrees) is indeed 565 GT CO2 (not carbon). McKibben confused things in his Rolling Stone article by later referring to 2795 GT booked reserves, wrongly, as carbon; instead of 2795 GT of CO2 as the Carbon Tracker report said.

    I've screwed up myself with C/CO2 confusion more than once before and will again, no doubt.

  9. According to this RealClimate discussion, McKibben's error was just a typo introduced by his copy editors and did not undermine the main point of his article.

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