is our number up?

Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity? … ecosystem-valuing universalist ETI may observe humanity’s ecological destructive tendencies and wipe humanity out in order to preserve the Earth system as a whole.

These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems.It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets.

Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity? A scenario analysis,, Seth D. Baum, Jacob D. Haqq-Misra, Shawn D. Domagal-Goldman, Acta Astronautica (2011) 68:2114-2129

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

that seems clear enough

This strange state of affairs may be rooted in human psychology. As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it in a 2006 op-ed article in The Los Angeles Times, “Global warming is bad, but it doesn’t make us feel nauseated or angry or disgraced, and thus we don’t feel compelled to rail against it as we do against other momentous threats to our species, such as flag burning.”

People tend to have strong emotions about topics like food and sex, and to create their own moral rules around these emotions, he says. “Moral emotions are the brain’s call to action,” he wrote. “If climate change were caused by gay sex, or by the practice of eating kittens, millions of protesters would be massing in the streets.”
New York Times, 20/2/10

lives saved?

In April last year a group of environmentalists shut down E.ON’s coalfired power station in Ratcliffe-on-Soar. The goal: to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and, in their words, “save lives”. Yesterday judge Morris Cooper presented a 20-page judgment accepting there was an “urgent need for drastic action”, but convicted them of aggravated trespass, saying their defence, that their crime was necessary to save lives, could not be substantiated.
The Guardian, 26/2/08

no fragrance in short rice

An experiment by Indian agriculture scientists points to the enormous effect global warming could have on the fragrant basmati rice. Basmati, Sanskrit for the fragrant one, may lose not just its aroma, the famous long grains may get shorter, say scientists.

H Pathak, principal investigator of Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Climate Change Challenge Programme, told TOI the Tarawari basmati grown in research fields in Delhi did not grow long enough and wasn’t as fragrant as it should have been when cooked.
Times of India, 30/1/11

plain leaves

Every fall, Marilyn Krom tries to make a trip to Vermont to see its famously beautiful fall foliage. This year, she noticed something different about the autumn leaves. “They’re duller, not as sparkly, if you know what I mean,” Krom, 62, a registered nurse from Eastford, Conn., said during a recent visit. “They’re less vivid.” Other “leaf peepers” are noticing, too, and some believe climate change could be the reason.
Fox News, 22 Oct 2007

fifty shades of turtles

Even though sea turtles tend to live in warmer waters, the climate changes do affect their natural habitat. The climate is also believed to affect the sex of the younglings.

So if they temperatures continue to significantly increase it is believed that there will be many more females than males in the world. Yet these males likely won’t be able to keep up with the need of the females when it comes to reproduction.
Sea Turtle World, undated

everybody lean this way

Warming oceans could cause Earth’s axis to tilt in the coming century, a new study suggests. It calculates that oceans warmed by the rise in greenhouse gases can also cause the Earth to tilt – a conclusion that runs counter to older models, which suggested that ocean expansion would not create a large shift in the distribution of the Earth’s mass, according to Felix Landerer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
New Scientist, 20 Aug 2009

feeling under the weather?

Patients who came to him with depression or anxiety were increasingly citing climate change news as something they were having trouble coping with.

“These people tend to have a low threshold to taking on worries. When they pick up the paper and see a small part of Antarctica disintegrating, they take it on board,” said Dr Blashki, a senior research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s Primary Care Research Unit. “They pick up on the negative things going on in the world.”

“It comes down to maintaining hope, to get people motivated, not despairing. Action is a great stress reliever,” he said.

The Age, 6 Apr 2008

is your crabgrass watching you?

Crabgrass will get a strong assist from global warming in its campaign to take over your lawn.

That’s the unexpected finding of a study investigating a very different aspect of lawn biology: Neeta S. Bijoor, her graduate advisor Diane E. Pataki of the University of California, Irvine, and two colleagues set out to determine how warming affects lawns’ emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

In contrast to fescue and most other crop plants, crabgrass and many other weeds photosynthesize with greater efficiency the warmer it gets, so they have been predicted to proliferate as temperatures rise.

Live Science, 3 Dec 2008

reptiles head for the hills

Global warming is forcing 30 species of reptiles and amphibians to move uphill as habitats shift upward, but they may soon run out of room to run.

Among 30 species of geckos, skinks, chameleons and frogs, an average shift uphill of 62 to 167 feet (19 to 51 meters) was observed over the decade.

When these results were compared with meteorological records and climate change simulations, the movement of animals could be linked to temperature increases of 0.18°F to 0.67°F (0.1°C to 0.37°C) over the same decade, which corresponds to an expected upslope movement of 59 to 243 feet (17 to 74 meters). 12 Jun 2008

bury that chocolate

“One of climate change’s potential victims is chocolate. Will the prospect of losing their favorite dessert finally get people to wake up? Some experts are predicting that in a matter of decades a drop in production due to changing weather and agriculture incentives may make chocolate ‘as expensive as gold’. In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar.”, 12 Nov 2010, “Global Warming could lead to vast chocolate shortage”

work opportunities for psychologists

For people who feel an acute unease about the future of the planet, a small but growing number of psychotherapists now offer a treatment designed to reduce worries as well as carbon footprints: ecopsychology. “Global warming has added an extra layer of anxiety to what people are already feeling,” said Sandy Shulmire of Portland, Ore., a psychologist and practitioner of ecopsychology.

New York Times, 16 Feb 2008

English country garden

The quintessential English garden and lawn are “under threat” from climate change, a government minister warned today. In a speech at Kew Gardens in west London, the environment minister, Ian Pearson, said in future gardeners would need to use water sparingly and choose Mediterranean plant species that could survive heatwaves and drought.
The Guardian, 12 Sep 2006

thanks to a


The price of beer is likely to rise in coming decades because climate change will hamper the production of a key grain needed for the brew – especially in Australia, a scientist warned Tuesday.

Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, said climate change likely will cause a decline in the production of malting barley in parts of New Zealand and Australia. Malting barley is a key ingredient of beer.
ABC News (US), 8 Apr 2008

thanks to Kat Phiche

leaving on a jet plane?

A federally sponsored inquiry into the effects of possible climate changes caused by heavy supersonic traffic in the stratosphere has concluded that even a slight cooling could cost the world from $200 billion to 500 times that much in damage done to agriculture, public health and other effects.
New York Times, 21 Dec 1975

thanks to mervyn

Fresh warning issued to taxpayers

After Britain’s record-cold December of 2010 that the Met Office failed to predict, Julia Slingo, chief scientist at the UK Meteorological Office, was asked how the Met Office could improve its forecasts. She replied: “Access to supercomputers . The science is well ahead of our ability to implement it.

It’s quite clear that if we could run our models at a higher resolution we could do a much better job— tomorrow— in terms of our seasonal and decadal predictions. It’s so frustrating.

We keep saying we need four times the computing power. We’re talking just 10 or 20 million a year— dollars or pounds— which is tiny compared to the damage done by disasters. Yet it’s a difficult argument to win.” source
The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, Steve Goreham, New Lenox Books, Il, USA, 2012, Chapter 10, note 11.

Is nothing safe?

Venice’s gondoliers are being forced by ever-higher tides to “amputate” the tail end of their boats in order to squeeze under the city’s bridges. The boatmen blame the more frequent high tides bedevilling the city on global warming and one of the rainiest seasons in years.
The Telegraph (UK) 17 May 2004, Stormy days on canals of Venice as boatmen cut off gondolas’ tails

disappearing toys

The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent. This year, for the first time ever, Hamleys, Britain’s biggest toyshop, had no sledges on display in its Regent Street store. “It was a bit of a first,” a spokesperson said.
The Independent 20 Mar 2000, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past”

see also Say what?

thanks to RickA

Beer today, gone tomorrow

Climatologist Martin Mozny of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute and colleagues say that the quality of Saaz hops – the delicate variety used to make pilsner lager – has been decreasing in recent years. They say the culprit is climate change in the form of increased air temperature.
New Scientist, 13/9/09

taxpayers beware

Scientists wanting to discourage people from making unnecessary trips to the airport to cut greenhouse gases were yesterday awarded £500,000 of taxpayers’ money.

Dr Tim Ryley, of Loughborough University, who will carry out the study alongside researchers at Cranfield and Leeds universities, said: ‘ Travelling to airports has a big impact on carbon emissions, but no one has yet identified how to reduce it. This study will address that gap in our understanding.’
Daily Mail, UK, 23 Jan 2010

see also – Say what?

danger to dogs!

Global warming has been blamed for everything from an increase in hurricanes to rising sea levels and polar glacial activity. Could it also be affecting the health and well-being of your dog?

The calamity of canine heartworm disease continues to prove deadly to dogs across the United States. What might be worse is that the warming of our planet may be contributing to the spread of this disease. 16 Mar 2009

what could be clearer?

Meanwhile an 84-year-old betting contest held annually on a frozen Alaskan river is providing the latest evidence of a global thaw. The Nenana Ice Classic has been held since 1917 on the Tenana River.

Contestants bet for a jackpot, that this year hit $300,000, on the exact moment when a wooden tripod erected on the frozen river falls through the breaking ice each spring. When they checked the records they found that the breakthrough occurs today an average of five days earlier than at the start of the contest. 15 Mar 2002

Coffee time!

The temperature is rising a little too quickly in Uganda — and coffee farmers are getting worried. Growers say that global warming is damaging production of coffee, Uganda’s biggest export.

“Everyone is talking about global warming; coffee is our business,” says Mariam Sekisanda, 27, as she pauses from picking ripe coffee beans on her expansive farm to sit under the shade of a thicket of lush banana trees.
TerraDaily 8 Feb 2008