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Climate results convert sceptic: ‘let the evidence change our minds’

Brisbane Times, 30 July 2012

THE Earth's land has warmed by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the past 250 years and ''humans are almost entirely the cause'', according to a scientific study set up to address climate sceptic concerns about whether human-induced global warming is occurring. Richard Muller, a climate sceptic physicist who founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, said he was ''surprised'' by the findings. ''We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds.''

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Only Three Years of Offshore Oil in the Arctic

Huffington Post, 25 July 2012

Recently released US government documents show there is a scant 3.3 years worth of oil sitting off the shores of the Arctic — one of the last pristine places left on the planet.

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Weather Extremes Leave Parts of U.S. Grid Buckling

New York Times, 25 July 2012

From highways in Texas to nuclear power plants in Illinois, the concrete, steel and sophisticated engineering that undergird the nation’s infrastructure are being taxed to worrisome degrees by heat, drought and vicious storms.       

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Australia, you’ve got it wrong: airline boss says tourism campaign’s a dud

Sydney Morning Herald, 25 July 2012

Australia needs to rethink its sales pitch to Asian tourists who believe a holiday here is too expensive because of the way the country is marketed in Asia, the head of Malaysia's budget airline, AirAsia X, says.

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Loading the Climate Dice

New York Times, 22 July 2012

A couple of weeks ago the Northeast was in the grip of a severe heat wave. As I write this, however, it’s a fairly cool day in New Jersey, considering that it’s late July. Weather is like that; it fluctuates. And this banal observation may be what dooms us to climate catastrophe, in two ways. 

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The great cities vs. suburbs rivalry, and why it matters

Grist, 23 July 2012

The story seems to change every five minutes. One recent report found that, for the first time since the advent of the automobile, cities are adding population faster than suburban areas. “Cities grow more than suburbs, first time in 100 years,” trumpeted the Associated Press.

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Why do ҥxpertsҠalways lowball clean-energy projections?

Grist, 19 July 2012

Last month, Michael Noble of Fresh Energy put up a fascinating list of projections made by energy experts around 2000 or so.  Suffice to say, the projections did not fare well. They were badly wrong, and all in the same direction — they underestimated the growth of renewable energy. It’s worth quoting the whole list:

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Searching for Clues to Calamity

New York Times, 20 July 2012

SO far 2012 is on pace to be the hottest year on record. But does this mean that we’ve reached a threshold — a tipping point that signals a climate disaster?

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Evidence that Oil Limits are Leading to Limits to GDP Growth

The Oil Drum, 19 July 2012

The usual assumption that economists, financial planners, and actuaries make is that future real GDP growth can be expected to be fairly similar to the average past growth rate for some historical time period. This assumption can take a number of forms–how much a portfolio can be expected to yield in a future period, or how high real (that is, net of inflation considerations) interest rates can be expected to be in the future, or what percentage of GDP the government of a country can safely borrow. But what if this assumption is wrong, and expected growth in real GDP is really declining over time?

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Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

Rolling Stone, 19 July 2012

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven't convinced you,
or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about
climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the
United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern
Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire
globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple
chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars
in the universe.

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