With a warming climate affecting everything from New Mexico's growing seasons to wildfire threats to water supplies, some state leaders, policy experts and environmentalists will meet next month to discuss possible solutions. 

Dubbed the New Mexico Climate Summit, the conference slated for Oct. 25-26 at the Roundhouse will bring together diverse conservation groups, tribal leaders, professors and community activists to address the growing global crisis affecting the region. 

The goal is to come away with policy ideas that can be introduced in the next legislative session and to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham so they can work together to help the state adapt and ease the impacts of climate change, said state House Speaker Brian Egolf, whose office organized the event. 

"This is not meant to be sitting around and talking," said Egolf, D-Santa Fe. "We definitely want to come out of the conference with actionable ideas."

This will be the first state-level climate summit in New Mexico, Egolf added. 

During breakout sessions, participants will look for ways the state can move away from fossil fuels, which will lower greenhouse gas emissions, while offering an equitable energy transition, especially for ethnic communities that have suffered more harmful effects under the current system, he said.

They'll also discuss how to better protect air, land and water and diversify the energy economy — creating family-wage jobs — in response to a changing climate. 

Egolf's office is partnering with an array of organizations for this event, such as New Mexico Wild, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, the Sierra Club's Rio Grande Chapter, the Natural Resources Defense Council, OLÉ, the Center for Civic Policy, Western Resource Advocates, the Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation Voters New Mexico, Power4NewMexico, the Angelica Foundation and the Energy Foundation.

Speakers will include the governor, tribal leaders, Maite Arce of the Hispanic Access Foundation, Andrew Baumann of the Global Strategy Group, and professors from the University of New Mexico and Georgetown University. 

Joey Keefe, a New Mexico Wild spokesman, said a big part of combating climate change will be to find funding, both by tapping existing sources and creating new ones. 

Past lawmakers might not have viewed climate change as a priority, but there's hope the current governor and Legislature will be open to suggestions from climate advocates, including how to pay for programs, he said. 

It's also vital to offer political leaders clear, science-based policy recommendations to give them a place to start, Keefe said. 

"The groups that are working on these issues on a daily basis can bring to the table some sort of advice on how to take those big, broad ideas about addressing climate change and put them into actual policy solutions," he added. 

Egolf said the climate crisis can't be underestimated. 

"It's the most urgent, pressing problem ever faced by humanity," Egolf said. "We've got to demand action at the international and the federal level. But we can't wait for them to do everything. And we can't ignore opportunities for us to contribute here." 

(35) comments

Khal Spencer

Thing is, whether 2.1 million New Mexicans go cold turkey on fossil fuels will not make a bleep of "climate change" difference in a world of eight going on ten billion people if other nations or even states continue to burn oil and gas (and if we outsource our true emissions to other nations, some of which are still burning coal).

We need to develop plans for adapting to the likely changes that will come to the US Southwest in the next few decades, such as tightening water supplies and less hydropower from the big Glen Canyon and Hoover dams, as well as fund our university for environmental engineering (renewables, nuclear, passive heating and cooling systems, heat exchangers that work in more extreme climates, etc) rather than pee away money on diversions such as division I sports. Rather that continuing to be the economic backwater of the SW, we should be using our university to develop ideas that can be patented, packaged, and sold to move to future ways to produce energy with far fewer atmosphere-modifying emissions. I think regardless of the slope on the global temperature curve, its upward unless our climate modellers are wrong, which is getting far less likely. And regardless of whether we reach 2 deg C sooner or later, depending on what the actual curve turns out to be, we do have to adapt to energy sources that don't further goose the Tyndall Effect.

Emissions are global, not local. Penalizing New Mexicans will just make them mad. Especially when the sheer hypocrisy (governors eating expensive, fat-marbled steaks and billionaires taking emission-reeking joyrides into space) prove this to be one more wedge issue.

Robert Fields

We all have to do what we can, Khal. Between upset NewMexicans and killing most life on the planet, I’ll take upset New Mexicans.

If we are to slow and stop global warming, we all have to do our part. We have no moral authority to tell others to straighten up if we aren’t doing our part. That already gets thrown back at this country.

I agree we should spend money on schools and not sports seeing how we are constrained, but we need to act now on climate change - not kick the can to the kids in schools. We are out of time to start acting. We have solutions now. In fact, New Mexico could be a big exporter of energy with better transmission line infrastructure, windmills and panels.

The planet is heating and at some point, making do with less hydropower is just putting the wreath on the coffin. We have to make do with less hydro whether we like it or not, anyway. Global warming already decided that. So let’s build out more solar and wind. When research bears fruit, implement that too. But we have plenty of technology and answers already. It’s time to stop stalling and start doing.

Khal Spencer

Hi Robert.

I just sent in a letter to the editor regarding the New Mexican's recent editorial praising McDonalds for eliminating a little plastic toy in its Happy Meals. All the while, McDonald's contributes to the single largest source of methane emissions in U.S. --animal based agriculture.

We have to stop exhibiting so much cognitive dissonance if we actually want a sustainable society. I gave up meat over thirty five years ago for two main reasons having to do with animal cruelty and sustainability. A couple of things I read back while finishing grad school. One was Diet for a Small Planet. The other was Animal Factories. Couple that with being called "Mr. Bicycle" as I finished grad school riding back and forth to the university. I found the personal paradigm shift rather liberating, actually. I hate saying that as it sounds like virtue signalling. It was never meant to be that. Just my personal choices.

Environmentalism starts at the kitchen table and progresses to the garage door. My biggest bone to pick with the current "climate crisis" movement is that at times I think it wants a free lunch or as Strong Towns President Chuck Marohn recently quipped and I paraphrase here, Vast fields of wind and solar farms so people can drive their electric car to the drive up window of the local fast food or coffee shop is not an idea of a sustainable future but rather of a dystopia.

Lunch will not be free. Like any other major paradigm shift, it will take some sacrifice out of anyone who gives a bleep. That's all.

So my fear, somewhat like Mike's, is we will shoot past that two degree C (plus or minus a decade or three, just to continue to bug you with my uncertainty sermon) as we continue to demand all the creature comforts that spin the dial on our electric meter. Hope my cynicism is proven wrong, too, but the New Mexican editorial just reinforced it.

Robert Fields

Every little bit helps to buy time but everyone has their own ideas on what we should do. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and livestock are a big source. I’m not vegetarian but I can easily become one. I’ve tried the lab-grown meats and they are actually very good. I would substitute in more of them if more were available. I don’t even consider that a sacrifice.

You and I have different priorities, though. While livestock do contribute a huge amount to global warming, according to the EPA it’s only about 10% of the atmospheric loading. Transportation is 29%, electricity generation is another 25%, and industrial activities 23%. Transportation is the largest single greenhouse gas contributor with electricity second for a combined total of 54%. If we eliminate all agricultural CO2, methane, and other gases from agriculture, we still have 90% of emissions left intact.


With a looming crisis, my opinion is go for the easy low hanging fruit that gets the biggest return on investment. Get more efficient with transportation and move to solar, wind, and any other appropriate generation measures that exist now or may exist in the future. But right now, if we somehow managed to stop all transportation and electrical generation emissions, we will have addressed over half the problem. Five times more benefit than eliminating agricultural emissions.

I’m not saying we can’t do better with agriculture. We can and we must. Somebody has even been training cattle to use a bathroom to help capture and minimize emissions. People are working the problems as odd as some solutions may seem. Burger King has their “Impossible Whopper”. One small step for man.

But if the goal is to reduce emissions, the big fish are even relatively easy to do something about. There are companies that handle everything start to finish installing solar panels, even finance or do installs where you pay them for the electricity instead of PNM. Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are both already available. Ford is coming out with all-electric trucks, too. People just need to buy them or the effort dies on the vine. We’ve got quite a few Teslas running around already and they are totally electric. Things are happening but more needs to be done.

Honestly, while we have a path forward that at a minimum buys us time, even if we stopped all emissions today, the planet will continue to heat for a while because we are not at equilibrium. In the mean time, we have an industry, claws out, doing everything they can to confuse the issues and the public, make people think there is no crisis, and that anything we do is pointless. That is my fear - that the disinformation campaign of the fossil fuel industry will delay more action and incentives until it really is too late.

We are out of time. This is a crisis that I don’t think many can wrap their heads around. I remember the shock when the paper product aisle at the grocery store was bare thanks to covid. I wish people could imagine shelves looking like that throughout the store. That’s what is coming if we do nothing. Not to mention all the disasters that will happen between now and the day we run out of food.

We’re basically in a car headed to a cliff. We either stop and reverse course or we just keep right on going until we go over the edge. Yeah, we might not get stopped in time. Unfortunately that is now a very real risk. But everything we do to reduce CO2 and methane (etc) emissions buys us time and pushes the edge of the cliff farther out.

As for SFNM, these pages have turned into a form of facebook with too many who don’t know what they are talking about, or who are tools of the fossil fuel industry, claiming all sorts of wild junk. Just like on facebook, it breeds vaccine hesitancy, resistance to helping fight global warming, etc. I doubt SFNM has anyone on staff who is able to fact check technical comments for accuracy so all they do is check for profanity and probably other things unrelated to accuracy or danger. These comment sections need to be turned off for matters of societal impact like covid and global warming. The misinformation has to stop if we as a society are going to fix this mess.

Khal Spencer

The reason I included the garage door is that as Robert said, transportation is the biggest single source of GHG emissions. There are several ways to skin that cat. Replacing ICE with electric improves the efficiency of the vehicle by about a factor of three. Imagine the equivalent of a factor of three reduction in energy (fuel) costs as well as eliminating a lot of the power plant in a vehicle that requires repair and maintenance. Now, if that energy is provided by solar, wind, and nuclear rather than coal or natural gas fired electricity, Bob's your uncle. The drawback right now is lack of charging stations. Its a bit of a chicken vs. egg problem of creating demand for charging stations by selling more E-cars, but that's one part of the solution.

Zoning and growth are another. If we sprawl our cities, we require more electricity to run electric vehicles for more miles, which is Chuck Marohn's idea of a dystopic future. One wants to maximize density while not creating unlivable cities.

I picked on animal agriculture because not only is methane a potent GHG but the agricultural runoff and deforestation are also dramatic and negative impacts we have on the environment. Not to mention, that it seems to be an impact we do our best to ignore.

The list goes on and it doesn't get any shorter. The bottom line to me is that all of these inputs to GHG outputs are driven by consumption. If we want to reduce the environmental impact, individuals have to change their consuming habits. Politics being what it is, no politician who wants to get re-elected is going to force people do to things they don't see as beneficial to them in the short term.

Robert Fields

Yep, the lack of fortitude, and a misinformed public, are a big part of why we are where we are right now. I believe if people had the facts on global warming, instead of intentional misinformation, they would make the right choices. Who wants their actions to help destroy this green, life-giving planet?

As for car charging stations, it’s pretty easy to charge at home, with or without solar panels. Most electrics come with a charge cord but that limits you to a very slow charge rate. Add a 240V circuit and outlet and you can charge at much higher rate at home. Even Amazon sells chargers. Cars and chargers let you schedule the charge, too. If you have solar panels and the car is home during the day you can charge from the sun. Depending on when you leave and get home, you may still be able to do that. But most cars are back home every night so as long as you aren’t driving more than 200 miles per day (give or take depending on the car), there is little need to charge at the public stations.

But even if the car isn’t home during the day, PNM does net metering below 10kW so your panels can dump power to the grid to help supply daytime energy needs (highest demand, anyway) and then when you get home your car can still charge using the energy you banked during the day. Net metering isn’t a hard limit, either. Use up what you’ve banked and you just get a regular energy bill for what you use.

A lot of electrics have ranges around 200+ miles. Trips longer than that get to be an issue but this is one area where infrastructure can be built out. In town or local trips are a breeze. But for those who do need to make long trips too, there are plug-in hybrids. For short ranges (20-50 mi or so), or under city driving, the car functions as all-electric. But for longer trips, higher acceleration, etc, it uses gas. As an electric you’re still lugging around an ICE and all it’s fuel and parts, and paying for them when you buy the car, but they make the best of that kind of driving.

And you are absolutely correct about maintenance. There is almost none. Thanks to regenerative braking, brakes last forever. I went through two Honda hybrids and never once had to replace the brakes but they still needed oil changes and other maintenance. For the most part with pure electrics you just drive, charge, and drive some more. Very little even needs to be worked on.

It’s just a little change in thinking. Nothing traumatic. And the driving goes from guilty pleasure to guilt-free pleasure.

Mike Johnson

Well sated Khal, but political types do not accept logic and wisdom, they want to strike fear and panic into the hearts fo the citizens to gain political power and control, like the very architects and promoters of this so-called "conference" have as their primary objective, political fund raising, control, and power.

Robert Fields

So now the tune is “don’t scare anyone”? Mike, you’re all over the map except for one thing - your main and only point - you don’t want anyone to do anything to reduce fossil fuel use, do you? Thats the subtext in everything you write here.

Everything you say is to tell everyone nothing they can do matters, that fossil fuels aren’t responsible anyway, and that global warming doesn’t exist. Spin the wheel and it’s going to be one of those every time.

Well, Mike, you’re wrong again. Global warming is real. It’s caused by burning fossil fuels. And we can do something about it. But we’re out of time. We either do something in earnest about fossil fuels starting now, or we just give up and watch the climate continue to get worse until we can no longer feed ourselves. Then thing will get really fun.

How about the objectives of your masters, the fossil fuel industry? Pump or dig carcinogens out of the ground, sell the holy geeze out of them, and do everything to placate and anesthetize the public where nobody catches on that they have been duped. Their futures robbed. Make the product look wholesome and essential, that nothing else could ever do a better job, and bribe them with some pennies to help educate their kids to exploit feelings of good will, knowing full well you are really just setting everyone up for disaster.

Once the climate gets too far out of whack and people finally wake up to the deception, it’s too late and then fossil fuels are life and death (emphasis on the death) for people to even survive.

I don’t understand why SFNM even lets you post. All you do is throw anything at the wall you think will stick. You are a fountain of bad and even deadly misinformation. You do it with covid and you do it with fossil fuels. If humanity is going to survive, people like you need their platforms taken away.

Mike Johnson

The impossible nature of anyone's net zero goal by 2050 is apparent to anyone who does the math, as Dr. Pielke did: "Another useful number to know is that there are 11,051 days left until January 1, 2050. To achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions globally by 2050 thus requires the deployment of >1 mtoe of carbon-free energy consumption (~12,000 mtoe/11,051 days) every day, starting tomorrow and continuing for the next 30+ years. Achieving net-zero also requires the corresponding equivalent decommissioning of more than 1 mtoe of energy consumption from fossil fuels every single day. The concept of an mtoe is pretty hard for anyone to get their head around. So let’s put the mtoe into a more comprehensible unit, a nuclear power plant and specifically the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in Homestead, Florida. The amount of energy reflected in 1 mtoe is approximated by that produced by the Turkey Point nuclear plant over a year. So the math here is simple: to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, the world would need to deploy 3 Turkey Point nuclear plants worth of carbon-free energy every two days, starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050. At the same time, a Turkey Point nuclear plant worth of fossil fuels would need to be decommissioned every day, starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050.".

Any intelligent person knows this is impossible, except the politicians who want to "auction promises", as was done in the last Democratic Presidential primary, reality means nothing, politicians deal in promises and the bigger and more irrational the better for the left wing.......https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/09/30/net-zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions-by-2050-requires-a-new-nuclear-power-plant-every-day/?sh=a3946c535f7e

Robert Fields

I have never seen anyone scream defeat as loudly, as often, and as hysterically as you, Mike. All you post now is you can’t do this and you can’t do that. And you’re flat out wrong every single time.

They say a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. If we never start doing anything to get off fossil fuels, we never will. If we keep burning fossil fuels, we will die. It’s that simple, Mike.

So what you are doing is pushing unbelievably hard for the planet to commit mass suicide. Temperatures will continue to rise and eventually crops will die in the fields. Our oceans are acidifying and losing the ability to support life. Your way is guaranteed death for humanity and most other life on the planet.

You have picked an endpoint and proclaimed we can never meet those goals. Certainly not with all your help, the fossil fuel industry’s help, or the help of the politicians in their pockets. The corrupt and greedy would just as soon watch the planet burn as long as they get fat paychecks now. Very shortsighted, Mike.

But something big you refuse to acknowledge because it undercuts your arguments is that anything we do, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, pushes whatever calamities are facing us out farther in time. We can move the goalposts. We can essentially buy more time. It won’t matter as much that we don’t hit deadlines as long as we are at least making progress. If we can stop adding as much CO2 to the atmosphere, it won’t get quite as hot.

The whole reason we are in this predicament is because the fossil fuel industry has cried and complained, lied and denied, from the day the world realized what we were doing. The industry has done everything they can do to keep people from understanding the price we will pay. Soon. The fossil fuel industry is a drug pusher that doesn’t mind seeing everyone die - including themselves. Well, actually their children. That’s the worst part of this. You’re killing your own children too and you don’t care.

The industry uses mouthpieces to tell us how much fossil fuels pay for good things like education even though the fossil fuel industry is all but killing those children. If we stay on your path, those children likely won’t grow old and die natural deaths. They will die from some aspect of global warming. Makes a feel-good commercial, though. Let’s all hop in our big gas-guzzling SUVs to drop the kids off at school. It’s a devil’s bargain and I want to scream at the TV every time that commercial runs.

So Mike, we see what fossil fuels have done. We see the damage being done to the planet. We can’t go a single day now without some disaster caused by global warming somewhere.

You really need to stop trying to escort humanity over a cliff. Really.

Robert Fields

Roger Pielke? The Roger Pielke who said this in 2006?

“The IPCC has concluded that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity are an important driver of changes in climate. And on this basis alone I am personally convinced that it makes sense to take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions."

He’s right up your alley, though. He also says to not do anything but lay down in front of the steamroller. He says we have to learn to adapt to climate change instead.

Yeah sure. The global temperature is steadily increasing. At some point crops die. See much corn or wheat in Death Valley? How about the Sahara? Think New Mexico can grow crops if water gets scarce? Viable farming regions are moving north but unfortunately, the US has a northern border and another country lives north of us. We can’t just shift all our farming. Besides, thanks to the earth’s tilt, there’s not as much sunlight up there to grow crops with the kinds of yields we are used to and the world needs.

No options, Mike. We’re out of them. We have to act no matter how much you want to tell us to just sit tight and wait. Wait for what?

Mike Johnson

Dr, Roger Pielke's testimony to Congress not long ago, and yes, I agree with most all of what he has to say: " It is misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally.1 It is further incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.

 Globally, weather-related losses ($) have not increased since 1990 as a proportion of GDP (they have actually decreased by about 25%) and insured catastrophe losses have not increased as a proportion of GDP since 1960.

 Hurricanes have not increased in the US in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900. The same holds for tropical cyclones globally since at least 1970 (when data allows for a global perspective).

 Floods have not increased in the US in frequency or intensity since at least 1950. Flood losses as a percentage of US GDP have dropped by about 75% since 1940.

 Tornadoes have not increased in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since 1950, and there is some evidence to suggest that they have actually declined.

 Drought has “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century.”2 Globally, “there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.”3

 The absolute costs of disasters will increase significantly in coming years due to greater wealth and populations in locations exposed to extremes. Consequent, disasters will continue to be an important focus of policy, irrespective of the exact future course of climate change."

And this as well: " Humans influence the climate system in profound ways, including through the emission of carbon dioxide via the combustion of fossil fuels.4

 Researchers have detected and (in some cases) attributed a human influence in other measures of climate extremes beyond those discussed in this testimony, including surface temperatures and precipitation.

 The inability to detect and attribute changes in hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and drought does not mean that human-caused climate change is not real or of concern.

 It does mean however that some activists, politicians, journalists, corporate and government agency representatives and even scientists who should know better have made claims that are unsupportable based on evidence and research.

 Such false claims could undermine the credibility of arguments for action on climate change, and to the extent that such false claims confuse those who make decisions related to extreme events, they could lead to poor decision making.

 A considerable body of research projects that various extremes may become more frequent and/or intense in the future as a direct consequence of the human emission of carbon dioxide.5

 Our research, and that of others, suggests that assuming that these projections are accurate, it will be many decades, perhaps longer, before the signal of human-caused climate change can be detected in the statistics of hurricanes (and to the extent that statistical properties are similar, in floods, tornadoes, drought)."


Jim Klukkert

Actually Mike, Dr, Roger Pielke, Jr.'s testimony was fairly 'long ago,' 18 July 2013 to be precise. In the intervening eight years, things have happened, and the wheels are largely off the cart.

As most climate models are not keeping up with more recent events, and predictions are definitely failing to keep the pace, I would tend to discount this older testimony.

I wonder, Mike, if you have more recent cites to cherry pick?

Mike Johnson

Jim, the science and the data that shows what Dr. Pielke testified to have not changed. Perhaps you should read Dr. Curry's testimony to Congress in June 2019. She makes many fo the same points, since the data since 1900 or so has not changed: "In the last few years, the U.S. has suffered multiple devastating weather disasters. However, the sense that extreme weather events are now more frequent or intense, and attributable to manmade global warming, is symptomatic of ‘weather amnesia.""

As for wildfires: "A longer perspective is provided by the Swetnam et al. (2016)6 analysis of wildfire occurrence in the U.S. over the past 400 years (Figure 2). During the 18th and 19th centuries, wet/dry oscillations controlled widespread fire occurrence. In the late 19th century, intensive livestock grazing disrupted fuel continuity and fire spread, and then active fire suppression by government agencies maintained the absence of widespread surface fires during most of the 20th century. The abundance of fuels is the most important controlling variable in fire regimes of these semi-arid forests. Reduction of widespread fires over the last century reflects extensive human impacts on forests and fire regimes"

As for hurricanes: "Figure 4 (top) shows the time series of U.S. landfalling hurricanes for the period 1900 to 2017. While the largest counts are from 1986, 2004 and 2005, there is a slight overall negative trend line since 1900. Figure 4 (bottom) shows the time series for major hurricane landfalls (Category 3-5). The largest year in the record is 2005, with 4 major hurricane landfalls. However, during the period 2006 through 2016, there were no major hurricanes striking the U.S., which is the longest such period in the record since 1900."

And in conclusion: "Possible scenarios of incremental worsening of weather and climate extremes over the course of the 21st century don’t change the fundamental fact that many regions of the U.S. are not well adapted to the current weather and climate variability or to the extremes that were seen earlier in the 20th century. Conflating the issue of extreme weather events with manmade climate change can actually be counterproductive for understanding the variability of extreme weather events and reducing our vulnerability.

We have an opportunity to be proactive in preparing for weather disasters. Rather than focusing on recovery from extreme weather events, we can aim to reduce future vulnerability and increase thrivability by evolving our infrastructures, policies and practices.

Apart from infrastructure improvements, improvements to federal and state policies can substantially reduce the occurrence and extent of wildfires, and can help mitigate the damage associated with landfalling hurricanes. Further, tactical adaptation practices incorporating tailored weather forecast products can help mitigate the damages associated with extreme weather events.

Bipartisan support seems feasible for pragmatic efforts that reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather events and increase thrivability."


Robert Fields

Pielke is a denier and Curry gives comfort to deniers. You quote them not understanding why their arguments are bogus.

You have three arguments here - global warming is not real, but if it is we can’t do anything about it, and besides, it’s not caused by CO2 anyway. All are wrong.

You work really hard to convince people not to do anything even in the face of all the climate disasters all over the globe. You seem to want everyone to forget about the climate or their futures. Just buy more oil. Use more gas. Don’t think about the consequences.

You push the fossil fuel line, Mike. Right down the center. It’s almost as if you were paid.

Mike Johnson

"You have three arguments here - global warming is not real, but if it is we can’t do anything about it, and besides, it’s not caused by CO2 anyway". No Robert, this is not what I am saying. Your reading comprehension is actually worse than your comprehension of scientific principles, like Tyndall gas processes, no, they do not "trap heat". The earth's temperature has increased (and I have stated this numerous times, but you ignore I said it) about 1 degree C since 1870 or so, that is indeed global warming and indeed human's are primarily responsible for that, as CO2 (as well as other Tyndall gases) have increased as well over that period, CO2 by 60% or so. Yes, global warming is real. Can we do something about it? Yes, of course we can, we can reorder society, our economies, and redistribute wealth to reduce the amount of Tyndall gases we emit, isn't that what so many politicians have been saying they are doing and will do? My problem is that there has been little to no real action to do anything, CO2 continues to rise, even the smallest coal plant that China will build this year would wipe out all CO2 reductions the entire state of NM could even possibly achieve. And CO2, along with many other Tyndall gases and man's land use and agricultural practices is causing this warming, that is settled science. But, my primary point is what Dr. Curry, Dr. Pielke, and several other researchers have shown is that CO2 is NOT causing all the extreme weather events that the political scientists claim, as the data shows no correlation with CO2 over the last 140 years, none. And BTW, my interest in this subject is purely academic and scientific, not financial, I have no investments nor do I benefit financially from any fossil fuel industry company.

Robert Fields

Ok Mike. So now you allow for heating and try to call them “Tyndall gases”. They are more commonly known as “greenhouse gases” though John Tyndall did discover their heat trapping properties back in the 2nd half of the 19th century. But you have constant drumbeat that it doesn’t matter. Now it seems you do understand it but just don’t care? Did I get that right? Just look back through your posts. It’s like trying to catch a greased pig. You are constantly deflecting this way and that. So yeah, you do change your arguments depending on the wind.

NASA pegs the current temperature anomaly at 1.02C. Just trending the line from 1960 to present, we’ll see about 2C (about 4F) in another 60 years. I’m guessing you were alive and can remember the 1960s. I can. The weather now is noticeably different than back then. We didn’t have tornado swarms or tornadoes over a mile wide. How about the 2.6 mile wide El Reno, OK tornado in 2013? That’s kind of new. We’ve already covered the devastation the climate is now wreaking so I’ll leave that there.

Tomorrow, the US Wildlife Service announces 23 new extinctions in the US. We’re running about 1000 times faster than normal. Over 900 around the world. It’s happening faster than the 5 previous mass extinctions except the asteroid. So fires, floods, drought. All much more severe and frequent than they used to be.

You continually claim there is no way to tie these weather events to global warming but that isn’t true. After disasters now, climate and weather scientists explain how much global warming contributed to the events, whether they would be likely without warming, etc. Read up. They explain how they reach those conclusions and the overarching conclusion is global warming makes everything much worse.

But I think we’ve peeled away enough of the onion to see more reasons why you oppose doing anything about global warming - you just don’t want to. You now call it a reapportionment of wealth. You also cite previous inaction and the status quo as why we should not do anything now? What kind of twisted thinking is that? China’s inaction (also incorrect, btw) is no reason others shouldn’t try.

For all your excuses, you act as though there’s nothing at stake. Maybe nothing for you. I’m guessing since you are retired you might be old enough to not even care what’s happening to the planet. It likely won’t impact you too much before you die. If that’s your motivation, what a load of selfish, self-centered garbage. You don’t think it’s a tragedy for children to die of starvation? How about the people who lose everything in a fire? How about nature, green valleys, blue skies, flowers, and all that stuff? That’s not enough motivation?

But you don’t care about any of that, apparently, because China isn’t doing enough? They are starting to come around, though. Yep, they are the largest greenhouse, er Tyndall, gas emitters at twice what we emit, but if you look at it another way, we have direct control over a big part of the world’s Greenhouse, oops, Tyndall gas emissions.

Plus, you know why China emits so much? US manufacturers laid off millions of US workers and moved manufacturing to China. Even though the gases are emitted in China, a lot of that is still due to US manufacturing that could be pulled back and things made here under US control and where we can reduce greenhouse, excuse me, Tyndall gas emissions. Chinese emissions are still under quite a lot of US control even if you don’t realize it.

So no, Mike, I still don’t see your reasoning. I think we must try. Or else we just party as we drive over the cliff. Maybe if GM would build an electric Corvette? Would you get with the program then?

And thank you for finally answering the question about your motivation. I found oil and gas ties for another Mike Johnson and your position statements here fit with an oil person. So my apologies.

Mike Johnson

Mr. Fields, you still have the wrong concept of the processes involved with Tyndall gases. They do not "trap" heat, like the panes of a greenhouse, that is totally wrong. Tyndall gases absorb and then re-emit various spectra energy, they are like little heating coils, not a physical trap, they are too small a % of the atmosphere to effectively trap and heat, they work in a totally different way. Educate yourself: "In 1827, Joseph Fourier, a French mathematician and physicist, wondered why Earth's average temperature is approximately 15°C (59°F). He reasoned that there must be some type of balance between the incoming energy and the outgoing energy to maintain this fairly constant temperature. His calculations indicated that Earth should actually be much colder (-18°C or 0°F). To have an average temperature of 15°C (59°F), Fourier knew that there had to be another process occurring in the atmosphere –– something similar to the way a greenhouse retains heat. A greenhouse's glass enclosure allows visible light to enter and be absorbed by the plants and soil. The plants and soil then emit the absorbed heat energy as infrared radiation. The glass of the greenhouse then absorbs that infrared radiation, emitting some of it back into the greenhouse and thus keeping the greenhouse warm even when the temperature outside is lower.

Because the two processes are similar, the name “greenhouse effect” was coined to describe Fourier's explanation. However, part of a greenhouse's warmth results from the physical barrier of the glass, which prevents the warmer air from flowing outward. So despite the fact that the atmospheric greenhouse effect has some processes in common with an actual greenhouse, the overall mechanisms driving the greenhouse effect are different and more complex.You have already learned that Earth's atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen. These gases are transparent to incoming solar radiation. They are also transparent to outgoing infrared radiation, which means that they do not absorb or emit solar or infrared radiation. However, there are other gases in Earth's atmosphere that do absorb infrared radiation. These gases are known as greenhouse gases." Really Tyndall gases, as greenhouse is a totally misleading and false concept for what they do......http://www.ces.fau.edu/nasa/module-2/how-greenhouse-effect-works.php

Mike Johnson

Here are two good articles about the difficult and probably impossible routes to meet Biden's goals for zero emissions. This one shows how even the Sierra Club knows NIMBY-ism will shut down much progress most anywhere, and the massive construction task ahead, to quote: "In March, the California Energy Commission issued a report on “how the state’s electricity system can become carbon free by 2045.” Achieving that goal, according to the report, will require adding new renewable capacity “at a record-breaking rate for the next 25 years. On average, the state may need to build up to 6 gigawatts of new renewable and storage resources annually. By comparison over the last decade, the state has built on average 1 GW of utility solar and 300 megawatts of wind per year.” You need a lot of rooftop solar to make any progress......https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbryce/2021/09/26/heres-the-list-of-317-wind-energy-rejections-the-sierra-club-doesnt-want-you-to-see/?sh=7ce16ab5bad6

And this one shows the massive amount of acreage that must be utilized to fill with wind and solar farms to even come close to Biden's hallucination, to quote: "Their most land-intensive plan eliminates all fossil fuels and nuclear plants. Wind and solar provide 98% of electric power by 2050. The U.S. energy footprint quadruples in size. Wind farms occupy land areas equivalent to Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma." I winder what people will say about all that next door to your homes................https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-energy-land-use-economy/

Robert Fields

No fooling you, Mike. Yep, it’s going to take a lot of solar, wind, hydro, and other power to replace fossil fuels. But just as demand was built house by house, business by business, that’s how we get rid of fossil fuels. The exact same way.

It’s going to take time and money, too. But you know what, Mike? Each person that puts up solar not only helps to reduce their climate impact, they also watch their energy bill turn into a cheap connection fee. They can also build in immunity from outages. And it creates jobs. Skilled jobs.

You also twist your arguments. You tell people putting panels on their roofs is a waste of time and then tell everyone there’s not enough open space for panels. Do you not see the problem with your arguments? You do your level best to make it look like there are no answers when the answers are all around us now. Here’s an answer - do both. Do solar and wind. New Mexico has lots of both. It helps make it cheaper to do, too.

You fight people doing anything about the climate because of your ties to oil and gas. You want the status quo as the planet gradually dies. You preach nothing but defeatism in hopes that someone will listen and keep filling your pockets.

And wind? Are you talking about Trump’s “windmill cancer”? There’s a drumbeat for you. Scary, scary, windmills. You know what actually causes cancer? Benzene in gasoline (a large component of gasoline) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in diesel soot. Windmills? Not so much.

Mike, you are letting your infatuation with dead plants and the money they make get in the way of realizing that everything we do to cut our dependence and use of fossil fuels buys us more time in dealing with global warming, the damage it’s doing, and the danger for the planet that is building in. As the earth’s temperature rises, you want us to relax and enjoy the hot water while we boil to death.

You don’t want anyone to do anything. It’s in all your posts. Everything is defeatist with you. We can’t do this. We can’t do that. Everything but burning oil is a waste of time to you. You would have us strap in and gun the engine to race right into a brick wall. That’s basically what we are doing by not getting out from under fossil fuel’s thumb. If we don’t act, the planet will overheat, crops will die, and we will die. It’s a certainty. You can only increase the temperature for so long before the food chain collapses.

No, Mike. I’d not mind a nearby wind farm at all. No mercury spews from those. Same for solar arrays. You can’t smell them like you can a big fossil fueled power plant. We need to be doing as much of both solar and wind here that we can.

And the sooner we cut hard into oil company coffers, the sooner they have to quit paying people to pretend we can’t do anything about our energy choices.

Jim Klukkert

Mike Johnson asks " I winder[sic] what people will say about all that next door to your homes."

I don't know for sure Mike, but Midwest farmers so far are reportedly enjoying the windfall [pun intended] of fees provided to them for hosting wind generators. Rural communities are reportedly enjoying the career opportunities for their younger folks, that come with the new technologies.

So we can all wonder about what people will say, but so far, its all GOOD!

Mike Johnson

Yes Jim, I'm sure that is true, these same farmers also love growing corn for ethanol, a proven net negative emissions machine which also adds to global hunger, and emitting the majority of methane in the US as well. They are laughing all the way to the bank at the eco-socialists who promote this stuff no doubt.

Jim Klukkert

Just spent some time in Iowa again, as well as Minnesota and Nebraska. My sense was that there are very few, if any, farmers "laughing all the way to the bank" at anything at all. The economy still seems pretty tight there, little laughter.

The decision to promote growing corn for ethanol is largely drive by Iowa's First in the Nation Presidential Caucus system. It is all part of a political system for which I have little regard, though no one has yet devised anything much better for the scale on which the US operates. {Icelanders, Scandanavians, Canadians and who ever remains positive about their system of nation state: please note my easy out regarding your affairs!}

For the record Mike, this Democratic Eco-Socialist is repelled by the idea of turning Food into Fuel whilst anyone staves for lack of the former. {Must be my Christian Roots showing.} Given Murphy's Fourth and Eighth Law of Unintended Consequences, I have no quick solutions to the Global Shortage Problem.

Renewables, (if they don't kill birds, don't rely on mining rare earth's in conflict zones, don't promote a faster movement of wealth upward from the poor to the Uber Wealthy .001%'rs, and so on,) seem a logical answer to our world's needs in a time of yes, I will say it, Fossil Fuel Use Climate Disruption.

Robert Fields

Something for folks to think about - fossil fuels are getting more unstable and unreliable as an energy source thanks to geopolitics and global warming.

We’ve had our own pipeline shutdowns with long lines to get a few gallons of gas. They are seeing it now in the UK due to a shortage of drivers to deliver fuel. In China, electricity to households is being turned off to preserve limited power for manufacturing. Texas had their whole power grid shut down because it couldn’t deal with extreme cold. In California, it was fires that shut down parts of the grid because fire can weaken and bring down towers. In Louisiana, Ida just blew towers down. As weather gets more unstable and violent, expect more outages of all kinds.


Put up solar panels and make your next car a plug-in hybrid or full electric and you won’t have to wait in line for gas, if there even is any. There are battery options with solar installs where you can power a few critical circuits through blackouts and keep them powered essentially indefinitely with solar panels recharging the batteries every day. You can go all the way to powering your whole house if you want. You can pick your own sweet spot.

But with home solar, not only can you skip the lines and “no gas” signs, with battery setups like Tesla’s Powerwall and Enphase’s Storage, you can ride through power outages that would otherwise spoil your food, leave your house without heat, or leave people with oxygen generators and such desperate.

There are much better and more reliable ways now than relying on oil and gas. Plus, offsetting all of your home’s electrical requirements isn’t that hard especially if you reduce your use ahead of time. And bonus - these systems pay for themselves pretty quickly now thanks to cost/price reductions over the years. These aren’t your grandparents’ solar installs.

Give an installer a call and see what solar can do for you. It increases home resale, there are tax incentives that pay pretty close to 1/4 the sticker price, there’s financing, and other arrangements available.

Kick the fossil fuel industry where it hurts - the pocketbook.

Mandi Ravan

Yes, ClimateChange is definitely happening, but should people beholden to Oil &Gas -our legislators- decide this??? These same legislators passed a law this past session to let private citizens burn their rather than thinning it, because it's cheaper.

Because during Climate Change we encourage burning more carbon into the air? Because we don't need the trees they are burning, to save more from burning? Why not stop the arson and electrical lines and ATV sparks starting most fires western forests?

Why risk our entire crop of ponderosa saplings (100% of which die in prescribed fires in drought conditions, even low-intensity fire- https://doi.org/10.3390/fire3040056

Parelli-Feltrin, 2020, Fire v3 p.56) that will no longer regrow in ClimateChange conditions?)

Why trust legislators that listen only to moneyed interests who have an agenda for personal enrichment, rather than the creativity and brilliance New Mexico needs to survive in the future?

The interested and the concerned, the professionals and the students, all of We the People willing to seriously address the kind of future we want, should ourselves brainstorm a viable future with the First Nations, the historicos, and the youth.

It takes consciousness,not politics, to shape the future we want.

Robert Fields

And the only way you can implement the large projects required by our situations is to work with those politicians we have, elect new ones, or become one yourself.

But We the People aren’t powerless. We can do the smaller projects ourselves and tackle the problem from the other end which makes the big projects easier.

If you’re a homeowner you can put up solar panels. There’s financing, companies that install them for free and charge you less than what you pay now for electricity, or you can just buy the setups outright. I’m sure there’s other arrangements available as well. Installing solar panels and offsetting your home’s total electricity usage doesn’t mean big out of pocket expense.

Most have already swapped for at least fluorescents but LEDs are much more efficient. Anyone running incandescent lamps for illumination has no excuse not to replace them. It’s an easy way to save a lot of watts.

Hard to buy a vehicle these days but anyone buying one can get only what they need. Few -need- big vehicles. Hybrids are solid now. All electrics are still a little shaky but are coming on strong and soon even stronger. Ford is going all electrics and hybrids. VW is going all electric. Tesla and some other niche but growing manufacturers are already all electric. The remaining companies mostly all have hybrids in their lines now. Plug-in hybrids and all electrics can be charged from your solar cells so you basically get free electricity and free gas while telling the fossil fuel industry what you think about their contributions to global warming.

Back in the ‘70s, after the oil embargo, people were doing all sorts of things to reduce use and use alternatives. Back then it was simple lack of fossil fuels. Now it’s that we simply can’t continue to burn them. Anything we do slows global warming down and buys us time.

But it’s going to take politicians and the public. Neither can do it on their own. If the politicians aren’t up to doing their part, we have to replace them.

Mike Johnson

Exactly Mandi, as I said, beware of politicians bearing solutions for things they cannot understand. They are all corrupt and in it for themselves, not the environment, not the citizens, just themselves, and next to that definition in the dictionary is Egolf's picture....he IS the type example of such a politician, And of course we know the direct cause of the California fires, as well as the ones in Australia recently were primarily arsonists, serial ones, like this one: https://www.npr.org/2021/08/11/1026700103/former-college-professor-arson-charges-california-dixie-fire

Jim Klukkert

Oh my gosh Mike!

Do remember B. Franklin who admonished us to keep one's mouth shut and let men think one a fool, rather than open one's mouth, and prove it.

You prove yourself a fool, or at least one unschooled in Fire Science, to suggest that Fire Starts are the beginning and end of the Fire Scenario. Whatever the reason for so many fires starting, it is massive Drought, that supports the rapid spread of the fires across the Great West and Canada.

I speak harshly Mike, as if you had any contact or reading with the brave and quite knowledgable First Responders who risk their lives containing these blazes, you would know that Fire Behavior has changed dramatically in recent years.

Folks can argue if Fossil Fuel use is driving Climate Disruption and Drought [the short answer: yes it is!], but no one should dispute that Fire Behavior has changed dramatically in recent years, and Drought is fueling this Change.

Of course you did not know that, right Mike. Let Koyama deal in snark, but I expect better from you.

Robert Fields

“Whatever the reason for so many fires starting, it is massive Drought, that supports the rapid spread of the fires across the Great West and Canada.”

You nailed it, Jim.

Mike Johnson

So you are asserting that the arsonists did not cause the fires, and the following logic that without the arsonists they would have occurred anyway, so arsonists don't matter? And this: "As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by people, according to the U.S. Department of Interior". I expect better form you, surely you know arsonists are a primary problem in any fire situation.


Robert Fields

Mike, obviously without are arson-caused fires there would have been less destruction from fire this season. But your argument is a red herring. Just another distraction. The point is that once a fire starts now, they frequently burn out of control. That’s the take home message you are avoiding.

The vegetation is dry. Once it lights off - arson, tossed cigarette, lightning, fireworks, exhaust sparks, wind blowing a tree into power lines, hot bearing boxes on trains, anything, forests now burn hot and fast.

Hotter than normal. Faster than normal. These things burn so hot they make their own tornadoes. First seen in 2003 in Australia, they are now pretty common in wildfires. We went from never seen before to commonplace.

Do a Google image search for fire tornado. Again, first seen in 2003. And look how many photos of them there are now.

The planet is hotter. That has disrupted weather. Winds are higher. Fires get whipped out of control fast now.

Jim Klukkert

Well Mike, now you have offended me with your arrogant stupidity.

Just in case you are as unschooled in language, as your are in both Fire Science and Communications, Arrogance is based in the concepts of Ignorance and Assertiveness. Mike, you seem rich in both these areas.

I never made any assessment as to why the fires started. In fact, the first part of my comment read “Whatever the reason for so many fires starting…” Do you not understand Mike, that I expressed no opinion on how these record number of record setting fires have started.

I do have an opinion on the change in Fire Behavior, in particular the more rapid spread of wildfires in recent years. I gleaned this opinion from conversations with former colleagues among Forest Fire Fighters, as well as in-depth reading. That opinion was clearly expressed in my comment: “it is massive Drought, that supports the rapid spread of the fires across the Great West and Canada.”

Nowhere did I claim that “without the arsonists they would have occurred anyway,’ nor did I claim that “arsonists don't matter.” Those two allegations are merely the distortions of sophistry, which you chose to make.

Finally, “arsonists are a primary problem in any fire situation” is totally untrue, and could only be uttered by a Fire novice. The primary problem in any fire situation is Fuel Abundance, give that Oxygen is a constant on this planet. Climate Change, driven by Fossil Fuel use, has created Mega-Droughts. These Mega-Droughts have in turn created Fuel Abundance which turn the smallest ignition into a raging storm consuming thousands of, not acres, but square miles. Square Miles! Imagine, if you can from behind your keyboard, thousands of square miles of charred ruin.

So I made my claim, “it is massive Drought, that supports the rapid spread of the fires across the Great West and Canada,” and you utterly could not refute it.

Shame on you Mike, as you have spoken mistruths in order to distort, rather than defeat, my argument. You cherry pick one story from NPR, and now you are an expert in Fire Science?

Perhaps MIT standards were much lower in your day ¿Que no?

Mike Johnson

So now Egolf is a scientist pontificating about "climate change". Beware of politicians bearing policy "solutions" to things they cannot understand. Yes, this will be a great outpouring of left wing eco-socialists, none of which know anything about the earth's climate or history, preaching to a choir of like minded ignorants. Meanwhile, lots of promises will be made, lots of stern "warnings" and emotional outcries no doubt. Then nothing will happen of substance to do anything to stop any warming, just a subset of the useless Paris Accords, which have and will accomplish nothing. As Dr. Jim Hansen said of the Paris Accords:“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bull...t for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”. And the current scorecard showing how effective the world's goals are by country, this includes the recent US "goals".....https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/

Robert Fields

Mike, as you know, global warming is so far along now that it’s no longer a “look at this data closely to see it” kind of thing. It’s in our faces almost every day now. This is the price of 40 or so years of you guys claiming there’s no such thing as global warming. You were wrong.

Egolf doesn’t need to understand the science. Nobody does now. All he needs to do is look at a graph of global temperatures over the years to see temperatures are steadily going up for all the science needed now. Temperatures are going up and there’s no reason to think that is going to change. Or just watch the news of all the warming-caused disasters all over the planet. It’s in our faces.

You are complaining nothing is going to come of this but doing something is actually the goal. Egolf is looking for actionable ideas. It’s in the title. Will Egolf do anything? I can’t say but time will tell. Sure looks like he’s trying, but you aren’t. You’re just attacking and trying to minimize the effect. Why is that, Mike?

The reason the Paris accords haven’t been wildly successful is all the pushback from people like you who claimed we couldn’t know anything even needed to be done. You denied it existed or that it mattered. But people are starting to understand we have to act. They see it for themselves. They are now realizing the fossil fuel industry has misled, lied, and stalled because they love the money and the status quo.

Cruelly, the fossil fuel industry has known global warming was real for a long time while they publicly claimed it wasn’t. Rex Tillerson had a secret email and a secret project at Exxon to discuss the climate and liability implications for what their product was doing to the world. Look it up. It came to light during an investigation into financial fraud related to that liability.

People are being motivated to act is why the tide is turning and why Egolf’s efforts may get some results.

And a lot has been done. There’s solar and wind projects deployed all over. People are being trained. Manufacturing has been gearing up. Is it enough? Nope. Not yet. But it’s a start and the wheels are turning. There are numbers now from all this stuff. It’s known and it works.

About that cheapest fuels thing — absolutely false. Fossil fuels are actually the most expensive when you factor in the costs of all the damage they are doing. They’re also dirty, smelly, toxic, cause cancers and breathing problems, stillbirths. The people that live around refineries have all sorts of health problems. Fossil fuels are bad every way you look at them. The global warming aspect of fossil fuels is causing species of plants and animals to go extinct at higher rates than any previous mass extinction besides the asteroid. And all the weather disasters and their cost — the fossil fuel industry loves that decoupling. They haven’t been having to cover any of those costs. We are. But they are costs that cannot be separated from using fossil fuels.

We have a lot of politicians in fossil fuel’s pockets. Joe Manchin for example. Yet here is Egolf trying to do something about the climate and no surprise, here is a friend of the fossil fuel industry trying to protect the business even knowing all the damage it does.

And what are you saying, Mike? You’re attacking Egolf, claiming he can’t understand the science, that nothing will come of it, that it’s a waste of time, etc. For some reason you don’t want anything to come of what Egolf is trying to do, do you? I’ve heard something like that before. Oh yeah. That’s it.

“Poppies… Poppies… Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleep. Now they'll sleep.”

Robert Fields

No computer models. No calculations. This is just observations taken over the globe and a plot of the average global temperature over time compared to the long-term average. About as simple as can be:


From 1960 to now it’s a pretty steep and very definite, easy to see, increase of about 1C which is almost 2F.

It’s a little harder to see but two other things about that graph - compared to pre-industrial times we’re getting closer to 2C (~4F) average increase, and that latter part of the data - the 1960 to present region - could actually fit a curve of increasing slope. It looks like the rate of increase in temperatures is also increasing.

This is one of the many negative consequences of burning fossil fuels.

Some will try to tell you the earth has always done these things (and it has) but they leave out the changes have never come this fast. Pre-human climate change happened over millions of years. We’re doing it over a couple of centuries. Plants, animals, and even the planet can’t adapt fast enough. That’s why plants and animals are going extinct at the fastest rates ever except when the asteroid hit - faster than the previous “big 5” mass extinctions.


Some will tell you we’ve always had extinctions and we have. But species are dropping right and left at the highest rate ever (besides the asteroid) both from loss of habitat due to human activity but also as the climate changes make it impossible for them to survive. We haven’t hit the numbers yet to call this the 6th mass extinction but we’re showing all the signs of getting there. All discussed at that link.

Others will tell you CO2 has nothing to do with global warming. They try to tell you CO2 is a minor part of the atmosphere and it has barely changed, and besides, there’s no way to know if it’s CO2 from fossil fuels doing this.

First, CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere. There’s an observatory in Hawaii that has been taking CO2 measurements for a long time.


Those squiggles on the line are seasonal uptakes and releases of CO2 as plants grow, leaf out, and then drop their leaves. Something has added about 1/3 more CO2 to the air over the time of those measurements. It’s fossil fuels.

How do we know that? A number of ways. We know how much oil, coal, and gas gets used from industry reports. Combustion of fossil fuels releases CO2 and you can do what’s called a mass balance and amazingly, the amount of CO2 released by that burning matches pretty close to the amount that has been added to the atmosphere and to the oceans. The kicker is a technique called carbon dating. It’s too complicated to explain here but you can tell a difference between old and new carbon by how much of a certain isotope of carbon (C-14) is present. That also matches up.

But does CO2 from fossil fuels cause the planet to warm? How about that one? We know that answer a number of ways and the answer is it sure can (and does). Referring back to the first graph, the planet is definitely heating. From the second graph we know CO2 is increasing. From industry reports and other measurements we know the CO2 is from burning fossil fuels. We know the infrared spectrum of CO2 and how strong it absorbs, and with some more math, we can approximate pretty close how much heat it will trap in the atmosphere. There are computer models based on that that account for a whole bunch of other things but in the end, it all agrees really well. Calculated multiple ways, using different kinds of data and different techniques, it all still shows the planet is warming due to fossil fuel CO2.

There is established science behind all of this stuff. It’s already been debated, defended, verified multiple ways, by multiple researchers and groups, etc. When different techniques and researchers all reach the same results and conclusions, that pretty well nails it down - air tight.

So many focus on uncertainties and yes, there are uncertainties in the data, the assumptions, and in the calculations. But I refer you back to that first figure in the first link - the average global temperature. We know beyond any shadow of doubt that the planet is heating. Whatever uncertainties there are in global warming calculations, the calculations still predict warming that pretty accurately matches what the world is seeing. Uncertainties are a red herring and not important for the major conclusions.

What do your own senses tell you? Fires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes - all more frequent and much stronger than humanity has ever seen. When I was a kid we didn’t have tornado swarms, fires bigger than states, hurricanes that flood and destroy in a path from the Gulf to New York and that go from tropical storms to major hurricanes in just a few days. Now we do. And the trend in temperatures would suggest we’re going to be seeing much more bizarre and extreme, and destructive weather.

Scientists have also been doing a lot of research into what this all means for food supplies. The short answer is it’s already having an impact and that is going to just get worse. Yes, some greenhouses add CO2 to help plants grow. Added CO2 does help plants grow. But high temperatures, floods, hail, etc, ruin crops more than the CO2 helps.

The next shoes to drop in global warming could be crop failures on large scales. That has actually already been happening but it’s been compensated for because other nations could fill in the gaps. Russia had fires take out a lot of their wheat a few years ago but the US had a bumper crop. We also lost a lot of wheat another year but Rusdia made up the difference with countries we sell to. Our luck is running out, though. The next big failures might not be able to be compensated for and those who have reserves will have to use them.

The links are there. The data is solid. The science is good and proven every which way. The one good thing the deniers have done is they forced all kinds of verifications and proofs to be able to be positive this stuff is all correct. It’s all correct.

We cannot keep heating this planet and survive. When the famines come, and they will come, we better be ready. But we better also get busy stopping fossil fuel use. We need to hit every note too. Efficient lighting, efficient vehicles, efficient everything. We have to reduce our use. We have to do more solar heat and electricity. Wind power.

Or else we suffer the consequences. No arguing with the earth. It doesn’t care.

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