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BBC: There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up

"However, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses that have been absent for thousands of years, or that we have never met before? We may be about to find out. Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that, having lain dormant, are springing back to life."

Don't worry, be happy !

What If Climate Scientists Are Guessing Wrong?

"There is, they reckon, about a 10 percent chance of a temperature increase exceeding 6 degrees Celsius, or 11 degrees Fahrenheit. That would be a civilizational catastrophe, orders of magnitude more dangerous than the likely warming scenarios, and potentially on a scale that could threaten human life. Even if the likely scenarios were completely harmless, the far-right tail alone is horrific enough to justify significant steps. After all, they argue, people do not accept a 10 percent likelihood of a fatal car crash or terrorist attack. Wagner and Weitzman are economists well versed in climate science who bolster their case with a rigorous analysis of both science and probability."

Climate of Complete Certainty

"Let me put it another way. Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong. Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.

None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism. They know — as all environmentalists should — that history is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power."

I was hearing about President Trump’s tax reform idea and was thinking what would be the most effective, job creating tax proposal out there. I think it would be a carbon tax.

Right now, America does not tax fossil fuels based on their carbon content. President Bill Clinton once proposed taxing carbon using a “BTU tax” but the idea never really got off the ground. But that was 25 years ago, and if anything the climate crisis has gotten more urgent. At the same time, the tax code has gotten more complicated, picking winners and losers without much of a sense of fairness.

I really like the idea of a national carbon tax. Individuals and most businesses would not pay the carbon tax — the only businesses who would pay a carbon tax would be those who extract or import carbon products into America. Certainly it would be an expense to owners of coal mines and oil and gas wells — but those are a small fraction of the American economy. While it would mean consumers would pay higher gas prices and more for heating fuel — it could be offset by growing the economy by eliminating taxes on investing and saving.

I suggest the carbon tax be used to cut taxes on businesses and investors. One of the taxes which has bothered me to no end is the tax on capital gains and on most interest-bearing investments. It just doesn’t seem right that after working hard, and paying taxes — and doing the right thing to invest money into growing the economy — I should be hit with another round of taxes. Imagine if all investments were tax free, like municipal and most government bonds are. It would encourage millions of Americans to invest their money rather then spending it on consumption. Tax the fossil fuel-burning car, not the growth of the economy.

Tax-free investments would provide billions in new capital funding, rather then being blown on frivolous things like new cars or disposable toys. If people didn’t ever have to pay on investments, they would be much more likely to save for retirement or just a better tomorrow. And because investments would be tax-free, investors wouldn’t have to report their gains to governments. It would make taxation much simpler, as your taxing much fewer people — just the carbon fuel producers, and not the general economy.

A carbon tax would allow the government to replace the Clean Power Plant program with just a tax on carbon-rich fuels. It would discourage the use of the most-carbon intensive fuels, especially dirty coal. And as many of the most carbon-intensive industries are the most polluting, it could allow government to reduce the level of regulation on many polluters, especially if there was a dramatic drop on overall emissions over time when people move away from burning large quanities of coal and oil to make energy.

This is why support replacing the Capital Gains tax and the tax on interest-gaining investments with a Carbon Tax.

Other Greenhouse games – Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide unlike carbon dioxide doesn't directly cause climate change, but it does have impacts on the atmosphere which can slow down the breaking down of climate changes gases, especially methane.

Carbon monoxide is more of a danger to urban areas, as it causes heart attacks -- and in high concentrations in enclosed location -- headaches and death.

Greenwashing The Obama Climate Legacy

"The first Obama Administration’s climate policy was largely indistinguishable from George W. Bush’s and it fought having to regulate greenhouse gases almost as hard as its predecessor. Only after the 2012 election did it show any appetite for actual emissions regulation, and by then it was mostly too little, too late. As I previously noted, the low priority Obama gave to climate issues makes his policy legacy fragile. While his second administration took some steps to reduce emissions, only about half of it will matter – and, as discussed below, even that may be outweighed by their mistakes."

Climate Progress, With or Without Trump

"President Trump’s unfortunate and misguided rollback of environmental protections has led to a depressing and widespread belief that the United States can no longer meet its commitment under the Paris climate change agreement. But here’s the good news: It’s wrong.

No matter what roadblocks the White House and Congress throw up, the United States can — and I’m confident, will — meet the commitment it made in Paris in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet. Let me explain why, and why correcting the false perception is so important."

Trump Takes Aim At A Centerpiece Of Obama’s Environmental Legacy

"President Trump will sign sweeping executive orders Tuesday that take aim at a number of his predecessor's climate policies.

The wide-ranging orders and accompanying memorandums will seek to undo the centerpiece of former President Obama's environmental legacy and national efforts to address climate change.

It could also jeopardize America's current role in international efforts to confront climate change.

A senior White House official says the goal is to make the U.S. energy-independent and to get the Environmental Protection Agency back to its core mission of maintaining clean air and water."

GISS Land-Ocean Global Means Temperature, 1880-2016

The average land and ocean temperature globally between 1951-1980 was 56.7 degrees fahrenheit. NASA, with it's vast earth monitoring system of satelites and ground based equipment measure temperature around the globe to follow trends over time. They put out GISS numbers monthly and yearly, that look at the difference in temperature between the 1951-1980 average compared to today. Those numbers are widely cited on climate change blogs. While scientifically accurate, their analysis is confusing to the layman who finds it hard to understand negative and positive Celsius numbers of a few degrees.

Most of us know the weather only by Fahrenheit, and rather then use negative numbers and departure from the average, I used actual global temperature averages. In 2016, the global temperature was 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, in 1960, the global temperature was 56.2 degrees Fahrenheit. While 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit difference in global temperature over 66 years doesn't seem like a lot, it does mean spring comes earlier across the globe, areas freeze up later, and summer days are somewhat hotter. As the oceans are a powerful heat sink, actual global land temperature changes are less then 2.2 degree Fahrenheit difference between now and 1960, but still there is a noticeable increase there too.

Forces like el nino and la nina, and other weather patterns do change global temperatures a bit from year to year. But as carbon dioxide emissions have rapidly increased, so have temperatures. Within the next 20-30 years, it's almost certain global yearly temperatures will exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a big jump from 56.25 degrees Fahrenheit at the turn of the 20th century.

Data Source: Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water Temperature Anomalies (Land-Ocean Temperature Index, LOTI). https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Hits Record Levels

"The CO2 measured at the Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory in Hawaii hit 405.1 parts per million last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced. That’s an increase of 3 parts per million, which matched the record of 3 parts per million in 2015. It marks five consecutive years of CO2 increases of at least 2 parts per million, an unprecedented rate of growth, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist at NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network."

“The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last ice age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”

"The number is significant because the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million from about 10,000 years ago until the start of the Industrial Revolution. The monthly global average nosed above 400 parts per million for the first time in March 2015 and is now increasing at a faster pace, according to NOAA researchers. What’s more, carbon emissions stay in the atmosphere for years, so even as some emissions have been reduced in recent years, the global average level continues to climb. In 1960, they were about 300 parts per million, suggesting a precipitous climb in a relatively short period of time since then."

Carbon Dioxide Is Rising at Record Rates

"Last year marked a milestone, with levels passing the 400 ppm mark permanently. This year scientists expect carbon dioxide to briefly reach 410 ppm this spring before the seasonal cycle of northern plant growth brings it back down a bit, continuing the ever-rising seesaw."

"The rapid rise of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has caused the planet to warm roughly 1.8°F since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The world has had back-to-back-to-back hottest years on record since 2014. The corresponding heat has also caused glaciers to melt, seas to rise and altered atmospheric circulation patterns around the globe."