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Posts Tagged ‘Global warming’

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost
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Once upon a time there was Global Warming. When it was measured on the planet, warming truly did not grow for over a period of 15+ years. Measured from space, there was no apparent change for 20 years.

Advocates of Global Warming portrayed the measurements too minuscule and too short of time line to be valid. They said, geologically, the time frame was not significant for 20 years or less. But, critics drew the opposite conclusion and declared that the data points were essentially a flat line in temperatures measured and argued that Global Warming did not exist.

So where was the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) who championed Global Warming? They documented these anomalies but essentially ignored the dialogue. So, in today’s discussion, opponents often claim that liberal environmentalists have rebranded Global Warming to Climate Change.

Matt McGrath, environmental correspondent for the BBC, has recently written a well thought out article on the IPCC and Climate Change. He adds other layers of complexity to the argument and brings the awareness, costs and economic accountability to the negotiation table. Here are excerpts of his article:

“Countries are developing in different ways. There are some changes in their emissions patterns, but there are also historical emissions we have to take onboard,” said Dr Yacob Mulugetta from the University of Surrey, another of the report’s authors.

“The key question is how do you bring in the past emissions and align them with the future?”

This question seems to have sparked some of the same divisions between the developed and developing world that have hampered the UN climate negotiation process.

The scientists appear to have agreed on the causes, impacts and solutions to the climate challenge, but there are divisions appearing about who should cut, and who should pay.

So, if you are interested in Climate Change or not, Matt provides more insight to the issue. I encourage you to read his article and decide for yourself. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27014603

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A polar bear swimming

Climate change, by itself, is probably the most important megaforce that could directly impact all other environmental issues. According to KPMG; “Predictions of annual output losses from climate change range between 1 percent per year, if strong and early action is taken, to as much as 5 percent a year–if policymakers fail to act.”

Consider taking the test below to gage your awareness and understanding of global climate change:

Think you know the odd effects of global climate change? Take our quiz.

Climate change conjures images of long, hot summers, melting ice caps and stranded polar bears. But as the weather gets stranger, so too does its effects on the environment, sometimes in the oddest of ways. How well do you know the signs of change?

, Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

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Southern Hemisphere of Earth (Lambert azimutha...

Written by Matt McGrath, Science reporter for BBC World Service, published November 1, 2012. The commission was considering proposals for marine reserves in two critical areas of the Ross Sea.

Governments meeting in Australia have failed to reach agreement on new marine protected areas for the Antarctic ocean. They have deferred a decision until July 2013 when all the relevant science will be considered. Environmental groups have expressed deep concern about the lack of consensus on how to develop a network of protected zones.

“This responsibility, and this failure, rests with all the members.” ~ Jim Barnes, Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition

They blame Russia, China and Ukraine for blocking agreement. For the past two weeks the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has been meeting in Tasmania.

What has the CCAMLR accomplished previously?

  • CCAMLR has established just one Marine Protected Area in the Antarctic so far.
  • They have designated 11 priority areas in the Southern Ocean from which most MPAs will be created.
  • Governments have set a goal of extending protected areas to ten percent of the world’s oceans

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As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

 

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Environmental concerns are flat since 2010, but down over past decade
March 28, 2011, Gallup, Retrieved: 31 Jan 2012
by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ–At least three in four Americans surveyed in Gallup’s 2011 Environment poll say they worry a great deal or a fair amount about contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, pollution of drinking water, and the maintenance of the nation’s supply of fresh water for household needs.

Air pollution is nearly as high a concern for Americans, with 72% worried a great deal or a fair amount about it.

A little more than 6 in 10 worry about the related problems of extinction of plant and animal species and the loss of tropical rain forests. Slightly fewer worry about urban sprawl and loss of open spaces, while barely half, 51%, worry about global warming.

The poll was conducted March 3-6, prior to the emergence of an earthquake- and tsunami-generated nuclear crisis in Japan that has raised Americans’ own concerns about nuclear power.

The current levels of public concern about various environmental problems are essentially unchanged from 2010. However, Americans are less worried today than they were 10 years ago about all eight issues Gallup measured in 2001. The decline over the past decade spans a period when the public often expressed surging concern about terrorism, the Iraq war, gas prices, and the economy.

Bottom Line
Although the United States has experienced nothing like the mass drinking-water scare that is gripping Japan during its current nuclear crisis, Americans largely recognize the importance of clean water to their lives. All four environmental issues referring to “water” in this year’s Gallup Environment poll rank in the upper tier of environmental concerns, with air pollution a close fifth. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a slightly steeper drop-off in concern about several issues that aren’t directly related to daily survival, such as the loss of tropical rain forests and urban sprawl. What may surprise some, given the broad exposure the issue has received in recent years, is that global warming ranks lowest — consistent with other Gallup polling — with barely half of Americans concerned and 48% only a little or not at all concerned.

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The global warming icon for the ubx.

The global warming icon for the ubx. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But remains much lower than the previous high of 72% in 2000

by Frank Newport, March 30, 2012

PRINCETON, NJ — Fifty-five percent of Americans worry a great deal or a fair amount about global warming, up from 51% in 2011, but still significantly lower than the previous high of 72% in 2000.

Trend: How much do you personally worry about global warming?

Gallup first asked Americans to rate their concern about “the ‘greenhouse effect‘ or global warming” in 1989, and has measured it as part of the annual Gallup Environment survey every March since 2001. An average of 60% of Americans since 1989 have worried a great deal or a fair amount about global warming, but concern has fluctuated significantly over this time period. After increasing in the late 1990s and rising to a high of 72% in 2000, worry declined to a low of 51% in 2004. It picked up again in 2005, reaching 66% in 2008, before falling again in recent years — including another 51% reading in 2011.

It is possible that this year’s uptick signals the start of a new period of increased worry, but the high level of variability in this trend makes such predictions difficult.

Personal worry about global warming is significantly related to politics and ideology. Democrats and liberals are most likely to say they are worried, while Republicans and conservatives are least likely.

I'm going to read you a list of environmental problems. As I read each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all. First, how much do you personally worry about global warming? March 2012 results by demographics, ideology, party ID

Americans under 50 are slightly more worried about global warming than those who are older. Worry is also slightly higher among Americans with high school educations or less than it is among those with more education.

Most Do Not Expect Global Warming to Threaten Their Way of Life

A different question included in Gallup’s March 8-11 Environment survey asked Americans if they thought global warming would pose a “serious threat” to them and their way of life in their lifetime. The 38% who said “yes” is up from last year’s 32%, and is about the same as the percentages measured in 2009 and 2010. Worry about the threat of global warming was slightly lower in 1997 and the early 2000s.

Trend: Do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime?

There is a definite relationship between responses to this “lifetime threat” question and age — perhaps not surprisingly. An average of 46% of those under 50 say global warming will pose a threat in their lifetime; this drops to 33% among those 50 to 64 and 19% among those 65 and older. Those in the oldest age group, of course, on average have fewer years left in their lifetimes in which global warming could potentially be a threat.

Do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime? March 2012 results, by demographics, ideology, and party ID

Predictably, these views reflect politics and ideology, with Democrats and liberals most likely to say global warming will be a threat in their lifetime, and Republicans and conservatives least likely. There is little difference in these views by education.

Implications

Americans’ worry about global warming inched up this year after declining in the recent past. Both worry and views of global warming as an impending threat have gone up this year. The percentage who worry about global warming is still, however, well below the levels reached in a number of other years, although views of global warming as a threat are now roughly as high as they have been.

The history of Americans’ views on global warming is one of significant ups and downs, making it difficult to predict whether this year’s uptick in Americans’ concerns about global warming will continue in the years to come. It will take much more significant change for Americans’ attitudes to reach the levels of just a few years ago, or back in 2000.

Previous Gallup research has documented the strong impact of partisan politics on Americans’ views of global warming. Indeed, Republicans and conservatives remain the least likely to say they worry about global warming. This at least partly reflects the global warming skepticism expressed by conservative media news outlets and among conservative commentators. It is difficult to document whether this emphasis waned this past year as the economy and election issues moved more to the forefront.

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The global warming icon for the ubx.

In U.S., Global Warming Views Steady Despite Warm Winter – Repost from Gallup

Just over half say effects of global warming are now evident, similar to 49% last year

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ — About half of Americans, 52%, say the effects of global warming have already begun to happen, consistent with views since 2009. However, this remains down from prior years, when as many as 61% believed global warming was already manifesting itself.

Trend: Opinion About When Effects of Global Warming Will Happen

Today’s level of belief that global warming is already apparent is similar to what Gallup found in 1997 and from 2001 through 2005. During those periods, however, somewhat fewer than today’s 15% said its effects would never happen.

The view that global warming is already causing a rise in sea levels and affecting weather and rainfall around the world is central to climate-change researchers’ and others’ concerns about the issue.

While barely half of Americans agree that the effects of global warming are already manifest, an additional 29% say the effects will start to happen within a few years (4%), sometime in their lifetime (10%), or sometime further into the future (15%). Fifteen percent of Americans say the effects will never happen.

These findings are from Gallup’s annual Environment poll, conducted each March since 2001. This year’s update was conducted March 8-11.

Skepticism of Media Coverage Remains Heightened

The same poll finds the slight majority of Americans saying the news about global warming is either correct (24%) or underestimates its seriousness (31%). Still, at 42%, the percentage saying the media exaggerate the seriousness remains higher than it was for much of the past decade, although down from the 2010 high point, when it reached 48%.

Trend: Opinion of News Reports About Global Warming

Americans’ belief that the media exaggerate the seriousness of global warming rose sharply between 2006 and 2010, mainly because of a shift in Republicans‘ and independents’ views. Democrats also grew a bit more skeptical during this period, but never more than 25% held this view.

Since 2009, two-thirds of Republicans have continued to say global warming news is exaggerated, while independents’ skepticism has eased slightly, as has Democrats’.

Trend: Percentage Saying News of Global Warming Is "Exaggerated" -- by Party ID

More Blame Human Activity Than Natural Environmental Changes

Much of the controversy over global warming concerns its cause, not whether a measurable increase in the earth’s average temperature has, in fact, occurred. A slight majority of Americans, 53%, say global warming is caused by pollution resulting from human activities. Forty-one percent believe it stems from natural changes in the environment.

This 12-percentage-point spread in views is slightly wider than what Gallup found in 2010, when Americans were more evenly split on the question; however, the lead for the human activities position is still not as wide as was found from 2003 through 2008, when it stretched to as much as 28 points (61% vs. 33%).

Trend: Primary Cause of Global Warming

Majority Perceives a Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

One of the more contentious battles in the politics of global warming involves the perceived scientific consensus. Those promoting global warming as a serious problem have declared the issue settled, arguing there is no serious scientific claim against the evidence for man-made climate change. Global warming skeptics point to scientific dissenters and try to debunk predictions of catastrophic consequences of global warming made by some, while promoting the more benign effects described by others.

When asked to weigh in broadly on this debate, the majority of Americans say most scientists believe global warming is occurring. By contrast, 7% say most scientists reject the existence of climate change, while 32% say most scientists are unsure. At the same time, fewer Americans today believe there is a scientific consensus than did so during the 2000s, when at least 6 in 10 held this view.

Trend: Opinion About Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

Independents and Democrats Tilt Toward Acceptance

Across all four Gallup measures of views on global warming, the majority of Americans lean toward believing in it. Independents’ views are similar to the national averages, while much larger percentages of Democrats are supportive. Republicans, on the other hand, are largely skeptical.

The highest support for global warming claims among Republicans is seen on the scientific consensus question, with 43% saying most scientists believe global warming is happening. Republicans’ agreement is much lower on the question of news reports about global warming, with 31% saying those reports are accurate or underestimate the problem.

Summary of Global Warming Views, by Party ID, March 2012

Bottom Line

The slight majority of Americans support global warming as valid on a number of measures. And after peaking in 2010, public skepticism about global warming softened slightly in 2011, and remains at the lower level this year. Nevertheless, Americans remain less certain about the accuracy of global warming news coverage, about humankind’s role in causing global warming, and about the scientific consensus on the issue than they were last decade.

Some shift in Americans’ global warming views might have been expected this year, given the near-record warm temperatures experienced this winter across much of the country — Gallup finds 79% of Americans reporting that the weather in their area was warmer than usual, though less than half of these attributed this to global warming.

However, the fact that belief in global warming did not increase markedly suggests Americans are basing their perceptions more on the debates over scientific evidence than on the weather outside their front door.

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