• Latest in the National Dialogue

    • The Faucet
      John Nielsen-Gammon

      The Faucet

      The effects of climate change on individual extreme events consist of thermodynamic changes and atmospheric circulation changes. In a new opinion piece in Nature Climate Change, Kevin Trenberth, John Fasullo, and Ted Shepherd (TFS) argue that we should be focusing on the thermodynamic changes. While I agree that such an approach is useful and appropriate at times, I think Trenberth et al. take it too far. Consider an extreme rainfall event, such as the rain that occurred in a few hours last May in the headwaters of the Blanco River in Texas and led to catastrophic flooding in Wimberley and San Marcos. The necessary ingredients are an ample supply of moisture, preferably throughout a deep column of the atmosphere, and... Continue Reading...

    • Interview with Michael Quirke on "Climate Change National Forum 3.0" and CCNF's future plans
      Michael Quirke

      Interview with Michael Quirke on "Climate Change National Forum 3.0" and CCNF's future plans

      [Note: This is an interview of Michael Quirke by CCNF guest journalist Heather L. Cohen, originally taped at Earth Day Texas. The transcript below was minimally edited for brevity and readability:] So tell me more about CCNF? _ CCNF is a new journalistic initiative that I co-founded with a group of scientists and a law professor to inform and educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications. The way we go about this is by first serving as a blogging platform; our blog, forum, and fact-checker website debuted on January 1st, 2014 as a public forum for scientists to blog on the science, openly deliberate on the most policy relevant aspects of the science, and... Continue Reading...

    • The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel Taxes
      Josiah Neeley

      The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel Taxes

      One of the downsides of working in policy is that you end up hearing the same arguments over and over again. So I was excited to read Oren Cass' recent piece in City Journal, "The Carbon Tax Charade," which at least develops a new angle on arguments against a carbon tax. Unfortunately, what the argument offers in originality it fails to match in persuasiveness. In his article Cass offers a response to the recent announcement by a number of major oil and gas companies that they support a carbon tax. In response, he runs through a number of standard arguments about why this is not as surprising as it first seems (e.g., it's really about hurting coal). But it is... Continue Reading...

    • The fossil-free movement at Harvard
      Lulu Liu

      The fossil-free movement at Harvard

      “Symbols matter, because they signal our intent, and they invite other people to join in our intent.” - Naomi Oreskes, Professor, Harvard University. Lulu Liu. Almost 20 years have gone by since that confident moment in Kyoto when leaders of nearly all the planet's nations signed on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the rain that day, on the grounds of JFK airport, a proud President Clinton declared, "[The agreement] reflects a commitment by our generation to act in the interest of future generations." Babies born that year are adults now. They look back on two decades of political gridlock and inaction. In a way, they are the first generation our leadership has failed, on that promise, to protect.... Continue Reading...

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