As Coasts Rebuild and U.S. Pays, Repeatedly, the Critics Ask Why

The New York Times looks at our national policy of paying to rebuild vulnerable coastal communities, no matter how ill advised their developments might be.  In effect, we’ve encouraged people to upscale their beachfront shanties into expensive vacation homes, increasing the value at risk next time a storm hits.  As the seas rise, ever more money will be sent down this gopher hole.  Instead, we should prohibit future development, map out the most vulnerable locations, and draw up buy-out offers ahead of time, so when disaster strikes, it can be used as an opportunity to re-direct investment into less risky areas.

A Love Story And A Clearance Sale

A Love Story And A Clearance Sale, musings of an arctic sea ice researcher on the fact that he will probably outlive the object of his professional affections.  A minimum of zero sea ice appears likely between 2015 and 2020, and models suggest that once you get to a minimum of zero, the ice-free season is likely to expand quickly, with significant impacts to northern hemisphere weather patterns.

Heat Waves and Climate Change

A short literature review on the connection between the present fires and heat, and climate change.  No individual local weather event can be reliably pinned to climate change, but the probability of a winter and spring like the ones we’ve had in 2012 without climate change are very low.  We are living in a different world now, and we don’t know how it’s going to work.

Former Xcel CEO Dick Kelly would be fine with no more coal

Former Xcel CEO Dick Kelly would be fine with no more coal.  Unfortunately, the regulatory environment that his former employer works within in Colorado, and the company’s need to protect a couple of billion dollars worth of undepreciated coal assets makes it very hard for them to move away from it.

California Dreaming

An hour long interview based documentary by some Dutch filmmakers about the changing social and economic realities of southern California, in the wake of the financial crisis, and America’s general malaise.

It’s dangerous to cling to an identity which is no longer compatible with reality.  Remember the Norse and their Greenlandic colonies.  In the long run I think adaptability is the greatest kind of power you can wield.  Evolutionary power.

We need, in so many ways, to move beyond thinking of ourselves as consumers, instead of citizens.  Consumers, instead of producers and creators.  Society and culture are almost infinitely flexible, if you’ve got the right mindset and a reason to change.