Scientists Split on Human Impact on Climate Change

Wikimedia Commons

A Purdue University survey shows that the scientific community is split on the question of whether human activities are at the root of climate change, with just over 50 percent of scientists saying that climate change is happening and that it is “caused mostly by human activities.”

What Obama Can Teach Republicans About Discussing Climate Change

AP

The midterms didn’t go so well for Tom Steyer, the environmentalist billionaire who spent millions in an effort to make climate change a winning issue. Steyer’s failure can be summed up by the fact that in the final days of the election, his Super PAC was funding bizarre ads accusing Republicans of wanting to ban condoms.

Most Americans do not think “dealing with climate change” should be a governmental priority—a 2014 Pew survey found that it ranked 19th out of 20 issues tested, behind “reducing the influence of lobbyists” and “dealing with moral breakdown.” It is likely to stay that way heading into the 2016 presidential race.

The Department of Defense Declares A War on Weather

Xerxes has the Hellespont whipped

Yesterday, speaking at an international confab of defense ministers in Peru, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel unveiled his department’s Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. A letter from Hagel asserts at the beginning of the Roadmap that:

While scientists are converging toward consensus on future climate projections, uncertainty remains. But this cannot be an excuse for delaying action. Every day, our military deals with global uncertainty. Our planners know that, as military strategist Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight.”

Clausewitz, indeed. Side note: this quotation from the great 19th century German theorist of warfare appears to come from the translation of Colonel J.J. Graham, who, sadly, passed away in 1883, his edition have since been superseded by numerous quality 20th century translations. I like to picture Secretary Hagel composing his introduction to the Roadmap late at night in an elegantly appointed Northern Virginia study, perhaps by a roaring fire—strike that: too much carbon—with a snifter of brandy near at hand, suddenly reaching for his dog-eared and much beloved Graham translation of On War. Sure, his aides make gentle fun of this stubborn refusal to consult more contemporary editions—but the old fox is set in his ways.