ALL BITESRSS

All our "sticky" climate change metaphors, sound bites, quick comebacks, quotes, and quips that capsulize key points about the problem or solutions.

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An honest skeptic can be persuaded by facts....

Bite"Skepticism is invaluable to the scientific method. But an honest skeptic can be persuaded by facts. These deniers are largely impervious to facts — at least facts that contradict their worldview."
It's like a "whodunit" mystery.  We know the suspects. . .

BiteThink of it like a who-dun-it mystery. Scientists have identified all the "usual suspects" sun, aerosols, land over, volcanoes, etc. Each suspect has its own fingerprint, "calling card," and DNA signature. The warming we see match CO2 almost perfectly, and none of the others match wel...
It's the sun?  That coffin has so many nails. . . "

Bite“That’s a coffin with so many nails in it already that the hard part is finding a place to hammer in a new one.” — Geophysicist Ray Pierrehumbert.
Joe Camel thinks he’s a science expert

BiteWould you trust Joe Camel to teach science to your children? Even lifelong smokers don't want Joe near their kids. The tobacco industry pioneered modern disinformation to discredit medical research. Now some "skeptics" use the same tactics to discredit climate science.
"Satan called. He wants his weather back."

BiteSign photographed on in the middle of Main Street, in Bison, Kansas on July 23, 2011 during the record-breaking drought.
Psst...Want to get super rich and famous?

BiteIf you can find a way to scientifically debunk climate change, you can be rich and famous. Just beware that many scientists before you have tried. . . and failed.
I have a theory that bigfoot exists!

BiteOh really, what is your evidence? Many people are confused about the definition of the word 'theory,' especially with climate change.
Models are unreliable?  You mean late for photo shoots?

BiteModels are unreliable. I agree -- they are often late for photo shoots, and sometimes never show up at all!
They'll blame us not for what we use, but what we waste.

BiteFuture generations "will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted." —Pres. Theodore Roosevelt.
To find truth, hire a detective.   To just win, hire a lawyer.

BiteIf you want to find the truth, hire a detective (or scientist). If you just want to win, hire a lawyer (or PR firm).
More intense precipitation means "When it rains, it pours"

BiteWhat does "more intense precipitation" mean? It means that, in the immortal words of the Morton Salt Company, "When it rains it pours."
Let’s build a civilization on dinosaur bones!

BiteUsing oil, coal, & natural gas for our energy is as if someone said, ‘let’s build a civilization on dinosaur bones.’ Somebody else says, ‘dinosaur bones! I am not sure how many of those there are.’ Then someone responds, ‘Oh, Yes! There are lots of them out there. Let’s just do it.’ - Thom...
Do you argue with your plumber?

BiteDo you greet your plumber with this skepticism: “Yeah, right! You’re just gonna snake that little thing down there and it’s gonna clear up the problem? Sure. And I’m supposed to believe that?”
Gravity theory has uncertainties too.  So jump off a cliff?

Bite"Science isn't "yes or no." Science is gradually reducing uncertainty. Consider gravity. We know gravity with a fairly high degree of understanding but there are still little areas of gravity theory that scientists are still arguing about exactly how it works. But just because scientists don't h...
A lump on lung: 'wait and see' or surgery?

BiteWhether you choose 'wait and see' vs. accept the doctor's recommendation for urgent surgery is a value judgment. Ignoring or resolving climate change is also a value judgment.
Would you believe a detective who pins murder on a ghost?

BiteSuppose you saw a dead body in a crime scene. Would you believe a police detective who says, 'A ghost did it!' when there's evidence everywhere that a particular person committed the crime?
Do you cheer for baseball players who always strike out?

BiteDo you root for baseball players with lifetime .000 batting averages? This is like listening to the rare scientists who reject climate change science. Their work has been thoroughly discredited by the global scientific community.
Are you calling the U.S. Armed Forces 'Chicken Little'?

BiteCritics call people concerned about climate change 'Chicken Little Alarmists.' However, U.S. Defense Dept. is worried about climate change.
CO2 is benign because we exhale it?   So tsunamis are OK...

Bite"Let me address the argument that CO2 is benign because we exhale it. That's about as good an argument as saying a tsunami isn't dangerous because we drink water."— -- Rep. Jay Inslee at a 2011 committee hearing
How can a tiny trace gas change the climate?

Bite"How can a minuscule amount of CO2 cause global warming?" shout the sceptics! "Easily", is the response. Can't a bite from a tiny insect produce death from a serious disease; and an injection with a tiny amount of serum reverse it?
Mother Nature sets a time limit on procrastination.

Bite"Mother Nature puts a time limit on how long we can dither and procrastinate" before taking action. "Several vulnerable elements in earth's climate system could be pushed toward abrupt or irreversible change. . .with our business-as-usual increase in emissions."—Dr. Richard Somerville.
Like like blaming a raccoon for going thru your trash

BiteBlaming Exxon "is like blaming a raccoon for going through your trash. They’re simply responding to available opportunities." Their "multi-billion dollar investment" in Arctic seabed exploration "is predicated on Exxon’s belief that the planet is warming. . . is one of the most powerful admissions...
Thermal expansion.  Like the red fluid in a  thermometer

BiteRecent sea level rise is mostly due to thermal expansion, the same reason that mercury -- or alcohol with red dye -- climbs in a thermometer.
When in doubt, ask... the Roman Catholic Church!

Bite"At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family.” — U.S. Bishops
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

Bite"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." -- Mark Twain

"Call Me Cleopatra, 'Cause I'm the Queen of Denial"
-- country-western song by Pam Tillis
Nothing can be changed until it is faced.

Bite"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."
-- James Baldwin
Climate Russian Roulette:   But what's in the loaded chamber?

BiteContinued release of greenhouse gases is like playing "Russian Roulette with the climate, hoping that the future will hold no unpleasant surprises. No one knows what lies in the active chamber of the gun."

-- Oceangrapher, Wallace Broecker, 1987.
"Believe" in it?   No.  It's about evidence, not belief.

Bite"People ask me if I believe in global warming. I tell them, 'No, I don't,' because belief is faith; faith is the evidence of things not seen. Science is evidence of things seen. To have an open mind, we have to use the brains that God gave us to look at the science."—Dr. Katharine Hayhoe.
A warming planet doesn't get rid of winter

Bite"People across the northern hemisphere are facing the fact that a warming planet doesn't get rid of winter ... now is a good time to remind ourselves that weather, like death and taxes, will always be with us." — Robert Henson, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
CO2 is plant food?   Yeah, like steroids. . .

BiteIncreasing CO2 for plants is like giving athletes anabolic steroids: it may produce short-term weight gain, but often with long-term, negative side effects.
"We depend on the natural world... for our very sanity"

Bite"We are dependent on the natural world for the very air we breathe and every particle of food we eat. Many people, including me, would say we are dependent on it for our very sanity." — Sir David Attenborough
Woody Allen:   Let's pray we choose wisely.

Bite“Mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly”—Woody Allen.
It's like a big tsunami, headed our way...

BiteClimate change is like a big tsunami, far at sea but headed our way. To get our families "off the beach" and to safety, we need to act now. If we wait until we can see wave breaking, it will be too late.
Ignoring symptoms is common..and can be fatal

BiteSome people ignore a suspicious lump in their body, hoping it will go away. When they eventually go to the doctor -- because of night sweats, pain, weight loss, etc -- they are told that it's 'too late,' but that if they'd come when they first noticed the problem, the situation might have been salv...
Coral:   Don't worry; it's not cancer (it's coronary thrombosis)

BiteTelling the inhabitants of a coral that island that they're safe because sea level won't rise, is like a doctor telling a smoker, "stop worrying, you aren't going to die of lung cancer", while knowing full well that they're doomed to die from a coronary thrombosis. Ocean acidification (OA) and b...
Science drags us 'kicking and screaming' toward truth

Bite"Science is so powerful that it drags us kicking and screaming towards the truth, despite our best efforts to avoid it."
The bad news: It's us. The good news:  We can stop it.

BiteThe bad news: we are causing it.
The good news: we can stop it.
You have to watch many waves before you can see the tide.

BiteWhen you first arrive at the beach can you tell whether the tide is going in or out? No, not quickly: it would perhaps take you fifteen minutes of wave-watching before you could say for certain. And who's to say that a sudden big wave wasn't caused by a passing ship? It takes time to see the trend...
When in doubt, ask... your insurance company!

Bite“The prospect of extreme climate change and its potentially devastating economic and social consequences are of great concern to the insurance industry.” — Kyoto Statement of The Geneva Association, 29th May, 2009
Scientist to write plain English?  Like asking cat to bark

Bite"It should be possible to write about science in plain English, though asking a scientist to do that is like asking a cat to bark."— Dr. Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report.
Noticed that a drink stays cold until the last ice melts?

BiteThe faster Arctic ice melts and the more open sea is revealed, the more heat that becomes available to melt the remaining ice and heat up the sea. It's a tipping point of sorts. That's why your glass of Cinzano and lemonade stays cool until the last slivers of ice melt and then the temperature ri...
Even schoolchildren know it'll be devastating

Bite"The world is perfectly on track to six degrees Celsius increasing the temperature, which is very bad news. And everybody, even school children, know this will have catastrophic implications for all of us."—Fatih Birol, IEA
Reality doesn't go away when you stop believing in it.

BiteReality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Would you argue with your doctor over a heart condition?

BiteSome people say ‘When you are sure about climate change, then we will do something about it.’ Suppose your doctor says ‘Well, I am very concerned about your heart condition. I think you should be on a low cholesterol diet and exercise.’ Would anybody say to their doctor ‘If you can't tell me pre...
Climate activists are deeply conservative

Bite"Those who work to prevent global warming are deeply conservative, insistent that we should leave the world in something like the shape we found it. We want our kids to know the world we knew." -- Bill McKibben
Partial evidence:  Like blind men feeling an elephant.

BitePartial evidence can be very misleading. Remember the "blind men feeling an elephant" allegory? One feels a leg and says it's a tree. Another the trunk; i'ts a snake! Another pats the body and calls it a wall. The only way to figure out what's really going on is to look all the evidence together...
The canvas on which 21st Century history will be painted

BiteClimate = the canvas on which 21st C history will be painted.
Earth's climate is an ornery beast...that overreacts

Bite"The paleoclimate record shouts out to us that, far from being self-stabilising, the Earth's climate system is an ornery beast which overreacts to even small nudges." -- Reknowned paleoclimatologist, Wallace Broeker
BiteWhat do a banana and a piece of coal have in common? Both are made of carbon and both provide us with energy. Coal stores carbon that was in the atmosphere millions of years ago. A banana stores carbon that was in the atmosphere just a few months ago.
If you haven't given birth you can't be pregnant!

BiteTo declare that the warming has not yet appeared and therefore the theory is wrong is like arguing that "a woman hasn't yet given birth and therefore isn't pregnant."
"We're entitled to every damn thing on this planet..."

Bite"There is this long, wonderful history of the human race written in blood. We have this tendency to just take what we want. And that's how we treat the natural world as well. There's this sense of we're here, we're big, we've got the guns, we've got the technology, therefore we're entitled to every ...
Al Gore wastes energy, so global warming is a hoax?

BiteOne man's personal choices tell you nothing about the validity of the science. It's like saying, "Louis Pasteur sometimes neglected to wash before meals, so that proves that bacteria don't cause disease."
JFK:   "We choose these things because they are hard..."

Bite"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and to do these other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling t...
Why Woolworth's?  Drinking coffee won't end racism!

BiteSaying 'stopping the Keystone pipeline won't stop global warming,' is like a civil rights skeptic saying in 1960, 'Why Woolworth's lunch counter? Getting served a cup of coffee won't end racism.'
Skeptical of climate change?  So am I!

BiteI am skeptical we can keep burning fossil fuels with a business as usual mentality without harming the planet.
You can find someone to say whatever you want to hear.

Bite"We desperately want to believe that big problems are overblown or nonexistent. Whenever a group of people 'desperately wants to believe' something, there will always be someone willing to tell them what they want to hear, whether the opportunists are charlatans or simply nutjobs."
Applying the brakes on a foggy road is not alarmism

Bite"I wouldn’t characterize wanting to use the brakes on a foggy road as hysteria. Humanity is simply driving too fast for the conditions ahead, and should be more cautious."
Which renewable?   'Mirror, mirror on the wall'

BiteAs renewable technologies jostle for position in the growing low carbon economy, commentators are asking 'Who is the fairest electricity generation technology of them all?' It's the wrong question.
'Little old us? We're not important enough to alter the planet.'

BiteHumans have overrun the planet to live in every ecosphere. We have had a dramatic impact on natural resources in every land we have colonised. But our impact pales in comparison with plankton.
Replace "ands" with "buts" and "therefores

BiteReplace your "ands" with "buts" or "therefores." It makes for better writing —Trey Parker, writer of South Park, on the art of storytelling.
"Global Warming is a misnomer..."—John Holdren

Bite"The popular term 'global warming' is a misnomer. It implies something uniform, gradual, mainly about tempera­ture, and quite possibly benign. What is happening to global climate is none of those."
Is the fox a "serious" protector of the henhouse?

BiteCalling him [an oil lobbyist] a serious source on climate is like calling a fox a "serious" protector of the hen house.
We're seeing today what John Tyndall predicted in 1859.

BiteThe basic science of climate change is more than 150 years old. Back in 1859, Irish physicist John Tyndall predicted that winters would warm faster than summers, and nights faster than days. Now we see it borne out.
Kindergarten lesson:   "Clean up your own mess"

Bite"Clean up Your Own Mess" -- Robert Fulghum

"Cleaning up after ourselves generally is neither easy nor fun, and we usually don't like it." -- Richard B. Alley
Waking the "Sleeping Giants" of abrupt change

BiteThe longer global warming continues, the greater the risk of "waking the sleeping giants"—major feedbacks such as ice sheet collapse, methane "burps," or ecosystem collapse—that could ignite abrupt or runaway warming beyond our control.
Diet & exercise is not an easy option—it's the only one!

BiteWe're like the overweight patient that goes to the doctor and learns his cholesterol is too high. He doesn't die immediately—but until he changes his lifestyle and gets back down to the safe zone, he's at more risk from heart attack or stroke. If we're already past 350 [ppm CO2], are we all doome...
Save the bankers?   Or the biosphere?

Bite"Are we going to go down in history as the people who saved the bankers and let the biosphere go down?" —George Monbiot
Just one extra beer bottle, every day. . .

BiteEvery day, beer is delivered to a restaurant in crates, and the driver takes away the empty bottles from the previous day in the same crates.

Now, living above the restaurant is a man who likes to drink the same brand of beer. Each day he buys a bottle at the corner store on his way home f...
Pteropods: the "canaries in the coal mine" of climate change.

BiteAs Earth's oceans warm and become more acidic, ocean creatures including pteropods are undergoing severe stress. They are harbingers of change. It's possible by 2050 that they might not be able to make a shell any more and if we lose these organisms the impact on the food chain will be catastrophic.
If 10 people said your house is on fire, you'd act.

Bite"If ten people told you your house was on fire, you would call the fire department. You wouldn’t really care whether some of them thought that the place would be incinerated in an hour and some of them thought it would take a whole day."—Elizabeth Kolbert.
Better to adapt than mitigate?   And keep smoking?

BiteBetter to adapt than mitigate? This is like saying 'It's better to smoke, get cancer, then spend years in chemo- and radiotherapy, than to simply quit smoking and get healthy.'
Are models wrong? No, they're 'useful'.

Bite“Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful” — George E. P. Box
Distant danger:  Try warning a teenager to stop smoking!

BiteIt's hard to change habits, especially when the most harmful consequences lie in the distant future. Try convincing a teenager to stop smoking because he might get lung cancer... in 20 years!
My only tool is a hammer, so that screw must be. . .a hoax!

BiteWhen your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails.

A corollary: Show me a problem that is obviously not "a nail" and I'll tell you why that problem is . . . a hoax! Since my only tool is a hammer.... "screws" cannot be real!
An extra 2°C and you'd have a fever!

Bite"When we look at the last 4 decades, we've seen 0.5°C global warming. Some people say, 'well that's not much!' Then I tell them to think of their bodies: 2°C extra and you'd have a fever. An extra 4°C and you'd be dead!"—Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.
Like the Titanic sinking, catastrophes aren't democratic

Bite“Like the sinking of the Titanic, catastrophes are not democratic. A much higher fraction of passengers from the cheaper decks were lost. We’ll see the same phenomenon with global warming.”
Scientific theories are like ropes with many strands

BiteQuestion: "What is the single most important piece of evidence supporting global warming theory?" Answer: "What is the single strand that is most important in holding a rope together? Finding one single strand that can be cut to break the rope is very unlikely." — Dr. Richard Alley
Weather = like a coin flip.  Climate = 1000 flips

BiteWeather is like flipping a coin once. It is unpredictable. Climate is the average weather, measured over decades. It's like flipping a coin 1,000 times. The long term average is much more predictable.
Cold snap?   A dark night disproves lengthening days?

BiteDoes a winter cold snap disprove global warming? That's like saying in April, "Don't tell me the days are getting longer. Look how dark it is tonight!"

Wide short-term fluctuations can mask a slow, long-term trend. Global warming won't eliminate winter, any more than long summer...
Climate change impacts everyone's food supply.

BiteClimate change will have major impacts on the availability of water for growing food and on crop productivity in the decades to come. Increased temperatures will lengthen the growing season in northern temperate zones but will reduce the length almost everywhere else. The livelihoods of rural commun...
Consensus?  97+% of climate researchers support IPCC

Bite"...97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC [anthropogenic climate change] outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change..." —Anderegg, Prall, Harold, & Schneider (PNAS, 2010).
Pricing risk:   The accelerant to clean energy shift?

BiteBanks, insurers and big investors are beginning to price climate risk into their decisions. This will accelerate the shift to low carbon energy. Are they the fire-breathers of economic change?
Drought & Deluge:   What goes up, must come down.

BiteAs evaporation accelerates, dry areas get dryer and wet areas become wetter. Why? Because "what goes up must come down," but unfortunately not in the same spot.
Nice summer in Minnesota.  But I had to work both days!

BiteMinnesotans say: Last summer was nice, but I had to work both days!
Waste not, want not, with "Cradle to Cradle" design

BiteWith "Cradle to Cradle" design, every waste product is raw material for the next process.
Your child has worrisome symptoms.   97 doctors say 'treat.'

Bite97 of 100 doctors recommend quick action to correct your child's serious abnormalities revealed by tests. One doctor says the child seems healthy, it could be a natural, so 'wait and see.'
"Now, suppose you're the parent. What would you do?"
Debate = contest of orators. Science = contest of evidence.

BiteDebate is a contest of orators; Science is a contest of evidence.
China pollutes more?   Therefore we should keep polluting too?

Bite"This is like saying that if someone else drops more litter than you, then it's OK for you to drop litter."—Dr. Richard Milne
"...Like leaving the 'fridge door open."

BiteAs the Arctic warms, so the northern continents at higher latitudes experience cold winters with heavy snow falls. It's rather like the fridge door being left open: warm air goes in at the top as cold air falls out into the room.
Send your grandkids on an unsafe airplane?

BiteWould you put your grandkids on an airplane that 97 of the top 100 aerospace engineers declared unsafe, because you heard the 3 others say 'no problem, it's perfectly sound?'
Cold winter in Europe.   Did you check Siberia?

BiteCold winter in Europe, but warm in Siberia. So this disproves AGW? That's like saying: 'My keys were in my jacket, now they're not. That proves they're lost. (But have you checked your other coat? your pants?)
'It feels like I keep reliving a bad 1970s disaster movie'

Bite- former Energy Secretary James Schlesinger responding the American addiction to fossil fuels and our inability to be energy independent
Ignore 97 out of 100 oncologists saying, 'Let's remove that mole!'

BiteIf 97 out of 100 oncologists advised you to remove a skin mole, would you listen to 3 oncologists saying the spot on your skin is benign? Are you willing to risk for your life on the advice of 3% of doctors?
Ready for the good news about climate change?

Bite"The fact that humans are causing climate change is good news. That means we can do something about it." - NASA scientist Robert Cahalan
Hurricanes are sexy, but there are worse threats

Bite"If we never have another tornado or hurricane, the increased threat of droughts, heat waves, floods and fires are enough for us to take action against climate change." - Scott Mandia
Every major national science academy in world...

Bite"Every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real, caused mostly by humans, and requires urgent action."—Dr. James Hansen, NASA
Temperature change is like walking the dog.

BiteWhen CC walks his dog, he moves in a straight line, but his dog, TC, tugs on the leash and wanders right and left. TC is Temperature Change (short term variance) and his owner, CC, is Climate Change (long term trend). Of course, they both arrive at the same destination.
No single solution, there are millions of solutions

Bite"A million small things got us into this climate crisis, and millions of actions will get us out of it." - Patrick Gonzalez, climate scientist for the National Park Service.
If common sense were enough, we wouldn't need science.

Bite"It may not be common sense, but if common sense were good enough, we wouldn't need science."
My doctor can't say how and when I'll die.   So mortality is not real?

BiteNo doctor can tell us exactly how and when we'll die. But that doesn't invalidate the reality of mortality. We can be quite certain that we won't live forever.
Tax carbon! Can restaurants throw their thrash into the street?

BiteFossil fuel industry is the only industry on earth throwing its waste out for free. If you run a restaurant, you have to pay someone to cart away your garbage. - inspired by Bill McKibben
2012 drought natural? Blame the car engine for a speeding ticket?

Bite"Blaming La Nina for the record drought is like blaming the car engine for the speeding ticket. See what happens when the driver steps on the gas?" - Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications at Climate Nexus
Natural cycle? Even the dinosaurs would disagree

Bite"The last time climate change happened this fast was the Cretaceous (time of the dinosaurs) and the oil was being made then." - Stephanie Carter, park ranger at Crater Lake National Park
A very dangerous threat, not a "cocktail hour curiosity"

BiteClimate change is not a "cocktail hour curiosity." It is a very dangerous threat. Our climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with a sharp stick. - inspired by Wallace Broecker
To change the world, first change the story—Andy Goodman

Bite"If you want to change the world for the better, first you have to change the story."
Don't like big government? Then act now to solve climate change

Bite"I do not want the government telling me what to do. But, the longer we wait, the worse this problem gets...then you are going to see a lot of government interventions that you do not want to see at all." — Naomi Oreskes.
Drastic climate change is a conservative's worst nightmare

Bite"Under pressure from climate stress even the most robust constitutional democracy may find its character threatened. Faced with more stressful or severe frequent floods, people will become more accustomed to looking to central authority for aid and direction." - Brent Ranalli, writer for Globalist....
Think climate change is a bunch of hooey?  The Chinese do not

Bite"To my free enterprise colleagues -- especially conservatives here -- (if) you think it's all a bunch of hooey, the Chinese don't." — conservative Republican Rep. Bob Inglis.
It's not enough to care, we must link together and act collectively

Bite"It's not enough to care; we must link our concern to each other & act collectively...'1,000 stallions unconnected cannot move a baby carriage.'” — Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation
Global Warming paused since 1998?  Paws are for puppies & kittens

Bite‘People ask me: Is there a pause in global warming? My response: paws are for kittens & puppies. Global warming is still increasing.’ - Joshua Willis NASA Climate Scientist
Our new moon shot: Restore a healthy climate by 2070

Bite“We can restore the climate of the 1980s by 2070. It won’t require a miracle or big sacrifices, just the will and policies to do it.” — Peter Fiekowsky, physicist, business owner, and volunteer for Citizens Climate Lobby.
Is it going to be bad or horrifically bad? That's the scientific debate

Bite‘Is it going to be bad or horrifically bad?’ This is what the scientists debate, not it could be fine. Nothing like that.’ – Dr. Justin Wood, climate scientist
China is "eating our lunch" on clean energy

Bite"Meanwhile China will keep eating our lunch on clean energy. What we need are politicians willing to make the tough—and often unpopular—decisions that can put the U.S. back in the game on energy."
CO2 is good for plants?   That's like telling a man on fire...

Bite"CO2 causes more severe droughts and floods, which are very bad for plants. So saying that more CO2 will be good for plants is like telling a man on fire that 'more vitamins will be good for him.'"
Desperate people do desperate things

BiteClimate chaos breeds conflict, violence and terrorism. When people become desperate, they do desperate things, because they have nothing left to lose.
Skepticism vs. Denial

BiteSkepticism = looking at all the evidence before drawing a conclusion. Denial = rejecting any evidence that does not support your preferred, predetermined conclusion.
More CO2 is good?  Try telling a farmer that...

BiteFarmers know that plants grow best when all their needs are in balance, not just more and more CO2. Crops also need water, nutrients, correct temperature, pollination, weed & pest control, etc.

Global warming means more droughts and floods. No amount of CO2 will grow corn in a ...
Slowing emissions is like slowing credit card spending...

BiteSlowing emissions of carbon dioxide is somewhat like slowing credit-card spending and expecting your debt to shrink.
Weather vs. climate...is like waves vs. tide.

BiteWeather is short term and unpredictable, like ocean waves.

Climate is long-term and predictable, like the tides.
M. Twain:  Climate is what you expect.   Weather is what you get.

BiteClimate = what you expect. Weather = what you get. Variation: When travel, climate determines what you pack. Weather determines what you put on each morning.
Weather vs. Climate:   'I lost 2 lbs last weekend..."'

BiteClimate is about long term trends. Weather is short-term fluctuations.

Drawing conclusions about climate by looking at the weather is like saying 'I lost 2 lbs yesterday!' Every veteran weight-watcher knows that one day means nothing. It's the long term trend that counts.
We're not first.   Pond scum did it 2 billion years ago!

BiteHuman's aren't the first species to alter the atmosphere; that distinction belongs to cyanobacteria, (blue-green algae) which, some two billion years ago, invented photosynthesis. But we are the first species to be in a position to understand what we are doing.
Ask a farmer, hunter or fisherman.  Notice any changes?

BiteAsk a local farmer whether they have noticed any changes in the timing of growing seasons in the past few decades. Ask a local gardener if they've noticed any changes in the timing of flowering in their yard in the past few decades. Or ask a hunter or fisherman if they've noticed changes in waterf...
"Call me crazy"  I believe in evolution. . .

Bite"To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy." — Jon Huntsman
The 'Copernicus' of Global Warming

BiteJoseph Fourier (1768 — 1830), the 'Copernicus' of global warming.
CO2 is only a trace gas.   And arsenic is "only a trace" element.

BiteSaying that CO2 is "only a trace gas" is like saying that arsenic is "only" a trace water contaminant.
It's stopped warming?   Waves vs. tides.

BiteHave you ever stood on a beach and watched the tide coming in? The long-term trend (the water level steadily rising) is hidden behind short-term variability (the size of waves washing up the beach).
Guns don't 'cause' violence, but they make it deadlier.

BiteExtreme weather is not 'caused' by climate change, just like murder is not 'caused' by guns. But just as greater availability of firearms makes violence more frequent and deadly, so climate change increases the likelihood and severity of extreme weather.
First they ignore you, then ridicule, fight . . . then you win

Bite'First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.'
It's no longer enough to love and nourish a child.

Bite“It is no longer enough to love, feed, shelter, clothe and educate a child – not when the future itself is in danger. Being conscientious parents today also means working to protect the nation and the planet – now, before it’s too late.”—Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, 1988
'I hate surgery.  So I can't possibly have a tumor!

BiteImagine your radiologist pointing to a spot on your lung x-ray, which several top oncologists have agreed shows cancer.. Would you say, 'I don't believe in surgery. So that can't possibly be a tumor'?

Variation: '...so that tumor must be a hoax!"
The worst pipeline:   from Wall St to K St. to Capitol Hill.

BiteKeystone XL pipeline is not the most destructive. The worst pipeline runs from Wall St. to Capitol Hill, via K St. It gushes money, not oil.
Cold winter?   He won 2 hands of poker and thinks. . .

BiteSaying a cold winter disproves long-term global warming is like the guy who wins two hands of poker and thinks he's figured out how to 'beat the house.' Time to double down on his bets, right?
'Still want to debate if the earth is flat?'

Bite'Or if the sun revolves around the earth?' Climate Scientist Michael E. Mann's response to the statement that climate change is a hoax.
1 out of 33 dentists recommend sugarless chewing gum

BiteWould you ever see a commercial like this? No, because then you would think, 'what are the other 32 out of 33 dentists saying?'
That iceberg looming just ahead...is global warming

Bite100 years ago, Titanic's Captain Smith steamed ahead full speed, despite iceberg warnings. By time the fatal 'berg was visible, it was too late to turn the big ship. Today, the looming hazard is global warming. Will we heed the warnings in time to change course?
Still wearing those 1970s outdated disco clothes?

BiteJust as bad as wearing outdated disco clothes is believing this outdated idea: 'scientists still disagree if humans are causing climate change.'
The U-Turn Generation: turning things around

BiteThis is not Gen X, Y or Z. It is Gen U - the U-turn ­­generation whose task is to see global emissions slow, and over the next 30-40 years, drop to zero.
This is God's world, our damage is an offence against God.

BiteEvangelical Christians acknowledge that we live in God's world. Acting from love of God and Jesus Christ, Christians act to protect the natural world as God's creation.
What do climate change and rubber bands have in common?

BiteMany Earth systems behave like rubber bands, by not reversing smoothly down the same path that they were stretched along. This means that many changes brought about by global warming, such as sea-level rise and drought, will persist for some time even if we manage to reduce atmospheric CO2.
We don't have to do it alone

Bite“We need to do it ourselves, but we don’t have to do it alone!”
Meatless Monday: Every journey starts with a single step

BiteThe task of reducing carbon emissions seems enormous, but every journey starts with a single step. You can reduce your carbon emissions by incorporating a meatless meal into your weekly schedule.
Send your kids down the bunny slope?  Or a ♦ ♦ ♦  run?

BiteWant your kids skiing down the bunny slope or the triple black diamond expert slope? This is our choice for reducing our global carbon emissions.
No longer 'Green vs Gold.'  Now 'Green = Gold'

Bite"There is a great market opportunity for innovation. We going to go from green vs. gold to green = gold."—James Bradfield Moody.
Past climate change is no comfort.  It's cause for concern.

Bite"Past climate change is not a source of comfort. It's a cause for concern."— John Cook
Hey USA!  Let's win the 'Clean Energy Race!'

BiteIt's the Olympics. USA has a chance to win gold in the Clean Energy Race event. Unfortunately, she is falling behind other countries.
Science: not a democracy, its a dictator of the strongest evidence

Bite"Science is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship. It is the evidence that does the dictating." - author John Reisman
New theory? 1965, Pres. Lyndon Johnson warned about climate change

Bite"This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through...a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels." - President Lyndon Johnson, special message to Congress, February 8, 1965.
We are not the radicals.  Oil companies are the radical ones..

BiteWe are not the radicals. Oil companies are the radicals. They are willing to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere to make more money. - inspired by Bill McKibben, environmental author and founder of 350.org
It's not Vegas.   What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic

BiteWhat happens in the Arctic, doesn't stay in the Arctic. The rapid disappearance of sea ice cover can have consequences that are felt all over the Northern Hemisphere, due to the effects it has on atmospheric patterns.
You cannot adapt to chaos.

Bite"You cannot adapt to chaos." - unknown.
Your job for the rest of your life:   Make the impossible possible

Bite"Anyone who hears this: your job for the rest of your life is to make the impossible possible."—Dave Roberts (Grist).
Only poets can approach explaining this present danger

Bite“Only poets can approach this task (describing the threat of climate change) until we come up with the right metaphor.” — Donald A. Brown, Associate Professor, Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law, Penn State University.
Not one "silver bullet"...instead, "silver buckshot"

BiteThere's no one "silver bullet" that can solve our energy and climate challenge in one shot. Instead, it's going to take a lot of little bullets -- "silver buckshot" -- which together can pack the same wallop and get the job done.

Variation for hunters: Think buckshot, rather than a ...
Extreme weather:  Think of the atmosphere as a sponge

Bite"Think of the atmosphere as a sponge. The hotter the air, the bigger your sponge, so it can hold more water. And when you squeeze it out, you're going to get more rain...and flooding."
Greenland is coming your way...

Bite"Greenland is coming your way, and faster than you think!"
Like Russian Roulette...with more and more bullets!

BiteClimate change increases the odds for extreme weather. Like playing Russian Roulette, while adding more and more bullets to a revolver. You'll never know whether the bullet that fired was the original "natural" bullet, or one of the new ones you added. But you'll be just as dead.
Mark Twain was wrong:   We actually are doing something.

BiteMark Twain famously said, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." It turns out that he was wrong. We have been doing something...but unintentionally and not for the better.
The word "rival" comes from "people sharing the same river"

Bite"The word rival, after all, comes from 'people who share the same river.'"

Many wars are ignited by conflict over scarce resources. Some consider Darfur the first "climate war."
Weather is like CNN.  Climate is like the History Channel.

BiteWeather is like CNN. Climate is like The History Channel.
Agriculture is most vulnerable to climate impacts.

Bite"Of all sectors of society, agriculture is the sector most likely to be affected by changes in climate. Investment [in agricultural research] will not guarantee that all negative impacts can be overcome, but business as usual will guarantee disastrous consequences for the human race."
-- Dr....
A few loose bricks don't bring the wall down!

BiteWhen you've built a great wall of evidence it takes more than a brick coming loose to bring the whole lot down.
'Clean Coal'; a breakthrough —in marketing?

Bite" 'Clean coal' represents a breakthrough —in the marketing of coal. But it does not represent a breakthrough in the burning of coal." —Van Jones
The cheapest carbon =  the carbon we don't burn.

Bite"The cheapest carbon to remove from the atmosphere, is the carbon we don't put there in the first place."
Like pushing food around your plate...

Bite"Carbon offsets...are like pushing your food around your plate to give the impression you've eaten it."
Are we sufficiently talented to manage Earth's balance?

Bite"Before we start geoengineering we have to raise the following question: are we sufficiently talented to take on what might become the onerous permanent task of keeping the Earth in homeostasis?" —James Lovelock
When in doubt, ask...  big business!

Bite"Last month, more than 70 European companies, including Ikea and Coca Cola, asked the European Union to aim for more ambitious carbon cuts."—Chris Huhne.
More exciting than the best mystery plot

Bite"To a patient scientist, the unfolding greenhouse mystery is far more exciting than the plot of the best mystery novel."—Dr. David Schindler
So 97 doctors told you that lump must be removed, but. .

Bite97 doctors said you must have a tumor removed or it'll kill you. But you decided to follow the advice of 3 who said "Nah, it's just a shadow on the x-ray." . . . So, how did that work out for you?
Extreme weather cause?   Like heart attack risk factors

Bite"An obese, middle-aged man is running to catch a bus. Suddenly, he clutches his chest, falls to the ground and dies of a massive heart attack. It turns out that he's a smoker and a diabetic, has high blood pressure, eats a diet high in saturated fat and low in leafy green vegetables, pours salt on e...
Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

BiteIt is easier to argue for the existence of Santa Claus than argue against all the evidence of climate change.— a scientist at Washington University.
"Climate is always changing... !"

BiteSure, the climate always changes—just like asteroids have always hit the Earth. But does that mean that a big asteroid hitting the Earth today would not have a serious impact on human civilisation, just like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, 65m years ago?
Hungry Children?  Feed them Candy!

BiteElectric utility CEOs say they must burn coal to meet our energy demands. Sure, hungry kids want candy not vegetables. Yet, burning coal or eating lots of sweets is not healthy for their future.
When in doubt, ask. . . an investor!

BiteClimate change is "a significant investment risk for the foreseeable future".
Not sure it's warming?   Just ask the plants.

Bite"If you question the numbers, just ask the plants."— Andy Extance, Simple Climate.
We should be conservative with what we have.

BiteWho doesn’t want economic investment? Who doesn’t want renewable sources of energy? Who doesn’t want cleaner air and water and a thriving economy? Who doesn’t agree that we should be conservative with what we have?—Katharine Hayhoe.
Even with A Fever, I can still dance!

BiteSound silly? So is saying, 'Because it is snowing today there cannot be global warming.'
Like a train, change starts slowly but hard to stop

BiteClimate change is like a train: it starts slowly, but it’s awfully hard to stop once it gains a bit of momentum.
Releasing ourselves from the dilemma of the 'Energy Hook'

BiteIn order to prevent climate change, the world has to switch from high-carbon, polluting, power generation; to new, low-carbon generating capacity. So in order to benefit in the long-term we need a huge building programme which unfortunately, in the short-term, will create a significant increase in C...
"If climate is the shark, water is the teeth."

Bite“Much of the impact of climate change will be felt through changing patterns of water availability, with shrinking glaciers and changing patterns of precipitation increasing the likelihood of drought and flood. If climate change is the shark, then water is its teeth and it is an issue on which busi...
Geoengineering:   Is heart surgery better than a good diet?

Bite“Is heart surgery preferable to a good diet? Of course not. Let’s go for the good diet.”—Bill Gates, on geoengineering.
Bite1.4 F of warming so far has led to 40% less Arctic ice mass, Western wildfires that now consume 6x more forest, more frequent big hurricanes and insurance companies quitting many coastal areas. To imagine 11 degrees of warming, multiply by 8.
MLK:  Genuine leaders don't search for consensus, they mold it.

Bite"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."—Martin Luther King.
Psst...Guess what I heard from the watergate burglars!

BiteDo you believe information provided from the Watergate Burglars? No, neither should you believe computer hackers who steal private e-mails from scientists.
Conflating 'uncertainty' with 'ignorance'.

BiteSome skeptics conflate 'uncertainty' with 'ignorance'. This is the idea that because scientists are uncertain about some aspect [of climate science] they therefore know nothing about [that aspect], and any estimate of it is mere guesswork.
Continue drinking to avoid a hangover?

BiteContinuing to burn fossil fuels in order to maintain the growth economy is like keeping on drinking to avoid a hangover.
King Coal dethroned.  Off with his head!

BiteThe world is in the grip of a rush to renewables. Dirty old King Coal can be excused for being tired and grumpy at times.
Einstein: compound interest is most powerful force in world.

BiteSince 1950, the global percentage of dry areas has increased by about 1.74% of global land area per decade. That is 1.74% compounding interest, which Einstein calls the eighth wonder of the world.
Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up

Bite"Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up." - Dr. David W. Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies Program, Oberlin College, Ohio.
No silver bullet, but plenty of silver buckshot.

Bite"(To truly resolve climate change), there are no silver bullets, only silver buckshot." - Bill McKibben author & Founder of 350.org
Dark last night, so the sun cannot not be real.

Bite"Saying climate change is not real is like saying, 'the sun may not be real because it got dark last night." - comedian Bill Maher
Think Globally, Act Daily

Bite"Think Globally, Act Daily." - Brian Ettling
You pay a premium for express delivery

BiteJust as rebuilding your house in a week would cost far more than rebuilding it slowly, so hasty remodeling of the global energy system would be very expensive. If we start later, we'll have to pay a catch-up premium.
How are jets, transistors, computers, internet, GPS alike?

Bite"What do jet engines, computers, transistors, the internet, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) have in common? They all owe their existence to early stage investment by the U.S. government."
Fly on a spaceship with an overheating air control system?

Bite"The earth itself is a spaceship. We had better keep an eye its air control system." - Roger Revelle, Director of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 1950-1964.
It's not conservative to waste stuff, then send our kids to fight for it.

Bite"It's not conservative to waste stuff," Inglis says, "and to cause somebody else's kids to go on the sands of the Middle East to fight for that stuff that we're wasting."
CO2 in atmosphere is like water in bathtub (Var. 2)

BiteThe concentration of carbon dioxide in the air is like the water level in a bathtub. If water pours in faster than it drains out, the level keeps rising.

Currently we 'pour' about twice as much CO2 into the atmosphere than is "drained out" by natural processes (absorbed by oceans, pla...
Efficiency = getting what you paid for

BiteEfficiency is simply "getting what you paid for." When you buy a light bulb, you pay for light; not waste heat.

Variation: Efficiency is simply "getting more work out of less energy."
Science denial occurs when a group feels threatened.

BiteScience denial and politicization occurs whenever some influential group sees a new discovery as threatening to their worldview, values, status or income. Not unique to climate science, this has been going on for centuries.
Denial: we all do it!

BiteWho amongst us has not delayed opening a bank or credit card statement because we don't want to be reminded of the unpleasant news it contains?
When Positive is Negative—it's a chain reaction.

BitePositive feedback increases change in whatever direction that change is heading—so it's self-reinforcing. While riding a motorbike, what starts as a slight wobble can quickly escalate into a total loss of control; a crash.
Obama:  "It's the fossil fuels we insist on burning..."

Bite“...When it comes to climate change, it's the fossil fuels we insist on burning—particularly oil—that are the single greatest cause of global warming and the damaging weather patterns that have been its result.” — Barack Obama
The sky is blue... and the temperature is increasing!

Bite"I really, really deplore the politicisation and polarisation of this issue" [global warming]. "There are these increasingly unprincipled attempts to polarise the science when the science is fact—like the sky is blue, the grass is green and the temperature of our planet is increasing." —Katharine Ha...
North Pole melting: Santa Claus not jolly

BiteBy the 2040s, the entire North Pole will be open water in the summer, with no sea ice. This has terrible consequences for Santa Claus and his Workshop.
AGW, like obesity, is an unexpected consequence of prosperity

BiteGlobal warming, like obesity, is an unanticipated consequence of prosperity.
Fossil fuel subsidies are a brake on emissions reduction

BiteIn 2010, 37 governments spent $409bn on artificially lowering the price of fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. This makes fossil fuels cheaper and slows down the transition to low-emission alternatives.
Airbags save lives, biofuel saves carbon emissions

BiteA car with airbags costs more than a car without. Society decides how valuable those airbags are. Society can decide the value of renewable fuels.
Scientific consensus matters; even Galileo made mistakes.

BiteGalileo championed the idea that Earth revolves around the sun, but some of his evidence was later proven wrong. Today, peer review and consensus are how science errors get corrected. "People who say science is not about consensus, do not understand science."
Kennedy re oceans:  "Our very survival may hinge on it."

Bite"Knowledge of the oceans is more than a matter of curiosity. Our very survival may hinge upon it.” President John F. Kennedy, Jr., March 1961 message to Congress.
"If I were wrong, then one would be enough." — Albert Einstein

BiteIn 1931, a book was published, "100 Authors Against Einstein." Albert Einstein's response: "If I were wrong, then one would be enough."
Heads up!  Keep sewer pumps above rising sea.

BiteIn New York City, pumps at some sewage stations have been raised to higher elevations, and the city government has undertaken extensive planning.
Power plants most vulnerable to water scarcity.

BiteWho knew? Power plants use 40% of U.S. freshwater supplies. How will they cope with a drier climate? Who will keep the lights on when the water runs out?
Would you let space aliens damage our planet?

BiteIf aliens came and damaged our planet, would you declare them 'persons' and give them money, or would you mobilize to fight them?
A natural cycle?  Mother Nature disagrees!

Bite"It's getting warmer. Storms are getting stronger...and it's getting harder to say this is an accident of nature" — Dr. Stephen Schneider.
Will this disaster movie end with a kiss?

BiteClimate change is like one of those Hollywood disaster movies that pit obstructionists against ordinary people who become heroes. Those movies often end with a kiss. We don't know how the climate change story will end—will our grandchildren enjoy some end-of-movie kisses?
You don't have to believe in climate change to solve it.

Bite"You don't have to believe in climate change to solve it. Everything we do to raise energy efficiency, will make money, improve security & health, and stabilize climate." - physicist Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Climate protection puts money in your pocket

Bite"Once people understand climate protection puts money in your pocket, the political resistance will melt faster than the glaciers." - Amory Lovins, physicist and Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Oil subsidies:   Like paying your kids to pee on toilet  seat?

Bite"Imagine if I was scolding my kids not to pee on the toilet seat while paying them per-dribble. I'm just saying."—David Roberts, Grist.
Like talking about lung cancer without mentioning smoking.

BiteWildfires dominate the headlines – but the media coverage focuses only on effects while ignoring a major cause. Talking about western wildfires without mentioning climate change is like talking about lung cancer without mentioning cigarettes.
US:  The Saudi Arabia of wasted energy.   A vast untapped resource.

BiteThe U.S. is sitting on a vast, untapped reserve of cheap, clean energy: the energy lost every day to leakage, outdated infrastructure and old habits. We are the Saudi Arabia of wasted energy.
Nothing short of a revolution

BiteClimate solutions are not tweaks. They’re a revolution.
Heat waves are the #1 weather-related killer.

Bite"Heat waves are the greatest weather related killer in the US. Each year, it kills more people than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, blizzards, and lightning combined." - Dr. Laurence Kalkstein, Center for Climate Research, University of Delaware.
In a car headed for a wall, while we argue about seating.

Bite"We're in a giant car headed for a brick wall and everyone is arguing over where they want to sit." - David Suzuki
Like blood-alcohol limit, go over 2C and we're busted.

BiteTo stay below the blood-alcohol limit, we should drink no more than six standard drinks. To keep world temperature increase below 2C we must consume no more than 565 gigatons of fossil fuel. That is only one-fifth of known fossil fuel reserves. Bill McKibben.
Buy insurance to protect against climate risk

BiteCutting greenhouse gas emissions is like buying an insurance policy: we incur a cost to reduce a risk.
We'll see it, our kids will live it, our grandkids' lives will be defined by it.

Bite"We will see it, our kids will live it, and there's a question of whether our grandkids will make it through or not."
Greenhouse Gases wins Gold Medal in the Explanation Race

BiteThere are only a few plausible explanations for changing climate. To be accepted as a robust explanation for global warming, Greenhouse Gases don't have to win the Explanation Race at the speed of light, they just have to be better than all the other explanations.
'You can't wake a person who's pretending to sleep.'

Bite'You can't wake a person who is pretending to sleep'—Oromo saying, Ethiopia
Tattooed advocates will win Washington - Bill Clinton

Bite"The more people with visible tattoos who advocate for clean energy, the more success it will have in Washington. You win the tattooed vote and we’ll have the damnedest environmental policy anybody ever saw."—Bill Clinton
'Weather Gone Wild'

BiteWeather gone wild. "It's been a crazy two years. WIth droughts, and floods, and tornadoes and heat waves."
Why urgent? There's no stop button.   There's no emergency brake.

BiteThere’s no “STOP” button. There’s no emergency brake. Think of our climate system as an enormous tanker with a world’s worth of momentum behind it. Once it gets going, it can’t turn around on a dime.
We have met the enemy and it is Shell

Bite"This is, at the bottom, a moral issue; we have met the enemy and they is Shell." - Bill McKibben
100% Certainty?  Not even the military requires this to take action

Bite"You never have 100% certainty in anything. If you wait for 100% certainty on the battlefield, something bad is going to happen." — Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn (retired), former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.