NASA Explains how We Caused the Hottest Decade and are generally screwing ourselves over (Video)

NASA’s 5-minute video explains why the last decade has been the hottest ever (we did it) and what climate change means for our hot, thirsty future. It is entitled “Piecing together the Puzzle” and is narrated in a slow, calm voice. But it should be entitled “Run for the Hills!” and should have been narrated by Jennifer Granholm.

Here’s the relevant NASA website.

h/t NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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25 Responses

  1. Running for the hills isn’t an option any longer. History and the present tell us that turning the Titanic is not a job for one person or a group of captains. Turning our Titanic is a group endeavor that cannot depend upon waiting for the captains of industry and government to get it. The knowledge and tools to start the process are available to the 99% we need to all jump in and put our strength to the wheel. Insist upon the need to take the necessary steps that are available to begin and sustain the work to create a sustainable economy and society today. Think of it as the necessary permanent campaign for the globe.

  2. Even sadder is that if Romney, Ryan and his climate denier “ignorance is bliss” ideologues attain power, they will eviscerate the budget of NASA so that we won’t have this type of research/evidence of how we are destroying Planet Earth.

    • And let’s all remember how things work: “Apres moi le deluge…” (For anyone who would like to read a little article that really puts old Louis XIV’s purported pronouncement in richer context, look here: link to )

      These fu__ers know that they will be comfortably dead and beyond any retribution and restitution, fully pleased in every possible physical and emotional way at the expense of the rest of us, including of course our children and grandchildren. Romney and Ryan and the creatures who are fronting the purchase of their “election” are post-national; they can and do live anywhere they damn well want to, have no loyalty to anything but themselves, and could not care less about the miseries their “policies” and predations cause.

      Guess What? The Kleptocrats just don’t give a rip about any of that. Because, as they so smugly and snottily put it amongst themselves, “IBG-YBG” — “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone,” before the crap hits the fan of course — off to Dubai or wherever. Don’t you just wish YOU lived like this? link to

    • Which means we MUST stop them from grabbing huge power by ALL means necessary. GET OUT TO VOTE AGAINST THEM. It is your most powerful act against HUMONGOUS MONEY and their monied attempt to STEAL elections and fix the vote. Republicans who rail against voter fraud are in truth the ones who perpetrate it. DO NOT LET THEM. ACT before it’s too late!!!!

    • They don’t want research evidence they want answers that support their ignorance and greed. They have to deliver what their supporters paid for.

  3. For the past six months I’ve been putting large signs on freeways along the west coast that read “Ecopocalypse Now” and “Wake Up and Smell the Permafrost”. For me, the thawing of all the ancient plant and animal matter frozen in the tundra and the methane/CO2 it’ll release once it really starts to cook – that to me is “Game Over” for the planet as we know it.

    It’s amazed me over the years that more people haven’t taken up freeway signposting as a way of speaking out about the causes they care about. It’s cheap, easy, incredibly fun to do and just as illegal as putting up flags on overpasses, which, if you’ll remember, was quite popular in the weeks after 9/11. If nothing else, it gives a sense to large numbers of people (literally millions of them, if you do it right) that things are not entirely normal, and for the last decade or so I think a sense of normalcy is one of the things we can least afford. (Also, it’s sent enough motorists to Google “Wake up and Smell the Permafrost” to make it the top suggestion at “Wake up a…” – at least on the west coast.)

    Perhaps when things get worse more people will be inclined to speak out on these things, but until then I’m looking for a catchy slogan or two concerning the Albedo Effect.

    • “It’s cheap, easy, incredibly fun to do”

      Scarlet, not meaning to be overly harsh, but you’ll think “cheap, easy, incredibly fun” when you are caught at defacing public property or someone tracks the vandalism back to you. And don’t even imagine that everyone will agree that it’s “just like putting up an American flag”!

      On the other hand, civil disobedience rests on the willingness of the “perpetrators” to go to jail, and their strength in numbers getting the attention and sympathy of the public at large. So you’ll have that going for you.

    • Thank you, Scarlett, for your creative and intelligent activism.

      You help prove that we make and re-make our culture every day, with our every thought and action (and omission). The analysis of the situation must be very dire, and that is precisely why it is so necessary to confront it with a positive and creative attitude, constantly seeking out ways to make this terrible situation somewhat better, to figure out ways to communicate an effective message, to organize ways to multiply individual energy.

      I work at a big retail space in a big West Coast city, we get all of America’s lower and working class passing through. A lot of people do come off as being ignorant at first glance, a more charitable assessment comes from seeing a psychological self-centeredness and social isolation that becomes ingrained by a certain age (younger for some than for others).

      These “ignorant” folks do trend as older, most of the twenty-year-olds seem to be pursuing some sort of intelligence, in a cruel and confusing world. Post-modern irony goes a long way towards holding the world’s problems at bay, but your cohort will be the ones to face the consequences in 20 years. Know your choices shape the world’s outcomes, don’t accept the cynics and pessimists, refuse to accept crap. Oh yeah, and understand you’re adults now, get over the narcissism and poor social communication our culture has, unfortunately, tended to teach you, and get organized for optimistic, positive outcomes.

      • I think that runaway short-term thinking was built into the nature of economics.

        Perhaps it is inevitable that private property becomes an end-all as there is more of it, such that chasing money and goods replaces one’s value in preserving society.

        Or the greater rate of cultural change caused by freedom of information increasingly makes children alien even to their own parents, who then have less of an ego-stake in their children’s unrecognizable future.

        Or the problem is rooted in the very act of treating economic activity as something that can be calculated, analyzed, and organized. Once you can count it, why not count it faster?

        One or more of these might be true, or it might be something else, but it’s pervasive. Interest in the future as a utopia worth sacrificing for, whether you will live long enough to see it or not, has truly died out for most people I know. Why should anyone sacrifice for the well-being of their grandchildren when they cannot be bothered to keep their hands off of tasty food that is killing them right now, or loans to obtain pleasure-goods?

  4. How right you are. We need a Jennifer Granholm style crier to move people into action.

    At the Democratic Convention, she praised Barak Obama for saving the auto industry; Barak also has pressed for higher gas mileage standards for cars and has succeeded. There will be hope for the environment with Barak in office for another four years.

    Al Gore has talked about launching a camera-satellite into space to be positioned so that it could constantly “see” Earth and take pictures of Earth’s environmental health. It would have photograghed the damage done by the Gulf oil spill, and people could have seen the devastation to Earth on the Web.

    Al Gore seemed to say that Congress wouldn’t fund such a camera because Congress doesn’t want people to see how certain special interests are spoiling the planet.

  5. Global warming is a no brainer. CO2 is an insulator. (It blocks re-radiated infrared.) Thus, when CO2 rises, the planet warms.

    Idiots who deny this probably think 2+2=4 because that’s what they were taught, and not because

    X X + X X = X X X X

    i.e., they believe what they are told, or want, to believe, and not what is real.

    It’s that simple.

    Just wait til the melt water and the warmer oceans get under the EAIS!

    • BTW, Thank you for the link. When the video ends, there are many other videos. That and Real Player = many entertaining DVD’s.

      The Goddard center is where James Hansen is. He runs it, I think. He also wrote a nice book, “Storms of My Grandchildren.” It’s actually two books, much like LOTR split into two stories when Frodo and Sam went east, and Pippin and Merry got themselves abducted by orcs before the Riders of Rohan intervened. I digress.

      So, it’s like two books, “Storms” and “Grandkids.”

      ‘Storms’ is about the stupid things Congress and the Cheney White House did to suppress knowledge about climate change. They also suppressed knowledge about Douglas Feith and other characters, but that’s not in the book. I digress.

      “Grandkids” is about the science. Money phrases: CO2 sensitivity and 1/2 watt.

  6. No mention of the huge influence of methane because of the increasing use of cattle as meat consumption rises. Numbers are significant because each methane molecule emitted has many times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide.

  7. We realize the melting of Artic Ice does not increase the level of oceans, the land ice mass such as Greenland glaciers does. Looking at graphs sea ice extent (NH) , there is an abrupt change from cold to warm global readings starting in the year 1952. No one has put any blame on atmospheric nuclear blasts. Summary of Soviet tests here.

    A must read: Arctic Death Spiral – How It Favors Extreme, Prolonged Weather Events ‘Such As Drought, Flooding, Cold Spells And Heat Waves’

  8. Related to he above remarks is the interview that Ira Flatow had yesterday on Science Friday in which it was revealed that two viruses that have recently occurred in greater numbers cannot be researched as funding was cut off by our current Congress.

  9. About 10,000 years ago this planet was in an “ice-age”.

    Guess what the earth was like before that ice age.
    Yeah that is right, hot.

    So what does this mean?

    It means the earth has been warming up and recovering from an ice age. It’s happened before and it will happen again.

    The earth warms up, then freezes over, again and again.

    Do humans have an impact on the warming going on? Yeah, sure. But are humans causing a large part of the warming? No.

    The entire top half of the united states was covered in ice, and it has all melted before mankind could get around to speed it up.

    Take a basic geology course and learn some information about the rock we live on, its ALWAYS changing.

    • Wow. I feel so much better now.

      What are your scientific credentials, again, Alex? Reading stuff at RedStates? Auditing FOX?

    • Uh, we’re still in an ice age, just a warmer phase called the Holocene.

      The CO2 forcing will cause temperatures to rise faster than evolution can keep up. Many species will be pushed to the brink of extinction, including humans, especially those who deny it is happening.

    • So, if something changes on it’s own, that means I’m incapable of changing it?

      Strange bit of logic there.

      Hey, my car broke down on its own once so that must mean I can never hurt it!

      I guess I’ll steer for that bridge abutment tomorrow and see what happens.

    • And sometimes the Earth has a mass extinction event, in which 90% of species are wiped out. Many other warming periods might have become as bad as those events if there had just been a little more CO2 or methane in the right place. What is your plan if this is one of those times?

  10. Alex, you came to the blog of a university professor with this nonsense?


    The last time there was this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was *not* 25,000 years ago. It wasn’t 120,000 years ago when homo sapiens sapiens first emerged. It was millions of years ago:

    link to

    We don’t know if human beings can survive in such hot conditions. And, the Pliocene was not as hot as some previous eras, such as 55 million years ago, when there was no surface ice anywhere and the temperature was 9 degrees F. higher on average. That is where we are going. It could mean our extinction.

  11. Alex- the science was less than conclusive when electricity was being harnessed, when infections were thought to be here and there, mechanical transportation was coming on line to compete with the horse, so why are you so sure that the science , or most of the science and inquiry of today into are atmosphere is wrong, hyperbole from the mistaken?
    What does it cost to pay attention, look at it closer and see what else might do the same job? Global corporations, in most industries, have invested in research and modifications to their existing practices and saved red ink and turned it into cost effective actions. Nothing wrong with that, in fact they want to be thought well of for making the effort. Why is it an either or game? Prudent, professional and the correct way people, created, have grown and maintained the insurance industry. Why does it appear to insult and upset you that looking at man induced atmospheric changes and intrusions in the natural eco systems is something to be ridiculed, argued against and dismissed as mass delusions.
    I don’t get the tone and tactics of the opposition at this base a level. Want to argue about carbon sequestration as a plus or minus pursuit, okay, that the entire concern is ludicrous, makes me pause and wonder why so certain about the uncertainty of others? We know, shit happens, in every way, in every day, why not look at and work on the possible shit that, to many scientific and non emotional minds say and bother to illustrate has happened, is happening and has the potential and scope t0 end all happenings down the road a piece?

    • Because, Joe, if millions will die and billions have their lives ruined due to a man-made event, that implies that man can be sued for reparations. The Right endlessly battles against the idea that externalities of normal capitalist activity cause cancer, birth defects, etc because that means lawsuits and juries of normal, non-Citizens United-bought peers. That is Bad For Business. Tort reform simply means that the damage suffered by the poor is irrelevant compared to the profits of the rich. But AGW threatens the biggest reparations demands in history, demands by countries against countries. The sort of thing people go to war over.

      Therefore, science must be destroyed as an authority in the eyes of the citizens of the one country that is the most responsible for spreading mass consumption as a way of life and causing the most burning of fossil fuels.

  12. By the way, Houston is having twice as many cases of some mosquito-borne illnesses this summer as it has ever had before in its history. It was the rain, the very rain that broke the worst drought in these parts since the 1950s.

    Those are the choices for warmer climates; tropic or desert.

  13. If you are not prepared to bring a gun to a knife fight than you, we, aren’t prepared to go on, to say first to ourselves, there is something huge that we should consider and if it is that we have to deal it.
    I understand the influence of the law as we have endowed it over the centuries, if we hadn’t we would still be judging wrong and evil in comparison to ducks.
    The question of global warming and our life style being a contributing factor to changing our entire eco system on a digital time line can’t be viewed as a concept of law. Even if that is the context you choose to look at it, I can’t believe that there aren’t a handful of good, underemployed, lawyers sitting behind their well organized home office desk looking for a large 33% score.
    There is enough data lying around, available to file a few hundred law suits in the public interest with a private payday as an added incentive.
    No I think it much deeper than the law being a controlling force, I think it more that the issue, climate change, has a multiple choice answer, yes or no, and letting people have an option that says work at it or let it be, fits perfectly into our current malaise of why the hell should I do anything about anything. The malaise that says he who has the corner office with view knows better than I and you, and you. The current malaise that makes us concentrate on the small toys that get us as close as we can to the anointed Mad Men stars we have all been raised to aspire to.
    A sustainable life style means it cruises along without an over consumed and raising consumption algorithm that is the question that needs to be asked and right now that question sits out there with no one in charge having the guts to ask or answer:
    How do you turn the Titanic built upon consumption, the Walmart Effect.

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