Friday, December 25, 2015

The Ghost of Climate Future

It's Christmas day, and for many, we've opened our presents and now post-gift-giving depression is setting in. So why not read Part 3 of the Ghosts of Climate Past, Present, and Future?

This diagram is my favorite of the three I drew for this story, and it depicts a real tank that used to be parked in my neighborhood.

I love that I can finally use my neighbor's tank, though my memory of details is a bit faded because other neighbors found the tank an easy target of their complaints and had it removed the from street. I, however, loved the tank and thought it showed politeness from the owner: that is, among other neighbor's RVs and boats parked on the street, this neighbor was the only one attempting to camouflage his vehicle. (In case my joke isn't clear, the tank was painted army green with foliage-like splotches, colors you'd expect of a combat vehicle.)


Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Ghosts of Climate Past, Present, and Future

I had the opportunity of contributing a few illustrations to a three-part post on Skeptical Science. The post plays off of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carole and portrays an unnamed US politician being visited by the ghosts of climate past, present, and future.

This story shows a future under a plausible scenario in which humanity's greenhouse gas emissions continue the current trend resulting in a scenario labeled RCP 8.5, meaning the additional greenhouse gases increase the energy in the climate system by 8.5 watts per meter compared to pre-industrial conditions.

This figure is from a recent paper in Nature Climate Change by Fuss et al. the black line shows our historical emissions up to 2015. All lines after 2015 are hypothetical scenarios. Note that so far, we follow the red line leading to 8.5 watts per meter or global average temperature increases of 2.3 - 5.4 degrees Celsius.

From Betting on Negative Emissions, Nature Climate Change 4, 850–853 (2014)

As of today, 24 December 2015, Parts 1 and 2 of the series are released:

Ghost of Climate Past
Ghost of Climate Present
Ghost of Climate Future (to be released in the future)

My etchings:

Ghost of Climate Past accosts an unnamed United States politician

Ghost of Climate Present whisks our protagonist away to a collapsing Antarctic ice shelf


Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Letter to My State Assembly Representative, Melissa Melendez, regarding Planned Parenthood

Dear Assemblywoman Melendez:
I don't like to engage politicians over issues related to one's core values, but I feel you've made an error in your statements and position regarding the operations and funding of Planned Parenthood. On 29 July 2015 you released a request for an audit of Planned Parenthood. While you have that right, and the language in your audit request is within the realm of acceptable discourse, it is your public statements accompanying this release that are inflammatory, display ignorance, and show indifference to common values of our nation.
Your actions created three errors that I expect better from my state assembly representative:

  • One, your provocation was a privately-produced video. I shouldn't have to tell you that the video media is very easy to manipulate for the purpose of deceiving viewers. For example, videos argue that the Apollo moon landings were faked and that global warming is not real, and as a result many citizens believe these myths. You should have waited until a more careful review of the video's claims could be reported before taking action. Now, it's clear that extensive edits to the videos show that it is not an honest portrayal of any significant sequence of events. The video creator has also confessed to inserting fictional material.
  • Two: Your statements on 29 July 2015 that Planned Parenthood was engaging in "illegal" and "black market" activities dismisses the notion that in this country the accused is innocent until proven guilty.
  • Three: You've added accusations of "chop-shop", "illegal" and "black market" to an organization that is now enduring an increase in the severity of terrorism. These words coming from a state legislator are irresponsible. How can your words not affect people prone to committing arson and murder who believe they have a righteous cause and an elected official's support? Consider the arson on Oct 1, 2015 at the Thousand Oaks Planned Parenthood and now the murders on Nov. 27, 2015 at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.

I come from a family that is majority women, any of which could need Planned Parenthood's services, ranging from contraception, cancer screening, prenatal services, adoption referrals, STI/STD testing, and abortion. What medical services they seek is their business. However, you've helped make it the business of would-be terrorists and witch-hunting politicians.
So please, walk back your public statements. Undo the damage, and show that you

  • Recognize that propaganda should not form the basis of legislative action,
  • That you recognize the American value of innocent till proven guilty,
  • And that you denounce erroneous statements that can be the antecedents to criminal and terrorist actions.

Thank you,
John Garrett