It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Climate Blogger

I'd like to welcome Kate of ClimateSight to the climogosphere.

In addition to a few xkcd-ish cartoons, Kate has remarkably sophisticated observations about the climate debate. I feel like qualifying that with "for a high school student" but that would be unfair. If most of the population had a tiny fraction of the insight Kate brings to this question we'd be vastly better off.

Kate describes herself as an "aspiring climatologist". Watch out, world!

PS - Yes, she's Canadian, of course.


Marion Delgado said...

Kristen Byrnes was 15 when she did Ponder the Maunder. I like this one better, but it does speak to how old you have to be to put up a respectable site in the climate wars.

Marion Delgado said...

One more thing - this exchange from comments to a David Appell post about the NPR show on Ponder the Maunder I find really telling in an Overton Window sorta way:

Michael Tobis
While the phenomenon of Ms Byrnes is unfortunate, I really don't see the NPR story the way everybody else does. I think the story raised important questions.

Lubos Motl
You're human trash, Mr Appell. The interview with Kristen was one of the fairest climate-related interviews that mainstream media have seen during the last decade.

Your own admission that you have been harrassing the young girl just because she doesn't confirm your completely idiotic, "canonical" myths about a dangerous global warming is another argument in favor of death penalty.

People like you should be removed from the face of Earth.

Marion Delgado
At what point will the science denialists seek to blame a combination of contrails and SSRIs for Lubos? Soon. Soon.

And David, while I often disagree with Michael on specifics, I have to admit I've seen him have really good instincts. This is a case in point, my reaction was identical to yours but I am rethinking it to a small extent.

climatesight said...

Hey there, WordPress records the links that people clicked on to get to my site, which is how I found your blog. A whole article devoted to my online ramblings - wow!

I really like this site (the Darwin "very gradual change we can believe in" made me laugh out loud) and found the heat wave in your area to be very interesting. We've had a very cold spring and summer in most of Canada and the northern US (the jet stream dipped down to Chicago a few days ago) so there are lots of people going "oh, what happened to global warming now?" Then people like you and me get very tired of patiently explaining the difference between weather and climate.

But I hadn't heard of the unusual weather in your half of the continent, thanks for the heads up. Any idea where I could go to find a map of North America that had isotherms for the temperature anomalies this spring and summer?

Keep up the good work

PS What does "she's Canadian, of course" mean? Some kind of Canada-US paradigm I'm not aware of? :)

Michael Tobis said...

Welcome, Kate!

I'm Canadian too. Many of my favourite climate bloggers (All Things Ill-Considered, Maribo, ScruffyDan, BigCityLibm, DeSmog) are.

Then again so is McKitrick, (Climate Audit), who is interesting but not exactly a favourite. Maybe there's something that makes us especially interested in climate?

As for short-term temperature anomaly maps, that's something I've wanted too. I don't know where to find them. Anybody?

Dano said...

I was very shocked when I found out she was a high school student. How dare you give me hope for the future?!? ;o)



Michael Tobis said...

Ah, anomaly maps:

June 2009

2009 to date

The site is hard to navigate, but you can start here.

Marion Delgado said...

climatesight, while the behavior of Canada is no better than that of the US (because, like my home, Alaska, you're a resource-driven economy), ideologically the US is very different to Canada. A lot more science denial down here.

climatesight said...

Another Canadian denier - Tim Ball. Goes on and on about how he's actually a climatologist, and then throws out nonsense like "CO2 lags temperature by 800 years in the ice core records....therefore global warming is a hoax!"

I didn't know that either you or Ill-Considered were Canadian. That's pretty cool. What area of Canada are you from?

Most of Canada is fairly liberal, on average much more than the States, your Democrats are about equal to our Conservatives (the most right-wing party that actually gets seats). Our government policies are much more left-wing than yours - public health care, regulation, etc. When a municipality decides to privatize its water, a lot of people get mad, protests on the streets about human rights and the trustworthiness of industry, etc. Pretty much the opposite of what you'd see in the States....

The only popular ideologies that could compare to the Republicans are in Alberta, often described as the "Texas of the North". A commenter on my blog once said, "In Alberta, a Jack Russell terrier could run for the Conservative seat and he'd still get more votes than the NDP". Not-so-coincidentally, Alberta's economy is run by oil and natural gas.

Sadly, our PM right now is Conservative, from Alberta, and causing a lot of frustration at the G8 emissions summits....he refused to set stringent targets, said 80% reductions would cause too much economic harm, the usual stuff. He's also cutting science funding. How I wish I was old enough to vote...

How I wish there was any other party leader that was decent enough for the public to vote Harper out of office. Can we have Obama too?

Michael Tobis said...

My parents are/were Jewish refugees from Slovakia. I grew up in Montreal (Montreal proper and Cote St. Luc) with an intense
fascination for the USA.

I went to university here and the fates have conspired to keep me here most of the time since, except for a few years in Ottawa. Culturally I am more American than Canadian at this point, and except for the ridiculous climate feel at home in Texas. But politically I still describe myself (and I am old enough to do so) as a Trudeau Liberal.

I have mostly been away for the sad decline of the Grits and am hoping for some sort of Liberal-NDP rapprochement to end the present madness.

Michael Tobis said...

Oh, I actually (inadvertently) sat right in front of Tim Ball for Lonnie Thompson's keynote at the 2007 fall AGU meeting.

He seemed to be muttering angrily the whole way through the talk about disappearing mountain glaciers, and at the end I heard him saying ridiculous things about CO2 band saturation to his companion. I thought he was completely silly, but he seemed to believe what he was saying.

I tend to count him as sincere but hugely ill-informed, which just goes to show how little a credential can mean.

McIntyre is not so easy to dismiss.

Anna Haynes said...

Dano, here's even more -
Climate Creativity
("The site kicked off after Patrick’s and my carpool initiative at Miramonte High School. ...")

Anna Haynes said...

Anyone know of other climate blogs by up-and-comers? I'm adding a "youth" column to my aggregator at, and if there are more...?

So far I know of ClimateSight, Climate Creativity, and It's Getting Hot In Here.

climatesight said...

Alright Trudeau! I'm a Trudeau fan as well, not that I was actually around to see him in power, but Canadian history was really ugly (racism etc) until he came in.

I had a little hope in Ignatieff (anyone could be better than Harper, I figured....) until he said something about how we must never do anything to harm Alberta's oil and gas industry because they're the future of Canada's economy.

He was obviously just trying to get Albertan votes, but he lost my (nonexistent) vote.

I really like the NDP, I wish the coalition had worked out.

Scruffy Dan said...

@ Michael Tobis

I had no idea you were a Canadian. I just figured you were one of the 'good Texans' :) I guess you are, but it is nice to know you hail from Canada, even though it really doesn't matter. What you say is valuable and interesting regardless of where you were born.

I guess I owe Marc Morano a thank you. If it wasn't for him and his absurd rants I may never have found your blog.

I also was not aware you considered me one of your favourite climate bloggers. Thank you. Now I must focus on more blog writing:)

@ climatesight

Very nice site you got there as well. I actually find it hard to believe you are so young as your writing is very mature, and well thought out. Keep it up.

I guess I owe Morano two thank yous. since yours is another sight I am aware of because of him (albeit indirectly). Who knew he performed such a valuable service for those of use interested how climate actually functions.

dfinzer said...

It's great to see young climoggers out there spreading the word.

You may want to check out the California Climate Champions program ( A lot of us "champions" have our own blogs where we document our involvement in climate change initiatives. My recently-created site,, is one of the many out there.

L. Carey said...

Speaking of the NOAA anomaly maps, I never thought that I would be intentionally directing anyone to Watt's site, but he has actually put up an interesting animation of the NOAA anomaly maps from May 2007 to date. Of course, he interprets the presence of lots of big red positive anomaly dots as an indication that tracking temperature anomalies is a waste of time. This goes direct to the animation, and avoids the commentary: