A physicist, a leading expert on clean energy and climate, he was an advisor in the Clinton Administration. His book “Hell and High Water” becomes too true daily. Time Magazine called him “The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger” . Dr. Joseph Romm’s “Climate Progress” is the only blog right on my browser tool-bar. It IS indespensible.

We welcome Joe Romm back to Radio Ecoshock.

Among other things, we’ll discuss the new theme issue from the British Royal Society “Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications.” This series of papers looks at how the climate will shift drastically – if we continue to power our economy with fossil fuels.

Joe has more on the Cancun climate conference, his award winning blog (named one of the best blogs on the Net by Time Magazine) climateprogress.org – and the bleak outlook for action by the U.S. or Canada.

That is followed by a knock-out interview with David Wadell. His presentation on “Beyond the Tipping Point” at Tallberg Sweden in 2008 warned that the IPCC, and most governments, were operating on unsafe assumptions about climate sensitivity. David tells us about the “positive feedback loops” that are STILL left out of climate models.

And even without those extra warming powers, the Hadley Centre in Britain, and MIT in the U.S. have proved Wasell’s point. Both now say we could experience 4 to 6 degrees of warming in this century. Possibly 4 degrees C. warming (7 degrees F. extra heat as a mean global average) as early as 2070, or even 2060. Younger people will live to see this horror, unless we can turn the carbon clock back, in some as yet unknown social and economic revolution…. as we must.

I’m going to let you listen to the interviews, without further comment here.

Here are a bunch of links, so you can test out what Joe Romm and David Wasdell are saying. Going back to the original science. A link bonanza for you. Go deep, this is the Big One.

The audio from David Wadell’s “Beyond the Tipping Point” film, to an international climate conference at Tallberg Sweden, June 28, 2008. One hour, in Hi-Fi (55 MB) or Lo-Fi 14 MB

Joe Romm of climateprogress on Hadley Centre upper projections.

Joe Romm of climateprogress on MIT study doubling projections of heating.

Downloads and video, for talks at the “4 Degrees & Beyond” International Climate Conference 28-30 September 2009, Oxford UK

Pay special attention to this talk by Richard Betts, which includes (at 16 minute mark) the very points David Wasdell raises – that serious positive feedback loops are still left out of climate models (which leads to underestimates of the real possibilities).


Joe Romm’s introduction to these papers (and why they matter).

The Royal Society web page for the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society “4 Degrees and Beyond” theme issue:

Some of the papers are now subscription only, having been offered to the public for a few days. Given the seriousness of crashing the Earth’s climate system, and in the spirit of Wikileaks, I’ve posted all the papers here, as pdf files.

Editorial by David Garner




Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows
Beyond ‘dangerous’ climate change: emission scenarios for a new world

Niel H. A. Bowerman, David J. Frame, Chris Huntingford, Jason A. Lowe, and Myles R. Allen
Cumulative carbon emissions, emissions floors and short-term rates of warming: implications for policy

Richard A. Betts, Matthew Collins, Deborah L. Hemming, Chris D. Jones, Jason A. Lowe, and Michael G. Sanderson
When could global warming reach 4°C?

M. G. Sanderson, D. L. Hemming, and R. A. Betts
Regional temperature and precipitation changes under high-end (≥4°C) global warming

Fai Fung, Ana Lopez, and Mark New
Water availability in +2°C and +4°C worlds

Philip K. Thornton, Peter G. Jones, Polly J. Ericksen, and Andrew J. Challinor
Agriculture and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa in a 4°C+ world

Przemyslaw Zelazowski, Yadvinder Malhi, Chris Huntingford, Stephen Sitch, and Joshua B. Fisher
Changes in the potential distribution of humid tropical forests on a warmer planet

Robert J. Nicholls, Natasha Marinova, Jason A. Lowe, Sally Brown, Pier Vellinga, Diogo de Gusmão, Jochen Hinkel, and Richard S. J. Tol
Sea-level rise and its possible impacts given a ‘beyond 4°C world’ in the twenty-first century

Mark Stafford Smith, Lisa Horrocks, Alex Harvey, and Clive Hamilton
Rethinking adaptation for a 4°C world

Francoix Gemenne
Climate-induced population displacements in a 4 degree C + world

Rachel Warren
The role of interactions in a world implementing adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change.


David Wasdell Bio

David Wasdell video presentation, Tallberg Sweden 2008

David Wasdell videos

The Apollo-Gaia web site

Another important Wasdell paper, with the graphs and charts helpful for both his video at Talberg, and his Radio Ecoshock interview. “Runaway Climate Change, Boundary Conditions & Implications for Policy”.


“Seeds of Your Past” by Dirtfella (Victoria, B.C.)