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The Week That Was: We’re Expecting Great Things

February 25, 2012, By Climate Central

This week: Climate change, the Heartland case, avalanches, and a volcanic plume

Expectations can be a bear. Just think about it. Whether you’re an actor, a politician or an athlete, expectations frame the conversation and carry a heavy load.

Take, for instance, the case of Jeremy Lin, the Cinderella-story, out-of-nowhere star for the New York Knicks. He’s been a fun revelation and great theater. But one bad outing against the best team in the NBA, and “he’s back to reality.” Whose reality, I’m not exactly sure.

Or how about Mitt Romney, who along with Rick Santorum is one of the final two bigwigs in the GOP race? As the primaries in Arizona and Michigan loom next Tuesday, the expectation has been that Romney has to win in Michigan — his home state and a place where his father was the governor. But why? What if he wins in Arizona instead? And/or what if he wins on Super Tuesday?

Finally, think about the 84th Academy Awards this Sunday night. First, it comes with your expectations that it will be an enjoyable show instead of interminably dull, like every other year. Then think about all those actors and actresses with their expectations for the coveted Oscar. But there’s only one winner, and a lot of losers.

Speaking of winners and losers, here’s a little hint on Best Picture. It’s called “Take Shelter”, a great film with not-so-subtle climate change tangents. You can thank us later.

We’ll thank you now, though, for reading the Week That Was at Climate Central. No expectations included.

Monday, Feb. 20

Top 5 Faux Careers to Avoid Discussing Global Warming
If you’re in the realm of climate science, sometimes it’s simply easier to dodge a question about what you do for a living — or flat out lie — than to endure another heated argument about global warming. So, here’s a ready-made list of the Top 5 socially acceptable professions to rely on for avoiding global warming arguments.

Image of the Day: A Plume of Volcanic Gas
A satellite image shows a plume of volcanic gas, possibly mixed with a little ash, rising above an island’s summit.

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Strong Reaction to Scientist’s Role in Heartland Case
Gleick’s confession has elicited a wide range of reactions from climate reporters and bloggers on all sides of the climate debate. Here is a comprehensive roundup of such reactions to the latest developments in the Heartland Institute leak scandal.

In the Andes, Freak Cold Extracts a Brutal Toll
The Andes, warming for decades, has seen three bitter winters that have left more than 400 dead and aid agencies scrambling.

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Climate Change Increased Likelihood of Russian Heatwave
The extreme Russian heatwave of 2010 was made three times more likely because of man-made climate change, according to a study led by climate scientists and number-crunched by home PC users.
Surf’s Up: The Web’s Best Reading of Heartland Scandal
For those of you who haven’t had the time to surf through it all, here are the reactions and commentaries that popped up on our radar.

Thursday, Feb. 23

Scientist Behind Heartland Expose Faces Fight to Save Job
The career and reputation of the scientist behind the Heartland Institute exposé is in jeopardy, after his employers said they were reviewing his use of deception to obtain confidential documents. The review was the most serious potential repercussion to date of the admission by Peter Gleick.

Pass the Ketchup, Test-Tube Burger on the Menu Soon?
The goal of the project is to cut the number of cattle farmed for food and in the process, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Friday, Feb. 24

Avalanches Taking Toll: Foreshadowing the Future?
While it may seem like more snow would lead to more avalanches, experts say that in many areas, the high avalanche danger this year is tied to the thin, weak snowpack that was established earlier this winter, and is now failing to hold on to new snow that falls.