• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 8 comments on Watching Climate Change from the Ground and the Heavens

  1. As the planet has not warmed since 1996, cooled gently from 2002, and cooled more actively since 2006, all in a totally predictable and natural manner, any changes would be totally urban heat island effect.

    It is a shame that the professor uses evocative, misleading terms, such as “furnace,” to describe urbanization effects. One would wonder why he thinks he needs to make terms alarming. This alone demotes his credibility.

    Global warming by man is a scam, a political agenda, and a false crisis based on a trace gas that thermodynamically cannot warm the climate. It is sad to see a BU professor pushing a political agenda—or is he just looking for more grant funding? Either way it seriously injures his credibility as a scientist.

  2. it’s really good to know that at least somebody is concerned about the environment in today’s technological world.the first species to sense any small climate are the amphibians due to their sensitive skin.i suggest that you can learn more about the climate through amphibians.

  3. “In Thoreau’s time, there were 21 species of orchids in Concord, and now we can only find 7,” Primack says. “We’re investigating how this decline has occurred, and also what to do about it.”

    What to do about it?!! How about NOTHING?

    “Left unchecked, a warming planet will “reach a point at which the ecosystems are going to start to fail—there won’t be enough trees,…”

    He must have forgotten that little thing we call the Carboniferous Period. A warm climate with high O2, low CO2, due to the whole mess of vegetation that thrived.

    “He says that “it’s absolutely certain” that climate change, plus the urban furnace effect (Boston’s pavement and buildings absorbing heat, and the many cars in the area generating it) are the causes. Primack puts one-third of the blame on global warming and two-thirds on urbanization.”

    Here are some excerpts taken from Primack’s paper on the issue:

    “The exact combination of factors and the genes involved in triggering leaf-out are still largely unknown for most species.”

    “Air temperature is the most important factor in regulating budburst…”

    “The exact role of photoperiod in timing of leaf-out and its interaction with temperature requirements is not fully understood,”

    “There are several other factors that likely contribute to the differences in leaf-out time among species.”

    How, then, can we be “absolutely certain”? Better to read the paper:


  4. I wil point out that the article linked to by “BUParent” is authored by James Taylor of the Heartland Institute, not known for their scientific prowess or balanced opinions…

    To Mr. Higley, I would point out that the urban heat island effect has been examined (by a climate skeptic, Koch-funded study, no less) and even they conclude that human-induced climate change is real, despite any possible ‘heat island’ contribution. The lead author of this study has very publicly recanted and justified his changed opinion based on the data:


    If I were you, I would follow his lead and look at the data yourself- not just the cherry-picked numbers, but the long-term trends as well. Numbers cannot and do not lie. Data analysts and private interest groups can. Whether or not you want to pay attention to the science, isn’t the wise thing to err on the side of caution and take preventive measures to reduce emissions?

  5. “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” By understanding the parable we know when our Lord returns. The judge stands at the door. Do you have any figs?

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