Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trump Asks, ‘What About the Alt-Left?’ Here’s an Answer

By LINDA QIUAUG. 15, 2017


overall, far-right extremist plots have been far more deadly than far-left plots (and Islamist plots eclipsed both) in the past 25 years, according to a breakdown of two terrorism databases by Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute.

White nationalists; militia movements; anti-Muslim attackers; I.R.S. building and abortion clinic bombers; and other right-wing groups were responsible for 12 times as many fatalities and 36 times as many injuries as communists; socialists; animal rights and environmental activists; anti-white- and Black Lives Matter-inspired attackers; and other left-wing groups.

Of the nearly 1,500 individuals in a University of Maryland study of radicalization from 1948 to 2013, 43 percent espoused far-right ideologies, compared to 21 percent for the far left. Far-right individuals were more likely to commit violence against people, while those on the far left were more likely to commit property damage.

“We find that the right groups and the jihadi groups are more violent than the left,” said Gary LaFree, one the researchers and the director of the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.


Obama's anti-racism tweet after Charlottesville is most liked ever on Twitter

Claire Phipps
Aug. 16, 2017

A tweet by Barack Obama condemning racism in the aftermath of a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has become the most liked tweet ever, with more than 3 million social media users so far endorsing the sentiment.

The tweet, quoting the late South African president Nelson Mandela, read: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.”

The former US president followed the tweet with more from Mandela’s autobiographical Long Walk to Freedom: “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.

“For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Each has had more than a million likes, and hundreds of thousands of retweets.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Sierra Leone mudslide leaves hundreds lying 'dead underneath the rubble'

Global warming is causing an increase in extreme precipitation events.

Updated August 15, 2017 08:03:08 (Must be Australia time. It's late Aug. 14 in the U.S.)

More than 200 people have been killed in a mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown following heavy rains and flooding.

The Red Cross said at least 205 bodies had been taken to the central morgue in Freetown.

Police and military personnel were at the scene in the mountain town of Regent searching for people trapped in the debris.

Standing in the rain, residents sobbed as they mourned family members and waited for news of those missing.

Adama Kamara wept as she described a failed attempt to rescue her seven-week-old child.

"We were inside when we heard the mudslide approaching. I attempted to grab my baby but the mud was too fast. She was covered alive," said Ms Kamara, who escaped with bruises.


The death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered, Red Cross spokesman Abu Bakarr Tarawallie said.

Vice-President Victor Foh said "it is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble".


[An update]

More than 300 people have been killed in mudslides and flooding near Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown.

A hillside in the Regent area collapsed early on Monday following heavy rains, leaving many houses covered in mud.

A Sierra Leonean disaster management official, Candy Rogers, said that "over 2,000 people are homeless" as a result of the mudslide in the Regent area, AFP reports.


People are wailing uncontrollably; one woman told me she had lost more than 11 members of her family in the disaster, while another man said he had lost his wife, mother-in-law and children.

Hundreds of people are still coming to the area to look for their loved ones. Some of them told me they have not been able to find them.

In fact, there is no sign of the dozens of homes that were built at the foot of Sugar Loaf mountain.

They are covered in mud, with large areas of mire in some parts. It looks strong, but it is flaky. The concern is that if people walk there they risk sinking in the mud.


'Dodgy' greenhouse gas data threatens Paris accord

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent
8 August 2017

Potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found.

Air monitors in Switzerland have detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy.

However, the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount of the substance being emitted.

Levels of some emissions from India and China are so uncertain that experts say their records are plus or minus 100%.

These flaws posed a bigger threat to the Paris climate agreement than US President Donald Trump's intention to withdraw, researchers told BBC Radio 4's Counting Carbon programme.
But Trump is not simply withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. He is actively cutting back action to block global warming.


The rules covering how countries report their emissions are currently being negotiated.

But Prof Glen Peters, from the Centre for International Climate Research, in Oslo, said: "The core part of Paris [is] the global stock-takes which are going to happen every five years, and after the stock-takes countries are meant to raise their ambition, but if you can't track progress sufficiently, which is the whole point of these stock-takes, you basically can't do anything.

"So, without good data as a basis, Paris essentially collapses. It just becomes a talkfest without much progress."

Urban floods intensifying, countryside drying up

Public Release: 14-Aug-2017
Urban floods intensifying, countryside drying up
An exhaustive global analysis of rainfall and rivers shows signs of a radical shift in streamflow patterns, with more intense flooding in cities and smaller catchments coupled with a drier countryside
University of New South Wales

n exhaustive global analysis of rainfall and rivers shows signs of a radical shift in streamflow patterns, with more intense flooding in cities and smaller catchments coupled with a drier countryside.

Drier soils and reduced water flow in rural areas - but more intense rainfall that overwhelms infrastructure and causes flooding and stormwater overflow in urban centres. That's the finding of an exhaustive study of the world's river systems, based on data collected from more than 43,000 rainfall stations and 5,300 river monitoring sites across 160 countries.


As expected, it found warmer temperatures lead to more intense storms, which makes sense: a warming atmosphere means warmer air, and warmer air can store more moisture. So when the rains do come, there is a lot more water in the air to fall, and hence, rainfall is more intense.

But there's been a growing puzzle: why is flooding not increasing at the same rate as the higher rainfall?

The answer turned out to be the other facet of rising temperatures: more evaporation from moist soils is causing them to become drier before any new rain occurs - moist soils that are needed in rural areas to sustain vegetation and livestock. Meanwhile, small catchments and urban areas, where there are limited expanses of soil to capture and retain moisture, the same intense downpours become equally intense floods, overwhelming stormwater infrastructure and disrupting life.

"Once we sorted through the masses of data, this pattern was very clear," said Ashish Sharma, a professor of hydrology at UNSW's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "The fact that we relied on observed flow and rainfall data from across the world, instead of uncertain model simulations, means we are seeing a real-world effect - one that was not at all apparent before."


"It's a double whammy," said Conrad Wasko, lead author of the paper and postdoctoral fellow at UNSW's Water Research Centre. "People are increasingly migrating to cities, where flooding is getting worse. At the same time, we need adequate flows in rural areas to sustain the agriculture to supply these burgeoning urban populations".

Global flood damage cost more than US$50 billion in 2013; this is expected to more than double in the next 20 years as extreme storms and rainfall intensify and growing numbers of people move into urban centres. Meanwhile, global population over the next 20 years is forecast to rise another 23% from today's 7.3 billion to 9 billion - requiring added productivity and hence greater water security. The reduction in flows noted by this study makes this an even bigger challenge than before.


Informative links and comments

To paste text w/o formatting, use CTRL+Shift+v

FBI: Oklahoma City bank explosion plot foiled by undercover operation

133% leap in children admitted to ER for marijuana

Brain injury in kids might lead to alcohol abuse

Neonics put bumblebees at risk of extinction by hindering colony formation, study reveals

Supportive relationships linked to willingness to pursue opportunities

Link between biological clock and aging revealed
Scientists studying how aging affects the biological clock's control of metabolism have discovered that a low-calorie diet helps keep these energy-regulating processes humming and the body younger.

Out-of-pocket costs exceed what many insured cancer patients expect to pay

Rotavirus vaccines continue to reduce diarrhea hospitalizations, medical costs in US kids

Spain is one of the countries where more heatwaves are recorded annually

Public Release: 10-Aug-2017
Spain is one of the countries where more heatwaves are recorded annually
A study conducted in 400 cities around the world explores the relationship between heatwaves and mortality
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Spain has been hit by several record-breaking heatwaves this summer. In fact, Spain is one of the regions in the world where more heatwaves are recorded every year, and their effects indicate a rise in the risk of mortality of between 10% and 20% during these extremely hot periods. This is one of the conclusions which can be gleaned from an international study in which the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) participated. The study analysed heatwaves occurring between 1972 and 2012, in 400 cities and across 18 countries, and their effects on people's health, including mortality. The results are published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.


Among the study's conclusions is that the higher the temperature, the greater the risk to people's health. However, after analysing the data, researchers point out that the risk is similar whether high temperatures occur over several days or on a single day. In addition, the study considers that the effects on health can last for up to three to four days following a period of excessive heat.

"We have also found that people living in relatively mild or cool areas are more sensitive to hot spells of weather than those in more extreme regions. This suggests that there is some acclimatisation to these extremes of heat", TobĂ­­as adds.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Liberals gather in Atlanta to plan Trump resistance strategy

By Nicole Chavez and Michelle Krupa, CNN
Updated 10:02 AM ET, Sat August 12, 2017

Louisiana's governor has declared a state of emergency in New Orleans as officials and residents scrambled in the aftermath of last Saturday's heavy storm that left hundreds of homes and businesses flooded.

With more rain in the forecast, New Orleans leaders rushed to deal with a series of malfunctions in the city's drainage system -- and to face a critical public after some local officials waited days to reveal the full extent of system failures.


Because of New Orleans' unusual topography -- with many areas below sea level and protected by levees -- pumps in every neighborhood must suck rainwater out of storm drains and canals and push it into a nearby lake or other water bodies. In most other places, gravity does that work.

This time, unlike during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a huge amount of rain falling in a very short period of time caused the flooding. The rain tested the drainage system -- not the chain of levees, flood walls and pumps that the federal government built after Katrina.


Within three to four hours on Saturday, as much as 8 to 10 inches of rain fell across New Orleans.


tags: extreme weather, severe weather

New Findings Show How Climate Change Is Influencing India’s Farmer Suicides

Brian Kahn By Brian Kahn
Aug. 11, 2017

A suicide epidemic among India’s farmers has shaken the country and contributed to a doubling of the nation’s suicide rate since 1980.

It’s a widespread and intensely personal issue, one that has been difficult to tease out the root source. Debt, mental health, lack of social services, weather vagaries and even media coverage have all been put forward as part of the problem. Now, recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that climate change could also be playing a role.

The findings attribute more than 59,000 suicides in India to rising temperatures since 1980. With the world expected to warm further, the results suggest that adaptation could play a key role in helping farmers.


Agriculture makes up 14 percent of India’s GDP, but employs 230 million people or 32 percent of the rural population. Roughly two-thirds of those farmers have poor access to irrigation and rely on rainfed agriculture, itself a crapshoot tied to the Indian monsoon. That leaves them vulnerable to not just drought but other climate shocks like rising temperatures.

“These farmers and agricultural workers face extremely stressful and difficult conditions,” Carleton said. “In this risky environment where families are very poor, any additional shock can lead to extreme economic destitution, and some individuals may cope with that hardship by committing suicide. I find that the climate, and temperature in particular, causes crop losses while also elevating the risk of suicide.”

The study shows that there’s a strong link between high temperatures in the growing season and suicide rates. Carleton found that degree days above 68°F (20°C) was a key threshold for suicide rates in India. By looking at the increase in degree days above 68°F since 1980, she was able to tease out how many additional suicides across India have likely been due to rising temperatures. Her results show the additional heat is responsible for 59,300 suicides since 1980, accounting for about 7 percent of the overall increase.

Rising temperatures essentially act as a threat multiplier, similar to how the military views climate change. Rather than directly causing suicides just because it’s hot out, Carleton’s work suggests that hotter weather can have knock-on effects like reducing crop yields and increasing financial hardship.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Informative links and comments

I saw "An Inconvenient Denial" yesterday. Informative, interesting, and moving. The part on flooding in New Orleans is all the more poignant and moving because of the current flooding there. It was good to hear the emotion in Al Gore's voice, since he tends to sound rather wooden in radio interviews. Of course, the radio chooses what parts of the interview to air, so who knows whether what we hear there is representative. Of course, it could just be the way Gore speaks when thinking thru a response. And in the movie, when he got impassioned at one point, he stopped and apologized, so he might be trying to sounds cool.

Barbara Cook, Star of Broadway, Cabaret, Dies at 89
I remember when peple like Barbar Cook could be heard singing songs from musicals on pop radio, before Clear Channel, renamed IHeartRadio, bought almost all radio stations and ruined them and deprived listeners because their only concern is making money.

5 deaths reported while using weight loss balloon treatment, FDA says

These Are the Crazy Climate Records from 2016 You Haven’t Heard Much About

Safe partial solar eclipse viewing opportunities in the Atlanta area - August 21

Using old, slow computer

I had to send my laptop I got less than a year ago in to Dell to get the sound fixed.
So I'm using my old, dependable, but very slow Toshiba, with only 1G of memory.
So until I get my new computer back, I won't be posting as much.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A friend of mine had to go to northern California recently, while it was so hot, and because of the heat causing the air to be less dense and therefore having less lift, they couldn't take off until they had three people who either agreed or were chosen by lot to go on another flight. The number of very hot days is increasing, as well as record heat. Far from the worse thing that is already happening because of global warming.

Drinking Moscow Mules from copper mugs could cause copper poisoning

In St. Louis, activists are fighting to counter fall-out as minimum wage rolls back
More than 100 local businesses have pledged to continue paying the current wage following "Save the Raise" efforts.

Scott Pruitt embraces industry-backed chemical approval process under the guise of public safety

The Guy Who Invented Those Annoying Password Rules Now Regrets Wasting Your Time

Heavy rains wallop Houston area, causing widespread flooding

Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.
One government scientist who worked on the report, and who spoke to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.

Black people aren’t keeping white Americans out of college. Rich people are.
At 38 top colleges in the United States, more students come from the top 1 percent of income earners than from the bottom 60 percent.

Today we tie the record for longest dry streak in Seattle: 51 days

Safe partial solar eclipse viewing opportunities in the Atlanta area - August 21

There’s a Wildfire Burning in West Greenland Right Now

Dying gods: Mt Kenya’s disappearing glaciers spread violence below

Please read the whole article at the following link, which gives human examples of how it the problem is hurting people and causing conflict.

By Daniel Wesangula in Karatina
Published on 02/08/2017, 12:20pm


From the snow-capped mountain came folklore; came tales of bravery and bounty handed down from generation to generation. But more importantly, from the glaciers near the summit, which rises to more than 5,000m above sea level, came streams that fed into bigger streams that fed into rivers that gave life to everything that lay around the mountain; including Gitaru, his neighbours in Karatina region, friends and some enemies too.


“The ice is melting away. The rivers flowing from the glaciers are not as full as they used to be. Some have dried up. And this is causing conflict downhill,” Kenyan environmentalist and chairman of Kenya’s Water Towers Management Authority Isaac Kalua says.


The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that only 10 of the 18 glaciers that covered the mountain’s summit a century ago remain, leaving less than one third of the previous ice cover. The Lewis Glacier, the largest on Mt Kenya, has decreased by 90% in volume since 1934, with the highest rates of ice volume loss occurring around the turn of the century.

“When the melting starts, rivers first experience high flows because of the melting ice,” says Kalua. “But this subsequently reduces because the glaciers never really recover like they did before climate change became a reality. Because of this, there is less and less water in the rivers in the years that follow.”

Kenya, like many African countries is highly vulnerable to climate change because of its exposure to increasing temperatures and rainfall variability and its dependence on agriculture.

“Any change in anything that could affect this subsistence agriculture almost always ends in conflict,” Kalua says.


Kalua says the continued melting of the Mt Kenya glacier can only make things worse for the communities living around it.

“We cannot do anything about it,” he says. “It is not our problem. We are not responsible for the massive emissions responsible for global glacial melts. But we are suffering the consequences.”


July Was Record Hot for Parts of Alaska and the West

Andrea Thompson By Andrea Thompson
Aug. 8, 2017

The northernmost city in the United States just had its hottest July on record, as other spots in Alaska had their hottest month overall. Heat records also fell in a few western cities, as well as the fearsomely hot Death Valley, where July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.

Those hotspots stood out in what was the 10th hottest July on record for the Lower 48 states, topping off the second hottest year-to-date for the country by a hair, according to data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Three states are having their hottest year on record more than halfway through the year, while several more are running in second or third place.

While weather patterns have a big impact on monthly temperatures — as the cooler weather of early August shows — the overall warming of the planet is tipping the odds in favor of record heat. In fact, July had four times as many daily record highs as record lows, according to meteorologist Guy Walton, who keeps track of such streaks using NOAA’s data.


Death Valley, already known for its ferocious heat, took it to another level in July, with an average for the month of 107.4°F, the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang reported. Overnight lows were again a major factor, as they didn’t fall below 89°F on any night during the month there.

Three nights actually had a low temperature between 102°F and 103°F. Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist at the International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks, found this was the hottest month recorded at any station in Global Historical Climatology Network database kept by NOAA.


While weather patterns played a clear role in boosting temperatures in many parts of the country, the overall rise in average temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions has made record heat more and more likely and record cold increasingly rare.
Global warming must also be having an effect on weather patterns.

Every month since December 2014 has had more record highs than lows, according to Walton.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Massachusetts May Overlook Climate Impacts of Biofuels

By Bobby Magill
Aug. 7, 2017

Massachusetts is considering a plan that would classify wood pellets and other tree products as sources of renewable energy, allowing the logging industry to contribute to the state’s climate goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

However, research shows that burning biomass for energy can actually make climate change worse by boosting carbon emissions, not reducing them — facts critics are using to oppose the plan.


Massachusetts is among the Northeast’s leaders in developing renewable and clean energy. In July, a new offshore wind farm — among the first in the U.S. — was proposed for the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. It will be combined with large batteries to help meet a state mandate for the development of renewables.

But as the state continues its climate strategy to cut emissions from its power plants, it is being influenced by the logging industry, which wants biomass to be considered clean, renewable energy, according to the Boston Globe.


But a Climate Central analysis found in 2015 that switching to wood from coal increased carbon dioxide emissions at the Drax power station in rural England by 15 to 20 percent for each megawatt produced. Cutting trees for fuel also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide pollution that forests absorb.

It can take decades to replace trees chopped into wood pellets, research shows. Some hardwood forests can take up to 70 years to soak up as much carbon dioxide as they spew into the atmosphere after being chopped down.

Separately, a University of Michigan study found last year that biofuels are worse for the climate than gasoline.


The most spectacular meteor shower of the year peaks this week — here's how to watch

Dave Mosher

  • The Perseid meteor shower occurs each year in late summer.
  • This year, the astronomical event peaks on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • A bright moon will make seeing the meteors more challenging, but NASA says stargazers can expect to see one every couple of minutes.

Some websites have claimed that there will be more visible meteors per minute this year than at any other time in nearly a century, but experts say this is hogwash.

"This year, we are expecting enhanced rates of about 150 per hour or so, but the increased number will be cancelled out by the bright moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids," Bill Cooke, who leads NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, wrote in a blog post on Thursday. "A meteor every couple of minutes is good, and certainly worth going outside to look, but it is hardly the 'brightest shower in human history.'"

This year's conditions will be challenging for two reasons.

First, there'll be a waning gibbous moon — the full moon will have just ended, but it will still be full and bright.

Second, the moon will rise in the evening and set near dawn. Normally the best time to watch for meteors is after the moon sets. has a convenient moonrise and moonset tool to find out when that will happen in your location. In New York, for example, the moon will set at around 6:44 a.m. on Tuesday.

Given this year's conditions, the best time to head outside is between midnight and dawn. The closer to dawn the better — though twilight begins to eat up the dark sky a couple of hours before the sun rises.

You won't need any telescopes or fancy equipment to see the meteors — just clear skies, your eyes, and a bit of patience. Find a dark, remote spot away from the light pollution of nearby towns and cities, make yourself comfortable, and set aside a good chunk of time to enjoy the show.


Monday, August 07, 2017

Informative links

Loneliness now considered a big risk in premature death

Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 tn [5,000,000,000,000] per year

$1bn [$1,000,000,000] to clean up the oil in Peru’s northern Amazon

Study finds human influence in the Amazon's third 1-in-100 year drought since 2005

Environmental defenders being killed in record numbers globally, new research reveals

Why you say yes, even when you don't want to

US Employers Are Skipping Out on Billions in Payroll Taxes

Gov. Dayton calls Bloomington mosque blast "act of terrorism"

Loneliness Epidemic Growing into Biggest Threat to Public Health

Are You Dealing with a Vindictive Mother?

The ecological disaster that is Trump’s border wall: a visual guide

Border Wall Push Creates Flap in House — and at the National Butterfly Center

How to turn off those annoying Facebook Post Tab pop-ups

Judge sides with prosecution in NSA leak case

Brian Eno Explains the Loss of Humanity in Modern Music

USDA has begun censoring use of the term 'climate change', emails reveal

I have been calling it "climate disruption". The way things are going, "climate disaster" feels more accurate. It is hard to fathom the evilness of these people.

Oliver Milman in New York @olliemilman
Monday 7 August 2017 11.43 EDT

Staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead.

A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, show that the incoming Trump administration has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees around climate change.

USDA's advice to staff on climate change language

Avoid → use instead
Climate change → weather extremes
Climate change adaptation → resilience to weather extremes/intense weather events: drought, heavy rain, spring ponding
Reduce greenhouse gases → build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency
Sequester carbon → build soil organic matter


In her email to staff, dated 16 February this year, Moebius-Clune said the new language was given to her staff and suggests it be passed on. She writes that “we won’t change the modeling, just how we talk about it – there are a lot of benefits to putting carbon back in the sail [sic], climate mitigation is just one of them”, and that a colleague from public affairs gave advice to “tamp down on discretionary messaging right now”.

In contrast to these newly contentious climate terms, Moebius-Clune wrote that references to economic growth, emerging business opportunities in the rural US, agro-tourism and “improved aesthetics” should be “tolerated if not appreciated by all”.
Trump is deleting climate change, one site at a time
Read more

In a separate email to senior employees on 24 January, just days after Trump’s inauguration, Jimmy Bramblett, deputy chief for programs at the NRCS, said: “It has become clear one of the previous administration’s priority is not consistent with that of the incoming administration. Namely, that priority is climate change. Please visit with your staff and make them aware of this shift in perspective within the executive branch.”

Bramblett added that “prudence” should be used when discussing greenhouse gases and said the agency’s work on air quality regarding these gases could be discontinued.


The nomenclature of the federal government has also shifted as these new priorities have taken hold. Mentions of the dangers of climate change have been removed from the websites of the White House and the Department of the Interior, while the EPA scrapped its entire online climate section in April pending a review that will be “updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership”.


“These records reveal Trump’s active censorship of science in the name of his political agenda,” said Meg Townsend, open government attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

“To think that federal agency staff who report about the air, water and soil that sustains the health of our nation must conform their reporting with the Trump administration’s anti-science rhetoric is appalling and dangerous for America and the greater global community.”


While some of the changes to government websites may have occurred anyway, the emails from within the USDA are the clearest indication yet that staff have been instructed to steer clear of acknowledging climate change or its myriad consequences.

US agriculture is a major source of heat-trapping gases, with 15% of the country’s emissions deriving from farming practices. A USDA plan to address the “far reaching” impacts of climate change is still online.

However, Sam Clovis, Trump’s nomination to be the USDA’s chief scientist, has labeled climate research “junk science”.

Last week it was revealed that Clovis, who is not a scientist, once ran a blog where he called progressives “race traders and race ‘traitors’” and likened Barack Obama to a “communist”.
These people are traitors to our species, and to life.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

What is an Invest?

Aug 21 2014 01:30 AM EDT

On and The Weather Channel you may hear us use the term "Invest" (short for Investigation) followed by the numbers 90 through 99 and either the letter "L" for the Atlantic basin systems or "E" for the eastern Pacific systems.

These full labels in the Atlantic would be displayed as Invest 90L, Invest 91L, etc. In the eastern Pacific, you would see Invest 90E, Invest 91E, etc.

This naming convention is used by the National Hurricane Center to identify features they are monitoring for potential future development into a tropical depression or a tropical storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center, by designating a tropical weather system as an "Invest", the collection of specialized data sets and computer model guidance on the area of interest can begin. This collection and processing of data is shown on a number of government and academic websites for analyzing.

That said, the "Invest" assignment does not correspond to how likely a system may develop into a tropical depression or storm.

Once the end of the list is reached with either Invest 99L in the Atlantic or Invest 99E in the eastern Pacific, it starts back over again with Invest 90L or Invest 90E.

Death Valley Sets New Global Record for Hottest Single Month

So the average high temperature must be even higher.

Christopher C. Burt · August 6, 2017, 2:50 AM

Sustaining extreme heat for an entire month is a more impressive feat than doing so for just one day. This past July, Furnace Creek station at Death Valley, California, measured an average monthly temperature of 107.4°F—the hottest single month ever reliably measured anywhere on Earth.

Average monthly temperatures are typically calculated by adding the highs and lows for each day of the month, then dividing by 2 and dividing by the number of days in the month. A more precise method is to include every hour’s temperature reading and to divide accordingly. By using this technique, which is applied by the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), the Death Valley average for July 2017 was 107.24°F. (Note that conversions from degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius, and vice versa, may have a small effect on the results from Death Valley.)

Various media sources, including USA Today and the Washington Post, reported the Death Valley reading as being the second-hottest monthly average ever observed on the planet, behind the 107.44°F reported at the King Khaled Military City site in northern Saudi Arabia during August 2014. New evidence clearly shows the value from King Khaled to have been in error. Thus the Death Valley figure from this past July is, in fact, the warmest single month (average monthly temperature) reliably measured to date in the world.


Prelude to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse: A Partial Lunar Eclipse Occurs Monday

By Joe Rao, Skywatching Columnist | August 6, 2017 07:30am ET

Much of the Eastern Hemisphere will be treated to a partial eclipse of the moon Monday (Aug. 7) — a prelude to the grand spectacle that awaits North Americans exactly two weeks later.

The lunar eclipse will be visible from parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, and peaks 2:20 p.m. EDT (1820 GMT). Even if you're not in the path of the partial lunar eclipse, Monday will bring a summer full moon to the night sky.


Flash Drought In US High Plains May Have Already Destroyed Half Of This Year’s Wheat Crop

August 5th, 2017 by James Ayre

The “flash drought” that came out of nowhere this summer in the US High Plains, afflicting Montana and the Dakotas the worst, has already destroyed more than half of this year’s wheat crop, going by some recent field surveys. Considering that the region is now one of the top wheat-growing regions in the world, the damage is very notable.

What’s particularly “interesting” about the situation is how quickly the drought developed. It arose over just the last ~3 months — hence the phrase “flash drought” — and it quickly worsened. The US Drought Monitor recently upgraded the drought to “exceptional” — matching the intensity of the relatively recent drought in California, but developing over a shorter period of time.

These so-called flash droughts are expected to become considerably more common over the coming decades as the climate continues warming and weather patterns continue changing.

The area now being affected (the High Plains), it should be remembered, are expected to essentially turn to desert over the coming decades and centuries


Saturday, August 05, 2017

Monsanto Caught Ghostwriting Stanford University Hoover Institution Fellow’s Published Work

August 4, 2017 5:27 PM

Newly-released documents, dubbed the Monsanto Papers, give the public a behind the scenes look into how far Monsanto will go to control public perception, news media and scientific research into the key ingredient in its Roundup product, glyphosate.

The documents, which include internal emails and memos, reveals among other things, how Henry I. Miller, a Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, allowed Monsanto to ghostwrite an editorial he published in Forbes magazine and claimed as his own in 2015.

The 2015 editorial attacked the decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, to classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

For two years, Miller was believed to be the writer of those words. But now, emails between Miller and Monsanto employees show the company wrote the piece and Miller added a couple of words to it prior to publication.


Last month, California classified glyphosate as a carcinogen. Monsanto has vowed to fight that decision.

Informative links

Don't click 'like' on Facebook again until you read this

The polygamous town facing genetic disaster

Innocent Ex-Alabama Death Row Inmate Seeking Compensation for ‘30 Years of Hell’

How to Cool Down a Hot Car Faster to Cool Down a Hot Car Faster

We’ve Used Up The World’s Resources For The Year And It’s Only August
Because the world is using more and more resources relative to the planet’s ability to replenish itself, Earth Overshoot Day–the point at which global demand exceeds global supply–is earlier and earlier. Last year, the day fell on August 8. This year, it fell on August 2. Twenty years ago, it was still in October.

Planet Has Just 5 Percent Chance to Reach Paris Goal

US officially tells UN it wants out of Paris climate deal

three responding officers were taken to a hospital for possible exposure to synthetic opioid fentanyl after three other men apparently overdosed in a vehicle before it crashed.

Blast rocks Bloomington Islamic center

Extreme weather seen killing 152,000 Europeans a year by 2100

Neil Young Plans Online Archive With Full Catalog, Unreleased Music

Extreme weather seen killing 152,000 Europeans a year by 2100

Understanding how persuasion works can make consumers more savvy

Yoga effective at reducing symptoms of depression

Age of first exposure to pornography shapes men's attitudes toward women

How Congress Is Cementing Trump's Anti-Climate Orders into Law

Electric cars are pollution shifters: we will need huge investment in generation capacity

GOP states move to cut Medicaid

Innocent Ex-Alabama Death Row Inmate Seeking Compensation for ‘30 Years of Hell’

Alabama is barbaric, evil. After the many cases of people who have been in prison for long periods of time, sometimes on death row, to reduce the time they can appeal is extremely evil. To do so in the same session where they supposedly didn't have enough time to pass compensation for an innocent man who was imprisoned for 30 years, I don't know how there are words to describe the depths of warped, barbaric evilness of Alabama legislators, and the people who elect them.

by Corky Siemaszko
Aug. 4, 2017

The state of Alabama took 30 years of Anthony Ray Hinton's life when they sent him to death row for two murders he did not commit.

Now they won’t give him a dime.

Hinton’s application for redress was unanimously approved by a state senate committee earlier this year and an Alabama lawmaker introduced a bill that would have set aside $1.5 million for what the 61-year-old Hinton calls "30 years of hell."

But the state legislature never got around to debating that bill before wrapping up its session in May, leaving Hinton bitter and practically broke two years after his convictions were tossed.


“We just ran out of time,” said State Sen. Paul Bussman, the Republican lawmaker who sponsored the bill to compensate Hinton.

But Alabama lawmakers did manage to pass the Fair Justice Act, which is designed to speed up executions by reducing the number of years death row inmates can appeal their sentences.

In an April opinion piece for the Alabama Media Group, Hinton said that if that law had been around while was behind bars “I would have been executed despite my innocence.”

At least Hinton has Bussman in his corner.

“Yes, I do,” the lawmaker told NBC News when asked if he plans to introduce another bill to compensate Hinton when the legislature gets back to work again in January.

Hinton landed in a 5-by-8 foot cell that would be his home for 10,419 days after he was convicted of the 1985 murders of two Birmingham-area fast-food managers, John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vason. Both men had been gunned down in separate fast-food robberies.


It wasn’t until 1999 that the state’s case against Hinton began cracking.

Experts hired by the Equal Justice Initiative, which took up the Hinton case, had the so-called murder weapon and the bullets recovered from the victims tested by a team of forensic experts.

Their conclusion? No match.

But the state Attorney General’s Office refused repeated requests by Hinton’s lawyers to run their own tests on the revolver and bullets.

So Hinton languished in a cell for 16 more years before the U.S. Supreme Court finally ordered the Alabama AG’s office to do the tests. He was released in April 2015 after Jefferson Court Judge Laura Petro granted the state's motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds there was not enough evidence to conclusively link Hinton to the crimes.


Hinton, who makes ends meet by occasionally talking to college classes about what he endured, said he has no choice but to go through the grueling process again.

“When I got out I had no income to speak of,” he said. "The state of Alabama gave me no clothes, no food, no place to live. To take thirty years of my life and not give me one dime, that’s not right. That’s not justice. I would like to ask the world, where is my justice?”

Extreme heat gripping Washington and Oregon

Aug 4, 2017, 12:31 PM ET

Extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest is breaking records and causing a multitude of issues for residents.

The hot weather has prompted the National Weather Service to issue excessive heat and red flag warnings for residents in six western states: Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.


In Seattle, temperatures hit a high of 96 degrees, breaking the record high of 90 degrees set almost 30 years ago.

The hot streak has lasted 48 days and there have been more than 50 record highs in the Northwest in the last three days.


There have been more than 40 fires in the area and smoke continues to billow across the western states.


Poor air quality and heavy haze are expected in Seattle and Portland because of the wildfires

tags: extreme weather, severe weather

Friday, August 04, 2017

This is British Columbia’s Second-Worst Wildfire Season. It’s Far From Over

And many animals are killed and displaced by these wildfires.

Brian Kahn By Brian Kahn
Aug. 4, 2017

Poor air quality, blood-red sunsets and mountains swallowed by smoke are just a handful of the impacts of wildfires roaring in British Columbia.

The fires kicked up in early July but have spread in recent days as hot, dry and windy weather has fanned the flames and sent smoke streaming across the border into Washington and Oregon. Wildfires have burned through 1.2 million acres of forest and grassland as of Wednesday, making this the second-worst wildfire year on record for British Columbia. And with the whole month of August to go — typically the worst month for wildfires in the province — it’s likely this year will continue its assault on the record books.


The blazes in British Columbia are the latest in a fiery game of ring-around-the-rosy happening in the northern stretches of the world's forests. With each passing year, destructive fires are destroying more and more forests of spruce, fir, larch and other trees that spread across Russia, Canada and Alaska and northern Europe.

The unprecedented burn is a symptom of rising temperatures in a region that has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world. And because those forests contain some of the largest forest stores of carbon on the planet, sending them up in smoke will only increase the impacts of climate change.


tags: extreme weather, severe weather

Global Warming Is Fueling Arizona’s Monstrous Monsoons

Arizona is heavily republican, voted for Trump 49.03%. Hillary 45.46%. And Trump and other republicans are blocking action on global warming.

Bobby Magill By Bobby Magill

Summer in Arizona and throughout the Southwest is monsoon season, which means a daily pattern of afternoon thunderstorms, flash floods, dramatic dust clouds and spectacular displays of lightning over the desert.

As the climate changes, Arizona’s monsoon rainfall is becoming more intense even as daily average rainfall in parts of the state has decreased, according to a new study. Increasingly, extreme storms threaten the region with more severe floods and giant dust storms called haboobs.

Every summer, rivers of moisture in the lower troposphere — the monsoonal flow — stream into the Southwest from the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California. Nearly every day in midsummer, the sun heats the mountains and the deserts, creating convection. The rising warm air allows thunderclouds to build during the day before exploding into dramatic electrical storms in the afternoon and evening.

But today’s monsoons aren’t like the ones travelers on Route 66 would have driven through 60 years ago.

“During the monsoons, precipitation is coming in more extreme events,” said study co-author Christopher Castro, an associate professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “What we find is because atmospheric water vapor has increased, especially downwind of the mountain ranges, as these storms grow and organize, they’re larger and more intense than they used to be.”

Extreme weather, including more intense rain, snow and flooding, is becoming more frequent as the climate changes because the warmer air in the lower atmosphere is able to hold more moisture. Since the 1950s, extreme events have increased in every region of the U.S.

This summer, southern Arizona experienced its hottest June and wettest July on record. In June, Tucson recorded its first triple-digit daily average temperature. In the days following soaring triple-digit heat in July, monsoonal moisture pounded the Tucson metro area with intense rainfall and flash floods, shattering a daily rainfall record in a single hour on July 15, according to the National Weather Service.

This summer’s weather in Arizona is part of a pattern of increasingly ferocious monsoons that has been shaping up for decades, Castro said.


“This is happening even as the total monsoon precipitation is declining. This is not good news,” said Richard Seager, a professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, who is unaffiliated with the study. “Heavy precipitation events increase flood risk and also soil erosion. However, this is occurring at the same time that ecosystems, including rangelands, will be stressed by overall reduced water availability during the summer season.”

Seager said it’s an example of how global warming changes a region’s hydrology in a way that stresses people, communities and ecosystems.


tags: extreme weather, severe weather

Informative links

Roasting and Gasping in Pac NW; All-Time Record Heat in Southeast Europe

Suicide rate for teenage girls hits 40-year high

How the very rich legally avoid paying taxes

Power leads to corruption

A psychological analysis of Trump supporters has uncovered 5 key traits about them

How Corrupt Societies Corrupt the Behavior of their Citizens

Fires are torching Montana, and the money is running out
[Montana voted for Trump with 56.6% of their votes. They voted for someone who would block action on global warming, which is causing an increased number and intensity of wildfires.]

New Jersey-Size 'Dead Zone' Is Largest Ever in Gulf of Mexico

NAACP issues first-ever travel advisory for a state — and it’s Missouri

How to Safely Observe the Sun

Suicide rate for teenage girls hits 40-year high

How the very rich legally avoid paying taxes

Power leads to corruption

A psychological analysis of Trump supporters has uncovered 5 key traits about them

How Corrupt Societies Corrupt the Behavior of their Citizens

Fires are torching Montana, and the money is running out
[Montana voted for Trump with 56.6% of their votes. They voted for someone who would block action on global warming, which is causing an increased number and intensity of wildfires.]

New Jersey-Size 'Dead Zone' Is Largest Ever in Gulf of Mexico

NAACP issues first-ever travel advisory for a state — and it’s Missouri

How to Safely Observe the Sun

Roasting and Gasping in Pac NW; All-Time Record Heat in Southeast Europe

Suicide rate for teenage girls hits 40-year high

How the very rich legally avoid paying taxes

Power leads to corruption

A psychological analysis of Trump supporters has uncovered 5 key traits about them

How Corrupt Societies Corrupt the Behavior of their Citizens

Fires are torching Montana, and the money is running out
[Montana voted for Trump with 56.6% of their votes. They voted for someone who would block action on global warming, which is causing an increased number and intensity of wildfires.]

New Jersey-Size 'Dead Zone' Is Largest Ever in Gulf of Mexico

NAACP issues first-ever travel advisory for a state — and it’s Missouri

How to Safely Observe the Sun

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers linked to climate change, study claims

Michael Safi in Delhi @safimichael
Monday 31 July 2017 15.00 EDT

Climate change may have contributed to the suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers and farm workers over the past three decades, according to new research that examines the toll rising temperatures are already taking on vulnerable societies.

Illustrating the extreme sensitivity of the Indian agricultural industry to spikes in temperature, the study from the University of California, Berkeley, found an increase of just 1C on an average day during the growing season was associated with 67 more suicides.
Indian traders boycott Coca-Cola for 'straining water resources'
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An increase of 5C on any one day was associated with an additional 335 deaths, the study published in the journal PNAS on Monday found. In total, it estimates that 59,300 agricultural sector suicides over the past 30 years could be attributed to warming.

Temperature increases outside the growing season showed no significant impact on suicide rates, suggesting stress on the agriculture industry was the source of the increase in suicides.

Also supporting the theory was that rainfall increases of as little as 1cm each year were associated with an average 7% drop in the suicide rate. So beneficial was the strong rainfall that suicide rates were lower for the two years that followed, researcher Tamma Carleton found.


In recent months, a site in central Delhi has been strewn with evidence of the despair felt by the Indian agricultural sector.

Skulls and bones said to belong to farmers who killed themselves have been piled at Jantar Mantar, within walking distance of the Indian parliament.

They were brought to Delhi by farmers from Tamil Nadu, a state suffering its worst drought in 140 years, which the protesters claim has triggered hundreds of suicides in the past months.

Worse than the parched crops were the bank loans that loomed over many farming families, said Rani Radhakrishnan, one of the protesters.

In February, owing 80,000 rupees (£945), her husband stood outside his bank branch in the city of Trichy, and consumed a toxic concoction. He died on the spot.


Carleton said her research showed little evidence Indian farmers were changing their practices to accommodate rising temperatures.

“Without interventions that help families adapt to a warmer climate, it’s likely we will see a rising number of lives lost to suicide as climate change worsens in India,” Carleton said.

The true suicide rate was probably higher, she added, because deaths are generally underreported in India and, until 2014, suicide was considered a criminal offence, discouraging honest reports.

“The tragedy is unfolding today,” she said. “This is not a problem for future generations. This is our problem, right now.”

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Informative links

How to Tell if Your Eclipse Glasses Are Unsafe (and What To Do About It)

Al Gore Warns That Trump Is A 'Distraction' From The Issue Of Climate Change

Perseid Meteor Shower Underway, Will Peak in Mid-August

NASA Isn't Hiring Someone to Stop an Alien Invasion, You Jabronis

Wells Fargo Gets New York Subpoenas Over Auto Insurance Scandal

Crop-damaging temperatures increase suicide rates in India

In Baltimore, more officers accused of faking evidence

Daily showers aren't necessary, experts say

Businessman Paints Terrifying And Complex Picture Of Putin's Russia

Climate change to cause humid heatwaves that will kill even healthy people

Damian Carrington
Wednesday 2 August 2017 14.00 EDT

Extreme heatwaves that kill even healthy people within hours will strike parts of the Indian subcontinent unless global carbon emissions are cut sharply and soon, according to new research.

Even outside of these hotspots, three-quarters of the 1.7bn population – particularly those farming in the Ganges and Indus valleys – will be exposed to a level of humid heat classed as posing “extreme danger” towards the end of the century.

The new analysis assesses the impact of climate change on the deadly combination of heat and humidity, measured as the “wet bulb” temperature (WBT). Once this reaches 35C, the human body cannot cool itself by sweating and even fit people sitting in the shade will die within six hours.

The revelations show the most severe impacts of global warming may strike those nations, such as India, whose carbon emissions are still rising as they lift millions of people out of poverty.


Heatwaves are already a major risk in South Asia, with a severe episode in 2015 leading to 3,500 deaths, and India recorded its hottest ever day in 2016 when the temperature in the city of Phalodi, Rajasthan, hit 51C [124F]. Another new study this week linked the impact of climate change to the suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers.

Eltahir said poor farmers are most at risk from future humid heatwaves, but have contributed very little to the emissions that drive climate change.


Their previous research, published in 2015, showed the Gulf in the Middle East, the heartland of the global oil industry, will also suffer heatwaves beyond the limit of human survival if climate change is unchecked, particularly Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and coastal cities in Iran.


The scientists found that under a business-as-usual scenario, where carbon emissions are not curbed, 4% of the population would suffer unsurvivable six-hour heatwaves of 35C [95F] WBT at least once between 2071-2100. The affected cities include Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Patna in Bihar, each currently home to more than two million people.
Climate change: ‘human fingerprint’ found on global extreme weather
Read more

Vast areas of South Asia – covering 75% of the area’s population – would endure at least one heatwave of 31C WBT. This is already above the level deemed by the US National Weather Service to represent “extreme danger”, with its warning stating: “If you don’t take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.”

However, if emissions are reduced roughly in line with the global Paris climate change agreement, there would be no 35C WBT heatwaves and the population affected by the 31C WBT events falls to 55%, compared to the 15% exposed today.

The analysis also showed that the dangerous 31C WBT level would be passed once every two years for 30% of the population – more than 500 million people – if climate change is unchecked, but for only 2% of the population if the Paris goals are met. “The problem is very alarming but the intensity of the heatwaves can be reduced considerably if global society takes action,” said Eltahir.


Prof Chris Huntingford, at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said: “If given just one word to describe climate change, then ‘unfairness’ would be a good candidate. Raised levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are expected to cause deadly heatwaves for much of South Asia. Yet many of those living there will have contributed little to climate change.”

Carbon Dioxide May Rob Crops Of Nutrition, Leaving Millions At Risk

August 2, 20172:30 PM ET
Courtney Columbus

Rising carbon dioxide levels could have an unexpected side effect on food crops: a decrease in key nutrients. And this could put more people at risk of malnutrition.

A 2014 study showed that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are likely to put a dent in the protein, iron and zinc content of rice, wheat, peas and other food crops. Samuel Myers, an environmental health researcher at Harvard's School of Public Health, was the lead author on that study.


One study published in Environmental Health Perspectives estimates that the predicted decreases in the protein content of food crops may put about 150 million additional people at risk of protein deficiency by 2050. The other study, published online in GeoHealth, found that the available dietary iron supply could decrease in some high-risk regions.

Wheat and rice are not high in protein, but nearly three-quarters of the world's population uses these two crops as "primary protein sources," the study says, based on data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

And so, any reduction in protein contained in these crops can lead to health problems, particularly for poorer people in low income countries, says Myers.

Eighteen countries in Asia and Africa – including India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Iraq — may lose more than 5 percent of their dietary protein, the authors find. For about 150 million people in these countries, that loss is enough to make them protein deficient.

Protein deficiency is known to lead to low birth weight, stunting and other growth issues that influence overall health and well being.


The study on iron deficiency found that 354 million children aged 1 to 5 and about 1 billion women of child bearing age live in countries where the amount of dietary iron is projected to fall by more than 3.8 percent. These countries already have a high prevalence of anemia.

Iron deficiency is the most common cause for anemia. And a "staggering" number of people are anemic – two billion, according to the World Health Organization. Iron deficiency can also impair growth and lower children's IQs.

According to the new study, south and southeast Asia, sub-Saharan and northern Africa and the Middle East are at highest-risk of experiencing a further rise in number of people with iron deficiency. These areas are economically poorer, and people there get most of their iron from plants.


Glitter iPhone cases sold at Victoria's Secret recalled after reports of chemical burns and scarring

By Michelle Robertson, SFGATE Published 12:10 pm, Wednesday, August 2, 2017

About 275,000 sparkly iPhone cases are being recalled after reports the glitter-filled liquid inside causes chemical burns and skin irritation, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

MixBin Electronics sold the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 cases throughout North America at retailers like Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom Rack, Henri Bendel and Amazon.

Twenty-four cases of liquid leakage and subsequent skin irritation or burns have been reported worldwide, says the CPSC, with 19 from the U.S. One consumer reported permanent scarring, and another experienced swelling to her leg, face, neck, chest, upper body and hands.

The cases, which were manufactured in China, have been on the market since fall 2015 and sell for between $15 and $65.

CPSC recommends consumers stop using the cases immediately and contact MixBin for a full refund. See the above gallery for photos of some of the recalled cases.