Posts tagged climate change
Posts tagged climate change
We Actually Are Apes. Christians and Republicans Are Themselves Evidence of a Lack of Intelligent Design.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
…raised eyebrows Monday when he told GQ he couldn’t answer a question about the age of the earth because “I’m not a scientist, man.”
Having a top prospect for the 2016 presidential nomination say the age of the planet is “one of the great mysteries” comes at an awkward time for a party attempting to rebuild from its Nov. 6 drubbing at the hands of voters turned off by the GOP’s embrace of social conservatives. But Rubio is hardly alone among potential Republican presidential contenders. Other big names for 2016 have weighed in publicly at various times over the years to position themselves as supportive of creationism proponents.
In a radio interview with Voice of Christian Youth America, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) argued that his belief that global warming is a hoax is biblically inspired. Promoting his book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, Inhofe told interviewer Vic Eliason on Wednesday that only God can change the climate, and the idea that manmade pollution could affect the seasons is “arrogance“
In the interview, Inhofe did not mention he has received $1,352,523 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, including $90,950 from Koch Industries.
There is the distinct possibility that being a Republican or a Creationist indicates one has a genetic predisposition towards low cognitive function and mental disease. And one who is Republican Creationist cannot hold an honest train of thought for much more than thirty seconds.
GOP is SHIT and CHRISTIANS are ZOMBIES
“Why haven’t we heard anything about the cleanup of that rupture in the Pegasus pipeline that spilled 150,000 gallons of tar sand oil?” Colbert posed, “Well that’s because Exxon has contained the cleanup [pause] coverage by threatening to have reporters arrested for trespassing.”
Colbert also noted that the FAA ordered a no fly zone over the spill, which everyone is respecting, “especially the birds.” The show’s graphics team flashed an image of a critter of the sky grounded by a coat of oil.
Days after an ExxonMobil pipeline swamped an Arkansas subdivision, pouring an estimated 84,000 gallons of crude oil into residential streets, the National Safety Council presented Exxon Mobil Corporation with a safety award.
The Green Cross for Safety medal, presented at the council’s annual fund raising dinner in Houston on Tuesday, honored ExxonMobil for its leadership and “comprehensive commitment to safety excellence.”
Exxon, The FAA and the National Safety Council Can Suck a Green Greasy Donkey Dick. Not even Americans are stupid enough to believe this shit - not even Americans.
July 6, 2012
Coral reefs may be able to recover from disaster, according to a study that provides a bit of reassurance about the future of these endangered ecosystems.
Coral reefs around the world are at risk as the ocean’s temperature continues to rise. Those trends could kill not only coral but also the fish and other species that depend on the reefs. Those reefs are important for people as well.
‘Shocking’ Reef History
The study focused on beautiful coral reefs off the Pacific coast of Panama. They are seemingly a permanent feature of that coastline, but it turns out they have had a troubled history. Professor Richard Aronson at the Florida Institute of Technology and his colleagues discovered that by taking a core sample of the reef, just as a tree expert takes a sample of tree rings.
“We jammed 17-foot-long irrigation pipes down into the reef and pulled out a history, a section of the reef, that told us what the ups and downs of the reef had been,” Aronson says.
It turns out that this 6,000-year-old reef hadn’t simply been growing steadily throughout its history. In fact, the reef had actually died off for quite some time.
“These reefs were shut down for 2,500 years,” Aronson says, “and the reefs have only been living for 6,000 years, so that represents about 40 percent of their entire history. So that’s really shocking.”
Aronson, along with colleagues from more than a half-dozen research institutions, suspect that a natural climate shift was responsible for this terrible episode. During the 2,500 years in question, findings from other studies show, the ocean water cycled frequently from way-too-hot El Nino conditions to the other extreme, La Nina.
“It wasn’t just hot temperatures from El Nino. It was also more and more extreme La Nina events, which bring cold water,” Aronson says. And the reef didn’t grow well in either extreme.
But then the climate shifted again, to be much more like it is today. El Ninos and La Ninas still appeared, but not with such devastating extremes. And when the climate changed, the reefs came back to life.
“It seemed to be fairly instantaneous,” Aronson says. “About 2,000 years ago or so, some corals that are not the main reef-building corals started up, and then maybe 500 years later, around 1,500 years ago, the main coral started growing again very rapidly.”
All the fish and other reef creatures, which had apparently sought refuge elsewhere in the Pacific, returned. And the reef became much like the lively place it is today.
A Sign Of Hope?
Of course, Aronson is interested in the history of these reefs because he fears for the future. Climate change is likely to bring more devastating heat to these reefs and threaten them once again. On the other hand, his study finds that these reefs are remarkably resilient.
“What [this study] tells me is that these reefs do have hope, and if we are able to get a handle on climate change, then we might be able to save coral reefs,” Aronson says.
Of course, that hope depends on being able to arrest climate change, which is a tough task. John Ogden, a leading voice for reef conservation and an emeritus professor at the University of South Florida, says he doesn’t take too much comfort from this new study.
“What we’re facing in terms of climate change is unprecedented around the globe,” Ogden says. “So we don’t really know whether coral reefs are going to be able to recover from future disturbances” the way they recovered from the one documented in the new study.
Even if reefs can recover over a period of a few hundred years, that’s not great news for the next few generations. They may well witness sickly, bleached-white corals off the shores of Panama and elsewhere, instead of the ecosystems filled with colorful fish that we see today.
Meanwhile, under Manhattan:
As work slowly but surely but mostly slowly progresses on the Second Avenue Subway, and East Side Access, construction crews have dug some really wonderful looking caverns.
…and as the oceans rise these ho’s will fill. Not much foresight going on here.
You’ve all seen lots of articles on climate change, and here’s yet another New York Times article, just like every other darn one you’ve seen. It says all the same stuff as all the other ones you’ve seen. It even has the same amount of headline as all the other ones you’ve seen. What’s unusual about this one, maybe, is that it’s from 1953. And the reason I’m saying this is that you may have the idea this problem is relatively recent. That people have just sort of figured out about it, and now with Kyoto and the Governator and people beginning to actually do something, we may be on the road to a solution. The fact is — uh-uh. We’ve known about this problem for 50 years, depending on how you count it. We have talked about it endlessly over the last decade or so. And we’ve accomplished close to zip.
Scientists know that there are few certainties, absolutes and truths in science. Even for the few that do exists like the force of gravity and the rotation of the earth around the sun, these were objected to by the powerful authority of the Church just a few short centuries ago. And even today there are still fundamentalists that ignore these absolutes when they challenge certain biblical passages, which still passes as “the inerrant word of God” to many believers.
Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous. SOURCE
God Fearing Morons: Proof That We Are Apes
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced his resignation. He sent out a remarkable letter to Energy Department employees.
Here are some excerpts:
Chu has been an excellent Secretary of Energy, overseeing a near doubling of U.S. renewable energy capacity and a huge jump in clean energy R&D. You can see a comprehensive list of what has been achieved during Chu’s term in his letter.
Great Barrier Reef
Oceans are the “canary in the coal mine” for climate change. Declining marine diversity, dying coral reefs and of course rising sea levels are all evidence that something negative is happening, and faster than we thought. Now, a new study focused on India’s Grand Récif of Toliara finds that it’s human activity, more specifically than the complex issue of climate change, that’s devastating the planet’s most treasured coral reef systems.
Most people are familiar with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 1,600 miles off the coast of Queensland. India’s Grand Récif of Toliara, though smaller and less well known, is no less spectacular. Stretching for 11 miles off the southwest coast of Madagascar it was considered the richest biodiversity system in the Indian Ocean home to more than 6,000 species.
In the 1960′s and 70′s the Grand Récif was hailed as one of the most beautiful places, but since then the world has changed drastically. A rapid boom in human population has led to overfishing and a rise in destructive fishing practices. On land, vast areas of land have been cleared for agriculture and mineral extraction.
As temperatures have risen, and the soil rendered too polluted or infertile for cultivation, more and more people have been driven to the sea to seek their living. Some have turned to octopus hunting, which often leads to the trampling of precious coral reef colonies. Novice fishermen often attempt the practice using mosquito nets, which are harmful for both coral and seagrass. Compelled by the need to feed their families, these fishermen are only doing what they think they have too, and few have any comprehension of the long-term damage they’re causing.
The study, conducted by Assistant Professor Dr Jens Zinke from The University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute, termed this vicious cycle of destruction “wicked problems” and said that mere regulations against them have proven futile over the past 50 years.
“A lot of people tried to do something about it and enforced fishing restrictions,” Dr Zinke said. “But the problem got worse because people thought they were not involved and didn’t understand what was happening. “Instead, we found there has to be a community-based stakeholder process to get people to change the way they live and fish, and so protect the environment and give them a better future.”
A one-two punch of bleaching from record hot water followed by disease has killed ancient and delicate coral in the biggest loss of reefs scientists have ever seen in Caribbean waters.
Researchers from around the globe are scrambling to figure out the extent of the loss. Early conservative estimates from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands find that about one-third of the coral in official monitoring sites has recently died.
“It’s an unprecedented die-off,” said National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Miller, who last week checked 40 stations in the Virgin Islands. “The mortality that we’re seeing now is of the extremely slow-growing reef-building corals. These are corals that are the foundation of the reef … We’re talking colonies that were here when Columbus came by have died in the past three to four months.”
Some of the devastated coral can never be replaced because it only grows the width of one dime a year, Miller said.
Coral reefs are the basis for a multibillion-dollar tourism and commercial fishing economy in the Caribbean. Key fish species use coral as habitat and feeding grounds. Reefs limit the damage from hurricanes and tsunamis. More recently they are being touted as possible sources for new medicines.
If coral reefs die “you lose the goose with golden eggs” that are key parts of small island economies, said Edwin Hernandez-Delgado, a University of Puerto Rico biology researcher.
On Sunday, Hernandez-Delgado found a colony of 800-year-old star coral – more than 13 feet high – that had just died in the waters off Puerto Rico.
“We did lose entire colonies,” he said. “This is something we have never seen before.”
On Wednesday, Tyler Smith, coordinator of the U.S. Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monitoring program, dived at a popular spot for tourists in St. Thomas and saw an old chunk of brain coral, about 3 feet in diameter, that was at least 90 percent dead from the disease called “white plague.”
“We haven’t seen an event of this magnitude in the Caribbean before,” said Mark Eakin, coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch.
The Caribbean is actually better off than areas of the Indian and Pacific ocean where mortality rates – mostly from warming waters – have been in the 90 percent range in past years, said Tom Goreau of the Global Coral Reef Alliance. Goreau called what’s happening worldwide “an underwater holocaust.”
And with global warming, scientists are pessimistic about the future of coral reefs.
“The prognosis is not good,” said biochemistry professor M. James Crabbe of the University of Luton near London. In early April, he will investigate coral reef mortality in Jamaica. “If you want to see a coral reef, go now, because they just won’t survive in their current state.”
For the Caribbean, it all started with hot sea temperatures, first in Panama in the spring and early summer, and it got worse from there.
New NOAA sea surface temperature figures show the sustained heating in the Caribbean last summer and fall was by far the worst in 21 years of satellite monitoring, Eakin said.
“The 2005 event is bigger than all the previous 20 years combined,” he said.
What happened in the Caribbean would be the equivalent of every city in the United States recording a record high temperature at the same time, Eakin said. And it remained hot for weeks, even months, stressing the coral.
The heat causes the symbiotic algae that provides food for the coral to die and turn white. That puts the coral in critical condition. If coral remains bleached for more than a week, the chance of death soars, according to NOAA scientists.
In the past, only some coral species would bleach during hot water spells and the problem would occur only at certain depths. But in 2005, bleaching struck far more of the region at all depths and in most species.
A February NOAA report calculates 96 percent of lettuce coral, 93 percent of the star coral and nearly 61 percent of the iconic brain coral in St. Croix had bleached. Much of the coral had started to recover from the bleaching last fall, but then the weakened colonies were struck by disease, finishing them off.
Eakin, who oversees the temperature study of the warmer water, said it’s hard to point to global warming for just one season’s high temperatures, but other scientists are convinced.
“This is probably a harbinger of things to come,” said John Rollino, the chief scientist for the Bahamian Reef Survey. “The coral bleaching is probably more a symptom of disease – the widespread global environmental degradation – that’s going on.”
Crabbe said evidence of global warming is overwhelming.
“The big problem for coral is the question of whether they can adapt sufficiently quickly to cope with climate change,” Crabbe said. “I think the evidence we have at the moment is: No, they can’t.
“It’ll not be the same ecosystem,” he said. “The fish will go away. The smaller predators will go away. The invertebrates will go away.”
We Must Save The Reefs, the Ocean Is The Key To Human Survival
U.S. Health Worse Than Nearly All Other Industrialized Countries.
U.S. citizens suffer from poorer health than nearly all other industrialised countries, according to the first comprehensive government analysis on the subject, released Wednesday.
Of 17 high-income countries looked at by a committee of experts sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the United States is at or near the bottom in at least nine indicators.
These include infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, and adolescent pregnancies, as well as more systemic issues such as injuries, homicides, and rates of disability.
For the last 6 years, the head of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has been Rep. Ralph Hall, a right wing religious fundamentalist who denies the science of climate change. Now it’s time for Hall to step down, and to replace this anti-science nutjob, the Republican Party has picked … another anti-science nutjob.
On Tuesday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that the Republican Steering Committee had recommended Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) as the new chairman. The full House GOP caucus will vote on all chairmanships Wednesday and is expected to ratify the steering panel’s choices.
Smith, like many of his Republican colleagues, has expressed doubt that global warming is caused by human behavior. In 2009, he criticized the media for not airing enough “dissenting opinions” about climate change.
The political obsessions of the Republican base — from denying global warming to defending assault weapons to opposing any tax increases under any conditions, to resisting any immigration reform — are making it impossible to be a Republican moderate, said Carville. And without more Republican moderates, there is no way to strike the kind of centrist bargains that have been at the heart of American progress — that got us where we are and are essential for where we need to go.
That’s NY Times columnist Tom Friedman in his latest column, “Send in the Clowns.” He notes:
… if Republicans continue to be led around by, and live in fear of, a base that denies global warming after Hurricane Sandy and refuses to ban assault weapons after Sandy Hook — a base that would rather see every American’s taxes rise rather than increase taxes on millionaires — the party has no future. It can’t win with a base that is at war with math, physics, human biology, economics and common-sense gun laws all at the same time.
Nor can we stop catastrophic climate change without a Congress that will support strong action. The fossil-fuel-funded Tea Party is apparently content destroy the GOP, the nation’s future, and the climate — though not necessarily in that order.
Congress has finally acted on global warming—by denying it exists. It’s in the grand lawmaking tradition of the Indiana state legislature’s 1897 attempt to redefine the value of pi.
The Republican-led House of Representatives is currently working on the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions to mitigate climate change.
In the House Energy and Commerce Committee, California Democrat Henry Waxman had proposed an amendment calling on Congress to at least acknowledge that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” just as abundant scientific evidence confirms.
But on Tuesday, March 15, all the committee’s Republicans voted down that amendment, as well as two others acknowledging the threat of climate change to public well-being. Rep. Ed Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts, had this to say:
“I rise in opposition to a bill that repeals the scientific finding that pollution is harming our people and our planet. However, I won’t rise physically, because I’m worried that Republicans will overturn the law of gravity, sending us floating.”
GOP is SHIT
Coming off the hottest year on record in the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that he will introduce legislation to move aggressively to reverse global warming.
“The scientific data is clear that global warming is real and significantly caused by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels,” Sanders said.
“After the hottest year on record and extreme weather disturbances such as Hurricane Sandy, we must take strong action to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and move toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” Sanders added. “I intend to introduce legislation in the Senate to do just that.”
Sanders’ legislation will include a transparent fee on greenhouse gas emissions from the biggest polluters. It will call for an historic investment in efficiency, sustainable energy, advanced transportation infrastructure, and clean energy research and development. The measure also would end fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks.
The annual U.S. temperature last year was 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit, a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998, the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., announced on Tuesday. Scientists say the temperature increases are happening faster than they expected and that the warming trend is a result of climate change caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
The problem is global. Record temperatures in Australia, for example, produced what the government called “catastrophic” fire conditions in the most populace part of the continent. The average temperature across Australia on Tuesday was the highest since statistics began being kept in 1911.
The United States in recent years has doubled electricity generation from wind and solar power sources and enacted fuel economy standards that will help our cars and trucks get to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. “But we are not doing nearly enough,” Sanders said. “That is why I will be introducing legislation that would deal realistically with the crisis in a way that is aggressive but achievable.”
When the Pacific Ocean warms and cools with El Niño and La Niña, global temperatures rise and fall. Because there was a La Niña event (La Nina= cooling) in the early part of this year, the global surface temperature for 2012 won’t break the high temperature record.
When I was six years old, my neighbor was building a bomb shelter. Nothing has changed. It will get warmer.
Spineret glands on a spider produce six different types of silk which are spun together and is tougher than any man made fiber humans have ever made. The closest we have come is aramid fiber, which requires extremes of pressure, extremes of heat and loads of pollution and yet the spider manages to do it at ambient temperature and pressure with no pollution with raw materials of dead flies and water.
We have a lot to learn.
Too bad Americans are the quintessential jail house punk, owed totally by their shitty government and its corporate parasites and fucked senseless by lies and mainstream mind cleanser. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: America is an ignorant fail…..We need more guns…..More guns…That’s the answer….More guns……And another war.
Something Most of Us Can agree upon: Reclaiming the desert. Reclaiming the desert with climate change pending ominously. A strip of green, inhabitable by people across the Sahara.
Architecture student Magnus Larsson details his bold plan to transform the harsh Sahara desert using bacteria and a surprising construction material: the sand itself.
Magnus Larsson hopes to build new structures in the desert — by using bacteria to turn shifting sand into a solid mass.
Sand is a magical material of beautiful contradictions. It is simple and complex. It is peaceful and violent. It is always the same, never the same, endlessly fascinating.” (Magnus Larsson)
We Destroying the Earth, Maybe, Just Maybe We Can Help. Maybe.
Western Antarctica Ice Sheet warming faster than thought
BBC: The Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming nearly twice as fast as previously thought, according to a new analysis of temperature records. US researchers say they found the first evidence of warming during the southern hemisphere’s summer months. They’re worried the increased melting of ice could contribute to sea-level rise.
The study has been released by the journal “Nature Geoscience.”
Image: The data from Byrd Station shows rapid warming on the west Antarctic ice sheet. (Julien Nicolas)
But……..Then There Is That Science-Fiction-Fantasy that an up and coming super genius will invent a carbon eating slime mold and save us from CO2. So Just Keep Sitting on Your Ass Nero.
Leaked documents from the Heartland Institute in Chicago, one of many nonprofits that spread disinformation about climate science in hopes of stalling government action to combat global warming, reveal that the organization is working on a curriculum for public schools that casts doubt on the work of climatologists worldwide. Heartland officials say one of the documents was a fake, but the curriculum plans were reportedly discussed in more than one. According to the New York Times, the curriculum would claim, among other things, that “whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy.”
A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university.
A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University’s economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting “political economy and free enterprise.”
Who’s behind a multi-million dollar campaign to seed doubt about climate change? It’s not just Exxon and Chevron—it’s also Koch Industries, an oil and gas giant that most people have never heard of, according to a new report from Greenpeace. Koch’s extensive funding of anti-climate work makes it the “financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition,” says Greenpeace.
The report lists 35 organizations who have directly or indirectly received money from Koch Industries, affiliates, or Koch family foundations. They include the libertarian think-tank Cato Institute, which received a $1 million grant from the Kochs. Cato runs the climate-change-denial site GlobalWarming.org, and is suing the Environmental Protection Agency to block its finding that climate change threatens human health. The Koch family has also directed more than $5 million to Americans for Prosperity, which has campaigned against efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They have also supported Citizens for a Sound Economy (which later merged with another group to form FreedomWorks).
Despite overwhelming consensus among climate change researchers and scientific institutions worldwide—including all the Academies of Sciences in industrialized countries, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, NASA and all other major US scientific institutions—recognition of global warming among Americans remains startlingly low. Fueled by Koch money, the Climate Denial Machine has executed an unceasing, anti-scientific and anti-regulatory public relations campaign that mirrors the tactics used by tobacco companies to deny the health consequences of smoking.
A new report by the International Forum on Globalization details the role of David and Charles Koch in undermining international talks to address the rapidly escalating problem of climate change. As the United Nations meets in Doha, Qatar this week, the goal is to create a framework in which the governments of the world make internationally binding commitments to cut carbon emissions fast enough to keep climate change within the agreed threshold of 2C.
But the real decision makers are not the climate negotiators, but politicians in capitals around the world including Washington, DC. The report, Faces Behind a Global Crisis: U.S. Carbon Billionaires and the U.N, Climate Deadlock, details how Charles and David Koch’s undue influence over United States climate policy has paralyzed American policy makers and stymied the United Nations climate talks.
The United States Sucking Koch Cock in the Climate Talks at Doha, Shame All Americans and Threatens All People: Impeach Obama. What Little Good Obama Does Will Be Negated by Obama Grabbing His Ankles for Oil and Coal.
Koch Brothers: Echo Chamber Whores