Climate Science and the 2012 Election

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 7:41 PM GMT on January 31, 2012

Share this Blog
16
+

Climate Science and the 2012 Election

I came from a family that subscribed, in the 1960s, to both the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and Technology Review. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is the magazine that, during the Cold War, famously published a clock set a few minutes before midnight. This clock was the evaluation of those at the Bulletin of how far we were from the, well as my grade-school self understood it, the end of the world. The cause for concern for the end of the world was nuclear war.

I have had cause to recall my Cold War childhood recently when my sister told the story of my brother going to roof of his building during the 1965 Northeast Blackout with a fine bottle of wine – or perhaps, cognac, to await the end of the world. His presumption was that the blackout was the darkening of the cities to make them more difficult targets for the bombers. I remember, in the 1960s, finding comfort when the new issue of the Bulletin would come and the clock had not moved forward, and I was quite excited if it moved backwards. I was surprised, recently, when I read that Bulletin had moved the clock one minute closer to midnight because of “inadequate progress on nuclear weapons reduction and proliferation, and continuing inaction on climate change …” Looking at their website you will see that the Bulletin maintains efforts in Biosecurity, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change. The article by Cohen and Miller, Climate Change 2011: A Status Review of US Policy is an excellent summary of the current situation in the US. The final sentence of their essay is, “That action is extremely unlikely to occur unless climate change comes to be seen as a practical, rather than ideological, issue.”

Looking at the political landscape, climate change has fallen from the political discussion; it is a subject that cannot be talked about(some of my writings). Maxwell Boykoff has an excellent op-ed piece in the Washington Post entitled A Dangerous Shift in Obama’s ‘climate change’ Rhetoric. At the center of this piece is how climate change has implicitly been consumed in discussions of energy security, alternative energy, and clean energy. Though the warming of our climate is strongly linked to our burning of fossil fuels, there are many ways to achieve energy security and to develop alternative energy that do not address the causes of global warming. The pursuit of clean energy depends on the definition of “clean,” and this word is easily co-opted by, for example, the reduction of mercury emissions from coal.

Ultimately, we have to talk about management of the climate if we are to address the problems of human-caused global warming. We cannot address one societal challenge with the idea that we will fix the climate change problem by good fortune. When I teach this idea in class, I invoke my experience in management and, namely, it is simply not responsible management to anticipate achieving an important result without someone, some organization, having the responsibility for delivering that result.

Yet we live in a time when politicians are vilified and run out of office when they talk about climate and climate change. As Boykoff noted in his piece, President Obama avoids the climate issue because it is such a political hot button that it completely disrupts and halts progress on any issue where it is invoked. There is the recent incident where an essay on climate change was purged from a collection being put together by Newt Gingrich. I like to think that a couple of the candidates pulled out of the Republican primaries because they felt that their integrity would be too seriously comprised by having to, essentially, lie in order to obtain the trust of their voters.

Bob Inglis was voted out of Congress in 2010. Recently he wrote a piece Conservative Means Standing with Science on Climate Change. Ultimately, Inglis is arguing that if ALL costs of our energy use are incorporated into the equation, then the cost of fossil fuels would be much higher and alternative sources of energy would be more attractive. This coupled with elimination of all subsidies for energy costs, Inglis argues, would allow the market to make the right decision about energy and, hence, the climate. This full-cost accounting is enticing in its philosophical simplicity, but there are many profound implications. It does require accepting the notion that our carbon dioxide waste is harmful to the environment, the assignment of cost to that harm, and a process of linking that cost to energy sources.

As a strategy, addressing issues of clean energy, energy independence and energy security are more politically pragmatic than addressing issues of climate change. They offer a path towards addressing climate change; they are part of the best-we-can-do-at-this-time strategy. However, our inability to actually talk about solving the climate change problem means that we will not address the problem; we will elevate our risks; we will continue to impact negatively our economic and technological competitiveness.

It has fascinated me over the years at how both elected officials and government appointees make far more sense in what they say after they are outside of their government positions. I was a minor manager in the government, and even at my level, I was motivated to saying and doing things that were not the best thing to do to address a problem. Rather, what I did was the expedient and possible and it did advance the problem, but it was not either the best or most cost effective decision. This places the post-government truth teller, like Inglis, into one of the most important roles in advancing difficult problems like climate change. It also, however, points out the stunning inefficiency and ineffectiveness of our politically based determination of priorities in the development of knowledge-based environmental policy. We look knowledge in the face and deny its existence. We make our convenient arguments for the need for more research in the ill-posed pursuit of the illusive final facts. We fall into the diversion-motivated process of always asking for the next piece of information in what can be a never ending series of information discovery.

I found the October/November 1969 Technology Review in a box of Space-Age memorabilia I packed up from childhood. This issue was entitled “Man Among the Planets,” and the first article was “The Modification of the Planet Earth by Man,” by Gordon J. F. MacDonald. MacDonald in 1969 argued that we had already altered the planet, and that changes produced by humans were already at the scale “caused by nature.” He warned that we needed to do research into large-scale, man-made, and inadvertent changes to our environment. He called for the development of climate prediction. Since 1969 we have taken the observations, we have developed the theory, and we have determined unequivocally that the Earth has warmed and that we the fuel-using people are the primary reason of the warming. As MacDonald called for in 1969, we have placed a lot of emphasis on climate and environmental research, and the results of that research have provided actionable information – knowledge. We look at that knowledge in eye and, as a society, we deny it. We look away. Perhaps, if we look away then it is not really there.

Looking forward to the 2012 election, I don’t expect that climate change will be an oft articulated issue. The issue out front will be jobs, and the prominent link will be made between the exploitation of fossil fuels, new jobs, and energy security. Our approach to climate change will remain quietly in the hands of those savvy enough to use the unique knowledge provided by climate projections and those post-government truth tellers who no longer have to look away.








Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 148 - 98

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4Blog Index

Gnight to both sides of the fence :)

It is in the end about perception, No?

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Quoting RevElvis:
"NASA Satellites Show How Our Icy World Is Melting"

LiveScience.com

(I don't brake for trolls)


Help me out here,,,,,, where are the links to NASA, or NASA provided material that the article infers reference too ? All I find are links to the same site that did the article (ª¿ª)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Selling a book, or selling out?

Breaking Global Warming Taboos
'I Feel Duped on Climate Change'


What happened to Germany?

Germany in skeptical turmoil on both Climate and Solar/Windfarms

Well, time for a video before the complaints come........ enjoy :)

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
.."we are thinking about it together"

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
AGW is causing more cooling:

Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
"NASA Satellites Show How Our Icy World Is Melting"

LiveScience.com

(I don't brake for trolls)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dragontide:
Green politics could still make it's way to the forefront of the 2012 elections. The record number of broken weather records, the 323 consecutive months the world temperature has been above average and excessive insurance claims from extreme weather damage could run all those Koch Brothers sponsored, AGW denying, right-wingers out of Washington. All the left has to do is point out the facts.


Correct the rights act as though their problems are the end of the world not the lefts!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Green politics could still make it's way to the forefront of the 2012 elections. The record number of broken weather records, the 323 consecutive months the world temperature has been above average and excessive insurance claims from extreme weather damage could run all those Koch Brothers sponsored, AGW denying, right-wingers out of Washington. All the left has to do is point out the facts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

OUCH!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
Wow. Just as with global temperature data, your ideological blinders are attached so tightly they make you see positive numbers as flat or negative. Job numbers have gone up every month since Obama has been in office. Period.

Let us check this job numbers claim made by you. Hmmm where could I check, let me think, oh I know lets check the graph you posted (post number 89). Well that graph you posted does not back up your claim now does it.

My sides hurt from laughing. You win line of the day hands down.

When someone such as yourself tries to keep spinning facts to fit their own bias or agenda they tend to forget what the actual facts are. Speaking of ideological blinders look in the mirror.



Hoisted with your own petard my boy, you should be used to it by now.

BBL for more fun
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting Ossqss:
Hummm, how much tax revenue does government spending on government jobs provide?

On the other hand, the POTUS has the ability instill confidence in corporate and private investing that can create real jobs that contribute to the tax receipts. Unfortunately, we have no useful job creating confidence emitted from the current occupier of the WH. Are we still 6 million jobs short of the 2008 employment levels?

Some may find this interesting :-)

http://www.videojug.com/interview/myths-about-pre sidential-power-2
Wow. Just as with global temperature data, your ideological blinders are attached so tightly they make you see positive numbers as flat or negative. Job numbers have gone up every month since Obama has been in office. Period.

I find it interesting that here and elsewhere, the GOP is suddenly latching onto the illogical meme that the President has no power, and therefore Obama has had nothing to do with any improvement in the economy or consumer confidence as of late. That's patently false, of course, especially coming right on the heels of three years of that same GOP lying by proclaiming that the downturn was Obama's fault. And it's also illogical for this reason: if the office of POTUS holds no power, why will the GOP spend hundreds of millions of dollars this year to put one of their own in it?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Quoting greentortuloni:



I disagree with you and I think Nea has a point that you are deliberatly avoiding.

Technically the president doesn't have the power to hire people. However the president has enourmous power to change the events of the country which create or lose jobs.

To take a silly example: if the president decides that he wants an aviary in the white house, somehow someone gets hired to care for the birds. He didn't hire the person, he doesn't sign the checks, but the person is hired anyway.

Similarly, if a president decides to lower taxes on his wealthy campaign contributors, the government has less money, and spends less on research, while the rich have more money to spend on yachts and hookers, some of which may get invested in consumer products to sell to poor people without jobs.

Feel free to disagree with that last paragraph in terms of dynamics, the point is that the president's actions affect the creation of jobs. If you want to argue about who raises or lowers taxes (i.e. the president or congress), try googling tax cuts. Not a single tax cut or raise is listed as being the result of a congress, they are the 'bush tax cuts' the 'clinton tax cuts' etc..

That is one example of why saying the president has no pwoer is rediculous. There are hundreds of other examples, from new initiatives to rules for how agencies have to carry out their mandated work.
You claim to be an American and yet have no idea what the Constitution dictates? Try reading Article 1 Section 8.

The only thing someone can not teach is stupid, and learn how to spell RIDICULOUS

BTW once again the pres does have power in these areas. Example as OSSQSS says the power to instill confidence or as I put it influence (the bully pulpit) but both these are not direct power to control it.

If you are really an American and do not even understand basic knowledge of the U.S. Constitution you are an embarrassment to America.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Report's from a Warming Planet

The early signs of climate change are showing up across vastly differing landscapes: from melting outposts near the Arctic Circle to disappearing glaciers high in the Andes; from the rising water in the deltas of Bangladesh to the "sinking" atolls of the Pacific.

Reports from a Warming Planet takes you to parts of the planet where global warming is already making changes to life and landscape, and demonstrates how climate change is no longer restricted to scientific modeling about the future.

It's happening now.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
Hummm, how much tax revenue does government spending on government jobs provide?

On the other hand, the POTUS has the ability instill confidence in corporate and private investing that can create real jobs that contribute to the tax receipts. Unfortunately, we have no useful job creating confidence emitted from the current occupier of the WH. Are we still 6 million jobs short of the 2008 employment levels?

Some may find this interesting :-)

http://www.videojug.com/interview/myths-about-pre sidential-power-2
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Quoting nymore:
I do not hate all parties. Hoping for a decent 3rd party. The pres. can not create or destroy a program without congress. He can make up whatever but with no money what good is it. The Pres. has plenty of power such as the bully pulpit but this is soft power or influence, The point Neo tried to make is the last president caused the job loses and this president creates them, this could not be further from the truth and he knows it but will never admit it. Notice after I pinned him down on it he mysteriously left it alone.

In conclusion the pres has power just not the power to do any of the things claimed, that power resides with Congress.



I disagree with you and I think Nea has a point that you are deliberatly avoiding.

Technically the president doesn't have the power to hire people. However the president has enourmous power to change the events of the country which create or lose jobs.

To take a silly example: if the president decides that he wants an aviary in the white house, somehow someone gets hired to care for the birds. He didn't hire the person, he doesn't sign the checks, but the person is hired anyway.

Similarly, if a president decides to lower taxes on his wealthy campaign contributors, the government has less money, and spends less on research, while the rich have more money to spend on yachts and hookers, some of which may get invested in consumer products to sell to poor people without jobs.

Feel free to disagree with that last paragraph in terms of dynamics, the point is that the president's actions affect the creation of jobs. If you want to argue about who raises or lowers taxes (i.e. the president or congress), try googling tax cuts. Not a single tax cut or raise is listed as being the result of a congress, they are the 'bush tax cuts' the 'clinton tax cuts' etc..

That is one example of why saying the president has no pwoer is rediculous. There are hundreds of other examples, from new initiatives to rules for how agencies have to carry out their mandated work.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting Neapolitan:
Precisely. If the President has no power, why are people spending hundreds of millions of dollars in a race to win the job? It's certainly not for the paycheeck...
Still trying to spin the truth I see, so you don't have to admit you are wrong. I never said no power, nice try though.

After being proven wrong by me several times I think you would be used to it by now, to turn a phrase.

Here just say this I WAS WRONG AND I AM BLINDLY BIAS.

LMFAO
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting greentortuloni:


Glad you're not biased but it is a bit disingeneous to hate all parties. It is a system and there has to be some system otherwise we hve the system of hte gun and we truly are back living in caves.

However, regardless of politics, the president can create and destroy jobs.

All it takes is the creation of some program that hires people. Or the destruction of an existing program.

Yes there are other parties involved but to say the president has no power is rediculous.
I do not hate all parties. Hoping for a decent 3rd party. The pres. can not create or destroy a program without congress. He can make up whatever but with no money what good is it. The Pres. has plenty of power such as the bully pulpit but this is soft power or influence, The point Neo tried to make is the last president caused the job loses and this president creates them, this could not be further from the truth and he knows it but will never admit it. Notice after I pinned him down on it he mysteriously left it alone.

In conclusion the pres has power just not the power to do any of the things claimed, that power resides with Congress.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting greentortuloni:


Glad you're not biased but it is a bit disingeneous to hate all parties. It is a system and there has to be some system otherwise we hve the system of hte gun and we truly are back living in caves.

However, regardless of politics, the president can create and destroy jobs.

All it takes is the creation of some program that hires people. Or the destruction of an existing program.

Yes there are other parties involved but to say the president has no power is rediculous.


rediculous you say
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting percylives:


GreenT,

I knew your reference angle but I'm so in favor of the underground house (cave), I dove in. My old farmhouse will outlast me so unless one of the kids wants it to raise their family, I'll always be "above ground" with a good firewood pile.

It is curious that below ground houses would lack serious restrictions in an earthquake prone area like Italy. Earthquakes can be designed around but are one of the few weaknesses of underground structures.

Like reading your posts, keep at it.


The restrictions for safety are the same. Europe has a lot more people per square mile than the US and it has a lot of old stone houses. So they are trying to pretect the heritage and the landscape. They do a reasonable job, IMHO, except for Milan which should just be leveled and started all over again from scratch.

So if you have a house, you cannot build an addition, except in particular circumstances. However, underground is much more open to expansion. So a lot of people (well a fair number anyway) have houses that look like ordinary houses but have enourmous 'garages' that you cuold literally park a fleet of busses in.

They are also much more into solar and renewable energy over here between the high cost of gas, government incentives and jus thte general appraciation for the environment (don't talk to me about Naples though).
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting greentortuloni:


'caves' was a reference to the rightwing posters who say global warming is a left wing socialist plot to return us to the stone age.

I wouldn't call an underground house a cave but I agree with you about that type of housing. It is also becoming more and more popular here in Italy due to tight restrictions on above ground construction but fairly lax ones below ground - especially, as you noted, where it is possible to use a hill to gain a window. I think Gary Neville just built a large hosue like that, if you're into celebrities doign things.


GreenT,

I knew your reference angle but I'm so in favor of the underground house (cave), I dove in. My old farmhouse will outlast me so unless one of the kids wants it to raise their family, I'll always be "above ground" with a good firewood pile.

It is curious that below ground houses would lack serious restrictions in an earthquake prone area like Italy. Earthquakes can be designed around but are one of the few weaknesses of underground structures.

Like reading your posts, keep at it.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
Quoting percylives:


About those caves. I have friends here in VA that live in underground or well-bermed homes and they are quite comfortable.

Also Joel Salatin (Polyface Farms, Staunton, VA) wrote in one of his books that a bermed house situated into a south-facing hill and under a hoop greenhouse would be his choice if he were building a new house. I agree completely with him.

IOW, a good cave has some things going for it that modern houses can only dream of. I have no caves that I know of but do have a mine shaft that would do in a pinch.


'caves' was a reference to the rightwing posters who say global warming is a left wing socialist plot to return us to the stone age.

I wouldn't call an underground house a cave but I agree with you about that type of housing. It is also becoming more and more popular here in Italy due to tight restrictions on above ground construction but fairly lax ones below ground - especially, as you noted, where it is possible to use a hill to gain a window. I think Gary Neville just built a large hosue like that, if you're into celebrities doign things.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting greentortuloni:


Glad you're not biased but it is a bit disingeneous to hate all parties. It is a system and there has to be some system otherwise we hve the system of hte gun and we truly are back living in caves.

However, regardless of politics, the president can create and destroy jobs.

All it takes is the creation of some program that hires people. Or the destruction of an existing program.

Yes there are other parties involved but to say the president has no power is rediculous.


About those caves. I have friends here in VA that live in underground or well-bermed homes and they are quite comfortable.

Also Joel Salatin (Polyface Farms, Staunton, VA) wrote in one of his books that a bermed house situated into a south-facing hill and under a hoop greenhouse would be his choice if he were building a new house. I agree completely with him.

IOW, a good cave has some things going for it that modern houses can only dream of. I have no caves that I know of but do have a mine shaft that would do in a pinch.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
European cold snap 'kills 250'
A stray dog stands in the snow at Lehliu railway station, some 75km east of Bucharest. Some 220 people have died as a result of the cold snap across Europe. Photograph: Radu Sigheti/Reuters



At least 250 people have died during a cold snap in which temperatures have plummeted to minus 30 degrees and below across eastern Europe, with Ukraine the hardest hit.

The cold has killed 122 people in Ukraine, where many of the dead were living on the streets. Health officials have ordered hospitals to stop discharging homeless patients after they are treated for hypothermia and frostbite, while authorities have set up nearly 3,000 heating and food shelters.

They said 78 were found dead on the streets, 32 in their homes and that a further 12 succumbed while receiving medical treatment.

The week-long cold spell, eastern Europe’s worst in decades, is causing power cuts, frozen water pipes and the widespread closure of schools, nurseries, airports and bus routes.

Temperatures plummeted to minus 37 degrees in northern Slovakia and rescue workers had to dig through snow on mountain roads to rescue stranded bus passengers in the Balkans.

In Romania, 80 per cent of the Danube river was frozen over, stopping ships sailing to the Black Sea, but the biggest concern was for children in the European Union's second poorest country.

Child protection officers in the city of Iasi took three girls into care after a four-month-old baby died in an unheated house where temperatures dipped as low as minus 20 degrees.

"These children were already suffering from malnutrition. When the cold hit, their situation went from bad to worse to catastrophic," a spokesman said.

As many as 15,000 children in Iasi may be at risk from the cold and a further six children had been taken into care, the spokesman said. The cold snap has so far killed 24 people in Romania and 11 in neighbouring Bulgaria.

The European Union said the supply of Russian gas fell further to some Eastern European states as well as Italy, Greece and Austria, but said it was not yet facing an emergency. All EU states have obtained extra gas from other sources.

Clare Nullis, spokeswoman for the UN's World Meteorological Organisation, told reporters that Europe's unseasonably warm December and January meant this would not be a record-breaking winter.

However, those words were little comfort to many in the Balkans where fresh snow overnight added to the crisis.

The Serbian government has so far declared a state of emergency in 19 municipalities in the south and east, where six people have died from cold.

Six other people died in Bosnia from the cold, including four who died on the streets of the capital Sarajevo.

In the southern region of Svrljig, firefighters worked for hours to evacuate passengers from a bus stranded on a mountain road, while a second bus was trapped by an avalanche in the eastern Bosnian village of Krupac. No casualties were reported.

"The situation has worsened," said Predrag Maric, head of the Serbian interior ministry's department for emergencies.

A funeral procession near the border with Macedonia was stuck for four hours and had to transfer the coffin to a 4x4 jeep. In the northern town of Ecka, workers in a local fishery had to use pneumatic drills to break ice and get to the fish.

"I have not seen anything like this for more than two decades," said fisherman Nikola Kircic.

Local hunters were using tractors to take food to animals in the mountains of southwestern Satornja.

"Roe deer and other small game are on the verge of starvation as the grass is under heavy snow," said local hunter Momir Nikolic.

Albania registered its first casualty, a 63-year-old man believed to have died from the cold on his way home in the northern region of Bulqize.

German weather service DWD said it expected extreme cold to continue in central and eastern Europe for the next four days, but that temperatures would rise back above freezing point in most parts of France and Britain.

As the Siberian front moved west, Dutch ice breakers cleared access to Rotterdam, Europe's biggest port.

But organisers of the Elfstedentocht - a 200km (125 mile) speed skating race across the country's waterways - were praying for thicker ice in the hope they could stage the competition for the first time since 1997. Dozens of over-enthusiastic skaters fell through the ice as they tested conditions.

Other sporting fixtures across the continent have been cancelled.

Croatia's Adriatic coast and many of its islands were blanketed in snow - rare so far south - covering palm trees in the port of Split and bringing some residents out on skis. The island of Solta, just off Split, saw 30 cm (12 inches) of snow.

Snow fell on the northern tip of Africa, dusting palm trees in the Algerian capital. Locals said it was the first time they remembered snow falling in Algiers in eight years. Temperatures fell to about minus 1 degree unusually low for the port city on the Mediterranean Sea.

In Italy, the heaviest snowfall in the capital Rome since the 1980s closed tourists attractions including the Colosseum and the Forum.

An 82-year-old man became the first casualty in France after dying of hypothermia on Friday. The man had left his house in eastern France with just his pyjamas to protect him from minus 14 degrees temperatures.

Lorry traffic across the south of the country was suspended.

In the Baltic states, no strangers to cold weather, parts of eastern Latvia and Lithuania saw record lows of minus 30 degrees, and lender Swedbank warned some cash machines would break down.

The Czech Republic's capital Prague shut a major section of the city's ring road after a burst pipe sprayed water across the highway, creating a 400-metre-long sheet of ice.

Link
An emergency services spokesman there said one man had apparently used the cold to commit suicide. "He drank a bottle of alcohol, took his clothes off and sat in a park."
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1061
Quoting greentortuloni:


The problem with Obama is that he didn't do any of the following:

- end a war prematurely after promising to support rebels who aided him (Bush senior)
- watch those rebel get killed and sit on his hands (bush senior).
- go to war to remove the 'stain on the family honor' (bush junior, which no doubt helped bring back those dead.)
- give out $400 checks to every American.
- raise the national debt through war isntead of paying it off like clinton wanted to.
- remove inheritance tax in order to pay back his wealthy campaign contributors.
- start a second front when he couldn't finish the first one.
- etc.

I don't think Obama is a great president and he has disappointed me. However, he is head and shoulders better than anything the 'conservatives' have put forward. What is worse is that the issues that are important to me as a conservative, I think no one will touch, so for me the election is irrelevant on those issues. Given a choice between Obama and anyone on the 'conservative' side, I'd have to go for Obama.



Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
John Adams



“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.” John Adams
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1061
If I may break in to this political discussion for a minute, a short report from the field here in VA.

I've been told that the robin is the harbinger of spring. If that is the case, winter's been cancelled as there are literally hundreds of them in my walking areas.

Also yesterday, it appeared that the buds on the local silver maple trees are beginning to swell. The trees have that soft red color on the branch tips. Yes, it is very early for that activity.

Finally, we saw our first bluebirds and a rufous-sided towhee of the year in the past week's bird walks.

Seems like it is all pointing towards warmer weather for central VA.

You may now return to seeking the high points of civilization (politics). My two cents. I believe the sooner we adopt distributed power sources to go with our distributed information sources and food sources, the less we'll need the present hierarchical cultural structure and the better off we'll be. Carry on.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
Quoting greentortuloni:


Glad you're not biased but it is a bit disingeneous to hate all parties. It is a system and there has to be some system otherwise we hve the system of hte gun and we truly are back living in caves.

However, regardless of politics, the president can create and destroy jobs.

All it takes is the creation of some program that hires people. Or the destruction of an existing program.

Yes there are other parties involved but to say the president has no power is rediculous.
Precisely. If the President has no power, why are people spending hundreds of millions of dollars in a race to win the job? It's certainly not for the paycheeck...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Quoting nymore:
I did not blame or give credit to any president current or former. Because unlike you I know the president has no power to create or lose jobs. You want(ed) to give Obama credit for these jobs.

I hate ALL Republicans and Democrats as they are a cancer on America.

I have been wrong many times in my life and have no problem admitting when I am as this is how I have learned many things, I will be wrong many more times in my life. You do not like being wrong because you find it extremely hard if not impossible to admit such an error could happen to you.

Like I said if you need help with remedial civics just ask since after I read your post I feel you still have very much to learn.

Question: Who had the power (majority) in congress from 2006 to 2010. I think you may find there is plenty of blame to go around to both these scum-bag parties.

Don't let your Rose colored glasses (bias) for the Democrat pukes get in the way of the actual truth and the same goes for the Republican pukes too



Glad you're not biased but it is a bit disingeneous to hate all parties. It is a system and there has to be some system otherwise we hve the system of hte gun and we truly are back living in caves.

However, regardless of politics, the president can create and destroy jobs.

All it takes is the creation of some program that hires people. Or the destruction of an existing program.

Yes there are other parties involved but to say the president has no power is rediculous.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting Neapolitan:
My, but you're a funny little fellow, aren't you? ;-) You may need to go back and re-read what was written. Did I ever mentioned the separation of powers, or the system of checks and balances? Well, be that as it may, I don't blame you guys for trying to take credit away President Obama; if I supported the other party--that is, the one that drove the car into the ditch before Obama took office--I might also feel desperate enough to behave the same as you.

Also: have a look around if you wish. The most recent news on "The Senator" blaze is that it's being investigated for possible arson.

I know you hate being proven wrong--but I also would think you'd be used to it by now. ;-)
I did not blame or give credit to any president current or former. Because unlike you I know the president has no power to create or lose jobs. You want(ed) to give Obama credit for these jobs.

I hate ALL Republicans and Democrats as they are a cancer on America.

I have been wrong many times in my life and have no problem admitting when I am as this is how I have learned many things, I will be wrong many more times in my life. You do not like being wrong because you find it extremely hard if not impossible to admit such an error could happen to you.

Like I said if you need help with remedial civics just ask since after I read your post I feel you still have very much to learn.

Question: Who had the power (majority) in congress from 2006 to 2010. I think you may find there is plenty of blame to go around to both these scum-bag parties.

Don't let your Rose colored glasses (bias) for the Democrat pukes get in the way of the actual truth and the same goes for the Republican pukes too

Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting nymore:
Neopolitan- I was wondering if you have found these magical powers of the president to Tax or Tariff or Regulate or Make Law or Set Budgets or Borrow Money. Maybe you can go ask the Arsonist from the Senator Tree fire

If you need anymore help in your remedial civics class don't hesitate to ask.
My, but you're a funny little fellow, aren't you? ;-) You may need to go back and re-read what was written. Did I ever mentioned the separation of powers, or the system of checks and balances? Well, be that as it may, I don't blame you guys for trying to take credit away President Obama; if I supported the other party--that is, the one that drove the car into the ditch before Obama took office--I might also feel desperate enough to behave the same as you.

Also: have a look around if you wish. The most recent news on "The Senator" blaze is that it's being investigated for possible arson.

I know you hate being proven wrong--but I also would think you'd be used to it by now. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Neopolitan- I was wondering if you have found these magical powers of the president to Tax or Tariff or Regulate or Make Law or Set Budgets or Borrow Money. Maybe you can go ask the Arsonist from the Senator Tree fire

If you need anymore help in your remedial civics class don't hesitate to ask.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
From Uni Bremen, here are same-date images of ice coverage in the Barentsz and Kara Seas that show something pretty startling going on.

As Neven says over on his Arctic Sea Ice Blog: "The Sun is barely rising over the horizon right now and remains visible for only a couple of hours. But this will soon change and it won't be long before there is enough light for us to start gazing at the MODIS satellite images. Whether the sea ice will retreat even more in the meantime or whether we will see a late freeze-up in the Barentsz and Kara Seas, remains to be seen. But as things currently stand, the Atlantic side of the Arctic looks spectacular. Spectacular and ominous."

Click for larger image:

Uh-oh
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
When I look back over my post #107, I realize that I should not be making posts while installing Windows and drivers on another computer. I think everyone understood what I meant. ;-)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
All we need is food,water and shelter! Coolorbecastout is extra!LOL
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1471
Quoting Neapolitan:
Since your demonstrated knowledge of how government and the economy work seems about commensurate with your knowledge of the climate, might I suggest you take a few civics classes?

They don't call the POTUS "leader of the free world" for nothing.
You have no answer do you. If you do have one what is it?

Why do they call the POTUS "leader of the free world" answer because of people like Baltimore Brian and the armed forces.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
I ignored BeCoolorBeCastOut earlier and banned from my blog. I wish whoever it was would post a list of the handles he'll create next and a schedule. Or better yet haunt some other part of the web.

Whoever it is needs serious psychological help. That level of paranoia is insane. Literally.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's a disease, ignoring it helps.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
Some of you might like this article.

A Shameful Attack on Free Speech by a Group Claiming to Speak for Coal-Dependent Workers

BeCoolorBeCastOut is multiplying handles again. Oh joy. More off topic political paranoia and insanity.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TemplesOfSyrinxC4:


If you think the Patriot Acts were bad, check out the NDAA, where anyone on the planet, including American citizens, can be indifinitely detained without probable cause ,and "disappeared" forever, no charge, no trial, no jury, nothing. Just take whoever makes that call's word for it.

They can send a drone to put a missile through your front door to kill you controlled by a zit face kid on a base in Nevada that thinks he's playing video games, soon they won't even need that as the drones are slated to become fully automated, with robots working on the robots to repair them. And the enemy expatriation act will allow your U.S. citizenship to be revoked without charge, just for as an extra layer of tyranny on top of the NDAA and Patriot Acts.


The Patriot Act is what gave birth to all that you see as threats to our civil liberties now. Without having The Patriot Act as a precursor, these other infringements upon our civil liberties would have not so easily come to be. I wish to say to all that supported The Patriot Act, because they feared for their own safety, that they are welcome to climb back onto their bellies and cower back into their bomb shelters. Their fears have allowed our government to be able to so easily to start stripping us of our civil liberties in the name of protecting us all. pfffffftttt! Cowards! Bush and his then Congress are your bodyguards? LOL!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting TemplesOfSyrinxC4:


This is the poster formerly known as BeCoolOrBeCastOut, just to keep it on the up and up, I have permanantly retired that screenname because I made the mistake of trying to create a blog in Rich Text under that handle which was about as smart as a Genentech brand humanzee, because it broke the blog beyond repair to the point where I couldn't even modify or delete the entry, and I want to start posting in my own blog once again. I won't be one of these people that has half a dozen different handles, TemplesOfSyrinxC4 will be my 1 and only screenname.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll respond to your post. I have been making serious plans towards adaption, I recently purchased a house and land out in the country (in a U.N. Agenda 21 designated area slated to be on the edge of a future highly resricted buffer zone or off-limits to humans, I've got news for them, I'm not leaving my property without a fight. You will never catch my either in a planned-opolis megacity nor a "Cry Freedom Ghetto", that's a promise.) I bought what I could afford without financing it in preparation for the pending premeditated economic collapse that was intentionally set into motion with the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 that allowed the schemers to create fake derivatives, debts that they now claim future generations of the general public will be responsible for paying off through taxation. I don't have any personal debt, I've always lived well within my means, but now I'm really to the point where I'm only trading my fiat currency for necessities and non-disposable durable goods to make it through the times ahead before it becomes as worthless as a Gernman Mark note in the early 30s where there are pictures of people rolling the notes in wheelbarrows to buy a loaf of bread.

I have some heirloom non-hybrid seeds that I have started indoors this year, I am going to try permaculture this year, I'm starteing to build wicking beds that are much more water-effecient out of old wood with the help of youtube videos. I like the concept, in case we have another drought like we had last year in North Texas which was at D4 level just 6 months ago(not in a drought at all now, it's night and day compared to last summer, the ground is completely saturated like a mud pit in areas), but you never know what mother nature will bring, we're forecast to have a drier than average spring again this year. I plan on being able to grow all my own food and to barter with people, I don't have any source of meat, because it's not really worth it for me yet as boneless/skinless chicken breast is still $1.49/lb. at my local grocer, albeit pumped up with anti-biotics and raised in filthy condtions that is probably not good for us to be eating all these years, I may look into getting a chicken coup one day.

I'm researching some water-retention ideas like a roof runoff awnings and 55 gallon barrells that collect rainwater on youtube as well that are simple to build in case these globalists want to start charging ridiculous rates like they do in third world countries like Peru where the predatory IMF/WorldBank in bed with the corrupt governments that they give kickbacks after getting loans so they can take over all the critical infrastructure.

The reasoning behind it may be different than what many self-proclaimed environmentalists reasons are, as I am not convinced that the current warming trend that we've been experiencing the past few decades is attributable to humans to the extent that those who desire global governance to solve the problem say that we are, nevertheless, what difference does it make what my reasons for doing it are? I would say that I am on equal footing as a self-proclaimed environmentalist that has an equal environmental footprint whom do it because they get something out of lecturing others on the gospel of AGW all the time and bragging about how green they are.

I also have no children, nor do I ever desire to bring any into the kind of world where they will be relegated to being a mindless drone in an Agenda 21 planned-opolis mega city where the nanny-state will tell them what they can eat, where they can go, and what their future occupation will be. I likely never will have any kids, never say never, but even if I wanted to have 10 kids, that should be nobody else's business so long as I'd be able to afford to feed, clothe, and shelter them without collecting welfare, I don't see how that should be anybody's business, I've seen yuppies look down their noses at others who have multiple kids, saying "Shame on you, you're destroying the planet!", when think they're the ones destroying the world with that anti-human attitude that gets us to hate each other which has become pervasive in our society thanks to the public school indoctrination centers that push this mindset. Most of my property tax ransom goes to fund the local public school indoctrination center, I pay it under protest, because if I don't the State will send armed goons to my house to reposess a property that I own outright, that's why I bought a house in a relatively low propert tax zone, but still if you pay property tax, you never really own your land, effectively you are renting your property from the State which in turn uses that money to further enslave us, the circle of life.

So, personally I live a very humble lifestyle, I'd venture to guess that I now have a smaller carbon footprint than 95% of self-proclaimed environmentalists, infinitely smaller than Al Gore, who is an heir of avowed communist Armand Hammer's Occidental Petroleum. I know some will say that it doesn't matter what his personal lifestyle choices are, because he has done so much to advance the gospel of AGW, so it's O.K. if he has a zinc mine behind his homestead that has polluted the groundwater and everything around it, 10,000/month electric bills and has humidifiers and dehumidifiers battling it out in every room simultaneously in all of his estates 24/7/365 just for fun, even if he were to live on a gulfstream that was able to refuel mid-air and circumnavigated the globe for the rest of his life eating ribeye steaks for every meal, it shouldn't matter because he talks the talk. Well, I don't buy that, I'm from the school of "Talk is cheap", he needs to step up and practice what he preaches if he ever wants to be taken seriously by those of us from the school of Talk is cheap, beacuse it's just comical to me having a guy like him or Stewart Brand, who is on the payroll of Monsanto(that's responsible for massive global environmental degradation and the collapse of bee populations) it's downright comical to have the likes of these people lecturing us on what's considered green.

That's like having Newt Gingrich lecturing you on family values with his "Defense of Marriage Act", and leading the charge against the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, then come to find out he gave one of his wives divorce papers on her deathbed and wanted an open marriage with another one, would you take a person like that seriously, lecturing you what you can do in your own bedroom? I feel the same way about the likes of Gore and Stewart Brand, talk is cheap, hypocrites need to walk the walk and start practicing what they preach and they might see more people take what they have to say seriously.


I would agree that you are well on the way to being able to support yourself should a collapse of civilization, as we know, come to be. I agree that your reasons for doing so are less important than your seeing a need to do so. While I cannot fully agree with your reasoning, I do not find your line of reasoning to be without a degree of forward thinking. I would suggest that if you do not factor in a warming climate to your plans of being self sufficient, then all your efforts may fall short. Adaptation should encompass AGW, even if you do not believe in it. You have prepared yourself to be safe, rather than sorry. Should you not factor in a warming climate, then you have completed the equation to remain self sufficient. Is this worth the risk that it could impose on you? When the goal is to stay in the game, then you need to make sure that all of your bets have been covered.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting nymore:
Can either one of you tell me how a president can directly either create a job or cost a job. I would love to hear it. Both of you seem to be highly educated and as dumb as a bowl of gravy on the street.
Since your demonstrated knowledge of how government and the economy work seems about commensurate with your knowledge of the climate, might I suggest you take a few civics classes?

They don't call the POTUS "leader of the free world" for nothing.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Quoting Ossqss:
I would vote for a " dead skunk in the middle of the road" over the current abomination in power. That reminds me of a song, but I can't remember who sung it :)

Yep, 230k plus new jobs and an 8.3% unemployment rate eh? They just did not tell you that nearly 1.2 million unemployed people were removed from the labor force calculations last month. Just like Climate Change models, they only give you what they want you to know.



The problem with Obama is that he didn't do any of the following:

- end a war prematurely after promising to support rebels who aided him (Bush senior)
- watch those rebel get killed and sit on his hands (bush senior).
- go to war to remove the 'stain on the family honor' (bush junior, which no doubt helped bring back those dead.)
- give out $400 checks to every American.
- raise the national debt through war isntead of paying it off like clinton wanted to.
- remove inheritance tax in order to pay back his wealthy campaign contributors.
- start a second front when he couldn't finish the first one.
- etc.

I don't think Obama is a great president and he has disappointed me. However, he is head and shoulders better than anything the 'conservatives' have put forward. What is worse is that the issues that are important to me as a conservative, I think no one will touch, so for me the election is irrelevant on those issues. Given a choice between Obama and anyone on the 'conservative' side, I'd have to go for Obama.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220





A week-long cold wave has hit Europe, with over 200 dead. While most of U.S. has been mild in winter 2012, heavy snowfall hit in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska.


In Europe, at least 223 people have died from the extreme cold temperatures. Ukraine is reportedly the biggest hit area with nearly 100 deaths in the country. Most of these deaths were due to people being homeless and not having a place to stay warm. In Kyiv, Ukraine, temperatures dropped to -27 degrees Celsius (-17° Fahrenheit). Nearly 1,600 residents in Ukraine alone have been hospitalized due to hypothermia and frostbite. The cold air has pushed significant south, and areas in Venice, Italy has their canals begin to freeze. Many people were found dead in streets in a few countries. The Czech Republic had a record low temperature of -38.1°C. Rome, Italy saw accumulations of snow in some areas, which is a rare occurrence for the city. In fact, the snowfall recorded in the city was the biggest snowfall in 26 years. Nearly eight inches (20 centimeters) fell in Rome, which shut down the Colosseum, stranded motorists, and brought trees falling on cars due to the heavy weight of the snow. In Bosnia, the local government declared a state of emergency for the capital in Sarajevo. More than three feet of snow (one meter) fell in Sarajevo, and nearly 60,000 people were cut off by the snow.


In the United States, impressive snow amounts occurred in parts of Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Kansas. Here are a few snowfall totals:

Black Hawk, Colorado – 48 inches
Evergreen, Colorado – 36 inches
Stapleton, Nebraska – 8 inches
Laramie, Wyoming – 26 inches
Sand Creek Reservoir, Wyoming – 18 inches


Bottom line: Cold temperatures spread westward from Russia and pushed into parts of Europe. Nearly 223 people have died from extremely cold temperatures, with the Ukraine hit hardest. The cold wave is expected to continue this weekend and into early next week with temperatures at least 20 degrees below average. Across the United States, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska were hit with very heavy snow. Many snowfall records were broken at Denver International Airport and some mountainous areas saw over three feet of snow. For the lower 48 of the United States, the weather models are still jumping all over the place with cold temperatures and possible storms. If anything is consistent, it does appear that some cold air will invade the eastern United States come mid-February, and as soon as late next week (prior to Valentine’s Day). There remains high uncertainty in the forecasts due to North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) forecasts. It seems like every model run is unsure whether or not the NAO will drop negative or pull positive during this time frame. If the NAO becomes negative, it could make for some interesting times across the eastern United States. If this is true, perhaps that silly groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, will be correct about six more weeks of winter!





Hope you don't have thin skin like some in these parts.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1061

View Associated Press archive
Last year at this time, Chicago was hunkered down in a blizzard, and hundreds of cars were stranded on Lake Shore Drive.



Where's the snow? Winter is AWOL in much of the United States
Published: Sunday, February 05, 2012, 1:00 PM AP Story


WASHINGTON -- Snow has gone missing in action for much of the United States the last couple of months. But it's not just snow. It's practically the season that's gone AWOL. "What winter?" asked Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.

For the Lower 48, January was the third-least snowy on record, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University. Records for the amount of ground covered by snow go back to 1967.

Last year more than half the nation was covered in snow as a Groundhog Day blizzard barreled across the country, killing 36 people and causing $1.8 billion in damage. This year, less than a fifth of the country outside of Alaska has snow on the ground. Bismarck, N.D., has had one-fifth its normal snow, Boston a third. Midland Texas has had more snow this season
than Minneapolis or Chicago.

Forget snow, for much of the country there's not even a nip in the air. On Tuesday, the last day in January, all but a handful of states had temperatures in the 50s or higher. In Washington, D.C., where temperatures flirted with the 70s, some cherry trees are already budding -- weeks early.

"I am disgusted that golfers are golfing on my cross-country ski course," said New Jersey state climatologist David Robinson, director of the Global Snow Lab.

But there is lots of snow and dangerous cold -- it's just elsewhere in the world. Valdez, Alaska, has had 328 inches of snow this season -- 10 feet above average -- and the state is frigid, with Yukon hitting a record 66 below zero over the weekend.

Nearly 80 people have died from a vicious cold snap in Europe, and much of Asia has been blanketed with snow. This January has been the ninth snowiest since 1966 for Europe and Asia, though for the entire northern hemisphere, it's been about average for snow this season.

The weather is so cold that some areas of the Black Sea have frozen near the Romanian coastline, and rare snowfalls have occurred on islands in the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. Ukraine alone has reported 43 fatalities, many of the victims homeless people found dead on streets.

The reason is changes in Arctic winds that are redirecting snow and cold. Instead of dipping down low, the jet stream winds that normally bring cold and snow south got trapped up north. It's called the Arctic Oscillation. Think of it as a cousin to the famous El Nino.

When the Arctic Oscillation is in a positive phase, the winds spin fast in the Arctic keeping the cold north. But in the past few days, the Arctic Oscillation turned negative, though not in its normal way, Halpert said. The cold jet stream dipped in Europe and Asia, but is still bottled up over North America.

That's because another weather phenomena, called the North Atlantic Oscillation is playing oddball by staying positive and keeping the cold away from the rest of North America. About 90 percent of the time, the North Atlantic and Arctic oscillations are in synch, Halpert said. But not this time, so much of the United States is escaping the winter's worst.
"We've just had a remarkable run of unusual winters in the past six years globally," said Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Mich. "I have to say that winter hasn't really hit yet. Certainly not where I live."


By Seth Borenstein, AP science writer

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
101. nymore
4:38 AM GMT on February 06, 2012
It is amazing in a world such as this, ginger went to work today.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
100. Patrap
4:08 AM GMT on February 06, 2012
Hee, hee...


How novel..

AL902012 - INVEST



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
99. nymore
4:05 AM GMT on February 06, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
If you're a member of the GOP, it looks like dead skunk in the middle of the road is about the only choice you're gonna have come November. Tough. But it's not to late for you to change your party affiliation...

January was the 23rd straight month of employment growth (note: that's not unemployment; that's the number of jobs being created). Say, let's go to a handy graphic (NOTE: red bars denote months during which previous dead skunk in the middle of the road was in power; blue bars indicate months during which the current occupant of the White House was getting it done.):

Uh-oh
Quoting Ossqss:



Show us U6,,,,,,, oh deceptive one.

Then confirm how many left the actual counted ranks of the unemployed with no job last month!!

Yep' that's right.

You spin with no axle


LOL! How sad............

Did you make that graph too? Nice source.
Can either one of you tell me how a president can directly either create a job or cost a job. I would love to hear it. Both of you seem to be highly educated and as dumb as a bowl of gravy on the street.

I believe someone said there is a sucker born every minute. If you have to look around to find the sucker it is you.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259

Viewing: 148 - 98

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4Blog Index

Top of Page

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
55 °F
Partly Cloudy