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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 21, 2017, 03:50:52 pm »

Major Victories for Climate Movement, but Global Chaos Grows: Roundtable With Leaders on What's Next
Friday, October 20, 2017

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Video Interview


"The BANKS are willing to finance POLLUTER profits  up to 6 DEGREES C of Global Warming from Climate Change."



Agelbert NOTE: THIS will NOT work for much longer:

What is happening in Germany is happening all over the globe:


Two separate studies highlight a dramatic trend in Germany: the number of flying insects has declined by 76 percent over the past 27 years. There are 15 percent fewer birds than just twelve years ago.

There is one thing on which everybody agrees: if the situation is bad for insects, birds and other animals will suffer, even reptiles. And it's no good for agriculture either, which is dependent on insects to pollinate plants.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:49:36 pm »

WATCH: Tanker Caught in Hurricane Ophelia Off Ireland

October 19, 2017 by gCaptain

Check out this video showing a tanker battling the elements off Cork, Ireland as remnants of Hurricane Ophelia hit the island as one of the strongest storms in decades.

The Port of Cork was closed to all shipping operations on Monday due to the storm, but by Tuesday it was back up and running as normal. 

Ophelia became the 10th hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season on October 11, and the storm took a rare path towards the United Kingdom from near the Azores.

Here’s another one presumably from the same ship:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 18, 2017, 05:53:55 pm »

Overwhelming Support for Carbon Pricing at Manchester CAC Hearing

By Jack O'Callaghan on September 25, 2017 in News Updates
Thursday night was a night that few who were in attendance will forget anytime soon. The atmosphere was electric as Vermonters from all over Bennington County shuffled into the amphitheater at the Burr and Burton Academy library, patiently waiting their turn to speak up before a packed crowd at the Governor’s Climate Action Committee public hearing. Five of the 21 commissioners sitting on Governor Scott’s Climate Action Commission were present to hear policy recommendations from the public.  The commission is tasked with reducing the state’s carbon emissions in a way that benefits the economy and doesn’t disproportionately affect any group or individual more than others. Thursday’s public hearing was the third stop in a statewide listening tour currently being put on by the Climate Action Commission.

Out of the 46 people to make public comments at the event, 35 Vermonters from of all walks of life stood tall behind the podium and offered the commission the same simple recommendation: fund the solutions with a price on carbon pollution. Among them were Green Mountain College President Bob Allen speaking at the behest of dozens of his students. Others who spoke included farmers, economists, students, retirees and other concerned citizens; a few of whom referred to carbon pricing as “low hanging fruit” at this moment in time. Manchester teacher Stephanie Moffett-Hynds points to her Eighth grade students, when faced with the same questions; they too, recommend waging a fee on pollution.

Vermont is not on the path to hitting its statutory goals of 75% reduction by 2036; in fact, carbon emissions have only risen since 1990 base levels. Attendees brought forth a sense of urgency, reminding the commission that we have no time for half-measures.   Many speakers offered very personal stories, bringing back memories of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont less than ten years ago. Some brought up much more recent events.

I still don’t know if my family is OK” said Sabrina Melendez, a student at Bennington College, of her relatives in Puerto Rico currently facing the aftermath of Hurricane Maria without cell phone service, power, or running water. Maria is just the latest in a string of the most intense consecutive super storms in known history to wreak havoc on the Caribbean, Southern U.S., and Mexico. As a young person, Sabrina suggests it’s the most vulnerable populations, along with future generations, who are disproportionately affected by climate change and thus should have more say in policies intended to mitigate its future effects. “One hundred percent renewable energy is realistic” and we need to “price carbon now” if we are going to get there, Sabrina demanded.

Vermonters like these are standing up and demanding action all around the state, now.

Have you spoken out for carbon pricing at a CAC hearing yet?


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 18, 2017, 02:24:11 pm »

COLUMN: Greenhouse gases – what’s all the fuss? ???

Columnist Greg Utzig explains where the Kootenays’ carbon emissions come from

Tue Oct 17th, 2017 10:00am
This is the third in a series of columns addressing various issues surrounding climate disruption in the West Kootenay. Greg Utzig is a local Conservation Ecologist who has been working on climate change issues for two decades.

It’s a wonderful experience to walk into a greenhouse, especially in the winter. The moist warm air and the fragrant plant life it supports, like getting off a plane in Hawaii. So why are we so worried about greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases, or GHGs, are substances that allow solar radiation to penetrate our atmosphere, while simultaneously restricting the flow of other radiation back out. The result is a net gain of heat within the atmosphere. Winds and ocean currents distribute this heat across the surface of the earth and deep into oceans. The most significant GHG is carbon dioxide (CO2), but a few other gases act in a similar manner.

If you took high school chemistry, you may recall the biological carbon cycle in which plants take CO2 out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis, animals breath in oxygen and exhale CO2, and decomposition eventually releases more CO2 back to the atmosphere.

As well, carbon from plants is washed into the oceans, buried and eventually turns into coal, oil or natural gas (fossil fuels), while sea shells are turned into carbonaceous rocks. Through this geologic carbon cycle, carbon is removed from the active carbon that circulates in the atmosphere and the biological cycle.

Humans have been disrupting these cycles over the past 10,000 years. At first it was through the development of agriculture, clearing land and draining wetlands.

This created minor tweaks to the biological cycle. With the advent of the industrial age, we began to also impact the geologic cycle. By burning fossil fuels we began to take carbon that had been stored in geologic strata for millions of years and release it back to the atmosphere as CO2 emissions.

We also create concrete from carbonaceous rocks and release more CO2. Land clearing has greatly expanded, and places where forests used to uptake and store carbon are now occupied by cattle that emit methane, another GHG. Cow burps!

How can anyone know how much CO2 was in the atmosphere before we started messing with the cycles? Based on analysis of bubbles in ice sheets in Antarctica, over the past 800,000 years levels of CO2 in the atmosphere varied between about 200 and 300 parts per million (ppm). Our GHG emissions have already raised that number to over 400 ppm, and it continues to rise every year. So far this has already increased average global temperature by more than one degree Celsius.

So who’s responsible for all these emissions? Canada contributes less than two percent of global emissions, the US about 15 percent, and China about 30 percent.

However when you look at emissions per person, the numbers are quite different. Each Canadian is responsible for about 21 tonnes each year, Americans about 20 and the Chinese about 8.5.

Within the Canadian Columbia Basin, about three-quarters of our emissions come from industrial activities. Mining and smelting by Teck Resources accounts for the vast majority. Over half of community emissions result from burning gasoline and diesel for transport, while heating our homes and buildings with propane and natural gas makes up most of the rest. Our decomposing landfills also contribute substantial amounts.

One aspect that’s often ignored is the contribution of exports to global GHG emissions. When purchasers in other countries burn East Kootenay coal, on an annual basis it contributes about 50 times the total emissions produced in the Columbia Basin.

The inevitable conclusion is that if we want to meaningfully reduce Columbia Basin GHG emissions, locally and globally, we must start moving toward a new economic future. Digging up and exporting fossil fuels has no future in a world that wants to avoid catastrophic climate disruption. We need to reassess our transportation infrastructure and our household uses to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Our abundance of hydroelectric power and sources of bio-energy certainly give us viable alternatives. Solar is also beginning to make a significant contribution.

The recent Paris Accord is often touted as evidence that we are making significant progress in solving the climate crisis. Although the commitments under the accord are politically impressive, they are not nearly enough to keep global temperature increases below two degrees Celsius. The general scientific consensus is that we need to be at zero emissions by 2050 if we are to have hope of avoiding a major catastrophe.

The argument is often made that since Canada is less than two percent of global emissions we are not that important, or that we shouldn’t act too soon as it might hurt our competitive advantage. An analogy that comes to mind is a group of people in a lifeboat. The lifeboat has a serious leak, and everyone has something for bailing, a bucket or a tea cup. No single bailer can stop the boat from sinking. What happens if everyone waits for someone else to start bailing?

We all need to act now.   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 16, 2017, 07:35:56 pm »


CA Rep. Khanna: “We Can’t Control Environmental Catastrophes Caused by Extreme Climate Conditions

OCTOBER 16, 2017

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 15, 2017, 10:41:18 pm »

Eden Is Broken

Posted on October 11, 2017, by Radio Ecoshock

full Radio EcoShock added audio content:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 15, 2017, 05:18:12 pm »

Why the 25th Amendment Won't Save Us

Sunday, October 15, 2017

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed


This may only be a minor accent in the vast symphony of outrage we are confronted with on a daily basis, but it is worthy of note. You are aware, I'm sure, of the ongoing shouting match Donald Trump is having with the NFL over players standing for the national anthem. Well, Trump found himself last week at the Air National Guard Base in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with Fox fiend Sean Hannity. By tradition, "Retreat" was bugled on the base as the flag was lowered for the day.

The same tradition requires all military personnel and civilian leadership to stand at attention out of respect for the flag. Neither Trump nor Hannity stood, flouting that tradition. Laughing as the bugle call filled the air, Trump asked Hannity, "Are they playing that for you or for me?" Referring to Hannity's show, Trump then addressed the crowd with, "They're playing that in honor of his ratings."

Remember when President Obama once saluted a member of his Marine guard with a coffee cup in his hand, and people like Sean Hannity reacted as if Obama had just offered the Sixth Fleet to Kim Jong-un as a birthday present? I do, and once upon a time, such brazen, televised hypocrisy would have captured my full attention. You're going on and on about the football players and the flag but just insulted your own armed forces, and on a base no less?

Once upon a time, yeah.

Those days are over. When the president of the United States of America tells all the residents of Puerto Rico he's basically sick of hearing about them being wet, hungry and in the dark all the time, when he threatens to cut them off completely despite the fact that the island was thoroughly scourged by a massive hurricane, and oh, by the way, they are also US citizens, it's hard to get worked up over "Retreat-gate" in the proper fashion.

This is what he said in a string of tweets before dawn on Thursday morning:

"Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making." says Sharyl Attkisson. A total lack of accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend. We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!

Got that, everyone? The storm was Puerto Rico's fault. This US territory with no voting power in Congress seems to have quite the influence over earth, wind and fire these days, not to mention infrastructure and debt. The president sure thinks so, anyway.

This from the guy who was throwing rolls of paper towels at storm victims last week while lowballing the death toll as he talked about "a real disaster like Katrina." For the record, the current official number stands at 36, but the people running Puerto Rico's funeral homes know different. The people who buried their parents days after the storm passed because there was no power for their life support machines know different. The uncounted dead know different.

From the Guardian last Wednesday: "Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) say that the government and its partners are only providing 200,000 meals a day to meet the needs of more than 2 million people. That is a daily shortfall of between 1.8 million and 5.8 million meals. 'We are 1.8 million meals short,' said one senior FEMA official. 'That is why we need the urgency. And it's not going away. We're doing this much today, but it has to be sustained over several months.'"

Not if the president has his way about it. Sure, the US government enjoys Puerto Rico when the Navy needs to test its ship-to-shore firepower and showers Vieques with artillery, the remnants of which are likely to blame for the region having the highest disease rates in the Caribbean. What's a little depleted uranium, cardiovascular disease and cancer between fellow citizens, right?

full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 15, 2017, 03:00:26 pm »

When Irish Eyes Ain't Smilin' (see: Catastrophic Climate Change)
Ophelia Hits Category 3; Destructive Winds On Tap for Ireland

Bob Henson  ·  October 14, 2017, 2:43 PM EDT

Above:  Terra/MODIS visible satellite image of Hurricane Ophelia from Saturday, October 14, 2017. The Azores are outlined at center top. Image credit: NASA/EOSDIS WorldView.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season continued to astound on Saturday morning with the unexpected ascent of Hurricane Ophelia to major-hurricane status. Based on a very impressive satellite signature, the NOAA/NWS National Hurricane Center brought Ophelia’s peak winds up to 115 mph at 11 am EDT, making it a low-end Category 3 storm. The wind estimate may be conservative, said NHC forecaster Lixion Avila in the NHC forecast discussion. Ophelia was located about 220 miles south of the Azores, moving northeast at 25 mph. Ophelia is expected to pass within 100 miles of the Azores’ southeasternmost island, Santa Maria. The island will be on the hurricane’s weaker left-hand side, but winds could reach tropical-storm force, and squally weather is likely. Much bigger impacts from Ophelia are expected in Ireland (see below).

To call Ophelia unusual would be an understatement. For one thing, it became a major hurricane at longitude 26.6°W, further east than any other formation of a Category 3 in the Atlantic. The former record-holder was Frances (1980), which became a Category 3 at 12.8°N, 29.8°W. Ophelia’s achievement is even more impressive when you consider its latitude: 34.8°N. In data going back to 1851, no other major hurricane is known to have formed anywhere close to as far northeast as Ophelia. The runner-up at Ophelia’s latitude range, Michael (2012), developed some 900 miles further west (see Figure 2 below).

Ophelia also extends this year’s count of major Atlantic hurricanes to six, a tally last achieved in 2004. Only two years have notched seven major Atlantic hurricanes: 1961 and 2005.

Figure 2. Formation locations of all major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger) in the NOAA database from 1851 though 2016. Hurricane Michael (2012) was the previous record-holder for easternmost major hurricane formation in the 30°-40°N latitude range. Image credit: Sam Lillo (University of Oklahoma) and Philippe Papin (University at Albany, SUNY).

What’s a major hurricane doing in a place like this? ???

By conventional standards, one wouldn’t even expect Ophelia to be a hurricane, much less a major one. Sea surface temperatures beneath Ophelia are around 25°C (77°F), which is roughly 1°C below the traditional benchmark of SST levels warm enough to support tropical development. However, these waters are about 2°C (3.6°F) above average for the location and the time of year, and upper-level temperatures near the top of Ophelia are several degrees C below average. The result is enough instability to support well-organized showers and thunderstorms (convection), even though the convection is less intense than it would be in a warmer environment. A 2015 study led by Ron McTaggart-Cowan (Environment Canada) showed that a better threshold for systems like Ophelia that are transitioning away from the tropics would be based on potential instability between lower and upper levels of the hurricane, rather than on SSTs alone. Ophelia meets this threshold, according to Philippe Papin (University at Albany, SUNY).

Other things are also working in Ophelia’s favor. A strong outflow jet at upper levels on Ophelia’s west side is helping to ventilate the hurricane, and the 12Z Saturday run of the SHIPS model showed that wind shear on Saturday was in the light to moderate range (about 10 – 15 knots). The shear will begin to increase rapidly by Saturday night, heralding a change to come in Ophelia’s structure.

Figure 3.  Probability of tropical-storm-force winds (sustained at 39 mph or more) along Ophelia’s track. The probabilities exceed 50% over all of Ireland and Northern Ireland and are as high as 90%+ in southwest Ireland. Strong winds may sweep across Scotland as well. Image credit: NOAA/NWS/NHC.

Ireland braces for a major windstorm
on Monday

With Ophelia strengthening even more than predicted, a destructive windstorm in Ireland on par with some of the most damaging in the nation’s history is becoming increasingly likely. This weekend, Ophelia will be picked up by an approaching upper-level trough and will accelerate east-northeast and then north-northeast. As it does so, the hurricane’s structure will take on more and more characteristics of a very powerful midlatitude winter-type storm, although it’s possible Ophelia will retain an eye-like feature as part of what’s called a warm seclusion. Models strongly suggest that the upper-level dynamics will be potent enough to bring Ophelia’s central pressure by Monday to an even lower value than the 960 mb reported in NHC’s 11 am EDT Saturday.

Regardless of whether it is still classified as a hurricane or not, Ophelia is predicted to approach Ireland on Monday with top winds somewhere near hurricane strength, plus an expanding field of gale-force winds. Our top track models are in close agreement that Ophelia’s center will sweep along or near Ireland’s west coast on Monday, putting most of the country on the storm’s more dangerous right-hand side. The GFS model has a particularly worrisome track, bringing Ophelia squarely across western Ireland and onward as a rapidly weakening storm through Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Figure 4.  The 12Z Saturday run of the GFS model predicts that Ophelia will be at the southwest tip of Ireland at around 1 PM local time (12Z) on Monday, October 16, 2017. The central pressure of 958 mb would be even lower than its central pressure on Saturday morning, October 14. Winds shown are in knots; multiply by 1.15 for miles per hour. Image credit: tropicaltidbits.com.

As Ophelia reaches Ireland, we can expect winds of 50 – 70 mph to be slamming into Ireland’s southwest coast, and sustained winds of 40 – 50 mph will likely extend well inland. One concern for Ophelia’s impact on Ireland may be the potential for the ex-hurricane to develop a “sting jet.” This is a current of extra-strong jet stream winds that start out about 3 – 4 km above the surface, then descend over a 3 – 4 hour period. Rain falling into the jet evaporates and cools, causing the winds in the sting jet to accelerate as they reach the ground.

Ophelia is expected to complete the transition to an extratropical storm just off southwest Ireland on Monday morning. As this process unfolds, the wind field of Ophelia will expand, and Ophelia promises to be a damaging wind event for Ireland. Expect widespread tree damage and uprooted trees, damaged roofs, power blackouts, mobile phone coverage interruptions, and flying debris. Met Eireann, the Irish meteorology service, has a “status red” alert in effect for the southwestern counties of Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork and Kerry, where sustained winds above 80 km/hr (50 mph) and gusts topping 130 kph (80 mph) are expected. Ireland’s National Emergency Coordination Group will meet on Sunday to discuss storm preparation, according to the Irish Times. The UK Met Office is warning of possible power loss and building damage across Northern Ireland.

There may be coastal flooding from Ophelia’s high surf and battering wave, and localized storm surge is possible, but Ophelia’s rapid motion will help limit the surge threat, according to storm-surge Dr. Hal Needham.

Ophelia could bring up to 2” of rain over higher terrain in Ireland. Heavy rains from a decaying Ophelia (perhaps 2” or more) may extend all the way to western Finland.

Hurricane history of the UK and Ireland

We don’t often talk about Europe when discussing hurricanes, and Ophelia is likely to be one of the top ten most notable Atlantic ex-hurricanes to affect Europe over the past 50 years. Hurricanes that transition to powerful extratropical storms hit the UK or Ireland several times per decade, on average. Some recent examples:

The extratropical version of Hurricane Katia skirted the northern coast of Scotland on September 12, 2011, two days after transitioning from a hurricane to an extratropical storm south of Newfoundland, Canada. According to Wikipedia, a maximum wind gust of 158 km/h (98 mph) was recorded on Cairn Gorm, Scotland as Katia impacted the region, with a peak gust of 130 km/h (81 mph) observed at a non-mountain station in Capel Curig, Wales;  these observations marked the strongest impact from a tropical cyclone since Hurricane Lili in 1996. Waves up to 15 meters (49 ft) battered the western coastline of Ireland, and fallen power lines temporarily disrupted DART services. Approximately 4,000 households were left without power across the country. A catering marquee was blown into the air on a set for the television series Game of Thrones, causing one injury. In County Durham, United Kingdom, a man was killed after a tree fell on the minivan he was driving. Damage estimates in the United Kingdom alone topped £100m ($157 million 2011 USD). The remnants of Katia produced damage as far east as Estonia and Russia. In St. Petersburg, wind gusts up to 45 mph (75 km/h) damaged buildings and left roughly 1,500 residents without power.

Figure 5. Waves break over the sea wall along Portstewart harbour in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, as the remnants of Hurricane Katia hit the British shores, on September 12, 2011. Image credit: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images.

Extratropical storm Bill of 2009, which hit Ireland on August 25 with sustained winds of 45 mph, had been a Category 4 hurricane northeast of the Lesser Antilles five days prior. Bill brought heavy rain and severe gales to the UK.

Extratropical Storm Alberto of 2006, which had been a strong tropical storm that hit the Florida Panhandle, hit northern Ireland and Scotland as an extratropical storm with 35 mph winds.

Extratropical Storm Gordon hit Ireland on September 21, 2006, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Gordon brought record warm temperatures as tropical air pushed north across the UK, and also strong winds that brought down power lines in Northern Ireland. Wind gusts to 60 mph (97 km/h) occurred in the Isles of Scilly off the southwest coast, and 81 mph (130 km/h) on the mainland.

Extratropical Storm Helene hit Northwestern Ireland on September 27, 2006, with sustained winds of 45 mph.

Extratropical Storm Lili moved across Britain on October 28 – 29, 1996. Ex-Hurricane Lili brought gusts in excess of 90 mph, and caused widespread impacts across the UK and significant disruption.

There is officially one fully tropical hurricane that has hit Europe: Hurricane Debbie of 1961, which tracked through the western Azores as a Category 1 hurricane, then arced northeast and brushed the west coast of Ireland on September 16, also as a Category 1 hurricane. However, there is evidence that Debbie transitioned from tropical to post-tropical (extratropical) cyclone before hitting Ireland (see also this discussion at Irish Weather Online.) Debbie passed close enough to Ireland to produce major destruction. Wind gusts reached 106 mph at Ballykelly and 104 mph at Tiree and Snaefill, and coastal radio stations reported the airwaves were jammed with calls for help from small ships and fishing craft. Eleven people were killed and 50 injured in the storm. The only other tropical cyclone recorded to have hit Europe since 1851 was Hurricane Vince of 2005, which hit southern Spain as a tropical depression on October 11, 2005. Historical documents also suggest a hurricane hit Spain on October 29, 1842.

Sunday, October 15, 2017 is the 30th anniversary of one the most talked-about weather events in UK history, the ‘Great Storm’ of 1987. See the UK Met Office article on this weather event, whose 100-mph winds gusts killed 22 people and caused around £1 billion worth of damage. It has gone down in history as one of the worst UK storms since 1703 and will obviously be remembered for Michael Fish’s now-legendary television broadcast.

Figure 6. Infrared GOES-16 satellite image of 92L at 2:00 pm EDT Saturday, October 14, 2017. Image credit: NASA/MSFC Earth Science Branch. GOES-16 images are considered preliminary and non-operational.

92L near the northern Leeward Islands may affect Bermuda next week

A disturbance near the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday, dubbed 92L, could become the Atlantic’s next tropical cyclone next week, although the odds are mostly stacked against it. SSTs of 28-29°C (81-84°F) are more than warm enough for development, and the environment around 92L is sufficiently moist (mid-level relative humidity around 60-65%). Wind shear is strong, though—around 25 knots—and the shear is expected to remain in the 20 – 35 knot range throughout the next five days, according to the 12Z Saturday run of the SHIPS model. In their 0Z Saturday runs, none of the GFS ensemble members develop 92L, and only about 10-15% of the European ensemble members produce a tropical storm from it. If 92L does develop, it could track near Bermuda around Tuesday or Wednesday as a depression or weak tropical storm. Before then, 92L will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms to the hurricane-hammered northern Leeward Islands over the weekend and to Puerto Rico on Sunday and Monday.  :(  :P

California’s prolonged fire calamity

The death toll has risen to 35 from the ongoing week-long fire disaster in California, and fire weather continues to be problematic this weekend. See our Friday evening post for more details. We’ll be back with a new post by Sunday afternoon.

Dr. Jeff Masters contributed to this post.


Agelbert Note: This news is slightly dated. Ophelia is moving so fast (38 mph!) that it is rapidly weakening. Nevertheless, this hurricane going all the way to Ireland is more evidence that Global Warming is with us and business as usual fossil fuel polluting piggery CANNOT continue if human civilization is to endure. AT any rate, it will be instructive to read the heartfelt sympathetic comments for those impacted by Ophelia by those here who were mute during and after Puerto Rico was devastated by Maria. Both RE and Surly showed concern and empathy for those in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. I expect these good men to do the same for Ireland.

However, I will consider any concerns shown for Ireland by those who showed none for Puerto Rico to be bigoted and hypocritical. Have a nice day.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 13, 2017, 02:09:28 pm »

“Wall Street’s business-as-usual approach to relief and recovery has led to land-grabs and riches off the misfortune of vulnerable communities. If we act with a clear vision for a Just Recovery, Puerto Rico can serve as a model for areas suffering the same climate injustice.”

Our Power Puerto Rico For A Just Recovery & Resilient Rebuild   

October 13th, 2017 by Carolyn Fortuna

The relief package must include debt relief, the repeal of the Jones Act, transparency in distribution of resources, an assessment of infrastructure, and additional provisions detailed in an online petition that will be delivered to US representatives the day of the mass actions. Angela Adrar, Executive Director of CJA, explains why action is needed now to help Puerto Rico develop a sustainable and pragmatic approach to recovery.

“Wall Street’s business-as-usual approach to relief and recovery has led to land-grabs and riches off the misfortune of vulnerable communities. If we act with a clear vision for a Just Recovery, Puerto Rico can serve as a model for areas suffering the same climate injustice.”

What are you doing today for the National Call to Action? In Washington D.C., Our Power Campaign will begin its Congressional Visit tour and drop petitions off to provide #JustRecovery for Puerto Rico and a lift to the Jones Act.  You can follow their progress on Twitter: @CJAOurPower.

This map shows the devastation that Hurricane Maria wreaked upon Puerto Rico.

On September 20th, Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds, struck Puerto Rico full force only days after the Irma storm. Two weeks later, Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents are suffering intensely in what has quickly become a major humanitarian and environmental justice disaster.

Hurricane Maria attacked Puerto Rico with devastating winds, drenched the island with destructive flooding, crippled communications, decimated buildings, and damaged a dam that placed  downstream residents at risk of catastrophe. But help has been slow to come to communities where the destruction is described as “apocalyptic,” officials and residents argue.

A systemic change in relief and response is needed, as well as an engineering vision for sustainable infrastructure that can withstand category 5+ storms, which are predicted by scientists to become more commonplace as a consequence of the changing climate.

Advocates for a Just Recovery in Puerto Rico

Many influential community advocates, writers, scientists, and climate activists have joined in to the call to gather together and attest that no longer will the US governments’ blase approach to Puerto Rico’s devastation be accepted.

Naomi Klein, international best-selling author and award-winning journalist.“Standard responses to disasters leave behind more pollution, more debt, less democracy, and a weaker infrastructure. In contrast, a Just Recovery would reduce pollution, reduce debt, challenge systemic racism, deepen democracy, and leave behind a sturdier, more resilient public sphere.”

Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE and Steering Committee Co-Chair of Climate Justice Alliance: “Puerto Rico today is a living, breathing, suffering symbol of climate injustice. The devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Maria is the culmination of centuries of colonialism, extraction, and repression. As Puerto Rico rebuilds, it must revolutionize the society’s decaying systems of survival and confronting the dominant political and financial institutions that have profited from this decay.”

Cindy Wiesner, Executive Director of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance: “In my community in Miami, I witnessed first-hand what happens when people show up for each other during a climate crisis. Frontline communities across the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast and the US South are responding to each other’s needs and bearing the brunt of the recovery with little to no resources. It’s a crime against humanity how the government has chosen to respond. This government owes Puerto Ricans full debt relief and a long-term investment in their survival.”

Sarah Shanley Hope, Executive Director of Solutions Project: “The lives and livelihoods lost as a result of Hurricane Maria exacerbate injustices borne for centuries by frontline communities. We have an opportunity to respond in this time of human crisis with immediate relief and intentions for a long-term regenerative economic transformation. It’s imperative that frontline leadership determines the path for recovery that provides a just and sustainable future. We support the coordinated efforts of CJA as they center the needs of those most impacted and therefore with the greatest vision for what comes next.”

Anthony Rogers-Wright, US Coordinator, The Leap: “Climate exacerbated storms like Hurricane Maria further elucidate the cycle of colonization that is afflicting the island and people of Puerto Rico. Systemic racism, bigotry and economic injustice are only a sample of variables that contributed to this humanitarian crisis. The people cannot afford an anemic recovery effort superficial in nature. These efforts must be led by the people in a way that benefits those who were impacted first and worst by a crisis they had little to do with creating. The Leap is honored to stand with the Climate Justice Alliance, Uprose Brooklyn and other groups who are leading the efforts for a people-powered recovery in Puerto Rico.”

Jovanna Garcia Soto, Solidarity Program Officer for Latin America at Grassroots International: “We as Puerto Ricans and people of color in the USA need to stand up in solidarity and work side-by-side with the people of Puerto Rico towards a Just Recovery and a sustainable, resilient rebuild that prioritizes autonomy, food sovereignty, climate and social justice, respect to the Mother Earth, and the human rights of all people in the Island. We need to take the lead of the courageous Boricuas organizing a regenerative people’s project on the ground with the goal of decolonizing Puerto Rico.

Saulo Araujo, WhyHunger: “Thousands of families are still in desperate need of clothing, water, food, housing, and health care. Here from the US, communities are mobilizing to provide support and amplify the voices of our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. The solutions will come from them and it is imperative that we stand with the people of Puerto Rico to the rebuild their livelihoods and sovereignty.”

Mateo Nube, Movement Generation: “The people of Puerto Rico require our full support: there can be no sacrifice zones. The time to step up is now. Our children and grandchildren will look back at this pivotal moment in history and judge us by the choices we made. Climate change is real. Transition has become inevitable. Justice however, is not. It is upon all of us to bring about a Just Recovery for the people of Puerto Rico; to make this a Just Transition for all.”

Jacqui Patterson, Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP: “Citizens of the wealthiest nation in the world are living in squalor and lives are threatened and lost daily as the situation persists. Circumstances are deteriorating with untreated illnesses and simple infections become fatal. The US government is duty-bound to address this crisis but long-term redevelopment must be by the people of Puerto Rico with locally elected officials empowered to reject the interests of the mono-focused wealth building agenda the government and corporations that have caused the island to a pay the price of catastrophic climate change impacts.”

Jose Bravo, Executive Director, Just Transition Alliance: “A just recovery has to start by taking responsibility for the double standard and colonial mentality of the United States towards Puerto Rico. Secondly, a just recovery must put those in harm’s way and those that have disproportionate impact first. Lastly, a just recovery is possible only if the grassroots people of Puerto Rico are the ones leading and holding the efforts accountable. A just transition for the people, by the people, with local economies, and sustainable production is needed.”

Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA: “There’s no doubt that extreme-weather hurricanes are enhanced by human-caused climate change. We humans need to work together to address global warming and rebuild devastated communities right. Greenpeace is honored to work with climate justice allies to support a #JustRecovery for Puerto Rico that includes renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, and community-led planning.”

Dawn Phillips, Executive Director, Right To The City Alliance: “In the wake of Hurricane Maria and decades of environmental, structural and colonial racism, neoliberal austerity, and land-grabs by private equity funds and Wall Street banks, we must all stand with the people of Puerto Rico to support and fight for a long-term just recovery. A Just Recovery calls on us all defend the right and leadership of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination, and to democratic control and autonomy over the resources, land, water, and food in Puerto Rico. We must fight against the attempts by Wall Street and government to further privatize and colonize the island for profit and exploitation. We stand arm-in-arm with the people of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican Diaspora across the globe leading the efforts for just, sovereign and sustainable Puerto Rico.”

Join a group of individuals who will no longer take No for an answer to social and ecological injustice us as they take to the streets on October 11th, 2017 and speak out on behalf of Puerto Rico’s citizens. Frontline communities have been at the forefront of the solutions and are pushing for a Just Recovery for all communities hit by climate disasters, including Puerto Rico.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 11, 2017, 10:56:48 pm »

Climate Apocalypse? 

The Big Picture RT

Published on Sep 26, 2017

Professor Peter Wadhams ScD, Professor of Ocean Physics / Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group-Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, UK RE: A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic. We could be just eighteen years away from a climate apocalypse...

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 11, 2017, 09:22:43 pm »

Time for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands to Go All Green

OCT 06, 2017

by Harvey Wasserman 


Tesla’s Musk helped green nearly the entire energy supply of American Samoa, as well as much of Hawaii’s island of Kauai. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are far larger. But advanced collectors and battery storage systems, along with a new generation of wind turbines, are poised to quickly replace the islands’ rickety, obsolete energy supply system with a green network of storm-proof micro-grids—and a showcase for global change.

The Caribbean is also fertile ground for biofuels to power the region’s automobiles. Brazil runs a very large portion of its vehicular fleet by turning bagasse, a byproduct of growing sugar, into an alcohol-based fuel that’s far cheaper and more efficient than imported gasoline.

And the islands could use a massive influx of LED lights, along with other energy-efficient technologies to streamline demand.

But micro-gridding will be key. The islands are mountainous, with many remote villages. Most could be made self-sufficient quickly with local networks powered by rooftop panels, small wind arrays and homegrown biofuels.

Full EXCELLENT article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:38:41 pm »

Susan Nugent: Puerto Rico is canary in coal mine for climate change

Damaged solar panels and destroyed vegetation are seen at a farm in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. [AP Photo/Gerald Herbert] (picture at article link)

Posted Oct 10, 2017 at 2:00 AM

Updated at 2:56 PM
How long do we need to know that more and more extreme weather events are occurring before we do something? In 2011, Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research pointed out, “Global warming is contributing to an increased incidence of extreme weather because the environment in which all storms form has changed from human activities.”

A systemic change is occurring. Our temperatures are warmer and moister than previously. Ocean waters further exacerbate the issue of increased heat. Such changes in temperatures result in storm changes.

Puerto Rico has long been dealing with the effects of climate change. Shorelines have eroded, second stories have been added to buildings to keep them livable, and sea levels have continued to rise. But we did nothing to help prepare them for the present disaster.

Puerto Rico has often been called the canary in the coal mine for climate change. Many references to its infrastructure being susceptible to flooding occurred prior to this past month’s catastrophe.

Danica Coto’s article for the Puerto Rico-based Pasquines news organization in August 2013 leads with, “Environmental officials and scientists warned ... that Puerto Rico is dangerously vulnerable to the effects of global climate change ...” In June 2017, Darmy Cortes alerted further, “Puerto Rico will be largely affected by climate change, the consequences being largely humanitarian and economic, and the government must take steps to ensure the safety of its citizens and the businesses in the archipelago.”

Puerto Rico didn’t need outsiders to realize its fragility. One of its efforts has been to increase renewable energy on the island, by encouraging both companies and individuals to install solar panels.

Puerto Ricans also see this as a time to move forward with sustainable energy.  Politician Ramon Luis Nieves, formerly head of the island’s energy committee, sees now as the time to upgrade the grid to accommodate more renewable energy.

Tesla has just stepped forward with humanitarian efforts, sending both battery systems and solar panels to help restore power on parts of the island still without electricity. Bloomberg reports, “The company has employees on the ground to install them and is working with local organizations to identify locations.”

Other companies and nonprofits such as Green Industries are joining this effort to expand solar power in Puerto Rico. A renewable-friendly grid would replace the antiquated one, providing energy as quickly as possible and also pointing to a green future.

Power, though, is not the only climate change problem that Puerto Ricans will have to handle. Health issues already cause concern. No clean drinking water leaves people vulnerable. Plugged sewer systems lead to cholera, dysentery and E. coli.

Even when access to clean water returns, these U.S. citizens will have to fight the diseases mosquitoes carry. Last year’s Zika issue already has asserted itself in the Caribbean with pregnant cruise passengers cancelling trips. Although Puerto Rico had announced that the epidemic had ended, increased mosquito populations may increase chances of contact with this virus.

With their loss, how many of these 3.4 million U.S. residents will become part of the climate refugees, those seeking a new home in a less vulnerable place? Scientific American suggests that the storm could result in one of the largest mass migrations in recent years. That would change both what happens in the U.S. territory as well as here.

Massachusetts has started preparing for refugees. With 300,000 Puerto Ricans living in Massachusetts, the state is discussing ways to accommodate refugees in schools, work force and health services. Florida also can expect refugees from the island.

For those who decide to stay in Puerto Rico, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s work there adds more costs to what our own state and Texas have already presented to U.S. taxpayers. One million meals delivered by FEMA won’t begin to feed the people there.

Puerto Rico faces so many climate-change problems that looking to the future only projects more questions. What we can determine is that we must face the challenge of climate change as a nation, realizing that all of us are potentially affected.

The Florida Keys are facing similar decisions. So are we in Gainesville. The problems for our nation don’t end in Puerto Rico.

Susan Nugent is a Climate Reality Project leader from Gainesville.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 11, 2017, 04:05:33 pm »


Aerial view of the Weddell polynya. Credit: Jan Lieser.

Gaping hole larger than the Netherlands opens up in icy sea off Antarctica


An incredibly large area of ice has opened up in the Weddell Sea east of the Antarctic Peninsula, for the second time in 40 years. The phenomenon was previously observed in the same location in the 1970s when satellite imaging was barely making its first baby steps. It’s not clear ;) at this point if the ice hole is influenced in any way ;) by climate change.


SNIPPET 2: (from the scientists who are reality based)
Such ice-free areas are called ‘polynya’ (Russian) by polar scientists. These occur in the Arctic and Antarctica, typically around the coast. This gaping polynya, which measures an area equivalent to the Netherlands, opened right in the middle of a sea which would have otherwise been completely covered in thick ice.

It’s not that it’s not cold. Temperatures are in their usual frigid range for this time of year. Instead, the Weddel Polynya can be pinned to water stratification in the Southern Ocean , according to scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research who closely following its development.

Satellite image of the polynya. Credit: MODIS-Aqua via NASA Worldview

“The fact that now a large, ice-free area can be observed in the Weddell Sea confirms our theory and gives us another data point for further model studies,” said Dr. Torge Martin, meteorologist and climate modeler at GEOMAR.

“Global warming is not a linear process and happens on top of internal variability inherent to the climate system. The better we understand these natural processes, the better we can identify the anthropogenic impact on the climate system”, said Professor Latif.

full article:


Agelbert NOTE: WHERE in God's good Earth do these overly scared of their own government shadow scientists get the AMAZING idea that water stratification in the Southern Ocean is not a DIRECT EFFECT of Global Warming from Climate Change? ???

Just look at this graphic of today's SSTA (sea surface Temperature Anomaly) in the Southern Ocean:

HELLO scientists saying this amazingly UNscientific statement:

It’s not clear ;) at this point if the ice hole is influenced in any way ;) by climate change.

HOW do these scientists think that the OCEAN SST GOT TO THESE levels in the early SPRING in Antarctica?

Yes, of course, let's do more and more  research so we can be COMPLETELY CERTAIN that, uh, we are TOAST! Climate Change is uh, happening at a measured pace that we must monitor and do more research to determine what we should do about that by 2100, or, uh, maybe later, depending on the "needs" of the "economy". We must not 'rush to a judgement' that could undermine the fossil fuel energy producing "saviors of mankind"...

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

"We can’t have a healthy business on a sick planet.”--  Ashley Orgain, manager of mission advocacy and outreach for Seventh Generation, Burlington, Vermont

"We do not need a 'new' business model for energy because we never had one. What we need, if we wish to avoid extinction, is to plug the environmental and equity costs of energy production and use into our planning and thinking. " -- A.G. Gelbert

"The rich executed a coup d’état that transformed the three branches of the U.S. government and nearly all institutions, including the mass media, into wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state." -- Chris Hedges

"The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 10, 2017, 07:07:43 pm »

Electric cars win on energy efficiency vs hydrogen, gasoline, diesel: analysis  ;D


Oct 10, 2017

If you want to drive the absolute cleanest car possible – and if you’re reading this site, we’re willing to wager that you do – then you need to calculate the total well-to-wheels energy use of the car and everything you put into its tank or battery.

When it comes to comparing types of vehicles – hydrogen, standard gasoline and diesel, or battery electric – then a full accounting of the averages reveals that electric cars are the total efficiency winners.    

At least, they are in a new study from the UK-based Transport & Environment.

The results are not even close.

Starting with all renewable energy for either charging or to process the gasoline or hydrogen, all-electric vehicles managing an overall efficiency rating of 73 percent, compared to 22 percent for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and just 13 percent for standard fossil fuel vehicles using gasoline made with the Fischer Tropsch process.

DON'T MISS: Two words the Trump Administration can't say: climate change


UK's Transport & Environment says that electric cars are the most efficient.


... when you look at the averages, you’re most likely going to be better off plugging in  than gassing up.    If anyone says otherwise, ask them to show you the math.

Full article:


Agelbert NOTE: Fossil Fuel Industry reaction to the above study:


Agelbert reaction to the above study:

The issue stopped being "energy efficiency" around 1970. That is around the time that human civilization GUARANTEED MORE than 1.5 degrees centigrade of baked in Global Warming. IOW, AFTER THAT, we entered the existential threat territory.

This is a war for survival. No country, when they are in a WAR FOR SURVIVAL, says they must surrender to the enemy because the machines they need to build to SURVIVE are not efficient enough. Business as usual is a stupid, irrational and totally unnecessary surrender to the Climate Change enemy of the biosphere in general, and our species in particular.

Most fossil fuelers and/or doomers have made up all sorts of magical thinking fairy tales about "supply and demand", collapse from "peak this, that and the other" which will "make the environment hunky jake again" and other amazing bits of pretzel logic.

They are off their rockers. We transition out of polluting fuels or we will perish, PERIOD. 

These videos briefly (VERY briefly) explain what fossil fuelers  and many doomers    are in brain dead denial of in regard to the irrefutable facts about WHAT CAUSES Climate Change and the consequent degradation of our biosphere:

How do Greehouse Gases REALLY work?

A demonstration of carbon dioxide absorption of infrared radiation by Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth:

The animation from Rasmus Benestad‘s article about his new paper at RealClimate:

Agelbert NOTE: In the next video, Physics Professor Ray Pierrehumbert explains WHY the atmospheric expansion portrayed above (Adiabatic Lapse Rate - i.e. temperature decrease per kilometer of elevation is radically altered causing the surface average temperature to radically rise) in the gif is so great with a tiny amount in parts per million of Greenhouse gases.

An explanation of the greenhouse effect by  Ray Pierrehumbert, current Halley Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, in both text:Infrared radiation and planetary temperatureand video:

Read more: 


The San Francsico area TODAY (October 10, 2017) is even HIGHER than the above at 502 PPM CO2!https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/chem/surface/level/overlay=co2sc/orthographic=-115.52,37.59,1092/loc=-122.660,38.427

The Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 09, 2017, 10:28:18 pm »

Above: Firefighters assess the scene as a house burns in the Napa wine region of California on October 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to ravage the area burning structures and causing widespread evacuations. Image credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.

California Firestorm: More than 1500 Structures Lost, Mass Evacuations from Napa to Anaheim

Bob Henson  ·  October 9, 2017, 6:03 PM EDT


Hot, dry winds across the length of California triggered one of the most destructive and widespread fire days in state history on Monday. At least one person was killed, at least 60 were injured, and at least 1500 homes and other structures were lost by midday in nine Northern California counties, reported SFGate.com. The destruction puts Monday’s fires into the top five most damaging wildfire events in in California history, according to Steve Bowen (Aon Benfield)

The fires kicked off Sunday night as strong easterly winds (called “diablo” winds in Northern California, after Mt. Diablo) pushed hot, dry air across the California wine country. On Monday, the easterlies began to weaken in the Bay Area, while they intensified southward into the LA-San Diego area, where they’re known as Santa Ana winds (after the Santa Ana mountain range). By Monday afternoon, some 1000 homes were threatened in the Anaheim Hills neighborhood of eastern Anaheim, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Full article with fire destruction pictures:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 08, 2017, 11:02:07 pm »

A Response To “A Call For Help For Puerto Rico”   

October 8th, 2017 by George Harvey

Together, We Can Make Things Better

I should start this off with a disclosure. I know Joseph Mangum personally. However, I am not profiting in any way from this message, aside from the feeling I get from being able to spread it here. I can say I believe that Joseph’s message is true, precisely as he presents it.

After publishing “A Call for Help for Puerto Rico” in CleanTechnica, I got this message from a local Brattleboro solar installer:

Message from Joseph Mangum of Sunnyside Solar of Brattleboro, VT:


Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. My wife, Rosemary, is from the island and half of our family is there. With great patience and perseverance, they have struggled over the last two weeks. There is no power where they are at (6% of the island is re-powered) nor is there safe water to drink.

We were delayed in prompting this fund raiser until the logistics of getting supplies delivered were sorted. The infrastructure is in ruins and gasoline incredibly difficult to come by. We have successfully navigated both gas and vehicle problems so this project is ready to go.

We are building solar generators and delivering water pump purifiers for the hardest hit areas.

Solar generators have myriad uses. Medical needs such as refrigeration for insulin and power to phones for communication and information are two of the largest concerns.

This is a personal plea. If I had the funds I would already be there. I may not be Puerto Rican by blood, but a large part of my spirit is there. Rosemary’s whole family is there and she has been solidly strong through it all but not being able to help right away has been extremely emotional.

We humbly ask for your support in either donating, spreading this campaign far and wide or even better both.

No matter what you do, thank you for reading this.

Joseph Mangum

Here is an opportunity to help people stand up to a president who makes light of disaster by throwing out paper towels. That was a moment I believe is right up there with “Let them eat cake.” But we are all in this together, and together, we can make things better.

Please help Joseph, Rosemary, and their family.


George Harvey

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 06, 2017, 10:59:03 pm »

Arctic Sea Ice: Everything You Need to Know

Paul Beckwith

Published on Oct 5, 2017

Every summer now, there are many people anxiously monitoring the seasonal melt-back of the Sea Ice that covers the Arctic Ocean. One of these summers, likely within the next 5 years we will end up with no sea ice left at the end of the summer. This "blue-ocean" event will change our climate & lives, in numerous ways.

I give you the knowledge & links to see for yourself what is happening to the Arctic Sea Ice over the 2017 melt season, and discuss what happens next.

Please support my work with a donation at http://paulbeckwith.net
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 06, 2017, 09:15:34 pm »

A Storm of Silence: Study Finds Media Is Largely Ignoring Link Between Hurricanes and Climate Change

Democracy Now!

Published on Sep 12, 2017

https://democracynow.org - "A Storm of Silence." That’s the title of a new report by the watchdog group Public Citizen that looks at the media’s failure to discuss climate change in its wall-to-wall hurricane coverage. While all the television networks commented on the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey and "extreme weather," virtually none explained how warmer ocean temperatures lead to heavier winds, warmer air causes more precipitation, and higher sea levels exacerbate storm surges. The report examined 18 media sources’ coverage of Hurricane Harvey—looking at 10 major newspapers, three weekly news magazines and national programming from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News over the course of eight days’ worth of Hurricane Harvey coverage. The report concludes, "Many failed to discuss the issue [of climate change] much or failed to cover important aspects of it. ... Two of the three major broadcast networks, ABC and NBC, did not mention climate change at all in the context of Hurricane Harvey." We speak to David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program.

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: https://democracynow.org

Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today: https://democracynow.org/donate

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 06, 2017, 08:54:12 pm »


October 6th, 2017 by Guest Contributor

The widespread devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria is still being assessed, as communities continue to endure health impacts in the wake of these massive storms. But one thing is crystal clear — climate change intensifies hurricanes.

Hunter Cutting, director of the Climate Signals project, explains how climate change has amplified the damage done by hurricanes by increasing both the reach of storm surge and the volume of rainfall and by lifting the power ceiling of storms.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 05, 2017, 05:22:36 pm »

“Our study shows how climate change affects environmental processes in the Arctic landscape. As a consequence of the warmer temperatures, more sediment is transported out to the coast. At the same time, the open-water period has been extended, and the material is therefore deposited in the deltas. And in this way, the deltas are growing,” says Associate Professor Aart Kroon, corresponding author.

Article with pictures:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 05, 2017, 04:44:48 pm »

Figure 3. Ocean Heat Content (OHC) for October 5, 2017. Forecast positions for Nate from the 11 am EDT Thursday NHC forecast are also shown. OHC values in excess of 80 kilojoules per square centimeter (yellow-green colors) are often associated with rapid intensification of hurricanes. Nate is expected to be passing near or over two areas of very high ocean heat content, with very warm waters that extend to great depth: in the Western Caribbean off the coast of Yucatan Peninsula, and again in the Gulf of Mexico, over the northern portion of the Loop Current, where a warm eddy appears to be attempting to break off. Image credit: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 04, 2017, 09:56:36 pm »

I believe we will see very very soon (within 2018) the exotic technologies come online to help rebuild these
affected areas of the planet.

Energy will be drawn from the planet in order to provide prosperous living for all lifeforms.

This talk of "You bad little humans, you've totally fu cked your planet over & now it's time to die because of your behavior" is more of the same rhetoric we've grown accustomed to.

Fu ck that sh it .....

AZ, humanity does not have, as you have realized, an energy problem. Humanity's problem is lack of respect for each other and the other life forms we are blessed by God to share this planet with. You don't even have to believe there IS a God, though I most certainly DO, to clearly understand that.

All the Renewable Energy or free energy in the universe is not going to help us if we do not learn that empathy deficit, me first, greed based behavior is not just evil, it's suicidally STUPID.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 03, 2017, 09:04:00 pm »

Donald Golfs and Puerto Rico Drowns

By Came In On Saturdays | October 03, 2017 at 03:02 PM EDT

Most people recall the saying that Emperor Nero “fiddled while Rome burned.” Nero is remembered as one of history’s cruelest leaders. However, this popular quote is not accurate. Yes, in 64 A.D., a great fire spread through Rome for six days, destroying 70% of the city and leaving half its population homeless. Although Nero quickly began relief measures, the people didn’t trust him. Some believed Nero had ordered the fire started, especially after he used land cleared by the blaze to build a palace. Nero blamed the then small Christian sect for the fire, and had many of its members arrested and executed. Nero could not have played a fiddle, since the fiddle was not developed until the 11th Century. Roman historian Tacitus wrote that Nero was rumored to have sung about the destruction of Troy while watching the Roman fire. Tacitus, however, stated that the reports of Nero singing were unconfirmed by eyewitness accounts (History.com staff, 11/20/12).

Flash forward to 2017. We have far more accurate accounts of Hurricane Maria. We also know what “leader” Donald did and did not do when Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 155 mph, hit and devastated Puerto Rico early on 9/20/2017 (huffingtonpost.com, Miller, 10/03/17). Puerto Rico, a Commonwealth of the United States since 1952, has a population of 3,474, 182 (115th Cong. At Your Fingertips, U.S. Senate, 109th Cong.).  Puerto Ricans have been American citizens since the passage of the Jones-Shafroth Act in 3/1917 that President Woodrow Wilson signed. Because Puerto Rico is not a state, it does not vote in presidential elections. However, it has a governor and sends one non-voting representative to Congress. Puerto Rico is permitted to participate in the presidential primaries and is granted delegates to the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions (115th Cong. At Your Fingertips, NY Times, Dropp & Nyhan, 9/26/17, Murse, thoughtco.com,vox.com, Resnick & Barclay, 9/29/17).

Hurricane Maria was an absolute catastrophe. During the current 2017 hurricane season, Puerto Rico was first clipped by Hurricane Irma on 9/06/2017. Irma left 1 million people without power on that island. When Maria hit, 60,000 people still did not have electricity. Many Puerto Ricans have, therefore, not had power for over 20 days (vox.com, Resnick & Barclay, 9/29/17). Hurricane Maria was a slightly smaller storm but far more devastating. Unlike Irma, Hurricane Maria charted a course directly over Puerto Rico, hit near its peak intensity, and passed around 25 miles away from San Juan, the capital, home to about 400,000 people (vox.com). It was “as if a 50-60-mile-wide tornado raged across Puerto Rico like a buzz saw,” according to meteorologist Jeff Weber with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NOAA). Weber called Maria “almost as strong as a hurricane can get in a direct hit.” According to the records, Maria was the fifth-largest storm ever to hit the U.S. and the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years (see vox.com). 

The initial response to the storm from the U.S. government has been lackluster. During the one week after Maria hit, Demagogue Donald “responded” by creating his own “hurricane tweet storm.” In those bizarre, irrelevant rantings, Donald obsessed about Puerto Rico being an “island,” and criticized Puerto Rico for being in “massive debt (vox.com, 9/29/17, CNN, Cillizza, 10/01/17).” A typical Trump response to his own failure to act—blame the hapless victims, never “perfectly brilliant” Donald. On a CNN 9/29/2017 “New Day” interview, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz put a face on this festering humanitarian crisis. Mayor Cruz emotionally pleaded, “We are dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles. Mayday! We are in trouble (huffingtonpost.com, Herreria, 9/30/17, CNN, Cillizza, 10/01/17).” Trump answered Mayor Cruz, the only way he knows how—viciously. Demagogue Donald tweeted, “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump. Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job (Cillizza, CNN, 10/01/17).” Translation: “They” = “lazy” dark-skinned Hispanic “moochers,” v. the mainly white Texans and Floridians. “Red” Texas and Florida, Trump’s real “all American base,” received immediate aid for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with no such horrible criticisms. Trump is using more of the same racially coded “dog whistles,” actually bullhorn language, he has employed since he started running for the White House (See Cillizza, CNN). Trump also called Cruz “nasty,” the same term he used to describe another female, Hillary, in Campaign 2016.

IMHO, Trump is, with this and other tweets, additionally arguing that these Hispanic Puerto Ricans are “unpatriotic.” Why? Because they are attacking first responders who represent U.S. authority and are often in uniform. Whatever happened to the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech? Donald also  tweeted, “Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to ‘get Trump.’ Not fair (huffingtonpost, Herreria, 9/30/17).”

Whom do you believe, these network correspondents on storm-stricken Puerto Rico, or golf -playing Donald on dry land spouting lies and paranoia? On the morning of 10/01/2017, at 5:22 A.M., Donald further poured out his venom on the news media and on the Puerto Ricans. In this tweet, he praised the “great job we have done with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico. Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates… (latimes.com, King, L., 10/01/17).”  “Politically motivated ingrates,” just another vicious description of “nasty lazy Hispanics.” These “lazy Latinos” somehow have the time and energy to get their “marching orders” from the mainland Democratic Party leadership. They don’t care about fighting for their lives and saving their homes. No, all they want to do is hurt Donald’s “reputation.” Unbelievable!

While Puerto Ricans were fighting to save themselves after being hit by a catastrophic storm, out-of-touch Demagogue Donald decided to go to the Presidents Cup golf tournament in New Jersey. At this 10/01/2017 golf tournament, Donald dedicated the trophy to the victims of the TX, FL, and Puerto Rican hurricanes (huffingtonpost.com, Terkel, 10/01/17). While Puerto Ricans drowned, Donald dedicated a trophy to them. Unless this trophy is “magical,” it won’t revive Puerto Rico. When Trump dedicated this trophy to Puerto Rico, only 5% of its electrical grid was up and running, and it could be months before residents get regular service back. More than half of Puerto Rico remained without drinking water. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan stated that on 10/01/2017, just 16 out of 69 hospitals have had power restored. The others were running on generators. There was limited access to X-ray machines and few operating rooms were open (vox.com, Resnick & Barclay). Roughly 80% of the island’s crops have been wiped out (huffingtonpost.com, Miller). As of 10/02/2017, only 37% of the people had cellphone service (huffingtonpost.com Frej & Fang, 10/03/17). It was not necessary for Trump to attend this golfing event. In fact, he was the first sitting chief executive to give the trophy to the winning team (huffingtonpost.com, Terkel). Imagine if Hillary had won the election and had gone to this tournament under the same circumstances. We would never have heard the end of the banshee-like GOP cries condemning her.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called Trump’s attack on Mayor Cruz “unspeakable (CNN, Watkins, 10/01/17).” On FOX News, former major league pitcher and reliable Donald supporter Curt Schilling described the Trump administration’s current efforts at helping Puerto Rico, “horrifying.” Schilling is in Puerto Rico helping with relief.  He said the situation is “bleak” and the death toll “is likely to rise into the thousands.” He added, “These (Puerto Ricans) are Americans.” He stated, “If this were Houston, Texas there’d be 55,000 soldiers on this island right now (shareblue.com, 10/01/17, Orr).” On 10/01/2017, GOP strategist Ana Navarro told CNN that “it’s quite brazen for Trump to whine about anyone else wanting ‘everything to be done for them,’ when he himself has so often shirked responsibility and work… This is a guy sitting in a fancy golf course while people in Puerto Rico are dying (shareblue.com, 10/01/17, Parker).” Retired Army General Russel Honore, hailed as a hero for bringing relief to 2005 Hurricane Katrina’s victims, was far blunter. In a 9/30/2017 CNN interview, Honore ripped Trump for attacking San Juan Mayor Cruz. In his words, “the mayor’s living on a cot, and I hope the president has a good day at golf.” In a previous 9/27/2017 CNN interview, Honore stated, “The president has shown again and again, you don’t give a damn about poor people, you don’t give a damn about people of color and the SOB that rides around in Air Force One is denying services needed by the people of Puerto Rico (cnn.com, 9/30/17, cnn.com/videos/us/2017/09/27).”

San Juan’s Mayor Cruz is not naïve. High school Puerto Rico honor student Cruz received her bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a Master’s from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon. She worked for 12 years on the U.S. mainland at Westinghouse, Colgate-Palmolive, Banco Popular, and the U.S. Treasury Department. In 1992, she returned to Puerto Rico. She advised the mayor of San Juan and the president of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives. In 2008, she won an at-large seat to the Puerto Rico House. Cruz has been San Juan’s mayor since 2012, after defeating the 12-year incumbent (abcnews.go, 10/01/17). Cruz refused to get into petty fights responding to Trump’s horrible tweets. In a 10/01/2017 ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, she aptly said, “Let us not talk about the debt, let us not talk about the cost of reconstruction. Let’s just talk about saving people’s lives right now. You put people above the debt. People’s lives and avoiding death above the debt. That’s how it’s done (abcnews.go., 10/01/17).” 

On 10/03/2017, Trump and wife Melania visited Puerto Rico. At his first stop, he appeared to joke about the cost of the damage, saying, “I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of wack (huffingtonpost.com, Frej & Fang, 10/03/17).” Some joke! And frankly, Trump probably believes that Puerto Rico is a “budget killer,” not the other hurricane hit areas in TX and FL. According to his itinerary, Donald will spend just 5 hours on this horribly devastated island and meet with Puerto Rican victims for just 35 minutes (Daniel Dale @ddale8, pic twitter.com, Daniel Dale@ddale, 7:16 PM, 10/02/2017, annieli, Kos, 10/02/17). Donald visited TX twice after Hurricane Harvey and went to FL four days after Irma hit (huffingtonpost.com, 10/03/17).

In Puerto Rico, Trump limited his exposure to the public. The neighborhood he visited, Guaynabo, is home to some of the more affluent communities in Puerto Rico (NY Times, Landler, 10/03/17, CNN, Liptak, 10/03/17). Of course, Donald only feels comfortable with the rich. At a meeting with Puerto Rican officials, Trump again touted the “great” job his team had done, ignoring the awful facts on the ground. He also called Hurricane Katrina more of a “real catastrophe” because on W Bush’s watch “thousands died” in that storm, but just 16 people here (See NY Times, 10/03/17, Landler). Wow! Remember, many deaths from Maria have been uncounted and more bodies will probably be recovered. Trump is making body counts a ghoulish sporting event. He is, once more, showing his awful callousness and narcissism-- “hey, W, my hurricane outcome was better than yours.” Once again, “winner” Trump has demonstrated what a disaster he has been for the U.S. and for all its citizens.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 03, 2017, 05:50:48 pm »

Climat Lab Book
Open climate Science

Is the 1.5°C target still reachable?



Figure 2. Global mean temperature estimates of HadCRUT4 (left) and GISTEMP (right) against the CO2 concentration on a logarithmic scale with a linear fit. Pre-industrial CO2 concentrations are usually taken to be 280 ppm.


Reaching the 1.5 degree target agreed-upon in Paris as a desirable goal is going to be hard. Exactly how hard depends on a couple of crucial definitions and physical effects of the order of a tenth of a degree. Millar et al. have reduced these uncertainties by moving the starting point of modelling from pre-industrial to the present, taking the observed trend as given (and attributable to human influences, a point we have not discussed). However, they also use definitions of the global mean temperature rise that are not universally accepted and estimates of committed warming for zero emissions that are at odds with older (AR4) ideas that were based on constant atmospheric composition. To aid in the understanding of the results of Millar et al., we tried to highlight differences in definitions and cancellations in temperature trends after CO2 emissions would have ceased. Whatever the final way the 1.5 degree or indeed 2 degree target is defined, it will take a huge effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to reach it.

Full detailed article with charts from peer reviewed scientific studies

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 03, 2017, 02:37:09 pm »


So Long as Lies About it Persist, Consensus Messaging is Vital   


The concerted effort by fossil-fuel funded propagandists to keep Americans in the dark about our role in climate change has long targeted the consensus, which is why it’s so important to continually reinforce the fact that scientists are nearly unanimous about human activity driving climate change.

That’s the gist of an op-ed that ran on Monday in the Guardian . In the piece, a group of academics, in response to commentary over the summer criticizing consensus messaging, lay out the history of denial’s attacks on science and explained the damaging effects of the gap between what scientists know and what the public thinks they know. Ignoring the fake news about the consensus as opposed to countering it, they explain, further dulls political will to take action.


Cliff Mass is a meteorologist who’s proven to be a consistent voice of skepticism, particularly on links between extreme weather and climate change. As can be expected, Mass has been particularly busy this year jumping to distance climate change from the rows of extreme, record-breaking weather events we’ve had in a few short months.
Cliff Mass doing his thing for the Fossil Fuel Saviors of Humanity

In a piece about him in the Seattle PI that ran Thursday headlined
“Climate change is real but…”, Mass criticizes the linking of climate change and extreme events. While he acknowledges that warming amplifies many events, his statement that there’s “absolutely no reason to believe” an unusual ridge of high pressure off the west coast has anything to do with warming is simply false--there is . So besides his problematic borderline misogyny, it’s clear Mass has missed out on some key facts.

It’s hard to say if the skepticism Mass expresses is motivated by ideological factors, like Ken Ham’s denial, or just scientifically misinformed, like those who watch too much Fox and Breitbart.

But you know who hasn’t been subjected to decades of misinformation and propaganda on climate? The Latino community. Yale polling last week showed that Latinos are far more worried about climate change than non-Latinos. This is particularly true for non-English speaking Latinos, which could be a testament to the prevalence of English-language Murdoch media and its power to distort.

And it makes sense they'd be concerned, given the stark difference between how the Trump Administration handled warming-amplified storms that struck Texas and Florida, and the one that hit Puerto Rico.

Agelbert NOTE: And now that Hispanics/Latinos EVERYWHERE (along with most of the rest of the world) have finallly figured Trump out, they won't "negotiate" either.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 30, 2017, 09:00:11 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: To be viewed with a grain of salt. Crowley is a Jones Act shipper that stands to profit handsomely if they dominate the logistics recovery effort.  ;) Under the waiver from the Jones Act, freight is almost 50% CHEAPER for Puerto Rico.

File photo of Crowley container ship going by El Morro Castle in San Juan, Puerto Rico

September 29, 2017 by gCaptain

Crowley Provides Update on Relief Effort in Puerto Rico

Crowley is transporting 100 fuel distribution trucks with 275,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 75,000 gallons of gasoline to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Photo: Crowley Maritime Corp.

U.S. shipping company Crowley Maritime provided an update Friday on its on-going effort to get relief supplies to the people Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

As of Friday, Crowley Puerto Rico Services said that nearly all Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relief cargo that has arrived to date at its Isla Grande Terminal in Puerto Rico has been transported to FEMA receiving locations on the island by the company’s logistics group – the result of strong ongoing coordination with FEMA and other government agencies providing relief after Hurricane Maria.

Working closely with FEMA, Crowley’s liner and logistics groups have helped to coordinate the throughput of relief cargo at the terminal, prioritizing and trucking government loads on the island. While there are thousands of loads of commercial cargo on the terminal awaiting distribution, the FEMA loads are moving and thousands more are on the way.

Crowley is transporting 100 fuel distribution trucks with 275,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 75,000 gallons of gasoline to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

Crowley and other transportation companies continue to play a significant role helping FEMA relief efforts in Puerto Rico’s communities. As of Thursday, Sept. 28, Crowley has facilitated providing 1.3 million meals and 2.77 million liters of the meals and water that have arrived in San Juan. FEMA has provided food and water to over 60 municipalities with the logistics and transportation assistance of Crowley.

The joint effort began Saturday, Sept. 23, after the U.S. Coast Guard reopened the port at 8 a.m. and Crowley’s first barge was unloaded at 10 a.m. with 144 government relief loads. Crowley has moved more than 700 government relief loads with 3,100 loads booked and 1,000 loads ready to leave the Port of Jacksonville. In addition, Crowley is scheduled to move 272 emergency relief vehicles, including 140 fuel trucks, and 100 disaster recovery vehicles from Jacksonville to San Juan.

Crowley’s barge El Rey is already en route with an anticipated arrival on Monday, Oct. 2, with a shipment of 100 fuel distribution trucks with 275,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 75,000 gallons of gasoline.

By Friday, Crowley projects to have 4,100 commercial loads on its terminal ready for pickup containing a variety of needed products, including food, beverages, construction materials, clothing and much more.

Elsewhere, here are few more notes from the U.S. Department of Defense on the on-going relief effort in Puerto Rico as they relate to transportation and logistics:

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp is returning to support response operations in and around Puerto Rico

The hospital ship USNS Comfort will depart its home port of Norfolk, Virginia, today, bound for Puerto Rico
USS Kearsarge remains in the Caribbean in support on the relief efforts

Finally, below is a statement from Anthony Chiarello’s, President and CEO of TOTE, another major U.S. shipping company serving Puerto Rico, which he delivered to the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Marine Transportation on September 28, 2017.

TOTE major U.S. shipping company serving Puerto Rico

“Good morning Chairman Hunter, Ranking Member Garamendi and Members of the Committee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. My name is Anthony Chiarello and I serve as the President and CEO of TOTE. I have been involved with the maritime industry for more than 38 years and have been with TOTE since 2010.

Before I share the details of our work in Puerto Rico – the reason you called me here today – I would like to express to you how personal this situation is for us at TOTE.  Our employees and customers have experienced the devastation first hand. Many of our employees in Puerto Rico have damage to their homes and families that are struggling following the hurricane but they have come to the terminal to support the offloading of containers and cargo which they know is critical for the larger Puerto Rican community. We are proud of the work our team is doing to get important cargoes to Puerto Rico and we will not rest in our efforts.

TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico has served the people of Puerto Rico for more than 32 years providing twice weekly service to the island sailing between Jacksonville, FL and San Juan. (By the way, our vessels are the most environmentally friendly ocean container vessels in the world as they are powered by LNG.) We strive for on-time and efficient operations that support daily life for our Puerto Rican families.

Since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 19th, the people of Puerto Rico have been struggling to gain access to various goods and services necessary for daily life – goods that are sitting on our docks now that need support to be moved.

Even before Hurricane Maria made landfall, TOTE was working closely with customers and other parties such as the Red Cross to prepare for what was forecasted to be a devastating blow to the island. TOTE’s Isla Bella departed Jacksonville on September 20 – as Puerto Rico was still feeling the effects of Hurricane Maria – with more than 900 containers of cargo and relief goods for the island. The Isla Bella arrived at the Port of San Juan on September 24th following the opening of the Port on September 23 by the USCG. Immediately after the discharge of the Isla Bella, TOTE’s second ship, the Perla del Caribe arrived in San Juan with more than 1000 additional containers of relief goods. Our vessels will continue to transport relief aid including food and water to the island along with the daily needs such as clothing and house goods.

TOTE’s transit time from Jacksonville to San Juan is less than three days. This means that we are uniquely positioned to respond to emerging needs on the island, providing critical supplies to the people of Puerto Rico as the situation on the ground continues to evolve. TOTE will serve the people of Puerto Rico throughout this crisis and long after TV cameras have left.

Despite news and misinformation about the Jones Act, American companies like TOTE have ample capacity to ship supplies to Puerto Rico. The challenges are not with the maritime industry getting the goods to the island. Unfortunately the challenge is distributing the goods throughout the island communities. Infrastructure and roads have been compromised as a result of the storm making transport and delivery of goods challenging. We need to get the water and other life-saving supplies to those who need it.

Over the last few days, we have seen more and more containers leave our facility in San Juan but there are still many at the terminal. Of the more than 2700 containers at the terminal (and more keep coming with each full ship);

on Monday, 88 left

on Tuesday, 110 left

on Wednesday (yesterday), 180 left

Unfortunately, only about 400 containers have left our facility since September 19.

We are working with our customers to solve this bottleneck. In some cases, we are providing refrigerated containers as temporary storage for warehouses and stores that were damaged or destroyed.  We are working with the government and others to offload critical cargo at our terminal that can help relieve the bottleneck and service first responders.

I am grateful for the opportunity to testify today and discuss ways that TOTE can work in concert with the Government to help accelerate the recovery effort for the people of Puerto Rico and especially our employees and customers.  I look forward to answering your questions.”

Related gCaptain Article

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 30, 2017, 08:14:18 pm »

Puerto Ricans Hack Through a Maze of Debris to Move Relief Aid

September 29, 2017 by Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

By Jonathan Levin, Jordyn Holman, Christopher Flavelle and Daniel Flatley (Bloomberg) — A sedan is buried in congealed mud on an impassible road where the Rio Caguitas overflowed in the mountainous community of Bairoa. A guard rail is missing, exposing a perilous drop to the riverbank.

On highways near San Juan, bowed street lights dip low enough to take roofs off trucks, and rain pools formed Thursday where debris blocked drains. A gantlet of parked motorists made mobile-phone calls in rare pockets of connectivity; others sat in half-mile long gas lines snaking around ramps.

With aid for the Hurricane Maria recovery passing through docks already heaped with about 10,000 containers, a major obstacle is restoring the U.S. commonwealth’s 600 miles of major roads, the circulatory system of a bankrupt economy and a battered body politic.

“We need loads of brigades to restore the power lines, to clean the roads,” said Matilda Cordoba of San Juan, who works for Crowley Maritime Corp.’s supply hub there. “To go across the island and go through the mountains? Impossible now.”

Photo: Bloomberg

Alejandro de la Campa, whom President Donald Trump designated last week as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s coordinating official for the recovery, said priorities included delivering fuel and other commodities, restoring electricity and getting communications systems working.

Blazing Trails

More than 10,000 federal civilian and military personnel are on the island, Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert said at the White House. The Army Corps of Engineers has taken over efforts to restore power, he said, including bringing fuel for generators and getting it where it’s needed.

John Rabin, FEMA’s acting regional administrator for the area, said personnel were “driving through the woods, cutting paths to get to municipalities.”

As of Thursday, eight of nine airports on the island had opened and five of six priority seaports were functioning, according to the U.S. Defense Department. The Northern Command, which is overseeing operations, said Thursday that it expected eight flights delivering food and water, generators, medical supplies and communications gear to land that day.

The triage of road repair is designed to keep those links open. Marines and sailors from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit were clearing a path to a site where two towers control all flights coming in to San Juan.

“If those towers lose fuel to their generators, air operations going into San Juan will cease altogether,” said Second Lieutenant Samuel Stephenson, spokesman for the unit, which had 150 people on the ground in Puerto Rico and another 600 Marines waiting offshore.

Clogging Up

The civilian container yards that in normal times supply consumer goods are moving about only 5 percent of the typical daily volumes as a trickle of trucks begins to maneuver gingerly across the 3,515-square-mile island.

“FEMA cargo has been flowing, so that’s not the big issue,” said Cordoba. “The private clients are unable to pick up their cargo, either because they suffered damages at their buildings or personally, or the truckers haven’t been able to get to work because they have suffered damages.”

Governor Ricardo Rossello said Thursday that truckers don’t have to follow the 7 p.m. curfew. In fact, they’re encouraged to travel at night when the roads are free of traffic.

Truckers Saul Rivera and Carlos Diaz were leaning against the chain-link fence at the Port Authority in San Juan, waiting in an unmoving line to refill their vehicles.

The highways are fine except for low-hanging cables and the menacing poles, they said. But they had to be careful not to hit the top of their truck. Some expressways are down to two lanes. A truck can pass, though it’s a tight fit.

Harrowing Journey

Diaz drove to Ponce on Wednesday. The bridge was broken, so he had to take a bypass on a rural road. The detour that would usually take 10 minutes took an hour.

“I’ve never driven like this before,” Diaz said.

Jayuya and Aibonito, in the central mountains, are almost inaccessible.

“You have to be really brave,” Rivera said.

In Bairoa, Jorge Reto Guzman said if he and his neighbors pull through, they will have themselves to thank — not the federal government. The 42-year-old fireman was sitting on an intact section of the guardrail in the community about 30 kilometers south of San Juan.

Interviews with half a dozen neighbors on this 200-home stretch of rural, mountainous Puerto Rico — marked simply as the “Old Road” at the turnoff — showed no one had seen or heard from FEMA. Guzman said neighbors themselves used their hands, machetes and chainsaws to clear the road and hauled away trunks in vehicles including a minivan.

Neighbors get together in the afternoons and pool resources to make rice and beans with a protein and, when needed, they give each other lifts into town.

“I feel forgotten, because no one has even asked about us,” said Hector Manuel Gomez Marabe, 63. “Not even to see how we’re doing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.”

© 2017 Bloomberg L.P

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 30, 2017, 02:32:59 pm »

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