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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 22, 2018, 08:05:19 pm »

Aerial Photos of Antarctica Reveal the Devastating Toll of Climate Change

🔥 The Great Crack-Up



It’s hard to wreck a continent you can barely get your hands on. Human beings typically do our worst environmental damage in the places we live and work—clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains. Antarctica, however, was more or less out of reach. No more.

Climate change has become our species’ great destructive equalizer, leaving no part of the planet safe from the harm we do. In March 2017, the sea ice around both poles reached a record low for that time of year. In July, a 1 trillion–ton iceberg, roughly the size of Delaware, calved off of the Larsen C ice shelf in western Antarctica. The damage to the ice is being done not just from above, as the planet’s air warms, but from below, as its oceans do too.

Full article with pictures and video:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 21, 2018, 06:21:44 pm »

America Is Getting Its First Climate Change Museum

Here’s Why That’s Such a Great Thing

Climate change can no longer be debated. Despite what skeptics still say, climate change is not a concept that is happening in the far-off arctic tundra or distant future. The effects of climate change are happening here and now.

Between drastic temperature fluxes, extreme drought, water scarcity, storms larger and more destructive than any others witnessed before, and even species extinction, climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, altering the start time of seasons and forcing species to change their ranges.

But for those of us who reside in big cities such as New York or another metropolis, seeing the impact of climate change in our everyday life can be difficult. How can environmentalists help others in dense communities see that climate change also impacts them? That’s exactly where The Climate Change museum comes in.

The Climate Museum is dedicated to bringing art, science and climate advocacy to the masses. As the first museum devoted solely to climate change in America, the museum was created by Miranda Massie, a former lawyer and now the Founder and Director of the progressive museum. A permanent home for the museum is still a few years away, but they recently launched their first pop-up exhibition in New York City that aims to bring art and science to the masses.

For the month of January, the Climate Museum will feature the Antarctic portrait by artist Zaria Forman. The portrait will be featured alongside a video of Forman drawing it by hand.

“It’s so realistic but so human. “It connects our human experience with nature in a palpable way,” Amanda Nesci, who handles communications for the Climate Museum told Mind Body Green.

The pop-up exhibition will also feature the work of environmental artist, Peggy Weil. Her digital installation will show 110,000 years of history to show how humans have affected the earth’s Greenland ice sheet.

By using public events, panels, and celebrations in New York City, the Climate Museum aims to bring people together and move forward with solutions on climate change.

Forman and Weil’s art urge us to make the connection between our everyday actions and their impact on the planet. With 850 million people visiting American museums per year (more than all major league sports arenas and the top 20 amusement parks combined), the impact of The Climate Museum shouldn’t go unnoticed. According to The Climate Museum’s website, the permanent exhibit will be able to accommodate one million visitors per year. But why is that such a big deal, exactly?

Climate change is not the only factor that threatens biodiversity on the planet – plastic pollution, deforestation, overfishing, and the illegal wildlife trade are all pulling us, inexorably, towards a sixth mass extinction. But changes in climate happen on a larger scale than the rest. The earth’s ecosystems are the product of billions of years of evolution and because of this, slight temperature changes over short periods of time can have catastrophic consequences for plants and animals.

Thanks to the awareness being raised by organizations such as The Climate Museum as well as dedicated environmentalists around the world, we have the power to reverse, or at least slow down climate change.
Ways You Can Help Starting Today

Cutting your personal carbon footprint is the surest way to minimize the amount of warming greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere. While you can do many little things like shutting off lights when you leave your house, choosing to walk instead of drive and switching over to energy efficient appliances – there is one simple action that often goes overlooked that has the highest positive impact: choosing plant-based foods over meat and dairy.

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined. In addition, this industry occupies 45 percent of arable land, uses 23 percent of global freshwater resources, and is responsible for rampant deforestation, water, and air pollution. By shifting away from meat and dairy products and choosing plant-based alternatives instead, you can help lower this rate of destruction. In just one year of eating plant-based, you can halve your carbon footprint – that’s pretty powerful!

With the wealth of available plant-based options available, it has never been easier to eat with the planet in mind. If you’re ready to start doing this in your own life, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 20, 2018, 03:08:10 pm »

A Year of Donald Trump in the White House

By Adam Gopnik

Liberal democracy is good. Authoritarian nationalism is bad. That's the premise of the country. It's the principle that a lot of people died for. Americans never need to apologize for the continuing absolutism of their belief in it.

True. But, IMHO, the main issue here is the willful lack of critical thinking in American society. The big picture involving the ideal this country was founded on is, and always has been, a target for those that see through the soaring rhetoric of the Founding Fathers to the oligarchic seeds they consciously and deliberately planted.

We no longer should admire pretty words unless they have action to back them up.

Our biosphere in general, and our species in particular, are both in a LOT of life threatening trouble. THAT is the main issue we must concentrate on and address because, anyone as evil and stupid as Trump, who deliberately attacks the reality of that threat by doing everything to increase the danger, must be stopped AND imprisoned if we are to have a snowball's chance in hell of getting out of this mess.

The people in power, and those benefiting economically from the Stock Market Bubble, which is a DIRECT consequence of the corruption of the people in power, do not have a clue what critical thinking is. 🐒

Successfully dealing with the titanic problem we have requires clear eyed critical thinking.

The products of sound critical thinking such as empathy, humility, introspection, remorse, recognition of wrong and a willingness to make restitution for the past and continued wrongs, basically have been erased from the minds of most Americans.

Americans do not like guilt. I don't know anybody that does. But pretending we have nothing to apologize for is not helping.

We need to stop normalizing immoral behavior. We need to stop the right wingers from demonizing moral behavior by calling it "immoral behavior". Liberals need to claim the MORAL HIGH GROUND the right wingers deviously stole from us. Liberals need to stop pretending everybody can just do whatever the hell they want.

Immoral behavior will exist as long as humans exist. But, NORMALIZING immoral behavior by calling it "moral", as the fascists do, is destroying human society, PERIOD.

If we do not stop being stupid, money worshipping idiots and instead start imprisoning the stupid, money worshipping idiots, we will perish.
King James Bible Proverbs 21:11
When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 16, 2018, 05:30:01 pm »


Australia offers money to scientists to save the Great Barrier Reef  ::)


Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. Image credits: Acropora.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living organism in the world at 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) long. Coral reefs are important because they house about 25% of marine life. However, coral bleaching and other stressors, such as pollution and a very hungry starfish, have left the reef battered and at risk of dying completely. Consecutive bleaching events in the past two years haven’t given it any chance to recover.

Bleaching occurs when the water is too warm; the corals then expel their symbiotic algae, known as zooxanthellae. These algae supply the coral with food via photosynthesis and give them their color — so when they’re kicked out the coral turns white, or bleaches. The algae can return when the waters cool and the corals can then rebuild and recover in 15 to 25 years. Unfortunately, they haven’t had any chance to do so. The situation is so grim that the reefs and tourism associated with it could die by 2050.

The Australian government is trying a last-ditch effort to save its underwater monument. It is offering money to scientists with solutions. AUS$2.0 million (US$1.6 million) are on the table.

“The scale of the problem is big and big thinking is needed, but it’s important to remember that solutions can come from anywhere,” said Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. “Solutions could focus on anything from reducing the exposure of corals to physical stressors, to boosting coral regeneration rates by cultivating reef-building coral larvae that attract other important marine species.”

Several proposals will be chosen for an initial testing round; it can last up to 6 months and use AUS$250,000. A further AUS$1 million will be made available to the best solutions, so applicants can develop and test their prototypes for up to 12 months.

Last year, researchers from Southern Cross University collected coral spawn and eggs. They grew them into larvae and then transplanted them into a damaged reef. Eight months later, the coral had survived and grown, suggesting that this approach could be viable in other reefs.

However, the truth of the matter is that global warming is the main problem that is threatening the reefs. There can perhaps be short-term solutions to bide time but the only long-term solution is to reduce  CO2 emissions and curb the global temperature increases.


Agelbert NOTE: I do not think there is enough money in the entire world to slow, never mind stop or reverse, the biosphere damage that is already baked in for about a century.

Only a Capitalist (i.e. a Mammon worshipping fool) would entertain the wishful thinking that money can save the Great Barrier Reef. It's over; the fossil fuel industry killed it. Capitalism helped A LOT!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 16, 2018, 02:44:19 pm »

What MARIA Left Behind


By Scott Latta Staff writer

Across the heart of Puerto Rico runs the Cordillera Central, a staggering mountain range that bore the force of Hurricane Maria.

In small mountain towns like Las Marias and Maricao, many people rode out the storm with friends or relatives, and it took days to cut through fallen trees and dig through the mud to see what was left of their homes. There was no way to know what they would return home to: Some houses were missing a few roof panels; others were swallowed by eight feet of mud, strewn across the mountain, gone.

It is a tedious, twisting drive up these mountains, made longer by the bulldozers and army trucks struggling to clear the way. It has been months since Maria hit, long enough to answer the question that always follows devastation like this, which isn’t when life “will return to normal,” but instead what normal has become. Power and water will not return here for months, if not longer. In the meantime, many people are living with friends or relatives, drinking from streams, and struggling to repair the things Maria took.

But while it’s easy to be overwhelmed by what has been lost, the story of these communities is in what Maria left behind: the proud, determined people who are pulling together to rebuild their lives. Communities that are tighter. Families that are stronger. There are things in these mountains Maria could not take, and that’s why Mercy Corps is there—to help Puerto Rico’s people recover, and to build better, stronger lives.


Watch Carmen's story

Full article with added graphics:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 15, 2018, 07:01:29 pm »

Global Warming and Extreme Cold: How One Leads to the Other


Published on Jan 10, 2018

Research on the connection between extreme weather - such as the severe cold snap that hit the US Northeast - and global warming, shows that these are intimately connected, despite what climate deniers such as President Trump say.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 15, 2018, 05:35:03 pm »

Wild Gyrations in Winter Temperatures. Why?

Paul Beckwith

Published on Jan 14, 2018

Winter temperatures seem to gyrate from extreme cold to extreme warmth, and back again, in an endless repeating cycle. When this gyration passes through the freezing point there is frost, snow, melt, rain cycling repeatedly, wreaking havoc on roads, rail lines, bridges, buildings, water pipes, animals and plants. Infrastructure and wildlife suffer greatly, and there are huge temperature contrasts greatly increasing the frequency, severity, and duration of extreme weather events. Why?

Please donate to support my videos and work at http://paulbeckwith.net

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 14, 2018, 02:35:31 pm »


Global Warming Is Going To Demolish Economies & Societies

January 14th, 2018 by Zachary Shahan


We had an article last week about the threat to the Florida real estate market that is coming our way from continued heating of the globe, rising sea levels, increased flooding, and stronger storms slamming the coast. Some comments under the article highlighted that such threats persist along vast US coastlines as well as coastlines across the world — it’s not just Florida. The fact of the matter is, humans have long settled close to seas, rivers, oceans, gulfs, and bays — and many of the world’s most populated and economically vital cities and regions will be physically harmed to one degree or another by the effects of climate change.

One commenter highlighted this threat for a rather rich country he’s a resident of, but noted, “I think we will cope but it will sure as hell be costly.”

I’m not sure how much we’ve actually thought about that. I think we tend to look at the potential damage and then our minds are eager to shut off before going further. We may also deeply realize how fragile our economies are and not want to even consider the catastrophic possibilities.

The thing about physical harm is that it reverberates and is amplified beyond the obvious damage from the initial strike. If real estate is flooded or destroyed by a storm, that could well pause an individual’s ability to contribute to the economy, it could take away resources a city was going to put into new infrastructure, and it could stifle socioeconomic or entrepreneurial progress that was being made at the location of the strike.

When you consider that this could happen to one growing and bustling city — Tampa, for example — that’s concerning enough. When you consider that it could happen to large cities and major economic centers of the world essentially all at once (one disaster after another over the course of several years and decades), the future doesn’t just look challenging — it looks like a freakin’ nightmare that will degrade our economies, societies, and quality of life indefinitely.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the cities that are seriously threatened in one way or another by global heating, rising sea levels, more drought, and stronger coastal storms: Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, Osaka, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Miami, Singapore, Surat, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Lebanon, Athens, Barcelona, Malaga, Amsterdam, Naples, Venice, Monaco, Marseille, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, Tampa, The Bahamas (I know, not a city), San Diego, Los Angeles, Charleston, Norfolk, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Casablanca, Cape Town, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Malmo, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, The Hague, St Petersburg, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Stockholm. …

Full article:


10 C DEGREE RISE BY 2026?  

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 06:44:10 pm »

Trump Administration’s Offshore Drilling Plan Could Unlock 65 Billion Barrels – Rystad

January 11, 2018 by Reuters


Jan 10 (Reuters) – The Trump administration’s proposal to open up almost all of U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling could unlock up to 65 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), attracting billions of dollars in investment, consultancy Rystad Energy said.

Last week, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said a draft program would make over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf’s total acreage available for leasing to drillers, a national record.

“Looking purely at areas that are potentially going to come out of restriction, we are talking about something closer to 65 billion boe,” Sonia Passos, senior analyst at Rystad, a major independent consultancy tracking the sector, said in a note last week.

That figure excludes resource potential from western and central areas of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, but includes the eastern region, she said.

full article:


Tomorrow is Yesterday...
Sonia Passos enjoys her MAGA coffee.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 11, 2018, 03:54:21 pm »

Resignation to a predetermined geocidal collapse is morally irresponsible and intellectually irrational.

Climate Denial Will Kill Us


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 07, 2018, 01:20:02 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Here are the facts. If you cannot accept the reality of our Catastrophic Climate change situation and the needed action to mitigate the damage, then you are simply in denial of reality.

Climate Dynamics:

Facing the Harsh Realities of Now

Climate Sensitivity, Target Temperature & the Carbon Budget
Guidelines for Strategic Action

Apollo-Gaia Project

Director: David Wasdell

It is with the utmost concern that we draw your attention to the fundamental methodological flaw in the determination of the value of Climate Sensitivity that is embedded in the Summary for Policymakers of the Scientific Workgroup of the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC. The error was replicated in the Reports of Workgroups 2 and 3 and carried forward into the Synthesis Report. It has been used as the given basis for every subsequent publication. Our radical analysis of Climate Dynamics has generated a new and robust value of "Earth System Sensitivity" which has profound implications for:

֍ The relationship between temperature change and cumulative carbon emissions.

֍ The calculation of "available carbon budget".

֍ The evaluation of the INDCs.

֍ The terms of reference of COP21 in Paris (30 November - 11 December 2015).

֍ The future global strategy for climate stabilisation.
Our analysis is published in dual media (triple-screen video and fully illustrated PDF). These can be used separately or in combination.

Video of the above and Table of Contents at link below.

If you care about humanity, you will watch it and pass it on to friends and family. If, because you have been paid or propagandized to think the continued burning of fossil fuels is "good for mankind", you either don't watch it, or do watch it so you can to claim "it is global warming hoax" propaganda (or if if are more "sophisticated", like certain pseudo-scientists who mendaciously claim IPCC scenarios "have taken all the possible warming feedback loops into consideration in the models and we can keep burning fossil fuels for a few more decades"), you doom yourself and future generations (i.e. you are willfully stupid).

Don't be stupid. The fossil fuel industry murdering crooks and liars do not own you.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 06, 2018, 04:26:19 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The problem humanity has is NOT lack of hydrocarbons; it is the adamant and totally unreasonable refusal to accept the FACT that we have ALREADY exceeded the "carbon budget" for a FOUR DEGREE C rise in average global temperature, never mind a TWO DEGREE C "target". We are now on our way to 10 DEGREES C PLUS! The worse scenario the IPCC came up with (BAU RCP-8.5) is too conservative a projection of the heat increase (it is MUCH, MUCH WORSE!).

Anyone telling you that fossil fuels are "running out" needs to read the published figures from the oil and gas producing nations of this planet. The emissions are INCREASING, NOT "leveling off or decreasing". PLUS, tropical rain forests AND permafrost melt are now ADDING to the carbon emissions! GHG is GHG. no matter where it is coming from! You are NOT going to turn this heat engine off easily. Several heat adding feedbacks we have triggered by burning too much fossil fuels are NOT in our control, PERIOD.

Where in God's good earth these fossil fueler wishful thinking FOOLS think that we are somehow going to get a handle on this massive heating NOW IN THE Global Warming radiative forcing INERTIA pipeline, even if we stopped all hydrocarbon burning today (rather than the present tragic reality of increased burning), is a mystery to me. They certainly DO NOT get this idea from empirical evidence or sound science.

This stubborn clinging to a happy talk myth about some "quick recovery from fossil fuel burning caused globle warming" is a testament to the extremes people in denial of an extinction threat reality will go to. 

And for the propagandist liars that know the truth and push the happy talk for money, I can only say that they are greater fools than those naive folks that believe the fossil fuel fascist funded happy talk lies and distortions. These bought and paid for propagandists are behaving as STUPIDLY as any person possibly can. You STUPID, MONEY LOVING BASTARDS deserve the Darwin Evolutionary Dead End Award.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 11:18:56 pm »

Fatal Heat Warning What you don’t know can kill you… how our bodies react in heatwaves.

November 22, 2017

New science from Camilo Mora, University of Hawaii. Second warning from 15,000 scientists: Dr. William Ripple, the man who started it. Adapting to extreme rains: “sponge cities” with futurist Chelsea Gohd.
Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (57 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)


The Next Climate Domino – Tropical Forests

Posted on Oct, 18, 2017, by Radio Ecoshock


For a very long time, carbon has been taken out of the atmosphere by the plant world. We count on those services from the vast fabric of tropical rain forests. But all that has changed.

New science proves “Tropical forests are a net carbon source”. Our guest Alessandro Baccini is the lead author of that paper published September 28th in the journal Science. Dr. Baccini works at the Woods Hole Research Center. He specializes in analyzing Earth from space using satellites.

Dr. Alessandro Baccini

The title of the paper is “Tropical forests are a net carbon source based on above-ground measurements of gain and loss“.

Now we have a number for the amount of carbon lost from tropical forests to the atmosphere each year: 425 million metric tons. That is more carbon every year than all traffic in the U.S., according to these researchers. It’s a staggering amount of carbon, but so far less than the greenhouse gases emitted by countries like the United States or China.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 08:31:27 pm »

Thom Hartmann  Jan. 3, 2018 2:30 pm

Agelbert NOTE: To monitor the Jet Stream any time use this tutorial and go to the link below:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 06:38:34 pm »

Foss Ships Hundreds of Utility Trucks to Puerto Rico to Help Restore Power

January 4, 2018 by gCaptain

Credit: Foss Maritime

At the Port of Virginia in Norfolk and the Port of Lake Charles in Louisiana, Seattle-based Foss Maritime is loading hundreds of utility trucks onto barges bound for Puerto Rico as part of the on-going effort to restore power to nearly half of the island’s population.

Last Friday, Ricardo Rosselló, governor of Puerto Rico, announced that 1.5 million Puerto Ricans are still without power 100 days after Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20.

As part of the on-going power restoration effort, Foss is working with a coalition of 19 U.S. electric companies to deliver between 500 and 600 utility trucks, including bucket trucks, line trucks, pickups, aerial lifts, CAT skid-steer loaders, digger derricks, and pull trailers. The electric companies include members of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) that have pledged mutual assistance to support the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to restore power throughout the island.

The voyage from the U.S. mainland to Port of Ponce in Puerto Rico will take roughly ten days, with the trucks scheduled to arrive between January 16 and January 18. Hundreds of line workers and other personnel from participating electric companies will fly to meet the trucks and work on restoring power.

“This movement of hundreds of utility trucks is part of a comprehensive mobilization effort to get needed equipment to the island so utility crews can begin restoring power for the people of Puerto Rico,” said Will Roberts, Foss Chief Commercial Officer. “Foss is proud to be part of those efforts and continues to be at the ready as needs arise.”

Foss has been helping support relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for the past several months since the hurricane hit.

Under contract with FEMA, Foss arrived at the island on October 19, 2017 with three accommodation vessels, an ocean-going tug and more than 100 personnel to provide warm meals and “floating hotels” for hundreds of first responders, including workers from the U.S. Department of Defense, FEMA and AmeriCorps. The company has also shipped a load of power equipment and three loads of water to the island.

Foss says its vessels will remain in the region to assist as needed through continuing recovery efforts.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 06:09:12 pm »

It's Colder in Florida Than Alaska: Climate Disruption Hits Home With a Chill

January 5, 2018 By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report


Dahr Jamail, Truthout: Unusually cold temperatures in unexpected places could become the winter norm, thanks to climate disruption. However, as a polar vortex leaked frigid temperatures down across much of the United States, President Trump once again played the tune of his fossil-fueled backers

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 02:34:28 pm »

Global Disasters Wreaked Havoc In 2017 - Total Economic Losses Top $300 Billion

January 2, 2018

According to a new reinsurance report issued by the Swiss Re Institute, total economic losses from natural and man-made disasters have soared 63 percent in 2017 to an estimated $306 billion, up from $188 billion in 2016.

Globally, insurers lost $136 billion from natural and man-made disasters in 2017, up from $65 billion in 2016, the third highest on record. This is “well above the previous 10-year annual average, and the third highest on sigma records,” Swiss Re said in its report. Natural disasters accounted for $131 billion of 2017’s insured losses, and man-made disasters for the remaining $5 billion. The human loss totaled around 11,000 deaths, similar to 2016.

Martin Bertogg, Head of Catastrophe Perils at Swiss Re said, “in recent years, annual insurance losses from disaster events have exceeded USD 100 billion a few times. The insurance industry has demonstrated that it can cope very well with such high losses.”

“However, significant protection gaps remain and if the industry is able to extend its reach, many more people and businesses can become better equipped to withstand the fallout from disaster events,” he added.

According to Swiss Re, “extreme weather in the US in the second half of 2017” has been the primary driver for high insured losses:

    In August and September, three category 4+ hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria (HIM) – made landfall in the US. Destruction from the three hurricanes stretched from the Texas coast (Harvey) through West Florida to the Caribbean (Irma and Maria), together causing insured losses estimated to be almost USD 93 billion.

    Given the vast geographic footprint of the hurricanes, which affected multiple locations in quick succession and impacted multiple lines of business, a full assessment of the insured losses is still ongoing.

    Given the vast geographic footprint of the hurricanes, which affected multiple locations in quick succession and impacted multiple lines of business, a full assessment of the insured losses is still ongoing.

    The economic losses from the three events will be much higher given the significant flood damage – often uninsured – from hurricane Harvey in densely populated Houston, Texas, an extended power outage in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria, and post-event loss amplification.

The United States was the hardest hit according to the report, which indicated hurricanes: Harvey, Irma, and Maria made 2017 the “second costliest hurricane season on sigma records after 2005.”

Wildfires and thunderstorms in the US were also mentioned in the report:

    Also in the second half of 2017, hot and dry weather in California created favourable conditions for wildfires to ignite and spread to urban areas. There were three major fire events in October in Northern California: Tubbs, Atlas and Mendocino Lake. Both residential and commercial property (including vineyards) were impacted. According to preliminary estimates from Property Claims Services, the major fire events triggered combined insured property losses of USD 7.3 billion. Fires are still raging in Southern California in December, and the as-yet undetermined full-year losses from wildfires will likely be higher.

    Other extreme weather in the US led to a high number of severe convective storms (thunderstorms). Five separate severe thunderstorm events from February to June caused insured losses of more than USD 1 billion each. The most intense and costly event was a four-day long storm in May with heavy damage to property inflicted by hail in Colorado and strong winds in other parts of southern and central states. The economic losses of this storm alone were USD 2.8 billion, with insured losses of USD 2.5 billion.

Elsewhere, Swiss Re discussed extreme weather events of various forms around the world:

    In mid-September, two powerful earthquakes in Tehuantepec and Puebla, Mexico, led to numerous building collapses, claiming a large number of victims and resulting in insured losses of more than USD 2 billion. Earlier in the year, in late March, the category 4 tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the northeastern coast of Australia. Wind gusts of up to 263 km/h and widespread flooding in central and southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales led to insured losses of USD 1.3 billion.

    And at the end of April, Europe suffered a cold snap, followed by a summer of heat waves and record temperatures in several locations, making 2017 a year of weather extremes. Further, severe floods in South East Asia caused large devastation and, sadly, a large number or victims.

Worldwide losses (USD bln) for man-made and natural catastrophes have absolutely exploded since 1990, according to a Swiss Re.

While natural and man-made disasters wreaked havoc globally and in the United States for the 2017 time period. Will the S&P Insurers index break the neckline?


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 02:21:37 pm »


January 5, 2018

2017's Weather Disasters Broke Insurance Records
Insurance claims due to natural disasters reached a record $135 billion in 2017, insurance firm Munich Re reported Thursday. The world's largest insurance firm said that the United States, which faced three major hurricanes and multiple wildfires, made up nearly 50 percent of global insured losses, compared to its average rate of 30 percent.

The 2017 hurricane season caused $215 billion in damage worldwide, making it the costliest on record. "Even though individual events cannot be directly traced to climate change, our experts expect such extreme weather to occur more often in future," Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek said in a statement.

Pulling Back The Curtain On the Red Team, CPP and Pruitt’s Agenda for the EPA

As Rebecca Leber of Mother Jones pointed out this summer, Scott Pruitt and his closest cohorts at EPA are uniquely reluctant to engage with journalists outside the conservative echo chamber. The agency’s new approach to press has also been revealed to be rather stormy: see the press office’s bizarre interchanges with New York Times reporter Erik Lipton and attacks on the AP’s Michael Biesecker this fall.

Because getting past the wall of Heartland-and-Koch-ghostwritten talking points during an interview with an EPA official can be a bear, we like to highlight when a reporter’s pushed through. This month’s hat tip goes to Robin Bravender at E&E.

In December, Bravender wrote on a meeting between EPA air chief Bill Wehrum and the White House, in which she reported that the White House put the Red Team attack “on hold.” Then yesterday, E&E published an interview between Bravender and Wehrum that offers up some intel into the EPA’s otherwise opaque thinking on the Clean Power Plan repeal process, the Red Team, and Pruitt’s priorities for 2018.

As Wehrum told Bravender, the Red Team project is still in the “talking and thinking about it” stage. While Wehrum indicated the agency has no “current plans” for a Red Team, Pruitt “would very much like to initiate a process to at least solicit additional input on the scientific basis for the endangerment finding.”

While we’ve assumed the end goal of the Red Team is overturning the endangerment finding, Wehrum’s statements confirm that this supposedly good faith examination of the science has a very specific policy goal . The endangerment finding is the White Whale for deniers. Whether Pruitt is just placating these tireless Ahabs with this seemingly unending “talking and thinking about it” stage or whether he really charts a course to somehow sail around the mountain of scientific evidence underpinning the finding is yet to be seen. 

What we do know is that either way, he’ll be doing what he can to roll back climate protections. On the Clean Power Plan, Wehrum told Bravender that the EPA is “setting out a range of possible outcomes” for repealing and replacing. But when asked specifically about the inside-the-fence approach that we’ve discussed before, Wehrum indicated “that's pretty much what [the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is] all about.”

Beyond that, Wehrum tips the EPA’s hand on another new regulation agency leadership is targeting, saying a priority for 2018 is to “take a hard look at” the rule requiring oil and gas drilling companies to limit methane and ozone-causing emissions.

Going beyond merely tweaking the rule to make it more palatable for the fossil fuel industry , Wehrum thinks they will “take a hard look at whether it really is appropriate to regulate methane under that rule.” (Quick catch up: an August ‘17 ruling of the D.C. Circuit court put the rule in effect, at least until Pruitt successfully finalizes a replacement.)

A well-deserved kudos to Bravender for managing to get the EPA to tip its hand, even just so slightly, and letting us know what our public servants are planning to do in the coming year. Keep up the good work, along with all the other great reporters out there. When it comes to Pruitt’s wall of secrecy at the EPA, we trust the press to eventually Wehrum down.   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 03, 2018, 07:46:55 pm »

January 3, 2018

What Is This 'Bomb Cyclone' Thing About to 'Blast' the East Coast? 

Bombs. They’re on the nation’s collective mind.

Earther can’t really give you any insights into our big button boy’s mindset on the nuclear front, but we’ve got you covered when it comes to this bomb cyclone thing that’s about to “blast the East Coast.”

Snow is falling in northern Florida thanks to moist air from the Gulf of Mexico intersecting with the frigid cold hanging over the eastern U.S. The impending storm will get really organized and march up toward the Mid-Atlantic this evening, where there are rare blizzard watches already in effect. By late tonight or early tomorrow, snow, storm surge, and powerful winds will smack the Northeast.

Along the way, this extratropical cyclone will undergo “explosive bombogenesis.” Or, in less nerdy terms, it will bomb out. And that has got people on edge.

You’ve probably seen the Washington Post tweet that sparked the whole bomb cyclone freakout (it is a Very Good Tweet):

 Washington Post‏Verified account @washingtonpost

A monster storm is headed for the East Coast, but don't worry, it's only expected to become a [squints at notes] "bomb cyclone"

In some ways, the freakout is warranted. This is shaping up to be a massive, dangerous storm that could fell records and cause widespread power outages. Snow in Florida is really, deeply weird and wrong. The cold air rushing in after the storm passes could be deadly. But let’s step back for a sec and talk about what’s actually going on.

In simple terms, bombogenesis describes what happens when a storm’s central pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours. The lower the pressure, the more intense the storm.

Those types of rapid drops can happen in hurricanes, but only extratropical cyclones—storms that have cold air at their core—technically qualify as bomb cyclones. That means you generally only get weather bombs in winter, and often in coastal areas where cold land meets relatively warm ocean water. The bigger the difference between warm and cold air masses, the bigger the potential for bombogenesis.

“The contrast between the warm and cold air gives you an indication of the energy available to intensify an extratropical cyclone,” Andrea Lang, a meteorologist at the University of Albany, told Earther. “In this case, large contrasts in temperature between Arctic air currently over the Northeast and warm Atlantic waters suggest the potential for an intense cyclone.”

This week’s bomb storm could see pressure drop an unbelievable 45 millibars in 24 hours, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration model ensemble. It’s forecast to bottom out around 950 millibars, a central pressure typically associated with Category 3 hurricanes (though this storm will not bring Category 3 winds).

While this storm could be one for the record books, storms bombing out isn’t that rare. Jonathan Martin, a meteorology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told BuzzFeed that you can expect about 10 of these types of storms across the northern hemisphere in any given winter. In the Northeast, many storms that bomb out take the form of nor’easters, winter storms that have their strongest winds out of the northeast. In Europe, they’re usually wind storms. Elsewhere like the Bering Sea, they’re just really nasty storms.

Scientists have been throwing around some combination of the terms “bomb,” “bombogenesis,” “weather” ,and “climatological” since the 1940s. They somewhat entered the mainstream lexicon in 1980. That year, MIT professors Fred Sanders and John Gyakumpublished the amazingly-titled study “Synoptic-Dynamic Climatology of the ‘Bomb.’”

It’s one of the first papers to deconstruct the process of bombogenesis. Sanders attributes the focus on rapidly dropping pressure in storms to Tor Bergeron, a Swedish meteorologist who also gave us our working theory of how precipitation forms in the 1930s.

Of course popular lexicon is relative. We’re talking about an academic journal after all. The term “weather bomb” was batted around here and there but really got traction in 1993 according to Google Books search results that Barbara Mayes Boustead, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the Omaha/Valley office and history buff, sent to Earther.

“[It] makes me think that maybe the March Superstorm led to some significant increase in usage of the phrase,” she said.

That 1993 storm was dubbed the “Storm of the Century,” though it’s since been eclipsed by other winter storms in terms of intensity, including a potent 1996 storm (which may also be why references to weather bombs increased throughout the 1990s, though it’s unclear what happened in the 2000s).

So yeah, this whole cyclone bomb thing has been a known quantity for a while in the meteorological world.

That doesn’t mean this storm won’t be bad, or that you shouldn’t be prepared for power outages, especially considering the bone-rattling cold that will follow. But make sure to allocate your freakout between meteorological and existential threats accordingly.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 03, 2018, 02:52:21 pm »

Edward Teller Warned Oil Industry About Carbon Dioxide & Climate Change 6 Decades Ago

January 3rd, 2018 by Steve Hanley


The Guardian article referenced above was written by Benjamin Franta, who studies the history of climate change science and politics at Stanford. He has a PhD in applied physics from Harvard and is a former research fellow at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He summarizes his research into what ExxonMobil knew and when it knew it as follows:

“This is a history of choices made, paths not taken, and the fall from grace of one of the greatest enterprises … ever to tread the earth. American oil’s awareness of global warming — and its conspiracy of silence, deceit, and obstruction — goes further than any one company. It extends beyond (though includes) ExxonMobil. The industry is implicated to its core by the history of its largest representative, the American Petroleum Institute.

It is now too late to stop a great deal of change to our planet’s climate and its global payload of disease, destruction, and death. But we can fight to halt climate change as quickly as possible, and we can uncover the history of how we got here. There are lessons to be learned, and there is justice to be served.”

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 03, 2018, 12:46:20 pm »

Climate Dynamics:
Facing the Harsh Realities of Now

Climate Sensitivity, Target Temperature & the Carbon Budget
Guidelines for Strategic Action

Apollo-Gaia Project

Director: David Wasdell

It is with the utmost concern that we draw your attention to the fundamental methodological flaw in the determination of the value of Climate Sensitivity that is embedded in the Summary for Policymakers of the Scientific Workgroup of the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC. The error was replicated in the Reports of Workgroups 2 and 3 and carried forward into the Synthesis Report. It has been used as the given basis for every subsequent publication. Our radical analysis of Climate Dynamics has generated a new and robust value of "Earth System Sensitivity" which has profound implications for:

֍ The relationship between temperature change and cumulative carbon emissions.

֍ The calculation of "available carbon budget".

֍ The evaluation of the INDCs.

֍ The terms of reference of COP21 in Paris (30 November - 11 December 2015).

֍ The future global strategy for climate stabilisation.
Our analysis is published in dual media (triple-screen video and fully illustrated PDF). These can be used separately or in combination.

Video of the above and Table of Contents at link below.

Agelbert NOTE: If you care about humanity, you will watch it and pass it on to friends and family. If, because you have been paid or propagandized to think the continued burning of fossil fuels is "good for mankind", you either don't watch it, or do watch it so you can to claim "it is global warming hoax" propaganda (or if if you are more "sophisticated", like certain pseudo-scientists who claim IPCC scenarios "have taken all the possible warming feedback loops into consideration in the models and we can keep burning fossil fuels for a few more decades"), you doom yourself and future generations (i.e. you are willfully stupid).

Don't be stupid. The fossil fuel industry murdering crooks and liars do not own you.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 02, 2018, 10:39:03 pm »

The Thing: Melting Siberian permafrost reveals terrifying creatures (PHOTOS)
Elasmotherium sibiricum skull cast at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.

The Siberian unicorn – long believed to have died out 350,000 years ago – was actually still alive as recently as 29,000 years ago, according to the analysis of a well-preserved skull found in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan.

Unicorn enthusiasts will be disappointed to learn that the extinct creature – also known as Elasmotherium sibiricum – had more in common with rhinos or woolly mammoths than fictional unicorns, however.

It is believed to have been up to 2 meters (6.6ft) tall, and 4.5 meters (14.7ft) in length. It weighed in at a whopping four tons, and was equipped with a large horn in the middle of its forehead.

Fossil of Elasmotherium -- taken the photo at Natural History Museum, London

Researchers at Tomsk State University managed to date the furry beast to around 29,000 years ago, thanks to radiocarbon-dating techniques. They believe the specimen discovered in Kazakhstan was a male but have yet to determine the cause of its death.

"Most likely, the south of Western Siberia was a refugium, where this rhino persevered the longest in comparison with the rest of its range," said Andrey Shpanski, one of the researchers, as cited by Science Alert.

"There is another possibility that it could migrate and dwell for a while in the more southern areas."

 RT‏Verified account @RT_com

Plagues of Siberia: Russian Arctic river mysteriously turns blood-red http://on.rt.com/7oo1]http://on.rt.com/7oo1

In addition to ancient giant viruses buried beneath the permafrost, the shaggy Siberian unicorn would have shared the taiga and tundra with a host of other strange characters.

Mummy of the frozen baby mammoth Lyuba
The world's best-preserved woolly mammoth, Lyuba, 42,000-years old, was found near the Yuribey River in Russia's Ural mountains in 2007 and has toured museums around the world ever since.

This creature was discovered in the world's third-deepest open-pit diamond mine, Udachnaya, near the town of Udachny in the Sakha Republic.

It has yet to be properly identified but speculation is rife that it may either be a dinosaur or the gnarled and mummified remains of a sable or marten. It is estimated to date back as long as 252 million years ago.

Sharp fangs indicate this monster, whatever it was, had a taste for flesh.

Siberian lions

Siberia's permafrost also helped preserve these two extinct cave lions, which were found in the Sakha Republic in 2015. The Panthera spelaea roamed Earth during the Middle and Late Pleistocene, roughly 781,000 to 11,700 years ago.


Denisovans were ancient pre-humans, who differed genetically from the likes of Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons and Homo heidelbergensis. They escaped the bitter cold of Siberia by taking shelter in caves. Remains discovered in Russia's Altai region in 2010 are believed to date back as long 110,000 years ago.

 Paige Madison‏ @FossilHistory

Do these #fossils from China finally put a face on the elusive Denisovans?! An exciting possibility! http://bit.ly/2lEdgu1  #hominins

Siberian Ice Maiden

The 2,500-year-old remains of an extraordinarily well-preserved Siberian 'Princess of Ukok’ were discovered on the Ukok Plateau in the Altay Mountains in 1993. The woman's remains were replete with tattoos, and she was found buried with a troupe of horses and a small stash of cannabis.  ;D

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 02, 2018, 10:01:30 pm »

The Harsh Realities of Now (Replay)

Posted on December 27, 2017, by Radio Ecoshock
SUMMARY: David Wasdell, head of the Apollo-Gaia Project, returns to Radio Ecoshock with devastating revelations about how climate science has been manipulated or ignored by the IPCC, and by the leaders meeting in Paris. We are committed to far more than 2 degrees of warming. A vastly changed world awaits. Radio Ecoshock 151118.  This is the most downloaded Radio Ecoshock program ever!

Are you ready for the harsh reality of our future in a hotter world? Can any of us really handle the truth? If you feel strong enough, this may be the most devastating look into where we really stand. Perhaps you remember UK writer Mark Lynas stunning us with the awful changes on Earth if we warm by 5 degrees Centigrade. We may not survive six.

Many hope the climate talks in Paris can reach an agreement that will save a livable climate, keeping global warming below 2 degrees C. But what if the national leaders are just players on a stage of illusion? What if someone told you our current levels of greenhouse gases already commit us to more than 6 degrees of global warming, and over 12 meters, over 36 feet higher sea levels? And that may not be the worst of it.

I’m Alex Smith with a remarkable interview from London. This is Radio Ecoshock, radio you need to hear. Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)

Audio Player

59:60 (at link)


This is a very intense program, with lots of science, clearly expressed for all of us.

David Wasdell

In order to help everyone, here is a “.pdf” rough transcript of this program, including all the science David lays out. Please feel free to dive in for yourself, add you comments to this blog, and forward both the program and the .pdf transcript as widely as possible. Just copy and paste this address in your browser.


Or download it to your computer.

David’s full presentation online is called: “Climate Dynamics: Facing the Harsh Realities of Now – Climate Sensitivity, Target Temperature & the Carbon Budget: Guidelines for Strategic Action”

It’s simple. Go to this page at apollo-gaia.org.

If you click on the headshot of David Wasdell, you will get a video, 1 hour 16 minutes long, as David explains where we are right now in the climate, and where we are going. It has graphs that make it seem simple, even though he deals with cutting-edge science. If this recorded video conference seems to stop and start, it’s likely you are trying in a period of heavy internet use. Try again at a time when fewer people are on the net.

Of course, one of the benefits of my full-length radio interview of David, is that anyone in the world can download or listen to it. People in countries with low-bandwidth, or poor access, should choose the “Lo-Fi” version, which is ten percent the size of the CD Quality broadcast. That’s also a good choice if you want to listen online.

If you prefer the print approach, click on the title slide to the right of David’s picture. That leads you to the .pdf text to accompany the video, with a full explanation.  Wasdell has gone to great lengths to make this deep science available to all of us. It’s a critical mission. We cannot allow ourselves, or our leaders, to continue using “convenient” science, instead of facing the harsh realities.

All I can tell you is that I’ve heard from over 100 previous scientists interviewed on Radio Ecoshock – the evidence that David Wasdell adds up for us in this talk. It’s sobering, depressing, and maybe yes, liberating. We can only go forward when we know where we are right now.

I’m your dedicated friend, Alex Smith. My thanks to all those who reached out to support Radio Ecoshock this week, who Tweet and Facebook further than I can.  You can find out how to help here.  Please don’t leave support for this program to “others”.

Thank you for being brave enough to listen, and let’s meet again next week with a new program, a new season, a new year.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 31, 2017, 05:27:07 pm »

Actual measured ice mass loss is WAY ABOVE ANY of the model predicitons!

Watching the planet’s ice sheets disappear—Professor Eric Rignot

Victoria University of Wellington

Published on May 4, 2017

Professor Eric Rignot leads a US research group that uses satellite data to monitor the world's ice sheets. He explains how measurements since the early 1990s show that Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice at an accelerating rate, which, if unchecked, will result in about one metre of sea level rise by the end of the century, and six to nine  metres in the next few hundred years.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 28, 2017, 02:16:04 pm »

The 2017 Pacific Typhoon Season Saves its Worst for Last: 240 Killed in the Philippines

Dr. Jeff Masters  ·  December 26, 2017, 10:29 AM EST


The relatively inactive 2017 Northwest Pacific typhoon season saved its worst for last, as the final storm of the year, Typhoon Tembin, was also the deadliest. Tembin hit the southern Philippines island of Mindanao as a tropical storm on December 22, dumping torrential rains that triggered devastating flash floods and mudslides. According to Philippines news source rappler.com, Tembin (called Vinta in the Philippines) killed 240 people and left 107 missing. This death toll surpasses the 114 killed by Typhoon Damrey in the Philippines and Vietnam in November as the deadliest tropical cyclone in the world in 2017 (though indirect deaths in the Caribbean from Hurricane Maria have been estimated to exceed 1,000.) Fortunately, Tembin weakened to a tropical depression before brushing Vietnam on Monday, causing no deaths or major damage there.

Figure 1. Huge boulders and clay that ran over the village of Mindalano on December 25, 2017 in Salvador, Lanao del Norte, Philippines, due to flooding from Tropical Storm Tembin. Image credit: Jes Aznar/Getty Images.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 27, 2017, 04:44:03 pm »

To whom it may concern: My wife's Parents and Brother in Puerto Rico just got their electricty back on after 96 DAYS. They lost it when Irma came by and then lost their phone land line service with Maria.  :( The old folks still do not have land line phone service but my brother-in-law has cell phone service. That is how my wife learns of what is going on down there.

My brother-in-law is the surviving member of a two brother business that sold and repaired jet skis (i.e. personal water craft) and motorcyles (Edwin, younger than my wife but older than his brother Carmelo, died of colon cancer in 2013).

Carmelo is a shrewd businessman. He is also a fossil fueler. ;D But, one cannot pick one's in-laws. :D He has done quite well selling generators since the latest hurricanes. He is looking into the solar panel plus battery pack business but remains unconvinced that he can make as much money with that as selling diesel generators. Let us hope he gets with the Renewable Energy program soon. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2017, 05:31:20 pm »

2017: Technology — 1, Civilization — 0

December 25th, 2017 by Steve Hanley

At CleanTechnica, we celebrate the wonders of science, engineering, and technology. We catalog in detail the advances made in renewable energy and transportation — advances that will make it possible to transition away from a world in which emissions from burning fossil fuels threaten the environment or make us sick.

Yet all the talk of new technology often obscures the larger purpose behind these advances. They amount to little more than invention for invention’s sake with no thought given to the ultimate goal — the improvement of the human condition. Sometimes we need to stop for a moment and take stock of where we are and where we want to go. Yogi Berra said it best: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

American Exceptionalism

People in the United States — after centuries of being steeped in the ethos of American Exceptionalism — tend to believe that America is the greatest civilization the world has ever seen, or ever will see. Yet a report from Philip Alston, a special envoy from the United Nations asked to examine poverty and human rights in America, finds that 40 million Americans live in extreme poverty, with little access to basic human rights. For them, the thought of “liberty and justice for all” is little more than a cruel hoax.

Alston, a professor at New York University School of Law, spent 10 days crisscrossing America from California to Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, and Washington DC. He writes:

“My visit coincides with a dramatic change of direction in US policies relating to inequality and extreme poverty. The proposed tax reform package stakes out America’s bid to become the most unequal society in the world, and will greatly increase the already high levels of wealth and income inequality between the richest 1% and the poorest 50% of Americans. The dramatic cuts in welfare, foreshadowed by Donald Trump and speaker Ryan, and already beginning to be implemented by the administration, will essentially shred crucial dimensions of a safety net that is already full of holes. It is against this background that my report is presented.

“The United States is one of the world’s richest and most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth nor its power nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty.

“American exceptionalism was a constant theme in my conversations. But instead of realizing its founders’ admirable commitments, today’s United States has proved itself to be exceptional in far more problematic ways that are shockingly at odds with its immense wealth and its founding commitment to human rights. As a result, contrasts between private wealth and public squalor abound.”

Alston was asked by the UN to rank the United States compared to its peers according to standards promulgated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Here is a list of his findings:

By most indicators, the US is one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It spends more on national defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined.
US healthcare expenditures per capita are double the OECD average and much higher than in all other countries. But there are many fewer doctors and hospital beds per person than the OECD average.

֍ US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
֍ Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracies, and the “health gap” between the US and its peer countries continues to grow.
֍ US inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries.
֍ Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA. It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
֍ The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
֍ In terms of access to water and sanitation, the US ranks 36th in the world.
֍ America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand, and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly 5 times the OECD average.
֍ The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD, with one quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14% across the OECD.
֍ The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries, and 18th amongst the top 21.
֍ In the OECD, the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
֍ According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries
֍ The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league.” US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries — Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, and Norway.

An Indictment

The list is an indictment of all Americans. We are inundated by stories on the internet telling us the least among us are lazy, shiftless takers — shirkers who have been made into zombies by government programs, deprived of the innate ability to fend for themselves without handouts from “the nanny state.”

This cruel and insulting narrative is little changed from 1843, when Charles Dickens first published A Christmas Carol, a story of avarice among the wealthy and poverty among the working poor. The parallel to America today is abundantly clear. Salon this Christmas Day has published a featured story calling the recent tax reform legislation a Republican bah humbug sort of tax plan.

The perpetrators of this monumental injustice must have been channeling Ebenezer Scrooge when he said, “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.”

Are There No Prisons?

In a country that locks up more people than any other nation, the words of Scrooge echo louder than ever. “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” he demands.

Mankind Was My Business
Dickens had words of wisdom for those who place profits above people in their daily affairs. “Mankind was my business!” the ghost of Jacob Marley tells Scrooge on Christmas Eve.

Millions of people have read Dickens’ book and seen either a play or a movie based upon it. All come away praising the author for his insight and saying they were improved by the experience.

But few ever alter their behavior as a result. Instead, they choose to believe charlatans who thump their chests and pound their Bibles while spouting the most hateful, bigoted, misogynistic myths about people — like how all immigrants are terrorists, only stupid people get sick, or burning more fossil fuels is actually good for the environment.

Many people were surprised the other day when the latest SpaceX launch from California created an amazing light show in the sky. Apparently, a significant number of people who saw it believed they were witnessing an alien invasion. Elon Musk seemed a bit surprised.

Elon Musk
✔ @elonmusk

So strange that people often believe things inversely proportionate to the evidence. Given a set of possible explanations, why pick the extremely unlikely one!?

11:29 PM - Dec 23, 2017  6,177 Replies   24,259 Retweets   107,779 likes Twitter Ads info and privacy

Strange indeed, Elon. Unless technology can find a cure for this phenomenon, all the technological advances in the world will not save humanity from itself.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 20, 2017, 05:31:37 pm »


December 20, 2017

Paul Jay: Help Me, I'm Bewildered

Human society is facing an existential threat. Why isn't it at the top of the political agenda? ???

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:13:32 pm »


Bob Walker: Governor, get serious about climate change

Dec 18 2017

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Bob Walker, of Thetford Center, who is a community organizer and energy consultant.

An Open Letter to Governor Phil Scott

Dear Gov. Scott,

It’s 3 a.m. and I should be sleeping, but all I can do is think about your comments that appeared in VTDigger from Thursday’s (Dec. 7) press conference, that you are “not sure that there’s a financial threat” to Vermont as a result of climate change.

Have you not seen the climate projections showing Vermont’s winter temperatures similar to those of Virginia or North Carolina and Vermont’s maple trees migrating north out of the state by the end of the century? You don’t think those will harm Vermont’s winter sports and maple syrup industries?

What about the $733 million in damage to Vermont from Hurricane Irene in 2011 and the tens of millions of dollars towns throughout the Upper Valley are currently spending to restore roads from flooding this July? How many more of these storms will it take before you see a financial threat to the state?

And you think Vermont might actually benefit from climate change by the hordes of destitute climate refugees driven here, fleeing wildfires, coastal flooding, hurricanes and severe drought. Wow! I appreciate your looking for a glimmer of hope in the face of this, but all I can think of is Brian Cohen and his fellow sufferers, in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” as they kick dance and break into singing, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” while being crucified.

Governor, please, climb down off of the cross and get serious about climate change. Stop promoting use of the VW settlement money for “clean diesel” – whatever that is – and direct it instead toward electric buses, trains and charging infrastructure. Support the expansion of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to transportation. Work with folks promoting the ESSEX Plan to come up with a carbon tax that will make fossil fuels more expensive, while lowering electric costs for everyone and protecting the poor and then work to expand the program throughout the New England states. Support Neale Lunderville’s Warm Home Bonds  initiative to weatherize 10,000 low-income homes in the next three years and then expand that program to homes of middle-income Vermonters. Start supporting sensible wind development in Vermont.

If you’re looking for a financial advantage to the state from climate change, it will be in the thousands of green energy jobs created and billions of fossil fuel dollars no longer leaving the state each year from these changes.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 18, 2017, 09:22:56 pm »

Based on history, once we max out at +10C and all the sequestered CO2, CH4 & H2S is released, the process will reverse and temperatures will begin to drop again.  Won't happen overnight of course, it will take a few million years probably.


You will get no argument from me on that future climate stabilization hypothesis.

But it will not do the idiots who triggered a multi-million year disaster in a mere two centuries any good at all.

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