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GISSJan-April2015So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because you have just lived through the hottest January through April on record, and it is increasingly likely that 2015 will be the hottest year on record, possibly by a wide margin.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just predicted a 90 percent chance that the El Niño it declared in March will last through the summer and “a greater than 80 percent chance it will last through 2015.” El Niños generally lead to global temperature records, as the short-term El Niño warming adds to the underlying long-term global warming trend.

And in fact, with April, we have once again broken the record for the hottest 12 months on record: May 2014 – April 2015. The previous record was April 2014 – March 2015, set last month. The record before that was March 2014 – February 2015. And the equally short-lived record before that was February 2014 – January 2015.

As we keep breaking records in 2015, our headlines are going to sound like a … broken record. May has already started out hot, and it is quite likely next month we will report “The Hottest 5-Month Start Of Any Year On Record,” and that June 2014 – May 2015 will become hottest 12 months on record.

You are a clear and present danger to my grandchildren’s future.

Fear me.

Good bad or in different, it’s here.

I’m worried about what’s on the other side of it.

You should too, if you’re on my list. You will pay for what you have done.

Fuck us once, shame on you, fuck us twice… President Obama is scheduled to visit Nike’s Oregon headquarters on Friday to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yes, Nike – an Oregon company that grew to billions by outsourcing jobs to overseas sweatshops, an Oregon company that sets up P.O.-box subsidiaries in tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes, an Oregon company that uses threats to extort tax breaks from its “home” state.

Nike isn’t the solution to the problem of stagnant wages in America. Nike is the problem.

It’s true that over the past two years Nike has added 2,000 good-paying professional jobs at its Oregon headquarters, fulfilling the requirements of a controversial tax break it wrangled from the state legislature. That’s good for Nike’s new design, research and marketing employees.

But Nike’s U.S. workers make only a tiny percent of Nike’s products.

In fact, Americans made only 1 percent of the products that generated Nike’s $27.8 billion revenue last year. And Nike is moving ever more of its production abroad. Last year, a third of Nike’s remaining 13,922 American production workers were laid off.

Most of Nike’s products are made by 990,000 workers in low-wage countries whose abysmal working conditions have made Nike a symbol of global sweatshop labor.

YO! Phil, thanks for the little money you’ve spent here. Now get the fuck out.

You’re not welcome here.

Fuck the Ducks.

Climate Progress: Corn ethanol may be breaking the law, according to a study from last month, “Cropland Expansion Outpaces Agricultural and Biofuel Policies in the United States.”

It appears that corn was caught yellow-handed by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers in a plot with other crops like soy to replace “millions of acres of grasslands.” But scientists named corn the ring-leader: “Corn was the most common crop planted directly on new land.”

I know you’re wondering, “since when is it illegal to replace carbon-storing grassland with the Walter White of Biofuels?” Answer: Since the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), “which requires blending of gasoline with biofuels that are supposed to be grown only on pre-existing cropland, in order to minimize land-use change and its associated greenhouse gas emissions,” as the UWM news release explains.

Now if only anybody were actually enforcing the law, the anti-hero of biofuels would be perp-walked to prison for destroying the very environment it was supposed to help protect.

We last saw the evil genius called corn ethanol in a 2013 piece headlined, “Biofuels Policy Helping Destroy U.S. Grasslands At Fastest Rate Since 1930s, Boosting Threat of Dust-Bowlification.”

This new UMW study is the “first comprehensive analysis of land-use change across the U.S. between 2008 and 2012.” University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers “tracked crop-specific expansion pathways across the conterminous US and identified the types, amount, and locations of all land converted to and from cropland” during that time.

Scientists learned that crops “expanded onto 7 million acres of new land,” during those four years and replaced “millions of acres of grasslands.” Half of that was new soy and corn, which was increasingly used to make biofuels between 2008 and 2012 to meet U.S. government mandates, which included a minimum target of over 12 billion gallons of biofuels for in 2010.

What was the climate impact of this expansion? The University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded:

“The conversion to corn and soy alone, the researchers say, could have emitted as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as 34 coal-fired power plants operating for one year — the equivalent of 28 million more cars on the road.”

Corn ethanol should get its own show on HBO or AMC.

The Renewable Fuels Association, which is the “the authoritative voice of the U.S. ethanol industry,” has responded to this peer-reviewed study with a blog post by their Senior Vice President, Geoff Cooper. Cooper points out this is a very difficult calculation to do and that the dataset the authors use for this purpose has been called into question. Ideally, the RFS will put their critique through the peer-review process to publish it in a journal.

It seems not a month goes by that a study doesn’t come out condemning the fuel that now comprises some 10 percent of U.S. gasoline. “New airborne measurements downwind from an ethanol fuel refinery in Decatur, Illinois, show that ethanol emissions are 30 times higher than government estimates,” we learned just this Tuesday, for instance, when NOAA published a study on “ozone-forming compounds” generated by a corn ethanol refinery. “The measurements also show emissions of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which include ethanol, were five times higher than government numbers, which estimate emissions based on manufacturing information.”

What will we learn in June, that corn ethanol is “behind uptick in abandoned kittens“? Okay, maybe not that, but still.

In a 2011 post titled, “The Corn Ultimatum asks: How long can Americans keep burning one sixth the world’s corn supply in our cars?” If we don’t voluntarily abandon corn ethanol, it seems inevitable that human-caused climate change and Dust-Bowlification will ultimately arrest its development:

soil moisture

If we stay on business-as-usual CO2 emissions, we will turn the normal climate of our breadbasket into “severe drought.” Growing enough food for Americans, let alone the countries we currently help feed, won’t leave much land available for crop-based biofuels (Via NASA).

You are a clear and present danger to my grandchildren’s future. Fear me.

As I wrote in my e-mail to you, do not fast track the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Act out of committee and vote no to the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Act. It is bad for Oregon Agriculture. It is bad for Oregon Business. It is bad for Oregon’s Environment. It is bad for Oregon.

imagesThough I have long supported – and voted for – you and actively campaigned for your junior partner Jeff Merkley, like me of a multi-generational Oregon Logging and mill family and the first of that family to go to college, you people are walking on egg-shells with me over what you did to the most popular governor in the history of the State of Oregon re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term with the highest vote count ever. As a non-affiliated voter, if you weasel Democrats keep selling out to the corporations, to the Fascists, then you will join your counterparts the Republicans on my list of those I will never again vote for, regardless how qualified or well-deserved.

Trust me, I am paying attention, and I vote.

Do not fast track the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Act out of committee and vote no to the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Act. It is bad for Oregon Agriculture. It is bad for Oregon Business. It is bad for Oregon’s Environment.

It is bad for Oregon.

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because this is the Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville in Butte County, California. Been over it many times back in my logging days. Lake Oroville has an interesting logging history: rather than the yarding (skidding) and trucking of logs out of the woods to the mill they were left to lie until the rising water floated them to a staging area and railhead at the dam.

Built a lot of houses in New York City with that lumber.
lakeorovillewaterlevel

The picture on the left is July 2011. The picture on the right is the lake today.

Felicia Marcus of the State Water Resources Board told an audience last week:

We don’t know if its going to rain next year.

We don’t know if its going to rain after that.

This Was The Hottest 3-Month Start Of Any Year On Record

You are a clear and present danger to my grandchildrens’ survival. Fear me.

The dirty secret of California’s water problem is that agriculture constitutes 80% of California’s water, though only contributes 2% to California’s economy.

Yes, taking shorter showers and washing cars less often will help a little. Restricting the watering of useless lawns will help a little more. But that’s all a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the water being used by the agriculture industry.

This isn’t just a problem in California. Climate change-induced drought is a challenge across the western and southern United States and in many other countries around the world. What will we do about food production?

burning crossIn light of the above report, we should probably keep this news from “atheist raper” Phil Robertson: “Portland, Ore., is No. 1 on the list of metropolitan areas with the most religiously unaffiliated residents (42%), according to the nonpartisan and nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas, a survey of 50,000 people. Seattle and San Francisco tied at second place.”

Animals, less than sufficiently evolved, less than human, bow down to gods.

Human Beings, do not.

Of course here we do it by mail, with double super signature envelopes…

Think Progress: Just a week after Oregon became the first state in the nation to automatically register residents to vote using DMV records, California announced it may follow suit.

images (1)California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said this week that he was inspired by Oregon’s landmark law, which automatically registers every eligible resident who goes to a DMV to get a license or renew one, with the option to opt out.

“While many states are making it more difficult for citizens to vote, our neighbor to the north offers a better path,” he wrote. “One of the biggest barriers to citizen participation is the voter registration process. A new, enhanced Motor Voter law would strengthen our democracy. It would be a game changer.”

One early supporter is California Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), who told ThinkProgress, “Any measure that would make it easier for American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote is a good thing for our democracy. We need to ensure that the viewpoints and values of all Americans are represented in government.”

While Oregon’s law is expected to reach 300,000 eligible residents right away, and nearly 900,000 eventually, such a move in California could sweep millions into the political process. Padilla’s proposal could help the nearly 7 million eligible but unregistered voters in the state, many of them low-income, people of color, and younger Californians — whose participation rates are in the single digits.

“In California, an 18- or 19-year-old was more likely to be arrested than actually vote in one of the statewide elections,” California data analyst David Mitchell told KQED.

Overall, California has one of the worst rates of election participation in the country, with just over 42 percent of eligible voters turning out in last fall’s election. In Los Angeles County, just 31 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.

Washington would be wise to follow Oregon’s lead on voter registration

Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Text

wikileaks-tpp-investment-cartoon“After more than five years of negotiations under conditions of extreme secrecy, on March 25, 2015, a leaked copy of the investment chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was posted. Public Citizen has verified that the text is authentic. Trade officials from the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – are in intensive, closed-door negotiations to finish the TPP in the next few months.”The leaked text provides stark warnings about the dangers of ‘trade’ negotiations occurring without press, public or policymaker oversight. It reveals that TPP negotiators already have agreed to many radical terms that would give foreign investors expansive new substantive and procedural rights and privileges not available to domestic firms under domestic law.”

Obama is as guilty as the rest of them.

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