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Some people should be shunned: Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to “cut all ties” with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers.

A letter released on Tuesday asserts that such money is tainted by these donors’ efforts to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.

“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”

The letter does not mention specific companies, but it does name David H. Koch, who sits on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has given tens of millions of dollars to those institutions.

Koch Industries is a privately held corporation with subsidiaries in energy and other industries. Mr. Koch and his family have funded conservative causes, including scientists and organizations that contest the role of humans in climate change.

These animals are a clear and present danger to the human species’ future.

“People are cherry picking science,” he said. “The science is not political. It’s like repealing gravity because you gained 10 pounds last week.” It can’t be done.

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because an overheated planet doesn’t just mean an extraordinarily early blooming of cherry trees and daffodils.

It means rising sea levels all along our coasts from melting glaciers inundating East and West coasts and all Gulf states. Atmospheric clashes of hot and cold air from now on will be spawning super-sized hurricanes and tornados for the Gulf and Midwest. Killer heat waves—not just 18 days of 90+ºF in New York City, but 76 days. As for the near-waterless Southwest and California, they’ll be exploding in historic, widespread, ferocious forest fires.

Add to this reality the creation of millions of “climate refugees” who will be little different from those living in camps and caves in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey—all fleeing to “safer” places. Recall the 1930s when thousands of dust-bowl refugees (“Oakies”) poured into California, the Pacific Northwest and Canada for food, water, housing, health care, schools—and especially jobs. Oregonians have grumbled for decades about “transplanted” Californians ignoring  former Gov. Tom McCall’s admonition “Come visit, but don’t stay.” That may turn into law with other states barring passage to refugees at gunpoint as in Katrina, and in the nation’s worst flood in 1927.

Those with money will boost spiraling of rents, food prices, real estate values, and property taxes. Those out of luck will swell northern populations with millions of starving, ailing, homeless, and jobless refugees. Suffice it to say, no welcome mat will be unrolled for the tired, poor, huddled masses “yearning” even to breathe. Violence is a certainty.

Aside from this terrifying eventuality, who’ll be there to do rescue-and-relief work?

Who’ll be there to prevent refugee genocide?

You are a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s future. Fear me.

I was right, this is what happened:

The Tokyo Electric Power Corp. says Unit 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant did, in fact, meltdown during the 2011 accident.

TEPCO released results from a three-day study in February of the Unit 1 reactor building jointly with the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning. The two companies collected data until March 10. The project used cosmic rays to inspect the interior of the building. By analyzing the flow of muons, which are subatomic particles generated when cosmic rays collide with the atmosphere, TEPCO was able to generate X-ray like images of the interior of the reactor. Muons can pass through concrete and iron, but they are blocked and change direction when they hit high-density substances such as plutonium and uranium, creating a “shadow.”

TEPCO said the fuel had melted because there were no shadows around the reactor’s core, and the fuel had likely melted and fallen to the bottom of the building into a containment vessel. The operator also said there was no accumulation of water in the core of the reactor pressure vessel.

TEPCO said the results confirmed previous assumptions of a meltdown. The utility plans to continue measurement until it gains enough data to conduct a statistical analysis, and said the data gained will help it work out a plan to remove the debris, most likely by robots due to the high amounts of radiation in the reactor.

In the days following the meltdown radiation counts at the top of the Santiam Pass were hundreds of times higher than ever recorded, than even the radiation counts recorded during the open-air nuclear testing days.

I’ve had two grandchildren born since.

The North Atlantic Conveyor is collapsing

thermohaline_circulationThe Gulf Stream that helps to keep Britain [and North-Eastern “America”] from freezing over in winter is slowing down faster now than at any time in the past millennium according to a study suggesting that major changes are taking place to the ocean currents of the North Atlantic.

Scientists believe that the huge volumes of freshwater flowing into the North Atlantic from the rapidly melting ice cap of Greenland have slowed down the ocean “engine” that drives the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean towards north-west Europe, bringing heat equivalent to the output of a million power stations.

This has happened before, it can be read in the cores.

America has passed a very real climate threshold this winter:

Winter15NOAAOn Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that Earth’s global temperature for February was among the hottest ever measured. So far, 2015 is tracking above record-warm 2014—which, when combined with the newly resurgent El Niño, means we’re on pace for another hottest year in history.

In addition to the just-completed warmest winter on record globally (despite the brutal cold and record snow in the eastern U.S.), new data on Thursday from the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that this year’s peak Arctic sea ice reached its lowest ever maximum extent, thanks to “an unusual configuration of the jet stream” that greatly warmed the Pacific Ocean near Alaska.

But here’s the most upsetting news. It’s been exactly 30 years since the last time the world was briefly cooler than its 20th-century average.Every single month since February 1985 has been hotter than the long-term average—that’s 360 consecutive months.

More than just being a round number, the 30-year streak has deeper significance. In climatology, a continuous 30-year stretch of data is traditionally what’s used to define what’s “normal” for a given location. In a very real way, we can now say that for our given location—the planet Earth—global warming is now “normal.” Forget debating—our climate has officially changed.

The “debate” on climate change is over. I again suggest a twenty-first century variation of Pascal’s Wager: If I am wrong, if the climate is not changing, the world not warming to in-habitability in my grand-childrens’ generation, I don’t lose a bloody damned thing.  If you, the denier, are wrong, we all lose, our grand-children lose, the only world we know of we can live on. End of the road, way of the dinosaurs… mass extinction. Do you want to take that bet?

You are a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s future.

Fear me.

When the bees are gone, in four years we will be gone …

Nearly one in 10 European wild bee species is facing the threat of extinction, according to the first assessment of the continent’s bee populations, published Thursday.

beesAs environmentalists have long noted, bees and other pollinators are essential to the world’s food supply, farming system, and environment. However, both in Europe and the U.S., they have been threatened by industrial agriculture practices, insecticides, and climate change, which causes more heavy rainfalls, droughts, and heat waves that can harm bees and their access to food.

Reuters reports:

Bees are vital to food production but are in decline in many parts of the world. There are 1,965 wild bee species in Europe and 9.2 percent of them are at risk of extinction while another 5.2 percent are likely to be threatened in the near future, according to the international study, funded by the European Commission.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also said its study showed that 57 percent of all European bee species, which include types of bumblebees, honey bees and solitary bees, were so little known that it was impossible to judge whether they were at risk or not.

The implications of the study are quite troubling, said Karmenu Vella, head of the EU’s Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commission.

“Our quality of life—and our future—depends on the many services that nature provides for free,” Vella said. “Pollination is one of these services, so it is very worrying to learn that some of our top pollinators are at risk. If we don’t address the reasons behind this decline in wild bees, and act urgently to stop it, we could pay a very heavy price indeed.”

Environmental watchdogs such as Ariel Brunner, the head of EU policy at BirdLifeEurope, say the report should serve as “a wake up call to the ecological disaster that is unfolding in Europe’s countryside.”

Brunner told the Guardian, “It’s very clear that something is going horribly wrong with our agricultural practices which are the main driver of these declines, whether it is increased pesticide use, the destruction and conversion of grasslands, or the loss of natural vegetation and intensified farming methods.”

Echoing those remarks, Mark Brown of the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, told the BBC: “Bees need to be incorporated into how we think about and develop sustainable agriculture.”

To that end, earlier this week, a coalition of U.S.-based conservation and food-safety groups submitted a formal notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to consider the highly toxic impacts of a new systemic insecticide, flupyradifurone, on native pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The new insecticide would be especially harmful to imperiled, solitary bees like the blue orchard bee, the groups noted.

The budgets of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense have landed themselves in the crosshairs of Republican budget slicers, but not for reasons you might expect: The GOP isn’t happy with the money the two national security agencies are spending on climate-change research.

there-is-no-planet-B-photo-by-Freya-Schork-2013“The Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, two of the most important agencies in our national security apparatus, currently spend part of their budget studying climate change,” the Republican budget proposal reads, under its section on “Eliminating Waste.”

At first glance, climate change doesn’t seem like it would naturally fall under the mandates of the CIA and Defense Department, but it’s actually not far removed. A study published in March underscored a theory many had already embraced: that environmental impacts may serve as catalysts for regional instabilities. The study says a devastating drought likely fueled discontent and contributed to shortages and urban overcrowding that sparked the Syrian revolution.

“The joint chiefs of staff have testified repeatedly that climate change is a serious national security threat, and it accelerates problems of unrest and instability around the world,” said Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who added that he hadn’t seen the specific part of the budget proposal. “If we weren’t researching it, it would be a dereliction of our responsibility.”

“Terrarists,” those committing “terracide, – the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on”  would do well to understand that the Founder Fathers left us with recourse for the tyrannies imposed upon the majority… by a minority.

The longer this goes on the harsher the blowback will be.

We do not forgive. We do not forget.

Whose side are you on?

2optionsIt is not written in any culture’s Good Book that a few tiny groups of people have a divine right to get obscenely rich by any and all means – even means that will destroy the conditions for the continuation of civilization. [David Ray Griffin, author of “Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis?”]

“Terrarists,” those committing “terracide, – the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on”  would do well to understand that The Second Amendment provides recourse for the tyrannies imposed upon the majority… by a minority. The longer this goes on the harsher the blowback will be. Those gated communities are no protection.

We do not forgive. We do not forget.

Whose side are you on?

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox/GOP_TV Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because if you live on the East Coast of the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released some statistics that may surprise you:

Globally, this has been the hottest winter on record, topping the previous record (2007) by 0.05°F.

This was “the 19th warmest winter for the contiguous US.”

Globally it’s easily been the hottest start to any year (January-February), beating the previous records (2002, 2007) by 0.07°F.

This was the second warmest February globally, and “slightly below” the 20th-century average in the contiguous U.S.

Note: For NOAA, winter is the “meteorological winter” (December 2014 to February 2015).

As the NOAA map shows, other than the “cooler than average” northeast, this winter has been “warmer than average” and “much warmer than average” and “record warmest” over every other land area in the world.

In particular, many Western states saw their hottest winter on record — which is not a surprise if you live in drought-stricken California or its neighbors:

Now entering its fourth year, the drought in California is so bad that NASA senior water scientist Jay Famiglietti warned that “the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing.” Global warming-driven record heat has made this the worst California drought in 1200 years, as scientists explained in December.

The Earth keeps setting the record for the hottest 12 months in the surface temperature record, as we reported Saturday. NOAA’s global data show we’ve started this year at a record pace — and early indications are that March will be warm globally — so we are on track for what is likely to be the hottest calendar year on record.

You are a clear and present danger to my grand-childrens’ future.


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