Yo, I heard you like hot summers and droughts, so I added hot summers, melting sea ice, droughts and wildfires to your hot summers and droughts

Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low—Extreme Weather to Come? 

Arctic sea ice is thawing at a historic rate, scientists say. In fact, a recent analysis of satellite data “utterly obliterates” the previous record, set in 2007.

The chief culprit? Global warming. The potential upshot? Longer and more intense extreme-weather events such as heat waves, cold spells, and droughts.

On Monday, researchers at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said the rate of Arctic sea ice decline is now the highest that has ever been observed. In August, the sea ice disappeared at an average rate of about 39 square miles (a hundred square kilometers)—or about twice as normal, NSIDC scientists say.

Moreover, the area of Arctic sea ice around the North Pole had shrunk to 1.58 million square miles (4.1 million square kilometers)—the smallest measurement since 1979, when satellite observations began.

It’s a sick situation when science predicts something will happen, gets it wrong….but gets slammed because they were too conservative in their predictions.

Double irony…”conservatives” actually reject the entire notion this happening at all.

Climate Scientist stoops to using Denier tactics (i.e. lies) to expose Heartland Institute conspiracy against Climate Science

“At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate programme strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute’s apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it,” Gleick wrote.

“Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues.”

It is sad he did this.  It’s worse that such a conspiracy exists.  It’s much, much worse that so many people have fallen for it, and scientists have to deal with so much crap for presenting data and research that challenges powerful industries.


Huntsman Reverse Climate Change Line, Blames “Scientists”

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman appeared to take a notably more skeptical view towards current climate change science Tuesday, saying that the “scientific community owes us more” on the issue and that not enough solid research exists to “formulate policies” based on global warming.

“I’m not a scientist, I’m not a physicist, but I would defer to science in that discussion, and I would say that the scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description or explanation about what might lie beneath all of this,” Huntsman told an audience of bloggers at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“But there’s not enough information right now to be able to formulate policies in terms of addressing it overall, primarily because it’s a global issue,” he went on. “We can enact policies here. But I wouldn’t want to unilaterally disarm as a country, I wouldn’t want to hinder job creators during a time when our economy is flat.”

Huntsman made waves earlier this summer when he took aim at his GOP rivals for expressing skepticism about evolution and climate change science, sending out a much-retweeted message in August that read, “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

Asked by a reporter Tuesday whether he has reversed that position, Huntsman said that he still “defers” to scientists who study the issue but said that there remain conflicts among the research community.

“Because … there are questions about the validity of the science, evidence by one university over in Scotland recently, I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation, that’s all.”

via First Read – Huntsman tweaks climate change tone, says scientists need to clarify facts.

So just to be clear about the charge that Huntsman is the sane one…he’s now pandering to a group of echo-chamber enthusiasts.  Also curious is how he references some random conspiracy theory, but ignore the testimony to Congress about the issue  (note: it confirmed what the vast majority of climate scientists believe, the earth is warming and human activity is the proximate cause, while being conducted and funded by skeptics).

He does have to resign first, yes?

m.guardian.co.uk http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/aug/12/rick-perry-climate-sceptics-president?cat=environment&type=article

But plugging your ears and going “la la la la” doesn’t make global warming disappear. Perry’s state is getting absolutely hammered by heat and the worst one-year drought in its recorded history. The hot, dry weather in Texas is desiccatingrivers and lakes, devastating farmers and ranchers, and driving wildfires that have burned up millions of acres.

In the face of these crises –which are just what you’d expect in a climate-changed world –Perry proposes neither adaptation nor mitigation but rather supplication. He’s been praying for rain and calling on other Texans to do the same. So far no luck.

Perry also prays for a rollback of EPA regulations: “Frankly I pray for the president every day,” he recently told CBN News. “I pray for his wisdom. I pray that God will open his eyes. I wish this president would turn back the health-care law that’s been passed, ask that his EPA back down all these regulations that are causing businesses to hesitate to spend money.

Blessed are the polluters, err, I mean job creators, for their reward is the sludge of death.

What Happens When I Get Really Angry

This is probably just a coincidence, but I realized my frustration with the current debt ceiling debate, which had been building for months and finally bubbled over the past week or so, has had some severe consequences.  Sorry about that.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has put together this animation of the phenomenon with their quickly dwindling funds.   There will come a time where we remember, as Americans, when our government was capable of doing such things (and back when we had, I shit you not, “space shuttles”.  This was all back before the Tea Party bankrupted the country…my…those were the days) routinely.

Here’s the gist of what’s going on in response to my annoyance. (and check out the animation, it’s integral to my argument presented below). 


Heat Wave Sweeps Across the U.S.
A shroud of high pressure has taken a foot-hold over the U.S. from the Plains to the Northeast, and with it has brought temperatures well into the 90’s and 100’s for half of the country. This animation shows the predicted daily high temperatures from NOAA’s high resolution North American Model (NAM) from July 13-21, 2011.

As evidence that it’s me causing this, well, I offer to you the same amount of evidence as is currently required for a “solid, fact-based argument” in an Idiocracy like mine…coincidence.

I am angry.  I live in Dallas, TX.  It looks like, if you watch the animation….the heat is centered on, and perhaps even emanating from, Dallas.

‘Course, could be all the bullshit around here…which the proximate cause of my anger….and the heat ain’t helpin’ neither…

I dunno…it’s hot…not stopping…cool animation.  Figured I’d link it both figuratively and literally to my personal interpretation of reality, that’s what blogs are for, after all.

Stay frosty, my friends.

And pass the damn debt ceiling.   I’ll cool it off if you do.  Promise.

UPDATE: Videoe evidence…

* and on a 100 point scale no less.

Moderate Backyard Rant and a Flat Out Lie

Doing more video rants slowly and surely.    An Android is handy helper for a RPN, no doubt about that.

Here’s a couple from a few days back.  As per, this came a couple days before the perfect example of exactly what I was talking about (that’s the Flat Out Lie mentioned in the title).

The moderate rant, a two-parter…

[and no, I didn’t find that native Android video editor I wanted..any hints on where to find one can be submitted as comments]

So that happened.

Then later I’m doing my internet surfing (as we called it back in the day) and I run across this headline..

This is a flat-out lie.

Not only is this a flat out lie, it's logically impossible. (note the words "Gobal" and "North America"..think about it)

So it takes about two second to find what happened here….again….it’s just like this “normal” science reporting scenario but with a hardcore profit motive.  Here’s what the actual scientist said about this version of reality…

The study was only focusing on one aspect of climate change (impacts on agriculture) and looked only in the parts of the countries where and times of year when certain crops are grown. for example, if one looks at winter temperatures in these regions, it would paint a different picture. also, the lack of trend in any one region has very little bearing on whether global warming is happening.

[full story]

Not only that, but the study wasn’t even focused on plants that live longer that a single season.

Moreover, responding to an inquiry submitted to the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, Dr. Jacqueline Mohan of the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology explained in an email that “modern crops and the vast majority of natural ecosystems are fundamentally different.” She explains that annual crops used in agriculture “do not “track” climate as closely as perennial plants which have much longer lifespans” and are more vulnerable to changes in climate. Mohan also points to recent research on ecosystems in North America that “has shown profound responses to changing climate.”

So we have study on a small subset of plants, in a relatively small region, studied over a limited part of the year, and this results are distorted into something completely unrelated, yet coincidentally perfectly aligned with the vast majority of the audience to which this lie was presented.

I’d show you some of the comments on Fox’s original reprint of the story.  But they closed them.  When I read them yesterday, there were a lot of people completely 100% in agreement with the headline, and they knew this because either  a) it snowed last winter b) they know it’s all a big lie anyway c) it’s a natural cycle (note how this has totally nothing to do with the headline, but a completely other non-explanation supported by nothing but blind faith) or d) something something Obama liberals bad.

It really was an epic cesspool of derp and served as a wonderful view into the type of intellectual company one keeps when one denies the facts staring one in the face.

And so I rant.  Moderately.  In the backyard.

And then register my disgust on the internet within days.

Clearing off the desktop…

…sometimes I fall behind.  So to catch up, I just dump a lot of stuff with short commentary and reboot the browsers so my computer can think again.

Here goes…

First up is an acknowledgement of the change to Arizona law.  This took away the worst of it, but I’d expect the rest to be bad enough to fall on its own.

Here’s some of the local reaction to the immigration law.  The march took place before the changes.

Some Fox revisionism.  Seriously, WTF.

The smoke monster gets lose in the gulf.

They caught some guy who doesn’t know how to make a good bomb.

Who did what now?  You don’t say.

Federal money is only *sometimes* evil.  How very Hindu of you

No need for that extra $130 for a 3G iPad.  $99 3G iPhone works fine.

Some speculation by a sci-fi guy about Jobs hatred of flash.

More on the immigration law change in Arizona.

Tattle tales!  How silly.   I say let people strip in the name on art, like that.  This’ll get tossed.

The global warming witchhunt continues in VA via the Cooch.

A good Street Fighter movie? Unpossible.  Possible…

It’s like a cliche now.

The Tea Party takes the Republicans to a new dimension, and beyond.

The alternate question about who “introduced” nukes to the Middle East.

Wonderful reading about the longest living organism(s).

Only 57 violations?! Galt could have done better

Fun thread and interesting thread here. [orig story here]

I would hope those that are lost now are found and those that are lost forever are remembered.

The West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 25 workers and left another four unaccounted for in the worst mining disaster since 1984 had amassed scores of citations from mining safety officials, including 57 infractions just last month for violations that included repeatedly failing to develop and follow a ventilation plan.

I’ll mostly refrain from making the cynical point about how “gubmint regulations are evil and strangle the market” in this paragraph.

Then I’ll link to this, and post this while the blood boils.

I love how he starts out with “global warming isn’t real because it’s snowing outside” and goes downhill from there.

Massey ranks among the nation’s top five coal producers and is among the industry’s most profitable. It has a spotty safety record.

The federal mine safety administration fined Massey a then-record $1.5 million for 25 violations that inspectors concluded contributed to the deaths of two miners trapped in a fire in January 2006. The company later settled a lawsuit naming it, several subsidiaries and Chief Executive Don Blankenship as defendants. Aracoma Coal Co. later paid $2.5 million in fines after the company pleaded guilty to 10 criminal charges in the fire.

Paging Palin, Petroleum Pundit (Cap’n Trade Dissection)

To catch you up *real* quick, I’ve been away and Sarah Palin quit as Governor of Alaska.

A number of other big things have happened since I last wrote, and we’ll be addressing a number of those in short order, but as I like to talk a bit about policy and big things from time to time, let’s focus on Cap’n Trade and the newly minted petroleum pundit, Sarah Palin.

There was, to be sure, a good bit of discussion on the future of the former Miss Alaska, and it seems she has put those questions to action in the form of this op-ed piece in the Washington Post.   As I’ll be using that for the dissection and discussion, a quick read would be useful.

Her op-ed piece is about this piece of legislation (H.R. 2494) which would be the first legislation to seriously address the issue of global climate change, and set the U.S. on a road to a 21st century energy infrastructure.  As the bill itself bills itself…

To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.

The bill has passed the House, in a major victory for Obama, and is now on the way to a filibuster-proof Senate (Hahaha!, Al Franken is a Senator).   I, for one, am happy about this, as I see global warming and energy issues in the 21st century (including things like peak oil) as one of the central issues facing our nation and the world.

Global industrialization also poses its own risks, particularly in the environmental arena, as 2,000,000,000 plus people are brought into the present within a couple generations of real time.

Now, just to be clear, this legislation is mainly addressing the issue of climate change.  It is addressing the idea that we can’t continue to pump carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as if it has no effect.  We know it has an effect, we have been measuring it, and it is something that simply must be addressed.  That’s what this legislation represents, a solution to that problem.

Since talking directly about legislation and the specifics therein is boring and mostly left to legislators, I’m going to go along with Palin’s lead and go for the more emotional aspects of the argument.

Which brings us directly to Palin’s petroleum punditry.   She kicks it off with a bang, which is a great way to start…. (and BTW, I use Palin because she makes a great foil to illustrate the idiocy of certain ideas, and she’s cute, which helps)

There is no shortage of threats to our economy. America’s unemployment rate recently hit its highest mark in more than 25 years and is expected to continue climbing.

Indeed, and we have some particularly bad leadership to thank for that.

Our nation’s debt is unsustainable, and the federal government’s reach into the private sector is unprecedented.

Indeed, the Patriot Act, borrowing money to go to war, and the warrant-less wiretaps championed by the previous administration were assaults on our liberty and future that should not be tolerated.  I, too, am calling on the Obama Administration to begin full investigations and prosecutions, if necessary.

But first things first, let’s settle some personal scores….

Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges.


So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:

I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy.

And this is where we lose her.   See, you’ll note in the rest of the essay, she spends nary a sentence on the reason the legislation exists in the first place, (“reduce global warming pol.   This is fairly similar to writing an essay on why you support the death penalty, when you’ve been given evidence that a particular inmate is innocent and scheduled to be executed at midnight…and you’re the governor.

Ummm, governor?  You have the evidence in front of you, yea, I know you love the death penalty, but this guy is innocent.

Which is to say, we have ample evidence that a real and abundant threat to our economy already exists in the form of global climate change, and this legislation is meant to begin to deal with it.

American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.

This is where, for those not knowing the context of discussion, one might be inclined to agree with the former Mayor of Wasilla (meth capital of Alaska).  After all, who doesn’t like prosperity.   What does this have to do with global warming?  Nothing.  Well, outside the fact that abundant, cheap energy has contributed greatly to the problem.

The entire concept of a cap AND TRADE system is to allow the market to apportion costs more efficiently.  The fact is that by spewing huge amounts of pollutants into the air, the energy-rich are dumping a standard waste product into the air we all breathe (and the one that moderates and regulates our planet).  This cost is the one being addressed through the cap and trade system.

Palin’s argument is that there is no cost here, and the solution is to burn more, faster.

We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

Of course, Alaska is not the sole source of American energy. Many states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source. Westerners literally sit on mountains of oil and gas, and every state can consider the possibility of nuclear energy.

This is what really gets me about this part of the essay.  She mentions “more desire and ability to protect the environment” but doesn’t mention THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT OF THE LEGISLATION.

She then does it again a moment later.

We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact?

YES, DANGIT!  That’s the whole point of leading the world on this issue.   That’s the whole point of coming up with a compromise, where we set both limits and allow market forces to provide incentives to create innovative solutions.  That’s the “Trade” part of the cap and trade system.

And with what can only be called a rhetorical flourish, Palin finishes with some plagiarism and a bit of find and replace argumentation.

Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.

Ha!  See, that’s why she doesn’t get it.  She doesn’t understand what “trade” means.  Nor, does she offer any particular insight into the actual problem the legislation is addressing.

Can someone please put that on her tutoring schedule?

Original and real name here

Holy Shit, I Still Have a Website.

My lord, I’ve been spending too much time on Facebook.

I’ve neglected my role here, as RPN. My deepest apologies.

To catch you up to the story quickly (this would be Chapter 12 for those reading at home), our hero in the story has taken to walking the Earth in order to save it.

Which sounds all grandiose and shit, but is actually much more mundane and all work-like in this our Real World.

There are so many problems to fix you see, and only so much time in which to do so. What to do first? Where should I focus my talents *now*.

And so I picked one, as so many do in these days, off the List of Craig. A truly wondrous resource, which once again reaffirms the fact that we are wondering into a new Age of human civilization (the Information One).

So in order to continue the trend of outputting so much information at once onto the Interwebs at once, and blasting it off into the ether of other’s minds, I shall continue my story about my current job.

I’m walking the world to save the world (mainly because I like vague self-referential loops, as illustrated in Chapter something or other).

Now I’m doing so literally. With an organization that focused on a problem near and dear to my heart, electronics.

I’ll let the New York Times update you on the solution that many states have adopted.

This month, Edward Reilly, 35, finally let go of the television he had owned since his college days.

Although the Mitsubishi set was technologically outdated, it had sat for years in Mr. Reilly’s home in Portland, Me., because he did not know what else to do with it, given the environmental hazards involved in discarding it.

But the day after the nationwide conversion to digital television signals took effect on June 12, Mr. Reilly decided to take advantage of a new wave of laws in Maine and elsewhere that require television and computer manufacturers to recycle their products free of charge. He dropped off his television at an electronic waste collection site near his home and, he said, immediately gained “peace of mind.”

Over the course of that day, 700 other Portland residents did the same.

I have been working, for the last three months of so, on legislation in Texas, of all places, for similar services.  This being Texas, and not Maine, our effort ultimately failed thanks the diabolical pen of one James Richard “Rick” (a.k.a “Jimmy Dick”) Perry.   And his fabulous hair.

More info on that here.

So I spent three months walking the earth, talking to folks, telling them to write their Representative, and their Senator.  And after the bill passed the House and the Senate, I asked folks to write to Rick Perry, and tell that [redacted] they supported the bill.  And they did.  Hundreds of them. Personally, for me, I picked up and delivered over 200 letters.   I know Perry got many, many thousands more.

And then one man with one pen erased that effort.  Or so it would seem, and so it did seem for the week or so after it happened.

Then one day, around last week, as we began to focus our attention on another aspect of the electronics recycling problem (and it is one, don’t kid yourself.  Each American consumes and shits out about five pounds of it a year, and someone has to eat that shit, if we don’t deal with it ourselves) I got my first real achievement in my walking the earth thing.  Rick Perry’sPen had nothing to do with it, and affected it not in the least.

I didn’t say how much would help, or really much more than how much it meant to me that he do something.   The organization with which I am working has an Ultimate Membership Level.   The way the walking the Earth thing works, in the Real World, has a lot to do with talking to people out on the street.  Or, more directly, in their homes.  Hence, there’s a good bit of walking the street, and a good bit of knocking on doors, and some sweet, sweet (and sometimes bitter) bits of talking to folks.  Good, Texas, Folks.  About the Environment and Electronic Waste (which is oh-so-sexy as cause, I know…).

A challenge, to say the least.   As our group is a political lobbying organization, we ask people who agree with what we are doing to help out with the campaign financially.  We have an Ultimate Membership Level.   So to finally continue the real story, I didn’t say how much to help.

I just left a thought, and a pen.   And he used it to erase Rick Perry’s slight, and I realized one pen can’t stop the world from turning.  Not with with so many people walking on it in the same direction.

The direction I walk is toward one of our many possible futures.  The one I aim for is a sustainable future, where we get to have our electronic toys and don’t have to eat them too.

Walk with me, if you would…


Anyway, in case anyone is wondering (Hi Mom!) I’ll be walking the Earth tomorrow.  We should hit 100 degrees or so, which is like, boiling, in metric.



The World This Week, March 22, 2009

[videos forthcoming]


People thieving the electrons.

Obama: Economy hurts.  Duh.

Obama Budget Strategy raises questions.

New home construction gets a lift (month-to-month).

Small business help on the way.

Fed prints money like mad.

A couple economists agree that printing money is a good idea…today.

China wants a new global currency standard.

Palin to preach to choir.

McCain Twitterview a joke, a stilted lagging joke.

Feel the outrage….

….oh wait, we did that?

Probe into AIG bonuses launched.

Gassley suggest suicide for AIG execs, then back off to resignation and public flogging.

Laid off worked parades in front of AIG mansion.


Pakistan moves closer to rule of law.

Iraqi government wants heads to roll.

Dead Sea Scrolls authors existence questioned.

Georgia v. stem cells.

Pope v. witchcraft and tribalism.

Everyone of the Book (Christian, Muslim, Jew) vs teh Gays.

Stop-Loss phasing out.

Obama talks to Iran.

Iran wants more than talk.


The Frogopalypse.

Veggie garden makes a return to White House lawn.

Obama gets schooled on Special Olympics and bowling.  NOTE: Bowling not a particularly intellectual pursuit.

The Great Unkowns and the Unknowables.

More Stuff I Won’t Get to Write About, at length (dang editing)

Computer power and intelligence. I actually did a video bit about this one the other night.  Hopefully I’ll get it edited soon.  Simple fact: We DO NOT WANT TO CREATE AN AI!   Really, it would not be a good thing.

What invasive species are trying to tell us.

Shaq isn’t human, he’s dancer. (Thanks, Case!)

Watching Republicans Grieve. O.k. I am actually going to write about this one.

The War in Afghanistan gets personal.

Repeat: Plasma bullets create Northern Lights. Had to look this one up again for the book (dang editing).

Why I Blog…

You end up writing about yourself, since you are a relatively fixed point in this constant interaction with the ideas and facts of the exterior world. And in this sense, the historic form closest to blogs is the diary. But with this difference: a diary is almost always a private matter. Its raw honesty, its dedication to marking life as it happens and remembering life as it was, makes it a terrestrial log. A few diaries are meant to be read by others, of course, just as correspondence could be—but usually posthumously, or as a way to compile facts for a more considered autobiographical rendering. But a blog, unlike a diary, is instantly public. It transforms this most personal and retrospective of forms into a painfully public and immediate one. It combines the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has ever been exposed before.

Indeed, and I turned a blog for a month into a book…as an experiment in New Media.  We’ll see how it turns out…I’m very curious to see if it works.