For those who haven't heard anything about it yet, Arizona is burning.
From Seattle PI,
SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) — Smoke from a massive wildfire in eastern Arizona that has claimed more than 30 homes and forced nearly 10,000 people to flee has officials worried about serious health impacts to residents and firefighters as tiny particles of soot in the air reached "astronomical" levels.
Read more: Full article.
This is the second-largest fire in Arizona history (so far), according to the article. And it's not the only one currently ablaze in the state:
Firefighters are battling another major wildfire in far southeastern Arizona, also near the New Mexico line. The so-called Horseshoe Two blaze burned through 211 square miles or 135,000 acres of brush and timber since it started in early May. The fire has destroyed 23 structures but caused no serious injuries. It was 45 percent contained late Friday and fire officials hope to have it fully contained by late June.
Read more: Full Article.
I can't imagine what it would be like to speak of dealing with an ongoing natural disaster in terms of "months" before it could be contained or mitigated. Well...ok, strike that. There's similar scale concepts - tho far different types of impacts and longer durations - when looking at unnatural disasters like Fukushimasee also and even longer-term consequences when considering the impact of anthropomorphic climate disruption.1, 2
And yes, there are those who have wondered if the AZ wildfires are linked to climate disruption, and while they can't prove it, they can show earlier predictors that reinforce indications that it might/could be related - and that there would be more, bigger incidents yet to come.
Not a very reassuring thought, with all those billions currently being spent in order to cripple any attempt to directly admit to and deal with the problem from a national public policy perspective.
On Saturday, 14 May 2011, the US Army Corps of Engineers opened the first bay of the Morganza spillway as part of an ongoing effort to alleviate the swollen Mississippi river and avoid uncontrolled flooding further downriver. Via CNN:
The plan to open the spillway will still impact human populations - including the town of Butte La Rose, Louisiana:
Opening the spillway will redirect floodwaters from the Mississippi River through the Atchafalaya River Basin, which runs between Baton Rouge and Lafayette south toward Morgan City.
There are more than 800 homes in the Butte La Rose area of St. Martins Parish, which sits right in the flood path.
[...Click for more...]
What's worse, the impact of the plan will be felt long after the waters recede:
Roy Dakka, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Geoinformatics at Louisiana State University, predicted it will take weeks to months for the farmland to dry.
"Any existing crops are going to be toast," he said, citing the fields of corn, sugar cane and soybeans that will be covered with sediment. "Plus, God knows what's in the water and what gets deposited."
[...Click for more...]
On the somewhat brighter side, officials are pretty sure that there won't be any failure in the untested system of levees, which could lead to unmitigated disaster.
That's not much comfort to the people impacted by the waters released into the spillway and redirected toward their homes and property, but it is - unfortunately - the best chance that experts have to reduce and mitigate the potential for a far more catastrophic flood in larger population areas.
It's for situations and events like this that our national infrastructure needs to be shorn up, bolstered instead of cannibalized as some sort of political bargaining chip.
As if real science really needs to be defended? Anyways...
But I thought this little bit of communist/socialist tree hugging hippy environmental activism was notable both for its source and reasoning. The Navy is preparing for climate change as a matter of national security:
I've seen more battalions of climate deniers lately than I care to even acknowledge. They engage in a game of dangerous anti-intellectualism and prefer to dwell in a place of self-enforced ignorance, where they receive as well as cultivate ongoing support for their fallacies.
This piece isn't to waste time on them, or their highly funded interest in climate denial that special interests funnel a steady flow of money into.
A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance. ~Saul Bellow
Let them be ignorant, and reduced to the blather of background noise. This piece is simply a short inquiry for those who dwell in reality, surrounded by facts and thoughtful pursuits.
Here's the observation (in the form of an excerpt) and the question -- from here:
According to NASA (circa May 2004), there's a potential sometime over the next few decades for melting sea ice to trigger colder weather in Europe and North America. This isn't the first time we've heard about the effect -- our own Darksyde (Science Friday: Mystery of the Icebox Killer, Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 07:45:05 AM EST) wrote about the possibility a year later, and we've seen a few references to many unexpected changes -- increases -- in the rate of Arctic ice melt not only in 2005 but also in 2007, 2008, 2009 (and here) and 2010 (and here.
So, what's the likelihood now of any effect on the ocean conveyor?
Granted, the past impacts happened when a massive flood of cold fresh water rushed into it -- this time, it's not such an all-at-once scenario. But -- will the increase impact the conveyor? Destabilize or shift it? Alter it's speed, course or charming sense of humor?
During the Christmas break a book I read called "From Edison to Enron", had the following lines in it :
Utilities, of course, were regulated monopolies that avoided competition and the free enterprise system, but Vennard wrapped them in the American flag while he attacked his public power opponents as socialists.
"And who'd want to leave a socialistic U.S.A. to his kids?
A pioneer in polling and public relations, Vennard hired George Gallup to discover phrases and images that would spur Americans to feel positively about private utilities and negatively about public power. "Investor owned' rather than 'privately owned; and disliked 'government owned' rather than 'public power'.
Remind you of what any particular 'News' network has been engaging in?
Or any specific, tactics employed to come up with talking points?
[ed. note - CM1] Originally posted 2010-03-30 20:31:14 -0400. Bumping to get this a few more views.
On the much cited phrases in the leaked e-mails—“trick” and “hiding the decline”—the Committee considers that they were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead. Insofar as the Committee was able to consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU, the Committee considers that there is no case to answer.
Remember that the controversy over Climategate was timed perfectly to disrupt and divide the members meeting during the Copenhagen conference.
[update - CM1] bumping because this deserves a second look even if it is a quick post.
The Chinese Government has described the view that climate change is not man-made as a marginal and "extreme" outlook.
According to Xie Zhenhua, a deputy director at China's powerful National Development and Reform Commission, climate change is a fact based on long-term observation in many countries.
At the annual session of China's National People's Congress, he said that those who advocate that climate change is not man-made are holding an extreme and marginal view.
He said that the majority of the world's scientists believed that climate change has been caused by burning fossil fuels.
He and other officials said that more work needed to be done to ensure that scientific data on climate change was watertight, but the world had no choice but to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
Mr Xie said climate change is not only something that ordinary Chinese people can feel and experience every day, but that it may soon have a huge impact on China's food security and even its economic stability.
They also stated that there is some differing of opinion on what is causing this, however that sensible policy is to recognize and begin to take steps to mitigate the risk.
Bumped and promoted. Posted 2010-02-06 05:52:18 -0500. -- GH
Arctic ice melting could cost global agriculture, real estate and insurance anywhere from $US2.4 trillion ($2.8 billion) to $US24 trillion by 2050 in damage from rising sea levels, floods and heat waves, according to a report released on Friday.
The research project involved more than 370 scientists from 27 countries who collectively spent 15 months, starting in June 2007, aboard a research vessel above the Arctic Circle. It marked the first time a ship has stayed mobile in Canada's high Arctic for an entire winter.
"It's happening much faster than our most pessimistic projections," said University of Manitoba Prof. David Barber, the lead investigator of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead study. A flaw lead is the term for open water between pack ice and coastal ice.
On a daily basis there are louder and louder calls for us to begin to act on Climate disruption. With stories about sea-ice almost completely gone, Australia's food bowl continues to dersertify, temperature rise threatening the Barrier Reef one could get overwhelmed with the sheer scale of these challenges to even contemplate doing anything at all. Couple this up with the denialosphere and its easy to get paralyzed in fear.
I have a different idea.
In two articles I've written HERE and HERE I have laid out the importance of energy in our everyday lives and how where we obtain the primary energy we use, governments around the world do have an input in. I have also shown that decision making on how and what form of energy systems we will have has been kept behind closed doors without transparency for a number of years which has resulted in behavior which politicians ought not partake in if they truly have free market principles and public good at heart.
With the research I have conducted one of the things which I have often questioned is why countries such as Spain and Germany have such a strong renewables sector, when Australia with more wide open country, uninhabited sunny areas than almost any other, we have not developed a strong domestic solar industry. Equally strange is lack of offshore wind, geothermal or wave power resource utilization.
In a diary back in February, FishOutofWater wrote of the beginning of what would come to be known in Australia as the Black Saturday Bushfires.
Twenty-five people are confirmed to have died in fires north of Melbourne and this morning there are unconfirmed reports of bodies being found in cars overtaken by the fires in Gippsland in the state's east.
This morning Mr Brumby said 26 fires were still burning and up to a dozen of them are still very serious.
"Every effort is being thrown at the fires," he said.
"This is not over yet. Tragically I think there will be more bad news.
By the time the smoke had cleared, 173 people had perished in these fires. Two days ago I went to see some of the first responders, firefighters and police, who are currently sacrificing once again to raise funds for a good cause.
Back in February of this year in Victoria, Australia we had terrible heat waves taking the lives of many people, over taken in the news by the most destructive bushfire, wildfire in terms of lives and property, in Australia's history.
Another dust storm hits Australia -- bad news for those of us who are still breathing. Drought (and IMO global deforestration) have created really serious dust storms that have blanketed Australia and hit other places as well. But all of the consequences are not so negative. See this piece in Bloomberg News last week.
How Can You Question Climate Change Now?
January 11, 2008
(Click for Larger image)
Ominous Arctic Melts Worry Experts: An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.
Last Friday, on a whim, I created an open thread called Winds of Change, Comfortably Numb. Like the song from the video, the winds of change are blowing -- quite literally, too: the climate is changing, in social & political ways as well as ecological terms.1
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change
New studies were published over the weekend that serve to reinforce some previous data about the issue of global climate change. In his piece Warming and Storms, Uncertainty and Ethics, Andrew C. Revkin writes about how those studies may impact our approach to human-induced global warming:
Over the weekend, a pair of very different climate studies — one physical, one social — illustrated two uncomfortable, and related, realities confronting society as it grapples with possible responses to human-driven global warming.
Revkin is right: both studies, particularly when combined, leave us with some disturbing things to mull over.