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Climate Change

Consumer Energy Alliance Push Polling In Alabama On Keystone Pipeline

by: countrycat

Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 14:00:00 PM CST

The cathouse just got polled by the Consumer Energy Alliance in a "quick 45 second" push poll.  The recording was speaking so quickly that I couldn't record the exact wording even though I was sitting at my desk, but here's the gist:

  1. Are you concerned that gas prices remain above $3.50/hallon in much of the country, depressing our economic growth, burdening consumers, and leading us on a path to Hell?  (ok, I threw in that last one, but this guy's voice sounded really upset...) 
  2. Does it bother you that Iran has turned its warships towards the United States?  (There was a lot more crazy talk with this one, but I was so bemused by the first sentence, that I wasn't listening).
  3. Do you support building the Keystone Pipeline that will create 42,000 jobs, get North American oil to the United States, and do a whole lot of other good things

Then it asked demographic questions:

  • Did you vote in 2012?
  • Are you a male? (How bizarre is that question?  I answered "not at this time.")
  • Are you 50 or over? (Guess they think old people don't care because they're more likely be dead before the full environmental effects of the pipeline are felt.)

Now, all this push poll was lacking is some sort of apocalyptic music, maybe accompanied by the howling of tortured souls.  Watch your caller id for 202-769-0477 if you want the full experience.


Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Three Alabama Cities Make The "Top 10 Tornado Cities" List

by: countrycat

Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 16:40:49 PM CDT

Remember this gemAL-05 Congressman Mo Brooks told AL.com's George Talbot that taxpayers "should not have to fork out a nickel" to pay for property damage in areas historically vulnerable to storms." At the time, we noted that Brooks' entire district was disaster prone, but now we find out that so is much of Alabama!

The Huntsville/Madison County area has been rated No. 1 in a weather.com ranking of the top tornado cities in the country.

Birmingham is listed as No. 3 on the list and Tuscaloosa No. 4.

hMo Brooks Keystone Copmmmm.... 

Just this past weekend, there were numerous retrospectives about the horrific 2011 tornado outbreak that spawned trails of destruction across Alabama in the space of a few hours.  If we were to endure a similar situation, and the state needed to go asking for disaster relief from Washington, how might Congressman Brooks respond?

He hinted about that in January when asked about his opposition to Hurricane Sandy relief:

"We're at a point in this nation where hard choices have to be made, or the federal government is going to bankrupt the American people," he said. "We just can't keep spending money this way."

I'm a firm believer that, when people need help, they get it.  And that doesn't matter where they live, who they are, or who they voted for in the last election.  I mention that last part because I was sickened by some of the comments in this CNN article that compared donations to Boston bombing victims to the money donated to help the victims in West, Texas.

At the same time, I can understand the resentment of people on the Atlantic coast who survived a truly horrific and historic storm, only to have Congress dither and play politics with relief money.  It would be hard to blame their representatives in Congress who might be tempted to deliver a little payback to their recalcitrant colleagues.

But this is worth remembering: we're all in this together.  The storm front that hits another state today may hit us tomorrow.  The people we helped recover from wildfires will help us after tornadoes devastate our communities.  A progressive rallying cry is "People Before Profit," and I agree with that wholeheartedly.

But when it comes to disasters - whether natural or man-made - our slogan should be "People Before Politics."

Are you listening, Mo?

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

There's A Scientist In The House! And We Need A Lot More.

by: countrycat

Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:05:31 AM CST

Among the new Democrats heading to Congress in January is Congressman-elect Bill Foster (IL-11).  He stands out in the freshman class because he's not just a politician -  Foster is also a physicist  and presumably a member of the "reality-based community."  And he has a plan: elect more people like him to public office.Congressman Bill Foster

Scientific American interviewed Foster after his election:

I think the necessity for dealing with budgets forces a connection between quantitative pursuits and real political considerations.

There's also a very important connection in that you have politicians determining the future of scientific budgets, which is a fundamental reason that we have to work to inject more scientists and engineers in politics.

One of the fundamental principles is strength in numbers. I'm not advocating that Congress be dominated by scientists, but when I had a look at the composition of the U.S. Congress, even with a very generous definition of scientists, then roughly 4 percent have technical backgrounds.

More people with scientific and engineering backgrounds simply have to say that they're going to spend part of their lives in electoral politics explaining to the American public some of the fundamental facts about science and science policy as they relate to their public life.

Good luck with that.  Congressman Foster has a tough road ahead of him in the House.  It's a chamber governed by a political party that's in the grip of proud anti-science know-nothings who have no problem questioning basic climate research, think the Christian Bible is eyewitness testimony on cosmology, and who are ignorant of basic biology.

Will Foster and his fellow scientists be able to "shut that whole anti-science thing down" and shine the light of reason and the scientific method on public policy questions?  I sure hope so! 


Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Climate Change Finally Comes Front and Center

by: mooncat

Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 22:05:18 PM CDT

Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg.  

I can't bring myself to say "Thank you, Sandy," but without that "Frankenstorm" climate change would still be ensconced in an official cone of silence.  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Barack Obama today, explicitly citing the President's belief in climate science:

Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.


When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.


One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.

President Obama thanked Bloomberg and added (bold mine):

“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time - that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation - together."

Finally, leaders willing to mention the elephant in the room ... climate change.  And, gasp, perhaps even go beyond talk to pursue actual policy changes to deal with global climate change.  This is a big ___ing deal, folks.

Meanwhile back in Alabama, our state climatologist -- yes, your taxes are paying this man -- says Sandy was not related to climate change and global warming is not causing more major storms.  Given Alabama's perennial budget crunch, why is this climate denier still on the state payroll?  It would be cheaper, and better, to simply buy the governor a subscription to Scientific American.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Climate Change: Barbara Gets Under Jeffy's Skin

by: mooncat

Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 15:03:46 PM CDT

It's funny how narrow-minded, intolerant, foolish men like J. Beauregard Sessions III invariably puff up and get all offended when a well-informed woman politely points out they're full of BS.

Barbara Boxer gently reminds Jeff Sessions that his view of climate change is only shared by 1 to 2% of actual climate scientists.  Jeffy is "offended."  And still in denial.


Sessions: Madam Chairman, I am offended by that, I’m offended by that — I didn’t say anything about the scientists. I said the data shows [sic] it is not warming to the degree that a lot of people predicted, not close to that much…

Boxer: The conclusion that you’re coming to is shared by 1-2 percent of the scientists. You shouldn’t be offended by that. That’s the fact.

Sessions: I don’t believe that’s correct.

Perhaps it hasn't occurred to Jeffy that many of his constituents are also offended by his continuing -- willful!! -- ignorance on the subject of climate change.  Anyone who still maintains that global warming isn't real should consult Koch-funded climate change skeptic Richard A. Muller who formally switched sides last week ... announcing his conversion in the New York Times.

Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause. 

Yep.  Global warming is real and it's our fault and all the money in the Koch coffers can't change those facts. 

Our children and grandchildren are going to be mightily offended that narrow-minded corporate shills like J. Beauregard Sessions III sat and smirked while blocking every attempt to head off the devastating effects of man-made global warming.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Happy Earth Day, 2012!

by: mooncat

Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:00:00 AM CDT


Our only home.


Precious beyond belief.

This little blue planet -- so small in the scale of the universe -- is so far as we know the only place our species can survive.  On this Earth Day I hope you find time to enjoy it, savor its beauty, help protect it, keep it clean and lobby on its behalf.

Forty years ago today, the first Earth Day celebration was A Big Deal.  It inspired passage of some very important legislation aimed at keeping our planet and our environment healthy, including the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

As we celebrate Earth Day in 2012, people are fed up that governments are not acting to address climate change and protect the earth.  When government doesn't act, people must.

On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012 and help Mobilize the Earth™. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. Together we will stand united for a sustainable future and call upon individuals, organizations, and governments to do their part.

This year Earth Day will be celebrated worldwide with a billion acts of green, many of them in Alabama.  In Birmingham, join the Over the Mountain Democrats at The Nature Conservancy's "Picnic for the Planet" at Railroad Park downtown from 11 am to 3 pm and help set a Guinness World Record for the most folks picnicking in a 24 hour period!

Earth: More than just a pretty planet; it's our HOME.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Things Happen, But It's Different Now

by: mooncat

Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 07:00:00 AM CDT

Extremely severe, damaging, possibly deadly storms are expected in the nation's heartland today.  "This weekend's outbreak could be a high-end, life threatening event" according to the Storm Prediction Center.  That's the kind of risk Alabama experienced on 4/27/2011.

On Wednesday, a storm left 4 feet of hail in the Texas panhandle north of Amarillo.

"Weird weather" is playing havoc with alfalfa farmers.

Things happen ... they always have, but now they're happening differently.

On May 5, be part of the enlightenment; help connect the dots on climate change ... www.ClimateDots.org


Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Saturday Garden Blog & Open Thread - Is It Hot Enough For You?

by: countrycat

Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 10:00:00 AM CDT

It's been a beautiful few weeks in North Alabama, with daily temps averaging about 20 degrees above normal. While that's nice in March, it does make you wonder what July & August will be like.  And it makes gardeners quake with fear - what if we have another frost?

We got wild at the cathouse last week and planted squash & zucchini in one of the garden beds - they're poking their little head up already.  We also moved the baby plants - basil, thyme, eggplant, 2 types of tomatoes, 3 types of peppers, & more out to the greenhouse:

Cathouse greenhouse

In spite of the joy of getting a jump on the normal growing season (maybe), most gardeners up here are quite worried about a long, long, HOT summer and about the garden pests that didn't get killed off by super cold weather.  As I discussed here when the USDA revised its planting map, warmer weather brings these problems:

  • Rain:  The hotter is it, the more rain you need - or maybe an expensive irrigation system.  The Texas Drought Project has information about what happens during wide scale droughts.  People have begun to speculate that the situation in Texas isn't in fact a "drought," but creeping desertification. 
  • Heat: Warmer isn't necessarily better.  Yes, earlier planting means we can get those tomatoes & cucumbers in the ground, but it also tends to portend a long, hot summer. Some plants can't withstand it.
  • Disease: A lot of disease problems in the South come from hot, muggy weather that encourages fungal infections.  A little more heat and less moisture helps with that - however, too much heat and drought stresses plants and makes them more susceptible to other problems.
  • Pests: Good, long cold snaps in the winter do more than drive up our heating bills: they kill insects burrowed down in the soil.  Warm winters often lead to armies of voracious squash bugs, Japanese beetles, and other pests in the summer garden.

But don't get discouraged, campers!  You can grow your own herbs & vegetables - even in a small space, using container gardening techniques.  In fact, growing your own might be the only way to have a steady supply of locally grown fruits & vegetables if the GOP super-majority in the legislature succeeds in cutting funding for local farmers markets.

What else is on your mind this beautiful Saturday morning?  Use this as an open thread.


Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Saturday Garden Blog & Open Thread - Early Blooming & Tornado Tales

by: countrycat

Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 15:24:14 PM CST

We had some unexpected "together" time at the cathouse yesterday as we hung out in the basement for several hours: 3 humans and 7 annoyed cats.  Even the largest space seems cramped under those circumstances!  The tornadoes missed our house and Mooncat's house by a couple of miles - how did everyone else fare?Plum tree

In other news.... our plum trees are blooming!  Way, way too early.  For weeks I pleaded with them as they started to bud: "Don't do it!  It's a trick!  We'll have another frost!"  But you can see from these photos that they didn't listen.  They never do. 

Big gardening week here!  We started seeds for our tomatoes, eggplants, and 3 kinds of peppers.  Mooncat got a jump on us: she's already transplanting her tomato plants out of tiny planters and into more roomy accommodations.

There's still time to order and start seeds though!  Daddycat and I have a number of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds and are happy to share. Send me an email if you'd like some and list your offerings in the comments section.  We have:rattlesnake watermelon

  • Rattlesnake watermelon:  an open-pollinated variety (meaning it's not a hybrid so you can save seeds) that our 90+ year old neighbor grew all his life.  He passed away last year and his family threw away his seeds! Luckily, we saved some and last year harvested a 48 pounder!

  • Field Peas: I have 2 different varieties - Blue Goose (a variety from the 1880's) and Brown Sugar (a crowder-like pea).  Both are drought tolerant & heavy producers.  They like to climb though.  They aren't bush peas.

  • Star of David Okra: Open pollinated variety that produces HUGE yields from plants that grow more than 10 feet high.

  • Stupice tomatoes: Heavy producing plants grow really sweet tomatoes.  They don't get very big and aren't much to look at, but they taste great!  And are pretty resistant to blight.

Email me if you'd like to try any!

Haven't we had the mild winter this year?  I'm sure Dragontide will have a good bit to say on the subject later, but take a few minutes to consider these recent news stories:

Venice Canals Freeze as Europe Suffers Through Bitter Cold - the photos with this are incredible!

Entire Towns Devastated by Tornadoes This Week

Extreme Weather No Surprise & Is Hurting Developing Countries The Most

What else is on your mind today?


Discuss :: (7 Comments)

The "New Normal." USDA Revised Planting Map Shows A Warmer Climate

by: countrycat

Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 07:56:55 AM CST

Farmers' and home gardeners' jobs are about to get more difficult.  Most of us have relied on two main clues to decide when to plant in the spring: experience and the USDA planting zone map.  That second one has just been revised: thank you climate change

From the Washington Post notes that the USDA is being coy about drawing conclusions, but others are not:

“The map is not a good instrument for determining climate change,” said Kim Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. “It’s not that there hasn’t been global climate change it’s that the map isn’t a good (vehicle) for demonstrating it.”

USDA’s line of reasoning in perplexing. Climate data are used in USDA’s analysis and the northward jog in planting zones is fully consistent with other data and indicators that establish warming of the coldest temperatures in the U.S.
(and most locations globally).
Seth Borenstein spoke with David Wolfe, a professor of plant and soil ecology at Cornell, who agreed USDA is being “too cautious” in laying off the climate change connection.

“At a time when the ‘normal’ climate has become a moving target, this revision of the hardiness zone map gives us a clear picture of the ‘new normal,’” Wolfe said.

The Washington Post has a cool interactive map - it's impossible to include here, but go to the site - that compares the old map to the new one.  It clearly shows differences in Alabama and other states.

Now, at first glance, you might wonder why this is a big deal.  A longer growing season means more food, right? 

No.  Because there are a LOT more variables involved: rainfall, heat, plant disease, and insect infestations:

  • Rain:  The hotter is it, the more rain you need - or maybe an expensive irrigation system.  The Texas Drought Project has information about what happens during wide scale droughts.  People have begun to speculate that the situation in Texas isn't in fact a "drought," but creeping desertification. 
  • Heat: Warmer isn't necessarily better.  Yes, earlier planting means we can get those tomatoes & cucumbers in the ground, but it also tends to portend a long, hot summer. Some plants can't withstand it.
  • Disease: A lot of disease problems in the South come from hot, muggy weather that encourages fungal infections.  A little more heat and less moisture helps with that - however, too much heat and drought stresses plants and makes them more susceptible to other problems.
  • Pests: Good, long cold snaps in the winter do more than drive up our heating bills: they kill insects burrowed down in the soil.  Warm winters often lead to armies of voracious squash bugs, Japanese beetles, and other pests in the summer garden.

A longer growing season doesn't necessarily mean more food.  It could mean less.  It could mean that your favorite type of tomato or melon are no longer suited to your area. 

It could mean a lot of things and the longer we keep denying the reality of what is happening, the harder it will be to adapt and deal with new realities.  We can't wish climate change away and we probably can't stop it.  But we have got to start seriously trying to slow it and develop strategies to adapt to it.

Everyone.  Even home gardeners.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

This Is Why Republicans Hate Science

by: mooncat

Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 11:00:00 AM CST

New Republican Data Shows No Need For Voter ID Laws

The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in an attempt to discredit a NAACP report this week on the lack of voter fraud evidence has bolstered the view that there is no need for voter ID laws, imposed by many states. ...

Viewing the data for the period 2000-2010, the report by its own account shows there is no link between voter fraud in states and the need for stricter voter ID laws. 

OOPS.  So if Republicans conclude there's no evidence of massive voter fraud they're always fearmongering about, will they now admit those Voter ID laws are really aimed at something else ... like suppressing Democratic voters?

Links: RNLA data and NAACP report.

Republicans also shot themselves in the foot with data when rightwingers -- including the Kochs -- funded a two year project, headed by a prominent climate change denier, intended to prove mainstream climate scientists are wrong.  Instead, their tame scientist was forced to report that scientific data shows just the opposite, that global temperatures are rising rapidly.

Data is a bitch, especially when you live by lying to people.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)


by: mooncat

Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:20:26 AM CST

It snowed for a while at my north Alabama home this morning.  Didn't stick to much of anything -- sorry, no pictures -- but I believe this is the earliest snow in my memory.  Another sign the old weather rules are right out the window?
Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Republicans and Science

by: mooncat

Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:18:10 AM CDT

Galileo GalileiRick Perry summed up the Republican attitude toward science pretty well last night:

The science is not settled on this.  The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense.  Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell.

Rick Perry is apparently as ignorant of history as he is of climate science. 

Galileo was vindicated by history ... votes or not, Inquisition of not, and the fact that he was "outvoted for a while" did not change the fact that the Earth is not the center of the universe.  His astronomical observations had convinced him that Nicholaus Copernicus was correct and statements like this got him called up before the Inquisition:  

I hold that the Sun is located at the centre of the revolutions of the heavenly orbs and does not change place, and that the Earth rotates on itself and moves around it. Moreover ... I confirm this view not only by refuting Ptolemy's and Aristotle's arguments, but also by producing many for the other side, especially some pertaining to physical effects whose causes perhaps cannot be determined in any other way, and other astronomical discoveries; these discoveries clearly confute the Ptolemaic system, and they agree admirably with this other position and confirm it.

The Earth does move.  That was an inconvenient truth to 17th century conservatives.  Threat of execution did shut Galileo Galilei up -- Giordano Bruno had been tortured and burned at the stake in 1600 for agreeing with Copernican theory -- but did not change the essential truth of his scientific observations.  

Today, the neanderthals of the Republican party continue to deny scientific observations that contradict their preferred worldview.  I'm surprised they haven't threatened to burn climate scientists at the stake for heresy.

History has shown that Galileo (like Copernicus and Bruno) was right about the Earth's motion.  History will also show that Rick Perry and the Republicans are dead wrong about climate change.  Facts are facts; you don't get to vote on them.

Discuss :: (10 Comments)

Rick Perry Found a Grain of Truth

by: mooncat

Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 21:36:47 PM CDT

Climate ChangeEven a blind hog finds an acorn now and then and Rick Perry has turned up a grain of truth regarding climate scientists.  Unfortunately, it's not the one he's trying to get you to believe. 

Yesterday Rick Perry claimed that global warming is an unproven theory pushed by greedy, unscrupulous scientists and said he wouldn't spend government money working to mitigate its effects.

The Texas governor was appearing at a New Hampshire breakfast event with business leaders Wednesday morning when he said "there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects." 

I actually agree with Perry that some climate scientists are putting grant money and ideology ahead of true scientific method when it comes to global climate change.  Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Energy in general are funding a hell of a lot of anti-global warming research, not to mention the tame taxpayer-funded scientists being coddled by right-wing politicians.  And the scientists taking those research dollars know which side their bread is buttered on, as my Daddy used to say.

Yes, Perry is correct that some climate scientists may be manipulating data (or at least conclusions) to keep dollars rolling into their projects.  But contrary to Rick Perry's assertion, it's the climate change deniers bending over backwards to produce conclusions that please their masters, not the scientists and researchers who are legitimately sounding an alarm about the potentially devastating changes already going on.

Didn't somebody famous say that the best lies always contain a grain of truth?  

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Beat The Heat With Rush Limbaugh - Open Thread & Laugh Edition

by: countrycat

Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:00:00 AM CDT

As much of the United States swelters in a heat wave not seen since the Depression-era Dust Bowl, reality-challenged radio host Rush Limbaugh has identified the problem: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!

Cue the scary music.....

They’re playing games with us on this heat wave, again. Even Drudge. Drudge getting sucked in here. Going to be 116 in Washington. No, it’s not. It’s gonna be like 100, maybe 99. A heat index, manufactured by the government to tell you what it feels like when you add the humidity in there.

We have this every year,” Rush claimed, after arguing that former vice president Al Gore could cancel the heat wave by scheduling a “global warming conference."

Yes, campers... when someone remarks "it's not the heat; it's the humidity," well you need to understand  that they're part of a conspiracy. "Heat index" is a code word for "big government global warming conspiracy theory!"   Who would have thought?  I've been hearing that aphorism and the phrase "heat index" for decades.  LONG before Al Gore wrote "Earth in the Balance."  Darn... these scientists are organized.

Leave it to Rush Limbaugh to connect the dots between the National Weather Service and global conspiracy.  Amazing what you can come up with when you opt out of the "reality based community," isn't it?

Please use this as an open thread on this humid Friday!  Mooncat is on vacation and Daddycat and I are trying to get our new "chicken palace" built.  We're out sweltering in the heat today, but thrilled to know that both the "humidity" and "heat index" numbers are nothing but a figment of our liberal imagination.

What's on your mind today?  Is it hot enough for you?


Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Dear Eric Cantor.... What if your district gets leveled?

by: countrycat

Tue May 24, 2011 at 17:52:52 PM CDT

GOP majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Jerk), is so worried about the deficit that he's pledging to block tornado relief funds for Joplin, MO unless he gets unspecified "spending cuts."

Now, a person with say, a HEART, (which leaves out Dick Cheney, of course), might consider the oil company tax breaks that the GOP overwhelmingly voted to leave in place.  Or maybe the tax cuts for the wealthy that Cantor is willing to go to the mat to protect because "that's different."  Here's Cantor on that subject LAST YEAR when he defended the Bush tax cuts extension:

GUTHRIE: I just was wondering if you had any dispute with the notion that it [extending Bush tax cuts for wealthy] does exacerbate the deficit picture?

CANTOR: Well, what I said in the beginning is, if you have less revenues coming in to the federal government, and more expenditures, what does that add up to? Certainly you are going to dig the hole deeper, but you also have to understand if the priority is to get people back to work, is to start growing this economy again, you don’t want to make it more expensive for job creators.

Here you go, Eric.  Take a look at this photo of the Joplin, MO hospital.  

Now: explain to these people why handing Thurston Howell, III money for a new yacht is more important than rebuilding their community.

Hang on kids: Cantor & the GOP have more than disaster relief in their sights.  The National Weather Service is also on his chopping block:

Meanwhile, as Climate Progress reports, the government’s tornado forecasting service faces cuts in the GOP Congress, including cuts to NOAA weather satellite that “could halve the accuracy of precipitation forecasts.” Accurate and early forecasting is tremendously important, as “tornado deaths in the United States have gone from 8 per 1 million people in 1925 to 0.11 per 1 million people today — a trend largely attributed to early-warning systems fed by advanced meteorology and the introduction of Doppler radar.”

As I write this, a "massive dangerous tornado" is on the ground in suburban Oklahoma and one appears headed for Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma.  There are also warnings in Virginia.

Wonder what Cantor will say if the debris is in his home district?


Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Joplin, Missouri Gets the "Tuscaloosa Treatment" - & More Storms Expected Today

by: countrycat

Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:07:31 AM CDT

Many of us woke up this morning to depressingly familiar scenes of devastation. This time they're from Joplin, Missouri where a huge tornado devastated large parts of the city - including the main hospital - and killed at least 89 people.

This photos shows what remains of the hospital and what looks to be the MedFlight helicopter.Joplin, MS hospital

And there's still danger.  At this point, another dangerous storm is approaching the town with severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, and hail.  No tornados yet, thankfully.

Keep the people there in your thoughts because, in some parts of the city, there is literally no place to take shelter.

News coverage here:

Washington Post

Minneapolis was also hit by several tornadoes

and the storms just keep coming..... 

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

After Killing bin Laden, Can Obama Kill Our Oil Addiction?

by: mooncat

Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:37:11 AM CDT

Osama's Gone, Is Oil Next?Osama bin Laden was killed on May 1st.  The next day Glenn Hurowitz, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy, suggested:

Now that we’ve killed Osama bin Laden, let’s kill oil

A couple of days later Bill Richardson, a man who understands that political capital has a shelf-life, told Politico:

“My hope is that from this success in the foreign policy arena two days ago, that he will be emboldened to take once again to the Congress legislation — not just to increase a renewable energy standard — but climate change legislation that this country and the world need ...”

“We can sit back and say, ‘Well we’ll wait until the next election, wait until the political climate is better.’ You know if we do that, we’re doomed — if we don’t take action right away.”

Today, President Obama used his weekly address -- this one from an Allison Transmissions plant in Indianapolis -- to send a message that clean energy is the way for America to out-compete and out-innovate the rest of the world.

... over the long term, the only way we can avoid being held hostage to the ups and downs of oil prices is if we reduce our dependence on oil.  That means investing in clean, alternative sources of energy, like advanced biofuels and natural gas.  And that means making cars and trucks and buses that use less oil.

Other countries know this, and they’re going all in to invest in clean energy technologies and clean energy jobs.  But I don’t want other countries to win the competition for these technologies and these jobs.  I want America to win that competition.  I want America to win the future.

Osama is dead.  That monkey is off our backs.  Let's start setting our own agenda for America's future. Kill oil, too, Mr. President!

Complete transcript of the President's remarks below the fold.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 769 words in story)

The Cost of Doing Nothing To Mitigate Climate Change

by: mooncat

Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:36:37 AM CDT

Failure to mitigate the effects of climate change could cost Alabama $29 Billion in GDP and 246,000 jobs by 2050.

Source, American Security Project's Pay Now, Pay Later study (pdf).  Kudos to OsborneInk for the link.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Stop Worrying About Climate Change

by: mooncat

Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 08:29:26 AM CST

John Shimkus, the man who may be the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has no worries about climate change because after Noah's flood God promised not to destroy the world again. 

Hat tip Juan Cole, who says:

About half the newly elected Congressmen are climate deniers (and if past experience is any guide, about a third of them are criminals).

You know how climate change deniers are always saying that in past geological ages carbon dioxide reached 1000 parts per million or more in the atmosphere, with no dramatic effect on the world’s temperatures? Yeah, just an increase of 2.5 to 5 degrees.

... Here is a global warming impact map for North America.

Electing science deniers who lack critical thinking skills (or refuse to use them) is going to have really bad consequences.  Putting them in leadership slots will hurry things along.

Discuss :: (21 Comments)
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