Showing posts with label Climate Change Damage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Change Damage. Show all posts

January 4, 2019

New Congress and Republicans New Hell and... The Solar Vortex is About to Split in 3 Pieces


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Abby Finkenauer, and Sharice Davids pose for a picture at the U.S. Capitol.
 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), and Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A job posting by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee says it all about the party's new reality beginning today. The committee is seeking an Investigative Counsel — "an attorney with several years of investigative or litigation experience," according to the listing on Tom Manatos Jobs, a popular Capitol Hill jobs board.

Between the lines: "Litigation experience" is at least partly in anticipation of the possibility of impeachment proceedings, a Hill source tells me.
Why it matters: After controlling the entire government for two years, Republicans on the Hill and in the White House are assuming a defensive crouch, with incoming House Democratic chairs vowing aggressive investigations.
First look ... Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who today goes from majority leader to minority leader, will say in remarks during today's gavel-handover session:
"As Ronald Reagan advised us, America is too great for small dreams. When we work together, we succeed together. We are now entering a period of divided government, but that is no excuse for gridlock and inaction. We are at our best when we focus not on retribution but on building a more perfect union."
By AXIOS
Go deeper: Republicans secretly study their coming hell

"Today," co-anchor Savannah Guthrie asks Nancy Pelosi, who will become House speaker at around 1:30 pm Thursday: "Do you believe the special counsel should honor and observe the Department of Justice guidance that states a sitting president cannot be indicted?"
The big picture: Pelosi replied, according to an excerpt from NBC: "I do not think that that is conclusive. No, I do not." With that response, she becomes the highest-ranking official to suggest President Trump could be indicted while in office.
The best time to discover the truth is following the road idiots take to discover their truth and taking the other:  
Axios.com
The polar vortex is about to split into 3 pieces
Computer model projection of 10 mb geopotential heights (dam; contours) and temperature anomalies (°C; shading) across the Northern Hemisphere.

Scientists are seeing signs that global weather patterns toward the latter half of January and into February may shift significantly to usher in severe winter weather for parts of the U.S. and Europe.

How it works: The possible changes are being triggered by a sudden and drastic warming of the air in the stratosphere, some 100,000 feet above the Arctic, and by a resulting disruption of the polar vortex — an area of low pressure at high altitudes near the pole that, when disrupted, can wobble like a spinning top and send cold air to the south. In this case, it could split into three pieces, and those pieces would determine who gets hit the hardest. 
The big picture: Studies show that what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic, and rapid Arctic warming may paradoxically be leading to more frequent cold weather outbreaks in Europe, Asia, and North America, particularly later in the winter. 
During the past 2 weeks, a sudden stratospheric warming event has taken place, showing up first in the Siberian Arctic, and then spreading over the North Pole. 
Such events occur when large atmospheric waves surge beyond the troposphere and into the layer of air above it. Such a vertical transport of energy can rapidly warm the stratosphere, and set in motion a chain reaction that disrupts the stratospheric polar vortex.
Sudden stratospheric warming events are known to affect the weather in the U.S. and Europe on a time delay — typically on the order of a week to several weeks later, and their effects may persist for more than a month.
"In general, we see colder than normal temperatures over much of the U.S. and Europe/Northern Asia, and warmer than normal temperatures over Greenland and subtropical Africa/Asia" in the 60 days following sudden stratospheric warming events, Amy Butler, a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, told Axios in an email.

What's next: Polar vortex projections show it's likely to split into possibly as many as 3 "sister vortices," spilling cold air out of the Arctic and concentrating it in spots across Eurasia and North America.

In the past, polar vortex splits have been associated with major snowstorms, including 2010, when the Mid-Atlantic region was buried by blizzards.
A sudden stratospheric warming event and polar vortex disruption were associated with several March snowstorms in the Northeast last winter, as well as the "Beast from the East" cold spell in Europe.
Such events can have major ramifications for energy markets, leading to natural gas price spikes, for example.
What they're saying: “Arctic change has increased the frequency of these polar vortex disruption events and following these polar vortex disruption events you get more severe winter weather," says Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at AER, a Verisk company, who studies the connections between Arctic climate change and altered weather patterns. 
Cohen and Michael Ventrice, a meteorologist at The Weather Company, told Axios that there are increasing signs of high pressure forming over the North Atlantic near Greenland as well as close to the North Pole in late January, which can block the progress of weather systems moving from west to east.
Such blocking patterns may be a manifestation of the polar vortex disruption and favor colder and stormier weather in the eastern U.S. and parts of Europe.
“Eventually we do think this blocking will set up,” Ventrice said. “I would not give up on winter.”

November 6, 2018

In Florida Even The GOP Candidates Have to Talk About Climate Change



'Go ahead say it does not happen until it hits where you live in a way you have          never seen' 馃
Zahra Hirji                                     Image result for florida coastline climate change                                                          
A Florida beach closed due to red tide.
Climate change has largely taken a backseat for the midterm elections — except in Florida, where even Republican candidates have been forced to take surprisingly aggressive stances on saving the vulnerable coastline.
Take its high-profile Senate race. Sen. Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, and Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican challenger, are attacking each other for not doing enough about an environmental scourge that’s hurting beachfront business: toxic algae.
And in the race for a South Florida House seat, a new attack ad funded by national Republicans — yes, Republicans — alleges that Democratic candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell isn’t doing enough on climate change and that her campaign is being funded by “dirty coal money.” She’s running against incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo, one of the few House Republicans that have vocally supported solutions to climate change, such as a carbon tax.
Every year, people debate whether environmental issues actually matter in elections. Climate change has “become more polarized than abortion” as a voting issue, Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, told BuzzFeed News. “I think many Democratic candidates are still afraid to talk about it.”
But in Florida in 2018, there’s no debate: Hurricanes, rising seas, and algal blooms are influencing voters.
This year brought Hurricane Michael, one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall in the Florida Panhandle, which took out entire communities. Last year was Irma, which spiraled up the state’s western coast and was the fifth most expensive storm in US history. In Miami, sea levels have risen at least five inches in recent decades, increasing flooding during high tides. According to one study, southeast Florida could see between 28 and 58 inches of sea rise by 2100.  
And then there are the toxic algae, of two gross types: a blue-green slime that sits on top of lakes and rivers, and the “red tide” algal blooms that turn ocean waters red or brown. The latest episode of red tide, worsened by warming waters and pollution, has lasted about a year and plagued beaches on both of Florida’s coasts, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency in several counties. Hundreds of people have gone to the emergency room, hundreds of manatees, dolphins, and sea turtles have died, and thousands of pounds of fish. Beaches have been forced to close, badly damaging the state’s tourism industry, and the clean-up will cost the state more than a million dollars.
The lingering visuals of dead fish and muddied oceans have made people care about the environment, Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political science professor emeritus, told BuzzFeed News. “Floridians got it,” she said. “It definitely crossed party lines.”  
Both Democratic and Republican campaigns told BuzzFeed News that Florida voters are bringing up these issues. So in response, the candidates are talking about it.
They talk about it differently, though. Republicans will talk about resiliency and, occasionally, about rising seas (especially if they’re in Miami). But most of the time, they stay focused tightly on the way environmental disaster impacts local business, infrastructure, and tourism — and not the underlying cause. Democrats, meanwhile, are far more likely to link climate change to hurricanes and red tide, use it to push for renewable energy, and describe it as an urgent, even existential problem.
“Climate change is huge here because it’s life or death for us,” Donna Shalala, Democratic candidate for Congress in Florida’s 27th District in the Miami area, told BuzzFeed News. “If we don’t build sea walls and pumps and raise streets, if we don’t see the environment, see our country make a major effort to reduce carbon, we don’t have a chance down here.”
Green algae bloom at Lake Okeechobee.
In the neck-and-neck Senate race, Nelson and Scott have both boasted of their environmental credentials, and repeatedly pointed fingers at each other for not doing enough to respond to the algae.
Last week, for example, Scott tweeted: “While Senator Nelson has spent years talking about red tide in Washington without achieving any results, Governor Scott has been taking action to try to fix this problem that has plagued our communities for centuries.” Scott later announced from the Everglades that he’s directing $3.5 million to restore the wetlands, where runoff from the region has contributed to runaway algal blooms.
Instead of “finger-pointing” like Nelson, Scott is helping communities by funding the algal response and supporting research in mitigating future impacts, Lauren Schenone, a spokesperson for Scott’s campaign, told BuzzFeed News in an email. “That’s because Governor Scott doesn’t just talk — he fights for solutions.”
Nelson’s campaign, meanwhile, says the senator has fought for federal water funding but the real responsibility to clean up Florida’s waters falls to the state, and Scott has been failing on the job. “Rick Scott caused the green-algae mess and resulting red tide by systematically gutting environmental protections and stacking regulatory boards with his cronies and contributors,” Dan McLaughlin, a Nelson campaign spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News by email.
Environmentalists are rallying behind Nelson, and launching their own attacks on Scott’s environmental record. The League of Conservation Voters and the Environmental Defense Fund spent a combined $2.25 million on a TV ad this month that starts: “Florida is being battered by red tide, but Rick Scott still won’t take responsibility.” Activists also started a campaign calling the governor “Red Tide Rick.”
Local businesses impacted by red tide keeping people away from the beaches are closely watching what candidates say about how they will protect the environment.
“This year was a pretty big wake-up call for the businesses here on the east and west coast of Florida,” Daniel Andrews, executive director of the nonpartisan nonprofit Captains for Clean Water, told BuzzFeed News. “We’ve never seen red tide to this magnitude.”
Andrews, who declined to talk about specific campaigns, is pleased the issue has gotten air time in the elections. “It’s good,” he said, “The politicians are ultimately the ones that have to fix it.”
Republican Ron DeSantis, on the left, and Democrat Andrew Gillum, on the right.
Environmental issues have also cropped up in the bitter fight to be Florida’s next governor. Republican candidate Ron DeSantis, an Iraq veteran and close Trump ally, is pitted against Democrat Andrew Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee and a progressive who’s called for Trump’s impeachment.
Both candidates have said they would do more to protect water quality if elected to office. DeSantis, who is backed by conservative environmental group Everglades Trust, has vowed to curb discharges into waterways that feed algal blooms, respond to the threat of rising seas, and ban offshore drilling.
When asked about climate change in a mid-October debate, DeSantis said: “I don’t want to be an alarmist. I want to look at this and do what makes sense for Florida.
“So for example, for the people of northwest Florida” — meaning those hit by Hurricane Michael’s historic Category 4 landfall last month — “I will be there for you.”
Gillum, meanwhile, is framing his environmental policies as opposed to those from the current governor, Scott, who reportedly banned officials from using the word “climate change.” If and when voters choose Gillum, he said in a recent debate, “they will have a governor that believes in science — which we haven’t had for quite some time in this state.” Gillum has criticized Trump’s pledge to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord and called for making Florida a leader in solar energy. He’s also advocated to restore the Everglades, linked hurricanes to climate change, and pledged to ban offshore drilling. He has received millions in funding from the green billionaire Tom Steyer, and has been endorsed by the Sierra Club and Florida Conservation Voters.
“The governor’s race generated a lot more interest among younger people” who care deeply about the environment, said MacManus of USF.
The most well-known Florida Republican to talk climate change is Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who is running for reelection in Florida’s 26th District in the Miami area. In Congress, Curbelo has proposed climate legislation and co-founded the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.
“He’s going out there campaigning on it,” Yale’s Leiserowitz said. “To not talk about it would be a problem.”
In a twist, the National Republican Congressional Committee funded a startling attack ad on Curbelo’s competition, Mucarsel-Powell, that paints her as anti-climate and claims her campaign has accepted coal money. The NRCC did not respond to a request for comment, but the ad seems to be referring to money from climate activist Steyer, who years ago invested in hedge funds linked to coal, drawing criticism.
Hitting back, Mucarsel-Powell’s campaign responded by rattling off a list of oil and gas donations to Curbelo, and calling out his vote last year to allow oil drilling in the Arctic.
 BuzzFeed News reporter Alexis Levinson contributed to this story.

September 15, 2018

Trump Denies PR Death Toll Certified by Two Universities Ignoring The Pain He Is Causing to The Families


Not that Trump would care for someelse's pain but still we have to point it out and not let his lies take over the communications waves.

 Shoes of Victims protest

Puerto Rico's governor responded to President Trump's claim that nearly 3,000 people "did not die in the two hurricanes" that hit the island last year, and he's urging people not to politicize the recovery process. "Neither the people of Puerto Rico nor the victims deserve their pain to be questioned," Gov. Ricardo Rossell贸 told CBS News. 
Mr. Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to dispute the official death toll in the wake of Hurricane Maria, writing: "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000 ..."


3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000...
 In another tweet, Mr. Trump claimed the higher count was "done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico." 
In fact, the number of deaths comes from an independent analysis by researchers at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health, which was commissioned and accepted by the governor of Puerto Rico. It found around 2,975 more deaths than normal occurred in Puerto Rico from September 2017, when hurricanes Irma and Maria hit, to February 2018.
"We went through a rigorous scientific process, we externalized the investigation so that it was an independent investigation," Rossell贸 said.
The government initially reported just 64 deaths resulting from the hurricane. But that number only took into account deaths directly attributed to causes like flying debris, floods and drownings — not the increase in mortality from other causes related to the storm and conditions in its aftermath. Rossell贸 says it was always clear the smaller tally was incomplete.
"If you listen to all of our communications, mine in particular, every time we spoke about the death toll numbers in the early going after the storm, we always knew that that number was going to be much higher. We just needed to have a real, better mechanism for identifying," Rossell贸 said.
Mr. Trump's latest comments come just days after he said the federal response to Maria was "an incredible, unsung success." 
Rossell贸 said Puerto Rico is still in recovery, and now isn't the time to politicize the storm.
"We are U.S. citizens. The federal government needs to do right by our U.S. citizens and so far as I've stated in the past, we've had good relationships, we've had good results in some parts and bad results on some parts. Now our job as leaders is not to fuss over it or to fight. Our job is to identify what is done well and keep on doing it and what was done wrong, mitigate it and do it better moving towards the future," Rossell贸 said.
The governor also said this points to a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
"After the storm, it is evident that the treatment that was given say Florida or Texas was very different than the treatment given in Puerto Rico," he said. "We are second-class U.S. citizens, we live in a colonial territory, it is time to eliminate that and I implore all the elected officials, particularly now in midterm elections, to have a firm stance. You're either for colonial territories or against them. You're either for giving equal rights to the U.S. citizens that live in Puerto Rico or you're against it."
This all comes as the federal government prepares to deal with Hurricane Florence. The hurricane has prompted storm watches or warnings for more than 10 million people, as well as evacuations for coastal communities in North and South Carolina and Virginia. Florence is expected to push up to 13 feet of storm surge and dump as much as 40 inches of rain over seven days.

March 29, 2017

Coal (Becoming Human Obsolete Industry) Just Got A Big Gift from Trump






 President Trump’s rollback of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan this week will give a boost to one small but well-connected contingent: the coal industry, which contributed heavily to Trump’s campaign in hopes of reviving its sagging fortunes.

The coal industry has shrunk considerably since 2008. Total U.S. coal production is down by one-quarter, according to the Energy Information Administration, due to low-cost natural gas. But coal companies also blame President Obama’s climate regulations, so the industry concentrated its political giving in 2016 even more heavily than usual on Republicans. Of the $13.7 million donated by companies and their executives, just 3 percent went to Democrats, down from 9 percent in 2012. Coal company executives gave $240,000 to Donald Trump’s campaign, compared to just $2,819 to Hillary Clinton.

Ohio-based Murray Energy — the largest coal company in the U.S. — gave its biggest political donations ever: $250,000 to the Cleveland Host Committee, which helped fund the Republican National Convention; $200,000 to pro-Trump super PAC Rebuilding America Now; and $100,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, the joint fundraising arm of the Trump campaign and the RNC. The company gave nothing to Democrats. Joe Craft, CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, the third-largest producer of coal in the East, was similarly generous, with almost $2 million in donations to pro-Trump super PACs.

In return, the coal industry got two things it has been wanting: rolled-back emissions limits on coal-fired power plants and reopening coal mining on public lands with low-cost leases. Those industry priorities were addressed in two policies Trump announced Tuesday: repealing the Clean Power Plan, which would have regulated carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, and lifting the year-old moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land. Murray Energy CEO Bob Massey called the Clean Power Plan “an illegal rulemaking which will be devastating to all Americans.” His company sued to block the rules in court. (Alliance did not respond to a query from VICE News and Murray declined to comment.)

Environmentalists and corporate accountability activists had argued that the coal leasing timeout, initiated last year, was long overdue, but Western coal companies that extract mainly from federal land were unhappy with it. The federal government charges far below market rates for coal extraction leases. It also didn’t factor in the cost of climate change. Using the government’s own estimates for those costs, Greenpeace calculated in 2014 that coal leases had already cost the public between $52 billion and $530 billion during the Obama administration. “It’s welfare for coal,” says Diana Best, Greenpeace’s senior climate and energy campaigner. Environmental groups had sued the administration to force a reevaluation of the coal leasing program.

Coal industry representatives argue coal has been unfairly targeted by regulations that produce small reductions in global carbon emissions at great cost to their businesses. With Hillary Clinton pledging on the campaign trail to continue Obama’s environmental agenda, some might say coal had no choice but to back her opponent.


“For the first time in eight-plus years we now have a president who is trying to revive the industry instead of destroy it,” wrote Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, the coal industry’s trade group, in an email to VICE News. “With a regulatory re-set, the president can undo some of the damage his predecessor has done with policies designed to retire coal capacity and slow or stop coal production.”

Tuesday’s executive orders are just some of Trump’s pro-coal policies. In February, Trump signed a bill repealing the EPA’s Stream Protection Rule, which would have stopped coal companies from dumping strip mining detritus in waterways. He is expected to name coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, a former aide to climate-science denier Sen. James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, as the second-ranking official at EPA. And Trump’s pledge to conduct a review of other Obama-era regulations of coal products such as smog and coal ash may result in more favors to the industry.

Despite Trump’s talk of bringing back coal jobs, his executive orders are unlikely to do more than temporarily pad the profit margins of coal companies. Coal has been declining for years, having gone from about half of the U.S.’s electricity production a decade ago to one-third today, according to the EIA. (The Clean Power rule was finalized in 2015, and it hasn’t taken effect yet.)

The industry has been hammered by increasing price competition from cleaner sources such as natural gas, wind, and solar. Even a temporary respite for the industry would barely bring back any coal jobs, because most have been lost to automation.

“You’re talking about, at best, a very, very trivial number of jobs,” says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think tank. “This is a case where the automation story is true. Strip mining has replaced underground mining, and it takes far fewer people to operate a machine than to shovel coal out by hand.”

But “good government” activists say there’s definitely a connection between Trump’s coal industry fundraising and his positions. “The first thing in raising money from a special interest group is convincing them that you’re going to be their champion,” says Tyson Slocum, director of the Clean Energy program at Public Citizen. “If you are not producing, you will be defunded.”

The Trump administration did not respond to a request for comment about the connection between the Clean Power Plan repeal and coal industry donations, directing VICE News to join a press briefing where a White House official said that the purpose of repealing the Clean Power rule is “getting EPA back to its core mission,” which implicitly does not include combatting climate change.

And nothing is better for coal than ignoring climate change.

By  
VICE

November 16, 2016

Millions of Dead Fish Found Floating on Open Water


This is also called Climate change which makes the water warmer. If you don’t believe in Climate change but believe in any type of religion in which you don’t see but take by hear say Vs. Climate Change which you see every day in an incremental fashion, then you most the related to the dying fish.
adamfoxie

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