Showing posts with label Weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weather. Show all posts

November 5, 2012

Bad News for New York


New York, my dear town I have bad news for you.  You have survived so much and you always stood you ground.  So much so that your sons, daughters and adopted children have become like you. Hard and at times looking unfriendly, but with a heart made of gold. Once you approach them, they are like you.  Full of wonder and love for all. I used to watch  the snow and the wind from  my apartment window as a kid.  In wonder how those glass windows would tolerate such turbulence and not break.
 
My dear New York, for reasons that some argue, you have been born in a place that is not conducive to the weather patterns that we are now having. You see New York, The sea, ocean and rivers don’t want to stay in their beds.  They have become agitated and are pacing in a way even our computers can’t predict.  Feeling warm and bothered they want to run away.
This means my dear New York City that we most think differently than we have before. We most now solved the problem of keeping the rivers in its place and not allow them to swallow us. At least nature has given us warning. This is happening now. 

What do we need? Just like we built tunnels and buildings that seem to touch the sky, we most built higher, live at higher ground and put a barrier from the water and us.  Yes we love the water, but the water only tolerate us. 
Let the water know it’s place. Lets built strong and high, even if we have to borrow elevators from the Empire State Building to take a peek at the water that would drawn us and if not us, our sons and daughters.

How are you taking the bad news New York? Im sure you are saying “ if it is, it is. Just don’t expected it in a New York minute.
Adam Gonzalez, for adamfoxie*blog Int.

November 3, 2012

North America Has The Most Evident Natural Disasters in The World

by PATRICK COCKBURN       
The United States has a failing that has an immense impact on the lives of Americans, but there is nothing they can do to change it. The fault is geological, not political or social, and would take hundreds of millions of years of drastic tectonic readjustment to put right.
The problem is that the country's mountain ranges run north-south. What the US needs is an east-west mountain chain, an American version of the Alps or the Hindu Kush. Hurricane Sandy, affected by the more than usually warm air in the western Atlantic, might not have been stopped by this. But, more generally, it is the absence of an east-west mountain range that exposes the US to the hazardous weather which does so much damage.
I have usually found that the most accurate information about any actual or potential disaster comes not from the media, but from insurance companies. These need, and are in a position to collect for their own purposes, detailed and immediate information about the extent of their risk before, during and after some cataclysm. The lament about the unfortunate lack of east-west mountains across the US comes not from some overimaginative geologist or climatologist, but from Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurance company. Just two weeks before Sandy it published a fascinating study called Severe Weather in North America, saying that the area was already being hit by extreme weather events, possibly because of global warming, and predicts that this trend will get worse.
"Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America," says Munich Re, basing its conclusions on its unrivalled database on natural catastrophes. "The weather shows a nearly quintupled number of weather-related loss events in North America for the past three decades, compared with an increased factor of four in Asia, 2.5 in Africa, two in Europe and 1.5 in South America." It suggests that the most likely explanation for this is climate change leading to an increase in heatwaves, droughts, heavy precipitation and probably, in the long term, the intensity of tropical cyclones.
It is not that the American media does not copiously report natural disasters; if anything, it concentrates too much on them. Normal snowstorms receive the same high-decibel reportage as true cataclysms before they occur or, in some cases, do not occur. On calm days, reporters pound viewers with hysterical prophecies of some impending climatic disaster that often fails to materialise.
By repeatedly crying wolf, news channels complicate life for those in the path of a storm who really need to know what is happening. After Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, people in Louisiana were berated by politicians and opinion-formers for ignoring warnings and not getting out in time before the levees broke. Not mentioned was the fact that the storm victims who failed to flee had previously been repeatedly subjected to unfulfilled apocalyptic warnings. No wonder politicians become privately cynical about such exaggerations, disastrously wrong-footing themselves as heartless and incompetent when, as with Katrina, or Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992, the forewarnings turned out for once to be all too true.
This was never going to happen with Sandy since it was heading for New York, the world's greatest media centre. This is in sharp contrast to Andrew, which made landfall south of Miami but mostly destroyed the plywood homes in towns of migrant workers such as Homestead. The media discovered that such a place existed only when it was destroyed.
Even with real disasters such as Sandy, television gives a distorted picture because the cameras focus on the most smashed-up neighbourhoods and ignore everything else. The rhetoric of disaster is so overplayed for minor events that there is nothing left for real catastrophes such as the one that hit New York and New Jersey last week.
No modern city can function long without electricity. No power means that fresh water cannot be pumped and lavatories stop working. People often buy extra food and store it in their fridges and freezers. To people accustomed to continuous electricity supply this seems prudent, but when the electricity fails it turns out to be a very bad idea. I remember the stench hanging over Baghdad after the power stations were bombed in 1991, as people took meat out of their fridges and left it to rot beside the road. The binmen never came for it because they had run out of fuel.
Reliance on a continuous supply of electricity makes people acutely vulnerable. In New York, many people no longer have landlines. In the hotel I stayed in on the Bowery in southern Manhattan in September, there were no longer any phones in the rooms. But without electric power mobiles cannot be recharged.
As with Katrina, poor people in Brooklyn and elsewhere are being criticised for not taking refuge in allocated shelters. Anybody who has seen the US government operating in similar crises will understand their reservations. As in New York today, there is normally a hi-tech headquarters, but at ground level there is not a policeman or Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) representative to be seen.
Not much seems to have changed since Hurricane Andrew 20 years ago. At the time, I wandered around Homestead looking for 300 Fema officials who were said to be in the area. I eventually found two of them, both volunteers, who were working at a table helping Mexican farm labourers fill in a five-page form requesting aid. One of them said to me in frustration: "What we really need here is an armoured car full of money to give people.”

October 23, 2012

6 Seismologists Convicted Manslaughter Over Italian Earthquake

Aerial

 
Six Italian seismologists have been convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison for failing to adequately warn the city of L'Aquila in advance of an April 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people.
When the charges were brought against the Italian scientists back in 2010, they shocked the scientific world. Prosecutors claimed that the scientists, while serving on a government panel, minimized the potential risks of a potential quake in the region, and gave "incomplete, imprecise, and contradictory information" to the area's citizens, according toan in-depth report on the case last year in the scientific journal Nature.
Scientists have countered that there is no way to accurately predict earthquakes, and that the state is essentially putting science on trial. A letter signed by more than 5,000 scientists objecting to the charges was sent to the Italian government, but the trial went on nonetheless.
The earthquake came after months of small quakes shook the region, which is well known for a history of major earthquakes, including two that practically leveled the city in the 15th and 18th centuries. In response to the smaller temblors, a meeting was held in L'Aquila, made up of the six scientists and government officials. That meeting took place just days before the earthquake struck L'Aquila.
The scientists served on a government advisory board whose goal was to assess and communicate potential seismological risks to the country. According to the prosecutor in the case, the panel did not go far enough in explaining what would happen to the city if an earthquake did strike.
In particular, the scientists failed to detail how many buildings would be likely to collapse in the event of a major earthquake.
April 2009: Quake jolts L'Aquila, Italy
There may have been no charges leveled at the scientists at all if it were not for a press conference held after the meeting. According to Nature, during the press conference, the panel's non-scientist member, a government official who was also convicted of manslaughter, told the press and the public that the earthquakes the area had been feeling posed no threat, and went so far as to joke that everyone should relax and drink a nice glass of local red wine.
But even if the prosecution insists that the case is about a failure to communicate risk rather than a failure to predict earthquakes, it remains hard to see how the convictions will result in anything other than a stifling of future scientific communications in the country. Science -- and in particular seismology -- is all about probabilities, and almost nothing is ever certain. It's difficult to imagine howItaly will manage to recruit scientists to such panels in the future when being wrong once could mean heading to the slammer.
The scientists plan to appeal the decision.

February 5, 2012

Green Peace Brings Out The Rainbow Warrior Boat



Greenpeace’s new Rainbow Warrior III, the latest iteration of its eco-­activism battleship, sails from Chelsea Piers this Friday on a muscle-­flexing tour of the East Coast. The custom-built boat is a big upgrade to Greenpeace’s previous vessels, the first of which was a converted trawler sunk in 1985 by French secret-service agents. (Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, who tagged along on the maiden voyage in Europe, told the Telegraph, “This is not some hippie tugboat.”) The new Rainbow Warrior has cranes that can deploy smaller Zodiac boats within minutes, the better for buzzing whaling ships, but also space for conducting its own climate research. Aided by more than 100,000 in individual donations, Greenpeace raised $32 million to construct the ship, which arrives at a transformative moment for both the organization and the broader movement: The eco-­vigilantes are growing up, even as mainstream greens realize that more-confrontational tactics may be their best recourse. The result is an aggressive yet image-­conscious brand of environmentalism that pointedly fights for the planet without conceding the PR war.

Not so long ago, many environmentalists were content to install solar panels and purchase stock in green tech, trusting the Obama administration to pursue their agenda through domestic legislation and international treaties. But that was before cap-and-trade croaked and the Copenhagen conference flopped. As the fight over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline got heated last year, some activists were ready to try a less polite approach. One of those leading the shift was Middlebury professor and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, who’d drawn inspiration from the playbook of Martin Luther King Jr. while teaching a class on the civil-rights leader. “It got me thinking anew about how some of his tactics might play out in the environmental movement,” he says. In August, he organized a sit-in at the White House gates to protest Keystone XL, asking participants to come in a necktie or a dress. “We wanted very much to demonstrate that we weren’t radicals,” McKibben says, knowing that their chosen means might otherwise be viewed that way. At the close of two weeks, 1,253 protesters had been calmly handcuffed and temporarily jailed for trespassing. Their message was heard: On January 18, the president rejected the pipeline proposal, blocking the project, at least for now.

 “I imagine we’ll see much more nonviolent direct action,” says ­McKibben. But with his successful Keystone XL showdown providing a model, he says, “I don’t think it will look particularly extreme.” And this is where Greenpeace is meeting ­McKibben’s business-­casual demonstrators halfway, using its shiny new boat to soften its tempestuous reputation: The upcoming voyage of the Rainbow Warrior III will not be spent playing chicken with illegal tuna seiners but galvanizing public support for clean energy. “There is a profound worry about climate change,” says ­McKibben, “enough to cause people to do something very hard”—whether that’s getting arrested at the White House or opening wallets for Greenpeace’s boat.  




October 28, 2011

Snow Fall NYC and New England areas


102811_accuweather_snowstorm_map.jpg
As much as a foot of snow could be headed to New England this weekend, a frightening pre-Halloween thought for those not quite ready for winter.
AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowskiminced no words in an article he posted Friday afternoon:
A foot of heavy wet, back-breaking snow will plaster areas north and west of I-95 Saturday, causing massive power outages, downed trees and travel nightmares.
The National Weather Service on Friday declared a winter storm warning in effect for much of Western and central Massachusetts from 5 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Sunday.


August 30, 2011

Napolitano To Cantor: Back Off on Irene



Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

 

With Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) insisting that funding the recovery from Hurricane Irene be offset with spending cuts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that Congress should be focused on providing relief and not get caught up in political gridlock.
"That should not be the first concern of Congress, and I don't think it is. I think the first concern of Congress is whether we need to protect the safety and security of the people that we are all privileged to represent," Napolitano said at roundtable with journalists hosted by theChristian Science Monitor.
"Congress knows that this is historically the way disaster relief funding has been handled," Napolitano continued. "Appropriators have been kept informed on a regular basis about the status this year."
Napolitano cautioned against putting a figure on the cost of Irene, but said the government knows it will be pricey.
"We know that Irene is going to be a very expensive storm, that's just the plain fact of it," Napolitano said. "The assessments are now just being made.

August 28, 2011

Storm Irene Hits NYC-Live

Path of IreneThis is  the latest on the Tropical Storm Irene. just passing NYC. Currently we are experiencing winds up to 45mph with wind gusts of 70mph. As the storm passes the next step is the storm surge which will be hitting at high tide and it is expected the surge is going to be a problem for lower Manhattan and areas close to the sea water. From where Iam things do not look that bad, but Iam not at a location that I can see the water or much except wind and rain which comes in spurs. My opinion is based is comparing this storm to others I have been through and what I can see through my window and live weather reports.. Iam only speaking about NYC. I am aware of how bad it is in Long Island with winds of 75 MPH and the storm has not fully hit there yet, not for 2 more hours. The eye of the storm has not hit NYC yet as is passing NJ now. I would imagine that at South beach Staten Island and Coney Island Brooklyn most be a lot worse that at my position. The water I understand that is coming under the board walk into Father Capo. Blvd. Winds are hitting pretty hard on my windows of where Iam
As far as NYC is concern the storm is hitting with drastically less than expected. Still no piece of cake. So I would dare say at this point that NYC seems to be surviving the storm well It is now 0747 hrs.
It is still dangerous. 
Good morning, this is adamfoxie*

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