Friday, April 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton on Iraq, "I made a mistake" - Sorry, Hillary, no one deserves a mulligan after voting for the War On Iraq


Courtesy Scott Olson/Getty Images...
"I've been very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple..." - Iowa, October, 2015

Over the course of the 2016 campaign season, much has been made over the Iraq War vote in 2002 (H.J.Res. 114 (107th): Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002)

When questioned about the "Yes" vote now, as a presidential candidate, Clinton says, "I made a mistake, plain and simple..."








She wasn't the only senator to "make a mistake," by voting for regime change in a country that had not committed an act of aggression against the United States; That put nearly 5,000 American soldiers in the ground; That put tens of thousands of young men and women in the military, from our nation and other nations, into harms way, leaving them scarred and battered - many with life-long physical, psychological and moral injuries that will never, ever be resolved; That brought death and destruction to a nation of innocents to include the destruction of the entire infrastructure of water, electricity, gas, roads, buildings and basic human services, as well as poisoning of land, water and air that has had debilitating effects from Fallujah to India caused by depleted uranium, white phosphorus and a host of toxic chemicals and poisons left in our wake; That created the rise of ISIS and created the bed of anger and resentment that feeds the movement against this nation; AND that created the now assured perpetual war fought for no reason other than greed and imperialism.

She IS the only senator running for president under a banner of "progressive,"and claiming to be a "peace-broker"" that, not only put the War on Iraq in motion, helped secure civil war throughout northern Africa and the Middle East, and continued to support and assist in plans for regime change in Libya and Syria. (How's that working out for us, hmmm?)

Hillary "made a mistake"".... A mistake she should never have made...."

Hillary touts her history as Bill Clinton's 1st lady; all the big political contacts she has; and her friends to include Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Madelyn Albright, George Schultz, Warren Christopher.

Her "work" with Bill (yep, Bill Clinton, lest we forget that she and she alone is qualified above all others because... well, Bill) to gain peace in the Middle East, her knowledge of foreign affairs and her quick thinking and strong leadership skills....

She, as senator, was charged with knowing.  She, along with a full staff and advisers that could have paid attention.

23% of the Senate seemed to know better.

Even I, a lowly working class schmuck trying to hold it together in Denver, paid attention to the political drum beating by neo-conservative politicos trying to force a regime change since the early 1990's; wanting to bring Saddam Hussein to "heel" as if he was one of her infamous "superpredators."

If she had not known it before 1998, she should have known IN 1998:

PNAC letters sent to President Bill Clinton

January 26, 1998

The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.

The policy of “containment” of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam’s secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.

Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East. It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.

Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.

We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.

We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.

Sincerely,

Elliott Abrams
Richard L. Armitage
William J. Bennett
Jeffrey Bergner
John Bolton
Paula Dobriansky
Francis Fukuyama
Robert Kagan
Zalmay Khalilzad
William Kristol
Richard Perle
Peter W. Rodman
Donald Rumsfeld
William Schneider, Jr.
Vin Weber
Paul Wolfowitz
R. James Woolsey
Robert B. Zoellick


[Please note: Project for a New American Century was a think tank - well, a war tank - created by the nation's leading Neo-Conservatives, many of whom, became GW Bush's closest advisers to include Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA, Head of the World Bank... The group included his brother, Jeb Bush and Dan Quayle. Their policy documents include a document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," advocating total global military domination by the US - a peace-through-imperialism-and-militarism plan]



The results of that unprovoked attack on Iraq and neighboring Afghanistan (as well as the manipulated regime change in Pakistan) have been horrific.

So, Hillary Clinton, when it comes to throwing support behind one of the most blatant and devastating imperialist actions we, as a nation, have ever committed; when it comes to ignoring our history of failure time and time and time again, manipulating regime change (China, Iran, Pakistsan, Afghanistan - both times, and Somalia) there are no mulligans.


One cannot undo the damage with,  "I made a mistake," when one should never have made the mistake - a mistake that would never have been "made" if one had any awareness, any sense of history, any sense of decency, and any sense of humanity... 



And this is why I will never, ever, ever support Hillary Clinton for any public office.




Sunday, January 17, 2016

Feel the Bern: Bernie Sanders, Man of the People, turning this US 2 Party Political Scam on its Head

Bernie Sanders makes a fist while talking on stage during the
New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)


"Feel The Bern..." - The tagline for a campaign that is exciting more people than we have seen in some time - from the youthful voters grabbing their first chance at voting, through the disgruntled millennials and the forgotten Oldster Left (that's where I come in).

Back in the Fall of 2013, when Bernie Sanders, the passionate Socialist Democrat from Vermont (via the 'hood, Borough Park, Brooklyn), started discussing a potential bid for President, he was met with rolled eyes, suppressed giggles and outright hostility from the mainstream media, political hacks and party leaders.  He was written off as a complete outsider, not to be taken seriously.

Here's Senator Sanders from the Burlington Free Press, November, 2013, discussing a potential run:
Sen. Bernie Sanders talks about his possible run for president: Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses his possible run for president at his office in Burlington, VT. (Produced by GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

Hillary Clinton has always been considered the de facto DNC candidate for 2016.   She lost to Barack Obama in 2008 so it "must be" her turn, right? The Polls, as early as 2014, showed Hillary as the most favored potential candidate.

From CNN, June 9, 2014:
2016: Just about every national and state poll has indicated the same thing: If she runs, Clinton's the overwhelming favorite for her party's presidential nomination. Sixty-four percent of Democrats questioned in a CNN/ORC poll conducted in early May said they would likely back Clinton. That number stood at 66% in the new ABC News/Washington Post survey, with Vice President Joe Biden a very distant second, at 12% support.
But Democrats don't want a coronation. Fifty-five percent in the ABC News/Washington Post poll said they don't want Clinton to run unopposed for the nomination. Even among Clinton supporters, a majority want to see some competition.
As for the general election, Clinton maintains a large single digit to small double digit lead over possible Republican opponents in surveys of hypothetical 2016 general election matchups.
The latest example: Clinton topped Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 53%-43%, in the new ABC News/Washington Post survey.
How quickly this has turned - Bernie Sanders has sparked a revolt;  He has inspired us to donate, to campaign and, hopefully,  to vote....

Clinton has tried; hell, the DNC has tried; and even the MSM has tried to ignore him, hoping he would just go away but Sanders is not going to go away.  He is out to confront and shake the very paradigm that keeps the people of this nation marginalized and balkanized - the destruction of the Middle Class, the "too-big-to fail" banking industry, the pay off of politicos by corporate interests and Wall Street, the inadequate health care system (a little bit better but still nothing like what was promised by the last candidate for president pushed by the DNC and no where near what is required to adequately cover the people), the complete disregard for the poor and the infirm, the continued refusal to actually care for the war veterans of this nation....

For Sanders, it has been an uphill battle starting at nearly 0 and now, according to the latest polls in New Hampshire and Iowa, he is the contender that is within the "margin of error". In other words, neck and neck with Clinton. The old guard politicos are taking notice

From the Washington Post, January 15, 2016:
Some leading Democrats are increasingly anxious about Hillary Clinton’s prospects for winning the party’s presidential nomination, warning that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s growing strength in early battleground states and strong fundraising point to a campaign that could last well into the spring.
What seemed recently to be a race largely controlled by Clinton has turned into a neck-and-neck contest with voting set to begin in less than three weeks.
On Capitol Hill and in state party headquarters, some Democrats worry that a Sanders nomination could imperil candidates down the ballot in swing districts and states. Others sense deja vu from 2008, when Clinton’s overwhelming edge cratered in the days before the Iowa caucuses.
Just as Barack Obama’s stunning upset there helped assure Democrats in later states that a black man could win votes from whites and propelled him to victory in South Carolina and other places, so, too, could a Sanders victory on Feb. 1 in Iowa and then Feb. 9 in New Hampshire ease doubts about the viability of a self-described “democratic socialist,” some said.
As for campaign donations, Sanders really does show he is more of a man of the people. For the 3rd quarter of 2015, ending September, 2015,  Bernie Sanders had received $26.2 million to Hillary's $29.9 million.  The difference - 88% of Sander's donations were from small individual donors with donations less than $200 each (raising the specter of the Obama campaign of 2008).

The Clinton campaign has, finally, taken notice but not in a good way.  Hillary's response?  She has gone on the attack and, so far, it has backfired (it helps when she uses the GOP trick of spewing with false information)

From The Washington Post, January 13, 2016:
Hillary Clinton’s new barrage against Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential primary opponent she has all but ignored through most of her campaign, is having an effect — though probably not the one she intended.
Sanders’s underdog campaign said it is seeing a surge of contributions as a direct result of the new attention it is getting from the Democratic front-runner, with money coming in at a clip nearly four times the average daily rate reported in the last quarter of 2015...
...“As of now, we are at about $1.4 million raised since yesterday when the panic attacks by the Clinton campaign began,” Briggs said. “We’ve gotten 47,000 contributions. We’re projecting 60,000 donations. Even for our people-powered campaign, this is pretty darn impressive.”
Sanders strategist Tad Devine said the campaign may go on the air with TV ads outside the three early-contest states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Sanders’s team now feels pressure to put out its own message across the map before Clinton has a chance to define it on her terms. “That is something we are considering as we speak,” Devine said.
Oops....


So Hillary can attack with her feigned outrage and misinformation, the political hacks entrenched in the DNC (Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for example) and all the right of center "liberals" can kvetch and whine, tear their hair and rend their clothes, Bernie Sanders is not going away and is gaining momentum.

Those of us on the liberal side of liberal, those of us on the Left,  disenfranchised and angry, who have actually said "fuck you"to the 2 party paradigm called the US political system, and those of us in the growing "unaffiliated"or "independent" side can actually hold out some hope.

A Socialist Democrat from Vermont, via Borough Park, Brooklyn, is taking up the banner for real change and a real liberal push at the perpetually right leaning government of incompetency.

Personally, I am finally seeing the possibility for the "Hope and Change"  I can start to believe in that I never believed in with the guy who claimed that mantra.


Go Bernie!!!



********************************

For those who don't know Bernie Sanders in Congress:


Senator Bernie Sanders is an Independent for a reason - A Democratic Socialist who runs under the Vermont Progressive Party, he has to caucus with one side of the aisle or the other if he wants to get anything done.  He chooses the Democrats in Congress though he has no problem calling them out.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 - Another Year of Living Dangerously... Burning Down the House

Fire Element by Sylvia Skubis

For years, I have heard gruesome predictions about the fate of the planet - "the planet will die", "The planet will be destroyed" if we don't do something to save it.  How exceptionalist and ego-centric we humans can be.

"The Planet" ain't going anywhere - Well, unless and until it is hit by a large enough asteroid or comet, swallowed by a dying sun or exploded from the inside.  The planet will sustain very nicely  - as will some form of life.  It has for billions of years...

Now "life,"as we know it, on the planet.. MEH

Notsomuch...

2015...

Until the next year, 2015 will probably be the hottest year on record... beating 2014, that beating....

.........And that beat goes on.

2015...

The year of fire and we are burning down the house...


"Burning Down The House," Talking Heads, 1983:
Get them out
Ah
Watch out, you might get what you're after
Cool baby, strange but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy
Burning down the house
Hold tight, wait 'til the party's over
Hold tight, we're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house
Here's your ticket, pack your bags
Time for jumpin' overboard
Transportation is here
Close enough but not too far,
Maybe you know where you are
Fightin' fire with fire, huah
All wet, hey you might need a raincoat
Shakedown, dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hundred, sixty five degrees
Burning down the house
It was once upon a place sometimes, I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work say baby what did you expect
Gonna burst into flame
Go ahead
Burning down the house
My house, is out of the ordinary
That's right, don't want to hurt nobody
Some things, sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house
No visible means of support and you have not seen nothin' yet
Everything's stuck together
I don't know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fightin' fire with fire, huah
Yea
Burning down the house
Burning down the house
Burning down the house


Burning Down The House - a house built on deforestation, drought and resource mismanagement:

Indonesia:

Active fires across Southeast Asia the week of September 10-17, 2015 - Graphic courtesy of www.ABC.net.au

From The Guardian, October 26, 2015
Satellite photography shows that around 100,000 fires have burned in Indonesia’s carbon-rich peatlands since July. But instead of being mostly confined to farmland and plantations, as they are in most years, several thousand fires have now penetrated deep into primary forests and national parks, the strongholds of the remaining wild apes and other endangered animals.

Alarmingly, 358 fire “hotspots” have been detected inside the Sabangau Forest in Borneo which has the world’s largest population of nearly 7,000 wild orangutans. Elsewhere, fires are raging in the Tanjung Puting national park, home to 6,000 wild apes, the Katingan forest with 3,000 and the Mawas reserve where there are an estimated 3,500 ...

...The wildfires across Indonesia are now thought to be responsible for up to 500,000 cases of respiratory infections, and six provinces have declared a state of emergency.


“People are choking in the smoke and one of the world’s last great rainforests is burning down,” Husson said. “The only way to tackle this is with huge manpower on the ground, supported by intensive and sustained aerial water-bombing. Mobilising these resources requires raising international awareness of the catastrophe unfolding in Sabangau.”

‘Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate.’ Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Australia:

It didn't take long into the new year...

January, 2015


Bush Fire Adelaide Hills Jan 3 2015- Photo courtesy of Ben Goode @ Earth Art Photography

October, 2015:

Forest Fires October 2015 - Photo courtesy of www.newsx.com


Western Canada:

The number of wildfires that raged through Canada last year was double that of the year before.... By mid-July, more than 3 times the area had burned than for the average fire season.


July 6, 2015, as Canada burns - Map of fires sweeping across the western portion of Canada
(thanks to the Global Post for images)


In The US:


Alaska:

From NPR, July 11, 2015:

Alaska's fire season is off to a historic start as well. Record high temperatures in much of the state, combined with a three-day lightning storm, sparked more than 300 fires late last month. Those have since grown to burn more than 3 million acres.

"Smoke rises from the Bogus Creek Fire, one of two fires burning in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska." (Image from NPR)


Washington State:

A helicopter makes a water bucket drop as it flies through smoky air while fighting a wildfire that flared up in the late afternoon near Omak, Wash., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Firefighters were holding their own Thursday against the largest wildfire on record in Washington state, even as rising temperatures and increased winds stoked the flames. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Even the rainforest burned - Out of money (Washington has no money), the state started employing prisoners from the penitentiaries, volunteers and any able-bodied person they could find - to include juveniles from their "Juvenile Rehabilitation" program, from outside the state, outside the country... Anyone.

Paradise Fire - Photo Courtesy of The National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
From "The Nation":

The wettest rainforest in the continental United States had gone up in flames and the smoke was so thick, so blanketing, that you could see it miles away. Deep in Washington’s Olympic National Park, the aptly named Paradise Fire, undaunted by the dampness of it all, was eating the forest alive and destroying an ecological Eden. In this season of drought across the West, there have been far bigger blazes but none quite so symbolic or offering quite such grim news. It isn’t the size of the fire (though it is the largest in the park’s history), nor its intensity. It’s something else entirely—the fact that it shouldn’t have been burning at all. When fire can eat a rainforest in a relatively cool climate, you know the Earth is beginning to burn.

An ominous report issued in February of 2015 "Climate Change May Trigger Broad Shifts in North America's Pacific Coastal Rainforests," Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences", by D.A. DellaSala, P. Brandt, M. Koopman, J. Leonard, C. Meisch, P. Herzog, P. Alaback, M.I. Goldstein, S. Jovan, A. MacKinnon) warned of threat to the rainforest by global climate change....

Abstract
Climate change poses significant threats to Pacific coastal rainforests of North America. Land managers currently lack a coordinated climate change adaptation approach with which to prepare the region's globally outstanding biodiversity for accelerating change. We provided analyses intended to inform coordinated adaptation for eight focal rainforest tree species of commercial importance and broad rainforest communities. By using two different approaches to determine vulnerability, including climate envelope modeling (Maxent) and the MC1 dynamic vegetation model, we were able to assess where Pacific coastal rainforests might be more stable over time. We examined vegetation stability based on climate projections and used protected areas and intact late-seral forest data to determine priority areas and current level of protections. Based on model outputs, focal rainforest conifers and general rainforest communities are more likely to persist and to expand their ranges along northern range margins while southern margins exhibited lower persistence and potential loss of suitable climate. Robust reserve design for temperate rainforests should include current and future late-seral forests as potential climate refugia to accommodate projected shifts in species of commercial and ecological importance.

By May, the Paradise Fire had started; By June it burned out of control

Oregon:

"The Cornet Fire is burning grass, brush and timber 16 miles south of Baker City, Oregon." Courtesy of NE Oregon Department Of Forestry

California:

Map from Google, July 2, 2015
California burning...


The Valley fire in Northern California has burned 76,067 acres and is 85% contained. The 70,868-acre Butte fire, burning in Amador and Calaveras counties, is now 89% contained and the 143,559-acre Rough fire in the mountains east of Fresno is 77% contained.
Barton Flats, San Bernadino County, near Big Bear (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
We cannot forget the 1000 + year drought that has plagued California....

Idaho:

Fires at Bayview, Idaho – photo © by Ted Curphey 7-5-2015

"USA Today" - "Fire consumes trees along the Clearwater River in north central Idaho on Aug. 15, 2015, part of the Lawyer complex of wildfires caused by lightning earlier in the week."
(Photo: Barry Kough, AP)


Wyoming:

In this Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, photo, heavy smoke rests at Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park near Evansville, Wyo. The fast-moving grass fire that started at a landfill destroyed an unknown number of homes and other buildings and forced hundreds of people to evacuate from a rural area in Wyoming. (Alan Rogers/The Casper Star-Tribune via AP)



'I don't think I've ever used the word mega-fire,' said New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. 'But the reality is that the modelling indicates that there's every likelihood that in the forecast weather conditions that these two fires, particularly up in the back end of the mountains, will merge at some point.' via "The Telegraph," October, 2015
Picture: Reuters


It isn't like we weren't warned for over a century (1859 - John Tyndall)...

Global Climate Change - not a new concept though to hear world leaders talk, especially in the US, one would think it wasn't even a concept until they thought of it.  In the US, half of Congress still denies its cause - at least they stopped denying its existence last year.

A timeline of warning (American Institute of Physics - I urge readers to go to the linked site for more information and important links to data)....
1800-1870
Level of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in the atmosphere, as later measured in ancient ice, is about 290 ppm (parts per million).

Mean global temperature (1850-1870) is about 13.6°C.

First Industrial Revolution. Coal, railroads, and land clearing speed up greenhouse gas emission, while better agriculture and sanitation speed up population growth.

1824
Fourier calculates that the Earth would be far colder if it lacked an atmosphere. =>Simple models

1859
Tyndall discovers that some gases block infrared radiation. He suggests that changes in the concentration of the gases could bring climate change. =>Other gases

1896
Arrhenius publishes first calculation of global warming from human emissions of CO2. =>Simple models

1897
Chamberlin produces a model for global carbon exchange including feedbacks. =>Simple models

1870-1910
Second Industrial Revolution. Fertilizers and other chemicals, electricity, and public health further accelerate growth.

1914-1918
World War I; governments learn to mobilize and control industrial societies.

1920-1925
Opening of Texas and Persian Gulf oil fields inaugurates era of cheap energy.

1930s
Global warming trend since late 19th century reported. =>Modern temp's

Milankovitch proposes orbital changes as the cause of ice ages. =>Climate cycles

1938
Callendar argues that CO2 greenhouse global warming is underway, reviving interest in the question. =>CO2 greenhouse

1939-1945
World War II. Military grand strategy is largely driven by a struggle to control oil fields.

1945
US Office of Naval Research begins generous funding of many fields of science, some of which happen to be useful for understanding climate change. =>Government

1956
Ewing and Donn offer a feedback model for quick ice age onset. =>Simple models

Phillips produces a somewhat realistic computer model of the global atmosphere. =>Models (GCMs)

Plass calculates that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will have a significant effect on the radiation balance. =>Radiation math

1957
Launch of Soviet Sputnik satellite. Cold War concerns support 1957-58 International Geophysical Year, bringing new funding and coordination to climate studies. =>International

Revelle finds that CO2 produced by humans will not be readily absorbed by the oceans. =>CO2 greenhouse

1958
Telescope studies show a greenhouse effect raises temperature of the atmosphere of Venus far above the boiling point of water. =>Venus & Mars

1960
Mitchell reports downturn of global temperatures since the early 1940s.=>Modern temp's

Keeling accurately measures CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere and detects an annual rise. =>CO2 greenhouse The level is 315 ppm. Mean global temperature (five-year average) is 13.9°C.

1962
Cuban Missile Crisis, peak of the Cold War.

1963
Calculations suggest that feedback with water vapor could make the climate acutely sensitive to changes in CO2 level. =>Radiation math

1965
Boulder, Colo. meeting on causes of climate change: Lorenz and others point out the chaotic nature of climate system and the possibility of sudden shifts. =>Chaos theory

1966
Emiliani's analysis of deep-sea cores and Broecker's analysis of ancient corals show that the timing of ice ages was set by small orbital shifts, suggesting that the climate system is sensitive to small changes. =>Climate cycles

1967
International Global Atmospheric Research Program established, mainly to gather data for better short-range weather prediction, but including climate. =>International

Manabe and Wetherald make a convincing calculation that doubling CO2 would raise world temperatures a couple of degrees. =>Radiation math

1968
Studies suggest a possibility of collapse of Antarctic ice sheets, which would raise sea levels catastrophically. =>Sea rise & ice

1969
Astronauts walk on the Moon, and people perceive the Earth as a fragile whole. =>Public opinion

Budyko and Sellers present models of catastrophic ice-albedo feedbacks. =>Simple models

Nimbus III satellite begins to provide comprehensive global atmospheric temperature measurements. =>Government

1970
First Earth Day. Environmental movement attains strong influence, spreads concern about global degradation. =>Public opinion

Creation of US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the world's leading funder of climate research. =>Government

Aerosols from human activity are shown to be increasing swiftly. Bryson claims they counteract global warming and may bring serious cooling. =>Aerosols

1971
SMIC conference of leading scientists reports a danger of rapid and serious global change caused by humans, calls for an organized research effort. =>International

Mariner 9 spacecraft finds a great dust storm warming the atmosphere of Mars, plus indications of a radically different climate in the past.=>Venus & Mars

1972
Ice cores and other evidence show big climate shifts in the past between relatively stable modes in the space of a thousand years or so, especially around 11,000 years ago. =>Rapid change

Droughts in Africa, Ukraine, India cause world food crisis, spreading fears about climate change. =>Public opinion

1973
Oil embargo and price rise bring first "energy crisis". =>Government

1974
Serious droughts since 1972 increase concern about climate, with cooling from aerosols suspected to be as likely as warming; scientists are doubtful as journalists talk of a new ice age.=>Public opinion

1975
Warnings about environmental effects of airplanes leads to investigations of trace gases in the stratosphere and discovery of danger to ozone layer. =>Other gases

Manabe and collaborators produce complex but plausible computer models which show a temperature rise of several degrees for doubled CO2. =>Models (GCMs)

1976
Studies show that CFCs (1975) and also methane and ozone (1976) can make a serious contribution to the greenhouse effect. =>Other gases

Deep-sea cores show a dominating influence from 100,000-year Milankovitch orbital changes, emphasizing the role of feedbacks. =>Climate cycles

Deforestation and other ecosystem changes are recognized as major factors in the future of the climate. =>Biosphere
Eddy shows that there were prolonged periods without sunspots in past centuries, corresponding to cold periods .=>Solar variation

1977
Scientific opinion tends to converge on global warming, not cooling, as the chief climate risk in next century. =>Public opinion

1978
Attempts to coordinate climate research in US end with an inadequate National Climate Program Act, accompanied by rapid but temporary growth in funding. =>Government

1979
Second oil "energy crisis." Strengthened environmental movement encourages renewable energy sources, inhibits nuclear energy growth. =>Public opinion

US National Academy of Sciences report finds it highly credible that doubling CO2 will bring 1.5-4.5°C global warming. =>Models (GCMs)

World Climate Research Programme launched to coordinate international research. =>International

1981
Election of Reagan brings backlash against environmental movement to power. Political conservatism is linked to skepticism about global warming. =>Government

IBM Personal Computer introduced. Advanced economies are increasingly delinked from energy.

Hansen and others show that sulfate aerosols can significantly cool the climate, raising confidence in models showing future greenhouse warming. =>Aerosols

Some scientists predict greenhouse warming "signal" should be visible by about the year 2000. =>Modern temp's

1982
Greenland ice cores reveal drastic temperature oscillations in the space of a century in the distant past. =>Rapid change

Strong global warming since mid-1970s is reported, with 1981 the warmest year on record. =>Modern temp's

1983
Reports from US National Academy of Sciences and Environmental Protection Agency spark conflict, as greenhouse warming becomes prominent in mainstream politics. =>Government

1985
Ramanathan and collaborators announce that global warming may come twice as fast as expected, from rise of methane and other trace greenhouse gases.=>Other gases

Villach Conference declares consensus among experts that some global warming seems inevitable, calls on governments to consider international agreements to restrict emissions.=>International

Antarctic ice cores show that CO2 and temperature went up and down together through past ice ages, pointing to powerful biological and geochemical feedbacks. =>CO2

Broecker speculates that a reorganization of North Atlantic Ocean circulation can bring swift and radical climate change. =>The oceans

1987
Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention imposes international restrictions on emission of ozone-destroying gases. =>International

1988
News media coverage of global warming leaps upward following record heat and droughts plus testimony by Hansen. =>Public opinion

Toronto conference calls for strict, specific limits on greenhouse gas emissions; UK Prime Minister Thatcher is first major leader to call for action. =>International

Ice-core and biology studies confirm living ecosystems give climate feedback by way of methane, which could accelerate global warming. =>Other gases

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is established. =>International

1989
Fossil-fuel and other U.S. industries form Global Climate Coalition to tell politicians and the public that climate science is too uncertain to justify action. =>Public opinion

1990
First IPCC report says world has been warming and future warming seems likely. =>International

1991
Mt. Pinatubo explodes; Hansen predicts cooling pattern, verifying (by 1995) computer models of aerosol effects. =>Aerosols

Global warming skeptics claim that 20th-century temperature changes followed from solar influences. (The solar-climate correlation would fail in the following decade.) =>Solar variation

Studies from 55 million years ago show possibility of eruption of methane from the seabed with enormous self-sustained warming. =>Rapid change

1992
Conference in Rio de Janeiro produces UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, but US blocks calls for serious action. =>International

Study of ancient climates reveals climate sensitivity in same range as predicted independently by computer models. =>Models (GCMs)

1993
Greenland ice cores suggest that great climate changes (at least on a regional scale) can occur in the space of a single decade. =>Rapid change

1995
Second IPCC report detects "signature" of human-caused greenhouse effect warming, declares that serious warming is likely in the coming century. =>International

Reports of the breaking up of Antarctic ice shelves and other signs of actual current warming in polar regions begin affecting public opinion. =>Public opinion

1997
Toyota introduces Prius in Japan, first mass-market electric hybrid car; swift progress in large wind turbines and other energy alternatives.

International conference produces Kyoto Protocol, setting targets for industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if enough nations sign onto a treaty (rejected by US Senate in advance). =>International

1998
A "Super El Niño" makes this an exceptionally warm year, equaled in later years but not clearly exceeded until 2014. Borehole data confirm extraordinary warming trend. =>Modern temp's

Qualms about arbitrariness in computer models diminish as teams model ice-age climate and dispense with special adjustments to reproduce current climate. =>Models (GCMs)

1999
Criticism that satellite measurements show no warming are dismissed by National Academy Panel. =>Modern temp's

Ramanathan detects massive "brown cloud" of aerosols from South Asia. =>Aerosols

2000
Global Climate Coalition dissolves as many corporations grapple with threat of warming, but oil lobby convinces US administration to deny problem. =>Public opinion

Variety of studies emphasize variability and importance of biological feedbacks in carbon cycle, liable to accelerate warming. =>Biosphere

2001
Third IPCC report states baldly that global warming, unprecedented since the end of the last ice age, is "very likely," with highly damaging future impacts =>Impacts and possible severe surprises. Effective end of debate among all but a few scientists. =>International

Bonn meeting, with participation of most countries but not US, develops mechanisms for working towards Kyoto targets. =>International

National Academy panel sees a "paradigm shift" in scientific recognition of the risk of abrupt climate change (decade-scale). =>Rapid change

Warming observed in ocean basins; match with computer models gives a clear signature of greenhouse effect warming. =>Models (GCMs)

2002
Studies find surprisingly strong "global dimming," due to pollution, has retarded arrival of greenhouse warming, but dimming is now decreasing. =>Aerosols

2003
Numerous observations raise concern that collapse of ice sheets (West Antarctica, Greenland) can raise sea levels faster than most had believed. =>Sea rise & ice

Deadly summer heat wave in Europe accelerates divergence between European and US public opinion. =>Public opinion

2004
First major books, movie and art work featuring global warming appear. =>Public opinion

2005
Kyoto treaty goes into effect, signed by major industrial nations except US. Work to retard emissions accelerates in Japan, Western Europe, US regional governments and corporations .
=>International

Hurricane Katrina and other major tropical storms spur debate over impact of global warming on storm intensity. =>Sea rise & ice

2006
In longstanding "hockey stick" controversy, scientists conclude post-1980 global warming was unprecedented for centuries or more. =>Modern temp's The rise could not be attributed to changes in solar energy. =>Solar variation

"An Inconvenient Truth" documentary persuades many but sharpens political polarization. =>Public opinion

2007
Fourth IPCC report warns that serious effects of warming have become evident; cost of reducing emissions would be far less than the damage they will cause. =>International

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and Arctic Ocean sea-ice cover found to be shrinking faster than expected.=>Sea rise & ice

2008
Climate scientists (although not the public) recognize that even if all greenhouse gas emissions could be halted immediately, global warming will continue for millennia.=>CO2

2009
Many experts warn that global warming is arriving at a faster and more dangerous pace than anticipated just a few years earlier. =>International

Excerpts from stolen e-mails of climate scientists fuel public skepticism.=>Public opinion

Copenhagen conference fails to negotiate binding agreements: end of hopes of avoiding dangerous future climate change. =>International

2012

Controversial "attribution" studies find recent disastrous heat waves, droughts, extremes of precipitation, and floods were made worse by global warming. =>Impacts

2013

An apparent pause or "hiatus" in global warming of the atmosphere since 1998 is discussed and explained; the atmosphere is still warming, and the oceans have continued to get rapidly warmer. =>Modern temp's

Mean global temperature is 14.6°C, the warmest in thousands of years.

Level of CO2 in the atmosphere reaches 397 ppm, the highest in millions of years.**
(** Please note - CO2 levels are now over 400 ppm...)

Physicists.... Bah....
Who cares about Physics!?!

Well, the universe is actually understood through the science of Physics.....

And scientists - well, 97% of them - agree that the earth is warming and the cause?
Likely to be human behavior...

The signs of that warming....

From Union of Concerned Scientists, 2001
:

GLOBAL WARMING
GLOBAL WARMING IMPACTS
Early Warning Signs of Global Warming

"An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system."

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2001

Frustrated because a friend or colleague says global warming is the future's problem? Compelling new evidence demonstrates that global warming is already under way with consequences that must be faced today as well as tomorrow. The evidence is of two kinds:

Fingerprints of global warming are indicators of the global, long-term warming trend observed in the historical record. They include heat waves, sea-level rise, melting glaciers and warming of the poles.
Harbingers are events that foreshadow the impacts likely to become more frequent and widespread with continued warming. They include spreading disease, earlier spring arrival, plant and animal range shifts, coral reef bleaching, downpours, and droughts and fires.
UCS is taking steps to bring this evidence to the public's attention, with the goal of building support for action to reduce the heat-trapping gas emissions that cause global warming. Working with other environmental organizations, we have developed--and recently updated--a world map, viewable online and also available as a poster, that shows where the fingerprints and harbingers of global warming have occurred in recent years. By showing the local consequences of climate change, it brings the message home effectively.

Since its release in 1999, the map has been featured in several news stories, hand-delivered to every member of Congress, accessed by students across the country, and been visited online by people throughout the world. Due to the popularity of the map, UCS undertook a revision, and added 66 new points in January 2003. Most of these new points are in the developing world, for which we had little data in 1999. Below is a list of links to the home page of the map project (www.climatehotmap.org), supplemental information about the map, and a curriculum guide created for the map.

Fingerprints

Heat Waves
Sea-Level Rise
Glaciers Melting
Arctic and Antarctic Warming 
Harbingers

Earlier Spring Arrival
Plant and Animal Range Shifts
Coral Reef Bleaching
Downpours
Droughts and Fires



And the beat goes on......

Hold tight, wait 'til the party's over
Hold tight, we're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house.................


For more information:

350.org
NASA
OXFAM
Union of Concerned Scientists
American Institute of Physics


Sunday, November 8, 2015

From IBT: German Surveillance Of Allies More Extensive Than Believed

German Surveillance Of Allies More Extensive Than Believed

Germany's surveillance efforts over its own allies included several U.S. agencies, numerous nongovernmental organizations and several U.S. and European diplomats, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. The report reveals spying by the European power was systematic and went further than previously believed. The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's intelligence service, spied on the likes of the U.S. Department…

Friday, November 6, 2015

From Newsweek: Why Did Ex-Gitmo Detainee Shaker Aamer's Return to U.K. Take So Long?

Why Did Ex-Gitmo Detainee Shaker Aamer’s Return to U.K. Take So Long?

Shaker Aamer spent more than 13 years at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Held without charge or trial, he was the last British detainee left at the facility and caught the attention of human rights activists, U.K. politicians and celebrities alike. On October 30, the U.S. released him, some six years after he was cleared…

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Traversing the great divide - I'm going Home





Change will come
Change is here
Love fades out
Then love appears

Now my water's turned to wine
And these thoughts I have
I now claim as mine
I'm coming home

Change has been
Change will be
Time will tell
Then time will ease

Now my curtain has been drawn
And my heart can go
Where my heart does belong
I'm going home

"Reunion," Collective Soul (1995)




Well, I left my home in Georgia headed for the Frisco Bay…

Not quite…

I left my parent's home in Overland Park, Kansas, some 40++ years ago, at the age of 19, based on an urgent need to leave a less than healthy life and life style behind.  My brother, Jonnie, gone; Friends gone (including my oldest, best friend in the universe), familiarity gone, future bleak.  No motivation, no excitement, no growth - I was suffocating.

That "leaving"was filled with more than a little anxiety, fear, stupidity, poor judgment....  Not that it was stupid to leave but it was stupid to do it in the manner I did....

I ran from an offer to move West - an offer by my oldest, best friend in the universe - of life, love, adventure and complete uncertainty as to how the hell I would survive;  I ran to the East - what I believed to be safe, secure, stable, and filled with the newness of being miles and miles away from that stagnant life in a Kansas suburb.

Not the first error in judgment I would make by taking the wrong path to search for "Home". I lost so much more than I gained (including my oldest, best friend in the universe).

I have spent time “living” in multiple cities – Kansas City, Norfolk, Tulsa, Kirksville (really, Kirksville, MO, and even Trenton, MO, before that), San Diego, Denver.  I met great - and some not-so-great - people; saw beautiful - and some not-so-beautiful -  places; and picked up a bit of knowledge along my bizarre little trail.

I have visited many places - The Baja, LA, San Francisco, Portland, Boise, Salt Lake, St. George, Las Vegas (Steven King's, The Stand, pretty much says it about Vegas), Phoenix/Scottsdale, Taos, Santa Fe, Tulia (really, Tulia, TX), Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, Boston, The Carolinas, New York (City...The 5 boroughs though I only made it to 3, and out to the edge of Long Island).  I loved many of those cities and places (really, NYC is one of my favorite places to visit...food, Central Park, people. energy, intensity, music, art, architecture, history... The whole zeitgeist)

  ....But I never could quite find "Home."

I learned one thing (well, a lot of things but one glaring thing) - The West has always held me captive.  I feel lighter, shinier, healthier, happier the further West I go. The "why" of that makes little difference, I guess.   The Left Coast just feels right...

So, after 20 years of watching mountaintops and Denver skyline changes, I left my existence, my friends - well, my tribe (I have a few very, very, very good friends in Denver and others who gravitate there), and my "comfortably numb" to find "Home."

.... And maybe, just maybe, I have found it.

I have been Seattle bound for weeks, years, decades.

Sounds a little trite, doesn’t it?  A little cliché…

Not really.  I was never “Home” before.  I was always just visiting - comfortable in short jaunts and even more comfortable in long respites.  I just never was "Home."

In my youth, I was always looking for a way out of “here"...
As I got older, I was looking to go "there"...

Hard to get Zen-ie when one cannot find center and for me, that means the entire gestalt... Can't find Self without heart, soul, mind, body .... and "Home".

I know, I know...all you practitioners will tell me that location means nothing...
I submit, yáll have either been home all this time or never experienced home before.  Why did Baba Ram Dass base in Hawaii? Thich Nhat Hanh go to France? Adi Da go to Fiji? I can keep going here...

I've done "touch and goes" on "center" - Climbing trees with my brother; Fence sitting in the eastern pasture of my grandparents farm in Iowa; Sitting under a tree at Volker Park (now gone) with my oldest, best friend in the universe; Playing with old hippies at the annual Row Party on the valley desert floor, San Luis mountains, and visits to the Hot Springs next door;  Solitude on the beach at La Playa de La Fonda (K57 for those better familiar with that term);  Wandering the shoreline of Laguna Beach (pre-housing boom); Roaming the wooded trails at 11,000 ft - North Fork Reservoir, Mt. Shavano; Sitting in the lap of the Buddha while enjoying a chemically induced melding with the floor with friends (I'll leave that there).  All those touch and goes and never a place to land.


Home…..Is where I want to be and guess I’m already there...


I was in search of a thing without knowing.  I was realizing my "lost"and wandering being, again, and restless.  I get like that when I know I need to find "Home".

I retraced my roots to find my numbed soul and a new path - it was a bit more awe inspiring.   Like a bolt of lightning re-igniting a fire nearly snuffed out by complacency...

...And I found my oldest, best friend in the universe once again - after 40 ++ years of searching, he lives in...Seattle. Go figure.

9 days now since I pulled up in front of this little house....

I feel I am "Home"

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