Heartland Institute documents reveal strategy of attacks against climate science

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:15 PM GMT on February 17, 2012

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Documents illegally leaked from the Heartland Institute, one of the most active groups engaged in attacking the science of climate change, provide an unprecedented look into how these groups operate. The story was broken Tuesday by DeSmogBlog, a website dedicated to exposing false claims about climate change science. The documents reveal that donors to Heartland included oil billionaire Charles Koch, and Heartland has spent several million dollars over the past five years to undermine climate science. Tens of thousands of dollars are slated to go this year to well-known climate contrarians S.Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and Anthony Watts of the Watts Up With That? website. Naturally, the leaked documents have lit up the blogosphere, but none of the revelations are particularly surprising. The U.S. has a very successful and well-funded climate change denial industry, primarily funded by fossil fuel companies, that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few decades on a PR campaign against climate change science. I made a lengthy post on the subject in 2009 called, The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy. I won't say more here, but getenergysmartnow.com has compiled a long list of blogs that have interesting posts on the Heartland Institute affair for those interested in following this story.



Eight books challenging the Manufactured Doubt industry
Important scientific findings should always be challenged with the goal of finding flaws and improving our scientific understanding. But there's nothing a scientist hates more than to see good science attacked and the reputations of good scientists smeared in name of protecting corporate profits or ideology. A number of scientists have fought back against the recent unfounded assaults on climate change science by publishing books calling attention to the Manufactured Doubt industry's tactics and goals. Anyone priding themselves on being a open-minded skeptic of human-caused global warming should challenge their skepticism by reading one of these works. I thought so highly of Unscientific America, Merchants of Doubt, and Climate Coverup, that I donated 50 copies of these books to undergraduates at the University of Michigan last year. Here's a short synopsis of eight books published in the past three years defending climate change science against the attacks of the Manufactured Doubt industry:

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. If you're going to read one book on the attacks on climate science, this should probably be the one--Dr. Oreskes, a history professor at UC San Diego, was voted climate change communicator of the year in 2011. A review of Merchants of Doubt and a video of her defending her book against skeptics is at climateprogress.org, my favorite website for staying current on the politics of climate change. From the review: "Make the journey with them, and you’ll see renowned scientists abandon science, you’ll see environmentalism equated with communism, and you’ll discover the connection between the Cold War and climate denial. And for the most part, you’ll be entertained along the way."

Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, by desmogblog.com co-founders James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore. The main author, James Hoggan, owns a Canadian public relations firm, and is intimately familiar with how public relations campaigns work. It's another fascinating and very readable book.

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, by science writer Chris Mooney. He writes a blog focusing on science communication called the intersection. This is a fantastic book, and should be required reading for all college science majors.

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand, by Haydn Washington and John Cook. John Cook writes for one of my favorite climate science blogs, skepticalscience.com, which focuses on debunking false skeptic claims about climate science. The book does a great job debunking all the classic climate change denial arguments.

Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health, by George Washington University epidemiologist David Michaels, who now heads the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). This meticulously-researched book has just one chapter on climate change, and focuses more on tobacco and hazardous chemicals. About the the tobacco industry's Manufactured Doubt campaigns, Michaels wrote: "the industry understood that the public is in no position to distinguish good science from bad. Create doubt, uncertainty, and confusion. Throw mud at the anti-smoking research under the assumption that some of it is bound to stick. And buy time, lots of it, in the bargain". The title of Michaels' book comes from a 1969 memo from a tobacco company executive: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy".

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, by climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann. Dr. Mann is the originator of the much-debated "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures over the past 1,000 years, which looks like a hockey stick due to the sharp increase in temperatures in recent decades. This book just came out last week, and I hope to write a review on it this spring. Dr. Mann is one of the main contributors to my favorite web site for staying current on climate change research, realclimate.org. John Cook of skepticalscience.com wrote a review, calling it "an eye-opening account of the lengths the opponents of climate science will go to in their campaign to slander climate scientists and distract the public from the realities of human caused global warming."

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto. I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, but it looks interesting. A review by Katherine O’Konski of Climate Science Watch called the book "a fascinating look at the status of science in American society."

The Inquisition of Climate Science, by Dr. James Lawrence Powell, a geochemist with a distinguished career as a college teacher, college president, museum director, and author of books on earth science for general audiences. I haven't read it, but John Cook of skepticalscience.com wrote a review, calling it "a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand the full scope of the denial industry and their modern day persecution of climate science."

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be taking a few vacation days next week, and wunderground meteorologist Angela Fritz will probably be doing most of the blogging for me during the coming week.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Patrap:
I learned all I know about the Tides and da Moon from Professor Bill O'Reilly


If you're referring to him saying "we don't know how that happens," I think that was a poor choice of words.

O'Reilly was wrong in the sense that science can describe and predict this behavior very well.

He was right in the sense that technically, we actually do not know how gravity works.

We have some models that make very good predictions over solar system scale distances, but fail at galactic and inter-galactic distances.

Dark Matter and Dark Energy could be artifacts of some sort of flaw in General Relativity, or they could be "new" particles and forces.

Either way, our understanding of "Universal Gravity" is far from complete.

It's impossible for any model to be absolutely perfect, except by coincidence, because the scale of the universe is so large that you cannot make sufficient observations to test all parameters to be sure the model is making precise and accurate predictions for all space, matter, and energy, never mind all of time.


The stronger telescopes became, the more wrong Newton and Einstein have been shown to be. Their theories made good predictions about certain subsets of interactions, but are insufficient on galactic and inter-galactic scales.

I suspect that Relativity isn't even accurate on planetary scales, its just that the margin of error over such small distance during human lifetimes is small enough that it can't be detected with existing technologies. i.e. if MOND is true, then you'd likely never now the difference inside the solar system, because the distance isn't big enough to start to matter.


One of Dawkin's problems is he pretends to deal in absolutes that actually aren't yet known to be absolutes.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
By 2008 gas was a lot higher than $2.50/gal. July 2008 it was past $4.00 And $4.50-$5.00 national average this summer is quite likely. We'll see how it plays out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Xyrus2000:


Fox News: The World Wrestling Entertainment of news.

It's amusing to watch, but I'd never use it as an information source.






You've made that obvious in the past.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Climate Change Denialists: Changing data for their advantage since 1900!


Wow, That is offensively biased.

Yo, Rasmussen, do your poll writers have their heads up their asses?
*) Somewhat Likely ?
*) Very Likely ?
*) Not Very Likely?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
We're waiting for it to go under that again... it's been over 5 for nearly a year in Nassau.

I agree with whoever earlier was saying the faster we get away from oil dependency and move to renewable energy sources for our transportation needs, the better.
gee 5.00 already for you there, man thats alot, i tried to do my lil part, i bought a hybrid honda, best thing i ever did, ge ts almost 46 mpg City!i used to gas up every week, not anymore now its almost once a month, big cash savings for my family.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
Quoting greentortuloni:


Hey Doug, how are you?

Looking to get informed about the Heartland issue on this blog, I searched Fox. Couldn't find it on Fox but I am not familiar with the Fox site. All I could find was this load of bunk.

Sorry to blog and run...




Fox News: The World Wrestling Entertainment of news.

It's amusing to watch, but I'd never use it as an information source.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1655
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
I learned all I know about the Tides and da Moon from Professor Bill O'Reilly
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129853
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



G'mornin' back!


What is "likely" is that the media will give our president a "pass" on energy prices although they crucified G.B. when gas hit $2.50 per gallon. The Dems were all over him about it back 2006 and 2007. I got no love for G.B. but the hypocracy in the media is there for anyone who will look to see it.


Good luck actually getting people to realize that. There is too much burying of the head in sand here and too many who think they are brain legends, I remember back when Wunder blogs used to be a great placed to discuss meteorology with wise, funny, and interesting people. Now I still come on because I love weather but its depressing how this blog has been plagued with ridiculousness, I'm frequently reminded why I don't come here as often lol.

Heck, some posters here have at times prompted me to believe they are computer programs designed to make you mad, lol.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8021
Meanwhile,

Weather Service In Eye of Budget Cut Storm
http://www.cnbc.com/id/46430601
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970. beell
Quoting RTSplayer:


Iran is either really stupid, or they're just posturing trying to look strong to their own people and the surrounding mid-east nations.


I was doing a bit of research on Iran's known navy resources, and it's not much.

Sure, they could get lucky and land some torpedo hits, but that's an extreme unlikelihood.

Most of our ships have more counter-measures and defensive weapons than the entire arsenal of the typical Iranian vessel.

the biggest wild card really is the submarines, but they have all diesel electric from mostly 30 or 40 years old models.

They do have some home grown subs and ships, as well as some from china, but even those are completely out-classed by ours.


Maybe they (Iran) just don't want their naval resources sitting in port as easy targets. A bit more of a political issue to sink an Iranian ship in the Mediterranean.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Now that this storm is a bust for me, I will look ahead to the long range to find the next possible storm. Hmmmm let's see.... Oooh, how about this one on the 6Z GFS. It's the only one I can find not past 180 hours...



06Z GFS hour 141

wow, shows the center of the snowstorm right over me.
(at least I think)
That would give me quite a big amount of snow.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



You probably shouldn't watch FOX. You might accidentally get informed.


Hey Doug, how are you?

Looking to get informed about the Heartland issue on this blog, I searched Fox. Couldn't find it on Fox but I am not familiar with the Fox site. All I could find was this load of bunk.

Sorry to blog and run...


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PolishHurrMaster:
You still don't know it? IRAN EMBARGOED GAS EXPORT TO FRANCE AND UK. Things are starting to get hot,it's at least like a Cat 1 storm for these countries. And I'm sure this storm is in favourable conditions...


Iran is either really stupid, or they're just posturing trying to look strong to their own people and the surrounding mid-east nations.


I was doing a bit of research on Iran's known navy resources, and it's not much.

Sure, they could get lucky and land some torpedo hits, but that's an extreme unlikelihood.

Most of our ships have more counter-measures and defensive weapons than the entire arsenal of the typical Iranian vessel.

the biggest wild card really is the submarines, but they have all diesel electric from mostly 30 or 40 years old models.

They do have some home grown subs and ships, as well as some from china, but even those are completely out-classed by ours.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
This is a great vid which explains Peak Oil beautifually Link
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COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC
511 AM EST SUN FEB 19 2012

...MINOR COASTAL FLOODING FOR AREAS ALONG THE SOUTH END OF PAMLICO
SOUND EASTWARD TO THE SOUTHERN OUTER BANKS TONIGHT INTO MONDAY AND
HIGH SURF FOR THE OUTER BANKS NORTH OF CAPE HATTERAS...

.STRONG NORTHERLY WINDS WILL DEVELOP TONIGHT AND CONTINUE INTO
MONDAY...AND WILL RESULT IN 1 TO 3 FOOT WATER LEVEL RISES AND
MINOR COASTAL FLOODING FOR AREAS ADJACENT TO SOUTHERN PAMLICO
SOUND. LARGE BREAKERS TO AROUND 8 FEET WILL DEVELOP OCEANSIDE
NORTH OF CAPE HATTERAS AND MAY PRODUCE MINOR BEACH EROSION AND
OVERWASH.

NCZ093-095-104-192200-
/O.CON.KMHX.CF.Y.0003.120220T0500Z-120220T1800Z/
CRAVEN-CARTERET-OUTER BANKS HYDE-
511 AM EST SUN FEB 19 2012

...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT
TO 1 PM EST MONDAY...

* LOCATION...SOUNDSIDE CRAVEN...CARTERET...OUTER BANKS HYDE
COUNTIES. MAINLY FROM CLUBFOOT CREEK EASTWARD TO CEDAR
ISLAND...UP TO OCRACOKE.

* COASTAL FLOODING...MINOR.

* TIMING...TONIGHT INTO MONDAY.

* IMPACTS...1 TO 2 FOOT...LOCALLY 3 FOOT...WATER RISES WILL
RESULT IN MINOR COASTAL FLOODING IN AREAS EXPOSED TO NORTHERLY
WINDS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE.

&&

$$
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8041
Now that this storm is a bust for me, I will look ahead to the long range to find the next possible storm. Hmmmm let's see.... Oooh, how about this one on the 6Z GFS. It's the only one I can find not past 180 hours...



06Z GFS hour 141
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


well since you want to be a smart a** there is the mid atlatic ocean ridge which has very tall mountains below sea level!!! he was just saying N.C. has the highest mountains east of the mississippi


Yeah, but you can't beat Mt. Washington in NH for the fun factor. Not only is it a good climb, but when you get to the top you can just lean against the wind. :)
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1655
You still don't know it? IRAN EMBARGOED GAS EXPORT TO FRANCE AND UK. Things are starting to get hot,it's at least like a Cat 1 storm for these countries. And I'm sure this storm is in favourable conditions...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weblackey:
Here's a newbie question:

Can you chime in with what is your favorite weather radio?

Even though we haven't hardly had winter here this year, I still remember hiding in the basement, listening to the train roar of a tornado as it went by too close to our neighborhood. The warning had it coming right at us, but it took a little turn first.

Earthquakes, I 'know' those… but this thing called Real Weather, well that's different ;-)

Signed,
California native still getting used to living in Raleigh NC


I have a Midland Weather Radio WR-120. Cheap, compact, can run on batteries. I know a lot of members on here that have a Midland weather radio of one sort or another.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1655
Quoting BahaHurican:
not if everything is "likely".... lol

Mornin, Doug...

And a good morning to all... We are having a wonderful Sunday morning so far, and hopefully it will stay warm and breezy all day.

Sorry for those who were looking 4 snow and didn't get it...

I'll check in later, but I gotta get outside and soak up some vitamin D....



G'mornin' back!


What is "likely" is that the media will give our president a "pass" on energy prices although they crucified G.B. when gas hit $2.50 per gallon. The Dems were all over him about it back 2006 and 2007. I got no love for G.B. but the hypocracy in the media is there for anyone who will look to see it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
WAIT UNTIL IT GOES TO 5.00
We're waiting for it to go under that again... it's been over 5 for nearly a year in Nassau.

I agree with whoever earlier was saying the faster we get away from oil dependency and move to renewable energy sources for our transportation needs, the better.
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06Z run of GFS only gives me an inch o snow...but, this was the same thing yesterday. guess its not as accurate as night runs? or....what?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



You probably shouldn't watch FOX. You might accidentally get informed.
not if everything is "likely".... lol

Mornin, Doug...

And a good morning to all... We are having a wonderful Sunday morning so far, and hopefully it will stay warm and breezy all day.

Sorry for those who were looking 4 snow and didn't get it...

I'll check in later, but I gotta get outside and soak up some vitamin D....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:


It's over, NAM model has won.. No severe weather threat today anymore... Was look forward to tracking a nice squall line over the peninsula but it will wait another day as Florida remains dry.
good morning, yes we are under a wind advisery, but the sky is blue and the sun is out and besides the breeze, looks to be a nice day here along the gulf coast
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
Quoting jrweatherman:
I see that gas prices are at an all time high for this time of year. Didn't the president made promises to fix it. I guess he's more worried about global warming, gay marriage, and political correctness. I get my drivers license this year and I won't be able to afford to put gas in my parents car if I wanted to borrow it.
WAIT UNTIL IT GOES TO 5.00
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
I see that gas prices are at an all time high for this time of year. Didn't the president made promises to fix it. I guess he's more worried about global warming, gay marriage, and political correctness. I get my drivers license this year and I won't be able to afford to put gas in my parents car if I wanted to borrow it.
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This is for Giovanna...
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8041
Wait a second, skies are clearing and the storms have yet to develop.. We may get some severe weather afterall as the sun is doing it's part in making the atmosphere unstable.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
I dislike the way those answers are worded. All of the answers say "likely" which naturally loads the question. Guess I really shouldn't be surprised to see it on Fox.



You probably shouldn't watch FOX. You might accidentally get informed.
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It's over, NAM model has won.. No severe weather threat today anymore... Was look forward to tracking a nice squall line over the peninsula but it will wait another day as Florida remains dry.
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Unless a new set of storms starts to develop later this morning but it's soo cloudy here, I dunno if that's possible. Guess we'll see.
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Well look at that, the NAM nailed the severe weather aspect of the storm.. Why does the SPC still have a slight risk of severe weather when the squall line dissipated?
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947. emguy
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I present to you once again....Hurricane Giovanna.....dying.Again


That has been an amazingly tennacious storm....
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Ladies and Gentlemen,
I present to you once again....Hurricane Giovanna.....dying.Again

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945. emguy
natrwlkn...I don't trust the independent model from WRAL...but the grids seem to be very fine in resolution. The show us getting almost nothing here in Raleigh...But your neck of the woods gets pounded with snow in comparison. Just thought I'd share the link to that. If that plays true, you will be a very happy man! http://www.wral.com/weather/page/9748768/
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Quoting emguy:
I hope it snows like mad for you!!! Me too in Raleigh! Fourth and goal...and it's getting late in the game...go team! ;)


Haha! Yes sir! Good snow luck to you!
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943. emguy
I hope it snows like mad for you!!! Me too in Raleigh! Fourth and goal...and it's getting late in the game...go team! ;)
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Quoting natrwalkn:


I'll bet they punt. They've been severely downplaying this storm compared to the models all along. They seem very afraid to step out and say, "SNOW, SNOW, SNOW"!

Thanks for the info!


Ok, DUH, I see it there now! Sometimes I just need to be pointed in the right direction!
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Quoting emguy:
I looked at the bottom chart (chart 4). On the far right, you see a breakdown of precip types. I actually made a mistake because it says .64 IN under snow...the good news is that means 6.4 Inches...not 6.1 :) I might suspect that the National Weather Service will be issuing Winter Weather Advisories with the upcoming discussion. Maybe even a couple Winter Storm Watches. Then again...they may punt and defer to the morning desk staff. So far, it's interesting indeed! :D


I'll bet they punt. They've been severely downplaying this storm compared to the models all along. They seem very afraid to step out and say, "SNOW, SNOW, SNOW"!

Thanks for the info!
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940. emguy
I looked at the bottom chart (chart 4). On the far right, you see a breakdown of precip types. I actually made a mistake because it says .64 IN under snow...the good news is that means 6.4 Inches...not 6.1 :) I might suspect that the National Weather Service will be issuing Winter Weather Advisories with the upcoming discussion. Maybe even a couple Winter Storm Watches. Then again...they may punt and defer to the morning desk staff. So far, it's interesting indeed! :D
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Quoting emguy:


I'm trying to figure out where these are found and where your forecast is for...Otherwise, you are correct...Use a 10:1 Ratio...or 10 Inches of snow = 1 Inch Liquid. Therfore, for you, .61 IN is 6.1 Inches of snow. Just multiply by 10! :)


Ok, thanks! that sounds about right from other sources I've seen. I am in Greensboro, NC. Also, how did you get "6.1"? I look at the bars and over to the side of the chart and estimate, but how did you get exactly 6.1 from it?
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938. emguy
Quoting natrwalkn:
The graphic was on post 926


I'm trying to figure out where these are found and where your forecast is for...Otherwise, you are correct...Use a 10:1 Ratio...or 10 Inches of snow = 1 Inch Liquid. Therfore, for you, .61 IN is 6.1 Inches of snow. Just multiply by 10! :)
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The graphic was on post 926
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Quoting SPLbeater:
and here is natrwalkn's forecast..incase he is hangin around..


Would someone please help me read this for snowfall potential? Thank you.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Climate Change Denialists: Changing data for their advantage since 1900!
I dislike the way those answers are worded. All of the answers say "likely" which naturally loads the question. Guess I really shouldn't be surprised to see it on Fox.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting yqt1001:


I'm not very good at finding stereotypes. :P

Well, not good at finding how terrorism = Iran....more like Iran = a new cold war in the making.
yea better not come anywhere near that.

The idea that at one point we came very close to blowing all of ourselves of the face of the Earth is literally insane.

World peace please!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56089
Quoting SPLbeater:
and here is natrwalkn's forecast..incase he is hangin around..


Would this be around 10" of snow using a 0.1 to 1" QPF liquid to snow conversion?
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Quoting SPLbeater:
and here is natrwalkn's forecast..incase he is hangin around..


Haha! Thank you! Yes I AM still around and will be off and on until the 3:00 NWS discussion update. I'm not that experienced at looking at your posted graphic, so how much snow does that mean?
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:




Think all this might have an impact on weather?


Even the cement bombs droped in Vieques PR had serious consequences not only on the people but on the ecosystem. Planet earth is interconected. We are receiving diluted Fukushima rad. even here in the Caribbean, not to mention W Conus that is closer. Wars contaminate. Contamination affects weather. GW or Climate change, whatever people want to call it is the consequence and effect of all the contamination that industrialization including wars, have upon earth. (if we get into a nuclear war, that would be suicidal)
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882

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