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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Outer Banks in Dare County got somethin to watch today...
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting TomTaylor:
just curious, why do you support "conservatism"? Are you wealthy or in the upper class in terms of income?


I have never understood why anyone of the middle class and especially the lower class would be conservative. Social programs and liberalism act to benefit people of lower to middle income and redistribute the wealth. Obviously some spending needs to be cut, I agree, but I just can't understand why anyone of the lower class or middle class would ever be conservative.



I bust my ass to make 40k a year. I'm hardly in the upper class. What you don't understand, in my opinon, is that when you make otherwise able-bodied people dependent on the government, you sap their will-power to better themselves and they will never be upwardly mobile. Making people too comfortable in their poverty assures that they will stay there for rest of their lives. In a trickle-down economy, what trickles down isn't always money. It's opportunity. The opportunity to better ones position. That is what the "American Dream" is, the chance, thru hard work to better oneselves lot in life. Free markets offer the best chance for the the most people to lift themselves up. I've never taken a food-stap in my life. I've worked as a self-employeed musician all of my adult life playing keys in reggae bands, rock bands and funk bands.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 571
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

NOOO!!


I see that, and raise you....

Awww hell no!
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1277. Patrap



Abita man shields four children as tree crashes on house during storm

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2012, 7:36 PM
By Scott Threlkeld, The Times-Picayune

Eric Revere talks about how he and his children narrowly escaped injury Sunday, February 19, 2012, when strong winds during a thunderstorm Saturday toppled a tree onto his home near Abita Springs. High winds ripped through Hillcrest subdivision during a thunderstorm Saturday, snapping or uprooting dozens of trees, knocking down power lines, and damaging at least three homes. Revere and his four children were at home when the bad weather hit.
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1276. Patrap
Fat Tuesday in New Orleans looks fair and Mild.

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1275. Patrap
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hey WXgeek, are there anything else forecast for us to track? this last one made the blog active and fun..lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
1243 sunlinepr "Chile Atacama Desert: driest place on Earth pounded by days of heavy rains"

You don't need to be a weatherman to know...The climes, they are a changin'
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The Storm Prediction Center has a 5% chance of Severe Thunderstorms tomorrow. It appears we'll be tracking some by tomorrow night across Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
WELL! we got atleast 0.25 inch outside, which means my prediction of 0.25in. - 3.00in. was right :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting WxGeekVA:
....



....
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Glad I'm not the only to have noticed the trend for leap years, no matter the ENSO pattern, to be a particular nasty year.

2008 - Hurricane's Dolly, Ike & Gustav.
2004 - Hurricane's Charley, Frances, Ivan & Jeanne.
2000 - Hurricane Keith.
1996 - Hurricane's Bertha, Fran & Hortense.
1992 - Hurricane Andrew.
1988 - Hurricae's Gilbert & Joan
1984 - Hurricane Diana.
1980 - Hurricane Allen,
correlation =/= causation
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
1268. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
winter is done
temps on the rebound to spring starts in two weeks our area in southern ontario predicts no snow for the next two weeks
after that its only another week of winter anyway
we have got no major snow storm this winter
normally gets 160 to 175 cm's of snow for a season this season i dont think we have got 20 cm for my area
spring comes fast summer comes even faster
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54378
ok new snow photo is up :D

its comin down nicely now...street lights are so useful!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
....
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Conservatism is what will save this country. Having a "D" or "R" after your name means less and less these days.
just curious, why do you support "conservatism"? Are you wealthy or in the upper class in terms of income?


I have never understood why anyone of the middle class and especially the lower class would be conservative. Social programs and liberalism act to benefit people of lower to middle income and redistribute the wealth. Obviously some spending needs to be cut, I agree, but I just can't understand why anyone of the lower class or middle class would ever be conservative.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

What?! That repulsive thing is the most watched song on YouTube?!


its pronounced like so:

Dustbin beaver!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

NOOO!!


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aspectre "To some, $99million may seem a bit excessive for muscle building equipment."
124 SPLbeater "I said THE REST, not all...All I would like is maybe....hmm...maybe 500k that should fulfill everything i would like to have :) "

Like Bill Gates said, "Once you get beyond a million dollars, it's still the same hamburger."
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Actually, Justin Bieber has two of the top 5 most watched on Youtube..



NOOO!!
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

What?! That repulsive thing is the most watched song on YouTube?!


Actually, Justin Bieber has two of the top 5 most watched on Youtube..


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Quoting ilovehurricanes12:
i love snow!! i live in east haven,conn only one snow storm this year!! last year we had ten snow storm the snow was over my windows!!


i like snow too, but for some reason havnt been routin for it this year. but i have the last few days, and my prayin has paid off.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting TomTaylor:
Justin Bieber's "Baby" is the most popular song on YouTube. By your logic its also the best song.

Popularity has very little to do with quality.

What?! That repulsive thing is the most watched song on YouTube?!
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
FOX rules the ratings. Chaps your butts, admit it. LOL
Justin Bieber's "Baby" is the most popular song on YouTube. By your logic its also the best song.

Popularity has very little to do with quality.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting ilovehurricanes12:
maybe a new storm going up the east coast!!


would be nice...i got a quarter inch o snow and counting(slowly)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
ok guys give me a few seconds to load these 2 pictures of SNOW onto wunderground :D

once again, i was 2nd to it. it aint accumulating on grass cuz its so dang soggy from earlier rain. but nice snow falling now, maybe somethin in mroning I HOPE
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
The problem with most people that watch Fox is that all they watch most over 70 yrs. 24/7. It's the same 29% who would still vote for Bush. So having a solid 29% is always going to make them #1 in a time were there are many outlets of information. Not much to brag about but you have to hand to Roger Ails to find a fringe market and be the first to corner it.
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I've been recording local snowstorms for several years now, but one thing that's been troubling me lately is the snow storm that the northeast had in October.

With less than 4 weeks of winter left, we've only picked up 13 inches of snow- - i don't think there's been a single season in recent history where we've gotten less than 30 inches. But the thing is, 5.7 of those 13 inches fell during the october storm. And with the increasing likelihood of this winter not adding up to much more, i am kind of hesitant to include that 5.7 in the season total. Don't get me wrong, it obviously should be in there (and will), but it just skews the data so much... half of our snow for the winter fell in the month of october. that really affects how the data is presented, because its one thing to say that we got 13 inches of snow this winter, but its another thing to say that only six inches fell in november/december/january/february. i know that im breaking the number one weather rule in saying this, but: that just doesnt happen... not where i live.
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FUKUSHIMA UPDATE

Yellow powder fell in China and JP corporations removed the video
Posted by Mochizuki on February 19th, 2012 · No Comments

Following up this article ..Yellow powder still remains in Tokyo

Yellow powder was observed in Fujian in China 3/23/2011.

However, the youtube video was removed by the request of Yomiuri agency and the federation of electric power companies of Japan. Yomiuri is known to be a propaganda media.

I would like to share some links on the ‘yellow powder substance’ or oxide plutonium.
‘The behavior of plutonium oxide in the body varies with the way in which it is taken. If one drinks or eats it, a very large percentage of it will be eliminated from the body quite rapidly in body wastes. If plutonium oxide is inhaled, part of it, usually between 20 and 60 percent depending upon such things as the size of the particles, is retained in the lung. The rest is eliminated from the body within several days. Of that which remains in the lungs, about half will be removed each year, some to be excreted, some to lodge in the lymph nodes, and a very small amount will be deposited in other organs, mainly bone. If plutonium enters the body through an open wound, depending on its form, it may move directly into body organs, mainly bone and liver.
Recent research with one of the least radioactive isotopes of plutonium (plutonium-242, which has a half-life of 376,000 years) indicates that plutonium in the body may contribute to the development of tumors.’
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fac t-sheets/plutonium.html
‘Plutonium oxide is the chemical compound with the formula PuO2. This high melting point solid is a principal compound of plutonium. It can vary in color from yellow to olive green, depending on the particle size, temperature and method of production. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium(IV)_oxide

5 mSv of exposure may increase the cancer risk as double as average
Posted by Mochizuki on February 19th, 2012 · No Comments

5 mSv of exposure may increase the cancer risk as double as average

Prof. Miyao from Information technology center, Nagoya university found out the low level of exposure may cause high risk of cancer.
Radiation effects research foundation holds the data of 58,000 victims of Hiroshima.
Prof. Miyao compared this data to 1,940,000 of un-exposed people living in Hiroshima and Okayama in 1971. They were 0~34 years old when Hiroshima was damaged.

As the result,

0.005 ~ 0.1 Sv of exposure :

120~130 % risk of Solid Tumors
170~270% risk of liver cancer
180~200% risk of uterus cancer
It’s not known how stress worked.


4 quakes in 90 minutes near Fukushima — Began several hours after intensity 5- quake in Ibaraki

Published: February 19th, 2012 at 11:23 am ET
By ENENews Title: Earthquake Information
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency Date: Feb 19, 2012

23:18 JST 19 Feb 2012 Ibaraki-ken Hokubu M3.0 1
22:29 JST 19 Feb 2012 Ibaraki-ken Hokubu M3.5 1
22:12 JST 19 Feb 2012 Ibaraki-ken Hokubu M3.9 2
21:52 JST 19 Feb 2012 Fukushima-ken Oki M3.9 2
14:54 JST 19 Feb 2012 Ibaraki-ken Hokubu M5.1 5-
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



You probably shouldn't watch FOX. You might accidentally get informed.
might, but I doubt it. Fox is run by humans though, so you never know, they night make an accident once in a while :>
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
just went outside to 'measure' whats fallen. its not sleet anymore, its light snow now. got about 1/5 of an inch. :D

The pup also came out onto the deck and started sniffin around at it...lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Iran halts oil exports to France and United Kingdom
Posted on February 19, 2012
February 19, 2012 – TEHRAN - Iran has halted oil sales to British and French companies, the nation’s oil ministry has said. A spokesman was reported as saying on the ministry’s website that Iran would “sell our oil to new customers.” European Union member states had earlier agreed to stop importing Iranian crude from 1 July. The move is intended to pressure Tehran to stop enriching uranium, which can be used for civilian nuclear purposes but also to build warheads. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, but the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency says it has information suggesting Iran has carried out tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” Sunday’s statement on the oil ministry website was attributed to spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad Rahbar. BBC world affairs correspondent Peter Biles says it appears to be another act of retaliation in the showdown between Iran and the West. The French news agency AFP says the decision is not expected to have a big impact. Last year France bought only 3% of its oil – 58,000 barrels per day (b/d) – from Iran and the UK imported even less Iranian oil. A UK government official told the BBC there would be “no impact on UK energy security.” Some Iranian media had announced on Wednesday that Iran had stopped oil exports to the Netherlands, Greece, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy in retaliation for the EU’s oil embargo, but this was later denied by the oil ministry. The EU oil embargo, agreed last month, was phased so member states that were relatively dependent on Iranian crude – notably Greece, Spain and Italy – had enough time to find alternative sources. The bloc currently buys about 20% of Iran’s oil exports, which account for a majority of government revenue. However, Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said that a cut in exports to Europe would not hurt Tehran. -BBC
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting aspectre:
1223 SPLbeater "but if I did ever get that much money, I would be buying a nice house, a good vehcile, some Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, a few Fi 18" subwoofers, and getting a serious car audio system. Then use the rest for muscle building equipment."

To some, $99million may seem a bit excessive for muscle building equipment.


i said THE REST, not all. heck i dont even want all that money, its useless to me. all i would like is maybe....hmm...maybe 500k that should fulfill everything i would like to have :)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Chile Atacama Desert: driest place on Earth pounded by days of heavy rains
Posted on February 19, 2012


February 19, 2012 – CHILE – Four days of heavy rain in Chile’s Atacama Desert have forced hundreds from their homes as swollen rivers broke their banks and loosened soil gave way to a second landslide in less than a week. The settlements in the world’s driest desert remain on alert as the usually slow moving rivers furiously churn their way down the highland plateau to the Pacific Ocean. Some local towns have seen as much as two metres of flooding and some 800 residents have been forced from their homes. “It is all ruined. Just like you can see. Everything is lost, I have to start all over again,” said a resident of the town of Toconao. Comparing the disaster to wild fires that forced the closing of Chile’s Patagonian Torres del Paine National Park, Economy Minister Pablo Longueira vowed the government would act quickly for residents and get the tourism industry here back on its feet as quickly as possible. “We are going to try to move as quickly as possible. Just like in Torres del Paine [National Park], which was unfortunately struck with another fire last week, we are going to remove all tourist activities as quickly as possible. We are completely aware of how important San Pedro de Atacama is for Chile,” Longueira said. Officials have not reported any deaths but have warned residents to remain alert. –Telegraph

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Massive explosive eruption seen at Japan’s Sakurajima volcano

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting Chapelhill:
The chances go down hill really fast now... by the day! Anyway, a spotter in Siler City reported 1.2". Makes since as the heavy echoes moves across there.


yeah, areas to my northwest really got some good. Greensboro looks like it got it good.

May not have been late march, but early march..had some 1-3 inches, lil ice..
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting SPLbeater:


i have received snow in late march. i got another month:)
The chances go down hill really fast now... by the day! Anyway, a spotter in Siler City reported 1.2". Makes since as the heavy echoes moves across there.
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1223 SPLbeater "But if I did ever get that much money, I would be buying a nice house, a good vehicle, some Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, a few Fi 18" subwoofers, and getting a serious car audio system. Then use the rest for muscle building equipment."

To some, $99million may seem a bit excessive for muscle building equipment.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


1st thing I do is give a million bucks to each of my family members. Then I hit the club. After the club I don't know what to do next except impulse buy everything from moon bounces to cartons of Head-On.....

Where would I even use that anyway..





Most annoying commercial ever. I need it though from the headache I got from this latest bust snowstorm...
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1237. pottery
Quoting WxGeekVA:




lol!

heheheheh
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's a little too late for that by now...March is in a week.


i have received snow in late march. i got another month:)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting pottery:
Hi.
I have been meaning to tell you about the fact that I'm really your brother.




lol!
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Quoting Chapelhill:
We have an inch in Chapel Hill. It was a nice snow burst. Most of it fell in 20 minutes.


man, i got a dusting of ice. could have had a little bit more if the ground wast soggy with rainwater from earlier today
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting SPLbeater:
With the GFS hinting at something else interesting for the mid-atlantic, could the pattern be changing?

It's a little too late for that by now...March is in a week.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
With the GFS hinting at something else interesting for the mid-atlantic, could the pattern be changing?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


when is this?


That would be for March 1st. Highly doubt it will verify but interesting though...
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Quoting SPLbeater:


ya i know, but we atleast got a dusting :D


maybe somethin else may develop to my west...hopefully

oh and it aint ended yet..its almost ended
We have an inch in Chapel Hill. It was a nice snow burst. Most of it fell in 20 minutes.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.