# Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

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Barriers in the Atmosphere: Arctic Oscillation (3)
 By: Dr. Ricky Rood, 12:50 AM GMT on October 03, 2013 +20
Barriers in the Atmosphere: Arctic Oscillation (3)

I want to continue with the Arctic Oscillation / North Atlantic Oscillation. First, however, here is the link to my August presentation. Also here is a link to the GLISAclimate.org project workspace where I collected together the materials I used in the presentation - Arctic Oscillation: Climate variability in the Great Lakes.

Here are the previous entries in the series:
Behavior
Definitions and Some Background

This blog is mostly a setup for the next one. (And yes I did notice that the IPCC AR-5 report was released, but I don’t have anything different to say about it than many of my more able colleagues. I’ll get to it.)

In the talk that I linked to above, I used a couple of diagrams that the audience told me worked very well. I am going to try them out in this blog. In the previous blogs I used the CPC Climate Glossary to give the definition of the Arctic Oscillation. “The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases.” This definition does not really do much for me. It’s one of those definitions that I imagine if I ask 10 atmospheric scientists to tell me what it means, I will get 12 answers. Therefore, I will draw a picture.

Figure 1: Adapted from Jim Hurrell – This picture is a schematic representation of the positive and negative phases of the Arctic Oscillation. In the positive phase the pressure is low at the pole and high at middle latitudes. This is the positive phase because if you calculate the difference between middle and high latitudes it is large. In the negative phase the pressure is not as low at the pole and not as high at middle latitudes. This is the negative phase because if you calculate the difference between middle and high latitudes it is small. The refrigerator suggests that this is like opening and closing the refrigerator door (see Behavior).

This figure helps me with the definition. I want to focus on the low pressure at high latitudes, which in this figure is drawn idealistically at the pole. In reality, it is likely to wander off the pole, a fact that will be important in the next blog. When the pressure is low at the pole, then there is a stronger vortex of air circulating around the pole. When the pressure at the pole is not as low, then there is a weaker vortex. In both cases, strong or weak vortex, the air generally moves from west to east.

For clarity, vorticity is a parameter that describes rotation in a fluid. A vortex is a feature in a fluid dominated by vorticity – that is it is rotationally dominated. Tornadoes and hurricanes are weather features that we often call vortices; there is an obvious circulation of air in these features. In the Earth’s atmosphere at middle and high latitudes rotation is an important characteristic of the flow, due to the rotation of the Earth. The reason air moves in the west to east direction for both the weak and strong vortex cases of Figure 1 is that the rotation of the Earth is important to the flow.

In Figure 2 I have set up an even more idealized figure. I also provide this link to a Powerpoint animation, that I am not smart enough to incorporate into the blog. In the animation I have five slides that clarify the point that I make in Figure 2.

Figure 2: A vortex and a ball. In the center of the figure is low pressure, meant to be an analogue to the vortex over the pole in Figure 1. Parcels of air move around the low pressure system. If it takes the same amount of time for a parcel farther away from the low pressure center to go around the vortex as a parcel nearer the center, then the parcel farther away has to go faster because the distance it has to go is longer. That is why I drew that arrow, saying that air moves “faster” at the outside edge of the vortex.

To set my point a little more, imagine you are on a bridge overlooking a running stream. If you drop a stick in the water near the edge where the water is moving slowly, then if the stick drifts towards the more rapidly flowing water, it is carried downstream at the edge of the fast moving water. It does not cross the core of fast moving water – this jet of water. In fact the jet is something of a barrier that keeps material from crossing the stream. Material is transported downstream.

Back to Figure 2: Imagine that you want to roll a ball into the center of a vortex. As the ball gets to the edge it gets caught up in the flow and pulled around the edge. It does not roll into the center. Look at the this link to a Powerpoint animation to get a better idea of what’s going on.

Now go back to Figure 1. The vortex in Figure 1 is also a barrier. The southern edge of vortex is a jet stream. Air on the two sides of the vortex often has different characteristics. Intuitively, there is colder air on the poleward side. If you look at trace gases, like ozone, they are different across the edge of the vortex. The takeaway idea is that the edge of the vortex is a barrier. It’s not a perfect barrier, but air on one side is largely separated from the air on the other side. In the next blog, I will describe the difference between the strong and the weak case and its relevance to weather, climate and, perhaps, climate change.

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 251. Naga5000 1:50 AM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 250. overwash12: Keep food on the table,so you and I can blog.This isn't about truckers, but rather a very small group of truckers (30) who have lost their minds. We don't dislike truckers, we dislike crazy. Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2395
 252. Astrometeor 1:52 AM GMT on October 12, 2013 Here's my only political comment on the day: I believe in AGW, and yet still claim my party to be Republican/Libertarian.That being said, there is absolutely nobody in the US Congress that I would vote for. Most of the GOP disgusts me. And it's even worse in the TN GOP, there are some true idiots (what's the phrase, dumber than brick?) in the TN General Assembly, we can't even get wine back into our grocery stores even though 70-80% of the public is in support of the change. Stupid liquor lobby.//rant over.Just wanted to let you all know that not all Reps are stupid, just most. Wouldn't be the first time though that a party has gone under for 20-25 years... Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 76 Comments: 7683
 253. Naga5000 1:56 AM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 252. Astrometeor:Here's my only political comment on the day: I believe in AGW, and yet still claim my party to be Republican/Libertarian.That being said, there is absolutely nobody in the US Congress that I would vote for. Most of the GOP disgusts me. And it's even worse in the TN GOP, there are some true idiots (what's the phrase, dumber than brick?) in the TN General Assembly, we can't even get wine back into our grocery stores even though 70-80% of the public is in support of the change. Stupid liquor lobby.//rant over.Just wanted to let you all know that not all Reps are stupid, just most. Wouldn't be the first time though that a party has gone under for 20-25 years...Republicans are not bad. It's the extremes in the party that think...well...here, you can see exactly what they think. Link Unfortunately they have a really loud voice in the party at the moment.I take sincere issue with this kind of crazy from anyone. That being said, republicans are fine, we can disagree on issues come to compromises and move on like we always have. These few with the loudest voices are mind blowingly insane, however. Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2395
 254. Astrometeor 2:09 AM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 253. Naga5000:Republicans are not bad. It's the extremes in the party that think...well...here, you can see exactly what they think. Link Unfortunately they have a really loud voice in the party at the moment.I take sincere issue with this kind of crazy from anyone. That being said, republicans are fine, we can disagree on issues come to compromises and move on like we always have. These few with the loudest voices are mind blowingly insane, however.Thanks Naga!Wow, that link was interesting...to say the least. There's even a anti-muslim tab, lol. I wonder if the people down in Murfreesboro, TN read that site, they lost 3 times in court over a potential mosque down there. I believe the mosque is now open. Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 76 Comments: 7683
 255. FLwolverine 2:31 AM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 253. Naga5000:Republicans are not bad. It's the extremes in the party that think...well...here, you can see exactly what they think. Link Unfortunately they have a really loud voice in the party at the moment.I take sincere issue with this kind of crazy from anyone. That being said, republicans are fine, we can disagree on issues come to compromises and move on like we always have. These few with the loudest voices are mind blowingly insane, however.I have a lot of sympathy for moderate Republicans - there used to be a lot of them, and I think they're still out there, keeping their heads down and hoping they can find someone to vote for. They really need to take back their party from the far right crazies.Astrometeor, some of the craziest sounding Reps are quite smart. Eg, Ted Cruz got a lot of publicity and made a lot of tea party points with no risk to himself. His filibuster wasn't about Obamacare - it was about Ted Cruz. Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 1679
 256. BaltimoreBrian 3:09 AM GMT on October 12, 2013
 257. cyclonebuster 5:39 AM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 250. overwash12: Keep food on the table,so you and I can blog.That can be done without emissions... Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 258. Birthmark 9:42 AM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 255. FLwolverine:I have a lot of sympathy for moderate Republicans - there used to be a lot of them, and I think they're still out there, keeping their heads down and hoping they can find someone to vote for. They really need to take back their party from the far right crazies.Astrometeor, some of the craziest sounding Reps are quite smart. Eg, Ted Cruz got a lot of publicity and made a lot of tea party points with no risk to himself. His filibuster wasn't about Obamacare - it was about Ted Cruz.Once upon a time, I was a moderate Republican. For various reasons (Reagan, mainly), I became a Democrat. For various reasons (DLC, mainly), I became an independent.I don't expect to have a party again in my lifetime.But enough of that. I think the point is that the anti-AGW nonsense is almost exclusively a Republican/Libertarian position. I believe that that position is held because of the worship of the "free market" that those groups practice. AGW is viewed as a criticism of capitalism by many of these people. Therefore, it *must* be a socialist/communist position based on politics. AGW *can't* be science because that would mean that science is criticizing capitalism. Clearly, that's impossible.Throw in some god-stuff and a little old-fashioned greed and self-interest, and that covers the majority of the anti-AGW mind-set in the US.In my opinion, of course. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 259. Doxienan 12:30 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 258. Birthmark:Once upon a time, I was a moderate Republican. For various reasons (Reagan, mainly), I became a Democrat. For various reasons (DLC, mainly), I became an independent.I don't expect to have a party again in my lifetime.But enough of that. I think the point is that the anti-AGW nonsense is almost exclusively a Republican/Libertarian position. I believe that that position is held because of the worship of the "free market" that those groups practice. AGW is viewed as a criticism of capitalism by many of these people. Therefore, it *must* be a socialist/communist position based on politics. AGW *can't* be science because that would mean that science is criticizing capitalism. Clearly, that's impossible.Throw in some god-stuff and a little old-fashioned greed and self-interest, and that covers the majority of the anti-AGW mind-set in the US.In my opinion, of course.I have a few long-time Republican friends. In New Hampshire, the Repubs were always environmentalists (of course, they hunt and fish, so they want the land to be conserved and the water to be clean). My close R friends voted for Obama, and believe the CC science. Most of the others, I believe, are hoping that the Repub party returns to its senses. They should not be holding their breath!Interestingly, New Hampshire has had a large influx of "Free Staters" who moved here because of its small population and ease of being elected to office. They are a scary bunch. Member Since: April 28, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
 260. Doxienan 12:52 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 247. JohnLonergan:False equivalence: how 'balance' makes the media dangerously dumbWe've seen it in climate change reporting; we see it in shutdown coverage. Journalists should be unbiased, yes, but not brainless.Let us state this unequivocally: false equivalency – the practice of giving equal media time and space to demonstrably invalid positions for the sake of supposed reportorial balance – is dishonest, pernicious and cowardly.Read more at The GuardianFascinating issue in Boston right now. David Koch is a board member of the PBS station (WGBH) and also contributes HUGE amounts to produce NOVA science programs. 'Forecast the Facts' started a campaign to kick Koch off the WGBH board. They claim you cannot produce factual scientific programming when it's funded by one of the biggest climate change deniers in the country. Emily Rooney (daughter of Andy Rooney and Boston TV personality) did a show last night about the Forecast the Facts campaign and concluded that it's OK to accept Koch money since WGBH claims he does not have any editorial authority in their programming. What do you think? The Kochs give lots of money to various groups. They give hundreds of millions to MIT (including a cancer research center and a new day-care center). Would you accept their donations if you ran a large non-profit? Or would you tell them to shove it? Member Since: April 28, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
 261. Birthmark 1:29 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 259. Doxienan:I have a few long-time Republican friends. In New Hampshire, the Repubs were always environmentalists (of course, they hunt and fish, so they want the land to be conserved and the water to be clean). My close R friends voted for Obama, and believe the CC science. Most of the others, I believe, are hoping that the Repub party returns to its senses. They should not be holding their breath!Interestingly, New Hampshire has had a large influx of "Free Staters" who moved here because of its small population and ease of being elected to office. They are a scary bunch. Yeah, I'm vaguely aware of those nut-jobs. Just make sure the local stores carry inferior/faulty gunpowder and you should be okay.Got nuttin'. Good luck with them. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 262. Birthmark 1:31 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 260. Doxienan:Fascinating issue in Boston right now. David Koch is a board member of the PBS station (WGBH) and also contributes HUGE amounts to produce NOVA science programs. 'Forecast the Facts' started a campaign to kick Koch off the WGBH board. They claim you cannot produce factual scientific programming when it's funded by one of the biggest climate change deniers in the country. Emily Rooney (daughter of Andy Rooney and Boston TV personality) did a show last night about the Forecast the Facts campaign and concluded that it's OK to accept Koch money since WGBH claims he does not have any editorial authority in their programming. What do you think? The Kochs give lots of money to various groups. They give hundreds of millions to MIT (including a cancer research center and a new day-care center). Would you accept their donations if you ran a large non-profit? Or would you tell them to shove it?If the money came without strings, I'd take it without an iota of regret. In such a situation, my job is to manage the non-profit for the benefit of others without regard to what I personally feel or believe.Even some strings might be acceptable, if they were of no concern to the organization. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 263. FLwolverine 2:43 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 262. Birthmark:If the money came without strings, I'd take it without an iota of regret. In such a situation, my job is to manage the non-profit for the benefit of others without regard to what I personally feel or believe.Even some strings might be acceptable, if they were of no concern to the organization.I agree. I would take the money and enjoy the irony. Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 1679
 264. Daisyworld 5:44 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 260. Doxienan:Fascinating issue in Boston right now. David Koch is a board member of the PBS station (WGBH) and also contributes HUGE amounts to produce NOVA science programs. 'Forecast the Facts' started a campaign to kick Koch off the WGBH board. They claim you cannot produce factual scientific programming when it's funded by one of the biggest climate change deniers in the country... It's so much easier to identify the villain with the twirling moustache than the one that surrounds himself with good deeds. Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 751
 265. schwankmoe 6:09 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 i used to believe that some sort of progress was possible in this country (that it was at it's very base 'governable'). i lost that belief a long time ago. roughly a third of the country is not only completely insane, but they aren't going anywhere fast. they're anti-science and anti-reality.this is why there will be no real progress as to our political system or as to climate change. this is why only a first step towards fixing what most would agree is an unsustainable healthcare system is still being litigated by the nuts a full 4 years after it became law, to the point where they intend to spike the entire world economy out of spite for the fact that the president was reelected and the voters said 'thanks but no thanks' to the nuts' own wacky agenda.these guys didn't just get drunk on the haterade, they're full-on drug dependent. there's no reasoning them out of this hole they're in.Quoting 258. Birthmark:Once upon a time, I was a moderate Republican. For various reasons (Reagan, mainly), I became a Democrat. For various reasons (DLC, mainly), I became an independent.I don't expect to have a party again in my lifetime.But enough of that. I think the point is that the anti-AGW nonsense is almost exclusively a Republican/Libertarian position. I believe that that position is held because of the worship of the "free market" that those groups practice. AGW is viewed as a criticism of capitalism by many of these people. Therefore, it *must* be a socialist/communist position based on politics. AGW *can't* be science because that would mean that science is criticizing capitalism. Clearly, that's impossible.Throw in some god-stuff and a little old-fashioned greed and self-interest, and that covers the majority of the anti-AGW mind-set in the US.In my opinion, of course. Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 523
 266. Birthmark 7:54 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 265. schwankmoe:i used to believe that some sort of progress was possible in this country (that it was at it's very base 'governable'). i lost that belief a long time ago. roughly a third of the country is not only completely insane, but they aren't going anywhere fast. they're anti-science and anti-reality.this is why there will be no real progress as to our political system or as to climate change. this is why only a first step towards fixing what most would agree is an unsustainable healthcare system is still being litigated by the nuts a full 4 years after it became law, to the point where they intend to spike the entire world economy out of spite for the fact that the president was reelected and the voters said 'thanks but no thanks' to the nuts' own wacky agenda.these guys didn't just get drunk on the haterade, they're full-on drug dependent. there's no reasoning them out of this hole they're in.I completely agree. Gonna be an interesting week, isn't it?Good luck to everyone --even the nutters. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 267. JohnLonergan 8:35 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 264. Daisyworld:It's so much easier to identify the villain with the twirling moustache than the one that surrounds himself with good deeds.Nothing new, just think of Carnegie Hall, Vanderbilt University, Rockefeller Center and all the other monuments to the 19th century Robber Barons. Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2569
 268. overwash12 9:48 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 The Arctic will be at it's maximum thickness in 7 years. We are heading for colder times ahead! Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1433
 269. Neapolitan 9:53 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 268. overwash12:The Arctic will be at it's maximum thickness in 7 years. We are heading for colder times ahead!(Readers: for the reasoning behind this comment, please refer to #265.) Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13107
 270. Cochise111 10:22 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 52% increase in Arctic ice in a year. Ouch!Link Member Since: February 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 251
 271. Naga5000 10:25 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 270. Cochise111:52% increase in Arctic ice in a year. Ouch!LinkWait, it was 60% just a little bit ago? Guilty of bad math? Check. Not understanding what a trend is? Check. Still trying even though you are discredited every time? Check. Ouch! Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2395
 272. JohnLonergan 11:07 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Arctic Sea Ice Volume is way down still after this year's hiccup, note that in the linked graph the 1979-2001 average is the top gray line. It looks like a lot of thin ice here.More on Ice thickness and age Figure 4. These images show June to August sea level pressures compared to the 1981 to 2010 average, for 2012 (left) and 2013 (right). In 2013, low pressures prevailed over the central Arctic Ocean and Greenland. Blues and purples indicate low pressures, while greens, yellows, and reds indicate high pressures. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center courtesy NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences DivisionHigh-resolution image Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2569
 273. JohnLonergan 11:11 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 271. Naga5000:Wait, it was 60% just a little bit ago? Guilty of bad math? Check. Not understanding what a trend is? Check. Still trying even though you are discredited every time? Check. Ouch!The biggest mistake is citing Steve(It snows dry ice at the South Pole)Goddard. Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2569
 274. JohnLonergan 11:19 PM GMT on October 12, 2013 Quoting 263. FLwolverine:I agree. I would take the money and enjoy the irony.Considering the number of Koch funded episodes like this:For the residents of Crossett, Arkansas living in daily fear of the toxic air and water pollution originating from a paper mill and chemical plant operated by Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia Pacific, the EPA staffers they’re depending on are anything but "nonessential." The government shutdown has life or death consequences for Crossett, and communities on the fencelines of polluting industry across America.I don't think I could take their money in good conscience. Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2569
 275. FLwolverine 12:28 AM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 274. JohnLonergan:Considering the number of Koch funded episodes like this:For the residents of Crossett, Arkansas living in daily fear of the toxic air and water pollution originating from a paper mill and chemical plant operated by Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia Pacific, the EPA staffers they’re depending on are anything but "nonessential." The government shutdown has life or death consequences for Crossett, and communities on the fencelines of polluting industry across America.I don't think I could take their money in good conscience.Ouch. You make a very good point. Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 1679
 276. RevElvis 1:12 AM GMT on October 13, 2013 Cashing In on Catastrophe: How to Stop the Climate Crisis ProfiteersThe fossil fuel industry is looking to half-baked and unproven technologies that will allow it to keep meddling with our atmosphere, regardless of the risks.The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the most authoritative scientific study on our climate to date, confirmed what we all knew: that global warming is happening, yet we continue to pump carbon into the air regardless. For a short spell, the report prompted some hand-wringing over society's failure to heed scientists' warnings. Very few commentators, however, pointed to the dangerous possibility that the failure of political and business leaders may be due to calculation rather than cowardice. Could it be that rather than burying their heads in the sands, some of our leaders are maintaining the pretense of tackling climate change while actually focused on how to manage its impact in their own interests?The evidence that, behind the political platitudes, the policy focus is shifting from tackling the causes to controlling the impacts of climate change is becoming more visible. In fact, the final conclusions of the IPCC report ended up at the last minute including a paragraph that suggested geoengineering could offset temperature increases. While the report pointed to some potential “side effects,” it nevertheless opened a door to countries that want to avoid any action that constrain their extractive industries and that are seeking to further meddle with our atmosphere regardless of the risks and human and environmental costs. As Neth Daño of the watchdog group ETC noted, “The report doesn't discuss solar power or electric cars; it doesn't discuss public transport, carbon markets or any other actual or potential policy response to the climate crisis, so why have the authors chosen to devote the concluding paragraph to this highly speculative and dangerous technofix?”Corporations, particularly those with ties to the fossil fuel industry, have long looked to half-baked or unproven technologies, like carbon capture, in order to justify continued exploitation of gas and oil reserves. Increasingly, they are also seeking salvation in technological solutions for the climate crisis that will result from their criminal intransigence. Rex Tillerson, CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil famously dismissed the need to act to stop climate change saying in 2012 that, “Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around—we'll adapt to that. It's an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions.”Alternet.org Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
 277. RevElvis 1:18 AM GMT on October 13, 2013 The Growing Environmental Costs of America's Transformation into an Energy SuperpowerThere are growing concerns over radiation risks and a new report finds widespread environmental damage on an unimaginable scale in the US.Fracking in America generated 280bn US gallons of toxic waste water last year – enough to flood all of Washington DC beneath a 22ft deep toxic lagoon, a new report out on Thursday found.The report from campaign group Environment America said America's transformation into an energy superpower was exacting growing costs on the environment. "Our analysis shows that damage from fracking is widespread and occurs on a scale unimagined just a few years ago," the report, Fracking by the Numbers, said.The full extent of the damage posed by fracking to air and water quality had yet to emerge, the report said.But it concluded: "Even the limited data that are currently available, however, paint an increasingly clear picture of the damage that fracking has done to our environment and health."A number of recent studies have highlighted the negative consequences of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which have unlocked vast reservoirs of oil and natural gas from rock formations.There have been instances of contaminated wells and streams, as well as evidence of methane releases along the production chain.The Environment America report highlights another growing area of concern – the safe disposal of the billions of gallons of waste water that are returned to the surface along with oil and gas when walls are fracked.The authors said they relied on data from industry and state environmental regulators to compile their report.More than 80,000 wells have been drilled or permitted in 17 states since 2005.It can take 2m to 9m gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals to frack a single well. The report said the drilling industry had used 250bn gallons of fresh water since 2005. Much of that returns to the surface, however, along with naturally occurring radium and bromides, and concerns are growing about those effects on the environment. Alternet.orgReport: Fracking By The Numbers / Environment America (pdf) Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
 278. RevElvis 1:22 AM GMT on October 13, 2013 5 Reasons Why Prioritizing Growth Is Bad PolicyOne of the few things on which left, right, and center agree is that growth is good and more of it is needed. Here's why that is so problematic.Not much in our society is more faithfully followed than economic growth. Its movements are constantly monitored, measured to the decimal place, deplored or praised, diagnosed as weak or judged healthy and vigorous. Newspapers, magazines, and cable channels report regularly on it. It is examined at all levels -- global, national, and corporate. Indeed, one of the few things on which left, right, and center agree is that growth is good and more of it is needed. There are only five problems with America's growth imperative: 1. Growth doesn't work. It doesn't deliver the claimed social and economic benefits. 2. Our measure of growth -- gross domestic product or GDP -- is fundamentally flawed. 3. The focus on growing GDP deflects us away from growing the many things that do need to grow. 4. The over-riding imperative to grow gives over-riding power to those, mainly the corporations, which have the capital and technology to deliver that growth, and, much the same thing, it undermines the case for a long list of public policies that would improve national well-being but are said to "slow growth" and to "hurt the economy." 5. Economic activity and its growth are the principal drivers of massive environmental decline.Alternet.org Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
 279. Some1Has2BtheRookie 4:19 AM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 260. Doxienan:Fascinating issue in Boston right now. David Koch is a board member of the PBS station (WGBH) and also contributes HUGE amounts to produce NOVA science programs. 'Forecast the Facts' started a campaign to kick Koch off the WGBH board. They claim you cannot produce factual scientific programming when it's funded by one of the biggest climate change deniers in the country. Emily Rooney (daughter of Andy Rooney and Boston TV personality) did a show last night about the Forecast the Facts campaign and concluded that it's OK to accept Koch money since WGBH claims he does not have any editorial authority in their programming. What do you think? The Kochs give lots of money to various groups. They give hundreds of millions to MIT (including a cancer research center and a new day-care center). Would you accept their donations if you ran a large non-profit? Or would you tell them to shove it?I watch a lot of PBS shows, such as NOVA, and much of the funding is by the Koch brothers. I have yet to see this funding have an influence on the science presented. Even any shows on CC have shown what is known to science and with very little to none of the "equal time" for the psuedo-science. Fox, on the other hand, does just the opposite. Their "science" based shows, on the radio, are always heavily swayed towards the psuedo-science with a dash of real science thrown in to "keep it legit". I say take the Koch brother's money for as long as they have no say in the programming. I would rather see their money spent this way instead of trying to buy state and local elections. Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4715
 280. JohnLonergan 12:00 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Musings on Various Interesting Things by David Appell at Quark Soup...The coastal exodus begins (as it should):Sharp increases in federal flood insurance rates are distressing coastal homeowners from Hawaii to New England and are starting to hurt property values and housing sales in areas just beginning to recover from the recession, according to residents and legislators.Oh sure, the affluent love their government subsidies (read the whole article).... Look, this will be going on for the next thousand years or so. You can't fight physics, and you can't tell it where to put its coastlines.... There is not going to be a trustworthy coastline for the next several centuries. Just imagine how society's psychology is going to be affected for the next N-hundred years as the seas keep rising and inundating coastal cities across the planet. You think Venice has troubles? You ain't seen a thing yet.... There will, in the not so far future, be drowned cities everywhere, half-submerged, sad pathetic places ruined by ignorance and greed, and trying to figure out what to do -- import gondolas, or move to the mountains? Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2569
 282. pintada 1:56 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 So, now the good part:If they crash the economy as they appear hell bent on doing, isn't that a good thing?Anything that slows the production of greenhouse gasses will increase the odds that humanity and a few other extant animals will survive AGW.Crash the economy. Leave the rest of the carbon in the ground where it belongs. Buy and get to know a nice horse.If we do those things, the warming might not exceed 4 degrees, and some part of the ecosystem we know might survive, so hey ... the Tea Partiers are my friends! Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 201
 283. Patrap 1:57 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Good luck wit dat bunch.Insanity usually runs in circles till they find a cliff and go, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."Splat" Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 409 Comments: 123973
 284. Patrap 2:03 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Death of the DreamBarry LevinsonAcademy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producerPosted: 10/11/2013 5:54 pmWith the recent calamity of the Government Shutdown and the looming debt ceiling fight, one thing has become crystal clear: we are witnessing the Death of the American Dream.In the past we believed all things were possible, there was absolutely nothing that Americans couldn't accomplish. In the '60s, President Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and few doubted the possibilities. After all, America was always capable of great and glorious accomplishments.We were the Dreamers. It was instilled in the American psyche, American ingenuity. We led the world in research, medical or scientific, our engineering feats astounding the world. We had a government that participated, encouraged, and supported this mighty economic engine. We had a middle class that was the envy of the world. Things were good, but they would even be better in the future. Our education system supported all economic classes, and we had fluid upward mobility. We made the impossible possible.When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the Naval Marshal General Yamamoto is rumored to have said, "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant." And he was right. Within three years we built the strongest, most advanced military on the face of the earth.We believed in Democracy, in fairness. We believed in our Government. We disagreed, argued, but we never doubted our form of Government, or the Government itself. Now a harsh reality sweeps the land. Our precious form of government is dying. Democracy is dying. A minority can now control the majority. Fanaticism that we thought applied to less progressive countries is now homegrown. In the past we didn't always agree, but we accepted laws that were passed as the law of the land. We might fight to overturn some legislation within the halls of Congress, but a minority never took it upon themselves to deprive millions of Americans their jobs, stopping their ability to earn a wage. Never were we this destructive because a minority was opposed to a piece of legislation. And so our Democracy grinds to a halt.We might get past the debt ceiling crisis, the government shutdown, but the future of America is clear. We are no longer the wonder of the world. We exposed our ignorance, our ugly insensitivity. We are a petty people with a government that has ceased to function. The great achievements are part of yesterday. The future is a dark place.We have proven a Democracy is a fragile form of government. And we have shown the world how easy it is to kill it. Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 409 Comments: 123973
 285. schwankmoe 2:04 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 at this rate the whole earth will be covered in ice in 20 years! run for your lives!Quoting 270. Cochise111:52% increase in Arctic ice in a year. Ouch!Link Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 523
 286. Patrap 2:08 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Steve Goddard, yeah, a Ghost Post dosen't really enforce my World view on da subject.But feel free to enjoy his comedy I say. Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 409 Comments: 123973
 287. yoboi 2:11 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 285. schwankmoe:at this rate the whole earth will be covered in ice in 20 years! run for your lives!It will not....stop using that crazy agw math..... Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 1846
 288. Cochise111 2:33 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 A climate model that actually works:Link Member Since: February 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 251
 289. Birthmark 2:40 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 281. pintada:I don't think that the picture is quite so bleak, pintada.First, it should be remembered that the overwhelming majority of elected officials are elected by somewhat below 30% of those eligible to vote. So even "very safe seats" seats can be put in play very if the official does something outrageously stupid --like cutting off mom's SS check.Second, he or she who gets the most money in donations is very likely to win, though that's not guaranteed. Business makes a LOT of BIG donations to candidates. (Thanks, Supreme Court!) Business likes stability. Economic crashes are detrimental to business. Therefore those that cause a crash are going to find themselves with the corporate donations that are the life's blood of contemporary elections. Add to that, that if the economy *really* crashes business may not have money to waste on pet politicians. Third, there is little doubt in my mind that Obama will avert a crash. It is unlikely that he will avert it through negotiations. There are several large principles involved here that cannot be compromised by giving into extortion. (Remember, Boehner has already ignored a previous compromise.) Plus, there are many other avenues open to the President, many of which haven't been discussed in the media. (For instance, it's highly likely that a team of attorneys, by request of the White House, are preparing an emergency case to be brought before the US Supreme Court should a collapse look imminent. This USSC is virtually owned by big business and will probably issue a ruling that allows the President to unilaterally raise or ignore the debt ceiling, or rule that Congressional authorization of spending makes the debt ceiling moot, or some other legal artifice that avoids collapse.There are several other issues I could raise, but my fingers are tired. :)The chances of a collapse due to a failure to raise the debt ceiling are very near zero. The chances of a compromise only slightly greater. In my opinion, anyway. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 290. Birthmark 2:41 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 288. Cochise111:Most of them work, your delusions notwithstanding. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 291. Naga5000 2:51 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 288. Cochise111:A climate model that actually works:Wow...a new paper that your buddies at Hockeyschtick once again misrepresent. Besides only going off the abstract which isn't good analysis, let's look at what was posted on the website versus the actual abstract, shall we?Hockeyschtick: "NHT in 2012%u20132027 is predicted to fall slightly over the next decades, due to the recent NAO weakening that temporarily offsets the [theoretical] anthropogenically induced warming."Actual Abstract: "NHT in 2012%u20132027 is predicted to fall slightly over the next decades, due to the recent NAO weakening that temporarily offsets the anthropogenically induced warming."Wow, so the Hockeyschtick actually put a word into the researchers mouth to change the meaning.The paper is simply explaining natural regional variation in the context of climate change. People with no scientific literacy should not interpret papers! Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2395
 292. Cochise111 3:15 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Can it really be called "global warming" when the entire globe hasn't warmed (combined with the fact that the world hasn't warmed in almost two decades)? Talk about denial:Link Member Since: February 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 251
 293. Birthmark 3:16 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 291. Naga5000:Wow...a new paper that your buddies at Hockeyschtick once again misrepresent. Besides only going off the abstract which isn't good analysis, let's look at what was posted on the website versus the actual abstract, shall we?Hockeyschtick: "NHT in 2012%u20132027 is predicted to fall slightly over the next decades, due to the recent NAO weakening that temporarily offsets the [theoretical] anthropogenically induced warming."Actual Abstract: "NHT in 2012%u20132027 is predicted to fall slightly over the next decades, due to the recent NAO weakening that temporarily offsets the anthropogenically induced warming."Wow, so the Hockeyschtick actually put a word into the researchers mouth to change the meaning.The paper is simply explaining natural regional variation in the context of climate change. People with no scientific literacy should not interpret papers!They aren't interpreting, though it's nice of you to give them the benefit of the doubt. That's shows you have a good heart and are a kind person and reflects well on you.I don't suffer from those virtues. :)Denialist are attempting to misinform. They are, in essence, shaking their tiny, massless fists in impotent rage at the body of science. The only difference among them is their individual motivations. Their words have nothing to do with science and everything to do with their personal feelings. Denialists should be embarrassed and ridiculed at every possible opportunity. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 294. Birthmark 3:17 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 292. Cochise111:Can it really be called "global warming" when the entire globe hasn't warmed (combined with the fact that the world hasn't warmed in almost two decades)? Talk about denial:LinkThe globe hasn't warmed? LOLOr maybe you mean some other planet? LOLHere's what happened on Earth for the last 20 years:Just so you're clear on this, the upward slant to the right means the temperature has increased. ;) Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 295. Xandra 3:29 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Science Fair Nightmare Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1144
 296. Birthmark 3:55 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Big round of applause for the LA Times, ladies and gentlemen!On letters from climate-change deniersAs for letters on climate change, we do get plenty from those who deny global warming. And to say they "deny" it might be an understatement: Many say climate change is a hoax, a scheme by liberals to curtail personal freedom.Before going into some detail about why these letters don't make it into our pages, I'll concede that, aside from my easily passing the Advanced Placement biology exam in high school, my science credentials are lacking. I'm no expert when it comes to our planet's complex climate processes or any scientific field. Consequently, when deciding which letters should run among hundreds on such weighty matters as climate change, I must rely on the experts -- in other words, those scientists with advanced degrees who undertake tedious research and rigorous peer review.And those scientists have provided ample evidence that human activity is indeed linked to climate change. Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- a body made up of the world's top climate scientists -- said it was 95% certain that we fossil-fuel-burning humans are driving global warming. The debate right now isn't whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us.Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying "there's no sign humans have caused climate change" is not stating an opinion, it's asserting a factual inaccuracy.Full article here Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896
 297. indianrivguy 4:21 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 284. Patrap:Death of the DreamBarry LevinsonAcademy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producerPosted: 10/11/2013 5:54 pmWith the recent calamity of the Government Shutdown and the looming debt ceiling fight, one thing has become crystal clear: we are witnessing the Death of the American Dream.In the past we believed all things were possible, there was absolutely nothing that Americans couldn't accomplish. In the '60s, President Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and few doubted the possibilities. After all, America was always capable of great and glorious accomplishments.We were the Dreamers. It was instilled in the American psyche, American ingenuity. We led the world in research, medical or scientific, our engineering feats astounding the world. We had a government that participated, encouraged, and supported this mighty economic engine. We had a middle class that was the envy of the world. Things were good, but they would even be better in the future. Our education system supported all economic classes, and we had fluid upward mobility. We made the impossible possible.When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the Naval Marshal General Yamamoto is rumored to have said, "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant." And he was right. Within three years we built the strongest, most advanced military on the face of the earth.We believed in Democracy, in fairness. We believed in our Government. We disagreed, argued, but we never doubted our form of Government, or the Government itself. Now a harsh reality sweeps the land. Our precious form of government is dying. Democracy is dying. A minority can now control the majority. Fanaticism that we thought applied to less progressive countries is now homegrown. In the past we didn't always agree, but we accepted laws that were passed as the law of the land. We might fight to overturn some legislation within the halls of Congress, but a minority never took it upon themselves to deprive millions of Americans their jobs, stopping their ability to earn a wage. Never were we this destructive because a minority was opposed to a piece of legislation. And so our Democracy grinds to a halt.We might get past the debt ceiling crisis, the government shutdown, but the future of America is clear. We are no longer the wonder of the world. We exposed our ignorance, our ugly insensitivity. We are a petty people with a government that has ceased to function. The great achievements are part of yesterday. The future is a dark place.We have proven a Democracy is a fragile form of government. And we have shown the world how easy it is to kill it.Its for sale... and the bad guys have all the dough. Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2345
 298. JohnLonergan 4:24 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 293. Birthmark:They aren't interpreting, though it's nice of you to give them the benefit of the doubt. That's shows you have a good heart and are a kind person and reflects well on you.I don't suffer from those virtues. :)Denialist are attempting to misinform. They are, in essence, shaking their tiny, massless fists in impotent rage at the body of science. The only difference among them is their individual motivations. Their words have nothing to do with science and everything to do with their personal feelings. Denialists should be embarrassed and ridiculed at every possible opportunity.Neither do I, the whole piece, as is everything else cited by our resident DT's, is nothing but ultracrepidarian nonsense.Adjective: noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise. Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2569
 299. JohnLonergan 4:27 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 297. indianrivguy:Its for sale... and the bad guys have all the dough.I hate you say it, but you just won the internet. Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2569
 300. Xulonn 4:33 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 . Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1041
 301. Birthmark 4:33 PM GMT on October 13, 2013 Quoting 297. indianrivguy:Its for sale... and the bad guys have all the dough.It's not over yet, my friend.I've actually got a good feeling about how all of this will turn out. We may see irrationality fall into the disrepute it deserves...perhaps as early as next week. Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4896

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