Weather Wake Up Call for U.S. as Congress Keeps Pushing for More Fossil Fuel Energy

I know I’m not the only one linking greenhouse gas emissions to global climate change to all the horrendously bad weather pummeling the U.S. lately. The east coast is still without power from Hurricane Irene. A new hurricane Katia is churning up in the Atlantic along with a new tropical storm promising to drop a huge amount of rainfall on New Orleans again missing Texas for relief from the record drought there.

At the same time, it’s been a busy 24 hours for earthquake activity in the U.S. In the late morning hours today, 3 earthquakes hit Alaska’s Aleutian Island area. One was 6.8 that triggered a tsunami warning for the U.S. western coastline between 7:30 and 8:00 am while another 4.2 earthquake shook the Los Angeles area yesterday at 1:47 in the afternoon. If we look at the world map for earthquakes there was substantial seismic activity from the southern hemisphere along Australia north to the ring of fire areas of the Indian Ocean arcing around the pacific basin up to Alaska.

Worldwide earthquakes with M4.5+ located by USGS and Contributing Agencies.
(Earthquakes with M2.5+ within the United States and adjacent areas.)

If all of this challenging weather isn’t a wake up call to get moving on sustainable alternatives, then our reps in Congress and some presidential candidates pushing the filthy tar sands project that will ultimately burn 6X dirtier than usual and hawking our substantial caches of coal are representing Big Oil/Gas/Coal and not our health and welfare.

There is no denying the entire world is suffering from increasingly greater extremes of weather with summers at record highs and winters with increasing precipitation in the form of snow in places like Florida. But politics, at least in the U.S. continues to polarize viewpoints about global climate on behalf of Big Energy Industries, using jobs vs. environment as a ploy to divide U.S. citizens once again. Divide and conquer is not just a saying—it works. Because while were fighting/arguing climate change points with each other, congress is passing anti-environmental laws right under our noses. These laws are a direct affront to our clean air, water, and the EPA that is in place for our safety and welfare and have less to do with jobs than deregulation. Think about it. Jobs can be created in many industries. New jobs in new industries would be nice expanding all sorts of related jobs in engineering, science, and the technical fields for a new generation looking to the future not fearing it. On the other hand, once Mother Nature turns on us that’s it.

Are we absolutely positive human activity is not affecting climate change because I’m seeing videos of huge cesspools of plastic gyres growing in size in our oceans? Just because we can’t see pollution is no assurance it’s not there.

So as Mother Nature bears down on our east coast, the gulf, and rumbles the west coast to Alaska, maybe we should forget politics entangled with enormous lobbyist activity from the wealthiest of industries Big Oil/Gas/Coal. Maybe we should use some good ole street smarts believing what we see and experience because what we’re experiencing is advancing global climate change whether it’s politically correct to believe it or not.

To those that continue to follow a political line concerning global climate change that diss the idea that man’s pollution is a catalyst for the horrendous weather we’re experiencing, than why not apply the same 1% principle as we did to enter a war with Iraq that half our citizens never wanted. Former VP Cheney’s one percent principle as applied to global climate change would read like this:

If there is even a 1% chance that human activity such as greenhouse gas emissions is causing accelerated global climate change, then it is our duty to do all that we can to stop that activity for the welfare of mankind everywhere.

There is little argument against this principle because while deniers claim science can’t prove greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change, deniers can’t prove those greenhouse gas emission aren’t causing a problem either. This principle covers the bases. If was good enough for the U.S. to wage war in a country that had nothing to do with the U.S. terrorist attacks or WMD’s, than it’s good enough to save citizens of this country from the devastation Mother Nature can cause that can far exceed any war. Because while we were battered with fear tactics for almost a decade regarding terrorism, no one has stepped forward to churn the same fear for the wrath of Mother Nature when we can clearly see that she is indeed our greatest threat. Attacks by her are happening along our coastlines all at once right now and fewer dollars to recover from it. There may be more, increasingly worse weather if we fail to act.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/

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Hurricane Irene a Whopper at 1/3 the Size of the Eastern U.S.

Checked Science Daily to find what the satellites show for hurricane Irene. Well she’s a whopper at 1/3 the size of the Eastern U.S. Science Daily’s website stated:

NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite saw Hurricane Irene moving through the Bahamas on August 25, 2011 at 10:02 a.m. EDT and far to the east off the African coast was newly born Tropical Depression 10. The GOES-13 image shows Irene to be almost one third of the size of the U.S. east coast. The distance from Augusta, Maine to Miami, Florida is 1662.55 miles. Hurricane Irene’s tropical storm-force winds extend 255 miles from the center making Irene 510 miles in diameter, almost one-third the size of the U.S. Hurricane-force winds extend 70 miles from the center, or 140 miles in diameter.

GOES-13 images and animations are created at NASA’s GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Check out the satellite pic:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825135148.htm

Another article from Science Daily stated, “The Stevens Center for Maritime Systems (CMS), ocean researchers manage a large network of submerged sensors throughout the New York Harbor region, from the South Jersey shore to the eastern end of Long Island and north up the Hudson River.” Besides looking at the usual criteria for measuring a storm the researchers are concerned about storm surge and erosion and so they are also looking at lunar activity. It seems the moon will be closest to earth when Hurricane Irene is supposed to hit the coast. As the article explained:

Lunar activity is expected to play a large role in influencing the storm’s impact on the coast. Irene will arrive at both perigee, when the Moon’s elliptical orbit brings it closest to Earth, and the new moon, when the Moon and sun are aligned on the same side of our planet. Both the Moon’s position and phase will intensify gravitational effects on the tides, causing greater tidal ranges.

Currently, Irene is modeled to travel up the New Jersey coast during the incoming tide on Sunday. The time of passage is expected to generate significant storm surge impacts along the northern New Jersey Coast before the hurricane makes landfall in western Long Island that evening. Waves with heights over 20 feet are expected on the shelf, generating large breaks on shore and significant beach erosion. For regional beaches, this is a vastly different outlook compared to last year’s Hurricane Earl, which stayed further out in the Atlantic and produced long, low waves that probably reversed erosion by pushing sand onto the shore.

Wednesday, August 24, CMS began releasing short statements on Hurricane Irene that describes these latent conditions that can alter the effect of the storm on the region’s busy and heavily populated coast.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825152505.htm

I wonder if all the deniers that poo poo science are paying attention to the forecast now? Do they realize that all the people preparing /evacuating for this storm are readily listening to what climate scientists are telling them about Hurricane Irene? Without science we’d be in the dark about so many things—literally.

God bless all who look to weather this storm. It’s up the coast a lot farther than we normally expect, more buildings, more people.

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European Coast Hit by Hurricane Force Winds and Flooding for 3 Days

Increased extreme climate events are taking on new meaning lately. The Atlantic coast of Europe was hit by hurricane force winds, rain, and surge that broke through concrete walls and flooded miles of land. France was hit the worst. The storm called Xynthia killed Sixty-two people so far, and left a million people without power.

Citizens of France are furious over the state of the seawalls. Sound familiar? Looks familiar with miles of water-covered land from the aerial view in the AP video.

Read the story:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_FRANCE_DEADLY_STORM?SITE=TNKNN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Watch the AP video with aerial views:

http://video.ap.org/?f=TNKNN&pid=S8Dh1XrCPWAAge1F6SpAF2_1i2WbtGD8

The official alert of the flood:

http://www.gdacs.org/reports.asp?eventType=FL&ID=2010_23&country=France&location=&system=
asgard&alertlevel=Green&glide_no=

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Earlier Predictions Were Right; More Rain/Snow Less Insurance Coverage

I ran across an article on the Science Daily website from 2006 that predicted more precipitation both summer and winter in some parts of N. America. The article also explained that rising WARM, moist air is the cause of increased precipitation. This coincides with an older article from Mortgage News Daily website about warming ocean temps, which account for rising warm moist air that contributes to a more intense hurricane season too.

After the recent snow blasts in the U.S., the extremes of snowfall were called “hard core evidence” of global cooling instead of acknowledging that warmer moist air is actually causing it. This was an area of discussion on ABC World News recently, whether rain or snow is an indicator of global cooling. No it’s simply increased precipitation, and it was predicted by science.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006/0205-harder_rain_more_snow.htm.

Science remains adamant about increasingly severe storms due to global warming. Another article on the Science Daily website about a year ago casts the same scenario for more frequent and severe storms.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2009/0109-global_warming_causes_severe_storms.htm.

Are U.S. citizens ready to weather more and greater storms? Most of us think the housing market is bad now, if annual storms get increasingly worse insurance will not support those hit again and again. An article on Mortgage News Daily website made the point, “If you can’t find insurance you can’t get a mortgage. [] If weather-related claims continue at the pace of the last few years it is unlikely that even state and federal coverage will be sustainable.” Houses simply won’t sell because of lack of insurance. The 2007 article continued: “Victim after victim, pawing through the wreckage of their homes, told reporters that they were uninsured, either because their premiums had skyrocketed into the realm of unaffordable over the last few years or because their insurance had been cancelled outright.”

The article went on to list the insurance companies that dropped policies on states along the eastern seaboard already. Combine that with dropped policies along the California coastline and it isn’t rosy. The article acknowledged, “The effects of such warming [global] are still being debated but some estimates are that ocean temperatures will increase 1 degree or more (contributing to the nourishment of hurricanes which are expected to increase in intensity and become a threat to more northern locations than before)…” We saw that during the last hurricane season storms traveled much farther up the eastern seaboard in the Atlantic.

Read the whole article:

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/262007_Homeowners_Insurance.asp.

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Why So Many Earthquakes?

I’m curious as to why the earth is experiencing so many earthquakes? Does one trigger another? Is mankind having an impact on them in some way? I ran into some interesting articles beginning with blaming oil industry drilling to some pretty good evidence that the Indonesian earthquake of 2004 that triggered the tsunami actually weakened fault lines worldwide.

Telegraph.co.uk website posted an article that stated:

A recent US study found that the 2004 earthquake weakened fault lines around the world, including California’s San Andreas Fault.
The research, that was published in the journal Nature on the day the latest earthquake in Indonesia hit, suggested the tsunami could have caused an increase in earthquakes around the world since.

This seems to be the best explanation for an increase in earthquakes for now. My next question is do the earthquakes directly relate to typhoons because another typhoon in Indonesia is set to dump more water on the already flooded region. I do know that part of the world is experiencing an el nino that stirs up hurricanes but they come right in the midst of the earthquakes too so?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/indonesia/6250484/Asian-tsunami-could-have-made-earthquake-risk-in-Indonesia-worse.html.

Other articles relative to oil drilling and earthquakes:

Earthquakes Can Be Triggered by Drilling for Oil and Natural Gas as published in the Wall St. Journal.

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/06/25/at-fault-does-drilling-cause-earthquakes/.

Exxon Mobil Drilling Could Have Tripped 2004 Earthquake/Tsunami

http://pesn.com/2005/01/25/6900062_Exxon_Tripped_Indonesian_Tsunami/.

Doubtful oil drilling can cause huge earthquake

http://www.livescience.com/mysteries/061207_oil_earthquakes.html.

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The Wildfires in California

There are still arguments whether or not global warming has contributed to the onslaught of wildfires in California that certainly appear to be getting worse. As a matter of fact, I read an article that suggested it is because of invading populations of people moving into fire prone areas, and/or forest management practices instead. But a scientific paper published a year ago stated that the changing climate was a greater influence on wildfire activity and intensity than forest management.” http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/Global-Warming-California-Wildfire-47102305.

As for people moving into fire prone areas, sure there would be more likelihood of fires, and more property damage, but Mother Nature is seriously contributing to the wildfire fiasco with a record drought, temperatures in the 80′s-90′s instead of the 70′s for this time of year, and winds that are clocking at 60 and 70 mph, with gusts up to 85! Besides authorities declared that the wildfires in California this past July set a record. There were over 1781 fires burning at once, but luckily most were in sparsely populated areas. So much for the “people-cause-the-fires” theory. http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/california-wildfires-set-a-record/.

What I find odd is that the same people that deny the fire activity in California is due in part to global warming but instead caused by people, simultaneously deny that people cause global warming. Is this not selective reasoning? Certainly the smoke from these fires contributes heavily to air pollution.

Even an article in Business Week suggested that if we don’t do something soon about global warming the costs of the bad weather produced by it could be devastating for California. It stated that there could be “as much as $3.9 billion in annual damages caused by wildfires, rising sea levels and extreme weather events.” I say ditto for many other parts of the country. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D94EAOUO1.htm.

California isn’t the only area of concern. Hurricane ravaged Galveston, Texas did not get enough press during the presidential campaign. There are still what can be termed “Katrina victims.” I’ve noticed a pronounced change in path and verocity of tropical storms up the east coast of America. We do not want to see anything that resembles a hurricane hit NYC. This past spring our midwest was hit with horrible floods. Tornadoes in the South in November are becoming common. And let’s get real here. Five states in the SW have experienced huge growth, even though 4 of those states collectively rely on one and the same Colorado River for all of their water needs. Add the mentality that wants to maintain a steady growth in population in America, and we have to ask, “Just where is everyone supposed to live that won’t pose some sort of weather and/or uninhabitable terrain problem in the U.S.?” Can’t run, can hide from Mother Nature.

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National Geographic’s Planet Earth

If you ever had any questions about a anything relating to earth and its functions, how it all happened, how our climate is changing and why, how we know this stuff, and many other things, watch National Geographic’s presentation “Planet Earth.” This is family stuff, enlightening, interesting, and a little bit scary.

Some of the presentations areexplosive. It’s a little mind boggling how they are able to present prehistoric earth with video footage of events and places from the present. I watched the one about ice mass, and last night was about earthquakes, ending with volcanic eruptions. There is as much action as the latest Rambo movie. My husband was perturbed we changed channels from the movie “Mash,” but said it was really a great presentation and he wants to see more of it now. You’ll find yourself saying “Wow” and “I didn’t know that!” more than once.

I know some people don’t get the National Geographic Channel, but the DVD set of “Planet Earth” is available. It’s better than any encyclopedia books I was brought up with. Maybe if they had this type of learning tool back then more of us would have went into science.

“Planet Earth” is on every night this week, beginning at 9:00 pm on the National Geographic Channel. Tune in.

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2008 the deadliest year for tornadoes in U.S. since 1998, and it’s not even Memorial Day yet.

Since the Myanmar (Burma) hurricane, with already 100,000 people reported dead and 200,000 more missing, China was hit by a massive 7.9 earthquake with nearly 9,000 people dead and thousands missing or injured along with devastating tornadoes that ran through the middle of the U.S. all the way to Georgia leaving 23 dead, and there were very few reports about a tidal wave that hit S. Korea May 4th, but it killed at least seven people when it hit a pier and seaside rocks sweeping away tourists and anglers. Who knows how many were in the area.

So it’s been one heck of a week for big disasters. The tornadoes that keep hitting the center of our nation worse and worse every year are taking more and more lives. It wasn’t long ago that we could honestly make the statement that while tornadoes wreak a lot of damage across our country; very few usually die from them. Not so anymore.

Hits like this from Mother Nature are getting noticeably worse and more and more frequent. According to Wikipedia, as of May 8th, 819 tornadoes have been reported in the United States (of which at least 465 have been confirmed), with 98 confirmed fatalities. This already makes 2008 the deadliest year for them since 1998, and it’s not Memorial Day yet!

People can pooh pooh extreme weather all they want. I reported a long time ago in one of my blogs that I was curious about reports of global warming relative to increased disastrous weather/climate activity and researched the recorded events myself. This was back in 2000. I went to the NOAA website and printed extreme weather events worldwide from 1990 to 2000. 1990 events took up 1/3 of a page. By 2000, 3 pages printed out for that year.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how fast weather events are advancing. We don’t hear enough about them in the media. We need to see it, and hear it, over and over until we have some notion of what some people are going through because of Mother Nature, not just look out our windows and say “Well, it’s not me.”

Great explanation and map of active fault lines and what causes earthquakes @:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7807001/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2008

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Myanmar’s Katrina

Tropical storm Nargis hit Myanmar (Burma) on Saturday. As many as 24 million people have been affected by the storm, and the death toll may be as many as 10,000. It is one of the poorest countries on the planet with this event the second largest to hit Southeast Asia since the tsunami.

The funny part is that rumors and complaints by the many Buddhists that live there is that the strict militant junta government did not act to warn them in time. The people learned of the storm too late and the state run media didn’t issue warnings to save them.

Not hard to believe after seeing what happened in the streets of Myanmar last September. The government brutality against the peaceful protests of Buddhist monks, and cameras stopped in the middle of filming to keep it out of the public eye does not indicate that this country is moving toward democracy as it has been prodded to do so by many.

As a matter of fact, there is a referendum relative to democratic elections for the country due May 10th, and the unethical junta ruled government doesn’t plan on changing the date. They claim that people all over the country are looking forward to it. Considering many don’t have homes, power, food, or water, I doubt it. The government there hasn’t even asked for major aid yet, although it’s rolling in from many places now that the word is out about the extent of devastation. This area is not new to devastating cyclones and typhoons. A sophisticated early warning system might be the most humanitarian offering for this area in the long run. Ditto for new dikes in New Orleans.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7384041.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7384552.stm

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The Aftermath of Katrina Will Cause Environmental Problems for Years

While I was on the NASA website I couldn’t help but click on ” Forests Damaged by Hurricane Katrina Become Major Carbon Source.” That article stated that, “a research team has estimated that Hurricane Katrina killed or severely damaged 320 million large trees in Gulf Coast forests, which weakened the role the forests play in storing carbon from the atmosphere. The damage has led to these forests releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” The satellite pics in the article show the devastation from Katrina. It was quite a wipe out.

The NASA article also stated that “[t]he carbon cycle is intimately linked to just about everything we do, from energy use to food and timber production and consumption. [] As more and more carbon is released to the atmosphere by human activities, the climate warms, triggering an intensification of the global water cycle that produces more powerful storms, leading to destruction of more trees, which then act to amplify climate warming.”

So one event, like a massive hurricane, results in deforestation and decay that cause more CO2 to be released, and more overall warming for more massive hurricanes. Destructive cycle seemed to be formed rather easily. Not good for us.

Read more and check out the web short “In Katrina’s Wake” @ http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2007/katrina_carbon.html.

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