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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde
Success in Sacramento this morning! As hundreds of California citizens waited for a chance to speak, California State Senate Bill 1132, calling for a moratorium on fracking, successfully moved into 'suspense' and will be considered by the Appropriations Committee for vote before the full Senate after deliberations conclude Friday.

National attention has focused on the bill , authored by Senators Holly Mitchell and Mark Leno, due to the impact California's worsening drought and ensuing wildfires  could have on the decision by California lawmakers.

In a New York Times May 14th article California’s Thirst Shapes Debate Over Fracking, reporter Norimitsu Onishi notes that California is the only state where the exorbitant amount of water employed in fracking is a primary driver in the push for an immediate ban. Onishi cites a Western States Petroleum Association study conducted last year which revealed that the amount of water to frack one well equaled 87% of the water used over a one year period by a family of four.

As state officials consider more extensive use of fire retardants to conserve water in the battle against the early onset of a fierce firestorm season,  the concept of using 5 million gallons of water to frack one California well borders on insanity. (see Energy Facts: Energy Facts: How Much Water Does Fracking for Shale Gas Consume? and data from FrackFocus)

The National Drought Monitor last week revealed that 100% of the State is experiencing extreme drought conditions, with some parts reaching rare 'exceptional' status.

The passage of SB 1132 would make California the third state to issue a temporary ban on fracking - along with acid well stimulation -  until more environmental studies are conducted.

The other two states with temporary bans in place are New York and North Carolina. Vermont is currently the only state to permanently ban fracking. In Colorado, where legislation failed, a ballot initiative is now being written to place limits on fracking.

The Times article noted that "the drought, combined with a recent set of powerful earthquakes, has provided the momentum for about a dozen local governments across California, the third-largest oil producing state, to vote to restrict or prohibit fracking in their jurisdictions, as concerns over environmental effects and water usage have grown." (See also (See also an LA Times Editorial Does fracking cause quakes? California needs to know )

These actions include a permanent ban in Beverly Hills; a pending Los Angeles ordinance; a 45-day ban in Carson; and restrictions in Culver City and Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties.

The committee will announce Friday if SB 1132 moves through Appropriations for a vote by the entire Senate. That vote would occur within a few days. (see The Sierra Club information page on the moratorium for complete information.)

Daily Kos is hosting a CA Fracking Marathon blogathon this week to urge people to phone members of the committee to ensure SB 1132 comes up for a vote.

We are part of a coalition which includes Earth Works, the Sierra Club,, the Indigenous Envioronmental Network, and the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment.


As we go to press this evening, here are some of the special guests who will be participating in the effort at Daily Kos this week to encourage readers to do their part to ensure SB1132 moves out of committee for a vote on the floor of the California State Senate.

Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) is co-author of Senate Bill 1132 and represents California's 26th District. Mitchell serves on the Senate Rules Committee, the managing body of the State Senate, as well as the Budget, Insurance and Public Safety Committees. She chairs California's Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) and also belongs to the Women's Legislative Caucus.

Richard Heinberg, a Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, is internationally recognized as a leading Peak Oil educator. The author of eleven books, he most recently published SNAKE OIL: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future.

Daniel Kessler is the Communications Director at the Climate Lab, a project of the Citizen Engagement Laboratory. He has worked with Greenpeace International and and writes on environmental issues for the  Huffington Post.

Jhon Arbelaez  is the California Organizer for Earthworks. Jhon volunteered for Americorps VISTA in New Mexico and for the Peace Corps in Ecuador. He has worked on environmental health issues and on developing plans for waste management, environmental education, and surface and groundwater conservation.

Kandi Mossett is the Native Energy & Climate Campaign Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). Kandi joined IEN in 2007 as Tribal Campus Climate Challenge (TCCC) and attended the UNFCCC Climate Conference in Cancun in 2010 where she spoke against carbon trading schemes.

Linda Capato is Fracking Campaign Coordinator for She was formerly Campaign Organizer for the Change Chevron campaign with Rainforest Action Network.

California Fracking Moratorium Blogathon
May 20-May 23, 2014

Key votes will be held this week on California Senate Bill 1132, which imposes a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it commonly known. The fracking process poses many unacceptable public policy risks. These include contaminating water supplies; degrading public health; disproportionately affecting low income families and communities of color; using scarce water supplies in drought-stricken states; causing earthquakes; and harming wildlife and habitat fragmentation. If the bill fails, the legislative process toward moratorium must restart next January.

Please join us for a blogathon May 19-23 in a campaign to tell lawmakers to support this bill. This is a coordinated effort with a coalition of more than a dozen NGOs, including Earth Works, Sierra Club, and Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment.

And please call key lawmakers, ASAP. Tell them YES on SB 1132!

Sen. Kevin De Leon: (916) 651-4022
Sen. Ricardo Lara: (916) 651-4033
Sen. Ed Hernandez: (916) 651-4024
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani: (916) 651-4005
Sen. Ben Hueso: (916) 651-4040
Sen. Lou Correa: (916) 651-4034
Sen. Carol Liu: (916) 651-4025
Sen. Richard Roth: (916) 651-4031
Sen. Norma Torres: (916) 651-4032

Please Help Pass a Moratorium on Fracking in California!

Please tweet all diaries posted during the blogathon, adding the hashtag #SB1132. Feel free to link to your Facebook pages, and remember to republish each diary to your DK Groups. You can also follow all postings by clicking this link for the Climate Change SOS Blogathon Group. Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.

Our Daily Kos community organizers are Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, boatsie, rb137, JekyllnHyde, citisven, peregrine kate, John Crapper, Aji, and Kitsap River, with Meteor Blades serving as the group's adviser.

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

As many of you know, we are holding a blogathon this week on Daily Kos to solicit comments from you in opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline.  

Why is it necessary for you to participate in it?  I'll quote from, one of our coalition partners

It's time to take a stand against the Keystone XL pipeline, a dangerous and destructive project that would pump over one million barrels of dirty "tar sands" oil from Canada to the USA every day.  The oil in the Keystone pipeline could poison drinking water, threaten the communities it runs through, and wreck the climate.

But there's good news: the Keystone XL pipeline cannot be built without a "presidential permit" from the Obama Administration.  Let's turn up the pressure to make sure President Obama rejects the pipeline.

The clock is ticking: the State Department has said it will make a final decision on whether or not to issue a presidential permit deeming the pipeline in our "national interest" by the end of this year.  We know more pollution and more climate change are not in any nation's interest, so we’re calling on President Obama to step up and display the kind of lead.

Read more from - XL Dissent Inspires More Keystone Protests Across the Nation.


Have You Submitted Your Comment(s) Opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline?

40%22 votes
24%13 votes
16%9 votes
18%10 votes
0%0 votes

| 54 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

For the past many years, the struggle to find meaningful solutions to urgent environmental problems has been between rational forces of light on the one hand aligned against, on the other side, the denialist, anti-intellectual forces of darkness obstructing any and all kinds of sensible policy proposals.  A well-financed disinformation campaign and flat out lies by their friends in the fossil fuel industry has created confusion amongst a compliant corporate media not inclined to seriously investigate scientific matters in the first place. Unethical campaign contributions have prevented many an elected official to act courageously and in our best interests. Irreconcilable ideological divisions have poisoned and paralyzed our politics, with gridlock the dominant political theme amongst politicians, aided and abetted by an apathetic populace.  Given our propensity to destroy the earth's precious resources and ravage the environment in a furious race towards achieving economic "growth," the dark clouds of Climate Change threaten the horizon - with the promise of change looking like a distant and unattainable dream to tens of millions of Americans living on the edge of economic disaster.

It doesn't have to be this way.  Moreover, as you will see below the fold, negativity as well as cynicism need not be our only responses to inaction by our political leaders barely functioning under a broken post-Citizens United system for the past almost four years.

We are better than that.


Can You Become a Hummingbird?

46%19 votes
39%16 votes
12%5 votes
2%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from Michael Brune by JekyllnHyde

You know the news is going to be bad when they bury it at 4pm on a Friday. We dealt with this for eight years during the Bush administration. I never thought we'd be doing it again under John Kerry's State Department.

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

Bill McKibben of, Sierra Club and Hip Hop Caucus have organized a climate change demonstration at the White House on February 17th to urge President Obama to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline.   So far, over 21,000 people have signed up to participate in this demonstration, which might be the largest climate rally in the history of this country.

President Obama has now listed climate change as one of the top five issues on his agenda. Legislative proposals and debate will happen in Congress. But, President Obama can take executive action to move Forward on Climate now: He can reject the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. A recent study in Canada has linked tar sands with cancer, something First Nations have reported for years:  Their communities have suffered increased cancer rates and personally witnessed the deformed and contaminated wildlife, polluted waters and other harms.  President Obama can also direct the EPA to set carbon standards for power plants.

Sandy survivors also recognize the importance of taking action to stop the XL pipeline:

A day before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, survivors of Superstorm Sandy and climate activists will gather at the White House to deliver 280,000 signatures urging President Obama to lay out a plan to tackle climate change. The survivors will speak briefly about their experiences and read from an open letter to the president, calling on him to take bold action, starting with rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline permit.

Here is link for signing up to join this White House demonstration. Please share with your friends, family and if you twitter or Facebook, we thank you for spreading the word.

Our DK community organizers (citisven, boatsie, JekyllnHyde, rb137 and peregrine kate) coordinated this blogathon with Bill McKibben to help spread the word. If you can't go to DC, citisven and Glen the Plumber are posting diaries for us Monday about demonstrations in other cities.

We will have updates and chats in a mothership each morning at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. We will also be posting our calendar in diaries and threads this week so you won't miss any of our special guests or our fabulous DK bloggers participating this week.

We're very excited about our incredible guests, listed below the fold.  We have additional guests not listed here because waiting for final confirmation next week.

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Reposted from owl06 by JekyllnHyde
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey must be shorting his own company. Instead of running his business, he's once again running his mouth off and alienating customers. Mackey, a self identified libertarian and the chief climate scientist of Dumbfuckistan, told Mother Jones that climate change isn't "necessarily bad." It's time to shop elsewhere (The Whole Foods board might want to start shopping for a new CEO as well).
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Reposted from Climate Hawks by JekyllnHyde

Climate Solutions for a Stronger America is a communications "guide for engaging and winning on climate change & clean energy" intended for politicians and others regularly engaged on debate.  This guide, driven by the work of Betsy Taylor, lays out an effective communications path for politicians who want -- amid all the other issues of the day -- to include climate change issues within their discussions but might find it challenging amid the cacophony of deception coming from the RWSM and other fossil-foolish outlets.

Based on recent (and targeted) polling, "Climate Solutions" lays down a three pillar argument stream resting on core American values.  As put in the document,

Voters are seeing the effects of climate disruption in their daily lives, are concerned about the impacts, and are hungry for leadership and solutions. A large body of recent research shows a solid majority of voters respond favorably to confident, pro-clean energy, climate lead- ership messages grounded in three core American values.
The values:
  • Responsibility:  We have a responsibility -- to ourselves, each other, our children -- to act to reduce climate disruption impacts.
  • Patriotic Pride: "America can rise to the challenge."  How dare anyone say Americans can't achieve a cleaner energy future.
  • Accountability: "The billionaire Koch Brothers and Big Oil ... rig the system" and it is time to put an end to it.

These value streams link together to create a powerful narrative structure which hits classic literary and political rhetoric advice:
  • A quest for a clean energy future and confronting climate change. This quest will enable creation of new industries and jobs via practical and cost-effective solutions.
  • A menacing threat that threatens America and all Americans from mounting climate disruption as exemplified with wildfires, droughts alternated with floods, record temperatures. "It doesn't have to be this way."
  • A clear set of villains exists as "Big Oil, the Billionaire Koch Brothers, and fossil fuel Super-PACs are rigging the system and blocking clean energy solutions. They are trying to buy the election and keep fossil fuel interests in control."
  • True heroes exist as well as people "are standing up for clean energy" and are "trying to do your part. ... And all of us are fighting back against the billionaire Koch Brothers who have a stranglehold on our political system and energy future. These climate heroes and many others get up every day and work hard, play fair and invest in America's future."

And, at the core of the guide and fundamental to this narrative:
There is no need to do anything but speak the truth.
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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde
Coastal Erosion of carbon rich permafrost at Muostakh Island, Siberian Arctic
Melting and erosion of permafrost along Siberia's vast Arctic coastline is releasing huge amounts of CO2, about ten times more than previously estimated, to the atmosphere. The "Ancient Ice Complex" that crops out along the 7000 kilometer long Siberian coastline has melted and eroded more quickly than expected as the climate warmed 2 degrees Celsius faster than models predicted. Measurements combined with computer models calculated that
44 ± 10 teragrams of old carbon is activated annually from Ice Complex permafrost, an order of magnitude more than has been suggested by previous studies.
 About two thirds of this carbon becomes atmospheric CO2 and one third is reburied in marine sediment.

The record melting of Arctic sea ice has accelerated erosion along the Arctic coastline as wave heights rise with the increase of open water. Recent intense late summer storms have sent waves of warm water crashing into the permafrost, surely increasing the speed of collapse.

The authors of the study, published in the prestigious journal Nature, warn in their final sentence:

Thermal collapse and erosion of these carbon-rich Pleistocene coastline and seafloor deposits may accelerate with Arctic amplification of climate warming.
With the record minimum of sea ice this summer, that process has begun. This is one of multiple positive feedback loops in the Arctic that is accelerating warming and rapidly destabilizing the climate of the northern hemisphere.
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Reposted from beach babe in fl by JekyllnHyde

Leading water scientists from the The Stockholm International Water Institute are issuing a stern warning that food shortages in the future will dictate a global transition to vegetarian diets by 2050.

"There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations," the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.


Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50% on international markets since June, triggered by severe droughts in the US and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia. More than 18 million people are already facing serious food shortages across the Sahel.

Their warning comes at a time when information about the massive contribution (pdf) of livestock production to climate change has become known.  In fact,  reducing livestock production is one of the most necessary components in mitigating the worst effects of climate change.  And although the water scientists are saying the reduction must be done by 2050 that will be too late to mitigate the most devastating effects of a warming planet.  We must begin the transition now.
Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world's arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals.
The benefits and opportunities of a rapid transition to a global plant based diet can not be over stated.   It offers the only rapid reduction of dangerous green-house gases in the atmosphere and also helps to conserve our precious water and land resources.
Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

The top ten reasons we need a great (convenient, affordable, clean, fast, dependable, beautiful, walk/bikeable) public transportation system in Vermont/New England/ the US of A:

10. Who doesn’t love trains?
9. Vermont is practically Europe
8. Bus drivers are people, too
7. How else can we boycott Big Oil?
6.  We have to get skiers from New Jersey/Connecticut/New York off the road somehow
5.  Public transportation is the next frontier for hipsters, cafes and farmers markets
4. Trains make great backdrops for movies

3. Human rights

We don’t often think of transportation as a human right, but I think we should.  Article 13 of the International Declaration of Human Rights states  “everyone has the right to freedom of movement”.  The ability to travel at will allows people to hold jobs they like no matter where they live; it frees the elderly and the young from isolation; those who cannot earn a driver’s license to still earn a living.  We do not question the need for highways, we do not question the taxes we pay to keep them open.  Is it such a stretch to say we need a transportation system that works for you even if you can’t or don’t want to drive?  Is it such a stretch to say that our taxes are paying for a system that everyone can use, and a system that is not destroying our environment and our future?  Think of the investments we could make in ourselves and our communities if we could direct some of the $8000.00 + annual cost of owning and driving a car, toward something better.  

2. Health

Driving is killing us.  I mean it, literally.  Car accidents, pollution, climate change (more later), obesity--even skin cancer (It is not true that car windows protect you from the sun: we see significantly more skin cancer on the left than the right side of the body.)  So lets talk about obesity.  Somehow this “disease”, which we know we can cure through diet and exercise, is knocking our medical system, and therefore our economy, to its knees.  Make healthy food affordable, but how do we get everyone to exercise?  Compare walking a half mile to a bus or train, with walking the half a step from front door to car.  22 minutes a day of exercise is all you need to stay healthy, and walking to and from a bus or train would satisfy most of that for most people.

1. Climate change

To say that climate change both overshadows and engulfs the other issues is an understatement.  We are knowingly making our environment uninhabitable for ourselves, and in Vermont, it’s mostly coming from our cars. In Vermont, half of our greenhouse gas emissions come from cars.  Every time you get in your car you are contributing to climate change, but even climate change activists have virtually no choice but to drive everywhere.  Choice is the important word here—right now you “choose” to drive, because your alternatives really aren’t alternatives.  You could walk or bike to work, except that it’s too far, too dangerous, too hard.  Our communities are not designed around walking or biking: they are not designed around people—they are designed around cars.  Consider traveling from southern Vermont, where I work, to the capital, some 100+ miles away; it is a three-day roundtrip by train (if you were planning on being in Montpelier during business hours), because the train only runs once a day.  We are used to having freedom, and we sometimes think that means we have choices.  We have the freedom to travel wherever we want, but we don’t have the choice to do so in a way that supports human rights, supports our health, and supports our future.

We are at a point where we know we need to do something. Should we have started this decades ago?  Of course, but for better or worse we don’t work that way. The trouble is that the “something” that will finally really address climate change is going to require real change. We have been waiting for our elected officials to make the first move because we have forgotten that they obtained their positions through popularity contests, and people who win popularity contests are rarely the ones who lead change.  So we have to start talking collectively about what is to be done about climate change, and do it.

Rarely do such discussions end with a truly constructive solution, but that is what I am doing here.  I want to be able to walk to a train every day to get to work.  I want to feel good about how I am living my life and know I am not destroying my and my children’s future.  I want to cure my climate change anxiety syndrome, and the only way I can do that is to insist that we start making real changes.  What if that real change was something that also supports human rights and makes us healthier?  What if we took some of the enormous investments we make in our own cars, and in our healthcare system, and direct them toward making a fabulous, beautiful, enviable public transportation system?  Tree-lined streets, nice wide sidewalks, bikepaths everywhere... and all connected with busses and trains that are fast, affordable, dependable, reliable and clean! To you naysayers I say 1.  First and foremost, it is imperative we move away from fossil fuels, so we have to figure out how.  2.  I am not inventing something new: even Vermont had a public transportation system 100 years ago.  You could take a train to hike the Appalachian Trail! We would pay several times over every year for a public transportation system with the savings from health care. Seriously.  Consider that in 2000 Vermont’s healthcare costs added up to $1 billion, and they are now at $5 billion despite an only 20% increase in population—and the cost is rising dramatically. There is no reason we can’t bring our healthcare costs down to that level again, and part of doing so requires we tackle obesity.  And from a pragmatic standpoint, technology can make the system even more efficient with electronic devices that let busses and people communicate with each other.
Cars are the number one killer of Vermonters and Americans between ages 5 – 35. Cars are the number one killer of active transportation. Inactive transportation is a key driver of obesity. Obesity is a top killer and the key driver of chronic disease. Cars are a key driver of climate pollution. And climate change is the largest global health threat of the 21st century.

A transformative public transportation system built around walking and biking, built around people, not cars, will be a key solution to the climate crisis, the oil crisis, the obesity crisis, the health care cost crisis, and will save a whole lot of lives that would have been lost in the invisible epidemic of motor vehicle fatalities.

Sure, Vermont’s a rural state, and that’s an extra challenge when it comes to public transportation. All the more reason for us to hurry up and get started.

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

Arctic sea ice extent measured by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) set a new record minimum today. All doubt is gone that 2012 will obliterate all the old record lows on sea ice area, extent and volume. The NSIDC uses 5 day averaging to reduce noise, so it responds more slowly than other measures. The University of Washington's PIOMAS sea ice thickness results are released on a monthly basis, so they will report record low volume results, that have surely already been set, in September.

NASA MODIS false color summer 2012 sea ice collapse animation assembled by Neven

The sea ice area computed by Cryosphere Today of the University of Illinois continues to fall deeper into record low territory.

Japan's IJIS measure of sea ice extent has broken previous lows and continues to fall.
IJIS Sea Ice Extent Record Low: The latest value : 4,087,031 km2 (August 25, 2012)
Before the great Arctic August storm of 2012, sea ice extent was on target to tie or just break the record minimum set in 2007. After the storm, the bottom dropped out.
NSIDC  made no announcement today that a record low sea ice extent was set.  The computer program that compared this year with the record year of 2007 simply removed 2007 from the figure.An announcement that a new low has been set will likely be released next week.
Neven just did an update while I was writing this post that gives the hard numbers on sea ice extent. The old record from 2007 has clearly been broken.
Year | min(extent)
1979 | 6.89236
1980 | 7.52476
1981 | 6.88784
1982 | 7.15423
1983 | 7.19145
1984 | 6.39916
1985 | 6.4799
1986 | 7.12351
1987 | 6.89159
1988 | 7.04905
1989 | 6.88931
1990 | 6.0191
1991 | 6.26027
1992 | 7.16324
1993 | 6.15699
1994 | 6.92645
1995 | 5.98945
1996 | 7.15283
1997 | 6.61353
1998 | 6.29922
1999 | 5.68009
2000 | 5.9442
2001 | 6.56774
2002 | 5.62456
2003 | 5.97198
2004 | 5.77608
2005 | 5.31832
2006 | 5.74877
2007 | 4.1607
2008 | 4.55469
2009 | 5.05488
2010 | 4.59918
2011 | 4.30207
2012 | 4.0892 (and running)
Arctic sea Ice Volume has dropped off a cliff since July 1, 2012.Sea ice thickness images from apocalypse4real.
Arctic sea Ice Thickness July 1, 2012

Sea Ice Thickness Imagery from NCOF, GHRRST on Godiva 2. The thickness is from the Los Alamos CICE model as modified by the UK Met.
Sea Ice Thickness Scale:
Black = Above 6 meters
Red = 6 Meters
Dark Blue = 0 Meters

Multiyear sea ice is almost all gone. Rapid melting combined with strong transport of ice out of the Arctic basin into the Fram strait has obliterated the remaining thick old ice.

Arctic sea ice thickness August 23, 2012

Since the sea ice crash in the summer of 2007 fall and winter weather in the northern hemisphere has been weirder and wilder than before swinging from record highs in the fall to record snow storms in January. Heat released by the open Arctic ocean has disrupted the Arctic winter vortex in the polar jet stream. The additional loss of sea ice this summer will likely increase the blocking high pressure areas over Greenland and the Atlantic side of the Arctic bringing more weird weather to Europe and the east coast of the U.S.


Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM PDT

Game Over

by praenomen

Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

“…water is on the table for every single one of us. When it’s gone, game over.” Erin Brockovich

The 7 p.m. Mexicana Airlines flight from DFW to Ixtapa was running late, so I spent the down time talking to a friend who had graciously provided transportation to the airport. We didn’t say a lot; didn’t need to. We had already said our goodbyes, so the extra time was spent sharing a peaceful moment. It had been a long day, and before the airplane had left the runway, I was sound asleep.  

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