2011 Joplin, Missouri, Tornado outbreak as seen by NOAA satellite
As storms devastate the nation, it's worth noting who cut critical weather science funding to the bone. And if you don't know who it was, take a wild guess:
Congressional Republicans decided accurate weather forecasting and hurricane tracking were services the American people could live without. The GOP-sponsored 2011 spending bill slashed the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, slashing $700 million targeted for an overhaul of the nation’s aging environmental satellite system. NOAA scientists have stated unequivocally the existing satellites will fail ...
Why the terrible tornado outbreak of 2011? As Jeff Masters explains, much of it is just bad luck: the funnels tracked over populated regions. But part of it is the physics
Tornadoes require two main ingredients for formation—instability and wind shear. Instability is at a maximum when there is record warm air with plenty of moisture at low levels, and cold dry air aloft. April 2011 sea surface temperature in the Gulf of Mexico were at their third highest levels of the past 100 years, so there was plenty of warm, moist air available to create high instability, whenever approaching storm systems pulled the Gulf air northwards into Tornado Alley, and brought cold, dry air south from Canada.
- In the apparently highly solvent but less than informed state of Kentucky, Ignorance Proudly Marches on, this time with big fat tax breaks:
The mission of the project, Zovath said, is to lend credence to the biblical account of a catastrophic flood and to dispel doubts that Noah could have fit two of every kind of animal in an ark. ... The Creation Museum has shown that tourists will flock to biblical attractions. More than 1 million visitors have visited the creation museum since it opened more than 3 years ago.
- Speaking of energy -- OK; on the topic of energy -- Herman Cain wants to run the US like a business ...
But scrubbed from Cain's official story is his long tenure as a director at a Midwest energy corporation named Aquila that, like the infamous Enron Corporation, recklessly dove into the wild west of energy trading and speculation—and ultimately screwed its employees out of tens of millions of dollars.
- Why math is useful: actuary tables and future values used by insurance companies and banks the world over tell me that, at the half century mark, after paying into Social Security and Medicare with every paycheck earned since my first job at age 14, the present value of my lifetime investment is well north of $100,000. The same holds for millions and millions of Americans under age 55. Now, everyone who wants to give away their 100k to super rich people and Exxon for absolutely nothing in return, please raise your hand. ... One has to wonder what part of that common sense reaction the GOP and a chunk of the Beltway media can't seem to grasp?