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AdLib On August - 12 - 2010

Props to Kalima, Bitohistory and MightyWoof for their recent comments with links and images on the fires raging around the world this summer.  Their well founded interest and concern struck a chord with me and inspired this article. As provided by MightyWoof, here are astounding Google Earth mappings of current fires in Russia and Africa:

Arizona just had the big Schultz fires:

Add to this the floods that have been occurring around the world. The current flood in Pakistan has hit over 14 million people:

In April, a massive flood in Rio de Janeiro killed over 200 people:

Meanwhile, a massive part of the Petermann glacier in Greenland, a section four times the size of Manhattan Island, just broke off. Scientist say that if Greenland keeps shrinking at this rate, ocean levels will rise by 3 feet this century.

Oh, and remember this year’s “Snowmageddon” in Washington DC? And how these denial morons claimed it disproved “global warming”? Okay, it should have been called “Climate Change” from the beginning to take away such inane talking points but the truth is, the first six months of 2010 are the hottest on record.

And all of this has happened just 8 months into 2010, not even addressing all of the extreme weather last year or the years before.

As a reminder about how high and climbing our planet’s CO2 levels are:

As the GOP and corporate interests fiddle, the world burns and drowns. The greed-motivated deniers of climate change have a transparent agenda of, “The future is irrelevant to my getting more money today.” They seem to believe that the worst won’t have hit by the time they die so they don’t care, it’s their kids and grandkids’ problem. Family Values 2.0 for the GOP.

If the Earth continues to be swept by fires, floods, record snow, record heat, record droughts, oceans rising and disintegration of glaciers and other cooling forces on the planet…with extreme climates year round all across the world, how much will global crop yields and potable water decline? How might that increase the suffering of especially the poorest and how might it foster more wars between peoples and countries over resources?

There are many issues that are critical at this time in history but none of them matter in the long run if the Earth’s environment becomes too unstable or hostile.

We need to get addressing Climate Change back on the table in a big way. Of course, the Repubs will again be the Party of No when it comes to the preservation/protection of human civilization but they can’t be allowed to filibuster a livable planet.

Categories: Environment, Featured

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

76 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    Is it possible that Australia will take the lead on environmental-climate change laws? They have years of environmental havoc there with heat waves, drought and forest fires and now enough have decided enough is enough. With our “party of NO”, I have suddenly become a fan of the parliamentary form of government after reading this article.

    Australian election: breakthrough forecast for Greens

    Major parties’ failure to address public climate change concern may hand Greens up to 14% of vote and balance of power in senate.

    The Greens could win up to 14% of the vote, according to opinion polls, nearly double what it achieved last time. It is likely to give them the balance of power in the senate (elected by proportional representation), and a seat in the lower house…….,The party is benefitting from uncertainty on the left and denial on the right towards climate change.

    But then here is the rub…..

    The Greens’ rise in popularity has come predominantly at the expense of Gillard’s Labor party.

    “I think what we’re seeing is an element of Labor’s constituency who are impatient with the very prosaic and pragmatic approach that it’s taking and they’re decamping to a third party,” said Dr Nick Economou, a lecturer in politics at Melbourne’s Monash University.

    Any party that would form in the US, that would put the country and the environmental first-before party- would only draw from the Democratic Party, unless they could pull the moderates from the Republican Party. 😉

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/18/green-party-australian-elections

  2. bitohistory says:

    This is for anyone who has taken a swim, or should I say “tried” to swim in The Big Lake, Lake Superior, I find this news astounding. This is close to bath water for this lake.

    Published August 13 2010
    Lake Superior surface waters are warmest on record

    Surface waters of Lake Superior recorded at three buoys across the lake this week reached their highest average temperature in the 31 years records have been kept.

    The water temperature Tuesday hit 68.3 degrees at a time of year it should be about 55, topping the previous record of 68 degrees set during the strong El Nino summer of 1998.

    The News Tribune first reported in July that the big lake was on a record warming pace, with August usually the warmest month of the year for Superior

  3. bitohistory says:

    The title of this caught my eye.
    If Doctors Were Climate Scientists, We

  4. bitohistory says:

    This is from Tom Toles and his Friday Rant. And a sensible rant it is!! When the deniers march out all their scientists, exactly what are their fields of expertise? Dr. Laura, Dr.Phil on climate change? They might as well as march me out, hell, pay me enough--I deny! 😉

    We are apparently going to let the debate on the science run until hell freezes over. If you can’t accept the conclusions of 98 percent of the scientists whose FIELD IT IS, then why even bother with science? If that high a percentage of field of study is to be discounted ENTIRELY, then we are in deep trouble, which, of course, we are. It would be so simple if it were just a matter of ignoring the yelping commenters hereabouts: “Move on, Mr. Cartoonist! Chill out Tommy! There are more important things to worry about!”

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/tomtoles/2010/08/friday_rant_heat_exhaustion_e.html

    Expert credibility in climate change
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.short

    Not a bad little rant for just a “funny picture drawer.” 😉

  5. AdLib says:

    The Washington Post and AP have taken The Planet’s lead 😉 , publishing an article today on this same topic:

    Long, hot summer of fire, floods fits predictions

    By CHARLES J. HANLEY
    The Associated Press
    Friday, August 13, 2010; 3:09 AM

    NEW YORK — Floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Iowa and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It’s not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way.

    The weather-related cataclysms of July and August fit patterns predicted by climate scientists, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says -- although those scientists always shy from tying individual disasters directly to global warming.

    CHINA

    China is witnessing its worst floods in decades, the WMO says, particularly in the northwest province of Gansu. There, floods and landslides last weekend killed at least 1,100 people and left more than 600 missing, feared swept away or buried beneath mud and debris.

    The IPCC reported in 2007 that rains had increased in northwest China by up to 33 percent since 1961, and floods nationwide had increased sevenfold since the 1950s. It predicted still more frequent flooding this century.

    UNITED STATES

    In Iowa, soaked by its wettest 36-month period in 127 years of recordkeeping, floodwaters from three nights of rain this week forced hundreds from their homes and killed a 16-year-old girl.

    The international climate panel projected increased U.S. precipitation this century -- except for the Southwest -- and more extreme rain events causing flooding.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/13/AR2010081300582.html

  6. bitohistory says:

    What warming? There is no proof of it at all!!

    NASA reports hottest January-July on record, says that 2010 is

    • Mightywoof says:

      Have you heard of David Suzuki? He’s a Canadian from the west coast who has spent most of his life working for ecological issues. I heard about declining phytoplankton and the effect that will have on this planet on the CBC last week. Here’s an article from his Foundation site

      http://tinyurl.com/38qdytq

      He has almost reached the pessimistic stage that I’m at:

      While governments stall and deniers spread confusion, it gets more and more difficult to achieve the kind of emissions reductions that scientists say are necessary to prevent the Earth from reaching a cataclysmic rise in global average temperatures. It was once possible, and may still be, but we are reaching a point where it will become impossible. (emphasis mine)

      Edited to add: There have also been reported two incidences on the eastern seaboard (I read it on Huffpo I think) of a large quantity of dead fish floating along the shoreline … scientists have yet to determine the cause.

  7. bitohistory says:

    The end is not in sight. Just saw this on the breaking news fron the GlobalPost.

    Mudslides trap 500, kill five in southwest China

    BEIJING (Reuters) -- Mudslides after heavy rain have killed five people and trapped more than 500 in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, the Xinhua state news agency said on Friday, the latest natural disaster to strike China recently.

    The rains started late on Thursday in Mianzhu, close to provincial capital Chengdu, Xinhua said. The area was hard hit during a massive earthquake in 2008 in which at least 80,000 people died.

    The landslides have cut off some roads and communications. The government has already dispatched rescue teams, the report added.

    But many people had already been evacuated once it became clear how heavy the rains were going to be, it said.

    More than 1,000 people died in the town of Zhouqu in northwest Gansu province when an avalanche of mud roared down the slopes of a mountain last weekend after torrential rain.

    http://www.globalpost.com/breaking-news/global/mudslides-trap-500-kill-five-southwest-china

    This was posted just an hour ago! Why do I have some weird feeling about these problems in China and the massive Three Gorges Dam?

  8. escribacat says:

    Wow. What’s going on with Central Africa?

    • bitohistory says:

      e’cat, What is strange about that is I have not heard a peep about those fires. Not enough “civilization” there?

      • Khirad says:

        Isn’t it funny how that works out?

        Sort of like a Nigerian oil spill.

      • Mightywoof says:

        I did a search yesterday -- not a long onew admittedly -- and all I could find was this report in the Telegraph (UK)

        http://tinyurl.com/kwesah

        I got the fire download from FIRMS on the U. of Maryland site here

        http://tinyurl.com/38hr42d

        The only problem I have with these satellite images is that I couldn’t find any definition as to what the flame points represented other than ‘active fire/hotspots’ …. so what you’re looking at may be no more than, perhaps, someones cooking fire, rather than a full blown raging out of control fire.

        • bitohistory says:

          MW, I had the same thought about the size of the fires. Campfire/forest-fire? My thought is, if it is detected by satellite, it must be of a fairly good size. ?? I do wish there was some scale shown.

      • escribacat says:

        Yes. You’d think it would be in the news!

  9. PepeLepew says:

    Anyway, I was being silly before, but 2007 was the hottest year in more than 50 years in Montana. 15 days over 100. More than 40 days over 90; this is at 3,200 feet in the Northern Rockies. Almost the entire western half of the state caught on fire. Over 1 million acres burned, and Idaho got hit worse than Montana. The valley was choked with smoke for weeks. You couldn’t go hiking hardly anywhere worthwhile. It was actually surreal, an orange sky almost every day.

    And I remember going to a lecture from Steve Running, who was part of the Nobel Peace Prize group, and he made a big point that you couldn’t blame that specific summer on global warming, because weather and climate aren’t the same thing.

    But, he said in 50 years, 2007 would likely be considered a “normal” summer for the Northern Rockies.

    Scary.

    • escribacat says:

      July in Colorado has become unbearable. I was in Telluride a couple weeks ago, hoping it would be nice and cool since the altitude of the town is 8,750. Nope. It was unbearably hot — 90+. Had to find shade for the dogs. Most of our glaciers are disappearing. What’s really scary is that there are entire mountain ranges covered with dead trees because of the pine beetle disease. If there’s a spark in any of these areas….wow. It’s gonna be a blow-out.

      • bitohistory says:

        Hey e’cat! Our climate denier of a Senator, Jon Kyl, says the forest fires are because of the pine bark beetles not climate change. Duh!! They only attack the tress if they are under stress. Guess what Senator Kyl, lack of moisture has put them under stress.
        Why do they R’s hate science? Many studies have been done right here in your state by the University of Arizona by some world renowned scientists from the very “skool” you went to!

        • PepeLepew says:

          The pine beetle infestation is quickly becoming a very big deal in Montana, too.

          • escribacat says:

            It’s really terrible to see entire mountain chains covered with dead trees. They turn a strange rust color. I’m sorry to hear it’s moving into Montana. For a long time it was only west of the Divide. Now I see the red trees on the eastern slope too. There’s no way to stop it.

    • AdLib says:

      Good, hope the sentiment will continue to spread, this needs to rise back up as a priority in the public’s mind. And working against Climate Change means a lot for the economy including building up an industry and jobs in renewable energy to cut CO2 emissions.

      We could be pursuing two major issues for the price of one, I wish Obama and Dems in Congress would see how these two strengthen each other as a package.

    • Kalima says:

      What these ignorant global warming deniers don’t seem to understand is that global warming brings extreme heat to some places and extreme cold to others. I guess they are stuck on the word “warming” or just stuck on stupid.

    • bitohistory says:

      Huh! That that was posted right after AdLib’s post. Go figure. 😉

  10. Mightywoof says:

    I had a sudden realization that I may have broken copyright laws by posting these GoogleEarth pics. Is there any way you can put these attributions under the GoogleEarth screen shots Adlib??

    Fires in Russia
    Copyright Google 2010
    US Dept of State Geographer
    Copyright 2010 Europa Technologies
    Copyright 2010 Tele Atlas

    Fires in southern Africa
    Copyright Google 2010
    US Dept of State Geographer
    Copyright 2010 Europa Technologies
    Data SOI, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

  11. dildenusa says:

    The Shultz Fire was human caused (some dumbass didn’t put out their campfire) although they haven’t caught anybody yet. There was another fire in Flagstaff that nearly burned down the Little America Hotel. That one was caused by a homeless guy who also didn’t put out his campfire.

    The weather in my neck of northwest Arizona has been great. I was out this morning in the mountains with my bicycle. Although humidity might return later in the week.

    A lot of people don’t understand that weather extremes will become more pronounced as climate change gathers more steam (pun intended).

  12. Mightywoof says:

    I was, a few years back when the Chretien liberal government signed the Kyoto Accord, quite optimistic that climate change could be, with diligence, intelligence and global co-operation, be slowly halted and eventually reversed. The Chretien government and the succeeding Martin government sat on their fat arses and did bugger all about anything ‘Kyotic’. Then the Harper Cons came into power and, at first, were climate change deniers -- that went down like a lead ballon with most Canadians, so they kinda found religion but declared nothing could be done unless it was in lockstep with our great friend, neighbour and ally, the American Government -- who at the time was Bush and the Republicans.

    I had greatr hope when Barack Obama was elected and the Congress and Senate was Democrat ……… but *sigh* -- there’s been a lot on your legislative plate and still climate change hasn’t been addressed. I suspect, given the last 18+ months with the Party of No, that if any legislation is passed it will be totally and completely inadequate to the task and our own Conservative government will maybe pass some lip service legislation if we’re lucky.

    I am no longer optimistic about the survival of the human race -- the planet will survive but I doubt there will be much left on it 100 years from now. With apologies to all parents here -- I’m so glad we (hubby and I) chose not to have children -- we are leaving a terrible legacy for future generations.

    • bitohistory says:

      MW, just two years ago the R’s here, led by McCain, were all for a climate/energy bill,including a form of caps. Now with Obama in office, they have their “Party of NO! We don’t need no climate bill.”

    • HITO says:

      I have tried to inspire my two children that they could be the ones to discover solutions to our planet’s environmental problems.

      Especially my accelerated son, the science lover.

      I don’t get too heavy, but I do say “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and yours is amazing.” As well as “You could be the one”, but I readily admit that I am very partial to the phrasing “…Is the One”. LOL.

      (FYI, If you don’t know me, and I don’t think you do, I am the former poster “He Is The One”.)

      Hello, Mightywoof, do I hear some Brit in your jargon?

  13. HITO says:

    The fire maps and graph are excellent and very persuasive.

    The Mid-Hudson Valley, NY report (3 hours north of NYC) includes the hottest summer in my memory of being here these past 22 years.

    Humid, dew points off the records, and 90 something everyday.

    I remember when I bought my former house, the real estate agent said “You’re in the mountains, you won’t need air conditioning”.

    Ha!

    • SeeknDestroy says:

      90 something temps? Amateur!-wink

      Relatively speaking, Nevada weather has been a bit cooler the last few years.
      Less 100+ temps here in the Southern Nevada mountains, and cooler nights.

      • HITO says:

        Yeah, well you’re a tough guy. You don’t melt like I do. I don’t look good withering.

        So, NY is getting NV’s heat? At least marginally?

        • SeeknDestroy says:

          In about a week, definitely.
          The humidity should rise, also.

          • HITO says:

            LMAO!

            You tricky guy, you!

            I hear ya. I’m ready for that Nevadian heat…bring it on!

            • SeeknDestroy says:

              And I’m ready for some cooler weather.
              The localized weather report should be interesting, to say the least.
              Foggy windows without rain storms.
              Lotsa humidity in smaller areas.

              People best be ready to hydrate at a moments notice.

            • HITO says:

              Lack of moisture or arid conditions due to excessive drainage can become a problem. It is imperative that one keeps irrigation in the forefront of considerations.

              Sometimes my windows fog up. I assume it’s based on the hot vs. cold between the apartment and the outside world.

    • AdLib says:

      Wonderful to see you HITO!

      Stopping for a moment and thinking about what warmer temperatures would bring:

      1. A year long fire season.
      2. More mosquitoes and other pests, more bacteria all around us.
      3. Lakes and rivers drying up, less potable water available, skyrocketing prices for consumers on water usage.
      4. Higher electricity usage for air conditioning and bigger bills for consumers.
      5. Fewer snowball fights.

      Blowback is rarely considered until it hits, just thinking of the few above should shake up any thoughtful person as to the urgency of addressing things before they get far worse.

      • SeeknDestroy says:

        Everything the GOP does now has business implications, AdLib.

        No matter what, don’t interrupt making big bucks!
        Your house burned down in a wildfire?
        Tough shit!
        I made $$$ while your house burned down.
        So sorry.

        Howdy AdLib!

      • HITO says:

        NY is not known for that “fire season”. We have the Shawangunks (mountains) which occasionally cleanses itself with a big lightning induced fire that will take out 30 acres. But these days there are more people building homes in those dangerous areas.

        We also have the Ashokan reservoir near here. That is NYC’s start of their water supply. It flows south through other filtration/up-pumping stations.

        When that reservoir drops to low levels, NYC and the governor take note rather quickly. So far so good this year. But it is the bellwether.

    • javaz says:

      HITO!

      My gosh, is it good to see you!

      I grew up in Michigan near Detroit, and we didn’t have air conditioning.

      We lived in France from 2001 to 2003 and we didn’t have air conditioning there either.

      In 2003 it hit 100 in Paris, and all I had was 2 fans.

      The good news from all of that was that the grapes made their best wines ever!

      LOL

      • HITO says:

        Javaz, you should know you have far more than 2 fans these days!

        There’s something wrong. Weather is too extreme, and I hope to God someone is paying attention.

        If the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream raises by a mere 3 degrees the effects will be global…especially to the western European shoreline.


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