Yes It Is! No It Isn’t!

Good morning afternoon Regina! Sunrise was 8:42, sunset is 5:40 and we’re looking at -9 today going down to -14 tonight. It’s -10 with a -16 windchill right now. More here. Seventy years ago today, famous gangster Al Capone died after being weakened by a stroke, pneumonia and a heart attack. Ol’ Scarface was messed up from syphilis, too. Capone was 48 but now he’s just dead, dead, dead. You, on the other hand, are alive. Hooray!

1. ANOTHER HOT ONE The numbers are in and 2016 was, unsurprisingly, the hottest year on record. This is the third year in a row we’ve set a planetary temperature record. This is not normal. Too bad everyone who’s trying to raise the alarm and save civilization has to waste energy fighting Trump on everything now, I guess.

2. FOXES AND HENHOUSES The Saskatchewan government has the wrong ministry inspecting pipelines.

3. SUICIDE PREVENTION PLAN An anonymous donor steps up as Canada keeps shitting the bed on the Indigenous suicide crisis.

4. MEN WHO HATE WOMEN Only scumbags post nude photos of ex-girlfriends online without their permission.

5. HATRED IS A CONSERVATIVE VALUE Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is getting hammered by threats and abuse online. Awful.

6. TRUDEAUPALOOZA 2017 The prime minister will be in Saskatoon today for a town hall.

And now, here’s a Trump round-up. Yeah, there’s so much crap I have to do a Trump round-up. Thanks America. And check out the Guardian cartoon by Martin Rowson.

T1. THAT STUPID WALL Trump’s gonna build it! It’s not gonna work! And Mexico’s not gonna pay for it!

T2. JUST GIVE FRANCE THE STATUE BACK Trump restricts immigration and refugees.

T3. TRUMP GOES AFTER MAKE-BELIEVE VOTER FRAUD There must be voter fraud. How else to explain most Americans voting for Hillary Clinton?

T4. MAKE TORTURE GREAT AGAIN Trumps lays groundwork that could bring it back, yippee.

T5. MAYBE TRUMP CAN HAVE JOURNALISTS TORTURED Six journalists covering Trump protests have been charged with rioting.

T6. KEYSTONE XL IS BACK Trump uses his magic president powers to resurrect the controversial pipeline.

T7. IN A STUDY ON POLITICAL BIAS, TRUMP VOTERS LIED MORE THAN CLINTON VOTERS Interesting and unsurprising.

T8. IN A CLUTCH, CALL THE DUTCH That Netherlands steps up to save women from Trump’s cuts to women’s health funding.

T9. IMPEACH THE MOTHERFUCKER ALREADY ITMFA T-shirts, buttons and hats are now available! Proceeds go to Planned Parenthood and other organizations in the Trump resistance.

HOW TO WIN AN ARGUMENT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE WRONG Do you reject the scientific consensus on climate change but you’re not sure how to argue with people who know more than you? Relax, and let Monty Python show you how a series of contradictions can derail discussion and make people stop saying things you don’t like! Perfect for oil stooge politicians, dipshit rednecks and talk radio jerks.

 

Two T-Shirts In January

T-shirt in January
I’M OUTSIDE IN JANUARY ONLY WEARING TWO T-SHIRTS AND I’M NOT COLD This weather is not normal. Also, I have a banana.

Working late tonight, needed a coffee. Figured I’d just walk across the pedestrian mall to The Good Earth because I didn’t wanna trot all the way to Atlantis (though I like Atlantis coffee better).

But a funny thing happened on the way to the caffeine.

Since this is a 20-second walk and it’s a relatively not-cold day, I don’t put on my coat. When I get to Good Earth, though, it’s closed. So I can either head to The Second Cup in the Cornwall Centre, or walk a few blocks to Atlantis (and the best coffee).

Even though I’m only wearing two thin American Apparel 50-50 shirts and I’m outside in January, I settle on Atlantis.

It was a painless walk.

Yeah, I like food and beer, so I’m well padded and I’m sure that helps me stay warm. Still, there’s no way ANYONE should be able to be outdoors in January for any length of time without shivering their skin off.

I got my coffee and I walked back to the office. Stopped to talk to a pal on the O’Hanlon’s patio, then bumped into Beatty and asked him to take the picture in this blog post.

Total time outside in T-shirts: probably 25 minutes. Total frostbite: none.

Continue reading “Two T-Shirts In January”

Finally, A Fair Global Warming Debate

Once again, comedians are showing the mainstream media how to do their job…

As for Steve’s post about how a collapsing Antarctic ice sheet will lead to rapid sea level rise centuries from now… I guess we’ve nothing to worry about seeing as the Greenland ice sheet is staying right where it is.

Oh, wait…

New Greenland Ice Melt Fuels Sea Level Rise Concerns (Climate Central)

The Unstoppable, Massive Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt Will Flood New Jersey

Big,scary, breaking news:

The collapse of the western Antarctic ice sheet is inevitable and is already underway, scientists said on Monday.

The melt will cause up to four metres (13 feet) of additional sea-level rise over the coming centuries, devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world – from Bangladesh to New Jersey – that are already expected to be swamped by only a few feet of sea-level rise.

Oh, great. Wait, what’s this?

But the researchers said the sea-level rise – while unstoppable – was still several centuries off, potentially up to 1,000 years away.

Oh thank god. We’ll all be dead by then. Who cares about the future anyway? Not most Canadians, that’s for sure. And NO ONE gives a rat’s ass about New Jersey. So there you go. Nothing to worry about.

Keystone XL Pipeline Report: “Canada’s Gonna Dig That Sludge Up Regardless So We Might As Well Build It”

The pipeline has apparently* passed a significant environmental review by the U.S. State Department, so it’s presumably a step closer to being approved. From The New York Times:

The long-awaited environmental impact statement on the project concludes that approval or denial of the pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, is unlikely to prompt oil companies to change the rate of their extraction of carbon-heavy tar sands oil, a State Department official said. Either way, the tar sands oil, which produces significantly more planet-warming carbon pollution than standard methods of drilling, is coming out of the ground, the report says.

In his second term, Mr. Obama has sought to make his fight against climate change a cornerstone of his legacy. In a major speech on the environment last summer, Mr. Obama said that he would approve the pipeline only if it would not “significantly exacerbate” the problem of carbon pollution. He said the pipeline’s net effects on the climate would be “absolutely critical” to his decision.

The conclusions of the report appear to indicate that the project has passed Mr. Obama’s climate criteria, an outcome expected to outrage environmentalists, who have rallied, protested, marched and been arrested in demonstrations around the country against the pipeline.

Story here. More? There’s more in The Guardian:

The Keystone XL, a mundane pipeline project that escalated into a bitter proxy war over climate change and North America’s energy future, moved one important step closer to reality on Friday.

And on CBC’s website:

Project opponents made it abundantly clear that they wouldn’t be deterred. “In addition to the fact that [the report authors] ignored the science, interagency criticism, basic economics of the industry and TransCanada’s own recent admission that the pipeline is the key to opening up the tarsands, the fact that a foreign oil company and foreign government were given critical intelligence ahead of everyone else tells you all you need to know about how useless this [report] is,” an adviser to billionaire Keystone opponent Tom Steyer told The Canadian Press on Friday.

More here, and here, and here,  here. Haven’t read any of these yet. I’ll probably read the DeSmog Blog post first, the the Mother Jones article.

*It’s an 11-volume review and I haven’t read it. Hence the “apparently” qualification.

Epic Gas Attack

Greenhouse gas emissions have unsurprisingly hit a record high, apparently. From the World Meteorological Organization:

The World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that between 1990 and 2012 there was a 32% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.

Carbon dioxide, mainly from fossil fuel-related emissions, accounted for 80% of this increase. The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2011 to 2012 was higher than its average growth rate over the past ten years, according to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

Since the start of the industrial era in 1750, the global average concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 41%, methane by 160% and nitrous oxide by 20%.
What is happening in the atmosphere is one part of a much wider picture. Only about half of the CO2 emitted by human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed in the biosphere and in the oceans.

“The observations from WMO’s extensive Global Atmosphere Watch network highlight yet again how heat-trapping gases from human activities have upset the natural balance of our atmosphere and are a major contribution to climate change,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its recent 5th Assessment Report stressed that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years,” he said.

“As a result of this, our climate is changing, our weather is more extreme, ice sheets and glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising,” said Mr Jarraud.

News reports here, herehere. But what’s at stake?

Scientists believe that any increase in global average temperatures above 2 degrees Celsius could create conditions for potentially catastrophic climate change. Negotiators at a United Nations climate summit meeting in Mexico agreed in 2010 to try to hold temperatures below that level by aggressive measures.

The report comes less than a week before international negotiators begin arriving in Warsaw for the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, at which delegates will try to plot a path toward a new global climate agreement to replace the frayed 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Its findings also come just two months after top climate scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change formally endorsed a “carbon budget,” or maximum allowable amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be released without irreversible damage to the climate. The scientists set the figure at no more than one trillion metric tons of carbon emissions.

There ya go. Maybe we should stop electing  politicians who attack and/or suppress science and want to burn more fossil fuels. Just a thought.

The Cowardice Of Denial

The great Dan Savage has written an excellent, EXCELLENT feature about something global warming and the AIDS epidemic have in common–the cowardly impulse to reject facts as a crisis unfolds. And you! You must read it! Here’s a long but good excerpt:

Which brings me to Pat Buchanan. In 1983, Buchanan wrote a vicious column for the New York Post about the emerging AIDS crisis. Buchanan gloated and celebrated a disease that had already killed hundreds and would go on to kill millions. Buchanan’s reaction wasn’t unique; almost all social conservatives at the time welcomed the AIDS epidemic with unconcealed glee. God’s judgment had come at last, and it vindicated everything the TV preachers had been saying since Stonewall. Homosexuals were sinners, the wages of sin is death, and now the homosexual sinners were dying. Praise the Lord.

The last line of Buchanan’s acid column was etched into my brain the day I read it: “The poor homosexuals—they have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution.”

That line—17 words—stung more than all the anti-gay sermons thundering down from the pulpits of all the American churches combined. Writing this piece, I didn’t even have to look it up. I could recite it from memory. We had long been told that gay sex was unnatural—that we were unnatural—and now nature was moving to exterminate us.

Every time I read about fires in Colorado or rising seas or Canadian tar sands or Native villages already being washed away in Alaska or preparations for the next hurricane that slams into New York City, a slightly modified version of Buchanan’s vicious line about AIDS plays in my head. We have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution.

We have declared war on the water we drink and the air we breathe. We have declared war on the forests and the oceans. We have declared war on the honeybees. All of us have—liberal, conservative, independent. Some of us, however, are ready to start making the changes that must be made if we want to survive in this world.

The Stranger ran another spectacular feature on the menace of global warming last year that you should also read.

This is top of mind for me because this morning I edited (well, proofread) the upcoming issue’s David Suzuki column, and it’s essentially about the same topic: the dimwitted, frightened, angry, corrupt and complicit villainy of the sort of fools and tools who insist there’s nothing wrong when evidence clearly contradicts that.

The fools and tools are mistaken and we must change their minds. And if we can’t? Then we must fight! Roar!