Friday, July 04, 2014

The Slippery Slope

I used to post several times a day on this blog. Now I'm lucky if I get to it twice a month. And it certainly doesn't matter how much is going on in the world. We just had primary elections, of course, which in our little county are it -- the GOP often does not even sign up a candidate to lose in the general election. And here in Montgomery County we had a transgender candidate oppose a gay incumbent. The rightwing noise machine went all-out for about three days and then the campaigns got down to the usual business of trying to win. The incumbent won but the contest served to demolish barriers that will never return. At the state level, we saw a lesbian candidate for governor do quite well when the votes were counted, even though the media pretended that it was a two-man race. More barriers demolished -- Dana, Heather, thank you for your tireless efforts.

The school district finally approved, for once and for all, the changes to the sex-ed curriculum that caused TeachTheFacts.org to come together in the first place, ten years ago. Yay, us! But I didn't even blog about it when they finally confirmed the policies, it was an anticlimactic administrative rubber-stamp, even though it signified the end of a big, decade-long battle. The state transgender rights bill was passed and signed and we treated it here as if we expected it. Actually, it's a big deal and a big step forward. This blog also did not become overly celebratory when same-sex marriage was approved in the state of Maryland. We kind of expect progress to keep marching forward.

The issue of global warming has divided the population into those who believe facts and logic, and those who rely on faith. The faithful support companies' right to pollute the environment as much as they want, since it doesn't have much effect beyond smelling bad and the occasional intersex fish. And in more recent news, the Supreme Court ruled that if your religion tells you that birth control is abortion your company should not have to provide it to your employees. Then they revised their statement saying if your religion opposes birth control at all you shouldn't have to provide insurance for any of it. And then they extended their ruling to make it easier for companies to claim that their religion means they should not have to do things like provide birth control.

I admit I was not cynical enough to see this one coming. The "war on women" has taken some strange turns in the past few years, and some of it just didn't make sense, but this? More than ninety-nine percent of American women who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method. This is not even controversial -- that's just about all of them. It is something women need, it is inexpensive and safe and allows women to plan their pregnancies, and why in the world would you take that away from them?

Katha Pollit, writing in The Nation, issues the statement that sums it up:
As Ruth Bader Ginsburg argues in her stirring dissent, there’s “little doubt that RFRA [ Religious Freedom Restoration Act ] claims will proliferate, for the Court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood—combined with its other errors in construing RFRA—invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith.” The reason it’s unlikely the Supreme Court would uphold a religious exemption for vaccinations or blood transfusions is not something intrinsic to those claims; it’s simply that Alito finds them weird. Birth control is banned by the Bible? Sure. Blood transfusions are banned by the Bible? Don’t be silly. For now. We have no idea, really, how far the Court might be willing to extend RFRA. Could a CEO refuse to pay childbirth costs for unmarried women? Could he pay married men more because that’s what the Lord wants? (Actually, he’s probably already doing that.) But here’s my prediction: the day a religious exemption burdens by so much as a mouse’s whisker the right of men to protect their own bodies from unwanted, well, anything, is the day the Supreme Court Five discover that religion is not so deserving of deference after all. Where Will the Slippery Slope of ‘Hobby Lobby’ End?
There are those who seem to feel it would be utopia if only we could live in a society where decisions and standards were determined by dreamlike "religious" principles, where if something scared us it would be declared evil and if we liked something it would be good -- where "we" means the demographic in power, e.g., old straight white guys. And though we tend to think of those people as nuts, they have obviously wormed their way into the very heart of our social machinery, they are sitting on the Supreme Court, they are in Congress, they are on TV.

There is no way this crazy ruling will not continue to expand. Companies have religious rights, meaning they can impose the owners' religious beliefs on their employees. Of course it will expand. And the Supreme Court is going to help them.

And the telling thing is that it will only expand in one way. Can you imagine a company telling its employees they can't use their paychecks to buy shellfish? What if there was a company that believed the quirky concept "Thou shalt not kill" and refused to pay taxes for wars? What if a company required its female employees to cover their faces in the workplace? It's not going to go that way. By "religion" they mean their kind of religion, paternalistic, repressive, Christian religion. It isn't about freedom of religion, it is about one religion dominating the social norms and standards that affect everybody.

44 Comments:

Blogger Priya Lynn said...

If the justices had followed the American constitution on this there's no way they would have ruled in favour of Hobby Lobby. The U.S. constitution says the government cannot favour religion and yet this ruling allows religious people to ignore laws others are required to follow - it favours religion over irreligion and therefore conflicts with the very basis of the first amendment.

July 04, 2014 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The emperor Augustus, in an effort to encourage family life among the ruling elite in Rome, gave tax breaks to married men, and even greater tax breaks to married men with children.

Of course, he was an absolute monarch and the final respite of appeal; he could do as he pleased.

He was also an old, rich white man; not Christian, though.

July 04, 2014 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSQCH1qyIDo

July 05, 2014 4:01 PM  
Anonymous take a dip said...

"The issue of global warming has divided the population into those who believe facts and logic, and those who rely on faith."

Sad. A guy who has such faith, not in science, but in the scientific community.

The case supporting a coming climate catastrophe based on human activity is not strong.

Occasionally, an issue comes along that, for historic reasons, cause the scientific establishment to lose objectivity.

The scientific establishment has turned this issue into a litmus test of whether you're on one side or the other.

There are those, for example, who believe that the climate has become warmer over the last century but not by much and it doesn't portend a coming disaster.

When they speak to the media, they are called climate deniers by the scientific establishment.

When they tally up the propaganda stats, these same are the "97%" who support the global warming cause.

There are a million nuances on this issue.

Two facts:

1. climatology is not a science developed enough to be reliable in predicting far future events

2. scientists have repeatedly adjusted the past climate record to make it comparable to current measurements

this is reasonable and has to be done but there is a bias among climatologists that makes them err of the side of warming

over a broad range of data, extrapolated into the future, it makes a difference

"The faithful support companies' right to pollute the environment as much as they want"

there is no right to pollute the common environment just like there is no right to force the government to call same gender relationships "marriage"

the issue is whether something that plant life needs to live is actually a pollutant

or is it air-borne fertilizer?

the big nightmare the alarmists predict is that there will be more water and more plants and more of the plant hospitable to life

change isn't always bad

July 06, 2014 6:25 AM  
Anonymous opps said...

more of the planet hospitable to life

July 06, 2014 6:28 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "The case supporting a coming climate catastrophe based on human activity is not strong.".

Wrong. It is a given that if global warming continues as it has it will be a catastrophe and unless we take steps to limit the ever increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere global warming will continue until it becomes irreversable:

The devastating effects of global warming:

Major negative effects of climate change are here now and they're only getting worse, as shown by recent reports from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) and the White House among others.

The greenhouse gas emissions that drive warming "now substantially exceed the highest concentrations recorded in ice cores during the past 800,000 years," the IPCC said. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which primarily come from the burning of fossil fuels, have risen 40% since pre-industrial times.

July 07, 2014 12:52 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

We've gathered some notable effects of climate change below.

Unless otherwise noted, each effect assumes a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) by 2100, a number the IPCC has suggested we are "more likely than not" to exceed, and a sea level rise of 0.5 meters (1.5 feet) by 2100, about the average of all the IPCC's most recent climate scenarios. This is a conservative estimate as other studies have suggested that sea level rise will be much greater if climate change continues unmitigated.

Climate change will be insanely expensive.

Asset destruction, forced relocations, droughts, extinctions, and all of the other bad things we're going to discuss will add up in costs to the global economy. Already the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that the U.S. Climate Disruption Budget — i.e., stuff related to drought, storm, and growing climate disruptions — was nearly $100 billion. And that's just the start.

As climate change continues, costs will go up. Indeed, the release of a 50-billion-ton reservoir of methane from melting Arctic ice, which may advance global warming by 15-to-35 years, could by itself cost $60 trillion to the global economy, researchers told Nature last summer.

July 07, 2014 12:52 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Hundreds of millions of people may be displaced by 2050.


"98% of all displacement in 2012 was related to climate- and weather-related events," according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center. Climate change may become the biggest driver of displaced people, according to António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2008, 36 million people were displaced by natural disasters. At least 20 million of those people were driven from their homes by disasters related to climate change like drought and rising sea level, Guterres said.


Dengue and malaria could spread in the U.S

As summers become longer, temperatures go up, and rainfall patterns change along with species patterns. Mosquitoes carrying diseases will likely have a longer season in a wider area, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council. "The same is true on a global scale: increases in heat, precipitation, and humidity can allow tropical and subtropical insects to move from regions where infectious diseases thrive into new places," they wrote. Increases in international travel, "means that the U.S. is increasingly at risk for becoming home to these new diseases."

Western wildfires could burn up to eight times as much land by 2100

For each one degree Celsius of warming, the area burned by western wildfires will increase by a factor of two to four, according to a report by the National Academy of Sciences.

July 07, 2014 12:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

An additional 8% of the world population will experience water scarcity by 2100.

In 2013, about 1.3 billion people lived in water scarce regions, according to one study. The researchers calculated that an additional 8% of the population would enter a state of "new or aggravated water scarcity," solely due to climate change with a temperature increase of 2 degrees C by 2100.


Hurricanes could become up to 11% more intense and 20% wetter by 2100.


The recent National Climate Assessment found that Category 4 and 5 hurricanes (the strongest) have increased in frequency, intensity, and duration since the 1980s. It's not yet clear how much can be attributed human or natural causes but scientists said the "the trend is projected to continue," and that climate change is not going to help the situation moving forward.

Four times as many New Yorkers could live in areas that flood by 2050.

July 07, 2014 12:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Millions of people and trillions in assets are at risk in coastal cities.


Assuming a sea-level rise of .5 meters by 2070, with an extra .5 to 1.5 meters to account for storms, a 2008 study ranked the most exposed cities in the world. The analysis found staggering potential losses in cities around the world. Calcutta, India, may be the most exposed, with 14 million people and $2 trillion in assets at risk. Miami is also in big trouble with 4.8 million people and $3.5 trillion at risk.


Global wheat and maize yields are already beginning to decline.

While warming temperatures might initially help certain crops, the overall picture is negative. Global crop yields are slowing down as a result of events related to climate change, like reduced rainfall and higher temperatures.

Wheat and maize have already been negatively affected in certain regions, as shown in the chart below. The IPCC points out several scenarios in which food and cereal prices have rapidly increased following extreme weather events since their last report in 2007. The new report predicts continued drops in global wheat and maize production, which could lead to food scarcity and political unrest.

Some small island nations could be destroyed

100% of reefs may be at risk of extinction by 2050.

Besides being biodiversity hotspots and holding potentials for medicine, coral reefs act as a buffer to storms and erosion. One-hundred countries could lose coastal protection along almost 100,000 miles of shoreline, according to the World Resources Institute.

July 07, 2014 12:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Some reptiles species could turn mostly female, potentially leading to their extinction.


Because many reptiles rely on ambient temperatures to regulate physiological processes, they will be directly affected by global temperature change. For turtles, nest temperature determines the sex of the offspring. A cooler nest hatches only males while a warmer nest is all females. Changes in sex ratio could effect the potential to produce offspring as well as the evolutionary fitness the species, according to the Forest Service, both factors which do not bode well for the survival of the reptiles.


Atlanta and New York could see twice as many days of thunderstorms a year by 2100 from the 1962 to 1989 average.

One study found that when greenhouse gases increased, conditions prime for intense thunderstorms in the eastern and southern U.S. also increased. Other climate studies have suggested there will be "robust increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments" in the eastern U.S., often occurring before the 2 degrees C global warming baseline.


Many countries are losing their main dry season water source.

Over one billion people worldwide rely on glaciers and snow for freshwater as they melt, according to the IPCC. When glaciers are in equilibrium with the climate, they act as valuable and stable sources of freshwater for many regions. Because glaciers are currently out of equilibrium, "total meltwater yields from stored glacier ice will increase in many regions during the next decades but decrease thereafter," the IPCC said. This can lead to floods in the immediate future, but result in a lack of meltwater in the long-term.

July 07, 2014 12:54 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Equatorial regions and parts of the Antarctic will see up to a 50% decrease in their fisheries.

When the IPCC modeled about 1,000 marine species, it found almost a 50% decrease in catch in certain areas by 2060, using a scenario with a estimated 2.8 degree C temperature change. These analysis were without even considering ocean acidification or overfishing.

An additional 20 million more children will go hungry by 2050

A report from the World Food Program expects extreme weather events like floods, droughts, forest fires, and tropical cyclones to damage farmlands, threatening food security for millions of people. Climate impacts on crop yields will increase the number of malnourished children by around 11 million in Asia, 10 million in Africa, and 1.4 million in Latin America, the report said.

By 2050, crop yields in Asia are expected to fall by 50% for wheat 17% for rice compared to 2000 levels, according to the report. This will threaten billions of people who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

July 07, 2014 12:55 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "Occasionally, an issue comes along that, for historic reasons, cause the scientific establishment to lose objectivity. The scientific establishment has turned this issue into a litmus test of whether you're on one side or the other. There are those, for example, who believe that the climate has become warmer over the last century but not by much and it doesn't portend a coming disaster.".

Nonsense. Science is self-correcting. When new data comes along that contradicts previous conclusions the conclusions are adjusted to accomodate this. There is no contradictory data on global warming and the data has been incredibly consistent. There is no incentive to lie and say global warming is happening when it isn't as no one wants global warming to be happening. The incentive to lie about global warming exists solely with the global warming deniers who are motivated to deny the truth because they don't want to think anything bad will happen if we continue business as usual and don't want to make additional efforts to address the problem. Those people who think global warming isn't a concern are for the most part not scientists and don't debate their conclusions in scientific forums on global warming or in peer reviewed science journals. Instead they concentrate on propagandizing the media where on outlets like Fox news they can do so unchallenged and lie to their hearts content. The fact is 97% of scientists agree global warming is man-made and the effects will be disasterous in the long run if nothing is done

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "When they speak to the media, they are called climate deniers by the scientific establishment. When they tally up the propaganda stats, these same are the "97%" who support the global warming cause.".

They are appropriately called climate deniers because they ignore/lie about the overwhelming evidence that global warming is happening and man-made. Scientists do not "support the global warming cause" ( a nonsensical statement as no one wants global warming to be happening), they merely accept the overwhelming evidence and note the serious consequences if nothing is done about it.

July 07, 2014 12:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...


Wyatt/bad anonymous said "There are a million nuances on this issue. Two facts: 1. climatology is not a science developed enough to be reliable in predicting far future events 2. scientists have repeatedly adjusted the past climate record to make it comparable to current measurements this is reasonable and has to be done but there is a bias among climatologists that makes them err of the side of warming over a broad range of data, extrapolated into the future, it makes a difference"|.

Nonsense. Any "nuances" are heavily outweighed by the stark reality of overwhelming evidence. The climate has warmed since the industrial revolution at a rate far faster than it has ever in the past. Natural factors cannot account for this and those natural processes should have resulted in a significant cooling of the planet over the last couple decades as the sun's solar output has been at a minimum for that time and La Nina weather events which encourage global cooling have also been prevalent over the last couple decades. Instead the planet has continued warming at a faster rate than predicted. The adjustments scientists have made to the observed temperatures amount to LOWERING termperatures observed in cities due to the localized heating effects of concrete and pavement. It is simply a lie that climatoligists have erred on the side of warming, in fact they have erred on the side of less warming than there has been. Time and time again, when scientists predictions about global warming have been wrong they've UNDERESTIMATED the effects and rate of change.

July 07, 2014 12:58 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Jim said "The faithful support companies' right to pollute the environment as much as they want"

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "there is no right to pollute the common environment just like there is no right to force the government to call same gender relationships "marriage"".

No one is forcing the government to allow gays to marry. The judicial branch of the government has decided that the U.S. constitution requires it and the government is choosing willingly to do the right thing. Republicans in the pockets of big business have gutted pollution recommendations, giving exemptions to exceptionally dirty "fracking" from the clean water act, it is Republican orthodoxy that the Environmental Protection Agency should be eliminated. Conservatives as a whole oppose any regulations that restrict companies rights to pollute as much as they want to -all that government regulation has to go dontchya know (its bad for business).


Wyatt/bad anonymous said "the issue is whether something that plant life needs to live is actually a pollutant or is it air-borne fertilizer? the big nightmare the alarmists predict is that there will be more water and more plants and more of the plant hospitable to life change isn't always bad".

Saying increased levels of CO2 aren't a problem because plants require it is like saying superstorms Katrina and Sandy which caused widespread flooding weren't a problem because life needs water to live - its just stupid. Just like there's an ideal level for waters in lakes and oceans there's an ideal level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Amounts significantly beyond this will reek havoc with civilization as the overwhelming scientific evidence shows - droughts, flooding, crop failure, disease, species extinction, war, famine, loss of GDP and productivity. Global warming will result in equatorial areas becoming too hot for outdoor work and too hot to support crops. Water levels will rise flooding coastal areas where most cities are. Flooding and drought will reduce the amount of land available for crops and decrease food production - its already happening. The costs associated with doing nothing about global warming will exceed by several times the cost of preventing it.

July 07, 2014 12:58 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Avoiding global warming catastrophe is super cheap but only if we act now

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued its third of four planned reports. This one is on “mitigation” — “human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.”

The first two reports laid out humanity’s choice as depicted in the figure above, which appeared in both reports. The first report warned that continued inaction would lead to 9°F warming (or higher) for most of the U.S. and Northern Hemisphere landmass, resulting in faster sea level rise, more extreme weather, and collapse of the permafrost sink, which would further accelerate warming. The second report warned that this in turn would lead to a “breakdown of food systems,” more violent conflicts, and ultimately threaten to make some currently habited and arable land virtually unlivable for parts of the year.

Now you might think it would be a no-brainer that humanity would be willing to pay a very high cost to avoid such catastrophes and achieve the low emission “2°C” (3.6°F) pathway in the left figure above (RCP2.6 — which is a total greenhouse gas level in 2100 equivalent to roughly 450 parts per million of CO2). But the third report finds that the “cost” of doing so is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%.

You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06% — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.” So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries. As always, every word of the report was signed off on by every major government in the world.

July 07, 2014 1:02 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Moreover, this does not even count the economic benefit of avoiding climate catastrophe. A few years ago, scientists calculated that benefit as having a net present value of $615 to $830 trillion. That means our current do-nothing plan is actually far, far costlier than aggressive climate mitigation.

And the IPCC warns “Delaying is estimated to … substantially increase the difficulty of the transition to low, longer-term emissions levels and narrow the range of options consistent with maintaining temperature change below 2 degrees C.”

These are not new findings. In its previous Fourth Assessment (AR4) in 2007, the IPCC found the cost of stabilizing at 445 ppm CO2-eq corresponded to “slowing average annual global GDP growth by less than 0.12 percentage points.”

These conclusions should not be a surprise since they are based on a review of the literature — and every major independent study has found a remarkably low net cost for climate action — and a high cost for delay. Back in 2011, the International Energy Agency warned “Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.”

As German economist Ottmar Edenhofer, a co-chair of the IPCC committee that wrote the new report, put it, “We cannot afford to lose another decade. If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization.”

July 07, 2014 1:03 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The new IPCC report notes that renewable energy (RE) technologies have advanced substantially since 2007:

Since AR4, many RE technologies have demonstrated substantial performance improvements and cost reductions, and a growing number of RE technologies have achieved a level of maturity to enable deployment at significant scale (robust evidence, high agreement). Regarding electricity generation alone, RE accounted for just over half of the new electricity generating capacity added globally in 2012, led by growth in wind, hydro and solar power.

The IPCC notes, “In the majority of low stabilization scenarios, the share of low carbon electricity supply [RE, nuclear, and carbon capture] increases from the current share of approximately 30% to more than 80% by 2050.” That kind of rapid growth in near-zero-carbon energy over the next 3 1/2 decades leaves very little room for any new fossil fuel generation. The IPCC asserts that natural gas can act as a short-term bridge fuel if “the fugitive emissions associated with extraction and supply are low or mitigated” — which multiple recent studies make clear is not currently the case (see “By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined“).

In the scenario that gives us the best chance of avoiding catastrophe, stabilizing at 450 ppm CO2-eq by 2100, natural gas power generation must peak and fall “to below current levels by 2050″ — and decline further post-2050. So the world is already using more natural gas than it can safely afford to be using in just 36 years.

July 07, 2014 1:03 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

One final interesting factoid in the report that reveals just how stunning the increase in global emissions have been since 1970:

In 1970, cumulative CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement production and flaring since 1750 were 420±35 Gt [billion metric tons] CO2; in 2010, that cumulative total had tripled to 1300 ±110 Gt CO2.

The world has emitted more than twice the industrial CO2 emissions since 1970 as we did from the start of the Industrial Revolution through 1970. That is especially sobering because lags in the climate system mean we’re only now experiencing the temperature and climate changes from CO2 levels of a couple decades ago. The time to act is now.

July 07, 2014 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBC staff told to stop inviting cranks on to science programmes

BC Trust says 200 senior managers trained not to insert 'false balance' into stories when issues were non-contentious

"BBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air ‘marginal views’

The BBC Trust on Thursday published a progress report into the corporation’s science coverage which was criticised in 2012 for giving too much air-time to critics who oppose non-contentious issues.

The report found that there was still an ‘over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality’ which sought to give the ‘other side’ of the argument, even if that viewpoint was widely dismissed.

Some 200 staff have already attended seminars and workshops and more will be invited on courses in the coming months to stop them giving ‘undue attention to marginal opinion.’

“The Trust wishes to emphasise the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that clear to audiences,” wrote the report authors.

“Science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views but depends on the varying degree of prominence such views should be given.”

The Trust said that man-made climate change was one area where too much weight had been given to unqualified critics.

In April the BBC was accused of misleading viewers about climate change and creating ‘false balance’ by allowing unqualified sceptics to have too much air-time.

In a damning parliamentary report, the corporation was criticised for distorting the debate, with Radio 4’s Today and World at One programmes coming in for particular criticism.

The BBC’s determination to give a balanced view has seen it pit scientists arguing for climate change against far less qualified opponents such as Lord Lawson who heads a campaign group lobbying against the government’s climate change policies.

Andrew Montford, who runs the Bishop Hill climate sceptic blog, former children’s television presenter Johnny Ball and Bob Carter, a retired Australian geologist, are among the other climate sceptics that have appeared on the BBC.

The report highlighted World at One edition in September of a landmark UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) research project which found concluded with 95 per cent certainty that the climate is changing and that human activity is the main cause.

The programme’s producers tried more than a dozen qualified UK scientists to give an opposing view but could not find one willing to do so – so they went to Mr Carter in Australia.

Pitted against Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Mr Carter described the findings of the most authoritative report ever undertaken into the science of climate change – put together by hundreds of scientists around the world – as “hocus-pocus science”.

July 07, 2014 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The world has emitted more than twice the industrial CO2 emissions since 1970 as we did from the start of the Industrial Revolution through 1970. That is especially sobering because lags in the climate system mean we’re only now experiencing the temperature and climate changes from CO2 levels of a couple decades ago. The time to act is now."

why?

atmospheric temperature has stabilized over the last 16 years despite this increase

sounds like we're doing something right

we has an absolutely gorgeous holiday weekend here

the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. for a record number of years glanced Cape Hatteras for a couple of hours on the morning of the Fourth

then, the beach weekend resumed

no problem

we know you're crazed, lazy priya, but how about a self-imposed courtesy to the other blogsters here

posting 15 maximum length comments for each paragraph you dislike is excessive and doesn't give other a chance

rude, lazy, nasty and crazy

maybe you should re-invent yourself

again

July 07, 2014 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. for a record number of years glanced Cape Hatteras

A "record number of years?"

The 21 months since Super-storm Sandy hit the state of New Jersey in October 2012 is no "record number of years."

"Hurricane Arthur did put the kibosh on a holiday weekend in which a quarter million tourists were expected to come calling on the Outer Banks – a 200-mile stretch of barrier islands that represents a vital component of North Carolina’s tourism industry.

Speaking of, transportation officials were working hard to reopen N.C. Highway 12 – a 148-mile artery that traverses much of the Outer Banks. The sooner that road is fully traversable, the sooner the Outer Banks can get back to business.

The good news? Highway 12 appeared to be in much better shape than it was in the wake of Hurricane Isabel (2003), subtropical storm Andrea (2007), Hurricane Irene (2011), and “Super-storm” Sandy (2012).

In fact McCrory said he expected the road to be open again no later than Saturday evening …

Arthur – the earliest hurricane to strike North Carolina in recorded history – made its first landfall at around 11:15 p.m. EDT near Shackleford Banks, N.C. After traversing Pamlico Sound, a second landfall was made near the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.

Why was the impact of this system so mild?

For starters, Arthur came ashore at low tide – limiting the impact of its storm surge. Also, Arthur was a fast-moving system – meaning its strong winds and heavy rains didn’t linger for long over the region."

July 07, 2014 5:16 PM  
Anonymous LOL hyena said...

Sandy wasn't a hurricane, you jackass

Not a single major hurricane, defined as a Category 3 storm or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale —with minimum wind gusts of at least 111 mph — has directly hit the United States in nearly eight years. That's twice as long as any major hurricane landfall "drought" since 1915, and by far the longest on record since data began being collected prior to 1900. As of today (Sept. 12), it's been 2,880 days since Hurricane Wilma, the last major hurricane to strike the United States, made landfall on Oct. 24, 2005.

Looks like a globally warmed planet, whose ATMOSPHERIC temperature has not changed in 16 years, makes weather conditions preeeeety stable.

The funny thing is that the alarmists were screaming in 2005 that hurricanes would increase in frequency and intensity until we stop driving cars.

Sometimes it seems that life is a tale told by someone with a great sense of humor.

After all, who doesn't enjoy laughing at an alarmist?

July 07, 2014 9:12 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I said "The world has emitted more than twice the industrial CO2 emissions since 1970 as we did from the start of the Industrial Revolution through 1970. That is especially sobering because lags in the climate system mean we’re only now experiencing the temperature and climate changes from CO2 levels of a couple decades ago. The time to act is now."


Wyatt/bad anonymous said "atmospheric temperature has stabilized over the last 16 years despite this increase".

To debunk your oft repeated lie yet again: Not only has atmospheric temperature increases Since 1997 been Greatly Underestimated the atmosphere only accounts for 2% of the global climate and the rest of the planet such as land, lower and upper ocean layers has heated up at a far greater pace over the past 16 years than the 16 years before that. It is a myth that global warming has paused, stopped, or halted.

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "Not a single major hurricane, defined as a Category 3 storm or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale —with minimum wind gusts of at least 111 mph — has directly hit the United States in nearly eight years. That's twice as long as any major hurricane landfall "drought" since 1915, and by far the longest on record since data began being collected prior to 1900.".

More often repeated lies by global warming deniers who aren't climatoligists that I've debunked every time. The fact is The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. Not only that Extreme Snowstorms And Deluges Are Becoming More Frequent And More Severe

July 08, 2014 12:13 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Children of same-sex couples happier, healthier than general population, study finds

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne, in Australia, found that the children of same-sex couples fare better “than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion.”

Simon Crouch and his team performed a cross-sectional survey of 315 same-sex parents, representing over 500 children. Unlike many studies of same-sex parenting, the majority of respondents were lesbians parents.

The results indicated that children raised by same-sex parents average six percent higher than the population at large when it comes to general health and family cohesion.

“That’s really a measure that looks at how well families get along, and it seems that same-sex-parent families and the children in them are getting along well, and this has positive impacts on child health,” Crouch told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The reason for the greater social cohesion among same-sex partners, Crouch suggested, is that work is more equitably distributed in same-sex households.

July 08, 2014 12:13 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

“Previous research has suggested that parenting roles and work roles, and home roles within same-sex parenting families are more equitably distributed when compared to heterosexual families,” he said.

“What this means is that people take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes, which is mum staying home and looking after the kids and dad going out to earn money,” Crouch continued.

He also noted that the study has implications for those who oppose same-sex marriage for its purportedly harmful effect on children.

“Quite often, people talk about marriage equality in the context of family and that marriage is necessary to raise children in the right environment, and that you need a mother and a father to be able to do that, and therefore marriage should be restricted to male and female couples,” he said.

“But I think what the study suggests in that context is that actually children can be brought up in many different family contexts, and it shouldn’t be a barrier to marriage equality.”

July 08, 2014 12:14 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "LOL hyena said...Sandy wasn't a hurricane, you jackass".

How I love when you expose your idiocy with fatuous comments like that.
Hurricane Sandy (unofficially known as "Superstorm Sandy") was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as THE SECOND COSTLIEST HURRICANE IN UNITED STATES HISTORY. Classified as the eighteenth named storm, tenth hurricane and second major hurricane of the year. Sandy was a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity when it made landfall in Cuba. The storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record (as measured by diameter, with winds spanning 1,100 miles (1,800 km)).

So, once again, you pathetic moron, your claim that no major hurricane has hit the United States in 8 years is a blatant lie.

July 08, 2014 12:48 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Just marvelling at how incredibly stupid it was for Wyatt to not only claim that Sandy wasn't a major hurricane but that it wasn't a hurricane at all.

According to Wyatt/bad anonymous superstorm Sandy was just another rainy day where people enjoyed a pleasant light shower providing them relief from the heat.

Tell that to the relatives of the 286 people who died and the people who suffered 68 billion in property damage which was exceeded only by Hurricane Katrina.

Once again, the world Wyatt inhabits is a fantasy where he can declare anything to be and it magically is,(like Sandy not being a major hurricane) evidence and facts be damned.

July 08, 2014 3:36 PM  
Anonymous aquaman said...

uh Priya, you lazy piece of trash, I believe anon was discussing major hurricanes striking the U.S. as major hurricanes

if it comes ashore as a petered out tropical storm with lots of rain, that doesn't count

that's something pretty obvious to those of us who aren't imbeciles

rain, btw, began failing at the time of Noah's flood and has continued to fall regularly since

also, you keep countering anon with non sequiturs

to give you one of many examples, anon said a major hurricane hasn't hit the U.S.

your counter is Atlantic hurricanes have increased in intensity

doesn't follow as a counter-argument

you need to stop being so lazy

one might get the impression you're a blubbering idiot rather than just a plain ol' idiot

July 08, 2014 3:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous, you were idiotically attempting to refute that there had been any consequences as a result of global warming. The key word there is "GLOBAL".

The U.S. is virtually non-existent geographically speaking, it only makes up 2% of the earth's surface area. You cannot make the point that there are no consequences to global warming by only talking about what is happening on 2% of the Earth and ignoring the rest of the planet.

Like the typical American conservative you stupidly believe anything that happens outside of the U.S. border simply hasn't happened because in your small mind the world ends at the U.S. border.

What you've written about the U.S. and global warming is largely a lie but even if for the sake of argument I were to concede that what you wrote about the U.S. was true you still fail miserably to refute the points I posted showing global warming has serious consequences. You've reverted to your typical deception tactic of describing localized events in time and pretending what has happened in one isolated part of the planet is true for the planet as a whole - it most certainly isn't. Not to mention, that as I posted previously it was a lie when you said a major hurricane hasn't hit the U.S. Hurricane Sandy has been the second costliest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. only exceeded by hurricane Katrina

Thats why intelligent people refer to it as GLOBAL warming and not UNITED STATES warming. What happens only in the U.S. is of little concern, what really matters is what happens to the globe as a WHOLE and as the links I posted show there has been an increase in hurricane intensity, duration, and frequency around the world as well as increases in extreme snowstorms and deluges.

And finally, your hypocrisy in calling me rude, crazy, lazy, and nasty is boundless. You call people Jack-asses when you're the one who's in the wrong, you spew venom non-stop, call for the imprisonment and execution of gays and lesbians and you epitomize laziness by spending your days surfing the internet rather than attending to the factory job duties you're paid to take care of.

July 08, 2014 5:26 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

286 people died in huricane sandy and there was 68 billion in property damage, it most certainly was NOT "a petered out tropical storm that doesn't count".

Hurricane Sandy was the SECOND WORST hurricane to ever hit the U.S., exceeded only by Hurricane Katrina which was quite recent from a climatology perspective.

July 08, 2014 5:32 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

And don't forget that Hurricane Sandy was the LARGEST Hurricane EVER.

July 08, 2014 5:36 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Its people like you that have given rise to the global image of the "ugly American" - "if it doesn't happen in the U.S it doesn't matter". No wonder there's such extreme loathing of the U.S. around the world.

July 08, 2014 5:44 PM  
Anonymous life in Saskatchewan must be pretty damn dull said...

24 out of the 33 posts on this thread are by the tiresome and ugly Canadian

before long, the posts will go over 200, rendering the blog useless

time for blog limits

assuming lazy priya's therapist doesn't get there first

July 08, 2014 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if it comes ashore as a petered out tropical storm with lots of rain, that doesn't count

Being the second costliest Atlantic hurricane in US history only "doesn't count" to selective fact deniers like you.

$74.1 billion worth of damage is far from any reasonable person's idea the cost of damages from a "petered out tropical storm with lots of rain."

July 08, 2014 9:32 PM  
Anonymous cukoo for cocoa puffs said...

actually, it wasn't a hurricane when it hit the U.S.

a hurricane is an extreme wind event

this was rain

also, it happen to combine with another storm

no respectable meteorologist has suggested that the event was the result of global warming

up in Saskatchewan, there's a nut house with people who think they're Napoleon, lots of guys who think they're girls, and real looney bird who thinks they talk to leading climatologists

maybe electro-shock would help, eh?

July 08, 2014 10:47 PM  
Anonymous lunatics shoot themselves in foot said...

WASHINGTON -- Gay rights groups are jumping ship on legislation they previously hailed as one of their biggest priorities of the year: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center announced in a joint statement on Tuesday that they are withdrawing support for the Senate ENDA bill because of its religious exemption.

The exemption “allows religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity," reads the group statement.

Gay advocacy groups have long trumpeted their support for ENDA, which would make it illegal to fire or harass someone at work based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The groups now say last week’s Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case was a factor in flipping positions on ENDA. The court ruled that a religious employer could not be required to provide employees with certain types of contraception in violation of his faith.

“Given the types of workplace discrimination we see increasingly against LGBT people, together with the calls for greater permission to discriminate on religious grounds that followed immediately upon the Supreme Court’s decision last week in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, it has become clear that the inclusion of this provision is no longer tenable,” reads the groups' statement. “It would prevent ENDA from providing protections that LGBT people desperately need and would make very bad law with potential further negative effects. Therefore, we are announcing our withdrawal of support for the current version of ENDA.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced it also is withdrawing support for ENDA.

The shift is a huge blow for the legislation, which passed the Senate last year, but has stalled in the House. The movement away from the Senate ENDA bill fractures a coalition that has been pushing for a vote in the GOP-controlled House, where a more religiously repressive version of the legislation is even less likely to pass than in the Senate.

July 09, 2014 4:45 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Anonymous recommends electro-shock, which for decades a preferred treatment to cure lgbt people.

Seriously?

July 09, 2014 11:06 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "actually, it wasn't a hurricane when it hit the U.S. a hurricane is an extreme wind event this was rain also, it happen to combine with another storm".

Virtually every meteorologist and climatolgist designated it a class 3 hurricane when it hit the U.S. It was a class 3 hurricane when it hit cuba and it was the largest hurricane EVER. Go tell the thousands of people who lost their homes and the relatives of the 286 people who died Sandy wasn't a hurricane. Your claim is absurd and rejected by every thinking person that is familiar with hurricane Sandy.

And once again, even if for the sake of argument I were to acede to your lie and say it wasn't a hurricane when it hit the U.S. your argument still fails. You were claiming that a lack of hurricanes proves the prediction that global warming would produce more and more severe hurricanes is false. You were restricting your recognition of hurricanes only to the 2% of the earth's surface area that is the United States and ignoring all the hurricanes that occurred on the other 98% of the planet. Claiming that there haven't been any hurricanes in the U.S. therefore there is no increased hurricane activity is akin to saying lions, tigers, penguins and elephants don't exist because there are none in the wild in the U.S.

There's a reason its called "GLOBAL" warming and not "UNITED STATES" warming. If you want to make the case that global warming hasn't caused an increase in the frequency, intencity, and duration of hurricanes you can't ignore 98% of the planet and then say "with my blinders on I don't see any increase in hurricanes so there aren't any anywhere".

So, your argument that climatoligist were wrong about global warming causing increase hurricanes is wrong on two levels. Not only have the worst hurricanes in U.S. history happened in recent climatological history, when we look at the globe as a whole the intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "no respectable meteorologist has suggested that the event was the result of global warming".

Once again, you're demonstrating your extreme (and possibly willful) stupidty. First off meteorologists are experts in weather, not climate and are no more qualified to talk about climatology than Joan Rivers. Secondly climate scientists never make specific assertions tying any particular weather event to global warming because there are too many variables to prove any one weather event is caused by global warming. Instead they talk about what happens in general over longer time frames(that's climate as opposed to weather) and note that hurricanes like Sandy and Katrina are consistent with the prediction that global warming is and will cause an increase in the fequency, intesity, and duration of hurricanes.

So because scientists are trained to be conservative no climatoligist will say hurricane Sandy was caused by global warming but by the same token no climatoligist will say hurricane Sandy wasn't caused by global warming.

The fact remains, 97% of scientists agree global warming is man-made and will have serious consequences if nothing is done about it.

July 09, 2014 12:38 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

And any Employment Non-discrimination Act that allows people to ignore the law whenever they want because it contains a religious exemption is worthless.

Of course LGBT groups are rejecting a non-discrimination law that allows people to discriminate to their hearts content.

Christians aren't given an exemption to anti-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or religion. Logically they can't be given an exemption to a law ostensibly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NO SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR CHRISTIANS.

July 09, 2014 12:43 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Extreme Snowstorms And Deluges Are Becoming More Frequent And More Severe

July 09, 2014 12:51 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/bad anonymous said "actually, it wasn't a hurricane when it hit the U.S. a hurricane is an extreme wind event this was rain"

Wrong as usual.


"A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane (/ˈhʌrɨkeɪn/ or /ˈhʌrɨkən/), typhoon /taɪˈfuːn/, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.[1]".

No honest person half-way intelligent person (in particular no expert) denies that Sandy was a hurricane both before and after it hit the U.S.

But then Wyatt/bad anonymous is neither honest nor intelligent.

July 09, 2014 1:00 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Hurricane Sandy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hurricane Sandy: Facts & Data: LiveScience.com

Hurricane Sandy - Image Results

New Jersey Hurricane Sandy |Fema.gov

Hurricane Sandy - USAToday.com

Hurricane Sandy - Video Results

Hurricane Sandy News, Photos and Videos - ABC News

Hurricane Sandy New Jersey coverage and updates - NJ.com

Homeowners Battered By Hurricane Sandy Are Still Waiting For Help |NYTimes.com

Hurricane Sandy |World News |The Guardian

I could go on...

July 09, 2014 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Waiting for the next high tide said...

"actually, it wasn't a hurricane when it hit the U.S.

a hurricane is an extreme wind event

this was rain"


Whatever kind of "event" you want to call it, Super-Storm Sandy was about as far from a "petered out" storm as you are from a fact-seeking scientist.

Yes, Sandy did meet up with another storm and the resulting Super-Storm Sandy caused much more damage ($74.1 billion) than 1991's "Perfect Storm" ($200 million).

Super-Storm Sandy was second most costly Atlantic Hurricane storm in all US history, after Hurricane Katrina.

But by all mean, keep your head firmly embedded in the sand.

July 09, 2014 4:34 PM  

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