Archive | Disastrous

Witch hunt: Trump demands list of civil servants who worked on climate policy

Dead Vlei

Donald Trump’s transition team is instructing the Department of Energy (DOE) to hand over the names of all of the agency’s contractors and employers who have worked on key climate policies under President Barack Obama, raising concerns that a witch hunt is being orchestrated by the incoming administration. The request was included in a 74-question internal… Continue Reading →

A soon-to-be American tragedy

The Confederate States of Trump: Get Ready! | The Huffington Post

Jesse Berney for Rolling Stone:

We know the next president of the United States uses his powerful platform to take revenge on individual citizens. He attacked Alec Baldwin for parodying him on Saturday Night Live, threatened to cancel a contract with Boeing because its CEO questioned his trade policy and called a union leader “terrible” for pointing out Trump lied in his characterization of the Carrier deal.

We know he doesn’t understand or care about the most fundamental constitutional rights, after he threatened to revoke the citizenship of anyone who burned a flag. We know he’s suggested using the power of his office to go after the press for vigorously reporting on what he says and does. (Quote him, and he’ll call you a liar.)

Add it all up, and what do you see? A child who reacts to the slightest perceived attack with vicious vitriol. A vengeful president who is willing to violate basic rights. A government run by incompetents, racists, bullies and conspiracy-mongers.

It’s a formula for tragedy.

No one can predict the future – we learned that lesson the hard way a month ago. But if you were to imagine what impending American fascism would look like, you couldn’t place the pieces on the board any more neatly than they’ve been placed in the last year.
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It’s about damned time

nbc10.com

nbc10.com

Proposed new rules for oil trains:

Two federal agencies have proposed new safety regulations for oil trains. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration, both divisions of the Department of Transportation, announced the proposals Wednesday, which are aimed at sharing information with state emergency management agencies. The agencies also want to require a new test for the flammable liquids.

“This rule goes one step further to hold industry accountable to plan and prepare for the worst case scenario,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a release. ”It would help to ensure that railroads have comprehensive plans to respond to derailments when they occur and better ensure the safety of communities living near railroads.”

The rules would require railroads to boost their current response plans from “basic” to “comprehensive” under the federal Clean Water Act, as well as prepare for the worst case scenario.

Each month, the railroads would have to provide state and tribal emergency managers with information on the number of high-hazard flammable trains expected to travel each week through each county, along with the routes of the trains and a description of the flammable liquids onboard.

As Hurricane Matthew moves out, Zika could move in

#News:  Virus Zika Mulai Menyebar di Malaysia0

WASHINGTON — As the waters from Hurricane Matthew recede, coastal residents from Florida to the Carolinas may have something else to worry about: Zika. The high winds broke through screen doors and windows, knocked out power and left behind small and large bodies of standing water that could be new breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Scientists raised… Continue Reading →

Storm surge

Serenity

I’m very worried about my good friend Wendy, who moved earlier this year to West Palm Beach. She lives one half-block past the evacuation zone — she says you’re not allowed out on the road unless you’re in the official zone. I’m worried because she’s in a one-story ranch house.

We were already having trouble when I talked to her on the phone earlier today; the signal kept dropping. She promised to let me know she’s okay when it’s all over.

What are Republicans doing about all these broken heat records?

குறள் 15

So we just had the hottest month in the past 1,000 years, and the scientists say just five more years of carbon dioxide emissions at current levels will destroy any chance of restraining temperatures to a 1.5C increase and avoid runaway climate change.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says we’ve had 14 months of record-breaking temperatures. That means global warming is closer to the point where scientists predict devastating, irreversible consequences.

A few weeks ago, we had a “rare” late-August tornado outbreak in Indiana. Yes, notice the increase in the use of the word “rare” in weather stories – also “unusual,” “unprecedented,” and “record-breaking.”

Chris Field, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University, said in a recent interview, “The scary thing is that we are moving into an era where it will be a surprise when each new month or year isn’t one of the hottest on record.”

Everything gets more unusual by the minute.

You will be surprised, I am sure, to know that the Republicans still aren’t doing squat. I suppose they all have spaceships to take their families to a better place, amirite?

Fortunately, President Obama just signed the Paris climate change agreement — with China. This is a big fucking deal, and I’m hopeful the next President Clinton will take it even further.

Oops

honey bee on Sedum spectabile -3

So somebody decided to improve what was already working to kill mosquitos, and killed zillions of honey bees:

It marked a departure from Dorchester County’s usual ground-based efforts. For the first time, an airplane dispensed Naled in a fine mist, raining insect death from above between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Sunday. The county says it provided plenty of warning, spreading word about the pesticide plane via a newspaper announcement Friday and a Facebook post Saturday.

Local beekeepers felt differently.

“Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,’” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said in an interview with Charleston’s WCSC-TV. Stanley told the Charleston Post and Courier that the bees are her income, but she is more devastated by the loss of the bees than her honey.

The county acknowledged the bee deaths Tuesday. “Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” Jason Ward, county administrator, said in a news release. He added, according to the Charleston Post and Courier, “I am not pleased that so many bees were killed.”

Yet another benefit from global warming

Happy oyster day! In honor of this day we are running Beau Soleil oysters on the half shell with orange-sriracha granite #nationaloysterday #beausoleiloysters #oysters #georgiaseagrill #instafood #instayum

Fortunately for me, I don’t like oysters. But this is not a good sign:

But new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the warming waters may hold an additional danger: Changed temperatures are leading to increases in a bacteria called Vibrio, which can cause fatal illness in people who eat shellfish or swim in ocean waters.

Vibrio is probably little known to most Americans, though it has caused major outbreaks in European coastal cities. But the bacteria is what lies behind the old advice to only eat oysters in months with an r in the name—that is, not in summer. Vibrio burgeons in warmer water. It collects in shellfish such as oysters when they filter water while feeding and then makes people ill when they eat the shellfish raw. It can also cause grave infections if it gets into a wound or a nick in the skin.

Which is a good place to add this from Paul Krugman:

It’s interesting to ask why climate denial has become not just acceptable but essentially required within the G.O.P. Yes, the fossil-fuel sector is a big donor to the party. But the vehemence of the hostility to climate science seems disproportionate even so; bear in mind that, for example, at this point there are fewer than 60,000 coal miners, that is, less than 0.05 percent of the work force. What’s happening, I suspect, is that climate denial has become a sort of badge of right-wing identity, above and beyond the still-operative motive of rewarding donors.

In any case, this election is likely to be decisive for the climate, one way or another. President Obama has made some serious moves to address global warming, and there’s every reason to believe that Hillary Clinton would continue this push — using executive action if she faced a hostile Congress. Given the technological breakthroughs of the last few years, this push might just be enough to avert disaster. Donald Trump, on the other hand, would do everything in his power to trash the planet, with the enthusiastic support of his party. So which will it be? Stay tuned.

Oh the water

I work with a guy whose Baton Rouge house is surrounded by water. This storm system is just horrible:

Heavy rains drenched parts of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi Friday, causing dangerous floods that killed at least two people, cut off an entire town, shut down highways and prompted numerous rescues.
Heavy rains drenched parts of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi on Friday, causing dangerous floods that killed at least three people, cut off an entire town, shut down highways and prompted numerous rescues.

In Louisiana, all seven major roads into Greensburg, near Baton Rouge, were under water and the small town largely cut off, according to Michael Martin, director of operations for the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Only large National Guard vehicles have been able to get into and out of town, Martin said. At least two dozen high-water rescues were carried out Friday, with stranded residents pulled from cars, rooftops and, in one case, a tree.

Rescue workers in some areas waded through waist-deep flood waters to get stranded residents and their pets to safety.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, with rain expected for several more days.

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