So says one of their executives, caught on tape.
reposted from Joe
|UFOP from the Templo|
|Maria & Cyro, Maria is one of the good folks who run the place!|
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon up 15%Cattle walks in a burnt area of the Amazon rain forest (AFP/File)
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon increased by 15 percent during the past 12 months, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said Wednesday.
From July 2010 to July 2011 the vast South American rainforest lost 2,654 square kilometers (1,649 square miles) of vegetation in the states of Mato Grosso and Para, according to a preliminary analysis of satellite photos.
The year before, 2,295 square kilometers (1,426 square miles) were destroyed over that time period.
This July, 225 square kilometers (139 square miles) were lost to deforestation, though this was significantly less than the 485 square kilometers (301 square miles) destroyed in July 2010.
In April 477 square kilometers (296 square miles) were destroyed, with more than 95 percent of the devastation taking place in Mato Grosso, which is a major agricultural frontier used for cattle ranches and soybean farming.
Wednesday’s figures were calculated from a satellite system known as DETER, which detects in real time when an area larger than 61 acres is destroyed, though its results are not always exact due to cloud cover.
Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country by area, has 5.3 million square kilometers of jungle and forests — mostly in the Amazon river basin — of which only 1.7 million are under state protection.
“Climate change has become a wedge issue,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a University of Colorado professor who has written extensively on the climate debate. “It’s today’s flag-burning or today’s partial-birth-abortion issue.”Pielke cites two well-known wedge issues that split Democrats, issues that Republicans have used to their advantage to drive a wedge between liberal Democrats and more moderate or conservative ones (as well as independents)
Two things. First, why don’t the authors of this piece mention the fact that the Washington Post itself has already given Perry “4 Pinocchios” for his climate lies?Four years ago in New Hampshire, campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, John McCain said to voters, “I do agree with the majority of scientific opinion, that climate change is taking place and it’s a result of human activity, which generates greenhouse gases.” He made global warming a key element of every New Hampshire stump speech.
This week in New Hampshire, the governor of Texas and newest presidential contender, Rick Perry, said scientists have manipulated data to support their “unproven” theory of human-influenced global warming. He said increasing numbers of scientists have disavowed the theory altogether.
This is not simply a case of two very different politicians saying two very different things. The political discussion about global warming has lurched dramatically in four years — even as the scientific consensus has changed little. McCain’s 2007 description remains the scientific consensus: Human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is pumping carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and warming the planet.
Second, the scientific understanding around climate change and its threat to humanity has strengthened considerably in the last few years. This may not seem like a large point, but this was a front-page story and another seriously wasted opportunity to explain what’s really happening in the science. That goes double in a piece that repeats some denier myths and talking points (which I may discuss in a later post).
By looking at a wide range of observations from all over the world, the Met Office study concludes that the fingerprint of human influence on climate is stronger than ever. “We can say with a very high significance level that the effects we see in the climate cannot be attributed to any other forcings [factors that push the climate in one direction or another],” says study co-author Gabriele Hegerl of the University of Edinburgh.In a AAAS presentation last year, the late William R. Freudenburg of UC Santa Barbara discussed his research on “the Asymmetry of Scientific Challenge“: New scientific findings are found to be more than twenty times as likely to indicate that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected,” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.”
But that scientific conclusion has become a lively point of debate in the GOP presidential campaign. Joining Perry on the skeptical side, for example, is Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who suggested Wednesday that “manufactured science” underpins what a questioner called the “man-made climate-change myth.”Again, the last paragraph above suggests that the Post mistakenly thinks the term “wedge issue” merely means “politically divisive” — that climate change hasn’t been politically controversial or the source of “hot politics,” but now it is. I think the Post makes a serious mistake in not defining the term explicitly because the general reader can’t possibly know exactly what argument the reporters are making.
The nominal GOP front-runner, Mitt Romney, drew sharp fire from conservatives when he said in June that he accepts the scientific view that the planet is getting warmer and that humans are part of the reason. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) on Thursday tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
“Climate change has become a wedge issue,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a University of Colorado professor who has written extensively on the climate debate. “It’s today’s flag-burning or today’s partial-birth-abortion issue.”
Historically, climate change has ranked near the bottom of issues that voters care about as they evaluate presidential candidates. It wasn’t a factor in 2008’s primary season or general election. The major parties’ nominees endorsed the scientific consensus and believed that the government should curb carbon emissions.
During this period, Americans — particularly conservative Republicans — became less convinced about global-warming science….The Post should have pointed out that that in the October 2010 poll, 56% of independents agree there is “solid evidence” that the Earth is warming, and 62% of independents agree that it is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem. Indeed, independents in that poll say by a 44 to 31 majority it is “a problem requiring immediate government action.”
A Pew Research Center poll published in October 2010 showed that over the previous four years, the number of respondents believing there is “solid evidence” that the Earth is warming dropped from 79 percent to 59 percent. There was a striking divide along partisan lines: Some 79 percent of Democrats believed in global warming, compared with 38 percent of Republicans. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in November 2009 found conservative Republicans were least likely to believe global warming was occurring, with 45 percent saying it was happening.
Political candidates get more votes by taking a “green” position on climate change – acknowledging that global warming is occurring, recognizing that human activities are at least partially to blame and advocating the need for action – according to a June 2011 study by researchers at Stanford University.It may have come into play in last year’s elections — see “Did Ken Buck’s global warming denial cost the Tea Party favorite a Senate seat?” — though as that story makes clear, it is not possible to disaggregate climate change from other issues in the overwhelming majority of campaigns.
In a recent consumer study, 21 percent of individuals surveyed – including 38 percent of those with income below $25,000 – reported that winning the lottery was “the most practical strategy for accumulating several hundred thousand dollars” of wealth for their own retirement. In addition, 16 percent thought that winning the lottery was the best retirement strategy for all Americans, not just themselves.My mother likes to say that the lottery is for people that don't understand math.
(1) PERRY ALLOWED THE EXECUTION OF A LIKELY INNOCENT MAN, THEN IMPEDED AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MATTER: In 2004, Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Huntsville, Texas after being convicted of arson and the murder of his three children. Even after significant evidence emerged showing that arson had not caused the fire (thus exonerating Willingham), Perry refused to grant a stay of execution. Five years after Willingham was executed, a report from a Texas Forensic Science Commission investigator found that the fire could not have been arson. As the commission prepared to hear testimony from the investigator in October 2009, Perry quickly fired and replaced three of its members, forcing an indefinite delay in the hearing.
(2) PERRY WANTS TO REPEAL THE 16th AND 17th AMENDMENTS, ENDING DIRECT ELECTION OF U.S. SENATORS AND THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX: In his 2010 book Fed Up!, Perry called the 16th and 17th Amendments “mistaken” and said they resulted from “a fit of populist rage.” The 16th Amendment allows the federal government to collect income taxes, which is the single biggest source of revenue, accounting for 45 percent of all receipts. The 17th Amendment took electing U.S. senators out of the hands of political insiders and allowed the American public to decide their representation instead. If Perry had his way, the federal government would be stripped of its current ability to fund highway construction projects, food inspectors, and the military, and the American public would not even be permitted to elect their own senators.
(3) PERRY PROPOSED LETTING STATES DROP OUT OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICAID: Despite the programs’ importance and popularity, Perry has argued that states like Texas should be allowed to opt out of Social Security and Medicaid. Were Perry to have his way on Social Security, “the entire system would collapse under the weight of too many Social Security beneficiaries who had not paid into the system,” notes Ian Millhiser. On Medicaid, in addition to stripping 3.6 million low-income Texans of their health care, Perry’s proposal would actually hurt, not help, the state’s budget deficit. This is because, as Igor Volsky writes, opting out of Medicaid would take “billions out of the state economy that goes on to support hospitals and other providers,” while forcing hospitals “to swallow the costs of caring for uninsured individuals who will continue to use the emergency room as their primary source of care.”
(4) TEXAS IS THE COUNTRY’S BIGGEST POLLUTER, BUT PERRY SUED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR DISAPPROVING OF THE STATE’S AIR QUALITY STANDARDS: Texas is the biggest polluter in the country, leading the nation in carbon dioxide emissions. However, when the EPA published its “disapproval” of the state’s air quality standards for falling short of the Clean Air Act’s requirements, Perry sued the federal government to challenge the ruling. Perry’s environmental record doesn’t end there. He is a global warming denier who called the 2010 BP oil spill an “act of God” while speaking at a trade association funded by BP.
(5) PERRY DESIGNATED AS “EMERGENCY LEGISLATION” A BILL REQUIRING ALL WOMEN SEEKING ABORTIONS TO HAVE SONOGRAMS FIRST: In January, Perry proposed requiring all women seeking abortions to have a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure. Under the bill, doctors would be required to “tell a woman the size of her fetus’ limbs and organs, even if she does not want to know.” Before a woman is permitted to have an abortion, physicians are also forced to provide an image of the fetus and make the woman listen to the sound of its heartbeat. Perry designated his proposal as “emergency legislation,” allowing the bill to be rushed through the legislature. He signed it into law last month.
(6) PERRY GUTTED CHILDCARE SERVICES EVEN AS TEXAS CHILDHOOD POVERTY HIT 25 PERCENT: Facing a $27 billion budget deficit this year, Perry decided to gut child support services, despite a report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities that found nearly one in four Texas children lived beneath the poverty line. Instead of raising revenue like California, a state facing a similarly sized deficit, Perry scaled back more than $10 billion of child support over two years. As Think Progress’ Pat Garofalo noted, these cuts were proposed despite Texas’ possession of a $8.2 billion rainy day fund.
(7) PERRY WAS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF TEXAS’S ANTI-SODOMY LAWS: Perry was a strong proponent of Texas’s anti-sodomy law that was struck down in 2003 by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas. Calling the law “appropriate,” Perry dismissed the Court decision as the result of “nine oligarchs in robes.” Even after being struck down, Perry supported the Texas legislature’s refusal to remove the law from its books.
(8) PERRY IS A STIMULUS HYPOCRITE WHO LOUDLY CRITICIZED FEDERAL RECOVERY MONEY BUT USED IT TO BALANCE HIS STATE’S BUDGET: As the nation struggled to avoid economic collapse in 2009, Perry was a vocal critic of Congress’s recovery package, even advocating that Texas reject the money because “we can take care of ourselves.” Months later, after Perry was able to balance the state’s budget only with the aid of billions in federal stimulus dollars, Perry again repeated that he would reject federal funding, arguing that the government “spends money they don’t have.” Five months later, Perry again took advantage of federal funding to issue $2 billion in bonds for highway improvements in Texas. Even so, the state faces a $27 billion budget deficit.
(9) PERRY SAID THAT TEXAS MIGHT HAVE TO SECEDE FROM THE UNITED STATES: One hundred and fifty years ago, Texas and other southern states seceded from the Union, resulting in a bloody Civil War. 148 years later, Perry floated the idea that Texas may again have to secede because of a federal government that “continues to thumb their nose at the American people.” Perry was roundly criticized for his proposal, yet he repeated his threat the next month on Fox News, telling host Neil Cavuto, “If Washington continues to force these programs on the states, if Washington continues to disregard the tenth amendment, who knows what happens.”
(10) DESPITE HAVING THE WORST UNINSURED RATE IN THE COUNTRY, PERRY CLAIMS THAT TEXAS HAS “THE BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE COUNTRY” : On Bill Bennett’s radio show last year, Perry claimed that “Texas has the best health care in the country.” In reality, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state. More than one in four Texans lack coverage; the national average is just 15.4 percent. As such, there are more uninsured residents in Texas than there are people in 33 states. Despite Texas’s low coverage rates, the state has some of the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility thresholds, and Perry has even proposed dropping out of the program. Texas also has an inordinately high percentage of impoverished children, yet Perry opposed expanding the successful State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).ThinkProgress intern Sean Savett contributed to this report.
“You can’t tell me the system is better now than it was before Medicare,” he said. He told a group at the Integris Mayes County Medical Center in Pryor, Okla.: “Show me where in the Constitution the federal government is responsible for your health care?” Without specifying what he meant, Coburn said President Barack Obama has an “intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him.” The World’s caption below a photo of Coburn reads the understated: “Disagrees with Obama’s politics.” “As an African-American male,” Coburn said, Obama received “tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.” The programs were not identified in the World report.Double bonus GOP points for the racism in the last sentence!
“The day that the president became president gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Look at what it is today. Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen.”Watch it:
“We’re going to have to recognize the rest of the world has this increasing appetite for oil,“ he said. “If we go below $2 a gallon, it probably means there has been a lot of wealth loss and we are in a deflationary period.“A lot of wealth loss and deflation – that pretty much sums up what a Bachmann presidency would mean. Here’s why.
Bachmann’s claim is highly unrealistic. To reduce demand, the most important policy is stronger car and truck fuel efficiency standards — precisely what the Obama Administration has been doing. Her options for increasing gasoline or gas substitute supplies either require her to convince OPEC and other others to do what they’ve never been willing to do, or to adopt government policies that expand gasoline substitutes — again Obama policies. The one thing all oil experts would agree on is that no President could reduce prices to these levels simply by attempting to increase U.S. oil production.Never mind what the experts agree on. This is the Bachmann School of Economics — where a dollar in 2011 should be worth the same as in 1911, and the laws of global supply and demand don’t apply.
The United States has already tied its yearly record for billion-dollar weather disasters and the cumulative tab from floods, tornadoes and heat waves has hit $35 billion, the National Weather Service said on Wednesday.
And it’s only August, with the bulk of the hurricane season still ahead.The number of billion dollar disasters in any year, by itself, isn’t a scientific measure of climate change, since many factors influence the cost of weather disaster. On the other hand, the scientific literature has been clear for a while that human emissions are making the weather more extreme, as predicted by climate scientists (see “Two seminal Nature papers join growing body of evidence that human emissions fuel extreme weather, flooding that harm humans and the environment“).
“I don’t think it takes a wizard to predict 2011 is likely to go down as one of the more extreme years for weather in history,” National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes told journalists on a conference call.
Munich Re’s natural catastrophe database, the most comprehensive of its kind in the world, shows a marked increase in the number of weather-related events. For instance, globally there has been a more than threefold increase in loss-related floods since 1980 and more than double the number of windstorm natural catastrophes, with particularly heavy losses as a result of Atlantic hurricanes.
The rise in natural catastrophe losses is primarily due to socio-economic factors. In many countries, populations are rising, and more and more people moving into exposed areas. At the same time, greater prosperity is leading to higher property values. Nevertheless, it would seem that the only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change. The view that weather extremes are more frequent and intense due to global warming coincides with the current state of scientific knowledge as set out in the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report.A related story by the Omaha World Herald, “So long, ’500-year flood’?” explains:
As the Missouri River flood of 2011 unfolded, federal officials said the slow-motion disaster was caused by a once-in-500-year combination of rain and snow.
While some found comfort in that number, many who live along the river have seen too many big floods in too few years to trust that statistic.
They are on to something.
World-Herald interviews with experts show the bases of such terms as “500-year flood” are constantly evolving and increasingly questioned….
“As humans we are too tied to preparing for what we have observed or witnessed before. This year may not be as bad as it gets,” said Mark Anderson, director of the USGS South Dakota Water Science Center. “Much larger floods are possible, especially if we look beyond the historical record.”
… Like the USGS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is noticing changes in the watershed that feeds the Missouri.
Anderson said a changing climate only compounds the shortcomings of using existing data to estimate the frequency of floods.
“If the climate is shifting, all those earlier records may not be as relevant today,” he said. “The point is, the future isn’t always a reflection of the past.”If?
Home prices in Sacramento have dropped so much that more and more people can't resist the bargains. - Read More