Thursday, December 6, 2012

Via Pagan Liberal / FB

Pagan Liberal shared NBC News's photo.
2012 warmest year in US? Odds rise to 99.7 percent

A warm winter, a record warm spring, a record hot July and a warmer than average autumn combined to make it even more likely that 2012 will go down as the warmest year in the contiguous United States on record, the federal government reported Thursday. More: http://nbcnews.to/SQh5YS

2012 warmest year in US? Odds rise to 99.7 percent

A warm winter, a record warm spring, a record hot July and a warmer than average autumn combined to make it
even more likely that 2012 will go down as the warmest year in the contiguous United States on record, the federal government reported Thursday. More: http://nbcnews.to/SQh5YS

Via Climate Progress: NOAA

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 09:26 AM PST

Arctic sea ice is melting much, much faster than even the best climate models had projected. The reason is most likely unmodeled amplifying feedbacks. Image via Arctic Sea Ice Blog.
“Scary New Report on Arctic Ice” is the Weather Channel’s headline for NOAA’s sobering 2012 Arctic Report Card.
Everyone should indeed be scared by what we are doing to the Arctic because it will accelerate global warming, speed up sea level rise, and make deadly superstorms like Sandy more frequent and more destructive (see “NOAA Bombshell: Warming-Driven Arctic Ice Loss Is Boosting Chance of Extreme U.S. Weather“).
This is what’s new up north in 2012:
New records set for snow extent, sea ice extent and ice sheet surface melting, despite air temperatures — a key cause of melting — being unremarkable relative to the last decade.
Multiple observations provide strong evidence of widespread, sustained change driving Arctic environmental system into new state.
Here’s a video summary from NOAA:
Two of the most worrisome highlights are:
The record Greenland melt is scary because if the Greenland ice sheet disintegrates, sea levels would rise 20 feet — and the process appears to be accelerating to a critical “tipping point” (see also “Science Stunner: Greenland Ice Melt Up Nearly Five-Fold Since Mid-1990s”). Indeed, polar researcher Jason Box, lead author of the Greenland section of the report, told the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco:
“In 2012 Greenland crossed a threshold where for the first time we saw complete surface melting at the highest elevations in what we used to call the dry snow zone,” he told reporters at the AGU. “As Greenland crosses the threshold and starts really melting in the upper elevations it really won’t recover from that unless the climate cools significantly for an extended period of time which doesn’t seem very likely.”
The tundra warming is scary because it is a frozen locker of carbon whose defrosting will further accelerate warming (see “Carbon Feedback From Thawing Permafrost Will Likely Add 0.4°F – 1.5°F To Total Global Warming By 2100).”
Here is more detail on what’s happening in the tundra:

  • In 2012, new record high temperatures at 20 [meters, 65 feet] depth were measured at most permafrost observatories on the North Slope of Alaska and in the Brooks Range, where measurements began in the late 1970s. Only two coastal sites show exactly the same temperatures as in 2011.
  • A common feature at Alaskan, Canadian and Russian sites is greater warming in relatively cold permafrost than in warm permafrost in the same geographical area.
  • During the last fifteen years, active-layer thickness [ALT] has increased in the Russian European North, the region north of East Siberia, Chukotka, Svalbard and Greenland.
The “ALT is the top layer of soil and/or rock that thaws during the summer and freez[es] again during the fall, i.e., it is not permafrost.”
The report makes painfully clear why all of these Arctic trends are going to continue — global warming and amplifying feedbacks:
Large changes in multiple indicators are affecting climate and ecosystems, and, combined, these changes provide strong evidence of the momentum that has developed in the Arctic environmental system due to the impacts of a persistent warming trend that began over 30 years ago. A major source of this momentum is the fact that changes in the sea ice cover, snow cover, glaciers and Greenland ice sheet all conspire to reduce the overall surface reflectivity of the region in the summer, when the sun is ever-present. In other words, bright, white surfaces that reflect summer sunlight are being replaced by darker surfaces, e.g., ocean and land, which absorb sunlight. These conditions increase the capacity to store heat within the Arctic system, which enables more melting – a positive feedback. Thus, we arrive at the conclusion that it is very likely that major changes will continue to occur in the Arctic in years to come, particularly in the face of projections that indicate continued global warming.
Anyone who thinks we can delay aggressive deployment of carbon-free technology simply has shut their eyes and ears to the growing scientific evidence.
Related Post:

Via General Sherman's March To The Sea / FB:


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Via The Idealist / FB:




  • Mount Roraima, Venezuela - One of the oldest geological formations on Earth
    Mount Roraima, Venezuela - One of the oldest geological formations on Earth

As mortes de estudantes estão a exigir respostas - Por Mauro Werkema


A morte de dois estudantes de Ouro Preto não são fatos isolados. Ou meramente casuísticos. Integram-se num mesmo contexto, numa mesma relação causal. Decorrem de uma só situação, que é a de desregramento e de libertinagem.  que impera em Ouro Preto. Vinculam-se a estas duas mortes outras, também sem apuração mas que  refletem a impunidade e que acabam por permitir, senão estimular, todos este contexto: o assassinato da advogada Valmeire, misteriosamente, na sua Direita, chamada Rua da Lama; o assassinato da estudante Aline, em circunstâncias estranhas, encontrada nua e supliciada no Cemitério da Igrejas das Mercês de Cima, em assustador ritual; ou mesmo o assassinato do ex-prefeito de Mariana, João Ramos, também sem o devido esclarecimento de autoria e execução. Juntam-se a isto várias outras pequenas transgressões, falta de cidadania e civismo, a falta de ação das autoridades, a indiferença da Universidade, a falta de ações enérgicas e de comando  da cidade e  muito mais, como todos os moradores o sabem.

É lamentável  escrever isto sobre Ouro Preto, belíssima cidade, conhecida internacionalmente, destino turístico, detentora de um acervo histórico, artístico e cultural de singular exemplaridade, inscrita nos Livros do Tombo da UNESCO como Cidade Patrimônio Cultural da Humanidade. O que houve? Como se explica o quadro atual?  Sabemos todos das virtudes cívicas da cidade, que ajudou a construir a nacionalidade brasileira, lutou pela liberdade e, em vários momentos, sacrificou seus filhos em luta contra o arbítrio. Ouro Preto não merecia estar no noticiário, como nos últimos dias, com imenso prejuízo para a sua reputação. E igualmente para suas autoridades, para sua Universidade, para sua condição de  cidade de cultura, que recebe visitantes de todo o mundo.

As “repúblicas” extrapolaram. Festas mirabolantes e mortes. Excessos de bebidas, drogas, promiscuidade. Sodoma e  Gomorra, sem limites, sem freio ou censura, a liberalidade total, em que tudo vale. É este, infelizmente, o quadro que se constata, sob protesto dos moradores, incomodados pelos festins absolutamente perturbadores do silêncio e da paz públicas. E o que é mais incompreensível: em alojamentos estudantis, em alguns prédios públicos, onde o estudo e o recolhimento deviam imperar, mesmo nas festas, próprias dos jovens, assim como a alegria é inerente ao ser humano e deve ser cultivada. A Prefeitura já tentou interditar “república”, o Ministério Público já celebrou um Termo de Ajustamento de Conduta, a Câmara Municipal  propôs discussão, a população condena e atritos são semanais, as duas polícias, Civil e Militar, se sentem  impotentes. E ações isoladas, de mera repressão pontual, já não mais adiantam.

Há um relatório elaborado pela PM que circula nos meios policiais, turísticos e culturais. Relata a situação excepcional de Ouro Preto. Adverte sobre este quadro e o pinta em cores dramáticas.  Teme por acidentes maiores nas grandes festas, como o Carnaval e o Doze de Outubro. Intervenções emergenciais, de bombeiros ou de socorro, se tornam quase impossíveis devido à massa humana que toma as ruas. O controle policial se transforma em agressões e pancadarias, como todos já vimos várias vezes. Não haveria como controlar grandes acidentes. A cidade recebe mais de 30 mil pessoas, quase metade da  população urbana. Os serviços públicos entram em pane.

Noticia a imprensa que as “repúblicas” já anunciam hospedagem para o Carnaval. Prometem serviço completo, mais do que os hotéis, com que competem. E propiciam  a folia sem limites. Deveriam recolher-se em respeito aos colegas mortos. Guardar sua memória. Mas, em geral, não revelam estes sentimentos. Já eram em meio ao comprometimento já corrompido.  A insensatez e a irresponsabilidade coletivas, incentivas pela  certeza da impunidade, escurecem as consciências. É a orgia geral, que desencadeia nos seres humanos os piores instintos e reduz, senão anula, a consciência ética. Algo precisa ser feito, em ação coletiva de todos os envolvidos, a começar pela UFOP, passando pela Magistratura,  Ministério Públicos, organismos policiais, Prefeitura e Câmara. E as lideranças estudantis, se ainda existem e têm alguma respeitabilidade. E tem que ser agora, na comoção destas duas mortes, e até em sua memória,  na antevéspera do Carnaval e de uma nova gestão municipal, como também quando se escolhe  um novo reitor.

Via:  http://www.ouropreto.com.br/noticias/detalhe.php?idnoticia=6864#.UL5v-TOFroN.facebook


Via FB:

Thank you for your effort Senator Dole, I know you are ashamed of what used to be your Grand Old Party who have now turned into Greedy Obstructing Plutocrats. I'm sorry, really.
SENATE GOP KILLS DISABILITIES TREATY

"Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) made a rare Senate appearance this morning, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber. Why? Because they were poised to vote on ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Dole hoped to send a message. It didn't work. -- The Senate killed the treaty this afternoon."

I've never used this word to describe this modern Republican Party before. Under-handed, dirty, racist, bigoted sure, but though I've heard them called this many times by many people, I've never called then [EVIL] until today. They stand for everything foul and indecent and immoral. 

Tear away their empty, pseudo-Christian, rhetoric, and their delusions of grossly exaggerated autonomous achievement, and there's not one, pro-human, pro-life (in the real sense), pro-support for anything good in any of their policy that any of their supporters can point to to prove otherwise. 

~ Tim G

Full Story:
http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/04/15675104-senate-gop-kills-disabilities-treaty
SENATE GOP KILLS DISABILITIES TREATY

"Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) made a rare Senate appearance this morning, sitting in a wheelchair just
off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber. Why? Because they were poised to vote on ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Dole hoped to send a message. It didn't work. -- The Senate killed the treaty this afternoon."
I've never used this word to describe this modern Republican Party before. Under-handed, dirty, racist, bigoted sure, but though I've heard them called this many times by many people, I've never called then [EVIL] until today. They stand for everything foul and indecent and immoral.

Tear away their empty, pseudo-Christian, rhetoric, and their delusions of grossly exaggerated autonomous achievement, and there's not one, pro-human, pro-life (in the real sense), pro-support for anything good in any of their policy that any of their supporters can point to to prove otherwise.

~ Tim G

Full Story:
http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/04/15675104-senate-gop-kills-disabilities-treaty

Via Climate Progress:

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 07:24 AM PST
 

This brief was originally published at the World Meteorological Organization.
The years 2001–2011 were all among the  warmest on record, and, according to the World Meteorological Organization, the first ten months indicate that 2012 will most likely be no exception despite the cooling influence of La Niña early in the year.

WMO’s provisional annual statement on the state of the global climate also highlighted the unprecedented melt of the Arctic sea ice and multiple weather and climate extremes which affected many parts of the world. It was released today to inform negotiators at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.

January-October 2012 has been the ninth warmest such period since records began in 1850. The global land and ocean surface temperature for the period was about 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the corresponding 1961–1990 average of 14.2°C, according to the statement.

The year began with a weak-to-moderate strength La Niña, which had developed in October 2011. The presence of a La Niña during the start of a year tends to have a cooling influence on global temperatures, and this year was no different. After the end of the La Niña in April 2012, the global land and ocean temperatures rose increasingly above the long-term average with each consecutive month. The six-month average of May–October 2012 was among the four warmest such periods on record.

“Naturally occurring climate variability due to phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña impact on temperatures and precipitation on a seasonal to annual scale. But they do not alter the underlying long-term trend of rising temperatures due to climate change as a result of human activities,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

“The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a new record low. The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere.  Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records,” added Mr Jarraud.

The Arctic reached its lowest annual sea ice extent since the start of satellite records on 16 September at 3.41 million square kilometers. This was 18% less than the previous record low of 18 September, 2007. The 2012 minimum extent was 49 percent or nearly 3.3 million square kilometers (nearly the size of India) below the 1979–2000 average minimum. Some 11.83 million square kilometers of Arctic ice melted between March and September 2012.

WMO will release a 10-year report on the state of the climate, “2001-2010, A Decade of Extremes” on 4 December 2012. It was produced in partnership with other United Nations and international agencies and highlights the warming trend for the entire planet, its continents and oceans during the past decade, with an indication of its impacts on health, food security and socio-economic development.


Highlights of 2012 provisional statement
Temperatures:

During the first ten months of 2012, above-average temperatures affected most of the globe’s land surface areas, most notably North America (warmest on record for contiguous United States of America), southern Europe, western and central Russia and northwestern Asia. Much of South America and Africa experienced above average temperatures during the first ten months of the year, with the most anomalous warmth across parts of northern Argentina and northern Africa. Much of Asia had above-average temperatures, with cooler-than-average conditions across parts of northern China. South Asia and the Pacific were also predominantly warmer than normal, except for Australia.

Extremes: Notable extreme events were observed worldwide, but some parts of the Northern Hemisphere were affected by multiple extremes during January–October 2012.
  • Heat waves: Major heat waves impacted the Northern Hemisphere during the year, with the most notable in March–May across the continental United States of America and Europe. Warm spells during March 2012 resulted in many record-breaking temperatures in Europe and nearly 15,000 new daily records across the USA. Russia witnessed the second warmest summer on record after 2010.  Numerous temperature records were broken in Morocco in summer.
  • Drought: According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly two-thirds of the continental United States (65.5 percent) was considered to be in moderate to exceptional drought on 25 September  2012. Drought conditions impacted parts of western Russia and western Siberia during June and July, and Southeast Europe, the Balkans and some Mediterranean countries during summer. In China, the Yunnan and southwestern Sichuan province experienced severe drought during winter and spring. Northern Brazil witnessed the worst drought in 50 years. The April–October precipitation total, in Australia was 31 percent below normal.
  • Floods: Many parts of western Africa and the Sahel, including Niger and Chad, suffered serious flooding between July and September because of a very active monsoon. Heavy rainfall from the end of July through early October prompted exceptional floods across Nigeria. Parts of southern China experienced their heaviest rainfall in the last 32 years in April and May. Devastating monsoonal floods impacted Pakistan during September.  Central and parts of northern Argentina suffered from record rainfall and flooding in August, and parts of Colombia were affected by heavy precipitation for most of the year.
  • Snow and Extreme Cold: A cold spell on the Eurasian continent from late January to mid-February was notable for its intensity, duration, and impact. Across eastern Russia, temperatures ranged between -45°C to -50°C during the end of January. Several areas of eastern Europe reported minimum temperatures as low as -30°C, with some areas across northern Europe and central Russia experiencing temperatures below -40°C.
Tropical Cyclones: Global tropical cyclone activity for the first ten months was near the 1981–2010 average of 85 storms, with a total of 81 storms (wind speeds greater or equal than 34 knots, or 63 kilometers per hour).  The Atlantic basin experienced an above-average hurricane season for a third consecutive year with a total of 19 storms, with ten reaching hurricane status, the most notably being Sandy, which wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and the USA East Coast. Throughout the year, East Asia was severely impacted by powerful typhoons. Typhoon Sanba was the strongest cyclone, globally, to have formed in 2012. Sanba impacted the Philippines, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula, dumping torrential rain and triggering floods and landslides that affected thousands of people and caused millions in U.S. dollars in damage.

Michael Coe, Yale University: New Light on the Ancient Maya

During the past two decades, discoveries and research by archaeologists, epigraphers, art historians, and natural scientists have changed many of our ideas about the origins and nature of Maya civilization, and the probable causes of its collapse in the 9th century. Examine the profound effect of what has been learned on how we now think about the most complex New World culture.

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Mathemagics


RAMANUJAN: Letters from an Indian Clerk


The extraordinary story of how in 1914 the self-taught maths genius SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN was brought from Madras to Trinity College, Cambridge, by the great English pure mathematician GH Hardy, who called their relationship 'the one truly romantic episode of my life'. A 1987 documentary for the Channel 4 'Equinox' science series. Uploaded from an old VHS tape.



Via Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented / FB:


Peter William Holden Presents "Arabesque" a kaleidoscopic kinetic sculpture


Via OccupyMarines / FB:


Monday, December 3, 2012

Via If Everyone Cares:


Via God Bless the President of the United States & I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President. / FB:

Love it! I hope they listen. Bwahahahah


Some people who obviously haven't been paying attention to all the vitriol, obstructionism, hate, greed and venom coming from the teapubliCons in the last couple of years are actually complaining about our anger at the republicans on this board. Well, for them I have this tasty tidbit...
Via Hal Helmbolt...


"People tell me that I am anti-republican and that I am just plain mean about it!


That’s not true. If that was true I wouldn’t be posting this:
If republicans really want to win in 2016 they need to do the following 10 things:


1. Call 75% of Americans lazy. Not just 47% of Americans.


2. Keep filibustering everything that the majority of Americans want Congress to pass.


3. Make things harder on Americans. Keep them unemployed by not creating jobs and raise their taxes while cutting taxes for the rich.


4. Complain more about Bengazi and vilify as many democrats as possible.


5. Lie so much that you can’t even tell when you are telling the truth. Americans are so stupid they will eventually believe your lies – and keep believing Americans are dumb.


6. Take away women’s rights. Stomp on women and treat them like dirty filth. Make them feel like they are second-class citizens who don’t deserve the same pay as men. Make it impossible for them to get an abortion if they are raped, and tell them what they can or cannot do with their own body. Own women. You have to own women, so make sure you push policies so you do own them.


7. Take away medical coverage and national health care even though the majority of Americans want it. Don’t let Americans get away with bullying you and pushing you around! You are Congress people! You don’t answer to the American people! “Hell No You Can’t!” …is what you need to tell Americans. Just sign more pledges to one Congressman and turn your back on Americans who elected you. Signing a pledge to Governor Norquist and violating your Oath of Office to the American people, which makes everyone who signed it to be treasonous… that’s priceless! -- Good job! Keep that up!


8. Push religion into politics. Keep telling Americans that religion in politics is better than a democracy. We need a theocracy so Americans become oppressed and guilted by beliefs they don’t espouse. Condemn homosexuals, teach Creationism instead of science, tell Americans the world is only 6,000 years old and that dinosaur fossils is the trick of the devil just to tempt us to sin.


9. Start another unfunded war and lie about the country we are going to war with. Iran is a good choice. You were on the right track prior to the 2012 election. We need to slap a few countries around just to let the world know how tough republicans are. But, please don’t fund it. Borrow the money later. Put America another two trillion dollars in debt, but be sure to tell Americans how important a balanced budget is! Run on that. It’s perfect!


10. Be more extreme. Just get down and radical. The more out of touch you are, the more Americans will be scared. The more radical you are the more Americans will not want to vote. They will be so scared that no one will go to the polls. Like, for example, keep trying to include Social Security as being part of the national debt even though Social Security has nothing to do with the national debt. You’re on the right track with that one! Keep pushing it, but be even more radical about it. Perhaps, maybe if you don’t tell Americans that during Reagan’s presidency taxes were at 38% UNLIKE THE CURRENT 27% under Obama. Vilify Obama for that. Complain a lot about it. Don’t deal with facts and make things out not to be true. Americans don’t know what the facts are. We are stupid. Believe that. Rally around it. You are republican Congress people!
Roll with it.


If you follow those 10 guidelines you WILL win the election in 2016.
No need to thank me now. There will be plenty of time to thank me later.
And, You’re welcome!"
{S}

Via The Other 98% & US Uncut/ FB:

So long as we're test-crazy, maybe we should test this method out:
Finland spends 30 percent less per student than the United States, yet 96 percent of Finns graduate high school and 66 percent go to college. 
26 amazing facts about Finland's school system: http://www.businessinsider.com/finland-education-school-2011-12?op=1
 
Finland spends 30 percent less per student than the United States, yet 96 percent of Finns graduate high school and 66 percent go to college.
 
26 amazing facts about Finland's school system: http://www.businessinsider.com/finland-education-school-2011-12?op=1

Via UCubed / FB:


Via God Bless the President of the United States / FB:


Sunday, December 2, 2012

JMG Church Sign Of The Day:


Source.


Reposted from Joe

Green Congregations



Green Congregations
"The climate change, global warming problem is a moral, spiritual issue and probably the most important one of today. And I think that because I think how we respond is going to define what it means to be human today.What are we leaving for the generations that come after us? What kind of people are we?"
--Rev. Sally Bingham

Mark Twain has often been quoted as saying "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it." Now, a fascinating movement among religious congregations -- liberal and conservative – is starting to talk a lot about the weather. They focus on the global warming that most scientists believe is precipitating violent storms, extremes of temperature and other changes. And the congregations are coming together to do something about the causes of global warming. They call this movement Interfaith Power and Light, operating in more than twenty states. Reverend Sally Bingham and Steve Macausland, among others, remind us that we are all stewards of this planet, and as such, are morally obligated to keep it clean.

To listen make the jump here

Via Being Liberal / FB:

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