Fake President is OK with censoring science

❝ National Park Service officials have deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report on sea level rise and storm surge, contradicting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vow to Congress that his department is not censoring science.

The research for the first time projects the risks from rising seas and flooding at 118 coastal national park sites, including the National Mall, the original Jamestown settlement and the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Originally drafted in the summer of 2016 yet still not released to the public, the National Park Service report is intended to inform officials and the public about how to protect park resources and visitors from climate change.

❝ The 87-page report, which was written by a University of Colorado Boulder scientist, has been held up for at least 10 months, according to documents obtained by Reveal. The delay has prevented park managers from having access to the best data in situations such as reacting to hurricane forecasts, safeguarding artifacts from floodwaters or deciding where to locate new buildings.

The omissions reflect a broader crackdown on climate science at federal agencies, including removal of references to human impacts, since President Donald Trump took office. Trump previously called climate change a Chinese hoax, took steps to withdraw from an international agreement to cut greenhouse gases and moved toward reversing President Barack Obama’s policies to regulate power plant emissions.

Trump’s chumps are OK with censoring science. They fear this discipline almost as much as investigative journalism.

Turns out todays’ climate change has a parallel in past global disasters

❝ The PETM is the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum – an ungainly name for the time that’s considered one of Earth’s best analogues to this era of modern, human-caused global warming. In a matter of a few thousand years, huge amounts of carbon were injected into the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius. The rapid climate change disrupted weather, transformed landscapes, acidified oceans and triggered extinctions. It took more than 150,000 years for the world to recover.

If history is allowed to repeat itself, the consequences for modern life could be similarly long-lasting – which is why Scott Wing is so determined to understand this ancient climate catastrophe…

❝ The first major evidence for the PETM was uncovered in the early 1990s by scientists looking at the transition from the Paleocene, the epoch after the extinction of the dinosaurs, to the Eocene, when modern mammal orders first emerged…

❝ To scientists today, many of the phenomena observed during the PETM will feel familiar – so familiar “it’s almost eerie,” Wing said. Humans burning fossil fuels have produced the same kind of carbon isotope spike researchers find in 55-million-year-old rocks. The ocean has become about 30 percent more acidic and it’s losing oxygen – changes that are already triggering die-offs. The world has witnessed dramatic weather extremes – deadly heat waves, severe storms, devastating droughts. In response to these shifts, plants and animals are showing up in new places at unusual times. There’s even evidence that some species, such as birds called red knots, are getting smaller as a result of the warmer climate.

RTFA. There are a fair number of scientists, even politicians around the globe who toil to re-regulate our environment. We just happen to live in one of the few nations run by idjits, ignorant and cowardly, led by greed. So, the first task is going to have to be tossing these creeps out of power.

Coal companies still own Trump and his conservative bubbas


Rick Perry [L] and Robert Murray [R]

❝ Scott Edelman’s pictures show Robert Murray, who donated $300,000 to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, give Perry an “action plan.” Murray’s company has previously lobbied the Trump administration to end new federal public health protections for greenhouse gas emissions and smog pollution, loosen mine safety rules, and cut the staff of the Environmental Protection Agency by “at least half.”

Perry and Murray shook hands, hugged and agreed to get it done. Then they kept everything that happened that day a secret.

If this raises a few flags for you, then you understand the predicament I was in when I was still employed at DOE in March 2017. I thought about it and decided to release the photos and the story to the public, after which I was placed on leave and then fired. My personal laptop was seized (though it was recently returned to me), and I was subjected to intimidation tactics from DOE staff.

❝ Some of the policies Murray’s company has advocated for have been faithfully executed without research, thoughtful public comment periods or policy input from public health professionals. President Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement on climate that cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions globally, and his administration gave notice of repealing the landmark Clean Power Plan, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants nationwide. The Trump administration attempted to delay, but was eventually forced to proceed due to lawsuits, clean air protections against smog pollution. The President also nominated a coal company consultant to oversee national mine safety and began cutting EPA scientists and other career agency staffers in droves.

Who expects different from Trump – or the Republicans in charge of Congress?

What’s happening to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot?

❝ Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is perhaps the most iconic feature of any planet in our Solar System. It’s instantly recognizable, and the massive cyclone has been swirling for so long that we’ve taken for granted that it’ll always be there. Recent observations have shown that, unfortunately, that’s not the case. The storm is dying — the latest data from the Juno spacecraft suggests it might actually be gone within our lifetimes — and a new research paper by scientists at NASA suggests that it’s actually changing in both shape and color as it enters its twilight years…

The Great Red Spot is still great. It can still swallow the entire Earth whole, which is a pretty impressive feat for any weather feature, but it’s definitely less impressive than it once was. As NASA notes, a century and a half ago it was so wide that you could fit four Earths inside of its footprint, so it’s clearly losing a lot of steam…

RTFA. Construct your own fiction; but, take the time to learn fact, as well.

NYC sues the Big 5 oil companies in USA over climate change

❝ New York City has sued five of the United States’ biggest oil companies on the grounds that they have contributed to global warming and will divest from fossil fuel companies over a five-year period.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell for the billions of dollars he anticipates the city will spend to protect New Yorkers from the effects of climate change. The city filed the lawsuit on Tuesday night…the 13th.

The city wants compensation for damages that the city has already experienced, as well as for damage the city will undergo over the course of the 21st century…

❝ The mayor and city comptroller Scott Stringer plan to submit a join resolution to pension fund trustees to start analyzing ways to divest from fossil fuel owners—a first-in-the-nation goal. In total, the city’s five pension funds hold about $5 billion in the securities of more than 190 fossil fuel companies, according to the administration.

You can stand up for principles like this no matter where you live. It doesn’t take big city smarts – just educated good sense – to oppose the pimps of carbon-based power, profit before people.

Good News for Sharks


Click to enlarge

❝ The waters surrounding the South Pacific island nation of Samoa are prime habitat for nearly 30 species of sharks and rays, and today the government took a critical step toward protecting them. At a forum to celebrate the region’s history of strong shark conservation, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi announced that the country is designating all of its national waters a shark sanctuary—the 17th such sanctuary in the world.

The regulations ban commercial fishing and the possession, trade, and sale of sharks and shark products throughout Samoa’s 128,000-square-kilometer exclusive economic zone, and prohibits the use of fishing gear typically used to target sharks, such as wire leaders. Sharks are important to Pacific heritage and healthy marine ecosystems. Yet, at least 63 million and as many as 273 million sharks are killed every year in commercial fisheries globally.

Overdue. And all credit to the nations who have made this decision. Healthy natural environments most often include predators as part of a wholistic balance. Why – in my case – I have long opposed any hunting of predators.