A Turning Point.  For the First Time, Autonomous Drones Attacked Humans


Kargu-2 drones under production at STM, Ankara, Turkey

The world’s first recorded case of an autonomous drone attacking humans took place in March 2020, according to a United Nations (UN) security report detailing the ongoing Second Libyan Civil War. Libyan forces used the Turkish-made drones to “hunt down” and jam retreating enemy forces, preventing them from using their own drones.

The field report…describes how the Haftar Affiliated Forces (HAF), loyal to Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, came under attack by drones from the rival Government of National Accord (GNA) forces. After a successful drive against HAF forces, the GNA launched drone attacks to press its advantage. From the report:

Logistics convoys and retreating HAF were subsequently hunted down and remotely engaged by the unmanned combat aerial vehicles or the lethal autonomous weapons systems such as the STM Kargu-2 (above) and other loitering munitions. The lethal autonomous weapons systems were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition: in effect, a true “fire, forget and find” capability.

Drone experts have been dreading this moment while advocating for a ban on autonomous attack drones.

Once there is a ban on autonomous attack drones – after much breast beating and pledges of honesty – their use will continue. Of course.

This is, after all, a software question. The capacity for these drones to self-destruct after such a mission is often built-in. Once the command has been entered to hunt down and kill humans relying on the AI of the drone for decision-making, an additional command will be programmed-in instructing the drone to destroy itself afterwards. Starting with wiping the software.

“Stop the politics’ and get Covid vaccine!” – FOX News host


Neil Cavuto

The Fox News host Neil Cavuto has “begged” viewers to toss out political talking points about Covid-19 vaccinations and get the shot.

“My God, stop the politics,” he told the network’s Media Buzz show…“Life is too short to be an ass. Life is way too short to be ignorant of the promise of something that is helping people worldwide. Stop the deaths, stop the suffering, please get vaccinated, please.”…

Fox News requires staff to be vaccinated or to take daily tests. Some hosts have advocated vaccinations and other Covid precautions.

…The primetime star Tucker Carlson, has pushed vaccine misinformation as part of attacks on public health mandates from government agencies and businesses and the Biden administration’s attempts to contain the pandemic.

Cavuto is immunocompromised, with multiple sclerosis and after open heart surgery. He’s said he expects to be attacked for his appeal. Especially given his role at FOX. I would expect so.

All the more reason to credit him him for his stand.

A “bomb cyclone” is battering California

A “bomb cyclone” in the Pacific is dumping extreme rain and several feet of snow on California. The wild weather follows a summer of extreme drought and wildfires, and it could bring flooding, mudslides and debris flow to the parched and wildfire-scarred Golden State.

The term “bomb cyclone” refers to the rapid intensification process — “bombogenesis” — that forms it. Such storms occur when pressure in the central region of the storm descend by at least 24 millibars…in 24 hours, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)…

The National Weather Service in Sacramento issued numerous warnings on Sunday concerning extreme rainfall, flooding and debris flows. In some regions, rainfall may reach into the double digits in inches.

RTFA because you should add it to that database of info about climate change that’s beginning to form up there in your cerebral cortex. We’re all sort of weather freaks here at Lot 4…for one reason or another. So, this gave rise to discussion how and when this event references climate change.

The only point I raised in the discussion I need to offer here, too. Climate is governed by what is called flywheel effect. Look it up if you want to learn about the physics involved. What it means is that fixing all the problems needing to be fixed, answering all the questions asked, might stop the cause-and-effect relationships that bring about events like this…maybe, just maybe, in a couple decades. Even if you succeeded making those changes in a week or two.

Which ain’t happening, either.

Autumn leaves just starting to turn


On a Mac, right-click on the photo, open in a new window

I generally post an image like this – this time of year. The view I usually take with the iPhone on one of my exercise laps along our fenceline. The Caja del Rio mesa occupies most of everything on the opposite side of the Santa Fe River bosque. Land held by the Sandia, San Felipe, Santo Domingo, and Cochiti Pueblos – and U.S. Forest Service, South and West 40 miles or so till it gets near Albuquerque.

Left of center is Sandia mountain next to Albuquerque’s Eastern boundary.

The leaves light up gold, more and more each day, over the next few weeks. A beautiful time of year.

Disruptive weather in a warming world

The summer of 2021 was a glaring example of what disruptive weather will look like in a warming world. In mid-July, storms in western Germany and Belgium dropped up to eight inches of rain in two days. Floodwaters ripped buildings apart and propelled them through village streets. A week later a year’s worth of rain—more than two feet—fell in China’s Henan province in just three days. Hundreds of thousands of people fled rivers that had burst their banks.,,In mid-August a sharp kink in the jet stream brought torrential storms to Tennessee that dropped an incredible 17 inches of rain in just 24 hours; catastrophic flooding killed at least 20 people. None of these storm systems were hurricanes or tropical depressions.

Soon enough, though, Hurricane Ida swirled into the Gulf of Mexico, the ninth named tropical storm in the year’s busy North Atlantic season. On August 28 it was a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour. Less than 24 hours later Ida exploded to Category 4, whipped up at nearly twice the rate that the National Hurricane Center uses to define a rapidly intensifying storm. It hit the Louisiana coast with winds of 150 miles an hour, leaving more than a million people without power and more than 600,000 without water for days. Ida’s wrath continued into the Northeast, where it delivered a record-breaking 3.15 inches of rain in one hour in New York City. The storm killed at least 80 people and devastated a swath of communities in the eastern U.S.

What all these destructive events have in common is water vapor—lots of it. Water vapor—the gaseous form of H2O—is playing an outsized role in fueling destructive storms and accelerating climate change. As the oceans and atmosphere warm, additional water evaporates into the air. Warmer air, in turn, can hold more of that vapor before it condenses into cloud droplets that can create flooding rains. The amount of vapor in the atmosphere has increased about 4 percent globally just since the mid-1990s. That may not sound like much, but it is a big deal to the climate system. A juicier atmosphere provides extra energy and moisture for storms of all kinds, including summertime thunderstorms, nor’easters along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, hurricanes and even snowstorms…

Fascinating – and dangerous – forecasting. Even here in the desert Southwest, we can look forward to drought and unusual cloudbursts. The scariest part being rapid intensification – with circumstances changing dramatically in a matter of hours. Not only an interesting read. Something needing to be added to our understanding of changing weather systems in our future – for simple self-preservation.