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June 22, 2006

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The second report (click on the link) has a satellite photo of the North Atlantic-Caribbean last year, showing hurricanes Maria, Nate and Ophelia all lined up heading west. Scary.

For those of us who think that Katrina played a major role in Bush's probably irreparable loss of popularity, this doesn't bode well for the Southeast-East Coast or for him.

It's 11 PM in New Orleans and the temperature is 83 --- yeah, it's hot enough. CBS news led off tonight saying something like the last time it was this hot, Rome was the only superpower (can somebody tell them about Han China?). Is there any archeological/geological evidence for hurricanes ca. CE 100-200?
And, looking forward a bit, the Roman Empire warm period was followed by a cold period, which set the Germanic tribes in motion: http://www.cast.uark.edu/student_pubs/david_holt/index.html
I.e., every warm period for the last 800K years or so was followed by a cool/cold period: as I look at climate history charts, it seems obvious that Ice Age is more or less the default position for world climate: while Boston in the short term might see palm trees, in the long term it's more likely to again be under a glacier.

Besides the heat and storms, there is the rise in sea level. NASA has the foremost website on this topic, with mundane tutorials. In December 2005 the geophysical scientists professional organization met and the NASA expert on sea level described a 'tipping-point', allotting us about 10 years to address ways to slow down the warming. Following that scientific presentation that scientist had something like a public relations proofreader assigned by an energetic executive in the 'front office' at NASA; this embarrassment ended hastily in February 2006 with the resignation of the 'front office' person, ostensibly based on discovery of a flaw in that overseer's resume. For those who have NYTSelect there is access here to the most thorough and dispassionate account of the censorship episode; the NYT article was written before the censorship promulgator quit and during the scientist's muzzling. The phenomenon 'global warming' NASA's website prefers to call Climate Change; it may be accessed at here.

On your evaluation of the political repercussions, I think most people agree with you. It was interesting to see today the Republicans losing control of their southern caucus with respect to the proposed modernizations of the Voting Rights Act. Senator Kerry's former vice presidential candidate from 2004 is from that part of the US. Maybe he has some insight to add concerning which political party is better adapted to the interests of southerners. I was glad to see New Orleans re-elect mayor Nagin recently. It was an extraordinary ballot, to see Louisiana allowing many exiles to vote.

It was a 102 degrees today in California and I'm in a lousy mood. So here's my question: now that the cameras are gone, is the Bush Administration still in New Orleans or did they cut and run?

polar ice
ocean currents

I was pleased that the news reporting I heard on this was pretty unequivocal, reporting it as "the Earth is definitely warming and humans are definitely responsible for most of it," rather than the wishy-washy stuff we usually here. I'm sure the Exxon-astroturf guys are working overtime against that, but I hope it lasts!

Boehlert is one of the last true moderate Republicans. He's solid and unwavering on the environment. He's a decent, honorable man and his absence from the Republican caucus will just push them further to the right.

``Fantasy as a basis for policy just won't cut it.''

But fantasy isn't the basis for their policy: pleasing the haves, the have mores, and their corporate buddies in the fossil fuel industries is that basis. So far as the evidence for the short-sighted nature of their policy, the which evidence is all about one, as far as I can see, they just don't care. If they don't care---meaning that they won't doing anything serious about it---about a $700 billion plus and rising balance of payments deficit, which could explode in their faces in a couple of years if not sooner, why should they pay any attention to global warming? Maybe a a couple of cat 5 'canes hitting 27 electoral votes (Florida, so far as they are concerned) might get their attention.

I really don't understand one thing tho': how can Karl Rove suppose he is laying the basis for a generation of Republican control of the Federal gov if he lets Bush & co. ignore the long term consequences of their policies? I thought he was smarter than that.

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