As US gives up leadership in Environment and the energy explosion of the new century, China gratefully takes over.

CGTN- Chinese English Broadcasting:

Desertification threatens the environment as well as local economies in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. An experiment is being carried out in the Kubuqi desert to control desertification and even turn the area green.

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I’ve been shouting to anyone that will listen about the parallels between 2009’s “Climategate” and the hacking of emails in the 2016 election.  I brought it up in a call to national NPR show 2 days after the election. Still stand by it – and it’s worth another listen.

It seems clear to me, and a lot of well informed observers, that the hacking of climate scientist’s emails from the University of Anglia Climate Research Unit in 2009 was a dry run for the larger effort to disrupt elections around the world.
In the Anglia affair, emails were stolen, culled, selectively quoted or otherwise weaponized, and distributed on a Russian server to credulous media. Worked perfectly.

And, then as now, once the deception began to be recognized, the next level of chaff thrown out was that the hacking was “an inside job”. You’re supposed to believe that disgruntled climate scientists, or Dem party activists, distributed and selectively distorted emails. Either way, it serves to prolong confusion and keep the easily befuddled media busy on non-productive tasks, including even some well-meaning but soft-headed lefties.

ShareBlue:

There’s an absurd conspiracy theory that last year’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee servers was an inside job, not the work of Russian hackers, and it’s making its way around liberal and conservative media.

Last week, The Nation — typically a well-sourced and well-informed publication, which is highly critical of Donald Trump and tends to lean left — published an article promoting this conspiracy theory, titled “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.”

The article focuses on a report from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group that was most recently in the news for denying Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was behind the 2013 Damascus chemical attack. That report, which disputed the assessment of British, French, and German intelligence agencies as well as Human Rights Watch, relied largely on the claims of Alex Jones’s InfoWars.

For this new report, VIPS cites an anonymous individual operating under the name “Forensicator” who claims to have reviewed metadata from the DNC leaks to determine they were transferred at 22 megabytes per second, which would be impossible for someone overseas to achieve over the web — therefore it must have been stolen by someone physically at the DNC. Read the rest of this entry »

This might seem off-topic, but it’s really not, because it gets to the roots of the cultural division we have in the US, a division that wasn’t created by the Republican party, but which, since the 1960s, has been consciously targeted, amplified, and exploited for electoral gain. (strong caution: frequent use of the N word)

Lee Atwater, the Godfather of Below the Belt Dogwhistle politics, gives above an unguarded description of how he aims at exploiting racial tension and fear to further his goals.  This is the tap root of talk radio, Fox News, and the divisions of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion and race that we saw so fully developed in the past decade, and which have finally driven a once-great party into its current, extreme, salivating, anti-science, unelectable frenzy.  The specificity with which Atwater lays it out is stunning.

A few leading republicans are starting to recognize this and call it what it is.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindahl has now stepped forward to call out what his party has become.  The Stupid Party.

Politico:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.

In his first interview since his party’s electoral thumping last week, Jindal urged Republicans to both reject anti-intellectualism and embrace a populist-tinged reform approach that he said would mitigate what exit polls show was one of President Barack Obama’s most effective lines of attack against Mitt Romney.

He was just as blunt on how the GOP should speak to voters, criticizing his party for offending and speaking down to much of the electorate.

“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that,” Jindal said. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

Another popcorn moment. Better lay in a good supply.

bugberger

But are they gluten free?

Bloomberg:

Swiss shoppers will soon get the chance to buy burger patties and meatballs made out of beetle larvae as supermarket chain Coop tests consumers’ appetite for less-common alternatives to beef and pork.

The mealworm burger patties, which also contain rice, carrots and spices such as oregano and chili, will cost 8.95 francs ($9.24) for a pack of two, spokesman Urs Meier said by phone. The bug balls will sell at the same price for a pack of 10, and both products hit shelves of select stores on Aug. 21.

“These products are perfectly suited for those who want to learn about the culinary diversity of insects,” Coop procurement manager Silvio Baselgia said in a statement. Coop suggests eating the insect balls in pita bread with fresh vegetables and smothered in yogurt sauce.

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youtube

Video has been replaced with the above.

Daily Caller, yes, they’re Climate Deniers.
YouTube says the video now violates the policy on harmful or dangerous content.

dailycallercar

It feels better now that we all know who’s who, doesn’t it?

In case there was anything unclear, Fox News reposted the vid with an explanation.

FoxNation:

Here’s a compilation of liberal protesters getting pushed out of the way by cars and trucks. Study the technique; it may prove useful in the next four years.

StreetsblogUSA:

In the aftermath of Black Lives Matter and Dakota Access Pipeline protests, lawmakers in Tennessee, North Dakota, Rhode IslandTexas, Florida, and North Carolina introduced legislation that would indemnify drivers who smash into crowds.

We want to name a few names.

  • Rep. Keith Kempenich in North Dakota compared Dakota Access Pipeline and Black Lives Matter protesters to terrorists in defense of his legislation.
  • Rep. Justin Burr in North Carolina proposed protecting drivers who hit protesters from civil liability. It passed the House 67-48.
  • In Tennessee, State Sen. Bill Ketron and State Rep. Matthew Hill backed legislation to shield drivers who plow into protesters from civil suits. That was shortly after a driver did just that in Nashville during a Black Lives Matter protest.
  • In Texas, Rep. Pat Fallon wanted to legalize hitting protesters, full stop.
  • In Florida, State Senator George Gainer proposed civil immunity for drivers who hit protesters.
  • In Rhode Island, State Rep. Justin Price was behind another civil immunity push.

In most cases, defenders of these bills have stated that they would not apply to someone who intentionally rams a car into protesters, as Fields did. For example, drivers who fail to exercise “due care” would in theory not be shielded by Rhode Island’s legislation.

But as Gary Kavanagh writes in an excellent thread, these lawmakers were playing with fire:

 

All these men bear a portion of the blame for what happened to Heather Heyer — their bills fed an undercurrent of rage against people exercising their right to assemble. It was only a matter of time before an extremist like Fields acted out the violent fantasy these bills tacitly encourage — to kill and injure people with a car.

 

 

 

Vice News, in a break from procedure, made footage of white supremacist/climate deniers marching in Charlottesville available to non-HBO subscribers.

One nice thing about the Age of Trump, the masks are coming off.

Money quote: “You ain’t seen nuthin yet.”

stormersmall

While I was in Miami producing a video with Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodell, (see above and below) I got caught in a tropical downpour only slightly less intense than the one that happened a couple weeks ago.
I was catching a cab from Miami to Miami Beach across the Causeway – in the space of a few minutes a light sprinkle turned into blinding sheets of falling water.  It was the worst timing, with evening high tide impending. In the time it took to drive across Biscayne Bay, the streets of Miami Beach flooded to curb level, and I had to jump from the cab to sidewalk, dragging camera bags, to avoid being soaked to half-calf level.

Shot the quick video below as the water was receding.

Local news from a day later commented on the situation.

The double whammy for low lying areas is that intense flash rains like this will continue to become more common – even as sea level rises, squeezing communities in between.

precipchange500

Washington Post:

During the afternoon hours Tuesday, torrential rain drenched parts of Miami and Miami Beach. Four to seven inches of rain fell in a matter of a few hours before and during the evening rush, causing extensive flooding and gridlock.

This region is no stranger to tropical downpours, but this amount of rain falling in a short time will create flash flooding just about anywhere. And in some ways, because it is so low-lying, this region is more vulnerable to flooding than many as it depends on storm drains being able to drain into nearby Biscayne Bay. Unfortunately, in this case, the water had nowhere to go as the heaviest rain came as the tide was rising. It couldn’t drain until the tides began to go back down hours later. Read the rest of this entry »