Reading Ice Cores

February 28, 2011

In the course of researching last week’s video on Richard Alley and ice cores, I came across this short piece which had information about how snow at shallow depths, before it hardens into ice, is read by scientists.

There’s footage of Jeff Severinghaus, whose work has been discussed several times in climate crock videos, one of the world’s leading experts on paleo-climate, with whom I’ve consulted on issues related to interglacial timing.

NBC Nightly news was one of many outlets that has picked up on a little noticed part of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s program, that might benefit the billionaire Koch brothers, key funders of the anti science movement.

The Wisconsin State Journal explains:

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From the Deseret News:

SALT LAKE CITY — The much belated and bemoaned trial of the modern-day darling of civil disobedience begins today, and as much as Tim DeChristopher has told his story to the throngs, now it’s time to tell it to a jury.

DeChristopher, a soft-spoken University of Utah graduate with iron convictions, is being prosecuted in federal court on two charges that could land him in prison for up to 10 years.

Despite the looming possibility of a criminal conviction, DeChristopher has long contended it was his personal convictions that transformed him into bidder No. 70 at a BLM auction, facetiously staking a claim to 13 parcels of land for nearly $1.8 million. The action brought charges in U.S. District Court of violating an onshore oil and gas leasing act and making a false statement.

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Dave Eichorn of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at SUNY has a video explaining the recent paradoxical winters, with historically warm arctic temperatures, and record breaking cold and snowfall in the US and Eurasia.

Penis in a Hornet’s Nest

February 27, 2011

In this segment, Colbert puts a hilarious spin on how the outlaw hacker group Anonymous gave a pretentious corporate poser a deluxe cyber wedgie.

There’s a more sinister and menacing side to the back story, as this post from the Center for American Progress reveals:

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Thomas Friedman writes today about what might be America’s final opportunity to wean itself off mideast oil:

No one is rooting harder for the democracy movements in the Arab world to succeed than I am. But even if things go well, this will be a long and rocky road. The smart thing for us to do right now is to impose a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax, to be phased in at 5 cents a month beginning in 2012, with all the money going to pay down the deficit. Legislating a higher energy price today that takes effect in the future, notes the Princeton economist Alan Blinder, would trigger a shift in buying and investment well before the tax kicks in. With one little gasoline tax we can make ourselves more economically and strategically secure, help sell more Chevy Volts and free ourselves to openly push for democratic values in the Middle East without worrying anymore that it will harm our oil interests. Yes, it will mean higher gas prices, but prices are going up anyway, folks. Let’s capture some it for ourselves.

It is about time. For the last 50 years, America has treated the Middle East as if it were just a collection of big gas stations: Saudi station, Iran station, Kuwait station, Bahrain station, Egypt station, Libya station, Iraq station,United Arab Emirates station, etc. Our message to the region has been very consistent: “Guys, here’s the deal. Keep your pumps open, your oil prices low, don’t bother the Israelis too much and, as far as we’re concerned, you can do whatever you want out back. You can deprive your people of whatever civil rights you like. You can engage in however much corruption you like. You can preach whatever intolerance from your mosques that you like. You can print whatever conspiracy theories about us in your newspapers that you like. You can keep your women as illiterate as you like. You can create whatever vast welfare-state economies, without any innovative capacity, that you like. You can under-educate your youth as much as you like. Just keep your pumps open, your oil prices low, don’t hassle the Jews too much — and you can do whatever you want out back.”

The National Weather Service’s Seasonal Drought Outlook is another reminder of what we can expect more of going forward as the planet warms.

Ironically, those parts of the US most susceptible to drought seem to be disproportionately represented by Congressmen who don’t believe in global climate change, who wish to defund government efforts to measure, understand, predict, and mitigate the effects, as a ‘waste of money’, but nevertheless are first in line to make sure their district takes advantage of taxpayer relief for the ongoing agricultural disasters in their districts.

Chris Mooney examined this paradox over at Desmogblog:

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