Now: An Electric Harley

June 26, 2014

Harley-Davidson plans to publicly unveil its first electric motorcycle next week, a sleek, futuristic bike that hums like a jet airplane taking off.

CinemaBlend:

The Avengers are saving the world in more ways than one! As it turns out, super spy/master marksman Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff is also an environment warrior, utilizing an electric motorcycle over old-school gas guzzlers for Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Superhero Hype reports Black Widow will saddle up in Harley Davidson’s first-ever electric motorcycle, called Project LiveWire, in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Rather than a Harley’s typical roar, Project LiveWire offers a quiet electric purr when it’s started. This sound will then build, but not to the expected growl of Harley Davidson’s long line of gas-powered motorcycles. You can hear the new sound of Harley (above) around the 0:19 mark. It’s downright sci-fi.

 

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ClimateProgress:

It sounds like a scene ripped from a hysterical sci-fi thriller — thousands of people fleeing their homes as an army of ravenous caterpillars take over town. But that’s exactly what’s happening in northern Liberia, in west Africa. Millions of caterpillars, believed to be related to the devastating crop pest the african armyworm are munching through fields and marching into homes, causing many people to abandon their houses until the flood of caterpillars recedes. There are also public health concerns as the sheer quantity of caterpillars means massive amounts of excrement is washing into rivers and other fresh water supplies.

“We are afraid. You see here, the caterpillars are all over and there is nowhere to sleep. I am leaving with my children to a different community,” Mary Tolbert who lives in Gbarpolu County told AllAfrica..

Both Dr. Sizi Subah, deputy agriculture minister for technical services in Liberia and Winfred Hammond, a senior entomologist with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, have said that the recent and unprecedented caterpillar outbreaks may be linked to disruptions in the rainy and dry seasons, fueled by climate change.

“The biggest concern is the fact that this is becoming a regular occurrence,” Hammond told AllAfrica. “It’s about time we seriously consider putting in place early warning systems and looked at how we can contain or check this problem from becoming a big national concern.”
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The pseudo-scientific pretenders of climate denial take themselves very seriously, and they hate ridicule more than anything else.

Trust me on that one.

It speaks volumes about what internal polls are telling the White House, what I’ve been observing for the last 2 years. The pendulum has swung, and will continue to do so, on climate. The Earth is now speaking in a voice loud enough for all reasonable people to hear.  The outliers, and the out-and-out liars, of climate denial, need to be confronted, refuted, and to the degree that they persist, treated like, well, like this.

Politico:

The sarcastic bear is loose, and he’s loving every minute of it.

President Barack Obama is letting his inner Don Rickles run free, mocking climate deniers as the crowd who used to think the moon was made out of cheese or spineless dopes who can’t or won’t listen to science even though the science is all overwhelmingly pointing in one direction. Their heads are in the sand. They are members of the Flat Earth Society.

For the White House it’s about getting the liberal base excited for the midterms. It’s a confidence that climate change has shifted in voters’ minds. It’s a broader play against congressional Republicans as obstructionists.

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Above, Jim White of the University of Colorado puts climate change in real, on-the-ground perspective.

Below, Washpost notes the creeping realization that, for life in low lying areas,  the climate clock is ticking.

Backstory: media still unable to distinguish actual authorities from self-described “experts”.

Washington Post:

 The dangers of climate change were revealed to Willo Kelly in a government conference room in the summer of 2011. By the end of the century, state officials said, the ocean would be 39 inches higher and her home on the Outer Banks would be swamped.

The state had detailed maps to illustrate this claim and was developing aWeb site where people could check by street address to see if their property was doomed. There was no talk of salvation, no plan to hold back the tide. The 39-inch forecast was “a death sentence,” Kelly said, “for ever trying to sell your house.”

So Kelly, a lobbyist for Realtors and home builders on the Outer Banks, resolved to prove the forecast wrong. And thus began one of the nation’s most notorious battles over climate change.

Coastal residents joined forces with climate skeptics to attack the science of global warming and persuade North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature to deep-six the 39-inch projection, which had been advanced under the outgoing Democratic governor. Now, the state is working on a new forecast that will look only 30 years out and therefore show the seas rising by no more than eight inches.

Environmentalists are appalled, and North Carolina has been lampooned as a hotbed of greedy developers trying to “outlaw” the rising tide. Some climate-change experts are sympathetic, however, calling the rebellion an understandable reaction to sea-level forecasts that are rapidly becoming both widely available and alarmingly precise.

Reassuring us that he’s a “conservationist”, Hank Paulson, who recently wrote a high profile piece in the New York Times warning business about climate change, says he supports the Keystone Pipeline.

More of the Paulson media blitz below.

Is this the position you take to portray yourself as “thoughtful”?

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Hank Paulson commenting on the release of the new “Risky Business” report on business and climate change.

Barry Ritholtz at Bloomberg View:

Despite the best efforts of the extremists, there are still some Republicans who believe in science. Many of these folks (regardless of their faith) do not think that the Bible was the literal word of God, and that humans were given a brain for a reason, namely, to think, to reason, to make judgments based on scientific evidence.

Paulson goes even further, drawing parallels between the recent financial crisis and a brewing environmental one in the near future:

For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.

The politics of global warming are not where my interest lay. (See “Profit From Global Warning or Get Left Behind.”) I am far more interested in your cognitive biases and how they manifest themselves in your investment portfolios.

Evidence of portfolio changes related to climate change abound. This morning, an Bloomberg article titled “Hedge Funds Bet on Sugar as Dryness Threatens Crops” discussed some of the wagers institutional investors have been making:
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How low are they going? This low.

The blogger who won’t even tell us his real name, even though it is now open source, Steven Goddard, has been cited as an authority on climate.
Kind of like citing Orly Taitz as an authority on Kenyan Birth certificates. Did I mention “Goddard” is a birther, too? (not unusual in denierville – see below)

Media Matters:

Fox News is reviving accusations that NASA’s peer-reviewed adjustments to temperature data are an attempt to “fak[e]” global warming, a claim that even a climate “skeptic” threw cold water on.

Tony Heller, a birthed who criticizes climate science under the pseudonym “Steven Goddard,” wrote a blog post that claimed “NASA cooled 1934 and warmed 1998, to make 1998 the hottest year in US history instead of 1934.” After the Drudge Report promoted a report of this allegation by the conservative British newspaper The Telegraph, conservative media from Breitbart to The Washington Times claimed the data was “fabricated” or “faked.” On June 24, Fox & Friends picked it up, claiming that “the U.S. has actually been cooling since the 1930s” but scientists had “faked the numbers”.

However, the libertarian magazine Reason noted that even climate “skeptic” blogger Anthony Watts said that Goddard made “major errors in his analysis” and criticized the implication that “numbers are being plucked out of thin air in a nefarious way.”

batboyI profiled Anthony a few years back for his own craziness in regard to alleged plots to distort the temp records.
Can we all agree that, if your denialist nuttery is such that even Anthony Watts can’t back you – you, my friend, are a denialist nut.

Anthony Watts quoted in Reason:

Some segments of the Internet are abuzz with the claim by climate change skeptic Steven Goddard (Tony Heller) over at his Real Science blog that NASA/NOAA have been jiggering the numbers so that they can claim that warmest years in the continental United States occurred recently, not back in the 1930s. Folks, please watch out for confirmation bias.

Via email, I asked Anthony Watts, proprietor of WattsUpWithThat, what he thinks of Goddard’s claims. He responded…

…while it is true that NOAA does a tremendous amount of adjustment to the surface temperature record, the word “fabrication” implies that numbers are being plucked out of thin air in a nefarious way when it isn’t exactly the case.

“Goddard” is wrong is his assertions of fabrication, but the fact is that NCDC isn’t paying attention to small details, and the entire process from B91’s to CONUS creates an inflated warming signal. We published a preliminary paper two years ago on this which you can read here:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/

About half the warming in the USA is due to adjustments. We’ received a lot of criticism for that paper, and we’ve spent two years reworking it and dealing with those criticisms. Our results are unchanged and will be published soon.

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