Doing a brief speaking tour in Philadelphia area.  In the meantime, remember the Dark Snow fundraiser still ongoing.


Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, speaking in New Hampshire (stick a pin in that) March 2018.


Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, delivered a series of verbal blows against the President while making a stop in the early primary state of New Hampshire as he continues to mull a possible GOP challenge in 2020.


“I hope that someone does run the Republican primary, somebody to challenge the President,” he said Friday after a man in the audience asked if he’d make a White House run. “I think the odds that I will are long, but I’ve not ruled it out.”
Flake’s message targeted the “Never Trump” movement, as he sought to paint himself as a conservative alternative to the President.
“I stand before you today, the rarest of species, the American conservative. Americanus, Never Trumpus. Subgenus: RINO,” he quipped. “There’s a scurrilous rumor afoot that we’re not only rare but endangered. I don’t believe it.”
The senator from Arizona, who was facing a tough re-election bid and decided not to run for a second term, spoke at the Politics & Eggs series, a must-do stop for potential presidential contenders hosted by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
Any Republican thinking of coming out on climate should listen to Jerry Taylor’s story.

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Wonder how he would do on “American Idol”?


If you’ve been following these videos – you’d have seen a prescient discussion of the issue in 2015, 3 years ahead of the current media concerns about a slowdown in North Atlantic current.

New papers confirming observations of slowdown in North Atlantic current triggering alarm bells on an issue that was thought to be one for the next century, if ever.
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Irish Times:

All Ireland is washed by the Gulf Stream,” said Stephen Dedalus in the opening chapter of Ulysses. He might have added warmed to washed.

Ireland lies relatively far north in the Atlantic so the Gulf Stream’s gift of more temperate waters matters hugely to our climate, as does their interaction with the atmosphere to produce the sea surface temperature. This oceanic movement of waters is known scientifically as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (Amoc). It brings warm and salty water from the Caribbean region in a northeasterly current towards the Nordic Seas.


As Summer K Praetorius goes on to explain in the April 11th issue of the scientific journal Nature: “In the chill of winter, these waters cool and descend with the heavy load of their salinity. This deep convection is a key part of the Amoc which can be thought of as an ocean conveyor belt that releases heat to the atmosphere above the North Atlantic Ocean before travelling through the abyssal ocean to resurface in other areas of the world.” The process is linked to and replicated throughout the world’s oceans by the deep colder waters that travel past North and South America.

Praetorius makes these points in introducing two startling research papers on Amoc and the Gulf Stream which show it has slowed down by about 15 per cent. That is the equivalent to the loss of water produced by 15 Amazons or three times the effect of bringing all the Earth’s rivers and streams to a stop. It is the biggest change we know about for 1,600 years.

Previous research has shown such changes can be abrupt and have major effects on climate. On one calculation, there have been 25 shifts from colder to warmer waters over the last 115,000 years. One leading oceanographer, Prof Stefan Rahmstorf, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said that “from the study of past climate, we know changes in the Amoc have been some of the most abrupt and impactful events in the history of climate”. During the last Ice Age, winter temperatures changed by up to 10 degrees within three years in some places.

Below, my interview with ice core expert J. P. Steffensen – made possible by your donations to Dark Snow Project – explained the issue of North Atlantic current slow down.

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Columbia University, Earth Institute:

Wallace Broecker from Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is one of the world’s greatest living geoscientists. He discovered the “global conveyor belt” that connects the world’s oceans and can cause to abrupt climate change. His pioneering work on the carbon cycle and melting polar ice made him the “grandfather of climate science.” But to Anna Keyes, he’s just “Grampy.”

Growing up, Keyes didn’t realize that her grandfather was something of a science celebrity. “When you’re a kid, you think everything in your life is the way it is for everyone,” she says. “I was like ‘I have a scientist grandfather, no big deal.’” She’d seen photos of Broecker with Bill Clinton, and with the Pope, but the reality of her grandfather’s importance didn’t hit home until middle school, when she and her mother were flown to Rome to see him accept an award from the Italian president.

“I’ve come to understand him differently over time,” Keyes explains. “The older I get, the more I appreciate being his grandchild.”


So, when she was in college and there was a contest about sustainability and combating climate change, she decided to interview her grandfather. The resulting video is posted on Keyes’ Vimeo page, and you can listen to the audio right here:

Science, August 8, 1975, Are We on the Brink of Pronounced Global Warming?:


If man-made dust is unimportant as a major cause of climatic change, then a strong case can be made that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warming induced by carbon dioxide. By analogy with similar events in the past, the natural climatic cooling which, since 1940, has more than compensated for the carbon dioxide effect, will soon bottom out. Once this happens, the exponential rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content will tend to become a significant factor and by early in the next century will have driven the mean planetary temperature beyond the limits experienced during the last 1000 years.


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“Smokey Joe” Barton, Republican of Texas, is justly famous for abjectly apologizing to BP executives when congress and the Obama administration called them to account for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster of 2010.

He solidifies his place in history with his ringing defense of ethically challenged EPA Director Scott Pruitt.

Raw Story:

Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton on Thursday insisted that EPA Director Scott Pruitt had been a “victim” of Democrats because of news reports which accuse Pruitt of corruption.

At a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Thursday, Democrats repeatedly suggested that Pruitt should resign over the reports, but many of the Republicans praised the EPA director.

“You’re not the first person to be the victim of — for lack of a better term — Washington politics,” Barton told Pruitt. “You got picked to be the EPA administrator because of the service you provided for the great state of Oklahoma in fighting some of the Obama administration radical clean air policies.”


Barton went on to thank Pruitt for advising President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

“If you can’t debate the policies in Washington, you attack the personality,” Barton said regarding the reports of Pruitt’s misconduct. “And that’s what’s happening to you. Republicans do it when it’s a Democratic president. The Democrats do it when it’s a Republican president. In my opinion, that’s what’s happening to you.”

In a series of quick questions, Barton dismissed many of Pruitt’s scandals, including allegations that he rented a condo from a lobbyist who has business with the EPA and Pruitt’s use of charter jets and flying first class.

I took a look at “Smokey Joe” in this profile several years ago.

But Barton wasn’t the only defender of 43,000 dollar soundproof phone booths.. Barton’s fellow Republicans joined in.. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m trying to understand the applause. Where are all these people when there’s a vote on, say, new NASA Chief?


Below, Stephen Colbert’s take:

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World Penguin Day

April 25, 2018


To understand what Republicans are trying to do to the Crown Jewels of US technological leadership, it helps to understand Lamar Smith, Chair of the House “Science” Committee.

The Intercept:

MUCH OF THE COUNTRY has been watching in horror as Donald Trump has made good on his promises to eviscerate the Environmental Protection Agency — delaying 30 regulations, severely limiting the information staffers can release, and installing Scott Pruitt as the agency’s administrator to destroy the agency from within. But even those keeping their eyes on the EPA may have missed a quieter attack on environmental protections now being launched in Congress.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is expected to hold a hearing on a bill to undermine health regulations that is based on a strategy cooked up by tobacco industry strategists more than two decades ago. At what Republicans on the committee have dubbed the “Making EPA Great Again” hearing, lawmakers are likely to discuss the Secret Science Reform Act, a bill that would limit the EPA to using only data that can be replicated or made available for “independent analysis.”


The proposal may sound reasonable enough at first. But because health research often contains confidential personal information that is illegal to share, the bill would prevent the EPA from using many of the best scientific studies. It would also prohibit using studies of one-time events, such as the Gulf oil spill or the effect of a partial ban of chlorpyrifos on children, which fueled the EPA’s decision to eliminate all agricultural uses of the pesticide, because these events — and thus the studies of them — can’t be repeated. Although it is nominally about transparency, the bill leaves intact protections that allow industry to keep much of its own inner workings and skewed research secret from the public, while delegitimizing studies done by researchers with no vested interest in their outcome. Read the rest of this entry »


Terms I’ve learned in last 24 hours.

Incel  – Incels are misogynists who are deeply suspicious and disparaging of women, whom they blame for denying them their right to sexual intercourse.

Now, STEM Desert.

US Dept. of Education:

The data show that 86 percent of high schools offered Algebra I, 84 percent offered Geometry, and 80 percent offered Algebra II. Advanced mathematics and Calculus were offered at fewer schools: 65 percent and 50 percent, respectively. For science courses, 86 percent of the nation’s high schools offered Biology and 73 percent offered Chemistry. However, just 60 percent of high schools offered Physics courses.

..approximately 5,000 high schools with high black and Latino enrollment (i.e. schools with more than 75 percent black and Latino student enrollment) offered mathematics and science courses at a lower rate than the overall population of all high schools.8 This difference is greatest with respect to advanced mathematics, Calculus, and Physics.


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