I you’re a grumpy old codger with an uncontrollable urge to yell at a teenage girl on TV, there’s help.

60 Minutes has aired new footage of the recent attack on Saudi Oil facilities, which took out 5 percent of the global supply in minutes.

It seems like Captain Obvious to belabor at this point, but clearly our continued dependence on fossil fuels keeps the world always on the edge of war, and siphons huge resources to defend or grab increasingly scarce resources.
We simply can’t afford this any longer.

In the US, facilities such as refineries, and large, central power plants make tempting targets for terrorists, hackers, or just vulnerability for increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

I spoke to retired Marine General Richard Zilmer about the security implications of a distributed grid. In addition, I interviewed local officials here in central Michigan, who get it that a modernized transmission system, with widely distributed nodes of energy production, transmission and storage, is inherently more secure, stable, and advantageous for local communities.

Below, Energy expert Jeremy Rifkin reviews the big picture of the energy revolution now well underway.

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We’re energy optimists and climate realists.

Members of republicEn are conservatives, libertarians, and pragmatists of diverse political opinion. We stand together because climate change is real, and we believe it’s our duty and opportunity to reduce the risks. We believe in the power of American free enterprise to deliver the innovation to solve climate change.

republicEn is founded on four major pillars:

  • Limited government
  • Accountability
  • Free enterprise
  • Environmental stewardship

Conservatives need to stop disputing obvious climate change and enter the competition of ideas about solutions. Climate change is a serious threat, and it requires action.

The Hill:

Prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz is warning Republican lawmakers that the public’s views on climate change are shifting and that ignoring the issue could cost them important votes at the ballot box.

In a memo circulated to Republican congressional offices on Wednesday, Luntz Global Partners warned that 58 percent of Americans, as well as 58 percent of GOP voters under the age of 40, are more concerned about climate change than they were just one year ago.

The polling group also noted that 69 percent of GOP voters are concerned that the party’s stance on climate change is “hurting itself with younger votes.”

Of the GOP voters under the age of 40, more than half, or 55 percent, said they are “very or extremely” concerned about their party’s position on climate change.

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The new normal is no normal.

I produced the video above in the spring to explain the wild weather patterns that the US heartland had been seeing over several months.
It’s happening again this week.


Historic snow and a heat wave? That’s what a downright loopy jet stream pattern is bringing to large parts of the United States.

Parts of the Northern Rockies are bracing for what the National Weather Service in Missoula, MT is describing as an “historic winter storm this weekend,” with up to five feet of snow forecast. (Click on the graphic above for details.)

Although this part of the United States is no stranger to early autumn snow, it’s not usually measured in feet.

Meanwhile, parts of the U.S. East Coast are continuing to experience temperatures well above normal for this time of year — and conditions are forecast to heat up even more, potentially to record-high levels next week.

With a stubborn “heat dome” parked overhead, the Southeast has already been enduring one of its hottest Septembers on record. And the strength of the dome is forecast to intensify next week to a point that occurs just one day every 10 to 30 years during this time of year, according to an analysis by meteorologist Rob Elvington of WAAY TV in Huntsville, AL

This graphic helps explain what’s going on:

Big bends in the jet stream are tied to extreme winter weather in the Northern Rockies and possibly record-breaking warmth in the Eastern United States. (Background image: earth.nullschool.net Annotation: Tom Yulsman)

The orange line traces the forecast path of the jet stream for Sunday, Sept. 30. (I pulled that forecast on Friday the 27th — it may have changed a bit by the time you’re reading this.) That path is, in a word, all loopy.

To be more precise, it features big north-south bends. And it’s those bends that have formed the set-up for the weird weather extremes.

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He’s slightly annoying but tells an important story.

BTW, if you were wondering…the Kochs aren’t winning all of them..

Arizona PBS:

PHOENIX – Three extensions of the Valley Metro light rail system will move forward after voters rejected Proposition 105, which would have halted the expansion. 

With 185,852 votes tallied, unofficial returns showed Prop 105 trailing 63% to 37%.

The story of fossil fuel fuckery of mass transit is similar to what we see around the country related to renewable energy projects. There have been a number of projects held up or cancelled due to similar phony “grass roots” groups organized by the coal industry and others.
But good people waking up and starting to win those, too.

New York Times:

Banks are shielding themselves from climate change at taxpayers’ expense by shifting riskier mortgages — such as those in coastal areas — off their books and over to the federal government, new research suggests.

The findings echo the subprime lending crisis of 2008, when unexpected drops in home values cascaded through the economy and triggered recession. One difference this time is that those values would be less likely to rebound, because many of the homes literally would be underwater.

In a paper to be released Monday, the researchers say their findings show “a potential threat to the stability of financial institutions.” They warn that the threat will grow as global warming leads to more frequent and more severe disasters, forcing more loans to go into default as homeowners cannot or would not make mortgage payments.

“We’re talking about a loss that’s going to be borne by United States taxpayers,” said Amine Ouazad, a professor in the department of applied economics at HEC Montreal and one of the paper’s authors. He added that with between $60 billion to $100 billion in new mortgages issued for coastal homes each year, “we’re not talking about a small number.”

Mr. Ouazad, along with his co-author Matthew Kahn, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, examined the behavior of mortgage lenders in areas hit by hurricanes between 2004 and 2012, each of which caused at least $1 billion in damages. They found that, after those hurricanes, lenders increased by almost 10 percent the share of those mortgages that they sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored enterprises whose debts are backed by taxpayers. 

Selling mortgages to Fannie and Freddie allows banks to avoid the financial risk that homeowners will default on the mortgages. Hurricanes increase that risk: Mr. Ouazad and Mr. Kahn found that the odds of an eventual foreclosure rise by 3.6 percentage points for a mortgage originated in the first year after a hurricane, and by 4.9 percentage points for a mortgage originated in the third year.

The regulations governing Fannie and Freddie do not let them factor the added risk from natural disasters into their pricing, which means banks and other lenders can offload mortgages in vulnerable areas without financial penalty. That increases the incentive for banks to make the loans and then move them off their books, the authors said.

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Quora is a question/answer site that is at it’s best answering whether the Hulk could beat Iron Man, but seems to be a vector for a lot of climate denial nonsense as well.
In this case, an expert answer from Michael Tobis to a bogus question – a variant on the “because we don’t know everything, we know nothing” crock.

Why do some people seem so intent on fixing climate change even though we don’t really have any idea what is going on with the climate?

Michael Tobis, Climate blogger at http://planet3.org PhD atmospheric and oceanic sciences University of Wisconsin – Madison

We understand the climate system quite well. It is not magic. It is physics and chemistry, and for the most part classical physics and chemistry. It’s a complex system so the details are tricky to get right, but the big picture is well understood.

Climate models get a bad rap, but they actually prove that we do understand the system. These are not just statistical tricks.

We put the physical equations as we understand them into the a calculation. Think of it as an enormous spreadsheet, with cells for every location in latitude, longitude, and height. (Each cell represents a sort of “box” of air. The smaller we make each box, the more boxes, so the more accurate and the more expensive the calculation.) We put in realistic initial conditions, and watch the system progress. In a major triumph of modern science, a realistic picture of climate emerges. There is a very wet belt at the equator. There are trade winds in the tropics. There are large surface fronts with storm systems at their kinks in the middle latitudes. There are hurricanes in the hotter oceans. And so on, matching the real world very well. This is an amazing achievement, because none of those features are in the code – they emerge just like they emerge in the real world from the physics of the real world.

To say that we don’t “have any idea” about a system that we can model in this way from first principles is therefore demonstrably wrong.

So your question is based on a false premise and can’t be answered.

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Texas Monthly:

(Pastor Robert Jeffress) is also known, of course, as one of the president’s most avid and outspoken advocates. While other evangelical leaders were slow to get behind Trump—James Dobson, for example, wondered about Trump’s religiosity—Jeffress campaigned with him before the 2016 primaries even started, before Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio flamed out. If some evangelicals who now back Trump fret that they’ve entered into a Faustian bargain, for Jeffress it’s a wholehearted embrace. It’s become one of the most fascinating symbiotic relationships in modern politics: the pastor gets a national platform for his message and a leader who appoints conservative judges who will in turn restrict access to abortion; the president gets the support of evangelical voters he needs to win reelection, along with an energetic and effective promoter who can explain or excuse all manner of polarizing behavior. 

When the Access Hollywood tape leaked before the election and America heard Trump brag about grabbing women, Jeffress went on Fox News to say that the candidate’s words were “crude, offensive, and indefensible, but they’re not enough to make me vote for Hillary Clinton.” 

After the president said there were “some very fine people on both sides” of the deadly clash between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, Jeffress appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network to say that Democrats were falsely painting Trump as a racist. “Racism comes in all shapes, all sizes, and, yes, all colors,” explained the pastor. “And if we’re going to denounce some racism, we ought to denounce all racism.”

When the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels announced that she’d had a sexual encounter with Trump and was paid to keep quiet before the election, Jeffress explained in a Fox News debate with Juan Williams that evangelicals “knew they weren’t voting for an altar boy.”