Archive for ‘Environment’

July 5, 2013

Slow Burn (?)

by thoughtfulconservative

slow-burn

And the article:

If you think the weather here on Earth is “getting nastier, you’re right,” says Alex Kirby at Britain’s Guardian. A new report by the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization — The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Extremes [PDF file] — concludes that the world experienced “unprecedented high-impact climate extremes” over the first decade of the 21st century, with more national temperature records being shattered than in any other decade on record.

via This has been the wildest decade of weather ever recorded on Earth – The Week.

For some questions on the above report see also:

WMO Repeats “Hottest Decade Ever” Mantra | Watts Up With That?.

You can do anything with math anymore…

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May 5, 2010

Waukesha water woes?

by thoughtfulconservative

So, did Waukesha get a glimpse of things to come? In a flurry of activity recently, we saw:

1. The Milwaukee County Board voted 13-3 on April 22 to oppose the Waukesha’s water plan.

Ostensibly the vote was to protect the county’s streams from pollution and erosion, but the comments from board members seems to indicate a different motivation, the kind you normally see from children.

“You have been sidestepped on this process,” said one. “We’ve been treated purely as an afterthought,” said another.

“They do not care about the concerns of Milwaukee County,” replied another.

“Why should I trust them?”

“They get the water and we get – I don’t want to say it – we get everything else,” intoned another.

Mature.

Waukesha’s water utility manager, Dan Duchniak disagreed with the assessment, claiming that the water Waukesha puts into the creeks will be cleaner than the water flowing there now.

To be fair, the County Board is excluded from the process of approving or disapproving Waukesha’s request. The DNR and the Great Lakes states are the ones who will sign off on the request.

Racine’s representative Cory Mason is on record opposing dumping of Waukesha waste water in the Root River. (A tip of the conservative ball cap to James Rowen who recently posted on how new phosphorus rules could add to any plan’s costs.

2. Milwaukee aldermen and Waukesha’s new mayor, Jeff Scrima, traded letters about requirements for receiving Milwaukee water.

Scrima contended during the recent campaign that if Waukesha didn’t keep its options open it would lose some of its sovereignty to Milwaukee. He alleged that somehow, Milwaukee will use Waukesha’s needs for water to advance some dastardly purpose.

The water saga continues and will stretch well into the foreseeable future.

If you’ve been living in a cave the last few years, Waukesha needs water because of elevated levels of radium. Lake Michigan seems to have a lot of water and Waukesha would like to get some, but the Great Lakes Compact requires returning the water to Lake Michigan.

Waukesha’s plan, sent to the DNR earlier this month, is to return the water to Underwood Creek where it would flow to the Menomonee River and back to Lake Michigan.

Waukesha is somewhat under the gun, facing a 2018 deadline for cleaning up there water.

People talk regional cooperation but the playing out is a little more difficult. The suburbs think Milwaukee wants their tax dollars. Milwaukee thinks the suburbs are using their infrastructure without paying for it.

Obviously, more work needs to be done. Like maybe growing up and behaving like adults.

3. Two neighboring local governments have expressed concern about the city’s plan to drill shallow wells as a backup measure. The major concern here seems to be the potential for privately owned wells going dry as Waukesha sucks water from the planned area.

The road is long, the opposition varied and the clock is ticking.

And if both options go down in flames, what’s left?

There’s a lesson for communities everywhere—don’t outgrow your water supply.

Yeah, like they will pay attention.

January 27, 2009

“Clinton Names Climate Envoy”

by thoughtfulconservative

Via the Green Inc. Blog at NYTimes.com

Citing the “complex, urgent and global threat of climate change,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today appointed a special envoy for climate change, who will lead the United States in international climate negotiations.

Yes, one person in charge of negotiating.

The appointment [of Todd Stern] caps off a day of aggressive environmental moves by the Obama administration.

We’re going green!

Mr. Stern called for a new multilateral agreement on climate change.

“A new day is dawning in the U.S. approach to climate change and clean energy,” he said.

Not so fast.

The centrist Democrats who urge a slower-paced approach represent states that are crucial electoral battlegrounds and that stand to lose the most from such regulation. They say they believe that global warming is a serious threat and they will support legislation to address the problem — but not at the expense of their already-strained workers and industries.

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January 24, 2009

“Swimming With Manatees in Florida”

by thoughtfulconservative

The NYTimes.com has a nice article in its “American Journeys” section about Crystal River, Fl, 70 miles north of Tampa, and the opportunities to observe manatees up close,

IT was just after 8 on a cloudy January morning as the flat-bottomed pontoon boat made its way over the glassy surface of Kings Bay, 600 acres of fresh water in Crystal River, Fla. The bay, actually a spring-fed pool, is rimmed by attractive homes and lush greenery along its many coves and lagoons, but aboard the boat, no one cared.

A typical travel piece, they do neglect  one piece of information–the closeness of the Crystal River nuclear power plant, clearly visible from the highway.

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January 4, 2009

Sprawled Out: The way humans were meant to live

by thoughtfulconservative

From Boston.com,

Now scientists have begun to examine how the city affects the brain, and the results are chastening. Just being in an urban environment, they have found, impairs our basic mental processes. After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory, and suffers from reduced self-control. While it’s long been recognized that city life is exhausting — that’s why Picasso left Paris — this new research suggests that cities actually dull our thinking, sometimes dramatically so.

A tip of the conservative ball cap to Althouse.

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December 19, 2008

The obligatory global warming post

by thoughtfulconservative

No sign of global warming in U-S weather today. Just the AP indexing the strange cold weather.

From NASA on USATODAY.com.

The frequency of extremely high clouds in Earth’s tropics — the type associated with severe storms and rainfall — is increasing as a result of global warming, according to a study by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

And I thought we were supposed to be calling it “global climate change?”

Charlie Sykes posted a video of a weatherman on CNN saying that to think that man could mess up Nature on a grand scale is arrogant.