Sunday, September 02, 2007

back to school: more blisters


My apologies to the random surfer and the Homeland Security guys for no posts since Mayday. Labor Day is just around the corner. Meanwhile the data are in about the climate records of early 2007. The data are also in about Greenland's spring arriving weeks earlier.

The poor blistering orb keeps blistering. Let's see what's going down.

Currently there are record heat waves in Tennessee, Georgia, California and Japan. There are record floods in the U.S. Midwest, Bangladesh, and North Korea. Recently there were record forest fires in Greece and on the Canary Islands, which now leads to carbon feedback loops on their own: the more CO2, the more warming, the more fire, the more CO2 ... you get the picture. Glaciers are retreating at record pace in Switzerland and the Himalayas, even on Mt Everest. Texas spiders living in subtropical Texas now behave like their tropical cousins. Oh, and the deserts are spreading too.

The University of Illinois reports that arctic ice is lower than ever. The Norwegian Polar Institute reports that the Northwest Passage is nearly ice free for the first time since record keeping began. This is how it looks:

In Milan, in June, a G8 meeting on pollution caps to curb climate change ended in failure. Americans keep perpetrating climate change as happily as ever but at least they're now catching on. The domestic edition of Newsweek 8/13 led with a story on the "well-funded naysayers who still reject the overwhelming evidence of climate change," with a look "inside the denial machine". Better late than never, eh? Yet, the U.S. denial machine still works well enough to sabotage the U.N. climate talks at Vienna August 27-31, which just "ended in a cloud of discord".

Philosophy in the English-speaking world remains a mixed bag. The Journal of Global Ethics, published by Blackwell, committed itself to an issue on Climate Ethics, which is a step in the right direction. Perspectives on Science, published by MIT, however, doesn't regard climate studies as a perspective meriting philosophical discussion in a topic issue. Let's give them time. They'll come around.

In Tampa, the administration of the University of South Florida has quietly rescinded the Flaggenbefehl. The patriotic banners have disappeared from the classrooms. Perhaps even the republicans have gotten tired of their fascist decor. The flag-free lecture halls made returning to classes very agreeable. Meanwhile the first ever course on climate change is being taught, by the Mad Hun, for the USF Honors College. Speaking of South Florida: here's a map of southern Florida's 20ft/6 m inundation by 2107, at least as they're expecting it at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Arizona and NASA .

In Baghdad, meanwhile, more innocents keep dying at the hands of the invaders. The blood-for-oil trade continues. Centcom at Tampa continues to send soldiers and bullets to the middle east. In fact, it was the summer of the "surge", with more troopers fighting and more innocents killed than ever. The things one needs to do to maintain one's SUV lifestyle are highly ridiculous.

In Washington, the climate changer in chief and his snarling Nazi sidekick remain unimpeached.

The Chevron lady, oil tanker Rice, still draws a paycheck too.

The postmodern manipulator, Karl Rove, is out of a job but not yet in jail.

The attorney general, Torture Gonzalez, is out of a job too but not yet in jail either.

I guess the Americans aren't ready to play the blame game yet. Let's wait a little while and see what happens. Oh, and then there's Felix.


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