Earth ChangesS

Cow Skull

Iraq Suffers as the Euphrates River Dwindles

Euphrates drought
© Moises Saman / The New York TimesBashia Mohammed, 60, gathered salt in a drainage pool on the outskirts of Diwaniya. It is her family’s only source of income now that its rice farm has dried up.
Rice farmers surveyed their dry field near a village on the outskirts of Najaf. Iraq is now importing more and more grain.

"Maaku mai!" they shout, holding up their rusty sickles. "There is no water!"

The Euphrates is drying up. Strangled by the water policies of Iraq's neighbors, Turkey and Syria; a two-year drought; and years of misuse by Iraq and its farmers, the river is significantly smaller than it was just a few years ago. Some officials worry that it could soon be half of what it is now.

The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end times, has decimated farms along its banks, has left fishermen impoverished and has depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work.

The poor suffer more acutely, but all strata of society are feeling the effects: sheiks, diplomats and even members of Parliament who retreat to their farms after weeks in Baghdad.

Bizarro Earth

Strong undersea quake hits Taiwan: seismology centre

An undersea earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale rocked Taiwan's buildings early Tuesday, shaking people from bed, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The quake hit at 2:05 am (1805 GMT Monday), causing buildings to sway in most parts of the island, the Taiwanese Seismology Centre said.

It put the quake's epicentre at 57 kilometres (34 miles) east of Hsiulin, a town in the east of the island, with a depth of 9.4 kilometres under the sea.

It issued no immediate tsunami alert.

The United States Geological Survey put the quake's epicentre 137 kilometres south-southeast of the capital Taipei.

Taiwan, which lies near the junction of two tectonic plates, is regularly shaken by earthquakes. A 7.6-magnitude quake killed around 2,400 people in September 1999.


Peter Sissons: BBC News claims it is BBC policy to promote global warming agenda

Peter Sissons, the veteran newsreader who announced his retirement last month, has launched a withering attack on the BBC - claiming standards have fallen and accusing producers of being too mired in political correctness to do anything about it.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday today, he says: 'At today's BBC, a complaint I often heard from senior producers was that they dared not reprimand their subordinates for basic journalistic mistakes - such as getting ages, dates, titles and even football scores wrong - it being politically incorrect to risk offending them.'

Mr Sissons, 66, who has worked for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, says there was 'great attention' to the text of news bulletins when he joined the Corporation 20 years ago, but that now appeared to be lacking.

Mr. Potato

UK Climate Change Policy: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know

The Emperor’s New Clothes
© unknown
"And so the Emperor set off under the high canopy, at the head of the great procession. It was a great success. All the people standing by and at the windows cheered and cried, "Oh, how splendid are the Emperor's new clothes. What a magnificent train! How well the clothes fit!" No one dared to admit that he couldn't see anything, for who would want it to be known that he was either stupid or unfit for his post? None of the Emperor's clothes had ever met with such success. But among the crowds a little child suddenly gasped out, "But he hasn't got anything on." And the people began to whisper to one another what the child had said. "He hasn't got anything on." "There's a little child saying he hasn't got anything on." Till everyone was saying, "But he hasn't got anything on." The Emperor himself had the uncomfortable feeling that what they were whispering was only too true. "But I will have to go through with the procession," he said to himself. So he drew himself up and walked boldly on holding his head higher than before, and the courtiers held on to the train that wasn't there at all."

[From: 'The Emperor's New Clothes' ['Kejserens nye Klæder']
by Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 1875), version by Stephen Corrin (1964)]
I increasingly feel like the little child in the crowd as Britain's climate-change Charivari winds through the corridors of power self-belittling those who have no chance of consummating their marriage to ideas that are becoming more far-fetched by the day.

Just stand back with me for a moment from the obsessive clamour of the times. What have we in this increasingly ludicrous procession of the Great and the Good?

First, we have a leader, Gordon Brown, who along with the other heads of the G8 countries, has the hubris to declaim that we have "agreed to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels", as if climate were neatly controlled by a single dimmer light switch that can be twiddled up and down at the whim of pompous politicians. The nonsense is beyond belief, never mind beyond science. The emperor has no clothes;

Then, secondly, we have a Met Office claiming that it can predict the weather - yes, the weather - for 25 km2 blocks of the UK in - wait for it - 70 years time. It hasn't even got this summer right! Think again for a moment - this is stark raving bonkers. The emperor has no clothes;

Thirdly, we are about to have a White Paper on Wednesday from Ed Miliband, the laughably-named Energy and Climate Change Secretary, which will require the construction of over 7,000 wind turbines by the year 2020. Think once again. This will involve building two giant wind turbines per day, including Saturdays and Sundays, for the next ten years, an impossibility. And the projected cost for you and me? "This weekend it also emerged that the renewable energy strategy is likely to add £200 to the average household's utility bills. The strategy paper will say Britain needs to spend more than £100 billion on renewable energy infrastructure by 2020, including 7,000 wind turbines. This money will come from a levy on energy bills, which will have to rise by about 20%." Splendid! It is rubbish on stilts. The emperor has no clothes;


Let's deal with the facts on global warming

The notion of man's use of CO2 as a possible driver of climate has been the subject of several recent Letters to the Editor in the Sun-News. Over geologic time. there has been 15 to 25 times more CO2 than current concentrations; the claim that this time we will reach a tipping point is alarmist, ludicrous, and totally without foundation.

CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas, and essential to life; to regard it as a pollutant is just wrong.

Let us deal with facts - not activism, alarmism, or hyperbole.

The polar bear population is more than 250,000 years old. We are in an interglacial period called the Holocene, a geological epoch now 18,000 years old into which human civilization dates entirely.

About 130,000 years ago, the previous interglacial period, known as the Eemian, was warmer than the Holocene, with sea levels some 15 feet higher than today. Scandinavia was an island and North Cape, Norway, now tundra, was home to forests.

Eemian beaches 15 feet above present sea levels are present in the Bahamas. The polar bear survived the Eemian with warmer temperatures and much less ice than is present today.

During the Holocene, we have had a number of warm and cold periods. The Roman Warm Period, warmer than today, was followed by the Dark Ages, when the Nile froze twice, the weather was cold, cloudy and dark. Crops failed and many babies did not survive. This is why it is called the Dark Ages.


Deadly and destructive cold...

Maybe I'm more sensitive to it than most, but when I stepped outside this morning I noticed that it was slightly darker than recent mornings at the same time. I know that the sun is rising a little later every day as we drift toward autumn, but today was the first day that it actually seemed a little darker, and that has me thinking about colder times ahead...but how much colder? Here are a few stories from around the world from the past week. From the BBC: "Almost 250 children under the age of five have died in a wave of intensely cold weather in Peru". "This year, freezing temperatures have arrived almost 3 months earlier than usual." From CBC news: "Temperatures dropped to a record low in Prince Edward Island overnight Tuesday (July 7 into July 8) with reports of frost throughout the province (in southeast Canada)." "...a meteorologist with Environment Canada said that to his knowledge, frost has never been reported before in July in Prince Edward Island."

Bizarro Earth

US: Still another record-low temperature at International Falls

International Falls MN
© unknown

Another morning, another record low temperature in International Falls.

Temperatures in the northern Minnesota city fell to 35 degrees Monday morning - easily breaking the old daily record of 39, set on July 13, 2007, according to the National Weather Service.

It's the second consecutive day of record-low temperatures in International Falls; the morning low on Sunday also was 35 degrees. Monday's low was the eighth record daily low temperature recorded in the city this year.


US: Record cold in Portland Maine in July

Average Temp Portland Maine July 2009

More from the "weather is not climate department". Emphasis below mine. And it is having an effect not only on crops but tourism in the Northeast US. - Anthony

Statement as of 4:00 PM EDT on July 9, 2009
record event report ... corrected
National Weather Service Gray ME
400 PM EDT Thursday Jul 09 2009

... More record cold weather for Portland Maine...

The temperature at the Portland jetport only reached 58 degrees
yesterday. This set a record for the coldest high temperature on
July 7th. The old record was 59 degrees set in 1961. To put this in
another perspective... the normal low temperature for July 7th is 58

The low temperature on Wednesday was 55 degrees. This produced a
range of only 3 degrees between the high and low temperatures which
is a record for the smallest daily range in temperatures on July
7th. The old record was a 4 degree spread set in 1963 and 1995.

The 3 degree daily temperature range yesterday also tied the record
for the smallest daily temperature range for any day in July. The
record was established on July 16th, 1961 and occurred five more
times before this year.

The average temperature yesterday was 57 degrees... which tied 1961
as the coldest average temperature for July 7th.


246 children under 5 die from early winter in Peru

Children die from pneumonia and other respiratory infections every year during the winter months particularly in Peru's southern Andes.

But this year freezing temperatures arrived almost three months earlier than usual.

Experts blame climate change for the early arrival of intense cold which began in March.

Comment: Of course man made CO2 has raised the global temperatures so high that winter came three months early in Peru. Those mysterious experts that only the BBC has access to blame it on global warming. Could it be anything else? New York is setting records for coolest June, Los Angeles, Phoenix, the U.S. upper midwest through the Great Lakes and in to Canada, New Zealand, South America... All recording records for cool temperatures. How in the world is man made global warming cooling the entire planet?

Winter in the region does not usually begin until June.

The extreme cold, which has brought snow, hail, freezing temperatures and strong winds, has killed more children than recorded annually for the past four years.


Embryo origami gives the turtle its shell

The way the body wall of the growing embryo folds inwards helps to explain how the reptiles achieve their unique body shape.