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Tue, 26 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes

Magic Wand

The Royal Society: Still Embarrassing Science

© Unknown
Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

Although it is encouraging that the Royal Society now acknowledges that climate science may not be as settled as it previously implied, the Society's new report still stands as an embarrassment to science because it fails to offer justifications based on science (and policy analysis) for a number of its (politically correct) statements.

First, it claims in its opening sentence, "Changes in climate have significant implications for present lives, for future generations and for ecosystems on which humanity depends." But two paragraphs later it acknowledges that, "[T]he impacts of climate change ... are not considered here." Hence, the RS has no scientific (or other basis) for this claim. At most it could say, "ALTHOUGH WE DID NOT CONSIDER THEIR IMPACTS, changes in climate COULD have significant implications for present lives..., IF SUCH CHANGES ARE VERY LARGE." [Suggested INSERTIONS in the RS's original language are in UPPERCASE letters.]

Better Earth

Top Science Body Cools on Global Warming

There are gaps in scientific understanding making predicting the extent of climate change and sea level rises impossible.

That's the claim of Britain's highest scientific authority, the Royal Society.

The society's revised Guide to the Science of Climate Change has been interpreted as a retreat from politics by an organisation regarded as the world's most authoritative scientific body following the scandal that engulfed the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The society's new guide does not dismiss climate change or the need for co-ordinated global action to combat it.

Comment: The cracks in the facade are appearing when even the Royal Society expresses some uncertainty about climate change. They still cannot quite bring themselves to actually bite the hand that feeds them through research grants, but they are slowly moving closer to admitting that climate change is not man made.

Bizarro Earth

US: Mighty Rains Deluge Cars, Close Roads in Northeast

© Matt Rourke/AP Photo
Amel Sincere empties out her car after receded floodwaters submerged the parking lot of the Waterford Apartments in Havertown, Pa., Friday.
Torrential downpours from a faded tropical storm inundated the Northeast on Friday, forcing evacuations, toppling trees, cutting power to thousands and washing out roads during a snarled morning commute. Water pooled so deeply in a Philadelphia suburb that a car literally floated on top of another car.

The storm that killed five people in North Carolina on Thursday soaked a great swath of the Northeast by the Friday morning commute, including New York City and Philadelphia. Flights coming into LaGuardia Airport in New York City were delayed three hours and traffic coming into Manhattan was delayed by up to an hour under a pounding rain.

Firefighters in the Philadelphia area used a ladder truck to pull residents through the upper-floor windows of a building. Cars were submerged up to their windows, and a graphic artist found another vehicle floating atop his car.

Rainfall totals in the Philadelphia area topped 10 inches.


East Africa: Rare Pink Hippo Spotted

© Burrard-Lucas/Barcroft
The rare pink hippopotamus stands next to a river in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Rare pictures of a pink hippopotamus have been captured by British photographers.

Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas, were visiting the Masai Mara in Kenya, hunting the wildebeest migration, only to find a pink hippo.

"Our guide had mentioned that he had heard rumours of this rare hippo from a fellow guide, however, he was not told where it lived and he had never come across it before," said Will, 26.

"After a rather uneventful morning, we stopped on the banks of the Mara River for a picnic breakfast.

"After a while, to our great surprise, we spotted the pink hippo emerge onto the far bank of the river."

Cloud Lightning

US: Rain Pounds North Carolina as Storm Moves Up the East Coast

© Chuck Burton/AP Photo
A man cleans his car at a flooded car wash in Carolina Beach, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010.
Driving rain from a storm system moving up the East Coast brought flooding to parts of North Carolina on Thursday, caused soggy morning commutes in the Northeast and prompted worries of additional flooding as far north as Maine.

Tornado watches were issued from North Carolina to New Jersey.

In North Carolina, the nearly 21 inches collected in Wilmington since rain started falling Sunday topped Hurricane Floyd's five-day mark of 19 inches set in 1999, the National Weather Service said.

In the eastern part of the state, officials evacuated about 70 people overnight from a mobile home community in Kinston because of high water, Roger Dail, director of emergency services in Lenoir County, said.

"The water's still up," Dail said. "I would suspect it's going to be later today, maybe tomorrow, before the water goes out of there."


GM Corn 'Has Polluted Rivers Across the United States'

© indianapublicmedia.org
An insecticide used in genetically modified (GM) crops grown extensively in the United States and other parts of the world has leached into the water of the surrounding environment.

The insecticide is the product of a bacterial gene inserted into GM maize and other cereal crops to protect them against insects such as the European corn borer beetle. Scientists have detected the insecticide in a significant number of streams draining the great corn belt of the American mid-West.

The researchers detected the bacterial protein in the plant detritus that was washed off the corn fields into streams up to 500 metres away. They are not yet able to determine how significant this is in terms of the risk to either human health or the wider environment.


Drilling into a Volcano Aims to Help Predict Possible Catastrophe

Mount Vesuvius
© NASA Earth Observatory.
Mount Vesuvius, near Naples, Italy.

Drilling into an active volcanic doesn't sound like the safest idea, but a plan to do so along a volcano near Naples, Italy, could help protect the city from a potentially catastrophic eruption.

Geologists will drill into the volcanic formation, called Campi Flegrei, early next month. The volcano, part of a larger volcanic arc that includes Mount Vesuvius, last erupted in 1538. The ground around the volcano, however, has been swelling for the past 40 years, stoking fears of an eruption that would threaten the roughly 1 million residents of Naples.

"The role of deep drilling at this area is then crucial," according to the drilling project description by the International Continental Scientific Drill Program (ICDP), which is planning the drilling study.

The drilling will let scientists pull out rocks that will allow them to trace the volcano's evolution, and predict its future.

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: Earthquake Magnitude 7.2 - Near South Coast of Papua

Papua Quake No2_300910
Earthquake Location
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 17:11:24 UTC

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 02:11:24 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

4.920°S, 133.783°E

12.3 km (7.6 miles)


105 km (65 miles) NNW of Dobo, Kepulauan Aru, Indonesia

310 km (190 miles) WSW of Enarotali, Papua, Indonesia

900 km (560 miles) NNE of DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia

2985 km (1850 miles) E of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: Earthquake Magnitude 6.2 - Near South Coast of Papua

Papua Quake_300910
Earthquake Location
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 17:10:52 UTC

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 02:10:52 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

5.314°S, 133.933°E

21.2 km (13.2 miles) (poorly constrained)


105 km (65 miles) NNW of Dobo, Kepulauan Aru, Indonesia

310 km (195 miles) WSW of Enarotali, Papua, Indonesia

885 km (550 miles) NNE of DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia

2985 km (1850 miles) E of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Bad Guys

Nuclear Weapons: 20 Facts They Don't Want You to Think About

Politicians and Their Armageddon Machines

Nuclear arsenals: who wants them? - A coterie of politicians.

Why do they want them? - For the illusion of power and to feed their egos.

How do they keep them? - By fostering a culture of fear.

How do they do that? - By positing a Threatening and Unknown Future.

There are 5 primary nuclear weapons states (and four others from proliferation). The politicians of these 5 nuclear states put the future of the citizens of all the other 187 states of the UN at risk as well as their own citizens because of their insistence in keeping their nuclear arsenals.

In no case have the citizens been asked if they want these arsenals.

The reason these politicians want these Armageddon weapons is because they believe it gives them stature and power; makes them players; gets their feet under the top table. For this perceived personal benefit they are prepared to put the survival of the human race at risk.

Nuclear arsenals are the ruthless tools of power-fixated individuals.

In order to keep their arsenals, these individuals must keep the citizens in ignorance. We have a vague dread of these things and what they can do. Humanity has a residual group memory of the unspeakable suffering of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But this is very scary. We don't want to think about it. And that suits the power junkies just fine. Ignorance is power - for the junkies - but not the citizens.