Earth ChangesS

Better Earth

Tsunami warning after 7.8 quake off New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A tsunami warning was issued by the U.S. Geological Survey after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off New Zealand's western coast Wednesday.

The quake's epicenter was 100 miles (161 kilometers) west of Invercargill, off the west coast of New Zealand's South Island at a depth of 21 miles (33 kilometers). It hit at 0922 GMT on Wednesday, the USGS said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii sent an e-mail alert warning of a possible tsunami in New Zealand.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours," the warning center said.

Bizarro Earth

Best of the Web: US: Wherefore art thou, summer?

Summer Lake George
© Barry SloanNick Guilder of Hudson Falls and his 10-month-old son Nicholas enjoy Lake George's Million Dollar Beach despite Monday's cooler-than-normal temperatures.

Get out the sweat shirt and forget the shorts.

The low temperature this morning is expected to be near the record low temperature for the day: 49 degrees set in 1940.

Lower than normal temperatures have dominated the first 13 days of July, keeping swimmers out of area pools and forcing people to wear sweat shirts or jackets in the early morning and evening hours.

Ingrid Amberger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, said the jet stream of cool air coming out of the north has remained farther south than it usually is in July.

"It hasn't retreated north," Amberger said. "It usually goes up into Canada."

The first 12 days of July were, on average, nearly 5 degrees cooler than normal, Amberger said.

Che Guevara

Canada: You call this summer?

In what is typically the hottest month of the year, Calgary is still suffering from a dismal seven-month trend of temperatures well below seasonal averages, Environment Canada said yesterday.

Senior climatologist David Phillips said Calgary's temperatures have been sagging below average since November of 2008 and this July is no exception.

"For seven months, it's really been a long bout of cold weather; in all the months since last November conditions have been consistently lower than normal," he said.

"It's disappointing it's been cold for so long -- normal this time of year should be a high of 23 degrees and you've been lucky if you get 16."

The afternoon temperatures for July have been about two degrees cooler than they should be, said Phillips, adding Calgarians were also doused with rain each day for 11 days straight June 30 through July 10.

Bizarro Earth

US: Giant squid wash ashore after quake

San Diego, CA - Dozens of giant squid washed ashore over the weekend after an earthquake
giant squid
© Unknown
struck offshore from La Jolla.

The magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck at 7:34 a.m. Saturday and was centered 19 miles west of La Jolla in the ocean. Residents said the rattling lasted 15 to 20 seconds, but there were no reports of injuries or damage, according to the San Diego Fire Department.

The temblor was felt throughout the county, and residents are used to getting jolted by earthquakes. But what happened next was more unusual. Dozens of Humboldt squid, three to four feet long and weighing close to 40 pounds, began showing up on La Jolla Shores beach, lifeguards reported.

"It's like their equilibrium is all messed up and they don't know what they're doing and they can't back out there," Bill Baumann told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It was like they got -- I don't know -- all shook up."


Hurricane Carlos strengthens far off Mexico coast

Miami - Hurricane Carlos strengthened to a Category 2 storm as it moved farther out into the open Pacific and had a distinct small eye.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami Tuesday said the storm's winds had increased to near 100 mph. Some strengthening is possible in the next day.

Bizarro Earth

Possible evacuation of Mayon Volcano vicinity

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) on Monday recommended the possible evacuation of more than 15,000 families along radius of Mayon Volcano in Albay if the volcanic activity worsened in the next few days.

In the statement released by NDCC Administrator Retired Maj. Gen. Glenn Rabonza, the primary objective of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) of Albay led by Gov. Joey Salceda is to have zero casualties once the situation of the volcano worsens even more. The Alert Level 2 raised by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in still in effect.

According to plan submitted by the PDCC-Albay, once the alert level is raised to level 3, around 1,785 families living inside the six kilometer radius permanent danger zone will be immediately evacuated by the provincial government. These include some barangays in the cities Tabaco and Ligao, and Municipalities of Camalig, Malilipot, Guinobatan and Daraga.

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;