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Extreme Weather, Extreme Consequences In Colorado

The aftermath of Colorado’s devastating mountain flooding, and the towering cost of extreme weather.

Buildings are surrounded by flood water during a helicopter search of the area around Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (AP)

Buildings are surrounded by flood water during a helicopter search of the area around Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (AP)

The images from Colorado of the storm and its aftermath are devastating.  Houses torn apart.  Roads strewn with debris.  Families displaced.  When the rain kept coming last week, it flowed into streams and rivers, which swelled and raged, taking everything along its banks with it.  Now the recovery has begun.  And now the questions.  What just happened and why?  This hour, On Point: the science of Colorado’s flash floods.

Guests

Lesley McClurg, reporter for Colorado Public Radio and producer of the local show, Colorado Matters. (@LesleyWMcClurg)

Matt Kelsch, hydrometeorologist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. (@AtmosNews)

Sue Minter, Deputy Secretary at the Vermont Agency of Transportation, former Vermont State Representative, head of Vermont’s Hurricane Irene recovery office.

Martin Hoerling, research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.

From The Reading List

TIME: The Science Behind Colorado’s Thousand-Year Flood — “Parts of Boulder are experiencing a 1-in-1,000 year flood. That doesn’t literally mean that the kind of rainfall seen over the past week only occurs once in a millennium. Rather, it means that a flood of this magnitude only has a 0.1% chance of happening in a given year. This is historically bad luck, due in part to the combination of an active, drenching Southwest monsoon and a low pressure area that trapped over the region. A tropical air mass—unusual in the dry Rocky Mountains—is slowly being hauled across the Front Range by weak southwesterly winds. This is known as an orographic lift, which is converting the incredibly moist air into sheets and sheets of rainfall.”

National Geographic: Amid Drought, Explaining Colorado’s Extreme Floods — “Sandra Postel, National Geographic’s Freshwater Fellow, said that the long-term drought that has parched the area and gripped much of the Colorado River Basin over the past 14 years may be partly to blame for the severity of the floods. Drought tends to harden the soil, she said. When rains do come, less of the water can absorb into the ground, so it quickly runs off the land. Similarly, fires can lead to worse flooding, because they remove vegetation that can slow down and trap rainfall, Postel said. (See “Fire and Rain: The One-Two Punch of Flooding After Blazes.”) In 2012, the Boulder area was afflicted by the Flagstaff Fire. In 2010, the Fourmile Canyon fire caused damage to Boulder County worth $217 million.”

New York Times: A Soaked Vermont Awaits Even More Flooding — “The ferocity of the flooding appeared to take many here by surprise. In Saxtons River, a village of 600 in southern Vermont on a river of the same name, John Bohannon, 68, said he had helped employees from the local grocery store pack food into a truck because the place was flooding. ‘In the past 25 years, I have never seen anything like this,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of snow and power outages because of this, but never this bad.’”

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  • arydberg

    The government is doing experiments ( called HAARP) where they beam large amounts of energy into the Ionosphere. Someone needs to look long and hard at this program. There is a very real possibility that the HAARP experiments are having a unwanted effect on our weather.

    • 1Brett1

      “HAARP has been blamed by conspiracy theorists for a range of events, including numerous natural disasters, outbreaks, global warming, global cooling, volcanoes, even assassinations of individuals. Commentators and scientists say that proponents of these theories are “uninformed” as most theories put forward fall well outside of the abilities or the facility and often outside the scope of natural science and defy physics.” -This, according to Wikipedia.

      “As to…sexual orientation I wonder if perhaps the fetal development of homosexuals is influenced by our widespread replacement of food by chemicals as well as the huge variety of toxins in our environment.” -This, according to another post by arydberg.

      “when you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer…” -This, according to Stevie Wonder.

      • AC

        i like this Stevie Wonder quote – i’ve never heard it before! i’m going to start saying this a lot now….

      • arydberg

        And you, i take it, really believe that crude oil can explode and kill 50 people while other news sources talked about 4 cars loaded with propane on a adjacent siding. If i have to be labeled a conspiracy theorist to disbelieve crude oil can explode so be it.

    • AC

      holy. moly.
      are you trying to be funny?
      surely you don’t believe this…..right?

    • Shag_Wevera

      Anything, as long as it isn’t man-made climate change I guess.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Can a government experiment possibly inject nearly as much energy into our atmosphere as is naturally injected by our sun in a single second? Ive got my shiny hat on now. ; ^)

      • AC

        can i have a shiny hat too?

      • arydberg

        Anyone who looks into global warming and chaos theory knows small effects can trigger great changes.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          They don’t teach chaos theory in Intelligent Design 101

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I’d rather focus on all the CO2 we’re beaming into the atmosphere.

    • ToyYoda

      Is that why gold went up today?

  • Shag_Wevera

    God’s punishment for those heathen pot-heads???

    • DeJay79

      up-vote only because I know you’re joking

  • pauly2468

    The US has been in constant response mode,putting out fires,trying to rescue people,save land buildings and even National Park areas.
    There is an old saying,”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    • TFRX

      I’m in the northeast suburbs, so I’m not up close.

      But there is a “new” school of thought that relentless fire suppression in the desert / mountain west simply doesn’t work, resulting in fewer fires, a bit delayed, which are simply bigger and more destructive.

      It sorta reminds me of what mankind does on the Jersey shore: Building seawalls, having the Army Corps of Engrs put sand on beaches, getting hotels and motels up to a few hundred feet of the tideline. It’s just asking to get smacked back because it ignores that the natural seashore is not just a strip of sand, but is a few hundred yards deep, and will change over time.

      (Yeah, I got a bit wayward there. Apologies for tangent.)

  • HonestDebate1

    Here we go again, if it rains it’s AGW, it does’t rain it’s AGW, if it’s a hot day it’s AGW, if there is a blizzard its AGW, if there is a hurricane it’s AGW, if there is a fire it’s AGW.

    Heck, now even crime is being blamed on AGW:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/355048/scientists-crime-war-increase-because-climate-change-ian-tuttle

    We (most of us anyway) knew the 2007 IPCC report was bogus and virtually every dire prediction feeds off of theta very flawed document. Here’s what they say now:

    World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER what we thought – and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/Worlds-climate-scientists-confess-Global-warming-just-QUARTER-thought–computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html#ixzz2fLEfqVfk

    I hope the anti-science alarmist realize this is good news.

    • Ray in VT

      Anti-science? Good one. You’re really on top of the science that Steve Goddard likes to put out. I bet that he thinks that the IPCC report was bogus, as the Oregon group and the other creationists think too. I’m still waiting for you to provide me with the names of objectionable government bureaucrats on the IPCC.

      • HonestDebate1

        Exactly right! The I stands for Intergovernmental which means government bureaucrats although there are a few scientist as well. I have no idea what Steve Goddard thinks, I was citing the IPCC and the science. I’m glad to see them set the record straight. The 2007 report has caused so much damage.

        • HonestDebate1
        • Ray in VT

          Then you should be able to back up your claim that it is a few scientist (sic.) but mostly bureaucrats easily. Please do.

          You cited one article which makes some misleading statements For instance:

          “Yet the leaked report makes the
          extraordinary concession that over the past 15 years, recorded world
          temperatures have increased at only a quarter of the rate of IPCC
          claimed when it published its last assessment in 2007.”

          That would seem to imply that the 2007 number was inaccurate, which it was not. The “concession” compares two different time periods.

          It also says this:

          “This year has been one of the quietest
          hurricane seasons in history and the US is currently enjoying its
          longest-ever period – almost eight years – without a single hurricane of
          Category 3 or above making landfall.”

          which I think is also misleading. It is true that this season has been quiet so far, although there have been two hurricanes in the last week, but it seems about on track for named storms, and the last couple of decades of Atlantic storm activity have all been running above average. I also think that the statement about a category 3 storm is basically irrelevant. Sandy wasn’t a hurricane when it hit, right? Does that mean that it wasn’t a storm of historic proportions and impacts? No.

          • HonestDebate1

            In 2007 when the report came out there were about 400 that dissented.

            http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport

            Roy Spencer had to threaten a lawsuit to get his name removed.

            By 2009 it was up to 700:

            http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

            By 2011 it was up to 1000:

            http://www.climatedepot.com/2010/12/08/special-report-more-than-1000-international-scientists-dissent-over-manmade-global-warming-claims-challenge-un-ipcc-gore-2/

            That’s not 97% of the touted 2500 “scientist”. But in the 2007 report there were actually only 52 scientist in consensus.

            http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=595F6F41-802A-23AD-4BC4-B364B623ADA3

            And now the IPCC is in full retreat.

          • Ray in VT

            A list and report that includes examples like this:

            http://mind.ofdan.ca/650-prominent-scientists-dispute-climate-change/

            Where when contacted the “dissenter” said that her attached research did not in fact support what Inhofe’s report claimed.

            There’s also this look into who is on that list:

            https://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/650Skeptics.HTM

            Maybe you could give me your ten fold list of “scientists” who think it’s a hoax again.

            Spencer, who signed onto a petition saying that “Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting,admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.” There’s an honest look at the science.

            Once again, I am underwhelmed by your “scientists” and evidence, as is the peer reviewed scientific literature.

          • HonestDebate1

            Cool, believe what you want.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ll stick with the scientists. You can have the fossil fuel industry backed groups and the creationists.

          • HonestDebate1

            What do you have against the fossil fuel industry and creationist?

          • Ray in VT

            As for the former regarding the subject at hand nothing much, as long as they aren’t pushing bogus “studies” from places like Heartland, and as for the latter, if one is willing to deny other major scientific principles left and right, then one probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously with this. Like why should I believe people who deny or downplay the negative impacts of cigarette smoke after all these years. You might be surprised to find out how many major names in climate “skepticism” tow that line.

          • HonestDebate1

            Didn’t you recently ask me to cite a time when you have ridiculed Christians?

            “…if one is willing to deny other major scientific principles left and right, then one probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously with this.”

          • Ray in VT

            So, it is ridiculing Christians to question their scientific stances when they reject basic science?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I don’t believe in science. I accept the science as it is our best understanding of reality.

            If you are standing with the Daily Mail, then you are foolish.

          • HonestDebate1

            The best I can do there is to say I am assuming the report has actually been leaked and they have it. Time will tell if that is a foolish choice, so you could be right. I am not looking to them for the science, only the reporting of what the IPCC has concluded. I have not known the Daily Mail to be liars but I’m only a casual reader of their work. I am giving the journalism the benefit of the doubt because of my long held beliefs about the 2007 report. This makes perfect sense to me and in fact, if true, it raises my regard for the IPCC.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They are probably MAKING IT UP.

            IF anybody did leak it, they shot themselves in the foot by giving it to the Daily Mail…

          • HonestDebate1

            We’ll see but we do know the models for 2007 report were made up or at the very least very wrong. That’s my point.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sandy peaked at a category 3 hurricane. That is NOT EVEN CLOSE to historic. The impact on the Northeast was historic but the hurricane didn’t know the area was populated.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Sandy was about 1,100 MILES across IIRC, and it had historically low pressure, too.

          • Ray in VT

            But it wasn’t a hurricane when it made landfall, so no biggie, right?

          • HonestDebate1

            I was talking with someone I’m working for in NY last night. Sandy was a tragedy and people are still homeless. Don’t discount the horrible devastation.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Are you purposely ignoring his sarcasm?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Why? It doesn’t help your argument.

          • HonestDebate1

            Honestly? Because people telling me what I think is a bugaboo of mine and I don’t think Ray is helping HIS argument by being sarcastic.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s hard to help any argument against you when you choose to use bogus or misleading sources or quotes or just choose not to believe evidence when presented.

          • Ray in VT

            But it wasn’t a category 3 when it made landfall, so, as the Daily Mail seems to indicate, no biggie.

          • Ray in VT

            So, a 1,000ish mile wide storm that costs billions of damage across a large swath of land such as it did is not historic? Storms with far higher wind speeds have caused far less havoc. Could high winds alone have caused the devastating floods that Sandy did? Certainly not.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The Great Gale of 1821 had sea levels 3.4 feet higher than Sandy (relative to tide levels). What were the CO2 levels in 1821?

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/02/a-reply-to-hurricane-sandy-alarmists/

          • HonestDebate1

            I hope your messenger is wearing a bullet-proof vest.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Anthony Watts is not a credible source. In fact, you have defeated yourself by citing him.

          • HonestDebate1

            Clockwork.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What scientific paper(s) has he published?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            He has published peer reviewed papers on UHI effects. Sorry to disappoint you.

            However, he was not the author of the link I posted. You may have missed that when you read the article.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Show me the papers.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hey Neil, there is an amazing new invention. It is called the internet.

            OK, I’ll be nice this time.

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/publications-and-projects/

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            All the sources I trust have totally debunked everything that Anthony Watts has ever written or said on the climate.

            How is his own web site credible at showing me his published peer reviewed paper(s)?

            You claim he has published peer reviewed papers – show me the papers. I’m not going to do your legwork.

            Every climate scientist – all scientists I know of actually – all accept anthropogenic climate change. And here comes this anonymous person on the Internet (you) saying that I need to trust Anthony Watts (who is not a trained scientist with a degree), and eschew all the scientists I know of.

            Yeah right.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I just showed you the papers and yet you still attack. Lame.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            How is a self published paper peer reviewed? If his “peers” totally debunked his “papers” would he tell you?

            Next!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Neil what do you know about the Great Gale of 1821? Is there anything inaccurate in the post?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Anthony Watts trumpeted the BEST study headed by Dr. Richard Mueller *before* it was published and he said he would accept it’s conclusions.

            When the BEST study results were published – confirming that climate change is happening and that it is largely being caused by humans – Anthony Watts rejects the BEST study.

            Anthony Watts has an agenda. Anthony Watts is not a credible source.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, it’s good to know that any historical example gets to refute anything current event. It was hotter when the dinosaurs walked the Earth, so how can man be affecting climate? How is the Web’s favorite climate “expert” who lacks (as far as I have been able to determine) any degree in anything? Is he still pushing that charge that NOAA either screwed up on or manipulated the temperature record?

          • HonestDebate1

            I said the damage was historic. But that is irrelevant to the hurricane. If the exact same storm hit the exact same spot 500 years ago there would have been zero cost involved. And speaking of floods, remember Katrina? It was not the rain that caused the floods it was the levies GWB blew up.

          • Ray in VT

            A 1,100 mile wide storm that drops that much water on a place seems pretty historic to me, and address my question regarding whether or not we should consider this to be a lesser storm because it lacked windspeed.

            Bush blew up the levies? I never knew. Maybe that’s why FEMA sat on its laurels in 2005 and Juan Williams said that race was a factor in the response to the storm.

          • HonestDebate1

            Historic to you? How old are you? And lesser storm than what?

          • Ray in VT

            Old enough to know fact from cr*p and old enough to be able to tell the difference between valid research and the sham put out by industry funded groups.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you consider the 2007 IPCC report to e valid research?

          • Ray in VT

            It is more of a report on other research than actual research itself, but I think that it is far more valid than the NIPCC or whatever puts out.

          • HonestDebate1

            That wasn’t my question.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s more valid than the sources that you care to push.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      How’s the climate you are living in doing? Where does your food and water come from? What happens to your waste? Where does the energy you use come from?

      What causes the weather where you are? Does water evaporate more quickly when it is warmer, or does it obey the Laws of Belief in a bubble around you?

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s a beautiful day here and it’s been a very mild summer but that doesn’t mean much.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          That’s the weather. The climate where you are is the same as where I am.

          Care to answer the rest?

          • HonestDebate1

            If you have a point then make it. I don’t see what the questions have to do with anything, they are axiomatic.

            But here you go:

            The grocery store and the faucet
            It goes to the septic tank
            The outlet on the wall
            I don’t live in a bubble

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            If you look at the complete answers – your food and water and the energy you use all come from the entire environment, and you and I are entirely dependent on the climate.

            Water evaporates more quickly in warmer temperatures, and when it evaporates, it absorbs some heat. We are seeing about 4% more evaporation now, and so this means that we will see more drought, and stronger rains. The jet stream is strongly affected by the changes in the Arctic, and so storms have changed from the patterns.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree with all of that Neil. That’s why I got testy about your questions that seemed to assume I did not. My only quibble is with your saying we are seeing about 4% more evaporation now without a baseline. Is it 4% more than yesterday, last year, a decade, a century, a millennia or and eon ago?

            All I am saying is the 2007 report was highly flawed.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            We have a baseline. That’s how we know that there is now more evaporation.

            Ocean level is about 8″ higher on average, than it used to be. And the ocean is more acidic. The global surface temperatures are increasing (about 0.8C since 1850) and the ocean temperature is also significantly higher.

            Science is never perfect, but as long as it gets better over time, then that is good. We answer some questions, and that always raises more questions.

          • HonestDebate1

            Again, what is “used to be”? I just started working on the music for a film project about the 14th century and have been researching the time period. The 1300′s were when the earth transitioned from the medieval warm period to the little ice age. In the context of time the 14th century was just yesterday.

            And also again, I was pointing out that the science is getting better from the 2007 4th assessment report to the current 5th report. So I agree.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The scientists who are working on this have the specifics. We have huge amounts of data from many sources that overlap, and these are the scientific results.

            Neil

          • HonestDebate1

            So is it an eon?

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    Whether global warming has an anthropogenic component or not, one thing is clear: when the mean temperature rises, so does the variance about the mean. The problem isn’t so much the average temperature as the extremes that occur once or twice a year.

    With global warming, the extreme weather events are more severe.

    • HonestDebate1

      The lack of hurricanes thus far this season is more good news.

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        Meantime the Pacific is having a hell of a time with tropical storms this year.

        • HonestDebate1

          True but you were talking about extreme weather. Tropical storms are not extreme.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Some of them are quite extreme.

            Please remember that climate change has several effects on tropical storms, and at least two of them tend to counteract each other – more moisture and wind sheer, to be precise.

          • HonestDebate1

            When a tropical storm gets extreme it becomes a hurricane then it can work on becoming an extreme hurricane.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They call them cyclones in the Pacific – it is just a name. Tropical storm is a generic term.

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

            The floods in Acapulco are no cakewalk.

            They have alligators doing the watusi there.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s funny, it’ll be on Youtube before you know it!

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort
          • ash street

            In terms of wind speed and low pressures, not comparable to a hurricane or typhoon. In terms of rainfall, tropical storms can be soakers, deadly with floods and landslides. Consider both coasts of Mexico this past week.

  • creaker

    People like to dismiss action on climate change and severe weather by dismissing “global warming” – argue and dismiss global warming all you want, we still have to deal with the realities of climate change and severe weather. But people are more concerned about how it will affect taxes, the value of their beach front, flood plain, and fire zone properties, and the next quarter’s profits – so they argue that it’s just not happening.

    • thequietkid10

      No the question is, will the weather be so much worse that it we would be better off committing economic seppuku, now.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        …if you think leading the new energy technology is “seppuku” and higher fossil fuel costs are worse than being underwater, good luck to you.

        • thequietkid10

          Oh don’t get me wrong, I hope there is a viable alternative to fossil fuels out there (probably fusion) and I hope there is someone out there who has such a grasp of the grid that they could turn every home in this country into a mini solar power plant. (more likely to see that, in my opinion, if we privatize the grid).

          But hope and feel good government policies are no substitute for economic and scientific realities.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Economic reality is Katrina, Sandy etc. and worse to come.

            Fusion is not scientific reality but solar and conservation are.

      • creaker

        It is – but it’s easier just to deny it because it puts off taking any possible action.

  • TFRX

    What’s downstream?

    We’re hearing of splooge in the water. Where’s it going, who irrigates with it in the Great Plains?

    • jimino
    • fun bobby

      who has been splooging in the river seems like an important question as well

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Fracking operations and other oil operations have leaked into the flood waters, along with many sewer systems.

        • fun bobby

          whose splooge is it? a man should take responsibility for his splooge

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Public sewage and industry, like oil and fracking companies – you read my post, right?

          • fun bobby

            it would seem like we could trace the splooge to the exact people responsible for it so they should have to wipe it up.sorry, I just think the word splooge is funny.

  • injun2

    NPR had two separate stories the last two weeks; one about how we are halfway thru a 30 year global cooling period due to the Pacific being extremely cold and absorbing heat, and wildfires the last 10 years are 40-50% of the 100 year average. Connection?

  • thequietkid10

    Climate change made this storm 5% worse then ti would have been….EVERYONE PANIC, CLIMATE CHANGE IS GOING TO KILL US ALL!

    • DeJay79

      why when faced with real problems must your response be either “do nothing, there is no problem” or “PANIC!”

      how about a reasonable thoughtful solution?

      • thequietkid10

        how about a reasonable thoughtful solution?

        Great Idea, I got two….

        1. not driving the cost of energy in this country through the roof
        and
        2. not passing some symbolic measure that only accomplishment is showing how much your elected representatives cares?

        • DeJay79

          so 1. do nothing
          and 2. do nothing.

          neither of those sound like solutions to me.

  • MsAbila

    Is anyone going to talk about the effects of deforestation in the Rockies?

    Deforestation is a major part of experiencing floods.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      They just mentioned the pine bark beetle and drought and fires – these have had strong effects on the flooding being worse.

      • MsAbila

        I posted my comments just before they started talking about it…

  • J__o__h__n

    Where is Ed today? I was wondering why god caused this one.

    • Ray in VT

      DOMA got repealed. That’s my guess.

      • keltcrusader

        AND the Pope said that they don’t need to talk all the time about abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.
        I think perhaps Ed’s head may have exploded!

        • Ray in VT

          My wife said that she really likes the Pope’s outlook on some of these economic issues, and I have to agree with her. We may not agree with him on a lot of the Church’s positions, but I think that he has some good perspectives regarding inequality and greed.

          • keltcrusader

            I must say, for a non-believer, he has come out with some pretty astonishing and impressive ideas since being elected, but not enough to make me backtrack on religion in general. I can only hope his fellow churchgoer’s follow his lead and start acting in the fashion Jesus exemplified.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, he doesn’t seem too bad, and on a number of things I much prefer the Catholic Church to the American Evangelical churches.

          • keltcrusader

            I take it back, he has already changed his mind and decided he does need to speak out on it after all. That didn’t take long :(

    • fun bobby

      they closed the cannabis dispensaries in Ft Collins?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Thank God the ‘experts’ aren’t falling into the anti-science blame global warming trap.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What are you on about? What science says the climate is not warming?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I’m just happy their weren’t conflating weather with the impact of CO2 emissions.

        As you know(I hope) there hasn’t been any statistical warming in the last 17 years (20 years if you use the satellite temperature records).

        If you are interested I’ll refer you to this article discussing the latest IPCC report. Please keep an open mind.

        “Dodgy statistics and IPCC Assessment Reports”
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/17/dodgy-statistics-and-ipcc-assessment-reports/#more-93954

        And also this illuminating comment posted by a Duke Physics Professor with expertise in statistical analysis.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/17/dodgy-statistics-and-ipcc-assessment-reports/#comment-1419670

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          The climate is “still” warming. This is a worn out canard, and it has been debunked again again and again.

          It is still wrong, no matter how many times you say it. Anthony Watts is lying to you.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Sorry Neil, the climate science community disagrees with you about the warming.

            Again, this was not written by Mr. Watts. It was posted at his web site. When Krugman writes at the NYTimes it is written by Krugman — not the NYTimes. The NYTimes might write the headline. That’s it.

            You appear to have bought into some sort of anti-Watts propaganda. Watts just wants to get the science right. He is really an enviro nut — he owns solar panels and electric cars. He doesn’t always get it right but there is some good science at his site. Given the propaganda out there his site is quite useful.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What part of the word “debunked” don’t you understand?

            The climate is warming. Global surface average temperatures are still rising, as are the deep ocean temperatures. The upper atmosphere is cooling – as expected – because carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses are slowing the rate at which heat escapes back out into space.

          • HonestDebate1

            If you say so then it must be true.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK I’ll play. Who debunked the fact that there has been no statistical warming?

            Please let Dr. Phil Jones know about your finding. He’ll be sure to update his comments based on your input.

  • featherheather

    Wisconsin has a flood mitigation program called Greenseams currently operating in the Greater Milwaukee area.

    It is a collaborative effort between the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District and The Conservation Fund. Land is purchased, mostly agricultural, restored to predevelopment conditions, often restoring wetlands, and is preserved. It is a visionary, proactive, and noteworthy program.

    http://www.conservationfund.org/projects/greenseams-green-infrastructure-milwaukee/

  • CJ12345

    I did not hear Sue Minter describe one of the problems with the response to Irene flooding in Vermont. It was a disaster for those affected, but it was also highly localized. In the days and weeks following the flooding, there was an over-exuberance in dredging rivers for gravel, causing a good deal of damage to the river ecosystems, and intensifying future flood events.

    Demonstrating the effectiveness of government was a motivation revealed in the response to Irene. This fueled an overexuberance in trying to rebuild the infrastructure of the old economy (even though somewhat stronger). Greater reflection on the future might have led to a less muscular response in Vermont.

    Floods are Nature’s message to humans, “Run away, and don’t come back.” That message applies to all human development, buildings *and* roads.

    • fun bobby

      you cant always run away from your probems

  • Michiganjf

    YES!

    Wealthy developers… glad you mentioned them on the program!

    Wealthy developers buy mountains, build on them, and make a fortune selling the homes to dupes, who get to pawn off the bad bets on tax-payer disaster relief and on all who payer higher insurance premiums as a result of risk-prone development practices.

    These idiot developers don’t understand, in the least, the principals of erosion and how to prevent it around development… in fact, their destructive building practices often ensure higher erosion rates and/or probability.
    …and, of course, they just want to squeeze money out of a project quickly, so they’re not interested in the long-term quality of the developments they sell.

    I watched a program recently about Incan terracing on Machu Pichu, built hundreds of years ago.
    They built in an area that gets some of the highest amounts of rainfall on the planet, yet their terracing remains intact and near perfect hundreds of years later!
    They reinforced mountainsides and engineered highly sophisticated drainage systems, which still work as intended to this day!

    The technology exists to build safely and durably in mountainous regions, but today’s developers don’t bother, as all that matters is their profit line.

    Anyone who knows mountains regions knows just how much and how quickly all mountains erode… caliche deposits, rock slides, avalanches, etc… all indicate just how dynamic mountain environments truly are.

    Fire has recently destroyed much of the water-retaining flora around Boulder county, Colorado, and combined with stupidly planned development, entire communities have now been washed away… we all pay for these rich developers folly and greed, and we’ll all continue paying for a long time, just so they can comfortably line their pockets while washing their hands of responsibility.

    This is just one more way the wealthy are allowed to stick it to the rest of us, while reaping all the benefits for themselves.

    Make wealthy developers build properly… at least when they’re allowed to build in high-risk areas!
    … and make sure they somehow have “skin” in every game they play!

    • fun bobby

      lets privatize flood insurance and crop insurance as well and we will see fewer of these issues

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Huh? The private insurance underwriters are fleeing any policies on the coast – and the *only* way to get insurance is through the government backed policies.

        The underwriters *know* that climate change is a serious problem; as do military planners.

        • fun bobby

          good that’s the point. since no one will insure them people will not build on cliffs or next to rivers or beaches. farmers will not plant crops on marginal land and the taxpayer will not be on the hook for these bad decisions

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    I don’t like Jane’s tone of voice. If she doesn’t enjoy interviewing and doesn’t much like people, then why be on air?

  • pauly2468

    The word “strong” will keep appearing in the news.If “strong” means rebuilding in the same old ways,then we need strong,smart and caring i.e caring about not acting in away that will cause these tragedies to occur.

  • MsAbila

    We need to plant trees. Every person should to plant one tree every year. I have planted a few already.

    • HonestDebate1

      I’m on it.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Once again you have to go to the British press.

    “World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just
    QUARTER what we thought – and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong

    Leaked report reveals the world has warmed at quarter the rate claimed by IPCC in 2007

    Scientists accept their computers may have exaggerated”
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/Worlds-climate-scientists-confess-Global-warming-just-QUARTER-thought–computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html#ixzz2fMEyRKQL

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Dr. Judith Curry has the money quote:
      “Head of climate science at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said the leaked summary showed that ‘the science is clearly not settled ,and is in a state of flux’”

      I can’t wait to find out how Neil will attack the creds of Dr. Curry.

      • Ray in VT

        At least they quoted an actual climate scientist, although they went to the predictable short list of skeptics/deniers who actually have good credentials.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I’m not going to gloat now that they are admitting the science isn’t settled.

          That’s been my stance for some time using the Freeman Dyson’s common sense analysis of the science.

          Never mind. I’m going to gloat. LOL.

          • Ray in VT

            There’s plenty of room for debate and revision in the process, and it goes on all of the time. Where’s the mass of climate scientists jumping ship to solar activity or the coming ice age or something?

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly and the IPCC is revising big time.

          • Ray in VT

            So what? It is reflecting current knowledge and recent developments.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Can’t we just celebrate that the world isn’t going to end?

            …and that there is now no need to tax carbon.

            Of course, there will be some that find these results disturbing because they’ve lost an excuse for a money grab.

            Don’t you remember “hide the decline” from climategate? Yes, there are still activists in the science community.

          • Ray in VT

            The long term outlook based upon the current science still ain’t that great, and I don’t recall any findings regarding data manipulation and such coming out of “Climategate”. Perhaps you can direct me to an investigating body that has found wrongdoing regarding the data.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            How about from the ‘warmists’ favorite ‘skeptic’, Dr. Richard Muller:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            And here is a thoughtful essay on ‘hide the decline’ from the aforementioned Dr. Judith Curry.

            http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Do you know what the “hide the decline” phrase is referring to?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes.
            It was also explained in the heritige blog link I posted.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Then, you know that the science is very strong, and this phrase is being taken out of context; and has no affect on the conclusions.

          • Ray in VT

            Muller? You mean the deniers least favorite former skeptic. How’s Watts feeling about him these days?

            I’m not going to defend the actions as described by Dr. Muller, and it, along with the selective consumption of certain types of media/sources, certainly does create distrust in the scientific community, however can you point me to an investigation that found wrongdoing regarding data at the CRU, which is what I asked about.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I believe they had an ‘internal investigation’ that was not conducted by independent parties. AKA white wash.

          • Ray in VT

            Belief is irrelevant here I think. “The fifth and, so far, most thorough major investigation into the
            published mails from the University of East Angia’s Climatic Research
            Unit (CRU) has given the CRU a relatively clean bill of health.”

            http://news.sciencemag.org/2010/07/east-anglia-climate-scientists-largely-cleared-final-major-investigation

            Other investigations found similar things.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Here is the conclusion from one of the investigations that was reported by the MSM as ‘a clean bill of health’.

            They MISLEAD. Just as Muller said.

            “On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a “trick”
            and to “hide the decline” in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show
            evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given
            its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar
            figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the
            WMO Report was Misleading.”

            http://blog.heritage.org/2010/07/08/uk-climategate-investigation-conclusion-hiding-the-decline-was-misleading/

          • Ray in VT

            The rest of that finding (#23) is “We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text.”

            The main findings were:

            13. Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

            14. In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of
            advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.

            15. But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display
            the proper degree of openness, both on the part of the CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA, who failed to recognise not only the significance of statutory requirements but also the risk to the reputation of the University and, indeed, to the credibility of UK climate science.

            and

            19. The overall implication of the allegations was to cast doubt on the extent to which CRU‟s work in this area could be trusted and should be relied upon and we find no evidence to support that implication.

            They also concluded that station selection and analysis was not biased. It would have been nice if Heritage had actually linked to the document:

            http://www.cce-review.org/pdf/FINAL%20REPORT.pdf

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Ray, Heritiage DID link to the final report — in the first paragraph. That is the primary reason I included the Heritage link.

          • Ray in VT

            Whoops. My bad. I saw it, but I guess that I just glazed over for a minute.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            This is also from the report:


            18.
            The scrutiny and re-analysis of data by other scientists is a vital process if
            hypotheses are to rigorously tested and improved. It is alleged that there has
            been a failure to make important data available or the procedures used to
            adjust and analyse that data, thereby subverting a crucial scientific process.

          • Ray in VT

            Is that from a later part? It isn’t 18 in the findings.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, it was in their ‘open’ question section.

            btw – there was some criticism of the composition of the panel in that they were all strong believers in the AGW hypothesis.

            You can read a list of gripes here.
            http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2010/09/14/the-shoddy-climategate-inquiries/

            Including:

            “The panel appear to have exonerated CRU staff of undermining the peer
            review process without any evidence beyond unrecorded statements from
            Phil Jones. The panel themselves acknowledge that such uncorroborated
            testimony is inadequate.”

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, I saw that, and it does appear that they can to a conclusion regarding that.

            I’m sure that this is plenty of criticism regarding just about anything online, especially when it comes to climate change. I guess that the question boils down to whether or not the criticism is legitimate, and I’m not so sure that I’m willing to take Donna Laframboise’s (of whom I have not previously heard) word for it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well, it is one of many critiques ‘online’ but I take your point.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, that’s the thing. It seems like anyone and everyone has a blog, a site or a social media feed. What was it the other day that I criticized the Examiner (I think) for citing social media for. Was it the Dana Perino thing? The same could be said regarding Miss America. There’s plenty of d*cks online, and some of them are going to mouth off about just about anything on a given day.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What was the conclusion of the BEST study, that Dr Muller headed, and was paid for by the Koch brothers?

            Hmmm…

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I think there were 9 investigations, and ALL of them clear them of any scientific problems.

            So, serious investigations, and no there there.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not illegal to make bogus reports.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah. It’s totally legal to dupe as many rubes as you can.

          • HonestDebate1

            … as the IPCC has proven.

          • Ray in VT

            You left the H out.

          • jfreed27

            CAn’t we just take precautions just in case 40,000 professional climate (and other) real publishing scientists are on to something, that the Armchair scientists don’t always agree on? You know, just in case the deniers missed something?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            40,000 climate scientists?
            Where?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        No science is ever 100% settled. That is the nature of science. Test and retest and test again.

        Ms. Curry was interviewed on NPR recently:

        http://www.npr.org/2013/08/22/213894792/uncertain-science-judith-currys-take-on-climate-change

        And if she is the best argument you can find, then your argument is weak.

        The next day (August 23rd) All Things Considered interviewed Kevin Trenberth, who “represents” the vast majority of climate scientists:

        http://www.npr.org/2013/08/23/214198814/the-consensus-view-kevin-trenberths-take-on-climate-change

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I’m still not sure what issue you have with Dr. Curry. She appears to be a responsible scientist.

          From your NPR article:

          “But in the years since then, she’s soured on the scientific consensus
          about climate change. Her mantra now is, “We just don’t know.””

          Sounds about right.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            She is entitled to her opinion. She is one scientist, however. The IPCC is written by over 2,000 scientists.

            Did you listen to the Kevin Trenberth story, too?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Kevin “missing heat” Trenberth? No. Do you recommend it?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            We now know the “missing heat” is in the deep ocean. We now have underwater sensors that are measuring things deep under the ocean that we did not have before.

            We also now have the GRACE satellites that we did not have before, and that data, too is reinforcing what we have already.

            Another new data source are the systems that are measuring the sun. Science is a continuing learning process. Dr. Trenberth is a skeptical scientist, just like all good scientists, and he rightly raised good questions – as have all the other thousands of scientists.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “We now know the “missing heat””

            Neil you are confusing a hypothesis with knowledge or proof. Oh, did they figure out how the ‘heat’ sunk and also evaded the sensors on the surface of the ocean while it was sinking?

            But I’ll check out Dr. Trenberth’s interview when I get a chance. Thanks.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The data show it.

            Do you have a better explanation?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No, I don’t.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      “The IPCC draft report says it’s “extremely likely” that human influence caused more than half of the warming observed since the 1950s, an upgrade from “very likely” in the last IPCC report in 2007.

      The panel also raised its projections for sea level rise to 10-32 inches (26-81 centimeters) by the end of the century. The 2007 report predicted a rise of 7-23 inches (18-59 centimeters).

      Continued carbon emissions at or above current rates “would induce changes in all components in the climate system, some of which would very likely be unprecedented in hundreds to thousands of years,”

      Sounds right to me. And nobody who is used to analyzing noisy data would get excited abt the decrease in recent short term warming. Sure looks like noise in the overall warming trend.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Perhaps a death rattle for those who still kneel at the warmist altar. Time is on the side of real science.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          LOL, you have never done anything but rebroadcast whatever fits your preconception, ignoring the massive evidence pointing in the other direction. If it makes you happy, enjoy.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Tomk, glad I could give you a chuckle. However, I try to offer information to counter the consensus propaganda because folks won’t find it in the MSM. I provide this as a service for those that are open minded because they may not have seen it.

            Repeating the warmist propaganda drivel into the echo chamber isn’t very interesting — is it?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Worried, when you use blogspeak like “warmist” it’s hard to take you seriously.

            What you don’t find in the MSM is that almost all scientists think we’re warming the planet. Instead you get false equivalency.

            You have reached the astonishing conclusion that scientists who do the work they love for little pay are less trustworthy than those funded by the fossil fuel industry.

            I’m a scientist, tho not a climate scientist, but I have lots of experience modeling complex phenomena and interpreting data. I make my own judgements with no reference to the media.

            Complex systems produce noise on top of any long term trends. It’s expected that the signal will be above the smooth trend sometimes and below sometimes. If you are going to get all excited when this happens, you better not watch the stock market.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            That’s rich. You start your reply complaining about the term ‘warmist’ when you use the term ‘denier’.

            My analysis has always been that the climate science field is in its infancy and that the science certainly isn’t settled.

            Regarding the scientists in the climate field, I am certain that many are honorable and trustworthy. I am also equally certain that there are activists in the field that are pushing a political agenda. Given the nature of the field it probably attracts activist types. The combination of immature science and activist scientists is certain to produce some bad outcomes.

            If you have experience modeling complex systems then you have good reason to be skeptical of the claims of proving the AGW hypothesis with 95% certainty based on those models. The earths climate is an incredibly complex system.

            It appears that the chickens are now coming home to roost — to paraphrase a former Obama spiritual mentor.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Climate change deniers are some of the same people who denied that smoking causes cancer.

            Climate change deniers are some of the same people who deny evolution.

            Climate change deniers are some of the same people who deny that the earth is ~4.54 billion years old.

            Climate change deniers are some of the same people who deny that HIV causes AIDS.

            Climate change deniers are some of the same people who deny that President Obama was born in Hawaii.

            ***

            Climate change is real, and all the data indicate that the climate is warming and that it is largely because we humans are burning fossil fuels.

            This is reality.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Neil you really need to get out more often. You have a twisted view on reality — thus the straw men.

            Skepticism is a healthy part of the scientific process.

            The pace of warming is neither extreme nor dangerous. However, 2C of cooling could have devastating effects.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Thanks for your anonymous reassurance – I’m totally convinced to ignore the vast majority of scientists, and my own scientific knowledge, and take your word for it. Not.

            The fate of all life on earth depend on our informed response to climate change. Excuse me if I follow my own moral compass and our best understanding of reality.

            Neil

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Feel free to do as you like.

            Just don’t ask me to spend tax dollars … or actually more borrowed money … to tilt at windmills.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            We live in a democracy (in theory) and if we spend money to invest in infrastructure, then it will more than pay for itself.

            Do you think that the GI Bill and the national highways and bridges and railways and the Internet – were not worthwhile and important?

            We are now spending *lots* of money supporting oil companies – do you also object to this spending?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            The current far right wd oppose all our great past national projects. We’re still using some that were built in the Great Depression. 80 yrs of use buys a lot of payback. The payoff in technology from the space program is immeasurably greater than the cost. Facts don’t matter to them.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I have said over and over that you can’t be sure of a model of anything as complex as climate. And I have said over and over that you don’t need a fancy model to know that more CO2 means more heat, which has to go somewhere. Maybe it varies among heating the atmosphere, heating the ocean, melting ice…who cares? It’s gonna cause trouble eventually.

            What we know with no models is that CO2 has shot up since industrialization, much more sharply recently, and it’s due to human activity from isotope analysis. History indicates the earth has been very hot with this level of CO2. That’s enough for me.

            I know you try ‘splainin that away. The blogs say that temp rises before CO2. You have reasons why CO2 doesn’t really matter this time. You will repeat endless that correlation is not causation. You obviously desperately want to believe there is no problem.

            But get real. When you see a big fat correlation threatening your life, like smoking and cancer, do you ‘splain it away or take steps to protect yourself? Come on!

            (Hey I wrote the next stuff below I looked at Neil below, sorry, LOL)

            Of course, the corporate propaganda on smoking was exactly like what I’m hearing now about CO2. Change a few words and you have the same nonsense. I remember “cancer causes smoking”, ie if you are prone to cancer you will have a craving for nicotine. Now let cancer=warming and smoking=CO2 and you’ve got a good denier blogpost.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Pleeeeaze. Smoking is not a good analogy because CO2 is not a direct pollutant in these quantities. In fact, it is a necessary requirement to plant life.

            CO2 emissions have increased 25% since 2000 and yet global temperatures have plateaued. How much longer will this trend need to continue for you to recognize that the models were wrong?

            There are other open questions:
            – what is the ideal global temperature
            – what is the ideal CO2 levels
            – IF CO2 is deemed an issue are there mitigation techniques that will be more beneficial to society vs. short term limits on CO2
            – what about water vapor — a more potent green house gas? Why focus on CO2?

            I acknowledge that we need to transition off fossil fuels but not because of CO2 or climate change. Fossil fuels — especially oil — carry environmental and geo-political risks. They are not renewable and costs are bound to increase. Therefore we need to transition to cost effective alternatives. I don’t believe artificially putting a premium on CO2 is the way to get there because you’ll waste tremendous resources on nonsense boondoggles like carbon capture and storage.

          • davidd108

            What is not understood well is that we are living in a non-linear reality. This is the current physics friends. And that means that there are pre-determined thresholds that we do not get to choose. Water will transform to steam when and it is reaches the threshold; water to ice it the same thing. The old Western reductionistic science (thinking we understand the whole by studying the parts) is still quite entrenched, inside us as it were, and so many are seeing our planetary changes from the past.

            This is why it has been said the ‘humanity is backing up into its future’! The way our nervous system has developed (neuroplasticity: the brain learns from its own experience) is with very powerful defense mechanisms that often prevent us from really being able to use our mammalian instincts to ‘sense’ what is ACTUALLY happening in real time. Western man has evolved to believe what his thoughts are saying are accurate; and denies his own direct, personal, sensed experience.

            It is all about thresholds (called state changes or phase shifts in physics), upward or downward. Ergo, we could find ourselves in a downward planetary shift and begin to see weather patterns that we have no experience with and that our computer models (all based on the ‘past’ like our thought process) cannot process.

            It seems that fear of death really does drive us and so we are so well defended that we cannot even recognize what is actually happening to our delicate planet and all its delicate species. We are not any different from the dinosaur; who went extinct because they were unable to analyze their predicament.

            DD

        • nj_v2

          You wouldn’t know real science if it bit you in the ass.

    • nj_v2

      More blatant disinformation from the scientifically illiterate, denialist shill posse.

      Trying desperately to be taken seriously, The Worried One feigns worldliness by invoking a foreign source, and then hilariously claims that the Daily Mail represents “the British press.”

      Conservative, corporate, anti-science denialists led by intellectually bankrupt groups like the Heartland Institute have been falling over themselves trying to misrepresent, cherry pick, and distort the upcoming IPCC report.

      Bottom line:

      “The fifth assessment by the IPCC, the world’s leading scientific advisory body on global warming, is expected to conclude with at least 95 percent certainty that human activities have caused most of earth’s temperature rise since 1950, and will continue to do so in the future. That’s up from a confidence level of 90 percent in 2007, the year the last assessment came out.”

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/19/ipcc-report-sceptic-groups-anti-science-campaign

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Another death rattle.

        It’s over. The political movement is dead.

        Now the scientists can get back to advancing their immature field without distractions.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Climate science has been around about 185 years.

          Plate tectonics is just ~101 years old, and DNA is ~61 years old. Ya’ just can’t trust these young scientific fields …

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Gee Neil, please tell us how long they’ve been producing dire predictions based on computer models? 185 years?

            The beauty is we just need to wait a few years to see if they got it right. Oh wait, we did wait a few years and they were WRONG.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            What makes you think you are correct and the vast majority of climate scientists are wrong?

            No science is completely 100% certain, but climate science is, like every other field of science, learning as we go. The big picture is clear, and most of the uncertainties are in how much the feedback will amplify the warming. We know a lot from what has happened in the past, but this time around, things are changing *much* more quickly than in the past, and this means we can’t be certain if the climate will warm 2C in the next 100 years or 4-5C.

            When a doctor gives you a serious diagnosis like cancer, there is never 100% certainty what will happen. But are you going to ignore it?

            If scientists tell us that a very large asteroid is probably going to strike the earth in 2042, would we ignore it?

            Neil

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Neil,
            I understand your point of view. However, there is another side. There is a reason to be cautious when the ‘cure’ requires extraction of $trillions from the economy on such slim evidence. Also, when the leading cheerleader of the chicken little movement jets around a private plane are we to believe that Al Gore actually believes the alarmism?

            I never said I knew. But it is fairly clear that the ‘scientists’ don’t really know either.

            Also, my litmus test to call out true believers is testing their stance on nuclear power — the only scalable, affordable baseline CO2 free power source. If we are in crisis mode then you should support build out of nuclear. James Hansen is thus a true believer.

            btw – I understand the need to eventually move off fossil fuels – just not at the expense of the poor and economic growth. Personally, I’ve driven a hybrid since 2006.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            All investments in infrastructure cost money. The fact that climate change will cost even more is far more important.

            We have a second very compelling reason to switch to renewable energy – in addition to climate change:

            Fossil fuels are by definition – FINITE.

            We are probably past peak oil, and may be approaching peak coal, and peak gas, as well.

            Why else would we be using tar sands bitumen? Why else would we be drilling in super deep water sites? Why are we attempting to start drilling for oil in the Arctic? Why are we fracking for gas, and fracking for oil?

            The much higher costs of these have already put solar PV and wind power on par with coal.

            There are TWO other *huge* costs of fossil fuels that we are not accounting for:

            Pollution of the “ordinary” sort, like mercury and fly ash and oil spills and ground water contamination – among many others – are costing us trillions of dollars *already*.

            Military costs in lives and dollars to protect our oil supply is almost beyond counting.

            Yet another major problem that is at the intersection between climate change and pollution and fossil fuels – is FOOD production. Soil erosion and fossil water use alone are enough for us to stop factory farming, and when you add the natural gas-to-fertilizer-to-poisoned rivers-to-dead zones in the ocean-to-nitrous oxide as a very powerful greenhouse gas – factory farming simply has to stop; or we risk famine and starvation of millions of people.

            So, the renewable energy piece is actually the *easiest* thing we have to deal with. And it solves at least TWO major problems at once.

            Neil

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t agree with some of your statements (like we are past peak oil) but you raise some good points. You left out the biggest intersection between food production and ‘climate change’ action and that is the corn ethanol mandates. Not good.

            I’m an all of the above kind of guy. Hopefully, we will develop alternatives that are even cheaper, cleaner, safer, etc.

          • nj_v2

            Unencumbered by reality, The Worried One prattles, “nuclear power — the only scalable, affordable baseline CO2 free power source.”

            Utterly hilarious. Must have got this from The Onion.

      • HonestDebate1

        In 2007 the IPCC did a lot more than cherry pick data NJ. Listen to you!

        You did not refute the IPCC’s claim that what is happening is one quarter of what the fourth assessment report predicted would happen. Instead you cited a completely separate conclusion, and lets assume both are correct. Let’s accept y’alls entire schtick.

        The fact still remains, according to the IPCC, man’s impact on climate is one quarter what they said it would be in 2007. That gives us a lot more time to convince the deniers. It considerably closes the chasm between the extremes on either side. We can eliminate 75% of our worries in one fell swoop. If we can quit freaking out every time it rains, or doesn’t, maybe we can get something done; something that actually helps.

        This report is good news. Is it not?

    • mozartman

      The Daily Mail is a tabloid which publishes first and asks questions later. I would not trust them to be right on climate change. Their job is to sell sensational news to get some advertising revenue. Follow the money….

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Follow the money? I have … and it leads directly to the UN.

        • mozartman

          No, from the coffers of Exxon and Co. into the “campaign funds” of Congress. The UN? You make me laugh. They are broke and their influence is totally exaggerated by paranoid American conspiracy theorists who see a plot to destroy the US behind every oil rig. You should be worried for the country and not worry about the UN. That’s a bunch of blow-heads with big expense accounts that get spent in NYC.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hmmm — ever hear of oil for food and Kofi Anan’s family ties?

            This has always been a money grab opportunity for the corrupt denizens of the UN. They’ve been trying for 50 years.

          • mozartman

            Come on, this is small fry compared to the billions that flow from corporations into PACs and the like. Nobody care about Kofi Who? anymore. He never had any influence over US policies. You are just paranoid and try to deflect form real problems that would require real sacrifices. You just parrot the party line.

            Yes, many UN people are corrupt, mostly those form poor countries where corruption is a way of life. But the US is just as corrupt, only we call it campaign contributions and the voting cattle in this country ignores it. The influence of the UN is totally exaggerated. if it comes to national priorities, no nation takes them seriously. They are debate club, but that’s it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well, we can agree that is plenty of corruption in DC. Three of the most affluent counties in the country.

            Time to drain the swamp and starve the beast. Then the lobbyists will whither and go away. OK, maybe I’m dreaming.

          • mozartman

            I agree, at last. Lobbyists are a pox on democracy and so are Pacs, billions in campaign contributions (aka legal corruption) and other murky recipients of untold billions.

            Alas, you are dreaming and so am I. The D.C. corruption swamp is the safest wetland in the nation.

  • Pax Bobrow

    I have heard the theory that extreme weather fluctuations can, to a small degree, have some effect in evening out the imbalances that have built up around the globe, such as the draining of aquifers, the destruction of the prairies, the loss of wetlands from the blocking of silt and carving of shipping lanes and oil pipeline trenches, etc.. I was wondering if any of the environmental engineers watching the comments here might be able to address that concept, and whether it is possible for humans to bolster those aspects of these extreme weather events, even as we try to adjust our lifestyles and rebuilt more cleverly after they pass.

    For example, would it be possible to help our aquifers recharge by building a system for slowing and redirecting the flow of rain in towns that have depleted groundwater supplies. Could we rebuild mountain roads as cliff side tunnels, rather than slashes into the mountain, and then reforest the outer surface of those tunnels? Can we make a silt pipeline so that all that wonderful mudslide earth doesn’t go to waste and instead is used to heal our river deltas?

    • jfreed27

      nice suggestions. I would expect serious consideration of these ideas.

  • pauly2468

    No worries.It’s just a matter of rebuilding and developing in the flood plains and being firmly resolved to deny climate change( and find those tiny numbers of scientists who cast doubt on it.)
    Just be strong and keep going with sprawl,overdevelopment in fragile places,overreliance on fossil fuel etc.
    Those Europeans avoid sprawl and have far superior public transit networks-overall, much better planning rather than unregulated development but what do they know?

  • buddhaclown

    To the caller who lazily declared, “I just don’t who to believe” . . . it is like this:

    One day you get a lot of pixelation on your computer screen. Right next to you on your left happens to be seated a young computer science major. You ask him, “what do you think is wrong?” He responds, “your video card likely needs to be replaced.” Not liking the implied price tag you turn to other person seated to your right, a little old lady who is sewing, “excuse me, what do you think is wrong with my computer?” She says, “hmmm . . . looks like you spilled some ketchup on the screen, you just need to clean it.”

    So you toss up your hands and proclaim, “I don’t know who to believe!!” There is only one reason you don’t . . . because you, sir, are an idiot.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Poor analogy.

      When the so called experts behave like chicken little for twenty years and tell you that the sky is falling and it didn’t fall it is perfectly natural to question their expertise. Further, if all these dire predictions are based solely on computer models of a highly complex and little understood system one has additional reason to be skeptical of the claims of certainty of the alarmism.

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