Tens of thousands flee Iowa flooding

The governor declares 83 of 99 counties disaster areas as waters continue to rise. The weather is expected to turn foul again.

DES MOINES — Officials on Friday urged tens of thousands of workers and residents to evacuate as rivers across the Hawkeye state continued to flood towns big and small.

Though the National Weather Service expected water levels here in the capital to peak Friday night or early this morning, emergency management officials said they were focused on making sure people were safe and dry in case the situation changed.

“The risk very clearly is that the levee system is extraordinarily taxed right now and anyone in the . . . flood plain is going to be at risk,” Public Works Director Bill Stowe told reporters Friday.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver on Friday declared 83 of Iowa’s 99 counties disaster areas as rivers either reached or were expected to hit historic levels — flowing over soil already saturated from an extremely wet spring. Dozens of roads were closed, along with sections of two major interstates, forcing weary residents to battle congested, hours-long detours to escape the rising waters.

Read moreTens of thousands flee Iowa flooding

Global Warming? Not in the Pacific Northwest

There’s rain on the grill and snow in the passes

UW prof says it’s the coldest spring since 1917

There’s further proof that this spring has been uncomfortably and depressingly cold — the coldest in memory, the coldest since 1917.



Validation came Tuesday from the University of Washington, where Cliff Mass, an atmospheric sciences professor, published his new “barbecue index.”

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls about how unusual this weather’s been,” said Mass. “In roughly 90 years, this is the most ­unpleasant year for being outside and having a barbecue.”

Mass and meteorologist Mark Albright found proof of the pain after reviewing warm spring days since 1894. They tallied the number of spring days above 60 degrees.

“Sixty degrees is a very important temperature,” Mass said. “Most people are fairly comfortable being outside.”

He found that most years have about 42 days of warm weather between March 11 and June 10.

This year, there have been only 23 days with temperatures above 60 degrees.

Not since spring 1917 — when there were only 18 days of warm weather — has there been so many chilly spring days, Mass said.

The first nine days of June are supposed to average about 68 degrees, but this year temps averaged 57 degrees, measured in downtown Seattle. That’s the coldest ever since records started in 1891.

Five Western Washington sites including the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Bellingham all broke records for having daily high temperatures that are very low.

“Our high temperatures this month are closer to our average low than our average high,” meteorologist Dennis D’Amico said.

It’s not just the cold weather that seems weird. Winds whipped up Monday, briefly knocking out power to 20,000 customers in north Snohomish County.

Read moreGlobal Warming? Not in the Pacific Northwest

Water crisis to be biggest world risk

A catastrophic water shortage could prove an even bigger threat to mankind this century than soaring food prices and the relentless exhaustion of energy reserves, according to a panel of global experts at the Goldman Sachs “Top Five Risks” conference.


The melting of Himalayan glaciers threatens the water supply to the world’s rivers

Nicholas (Lord) Stern, author of the Government’s Stern Review on the economics of climate change, warned that underground aquifers could run dry at the same time as melting glaciers play havoc with fresh supplies of usable water.

“The glaciers on the Himalayas are retreating, and they are the sponge that holds the water back in the rainy season. We’re facing the risk of extreme run-off, with water running straight into the Bay of Bengal and taking a lot of topsoil with it,” he said.

“A few hundred square miles of the Himalayas are the source for all the major rivers of Asia – the Ganges, the Yellow River, the Yangtze – where 3bn people live. That’s almost half the world’s population,” he said.

Lord Stern, the World Bank’s former chief economist, said governments had been slow to accept the awful truth that usable water is running out. Fresh rainfall is not enough to refill the underground water tables.

“Water is not a renewable resource. People have been mining it without restraint because it has not been priced properly,” he said.


Water sector outperformance relative to the S&P 500

Farming makes up 70pc of global water demand. Fresh water for irrigation is never returned to underground basins. Most is lost through leaks and evaporation.

A Goldman Sachs report said water was the “petroleum for the next century”, offering huge rewards for investors who know how to play the infrastructure boom. The US alone needs up to $1,000bn (£500bn) in new piping and waste water plants by 2020.

Read moreWater crisis to be biggest world risk

Army: Sun, Not Man, Is Causing Climate Change

The Army is weighing in on the global warming debate, claiming that climate change is not man-made. Instead, Dr. Bruce West, with the Army Research Office, argues that “changes in the earth’s average surface temperature are directly linked to … the short-term statistical fluctuations in the Sun’s irradiance and the longer-term solar cycles.”

In an advisory to bloggers entitled “Global Warming: Fact of Fiction [sic],” an Army public affairs official promoted a conference call with West about the causes of global warming, and how it may not be caused by the common indicates [sic] some scientists and the media are indicating.”

In the March, 2008 issue of Physics Today, West, the chief scientist of the Army Research Office’s mathematical and information science directorate, wrote that “the Sun’s turbulent dynamics” are linked with the Earth’s complex ecosystem. These connections are what is heating up the planet. “The Sun could account for as much as 69 percent of the increase in Earth’s average temperature,” West noted.

It’s a position that puts West at odds with nearly every major scientific organization on the planet. “The American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling,” Science magazine observes. So has the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, for their work on global warming.

West acknowledges that the IPCC and other scientific groups have “conclude[d] that the contribution of solar variability to global warming is negligible.” He argues that these groups have done a poor job modeling the Sun’s impact, however, and that’s why they have “significantly over-estimated” the “anthropogenic contribution to global warming.”

Read moreArmy: Sun, Not Man, Is Causing Climate Change

Comments on U.S. climate change bill

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush on Monday slammed a bill on combating climate change being debated by the U.S. Senate this week. Here are some comments from Bush and other prominent U.S. politicians on the bill:

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: “Today, the Senate is debating a bill called the Warner-Lieberman bill which would impose roughly $6 trillion of new costs on the American economy. There’s a much better way to address the environment than imposing these costs on the job creators which will ultimately have to be borne by American consumers.

“I urge the Congress to be very careful about running up enormous costs for future generations of Americans. We’ll work with the Congress, but the idea of a huge spending bill fueled by taxes (sic) increases isn’t the right way to proceed.”

SEN. BARBARA BOXER, CALIFORNIA DEMOCRAT AND CHAIR OF ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE: “Just when we finally have a chance to get off of Big Oil and foreign oil, you can count on the Bush administration to fight us every step of the way.

CALIFORNIA’S REPUBLICAN GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: “Last year was one of the warmest on record … Climate change does not pause as Congress deliberates the proper way to address the challenge. I urge you and you and your colleagues in the Senate to work together for passage of a bill that, combined with the leadership of states such as California, can help form a truly national climate change strategy.”

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AND NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE: “… We have the first global warming bill in history that is comprehensive, bipartisan and that enjoys support across the country — from labor and agriculture to the business and the environmental communities. Of course the bill needs to be stronger, but it’s vital that Congress begin to act. While it’s important that people change their light bulbs, it’s even more important that we change the laws.”

BILL KOVACS, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: “What is currently drafted just isn’t realistic. Among the bill’s many flaws, the business community recognizes that the necessary technologies aren’t currently available to meet the demands of the bill. So while we reduce use of fossil fuels, what energy sources do we use to run the economy until we develop and deploy the new technologies?

TOM COCHRAN, U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS: “This is a critical time for our nation as we continue to seek solutions for our growing energy crisis and to confront fully the growing global climate change challenge. This new initiative will not only help transform America’s cities, but is a critical part of any successful national effort to reduce carbon emissions.”

Mon Jun 2, 2008 3:54pm EDT

Source: Reuters

Canada’s water crisis ‘escalating’


In Quebec, St. Lawrence water levels were so low this fall in places like Haut Gorge park that water had to be pumped in from Lake Ontario. Photograph by : Allen McInnis, Canwest News Service

Experts expect climate change to present serious water challenges, many of which already exist

In Quebec, St. Lawrence water levels were so low this fall in places like Haut Gorge park that water had to be pumped in from Lake Ontario.

In Quebec, St. Lawrence water levels were so low this fall in places like Haut Gorge park that water had to be pumped in from Lake Ontario.

Canada is crisscrossed by innumerable rivers, some of which flow into three oceans.

Yet Canada’s fresh water isn’t as abundant as you may think. And it’s facing serious challenges and the looming menace of climate change, which is expected to exacerbate Canada’s water problems and leave more of the world thirsting after our precious liquid resource.

“They say you need a crisis before people get jerked into taking responsible action,” says Chandra Madramootoo, a water researcher and founding director of McGill University’s Brace Centre for Water Resources Management.

“When are we going to finally say, ‘Jeez, we’re not as water rich as we thought we were and maybe we better start doing something?’ Is it going to be the day when we [must] ration water?”

Some think the crisis is already here. They say it’s time to take action — by, for example, conserving water, cracking down on polluters, preparing for the effects of climate change and coming to the aid of waterless poor in the developing world.

(Important article! Please continue to read. – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreCanada’s water crisis ‘escalating’

Weather warfare

‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Michel Chossudovsky is a Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and an editor at the Centre for Research on Globalization, www.globalresearch.ca
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Beware the US military’s experiments with climatic warfare, says Michel Chossudovsky

Rarely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the world’s weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.

Environmental modification techniques have been applied by the US military for more than half a century. US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defense, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw ‘forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined’.

During the Vietnam war, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns. The technology, which is being perfected under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), is an appendage of the Strategic Defense Initiative – ‘Star Wars’. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.

Weather-modification, according to the US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report, ‘offers the war fighter a wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary’, capabilities, it says, extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes: ‘Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.’

Read moreWeather warfare

Czech President Klaus ready to debate Gore on climate change

Washington – Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Tuesday he is ready to debate Al Gore about global warming, as he presented the English version of his latest book that argues environmentalism poses a threat to basic human freedoms. “I many times tried to talk to have a public exchange of views with him, and he’s not too much willing to make such a conversation,” Klaus said. “So I’m ready to do it.”

Klaus was speaking a the National Press Building in Washington to present his new book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles – What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?, before meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday.

“My answer is it is our freedom and, I might add, and our prosperity,” he said.

Gore a former US vice president who has become a leading international voice in the cause against global warming, was co-winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Gore’s effort was highlighted by his Oscar winning documentary film An Inconvienent Truth.

Klaus, an economist, said he opposed the “climate alarmism” perpetuated by environmentalism trying to impose their ideals, comparing it to the decades of communist rule he experienced growing up in Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia.

“Like their (communist) predecessors, they will be certain that they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea reality,” he said.

“In the past, it was in the name of the Marxists or of the proletariat – this time, in the name of the planet,” he added.

Klaus said a free market should be used to address environmental concerns and said he oppposed as unrealistic regulations or greenhouse gas capping systems designed to reduce the impact of climate change.

“It could be even true that we are now at a stage where mere facts, reason and truths are powerless in the face of the global warming propaganda,” he said.

Klaus alleged that the global warming was being championed by scientists and other environmentalists whose careers and funding requires selling the public on global warming.

“It is in the hands of climatologists and other related scientists who are highly motivated to look in one direction only,” Klaus said.

Read moreCzech President Klaus ready to debate Gore on climate change

Sunspot cycles may hold key to global warming, cooling

The 2008 winter was the coldest in 40 years for the upper Midwest, Plains states and most of Canada. Minnesota newspapers report that this year’s opening of the locks to Mississippi barge traffic, delayed by three weeks, was the latest since the modern waterway opened in 1940.

Eau Claire, where “old-fashioned winters” have been a thing of the past, recorded 43 days of below-zero temperatures, while folks down in Madison shoveled away at a 117-year record snowfall throughout the season, as did many in New England and Canada.

Rare snowfalls struck Buenos Aires, Capetown, and Sidney during their mid-year winter, while China continually battled blizzards. Even Baghdad experienced measurable snowfall.

Antarctic pack-ice far exceeded what Captain Cook saw on his 18th century voyage into the Southern Ocean. On the continent itself the miles-thick ice continues to accumulate despite peripheral melting along the Antarctic Peninsula and occasional calving of an ice block. At the opposite pole, flow-ice once again spans the entire Arctic Ocean, and by April it had extended into the Bering Strait, making up for the much heralded melt-back last summer.

From January 2007 through the end of January 2008, the average global temperature fell by nearly a degree Fahrenheit, based on data obtained by the MET Office in Great Britain and other international temperature monitoring networks.

What are we to make of this? The recent climate conference held in New York City, sponsored by the Heartland Institute, provides some answers. Several hundreds climatologists in attendance dispelled notions that the global warming debate is over. Most attendees, who readily acknowledge the existence of post-Little Ice Age warming, believe man-made emissions are unlikely to cause major climate change and signed a declaration to that effect.

Read moreSunspot cycles may hold key to global warming, cooling

San Francisco introduces Carbon Tax

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s board of directors on Wednesday approved new rules to charge businesses a fee for the pollution they emit.

The group’s board of directors voted 15-1 on unprecedented new rules that will impose fees on factories, power plants, oil refineries and other businesses that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

The agency, which regulates air pollution in the nine-county Bay Area, will be the first in the country to charge companies fees based on their greenhouse gas emissions, experts say. The new rules will take effect July 1.

The modest fee — 4.4 cents per ton of carbon dioxide — probably won’t be enough to force companies to reduce their emissions, but backers say it sets an important precedent in combating climate change and could serve as a model for regional air districts nationwide.

Read moreSan Francisco introduces Carbon Tax