Thousands in Washington state under voluntary evacuation status after massive flooding


Willie Jensen, 17, paddles a kayak down a flooded street near downtown Snoqualmie, Wash. on Wednesday. Thompson/AP


Josh Myers, 17, carries his sister Nicole, 15, through floodwaters in downtown Snoqualmie.

Thousands of western Washington state residents were primed to evacuate their homes Thursday amid heavy flooding along the region’s rivers and streams.

A state emergency management official offered a silver lining or two, saying some rivers haven’t flooded as badly as expected. But the flooding in western Washington is a danger, a situation has been exacerbated by unseasonably high temperatures that have caused a lot of snow to melt.

“It’s a very significant event,” said Dana Felton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle.

He said the steady rainfall that has brought around 15 inches of rain over the last two days to some regions has come to an end. He said cooler air is moving in, and there will be some light rain that won’t affect waterways.

Kyle Herman, Washington State Emergency Management spokesman, said eight cities are on a voluntary evacuation status.

Related articles:
Flooding forces evacuations, closes highways, mountain passes (Seattle Times)
Melting snow causes heavy flooding in Wash. state (AP):
“More than 30,000 people were told to leave their homes….” (NY Daily News)
Washington residents flee as rivers swell (MSNBC)

They are Orting, Packwood, Randle, Stanwood, Snoqualmie, Naselle, Fife, and parts of Tacoma — areas amounting to roughly 25,000 people. He said there are 20 local emergency declarations in various communities that were prompted by the recent heavy snowfall and rain.

Read moreThousands in Washington state under voluntary evacuation status after massive flooding

Revolt! Robbed of their right to buy traditional light bulbs, millions are clearing shelves of last supplies


End of light as we know it: Millions of Britons are stocking up to grab the last of the traditional bulbs

Millions of Britons are finally waking up to the fact that their beloved light bulb will disappear for good after 120 years.

Traditional 100-watt bulbs are vanishing from the High Street because of a controversial European Union decision.

Yesterday panic buyers were snapping up the remaining bulbs in a last-ditch attempt to stockpile the final supplies. Hundreds of leading supermarkets and DIY chains – including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Homebase – have already sold their last remaining bulbs after a surge in panic buying.

Other stores say they have enough stocks to last until the end of next week.

The supplies are running out after the Government signed up to an EU decision to replace conventional 100w light bulbs with supposedly greener low energy alternatives.

Ministers claim the switch will reduce carbon dioxide by around five million tons each year.

But experts have questioned whether or not the new bulbs, far from being environmentally friendly, are actually harmful.

The low-energy fluorescent bulbs can trigger skin rashes, migraines and epilepsy.

There is also concern because the fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which makes them dangerous to get rid of.

They can also be more expensive. Currently, an average supermarket price for a six pack of standard 60w pearl light bulbs is £1.21, but a single 60w low energy stick light bulb already costs around £2.19.

Retailers stopped replenishing supplies of conventional incandescent 100w bulbs at the start of the year under a ‘voluntary’ Government scheme to force people to buy green compact fluorescent lights.


New light: Energy-efficient bulbs use less energy – but critics say they can cause skin rashes, migraines and epilepsy

But concerns about the poor quality light of low energy bulbs – and the fact that most don’t work with dimmer switches – has led to tens of thousands of people stockpiling supplies.

Read moreRevolt! Robbed of their right to buy traditional light bulbs, millions are clearing shelves of last supplies

Scientists find greenhouse gas hysteria to be myth

‘Global warming may not be occurring in quite the manner one might have imagined’ WND


Figures from the Compo and Sardeshmukh study

As dignitaries from around the world gather for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, attendees are unlikely to champion a recent study that demonstrates oceanic heat levels – and not man-made greenhouse gases – are to blame for increases in temperature on land.

An estimated 9,000 government, media and U.N. officials are meeting in Poznan, Poland, for the conference, discussing possible international action to combat global warming. According to media relations information provided by the conference, “Climate change is already happening, is unequivocal and this change can now be firmly attributed to human activity.”

Not so fast, says a study released earlier this year by Gilbert Compo and Prashant Sardeshmukh of the University of Colorado and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and presented in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics.

According to Compo and Sardeshmukh’s study, all the greenhouse gases humans have dumped in the atmosphere over the last 46 years – the primary factor most climate change proponents cite to blame humans for global warming – haven’t affected land temperatures at all.

The rise in land temperatures, the study states, can be tied directly to increased heat and humidity coming from warmer oceans, which in turn, the study admits, may be caused solely by natural forces.

Read moreScientists find greenhouse gas hysteria to be myth

UPDATE: Scientists Eye Unusual Swarm of Yellowstone Quakes


For three straight days, Yellowstone National Park has been shaken by a serise of small earthquakes. Scientists are watching to see whether the tremors are signaling something bigger to come. (ABC News Photo Illustration)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day Monday, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come. Swarms of small earthquakes happen frequently in Yellowstone, but it’s very unusual for so many earthquakes to happen over several days, said Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

“They’re certainly not normal,” Smith said. “We haven’t had earthquakes in this energy or extent in many years.”

Smith directs the Yellowstone Seismic Network, which operates seismic stations around the park. He said the quakes have ranged in strength from barely detectable to one of magnitude 3.8 that happened Saturday. A magnitude 4 quake is capable of producing moderate damage.

“This is an active volcanic and tectonic area, and these are the kinds of things we have to pay attention to,” Smith said. “We might be seeing something precursory.

Related article:
Yellowstone National Park Hit by Hundreds of Small Earthquakes (Bloomberg)

“Could it develop into a bigger fault or something related to hydrothermal activity? We don’t know. That’s what we’re there to do, to monitor it for public safety.”

Read moreUPDATE: Scientists Eye Unusual Swarm of Yellowstone Quakes

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.


Polar bears will be fine after all Photo: AP

The first, on May 21, headed “Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts” , reported that the entire Alpine “winter sports industry” could soon “grind to a halt for lack of snow”. The second, on December 19, headed “The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation” , reported that this winter’s Alpine snowfalls “look set to beat all records by New Year’s Day”.

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Read more2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

Snow Storms Hit Northern Japan; Flights Are Canceled


Traffic moves during a snow storm in Towada City, Aomori Prefecture, north of Honshu, Japan, on Dec. 26, 2008. Photographer: Yoichi Okuyama/Bloomberg News

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) — Japan Airlines Corp. and All Nippon Airways Co. canceled flights between Japan’s northern islands of Hokkaido and Honshu as snow storms swept across the country, prompting warnings of avalanches and gales.

Japan Airlines canceled 78 flights, leaving more than 11,000 people stranded, a faxed statement from the airline said.

ANA had canceled 109 flights affecting 16,729 passengers, according to company spokeswoman Mie Takeichi said.

Read moreSnow Storms Hit Northern Japan; Flights Are Canceled

Hundreds of Brazil’s eco-warriors at risk of assassination

  • Study marks 20 years since Mendes murder
  • Environmentalists divided over activist’s legacy

Twenty years after the killing of Chico Mendes, one of the world’s most prominent rainforest defenders, hundreds of human rights and environmental activists still face the threat of assassination in Brazil, a new study claims.

The report, compiled by Brazil’s Catholic Land Commission (CPT) and due to be released in full early next year, reveals that at least 260 people, among them a Catholic bishop, live under the threat of murder because of their fight against a coalition of loggers, farmers and cattle ranchers.

The list names Frei Henri des Rosiers, a French priest based in the Amazon town of Xinguara, as a particular target. Police are investigating claims he has a £14,000 price on his head because of his fight against slave labour. Also named are Maria José Dias da Costa, a union leader in the remote town of Rondon do Pará, and an Austrian bishop, Dom Erwin Krautler, who has been under 24-hour police guard for two years because of his battle against developers and child prostitution in his Amazonian diocese.

In February this year, Francisco da Silva, a 51-year-old leader of the landless movement in the Amazon, was killed with a single shot to the head. He had been named in a previous CPT report about rural leaders receiving death threats.

Read moreHundreds of Brazil’s eco-warriors at risk of assassination

Scientists Find Increased Methane Levels In Arctic Ocean

ScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2008) – A team led by International Arctic Research Center scientist Igor Semiletov has found data to suggest that the carbon pool beneath the Arctic Ocean is leaking.

The results of more than 1,000 measurements of dissolved methane in the surface water from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf this summer as part of the International Siberian Shelf Study show an increased level of methane in the area. Geophysical measurements showed methane bubbles coming out of chimneys on the seafloor.

“The concentrations of the methane were the highest ever measured in the summertime in the Arctic Ocean,” Semiletov said. “We have found methane bubble clouds above the gas-charged sediment and above the chimneys going through the sediment.”

Read moreScientists Find Increased Methane Levels In Arctic Ocean