Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

A penny for you cyberthoughts.

062712.jpg By Mike Luckovich
From the Cartoonist Group.

61 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

  1. fj says:

    Now, Romney may be in an even more awkward spot when the climate change debate heats up [pun intended]

    “Romney may be in awkward spot as healthcare debate heats up,0,471209.story

  2. Joan Savage says:

    Drought-affected plants accumulate nitrate in stems, and after the damaged plant has been harvested, the nitrate converts to more toxic nitrite. Cattle can die within hours of eating toxic loads of nitrate or nitrite.

    “Drought-stricken forages a threat to livestock”

  3. Will Fox says:

    Sorry, please ignore my previous comment… slight misunderstanding (!).

  4. Robert Callaghan says:

    There’s been under reported mas cattle deaths in the states and this may be the explanation

  5. Robert Callaghan says:

    Rewilding armed humans by taking away jobs, homes and services is fraught with peril. It’s usually best to send them to ritualized killing theaters in the middle east.

  6. Joan Savage says:

    It’s not always nitrates & nitrites. In one Texas cattle die off, the grass that they had been eating safely in other years began to produce deadly cyanide. It may be a drought-related response of the grass.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    10 great ways to change my heavy carbon footprint lifestyle.


  8. Joe Romm says:

    My spam filter is kind of random now. Plus I lost some internet connection in the DC storm.

  9. Pennsylvania Bob says:

    Has anyone read Bjorn Lomberg’s piece in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs? Titled “Environmental Alarmism — Then and Now” he slams the Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth.” I’ve received it twice now from denier friends. I hope someone here can comment. It might merit a full article in response as it appears to be floating around the denialosphere.

  10. prokaryotes says:

    Exxon & Algae

    Steve Coll discusses what efforts, if any, Exxon is putting into the advancement of biofuel technology. The only criteria for Exxon was, “We won’t invest in anything that requires government subsidies to be competitive. We won’t invest in anything that won’t offer returns consistent with the returns we can make from oil and gas. And we want to invest in anything that doesn’t scale to really the whole global system or at least the whole national system ’cause we’re not interested in small projects. We’re too big to waste our time with small things.”

    Steve Coll, Author, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
    Greg Dalton, Founder, Climate One

    For whatever reason this is just 3 mins long.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Full video

    Craig Venter and Steve Coll on “the Need to Roll the Dice” on Future Energy Sources

  12. Mike 22 says:

    Lomborg trots out the same tired old lie that LTG predicted a near term crash.

    LTG didn’t. On page 23 of LTG, their first conclusion is: “If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years

    Lomborg is such a bs’er.

    Bob, You can get a copy of LTG used, although they’ve gotten pricey, just to wave at your deniers, not that they will bother to read any of it. LTG has held up very well, with many of their charts dead on so far.

  13. prokaryotes says:

    At least 12 deaths blamed on eastern U.S. storms

    Violent storms swept across the eastern U.S., killing at least 12 people and knocking out power to millions of people on a day that temperatures across the region are expected to reach triple-digits.

    The Mid-Atlantic region had already been experiencing 100-degree temperatures before Friday evening’s violent storms. More than 3 million are without power — and without air conditioning —

  14. Mike 22 says:

    Here is an abstract of LTG:

    You can cut and paste the main conclusions in rebuttal.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Surveillance report


    The temperatures increased between 1 August (daily maximal temperature of 25°C) and 5 August (37°C) and maintained themselves at very high levels up to 13 August 2003. They fell abruptly to 28°C between 13 and 16 August [Figure]. Moreover, the high temperatures and the stagnant atmospheric conditions significantly increased ozone levels, with observed concentrations ranging between 130 and 200 µg/m3 in almost every town between 3 and 13 August [1,2].
    The increase in the number of excess deaths followed the same pattern as the increase in temperatures. Nationwide, the impact hit on 4 August, when there were 300 excess deaths. The daily excess rose progressively, reaching 1800 deaths on 8 August and about 2200 deaths on 12 August. It regressed quickly on 13 of August to return to normal levels on 19 August

    The european heatwave mortality was so severe, in part of the synergetic unhealthy ozone levels.

  16. Peter M says:

    The Washington DC area storms looks to be a real extreme event. Over 1.3 million without power.

  17. prokaryotes says:

    Because climate change characteristics are not uniform, the climatic conditions amount from different sources.

    Three digit -several historic record breaking- temperatures and raging wildfires, all contribute to the environmental setup, which can be very unhealthy.

    US Air Quality monitoring:
    Ozone levels have worsened significantly, several stations mainly in the Great lakes region read unhealthy levels, code red during the afternoon (top left). The large smoke plume also reported yesterday from several fires continues to spread and now is reaching the east coast (top right). Most of this smoke is originated in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana where several fires have been taking place for weeks. MODIS true color detected today more fires and smoke plumes in that region (middle). In particular, a broad area of moderately dense smoke extends from Colorado, Wyoming and eastern Montana eastward across the northern Plains into Minnesota where it mixes with clouds in a weather system. The smoke gets caught up in the weather system and has been pulled north over Hudson Bay. Finally, elastic lidar measurements at UMBC show at least three layers of smoke during the day. This smoke was also detected during the past two days but the load of smoke now is way higher that that observed previously.

    And we are just experiencing the very tiny tiny little impacts from what we call climate change – which his here to stay and get much worse.

  18. Mike 22 says:

    Very useful chart here from two months ago, showing how the main projections have held (very well) over forty years.

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The ‘unknown unknowns’ as a loyal servant of the kakistocracy called them. Stability is so last year.

  20. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The food crunch is very near, I fear.

  21. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Lomborg has zero, no make that minus, credibility, save with morons. Unfortunately there has been no crop failure for cretins. Lomborg changes his bulldust from time to time, to keep up his marketability. I would not be at all surprised if he has become a rather rich fellow through his endeavours. The Limits to Growth was remarkably accurate, particularly in regard to the role of pollution as a trigger for the collapse that is currently accelerating. To peddle long exposed misrepresentations is hardly surprising coming from the likes of Lomborg.

  22. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Mike 22, you and the other denizens of the ‘fact-based world’ just do not get it. The Right inhabit a world of revealed wisdom, sacred knowledge that emanates from the torpid depths of their twisted group mind, that collective unconscious where greed is unlimited and ‘God will provide’. ‘God’ here, of course, is their ego-projection, mostly a primaeval id, from which monsters emerge.

  23. Paul Magnus says:

    WounDer hoe those nuke power plants are doing in the heatwave?

    Nuclear power comes to a halt

  24. Mond from Oz says:

    I came into an awareness of climate science a couple of years ago, when I attended a book launch by Clive Hamilton, in Sydney’s academic enclave of Glebe. What I couldn’t understand then, and leaves me totally confused now, is “Why aren’t we screaming?” Why is everyone so goddam polite about this?

    And if the terrible weather consequences now experienced in the US won’t wake us up, what will? This merits shock language: so I ask – what the fuck is going on?

  25. Mike 22 says:

    Mulga, fascinating as your neologisms are, your endless cataloging of the failures of the people in our political systems is of very limited help. These failures are nothing new, there are examples strewn through written history.

    Time runs short, some sort of constructive thinking on your part would be greatly appreciated. Mike

  26. Mond from Oz says:

    To reinforce the bad news, I’ve plotted the decadal atmospheric CO2 concentrations recorded by Pieter Tans at Mauna Loa, from 1958 to (May) 2012 and note the smooth exponential curve, very closely modelled by the equation y = 0.0122x^2 + 0.7867x + 313. (y is atmospheric CO2 in ppmv, x is the year)

    It’s possible to make predictions based on climate scenarios of much greater complexity, but it turns out that simple extrapolations from the graph of atm.CO2 yields very similar results: thus 2048, 483 ppmv and temp. at equilibrium up by 2.2C. 2100? 700 ppmv and 3.6C..

    And I feel that this must be an underestimate. Doesn’t include the effects of substantiasl positive feedback, or the renewed determination to go after growth.

    Short of economic collapse on a global scale, or a *major* climate event in an advanced country, I think we’re stuffed.

  27. Susan says:

    ? what does this comment have to do with anything in the Monbiot article in the Guardian?

  28. J4zonian says:

    I’ll be happy to comment on Lomborg:

    !@$$#%$ #^%$&% &*^%!#@!>*^!%~*^@#%^!@$ #*&%@>@*!@%?/@%&!@$!

  29. J4zonian says:


    While I’m afraid Mike’s comment may be on target here, I’ve enjoyed your black sense of humor and creative phraseology (“denialati”, e.g.). Keep posting. J4.

  30. prokaryotes says:

    ll-time records for any date tied or broken on Friday:

    109° Nashville, TN (old record 107° 7/28/1952
    109° Columbia, SC (old record 107° on two previous occasions)
    109° Cairo, IL (old record 106° on 8/9/1930)
    108° Paducah, KY (ties same on 7/17/1942
    106° Chattanooga, TN (ties same on 7/28/1952)
    105° Raleigh, NC (ties same on 8/21/2007 and 8/18/1988)
    105° Greenville, SC (old record 104° 8/10/2007 although 106° was recorded by the Signal Service in July 1887)
    104° Charlotte, NC (ties same on 8/9 and 10/2007 and 9/6/1954)
    102° Bristol, TN (ties same on 7/28/1952-this site now known as `Tri-State Airport’)
    109° Athens, GA. This is just 1° shy of the Georgia state record for June of 110° set at Warrenton in 1959.

    All-time state June heat records set Friday:

    113° Smyrna, TN (old record 110° in Etowah in June 1936)
    109° Cairo, IL (old record 108° in Palestine in June 1954)

  31. prokaryotes says:

    Fujiwawa effect for tornadoes? Ulala…

  32. Sarsaparilla says:

    So well put J4….

  33. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Both appear to be more than possibilities and will ultimately converge and that may give us more time to do what is necessary. However, there are also those feedbacks you mentioned that we see around us every day and hear about from others. I am reminded of the saying that “there is more than one way to stuff a duck”, ME

  34. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Mike, what positive suggestions I do have are mostly of the sort that would be banned, understandably, as incitements to violence. Self-defensive and self and group-preservative, but unavoidably unpacific. Our fate is sealed unless we overturn the omnicidal system, replace the lunatics and aim to sustain higher life on the planet as the absolute and eternal priority of human civilization. That such trite and incontestable truisms are violated every day, is why I’m so very, very, agitated. If I’m getting boring, please forgive me, but without the therapy I’d be startling the horses with Tourettian public outbursts.

  35. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I can see the denialist spin already. ‘Temperatures have not increased in Chattanooga for sixty years’.

  36. prokaryotes says:

    [Club of Rome] Implications of Arctic Permafrost Thaw

    Of the many “Elephants in the Room” in the climate change debate, none are larger than the potential release to atmosphere of carbon dioxide and methane contained in the Arctic permafrost. Preliminary findings from the latest research, discussed at the American Geophysical Union’s annual conference in San Francisco in December 2011, highlighted the extreme risks that humanity is now exposed to from global warming.

    The Arctic has been warming 2-3 times faster than the global average, one consequence being that the volume of Arctic sea ice has reduced dramatically, by around 80% in summer since 1979, far faster than expected. If current trends continue, the Arctic may be sea ice-free in summer by around 2015, and all year by around 2030. This would likely lead to further positive warming feedback as the ice albedo effect diminishes, accelerating melt of the Greenland ice sheet, ultimately contributing several metres of sea level rise.

    Such warming would also accelerate thawing of the Arctic permafrost, which contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. Releasing that carbon would accelerate global warming past tipping points which create a climate far less conducive to human evolution. The permafrost, along with clathrates on the seabed, contain large quantities of methane, with a warming potential twenty five times greater than carbon dioxide.

  37. prokaryotes says:

    Study: Airborne methane plume found near Bradford County gas migration site [The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.]

    June 27–Methane seeping up underground pathways caused concentrated plumes of gas in the air in Bradford County where the state and a natural gas drilling company are investigating the cause of stray methane bubbling in streams and water wells, according to a study released Tuesday by the Clean Air Council.

    Read the report HERE

    The 31/2-hour survey conducted for the environmental organization by Gas Safety Inc. in Leroy Twp. on June 8 found average ground-level methane concentrations in a roughly 2-square-mile area at nearly twice normal background levels for the region’s air.

    The methane concentration in the air spiked to 22 parts per million — more than 10 times the highest background level of 1.95 parts per million — during a roadside survey north of Route 414 and Rockwell Road. The concentration and size of the plume “clearly indicate that one or more methane emissions were present and releasing substantial amounts of methane into the atmosphere,” according to the report.;CHK&ticker=CHK:US

  38. prokaryotes says:

    Shell’s Tioga County Methane Geyser Captured On Video

    A group called the Respon­si­ble Drilling Alliance has obtained video of the geyser of water and methane that shot out of the ground last week near a Shell nat­ural gas drilling site in Union Town­ship, Tioga County. Due to the geyser, methane bub­bling into a nearby creek and gas spot­ted in a pri­vate water well, Shell issued a vol­un­tary evac­u­a­tion request to peo­ple

  39. prokaryotes says:

    Study: Seeping Arctic methane has serious implications for Florida coastline

    The four-member team — whose findings were published in the journal Nature Geoscience — documented a large number of gas seep sites in the Arctic where permafrost is thawing and glaciers receding (they found 77 previously undocumented seep sites, comprising 150,000 vents to the atmosphere). Until recently, the cryosphere (frozen soil and ice) has served to plug or block these vents. But thawing conditions have allowed the conduits to open, and deep geologic methane now escapes.

    The team studied the link between natural gas seepage and the melting ice cap, using aerial photos and field data to figure out the number — and location — of seep holes.

    So, here’s the rub: The more the ice cap melts, the more methane is released into the atmosphere — and the more the climate warms.

    Why should this matter to you?

    People who live in coastal areas could be directly affected, said Chanton, who analyzed the methane and dated it to more than 40,000 years old.

    All this seeping methane causes more melting ice, Chanton said, which causes sea levels to rise and could affect coastal real estate values — sooner rather than later.

  40. prokaryotes says:

    Extreme heat warning extended for Midwest, Southeast

    Tagline “Have a great day in your local cooing center.”

  41. prokaryotes says:

    Report: Adelson to donate $10 million to Koch political efforts

    Sheldon Adelson Denies Greenlighting A ‘Prostitution Strategy’ At His Macau Casinos

    Read more:

    People like Koch and Sheldon “play” with our future…

  42. prokaryotes says:

    Comment +523

    Last night the definitely NOT a tropical storm Debby did some thing freaky. After sipping at the jet stream yesterday and last night it turned into a freaky storm that out flowed back to near Bermuda almost all night… The storm ate the jet stream!

    The result is that the jet stream broke in two places: near Gibraltar and N of England(?). The Meteostat movie at still shows the three loose ends lashing, pounding and scouring at least the skies of Europe, North Africa and even Russia.

    You can see the freak that ate the jet stream on IR North Atlantic GEOS East views. It is the white mass that spans the North Atlantic (from tip of Canada to coast of England, France, Spain and Portugal) in the N Atl vis as of this post:

    Where you might expect a jet stream… you see Debbie. Looks frozen but I am afraid it is full of tornados.

    I thought the jet stream would squish post-TS Debby or just drag her off to the arctic. Never in a million years did I expect the result to be the other way around. By eating it, Debby severely broke the jet while watering a swath of the Western Atlantic with her outflow and shaping much of the airflow in the North Atlantic above 30N to feed herself.

    More freak storms in Europe today through the night
    Looks like Russia may have already had a long S-to-N derecho (satellite movie above).

    Wherever any of those jet stream bits or Debby’s internals even get close to touching down, it will be bad.

  43. Spike says:

    Real progress with renewables in the UK – but may now be endangered by current policies

    Ironic that we are being told the lies that our renewables and efficiency drive are the cause of high electricity prices, when the German executive linked to above states the opposite has occurred in Germany where “The large amounts of wind and solar energy that are being fed into the grid, together with the economic crisis, have led to a sharp decline in electricity prices.”

  44. wili says:

    Not that I can see.

  45. wili says:

    That sounds really bizarre and scary. Can you provide some links to relevant sites?

  46. David B. Benson says:

    Your equation is quadratic, not exponential.

  47. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Yes, indeed, particularly the insightful’..%!#@!>*^@..’-Lomborg to the life.

  48. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Remember Spike, that the Big Lie, the lie so audacious that ordinary people, who are troubled by their consciences when they themselves lie, and thus tend to believe the Big Lie, doubting that anyone could be so unprincipled as to tell untruths so impudently, has become almost sacramental for the Right. It helps to be utterly amoral, without conscience and absolutely contemptuous of the target audience, all talents that the Right has in excess.

  49. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Can you think of one identified mechanism that would thwart that progression of disasters. If none exist, than our goose is already literally and metaphorically cooked. We are left with prayer, hoping for a miraculous ‘unknown unknown’, to save us.

  50. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It could ‘affect’ coastal real estate values, eh? The only language that the rabble can understand- money. It could hinder your children’s, your society’s and your species’ chances of survival, but let’s get real here. Dollars and cents are all that count, right?

  51. prokaryotes says:

    Basically such an anomaly can be tied to arctic amplification

    Does Arctic Amplification Fuel Extreme Weather in Mid-Latitudes?

  52. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Not yet Mulga, not yet. I don’t want all those bright young sparks out there to stop trying to find one, ME

  53. Mond from Oz says:


    Sure. I used the term in its commonplace meaning, indicating a value that increases by increasing amounts over equal periods of time.
    Straining my calculus a bit, y’ for 1968 is 1.031 (ie CO2 is increasing at 1.03 ppmv/yr). By 1988, y’ = 1.519. By 2008 y’ = 2.007. And by 2100, atm CO2 is predicted to increase at the rate of 4.252 ppmv/yr.

    And *that’s* the point! Think about the decrease in the doubling time. But the main point I’d put to you is that my comment, like the others here, should elicit a scream of alarm and rage, not a picky little number about nomenclature.

  54. Robert In New Orleans says:

    Joe and everyone else,

    Any thoughts about Mr Guy McPherson and his article at:

    He appears to be saying that even if we give up pollution making industries, we are still doomed because the cleaner air will accelerate global warming to a faster rate?

    Do you think he is overly pessimistic?