Daily Archives: October 22, 2007

Great Lakes shrinking; climate change hits water levels, shipping

It doesn’t snow much in the upper Midwest in recent winters. Ski resorts are suffering. and so are the Great Lakes.

NY Times

Most environmental researchers say that low precipitation, mild winters and high evaporation, due largely to a lack of heavy ice covers to shield cold lake waters from the warmer air above, are depleting the lakes. The Great Lakes follow a natural cycle, their levels rising in the spring, peaking in the summer and reaching a low in the winter, as the evaporation rate rises.

In the past two years, evaporation has been higher than average, and not enough rain and snow have fallen in the upper lakes — Superior, Michigan and Huron — which supply water to the lower lakes, to restore the system to its normal levels, said Keith Kompoltowicz, a meteorologist at the Corps of Engineers’ office in Detroit, which monitors water levels in the lakes. “Mother Nature is largely the driving force on what the water levels are, and it plays a large role in what we project water levels to be,” Mr. Kompoltowicz said.

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Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment

Who’s lying about air assault on ghetto by occupiers?

Washington Post has these accounts of US attack on Sadr City, in Baghdad. Think Warsaw, 1941:

U.S. Reports 49 Fighters Dead in Sadr City Raid; Residents, Officials Say Victims Are All Civilians

The U.S. military said its troops killed 49 fighters in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood, one of the highest death tolls for a military operation since President Bush declared an end to active combat in 2003.

,,,Iraqi officials and residents of the vast Shiite enclave, loyal to powerful anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said 13 people were killed and all of the victims were innocent civilians, including children. They warned that the attack could lead Sadr to rescind a suspension of his militia’s operations.

….

According to the military, U.S. troops entered the neighborhood at 4 a.m. to target a militia chief responsible for an extensive Iranian-backed kidnapping ring. His name was not released.

Gunmen then began firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the U.S. troops, the military said. It said ground forces returned fire, killing 33 fighters, then called in helicopter gunships, which killed six more.

As U.S. soldiers left the neighborhood at 7 a.m., they struck a roadside bomb but continued returning fire, killing 10 more, the military said. The target of the raid was not captured, and no U.S. troops were injured, military officials said.

But Sadr City residents and Iraqi officials said the only victims were civilians — whom they described as 13 dead and 52 injured.

“I have seen the dead children,” said Abu Zahara, an official in the local Sadr office. “We are a peaceful people. We are just sitting in our homes. We don’t want anything to do with the Americans. Just leave us alone.”

He said among the dead were a woman and four children, including a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. Their 1-year-old brother was seriously wounded, he said.

“Why are the American soldiers fighting women and children?” said Abu Hawra, a local religious leader. “The American occupation forces started bombing the city for no reason.”

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the government would investigate the raid and that coordination between U.S. and Iraqi forces was necessary to prevent such “woeful incidents.”

Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for Sadr in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, called the raid a “barbaric action” and a “crime” that should lead to criminal charges. He said no one in Sadr City attacked the Americans because Sadr in August had ordered his powerful militia, the Mahdi Army, to stop all fighting for six months.

Obeidi said Sadr’s order remained in effect. But several of his followers in Sadr City said they expected the attack to increase pressure on him to lift the order.

Mohammed Chaloub, 38, who works in the Interior Ministry, said he watched the raid from his roof and saw the damage it left: a bombed-out primary school, several destroyed shops and 18 burned cars. U.S. gunfire prevented firefighting vehicles from reaching the area, he said.

He said Sadr City residents were furious at the U.S. troops. “If you woke up in the morning and saw your entire family killed and your house burned out, what would your reaction be?” he said. “Nobody would accept that.”

You tell me; who’s lying?

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Politics

You want some hypocrisy? we got some for ya, but it may be a lot more than you wanted

Dick Cheney:

In all your discussions, and in all that lies ahead, you can be certain that our country will stay engaged in the Middle East, making the hard choices and providing the kind of leadership that makes this world a better place. We accept that responsibility for the sake of our own security and in service to our founding ideals. And as long as America continues to lead — steady in the face of the adversaries and firm in the defense of freedom — this young century will be a time of rising hopes, and of advancing peace.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Politics

Wildfires and global warming

link

“As the spring is arriving earlier because of warming conditions, the snow on these high mountain areas is melting and running off. So the logs and the branches and the tree needles all can dry out more quickly and have a longer time period to be dry. And so there’s a longer time period and opportunity for fires to start,” Swetnam says

“The spring comes earlier, so the fire season is just longer,” Pelley remarks.

“That’s right. The fire season in the last 15 years or so has increased more than two months over the whole Western U.S. So actually 78 days of average longer fire season in the last 15 years compared to the previous 15 or 20 years,” Swetnam says.

Swetnam says that climate change — global warming — has increased temperatures in the West about one degree and that has caused four times more fires. Swetnam and his colleagues published those findings in the journal “Science,” and the world’s leading researchers on climate change have endorsed their conclusions.

But what was news to the scientists is something Tom Boatner has noticed for about ten years now. “This kind of low brush would normally be really moist and actually be a fairly good barrier to fire. But as I look at this I just see wilted leaves everywhere. There’s no moisture left in them. They’re dead,” he points out.

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Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal