Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

Nov 23, 2016

By Oliver Milman

Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

This would mean the elimination of Nasa’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena. Nasa’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth science division’s budget set to grow to $2bn next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8bn in 2017.


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77 comments on “Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Smith_Walker
    In 2001 he was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry. He also served on the President’s Commission on Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy (2004) and the President’s Commission on the United States Postal Service (2005).

    His name had been circulated as a possible NASA administrator following the 2004 resignation of Sean O’Keefe. He is now on the board of directors of Space Adventures,[space tourism company] and has served as chairman of the board of the Space Foundation. He is chairman of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Energy. In October 2016 he was appointed space policy adviser of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.[3]

    Walker is executive chairman of the Washington lobbying firm, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates.

    @OP – link Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for Nasa to do what he has previously described as “politically correct environmental monitoring”.

    “We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research,” Walker told the Guardian. “Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.

    “My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing.

    Walker seems to have some scientific and space background , but we would need to know what “other agencies” would take over the work.
    I suppose NOAA could contract out work to other satellite launch services, but I suspect this is just a smoke screen for for climate change denial.

    Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”

    The only thing solid about science in the head of a denier hoax conspiracy theorist like Trump, is the blockage in his thick uneducated head!

    He could damage NASA’s invaluable climate monitoring services, but many satellite systems are in orbit and are already being tracked and independently monitored by universities and other agencies.

    Then there are the Space Agencies and satellites of numerous other countries!



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  • Then there are the Space Agencies and satellites of numerous other countries!

    As of 2015, 70 different government space agencies are in existence; 13 of those have launch capability. Six government space agencies – the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the European Space Agency (ESA), the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA or Roscosmos) have full launch capabilities; these include the ability to launch and recover multiple satellites, deploy cryogenic rocket engines and operate extraterrestrial probes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government_space_agencies#List_of_space_agencies

    There are also private contractors offering launch facilities and space-flight services.



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  • prietenul #1
    Nov 23, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    The man who suppressed the vote will now suppress science. After fake news, we will get fake science, {alt}science.

    If Trump knocks American space industries out of the commercially viable Earth monitoring and communications market, other countries and other businesses will happily take this over!

    @OP – “We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research,” Walker told the Guardian.

    With Trump having a four year term of office, Walker and Trump clearly do not understand the time-scales involved in “deep space research”!



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  • @OP link – There is overwhelming and long-established evidence that burning fossil fuels and deforestation causes the release of heat-trapping gases, therefore causing the warming experienced in recent decades.

    .-.-.-.-.

    Walker, however, claimed that doubt over the role of human activity in climate change “is a view shared by half the climatologists in the world.

    Showing that he is either a scientifically illiterate idiot, or a lying lobbyist who can be paid to say anything!

    We need good science to tell us what the reality is and science could do that if politicians didn’t interfere with it.”

    Nope! Thousands of independent scientific studies have already told us that!

    We need scientifically educated politicians and political advisors, who can recognise what the scientific reality is and what competent measured scientific data and studies are. ! –
    Not lying lobbyists and pseudo-science muppets, exercising their ironic psychological projections while incompetently doubt-mongering and politically interfering!



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  • bonnie2 #7
    Nov 23, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    “Americans seem to know that the destiny of a free people lies in the stars“.

    Perhaps the people could be “freed” to “follow their destiny” by arranging a flight for Trump and his advisors to land on the nearest star (Our Sun) – after cancelling funding the probes monitoring its temperature of course!!! . 🙂



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  • 11
    Robert Firth says:

    Let me begin with a position statement: I am not a climate-change denialist; indeed, I think most climate scientists are understating the problem, and that it will be worse – much worse – than they project..

    That said, I think Trump is right that the science has become heavily politicised; just read the comments in this forum to see that. John Michael Greer wrote a long article a few months ago, posted on the Archdruid Report on 27 July (read it here: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.sg/2016/07/climate-change-activism-post-mortem.html) on why the climate activists have so utterly failed to make their case. It was painful reading for me, and will be for you, but I could not fault his reasoning.

    I will add two other thoughts. First, almost all the politicians supposedly working to save the earth behaved with stupifying hypocrisy. The sight of world leaders flying to climate conferences in their private jets, meeting in energy-guzzling luxury hotels, and eating goumet food that also had been flown thousands of miles – I found that spectacle utterly nauseating. Environmentally friendly lifestyles for you, but not for us, no way.

    And secondly, the response to these conferences was also politicised. Every climate-change accord was treated as a religious icon to be worshipped, even when it was obvious the accord was a complete sham that promised nothing and would achieve nothing. Anyone who observed that the emperor had no clothes was denounced and demonised. As Greer says, it would be hard to think of a better way to repulse ones natural allies.

    So where do we go from here? In my opinion, we don’t. Collectively, on both sides of this debate, we are too irrational, too stupid and self-obsessed, to agree on effective action and then make it happen. Nature will take its course, and if in the end our remnant population is zero, so mote it be.



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  • why the climate activists have so utterly failed to make their case

    There is a difference between a “Climate Activist” and a climate scientist. That people with a social conscience feel that inaction is a crime against humanity, specifically against my grand children is perfect justification for feeling passionate and doing what they can to change the collective mind of the world. A badge of honour.

    I’ve just finished Michael Mann’s The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars. There are two sides to this debate. One wears white hats. One wears black hats. The book details (All referenced) the activities of the climate denial industry and how successful they have been in stopping action.

    I concur with your last paragraph. I think that those that care, are vastly outnumbered on the planet by those that don’t care. And our votes count as equals in the ballot box. Those that only live in the moment. Those that abuse Tragedy of the Commons.

    I don’t think we will go to zero… Graphs of plague animals crash precipitously, but they never go to zero.



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  • 13
    Robert Firth says:

    Thank you, David R Allen, for a most thoughtful response. In return, let me again urge you to read Greer’s analysis.

    Yes, climate activists would be right to do everything they can to change the collective mind of the world. The problem is, they chose to do the exact opposite, to insult (“black hats”) that collective mind, and adopt a pose of unexamined self-righteousness that many people, including me, thought inappropriate. While knowingly not denouncing the sham climate accords, or explaining why they were a sham.

    There is much blame to go around, but I agree with Greer that the blame for their failure rests largely with them, and that is something I accept only with deep regret.



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  • Regardless of pro- and con squabbles, a president should tower above them and give direction based on solid scientific knowledge and evidence. This president is radically different though. He wants to eradicate the sources of the things he simply does not want to hear.

    Let the War on Science begin in ernest now!



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  • Robert Firth #13
    Nov 23, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you, David R Allen, for a most thoughtful response.

    David makes the very valid point of the difference between “climate activists” and climate scientists.

    In return, let me again urge you to read Greer’s analysis.
    Yes, climate activists would be right to do everything they can to change the collective mind of the world.

    The problem is with the public perceptions built on the dishonest disinformation propagated by the stooge media. – The same stooge media which promotes doubt-mongering by a tiny minority of people with slightly related science qualifications and presents this as a substantial challenge to the consensus of thousands of specialist climate scientists, also pick out to flawed and weak arguments from reactionary “climate activists” and present them as representing THE argument supporting climate science!
    What the public is fed by these dishonest propagandist, pseudo-news sources, is a lame denial argument falsely presented as a substantial scientific view, along with the false dichotomy of incompetent, exaggerated and flawed “activist” arguments said to be supporting the scientific view of climate scientists.

    The problem is that the real science is complex, and requires detailed knowledge of lots of high-tec equipment used for sophisticated measuring and calculation techniques.
    Most of the public have not even heard of the instruments used for these measurements, and if they are pointed out to them, they don’t understand the physics and mathematics required to understand the measurements or computer models.

    The problem is, they chose to do the exact opposite, to insult (“black hats”) that collective mind, and adopt a pose of unexamined self-righteousness that many people, including me, thought inappropriate.

    What you are being sold here by propagandists, is the old insult card played by charlatans to seek sympathy.

    I have no problem with calling out incompetent dishonest posing charlatans, who are wilfully deceiving the public for the purposes of their personal profit, – because that is precisely what they are and what they are doing!
    If they pose to the public as “poor little insulted victims of abuse”, what they need is a much harder kicking, for their further dishonesty and deceitful posturing, as they persist in robbing future generations of a working planet! They are like armed robbers who are whingeing about the cruelty to them of putting them in jail!

    While knowingly not denouncing the sham climate accords, or explaining why they were a sham.

    The climate accords have been inadequate, in that because of charlatan obstructive campaigns by bought politicians, they have been slow to get started and less than the action required.
    It is however totally disingenuous to blame this on those who are trying to deal with the problems, or suggest that global agreements can be made without global meetings at international conferences.

    There is much blame to go around, but I agree with Greer that the blame for their failure rests largely with them, and that is something I accept only with deep regret.

    If you research the subject, the actual blame is firmly at the door of those bought media stooges, pseudo-experts, and bought propagandists, who were paid millions of dollars to misrepresent the arguments, doubt-monger the valid scientific work and lobby pliable politicians.

    You will note the Walker is a lying lobbyist!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt

    Merchants of Doubt is a 2010 non-fiction book by American historians of science Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. It identifies parallels between the global warming controversy and earlier controversies over tobacco smoking, acid rain, DDT, and the hole in the ozone layer. Oreskes and Conway write that in each case “keeping the controversy alive” by spreading doubt and confusion after a scientific consensus had been reached, was the basic strategy of those opposing action.[1] In particular, they say that Fred Seitz, Fred Singer, and a few other contrarian scientists joined forces with conservative think tanks and private corporations to challenge the scientific consensus on many contemporary issues.

    Walkers false claim which I quote @#6 is an example of this.

    @OP and @#6 – Walker, however, claimed that doubt over the role of human activity in climate change “is a view shared by half the climatologists in the world.

    Far from being a 50 -50 division of those with some qualifications in climate science the actual ratio is approximately a consensus 13,000 climate scientists to 13 deniers (most of whom are sponsored or funded by carbon industry “think-tanks”)!



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  • Thank you Alan4D. I’ve just come back to this. You’ve covered what I would have said. I would highly recommend Merchants of Doubt Robert Firth. I suspect your essayist, while making valid points, may not understand the cunning and determination of the enemy in opposition. Like the line from The Terminator.

    “They Will Never Give Up”

    They must be fought trench by trench. This is about the hearts of minds of the public. The deniers have been winning since the mid 1990’s and have stopped the world from acting. This, on behalf of my grand children, is a Crime Against Humanity, and it must be resisted by every means possible. The stakes are too high for nuanced examinations.



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  • David R Allen #16
    Nov 24, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Thank you Alan4D. I’ve just come back to this. You’ve covered what I would have said. I would highly recommend Merchants of Doubt Robert Firth.

    In looking for a link on this, I found numerous flea denials, where the liars produce new campaigns of lies as pseudo-refutations of the exposures of their disreputable antics!

    I suspect your essayist, while making valid points, may not understand the cunning and determination of the enemy in opposition.

    Indeed! – Regardless of however substantial and solidly evidenced the scientific claims and the the exposure of their chicanery are, they will just keep on using more lies to dishonestly continue pretending there is a serious dispute as to the facts and the historical record, while posturing as respectable people of expertise and integrity.



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  • The problem is the problem of dogma as ever.

    This is why I parted company with Greenpeace after accidentally joining it over support for a legitimate complaint about renewed coal use.

    Science is science. If it is politicised it is not science. Politicians and lobbyists may use it dogmatically and partially but that ceases to be actual science.

    The indications of AGW science is that the outcomes range from being merely disastrous for the burgeoning poor folk already at the waters edge of a Malthusian inundation to being utterly catastrophic for everyone…

    This first happy possibility that only black folk will die in millions gives all the wriggle room needed for the vast engines of old money and old energy money to rubbish the range of risks that may be in prospect.

    One smashing technique we can see at work, memed into the heart of our concerned community, is the pole-axing of effective engagement by sowing dissension where there should be growing mutual self interest. “They aren’t pulling their weight.” “They are still trying to progress their own community too much.” Rubbishing the fact that hard agreements seem not possible and that agreements now are about best endeavours only.

    Solving these problems are hugely complex and must manage to retain political calm within all communities. The recent push-back from those awoken to being overly parasitised by the rich is a very unfortunate addition to this mix. Fairness now isn’t so clear a deal. American citizens are habituated to their 3 to 5 jet flights per annum, I am told. It is surely now an enshrined right? That Pakistani family have no access to education. They surely won’t miss what they never had? But poorer folks must be cut some slack in dragging themselves up and transitioning to a lower birthrate culture….

    Even if you don’t give a bleep about about poor black people suffering from “this little blip in the weather” Even if you are willing to take a gamble on the AGW catastrophe for all of us being unlikely, there is still every reason to do exactly the right thing anyway.

    Learning to live Sustainably solves all problems now and in the future. It is both moral, politically astute and economically savvy.



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  • Robert Firth #11

    So where do we go from here? In my opinion, we don’t. Collectively, on both sides of this debate, we are too irrational, too stupid and self-obsessed, to agree on effective action and then make it happen.

    Then act unilaterally. As a country choose to act unilaterally or recognise at least that issues are complex for every country with different internal problems and agree to best endeavours from all parties. This (Parisian) approach has a lot to commend it. It will never seem entirely fair to anyone.

    Its going to be hell, for sure, but fatalism is pathetic.

    If you want the floor swept, start sweeping the floor. Pass the broom to someone else. “Could you just do that bit while I go and get a dust pan?”

    Promote (adopt!) Veganism or at least vegetarianism or pescatorianism (?). Its official. Vegans have half the carbon footprint of omnivores. The other two are both 35% better than omnivores. There’s the whole answer in a nutshell, so to speak.

    Just off to cook a vegan Thai green curry. I’ve managed to about halve my meat eating so far….without impacting my daily pleasure hit from eating.



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  • Vegans have half the carbon footprint of omnivores…

    Yes, but wouldn’t they produce more heat-trapping methane? You know, eating all those beans…

    Sorry, couldn’t help it…



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  • 24
    Cairsley says:

    It always seemed sensible to me that NASA should be involved with climate research, since much of that research is now done with satellites and the kind of technology used for investigating the chemicals and processes taking place on heavenly bodies, the Earth being one of these. At no point does the article make clear how the scientific findings of NASA research have been politicized. One is left with the impression that what is meant by the phrase ‘politicized science’ in this case is scientific findings that certain politicians do not want to be published too widely or at all.



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  • Cairsley #24
    Nov 25, 2016 at 7:29 am

    At no point does the article make clear how the scientific findings of NASA research have been politicized. One is left with the impression that what is meant by the phrase ‘politicized science’ in this case is scientific findings that certain politicians do not want to be published too widely or at all.

    According to Trump, it was the politics of that damned Chinese manipulative hoax! –
    But compared to Trump’s all seeing whizzdumb and “ability” to make off-the-cuff decisions on far reaching matters; – What does NASA know about planetary sciences and hi-tec measuring techniques???

    As any fundamentalist denier or creationist (by use of projected faith-thinking) can tell you: – scientists make up fanciful opinions, in just the same way creationists and deniers do!!! 🙂



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  • @Robert Firth #11

    “climate activists have so utterly failed to make their case.”

    Their case is irrefutable. The science is unequivocal, despite the Archdruid’s and your own inability to accept it.

    “…on both sides of this debate, we are too irrational,”

    The illusion of debate exists only in the minds of irrational Deniers, many of whom are now reduced to complaining about tone.



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  • Len Walsh #26
    Nov 25, 2016 at 9:17 am

    The illusion of debate exists only in the minds of irrational Deniers, many of whom are now reduced to complaining about tone.

    Deniers bandying around words like “irrational”, just won’t look at the hard evidence in thousands of studies precisely measured with scientific instruments!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38079838

    The melting Antarctic glacier that now contributes more to sea-level rise than any other ice stream on the planet began its big decline in the 1940s.

    It puts the glacier’s current changes in their proper historical context, the scientists tell Nature magazine.

    These changes can now be regarded as unprecedented in thousands of years.

    Not only is the glacier going backwards, it is also thinning fast – losing more than 2m in elevation every year.

    Other field studies and computer models suggest a runaway collapse might even be possible. The PIG on its own could add up to 10mm to sea levels over the next couple of decades.

    The argument, “The scientists’ results are wrong, because I don’t know what they measure, or how they measure”, has no credibility at all!!



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  • Cantaz

    [Vegans….] wouldn’t they produce more heat-trapping methane?

    Yes but that is why I have re-invented Pantalloons! Half pants half balloons….

    “Using the elevator today? Wearing your K-tel Pantalloons? Good, Vegan!”

    Another commercial failure, I fear as vegans don’t eat grass and are not ruminants. Enteric digestion (which wiki-see) is very energetically wasteful. Up to 12% of the carbon is lost as methane. Humans using the same land for cereals, pulses and veggies are much less burpy and farty relatively.

    So beef and lamb are the real culprits. Kilos of CO2e (equivalent) produced for one kilo of meat.

    beef 34.6

    lamb 17.4

    pork 6.35

    chicken 4.57



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  • phil rimmer #28
    Nov 25, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Humans using the same land for cereals, pulses and veggies are much less burpy and farty relatively.
    So beef and lamb are the real culprits. Kilos of CO2e (equivalent) produced for one kilo of meat.

    There is the slight problem as far as food production goes, (but not the methane), that particularly in the case of lamb, from summer mountain pastures, and to a certain extent cattle grazed on water-meadows, Alpine tops, or rough ground (rather than intensive barley beef production), the same land cannot be cultivated for other purposes.



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  • @phil rimmer #19

    most of your comments brilliant as usual
    except for this …

    The problem is the problem of dogma as ever.
    This is why I parted company with Greenpeace after accidentally
    joining it over support for a legitimate complaint about renewed coal
    use.

    are you referring to greenpeace’s “dogmatic” stance on nuclear power
    or their doggedness in making the fossil fuel industry look fascist?
    either way it’s another cheap shot at frontline activists
    if it weren’t for greenpeace millions (since 1971) would not have even questioned our energy addictions and their effect on the planet



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  • Phil,

    Yes but that is why I have re-invented Pantalloons! Half pants half balloons…

    Very ingenious, but I do hope you have taken into account the possibility of electrostatic discharge… remember what happened to the Hindenburg…



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  • Why would Trump avoid doing climate research?

    The Koch brothers paid him to masquerade as a climate denier. They want to extend the value of their sunset fossil fuel investments a few years.
    Trump has a pathological overvaluation of his own competence and an unjustified strong trust in his untutored intuition.



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  • quarecuss

    It is a shot but not cheap, I hope. I truly believe that it could achieve more grassroots conversions if it were more nuanced in the scenarios it presents.

    Loathsome as the oil companies are they have to be dealt with and forming plans that allow them to help facilitate changeovers to renewables, for instance, could be a means to ease the transition. Here they have splendid off shore skills, deep experience of contracting and increasingly questionable investments from profits to make. In the UK we have a huge amount of off-shore wind and wave assets, many that could sit on a growing number of HVDC links across the North Sea and the Irish Sea. One of the major costs of off shore is efficiently landing the power. Having the wiring there already is a huge saving.

    Whilst it may look like buying them off to a certain extent, backed by Government Tax support for redirected fossil fuel investments it may deliver a double or tripple whammy of virtues. There are a number of such plans that could simply go to large civil engineering companies, but involving oil companies by means of tax legislation that will otherwise fight tooth and nail to oppose you should pay dividends.

    More whacky is this: Applying fossil fuel tax at a rate inversely proportional to age could push up 100 million year old oil and gas costs but make, say, methane clathrates at 500 years old much cheaper and more attractive. These dangerous deposits are growing at a usefully sustainable rate if cropped and in certain locations on the continental shelf they represent a severe global warming accelerator risk. Again a potential multi-whammy win if the risks are removed and ancient gas extraction replaced. Oil and Gas companies are the companies to do this. And they should be given money to explore the potential.

    The ideology of evil-energy purveyors could be helpfully tempered to speed the demise of their dangerous practises.

    Yes thorium nuclear support is needed and a stop to dreadful emotional language like the catch-all “radiation” when cooler more honest descriptions would be less likely to deter those in the middle who are quick to dismiss GP as purveying “politicised science”.

    I want plans with clearer and more detailed paths for change with all players catered for in the transition. I don’t want twenty bitty and bolt-on policies like they have at the moment, but some grand proposals on the nature of economic reform to facilitate and support long term investment in long term enterprises.

    I want to run it, frankly.

    q, kind comment up top there, thank you. We’d be decades behind without you ground-breakers. Now its time to normalise the new techs and their business models.



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  • There is a pertinent anecdote about Franklin Roosevelt in consultation with a group of advisors who were pushing an innovative program that he supported. At the end of the meeting, he said, “Now get out there and make me do it.” (This is a paraphrased, modified summary). He meant that he could not take what he personally thought was a “good idea” and, in his capacity as chief executive, impose it on the country. By “make me do it” he was speaking to the imperative of drumming up popular and political support necessary to “make it happen.”

    Populations break down politically into constituencies, and even finer interest groups with specific goals (subsidies, entitlements, tax breaks) that generate tangles of cooperation and competition, compatibility and conflict even within their own ranks. In practice, constituencies and individual stakeholders prioritize issues in order of importance to their interests, needs and purposes. Recent Pew research polls show rising concerns about climate change, categorical consequences, and support for “voluntary” government actions and international agreements to reduce CO2 emissions (http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/11/05/appendix-9/ ).
    Pew polling, however, does not disclose the disconnect between climate change concern in relation to the actual priorities that voters, constituencies and interest groups demonstrate in voting or in political activism:

    Coordinated surveys, conducted by the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) in 33 countries from 1993 through 2010, “are the first and only surveys that put long-term attitudes toward environmental issues in general and global climate change in particular in an international perspective,” said Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey, a project of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, and author of a paper that summarizes the surveys.
    In the surveys, respondents were asked the relative importance of eight issues: health care, education, crime, the environment, immigration, the economy, terrorism and poverty.
    The economy ranked highest in concern in 15 countries, followed by health care in eight, education in six, poverty in two, and terrorism and crime in one country each. Immigration and the environment did not make the top of the list in any country over the 17-year period. In the United States, concern for the environment ranked sixth while the economy was No. 1.
    In terms of national averages, the order of concern was the economy (25 percent); health care (22.2) education (15.6); poverty (11.6); crime (8.6) environment (4.7), immigration (4.1) and terrorism (2.6), the surveys showed. Terrorism’s low ranking was notable in light of the widespread attention the issue has received since 2001, though it topped the list of concerns in Turkey.

    The recent Trump victory underscores the disconnect. The environmentalist vote played a miniscule and obviously irrelevant role in the election. (Personally, I and many other individuals would have voted against Trump for his position on abortion and climate change denialism alone). Frankly, such niche issues are largely ignored by the electorate that votes preponderantly on pocket-book (economic) issues.) Brazilian populations poll high on climate change concerns yet the economy, employment, national GDP, and incomes take priority in the massive project to destroy huge swaths of the Amazon rain forest, a gigantic sink for CO2 emissions. National Geographic reports: During the past 40 years, close to 20 percent of the Amazon rain forest has been cut down—more than in all the previous 450 years since European colonization began. The percentage could well be far higher; the figure fails to account for selective logging, which causes significant damage but is less easily observable than clear-cuts. Scientists fear that an additional 20 percent of the trees will be lost over the next two decades…

    Homo sapiens will put their economic needs and appetites first. Human population and economic growth in the 21st century will dwarf that of previous centuries propelling environmental destruction to unimaginative levels. We can wish it were not so.



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  • Dan #35

    Yep, diet has a big impact and from a personal perspective is one of the biggest changes we can most easily make. The article is excellent, but omits some contributing factors.

    (Incidentally, in the comments there is a truly excellent and informative graphic on CH4 cycles. Wetlands are something we may actually want to moderate in extent…also landfill is a major producer (far bigger than livestock). Controlled incineration or bio-digestion as we are starting to see will make enormous contributions to CO2e reductions. But notice the oceanic clathrate reserves….huge. Their low emissions will accelerate very quickly with oceanic warming.)

    Those missed factors (not pan global but pertinent to still developing countries) are CO2e contributions from deforestation and refrigeration which double the global average to 24% contribution for beef and lamb. Some dietary breakdown here-

    http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/food-carbon-footprint-diet



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  • Dan #39
    Nov 25, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Some discussion above on fake news. It’s bad. The Trump-Russia connection is worrisome. Hillary was right all along.

    It is probable that Americans are so used to fake news and commercial propaganda that a bit more in the mix would go unnoticed!

    The same thing is happening to some extent in the UK .

    Yesterday the government department for budget responsibility announced their calculated estimate that brexit would cost the country £60 billion, so the big headline on today’s ten-penny-gutter-press-offering was “£32 billion brexit bonus” from leaving the EU!



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  • Alan4discussion

    It is probable that Americans are so used to fake news and commercial propaganda that a bit more in the mix would go unnoticed!

    I think the goal is that ALL news, including accurate news, will go unnoticed.. I think the idea behind it is that people will not be able to tell the difference, and will think that anything could be fake. It’s a form of warfare and must be addressed.

    (I heard on TV that this affected the Brexit vote too.)



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  • First of all, Trump needs to know who or what is NASA, during Trump campaign was asked about NASA Trump pretended or did not know what NASA is so in order to work on an issue you need to be able to understand the basics.

    We are aware most of the campaign Trump pretended to be very stupid very uneducated, The strategy worked. Seriously, Rational, smart and intelligent person will do the opposite, NASA during the beginning of the agency was the brain to make the most powerful economy in world next to the military, Most of the technology use today came from the research the biggest influential agency ever created.

    Electronics, Missiles, clouding, transportation, instrumentation, medicine, any advance sciences, new discoveries and millions of innovations and technologies thanks to NASA and Subsidiaries.

    The USA was the front of discoveries and sciences advances that was reason USA was the number of many industries. In Order to get back on that, NASA should be funded more and put NASA on priority to explorations and discover all the industries will follow and new technology will be created and country with new technology will create more jobs and more economy for all.



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  • Some may find these numbers interesting. Curiously, Brazil did not play a major role in deforestation and
    beef cattle markets until the early 1990s around the time of the Kyoto Procol.

    Princeton University article: “Cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, accounting for 80% of current deforestation rates. Amazon Brazil is home to approximately 200 million head of cattle, and is the largest exporter in the world, supplying about one quarter of the global market. Low input cost and easy transportation in rural areas make ranching an attractive economic activity in the forest frontier; low yields and cheap land encourage expansion and deforestation. Approximately 450,000 square kilometers of deforested Amazon in Brazil are now in cattle pasture. Cattle ranching and soy cultivation are often linked as soy replaces cattle pasture, pushing farmers farther into the Amazon.”
    BON APPETIT.



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  • Some discussion above on fake news. It’s bad. The Trump-Russia connection is worrisome. Hillary was right all along.

    Alan4 #41: It is probable that Americans are so used to fake news and commercial propaganda that a bit more in the mix would go unnoticed!

    We should not get so worked up by “fake news” becoming the new normal. It’s always been the “new normal” for politicians to circulate vicious lies about their opponents. Vile slander, character assassination, and the Big Lie have driven campaign strategies with perennial regularity since the 19th century and before . The Trump-Clinton contest happened to feature the most shameful brutish liar -Donald Trump- running for president in our lifetime.

    Voters by necessity have become inured to propaganda, lying and “dirty tricks” during political campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s not just an “American” thing as the bellowing Brits whose ox was gored by the Brexit vote attest to.

    For the record, it is nearly certain that the “Russian Connection” played an irrelevant sideshow to the scandalous news that (from NPR) new emails came to light through a separate investigation into a sexting scandal by former Congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The decision by FBI Director James Comey to make this information public has drawn criticism from some former federal prosecutors who say Comey has broken with agency protocol by inserting the FBI into politics just a little over a week before the presidential election. Arguably the director drove a final nail in the coffin of another corrupt politician who reeked of phoniness.

    Voters have no choice but to ignore the mudslinging whether some mud sticks to friend or foe. This election descended more than most into repellent mud wrestling with the Democratic favorite never doubting certain victory oblivious to blowing a tin whistle while appearing devoid of a vision for the country. Trump won the electoral vote while Clinton won the popular vote by two million votes -about 1.5% of votes cast – outcomes that had less to do with the appeal of lies and more to do with a novel confluence of circumstances and factors that promoted a new populism promising to promote the welfare of the declining middle class in general and the white working class in particular over the stagnant status quo of the complacent Democratic-Republican establishment.



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  • Melvin #44
    Nov 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Low input cost and easy transportation in rural areas make ranching an attractive economic activity in the forest frontier; low yields and cheap land encourage expansion and deforestation. Approximately 450,000 square kilometers of deforested Amazon in Brazil are now in cattle pasture.

    This this is colonial capitalism at its worst!
    “Cheap land” is acquired by unregulated armed thieves stealing the land from the native tribes, murdering any who get in their way, and burning off the forest remnants, after other armed thieves have opened up logging roads to illegally steal the timber of the forests while bribing corrupt officials, and frequently labelling it with fake “sustainability badges” where ethical purchasers ask questions!

    You will note the current political rows about rampant corruption among members of government with involvement in Petrogas!
    https://www.ft.com/content/6e8b0e28-f728-11e5-803c-d27c7117d132
    Corruption probe at state oil company has ensnared politicians and led to calls to impeach president

    It is not just in regard to the environment where there is profit before ethics!

    Of course NASA and other space agencies have been monitoring the extent of these activities to the distress of rogue trading millionaires and their foreign investors!



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  • Melvin #45
    Nov 26, 2016 at 3:38 am

    The decision by FBI Director James Comey to make this information public has drawn criticism from some former federal prosecutors who say Comey has broken with agency protocol by inserting the FBI into politics just a little over a week before the presidential election.

    That is the difference between competent ethical administrations, and reckless or rogue employees in high positions!
    These protocols have purposes, such as avoiding unnecessary collateral damage to innocent parties, or perverting the integrity of procedures.

    Arguably the director drove a final nail in the coffin of another corrupt politician who reeked of phoniness.

    That is irrelevant to what should be the disciplinary offence of the director disregarding the rules!

    The relatively small matter of dealing with the corrupt politician, could have waited until after the election, to avoid the major national issue of biasing the election result!
    Anyone in a senior position should understand the workings of legal and administrative procedures, as required basic honesty and competence in the job they are responsible for managing!



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  • Melvin #45
    Nov 26, 2016 at 3:38 am

    outcomes that had less to do with the appeal of lies and more to do with a novel confluence of circumstances and factors that promoted a new populism promising to promote the welfare of the declining middle class in general and the white working class in particular

    You don’t see a self-contradiction here??

    Surely you don’t think Trump is actually going to promote the welfare of the middle class and the white working class!?

    Abusing the black and immigrant communities, is NOT the same as “benefiting” other middle or working class citizens!



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  • Alan4 #48: You don’t see a self-contradiction here??
    Surely you don’t think Trump is actually going to promote the welfare of the middle class and the white working class!?

    Yes to the first question and no to the second. Both irrelevant because I didn’t discuss what Trump is going to do – only what he promised. The whole comment was descriptive and had nothing to do with emotional opinions about colonialism.

    Human history is about the migration of Homo sapiens from one territory to another sadly resulting in the removal of “indigenous” people from “their” land often through armed conflict, slaughter and ethnic cleansing. The process, given time, and now driven more by peaceful migration, demographic factors, and economics can bring about reversals. It would be absurd, but nonetheless popular in some circles to blabber that the United States “belongs” to the American Indians. Today immigration from the Hispanic south, bringing strong mixes of indigenous DNA has made inroads into replacement of the ethnic European populations that settled and multiplied across North America since 1800. An encyclopedic topic for another day.

    That is the difference between competent ethical administrations, and reckless or rogue employees in high positions! These protocols have purposes, such as avoiding unnecessary collateral damage to innocent parties, or perverting the integrity of procedures.

    Opinions vary about the motivation and consequences of what FBI Director James Comey actually did. One partisan consensus is that he unduly influenced the election by hurting Hillary Clinton in ways that cannot be measured. Another general consensus is that he violated a rule about disclosing an investigation-in-progress 60 days before an election. Still another credible explanation holds that Comey was caught in a double bind and probably made the wrong decision in good faith. The investigation into the private email server exonerated Clinton from criminal prosecution but raised questions about her integrity, judgement and clandestine motives. That investigation exacerbated major concerns about Hillary’s competence and scruples. Was she serving the American public with transparency as Secretary of State or was she serving Hillary Clinton? Comey may have reasonably concluded that the “new emails” in a separate investigation linked strongly enough to Clinton’s emails that the public had a right to know. Had he kept the suspected link secret with incriminating evidence coming out after the election, the Trump camp would have cried foul against the FBI for “protecting” the Democratic candidate.

    In my view a viable candidate would not have been shot down by the “scandal” of the browser” per se unless she already carried the baggage of a thoroughly obnoxious, corrupt, hollow and self-serving politician positioned for the presidency by a cynical Democratic National Committee out of touch with the American people.



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  • Melvin #50
    Nov 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Comey may have reasonably concluded that the “new emails” in a separate investigation linked strongly enough to Clinton’s emails that the public had a right to know.

    He had no “right” to ignore the rules on timings of disclosures during an election period!

    Had he kept the suspected link secret with incriminating evidence coming out after the election, the Trump camp would have cried foul against the FBI for “protecting” the Democratic candidate.

    Trump has a long history of disputing legal judgements and making appeals against those valid judgements which are not to his liking!
    To those who respect the laws and codes of conduct , these rantings are of no consequence, but those with biases and irrational thinking, are easily swayed by empty rhetoric and special pleadings!
    Public officials in senior positions, are supposed to resist attempts at bullying them into acting illegally!

    In my view a viable candidate would not have been shot down by the “scandal” of the browser”.

    As election majorities are often marginal, any lies or late released irregular items, can sway opinions and pervert results!

    The last-minute big lie, – circulated too late before the polling date for refutation, is a standard tool of disreputable campaigners!



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  • @#51 -Trump has a long history of disputing legal judgements and making appeals against those valid judgements which are not to his liking!

    . . . . . and as if to illustrate this point, he has just opened his mouth to further demonstrate his disrespect for legal checking procedures and proper investigations, which risk undermining him by possibly correcting mistakes!

    It is worth noting that he was babbling about the whole election being a scam until it showed him as winning!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38121264

    Republican President-elect Donald Trump has described an impending recount of votes in Wisconsin as a “scam”.

    Mr Trump, who narrowly won the state, said the results “should be respected instead of being challenged or abused”.

    Green Party candidate Jill Stein had initiated the recount. She also wants recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, citing “statistical anomalies”.

    Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign has said it would participate in Wisconsin’s recount.

    Results would need to be overturned in all three states to alter the outcome of the 8 November presidential election.

    In a statement released by his transition team on Saturday, Mr Trump accused Dr Stein of trying to “fill her coffers with money” on the pretext of asking for donations towards a recount.

    “The people have spoken and the election is over,” the statement said.

    Dr Stein defended her recount initiative, telling CNN that “the point to drive home here is that having a secure elections process benefits us all”.

    She also suggested that she was open to looking at recounts in other states – not just Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

    Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign’s general counsel, Marc Elias, said the camp and outside experts had been “conducting an extensive review of election results, searching for any signs that the voting process had been tampered with”.

    He said there was no evidence to conclude the election had been sabotaged, but “we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported”.

    Mr Elias noted that the number of votes separating Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton in the closest of the three states – Michigan – “well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount”.

    So as usual, Trump responds to the use of official legal procedures to check the accuracy of results, by making wild allegations and ad-hominem attacks! – Further illustrating that he is utterly unfit for the post of president!

    Her website says nearly $6m (£4.8m; €5.6m) has already been raised toward a $7m target. It says this is enough to fund the recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

    I would however consider it a disgrace to democracy, that a candidate needs to privately independently raise $millions to call for a recount, when the accuracy of counting should be a state responsibility!



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  • @#52 I would however consider it a disgrace to democracy, that a candidate needs to privately independently raise $millions to call for a recount, when the accuracy of counting should be a state responsibility!

    This is in sharp contrast to UK procedures!

    http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/175387/Part-E-Verifying-and-counting-the-votes-UKPGE-LGEW.pdf


    1 Principles for an effective verification and count

    1.1
    You should ensure that your verification and count arrangements can
    deliver the key principles for an effective verification and count, which are as follows:

    All processes are transparent, with a clear and unambiguous audit trail.
    The verification produces an accurate result. This means that the number of ballot papers in each box either matches the number of ballot papers issued as stated on the ballot paper account

    or, if it does not:

    the source of the variance has been identified and can be explained, and/or

    the box has been recounted at least twice, until the same
    number of ballot papers is counted on two consecutive occasions




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  • Alan4 #51, #52, #53: You offer reasonable opinions and observations worthy of consideration about an ambiguous series of freak events whose cumulative effect we can never measure precisely. Trump’s narrow victory in the crucial swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania juxtaposed with his two-million popular vote deficit suggest (in my view) that the American electorate “knew” collectively that Trump was the greater liar. Because all candidates tell lies subject to fact checking, “lying per se” does not play the decisive role in political campaigns for office among voters. The “Day After” post mortem always condemns voters from partisan viewpoints for being duped by this lie or that lie and failing to vote consistent with the facts or indeed their own interest and the public interest. More commonly, I believe, voters put aside the all-politicians-are-crooks mantra in the voting booth and choose a favored candidate on holistic grounds, “hope for change” that will benefit them personally, address serious economic and social problems, and project national interests and values abroad. Trump can be faulted until doomsday, but I believe the Democrats defeated themselves [narrowly] by forcing an unappealing candidate on the electorate who brought no vision for change. Democrats, Republicans who despised Trump, and independents clearly saw the cynicism of the Democratic party elite imposing an aging, discredited establishment puppet on them. Through a weird coalescing of the three groups, reacting both passively = not voting and aggressively = voting in protest, Trump was barely pushed over the top and Hillary Clinton lost.



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  • Alan4: Regarding Jill Stein’s call for a recount in the U.S. presidential election, it is helpful to understand the American electoral system and other compelling factors. Because the founders believed strongly in States Rights, following from the enlightenment conception of states as independent mini-republics governed by local stakeholders, the presidential election is constitutionally composed of 50 separate state elections with each state allotted a number of electors to vote in the electoral college. The electoral vote usually, but not always, reflects the national popular vote. Slightly disproportionate electoral votes are allocated to favor the less populated states under the ethic that a minority of heavily populated states [on the coasts] ; e.g., California and New York, should not control all other regions in the country. Obviously the U. S. is a huge geographic and demographic nation compared to the United Kingdom whose small territory and 70 million population make popular vote elections far more feasible.

    Logically Hillary Clinton, the material loser should have been the one to call for a recount. Jill Stein who has no stake in a recount improperly made the request, and raises suspicions about acting as a de facto shill (without evidence of collusion) for the Democratic candidate. Decisively, Hillary, the media, and most of the country condemned Trump’s deplorable suggestion during the debate that the results of the election be re-examined for “rigging” before he would accept them. That consensus cuts to the chase. The American electorate believes in the imperative that any and all security procedures be in place and guarantee the accuracy and integrity of the vote count before the election. Recounts are necessary only in very narrow margins of victory-defeat involving several hundred or several thousand votes. Recounts are not intended to uncover “rigging” or “explain” irregularities to assuage grievances of individuals or partisans. Recounts required under statute at the arbitrary request of any losing candidate or, worse, any peripheral actor in the election like Jill Stein would pose potentially fatal threats to the democratic process. Recounts themselves present the same opportunities for possible rigging and an endless downward spiral of recriminations, lawsuits and denunciations into serial chaos.

    ( Supporters of the Jill Stein recount proposal raise the specter of computer hacking – and complex technical problems virtually beyond solution. Personally, I favor a paper-ballot trail for all votes that apparently has been dispensed with in some cases of computer voting.)



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  • Melvin #55
    Nov 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Logically Hillary Clinton, the material loser should have been the one to call for a recount. Jill Stein who has no stake in a recount improperly{?} made the request,

    Strange assertion!! A candidate with no stake in the result?????
    Surely Jill Stein as a Green party candidate in the election, has the same rights of oversight of the count, as candidates of the major parties!

    and raises suspicions about acting as a de facto shill (without evidence of collusion) for the Democratic candidate.

    This sounds like the law according to Tumpology, and tone-trolling gratuitous innuendo, rather than normal electoral law.
    Election recounts don’t require “evidence of collusion”!
    They only require official requests to recheck narrow margins.

    Decisively, Hillary, the media, and most of the country condemned Trump’s deplorable suggestion during the debate that the results of the election be re-examined for “rigging” before he would accept them.

    There is as far as I am aware, no legal position which allows major parties to carve up elections between themselves and to over-ride the legal rights of other candidates!
    Hillary rejecting Trump’s pre-election wild allegations of “rigging”, should have no bearing on legally following procedures for rechecking the count for errors, where narrow margins decide major issues and a candidate requests a recount.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Jill_Stein_presidential_campaign,_2016

    Jill Stein was the 2016 Green nominee for president of the United States. She declared her candidacy on June 22, 2015, and officially received the nomination of the Green Party on August 6, 2016, at the Green Party National Convention. She was defeated by Donald Trump (R) in the general election on November 8, 2016.

    These emotive suggestions and attitudes, seem to explain why Americans get stuck with lame major party candidates to the exclusion of others!



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  • Melvin #55
    Nov 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Recounts are not intended to uncover “rigging” or “explain” irregularities to assuage grievances of individuals or partisans. Recounts required under statute at the arbitrary request of any losing candidate or, worse, any peripheral actor in the election like Jill Stein would pose potentially fatal threats to the democratic process. Recounts themselves present the same opportunities for possible rigging and an endless downward spiral of recriminations, lawsuits and denunciations into serial chaos.

    This is utter nonsense and a contradiction of the reality!!
    Procedures for recounts are usually legally prescribed and should be properly supervised.

    Computers do open up new possibilities for irregularities, but all this pasted quote of emotive crap – IS emotive crap!!

    Recounts are there to uncover any form of irregularity, inconsistency, or suspected or possible error.

    In UK elections I have been present during counting as a political representative witness for one of the candidates, during the counting process (along with other candidates and/or their representatives), watching the officials who were carrying out the counting, while police checked IDs for eligibility of attendance, and also had oversight that no-one was interfering with the process, or breaching personal confidentiality.
    If any candidate calls for a recount – there is a recount! – no recriminations – end of!!

    Personally, I favor a paper-ballot trail for all votes that apparently has been dispensed with in some cases of computer voting

    I also favour paper ballots, where bundles of ballot papers for each candidate are counted and laid out in 10s. 100s or 1000s, where they can be seen by those independently overseeing the process on behalf of interested parties and voters, and checked or recounted if requested.

    There are problems of scale with a presidential election, but democracy depends on a proper, accurate and transparent count where representatives from any party – or any officials can blow the whistle or call for checks.



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  • Alan4 #57: In UK elections I have been present during counting as a political representative witness for one of the candidates, during the counting process (along with other candidates and/or their representatives), watching the officials who were carrying out the counting, while police checked IDs for eligibility of attendance, and also had oversight that no-one was interfering with the process, or breaching personal confidentiality.
    If any candidate calls for a recount – there is a recount! – no recriminations – end of!!

    I believe we have the same safeguards in place though security-oversight procedures may differ in administrative detail.

    From Wikipedia: Legal requirements
    Recounts can be mandatory or optional. In some jurisdictions, recounts are mandatory in the event the difference between the top two candidates is less than a percentage of votes cast or of a fixed number.[1] Mandatory recounts are paid for by the elections official, or the state. Mandatory recounts can usually be waived by the apparent losing candidate. The winning side will usually encourage the loser to waive the recount in a show of unity and to avoid spending taxpayer money.
    Each jurisdiction has different criteria for optional recounts. Some areas permit recounts for any office or measure, while others require that the margin of victory be less than a certain percentage before a recount is allowed. In all instances, optional recounts are paid for by the candidate, their political party, or, in some instances, by any interested voter. The person paying for the recount has the option to stop the recount at any time. If the recount reverses the election, the jurisdiction will then pay for the recount.
    In the United Kingdom it is possible for a defeated candidate denied a recount by the Returning Officer, to request one from the court by means of an election petition.
    There are several cases where a Parliamentary election has been the subject of a court-ordered recount.

    This information suggests that vote-count criteria often be met before election authorities permit a recount. Wikipedia does not always provide reliable, accurate or updated information so feel free to amend.



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  • Jill Stein’s fundraising yielded over six million dollars to pay for recounts notably in Wisconsin but also with sights on Michigan and Pennsylvania, putting the recount in the optional category, usually funded by the losing candidate’s party. ( The margin of victory is too great in all three states to trigger an automatic mandatory recount – see below). Lawyers from the Democratic Party and the Republican Party will also attend with other staff to oversee the undertaking. Stein claims to be testing the integrity of the voting process by examining the reliability of the machines counting the votes. [Russian ?] Hacking and malfunction, rather than the intention of voters will apparently remain the focus.

    From the New York Times: In Wisconsin, Mr. Trump leads by 22,177 votes. In Michigan, he has a lead of 10,704 votes, and in Pennsylvania, his advantage is 70,638 votes.
    Mr. Elias suggested in his essay that the Clinton campaign was joining the recount effort with little expectation that it would change the result. But many of the campaign’s supporters, picking up on its frequent complaints of Russian interference in the election, have enthusiastically backed Ms. Stein’s efforts, putting pressure on the Clinton team to show that it is exploring all options.




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  • Melvin #59
    Nov 27, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Stein claims to be testing the integrity of the voting process by examining the reliability of the machines counting the votes. [Russian ?] Hacking and malfunction, rather than the intention of voters will apparently remain the focus.

    Given the fluency of Trump’s unrestrained lying and his foreign policy ineptitude, the impeachment of a previous Republican president, and a dubious Florida count which gave the world imaginary “weapons of mass destruction”, G.W. Bush, civil wars, and refugee crises, “testing the integrity of the voting process” is probably a good idea!
    Testing the integrity of the candidates would also be a good idea!

    @#55 – Logically Hillary Clinton, the material loser should have been the one to call for a recount. Jill Stein who has no stake in a recount improperly made the request, and raises suspicions about acting as a de facto shill (without evidence of collusion) for the Democratic candidate.

    I would have thought, that calling for a recount which might unseat an – “It’s a Chinese hoax” global warming denier, who has promised to further develop the coal industry, would be very much a logical move (even with a slight chance) for a Green Party Candidate trying to protect humanity’s stake in the planet!

    Perhaps she is also the candidate, those who wanted to rebel against THE entrenched, greedy, heavily sponsored, POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT, should have been voting for!
    Trump ranting on about Clinton’s emails is of course rampant hypocrisy!

    http://europe.newsweek.com/donald-trump-companies-destroyed-emails-documents-515120?rm=eu

    Donald Trump’s Companies Destroyed emails in Defiance of Court Orders.



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  • Alan4 #60: testing the integrity of the voting process” is probably a good idea!
    Testing the integrity of the candidates would also be a good idea!

    Barring a Russian super-genius who left nearly-undetectable evidence of multiple hacking into electronic voting systems with preternatural skill to change pinpoint voting clusters in targeted counties, the overwhelming consensus is that the election was not and could not have been tampered with by outsiders. Even Hillary’s campaign, though now committed to an active oversight role in the recount, claims there is no evidence of tampering. Several rabidly partisan computer “experts” have raised questions of “irregularities” in counties using electronic voting machines while other experts have dismissed their statistics as contrived. Personally, I’m so gun shy of making “certain” predictions about this bizarre election, that I gladly welcome the recounts.

    Infected though I am with the contagion of conspiracy-theory fever, regular calls for recounts, except in cases of legally defined close margins of victory-defeat, pose a threat to democracy by socializing electorates to live in paranoia about the outcome of every important election with controversial candidates. Security and reliability of the voting process at every step is verified by multiple repetitive procedures and safeguards. The actual process of “counting votes” itself involves substantive recounting with multiple cross-checking audits of paper ballots with log-in registers, voter registration records, mail-in ballots, investigation of questionable ballots, and, of course voting machine operation and tabulation.

    As mentioned, gratuitous regular calls for recounts not only offer the same opportunities for tampering as the “original” election but also multiply those opportunities for disgruntled losers to overturn the election. Herein lie major causes for post-election bloody conflicts including civil wars witnessed in corrupt developing nations.



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  • Melvin #61
    Nov 28, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Alan4 #60: testing the integrity of the voting process” is probably a good idea!
    Testing the integrity of the candidates would also be a good idea!

    Barring a Russian super-genius who left nearly-undetectable evidence of multiple hacking into electronic voting systems with preternatural skill to change pinpoint voting clusters in targeted counties, the overwhelming consensus is that the election was not and could not have been tampered with by outsiders.

    It would be interesting to know who these “experts” are, and on what basis this supposed consensus is recognised!

    Given that anti-virus systems have to be regularly up-dated, hacking is quite common – even by teenage geeks, and ransom-ware still makes profits for scamsters, the “expert” sources of these assurances (particularly in the context of the skills and resources government secret dirty-tricks departments have available) and their actual qualifications, would be very interesting.

    Even Hillary’s campaign, though now committed to an active oversight role in the recount, claims there is no evidence of tampering.

    They claim they have no evidence, but that does not mean none exists! – They are after all political campaigners not computer security experts who have actually looked at the systems used.

    Several rabidly partisan computer “experts” have raised questions of “irregularities” in counties using electronic voting machines

    You really should leave out the emotive hype or you sound like Faux News or the tabloid press!

    while other experts have dismissed their statistics as contrived.

    I would place no confidence in anyone who claimed to be an expert offering an opining in any form other than an analytic report on particular systems and software.

    Personally, I’m so gun shy of making “certain” predictions about this bizarre election, that I gladly welcome the recounts.

    The thing about recounts, is that we really don’t know if there are errors or not, and how big or small they may be, until the audit trail has been competently, honestly, examined and verified.

    Historically, it has been known on occasions, for ALL the votes from particular voting stations to missed out of the first count, or for voting machines to repeatedly malfunction.

    A number of problems and irregularities were identified here:- clearly making a farce out of democracy and giving the world BUSH!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_election_recount

    Studies of the electoral process in Florida have been done by Democrats, Republicans, and other interested parties, that reveal various flaws and improprieties.



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  • Melvin #61
    Nov 28, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Security and reliability of the voting process at every step is verified by multiple repetitive procedures and safeguards. The actual process of “counting votes” itself involves substantive recounting with multiple cross-checking audits of paper ballots with log-in registers, voter registration records, mail-in ballots, investigation of questionable ballots, and, of course voting machine operation and tabulation.

    However when their previous records are looked at, some states are seriously inadequate or in need of improvement! It is unclear as to what improvements, or if any improvements, have since been made.

    https://www.verifiedvotingfoundation.org/projects/counting-votes/

    Examples of Past Machine Failures

    Listed below are examples of past machine failures and how they impacted various elections:

    Following a June 2009 election, officials in Pennington County, South Dakota, discovered a software malfunction that added thousands of non-existent votes to the county totals.6

    In a municipal election in Palm Beach County, Florida, in March 2012, a problem with election management software allotted votes to the wrong candidate and the wrong contest. The official results were only changed after a court-sanctioned public hand count of the votes.E-voting System Awards Election to Wrong Candidates in Florida Village, Computerworld, (Apr. 4, 2012).]

    In the 2008 Republican presidential primary in Horry County, South Carolina, touch screen voting machines in 80 percent of the precincts temporarily failed, and when precincts ran out of paper ballots, voters could not cast ballots in their home precinct.7

    In a test-run for an online election in the September 2010 Washington, D.C., primary, a hacker team was able to change all of the votes to “elect” their own candidates. The online voting system was days away from being launched in a real election for use by overseas and military voters. After the incident, the Internet voting system was canceled.8

    Similar vote-counting errors may go undetected during the 2012 elections unless the mistake is so large and obvious – like the software malfunction in South Dakota – that it can’t be ignored, or the state has adopted procedures – like the post-election audit done in Florida – as recommended in this report.

    The report assessed each state based on how its laws and procedures matched up to best practices in the categories identified above. These metrics were developed in consultation with leading election officials and security experts — in each of these areas. We rated each state on a five-tier scale, from inadequate through excellent.
    We determined that five states – Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin – are the best prepared to catch voting system problems and to protect voters from disenfranchisement due to equipment failures.
    On the other hand, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina are the least-prepared states.
    The rest of the states were missing one, two or three key procedures or systems that would adequately protect voters.




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  • Alan4 #63: However when their previous records are looked at, some states are seriously inadequate or in need of improvement! It is unclear as to what improvements, or if any improvements, have since been made.

    The cases you cite are disturbing. In the olden days many elections held throughout the country were “won” by simple ballot box stuffing: fraud, corruption, bought votes, intimidation and, last but not least, violence inflicting serious or fatal bodily harm. Though disturbing, the cases cited above were all solved or controlled by election officials with one possible exception. We’ve been assured for the 2016 election that computer voting systems could be verified not only for proper functioning before the election but also monitored during the election and cross-checked with independent sources after the election for any evidence of tampering or malfunction. No system is fail-safe including paper ballots (see “olden days” reference above.) Recounts, except under extraordinary conditions, still plunge the electorate into infinite feedback loops within an infinite regression. If the original election with all its audits and safeguards and no detectable evidence to the contrary is suspect, why isn’t the recount with slightly separate audits and safeguards not just as suspect? Does not the tenth recount arguably compound all the small errors made in the previous nine recounts? See where this is going? It is better to assure the integrity of the voting process with all the safeguards integral to a single election than to plunge hothead partisans into the morass of gratuitous recounts.

    By way of digression: From the Report: We determined that five states – Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin – are the best prepared to catch voting system problems and to protect voters from disenfranchisement due to equipment failures

    Jill Stein curiously enough wants to start with Wisconsin cited for being among the “best prepared” states listed above. But enough quibbling. The march of events has overtaken opinion. Let the recount begin!!



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38138865

    The White House says there is no evidence to support Donald Trump’s claim of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 US presidential election.

    Press Secretary Josh Earnest dismissed the president-elect’s unsubstantiated allegations that millions of people had cast illegal votes.

    It is of course ironical, that having settled student claims for $millions for fraudulent sales of business courses at Trump University, and with numerous other cases against him pending, Trump is still gratuitously accusing other people of fraud!

    Ms Stein also notified the elections board in Michigan, where Mr Trump’s 16 electoral votes were certified on Monday, that it would seek a statewide recount of the presidential election results.

    Her campaign moved to do the same in Pennsylvania.

    Mr Trump won by two-tenths of a percentage point out of nearly 4.8 million votes, making it the closest presidential race in Michigan in more than 75 years.

    He is the first Republican presidential nominee to win Michigan since 1988.

    Fox News: The conservative broadcaster did not draw attention to the baselessness of Mr Trump’s claim until halfway through the fifth paragraph, when it conceded that “the magnate offered no proof of the alleged irregularities”.

    Huffington Post: The online outlet criticised media for reporting his allegations without challenging them: “Too often, news organizations amplify Trump’s assertions in headlines with some variation of “Trump tweets” or Trump claims” or “Trump says” ― whether or not those assertions are true.”



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  • The press in America is truly appalling. Trump has been given an almost totally free ride on his stream of lies which the press generally just report as “Trump says…” and “Democrats disagree”. If they had the guts to call him out properly each time and call him a liar maybe the electorate wouldn’t be so easily bamboozled.



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  • Melvin #64
    Nov 28, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    The cases you cite are disturbing.

    Perhaps these reports should also be disturbing!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-38142968

    Germany’s foreign intelligence chief has warned that Russia could seek to disrupt next year’s German elections with cyber attacks.

    Bruno Kahl said his agency was aware of cyber attacks with no other purpose than “causing political uncertainty”.

    “Europe is in the focus of this attempted disruption, and Germany in particular,” he told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.

    Russia or Russia-linked groups have been regularly accused of such attacks.

    Although campaigning for federal elections next autumn has not yet begun, Angela Merkel announced last week that she would be seeking a fourth term as chancellor.

    Earlier this year, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency accused Russia of being behind a series of cyber attacks on German state computer systems, including targeting the lower house of parliament last year.

    A group known as Fancy Bear, which is thought to be linked to the Russian state, has been blamed for the attacks. It is also believed to have targeted Mrs Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union party.

    @#61 – Several rabidly partisan computer “experts” have raised questions of “irregularities” in counties using electronic voting machines

    Really????

    In October, the US formally accused Russia of trying to interfere with its presidential elections by attacking political organisations. The Kremlin has consistently denied such allegations.



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  • Meanwhile scientists and satellites continue to make accurate measurements!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-38127320

    Higher water temperatures in 2016 caused the worst destruction of corals ever recorded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a study has found.

    Some 67% of corals died in the reef’s worst-hit northern section, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies report said.

    The situation was better in the central section, where 6% perished, while the southern reef is in good health.

    But scientists warn recovery could be difficult if climate change continues.

    Coral bleaching happens when water temperatures rise for a sustained period of time.

    In February, March and April, sea surface temperatures across the Great Barrier Reef were the hottest on record, at least 1C higher than the monthly average.

    “Some of the initial mortality was down to heat stress,” said study leader Professor Terry Hughes.

    “The coral was cooked.”

    The study also found that the coral which survived the bleaching have now come under greater threat from predators such as snails and crown of thorns starfish.

    This year’s mass bleaching was the worst-ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, following two previous events in 1998 and 2002.

    Professor Hughes is certain that the increased water temperature is the result of carbon emissions, and warns that climate change could bring annual bleaching within 20 years.

    “Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern, most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

    “This region escaped with minor damage in two earlier bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, but this time around it has been badly affected.”



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  • Alan4 #65: Mr Trump won by two-tenths of a percentage point out of nearly 4.8 million votes, making it the closest presidential race in Michigan in more than 75 years.
    He is the first Republican presidential nominee to win Michigan since 1988.

    The margin of victory for Trump in Michigan was announced at about 11,000 votes. Those dirty Russians
    must have been up to a whole lot of meddling!… OK, I’ll accept the inevitable and leave the findings up to the recount.

    Alan4 #68: This year’s mass bleaching was the worst-ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, following two previous events in 1998 and 2002.

    So what? Hundreds of millions of people tomorrow are going to fill up their gas tanks to get to work. Thousands of tourists are going to fly by jet to Australia zoom zoom, then putter out to the great barrier reef to scuba in petrol-powered dive boats. People are going to live out their lives oblivious to a soggy report on coral bleaching. People are going to take care of themselves first here, there and now. Were that their numbers much smaller and their cumulative impact far, far less.

    Arkrid Sandwich #66: The press in America is truly appalling. Trump has been given an almost totally free ride on his stream of lies which the press generally just report as “Trump says…” and “Democrats disagree”.

    The mainstream press in the U.S.: MSNBC, CNN, NPR, newspapers in major cities (New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, etc.) took off the gloves during the campaign and called trump out frequently for his egregious lies. I’ve never seen anything like it in a presidential election season. Contrary to your statement, the media ironically followed your sound advice and thoroughly denounced Trump for his pathological lying, his vile insults, his mean temperament and his atrocious lack of judgement, knowledge and experience. Under the circumstances – you and I would agree – they were entirely justified.



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  • Melvin #69
    Nov 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Alan4 #68: This year’s mass bleaching was the worst-ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, following two previous events in 1998 and 2002.

    So what? Hundreds of millions of people tomorrow are going to fill up their gas tanks to get to work.

    Some are going to find their homes going up in wild-fires, crops failed because of droughts, or flooded by increasing storms and land-slides, but some sheltered individuals may remain oblivious or in denial!

    Thousands of tourists are going to fly by jet to Australia zoom zoom, then putter out to the great barrier reef to scuba in petrol-powered dive boats.

    Of course this will be pointless in the northern sections when the reef no longer exists, when the coral ecosystem is impoverished, and the coastal erosion is eating into the land!

    People are going to live out their lives oblivious to a soggy report on coral bleaching.

    Some may, – unless they are in communities fed by coastal fish, or protected from storms by coral reefs.

    People are going to take care of themselves first here, there and now. Were that their numbers much smaller and their cumulative impact far, far less.

    Unnecessarily polluting the planet is a VERY short-sighted, failing and self defeating method of attempting this, and requires a mental disconnect from the reality of sources food supplies and effects of climate on life.



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  • @Melvin

    People are going to take care of themselves first here, there and now.

    Is this a good thing… Isn’t this text book Tragedy of the Commons. I can take my little bit and it won’t matter. Echoed by 7.5 billion people on the planet. How do you change this to I will think of the long term survival of the planet first… and if there is enough, I will take a little bit.



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  • Melvin #69
    Nov 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Alan4 #68: This year’s mass bleaching was the worst-ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, following two previous events in 1998 and 2002.

    So what? Hundreds of millions of people tomorrow are going to fill up their gas tanks to get to work.
    Thousands of tourists are going to fly by jet to Australia zoom zoom,
    People are going to take care of themselves first here, there and now.

    So if they or their families are planning to live beyond 2050, they should think again!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38146248

    Earth warming to climate tipping point, warns study

    A warmer world will release vast volumes of carbon into the atmosphere, potentially triggering dangerous climate change, scientists warn.

    Writing in journal Nature, they project that an increase of 1C (1.8F) will release an additional 55 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere by 2050.

    This could trigger a “positive feedback” and push the planet’s climate system past the point of no-return.

    Previous assessments have not taken carbon released by soil into account.

    In their Nature paper, an international team of scientists said that the majority of the Earth’s terrestrial store of carbon was in the soil.

    They warned that as the world warmed, organisms living in the planet’s soils would become more active, resulting in more carbon being released into the atmosphere – exacerbating warming.

    “There have been concerns about this positive feedback for a long, long time,” said lead author Thomas Crowther, who conducted the research while based at Yale University, US, but now at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

    “For the past two or three decades there have been literally thousands of studies trying to address this topic and trying to identify whether there are going to be increases or decreases in carbon uptake of the soil in relation to warming or increases in carbon loss.”
    Considerable losses

    Dr Crowther said the uncertainty surrounding the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and the planet’s soils had led to “sizeable differences in the projections of future climate conditions”.

    He told BBC News: “We are the first study to take a global perspective and then map the variability and able to say that in these areas there are going to be huge losses and in these areas there are going to be some gains.

    “Using this approach we can get a robust idea of the whole picture. We show that, actually, the losses are going to be really considerable.”

    Using data stretching over 20 years from 49 sites across the globe, the team observed that global carbon stocks would fall by up to 55 petagrams (55 billion tonnes) under a business-as-usual scenario, which is roughly equivalent to adding the emissions from a nation the size of the US.

    Dr Crowther, whose team had produced a short video on the subject, added: “I do not positive as in ‘good’ but positive as in it is reinforcing, so it is a process that once it has kicked off, it leads to the acceleration of itself.

    “Carbon comes out of the soil, which leads to more warming, which leads to more carbon out of the soil, it is a reinforcing cycle. The concerning thing is that our projection is that we are going to lose 55 petgrams, that’s 55 trillion kilograms by 2050. This process is only going to accelerate and accelerate.

    In the global carbon cycle, soils act as a depository, a place where carbon is stored in a state that does not directly influence the global climate system.

    He observed: “The carbon is trapped in the soil because it is taken from the atmosphere by plant material through photosynthesis. Particularly in cold places, it get stored in the soil for a very long time, and this minimises the atmospheric concentrations.

    “In the soil, there are microbes and soil animals, as well as plant roots, and they all use that soil carbon for their growth and activity.

    “Where it is really cold, the activity and growth is limited but when it warms, and warming is likely to be disproportionately happening in cold areas, then the more active they are set to become.”

    Dr Crowther said the increased activity by the organisms would mean that they would consume greater volumes of the carbon in the soil, and this would be released as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

    “It is very similar to the way we respire and produce carbon dioxide. Because there is such a huge biomass of microbes and soil animals, that respiration really can be massive,” he said.



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  • I commend Alan4 for citing this study that adds irreversible conditions worthy of consideration to worsening global warming doomsday scenarios: Earth warming to climate tipping point, warns study:
    A warmer world will release vast volumes of carbon into the atmosphere, potentially triggering dangerous climate change, scientists warn. Writing in journal Nature, they project that an increase of 1C (1.8F) will release an additional 55 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere by 2050. This could trigger a “positive feedback” and push the planet’s climate system past the point of no-return. Previous assessments have not taken carbon released by soil into account.In their Nature paper, an international team of scientists said that the majority of the Earth’s terrestrial store of carbon was in the soil. They warned that as the world warmed, organisms living in the planet’s soils would become more active, resulting in more carbon being released into the atmosphere – exacerbating warming. “There have been concerns about this positive feedback for a long, long time,” said lead author Thomas Crowther, who conducted the research while based at Yale University, US, but now at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

    Between 2013 and 2016 reports of CO2 reaching 400 parts per millions with steady if not increasing annual increases ahead, the doomsday outcome seems certain. From NASA: These increases in atmospheric CO2 are causing real, significant changes in the Earth system now, not in some distant future climate, and will continue to be felt for centuries to come. We can study these impacts to better understand the way the Earth will respond to future changes, but unless serious actions are taken immediately, we risk the next threshold being a point of no return in mankind’s unintended global-scale geoengineering experiment.
    – Dr. Charles Miller

    Let’s look at these predictions literally in terms of outcomes. There is no way to reduce annual CO2 concentrations in the atmsosphere immediateley. The time frame gives humanity the year 2017 as the starting point and the ending point as 2050. That’s 33 years. Annual emissions [from fossil fuels] of CO2 have (allegedly) remained flat for three years. Unfortunately , flat or slightly decreased annual emissions have no systemic effect on the annual increases of CO 2 concentrations in the atmosphere 2015 emissions levels will increase parts per million by about 1% annually.

    If the studies’ findings, and their analyses are accurate there are no grounds for holding out hope that the planet will recover from the imminence of global warming over the next 20 or 30 years. There just isn’t time or credible signs of radical changes in world energy infrastructures starting January 1, 2017. If the reports have miscalculated the consequences of increasing (stable or slightly reduced) anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere driving an increase in concentrations of those gases -then no catastrophe on the scale predicted will materialize.. The reports may turn out simply to be false. If they mean what they say the ship is sinking with no rescue vessel in sight.



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  • Melvin #73
    Dec 1, 2016 at 3:52 am

    If the reports have miscalculated the consequences of increasing (stable or slightly reduced) anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere driving an increase in concentrations of those gases -then no catastrophe on the scale predicted will materialize..

    . . . .then no catastrophe on the scale predicted will materialize as soon as predicted. It may take a bit longer! – On the other hand it could happen sooner, if the miscalculation is in the other direction.

    The reports may turn out simply to be false.

    It is extremely unlikely that these sorts of confirmed scientific measurements are completely false. (Increases in greenhouse gases DO increase retained solar heat.)
    The predictions MAY turn out to be slightly inaccurate – in detail and timing, but those inaccuracies could be in either direction, with calamities on a range of scales, triggered sooner OR later.

    The preservation of organic matter when frozen, and the rotting down of organic material to releasing gases at warmer temperatures, can be demonstrated by anyone taking frozen food out of a freezer!



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  • Meanwhile:- Addressing the issue of wasteful conspicuous consumption as a fashion status statement!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38165948

    China has introduced an additional 10% tax on “super cars”, including Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce.

    The tax, affecting cars that cost more than 1.3m yuan ($189,000; £151,024), is aimed at curbing lavish spending and reducing emissions, authorities said.

    It is part of a wider effort by Chinese authorities against flashy demonstrations of wealth, which has already hit other luxury brands.

    China is a key market for high-end carmakers.

    Automakers have in recent years increasingly tailored their luxury models to appeal to Chinese buyers.

    Both Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin are planning to release SUV models in the next year, seen as a response to a Chinese preference for large cars over sports vehicles.

    In order to guide rational consumption, and promote energy-saving emission reductions, the state Council has approved an additional consumption levy on ultra-luxury cars,” a statement by the Ministry of Finance said.

    The country’s ruling communist party on Thursday also issued new regulations for party officials against “pomp” as part of anti-corruption efforts.

    Top officials should “travel without pomp, minimise impact on public life, and not have vehicles exceeding the set standards”, the official Xinhua news agency reported.



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  • Melvin #69
    Nov 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Alan4 #68: This year’s mass bleaching was the worst-ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef, following two previous events in 1998 and 2002.

    So what? Hundreds of millions of people tomorrow are going to fill up their gas tanks to get to work. Thousands of tourists are going to fly by jet to Australia zoom zoom, then putter out to the great barrier reef to scuba in petrol-powered dive boats.
    People are going to live out their lives oblivious to a soggy report on coral bleaching. People are going to take care of themselves first here, there and now.

    .. and then they may be going to come home (perhaps a soggy flooded home), to find they have massive uninsured or uninsurable losses, resulting from their own and other people’s stupidity!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38229108

    Experts have warned of a $100bn (£79bn) “protection gap” in the global insurance sector as a result of the rising impact of climate risks.

    ClimateWise, based at the University of Cambridge, warned that the gap of uninsured or under-insured assets had quadrupled over the past three decades.

    The insurance sector’s role as society’s risk manager was under threat, warned one senior figure.

    The network outlined its findings in two reports published on Wednesday.

    “What we have seen is that over the past 30 years, as societal exposure to climate change has increased, is that the traditional response of insurance – which is to reassess, re-underwrite, and reprice – is almost becoming the sector’s Achilles heel if you like because it is repricing itself out of risk but it is not addressing the root cause of the problem, which is that society is increasingly vulnerable to climate risks and it is in need of enhancing its resilience,” explained ClimateWIse programme manager Tom Herbstein.

    He said the protection gap was the difference between total economic loss and the value of assets that were covered by insurance policies.

    “We have seen this gap open up from about US $23bn about 30 years ago to over US $100bn today,” Dr Herbstein told BBC News.

    He said that the burden of covering the cost of the protection gap fell on other parts of society, such as governments and asset owners. “In some cases, no-one covers it at all,” he added.

    The details of the widening protection gap in the global insurance market was published in ClimateWise’s annual review of its 29 members’ activities.

    ClimateWise, a network of leading insurance companies, was established in 2008 by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability.

    In another ClimateWise report, Investing in Resilience, the network highlighted ways that the industry could help support its clients to build a more robust infrastructure.

    Dr Herbstein said the report published by ClimateWise’s Societal Resilience Programme, identified a number of approaches that would allow the global insurance industry to use its expertise and data in risk management to support its clients and the wider financial world to deliver climate resilience.

    “One is how insurers can start to invest in resilience internally, within its existing investment portfolio – such as increased investment in green bonds,” he said.



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