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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Water, water everywhere.

Here on the nation’s Gulf Coast, where I live, we’ve got precipitation to spare — severe thunderstorms, overwhelmed sewer systems, and flash floods. It’s hard to remember I’m not living in a land with regularly scheduled monsoons.

Meanwhile, the great state of California is desperately dry as it endures the fourth year of a drought that has already burned through every historical record. It’s been 1,200 years, according to a recent study, since the state has experienced anything like this.

As different as the manifestations are, though, both regions are likely grappling with the effects of climate change. As the Earth warms, droughts will become more frequent and more severe, leading to devastating fires, water shortages and, in some areas, agricultural collapse, according to climate scientists.

At the same time (and this befuddles the layperson), a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, so areas that tend toward rain will have more of it, leading to more floods. There may also be more snowfall in colder climes, so don’t let a blizzard or two fool you.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2014 was the hottest year on record, with continents and oceans warmer than any year since 1880. And despite a bitterly cold winter in the Northeast and Midwest, 2015 is vying to best that. January, February, and March were the warmest on record for the planet, scientists say. Climate change is real.

Jerry Brown, California’s Democratic governor, knows that. He is living through its havoc and trying to meet it squarely. After enacting rigid new regulations about water use weeks ago, he has just issued new rules on carbon emissions — even though his state already had pretty tough requirements. Good for him.

In a speech, Brown said he wants California to stand out as an example for how to deal with global warming. “It’s a real test. Not just for California, not just for America, but for the world. Can we rise above the parochialisms, the ethnocentric perspectives, the immediacy of I-want-I-want-I-need, to a vision, a way of life, that is sustainable?”

President Obama is also doing what he can. He has called for increased fuel efficiency for vehicles; cars and light-duty trucks should be getting the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon by model year 2025. And, in a more ambitious move, the Environmental Protection Agency has set new rules for power plants, requiring them to limit the amount of carbon dioxide they dump into the atmosphere.

But those commonsense measures have met fierce resistance, not only from industries and the billionaires who own them (think the Koch brothers), but also from their lap dogs in the Republican Party. Several GOP state attorneys general — in apparent collusion with energy companies — have sued the EPA to prevent the regulations from taking effect. “Never before have attorneys general joined on this scale with corporate interests to challenge Washington and file lawsuits in federal court,” according to The New York Times.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for his part, has urged states to refuse to cooperate in setting targets to limit emissions from power plants. In other words, he has — shades of the Old South — advised them to rebel against federal authority.

(In April, one of his state’s largest newspapers, The Lexington Herald-Leader, printed a powerful editorial rebuking him for that stance. “Mitch McConnell and others who are trying to obstruct climate protections will be regarded one day in the same way we think of 19th-century apologists for human slavery: How could economic interests blind them to the immorality of their position?”)

While the scientific consensus on climate change — that human activity is causing it — grows stronger with each week’s evidence, so does Republican resistance to measures to combat it. Though conservatives once held science in high esteem, they have abandoned it for the siren call of their monied backers.

California’s governor has called this era a “test,” a challenging moment in which we are called to rise above greed, partisanship, and selfish convenience. So far, we’re not doing so well.

Cynthia Tucker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007. She can be reached at [email protected]

  • CrankyToo

    The Kock brothers and the Repugnican Party are co-sponsors of economic terrorism…

    • joe schmo

      Nope, how stupid can you be… Seriously, blaming climate change on the Republicans? LOL Why are we failing? Because of you folks. There is NO SUCH THING as Climate Change. It’s a cycle and your moronic representatives and Climate changers are making millions off of this fallacy. Get a clue.

      • CrankyToo

        Eureka! You’ve found it! Absolute proof that 97% of climate scientists are lying and that global warming is a hoax!!! All hail the Schmo!!!


        Only in the addled minds of idiots like you can (roughly) one kilobyte of unintelligible word salad relative to weather phenomena in one small geographical area offer a definitive rebuttal to accepted climate change theory.

        If one hundred scientists were asked whether or not man-made pollution was causing the temperature of the earth to rise and greenhouse gases to foul the atmosphere, exactly three of them (statistically speaking) would take your side of the argument..

        The other 97 would agree that you’re a phucking moron!

        • joe schmo

          You are the stupid one. LOL time will prove you wrong…… Why not prove me wrong. Well you can’t. All you do is pull blank paper out of an idiot box and slam it at me. Nothing of substance there. Absolutely, NOTHIN……

      • Insinnergy

        You don’t understand statistics.
        I’d suggest you make a career in Vegas. It’s designed for you.

        • joe schmo

          Funny you should say that. I grew up in Vegas. Yes it is designed for me. Too bad I didn’t spend much time in the casinos. I tend to like to save my money. Lots of open space and places to be in the outdoors. You should try it sometime. Lot’s of beautiful places to see. Mt. Charleston, Warm Springs, St. George, UT, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park. Duck Creek, UT. Kingman, Arizona, Lake Mead. I could go on and on and on:)

          • dpaano

            Unfortunately, a lot of those places have gone by the wayside due to lack of water, drought, etc. Even Lake Mead has dropped it’s level considerably.

      • dpaano

        Keep believing the BS that the GOP tells you…..typical!

  • Rufus Sufur

    Perhaps the greatest challenge facing mankind is that of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda, and science from fiction.

  • highpckts

    Hell half of them think they won’t be around to suffer the consequences! Selfish Morons!!

    • ericlipps

      Well, most of them probably won’t be around in fifty or sixty years–and they can always claim the lesser effects likely before then are simply the result of “natural variability.”

  • Kurt CPI

    In the Pacific Northwest where I live, our ice-age glaciers have diminished in size by more than 30% over 50 years. Last winter our Olympic Mountain range received only 7% of our average snow pack. This is a trend that continues. Of course that doesn’t prove that human-caused emissions are the primary culprit, but life on earth is possible only because of an extremely delicate balance of solar, atmospheric, oceanic, magnetic and chemical components, each reliant on the others. How any doubt exists that screwing with that intricate and ever-so-fragile balance will have disastrous effects in the long term is beyond my comprehension. It’s so far out there that I have to believe it’s not denial of the evidence, it’s simply short-sighted apathy. In the end, nature will win. But the cost of doing nothing may far surpass the cost of a little prevention.

  • TZToronto

    The tipping point will come when large corporations are seen to be making plans to mitigate the effects of climate change on their businesses. Let’s face it. Even the staunchest opponents of man-made climate change probably know that it’s for real, but their economic and political interests prevent them from doing anything about it. The only ones who truly deny it are the evangelicals who are just hoping for the Rapture to take them away. . . . How is their Lord and Savior going to treat them when he realizes that these are the ones who did all they could to destroy the garden spot of the universe?

  • howa4x

    This is a wide crisis. The civil war in Syria was started by the wheat shortage. When protest began the government began shooting protestors

    • joe schmo

      It’s a crisis and you better hope it doesn’t last toooo long. Nature has a funny way of getting back at humans for preaching nonsense.

      • Sand_Cat

        Yeah, so maybe you nonsense speakers should cool it. But of course you won’t. I love how those of you with ZERO respect for nature and ZERO humility are always telling us to respect nature and have humility.

        • joe schmo

          You ARE totally wrong. I grew up respecting nature and animals. Our family spent years on the weekends outdoors. I’m almost sure you didn’t. I just happen to have more sense than you and I realize that weather is cyclic. Has been for thousands of years. It’s all about the money moron. Guess you don’t see it.

      • CrankyToo

        Yeah, so don’t anyone stand next to this dumba$$ in a thunderstorm.

        • joe schmo

          You would probably put your hand on an antenna in a thunder storm and think that it wouldn’t penetrate, right? LOL

      • Insinnergy

        Why don’t you pray that we stop talking.
        I really really think that will work.
        Try hard.

        • joe schmo

          Why don’t you hope. We are all over the web. More than you are …. Guess that speaks volumes:) Does that even give you a clue?

  • howa4x

    Young people are realizing that this is real so no mater how much Koch money is available they are not going to get people in California to believe it is a hoax. Only coal states have their heads in the mines. When one town in Texas ran out of drinking water they attached the water lines to the sewer plant to drink treated sewerage. The southwest will dry out as bad as California. The right wing in those states are big deniers but their agricultural practices will accelerate the decline in the water table and so to the amount of water going to the cities. I want to see what the republicans say then.

    • joe schmo

      LOLOLOLOLOL. How hard should I laugh? Time to slow down reproduction. Let’s start with the Liberals. By the way, California has always had droughts. Goes way back.

      Read this moron:

      Droughts in the western U.S. in the past 200 years are small compared to
      several megadroughts that occurred during Medieval times. We
      reconstruct duration and magnitude of extreme droughts in the northern
      Sierra Nevada from hydroclimatic conditions in Fallen Leaf Lake,
      California. Stands of submerged trees rooted in situ below the lake
      surface were imaged with sidescan sonar and radiocarbon analysis yields
      an age estimate of similar to 1250 AD. Tree-ring records and submerged
      paleoshoreline geomorphology suggest a Medieval low-stand of Fallen Leaf
      Lake lasted more than 220 years. Over eighty more trees were found
      lying on the lake floor at various elevations above the paleoshoreline.
      Water-balance calculations suggest annual precipitation was less than
      60% normal from late 10th century to early 13th century AD. Hence, the
      lake’s shoreline dropped 40-60 m below its modern elevation. Stands of
      pre-Medieval trees in this lake and in Lake Tahoe suggest the region
      experienced severe drought at least every 650-1150 years during the mid-
      and late-Holocene. These observations quantify paleo-precipitation and
      recurrence of prolonged drought in the northern Sierra Nevada. Published
      by Elsevier Ltd.

      You CANNOT disprove science. Your lamies are getting rich off of this bullsh*t. Koch money has nothing to do with it.

      • FB Adams

        They have never grasped the concept that the only constant is change. Affix that to their blind acceptance of far-left lunatics like Bloomberg, Soros, and the little poptart Michael Moore and you have a recipe for the kool-ade these morons drink like the mind-numbed robots they are.

        I probably could like liberals if they were just not so intrinsically dishonest and divorced from reality. As it is I do not suffer fools easily.

        • Insinnergy

          That’s funny because far from being the liberals divorced from reality, try finding any reality on anything much within the GOP. “It’s the end times”, “Gays will kill us all”, “Small Government except when you try to marry someone we don’t like, or use contraception or abortion facilities that we don’t like, then we’re all up in your face with big intrusive government and we’re going to micromanage your private parts.”, “The US Government defaulting on it’s loans will stabilise the world economy.”, “Guns aren’t a problem, and to prove it, we’re going to block any research into whether guns are a problem”, “Iraq has WMDs”, “The best way to create peace with Iran is to bomb it.”, “The chances of conception after a rape are very small, a woman’s body just has ways of shutting that down”…
          And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my f***ing head. You could write a entire novel of the statement made by completely science-denying, god-loving, Ayn Randian-kill-the-poor GOP representatives.
          I challenge you to find even 5 examples of the same pap coming from Democrats, of the same degree of idiocy and delusion.

          • FB Adams

            I guess you failed to read my last sentence. It figures.

          • Insinnergy

            Fail. Didn’t think you could manage to find even 5.
            Not rebutting a point is not the same as winning it.
            Lie, avoid, change the subject.
            You trolls are all the same.

          • joe schmo

            Well…..we on the Right have our faults just like you, however; we certainly have tons more common sense.

            ‘Its the end times’…..could be
            ‘Gays will kill us all’…..Amazing how such a small group has SO much power. I do not have a problem with gays, I do have a problem with their agenda.
            ‘Small government’ doesn’t take over the people. That was never our forefather’s intentions. Big government eludes to Commmunism. In a sense yes they are trying to micromanage your private parts. Just heard from a nurse today that many young boys are getting the shots that young women are getting to prevent female cancer. Kind of odd that it is FORCED.
            The US Government is defaulting on it’s loans and this could lead to our demise sooner than you think…
            Guns ARE NOT a problem. Take them away and there WILL be problems for innocent people.
            Let’s just keep our military strong and forget about the Middle East.
            Women should be able to do with their bodies what they want.

            The latter two I kind of agree with. Most of us whether on the right or left slop over to one side or the other. That is what makes us similar yet different. I don’t deny science, but I hate atheism. I don’t hate poverty and I believe that welfare recipients, if they are able bodied, need to work for their money.

            1) Liberals in Hollywood make gratuitously violent movies while decrying the amount of violence in American society.

            2) Only liberals would hold $25,000 a plate
            fund raisers where they listen to leftwing candidates who arrive in
            limos pontificate about poor Americans who don’t have enough to eat.

            3) While I am on the subject of race, only a
            white liberal would have the blatant audacity to tell a black
            conservative he isn’t “black enough.”
            4) Only a liberal would respond to terrorist
            bombings that kill and maim countless Americans by worrying that there
            might be a backlash against Muslims. Only a liberal—Barack Obama for
            example—would make such an absurd statement as: “…Islam has always been a
            part of America’s history.” Oh really Mr. President? Which one of our
            Founders was a Muslim?
            5) Only a liberal would chastise the people
            who pay 86 percent of all taxes in America for being unwilling to pay
            their “fair share” while coddling and pandering to people who pay no

            6) Only a liberal would stand up for a cause like global warming that doesn’t really exist while their earth friendly representatives make millions.
            7) Only a liberal would race-bait the majority with false inuendos causing Blacks to riot and loot as an excuse.

            I listed 7 so let’s stop being a suppository for Obama and let’s start having some common sense.

          • Faraday_Cat

            1) If you don’t understand the difference between keeping freedom of speech alive, and making something make-believe violent…yet still wanting the real world to be free from violence AND if you honestly believe “liberals” have exclusive hypocrisy in this…just wow
            2) So the fact that republicans hold $50,000 a plate fundraisers, and just don’t talk about helping poor people absolves them from the hypocrisy you seem to be implying? (by the way, your comment also seems to imply that you want socialism…how else would the people making the decisions make the same amount of money or have the same lifestyle as those they govern?)
            3) That would be audacious…about the same as white conservatives telling black candidates that they aren’t white enough, right? But unless you have a source, I have to assume this is an anecdotal or made-up statement that you are broad-brushing onto all “liberals”
            4) One of our founders must be muslim in order for islam to have been part of America’s history? That’s a strange place for a goalpost, for starters. And if “only a liberal” would worry about backlash from a terrorist attack landing on INNOCENT U.S. CIVILIANS, why the hell would you want anyone else? (unless you are suggesting that U.S. citizens who are muslim just can’t be innocent…?)
            The rest are similar, but I think I just need to stop here because at this point it is already clear that you both did not answer FB Adams challenge, and showed that you do not understand what you are talking about.

          • howa4x

            Joe Once again Communism is an economic system where the State controls all aspects of the economy. Just because the government makes a law that controls behavior for the public good doesn’t make it a communist plot

          • FB Adams

            You have (inadvertently?) proved my point. Thanks.

      • Insinnergy

        The depth of your intransigent idiocy is tough to define with mere words.

        • joe schmo

          It’s not, because the facts speak for them self scientifically. Why not try to prove me wrong, for a change, instead of calling me a name that is meaningless.

          • dpaano

            I think they just did!!! Apparently, you didn’t read or understand their posts!!!

      • Faraday_Cat

        First of all:
        World population, 1250 AD – 400 million – 400,000,000
        World population, 2014 AD – 7 billion – 7,000,000,000
        So the impact of such a drought now won’t affect any more people than it did back then, right?
        Second, droughts are only one indicator of climate change, so even if your evidence refuted that part, there are others that you have not refuted, so your laughter would be premature. In addition, your evidence does NOT refute climate change causing droughts for two reasons; 1) what you cited is too limited in geographic scope (Fallen Leaf lake, northern Sierra Nevada area at most) to extrapolate to a global scale without a catastrophic breakdown of the statistical confidence interval, just as there can be a blizzard in Montana but over 100 degrees in Australia at the same time and 2) the paper you cited makes no determination that, or even if, current or projected droughts will be better or worse than those discovered. The term “in the past 200 years” does not indicate that we have nothing to worry about and can just laugh that whole climate change thing off, and you should have noticed that “precipitation was less than 60% normal) does not indicate what “normal” is nor how the current precipitation rates compare to that same figure.
        Lastly, you CAN “disprove” science…if you couldn’t, then it would be faith, not science. You can also, however, take relatively established science and misinterpret or misuse it to “confirm” an already-held bias…which is what it appears you have done here, and THAT is not science.

    • Kurt CPI

      According to Ken Burn’s documentary “The Dust Bowl”, the huge glacial aquifer that provides virtually all of the irrigation water for crop production across the entire US “breadbasket” has been 75% exhausted since the 1940s. There is no secondary source so within a few decades the entire midwest will once again be at the mercy of natural rainfall (and shorter growing seasons as a result). Under drought conditions we could see the return of the dust bowl of the 1930s.

  • jamesowens

    and once the climate is ruined and parts of the world devastated the politicians will claim it wasnt their for fault for lying about the causes or taking the bribes from the world poisoners. they will say they were given bad information and the same dummies who elected them will re elect them to lie -accept bribes and screw the world again

  • Claudius Templesmith

    Due to the Sun’s de Vries cycle, German scientists Luedecke and Weiss predict that the earth’s heading back to a little ice age.