Climate News

Fudged Reporting on Death of Sea Lions.

By Mike Johnson

What would you think if, lets say, after a meteor shower one night you heard a radio report next morning saying that ‘puzzling lights’ were seen shooting through the sky? You’d wonder, wouldn’t you? Wonder if you hadn’t wandered into an alternative universe in which nature of shooting stars was not understood.

That’s how I felt when I heard a radio NZ news story claiming that the death of over 900 sea lions along the Californian coast was due to … wait for it… ‘puzzling weather conditions.’

There is nothing mysterious or puzzling about these weather conditions at all. Warmer Pacific waters due to man made global warming are making the making the Sea Lion’s feed source more scarce, they have to travel further for food and pups are starving. Read all about it in this article in the Huffington post and also the Scientific American.

We are at the point where our media will do anything to avoid mentioning the terms global warming or climate change. Watch the duck-shoving over the language used to describe the South Island drought at the moment. It’s a drought that’s not a drought, just a dry spell. And don’t for one minute think that turning off the tap on some Southland irrigation schemes has got anything to do with the long term degradation of the water table due to climate change. Don’t even think it! Whatever you do, don’t connect the dots!

Meanwhile, with the world hottest year on record just past, and this one lining up to be as hot if not hotter, the lie machine, created by the same crowd that lied to you about smoking, is cranking along.


Newark Leads the Way!

By Mike Johnson

Newark, with its large, black population, is one of the most economically depressed cities of America, with a whacking 30% unemployed. The local authorities have come up with what looks like a novel way of making people feel better about themselves and their wretched lives – renaming streets, parks etc with more optimistic, feel good names. So, 10th Avenue, where a vicious murder took place, might be renamed Renewal Avenue. The most hopeless and depressed street in town may become Hope Street and so on. (I have made up these details since I am relating a BBC radio story which I cannot as yet find on the net with a quick google search)

Of course there is nothing new in this. Back in the bad old days of Soviet Russia, streets, avenues and squares were given names that reflected official economic optimism. Reconstruction Ave, Prosperity Drive, Happiness Highway… that kind of thing. It’s an effort to try to convince people that things are better than they really are. Large corporates and their tame governments have quickly grasped the principle that you can, with constant effort and repetition, get people to believe the opposite of what they actually experience. How many fingers do you see?

With the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) having just officially declared 2014 to be the hottest year since records began in the late 1880s,

I suggest we use the Newark initiative to counteract some of this negativity around man-made global warming. Islands and coastlines sinking could use place names like, the Highlands, and Cliff Edge; drought stricken regions like Texas could adopt names like Sweet Rain Park and Rushing Waters Avenue; flooded areas… but I can’t continue with this farce. The irony has become strangely leaden. It’s no longer funny.

It’s not funny because the Newark initiative is cruel and contemptible, and treats its victims as fools. Is an unemployed person going to feel any less separate and alone walking down Togetherness Road? Are we going to be any less affected by global warming because of official optimism?

In the meantime, fueled by official optimism, the logical absurdities roll on. Have a wonderful 2015 everybody!

Amazing photos: Weird holes in the not so permafrost.

By Mike Johnson

What are we looking at here? An alien planet? Special effects from James Cameran’s latest eco-fantasy? A fungus culture? A surreal painting.

It is none of those. It’s a present day picture of a section of Siberia where these strange sink holes have appeared almost overnight. (first reported in June of this year).

We are here:

Here’s close up of one of them as it looks on the surface:

The only rational explanation so far is that melting permafrost is to blame. Frost has a crystalline structure, and when it collapses it takes up less space. Weexpected subsidence, and we are seeing that too, but these holes, some of them apparently bottomless, are a new development.

They are not however bottomless. Some are quite shallow and there is usually water at the bottom as with this one:

And you can see the muddy water in the bottom of this shallow one.

Here are the inside walls of the first one. The markings might suggest a methane explosion. this was the first one discovered and it was seventy meters deep.

This side view shows where the water has leached away leaving typical shapes in the soil.

The worry with his is the methane that is released when the ice collapses and organic matter is exposed to decay for the first time in many of thousands of years. We can predict temperature rises, but but not all the consequences. If we look hard we don’t know what we might find.

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