Aircraft Causing Weather Changes

Old folks used to claim that the airplanes flying high in the sky were causing weather changes. For years, scientists laughed at this as preposterous…

Until now. Turns out the Old Folks were right… Again.

Aircraft Induced Cloud Hole in Anartica

Airplanes Can Cause Extra Rainfall

Airplanes flying through super-cooled clouds around airports can cause condensation that actually results in more snow and rain for nearby areas, according to a new study. The perfect conditions for such a freaky weather event occur about 5% of the time—but 10% to 15% in winter—according to the study’s lead author. Aircraft take off into the wind, so if they are generating extra ice particles upwind of an airport, the result can be snow right on the airport. That could mean planes will require more de-icing.

The team was investigating holes or canals that are sometimes seen drilled in clouds after an airplane has passed through. They found that increased snow and rainfall occurs in areas where the unusual cloud holes appear, usually within 60 miles of the airport. The added rain or snowfall occurred when the clouds were made up of water droplets that were colder than freezing, but which had not yet frozen: When an airplane passes through one of these clouds the movement causes a sudden cooling of the air, sometimes down to the critical point where the droplets freeze. They then can fall to earth as snow or rain.

Natures Way of Telling You…

 

 

Birds falling out of the sky dead in Arkansas…

Birds falling out of the sky dead in Louisiana

Huge Fish Kill in Arkansas

Huge Fish Kill in the Chesapeake Bay

Republicans take over Congress…(And Boehner cried on schedule!)

Nature’s way of telling you, something’s wrong.

 

A Rock and Roll oldie from my large Afro days (circa 1970), from the Album The 12 dreams of Doctor Sardonicus, Spirit…

Music Fans – Christopher Cross did an excellent cover of this in 1994 on his “Windows” Album.

Military and Universities Team to Solve Honeybee Mystery

This one wouldn’t get much press in the hyperactive MSM as it’s consequences aren’t easy, and don’t involve political foible. For the past 6-10 years the Honeybee population around the world has been dying off…

Sounds bad… but catastrophic?

Since about 80% of the pollination of crops is done by Honeybees – you betcha. The reduction in numbers of Honeybees means a massive reduction in the production of food per acre…

Meaning if the Honeybees die off… So do we humans in fairly short order.

Another mystery is the disappearance of small snakes, which one of my contributors, Nanakwame brought up a while back. The environmental impact of this isn’t understood yet. In the US, it seems that the common green and garter snakes have all but disappeared in some areas. I live on a lake, and this has resulted in an explosion of the frog population. I also found several dead baby Corn Snakes in the Spring – which is unusual. They are very good at keeping the rodent population down. I have no idea what is killing them – and I severely limit the type and amount of chemicals used on the property to protect the lake.

To those who go “ewwwwe” – it’s a simple fact that if you live on freshwater in the Southern half of the US – you have snakes nearby, whether you see them or not. Most are neither poisonous or harmful, and keep the insect and small rodent populations in check. Green Snakes eat insects, Garters eat frogs, and Corn Snakes eat rats and mice.

Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees?

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana inthe online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.

Liaisons between the military and academia are nothing new, of course. World War II, perhaps the most profound example, ended in an atomic strike on Japan in 1945 largely on the shoulders of scientist-soldiers in the Manhattan Project. And a group of scientists led by Jerry Bromenshenk of the University of Montana in Missoula has researched bee-related applications for the military in the past — developing, for example, a way to use honeybees in detecting land mines.

But researchers on both sides say that colony collapse may be the first time that the defense machinery of the post-Sept. 11 Homeland Security Department and academia have teamed up to address a problem that both sides say they might never have solved on their own.

“Together we could look at things nobody else was looking at,” said Colin Henderson, an associate professor at the University of Montana’s College of Technology and a member of Dr. Bromenshenk’s “Bee Alert” team.

 

 

Spike Lee – “BP, Oil Companies, the Government – They All In Cahoots”!

Mr President -

“One time, go off!” director Spike Lee urged on CNN’s “AC 360°.” “If there’s any one time to go off, this is it, because this is a disaster.”

Here’s the deal. This United States ship of state has been reduced to a leaky old scow by years of mismanagement, “Starve the Beast”, the fallacy of smaller government, and disastrous deregulation. At this point in time, to keep it afloat – EVERYBODY needs to be rowing, bailing, or patching the holes.

It isn’t just BP you need to “go off on” Mr President…

It’s those Republicans who keep trying to drill more holes.

Back after Katrina, Republicans argued it wasn’t the Federal Government’s job to help the states. This from Uncle Tommie Sowell after Katrina -

“The Federal Government should not give bail out money. People should get private insurance. Because the government causes people to live in dangerous areas. If the market could decide without government intervention, people would be less likely to live in disaster prone areas.

He lives in an earthquake prone area and feels if his house is destroyed, that he does not have a right to have taxpayers in other parts of the country paying to rebuild his house.”

The states in the Gulf region have encouraged oil development with low (or no) taxes, favorable laws, and have turned a blind eye to the risks and environmental damage…

By Uncle Tommie’s logic – the taxpayers in other parts of the country aren’t responsible for the Gulf States foolishness…

That IS after all – what “small government” means.

Gulf Oil Spill Reaches the Marshes in Louisiana

This is the beginning of a wide scale environmental catastrophe. This is a total kill scenario impacting the area in a number of disastrous ways. Prior to the building of the MRGO Canal (and subsequent filling of it due to it’s role in the post Katrina collapse of the levies) the marshland to the south of New Orleans protected the coast from storms, buffering the waves and flooding. If the oil kills off the marsh, there is noting to impede that water during a storm.

Secondarily, the vast majority of the food supply for the marine environment starts right there in those coastal marshes. Many species of fish spawn there, or spend the early part of their lives protected from predators by the shallow water and reeds. Oysters, which start out as near microscopic “spats” swim in these marshes seeking tidal locations to attach themselves and grow, collecting nutrients in the currents.

The death of the marshland starts a cascade in the ocean food chain that reaches all the way up to the top.

Drill, Baby, Spill!… Indeed.

more about “Gulf Oil Spill Reaches the Marshes in…“, posted with vodpod

Second Civil War In Virginia – McDonnell Supports Offshore Drilling

Decided to take a few days of down time combining two of my favorite things – a relaxing view of the ocean, and fishing. Limited out yesterday on Flounder Fishing in the Intercoastal back bays of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and I’m headed out this evening to (try and) catch some Drum surfcasting. The Land that time forgot, indeed!

Fortunately, time didn’t forget Internet Service, which in my case is DSL provided (barely) by Verizon – and is about a crappy as it gets and still be sorta functional. I’ll probably do a blog later about how, in the US, the quality (not quantity) of DSL Service in the areas reached is the worst in the world.

IN any event, the news from the Gulf of Mexico continues to be bad. As I gazed out over the beach to the surf, I tried to imagine the beaches covered in black oil, the birds dying, fish kills – and the oyster and clam beds destroyed…

For no other reason than greed and avarice.

This area has survived numerous hurricanes, and the even more destructive NorthEasters, and just off the coast is one part of the Graveyard of the Atlantic, where German UBoats during WWII sank hundreds of ships, spilling their contents (and fuel bunkers) along the coast. It is not unusual even today to see the imprint of man along these beaches with parts of those ships washing ashore – and every once in a great while, even a Spanish Piece of Eight from a bygone era. These disasters large and small have, over time been swallowed by the winds and the waves. IN the 20 years I’ve been coming here, I’ve watched the crash site of a WWII Douglass Dauntless Bomber, which splashed down in one of the back bays, degrade each year – until only a few rusty colored spars are left from this intrusion by man 65 years ago.

But what of an environmental disaster the size of the Gulf? Will it be 20-30-40… 50 or 100 years before the fisheries recover? Will they ever recover?

This area is the center of the major migratory path for everything from fish to Butterflies. Our last Republican pro-business Governor damn near killed off the Bluefish fishery by allowing the Japanese Fleet to stretch a net across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. That has still not recovered 15 years later.

Governor Bob McDonnell in the face of this disaster recently re-iterated his support for oil drilling off Virginia’s Coast.

Bob McDonnell Reaffirms Support for Offshore Drilling

Now, we had on Civil War fought in majority in this State…

Maybe it’s time for another.

Nuclear Plant – Environmental Racism?

Early this year, President Obama approved the building of two new nuclear energy plants. Apparently the location of on of those plants has sparked a local controversy. Hat Tip Hinterland Gazette on this one -

President Obama’s Proposal to Construct Nuclear Reactors in Predominantly Black Community Sparks Controversy

Glow Baby, Glow?

There is some controversy brewing over President Obama’s pledge of $8.33 billion in government aid to construct nuclear reactors in the town of Shell Bluff, located in Burke County, Ga. The problem is Burke County is 51 percent African-America and there are already reactors at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle. An argument has been made that the majority of nuclear reactors are located in predominantly black and/or poor communities. Dr. Robert Bullard, an environmental injustice expert and activist told the Washington Informer, “After looking at environmental injustices over the past 30 years I can’t help but question why these reactors are being built in Burke County. “When a community gets something good, African-American communities are usually not the first to get it.” Some have called the proposal environmental racism, while others see it as a means of creating more jobs and clean energy. Continue reading

Shrimp Oyster Production In Gulf Dead Due to Oil Spill

And they want to do this shit off the East Coast of Virginia? The rig that blew up is one of the new deep water rigs of the type which would be used to drill off of Virginia’s coast. Anybody out there know where I can get a few dozen unused Exocet missiles…

Cheap?

Oil spill changes everything

The oil disaster plaguing the Gulf of Mexico and our coastal states puts our desperate need for a new clean energy economy in stark relief. We need to move away from dirty, dangerous and deadly energy sources.

We are pleased that the White House is now saying it will suspend any new offshore drilling while the explosion and spill are investigated, but there should be no doubt left that drilling will only harm our coasts and the people who live there.

Taking a temporary break from offshore drilling is an important step, but it’s not enough. We need to stop new offshore drilling for good, now. And then we need an aggressive plan to wean America from dirty fossil fuels in the next two decades.

This BP offshore rig that exploded was supposed to be state-of-the-art. We’ve also been assured again and again that the hundreds of offshore drilling rigs along our beaches are completely safe. Now, we’ve seen workers tragically killed. We’ve seen our ocean lit on fire, and now we’re watching hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic oil seep toward wetlands and wildlife habitat.

This rig’s well is leaking 210,000 gallons of crude every day, wiping out aquatic life and smothering the coastal wetlands of Louisiana and Mississippi. As the reeking slick spreads over thousands of square miles of ocean, it rapidly approaches the title of worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, even worse than 1989’s Exxon Valdez oil spill. The well is under 5,000 feet of water, and it could take weeks or even months to cap it.

This disaster could unfortunately happen at any one of the hundreds of drilling platforms off our coasts, at any moment. It could happen at the drilling sites that the oil industry has proposed opening along the beaches of the Atlantic Coast.

Indeed, even before this spill, the oil and gas industry had torn apart the coastal wetlands of the Louisiana Bayou over the years. These drilling operations have caused Louisiana to lose 25 square miles of coastal wetlands, which are natural storm barriers, each year…

more about “Shrimp Oyster Fishing in Gulf Dead Du…“, posted with vodpod

Video: Worst case: ‘We won’t have shrimp’// // //

Video: Blame game in oil spill//

// //

Video: Fishermen help along Louisiana coast//

// //

Video: Fed scrambles against oil spill//

//

Indeed, even before this spill, the oil and gas industry had torn apart the coastal wetlands of the Louisiana Bayou over the years. These drilling operations have caused Louisiana to lose 25 square miles of coastal wetlands, which are natural storm barriers, each year.

Majora Carter – Green Powerhouse

Hat Tip – The Grio

Majora Carter, 43, has been described as a green powerbroker and a visionary in environmentally sound urban renewal. Carter is the president of The Majora Carter Group LLC, a green, for-profit consulting firm.

“I believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your neighborhood to live in a better one,” Carter said on her company’s Web site. Born and raised in New York’s South Bronx, Carter, now married, still calls the area home. When she was growing up, Carter says, many South Bronx problems centered on economic and social degradation.

“Everyone wants clean air, decent jobs, safe streets, and aesthetic beauty,” she said. “Folks with enough money, buy into communities that have those things. If you are poor, you are often stuck where you are.”

Carter left the South Bronx to attend college but returned home to live with her parents and save money while in graduate school.

“Coming back with a little bit of distance, education, and for an extended period, made it possible for me to really ‘see’ my hometown,” Carter said. And what she saw wasn’t pretty. Poverty had increased, unemployment hovered three times above the city’s average, and waste-handling plants had moved into the area.

“Poverty looks very similar wherever you go,” Carter said. “It looks vulnerable to city planners who want to place noxious facilities with the least amount of political resistance or costs associated with designing safeguards for public health.” In 2001, Carter founded the environmental justice non-profit group, Sustainable South Bronx. Her first major project was applying for and receiving a $1.25 million federal grant for the South Bronx Greenway. The 11-mile-long stretch, which is still in the works, will be the first new South Bronx waterfront park in more than 60 years.

In 2005, Carter was awarded one of the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious $500,000 “genius” grants in part for her work with Sustainable South Bronx, which she left in the hands of colleagues in 2008.

Through her consulting work, Carter now hopes to take her message, on the benefits of going green, across the nation and globe.

“By incorporating environmental concerns into all of our calculations…, we can really make an America as good as its promise in our lifetimes!” she said.

For those unfamiliar with History, several Civil Rights figures in the early 70’s took up the banner of the environment, and environmental causes in urban areas…

Good to see that banner has been picked up again by the younger generation.

MY President!

The title for this one is a riff off of a Wanda Sykes joke told at the National Press Club Dinner. If you don’t get it – watch the video.

Chesapeake Bay Sunrise - Winter

Chesapeake Bay Sunrise - Winter

MY President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order today to clean up the Chesapeake Bay! At freakin’ last there is hope to enjoy the Breakfast of Baysiders once more before I pass from this earth. The tasty morsel called a Chesapeake Bay Oyster. There have been wars fought in this part of the country over these bad boys, and a good number of brawls over which is best – Seaside Oyster or Bayside. And don’t even get into the discussion of whether Tangier Sound or Mobjack Bay taste better! Anyway – fried or on the half shell – this is the start to some seriously good eatin’ Chesapeake Bay style!

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers