Good morning. Let us begin where it ends, shall we.

Peace Rally. Great to see the community come together to stand up against the violence that has recently occurred in the Cool Spring area.

Thanks to Kevin G A Melloy and West Side Grows for helping to make this event possible.

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Cool Spring peace rally, March 10, 2016

These unusually warm days in March are now more often accompanied by concern about what it means. The problem is we know now what it means.

“Global warming is not a future threat. It’s the present reality, a menace not to our grandchildren but to our present civilizations.”

“Climate change is vast, hopeless, horrifying, anxiety-inducing, and imagination-staggering. On the other hand, it’s a challenge without parallel in human history: a vast, fascinating, thrilling, inspiring, mind-bending opportunity.”

What kind of society and democratic government will be best positioned to handle resource scarcity and the sequential emergencies associated with the now-inevitable consequences of climate change? How can we bring about that society? What kind of global governance will be needed?

And most important of all: Can the world both manage climate change and avoid its worst cataclysms, like hideous famines, mass migrations, surveillance-powered authoritarians, and World War III?

It is now a moral question.

Over 23 Inches of Rain Triggers Historic Flash Flooding, River Flooding In Parts of the South (FORECAST)

[But it’s all good…]

This multi-day heavy rain saga, which has dumped up to almost two feet of rain in parts of the South, is still triggering destructive flash flooding, river and lake flooding. But there is a light at the end of this wet tunnel… This is closing in on the record wettest month for that location set in October 2009 when 20.56 inches was recorded… In some locations, the Sabine River may see levels not seen since 1884.

Three people have been killed and roughly 3,500 homes have been evacuated as widespread floods bear down on parts of the South. “A lot of the homes are under water.”

Why This Is Happening

A massive, slow-moving, southward dip in the jet stream inched east across Mexico, then near the Gulf Coast, funneling deep, tropical moisture into parts of the South and Mississippi Valley, a rather unusual pattern for early March.

In fact, atmospheric moisture values (known to meteorologists as “precipitable water”) may near or top March records from the northern Gulf Coast into the Great Lakes, values last seen this time of year during the record-shattering March 2012 heat wave.

Flooding wasn’t the only impact of this unusual pattern.

An EF1 tornado caused damage near Cool, Texas Monday evening and an EF1 tornado touched down near Tolar, Texas, southwest of Ft. Worth Tuesday morning. An EF1 tornado also left a narrow path of damage in Stephenville, Texas early Tuesday. A squall line then surged through Ft. Worth packing a 66 mph gust at the Ft. Worth Meacham Airport and a gust to 72 mph at Interstate 820 and Blue Mound Road.

Baseball size hail pounded Voca, Texas Tuesday evening, while hail to the size of golf balls covered the ground in both Evant and Jonesboro, in Texas.

Lower 48 States Just Experienced the Warmest Winter on Record

Winter 2015-16 was the warmest on record in the contiguous United States dating to the late 19th century, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The mean temperature from December through February, known as meteorological winter, over the Lower 48 states was just over 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term (1901-2000) average for that three-month period.

This shattered the previous record warm winter set in 1999-2000. Alaska also had its second warmest winter, with the statewide temperature just over 10 degrees above average.

Among these record warm winter cities are:

  • Albany, New York
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Barrow, Alaska
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Caribou, Maine
  • Concord, New Hampshire
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Juneau, Alaska
  • Minot, North Dakota
  • Providence, Rhode Island

Another two dozen cities set their second warmest winter, including:

  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Boston
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Flint, Michigan
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Medford, Oregon
  • New York City
  • Wichita, Kansas

Winter’s warmth came to a peak in December, a month that featured more than 5,200 record high temperatures being broken or tied. The warmth was particularly impressive across Florida…

Climate Chaos

January was a transition month of sorts, especially across much of the East. The middle of the month saw the crippling blizzard that was Winter Storm Jonas, breaking all-time snowfall records for a single snowstorm along the Washington D.C. to Baltimore and New York City corridor. Iowa shattered its long-standing December-February statewide precipitation record from over 100 years ago…Hawaii’s capital picked up a scant 0.70 inch of rain from December 2015 through February 2016, which is only 9 percent of average, including what is typically two of Honolulu’s three wettest months of the year.

Rubio Rejects Plea From Republican Mayor Of Miami To Accept Scientific Consensus On Climate Change

We, the 21 undersigned mayors from throughout Florida, are concerned about sea level rise and climate change and the severe impacts it is having on our communities. We are equally concerned that so little attention has been paid to these issues in the presidential debates. It would be unconscionable for these issues of grave concern for the people of Florida to not be addressed in the upcoming debate you will be hosting in the state. In particular, Senator Rubio represents this state and should not be allowed to fail to provide, or side step, substantive answers to these questions.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) accepted the mayor of Miami’s endorsement, but on Thursday he would not accept the mayor’s request that Washington do something about the rising sea levels threatening his city.

Rubio: “Sure the climate is changing, and one of the reason the climate is changing is because the climate has always been changing…The United States is not a planet. It is a country.”

Debate Question: “Climate change means rising ocean levels, which in south Florida means flooding, downtown and our neighborhoods. It’s an every day problem in our neighborhoods. As president, will you pledge to do something about it?”

And the answer, for the Republican field, was no.

Florida is considered one of the most at-risk states to the effects of climate change, including, of course, rising sea level, which is dooming Miami.

Why This is Happening

Billionaire Warren Buffett has bet the future of his company Berkshire Hathaway on dirty energy. In recent years he has been building a vertically-integrated fossil fuel empire — one that develops, delivers, processes, and burns the most climate-destroying fuels.

Warren Buffett Bets Big On The Tar Sands

But wait, there’s more. The billionaire spent $240 million buying another chunk of Canadian tar sands giant Suncor, upping his overall bet on the climate-destroying liquid fuel to $1.1 billion.

Both A Livable Climate And Buffett’s Empire Cannot Thrive

It would be a brilliant strategy except for two small details.

First, climate science makes clear we have to leave most fossil fuels — and virtually all of the most carbon-intensive — in the ground to avoid global catastrophic warming. Second, over the past 18 months, the leading nations of the world unanimously agreed on a plan whose goal is to do just that, and the overwhelming majority of them made detailed pledges to slow or reverse carbon-intensive growth and replace it with carbon-free growth.

The domestic and international coal market has already collapsed as a result of growing environmental concerns and low-cost alternatives including renewables.

Rather than informing shareholders about any of these risks, Buffett asserts the reverse: “Both BHE [Berkshire Hathaway energy] and BNSF have been leaders in pursuing planet-friendly technology.” Seriously?

Despite BHE’s own investments in renewables, BHE is working to crush solar energy in Nevada and around the western United States. And it remains a huge user of coal. And as we’ve seen BNSF is a major deliverer of coal….

What This is Doing

Impacts of racism on health examined

“As we traveled from county to county and sat there listening to people providing testimonials about discriminatory practices and racism in the workplace, our hearing officers asked the question, ‘How have you been impacted?’ ” said Alicia Clark, who is leading the NAACP and faith leaders in Delaware  hearings to investigate workplace racism in government.

Marlene Saunders, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Delaware Chapter, said racism has physical ramifications.

“Racism and discrimination do hurt. We have clear studies that show that racism has physical ramifications including high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. And, what the state doesn’t understand with what [state] employees are going through is that there are physical ramifications of this.”

Dr. Camara P. Jones, president of the American Public Health Association:

Each of us is walking and living in our own bubbles. Many of us not knowing that the people just across town who work just as hard as we do and are just as kind and hardworking … as we are live in very different circumstances.”

“Until we know that reality of other people, we will not burst our own bubble.”

American Fascism

We are in jeopardy now from the internal fear that capitalizes on America’s worst instincts. 

Donald Trump is appealing to racial and religious fear and hate in order to advance his own success. But an even greater danger than Trump is the growing popular response to him, the standing ovations to his most vicious attacks on racial minorities, immigrants, and now all the members of a world religion.
Donald Trump is strategically stoking the racial fears and hate of a solid segment of white America that fundamentally rejects a diverse American future. The real meaning of his famous “Make America Great Again” motto is “Make America White Again.”

Raise your right hand. I do solemnly swear that I — no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever — will vote, on or before the 12th for Donald J. Trump for president,” Trump said, as hands went up throughout the audience in the arena of the University of Central Florida amid loud cheers and a recitation of the “pledge.”

“Don’t forget you all raised your hands,” Trump said. “You swore. Bad things happen if you don’t live up to what you just did.”

Among those not engaging in such ominous imagery were the demonstrators, who, by my colleague Jenna Johnson’s account, interrupted Trump’s event more than a dozen times. The candidate watched a supporter grab and attempt to tackle protesters, at least one of them black, near the stage. “You know, we have a divided country, folks,” Trump said. “We have a terrible president who happens to be African American.”

Trump leading thousands in “what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States.” …Trump is “smart enough” to know what he was doing.

Trump [is] “the world’s most dangerous man” and leader of a “hate-filled authoritarian movement” who “inflames tensions against ethnic minorities … while ignoring democratic conventions.”

The other candidates in the race — Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich — all said they’d support Trump if he wins the nomination. The morning after Trump’s salute, the morally neutral Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, told CBS’s John Dickerson that his “role is to basically be 100 percent behind” the eventual nominee.

“Some people didn’t approve of Hitler’s anti-Semitism, but they went along with it because he was going to make Germany great again.”

“we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the s— coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.”

 

Where does it all end? Nobody knows.

But don’t say you didn’t see it coming.

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