How I try to stay informed…

Since the news business has changed from reporting to profits, keeping eyeballs is what it is all about. 

Fox found this out after they accurately reported that Trump was projected to lose Arizona. Tucker Carlson then ranted about how their viewership was going down, along with the stock price with which he was richly compensated. He understood that their viewers were  there to hear what they need to believe. And if they didn’t get it, they would move to Newsmax, Onan and other alternative news sources that would feed the beast.

Rush Limbaugh always understood that and bragged that he was an Entertainer. Are you entertained?

For any democracy to it operate efficiently, it needs an informed electorate. So how do you sort out the news from the fire hose of information flow these days?

1)Realize that your. 00001 experience of the world contributes to 80% of your worldview. Approach your understanding with a scientist skepticism that he’s always willing to accept that he could be wrong.

 2)Intentionally expose yourself to opposing views. We don’t like to do this because it makes us uncomfortable. Over the years I have developed a diversity of writers that I follow on the hellscape that is Twitter. Most of us don’t have a luxury of time to do that. It’s not easy being free, when you don’t have an emperor to make all the decisions for you.

3) Turn off the Crisis News networks . If there isn’t good video footage, or if the victim isn’t attractive, you won’t hear about it . Just like the print media, television is all about eyeballs. Now there are live news events that television coverage excels at. Television Studios nowadays don’t need to wait for their cameras to warm up to go live. Walter Cronkite had to wait to give the world the shocking news about Kennedy being shot in Dallas.

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite reports that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Credit CBS via Landov

4) Read some news sources from outside the United States bubble. Here are some free websites that also have free apps for your handhelds. 

A good one to see the southeast Asian perspective on the world is the Asia Times

Also, try the Arab news source

France 24 for another perspective

The Guardian is one of the few British rags that isn’t just a tabloid

If you can afford subscription the Financial Times, The Week, The Economist, Wall Street Journal and NY Times will cover a lot of area.

A great little tool that I use is an aggregator that ranks stories by their number of hits in real time. Bookmark this handy page

5) Last, but not least, Social Media is just that and not a source of verifiable information. Outrage and anger build engagement. Realize that you are being baited with these emotions to click on their stories.

Feeling Hot? Blame a Volcano

NPR chose today to follow-up on a story that literally blew up on Jan. 20, 2022 when the underwater eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha‘apai sent megatons of water vapor into the stratosphere, contributing to an increase in global warming over the next 5 years.


NPR picked up on the story today https://whttp://NPR picked up on the story today

EOS noted back in March that the extra moisture in the upper atmosphere would trap enough heat to warm the climate 1.5 degrees in the publication

And in March

So while this vapor will eventually dissipate, we don’t know if it will leave any permanent changes to the chemical composition of the upper atmosphere. We do know that the excess warmth will speed up the melting in Greenland that threatens the stability of the gulf Stream and will also release more methane stored in the permafrost.

Actually It Was This Hot 175,000 Years Ago

Published: July 21, 2023 8.28am EDT in The Conversation

How I imagined life was like the last it was this warm, with the help of AI

Author Darrell Kaufman, Paleoclimate Scientist, receives funding from the US National Science Foundation.

As scorching heat grips large swaths of the Earth, a lot of people are trying to put the extreme temperatures into context and asking: When was it ever this hot before?

Globally, 2023 has seen some of the hottest days in modern measurements, but what about farther back, before weather stations and satellites?

Some news outlets have reported that daily temperatures hit a 100,000-year high.

As a paleoclimate scientist who studies temperatures of the past, I see where this claim comes from, but I cringe at the inexact headlines. While this claim may well be correct, there are no detailed temperature records extending back 100,000 years, so we don’t know for sure.

Here’s what we can confidently say about when Earth was last this hot.

This is a new climate state

Scientists concluded a few years ago that Earth had entered a new climate state not seen in more than 100,000 years. As fellow climate scientist Nick McKay and I recently discussed in a scientific journal article, that conclusion was part of a climate assessment report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2021.

Earth was already more than 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) warmer than preindustrial times, and the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were high enough to assure temperatures would stay elevated for a long time.

A time series chart shows a peak around 125,000 years ago and points to today's interglacial, showing temperatures close to the 1C warming level.
Earth’s average temperature has exceeded 1 degree Celsius (1.8 F) above the preindustrial baseline. This new climate state will very likely persist for centuries as the warmest period in more than 100,000 years. The chart shows different reconstructions of temperature over time, with measured temperatures since 1850 and a projection to 2300 based on an intermediate emissions scenario. D.S. Kaufman and N.P. McKay, 2022, and published datasets, Author provided

Even under the most optimistic scenarios of the future – in which humans stop burning fossil fuels and reduce other greenhouse gas emissions – average global temperature will very likely remain at least 1 C above preindustrial temperatures, and possibly much higher, for multiple centuries.

This new climate state, characterized by a multi-century global warming level of 1 C and higher, can be reliably compared with temperature reconstructions from the very distant past. (To continue reading go to Page 2 below)

Yosemite is Burning Again

While it hasn’t made the news, they are letting this fire go ahead and burn.

My grandson works at the Park and sent this picture this morning.

The Sacarmento bee reports

The Pika Fire, started by lightning on June 29, had burned 50 acres near North Dome as of Thursday, July 13, the National Park Service said. Yosemite National Park is warning of smoky conditions. Early Friday, July 14, the Air Quality Index at Yosemite Village exceeded 300, considered hazardous, because of high levels of particulate matter.

‘Nuclear Diesel’ Could Become A Gamechanger In Energy Markets |

Advanced nuclear source energy costs can be 3.5 cents/kWh for electricity or 2 cents/kWh for high-temperature heat. This raw, source energy input cost to manufacture nuclear diesel is less than $1 per gallon. Even after adding new refinery capital costs and operations costs I expect new refineries could produce nuclear diesel at current wholesale prices near $3 per gallon.”

When the power goes out…

You’re never ready for the unexpected. But you can try to be prepared.

After water, food , shelter in that order, comes electricity. Having lived through a number of hurricane outages, we have installed a generator that runs on natural gas. As backup, we have a solar panel rechargeable battery system. We keep a Starlink around for an internet connection. There is a rain barrel connected to a gutter from the roof. It’s like insurance. You hope you’ll never need it, but you can sleep at night. If you realize how vulnerable is the Grid that we depend on, then you should get prepared now. Maybe you will after reading this article.

Open in app or online   More Than Meets the Eye DOOMBERG

MAY 31 ∙ PREVIEW      

If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.” – Doug Larson

At the outset of 1998, a series of devastating ice storms blanketed much of lower Quebec and parts of neighboring provinces with a previously unfathomable deluge of freezing rain. While mere millimeters of solid ice can be enough to disrupt road travel and collapse trees, vast swaths of the region experienced several inches of the stuff in five compounding waves. For Hydro-Québec, the province’s power producer, the storms resulted in countless transformer explosions, “400 damaged transmission towers, 24,000 power poles to be replaced, 120,000 km of downed power lines and roughly1.4 million customers in the dark for almost a month.” The devastation was most acute just east of Montreal inside the triangle formed by the cities of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Granby, and Saint-Hyacinthe—a zone dubbed the Le “Triangle Noir” as the catastrophe dragged on. Frozen hell | Hydro-Québec

Although the brunt of the event was felt in Canada, parts of New England were also severely impacted. In Maine, some 700,000 of the state’s 1.2 million residents lost electricity, necessitating the activation of the Maine National Guard. It took 23 days and the assistance of hundreds of crews from around the country to fully restore power. Devastation in Maine | AP As disastrous as the Great Ice Storm of 1998

was for local utilities and the populations they served, one shudders to ponder the consequences should a similar event unfold in a high-population area of the US today. Take the I-95 corridor—sometimes called the Northeast megalopolis—which stretches from Washington, DC to Boston and experiences its fair share of freak winter storms. While its 50 million residents undoubtedly pride themselves on their ability to power through whatever Mother Nature throws at them, no grid could withstand the relentless onslaught of ice like what occurred 25 years ago. To a rough approximation, the area encompassed by the Le “Triangle Noir” alone would cover all five boroughs of the city of New York. Imagine the Big Apple without power for a month in the dead of winter. Now consider that a month might be wildly optimistic. For years, a burgeoning supply chain crisis has been plaguing the US power industry, straining grid reliability just as the pursuit of the Green Energy Utopia™ is stretching this hallmark of the developed world to a breaking point. A chronic shortage of transformers can no longer be ignored, and in a letter to federal lawmakers in November, the electric utility sector bluntly sounded the alarm (emphasis added throughout): “Throughout 2022, the electric sector and representatives from residential and commercial building sectors have been calling attention to the unprecedented supply chain challenges both industries have been facing in procuring equipment used to maintain and grow the electric grid.Specifically, electric utilities continue to have significant problems in procuring basic equipment – particularly distribution transformers – needed to operate the grid, provide reliable electric service, and restore power following severe storms and natural disasters. In housing construction, this is further exacerbating their ability to address the housing affordability crisis facing our nation…. Between 2020 and 2022, average lead times to procure distribution transformers across all segments of the electric industry and voltage classes rose 443 percent. The same orders that previously took two to four months to fill are now taking on average over a year. This is a serious threat to reliability.” Transformers play an essential role in enabling our modern standard of living. To transport electricity over vast distances at reasonable efficiency, stations must generate power at extremely high voltages. Before such electricity can be safely used in the home, it needs to be stepped down—transformed—to the standard 240 volts around which the US economy is designed. (This is further split at a home’s main circuit breaker panel into two 120-volt halves, called phases.) Distribution transformers—the equipment in short supply that most concerns the utility sector—provide the final voltage transformation in the electric power distribution system, connecting homes to the juice that powers everything. Unsung heroes to our way of life | Getty

The letter’s signatories request a $1 billion appropriation towards transformer production via the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate supply. Despite the industry’s urgent call for resources, the Department of Energy is making decisions that will only accelerate the crisis. Let’s dig into the industry’s claims, the administration’s exacerbating policy decisions, and most importantly, the preparatory measures homeowners can take ahead of a major disruption.

Flesh Eating Bacteria Found in Sargassum

‘Pathogen’ Storm: Vibrio Bacteria, Sargassum and Plastic Marine Debris

Beach, Sargassum, Seaweed, Brown Microalgae, Vibrio, Plastic Marine Debris, Public Health, Florida

Some cultivation-based data show beached Sargassum appear to harbor high amounts of Vibrio bacteria. (Photo credit: Brian Lapointe, FAU Harbor Branch)

By gisele galoustian | 5/18/2023

A new study uncovers how the interplay between Sargassum spp., plastic marine debris and Vibrio bacteria creates the perfect “pathogen” storm that has implications for both marine life and public health. Vibrio bacteria are found in waters around the world and are the dominant cause of death in humans from the marine environment. For example, Vibrio vulnificus, sometimes referred to as flesh-eating bacteria, can cause life-threatening foodborne illnesses from seafood consumption as well as disease and death from open wound infections.

Since 2011, Sargassum, free-living populations of brown macroalga, have been rapidly expanding in the Sargasso Sea and other parts of the open ocean such as the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, including frequent and unprecedented seaweed accumulation events on beaches. Plastic marine debris, first found in surface waters of the Sargasso Sea, has become a worldwide concern, and is known to persist decades longer than natural substrates in the marine environment.

Currently, little is known about the ecological relationship of vibrios with Sargassum. Moreover, genomic and metagenomic evidence has been lacking as to whether vibrios colonizing plastic marine debris and Sargassum could potentially infect humans. As summer kicks into high gear and efforts are underway to find innovative solutions to repurpose Sargassum, could these substrates pose a triple threat to public health?

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