Open Letter to American Liberals


by Thomas S. Harrington, via Common Dreams

I would love to share, my liberal friend, in your sense of incredulity about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of United States. I would love to stand with you in the sense of woundedness that, while certainly painful up front, carries with it the secondary compensation of a warm and nurturing solidarity. I would love to sit with you and fulminate in righteous anger about the unparalleled vulgarity and cruelty of Trump and his followers.

As much as I’d like to do these things, I won’t.  Why?

Because I know you, perhaps better than you even dare to know yourself. I know you well because I have watched you with great and detailed care over the last three decades and have learned, sadly, that you are as much if not more about image and self-regard as any of the laudable…

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Giant supermoon will be biggest & brightest since 1948

Hopefully the skies will stay clear for once

Earth Changing Extremities

© NASA Goddard
© NASA Goddard / YouTube
On Monday at 6:15 a.m. EST, it will be a mere 356,509 kilometers (221,524 miles) from Earth. NASA has dubbed it an “extra-supermoon” because of its proximity to the planet, and due to the fact it won’t appear again until until 2034.
The moon will look 14 percent bigger than normal when it reaches perigee, the point when the moon is closest to the Earth. It will be much brighter too, thanks to the planet being closer to the sun at this time of year and the supermoon’s radiance shining 30 percent more light on Earth.
Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, says the supermoon will be visible for a couple of days. “I’ve been telling people to go out at night on either Sunday or Monday to see the supermoon,” he said.
“The difference in…

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Pacific Sea Level One Year On


I was reminded by Jennifer Marohasy of my post a year ago (Pacific Sea Levels- Warming, ENSO, or Wind?) in which I showed that “Sea level rise in Kiribati and the Marshalls has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with the ENSO cycle, and winds in particular.”

I wonder how things are going after 12 months?

Back then I had a brief exchange with one of the commenters, MorinMoss, a Global Warming Enthusiast, part of which included the following:


So Morin, getting back to sea levels in the Pacific, what do you think sea level at Kiribati will be a year from now- higher, lower, or the same as now, and why? I reckon it will be lower- because of the ENSO cycle. The Pacific will be in neutral or La Nina phase by then, trades will be dominant, with less westerly wind bursts…

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Jamie Foster: #Brexit Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Reposted from the blog of Jamie Foster


Remember, remember the 4th of November, it’s the day the legal profession took leave of its senses. Hopefully temporarily but certainly noticeably. It was perhaps unsurprising. It is not often that a constitutional law case which could help define our political future appears on the front of our national newspapers with such a barrage of fireworks. It is easy to be drawn in by the pretty explosions.

The 3rd November marked a win in the High Court for a wealthy fund manager, Gina Miller. This modern-day Guy Fawkes placed her barrels of gun powder directly under the Government, rather than Parliament this time. Her explosive case determined that the Government had no right to trigger Art 50 and inform the EU of the UK’s desire to leave without a vote in Parliament. The sparks from the case caused explosions across the press, with…

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Share Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jetset Climate Burden

Watts Up With That?


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Verge has written one of the most unintentionally hilarious descriptions ever of serial Climate Clown Leonardo DiCaprio’s desire to share his green angst with the proletariat.

… Celebrities are keen on adopting righteous causes, but few are as vocal as Leonardo DiCaprio about his quest to save the planet from ecological collapse. “I am consumed by this,” DiCaprio told Rolling Stone in a profile earlier this year. “There isn’t a couple of hours a day where I’m not thinking about it.”

With Before the Flood, DiCaprio is asking us to sample a fraction of his daily burden. Directed by Fisher Stevens, Before the Flood documents DiCaprio as he jet-sets from Greenland, to Indonesia, to Miami and beyond, speaking to world leaders and, per the film’s liner notes, “bearing witness to climate change on a scale that no one should deny.” In the vein of…

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Mystery as stratospheric wind patterns change for first time in 60 years of observations 

Lowest solar cycle in a hundred years, 60 odd years of observations….must be climate change *palms forehead*

Tallbloke's Talkshop

This plot shows the QBO during the 1980s. [credit: Wikipedia / FU Berlin] This plot shows the QBO during the 1980s. [credit: Wikipedia / FU Berlin]
Another climate mystery – this time the QBO – for scientists to get their teeth into, as the Mail Online reports.

For more than 60 years, atmospheric scientists have observed the consistent behaviour of a wind pattern known as the ‘quasi-biennial oscillation’ – a phenomenon that repeats every 28 months. But in late 2015, the long-reliable pattern suddenly changed. 

The winds have since returned to their normal course, and while no immediate effects were detected, astronomers are working to understand if this was just a one-time ‘black swan’ event, or a ‘canary in the coal mine’ signalling unseen conditions.

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From COSMOS: “How do spacecraft get a speed boost from gravity assists?”

Science Springs

Cosmos Magazine bloc


24 August 2016
Jake Port

No rocket ever made could have provided the acceleration, or deltaV budget, to propel Rosetta to the speed it needed to rendezvous with comet 67P. ESA

Back in 2014, the Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, after a 10-year journey. The moment was significant as it again demonstrated that how much fuel a spacecraft carries did not necessarily determine how far it could go.

But how was this possible and what forces are at play when it comes to making spacecraft travel further than they should?

Scientists designing rocket missions have a few tricks up their sleeve that allow them to accelerate an object to a speed that is higher than its fuel store would allow. To understand this better let’s start with how astronomers and space scientists view energy.


When you describe how far a form of transport on Earth…

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