Archive for July, 2009

July 30th, 2009

1986 Brit Docu-Trial of
Lee Harvey Oswald

Posted in JFK by ed

This should take you to a list of 30 clips or so, constituting a five-hour docu-trial conducted in Britain in 1986.

Some of the people testifying are the real thing — including FBI Agent James Hosty, who seems to have been Oswald’s contact at the agency re his infiltration work.

Worth watching, for the curious.

July 24th, 2009

A Dirty Vacation —
Greenland melts

Ed Note: See comments below to follow climate-change stories thru the dumb distraction of “Climategate” into the winter of 2010-11, when news comes that 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year and saw Greenland’s ice melt continue to accelerate “beyond model.”

M

Una sporca vacanza

In June [2009] we learned that Greenland’s ice is melting even faster than the people who closely watch such things were shocked to report two years before.

Today’s news is that things are much worse:

“Runoff in 2007 was approximately 35% greater than average for 1995-2006. From 1995 through 2007 overall, precipitation decreased while ablation increased, leading to an increased average SMB loss of 127 cubic kilometers …”

But might one shrug 2007 off as an outlier?

Uh … No. Sorry. See the 2nd comment below for a brief history of public notices re the great melt. The trend is clear and recent.

(See in particular 2000 NASA and 2003 Pentagon reports. And note that in each of the past three years the rate of melt has increased well beyond model projections — suggesting nobody really knows how fast the ice will flow to the sea.)

The Idiot Box was abuzz about Greenland for a day or two in June before Michael Jackson died. The skinny for those too busy mourning or Making Ends Meet: The coastlines known throughout recorded history will (relatively) soon be gone.

Locals might also note that another recent report (by a different research group) forecasts the Greenland melt will make things particularly bad — nearly twice the global ocean-rise average — along the North American northeast coast: 12 to 20 inches higher than the roughly two-foot average rise predicted “by 2100.”

I had a dream last week of frowning Age-of-Reagan Yuppies — today’s midlevel eager beavers and Free Marketeers, raised on patriotic television — elbowing around Manhattan in power boats. Getting Their Own. Working Hard and Playing Hard …

One wonders when coastal real estate will collapse. Perhaps in Florida the top, for the duration, is already in.

CNN reported a few months ago that the Carteret Islands in the south Pacific have lost 60% of their land to the ocean in recent years. Trying to imagine hundreds of millions of people retreating inland worldwide produces a disaster movie full of shotgun violence and sociopolitical dissolution. But perhaps people and governments will rise, with the oceans, to the occasion.

Frontierland USA, however, populated with plastic Rugged Individualists, seems less than fruitful ground for a sociable ever after. Pious inwoners of the hinterland will tell their children the submersion of Boston, New York, Philadelphia was God’s vengence upon the Liberals.

Europe seems more promising sociologically. But will the cessation of the Gulf Stream leave what remains above sea level covered with ice? And pious Likudists nodding with deep and grim satisfaction, thinking of Noah and the 1940s? Shall any ‘scape whipping by this vengeful God?

Will the grass nowhere be greener?

Perhaps the recent development of expensive gated communities with autonomous power generation in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, Montana, has something to do with the recent hydrology — and, too, the incoherent violence of American foreign policy in the brave new century.

The Pentagon, after all, warned (itself) years ago of abrupt climate change, reporting measured declines in the flow of the Gulf Stream, and issuing new criteria re base location.

Recall the decision to abandon Homestead Air Force Base in Florida after Hurricane Andrew — a shocking decision announced in a live press conference by Secretary of Defense Cheney in 1992. People everywhere were wondering what the heck Dick was doing.

Playing catch up, the maps on the tube this past June, accompanying reports of the latest data, showed all of south Florida (north of Okeechobee on down) under water “by 2100.”

Not to speak of the Netherlands, Bangladesh, a good deal of southeast Asia …

Venice …?

A Dirty Vacation indeed …