The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Predicted effect of global warming cools Europe

New Scientist is reporting this hour on findings published today in the journal Nature, showing a 30% reduction in warm-water flows in the Atlantic Gulf Stream. This is a long-predicted effect of global warming, similar to changes in the flow that may have caused the so-called "mini ice-age" of the 14th and 15th centuries—and the major ice age of 110,000 years ago.

Not to be alarmist or anything, but this news is the climatic equivalent of seeing fifteen "for sale" signs on your block. It shows that something is very, very wrong, and the effects will be very, very bad. Think: ice skating straight across the Thames from the London Eye to Westminster. Think: Western Ireland under three feet of snow. Think: Madrid with Denver's climate.

Think I'm exaggerating? Nature is, after all, an alarmist publication. And New Scientist is only repeating the party line. You've got to be skeptical of the evidence-based community, you know.

Look, we've known for decades that we were influencing the climate. Journalist James Burke talked about exactly this happening in his 1991 miniseries After the Warming. Only, he speculated the slowdown happening in 2050, not 1995.

I've always thought global warming would benefit Chicago, even as it punished cities like Edinburgh. I just didn't think it would happen in my lifetime.

(Why the sheep? He's in Western Ireland, and he's cute, and ten years from now his descendants will be glad they have wool coats.)

Tropical storm Epsilon

The National Hurricane Center just a few minutes ago released this report:

...TROPICAL STORM EPSILON...THE 26TH NAMED STORM OF THE 2005
   ATLANTIC SEASON...FORMS OVER THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC OCEAN...
 
AT 11 AM AST...1500Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM EPSILON WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 31.6 NORTH... LONGITUDE 50.4 WEST OR ABOUT
845 MILES...1360 KM...EAST OF BERMUDA AND ABOUT 1395 MILES...2245
KM... WEST OF THE AZORES ISLANDS.

For those of you keeping score at home, this means we've seen 7 more named storms than the previous record (19, in 1995), and 5 more than the record for all tropical storms and hurricanes in a season (21, in 1933), since we started keeping track in 1851.

Now, the NHC admits the evidence doesn't fully support a link between global warming and storm frequency, but the hypothesis supporting the connection continues to gain evidence. Evidence like, for example, the most intense tropical storm season on record, including the only known tropical cyclone ever to reach Europe (Vince, October 11th).

Aren't you glad the best President we have right decided to make us the only Industrial country to refuse the Kyoto Protocol?

Anne cancelled our J. Crew card

Anne writes:

I told the credit card woman that it was because I was boycotting J. Crew because they sell fur. She actually had the nerve to say, "I can assure you that the fur that we sell comes from reputable breeders and not from animal destruction."
I think that was off-script, huh? I just said, "I think by definition it comes from animal destruction."
I encourage everyone who is getting J. Crew's catalogs to call (800) 562-0258 and ask to be taken off their lists--and be sure to tell them why.

I didn't even know we had a J. Crew card...

California Coastal Commission

The owners of this property in Carmel, Calif., wanted to build a starter castle. The California Coastal Commission generally doesn't allow new building in coastal communities, especially ugly starter castles. So the dude decided to "remodel" his existing home:

Apparently, this fits the definition of "remodeling" in Monterey County, believe it or not. The CCC, however, required him to take 4 m (12.5 ft) off the top of his proposed refit, so it will wind up being only 3 stories tall.

Gotta draw the line somewhere, I guess.

Obama has a sensible suggestion

I'm glad someone agrees with me. :)

From today's Chicago Tribune:

"The president could take the politics out of Iraq once and for all if he would simply go on television and say to the American people: 'Yes, we made mistakes. Yes, there are things that I would have done differently. But now that I'm here, I'm going to work with both Republicans and Democrats to find the most responsible way out,'" [Illinois U.S. Senator Barack] Obama said. "Imagine if he did that, how it would transform the politics of our country."

—Guest blogger Anne

Two sides, one coin

First, Andy Borowitz has a hi-larious report today:

In a ploy designed to put House Democrats on the spot, Republicans in the House of Representatives today insisted upon a floor vote on a new resolution banning the drowning of kittens. While few in the House expected the kitten-drowning resolution to pass, the House GOP leadership hoped that by calling for the floor vote they might force Democrats into an embarrassing position that they would have to explain to their constituents back home during the Thanksgiving recess.

Second, more seriously, Paul Krugman (reg.req.) says it's time to leave Iraq:

The fact is that we're not going to stay in Iraq until we achieve victory, whatever that means in this context. At most, we'll stay until the American military can take no more.
Mr. Bush never asked the nation for the sacrifices - higher taxes, a bigger military and, possibly, a revived draft - that might have made a long-term commitment to Iraq possible. Instead, the war has been fought on borrowed money and borrowed time. And time is running out.