Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when
we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.
Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
This Day in History
Scientists have linked the rapid rise in Arctic temperatures over the past two decades to weather extremes in the northern hemisphere such as heatwaves in the US and flooding in Europe.
Temperatures in the Arctic have risen twice as fast as the rest of the world since 2000, and this could have triggered changes to global wind patterns, which have brought extreme weather to lower latitudes, the researchers said.
A study has found that the number of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, floods and droughts, has almost doubled over the same period and that this increase can be linked with unusual wind patterns in the upper atmosphere, influenced by warmer Arctic temperatures.
A new study finds that the media disproportionately favors scientists who reject the basic scientific consensus on climate change. By consensus, I mean the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC), which are already overly cautious and watered down.
Some – though not most – analysts have declared the media’s era of false balance in climate coverage is over. But the truth is that the media continue to present the public a misleading picture on climate science, giving fringe scientists more attention (disproportionate to their actual number) than the leading climate scientists.
It’s one of those facts that sweeps you back into an alien, almost unrecognizable era. On July 9, 1970, Republican President Richard Nixon announced to Congress his plans to create the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By the end of that year, both agencies were a reality. Nowadays, among their other tasks, they either monitor or seek to mitigate the problem of global warming-actions that make today’s Republicans, Nixon’s heirs, completely livid.
To give one example of how anti-environment the right today is, just consider this ThinkProgress analysis, finding that “over 58 percent” of congressional Republicans refuse to accept the science of climate change.
So what happened to the GOP, from the time of Nixon to the present, to turn an environmental leader into an environmental retrograde? According to a new study in the journal Social Science Research, the key change actually began around the year 1991-when the Soviet Union fell. “The conservative movement replaced the ‘Red Scare’ with a new ‘Green Scare’ and became increasingly hostile to environmental protection at that time,” argues sociologist Aaron McCright of Michigan State University and two colleagues.
The recent appearance of giant craters in the Siberian permafrost has intrigued observers and alarmed those concerned about global climate change. Some have even claimed that these craters mark a point of no return for the climate.
On August 1, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast a story by NPR national security reporter Dina Temple-Raston touting explosive claims from what she called “a tech firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.” That firm, Recorded Future, worked together with “a cyber expert, Mario Vuksan, the CEO of ReversingLabs,” to produce a new report that purported to vindicate the repeated accusation from U.S. officials that “revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden harmed national security and allowed terrorists to develop their own countermeasures.”
The “big data firm,” reported NPR, says that it now “has tangible evidence” proving the government’s accusations. Temple-Raston’s four-minute, 12-second story devoted the first 3 minutes and 20 seconds to uncritically repeating the report’s key conclusion that “just months after the Snowden documents were released, al-Qaeda dramatically changed the way its operatives interacted online” and, post-Snowden, “al-Qaeda didn’t just tinker at the edges of its seven-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it.” The only skepticism in the NPR report was relegated to 44 seconds at the end when she quoted security expert Bruce Schneier, who questioned the causal relationship between the Snowden disclosures and the new terrorist encryption programs, as well as the efficacy of the new encryption.
Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton. In her interview on Sunday with Jeffrey Goldberg, Clinton offered the most articulate, sophisticated, passionate defense of Netanyahu’s conduct I’ve heard from a government official on either side of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, important chunks of it aren’t true.
Let’s take her claims in turn.
Must Read Blog Posts
Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming
by Nick Hanauer
Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves
by David Wong
The Daily Wiki
The Tunguska event was a large explosion, which occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 07:14 KRAT (00:14 UT) on June 30 [O.S. June 17], 1908. The explosion occurred at an altitude of 5-10 kilometres (3-6 mi) at 60.886°N, 101.894°E. It is classified as an impact even though the asteroid or comet is believed to have burst in the air rather than hitting the surface. Different studies have yielded widely varying estimates of the impacting object’s size, on the order of 60 m (200 ft) to 190 m (620 ft). It is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.
Since the 1908 explosion, there have been an estimated 1,000 scholarly papers (mainly in Russian) published on the Tunguska explosion. Many scientists have participated in Tunguska studies; the best known are Leonid Kulik, Yevgeny Krinov, Kirill Florensky, Nikolai Vladimirovich Vasiliev, and Wilhelm Fast. In 2013, a team of researchers led by Victor Kvasnytsya of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine published analysis results of micro-samples from a peat bog near the blast epicenter showing fragments that may be of meteoric origin.
Estimates of the energy of the blast range from as low as three to as high as 30 megatons of TNT (between 13 and 130 PJ). Most likely it was between 10-15 megatons of TNT (42-63 PJ), and, if so, then the energy of the explosion was about 1,000 times greater than that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan; roughly equal to that of the United States’ Castle Bravo ground-based thermonuclear test detonation on March 1, 1954; and about two-fifths that of the Soviet Union’s later Tsar Bomba (the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated).
It is estimated that the Tunguska explosion knocked down some 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi), and that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale. An explosion of this magnitude would be capable of destroying a large metropolitan area, but due to the remoteness of the location no fatalities were documented. This event has helped to spark discussion of asteroid impact avoidance.
Something to Think about over
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. ~Robin Williams
The scene from the movie with the song…
Stupid Shit by LaEscapee