Monday, October 31, 2011


As Bill Maher points out so often these days, we have to call it "climate change" because otherwise the rightwingers confuse the issue because it still gets cold some places, averages being a difficult mathematical and "scientific" concept for them.

Nonetheless, the climate change brought about by global warming that was predicted by weather scientists has become a reality and is impacting all of us in one way or another very realistically. It's no longer a theory, obviously. The early winter we're having in the Northeast is a perfect example.

Yes, seasonal anomalies have occurred throughout history, including in my lifetime and yours, but not the extent they are occurring now and in recent years. As we all know, or can learn, by checking the stats, the warmest years on record have all occurred in the past decade, and rainfall records and extreme temperature variations etc. have occurred in the last few years as well.

So even though there are a few pre-winter Nor-Easters on the records over the past few hundred years, when you combine the one we just went through this weekend with other extreme record-breaking weather events of the past few years, welcome to the future brought to you by global warming.

I was up in the Berkshires at my oldest son's family's place where over a foot of heavy wet snow fell. We were actually snowed in, but luckily retained power. When the snow stopped Sunday morning and the cars were dug out and what looked like a foot and a half of snow was shoveled and brushed off them, my youngest son and I drove back to Jersey in a rare snowscape that was more like a movie dream sequence than a Christmas card.

The seasons in this part of the world were so finely tuned by nature [and evolution (oh no!)], that by the time the first really heavy snow of winter came, all the leafs were off the trees and the amount of snow that could accumulate on a tree branch was minimal, almost more of an outline than a burden.

But this weekend the snow was so thick and wet (the "snowflakes" looked more like small snowballs) as it accumulated on branches still full of leaves, it became too heavy for the branches to bear the weight and they either bent low to the ground (it was a trip to watch my daughter-in-law just tap a long branch of a ten foot tall bush bent down to the ground with the snow shovel and watch the snow fall off as the branch sprang back like a catapult and stood straight up in the air again as though brought back to life from near death) or broke entirely and were strewn across roads or smashed onto roofs of cars and houses often pulling electrical and telephone wires down with them.

The trip back was stunning and challenging. The countryside was so profoundly beautiful all covered in not just pristine whiteness but a whiteness that looked poured and melted in a unique way and amount. I pointed out to my son how rare a sight it was because nature normally doesn't cause this kind of snowfall until after the leaves are gone and the trees can withstand it.

It was stop and start as we sometimes inched our way around fallen branches and trees and in one case under one that had fallen in such a way as to create a tunnel only one relatively small car at a time could go through (buses and trucks and bigger vehicles were forced to turn back).

Even when we got further South into lower New York state and were on a big highway not a two-lane country road, there were still moments when branches or trees would fall or bend and block a lane so that at one point a car several vehicles ahead of us hit their brakes so hard it created what looked like the smoke from a big fire and the smell of burning rubber stayed with us for miles.

At one point on a back country road a snow-laden branch fell up ahead of us onto the road and, as often happens in adrenaline charged moments, seemed to occur in slow motion as I watched it hit the road and managed to find an extremely narrow path around it just in time. And then made it home to find our street blocked by fallen branches (the trees around here and up North are often so large that a "branch" is the size of a small, or not so small, tree) that took wires down with them.

Most of the trip there were no stoplights working or store lights on and the usual roadside joint we stop at for lunch (the famous "Red Rooster"—at least famous in that area of the central Hudson Valley) as well as all the others were closed because of no power.

We passed two gas stations in the several hour trip that had lines extending out from them reminiscent of the 1970s gas shortage, only more so. One line seemed to extend for more than a mile with folks out of their cars hanging out talking, the cars pulled onto the shoulder of the road and backed up as far as we could see. They were the only gas stations with their own generators I guess.

My youngest doesn't have school today. Even though the snow is mostly melted here, at least in the streets, so it would normally not be considered a "snow day" it still is, because there are so many trees and branches that have downed wires that it's unsafe for the kids to walk down many blocks in our town for fear of accidentally touching a live one.

If this were the only odd weather event of the past decade, or of my son's life, etc. it would not be unusual. But in his now fourteen years there have been many, and more and more as the years pass. This is a result of the climate change being caused by global warming and almost every scientist, and close to a total consensus of weather scientists, acknowledge this.

Yet the rightwingers, including the main one who comments on this blog, continue to idiotically taunt us "liberals" with the reality of unusually cold winter weather for early Fall, but have been and will be nowhere in the comments threads when the inevitable (these days anyway) hot spell hits between now and next summer and breaks all records in that direction, despite the fact that I will, as I always do, point that out to them when it occurs. Their silence will be, as always, deafening, because anything that doesn't support their ideological beliefs is ignored or denied despite reality.

[PS: Just got back from driving my son to a friend's and saw trees that had crashed onto houses, down power lines, including just half a block from his old school, and only one lane of traffic on many streets because of the piles of branches etc. and to further make my point above, this kind of scene has become relatively common in the past few years and since I moved here a dozen years ago.]


Bea F. said...

Doesn't matter whether you call it Glabal Warming or Global Change, the idiots who refuse to look at the evidence are going to believe whatever they want. Let's just try to keep them out of office.

Lally said...


Connie said...

Former skeptic, Richard Muller, has admitted his error in an article in the WSJ:

"When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn't know what we'd find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that."

According to Jon Stewart, the study was funded by the oil interests.

Lally said...

Thanks Connie, I saw that story too. It's incredible when it's in their own paper or record (The Wall Street Journal) and coming from one of their own and they still don't accept it!

tom said...

Some of them are still harping about "Climategate" even though that was discounted over a year ago. We are suffering the opposite kind of weather where I live. Too warm for this time of year. Normally we would have had several small snow storms by now. The warmer weather means the big lake will stay warmer longer and seeing as it is our snow maker - when it does get cold we have a potential for a lot of snow. That's good here. We depend on snow for winter tourism. On the other hand the past two years - the snow stopped at the end of February - not good. Erratic weather patterns are part of the global change.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tom said...

Odd. When I look at their data it shows a rising land temperature. Not sure how this other chart was created. Interestingly the Daily Mail is a conservative paper - or should I say has conservative bias.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lally said...

sorry Tom, but I deleted the comment you were responding to, as well as his response to your response. I'm just tired of the same old strategy. Anyone can go back over the years I've been doing this blog and find many many comments by this rightwinger insisting that there is no such thing as "global warming" and claiming there's no proof for it. than I, or someone in else will offer the data proving there is, and then he will offer some rightwing source saying there isn't, then more people will offer overwhelming references to scientists and their evidence that there is, and then he will do one of three things (and the same holds true for any argument over any rightwing ideological position he holds, or parrots actually because they always echo the rightwing talking point of the moment) and those three things are: 1) change the subject, 2) resort to name calling, or, as he did in the comments above, 3) pretend to be reasonable by saying like saying what he was claiming was not that there isn't global warming, but that there's no proof it's manmade or that humans are contributing to it. (Which obviously is not what he was saying only a few comments ago!) And then returns another day in another comment thread to start the process all over again. It's a very old and often successful political ploy. Rick Perry allows the birther issue to percolate when it's winning rightwing support and then drops it when it's disproven, then brings it up again to see what help it can bring his campaign later, and when he's reminded it's been definitively disproved (or more likely when he's convinced it's gaining no new traction) he says he was just poking fun, i.e. was misunderstood by too serious "liberals" etc. and changes the subject. Et-endlessly-cetera. The right in fact depends upon the reasonableness of the near left, that is liberals, as well as centrists, to be willing to concede some points on most issues, just as they're willing to compromise on many. But the right just takes advantage of that tendency to undermine any arguments against their positions and to misdirect their opponents and help the right in the continuation of their misinformation campaign and miseducation of their followers. In other words they disarm their more liberal and centrist opponents with what seems like reasonableness but always in the service of driving home their ideological propagandistic point(s) which they will never concede, unless their corporate masters see it is in their corporate interest to do so. There are plenty of blogs and other internet sites that support and propagate the rightwing agenda with their distortions of the truth and of what those who oppose them believe in and are. "Jim" can take his opinions there.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

FYI, my father, of blessed memory, was a hardcore conservative. An Orthodox Jew, a brilliant thinker, he read the New York Times every day because it pissed him off --- yet he could finish the crossword puzzle in minutes. His fantasy was to get a Ford F150 pickup truck with a shotgun mount. My Dad fully acknowledged that which we refer to as Global Warming - dangerous change in our world climate as a result of man-made endeavors/industry/population etc. One of the last things he did before dying was to write a brilliant two page treatise on how to solve global warming and save our planet.

As much as I love and honor my father, I don't know about this whole global warming thing. I mean, I just opened my freezer and the peas are frozen solid - which I'm unable to reconcile with the notion of global warming!

tom said...

That's okay, Mike. I live in one of those states where Republicans were elected in 2010 because nobody really listened to what they were saying. Now corporate taxes are cut and the poor, the middle class and retirees are being taxed more to make up for the loss. Schools and communities are receiving less money and some self-proclaimed conservatives are finding out how it effects them and their families. The next election will be interesting.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tom said...

Freedom of religion - yep
even for Muslims
Freedom of speech - yes, isn't that what the Occupy movement doing?
Checks and balances between the three branches of government - sure
The power of the federal courts to review laws. of course - do you want me to go on?

Lally said...

Sorry Tom, had to delete another lie. The man can't read, comprehend, acknowledge, accept, etc. anything that contradicts the dictates of his ideology and those who propagate and interpret it for him.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robert G. Zuckerman said...

I was in the Aventura Mall in Miami a few weekends ago, and it was more crowded than I'd ever seen it in my fifteen years living there. More people were out shopping, now, during Obama's presidency, than any time in the Bush years. Hmmm...just as early snow negates global warming, surely, this negates a weak economy.

JIm said...
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Anonymous said...

here is "the crux' of Our present situation and
.... good luck to Us going forward



how do you expect to have any meaningful discussions if you delete anything that "rubs you" the wrong way?

the motto of the USA should be:

Hate is not a family value

Ignorance is Bliss

Anonymous said...


the malls are crowded here too! It's been cold so
that is where the old folks and the poor who can't afford to heat their homes go to stay warm

and because they can't afford DECENT food go to get a Dollar-Double-Cheeseburger and a Dollar French Fries

Obesity used to be (in America) a sign of wealth now?

it s an health epidemic.

Lally said...

Anonymous, if you want to see what I deleted, go back through the archives, or just this week's comments and see what the blog stalker I delete had to say. It hasn't changed in the several years I've been doing it. What he says changes only according to what the rightwing line of the day is, but the point is always the same. Which is: any criticism of the right means those critics don't believe in The Constitution, or they want radical Muslims to create Shariah law in the USA or et-endlessly-cetera. I can put up with some mild name calling or distortions of the facts from commenters on this blog, but to let one person dominate the comments with relentlessly repeated lies and name calling that always eventually reaches extremes beyond what anyone else has written here, is like letting someone come into my home and take it over just because I invited them to a party once (at which, I might add, they insulted me, my friends and other guests, and refused to leave when asked to!).

Anonymous said...


attitude and signification just doesn't
"thicken the stew"

if you research the definition of RANTER

you'll find that this guy really isn't one !

hang in,

Liam Glynn said...

Hydrocarbons in the atmosphere create a hole in the ozone layer making the temperature warmer and the warmer it gets, the more ice melts and water evaporates creating moisture in the air which falls as rain or snow.

Is that it? Sounds plausible to me. I believe in many scientific inventions, but have no idea how they work. This seems elementary