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orthoclad

orthoclad's Journal
orthoclad's Journal
July 18, 2023

The heat index reached 152 degrees in the Middle East -- nearly at the limit for human survival

Washington Post reports extreme heat index temperatures near the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf airport reported a heat index temperature of 152F. The nearby Persian Gulf has water temperatures around 100F, pumping high humidity into the air, as I recently documented in https://democraticunderground.com/1127164242 .

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2023/07/18/extreme-heat-record-limits-human-survival/

In recent days, China set an all-time high of nearly 126 degrees Fahrenheit, while Death Valley hit 128 degrees, two shy of the highest reliably measured temperature on Earth. Phoenix was expected to observe a record-breaking 19th consecutive day at or above 110 degrees Tuesday. And in the Middle East, the heat index reached 152 degrees, nearing — or surpassing — levels thought to be the most intense the human body can withstand.

Such conditions are more than enough to overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature, experts said, and offer a glimpse of dangers only expected to become more prevalent as global warming increases extremes in heat and humidity.
“We know these extreme temperatures are killing people right now,” said Cascade Tuholske, an assistant professor at Montana State University.

...

On Sunday at the Persian Gulf International Airport in Iran, air temperatures exceeded 100 degrees, and the air was nearly saturated with humidity. That translated to a wet bulb temperature of 92.7 degrees (33.7 degrees Celsius), according to data and a wet bulb conversion calculator from the National Weather Service.

The heat and humidity were so intense, they translated to a heat index value that was literally off the charts. The heat index is designed to max out at about 136 degrees, but on Sunday it surpassed 150 degrees on the Persian Gulf.


NWS wet bulb calculator is here: https://www.weather.gov/epz/wxcalc_rh

The human body cools by the evaporation of sweat. If the humidity is high, sweat evaporates poorly and doesn't carry off body heat. Wet bulb temperature, a measure of evaporative cooling, is defined by wikipedia as:
The wet-bulb temperature (WBT) is the temperature read by a thermometer covered in water-soaked (water at ambient temperature) cloth (a wet-bulb thermometer) over which air is passed.[1] At 100% relative humidity, the wet-bulb temperature is equal to the air temperature (dry-bulb temperature); at lower humidity the wet-bulb temperature is lower than dry-bulb temperature because of evaporative cooling.


The WaPo article makes the point that seaside breezes sound like they'll cool you off, but high humidity from hot offshore water, like we're seeing in Florida, Greece, Italy and the Persian Gulf, is a partner in the process of dying from heat.

For a fictional but scientifically accurate description of a wet-bulb temperature crisis in India, see Kim Stanley Robinson's Ministry For The Future. The chapter describing this event can be read here:
https://www.orbitbooks.net/orbit-excerpts/the-ministry-for-the-future/
To the best of my knowledge, the author has made this chapter available for reading. Warning: it's horrifying.

July 11, 2023

"they are cunning linguists,"

A line from a Guardian article expounding on how the reich wing twists language to sneak in their vile messages.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2023/jul/11/zuck-is-a-cuck-why-is-elon-musk-borrowing-insults-from-white-supremacists
The Guardian writer Mahdawi is fairly cunning, herself.

The inspiration for the article is how manbaby Apartheid Musk called Zuckerberg a "cuck" and challenged him to a dick-measuring contest. Seriously. He did. In a post on his little nazi crib.

The Guardian goes on to show that "cuck" is slang for "cuckold". It made its way into reich wing "discourse" (using the word loosely) in the wake of 2014's Gamergate, which opened the floodgates of disgusting shitposting. I have seen it defined as "weak liberal white man who enjoys watching his wife has sex with black guys".

An article on the evolution of "cuck":
https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/2017/08/evolution-cuck-shows-different-far-right-groups-are-learning-same-language

Mahdawi's Guardian piece goes on to describe the implications of Musk's degeneration.

Over the years, cuck has become a dangerously amorphous term. While it isn’t inherently a white supremacist word, it has taken on racist and antisemitic connotations. For some people, it’s a reference to racist fetish pornography. It’s also, one linguist has argued, a coded way to talk about antisemitic “great replacement” theories.

...
Say what you will about the far right; they are cunning linguists, alarmingly adept at packaging hateful concepts into silly terms that can be defended as “just a joke”. “Incels”, for example, routinely talk about women as “femoids”, a contraction of “female humanoid” used to signal that these men don’t consider women to be fully human.

...
It’s not just me saying the far right are strategic about how they sanitise hateful language; they have admitted it themselves. In 2017, for example, the style guide for the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer was leaked. “Generally, when using racial slurs, it should come across as half-joking,” it instructed. “Most people are not comfortable with material that comes across as vitriolic, raging, nonironic hatred. The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.”

So, was Musk joking when he called Zuck a cuck? Or was it something more sinister? I can’t say for certain. But the fact that one of the world’s richest and most influential men is proudly using far-right terms? That is not funny at all.


One of the most powerful men in the world is signalling to his cohort of nazi fanbois that it's time to get even more disgusting.

Twitter is lost. The ground is bought and ceded. Time to end that game. The people of the world need to escape billionaires' litterboxes.
May 2, 2023

'They can survive just fine'

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/may/02/bernie-sanders-interview-chris-wallace-tax-rich

“Are you basically saying that once you get to $999m that the government should confiscate all the rest?” Matthews asked the US senator from Vermont, who is an independent but caucuses with Democrats and has helped them attain their current slim majority in the upper congressional chamber.
“Yeah,” Sanders replied. “You may disagree with me but, fine, I think people can make it on $999m. I think that they can survive just fine.”
Wallace had earlier mentioned how the late Sam Walton could make the giant retail chain Walmart the largest single private employer in the US thanks to his family’s net worth of about $225bn. Sanders countered that Walmart in many cases pays starvation wages to its 1.2 million employees despite how rich the Waltons are.
“Many of their workers are on Medicaid or food stamps,” Sanders said, referring to forms of government assistance for which low-income Americans can qualify. “In other words, taxpayers are subsidizing the wealthiest family in the country. Do I think that’s right? No, I don’t.”


Walmart is a good example of the damage megacorps do to the US. Jobs there were not "created"; Walmart replaced tons of local stores and small businesses with starvation-wage big box stores. Same with Amazon. Amazon does not create jobs, it replaces jobs, with working conditions that require people to pee in bottles because they don't have time for bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, the people at the head of these corps get to play with space-dildo tourism, and buying judges and politicians.

Demand for goods and services creates jobs. Capitalists just steal labor.

A belated May Day post. Happy International Labor Day!
February 25, 2023

Manchin's Methane and Plastic

I posted a piece yesterday about the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a conveyance for fracked gas which is tearing up the heart of Appalachia. The US Army Corps is accepting comments on a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit which the pipeline needs in order to cross (and damage) hundreds of mountain streams - not to mention crossing the Appalachian Trail.

I gave a link to some talking points, a posting guide, and a convenient online form which I'll repost, but what inspired me to write here again is another talking point I haven't seen from any of the many orgs fighting this thing: plastic.

One of the main industrial uses for the methane in fracked gas is feedstock for the manufacture of virgin plastic. Need I say much about the gigatons of plastic we're already drowning in? Microplastic is in every ocean, every mountain, the Arctic, the Antarctic, our food, our bodies. We don't need to tear up pristine wilderness so a factory in Virginia (true) can get cheap methane to make more virgin plastic. We can mine landfills or recycle.

Anyway, drop a comment about plastic here, it only takes a minute. Deadline is February 25.
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-the-army-corps-dont-grant-mvps-permit
This is a better link than the one I gave yesterday.

Talking points here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ak-SizFsgN1FRLLshqm4vFvbAeA7bKdTba2hhziRwBE/edit#
ACE comment guide here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/10NMTqog9xViAPKzm-GUNC8NbxDkECAwO-eCgWr-cik4/edit#

This thing is really destructive and unnecessary. After all the con-destruction is over, it will only provide a few dozen permanent jobs. I mean, besides all the work cleaning up its mess. It is NOT in the public interest.


(edit: typo)

February 25, 2023

Manchin's Dirty Deal: Plastic

I posted a piece yesterday about the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a conveyance for fracked gas which is tearing up the heart of Appalachia. The US Army Corps is accepting comments on a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit which the pipeline needs in order to cross (and damage) hundreds of mountain streams - not to mention crossing the Appalachian Trail.

I gave a link to some talking points, a posting guide, and a convenient online form which I'll repost, but what inspired me to write here again is another talking point I haven't seen from any of the many orgs fighting this thing: plastic.

One of the main industrial uses for the methane in fracked gas is feedstock for the manufacture of virgin plastic. Need I say much about the gigatons of plastic we're already drowning in? Microplastic is in every ocean, every mountain, the Arctic, the Antarctic, our food, our bodies. We don't need to tear up pristine wilderness so a factory in Virginia (true) can get cheap methane to make more virgin plastic. We can mine landfills or recycle.

Anyway, drop a comment about plastic here, it only takes a minute. Deadline is February 25.
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-the-army-corps-dont-grant-mvps-permit
This is a better link than the one I gave yesterday.

Talking points here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ak-SizFsgN1FRLLshqm4vFvbAeA7bKdTba2hhziRwBE/edit#
ACE comment guide here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/10NMTqog9xViAPKzm-GUNC8NbxDkECAwO-eCgWr-cik4/edit#

This thing is really destructive and unnecessary. After all the con-destruction is over, it will only provide a few dozen permanent jobs. I mean, besides all the work cleaning up its mess. It is NOT in the public interest.


edit: Apologies for the double post. When I clicked to post this one, I got a message saying it was refused, so I changed the title and reposted.

Sorry! Should I delete this one?

February 24, 2023

Manchin's Zombie Deal (reposted)

There is still time to make a comment to the US Army Corps Of Engineers about the often-defeated zombie pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, aka Manchin's Dirty Deal, which keeps lurching back from its grave. The public comment period for the MVP's request for a new Clean Water Act permit to cross about 600 mountain streams with a 42" gas line is open until Feb 25.

The more I learn about this travesty the more horrified I get. The link below gives an easy-to-use online form with a talking point template which will deliver your customized comment to the ACE via email. Numbers count. Edit the text in the form box a little or a lot to make your opposition known.
https://appvoices.org/no-fossil-fuel-permitting-wish-list/

If you want to go down the rabbit hole, there's lots of material online from lots of orgs fighting this thing. A couple good resources:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ak-SizFsgN1FRLLshqm4vFvbAeA7bKdTba2hhziRwBE/edit#
https://powhr.org
https://powhr.org/mountain-valley-pipeline-101/

We can beat this!

February 24, 2023

Manchin's Zombie Deal: USACE comment

There is still time to make a comment to the US Army Corps Of Engineers about the often-defeated zombie pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, aka Manchin's Dirty Deal, which keeps lurching back from its grave. The public comment period for the MVP's request for a new Clean Water Act permit to cross about 600 mountain streams with a 42" gas line is open until Feb 25.

The more I learn about this travesty the more horrified I get. The link below gives an easy-to-use online form with a talking point template which will deliver your customized comment to the ACE via email. Numbers count. Edit the text in the form box a little or a lot to make your opposition known.
https://appvoices.org/no-fossil-fuel-permitting-wish-list/

If you want to go down the rabbit hole, there's lots of material online from lots of orgs fighting this thing. A couple good resources:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ak-SizFsgN1FRLLshqm4vFvbAeA7bKdTba2hhziRwBE/edit#
https://powhr.org
https://powhr.org/mountain-valley-pipeline-101/

We can beat this!

September 2, 2022

Cost of climate change much greater than current estimate

The Social Cost of CO2, or SC-CO2

An article in WaPo covers a recent study in the journal Nature on the cost of climate change. WaPo: "the monetary toll of climate change will be enormous. The social cost of carbon is an attempt to put a dollar figure on that destruction."

In short, the authors in Nature say that the cost of climate change is almost four times greater than the existing estimate.

from Nature:
"a 2017 report ... highlighted that current SC-CO2 estimates no longer reflect the latest research."
snip
"we show that improved ... methods...substantially increase estimates of the SC-CO2"
snip
"estimate is $185 per tonne of CO2 ...a value 3.6-times higher than the US government’s current value of $51"

The last sentence is the kicker:
"Our higher SC-CO2 values, compared to estimates currently used in policy evaluation, substantially increase the estimated benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation and thereby increase the expected net benefits of more stringent climate policies."

Some of the costs of climate change will be in deaths due to heat, crop failures, forest fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts. Changes in ecosystems will make pandemics more likely as people come into contact with animal reservoirs of pathogens. And there are always the unknown, unexpected factors that the real world excels in throwing at us.

The main point is that improved research methods raise the estimate almost 4 times as much as the current estimate of $51. Personally, I think the $185 number is still way too low. I can't judge the economic factors, but the study partially relies on climate models, which so far are often underestimates of real damage and the rate of change.

One cost factor which seems to be neglected: conflict. Nations and peoples will not suffer in silence. We already see waves of refugees partly driven by climate change; we should expect to see armed conflict due to climate change.

War is expensive.

The conservative platitude "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is common sense, but this research which puts a high number to the value of the prevention can be used to justify the cost of a climate Manhattan Project, a carbon Moon Shot.

WaPo article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/09/01/costs-climate-change-far-surpass-government-estimates-study-says/

The paper in Nature (the link in the WaPo article doesn't seem to work):
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05224-9
July 29, 2022

Midterms may be too late

shoutout to turbinetree for [link:https://www.democraticunderground.com/100216979536|

No other problem is as pressing as the right-wing supermajority on the highest court. This court has no hesitation in issuing slapdash rulings which are cementing the power of the far right. Roe. EPA. Death Row. It is in the process NOW of deconstructing the US government's ability to protect the rights and safety of the people. It's worst is yet to come.

In October, before the midterms, this Dominionist Court could give unprecedented power to state legislatures: "the ability to regulate federal elections without oversight from state courts" [link:https://www.rawstory.com/experts-warn-of-election-havoc-across-the-us-if-north-carolina-case-succeeds/| per turbinetree).

During the Obama years, the Republican party was busy at state and local levels; they gained about 1000 seats. And now that that party has no platform except obeying the will of Herr Drumpf, we can easily guess the result if the Court gives them power over elections. The popular vote will be defeated. As the current right-wing slogan goes, we're a "constitutional republic" (code for oligarchy), not a democracy.

The right wing has shown great disdain for their own voters for years, exposing them to covid death and driving them into poverty, let alone their disdain for the general population about human rights and climate catastrophes. This is because they are confident that the vote won't matter. Between gerrymandering, vote suppression, outright fraud and subversion, and their trump card in this Court ruling, the right wing will seize and cement generational power.

We absolutely MUST curtail the Right Caucus on the Court, and fast. Impeach the liars for perjury, investigate the Thomases, and mainly expand the Court to 13 seats to match 13 Circuit Courts. We have to have serious, realistic pressure on this Court BEFORE October, even if we have to call Congress back into session. Time off for campaigning won't matter if the election is cooked. Campaign by working for the people. We are at a tipping point, and it's racing at us.

(moved from other forum)

July 21, 2022

The Justices In The Room

I've seen tons of ink spilled over the question of whether or not the US Department of Justice will choose to prosecute the crimes committed by Trump, his allies, and his fellow-travelers. I say that's the wrong question to be asking. The correct question: what court (and jury) will hear the trials, and what Court will decide the final appeals?

Picture Alito, Thomas, Amy Corona Barrett, Kavanaugh, Roberts, and Gorsuch ruling on appeals of Trump's or Meadows' convictions.

What we face is not limited to a political struggle over issues, or over which party will dominate the government. We are facing the all-out culmination of decades of planning and execution of the seizure of power by an oligarchy. The most visible indicator of this slow coup is the curve showing the increasing concentration of wealth and the consequent power into a very few hands -- and the presence of their Reich Caucus on the Court. The oligarchy had a setback in 2020 (they lost an election and the coup failed), but they have filled the civil service and the judiciary with their minions. Especially the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court's Reich Caucus is barely even pretending to maintain appearances anymore, citing a 17th century English women-burner in order to overturn 20th century precedent. In their next session in October, just before the mid-terms, they will hand right-wing gerrymandered state legislatures the power to override the popular vote.

For a long time I wondered why the Right was so determined to defeat public health measures and doom their own base to covid death. Before that, I wondered why they would anger their base by removing their home mortgage deductions to give the rich a tax break. Now, Rick Scott's wildly unpopular plan to sunset Social Security and Medicare (thank you, Blue Owl, he is indeed Bat Boy) is bound to motivate older voters. The repeal of Roe v Wade is bringing women and allies out in droves. The list of alienated voters is long and getting longer. But they don't care. My only conclusion is that they are confident that by the mid-terms, let alone 2024, the popular vote won't matter. The 2000 election gave them the model -- the Supreme Court can override the popular vote, one way or another.

Some years ago the right-wing "Gish gallop" was a topic. The idea behind it was to throw up arguments and issues so fast that there was no time to refute them; all the energy was diverted into yesterday's squabble while today's and tomorrow's were headlining. We see that in practice now. The right wing, in service of the oligarchy, is throwing spaghetti at the walls in all directions, and we're getting dizzy spinning around trying to clean up the mess. The assaults on human rights and dignity and our physical world are fires that need to be put out, but while we're busy extinguishing fires the perpetrators are equally busy seizing the power and the wealth (what's the price of gas this week and what is the corporate profit margin?) which enables these assaults. We need to focus our attention on the most immediate and dire threat: the right-wing seizure of the Supreme Court.

Triage.

Voting is essential, but haranguing people to go vote is not enough. We need large margins, but we also need to defend the process. The Democratic Party should be responding to the army of poll watchers (and poll intimidators, like the special Florida election police) that the right-wing is organizing. We should respond by nationally organizing watchers and observers at the polls. We must give poll workers legal protection from shenanigans like Giuliani's false accusations in Georgia. We must support the infrastructure of voting. But even more important, we must take immediate and effective action against the Reich Caucus on the Court while there is still time. Impeach the perjurer judges, expose the insurrectionists, expand the seats to 13, whatever it takes. Let's run our own Gish Gallop against the Right.

Voting is essential, but the right wing is changing the game to make the popular vote irrelevant. The mid-terms may well be too late. Defeat the slow coup and make the Supreme Court great again.

Then maybe we can expect secure elections, as well as justice for the Jan 6 coup bosses.

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Member since: Sun Jul 17, 2022, 08:06 PM
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About orthoclad

I'll let my words speak for themselves.

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