Daily Archives: January 1, 2016

James Fallows | Al Gore and Sustainable Capitalism – The Atlantic

James Fallows
3:32 PM / November 29, 2015

On the eve of the Paris climate talks, let’s get back to “sustainable capitalism.”

After my piece about Al Gore’s sustainability-minded, and so-far very profitable, Generation Investment firm came out last month, Felix Salmon of Fusion wrote an email on all the reasons he was skeptical of the company, its claims, its founders, the story, and everything else. You can see it at the bottom of this Thread, or here.

Salmon now offers what he calls the “considered” version of his critique, as a new post on Fusion. As with his email, I’m glad Salmon is directing attention to Generation, even though as with his email obviously there is a lot I disagree with in his arguments and dislike about his tone. (The Fusion version begins, “Al Gore has become a salesman.”) But by all means read this latest installment and judge for yourself.

…(read more).

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Former Vice President Al Gore Washington Ideas | Video | C-SPAN.org


Former Vice President Al Gore was interviewed at the seventh annual Washington Ideas Forum. He spoke about global climate change and the need to protect the future for the nation’s youth.

The Washington Ideas Forum brings together political leaders, administration officials, business entrepreneurs, journalists, and science and technology experts.

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Ralph Nader: The Super Rich Can Save Us

David Pakman Show

Published on Aug 8, 2015

–Classic interview with Ralph Nader, who suggests that the super-rich could save the US

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Why Is Ralph Nader Important? Biography, Education, Political Views, Accomplishments (2002)

The Film Archives

Published on Jan 1, 2016

Ralph Nader was born in Winsted, Connecticut, to Nathra and Rose (née Bouziane) Nader, immigrants from Lebanon, who were Antiochian Greek Orthodox Christians.[1][3][8] They raised the children in their homeland’s culture with both their native Arabic and English, telling them proverbs and stories they felt would encourage independent thought, appreciation of things such as wildlife that cannot be “measured by the dollar,” plus instill traits such as perseverance and inner strength.[8] His father initially worked in a textile mill; later, he owned a bakery and restaurant, where he discussed politics with customers,[9] which Ralph listened to along with their comments about conditions at the meat-packing plant, the chemicals they were exposed to, and similar issues that later featured in his activism. His political beliefs and interest in law were also influenced by watching town hall meetings, referendums, and listening to the lawyers argue at the courthouse near his home. His siblings followed similar paths: Laura became a professor of social and cultural anthropology at U.C. Berkeley, Claire earned a doctorate in political science then became a social scientist, and brother Shafeek had a law degree from Boston University. [8]

Nader graduated from The Gilbert School, a private post secondary school in Winsted, Connecticut, in 1951. He then was accepted at Princeton University, and the university offered him a scholarship, but his father turned it away, saying it should go to a student who couldn’t afford tuition.[10] Nader graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1955.[11] He then went on to Harvard Law School, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws in 1958.

After serving six months on active duty in the United States Army in 1959, he was admitted to the bar and started practice as a lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut. He was an assistant professor of history and government at the University of Hartford from 1961 to 1963.[13]

In 1964, Nader moved to Washington, D.C., where he was appointed as a political aide to the Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan and also advised a United States Senate subcommittee on car safety.[13] Nader has served on the faculty at the American University Washington College of Law.

Nader began to write about consumer safety issues in articles published in the Harvard Law Record, a student publication of Harvard Law School. He first criticized the automobile industry in 1959 in an article, “The Safe Car You Can’t Buy”, published by The Nation.

In 1965, Nader wrote the book Unsafe at Any Speed, in which he claimed that many American automobiles were unsafe to operate. The first chapter, “The Sporty Corvair – The One-Car Accident”, pertained to the Corvair manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors (GM), which had been involved in accidents involving spins and rollovers. More than 100 lawsuits were pending against GM related to accidents involving the popular compact car. Nader based his initial investigations into car safety on these lawsuits.[16]

In early March 1966, several media outlets, including The New Republic and The New York Times, reported that GM had tried to discredit Nader, hiring private detectives to tap his phones and investigate his past, and hiring prostitutes to trap him in compromising situations.[17][18] Nader sued the company for invasion of privacy and settled the case for $425,000. Nader’s lawsuit against GM was ultimately decided by the New York Court of Appeals, whose opinion in the case expanded tort law to cover “overzealous surveillance”. Nader used the proceeds from the lawsuit to start the pro-consumer Center for Study of Responsive Law.


Image By http://www.flickr.com/photos/wickenden/ Don LaVange [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Freak storm pushes North Pole 50 degrees above normal to melting point – The Washington Post

By Angela Fritz December 30, 2015


This storm in the far North Atlantic is the same storm that caused two tornado outbreaks and widespread flooding in the United States. Now, it’s pushing temperatures at the North Pole well above average. (earth.nullschool.net)

This story has been updated to include buoy measurements that confirm the North Pole temperature climbed above 32 degrees on Wednesday.

A powerful winter cyclone — the same storm that led to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous river flooding — has driven the North Pole to the freezing point this week, 50 degrees above average for this time of year.

From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, a mind-boggling pressure drop was recorded in Iceland: 54 millibars in just 18 hours. This triples the criteria for “bomb” cyclogenesis, which meteorologists use to describe a rapidly intensifying mid-latitude storm. A “bomb” cyclone is defined as dropping one millibar per hour for 24 hours.

NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center said the storm’s minimum pressure dropped to 928 millibars around 1 a.m. Eastern time, which likely places it in the top five strongest storms on record in this region.

D.C., eclipses warmest December on record by an enormous

“According to the center’s records, the all-time strongest storm in this area occurred on Dec. 15, 1986, and that had a minimum central pressure of 900 millibars,” Mashable’s Andrew Freedman reported on Tuesday. “The second-strongest storm occurred in January 1993, with a pressure of 916 millibars.”

..(read more).

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Climate Change Online Journalist, Andrew Freedman

Andrew-FreedmanAndrew Freedman is Mashable’s Science Editor. Prior to working at Mashable, Freedman was a Senior Science writer for Climate Central. He was ranked as the most prolific climate reporter in the U.S. in 2012, and the second-most prolific in 2013.

Mr. Freedman has also worked as a reporter for Congressional Quarterly and Greenwire/E&E Daily. His writing has also appeared in the Washington Post, online at The Weather Channel, and washingtonpost.com, where he wrote a weekly climate science column for the “Capital Weather Gang” blog.

Mr. Freedman has provided commentary on climate science and policy for Sky News, CBC Radio, NPR, Al Jazeera America, Sirius XM Radio, PBS NewsHour, and other national and international outlets. He holds a Masters in Climate and Society from Columbia University, and a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Olga, and a giant cat, Forrest.

…(For direct links to log of climate stories click here to read more).

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Historic storm to warm North Pole 60 degrees above average

Computer model projection of the air pressure and wind circulation around an intense storm near Iceland on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.Image: Earth Simulator

By Andrew Freedman

UPDATED 6:15 p.m. ET: The hurricane-force low pressure center is intensifying rapidly northwest of Ireland, with a swirling cloud pattern visible on satellite imagery moving toward Iceland. The storm is projected to peak in intensity with a minimum central pressure of between 927 and 933 millibars on Wednesday morning.

This could be strong enough to bring it into the top 5 strongest storms on record in this part of the North Atlantic.

“It might get into the top 5, but I highly doubt it’ll break the record,” said Dave Kosier, a meteorologist with the Ocean Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, in an interview with Mashable.

According to the center’s records, the all-time strongest storm in this area occurred on Dec. 15, 1986, and that had a minimum central pressure of 900 millibars. The second-strongest storm occurred in January 1993, with a pressure of 916 millibars.

The surge of mild air into the Arctic is already beginning, with a forecast high on Wednesday at the North Pole of close to the freezing mark of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius.

One of the strongest storms on record to form in the North Atlantic is set to rock Iceland with winds above hurricane force by Wednesday. It’s also expected to drive a new batch of rain and wind to flood-weary areas of the UK.

The storm could even set an all-time record for the strongest storm to develop in this part of the North Atlantic.

The storm will be a meteorological marvel, intensifying so rapidly that the term “bombogenesis” is perhaps an understatement to describe its intensification. Aiding its explosive development is a jet stream on steroids, with winds of 230 miles per hour roaring across the North Atlantic at aircraft cruising altitudes.

(read more).

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Joe Romm | Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know

Climate change will have a bigger impact on humanity than the Internet has had. The last decade’s spate of superstorms, wildfires, heat waves, and droughts has accelerated the public discourse on this topic and lent credence to climatologist Lonnie Thomson’s 2010 statement that climate change “represents a clear and present danger to civilization.” In June 2015, the Pope declared that action on climate change is a moral issue.

This book offers the most up-to-date examination of climate change’s foundational science, its implications for our future, and the core clean energy solutions. Alongside detailed but highly accessible descriptions of what is causing climate change, this entry in the What Everyone Needs to Know series answers questions about the practical implications of this growing force on our world:

· How will climate change impact you and your family in the coming decades?
· What are the future implications for owners of coastal property?
· Should you plan on retiring in South Florida or the U.S. Southwest or Southern Europe?
· What occupations and fields of study will be most in demand in a globally warmed world?
· What impact will climate change have on investments and the global economy?

As the world struggles to stem climate change and its effects, everyone will become a part of this story of the century. Here is what you need to know.

Joseph Romm, Ph.D., is one of the country’s most influential communicators on climate science and solutions. Romm is Chief Science Advisor for “Years of Living Dangerously,” which won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. He is the founding editor of Climate Progress, which New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called “the indispensable blog.” In 2009, Time named him one of its “Heroes of the Environment,” calling him “The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger.”

In 2009, Rolling Stone put Romm on its list of 100 “people who are reinventing America.” Romm was acting assistant secretary of energy in 1997, where he oversaw $1 billion in low-carbon technology development and deployment. He is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

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Manhattan Project leads to rise in cancer cluster near St. Louis

RT America

Published on Dec 31, 2015

RT’s Marina Portnaya reports from St. Louis on the dangerous radioactive materials from a nuclear waste dump near St. Louis, Missouri that has spread to neighboring areas. Storm water runoff from the site has also raised concerns and is being tested for radioactive pollution, while more than 2,000 people have been diagnosed with cancer around the site.

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Midwest deluge wreaks watery destruction

PBS NewsHour

Published on Dec 31, 2015

In our news wrap Thursday, towns in whole sections of Missouri and Illinois are under water, with at least 20 dead and untold millions of dollars in damage. Also, New Year’s celebrations drew tight security in New York and other cities, amid fears of terror attacks.

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