Monthly Archives: January 2018

Half of U.S. military facilities vulnerable to extreme weather and climate risks | Science | AAAS


Floods caused power outages at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy in 2005.

Michael Lavender/U.S. Navy/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E NewsJan. 30, 2018 , 3:00 PM

Originally published by E&E News.

About half of the military’s infrastructure has been affected by extreme weather and other climate-related risks, according to a Pentagon report obtained by a nonpartisan climate think tank.

The report

dated January 2018 and published yesterday by the Center for Climate & Security in Washington, D.C. — surveyed more than 3,500 military sites around the world. It found that about 50% of bases reported effects from events like storm surge flooding, wildfire, drought and wind.

…(read more).

Scientists say California slated for another devastating drought

Trump’s Long, Low-Energy SOTU Changed Nothing | The Nation

The White House promised a speech calling for unity. Instead we got nativism, jingoism, and gibberish.

By Joan Walsh

What the hell was that?

I’ve lived through many moments of American political fakery, but Donald Trump’s first official State of the Union address made them look like genuine world-shifting events. Hours before the speech, his administration and Pundit Nation promised us the theme would be “unity.” Instead, we got nativism and jingoism, gibberish, heavy breathing, and appeals to divisions of every imaginable sort. Near the end, Trump got the now-docile Republicans in his audience to jump to their feet chanting “USA, USA,” like sports fans after too many beers.

There was even a direct appeal to drunk white sports fans: Trump took a moment to trash the black athletes who take a knee during the national anthem, by first praising a young white boy who makes a practice of planting American flags on veterans’ graves. “Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem,” Trump intoned. Republicans in the audience thrilled to the message, as did his base at home.

But to the extent that there were any soaring moments (nope) or successful arguments (yes for his base, maybe for the pundits), they will be forgotten within days, more likely hours, against the backdrop of the crisis of democracy that got more dangerous just in the last 36 hours. On Monday, the Trump administration ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over his role in the bureau’s investigation into Russian election meddling as well as its 2016 Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. The same day, Representative Devin Nunes and the GOP majority on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo attempting to discredit the Russia investigation, and at the same time suppressed the Democratic response to the memo. While almost no one paid attention, the White House announced that it would not extend the sanctions against Russia for that election meddling, passed by Congress last year with overwhelmingly bipartisan support.

…(read more)

The State of the Climate, One Year Into the Trump Era – The New York Times


Welcome to the Climate Fwd: newsletter. The New York Times climate team emails readers once a week with stories and insights about climate change. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

This week, consider the State of the Climate address that wasn’t delivered and join Team Climate on a burger taste test.

What Trump didn’t say on Tuesday night

By Brad Plumer

As was widely expected, President Trump didn’t say anything about climate change in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. And why would he? It’s clear by now that the issue simply isn’t a priority for him.

But that got us thinking: If one wereto give an update on the state of American climate policy after one year of the Trump administration, what would it look like?

…(read more).

Trump’s “Backward-Looking” Speech Ignores Climate Change, While Pushing for “Beautiful, Clean Coal”


Boston Agonizes Over How to Protect Itself From Future Storms – WSJ

A firefighter wades through flood waters on Long Wharf in Boston during a winter storm on Jan. 4. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Cities that designed protections for past floods find future ones may be worse, but changes carry huge price tags

BOSTON— Steven Miller watched the flooding of New York City during superstorm Sandy with a mixture of awe and dread. If New York’s subway tunnels could be inundated, he wondered, what about Boston’s “Big Dig,” the road network under the city and harbor?

Mr. Miller, a geologist at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, helped develop a computer model to answer that question. It concluded that while the Big Dig could handle the floods of the past, it couldn’t withstand what was predicted for the future. Neither would entire Boston neighborhoods.

A glimpse of that future arrived earlier this month when a severe winter storm walloped Boston. A tidal surge pushed Boston Harbor to the highest level ever recorded by the National Weather Service and sent icy water into the streets of several neighborhoods.

…(read more).

Mapping the Slave Trade: 1556-1823 – A Digital Humanities Project


“Mapping the Slave Trade…” is a digital humanities project of the African Historical Graphics Archive for the in-depth study of Africa, American, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American history.  For a brief description of the context as well as some potential applications of the project in exploring history and understanding our current circumstance in the Atlantic world see:

This excerpt was drawn from a program of tribute to the important life-long work of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of Harvard University.


See related:


For further discussions of the integrative and restorative role of museums/art/artifacts & maps see:


as well as:

See related news of recent report:

* * * *

“Mapping the Slave Trade…”  is part of a larger scholarly collaborative known as the  “African Historical Graphics Archive”


See related events:

See international dimensions of the problem:

Important related online resources:

  • Afriterra – The Cartographic Free Library — [an online research and reference facility of for digital access to maps and other primary source materials relating to the study of African history and its role in the world from the late early-modern period through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries].


  • Slave Voyages -This digital memorial raises questions about the largest slave trades in history and offers access to the documentation available to answer them. European colonizers turned to Africa for enslaved laborers to build the cities and extract the resources of the Americas. They forced millions of mostly unnamed Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas, and from one part of the Americas to another. Analyze these slave trades and view interactive maps, timelines, and animations to see the dispersal in action.
    See particularly:

For a general introduction to the study of the Atlantic slave trade in the digital age see:

* * * * *

Learn more about teaching Africa subjects:


See related:

Cities Stepping up on Climate – Video –

By THE NEW YORK TIMES | Dec. 12, 2017 | 1:21

Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, in conversation with New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Thomas L. Friedman and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the Times’s ClimateTECH conference in November, discusses how cities and states must boost efforts to target climate change in the absence of federal leadership.

Billion-Dollar Storms: Is This the New Normal? – Video –

By DEBORAH ACOSTA | Jan. 29, 2018 | 5:39

In 2017 the U.S. saw some of the strongest and most expensive storms in history. As global temperatures continue to rise, things will get worse and more costly.

“Planetary health: is human health at risk in the Anthropocene?” with Sir Andrew Haines