In Rolling Stone, Eric Holthaus writes that as far as climate change is concerned, we are already past the point of no return. The things climate scientists have warned against are already beginning to happen…and faster than predicted.
Hansen’s new study also shows how complicated and unpredictable climate change can be. Even as global ocean temperatures rise to their highest levels in recorded history, some parts of the ocean, near where ice is melting exceptionally fast, are actually cooling, slowing ocean circulation currents and sending weather patterns into a frenzy. Sure enough, a persistently cold patch of ocean is starting to show up just south of Greenland, exactly where previous experimental predictions of a sudden surge of freshwater from melting ice expected it to be. Michael Mann, another prominent climate scientist, recently said of the unexpectedly sudden Atlantic slowdown, "This is yet another example of where observations suggest that climate model predictions may be too conservative when it comes to the pace at which certain aspects of climate change are proceeding."
Since storm systems and jet streams in the United States and Europe partially draw their energy from the difference in ocean temperatures, the implication of one patch of ocean cooling while the rest of the ocean warms is profound. Storms will get stronger, and sea-level rise will accelerate. Scientists like Hansen only expect extreme weather to get worse in the years to come, though Mann said it was still "unclear" whether recent severe winters on the East Coast are connected to the phenomenon.
With non-linear events like climate change, things happen slowly then suddenly. We are now experiencing “suddenly”.
It’s odd that despite the rhetoric around climate change, none of the three parties are planning on doing much about it. The NDP and Liberals are promising to do more then the Conservatives but none of the three parties are doing that much and in many ways the policy of the NDP and Liberals is shaped by the poor performance of what the Conservatives have done. Being better then Stephen Harper isn’t enough.
Rolling Stone asks What Constitutes Appropriate Rebellion?
Watching the preparations Ferguson, Missouri, made for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch’s announcement of the grand jury findings in the case of Officer Darren Wilson’s killing of Michael Brown was deeply unsettling. A dismal air of inevitability hung over the event. The Ferguson police had negotiated some terms with protesters, but they still had their police tanks and gas canisters at the ready. Even in Clayton, Missouri, they were putting locks on the fucking mailboxes. That’s how little you could trust these people. You couldn’t trust them with mail. Civic unrest trumps civic failure, and nothing occludes institutional contempt for the citizenry like wanton displays of disrespect for process. This is America: You’re supposed to play by the broken rules until you can fix them, even if they’re fixed beyond correction.
Once McCulloch began speaking, his office and Ferguson’s anodyne preparations took on a note of the sinister. Announcing a “no bill” grand jury vote on an explicit 10-shot killing late at night might been chalked up to the bumbling of an overwhelmed office during the day, but later it seemed almost ideal for the purposes of impeaching protester backlash by having as many pissed off people off from work with nothing to do but be on the street. A target-rich environment of institutional excuses. All those weeks of leaked grand jury details â€” optimistically written up by the media as tempering details intended to manage expectations â€” instead seemed like prep. Rather than letting off steam slowly, it felt like stoking the fire.Â
The entire back story to this is fascinating
The California Supreme Court has denied disgraced former journalist Stephen Glass a license to practice law.
Pointing out in its ruling that â€œGlassâ€™s journalistic dishonesty was not a single lapse of judgmentâ€ but â€œinvolved significant deceit sustained unremittingly for a period of yearsâ€ â€” made the more reprehensible because it took place â€œwhile he was pursuing a law degree and license to practice law, when the importance of honesty should have gained new meaning and significance for himâ€ â€” the court found that Glass had not adequately redeemed himself.
For all of Glassâ€™ past history â€” and Iâ€™ll get to that, at length, in a moment â€” the judgment is remarkable. The last time California barred a lawyer before heâ€™d even practiced his first case, it involved a man named Eben Gossage, who served three years for killing his sister then returned to prison for possession of heroin.
If you recall, Glass was The New Republic associate editor who in the late 1990s fabricated in whole or part dozens of articles, mostly published in The New Republic but also for Harpers, Rolling Stone, and the now defunct George magazine. At the time, it was the journalism scandal to end all journalism scandals. Glass vanished for a while, heading off to law school (and a brief stint as an improv comedian) before finally passing the California bar exam in 2009. The California State Bar promptly banned him from practicing, based on his prior moral turpitude, a decision he successfully appealed. The case wound through the courts, leading to todayâ€™s final decision by the stateâ€™s Supreme Court.