Monday, August 23, 2010

Canadian Greens may push to decriminalize polygamy

The Australian Green Party has a great array of policies that go well beyond the environment -- usually in a far-Left direction. It would seem that the Canadian Greens are similar. These are people who viscerally hate the society they live in and will do anything they can to tear it down.

They are not even lovers of trees. Their opposition to plastic bags and polystyrene leads to lots of trees being cut down -- to provide paper and cardboard substitutes

The Green Party of Canada will consider a motion Sunday on whether or not they will push to decriminalize polygamy. Party members in a workshop on Saturday evening voted to send the motion to the full-Party plenary, where they'll debate and vote on it.

Speakers in the workshop were careful to define polygamy as a marriage between multiple spouses. They made a clear distinction between polygamy between consenting adults and a polygamist sect in Bountiful, B.C., where domestic abuse has been alleged, though charges were thrown out in 2009. "It's a human rights issue," said Trey Capnerhurst, a Green Party candidate in Edmonton East, noting that she is a poly-advocate.

Polyamory is the process of having more than one intimate relationship at the same time, according to the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.

Capnerhurst says in cases where police suspect domestic abuse against multiple wives and children, that should be the subject of criminal charges. "We should be not be charging people with polygamy," she said.

Several Green members in the workshop argued the policy is impossible to sell to voters and could mean losing support at a time when they hit record numbers in the last election.

Those who spoke in favour said the party should treat it as a human rights issue, just as they did with same-sex marriage rights.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May says the party is open and democratic, allowing any motion with enough support to be discussed. "It certainly isn't a motion I voted for," she said. "It's something I continue to oppose." A spokeswoman for May says she doesn't expect the motion to pass the full party plenary on Sunday.

Capnerhurst says there's a bias against those in polyamorous relationships, of which she estimates number in the tens of thousands in Canada. She compared it to the status of same-sex marriage rights a decade ago, and says being in a polyamorous relationship is sometimes used as a reason to deny child custody to parents in divorce cases. She also pointed to hospital rules that don't allow more than one spouse to visit patients.

A group of 20 families in B.C. are challenging the law at the province's supreme court. The maximum penalty for polygamy is five years in jail, but it hasn't been prosecuted in 60 years, according to media reports.


Global cooling hits California

How odd that we hear much more about Russia's summer than this!

It continues to be the summer that never came for many of the coastal areas of California. Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said that the closer you get to the ocean, the more likely you are to see below-average temperatures for much of Southern California. Rayno said an excellent example of this phenomena is Santa Ana, Calif. Less than 20 miles from the beach, Santa Ana typically sees high temperatures of about 84 degrees in the month of August. So far this month, Santa Ana has only had two days crack the 80-degree mark: Aug. 3 and Aug. 17.

Overall, the average overall temperature for Santa Ana is typically in the mid 70s in August. So far this month, temperatures have been almost 4 degrees below that average.

The trend of cooler-than-normal temperatures continues in downtown Los Angeles. Here the average daily temperatures typically hit 75 or 76 F. So far this August, the average temperature has been about 4 degrees lower.

Highs for Los Angeles in August can typically be found in the mid-80s. Only about half of the high temperatures recorded so far this month have climbed into the 80s.

The reports from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) show an even more significant departure from the norm in terms of temperature this month. The average temperatures recorded at LAX in August are usually in the low-70s. However, the average temperature this month has been almost 6.5 degrees cooler. Only five days this month have been 70 degrees or hotter.


More global cooling

Huge Snowfalls in the Swiss Alps, Argentina & New Zealand

Switzerland's two open glacier ski areas have seen remarkable August snowfalls with Saas Fee reporting 45cm of new snow on Sunday, with more falling since, including another 5cm yesterday. Neighbouring Zermatt, the only area open 365 days and home to Europe's highest lifts, reported healthy snowfalls too. Saas Fee describes current conditions as "packed powder" and has a 1.6m base with Terrain Park and half pipe open. Both resorts set off Powder Alarms on, triggered for snowfall of 20cm or more, obviously a rare event in August. Zermatt triggered another powder alarm on Tuesday with another 28cm of snow reported.

The heavy snowfall spilled over in to Italy where Zermatt's Italian neighbour, Cervinia, received a 20cm fall. Val Senales has also been receiving more snow, with another 5cm on Tuesday, the latest of about 10 days of regular snowfalls there. It currently has a one metre base with Passo Stelvio also open.

In France, the glacier ski areas at Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both entering their last fortnight of summer operations. Les 2 Alpes has the better snow cover with a metre depth while Tignes has 30cm. Both areas received a little new snow at the weekend.

The snow has been falling in South America, where temperatures are generally a few degrees below zero at most ski areas. The continent's largest ski area (in terms of uplift) Catedral in Argentina has received 30cm of new snow on its upper runs in the past 12 hours and now has a 1.6m base. Las Lenas has had 7cm of new snow too while Chapelco's base is up to 1.2m following fresh snow there.

Over in Chile, Portillo has receive 13cm of new snow in the past week but base depths remain lower than normal at around a metre on upper slopes with packed powder and 67cm at the base. Valle Nevado, part of the largest ski area in the continent in terms of terrain area, has an average 50cm base from a 3.7m snow fall so far this season. Chapa Verde has a similar base depth.

Conditions are mostly good at Australia's resorts where snow has continued to fall over the past week with more predicted in coming days. Mt Hotham reports average snow depth is 89cm but is a foot deeper where there's snow making. The resort has received 42cm of snow in the past week, 8cm of it in the last 48 hours. The numbers are similar at Thredbo, which has had 38cm of new snow in the past week. Falls Creek currently has a 77cm base of natural snow and all but one lift operating with snow depth up to 177cm in snowmaking areas.

In New Zealand there has been an exciting week of weather. Mt Hutt saw over 1000 guests stranded overnight last Thursday/Friday by 200kph winds but in the past 24 hours has received 19cm of new snow taking upper slope depths up to two metres. At Coronet Peak the figures are a little less impressive with 5cm of snow at the weekend taking depths to 1.1m where as the Remarkables got 10cm yesterday and has a similar base depth.


CO2 blamed for both rain and lack of rain in Pakistan

Another panel member, Christine Todd Whitman, said the cataclysmic flooding besieging Pakistan demonstrates the connection between climate change and U.S. national security. While scientists are generally loathe to tie a specific weather event to climate change, it's different with the catastrophe in Pakistan. Extended drought made it difficult for the hardened soil to absorb rain. And the deluge came in epic proportion.

"On this one they're almost all coming together saying, `This is what we're talking about,'" said Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush. She resigned in 2003 and later acknowledged difficulty with some administration policies.

The flooding threatens to further destabilize the country and make it ripe for the terrorist groups the United States are fighting.


More settled science: Our CO2 emissions are simultaneously making the world's plants bigger *and* smaller

Global Warming Prompts Plant Size Decrease - - Softpedia
According to experts, it would appear that the average size of plants tends to decrease in recent years, when compared to the mean sizes they had in past decades. The researchers believe that this effect may be attributed to global warming.
2009: Plants buy Earth more time as CO2 makes them grow - Times Online
TREES and plants are growing bigger and faster in response to the billions of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans, scientists have found.


Putting a warm summer into perspective

Early in 2010, all signs pointed toward a warmer summer in the middle Mississippi region [1], and this would be related to the weakening El Nino [2],[3]. The forecast, however, did not go far enough because we did not anticipate how quickly La Nina conditions would take hold [4]. When asked about the possibility of a warm summer, I reminded people that the last few summers have been relatively cool, so even a normal summer may seem warm.

As the summer moves into late August, I have heard many in the media and in the local general public wonder aloud about this summer being the consequences of anthropogenic global warming, and that this summer has been the hottest in recent decades [5]. Putting this summer into context locally* would demonstrate that while it is the hottest summer of the decade, and the warmest since 1980, it is only the 11th warmest overall in 120 years. Of the ten warmest summers nine of them occurred before 1960. Summers as of late have been cooler in our region.

While the years 2005-2007 were warmer than normal, these summers did not rank in among the top 20 for our region. This current summer follows a stretch of summers that have been cooler overall as four of the last eight have been below normal, some of these by quite a bit. The summer of 2004 and 2009 ranked as the 3rd and 9th coolest overall in our region, respectively.

Adding to the woes of this summer locally have been the relatively high dew points brought on by excessive precipitation in our region in the early part of the summer. Additionally, it has not been the maximum temperatures that have been the problem (we have failed to reach 100 degrees for the third consecutive year), it has been the consistently high minimum temperatures. While it is too early to tell what has happened nationwide, my guess is the story is much the same in other regions as well....

Is this really the hottest summer globally? While some have reported that it is [8], an examination of the global weather as a whole would suggest it is not [9]. Lost in much of the noise has been the fact that in the Southern Hemisphere, especially South America, conditions have been much colder during their winter with unprecedented snows in many areas not used to them. There is also some speculation that this summer's global warmth has been exaggerated by those with an agenda.

So, while this summer has seemed to be miserable compared to the last few, it has been much worse in the past, is due to natural phenomenon (not anthropogenic climate change), and thankfully the heat should be winding down as August wears on and September comes in. Additionally, it is hoped that the Russian heat wave will draw more attention to the weather phenomenon of blocking that is difficult to forecast [6], [7] but largely overlooked.



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