Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Joe Rogan apologises for saying lefties were arrested for lighting the bushfires in Portland, Oregon

A prison psychologist I know comments as follows:

“Having worked with hundreds of crims and prisoners of all sorts, including arsonists, in my experience all of them are lefties.

They are emotionally focused, resentful, begrudging, envious, self righteous people who hate society, have an external locus of control, and a one-way sense of respect — that is that respect should be from others towards themselves. And if they vote at all, they vote left. And that goes for drug users and most teenagers, and, interestingly, counsellors, youth workers, social workers and most psychologists.

So I doubt Joe Rogan was wrong in saying the arsonists are lefties. Based on my own experience with crims, I would bet that an arsonist would be a low IQ leftist”

In a recent chat with controversial political commentator Douglas Murray, Rogan casually stated:

“They’ve arrested left-wing people for lighting these forest fires. You know, air-quote, ‘activists.’ This is also something that’s not widely being reported.”

Indeed, Rogan’s claim has not been “widely reported,” because it is false, according to the FBI and local law enforcement. The terrifying wildfires, which, in some areas, changed the color of the sky into a tone resembling dystopian sci-fi film Blade Runner 2049, has sparked numerous conspiracy theories, as most disasters do.

Quickly, Rogan was chastised by CNN, and faced an internet backlash for spreading dangerous misinformation. After all, it’s not as though he lacks the resources to look into these things – fact checking might disrupt the flow of conversation, but it’s better than spreading baseless conspiracies.

Thankfully, Rogan actually addressed the mistake and apologized profusely, an uncharacteristic action that might just mark the beginning of a new era of social responsibility.


Israel fish deaths linked to rapid warming of seas

This is a big stretch. How can slowly rising CO2 levels be responsible for a sudden spike in East Mediterranean water temperatures?

High temperatures and the persistent warming of oceans have triggered profound changes in marine ecosystems, but a new study suggests that the rate of onset of warming – rather than the peak – could also play a key role in the damage fuelled by climate change.

In early July 2017, researchers were drawn to the coast of Eilat, Israel, following sightings of fish carcasses, a rare occurrence in the region’s coral reefs.

“The fish were absolutely fresh … their gills were still red,” said the lead author, Amatzia Genin of the Interuniversity Institute of Marine Sciences in Eilat.

Soon after, a citizen-science campaign was initiated and by early September, 427 carcasses belonging to at least 42 species were collected. Necropsies were performed on 14 freshly dead and moribund fish from eight different species. In 13 cases, severe infection directly caused by a pathogenic bacterium, Streptococcus iniae, was observed.

a close up of a pond: Fish in the Red Sea off the Israeli city of Eilat, where water temperatures rose 4.2C over only 2.5 days in July 2017.© Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images Fish in the Red Sea off the Israeli city of Eilat, where water temperatures rose 4.2C over only 2.5 days in July 2017.

Although this pathogen is ubiquitous in fish in warm waters, a healthy immune system usually prevents debilitating infections. So, what caused the mass casualties?

Typically, mass fish mortality events in the aftermath of marine heat waves are chalked up to factors such as toxic algal bloom or oxygen deprivation (hypoxia).

“It was not marine heat waves because the water temperature was not exceptionally high,” Genin said.

But further examination revealed that the rate of warming – a rise of 4.2C over 2.5 days in early July – was the steepest recorded since daily measurements were registered 32 years ago. In August, the water warmed by 3.4C in 2.5 days.

The same pattern emerged in two earlier documented mass coral reef fish deaths in Kuwait Bay in 2001 and western Australia in 2011. Both were immediately preceded by rapid warming spikes, suggesting that the rapid onset of warming, regardless of the final temperature, might trigger widespread mortality, the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“This study isn’t quite the loud canary in a coal mine, but it’s part of the canary chorus, announcing that that the ocean has changed, and ecosystems are degrading … declining in both robustness and ability for organisms to survive,” said Dr Brad de Young from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, who was not involved in the study.

“Ocean systems are being stressed out in many different ways – and like the background stress of Covid-19 on people, it makes everything else in life just that much more difficult,” he said.

When you add events such as sudden warming to overfishing, pollutants, changes in ocean acidity and oxygen levels – the abruptness of it can be devastating because fish are already metabolically and physiologically stressed, he suggested.

It is unlikely coral reef fish will swim to cooler water to escape, given their shallow habitat, he added. “There’s no food there, no grocery stores for them in deep water.”

A key question is whether the rapid warming weakened the fish immune system or provided an environment for the offending bacteria to proliferate.

“What you have here is one biotic (bacterial infection) and one abiotic (increase in temperature) challenge that occurred at the same time. It is possible that the infection lowered the thermal tolerance of the fish, and this resulted in the number of mortalities … but it certainly is very unlikely that it was temperature alone,” said Dr Kurt Gamperl from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, who was not involved in the study.

The authors did not make any direct connection between the mortality and the rapid warming, he cautioned. “The evidence is all circumstantial.”


Green bonds don’t achieve much

Companies that issue green debt aren’t necessarily reducing their carbon emissions, underscoring the need for firms to have an environmental rating, according to a report from the Bank for International Settlements.

The median change in carbon intensity — the ratio of carbon emissions to revenue — of green bond issuers has been minimal over time, according to the global forum for central banks. That’s because green bonds are issued to finance specific projects without impacting a firm’s environmental credentials as a whole.

“Overall, there is no strong evidence that green bond issuance is associated with any reduction in carbon intensities over time at the firm level,” authors including senior economist Torsten Ehlers wrote in a report released on Monday. “Because green labels apply to standalone projects rather than to the firm’s overall activities, projects promising carbon reductions could be offset by carbon increases of the same firm elsewhere.”

Debuting more than a decade ago, the green bond market has exploded to about $1 trillion, according to BloombergNEF data, as investors demand more sustainable investment options. With that growth has come worries about greenwashing — misleading claims about environmental responsibility.

“Naive investors might expect firms with very high carbon intensities to be disqualified as issuers of green bonds,” the researchers said.

Concern about standards in the green bond market were raised when Spanish oil company Repsol SA in 2017 became the first major refiner to sell the securities. Royal Schiphol Group NV in Amsterdam set a precedent for other airports this month when it sold green debt.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, issued bonds to finance environmentally-friendly projects for the first time this month, while Saudi Electricity Co. sold the first green bond from the world’s largest oil-exporting nation, the latest milestone in the expansion of environment-friendly debt instruments.

The vast majority of green bonds are defined by “use of proceeds,” meaning the company must spend the money on environmental projects although there is no obligation to achieve group-wide compliance with environmental criteria, said Richard O’Callaghan, partner at Linklaters LLP in London.

“Any step on an environmental journey has to start somewhere,” he said.

The BIS says a rating system that ranks a company’s so-called greenness would help investors who don’t have the resources to do their own due diligence. It would also provide firms with an incentive to lower their carbon intensity.


La Nina summer expected as ‘inland seas’ form in Queensland outback

What happened to global warming? Global warming caused by increasing levels of CO2 was said to explain the droughts. So have CO2 levels dropped? They have continued to rise – so can they cause opposite effects? In the dream world of the Greenies maybe they can. But nobody can say how

The old truth that Australia is a place where “droughts and flooding rains” naturally alternate is what is really going on but the Greenies don’t want to know that

Minor flood warnings have been issued for the Bulloo, Thomson and Barcoo, and Diamantina rivers.

It comes as Australia braces for a La Nina summer, the same weather event that brought drenching conditions to Queensland between 2010 and 2012.

Graziers Andrea Curro and Peter Magoffin said over 80mm of rain has fallen on their property southwest of Longreach since Friday, forming vast flooded areas. Aerial pictures show vast areas of their property now inundated.

It’s the most rain they’ve seen in over a year, and is potentially drought-breaking for them. “It went from literally being a barren wasteland to 3.5 inches of rain,” Ms Curro said. “We’ve had nothing since January.”

“For a couple of days it just looks like an ocean,” she said. “It sets you up for summer,” she said.

It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a La Nina for Australia’s east coast over summer, bringing the possibility of rainfall well above average.

Bureau of Meteorology mapping shows rainfall totals of between 50 and 100mm of rain fell across vast areas of Queensland’s interior, with the system expected to impact the state’s southeast corner later today.

Longreach resident Jenna Goodman said the rain was “quite heavy at times.” “I think outside of town got more than we did in town which is nice,” Ms Goodman said. “Not a flood by any means, but hopefully we get some good follow up rain!”




Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life — as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together — which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here


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