Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Red Balloon Rises / Red Car Falls: USGCRP Releases 3rd U.S. National Climate Assessment; Tuesday Evening and Night Stuff

A certain destroyed burgundy red car rests amid the wreckage of a collapsed section of Scenic Highway in Pensacola, Fla., following 1 to 2 FEET of rain on April 29 - 30th, 2014 across the area that washed out the earth beneath this roadway.


First, I want to note that the USGCRP* issued its Third National Climate Assessment concerning climate change impacts on the United States, and the Obama administration correctly and properly touted it. The full report is available -- in both sections and a single ginormous PDF file -- linked from here (click on the "download" link in the upper right corner). (The web site is a bit confusing to navigate.)

Screenshot of the National Climate Assessment webpage introduction.


I also want to note that the New York Times story initially used as its lead image -- posted above -- a picture of the collapsed Scenic Highway in Pensacola, Fla., last week following the tremendous rains there. In fact, it used the image of that same burgundy red car at the bottom of the collapsed roadway that I mentioned and photo-featured in this entry.

As of now (1AM May 7th) the new lead image is this:

Lower 48 U.S. average surface temperature depatures for the 1991 - 2012 period versus the 1901 - 1960 average.


Two quick points:

First, progressives should continue to tout loudly, continuously, and without embarrassment the issue of anthropogenic climate change rather than waiting until the last far right Fox News-viewing, AM hate radio-listening Flat Earther / Know-Nothing/ Teabagger / James Inhofe Republican type "accepts" the facts and reality of it.

Secondly, I worked for a time back in 2002 for the U.S. CLIVAR Office that was co-located with the USGCRP. That job flamed out fairly quickly. This was shortly after George W. Bush had "won" the presidency as a result of the Bush v. Gore "Scalia 5" Supreme Court coup / catastrophe (that was forever unforgivably cheer-leaded by the mainstream media and the Washington Consensus Crowd). It was then (in 2002) when the program was redubbed the CCSP (Climate Change Science Program) until it was later re-rechristened USGCRP in the early months of the Obama administration.

YouTube screenshot of showing mid-tropospheric global temperature trends for the period 1979 - 2009 based on satellite data.

This is from the White House video featuring Dr. John Holdren, President Obama's senior advisor on science and technology issues, discussing the NCA findings. The YouTube link is here.

Two quick points for this picture: First, 1979 is the start of the modern satellite era; and second, it's so nice to have a president who actually accepts and deals in science (and get images such as this) rather than Bush's brand of yahoo Know-Nothingism that the media loved (trading instead in his nicknames for them while David Gregory embarrassingly danced with Karl Rove).

At the end of his presidency, I suspect the two great and enduring legacies of President Obama will be the Affordable Care Act and regulating CO2 emissions from both new vehicles and existing power plants will be the two great legacies. (And, no, it doesn't flippin' matter how many angry, old white Red Staters vote in a low-turnout, highly unrepresentative "GOP Wave" election in November that gets Michael Barone and Ron Fournier all tingly all over.)


My Tuesday Night*

*I may try to update this section tomorrow with additional pictures.

The building at 522 8th Street SE that houses a place called Frame of Mine, Washington, D.C., 7:11PM May 6, 2014. This is across the street from Ambar.


Home tonight -- with the computer -- after a rather pleasant post-work happy hour that sort of sprawled (as mine are wont to do) into a longer night out involving ultimately three places. This included a rare jaunt over to the Capitol Hill section of the city where I rarely go. Not only am I in the D.C. Bubble but I'm in an especially small part of the D.C. Bubble.

I took the Metro from Elephant L'Enfant Plaza after work to Eastern Market. There were two scary tattooed "Beeatch" females blocking the escalators -- and in that case, I knew full well not to barrel past as I would with the annoying and clueless tourists. I first went to Ambar Restaurant where I met a small coterie of the Tuesday night happy hour crowd including Andrea, Imara, Jake, Sarah, Tommy, and Roni.

The 400 through 700 blocks of 8th Street SE -- "Barracks Row" -- is a strange and slightly jarring economic and racial clash of D.C. yuppies and longtime hard-core D.C. poverty, quite crowded and chaotic and noisy even on a Tuesday night. There also were a lot of incredibly young, muscular, attractive, stone-faced Marines walking up and down the street (the Marines Barracks are nearby, hence the colloquial name for that part of 8th Street SE).

Ambar is a strangely-themed Balkans restaurant. I got there late (since I didn't leave work until about quarter to seven PM) and almost immediately the group left to go a several storefronts up to Las Placitas where we sat outside in the pleasantly cool, clear night air.

516 8th Street SE, Washington, D.C., 7:43PM May 6, 2014. This is directly across the street from Las Placitas.

Of note, my camera has had some weird smudge on it that is causing a blurry section on the top of the pictures.


Oh, yes, I went to the Bank of America along the street and walked past The Chesapeake Room (which looks like the kind of bar I would like to try out) and seated at an otherwise nearly empty bar was 8th Ward Councilman and former Mayor / Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry.

Despite having been in and around Washington, D.C., for 22 years, I've never actually met Marion Barry, and I only saw him once before (at a televised debate event at the Lincoln Theatre on U Street a year or so ago). I would have actually gone inside (the door was wide open) just to say a quick "Hello, Mr. Mayor" -- he IS a legendary D.C. figure -- but he was on his cellphone.

Anyway, I sat outside with the others and had dinner and drinks. Sarah brought her little puppy dog who was a bundle of mouth-open energy. It was a lovely evening with cobalt blue dusk morphing into a pleasant May night with air temps falling into the 60s Fahrenheit and dew points around 40F. The cool weather this spring has been nothing short of a gift even if the pollen has been prolonged and tremendously high (though the high pollen levels is an annual occurrence). (It is supposed to get warmer and more humid later this week.)

Sarah and puppy seated outside at Las Placitas, Washington, D.C., 8:36PM May 6, 2014.


After dinner, a smaller group of us walked back toward Union Station -- Tommy and Roni because they live quite close to it and A.,I., and I because we were heading to the Metro. Capitol Hill is like another city to me. Also, Massachusetts Avenue NE has so many opulent-looking row homes that on a now-leafy spring night just look so cozy and money-is-no-real-concern wealthy what with their warm interior lights and tranquil-looking living rooms and upstairs bedrooms visible from the sidewalk.

I headed back to Dupont Circle and after a detour at Starbucks, I went to Larry's Lounge, where I ordered a shot of KahlĂșa for my coffee and had a really nice chat with Bob and this other fellow. I had forgotten that Bob and his partner were actually in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina for several days -- it is a fascinating story except they were essentially in a lap of luxury at an Intercontinental Hotel and were able to get out as the levees were breaking and just before things really went to hell.

(That was right about when Fred Hiatt and his WaHoPo "Washington Consensus Central" editorial board "stable" were praising and gushing over Bush's terrific response -- "the response has been commensurate with the scope of the disaster." What a socially inbred, morally failed, and ethically compromised courtier class to the oligarchical elites are they.)

"I see bipartisan nuance in Iraq's WMDs, Bush's terrific Katrina response, and every Wall Street financier handling your 401k. Now give me that Social Security money."

Thereafter, I came home and now I'm getting ready for bed as I watch TV. Obviously, I didn't go to the gym tonight and intend to do so tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

OK, that's all for now.

Oh, yes, Paul Krugman has not (as of my initial posting of this entry) updated his blog since Friday and I'm getting worried / going through withdrawal.


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