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Messages - prairiebotanist

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The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: March 22, 2019, 03:29:39 PM »
As someone that works in conservation in the US and sees the on-the-ground consequences of policy and electoral outcomes every day, I just thought I'd pop in here and say you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about. Have a nice day.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: December 06, 2018, 09:38:44 PM »
You can't solve AGW and have a first-to-a-trillion race between Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates at the same time.
I honestly think you can. Both are valued as such mostly by the paper value of a single company. I see as much more problematic other financial issues - the immense power of corporations, especially felt in the energy and military-industrial sector. The issue of unending debt, increasing consumption in the present at the expense of the dying future. The sad state of the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the elderly, and what if at all can be done about it. Confiscating half of Amazon and half of Microsoft wouldn't change that. But the point is not to argue the point, instead to say it is okay to disagree with you on this point, IMHO.

If you so forcefully disagree with me on this point, and think it's so horrible to have a person with such ideas run a fine forum like this, why don't you restrict yourself to the science side of the forum, and go find some other place that appeals more to your political views? I've spent time on many different kinds of forums, and I just ignored the parts I didn't like or find interesting.
I don't think it's horrible to have a person with such ideas run a fine forum, and I think you are doing a very good job managing the deniers and the crazies and the offensive-languagers. I do think mixing pure everyday politics is a huge distraction to the long-term discussions (and the "fun" short-term following of long-term trends) going on in the fine parts of the forum. And this distraction is growing, and is already driving off some of the posters in the fine parts. I am not looking for place to fit or not fit my political views.. I am looking for a place that appeals to my sense of rational adult discussion about long-term problems, challenges, ideas and solutions based on facts, science and common sense.
I have tried very hard to ignore the political threads, but: they insist on appearing in the recent unread threads list, my tool for browsing the forum, and usually at the top of that list. In addition, they spill over to other threads, when suddenly politics posters start flame wars in the science part. And they can't be put on ignore - my fervent wish.
As I am probably considered a troll in some of these threads, maybe in this one too due to off-topic diversions, I will resolve again (as usual) to avoid posting about these subjects even when I chance on something that aggravates my senses, or confirms the long-term trend I am perceiving.
I'll put in a plug for Politicalwire, especially under those posts only accessible to members.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: December 06, 2018, 09:29:29 PM »
and it diminishes the real contributions people have made.

Nothing can diminish the real contributions people have made... they made them. Oren's opinions can't diminish my own contribution either.
what I see here are just more grown-ups adopting the least effective social approaches possible.

Now we can all learn from you as you show us how to do it by your own example. A much more positive step than being a "lurker", right? Taking and not giving anything back, yes?

Rob's opinion and choices can never diminish Neven's contribution.... people in glass houses and all.

The best example is probably given by those that aren't wasting their time here in this particular mud pen, so I'll give you that. The best example isn't by me, because I'm here talking to you, which I managed to completely avoid for months, during which time my example was completely invisible. I did, however, play a key role in the protection of several hectares of remant prairie, oak savanna, and fens during that time, so maybe that was good example. I voiced activism outside of the void, so maybe that was a good example. I tangibly compelled a few human beings through face to face interactions to see what I see during those months I've been away, so maybe that is a good example. It's not about being moderate vs. being radical, so much as it's about being a self obsessed *edit* jerk or not.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: December 06, 2018, 06:05:04 PM »
wouldn't it be better to invite the proponents of mainstream thought to either restrict themselves to the Arctic Sea Ice part of the forum that is entirely free of politics, or leave the ASIF?
I don't think so, but this is exactly what has happened.  Rob, Buddy, AbruptSLR, JimD, Bob Wallace and Susan Anderson have left the forum.  So now the echo chamber will consist of you, Lurk, Terry, and Red patting each other on the back.  You want to be an activist, but you're just shrinking your audience.

Yeah, I was never any more than a lurker and only commented very sparingly, but you're right, and what I see here are just more grown-ups adopting the least effective social approaches possible. It's sad, and it diminishes the real contributions people have made. 

Say what you will. Voters aren't all that smart. If you have faith in the wisdom of the public, well, I guess I'm envious.

Interesting. Green on the GOP payroll in MT.


Now, fair or not, but a lot of people, especially those who are struggling, felt cheated out of their energy, seeing no 'change' or 'hope' there would be any. Yes, we can, but we won't. Fair or not, accurate or not, the perception is there.

Not. The problem is that people don't understand how government works and that an entire legislative agenda can't be delivered in the first half of a Presidential term, so they took their toys and went home, and once there was a Republican Congress, it was over. Promising people things without acknowledging what is realistic clearly doesn't do any good (e.g. Bernie, who had no way of getting to anything he proposed). Thanks for that example.

No amount of spin here or anywhere else can take away from the fact that last evening's Pennsylvania election showed--again--that voters simply don't like Trump. Period. Conor Lamb beat Saccone in what shouldn't have been a contest at all. And all Republicans--even closeted ones here--should be shaking in their shoes, for if the Democrats can win in heavily-red areas like PA-18 and Alabama, expect a nationwide bloodbath in November even without Mueller's help. No, Lamb isn't "perfect"; he's not a capital 'P' Progressive. But he's a Democrat who is for many of the things liberals want, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that incessant calls for ideological purity on all issues is only going to hurt. We need to vote for the most progressive candidate who has a chance, even if that person makes our skin crawl.

People have had enough of Trump. But since it's too early to vote against him now, people are doing so by proxy.

Exactly. There will always be defectors on a given vote, but if we are realistic about the best candidates for a given race, more progressive legislation will pass...and Democrats will have the ability to undo some of the rigging (e.g. gerrymandering). Republicans are getting hammered for the mistake of demanding purity right now. They have built institutional advantages for themselves over the last decade or two, but those are beginning to crumble.

I was talking about the funny former lobbyist behind him, but never mind. Are you sure you have properly read the article you link to? In other words, did Lee Carter really vote for the bill he is speaking against in the hammer-and-sickle-video? Or did he vote against it?

It does appear that the article changes subject to an anti-communist motion at the end.

Thanks for that video. Here's another video from the Majority Report showing a certain kind of mentality:

That delegate then voted for the bill he was speaking against, because he was grandstanding.

Conor Lamb will be panned as a centrist or sell-out soon enough, but he is the most liberal candidate that could have won in PA-18...and it's still a miracle that he did. Meanwhile, the left forgets Roy Moore and calls Doug Jones a racist.

I won't defend those things, but I'm also not going to conclude that a national party is

Do you consider yourself a leftist? Then be one!

I don't your validation with respect to whether or not I'm a leftist. I suppose if I'd supported Bernie Sanders, I'd have credentials, but they would have been worthless, and we'd be mired in House investigations of his wife's finances and a complete inability to pass any legislation through divided government. System of government and the constitution have effects we can't ignore in pursuit of what we want from the social order. It matters as well that we weren't largely rebuilt after WWII or the collapse of the USSR. For those reasons, it's facile to point at things other countries have. I believe we can have them, but we aren't going to get them all at once via bills that pass the House, pass the Senate, get signed by the President and that hold up to constitutional challenges in the courts, and if we overthrow the government by taking to the street, it's not going to be the meritorious that are in positions to take advantage of chaos. Promising things that can't be delivered with speed or all at once only causes disillusionment, loss of voter interest, and Donald Trump presidencies. We make progress by ratcheting our way there at every opportunity. You also say that the anecdotes make a pattern. Well, most of the candidates Pelosi has endorsed are much more progressive than the candidate in Illinois you've singled out. That's the pattern. You are choosing to string together exceptions to make a pattern. Here, a lot of the negative perceptions of Pelosi are rooted in sexism. I can't speak for the way people see things from across the pond. 


It'd be nice if people addressed my central argument instead of picking out one sentence or word they don't like. So far no one has even made an attempt at explaining why Chuck Schumer has acted the way he has done wrt the Bank Lobbyist Act, or why Pelosi endorsed that Republican in Illinois. Hear no evil, see no evil?

I won't defend those things, but I'm also not going to conclude that a national party is broken over anecdotes from here and there...just like I won't conclude that AGW is a hoax, because it's cold outside. Pelosi and Schumer do and say a lot in their positions, and I guess I don't expect perfection. Pelosi didn't endorse a Republican either. She endorsed a conservative Democrat in response to a question at a press conference. Of course, you can alter the frame to fit your argument.

What have you got to lose that you won't lose anyway if it's business-as-usual for the Democratic Party? Explain to me how the Democratic Party in its current form is going to make the systemic changes needed to solve something like AGW. If you can't explain that, then try to explain how the Democratic Party needs to change.  If you can't explain that either, maybe it's time to stop glancing.
::) First, I don't accept your premise that the Democratic Party needs to make a systemic change. The death of pragmatism is a far bigger problem than money in politics. I think the Democratic party succeeds by not ostracizing the ideologically impure, by running candidates that can win, and by promoting the best policy that can pass at any given moment in time. I don't think the Democratic party succeeds by promising unicorn farts. If we should do nothing simply because it's not enough, then maybe this is a discussion for 20 years ago.

What have we got to lose? I seem to remember some people asking that back in 2016. Every time I glance at the political discussion here I die a little.

Permafrost / Re: Northern Hemisphere snow cover
« on: February 20, 2018, 03:02:04 PM »
Heavier wet snow which would become more common as temps rise?

...or if other locations are like mine (SE WI, USA), cold rainfall into an existing snowpack can really ramp of SWE even as the depth of that snowpack slowly decreases, and winter rains also become more common as temps rise.
It is being driven by Quebec, NE Siberia, Scandinavia, and the Himalayas.

The anomaly in most of these regions is now worsening year over year as they become snowier and snowier, especially Quebec. I suspect the large accumulations of heat in the NW NATL, NW PAC, and the Arctic in general are to blame.

This graphic shows snow depth anomalies rather than SWE anomalies. SWE can be the same between a 50cm snowpack and a 20cm snowpack.

Permafrost / Re: Northern Hemisphere snow cover
« on: February 20, 2018, 01:28:42 AM »
Heavier wet snow which would become more common as temps rise?

...or if other locations are like mine (SE WI, USA), cold rainfall into an existing snowpack can really ramp of SWE even as the depth of that snowpack slowly decreases, and winter rains also become more common as temps rise.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Global sea ice area and extent data
« on: February 18, 2018, 06:34:40 PM »

Consequences / Re: Ocean Temps
« on: February 18, 2018, 04:02:46 PM »
Indeed, Archimid; uniformitarianism taken to extremes just doesn't work. Civilisations do collapse, and so do global ecosystems, particularly when you get natural perturbations on the scale of the ones that we're making.

Comparing the '70s and '80s (I assume) pollution problems with climate change isn't really useful. Some problems can be easily solved by a concerted effort, and without harmful side-effects. Toxic sludge going into some of your rivers? Legislate to stop it, and those ecosystems soon recover. Ozone hole? Once you stop the CFC (etc.) emissions, the problem starts to resolve; it might takle a while, but it'll get there.

Climate change is a whole other ball game, because of its global scale, cumulative effects with long lag times, major built-in feedbacks, direct impacts on food propduction and water supplies, and the dependence of our economy of things being as they are until the alternatives catch up. Optimism can be useful, but not when it blinds us to how serious the problems really are, and lulls people into thinking that the problems will magically disappear when someone comes up a neat solution. There are, currently, no neat solutions that will work in time. Without the appearance of new technologies such as carbon scrubbing that can be rolled out globally, almost overnight, I don't see that a viable artificial fix is available.

Could this thread be any more off topic?


Like any of the Republicans or any of the Democrats that are clearly in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry ? Like the Democrats that voted to expedite the Keystone XL ?

Here are their names again :

Senators : Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Yes, we've discussed these Republicans in Democrat's clothing, and it's really crazy how these people can even be tolerated, especially during these times. Which is why it's extremely important to support and invest in people who are primarying them, like Justice Democrats such as Paula Jean Swearengin in West-Virginia. Because the Democratic Party won't help them.

It is not at all crazy that they are tolerated. It is of great benefit to have people like that elected in places that would otherwise elect Republicans, because even if they vote with Republicans some of the time, if they caucus with Democrats, it puts Democrats closer to being the majority Caucus and controlling all of the chairmanships and what legislation comes to the floor, and that would make a huge difference. If, say, there were 51 caucusing with Democrats in the Senate, and it was only because there were some conservatives like Manchin, it would be a game-changer, and that could be the case, if those conservative "Democrats" are able to hold off republican challengers this coming November.

Don't be so reasonable!

Temperatures in the Northeast are absolutely absurd.  It's 60 degrees today in Boston and will not dip much below freezing for the next 2 weeks.

This is typical April weather, and it's January.
After that extreme cold spell earlier this month, subsequent weather has already caught us up to within half a degree C of the 1981-2010 monthly average in the Milwaukee, WI area, and it looks likely we'll push into above average territory, and that would be pretty astounding. The cold spell set no daily records for us, but subsequently we've set two daily record highs. We had strong thunderstorms yesterday evening,  which gave way to snow, but it looks likely to be melted again by the end of this week.

The blast of arctic air over the past two weeks drove frost deeper into the ground. Current frost depths range from 14 inches in St. Paul to 30 inches in Bloomer. #mnwx #wiwx

This is why it is standard to dig footings to 4 feet in the Upper Midwest, USA in order to avoid frost heave. The frost can go very deep if the snow isn't deep, which is the case in much of Minnesota and southern Wisconsin. Where I live in Wisconsin, we've had 1-2 inches of snow on the ground since the cold air arrived about three weeks ago, and the temperature has ranged from -28C to -11C during that entire period (average coldest winter temperature is about -28C, so magnitude of cold is not exception, but the duration has been tough).

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017/2018 freezing season
« on: January 05, 2018, 03:30:01 PM »

Trouble is, that while there is easily accessible data on Northern Hemisphere snow cover, I as yet have found nothing on snowfall amounts, i.e. thickness ( reminds one of sea ice thickness v. extent?).

NOAA has the following, but, of course, that's only a fraction of North American snowpack: 

Both ECMWF and GFS are hinting at a big warm-up in parts of E. North America in a couple weeks, so that might take a bite out of the snowpack there as well as undo some of the freeze up of the Great Lakes.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 31, 2017, 08:24:30 PM »
Due to the current extension of the polar vortex over North America, light pillars (light reflection by airborne ice crystals) occurred and were photographed over portions of Michigan, here in Charlotte. Source: Vincent Brady
However, what is being observed in parts of eastern North America, at least for most areas, isn't any worse than what would be expected from the deepest cold snap in any given season. Most of the areas seeing temperatures near between -20 and -30C are areas where those temperatures are observed, on average, at least once every other year. Sure, there have been some daily/nightly record low temperatures, but cold snaps do that at some point almost every year. I have only experienced one winter in life in the Midwest (Wisconsin, Iowa, or northeast Kansas, USA) without the temperature falling below -10F (-23C) at least one time. Each of the last two winters -28C has been the coldest observed temperature on my home thermometer. So far the coldest from the "polar vortex" of the last week has been -24C, and -23C is forecast tonight before things begin to moderate. The warmth in the Arctic is what is truly exceptional.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017/2018 freezing season
« on: December 23, 2017, 05:45:03 PM »
Looks like the polar vortex is going to blow some cold wind across the US. If i'm right that's because the jet stream is weak. But i have no idea about the scale of that cold burst. For example, can it have an impact on how much ice we get on the arctic this year ? Or is it to small for that ? Because normaly that jet stream keeps that cold weather above the arctic. And if i'm right that jet stream is behaving more unstable the last years. Is there any consensus why it is more unstable ?

Perhaps the 2013 and 2014 years may give some insight.  They were characterized by similar occurrences.

I can't speak to the consequences of the coming North American arctic blast for the arctic, but in my part of the US (Wisconsin), the forecast cold is less intense than the coldest we expect, on average, in a given year, and cold of the forecast intensity and duration usually occurs a few times in any given winter, so there is not much that is exceptional about it.

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