Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Another Record

The World Meteorological Organization has reported that last year was officially the Earth's warmest since record-keeping began in the 1880s.  Temperatures over the Earth's continents and oceans in 2016 were 1.98 degrees Fahrenheit above the pre-industrial average.

Last year set a global heat record for the third consecutive year according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies explained that despite using different methods to compile and analyze the temperatures, those agencies reached the same conclusion that 2016 "continued the long-term trend of warming we have seen since the 1970s ... and have not paused in any way."

A record El Niño lasting from 2015 into 2016 played a role in further pushing the planet's temperature higher.  El Niños are weather phenomena that warm the Pacific Ocean and pump lots of excess heat into the atmosphere, raising global temperatures.

But El Niño is only one factor in the warming of the planet.  And according to climate scientists, it's a relatively small one when compared to the role that humans are playing.

James Hansen, the former director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies noted: "The record is due to a combination of the (natural) strong 2015-2016 El Niño (warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean surface) and the strong global warming trend that has continued from 1970 to the present."

The Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton predicted half a billion more solar panels would be deployed during the first four years of her presidency. 

President Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt is a climate change denier.  As head of the EPA, Pruitt will stop enforcing environmental protection regulations, slash climate change research, and allow fossil fuel polluters free reign.


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