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Showing posts from May, 2018

Who Ya Gonna Call?

May 25, 2018

To be clear, the current Administration in charge of the American government does not accept that human beings are responsible for climate change. Most governments do, of course: 194 signed the Paris Climate Agreement, from which only one - the U.S. - has withdrawn. By my calculation, that leaves 193 participating countries. The reason is clear: the United States believes that the cost of mitigating climate change will fall largely upon its ample shoulders. Given that the majority of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere originated, until quite recently, in the U.S., this would seem just and fair. American business magnates think otherwise.

Europeans, though prone to outbursts of intercontinental fury into which they manage to draw millions of frightened-witless bystanders, frequently view the world in pragmatic terms when not thusly occupied. Copernicus may, in my opinion, be offered as proof of this pragmatism. The name of a program initiated by the European Uni…

Dust to Dust

May 4, 2018
Have you ever experienced a dust storm? I have, only once, decades ago in northern Texas. I recall that, from inside my home, the dust looked like a wall of yellow, moving slowly in our direction. The winds must not have been terribly strong; nothing was dislodged or knocked down. I've always loved storms of any kind, and thought it was pretty exciting.

There was a very powerful dust storm in northern India two days ago. Reports says 125 people were killed, and almost 200 injured. The storm struck at night, resulting in the high number of casualties. This, and the fact that the wind blew in an intense downward direction, demolishing buildings and knocking down trees in its wake. As is frequently the case with storms of this variety, it followed a period of extraordinarily high temperatures. Nearby, across the border in Pakistan,  the town of Nawabshah had just suffered through temperatures reported at 122F.

Astonishingly, there are supposed to have been 41,000 lightnin…