The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is a composite index that includes many weather and drought indicators and it produces the drought map that policymakers and media use in discussions of drought and in allocating drought relief. It is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Maps courtesy of NDMC-UNL.
Here is their most current map of drought conditions in the United States, released April 20, 2017 (Click map to enlarge).
One can easily see many areas of continuing drought throughout the country, including areas of severe and extreme drought.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has five definitions of drought severity: Continue reading
The mainstream media, not to mention right wing propaganda outlets such as fox fixed news noise, totally ignores today’s already existing reality of the effects of climate change that are being felt across the world. Three years ago I wrote an article for Nifty-Home-Bar.com about how the wine industry was already facing and combating the effects of climate change, and yesterday I wrote here about how Lloyd’s of London was warning their clients that business and industry virtually across the board had to start preparing for a future of weather-related disasters.
Another industry that is already seeing climate change and increasing temperatures cause catastrophic results worldwide, is the coffee growing industry. Higher temperatures are devastating to the majority of coffee bean plants, in particular Arabica beans that account for
|75% of the world's coffee and that can suffer catastrophic damage with merely a half-degree temperature increase. In addition to such direct effects, higher temperatures also foster increases in pests such as the berry borer that feed off coffee bean plants and plant||
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diseases that attack coffee bean plants. Continue reading
Not every giant corporation accepts the anti-science rhetoric of republican propaganda and climate change denial. Some of the world’s largest businesses have come to accept reality and are working to protect their interests and are warning their customers and clients that actions and precautions must be taken now in order to try to alleviate certain disaster in the future.
No more mainstream, right-wing, anti-consumer, profit-above-all industry in the world exists than the insurance industry, and among the world’s oldest, largest and most profitable names in the industry is the venerable Lloyd’s of London, an insurance marketplace rather than a true insurance company, where some of the world’s richest companies and individuals invest their fortunes to underwrite insurance coverage across the world. Recent year figures show that Lloyd’s receives in excess of $20 Billion in yearly premiums with a profit realization of a bit over 10%.
|But Lloyd's does not have mere stockholders to protect. Rather, it was powerful direct investors, and the people who run Lloyd's have come to realize that they cannot hide reality and deny the known effects of pending events. Rather, they now take great pains to|
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analyze real data and provide realistic reports to their investors and to the industry. Such is the case with climate change. Continue reading
The Oil and Gas Industry, electricity providers, primarily, and Koch Bros.’ and their groups as individuals and secret super PACS, as well as what they give directly from their energy businesses and others, that’s who. Anyone who believes that these positions are based on study, expertise, or consultation with actual experts, is greatly misguided. It is money and campaign contributions and power that fuels the “strongly held beliefs’ of gop elected officials and candidates, and nothing more, with the rare exception of some who also throw in religion, such as Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, who come January, will be Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Sen. Inhofe, the most powerful and vocal climate change denier in the government, has slightly tempered his otherwise unrelenting denial of the scientific facts of climate change to say that if it were true, God would save us from the effects of extreme weather.
Let’s start with Inhofe. Continue reading
At the forefront of study and problem solving in the vast area of Climate Change is the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI). The broad program investigates world wide problems faced by the earth’s species with the goal of finding solutions that “minimize the trade-offs between human welfare and environmental health”. Participating are several dozen Notre Dame faculty members in the fields of science, engineering, social sciences, and humanities, embodying the maxim of “Science Serving Society”, aiding both the natural earth and its human population.
ND-Gain is part of the ND-ECI that focuses on “building resilience to climate change as a key component to better prepare humans and their environment for the coming century”. The goal of ND-Gain is to increase understanding around the world of the vital importance of adaptation to our changing climate, and to facilitate funding, both public and private, for the most vulnerable of communities. Continue reading