Thursday, April 17, 2014

Facing the Storm: Preparing for Increased Extreme Weather

View from Bridge of HopeI attended a recent forum in Albany, Facing the Storm: Preparing for Increased Extreme Weather in Upstate New York, and wanted to pass along some of what I heard, or thought I heard. The event was sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

For a forum concerning the impacts of a changing climate the audience was unusually diverse in terms of backgrounds and professions. As a staff member for Adirondack Wild, I was sitting next to a firefighter from a village in Montgomery County. At the next table were other firefighters and emergency personnel in uniform.  Across from me were several members of the League of Women Voters.  Initially we all wondered if we were in the right meeting. I think by the end we realized what we all have in common.

Similarly, the speakers were diverse, ranging from Congressman Paul Tonko and University at Albany President Robert Jones, to atmospheric and climate scientists, hydrologists, emergency management coordinators from counties across upstate, small city mayors, and public policy wonks.

One of the emergency management coordinators who spoke, Colleen Fullford from Schoharie County, lost her 150 year old home and all her possessions to Hurricane Irene’s flood. She conveyed one of the most important messages of the day, and I paraphrase what she said: to do my job and prepare for the inevitable next flood, I need your information. You are the experts, although you are not aware of that yet.  I need to know your historic information about flooding in your neighborhood, where your high water marks are located, what your stream and rain gauges are telling you, what your part of the floodplain can tell you about the next flood. I need to train you in what to look for, but then I depend upon residents in my county to observe and share information with me. Get out of your comfort zones in terms of who you think you are and what you think you know. Get comfortable with the fact that in your home areas you are the observant experts who can best prepare me and your neighbors for the next extreme weather event.

Other Hurricane Irene lessons learned by Schoharie’s Colleen Fullford: we need redundant systems to account for inevitable failure of at least one important system; we need computer models of rainfall integrated with stream gauge data; we need real time weather data;  but most of all we need a change in current mind-set that the next level of government will save us from the next storm. It won’t.  Instead, we need to stretch our own community’s levels of awareness and capacity to prepare.

City of Oneida Mayor Max Smith recounted the continuing impacts of severe flooding in his city in 2013. He credited the numerous emergency responders, agencies and nonprofits which have helped his city in the many stages of recovery. He emphasized that partnerships are the only way communities like his can respond and recover from major flood events. That recovery is far from over, but then he said: The best thing to come out of this flood was that we built relationships in our city that never existed before, relationships between neighbors and neighborhoods which previously had not communicated. “Our community actually improved as a result.”  He concluded with this thought: “I am very concerned about the science I am hearing about today, very concerned about the frequency of heavy weather we can expect in the future.”

East Branch Ausable showing impacts of Irene Flooding, KeeneDr. Christopher Thorncroft, atmospheric and environmental scientist at the University at Albany, presented an excellent summary of what is known today. On an 800,000 year time scale, global atmospheric carbon concentration hovered right around 200 parts per million. In just 70 years, global concentrations (from the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii) have broken through 400 ppm, heading towards 550. Global climate modeling has captured the actual observed physics of human forcing of the climate very well. With warmer oceans and atmosphere comes higher atmospheric moisture.  All this means greater frequency of severe weather events. The percentage change in heavy precipitation events experienced since 1958 is greatest in the Northeast (a startling 74% change).  By contrast, the next largest percentage change, the Midwest, has experienced a 45% change in extreme precipitation events since 1958.

What is badly needed now, Thorncroft said, were more strategically located weather detection sites in the northeast. Dr. Thorncroft mentioned the Adirondacks as one area of NYS most in need of more detection sites.  The Adirondacks as a whole remains a big blank spot in terms of weather detection.

Professor Thorncroft concluded his remarks for the afternoon by saying, and I paraphrase: scientists like me cannot hide in our academic towers. We must engage, we must educate about climate science, resulting impacts and mitigation as well as adaptation.

Then he and University President Jones announced some very good news: The Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences will soon be hiring at a scale to make NYS one of the globe’s best staffed centers of expertise in atmospheric and climate science. Secondly, the University and its collaborators have secured funding for 125 new and retooled weather stations across the state, including new ones that fill critical geographic gaps existing now in the Adirondacks. Every county will have at least one new or retooled weather station. These stations will take three years to develop, but will when they come on line provide real-time data about the atmosphere, precipitation, soil moisture and much more. During Hurricane Irene, critical data came in from the Adirondacks, but it came in a week after the event.

A hydrologist from the Northeast River Forecast Center (a part of the federal agency NOAA), David Vallee, whose own home town in Rhode Island was inundated by Hurricane Irene, noted that the challenge is not simply rapidly changing extreme weather, but continued acceleration in human development and urbanization in previously undisturbed small floodplains, which greatly amplify any flood event. He noted that his own town’s infrastructure, water, stormwater and sewage, were all designed for the storms of 1950-1961. Those conditions simply do not pertain today. This is also true for NYS. Our community infrastructure was all designed for the “100 year storm,” or the 1% chance every year of receiving 5-6 average inches of rainfall over 24 hour period, not the 8-10 average inches over 24 hours now being experienced on a regular basis. The northeast is the nation’s “hot spot” for record rainfall and flooding, he said. County flood maps are in urgent need of updating and while much progress has been made, the Adirondacks and western New York remain unfinished.  Furthermore, we are a home rule state, meaning that building in a floodplain is often done in ignorance of actual flood elevations and receive far too many variances from local zoning boards of appeal. Local laws need to be updated to map not only the current base flood elevation, but the base elevation plus several feet of “freeboard” above that.

Livingston County Emergency Management Director Kevin Niedermaier reminded the forum that severe flood events are life changing, traumatic events and take a huge toll psychologically. In the educational work that must be done to prepare for more frequent flood events he said we must be aware of this human response even as we emphasize needed planning steps that address human health and safety. He aired the frustration of many emergency planners in countering the political pressures on local government leaders to grant variances to rebuild structures in the floodplain or in high hazard areas just outside of it. All of the reasons (and laws and disincentives) not to rebuild in these areas need constant, educational approach and attention, he said.

Congressman Paul Tonko was the keynote speaker. Tonko currently co-chairs the Congressional caucus of members committed to “Sustainable Energy and Environment” (SEEC).  It is, he noted optimistically, the second largest caucus in the US Congress. He praised the many emergency responders and managers in the room for their actions following Hurricanes Irene and Lee. He similarly praised University at Albany and its president for leading in climate research and development and noted its significant presence in his district and in Washington, DC where, he said, I must remain the counterweight to crippling negativity in the US Congress on issues of climate and on investment in science research and critical infrastructure. He noted that US drinking water systems alone now require $380 billion in improvements and upgrades, while we feel lucky if the Congress approves 1-2% of that need annually. “How dare we drain our well dry,” he said regarding conservative opposition to funding critical infrastructure improvements, as well as weather satellites, streamgages, weather monitoring systems and more. He also stated that “we must also use the power of natural systems”  to lessen the damage of flooding in his district.

Forum organizer Robert Bullock of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government promised that this forum would be repeated in future years, and then took a number of questions and comments from the audience, some which related to climate change, the urgency of recognizing and adapting to the “new normal” in terms of frequency of severe weather and, from one commenter, the importance of passing a carbon tax in the US Congress.  She came as a local representative of the grassroots Citizens Climate Lobby. Professor Emeritus Carl George (Union College) noted that the forum had not examined the biology and behavior of riparian, or stream systems, including the role of sediment transport, and loss of biological activity and diversity which are one important casualty of severe storm events. Yours truly noted that one lesson from the Adirondacks post Hurricane Irene is that vulnerable towns must respect their floodplains, and not exacerbate the next flood through bulldozing, channelizing and armoring their stream banks. I noted the collaboration since 2011 of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited, Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Ausable River Association, Adirondack Wild and others in public education and in projects that restore and reconnect damaged stream systems to their floodplains. This was echoed by a participant from Schoharie County who offered to teach others in the room about collaborative efforts underway in stream system behavior, restoration and increasing resilience in the face of severe flooding.

Photos: Above, the Hudson River at high water from the Bridge of Hope in Hadley on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (photo by Billy Trudsoe); and below, the East Branch Ausable showing impacts of Irene flooding in Keene.

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Dave Gibson, who writes about issues of wilderness, wild lands, public policy, and more, has been involved in Adirondack conservation for over 30 years as executive director of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks and currently as managing partner with Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest PreserveDuring Dave's tenure at the Association, the organization completed the Center for the Forest Preserve including the Adirondack Research Library at Paul Schaefer’s home. The library has the finest Adirondack collection outside the Blue Line, specializing in Adirondack conservation and recreation history. Currently, Dave is managing partner in the nonprofit organization launched in 2010, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve.

37 Responses

  1. John Jongen says:

    The media frenzy over the impending disastrous effects of global warming brings to mind an image of an anthill that has been stepped on, ants scurrying around and bumping into each other yelling ‘the sky is falling’. But no one at this meeting and in the media generally, seems to be asking the question ‘what is causing our climate chaos?’ Analyzing historic high water marks and flood plains is like analyzing the consequences rather than the cause. Inevitably the correct analysis will leave us with some uncomfortable choices: convert our fossil fuel addictions to cheap renewable energy sources of wind, solar and hydro power. That is the only solution to mitigating our erratic weather. Meanwhile we need to move out of its way. That is what the battered ants would do.

    • Outlier says:

      Except in very limited circumstances, renewables are not cheap. That’s why California’s electricity prices are sky high and climbing.

      To say that the so-called renewables can provide the same amount of electricity, at the same (or lower) cost and the same reliability as natural gas, coal and nuclear is a blatant LIE.

    • Paul K says:

      So extreme weather is something new? never ever has this extreme weather done damage before us humans hit the scene, you global warmer’s just crack me up.The weather is cyclical….as the world turns

  2. John L says:

    Wind, solar, and hydro will not even BEGIN to fill our nations energy needs. Try again!

  3. Charlie S says:

    Wind, solar, and hydro will not even BEGIN to fill our nations energy needs. Try again!

    We just hate change some of us….so let us just keep doing the same thing over and over again.

    • John L says:

      Correct Charlie. Keep doing what’s made us the most successful, prosperous nation on earth. When some TRULY better form of energy comes along, we’ll go with that, like we always have. Thanks for putting that into words for me.

      • dave says:

        Rooting against new industries, denying science, and holding desperately onto the past is absolutely NOT what made us the most successful, prosperous nation on earth.

        Can you imagine if we held onto steam power, and mocked the combustible engine, with the same fervor?

        There are countries that are now – right now, present day – producing over 20% of their energy from renewable sources, and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. These are the countries creating the next wave of technologies that the rest of us will end up using.

        Should we sit tight, let others perfect this and then try to jump on the bandwagon? Does that really sound like the way to remain the most successful and prosperous nation to you?

        • Outlier says:

          “Can you imagine if we held onto steam power, and mocked the combustible engine, with the same fervor?”

          These technologies were not introduced by government decree. In fact, the INTERNAL COMBUSTION engine was not universally well received. Government power was very limited in those days, fortunately.

          I would argue that, if the internal combustion engine were invented today, it not be allowed to go into production.

          • John Warren says:

            Outlier never fails to entertain.

            • Outlier says:

              What a devastating rebuttal, Johnny boy.Your sardonic wit shines through once again.

              Now go save the planet.

              • John Warren says:

                You obviously are not old enough to remember the time before the environmental movement, or you are willfully ignorant of what has been achieved thanks to the people you spend so much of your energy hating.

                The Hudson River, once an open sewer where no one dared to boat, never-mind swim or fish, now bustles with recreation activities in summer. According to the DEC, the number of seriously polluted waters in the state has fallen by 85% and Sulfur Dioxide pollution is down by 90%, with a corresponding improvement in Acid Rain.

                More than 100 outdated and poorly located landfills in Adirondacks alone no longer pollute the water of their neighbors, tire dumps have mostly been cleaned up (including more than 27 million tires statewide), as have more than 1,800 Superfund and brownfield sites and the thousands of water bodies large and small around the state have been cleaned-up through waste-water management. The days of roadside sewers that made walking down the road in some places a sickening experience are no more.

                In 1970 (the year of the first Earth Day) there was just one occupied Bald Eagle nest in New York State, in 2010 there were 173. Eagles and other raptors we rarely saw in the 1970s and 1980s, birds like the peregrine falcon, are now fairly frequent sights; ravens and osprey have returned to the Adirondacks. Wild turkeys have exploded from about 25,000 in 1970 to 275,000 today, and so turkey hunting has returned to the Adirondacks.

                Native trout have been returned to more than 50 ponds according to the DEC, and the average number of fish species has increased by a third offering increased angling opportunities. Beaver, fisher, and otter have flourished in cleaner, more diverse waters and so trapping seasons have returned for those species. In 1970 there were no Moose in the Adirondacks, today there are 400 to 500 in the region.

                Now go outside and enjoy the clean air and water others have provided for you.

                • Outlier says:

                  There is a world of difference between mitigating or preventing pollution and the push behind “climate change”.

                  The cases you cited could be unambiguously tied to a specific cause. And the fixes were pretty clear and within the limits of the current technology.

                  What the climate change alarmists propose would radically restructure our lives both financially and politically.

                  All based upon climate models tuned to an imprecise knowledge of a single past climate record. A past climate record which climate modelers have attempted to obscure warming in the pre-industrial past to exaggerate subsequent trends. Models which have failed to predict the lack of warming in recent years.

                  Worse, some of the alarmists propose potentially dangerous “geo-engineering” schemes as a solution. Because these would be deliberate actions, they have almost unlimited potential for igniting global conflicts.

                  The fact that the alarmists claim “the science is settled”, make false claims about the “consensus” of scientists and the past statements of some alarmists openly stating that they “have to give extreme worst case scenarios” to generate public support is reason enough to destroy their credibility.

                  • John Warren says:

                    alarmists, Alarmists! Alarmists!!

                    You seem to have missed the point. Mitigating the local effects of the warmer wetter climate that already exists is not alarmist, it’s common sense.

                    • Outlier says:

                      Preparing for floods is common sense. Attributing them to CO2 (as some in the article do) is politics.

                  • John L says:

                    Excellent post Outlier. The two (2) things John is trying to compare are worlds apart. He’s trying to piggyback the fabricated climate issue that has enormous political and economic consequences with simple common sense clean water/air efforts. You’re spot on with all points!!

    • Outlier says:

      Hydro has been essentially fully exploited. Solar and wind are so variable that backup power (usually fossil) is required for any acceptable grid reliability.

      The only low-carbon source of reliable and reasonably priced electricity is nuclear and that does not fit in with most environmentalists’ religious beliefs.

      Incidentally, a large solar farm was recently commissioned in the California desert. It kills birds, distracts pilots and requires a natural gas fired boiler to start it up each morning.

      • Paul says:

        It is not true that hydro has “been fully exploited”. Far from it. Where do you get your information? Look at the new hydro projects in China as an example. Also new “micro hydro” is excellent technology. Then there are many wave power projects. You can pretty reliably count on the tides, at least until it is all over for us!

        • Outlier says:

          The hydro projects in China have been environmentally devastating.

          While micro hydro may be an excellent technology, it’s limitation is that it is micro. Micro will not significantly displace, let alone replace fossil fuels.

          Wave power. Right. Try installing a wave power plant off the Southern California coast where a 2300 MWe plant was closed.

          The oh so holy progressives fought tooth and nail against the wind turbines off Cape Cod.

  4. Outlier says:

    “Global climate modeling has captured the actual observed physics of human forcing of the climate very well.”

    No, it has captured climate modelers forcing very well.

  5. Paul says:

    This is a classic example of where nut jobs make silly comments that are just designed to stir the pot and they get folks trying to respond with reasonable rebuttals. There is no point. Folks that have some entrenched views will never change ever. Engaging them is a kin to engaging the guy who comments that the world is flat or evolution is just a scientific theory. There is no point.

    France derives 75% ofd their power from nuclear energy. They do it in a pretty clean manner and in a safe one. Nuclear power along with carbon sequestration (and electric vehicles for decreased emissions on the road) is the most likely doable and quick alternative to solve this problem.

    One other nuclear option to consider is smaller regional plants that are not a huge environmental problem if there is an issue. It is like when someones wood stove has a problem the house burns down not the whole town. But the government will have to stop listening to special interests on many sides if we are ever to quickly made nuclear an economically viable option.

    • Outlier says:

      Actually, I agree with everything you have stated. Further, you have stated it very well.

      There is a difference between the science behind say, the Higgs Boson or Dark Matter and Climate Change. The consequences of the Higgs Boson or Dark Matter will not result in any political changes. Further, the hypotheses about them can be tested in particle accelerators under precisely controlled experiments that can be duplicated by other researchers.

      There was a recent development that offered confirmation of cosmic inflation shortly after the “big bang.” The researchers openly welcomed other researchers to challenge their results. Climate scientists, on the other hand, get very defensive about their results and have evaded Freedom of Information laws to keep portions of their work hidden.

      When was the last time you have heard any skepticism from an approved Climate Scientist about their results? Have they ever expressed any skepticism? Seems like the worse, the better.

    • TiSentinel65 says:

      Economically speaking, if alternatives are going to be viable they are going to have to be able to compete on an economical scale. Has anyone noticed the spike in our National Grid bills. The answer National Grid gives is the price of natural gas. If it keeps going higher people will be forced to seek out the cheaper alternative. Any time it gets higher, coal then starts to look more attractive for the power companies. These companies are for profit and provide us with a commodity few people would be willing to do without. International Paper in Ti burns over thirty thousand gallons a day of #6 fuel oil. When they convert to natural gas, they will be converting to a much cleaner fuel source. In turn however they will put pressure on natural gas prices. Just as conversion to natural gas has put downward pressures on coal prices it will do the same to oil, but then put upward pressure on nat gas. If the economy picks up then prices can easily rise for nat gas, oil, and coal. If you think big companies do not care about energy efficiency and pollution, you are way off the mark. The biggest ROI projects that get green lighted are usually associated with energy reduction. The quandary we are in is this. Much more could be done towards energy efficiency in our own homes, our electrical grid, and the very ways we use energy. The problem is, few have money to implement some of the cost savings projects that would reduce our need to consume so much energy. The economics of supply and demand will continue to steer this debate. As long as fossil fuels remain competitive price wise, it will not be enough to force the change that some people believe we need to save ourselves from the doomsday scenarios some believe await us. If you believe in climate change, you can not confront one problem without confronting the other. If you disrupt the way of living, Americans have gotten used to for the past hundred years you set yourself up for failure. If the McKibbens of the world truly believe in the science then they better provide sollutions.

      • Outlier says:

        Natural gas is a much cleaner fuel than coal but we are becoming dangerously dependent on it. The plants are cheap to build but the fuel price can be very volatile.

        Even assuming that hydraulic fracturing is environmentally benign, the rapid extraction it allows comes at a cost of having to abandon the well before all the gas (or oil) is obtained. The gas/oil is not found in “pools” but is trapped in rock pores like a sponge. So the current robust supply may be illusory even though much gas remains.

        What if our current version of the Cold War with Russia continues and we end up supplying Europe with natural gas? This couldn’t happen overnight but it would be the end of cheap natural gas.

        I don’t agree with NASA scientist James Hansen’s global warming apocalyptic theories but he recognizes that renewables cannot replace fossil fuels.

      • John Jongen says:

        This is a NYT op-ed by Paul Krugman who argues that climate change remediation may be less costly than we thought, if we just put our mind to it. Btw, this is not a spectator sport played by the McKibbens of the world, as you call them; climate change deniers must get on board too.

        • Outlier says:

          Krugman says the salvation is the “incredible decline in the cost of renewable energy, solar power in particular.”

          He’s right it is incredible. Incredible as in not to be believed. The apparent cheap prices are the result of massive subsidies. Preferential tax treatment. Chinese State companies churning out solar panels. If these went away (and the Chinese companies are upside down financially, as is much of China) the costs would soar.

          If this were true, Germany, Spain and California would have low or at least stable energy prices and plentiful supply.

          Finally, here’s a bit of advice. Ignore ANY economist who attended MIT, Chicago, Berkeley or any Ivy League university*. These are the folks who have been advising presidents for the past 80 years and have been running the Federal Reserve. You would be better off assuming whatever they say is completely wrong.

          Greenspan got his Phd. at NYU but started out at Columbia. At Columbia he studied under Arthur Burns who gave us stagflation in the 1970’s.

  6. Smitty says:

    Oh my. That brought the science deniers out from under their rock. Dave, please try to write more compactly. You would get more readers that way. For what its worth, a revenue neutral carbon tax based on the societal costs of additional CO2 would eliminate the need for subsidies and let the free markets work to solve the problem.

    • Outlier says:

      A carbon tax? Administered by whom? Where do the tax receipts go? Of course we have to have some redistribution because of disparate impact on the poor or developing countries (if this is a global tax). And of course, there must be a handling fee to pay the bureaucrats administering the tax.

      The income tax started out as a small tax on millionaires. Most didn’t even have to pay. The Alternate Minimum Tax was also just supposed to apply to fat cats.

      California already has a Carbon Emission Permit auction. The proceeds were promised to go towards research and development of carbon free energy technologies.

      Instead, the money has gone into the general fund. Ironically, because half of California’s nuclear generation was closed last year, the state has increased CO2 emissions which has probably helped raise MORE money in the auction.

      Germany’s renewable energy program has led to much higher energy costs AND more CO2 emissions.

  7. Outlier says:

    And what science is being denied?

  8. Charlie s says:

    John L says:Correct Charlie. Keep doing what’s made us the most successful, prosperous nation on earth. When some TRULY better form of energy comes along, we’ll go with that, like we always have. Thanks for putting that into words for me.

    >> I don’t know what you mean by successful and prosperous John.There’s more to this planet than finances and material things.To some of there are anyway.Some too few of us.

    • Outlier says:

      Funny how those who dismiss the financial and the material are most eager to redistribute the same from others and tell others how to live.

  9. Charlie s says:

    To some of ‘us’ there are anyway.

  10. Charlie s says:

    Outlier says: What the climate change alarmists propose would radically restructure our lives both financially and politically.

    You’re not too futuristic are you Outlier? It’s all about today and being afraid of change and your wallet isn’t it?It’s not about what kind of world are we going to be leaving our progeny is it?

  11. Charlie S says:

    I suppose Chuck means me Charlie hey Outlier? I “am” out there which isn’t a bad thing I assure you.I’m not your average mainstream thinker and I will say it’s a lonely world sometimes because of that.You’d have to be there to understand. And I don’t tell others how to live though I sincerely wish more people had enough smarts to know we’re doing something terribly wrong the way we go about our business without a care in the world about what we’re doing to this planet.Sometimes I wish I was as blissful as half the people I see,but then I know that ignorance is bliss and I just cant seem to want to stoop to that low level.

    • John L says:

      Charlie S. You are definitely not your average mainstream thinker and yes, I know it isn’t easy being you. It’s much easier being down here on my (low) level of ignorance.

  12. Charlie S says:

    John….After I sent that last missive I thought my last line might come off as overly snobbish & sensed some would be put off by it.And I’ll have you know my sensitive nature picked up on this before you came back at me.I suppose if I didn’t have a conscience these thoughts wouldn’t have crossed me at all.Of course I know me better than anyone else and I assure you I am not snobbish and I’ll be darned if I can always express the totality of my communication in mere,spontaneous words when I write.

    Let us be sure of one thing though John…ignorance (seemingly) is growing without check out there in this society,is why our problems seem to be increasing.I see it! Maybe it’s my over-awareness of things,but certainly there is this shallowness that radiates from this society and to be quite frank it scares me.I can give you many examples where do I begin?

    This changing climate issue for one! It is beyond me how anybody can deny it yet deniers come a dime a dozen for whatever their reasons,some of which are selfish reasons I’d wager.Big industry is in total denial even though we’re breaking record temperatures every summer for the past dozen years.(The gas and oil people!What do they care if the Earth melts and fades away into space taking every soul with it?) Even though 10,000 year-old glaciers are disappearing.Even though scientist keep trying to warn us…thoughtful,caring Bill McKibben warning us.There is ample evidence that our home Earth is warming up! You’d have to be in some kind of trance not to pick up on this.Most people don’t even seem to care which does not come as a shocker to this old cowboy.

    Maybe it is cyclical,maybe it is not related to the nonstop pollution we spew every waking moment of every day,but to totally deny and continue on with no regard at all of the possible consequences…..this is pure ignorance John.

    • John L says:

      Apology accepted Charlie. I would point out that I agree with you 100% about many people being un, or ill informed about the subjects that are important to us all. I do, however, consider myself fairly well informed on most current events and yet I’m on the opposite side of the argument from you on climate change and mans’ ability to control it. How could that be? Two (2) informed people with different conclusions?
      If you felt bad after your post before, you’ll probably be feeling bad after this last one too, as you ended by calling me ignorant once again. Don’t bother apologizing again. Have a nice day Charlie.