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Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy


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September 2011 (Scripps) CO2 Concentration: 388.95ppm

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography measured an average of 388.95ppm CO2 concentration at their Mauna Loa, Hawai’i’s Observatory during September 2011.  This reading is from the Scripps’ dataset, not NOAA’s, from which I previously wrote.

That value is the highest value for September in recorded history. Last year’s 386.83 was the previous highest September value ever recorded.  This year’s September reading is 2.12ppm higher than last September’s, which is a significant difference.

The yearly maximum monthly value normally occurs during May. This year was no different: the 394.16 concentration is the highest value reported both this year and all time.

This will likely be the last year that CO2 concentrations will fall below 390ppm during any calendar month. This is the first month during this calendar year which recorded a concentration below 390ppm.  In my last few posts on this topic, I wrote, “Based on the trend from May to September in years past, I expect 2011′s minimum to be ~388ppm.”  We’ll see in early November what October’s average concentration was and how far off my projection was.  I don’t think it will be off by that much.


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August 2011 (Scripps) CO2 Concentration: 390.19ppm

Scripps’ measured an average of 390.19ppm CO2 concentration at their Mauna Loa, Hawai’i’s Observatory during August 2011.  This reading is from the Scripps’ dataset, not NOAA’s, from which I previously wrote.

That value is the highest value for August in recorded history. Last year’s 388.54 was the previous highest August value ever recorded.  This year’s August reading is 1.65ppm higher than last August’s, which is a significant difference.

The yearly maximum monthly value normally occurs during May. This year was no different: the 394.16 concentration is the highest value reported both this year and all time.

This will likely be the last year that CO2 concentrations will fall below 390ppm during any calendar month. Although it hasn’t happened yet (every month in 2011 has recorded at least 390ppm), the yearly minimum that normally occurs in September is upcoming.  Based on the trend from May to September in years past, I expect 2011′s minimum to be ~388ppm.


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Citigroup Earnings Rise 74% to $3.8 Billion

I think that headline says enough, don’t you?

If not, there’s this (emphasis mine):

Three years after needing a (taxpayer funded) federal bailout (of billions of dollars) to survive, Citigroup reported its seventh-straight quarterly profit, with a 74 percent rise in the third quarter despite dismal results of its investment bank.

Remember, instead of consumer advocates or labor (you know, people who actually voted for him), Team Obama has people from Citi and other super-banks advising him on economics.  Does anybody seriously think that’s accidental?  No, it’s exactly what Obama wants.  Think that through carefully as you hear his campaign ramp up attacks on Romney for being too connected to Wall Street.  Rolling up his sleeves and giving speeches around the country is meant to obscure that hypocrisy.  Tell me again exactly how Romney would be worse if you’ve lost your home and/or job in the past 5 years while Citi got bailed out with your tax money and is now posting record profits.  Tell me how Romney would be worse when real incomes have fallen for the first time since WWII with a “Democratic” President pushing conservative economic policies as hard as his Con predecessor.  Because on too many issues, I’m not seeing enough of a difference.


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Democratic Machine Wants The Occupy Movement

And that includes President Obama and his advisers, by the way.  Obama’s team is planning on challenging Mitt Romney as being too closely associated with those who every day exert more control over the people’s government.  Really?  That’s Rovian in nature: attack your opponent where you’re weakest.  Obama flooded his economic team with former Wall Streeters once he took office.  The people who have PhD’s on topics like the Great Depression (which we’re still flirting with)?  They left the White House because their voices were being kept from the President.  You need only look at our pathetic economic “recovery” and dismal employment opportunities to see how well that has worked out.

While Team Obama and the Democratic Party establishment might be working overtime trying to figure out how best to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street movement for their purposes, this demonstrates how tone deaf the President is:

But Obama also defended his support for bailing out distressed banks after the 2008 financial crisis, saying he “used up a lot of political capital, and I’ve got the dings and bruises to prove it, in order to make sure that we prevented a financial meltdown and that banks stayed afloat.”

Wow.  The President wants us all to feel very very sorry for his trials and tribulations “us[ing] up a lot of political capital”.  Yeah, the banks stayed afloat.  Better than that, they’re bigger today than they were in 2008.  They’re imposing new fees on the 99% and continuing to post record profits.  I’m so glad the President used up so much of his political capital to ensure continued abuses on the lower and middle classes.  I totally remember voting for that kind of change.

Millions of foreclosures in the past 3 years.  Millions more unemployed.  Trillions in taxpayer dollars given away for free to the banks.  Billions in bonuses paid to uncharged criminals who should be doing hard time.

Be careful, Team Obama.  I don’t think the Occupy-ers are stupid enough to fall for the same gimmickry they’ve been abused with in the past again.  Your hypocrisy and lack of principle have been on display.  Talking a harsher game doesn’t employ millions of Americans or put them back in their homes.  We didn’t get real change after 2008.  The ante has been upped.  This isn’t the hand where you bluff in return.

Be careful, Occupy-ers.   Do not let the Democratic establishment get their hands on the controls behind the movement.  They want to defang you and keep their favored elites in place.

But Obama also defended his support for bailing out distressed banks after the 2008 financial crisis, saying he “used up a lot of political capital, and I’ve got the dings and bruises to prove it, in order to make sure that we prevented a financial meltdown and that banks stayed afloat.”


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Health Law “Casualty”: Excessive Timeline Requirement

Any long-time reader of this blog will know how bitterly disappointed I was with the health care law insurance giveaway that the Obama administration bungled last year.  Part of that law was dropped by the White House because of an insane requirement: a 75-year solvency clause for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program.  Much like what will happen with the Postal Service, which was recently saddled with the same requirement, this negotiated capitulated requirement ensured the program’s demise.

How pathetic is this?  Where was the 75-year solvency clause for the mega-banks which have received $14 Trillion in taxpayer dollars?  Where was the 75-year solvency clause for war and occupation activities?  Oh, that’s right, our republic has been all too happy to transform itself into an imperialist oligarchy.

Quality health care for everybody?  We’re too busy destroying countries and cultures while ensuring the largest upward transfer of wealth in history continues unchecked.

Forget the crazies on the right and ask yourself this: is this the change you voted for?  How many more decades have to pass before this ludicrous incrementalist approach is ditched?  The Republican Teabaggers are playing to win while Democrats want to play nice.  Brilliant!


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Analysis of Occupy Groups Plain Wrong

I’ve heard a lot and read a little about the Occupy Wall Street groups that obviously started in New York City but have quickly spread to metropolitan areas across the U.S. since September.  A couple of things I read today warrant a small piece of my attention away from more homework than I know what to do about.

First up: Paul West’s “Is Occupy Wall Street a Tea Party for Democrats?“, which can be marked up as another sad example of crappy journalism in today’s corporate media dominated world.

Distinctions are drawn by liberals between the origins of the anti-Wall Street drive, which they say is more spontaneous and authentic than a Tea Party movement boosted into existence by Fox News, a favored news source for conservatives. Another difference: Tea Party followers were focused on one issue — cutting government spending — while Occupy Wall Street is amorphous in its aims.

Beyond that, there are broad similarities. Both movements are decentralized and nonhierarchical, driven largely by an alienated and outraged citizenry that favors the same two-word phrase: fed up.

It’s painful when these journalists parrots cannot distinguish between corporate astroturf groups (Tebaggers – they haven’t formally formed a party like the Greens) and organic groups (Occupy Wall Street).

It’s even more painful when their messages are purposefully misscharacterized.  Where were the Teabaggers when the Bush Regime was spending Trillions of taxpayer dollars and blowing up the debt and the deficit?  They were cheering the Regime on, saying spending wasn’t fast enough.  Why did they choose 2009 to start wailing about the spending they used to support?  Because there is a Black Man in the White House.  I call shenanigans.

The Teabaggers’ assault on the political scene in 2009 was orchestrated and paid for by the same ultra-wealthy entities that Occupy Wall Street is protesting.  It was anything but decentralized and non-hierarchical.  What happened when reporters tried talking to the Teabaggers at the beginning?  Amorphous and ridiculous commentary was offered.  The organizers quickly picked up on this and ensured their well-trained communications liaisons were the only ones talking to the corporate media.  There is no way that any disparate group of individuals getting together are well organized when they first form.  Occupy Wall Streeters prove that; the Teabaggers also prove that.

The Teabaggers are mostly right-wing extremists who should feel alienated – all extremists should.  The Occupy Wall Streeters are a much more diverse group who have rightful grievances against a government that is increasingly under corporate dominance.

Next up: an extremist extraordinaire, Jon Caldara, who offered up this nonsense that a different parrot dutifully made into “news”: “‘They wish (for) European-style socialism,’ he said.  ‘It’s not corporate welfare they hate.  They hate that it’s not all going to their causes.  When they want to end all corporate welfare, I’ll douse myself with patchouli oil and join them.'”

Always available for jack-assery, aren’t you Jon?  When the wealthiest 1% control over 50% of the wealth; when real take home income hasn’t changed for the bottom 99% since 1979 while it’s 240% higher for the 1%; when U.S. and foreign banks are loaned Trillions of dollars while millions of Americans lose their hard-earned jobs and homes, people in the 99% are eventually going to show how upset they are.  It has nothing to do with Jon’s obsession with European socialism.

When Jon and other “free-marketeers” stop free-loading off of the socialist infrastructure this country and its citizens built and operate for them on a daily basis (roads, water, air, police, fire, radio, on and on and on), then they should be quoted in the media.  The ridiculousness of quoting somebody who willfully refuses to live up to his own ideals is pathetic.

Keep going, Occupy Wall Street!

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