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2005 Arctic Summer Ice Melt - Largest On Record

"If we look at the changes in the Arctic we've been talking about, we've just been flabbergasted at the rapidity of the changes." - Mark Serreze, Ph.D., National Snow and Ice Data Center

September 29, 2005 Boulder, Colorado - One increasingly important subject for everyone on Earth is global warming and the consequence of more intense storms in some regions, growing drought in others and the rapid melting of ice from mountain glaciers and the Antarctic which cause sea level rise.

Now this week comes news from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, that the Arctic ice which floats at the North Pole melted to its smallest size - ever! - in records going back for at least a century.

Since the big north polar cap ice floats, its melting does not contribute to sea level rise. But why it's melting so much is directly linked to global warming and an annual trend toward warmer temperatures in the Arctic. Permafrost is melting, roads are buckling, houses are sinking and polar bears are faced with extinction, since those mighty animals work from the ice to feed off fish and seals. This summer of 2005, so much Arctic ice melted that ships could travel through both the North East and North West passages. Based on the hard data of water and air temperatures that continue to rise each summer, current computer models for the Arctic indicate that there will be no ice at all during Arctic summers in another sixty years, around 2070. Some scientists even wonder if the Arctic ice melt is happening so rapidly that the hands on the computer clock have to be moved back, maybe to only three or four decades from now.

View entire interview with Mark Serreze, Ph.D here

Interesting excerpt from the interview:

More Dark Water Increases Heating and Ice Melt


Sea ice is a very reflective white which means it reflects most of the sun's energy right back to space. What has been happening is a reduction in the area of Arctic Ocean covered by sea ice, so that exposes areas of open ocean ­ dark colored open ocean ­ instead of white ice. Now in those dark ocean areas, those can absorb a great deal of the sun's energy. We start to have a situation where we absorb more sun energy in the ocean. The oceans start to heat up. If the oceans heat up, that means it's harder to grow ice the following fall and winter. So the ice we get the next spring and summer tends to be thinner and not as much of it. That means more can disappear that next summer, leaving more open, dark water, meaning more absorption of heat, more ice melts and so on. A vicious cycle, if you will, but something we call a positive feedback.

This is one of the processes we think is starting to kick in the Arctic that helps us explain some of these big reductions in the Arctic sea ice.


Increase in major hurricanes linked to warmer seas

From Live Science

The number of severe hurricanes has doubled worldwide even though the total number of hurricanes has dropped over the last 35 years, a new study finds.

The increase in major storms like Katrina coincides with a global increase of sea surface temperatures, which scientists say is an effect of global warming.

The possible relationship between global warming and hurricane strength has been a topic of controversy for years.

The new study supports another one released in July, in which climatologist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed for the first time that major storms in both the Atlantic and the Pacific since the 1970s have increased in duration and intensity by about 50 percent.

The new reearch finds that total number of hurricanes worldwide – except for in the North Atlantic – decreased during during the period from 1970 to 2004 compared to years prior.

Yet in the same period, the global number of intense Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has nearly doubled in number, jumping from 50 per five years during the 1970's to 90 per five years in the last decade.

This increase is most evident in the North Atlantic basin, where from 1975 to 1989 there were 16 such hurricanes, but from 1990-2004 there were 25, a 56 percent increase.


Book Review: Secret History of the World

Since I am an avid reader of esoteric text, I thought I would present a book review by Jaye Beldo over at Healing Headquarters. He reviews The Secret History of the World by Laura Knight-Jadczyk. I have read this also but I thought that he put it in such a way that I could only make the description worse, so here it is:

The Secret History of the World (and How to Get Out Alive)

by Laura-Knight Jadczyk

Laura-Knight Jadczyk's book The Secret History of the World is a work that demands careful reading and contemplation. The effort is indeed worthwhile as the author, through her own courageous and dedicated research spanning many years, provides a compelling exposé of the New Age and Human Potential movement as a vast COINTELPRO operation where agent provocateurs from the FBI, CIA, NSA and perhaps other alphabet organizations have infiltrated everything from holistic health, meditation and ascencionist groups, massage and acupuncture schools in order to deliberately steer spiritual seekers and holistic health practitioners away from the ugly truth.

The truth, the author tells us quite convincingly, involves extra-terrestrial entities that have insinuated themselves into positions of power and are currently manipulating world events to their own advantage but to the profound detriment of humanity in general. Laura points out that the emergence of the human potential movement conveniently coincides with a significant increase in UFO sightings and the formation of bona fide groups to investigate these sightings. Such a corollary makes her observation of the alien takeover of our world using New Age venues as a smokescreen quite hard to dismiss in this reviewer's opinion. After all, what better distraction from the ET's evil agenda could there be than to encourage people to navel gaze, seek 'peak experiences' and to create their own reality?

I must confess that I've encountered many of these potential COINTELPRO agents in the classes I've attended, taught and also in o­ne o­n o­ne sessions conducted over the last twenty years or so. I've also crossed paths with similar spooks in the New Age publishing world as well and knew that there was something odd about them, but couldn't effectively articulate what it was, other than that they left me feeling dizzy, disoriented and feeling drained of energy. If I had read something like The Secret History of the World when I first started doing psychic readings/healing nearly twenty years ago, I would have been more fully prepared to protect my clients, students and myself from these assorted con artists, vampires and multi-dimensional psychopaths marauding about.

However, I feel quite relieved and most grateful that the author has mustered sufficient tenacity and scholarly savvy to expose these dark forces hiding under the veneer of calculated bliss/contentment and what I call New Age Correctness, a form of Political Correctness but with even more insidious implications at hand (NAC is even more intolerant/fascistic than PC in case you haven't noticed considering that any criticism at all directed towards the New Age is strictly forbidden). Fortunately, Knight-Jadczyk transcends such pathetic interference and provides us with the much needed tools to enhance our perceptions so that we can know first hand, whether or not we are being manipulated by COINTELPRO agents and make informed decisions when seeking out alternative therapies or spiritual groups to affiliate with.

The author's command of factual knowledge and remarkable ability to synthesize information makes The Secret History of the World most exhilarating all throughout its eight hundred plus pages. If you are looking for a deep and thorough inquiry into such things as the Grail legends, Gothic Cathedrals,proof of Dinosaur/Human interactions, the skinny o­n Saint-Germaine, Organic Portals who can mimic our subtle bodies (chakras) and keep us trapped o­n the plane self satisfied illusion, the Ark of the Covenant, Atlantis, Neanderthals and the mercurially allusive alchemist Fulcanelli, I suggest that you thoroughly peruse this timely and hyper-dimensionally relevant book. Doing so will significantly heighten your perceptions, strengthen your aura and enable you to instantly spot the myriads of New Age moles lurking about in the spiritual marketplace, using a love and light spin to hide themselves behind.

-Jaye Beldo

Published by Red Pill Press

The Secret History of the World, along with Laura Knight-Jadczyk's other works such as The Wave, The Occult Significance of 9-11 and Amazing Grace, can be found at: QFGPUBLISHING.Com

[End of book review]

Also came across this entry from the Signs of the Times guestbook, it is the preface to the book The Secret History of the World by Patrick Riviere:

This book of revolutionary importance is essential reading.
With this original work, Laura Knight-Jadczyk shares with us her prodigious discoveries that put into question History as well as our habitual observations concerning the myth of the “Grail”. She does this by revisiting the Bible and comparative mythology, looking closely into parallel universes and hyperspace, and penetrating into quantum physics, genetics, and the mysteries of the diverse creations populating the hyperdimensions of the Cosmos.

Throughout her exposé, Laura Knight-Jadczyk refers to two powerful works of the scientist-alchemist Fulcanelli: The Mystery of the Cathedrals and Dwellings of the Philosophers. She applies her vast knowledge to the continuation of his work.

Thus, following in the footsteps of Fulcanelli (citing Huysmans) when he denounces the constant lies and omissions from official History over the course of time, Laura Knight-Jadczyk, citing numerous examples, exposes the manipulations in the official history of ancient civilizations of which humanity is the victim. She strives to re-establish the truth, and her answers are often enlightening.

According to Laura Knight-Jadczyk, the mysteries of the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Temple refer to a particular, very advanced “technology” – with the aim, for example, of teleportation and changing between space-time dimensions – a secret and sacred science of which only a few great “Initiates” have remained custodians. Christ Jesus was the surest guarantor of this precious legacy, and, although it might displease Dan Brown (author of The DaVinci Code), the genealogical lineage of the “Sangréal” (the “Sang Royal” or “Holy Blood”), is not at all as he believes it to be! The reader of this important work by Laura Knight-Jadczyk will realize that there are completely different conclusions to that mystery.

Her erudition cannot but impress the reader during the course of an assiduous reading of this quite astonishing book. As to her inspiration, what can we say, and, from whence could it come, if not the Light of the stars?

Patrick Rivière

Patrick Rivière is a writer and author of numerous works that have been published in France and that have been translated and published in many languages. He is a specialist on the “Grail” (On the Paths of the Grail) and of Alchemy following the path of Fulcanelli (Fulcanelli Revealed), two works soon to be published by Red Pill Press.


Rita, Katrina the 'smoking gun' of global warming

Before getting to the article, I want to give a little love to all the new readers I am getting from Conspiracy Archive. I had a blog entry of mine posted by them on their News Section and it brought hundreds of new readers here. It was quite humbling to see my little blog in the same section as Alex Jones, Lyndon LaRouche, Kurt Nimmo, and Michel Chossudovsky. These are all people that I have read a lot and learned a lot from and for Conspiracy Archive to put me on the first page surrounded by all those great writers was a surprise and very humbling. So thanks, Conspiracy Archive, for putting my pseudo-journalist work on your page. I only now hope that future posts will be worth all the new readers' time.

So, ya'll check out this article, I'm gonna get back to my crab rangoon which may need to be nuked. They're getting a little cold...

As Hurricane Rita threatens devastation, scientist blames climate change

Super-powerful hurricanes now hitting the United States are the "smoking gun" of global warming, one of Britain's leading scientists believes.

The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Hurricanes were getting more intense, just as computer models predicted they would, because of the rising temperature of the sea, he said. "The increased intensity of these kinds of extreme storms is very likely to be due to global warming."

In a series of outspoken comments - a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration, Sir John hit out at neoconservatives in the US who still deny the reality of climate change.

Referring to the arrival of Hurricane Rita he said: "If this makes the climate loonies in the States realise we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation." As he spoke, more than a million people were fleeing north away from the coast of Texas as Rita, one of the most intense storms on record, roared through the Gulf of Mexico. It will probably make landfall tonight or early tomorrow near Houston, America's fourth largest city and the centre of its oil industry. Highways leading inland from Houston were clogged with traffic for up to 100 miles north.

There are real fears that Houston could suffer as badly from Rita just as New Orleans suffered from Hurricane Katrina less than a month ago.

Asked what conclusion the Bush administration should draw from two hurricanes of such high intensity hitting the US in quick succession, Sir John said: "If what looks like is going to be a horrible mess causes the extreme sceptics about climate change in the US to reconsider their opinion, that would be an extremely valuable outcome."

Asked about characterising them as "loonies", he said: "There are a group of people in various parts of the world ... who simply don't want to accept human activities can change climate and are changing the climate."

"I'd liken them to the people who denied that smoking causes lung cancer."

With his comments, Sir John becomes the third of the leaders of Britain's scientific establishment to attack the US over the Bush government's determination to cast doubt on global warming as a real phenomenon.

Sir John's comments follow and support recent research, much of it from America itself, showing that hurricanes are getting more violent and suggesting climate change is the cause.

A paper by US researchers, last week in the US journal Science, showed that storms of the intensity of Hurricane Katrina have become almost twice as common in the past 35 years.

Although the overall frequency of tropical storms worldwide has remained broadly level since 1970, the number of extreme category 4 and 5 events has sharply risen. In the 1970s, there was an average of about 10 category 4 and 5 hurricanes per year but, since 1990, they have nearly doubled to an average of about 18 a year. During the same period, sea surface temperatures, among the key drivers of hurricane intensity, have increased by an average of 0.5C (0.9F).

Sir John said: "Increasingly it looks like a smoking gun. It's a fair conclusion to draw that global warming, caused to a substantial extent by people, is driving increased sea surface temperatures and increasing the violence of hurricanes."


Rita gives me deja vu

Can anyone say deja vu? In a little over 12 hours Rita went from Cat 2 to Cat 5. Global warming or HAARP, it doesn't matter, we are headed for some rough times in murka....

Hurricane Rita strengthens to Category 5

Texas likely target; winds at 165 mph; 1.3 million on notice for evacuation

GALVESTON, Texas - Gaining strength with frightening speed, Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast as a Category 5, 165-mph monster Wednesday as more than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were sent packing on orders from authorities who learned a bitter lesson from Katrina.

“It’s scary. It’s really scary,” Shalonda Dunn said as she and her 5- and 9-year-old daughters waited to board a bus arranged by emergency authorities in Galveston. “I’m glad we’ve got the opportunity to leave. ... You never know what can happen.”

With Rita projected to hit Texas by Saturday, Gov. Rick Perry urged residents along the state’s entire coast to begin evacuating. And New Orleans braced for the possibility that the storm could swamp the stricken city all over again.

Galveston, low-lying parts of Corpus Christi and Houston, and mostly emptied-out New Orleans were under mandatory evacuation orders as Rita sideswiped the Florida Keys and began drawing energy with terrifying efficiency from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Between 2 a.m. and 4 p.m., it went from a 115-mph Category 2 to a 165-mph Category 5.

May reach historic proportions

Forecasters said Rita could be the most intense hurricane on record ever to hit Texas, and easily one of the most powerful ever to plow into the U.S. mainland. Category 5 is the highest on the scale, and only three Category 5 hurricanes are known to have hit the U.S. mainland — most recently, Andrew, which smashed South Florida in 1992.

Having seen what 145-mph Hurricane Katrina did three weeks ago, many people were taking no chances as Rita swirled its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

Fast-forming hurricanes puzzle meteorologists

So, what is it that is causing so much consternation? Is it global warming? Is it HAARP? Supposedly, HAARP gives the government control over the upper atmosphere and hurricanes are formed where? In the upper atmosphre. Whether or not global warming is man-made or natural, it is real and it is here. It's just that some people wish to ignore it. And they are very influential people!

The Sun-Sentinel
Posted September 20 2005

This year, hurricanes just aren't acting like they used to.

The major storms are bucking traditional patterns by forming in the western, rather than eastern, Atlantic Ocean. Instead of taunting worried residents for days, they materialize, it seems, overnight.

The trend has baffled scientists and ratcheted up panic levels for South Floridians.

"It's crazy," said Robin Wagner, 45, of Hollywood. "They come so quick. With Katrina, before we knew it, it was on us."

Hurricane Katrina swept through Broward and Miami-Dade counties last month as a Category 1 storm -- a scant two days after developing in the Caribbean. Storms typically come to life in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, often near Cape Verde, then pinwheel westward for several days, their ultimate course studied with dread speculation by those in its path.

This year's nine hurricanes have formed west of 55 degrees longitude, said meteorologist Jim Lushine of the National Weather Service in Miami-Dade County. Rita, for example, was but a soggy blob hardly worthy of notice on Saturday night. Sunday morning, it was a threat.

A speedy arrival can bedevil nervous homeowners, but overall it's a good thing.

"By forming farther west, they don't have quite the potential for strength as if they came all the way across" the ocean, Lushine said. "It hasn't had enough time to build up."

Hurricanes feed on warm water, but West Atlantic storms don't stick around long enough to be energized by the Caribbean's tepid currents. Like Katrina -- and Rita's expected track -- they can brush by or through Florida as weaklings, then spin into the Gulf of Mexico and bulk up into highly destructive Category 4 or 5 storms.

Why this season's storms are appearing so far west is a matter of speculation for forecasters.

Chris Landsea, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade, said, "It's not something we predicted, and I'm not sure it's something we can anticipate way in advance."

One comparable year was 1969, Landsea said, when 10 of 12 hurricanes formed west of 55 degrees longitude.

The ingredients needed for a hurricane -- warm water, an unstable atmosphere and lack of wind shear -- have been present in the western, not eastern, Atlantic this year. "Why further west? We don't know," Landsea said. [...]

Still, the appearance of an "instant hurricane" can unnerve homeowners used to having days to prepare.

"It makes people frantic," said Holly Markert, 28, a county employee from Fort Lauderdale. "We need more notice than this."

Besides compressing prep time, pop-up storms mean supplies come up short because stores don't have time to re-stock. More residents in the target zone lack the goods they need to endure floods or power outages.

"All of a sudden, all you've got is a day to prepare," complained Del Dacks, 37, of Fort Lauderdale. Broward emergency manager Tony Carper said: "Anytime you have less time to react and operationally to respond, it's a problem."

Not for Doreen Gargano, 61, who has a home in Fort Lauderdale and a boat in Islamorada.

"Once it's coming, you're moving quickly, you don't have time to think about it," she said. "When you watch it for days and days, I think it's really more nerve-racking."


The science of climate change

This is an article from the official Canadian Meteorological Service, so this is government approved data!!

Is Extreme Weather Becoming More Common?

Is the world’s weather becoming more extreme? So far, during the 1990s alone, the world has witnessed at least half a dozen floods of epic proportions in Canada and the United States, central Europe, and southern China as well as intense droughts in northern China, northern Vietnam, North Korea, and southern Europe. In 1993, the northeast coast of the United States received its biggest snowstorm in more than a century. At the end of 1996, it was the turn of Victoria, which was paralyzed by the biggest snowfall in its recorded weather history. Then, in January 1998, Canada’s worst-ever ice storm left the Montreal area and eastern Ontario without power for weeks. Western Europe, usually noted for the moderation of its climate, was pounded by four major storms in the winter of 1990. In 1987, southern England was hit by its worst storm since 1705. In 1995, heat waves killed more than 500 people in northern and central India and more than 550 in Chicago, numbers that pale in comparison, however, to the estimated 5,000­10,000 heat-related deaths that occurred in the central and eastern U.S. in the summer of 1980.

The sheer number of such events within the past two decades raises some serious questions about the current and future state of the global climate.
Are these events part of a long-term trend towards more extreme weather, or are they just a temporary aberration? Are they the result of purely natural forces? Or could they be linked in some way to climate change caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? The answers to these questions are vitally important. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events have the potential to cause death and destruction on a catastrophic scale. If they become more common, the costs to society will increase enormously. If these extremes are an inevitable consequence of greenhouse warming, then our current estimates of the impacts of climate change, serious as they are, will have been far too optimistic, and the need to make decisive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions will become even more pressing, as will the need to undertake increasingly expensive adaptive measures.

Is Extreme Weather Becoming More Common?

The number of extraordinarily severe floods, storms, and other weather calamities that have occurred within the past 15 to 20 years would seem to suggest that such events are becoming more common. Figures compiled by the world insurance industry, for example, show a dramatic increase in losses from weather-related disasters in recent decades. For all of the 1960s insured losses from windstorms amounted to $2.0 billion (in 1990 U.S. dollars) worldwide. By the 1980s that figure had crept up to $3.4 billion for the decade. In just the first three years of the 1990s, however, it leapt to $20.2 billion. Before 1987 a billion-dollar insurance loss from climate events was rare, but between January 1988 and January 1997 there were 23 such events in the United States alone. Canada has not yet had a billion dollar insurance loss from a weather disaster, although total costs (including insured and non-insured losses) for a few events, such as the 1996 Saguenay flood and the 1998 eastern ice storm, have exceeded this amount.

These figures certainly suggest a major rise in the number of destructive weather events, but cost alone is not necessarily an accurate indicator of climate trends. As well as being influenced by the number and severity of such events, costs also reflect the size and wealth of the population affected by them, and these numbers have been increasing as well. Two American researchers, Roger Pielke, Jr. and Christopher Landsea, for example, have suggested that increased damage costs from hurricanes in the U.S. can be attributed to three factors: inflation, population growth in vulnerable coastal areas, and the increasing prosperity of the people affected. When these factors are taken into account, they argue, the economic impact of hurricanes in the U.S. has actually declined in recent decades.

Apply the same kind of analysis to world losses from natural disasters as a whole, however, and the results are quite different. Data from Munich Re, one of the world’s largest re-insurance firms, show that direct economic losses (in 1992 U.S. dollars) from natural disasters worldwide increased by a factor of 43 between the last half of the 1960s and the first half of the 1990s. Global wealth (as measured by GDP), on the other hand, increased by a factor of 2.5 and population by 25%. That means that, with inflation already adjusted for by the use of constant dollars, economic growth and population increase account for less than a fourfold rise in these losses. Other population factors, such as migration to vulnerable areas, might well account for further losses, but it is unlikely that they could explain all of the remaining increase. Since by far the largest part of the increase in these losses was due to weather-related events, an increase in severe weather is a possibility that has to be looked at seriously.

Nevertheless, work completed in the last few years has shown the emergence of some significant regional trends, although no consistent pattern of change in weather extremes is yet apparent globally. The most reliable trends are those for temperature and precipitation (not surprisingly, since these are the most widely measured climate variables). Many parts of the world have shown a decrease in the occurrence of low temperature extremes, as would be expected in a warming climate. Surprisingly, though, there has not yet been a noticeable increase in high temperature extremes. The reason appears to be related to the tendency regions for winter temperatures to have increased more than summer temperatures and for overnight lows to have warmed more than daytime highs.

Temperature, therefore, has actually shown a lessening of extremes, at least so far, but a tendency towards more extreme precipitation is apparent across much of the land area of the Northern Hemisphere. Heavy rainfalls have increased in Japan, the United States, the former Soviet Union, China, and countries around the North Atlantic rim. Canadian records also reveal a trend towards heavier precipitation since 1940, although the increase has been mainly confined to the North.

Drought, on the other hand, has become more common since the 1970s in parts of Africa as well as along the coasts of Chile and Peru and in northeastern Australia. The North American prairies also saw an increase in drought during the 1980s, although these years were not as dry as either the 1930s or the 1950s.


Warming world blamed for strong hurricanes

Seems as though if we wanna play the blame game re Nola, we could look at who has refused to accept the reality of global warming. Methinks plenty of scientists have an opinion when the gubment says "We had no idea something like this could happen." How could you, when even the commander in chief has to ask for a bathroom break. What are we, in fifth grade Dubya?

Warming world blamed for more strong hurricanes

NewScientist.com news service
Fred Pearce

A massive global increase in the number of strong hurricanes over the past 35 years is being blamed on global warming, by the most detailed study yet. The US scientists warn that Katrina-strength hurricanes could become the norm.

Worldwide since the 1970s, there has been a near-doubling in the number of Category 4 and 5 storms – the strength that saw Hurricane Katrina do such damage to the US Gulf coastline late in August 2005.

Peter Webster of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, says the trend is global, has lasted over several decades and is connected to a steady worldwide increase in tropical sea temperatures. Because of all these factors, it is unlikely to be due to any known natural fluctuations in climate such as El Niño, the North Atlantic Oscillation or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

“We can say with confidence that the trends in sea surface temperatures and hurricane intensity are connected to climate change,” says Webster’s co-author Judy Curry, also of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The team looked at the incidence of intense tropical storms and the study results are the strongest affirmation yet that Katrina-level hurricanes are becoming more frequent in a warmer world.

Unnatural trend

The study finds there has been no general increase in the total number of hurricanes, which are called cyclones when they appear outside the Atlantic. Nor is there any evidence of the formation of the oft-predicted “super-hurricanes”. The worst hurricane in any year is usually no stronger than in previous years during the study period.

But the proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 or 5 – with wind speeds above 56 metres per second – has risen from 20% in the 1970s to 35% in the past decade.

“This trend has lasted for more than 30 years now. So the chances of it being natural are fairly remote,” says Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) at Boulder, Colorado

Moreover, says Webster, natural fluctuations tend to be localised. “When the east Pacific warms, the west Pacific cools, for instance. But sea surface temperatures are rising throughout the tropics today.” The surface waters in the tropical oceans are now around 0.5°C warmer during hurricane seasons than 35 years ago.

Satellite era

Hurricanes form when ocean temperatures rise above 26°C. “The fuel for hurricanes is water vapour evaporating from the ocean surface. It condenses in the air and releases heat, which drives the hurricane’s intensity,” says Webster.

“The tendency to Katrina-like hurricanes is increasing,” Holland says. Without the warmer sea-surface temperatures, “Katrina might only have been a category 2 or 3”.

Take for example this picture of the sst's of the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 27:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Is it not obvious that the intense heating of our oceans is fueling these deadly cyclones?

All the data for sea surface temperatures and hurricane numbers and intensities come from satellite data. “We deliberately limited this study to the satellite era because of the known biases [in the data] before this period,” says Webster.

This is the third report in recent months highlighting the growing risk to life and property round the world from hurricanes and tornadoes. In June, NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth reported a rising intensity of hurricanes in the North Atlantic.

And in August, Kerry Emanuel of MIT found a 50% increase in the destructive power of tropical storms in the past half century.

Journal reference: Science (vol 309, p 1844)


Mystery surrounds floodwall breaches

Interesting piece over at NOLA.com regarding the levee breaches. Indeed, this one will be subject to many conspiracy theories. That's what happens when there are more questions than answers...

Could a structural flaw be to blame?

By John McQuaid
Staff writer

One of the central mysteries emerging in the Hurricane Katrina disaster is why concrete floodwalls in three canals breached during the storm, causing much of the catastrophic flooding, while earthen hurricane levees surrounding the city remained intact.

It probably will take months to investigate and make a conclusive determination about what happened, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. But two Louisiana State University scientists who have examined the breaches suggest that a structural flaw in the floodwalls might be to blame.

"Why did we have no hurricane levee failures but five separate places with floodwall failures?" asked Joseph Suhayda, a retired LSU coastal engineer who examined the breaches last week. "That suggests there may be something about floodwalls that makes them more susceptible to failure. Did (the storm) exceed design conditions? What were the conditions? What about the construction?"

Ivor Van Heerden, who uses computer models to study storm-surge dynamics for the LSU Hurricane Center, has said that fragmentary initial data indicate that Katrina's storm-surge heights in Lake Pontchartrain would not have been high enough to top the canal walls and that a "catastrophic structural failure" occurred in the floodwalls.

Corps project manager Al Naomi said that the Corps' working theory is that the floodwalls were well-constructed, but once topped they gave way after water scoured their interior sides, wearing away their earth-packed bases. But he said some other problem could have caused the breaches.

"They could have been overtopped. There could have been some structural failure. They could have been impacted by some type of debris," Naomi said. "I don't think it's right to make some type of judgment now. It's like presuming the reason for a plane crash without recovering the black box."

Officials long had warned about the danger of levees being topped by high water from a storm surge. Absent topping, floodwalls are supposed to remain intact.

The floodwalls lining New Orleans canals consist of concrete sections attached to steel sheet pile drilled deep into the earth, fortified by a concrete and earthen base. The sections are joined with a flexible, waterproof substance.

Floodwalls were breached in the 17th Street Canal, at two places in the London Avenue Canal, and at two places in the Industrial Canal, Suhayda said. Naomi said last week that one of the Industrial Canal breaches likely was caused by a loose barge that broke through it.

Suhayda said that his inspection of the debris from the 17th Street Canal breach suggests the wall simply gave way. "It looks to have been laterally pushed, not scoured in back with dirt being removed in pieces," he said. "You can see levee material, some distance pushed inside the floodwall area, like a bulldozer pushed it."

He suggested that because the walls failed in a few spots, the flaw may not be in the design but in the construction or materials.

"Those sections in the rest of the wall should have been subjected to the same forces as that section that failed," he said. "Why did one side fail, not the other side?"

Drainage canals typically are lined with floodwalls instead of the wider earthen levees that protect the lakefront because of a lack of space, engineers say.

"It's a right-of-way issue," Naomi said. "Usually, there are homes right up against the canal. You have to relocate five miles of homes (to build a levee), or you can build a floodwall."

Constructing a more expensive earthen levee also would require building farther out into the canal itself, reducing the size of the canal - and the volume of water it could handle.

Naomi said that an earthen levee also could have been breached if the surge had pushed water over the top. "A levee failure might be more gradual than with a floodwall," he said. "It means you may have flooded a little slower."

The central question for engineers investigating the breaches will be whether the floodwalls were topped - and that's still unclear.

The levee system, floodwalls included, is designed to protect against an average storm surge of 11.5 feet above sea level. The Corps adds several more feet of "freeboard" to account for waves and other dynamics.

Naomi said the Industrial Canal floodwalls were topped by water coming in from the east. But scientists don't yet know exactly whether Katrina's Lake Pontchartrain surge was high enough to go over the wall in the two other canals.

Many storm surge gauges stopped functioning during the storm, LSU climatologist Barry Keim, though initial data point to a mi-lake height of eight or nine feet. Heights typically are higher at the Lakefront area because wind pushes water higher against the levees.

Suhayda said the debris line on the lakefront levee adjacent to the canal was "several feet" below the top. The levees are 17 or 18 feet high in that area. The canal levees, however, average only 14 feet. Storm surges have waves and other dynamics that push water still higher than the average height.

"There are big implications for as little as a one-foot change in elevation" of the storm surge, Suhayda said.

If the water did not top the levees, the breaches could prove more mysterious. Typically, the pounding of wave action would be the most likely way to cause a breach, scientists say. But there isn't much wave action in canals.

"Waves constantly breaking on the structure start to erode it and make it become unstable," said LSU coastal geologist Greg Stone, who studies storm-surge dynamics. "But I don't think that was a major factor in the canals. You just don't have the (open area) to allow wave growth to occur."


Katrina hits conspiracy status

An excellent summary of the available data re Katrina from AlterNet

8 Big Lies About Katrina
By Jeremy Schulman and Raphael Schweber-Koren, Media Matters for America. Posted September 9, 2005.

Big Media has given ample space for administration officials and conservatives to spread falsehoods about relief efforts.

In the past week, Bush administration officials and conservative commentators have repeatedly used the national media to spread misinformation about the federal government's widely criticized response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

1. Bush: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"

On the Sept. 1 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America, President Bush told host Diane Sawyer, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that protected New Orleans from flooding. As Media Matters for America has noted, Sawyer did not challenge Bush's claim, despite numerous, repeated warnings by government officials, experts and the media that a major hurricane could cause levee breaches resulting in catastrophic flooding. A September 2 New York Times front-page article repeated Bush's false claim without challenge -- even though a Times editorial the same day declared, "Disaster planners were well aware that New Orleans could be flooded by the combined effects of a hurricane and broken levees."

A Sept. 5 CNN.com article reported that Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff falsely told reporters that "planners" did not predict a breach of the levees that would flood the city. As CNN.com reported, Chertoff said, "That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight." But unlike the Times, CNN.com noted that "officials have warned for years that a Category 4 [hurricane] could cause the levees to fail." The CNN.com article added that in an August 31 interview on CNN's Larry King Live, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Michael Brown said, "That Category 4 hurricane caused the same kind of damage that we anticipated. So we planned for it two years ago. Last year, we exercised it. And unfortunately this year, we're implementing it." But in the same Larry King Live interview, Brown responded to complaints that rescue efforts were not moving quickly enough by insisting, "And I must say this storm is much, much bigger than anyone expected."

Additionally, as journalist Joshua Micah Marshall noted on Talking Points Memo, National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield "talked about the force of Katrina during a video conference call to President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas" on August 28 [St. Petersburg Times, 8/30/05]. The Washington Post quoted Mayfield on September 6: "They knew that this one was different. ... I don't think Mike Brown or anyone else in FEMA could have any reason to have any problem with our calls. ... They were told ... We said the levees could be topped."

2. Chertoff strained credulity in defense of Bush, claimed levee breaks and massive flooding came as a surprise -- more than 12 hours after local media reported them

On Sept. 4, Chertoff appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and attempted to explain Bush's discredited claim that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." After host Tim Russert asked Chertoff how the president could "be so wrong, be so misinformed," Chertoff suggested that Bush had been referring to newspaper reports the morning after the storm that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet" because the eye of the storm had passed to the east of the city. But more than 12 hours before the appearance of those headlines in print, a post on the weblog of the New Orleans Times-Picayune -- dated August 29, 2 p.m. CT -- reported, "City Hall confirmed a breach of the levee along the 17th Street Canal at Bellaire Drive, allowing water to spill into Lakeview." This initial report on the Times-Picayune weblog was followed throughout the afternoon and evening of August 29 by reports of other levee breaks and massive flooding.

While Chertoff said he recognized that the city's levee system failed sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning -- in fact, the first breaks occurred earlier, as noted above and as Think Progress noted in its detailed Hurricane Katrina timeline -- he insisted that "it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake [Pontchartrain] was going to start to drain into the city." According to Chertoff, this "second catastrophe really caught everybody by surprise" and was a major reason for the delay in the government's emergency response.

Questioning Chertoff further, Russert pointed out that the Times-Picayune published a five-part series in June 2002, in which it warned that if a large hurricane hit New Orleans, the city's levees would likely be topped or broken -- resulting in catastrophic flooding and thousands of deaths. Russert added that "last summer FEMA, who reports to you, and the LSU Hurricane Center, and local and state officials did a simulated Hurricane Pam in which the levees broke. ... Thousands drowned."

Chertoff then clarified, "What I said was not that we didn't anticipate that there's a possibility the levees will break. What I said was, in this storm, what happened is, the storm passed and passed without the levees breaking on Monday. Tuesday morning, I opened newspapers and saw headlines that said 'New Orleans Dodged the Bullet,' which surprised people. What surprised them was that the levee broke overnight and the next day and, in fact, collapsed. That was a surprise."

Even accepting as true Chertoff's incredible suggestion that he -- the secretary of Homeland Security -- and the president of the United States relied on the print media for their information on the situation in New Orleans, as Think Progress points out, had administration officials "bothered to read the full text of the three articles they found with favorable headlines, they would have realized that federal government help was needed immediately." Moreover, while Chertoff did not indicate which headlines he was referring to, many newspapers -- in addition to the Times-Picayune -- did report on broken levees and significant flooding. For example, on August 30, the Los Angeles Times reported that a levee break had occurred by late morning August 29, with water from the break "spill[ing] through the area, flooding the town's two main shelters and swamping the local National Guard armory, leaving even public safety officials homeless."

Or Chertoff could have turned on the television. On the August 30 broadcast of NBC's Today, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reported at 7:05 a.m. ET, "There has been a huge development overnight ... the historic French Quarter, dry last night and it is now filling with water. This is water from nearby Lake Pontchartrain; the levees failed overnight."

Indeed, Chertoff's and Bush's professed ignorance notwithstanding, the federal government was well aware of the continuing threat of the levees breaking. Just hours after the storm passed on Monday, August 29, FEMA director Brown confirmed that the potential for catastrophic flooding remained. In an interview with Brown, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer noted, "In New Orleans, in particular, they're worried about the levees giving way or the canals not holding, and they're worried about toxic runoff." Brown responded that even though the storm had weakened, there was still a 15- to 20-foot storm surge causing "the water out of Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf and the Mississippi continue to converge upon Louisiana." Brown added, "So we're still ready for a major disaster."

3. Brown: "We've provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they've gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day"

On the Sept. 2 broadcast of NBC's Today, FEMA director Brown told host Katie Couric, "We've provided food to the people at the [New Orleans' Morial] Convention Center so that they've gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day." Couric did not challenge this statement.

But on Sept. 1, NBC News photojournalist Tony Zumbado reported on MSNBC Live:

ZUMBADO: I can't put it into words the amount of destruction that is in this city and how these people are coping. They are just left behind. There is nothing offered to them. No water, no ice, no C-rations, nothing, for the last four days. They were told to go to the convention center. They did, they've been behaving. It's unbelievable how organized they are, how supportive they are of each other. They have not started any melees, any riots. They just want food and support. And what I saw there I've never seen in this country. We need to really look at this situation at the convention center. It's getting very, very crazy in there and very dangerous. Somebody needs to come down with a lot of food and a lot of water.

4. Chertoff: "Apparently, some time on Wednesday, people started to go to the convention center spontaneously"

On the Sept. 1 edition of CNN's Paula Zahn Now, Brown claimed, "Every person in that convention center, we just learned about that today [Thursday, September 1]." During a September 4 interview with Chertoff on CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, host Blitzer replayed Brown's comments. In response, Chertoff said:

CHERTOFF: Well, I mean, this is clearly something that was disturbing. It was disturbing to me when I learned about it, which came as a surprise. You know, the very day that this emerged in the press, I was on a video conference with all the officials, including state and local officials. And nobody -- none of the state and local officials or anybody else -- was talking about a convention center. The original plan, as I understand it, was to have the Superdome be the place of refuge, of last resort. Apparently, some time on Wednesday, people started to go to the convention center spontaneously.

Chertoff's claim that hurricane survivors sought refuge in the convention center under their own initiative echoed his September 4 Meet the Press interview, in which he suggested, "We became aware of the fact at some point that people began to go to the convention center on their own, spontaneously, in order to shelter there." Chertoff's statements were false, but neither Blitzer nor Russert challenged them.

Though scenes of thousands of hurricane victims awaiting water, food, and buses at the convention center were not broadcast on television until Thursday, Sept. 1, Chertoff and Brown would have had access to media reports about the convention center before then. As early as Aug. 29, Times-Picayune staff writer Bruce Nolan wrote an article for the Newhouse News Service in which he reported, "City officials said they might open the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as a temporary refuge to shelter an estimated 50,000 people made homeless by the storm." Nolan's article appeared in the Times-Picayune on August 30.

Beginning Aug. 31, other reports of survivors at the convention center emerged:

* Knight Ridder, Aug. 31: "Derwin DeGruy had been kicked out of two hotels, the first on Sunday right before the storm hit, and the second one on Tuesday morning after it hit. He and about 50 other people found makeshift shelter on a ramp leading to the mall and parking garage at the New Orleans Convention Center. They rigged places for people to go to the bathroom, pooled their water for the babies, placed some blankets on the concrete and decided to wait and see what happened."

* Associated Press, August 31: "The 37-year-old banker -- who admitted to looting some food from a nearby supermarket -- said the hotel guests were told they were being taken to a convention center, but from there, they didn't know."

* Associated Press, Aug. 31: "After several hours, a small fleet of rented moving trucks showed up to take the people to the downtown convention center so they could be taken out of the city. Police herded people up metal ramps like cattle into the unrefrigerated boxes."

By Sept. 1, when Brown claimed FEMA first learned about the situation at the convention center, TV networks were broadcasting footage of thousands of survivors waiting for water, food, and evacuation buses. Despite Chertoff's later insistence that New Orleans residents "spontaneously" converged on the convention center, the September 1 broadcast of ABC's Nightline included footage of a law enforcement official instructing survivors to go there:

SURVIVOR: Ain't nobody helping us.


SURVIVOR: No, ain't nobody doing anything for us.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL: Y'all got to go to the convention center.

5. Chertoff pointed fingers: "New Orleans officials and the state officials ... called for the Superdome to be the refuge of last resort"

In his Sept. 4 interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Chertoff attempted to place blame for the conditions at the Superdome solely with state and local officials. Chertoff asserted, "My understanding is, and again this is something that's going to go back -- we're going to go back over after the fact -- is the plan that the New Orleans officials and the state officials put together called for the Superdome to be the refuge of last resort."

But this claim is misleading at best. As The Washington Post reported on September 3, a FEMA official acknowledged participating in meetings in which the plan to use the Superdome as a shelter for thousands of evacuees was discussed:

Brown, the agency's director, told reporters Saturday in Louisiana that he did not have a sense of what was coming last weekend.

"I was here on Saturday and Sunday, it was my belief, I'm trying to think of a better word than typical -- that minimizes, any hurricane is bad -- but we had the standard hurricane coming in here, that we could move in immediately on Monday and start doing our kind of response-recovery effort," he said. "Then the levees broke, and the levees went, you've seen it by the television coverage. That hampered our ability, made it even more complex."

But other officials said they warned well before Monday about what could happen. For years, said another senior FEMA official, he had sat at meetings where plans were discussed to send evacuees to the Superdome. "We used to stare at each other and say, 'This is the plan? Are you really using the Superdome?' People used to say, what if there is water around it? They didn't have an alternative," he recalled.

Moreover, the plan to use the Superdome as a shelter for evacuees was widely known. The 2002 Times-Picayune series on the potential for a catastrophic hurricane reported that of the estimated 200,000 New Orleans residents who would likely remain in the city, "[s]ome will be housed at the Superdome, the designated shelter in New Orleans for people too sick or infirm to leave the city."

6. Chertoff falsely minimized federal government's role in Katrina response as subordinate to states

The Bush administration has responded to criticism of its role in the Katrina disaster by attempting to deflect blame onto state and local officials in Louisiana [The New York Times, 9/5/05 ]. One way they are doing that is to claim that the federal government's role in a natural disaster of this magnitude is to provide support to state and local governments and work at their behest. Conservative media figures immediately fell into line, echoing the administration's claim that the federal government's role was subordinate. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security's December 2004 National Response Plan clearly indicates that in these situations, the federal government will pre-empt state and local efforts and provide immediate assistance to the affected area.

On Sept. 1, two days after the levees were breached, Chertoff, at a press conference announcing the start of "National Preparedness Month 2005," characterized the federal role in response to Katrina as that of providing support to state and local officials: "The Department of Homeland Security will continue to work with federal, state and local partners to support efforts on the ground in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. We are working tirelessly to make sure that federal resources are being applied where they are needed all across the Gulf" [Federal News Service, 9/1/05].

But on Sept. 2, Chertoff told reporters that the situation had changed and that federal agencies would now take over the primary role: "The fact of the matter is, this set of catastrophes has broken any mold for how you deal with this kind of weather devastation, and so we're going to break the mold in terms of how we respond. The federal government is not going to play merely its customary role in giving all necessary support to first responders. The federal government is going to step up and take a primary role, working with state and locals to deal with the outcome of this tragedy." [National Public Radio, 9/3/05]

But Chertoff's Sept. 1 statement ignored the administration's own homeland security response plan, which directed the federal government to act on its own authority to quickly provide assistance and conduct emergency operations following a major catastrophe, pre-empting state and local authorities if necessary. According to DHS' December 2004 National Response Plan (NRP), "catastrophic events," such as what occurred in New Orleans, call for heightened and "proactive" federal involvement to manage the disaster. The response plan listed "guiding principles" to govern the response to these major events. The "Guiding Principles for Proactive Federal Response" make clear that, in these "catastrophic" cases, the federal government will operate independently to provide assistance, rather than simply supporting or cajoling state authorities:

* The primary mission is to save lives; protect critical infrastructure, property, and the environment; contain the event; and preserve national security.

* Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited or, under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of catastrophic magnitude.

* Identified Federal response resources will deploy and begin necessary operations as required to commence life-safety activities.

* Notification and full coordination with States will occur, but the coordination process must not delay or impede the rapid deployment and use of critical resources. States are urged to notify and coordinate with local governments regarding a proactive Federal response.

* State and local governments are encouraged to conduct collaborative planning with the Federal Government as a part of "steady-state" preparedness for catastrophic incidents."

The NRP also says that, when responding to a catastrophic incident, the federal government should start emergency operations even in the absence of clear assessment of the situation. "A detailed and credible common operating picture may not be achievable for 24 to 48 hours (or longer) after the incident," the NRP's "Catastrophic Annex" states. "As a result, response activities must begin without the benefit of a detailed or complete situation and critical needs assessment."

A Sept. 5 Los Angeles Times article quoted former FEMA chief of staff Jane Bullock saying that "[t]he moment the president declared a federal disaster [on Aug 29], it became a federal responsibility. ... The federal government took ownership over the response." Moreover, DHS' own website declares that DHS "will assume primary responsibility on March 1st [2005] for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort."

7. Wash. Post, Newsweek, Gingrich falsely claimed that Blanco did not declare a state of emergency

In recent days, two news articles falsely reported that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco had failed to declare a state of emergency, which had supposedly hampered the federal response. An article in the Sept. 13 edition of Newsweek claimed that "Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco seemed uncertain and sluggish, hesitant to declare martial law or a state of emergency, which would have opened the door to more Pentagon help." Likewise, a Sept. 4 Washington Post article incorrectly claimed that "As of Saturday [Sept. 3], Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency," citing an anonymous senior Bush administration official. (The Washington Post's article was later corrected, although Newsweek has yet to correct its article.) Fox News political analyst Newt Gingrich repeated the point on the September 5 O'Reilly Factor, saying, "As you [O'Reilly] point out, the governor [Blanco] failed to call the emergency. And initially, it was the governor who had to call an emergency." In fact, as the Post later noted, Blanco declared a state of emergency (PDF) on August 26.

8. Gingrich falsely claimed that Nagin could "have kept water pumped out" of city had he ensured that pumps worked

On the Sept. 5 O'Reilly Factor, Gingrich also claimed that if New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin had been able to keep the New Orleans pumps working, the flood waters could have been pumped out of the city. "[F]irst of all, the mayor of New Orleans had a real obligation to make sure the four pumps could work. Three of them didn't. It would have kept water pumped out." In fact, New Orleans has 22 "notoriously fickle" pumping stations, according to an Aug. 31 New York Times article. The Times also reported that, according to Dr. Shea Penland, a coastal geologist, "When the pumping systems are in good shape, it can rain an inch an hour for about four to six hours and the pumps can keep pace. More than that, the city floods." The Times also noted that "[e]fforts to add backup power generators to keep [the pumps] all running during blackouts have been delayed by a lack of federal money."

A June 2002 Times-Picayune article, part of a series exploring the probable consequences of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans, indicated that New Orleans' pumps would have been overwhelmed by the rapidly rising floodwaters:

Soon waves will start breaking over the levee.

"All of a sudden you'll start seeing flowing water. It'll look like a weir, water just pouring over the top," [Louisiana State University engineer Joseph] Suhayda said. The water will flood the lakefront, filling up low-lying areas first, and continue its march south toward the river. There would be no stopping or slowing it; pumping systems would be overwhelmed and submerged in a matter of hours.

"Another scenario is that some part of the levee would fail," Suhayda said. "It's not something that's expected. But erosion occurs, and as levees broke, the break will get wider and wider. The water will flow through the city and stop only when it reaches the next higher thing. The most continuous barrier is the south levee, along the river. That's 25 feet high, so you'll see the water pile up on the river levee."

Jeremy Schulman and Raphael Schweber-Koren are members of the research department at Media Matters for America.


Katrina protest song

Found this at Boing Boing

The internets have had their way with Kanye West's new single "Gold Digger." An ass-kicking protest remix is now online at FWMJ -- it features Kanye's infamous "George Bush doesn't care are about black people" quote, and skewers the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

Five days in this motherfucking attic
I can't use the cellphone I keep getting static
Dying 'cause they lying instead of telling us the truth (...)
Screwed 'cause they say they're coming back for us, too
but that was three days ago and I don't see no rescue(...)

Swam to the store, tryin' to look for food
Corner store's kinda flooded so I broke my way through
Got what I could but before I got through
News say the police shot a black man trying to loot

Link to "George Bush Don't Like Black People" MP3 (8.7MB). Mirror.

Remixed by The Legendary K.O, Words by Big Mon and Damien a/k/a Dem Knock-Out Boyz.

Tesla, cellphones, and weather

Found this at Engadget

Posted Aug 5, 2005, 10:20 AM ET by Ryan Block

Cellphones in the Tube

We’re always a little wary of that very blurry line between protection of the general public and infringements on basic civil liberties, but it would appear that according to the Financial Times by way of the Guardian, at least one UK cellphone carrier not only has the power (and mandate) to remotely install software over the air to users’ handsets that would allow for the kind of monitoring we thought only perverts and paranoiacs had access to: picking up audio from the phone’s mic when the device isn’t on a call. While don’t think the backlash on this one has really gotten underway yet, and though we do hate to rock a cliché, we can’t help but be reminded of that classic Benjamin Franklin quote, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” What’s worse, a cellphone carrier and The Man are gonna take it from us without our permission on the sly?

[end of article]

So the prevailing thought is then, to really prevent against gov snooping, take out the battery, wait five minutes, and then continue with any sensitive discussions that may be taking place. Reading through the comments at the link, many people have said this technology has been around for a while. You can even have your phone turned off and they can still listen in. Unless you're in one of those steel cages. Why wait five minutes? Even though the battery is off, there is still power running through the hardware. Just like you can get zapped by TV's and computers that are not plugged in, the same thing occurs here.

So remember, your cell that never leaves your bag/hip/pocket is operating essentially as a microphone.

Comment from a friend:
Think about this....the technology to make cell phones has existed for 115 years! It was invented by Nikola Tesla in 1891! In fact everything we consider to be "modern technology" has been being perfected for almost a hundred years!!!

Tesla had a plan to give FREE power to anyone in the world capable of installing a metal rod into the ground in 1910, but was sabotaged by both J.P. Morgan (International Banker) and Continental Edison (Tom 'EVIL' Edison, and his cronies).

Nikola used to sit in his Laboratory in Colorado, and create 10,000 megawatt lighting storms....just for fun. He determined the exact frequency of the planets harmonic convergence, a means by which anti-gravity power became a reality. In 1911, he flew the worlds first flying 'saucer', utilizing his new technology.

Tesla also wrote the plans on 'weather modification' and designed a real working antennal array, to manipulate weather patterns from any stationary spot on the planet.


That last one, weather modification, well whattya know. There is plenty of I-net discussion about whether or not Hurricane Katrina was created artificially. Weather manipulation is not very new to the government either...
Hijacked from Signs of the Times
"The U.S. and other world powers should sign a treaty to outlaw the tampering with weather as an instrument of war. It may seem far fetched to think of using weather as a weapon -- but I'm convinced that the U.S. did, in fact, use rainmaking techniques as a weapon of war in Southeast Asia."
- "United States and Other World Powers Should Outlaw Tampering With Weather for Use as War Weapon", Editorial by Senator Claiborne Pell, D-Rhode Island, The Providence Journal Bulletin, 1975.

"To preserve the cooperative, peaceful uses of space for the benefit of all humankind by permanently prohibiting the basing of weapons in space by the United States, and to require the President to take action to adopt and implement a world treaty banning space-based weapons. The term 'exotic weapons systems' includes weapons designed to damage space or natural ecosystems (such as the ionosphere and upper atmosphere) or climate, weather, and tectonic systems with the purpose of inducing damage or destruction upon a target population or region on earth or in space. Such terms include exotic weapons systems such as--chemical, biological, environmental, climate, or tectonic weapons."
- 'Space Preservation Act of 2001', H. R. 2977 107th Congress, 1st Session, October 2, 2001

"Some countries...are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that's why this is so important."
- Secretary of Defense William Cohen speaking at an April 1997 terrorism conference at the University of Georgia, revealing the existence of weather weapons

"Weather-modification offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary... In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at various levels."
- Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report

"Technology will make available, to the leaders of major nations, techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare minimum of the security forces need be appraised... Techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm."
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser, Between Two Ages, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992)

"It's as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by the worst kind of weapon you can imagine.''
- President George Bush, commenting on the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, from a Coast Guard Hanger in Mobile, Alabama, 9-2-05


Fema knew

Brownie is a liar! Everyone knows about the San Andreas fault and its implications, how long have people been talking about Cali falling into the ocean? But did we ever hear of a possible catastrophic hurricane in Nola? Not nationally....

California Earthquake Could Be the Next Katrina

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones remembers attending an emergency training session in August 2001 with the Federal Emergency Management Agency that discussed the three most likely catastrophes to strike the United States.

First on the list was a terrorist attack in New York. Second was a super-strength hurricane hitting New Orleans. Third was a major earthquake on the San Andreas fault.

Now that the first two have come to pass, she and other earthquake experts are using the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to reassess how California would handle a major temblor.


Northern Command was prepared, but not Bush

Asked why Northcom hadn't reponded to Hurricane Katrina more quickly, Lt. Kelly, a Pentagon spokesman for Northern Command, accidentally told the truth:

Northcom started planning before the storm even hit....We had the USS Bataan sailing almost behind the hurricane so once the hurricane made landfall, its search and rescue helicopters could be available almost immediately So, we had things ready.

The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can't just act in this fashion; we have to wait for the president to give us permission.

So why didn't the president issue the orders? He was too busy strummin his guitar and cutting John McCain's cake! Bush - for the Haves. The Have-Nots? Like Kanye West says, Bush does not care about those people. Kudos to Kanye for saying to hell with the script. Every damn person in this country now knows who Bush really is.

It's as clear as day!

The BBC video is here.


Russert grills Chertoff over lack of response

Here is the snippet from Meet the Press, thanks Driss for the heads up on this one, I'm told it was even better to watch. Good to see the MSM finally being real journalists. Kinda weird at the same time, feels a bit surreal.

from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9179790/

MR. RUSSERT: Now, let's turn to Hurricane Katrina. Joining us is the man in charge of the federal response to the disaster, the director of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff.

Mr. Secretary, this is yesterday's Daily News: "Shame Of A Nation." And I want to read it to you and our viewers very carefully. It says, "As for Chertoff, if this is the best his department can do, the homeland is not very secure at all. It is absolutely outrageous that the United States of America could not send help to tens of thousands of forlorn, frightened, sick and hungry human beings at least 24 hours before it did, arguably longer than that. Who is specifically at fault for what is nothing less than a national scandal... It will never be known exactly what a day could have meant to so many unfortunates whose lives came to an end in those hopelessly tortured hours--on scorching roadsides, for lack of a swallow of water, in sweltering hospital bads, for lack of insulin. But what is already more than clear is that the nation's disaster-preparedness mechanisms do not appear to be in the hands of officials who know how to run them."

Mr. Secretary, are you or anyone who reports to you contemplating resignation?

SEC'Y MICHAEL CHERTOFF: You know, Tim, what we're contemplating now is the fact that we are very, very much in the middle of a crisis. There's a bit of a sense that you get that some people think it's now time to draw a sigh of relief and go back and do the after-action analysis, and there'll be plenty of time for that. We obviously need to look very closely at things that worked well, and many things did work well, and some things that didn't work well, and some things did not work well.

But we have to remember that we have an enormous challenge ahead of us, and there's not a lot of time to get ahead of it. We have basically moved the population of New Orleans to other parts of the country, or we're in the process of doing so. We've got to feed them. We've got to shelter the people. We've got to get them housing. We've got to educate their children. We have to dewater the city. We have to clean up the environment. We're going to have to rebuild. Those are enormous, enormous tasks, and we can't afford to get those messed up.

So what I'm focused on now and what I want my department--in fact, what the president has ordered all of us to be focused on now--is: What do we need to do in the next hours, in the next days, in the next weeks and the next months to make sure we are doing everything possible to give these people succor and to make their lives easier?


SEC'Y CHERTOFF: We will have time to go back and do an after-action report, but the time right now is to look at what the enormous tasks ahead are.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, many Americans believe now is the time for accountability. The Republican governor of Massachusetts said, "We are an embarrassment to the world." The Republican senator from Louisiana, David Vitter, said that you deserve a grade of F, flunk. How would you grade yourself?

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: You know, Tim, again I'm going to--the process of grading myself and grading everybody else is one that we will examine over time. I will tell you that my focus now is on what is going to go forward. What would really be--require a grade of F would be to stop thinking about the crisis we have now so that we can start to go back and do the after-action analysis. There are some things that actually worked very well. There are some things that didn't. We may have to break the model that we have used for dealing with catastrophes, at least in the case of ultra-catastrophes.

And let me tell you, Tim, there is nobody who has ever seen or dealt with a catastrophe on this scale in this country. It has never happened before. So no matter what the planning was in advance, we were presented with an unprecedented situation. Obviously, we're going to want to learn about that. I'll tell you something I said when I--a month ago before this happened. I said that I thought that we need to build a preparedness capacity going forward that we have not yet succeeded in doing. That clearly remains the case, and we will in due course look at what we've done here and incorporate it into the planning. But first we are going to make sure we are attending to the crisis at hand.

MR. RUSSERT: So no heads will roll?

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: Tim, in due course, if people want to go and chop heads off, there'll be an opportunity to do it. The question I would put to people is what do you want to have us spend our time on now? Do we want to make sure we are feeding, sheltering, housing and educating those who are distressed, or do we want to begin the process of finger-pointing? I know that as far as I'm concerned I have got to be focused on, and everybody else in this government, and the president has made this very clear, we have got to focus on moving forward to deal with some very real emergencies which are going to be happening in the next days and weeks because of the fact that we have to deal with an unprecedented movement of evacuees.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Vitter, the Republican from Louisiana, said the death toll could reach 10,000 because of the lack of response. Do you agree with that number?

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: You know, I understand first of all, Tim, that--and I'm clearly including myself among this group--many, many people are frustrated and very distressed by what happened here. Obviously, every minute matters in a situation like this. I think I said that we are racing the clock. But even with that sense of frustration and being upset, I don't think that I'm in a position to start to speculate and guess about what the numbers will be.

I will tell you one thing I know, that when we come to the point that we've completed the evacuation, we're going to start dewatering the city--in fact, it's under way now--we're going to confront some very, very ugly pictures. Many people may have been trapped when that levee broke, and the lake basically became, you know, part of the city of New Orleans. People were trapped in their houses and couldn't get out. Some of those people fortunately apparently were able to be safe and are coming out now.

We rescued 10,000 people, the Coast Guard did. That's three times as many as in any prior year. Think about that. That's an--that is compressing in three days the rescue efforts of--three times the rescue efforts of any prior year. There were some extraordinary actions that were taken by people at all levels, including people at the Department of Homeland Security where the Coast Guard is. So we have worked very aggressively, but we got to tell you, we have to prepare the country for what may be some very, very difficult pictures in the weeks to come.

MR. RUSSERT: People were stunned by a comment the president of the United States made on Wednesday, Mr. Secretary. He said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." How could the president be so wrong, be so misinformed?

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: Well, I think if you look at what actually happened, I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, "New Orleans Dodged The Bullet," because if you recall the storm moved to the east and then continued on and appeared to pass with considerable damage but nothing worse. It was on Tuesday that the levee--may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday--that the levee started to break. And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was going to start to drain into the city. I think that second catastrophe really caught everybody by surprise. In fact, I think that's one of the reasons people didn't continue to leave after the hurricane had passed initially. So this was clearly an unprecedented catastrophe. And I think it caused a tremendous dislocation in the response effort and, in fact, in our ability to get materials to people.

And one last point I'd make is this, Tim. We had actually prestaged a tremendous number of supplies, meals, shelter, water. We had prestaged, even before the hurricane, dozens of Coast Guard helicopters, which were obviously nearby but not in the area. So the difficulty wasn't lack of supplies. The difficulty was that when the levee broke, it was very, very hard to get the supplies to the people. I-10 was submerged. There was only one significant road going all the way the way around. Much of the city was flooded. The only way to get to people and to get supplies was to have airdrops and helicopters. And frankly, it is very--and their first priority was rescuing people from rooftops. So we really had a tremendous strain on the capacity of--to be able to both rescue people and also to be able to get them supplies.

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Secretary, you say prestaged. People were sent to the Convention Center. There was no water, no food, no beds, no authorities there. There was no planning.

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: My understanding is, and again this is something that's going to go back--we're going to go back over after the fact is--the plan that the New Orleans officials and the state officials put together called for the Superdome to be the refuge of last resort. We became aware of the fact at some point that people began to go to the Convention Center on their own, spontaneously, in order to shelter there. And I think it's for that reason that people found themselves without food and water and supplies. The challenge then became...

MR. RUSSERT: Well, Mr. Secretary, you said--hold on. Mr. Secretary, there was no food or water at the Superdome, either. And I want to stay on this because...

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: Well, my understanding--well...

MR. RUSSERT: I want to stay on this because this is very important. You said you were surprised by the levee being broken. In 2002, The Times-Picayune did story after story--and this is eerie; this is what they wrote and how they predicted what was going to happen. It said, and I'll read it very carefully: "...A major hurricane could decimate the region, but flooding from even a moderate storm could kill thousands. It's just a matter of time. ... The scene's been played out for years in computer models or emergency operations simulations... New Orleans has hurricane levees that create a bowl with the bottom dipping lower than the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain. ...the levees would trap any water that gets inside-- by breach, overtopping or torrential downpour--catastrophic storm. ... The estimated 200,000 or more people left behind in an evacuation will be struggling to survive. Some will be housed at the Superdome, the designated shelter for people too sick or inform to leave the city. ...But many will simply be on their own, in homes or looking for high ground. Thousands will drown while trapped in homes or cars by rising water. Other will be washed away or crushed by debris. Survivors will end up trapped on roofs, in buildings or on high ground surrounded by water, with no means of escape and little food or fresh water, perhaps for several days."

That was four years ago. And last summer FEMA, who reports to you, and the LSU Hurricane Center, and local and state officials did a simulated Hurricane Pam in which the levees broke
. The levees broke, Mr. Secretary, and people--thousands...

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: Actually, Tim, that...

MR. RUSSERT: Thousands drowned.

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: Tim, I had...

MR. RUSSERT: There's a CD which is in your department and the White House has it and the president, and you are saying, "We were surprised that the levees may not hold." How could this be?

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: No, Tim, I have to tell you, that's not what I said. You have to listen to what I said. What I said was not that we didn't anticipate that there's a possibility the levees will break. What I said is in this storm, what happened is the storm passed and passed without the levees breaking on Monday. Tuesday morning, I opened newspapers and saw headlines that said "New Orleans Dodged The Bullet," which surprised people. What surprised them was that the levee broke overnight and the next day and, in fact, collapsed. That was a surprise.

As to the larger point, there's no question that people have known for probably decades that New Orleans sits in a bowl surrounded by levees. This is a city built on the coast in an area that has hurricanes in it that is built below sea levels and that is a soup bowl. People have talked for years about, you know, whether it makes sense to have a city like that, how to build the levees. So, of course, that's not a surprise. What caught people by surprise in this instance was the fact that there was a second wave, and that, as The Times-Picayune article makes very clear, creates an almost apocalyptic challenge for rescuers.

The fact of the matter is, there's only really one way to deal with that issue, and that is to get people out first. Once that bowl breaks and that soup bowl fills with water, it is unquestionably the case, as we saw vividly demonstrated, that it's going to be almost impossible to get people out. So there is really only one way to deal with it, and that is to evacuate people in advance.

Michael Brown got on TV in Saturday and he said to people in New Orleans, "Take this seriously. There is a storm coming." On Friday there was discussion about the fact that even though this storm could fall anywhere along the Gulf, people had to be carefully monitoring it. We were watching it on Saturday and Sunday. The president was on a videoconference on Sunday telling us we've got to do everything possible to be prepared. But you know, Tim, at the end of the day, this is the ground truth: The only way to avoid a catastrophic problem in that soup bowl is to have people leave before the hurricane hits. Those who got out are fine. Those who stayed in faced one of the most horrible experiences in their life.

MR. RUSSERT: But that's the point. Those who got out were people with SUVs and automobiles and air fares who could get out. Those who could not get out were the poor who rely on public buses to get out. Your Web site says that your department assumes primary responsibility for a national disaster. If you knew a hurricane 3 storm was coming, why weren't buses, trains, planes, cruise ships, trucks provided on Friday, Saturday, Sunday to evacuate people before the storm?

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: Tim, the way that emergency operations act under the law is the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials. The federal government comes in and supports those officials. That's why Mike Brown got on TV on Saturday and he told people to start to get out of there.

Now, ultimately the resources that will get people who don't have cars and don't have the ability to remove themselves has to rest with the kinds of assets a city has--the city's buses, the city's transportation. You know, there will be plenty of time to go back over what the preparation has been with respect to infrastructure in New Orleans, with respect to transportation, with respect to evacuation. To confront a situation that, as you point out, people have been aware of for decades--this is not something that just came on the horizon recently.

But I want to leave you with a very, very important marker which I'm going to put down now. At this particular moment, this is not over. There is a tremendous challenge. Whatever the criticisms and the after-action report may be about what was right and what was wrong looking back, what would be a horrible tragedy would be to distract ourselves from avoiding further problems because we're spending time talking about problems that have already occurred.


SEC'Y CHERTOFF: We are going to have to feed--wait a second. We're going to have to feed, clothe, house and educate a city of people scattered across the country. We're going to have to do it in a way that doesn't disrupt the rest of the country. We're going to have to continue the work to restore our infrastructure. We're going to have to clean probably the greatest environmental mess we've ever seen in this country. And we're going to have to make important decisions about this in the next days and weeks and months. And I've got to tell you that for my money what I'm going to spend my time on is focusing on making sure we are getting on top of emergencies that are still under way.

MR. RUSSERT: This is hurricane season. Are you prepared for another hurricane in that region or, God forbid, a nuclear or biological attack, which we're told could happen at any time?

SEC'Y CHERTOFF: I'm going to tell you, Tim, you've put your finger on something which I said the day after this hurricane hit. As catastrophic as this is, we are still in hurricane season. And as much as we are working on desperately getting people out now, we've got to make sure we are holding in reserve and we are preparing for what could come next, whether it be a hurricane, whether it be a disease. I mean, we are challenged to make sure that at a moment when we have a current catastrophe and we have to be vigilant about other catastrophes that we do not lose focus and spend time dwelling on the past. I promise you we will go back and review the lessons that we have to learn, what went right and what went wrong. But I will tell you now we will be making a huge mistake if we spend the time in the immediate future looking back instead of dealing with, as you point out, what's going on now and what may yet come.

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Secretary, as always, we thank you[...]

Me: There is plenty more at the link, but this is all that was discussed with Sec. Chertoff


Katrina victims now labeled "the insurgency"

An article on the Army Times web page(via Boing Boing) is referring to American citizens in New Orleans as "the insurgency".

Does this mean the United States is now in an undeclared state of civil war? Is this the reason we have been training our troops to respond to "urban combat situations"?

From the September 2 article titled "Troops begin combat operations in New Orleans":

NEW ORLEANS - Combat operations are underway on the streets "to take this city back" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"This place is going to look like Little Somalia," Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard's Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. "We're going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control."

Jones said the military first needs to establish security throughout the city. Military and police officials have said there are several large areas of the city are in a full state of anarchy. Dozens of military trucks and up-armored Humvees left the staging area just after 11 a.m. Friday, while hundreds more troops arrived at the same staging area in the city via Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.

"We're here to do whatever they need us to do," Sgt. 1st Class Ron Dixon, of the Oklahoma National Guard's 1345th Transportation Company. "We packed to stay as long as it takes."

While some fight the insurgency in the city, other carry on with rescue and evacuation operations. Helicopters are still pulling hundreds of stranded people from rooftops of flooded homes.