Friday, May 31, 2013

On The Origin of Tornadoes

An Event In The Global Climate System
Regular readers know that on Friday "we" (Dredd Blog readers and I) usually get into something concerning the scientific realm.

Lately, those posts have included discussions about the implications of the scientific determination that all of our local weather is systemic of The Global Climate System.

But "lo and behold", I ran into a great mystery within the politics of climate science (a.k.a. "weather porn") that I want to point out and discuss today in the first post of a new series.

First let's remember that damage to the Global Climate System began with the first Industrial Revolution followed by the Second Industrial Revolution.

Some, in hindsight, consider those revolutionary eventualities to have been a coup against the governing laws of nature as expressed in the Earth's ecosystem in general,  but especially in the Global Climate System.

In other circles, to the contrary, those revolutionary eventualities were touted as proof of the evolutionary elevation of humanity by nature, and were seen as an example of a surge in human intelligence.

That revolutionary coup, according to some of our visionaries, was ill fated from the very beginning:
One would say that [man] is destined to exterminate himself after having rendered the globe uninhabitable.” - Lamarck

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature
to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this --hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension." - Sigmund Freud

"Mayr, from the point of view of a biologist, argued that it's very unlikely that we'll find any [extraterrestrial intelligence]. And his reason was, he said, we have exactly one example: Earth. So let's take a look at Earth. And what he basically argued is that intelligence is a kind of lethal mutation ... you're just not going to find intelligent life elsewhere, and you probably won't find it here for very long either because it's just a lethal mutation" - Dr. Noam Chomsky (paraphrasing Dr. Ernst Mayr)
(Quotes Page). With that introduction in mind let's move on to consider the origin of tornadoes.

Earlier I mentioned the "politics of tornadoes", which I discerned from a post at a climate blog:
"And so right now I'd say that the jury is still out as to how global warming will affect tornadoes, which of those two variables will win out," Cullen said. "But when it comes to things like heat waves, when it comes to things like heavy rainstorms, drought, wildfires, we know that the atmosphere is on steroids, if you will. So basically we know that we'd have to deal with weather-related risks. We live in a country that has always seen extreme weather. We're basically moving in a direction where we're going to see more and more of certain of these extremes."
(Heidi Cullen, Climate Central, emphasis added). The "jury is still out" ... what jury, a "balanced committee" composed of an equal number of deniers and scientists?

She knows that the "atmosphere is on steroids" but she is not sure that atmosphere has anything to do with tornadoes?

And even if that atmosphere does have something to do with tornadoes, there could be a protection type thingy that protects "legitimate tornadoes" from that steroid driven atmosphere?

Of all things, I am all of a sudden reminded of "magic teflon vagina juice":
On The Planet of the Rapes when women are "legitimately raped" they secrete Magic Teflon Vagina Juice (according to a government official from la la land) which protects them from experiencing an unwanted pregnancy.

Evidently, according to Church Lady on Church Chat, for women who are not "legitimately raped" that magic teflon vagina juice cannot be conjured up.

House member Todd Akin (R-Bullshitistan) is there because some voters chose him to legislate laws for them.

I might note that Akin's magic potion ideology has been put into the 2012 GOP platform: no women's choice even in the case of rape or incest.
(NeoCon Planet: Magic Teflon Vagina Juice). I sense a neoCon surge in the propagandasphere, remembering that Mittster Romney purchased The Weather Channel and Weather Underground:
On January 3, 2008, it was reported that The Weather Channel and its assets were put up for sale by Landmark Communications. On July 6, 2008, NBC Universal, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group agreed to purchase The Weather Channel from Landmark.
On July 2, 2012, The Weather Channel announced that it would acquire Weather Underground, which will become operated under its subsidiary The Weather Channel Companies, LLC.
(Wikipedia, The Weather Channel, Weather Underground, emphasis added). The neoCons are long term propagandists, and are making a power play to try to control information about the Global Climate System.

This is because the overly careful nature of climate scientists is being used against us by deniers who blather along in their magic thinking.

Nevertheless, there are some benchmarks to go by:
Associations to various climate and environmental trends exist. For example, an increase in the sea surface temperature of a source region (e.g. Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean Sea) increases atmospheric moisture content. Increased moisture can fuel an increase in severe weather and tornado activity, particularly in the cool season.
More and more Tornadoes

Some evidence does suggest that the Southern Oscillation is weakly correlated with changes in tornado activity, which vary by season and region, as well as whether the ENSO phase is that of El Niño or La Niña.

Climatic shifts may affect tornadoes via teleconnections in shifting the jet stream and the larger weather patterns.

The climate-tornado link is confounded by the forces affecting larger patterns and by the local, nuanced nature of tornadoes. Although it is reasonable that global warming may affect trends in tornado activity, any such effect is not yet identifiable due to the complexity, local nature of the storms, and database quality issues. Any effect would vary by region.
(Wikipedia, "Tornado", emphasis added). The graph from NOAA clearly shows an increase in tornadoes from 1950 to 2011, following the general trend of the increase in global warming and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (The Fog of Lore).

Keeping in mind that tornadoes are events within a system, the Global Climate System, and remembering the science of systems, let's recall that:
A system is an assembly of related parts that interact in patterned ways. If one part of a system changes, other parts will change.
The climate system is the highly complex system consisting of five major components: the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the land surface and the biosphere, and the interactions between them.
(Government Climate Change Report - 3, On The Origin and Future of Nomads). So don't let Oil-Qaeda scare you out of your common sense.

Tornadoes are functions of the winds in the atmosphere; which is a part of the Global Climate System (which even includes microbes).

A system that civilization has been damaging with increased intensity since the Industrial Revolution coup several hundred years ago (Worst Tornado Outbreak Ever Recorded - 2011, USA).

In future posts of this series we will discuss the first reported tornadoes as well as the many recent ones.

The next post in this series is here.

Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature (transcript):
"Hi. I'm John Cook, lead author of 'Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature'. In our paper, we measured the level of agreement that humans are causing global warming in peer-reviewed climate papers published between 1991 and 2011. In recent years, two studies have measured the level of agreement of human-caused warming in the scientific community.

Both papers found that among climate scientists actively publishing climate research, 97% agreed that humans are causing global warming. But scientists have to back up their opinions with evidence that survives the scrutiny of experts in their field. In other words, peer-reviewed research.

The first analysis of this type was by Naomi Oreskes, who in 2004 analysed publications in the Web of Science between 1993 and 2003 matching the search term 'global climate change'. She found that out of 928 papers, none rejected the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. Our paper builds upon this research.

We expanded the search to cover the 21 years from 1991 to 2011. In addition to 'global climate change' papers, we also included papers matching the term 'global warming'. This expanded the number of papers to over 12,000. We also divided Oreskes' six categories into two sets: the type of research and the level of endorsement of human-caused global warming. Each abstract was classified according to whether it explicitly or implicitly endorsed or rejected human-caused global warming, or whether it took no position on the cause of warming. Out of the 12,000 papers, we identified just over 4,000 stating a position on human-caused global warming.

Among these 4,000 papers, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In the second phase of our study, we asked the scientists who authored the studies to rate their own papers. 1,200 scientists responded to our invitation, so that just over 2,000 papers in total received a self-rating. Among the papers that were self-rated as stating a position on human-caused warming, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. These results are strikingly consistent with previous surveys.

Between 1991 and 2011, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on human-caused global warming marginally increased over time. In the abstract ratings, the consensus grew at a rate of 0.1% per year. In the self-ratings, it grew by 0.35% per year, in both cases reaching about 98% consensus in 2011.

However, there is a significant gap between public perception and the actual 97% consensus. When a US representative sample was asked how many scientists agree that humans are causing global warming, the average answer was around 50%. This misperception has real-world consequences. When people correctly understand that the scientists agree on human-caused global warming, they're more likely to support policy that mitigates climate change. This consensus gap is directly linked to a lack of public support for climate action. This underscores the importance of clearly communicating the consensus and closing the consensus gap."
(IOP Science).

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen

The Cosmos's View of Earth Civilization
The Fourth Tenet of The Tenets of Ecocosmology urges us to recognize that microbial and other small life forms are useful as well as mandatory for our own existence and betterment.

In modern times this tenet has been considered to be an alien concept in Western Culture, especially in the Western medical sciences, so, in today's post let's discuss an emerging revolution in those general concepts of Western Civilization concerning perceptions of what it means to be "a human" and what it means to be "a germ."

Yes, let's reconsider the general concepts which without reservation tell us that the anti-biotic wars without any reservation have been a good thing, that consider microbes to be something to exterminate, and that are ignorant of what it actually means to be human in the biological reality of the planet Earth.

The text of the Fourth Tenet currently reads as follows:
The seeds of intelligence (genetic and memetic clues) required to successfully perform The Test are distributed into all species, races, religions, sciences, creeds, and genders. Thus, all individuals should be respected as carriers of some quanta of the seed of intelligence required to pass The Test, lest a fundamental quantum of necessary intelligence be lost.
(The Tenets of Ecocosmology, emphasis in original). The meaning of the word "intelligence" as it is first used in that text is enhanced by the later use of that word in the section of the text that reads "intelligence required to pass The Test" (compare: What Kind of Intelligence Is A Lethal Mutation?).

Which begs the question, what is "The Test"?

That question that is answered by the first three tenets to be the survival of species on planets near central stars.

Stars which eventually change in ways that mandate travel to another star system.

That is to say (taking our star the Sun as an example) that species on planets orbiting near the Sun are naturally destined for utter extinction and obliteration when the Sun enters it final phase.

Our star, early in that final phase, expands out to, or near to, the orbit of Mars, vaporizing or otherwise destroying those inner planets in the process (see Tenet One Basics).

There are other intermediate threats to species on habitable planets in our solar system, which we call "extinction events" (Asteroid Killed off The Dinosaurs, Sixth Mass Extinction?).

The sixth mass extinction is currently underway.

It is being caused by current human civilization.

The first five mass extinctions were cosmological, non-human events.

This brings us to the recent scientific discoveries in the microbiological sciences which focus on our new understanding of what it means to be human:
... the fields of medical and environmental microbiology have begun to merge. The resulting hybrid discipline embraces the complexity of a larger system; it’s integrative rather than reductive, and it supports the gathering view that our bodies, and the bodies of other animals, are ecosystems, and that health and disease may depend on complex changes in the ecology of host and microbes.
“We’ve all been trained to think of ourselves as human,” he says. Bacteria have been considered only as the source of infections, or as something benign living in the body. But now, he says, it appears that “we are so interconnected with our microbes that anything studied before could have a microbial component that we hadn’t thought about.” It will take a major cultural shift, says Karasov, for nonmicrobiologists who study the human body to begin to take microorganisms seriously as a part of the system.
Equally challenging, though in a different respect, will be changing long-held ideas about ourselves as independent individuals. How do we make sense of this suddenly crowded self? David Relman suggests that how well you come to terms with symbiosis “depends on how comfortable you are with not being alone.” A body that is a habitat and a continuously evolving system is not something most of us consider; the sense of a singular, continuous self is a prerequisite for sanity, at least in Western psychology.
(On The New Meaning of "Human" - 2, see also On The New Meaning of "Human"). Those two posts are a couple of years old, so let's look at a couple of more recent writings which show that this new science is moving along rapidly:
Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford, suggests that we would do well to begin regarding the human body as “an elaborate vessel optimized for the growth and spread of our microbial inhabitants.” This humbling new way of thinking about the self has large implications for human and microbial health, which turn out to be inextricably linked.
Our resident microbes also appear to play a critical role in training and modulating our immune system, helping it to accurately distinguish between friend and foe and not go nuts on, well, nuts and all sorts of other potential allergens. Some researchers believe that the alarming increase in autoimmune diseases in the West may owe to a disruption in the ancient relationship between our bodies and their “old friends” — the microbial symbionts with whom we coevolved.
Human health should now “be thought of as a collective property of the human-associated microbiota,” as one group of researchers recently concluded in a landmark review article on microbial ecology — that is, as a function of the community, not the individual.

Such a paradigm shift comes not a moment too soon, because as a civilization, we’ve just spent the better part of a century doing our unwitting best to wreck the human-associated microbiota with a multifronted war on bacteria and a diet notably detrimental to its well-being. Researchers now speak of an impoverished “Westernized microbiome” and ask whether the time has come to embark on a project of “restoration ecology” — not in the rain forest or on the prairie but right here at home, in the human gut.
(Some of My Best Friends are Germs, see also Smithsonian - Microbial Revolution). The Fourth Tenet has to do with the survival of human civilization long enough to develop the behaviors and skills necessary for space travel away from this solar system before the Sun extinguishes all life on Earth.

Living in harmony with the nature around us and in us is a fundamental prerequisite --because if we make critical life forms extinct, we make our species extinct at the same time.

Living in harmony may also require us to do "remedial rehabilitation of the unseen", as the title of today's post suggests.

By that I mean to rehabilitate the microbes that have experienced past mass extinction events that utterly upended their world.

Which caused some of them to thereby end up going rogue to then become ill behaved parasites (Are Microbes The Origin of PTSD?).

The following video illustrates how we are beginning to understand the tiny language of the unseen world.

Perhaps we will thereby be able to talk sense into some of the microbes that have become killers, maimers, and otherwise harmful?

Cross posted from (May 22, 2013) Ecocosmology Blog

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Government Climate Change Report - 3

The Global Climate System
One of the most fascinating things about the Earth's weather is that it is all systemic of The Global Climate System.

Today that may seem to be perplexing, but your computer has an operating system that you as the computer user have some awareness of.

Your operating system (OS) might be Linux, Unix, Apple, Windows, or something else.

According to systems science, all entities that can be called "a system" will have common things about them, so, the Global Climate System is the same as your computer OS, cell phone OS, and other systems --in that sense.

For example:
A system is an assembly of related parts that interact in patterned ways. If one part of a system changes, other parts will change.
(Marion Brady, Analyzing Systems, p. 25 [p. 3 PDF]). That simplifies the concept, so, consider that you know that when your computer's operating system gets a virus,
It is a "System"
and "one part of a system changes" as a result, you also know that the "other parts will change" too ... perhaps in a very bad way.

The same goes for The Global Climate System.

But do you know what we leave out --when we think of our computer's operating system --and when we think about The Global Climate System?


Some person or persons made the virus that inhibits or damages your computer's operating system.

Likewise, some person or persons also put into the system all the "fossil fuels" that inhibit and damage the Global Climate System:
In all important systems that include humans, the system category “environment” must expand to include both the natural environment and the human-made environment —things like buildings, roads, equipment for transportation, communication, and tools.
(ibid, Marion Brady, "Analyzing Systems", page 31, [page 9 PDF]). When you think of The Global Climate System, what people do you think of then?

Doesn't that depend on what aspect of the system you are contemplating - what is damaged?

What about the damage to the Global Climate System --who do you think about as being responsible?

To analyze the ramifications of the virus that brings down your computer's OS, if you are justice minded, you must find the human perpetrator.

There is a fascinating example of a young astronomer in the true story "The Cuckoo's Egg" (see "The Cuckoo's Egg Hatched Again" for a down-loadable free copy of the book).

In that case someone was hacking into a system which the young astronomer had been given oversight of.

So, he "chased" those hackers through the pre-Internet all the way back to a foreign nation far away --and got justice!

He even received a national medal of honor --eventually.

Do we have what he had when it comes to our planet's Global Climate System --when it comes to those who are damaging that global system to the point where that system could bring down our civilization?

It is much more serious than any computer operating system virus:
More than 100 million people will die ... by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.
"A combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade," the report said.
(Oil-Qaeda: The Indictment). You are the systems analyst now, along with the rest of us, so let's think about "current patterns of fossil fuel use".

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Think about it, Oil-Qaeda hates your children:

Oil-Qaeda gets a tax break for doing "good" public charity:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Systems Science: A Systems Approach To Civilization's Demise & Death

ISSS - Wikipedia
A large body within the realm of science is called "Systems science" because it is a scientific discipline that studies "systems" (which ends up being a complex arena to say the least).

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has dealt with the notion of a Global Climate System for some time, even quoting from a book by that name upon occasion, so, today we will take a look at the Global Climate System from the point of view of what most interests a lot of people who take a look at this area of science --the surprising reality of the common system behaviors that different systems have in common.

At least in terms of systems science.

Identifying and studying those systems, including common behaviors, is a daunting exercise:
Systems science is an interdisciplinary field that studies the nature of complex systems in nature, society, and science itself. It aims to develop interdisciplinary foundations that are applicable in a variety of areas, such as engineering, biology, medicine, and social sciences.

Systems science covers formal sciences such as complex systems, cybernetics, dynamical systems theory, and systems theory, and applications in the field of the natural and social sciences and engineering, such as control theory, operations research, social systems theory, systems biology, systems dynamics, systems ecology, systems engineering and systems psychology.
(Wikipedia, "Systems science"). What, psychology is in there too?

After thinking about it a bit, that is not so strange (mixing systems psychology with the global climate system) because there are fervent deniers of climate change as well as equally fervent activists who want to stop injecting green house gases into the atmosphere.

This series will begin, as the title hints at, with a systems scientist who wrote a piece recently that deals with the psychology of death and the climate system:
Our western culture cannot accept its death. Even though there are numerous signs "out there" and "in here" that our world is deteriorating, and even decaying, the majority of us remain stuck in our old ways.
One of the aspects of Western Culture that refuses to die is our philosophy about the world. While science (e.g., quantum physics, chaos theory, systems theory) has questioned our linear, reductionist and highly pyramidal power schemes, it appears that we are grounded in a place of rigid top-down control. This linear control system is reflected in our religion which has figure heads such as the Pope or Church Central Committees overseeing the underlying Bishops that oversee the underlying Priests who oversee the congregation. Of course, on top of that is the remote control ruling power of the Almighty God who exists in a transcendent heaven and oversees everything.
While guidance and strong parenting, which teaches children the ways of Nature (primarily) and the culture (secondarily), helps children to live a full life, the fact is, our delinquent adolescents simply mirror the sociopathology of the dominant culture. It does not take long for one with open eyes to see the similarities between girls who are engaging in promiscuous sexual behavior to sensual advertisements that have phallic lipsticks moving seductively over desirous wet lips. Nor do we see the violence of adolescent boys as being a reflection of a culture that has been constantly at war for at least the past 200 years and the bloody movies and video games that blow people up with the click of a mouse.

The issues with our children are systemic.
The criminality of a CEO and an anti-social adolescent are one and the same. These are complex systemic issues. In essence, we are oftentimes trying to counsel a delinquent adolescent into "behaving", while, in fact, he is already behaving as an inherent cell in a sociopathic system.
What we need to change is Mother Culture, not Mother Nature. This means we need to change. It's not enough to get an adolescent to stop engaging in anti-social behaviors. WE need to stop engaging in anti-social behaviors, this includes the 1%, the media (e.g., the pitting of left against right on CNN and Fox News) and the seductive advertising that leads young girls to believe that they are simply about legs, breasts and butts and young boys into believing they can save the world via a computer game that prepares them for military service.
At this point, we cannot align our hopes into any one discipline to help reduce these rates. In line with complexity theory, we need to take multidimensional approaches to the environment and our happiness. We can't separate out our environmental well being from our personal psychological health or the culture's health. Ecology, economy, and sociology are three legs of one resilient stool. Create a wobble in any one of them and the other two are thrown off balance, causing the entire stool (organism) to tip precariously.

We must understand what the underlying patterns are behind the extinction rates of species in relation to how our children are being raised at home and in school, our political messes and high crime rates in relationship to our high rates of depression and other emotional issues are related.

What ties them all together? To answer this question, we must all take a deep look at ourselves in relationship to the world we live in. How is it that we are conditioned? Can we move beyond that conditioning?
(Complexity, Sustainability ... of a ... Planet; a Burl Hall review of "COMPLEXITY AND SUSTAINABILITY", by Jennifer Wells; emphasis added). The system scientist quoted sees that any social, psychological system is systemically related to the Global Climate System.

She points out that not seeing that systemic relation is a result of sociopathic tradition.

This post is getting a bit long, so we will pick in up in the next post of this series.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Imprisoned Planet
The burial of the Earth ... will that be at Arlington National Cemetery?

Recently regular readers know that we discussed how religion played a part in addicting civilization to the "oil drug" which now endangers civilization in multiple ways (The Universal Smedley - 2).

Now, along the line of Oil-Qaeda and  Oilah Akbar! Oilah Akbar! comes the notion of the "Terrarists":
"We have a word for the conscious slaughter of a racial or ethnic group: genocide.  And one for the conscious destruction of aspects of the environment: ecocide.  But we don’t have a word for the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on, the world as humanity had known it until, historically speaking, late last night. A possibility might be “terracide” from the Latin word for earth. It has the right ring, given its similarity to the commonplace danger word of our era: terrorist.

The truth is, whatever we call them, it’s time to talk bluntly about the terrarists of our world.  Yes, I know, 9/11 was horrific.  Almost 3,000 dead, massive towers down, apocalyptic scenes.  And yes, when it comes to terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombings weren’t pretty either.  But in both cases, those who committed the acts paid for or will pay for their crimes.

In the case of the terrarists -- and here I’m referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell -- you’re the one who’s going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing."
(The Biggest Criminal Enterprise in History). This is something we should have been seriously discussing fifty years ago (Is 'Insanity' A Valid Defense To Ecocide? - 3).

Propaganda from the epigovernment prevented even thinking about it, so here we are as slaves to the fossil fuel industries (MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 5).

Monsanto is one of the players in the terrarist crowd, so it experienced worldwide protests, on Saturday, against its terrarism (see here, here, here, and here).

We are all watching this very day as the planet itself becomes a memorial.