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Some reading for the “anti-warmalists” and “climate-change deniers”


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Author Topic: Some reading for the “anti-warmalists” and “climate-change deniers”  (Read 11802 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1075 on: December 07, 2017, 08:31:29 pm »

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« Reply #1076 on: December 07, 2017, 09:36:45 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Climate scientists see alarming new threat to California

By EVAN HALPER | 3:00AM PST — Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Jon Pedotti on a Cambria lake bed in 2014. California just emerged from what one study called the most severe drought in 1,200 years. — Photograph: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times.
Jon Pedotti on a Cambria lake bed in 2014. California just emerged from what one study called the most severe drought in 1,200 years.
 — Photograph: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times.


CALIFORNIA could be hit with significantly more dangerous and more frequent droughts in the near future as changes in weather patterns triggered by global warming block rainfall from reaching the state, according to new research led by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Using complex new modeling, the scientists have found that rapidly melting Arctic sea ice now threatens to diminish precipitation over California by as much as 15% within 20 to 30 years. Such a change would have profound economic impacts in a state where the most recent drought drained several billion dollars out of the economy, severely stressed infrastructure and highlighted how even the state most proactively confronting global warming is not prepared for its fallout.

The latest study adds a worrying dimension to the challenge California is already facing in adapting to climate change, and shifts focus to melting polar ice that only recently has been discovered to have such a direct, potentially dramatic impact on the West Coast. While climate scientists generally agree that the increased temperatures already resulting from climate change have seriously exacerbated drought in California, there has been debate over whether global warming would affect the amount of precipitation that comes to California.

The study, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, provides compelling evidence that it would. The model the scientists used homed in on the link between the disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic and the buildup of high ridges of atmospheric pressure over the Pacific Ocean. Those ridges push winter storms away from the state, causing drought.

The scientists found that as the sea ice goes away, there is an increase in the formation of ridges.


Source: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/Google Earth.
Source: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/Google Earth.

“Our design was aimed at looking at what will happen in 20 to 30 years, when the Arctic becomes ice-free in the summer,” said Ivana Cvijanovic, the lead climate scientist on the study. “It is coming soon. We want to understand what the impact would be…. The similarities between what will happen and [how weather patterns caused] the most recent drought are really striking.”

Rainfall in California would drop, on average, 10% to 15% in the coming decades under Cvijanovic's model, but the decline would present itself sporadically, exacerbating the potential for drought. Some years the decline in rainfall because of diminished Arctic ice would be much steeper than 15%. Other years would be wetter than they otherwise would be.

The study is yet another by federally funded researchers that finds the failure to more rapidly diminish greenhouse gas emissions could have a serious impact on California and other parts of the country. The findings contrast starkly with Trump administration policy on warming, which ignores the mainstream scientific consensus that human activity is driving it. The administration has been working aggressively to unravel Obama-era action on climate change, withdrawing from the Paris agreement that seeks to limit its impact, dismantling restrictions on power plant emissions, and signaling that it will relax vehicle mileage rules that are a critical component to addressing global warming.

The warnings about the impact of melting sea ice on California are being embraced by some prominent climate scientists. They say that while the study is just one of multiple models being used to project global warming impacts, it is bolstered by other studies that have signaled a connection between the ice melt in the Arctic and the buildup of atmospheric ridges affecting California. Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said in an email that it paints a sobering picture for the state.

“As we learn more about the subtleties in the dynamics of climate change, we are learning that certain climate change impacts, like California drought, may be far worse than we had previously thought,” Mann wrote. “It also means that, when it comes to water resource issues in California, the impacts of climate change may exceed our adaptive capacity. That leaves only mitigation — doing something about climate change — as a viable strategy moving forward.”


In this May 2nd, 2014, photo, dust rises around a walnut tree as a worker mows weeds in Gridley, California. — Photograph: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press.
In this May 2nd, 2014, photo, dust rises around a walnut tree as a worker mows
weeds in Gridley, California. — Photograph: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press.


Governor Jerry Brown has been taking a lead globally in confronting climate change, warning the Trump administration's approach is reckless and defies science. He traveled last month to a United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany, to meet with world leaders and send the signal that much of the nation is moving to act on climate change, even if President Trump is not. Brown is helping lead a coalition of state and local governments that is vowing to reduce emissions enough to meet the entire country’s obligation under the Paris agreement, which President Obama signed last year.

But the Trump administration’s retreat threatens to substantially slow the rate at which U.S. climate emissions decline. And even if all commitments made in the Paris agreement are kept, climate scientists say the Arctic ice situation would still be dire.

“This is happening very quickly,” said Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University. “The change is dramatic, and it is taking place faster than had been projected by climate models.”

Diffenbaugh said the study is a breakthrough for climate researchers who have been struggling to pinpoint the impacts of melting Arctic ice. “Being able to isolate the effect of melting sea ice on the atmosphere and the ocean's response — and how it impacts precipitation in California — that is a big step forward,” he said.

Because the model only projects future impacts, the study does not focus on the role melting Arctic ice may have played in the massive drought from which California recently emerged — the most severe in 1,200 years, according to one scientific study. But the atmospheric patterns leading to that drought had all the characteristics of those that can be triggered by Arctic sea ice melt, Cvijanovic said, raising the prospect that California might have dodged the latest drought — or at least not have been hit as hard — if not for the large amount of ice that has already vanished.

“There is lots of research to be done,” she said. “Hopefully we do it in time to allow people to plan for whatever may be coming.”


• Evan Halper writes for the Los Angeles Times about a broad range of policy issues out of Washington D.C., with particular emphasis on how Washington regulates, agitates and very often miscalculates in its dealings with California. Before heading east, he was the L.A. Times bureau chief in Sacramento, where he spent a decade untangling California's epic budget mess and political dysfunction.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • 150 structures destroyed, 27,000 people evacuated in raging Ventura wildfire

 • ‘It's coming across this way!’ Residents tend to older parents as fire approaches.

 • More than 260,000 customers lose power amid intense winds

 • 7,700 homes evacuated as fire rages; traffic jams as residents flee


http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-climate-california-20171205-htmlstory.html
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« Reply #1077 on: December 07, 2017, 09:37:11 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

EDITORIAL: While Southern California battles its wildfires,
we have to start preparing for our hotter, drier future


By the LOS ANGELES TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD | 11:40AM PST - Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Two firefighters confront flames along Kagel Canyon Street in Lakeview Terrace. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
Two firefighters confront flames along Kagel Canyon Street in Lakeview Terrace. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.

WILDFIRES have been a part of the California ecosystem since long before modern settlement, let alone the exurban sprawl that brings housing and development into fire-prone areas. We tend to deal with the possibility of raging firestorms abstractly — local governments do a little planning, fire departments offer advice on clearing brush and other flammables from property, insurers sell policies to cover our losses if a fire actually burns our homes and businesses to the ground. But those steps don't prepare us for the violent reality.

The fire currently raging in Ventura County (the Thomas fire) and the one in foothill neighborhoods around Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley (the Creek fire) are breathtaking in two ways: the sheer power of wind-driven wildfire to devour landscape, whether it hold scrub brush or mansions, and the fragility of human life in the face of it. Forecasts predict this current round of Santa Ana winds will run with varying intensity through most of the week, which means these two major fires — moving too fast to be contained — have only just begun to destroy property and upend lives. And it means, too, that additional dangerous fires are likely to crop up. The Riverdale fire already is burning in Riverside County, though firefighters at the moment seem to have that 50% contained. And late on Tuesday morning, Los Angeles County firefighters were trying halt yet another fire — the Rye fire — near Santa Clarita, which grew quickly and forced the closure of the 5 Freeway.

There will be time for assessments after these firestorms subside. Were they natural or human-caused? Would better zoning limit exposure? Do we have sufficient capacity to fight so many fires at once? Are there better building materials we should be using to limit fire damage? For the time being, we must focus on evacuating where prudent, getting firefighters the support they need to protect as much property as possible without endangering themselves needlessly, and hope that the destruction we’ve already seen stands as the peak of this outbreak, and not just the opening act. October's wine country fires, which killed 44 people, turned Santa Rosa neighborhoods to ash and damaged or destroyed more than $3 billion in property, serve as a sober warning of how bad this can get.

What makes this season so awful, and what should make Southern California truly fearful, is that climate change likely means a future of more frequent and more intense wildfires. These fires will end, and what we do afterward — assessing how to better prepare, and how and whether to rebuild — will influence the damage from the fires next time.


__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Unhealthy air quality declared in parts of Los Angeles County due to smoke from Creek Fire

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-ventura-sylmar-wildfires-20171205-story.html
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« Reply #1078 on: December 07, 2017, 09:37:30 pm »


from The Washington Post....

‘Out of control’ Southern California fire explodes
as growing blazes force tens of thousands to flee


“The fire is still out of control and structures continue to be threatened
throughout the fire area,” Ventura County officials said.


By MAX UFBERG, MARK BERMAN and NOAH SMITH | 6:14PM EST — Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Smoke rises into the night sky as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula, California. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.
Smoke rises into the night sky as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula, California.
 — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.


VENTURA, CALIFORNIA — Ferocious fires tore through Southern California on Tuesday, burning massive stretches of land in a matter of hours and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.

As firefighters in Ventura County grappled with an explosive blaze northwest of downtown Los Angeles, others across the region confronted additional fires that burned during the day and forced additional evacuations. Authorities issued ominous warnings of more dangers to come during a “multi-day event” across the area, as weather forecasters said the region faces “extreme fire danger” through at least Thursday due to intense Santa Ana winds and low humidity that could cause the fires to grow rapidly.

The wildfires are the latest grim chapter in a brutal year for California, coming just months after deadly blazes in the state's wine country killed dozens of people and razed thousands of buildings.

The biggest fire on Tuesday was in Ventura County, where a small blaze quickly went out of control as it spread across more than 50,000 acres by the afternoon. The fire — which burned an area nearly as large as Seattle — stretched into the city of Ventura, home to more than 100,000 people.

“The prospects for containment are not good,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news briefing as the fire was beginning its aggressive expansion. “Really, Mother Nature's going to decide when we have the ability to put it out.”

As the flames continued to spread, the sun rose over Ventura and revealed the damage left behind by what is named the Thomas Fire. Homes were destroyed and the charred remains of cars sat among heaps of ash. The impact hit home for many of those responding to the blaze: One local fire official told a reporter that he had to call his daughter to tell her that her apartment had burned.

California Governor Jerry Brown (Democrat) declared a state of emergency in Ventura County, calling the fire “very dangerous” as it spread rapidly: “We'll continue to attack it with all we've got,” Brown said. “It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so.”

What caused the fire remained unknown on Tuesday, Lorenzen said, and the fire's ultimate impact also remained unclear. Authorities said at least 150 structures in Ventura County were destroyed by Tuesday afternoon, but Lorenzen said that number could increase because firefighters were not yet able to assess the damage in most affected areas. He also warned that there is “a high possibility” that more areas will be evacuated.

Lorenzen said 27,000 people were evacuated, and “almost none of them know the status of their homes.”

Some of those who did were given bad news. Debbie Gennaro, who wiped tears from her eyes as she was consoled by her husband, Mark, said they were told that their home of 12 years has been burned to an ashy husk.

They had packed up clothes, photographs and passports on Monday night and headed to a hotel ahead of the fire; the couple is unsure where they will go next.

“This is life in Southern California. This is where we live,” Mark Gennaro said. “I stand on that back hill and I see all that brush and I'm like, ‘Something’s gonna happen at some point’.”

The fires on Tuesday sparked unusually late in the wildfire season, which typically runs from spring to late fall. That is because, unlike other parts of the United States, summer and early fall tend to be dry in California. Wildfires need just three things to start and spread: fuel, dry weather and an ignition source.

The dry weather is significant this week — humidity was just 10 percent on Monday morning and “red flag” fire conditions will last through at least to Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The fire's fuel was a year in the making. After an epic, multiyear drought, California finally got the rain and snow it needed last winter, and it allowed vegetation to rebound. The hills turned green and the brush thickened. But as the weather turned dry, it created plentiful amounts of fuel, which are now feeding the wildfires.

People who escaped the fires reported apocalyptic scenes.

Gena Aguayo, 53, of Ventura, said she saw fire “coming down the mountain.” When Lorena Lara evacuated with her children on Tuesday morning after initially staying put, she said the wind was so strong it was blowing ashes into her home.

“I've never experienced something like that,” said Lara, 42. “Maybe in Santa Barbara, but we didn't expect it here.”

As the fires forced waves of people to rush from their homes, the contours of daily life were shut down. Multiple schools were closed on Tuesday, while some events were canceled amid the fires and power outages. In Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, more than 260,000 people were left without power at some point, Southern California Edison said in a tweet.

Fire officials were blunt about the blaze, saying that it was out of control and that structures throughout the area were under serious threat, with Ventura County officials saying that “due to the intensity of the fire, crews are having trouble making access and there are multiple reports of structures on fire.”




Further east, firefighters also hurried to respond to a wildfire north of downtown Los Angeles that also expanded quickly, growing to 11,000 acres by early Tuesday afternoon. Officials said that fire began outside the city limits before threatening parts of the Sylmar and Lake View Terrace areas.

“We are facing critical fire behavior, in ways that people may not have experienced in the past,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby said at a news briefing. “To our citizens, it is extremely critical that when you're asked to evacuate, evacuate early. We've had experience in other fires throughout this region that when we've had fatalities, it’s because people did not heed the early-warning evacuations.”

Osby said that a number of structures had been lost to that blaze, dubbed the Creek Fire, but an exact count was not immediately available.

“This is going to be a multi-day event,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck warned. “This will not be the only fire.”

Underscoring Beck's point, Osby said that as he was preparing to brief reporters, his fire department was called to respond to another fire that had begun to burn in Santa Clarita, California. Osby said the county department diverted two helicopters to respond to that blaze, which officials said grew to 1,000 acres by midday on Tuesday and shut down the interstate there.

The Creek Fire prompted a wave of mandatory evacuations, forcing people to leave about 2,500 homes, and a convalescent hospital evacuated 105 patients, officials said.

It was unclear how many people have been injured or killed in the fires. In Ventura County, a battalion chief was injured in a traffic accident on Monday night and is expected to recover, Lorenzen said.

The National Weather Service reported that damaging winds and “very critical fire weather conditions” would return late on Wednesday night and into Thursday, saying the conditions could lead to “very rapid fire growth” and “extreme fire behavior.” The NWS issued a red flag warning for Ventura and Los Angeles, saying wind gusts between 50 mph and 70 mph are likely through to Thursday.




Authorities had previously warned that a combination of strong winds and low humidity this week could increase the wildfire risk across Southern California. Cal Fire said it had moved resources from the northern part of the state to the south and prepared aircraft and fire equipment to respond.

Once the fire in Ventura County began on Monday, it moved “unbelievably fast,” said Ventura County Fire Sergeant Eric Buschow.

Robert Perez, who preaches at the Santa Paula Church of Christ in Ventura County, was driving home from the airport when he first caught word of the Thomas Fire from his daughter, who called to warn him.

Perez said that when he finally got home at around 11 p.m., the police were already evacuating his street. Perez, 57, quickly loaded his wife, daughter, grandson, and pets into his car and drove to the church.

They planned to return home in the early hours of the morning, but the strong Santa Ana winds put their house in danger, so they remained at the church. Perez said his family was joined by several other church members, who he said slept overnight in their cars in the church parking lot.

“The fire was so close to the church, I think it scared the members,” he said. “There were a few members that came and parked in our parking lot, but didn't go inside the church.”

For some, the fires came as a shock. Lance Korthals, of Ventura, said he looked out from between his blinds early on Tuesday morning and “saw an odd color.” Then he saw that the hills behind his apartment complex “were just completely engulfed in flames.”

Korthals, 66, a retired business executive originally from Detroit, said he then banged on doors trying to alert others in the apartment complex, but they had already evacuated, so he eventually hit the road.

“The trees within the complex were already on fire,” Korthals said. “I had to drive around the flames that were already flowing into the road.”

Others, though, said they expected something like this to happen.

“We live in Southern California,” said Kevin Wycoff, 55, who was with his family at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, which was sheltering evacuees. “This [ash] is what we call snow. This is our weather.”

Michelle Wycoff, his wife, added: “We'll have mudslides coming soon.”


Mark Berman reported from Washington. Travis M. Andrews, Angela Fritz and J. Freedom du Lac in Washington contributed to this report, which has been updated throughout the day.

• Max Ufberg is the digital director at Pacific Standard, where he oversees the magazine's daily news coverage. Previously, he worked as a reporting fellow at Wired, and a reporter at Philadelphia Weekly and the Virgin Islands Daily News. Ufberg has also written for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Outside, Maxim, and many other outlets.

• Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.

• Noah Smith is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: A ferocious wildfire threatens thousands of homes in Southern California

 • VIDEO: View from above: Fires ravage Southern California

 • Santa Ana winds sparked a critical wildfire threat in Southern California

 • What happens when people live in areas where natural disasters can erupt

 • Ten miles of California's loveliest countryside, transformed by fire


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/12/05/out-of-control-southern-california-brush-fire-grows-from-50-to-25000-acres-in-7-hours
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« Reply #1079 on: December 07, 2017, 09:37:52 pm »


from The Washington Post....

PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY: Pictures of a raging Southern California wildfire

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

AN EXPLOSIVE BRUSH FIRE raced through Southern California with ferocious speed…

A structure burns as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula, California. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.
A structure burns as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula, California. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.

Property is torched at night as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula, California. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.
Property is torched at night as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula, California. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.

A home is destroyed as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.
A home is destroyed as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.

Embers blow from a tree shortly before it fell near burned out cars as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.
Embers blow from a tree shortly before it fell near burned out cars as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.

The Thomas Fire near Ventura, Califoria. — Photograph: European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock.
The Thomas Fire near Ventura, Califoria. — Photograph: European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock.

Downtown Santa Paula, California, is darkened by a power outage as smoke rises in the distance from the Thomas Fire. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.
Downtown Santa Paula, California, is darkened by a power outage as smoke rises in the distance from the Thomas Fire. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.

A wildfire burns along a hillside near homes in Santa Paula. — Photograph: Ringo Chiu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A wildfire burns along a hillside near homes in Santa Paula. — Photograph: Ringo Chiu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Firefighters battle a wildfire in Santa Paula. — Photograph: Ringo Chiu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Firefighters battle a wildfire in Santa Paula. — Photograph: Ringo Chiu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Embers blow from burned trees as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.
Embers blow from burned trees as strong winds push the Thomas Fire across thousands of acres near Santa Paula. — Photograph: David Mcnew/Reuters.

Flames consume a home as a wildfire rages in Ventura, California. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
Flames consume a home as a wildfire rages in Ventura, California. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.

Flames burn bushes near a home in Ventura. — Photograph: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press.
Flames burn bushes near a home in Ventura. — Photograph: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press.

A house burns from a wildfire in Ventura. — Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters.
A house burns from a wildfire in Ventura. — Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters.

A wildfire burns along a hillside near Highway 126 in Santa Paula. — Photograph: Ringo Chiu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A wildfire burns along a hillside near Highway 126 in Santa Paula. — Photograph: Ringo Chiu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

A man watches as a wildfire burns in Ventura. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
A man watches as a wildfire burns in Ventura. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.

Smoke rises behind a leveled apartment complex in Ventura. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
Smoke rises behind a leveled apartment complex in Ventura. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.

A firefighter stands under windswept palm trees as he hoses down smoldering debris in Ventura. — Photograph: Daniel Dreifuss/Associated Press.
A firefighter stands under windswept palm trees as he hoses down smoldering debris in Ventura. — Photograph: Daniel Dreifuss/Associated Press.

The remains of homes after they burned to the ground during a wind-driven wildfire in Ventura. — Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters.
The remains of homes after they burned to the ground during a wind-driven wildfire in Ventura. — Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters.

The remains of a burned-down home in Ventura. — Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters.
The remains of a burned-down home in Ventura. — Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Santa Ana winds sparked a critical wildfire threat in Southern California

 • ‘Out of control’ Southern California fire explodes as growing blazes force tens of thousands to flee


https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/photos-of-a-southern-california-fire-exploding-overnight/2017/12/05/22b77da2-d9c5-11e7-a841-2066faf731ef_gallery.html
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« Reply #1080 on: December 07, 2017, 09:38:19 pm »


from TVNZ ONE News....

Will your insurance premiums go up because of climate change?

(click on the link and watch the television news item)

The Insurance Council is asking consumers to read between the lines as to whether insurance rates will be affected by the fact 2017 has been the most expensive year on record for weather related financial losses.

With events like Cyclone Debbie costing insurance claims of more than $90 million, the Insurance Council has pointed the finger at climate change being a factor in the record breaking year.

“There is no collusion in terms of determination of price but I'll leave it over to people to work out that if matters become highly, probably or certain.”

“There is only one response the insurance sector can make,” Tim Grafton from the Insurance Council of NZ says.

After wet weather events caused the brunt of headaches in 2017, a hot and dry Kiwi summer may pose new challenges, as the agriculture industry wonders how climate change will effect their industry in the new year.

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« Reply #1081 on: December 07, 2017, 09:38:57 pm »


Some photographs from the Los Angeles Times


A firefighter at a burning apartment building in Ventura, where the Thomas fire charred 55,500 acres and forced 27,000 to flee. — Photograph: Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Times.
A firefighter at a burning apartment building in Ventura, where the Thomas fire charred 55,500 acres and forced 27,000 to flee.
 — Photograph: Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Times.


Muriel Rowley, 15, left; Olivia Jacobson, 16; Emma Jacobson, 19; and Anna Niebergall, 20, comfort one another as the Jacobsons' home burns in Ventura. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Muriel Rowley, 15, left; Olivia Jacobson, 16; Emma Jacobson, 19; and Anna Niebergall, 20, comfort one another as the Jacobsons' home burns in Ventura.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


A firefighter works against the Creek fire in the Shadow Hills area of Los Angeles as a structure burns in the background. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
A firefighter works against the Creek fire in the Shadow Hills area of Los Angeles as a structure burns in the background. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.

Judy Hofmann-Sanders watches as the Creek fire consumes her home on McBroom Street in L.A.'s Shadow Hills neighborhood on Tuesday. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
Judy Hofmann-Sanders watches as the Creek fire consumes her home on McBroom Street in L.A.'s Shadow Hills neighborhood on Tuesday.
 — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.


An aerial view of some of the 150 structures in Ventura County that were destroyed by the Thomas fire. Cal Fire officials said the number could grow by hundreds.<br /> — Photograph: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times.
An aerial view of some of the 150 structures in Ventura County that were destroyed by the Thomas fire. Cal Fire officials said the number could grow by hundreds.
 — Photograph: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times.


A firefighter monitors the Creek fire near Johanna Avenue and McBroom Street in Shadow Hills. The blaze scorched 11,000 acres and burned 30 homes. — Photograph: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times.
A firefighter monitors the Creek fire near Johanna Avenue and McBroom Street in Shadow Hills. The blaze scorched 11,000 acres and burned 30 homes.
 — Photograph: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times.


Two women help a horse that was spooked by the Creek fire and fell in Lake View Terrace. The fire started in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills before dawn. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
Two women help a horse that was spooked by the Creek fire and fell in Lake View Terrace. The fire started in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills before dawn.
 — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.

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« Reply #1082 on: December 07, 2017, 09:39:14 pm »


from The Washington Post....

The most accurate climate change models predict the most
alarming consequences, study finds


The study adds to a growing body of bad news about how human activity is changing
the planet's climate and how dire those changes will be in the future.


By CHRIS MOONEY | 1:00PM EST — Wednesday, December 06, 2017

People pass the “Climate Planet”, an exhibition and film venue sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, near the plenary halls of the COP 23 United Nations Climate Change Conference on November 6th in Bonn, Germany. — Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images.
People pass the “Climate Planet”, an exhibition and film venue sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, near
the plenary halls of the COP 23 United Nations Climate Change Conference on November 6th in Bonn, Germany. — Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images.


THE climate change simulations that best capture current planetary conditions are also the ones that predict the most dire levels of human-driven warming, according to a statistical study released in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

The study, by Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, examined the high-powered climate change simulations, or “models”, that researchers use to project the future of the planet based on the physical equations that govern the behavior of the atmosphere and oceans.

The researchers then looked at what the models that best captured current conditions high in the atmosphere predicted was coming. Those models generally predicted a higher level of warming than models that did not capture these conditions as well.

The study adds to a growing body of bad news about how human activity is changing the planet's climate and how dire those changes will be. But according to several outside scientists consulted by The Washington Post, while the research is well-executed and intriguing, it's also not yet definitive.

“The study is interesting and concerning, but the details need more investigation,” said Ben Sanderson, a climate expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Brown and Caldeira are far from the first to study such models in a large group, but they did so with a twist.

In the past, it has been common to combine together the results of dozens of these models, and so give a range for how much the planet might warm for a given level of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. That's the practice of the leading international climate science body, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Instead, Brown and Caldeira compared these models' performance with recent satellite observations of the actual atmosphere and, in particular, of the balance of incoming and outgoing radiation that ultimately determines the Earth's temperature. Then, they tried to determine which models performed better.

“We know enough about the climate system that it doesn't necessarily make sense to throw all the models in a pool and say, we're blind to which models might be good and which might be bad,” said Brown, a postdoc at the Carnegie Institution.

The research found the models that do the best job capturing the Earth's actual “energy imbalance”, as the authors put it, are also the ones that simulate more warming in the planet's future.

Under a high warming scenario in which large emissions continue throughout the century, the models as a whole give a mean warming of 4.3 degrees Celsius (or 7.74 degrees Fahrenheit), plus or minus 0.7 degrees Celsius, for the period between 2081 and 2100, the study noted. But the best models, according to this test, gave an answer of 4.8 degrees Celsius (8.64 degrees Fahrenheit), plus or minus 0.4 degrees Celsius.

Overall, the change amounted to bumping up the projected warming by about 15 percent. The researchers presented this figure to capture the findings:




When it comes down to the question of why the finding emerged, it appears that much of the result had to do with the way different models handled one of the biggest uncertainties in how the planet will respond to climate change.

“This is really about the clouds,” said Michael Winton, a leader in the climate model development team at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who discussed the study with The Post but was not involved in the research.

Clouds play a crucial role in the climate because among other roles, their light surfaces reflect incoming solar radiation back out to space. So if clouds change under global warming, that will in turn change the overall climate response.

How clouds might change is quite complex, however, and as the models are unable to fully capture this behavior due to the small scale on which it occurs, the programs instead tend to include statistically based assumptions about the behavior of clouds. This is called “parameterization”.

But researchers aren't very confident that the parameterizations are right. “So what you're looking at is, the behavior of what I would say is the weak link in the model,” Winton said.

This is where the Brown and Caldeira study comes in, basically identifying models that, by virtue of this programming or other factors, seem to do a better job of representing the current behavior of clouds. However, Winton and two other scientists consulted by The Post all said that they respected the study's attempt, but weren't fully convinced.

Sanderson of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, was concerned that the current study might find an effect that wasn't actually there, in part because models are not fully independent of one another — they tend to overlap in many areas.

“This approach is designed to find relationships between future temperatures and things we can observe today,” he said. “The problem is we don't have enough models to be confident that the relationships are robust. The fact that models from different institutions share components makes this problem worse, and the authors haven't really addressed this fully.”

“It's great that people are doing this well and we should continue to do this kind of work — it's an important complement to assessments of sensitivity from other methods,” added Gavin Schmidt, who heads NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “But we should always remember that it's the consilience of evidence in such a complex area that usually gives you robust predictions.”

Schmidt noted future models might make this current finding disappear — and also noted the increase in warming in the better models found in the study was relatively small.

Lead study author Brown argued, though, that the results have a major real world implication: They could mean the world can emit even less carbon dioxide than we thought if it wants to hold warming below the widely accepted target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). This would mean shrinking the “carbon budget.”

The study “would imply that to stabilize temperature at 2 degrees Celsius, you'd have to have 15 percent less cumulative CO² emissions,” he said.

The world can ill afford that — as it is, it is very hard to see how even the current carbon budget can be met. The world is generally regarded as being off track when it comes to cutting its emissions, and with continuing economic growth, the challenge is enormous.

In this sense, that the new research will have to win acceptance may be at least a temporary reprieve for policymakers, who would be in a tough position indeed if it were shown to be definitively right.


• Chris Mooney reports on science and the environment for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Government's dire climate change report blames humans

 • The world's clouds are in different places than they were 30 years ago

 • Why uncertainty about climate change is definitely not our friend


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/12/06/the-most-accurate-climate-change-models-predict-the-most-alarming-consequences-study-claims
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« Reply #1083 on: December 07, 2017, 09:39:32 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Ferocious wildfires ravage Southern California, evacuating
communities and destroying homes


Authorities warned that more fires could erupt in the coming days.

By SCOTT WILSON, MARK BERMAN and ELI ROSENBERG | 10:23PM PST — Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A firefighter tries to keep flames from spreading while battling a wildfire in Ventura, California. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
A firefighter tries to keep flames from spreading while battling a wildfire in Ventura, California. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.

OJAI, CALIFORNIA — The flames came from all sides, tearing across cliffs and roaring down mountains, burning through homes and engulfing cars. Entire communities were evacuated, forcing people to grab what they could and flee as raging wildfires spread rapidly across Southern California on Wednesday.

Yet even as they scrambled for shelter from the choking smoke and flames that turned idyllic communities into apocalyptic backdrops, many worried about the dangers still to come. Officials warned that the wildfire threat could increase through the end of the week, with the same weather conditions fueling the fires forecast to intensify.

The wildfires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties have so far forced tens of thousands to escape, destroying hundreds of structures and emptying homes, hospitals, schools and multimillion-dollar mansions alike. Some 100,000 acres have burned.

In Ventura, the Thomas Fire burned across 90,000 acres on Wednesday, spreading through an area larger than the city of Detroit. Officials there said they had evacuated more than 50,000 people from 15,000 homes. Los Angeles County faced comparatively smaller blazes in the Rye and Creek fires, both of which erupted Tuesday north of downtown Los Angeles.

A new blaze, known as the Skirball Fire, began on Wednesday in Bel Air, temporarily shutting down Interstate 405 — one of the country's busiest freeways — and forcing the evacuation of 1,200 homes across the posh hillside neighborhoods near the University of California Los Angeles campus. Officials confronted that growing fire while continuing to battle the Creek Fire, which had crept into the city on the other side of town.




Los Angeles officials said that 265 schools in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles would be closed for the rest of the week as a safety measure.

“Our plan here is to try to stop this fire before it becomes something bigger,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Democrat) said at a news briefing. “These are days that break your heart. But these are also days that show the resilience of our city.”

That resilience could face serious tests in coming days.


A firefighter hoses down flare-ups at a two-story apartment complex that burned to the ground in Ventura, California. — Photograph: Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A firefighter hoses down flare-ups at a two-story apartment complex that burned to the ground in Ventura, California.
 — Photograph: Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their home as the Thomas Fire consumes another residence in Ventura, California. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their home as the Thomas Fire consumes another residence in Ventura, California.
 — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.


Horses are evacuated from a ranch in La Canada Flintridge, California, near the Creek Fire. — Photograph: David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News/Associated Press.
Horses are evacuated from a ranch in La Canada Flintridge, California, near the Creek Fire.
 — Photograph: David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News/Associated Press.


Officials in Ventura said they expected the fire to grow to the north and west over the next two days, as well as what one Cal Fire official, Tim Chavez, said was a “large probability of spot fires that will spread easily and spread rapidly.”

In Los Angeles, officials said they were bracing for another night of extremely strong winds as high as 80 miles per hour, which, combined with dry weather and parched vegetation, made the region particularly vulnerable to new fires. At an afternoon news conference, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas said the winds could blow embers as far as 10 miles away. The index that the department uses to assess environmental conditions for the fire risk is at the highest level he has ever seen in his career, Terrazas said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell was one of many officials who urged residents in areas near the fires to prepare to evacuate “should the need arise.”

Not far from the Skirball Fire, residents and visitors alike were weighing whether to stay or go. Two roommates who live in the Brentwood area packed their bags and were “just hanging tight,” said one of the men, 23-year-old Wes Luttrell. Montevis Price, who was visiting Los Angeles from Miami, promptly checked out of his hotel when he saw the blaze.

“I saw the little mountain on fire and that was it,” Price said. “You can prepare for a hurricane, but you can't prepare for something that happens all of a sudden.”

California Governor Jerry Brown (Democrat) declared states of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties because of the fires. More than 4,000 firefighters and other first responders fanned out across the region to save lives, protect homes and evacuate residents.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl L. Osby said that many of the firefighters who had been working on the fire since Monday had not slept. Hundreds of other firefighters and engines were en route from Northern California and nearby states.

“You can probably understand that most of our resources are pretty tapped,” he said.


The Thomas Fire burns along a hillside near Santa Paula, California. — Photograph: Kyle Grillot/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
The Thomas Fire burns along a hillside near Santa Paula, California. — Photograph: Kyle Grillot/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

A resident walks in the remains of an apartment building destroyed by the Thomas Fire. — Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images.
A resident walks in the remains of an apartment building destroyed by the Thomas Fire. — Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images.

The burned remains of crashed cars are seen on a country road where the Thomas Fire raged. — Photograph: David McNew/Reuters.
The burned remains of crashed cars are seen on a country road where the Thomas Fire raged. — Photograph: David McNew/Reuters.

As of Wednesday evening, officials said no deaths had been recorded as a result of the blazes, but some areas that had burned were not yet accessible.

The scenes of areas around the fires in Los Angeles brought to mind the horror of a disaster film. Day appeared as night along the coast, the smoke-masked sun casting a deep red light into the sky. Massive flames rolled down chaparral-covered cliffs toward Highway 101 from Santa Barbara south to Ventura. On the 405 highway near the J. Paul Getty Museum, videos taken from cars passing through showed a hellscape of fire and darkness: black hillsides covered in smoke and burning embers. Palm trees, a symbol of the region's laid-back lifestyle, went up in flames.

The smoke from the fires was visible from space, according to photos taken on the International Space Station and posted by NASA.

“When you get those 40-to 50-mile-per-hour winds, the fire just rolls like a steam train and you have minutes to get to safety,” said Ventura City Councilman Erik Nasarenko.

He was in a city council meeting on Tuesday when the evacuation order came.

“It was crazy,” Nasarenko said. “In the middle of the council meeting, the city manager tells me our neighborhood is on mandatory evacuation, so I raced home, grabbed the guinea pig and the kids and bolted.”

Officials said the wildfire that forced evacuations of portions of Ojai, a popular winter retreat with about 8,000 residents, began burning toward Santa Barbara on Wednesday.

For some, the flames had already consumed nearly everything they had.


A firefighter looks at a house destroyed by the Thomas Fire in Ventura. — Photograph: Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A firefighter looks at a house destroyed by the Thomas Fire in Ventura. — Photograph: Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Strong wind blows embers across the smoldering ruins of a house destroyed by the Creek Fire in Sunland, California. — Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images.
Strong wind blows embers across the smoldering ruins of a house destroyed by the Creek Fire in Sunland, California.
 — Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images.


A man prays as the Creek Fire rages in the Kagel Canyon area of the San Fernando Valley. — Photograph: Gene Blevins/Reuters.
A man prays as the Creek Fire rages in the Kagel Canyon area of the San Fernando Valley. — Photograph: Gene Blevins/Reuters.

The fire began beneath David and Theresa Brock's house in upper Ojai around sundown Monday, jumping the road and sprinting up toward them. But a shifting wind pushed it away within a few hundred yards, and the couple believed their home of 12 years was safe. They stayed up through the night, smoke covering the grounds around them.

“I thought we were doing great, real great,” said Brock, a state-certified operator of public water systems.

At about 4 a.m. Tuesday, the winds shifted again. The fire raced toward them, covering five miles in 15 minutes. Brock turned to Theresa and said, “Let's get outside in the dirt.” The couple keeps cattle, and the wide, grazed area outside their hilltop home acted as a natural fire break.

“At least out here,” he told her, “there's nothing to catch fire.”

As the couple watched the flames approach, a transformer blew adjacent to their home, igniting a pepper tree. Sparks were sucked into their attic.

“Then we saw smoke coming out of the vent,” Brock, 57, said. “And I thought, ‘well, that's it, we can't save it now’.”

Brock pulled his Ford Torino and tractor out of the garage, keeping them in the fire break, and with the help of firemen, managed to pull a few items out of his house.

“But what do you take?” he said. He chose a few family photos, but the cedar chest where Theresa kept all the family documents burned.

“Then I just stood back and watched,” he said. “You see these people on TV who have lost everything, and you can't imagine it, until it's you. Now I am that person. I have the clothes on my back.”


A Santa Barbara County Fire official passes a burning home in Ventura. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
A Santa Barbara County Fire official passes a burning home in Ventura. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.

Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 in Ventura. — Photograph: Daniel Dreifuss/Associated Press.
Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 in Ventura. — Photograph: Daniel Dreifuss/Associated Press.

Others felt the fear of what could come next.

“I'm scared,” said Beth Dorenkamp, a 25-year Ojai resident. “I saw the fire start at the east end of town, like a plume, but I never thought it would end up like this.”

Dorenkamp and Kathe Hanson huddled on a chilly morning at the Riverview Ranch in the Meiners Oaks neighborhood, which had been threatened but spared on Tuesday as the Thomas Fire grew. The women keep horses at the ranch, and spent a mostly sleepless Tuesday night keeping watch over them.

“We all have trailers ready to go, but all of the roads are closed,” said Hanson, masked against the falling ash, holding the reins of her horse, Mozart. “So we're sleeping in the barn and waiting to see what happens.”

Around the property, F-250s and Tundra pickups were hitched to trailers, ready to evacuate some of the 80 horses stabled there. The escape route had narrowed significantly, though, with some of the roads north into Santa Barbara County threatened by fire.

Word of mouth appeared the most common form of neighborhood news-gathering, with cell service spotty in the best of times in these high canyons, the power unstable because of the fire, and the Internet out in parts of the city.


Fire consumes a home near the Pacific Ocean in Ventura. — Photograph: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press.
Fire consumes a home near the Pacific Ocean in Ventura. — Photograph: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press.

Wind blows embers around a resident attempting to hose his burning property in Sunland. — Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images.
Wind blows embers around a resident attempting to hose his burning property in Sunland. — Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images.

The Carver family fled their home in Meiners Oak on Tuesday morning with flames less than half a mile from their property.

“We'd been up all night watching it,” said Cindy Carver, who with her husband, Thomas, and their two children, Caleb and Danika, moved to Ojai about eight years ago.

The family's power had gone out, and Thomas, a ham radio operator, used a radio repeater on Sulfur Mountain as an indicator of how close the flames were and which direction they were heading. If the repeater failed, he would leave with his family. It remained active all night.

Preparations began before dawn. Thomas, a family therapist, let the turkeys, goats and chickens the family raises loose in their pens. He and Cindy grabbed the passports, a couple wedding photos, a little cash and jewelry and corralled the kids into the camper. They also grabbed Hondo and Jetta, two rescue dogs, their four cats and 10 kittens.

“There was a point where I just thought I was going to lose it, and then we all said, it's just stuff,” Thomas said.

Caleb, 12, and Danika, 8, attend Ojai Valley School, which was closed like the others in the area. The upper campus was damaged on Tuesday, when a girl's dormitory burned down along with several other buildings. But the students had been evacuated early, which Cindy praised.

The day off from school seemed by turns fun and frightening, given the uncertainty the afternoon and evening held. The family is keeping their camper in a parking lot, and heading home in quick visits to eat and shower.

Caleb said he was amazed that as they left home, everything around him seemed to be taking place as it did any other day — a guy riding his bicycle through the smoke, a hiker on a nearby nature preserve trail.

“How are people so normal about this?” he said.


Mark Berman and Eli Rosenberg reported from Washington. Noah Smith in Los Angeles; William Dauber in Van Nuys, California; and Jason Samenow in Washington contributed to this report, which has been updated throughout the day.

• Scott Wilson is a senior national correspondent for The Washington Post, covering California and the west. He has previously served as The Post's national editor, chief White House correspondent, deputy Assistant Managing Editor Foreign News and as a correspondent in Latin America and in the Middle East.

• Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.

• Eli Rosenberg is a reporter on The Washington Post's General Assignment team.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: View from above: Fires ravage Southern California

 • VIDEO: ‘It's devastating’: Ventura evacuees watch homes burn, buildings collapse in wildfires

 • ‘Armageddon’: Apocalyptic images show the devastation caused by Southern California fires

 • Thanks to climate change, the weather roasting California and freezing the East may thrive


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/12/06/ferocious-wildfires-burn-across-southern-california-destroying-homes-and-forcing-thousands-to-evacuate
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« Reply #1084 on: December 08, 2017, 01:47:03 pm »

trying to blame these fires on man made global warming is a joke when this place has a history going back thousands of years of droughts and fires
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« Reply #1085 on: December 08, 2017, 07:04:11 pm »

Mentally unhinged climate hipsters here also brainlessly claim wild fires here are some testament to the coming warming apocalypse (even when some lefty scientists admit "er no actually there is no connection!!!") 😁
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« Reply #1086 on: December 10, 2017, 03:54:24 pm »



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« Reply #1087 on: December 10, 2017, 09:35:12 pm »

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