November 2, 2011 – The New York Times takes note today that (as predicted in Brace for Impact two years ago) the aging electric power grid is failing more and more people, more often, for longer periods of time. Given the primitive nature of the grid (“strings on sticks”), its age and lack of maintenance, this would all be happening anyway. But thanks to the stuff we burn to get the power, the storms are stronger and more frequent. The Times gets the human tragedy of the man whose vintage airplane was destroyed and whose two homes were without power simultaneously — keep the tissues handy, this is a sad story — but does not yet get the nature of the unfolding crisis.
“No one can know for sure if this is just the eternally unpredictable chaos of weather on earth or it is something more ominous; call it the new abnormal.”
Yeah. It’s prolly just the weather.
October 21, 2011 — Lisa Simeone was the host of a radio program titled The World of Opera that is heard on National Public Radio’s network. She participated in some anti-war demonstrations in Washington. Fox News screamed that she had violated NPR employee guidelines for journalists. Turned out she didn’t work for NPR. Turned out she isn’t a journalist. Never mind. On hearing the Fox scream, National Pavlovian Radio caused her to be fired. “What is NPR afraid I’ll do,” she asked, “insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?” Anti-war, of course, being synonymous with seditious. Never mind, it’s automatic now. When the Right screams fake outrage, the Left screams in fear and hides under the bed.
October 17, 2011 – ”HOUSTON — A Houston-based natural gas and oil drilling [that is, fracking] contractor pleaded guilty Tuesday to a negligent violation of the Clean Water Act in federal court in Muskogee, Oklahoma.In entering the plea, Integrated Production Services has agreed to pay a $140,000 criminal fine … and will serve a two-year period of probation, during which it will be required to implement and perform an environmental compliance program.”
Reckon this will stop the claims of “not one single case of pollution by fracking?” Naaah.
September 9, 2011 — Truer words were never spake department: The president of San Diego Gas & Electric yesterday, after a lineman’s “whoops” blacked out power to every one of the company’s 5,000,000 customers in two states, trapping hundreds in elevators and snarling California traffic for up to 24 hours: “Get ready to be in the dark.”
September 6, 2011 — For the most coherent, insightful and credible indictment of the culture of Know-Nothing-ism that has overtaken our politics, please read this article by a veteran and respected Congressional staffer who has been driven into retirement by the lunacy. “Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.”
August 17, 2011 — A horrible add to the story on toxic algae blooms ( Losing the War on Pond Scum): three youngsters in the South have been killed this summer by a brain-eating amoeba that likes the same conditions — heat and drought — as the blue-green algae. The deaths (infection is fatal in more than 95% of cases) occurred in Louisiana, Brevard County, Florida, and Henrico County Virginia, according to CNN.. The amoeba is mysterious and extremely rare — 32 cases have been reported in the past decade. Scary, nevertheless.
August 17, 2011 — Who could have predicted the collapse of the stage sat the Indiana State Fair? (Omens of Collapse: A Stage and a Fence). Just about anybody who was paying any attention. Saturday’s accident was at least the fourth stage accident in six weeks. Earlier this month, wind blew over a lighting rig at a music festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lightning toppled a stage under construction near Quebec City. Last month, a summer gale toppled a stage at a music festival in Ottawa, Canada, where the band Cheap Trick was performing. Three people were hospitalized.
August 9, 2011 –What he said: James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, writes on his website Clusterfuck Nation this analysis of the latest financial news:
Everybody is broke now: national treasuries, giant banks, pension funds, insurance companies. The wonder so far is that credit default swaps have not yet been triggered by interest rate changes or some other silly shit, but when that comes to pass there is no way the counterparties can settle their contracts. Ruin will thunder through the financial system like winged death. Everybody is broke and there’s a lot less real “money” (whatever it is) out there. Everybody’s quailing at the prospect of QE 3, in all its cosmic futility. The United States has already half killed itself at the Golden Corral steam-table of deep-fried debt. I guess we could go all the way and shoot what remains of the dollar in its pitiful, lolling head.
There is a welling recognition that the dice have been cast and the world has rolled snake eyes. The casino is on fire and a flash flood is boiling down the strip. It’s no fun running to the exits only to find the revolving doors already eyeball deep in dirty water. America gibbers to itself but nobody has a clue. I’ll try to help: this is a compressive financial and economic contraction (one is money, the other is activity). Late-summer storm that it is, it looks to be intensifying.
Everything that’s super-big is going down sooner or later. The exact sequence of failures is unpredictable. But you can be sure Nature is telling you to get local, get smaller, get finer, downscale, solidify your friendships, and drop your stupid grandiose fantasies about running WalMart on algae. This is change you don’t have to believe in, because it is about to jump up and bite you on the lips.
August 4, 2011 — Could someone explain, please, why the piece onthe illegal garden in Canada is drawing more people, by an order of magnitude or two, not only than any other recent story, but than the equally bizarreillegal garden in Wisconsin? Did we really think Canadians has more sense? Or are Canadians invading us?
August 3, 2011 — While the USDA buries our head in the sand (“USDA Gets Bad News on Superbugs: Shoots Messenger”) a new wave of sickness and death emerges from the industrial food industry and its superbugs. Thanks to antibiotic-resistant salmonella in ground turkey, the Centers for Disease Control reports, 77 people in 26 states have fallen ill; one person has died. The tainted turkey is reported to be from a Cargill plant in Springdale, Arkansas.
August 2, 2011 — Thanks to the following websites for recent mentions and reposts of Daily Impact stories that have brought many new visitors here. I hope evreybody here returns the favor.
August 1, 2011 — The Daily Impact audio podcast is now available for subscription via iTunes. Also, the email subscription now includes a link to the podcast of that story.
July 25, 2011 — Got a podcast started over the weekend. Above the front-page excerpts, or at the top of the story page, you’ll find a podcast link that opens a player in a new window (or you can download it if you want to). The player is refreshingly quick and simple. The subscription will be up soon on iTunes.
July 22, 2011 — Rush Limbaugh opines that the heat index — combining the effects of heat and humidity — is a liberal invention for the purpose of — well, he’s not to clear on that, apparently they did it just to make people uncomfortable. His diatribe is reported, and well trashed, by Climate Progress in a piece headlined, “It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Stupidity.” Next: “We don’t believe in gravity. Liberals invented it just to keep people down.”
July 11, 2011 — People trying to see for themselves what Exxon has done to the pristine Yellowstone River are likely to encounter Exxon security guards who, according to CNN, “block off a public road leading to cleanup operations. Media from around the world wait to be escorted into one area to film the spill. [An Exxon spokesperson] said the escort is to protect reporters from the floodwaters.” Excuse me? Exxon security guards are blockng a public road? News reporters moving around the state of Montana are required by Exxon to have an escort? In the United States of America?
July 6, 2011 — Turns out that a variant of our proposal of corporal punishment for corporations has taken fire around the country. It’s a movement to amend the US Constitution to make it clear that — contrary to the US Supreme Court Ruling in Citizens United — corporations are not persons, money is not speech and neither is protected by the Constitution. For a story on the movement click here; and top go to the principal website of Move to Amend go here.
06/10/11 Turns out we dodged — or, rather, were missed by — two bullets this month. The Mississippi River did not change course, and the huge solar flare of this week was not pointed at us. As The Daily Impact outlined back in January ["A Solar Powered Blackout"], and as PC Magazine reported in the aftermath of another near miss,
“The worst-case scenario is an extreme event,” says Michael Hesse, chief of NASA’s Space Weather Laboratory at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “If it were to happen and we don’t take any precautions, it would probably knock out our power grid for an extended period of time and destroy a sizable fraction of our satellite infrastructure.”
06/09/11 — Guess the folks at the LA Times are not reading The Daily Impact, or they would not have been surprised by the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting of OPEC ["OPEC Insists Oil's Well, Despite Evidence"]. As the LA paper hyperventilated yesterday, oil prices worldwide resumed their reach for the sky after the oilmeisters “unexpectedly failed to agree Wednesday on plans to increase production quotas to meet growing global demand.”
05/19/11 — The BBS Radio Network’s Dresser After Dark featured the Daily Impact’s Tom Lewis this evening. To listen to the interview click here: 0519 Dresser Interview Cut One; 0519 Dresser Interview Cut Two
05/18/11 — The biggest natural-gas fracker in Pennsylvania [See "Are You Fracking (and) Kidding Me?"] has just been handed the largest fine ever levied against an oil or gas driller by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. For practices that led to well-water contamination and a fire that injured three workers, Chesapeake Energy was fined a little more than $1 million, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Previous title holder: Cabot Oil and Gas, dinged for $500,000 five months ago for polluting wells around Dimrock, Pa.
05/12/11 — “Killing Waters in the Heartland” update: According to the USDA, farmers in the 18 Corn Belt states gained some ground with planting their crops last week, and now have 40 % of the planned crops in the ground. That’s about 20% behind the five-year average for this time of year, and a major worry for increasingly small margins between projected demand and projected supply. Likewise the winter wheat crop, trying to mature in the cold, wet weather that is delaying the planting, is deteriorating, with 42% of it now in poor or very poor condition. Compared with last year, prices for corn, soybeans and wheat are up 97%, 46% and 57% respectively.
05/10/11 – The Daily Impact is the subject of discussion today on “Lewis@Large” on KLWN Radio, Lawrence, Kansas (also heard on KFRM Clay Center and KLKC Parsons). Radio host Warner Lewis talks with DI editor Tom Lewis (no relation).
05/06/11 – In a Wednesday New York Times story (beware the pay wall), Katherine Q. Seelye wrote about the return of the Dust Bowl to Oklahoma (the article was trashed by Joe Romm at Climate Progress). She saved for a later NYT Green Blog entry mention of an equal danger — depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer. According to her, “some” geologists fear the aquifer, source of irrigation and drinking water for eight states, will be dry in 25 or 30 years. For a more accurate appraisal, see Brace for Impact or “All of Our Aquifers are Leaking.”
05/05/11 — If you want to keep up with the Mississippi rampage, bookmark the page the National Weather Service at Jackson, Mississippi has just set up to do that: it’s titled the May 2011 Mississippi Flood.
05/05/11 — Our story “Mississippi Rising: Apocalypse Now?” has set an all time record for The Daily Impact, with 12,391 page views as of this morning. Big surge after Instapundit featured it and commenters on ClimateProgress referred to it. Thanks to both.