Fresh Not Frozen: “Paradise Gone”


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Eighty seven miles northeast of Sacramento is the City of Paradise. Last night around 6:45 pm “The Camp Fire” Jump a line and destroyed this eighteen square mile city, population 27,000. As of 4am today more than 35,000 people have been evacuated in the area as the fire has not been contained. Six people have perished in the fire.
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Conditions in most parts of California is very dry. There hasn’t been any significant rain in Sacramento is several months. Low humidity levels and offshore winds blowing hot air inland, combined with dried out vegetation, could cause any wildfires that spark to spread quickly. A smoke a smoke advisory has been issued for the San Francisco Bay Area over 200 miles from the fire.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints burns during Camp Fire in Paradise

The “Camp Fire’ was discovered around 6.30am near Pulga, Ca, 26 miles northwest of Paradise. The blaze, named the Camp Fire because of its proximity to Camp Creek . High wind gusts is resulting in a fire growing at a rate of 80 football fields a minute. The Fire is less two miles from Chico, the home to nearly 90,000 and California State University, Chico

All roads in and around the Chico area including 99, 20 are closed.

CityFella

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‘Losing all the glaciers in Switzerland is not that far away’


‘Losing all the glaciers in Switzerland is not that far away’
The Rhône glacier. Photo: Max Schmid/Swiss Tourism
By Sean Mowbray/The Local
A child born in Switzerland today will likely live to see the turn of the 22nd century. If scientists are right, the views they’ll see will have changed remarkably, writes The Local contributor Sean Mowbray.
For one, they will likely shiver less in winter and only see glaciers in the highest reaches of the Alps. It’s a grim vision of a future depleted of snow and ice, but it’s a vision that can be avoided. Well, sort of.
Glacial retreat
This past year alone was nigh-on catastrophic for Switzerland’s glaciers.
Matthias Huss, a glaciologist at the University of Fribourg, tells The Local that many of Switzerland’s glaciers were snow-free by July this year. That meant the icy surfaces of glaciers were at the direct mercy of the sizzling August temperatures. The result is that over a single year, three percent of Swiss glacial mass melted away.
That’s enough ice melt to provide every single Swiss household with a rather cold 25m2 swimming pool, Huss says.
“This really indicates that losing all the glaciers in Switzerland is not that far away,” he warns.
That’s not to say that the epic ice loss of 2017 will be necessarily repeated next year, nor even in the next five years. But, Huss explains, Swiss glaciers are still going through a steep decline with no end in sight. For the past 30 years they’ve been losing mass, sometimes in epic proportions, overtimes in small amounts.
The result of all this loss is that by 2100, when a Swiss child born in 2017 is lighting their 83rd birthday candle, there’ll be far fewer glaciers left in Switzerland, with up to 90 percent of them lost.
“The troubling thing is that this is not even that much dependent on future CO2,” says Huss.
Will scenes like this, of the Aletsch glacier, become a thing of the past? Photo: The Local
He points to the Aletsch glacier, which is currently the longest glacier in Europe. Unfortunately it’s too big for the current climate. Even if temperatures stabilize, glaciers such as the Aletsch keep on melting for a time until they retreat to a place they can survive, says Huss. Unfortunately, the Alps just aren’t high enough to offer refuge.
“We cannot preserve the Aletsch glacier, for example, with its beautiful glacial tongue, even with strongly reduced CO2 emissions,” Huss continues.
The Aletsch won’t disappear altogether, but it will likely retreat nearer to the Jungfraujoch and become a shadow of what it once was, with around 70-80 percent of its current volume reduced to meltwater.
Snow’s not so sure 
Glacier-lovers may have a grim view of the future in Switzerland, but skiers need not despair completely – for now.
Christoph Marty, of the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, is more optimistic about what’s to come. That’s because we can still do something about the amount of snowfall in Switzerland, he says.
“We say that glaciers have a memory,” Marty tells The Local. “A bad year with little snow and lots of melt means they have a bad start to the next year.” However, for snow, “each year is like resetting the dial back to zero”.
In a study released earlier this year, Marty and his team said that snow cover will largely disappear from the Alps by 2100.   That’s hardly great news, but crucially, his research points out that this is dependent on CO2 emissions and the amount of warming that happens between now and then.
“If we don’t cut emissions, enough snow for winter sports can only be guaranteed above 2,500 metres,” the researchers said in a statement back in February.
Since less snowfall also comes with a loss of snow days in general , the ski season simultaneously shortens while snow cover worsens – bad news for skiers.
The ski slopes in Grindelwald in mid March 2017. Photo: The Local
Marty believes that as things stand, we are probably on course to raise the snow-sure altitude level from its current 1,400 metres by a good 500-700 metres. But if we tackle emissions then that could be reduced greatly.
However, that seems a big ‘if’.
Switzerland, for its part, is committed to the Paris agreement and aims to halve its CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The new Energy Strategy 2050, which enters into force on January 1st 2018, also envisages a Switzerland that’s more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels.
But with the US pulling out of Paris, it remains to be seen if enough can be done worldwide to tackle climate change.
Not such a quick fix    
By now, you’re probably thinking perhaps these problems could be fixed with a few good snow blowers. These water and energy hungry snow producers are now a common sight at many alpine ski resorts. Couldn’t they be used to save glaciers?
Glaciologist Felix Keller has been figuring out how to put them to use to save the Morteratsch glacier. He plans to blow snow over the glacier during the summer months to ward off any melt. Previously, it had been thought that thousands of snow machines would be needed, but Keller’s new calculations mean that only around 200 would be needed, he tells The Local.
However he concedes this would be a stop-gap measure and that glaciers cannot be saved forever – we can only slow their decline. On top of that, using snow blowers is incredibly costly, both financially and environmentally, making it a measure that Huss says simply isn’t feasible across the hundreds of glaciers in Switzerland.
Efforts to save glaciers should only be considered if it’s absolutely essential to preserve water sources, says Keller, who is concerned about what the loss of glaciers means for freshwater availability, particularly during summer time, something that’s not yet entirely clear.
So it’s likely we can’t engineer our way out of this one. Switzerland’s glaciers are melting away, one year after another, and while we can still hope to see snow-sure slopes for some time to come, as temperatures rise this will become more challenging and be at further cost to the environment. What is sure is that children born today or in the coming decades will look out on to an alpine landscape that’s vastly different from our own.

Grey hair grows faster


Oh my fucking gawd! I’m thirty. It was devastating, my youth!

Turning forty was less shocking however, I spent the first two years of my forties saying I was thirty nine.

One day, I noticed a grey hair in my goatee, I didn’t think anything about it. A few days later there were three, all in the same neighborhood. Not today, I thought to myself as I quickly plucked those bad boys out.

Months went by, I was on a weekend vacation with the family. I looked in a mirror and there they were, all grouped up together. A renegaded bunch standing tall like they were Teamsters. Well you don’t eff with the Teamsters. So I did what a normal guy does, I carefully covered them in black Kiwi shoe polish.

By my fiftieth birthday the Teamsters had won. Their diabolical plan had worked, AND they were expanding. The mustache was beginning to have more salt than paper. To fight them off I bought “Just for men” However, with the basic black I started to look like a Deacon at the First Eucalyptus Missionary Baptist Church. I now know Medium brown works best for me. Warning : Don’t color your southern hair, you’ll learn a few new dance moves, just saying.

God has a sense of humor. The grey hair suddenly started to grow faster. I had to get a part time job so I could afford to cover the grey. In addition to facial hair, the nose hair started growing faster. You just know, when people are not looking into your eyes and staring at your braided nose hairs. I have worn out several nose rimmers. As more baby boomers come online, someone like Dewalt or Black and Decker will make a heavy duty hair trimmer.

If your forty or forty plus, embrace the grey, you’ll go before it does.

CityFella

Just how Red is Florida?


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Since 1936, Florida has picked the winner of the presidential election 19 out 21 times and in no other state has the Hispanic vote proved more valuable in helping determine who will lead the nation for the next four years.

In 2016 Presidential Election. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 115,000 thousand votes

Hurricane Maria continues to ravage Puerto Rico.  Nearly a half million americans have been without power  for more than four months.  Thousands of homes still need repair many are without roofs.

Over two hundred thousand Puerto Ricans have moved to Florida since Hurricane Maria.  Florida’s govenor Rick Scott says the number is closer the 300,000.  Scott’s number represents people on commercial airlines flying from Puerto Rico to Orlando, Miami and Tampa — a statistic tracked by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. So it would include businesspeople, journalists, aid workers, contractors, government employees and possibly travelers who connected at Puerto Rico airports from other points of origin.

There’s really no whole number that is reliable yet, said Rich Doty, GIS Coordinator & Research Demographer at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The most accurate number is from schools, where children from the island are new registrations. Statewide, that number is about 11,200 for arrivals from Puerto Rico and the much smaller Virgin Islands.

The actual number may not be known for months.   Since Puerto Ricians are US Citizens they are not required to register.  Many are staying with families in Florida.

 Leaving Puerto Rico Sad and Blue

Bloomberg says, an estimated 600,000 people plan to leave the island by 2022.   On Wednesday,  Puerto Rico’s Govenor Ricardo A. Rosselló announsed the island will not be able to pay down any portion of the islands more than $70 billion debt for the next five years because of the damage brought on by Hurricane Maria.

Just before the hurricane, Puerto Rico had made plans to pay creditors a total of $3.6 billion through 2022. That was a fraction of the amount due, had the island, a United States territory, not gone into default.

Nearly half of Islands population live in poverty prior to the hurricane. The unemployement rate is currently 11 percent.

Before Maria, Puerto Ricians were leaving the Island with Orlando being the most popular destination. Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph had reported more than 20,000 Puerto Rico residents moving to the county in the 12 months before Maria.

An Early Warning

In May of 2016, The Wall Street Journal editorial board warned that if Congress failed to pass a bill addressing the island’s debt crists on Puerto Rico would result in thousands of Puerto Ricans moving to the US mainland which could make Florida a Democratic stronghold.

The challenges posed by such a mass emigration are two-fold, according to the Journal. One, it could increase costs to the federal government as Puerto Ricans rely on public assistance to help reestablish themselves on the U.S. mainland.

“While many will eventually find jobs in the U.S., their incomes will at least initially be low enough to qualify for Medicaid, food stamps and public housing. Their kids will attend public schools.

“A congressional default would relegate the island to economic paralysis, and Florida and Puerto Rican voters to the Democrats for years to come,” the Journal warned.

Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt?

Last October President Trump told Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera “We have to look at their whole debt structure,”  “They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out.” The president added that “you can say goodbye” to the island’s existing debt, regardless of how it may affect companies on Wall Street like Goldman Sachs. Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy in May.’

The writing is on the wall, Puerto Ricans will soon displace Cubans as the largest Latino group in Florida.  In 2016, Puerto Ricans in Florida overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton.  Puerto Ricans are an attractive group of voters because of their high participation rates and their ability to group together as a voting bloc.

Groups like “Mi Familia Vota” plants to register 25,000 Latinos to vote in 2018. Nearly half of those will be Puerto Rican.

In 2016, many Puerto Ricans were offended by Candidate Donald Trump Mexican comments.

This year, Floridians will elect a new Governor, U.S. Senator send a few members to the House. What role ,will the Presidents negative tweets about the island and San Juan’s Mayor have on the elections this fall?  How RED is Florida? Details this Fall.

 

CityFella

 

Puerto Rico By the Numbers


 

Home to 3.4 Million Americans

Iowa 3.1 Million Americans

Utah 3 Million Americans

Mississippi 2.9 Million Americans

Arkansas 2.9 Million Americans

Nevada 2.9 Million Americans

Kansas 2.9 Million Americans

New Mexico 2.1 Million Americans

Nebraska 1.9 Million Americans

West Virginia 1.8 Million Americans

Idaho 1.7 Million Americans

There are more Americans In Puerto Rico than Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, District of Columbia, Vermont, Wyoming

 

Travel

New York to Puerto Rico 3.5 Hours

Miami to Puerto Rico 2.5 Hours

Houston to New York 3.5 Hours

Houston to Miami 2.35 Hours

Puerto Rico is closer to the Continental U.S than Alaska or Hawaii

 

Currency: US Dollar

 

51st State?

Through the years there has been discussion about Puerto Rico becoming the 51st State.

On January 17,2017 Puerto Rico’s new representative to Congress pushed a bill that would ratify statehood by 2025.

 

Are natural disasters part of God’s retribution?


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Roman Catholic Theologian examines the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment

By: Matthew Schmatz/The Conversation

This piece originally appeared on The Conversation

Seeing the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, conservative Christian pastor John McTernan argued recently that “God is systematically destroying America” out of anger over “the homosexual agenda.”

There were others who disagreed over the reasons for God’s anger, but not necessarily with the assumption that God can be wrathful. Ann Coulter, a conservative political commentator, for example, said jokingly that Houston’s election of a lesbian mayor was a more “credible” cause of the hurricane than global warming. And, from the other side of the political spectrum, a Tampa University professor tweeted that God had punished Texans for voting Republican. He subsequently expressed regret, but was fired.

It is true that many religious traditions, including Judaism and Christianity, have seen natural disasters as divine punishment. But, as a scholar of religion, I would argue that things aren’t that simple.

The Genesis flood

Some of the earliest narratives of divine retribution go back to 2000 B.C. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of a catastrophic flood.

The gods decide to bring rain down to end the “uproar” of humankind. But the god of the waters, Enki, warns the righteous man, Utnapishtim, about the impending disaster.

Utnapishtim saves himself and his family by constructing a boat.

Elements of this story are later echoed in the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Genesis. God is angry because the Earth is filled with violence caused by human beings and vows to “destroy both them and the Earth.”
Noah is a “blameless” man, and God tells him to build an ark that would be large enough to hold his family and “two of all living creatures.” Although humanity perishes in a deluge, Noah preserves life on Earth.

It might seem straightforward to say that floods in the Bible are associated with God’s anger, but that means missing the complexity of the text.

In the Genesis account, after the waters subside, God makes a covenant with Noah:

“Never again will I destroy all living creatures.”

This promise not to destroy humankind is also referred to in the Book of Isaiah, the Israelite prophet and seer. In a vision, God says that just as he vowed to Noah that water “would never again cover the Earth,” so too he promises not “to be angry.”

Biblical approaches to suffering

The question of God’s anger is intimately connected to the problem of human suffering. After all, how can a loving God cause indiscriminate human misery?

We first need to look at how suffering is portrayed in the texts. For example, it is also in the Book of Isaiah that we find the story of the “Man of Sorrows” – a man who takes on the sufferings of others and is an image of piety.

While the Bible does speak of humans suffering because of their sins, some of the most moving passages speak about how innocent people suffer as well.

The Book of Job relates the story of a “blameless and upright man,” Job, whom Satan causes to experience all sorts of calamities. The suffering becomes so intense that Job wishes he had never been born. God then speaks from the heavens and explains to Job that God’s ways surpass human understanding.

The Hebrew Bible recognizes that people suffer often through no fault of their own. Most famously, Psalm 42 is an extended lament about suffering that nonetheless concludes by praising God.

The Hebrew Bible’s views on suffering cannot be encapsulated by a single message. Sometimes suffering is caused by God, sometimes by Satan and sometimes by other human beings. But sometimes the purpose behind suffering remains hidden.

The Christian tradition also provides diverse answers to the issue of suffering.

The New Testament does refer to the Genesis flood when talking about God punishing human beings. For example, Paul the Apostle observes that God brought the flood on “the ungodly” people of the world.

But the Epistle of James, a letter in the New Testament often attributed to Jesus’ brother or stepbrother, says that God tests no one. In fact, those who endure trials are eventually rewarded. The early Christian philosopher Origen argued that through suffering we can understand our own weaknesses and dependence on God.

In these views, suffering is not punishment but something that draws human beings to closer God and to one another.

Moving to more contemporary reflections, philosopher Dewi Zephaniah Phillips argues that it is mistaken to attribute to God a human feeling like anger because God lies beyond human reality.

Believing that Hurricane Harvey is “God’s punishment,” reduces the divine to human terms.

God is merciful

Some theologians totally reject the idea of suffering as divine retribution because such an act would be unworthy of a merciful God. From a Christian perspective, God also suffered by being crucified on the cross as Jesus Christ.

And so, as a Roman Catholic scholar, I would argue that God suffers with people in Houston – as well as in Mumbai, which experienced much more extensive flooding recently.

In the words of German theologian Jurgen Moltmann,

“God heals the sicknesses and the griefs by making the sicknesses and the griefs his suffering and his grief.”

So, instead of dwelling on God’s wrath, we need to understand God’s kindness and mercy. And that, in times of crises and distress, it is kindness and mercy that require us to reach out to those who need comfort and assistance.

Mathew Schmalz, Associate Professor of Religion, College of the Holy Cross

“ME” 2017


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“I’m the greatest president EVER”  “I know more than the Pope and almost as much as God”  ” I watch myself of TV because I like to hear the haters lie about my accomplishments.”  ” I don’t watch Morning Joe (that slug) he is just a failed politician, I hate how he looks without his glasses, like this morning, I’ve heard”  The fake news (all of its fake-except Sean Hannity) says I’m disloyal, this is wrong-I tell ya, I am loyal to people who are loyal to me.  Just this morning I was talking to my favorite son Jared ( I meant to say) my favorite Son in Law (its just like the fake news to hear it wrong) and I’m loyal to everyone except my son Eric (for reasons he knows) and Jeff Sessions who more loyal to the country then to me!  I hope the little bitch catches a brick, it would be tremendous!

Sean Spicer Agrees with 45

 

CityFella

Gonna Miss Spicy