- Comment rating is back. It still doesn’t quite work the way I want it to; and honestly I may prefer that people actually use their words rather than click a like- or hate-button. But there it is. We’re still learning here — trying for a better User Experience™.
- As I’ve mentioned, I’ve got a swear-word filter on comments. If you drop an f-bomb, it’s going to be held for moderation, maybe for days. It’s an inexact proxy for incivility, but it’s what we got. Also too, be nice.
- We are likely about to experience an influx of new users due to interest in election season; please be welcoming, informed, courteous, witty, and substantive — show them a good time.
- So you’re thinking, “BMG, please take all my money!!” Two things:
- We’ve got some major hosting bills coming up. You can subscribe ($3.99/month) or donate to BMG via PayPal, and we’ll be eternally grateful. Truly anything you can give is most welcome.
- As you can see on the right, we’ve set up an ActBlue page targeted at pivotal Congressional races around the country, but particularly close to home: ME-02 (Poliquin), NH-01 (Carol Shea-Porter is retiring), NY-19 (Faso). We’re also taking aim at Paul Ryan’s and Devin Nunes’s seats; and protecting Elizabeth Warren. If there are Dem primary races, the money will be kept for the eventual winner. I’ve set an outrageously optimistic goal of $10,000 … but if that’s crazy, I don’t want to be sane.
Front Page Posts
- The real Fourth Estate in this country is apparently going to be a bunch of brilliant high school kids. The actual press, meanwhile, will continue to focus on story instead of policy, just like the NRA and this White House wants it.
For example, the contrast between the high school kids’ skillful questioning of various politicians on an assault weapons ban in the wake of the Parkland Massacre on the one hand, and Jake Tapper’s focus on the “horrific” (his word) FBI errors regarding the killer, aptly demonstrates how even talented journalists join the herd and follow.
The Parkland students, by contrast, have a laser focus on the real issue: guns.
February 22, 2018
For further information, contact:
Senator Barrett’s office:
Hannah Walford, 617-722-1572
Senator Tarr’s office:
Don Siriani, 978-761-0472;
Boston – In time to influence a public meeting in Boston called by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and set for next Tuesday, the Massachusetts State Senate, under bipartisan leadership, has passed a resolution opposing a federal initiative to reopen oil and gas drilling in the waters off New England.
Mike Barrett, Democrat of Lexington and Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Energy, and Bruce Tarr, Republican of Gloucester and Senate Minority Leader, coauthored the document, which passed the Senate on Thursday, Feb. 22.
The Resolution states, in part, “The Administration’s actions threaten to jeopardize the environmental well-being of the Commonwealth and, more particularly, its coastal communities and waters.”
It goes on, “The Commonwealth supports energy diversity, but the environmental and economic importance of the waters off the coast of the Commonwealth must be weighed against the benefits claimed for speculative offshore drilling.”
The Senate statement concludes by asking “the United States Department of the Interior to take all possible action to protect the waters off the coast of the Commonwealth and New England, in particular Georges Bank, Stellwagon Bank, and Jeffreys Ledge, and to exempt these areas from oil exploration initiatives.”
“Today, the Senate expressed its sincere interest in preventing risk to our ocean waters from a proposed Federal oil and gas drilling lease program under review by the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,” said Tarr. “Our coastal marine environment contains precious resources that support employment, commerce, research and our quality of life. The well-being of our coastal communities must be protected and defended”
“In terms of Massachusetts’ and New England’s values, this is one terrible idea,” Barrett said. “The country currently has projected surpluses of oil and natural gas for as far as the eye can see. This threat of environmental and economic devastation to our part of the nation could not be more pointless, nor more disrespectful to the traditions of the region.”
- Boston reached 72 degrees on Wednesday, breaking the previous record for the date by 9 degrees, as 24 East Coast cities set all-time record highs for the entire month of February.
- Portsmouth, NH broke its record high temperature for the day by an insane 20 degrees and Mount Washington tied its all-time highest winter temperature. Both times Mt. Wasington has hit 48 in Dec/Jan/Feb have come in the last 5 years.
- God bless WHDH’s Jeremy Reiner, the only person working for a Boston TV or radio station who wrote anything about climate change. Reiner points out 4 of 5 of Boston’s warmest February days ever have come in the last two years. Isn’t that crazy? Imagine how much extra energy we’re adding to storms. Whatever extra it may cost for solar, onshore wind & offshore wind energy, isn’t it still a bargain?
- The Boston Globe’s Dave Epstein mentioned global warming in his forecast. But the Globe had three news reporters write two articles on the record high temperatures and not one of those reporters. The Globe did have room for an entire article on “5 ways to get fit fast for spring.” John Henry can print whatever he sees fit, but the “give us your money to stop Trump, liberals” sales pitches ring a little hollow.
Boston has been keeping temperature records for the last 146 years. It never once hit 70 in February in its first 113 years of record keeping. But if forecasters are right about today, we’ll have done it twice this week and three times in the last two years alone. We’re forecast to break today’s 112-year-old record high by an incredible seven degrees.
And not a single journalist in Boston is connecting the dots to global warming, according to my Google News search.
Many journalists still falsely cling to a now-disproven line that no one extreme weather event can be connected to climate change. First, scientists are now directly connecting weather disasters to global warming. Second, there’s plenty we can say right now about today’s weather:
- Global warming is dramatically increasing our odds of record-breaking heat. Over the last year in America, 2.22 high temperature records were broken for every 1 cold record, according to ClimateSignals.org. As recently as the 1950s, it was still close to even at 1.09/1.
- Global warming is loading the dice for extreme weather, worsening heat waves, strengthening storms, deepening droughts, and adding fuel to wildfires.
So what should these stories say? Here’s a line that’s true & relevant for any extreme weather story, any time of year: “Scientists say this kind of record-breaking extreme weather is exactly what we can expect more of as manmade carbon pollution warms our climate.” That’s it! Easy!
One of the problems is that journalists only go to local government scientists as their sources, as the Boston Globe’s climate-silent story shows. Local government scientists have strong incentives to not say anything interesting, never mind controversial. So you get this: Read More…
Boston Globe’s James Vaznis wrote an interesting article, “In an unusual move, Conservatory Lab Charter School seeks to join Boston Public Schools.” My first reaction is “why would they want to do this considering they were just approved by the Board of Appeals for a new $25-million dollar building?” After reading the article, I realized it’s just another charter move to game the system. A backdoor way to charterize and privatize the Boston Public Schools! The article notes that if Conservatory Lab, a “Commonwealth Charter” school, were to onboard to Boston Public Schools as a “Horace Mann in-district charter”, their teacher’s salaries would increase as BTU members, but their governance and “financial autonomy“ remains with the Conservatory Lab Board of Trustees! Read More…
Wish I had more time to spend on each of these:
- Charlie Baker won’t take the T pledge, to actually experience first-hand what the hoi-polloi go through on a daily basis. I’m sure he feels it would disrupt his schedule. Imagine that.
- But have no fear – in the distance, you can see the cavalry coming! The governor is boldly addressing both the T’s managerial failures and the funding gap. There’s going to be — maybe — a funding commission! Perhaps next year. After the election. If they get to it. Goes along with the governor’s apparent “Y2K by 2040” transit ambitions. In the meantime, though, we’ll have fare increases. Isn’t that wonderful?
- What is with the Globe’s weirdly Orwellian, manipulative pro-gas-pipeline unsigned editorials? They make the case that if climate activists were really serious (and loved baby seals enough), they’d support … more gas infrastructure! The false choice of domestic fracked gas versus Russian LNG is especially stark in light of the Senate’s excellent, epochal clean energy bill — S.2302, which desperately needs your support, by the way. Please call your reps.
- The choice to be ambitious about energy comes not from a romantic view of the future, but from a recognition that we are teetering on societal collapse — no exaggeration — and that it requires immediate action:
“adaptation limits are expected to be exceeded” is another way of saying “Shit’s gonna break down on a huge scale, in ways that many people, even whole regions, will find impossible to respond to effectively.”
— Alex Steffen (@AlexSteffen) February 14, 2018
- … which makes me appreciate, as always, David Roberts, in a skeptical take on the bitter trade-offs and difficult math that real climate consciousness requires. I feel this deeply – we are all neck-deep in denial:
Just about nobody is taking climate change completely seriously at present, because, let’s face it, doing so is traumatic. To absorb the full implications of climate change is to realize that even a level of action beyond what’s reasonable to hope for can at best avert the worst of the damage.
Changes in ecosystems that are effectively permanent and irreversible are already underway; within the century, we will enter a range of climate conditions entirely new to our species. There is no “safe” space available anymore.
To take that seriously is to support massive, immediate carbon reductions, not only at the level of theory, not only in statements and proclamations and pledges, but in the sense of preferring the lower carbon strategy in every local, city, state, or federal decision, whether it’s about land, housing, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, taxes, regulations, or lifestyle habits.
Good god, people. Pass the Senate energy bill and fund the T already.