Since 2012, California has been in the midst of a record-setting drought, with extremely warm and dry conditions characterizing the last three years in that state. A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that warming caused by humans is responsible for the conditions that have led to this California drought.
This study, published by scientists affiliated with the Department of Environmental Earth System Science and the Woods Institute for Environment at Stanford University, used historical statewide data for observed temperature, precipitation, and drought in California. The investigators used the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI) and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), collected by the National Climatic Data Center, as measures of the severity of wet/dry anomalies. They also used global climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) to compare historical predictions for anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic historical climates.
The authors performed their analysis using an approach called bootstrapping. Bootstrapping techniques allow statisticians to utilize the same sample repeatedly to improve their estimates of specific effects. In this analysis, bootstrapping was used to compare the climate data with measures of populations from different time periods to allow for analysis of how changes in population are associated with different climate conditions.
This analysis found that the statewide warming in California occurs in climate models that include both natural and human factors, but not in simulations that only include natural factors. It’s a difference with a very high (0.001) level of statistical significance.
In their discussion and conclusions, the investigators state that their results strongly suggest that anthropogenic (human-caused) warming has increased the probability of co-occurring temperature and precipitation conditions that have historically led to California’s droughts. They also state that continued global warming is likely to lead to situations where every future dry period, whether it’s seasonal, annual, or multiannual, will be accompanied by historically warm conditions.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA.
As the JMA graph shows, there has been no “hiatus” or “pause” in warming. In fact, there has not even been a slowdown. Yes, in JMA’s ranking of hottest years, 1998 is in (a distant) second place — but 1998 was an outlier as the graph shows. In fact, 1998 was boosted above the trendline by an unusual super-El Niño. It is usually the combination of the underlying long-term warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records.
What makes setting the record for hottest year in 2014 doubly impressive is that it occurred despite the fact we’re still waiting for the start of El Niño. But this is what happens when a species keeps spewing record amounts of heat-trapping carbon pollution into the air, driving CO2 to levels in the air not seen for millions of years, when the planet was far hotter and sea levels tens of feet higher.
Even the most patently offensive of the Charlie Hebdo covers that have been circulating on the internet in the wake of the attack - one depicting the Nigerian girls and women kidnapped by Boko Haram as pregnant welfare queens - has been read by observers in France as a satire of the paranoid fantasies of the far-right. (That the same cover was met with criticism for its Islamophobia within France demonstrates that French left-wing politics are not monolithic, just as left-wing politics around the world are not monolithic.)
The fact that Charlie Hebdo’s editorial position is left-wing within the world of French politics necessarily complicates any analysis of their imagery as purely and simply racist. Of course, left-wing people and self-described progressives are not immune from racism; Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail talks eloquently about the soft racism of the ‘white moderate’ being as much of an impediment to black freedom as the Ku Klux Klan. And I would personally argue that racist imagery is so loaded with an unsavoury history of racist use that it is nearly impossible to ‘reclaim’ in the service of anti-racist action - certainly not if deployed with the crudeness of Charlie Hebdo’s more offensive pieces. This is before we even consider the very important question of whether representing the prophet Mohammed in any form is needlessly antagonistic towards Sunni Muslims, whose interpretations of the hadith prohibit the pictorial representation of the prophet - or, as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius put it, “Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour oil on the fire?”.
Progressive voices in the Anglosphere have interpreted the magazine as a bastion of racism, classism, and homophobia, without seeking to understand its context.
Yet in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, left-wing and progressive voices in the Anglosphere have interpreted the magazine as a bastion of racism, classism, and homophobia, without seeking to understand the magazine’s context. (Similarly, voices of the American right such as Larry O’Connor - who the profoundly left and secular Charlie Hebdo staff would have abhorred - have seen fit to declare solidarity with the magazine.) As Jeff Sparrow argues, “you don’t have to like the project of Charlie Hebdo to defend its artists from murder, just as you can uphold media workers’ right to safety without endorsing the imagery they produce.”
This seems especially salient when, owing to our immersion within the Anglophone political landscape, most of us are not even in a position to accurately decode Charlie Hebdo’s message, or understand its humour.
District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims are children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.
“The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous,” Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defence group that fights Boko Haram, told the Associated Press.
He said the civilian fighters gave up on trying to count all the bodies. “No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now,” Gava said.
An Amnesty International statement said there are reports the town was razed and as many as 2,000 people killed.
Gogo Inflight Internet seems to believe that they are justified in performing a man-in-the-middle attack on their users. Adrienne Porter Felt, an engineer that is a part of the Google Chrome security team, discovered while on a flight that she was being served SSL certificates from Gogo when she was requesting Google sites. Looking at the issuer of the certificate, rather than being issued by Google, it was being issued by Gogo.
This presents itself as an extremely unacceptable action by Gogo which serves in-flight internet to a number of different national and international airlines, including Aeromexico, American Airlines, Air Canada, Japan Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, among many others.
Earlier this year, it was revealed through the FCC that Gogo partnered with government officials to produce “capabilities to accommodate law enforcement interests” that go beyond those outlined under federal law. It mentioned how it worked closely with law enforcement and directly baked spyware into their service. If that wasn’t bad enough, based on this revelation, Gogo is now intentionally attacking its users’ browsing sessions to remove any line of defense that a user may have, and based on their history, it cannot be trusted that it is being done for any legitimate reason.
Mobley spotted something brown moving in the hard-packed snow of the debris field.
“It looked like a guy’s arm at first because we were expecting to see a skier,” Mobley said. “But it was moaning and groaning and moving and we realized it was a moose, even though only his ears and some of its snout was sticking out of the snow.”
The men grabbed shovels. Two men dug while the other looked for signs of another avalanche. When the animal’s head was cleared, Vucinich took a picture. The moose didn’t struggle and appeared calmer as they cleared snow.
“It didn’t even fight us,” Mobley said. “It was like, ‘Help me. Help me.’ It was totally docile and let us touch it. It just (lay) there,” Mobley said.
After about 10 minutes, Mobley said, three-quarters of the animal was free. The men were not sure if the moose was injured. One poked the moose’s rump with a shovel.
“It stood right up and towered over us, because we were in kind of a hole from the digging,” Mobley said. “It looked like the abominable snowman because its fur was so packed with snow and it looked at us, shook the snow off it, and off it went.”
It’s been a rough week for Sony execs (million-dollar salaries notwithstanding). And things are only going to get worse. Which would almost be enough to make you feel bad for the poor schmucks in IT—that is, until you realize that they hid their most sensitive password data under the label “Passwords.” Go ahead and slam your head against something hard. We’ll wait.
As any veteran of the terminally self-infatuated tech world can testify, a start-up ethos usually means a very long string of conference calls and navel-gazing managerial monologues. And a number of First Lookers told me that the media side of things endured a sustained bout of neglect as management talk metastasized.
At First Look, “strategy meetings are always more important than actually producing things,” says one of the journalists still hoping to weather the storm at the company. These confabs tend to perpetuate themselves in all bureaucratic work environments, but at an ostensible journalistic endeavor—which is, after all, tasked with nimbly breaking news and moving just as quickly on to the next big story—they can become lethally counterproductive. Another source at the company says the disconnect goes much deeper than a simple aversion to productive activity. Company managers “are afraid of us, they don’t like us, they gravitate toward the people who can engage in their weird management-speak.”
Omidyar himself exerted heavy-breathing oversight of everything from the rollout schedules and social-media strategies of First Look sites to individual reporters’ travel expense statements. Taibbi and John Cook, his counterpart at First Look’s daily site The Intercept, “chafed at what they regarded as onerous intrusions into their hiring authority,” the First Look team noted. Cook later made his displeasure all too clear by leaving First Look in November and returning to his former home of Gawker Media (though in a post for First Look and several tweets, Cook said that working at First Look “was incredibly satisfying professionally”).
Indeed, in the company’s barely year-long existence, several editorial leaders have fallen in and out of favor with Omidyar, each trying his best to carry out the founder’s gnomic dictates. The newest bearer of Omidyar’s good graces is John Temple, who ran an early journalism start-up for him in Hawaii.
On conference calls, staffers would “bet among ourselves how soon it would be until Pierre described himself as a ‘technologist,’ ” another First Look employee reports. “It was always less than three minutes.”
In the latest video, Mr. Sotloff describes himself as “paying the price” for the Obama administration’s decision to strike ISIS targets in Iraq. The same masked fighter who appeared in the video of Mr. Foley’s beheading also appears beside Mr. Sotloff, asserting, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”