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Harvey Floods Houston, Texas

Harvey The Hurricane: Truly Climate Change Enhanced


GREG LADEN'S BLOG August 28, 2017
Harvey the Invisible Rabbit: Did not exist. This is a picture of some men. Since
they are men, they have some abilities. They can, for example, knock each other
over, and they can play with balls. This is what men do, and this is what these men
can do. This is a picture of some

Is Harvey a failure of the assumption that well adapt to climate change?


GREG LADEN'S BLOG August 27, 2017
There are two reasons that it is fortunate that the death toll for Harvey is very
low, compared to similar size storms at other times and at other places (zero at
the time I first wrote this, a few confirmed, maybe ten or so suspected three days
after landfall).. One is that all those people

How Hurricane Harveys Record-Setting Rainfall Is Happening Right Now (Synopsis)


STARTS WITH A BANG August 28, 2017
The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it cant flood out the
memories. -Tom Dempsey As I write this, the gulf coast is currently being battered
by Hurricane Harvey, with a few locations already having accumulated more than
three feet of rainfall. This storm shows no signs of letting up anytime

Harvey
STOAT August 29, 2017
My feed, as youd expect, is full of stuff from Houston about hurricane Harvey. A
typical example is How Climate Change is Making the Houston Situation Worse. Or
Stefans Storm Harvey: impacts likely worsened due to global warming. Im sure you
can fill in any gaps. But also Timmys Its amazing how few people Harvey

Hurricane Harvey visited a near-biblical deluge upon Houston, dropping over 40


inches of rain on parts of the city. The situation resulted from warmer ocean
waters, more moisture in the atmosphere, and Houston's geography along with its
preparedness for the disaster. Greg Laden shows hotter sea surface temperatures in
the Tropics and the Gulf of Mexico allowed Harvey to gain extra strength as it
formed and re-formed on its way to the United States. In another post, Greg asks if
Houston's infrastructure could have been better-prepared for this type of rainfall,
suggesting that "Houston is proud of its Libertarian zoning laws" even though, as
Ethan Siegel writes on Starts With a Bang, a stalled hurricane "should be exactly
what youd expect for a city located where Houston is."

On the other hand, while the city was swamped to the tune of perhaps $50 billion in
property damage, very few people died from the catastrophe. William M. Connolley
points out that global warming "made the storm stronger and pushed the rainfall up
to 'unprecedented'; but the CO2 used to make the infrastructure makes the deaths
fewer." About 10 people are confirmed dead in Houston, while a similar cyclone
killed over 200 people in Sri Lanka and India in May.

Channel Surfing
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LIFE SCIENCE

PHARYNGULA
Friday Cephalopod: Reflecting my current mood
GREG LADEN'S BLOG
Back to School Science and Culture Stuff
I usually write my annual back to school post earlier than this, but I was
distracted by various events. There are three themes here. 1) You are a science
teacher and I have some stuff for you. 2) You have a student in a school and you
want to support the schools science teacher. 3)
PHARYNGULA
Friday Cephalopod: Sinking blue
I think its a portrait of my mood right now.
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PHYSICAL SCIENCE

STARTS WITH A BANG


Comments of the Week #176: From making heavy elements to why the sky is blue
In the media age, everybody was famous for 15 minutes. In the Wikipedia age,
everybody can be an expert in five minutes. Special bonus: You can edit your own
entry to make yourself seem even smarter. ?Stephen Colbert Its been another fun-
and-fact-filled week here at Starts With A Bang! (And did you know I have a
wikipedia page?
STARTS WITH A BANG
Ask Ethan: How Can A Nation Have Nuclear Power Without The Danger Of Nuclear
Weapons? (Synopsis)
We have to understand the ubiquity of energy in everything we do. Energy is core
to our economy and it brings with it environmental challenges, and its core to our
security challenges. -Ernest Moniz In 1953, then-President Eisenhower, in the
aftermath of World War II and with rising tensions between the USA and the Soviet
STARTS WITH A BANG
Why The Sky Is Blue, According To Science (Synopsis)
Thats a misconception, Lennie. The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.
-Jandy Nelson There are all sorts of explanations that people give for why the sky
is blue. Some say that its because of the fact that oxygen is a light blue gas.
Others contend that the sky reflects the blue ocean, giving
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ENVIRONMENT

STOAT
Dont blame hurricanes Irma and Harvey on climate change?
Says Alan Reynolds in Newsweek, although originally at Cato. But Michael Mann says
he wants you to let @Newsweek know what you think about them running Koch-funded
Cato Institute climate denial propaganda. But I only care because someone called
Lawrence Torcello?1 Tweeted Quoting Popper against climate science signals
Pseudointellectualism. Obviously, quoting Popper against any genuine
STOAT
Retread: Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions?
Apparently, Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming
emissions? was so popular that it gets a retread. Despite the original being
published in 20133, were now being told that Researchers have for the first time
tied a group of the worlds largest fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil,
and their products to specific increases
STOAT
Questions
While I was away having fun in the mountains, I rudely ignored a number of comments
on the blog that Id normally answer. I could answer them in place, but if I did
that now, no-one would notice, hence this post. Did I rudely ignore your fine
comment here, too? Then tell me. But first,
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HUMANITIES

THE PUMP HANDLE


Labor Day yearbook: All workers deserve safety, dignity, respect and justice on the
job
Typically, we like to end the annual The Year in U.S. Occupational Health &
Safety on an uplifting note. But this time around to be honest that was a hard
sell.
GREG LADEN'S BLOG
Erasing history by removing monuments and renaming things
This is a response to Removing statues of historical figures risks whitewashing
history: Science must acknowledge mistakes as it marks its past, a commentary
published in Nature. For the most part, the commentary reads like a caution to not
un-name things and not remove monuments in at least some if not many cases, though
it
THE PUMP HANDLE
A Labor Day tradition: Sixth annual yearbook on worker health and safety released
today
For the sixth year in a row, we present The Year in U.S. Occupational Health &
Safety, our attempt to document the years highs and lows as well as the
challenges ahead.
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EDUCATION

LIFE LINES
Attempts to save Houstons bats
By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters [CC BY 2.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia
Commons Got bugs? Get a bat. As many species of bats are insectivores, they help
keep insect populations in check. Hurricane Harvey has been devastating to people,
animals and property. So it probably comes as no surprise that there
LIFE LINES
White Nose Syndrome What do we know now?
You may recall prior Lifelines posts discussing the devastating effects of white
nose syndrome (WNS) in bats. WNS, Pseudogymnoascus destructans is a fungus
responsible for the deaths of millions of North American bats over the last ten
years. In a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology Regulatory,
Integrative and Comparative Physiology, Dr.
LIFE LINES
warm waters = smaller fish
I love fishing. As with every fisherman, I have my fair share of the one that got
away stories steeped in *mostly* truth. So, you can imagine my interest in reading
research that shows fish appear to be shrinking in warming waters. Warm waters
carry less oxygen, which makes it difficult for fish to breathespecially larger
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POLITICS

GREG LADEN'S BLOG


My Review of Hillary Clintons Book Part I
Before discussing What Happened by Hillary Clinton, the nature of the political
conversation demands that I preface this review with some context. First, about me.
I supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election because I did not
want Donald Trump to be president. During the primary, which was not the 2016
election, I seriously
GREG LADEN'S BLOG
Three Chances To Flip A Red District Blue
I know a lot of you are interested in local elections. There are three special
elections coming up Tuesday that you might want to know about, and possibly lend
some support to, or at least, watch. The candidates are shown above. They are:
Charlie St. Clair Kathryn Rehner Jacob Rosekrants
THE PUMP HANDLE
Labor Day yearbook: All workers deserve safety, dignity, respect and justice on the
job
Typically, we like to end the annual The Year in U.S. Occupational Health &
Safety on an uplifting note. But this time around to be honest that was a hard
sell.
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MEDICINE
RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE
Naturopaths and quack stem cell clinics revisited
Last week, I wrote about a naturopath imitating the worst of real doctors by
running his very own dubious stem cell clinic. He even cosplays an interventional
radiologist doing it. Unfortunately, hes far from alone. There are many more
naturopaths going down this road. Even more unfortunately, it is MDs who are
showing the way. Basically, naturopaths dont just cosplay doctors. They cosplay
the worst of doctors as well.
RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE
A pharma shill working on behalf of an industry-funded group shows how easy it is
to publish propaganda as a legitimate op-ed
Many are the PR firms and astroturf groups out there trying to influence the
public. One favored technique is to publish an op-ed by an expert or thought
leader in a major media outlet. Not infrequently, these op-eds are ghostwritten.
Unfortunately, to its sorrow, STATNews found that out this week.
RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE
A naturopathic cancer quack tries to silence criticism with legal thuggery
Britt Hermes is an ex-naturopath who realized that she had become a quack and had
the bravery to quit and study to become a real scientist. Because she is an
apostate, the church of naturopathy has a special antipathy reserved for her, which
is why a naturopathic oncologist named Colleen Huber has engaged in legal
thuggery to silence her. Not-a-Dr. Huber has apparently never heard of the
Streisand Effect, because a look at her website and her incredibly badly done and
incompetent clinical study claiming that her treatments plus eliminating processed
sugar results in much better cancer survival would be very embarrassingto her.
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BRAIN & BEHAVIOR

LIFE LINES
Avian vascular anatomy revealed
This is such a beautiful award-winning image of the complex vascular networks in a
pigeon. The image was captured using CT scan technology and a novel contrasting
agent called BriteVu that allows visualization of even tiny capillaries. This image
was captured by Scott Echols who is a member of the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project,
whose
LIFE LINES
The failed feline spies
Wow. This is a very interesting bit of history on how the CIA tried to use cats as
spies. But as any cat owner knows, cats do not always do what you want them to do
when you want them to do it. Source: YouTube
THE PUMP HANDLE
Study: Trust in science spiked after media coverage of Zika vaccine trial
Public trust in science is a fickle creature. Surveys show a clear majority of
Americans believe science has positively impacted society, and theyre more likely
to trust scientists on issues like climate change and vaccines. On the other hand,
surveys also find that factors like politics, religion, age and race can greatly
impact the degree of that trust. It presents a delicate challenge for agencies that
depend on trust in science to do their jobs.
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TECHNOLOGY

GREG LADEN'S BLOG


Manga Guide to Microprocessors: Excellent tech graphic novel
It has been a long time since Ive written any machine or assembler code, and it is
a rare day that I hand construct a logic circuit using transistors. But it is
comforting to know that these skills and the knowledge associated with them still
reside in some form or another in the world of
GREG LADEN'S BLOG
An Excellent Robot Kit: Tenergy Odev Tomo 2-in-1
Tenergy is a company that you know well even if you dont know them. They make a
lot of the replacement batteries for everything, external power supplies, other
electronic items. But recently theyve added a few items to their line of products
that reach out in an entirely different direction. Tenergy Odev Tomo 2-in-1
Transformable
GREG LADEN'S BLOG
Hunley Blast Killed Hunley Crew, Research Suggests (OR MAYBE NOT!) UPDATED
SEE END OF POST FOR IMPORTANT UPDATE A while back, I read Confederate Saboteurs:
Building the Hunley and Other Secret Weapons of the Civil War by Mark Ragan. The
central theme of the book was the invention, more or less, of the submarine and the
torpedo, curing the Civil War, but the South. The torpedo
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INFORMATION SCIENCE

CONFESSIONS OF A SCIENCE LIBRARIAN


Friday Fun: Is Game of Thrones an allegory for global climate change?
After a bit of an unexpected summer hiatus, Im back to regular blogging, at least
as regular as its been the last year or two. Of course, Im a committed Game of
Thrones fan. I read the first book in paperback soon after it was reprinted, some
twenty years ago. And Ive also been a
GREG LADEN'S BLOG
Some books in the sciences pretty cheap
At the moment, all these are anywhere from free to two bucks. The Darwin books are
always cheap, the others are probably temporarily cheap. If youve not read The
Autobiography of Charles Darwin, you should. It is always avaialable for next to
nothing on the kindle, currently this version is 99 cents. Concerning his
autobiographywritten
GREG LADEN'S BLOG
Your Summer Novel Reading List
Im avoiding books that are recent so you can get a deal on price, and to bring
books from the past that you didnt read but should have back into focus. Each of
these, Ive either read (most of them) or have a recommendation from top notch
sources. You should be able to finish then
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JOBS

THE PUMP HANDLE


Labor Day yearbook: All workers deserve safety, dignity, respect and justice on the
job
Typically, we like to end the annual The Year in U.S. Occupational Health &
Safety on an uplifting note. But this time around to be honest that was a hard
sell.
THE PUMP HANDLE
New yearbook highlights worker health and safety research from the last year
Scholars at research institutions and non-profit organizations had a busy year
publishing their findings on the impact of work on health. The final section of
The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety offers our picks for the best
publications from the peer-reviewed and grey literature.
THE PUMP HANDLE
Exceptional reporting by journalists featured in worker safety yearbook
Journalists played an important role last year in bringing attention to the human
toll of workplace hazards. One section of The Year in US Occupational Health &
Safety is devoted to the best reporting from national and regional reporters.
Super Photo

Kondyor Massif by NASA GSFC


In Conversation
"Redemption is a ubiquitous concept in US literary criticism. The various Swedish
translations, prominently frsoning, are all archaic and rarely used. As I
understand Swedes, we see neither a need for nor a possibility of redemption."

August Pieces Of My Mind #3 on Aardvarchaeology

Insight

"I think its a portrait of my mood right now."


Editors Picks

Comments of the Week #175: From future technology to the cause of dark energy
Starts With a Bang! 9/3/2017

Physics Blogging Round-Up: August


Uncertain Principles 9/1/2017

New Research on Assessing Climate Change Impact on Extreme Weather


Greg Laden's Blog 8/31/2017

Syphilis prevention vs. politics


The Pump Handle 8/28/2017

I was a teenage Exxon-funded climate scientist?


Stoat 8/27/2017

#tweetscience

In Conversation II

"Soon, for some communities, the only responsible answer to the question of 'What
do we do to combat the looming effects of climate change?' will be 'Leave.' No one
is keen on going there first, but it is inevitable."
The limits of adaptation on Class M

Super Photo II

Wind Power by Anders Sandberg


Insight II

In Conversation III

"This is the newest definition. This is Trumps definition. You dig the coal up,
then you wash it so it is clean. Then you burn it and everything is fine."
How to clean coal on Greg Laden's Blog

Insight III

Super Photo III