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The trouble with Chakras

Thank you for pointing out the silliness of hypersimplification. Colonized culture runs on turning everything into a bite sized hypersimplified commodity. McDonaldization of culture is creepy and worse than useless-its designed to create helplessness and confusion. 
There really is an interesting correspondence between all ancient teachings but it cannot be found by boiling everything into an unrecognizable soup that “matches”. 
Our ancestors surely all noticed and worked with the energy systems of the body and the planet but they most certainly were influenced by the obvious individuality not only of humans bodies but of Earth’s different locations-and the interactions between humans and the land and waters they were parts of.

Druid Life

I’m going to come right out and say it: I do not have any chakras. I was first introduced to them as a concept when I was sixteen, and nothing at all happened. Since then (twenty years!) I’ve been meditating, visualising, working with my body’s energy, and every so often being talked into having another go. I am entirely certain that nothing resembling chakras is happening down the front of my person. No one is going to persuade me otherwise.

The trouble with chakras is that they are treated as a universal truth. What was originally a feature of Hindu belief, has been embraced wholesale and turns up everywhere. It doesn’t seem to matter what path you claim to follow, someone will be waving it at you. The New Age Movement treats chakras as fact, as indisputably how your body works and I cannot begin to tell you how sick…

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An Open Letter to a Privileged White Girl

Thank you for sharing this! As a mixed race person raised within a different cultural perspective than the dominant one in my country I often perceive things differently. I felt very grateful for the classes in college and the books and personal conversations that taught me about privilege and intersectionality. Being an Aspie I often have difficulty explaining ordinary stuff to neurotypical people-my experience trying to share things like this and explain white privilege to people who thought because I look more like them I must think like them was pretty

I’m in awe of those who, like this writer, are capable of clearly and briefly conveying these ideas.

At the roots its about Respect. Would any of us want others to treat us that way?

Not sure if anyone else noticed or cares but Yoga came from India-where lots of people have very dark skin. Imho it is no more odd or remarkable for an African American of any size or shape to be doing yoga than it is for a European-American.

Kudos to everyone who gets out to increase their health and spiritual growth thru such practices.

I know conversations like this are uncomfortable for a lot of people. Some in the new age say any discussion of others behavior is “judging” and to be avoided. I feel that it is important to discuss, to share and to be uncomfortable rather than just leave rot covered up to fester.

The golden age is for everyone so we need to open ourselves to experiences and perspectives beyond our own. “Disclosure” isn’t just about ET life, or governments, corporations and religions hidden malfeasance. We have to face societal and personal things that have not been right too.

We can learn to be respectful and loving to all thru patience and listening to one another.

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Carl Boudreau’s Astrology Blog: The Astrology of February 2014 – Fast Forward

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Astrology of February 2014 – Fast Forward


The Astrology of February 2014

Fast Forward

January Recap

Governments have been solidly gridlocked over a broad range of issues for more than five years. In recent months, this gridlock has begun to ease noticeably.

This easing came about as people stopped thinking in partisan political terms and began thinking in moral and ethical terms and taking responsibility.

In January, debate and activism at the grassroots level accelerated recovery from gridlock. Individuals at the community level took common cause and evoked remedial action from governmental. The development has distinctly spiritual and moral overtones.


A Bridge Over Troubling Waters

The burgeoning scandal in New Jersey is a case in point.

In September, several traffic lanes were unexpectedly closed on the George Washington bridge, reputed to be the busiest bridge in the world. The four-day lane closing “turned the entire town of Fort Lee, NJ into a parking lot.” It caused long, painful, costly delays, impeding commuters, commercial traffic, children traveling, to school the movement of public service and emergency vehicles. All of this coincided with the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Local newspaper reporters and local and state leaders found evidence indicating political misbehavior behind the lane closings – implicating the governor’s staff and supporters and, apparently, the governor himself.

The scandal quickly grew, as evidence suggested a pattern of abuse. Suspicions multiplied and accusations flew. They soon drew the attention of the national media and the US Department of Justice. At this writing, evidence against the Christie administration is mounting.

Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, was a rising Republican star, widely expected to run for president in 2016. His reputation has been badly damaged. His fate will undoubtedly affect the political and economic balance of power in the United States and possibly the world for years to come.

In general, we are seeing activism and significant movement on many important issues at the state and grassroots level – the legalization of pot, the legalization of gay marriage, movement against fracking, against drug testing for welfare recipients in Florida, against voter suppression and so on. It is spurring action on the national level.

Initiative Shifts to the Grassroots

In February, the issues and the social and political dynamics are familiar. What is new and important is the accelerated evolution of personal and public attitudes. February sharply enhances our awareness of the inner workings of our own minds, showing us more than we are prepared to deal with, perhaps. It also magnifies the role of grassroots activism.


February’s Chart – Mooning Around

February’s chart includes numerous influences that speed up the process of change and adaptation.

There are seven moons during the months of January, February and March: three in January, one in February and three in March. Two of the moons in January are so-called Supermoons.In other words, there is one extra moon.

In any given 30 day period, there are three moons. To get a better sense of the overall arc of events I based February’s analysis on a chart combining:

  • The New Moon on January 31st, a Supermoon
  • The Full Moon on February 14th, late on Valentine’s Day,
  • The New Moon on March 1st.

All times are GMT.
Accelerated Personality Updating

The Moon governs the short term cycles and processes in our lives. Of special concern here is the process by which we weave or blend new experiences into existing mental and emotional patterns. This process weaves the past and future into a seemingly seamless whole.

That one extra moon between the beginning of January and the end of March and the two Supermoons will intensify this process noticeably.

On the upside, our personal attitudes will evolve much more quickly; we will change and adapt more rapidly, allowing faster progress in our lives and in the world around us.

On the downside, the acceleration and intensification of the integration process will cause conscious and unconscious mental processes to interfere with each other. Normally unconscious processes will intrude on conscious processes and vice versa.

As a result, we will be especially aware of our many conflicting attitudes, both old and new – of how changeable and arbitrary they can be. Our minds will generate multiple, conflicting responses to the same event, some old, some new; we will have to consciously choose which competing reaction we will express.

Or we can use this unusual window into the workings of our own mind to better understand ourselves and make needed changes. People are already experiencing this phenomenon.

As noted, the extra moon and the two Supermoons are not the only influence that will accelerate and deepen change. Other placements in February’s chart also speed up the evolution of our thoughts and attitudes adding to the mental overload.


If Not Us, then Who . . .

One structure in particular illuminates the meaning of February 2014. It is a deceptively humble triangle, highly energetic, very exact and powerfully placed.

Mars is at 25° Libra in the 3rd; the Moon is at 25° Sagittarius in the 1st, hear the ascendant; retrograde Mercury isexactlyconjunct (“combust”) the Sun at 25° Aquarius in the 3rd.

Generally speaking, this triangle concentrates force in the individual personality, in general, and the individual conscience in particular – the individual is considered as part of a community, throughout. The exactness of the triangle and its angular placement grants it an overriding influence, heightened intensity and generally high energy.

It points to a robust, spirited consensus for social justice emerging rapidly and forcefully at the grassroots level. In February, there is no comparable influence affecting government signs and houses. The initiative has shifted almost completely to the grassroots – to the 99%.

This triangle will change government because it will change the attitudes of the people governed. Just how peaceful or violent this change is will depend heavily on the health of of the relationship between the government and those governed.

A Closer Look at the Triangle

A stellium surrounds each of the bodies forming the triangle, coloring the influence of each of these planets.


  • The stellium that includes Mars, at the uppermost point in the triangle includes:
  • Mars and Vesta closely conjunct in Libra in the 11th, the natural house of Aquarius. Vesta, representing passionate dedication, conjoins Mars, representing the aggressive pursuit of a goal. Libra in the house of Aquarius speaks eloquently of social justice.
  • Ceres and the North Node are precisely conjunct in Scorpio, also in the 11th. Ceres governs nurturance issues, broadly defined. The North Node reliably indicates “the right thing to do.”
  • The precise conjunction of Ceres and the North Node equates being moral with the nurturance of everyone: being moral equals nurturing others. This, again, is in the natural house of Aquarius, the sign of universal brotherhood and sisterhood.
  • Saturn is in Scorpio in the 12th, close to the 12th house cusp. Saturn represents rectitude and authority. The 12th house, the natural house of Pisces and Neptune, represents spirituality, religious creeds, metaphysical truths and idealism. Scorpio represents shared resources and responsibilities.

As a whole, then, the stellium produces a surge of idealism reinforced by moral and spiritual feelings, all expressing as a desire to nurture, assist and share more equitably with others.

The precise conjunction of Ceres and the North Node equates being moral with the nurturance of everyone: being moral equals nurturing others. This, again, is in the natural house of Aquarius, the sign of universal brotherhood and sisterhood.


  • The stellium surrounding the Moon in the 1st house, in Sagittarius, at the apex of the triangle, includes:
  • Pholus, Ixion and the Ascendant closely conjunct in Sagittarius in the 1st.Ixion represents the criminal abuse of power. Pholus represents cronyism. With Ixion, a wholly unsavory character, Pholus suggests cronyism and corruption entrenched in high places.
  • The Moon in Sagittarius is exactly conjunct Quaoar, which is conjunct Pholus, Ixion and the Ascendant in the 1s, all in Sagittarius.The Moon represents public awareness or mass consciousness. It is conjunct Quaoar, which represents creative chaos and the dissolution of existing patterns. This conjunction says that public opinion will turn fluid, shifting rapidly, radically and irreversibly.
  • The Point of Substance is in Capricorn in the 1st.The Point of Substance represents moral vulnerability and feelings of guilt. Placed here, it suggests that we will feel morally responsible for the wrongs we see surround us.
  • Venus and Pluto are loosely conjoined in Capricorn.Venus and Pluto conjunct point to a thorough realignment of loyalties. All alliances suddenly become fluid and changeable.

This powerfully placed stellium points to a transformation in public consciousness. People begin to note the prevalence of corruption in public life and the extent to which their own inaction makes it responsible. Old, well-established patterns simply break down; new precedents will be set, establishing new patterns.

This powerfully placed stellium points to a transformation in public consciousness. People begin to note the prevalence of corruption in public life and the extent to which their own inaction makes it responsible. Old, well-established patterns simply break down; precedents are set, establishing new patterns. Conscience is roused.

Here, again, the scandal burgeoning around the governor’s office in New Jersey is a good example. This alleged abuse of power (Ixion) would once have been considered business as usual. Increasingly, the alleged abuses are being looked at as the gross, crass abuses of power that they might prove to be. The public conscience is roused and action will be taken.

Increasingly, the scandal in New Jersey seems like a harbinger of things to come.


  • The stellium surrounding the exact Sun/Mercury retrograde conjunction in the 3rd house includes:
  • Retrograde Mercury exactly conjunct, or “combust,” the Sun in Aquarius in the 3rd. Retrograde Mercury combust the Sun brings intense focus on our own behavior. People examine their conscience, search their souls and generally take stock of their lives and the direction it is headed. They sense the time is right and conditions are favorable for personal reform.
  • Both retrograde Mercury and the Sun conjoin Nessus. Nessus governs our moral independence, our ability to resist social pressure. It turns guilt incurred by succumbing to social pressure into physical symptoms. It serves as an additional impetus for reform.
  • Neptune conjoins Chiron in Pisces. Chiron and Neptune combine to heal wounds, grievances and conflicts that block our access to and impede the flow of higher spiritual influences. They help us break boundaries, transcend old limitations and create space in our lives for exploration and growth.
  • The stellium bridges the Aquarius/Pisces cusp. Aquarius adds a reforming impulse to our intensifying spiritual aspirations. Pisces adds a spiritual dimension to our reforming impulse.
  • All bodies in this stellium are in the 3rd house of community relationships. This influence works on a community-wide level.

This stellium is about communal uplift rooted in personal reform.

Faster and Faster Forward

Taken as a whole, this triangle marks a powerfully transformative moment. It puts our ideas and attitudes, indeed, our very personalities, in flux and moves us in a decidedly Aquarian direction.

This triangle, like this overall chart, leads us beyond political and economic reform to soul searching and thoughts about how we can better align ourselves and members of our community and ultimately our nation with the expectations of our higher selves.

Those clinging to the past, or trying to hold the rest of us prisoners in the past, have a reckoning in store.


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Common Dreams Weekly Digest February 1, 2014

With Review in Hand, Obama Must Now Reject Dirty Pipeline: Groups
by Jacob Chamberlain
“The State Department has given Obama all the room he needs to do what he promised in both campaigns: to take serious steps against global warming.”
Rest in Peace Pete Seeger, A True Progressive Hero
by Matthew Rothschild
His advice for activists: “The key issues are those that are close to you, geographically as well as spiritually. If someone says, ‘I want to change the world. Where do I go?’ I answer: ‘Stay right where you are. Don’t run away. Dig in.’”
‘Insane, Disgusting’ and ‘Epic Treachery’: NSA Spied on Climate Talks
by Jon Queally
“While climate activists from around the world gathered outside the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, the U.S. delegation inside the talks was busy listening to something else: a steady stream of surveillance intelligence on other nations provided by the NSA.”
The State of Phony Populism
by Norman Solomon
“With trills of empathy, the president’s voice soared to hit the high notes. He easily carried a tune of economic populism. But after five years of Obama in the White House, Americans should know by now that he was lip-syncing the words.”
Seattle’s Socialist City Councilor Offers Radical Response to Obama Speech
by Jon Queally
“The political system is completely dysfunctional and broken. It is drowning in corporate cash.”
Failing the Future: On Obama’s Climate Legacy
by Janet Redman
“Obama must either ditch his all-of-the-above energy strategy or forget about leaving a climate-healing legacy.”
Woo-Hoo! Shell Ditches Its Arctic Drilling Plans
by Andrea Germanos
“Let us celebrate the victory for sure, but keep in mind that Shell will try to be back and we will have to stop them, year, after year, after year.”
Why There’s No Outcry
by by Robert Reich
“Middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy. So why isn’t there more of a ruckus?”
Pete Seeger (1919-2014): Peace Activist and Folk Legend Passes
by Jon Queally
“Seeger was a giant of the folk music revival of the 20th Century, playing for audiences and children all over the world. As well known for his political activism and consistent voice against war, environmental destruction, and oppression, Seeger was often shunned by the powerful but never wavered in his commitment to justice, beauty, and the power of music to bring people together.
Approving Keystone XL Could Be the Biggest Mistake of Obama’s Presidency
by Michael Mann
“A State Department report fails to take into account the full climate impacts of Keystone XL. Who is Obama protecting?”

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The Oracle Report | Saturday, February 1 – Sunday, February 2, 2014


New Moon Phase – Moon: Pisces – Ruling Mahavidya: Matangi

Saturday’s energy involves gauging, judging, or measuring situations. There is an undercurrent of anticipation that can manifest as anxiety and fear, particularly fears about the future. The Moon will conjunct Chiron Saturday, bringing tendencies to self-sabotage (harshly gauge and judge ourselves) and become lost in wounding or victimization. So it is better to stay on the high step, seeing far ahead, knowing that we are in place and supported. It may not look like it, but spring is on its way in the northern hemisphere, bringing much to celebrate. Start looking for signs. (There is joy simply in the additional sunlight each day; we perk up as Sabaoth, the Sun, calls us.)

There are a few days each year that provides opportunities for short-cuts through just about anything. Short cuts result from knowledge; we know a different way there. Sunday’s energy brings such opportunities. Startling clarity and insight reveals easier ways to do things, say things, accomplish things, express things. Keep in mind that the opportunity may come in the form of what appears to be an obstacle. Plough through and allow space for changes, no matter how dense things become.

We are coming in situ this month. In situ is defined as “situated in the original, natural, or existing place or position.” We gain equilibrium, sure footing, and clear vision. Allow the energy to put you in situ.


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Welcome to February’s Gathering around the Pond, Sunday 2

Thank you Aisha!

aisha north

Dear friends!

Tonight, at 21:00 Oslo time, we have another Gathering coming up, and this is what the CCs have to say about it: “Once again your calendars have marked off another month, and so, you stand before another one of those important Gatherings that will help not only you, but All of creation to move one step closer to that end goal. We know that frustrations are high here and there, as some of you seem to be at a standstill at the moment, while for others, those doors we have referred to earlier have well and truly opened by now, and you have gotten more than a little tantalizing glimpse behind them already. In fact, some of you have also been given the task of reporting back to the rest of your fellow travelers, so that they too can get a far more detailed picture of what is…

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Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog : California’s Sierra Snowpack Only 12% of Average, a Record Low | Weather Underground

I know it is fashionable in the new age and a lit if the blogosphere to pretend global climate change is a plot, or simply natural variations etc but I have not yet seen even one discussion of this with a tiny little but if valid, logical scientific support or references.

I’m an empirical girl- I don’t believe anything because an authority said so. I test it, I check references, I look at the data.

In 1985 I thought global warming was a silly distraction from toxics and radiation pollution. I didn’t understand why I should care. In college I was exposed to more of the science involved and set out to understand it better.

Yes it is partly natural variations but what science means by “forcing” is that substances we release ( primarily carbon but also methane and others) push that variation to go further faster than it would normally.

Heat per se is not the problem. Its the effects of that increase in heat on systems we depend on to be stable for our survival.

If you’ve ever seen water boil you can understand the instability that added heat csn bring to a system.

I highly recommend the book “Cadillac Desert” for a better understanding of the hydrology and human carrying capacity of the American west.

Be forewarned tho-you will be angry when you read it and you will distrust government management of resources as much as you probably already distrust corporations management of same.

And you might start wanting to dismantle dams. But the information in that book shatters the illusions so many of us have had about society, humanity and our dependence on nature.

Denial doesn’t solve anything. If you disagree with a proposed solution to a problem that doesn’t make the problem unreal.

Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:32 PM GMT on January 31, 2014 +37

California’s first significant snow storm of 2014 hit the Sierras on Wednesday and Thursday, dumping up to 2 feet of snow, with a melted water equivalent of up to two inches. However, this modest snowstorm was not enough to keep the Sierra snowpack from recording its lowest snow amounts in more than 50 years of record keeping during Thursday’s Sierra Snow Survey. The survey found a snow pack that was only 12% of normal for this time of year. Until Thursday, the lowest statewide snowpack measurement at this time of year was 21% of average, in 1991 and 1963, according to the Los Angeles Times. Since snowpack in the Sierras forms a crucial source of water for California, the dismal snow survey results are a huge concern.

Figure 1. Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey Program for the Department of Water Resources, walks leaves a snow covered meadow after the second snow survey of the year near Echo Summit, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Despite the overnight snow storm the survey showed the snow depth at 12.4 inches with a water content of only 1.4 inches for this location at this time of the year. Gehrke said that while the recent snow fall will help, it is not enough to impact the water supply.(AP Photo)

The forecast: little drought relief in sight
One of the most persistent and intense ridges of high pressure ever recorded in North America has been anchored over the West Coast since December 2012. While the ridge has occasionally broken down and allowed low pressure systems to leak though, these storms have mostly brought spotty and meager precipitation to California, resulting in California’s driest year on record during 2013. January 2014 could well be its driest January on record. The ridge inevitably builds back after each storm, clamping down on any moisture reaching the state. Since rain-bearing low pressure systems tend to travel along the axis of the jet stream, these storms are being carried along the axis of the ridge, well to the north of California and into Southeast Alaska, leaving California exceptionally dry. The latest runs of the GFS and European models show that the ridge is now building back, and it appears likely that California will see no significant precipitation until at least February 7. A weak upper level low will move along the coast on Sunday and spread some light rain along the immediate coast, but this precipitation will generally be less than 0.25″–too little to have any significant impact on the drought. The ridge will not be as intense when it builds back, though, which gives me some hope that a low pressure system will be able to break the ridge by mid-February and bring the most significant rains of the winter rainy season to California.

Figure 2. One of the key water supply reservoirs for Central California, Lake Oroville, as seen on January 20, 2014. Image credit: California Department of Water Resources.

Worst California drought in 500 years?
UC Berkeley paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram, author of “The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow”, said in an interview, “this could potentially be the driest water year in 500 years.” Her research on tree rings shows that California has not experienced such an extreme drought since 1580. “If you go back thousands of years, you see that droughts can go on for years if not decades, and there were some dry periods that lasted over a century, like during the Medieval period and the middle Holocene. The 20th century was unusually mild here, in the sense that the droughts weren’t as severe as in the past. It was a wetter century, and a lot of our development has been based on that.” It’s no wonder, then, that the overall agricultural impact of the drought could reach $1 billion this year, according to the Fresno-based Westlands Water District.

California’s drought woes are part of an on-going 14-year Western U.S. drought that began in 2000, and peaked between 2000 – 2004. A 2012 study titled,Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America, found that the 2000 – 2004 drought was the most severe Western North America event of its kind since the last mega drought over 800 years ago, during the years 1146 – 1151. The paper analyzed the latest generation of climate models used for the 2013 IPCC report, which project that the weather conditions that spawned the 2000 – 2004 drought will be the new normal in the Western U.S. by 2030, and will be considered extremely wet by the year 2100. If these dire predictions of a coming “megadrought” are anywhere close to correct, it will be extremely challenging for the Southwest U.S. to support a growing population in the coming decades.

Megadroughts in the Western U.S. can develop from natural causes, as well, and the current pattern of cooler than average ocean temperatures in the Eastern Pacific and warmer than average ocean temperatures in the Atlantic increase the odds of drought conditions like the ones we have seen during the current megadrought. Edward Cook, director of the Tree Ring Laboratory at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., said at a presentation last month at the American Geophysical Union meeting that tree ring data show that the area of the West that was affected by severe drought in the Medieval period was much higher and much longer than the current drought. It is “indeed pretty scary,” Cook said. “One lasted 29 years. One lasted 28 years. They span the entire continental United States.” Two megadroughts in the Sierra Nevada of California lasted between 100 and 200 years. Bobby Magill at Climate Center has more on Dr. Cook’s presentation in a post, Is the West’s Dry Spell Really a Megadrought?

Figure 3. Normalized precipitation over Western North America (five-year mean) from 22 climate models used to formulate the 2013 IPCC report, as summarized by Schwalm et al., 2012, Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America. The horizontal line marks the precipitation level of the 2000 – 2004 drought, the worst of the past 800 years. Droughts of this intensity are predicted to be the new normal by 2030, and will be considered an outlier of extreme wetness by 2100. The paper states: “This impending drydown of western North America is consistent with present trends in snowpack decline as well as expected in-creases in aridity and extreme climate events,including drought, and is driven by anthropogenically forced increases in temperature with coincident increases in evapotranspiration and decreases in soil moisture. Although regional precipitation patterns are difficult to forecast, climate models tend to underestimate the extent and severity of drought relative to available observations. As such, actual reductions in precipitation may be greater than shown. Forecasted precipitation patterns are consistent with a probable twenty-first century megadrought.” Image credit: Schwalm et al., 2012, Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America,Nature Geoscience 5, 551-555, Published online 29 JULY 2012, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1529, http://www.nature.com/naturegeoscience.

Related posts
Unprecedented Cut in Colorado River Flow Ordered, Due to Drought, my August 2013 post.

Lessons from 2012: Droughts, not Hurricanes, are the Greater Danger, my November 2012 post.

How Two Reservoirs Have Become Billboards For What Climate Change Is Doing To The American West, August 12, 2013 climateprogress.org post by Tom Kenworthy.

Scientists Predicted A Decade Ago Arctic Ice Loss Would Worsen Western Droughts. Is That Happening Already?, June 2013 post by Joe Romm at climateprogress.org.

Twenty Cities At Risk of Water Shortages, August 14, 2013 wunderground news post by Nick Wiltgen

‪If There’s Global Warming…Why Is It So Cold?‬
It’s been top-ten coldest January on record in the Upper Midwest, and much colder than average over much of the Eastern U.S. However, the that isn’t the case over other portions of the globe, including the Western U.S. and Alaska. Wunderground’s weather historian Christopher C. Burt analyzes the situation in his latest post, How Cold has this January been in the U.S.? He concludes, “this January’s average temperature nationally has probably been close to normal since the western half of the nation has been almost as much above average as the eastern half was below average. The only region that will most likely have experienced a TOP 10 coldest January will be the Upper Midwest.” In the U.S., only four stations set all-time low minimum temperature records in January, compared to 34 that set all-time high maximum temperature records. I’ve been monitoring global temperatures this month, and it appears likely that January will rank between the 5th and 15th warmest January since record keeping began in 1880. Of particular note were the amazingly warm January temperatures in the Balkans. According to weather record researcher Maximiliano Herrera, “over 90% of all stations in the Balkans from Slovenia to Croatia to Bosnia to Serbia To Montenegro to Kosovo etc., have DESTROYED their previous record of warmest January ever (many locations have 100 – 200 years of data.) In many cases the monthly temperatures were 7 – 9°C (13 – 16°F) above average, and the new records were 3 – 4°C above the previous record. This is for THOUSANDS of stations, almost all of them. In Slovenia, for example, Mount Kredarica is the only station in the whole country not to have set its warmest January on record.”

Video 1. ‪If There’s Global Warming … Why Is It So Cold?‬ The latest video from climate videographer Peter Sinclair on the Yale Climate Forum website demonstrates that while it was a very cold January in the Midwest, this has been counterbalanced by record warmth over the Western U.S. and Alaska, caused by an unusually extreme kink in the jet stream.

Another Unexpected Disaster That Was Well Forecast. Based in Atlanta, TWC’s Bryan Norcross concludes that “WARM GROUND + VERY COLD AIR + SNOW + WORKDAY = CHAOS. If the decision-makers understood the formula above, this information should have been sufficient to trigger a proper response.”

Jon Stewart Lays Into Georgia’s Snowpocalypse

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I’ll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

Crystallized Beauty

Ice in the swamp


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Yes! Magazine Weekly Digest February 1, 2014

Pete Seeger (1919-2014) RIP

Portrait of Sarah van Gelder At the YES! office, postcards from Pete Seeger are pinned up on walls. One intern answered the phone on her first day to find the call was from Pete. Through the years, he’s been one of our favorite friends and subscribers. As a remembrance, we’ve reposted my interview with him from 2008, when I had a chance to visit his house in New York’s Hudson Valley. We also posted a photo essay, from that visit.
Sarah van Gelder signature
Sarah van Gelder, editor in chief
Pete Seeger Interview: How Can I Keep from Singing?

At the age of 94, Pete Seeger has passed away. Sarah van Gelder interviewed him in 2007 on a life of music and the power of millions of small changes. READ MORE »

How a Library with No Books Could Change the Way We Read (And Bring Us Closer Together)

The Empathy Library is a new digital archive where people can point to the books, movies, and other media that help us learn to understand one another. READ MORE »

What If Winston Churchill Were Leading the Fight Against Climate Change?

“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close.” READ MORE »

Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy. Obama Calls for “Opportunity for All”: 8 Policies to Make It Happen

While the president outlined important steps forward last night, bolder steps are needed. Here are eight with the power to truly create the universal opportunity the president called for. READ MORE »

Utne Media Awards. Winner for General Excellence. Subscribe >>
Image courtesy Image Comics. “So My Daughter Won’t Have To”: Why Kelly Sue DeConnick Fights to Make Women Welcome in Comics

Kelly Sue DeConnick is a woman author working in the comic book industry, who’s had successful titles in both mainstream and independent forms. In this Q&A, she talks about her feminism, creativity, and her love for old-school “exploitation” movies. READ MORE »

Photo by Jeff Kraus. Growing Concern Over Japan’s Dolphin Hunt Leads to Widespread Outcry

The dolphin massacre depicted in the Oscar-winning film The Cove took place again this year. But the reaction to it shows a changing public mindset toward the rights of sea mammals. READ MORE »

Photo by Michael Bowman. Photo Essay: Pete Seeger’s Life on the Hudson

In December 2007, YES! editor-in-chief Sarah van Gelder interviewed Pete Seeger in his home in Beacon, New York. Seeger showed Sarah his family photo albums, his DIY solar-powered car, and, of course, a whole wall filled with banjos. READ MORE »

Image by NHRebellion.
At a time when politicians spend more time fundraising than making policy, the New Hampshire Rebellion aims to make political corruption the number-one issue in the 2016 election cycle. WATCH »

Pete Seeger Interview: How Can I Keep from Singing?

Reader Andzia Chmil writes, “A mighty tree—not one that overshadowed the forest, but one that gave shelter to all the smaller trees so they could grow and do the same.” READ MORE »

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President Obama’s Message To House Republicans Talking Impeachment: Bring It On

Thank you for sharing this. I know in the fascist oligarchy that is now loosely disguised as our democracy President Obama is very limited in what he alone can accomplish-which is precisely why we have seen all these years of childish obstructionism from the crony-capitalist corporate owned wing of government otherwise known as Congress.
But at least he has the courage and the knowledge to try.
He toes the line a bit tighter than JFK did-but I’m guessing that is wisdom in knowing how little dead men usually accomplish. He knows that with the little wiggle room left to him he can help working people to some degree.

To some maybe that’s not radical enough but I am in awe of his strength of character to keep trying with so little support and so much stress from all sides.

The Fifth Column


Ha!  Harvard Law School grad v Tea Party knuckle-draggers.  I’m with the POTUS…bring it on!


During his CNN interview President Obama not only shrugged off Republican claims of an imperial presidency, but he appeared to challenge the Republicans who are talking lawsuits and impeachment to bring it on.



TAPPER: And let’s talk about House Republicans, because – and – and Senate Republicans. There has been a large contingency of Republicans critical of your new approach. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who might run for president, calls this the imperial presidency. And in the House, there is this thing, as you know, called The Stop Act. They want to rein in what you’re trying to do.
How do you respond to that?

OBAMA: Well, I don’t think that’s very serious. I mean, the truth of the matter is, is that every president engages in executive…

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