First here's what Scaife's Braintrust posted today:
A Valentine's Day solar flare -- the largest since Dec. 5, 2006, and part of an expected upswing in the 11-year cycle of solar activity -- is cause for legitimate concern. But don't shoot Bruce Willis into space or bet the farm on solar-flare shields just yet.Now, let's unweave. The quotation in the third paragraph leads to this article in the Financial Times. And this quotation:
Solar flares' charged particles crash into Earth's atmosphere 20 to 30 hours later. Resulting electromagnetic disruption affects radio, satellites, power grids and high-tech marvels such as GPS -- on which humanity depends far more today than during the last solar upswing about a decade ago.
Some scientists now warn of a potential $2 trillion "solar 'Katrina.'" The head of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the Financial Times: "Predict and prepare should be the watchwords."
The strongest flare ever recorded wiped out much of Earth's then-new telegraph network in 1859, yet occurred during a "weak" cycle. So the threat can't be dismissed, despite NASA dubbing the Feb. 14 flare "rather weak." Whatever steps can be taken to minimize that threat should be taken.
Still, whatever countermeasures mankind can employ surely are puny compared to the forces that solar flares unleash. Yes, the sun does bear watching. But we must be prepared to understand that the limits of our defenses can be sobering.
“Predict and prepare should be the watchwords,” agreed Jane Lubchenco, head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.And now we have a name. So who's Jane Lubchenco? From her NOAA webpage:
Dr. Lubchenco has studied marine ecosystems around the world and championed the importance of science and its relevance to policy making and human well-being. A former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Council for Science and the Ecological Society of America, she served 10 years on the National Science Board (Board of Directors for the National Science Foundation). From 1999-2009 she led PISCO, a large 4-university, interdisciplinary team of scientists investigating the large marine ecosystem along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. She has a special interest in Arctic ecosystems, with recent work in Svalbard, Greenland and the Alaskan arctic.So I guess she's an expert. Genius Award, too. Frickin impressive.
Dr. Lubchenco has provided scientific input to multiple U.S. Administrations and Congress on climate, fisheries, marine ecosystems, and biodiversity. Dr. Lubchenco served on the first National Academy of Sciences study on ‘Policy Implications of Global Warming’, providing advice to the George H.W. Bush administration and Congress. In 1997 she briefed President Clinton and Vice President Gore and Members of Congress on climate change.
Her scientific contributions are widely recognized. Eight of her publications are “Science Citation Classics”; she is one of the ‘most highly cited’ ecologists in the world. Dr. Lubchenco is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and four international academies of science: the Royal Society, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Europe, and Chile. She has received numerous awards including a MacArthur (‘genius’) Fellowship, twelve honorary degrees, the 2002 Heinz Award in the Environment, the 2005 AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology and the 2008 Zayed International Prize for the Environment.
Now that Lubchenco is deemed worthy to quote but, oddly not worthy enough to be named on the Trib's editorial page (I won't go so far as to wonder whether it's because she's a she), will we be seeing any reference to any other quotation from her?
Being a proud UConn grad it pains me to reference anything with the name Yale in it, but considering where I am going with this, this is a good place to start:
Yale Environment 360: My first question is about the climate impacts report that you all came out with very recently. What is the message that you were hoping people would take from that?Or this quotation:
Jane Lubchenco: I think the take-away message is that the evidence is in: Climate change is real, it’s causing changes in our own backyard, many of those changes are increasingly challenging to society, and therefore there is urgency in moving ahead with reducing heat-trapping pollution as soon as possible.
Jane Lubchenco: Climate change is happening now. It’s not a theory. It’s a set of observed facts. It’s affecting many of the things that people care aboutOr this one:
Marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco is head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Dr. Lubchenco told EarthSky that global climate change from fossil fuel burning is impacting Earth’s oceans today.
Jane Lubchenco: Climate change is already affecting oceans. It’s making them warmer. It’s making sea levels rise. And it’s making them more acidic. All of those change both the beauty and the bounty of oceans.
“For the first time, and in a single compelling comparison, the analysis brings together multiple observational records from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The records come from many institutions worldwide. They use data collected from diverse sources, including satellites, weather balloons, weather stations, ships, buoys and field surveys. These independently produced lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion: our planet is warming,”And the report she mentions? It's this one.
Where NOAA says Climate change is UNDENIABLE.
Will the Trib ever get to that?