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It's Always Something
By Ernest Stewart

It's always something
There's always something going wrong
That's the only guarantee
That's what this is all about
Life Is A Lemon ~~~ Jim Steinman

There's more bad news from the global warming front: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced, for the first time in recorded history, global levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged over 400 parts per million (ppm) and held at that for all of March. You may recall the last time this happened was over a million years ago!

Pieter Tans, a NOAA scientist said this in a press statement: "This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times and half of that rise has occurred since 1980. We first reported 400 ppm when all of our Arctic sites reached that value in the spring of 2012. In 2013 the record at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory first crossed the 400 ppm threshold. The fact that we are now firmly over 400 ppm for first time in human history indicates to me that we ought to be moving with much more urgency to fix the underlying problem." Dr. Ed Hawkins added: "The last time the Earth had this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was more than a million years ago, when modern humans hadn't even evolved yet."

Meanwhile, hydrologist David Garen of the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) said:
"Across most of the West, snowpack isn't just low - it's gone. With some exceptions, this year's snowmelt streamflow has already occurred. After months of unusually warm temperatures, the snowpack at many off the USDA's stations in much of the western U.S. is at or near the lowest on record."
Over in California, the wildfire season has started a month early this year with over 20 fires currently burning. Which really isn't all that surprising after the last 4 drought years. In fact, some say this could be the worst year on record for wildfires. Even without the fires, according to a US government study, some 12.5 million trees have died in California -- unable to survive four years of drought and 14 of Earth's hottest 15 years occurring this century.

The news of the massive tree die-offs came this week, after the United States Forest Service released the results of an aerial survey it undertook in April over 8.2 million acres of forest. The survey was organized three months ahead of schedule.

"The special early season aerial survey was prompted by knowledge of the worsening drought situation and reports from field crews that copious amounts of new mortality had appeared after the regular survey was flown in July of 2014," explained Jeffrey Moore, a biologist with the agency who was one of the surveyors on the expedition. On the drought scene, Texas got some much needed rain; unfortunately, it was attached to 160 tornadoes that tore up the country from the Caribbean to Minnesota.

The wildfires aren't the only thing that's a month early this year; we've our first-named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season forming off the South Carolina coast. Subtropical storm Ana was named by the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It came ashore in the Carolinas; and, like Alfred Hitchcock, it's currently heading "North by Northwest!" We've been dodging bullets the last couple of years, unlike the folks in the Pacific who've been hammered by super hurricane after super hurricane. These super typhoons, as they call them in Asia, after wiping out this or that, continue up to the Arctic Circle, sending its bitter cold south as polar vortexes.

Finally, more bad news on the insect front. With the temps going up, West Nile Virus is spreading at a faster rate as the conditions improve for the mosquito-born virus throughout the East and South. Did I mention that the Deer Tick-born Lime disease is spreading, as well? As Meatloaf sang, "It's always something." You can either get used to it, or do something about it, America!


04-04-1921 ~ 05-09-2015
Thanks for the film!

04-11-1946 ~ 05-10-2015
Thanks for the art!

09-16-25 ~ 05-14-2015
Thanks for the music!


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Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2015 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 15 # 20 (c) 05/15/2015