Tags: Chesapeake, Chincoteague, Climate Change, Colonial Beach, Cuccinelli, Dahlgren, Drought, evidence-based policy, fires, flood damage, flooding, Global Warming, Hampton, Jamestown, Newport News, Norfolk, property values, Quantico, Smith Island, storm damage, Suffolk, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia, Virginia Beach, Wallops, Washington Post, Williamsburg, Yorktown
The drumbeat of news items carries a message that we can no longer avoid hearing. Rising sea levels, vanishing ice, wild fires, extreme storms. The climate is changing with unnatural speed. Human activity is warming our planet. For recent examples, see here and here .
Tidewater Virginia will suffer greatly: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, and Hampton. So will many other parts of Virginia.
This is pertinent because Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli are competing to be the next Governor of Virginia.
Creepy Cuccinelli’s record on climate change is not based on evidence. He believes only what he wants to hear. He believes only what it is politically convenient for him to hear. He is James Inhofe east.
If he had been interested in evidence, he would not have tried to bully and discredit Michael Mann, a climate scientist who was then at the University of Virginia.
If Cuccinelli had been interested in evidence, he would not – Putin like – have tried to intimidate the scientific community.
If Cuccinelli had been interested in evidence, he would have protected the freedom of academic inquiry, instead of trying to squelch it.
(These attempts by Cuccinelli to earn political brownie points earned him the adjective ‘Creepy’ in front of his name.)
The data now confirm what climate scientists had calculated: global warming will cause sea levels to rise, thereby flooding some coastal areas year round, and also increasing hurricane damage to nearby areas that aren’t permanently flooded.
In Virginia Beach, in Norfolk, in Newport News and in Hampton, everyone’s insurance will go up.
In Virginia Beach, in Norfolk, in Newport News and in Hampton, everyone’s property values will go down.
In Virginia Beach, in Norfolk, in Newport News and in Hampton, the interest rates on new mortgages will rise, to cover the increased risk to the lender.
In Virginia Beach, in Norfolk, in Newport News and in Hampton, more houses and commercial buildings will be flooded by storms, and more will be wrecked.
More farmland will be ruined. More cars will be ruined.
In Virginia Beach, in Norfolk, in Newport News and in Hampton, more people and animals will die or be injured by storms.
The same is true for Chesapeake and for Suffolk.
The same is true for Chincoteague and for Wallops, for Smith Island and for all of the islands that extend north east of it. If the ponies on Chincoteague could vote, they would be well advised to vote against Cuccinelli.
The same is true for all of Accomack and Northampton, and westward across the bay to Gloucester, Lancaster, and Northumberland.
Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown are on low ground in Virginia’s Tidewater. They are vulnerable to damage by storms. Irreplaceable historical sites and objects may be irretrievably lost.
Rivers swollen by a low-moving hurricane could flood Westmoreland, including Stratford Hall Plantation, and also the birthplace of George Washington. They could innundate Colonial Beach, Dahlgren, and Quantico. Flooding can reach well inland.
Flooding isn’t global warming’s only threat to lives and livelihoods in Virginia. The increase in fires is now obvious. In fact, for the second year in a row, the Federal budget for fighting wildfires hasn’t been sufficient. Extreme drought is also more likely. So agriculture everywhere in Virginia will be under stress.
Much of that will happen now no matter what, because we have waited so long to temper global warming.
But it will be much worse if there is further delay.
If Ken Cuccinelli becomes Governor, further delay is guaranteed.
Ken Cuccinelli is willfully blind to the effects of global warming.
He has backed himself into a political corner.
He would lose face if he admitted that global warming is real and poses real threats.
Rather than pay the political price of that admission, Cuccinelli would prefer to have Tidewater Virginia end up looking like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Of the two candidates for Governor of Virginia, only Terry McAuliffe would have Virginia prepare to mitigate the damage that will undoubtedly be caused by climate change.
Maybe that is why the Virginia Association of Realtors endorsed Terry McAuliffe rather than Cuccinelli. Tempering the effects of global warming would reduce the damage to property values from flooding.
You cannot boost Virginia’s economy in the long term by increasing the vulnerability of homes, businesses and agricultural land to destruction by flooding. (Also, the Editors of the Washington Post found that Cuccinelli’s plans for boosting the economy were based on fuzzy math.)
If you live in Virginia, voting for Cuccinelli would be voting against your own future. Your lives and health and health are at stake. So are those of your children, pets and livestock. So is the value of your property – your house, land, business, and car. And so are the historic sites at which we refresh our knowledge of who we are.
More than coastal Virginia is threatened by global warming. Agriculture is threatened everywhere in the state.
Anyone wanting to protect their future should ask Cuccinelli about his past and present views on climate change, and about his attempts to bully Michael Mann and the climate science community.
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Tags: Angel dust, crack cocaine, drug seller, drug-fueled crime, Julio Blanco Garcia, Justin Jouvenal, killing, murder, PCP, stabbing, Vanessa Pham, Washington Post
Yet another innocent was horrifically murdered by someone under the influence of PCP.
In this particular case, we have an unusual amount of detail about what was going through the murderer’s mind at the time. He has admitted guilt, and has told us. (See Justin Juvanal’s article in the Washington Post.)
But he apparently hasn’t been asked one of the most important questions in situations like these: Where did the killer get the drugs? Who sold them to him?
Given the killer’s present state of remorse, he would probably answer truthfully.
If we knew who sold him the drugs, the drug seller could be be taken out of circulation.
Surely the drug seller should be charged as an accessory to the crime. The drug seller was a knowing enabler. In this case and in so many like it, if the killer had not been able to obtain PCP or crack cocaine, the killing would not have occurred.
In all such cases, the murderer’s willingness to identify the seller should play a huge role when sentencing the murderer.
Tags: abuse, Animal Emotion, animals, cruelty, Daniel Bergner, ethical, ethics, gloom, humane, joy, sadness, treatment of animals
Daniel Bergner described in the Washington Post what he witnessed while watching a community of rhesus monkeys at the Yerkes Primate Research Center (operated by Emory University): “A trio of monkey children sprinted toward a tube, disappeared inside it, burst from the other end and raced around for another run-through, beserk with joy.”
Many an affectionate dog owner has seen a puppy joyously discovering the novelty of snow, and ecstatically wriggling around on it. Dogs also become excited and joyful at the prospect of a walk. You can sense their enjoyment while they are playing ‘fetch’ with their human families.
Animals can experience joy.
Animals that can experience joy can also experience its opposite. You have probably seen the resigned behavior of a dog who realizes that it is about to visit the veterinarian, or the unhappiness of a bath-hating dog who is facing an imminent bath. Animals generate mental scenarios about their near future, and have emotions in response to those scenarios.
Joy, gloom, sadness – these are the signs of higher level mental activities. They are not immediate, automatic sensory responses, like hunger, or the pain of a physical injury.
How we treat animals should be based on the emotional as well as on the physical impact of what we do.