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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — March 13, 2013 at 9:20 am 1,732 55 Comments

A seagull and a view of Rosslyn (photo courtesy Scott Shelbo)

Lane Markings Repainted Near Pentagon — The lane markings on Route 110 near the Pentagon were repainted this week after NBC4 alerted VDOT to “awkward lane markings” left there by construction work. Before the repainting, “motorists drove along seemingly in one lane, only to have that lane disappear right under them,” NBC4′s Adam Tuss said. [NBC Washington]

Va. Anti-Sodomy Law Overturned — A U.S. appeals court panel has ruled that Virginia’s anti-sodomy law is unconstitutional. The case involved a man accused of soliciting sodomy with a 17-year-old girl. One of the judges said that “Virginia can and should punish adults who have sexual relations with minors, but the state cannot use an unconstitutional law to do so.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Arlington Plans to Sell $264 Million in Bonds — Arlington County is planning to sell up to $264 million in municipal bonds next month. The sale would include $94 million in new bonds and $170 million in refinanced existing bonds. The debt service on the new bonds will add about $8.7 million per year to the county’s budget. [Sun Gazette]

Moran Calls for Action on Climate Change — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) took to the House floor on Tuesday to call for Congress to take action to “prevent further damage from climate change by developing a long-term strategy to address the issue.” [YouTube]

Photo courtesy Scott Shelbo

  • Andy

    VA’s anti-sodomy law is illegal? Well, bugger me!

    • G Clifford Prout

      Meet me at the Clark Street sauna.

  • novasteve

    Would a law forbidding abortions for those under the age of 5 be “unconstitutional” despite it being physically impossible to take place?

    • ARL

      Huh?

  • novasteve

    Given the left lies so much on things like the “War on women”, on guns, etc, is it possible they are also lying about climate change? There is still no shortage of people on the left who think that climate change is 100% caused by humans and thus can be reversed by human action, completely ignoring the geologic history of the earth, the past ice ages, the warm ups, etc before humans even existed.

    • Andy

      Go read peer reviewed scientific studies, then come back. If you aren’t prepared to accept them, go study for a few years, get the degree, work in the field, then come back. Until then you are hopelessly deluded.

      • novasteve

        Yes, because the climate has never changed before humans existed, and since that’s so we can stop climate change if we all go green!

        • drax

          But human activity has caused the climate to warm much more than it otherwise would, steve.

          • novasteve

            But that’s not the narrative we’re hearing. We’re being told we can STOP climate change if we all go green. And given the horrible consequences of a giant vulcano going off, which is very likely in the near future, a warmer earth is much preferable to a colder earth.

          • drax

            Steve, you make this simple mistake in logic over and over – perhaps on purpose, perhaps not.

            SOME people may be giving you that narrative. But that doesn’t mean ALL of them are. Plenty of people acknowledge that this is a complex issue. But the fact remains that most of the climate change is indeed attributable to human activity, and we have a good chance of slowing or stopping it by changing that activity, if that’s even possible.

          • Josh S

            Ahhhh. No, we’re being told that we can reduce the intensity of human-caused climate change if we go all green. And since it appears that the human-caused climate change is of a great magnitude, that’s what is important. Your example of a massive volcano eruption is actually useful here – the climate change we are currently witnessing is like a CO2 volcano is going off. It’s happening much more rapidly than background, “natural” climate change would normally cause.

          • ReadMann’sBook

            actually its not even clear the earth would be warming currently absent GHG’s. IIUC scientific opinion is mixed – naturally we might actually be in a cooling phase, or stable. Ergo the disagreement about how much of currently observed warming is human caused ranges from roughly 80% all the way to, yes, 100%.

          • Josh S

            There are always greenhouses gases in the atmosphere that occur naturally.

            It’s the extra GHG as a result of human activity that are in question.

          • skeptic

            Yes, human activity has caused the climate to warm much more than it otherwise would. Except for about the last decade. And except of course where human activity has caused the climate to cool much more than it otherwise would. Hence, the newer term, “climate change” rather than the older term, “global warming,” Climate change has caused us to have more hurricanes (which require hot air), but has also caused more blizzards, like 2010′s snowmageddon in our area. It’s just making the weather crazier and crazier!

          • drax

            “human activity has caused the climate to warm much more than it otherwise would”

            Okay. Are you done now?

          • Josh S

            I believe climate change has been the preferred term of the scientists all along. It’s the pundits and talking heads that seized on “global warming” to make it easier to sell, spin and otherwise hype.

            (Believe it or not, blizzards also require more energy in the atmosphere. Which is what we get from the sun. Which is what is trapped by CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Thus – climate change. On average, yes, temps will increase (global warming) but the total impact is much greater than just being a few degrees warmer.)

        • R. Griffon

          It’s not that it’s never changed; it’s that it’s never changed THIS QUICKLY, and the only reasonable cause for it is the amount of carbon dioxide we’ve been dumping into the atmosphere for the last 100 years or so.

          Also, those historic swings in climate were sometimes incompatible with human habitation. And current swings appear to be “incompatible” with the 20-odd percent of the world’s population that currently live in coastal regions that may find themselves flooded with a 1m rise in seawater. Much less the effects on food production and the availability of fresh water.

          People always talk about “saving the Earth.” The Earth has been here for billions of years – it’ll be just fine. It’s US that need saving from our own short-sighted actions.

          • novasteve

            All it will take is for an meteor strike or yellowstone to erupt and you’d be praying for more global warming.

          • drax

            Let us know when that happens, steve. Until then, we’re in the present reality, not your fantasy.

          • novasteve

            http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/us/wus-supervolcanoes-yellowstone
            Yup, just a fantasy. And no doubt my right wing source is discredited.

          • novasteve

            The moon is moving away from the earth. Do you think that will not have any impact on tides? Humans are but one factor. Warmups of the earth don’t cause mass extinctions, cool downs do.

          • drax

            “Humans are but one factor.”

            In THIS PARTICULAR warming trend, it’s clear that humans are the single most important factor.

          • speonjosh

            I think what we have here is a failure to keep two ideas in one’s head at the same time.

            Yes, all sorts of things happen normally to impact life on Earth. No one denies that.
            It’s the human-caused changes that are in question.

      • skeptic

        Yes, Steve really shouldn’t be posting here – all the other commenters on Arlnow (not to mention the news media) have thoroughly read the peer-reviewed literature and earned at least a masters, if not a PhD, in climate science.

        • ARL

          Do you?

        • Andy

          Occam’s razor: Simplify. If you accept the findings of 97.4% of the climate change specialists, great. Simple, done.
          If you don’t, you have to provide your evidence as to why 97.4% are wrong and 2.6% are correct.
          Nobody needs a PhD for that. But they do need common sense.

    • drax

      Nobody thinks that, steve.

      The earth is warmed naturally, yes. The earth is warming MORE than it would be naturally, and that marginal difference is caused by humans.

      Kind of like your body temperature is 98.6, but adding a little extra heat gives you a fever, which is caused by sickness rather than your natural body processes. Those few extra degrees make all the difference.

      • flux

        Terrible example. Fever is usually caused by increased immune response. It’s actually a good thing and it’s how your body fights various sickness.

        In your example, global warming would be a good thing and a sign the earth is curing itself through natural processes.

        • drax

          Oh, jeez, talk about overthinking the metaphor.

          The point was that even when most heat is natural, a small amount of heat added by a different cause is enough to make a difference.

        • We make it sick

          Curing itself of a human infection. So maybe not quite such a bad example after all.

        • ARL

          You took the analogy way too far.

    • BlueSkies

      Is it possible that we’ve been to the moon? Is it possible that we’ve split an atom? Is it possible that scientists are right that the recent sudden warming is brought about by people putting phenomenal amounts of carbon into the atmosphere?

      And is it possible that climate change deniers get their information from people linked to oil companies who have profits to lose if the world moves away from oil and that they’ve duped a lot of Americans?

    • Maggie Thatcher

      Why is it only the right in the US deny climate change? Everywhere else in the world it is accepted as scientific fact.

      • novasteve

        So how did the great lakes form? Were Mammoths driving around in SUVs?

        • ARL

          There’s your answer – novasteve and people like him.

  • Josh S

    Prepare yourselves for the sputtering outrage. 265 million dollars?!?!!? Outrage! Contempt!! Derision!! Finger-wagging!!

    • novasteve

      CHOO CHOO TRAINS! We can pretend we are in Prague!

      • ARL

        Or we can have reliable, useful public transit that leads to economic development right here.

        • novasteve

          Then maybe the cost of living here can even go up more because you’ll then feel extra guilty about pushing hte poor out and your solutions will push the costs onto others to make “affordable” housing. So in the future here, you’ll have ot be VERY rich or VERY poor to live in ARlington. The people in the middle will be forced to live in an area they can afford to live in. All for your feel good moment.

          • ARL

            Or maybe we can have reliable, useful public transit that leads to economic development right here, leading to better jobs and higher property values for the poor so they don’t have to be pushed out. I sure will feel good about that.

            Keep flinging your doomsday scenarios though.

          • DCBuff

            Generally speaking, the “poor” (at least in ArlCo) can hardly afford property (absent outside support) so higher property values do nothing for them positive, and, as likely renters, make it necessary for rents to increase to cover higher property taxes. Or, if the rental property becomes too valuable, the owner may decide to sell/redevelop thereby ensuring that the “poor” are forced to move. Learn what having higher property values actually means.

    • Tax Collector

      Just curious…what exactly is your annual property tax bill? Surely, someone as opinionated as you wouldn’t mind sharing with the group just how much you contribute to Arlington’s annual operating fund.

      • Josh S

        What would the point be? If it’s “too low”, you can dismiss me because I’m not really feeling the pain? Only those paying “too much” truly understand just how terribly we are being mismanaged?

        Also, can you explain what you mean by “opinionated?”

        • dan

          I take it that is a “No”

        • South Awwlington

          Or…an interesting correlation between taxes paid and opinions of County spending? Of course it would be interesting to see everyone’s tax liability in relation to their political tilt. To see what conclusions (if any) could be drawn.

          Oh and…I got this:

          o·pin·ion·at·ed

          /əˈpinyəˌnātid/

          Adjective

          Conceitedly assertive and dogmatic in one’s opinions.Synonyms

          obstinate – headstrong – stubborn – self-willed

  • Scuttle the Seagull

    I think everyone is avoiding the obvious question here. Will the seagull pictured above support Moran’s call for action on climate change? He is, after all, one of only a few species of birds that toughs it out year round here in the North. If he can handle the climate, what are we all so worried about?

    • ARL

      Seagull don’t care.

  • Arlington Chris

    Nice picture!

  • ARL

    Chart of CO and temperature changes:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Topics/tempcarbon.bar.2009.png

    And it includes the last decade (up to 2009). The long-term trend – after the Industrial Revolution – shows a strong relationship.

    • novasteve

      First, it’s CO2, not CO. Second, that chart goes back to 1860. 1860-2009 is an eyeblink in geologic time.

      • Josh S

        You’re welcome to reproduce the chart that shows CO2 concentrations over the last 1,000,000 years or so. I believe Al Gore used it to great effect in his book/movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” You remember – it’s the scene where he has to get in a cherry picker-thingy to get up to the CO2 concentrations now compared to most of the last million years (or whatever the time frame was – it was a long time and certainly went back well before humans have been around). Over that entire time, there are of course random fluctuations up and down and then it spikes, dramatically, just in the last two hundred years or so. Any reasonable person would say to themselves, “Huh, I wonder why that is?” Which is exactly what scientists from around the world have done. The most logical answer and the one that is backed up most convincingly by experimental results, is that the concentration has gone up as humans have burned fossil fuels. (And grown cattle, etc.) I have heard some alternative theories to explain the increase in temperatures (sun spots, etc) but I’ve never heard an alternative theory to explain the increase in CO2. I think there must have been some at one point, but they have all failed to generate any experimental results that support them.
        You are right that we don’t have temperature data that goes back beyond 1860 or so. So we can’t really see directly how average planetary temperatures have varied over the same million years that we have CO2 records for. However, the properties of CO2 in the atmosphere are known. It is known to be a greenhouse gas. Some level of CO2 in the atmosphere is essential to keep temperatures comfortable for life on the planet. But it is the current hypothesis that the dramatically increased level of CO2 that we are currently witnessing will lead to increased temperatures and other climate change. This hypothesis is being supported with each passing year’s worth of data showing increased temperatures on the planet.

        The bottom line is that this global warming theory is the best theory we currently have to explain what is happening with the climate. There are no competing theories that are having their predictions come true on essentially a daily basis. Sure, there are some who still say “well, maybe it’s this.” Or “maybe this will happen.” But none of those people can point to experimental evidence that supports their hypotheses. That’s a problem.

        • novasteve

          Have you guys found manbearpig yet?

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      Take it from an ORSA (as per the education statements above): Correlation does not prove Causation.

      There are more powerful things destroying our atmosphere than CO2, like CFCs for example.

  • Dan

    Did anyone check that gull’s papers ??

    The odds are good that he/she was born off shore…..

  • LeDouche

    I know of an easy way to greatly reduce the amount of CO2, CFCs, etc that are causing global warming, global cooling, climate change, or whatever this week’s catch phrase is…if all the liberals in the US would just off themselves then their emission of these things would cease and in total the emissions would be cut approximately in half. If they truly cared about the environment then they would do their part to eliminate their pollution permanently.

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