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A Habitable Planet

May 16, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on A Habitable Planet
habitable_2

“At the moments when we are able to separate ourselves from our daily concerns and ponder deeply, most of us have encountered fundamental questions of our existence as human beings. Where do we come from? What happened before humans appeared on Earth? Where do the stars come from? Do we have a place in planetary evolution? Are there others like us out there somewhere?” Wally Broecker and Charles Langmuir [1]

This series of articles is based on a talk I gave at REHAU in Leesburg on April 28, 2016. … Continue Reading

On Being Phished Hook, Line and Sinker

March 2, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on On Being Phished Hook, Line and Sinker
noerpel_new

“[T]here is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.” senior company scientist James Black told Exxon’s management committee in 1977 [1]

Tony Noerpel

Ten years ago I thought I could convince anybody of the reality of human-caused climate change and the precarious nature of human existence; simply examine the evidence. Physicist Tom Murphy began a blog called “do the math” [2]. Like me he thought any human would find the evidence compelling. He has since admitted he was wrong. So have I. … Continue Reading

Running AMOC in Pictures

February 19, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Running AMOC in Pictures
noerpel_new

“[D]ifferent kinds of human disturbance act synergistically so that the sum total of their ecological consequences exceeds that of their effects in isolation.” Jeremy Jackson [1]:

Figure 1 shows the thermohaline ocean circulation in the Atlantic. The worldwide interconnectivity of this circulation and its causes were discovered by Wallace Broecker. It is driven by variations in temperature and salinity in different parts of the ocean [2]. The red flows are on the surface and the blue flows are in the deep ocean. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) [3] running along the US East coast is better known as the Gulf Stream. This great flow of warm water warms Europe. In the movie “The Day after Tomorrow” this flow stops due to climate change and the Northern Hemisphere is thrown into an ice age. The part that is true is that human-caused climate change does slow down this flow in many climate models and indeed this is happening now as shown in the right hand side of Figure 2. It is also true that if AMOC flow stops an ice age could be initiated. The part that is fanciful besides the abrupt timing is ignoring the overwhelming influence of increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Some regions of the planet may cool down in opposition to the worldwide trend because of ocean current changes but eventually the whole planet surface warms quite dramatically. An ice age cannot occur when atmospheric carbon dioxide is above 400 ppmV as it is now [4-5]. … Continue Reading

We Actually Do All Agree on Something

February 15, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on We Actually Do All Agree on Something
noerpel_new

I have a good friend who believes that Americans agree on 95 percent of issues and only disagree on five percent and if we could just discuss and resolve those few issues we’d all get along. My view is that even the weather is a divisive issue. We don’t agree on anything. But I’m happy to report that maybe there is one issue we can all rally around.

A few years ago I was running with a Republican friend of mine. He said “You know what the problem is with America? Greed.” Halleluiah. We fist bumped. “You are absolutely right.” I countered. … Continue Reading

Pie in the Face (with remarks from Ron Paul)

February 10, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Pie in the Face (with remarks from Ron Paul)
noerpel_new

“In any field, the establishment is seldom in pursuit of the truth because it is composed of those who sincerely believe that they are already in possession of it.” E. T. Jaynes.

Everybody prefaces Bernie Sanders name with “pie in the sky”. It reminds me that whenever I discussed the Ukraine situation with anybody they would ask “what does Russia (or Putin) want with the Ukraine?” It is as if nobody thought to look at a map. I don’t think people thought of these things on their own; they hear them from the media. The real question every American needs to ask is “What are we doing in the Ukraine?” We conspired to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 just like we did in Iran more than sixty years ago. The latter was for oil, the former for hegemony. We wanted the Ukraine in NATO and indebted to the IMF and we wanted the Russian navy out of Crimea. Doesn’t matter, it is always about the establishment neo-cons and crony-capitalism. The winners are always the oil companies, the defense industry, and the MSM as it is profitable to report “shock and awe” even though real people die. The excuses are always the same “freedom, democracy, and liberty” which never seem to break out as promised. Consider Iraq. … Continue Reading

El Nino Evolution

January 17, 2016 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on El Nino Evolution
Figure 3. Sea-surface height as inferred by by NASA satellites during the current El Niño (December 27, 2015, at left, from Jason-2) and at a comparable point during the last “super” El Niño (December 28, 1997, at right, from TOPEX/Poseidon). Warmer temperatures in the upper ocean result in higher sea-surface heights, as the seawater expands. In 1997, the above-average sea surface height was generally more intense and peaked in November. In 2015, the area of high sea levels was less pronounced but considerably broader. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. (see [4])

Figure 1 shows the annual global temperature anomaly since 1980 up to November 2015 using the NASA GISS data set [1]. NASA has not yet published December’s data though BEST has [2] and yes 2015 was the hottest year on record beating the previous best 2014 by a sizable amount. Note that 1997-1998 were el Nino years and that is why they were at that time the hottest years on record. 2015 actually corresponds to 1997 in so far as the evolution of an el Nino goes as shown in the measurement of 3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly (see Figures 2 and 3). 2016 is the year that actually corresponds to the hotter 1998. Therefore with high probability 2016 will set yet another record beating 2015. The dotted curve in Figure 1 is my projection of the temperature anomaly through 2025. The 1979-2015 global warming linear trend is 0.163 degrees C per year as shown in Figure 1. I simply added (2015-1997) * 0.163 degrees to the 1998 through 2007 anomaly to compute an estimate for the years 2016 through 2015. Note that the gap between 1997 and 1998 is much larger than the gap I’m forecasting between 2015 and 2016 so my estimate may be conservative. If 2016 is much hotter than my estimate the rate of global warming may be accelerating. … Continue Reading

The Trump Effect

noerpel_new

“If Trump wins the nomination, prepare for the end of the conservative party.” George Will [1]

“If any of these candidates end up in the White House in 2016, America is in deep, deep trouble. Just by commanding the national stage, Republicans are already pushing dangerous ideas into public discourse and fueling a climate of violence and vitriol.” Robert Reich

By Tony Noerpel … Continue Reading

End of Year Wrap Up

December 21, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on End of Year Wrap Up
noerpel_new

In the middle of 2013, oil prices began to tumble [1]. Economists predicted that cheap energy would be good for the economy. People would spend the money they saved buying cheaper gasoline on more stuff made in China that they don’t need keeping the economy healthy, said the pundits. Many experts predicted that Saudi Arabia, a country which produces oil, would defend the price by cutting production, i.e., a government would bail out the private sector. … Continue Reading

Telling the Truth

December 9, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Telling the Truth
noerpel_new

“..[W]orry only about being more honest. It may take a long time for the truth to come to light but it will remain long after the lies have faded.” Jang Jin-Sung [1]

“If a lie is told a hundred times even the liar begins to believe it.” Korean proverb from Jang Jin-Sung [1]

“Dear Leader” is an autobiographical account of Jang Jin-Sung’s daring escape from North Korea. It is also about how an entire country became overwhelmed by lies and deceit. The big lie in our country, global warming denial, has completely engulfed one political party, one broadcasting network, and much of the rest of the corporate owned main-stream-media. Of course being able to blame ExxonMobil, Peabody Coal and Lamar Smith, though guilty as charged, does not absolve us. We could exercise free will and stop believing the lie, can’t we? Well, maybe not. … Continue Reading

Trusting Science

November 14, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet 1 comment
noerpel_new

“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1]

I previously reported [2] on two papers by sociologist Lawrence Hamilton and colleagues concluding that Democrats and liberals accept science more than Republicans and conservatives across a broad range of topics [3-4]. Aspects of their survey raise some nuanced questions which likely do not affect their results but are worth discussing. The survey questions read:

“Would you say that you trust, don’t trust, or are unsure about scientists as a source of information about [topic]?”

People were asked about several topics including climate change, vaccinations, forest management and the safety of GMO crops. I thought they should have used “science” rather than “scientist‘. In a private email Hamilton wrote: “I interpret ‘trust’ responses on all questions not as indicating that nuclear power, GMOs, vaccines etc. are necessarily all good, but rather that people accept ‘science’ as a good way to find out.” … Continue Reading

Avoiding Stupidity on Election Day

October 30, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Avoiding Stupidity on Election Day
noerpel150

“We found that people called an action stupid for three separate types of situations: (1) violations of maintaining a balance between confidence and abilities; (2) failures of attention; and (3) lack of control. … These results bring us closer to understanding people’s conception of unintelligent behavior while emphasizing the broader psychological perspectives of studying the attribute of stupid in everyday life.” Aczel, Palfi and Kekecs [1]

In a recent paper Balazs Aczel, Bence Palfi and Zoltan Kekecs show that we share a common understanding of what “stupid” means or what we define as stupid behavior. The first type of situation described by the authors is nothing more than the Dunning Kruger Effect [2] which we have previously discussed. Humans (all of us) tend to believe we have competence in areas where we are entirely ignorant. Think of George Will writing about human-caused climate change. While we recognize this behavior in others we often fail to recognize it in ourselves. All the scientists in the world could not convince Will that he is being stupid. John Cleese points out [3] that “In order to know how good you are at something requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place, which means — and this is terribly funny — that if you are absolutely no good at something at all, then you lack exactly the skills you need to know that you are absolutely no good at it.” … Continue Reading

A Dialogue on Climate Change and Global Income Inequality

noerpel150

On October 23, Friday at 6:00 p.m. at George Washington University, Ashburn Campus, we (GWU, Sustainable Loudoun, 350 Loudoun, REHAU, Corcoran winery, your business our world, CCAN, and solar solutions for all), are hosting Klaus Hubacek, a professor at the University of Maryland, to speak and lead a discussion on Global Income Inequality and Carbon Footprints . We will have food, and wine, and vendors of sustainable products and non-profits will be tabling.

In my April 9, 2014 article I described well-known positive natural feedbacks in the Earth climate system. These feedbacks are amplifying the warming directly caused by our carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. I posited that there is one more positive feedback which has never been identified in the scientific literature to my knowledge related to human behavior. While the paleoclimate record informs our understanding of the various natural feedbacks, human behavior is a new phenomenon. But it is predictable. I wrote: … Continue Reading

A Reflection on the Current Crisis in California

October 13, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on A Reflection on the Current Crisis in California
reflection

By Dr. David Goodrich
During his career in climate, Dr. David Goodrich was Director of both the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Office in Washington and the Global Climate Observing System Secretariat in Geneva. He retired in February 2011 as Director of NOAA’s Climate Observation Division. Three months later he rode his bicycle from Cape Henlopen, Delaware to Waldport, Oregon. His first long bicycle ride was in 2000, across Washington state, Idaho, and Montana. This is excerpted from his forthcoming book, A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist’s Bicycle Journey Across the US. http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2015/09/18/montana-in-the-time-of-fire/

Dave is a good friend and serves with me as a board member of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. This article brings back memories of my own. I bicycled across the US in 1972 going 4500 miles in 45 days, through much of the same country. I have no fire stories to report from back then; not surprising as forest fires were seven times less likely than they are today. I was blissfully unaware of climate change. My good friend Paul Krizinauskas, had just mustered out of Army Special forces after his tour in ‘Nam from Fort Ord, California and we bicycled back East together with another good friend Ron Zrebec. We didn’t use a tent and showered every fourth day at a camp ground whether we needed to or not. We ate mostly at all-you-can-eat smorgasbords which dotted the praries, putting several out of business, I’m guessing. A dietician friend once estimated we were burning about 10,000 calories a day each. I don’t know but I do know that no matter how much I ate I could always eat more. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

2016 in the Books

noerpel_new

(Presented to the Board of Supervisors February, 2017) “The last three years have demonstrated abundantly clearly that there is no change in the long-term trends since 1998. A prediction from 1997 merely continuing the linear trends would significantly under-predict the …

A Rainy Romance

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” – a simple phrase uttered in an acclaimed musical that helped birth a star. The movie’s Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) catches his attention so completely that Don Lockwood (Gene …

Concerned Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he …

It’s Time To Review Your Estate Planning Basics

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Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts. The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s widely believed …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: George Marshall Center

George Marshall Center

I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so …

Meeting the “Other America”

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By Nicholas Reid Ever since the presidential election last November, there has been a lot of talk about the “two Americas”: coastal and continental America. The many differences between these two sections of the United States are numerous and oftentimes …

The Trump Effect

noerpel_new

“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

February 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

February 5, 2017
February 6, 2017 February 7, 2017 February 8, 2017 February 9, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 10, 2017 February 11, 2017

Valentine's Pizza & Champagne

Sweetheart’s Soirée- A Night of Dinner & Dancing

February 12, 2017

Candlelight Concert Fundraiser

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

February 13, 2017 February 14, 2017 February 15, 2017

Bob Brown Puppets: Dragon Feathers

February 16, 2017 February 17, 2017

ARTSPOWER: RAINBOW FISH

February 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT

Comedy Night feat. Tyrone Davis

February 19, 2017
February 20, 2017 February 21, 2017 February 22, 2017 February 23, 2017 February 24, 2017

February Fourth Friday

February 25, 2017

Samedi Gras Celebration

February 26, 2017
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

March 5, 2017
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Lifestyle

Hillsboro Plans Mardi Gras Celebration on February 25

20 Feb 2017

nothing else main in hillsboro grey

Mardi Gras celebration will be held in Hillsboro on Saturday, February 25 as a benefit for the Old Stone Schoolhouse. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hurricanes and New Orleans drinks, as well as Old 690 beer and local wines will be served in the Garden District Bar. The Cajun Cafe will feature New Orleans cuisine, including King Cakes. …

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Four Young Historians Discuss Civil War Turning Points

2 Feb 2017

younghistorians

The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …

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Love In All of Its Forms … Ain’t It Grand

2 Feb 2017

valentinesday

Americans exchange hundreds of millions of cards on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend some $20 billion to mark the day and demonstrate to friends and family how much we love them – on what marketers call “Love’s Holiday.” Love. It’s a big deal.

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Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Loudoun County Seal Color

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

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– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved

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Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

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We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

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By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

Tia walbridge

Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

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Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

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Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

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Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

barbaracomstock

Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

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Sports

Woodgrove Gymnasts Advance To States

15 Feb 2017

gymnastics Snare

Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …

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Woodgrove Gymnastics Team Places First

1 Feb 2017

woodgrove

The Woodgrove High School Gymnastics team for placed first at their home meet. The team competed against squads from Loudoun Valley, Park View and Riverside high schools. Seniors Kaycee Delitta and Sarah Snare were honored at the event for their contributions to the team. The Wolverines excelled in individual competition …

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