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The Party of Lincoln (Conclusion)

February 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Increasingly intense droughts in California, all of the Southwest, and even into the Midwest have everything to do with human-made climate change.” James Hansen [i-1]

California’s Central Valley—prime agricultural land—is being hit the hardest by the state-wide drought which could cause catastrophic losses to crops and food supply. http://ecowatch.com/2013/12/27/devastating-drought-continues-california/

Tony Noerpel

I began this series four weeks ago and this is the fifth and final segment.

The Party of Lincoln

Environmental destruction is the great moral issue of our time, just as slavery was in 1860. The Republican Party, the Party of Lincoln, was established in the 1850’s specifically to prevent the expansion of slavery to the United States’ Western territories [21]. … Continue Reading

The Party of Lincoln (Part Four)

February 6, 2014 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.” Dwight D. Eisenhower [i-1]

I began this series three weeks ago and this is the fourth segment.

An interesting characteristic of the way humans organize ourselves since the discovery of agriculture is that it is inevitably hierarchical. One or a few elitist and entitled individuals bubble to the top and amass extreme wealth and power and perhaps not surprisingly only rarely are these intelligent, wise and good choices. In fact they are not choices at all. Democracy interferes with this natural process it seems by inserting a bit of randomness. Democracy often breaks the chain of foolishness engendered by aggregated wealth and power. Even Milton Friedman, who understood very little, understood that concentrated power was bad but he never grasped the obvious connection between concentrated wealth and concentrated power. They are the same thing. Friedman ironically developed an economic ideology which by promoting concentrated wealth leads to exactly the thing he was most afraid of: soviet style central planning. That is where conservative Republicans are taking us today. … Continue Reading

The Party of Lincoln (Part Three)

January 29, 2014 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“The physical sciences, often called the ‘hard sciences’, are really the easy ones. They are underpinned by conservation laws and invariance principles in ways that differ from the biological, and even more the social, sciences.” Robert M. May, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, [1].

Two weeks ago I began a series called “The Party of Lincoln.” The premise is that one possible way to avoid self-extinction might begin with voting for candidates who acknowledged the reality of human-caused global warming, i.e., specifically voting against Republican candidates. Many people might believe that the risk then would be voting against the candidate who had a better grasp of economic reality. Clearly this isn’t true as anybody who does not accept physical reality doesn’t have any idea how the economy works either. … Continue Reading

The Party of Lincoln (Part Two)

January 23, 2014 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“The physical sciences, often called the ‘hard sciences’, are really the easy ones. They are underpinned by conservation laws and invariance principles in ways that differ from the biological, and even more the social, sciences.” Robert M. May, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, [1].

Climate Reality

On the most basic level and referring to the Robert May quote above, the study of planetary climate systems is a physical science. I’ve described most of the forcings and feedbacks previously [2]. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and has certain other physical properties which result in its being the principle greenhouse gas or thermostat of any planet similar to Earth [3]. At the temperature and atmospheric pressure at the surface of our planet carbon dioxide is a gas and is well-mixed in the atmosphere. Water by contrast is a liquid and only very reluctantly vaporizes. We have oceans of liquid water on our planet’s surface and yet very little water vapor. It is not well mixed in the atmosphere. There is very little water vapor over the Sahara or Antarctica or over any other desert. Since the temperature falls precipitously with altitude over the surface the percentage of water vapor falls dramatically as well. … Continue Reading

The Party of Lincoln

January 13, 2014 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“The physical sciences, often called the ‘hard sciences’, are really the easy ones. They are underpinned by conservation laws and invariance principles in ways that differ from the biological, and even more the social, sciences.” Robert M. May, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, [1].

Tony Noerpel

Executive Summary

I’ve done it again. I’ve taken a very simple theme and went crazy with it. Since this piece is much longer than anybody’s attention span, it needs an executive summary.

There is a myth in American politics that both political parties are the same so it does not really matter which one we vote for. This is not true. It is my experience that two groups of people hold this view. Those of us who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 hold this view because voting for Nader helped put George W. Bush in the White House and of course we would agree that Bush was one of the worst presidents our country ever had. Even the Republican Party did not invite the sitting president to John McCain’s nominating convention in 2008. We just don’t want to admit we made a mistake. There are many moderates who voted for Bush in 2000 who aver that both parties are just as bad, too. Those of us in this camp are also reluctant to admit we blew it. Nobody likes to admit being wrong. I certainly don’t. Well, grow up everybody. Admitting we were wrong is cathartic. It actually feels good to fess up that we screwed up. … Continue Reading

Are We Sufficiently Science Literate?

December 10, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet 4 comments
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“The only thing that stands between a man and being free is this foolish thing called greed” – “Greed”, a song by Buddy Dunlap.

The widening gap between the reality of human-caused or anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and its eventual severity on one hand and public opinion on the other in the United States is confounding. The debate is not between advocates of multiple competing hypotheses attempting to explain the observed phenomena, which is what happens in science. Rather it is an asymmetric confrontation between scientists using evidence to discover a signal and ideologues generating noise. Finding a denier signal if it exists within their noise is much more difficult than one might think [1]. However, it has been my personal experience that anybody with sufficient scientific literacy who may have been skeptical can be easily convinced of the truth of AGW by the evidence as well as by lack of evidence supporting whatever skeptical views they might have previously held. By contrast it is not easy to convince deniers because they do not know what evidence is, a sad reality which the fossil fuels industry exploits [2]. It is only by meticulously avoiding evidence that deniers can frame their case at all. … Continue Reading

Taking It Slow

December 2, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“And I have made much more progress in recognizing the errors of others than my own.” – Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow [1].

Isn’t that the truth? Kahneman is not writing about perceiving what others do or write as errors when in fact they are not. He is describing how much easier it is to objectively observe the mistakes of others which if we committed we’d never notice. When I noticed that Nate Silver applied Bayes statistics incorrectly in his chapter on global warming in his book The Signal and the Noise, I was on it like a hawk on a small rodent [2]. I might have misapplied Bayes Rule a hundred times without noticing the errors I might have been making if I had the chance. If Silver had gotten it right in the first place, I may have never studied Bayes Rule on my own and I may never have actually applied it at all to anything. This effort on my part was very intense and exhausting but immensely rewarding. Expending considerable effort for a rather long period of time without having to exert will power is described by Kahneman as being in a “flow”. I have heard it called being in a zone. And that is where I was for the last three weeks. It was awesome; way superior to video games, television or drugs. … Continue Reading

To the Arctic: Amplified and Bayes Applied

November 27, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“In accordance with Bayes’ theorem, prediction is fundamentally a type of information-processing activity – a matter of using new data to test our hypotheses about the objective world, with the goal of coming to truer and more accurate conceptions about it.” Nate Silver

Forward

I like Nate Silver and I feel bad about criticizing his book “The Signal and the Noise”. But after reading his global warming chapter twice through I have to admit that he deserves the criticism. Without a doubt, when he writes about the physics of climate change for the most part he is spot on. And I applaud his effort to try to understand it. However, my critique is technically valid, no apologies there; Silver blew his Bayesian analysis. He missed a perfectly good opportunity to contribute to a reduction of the noise level of the discourse increasing it instead. This is exactly the goal of the fossil fuels industry. So long as there is lots of noise, nobody sees the signal. I sent a draft to Silver and asked for comments so he has had a chance to defend himself or do the mea culpa. He did not respond so my conscience is clear. The mistakes he makes in applying Bayesian analysis to the global warming problem include:

  • He uses false new data introducing misinformation, which has been comprehensively debunked. See ref [17].
  • He ignores true information.
  • He assumes that the climate system is memoryless.
  • He only applies the analysis to the IPCC consensus hypothesis and not to the myriad denier hypotheses.

… Continue Reading

Energy Summit Comments

November 13, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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Both Sustainable Loudoun’s 2013 energy summit and climate discussion went well. Kent Klitgaard the featured speaker at the energy summit, held on October 25 at GWU, called me the night before from a hospital bed in post op. He had been rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Obviously, he was not going to be able to travel and deliver his talk the following evening. I told him not to worry. He could send me his charts in the morning. I could review them and call him with questions and deliver the talk myself. What else was I going to do? A friend Kenneth Davidson, an antitrust lawyer who has written several books would be attending and I would invite him to participate in the Q and A discussion afterwards. We would muddle through. … Continue Reading

Climate Discussion with Climate Scientist Jennifer Francis

October 30, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet 2 comments
climate discussion

Rapid Arctic Warming and Extreme Weather Events in Mid-Latitudes: Are They Connected?

Wednesday – November 6, 2013
Music and Refreshments start at 6:00 p.m. – Program begins at 7:00 p.m.
Music by Tara Linhardt and Buddy Dunlap
Hosted by REHAU
1501 Edwards Ferry Road, NE, Leesburg, VA

Featured speaker: Jennifer Francis, PhD

“Extra heat entering the vast expanses of open water that were once covered in ice is released back to the atmosphere in the fall. This has led to an increase in near-surface, autumn air temperatures of two to five degrees C (3.6 to nine degrees F) over much of the Arctic Ocean during the past decade. All that extra heat being deposited into the atmosphere cannot help but affect the weather, both locally and on a large scale. And there are growing indications that some weather phenomena in recent years — such as prolonged cold spells in Europe, heavy snows in the northeastern U.S. and Alaska, and heat waves in Russia — may be related to Arctic amplification.” Jennifer Francis [1] … Continue Reading

Sustainable Loudoun’s Energy and Economic Forum

October 16, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet 2 comments
energy summit

“I made a mistake.” FED Chair Alan Greenspan in testimony before Congress, October 23, 2008.

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession …We have sort of become a nation of whiners” John McCain’s economic advisor, and former senator Phil Gramm in an interview with the Washington Times, July 9, 2008, eight months after the recession officially began.

“As of 2011 there is no clear agreement of what kind of economics works and what does not.” Charles Hall and Kent Klitgaard, “Energy and the Wealth of Nations”.

“We often underestimate how much uncertainty there is in terms of our understanding of the economy. If you pretend that we know more than we do, you are in danger of constructing policies that can be counter-productive.” 2013 Economics Nobel Prize winner, Lars Peter Hansen [1]. … Continue Reading

Time to Pretend

October 6, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Burning all fossil fuels, we conclude, would make most of the planet uninhabitable by Humans.” James Hansen et al. [1]

In the epigraph, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Jim Hansen and his co-authors point out quite explicitly that if we burn all available fossil fuels we may go extinct. There will be no place to live and grow food. There is disagreement. The climate scientist Richard Alley said in a recent lecture that only “parts” of the planet might be uninhabitable [2]. While there is some uncertainty as to how much fossil fuels are really accessible, burning fossil fuels is not the only misbehavior in which humans are engaged and therefore whatever is left after parts or most may not be habitable for any number of other reasons.

Just this week in the latest issue of EOS [3], published by the American Geophysical Union, there is a news article on the Chesapeake Bay dead zone reminding us that most of this estuary is either hypoxic (low-oxygen condition) or anoxic (a near total depletion of oxygen). This is peripherally associated with global warming in that the chemicals we use on our farms which pollute the bay have a fossil fuel origin. Such conditions are leading to the displacement of complex fish ecosystems by jellyfish. This is also associated with overfishing.

On Thursday October 3, 2013, Scientists from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) published their State of the Oceans report [10]. The report states “We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure. The next mass extinction may have already begun.”

In the latest issue of Nature [4], containing a special section on the state of agriculture, we are reminded that we are pulling down our aquifers by a few inches a year. California’s Central Valley will run dry in 60 to 100 years. This is also happening in India and the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin as well as Australia. This is due to over irrigation but also climate-change caused droughts. The same issue of Nature informs us that “The threat of insects to agriculture is set to increase as the planet warms.” So even if we want to pretend that Hansen is exaggerating the impact of human-caused global warming, his analysis still only considers a part of the problems we are creating.

Obviously, there is a rather large disconnect between what our science is telling us is true or at least certainly possible and what most Americans believe. Most Americans are in denial, or maybe we accept that some serious consequences are possible at some distance in the future, or maybe we are confused or completely unaware. Many of us are pretending that there cannot be a problem since the free market isn’t solving it. This state of affairs is partly cultural, partly ideological and partly motivated by greed and fear. That we have a propensity to believe nonsense is well documented [5].

While understanding is relative, there is a modicum of knowledge which is required of the individual in order to reasonably accurately comprehend the human condition. On the savanna where we evolved things were not nearly this complicated. In order to appreciate whether or not one understands climate physics sufficiently, I pose three not quite arbitrary questions:

What is ECS?
What is the Eemian?
What is PETM?

If a person cannot rattle off answers, blindfolded, with no recourse to the internet, then one’s understanding may be too fragile and too limited. One may have a difficult time assimilating the science directly and will be overly dependent on the main stream media for information. I chose these three questions because they are germane to being able to read Hansen’s paper. This paper is not a difficult read but like all scientific papers it assumes a specialist’s knowledge and at 25 pages is a tough slog if one constantly has to refer to Wikipedia every other sentence for a definition of terms. Any Blue Ridge Leader reader can do this. It just takes a lot of time which I fully appreciate most people do not have.

ECS is equilibrium climate sensitivity and is an estimate of how much the Earth will warm if the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is doubled and after the climate has stabilized. But there are caveats. It only takes into account fast feedbacks by definition. And here we see that one must understand what a feedback is, which may require yet another trip to Wikipedia. At any rate, ECS is what the argument between climate deniers and climate realists is all about. The consensus view is that the planet will warm between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius with a mean value of 3 degrees. Deniers pretend the value is less than 1 degree or even 0 since a few do not believe that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Some scientists think the value may be closer to 4.5 degrees or even higher because of evidence in the paleoclimate record. Authors of a recent article in the journal Science [11] wrote: “The Earth system response to small changes in carbon dioxide is bigger than suggested by earlier climate models.” These scientists are describing what actually happened in the past, in this case the mid-Pliocene (look it up in Wikipedia) and is climate model independent. The paleoclimate record is what the Hansen paper is about. ECS contrasts with Earth System Response or Sensitivity which takes into account long term feedback mechanisms as well.

The Eemian is the name for the last interglacial period before the present one, which is called the Holocene. It occurred between 135,000 and 114,000 years ago. The Eemian is a beautiful analogue to the current climate because the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels where a little lower than they are today. The climate was 1 degree C warmer and sea levels were four to nine meters (roughly 10 to 30 feet) higher than they are today. Physical models are only as good as all the physical processes which are included in the simulation. If a feedback mechanism is left out or if a physical process is not well understood then the simulations will have errors. But whatever actually happened, happened so that every physical mechanism is explicitly included in the paleoclimate record. There is some disagreement between the consensus view and the more pessimistic view regards some of the measurements and some of the timing. Did a process take place over decades, centuries or millennia? The time line derived from sediment is often blurry.

The PETM is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum which occurred 55 million years ago. There is an interesting lesson for us today in the PETM as it involved the dramatic release of methane and carbon dioxide from methane clathrate frozen under the ocean floor and/or melting and decomposing peat. Both of these phenomena are currently being observed. The magnitude of the release is on the order of the estimated amount of fossil fuels. But the rate of the release was slower by an order of magnitude. This is of considerable concern to climate scientists. The IPSO report states [10]: “More worrying still, the scale and rate of the present day carbon perturbation, and resulting ocean acidification, is unprecedented in Earth’s known history. Today’s rate of carbon release, at approximately 30 Gt of CO2 per year, is at least 10 times faster than that which preceded the last major species extinction (the PETM), while geological records indicate that the current acidification is unparalleled in at least the last 300 million years.”

The lesson for us is that if we know these things, or take the time to learn them, we have access to the climate science literature directly. If we do not know these details, then reading the scientific literature directly becomes a bit tedious and overwhelming. Without access to the original science we are dependent on the main stream media for information. And unfortunately the only way to accurately characterize the MSM is as thoroughly unreliable. There is some reporting which is accurate but lot’s that is pure fabrication, and without the knowledge one can acquire outside the MSM, one cannot tell the difference. While there is considerable evidence of dishonesty, ambivalence, carelessness and ignorance, mostly the MSM is simply unreliable, unverifiable and irrelevant. And this is unfortunate and explains at least in part the widening gap between the reality of the human condition and what people believe.

I’m not a consumer of MSM, primarily because I spend so much time trying to acquire information from primary sources like scientific journals and text books. Think of it as my hobby. My wife subscribes to Time magazine. I don’t read it except for the “Briefing” page because I always have something better to read. A conservative Republican friend doesn’t read it because it is too liberal. But I know many people who do read it and rely on its presumed honestly.

In the September 23, 2013 issue, on the “Briefing” page the editors ran this one line story: “60 percent increase in ice-covered ocean water since last year, leading some scientists to believe that the planet is actually undergoing global cooling”. This is not true. And there is no attribution so it is unverifiable in any event. Time magazine is regrettably misinforming the public on a massively important issue. Yet the behavior of Time magazine is in no way exceptional. There are many worse news outlets than Time.

If one wants to be a skeptic, one must not believe everything one reads or hears without questioning it. First, Time did not attribute a source for this information. So the first question to ask Time editors is of course “what is your source?” Second, 60 percent seems rather high and does not square with any of the data from credible sources, as we will see. How was it measured or calculated? Did somebody at Time confirm the calculation? Who are these scientists who supposedly changed their view based on a single year observation? Did anybody at Time speak directly with “some” scientists? Did Time consult with any knowledgeable persons before running the item?

Curiously Time employs one of the best science writers in the MSM. Brian Walsh [6] writes consistently and accurately about human-caused climate change in addition to other science. In fact on May 10 this year in Time magazine Walsh wrote “Human civilization didn’t exist the last time that carbon levels in the atmosphere were as high as they are now. As a new study shows, temperatures were much higher—and the Arctic was largely ice free.” Walsh was writing about the mid-Pliocene paper I cited above. Before the editors of the “Briefing” page ran their global cooling canard they might have checked with their own in-house expert. If they didn’t even do that, we find it hard to believe they actually talked to “some” scientist.

An aerial view of the ice core drilling platform at Lake El’gygytgyn in Russia. From an article by Time Magazine science writer Brian Walsh. Image courtesy of Jens Karls [11]

Let’s examine the data.

Figure 2 shows the Arctic sea ice cover estimated by proxy data during the last 1450 years. I used data from Kinnard et al [7]. The black curve is the forty-year smoothed proxy-based reconstructed late-summer Arctic sea ice extent over the period AD 561–1995. The data provided by the authors includes 95 percent confidence curves. The jagged blue curve is the yearly data for observed August (late summer) sea ice extent. The authors give this data up to and including 2008 and explain why they used August data in their article. I’ve supplemented this data with the August sea ice extent record published by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) for the years 2009 to 2013 [8]. The y-axis is the ice extent in square kilometers. Note that the ice extent over the last 1400 years is remarkably stable at around 10 million square kilometers. Of course it varies from year to year with the weather and the authors discuss error bounds. The authors also discuss the medieval warm period and the little ice age. It is an interesting article. But like the Hansen paper, a specialist’s background is useful if only for definition of terms.

Note the inevitable hockey stick blade beginning around 1970. This is the human-caused global warming signature. Our Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli sued our state university using our taxpayer money to make the hockey stick blade go away but it shows up unfailingly in every data set. The collapse of Arctic sea ice is clearly unprecedented in the paleoclimate record at least back to AD 561. In 2012, the sea ice extent set a record well below what any climate models had predicted. The “recovery” in 2013 was anticipated simply because of natural variability. Using the August data the increase in Arctic sea ice extent from 2012 to 2013 is 30 percent but the decrease in extent from the 561-1970 AD norm to 2013 is 40 percent.

The observed data, the blue curve, is jagged. From year to year it increases and then decreases. This is why I suspect that Time’s “some scientists” do not exist. And it is why in the science journals such as Nature, Science, Geophysical Research Letters, EOS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, we do not find scientist discussing global cooling. If we consider the expanded view of the observed data we can clearly see the year to year noise superimposed on the global warming trend line. No credible scientist would change his or her mind on one year’s data point while ignoring the overwhelming trend. It is just too farfetched to imagine a scientist flip flopping from one year to the next on the basis of noise. Further and more to the point, the 2013 sea ice extent was the sixth lowest on record and is still well below climate model estimates. The Arctic sea ice is not recovering as Time’s own Brian Walsh makes clear citing published science.

Since the Time quote refers to the ocean ice extent we should also look at the Antarctic. It turns out the sea ice in the Southern Ocean has been increasing slightly. According to Jason Samenow [9] at the Capital weather gang web site, using NSIDC data, the Antarctic sea ice increased from 2012 to 2013 using September data by 0.15 percent or hardly anything at all. So I do not know where the 60 percent number came from. I do not doubt that there may be some cherry-picked measurement that might show this. I doubt that it is relevant. As skeptics I suggest we all assume Time magazine is pretending. And that is a real shame because misinforming the public has huge costs.

“We’ll choke on our vomit and that will be the end
We were fated to pretend, to pretend
We’re fated to pretend, to pretend”

“Time to Pretend” from MGMT’s album Oracular Spectacular

[1] James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Gary Russell and Pushker Kharecha, Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 2013 371, 20120294, published 16 September 2013.

[2] Richard Alley, AGU Chapman Conference on Communicating Climate Science: A Historic Look to the Future, 08 June 2013 — 13 June 2013, Granby, CO, USA, about 22 minutes into the presentation: State of the Climate System http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_-8u86R3Yc

[3] Research Spotlight, EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Volume 94, number 39, 24 September 2013.

[4] Nature Outlook supplementary section Agriculture and Drought, Adapting to a changing climate, 26 September, 2013, Vol 501.

[5] Michael Shermer, The Believing Brain, Times Books, 2011.

[6] Brian Walsh senior editor at Time. http://science.time.com/author/bryanrwalsh/
http://science.time.com/2012/12/03/why-seeing-is-believing-usually-when-it-comes-to-climate-change/
http://science.time.com/2013/05/10/studies-of-the-past-show-an-ice-free-arctic-could-be-in-our-future/
http://science.time.com/2012/11/30/climate-change-polar-ice-sheets-melting-faster-raising-sea-levels/#ixzz2ghWKFK71
[7] Christophe Kinnard, Christian M. Zdanowicz, David A. Fisher, Elisabeth Isaksson, Anne de Vernal & Lonnie G. Thompson, Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years, Nature, Vol 479, 24 November, 2011

[8] Fetterer, F., K. Knowles, W. Meier, and M. Savoie. 2002, updated 2009. Sea Ice Index. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5QJ7F7W . NSIDC ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Aug/N_08_area.txt

[9] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/09/23/antarctic-sea-ice-hit-35-year-record-high-saturday/

[10] The State of the Ocean 2013: Perils, Prognoses andProposals, http://www.stateoftheocean.org/pdfs/IPSO-Summary-Oct13-FINAL.pdf

[11] This article was covered by Brian Walsh in Time magazine here: http://science.time.com/2013/05/10/studies-of-the-past-show-an-ice-free-arctic-could-be-in-our-future/ Julie Brigham-Grette, Pliocene Warmth, Polar Amplification, and Stepped Pleistocene Cooling Recorded in NE Arctic Russia, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/recent / 9 May 2013 / Page 1 / 10.1126/science.1233137 and Martin Melles, et al., 2.8 Million Years of Arctic Climate Change from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Russia, Science Vol 337 20 July 2012.

Figure 2 (from Figure 3 in [7]) Forty year smoothed reconstructed late-summer Arctic sea ice extent.

Cuccinelli Fails the Breathalyzer

September 11, 2013 by Tony Noerpel Columns, Sustainable Planet Be the first to comment
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“Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.” Richard Muller, NYTimes op/Ed [1]

Tony Noerpel

Some would question whether Richard Muller hadn’t been more a denier than a skeptic. He had technical concerns with the instrument record of the Earth’s climate over the last 150 years, the blade of Michael Mann’s famous hockey stick. But these concerns did not in any way challenge the fundamental physics of human-caused climate change. They merely questioned some aspect of the bookkeeping. Nonetheless, his concerns were testable and in fact had already been identified and tested by climate scientists during the last couple of decades. Muller an accomplished scientist could quickly have done the literature search himself but the scientists he criticized had explained to him often enough that his technical concerns had been raised and addressed. Instead Muller tested his objections and concluded, to no one’s surprise that the climate science community had been right all along. The recent Earth warming is dramatic and unprecedented and humans are almost entirely the cause. The latest IPCC report pegs the likelihood of human responsibility at greater than 95%. That is as close to science speak for empirically dead certain as we get. As I predicted [2], Muller’s confirmation of the reality of human-caused climate change has had no impact on deniers. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

State of Sophistry

25 Sep 2014

noerpel150

There is a particularly sophistic science-denial argument which has been around since 2004. This popular argument cites a paper published in the journal Science in 2003 by Nicolas Caillon and colleagues [1] and then badly misinterprets it. It seems unlikely …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Addressing Robin Williams’ Suicide As a Teachable Moment with Your Child

3 Sep 2014

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, My husband and I were both shocked by Robin Williams’ suicide. We’ve loved him since “Mork and Mindy” but don’t get how a guy who has everything could end his life like he did. …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Bloomfield

3 Sep 2014

timjon

Maybe it’s just my imagination (most people who know me stress that it’s one of my stronger – or maybe, stranger – traits), but I’d swear that there are places around this unique county of ours where the past not …

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Shreve Mill Road

6 Aug 2014

timjon

It’s quintessential Loudoun County in transition: In less than two miles, this sleepy, little country road passes by decrepit, abandoned structures (apparently just waiting for demolition and development), some surprisingly tranquil waterways, and stretches of mature forest that would entice …

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Virginia Gardening

Goldenrod – A Major Fall Beauty

3 Sep 2014

donnawilliamson

By Donna Williamson It’s easy to think that goldenrod causes autumn sniffles. It’s a native with species that tolerate all kinds of conditions, from full sun to shade, from moist soils to hot and dry. And it blooms everywhere around …

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Sushi's Corner

The Grumpy Old Troll Continued…

3 Sep 2014

sushi

By Sushi Now my friends if you have not read July’s Tails from the Barn Yard please visit www.brleader.com before you read the ending here. It is there you will read of a little girl by the name of Adele …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

What It Means To Make a Comeback

3 Sep 2014

sobelpic

By Samuel Moore-Sobel What is a comeback? Merriam Webster gives a number of definitions for this word including, “a new effort to win or succeed after being close to defeat or failure.” This definition seems to capture the essence of …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life: Do Not Resusitate Order (“DNR”)

3 Sep 2014

Smith0035

The DNR is a written order issued by a physician to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation for the patient in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. The DNR is now referred to officially as a “Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order.” The …

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Student News

Loudoun Student Awarded Environmental Scholarship

6 Jul 2014

Allison_Arpajian

American Disposal Services is proud to announce Allison Arpajian, the Loudoun County recipient of their Annual American Disposal Services Inc. Scholarship. Applications were distributed to all public high schools in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. One winner was chosen from each …

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Local Residents Graduate from the College of William & Mary

3 Jul 2014

The following residents recently graduated from the College of William & Mary: Alexander Graeme Thomson, from Hamilton (20158), with a BS degree. Gabrielle Alana Graves, from Middleburg (20117), with a BA degree. Kathleen Warren Hale, from Middleburg (20117), with a …

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Kevin Sherman Graduated from Ithaca College

3 Jul 2014

Kevin Sherman, a native of Middleburg, Va., graduated from Ithaca College’s School of Health Sciences and Human Performance with a degree in Sport Studies. The degree was awarded in May 2014.

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Events

October 2014
M T W T F S S
29

Worldly Inspirations

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September 29, 2014

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In September, Arts in the Village Gallery presents Worldly Inspirations, a Featured Artist Exhibit showcasing intricately wrapped stone pendants and earrings by jewelry artist Dana Jansen, and evocative images captured by photographer Mary Louise Ravese, in a show that draws on inspiration, materials, and imagery from across the globe.

Dana Jansen’s use of intricate wire wrapping techniques encase and frame Brazilian agates, druzy quartz and an array of minerals and fossils found across the world.  Working mostly in sterling silver wire and occasionally copper, Dana’s labyrinthine designs supplement the stone’s natural beauty to create pieces that stand on their own as objects of fine art.

Mary Louise Ravese captures images that transport viewers to diverse destinations from around the block, to around the country, and around the globe. Inspired by a wide array of subject matter, Mary Louise's work resonates with striking color, texture and line. Her photographs of country landscapes, intriguing architectural details and unusual abstract compositions draw the eye and allow the mind to vicariously experience her view of the world.

 

Meet the artists and enjoy a glass of wine and refreshments during a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, September 20th, from 5 – 8 p.m.

Arts in the Village Gallery, 1601 Village Market Blvd, Suite 116, Leesburg, VA 20175. Tel: 571-442-8661 Email: info@artsinthevillage.com Website: http://www.artsinthevillage.com/

30

Worldly Inspirations

Close

September 30, 2014

Arts in the Village Gallery
1601 Village Market Blvd.
Suite 116
Leesburg, 20175
USA
571-442-8661

In September, Arts in the Village Gallery presents Worldly Inspirations, a Featured Artist Exhibit showcasing intricately wrapped stone pendants and earrings by jewelry artist Dana Jansen, and evocative images captured by photographer Mary Louise Ravese, in a show that draws on inspiration, materials, and imagery from across the globe.

Dana Jansen’s use of intricate wire wrapping techniques encase and frame Brazilian agates, druzy quartz and an array of minerals and fossils found across the world.  Working mostly in sterling silver wire and occasionally copper, Dana’s labyrinthine designs supplement the stone’s natural beauty to create pieces that stand on their own as objects of fine art.

Mary Louise Ravese captures images that transport viewers to diverse destinations from around the block, to around the country, and around the globe. Inspired by a wide array of subject matter, Mary Louise's work resonates with striking color, texture and line. Her photographs of country landscapes, intriguing architectural details and unusual abstract compositions draw the eye and allow the mind to vicariously experience her view of the world.

 

Meet the artists and enjoy a glass of wine and refreshments during a free, open to the public reception on Saturday, September 20th, from 5 – 8 p.m.

Arts in the Village Gallery, 1601 Village Market Blvd, Suite 116, Leesburg, VA 20175. Tel: 571-442-8661 Email: info@artsinthevillage.com Website: http://www.artsinthevillage.com/

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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October 4, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Notaviva Vineyards presents their monthly Bluegrass Jam a FREE event held the first Saturday of every month!

An event for all ages featuring Ashby Run. Open to players of every skill level

3pm-6pm Saturday 7/5

Wine available by the glass and by the bottle, lite snacks available. Must be 21 to drink alcohol.

5
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Start Your Business (Loudoun)

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October 9, 2014

Is owning a small business a good fit for me? What are the steps for starting a business? Will I need funding? What are potential sources of funding? Ruth Cope, Assistant Director of the Loudoun SBDC, and Kelly Keyser Thompson, a Principal of Keyser Thompson Insurance Agency, will answer these and other questions essential for successfully starting a small business. Highlights will include:

•    Entrepreneurial traits
•    Taxes and licensing
•    Business plan development
•    Sources of financing
•    Marketing
•    Insurance

REGISTER at LoudounSBDC.eventbrite.com.

Fee:  $10 for registration online; $15 at the door
Those who pay at the door are not guaranteed seating or handouts.

10 11

Purcellville Tag Sale Space Available

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October 11, 2014

Loudoun Valley Community Center
320 West School Street
Purcellville, 20132
540-338-4122

Loudoun Valley Community Center is offering table space to take advantage of this community affair on October 11 and 12 from 7am to 4pm. Table rental is $25 for 2 days. Call 540-338-4122 or email lynda.vill@loudoun.gov to reserve.

Purcellville Library Fall Book Sale

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October 11, 2014

Purcellville Library
220 East Main Street
Purcellville, 20132
USA
540-338-3013

The Purcellville Library Advisory Board's Fall Used Book Sale will offer hardback and paperback books, CDs and DVDs for sale. Used books for all ages, both fiction and non-fiction will be included in the sale. All proceeds go to benefit the Purcellville Library. Cash or check only, no credit cards. Hardcover books $2, paperback $1.

Harvest Celebration at Breaux Vineyards

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October 11, 2014

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purcellville, 20132
United States

Come be a part of our celebration of the 2014 harvest season at Breaux Vineyards.  We will have live music with Steele & Oglevee, craft vendors, and, of course, wine tastings.  Also if the weather is nice we will be conducting vineyard tours on the hour.

No admission or RSVP for this fun day at the winery

Looking forward to seeing you here!

12

Purcellville Tag Sale Space Available

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October 12, 2014

Loudoun Valley Community Center
320 West School Street
Purcellville, 20132
540-338-4122

Loudoun Valley Community Center is offering table space to take advantage of this community affair on October 11 and 12 from 7am to 4pm. Table rental is $25 for 2 days. Call 540-338-4122 or email lynda.vill@loudoun.gov to reserve.

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Event: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- jewelry artist Dana Jansen and photographer Mary Louise Ravese

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October 15, 2014

44045 Riverside Parkway
Leesburg, 20176

Meet Dana and Mary Louise and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Worldly Inspirations,” presenting the wire wrapped jewelry of Dana Jansen and the evocative photography of Mary Louise Ravese as they reveal inspiration and imagery from across the globe.

 

Working primarily in sterling silver, Dana Jansen’s intricate wire pieces frame Brazilian agates, druzy quartz and an array of minerals and fossils found across the world.

Mary Louise Ravese’s country landscapes, architectural details and unusual abstracts draw the eye and allow the mind to vicariously experience her view of the world.

 

16

Creating an Effective Advisory Board

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October 16, 2014

An effective, motivated advisory board is invaluable for growing a business. It offers a community of support and influence. It helps you weather storms and exceed goals.

Marissa Levin is CEO of Successful Culture and author of Built to SCALE: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth through Exceptional Advisory Boards. Join Ms. Levin as she discusses tools and templates for following her SCALE™ Model.

She’ll guide you on how to:

•    Select who you need to get your business from where it is now to where you want it to be, while developing exceptional leadership skills
•    Compensate your advisors (monetary, non-monetary, and types of equity-based compensation)
•    Associate them into your organization with a successful change management strategy
•    Leverage your advisors for business and process development, networking, and more
•    Evaluate constantly and Evolve the board as your organization grows
•    Exit advisors when they no longer fit

FREE but please REGISTER at LoudounSBDC.eventbrite.com

17 18

FREE Live Music - Adam Bruno

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October 18, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Singer/songwriter Adam Bruno is a Tampa native, now living in Loudoun County. Adam has a powerful, soulful sound, blending all the best of pop, rock and acoustic music. His melody-driven songs and thoughtful lyrics make you an immediate fan!

Notaviva Vineyards will have wine for purchase by bottle or glass to any customers 21 years of age or older. Lite snacks are also available for purchase, or feel free to bring your own lunch and enjoy a picnic while listening to the tunes of Adam Bruno

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October Fourth Friday at Breaux

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October 24, 2014

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purcellville, 20132
United States
540-668-6299 ext. 204

Come enjoy the magic of fall evenings overlooking 105 acres of beautiful, lush vines at Fourth Fridays. We will have live music on the patio, food for purchase, and endless enchanting views as the sun sets over the vineyard.  Enjoy $4 mini tastings and a great selection of wines by the glass as you enjoy a fun evening with friends and your Breaux Vineyards family.

Don't miss any of these fun evenings!  The fourth Friday of each month from 5-9pm is reserved for this great event, so plan ahead!

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27 28 29 30 31 1

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Close

November 1, 2014

Notaviva Vineyards
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, 20132
540-668-6756

Notaviva Vineyards presents their monthly Bluegrass Jam a FREE event held the first Saturday of every month!

An event for all ages featuring Ashby Run. Open to players of every skill level

3pm-6pm Saturday 7/5

Wine available by the glass and by the bottle, lite snacks available. Must be 21 to drink alcohol.

2

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

I Wanna Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Undo It

6 Aug 2014

blueridge2

There’s a popular country western song that tells the story of a young woman who gets swept up in a night of partying and wakes up to find she has a ring on her finger, a new last name and a new husband. Knowing she had been duped but determined …

(1 comment)

Editorial

Sweeping Zoning Changes Continue To Be Proposed

3 Sep 2014

town of purcellville sign

Visions Of Purcellville Looking Like Reston At the August 21 Purcellville Planning Commission Work Session town community development staff continued to forge ahead with sweeping zoning changes to the town. Latest in the discussion was the PDH zoning district. Vice Chair Dennis Beese mentioned that he thought the goal was to make Purcellville look like Reston. This PDH district is …

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Purcellville Crossroads Tilley Entertainment Proposal

3 Sep 2014

editorialpic300

The new Tilley-Kline Entertainment complex proposal is in its initial stages of design. The proposal – not yet formal – is on a 50-acre parcel (50.46) that is not within the town of Purcellville, but north of Rt. 7 on the corner of Rt. 287 and Saint Francis Court (Rt. 722). The developers are considering a boundary line adjustment, and …

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Lifestyle

Mosby Heritage Area Association to Host a Talk on The VMI Cadets at the Battle of New Market

24 Sep 2014

Berkley house

The Mosby Heritage Area Association will host a talk on October 19, on the VMI Cadets at the Battle of New Market and the Berkeley Family of Aldie. The talk will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Aldie Methodist Church, 39325 John Mosby Hwy in Aldie and after, a tour will be offered of the Berkeley House across the street …

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LVHS Senior to Open for Luke Brindley and Chris Ayer

22 Sep 2014

Local Loudoun Valley High School Senior Grant Frazier will open for Chris Ayer and Luke Brindley in a Buncearoo ‘curated event’ on Friday, September 26, at Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. on 120 W. Main Street in Purcellville.

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5K for Local Breast Cancer Patients

18 Sep 2014

wayside farm

On Sunday, October 19, Wayside Farm Fun in Berryville is hosting a 5K to raise money for the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation, an amazing charity that helps local breast cancer patients. The race is a 5K cross-country trail run/walk through the fields of Wayside Farm Fun at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Great Harvest Bread will be …

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Wild Loudoun

Nature, Moving from Season To Season on a Wing and a Prayer

3 Sep 2014

hummingbird

The term “on a wing and a prayer,” or “coming in on one wing and a prayer” is a WWII reference to the hardships pilots faced desperately trying to guide their disabled aircraft home and land safely, rather than be lost between the last place they were seen and the home base they were so desperately trying to reach. Using …

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Around Virginia

Governor McAuliffe Announces Measures to Expand Healthcare Services to Over 200,000 Virginians

McAuliffe

Launches 10-step plan that will reach Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens Governor McAuliffe launched A Healthy Virginia, a 10-step plan to expand healthcare services to over 200,000 Virginians. This plan is an unprecedented action by any governor in Virginia history and includes authorizations of four emergency regulations, one executive order, and …

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VDOE Names Chief Academic Officer

Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples today announced that John William “Billy” Haun of Charlottesville will become the Virginia Department of Education’s chief academic officer, taking the position of assistant superintendent of instruction on September 1. “I am delighted that Billy is bringing his knowledge, leadership and innovative ideas …

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LaRock Appointed to Joint Commission on Technology and Science

Dave_larock

Speaker of the House William Howell has appointed Delegate Dave LaRock as a member of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), effective immediately and lasting for the duration of his term in the House of Delegates. The Commission meets several times throughout the year to “Study all aspects …

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Sports

Little League Season Update

8 Aug 2014

ulll

By Carri Michon This spring 2014 Upper Loudoun Little League season found drenching rains making fields unplayable on a regular basis. Over 100 games were rescheduled due to wet, soggy fields, said league president, Norris Beavers. “The most I have ever remembered in my 28 years of volunteering with Upper …

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Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League Registration Ends July 28

20 Jul 2014

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Registration for the Fall 2014 NFL Flag Football league is currently ongoing for boys and girls, ages six to 14, and spots are filling fast. To secure a spot in the league, participants must register by Monday, July 28, 2014. The Ida Lee NFL Flag Football League is the premier …

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Letters

Where Is the Money?

3 Sep 2014

blueridge2

I’ve been reading a lot lately that Social Security is a drag on the deficit that must be reformed. But aren’t payroll taxes the sole …

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Sign the Petition

3 Sep 2014

blueridge2

Loudoun Water’s proposed construction of twin 189’ water towers at the very dangerous intersection of Red Hill Road and Stone School Lane is flawed. Red …

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Twin Water Towers Do Not Belong Here

3 Sep 2014

blueridge2

Loudoun Water needs water storage in the Transition Zone to accommodate growth, and proposes twin 189’ water towers at the intersection of Red Hill Road …

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