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Scientists Measure Minimum Distance between Republicans and Reality: 46.6 billion Light Years

November 1, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Scientists Measure Minimum Distance between Republicans and Reality: 46.6 billion Light Years
noerpel150

Physicists at Eastern West Virginia University in Martinsburg led by researcher Claude Strudel have established the minimum distance between Republicans and the rest of us by examining their core scientific concepts and comparing them to the physical laws that govern our own universe. They conclude that Republicans must inhabit a parallel or alternate universe, the Republican universe or Re-verse, with entirely different physical laws. This places Republicans at a distance at least half the width of the known universe from the rest of us or more than 46.6 billion light years or more than 274,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles. Their results have been published in the scientific journal Nature Astropsychology. … Continue Reading

Sea Ice in Free Fall and 100 Million Little Boys

October 23, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Sea Ice in Free Fall and 100 Million Little Boys
noerpel

“Arctic sea ice extent averaged for September 2012 was 3.61 million square kilometers (1.39 million square miles). This was 3.43 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average extent. September 2012 ice extent was 690,000 square kilometers (266,000 square miles) less than the previous record low for the month that occurred in 2007.” – From the National Snow and Ice Center web site [1] … Continue Reading

The Real Romney

October 6, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on The Real Romney
Real_Romney

“A rise of twenty meters would roughly approximate to the sea level some three million years ago, in the Pliocene Epoch, before the beginning of the Ice Ages. This is probably a conservative mid- to long term projection for global warming.” Jan Zalasiewicz [1]

The Reality

In my last article [2] I wrote that five meters or 17 feet of sea level rise was locked in. Of course, this estimate is at the low end of probability. Eventually sea level rise will likely be much higher, given the penchant of us humans to exploit everything in sight, and is highly unlikely to be lower. My time frame for achieving the 5 meter mark is one or two centuries but it keeps on rising after that. The consequences for our economy will be devastating, putting to bed all the silly economic arguments for not addressing climate change as these are based on deeply discounting the future or ignoring it altogether [3]. It also contradicts the Republican Party platform [4] which, in its only mention of climate change, criticizes President Obama for spending some inadequate amount of money worrying about it. Such expenditure we are reminded threatens our national security, as presumably our money would be better spent fighting yet another war for even more oil against yet another country which poses no threat to us. As you might expect, the Pentagon disagrees with the Republican Party position recognizing climate change as a national security threat. The Pentagon Quadrennial Defense Review Report published in February 2010 [5] states: “Climate change and energy are two key issues that will play a significant role in shaping the future security environment. Although they produce distinct types of challenges, climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked.” … Continue Reading

Last Tango in Tampa

September 11, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet, Uncategorized Comments Off on Last Tango in Tampa
noerpel150

“It has often been said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on Earth, some other species will take over the running….this is not correct. We have, or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. [Civilization] is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned.” – Astronomer Fred Hoyle.

I can see where this is going to be a pretty distressing read for anybody who is unaware of the consequences of climate change. I would remind you that we still are a very cool species. We are the only species to have been able to read rocks with enough competence to determine our possible fates. And we’ve managed to do it with enough time to positively act and change course. If we do drive ourselves into extinction, you can blame evolution. We are after all only what we are and evolution does not require perfection only adequacy. And it is fine to get angry with the people who are driving us there and it is quite within bounds to ridicule them. It will make you feel better and they deserve it. But there really is no “they”. We are all in this together. When I ridicule George Will, I am equally ridiculing the George Will within me. And with that, be joyful, be kind and read on. … Continue Reading

Check Sources and Follow the Money

August 23, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet, Uncategorized Comments Off on Check Sources and Follow the Money
noerpel

“Educate yourself. …give yourself a way of discerning between lies and misinformation you are fed each second of every day and truth as best as you can establish it by whatever means.” Tad Patzek [1]

Tad Patzek is the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chair of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also one of the first scientists to analyze the inefficiency of using corn to make ethanol. He found himself taking on the powerful Archer Daniel Midland Corporation. Though a person in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s view, ADM has been accused, sometimes sued, indicted and convicted, of everything from child slavery, price fixing, destroying rain forests and stealing from taxpayers [2]. You might think of ADM as just another “person” lacking moral judgment or you may wish to think of ADM as simply a corporation and not a person at all. … Continue Reading

On Thinking Part Two

noerpel

“It is paradoxical that the most successful mammalian species, Homo sapiens, should be the one harboring the vast majority of false beliefs.” Wallace Mattson, 2012 [1]

I have one very good friend who reads my drafts and gives me feedback: inevitably good advice though I don’t always heed it. One of his recent suggestions was the observation that if I wanted to influence global warming deniers I might refrain from calling them deniers and instead refer to them as skeptics as they prefer to be called. He has a point. It is easier to attract flies with honey than vinegar, though they also are attracted to feces and stools. My objection to this advice, as good as it may be, is twofold. First, we’ve been referring to deniers as skeptics for the last thirty years to no obvious beneficial effect. Reality continues to spiral out of control and they continue to deny. Second, it is dishonest. While it may on occasion be justified to adopt a dishonest policy if we think it might work, dishonesty can never be a good idea when it is clearly ineffective. Why has calling deniers “skeptics” failed? … Continue Reading

On Thinking

July 8, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on On Thinking
global_warming_map

The U.S. surface temperature map from Unisys at 4 pm, June 29,2012, shows 100° temperatures stretching almost continuously from California eastward to the Carolinas. (Source: Capital Climate) “If we did not have global warming, we wouldn’t see this.” Doug Kammerer [1].

“Whenever people sense the presence of a puzzling and momentous force, they want to believe there is a way to comprehend it.” Richard Wright [2]. … Continue Reading

Consequences of Velocity (Beetles and Sea Level)

beetles

“Humans now dominate the Earth, changing it in ways that threaten its ability to sustain us and other species.” Anthony Barnosky and co-authors [1].

Regards the increasingly rapid human caused warming that I’ve been writing about, there is a new paper published in the American Geophysical Society’s flagship publication Geophysical Research Letters, by Anais J. Orsi, Bruce D. Cornuelle, and Jeffrey P. Severinghaus from Scripps Institution of Oceanography [2]. The authors are reporting on measurements of historic atmospheric temperature conducted at an ice core drilling site on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). These authors conclude: “This record also confirms the work of Steig et al. [3], showing that WAIS Divide has been warming by 0.23 +/- 0.08 degrees C per decade over 1957–2007 C.E. This warming trend has accelerated to 0.8 +/- 0.06 degrees C per decade over the last 20 years (1987–2007).” That these new measurements agree with prior measurements (those of Steig et al. [3]) gives us confidence in the results. What is significant is that the warming of West Antarctica is accelerating. … Continue Reading

A Page from the Story of Earth

May 22, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on A Page from the Story of Earth
noerpel150

“The rates of such changes, not the changes themselves, should be our biggest concern. For climate, sea level, and ecosystems can reach tipping points. Pushed too far, positive feedback loops can kick in. What normally takes a thousand years could transpire in a decade or two.” Robert Hazen [1]

In my recent articles, I have been discussing the ongoing rate of the anthropogenic or human-caused changes in Earth’s climate. We are warming the planet at a rate of 2.76 degrees Celsius per century (NASA GISS and NOAA results but also confirmed by the denier study BEST [2]) which is unprecedented in the last 300 million years of Earth history. The only plausible explanation is the greenhouse gases we are emitting into the atmosphere also at a rate unrivaled in the last 300 million years. In fact scientists once believed that the extinction event 55 million years ago called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) would be a good analogue for what we are doing today as it was believed to be the most rapid climate disruption in Earth’s history [3]. … Continue Reading

Contest Winner and the Last Deglaciation

contest

I hope this isn’t too confusing and I don’t want to repeat all the details here as you can read the articles and comments yourselves and ask questions on the comments section. In the comments section to my last article on April 25 [1], “Klem” commented: “there is NO WAY to conclude from the BEST study that it is caused, or isn’t caused, by human emissions.” And a few lines later he or she wrote this; “Good question, perhaps 800 years I would guess. Since that is roughly how long it takes for CO2 to respond to earlier temperature changes.” There is an embedded (and amusing) contradiction between these two statements. If you reread the entire exchange from my April 17th article [2] and my April 25th article plus the comments it should be easy to spot. In my reply, I offered a growler of Loudoun County’s own Corcoran Beer to the first person to discover Klem’s self-contradiction. I hasten to add that I am not trying to embarrass Klem, whom I really don’t know and who’s comments I enjoy receiving. But I thought this would be an excellent learning tool to get people to think critically and skeptically about our climate or indeed about anything. Skeptical thinking is in short supply in America, sadly and I was kind of hoping Klem would see his/her error and go for the win him/herself. In retrospect announcing the contest in the comments section was probably not a good idea. … Continue Reading

Global Warming Discovered – Again

proved1

“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” Mark Twain

Years ago I was invited to attend a debate hosted by the MIT Alumni Association about global warming. The contrarian was to be the tobacco lobbyist and professional denier S. Fred Singer. I don’t recall the scientist who would be defending scientific reality but anybody committed to telling the truth would have a hard time debating someone whose profession is making stuff up. Singer’s abstract identified three key points: … Continue Reading

Arctic Amplification

noerpel150

The weather during the last decade has become increasingly weird and extreme. The occurrence of persistent weather events such as droughts, floods, heat waves and cold spells is increasing. The evidence that the most extreme events are linked to human-caused global warming is compelling. NASA climate scientists James Hansen, Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy write [1] “we can state with a high degree of confidence that extreme summers, such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, are a consequence of global warming, because global warming has dramatically increased their likelihood of occurrence.” This is also the conclusion of several other peer-reviewed scientific journal articles [2]. Such sentiment is also being reported in the main stream media for example by Alexandra Steel on CNN [3]. Even television meteorologists such as Stu Ostro a Senior Meteorologist on The Weather Channel who were recently deniers have come around to this view [4]. … Continue Reading

2012 Regional Science and Engineering Fair

April 2, 2012 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on 2012 Regional Science and Engineering Fair
noerpel150

The Loudoun County school system hosted the annual Regional Science and Engineering Fair for high schools students at Woodgrove High School on March 15, 2012. For the last five years REHAU Corporation in Leesburg and Sustainable Loudoun have sponsored four Energy and Environment Sustainability Awards each year. REHAU provides $500 for first place, $300 for second Place, $200 for third place and an Honorable Mention award for the best freshman in this category. Mike Maher of REHAU Corporation and I, representing Sustainable Loudoun, have the privilege of judging the student projects and the difficult task of picking winners. Loudoun County high school students are quite gifted and earnest and their projects are exceptional every year. This is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of their teachers and the quality of our county educational program.

The winners this year are: … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

A Look Into What Is Learned in High School English

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde English is the arguably the most important subject for a student in high school to learn. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common — being able to communicate effectively. This is …

Remembering Nancy Reagan

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel The passing of Nancy Reagan, a former First Lady who completely transformed the role and helped catapult her husband to greatness, marked the end of an era. Her death also happened to coincide with a turning point …

How To “File and Suspend” Before It Is Too Late

Smith0035

With the recent changes to Social Security rules, filing and suspending will soon be phased out, but there’s still time to take advantage of the strategy. Here’s a quick guide to maneuvering this rule while it still lasts, but as …

Concerned Parent

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, We are concerned about some habits our nine year old son demonstrates and would love some advice from you.  We are unsure whether it’s anxiety, nervousness, or just nervous/an excess of energy.  A few …

Temple Hall Farm

timjon

I only met the late AV (Val) Symington once; it was a Sunday evening in my first year or two at Wage Radio (this would be the late ‘90’s) and I was putting things in order for the next morning’s …

Am I an Enabler?

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, My husband thinks that I’m harming our son for life because of the way I parent. Our son is 12 years old and he was diagnosed with ADHD in the 1st grade. My husband calls me “the enabler” …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Campaign of Untruths

jimmerson

Elected officials have done some pretty despicable things while serving in office. They range from bribery, beating a spouse, cheating on a spouse, obstruction of justice, and various forms of …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Calendar

April 2016
M T W T F S S
28

Classical Avant Garde

29

Classical Avant Garde

30

Classical Avant Garde

31

Classical Avant Garde

1

Last Ham Comedy Improv: April FOOLS SHOW

2

West Loudoun County Methodist Stop Hunger Now

Writer's Project Runway

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

3

Praise Concert

4 5 6 7 8 9

My Child's Closet Consignment Sale

Cherry Blossom Celebration

A Springtime Serenade Concert

10
11 12 13 14 15

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

16

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

17
18 19 20 21 22

April Fourth Friday

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

23

Virginia Touch-A-Truck

Breaux Vineyards Wild Game Winemaker's Dinner

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

24

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

25 26 27

Hamilton Town Hall

28 29

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

30

Lobster Day with Chef Seb at North Gate Vineyard

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

1

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Spring Wine Glass Painting with Penny

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Lifestyle

5K and 10K “Ringing in Hope” Race Slated for Memorial Day

27 Apr 2016

run

The third annual “Ringing in Hope” 5K and 10K race will be held on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) at One Loudoun. A 1K fun run/walk will also be held. The 5K begins at 8:00 a.m., the 10K at 8:10 a.m. and the 1K at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds will benefit Boulder Crest Retreat, a retreat for America’s seriously wounded warriors …

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Bluegrass Performers Reno and Harrell To Appear at Lucketts on April 23

15 Apr 2016

music note

The Lucketts Bluegrass Concert Series continues its 42nd season of weekly concerts at the Lucketts Community Center on Saturday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m. with a show featuring Reno and Harrell. Tickets are $15 at the door, and the doors open at 6:00 p.m. Hot dogs, barbecue sandwiches, snacks and drinks will be available at the kitchen.

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April in the Garden: Be a Freestyle Beekeeper

6 Apr 2016

aprilinthegarden

As the sun’s lengthening days settle us into the spring, newborn bees and their caretakers are emerging from their hives and going to work, collecting pollen and nectar and replenishing the colony’s food stores. Along the way, any number of the 60,000 or so bees that make up a single hive may be stopping by your garden or yard to …

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Around Virginia

Update: Remains Located in Shenandoah National Park; Search Efforts Suspended

VSP Photo - 4-21-16 Whiteoak Canyon Trail Entrance VSP

Update: Body preliminarily identified as Nicole K. Mittendorff, 31, of Woodbridge. The physical and digital evidence collected during the course of this investigation includes a note recovered from the car leads investigators to believe there was no foul play involved in her death. ——————– Search efforts in the Shenandoah National …

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Virginia Trooper Shot and Killed at Richmond Bus Terminal

Tpr Dermyer Patrol Car in front of VSP SPHQ

A Virginia State Police trooper has died as a result of his injuries after being shot on March 31 at the Greyhound Bus station in the 2900 block of North Boulevard in Richmond. At approximately 2:40 p.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Chad P. Dermyer approached a male subject just inside …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Designation of Four New Virginia Main Street Communities

McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced the designation of four communities in the Virginia Main Street (VMS) program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The newly-designated communities include the town of Wytheville, the cities of Danville and Lexington and Gloucester Courthouse in Gloucester County. The communities …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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