Overcast with an occasional blast of bright sunshine this late Thursday afternoon on California’s north coast — more rain tomorrow, sunny maybe on Sunday, and then first of next week, rain starting again and keeping-on apparently forever.
Warm, though, there’s that…
As weather becomes more-and-more the big news story nowadays, the horror of the T-Rump becomes even worse — the freak-prick released his proposed budget today, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” which in reality is a heartless piece of shit. Beyond the social fabric, climate change work is beyond shredded.
Mick Mulvaney, the head of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (NPR):
“We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mulvaney said when asked about climate funding.
“We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
A proposal with no moral compass…
(Illustration found here).
In allocating funds, you can tell where the heart of the T-Rump be, and it’s not among humanity. Not only slashing funds in just about every department (except the military), and gutting programs for the poor, there’s this: ‘The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund “PBS NewsHour,” “Antiques Roadshow” and the rest of PBS and NPR, would lose all its federal funding. Public media gets both public and private money, but the CPB predicted early Thursday that the Trump cuts would cause “the collapse of the public media system itself.”‘
Clare Higgins, the head of an organization that last year oversaw the distribution of more than $6 million worth of federal money for about 7,500 households in rural Massachusetts, said eliminating the grant would be devastating for the community.
“I’m very concerned about these cuts,” she said.
“Ronald Reagan didn’t cut heating assistance for poor people.”
In the heart of the matter — via Vox this morning:
The budget is a moral document.
It’s not clear where that phrase originates, but it’s become a staple of fiscal policy debates in DC, and for very good reason.
Budgets lay out how a fifth of the national economy is going to be allocated.
They make trade-offs between cancer treatment and jet fighters, scientific research and tax cuts, national parks and border fences.
These are all decisions with profound moral implications.
Budgets, when implemented, can lift millions out of poverty, or consign millions more to it.
They can provide universal health insurance or take coverage away from those who have it.
They can fuel wars or support peacekeeping.
Cut back to OMB head-shit, Mick Mulvaney, and cutting food to seniors, and kids (Politico):
“Meals on Wheels sounds great,” Mulvaney said during the White House news briefing, adding that “we’re not going to spend [money] on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises that we’ve made to people.”
Mulvaney described the budget blueprint, which calls for dramatic cuts to domestic spending programs in favor of increased funding for the military, as “one of the most compassionate things we can do.”
On after-school programs, Mulvaney said services intended to help feed hungry students in order to improve their academic performance deserve to be cut because proof of that progress has not materialized.
“They’re supposed to be educational programs, right? I mean, that’s what they’re supposed to do. They’re supposed to help kids who don’t get fed at home get fed so they do better in school,” Mulvaney said.
“Guess what? There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually doing that. There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually helping results, helping kids do better in school… the way we justified it was, these programs are going to help these kids do better in school and get better jobs. And we can’t prove that that’s happening.”
So, let ’em starve…
Meanwhile, back to the sciences, and environmental chaos — the EPA will lose 31-percent in funding, down to its lowest level in 40 years; the Department of Energy loses $1.7 billion, about a 6-percent cut.
Although NASA saw only about a 1-percent slash, $102 million will be cut from the Earth science budget, and four programs designed to help scientists better understand climate change would be eliminated.
The agency would also lose 3,200 jobs and more than 50 programs, some involved with working the climate-change problem.
An actual snap review: ‘“I read it a few times again this morning and had to take a few pauses — to bang my head on the table,” said Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“As scientists, we make decisions based on evidence. What this budget does is ignore evidence and undermine our very ability to collect it across the board,” he said.’
Why the head banging? Climate change is one-fucking-big-deal!
And it’s continuing, maybe even accelerating — via today’s Climate Central:
February was the second hottest on record for the planet, trailing only last year’s scorching February — a clear mark of how much the Earth has warmed from the accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The month was 2°F (1.1°C) above the 1951-1980 average, according to NASA data released Wednesday.
That was 0.36°F (0.2°C) lower than February 2016, which ranks as the most anomalously warm month in NASA’s global temperature records, which go back 137 years.
One of the clear hotspots on the globe was once again the Arctic, as was the case in January and last year, which was the hottest year on record.
Temperatures there were about 7°F (4°C) above average during February.
Those high temperatures have kept Arctic sea ice to record low levels; the Arctic looks to see a record low winter maximum sea ice area for the third year in a row.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred in the 21st century (the exception being the strong El Niño year of 1998).
The five warmest years have all occurred since 2010, according to NOAA, and every year of the past 40 years has been warmer than the 20th century average.
(While NOAA’s temperatures can vary slightly from NASA’s because of the different methods the agencies use for processing data, their numbers are generally very close and both show the same clear warming trend.)
While 2017 is unlikely to break 2016’s record, it is still likely to rank among the hottest years, according to U.K. Met Office projections.