‘Megadrought’: 50-50 Chance of 35-Year Water Shortage in the West

A new joint study from the University of Arizona, Cornell University, and the U.S. Geological Survey predicts that the chances of a Southwestern “megadrought”– a drought that lasts for 35 years — are now anywhere between 20 and 50 percent.

The study also estimates the chances of a decade-long drought in the Southwest to be “at least 80%”

California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in state history; scientists estimate that 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost over the past 18 months. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 58.4% of the state is in “exceptional” drought, the most severe level possible.

Toby Ault, the study’s lead author and a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University, attributes the increased chances of a “megadrought” to climate change.

“For the southwestern U.S., I’m not optimistic about avoiding real megadroughts,” Ault told the Cornell Chronicle. “As we add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — and we haven’t put the brakes on stopping this — we are weighing the dice for megadrought.”

However, Ault contradicts himself and points out in the San Jose Mercury News that prolonged droughts have occurred throughout history, even well before the advent of carbon emissions. In fact, megadroughts are thought to occur every 400 to 600 years. Ault said in the report that due to increased greenhouse gas emissions, “the drought models — and their underlying statistics — are now in a state of flux.”

The study used “state-of-the-art climate model projections” and observational information to determine the chances of prolonged drought in the future. Yet the study’s own summary points out that these models do not take key information, like hydroclimate variablity, into consideration when building projections. 

“State-of-the-art global climate models do not capture this characteristic of hydroclimate variability, suggesting that the models underestimate the risk of future persistent droughts,” the report says.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Henry Kissinger Calls for New World Order

Henry Kissinger, Washington’s doyen of the national security elite, is calling for America to collaborate in establishing a new world order. 

We invite our readers to read his Wall Street Journal think piece and ask whether the United States has common cause with actors such as Russia and China.

Kissinger begins:

Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan’s young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. To these troubles are added a resurgence of tensions with Russia and a relationship with China divided between pledges of cooperation and public recrimination. The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis.

The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies. In the decades following World War II, the U.S.—strengthened in its economy and national confidence—began to take up the torch of international leadership and added a new dimension. A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace. The traditional European approach to order had viewed peoples and states as inherently competitive; to constrain the effects of their clashing ambitions, it relied on a balance of power and a concert of enlightened statesmen. The prevalent American view considered people inherently reasonable and inclined toward peaceful compromise and common sense; the spread of democracy was therefore the overarching goal for international order. Free markets would uplift individuals, enrich societies and substitute economic interdependence for traditional international rivalries.

Read the article in its entirety at the WSJ here.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Why We Must Demand More of British Muslims

When I say ‘demand’ more of British Muslims, I don’t mean ‘ask’ more. That isn’t enough. Governments and civil society have been asking for long enough now, yet we still have a frightening lack of cohesion within communities where a large percentage of Muslims live. Nor has it encouraged a tolerant, inclusive attitude amongst huge swathes of Muslims.

The soft approach has failed; we have seen a rise in complacency by successive governments who have taken to handling the groundswell of problems involving Muslims in British society with kid gloves. Now it is surely right to be more demanding.

A few years ago, the British novelist Martin Amis gave a scathing polemic during an interview with The London Times about the political correctness towards Islam in the West. His own experience came from the ridiculous scenario of his daughter, a small white Jewish girl, having her bag stripped out and searched at airport security, to save face and make up the numbers on the supposed ‘random bag searches’ for politically correct reasons.

Amis suggested that Western society be more restrictive on Muslims, saying that “the Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.” His language was crass, sure enough. And he later went on to retract the bulk of what he had said. I still think his message was for the most part right.

It’s quite clear that Western Muslims in the large are not doing in any way near enough to integrate, stop radicalisation, or respect the values of the countries they enter. A recent book written by a BBC reporter, Innes Bowen, gives testament and empirical evidence to this claim.

The findings of Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent are harrowing; we find historical data pointing at every front to the worrying conclusion that British Muslims and Muslim organizations are far less ‘liberal’ and progressive than perhaps we would like.

It alleges, for example, that the Muslim Council of Britain, ever the flagship of representation of Muslims in Britain, has its ideological roots in the message of Jamaat-e-Islami, the political group which imposed sharia on Pakistan. Surely you must remember when the same group boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day.

It also says that the Muslim Association of Britain was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, by all intents and purposes a terrorist Islamist organization. Also, only a tiny number of mosques (single figures amongst a sea of thousands) support a progressive stance within Islam, Bowen tells us.

Moving from the academic to the practical: my friends are for the most part a pretty liberal crowd, desensitized by years of drinking in Soho and Dalston. But many of them have tales to tell where they’ve experienced verbal or physical assault by Muslims, based on ethnic or religious prejudices.

This is true particularly of my white friends; especially the white female friends. Examples include men steering their niqab-clad daughters away from passing them in the street, shouting at them and being pushed for making very slight physical contact when stepping onto a bus, and (in my own case) having a man ask me why “I let my woman dress like that”. I do not have any women, per se, and I have never made a woman dress in a particular way as to avoid offending sensibilities. But this of course makes me my friends and most of British civilized society filthy kuffar to these people; didn’t you know that?

With the seemingly endless stream of ultra-orthodox tendencies amongst a large amount of Muslims in Britain, particularly amongst young male Muslims, you would think mosques in Britain would recognize this, right? I mean, have you ever been to a religious service? The imams and workers don’t just teleport away at the beginning and end of the service, having no interaction with these people.

These religious leaders interact with their flock, the members of the Dar al-Islam, on a daily basis; and somehow, the extremism continues, the antithetical stance to liberal Western tolerance is maintained, the orthodoxy is fed.

This is not good enough; it should be the civic duty of imams and community activists to not only preach the message of tolerance, but also to inform the authorities if any Muslim is showing increasing signs of radicalisation. It is time that Islamic authority figures stop being seen to be consistent in their saying one thing to please a British audience, whilst encouraging something starkly opposite amongst their kin.

Contrary to the drive of this article, I am not at all fond of collective blame. I deplore the treatment of Israelis and Jews, who are perceived as being unjust by extension for the supposedly disproportionate actions of the government of Israel. I also know full well that most British Muslims aren’t planning on cutting off any heads for holy jihad any time soon.

But, to be frank, there is no problem with Jewish extremism in this country. There is no credible risk of radicalization amongst Protestants in our schools or university systems. Quakers do not desert their jobs and native countries to try and establish brutal rogue states. Islam is the anomaly, and failing to give both the religion and its adherents special focus would be a grave mistake.

It is becoming my belief, and no doubt has been the belief of many others for some time, that there is a really crisis with Islam in the West. We are constantly told that there is a battle within Islam to turn it into a progressive, inclusive religion. I wish those involved in that the very best of luck. But that doesn’t mean that in the meantime, civil society in Britain can have such a palpable threat against it. Enough is enough. It’s time we started demanding more of British Muslims.




Source: Breitbart Feed

New Data-Mining ‘Opt-Out’ Form to Combat Common Core

DALLAS, Texas — Breitbart Texas has learned that a new “Student Privacy Protection Request Form” has been released by the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national non-profit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The “data-mining” opt-out form was designed to protect students from Big Data’s chokehold on the classroom. It was crafted with the Common Core states in mind; however, it is relevant to non-Common Core states, like Texas, who are still tied to Fed Led Ed’s reporting and database systems.

In a news release issued by the law firm it explains, “These state databases, often referred to as P-20 systems, like Common Core are tied to federal funding, through No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top waivers, and in some instances can contain over 400 individual data points per student including health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status, blood types, likes and dislikes and homework completion. The data is then available to numerous public agencies. Despite federal student privacy protections guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, (FERPA) the administration is paving the way for private entities to buy the data while the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging the shift from aggregate data collection to individual student data collection.”

These data-points are compiled though the longitudinal database system with little recourse.  As Breitbart News reported, this data is off-limits to parents. “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was recently gutted to allow almost unlimited data-sharing, without parental consent,” American Principles Project (APP) senior fellow Jane Robbins shared in a recent interview with Breitbart Texas.

In May, the Pioneer Institute released the white paper “Cogs in the Machine: Big Data, Common Core, and National Testing” authored by APP Education Director Emmett McGroarty, Robbins, and the Heartland Institute’s Joy Pullman. It examines these very issues and the nature behind data-tracking, privacy rights and opting out from the continued federal government push “with private entities to design and encourage states to participate in, in order to increase the collection and sharing of student data, while relaxing privacy protections.”

The authors also urged “parents to ask what kinds of data are being collected on digital-learning platforms and whether the software will record data about their children’s behaviors and attitudes rather than just academic knowledge.” It is suggested that if parents object to this data-collection, they should opt out.

The TMLC generated opt-out allows parents to refuse to share their child information with the federal government, as well as outside agencies and contractors. Information which parents can opt-out of sharing ranges from test scores and religious and political beliefs, to biographic, biometric, and psychometric data, such as fingerprints, DNA and information related to children’s personality and aptitude,” the release also stated.

The form was designed on the behest of concerned Michigan parents who approached the law firm.

“Student data is stored in databases designed to follow students from their entry into schools in pre-Kindergarten up through their entry into the workforce. These databases, through a complicated network of contracts and agreements, can then be shared with the federal government, contractors, researchers and other outside agencies. Testing corporations can then analyze the test data, produce recommendations for how to remediate, student weaknesses, and then sell that information back to states and school districts,” the TMLC news release stated.

Richard Thompson, TMLC President and Chief Counsel, commented in a statement: “The opt-out form is based on the constitutionally recognized fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children and on federal statutes which were designed to protect student privacy.”

He pointed out, “Our Founding Fathers recognized the danger to our freedoms posed by centralized control over public education. We must ever keep in mind, ‘The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next.'”

Thompson added, “Clearly, Common Core is a threat to individual privacy and liberty, and to our Constitutional Republic.

The Privacy Protection Request Form was designed under Michigan statutes. The legal disclaimer on the download page for the data-mining opt-out form cautions that “each state has different laws that may impact educational issues differently.”

Before using the form, TMLC advises, if outside of Michigan, consult with a licensed attorney in the state for a additional review and modifications that comply with the laws of the respective states. Similar has been done with the “opt-out” of high-stakes testing movement forms that have been tailored for use in the different states.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Family-Friendly Programming Storms The Weather Channel

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – If you are a parent, you are probably well aware of how difficult it is to find quality family-friendly programming on TV. You know, shows that don’t force you to keep your finger hovering over the remote “just in case.” Well, parents can breathe a little easier thanks to America’s favorite source for weather. The Weather Channel has a new live morning show, AMHQ with Sam Champion. Champion, one of the best-known and most-liked TV personalities in the country, joined Weather in March after years at WABC-TV and more recently Good Morning America (GMA). According to Champion, what drew him away from his long-standing role as America’s No. 1 weatherman while at GMA was the format for AMHQ — short for “America’s Morning Headquarters” — because the show “not only aims to prepare viewers for the day by forecasting regional and local weather, but looks ahead at the news and events that will unfold and shape their days.” What’s really hitting home for parents, however, is the show’s educational material. Most recently, AMHQ aired pieces on orca whales, National Heat Stroke Prevention Day, hail formation with a replica of the largest hailstone ever found and flash floods in Colorado. It’s this type of programming that parents — and their children — are enjoying together. “We got feedback from viewers telling us they liked having the show on in the morning when their kids are getting ready for school because there is content about science and the natural world around us,” says Champion. Regular science segments include “Science Behind…,” which takes viewers through the reasons weather phenomena occur, and “View from Above,” pieces about space. And while Champion says he didn’t set out to create a family show, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be branded that way. “We don’t need to be a show that leads with the latest sensational tabloid crime or be a place with people yelling and arguing just for entertainment,” he says. Throughout AMHQ, the show will cover every aspect of the day’s weather, along with news, business, sports, technology and health, all told uniquely through a weather lens and with the goal of forecasting the day ahead. The show airs weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET. To learn more, visit weather.com/AMHQ.

Source: NewsUSA Arts and Entertainment