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Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal

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  • For two decades now we've been ignoring the impassioned pleas of scientists that our burning of fossil fuels was a bad idea. And now we're paying a heavy price.
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  • Are You Ready for Life on Our Planet Circa 2011?
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  • The Planet Keeps Warming, But U.S. Media Interest Cools
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  • Fox News Boss Ordered Staffers To Cast Doubt On Climate Change Science
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  • An Answer for Bill O'Reilly
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Bill McKibben, AlterNet

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NASA's Terra satellite images show an epic winter storm that buried more than a third of the United States in drifting snow, sleet and ice. Photo Credit: AFP

If you were in the space shuttle looking down yesterday (Feb 1) , you would have seen a pair of truly awesome, even fearful, sights.

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Much of North America was obscured by a 2,000-mile storm dumping vast quantities of snow from Texas to Maine--between the wind and snow, forecasters described it as "probably the worst snowstorm ever to affect" Chicago, and said waves as high as 25 feet were rocking buoys on Lake Michigan.

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Meanwhile, along the shore of Queensland in Australia, the vast cyclone Yasi was sweeping ashore; though the storm hit at low tide, the country's weather service warned that "the impact is likely to be more life threatening than any experienced during recent generations," especially since its torrential rains are now falling on ground already flooded from earlier storms. Here's how Queensland premier Anna Bligh addressed her people before the storm hit: "We know that the long hours ahead of you are going to be the hardest that you face. We will be thinking of you every minute of every hour between now and daylight and we hope that you can feel our thoughts, that you will take strength from the fact that we are keeping you close and in our hearts."

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Related:

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The Planet Keeps Warming, But U.S. Media Interest Cools, Miranda Spencer, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
After the anticlimax of the COP-15 climate-policy negotiations in Copenhagen last year (Extra!, 2/10)—in which the more than 190 UN-member nations walked away with a non-binding statement of intent cobbled together in secret by the U.S. and a few other wealthy nations—public and press expectations for this year’s COP-16 meeting (11/29–12/10/10) in Cancún, Mexico, were low.

Fox News Boss Ordered Staffers To Cast Doubt On Climate Change Science,  Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post
A top Fox News editor sent an email to staffers and journalists questioning the science behind global warming and directing them to always point out on air that the theory has its skeptics.

An Answer for Bill O'Reilly, Al Gore, Huffington Post
Scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.