The Climate Crisis & The Inverted Pyramid

As extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis become more prevalent, reporters should make the cause-effect connections in their ledes or second paragraphs, not at THE END.

Reporters Can and Should Restructure Their Stories About Climate-Change-Related Severe Weather Events

About a month’s worth of rain fell on Washington, D.C. in one hour.

The torrent resulted “…in one of (the city’s) worst flooding events in years,” according to the Washington Post.

“The sheets of rain, with nowhere to run off, turned major roads into rivers while streams and creeks shot up 10 feet in less than an hour. The rushing water stranded scores of people in their vehicles, poured into businesses and the Metro systemsubmerged cars in parking lotsswamped basements and caused some roads to cave in, forming massive sinkholes,” the reporters wrote.

Climate change wasn’t mentioned until much later in the story, despite the proven connection between climate change and extreme weather events like this one.

Three days later, Bobby Magill, a national reporter for Bloomberg Environment, used their reporting as an example of stories mentioning climate change in the context of unprecedented weather events, suggesting reporters are already making the connection for readers.

Magill was on Climate Cast on Minnesota Public Radio. He was arguing that reporters shouldn’t be making decisions about whether a weather event is related to the climate crisis.

Just one problem –

Journalists make decisions about their stories every time they piece one together.

Continue reading “The Climate Crisis & The Inverted Pyramid”

Racial Profiling in the Heartland

When a police officer stops a white woman for a minor infraction and asks to see her black passenger’s ID, is it justified? No, it’s racial profiling. And it’s illegal.

Passengering While Black/Brown (PWB). Or Is It Plain Ol’ LWB?

The police officer approached the idling car from behind in a Fargo, N.D., parking lot off of 13th Avenue South. He flipped on his flashers, opened his door and approached the vehicle.

The driver, a 17-year old white female, and her passenger, an 18-year-old black male, were scared.

Let’s call them Shelly* and Andrew*. They’re friends and classmates who had been to a high school soccer match earlier that evening, and afterward they decided to hang out at a local restaurant for a while. Now they exchanged confused glances as the white cop approached the driver’s side.

Shelly rolled the electric window down.

Minutes before, at around 10:20 p.m., the friends had been driving behind the squad car in the middle lane of the three-lane thoroughfare.

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Trump Tactics: Revisionism and Bait-and-Switch

Run-of-the-mill voters are believing revisionist and bait-and-switch storylines that Trump, his minions, enablers and supporters are spinning. This is what we’re up against.

On Storylines and Who’s Buying the Lines of Bull

The guy was buying into Trump Revisionism whole hog, not to mention accepting the kind of bait-and-switch game that’s another of 45’s favorite tactics.

My guy said he’d heard about “some lady” who tried to cut $13 million from Special Olympics funding. Then Trump swooped in and saved the day.

“Not only did Trump put a stop to that, but he added an additional 18 million dollars to the funding,” he said.

He believed it unequivocally.

My guy is someone I like and, for other reasons, respect. I believe he’s at least average when it comes to intelligence. And yet, here he was, repeating misinformation as fact that could easily be disproved via dozens of reputable news organizations.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

This is what we’re up against.

Continue reading “Trump Tactics: Revisionism and Bait-and-Switch”

Three Cities

Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks. Wow. Awesome trip. I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw –

“Tubers”

Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks.

Wow.

I met my daughter, Saela, in Madrid on June 25, which happened to be the 25th anniversary of my wedding to my lovely bride, Cassi. It was tough to be apart on that day, but the next couple of weeks made up for it.

Saela and I flew to Paris and met Cassi, Martin V and Mira on June 27. We were there for five days, checking out the “usual” awesome stuff, like the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur and Champs-Élysées, except for one day to and from Valenciennes in northern France for a World Cup football match at the Stade du Hainaut between The Netherlands and Italy. (The Dutch won and went on to meet the USA in the final.)

The EuroStar took us through The Chunnel to London on July 2. In addition to all the “usual” sights, like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Tower of London, we also traveled to Leavesden in Hertfordshire one evening to take in the Warner Bros. Studios Harry Potter Experience. They shot all of the movies there, and the Harry Potter Experience is now a permanent part of the campus.

Awesome trip.

I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw:

Continue reading “Three Cities”

Colorado Rocky Mountain Luck

Good fortune comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes travels in a little Mazda pickup. Where it’s headed after a few months is anyone’s guess.

The Border Brothers & One of the Best Stories Ever

“What the fuck, man!”

The other redhead leaned in to look closely at what I held gingerly between my thumb and forefinger.

“I been lookin’ for one of those my whole life!” he exclaimed.

I chuckled.

“No, I’m serious!” he said, actually getting upset now. “My whole fuckin’ life.”

He paused, took another good look, then started counting with his forefinger. “One…two…three…four. Ah, man!” He took a step back.

“An’ you’re seriously tellin’ me you’ve never even looked for one before?”

“Never,” I assured him. His face was boiling.

“Beginner’s luck?” I said sheepishly, shrugging my shoulders. “I am part Irish.”

He harrumphed, stepped forward again, took another look.

“Fuckin’ A!” he exclaimed. Then, “Well…” –slapped me on the back – “my whole goddamned life … I guess…. Guess I’ll just hafta keep lookin’.” He backed up, bent down and started looking through the patch of clover again.

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The New Leaders on Climate Change

The next generation has been waiting, watching, listening… and getting frustrated about the lack of action on climate change by governments around the world. Now they’re taking the lead.

More Kudos to the Kids

Tomorrow is a big day for the planet.

The kids are stepping out and speaking out once again. They’re demanding action on global warming and climate change. They’re sick and tired of waiting around for my generation and the one before it to do all the things that should’ve long since been done.

Before today, they’ve filed a lawsuit against the government of the United State of America. They’ve walked out of school to protest inaction by governments around the world. And tomorrow, March 15, they’re walking out again, but in a more organized fashion.

This time it’s being billed by some as a “coming out party” for the international Youth Climate Strike, a movement that started with a 15-year-old girl who’s had enough.

I’ve written about the lawsuit before, giving the kids behind it a shout-out. Today, once again, I say…

Kudos to the Kids!

The youth of the United States and the world have been gathering steam for several years now, beginning even before 21 of them filed suit against the U.S. government for not acting on what it knew about global warming and its effects.

That was in 2015.

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Trump’s “Alternative” Climate Change Panel

The president wants to set up his own climate-change panel to refute the conclusions of the “Fourth National Climate Assessment.” It’s a dangerous idea.

In Adolescent Fashion, President Calls for More Fossil-Fuel-Friendly Council

Don’t like what the climate change scientists are saying? Find different scientists.

That’s the thinking of President Donald J. Trump on global warming.

No shock. That seems to be his modus operandi on, well, everything –

    • Change the label.
    • Call it “fake.”
    • Develop “alternative facts.”
    • Create different rules.

Unfortunately, in all cases but particularly in this one, that’s seriously dangerous thinking.

Continue reading “Trump’s “Alternative” Climate Change Panel”

The Ol’ Engelstad Gun-to-Our-Heads Maneuver. Again.

Donations do not – or at least should not – give donors the power to be kingmakers. Or, in this case, president-unmakers.

No, Ms. McGarry. You Don’t Get Control.

Kris Engelstad McGarry is at it again, holding a gun to the heads of North Dakota higher education leaders and, ipso facto, to the heads of North Dakota citizens.

This time the Engelstad family is threatening to quit giving money to the University of North Dakota until President Mark Kennedy is gone. McGarry refused to utter the word “fired,” but she didn’t need to.

McGarry:  No Engelstad Money while Kennedy is at UND

Nice.

Gun To Our Heads. Again.

It’s far from the first time for the late UND alumnus Ralph Engelstad and his heirs.

Continue reading “The Ol’ Engelstad Gun-to-Our-Heads Maneuver. Again.”

Am I Your (personality) Type?

I understand you better, you understand me better, we understand each other better. From where I’m sitting, the world could use a little more of those kinds of outcomes right about now.

What’s Your Initialism?

I’m “rare.”

Coulda told you that without taking the free online personality-type test.

Seriously, though, my personality type, as gauged by the NERIS Analytics Limited’s 16Personalities screening, is rare indeed. A measly 3-4 percent of the world’s population is like me.

INTP-A.

The Logician.

A-HA!

Wait… what?

Continue reading “Am I Your (personality) Type?”