We just had five 1,000-year floods in less than a year. What’s going on?

From The Environmental Defense Fund:  https://www.edf.org/blog/2016/09/01/we-just-had-five-1000-year-floods-less-year-whats-going

Scott Weaver
September 1, 2016

A 1,000-year flood is supposed to be extremely rare. Its chance of occurring in a given year: 0.1 percent.

So how do we explain that in the span of just five months, the United States logged no fewer than four deadly 1,000-year floods in states as widespread as Texas, West Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana – following a 1,000-year-flood that ravaged South Carolina last October.

It appears that the calculation of a 1,000-year event may no longer be the most accurate statistic. It was based, as are our increasingly common 100-year natural disaster events, on data from the past. We may, in other words, already have shifted so far into a new climate regime that probabilities have been turned on their head.

Climate change “supercharges” normal weather

Like any climate scientist will tell you, there is more to the story than what you see on the surface.

All climate and weather events are influenced to some degree by both natural climate variations and human-made climate change. The amount that each of these influences can exert on a particular event can theoretically range from 0 to 100 percent.

Rigorous scientific analysis has found that the extreme rainfall that caused a Texas flooding in May of 2015, for example, was caused by a fairly typical rainfall pattern associated with that year’s El Niño, a naturally occurring climate cycle, which had been supercharged by human-made climate change.

Working in tandem, these two phenomena together produced one of the largest multi-day flooding events Texas has ever experienced.

Continue reading at:  https://www.edf.org/blog/2016/09/01/we-just-had-five-1000-year-floods-less-year-whats-going

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Phyllis Schlafly, One of History’s Worst Homophobes, Dies at 92

Not to mention one of the worst enemies of Womankind

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/people/2016/9/05/phyllis-schlafly-one-historys-worst-homophobes-dies-92

By Lucas Grindley
September 05 2016

With her death Monday, Phyllis Schlafly is being hailed as a conservative icon, leader and activist. But to LGBT people, she’ll be remembered as one of the worst homophobes of all time.

The Advocate this year named Schlafly among “The 50 Biggest Homophobes of the Last 50 Years.” Even what conservatives would remember as one her most famous accomplishments — creating the Stop ERA group that blocked the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — was tied up with her homophobic beliefs. Schlafly argued that the ERA, which was designed to stop women from being discriminated against, would lead to same-sex marriage and other rights for gays and lesbians. The scare tactic ensured the amendment fell three states short of ratification at the deadline in 1982.

Schlafly spent a lifetime trying to prevent LGBT people from gaining equality, while spreading an onslaught of falsehoods — and she did all of it despite having a gay son.

After Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced his support for marriage equality — and revealed his son is gay — Schlafly attacked, saying voters would kick him out of office, even though “They’ll feel sorry for him, maybe he was pressured by his son to do this.”

Schlafly certainly never budged on her views about same-sex marriage. After the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the law was clearly motivated by antigay animus, Schlafly was outraged. She stuck by the idea that supporting “traditional marriage” isn’t supporting discrimination. But groups such as Right Wing Watch have extensively catalogued her homophobia while heading up the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization launched by her Stop ERA campaign.

Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling favorably on marriage equality, she called on governors to ignore the justices, who she said “think they’re God or something.” And after the ruling, she kept right on insisting “we don’t have to obey it just because a few judges said so.”

In her syndicated column, she called on Congress to pass a resolution that affirmed the “dignity of opposite-sex married couples,” once again using it to idealize couples where “a provider-husband is the principal breadwinner and his wife is dedicated to the job of homemaker.”

Schlafly said the true purpose of same-sex marriage was to “wipe out the Christian religion.”

“The use of same-sex marriage to attack Christian businesses but not businesses run by members of other religions,” she said, “demonstrates what is really driving the demand for the new constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

It wasn’t the first time she’d suggested gays and lesbians were faking their support for marriage equality.

“I do think that the main goal of the homosexuals is to silence any criticism,” she said in 2013. “Most of them aren’t interested in getting married.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/people/2016/9/05/phyllis-schlafly-one-historys-worst-homophobes-dies-92

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