The Evening Blues - 5-3-21
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features folk-blues guitarist Roy Book Binder. Enjoy!
Roy Book Binder - Rag Mama
"All of the information needed to show people that we are ruled by murderous tyrants who shouldn’t be left in charge of their own children much less a globe-spanning empire is already publicly available."
-- Caitlin Johnstone
News and Opinion
End 'Forever Wars,' Biden Told as White House Releases Document on Trump's Secret Lethal Force Rules
President Joe Biden faced a fresh call to fully end "forever wars" after his administration released former President Donald Trump's secret rules regarding the use of lethal strikes outside of designated war zones.
The Biden administration released the partly-redacted 11-page document, "Principles, Standards, and Procedures for U.S. Direct Action Against Terrorist Targets," late Friday to the ACLU and New York Times, which had both filed transparency lawsuits to see the guidelines.
Biden suspended the rules once he took office, the Times reported, and began a review of them in March. That move prompted Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's national security project, to urge not a "review" but an end to the program. "Tinkering with the bureaucracy of this extrajudicial killing program will only entrench American abuses," she said at the time.
According to the Times: "The review, officials said, discovered that Trump-era principles to govern strikes in certain countries often made an exception to the requirement of 'near certainty' that there would be no civilian casualties. While it kept that rule for women and children, it permitted a lower standard of merely 'reasonable certainty' when it came to civilian adult men."
Author and director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law Karen J. Greenberg summed up the background recently, writing:
In his second term, [former President Barack] Obama did try to put some limits and restrictions on lethal strikes by [remotely piloted aircraft], establishing procedures and criteria for them and limiting the grounds for their use. President Trump promptly watered down those stricter guidelines, while expanding the number of drone strikes launched from Afghanistan to Somalia, soon dwarfing Obama's numbers. According to the British-based Bureau for Investigative Journalism, Obama carried out a total of 1,878 drone strikes in his eight years in office. In his first two years as president, Trump launched 2,243 drone strikes.
The document's release follows a fall court order saying the Trump administration could no longer keep the rules secret or deny their existence.
"The United states will continue to take extraordinary measures to ensure with near certainty that noncombatants will not be injured or killed in the course of operations, using all reasonably available information and means of verification," the Trump-era document states. However, it adds, "Variations to the provision... may be made where necessary."
Brett Max Kaufman, senior staff attorney for the ACLU, said in a statement, "We appreciate this release, which confirms our fear that President Trump stripped down even the minimal safeguards President Obama established in his rules for lethal strikes outside recognized conflicts."
"Over four administrations," Kaufman continued, "the U.S. government's unlawful lethal strikes program has exacted an appalling toll on Muslim, Brown, and Black civilians in multiple parts of the world. Secretive and unaccountable use of lethal force is unacceptable in a rights-respecting democracy, and this program is a cornerstone of the 'forever wars' President Biden has pledged to end. He needs to do so."
Letta Tayler, associate director and counterterrorism lead with Human Rights Watch's Crisis and Conflict Division, shared the Times reporting on Saturday with a tweet saying the deadly force rules document was "Not surprising but no less repugnant: Trump stripped down already minimal safeguards from U.S. targeted killings."
Pentagon still in denial about losing in Afghanistan.
Afghan government forces face some “bad possible outcomes” against Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal of American and coalition troops accelerates in the coming weeks, the top US military officer said on Sunday. Gen Mark Milley said the Afghan military and police were “reasonably well equipped, reasonably well trained, reasonably well led”. He cited years of experience against a resilient insurgency but declined to say Afghan forces were fully ready to stand up to the Taliban without direct international backing.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, spoke to reporters flying with him from Hawaii to Washington hours after the formal start of the withdrawal. Asked if he believes the Afghan forces can hold up under increased strain, Milley was noncommittal. “Your question: the Afghan army, do they stay together and remain a cohesive fighting force or do they fall apart? I think there’s a range of scenarios here, a range of outcomes, a range of possibilities,” he said.
“On the one hand you get some really dramatic, bad possible outcomes. On the other hand, you get a military that stays together and a government that stays together.
“Which one of these options obtains and becomes reality at the end of the day? We frankly don’t know yet. We have to wait and see how things develop over the summer.” He said there was “at least still the possibility” of a negotiated political settlement between the government in Kabul and the Taliban. This, he said, would avoid the “massive civil war” some fear.
The Taliban warned of future attacks on U.S. troops after a withdrawal deadline that was negotiated under the Trump administration passed Saturday.
“As withdrawal of foreign forces from #Afghanistan by agreed upon May 1st deadline has passed, this violation in principle has opened the way for [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] Mujahidin to take every counteraction it deems appropriate against the occupying forces,” tweeted Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
“The Mujahidin of IEA will now await what decision the leadership of Islamic Emirate takes in light of the sovereignty, values and higher interests of the country, and will then take action accordingly, Allah willing,” he added.
The warning comes on the May 1 deadline the Taliban and Trump administration agreed to for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban warned that it would resume attacks on U.S. forces if the deadline was missed.
After German federal elections in September, Europe’s largest economy is likely to be led either by a human rights champion sending steely messages to Russia and China, or a dovish politician who wants Vladimir Putin to be given more respect. Surprisingly, the former hails from a Green party founded by peace activists during the cold war arms race, and the latter chairs a conservative party that traditionally sees itself as America’s most loyal ally in German politics.
With a coalition between Annalena Baerbock’s Greens and Armin Laschet’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) one of the likelier electoral outcomes in the autumn, a foreign policy clash could define Germany’s early days in the post-Merkel era. Under the outgoing chancellor, Germany has mostly trodden a middle path, speaking up about human rights violations and democratic ideals, while also heeding its ravenous industry’s appetite for Chinese export markets and Russian energy supplies.
“With Joe Biden in the White House, a geopolitical strategy of having your cake and eating it is becoming harder to justify,” said Ulrich Speck, a foreign policy analyst. “In a paradigm of strategic competition between America and China, there’s now pressure on Germany to position itself.”
Baerbock, a 40-year-old with a background in international law, has been one of the Greens’ most vocal advocates of tying German foreign policy more firmly to values rather than economic needs. If she were to become chancellor, she has vowed to withdraw government support for the almost complete Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Germany and Russia, which critics say will boost Putin’s geopolitical influence.
India’s prime minister has suffered a rare political defeat in a key state election, amid signs of a voter backlash over his handling of the coronavirus disaster as the country reported a record number of deaths.
Narendra Modi had been expected to make significant gains on Sunday in West Bengal, one of few states where his rightwing Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) does not have a parliamentary majority. Instead, Mamata Banerjee, a powerful regional politician and prominent Modi critic, won a third term as chief minister.
Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress won a comfortable majority, clocking up 216 seats in the 294-seat assembly. The BJP won 75 seats, up on its performance in 2016 when it got just three but well short of predictions.
Modi made dozens of speeches on the campaign trail in West Bengal, together with his home minister, Amit Shah, who visited as recently as last weekend. Both have been accused of prioritising politics over their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, India’s new coronavirus cases fell slightly but there were a record 3,689 new deaths. Grim scenes continued to unfold, with people dying in hospital corridors, on roads and in their homes. Car parks have been turned into cremation grounds, while desperate families scramble to find medicines and oxygen.
Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said on Friday the US will probably send his country 5m more doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, as the company admitted production in Central and South America had suffered multiple setbacks. Struggling with local AstraZeneca production and shortfalls in deliveries from foreign suppliers, Mexico has asked the US to help. In March, Washington sent 2.7m AstraZeneca doses south.
“It’s probable that they’ll help us with a loan, while the AstraZeneca plant in Mexico gets up and running,” López Obrador said at a news conference. ...
Under a deal reached last year, a laboratory in Argentina makes the active ingredient of the vaccine and ships it for bottling at a factory in Mexico owned by a company called Liomont. The shots are to be delivered across Latin America excluding Brazil, which has a separate production deal. Argentina has delivered cargos to Mexico but Liomont’s commercial production has slipped from an original target of March. In a statement shared with Reuters, AstraZeneca said deliveries of shots would begin before the end of June.
AstraZeneca said it regretted the setbacks, which it attributed to limited access to critical supplies, lower-than-expected process yields from initial vaccine batches and longer times to meet internal “site qualifications”.
Avoid accountability, attract attention through outrage, win reelection. This has been the holy trinity of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s decadeslong career in politics. Over the past year, the 66-year-old far-right extremist reached new heights of producing outrage, but the other pillars of his strategy appear to be faltering. Brazil’s Covid-19 crisis remains one of the worst in the world, and a brutal economic depression has forced millions into poverty. Opinion polls are for the first time consistently showing that a majority of Brazilians now disapprove of Bolsonaro.
So far, Bolsonaro has proven adept at coopting public institutions, and avoiding accountability, through threats, promises, backroom negotiations, or placing loyalists into official positions. But when Brazil’s Senate launched a new inquiry into Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the president’s allies were unable to block it. The panel convened for the first time on Tuesday, and members expect the investigation to produce impeachable evidence of his malfeasance.
The commission appears ready for a serious probe into the the coronavirus response in Brazil. “It is a true health, economic, and political tragedy, and the main responsibility lies with the president,” said Sen. Humberto Costa, an opposition member of the commission. Costa, who is also a former health minister, told The Intercept that he believes there is enough evidence to conclude that Bolsonaro committed “crimes against humanity,” a label that other analysts have also used.
With October 2022’s presidential elections already looming, things could get worse for a man who has now spent years as an indomitable force in Brazilian politics. Bolsonaro never had to go head-to-head with Brazil’s most popular politician, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was barred from running in 2018 but is once again eligible and is gaining momentum.
As Brazil moves closer to election season, anything is possible. The president’s future will depend on his ability to maintain his tenuous alliances and the appearance of electability. He may finally be held accountable, either in Congress or at the polls, for his dismal handling of the country’s response to Covid-19 — which as of Thursday had killed over 400,000 Brazilians.
Progressive observers of United States foreign policy in Latin America were unsurprised yet still expressed alarm Thursday over details in a new report from the U.S. Agency for International Development that shows the Trump administration's humanitarian aid to Venezuela was at least partially motivated by a desire for regime change in Caracas.
The report (pdf) published earlier this month by the USAID inspector general's office states that "the U.S. government's key foreign policy goals" in Venezuela following President Nicolás Maduro's 2018 reelection were to "increase pressure on Maduro to step down" and "support Guaidó's legitimacy as the interim president," a reference to the unelected opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has also received a show of support from President Joe Biden.
"Accordingly, USAID prioritized aid to the Venezuelan people in coordination with the interim president, including issuing in-kind grants to distribute humanitarian commodities inside Venezuela," the report says. This included supporting an unnamed Venezuelan NGO perceived as aligned with U.S. foreign policy objectives despite not knowing "whether the organization had the capacity to comply with USAID's legal and financial requirements."
The IG investigation found that out of 368 metric tons of humanitarian aid designated for delivery to Venezuela by the agency, only eight metric tons arrived in the country, with the rest going to Colombia and Somalia. Aid that was sent to Venezuela arrived in military transport planes, a move the report says "was not justified by operational needs as commercial transportation was available and less expensive."
The report also acknowledges that the failed February 2019 aid convoy organized by U.S. special representative Elliott Abrams—whose history in the region includes using humanitarian aid flights to arm Contra terrorists in Nicaragua and covering up massacres committed by U.S.-backed death squads in Guatemala and El Salvador—"contributed to a tense environment for humanitarian assistance funded by or associated with the U.S. government, as the Maduro regime publicly rejected pre-positioned commodities and initiated security crackdowns in Venezuela."
Additionally, it states that USAID's own officials determined that food aid purportedly sent to alleviate child hunger "was unnecessary because the nutritional status of Venezuelan children did not warrant its use at the time."
USAID, "concerned that the United Nations supported the Maduro regime," also minimized funding for U.N. agencies even though some of them "had infrastructure in Venezuela to deliver humanitarian commodities."
This, at a time when a combination of increasing U.S. economic sanctions, corruption and mismanagement, low oil prices, and natural disasters reversed some of the tremendous progress made by the Bolivarian Revolution—which began with former President Hugo Chávez and continued under Maduro—in improving the lives of poor Venezuelans.
The new report surprised few seasoned observers of the more than 100-year history of U.S. meddling in Venezuelan affairs, a timeline that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in USAID funding—including nine-figure spending on groups opposing the Bolivarian Revolution. Still, the USAID IG report raised eyebrows.
"This was incredibly obvious at the time, but it's shocking to see the details," said U.S. journalist and author Vincent Bevins of the report's contents.
USAID itself has a long history of foreign interference and subversion around the world. The agency funded death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala's genocidal army during the 1980s, the forced sterilization of Indigenous Peruvian women in the 1990s, Laotian heroin traffickers during the Vietnam War—to name but a handful of examples. USAID operatives also taught torture and democracy suppression to security forces in Latin American dictatorships including Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay in the 1960s and 1970s.
More recently, USAID in 2010 launched a social media campaign with the goal of sparking civil unrest against the Fidel Castro-led government in Cuba. Around the same time, the agency infiltrated Cuba's burgeoning hip-hop scene in a bid to foment a youth uprising.
A decline in daily Covid-19 vaccination rates has left US public health authorities with a new problem – how to effectively shrink operations. In the campaign to immunize all American adults against the coronavirus, most of the difficulties to date have involved overwhelming demand and restricted supply. Now, with less than one-third of Americans fully vaccinated, local public health authorities described a sense of whiplash as they pivot from mass vaccination clinics to outreach campaigns, all within a couple of weeks.
“We knew that when folks became eligible the vaccine-ready folks, or eager, [would] come out right away,” said Mary Jo Brogna, director of nursing at Harbor Health Services, which runs a community clinic in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “Reaching the final percentage of herd immunity,” believed to be at least 70% of all adults, “is going to be dependent on outreach and addressing any vaccine hesitancy,” said Brogna.
For most of 2021, the story of the vaccine campaign has been overwhelming demand. Emergency authorities took over stadiums, big-box stores and community centers staffed with dozens of nurses and volunteers to inoculate thousands of people per day. But in the last two weeks daily vaccination rates in the US have peaked and declined from a high of 3.2m daily vaccine administrations per day to 2.5m. Now, health authorities nationally are experiencing what red states such as Mississippi and Wyoming began to see early signs of – a major slowdown.
“Across the country we started out with mass clinics and those mass clinics worked very well for the older individuals,” said Gary Edwards, executive director of the Salt Lake County health department in Utah. However, he said, “we’ve reached a point, and it’s been very interesting how quick that happened, that the mass-clinic model is not reaching the segment of the population we’re trying to reach,” said Edwards.
The US treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Sunday sought to tamp down concerns that Joe Biden’s plans on infrastructure, jobs and families will cause inflation, saying spending will be phased in over a decade. “It’s spread out quite evenly over eight to 10 years,” the former chair of the Federal Reserve told NBC’s Meet the Press.
She said the Fed would monitor inflation carefully. “I don’t believe that inflation will be an issue but if it becomes an issue, we have tools to address it,” Yellen said. “These are historic investments that we need to make our economy productive and fair.”
Addressing Congress on Wednesday, Biden said his “American Jobs Plan is a blue collar blueprint to build America. That’s what it is.”
He has said his plans will be paid for by a series of tax increases on the wealthiest Americans, less than 1% of the population, and by raising corporate taxes. Some Democrats have expressed concerns such increases will slow economic growth. “We’re proposing changes to the corporate tax system that would close loopholes,” Yellen said.
“This comes also in the context of global negotiations to try to stop the decades-long race to the bottom among countries in competing for business by lowering their corporate tax rates. And we feel that will be successful.
Just over 100 days into his presidency Joe Biden is showing that he is one of the most pro-union presidents in American history, declaring the “unions built the middle class” in his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Union membership has declined precipitously in the US and accounted for about 10.8% of US employees last year, just over half the rate in 1983. Unions have also suffered notable setbacks in recent years, mostly recently failing to get the votes to unionize at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama.
None of this has dampened Biden’s ardor for organized labor, or Republican opposition to it.
Last Monday, Biden issued an executive order establishing the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, a move that aims to help unions expand their ranks. On Tuesday, Biden named Celeste Drake, to head his new “Made in America” program, which is designed to steer more federal money to US manufacturers. Drake is longtime trade expert at AFL-CIO, the US’s largest union federation.
Also last week, the White House issued a fact sheet saying that Biden’s proposed $2.3tn infrastructure plan would create many union jobs in construction, clean energy and other fields – by, for instance, requiring companies that receive money under the legislation not to oppose unionization efforts.
Biden’s new taskforce is seen as an important pro-union move – headed by Vice-President Kamala Harris, it includes most cabinet members and aims to have the entire executive branch promote unionizing and collective bargaining. In this way, Biden is undertaking an extraordinary effort to help reverse the decades-long decline in labor unions’ membership and power.
A federal judge on Friday prohibited police in Columbus, Ohio, from using force against nonviolent protesters.
In an 88-page opinion obtained by the local NBC station, Chief Judge Algenon L. Marbley of the Southern District of Ohio described the officers' use of physical violence, tear gas and pepper spray as “the sad tale of officers, clothed with the awesome power of the state, run amok.”
Marbley also ordered that officers be restrained from using other weapons and tactics such as flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets, body slams or kettling against nonviolent protesters. Officers must ensure that police vehicle cameras and body cameras are in "good working order" when interacting with nonviolent protesters.
Officers must also allow individuals legitimately displaying identifiers as press, media, reporter, paramedic or legal observer to record protests and to assist those who appear to be injured, Marbley ruled.
The ruling was made in favor of 26 plaintiffs who sued the city after taking part in demonstrations over the summer, according to NBC4. They allege that officers responded to nonviolent protesters with excessive force through the use of pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, batons and wooden bullets.
Good bye "Digidog" - a good lesson for police forces across the US. https://t.co/N8jFW2lTLN
— Jim Murphy (@jimmurphySF) April 29, 2021
In the wake of Brown’s killing, the area was littered with heavy law enforcement presence, including vehicles belonging to the US Department of Homeland Security and supporting agencies from as far afield as Burlington and Salisbury, more than 200 miles away. The nearby Elizabeth City State University closed its campus to students in anticipation of protests and used its dorms to house some of the out-of-town law enforcement. ...
Friday morning, officials announced the city would be relaxing the curfew until midnight, but that the local police department will now require that anyone “wishing to protest or gather” will need to file a permit application. Advocacy organizations have challenged similar permitting requirements across the state recently, including an ordinance in Graham, the site of protests last summer over the city’s Confederate monument.
Elizabeth City councilman and mayor pro tem Johnnie Walton said he believes the permitting decision was justified and that the law enforcement response has been appropriately measured. “If your defense is stronger than your offense, you win the game,” Walton told the Guardian. “There are going to be some missteps made, but so far we have done everything in our lane that we could to make things happen and keep our citizens safe.”
Community members and advocates, though, argue that the police are escalating a situation that would otherwise remain peaceful. “They’re just trying to antagonize the city, to turn everyone against us,” said Geoffrey Cooper, an Elizabeth City resident who has participated in several of the protests. “They’re just pushing and pushing this town to go into riot mode.”
Kristie Puckett Williams, statewide manager of the ACLU of North Carolina’s Campaign for Smart Justice, was among those arrested Thursday night. She said that despite the fact she was at the march in a professional capacity, officers arrested her and a colleague. No charges were filed and she was later released. “It’s always an escalation when they show up to a protest in riot gear,” Puckett Williams said. “That’s the level of contempt and force and vitriol they have.”
Mitt Romney was loudly booed at the Utah Republican party convention on Saturday – and called a “traitor” and a “communist” as he tried to speak. “Aren’t you embarrassed?” the Salt Lake City Tribune reported the Utah senator asking the crowd of 2,100 delegates at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. “I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues.”
Romney was the sole Republican to vote to impeach Donald Trump twice – for seeking political dirt on opponents from Ukraine and for inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January, before which Trump told supporters to “fight like hell” in support of his lie that the presidential election was stolen by Joe Biden. ...
“You can boo all you like,” Romney told a crowd the Tribune said spat insults “like so many poison darts”.
“I’ve been a Republican all my life. My dad was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012.” Romney, who will not face re-election in 2022, was also a governor of Massachusetts and would ordinarily be a member of the GOP establishment. But the party is firmly in the grip of Trump and his supporters – according to a CNN poll this week, 70% of Republicans believe the lie that Biden did not win enough legitimate votes to be president.
At the Utah convention, a motion to censure Romney failed narrowly, by 798 votes to 711. The author of the resolution, Davis county delegate Don Guymon, said Romney’s votes to remove Trump from office “hurt the constitution and hurt the party”.
Just-us Democrats has a new challenger for Carolyn Maloney.
Steinway is a bustling and noisy street in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria. The area locally referred to as “Little Egypt” is brimming with people grocery shopping and bicyclists rushing in and out of shawarma shops to deliver their next order. It’s a north African, south-west Asian neighborhood made up of small businesses like halal butcher shops, hookah lounges and Middle Eastern restaurants.
For Rana Abdelhamid, this neighborhood is home. On 14 April, Abdelhamid announced her run against the incumbent Democratic congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to represent New York’s 12th congressional district, a region made up of a significant portion of Manhattan’s East Side, Astoria and north Brooklyn. It ranges from the fantastically wealthy penthouse apartments that line Manhattan’s Central Park to the struggling working-class areas where Abdelhamid grew up. ...
Abdelhamid is confident she can win too. “[Justice Democrats] know we can win this. It gives me, my team and my community a lot of confidence. It makes me feel like I’m a part of a broader movement – a movement for progressive politics in this country,” she said. In Maloney, Abdelhamid faces a formidable appointment. Maloney, who has been in office since before her opponent was born, is one of the most senior Democrats in the House. The chair of the powerful oversight committee, Maloney has called herself a progressive in the past but Abdelhamid said that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“This is someone who voted yes on the Iraq war. Quite frankly, leadership isn’t just a word. It’s a practice. It’s outcomes. It’s how you’re connected to communities. It’s how people who are represented experience life. If she’s calling herself a progressive, it’s because she understands the tide is turning. People want to elect progressives. She recognizes that,” she said.
The funeral was a suitably solemn affair. The small casket was placed on a table covered in a black drape, a maudlin yet defiant speech quoted a Dylan Thomas poem, a moment’s silence was held. Inside the casket, however, was not a body, but a vial of meltwater from Clark glacier in Oregon, once an imposing body of ice but now a shrivelled remnant.
The funeral, a stunt held by worried glacier researchers on the steps of the state capitol in Salem, illustrated how the climate crisis is rapidly gnawing away at the majestic icepacks that used to throng the mountains of the northwestern US, potentially posing a threat to the region’s water supplies. ...
Clark glacier is, or was, found if you took a moderately strenuous hike amid the Cascade mountains, a range that stretches from British Columbia in Canada down to the northern reaches of California. Once spanning about 46 football pitches in size, the Clark glacier is now about three football pitches in area, or what Anders Carlson, president of the Oregon Glacier Institute, calls a “stagnant scrap of ice”.
“It’s like a rotting carcass of its former self,” said Carlson. Glaciers move via gravity under their own vast weight, but once they have lost a certain amount of volume, they become dormant patches of ice. Other nearby glaciers found on the three sisters, a chain of volcanic peaks, and Mount Hood have similarly “died” in this way.
“You go back through old photographs and glaciers have disappeared just in the last 20 years – it’s really dramatic,” said Carlson, who has calculated that at least a third of the state’s glaciers named by the US government in the 1950s are now gone.
An increasing number of people are being threatened by flooding caused by glacial lakes bursting, scientists have warned.
As the planet warms and glaciers recede, meltwater accumulates and forms lakes, often as a result of ice or moraine acting as a dam. Since 1990, the volume, area and number of these glacial lakes has increased by 50% globally. When these lakes become too full there is a risk that they may breach or overflow, releasing huge volumes of water and causing catastrophic flooding.
Some lakes are more dangerous than others, and more likely to result in what are known as glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Stephan Harrison, a professor of climate and environmental change at Exeter University, said: “The ones we’re concerned about are the very steep mountain valleys in the Andes and in the Himalayas, where you have glaciers retreating up into their steep valleys with lots of opportunity for bits of mountainside to fall off into lakes.”
The correlation between rising temperatures and glacial lake outburst floods is complicated. While glacial lake formation and growth can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change, the triggers that can cause disastrous flooding are often down to non-climatic factors such as moraine dam geometry, earthquakes, ice or rock avalanches into the lake or extreme rainfall.
Adam Emmer, a geographer at the University of Graz in Austria, said: “You need two conditions to generate a disaster – high magnitude GLOF, and exposed population as well as assets in its path. Population expansion along the potential GLOF paths and lack of building development regulations may be even more important driver of GLOF risk, especially in developing countries.”
Critical to note here that while this announcement stops wall construction in AZ, people & wildlife in South Texas and San Diego are still very much in danger. Biden must direct DOJ to halt land takings & work with Congress to rescind *all* wall funding.https://t.co/Tfm8PgXmBs
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) April 30, 2021
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Roy Book Binder - Travelin' Man
Roy Book Binder - It Coulda Been Worse
Roy Book Binder - Police Dog Blues
Roy Book Binder - Mississippi Blues
Roy Book Binder - Preacher Picked The Guitar
Roy Bookbinder - I'm Going Home
Roy Bookbinder - Ragtime Millionaire
Roy Bookbinder - King Edward Blues
Roy Bookbinder - Cigarette Blues