The official position of planet Earth at the moment is that we can’t raise the temperature more than two degrees Celsius.
Some context: So far, we’ve raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.)
Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees.
We’re not getting any free lunch from the world’s economies, either. With only a single year’s lull in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, we’ve continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year. In late May, the International Energy Agency published its latest figures – CO2 emissions last year rose to 31.6 gigatons, up 3.2 percent from the year before.
- America had a warm winter and converted more coal-fired power plants to natural gas, so its emissions fell slightly
- China kept booming, so its carbon output (which recently surpassed the U.S.) rose 9.3 percent
- Japanese shut down their fleet of nukes post-Fukushima, so their emissions edged up 2.4 percent.
Keep reading: Rolling Stone – Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
Continue reading World scientists – we can’t raise the temperature by more than two degrees Celsius
U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, dropped to 8.0% in May, a new low since Gallup began measuring employment in 2010, and more than a full percentage-point decline from May 2011. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted number for May is 8.3%, down from 8.6% in April. However, that remains higher than the seasonally adjusted low of 7.9% recorded in January 2012.
Despite recent drops in unemployment reported by Gallup and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. employment situation remains fragile.
Fragile…or, rocky as seen in the graph above where the numbers have been rising/falling since January 2012.
Tomorrow the U.S. government’s will publish its own unemployment numbers form the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
// Thx – Flap’s Blog
Friday, May 18
7:00 pm – Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Special guests: Zack Snyder and Robert Kirkman
10:00 pm – Shaun of the Dead
Special guest: Edgar Wright
Saturday, May 19
12:00 pm – RoboCop
Special guest: Peter Weller
4:00 pm – A Clockwork Orange
Special guest: Malcolm McDowell
8:30 pm – SUPER
Special guest: Rainn Wilson
Sunday, May 20
2:00 pm – WALL-E
Special guest: Andrew Stanton
Includes a special preview of Disney/Pixar’s ‘Brave’
6:00 pm – Serenity (SOLD OUT)
Special guest: Nathan Fillion
Monday, May 21
7:30 pm – An Evening with Stan Lee
May 4 is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate Star Wars culture and honor the films.
May 4 is called Star Wars Day because of the popularity of a common pun spoken on this day. Since the phrase “May the Force be with you” is a famous quote often spoken in the Star Wars films, fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you” on this day.
Current day Star Wars fans were not the first to introduce the line “May the fourth be with you”: when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister on May 4, 1979, her party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News that said “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” This reading of the line has also been recorded in the UK Parliament’s Hansard.
In a 2005 interview on German news TV channel N24, George Lucas was asked to say the famous sentence “May the Force be with you.” The interpreter simultaneously interpreted the sentence into German as Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen (“We shall be with you on May 4”). This was captured by TV Total and aired on May 18, 2005.
In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 4, 2012.
…and don’t forget tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day.
// Photo – Amanda Blain