3/25/2016

Methane Concentration Maps 2002-2013

This is a quickie nerdy post to document an interesting issue I've noticed this morning when I was browsing the European Space Agency atmospheric methane (CH4) concentration maps. The source page is here ESA Web page with methane maps

The ESA page includes a series of maps, including this movie with methane concentrations. As far as I can see this map/movie set  is ok:

ESA methane data  movie, top of the page, 
all data is shown 

There's  also a short movie near the bottom, which includes an interesting edit.  I'm copying here:

ESA methane data movie, bottom of the page,
some areas are masked  

The movie moves a bit too fast, so I decided to take a few screen prints which follow. Notice how the third map shows grey areas where previous maps show yellow and orange high methane concentrations? I wonder, why would they take the same data set and mask key areas they show at the top?

3/19/2016

Translating Cuba: The Black Spring & the Rolling Stones

I've been thinking about writing a welcome speech for president Obama on occasion of his visit to Cuba, where he's going to meet his friend, Raul Castro. However, I think this is much better than anything I could write. It was written by Iván García, 16 March 2016 — and published in Translating Cuba (this blog is linked on the right as one of my favorites).

A portion of Ivan's article follows:

Around 12 midnight on Tuesday, 18 March 2003, I was en route to my apartment in the La Víbora neighborhood when, from the balcony, some incomprehensible signs coming from my mother set off the alarms.
Those were hard years. My mother and I were contributing articles to  the independent press agency, Cuba Press, prohibited by the government, which was led by the poet and journalist Raúl Rivero. We were detained, intimidated or warned by cowboys from State Security with too much insistence.

3/17/2016

Islands aren't all the same.

I just read an article in "The Conversation" about sea level rise and the problems it causes to the inhabitants of low lying Pacific Ocean atolls. I thought the article was mostly bullshit, so I wrote a polite comment which follows:
I was born on an island, we had a house about 600 meters from the sea. We haven’t noticed much change in over 50 years.
But local regulations won’t allow any construction close to the high tide mark. The beach is so wide it's possible to play baseball and other beach sports without getting tangled with sun bathers.

Piers, groins, or other structures aren’t allowed. Sea walls are only built in limited areas where the coast is exposed reef. And the sewage outfall is taken by a pipe very far beyond where people fish. The island isn’t overpopulated.
I think the biggest problem the population faces is a corrupt socialist government which seems to enjoy abusing human rights, rising prostitution which brings in undesirable tourists. The future looks grim if this dictatorship can’t be overthrown.
So you see, not all islands are the same. I think the article should refer to “low relief overpopulated islands in the process of social collapse”.

3/09/2016

My dear friends of the "civilized Western Left"

Many Europeans and Americans think we "little brown brothers" are fine living under the abusive jackboot of their corrupt left wing autocrat du jour. 
A communist dictator like Raúl Castro can parade himself around Paris as French elites hug and kiss him, and pals around with Obama, actors like Sean Penn and Danny Glover bask in the limelight as they oxygenate autocratic thugs like Chavez, an ignorant corrupt homophobe like Evo Morales goes around chirping about Mother Earth, and the demagoguery marches on. 

The world remains on two planes: the upper European and North Americans who are supposed to have ironclad human rights, and we, the unwashed Latin Americans who are supposed to enjoy repression and abuse, simply because it's done in the name of Karl Marx, hallowed be his name. 
And this, my dear friends of the European and North American left, and you, the blood sucking capitalists who will deal with the devil to extract one more ton of resources, won't do. We will not accept being taken into the night, we won't bow down to this social genocide you bring upon us. We will resist. And with luck and perseverance, we will destroy those regimes which abuse so much, and with so much impunity.