It’s real folks. The Globe is Warming

and the weather is more extreme and we are not taking the steps we need to take to change things.

Remember the folks who were saying it wasn’t real? Who would point to small data points and say, hey, why is this cooler? Those folks fall into two primary categories, tools of industries committed to profits that depend on continuing emission levels and fools. The fools are primarily made up of simple folks who could be manipulated by gun rights or race or abortion to oppose anything that Al Gore or folks on the political left (scientific thinkers?) had to say.

Folks are easily manipulated. One of the task of a free press is to reduce the manipulation by getting accurate information out. It’s hard competing with the flash and sizzle of Fox News. But the truth will out.

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Global Warming “Undeniable,” U.S. Government Report Says

Past decade hottest on record, NOAA study says.

The retreating Iceberg Glacier in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park.

The retreating Iceberg Glacier in Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins National Park (file).
Global warming is undeniable,” and it’s happening fast, a new U.S. government report says.

Published July 28, 2010

An in-depth analysis of ten climate indicators all point to a marked warming over the past three decades, with the most recent decade being the hottest on record, according to the latest of the U.S. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s annual “State of the Climate” reports, which was released Wednesday. Reliable global climate record-keeping began in the 1880s.

And for the first time, scientists put data from climate indicators—such as ocean temperature and sea-ice cover—together in one place. Their consistency “jumps off the page at you,” report co-author Derek Arndt said.
“This is like going to the doctor and getting your respiratory test and circulatory test and your neurosystem test,” said Arndt, head of the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.”It’s testing all the parts, and they’re all in agreement that the same thing’s going on.”
Such climatic shifts are already ushering in extreme weather, which plagued much of the globe in 2009, according to the report. (See a world map of potential global warming impacts.) For instance, Australia experienced its third hottest year on record.On one February 2009 day—labeled “Black Saturday”—in Australia, 400 wildfires swept across the state of Victoria, killing 173 people and destroying 3,500 buildings. (See pictures of the Australian fires.)

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Connect the Dots

Bush pushed the ownership society, the regulators tried to operate in a deregulatory political environment, the bankers found new, and increasingly irresponsible ways to “help” join the ownership society whether it made any sense or not. Loan originators raked in commissions, the financial wizards sliced, diced and sold off the crummy securities and the tax payer is left holding the bag.

So today, we are told the economy is recovering. The bank crisis has been averted, banks are back to paying the big bonuses that is so key to a recovering economy and things are rosy, right?

Well, not so rosy for the average jane or joe who is still trying to hang onto their little piece of the american dream and has not been able to keep working at a job and wage that will support the mortgages. So the AP reports that foreclosure activity is up and the forecast is not good for the ownership society.

There is a solution that could have really helped stop this mortgage disaster depression and it was to rewrite the bankruptcy code to allow bankruptcy courts to rewrite the terms of mortgages on primary residences. It’s called “cram down” in bankruptcy circles. The court can cram down a loan balance and dictate interest rate to a fair market value. This is allowed on vacation homes, airplanes, yachts, cars, but not primary residences. Under the current statute I guess it makes sense to walk away from the house, leave the bank holding the bag, cram down your loan on the yacht and live aboard for a while. This solution doesn’t work if you failed to buy the yacht. What an oversight!

The problem with mortgage cramdown of homes is that the banks take it on the chin. At least with yacht, airplane, vacation home cramdown, decent folks of means are being helped. But with primary residence cramdown, an average jane/joe benefits while banks lose. Primary residence cramdown was considered early in the mortgage crisis, but there was too much opposition and a congress owned by the financial industry could not muster the courage to challenge their owners.

I think it’s too late for this solution to do much now, but it might be a good idea to fix for the next time this kind of thing happens. For now, we are into Stage Two, a jobless “recovery” and employment prospects remain bleak as Obama did not do the smart thing and go all out on R&D of a green energy system to address climate change and to get us out of the petro wars. It’s still the right solution. We are going to do this eventually because we have to.

See you there.

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Foreclosure activity up across most US metro areas

LOS ANGELES – Households across a majority of large U.S. cities received more foreclosure warnings in the first six months of this year than in the first half of 2009, new data shows.

Demonstrators, whose homes are under foreclosure or lost their homes to foreclosure, holds signs during a foreclosure rally in front of JP Morgan Chas

The trend is the latest sign that the nation’s foreclosure crisis is worsening as homeowners battling high unemployment, slow job growth and an uneven rebound in home prices continue to fall behind on their mortgage payments.
“The face of foreclosure is driven much more now by unemployment than in the past, and it’s moving out from the places where we’ve been focusing on in the last few years,” said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “The combination of a weak job market and a weak housing market is making it difficult in some of these areas.”

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