Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Some Things Just Get Worse

By BJ Bjornson

This really isn�t much a surprise to anyone paying attention, but it deserves repeating all the same.

The bad news just got worse: A new study finds that reining in greenhouse gas emissions in time to avert serious changes to Earth's climate will be at best extremely difficult. Current goals for reducing emissions fall far short of what would be needed to keep warming below dangerous levels, the study suggests. To succeed, we would most likely have to reverse the rise in emissions immediately and follow through with steep reductions through the century. Starting later would be far more expensive and require unproven technology.

. . .

"The alarming thing is very few scenarios give the kind of future we want," says climate scientist Neil Edwards of The Open University in Milton Keynes, U.K. Both he and Rogelj emphasize the uncertainties inherent in the modeling, especially on the social and technological side, but the message seems clear to Edwards: "What we need is at the cutting edge. We need to be as innovative as we can be in every way." And even then, success is far from guaranteed.

At this point, I don�t see any real prospect of our avoiding a future where the world is different, and maybe far different, place climatically. This is in no small part due to the fact that opposition to climate change (or to the belief that climate change is human-caused, or to the belief that any and all proposals to do so something about it are the wrong way to deal with it, see my previous post), has become a matter of faith and litmus test with one of the two major parties in the U.S. which continues to wield sufficient power to at least block any progress on that front. And said party and the fossil fuel industries that support it have numerous allies elsewhere.

Add to that things like the energy trap, which ensures that any action we take will be immediately more painful than doing nothing and you�ve set yourself up for a future where the dramatic action needed will simply never come until it is far too late.

The sad part of that being, what comes of putting those hard decisions off is going to be a lot more painful in the long run.

The rising sea will wash across great swaths of South Florida. Salt water will contaminate the well fields. Roads and farmland and low-lying neighborhoods will be inundated. The soil will no longer absorb the kind of heavy rainfalls that drenched South Florida last weekend. Septic tanks will fail. Drainage canals won�t drain. Sewers will back up. Intense storms will pummel the beachfront. Mighty rainfalls, in between droughts, will bring more floods.

The economic losses and the mitigation costs associated with the effects of global warming over the next few decades will be overwhelming. It will cost a medium-sized town like Pompano Beach hundreds of millions just to salvage its water and sewage systems.

Think adaptation, in the personal rather than evolutionary sense, because we�re heading for a changed climate whether you like it or not.


  1. I think we should be spending more time on figuring out how to mitigate the impact at this point - I think most of the damage has already been done. We also have to realize how little we can do and that millions if not billions are going to die.

  2. Anyone want to buy a condo in south Florida?

  3. The rising sea is only half of the problem. The rise in temperture snd humidity will make living in the Southern States almost impossible.

  4. The mass of people will demand action! way too late and after the damage has already become obvious.
    The same people blocking action now will be complaining bitterly over the failure of "government" to fix this problem.

  5. @Joe Blow - That would be, unfortunately, entirely consistent with our recent history, yes.