August 7, 2012

Global warming appointees as a news dump

This news dump today isn't remarkable on the surface of it, in fact it's pretty much a yawner.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts
  • Charles J. Vörösmarty – Member, Arctic Research Commission 
  • Warren M. Zapol – Member, Arctic Research Commission
President Obama said, ”I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
But there's always more than what's on the surface, just ask the iceberg that sank the Titanic. Yes, that is a deliberate Obama metaphor.

But if you take a look at the Arctic Research Commission's publication, "Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research 2011–2012", you'll see that their first stated goal (of 5 goals), it states:
GOAl 1 | Observe, Understand, and Respond to environmental change in the Arctic, Arctic Ocean, and Bering Sea
Their recommendation?
…greater support for efforts to observe and understand the Arctic environment and climate, how they are changing due to natural and human activities, and how we may better respond to future change. We must do more to synthesize scientific results and translate them into actionable information.
Charles J. Vörösmarty - Found the picture in the dictionary under "Smug Liberal"
So it's an environmental commission. Now who exactly are those two guys president Obama wants to appoint?

Charles J. Vörösmarty is an environmentalist:
8:25 a.m., May 14, 2012--The world’s streams, rivers and lakes are under increasing stress because of human water management – and mismanagement – that threaten aquatic biodiversity and the water supply, Charles J. Vörösmarty said recently during the second annual John R. Mather Visiting Scholars Lecture.

Vörösmarty, professor of civil engineering with the City College of New York, presented “Global Water Crisis: The Slippery Slope” on May 3 at the University of Delaware's Roselle Center for the Arts.

“The contemporary water system is really defined increasingly by the actions of humans,” he said.

Vörösmarty began by discussing the worldwide water systems in relation to climate change. As the atmosphere gets warmer, he explained, it holds more moisture, produces more rain, affects land runoff and in turn creates more atmospheric moisture. Land precipitation has increased 2 to 3 percent, he said, with variability in this part of the water cycle increasing.

“The earth’s atmosphere, as it’s heated, can hold more moisture, and then it gets into all sorts of mischief,” he said.

Yet beyond climate change, Vörösmarty and his colleagues wrote in Science in 2000 that humans are causing significant water stress in more direct ways. Reservoirs, deforestation, development, irrigation, levees and other manmade impacts adversely affect the flow of natural water systems, he said.
Wonderful.  And the other guy?  He's a doctor.  From the new release itself:
Dr. Warren M. Zapol is Director of the Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. From 1994 to 2008, he served as the Anesthetist-in-Chief. He is also the Reginald Jenney Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Previously, he served at the National Institutes of Health as a Staff Associate for the National Heart and Lung Institute from 1967 to 1970. Dr. Zapol is a Member of the Arctic Research Commission, having been appointed in 2008. He also served on the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences from 2003 to 2006. In 2006, the United States Board on Geographic Names named a glacier after Dr. Zapol. He has also been part of nine expeditions to Antarctica since 1974 to study the diving physiology of the Weddell Seal. He earned a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
There isn't a lot else I've found that isn't a medical-related publication. So, why him? Antarctic expeditions? I've been to Niagara Falls but I'm no hydroelectric power expert.  But I'm able to do some simple math. Liberal commission, liberal guy and unknown guy (probably liberal) adds up to one conclusion:

Why on earth are American voters paying for an Arctic Research Commission?  Your move American voters.

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