Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, March 10, 2017


NOAA and Sea Grant work with University of Hawai`i to provide scientific information and
develop programs regarding climate, natural disasters and environment. Sea Grant faces elimination
and NOAA faces severe budget cuts in the new Trump administration's  proposal to Congress.
Photo from NOAA
ELIMINATING THE SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM at University of Hawai`i and in other states is one of Pres, Donald Trump's budget cuts, according to a statement from Sen. Mazie Hirono and a story in TheWashington Post
     “The Sea Grant College Program has been serving coastal communities and economies through the provision of science based information, tools and technologies for more than 50 years. Based at universities in 33 coastal and Great Lakes states as well Puerto Rico and Guam, Sea Grant serves as NOAA's link to University research and the communities they serve,” said Dr. Darren Lerner, Director of the University of Hawai`i Sea Grant College Program.
     Hirono pointed out that in 2015, University of Hawai`i received more than $2 million in federal funding for the Sea Grant Program.

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NOAA'S GOES WEST satellite provide information for disaster
preparedness and daily weather forecasts in Hawai`i. Photo form NOAA
DRASTIC BUDGET CUTS TO NOAA'S SATELLITE PROGRAM are proposed in Pres. Donald Trump's budget. 
     NOAA provides critical imagery and forecasting information for community disaster preparedness, response and recovery and for U.S. military navigation.  
     Sen Mazie Hirono and Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, wrote a bipartisan letter to the Trump administration, saying: “In 1992, Hurricane Iniki struck Kaua`i, Hawai`i, causing six deaths and $1.8 billion (1992 USD) in damage. If communities had not been warned about the hurricane in advance, the death toll could have been much higher. Deep cuts to NESDIS’ monitoring equipment and activities will directly increase coastal states’ vulnerability to hurricanes and other natural events that can threaten our communities and run counter to NOAA’s building of a Weather-Ready Nation.”
     The letter was also signed by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Angus King (I-Maine), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawai`i).
     “The NOAA IOOS program provides the real-time data that we need to understand and adapt to changing ocean conditions. The system is critically important to our team members and the coastal communities where we operate,” said Ronald K. Lau, Operations Manager of Kona Coast Shellfish, LLC- Pacific Seafood Group.

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NOAA' Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory recorded a fifth straight year of record CO2 in
the atmosphere. Photo from NOAA
A RECORD INCREASE IN CARBON DIOXIDE in the atmosphere was recorded for 2016 at the Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory, according to a statement on Friday from NOAA. C02 levels rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015.
     The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.
     “The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”
     Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm.
    NOAA has measured CO2 on site at the Mauna Loa observatory since 1974. To ensure accuracy, air samples from the mountaintop research site in Hawaii are shipped to NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, for verification. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which first began sampling CO2 at Mauna Loa in 1956, also takes independent measurements onsite.
     Emissions from fossil-fuel consumption have remained at historically high levels since 2011 and are the primary reason atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing at a dramatic rate, Tans said. This high growth rate of CO2 is also being observed at some 40 other sites in NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.          Carbon dioxide is one of several gases that are primarily responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere. This “greenhouse effect” maintains temperatures suitable for life on Earth. Increasing CO2 levels trap additional heat in the atmosphere and the oceans, contributing to rising global average temperatures.
     Atmospheric CO2 averaged about 280 ppm between about 10,000 years ago and the start of the Industrial Revolution around 1760. Track CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa and other global locations online.
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, making the regime change pitch at the
National Press Club, is joined by Sen. Rand Paul with
legislation in the U.S. Senate.
THE STOP ARMING TERRORIST BILL, sponsored by Tulsi Gabbard in the U.S. House of Representatives, has a champion in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Rand Paul introduced the measure into the U.S. Senate on Friday. The bipartisan legislation (H.R.608 and S.532) would prohibit any federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.
     The legislation is currently cosponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Scott Perry (R-PA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Tom Garrett (R-VA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Veterans for Peace, and the U.S. Peace Council.
     Said Gabbard, “For years, the U.S. government has been supporting armed militant groups working directly with and often under the command of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government. Rather than spending trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East, we should be focused on defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, and using our resources to invest in rebuilding our communities here at home. The fact that American taxpayer dollars are being used to strengthen the very terrorist groups we should be focused on defeating should alarm every Member of Congress and every American. We call on our colleagues and the Administration to join us in passing this legislation.”
   Senator and physician Rand Paul said: “One of the unintended consequences of nation-building and open-ended intervention is American funds and weapons benefiting those who hate us.” This legislation will strengthen our foreign policy, enhance our national security, and safeguard our resources.”

   Gabbard provided the following background: The Stop Arming Terrorists Act prohibits U.S. government funds from being used to support al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. In the same way that Congress passed the Boland Amendment to prohibit the funding and support to CIA backed-Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980’s, this bill would stop CIA or other Federal government activities in places like Syria by ensuring U.S. funds are not used to support al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ISIS, or other terrorist groups working with them. It would also prohibit the Federal government from funding assistance to countries that are directly or indirectly supporting those terrorist groups. The bill achieves this by:
     · Making it illegal for any U.S. Federal government funds to be used to provide assistance covered in this bill to terrorists. The assistance covered includes weapons, munitions, weapons platforms, intelligence, logistics, training, and cash.
     · Making it illegal for the U.S. government to provide assistance covered in the bill to any nation that has given or continues to give such assistance to terrorists.
     · Requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine the individual and groups that should be considered terrorists, for the purposes of this bill, by determining: (a) the individuals and groups that are associated with, affiliated with, adherents to or cooperating with al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or ISIS; (b) the countries that are providing assistance covered in this bill to those individuals or groups.
     · Requiring the DNI to review and update the list of countries and groups to which assistance is prohibited every six months, in consultation with the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
     · Requiring the DNI to brief Congress on the determinations.

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JAZZ IN THE FOREST, Saturday, March 11, Volcano Art Center at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with Jean Pierre Thoma & The Jazztones. See www.volcanoartcenter.org. 967-8222

SUNDAY CLAY: High Fire, Sundays, March 12 – May 7, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. or 2:45 –5:45 p.m. at Volcano Art Center. $185/$166 VAC members plus $13 materials fee. 967-8222

REP. RICHARD CREAGAN SPEAKS AT THE NEW VOICES MEETING on Sunday, at Punalu`u Bake Shop at noon. The public meeting will be held in the upper pavilion. Creagan will review activities of the 2017 Hawai`i Legislation which has reached mid session and also discuss the national situation with the new President's administration. For more information, call Melissa Wheeler at 808-785-2643.

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