Images from 2017 and 2018 show polar bears thriving in a warming world

polarbearscience

Candid images of fat, healthy bears taken over the last two years by unbiased photographers across the Arctic are representative of the state of polar bears in a world that’s warmer than it was in 1980.

chukchi-sea-polar-bear-arctic_early-august-2018_a-khan-nsidc.jpg Chukchi Sea polar bear on the sea ice, early August 2018. A Khan, NSIDC. Chukchi Sea bears are thriving, according to a new survey of the population.

It may seem counter-intuitive but it’s true: polar bears are thriving with less summer sea ice and there are more bears now than there were in 2005 (not a statistically significant amount more, but more nevertheless).

Gulf Polar-bear-quebecPierre-Alexandre Defoy 22 March 2017 Polar bear on the north shore of Gulf of St. Lawrence, 22 March 2017. Pierre Alexandre Defoy photo. More info and photos here.

newfoundland polar bear 10 june 2018_iceberg festival committee_thresa burden photo Newfoundland bear on Northern Peninsula, 10 June 2018. Teresa Burden photo.

great-brehat-dillon-patey_march 12 2018_vocm report Newfoundland polar bear at Great Brehat, 12 March 2018. Dillon Patey photo.

polar bear aug 2017 near area where june 19 2018 bear was spotted gordy kidlapik Near Arviat, north…

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Do We Care About The Shutdown?

The Lone Cactus

And the answer is….nope.

Well, that’s the long and the short of it. I think Americans get used to stuff happening in their lives pretty darn quickly, and they end up accepting it maybe a little too quickly. That’s the way it is in the government shutdown department.

When the government shut down during Bill Clinton’s administration, public approval of both Congress and Clinton dropped substantially. When the government shut down during Obama’s term, both took a hit, but Congress took almost three times the hit that Obama took. That was because he blamed the Republicans in Congress for the shut down. It didn’t hurt them in the elections however.

Well, the latest results are in. While Donald Trump’s numbers are down about 2%, Congress’ numbers are actually up about 2%. That’s primarily because Democrats are happy that they retook the House of Representatives, and it really has nothing to…

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What Trump Just Wrecked by Canceling Pelosi’s Trip to Afghanistan

thedailybeast.com
What Trump Just Wrecked by Canceling Pelosi’s Trip to Afghanistan
Erin Banco, Sam Stein, Lachlan Markay01.17.19 5:11 PM ET
5-7 minutes

For more than three weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her staff had quietly planned an international trip to Brussels and Afghanistan to check in on America’s longest war. Like most congressional delegations—“CODELs”—it was time-consuming work, involving coordination between numerous agencies, stakeholders, and international officials along with extra security briefings because of the danger of the destination.

Pelosi’s chief of staff worked with a liaison from the U.S. Air Force who was the lead in setting up travel arrangements and the itinerary for the trip. Senior officials at the Pentagon also had been read in on the speaker’s plans, especially those regarding her visit to war-torn Afghanistan, where extra security was needed for her time in Kabul. Two senior officials on the ground in Afghanistan said they received the itinerary for the trip, as they do other congressional trips, weeks in advance and held it close to the chest. Fellow members of Congress made similar accommodations as they prepared to accompany the Speaker on the CODEL.

And then, with minutes to go before they departed, President Trump pulled the plug.

“I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed,” Trump wrote in a letter to Pelosi. “We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.”

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s stated reason in cancelling the CODEL was the fact that the government remains shut down. But the more obvious explanation was that the president had been searching for a way to fire back at the speaker after she had informed him that his State of the Union address would be postponed until a resolution on the shutdown was reached.

Left unappreciated by the back and forth was just how impulsive the president’s swift response truly was.

White House officials told CNN that Trump had coordinated with the Department of Defense about the decision to prohibit the use of military aircraft for Pelosi. But as of the time of this publication, staffers in the Pentagon were furiously scrambling to gather information about the cancellation.

“We’re still gathering information just like you,” one Pentagon official told The Daily Beast. “We are trying to figure out what is going on.” One other source inside the Pentagon said that the White House had not coordinated with senior officials in Kabul about the cancellation, either.

The White House did not respond to The Daily Beast’s question on whether or not the president or his team directly contacted the Defense Department and the Air Force about restricting Pelosi or her team’s use of military aircraft, prior to issuing the White House announcement Thursday afternoon. But the president’s team appeared prepared for the moment in other ways.

Within an hour of the White House’s announcement, the Trump campaign was already fundraising off of the tit-for-tat. The Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising account for the campaign and the Republican National Committee, blasted out an email with the subject line “I’m disinvited?”

“Democrats have illegitimately ‘disinvited’ me from making my scheduled and VERY important State of the Union Address,” the email complained. “Americans DEMAND the truth, so we need to make a CLEAR STATEMENT and raise $1,OOO,OOO by Midnight TONIGHT to show your support for Border Security (the REAL security concern).”

Pelosi’s trip was to come during a particularly sensitive geopolitical moment. The Speaker was to stop in Brussels to meet with top NATO commanders amid Trump’s continued criticism of the transcontinental alliance. And she was to visit Afghanistan amid news that the president would significantly drawback U.S. troops from the ground, two source with the U.S. Marines in Kabul said.

Trump is set to roll back close to half of all U.S. troops in Afghanistan, dealing a significant blow to the progress the U.S. has made over the last six months to help broker peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, those same sources said. The administration appointed Zalmay Khalilzad as a U.S. envoy to Afghanistan in September to work solely on negotiations between the two sides.

Troops on the ground viewed the Pelosi trip as a chance to gain an inroad with someone, especially the highest ranking member of the House, in the U.S. government who could see the need to keep U.S. troops in the country. The announcement of the drawback has significantly lowered morale among officials and soldiers.

And Pelosi’s team, too, said it wanted a chance to visit the troops in Afghanistan—where Trump has never been—to understand exactly what was happening on the ground.

“The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication, and to obtain critical national security and intelligence briefings from those on the front lines,” Drew Hammill, spokesman for Speaker Pelosi, said.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and other Trump officials such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are supposed to travel to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week.

—With additional reporting by Asawin Suebsaeng.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-trump-just-wrecked-by-canceling-pelosis-trip-to-afghanistan

Bad news for this blog

If anyone has any suggestions on how to help, please leave comments on her blog!

Vegan Lynx

Because of a new EU law, I may have to close down this blog, or at the very least stop posting and probably delete all posts containing a link, which means practically all posts.

Needless to say, I’m extremely displeased.

I’m not even sure I can continue blogging at all.    Even if I only use my WordPress.org blog and post ’ordininary’ blog posts, it may be too complicated to bother. Can I even post photos I’ve taken with my own phone? At this point, nothing is certain. My sister and I may be able to hand code our home pages/blogs like in the old days, and my sister is great at making graphics but again, I’m not sure what is allowed or not.

It may not be strictly necessary for me to post links to newspaper articles or even reblog  other people’s posts, even though I think it’s important…

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United States is going to be hit with extremely cold and harsh weather!