WCHS reporter Bob Aaron was preparing to cover a dangerous chemical spill in Charleston, W.Va. this week when he accidentally fell into a river.
In unaired footage (below) posted by WCHS, Aaron appears to be getting ready to do a live report near the riverbed when he loses his balance and tumbles backwards into the polluted water, notes FTVLive.com.
The Associated Press reported earlier this week, "Fields Creek turned black after 108,000 gallons of coal slurry after a pipe at Patriot Coal’s Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant broke because of ice buildup... Another six miles of creeks were also impacted."
WCHS states on its YouTube page that Aaron was not injured and "can even laugh about it now."
The heavy winter storms in the US have prompted some people to deny global warming and others to come up with a new anti-government conspiracy: "fake snow" that will not melt via a lighter.
Several folks have posted videos online claiming their snow doesn't melt and there is a weird "chemical smell."
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this conspiracy is especially popular in Georgia, which is experiencing unusual amounts of snow due to the polar vortex (video below).
Conspiracy theorists are writing on YouTube with their videos:
You're being distracted from all fronts, you're preoccupied. They're up here signing bills, the government, to pretty much take away more of your rights and freedoms.
The blog Resistance Journals suggests this snow is actually "geo-engineering" and the US government is manipulating weather to use as a weapon against its own people.
However, this conspiracy was easily debunked by a news reporter on WTVR, who demonstrated that when a flame is held next to snow, the snow doesn't melt, but rather turns into vapor in a process called "sublimination." The "scary" chemical smell is from the butane of the lighter (video below).
A new poll shows that 23 percent of Americans do not believe in man-made climate change, despite overwhelming science.
The survey, conducted in November and early December 2013, also showed that 63 percent of Americans do believe in global warming, but only 53 percent are worried about the consequences.
The "don't know" category dropped 6 points between April and November 2013 and went to the "not happening" category.
"People who prior said don’t know are increasingly saying they don't believe it," Anthony Leiserowitz, of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, which conducted the poll, told Live Science.
"Media frames can be really important in shaping the way people interpret the news," added Leiserowitz.
There have been numerous reports on Fox News, Drudge Report and other conservative media outlets that global warming could not possibly be happening because there were very cold temperatures this winter.
However, scientists say the cold weather in the US was caused by a "polar vortex," which is when Arctic air shifts from the North Pole downwards. Another polar vortex is expected this month, notes The Washington Post.
Global warming deniers in conservative media also failed to mention the scorching temperatures in Australia where it is currently summer.
According to Mother Jones, tennis matches had to be suspended at the Australian Open where temperatures hit 109 degrees and some players had to be iced down.
A condo complex under construction in Raleigh, NC was blown apart by “hurricane strength” winds on Saturday.
A video (below) of the devastation was shot by Ed Braz, a wildlife photographer, who stated, “Whoa no, look at that!” when the building collapsed under the 86 mph winds, noted Mediaite.com.
Temperatures warmed dramatically on Saturday after cold weather had frozen the eastern part of North Carolina.
“There was an 80-degree feel-like difference from Tuesday to Saturday,” WTVD meteorologist Chris Hohmann told NewsObserver.com.
“It made it from Greensboro to Rocky Mount in two hours," added Hohmann. "You can’t drive that fast. That’s as fast as you will see a storm move in this area. It was a quick hitter, but it did leave its mark.”
The 86 mph winds, which were recorded near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, set a new record for the area. According to Hohmann, 58 mph is the threshold at which major damage can happen.
There have been many in the conservative media who have made the false claim that the current cold winter disproves global warming.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined the non-scientific chorus today by proclaiming that frigid temperatures across the US during winter somehow discounts the science of global warming.
According to TheWire.com, Sen. Inhofe stated, "The ones that were responsible for the whole global warming movement was the United Nations."
Sen. Inhofe also claimed that because scientists were recently stuck in Antarctic ice, there was no climate change (video below).
However, Sen. Inhofe failed to mention that while it is winter in the US, it's summer down in Australia were temperatures are hitting 120 degrees.
He also failed to mention that his state, Oklahoma, has endured droughts and the warmest summer ever, according to the National Climatic Data Center, noted USA Today.
Sen. Inhofe is apparently unaware that global warming is based on decades of trending temperatures, not just isolated incidents, which he pointed to.
Finally, Sen. Inhofe did not say how he received $1,561,246 in campaign contributions by oil and gas companies that are desperately trying to deny global warming because they don't want to pay a cap and trade tax, noted MediaMatters.org.
However, scientists are not shocked by the cold winter, which is called a "polar vortex."
According to ScienceBlogs.com:
The cold air mass that usually sits up on the Arctic during the northern winter has moved, drooped, shifted, gone off center, to engulf part of the temperate region… The Polar Vortex, a huge system of swirling air that normally contains the polar cold air has shifted so it is not sitting right on the pole as it usually does. We are not seeing an expansion of cold, an ice age, or an anti-global warming phenomenon. We are seeing the usual cold polar air taking an excursion. So, this cold weather we are having does not disprove global warming.
This winter there have been cold temperatures throughout the US, significant snowing in the Midwest and Northeast, and a team of climate scientists found their ship locked in sea ice near Antarctica (South Pole).
According to several conservatives, all of this cold weather news supposedly means that there is no such thing as climate change or global warming.
Donald Trump recently tweeted, "This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bulls-- has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice."
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) tossed in his scientific observations on Twitter, "'Global warming' isn't so warm these days."
The right-wing news aggregator Matt Drudge has screamed cold weather headlines on DrudgeReport.com, such as: "MINNESOTA 'WORST' DEEP FREEZE IN 20 YEARS...
WINDCHILLS MAY HIT -50°... BLAST: UP TO 30" OF SNOW IN NEW ENGLAND... 'EXPOSED SKIN FREEZES IN 15 MINS'... KILLER CHILLER MAP...AMERICANS SPENT $7.45 BILLION FIGHTING 'GLOBAL WARMING' -- IN OTHER COUNTRIES...
ANTARCTIC ICE SHELF MELT 'LOWEST EVER RECORDED'...NOW ANTARTIC RESCUE SHIP STUCK IN ICE..."
Fox Business' Stuart Varney came to the conclusion, "We're looking at global cooling, forget this global warming," notes MediaMatters.org.
However, these claims are not based on scientific trends over decades, but rather on shocking headlines of individual events.
Conservatives also fail to mention that it is not just winter on earth, but also summer with Australia, which is setting record hot temperatures of up to 120 degrees.
Professor John Turner, of the Climate Variability and Modelling project at the British Antarctic Survey, recently wrote a brainy explanation for The Guardian about why the increase in sea ice in Antarctica is really not that impressive.
Some commentators have remarked on what they describe as the ‘irony’ of researchers studying the impact of a warming planet themselves being impeded by heavy ice. With some even suggesting that the situation is itself evidence that global warming is exaggerated.
...In the Antarctic the increase in annual mean sea ice extent is only just over 1% per decade, making it impossible at present to separate natural variability from any human influence.
According to a recent report on climate change from the National Academy of Sciences, more evidence of global warming's effects are the coral reefs that are dying out due to the warmer than usual ocean water, notes ThinkProgress.org.
San Francisco may become the first major city to ban the release of butterflies at weddings and other special events.
The San Francisco Commission on the Environment unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night to ban the practice, which environmentalists argue threatens the species.
“Many San Franciscans believe that butterflies are animals to be respected and valued as part of the city’s natural heritage and should not be used as decorations or for entertainment,” the resolution states.
The commission supports the ban because the practice of releasing commercially bred butterflies can affect the insect population and conservation efforts.
“Experts state that release of non-native and/or commercially raised butterflies can cause the introduction of deleterious genes into local populations, which could negatively influence the survivorship potential of native butterflies,” the resolution added.
The resolution orders the Department of the Environment to work with conservationists and local lawmakers before the Board of Supervisors can approve the resolution and have it written into law.
The president of the North American Butterfly Association, Jeffrey Glassberg, told Fox News the butterflies that are sent to these events are often sick, dead or dying when they arrive and the commercial sale of butterflies can harm wild populations by spreading disease. Farmed butterflies can also interfere with scientists trying to track or study the native populations.
However, opponents argue the ban is counterintuitive.
“If they disallow the reintroduction they will actually be injuring the butterfly population,” Dale McClung, a spokesperson for the International Butterfly Association, according to the Huffington Post. “People are just going to order butterflies anyway.”
Previously, the city made headlines for banning toys from fast-food meals to cats being de-clawed.
Sources: Huffington Post, Fox News
More than a week after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, the number of dead has reached 3,631, while the injured tally has reached 12,487.
CNN reports there are 1,140 people missing, about 2 million are displaced from their homes and 400,000 are living in evacuation centers.
Some people are claiming this horrendous natural disaster was actually predicted in 2009 by self-proclaimed "prophet" Cindy Jacobs.
A video (below) of Jacobs making her prediction about the Philippines on Pat Robertson's 700 Club broadcast has gone viral on the web, reports The Christian Post.
Jacobs' 2009 prediction was supposed to span "the next two years," which would mean until 2011.
"I want you to pray. The next two years, the Lord is showing me, are going to be extremely significant for the Philippines," said Jacobs. "Either it's going to go on to greatness, it's going to be that transformed nation, or, I see that there's going to be some troubled times."
Jacobs then predicts extreme wealth for the tiny country.
"This is a time that God is going to pull down the spirit of corruption, and God is going to release the spirit of truth and righteousness into this nation, because righteousness exalts a nation," claimed Jacobs. "The Lord has given many promises for the Philippines. I mean, the Philippines is going to be one of the wealthiest nations on the earth."
In response, Next Media Animation (NMA), a Taiwanese animation news company has recently created a parody of Jacobs' prediction (video below).
"Granted, the tragic events surrounding the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, which has left more than 2200 people dead, have understandably prompted some serious soul-searching, but folks should be turning to more trustworthy outlets than a false prophet like Cindy Jacobs," states NMA on its YouTube page.
A new holiday ad by Toys R Us features a group of children who are told they are taking a nature field trip put on by the fictional "Meet the Trees Foundation."
While on the bus, the children are told by their guide: "Well, we're not going to waste anytime, let's play name that leaf! What's this one?"
A few of the kids shout out different leaf names, but most of them appear to be bored and dreading their trip to a forest (video below).
The guide later announces, "I'm a big fan of trees, but we're not going to the forest today, we're going to Toys R Us guys!"
Suddenly, the kids come alive and scream with delight.
"You get to choose any toy you want!" says the guide and the kids go ballistic.
When the bus pulls up outside a Toys R Us, the guide says, "Welcome to the world's greatest toy store!"
The kids run off the bus and into the store to choose their free toy.
The commercial unintentionally sends the message that the kids prefer plastic toys over nature, says Salon.com.
The only silver lining may be a study earlier this year in which young children were observed in a room with certain types of animals and toys.
According to CompanionAnimalPsychology.com, those kids chose to spend more time with fish, hamsters, tarantulas, green geckos and a California Mountain King snake than with toys such as dolls, an airplane, fire trucks, building blocks and rattles.
Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could generate $100 billion for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, according to a progressive think tank called the International Forum on Globalization.
The study found that Koch Industries holds up to 2 million acres of land in Alberta, Canada where the pipeline is meant to start. Koch Exploration Canada would profit from oil development on its land, and Koch Supply and Trading would profit from oil derivatives trading.
An estimated $50 million was donated to members of Congress who pushed for the pipeline to be built, according to the report. The Koch brothers have invested heavily in members of the Tea Party, and have encouraged inactivity in respect to the environment.
Despite these facts, Koch Industry officials have denied any connection to the pipeline in the past.
Environmentalists have feared the development of the pipeline since its conception, arguing that greenhouse gas emissions will increase and that there will be a higher risk of oil spills.
The Keystone is currently waiting for a final decision from the State Department, though it is unlikely one will be made before 2014.
If built, the pipeline will deliver 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.