The daughter of former Vice President Al Gore and 22 other environmentalists were arrested Wednesday during a protest of a Boston pipeline.
Karenna Gore was apparently part of an environmentalist protest which attempted to block construction of a pipeline by lying in a trench. She faces charges of disturbing the peace, trespassing and resisting arrest, and is set to be called before a court Friday.
Karenna was part of the group “Resist the Pipeline”, who have compared building the pipeline to a digging mass grave. Karenna has already scheduled an interview about her arrest with the far left new-site Democracy Now.
Police officers told the protesters they would be subject to arrest if they entered the construction site.
“We don’t want to arrest anybody. We’re just looking out for their safety and the safety of the workers,” Rachel McGuir, a Boston Police officer, told The Boston Globe. “We want them to know that we are here for them so they can demonstrate in a safe manner.”
Karenna Gore is the director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with Columbia University.
Al Gore had three daughters, including Karenna, and a son with his former wife Tipper. The couple divorced in June of 2010.
A new report published by the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B finds that temperature alone cannot account for early cherry tree blossoms, and light pollution from major cities also plays a role.
The research was put together by Spalding Associates, citizen scientists from the U.K. and The University of Exeter Penryn Campus, and found that buds were forming seven and a half days earlier than normal in areas with high amounts of artificial night-time light.
That could explain why Washington, D.C.’s famed Cherry Blossom trees have been blooming earlier, according to veteran meteorologist Anthony Watts. He points out that in a growing city, there’s more light now than in the past, potentially leading to earlier blooms of the cherry tree.
“Trees also respond to increased light, be it sunlight or light pollution from a growing and glowing city,” Watts wrote in a piece published Thursday on his blog Watts Up With That.
“We found that artificial lighting can accelerate tree leaves budding, and effectively the onset of spring by a week,” Professor Richard Ffrench-Constant of Exeter University wrote in a piece published on the university’s website.
While Watts agrees that light pollution is triggering early blooming, he takes issue with the notion others have made that man-made global warming has anything to do with it, especially as it pertains to D.C..
An article published by The Washington Post in 2012 only referenced warming as the driving factor behind the early buds. “Temperatures and blooms dates reveals Washington’s average March temperature has warmed 2.3 degrees in the last 90 years and that the cherry blossom peak bloom date has shifted a little more than 5 days earlier (based on simple linear regression),” the article reads. “In other words, real-world data support the overall idea that the D.C.’s March climate is warming and the blossoms’ bloom dates are shifting earlier in response.”
The author “didn’t even consider any other possibility,” Watts notes. “He assumed warming was the cause from the start, set out to prove it while excluding all other possibilities, and then bolstered his preformed conclusion with ‘real world data.’ Problem is, that’s not science, it’s activism.”
Watts concedes that D.C. temperatures have risen over recent years, but says that is a local phenomenon to major cities experiencing the “urban heat island” effect, not due to man-made global warming.
“That temperatures have risen in Washington, D.C. is no surprise,” Watts wrote in a piece ran on his website Thursday. “But I argue that it is a factor of the city growth and increased local heatsinks retaining heat at night rather than global warming.”
The Environmental Protection Agency defines a heatsink, or urban heat island, as, “Built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C).”
Simply put, the more people that live in a confined area, the more heat is produced from things like roads and buildings. Not only can they produce heat, they can also store it, making major cities warmer than the rural areas surrounding them.
Watts has also noted that placement of many of the temperature sensing stations are suspect, and Fox News ran a story in 2013 explaining that the government closed 600 temperature sensing stations due to the same concerns. Some temperature sensing stations were found to be situated right next to commercial air conditioning units, which produce their own heat and can skew the actual temperature data.
“The question remains as to why they continue to use a polluted mix of well-sited and poorly-sited stations,” Watts told Fox News.
The finding is important for its implications that certain unusual features of the environment can’t always just be explained by claiming global warming, highlighting the need for a deeper understanding of the issue.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks during a news conference December 17, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The senator urged the Senate to pass a major tax package that includes a permanent tax relief for American small businesses. Alex Wong/Getty Images. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks during a news conference December 17, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The senator urged the Senate to pass a major tax package that includes a permanent tax relief for American small businesses. Alex Wong/Getty Images.
Department of Labor officials consistently fail to respond to public-records requests within 20 days, as federal law requires, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
The Department of Labor (DOL) missed the deadline to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests 24 percent of the time in fiscal year 2014, but the most politically sensitive offices — like the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs and Office of the Secretary — missed the 20-day deadline 70 percent of the time in the cases reviewed.
Labor officials also failed to tell requesters about the delays, or explain the rationale behind them, according to the report. FOIA grants any American has the right to request public records from the government.
“The Freedom of Information Act is a hallmark for openness in our government,” reads a statement from Sen. Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. Johnson requested the GAO report.
“As the GAO report shows, the Labor Department is failing in its duty of transparency and accountability to the American people. Especially given the Labor Department’s recent onslaught of burdensome regulations, I urge Secretary [Thomas] Perez to improve the department’s compliance with FOIA so that the public fully knows what the department is doing.”
DOL also failed to notify FOIA requesters that they can receive help from a FOIA mediator through the Office of Government Information Services when disputes arose. This, despite multiple orders from the Department of Justice that they do so. (RELATED: Obama Killing Open Government With ‘Secrecy’)
FOIA requesters sued the Labor Department 68 times from 2005 to 2014 over its failure to comply with FOIA, and the department spent about $429,000 litigating FOIA lawsuits in fiscal year 2015, according to the report.
Labor received about 17,100 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2015.