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We need peace, lying politicians, reshoring U.S. manufacturing, 9-to-5 jobs, understanding El Niño, baseball rules, dumbo octopus
October 23, 2023 - The Nett Report
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“If you don’t speak up and frame the conversation, you leave all the others to react. The frame for this has to be, ‘I, as a human being, speak to you as a friend and not a boss. And I put my arms around you and say, this is not humanity.’ Try and stay away from the politics … This is a time … to see people.” - Richard Edelman, CEO, Edelman, in regard to corporations standing up to the Israel terrorist attacks.
A message from the United Nations
I think all of us know and feel Washington is broken. The question is, what to do about it? … I don’t think there’s a silver-bullet fix … But I do think we can create and energize people to get involved, hold people accountable, and understand the issues.” - Heather Manchin, founder and CEO, Americans Together.
Politicians convince followers using facts or sincerity
We have come to expect that many politicians are willing to mislead the public with their statements. An October 22, 2023, article in PsyPost reported on research about politicians and how the public perceives their statements. According to PsyPost, there are two lenses through which the public understands honesty. The first is called “fact speaking,” which “relies on evidence and emphasizes veracity to communicate the actual state of the world.” The second is referred to as “belief speaking,” which “focuses on the communicator’s apparent sincerity, but pays little attention to factual accuracy.” The researchers analyzed nearly four million tweets. They found “that for both parties, the more a tweet expresses fact-speaking, the more likely it is to point to a trustworthy domain.” However, “the findings illustrate that misinformation can be linked to a unique conception of honesty that emphasizes sincerity over accuracy, and which appears to be used by Republicans – but not Democrats – as a gateway to sharing low-quality information.” PsyPost is an independent science news website dedicated to reporting the latest research on human behavior, cognition, and society.
What is a strong El Niño? It's not about rain
El Niño has been in the news lately, with numerous stories reporting there will be a strong El Niño this year. Because strong El Niños have been associated with some of California’s wettest rainfall years, people and the media interpret a strong El Niño to mean it's going to rain a lot. A strong El Niño is not about rain; it is about the sea surface temperature (SST) in an area of the equatorial Pacific, with the primary indicator an area designated El Niño 3,4. To be an El Niño, the SST has to be .5o Celsius (C) warmer than the historical average. A strong El Niño simply means that SST will be greater than or equal to 1.5o C than average in El Niño-3.4. A very strong El Niño will be one that is 2.0o C greater than average. That’s it.
According to its October 12, 2023, El Nino Advisory, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center thinks there is a 75-85% chance of a strong El Niño through November and January and that there is a 30% chance of a “historically strong” event that rivals 2015-16 and 1997-98. What does all this have to do with precipitation in California? During El Niño years, there is a greater chance there will be more precipitation than average. Strong and very strong El Niño events boost the chances even more. However, sometimes El Niño years are dryer than normal, and, like last year, there are La Nina events (El Niño 3,4 is .5o C less than average and more likely to be dry) that are wet rather than dry. Scientists are confident there will be El Niño conditions into 2024, with an 80% chance they will last at least until the March-May time period.
There are NOAA predictions that some parts of the country will be warmer and wetter than normal. The charts below assess those probabilities for the period December, January, February. NIDIS, the National Integrated Drought Information System, says “El Niño is here and expected to persist and peak in winter, although outlooks currently suggest equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal conditions. This is in contrast to the traditional El Niño precipitation pattern of a normal to wet southern portion of the California-Nevada region.”
Half of EV owners will go back to internal combustion powered vehicles
A study from S&P Global Mobility reported in Electrek on October 17, 2023, found that half of electric vehicle (EV) owners go back to internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles as either a replacement or second vehicle for their household, “with the exception of Tesla owners, who are (no surprise) notorious for their fierce brand loyalty.” There were three reasons: pricing, infrastructure (for charging), and range anxiety. Others felt better having an ICE or hybrid vehicle as a backup plan.
Average Body temperature is not really 98.6
We have used it as a standard for a long time, but the average body temperature of 98.6 might not really be the average. According to an October 12, 2023, story in The New York Times, more than 150 years ago, Dr. Carl Wunderlich, a German physician, established 98.6 as the standard after taking more than a million measurements from 25,000 people. A study published in September ”found the average is closer to 97.9 degrees” after evaluating the temperatures of 126,000 people.
The human body “weathers” because of stress
An October 17, 2023, story in The Washington Post says, “stress is weathering our bodies from inside out.” When we have stress, our bodies trigger the fight-or-flight response, which “floods the bloodstream with hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol.” Over time, the body produces too much of these hormones, and “the body’s machinery malfunctions.” The story reports it is “the repeated triggering of this process year after year – the persistence of striving to overcome barriers - that leads to poor health.”
The Nett Light-Side
“Our Aboriginal culture has taught us to be still and to wait. We do not try to hurry things up. We let them follow their natural course – like the seasons. We watch the moon in each of its phases. We wait for the rain to fill our rivers and water the thirsty earth.” - Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, Aboriginal activist, educator, artist, and 2021 Senior Australian of the Year.
Baseball sees shorter game times, increased attendance, and more strikeouts
The Major League Baseball rule changes implemented earlier this year have shortened games by 24 minutes on average, according to an October 15, 2023, story in The New York Times Morning Report. Games now take two hours and 40 minutes on average, “thanks to a 15-second clock that prevents players from dawdling between pitches.” Attendance rose 10 percent, “its highest level in six years.” Another new data point unrelated to the rule changes: there are now more strikeouts than hits, likely because “pitchers have become stronger and can throw harder. Computer analysis has taught them how to spin pitches even more effectively than before.”
Rare dumbo octopus spotted off Hawaii
A September 27, 2023, story in The Washington Post featured a video of a rare dumbo octopus captured nearly one mile below the surface. “The genus swims by flapping its ear-like fins, resembling the Disney elephant Dumbo, and uses its webbed arms to steer. The animal lives in the deep open ocean at depths of at least 13,100 feet (2.5 miles), perhaps much deeper.
About Carl Nettleton
Carl Nettleton is an award-winning writer, speaker, thought partner, facilitator, and subject-matter expert regarding water, climate, sustainability, the ocean, and binational U.S.-Mexico border affairs. Nettleton Strategies, the consultancy he founded in 2007, is a trusted source of analysis and advice on issues at the forefront of public policy, business, and the environment. He helps people and organizations to think strategically about their options for change. He is also the founder of OpenOceans Global, a nonprofit addressing ocean plastic in a new way.