Five at 8 – 2/10/10: Where’s your global warming?

First, here’s this week’s Wednesday chat on MPR’s Morning Edition with Phil Picardi:


1) Washington is getting hit with more snow, Minnesota glaciers have returned to the bottom of driveways. Where’s your global warming now, scientists and conspiracy theorists?

Right there, according to some researchers quoted on today:


But there have been hints that it was coming. The 2009 U.S. Climate Impacts Report found that large-scale cold-weather storm systems have gradually tracked to the north in the U.S. over the past 50 years. While the frequency of storms in the middle latitudes has decreased as the climate has warmed, the intensity of those storms has increased. That’s in part because of global warming — hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow. Colder air, by contrast, is drier; if we were in a truly vicious cold snap, like the one that occurred over much of the East Coast during parts of January, we would be unlikely to see heavy snowfall.


Jeff Masters at Weather Underground says the south can expect less snow in the coming decades, we get more:


It’s not hard at all to get temperatures cold enough for snow in a world experiencing global warming. According to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the globe warmed 0.74°C (1.3°F) over the past 100 years. There will still be colder than average winters in a world that is experiencing warming, with plenty of opportunities for snow. The more difficult ingredient for producing a record snowstorm is the requirement of near-record levels of moisture. Global warming theory predicts that global precipitation will increase, and that heavy precipitation events–the ones most likely to cause flash flooding–will also increase. This occurs because as the climate warms, evaporation of moisture from the oceans increases, resulting in more water vapor in the air.


Then, as part of our global warming preparations, perhaps we should consider building parking garages for Minneapolis residents, who now have their options cut in half.

2) When I was on with Cathy Wurzer with my regular Wednesday morning chat last week, I mentioned PBS’ Frontline was about to air a program that looked at regional airlines and the double standard of safety. Last night, the program aired.

Here’s a segment of it:

And this segment provides a glimpse into the life of a regional airline pilot:

Throughout the program, however, the Colgan Air crash in Buffalo was credited for finally putting the spotlight on the problem of smaller airlines masquerading as big airlines. That spotlight actually was directed by MPR in a 1994 series on a Northwest Airlink crash in Hibbing in 1994, but officials didn’t do much to change things.

3) A new twist on reality shows. One of the people dies. For Deadliest Catch fans, there’s news this morning that Captain Phil Harris has died, a week after suffering a stroke. We saw him literally work and smoke himself to death:

4) What would make you donate a kidney to a stranger?

A new release from


Thomas Wirt, a 69 year old father and grandfather from Lewiston, Minnesota knew he would die without receiving a lifesaving transplant very soon. Cynthia Love, a 51 mother from Altamonte Springs, Florida and a complete stranger to Thomas found Thomas on the Internet – and she decided she would offer to be the person to save his life. On Valentines Day Cynthia will meet Thomas a stranger she met through and donate a kidney to him.

Through the miracle of the Internet the two strangers met on and after testing Cynthia found out that she was a match for Thomas, and on February 17, 2010 Cynthia will save Thomas’s life by donating her kidney to him at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester Minnesota.


5) There may be a problem trying one of the suspects in the Seward Market killings as an adult. Area newspapers report today that one of them doesn’t know his birth date.

How is this possible? MPR’s Annie Baxter may have answered that question with a recent story about why so many East African immigrants have Jan. 1 birthdates:


…many immigrants coming to the U.S. never had birth certificates or left them behind when fleeing conflict. Determining real birth dates gets complicated — certain cultures simply do not celebrate birthdays, so no one remembers them, or they may come from a country that uses a completely different calendar system.

“It’s understood it’s an estimate. But under those circumstances, there’s really nothing else we can do other than make that estimate,” said Cabrera.


Bonus: A house listing in Wisconsin:


4 Bdrm 4 bath 4,400 sq./ft. hillside home on 4 plus acres, 7 min. from Middleton. Master suite with whirlpool and deck. Fieldstone fireplace, wraparound porch, storm/wine cellar, spectacular room to grow marijuana, open floor plan, elevator and handicap accessible with in-law suite. 2 1/2 car garage with lower level shop. Separate 40′ x 60′ commercial grade shop with loft, office and 3/4 bath. Perfect for toys or animals. Middleton-Cross Plains schools. $675,000


(h/t: Paul Tosto)


Gov. Tim Pawlenty has proposed raising the sentence for first-degree sex offenders from 12 to 25 years. He says such offenders need to be “locked up for as long as possible.” Should the legal system’s priority be to reform sex offenders, or just put them away?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Toyota’s recalls now number more than 8 million cars worldwide. Along with government’s examination of what is causing everything from gas pedals to steering are questions about whether the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration is too close to the companies it’s investigating.

Second hour: Midmorning talks with two of Minnesota’s top crime fighters about a busy year in which they’ve investigated a major national security case, taken down the nation’s second largest Ponzi scheme, and gone after police corruption.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Colin Kahl, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, will discuss the war in Iraq.

Second hour: On the eve of Minnesota’s State of the State address, a debate from the Intelligence Squared Series on the question: “Is California the first failed state?”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Political trivia with NPR’s Ken Rudin.

Second hour: Every year, Millions of Americans are diagnosed with some form of mental disorder — depression, bi-polar disorder, or PTSD. Each listed and defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – the DSM. On Wednesday — a new draft of the DSM appears. What gets left in — and out — has implications for the courts, insurance, and you.

Recommended reading: Children labeled ‘bipolar’ may get a new diagnosis. (NPR)

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Millions of kids are now diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But this could change soon if the American Psychiatric Association has its way. It’s proposing a new diagnosis, and it could change the way doctors treat kids.