Heat Records Are Broken Around the Globe as Earth Warms, Fast

When the Buddha was plying his craft he was known to advise certain individuals, that it was possible they might get away with modest indiscretions from time to time without ruining their lives. However, he’d then add that if those indiscretions were to become habitual, the Karma created would attract to them exactly what corrective measures they required to straighten their butt’s out, or something along those lines! He would also invariably add that it worked exactly the same way on the positive side of the equation, hoping to motivate as many as possible to make better decisions.

Then he was known to go into his favorite pet peeve, which was the multiplier effect when people or groups of people would join forces for bad intentions! It could become more difficult and time consuming for the “Law of Cause & Effect” to concoct the appropriate response for each individual involved. But not to worry, in due time each participant would be dealt the exact measure of what they deserved due to their level of participation. In other words, finely customized reward or punishment for all, depending!

Now we’re dealing with what the consequences of our climate crisis are going to be, for who? At this point I think the question is, who is not guilty on some level of making a contribution to global heat readings setting records all over the globe. Thankfully, we don’t have to make those computations, because “The Law of Cause & Effect” will be doing it for us.

In a way, I’m glad the Buddha doesn’t have to be here to see how badly he failed in convincing enough people about how Karma works, thereby allowing this tragedy now on our hands, to get so bad.


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Heat Records Are Broken Around the Globe as Earth Warms, Fast

From north to south, temperatures are surging as greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and combine with effects from El Niño.

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The past three days were quite likely the hottest in Earth’s modern history, scientists said on Thursday, as an astonishing surge of heat across the globe continued to shatter temperature records from North America to Antarctica.

The spike comes as forecasters warn that the Earth could be entering a multiyear period of exceptional warmth driven by two main factors: continued emissions of heat-trapping gases, mainly caused by humans burning oil, gas and coal; and the return of El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern.

Earth’s Hottest Days on Record Were July 3-5

Daily surface air temperatures worldwide since 1979

A chart shows daily average air temperatures worldwide for each day since 1979 and ends on July 5, 2023. On Tuesday, global average temperatures rose to a new high of 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Source: Climate Reanalyzer, Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, based on data from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Forecast System

By Elena Shao/The New York Times

Already, the surge has been striking. The planet just experienced its warmest June ever recorded, researchers said, with deadly heat waves scorching Texas, Mexico and India. Off the coasts of Antarctica, sea ice levels this year have plummeted to record lows.

And in the North Atlantic, the ocean has been off-the-charts hot. Surface temperatures in May were 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.6 degrees Celsius, warmer than typical for this time of year, breaking previous records by an unusually large margin.

The sharp jump in temperatures has unsettled even those scientists who have been tracking climate change.

“It’s so far out of line of what’s been observed that it’s hard to wrap your head around,” said Brian McNoldy, a senior research scientist at the University of Miami. “It doesn’t seem real.”

On Tuesday, global average temperatures climbed to 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 17 Celsius, making it the hottest day Earth has experienced since at least 1940, when records began, and very likely before that, according to an analysis by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Since that was an average, parts of the globe felt that extra heat more forcefully. For instance, in the Southern United States and Northern Mexico, where the heat index has reached triple digits, climate change has made the ongoing heat wave about 5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than it would have been otherwise, according to scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

The overall warming of the planet is “well within the realm of what scientists had projected would happen” as humans continue to pump vast amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, said Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth and the payments company Stripe.

On the whole, Earth has warmed roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century and will continue to grow hotter until humans essentially halt all emissions from fossil fuels and stop deforestation.

But other factors layered on top of human-caused warming may have helped temperatures accelerate dramatically in recent months. For instance, a cyclical phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation causes year-to-year fluctuations by shifting heat in and out of deeper ocean layers. Global surface temperatures tend to be cooler during La Niña years and hotter during El Niño years.

“A big reason we’re seeing so many records shattered is that we’re transitioning out of an unusually long three-year La Niña, which suppressed temperatures, and into a strong El Niño,” Dr. Hausfather said.

That likely portends even more heat is coming. The current El Niño is just getting underway and many researchers don’t expect it to peak until December or January, with global temperatures seeing another surge in the months thereafter. That means that next year could be even hotter than this year, scientists said.

Other dynamics may be at work, too. The North Atlantic has seen record heat since early March, before El Niño conditions began. One factor may be a subtropical high pressure system known as the Azores High that has weakened the winds blowing over the ocean and limited the amount of dust blowing from the Sahara, which normally helps cool the ocean.

Those weather patterns could change in the weeks ahead, said Dr. McNoldy of the University of Miami. “But even then we’d probably be going from insanely record-breaking temperatures down to just extremely record-breaking,” he said.

The soaring heat has led some meteorologists to increase their warnings about this year’s hurricane season. On Thursday, forecasters at Colorado State University said they now expect an above-average Atlantic hurricane season, with around 18 tropical cyclones, a reversal from earlier forecasts of a quieter-than-usual year. Hurricanes in the Atlantic are often suppressed during El Niño years, but that may not be true this year because of the unusually warm ocean waters, which can fuel storms.

Other researchers have suggested that recent efforts to clean up sulfur pollution from ships around the world may be pushing up temperatures slightly, since sulfur dioxide tends to reflect sunlight and cool the planet somewhat. That precise impact is still being debated, however.

“There does seem to be this unusual convergence of warming factors right now,” said Gabriel Vecchi, a climate scientist at Princeton. “But this is all happening in a world where we’ve been increasing greenhouse gases for the past 150 years, and that really loads the dice and makes it much more likely that we’re going to get pushed into record-breaking territory.”

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
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“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Heat Records Are Broken Around the Globe as Earth Warms, Fast

Heat Records Are Broken Around the Globe as Earth Warms, Fast

Here’s a case of “Group malfeasance, blamed on poor judgement, from the consumption of too much wine!” A nine month investigation of the American chapter of “The Court of Master Sommeliers” has revealed a widespread expectation/demand of sexual favors in return for mentoring female applicants, undergoing the rigorous exam process, required for membership and recognition as an official Sommellier. 

This follows the complaint of 21 women that their supposed mentors, had pressured them for sex, apparently a well-established condition with a long history. So far 22 men have been investigated. 

The point being, that when a lowly activity becomes “institutionalized” in a grouping of people, ie: company, sport, union, association, religion, etc, it can go on undetected for a long time. It may even acquire an almost “accepted as part of the game” kind of cover, with those participating considering it, “just one of their perks”, and no big deal! That is, until someone blows the lid off.

That’s when everything changes for those who took part. It is not after all, that they didn’t know there was something amiss about the game they were playing. They just thought they had a really good cover! Instead, that cover just went poof, as all covers eventually do. Just another example that, “What Goes Around Comes Around!” Its just difficult to predict when.


Colombo Family Crime Boss and 12 Others Are Arrested, Prosecutors Say

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday accuses the organization of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort a labor union.

Credit…Jesse Ward


For two decades, the leadership of the Colombo crime family extorted a Queens labor union, federal prosecutors said — an effort that continued unabated even as members of the mob clan cycled through prison, the family’s notorious longtime boss died, and as federal law enforcement closed in.

Over time, what began as a Colombo captain’s shakedown of a union leader, complete with expletive-laced threats of violence, expanded into a cottage industry, prosecutors said, as the Colombo organization assumed control of contracting and union business, with side operations in phony construction certificates, marijuana trafficking and loan-sharking.

On Tuesday, 11 reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family, including the mob clan’s entire leadership, were charged in a labor racketeering case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

All but two of the men were arrested Tuesday morning across New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said. Another was surrendered to the authorities on Tuesday; another defendant, identified as the family consigliere, remained at large, prosecutors said.

The indictment accuses the Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort an unnamed labor union that represented construction workers, using threats of violence to secure payments and arrange contracts that would benefit the crime family.

The charges are an ambitious effort by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take down one of the city’s five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, which is the heart of the racketeering charge, the indictment charges several misdeeds often associated with the mob, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan-sharking and falsifying federal labor safety paperwork.

Detention hearings for the defendants in Brooklyn federal court continued into the evening Tuesday, as they entered not-guilty pleas to the charges; prosecutors had asked the court to keep 10 of the defendants in custody.

“Everything we allege in this investigation proves history does indeed repeat itself,” Michael J. Driscoll, F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge, said in a statement. “The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and well.”

Around 2001, prosecutors said, Vincent Ricciardo — a reported captain in the family, also known as “Vinny Unions” — began to demand a portion of a senior labor union official’s salary. When Mr. Ricciardo was convicted and imprisoned on federal racketeering charges in the mid-2000s, prosecutors said, his cousin continued to collect those payments.

Starting in late 2019, prosecutors said, the senior leadership of the Colombo family became directly involved in the shakedown, which extended to broader efforts to siphon money from the union: for example, manipulating the selection of union health fund vendors to contract with entities connected to the family, and diverting more than $10,000 each month from the fund to the family.

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Andrew Russo, 87, who prosecutors describe as the family boss, is accused of taking part in those efforts, as well as a money-laundering scheme to send the proceeds of the union extortion through intermediaries to Colombo associates. He was among nine defendants charged with racketeering.

Mr. Russo appeared in court virtually from the hospital Tuesday; he is set to be detained upon his release, pending a future bail hearing.

The family’s infamous longtime boss, Carmine J. Persico, died in federal custody in North Carolina in March 2019.

Federal law enforcement learned of the extortion scheme about a year ago, prosecutors wrote in a court filing Tuesday; investigators gathered thousands of hours of wiretapped calls and conversations recorded by a confidential witness, wrote the prosecutors, who also described law-enforcement surveillance of meetings among the accused conspirators.

The authorities said they repeatedly captured Mr. Ricciardo and his associates threatening to kill the union official. “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids,” Mr. Ricciardo was recorded saying in June.

On another occasion cited by prosecutors in the memo seeking his detention, Mr. Ricciardo directed the union official to hire a consultant selected by the Colombo family, saying: “It’s my union and that’s it.” Prosecutors said his activities were overseen by a Colombo soldier and the consigliere who remains at large.

Much of the activity outlined in the indictment took place while the defendants were either in prison or on supervised release for prior federal mob-related convictions. Theodore Persico Jr., described as a family captain and soldier, was released from federal prison in 2020 and, despite a directive not to associate with members of organized crime, “directed much of the labor racketeering scheme,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Persico, 58, is set to inherit the role of boss after Mr. Russo, prosecutors wrote.

Several of the defendants were named in what prosecutors described as a fraudulent safety training scheme, in which they falsified state and federal paperwork that is required for construction workers to show they have completed safety training courses.

One of the defendants, John Ragano — whom prosecutors say is a soldier in the Bonanno crime family — is accused of setting up phony occupational safety training schools in New York, which prosecutors said were “mills” that provided fraudulent safety training certificates to hundreds of people.

In October 2020, prosecutors said, an undercover law enforcement officer visited one of the schools in Ozone Park, Queens, and received, from Mr. Ricciardo’s cousin, a blank test form and an answer sheet; weeks later, the agent returned to pick up his federal safety card and paid $500.

The purported schools were also used for meetings with members of La Cosa Nostra — the group of crime families commonly known as the Mafia — and to store illegal drugs and fireworks, according to the indictment.

Mr. Ragano wasn’t charged on the racketeering count, although prosecutors also sought his detention pending trial. In addition to the racketeering count, several defendants, including Mr. Ricciardo and his cousin, were charged with extortion, conspiracy, fraud and conspiracy to make false statements.

William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.


An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people identified in an indictment as members of the Colombo crime family. It is 11, not more than a dozen.