We Only Have The Faintest Idea Of The Catastrophic Effects Of Climate Change

INSIDE: Bob Menendez ... Jack Smith ... Donald Trump
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 1: An aerial view of New Orleans can be seen from a drone above the Mississippi River on April 1, 2023 in New Orleans, La. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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What Climate Change Looks Like

While scientists well understand the physics of climate change, they don’t completely understand the effects it will have on a wide range of geophysical systems and processes, meaning we are embarking on a planet-size laboratory experiment in which we and every other living thing are the guinea pigs.

Take, for example, what is happening in New Orleans. Drought in the Midwest is contributing to record low river levels on the Mississippi that allows saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico upriver as far as New Orleans, threatening the drinking water supply of hundreds of thousands of people. Salt water is not only not potable but it can wreak havoc on drinking water infrastructure.

Consider this remarkable mitigation strategy just casually dropped into news articles about the official response:

The Corps of Engineers is also getting barges to transport water that can be combined with water at the treatment facilities for safe drinking. Colonel Jones said about 15 million gallons will be delivered in the coming days, but the demand at treatment facilities could ultimately rise to at least 36 million gallons per day. Colonel Jones said that the Army Corps was working to get access to more barges but that he was confident that figure could be met.

The scale of that undertaking is remarkable. It’s not clear how sustainable it is, either as a one-time stopgap this year or as a recurring strategy for each future dry summer.

In the meantime, as a temporary measure, the Army Corps is adding 25 feet of height to the underwater sill it built across the river below New Orleans over the summer. Because salt water is denser than fresh water, it sinks to the river bottom. A sill – like a dam but not breaching the surface of the water – is intended to keep the salt water from creeping further upstream while allowing fresh water to continue to flow downstream.

Long-term forecasts suggest that rain levels in the Mississippi River drainage won’t be enough to raise river levels sufficiently to flush the salt water down stream for weeks or months.

Menendez Hangs On For Dear Life

Facing calls to resign after his Golden-Duke-worthy indictment for bribery and extortion, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is scheduled to hold what is expected to be a defiant news conference Monday morning.

Veteran War Crimes Prosecutor Joins Jack Smith’s Team

Alex Whiting, who served as a deputy to Special Counsel Jack Smith when he was at The Hague prosecuting war crimes in Kosovo, has joined Smith’s team.

The History Of ‘Stop The Steal’

WSJ: For Donald Trump, ‘Stop the Steal’ Never Gets Old

She Knows Trump’s M.O.

Colorado state judge issues protective order in Disqualification Clause case against Donald Trump prohibiting the parties in the case from making threatening or intimidating statements.

Meanwhile, TPM’s Josh Kovensky catches us up on the parallel Minnesota case.

Passantino Sues Weissmann

Former Cassidy Hutchinson lawyer Stefan Passantino has sued former Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann for defamation, alleging that a Weissmann tweet falsely accused Passantino of coaching Hutchinson to lie to the Jan. 6 committee.

Shutdown Watch

Politico: McCarthy reverses on Ukraine aid as GOP scrambles on funding bills

McGonigal Pleads Guilty In Second Criminal Case

Former senior FBI official Charles McGonigal pleaded guilty in federal court in DC as part of a plea deal to hiding cash payments he was receiving from a man who used to work for Albanian intelligence. McGonigal previously pleaded guilty in federal court in New York to a conspiracy arising from his work to get Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska removed from the U.S. sanctions list.

Writers Unions Reaches Tentative Deal

An apparent breakthrough after five straights days of negotiations could bring an end to the five-month-old writers strike.

Biden To Join UAW Picket Line

As the UAW expands its strike against automakers, President Biden is planning to take the extraordinary step of joining the picket line Tuesday.

2024 Ephemera

  • In a remarkable bit of self-awareness, the WaPo is calling its new poll with ABC News showing a 10-percentage-point Trump lead over Biden an “outlier.”
  • GOP donors are giving up on Trump alternatives
  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) pitches donors on a “path to victory” in Arizona by courting Republicans.
  • Once again, Biden trolls Republicans with a video of what they intend as criticisms but which he’s happy to be accused of:

Jimmy Carter Defies All Expectations

On the verge of his 99th birthday, and seven months after entering hospice care, former President Jimmy Carter participated in the Plains Peanut Festival over the weekend:

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