CLIENT QUOTE: "

King Kong… top notch service, incredible drivers, clean, well equipped vehicles, on time—every time! Thanks guys…. you ROCK!!!

" Elaine Lee—Producer 5th and Sunset Los Angeles
CLIENT QUOTE: "

I wanted to give Rich another glowing report, He was AMAZING on our shoot. The most helpful driver I’ve ever had. I’ll definitely be requesting him on future shoots.

Thanks for everything guys!

" Adrienne Burton – Freelance Prod Coordinator
CLIENT QUOTE: "

King Kong has great motorhomes and the best drivers in the business. Working with you guys is always easy and a pleasure.

" Cat Burkley-Portfolio One
CLIENT QUOTE: "

The Helios is a great motorhome. Not only is it energy efficient but it offers a large space for production to work in. The copy machine is great because you can wirelessly print and make color copies and send faxes. The satellite phones came in handy when we realized we didn’t have any cell service on location. We received several compliments throughout the shoot day. Crew walked into the motorhome in awe of such a beautiful space.

" Courtney Witherspoon-Production Coordinator Three One O
CLIENT QUOTE: "

You guys did a phenomenal job with the Helios. And Rob, as always, went above and beyond for us.

" Dan Kae—Assistant Production Supervisor
CLIENT QUOTE: "

Rusty, Bruce and the guys at King Kong were a crucial asset to my photoshoot.  They took a lot of stress off of my plate and came through when I needed them, allowing me to focus 100% on the production.  Without a doubt, King Kong is now my go-to for production vehicles and I do not hesitate to recommend them to my colleagues.  And, not only is Rusty the best and most helpful driver I have ever had the pleasure of working with, he is also awesome with a fog machine!

" Brett Spencer-Producer, Nastygal.com
CLIENT QUOTE: "

I just wanted to send you a quick message and let you know how amazing Rich is. I have hired motos from all over and this was by far our best experience. Really nice to work with great people

" Crystal Raymond- Chinese Laundry
CLIENT QUOTE: "

Just wanted to say thanks for the awesome customer service. Our driver was friendly and professional. He arrived early and had everything ready to go for us. The motorhome was clean and in perfect shape. Every detail matters on a shoot to help keep everything running smoothly. We love working with King Kong!

" Jamie Williams- That Girl Productions
CLIENT QUOTE: "

We’ve used the Helios twice now and have been quite impressed each time.  It has everything production could want AND it’s earth friendly! We will use the Helios on every job in which we need a moho.

" Mario D’Amici—Production Coordinator, Beef Films
CLIENT QUOTE: "

…the moho was super nice, everything was great! I will definitely rent it again!!

" Susan Borbely – Prod Coordinator
CLIENT QUOTE: "

Thank you so much for lovely Eko lav — definitely the nicest port-a-potty I’ve ever used!

" Amanda – Producer
CLIENT QUOTE: "

We truly enjoyed working from the Helios, the attention to detail to make it an Eco friendly asset to our industry should be commended. The quiet workspace you get when running on the solar power is delightful! Rob was pleasant to be around and always willing to help out. Thank you Rob and King Kong for bringing us the Helios!

" Rochelle Savory-Assistant Production Supervisor
CLIENT QUOTE: "
Thanks again for helping out with our party. The restrooms worked out great and the service was awesome as usual!
" Steve Brazeel
CLIENT QUOTE: "

You guys are the BEST!

" Marie D’Amore—Production Supervisor, HSI
CLIENT QUOTE: "

North Six has been working with King Kong for many years now.  Not only is their customer service unparalleled, but their fleet of motorhomes is always clean, reliable, and exactly what we need to support our photo productions.

" Kyd Kisvarday—Producer, North 6
CLIENT QUOTE: "
King Kong has the best equipment & drivers in the biz.
" Tom Baker – gangboss
CLIENT QUOTE: "

The drivers were awesome to be with.  Hard working drivers!!   It really stands out when the drivers jump in to help set up base camp, and tear it down.  Not to mention always having a fresh green tea for me just when I needed it every time.  They really were great and I’d ask for them anytime we get vehicles from you. Thanks!

" Mary Brooks – 3 Star Productions

Archive for March, 2013

March Madness ad haul spirals higher than any sport

March 28th, 2013  | 

The Super Bowl and NFL playoffs are a hoot and the World Series rocks, but no sports championship series takes in more TV ad revenue than the NCAA men’s college basketball championships.

Sorry, NFL icons. Too bad, baseball superstars. March Madness has slam-dunked you.

Total TV ad revenue for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s men’s basketball tournament surpassed $1 billion for the first time in 2012 — making it larger than any professional post-season sports championship, reports Kantar Media, a media research specialist.

And it will only get bigger this year on the multi-channeled CBS and TBS broadcasts. But the driver isn’t just the numbers — it may also be cultural.

“People want to believe in something,” says Barbara Lippert, advertising and pop culture columnist at MediaPost.com. “You get to see these kids before they get all corrupt.”

The metrics favor college basketball. There are 68 teams competing for the college basketball championship, playing many more post-season games than baseball’s run to the World Series or pro football’s playoffs and Super Bowl.

“Football may be the national pastime, but college basketball is in the driver’s seat,” says Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar.

No one else has hit that $1 billion post-season plateau. The NFL post-season took in $976 million in TV ad spending last year, Kantar reports. The NBA’s postseason totaled $537 million. Major League Baseball was a distant third at $354 million.

Ad prices for the college basketball championship game will hit a high-water mark this year, too, at about $1.4 million per 30-second slot. (This year’s Super Bowl 30-second slots on CBS cost up to $3.8 million.)

Credit the college crowd.

“More upsets and crazy things happen in college sports,” Lippert says. “That’s why they call it March Madness.”

March Madness marketers try an ambush

March 28th, 2013  | 

Savvy marketers are finding low-budget ways to digitally link their brands with the upcoming college basketball championship, but without paying huge ad or sponsorship fees.

In basketball, they call it the trick shot.

In marketing, they call it the ambush.

Even with March Madness — the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship — just getting under way, several savvy marketers already are trying to get a digital piece of it without the huge expense of sponsorship or in-game advertising.

Such familiar brands as Pizza Hut, Hormel’s Spam and even the Hooters chain are trying to link with the social and cultural buzz of the tournament — but are carefully stepping around any legal issues by avoiding the use of trademarked terms such as “March Madness” or “Final Four” in their marketing.

As the price of sponsorship and advertising grows, it creates incentives to ambush market, says Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media. “I call that smart marketing.”

While the NCAA won’t comment on specific marketers it believes infringe on its trademark, the amount of ambush marketing “has been steady” in the past few years, says Jay Rossello, director of legal affairs.

The costs of sponsorship and of championship game advertising are enormous. One top-tier marketer spent upwards of $35 million for its NCAA sponsorship, according to an Adweek estimate, and 30-second ad slots during the men’s basketball championship game on CBS could reach a record $1.4 million.

No wonder the ambushers are out in force. They are:

• Giving away pizzas. Pizza Hut is offering college basketball fans, who sign up in advance, the chance to win a coupon for a free medium pizza with one topping ($8 value) if all four No. 1 seeds in the tournament advance to the semi-finals in Atlanta.

Never mind that Pizza Hut is not a sponsor or in-game advertiser. “We are not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes,” says Caroline Masullo, director of digital marketing. ‘We consider this to be smart marketing.”

• Trying to go viral. Spam has posted on YouTube a video of a goofy character, “Sir Can A Lot,” who runs around screaming that he can’t get over “the madness of March.” It’s using the video to target fans on social media.

“The ‘madness of march’ video was created because we looked at March and figured that would be trending,” says Nicole Behne, senior brand manager.

• Creating buzz. Hooter’s is offering downloadable deals during the tournament that it’s dubbed Hooters Hooky basketball coupons. Among the offerings: free fried pickles. “We decided to be the official sponsor,” says marketing chief Dave Henninger, “for the passion of watching college basketball tournaments.”

‘Smart’ LED bulbs controlled by iPhones

March 25th, 2013  | 

NEW YORK (AP) — LED bulbs seem to be the future of home lighting: They save electricity, they’re durable and they don’t contain mercury like compact fluorescents. But having them produce white light like any old light bulb is like using a computer as a doorstop.

That’s because each LED, or light-emitting diode, is a small chip, the product of the same sort of manufacturing process that spawned the digital revolution. The chips are backed up by more electronics in the stem of the bulb. These bulbs are smart, or at least they can be if we make them that way.

Philips, the world’s largest maker of LED lighting, does make them that way. The company has produced the first kit of LED bulbs whose color and brightness can be wirelessly controlled from your iPhone. I tested the Philips bulbs and, in descending order of “smarts,” I tried out some GreenWave Reality bulbs whose brightness can be controlled by an app. I also looked at a cheap off-brand color-changing bulb that comes with a remote control.

Why would you want to control your light bulbs from your phone? I haven’t really found a good answer yet. On their own, these bulbs aren’t a big deal. Few people will pony up $200 for the Philips kit with three smart bulbs. But these products are still interesting because they point the way to the future of lighting. Remember: The first Apple computer was a niche product, too —and look where that went.

RELATED: Smart appliances will soon talk to your phone, each other, and the power company

RELATED: The origin of smart appliances

Each Philips bulb produces light equivalent to a 50-watt incandescent bulb. Additional bulbs cost $59 each. That compares with slightly brighter, non-smart, white-light Philips LED bulbs that cost $25 each.

The Hue bulbs cost more, Philips says, because there are five unique and expensive lime-green LEDs in each bulb, balanced by four red-orange ones and two blue ones. Together, these LEDs produce a range of colors, including a nice span of “whites,” from warm to cold.

In the future, the price difference between color-mixing LEDs and regular ones will shrink, and perhaps vanish. Adding color and wireless controls to bulbs will cost very little, so we might as well get used to it.

In fact, I found a cheaper alternative to the Hue: an $18 bulb of the TorchStar brand. Amazon.com sells a bunch of similar ones under different names. This bulb doesn’t talk to your phone. Instead, it comes with a small remote that lets you pick from 16 colors. Unfortunately, the “white” color is a nasty bluish shade, reminiscent of a bad fluorescent tube. It’s also a lot dimmer than the Hue.

On the plus side, the TorchStar produces more vivid, saturated colors than the Hue. To produce a good white, the Hue sacrificed the ability to produce really deep colors.

I also found the remote on the TorchStar pretty friendly. Do I really want to whip out my iPhone or iPad and fire up the Hue app every time I want to adjust the lighting? In fact, I was tempted to attach the remote to the wall like a light switch — there’s something to be said for those old wall switches.

Once you have it up, the free Hue app is entertaining. One of the ways you can change colors is to pick a photo, then point to the hues you want the lights to replicate. The app sends your commands to your Wi-Fi router. The router, in turn, tells the Hue base station (a small box included in the $200 kit) attached to it to send signals to the bulbs using a different wireless technology, known as Zigbee. Philips says the signal can reach nearly 100 feet (30 meters). But it can travel even farther if you have your bulbs strung out, because each bulb will relay the signal to others that can’t “hear” the base station directly. So these bulbs are “smart” enough to talk to each other.

The “smarts” doesn’t go all that far, though.

You can set a timer that’s supposed to fade the light down slowly — a nice touch if you’re trying to get a kid to sleep — but it didn’t work for me. The light just cut out at the designated time, with no fade.

The base station is capable of connecting to the Internet, so you can control your lights away from the home. Some wags have created apps that turn the bulbs into disco lights that change color in response to music they pick up from your phone’s microphone.

But this is just the beginning of what an Internet-connected light should be able to do. In theory, you could key a light to the changing colors of daylight, or to warn you if there’s likely to be rain today by changing to a green shade. The Hue doesn’t do any of that, yet. Changing the color is a manual process, even though it’s mediated by a smartphone.

I tried a third “smart” lighting kit, from GreenWave Reality. This one contains two bulbs, a remote and a wireless base station. The bulbs can be dimmed from an iPhone app, but won’t change color. It’s nice to have the remote as a backup to the app, but the overall usefulness of the kit was low.

GreenWave Reality, the startup behind it, wants to sell it through utility companies, for about $200. I can understand utilities wanting to push LEDs, but dimming just isn’t very effective in saving energy. The big power savings, about 80 percent, comes from switching from incandescent to LED or compact-fluorescent bulbs. Cutting the power use of an LED in half by dimming only yields savings of another 6 percent or so. Besides, the GreenWave bulbs flicker when turned down.

The Hue, TorchStar and GreenWave bulbs co-existed in our house for a few months. What happened? Well, after initially fooling around with them, we forgot about controlling the Hue and GreenWave bulbs and just left them on full-blast white-light mode. We just didn’t have enough reason to keep fiddling with them. My kids had a lot of fun with the TorchStar bulb and its remote in the beginning, but it’s now mostly shining a calming purple as the night light in my daughter’s room. The Hue bulbs could have fulfilled that role nicely too, except for one thing: if you turn them off with the wall switch, they’re back in white-light mode the next time you turn them on. They don’t “remember” their color.

The underlying problem was that these “smart” lights forced us to do quite a bit of thinking and controlling. They relied on us for much of the “smarts,” and we just couldn’t be bothered.

Maybe, one day, we can get lights that will do what we want without being told, like dimming the lights when the mood is right. You do the thinking, bulbs, and let us be dumb.

LOS ANGELES FIRE FEE INCREASE

March 19th, 2013  | 
Effective March 1, 2013, the Los Angeles County Fire Department will raise the hourly pay rate for Fire Safety Advisors (FSA). The pay rate will increase from $40.00 to $45.00 per hour. The $5.00 increase is based on the 40-hour rate for a top step fire specialist.

As a reminder the following criteria remain in effect regarding FSAs:

1. All job assignments are for a minimum of four (4) hours per day; time-and-one-half applies after an 8 hour day and double-time is received for jobs that last 12 hours or longer. Daily general overtime provisions apply as specified by State Law.

2. Hours worked shall be continuous from call time to wrap. No split shifts or deductions for meal times are allowed.

3. Once an FSA has been assigned, the production company is responsible to pay the four-hour minimum rate. To cancel the request for an FSA, production representatives must notify the FSA Dispatch Center that the FSA is no longer needed before 12:00 noon, one business day prior to the beginning of production.

4. FSAs shall receive meals at no cost to the FSA.

5. FSAs are former County of Los Angeles Fire Department employees and are not covered by the Los Angeles County Fire Department Worker’s Compensation Insurance.

If you have any questions about current filming fees and requirements, we welcome you to contact FilmL.A.’s Production Planning Department at 213.977.8600

President pushes $2B alternative-fuel research fund

March 18th, 2013  | 

Lil Wayne hospitalized after seizure

March 18th, 2013  | 

It’s not the first time the rapper has had a seizure.

Lil Wayne was shooting a music video for Nicki Minaj’s new single, High School, in Los Angeles earlier this week when he suffered seizures, reports TMZ.

He was taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital late Tuesday night and released early Wednesday morning. His reps have not responded to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.

It isn’t the first time the rapper, 30, has had seizures. He had two in October on separate airplane trips. In November, he told MTV that doctors had put him on seizure medication and told him to drink four bottles of water a day. “I ain’t drinking four water bottles, but everything’s good,” he said at the time.

UPDATE 9 p.m. ET: There are conflicting reports about the state of Wayne’s health. TMZ is reporting that Wayne has been hospitalized again and is in critical condition. TMZ says Wayne’s mother is en route to Los Angeles. Billboard is reporting that Mack Maine, the president of Wayne’s record company, Young Money, has tweeted “Wayne is alive and well! We watching the Syracuse game…thanks for the prayers and concern..he will update you all soon.”

Update 9:41 p.m. ET: A tweet published on Lil Wayne’s Twitter feed says: “I’m good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.”

‘College GameDay’ bus travels alone

March 11th, 2013  | 

Almost 1,500 fans saw and toured ESPN’s “College GameDay” bus during a three-hour stop at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Middletown, Ky. on Thursday. It was making a promotional trip to Louisville in advance of Saturday’s broadcast from Lexington centered on the Missouri-Kentucky game.

Driver Bobby Stephens said the bus makes a stop every Thursday near the location of that Saturday’s game, and he said the Middletown crowd was one of the biggest he’d encountered.

Fans of UK, Louisville and many other teams began arriving an hour early to enter contests and check out the bus’ plush accommodations, according to event organizer Tracy Blair Haus, an agent for “GameDay” sponsor State Farm Insurance.

Stephens travels alone on the bus from “state to state, college to college, coast to coast” for 26 weeks a year, counting football season.

“GameDay” hosts Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose fly to game cities, and the bus serves as a lounge for them and ESPN workers.

BUBBLE TRACKER: What teams make the cut?

A massive picture of the hosts is displayed on the side, along with the schedule of stops. Inside it has six TVs, plus a kitchen, bathroom and leather seating.

It’s the same bus — with a new exterior design — used for the football “GameDay” with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard.

Stephens said Corso has become one of his best friends and is a “gentleman’s gentleman,” and all the hosts are “the most down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet.”

Louisville’s Ellen Jones, who waited in line in the cold to tour the bus, is a big “GameDay” fan.

“I think I could fit in really well with them,” she said, pointing to the picture of Davis, Bilas, Phelps and Rose. “I could be the next Erin Andrews, hopefully.”

You’ve seen the film; now experience the place

March 8th, 2013  | 

Time to roll out the flying red carpet: Thursday’s Academy Award nominations and Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony signal the launch of Hollywood’s awards season and give globetrotting viewers another incentive to pack their bags.

Granted, many of this year’s best-picture nominees come up short on scenery. Few would be inspired to visit Iran or Pakistan after watching Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated thrillers Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. The lush, largely computer-generated cinematography notwithstanding, Life of Pi‘s harrowing shipwreck won’t generate a wave of bookings for ocean crossings.

MORE: Where in the world are we going in 2013?

And while Virginia’s tourism office may tout the fact that Steven Spielberg’s Lincolnwas filmed in Richmond, Petersburg and other Old Dominion locations, hoop skirts and stovepipe hats get more screen time than landscapes in the mostly interior drama.

But among Oscar or Golden Globe contenders, these are practically guaranteed to spark wanderlust:

‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,’ India

The plot: This Golden Globe nominee for best picture, musical or comedy revolves around British seniors who decamp to a hotel in Jaipur, India, with hopes of inexpensively outsourcing their retirement. The hotel (run by a cheerfully inept Dev Patel) turns out to be much less than advertised, but India proves to be inspiring.

The place: Director John Madden told Fodors.com he chose Rajasthan because “there’s something about the chaos and the jumble and the madness of it that seemed a very good context for the story.” Or, as retiree Judi Dench explains on screen: “India hits you like a wave. If you resist, you will be knocked down. But if you dive into it, you will be all right.”

Reel life meets real life: Ravla Khempur, a former tribal chieftain’s palace turned equestrian hotel about an hour outside the lakeside city of Udaipur, served as the stand-in for the dilapidated Marigold Hotel.

Information: incredibleindia.com

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild,’ Louisiana

The plot: Nominated for a best-picture Oscar and shot with non-professional local actors along the ecologically threatened fringes of southern Louisiana, this fairy-tale-like film celebrates the tenacity and resiliency of bayou residents after a devastating storm.

The place: “When you look at the map, you can see America kind of crumble off into the sinews down in the gulf where the land is getting eaten up,” director Benh Zetlin told TheNew York Times. “I was really interested in these roads that go all the way down to the bottom of America and what was at the end of them,” he said of the tiny Terrebonne Parish communities of Pointe-aux-Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles.

Reel life meets real life: Best-actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, who was 6 when she played Hushpuppy, hails from Houma, the self-described “heart of Lousiana’s wetlands.” From here, it’s about a 45-minute drive to Isle de Jean Charles via Island Road, the only strip of land amid miles of open water.

Information: louisianatravel.comhoumatravel.com

‘Downton Abbey,’ Highclere Castle and Brampton, England

The plot: PBS’ smashingly successful series of love, longing and pheasant shoots in upper-crust Edwardian England, now in its third season, is up for yet another award: a Golden Globe nomination for drama series.

The place: Sure, we’re smitten with the Grantham family’s lavish costumes and the valet Thomas’ seemingly infinite capacity for deviousness. But Downton Abbey‘s biggest appeal is the stately old pile itself — aka Highclere Castle, a 19th-century, 300-room estate about 60 miles west of London.

Reel life meets real life: Highclere is open to visitors on select days from March 30 through mid-September; adult admission (which must be booked in advance) is $18.Abbey addicts also can get a fix in the Oxfordshire village of Brampton, 40 miles north of Highclere. Many of the show’s town exteriors are filmed there, including the church, hospital, pub and Matthew Crawley’s home.

Information: visitbritain.comhighclerecastleshop.co.uk

‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ Rhode Island

The plot: During the summer of 1965, two lovestruck 12-year-olds try to run away from home — or as far as their idyllic little New England island will let them — while parents Frances McDormand and Bill Murray and local police chief Bruce Willis cope with the fallout.

The place: “We were all over Rhode Island” to shoot this quirky Golden Globe nominee, director Wes Anderson told the Boston Globe — “which is not saying much.” Filming was based in Newport and Middletown; most of the action took place in the village of Jamestown on Conanicut Island, with Rockville’s Camp Yawgoog used for the scout headquarters sequences.

Reel life meets real life: Cast members stayed at Newport’s Vanderbilt Grace Hotel during filming, and also spent downtime on the panoramic deck of the Hotel Viking’s Top of Newport bar.

Information: visitrhodeisland.com

‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,’ Morocco and the Scottish Highlands

The plot: Directed by Lasse Hallström, this surprise Golden Globe nominee for best picture, musical or comedy stars Ewan McGregor as an uptight British fisheries expert and Emily Blunt as a consultant charged with fulfilling her wealthy client’s improbable dream of introducing fly-fishing to the Middle East.

The place: While the River Spey and other Scottish Highland locations may not look as gobsmackingly gorgeous as Montana did in the more famous fish tale A River Runs Through It, the contrast between Scottish streams and the barren hills of south-central Morocco (which subbed for Yemen) is intoxicating.

Reel life meets real life: Ouarzazate, Morocco, nicknamed the “door to the desert,” has been a favored filming location since David Lean used it as a backdrop in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia. Among other travel-centric movies shot in the region:The Sheltering SkyBabel and The Man Who Would Be King.

Climate change already affects USA

March 7th, 2013  | 

How far off are the effects of climate change? Not far at all, says a new federal report that warns American lives are already being changed, and their behavior could make the problem worse.

Climate change is already affecting how Americans live and work, and evidence is mounting that the burning of fossil fuels has roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat waves, the Obama administration said Friday.

“Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glacier and Arctic Sea ice are melting,” says a draft of the third federal Climate Assessment Report, compiled by more than 240 scientists for a federal advisory committee. “These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.”

The report, required by a 1990 U.S. law, comes as 2012 set a century-plus record for hottest year in the contiguous United States. As Americans grapple with such extreme weather, President Obama has called for a national conversation on climate change.

“We can’t wait to have that conversation. The science is in. Now we just have to act,” says Juanita Constible, science and solutions director for The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit begun by former vice president Al Gore to educate the public on climate impacts.

She says the 2013 report pays more attention than did the last one in 2009 to the impact of climate change on human health and the nation’s infrastructure. “Scientists have learned a lot more about these sectors” in the last four years, she says.

The report, based on peer-reviewed research, echoes the findings of other recent studies on climate change. Despite skepticism about the problem’s severity and causes by some members of Congress and a few scientists, it says the evidence tells an “unambiguous story: The planet is warming.” Among its findings:

• U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, and more than 80% of that occurred since 1980. The most recent decade was the nation’s hottest on record, and the next few decades are projected to see another 2 degrees to 4 degrees Fahrenheit of warming in most areas.

• Global sea level has risen about 8 inches over the past 100 years and is projected to rise by another 1 to 4 feet this century.

• Ocean surface waters have become 30% more acidic as they absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The acidification reduces the capacity of marine organisms with shells or skeletons made of calcium carbonate such as coral, oysters, clams and crabs to survive.

• Public health effects include waterborne diseases, increased heat stress, respiratory problems from poor air quality and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents.

• Infrastructure such as roads, buildings, ports and energy facilities are being damaged by higher sea levels and storm surges, which also threaten military facilities. Roads, rail lines and airport runways are being damaged from extreme heat.

“This assessment is a window into our future – and it shows we have a lot of work to do,” Lou Leonard, managing director of climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, an environmental group, said in a statement.. “The draft report is the most thorough, science-based assessment of present and future climate-driven impacts facing America.”

The report, released by the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, will be reviewed further before a final version is produced, likely next year. It does not make policy recommendations but concludes that current efforts to address climate change are “insufficient to avoid increasingly serious impacts.”

Climate change already affects USA

March 6th, 2013  | 

How far off are the effects of climate change? Not far at all, says a new federal report that warns American lives are already being changed, and their behavior could make the problem worse.

Climate change is already affecting how Americans live and work, and evidence is mounting that the burning of fossil fuels has roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat waves, the Obama administration said Friday.

“Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glacier and Arctic Sea ice are melting,” says a draft of the third federal Climate Assessment Report, compiled by more than 240 scientists for a federal advisory committee. “These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.”

The report, required by a 1990 U.S. law, comes as 2012 set a century-plus record for hottest year in the contiguous United States. As Americans grapple with such extreme weather, President Obama has called for a national conversation on climate change.

“We can’t wait to have that conversation. The science is in. Now we just have to act,” says Juanita Constible, science and solutions director for The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit begun by former vice president Al Gore to educate the public on climate impacts.

She says the 2013 report pays more attention than did the last one in 2009 to the impact of climate change on human health and the nation’s infrastructure. “Scientists have learned a lot more about these sectors” in the last four years, she says.

The report, based on peer-reviewed research, echoes the findings of other recent studies on climate change. Despite skepticism about the problem’s severity and causes by some members of Congress and a few scientists, it says the evidence tells an “unambiguous story: The planet is warming.” Among its findings:

• U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, and more than 80% of that occurred since 1980. The most recent decade was the nation’s hottest on record, and the next few decades are projected to see another 2 degrees to 4 degrees Fahrenheit of warming in most areas.

• Global sea level has risen about 8 inches over the past 100 years and is projected to rise by another 1 to 4 feet this century.

• Ocean surface waters have become 30% more acidic as they absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The acidification reduces the capacity of marine organisms with shells or skeletons made of calcium carbonate such as coral, oysters, clams and crabs to survive.

• Public health effects include waterborne diseases, increased heat stress, respiratory problems from poor air quality and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents.

• Infrastructure such as roads, buildings, ports and energy facilities are being damaged by higher sea levels and storm surges, which also threaten military facilities. Roads, rail lines and airport runways are being damaged from extreme heat.

“This assessment is a window into our future – and it shows we have a lot of work to do,” Lou Leonard, managing director of climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, an environmental group, said in a statement.. “The draft report is the most thorough, science-based assessment of present and future climate-driven impacts facing America.”

The report, released by the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, will be reviewed further before a final version is produced, likely next year. It does not make policy recommendations but concludes that current efforts to address climate change are “insufficient to avoid increasingly serious impacts.”