Check out this link to see some of the more interesting changes since our last cooler than average month. Back to the Future was in theaters for a ticket price of $2.75. Now we’re just a couple of years away from getting our hoverboards. Yay!!
I’m sure many who read my blog have been convinced for a while that I’m somewhat of a fear monger with respect to climate change and overpopulation. Perhaps. Before you make up your mind, read this:
The figures come as one of the world’s leading environmentalists issued a warning that the global food supply system could collapse at any point, leaving hundreds of millions more people hungry, sparking widespread riots and bringing down governments. In a shocking new assessment of the prospects of meeting food needs, Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington, says that the climate is no longer reliable and the demands for food are growing so fast that a breakdown is inevitable, unless urgent action is taken.
Good thing climate change is just a hoax. Dig hole in sand. Insert head. Fill in hole. Ignorance is bliss.
“Armed aggression is no longer the principal threat to our future. The overriding threats to this century are climate change, population growth, spreading water shortages and rising food prices,” Brown says.
250 million years ago, this planet suffered the greatest mass extinction of multicellular life in the long history of the planet. The ocean conveyor current stopped. The ocean became anoxic, meaning it had little or no oxygen. Fish died; sulfur producing bacteria thrived. As the anoxic layer of the ocean reached the surface, hydrogen sulfide gas was released into the atmosphere in toxic quantities. The sky turned green. The mass extinction was brought onto land.
95% of all species on the planet died. This was due to global warming.*
I’ve titled this post Misanthropia because I believe that I have every bit as much chance of making these improvements as I do of creating a true Utopia, i.e. none.
Still, I’m going to label each suggestion either plausible or implausible. The plausible changes will be the ones I expect never to have implemented because the Koch brothers and other multi-gazillionaires own all of our politicians and control the whole system by which they are put in place. However, I expect that I would be able to convince most of the so-called 99% that these changes would be good. The implausible are the ones I feel strongly enough about to post despite the extreme likelihood that they are so radical that I couldn’t even convince a significant percentage of the so-called 99%.
Each of the following suggestions or cluster of suggestions are meant to be taken individually. I believe each on its own could help make the U.S. a better country. That said, even were all of these suggestions implemented tomorrow, I do not expect that it would fix all of our problems. I’m not that smart.
Found on the Union of Concerned Scientists site on this page
From the too true to be good department again.
Why do repugnicans still bother to pretend that they want to live in a democracy? Why not just violently overthrow the government and make Jesus the king? At least it would be less hypocritical. Of course, Jesus who said “love thy neighbor” and gave health care to the sick without checking for either citizenship or insurance would never have wanted such a thing. And, of course, there would have to be some raving lunatic at the helm claiming to be receiving Jesus’ instructions directly. (Didn’t we have that already for eight years?) But, let’s not quibble about how badly the extremist rethugnicans misinterpret the Bible that they believe to be infallible but have never read.
Let’s just look at the way the party gets whatever they want whether they are in power or not and how they get into power at all.
First take a look at this unconscionable and despicable strategy to take the 2012 presidential election by redistricting a key state. Shockingly, this is actually perfectly legal and constitutional.
The narration is the text of an op ed piece in the Wasthington Post by Bill McKibben. No need to read the text since it’s all in the video with powerful imagery added. Kudos to Stephen Thomson of Plomomedia.com for a great job making this into a powerful video.
Here are some seriously classic fully electric cars from over 100 years ago.
- 1891 – 50 mile range, better than Chevy Volt’s pure electric range
- 1901 – 57 MPH
- 1902 – fully electric bus
- 1906 – regenerative braking, like my 2011 prius
- 1909 – 100 miles on a charge
Now, I must ask, what the hell happened?
Looks like it’s time to dig up all the old santorum posts. He does not appear to have gotten any better with age.
So, sorry to bring up a fairly disgusting topic again. But, don’t worry. The substance is less disgusting than the human being.
Once again, the IPCC estimates are proving to be underestimates of the problem of climate change. That’s what you get with consensus. Yes, we’re confident that the results will be at least as bad as the IPCC forecasts, else some country with financial interests in continuing to burn fossil fuel will reject the statement. But, what we don’t get is the full range of estimates. We get the most watered down statement, not a statement of the greatest odds.
Here’s an interesting tale of two spins. Both of these articles are reporting on the same event, findings released by a Dutch environmental agency that agree with the IPCC conclusions. Strangely though, the two articles are clearly intended to present a very different image.
There are two main points from the findings of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.
1) The IPCC is generally correct that global warming caused by humans already is happening and is threatening the lives and well-being of millions of people.
2) There are some minor errors, including typographical errors in specific predictions of the IPCC, that “do not affect the whole construction [of the IPCC report].”
I don’t know that I agree with him on all points, especially about other civilizations. But then, he’s Stephen Hawking and I’m not even making mud pies yet.
The following is an open letter to President Obama, which I also sent to his office via the interface on whitehouse.gov. Thanks to my friend Jan for the help editing the text.
Before reading the letter below, please understand that I am still very glad that we have Obama in office rather than McCain with Palin a heartless non-beat away from the presidency. I still think we’re better off without “bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran” McCain or worse, much much worse, his running mate Caribou Barbie. That said, I am still also very disappointed in results we’ve been getting from President Obama. I, for one, am feeling very short-changed.
So, without further preamble, here is the letter I sent to Mr. Obama.
Dear President Obama,
How sweet those words sounded just a bit over a year ago. During your campaign you promised change. We were thrilled that you won the election and eagerly anticipated a new era. A year later and with a Nobel Peace Prize behind you, alas there has been precious little change.
… otherwise, the few hundred peer reviewed articles summarized and referenced in this pre-Copenhagen summary showing, once again, that climate change is worse than the uber-conservative IPCC has been estimating might really scare me. I mean, what if it were really true that these few hundred recent peer-reviewed articles show that:
Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s an excellent write-up that describes the ways in which we are stealing from future generations to feed ourselves and the parallels between doing so and any other Ponzi scheme.
I’ve read Plan B 2.0, an excellent book, and notice that there is a link to a new version Plan B 4.0 by Lester Brown.
Don’t forget, the article doesn’t even mention the fact that not only is the oil at the pump a subsidized and limited resource, so is the oil we pour on our corn as fertilizer.
That’s right, industrial fertilizers are petroleum products. We’re eating oil!! That can’t be good for either our health or our long term prospects in terms of a very large population dependent on a fossil, non-renewable, resource.
Despite an intensely green image, Fiji water is among the least environmentally and socially conscious waters on the planet. All bottled water is bad, especially in areas like the U.S. that have potable and frequently tested tap water. Note that water brands that are actually pure spring water are not required to test their quality at all, though most do at far lower frequencies than public tap water is tested.
Still, Fiji water has remained immune to the outpouring (so to speak) of attention that at least the environmentalists are giving to the issue of bottled water with all of its plastic waste and CO2 emissions from trucking it around the country (or worse, shipping it halfway around the world).
Check out this great Mother Jones cover that really gets the point across.
This may appear to undermine a number of my earlier posts. However, in this case, I think the point is extremely important. We must begin to recognize and tell the truth of the true nature of our problems. That said, we must also use every weapon in our arsenal to fight for the preservation of the environment to the best of our ability. Most likely the only tool that will actually be worth a damn will be birth control. Yet, we must still do all we can to reduce our ecological (including carbon) footprints while at the same time taking action to reduce the number of feet. The regulars on this blog will remember that I have already argued that the planet cannot support even 300 million of us, let alone 6.7, 8, or 9 billion. So, in that sense, this article is still somewhat consistent with my prior posts. However, I cannot recall previously gotting to the point of wording the issue such that climate change is a mere symptom of a much larger problem, one that involves not only too many people, but people with a completely failed view of the finite planet on which we depend for our very lives every single day.