Thursday, May 22, 2008

climate review May


Biospherical information appears to be jelling into a new structure. This new structure is bad news for many people. For some it means diminishing wealth; for others it spells longer odds for survival; for most if not all it represents decline. Yet this matrix reload carries the promise of hope. Finally things aren't ambiguous anymore.

And clarity permits orientation at last. Even the US Republicans sense that they are the problem, not the solution. Everyone knows they've been in charge, and look what they've done. Regardless of whether your reference-frame is people, country, or world climate, US Republicans have devolved to cowboys in black hats. And their leader into a fool. Which is not new, of course. What's new is that everyone is now fine with it. On 5.13. International Herald Tribune reported that "Indians bristle at US criticism on food prices", with passages such as this:

I don't know who advised the president on his recent comments," [former World Bank economist] Agarwala said, but his analysis is "subprime." Bush's "ignorance on most matters is widely known and openly acknowledged by his own countrymen," The Asian Age argued May 5 in an editorial, but he must not be allowed to "get away" with an attempt to "divert global attention from the truth by passing the buck on to India."

The German government called Bush a "Neanderthal" last month, and everyone pretty much agreed. Environmental minister Polke, who made the remark, was not reprimanded by Chancellor Merkel; it didn't become an issue in the parliament; the German media didn't mind; the German public was fine with it as well. Add to this that American media reacted in kind. No US politician complained. The Neanderthal remark didn't provoke the ambassador to Germany to lodge a complaint either. And now Indian officials, so the IHT article, called Bush out as a fool -- and it's the same spiel all over again. No one in India seems to disagree. To my knowledge, the ambassador to India didn't disagree either. Domestically, papers picked up the story, but again, everyone is holding their peace, including Republican politicians.

I take this as a sign that enlightenment is attainable.

The first step to solving a problem is recognizing you have one. It's instructive to see how the analogy between Bush and Hitler is now breaking down (and, by extension, the analogy between Republicans and Nazis). German Nazis failed to question Hitler's authority and so invited their Darwin Award 1945. American Republicans, by contrast, have started to question Bush's authority and thus may still be able to avoid the national collapse that had been prepared by their subservience to the climate-changer-in-chief since 2000. Now, eight years later, members of Bush's own party desert their Neanderthal Fool; even McCain is planning a climate change tour.

Hope is in the air.

Best quote:

It is important to remind ourselves that we are privileged to live at the most exciting moment of creative opportunity in the whole of the human experience. The future is in our hands. Now is the hour. We have the power to turn this world around. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

David Korten, Navigating the Great Turning from Empire to Earth Community, 5.25.

Best link: the Ultima Tower (home page is here; post in Wired)


All salmon fishing banned on West Coast: the closure of commercial and recreational fishing for chinook salmon in the ocean off California and most of Oregon was announced by the National Marine Fishery Service. It followed the recommendation last month of the Pacific Fishery Management Council after the catastrophic disappearance of California's fabled fall run of the pink fish popularly known as king salmon. It is the first total closure since commercial fishing started in the Bay Area in 1848. ...

Two parched years -- punctuated by the driest spring in at least 150 years -- could force districts across California to ration water this summer as policymakers and scientists grow increasingly concerned that the state is on the verge of a long-term drought ...

Break in global warming? (Der Spiegel) According to German scientists the global heating observed in the recent years may be suspended in the next decade. This break is caused by a natural oscillation of currents in the Atlantic ocean, so Keenlyside and his colleagues at the Leibniz Institute in Kiel. Starting with 2020, rapidly rising temperatures will continue ... (Der Spiegel) Temperatures are rising worldwide, but for now there might not be any new heat records. German scientists draw a surprising conclusion in a new climate prognosis: in the coming ten years, the weather may well be cooler than previously thought ... cf. BBC. ... see Nature abstract with link to "Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector".

Book tip: C Barnett: Mirage: Florida and the vanishing water of the Eastern U.S. (U Michigan 2007)


... United Nations criticized from indigenies for carbon trading 5.6.
.. H E Daly: climate policy from 'know how' to 'do now' 5.13.
... an epidemic of extinctions: decimation of life on Earth 5.16.
... possibly "billions wasted on UN climate program" 5.25.


... Three Chinese banks in world's top four 4.30.
... White House admits fault on 'Mission Accomplished' banner 4.30.
... China builds its large-scale future 5.1.
... China opens one of world's largest bridges 5.1.
... Exxon oil production falls dramatically 5.2.
... Gore calls Nargis a 'consequence' of climate change 5.6.
... Oil at $ 122 5.6.
... Oil at $ 126 5.9.
... Norway island stores wind power for still days 5.13.
... India to America: eat less, Fatties 5.15.
... Obesity contributes to global warming: study 5.15.
... Oil at $ 128 5.16.
... Prince Charles: 18 months to stop climate change disaster 5.18.
... Oil at $ 133 5.21.
... survivalists are preparing 5.24.


... GM crops: less food than conventional equivalent 4.20.
... April U.S. car sales show shift to smaller cars 5.1.
... Students are leaving fundamentalist Oral Roberts University 5.2.
... Americans ditch SUVs 5.3.
... Asian bank in food crisis warning 5.3.
... DOE report: wind could power 20% of US grid by 2030 5.12.
... climate change in Washington? 5.13.
... gas prices boosts mass transit in NYC and Denver 5.10.
... M Kelley & P Raskin: a better future 5.10.
... Germany debates subsidies for Solar Industry 5.16.
... San Francisco first in nation to charge a Pollution Fee 5.21.
... FBI files indict Bush, Cheney as war criminals 5.23.
... Pesticides: Germany bans chemicals linked to bee death 5.24.


... BP and Shell post big profits in era of record oil prices 4.29.
... Friedman: dumb as we wanna be 4.30.
... Republican-caused defeat for Tampa and Orlando rail 5.3.
... Friedman: who will tell the people? 5.4.
... Florida teacher accused by Christians of wizardry 5.7.
... extreme gringo SUV commuter zombies (with pictures) 5.12.
... Americans leery of bicycles despite gas price jumps 5.16.
... Drop in US life expectancy shows US health care failure 5.18.
... "The invasion of Iraq (...) has trebled the price of oil 5.25.


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