January 2009 was a mind-blowing month. There's a chance that great wrongs will be set right. Yet, after all the good people celebrated the inauguration, I found myself choked up with anger. As I first emailed Scott Schneider, part of me had been hoping, until January 19, for at least a tiny sign that Bush, the climate-changer-in-chief, would be impeached. But it never happened. No impeachment for torture? For a concentration camp? For special rendition? For black sites? For suspending habeas corpus? For invading two sovereign nations? For more than a million deaths in Iraq alone? For all this fishiness with 9-11? For flying Bin Laden relatives out of the country and out of reach of the FBI after 9-11, from Tampa no less, when all other flights were grounded? For wasting a decade, and all the tax money, on worsening fossil addictions instead of investing in a post-carbon future? For sabotaging the worldwide fight against climate change? Nope, none of this merits impeachment. And the other guy had been nearly impeached for lying about oral sex?
I salute those of my colleagues who boldly opposed the American Disenlightenment in the past eight years. I am proud that you insisted on human universals. I am proud that you argued for environmental constants. I am proud that you defended, in your classes and works, the idea of progress. Kudos to your wisdom!
Those other colleagues, though, who, during the Rule of Unreason, preferred to deconstruct truth, justice, humanism, and progress, and who indulged in skepticism, relativism, and ambiguities instead, I can only say, with Bush you had the Postmodern Government you deserved. Bush grew on your intellectual soil. You must be proud.
In the US, the political problem now is what to do with the Bushists. The risk is to repeat Clinton's mistake. The Clinton administration 1992 failed to prosecute the Republicans responsible for the Nicaraguan war and the Iran-Contra affair. Thus, in 2001, the same camarilla returned to power. Crimes against humanity, boundless corruption, and the Great American Crash have been the result. Just like Germany after Hitler, the US after Bush needs Denazification. For the sake of justice, the US must conduct new Nuremberg Trials.
Climatewise, at least, Americans are joining in with the planetary enlightenment. It's about frigging time.
"People generally think that President Bush's greatest mistake was the invasion of Iraq. But to the international community, the greatest error of Bush's eight years was his inattention to climate change - the gravest threat to mankind's existence - impeding the international community's efforts to control CO2 emissions, achieve consensus, and lead the way toward solutions. Because of the American government, the world lost eight precious years."
Pei Minyan, "Bush's Foreign Legacy," Caijing 1.24. (China; here)
RIP Arne Naess (1912-2009) 1.12. (U Oslo) (AP)
The University of Central Florida hosted a terrific conference on Evolution, the Environment, and Responsible Knowledge; the third in its annual Information Fluency meetings. It had good vibes, was a smooth success, and I learned a lot. I'm grateful for the invitation. Climate change was the predictable gravity-well of many talks on information fluency now.
PANTS ON FIRE
the last holdouts in 2009: 53 percent of corporate petroleum geologists and 36 percent of U.S. meteorologists dismiss anthropogenic climate change.
UK: record snow 2.2.
Australia: record-breaking heat 1.30.
Oceans: acidity rising 1.30.
California: historic drought 1.29.
France/Spain: deadly storms 1.24.
Greenland: Galloping glaciers slow down 1.23.
US: accelerated waldsterben 1.23.
US Northwest: confused pelican migration 1.23.
Bangladesh: coping with climate change 1.22.
North America: waldsterben speed doubles 1.22.
North America: waldsterben & global warming 1.22.
Antarctica: new evidence on warming 1.21.
US Northeast record cold wave 1.14.
US Midwest record cold wave I 1.13.
US Midwest record cold wave II 1.13.
Sea of Japan absorbs less CO2 1.12.
NATO security risks through arctic thaw 1.29.
White House lost its solar panels 1.27.
Obama blocks Bush's midnight rules 1.23.
Obama reverses Bush's Mexico City policy 1.22.
Bush, a look back: anti-enviro timeline 1.16.
Rep Waxman (D-Calif) promises quick climate action 1.15.
Wisconsin Madison climate ordinances 1.14. (pdf)
arctic policy adjusts to ice retreat 1.13.
climate czar Carol Browner 1.12.
B McKibben et al. greening the stimulus 1.14.
Latin America: jungles grow, rainforest debate 1.30.
Texas plans more wind energy 1.29.
US: lawsuit filed in carbon trading scheme 1.29.
EU: flagship fusion reactor doubles in cost 1.29.
Ethanolsprit aus Brasilien: Blut im Tank 1.23.
Cooling crops 1.22.
Biofuels: an open letter on its problems 1.20.
prices plummet on carbon market 1.20.
environmental utopia in Abu Dhabi 1.19.
fish 'an ally' against climate change 1.16.
Europe in continuing gas crisis 1.15.
Germany/South Africa: "climate fix" iron-dumping ship stopped 1.14.
EU plasma screen TVs will probably be banned 1.12.
electric auto fleet a step closer 1.12.
new Honda Hybrid 1.11.
Chris Hedges: it's not going to be OK. 2.2.
US/UK: 25 people at the heart of global meltdown 1.26.
Japan launches greenhouse gas satellite 1.23.
30 % Americans rate climate as priority 1.22.
Asian economic data worse than expected 1.22.
UK national bankruptcy possible 1.21.
California home prices fall 38 percent in 2008 1.21.
US losses may reach $ 3.6 trillion 1.21.
palm oil demand kills orang utans 1.19.
editorials worldwide pillory Bush 1.19.
Bushs klammheimliches Vermaechtnis 1.18.
2008: the year of the food crisis 1.18.
Climate change to stifle developing nations 1.17.
China xinhua: blame America 1.16.
The Economist: the Bush legacy 1.15.
Toronto Star: goodbye to worst president ever 1.15.
Oil at $ 34 1.15.
US foreclosure filings up 81% 1.15.
USA's second concentration camp 1.13.
EU Russia broken gas promises 1.13.
US deficit new records in just three months 1.13.
US Bush Economy 2001-2008 weakest in decades 1.12.
California net loss 144,000 economic migrants 1.12.
US: drastic times 1.8.
Iceland: first openly gay PM 1.31.
NYT Editorial: the next step on warming 1.30.
M Klare: repudiate the Carter doctrine 1.23.
B Cesca: Obama's rejection of American cowardice 1.21.
G Monbiot: consider monetary strategy of 1920s Bavaria 1.20.
Lovelock interview: last chance New Scientist 1.23.
J Lovelock -- comments to interview on boingboing 1.23.
phase changes of the annual surface temps cycle Nature
2008 a record year Nature Reports Climate Change
African CO emissions 2000-06 Biogeosciences
climate sensitivity, carbon cycle, ocean chemistry Nat Geoscience
debate over rainforest fate -- with a climate twist Science
Earth's degassing--a missing ethane and propane source Science
western US forests suffer death by degrees Science
the many dangers of greenhouse acid AGU
shifting North Atlantic carbon sink Nature Reports CC
successful sim of two real tropical cyclones GRL
14% of global warming 1956-2002 due to solar activity ERL
sudden reduction in CO2 uptake in Japan sea GRL
climate change could choke oceans for 100,000 yrs Wired
devastated forests replantable from air New Scientist
good luck to everybody!