“… Standing at the front of the conference room, the geophysicist from the University of California, San Diego walked the crowd through the advanced computer model he was using to answer that question. He talked about system boundaries, perturbations, dissipation, attractors, bifurcations and a whole bunch of other stuff largely incomprehensible to those of us uninitiated in complex systems theory. But the bottom line was clear enough: global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming dangerously unstable in response. When pressed by a journalist for a clear answer on the “are we f**ked” question, Werner set the jargon aside and replied, “More or less.”
There was one dynamic in the model, however, that offered some hope. Werner termed it “resistance” – movements of “people or groups of people” who “adopt a certain set of dynamics that does not fit within the capitalist culture”. According to the abstract for his presentation, this includes “environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups”.
Serious scientific gatherings don’t usually feature calls for mass political resistance, much less direct action and sabotage. But then again, Werner wasn’t exactly calling for those things. He was merely observing that mass uprisings of people – along the lines of the abolition movement, the civil rights movement or Occupy Wall Street – represent the likeliest source of “friction” to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control. We know that past social movements have “had tremendous influence on . . . how the dominant culture evolved”, he pointed out. So it stands to reason that, “if we’re thinking about the future of the earth, and the future of our coupling to the environment, we have to include resistance as part of that dynamics”. And that, Werner argued, is not a matter of opinion, but “really a geophysics problem”. . .
Forgot to mention that clearly this another part where with Knowledge we can reverse these potentially fatal errors made without Knowledge, made only with the intellect. If in fact Knowledge is not brought to bear here the problems & signs of change & Knowledge in another and from the world will mount. Cause & effect. NNC
The Fracking Industry is triggering earthquakes with how they dispose of their used water.
Full article here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24069-fracking-operations-triggered-100-quakes-in-a-year.html#.UhLuRn_rSSo
“The new geophysical research, by Won-Young Kim at Columbia University in Palisades, New York, is the latest to suggest that the main risk of earthquakes associated with fracking relates to the way the water used in the operations is disposed of afterwards. In Ohio, the wastewater was injected into a deep well. This raised the pressure of water within the rock and triggered 109 small quakes between January 2011 and February 2012. The largest, on 31 December 2011, had a magnitude of 3.9.”
With little research done on the effects of fracking for oil on our environment (from the soil to the air), we must question this “environmentally friendly” process.
9 Cities In America Running Out Of Water
Below are 9 examples of different cities that are running dangerously low on water,
hopefully you don’t call one of these cities home
[or near them].
By Thomas Dishaw
August 10, 2013
Water is one of our most precious and neglected natural resources. Without an abundant water supply life as we know would not exist. Everyday we take for granted the fact that we turn on the faucet and an unlimited supply of blue gold is delivered to our door step.
Unfortunately that day may soon come to an end as the water supply in many U.S. cities are dangerously low due to extreme drought. I can only imagine the future where water restrictions will dwarf the regulations you see today.
Below are 9 examples of different cities that are running dangerously low on water, hopefully you don’t call one of these cities home.
9. Santa Fe, N.M.
> Extreme drought coverage (2013): 76.7%
> Exceptional drought coverage (2013): 16.7%
> Population: 89,284
The entirety of the Santa Fe area has been in a state of exceptional drought — the worst possible type — for the past five weeks. Already, the area has been consistently under extreme drought — the second-worst level — since mid-February. The drought in much of the state contributed to the rapid spreading of the Tres Lagunas fire which burned 16 square miles of land — the equivalent of close to a third of the size of the Santa Fe urban area — near the city earlier this summer. However, according to the NOAA, drought conditions in much of the state are expected to improve through the end of the summer and into the fall.
8. Albuquerque, N.M.
> Extreme drought coverage (2013): 76.7%
> Exceptional drought coverage (2013): 43.3%
> Population: 741,318
The majority of the state of New Mexico is in a state of extreme drought. The state’s largest city, Albuquerque, has been completely under the worst possible level of drought since the end of April. This is the city’s second major drought in the last three years — it was under extreme drought for most of 2011. Much-needed heavy storms hit the area last week, but experts caution this is likely not enough to help the parched land fully recover. National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Jones told the Associated Press, “It’s making a little dent in places … but [the drought] is something that developed over several years … and it will take several years for the state to recover, assuming we get normal or above normal monsoons.”Jones also noted that Albuquerque was roughly a year behind its average three-year rainfall.
7. Corpus Christi, Texas
> Extreme drought coverage (2013): 79.1%
> Exceptional drought coverage (2013): 14.1%
> Population: 320,069
Nearly all of Corpus Christi has been in a state of extreme drought since early March. As a result, the city enacted restrictions on the use of water in late June. Among the mandatory restrictions are a ban on the residential use of sprinklers and car washing more than once a week, as well as the restriction of washing sidewalks and homes, unless expressly done for business or public-health purposes. In the city of Kenedy, about halfway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio, water shortage and well failures led to the city diverting water from the local prison. This left inmates unable to shower for a week.
. . .
[optional submitter comment: In the end, in addition to the spiritual preparation in Steps to Knowledge's pages, consider precious and dear Great Waves preparers, to remember to be asking yourself and Knowledge within you:
1. Am I living in the right Place?
2. Am I with the right People?
3. Am I moving actively in the direction to find my right Purpose?
...As the author of the Great Waves of Change book has spoken of numerous times.
So if you you're getting signs and signals from the world (such as the writing-on-the-wall signs above), or signs from Knowledge, or signs from others: it may be time to act. But ask the question of Knowledge and of yourself.]
Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report Released for Public Review
To simply access and read the draft report, please download the chapters below. However, if you would like to submit comments on the report as part of the public process, you will need to enter the “review and comment system” and register with your name and e-mail address and agree to the terms. All comments must be submitted through the review and comment system.
Museletter 247: Conflict and Change in the Era of Economic Decline – Part One
December 2012 by Richard Heinberg
Address to the International Conference on Sustainability, Transition and Culture Change, November 16, 2012, by Richard Heinberg
The speakers at this conference and, I would guess, most of the attendees broadly share a certain view of the world. It’s probably fair to say that, as a group, we see resource depletion, financial chaos, and environmental disasters (principally associated with global climate change) as looming storms converging on industrial civilization. We also tend to agree that the unprecedented level of complexity of our society today is due to the historically recent energy subsidies of fossil fuels, and to a certain extent the enabling factor of financial innovation. Thus, as the quality and quantity of our energy sources inevitably decline, and as financial claims melt away with the ongoing burst of history’s greatest credit bubble, a simplification and decentralization of societal systems is inevitable.
What are the social implications of all this? Will wars and revolutions break out with ever-greater frequency? Will democracy thrive, or will traumatized masses find themselves at the mercy of tyrants? Will nation states survive, or will they break apart? Will regional warlords rule over impoverished and enslaved survivors? Or will local food networks and Occupy groups positively transform society from the ground up?
I don’t claim to have a functioning crystal ball. But tracing current trends, and looking to historic analogies, may help us understand our prospects better, and help us make the most of them.
The 21st century landscape of conflict
Looking forward, four principal drivers of conflict are easily apparent. More may be lurking along the way.
An interesting YouTube website that gives a brief update on daily weather/earthquake/sun/etc activities around the world. http://www.youtube.com/user/Suspicious0bservers
Sandy : Lessons From The Wake Of The Storm – The Automatic Earth
“Encouraging people to make simple personal preparations, as some regions and religions already do, can greatly reduce the potential for something like this to occur. If municipalities would inform people well in advance of difficulties of the need to be self-reliant for at least two weeks, and then explained to them how to go about this, much suffering could be averted. There is a misguided notion that doing anything to encourage preparation will cause people to panic and hoard. While it is true that issuing warnings in the immediate run-up to something like a major storm about to make landfall could have this effect, issuing instructions in a calm and measured way when no disaster is actually looming should not cause a collective psychology problem. It can be difficult to strike a balance between motivating people to act and causing fear, but the answer is not to avoid the issue by failing to motivate people at all.
Aside from the obvious food, water, medicines and cash, there are many pieces of equipment that could be very useful, most of which are not terribly expensive. Wind-up or solar powered radios can keep people informed of what has happened in their area and what is being done to reach and help affected people. Given that mobile electronic communications are so central to people’s lives, solar chargers and small battery back ups could allow people to stay connected.
Ordinary batteries and solar chargers for them could keep other equipment functioning. Solar cookers, or coleman stoves with fuel supplies, allow people to cook or heat water without access to normal energy sources. Water filters or purification tablets can provide drinkable water supplies when regular supplies cannot be trusted. Hand tools, work gloves, spare blankets or sleeping bags, candles, matches, flashlights, a first aid kit, bicycles and other basics could be very helpful.
Community connections can allow available equipment to be shared, so that many more people may benefit. Establishing a list of residents, noting vulnerable people, would be useful, particularly in highrise buildings where isolation is all too common. The planning process for such a community initiative would be useful in terms of building relationships of trust prior to any kind of disaster, and those relationships would help people to function together later under challenging circumstances. Established local time banks can be a very valuable part of an emergency response capability, as they can serve as a local skills inventory that can be mobilized very quickly. This was demonstrated following the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand in February 2011.
Preparations at a neighbourhood or municipal level also make sense, particularly where there may be large numbers of people unable to prepare themselves. For instance, specific public buildings could be designated in advance as mustering areas in the event of disaster, and these could be equipped with emergency supplies. If people knew to come to a particular community space, and knew that space would be equipped to receive them if necessary, they would feel far more secure. As always, creating a resilience cushion takes resources. An emergency supply inventory and maintaining the space to house it would be no exception, but the expense could make a very large difference in times of crisis.
Larger scale relief coordination agencies, such as FEMA, also have a role to play. Well thought out contingency plans, backed up with reserves of supplies, equipment and skilled personnel can help tremendously, although response times for larger, more complex entities are likely to be longer. In an ideal world there would be a top down/bottom up partnership between emergency preparedness plans at different scales, and plans would mesh seamlessly with each other. The reality on the ground is always likely to be rather more chaotic in practice, however.”
Excerpt from longer post.
World Disasters Report 2012 – Focus on forced migration and displacement
Forced displacement is one of the most acute and visible consequences of disasters and conflict. Its scale and complexity have increased dramatically in recent years. The World Disasters Report 2012 makes a critical contribution to our understanding of how the changing nature of conflict, climate change, population growth and urbanization interact with and accentuate vulnerability. The report articulates a vision which places displaced and other affected communities, and their protection and assistance needs, at the heart of our collective response.
– António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
This year’s World Disasters Report focuses on forced migration and on the people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and development projects, whose numbers are increasing inexorably each year. The enormous human costs of forced migration – destroyed homes and livelihoods, increased vulnerability, disempowered communities, and collapsed social networks and common bonds – demand urgent and decisive action by both humanitarian and development actors.
The report analyses the complex causes of forced migration and its consequences and impacts on displaced populations, their hosts and humanitarian actors. …
Data Highlights – Lester R. Brown’s latest book, “Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity”
These tables and graphs help to explain the precarious situation in which humanity finds itself, as the world leaves an era of food surpluses and enters one of food scarcity.
Thailand tapped as rice stockpiler for the world
The Commerce Ministry may seek funding from the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) to build a large rice silo in a move to establish Thailand as a food stockpiler for the world.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said Thailand is in a very good position to become a stockpiler that can ensure the world’s food security.
Food security was highlighted at a recent ACD summit in Kuwait.
The ACD was created in 2002 to promote Asian cooperation at a continental level and to help integrate regional cooperation among organisations such as Asean, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The ACD was founded by 18 members and now comprises 31 states including all Asean and GCC members. It covers 60% of the world’s population.
At the summit, Kuwait proposed setting up a US$2-billion development fund for members under the ACD framework by initially offering seed money of $300 million through the Asian Development Bank.
Mr Boonsong said Thailand is interested in securing that fund to create food security for Thailand and the world.
Swiss army prepares for euro zone unrest
With anti-austerity protests across Europe resulting in civil unrest on the streets of Athens and Madrid, Switzerland — the European country famed for its neutrality — is taking unusual precautions.
It launched the military exercise “Stabilo Due” in September to respond to the current instability in Europe and to test the speed at which its army can be dispatched. The country is not a member of the union or among the 17 countries that share the euro.
Swiss newspaper Der Sonntag reported recently that the exercise centered around a risk map created in 2010, where army staff detailed the threat of internal unrest between warring factions as well as the possibility of refugees from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal.
CARICOM alarmed over high food import bill
Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) was formally opened on Wednesday with a chorus of calls for coordinated efforts to firmly tackle the huge food import bill and ensure food security in the Region.
“Trends in food producing nations, for example, suggest that we would need to produce considerably more to meet the demands of a fast-growing population. Recent analyses and estimates indicate that about one billion people throughout the world are suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition,” Prime Minister Spencer said and pointed out that given the current rate of population growth, world food production needed to increase significantly.
The situation, he said, was exacerbated by issues such as climate change, increased prices for food and inputs, natural disasters, and dwindling resources.
Food and nutrition security therefore was one of the more critical concerns for everyone, the Prime Minister said.
The following scenario puts us back to the land due to “Energy Descent.”
Cities and Suburbs in the Energy Descent: Thinking in Scenarios
by Karl North
This article was originally reviewed, edited and published by Tompkins County Relocalization, a group in upstate New York that is researching various aspects of energy descent.
The vulnerability of cities and suburbs in the post-petroleum era has been the object of much debate because their present organization makes their operation so energy-intensive. The debate heretofore has tended to swing between two extremes. One claims that these forms of social organization on the land are so unsustainable that their populations will be forced to abandon them gradually as the energy descent progresses.
The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators – Free PDF
…announce the publication of Mark Burch’s The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators. This special issue from the Simplicity Institute takes us in a new direction, moving beyond the analytical stage of defending simplicity and criticising growth-based, consumer-orintated economies, toward the recognition that our primary task now lies in actively promoting alternative ways of living through education, not simply research and analysis.
This book is worth a look by those interested in working toward solutions.
Great Waves says there will be more refugees:
Islands brace for influx of Syrian refugees
Local authorities on the islands of the northeastern Aegean are bracing for what is expected to be a growing wave of refugees from war-torn Syria, as measures to reduce the inflow of illegal immigrants via the Greek-Turkish border in the Evros region have put a greater strain on the porous coastlines of Greece’s islands.
Local officials in the northeastern Aegean say that there has already been a significant spike in the number of refugees and undocumented migrants that have landed on their shores from Turkey. Their concern is that this wave will grow as the civil war in Syria escalates and that they are ill-equipped to deal with such a large influx.
California earthquake swarm: More damage reported in Brawley – LA Times
Earthquake swarms continued Wednesday in Imperial County as the city of Brawley declared an emergency to deal with the damage.
The swarm that began Sunday morning showed signs of slowing down Wednesday, with fewer quakes reported by the U.S. Geological Survey than on recent days. The magnitude of the quakes is also declining.
rest of story:
There are solutions that require implementation at a greater scale:
“Climate Change SOS: Soil is the Solution, or the most important environmental story I’ll ever write” by Sven Eberlein at Daily Kos
This is a story of hope and possibility in times of great turmoil and struggle.
A few months ago I was working on an article about San Francisco’s pioneering efforts to become the world’s first zero-waste city by 2020.
Chronicling this journey toward a current nation-leading 78 percent waste diversion rate, a major focus of the story was on the city’s mandatory composting program that has played a huge role in keeping over a million tons of food scraps, plant trimmings, soiled paper, and other compostable materials from clogging up landfills and releasing methane into the atmosphere.
… email from Robert Reed, composting manager at SF’s waste management company Recology, telling me how much he enjoyed the piece, but that there was one benefit of composting that I had failed to mention. He said that vineyards and farms were now using San Francisco’s compost not just to grow fruits and vegetables, but to grow cover crops that pull carbon out of the atmosphere.
These were his exact words:
That is remarkable and a partial fix for climate change. If everyone did it and if we planted more trees on marginal soils, we could offset 20 percent of America’s carbon emissions!
According to Dr. Hepperly, one of the big problems with our present approach to the greenhouse gas issue is a lack of a holistic perspective. While we’re trying to find ways to reduce emissions we have not looked at the enormous potential that sequestration of carbon and nitrogen in our soil has for counteracting not only agricultural emissions but the emissions for transportation and industrial sources.
To illustrate this point, all you need to do is look at the current dismal 3% nationwide composting rate. What this means is not only that we’re letting 97% of our food scraps needlessly fill up landfills across the U.S. and release methane into the atmosphere, but we’re squandering a huge opportunity to use a simple natural food cycle to pull loads of carbon back into the ground. Not to mention the restorative effect of returning carbon and nitrogen to our eroding topsoils and nutritional value to our food. It’s full circle!
Full article: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/21/1120065/-Climate-Change-SOS-Soil-is-the-Solution-or-the-most-important-environmental-story-I-ll-ever-write?detail=hide
The resilience imperative and civil disobedience – by Michael Lewis
… in The Resilience Imperative. Pat Conaty and I put 42 months of serious forehead pressing into the book, and the early results are gratifying. People as divergent as John Fullerton, former managing director of JP Morgan whose focus is now on resilience and transition (good-bye Wall Street), and Robin Murray from the London School of Economics have endorsed it — they believe we have presented hopeful ideas for getting the transition going.
After presenting numerous positive examples of how people are changing the economy today, we end the book on this note:
The tasks of transition are many. The challenges are daunting. The outcomes are uncertain. Our courage remains untested. But we are a resilient species. We are not alone; there is “blessed unrest” all about. If we but open our eyes, we will SEE change is possible. If we act in ways that recognize we are interdependent, we will continue to innovate cooperative transitions to a steady-state economy.
There is one key question we need to ask ourselves. What stories will we be able to tell our loved ones about what we did to advance the Great Transition?
Have you ever wondered why things have been going so badly for the United States in recent years?
Our economy is falling apart, we have been plagued with heat, drought and endless natural disasters, our cities are absolutely crumbling, we just keep getting involved in even more wars and Americans are more anxious and more overweight than ever before. So why are so many bad things happening to America?
Why do we lead the world in so many bad categories? Why does nothing seem to be going right? Are we under some kind of a curse? It is almost as if we have entered a “perfect storm” that just keeps getting worse.
Philippines, U.S. stage war games in face of China warning
U.S. and Philippine commandos waded ashore on Wednesday in a mock assault to retake a small island in energy-rich waters disputed with China, part of a drill involving thousands of troops Beijing had said would raise the risk of armed conflict.
China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan across the South China Sea, each searching for gas and oil while building up their navies and military alliances.
Proven and undiscovered oil reserve estimates in the South China Sea range as high as 213 billion barrels of oil, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a 2008 report. That would surpass every country’s proven oil reserves except Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, according to the BP Statistical Review.
Earthquake in Orange County
The earthquake may have measured only a 3.9, but it still could make history in Orange County.
Monday’s temblor, centered in the southern suburb of Laguna Niguel, could be the first measured on a fault discovered only 13 years ago and running along the coast from Newport Beach and Costa Mesa to San Juan Capistrano — close to the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The little-known fault — called the San Joaquin Hills thrust — is similar to the fault that triggered the deadly Northridge quake in the San Fernando Valley 18 years ago.
Unlike the famous San Andreas fault, which can be seen on the surface, the fracture in the earth’s crust that makes up the San Joaquin Hills thrust fault is entirely underground. Because there is no visible break in the earth’s crust at ground level, the fault is perhaps more dangerous because it’s unclear exactly where the boundaries are.
…There were no reports of damage in Monday’s quake, which hit at 10:37 a.m. Southern California Edison said there was no impact at its San Onofre nuclear plant, which has been shut down since January because of safety concerns.
(Isn’t that comforting…)
Amid dispute over oil, Sudan bombs South Sudanese towns. 4/23/2012
When South Sudan declared independence from Sudan, it took three quarters of the formerly united country’s oil, which has since been a source of tension and conflict.
CNN’s World Water Day Quiz:
Thirsty for knowledge? Take the World Water Day quiz
Paul Ehrlich, a prophet of global population doom who is gloomier than ever.
The population of Earth has doubled since Paul Ehrlich first warned the world that there were too many humans. Three and a half billion people later, he is more pessimistic than ever, estimating there is only a 10% chance of avoiding a collapse of global civilization….
Climate change making country’s water problems worse: expert
Marshall said to pay close attention to articles regarding the availability of fresh water.
ERIE, Pa (Reuters) – Climate change and population growth in the United States will make having enough fresh water more challenging in the coming years, an expert on water shortages said on Wednesday.
“In 1985-1986 there were historical (water level) highs and now in less than 25 years we are at historical lows. Those sorts of swings are very scary,” said Robert Glennon, speaking at the State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Glennon, a professor at Arizona State University and the author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It,” said that that according to climate experts, shorter, warmer winters mean less ice and greater exposure to the air, leading eventually to more water evaporation.
“We think about water like the air — infinite and inexhaustible but it is very finite and very exhaustible,” Glennon said.
Clearly, this is concerning, is potentially a 1-2 punch for a large piece of the japanese industrial economy, with fukushima being the real uppercut. Large parts of Tokyo are finding very high levels of radiation in their drinking water. The JAP govt has decided to remobilize vast amounts of radioactive isotopes to burn the radioactive waste in huge Tokyo incinerators and bury the ash in the world’s largest landfill: Tokyo harbor, the radioactive particles likely, one would have to logically assume will fall out over America and Europe and remain air born in the atmosphere for a long while.
Japan to me feels like it could be at major crossroads, face it and begin to deal with it, or potentially endanger neighboring countries food, water, and animal and human populations. Plankton, the bottom of the food chain have been found to be radioactive. Fukushima prefecture may be imperiled for generations. Tokyo itself has extremely high levels of radiation, on playgrounds and trees and in the ground water itself.
Companies are reportedly by Jap. govt being encouraged to go offshore in the face of massive radiation from the fukushima disaster. And now these floods.
- – -
Global fallout of Thai floods
The Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network October 18, 2011 1:01 am
Global fallout of Thai floods
Thailand’s the worst flooding in half a century has forced a number of parts makers and Japanese manufacturers to halt production in Thailand, raising fears the flooding may affect manufacturing worldwide.
The Yomiuri Shumbun reported today that all five key industrial zones were under water in the historic city of Ayutthaya, about a one-hour drive north of Bangkok. Many Japanese automobile and electronics manufacturers are located in the city.
It has been impossible to enter the area without a boat, and many factories are completely submerged.
“Our plant was flooded nearly up to the first floor ceiling,” an employee of a major Japanese auto parts maker said at a high-tech industrial complex that has been transformed into a huge muddy pond.”
He tried to bring production equipment outside but gave up as he could not find a place to store it. “There is no chance of recovery,” he said.
About 320 Japanese companies suffered damage from the floods.
It is expected to take several months before full operations resume, and companies are rushing to find alternate production facilities or supply routes for parts.
Thailand, home to many parts makers, plays a critical role in the global supply chain. If disruptions are prolonged, it could upset manufacturers worldwide, according to Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co.
A senior official of a major Japanese automaker said the floods are having similar impact as the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis….
“There Will Be Oil” by Daniel Yergin in the September 17 Wall Street Journal is a critique of the Peak Oil narrative, and a critique of M. King Hubbard, the man who gave us “Hubbard’s Peak.” I grasp that this says that the Great Waves of Change will be over a longer timeline than some people have considered.
Large areas of Minnesota experienced unseasonable cold and frost in September this year. This artlcle is in the West Central Tribune, September 17, 2011
Corn and soybean crops damaged by frost
ST. PAUL — Much of the state’s corn and soybean crops were damaged by the frost Thursday morning, according to University of Minnesota Extension agronomists.
August 4, 2011 – CANADA – Protecting bits of nature here and there will not prevent humanity from losing our life support system. Even if areas dedicated to conserving plants, animals, and other species that provide Earth’s life support system increased tenfold, it would not be enough without dealing with the big issues of the 21st century: population, overconsumption and inefficient resource use. Without dealing with those big issues, humanity will need 27 planet Earths by 2050, a new study estimates.
The authors based their study on existing literature and global data on human threats and biodiversity loss. When asked about the 2010 global biodiversity protection agreement in Nagoya, Japan to put 17 percent of land and 10 percent of oceans on the planet under protection by 2020, Sale said it was “very unlikely those targets will be reached” due to conflicts between growing needs for food and other resources. “Even if those targets were achieved, it is not going to stop the decline in biodiversity,” he said. One reason for this is “leakage”. Fence off one forest and the logging pressure increases in another. Make one coral reef off limits to fishing and the fishing boats go the next reef. Another reason protected areas aren’t the answer is that fences or patrol boats can’t keep out the impacts of pollution or climate change. Finally, the pressures on the planet’s resources are escalating so quickly that “the problem is running away from the solution”, he said.
Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency.
The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius – which scientists say is the threshold for potentially “dangerous climate change” – is likely to be just “a nice Utopia”, according to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA. It also shows the most serious global recession for 80 years has had only a minimal effect on emissions, contrary to some predictions.
Last year, a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuel – a rise of 1.6Gt on 2009, according to estimates from the IEA regarded as the gold standard for emissions data.
Cities are not preparing for likely GW scenarios. NCAR is cited.
Blog: Science Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling
Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming
Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile — the list goes on and on.
No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year’s time. For all four sources, it’s the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.
There’s a mini ice age coming, says man who beats weather experts
Piers Corbyn not only predicted the current weather, but he believes things are going to get much worse, says Boris Johnson, London’s mayor.
Well, folks, it’s tea-time on Sunday and for anyone involved in keeping people moving it has been a hell of a weekend. Thousands have had their journeys wrecked, tens of thousands have been delayed getting away for Christmas; and for those Londoners who feel aggrieved by the performance of any part of our transport services, I can only say that we are doing our level best.
Almost the entire Tube system was running on Sunday and we would have done even better if it had not been for a suicide on the Northern Line, and the temporary stoppage that these tragedies entail. Of London’s 700 bus services, only 50 were on diversion, mainly in the hillier areas. On Saturday, we managed to keep the West End plentifully supplied with customers, and retailers reported excellent takings on what is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
We have kept the Transport for London road network open throughout all this. We have about 90,000 tons of grit in stock, and the gritters were out all night to deal with this morning’s rush. And yet we have to face the reality of the position across the country.
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It is no use my saying that London Underground and bus networks are performing relatively well – touch wood – when Heathrow, our major international airport, is still effectively closed two days after the last heavy snowfall; when substantial parts of our national rail network are still struggling; when there are abandoned cars to be seen on hard shoulders all over the country; and when yet more snow is expected today, especially in the north.
In a few brief hours, we are told, the snowy superfortresses will be above us again, bomb bays bulging with blizzard. It may be that in the next hours and days we have to step up our de-icing, our gritting and our shovelling. So let me seize this brief gap in the aerial bombardment to pose a question that is bugging me. Why did the Met Office forecast a “mild winter”?
For readers who may be asking questions about how the recent extreme winter conditions can be reconciled with an overall warming of our planet I would direct you to the following article- “Biting winters driven by global warming: scientists” at
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/biting-winters-driven-by-global-warming-scientists-2169007.html . The article basically summarizes the heat-sink effect of oceans, specifially the Artic Ocean and weather anamolies.
Also, reference http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-change/policy-relevant/evidence , for elucidations on jetstream effects, which appear to be influenced by these heatsink variations.
Although the next article delves at the end into some political and economic opinions it is a rather nice summary of some of the topics all these articles, including the original post article, talk about. See http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/12/why-is-it-so-cold-should-big-freeze.html
Castro Warns Of Imminent Nuclear War
Posted on Pakalert on August 10, 2010 // 4 Comments
Cuban News Agency
That was the purpose of the Cuban Revolution leader’s address to the Cuban parliament summoned for an extraordinary session in Havana, due to the urgency of mobilizing the world, faced with the danger of a nuclear war that would be triggered by a US-Israeli led aggression on Iran.
Standing on a podium, in the presence of President Raul Castro, Fidel read a message to the Cuban legislative body making emphasis of the threat of an armed conflict in the Arabian-Persian Gulf, for which he held the American president responsible.
Fidel said men’s pretensions must have a limit that can’t be surpassed and added that in this critical case President Obama would have to give the order of the so much announced attack “in tune with the standards of the gigantic empire.”
“But, in the instant he gives the order, which is the only one he could give due to the power, speed and countless number of missiles accumulated in an absurd competion between powers, he would be ordering the instant death not only of hundreds of millions of people, including, an immeasurable number of inhabitants of his own country, but also the crews of all US ships in the seas near Iran.”
“Simultaneously, the war would break out in the Near and Far East and across Eurasia,” said Fidel.
He also explained that fate decreed that at this precise moment, the President of the United States is a descendant of an African and a white, of a Muslim and a Christian and that he will not give the order if he becomes aware of the problem.
After reading his message, Fidel encouraged a dialogue with the Cuban deputies to find solutions to the issue and called on them to think of ways to spread the call for peace
“Solving Climate Change Is Out of The Question”
In a paper published June 7 in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, researchers present evidence that over the past century, vegetation has been gradually moving toward the poles and up mountain slopes, where temperatures are cooler, as well as toward the equator, where rainfall is greater.
Moreover, an estimated one-tenth to one-half of the land mass on Earth will be highly vulnerable to climate-related vegetation shifts by the end of this century, depending upon how effectively humans are able to curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to the study.
The results came from a meta-analysis of hundreds of field studies and a spatial analysis of observed 20th century climate and projected 21st century vegetation.
“This is the first global view of observed biome shifts due to climate change,” said the study’s lead author Patrick Gonzalez, a visiting scholar at the Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources. “It’s not just a case of one or two plant species moving to another area. To change the biome of an ecosystem, a whole suite of plants must change.”
“Approximately one billion people now live in areas that are highly to very highly vulnerable to future vegetation shifts,” said Gonzalez. “Ecosystems provide important services to people, so we must reduce the emissions that cause climate change, then adapt to major changes that might occur.”
University of California – Berkeley (2010, June 9). Climate change linked to major vegetation shifts worldwide. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2010,
from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/06/100607092143.htm
This is not a reply, but a story from the visional and encouraging part of us that manifests in practical and useful hardware in line with sustainability regarding Earth and its resources.
From Deutsche Welle:
Cooking and saving the climate – efficient wood-burning stoves in Peru
Project goal: Saving wood used for cooking, less air pollution
Project size: Installation of 30,000 efficient stoves per year
Cost of building stoves:1.8 million euros ($2.43 million)
CO2 savings: a planned 7 million tons in the next seven years
Traditionally, people in the rural regions of Peru cook over an open fire at home. It’s not only bad for the climate, it’s also bad for the population’s health. New types of wood-burning stoves can reduce the amount of wood consumed by up to 80 percent. That prevents deforestation, and saves thousands of tons of CO2 emissions.
A film by Karl Harenbrock
THE RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF EXTREME ENERGY: A New Oil Rush Endangers the Gulf of Mexico and The Planet
While poor oversight and faulty equipment may have played a critical role in BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf, the ultimate source of the disaster is big oil’s compulsive drive to compensate for the decline in its conventional oil reserves by seeking supplies in inherently hazardous areas — risks be damned.
So long as this compulsion prevails, more such disasters will follow. Bet on it.
In Kentucky Big energy companies are blowing the tops off our ancient mountains for coal.
This is a movie that give you an idea of how much damage we are causing, it also inspires you to think about saving energy.
Environmental crisis plagues Southern Italy – video –
Companies are hiding toxic waste in the mountains of Italy, this is causing irreversible environmental problems leading to major health related anomalies and economic hardship to the local farmers..
I submit this story: “What Links The Banking Crisis and The Volcano?” at:
As the New Message tells us, nature will dictate the progression and outcome of the Great Waves of Change. The interconnection of everything on this planet is stunning and sobering.
Devlin Kuyek, a Montreal-based researcher with Grain, said investing in Africa was now seen as a new food supply strategy by many governments. “Rich countries are eyeing Africa not just for a healthy return on capital, but also as an insurance policy. Food shortages and riots in 28 countries in 2008, declining water supplies, climate change and huge population growth have together made land attractive. Africa has the most land and, compared with other continents, is cheap,” he said.
“Farmland in sub-Saharan Africa is giving 25% returns a year and new technology can treble crop yields in short time frames,” said Susan Payne, chief executive of Emergent Asset Management, a UK investment fund seeking to spend $50m on African land, which, she said, was attracting governments, corporations, multinationals and other investors. “Agricultural development is not only sustainable, it is our future. If we do not pay great care and attention now to increase food production by over 50% before 2050, we will face serious food shortages globally,” she said.
But many of the deals are widely condemned by both western non-government groups and nationals as “new colonialism”, driving people off the land and taking scarce resources away from people.
“The land and labour is cheap and the climate is good here. Everyone – Saudis, Turks, Chinese, Egyptians – is looking. The farmers do not like it because they get displaced, but they can find land elsewhere and, besides, they get compensation, equivalent to about 10 years’ crop yield,” he said.
Oromia is one of the centres of the African land rush. Haile Hirpa, president of the Oromia studies’ association, said last week in a letter of protest to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that India had acquired 1m hectares, Djibouti 10,000 hectares, Saudi Arabia 100,000 hectares, and that Egyptian, South Korean, Chinese, Nigerian and other Arab investors were all active in the state.
“This is the new, 21st-century colonisation. The Saudis are enjoying the rice harvest, while the Oromos are dying from man-made famine as we speak,” he said.
Conflicts fuelled by climate change causing new refugee crisis, warns UN
· Total up 3m to 37.4m as downward trend reverses
· Figures exclude those fleeing natural disasters
* Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
* The Guardian, Tuesday 17 June 2008
Climate change is fueling conflicts around the world and helping to drive the number of people forced out of their homes to new highs, the head of the UN’s refugee agency said yesterday. After a few years of improvement, thanks mainly to large-scale resettlement in Afghanistan, the numbers of civilians uprooted by conflict is again rising. During 2007 the total jumped to 37.4 million, an increase of more than 3 million, according to statistics published today.
“What we are witnessing is a trend in the world where more and more people feel threatened by conflict, threatened by their own government, threatened by other political, religious ethnic or social groups, threatened by nature and nature’s retaliation against human aggression – climate change is the example of that. And also threatened by … a slowdown in global growth, plus structural change in energy and food markets,” Guterres said.
The Portuguese diplomat is visiting London to launch a week of events marking World Refugee Day.
*note: the original web site contains a map and the staggering figures of the world’s refugees.
I am in The Bahamas. You can see here with your own eyes how the sea is rising. When the seas are rough, seawater is washing directly on to the low lying coastal road in Nassau, bringing sand and seaweed with it. It is only a matter of a short time and/or a storm that will agitate the sea and with this, it will inundate the lower lying areas of the Island(s) with seawater. The only thing that is holding the sea back ( for the moment ) is the coral reef, but eventually even that will not be enough to stop the waves if the force behind them is great enough. There are many people worldwide who live on Islands and/or in low lying coastal areas. These people will have to move to higher ground, and they will have to move soon because it is now too late to hope that a reduction in CO2 emissions will make a difference. The train has already left the station and although we do not know the exact time of arrival we can make an estimate, which is “soon”.
Global deep freeze threatens 2010 food supply
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) The global deep freeze now striking North America, Europe, China and other regions may lead to severe food shortages and price hikes throughout 2010. Right now, rare freezing temperatures are destroying root crops in their ground, wiping out citrus orchards and devastating food producers around the world. The upshot of it all? Expect food shortages and rising food prices throughout 2010.
This global deep freeze is all part of the extreme weather now being unleashed on the planet due to human beings polluting the world and altering the atmosphere. Scientists can’t agree on whether the trend is global warming or global cooling, but no one can argue that something’s wrong with the weather.
Rainfall and temperature patterns that used to be reliable are now going haywire. Where there were once reliable seasonal rains, there are alternating periods of drought followed by floods. Where temperatures were once mild and predictable, they’re now fluctuating out of control, becoming too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
All this adds up to escalating crop failures that are now poised to have a real, noticeable impact on the global food supply.
“Sub-zero temperatures have made it impossible to extract some vegetables from the ground. Producers of brussels sprouts and cabbages are all reporting problems with harvesting. Cauliflowers are said to have turned to mush in the sustained frost,” says a story published in The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/j…)
It goes on to report:
“In Ireland, 6,000 acres of potatoes remains unharvested and there are claims that up to three-quarters of the crop may be ruined. Potato growers in Northern Ireland say they are facing some of the biggest losses in recent history because of frost damage.”
The UK Press Association also reports, “Food shortages are feared as it emerged that farmers are struggling to harvest vegetables in the big freeze, which will lead to higher food prices and damage small businesses.” (http://www.google.com/hostednews/uk…)
New is also surfacing that the world’s orange juice supply may now be destroyed:
“Growers in the sunshine state fear an even worse arctic blast Sunday night will decimate their crop, which accounts for 40-percent of the world’s orange juice supply.” (http://www.necn.com/Boston/Nation/2…)
All this destruction of food is already causing prices to rise. “Greengrocers in some of the worst-hit areas are reporting shortages, with the price of carrots and parsnips reportedly rising by 30% in some small shops,” reports The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/j…)
Similar reports are also coming out of China, which has been hit hard by freezing weather.
Global food supply is now threatened
The global deep freeze now devastating crops around the world leads to one inescapable conclusion: Food prices will rise throughout 2010. They were already on the rise in 2009, but thanks to the big winter freeze, they’re headed much, much higher this year.
This may be much more than a one-time crisis, too. As reported in The Telegraph:
“For years, academics such as Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University, gave warning that we were ‘sleepwalking’ into a future where our food security was likely to be seriously undermined, whether by natural disasters, rising fuel costs, climate change or the massive pressures placed on the global food system by a rising population.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodandd…)
The fact is that plentiful food depends on cheap oil, fossil water aquifers and predictable weather. And all three are coming to an end! Unpredictable weather, in particular, is upon us right now.
In the years ahead, radical weather patterns will continue to compromise food production around the world. Floods, freezes, hurricanes and droughts will all take their toll. The result will be increased food prices and decreased food supply.
During this crisis, more people will be forced to turn to low-cost processed foods that will further promote diseases like obesity, cancer and heart disease. Fewer and fewer citizens of the world will be able to afford fresh, organic produce because it is precisely the fresh produce that’s more easily destroyed by radical weather events.
This means, of course, that food-producing land will greatly increase in value, especially if it can produce food year round. And that means people who own such parcels of land in Hawaii, California, Southern France, Mexico or even places like Peru or Ecuador will find their properties steadily increasing in value. Wherever fresh food can be reliably produced in the years ahead, properties will tend to increase in value.
Land in areas hit by drought, floods or fossil water shortages, on the other hand, will collapse in value. Some areas that used to be fertile farmland will turn to desert. Others will suffer severe soil erosion from rains and storms. The ability of the world to produce fresh food is going to be compromised by unpredictable weather events.
The era of easy food is over
Since the 1940′s, we’ve lived in an age of easy food. But that food bubble is now collapsing, and as it does, it’s going to catch most people off guard. Some will be able to compensate by simply paying much higher prices for the fresh food they need, but most people will not be able to afford to pay much more for food, so they’ll turn to processed, long-shelf-life food instead. And before long, they will join the ranks of the diseased as a result.
Remember: Living food keeps you alive. Dead food makes you dead. The more fresh, living food you consume, the healthier you’ll be. Sadly, our interference with the global climate is resulting in radical weather patterns that are destroying huge quantities of fresh produce, greatly reducing the supply of “living” food.
The alternative for individuals or families is to grow your own food. Grow as much as you can in your own gardens. Food security is the issue of the decade, I believe, and those who don’t have the ability to grow at least some portion of their own diet may find themselves in an increasingly difficult position in 2010 and beyond.
again, linked from environmentnewstrust.org, click on either boxes, scroll for stories
December 2009: A leading conservationist Larry J. Schweiger reveals in a new book entitled ‘Last Chance’ that global climate change is stealthy and relentless, producing enormous impacts globally on plant and animal life, species habit migration north, and reduction of coast lines around cities such as Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, and New Orleans. Already parts of California and Australia burn year round, and in the next 41 years, 1 million species stand to go extinct unless ways are found to reduce global carbon emissions in to the earth’s atmosphere. Schweiger is concerned that people are not going to react in time.
From PBS Series, This American Land.
click on box with a arrow in it, makes the videos full screen displays, also its able to be cross bookmarked to sharing sites and shared with friends, and family from within the video player window. thx, cray
October, 2009 – White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a poorly understood condition that, in the two years since its discovery, has spread to at least seven northeastern states and killed as many as half a million bats.
From PBS nationally broadcast series looking at environmental issues.
2 min. 50 seconds of video in video window
Main site link: http://www.environmentnewstrust.org/
then, “Assignment Earth” stories box right hand side of page, blue colored box, scroll through stories in box, RSS subscriptions for new stories available to be bookmarked.
thanks Reed and all associated with this. –Cray
24 November 2009
• As promised, here’s an expanded report from our Ukraine update yesterday.
We’ve not communicated directly with our source, who relayed this report via an intermediary who spoke to her in depth on the phone two days ago. The source is a doctor and qualified nutritionist in Kyiv [Kiev] with recent hands-on experience of treating patients who are seriously ill with what the Russians are calling “Mutant Black Lung” – apparently an apt name for a horrific and often fatal set of symptoms.
The problem (corroborated by Dr Henry L Niman and others) is that the H1N1 virus has mutated and the new strain goes straight to the bottom of the lungs where it causes massive bleeding triggered by a cytokine storm. It’s the patient’s own immune over-reaction that kills them. This is what happened in the second wave in the fall of 1918 (click here and here for historical archives and photos). It’s not pneumonia, and it’s not pneumonic plague (which is a bacterium, not a virus – but more on that below in the final paragraph of this report). However, it’s extremely nasty and can be a very fast killer of anyone affected.
Our source said that she had kept some one seriously ill patient alive with intramuscular injections of Vitamin D: up to 30,000 IU, twice a day. This was a surgeon who had suddenly collapsed in the operating theater 40 minutes after waking up one morning. The surgeon’s colleague was not so lucky: he collapsed two hours later, and was dead the next day.
She personally witnessed aircraft spraying something that was slimy and smelly over Lviv. These were NOT chemtrails – it was more like crop-dusting. The altitude was about 1500 feet [500 meters]. They were large aircraft: the windows in her 4-story building shook when one of the planes passed. This was three days before the outbreak there. That report is matched by information she learned in Kyiv, where the same planes were reported and again the outbreak occurred three days later.
There are restrictions in travel: the source’s husband had to bribe his way to cross one national border. In many villages one cannot leave. In larger towns, however, it’s easier to find a way out. Taxi drivers are not permitted to leave a city without a military licence. The source reported on one occasion seeing several pick-up trucks traveling together between cities which had on them a sign to the effect that one should keep clear as there were bodies on board.
About 10% of patients are recovering quickly and discharging after a few days. The rest are still in hospital and if not dead are not recovering after even three weeks. She noted that they might still die, so it’s impossible to establish the true CFR [Case Fatality Rate]. In the Kyiv hospital where she works 40% of the staff are ill and the 600 bed hospital – usually 2/3 full – now has 1200 patients and they have even had to move bodies out of the morgue to make room for beds. Many who did not fall ill are not reporting to work. The healthcare system is breaking down. There is nothing in the pharmacies except for Aspirin – if one is lucky. Locals are falling back on traditional remedies and some groups (for instance) were going into the forest to hunt for medicinal mushrooms because they had nothing else to use.
No-one in Ukraine has accurate statistics. But WHO officials have been seen in many locations. Her colleagues are baffled because they look to the western media for news reports… and they see nothing. They cannot understand this. But what’s happening in Ukraine is now being well reported in Russia. Furthermore, this H1N1 mutation is now apparently being encountered in Poland, Turkey, Russia and the Czech Republic.
The source had encountered cases of bubonic and pneumonic plague professionally and was familiar with the symptoms. In this new epidemic, the severe lung damage was so similar to pneumonic plague that she said “it was as if someone had taken the bacterial component of the plague and shoved it into a virus”. Please note that we are not medically qualified and cannot comment on this remark, which may have been meant descriptively rather than scientifically. We do understand that bacteria and viruses are very different, spread differently, affect the body differently, and need to be treated differently. Also please note an important interview with a Ukrainian Coroner here (a short, must-read report) – which seems very likely to be accurate. We await further information. We are also interviewing Dr Bill Deagle again within the next 48 hours.
23 November 2009 – update 2
• We have just received an indirect report from an apparently reliable source in Ukraine – confirming (in essence) what we reported here yesterday. More on this within 24 hours when we can update in more detail. Our source is keeping patients alive with massive doses of Vitamin D (30,000 IU per day- see our recent interview with Gabriele Stähler). In Russia, the problem is being termed “Mutant Black Lung” – the H1N1 mutation, attacking the bottom of the lungs, which has just been disclosed by the WHO. Ukraine is in partial lockdown and there is quite a lot of chaos. More soon.
23 November 2009 – update 1
• About a week ago, Kerry Cassidy from Project Camelot participated in The Alienshift Conference Panel on 2012. This panel discussion is now online here. Don’t miss this great discussion hosted by renowned psychic Sean David Morton. The panel includes Jordan Maxwell, Miriam Delicado, Mike Bara, Kerry Cassidy and David Farman (host of the website alienshift.com).
23 November 2009
• A source is sending us photos of chemtrails seen this weekend in the skies over Chicago area.. stating that this amount of activity appeared to be much worse than previously seen…
They included various photos including this one showing what they labeled as 9 visible chemtrails at once:
I live in a visible path of commercial aircraft that land at Chicago O’Hare. No commercial aircraft came through my sight today during these chemtrails (11 am – 4 pm CST). The commercial aircraft have been put back on their regular paths in my sight since about 6 pm today. It appeared that these chemtrails started south of Chicago at an unknown earlier time and finished in my sight around Milwaukee, WI around 5 pm, from my view. FYI.
They are concerned in case this may be a precursor in spreading the virus. We are posting this for the record at this time in case other reports begin to surface around the U.S. and rest of the world of unusual escalation of chemtrail activity prior to any future outbreaks.
Kerry, gentle reminder: if you’ve got links to news stories, submit them, but, as I have accidentally done, keep the posts short, and include the news story link. Speculation, opinion, and off-Great Waves of Change topic posts serve to distract and muddy the waters. I appreciate your posts but the Great Waves broad categories of changes are : climate change, resource depletion, political and economic instability, ecological destruction/species extinction, risk of pandemic disease, extraterrestrial intervention, and growing risk of [hostile] competition, conflict and war. The exact list of the basic categories of changes is at greatwavesofchange.org Thanks Kerry and others for posting, nonetheless, it is appreciated.
Copenhagen: Seattle Grows Up – by Naomi Klein
This article appeared in the November 30, 2009 edition of The Nation.
The other day I received a pre-publication copy of The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle, by David Solnit and Rebecca Solnit. It’s set to come out ten years after a historic coalition of activists shut down the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle, the spark that ignited a global anticorporate movement.
The book is a fascinating account of what really happened in Seattle, but when I spoke to David Solnit, the direct-action guru who helped engineer the shutdown, I found him less interested in reminiscing about 1999 than in talking about the upcoming United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen and the “climate justice” actions he is helping to organize across the United States on November 30. “This is definitely a Seattle-type moment,” Solnit told me. “People are ready to throw down.”
There is certainly a Seattle quality to the Copenhagen mobilization: the huge range of groups that will be there; the diverse tactics that will be on display; and the developing-country governments ready to bring activist demands into the summit. But Copenhagen is not merely a Seattle do-over. It feels, instead, as though the progressive tectonic plates are shifting, creating a movement that builds on the strengths of an earlier era but also learns from its mistakes.
The big criticism of the movement the media insisted on calling “antiglobalization” was always that it had a laundry list of grievances and few concrete alternatives. The movement converging on Copenhagen, in contrast, is about a single issue–climate change–but it weaves a coherent narrative about its cause, and its cures, that incorporates virtually every issue on the planet. In this narrative, our climate is changing not simply because of particular polluting practices but because of the underlying logic of capitalism, which values short-term profit and perpetual growth above all else. Our governments would have us believe that the same logic can now be harnessed to solve the climate crisis–by creating a tradable commodity called “carbon” and by transforming forests and farmland into “sinks” that will supposedly offset our runaway emissions.
Climate-justice activists in Copenhagen will argue that, far from solving the climate crisis, carbon-trading represents an unprecedented privatization of the atmosphere, and that offsets and sinks threaten to become a resource grab of colonial proportions. Not only will these “market-based solutions” fail to solve the climate crisis, but this failure will dramatically deepen poverty and inequality, because the poorest and most vulnerable people are the primary victims of climate change–as well as the primary guinea pigs for these emissions-trading schemes.
But activists in Copenhagen won’t simply say no to all this. They will aggressively advance solutions that simultaneously reduce emissions and narrow inequality. Unlike at previous summits, where alternatives seemed like an afterthought, in Copenhagen the alternatives will take center stage. For instance, the direct-action coalition Climate Justice Action has called on activists to storm the conference center on December 16. Many will do this as part of the “bike bloc,” riding together on an as yet unrevealed “irresistible new machine of resistance” made up of hundreds of old bicycles. The goal of the action is not to shut down the summit, Seattle-style, but to open it up, transforming it into “a space to talk about our agenda, an agenda from below, an agenda of climate justice, of real solutions against their false ones…. This day will be ours.”
…. full article: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091130/klein
The stolen emails can be read here: http://www.climate-gate.org/cru/mail/
>> This is a fact that not many people know about, and quite a few people, would like that there was no evidence to back this fact, because some people would like the world to believe that human activity is the cause for global warming on Earth. I am not advocating that releasing harmful gases, and chemicals in the oceans and atmosphere are good, but after a few years of research, I have come to understand that global warming is happening in the Solar System, not just on Earth.
Some people just want to listen to what some environmentalists are claiming, that global warming is happening because of human activity, and we are the cause for the extreme changes in climate we have been seeing lately getting worse and worse.
I will let now the facts speak for themselves as to what is really happening.
Mars may be going through a period of climate change, new findings from NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter suggest.
Odyssey has been mapping the distribution of materials on and near Mars’ surface since early 2002, nearly a full annual cycle on Mars. Besides tracking seasonal changes, such as the advance and retreat of polar dry ice, the orbiter is returning evidence useful for learning about longer-term dynamics.
Martian Ice Shrinking Dramatically
New gullies that did not exist in mid-2002 have appeared on a Martian sand dune.
That’s just one of the surprising discoveries that have resulted from the extended life of NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor, which this month began its ninth year in orbit around Mars. Boulders tumbling down a Martian slope left tracks that weren’t there two years ago. New impact craters formed since the 1970s suggest changes to age-estimating models. And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars’ south pole have shrunk from the previous year’s size, suggesting a climate change in progress.
Prediction of a global climate change on Jupiter
Philip S. Marcus
Top of pageJupiter’s atmosphere, as observed in the 1979 Voyager space craft images, is characterized by 12 zonal jet streams and about 80 vortices, the largest of which are the Great Red Spot and three White Ovals that had formed1 in the 1930s. The Great Red Spot has been observed2 continuously since 1665 and, given the dynamical similarities between the Great Red Spot and the White Ovals, the disappearance3, 4 of two White Ovals in 1997−2000 was unexpected. Their longevity and sudden demise has been explained5 however, by the trapping of anticyclonic vortices in the troughs of Rossby waves, forcing them to merge. Here I propose that the disappearance of the White Ovals was not an isolated event, but part of a recurring climate cycle which will cause most of Jupiter’s vortices to disappear within the next decade. In my numerical simulations, the loss of the vortices results in a global temperature change of about 10 K, which destabilizes the atmosphere and thereby leads to the formation of new vortices. After formation, the large vortices are eroded by turbulence over a time of 60 years—consistent with observations of the White Ovals—until they disappear and the cycle begins again.
Pluto is undergoing global warming, researchers find
October 9, 2002
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–Pluto is undergoing global warming, as evidenced by a three-fold increase in the planet’s atmospheric pressure during the past 14 years, a team of astronomers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Williams College, the University of Hawaii, Lowell Observatory and Cornell University announced in a press conference today at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences in Birmingham, AL.
The team, led by James Elliot, professor of planetary astronomy at MIT and director of MIT’s Wallace Observatory, made this finding by watching the dimming of a star when Pluto passed in front of it Aug. 20. The team carried out observations using eight telescopes at Mauna Kea Observatory, Haleakala, Lick Observatory, Lowell Observatory and Palomar Observatory. Data were successfully recorded at all sites.
An earlier attempt to observe an occultation of Pluto on July 19 in Chile was not highly successful. Observations were made from only two sites with small telescopes because the giant telescopes and other small telescopes involved lost out to bad weather or from being in the wrong location that day. These two occultations were the first to be successfully observed for Pluto since 1988.
That’s a 300% increase in atmospheric pressure in Pluto, which is the highest increase in any planet in the Solar system, and it is increasing as Pluto orbits away from the Sun. If the Sun is the cause for global warming in the solar system, as some scientists say, why is it that Pluto, the planet that is the farthest away from the Sun, experiencing the most severe effects, and it is getting worse and worse as it orbits away from the sun?
Pluto thought to be warming up
Astronomers at the University of Tasmania have found that the solar system’s smallest planet is not getting colder as first thought and it probably does not have rings.
Dr John Greenhill has collected observations from last month’s event when Pluto passed in front of a bright star, making it easier to study.
French scientists have shared the measurements they took in Tasmania that night, which indicate that the planet is unlikely to have rings.
Dr Greenhill says the results are surprising because they show Pluto is warming up.
“It looks as though the atmosphere has not changed from 2002, which is pretty surprising because we expected the atmosphere would freeze out as the planet moved further away from the Sun,” he said.
“But so far, if anything, the atmosphere has gotten even denser.”
The following is a site which was made by several scientists who have no links with any government, or corporation, their findings are very interresting and give a different picture as to what is causing global warming. I can’t quote any excerpts as there is a copyright issue, but I will post the link. Anyone interested in that information should read that site.
Is the solar system entering a nearby interstellar cloud
Vidal-Madjar, A.; Laurent, C.; Bruston, P.; Audouze, J.
AA(CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique Stellaire et Planetaire, Verrieres-le-Buisson, Essonne, France), AB(CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique Stellaire et Planetaire, Verrieres-le-Buisson, Essonne, France), AC(CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique Stellaire et Planetaire, Verrieres-le-Buisson, Essonne, France), AD(Meudon Observatoire, Hauts-de-Seine; Paris XI, Universite, Orsay, Essonne, France)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 223, July 15, 1978, p. 589-600. (ApJ Homepage)
ASTRONOMICAL MODELS, DEUTERIUM, HYDROGEN ATOMS, INTERSTELLAR GAS, SOLAR SYSTEM, ABUNDANCE, EARLY STARS, GAS DENSITY, INTERSTELLAR EXTINCTION
Observational arguments in favor of such a cloud are presented, and implications of the presence of a nearby cloud are discussed, including possible changes in terrestrial climate. It is suggested that the postulated interstellar cloud should encounter the solar system at some unspecified time in the ‘near’ future and might have a drastic influence on terrestrial climate in the next 10,000 years.
ESA sees stardust storms heading for Solar System
Date Released: Monday, August 18, 2003
Source: Artemis Society
Until ten years ago, most astronomers did not believe stardust could enter our Solar System. Then ESA’s Ulysses spaceprobe discovered minute stardust particles leaking through the Sun’s magnetic shield, into the realm of Earth and the other planets. Now, the same spaceprobe has shown that a flood of dusty particles is heading our way.
What is surprising in this new Ulysses discovery is that the amount of stardust has continued to increase even after the solar activity calmed down and the magnetic field resumed its ordered shape in 2001.
Scientists believe that this is due to the way in which the polarity changed during solar maximum. Instead of reversing completely, flipping north to south, the Sun’s magnetic poles have only rotated at halfway and are now more or less lying sideways along the Sun’s equator. This weaker configuration of the magnetic shield is letting in two to three times more stardust than at the end of the 1990s. Moreover, this influx could increase by as much as ten times until the end of the current solar cycle in 2012.
[edit on 16-8-2006 by Muaddib]<<
The page: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread221608/pg1
ClimateGate: The 7 Biggest Lies About The Supposed “Global Warming Hoax”
Huffington Post | Katherine Goldstein
First Posted: 12- 2-09 08:08 AM | Updated: 12- 2-09 12:20 PM
Read More: Climate Change, Climate Skeptics, Climategate, East Anglia Emails, Global Warming Hoax, Slidepoll, Swifthack, Green News
A few weeks ago, hackers broke into the emails of one of the Climate Research Unit of The University of East Anglia, and climate skeptics have been having a field day making mountains out of molehills about what the emails contain. The verdict on global warming is in — it’s caused by humans and it is happening and nothing in the emails remotely challenges that. However, with the internet abuzz about what has been labeled “ClimateGate,” we thought we should set the record straight about the rumors, lies and insinuations about what the emails actually contain — and what they “prove” about climate change. “ClimateGate” itself is a misnomer, the nickname should be “SwiftHack” for the way people with political agendas have “swiftboated” the global warming reality. As world attention turns to the climate conference in Copenhagen this December, this email hack acts as a distraction from the huge task at hand of getting world leaders to commit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As professor Richard Somerville says, “We’re facing an effort by special interests who are trying to confuse the public.”
Check out our slideshow and pick what you think the most dangerous lie that is being spread by skeptics about the emails.
for more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/02/climategate-the-7-biggest_n_371223.html
The question really though, besides your ideas I feel ‘lybertha’ is what does your heart tell you about these things. I understand your belief and alignment with thiese other author’s ideas, but when you look at this calmly, over time, with your inner knowing faculties that we are all born with, the deeper experience and deeper spiritual intelligence, what does your heart tell about the prospect of large scale climate shifts globally?
I too am concerned about aspects of the mainstream reporting on climate change, increased desertification, loss of top soil (recent serious reports dust/soil storms in TX), and in some areas loss of fresh water. However, the important thing is, not what do others think is going on here with these recent events, but rather, what is really going here. To accurately and objectively discern that, we must go within, ask within, and receive guidance within from the deeper conscience and deeper experience and deeper feeling of life, within, and this comes from the deeper spiritual intelligence, which in the Great Waves of Change, is called Knowledge. Knowledge is our innate first mind, that we are born with, that Knows, and it is this mind that we must reply upon, in the face of unprecedented change, how could our surface intellect’s ideas and the idea’s of others possibly be able to really know what is going on and how to prepare for it?
Have you read the Great Waves of Change? There are four free chapters avail. through http://www.greatwavesofchange.org that I would highly encourage you to investigate and experience patiently, yourself.
This has multiple issues, a few strike me here: growing competition over scarce fresh water, water availability as a huge factor in disruption to food production (and backwards ways of mitigating that). And a change-resistant, past-referenced (personal mind’s) drive to constantly grow and profit within old paradigm’s changing circumstances rather than change to new more resource efficient industrial, municipal and agricultural water use paradigm, and the wasteful use by industrialized nations for things like swimming pools, automobile washing/property washing, mining, industry, and golf course and lawn watering.
Also, it must be mentioned here that there are certain overseas firms in france and sweden i believe, including one of the vast divisions of swiss giant Nestle (also can be googled) that are buying up municipal water production/treatment rights/facilities around the world that were previously private, particularly here in the U.S. and 3rd world nations. These companies then in turn begin to steadily increase water rates after the first few years and eventually become ever more profitable over time–in drier regions of the south and southwest especially–as they charge the public to produce their own publicly owned and derived resources.
(Fresh water will be even more enormous of an issue soon. You can almost overlay a global map of the nation’s with little or no fresh water security and overlay it straight onto the map of the nation’s with greater economic and/or political instability and it would be a near total match–like the earlier ‘GW news’ article post.
**Apparently of the water on the planet (which is ~ 70% water) only 6% is fresh water, of which only 0.3% of the water on the planet is drinkable, I saw elsewhere today–a stunning figure, don’t have a source as yet, perhaps googling it will yield this quote.)
The World’s Looming ‘Water Gap’
By Marc Gunther
Published November 25, 2009
(Tags: Facilities, Manufacturing, Partnerships, Water, Water Efficiency & Conservation)
There’s good and bad news from a sweeping new report on the world’s water scarcity out today from McKinsey & Co., commissioned by such water-dependent companies as Coca-Cola, Nestle, SAB Miller and Syngenta, along with the World Bank/International Finance Corp.
The bad: Global demand for water already exceeds supply — about 1.1 billion people don’t have access to clean water — and the so-called water gap is increasing at an accelerating rate.
The good: Cost-effective, sustainable solutions are available to close the gap, particularly if governments and business focus on reducing demand rather than trying to generate additional supply.
The challenge: Getting beyond the nostrum that water is a “human right” so that water, which is obviously a scarce resource, can be priced in a way that drives conservation.
One more thing to know: Water issues are at least as complex as energy, and all water problems are local, so generalizing about water, while inevitable, is invariably misleading.
As Martin Stuchtey of McKinsey put it: “We are not saying there is one way to close the water gap, and we fully acknowledge the complexity of the water arena.”
The 185-page report, published by the 2030 Water Resources Group, was released this morning at a sparsely-attended news conference at The World Bank. While water isn’t a headline-grabbing topic, it’s emerging as a real business risk. Recently the Carbon Disclosure Project, a coalition of institutional investors that asks global companies to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, said it would undertake a similar effort for water usage. And press releases from NGOs the India Resource Center, which is targeting Coca-Cola, arrive regularly in my email, posing pesky reputational issues for global brands.
Water shortages will also create business opportunities, which explains the presence of Michael Mack, the CEO of Syngenta, at today’s event. A Swiss-based agribusiness firm, Syngenta is developing genetically engineered, drought-resitant strains of wheat and corn.
“They are literally two years away,” Mack said. Biotech crops, he said, will help not only in poor countries but in water-rich regions of Canada and Russia which will be able to grow more wheat per acre, then sell the output to countries that water-constrained. “Getting more productive agriculture on the existing farmland is the highest priority,” Mack said. This is known in the trade as more crop per drop.
Because agriculture accounts for about 70 percent of global water use, biotech crops could have a big impact on the water gap. But they will only scale up if governments and environmental groups, particularly in Europe, can be persuaded that genetic engineering will generate more good than harm — no easy matter.
Mack and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the chairman of Nestle, who joined in the news conference by phone, both questioned whether the idea of water as a “human right” is useful way to frame the conversation. (Nestle, it must be noted, is the leading U.S. seller of bottled water through such local brands as Deer Park and Arrowhead, and as such it has come under considerable fire.)
Brabeck-Letmathe said people have a right to water for their basic needs — perhaps 25 liters a day. But he argued that adequate pricing of water will be needed to curb waste. “It’s not a human right to wash your car, to fill up your swimming pool, to water your golf course,” he said.
Some countries are smart about pricing. tool. In South Africa, according to Brabeck-Letmathe, residential users are given a monthly allocation of “free” or subsidized water — presumably enough for drinking, cooking, bathing and sanitation — and then charged a premium for usage beyond that.
By contrast, the McKinsey executives and others said that free or subsidized electricity in rural India contributes to water shortages there because farmers have no reason not to pump as much water as they can out of the ground.
Even normally-cautious development executives said that markets have a role to play in allocating a scarce commodity like water. “Demand is outstripping supply, especially in developing countries,” said Lars Thunell, CEO of the IFC.
Pricing alone, though, won’t solve the water crisis, as McKinsey executives explained to me after the event. We talked about drip irrigation — basically pipes with holes — which is both a more effective and more efficient way to deliver water and fertilizer to crops. The payback on investment in drip irrigation is quick, sometimes as little as one year.
The trouble is, subsistence farmers in poor countries India don’t have the capital to invest in a drip irrigation system, so charging them more for water won’t do any good. They may need access to financing, or the ability to share the costs of an irrigation system with neighbors, or government or NGO subsidies for the pipes, which would provide a more sustainable solution that subsidizing electricity or water.
There’s much, much more in the McKinsey report, which focuses on four countries with big but differing water issues — China, India, South Africa and Brazil. Collectively, they will account for 40 percent of the world’s population, 30 percent of global GDP and 42 percent of projected water demand in 2030.
That doesn’t mean that water isn’t an issue for those of us fortunate enough to have access to cheap, clean water. If you haven’t noticed, California is suffering from several years of drought, which will eventually drive up the costs of groceries for anyone who wants to consume fresh fruits and vegetables year round.
By the way, do you have any idea how much you pay for water? I certainly don’t. Before too long, I bet we all will.
When the glacier left
In surprising ways, a Himalayan village adapts to a changing climate
By Jonathan Mingle
cray here from boston globe apparently
November 29, 2009
In the village of Kumik, in a remote Himalayan valley of northwest India known as Zanskar, people have an old saying, “Kha Kumik, chu Shila” – the snow falls above Kumik, but the water goes to Shila, a nearby settlement. Intoned with a rhythmic staccato, these six syllables elicit laughs of recognition from most Zanskaris. “Isn’t that life for you?”
Residents of Kumik laugh, too, but more ruefully of late. The people of the village, known as Kumikpas, are mostly subsistence farmers, dependent on seasonal meltwater from snowfields and a small glacier at the top of the valley. But in the last several years, Kumik has experienced a drought of unprecedented severity. Due to changing weather patterns, the snow falls above Kumik less often every year. The glacier, once a blanket over the head of the valley, is now a small cap on the mountaintop. Springs have gotten warmer, melting much of the snow before the short growing season begins in June.
In the developed world, the global conversation about climate change is often framed in vaguely terrifying abstractions – reams of dire scientific data, photos of calved icebergs, charts of sea level rise, extrapolations of drought. The Kumikpas face a situation far more immediate and concrete. The decline in late-summer water flow has caused entire harvests to fail, raising the specter of a permanent food crisis.
The Kumikpas have responded to their conditions accordingly, in swift, decisive, and far-seeing ways. Without access to sophisticated environmental data, they have decided to make difficult changes in the way they live. They have not only adapted to the drought, but also claimed some measure of responsibility for it.
As the long-anticipated Copenhagen summit on climate change gets underway next week, with negotiators for 192 nations working to hammer out a rough consensus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow atmospheric warming, a parallel concern is growing among policymakers: how to adapt to the environmental and climatic disturbances that are coming, whether we like it or not. In industrialized countries, the effort to cope with the emerging effects of climate change is just beginning. As dramatic changes start to hit places like Kumik, however, the effort has already started to shape their lives. The inhabitants’ experience offers not only an early look at the kind of disruption likely to arrive in many other communities, but also some surprising lessons in human resilience.
Ishay Paldan, a lean man with a weathered face that crinkles easily into a smile, has been living and farming in Kumik for more than 80 years. Over a simple meal of kholak – a mixture of roasted barley flour and butter tea boiled on his dung-fired stove – he explained Kumik’s situation in incongruously upbeat tones. “When I was a child,” he said, “there were no problems with water. The glacier was much bigger.”
Now the village often runs out of water by mid-August, weeks before the harvest. So, in 2001, Paldan said, the villagers called a meeting. Everyone agreed that the single erratic stream could no longer support the village’s crops. Something had to be done. The Kumikpas quickly concluded they had two options: find more water or abandon their homes. They had already tried finding water, repeatedly and quixotically, over the years. Paldan recounted the villagers’ multiple attempts to divert more snowmelt by building stone canals at the head of the valley, at heights of more than 18,000 feet. He described the splitting headaches and mimed the swollen hands of those who lingered too long at such high altitude to gather stones and dig trenches.
“It was just too difficult,” he said with a shrug. At the same time, inaction was not an option. So the villagers finally decided to do something radical; they would relocate the entire village to a new site three kilometers below, perched next to the roiling Zanskar River, where water would be more plentiful.
This choice involves a painful tradeoff. Their current land is rich, with fertile soil and plenty of wood and dung for fuel. The new land, though closer to reliable water, is poor, a few hundred acres of rock-strewn plateau donated by the state government.
So now, most villagers are laying plans to abandon their carefully tended plots and centuries-old terraces. Over the next several years, they will build new houses, fertilize open and dusty fields, and irrigate them with river water delivered by a new canal. They will uproot and replant themselves, with all the subtler emotional challenges that implies. A house in Zanskar is the locus of the family’s household deities, of shared memories and stories of ancestors. It is intimately linked to a family’s agricultural holdings, irrigation rights, and social status. This complex network of functions and meanings will have to be re-created or reinvented on the plains of Lower Kumik. A process that has taken, by some local estimates, close to a thousand years will now be compressed into less than a decade.
Each family is planning to build a new home and till new fields in Kumik Yogma (Lower Kumik). Most will continue growing barley and buckwheat, and tending their herds of yak, sheep, and cows. And everybody will try to maintain the traditional system for managing water rights for the new irrigation canal they are building.
As we chatted on his front step, Tsering Motup, a Kumik schoolteacher, paused and looked around at his neighbors’ stately whitewashed houses. “I feel the same sadness as a young girl who marries into another family and has to leave her home,” he said.
But another spirit has taken hold as well: the idea that the move could bring some positive changes. Some settlers of Kumik Yogma have sought to warm their homes using passive solar design features, to reduce dependence on stoves that burn precious dung and emit unhealthy soot. Others talk about constructing a solar-powered community hall.
Tsewang Rigzin, a local agricultural officer who grew up in Kumik, thinks special pumps – either powered mechanically by the flow of the river or electrically by photovoltaic cells – could be used for additional irrigation. He’s also interested in experimenting with ways to fertilize the soil organically, despite a local trend of increasing dependence on synthetic fertilizer. “With a systematic design,” he said brightly, “the new Kumik could be a model for the region.”
Over time I learned that most Zanskaris simply weren’t aware of global climate science and its conclusions, and eventually I posed the question to as many Zanskaris as I could: Who, or what, was drying up Kumik?
Some offered clinical descriptions: unfortunate accidents of timing and sun angles on the mountain heights. A few from other villages mentioned an ancient local curse, and saw it as the revenge of fairy-like spirits who had been forced long ago to build the long stone wall that encloses Kumik’s fields to this day.
But a majority of my informal sample gave a consistent, and surprising, answer: We are to blame, they said. According to local legend, the spirits of each place, known as lha, are bound in a reciprocal relationship with the human inhabitants, rewarding people’s good stewardship of the land by blessing them with prosperity, fertility, abundant snow, and strong sunshine to melt it. But something has gone awry. “The lha are punishing people for behaving badly,” Motup, the teacher, explained: Nowadays people don’t perform the old prayers as much, seem less inclined to help each other, are always chasing money and material things, and consuming more and more.
Of course, consumption is a relative matter – I noticed just two vehicles and not one television in the whole village. But the people of Kumik make a point that most of us would find hard to dispute: Our decisions about how we lead our lives have consequences for natural systems. On one reading, their attempt to choreograph their complex relationship with the lha may represent the only viable response to this crisis. They have taken responsibility for the only elements of the system they can control – their own attitudes and practical responses.
On my first trip to the village, I met with Phuntsog Stobdan, the young headmaster of the local primary school. I had come to Zanskar to research energy-efficient building methods, and Stobdan had sought me out for advice on his detailed design of a passive-solar-heated home for his family at Kumik Yogma. We talked well into the evening, sipping tea and chang, the pungent local barley wine. We discussed one of his optimistic visions for the new settlement, shared by other young villagers – homes and vegetable greenhouses powered and heated by solar energy.
But at one point Stobdan led me outside and showed me the battered metal sign he had mounted near his gate a couple of years ago. A brief litany of woe, it described the village’s straits in English for the rare foreign visitor. Stobdan read it aloud to me, haltingly, in a low monotone: “Due to failure of snowfall in the last 2 years the people couldn’t harvest even a blade of grass & consequently had to sell their yak, cows, etc. at very nominal prize [sic].”
The Kumikpas may be famed for their defiantly cheerful stoicism, but I could feel that a psychic crack had opened. This metal sign was like a flare to the outside world, a signal of desperation.
Then Stobdan turned to me, eyes twinkling, eyebrows raised, as though he had just remembered an old joke. “Kumik was the first village in Zanskar,” he said with a wry grin, “and now it is the first to be destroyed!”
He looked at me searchingly, to see if I appreciated the ironic symmetry of it all. After a moment, I submitted to the sheer logic of his emotional adaptation to calamity. We both shook our heads and laughed for a long minute, until we were silent.
Then we discussed the design of his new, solar-heated house, scratching plans in the dirt.
Jonathan Mingle is a writer based in Vermont. Nicolas Villaume is a photographer based in Lima and Paris.
“Social Security is a real problem. It’s not a long-term solution to say we need more young people to pay for us old folks,” Bartlett says. “We have to realize it’s fiscally not sustainable. Eventually we will have to do the obvious: raise the Social Security tax, raise the retirement age or cut benefits.”
But such problems are paltry compared to the big picture: Resources are finite and the more people there are, the faster we will deplete them. A sustainable world population, at today’s U.S. dietary levels, according to David Pimental at Cornell University, is about 2 billion people.
Current world population is approaching 6.8 billion people. We could hit (barring some catastrophic plague or environmental event) 9 billion by 2030 and 11 billion by 2050. That’s not going to work.
“Why would any rational person want to go to 9 billion?” Bartlett asks. “Can you think of any problem on any scale, from the microscopic to the global, whose long-term solution in any demonstrable way is aided, assisted or advanced by having larger populations?”
First, Bartlett says, population never pays for itself. And pipe dreams that technology will save the day are just that.
“High technology is going to be our undoing,” he says, because it has enabled insane levels of population growth.
He points out that, like it or not, oil production will decline (or perhaps is declining) even as demand rises. Fanciful notions that we can extract petroleum from, say, oil shale neglect to take into consideration the enormous energy inputs required to get the stuff out and make it usable.
“I suspect we will see a future marked by rapidly rising costs of fossil fuels,” Bartlett says.
Forecasters said the rainfall was unprecedented. Britain’s Meteorological Office said a record 12.3 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in the area — the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the U.K.
Local House of Commons lawmaker Tony Cunningham said the flood was “of biblical proportions,” adding that “the scale and the force of the devastation in Cockermouth is huge.”
THE NEW DUSTBOWL
The Central Valley, the thin, fertile band running down the middle of California, has long boasted the world’s richest agricultural economy, reliably producing more than a quarter of the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables. But it’s done so in defiance of ecological reality. The 70-year-old irrigation system that has pumped water into the otherwise arid valley is proving increasingly vulnerable to shifting weather patterns. It now appears that waterwise, 20th century California was an anomaly, a relatively wet period in the midst of a historical cycle of severe drought. And the changing climate will only magnify the problem: By the end of the century, scientists predict, Central California could experience temperatures rivaling Death Valley’s and face the loss of 90 percent of the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the region’s main water source. “Business as usual won’t work in the future,” says Eike Luedeling, an expert in plant sciences at the University of California-Davis, whose research shows that higher temperatures will likely decimate the state’s $10 billion fruit and nut industry.
Could portend increased economic and political instability in a state where unemployment is reported at 15% and the staff at the Department of Human Services, a state agency providing services to the needy, is on rolling mandatory furloughs…
“2013 full of looming political crises” this article describes the worsening condition of the European middle class and increased unrest amongst citizens in China, amongst other related political issues.
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