Archive for November, 2010

NO BAILOUT FOR EARTH

November 27, 2010

Bull Run Watershed

ABSTRACT – There Won’t Be a Bailout for the Earth by Johann Hari November 26, 2010 by The Independent/UK.

Why [did] the world’s governments bother to jet to Cancun to discuss what to do now about global warming? The vogue has passed. The fad has faded. Global warming is yesterday’s apocalypse. Didn’t somebody leak an email that showed it was all made up?

Alas, the biosphere doesn’t know that global warming is so 2007. All it knows are three facts:. 2010 is globally the hottest year since records began; 2010 is the year rapid increase in catastrophic weather events caused by humanity’s emissions of planet-warming gases reached its highest level ever; and exactly as climate scientists predicted, we are seeing rapid increase in catastrophic weather events, from the choking of Moscow by gigantic unprecedented forest fires to the drowning of one quarter of Pakistan.

Before the Great Crash of 2008, people who warned about the injection of huge destabilizing risk into our financial system seemed like arcane, anal bores. Now we all sit in the rubble and wish we had listened. The great ecological crash will be far worse, because nature doesn’t do bailouts.

That’s what Cancun should be about – surveying the startling scientific evidence, and developing an urgent plan to change course. The Antarctic – which locks 90 percent of the world’s ice – has now seen eight of its ice shelves fully or partially collapse. The world’s most distinguished climate scientists, after recording this, say we face a three to six feet rise in sea level this century. That means the drowning of London, Bangkok, Venice, Cairo and Shanghai, and entire countries like Bangladesh and the Maldives.

And that’s just one effect of the way we are altering the atmosphere. Perhaps the most startling news story of the year passed almost unnoticed. Plant plankton are tiny creatures that live in the oceans and carry out a job you and I depend on to stay alive. They produce half the world’s oxygen, and suck up planet-warming carbon dioxide. This year, one of the world’s most distinguished scientific journals, Nature, revealed that 40 per cent have been killed by the warming oceans since 1950. Professor Boris Worm, study co-authore, said in shock: “I’ve been trying to think of a biological change that’s bigger than this and I can’t think of one.” That’s the result of less than one degree of warming. Now we are on course for at least three degrees this century. What will happen?

The scientific debate is not between deniers and affirmers. Every major scientific academy in the world, and all the peer-reviewed literature, says global warming denialism is a pseudo-science, on a par with Intelligent Design, homeopathy, or the claim that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. The scientific debate now is between those who say the damage is a disaster, and those who say it is a catastrophe.

Yet the world’s governments gather in Cancun with no momentum and very little pressure from their own populations to stop the ecological vandalism. The Copenhagen conference last year collapsed after the most powerful people in the world turned up to flush their own scientists’ advice down a very clean Danish toilet. These leaders are sometimes described as “doing nothing about global warming.” No doubt that will be the report from Cancun too. But it’s false. They’re not “doing nothing” – they are allowing their countries’ emissions of climate-trashing gases to massively increase. That’s not failure to act. It’s deciding to act in an incredibly destructive way.

The Copenhagen collapse did not shock people into action; it numbed them into passivity. Last year, we were talking about a legally binding cap on carbon emissions, because scientists say this is the only thing that can preserve the climate that sustains human civilization. What are we talking about this year? Almost nothing.

They will talk about how to help the world’s poor “adapt” to the fact we are drying out much of their land and drowning the rest, but back off from one of the few concrete Copenhagen agreements: to give the worst-affected countries $100bn. Privately, they say this isn’t the time – they can come back for it, presumably, when they are on rafts. Oh, and they will talk about how to preserve the rainforests. But Greenpeace reveals that the last big deal to save the rainforests – with Indonesia – was a scam. The country plans to demolish most of its rainforest to plant commercial crops, and claim it has been “saved.”

Karl Rove – George W. Bush’s chief spin-doctor – boasts: “Climate is gone.” He means off the political agenda, but he is more accurate and more cursed than he realizes.

In this context a new, deeply pessimistic framework for understanding the earth’s ecology – and our place in it – has emerged. Many know the warm, fuzzy Gaia hypothesis that claims Planet Earth functions as a single living organism called Gaia. (Eiwa in James Cameron’s Avatar). It regulates its own temperature and chemistry to create a steady state that can sustain life. This process expands outwards. Life protects life.

Now there is a radically different theory gaining adherents, ominously named the Medea hypothesis. The paleontologist Professor Peter Ward, expert in the great extinctions in earth’s past, believes there is a common thread between them. With the exception of the meteor strike that happened 65 million years ago, every extinction  hypothesis, successful species destroy their own habitats, was caused by living creatures becoming incredibly successful – and then destroying their own habitats. So, for example, 2.3 billion years ago, plant life spread incredibly rapidly, and inhaled huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. This caused a rapid plunge in temperature that froze the planet and triggered a mass extinction.

Ward believes nature isn’t a nurturing mother like Gaia. It is Medea, the figure from Greek mythology who murdered her own children. In this theory, life doesn’t preserve itself. It serially destroys itself. It is a looping doomsday machine. This theory adds a postscript to Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest. There is survival of the fittest, until the fittest trash their own habitat, and do not survive at all.

But the plants 2.3 billion years ago weren’t smart enough to figure out what they were doing. We supposedly are. We can see that if we release enough warming gases we will trigger an irreversible change and make our own survival much harder. Ward argues that it is not inevitable we will destroy ourselves – because human beings are the first and only species that can consciously develop a Gaian approach. Just as Richard Dawkins famously said we are the first species to be able to rebel against our selfish genes and choose to be kind, we are the first species that can rebel against the Medean rhythm of life. We can choose to preserve the habitat on which we depend. We can choose life.

At Cancun, the real question will be carefully ignored to preserve big business as usual. Do we want to ramp up global warming with filthy fossil fuels, or make the leap to a clean planet fuelled by the sun, the wind and the waves? Right now we are making the wrong choice. But we could change the end of this story, if we act decisively. Long after our own little stories are forgotten, this choice we make now will still be visible – in the composition of the atmosphere, the swelling of the seas, and the crack and creak of the great Antarctic ice. Do we want to be Gaia, or Medea? – Johann Hari is a columnist for the London Independent. His journalism has appeared in publications all over the world. READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/26

 

Nigeria's Agony

The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades by John Vidal, environment editor Sunday, May 30, 2010 by The Observer/UK

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A NEW ANKLE

November 9, 2010

Not in Kansas

No posts for bit – having a total ankle replacement.  The pain meds make for poor compositional whatevers – really.  Thanks for checking in – look at some of the archives and top posts.  Also check out ThePen.org spooky stuff, but my own observations and career experiences are much the same.  j cousteau said ” I hope for the best, but I can’t say why.”  this alert declares a crisis need to shift to a loud progressive party movement – I say sooner rather than later.  pls share with  those you think should see it.  best, j 

—– Original Message —–
From: The Pen
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 4:04 PM
Subject: Dead Political Party Walking

The first shipment of beautiful embroidered caps for the full length feature movie we are producing on indicting Cheney for torture, entitled “The Last War Crime”, are in the first class mail, and if you have already requested one it should arrive any day. Call it a fantasy film if you like, but sometimes life imitates art. If you would like to read the first part of the script, or request your own cap to support the production, here is the page for that.

The Last War Crime movie caps: http://www.peaceteam.net/last_war_crime.php

And now, tonight’s alert.

Of all the commentary we have heard in the aftermath of this week’s election debacle, we have heard not one pundit yet who actually has a clue about what is really going on. So you will have to hear it from us. Of course, if you have been on our list any length of time you already have, but maybe you did not believe us the first time.

We must respectfully remind you that we told you that all this is exactly what would happen unless we took stronger action to demand a REAL health care reform bill in particular, instead of that groaning load of corporate special interest dictated and favoring rubbish we ended up with. And by the way, if we were official prophets you would owe us a new pair of sandals right about now.

It was March of earlier this year and the title of our alert was “The Democratic Party’s Plan To Throw The Next Couple Elections”. Look it up, the text was published on OpEdNews.com and is still there.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Democratic-Party-s-Pla-by-thepen-100307-583.html

For those with short attention spans (from corporate media conditioning) who think our alerts are too long, we suggest you knuckle down and actually read our words this time and see if they start to make sense to you. And please take particular note we said “The Next Couple Elections” PLURAL. Because this is just round one of the dynamic we foretold.

As we predicted then, in round two the Republicans will use their electoral gains to push to repeal the almost universally despised health care bill, despised by the right because it does anything even cosmetically good, and despised by the left because it was fundamentally just a total sell out.

If the Republicans fall short on repeal this time, they will campaign in 2012 on the platform that they need to take over the Senate and the White House so that the bill can be repealed, and they will win in ANOTHER landslide of historic proportions.

Alternatively, if the Democrats set a new Guiness world record in the publicly perceived as wet noodles department, they will all lose their seats anyway so the result will be the same.

Either way, the Democratic party as a viable political power force is finished for at least the next election cycle. Stick a fork in it, it’s done. We see no scenario of possible recovery from this. It’s over. The only reason they did not lose back the Senate in round one is because only a third of the seats were in play. The rest they will lose the next time for sure.

We are skeptical that primary challenges are even a productive option anymore. The Democratic party has so totally betrayed the people who voted for them, who had faith in them, who believed in them, we must confront the real possibility that nobody will believe a word coming out of the mouth of anyone running AS a Democrat ever again.

And the thing that really aggravates us the most about all this are people still whining that the Democrats need to get a spine. Democrats have plenty of spine when they are arresting people calling for single payer and dragging them out of hearing rooms. They have plenty of spine when they are refusing to allow a vote on even the most feeble of public options. They have plenty of spine when they are calling us bleepity-bleep retards.

Rather, Democrats tolerate being PERCEIVED as cowards. Because if people thought for one nanosecond that they were not cowards, then people would have to confront the stark truth that the Democrats are IN ON IT.

They are in on the corporate corruption. They are nothing but enablers, all of them, from top to bottom, front to back, ESPECIALLY the so-called progressives, without exception. They are willingly and knowingly playing the role of Judy in this Punch and Judy show, and NOTHING is going to change about that for them, for ever and ever, end of story, period.

We told you after the final health care vote what needed to be done about it. We told you that we needed to build a massive Independent Voters movement, with greater numbers than either the Democratic or Republican parties. We asked you to go to a Facebook page we created for this purpose and just become a fan, that’s all, just become a fan. Here is that page.

Independent Voters page: http://www.facebook.com/IndependentVoters

Something shy of 7,000 of you did then. Obviously it was not enough. So we ask you again. Go the page above and just become a fan. Talk among yourselves. When we see 100,000 over there we will know there is some chance for real change. Until then, we are fooling nobody but ourselves.

And we close with an exact quote from an even earlier alert, from September of 2009, which again you can still reading in its entirety on OpEdNews.com, where we warned you that the whole health care reform debate was a total fraud and that no “public option” of any kind would survive in the final bill.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Obama-s-New-Improved-Lee-by-thepen-090913-493.html

Here is the quote from the conclusion of the alert documented on the page above.

“And THAT is Obama’s REAL plan, the one he won’t talk about in a public speech, to let the weakest possible ‘public option’ hang around for a little while as an illusory sop for the terminally gullible, only to bleed it to death before it can actually go into effect. Yes, THIS is Obama’s new ‘improved’ leech therapy.”

Lord, the hate mail we got about that one. People yelling at us telling us we were full of it. Calling us racists. Read the words again. And now ask yourself in all candor, “Ain’t it the truth?”

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at
http://www.peaceteam.net/in.htm

Corporations are not persons