Thursday, January 17, 2013
Some sick stuff, clear bulldozing mountains in the grand US of A. Nothing like hitting Obama's and the rest's heart-strings!
Mountain Top Removal and the Crimes of the Coal Industry
The first time I went to West Virginia my life changed forever. I was invited down by Judy Bonds and Bo Webb to take a tour of the “coalfields”. Conditions there went swiftly from John Denver’s Almost Heaven, to John Prine’s Mulenberg County in less than a broken heartbeat. Nothing prepares you for this. A mountain is gone, a creek is gone. Gone too is a church, a cemetery, a Union Hall, a school house, gone is a town. I’m standing next to someone who lived there, played in the creek as a child there, yet today there is no there there. And the place where I was standing wouldn’t be there much longer either. Every day, two millions pounds of explosives continue to reduce Appalachia to rubble. Every day, you hear there is progress being made. You haven’t heard the whole story. Here is my take on it.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The Multidimensional Reality of Climate Change
Inside the Latest Climate Report
by MANUEL GARCIA, JR.
A Federal Advisory Committee called the “National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee” or NCADAC, was established under the Department of Commerce in December 2010 and is supported through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NCADAC now oversees the activities of formulating the National Climate Assessment (NCA), and is funded through a program established by the Global Change Research Act of 1990.
Good stuff on climate change --
The 11 conclusions of this massive report are described in the Executive Summary (on pages 8-10), and these are very briefly listed here (as 11 direct quotes):
1. Global climate is changing, and this is apparent across the U.S. in a wide range of observations. The climate change of the past 50 years is due primarily to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels. (U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5°F since 1895, with more than 80% of this increase occurring since 1980.)
2. Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades, and there is new and stronger evidence that many of these increases are related to human activities.
3. Human-induced climate change is projected to continue and accelerate significantly if emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase.
4. Impacts related to climate change are already evident in many sectors and are expected to become increasingly challenging across the nation throughout this century and beyond. (Climate change is already affecting human health, infrastructure, water resources, agriculture, energy, the natural environment, and other factors – locally, nationally, and internationally.)
5. Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways, including impacts from increased extreme weather events, wildfire, decreased air quality, diseases transmitted by insects, food, and water, and threats to mental health. (Food security is emerging as an issue of concern, both within the U.S. and across the globe, and is affected by climate change.)
6. Infrastructure across the U.S. is being adversely affected by phenomena associated with climate change, including sea level rise, storm surge, heavy downpours, and extreme heat. (Sea level is projected to rise an additional 1 to 4 feet in this century.)
7. Reliability of water supplies is being reduced by climate change in a variety of ways that affect ecosystems and livelihoods in many regions, particularly the Southwest, the Great Plains, the Southeast, and the islands of the Caribbean and the Pacific, including the state of Hawai’i.
8. Adverse impacts to crops and livestock over the next 100 years are expected. Over the next 25 years or so, the agriculture sector is projected to be relatively resilient, even though there will be increasing disruptions from extreme heat, drought, and heavy downpours. U.S. food security and farm incomes will also depend on how agricultural systems adapt to climate changes in other regions of the world.
9. Natural ecosystems are being directly affected by climate change, including changes in biodiversity and location of species. As a result, the capacity of ecosystems to moderate the consequences of disturbances such as droughts, floods, and severe storms is being diminished.
10. Life in the oceans is changing as ocean waters become warmer and more acidic. (Warming ocean waters and ocean acidification across the globe and within U.S. marine territories are broadly affecting marine life.)
11. Planning for adaptation (to address and prepare for impacts) and mitigation (to reduce emissions) is increasing, but progress with implementation is limited. (In recent years, climate adaptation and mitigation activities have begun to emerge in many sectors and at all levels of government; however barriers to implementation of these activities are significant. The level of current efforts is insufficient to avoid increasingly serious impacts of climate change that have large social, environmental, and economic consequences.)
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Check out Will Potter's book and web site --
Subpoenaed to California Grand Jury
Jan 04, 2013 04:06 pm | Will PotterAnother activist, Priyesh Patel, ordered to appear before a California grand jury investigating animal rights activists.
Dec 27, 2012 11:53 am | Will PotterMaddy Pfeiffer is the fourth person jailed for refusing to cooperate with a federal grand jury targeting anarchists in the Pacific Northwest.
NPR just keeps on giving with its stories on energy!
Definitely, NPR's reporting, tied to all those underwriters, like the natural gas mafia, just bluntly, in one fell swoop, says that that's it for green energy:
Budget Deal Provides Tax Breaks For Green Energy
The tax benefits for green energy that Congress extended were originally created over the past decade. At the time, it seemed that energy sources, especially homegrown ones, were scarce. The country also seemed to be on the verge of setting limits on emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
"There was a sensible reason to want to subsidize a transformation," says energy analyst Kevin Book. It's harder to make a case for renewable energy now, given the booms in natural gas and oil, he says.
"All of these things are different now: Demand is declining, supply is increasing, the decarbonization mandate has weakened if not disappeared, and energy security isn't the risk that it used to be," he says.
Book predicts that the New Year's tax package may be the last big payday for green energy.
Decarbonization mandate disappeared? Energy security isn't the risk that it used to be?
Great reporting. Just great!
Another view --
The people who like to think they are managing the world's affairs seem fiercely determined to ignore the world's true condition -- namely, the permanent contraction of industrial economies. They just can't grok it. Two hundred years of cheap fossil fuel programmed mankind to expect limitless goodies forever on an upward-swinging arc of techno miracles. Now that the cheap fossil fuels have plateaued, with decline clearly in view, the hope remains that all the rackets of modernity can keep going on techno miracles alone.
Meanwhile, things and events are in revolt, especially the human race's financial operating system, the world's weather, and the angry populations of floundering nations. The Grand Vizier of this blog, that is, Yours Truly, makes no great claims for his crystal ball gazing (Dow at 4,000 - ha!), but he subscribes to the dictums of two wise men from the realm of major league baseball: Satchel Paige, who famously stated, "Don't look back," and Yogi Berra, who remarked of a promising rookie, "His whole future's ahead of him!"
In that spirit, and as for looking back, suffice it to say that in 2012, the world's managers -- and by this I do not mean some occult cabal but the visible leaders in politics, banking, business, and news media -- pulled out all the stops to suppress the appearance of contraction, and in so doing only supplied more perversion and distortion to the train of events that leads implacably to an agonizing workout, or readjustment of reality's balance sheet. There's a fair chance that these restraints will unravel in 2013, exposing civilization to a harsh new leasing agreement with its landlord, the Planet Earth.
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Links of Interest
- Architects with Out Borderers -- Seattle
- Architects without Borders
- Architecture 2030
- Architecture Sans Frontieres
- Auto Desk Sustainable Design
- Autodesk - Guide to Sustainable Design
- Cascadia Region Green Building Council
- Center for Biological Diversity
- City of Spokane--Sustainability
- Climate Central
- Climate Impacts Group
- Climate Progress
- Climate Solutions -- Olympia
- Climate Watch, California
- Committee on the Environment - AIA
- Dirty Cajuns
- Down to Earth Northwest
- Earth Charter
- Earth Day National
- Engineers without Borders-USA
- Fuse Washington
- Futurewise of Washington
- Gulf Coast Photography
- Inhabitat -- (design will save the world)
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Local Governments for Sustainability
- Low Power Community Radio -- Spokane
- Model Forest Policy Program
- New Urbanism
- Northwest Climate Change Center
- On Earth
- Planners' News
- Project for Public Spaces
- Real Climate
- Save Our Wild Salmon
- Smart Growth On Line
- Spokane Based Conservation -- Lands Council
- Sustainable Architecture, Building, Culture
- Sustainable Spokane
- The Green Architect
- Tree Hugger
- Western Climate Initiative
- Yale 360