“Nor’easter” b.s.

So I’m sitting watching a recent weathercast, wondering if it’s another effect of Global Warming that we seem to have tons more “Nor’easters” these days than when I was little, where maybe I remember reading the term only in Moby Dick dialogue or something.  Turns out the resident lexicographer* at The Boston Globe, appropriately enough, was a few years ahead of me (scroll down): It seems to be nothing more than a recent weather “journalist” fad.  Keep in mind she’s only referring to print usage.  I’d guess it’s even more prevalent in TV and radio: ‘Be afraid, be very afraid, here comes another Nor’easter!

(In that post two years ago to the day — spooky! — I forgot to mention explicitly that weather hype is considered to boost audiences … hence they can charge more for advertising, for delivering more ears and/or eyes.)

Of course, bad ones are a PIA, almost like a hurricane, in some ways worse.  But what’s with all the hype about beach erosion, too?  Wasn’t there plenty in the billions of years before humanity came along and built beachfront condos and resorts?  You’d think the original U.S. eastern shore was halfway out in the Atlantic!  That’s right, it’s not plate tectonics, just beach erosion!  I say anyone who builds in such places deserves what they get.  Now we all enjoy a beach any time of year, and maintaining them in desert perfection costs coastal towns, states, and countries mondo bucks.  That’s gonna get more fun with Climate Change too….

(*–I’ll tell this joke on myself: Originally instead of lexicographer I wrote logothete.  Guess I’ve been reading too much Byzantine history in conjunction with my [informal] Orthodoxy studies!)

Fiduciary Responsibility

Global catastrophe is NOT “fiduciary responsibility”!

If Business kills-off its stockholders and customers, isn’t that bad for business???

ISTM the REAL bottom line is to HAVE a bottom line!!!  But right now it seems most American business is in a race to the bottom, period: ‘He who dies with the most toys wins.’  😦

Indian Country getting ready for Global Warming, Peak Oil

Actually former Ralph Nader/Green Party running mate Winona LaDuke reports GW is ALREADY impacting many Reservations, being rural and poorer than most of the U.S.

I guess I have to add that yes, “they’re gathering firewood like crazy” — nothing like Winter in September!  😉

Cash for Clunkers!

You read it here first 7 months ago.  😉

As for those who think it’ll benefit foreign manufacturers more than domestic, well, that’s OK too, since we all live on the same planet, breathe the same air, yada yada yada!  Though, sure, we’d prefer to benefit our own assemblyline workers and chartered / originated corporations — so let’s keep this up long enough for them to build (more) cars that qualify!

Nuclear Winter technically a bigger threat to civilization than Global Warming?

That’s the impression one gets from reading recent research about the potential effects of a much smaller nuclear exchange than usually envisioned during the Cold War between the U.S. and the USSR … together with the continuing emphasis the Doomsday Clock guys put on nukes vs. GW.

(I have to note the irony that the scientists who GAVE us nukes and dangerous technology are the ones who now demand that THE REST OF US DO SOMETHING to save them, er, the world, from catastrophe!  ‘Stop us before we kill again….’  They could stand more self-restraint, less hubris, better ethical training, themselves.  But like Republicans with Reaganite financial deregulation, many of these folks seem to think the solution to the problems of technology is MORE TECHNOLOGY.  Another funny thing: For most of my life, I thought the expression “mad scientist” indicated anger.  It’s only recently that I realized it means they’re crazy, just like in Mad Cow Disease! [No, I didn’t just learn that mad can still sometimes mean crazy; just that it did in those two particular uses.])

See Greenland!

Aka, Kalaalit Nunaat.  This tourism etc. site is very user friendly, with downright seductive photos!  Next plane to Reykjavik!!!

They say after WW2 the people wanted to “modernize,” and so traditional Inuit ways are disappearing.  I have mixed feelings about that as someone looking into my own Indigenous heritage/s.  Recently I saw a documentary, mostly about Inuit in Nunavut Territory, Canada, but one who often trekked more than a thousand miles over ice to NW Greenland in Spring had to fly one recent year because the ice wasn’t there or thick enough.  And subsistence whaling and sealing there was said to be becoming alot harder because they relied on the ice traditionally, just like the polar bears we hear so much about now, with Global Warming.

Indigenous issues aren’t all cut and dried, so to speak….

Global Warming Update: 3-4 foot sea rise, many Northeast Katrinas

By the end of this century!  (That crashing sound you hear is Northeast Seaboard property values … and not just Jersey and Long Island either….)

Global Warming satellite sabotaged?

Further Evidence/Analysis: Global Warming to last 1000 years or more

Report from America’s NOAA, ‘liberated’ on January 20(!).  I’ve been saying up to 2,000 years more at least; worse if we continue doing very little about it.  This report says the problem is that while some carbon dioxide precipitates out of the upper atmosphere after a shorter amount of time naturally, other CO2 takes much longer: it’s a mixed picture, a complex system.  They don’t mean “irreversible,” as a read of the article indicates, so they shouldn’t say that; they mean very long term — way beyond the next Electoral Cycle!  The thing is, we have to get cracking, because everything we can do now will make a difference down the road, even if not for us or our children or grandchildren.  It’s way past late for political games with China and India and the Third World, Bushies!  As Red Green says, we’re all in this together.  As we started learning about trash in the ’80s, There’s no more “away”!

Will life on Earth survive such a prolonged assault, is the question.

Renewable energy

Great Wikipedia overview here.  We gotta do it, people, governments, charities, everybody!

Except burning stuff solves nothing, whether it’s imported or domestic.

I only recently heard of geothermal heat-exchange, which sounds like a no-brainer just about universally!  Heating and air-conditioning from the same cheap process and equipment?  Many buildings can even be retrofitted.

How about legally requiring implementation of as many non-burning renewable energy technologies as possible, with government help for the needy to do so, etc etc etc?!!!!!  It seems there’s so much that can be done RIGHT NOW.  We can’t let this slip by us like we did with motor vehicle gasoline mileage standards since Reagan: remember when we were supposed to be up around 100 mpg by the ’90s?!!!

Why would a good Catholic vote Democratic?

(Aside from the candidates’ personal qualifications to do their jobs, that is.)

Abortion shocks the well-formed conscience, especially when it’s not necessary to literally save the woman’s life.  Also, I never knowingly met a Gay person until I left the Catholic Church in the early ’90s.  And I’m a virgin, but I still feel a little weird about birth control, and sex ed in public schools.  And yes, I’m concerned about Islam’s progress in Europe and North America, when they don’t seem able to rein-in their radicals enough to prevent something as heinous as 9/11, the East Africa embassy bombings, the Cole bombing, 7/7, or Madrid.

Catholic radio is telling you to vote Republican for one, more, or all of the above reasons, or more, though they’re really not allowed to endorse candidates or parties.  Some or all U.S. Catholic Bishops are pronouncing abortion a transcendent issue.  Now, I’m a Catholic-trained ethicist.  I studied 5 years for the priesthood and religious life.  I attended 11 years of parochial school (Balto. Catechism questions and answers!), 4 of Catholic high school, 4 of Catholic college, and 2 of Catholic graduate school.  I don’t have a Ph.D., but I respectfully disagree with the idea of abortion as transcendent political issue.  Fr. Frank Pavone’s (of Priests for Life) logic that without “life” no other issue matters, is an emotional slogan, not a philosophical or theological or moral argument.  As such, it does a disservice to the Catholic tradition of moral theological reasoning.

I submit that the Global Warming Cataclysm and the restoration of (small-D) democratic, constitutional, law-respecting, internationally-cooperative government to the United States, are the two most important issues in this campaign, not only for Americans but literally the entire world, more than 6 billion people, exponentially more than are affected by the “conservative Catholic” issues.

Global Warming is expected to create at least a billion refugees by mid-century, and many will die of GW-related disease, hunger, thirst, war, and instability.  Some scientists believe it may transform much of the surface of the Earth, in bad ways.  And if my cumulative analysis is correct, by 2200 we will lose one-third to two-thirds of humanity because of the Global Warming Cataclysm and other parts of the coming “Perfect Storm”: Peak Oil, Third-World ‘dirty’ industrialization, the spread of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles and asthma and allergies, and the (temporarily) declining planetary magnetic field with rising cancer rates from reduced solar shielding.  To be honest, neither major party is positively addressing these latter issues yet.  And the Republicans have been at the beck and call of Big Oil for 8 years — Bush and Cheney are oilmen, talk about the fox in charge of the henhouse — and have dropped the ball even on the Global Warming Cataclysm, whereas the Democrats say they’ll start trying to work to lessen and counteract its effects, the most compassionate, realistic plan available.

Linked to this is the restoration of respect for law and international aid and cooperation to the U.S. government.  What Washington does or fails to do – politically, economically, militarily, culturally – affects the entire world like no other single country.  We are today’s Rome, for good or for ill … the world’s sole hyperpower.

In the U.S. about a million abortions take place each year.  Even if each involves a father, mother, doctor, nurse, etc., that’s still a few million, against 6 billion plus, and tens of millions of lives if not more; plus, the Global Warming Cataclysm’s effects have been building since the dawn of industrialization in 1750, and will continue building even after we start doing something about them, so the longer we wait, the worse it will be, especially for the world’s weakest and poorest.

OTOH, what have the Republicans really done about abortion anyway, besides use it to raise funds and votes – “red meat for the base”?  There appears little to gain even on the abortion front by voting Republican, whereas Democrats for Life is gaining traction within their party by proposing to prevent most abortions performed in this country by working to remove their social causes: The 95-10 Initiative.

So I conclude that morally a Catholic should vote Democratic, and support Democrats for Life.

Not to mention the Democratic stands on all the other Catholic Social Teachings of the last century or more!

In case you forgot about Global Warming…

Over 240 square miles of Canadian Arctic ice shelf.  Gone.  This.  Year.

That’s GOPal Warming – and the Repugs’ Canadian agent, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, wants to expand it … not like Canada is short on oil these days, with the Oil Sands and all.

Fight back, Drive 55.

“Richardson Leaves the Personality Contest;” Go with Kucinich

The Nation’s perceptive editorial about the frontrunners and MSM coverage of them.

Guess I have to go with Congressman Dennis Kucinich now, just to make a statement.  Although really, all his experience in Congress does dwarf Rodham Clinton’s, Obama’s, and Edwards’s, and is current, versus Mike Gravel’s (honorable) terms in the Senate back in the ’70s.

Heck, even running a major city, Cleveland, wisely, for a few years during a tumultuous time for it, should say something!

Germany warns on Wifi; What about cumulative effects?

This recent British newspaper piece* is somewhat opinionated, but includes facts about German concerns about health risks.  This Wikipedia link currently provides allegedly-scientific counterpoint.  [“Jane you ignorant slut!”]

One thing possibly hinted at in the German report is the cumulative effect of ALL the electromagnetic radiation we now live amid (“electrosmog”?).  We’re usually told about their “safety” one at a time, but what about altogether?!!  One smokestack or factory-farm, car or burnt forest or clearcut, doesn’t cause Global Warming, but millions do, after all!

(*–Don’t worry about the .ece suffix on this link, it seems to just be a normal webpage.)

U.S. liberals’ progressive conservatism(!)

To hear “conservative” politicians and “pundits,” we try to get government to help the needy, sick, and disabled, as a way of buying their votes, that is, bribing them.  Same with labor and workplace rules for workers and unions … public education for kids(?) and the teachers’ unions … a little more social justice, for city people’s, women’s, people of color’s, immigrants’, and gay people’s votes … reduced censorship and looser broadcast content guidelines for, well, pornographers’ and bohemians’ and atheists’ votes, I guess … Evolution and equality and compassion in said public schools, for, I dunno, Unitarians’, “social engineers’,” and wimps’ votes? … environmentalism for the treehuggers’, EarthFirsters’, and eco-terrorists’ votes … “well-regulated” firearms control for the “jack-booted thug” vote I guess? … and peace, for the huge Muslim vote in this country!

They talk as if we’ve all devoured the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, the Quran, Gustavo Gutierrez and Chairman Mao and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, all ‘baddies’ like that.  We’re all free-loving, swinging, acid-dropping, rock-and-roll-listening(!), non-breeding stereotypes from the ’60s – just like they sound!

With my own life’s study and observation, I think the large number of native-born Americans – I don’t have alot of in-depth exposure to Americans born elsewhere at this time – being American (small-R) republicans, *are* somewhat ‘ideological,’ very much attached to the words of this country’s individual liberties, to the vote (preferably free and clean and counted correctly – How hard is that?!), to the Constitution of 1787 as amended and generally as interpreted, and to our accustomed, historical/evolved form of Rationalized Capitalism.  I also think the large number of them, being what might be called center-left in social ethics(!), or such awful terms like ‘caring’ or ‘sensitive’ or ‘polite,’ also believe this status quo isn’t perfect yet, has generally been getting better through the labor of alot of people in our society over the years, and can always be tweaked and improved: “Our best days are yet to come.”  We care about the Common Good, generally for those worse-off than ourselves in this country and abroad, even those different from ourselves.  On a personal basis we are the most philanthropic in the world (though as I’ve said, that may be in part because morally we have to be, since per population or economy, our government is not; in any case, it’s not enough to meet the need and the Common Good).  We generally support fairness especially to those worse-off, even some extra help if they really need it and we can give it.  Our biggest problem is such a disconnect with our government that we always feel overtaxed, but when we’re correctly informed, we’re often even ready to adjust our stances in politics, economics, ecology, society, etc., not because we “flipflop,” but because we discover we didn’t know as much as we thought we did about this or that situation.  It’s a big country, after all, and an even bigger world!

Therefore, when our critics and (supposed) ‘betters’ accuse us of mere cynical angling for power for power’s sake, such charges are patently false.  We don’t wage “class war,” though some of us seek to *end* the one being waged against us!  And we certainly didn’t make up Global Warming because we thought it’d put us back in power, but we espouse doing what we can about it because we just don’t want the planet to FRY as much over the next couple thousand years!!!  I don’t want to engage in potentially false gainsaying, but in the era of Karl Rove, it seems our critics doth protest too much!

In fact, IOTM that the large number of native-born Americans display qualities of progressive conservatism or Red Toryism, of a kind not entirely unlike what I’m constantly discussing in this blog!  Obviously relatively few have studied the British, Canadian, and Australian constitutions and legal and political systems, or other comparative government, or consider themselves Monarchists at this time, or explicit critics so much of Classical Liberalism or Modernity, or, obviously, Orthodox Christians.  But this is only to be expected in an environment of over two centuries of school and media brainwashing.  But the large number of native-born Americans show signs of convinceability, if the truth, the facts, the history and the causes of things, can be gotten out to them, and they can be reminded to think carefully before they vote or lobby, and to remember that what unites us is far greater than whatever may be perceived as dividing us.  Their real ‘conservatism’ manifests itself as it is able, in a country where we exiled or suppressed our true Classical Conservatism, and where heartless, brainless, even unFaithful and traitorous actions masquerade under the name of “conservatism” today.  Actually, as I recently read someone else suggest, we are the ones, in the absence of any other relatively-viable alternative at this time, seeking to ‘conserve’ what good there may be from the republic as described above, while our critics and ‘betters’ defy the agreed Constitution, undermine its interpretation, neuter Congress and the States, and risk “World War 3” several times over, in the last few years alone.

Which is why I blog.

OTOH, our critics are the ones who show signs of blind faith in innovative, false, artificial, unrealistic, inhumane, lethal, unChristian, Classically Liberal and Modernist ideologies … of hypocrisy, cynical manipulation, divisiveness, and incivility … of sinister agenda on behalf of a minority of vested interests … of moral and ethical corruption … of military, foreign policy, fiscal, and intelligence-management malfeasance, misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance … of lost Sovereignty over our own and other countries’ created corporations … of “voodoo economics” which basically are the single biggest cause of most of our people’s real material problems for the whole last generation, such as increased hunger and homelessness, falling wages and health-care coverage and assistance to the needy, rampant profiteering and offshoring instead of the promised reinvestment of corporate and wealthy tax giveaways, etc.

THIS JUST IN: GW: Canuck theocons to derail Bali?

Sounds really possible.

We’re driving ourselves to death

Global Warming: Heat already worldwide killer

According to the senior climatologist for Environment Canada, already and for many years, heat has been the most lethal weather phenomenon worldwide (though cold up there … for now….).  It’s Question 13 on this Toronto Star weather quiz, and includes video commentary from himself.

An Indigenous way to look at a Global Warming and Peak Oil future

Best Place to Live for Global Warming AND Peak Oil

Just a reminder that when I started calculating this based on climate maps, I was thinking not only about GW but also PO.  Obviously anyplace COLD gets you out of GW, but if it makes you burn more fossil fuels for heat – your own, or your electric plant’s – it’s counterproductive.  Hence, Bay Area winters – on the wetter, cooler side – aren’t too chilly, and summers aren’t too hot for now, but this “sweet spot” will drift north over the generations.

Food can also be grown there in abundance, but then it’d compete with living space, employment space, etc.

Keep in mind that areas around  this area, while not as ideal, will be better than many.  There are other less-ideal spots around the world comparable to areas abutting this part of the Bay Area.  If I think about it, I may look into listing them.

Another lifestyle to consider is Snowbirding, ie, spending winters closer to the Equator, and summers farther away from it – water resources being equal, of course.  Jobs would have to migrate, too; I’m not sure exactly how you work that out.  What about two half-year jobs instead of one full-year job, with year-to-year guarantees/contracts of employment?

What will happen in a Little Ice Age?

If Global Warming shuts down the Gulf Stream – not currently expected this century, but very possibly in the 22nd – will we have mile-high glaciers as far south as the Mid-Atlantic United States, the Upper Midwest, etc.?  Ocean waves freezing in mid-surge in New York Harbor?

I’m no scientist, but from what I’m reading, they’re talking in terms of a “Little Ice Age,” maybe not even this bad, but similar to just one “year without a summer,” and apparently ‘only’ restricted to Western Europe – though I have to think Eastern North America as well, since the Gulf Stream influences weather there also.

IOW, perhaps liveable climatically, but damned unpleasant even for the hardiest hockey fan!

But combine reduced agricultural output there with that coming from Peak Oil and the end of petro-fertilizer, and that could be more than unpleasant!

Global Warming denier-scientist preparing for 3 foot sea rise

Fight Global Warming, Peak Oil, and Obesity: Eat less!

(Those of us who are able, that is.)

Drink less non-human animal milk, too.  (Unless you need what’s in it, like calcium, and can’t find it anywhere else.)

See, factory farming on land – cows, pigs, chickens, etc. – may be America’s Number One source of Greenhouse Gases.  Factory farming in water – many seafoods – is a very bad scene for other reasons: diseases, unhygienic, pollution, etc.  But demand for flesh-foods of all kinds is going through the roof, with big parts of the Third World (China, India, etc.) now ‘coming online’ in that regard.  And many natural fisheries are already in danger of being ‘fished out.’  Hence, we need to eat less of all flesh foods.

But substituting plant foods is problematic because the recent “Green Revolution” was mainly wrought by petro-fertilizers, and they’re going the way of the dinosaurs, so more plants is not an option.  And I think letting GMOs out into the planetary gene pool – eg, to increase crop yields or selected nutrients that way – is way too big a threat without knowing the long-term and even very-long-term consequences; we’ve only got one planet folks!  (For now.)*  And increasing arable land by burning forest adds carbon dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases to the atmosphere, and takes away trees that help remove these gases from the atmosphere.

Hence, eat less of everything if we can.

Obviously people with eating disorders who don’t eat enough, or with malnutrition or simply true hunger (vs. psychologically-induced pseudo-hunger) or certain health problems, or perhaps who are elderly and/or frail, etc., shouldn’t worry about this.  But the rest of us, especially the 2/3 of Americans who are overweight (Canadians and Brits are up there too), could use this for extra motivation, if overeating is a problem.

Also, let’s not stop partying, people!  But is every meal a party? every supper?  Not where I come from!!!

And let’s not cold-turkey it and drive ourselves crazy and set ourselves up for failure.  Perhaps a good program to start with/build up to (in the beginning) is the Orthodox Church’s “fasting” schedule.  (That’s “abstaining,” for you Catholics and High Church Protestants.)  Most Wednesdays and Fridays of the year, the 40 days before Christmas, the 40 days before Holy Week, Holy Week itself, the period between Pentecost and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29), the first half of August, and a few other “fast” days throughout the year.  (Old Calendar or New Calendar.)  Before I became Orthodox, but was considering it, I was told I shouldn’t try to fast; spiritually it wasn’t a good idea.  But I see no reason why people not currently considering Orthodoxy couldn’t adopt some or all of its fasting practices as a simple eating program.  Like I’ve said, Orthodox “ascesis” may turn out to be a great idea for the whole human race and the earth!  Fortunately or unfortunately, the decentralized structure of the Orthodox Church means there is not in every sense a uniform practice of fasting.  I could point you to websites that might seem to conflict, or in going overboard in describing the strictest forms of the fast may discourage and demoralize.  What you might want to do is consult an Orthodox parish near you; I’m sure they’d be glad to help!

(*–An experimental community should move to a bubble-enclosed island and mess around with GMOs for a few centuries to make sure they’re safe.  I mean it.  Otherwise, we could f— ourselves for good!)

Least Arctic ice ever; “NW Passage” thru Canadian internal waters!

This AOL News link will break.

Actually ISTM they could keep the “passage” open year-round by running enough ships through there to keep it from re-freezing, ever.  Not that I wanna give them ideas or anything, but surely it’s already been thought of.  Screw the polar bears, screw the environment, screw Canada.

This is separate from “who owns the Arctic Ocean.”  [“Who owns an ocean?” That’s greed!]  Every map since the French and Indian War has depicted the Far North of North America as belonging to Britain, or now Canada.  The inhabitants of the islands north of the Canadian mainland regard themselves as Canadian citizens, and always have.  But Washington says it doesn’t recognize Canadian sovereignty even there… without saying who they think does have it… surely not the U.S.?!?!?!  But the Bushies will provoke a war even with our best friends, Canada!

Global Warming affects Earth’s rotation, GPS!

Meat-eating causes Global Warming? (Got milk? That too!)

So said the head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on TV the other day: factory-farming of livestock is a major cause of greenhouse gases, with them farting and burping and pooping so much.*

(My apologies to that lawyer-kid, although in fairness, what we’re talking about here is not “natural processes,” but the astronomical increase in livestock by humanity in recent centuries, now even in the Third World as it too “modernizes” and eats lots more meat.)

In addition, she pointed out that the fires from burning away forest for pasture and farming to feed the beasts, and in so doing taking away trees that remove carbon dioxide from the air, compound the effect.  And of course, it takes alot more crops to produce meat than to feed humans directly with the crops.

Turns out last November the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO [not Schwarz!!]) reported on this.  The animals’ poor diets are part of the problem, and that can be improved with positive benefit GW-wise, but it sure looks like “prosperity” will outstrip those efforts easily:

“With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year, the report notes. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes.

The global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector. It provides livelihoods to about 1.3 billion people and contributes about 40 per cent to global agricultural output. For many poor farmers in developing countries livestock are also a source of renewable energy for draft and an essential source of organic fertilizer for their crops.”  [Emphasis added.]

Oh, yeah, dairy products too: milk, butter, cheese, casein, yogurt, (sodium) caseinate, lactose, etc etc etc.

But what’s clear is that once again, we “prosperous” of the world consuming all that meat and dairy, are screwing the whole planet, especially the poorest.  But of course, if we consume less meat and dairy, some real people (Screw corporations!) will get less money and thus be harmed.  Therefore what’s needed is a coordinated campaign to consume less meat and dairy, AND “economic conversion” help for the real people harmed thereby.

Makes me think of an idea from recent(?) Catholic and Orthodox fasting/abstaining practice, like for Lent/the Great Fast: The money you “save” from giving up meat (and for Orthodox, dairy also), you don’t bank, but do something better with – traditionally, give to the poor or charity; how about a more direct connection to the real people who make the stuff?!

It can be done.  I don’t eat alot of meat, and I’ve been lactose-intolerant since my religious-inspired vegan stint in the ’90s.  Many flavored soymilks actually taste better than cow’s milk now, and apparently lots of people are foregoing cheese on their pizzas or Mexican food already because of the fat content, so you won’t stick out as much as you/I did even a few years ago!  They’re even fortifying some soymilks with calcium (and other nutrients it lacks), and there are other sources for calcium too.

As for milk for human babies… and even their daddies**…!  For that matter, apparently it’s even possible for many women to “induce lactation” without a recent pregnancy or birth, so they could donate their milk to interested families, reducing human use of cow’s milk even further.  And doing so is real natural birth control, during lactation and for two months to two years after stopping… sure to appeal to many!

(*–This choice of words will bring the kiddies running!!)

(**–As far as I’ve looked into the “adult nursing relationship” concept – by reading only! – the common idea that the partner has to suckle 6-8 times per day around the clock doesn’t seem necessary, as long as the other times the lactating woman expresses instead [to keep the milk flowing]. ISTM the extra milk can be donated, used in cooking – what about cheesemaking? [After all, “Blessed are the cheesemakers“!] – or simply discarded.  NB: Breast milk does contain lactose, so if you’re lactose-intolerant, you might need to see if you can do something about that. The guys quoted on the first page of this PDF seem to think it’s easy, though their research is ten years old, so if it worked you’d think we’d have heard more about it since then, eh? I’d try it, for nothing else but the sake of my next relationship or marriage, but dairy stinks to me since I went off it, like, even fresh milk smells sour to me – not much motivation there!)

More on Global Warming and your “pinpoint forecast”

A while ago I tried to clarify why GW scientists probably have a better grip on the next 2,000 years than the dude with your “backyard forecast.”  But the other day I heard two once-venerable CBS Radio affiliates, once news leaders in their local markets, now pumping out Faux News and the usual theocon “new-stalk,” making like how un-warm it’s been there this summer.  I can’t say where because it wouldn’t be safe to give The Man any idea of my whereabouts, but let’s just say with Col. Sherman T. Potter, USA, HORSEHOCKEY!

Be that as it may, would one less-warm summer mean GW is a hoax?  [George Norry, I used to respect you!]  No, because GW isn’t your “hometown doppler 12 million,” it’s the whole planet’s doppler 6.6 billion (or whatever).  Just like one 45-degree (F) winter day doesn’t take the sting out of the rest of that God-forsaken season, one cool summer in Podunk doesn’t take the sting out of GW for the rest of the world for the rest of now and unto ages of ages if we don’t try and do something about it.  In fact, the North and South Poles are gonna warm a hell of a lot more than the rest of the planet, because of the Earth’s rotation and air and sea currents and such… but we’re still all screwed.  The effects will vary from continent to continent, as already featured on this blog… but they’re trending hotter and drier everywhere ultimately.

What kind of observations would scientifically call GW into valid question?  I’m not a scientist, but how about half a century worldwide not living up to the warnings?

Of course, that doesn’t make for interesting “new stalk radio,” because most of their listeners won’t be here 50 years from now (nor will I, unless the Lord allows my sinning to go on in hopes I’ll repent)!  So they peddle their own fake hype to counter what they like to claim is our hype.  And The Assault on Reason continues….

UPDATE: Best Place to Live for Global Warming

When I recently calculated that parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties near the California coast were the best places to live amid GW for now, I neglected to factor-in water resources.  Those places are going to get mighty drier, mighty fast.

I now favor the cooler and wetter side of the San Francisco Bay Area… for now.  But not right on the Bay or ocean, of course.  And forget Silicon Valley: long-term, it’ll be flooded by rising sea levels.  [Earthquakes?  Pshaw!]

I liked Tasmania and New Zealand, but recently heard they’re going to get substantially drier too.  (Though NZ is marketing itself to Europeans afraid of the coming Little Ice Age in a century or two!!)  Quito, Ecuador and Caracas, Venezuela [Viva Chavez!] actually look nice longer-term, but climatologically they’re pin-points, and won’t hold enough people to be significant longest-term.  Of course, no place will!

The problem with the California coast, of course, is that when my new Nice Zone creeps northward over time, it’ll bump into the oldest residents of that region, the redwoods.  Some tough choices will have to be made when that time comes.  Not unlike having to go back to some more coal and nuclear when oil and natural gas run out… if we have enough of the latter to provide the time we’ll need to ramp-up the former… (hopefully temporarily) compromising anti-GW efforts and global peace and security, respectively.  Of course, as I’ve said, GW is our worst chronic global problem, very-long-term; Peak Oil, Third World “dirty” industrialization* and the bad First World diet already coming with it, and the (hopefully) temporarily-shrinking magnetic field of the planet, are IMHO worse acute problems, much-shorter-term.

[*–‘Chinese Communism: Screwing Workers and “the People” Just Like The Man!’]

Corporate Media Promoting Benefits from Global Warming

This AOL link will break.  In the meantime, observe how they point out benefits to the Global North, as the NY Times and I have already said.  If you work harder, you’ll see how they don’t neglect detriments elsewhere, and planetarily, but still, this is misleading and shameful.

They also neglect the expected Little Ice Age in the Upper North Atlantic, including their favored Greenland and Iceland.  We’re already seeing fauna migrating southward from the UNA – because it’s cold maybe?!!  They could be the Gulf Stream monitoring system scientists are looking for!

Billion to be displaced by Global Warming, etc., by 2050

If they’re lucky, they’ll only be displaced, and not die from heat, drought, thirst, famine, disease, civil war, loss of petroleum-based fertilizers, etc.

Commandments to humanity at Creation?

In the Book of Genesis, God tells humanity to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion.”  Some “Christians” use this as religious cover to dismiss concern about the apparent ability of the planet to sustain many more human beings [or at least, many more First-World human beings!!!], and to destroy the environment.  But it occurs to me that these commands were given before the Fall.  After the Fall, humanity’s chief concern is different: to reunite with God in His Uncreated Energies/Activities.

Traditionally more than a few Orthodox have tried to collaborate with God through monasticism, ie, a lifestyle of NOT multiplying, and of using as little of the earth as possible.  Even practicing Orthodox laity try to include some of this asceticism in their lives, including abstaining from marital relations most Wednesdays and Fridays, during the four Fasting Periods (“lents”) of the year, several other prescribed days each year, any nights before and after receiving Communion… as well as the fast-related dietary self-restrictions during these periods, and in the weeks leading up to the Great Fast (ie, Great Lent, or just Lent, the pre-Pascha/Easter fast).  I believe many of these practices persist among Eastern Catholics, and some of them persisted among Latins (Catholics of Western Rite) before the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, and among many older Latins even afterward – though since the ’60s they have all retained the practices of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent, and some bishops seem to want to bring back the year-round “fish on Fridays” practice.

Furthermore, a number of Protestant groups embrace what might be called a certain neo-asceticism, such as Amish, Mennonites, some Quakers, some individual liberal mainstream Protestants, and even some “conservative” Protestants, under the rubric of “How ought a Christian to live?”  Some pacifists extend their ethic to “simple living,” or at least advocating it, in the spirit of 1700s New Jersey Quaker John Woolman, who sought to remove from his life anything containing “the seeds of war,” including profiting from slave labor and foreign trade in unnecessary clothing accessories.  (In fact, he predicted the U.S. Civil War.)

As I have reflected previously, greater asceticism may be the lifestyle of the next two thousand years, as we face Global Warming, Peak Oil, and the other coming difficulties – lest we destroy ourselves even before the Lord returns in Glory!  Though as He said, ‘Don’t go around moping, unwashed, in ratty clothes, but smile, clean up, dress adequately’ (more or less!).  For Orthodox, asceticism is the privilege of collaborating with God in this world, and becoming more God-like (NOT “god-like”)!

Presidential Endorsement

will have to wait.

Why do so few of the Democratic candidates have sufficient experience to be president of the executive branch?  Rodham Clinton?: four more years in the Senate (hopefully eight, of course!).  Obama?: eight more years in the Senate.

The only ones I think have sufficient experience are Biden and Dodd, but neither of them really embodies the party or America.  I want to back Kucinich, but he’s so loopy.  Plus, I love Elizabeth and all, but engaged after 6 weeks, and half his age?  Makes me wonder about other decisions he might make in office.

President Gore and President Kerry have ruled out ’08.  I wasn’t real thrilled about Kerry in ’04, but for justice, I’d back him.  Gore has gotten much better since the ’90s.  I think he had to get out from under the Clinton/DLC thumb, have the 2000 election stolen from him, see how life is for the other 99 pct., get out in front on Global Warming, experience “the assault on reason,” etc.  I wanna say he’s done more for the world than he would’ve/could’ve as President… but please, Iraq? “the assault on reason”? the fascism? the Constitution, “just a damned piece of paper”?

Of course, so much shouldn’t depend on one election or one (elective) office.  But that’s what we’re stuck with in this country.

For now….

Democrat Surrender Monkeys indeed!

I guess the Congressional Democrats really are what the theocons (who hate America) like to call most of America, “surrender monkeys,” for caving-in to another Bush veto threat on a timetable for abandoning his Iraq/Oil/civil war/Empire quagmire.  Minimum wage?  I thought we did that months ago!

Until the Monarchy Party gets off the ground, there’s always these guys….  I was once more sympathetic to the Green movement than I am today obviously, but if we could just replace the Democratic affiliation of voters, votes, and (most, apparently) Democratic members of Congress, with Green(s), 100 pct., all at once, it’d be an improvement.  I actually voted for my Green U.S. Rep. candidate in November, but only because I’m in a very safe Dem district, and wanted to make a statement.  Call me a Green Monarchist Realist Anti-abortionist maybe!

German Chancellor tries to reach Bush on GW

but fails, as usual.  (In [undeserved] fairness, this was on Monday, before today’s report.  But we’ve heard their response to today’s report too.)

Nice try, Angela!  (Hope he didn’t try to give you another neck rub!  Eww!!)

In U.S. terms, it seems she’s pretty much a neocon, but at least she seems to understand GW… just not GWB!  (But who does?!)

Pres. Clinton and GW

His Climate Initiative looks interesting, along with everything else his presidential foundation is doing.  Guess he’s trying to be a kind of neoliberal Jimmy Carter!

(Remember, Republican ex-Presidents just cash-in on it!)

GW New Report ROUNDUP

I can’t read the thing myself today – I’ve been up all night – but according to Reuters, GW can be kept to less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 50 years by means of current technology and no more than an average annual investment/effect of one-eighth of one percent of global GDP, maybe even a slight increase in GDP if we really get it right.  It includes what will be a controversial nod to nuclear power – inevitable IMHO, the lesser evil, climatologically, ‘big picture.’

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 85 pct., though?  I don’t think so.  This is the next chapter in that sexennial* series of reports from thousands of United Nations scientists, always tweaked by government reps, and final editing went overtime, so I have to think the governments have spun it excessively optimistically.  Of course I would love to be wrong, but with China and India powering *up,* and First World “conservatives” resistant, and oil and natural gas sooner to be replaced by old coal and worse things than by new nukes….  Maybe the actual report can convince me.  I’ll try to catch it in the next couple days.

The underreported angle is that to make that one-eighth-percent GDP investment will require heavier regional commitments from the First World: we currently have the money to spare (comparatively), we have the concentration of economic production as well as of the technology that can help make this happen, and justly, we’re the source of most of the effect we’re seeing right now (since we industrialized first, back to 1750).  Logically, OTOH, ISTM any gains will mostly be realized in China and India, where they’re not completely powered-up yet, but have alot of tech know-how even if the First World remains reluctant to share.  So we’ll have to take the hit, they’ll get the short-term economic benefit – but in the end the whole world reaps the reward.

Can short terms in office, dependent on wealthy and business campaign contributions and Republican-dominated electronic voting companies, with perhaps our wisest leaders – our hereditary constitutional monarchs – having to just take “advice,” produce or sustain the kind of long view and altruism needed to make this happen?  Again, I remain seriously doubtful.  The Bushies have already panned this report claiming it costs too much… the same (fake) reason they kicked Kyoto in the groin, even though we’re the biggest offender (for now).  And the Democrats can’t even impeach the Republicans or get us out of Iraq.

What if we just totally replaced the Dems with the Greens?  Not bit-by-bit to undermine ourselves (ala Nader 2000), but all at once!  I notice Canada’s Green Party is raising its profile (though they really still need some form of Proportional Representation)….

If it goes as I expect, maybe we can cut some deal with China and India: we share the tech with them, they do what they can to help us with the necessary “recession.”  I don’t know exactly: continued offshoring sure won’t help us, but cutting the cost to us of what’s already there would, even some givebacks.  And what if we linked the Asian and North American electric grids across the Bering Strait and shared output?  (IS there an Asian one yet? or even in Alaska? Both might need serious build-outthat’ll be good for the economy… if we can produce the juice that is… which I also have doubts about.)  And there’s always cutting the cost to us of the products they already sell us, and service for same….

(*–They might get more WWW hits if they used the word sexennial frequently!!!)

Global Warming and Native Suicide

Evolution and Global Warming

I just had a realization: If you believe your religion requires the Earth to have only been here 6,000 years, then you can’t accept evidence claiming to go back 600,000 years – there must be something wrong with it!

It’s gonna be harder than I realized to “convert” the Fundies to help lessen GW’s effects over the next 2,000 years (or more).  I guess they won’t buy it till the tropics are a blazing desert, and the two billion or fewer of us who are left are crammed into Northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia – inland, of course!

Global Warming: Impacts for Millennia to Come!!!

(Sorry, I was delayed by Great Week/Pascha-related pursuits.  This is the report that came out Friday [PDF].)

You’ve heard the MSM take on it.  Not alot new for readers of this blog, although some of the regional specificities are… as is the question: Why are governments allowed to futz with what is supposed to be a scientific document?  It smacks of Bushie “faith-based [pseudo-]science”!!!

Anyway, some highlights you might not have heard, in the order reported:

  • –Greater carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to greater acidity in the oceans, harming shellfish and species (like humans!) who depend on them directly or indirectly. 
  • –Africa will be the worst-hit because of its poverty.  Severe reductions in agricultural output – this is on top of those already being experienced on account of HIV/AIDS, poor policymaking, etc.  Increased desertification.  Warmed lakes will impact fishing and other aquaculture.  Up to a quarter-billion people there will lack sufficient water just 13 years from now.
  • –In Asia by mid-century more than a billion people will have less freshwater.  South and East Asia’s increasing urbanization and industrialization will increase all GW effects there [as well as globally!].  More infectious diarrhea and cholera.
  • –Increasing coastal development and population growth anywhere will be more New Orleanses waiting to happen.
  • –Lots more deadly European heat waves.  And southern European agriculture will be more vulnerable to drought.
  • –In Latin America, the eastern Amazon will become savanna by mid-century!  Semi-arid areas will become arid.  Much agricultural land will become desert.  Less water for drinking, farming, and hydroelectricity.  Poverty here too will make adaptation difficult.
  • –Less water in the dry western U.S.  More forest fires and pest and disease damage.  More and worse urban heat waves, rough especially on the increasing elderly population.
  • –Just to make it official, small islands anywhere in the world will be more vulnerable to sea-level rise, temperature rise, and extreme weather events.  By mid-century, especially in the Caribbean and Pacific, small islands won’t have enough drinking water during dry seasons.  [‘Water, water everywhere….’]
  • –If you scroll down to page 15 of the report (remember again, this is the “Dummies” version for policymakers; the whole, longer text won’t be available to us mortals for a couple more months I guess), every bad effect in the chart whose description starts at the left-hand side, near the zero (0) temperature-increase indicator, starts REAL SOON.  Time to wake up!!!
  • –Global sea level is rising about half a centimeter a year through 2080… that’s about 16 inches from the 2000 level.
  • –Thanks to fiddling by the Bushies, Communist Chinese, and Saudis – talk about an “Axis of Evil”!!! – this report is less gloomy than the (“conservative”!) scientists think it will be in reality!
  • –Higher sea levels will introduce sea-salt into groundwater, river estuaries, and irrigation water, meaning even less usable water!!!
  • –For the first time, scientists talk about relocation and migration of threatened/impacted populations!!!
  • –They also talk about GW impacts over “millennia” – plural!!!  (This is in connection with assessing the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets.  Apparently they – or somebody – don’t want to be total doomsayers about these just yet, but if it’s like the February chapter, they haven’t been able to take into account unexpected increased melt in the last several years.  They may have a gloomier assessment of this in the next full report around 2013.)
  • –Although an Upper North Atlantic Little Ice Age isn’t expected this century, some slowing of the Gulf Stream and cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean IS now expected (p. 17): “Impacts of large-scale and persistent changes in the {Gulf Stream} are likely to include changes to marine ecosystem productivity, fisheries, ocean carbon dioxide uptake, oceanic oxygen concentrations and terrestrial vegetation.”  They focus on Europe, but it has to affect eastern North America somewhat as well.
  • –As recently illustrated by the NY Times, vulnerability to the effects of GW is increased by poverty (in the global sense).
  • –In summary (p. 20, emphasis added), “Even the most stringent mitigation efforts cannot avoid further impacts of climate change… which makes adaptation essential, particularly in addressing near-term impacts. Unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt. This suggests the value of a portfolio or mix of strategies that includes mitigation, adaptation, technological development (to enhance both adaptation and mitigation) and research (on climate science, impacts, adaptation and mitigation). Such portfolios could combine policies with incentive-based approaches, and actions at all levels from the individual citizen through to national governments and international organizations.”
  • –And just as a reminder, when the governments made them reduce some of their “confidence” assessments from “very high” to just “high,” it was a reduction from 90 percent probability to 80 percent (see p. 22, Endbox 2, paragraph 2).  A difference which makes no difference is no difference.  F*cking politicians!

My own concluding reflections:

  • –Unless the rest of the world can do something about it, between GW, Peak Oil, AIDS, and expected increased political instability, Africa is going to be a basket case.
  • –Again, unless the rest of the world can do something about it, further-urbanizing and industrializing China and India are going to face warmer temps, higher sea levels, greater river flooding, less drinking water, more coal mining, more pollution of air, soils, and water, more infectious diarrhea and cholera, more lung cancer from the pollution, more skin cancer from the planet’s reversing magnetic field, more nuclear power and certain plant accidents and/or sabotage… and alot more people, fatter and sicker.  God help them!
  • –Why people are still moving to the Southeast U.S., already intolerably hot and humid in the summer, now with intensifying hurricanes and tornadoes and imperiled coastal communities, is beyond me!  Even summers in the rest of the Eastern U.S. are just awful!  I’ve actually calculated that the best place to live in North America, GW-wise, for now, is Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo Counties, California (maybe not right on the coast!): not too hot in summer, not too cold in winter – i.e., saving on fossil fuels for cooling and heating – not too humid or snowy(!), without the long winter nights farther north requiring fossil fuels (or nuke power) for extra lighting.  Of course, as the climate warms, this Nice zone will creep up the Coast….
  • –In any case, we should discourage further coastal development, and encourage people to move away from the coastlines and flood-prone areas – worldwide.
  • –Step-up desalination of sea water for human usage worldwide.
  • –Plant more trees in heat-prone urban cores, perhaps removing unused buildings to do so.
  • –Start thinking about relocating inhabitants of the world’s small islands… voluntarily of course.  Meanwhile, of getting them usable water during dry season.
  • –All that Northern Canadian freshwater will be worth its weight in gold!
  • –Gotta love how this “theme” doesn’t display bullets in its supposed “bullet lists”!!!

Causers, Sufferers of Global Warming

dramatically illustrated in this NY Times “interactive” graphic.  Hint: Industrialized/ing countries cause it and are comparatively better-equipped to deal with it, many LDCs are not.  Although with this caveat: Static or increasing crop yields they expect in some places probably remain dependent on petroleum-based fertilizers (Eat Oil!!) which will end when petroleum does, real soon.  Also, there’s no way I see Australia coming out of this in great shape: Sydney’s suburbs are already burning up, literally.  That’s a continent that’s already almost entirely desert.

Global Warming: Alaskan Evac

Global Warming vs. Weather Forecasting

Some deniers point to the failings of their local TV weatherperson and ask how any scientists can claim to predict Global Warming planetwide for the next thousand years or more.  Reasonable question.

The answer is that it’s actually usually easier, scientifically, to analyze general worldwide trends, than which jet streams or cloud formations are going to appear over this or that particular point on the earth’s surface more than, say, 24 hours in the future.  What GW scientists aren’t saying is that your block will get a thunderstorm more intense than usual next weekend, or for that matter, that your town’s daytime high (or worse, overnight low) next weekend will be 0.03 degrees Celsius warmer than usual, or whatever.  All they’re saying is that on average, the long-term trends, verified by complex mathematical models that have successfully predicted what we’ve already gone through in recent generations as if it hadn’t happened yet, portend that the world’s overall temperature will keep rising as far ahead as we can see, caused by Greenhouse Gases that have had known effects and will continue to because we know how these gases behave in the atmosphere, how long they can be expected to last up there, etc etc etc.

For example, the global average temperature won’t even be affected by a relatively-more localized Upper North Atlantic Little Ice Age if it happens, though Western Europe and eastern North America will certainly feel different until the global average overcomes the local Little Ice Age effect.

Like dropping an ice cube into a boiling pot.

Bushies Would Defoliate Amazon, versus Cocaine

According to Loretta Nall…now running for Congress???

Truly insane and inane.  (Them, not her!! Well, she’s a little kooky, too, but in a good way mostly, it seems!!)  ‘Stop us before we snort again!!!’  Who knew the “War on Drugs” had Global Warming impacts?!!!