Climate Change

March 22, 2012

“Beginning in mid-March, however, its various offices began issuing bulletins that sounded slightly shaken. “There’s extremes in weather, but seeing something like this is impressive and unprecedented,” ”

“It’s hard to overstate how impossible this weather is—when you have nearly a century and a half of records, they should be hard to break, much less smash.”

There’s nothing much that needs to be added to this:

90 Degrees in Winter: This Is What Climate Change Looks Like

http://www.thenation.com/article/166917/90-degrees-winter-what-climate-change-looks

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/ This is amazing /. “Mother” trees sharing nutrients and water with daughter trees.

For young trees, “increased survival was associated with belowground transfer of carbon, nitrogen and water from the old trees.”

Yet another reason never to clearcut. We shouldn’t need reasons for avoiding such an obviously destructive act, but unfortunately, logging companies want money. Clear cutting is fast and easy compared to judicious pruning, and then replanting a natural forest in the gaps rather than a one-species orchard.

Interesting: a healthy forest, like a healthy society, depends on both age and youth, diversity in its population, sharing resources, and those with experience and skill helping those who lack either or both.

What we keep learning about our world, about  life of all sorts, including ourselves, never ceases to astound me. And yet there is so much left to learn.

I appreciate the importance of this post from / Cosmic Variance / on our real knowledge of the basic laws of physics. We need to remember how much we already know. That knowledge gives us the tools to learn more. I include / this link / to Sean Carroll’s follow-up article because of this sentence: “Today we think of ourselves and the stuff we see around us as made of electrons, protons, and neutrons, interacting through gravity, electromagnetism, and the nuclear forces. A thousand years from now, we will still think precisely that.”

The joy of discovering and understanding something that was not just a mystery, but completely unexpected yesterday — that is one of the greatest joys we can experience.

Gotta love it.

Wish people could figure out belief has nothing to do with it. Facts, people. They are not beliefs.

Mermaid Wisdom

April 14, 2011

This gave me a smile today. Touched with sorrow, but still a smile.

‘Rhymes With Orange’  http://www.arcamax.com/newspics/18/1829/182942.gif

Nuclear Skepticism

April 4, 2011

I repeat: to be a skeptic is to ask questions; seek answers from reputable sources; and make decisions based on that accumulated, verifiable evidence while still being open to new information.

To be a skeptic is not to be a naysayer, a denier, or a knee-jerk reactionary. It is not to accept without thought or question, nor is it to ignore evidence.

Once again / George Monbiot / addresses failings in critical thinking that severely damage credibility of people who, as recognized spokespeople, must be held to a higher accountability. If you are going to talk in public about an issue, you *must* be well-informed. (his two previous posts address his repeated and unsuccessful attempts to get Helen Caldicott to provide references for her so dramatic statements.)

People trust their chosen leaders. This is an unfortunate but absolute fact of human nature. And if leaders lie, as almost all seem to do, in pursuit of their chosen agenda, people make foolish choices. Global warming will not go away because people trust greedy, manipulative leaders. And nuclear power must be considered intelligently, not in the obscuring cloud of fact manipulations.

We must teach people how to question intelligently and how to recognize reliable sources.

We are running out of options in too many areas. Humanity may survive the coming crises and the wars and devastation that will accompany them, but wouldn’t it be better if we found ways to prevent the worst disasters? We won’t, not without cooperation and reason.

Where are the leaders and the people who seek reason, not power and emotion?

People clamoring to decommission nuclear plants is a ‘hot’ topic as the drama in Japan keeps unfolding. George Monbiot has been exploring how nuclear energy compares to other sources for safety. Not a pretty picture, considering where so much of our electricity comes from.

His posts, in order:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/03/16/atomised/

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/03/21/going-critical/

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/03/31/seven-double-standards/

And a tangential post on oil, tyranny, torture, and Western blind eyes:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/03/14/oil-and-trouble/

I often wonder how much of climate change denial is due to the incredibly protected lives we lead in ‘developed’ nations. We get food from around the world; no need to consider growing seasons. All that’s required is a slightly higher cost to purchase. We have, and most tellingly, expect to have an abundance of choice in foods and products, and even more critically, an abundance of water. I was talking with my sister in California about future water wars. California has had water rationing before, and their government struggled to find ways to get people to cooperate. But if chronic shortages develop, what will the urbanized drylands of California do?  Steal our water, of course.

California has, in the past, plotted to siphon off water from Oregon. Not content with destroying their aquifers and indulging a water-rich lifestyle in an arid land, they assume the right to take water from other places rather than alter their behavior. They are big enough and powerful enough that they’d probably be allowed to do so. (Where’s Cascadia? Independence and climate-wise living!)

/ This article / on Uganda clarified a few things. People who actually live with the land are the ones who see what’s happening. They don’t need the facts and figures; they won’t argue for political gain; they know their survival depends upon understanding what’s actually happening.

Our survival depends upon understanding what’s actually happening. The longer we allow power-plays to control government policy, the deeper in trouble we’re going to get.

I’m fully confident that mega-corporations have all sorts of research strategies in place to deal with the observable and predicted changes. They want to keep the reins of financial and political power. Greedy and corrupt they are, but not stupid.

It is the responsibility of a government for the people and by the people to protect the people from greed and corruption, to force and fund open research for the benefit of all.

Oh wait. Did I say government for the people and by the people? Silly me.  I forgot. I live in the US, not Cascadia.

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