Monthly Archives: November 2013
The U. S. military, always alert to threats facing our country, has been studying the alterations we humans are making to the biosphere, our life-support system. Military leaders have concluded what I have been saying for some time: The threats to our future from global warming and other serious human alterations of the planet are far more dangerous than any terrorist threat.
“This March, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, the commander of the United States Pacific Command, told security and foreign policy specialists in Cambridge, Mass., that global climate change was the greatest threat the United States faced — more dangerous than terrorism, Chinese hackers and North Korean nuclear missiles. Upheaval from increased temperatures, rising seas and radical destabilization ‘is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen…” he said, ‘that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
“Locklear’s not alone. Tom Donilon, the national security adviser,said much the same thing in April, speaking to an audience at Columbia’s new Center on Global Energy Policy. James Clapper, director of national intelligence, told the Senate in March that ‘Extreme weather events (floods, droughts, heat waves) will increasingly disrupt food and energy markets, exacerbating state weakness, forcing human migrations, and triggering riots, civil disobedience, and vandalism.’ “
So wrote Roy Scranton, U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, in an eloquent statement, recently published in the New York Times. Even the World Bank, no bastion of liberal do-goodism, presented a surprisingly dour assessment of the human predicament in its June 2013 report, “Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience.” Jim Young Kim, President of the World Bank Group, described the conclusions in a 4 minute YouTube video. Continue reading
There is so much information on the web about stresses to the biosphere, it’s difficult to keep up. From time to time I plan to offer a few internet links to material of interest and relevancy. Here’s my current installment, several more below it.
Hooked on Growth
Added 12 NOV 2013
“Join GrowthBusters to find the cure for the silent killer of growth addiction. Unending economic growth, pursuit of population growth, perpetual urban growth, and increasing consumption are not the model for a sustainable culture. The GrowthBusters movie is now finished.”
Al Bartlett has Died
Added 10 SEP 2013
Prof. Bartlett died Saturday at the age of 90.
Here are two articles:
Al’s website is at www.AlBartlett.org
The Kahn Academy
Added 3 SEP 2013
Thanks to TV I found the Kahn Academy. It is a remarkable approach to offering short video nuggets or lessons for free on a variety of subjects. The platform chosen is well-suited to learning simple things in geometry, for example, but has been and continues to be extended to very much more involved subjects on its knowledge map. Of interest to this web blog are these three lessons:
These are contained in a Kahn Academy “Crash Course on Ecology.”
Once you start watching these relatively short videos, it is difficult to stop watching them.
Typical 10 minute lesson using Sal Kahn’s original presentation model: The Beauty of Algebra.
How Keystone Flunks The Climate Test
From Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, AUGUST 29, 2013
In June President Obama set a climate test for his decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. He said he will not approve the pipeline if it would significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. Today the Sierra Club, Oil Change International, and 13 partner groups have released a report that settles the issue unequivocally: Keystone XL would be a climate disaster.
Our report, “FAIL: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test,” spells out the full consequences of building the pipeline.
Start with the one fact that the State Department, the U.S. EPA, climate scientists, and even Wall Street and industry analysts all agree on: The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will create massive amounts of carbon pollution. Tar sands, after all, are the world’s dirtiest and most carbon-intensive source of oil. Oil Change International estimates that the pipeline would carry and emit more than 181-million metric tons of carbon pollution each year. That’s the pollution equivalent of adding 37.7 million cars to U.S. roads, or 51 new coal-fired power plants.
The State Department, though, tried to ignore this 181-million metric ton elephant. It argued in its environmental review of Keystone XL that tar sands development was inevitable, regardless of whether the pipeline is built. That’s not true for several reasons.