Category — Life on this Planet
“Inner wealth – human affection, human friendship, these are the most important.
Just to think of yourself, is foolish, selfish.
One company, one family, one individual who always consumes –
more greed, more greed more greed regardless of other consequences – this is a mistake.
Develop inner strength.
The person who develops inner peace –
that person develops a precious human life.
This is our home; we have to take care of it”
“We have a very, very urgent crisis right now just in terms of the atmosphere.
We elevate the economy above the very atmosphere that sustains us.
We’ve lost the sense of what are the really important things that keep us alive.”
Dr. David Suzuki
The Dalai Lama concluded his three-day Oregon trip by telling a sold-out crowd we need to focus more on the environment and less on the acquisition of material things.
May 17, 2013 Comments Off
- Reaching the public on the dangers of fossil fuels is a key component to change. ”8.2 million New Yorkers get their drinking water from upstate reservoirs. They are about to get fracked.” Here are some very clever campaigns! How much are we willing to sacrifice for old ways when new and far better ways exist? Plans exist to spread fracking in some of the most beautiful areas of our nation, and polluting areas growing our food and providing our cities’ water supplies. These materials and ideas can help raise awareness. - Editor
Don’t Drink and Drill! is a subway ad campaign that can be seen all over NYC subway stations, commissioned by the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and Damascus Citizens for Sustainability (DCS), to inform New York City against the danger of hydraulic fracturing. This infographic is part of a bigger project, Making Policy Public, a fold-out poster series, initiated by CUP. The “What’s in the Water” fold-out poster reveals a lot more data and infographics about fracking.
8.2 million New Yorkers get their drinking water from upstate reservoirs. They are about to get fracked.
What’s In the Water? - http://welcometocup.org/Projects/MakingPolicyPublic/WhatsInTheWater
For the poster- http://www.damascuscitizensforsustainability.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Fracking-subway-poster.pdf and http://welcometocup.org/Store?product_id=41- can buy for just $8.00 or get free download
The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement.
CUP collaborates with designers, educators, advocates, students, and communities to make educational tools that demystify complex policy and planning issues. We believe that increasing understanding of how these systems work is the first step to better, more equitable, and more diverse community participation
May 10, 2013 Comments Off
- Species cannot survive without their ecosystems, so thinking of systems is great progress! But climate change is threatening so many places, including my home as we possibly shift into precipitation at a level of the Mojave Desert. In the first 4 months of 2013, Santa Fe had a mere 1/3 of an inch (.39) ! The Mojave is approximately 5 inches a year! We’ve gotten some moisture since, but the direction is disturbing. We are seeing numerous dead birds here for the last few years- some species need enough bugs to eat, and this drought fails to support even bugs. The bottom of the food chain is the foundation of biodiversity. - Editor
With many of the world’s ecosystems threatened or endangered by human activities like logging and urbanization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published its criteria for a new “Red List” of endangered ecosystems today. The list, which measures an ecosystem’s risk of collapse, will be similar to the group’s authoritative Red List of Endangered Species, which created internationally accepted criteria for assessing extinction risk.
An international team of biologists and conservationists designed criteria that could assess the health of all of Earth’s varied ecosystems, from spring-fed limestone caves to sparkling coral reefs.
“This is really a unifying framework,” said study co-author Richard Kingsford, also a professor at the University of New South Wales. “The most important thing here, from my point of view, is providing evidence that pushes governments to do things to protect these magnificent parts of the world.”
Development of ecosystem and species Green Lists are also underway — the carrot to the Red Lists’ stick — to help the IUCN promote conservation by rewarding successes.
and for Scientific Foundations for an IUCN Red List of Ecosystems http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0062111 http://www.iucnredlist.org/
May 10, 2013 Comments Off
“Anyone who has breathed air with less than 300 ppm CO2
is now over 100 years old!
The last time atmospheric CO2 was over 400 ppm
was at least as far back as the Pliocene, three to five million years ago,
before humans roamed the earth and
when the climate was considerably warmer than today.”
Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory
- The 400 mark years ago was the limit numerous scientists said we should not pass. We’re passing it and whizzing on by! Adaptation to change may feel more important to some, but entering an era with a different world than humans have ever known pushes us into places we cannot understand. - Editor
Scientist Ralph Keeling wants this generation to remember when atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million, because of human (actions). That’s why Keeling and his employer, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have launched a website that will provide daily updates on atmospheric CO2 concentrations, measured at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory. They have also launched a Twitter account, @Keeling_curve, that will tweet the concentration every day.
April 26, 2013 Comments Off
Down south, the town of Silver City is going great guns! Their team “Silver City Neighbors Alliance” for climate action is very active, having not only a series of useful talks on climate (an example-“Drought Impacts on Dust and Health”) but also numerous real-life projects. They’ve breathed in smoke for months as forests burned nearby- they get it! So what to do? Get the football team to help the senior citizens clear shrubs around houses and haul off the “fire-starter.” You contact Coach Clark if you want to increase the fire-defensible space around your home! YES! You can also sign up for receiving fire warnings directly on your phone. Nick Sussillo, Director, Office of Sustainability, is doing a bang-up job! They are also involving the community in Silver City’s Sustainability Plan 2030, addressing how to better prepare for increasing weather risks.
To get on the list-serve- firstname.lastname@example.org
April 12, 2013 Comments Off
Hot Water is a new documentary exposing the long-term devastation wrought by uranium mining and the nuclear industry. Are the 38 million people in the American southwest aware that their water supply is filtered through millions of tons of radioactive waste lying on the banks of the Colorado River? Our ground water, air and soil are contaminated with some of the most toxic heavy metals known to man – the subsequent health and environmental damage will take generations and in some cases, thousands of years to heal.
For the trailer worth watching- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlqhjSMw2nA&feature=player_embedded
ACTION: Get this video shown in your town.
March 14, 2013 Comments Off
- It’s sometimes painful to realize how many deeply entrenched establishments can fail to perform their basic duties just because “It’s always been done that way.” This report is from intelligent scientists who clearly are worried. The problem cannot really be fixed after the fact! - Editor
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is tolerating the intolerable: a ripped nuclear safety net. In 2012, the NRC reported 14 “near-misses” at nuclear plants. Just to be clear about the gravity of the situation, a “near-miss” is an event that increases the chance of core meltdown by at least a factor of 10. Over the past three years, 40 of the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors experienced one or more near-misses. The NRC must take two steps.
First, the NRC should formally evaluate all safety violations identified during its near-miss inspections to determine whether the agency’s baseline inspections could have, and should have, found these safety problems sooner. Second, the NRC must require that individual plant owners find and fix problems in their testing and inspection procedures.
The simplest repair available is for the NRC to enforce existing regulations, using its ability to impose fines on owner and shut down reactors that violate safety regulations.
Unfortunately, the NRC has repeatedly failed to enforce essential safety regulations. Failing to enforce existing safety regulations is literally a gamble that places lives at stake.
For the article Is the next Fukushima in your backyard? about this report- http://grist.org/climate-energy/is-the-next-fukushima-in-your-backyard/
For many nuclear articles, go to www.ClimateToday.org and click on the sidebar topic Nuclear- some very important articles as a useful resource. Other topics have useful resources, as well.
March 14, 2013 Comments Off
ACTION: Let President Obama know that this review needs to go back to the drawing board. Sign the petition at www.stoptar.org - Editor
A deeper dive into the State Department draft environmental review shows that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not needed. The energy security argument for the pipeline, always dubious, has evaporated to the point where even the State Department cannot find a reason to build it. The draft also confirms that the Keystone XL is not an economic recovery plan, and it won’t help consumers since far from bringing new oil to the US, it is meant to relieve a glut and raise oil prices. Instead the State Department found that the project will benefit oil companies by giving them access to the higher oil prices in overseas markets, making new tar sands projects more worth their while. It is Americans who carry the risks of tar sands oil spills in our rivers and aquifers and worsening climate change. What the State Department got dead wrong is their mistaken assumption that Keystone XL would not drive tar sands expansion.
Once you accept that the Keystone XL pipeline will drive tar sands expansion, it means that the environmental and health impacts of that expansion need to be taken into account. This is a critical missing piece in the draft environmental review that the State Department needs to go back and correct.
March 14, 2013 Comments Off
- So, if pockmarking one landscape after another with deadly toxins isn’t worth a bother, perhaps this latest research, which caused quite a stir in the climate science world, will provide that critical shift of consciousness. We could possibly go up to over 11 degrees F by the end of this century. If that happens, forget eating- our plants could not take it. Just in case you thought climate change was not urgent and was such a slow-moving beast that a simple side-step or two later on would suffice. - Editor
“In 100 years, we’ve gone from the cold end of the spectrum to the warm end of the spectrum.
We’ve never seen something this rapid.
Even in the ice age, the global temperature never changed this quickly.”
Lead author Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University
Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years
Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records.
For the article abstract- full article behind paywall- http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract
Also http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127133&org=NSF&from=news and
March 14, 2013 Comments Off
- Look at the same tree marked by blue arrow. The 2004 picture is land that for 30 years was bare and eroding, losing carbon into the atmosphere. The next photo is the same land after intensive grazing following Holistic Management. This TED talk has such hopeful pictures from all over the world. PLEASE watch this 20 minute video. With the latest data on atmospheric carbon, it’s clear that we have to draw carbon out of the air and back into the soil. No machine will do this in any quantity. This technique and the pasture cropping method in the next story will! 350 folks, pay attention! - Editor
Excerpts from TED talk:
The most massive perfect storm is bearing down on us- rising population, land turning to desert, and climate change.
I have for you a simple message that offers more hope than you can imagine. About 2/3 of the world is desertifying. The fate of water and carbon are tied to organic matter. When we damage soils, we send carbon into the atmosphere. We were wrong to believe that livestock caused desertification. Soil and vegetation developed with large numbers of grazing animals and pack-hunting predators. When grazing animals leave dung and urine and mulch/litter on the soil and move on, the soil can heal. We have no option but to use the much vilified livestock to address climate change and desertification. Holistic Management is the planning technique to mimic nature and end desertification.
Projects on 15 million hectares on 5 continents are now safely storing carbon in the soil at a low cost, while turning dry stream beds into moving water, feeding people better, and restoring native landscapes.
For Holistic Management International- http://holisticmanagement.org/
March 8, 2013 Comments Off