LIMITS TO GROWTH, the case gets stronger.

At a recent Oxford University lecture cycle entitled “IS THE PLANET FULL?” –  some serious responses were put forward to further the work of Limits to Growth – the book written in 1972 by Denis Meadows et al, sponsored by the Club of Rome and Massachusetts Intitute of Technolgy. This film clip features Ian Johnson, for 26 years  the World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development (ESSD), a contempory of Herman Daly, and now secretary general of the Club of Rome.

…………………

………………….

For some other very interesting talks including the “burning issue” of population go to the Oxford University’s website http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/videos/view/141

Advertisements

PAUL GILDING – Aussie logic (and faith in human beings) on FACING FEAR.

Whilst governments the world over squirm in the face of CLIMATE REALITY and exhibit a common political aversion to action, Paul Gilding provides some realistic logic to the problems ahead, “this is just another problem, lets NOT wait until the lights go out to fix it.”

‘ONYA PAUL ! (Another example of the value of “TED Talks”) http://www.ted.com/

Paul Gilding’s website (well worth a visit) http://paulgilding.com/  

 

“SPOIL” – Tar Sands Nightmare.

GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST.

AS OBAMA “PONDERS” THE pros and cons in an election year of approving the Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico, the “Plan B” may be just too terrible to think about. Pacific Wild (http://www.pacificwild.org/) , have produced this amazing film of the area under threat.

ALL THIS IS UNDER THREAT AS “BUSINESS AS USUAL” ECONOMIC DRIVERS SQUEEZE EVERY LAST DROP OF ENERGY FROM THE EARTH.

…………………..

…………………….

This extreme work of nature’s art is UNDER THREAT FROM A RAPACIOUS CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DETERMINED TO EXPLOIT EVERY SQUARE INCH OF THE 280,000 Ha TAR SANDS.

LEAVE TAR SANDS IN THE GROUND.

…………………….

Despite ‘assurances’ that the shipping lanes are “safe” to navigate “A FLOATING CITY, WITH 4,000 people on board ran aground off the coast of Tuscany. The captain, (since arrested), denied allegations that he was sailing too close to the coast.

…………..

……………

…………….

“We were 300 metres from the rocks and that outcrop should not have been there,” he said.

MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER CORNER OF THE GLOBE, STRANDED ON THE NEW ZEALAND COASTLINE, A CONTAINER SHIP SLOWLY DISINTEGRATES SHEDDING IT’S CARGO FAR AND WIDE.

……………………….

………………………..

DURBAN COP 17, success or failure ?

 The recent U.N.F.C.C.C. climate change conference in Durban was largely greeted with howls of derision by the majority of NGO’s and the environment movement. “Just another talk fest with no reductions in targets” was the common response. “Another wated decade”, a “win for the polluters.”

An analysis by Andrew Light, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University.  goes beyond this rhetoric and provides a more in depth view of COP 17.

He gives ” Six Reasons Why the Durban Decision Matters ” and delves into the U.N.F.C.C.C. process as a necessary part of understanding why the Durban outcome and process has significance.

………………………

I’m going to assume that anyone reading this post is driven as I am everyday by alarm at the growing climate crisis and the apparent lack of progress in responding to it.  We all articulate this existential worry in various ways, but I feel that at bottom our alarm is commonly driven by a deep moral concern about what is and is not being done with respect to the welfare of current and future generations and the planet we inhabit, along with moral outrage at the roadblocks that are intentionally thrown up against our efforts.

Continue reading

Naomi Klein on Occupy and Climate Change.

OCCUPY VANCOUVER interviews NAOMI KLEIN

In this interview with Occupy Vancouver, Naomi Klein gives an appraisal of the Occupy movement and it’s value in redetermining values, communicating and ethics. She offers the opinion that solutions to the economic crisis are the same solutions that are needed for the ecological crisis of climate change, and the political crisis which is advocated by the Tar Sands.

………………………

………………………………………………………………………………..

Naomi Klein’s advocacy is gaining important discussion space as the following post from New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin shows. The discussion centres around her article “Capitalism v Climate” (see below) and her call for a realistic approach to climate change and the massive change that must occur to return to a safe climate.

Andrew Rivkin and the New York Times have acknowledging global warming but staying very close to the “American Way.”

Revkin, although disagreeing with some key aspects of Naomi Kleins essay, welcomes the discussion ;

She challenges the environmental left to embrace this reality instead of implying that modest changes in lifestyle and shopping habits and the like can decarbonize human endeavors on a crowding planet.

Andrew Rivkin. (AR)

First, I was happy to see you dive into the belly of the many-headed beast challenging the need for greenhouse-gas cuts (as was clear from your piece, you recognize that there’s no single species called “deniers”). There are lots of slings and arrows awaiting anyone exploring this terrain, as was the case with the Heartland meeting in 2008. What prompted you to do an in-depth look at global warming stances and the issues underlying this “crisis”?

Naomi Klein (NK)

I got interested after attending the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Like a lot of people who watched that train wreck up close, I came away wanting to understand the massive gap between the euphoric expectations of the environmental movement and the real political outcomes. When I got home, I was stunned by a new Harris poll that showed that the percentage of Americans who believed in anthropogenic climate change had plummeted from 71 per cent to 51 per cent in just two years. So here we were thinking that the world was on the verge of some kind of climate breakthrough while a large segment of the U.S. population was rejecting the science altogether. I wanted to understand how that could have happened.

I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment reading a paper by the excellent Australian political scientist Clive Hamilton, in which he argues that a great many American conservatives have come to see climate science as a threat to their core ideological identity. Then I read Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, which explains that many of the key scientists behind the denier movement hold a similar point of view – they are old-school Cold Warriors who came to see fighting environmentalism as a battle to protect “freedom” and the American way of life.

But as I read all this, I found myself thinking that from within the hard-right worldview, these responses were entirely rational. If you really do believe that freedom means governments getting out of the way of corporations and that any regulation leads us down Hayek’s road to serfdom, then climate science is going to be kryptonite to you. After all, the reality that humans are causing the climate to warm, with potentially catastrophic results, really does demand radical government intervention in the market, as well as collective action on an unprecedented scale. So you can understand why many conservatives see climate change as a threat to their identity. Too often the liberal climate movement runs away from the deep political and economic implications of climate science, which is why I wrote the piece. I think we need to admit that climate change really does demand a profound interrogation of the ideology that currently governs our economy. And that’s not bad news, since our current economic model is failing millions of people on multiple fronts.

Continue reading

2015 – PEAK EMISSIONS, or the planet gets it ……

MORE SCIENCE – PROFESSOR KEVIN ANDERSON GAVE THIS HOUR LONG PRESENTATION IN MAY 2010. It is a discussion on the need to be clear what limiting global average temperature increase to 2 degrees above pre industrial levels MEANS.

Anderson explains the intricacy of “sharing” the remaining CARBON BUDGET between now and 2050 and harks back to the Stern Report which set 2015 as the date when carbon emissions must peak.

THIS IS A “MUST LISTEN TO/WATCH”, AUDIO SLIDESHOW AT ; http://www.slideshare.net/DFID/professor-kevin-anderson-climate-change-going-beyond-dangerous

Below is a link to the slideshow.

…………………………

Anderson_ppoint_4May

…………………………..

Dr James Hansen.

Jim Hansen has been researching climate science through Paleontology (ice core samples) since 1988. He heads NASA and is regarded as the leading climate scientist in the world. Not only has he authored many scientific papers and books, he has also taking off his white coat for the principals he advocates, and being arrested – most recently at the anti TAR SANDS Washington rally.

This panel discussion with associates explores climate “sensitivity”, or “at what speed the climate reacts to FORCINGS”. The “FORCINGS” in discussion are the 800 metric tonnes of CO2 -e PER SECOND that “civilization” pumps into the atmosphere.          70,000,000 ( seventy million ) tonnes  a day.                                              25,500,000,000 (25 billion metric tonnes per year)

An “unprecedented” amount of the same stuff that has caused ALL OTHER “NATURAL” ice ages and “interglacial” periods where sea levels are up to 100 metres HIGHER.

Dr Hansen REITERATES that a “safe climate” MUST be regarded as one with CO2 content of 350ppm. To reduce emissions to achieve that target, beginning in 2015, requires a reduction in emissions of 5% per annum. If it is left UNTIL 2020 (AS SOME SIGNATORIES TO THE “DURBAN PLATFORM” (i.e. USA) SUGGEST, the reduction in emissions to achieve 350ppm is 15% p.a. This requires the decarbonisation of the power generation sector – when France introduced nuclear power in the 70’s-80’s, their reduction in emissions was 4% per annum.

CLEARLY THE SOONER WE BEGIN THIS “RENEWABLE AGE” THE BETTER.

…………………

………………..

Participants: James Hansen Director, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, USA;

Ken Caldeira Senior Scientist, Department of Global Ecology Carnegie Institute of Washington, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA;

Eelco Rohling Professor of Ocean and Climate Change, Southampton University, Southampton, United Kingdom.

When Worlds Collide, Naom Chomsky on the UNFCCC Durban talks.

MARCHING OFF THE CLIFF by NAOM CHOMSKY                              http://www.truth-out.org/marching-cliff/1323195281

……………………………

 The standard “he says/she says” coverage of the issue keeps to what is called “balance”: the overwhelming majority of scientists on one side, the denialists on the other. The scientists who issue the more dire warnings are largely ignored.

One effect is that scarcely one-third of the U.S. population believes that there is a scientific consensus on the threat of global warming – far less than the global average, and radically inconsistent with the facts.

As ominous reports were released this year from I.E.A. & U.N. agencies, the Financial Times devoted a full page to the optimistic expectations that the U.S. might become energy-independent for a century with new technology for extracting North American fossil fuels.

Though projections are uncertain, the Financial Times reports, the U.S. might “leapfrog Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid hydrocarbons, counting both crude oil and lighter natural gas liquids.”

In this happy event, the U.S. could expect to retain its global hegemony. Beyond some remarks about local ecological impact, the Financial Times said nothing about what kind of a world would emerge from these exciting prospects. Energy is to burn; the global environment be damned.

…………………..

http://www.truth-out.org/marching-cliff/1323195281

…………………….

DURBAN “live” (almost)

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTIST BROUGHT THE CLIMATE CRISIS TO THE WORLD’S ATTENTION IN 1992 WITH THIS;

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about

……………………………………………………………………………………

http://www.ucsusa.org/about/1992-world-scientists.html

ALDEN MEYER FROM U.C.S. gives an opinion on the DURBAN negotiations to date.

http://oneworldgroup.org/2011/12/06/alden-meyer-of-union-of-concerned-scientists-sums-up-the-state-of-play-at-cop17/

……………………………………..

TOVE RYDING FROM GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL , “ASKS” THE U.S. TO “STEP ASIDE”, THEY DON’T BRING ANYTHING ………………….

…………………….

…………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………..

CHRISTIANA FIGUERES  executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), delivers the 2011 Robert Schuman lecture TO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY in Lisbon PRE DURBAN.

http://oneworldgroup.org/2011/11/10/christiana-figueres-updates-business-leaders-on-progress-at-the-un-climate-talks/

WITH DURBAN IN MIND 3 (Durban “live”)

Meanwhile, media interest in the subject has crashed. Dr. Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University describe a ‘collapse of any significant coverage of climate change in the [US] media. We know that 2010 was a record low year, and 2011 will probably look much the same. If the media doesn’t draw attention to the issue, public opinion will decline’.

WHAT ISN’T IN THE NEWS is the thousands of people working their a’s off in Durban

There is a dearth of information in the “Main St” press about the Durban Climate Conference IN GENERAL, NOTHING EXPECTED NOTHING GAINED. Maybe it’s “newsy” around Copenhagen, but hey, once you’ve filmed a “human sign” with 5,000 bodies in it demanding ‘climate justice’….. you’ve filmed ’em all.

PREVIOUSLY,  I have not been able to have the “live feed” which puts you in touch with the 20,000 people WHO REALLY CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE, but are portrayed in the media as dithering whimps who cannot agree, you can gaurantee that the media “lords” have their own agendas. Below is a series of film clips of people who are intelligent and well respected and are part of a global process of agreement.

THESE &  MORE can be found at ; http://oneworldgroup.org/oneclimate-newsroom They are placed randomly but ALL reflect the necessity of URGENCY. Something that is seldom portrayed in the “main st” press.

I think it’s fair to say that Canada has been “black balled” with it’s open hostility to the KYOTO PROTOCOL, along with Russia and Japan. But Canada had the TAR SANDS motive bubbling away in the wallet. The one thing about these conferences is that people who attend are pretty well educated, and aren’t so STUPID as to be fooled by “ETHICAL OIL”, or the ‘marketing’ bluster of such a poisonous industry. The E.U. is putting the “cradle to grave” “LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS”  blowtorch to ALL FOSSIL FUELS, – SHIPPING IS VERY MUCH ON THE HITLIST – so that ALL EMISSIONS are  approached in a “scientific way”, (as is the E.U. inclusion of airline emissions) –  and pursue the ‘carbon budget’ approach explored in Europe.

MARY ROBINSON. Ex President of Ireland and United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. Brilliantly speaks of how “OCCUPY” can be involved with the climate process.

……………………….

………………………..

ANNIE PETSONK, Career Diplomat in previous climate negotiations for the U.S.A. assesses the FIRST WEEK of negotiations.

………………………..

…………………………

BREAKING NEWS FROM ANNIE PETSONK re CANADIAN POSITION.                 WITH 2 DAYS TO GO   !!!!!!!!!!  CANADA HAS A LOT OF OIL IT’S RELYING ON, AND CHINA WANTS TO SEE KYOTO PROTOCOL PROCEED & HAS “RELAXED” IT’S NEGOTIATING POSITION, BEING A “PARIAH” AT A CONFERENCE WHEN PEOPLE ARE STRIVING TO GET A RESULT PRODUCES A SUDDEN CHANGE.

……………………………

……………………………

CHRISTINE MILNE ON THE DENIAL INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA. Greens senator Milne takes a swipe at the campaign of disinformation in the MURDOCH PRESS.

……………………….

……………………….

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/08/384743/australian-green-party-leader-us-climate-denial-machine-murdoch-news-corp/

………………………………………………………………………………

CANADIAN YOUTH DELEGATE CAM FENTON, part of the very brave crew of intelligent Canadians prepared to “Occupy” a speech by Canadian “environment” Minister Kent whose in town to do business with oil. 6 people stood and turned their backs on Kent wearing ‘T’ shirts that said “Turn Your Back On Canada”, the 6 were roundly applauded but ejected by security, such is the power of a ‘T’ shirt.

………………….

…………………..

……………………

JIM LEAPE of W.W.F. with a concise evaluation of the “URGENCY” needed.

……………………..

……………………..

CHRIS HUHNE – U.K. ENVIRONMENT MINISTER AND DURBAN U.K. REP, Gives a high level view and frank appraisal of his concerns PRE DURBAN, along with Hannah Stoddardt from OXFAM giving their “wish list”. HANNAH points at the $30 BILLION CONTRIBUTION A TAX ON “BUNKER FUEL”  (SULPHUR DIOXIDE PARTICLES) for the shipping contribution to emissions (5% + -) in the global total. Discussion moves to FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX.

……………………..

………………………

CHRIS HUHNE ON TAR SANDS. INTERESTING VIEW ON HOW CLIMATE CHANGE “SCIENCE” IS REFLECTED IN WHAT WE BUY (fuels of ALL kinds) through “Life Cycle Analysis”.

………………………

………………………..

CHRIS HUHNE ON THE NEED FOR A LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENT.

………………………….

…………………………

KEITH ALLOTT FROM W.W.F. critical of U.S.

…………………………

………………………….

YOKE LING, MALAYSIAN DELEGATE and long time attendee of the UNFCCC “circuite” speaks frankly about the pros and cons of negotiations.

…………………………

…………………………

PABLO SOLON BOLIVIAN DELEGATE AT CANCUN on the systemic problems in the negotiation process. Again reiterates the part the “OCCUPY” movement can adopt.

…………………….

……………………….

TOD STERN, U.S. DELEGATE an “everpresent” at the head of the U.S. “team”. Still there after being told at the 2007 BALI conference, “TO GET OUT OF THE WAY” if they didn’t want to be part of the solution.

……………………

……………………

PAKISTAN LEAD NEGOTIATOR, FARRUKH KHAN AT COP 17.

………………………

…………………………

WITH DURBAN IN MIND.

The Climate Change conference in Durbam begins shortly and no-one has presented a message as forcefully as Bill McKibben and 350.org Bill has been a champion and a master strategist. 350.org and has been joined by Naomi Klein who is a real inspiration through her tireless advocacy against the greatest minds of conservative thought.      Bill will always have the Tar Sands to his credit. He took James Hansen’s dire warnings and chrystallized them into action, Seeing the seriousness of the situation and having put out this film clip shortly before.

This Durban climate conference MUST DO SOMETHING. – BIG. So if we have to be reminded of the purpose of Durban, it’s to stop this getting worse. Soon we should all be able to ask a question raised by Laurie Anderson ;                                                     “Are things getting better, or are things getting worse.”

……………………..

……………………..

Here is a film on “the great white hope for black coal”, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). “Trials” are collapsing in the U.K. and elsewhere. Meanwhile by 2030 the world is scheduled to have “up and running”

467 projects

31% OECD

69% non-OECD

This is according to IEA/UNIDO emissions reductions ROADMAP TARGETS. That huge amount of infrastructure would see a reduction of less that 1 gigatin by 2030, and only 4gt by 2050 when there would be

1 806 projects

25% OECD

75% non-OECD

PRODUCING ONLY 4 GT OF CO2 CEQUESTRATION.

This film shows the progress of the Australian venture. It should be born in mind that there already is a surplus of CO2 in the atmosphere which must be removed. C.C.S. is needed, but it will never be the “big bazooka”.

……………………….

……………………………

MUSIC MAESTRO …….

TIME WE HAD A MUSIC INTERLUDE – JIVE ALONG TO THESE ;

1/  :REACHING OUT BY SPACE KADET – some very  nice beats

                 

…………………………………

2/  DENIAL TANGO BY MEN WITH DAY JOBS = great Aussie pub song.

…………………………….

…………………………………..

3/  I’M A CLIMATE SCIENTIST BY THE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS = hip hop with a message.

……………………………………

……………………………………

Naomi Klein, Occupy and Wombat.

Naomi Klein gave an inspiring acceptance speech when she was given the  “Challenging Business as Usual Award” at the Rainforest Action Network Conference   in San Francisco. She portrayed the “Occupy” movement as a “state of mind” which was based on “sharing”. This is something the current economic fundamentalism knows nothing about, and given the projected population increase to 10 billion by 2050, we are all going to have to learn.

………………..

………………….

One of Naomi’s major points was the need to change the system, unlock the radical imagination, and share. WOMBAT explains it as no human being could. Jason ABles made this clip in 2005 perhaps realising that it was the pnly hope for humanity.      Thanks Jason.

…………………..

………………….

Jason Ables  http://www.bumpercars.com

The 5 GYRES

As if ocean acidification weren’t enough, the 5 Gyres are symbolic of modern living, out of sight, out of mind. Whilst we all are part of today, tommorow should not leave unsolvable problems.

The biggest of the 5 Gyres – massive “islands” of plastic debris concentrated by the ocean currents in the heart of each ocean, lies in the north pacific. The food chain is being drammatically affected as this talk by  Capt Charles Moore explains.

…………………..

…………………..

Whilst the majority of the research has gone into the North Pacific Garbage Patch, recorded for 1,700 miles, another, similar sized area lies between Bermuda and Portugal. The film clips show the disastrous consequences of sea life ingesting plastic for food.

…………………

………………..

For more information see ; http://www.5gyres.org/     or http://inhabitat.com/another-giant-garbage-patch-found-in-the-atlantic-ocean/

OCCUPY EVERYWHERE.

OCCUPY EVERYWHERE ; THE MOVEMENT AGAINST CORPORATE POWER.      Organised by “The Nation” magazine and “The New School”

An engrossing panel discussion occured just 2 nights ago in New York which is long, (over 2 hours) but one of the best discussions I have seen/heard on the nature of the “Occupy” movement, the situation it faces and possible outcomes.

The panelists were, Michael Moore, filmaker; Patrick Bruner, a representative elected from OWS; Rinku Sen, racial justice advocate; Bill Grider, journalist and author; and Naomi Klein, Canadian author. A brilliant clarion call to get activated and a frank discussion of obstacles and what everyone can do to Occupy Everywhere.

……………………

…………………..

 http://www.thenation.com/

DEMOCRACY, ENVIRONMENT, GROWTH, which is the odd man out ?

The 3 concepts of Environment, Growth and Democracy cannot co exist. The false hope of having a healthy environment, exponential economic growth and a flourishing democracy has been exposed drammatically since the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009. The final act of this tragi-comedy was played out during the G-20 summit in November 2011, when Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece was told his idea of a referendum to decide the fate of the next  austerity measures would not be allowed. If he pursued the idea, an $8 billion bail out, essential for Greece to exist, which had been agreed, would be witheld.

Silvio Berlusconi, at the same conference, arrived without any extra proposals to rein in Italy’s $2 trillion debt, perhaps hoping for some “bunga bunga”. He was told EU commissioners would be installed in every Italian government department to ensure austerity measures were enacted. The next issue of Italian government bonds saw no purchases by the European Central Bank which had intervened when other PIIGS nations bond issues had been undersubscribed. The interest rate on Italian bond issues climed over 7%, Italy was facing financial collapse caused by the recently formed “Frankfurt Group” at the very same G-20 Summit that disposed of the elected Greek Prime Minister.

The European Union has always had problems with democracy, a messy process that can interfere with the grand designs of people at the top who know best. When Ireland voted no to the Nice Treaty, it was told to come up with the right result in a second ballot. The real decisions in Europe are now taken by the Frankfurt Group, an unelected cabal made of up eight people: Lagarde; Merkel; Sarkozy; Mario Draghi, the new president of the ECB; José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission; Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup; Herman van Rompuy, the president of the European Council; and Olli Rehn, Europe’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner.

This group, which is accountable to no one, calls the shots in Europe. The cabal decides whether Greece should be allowed to hold a referendum and if and when Athens should get the next tranche of its bailout cash. What matters to this group is what the financial markets think not what voters might want.

To the extent that governments had any power, it has been removed and placed in the hands of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. It is as if the democratic clock has been turned back to the days when France was ruled by the Bourbons. (Larry Elliot, Guardian, 9/11/2011).

Continue reading

Good news from the Home of the Brave.

Despite this blog being quick to point out the failings of Obama, it is also prepared to acknowledge and give credit where due. Today’s statement regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline is one such occasion. Bill McKibben and 350.org has produced a completely unexpected turnaround which has countered the lobby groups intent on seeing tar sands proliferate, to the extreme detriment of ALL those that call this Earth Home.

No doubt the fact that over 1,250 people were prepared to be arrested helped, including some very eminent people, which gives an indication of how hard the victories of the future will become. It should also be noted that this “review” merely postpones the ultimate decision until after the Presidential election. Nonetheless, we have to say thanks Obama, this is why you were elected.

Naomi Klein interrupted her discussion of Occupy Wall St to announce the decision.

………………………

……………………….

President Obama released this statement:

I support the State Department’s announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.  Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.  The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people.  At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we’ve made towards strengthening our nation’s energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy.

Extract from the State Department statement: “Keystone XL Pipeline Project Review Process: Decision to Seek Additional Information.” It states:

… given the concentration of concerns regarding the environmental sensitivities of the current proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, the Department has determined it needs to undertake an in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes in Nebraska….

Based on the Department’s experience with pipeline project reviews and the time typically required for environmental reviews of similar scope by other agencies, it is reasonable to expect that this process including a public comment period on a supplement to the final EIS consistent with NEPA could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013. After obtaining the additional information, the Department would determine, in consultation with the eight other agencies identified in the Executive Order, whether the proposed pipeline was in the national interest, considering all of the relevant issues together. Among the relevant issues that would be considered are environmental concerns (including climate change), energy security, economic impacts, and foreign policy.

Carbon Counting

In June 2009 Deutsche Bank in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched the Carbon Clock. The 70 foot high clock is opposite Pennsylvania station in the middle of New York. The clock measures, in real time, the amount of carbon, in metric tons, which is already in the atmosphere. In June 2009, the amount was 3.641 TRILLION tons. By hitting this link NOW you can see what it is today.             The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide has jumped by a record amount, according to the US department of energy. The  figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. The world pumped about 564m more tons (512m metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009, an increase of 6%.                http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/04/greenhouse-gases-rise-record-levels       Every second 800 metric tons of carbon are released into the atmosphere, in the time it took to write this sentence –  120,000 metric tons have been emitted. –  70,000,000 ( seventy million ) tons a day. –  25,500,000,000 (25 billion) metric tons per year. This is the “forcing” that the I.P.C.C. refers to in it’s reports. The global campaign by vested interests to cloud the issue is discussed in the first piece on this blog.       “The Climate denial Industry and Why Environmentalism is Failing.”

……………………

Nicole Foss – How I Prepared My Home for Peak Oil and Economic Uncertainty

Nicole Foss gave this talk in October 2011 which explained her personal preparation for Peak Oil depletion. As a guide to supplement her “inside” knowledge of Peak Oil and financial uncertainty it is invaluable, and gives excellent guidance on where her thoughts are for future everyday living. It details the preparations she and her family undertook in order to get ready for tough times ahead. Foss concludes with, “There is a hell of a lot we can do.  We can’t have business as usual.  We have to get over it.  It is gone.  It is done.  We cant’ have that.  We have to be happy with what we can have; that is really what it means to be human, and that is incredibly important. Perhaps the first solutions to “Starting Again”.

In February 2011 Ms Foss gave a talk on “Peak Oil & Economic Crisis – A Century of Challenges” which is a presentation of a DVD that is available from The Automatic Earth website (see “Links” om Home page). The Q & A after the talk is well worth listening to and replayed below.

 

How would you like your planet sir, with or without ice ?

The easiest way of determining the truth of the “greenhouse effect” is the loss of ice at the North and South Poles. It is now beyond doubt that ice loss is occuring faster than most scientists had contemplated in the I.P.C.C. reports.  In the midst of the financial crisis the environmental crisis continues, and as Susan George remarks, we can always come back and fix a financial crisis, and environmental crisis is permanent. The following films bear witness to the scale of ice loss, and brings back the reality of the environmental crisis that we stand to leave as a legacy for the future. The ease with which trillions of dollars are found to band aid an economic system that must change in the near future is a sad endictment on current values.

The “Home” that this blog refers to is the planet. There is no place like it, and it is changing for the worse, so again the question is raised, “How do we start again?”

In August 2010, an area of ice four times the size of Manhattan broke away from the Petermann glacier in the biggest ice calving ever to occur in Greenland. Film from New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/

Film from NASA Goddard http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html

Tim Jackson at Transition Town Totnes.

This blog has to date portrayed the various problems associated with current economic, social and environmental systems. The “Occupy” movement appears to present support for that disquiet. What will be included now are the systems that appear to present solutions. Most center around The Steady State Economy, one of the most eloquant advocates is Professor Tim Jackson

Continue reading

Paul Gilding, The Great Disruption

I haven’t read Australian Paul Gilding’s book yet, but I have seen it reviewed in places like the New York Times and through that found this YouTube clip. I have also posted an interview he did recently with Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning show in the “Words” section.

Four Degrees or More

Hans-Joachim Scellnhuber, is one of the most respected scientists in the world and was in Melbourne in July to give the first keynote speech entitled “Climate Change, the Critical Decade” at the :Four Degrees or More” conference.. Here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etl0FBDghtA

 

Hans Joachim “John” Schellnhuber is the founding Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, (PIK) and Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change. He is also providing advice to the President of the European Union Commission, José Manuel Barroso. In 2007, he has been appointed as Chief Government Advisor on Climate and Related Issues during Germany’s EU Council Presidency and G8 Presidency. Continue reading

Prof Tim Jackson’s Economic Reality Check

The 2008 Global Financial Crisis and subsequent recession has provided the ONLY reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in over a decade. The following years have seen repeats of economic instability, severe social unrest and a resumption of record levels of greenhouse gas emissions. An eloquant solution has been provided by Prof Tim Jackson in “Prosperity Without Growth”

Continue reading