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Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

The Human and Monetary Cost of ‘Natural’ Disasters 2008

Posted by msrb on October 8, 2008

Economic cost of natural disasters for the first six months of 2008 three times higher than the 10-year average

The Sichuan earthquake in China, Nargis cyclone in Burma and other ‘Natural’ disasters killed more people in  first six months of 2008 than the Asian tsunami of 2004, the United Nations said.

“2008 is a terrible year. There have already been more victims than in the tsunami,” said Salvator Briceno, head of the UN’s disaster management agency (ISDR), on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

The disasters claimed about a quarter of million lives, and another 130 million were affected, he said.
Cyclone Nargis which struck Myanmar (Burma) in May calimed an estimated 140,000 lives, while the earthquake in  China’s Sichuan province killed nearly 90,000.

Record floods in India and devastating hurricane season in the Caribbeans ontributed to the overall death toll.

The economic cost of natural disasters for the first six months of 2008 was estimated at about $40 billion, nearly three times the half-yearly average of $15bn during the past 10 years.

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Offshore Drilling: Things can only get better!

Posted by msrb on September 11, 2008

Money for Nothing, Drugs and Sex for Free!

Kittlitz’s Murrelet, (Brachyramphus brevirostris)

Keywords: A Culture of Ethical Failure, GW Bush and Co., Sarah Palin, Lucy Denett, Exxon, BP, Alaska, Arctic National [yours and ours] Wildlife Refuge, Polar Bear, Global Warming, Kenai Fjords National Park, Shooting Wolves From the Air, Endangered Species [Don't be silly how could you possibly be a threat to the powerful polar bear?] U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Drill Baby Drill, Lipstick on Pig, Endangered Species Act, Kittlitz’s Murrelet [a critically endangered marine bird found in the waters off Alaska and Eastern Siberia, see photo,] Seward, Shrinking Glaciers , Melting Sea Ice, Biodiversity, Collapsing Ecosystems,  Climate Change, Sex, Cocaine, Graft, U.S. Interior Department, Minerals Management Service, Money for Nothing and Sex for Free, Taxpayer-Owned Coastal Waters!

Now to the Story …

Sex, drug use and graft alleged in U.S. Interior Department

By Charlie Savage
Published: September 11, 2008

WASHINGTON – (IHT) As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal – including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

“A culture of ethical failure” pervades the agency, Devaney wrote in a cover memo.

The reports portray a dysfunctional organization riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch.

The highest-ranking official criticized in the reports is Lucy Denett, the former associate director of minerals revenue management, who retired earlier this year as the inquiry was progressing. Read full story …

“When confronted by our investigators, none of the employees involved displayed remorse,” Devaney said.

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The cause of death: Poverty

Posted by msrb on September 11, 2008

The overwhelming majority of human-enhanced natural phenomena like hurricanes and extreme climatic events are invariably the poor!


A resident drags a corpse through a flooded street after tropical cyclones left hundreds dead and thousands stranded in Gonaives in this September 8, 2008 photo released by the Untied Nations in Haiti. REUTERS/handout/logan Abassi.

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Shifting Focus from the CO2 Plague

Posted by feww on September 5, 2008

written by a reader

Ever wondered how distorted a racist report on the environment could get? Would it come from a neocon academic or a politician?

Wonder no more!

Asian short-lived pollutants from Asian power plants, Asian cooking and Asian heating [Thai Massage?] could create summer hot spots in the central United States and southern Europe, the neocon “scientists” said.

Unlike the long-lived greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the particle and gas pollution cited in this report only stays in the air for a few days or weeks but its warming effect on the climate half a world away could last for decades, the scientists said.

“We found that these short-lived pollutants have a greater influence on the Earth’s climate throughout the 21st century than previously thought,” said Hiram “Chip” Levy of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Err… that’s a very interesting find. How did you think of that?

“By 2050, two of the three climate models we use found that changes in short-lived pollutants will contribute 20 percent of the predicted global warming.”

Asian soot and Asian sulfate pollution would result in hotter, drier summers in the American Midwest and the Mediterranean section of southern Europe region, but the effects would [miraculously] spare Asia, Levy said.

That’s a very “interesting” [laughable] load of nonsense, Mr Levy. What you are essentially saying is that the consequences of Asian economic activity is like an environmental weapon, conspiratorially pointed at “us” alone.

Mr Levy’s report is of course a distorted political statement, not environment science, the purpose of which is to shift focus from the CO2 “plague,” and to put the onus of global air pollution on Asia [read China.] And in case you are also wondering as to who would encourage such politically-motivated utter nonsense disguised as science, wonder no more. It is Uncle Sam, of course, who else?

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It’s All About Big Oil, Stupid!

Posted by msrb on September 2, 2008

Palin using Alaska’s burgeoning population (!) as a pathetic excuse to destroy polar bears?

Our colleagues at FEWW reported earlier that “the state of Alaska [Gov. Palin] is suing the federal government because she says listing polar bears as a threatened species is hurting Alaskan oil and gas exploration and development …”

Republican vice-presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shakes hands as she campaigns in O'Fallon, Missouri, August 31, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress. Image may be subject to copyright.

Palin, a mother of five, said on Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant in an announcement intended to rebut rumors that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Evidently, she neither believes in family planning, nor cares about the terrible affects of unwanted teen pregnancy on her child. And sex education was out of the question, too!

Why would she give a damn about the environment?

On the wisdom of Sen. McCain choosing Gov. Palin as his running mate thinkprogress said: “Palin is a champion for drilling, the Bush-Cheney approach to energy policy that brought us $4.00-per-gallon gasoline and the rising threat of global warming.”

“Like McCain, Palin believes that oil drilling is the only solution to our energy problems. ‘I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem,’ she says. She supports more drilling in protected areas of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge, once attacking McCain for his ‘close-mindedness on ANWR.’”

Polar What?

AS Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, currently to its second-lowest level ever, with particular melting in the Chukchi Sea,  polar bears have to swim far off the Alaskan coast in search of suitable platforms to hunt food.

Nine polar bears were seen swimming in open water over a six-hour period on August 16, government scientists said, including one more than 50 miles offshore, World Wildlife Fund officials reported.

“That represents a huge increase over previous sightings, said Margaret Williams of the fund’s Alaska office. A total of 12 polar bears were spotted in open water between 1987 and 2003, Williams said.”

Dutiful mothers, female polar bears usually give birth to twin cubs, which stay with her for more than two years until they can hunt and survive on their own. Photograph by Norbert Rosing. (Source: National geographic). Image may be subject to copyright.

IS THIS RELATIONSHIP ANY LESS IMPORTANT THAN THE ONE BELOW?

Bristol Palin , the 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is seen holding her brother Trig at a campaign event in Dayton, Ohio, August 29, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress. Image may be subject to copyright.

To the big oil, she is, like Condoleezza Rice, a godsend. She is an angel [sic] in disguise. Ok! Palin is nowhere near as ‘smart’ as Condi, but she would reach the voters Condi couldn’t possibly reach because Palin’s white, “attractive,’ has five children and is soon to be a grandma.

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said: “No one is closer to the oil industry than Gov. Palin. Along with her support for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts, she also opposes a windfall profit tax on the richest oil companies. Under her leadership, Alaska has sued the federal government for considering listing the Polar Bear as a threatened species even though global warming threatens its very existence.”

The impact of global warming in Alaska is one of the worst on the planet. “Alaska has experienced an average warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 °F) and about 4.5 °C (8°F) in the inner regions in winter months since the 1960s, the largest regional warming of anywhere in the U.S., according to records.”

The Alaskan landscape is covered with dead spruce trees after a major outbreak of spruce bark bettles in the arctic region in this file image. REUTERS/handout

“In Alaska, 35 percent forest, global warming is causing irreversible changes including droughts, forest fires, and infestations of tree-killing insects like spruce beetles and spruce budworm moths. In the last 15 years, the spruce beetles, which thrive in warmer climates, have destroyed a total of about 3 million acres (1.21 million hectares) of spruce forest in south-central Alaska.”

“The warmer temperature means Alaska’s peat bogs, which are nearly 14,000 years old, are drying up. Ed Berg, an ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has discovered that shrubs and other plants have been rooting in areas of peat big normally too soggy for woody plants to grow during the last three decades.”

Palin, however, doesn’t believe in sustainability or alternative energy. She said, “alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years [sic] to develop” [The Post and Courier Charleston, SC, 8/16/08.] Never mind the fact that the Department of Energy has clearly stated that offshore drilling “would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.”

It’s All About Big Oil [and Big Money, too,] Stupid!

“When I look every day, the big oil company’s building is right out there next to me, and it’s quite a reminder that we should have mutually beneficial relationships with the oil industry.” (Roll Call, 8/25/08)

In A Letter About Sarah Palin from Anne Kilkenny, quoting Anne Kilkenny, a resident of Wasilla, Alaska, where Palin was a mayor from 1996 to 2002, Mudflats wrote: “She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it
with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.”

A big spender, Palin must have already entered Wall Street International Banking Syndicate’s “Top Ten Most ‘Friendly’ US Governors’ Chart.”  In June 2007,  Palin signed into law the largest operating budget in Alaska’s history, more than $6.6 billion. (Source.)

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.” Said Anne Kilkenny, a homemaker.

Way to Go Gov!

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What We Always Believed, World Bank Finally Confirms

Posted by msrb on August 29, 2008

But even their revised figures don’t tell the full story!

The World Bank has warned that world poverty is much worse than they previously thought. WB said number of poor people in Africa doubled  to 380 million between 1981 and 2005. With the depth of poverty deteriorating even further the average poor person is now living on just 70 cents per day or $255 per year—the cost of a meal for two in the average [London, Tokyo, NY, LA ... ] restaurant.

There were 1.4 billion people living below the new poverty line of $1.25 per day in 2005, many more than the previous estimate of 985 million in 2004.

It makes you wonder whether those living in abject poverty were included in the “household surveys.

The Press Release:

Press Release No:2009/065/DEC

WASHINGTON, DC, August 26, 2008 – The World Bank said improved economic estimates showed there were more poor people around the world than previously thought while also revealing big successes in the fight to overcome extreme poverty.

The new estimates, which reflect improvements in internationally comparable price data, offer a much more accurate picture of the cost of living in developing countries and set a new poverty line of US$1.25 a day. They are based on the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), released earlier this year.

In a new paper, “The developing world is poorer than we thought but no less successful in the fight against poverty,” Martin Ravallion and Shaohua Chen revise estimates of poverty since 1981, finding that 1.4 billion people (one in four) in the developing world were living below US$1.25 a day in 2005, down from 1.9 billion (one in two) in 1981.

An earlier estimate—of 985 million people living below the former international US$1 a day poverty line in 2004 —was based on the (then) best available cost of living data from 1993. The old data also indicated about 1.5 billion in poverty in 1981. However, the new and far better ICP data on prices in developing countries reveal that these estimates were too low.

The new estimates continue to assess world poverty by the standards of the poorest countries. The new line of US$1.25 for 2005 is the average national poverty line for the poorest 10-20 countries.

“The new estimates are a major advance in poverty measurement because they are based on far better price data for assuring that the poverty lines are comparable across countries,” said Martin Ravallion, Director of the Development Research Group at the World Bank, “Data from household surveys have also improved in terms of country coverage, data access, and timeliness.”

“The new data confirm that the world will likely reach the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the 1990 level of poverty by 2015 and that poverty has fallen by about one percentage point a year since 1981, ” said Justin Lin, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics at the World Bank. “However, the sobering news that poverty is more pervasive than we thought means we must redouble our efforts, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The new data show that marked regional differences in progress against poverty persist. Poverty in East Asia has fallen from nearly 80 percent of the population living below US$1.25 a day in 1981 to 18 percent in 2005. However, the poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa remains at 50 percent in 2005—no lower than in 1981, although with more encouraging recent signs of progress.

MORE KEY FACTS & ANALYSIS

  • This is the first major effort to update poverty data based on 2005 measures of purchasing power parity. The new poverty estimates are also based on data from 675 household surveys across 116 developing countries. Over 1.2 million randomly sampled households were interviewed for the 2005 estimate, representing 96% of the developing world. But lags in survey data availability mean that the new estimates do not yet reflect the potentially large adverse effects on poor people of rising food and fuel prices since 2005.
  • The number of poor has fallen by 500 million since 1981 (from 52 percent of the developing world’s population in 1981 to 26 percent in 2005) and the world is still on track to halve the 1990 poverty rate by 2015. But at this rate of progress, about a billion people will still live below $1.25 a day in 2015. Also, most people who escaped $1.25 a day poverty over 1981-2005 would still be poor by middle-income country standards.
  • East Asia’s progress has been dramatic since 1981, when it was the poorest region in the world. In China, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day in 2005 prices has dropped from 835 million in 1981 to 207 million in 2005. The Bank’s earlier 2004 estimate had 130 million people living in China below $1 a day based on 1993 PPP.  Thus, the new calculations reveal more poor people than assumed earlier, but China’s remarkable success in reducing poverty still stands.
  • In the developing world outside China, the $1.25 poverty rate has fallen from 40 percent to 29 percent over 1981-2005. However, given population growth, this progress was not enough to bring down the total number of poor outside China, which has stayed at about 1.2 billion.

In South Asia, the $1.25 poverty rate has fallen from 60 percent to 40 percent over 1981-2005, but again, not enough to bring down the total number of poor people in the region, which stood at about 600 million in 2005. In India, poverty at $1.25 a day in 2005 prices increased from 420 million people in 1981 to 455 million in 2005, while the poverty rate as a share of the total population went from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the $1.25 a day rate was 50 percent in 2005—the same as it was in 1981, after rising, then falling during the period. The number of poor has almost doubled, from 200 million in 1981 to about 380 million in 2005. If the trend persists, a third of the world’s poor will live in Africa by 2015. Average consumption among poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa stood at a meager 70 cents a day in 2005. Given that poverty is so deep in Africa, even higher growth will be needed than for other regions to have the same impact on poverty.

For middle income countries the median poverty line for all developing countries—$2 a day—is more suitable. 2.6 billion people lived on less than $2 a day in 2005—a number largely unchanged since 1981. This suggests less progress in crossing the $2 a day hurdle. By this measure, the poverty rate has fallen over 1981-2005 in Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa, but not enough to bring down the total number of poor. The $2 a day poverty rate has risen in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, though with signs of progress since the late 1990s.

– ### –
Contact: mtuckprimdahl@worldbank.org
After the embargo lifts, the new poverty data will be available at http://econ.worldbank.org/research and
ICP data is available now at http://www.worldbank.org/data/icp

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China: 50,000 Years of Corruption

Posted by terres on August 28, 2008

submitted by a reader

Corrupt Chinese Govt Officials Detained

Why are Hu Jin-tao and Wen Jia-bao still on the loose?

If you say that ‘endemic corruption threatens the Communist Party’s grip on power,’ then the Chinese Big Brother lets you off the hook! Well, this is a trick that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao seem to use every time like a ‘secret code.’

What happened to the ex-Party General Secretary and President Jiang Zemin and his son?

The cases of Zhou Zhenyi, Liu Jingbao, and Wang Weigong, as well as the recently exposed Zhaogu case in Shanghai City are all related. All these cases involve large-scale corruption, bribery and embezzlement and all involve Jiang Mianheng, son of Jiang Zemin. (Internet photos) - Epoch Times

Who exactly is in charge in China, anyway? We know the media and judiciary, like our own, are NOT independent. Is it possible that the same cabal who run our country, the continent, Europe, Australia, as well as … also run China? Think about it it isn’t as far fetched as you might think!

Back to the corruption news: Auditor General Liu Jiayi reported that 14 central government officials had been arrested and nearly 200 other people had been punished. It’s not cleared what means of punishment were applied!

Apparently the offenses included using the Sichuan earthquake disaster relief funds to build government offices. Since building government offices is not an offense, it must be presumed that the earthquake funds were earmarked for other uses!

In his 2008 annual report, China’s auditor-general also reported about 50 government departments had misused or embezzled about 4.5bn yuan ($660m) in 2007. In some cases public funds were used to speculate in the stock market.

This raises a few more questions: Were the offenders discovered because their luck ran out and they lost the founds? Will the stock market pay the public money back? Who owns, or profits from the Chinese stock market?

Additionally, “managerial irregularities” totaled to another 42bn yuan ($6bn) worth of of public money misuse, especially by China’s education and commerce ministries, and the statistics and tax offices.

So, what about the cheating Chinese officials in the Beijing “Opium” Olympics? Was that category of cheating condoned because it served the glory of the capitalist communist fatherland?

If you thought a ruling party as powerful and ruthless as the Central Committee of the [capitalist] Communist Party of China could eradicate all official and non official corruption with the flick of a finger, you would be right.

What good is the power, if the Chinese people are swamped by official corruption, industrial pollution and systemic oppression? How could their future, unlike the past,  bode well for them?

Why don’t they? The only plausible explanation is no one would be willing to shoot the Peking Duck that lays the golden eggs!

Once again, China has disappointed the world—just when you thought it had a chance to make it through!

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The Billionaires’ contribution to CO2 pollution

Posted by msrb on August 23, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member:

What’s the richest people’s contribution to carbon dioxide pollution?

Previously, EDRO calculated the amount of carbon dioxide emission for each dollar of GDP in 2007 both globally and nationally for China and the US. But, how much do the world richest people [or largest corporations¹] contribute to the global CO2 pollution?

One way to compute the figure is by calculating the global average per capita CO2 emissions in relation to the world average per capita wealth.

McKinsey Global Institute in Mapping Global Capital Markets, published January 2008, reported: “The total value of the world’s financial assets—including equities, private and government debt securities, and bank deposits—grew faster in 2006 than the historical average rate, climbing by 17 percent [from $142trillion in 2005] to reach $167 trillion.”

The growth for 2007 was comparable, possibly up by about 20 trillion to a new total of $187 trillion. Base on the above figures, the global average per capita wealth for 2007 is calculated as follow:

$187,000 billion [total value of the world's financial assets] ÷ 6,612,040,000 [world population in 2007] = $28,282 [global average per capita wealth in 2007]

[The above income figure is an abstraction, of course. In actual terms, about 4.73 billion (71.6%) of world population fell in the low and lower middle income categories in 2007, according to the World Bank.]

The total anthropogenic (caused by human activity) CO2 emissions in 2007 was previously calculated by FEWW at 38,058.66 MMT. The global average per capita anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 2007 is calculated as

38,058.66 MMT [The global anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 2007] ÷ 6,612,040,000 [world population in 2007] = 5.76 tons [anthropogenic CO2 production per head]

How much CO2 Pollution does a billionaire produce?

Take Warren Buffett, the world’s riches man, for example. His assets were valued at $62 billion dollars in the 2007/2008 financial period. Compared with the “average person” in the world, Mr. Buffett had 2,192,227 times more assets.

$62 billion [Mr. Buffett’s assets] ÷ $28,282 [global average per capita wealth in 2007] = 2,192,227 [Ratio of Mr Buffett's wealth to the global average per capita wealth]

Therefore he produced 2,192,227 times more carbon dioxide than the average person in the world:

5.76 [tons of CO2 per head] x 2,192,227 [Ratio of Mr Buffett's wealth to the global per capita wealth] = 12,618,000,000 kg [12.62 MMT of CO2 produced by Mr Buffett in 2007 - puts a new slant on "filthy rich"]

The world had 1,125 billionaires in the 2007/2008 financial year, with the total assets of about $4.38 trillion. They produced a total 891.43MMT of CO2 in 2007.

The above figure is also an abstraction. In reality, however, the world’s richest people are responsible for the bulk of CO2 pollution because as Praetorian Guards of the exponential growth economy they disallow and suppress any change to a sustainable system stifling all initiatives toward an eco-centered, low-carbon, “oikonomia²,” or economics for community.

Notes:

1. The global 2000 companies and therefore their shareholders accounted for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value in 2007. About 72 million people are employed by these companies. Source: Forbes.

2. Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. in for the common good define oikonomia as follows. “The Discipline of Economics as Chrematistics: Aristotle made a very important distinction between ‘oikonomia’ and ‘chrematistics.’ The former, of course, is the route from which our word ‘economics’ derives. Chrematistics is a word that these days is found mainly in unabridged dictionaries. It can be defined as a branch of political economy relating to the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange value to the owner. Oikonomia, by contrast, is the management of the household so as to increase its use value to all members of the household over the long run. If we expand the scope of household to include the larger community of the land, of shared values, resources, biomes, institutions, language, and history, then we have a good definition of ‘economics for community.'”

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Image of the Day: A Burning Question!

Posted by msrb on August 23, 2008

Where Did He Get All the Money From?


Court security officials guard the defendant’s cage of jailed former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky during a court hearing in Chita August 21, 2008. Former Russian oil tycoon Khodorkovsky’s appeal for early release comes before a court on Thursday. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Protect Economy from Climate??!

Posted by msrb on August 21, 2008

Shouldn’t the scientific message be

Protect World from Economy?

You know your problems are serious when eight scientific organizations urge the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory economy but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

Instead of urging an immediate end to the exponential growth economy and demanding a zero-growth, low carbon, waste-free oikonomia for managing the environment, welfare of humans and other living species, and a system of ‘housekeeping’ for the planet’s natural resources to sustain life on Earth, the country’s top scientists are looking for ways of serving the economic Titanic.

The group includes the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

“We don’t think we have the right kind of tools to help decision makers plan for the future,” Jack Fellows, the vice president for corporate affairs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of 71 universities, told reporters on Wednesday.

Indeed not, Mr. Fellows!

BTW, is the Union of “Concerned” Scientists among your lot?

The Environmental Cost of US Economy (carbon footprint only!)

  • US GDP (2007 PPP) : $13.8 trillion [World Bank]
  • US CO2 Emissions (2007) : 6,825.733 MMT [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]
  • Virtual CO2 content of US dollar (2007) : 494 g (The average amount of CO2 produced each time a dollar was paid or received in 2007. SEE: How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?)


Surprised? (source: bp1.blogger.com). Image may be subject to copyright.

Read the news report here: Scientists urge U.S. to protect economy from climate change

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IOC Dope Masters, Chinese Cheats & Underage Circus Acts

Posted by msrb on August 17, 2008

The disgraced Olympics is about cheating without worrying whether you’d get caught!

Chinese Fair Play!


According to her passport, Jiang Yuyuan will be 17 in November. One list, however, has her at 14. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP. Image may be subject to copyright!

Dishonest governments/authorities serve whose interests?

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The things EPA capo won’t do!

Posted by msrb on August 8, 2008

EPA management under Stephen Johnson: An organized crime operation!

As ethanol production drove up the price of corn this year, Texas Governor Rick Perry asked the Environmental Protection Agency in April to cut the ethanol mandate by 50 percent because the price rises were making it too expensive for farmers to feed livestock.

EPA ruled on Thursday that there was no evidence that the ethanol mandate would “severely harm” the U.S. economy by driving up food prices, thus rejecting the claim by Texas.

“This research found that the RFS mandate is not causing severe economic harm,” EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said and that the mandate was “strengthening our nation’s energy security and supporting Americas’ farming communities.”

The Renewable Fuel Standard, RFS, requires 9 billion gallons (~34.1 billion liters) in renewable fuels to be blended into the US gasoline supply in 2008, and 11.1 billion gallons (~42 billion liters) in 2009.

It is believed that about 34% of U.S. corn crop in 2008 would be used to produce ethanol.

Parry called EPA’s decision “a mistake that will only increase the already-heavy financial burden on families while doing even more harm to the livestock industry.”

In July 2008, Johnson said the EPA would not regulate greenhouse gas emissions. He said: “If the nation is serious about regulating greenhouse gases the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job and it’s really at the feet of Congress to come up with good legislation that cuts through what will likely be decades of regulation and litigation.”

The states of Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. The lawsuit came one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so.

After calls by Sen. Barbara Boxer and three other senators for him to step down, Stephen Johnson said he wouldn’t resign.

They 4 senators have also asked the U.S. attorney general to investigate whether Johnson had made false or misleading statements in sworn testimony before Boxer’s environment committee. Reuters reported.

Boxer said Johnson’s decisions on global warming lead, mercury and drinking water standards, were “harmful to the American people.”

What’s the point of spending billions of taxpayer money on science, education, NASA, NOAA, NCAOR … ocean and atmospheric research, when all it takes is a one person veto by the EPA capo [or indeed capo dei capi himself] to nix everything?

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Desmond Tutu and the Vatican Vampire

Posted by msrb on July 22, 2008

submitted by a reader

The Vatican Vampire Preaches Against Terrorism As He Sucks the Oxygen Out of Our Air

Who’s Who [or what?] Desmond Tutu -v- Vatican Vampire

One is a tireless campaigner for human rights and defense of the oppressed. He recently took on the business world: “Do not fly in the face of the poor by allowing the emissions produced by endless and unnecessary business flights to keep growing.”He said, adding that scientists predicted as many as 185 million Africans would die this century because of climate change.


Desmond Tutu (Former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. Photo dated 2004)

“It is the countries which are the least responsible for causing climate change that are paying the heaviest price,” he said in a video message to a meeting of the World Development Movement lobby group Thursday.

“Climate change is for real. As I speak, famine is increasing, flooding is increasing, as is disease and insecurity globally because of water scarcity,” he said.

“As an African I urgently call on ordinary people in rich countries to act as global citizens, not as isolated consumers. We must listen to our consciences, and not to governments who speak only about economic markets.

“These markets will cease to exist if climate change is allowed to develop to climate chaos,” he added.

“In South Africa we confirmed that if we act on the side of justice we have the power to turn tides,” Tutu said.

“I urge you … to work together with campaigners in the global South and call for strong climate change laws in your own countries in the North, as well as internationally.” (Source: Reuters).

The Grand Vampire of Vatican

The other couldn’t be bothered about mundane things like human rights, family planning, child sex abuse … He has an institution to worry about, and one most toe the official line on the fictitious “War on Terror,” perpetuating the Churches oppression of the poor: “To all those responsible for the life of nations, I wish to state: if you do not fear truth, you need not fear freedom!” [So why don't you tell us about the 2,000- year-old hoax? What's there to be afraid of? Freedom from Church?]

When Andrea Rivera, an Italian comedian and TV presenter, spoke out against the Vampire’s stand on current issues, Vatican branded him as a terrorist.


Photo Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!

Rivera said: “The Pope says he doesn’t believe in evolution. I agree, in fact the Church has never evolved,” and criticized the Church for refusing to give a Catholic funeral to Piergiorgio Welby, a man who campaigned for euthanasia as he lay paralyzed with muscular dystrophy. He died in December after a doctor agreed to unplug his respirator.

“I can’t stand the fact that the Vatican refused a funeral for Welby but that wasn’t the case for (Chilean dictator Augusto) Pinochet or (Spanish dictator Francisco) Franco,” he said at an open-air concert.

The Vatican’s official newspaper accused Rivera of “terrorism” for criticizing the Pope and warned [Synonym: implied blackmail] his rhetoric could “fuel a return to 1970s-style political violence.”

“This, too, is terrorism. It’s terrorism to launch attacks on the Church,” it said. “It’s terrorism to stoke blind and irrational rage against someone who always speaks in the name of love, love for life and love for man.”


[A Satanic Hand Signal?] Photo Tim Wimborne/Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!

Love, love for life and love for man [literally!]

It’s love for “man” alright—well love for boys, at any rate. The Church has dished out hundreds of millions of dollars to victims of child sex abuse because its bishops, priests, etc. are unable to keep their private parts in their trousers, or skirts for that matter. Money that could have been spent on improving the lives of hundreds of millions of poor Catholic churchgoers throughout the world is instead spend to pay the cost of Catholic clergy’s satanic sex habits. But you can’t preserve an institution by turning its dependent flocks into independent, evolved human beings. Right?


Would you buy a second-hand car from “shifty?”
Pope Benedict XVI (R) is greeted by Australia’s senior Catholic cleric Cardinal George Pell on arriving at Richmond airforce base near Sydney, July 13, 2008. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (AUSTRALIA). Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!

Vatican’s Environmental Snakeoil

What steps has Vatican taken to inform and advise their flocks on climate change and how to cut down on the production of CO2 to reduce the effects of global warming?

Vatican supports “ecotourism” [a euphemistic term used for "eco-terrorism"] we are told. They preach on “traveling with light suitcases.”

“One can choose to be a tourist at odds with the Earth or in favor of it,” said the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. Tips included taking less luggage to tourist destinations … [O' Really?]

Vatican’s environmental snakeoil solution doesn’t apply to the glob-trotting Pope, his vast entourage and their vehicles, of course. Since none of them fits in a suitcase, they are all immune! [Get the drift?]

The 4.6-ton Popemobil is built to be transported by Hercules plane and is flown all over the world with the “Wholy Blind.”


The Popemobile most often used by Pope Benedict XVI when traveling abroad is a modified Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport utility vehicle with a special glass-enclosed “room” that has been built into the back of the vehicle. The Pope enters through a rear door and ascends several steps. After the Pope sits in his chair, it is elevated up into the glass “room” by a hydraulic lift, allowing the Pope to be more easily seen. In addition to the driver, there is room for one passenger (usually a security agent) in the front of vehicle. The glass-enclosed rear of the vehicle also has room for two papal aides who can sit in the area in front of the Pope’s elevated chair. The vehicle’s security features include bulletproof glass windows and roof and reinforced, armored side panels and undercarriage. (Source Wikimedia).

Isn’t Sucking the Oxygen Out of Our Air “Terrorism?”

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Antienvironmental, Antisocial, Anti American!

Posted by msrb on July 15, 2008

President [sic] George W. Bush lifts a Presidential ban on offshore drilling in a symbolic move.

“Today, I’ve taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration,” Bush told reporters. “This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress.”

President George W. Bush speaks on offshore oil drilling, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, July 14, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

“Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court … The time for action is now.” Bush said after signing a memorandum reversing a presidential ban previously instituted by his father [ Bush 41] when he was a President about 20 years ago.

If both the presidential and congressional bans were lifted, it would then be up to individual states to permit drilling off their shores, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist has expressed support for drilling while California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reiterated his opposition. Reuters reported.

“Calls for more drilling will only increase the already record profits of big oil and will do little to reduce the costs of gas at the pump,” said Larry Schweiger president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation.

The presidential offshore drilling ban, instituted by Bush 41 in 1990 as per request of the big oil, and extended by President Bill Clinton, would have  expired in June 2012. Offshore drilling is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Alabama,  Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, but not Florida.

“The president cruelly is misleading Americans for attempted political gain,” said Florida’s Sen. Bill Nelson. “He knows ruining our coastlines won’t bring down gasoline prices nor solve our energy challenges.”

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Nature Must Be Punished, Look at the Mess in California!

Posted by msrb on July 14, 2008

submitted by a CASF Member

Nature must not be allowed to do what she does best: Care for life!

Humanoids’ ignorance of Nature’s defense mechanisms hasn’t improved in 12,000 years! Take California’s wildfires, for example. Tackling the wildfires has become strictly a Freudian affair. Freud said:

“Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will.”

Way to go Sigmund!

Sigmund Freud, 1938

Nature is viewed as a malignant force to overcome. Humanoids fight nature trying their damnedest to prevent her from doing what she does best: Sustaining life!

Wildfires are an indispensable tool in Nature’s cycle-of-life toolbox. But, they have decided that the fires must not be allowed to burn naturally.

How dare she? Line up the crews. If 2 thousand firefighters aren’t enough, then get 5, 10, 20,000, if necessary! If you need even more, import them from half way across the world. Mobilize the National Guard!

Nature’s cycles of life have been ruining our lifestyles. No wonder the Government declared war on “evil” wildfires, a century ago!

If you couldn’t build your log cabin in the forest, on the riverbank, or on the beach, where you want to live, what good is Nature to you? Who needs nature, if she misbehaves?

If nature can’t provide you with enough rainwater when you need to put the fires out, or cleanse the air so that the smug doesn’t choke your kids, why should you let her go on?

Why hasn’t she provided you with enough carbon sinks to remove the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to prevent you from boiling? What good is she?

Come to think of it, why is this stinking planet so small? Why didn’t nature create a planet 10, 20, 30 even a 100 times bigger, and cleaner?

Nature has failed to provide you with the “perfect” planet. She is hampering your progress. She must be punished. And if that doesn’t work, she must not be allowed to go on. If she continues like this, you don’t need her.

No Good For Living!

You build a dream log home in the woods; invest considerable time and money selecting the right refrigerator-freezer, freezer, microwave oven, coffeemaker, juice extractor/blender, bread maker, toaster, dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, state-of-the-art lighting, 50″ digital TV, set top box, DVD, VCR, projector, dehumidifier, ceiling fans, heating system, cooling system, bleeding-edge sound-surround stereo system, bathroom TV, whirlpool/Spa, floodlights, pool pump, water filters, waterbed heater, hair dryer, floor heater, dehumidifier, humidifier, ionizer, air filter, furnace, cooler … it takes months and months of planning, spending, traveling. Imagine life without the SUV! And then comes the evacuation order… the next day it’s all over. Mother nature has consumed everything. You finally decide this nature just isn’t conducive to lifestyle. This planet isn’t good for living!

Freudian Assault Against Nature Syndrome

Having reached the peak of Freudian Assault Against Nature Syndrome, there are only two courses of action available to humanoids:

(i) Look for a new planet, one that is a lot bigger and much cleaner than this “sh*tpit.”

(ii) Create a new, more disciplined nature, one that doesn’t bitch with you and knows how to work effectively, cleaning up the piles you leave behind.

When you’re through with Sci-Fi, then sober up to this fact: “In the humanoids’ declared war against nature, whichever side ‘wins,’ we will [all] be the losers!

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Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, greenhouse gases, politics, tourism, travel, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

It’s 4th of July, once again!

Posted by msrb on July 4, 2008

submitted by a reader

It’s the Independence Day again and what have we done?

Just exactly what have we done in the past 12 months, since the last 4th of July celebration, to strengthen our “independence?”

Thanks (!) to our government’s three branches: the legislature, executive, and judiciary we have a country which is less stable, less healthy, more tyrannical and worse off than even the last 4th of July.

Since the last Independence Day we have made our great country far less safe ecologically, socially and economically.

So let’s start congratulating [sic] everyone all around. A heartfelt thanks [sic] to you:

Mr. President [sic], Vice President and the rest of Cabal.

Senators and Representative.

Each and every n-starred General, mid and low-ranking officers and all other military personnel, wherever you may be.

Judges, lawyers, police officers…

Experts, scientists, teachers…

And last, but by no means least, to all of you ordinary people for making it easy for the above mentioned to remove the last remaining vestiges of freedom, sanity and subsistence out of our great [sic] nation!

God [sic] Bless AMERICA, and god bless YOU!

Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Fight For Food!

Posted by msrb on July 2, 2008

Could When Will Food Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


An Egyptian rice farmer shows his drought damaged rice crop and cracks in the rice terrace soil caused by more than 30 days of no rain in a village near Balqis, northeast of Cairo June 14, 2008. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!

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Background Information:

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Image of the Day: Blind scientists examining the elephant

Posted by msrb on July 1, 2008

The Exponential Growth Economy’s White Elephant!


“Blind monks examining an elephant” by Itcho Hanabusa (1652–1724). Each blind monk can only “see” the part of the elephant he has examined.

Blind “Experts”

Blind Expert #1. It’s the oil addiction!

Blind Expert #2. Nay, nay; it’s the coal-fired power plants.

Blind Expert #3. Nay, nay; the SUVs.

Blind Expert #4. Nay, nay! It must be the sprawling suburbia.

Blind Expert #5. Nay, nay! It’s …

Blind Expert #6. We NEED more trees to protect the economy.

Blind experts Nos. 1 – 8 urged the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory exponential growth economy, but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

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Posted in biocapacity, Bush, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

NASA Mars Project:

Posted by msrb on June 22, 2008

NASA Mars Project: A Massive Black Hole Swallowing Other People’s Money

It makes NO sense whatever blowing away the taxpayers dollars looking for ice on Mars as life becomes extinct down here on Earth!

How much does NASA spend looking for the ‘holy grail’ in the solar system and beyond?


Scientists using the NASA Swift satellite have found evidence of a black hole swallowing a neutron star. The black hole may have first stretched the dense neutron star into a crescent and broken off crumbs in the process. The black hole could have then swallowed the star largely in one gulp, feeding on the crumbs in the minutes and hours that followed. Such a black hole would grow more massive, like a python that downs a wild boar. Credit: NASA/Dana Berry, Skyworks Digital

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~0~

Posted in 6th Great Extinction, agriculture, American economy, Armageddon, biosphere, carbon dioxide, Chinese, CO2, coal, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, NASA, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’m a War President, Not a Weatherman!

Posted by msrb on June 21, 2008

The Best Caption Competition Winners:

- There’s no war here.

- Don’t trouble me with national emergencies, I have a war to fight.

- Our troops need all the money we can send them to fight the enemy over there.

- Don’t be sissies! This is nothing like the 1993 deluge.


President George W. Bush talks to the media after viewing receding floodwaters on Normandy Drive in Iowa City, Iowa, USA, on 19 June 2008. EPA/MATTHEW HOLST / POOL. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Midwest Flood Victims Feel Misled by Feds

“They all told us, `The levees are good. You can go ahead and build,”‘ said Parks, who did not buy flood coverage because her bank no longer required it. “We had so much confidence in those levees.”

“People put all their hopes in those levees, and when they do fail, the damage is catastrophic,” said Paul Osman, the National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for Illinois. “New Orleans is the epitome; a lot of those people didn’t even realize they were in a floodplain until the water was up to their roofs.”


This used to be a road, and we parked our trucks right there!

Volunteers sandbag a building submerged in Burlington, Iowa June 15, 2008. Officials moved paintings, books and documents out of harm’s way on Sunday as record flooding in parts of the U.S. Midwest partly submerged the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Who Cares?

“We reported to the president in ’94 that the levee system was in disarray, the levees were not high enough to take care of any potential problem. People didn’t understand their flood risk and there wasn’t good co-ordination across federal, state and local governments,” said Gerald Galloway, a professor of engineering and flood control expert.

“The same thing applies today,” Galloway said. “It’s amazing that in the face of [Hurricane] Katrina and now this particular challenge that we continue to relearn the same lessons.”

Galloway’s recommendations to improve the levee system were basically ignored. He said that he’s experiencing much the same response now from officials as in 1993.

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Early “Dividends” of Climate Change

Posted by msrb on June 17, 2008

Could Food and Fuel Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

Iowa Survives, But only Just!

Climate fury stays execution of Iowa—for now, any way. The worst flooding in the Midwest, at least in the last 15 years, is receding.

Photo
A home is flooded along the Mississippi River near Gladstone, Illinois June 16, 2008. Flooding in the U.S. Midwest is taking a toll on freight carriers, costing barge lines about $1 million per day and likely disrupting railroads for months to come, said traders and industry executives on Monday. REUTERS/Eric Thayer. Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO fair Use Notice!

The early dividends are as follows:

  • The price of corn at the Chicago Board of Trade rocketed past $8 a bushel [a bushel of corn or maize weighs about 25.4kg; wheat and soybean, about 27.22kg.]
  • About 3.3 million acres of cropland was deluged [2 million acres of soybeans, and 1.3 million acres of corn.]
  • An estimated 2 million acres wasn’t planted.
  • About 21 percent of Iowa’s 25million acres of cropland were flooded.
  • At least twenty-six people have died since May 25 as a result of the storms or tornadoes in the Midwest.
  • Up to 40,000 Iowans in 11 counties, declared federal disaster area, including 30,000 in Cedar Rapids were evacuated.
  • About 200,000 gallons of drinking water were distributed.
  • Nearly 5 million sandbags were used.
  • Mississippi River, the main shipping artery to the export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico is closed due to high water levels caused by heavy rains throughout last week.
  • The President [sic] is spending a day in Iowa

The Iowa flooding will have a significant impact on the global food prices because the United States exports 54 percent of the world’s corn, 36 percent of soybeans and 23 percent of wheat.

“Estimates show 3 million acres of corn under water and probably 2 million didn’t get planted. So that gets you up to 5 million or over 700 million bushels, and that takes out the entire carry-out [stocks carried over to the next crop,]” said Glenn Hollander, a grain merchant on the CBOT trading floor.

NO estimates are yet available concerning the permanent damage done to the soil.

Special Feature Short Story:

Environmental Disasters: Too Close for Comfort?

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Background Information:

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Fuel and Food Strikes Flare in South Korea

Posted by msrb on June 16, 2008

Fuel and Food Strikes Spreads to South Korea

About 18,000 operators of construction machinery went on strike in South Korea on Monday demanding cheaper fuel and higher pay, joining thousands of truckers who began their strike last week.


South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Lee may be forced to resign in the coming weeks.

The strikers are also angry over the policies of the new President Lee Myung-bak, who came to office amid a landslide victory in December, but has since become increasingly unpopular because of a decision to resume imports of U.S. beef.


Protesters chant slogans at a candlelight vigil on a street leading to the U.S. embassy and the presidential Blue House in central Seoul June 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won.
Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO Fair Use Notice!

There have been waves of street protest in the recent weeks demanding the government to repeal of the U.S. beef deal. The South Koreans are concerned about the threats of mad cow disease associated with the US beef.

Adding to the pressure, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is expected to call on its 600,000 members to stage a walkout against Lee’s privatization and pension reform plans, Reuters reported.

The strikes have so far cost Korea $3.5 billion, the commerce ministry said.

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Could Food and Fuel Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

Posted by msrb on June 13, 2008

Update: More Fuel Strikes Flare Across Europe

Europe Fuel Protests Turn Deadly

Two truck drivers were killed in fuel protests in Spain and Portugal, while a third driver received serious burn in a suspected arson attack.

The imapct of haulers’ strike is now being felt throughout the Spanish and Portuguese economies.

In Spain the country’s 18 car factories are running out of parts and fuel. The car industry accounts for about 5 percent of Spain’s GDP.

As the blockade continues in the European nations, consumers rush to stockpile food and fuel causing severe shortages in some areas.

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msrb

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UNEP: A Weapom of Mass Deception?

Posted by msrb on June 7, 2008

UNEP Clumsy Scaremongering Diminishes the Seriousness of Environmental Threats

Original Entry: UNEP Issues Some CO2 Reduction Snakeoil!

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We Need Food!

Posted by msrb on June 2, 2008

Food Riots Break Out in Bangladesh Again

Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers protesting over low wages and soaring food prices clashed with the police on Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices.

“They smashed dozens of vehicles, attacked nearby factories and pelted stones and bricks at our officers. Police fired shotguns to disperse the unruly workers,” police chief said.

Four protestors, including two with bullet wounds, were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital A nurse said.

Bangladesh’s garment industry employls about 2.5 million workers, or 40 percent of the industrial workforce, and accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s export earnings. The average garment worker earn a basic minimum wage of about 25 dollars a month.

Bangladeshi households spend nearly 70 percent of their income on food. Prices for rice, the country’s staple food have doubled in the past 12 months mainly because of floods last summer and a major cyclone that caused severe damage to the crops in November.

Unions have demanded a major increase in salaries, saying the existing basic payment fixed in late 2006 has become redundant due to rocketing prices of food and other commodities over the past year.

In April, at least 20,000 protesting garment workers clashed with police and 50 were injured.


Bangladeshi demonstrators protesting against rising food and fuel prices on the outskirts of Dhaka in April, 2008. Police clashed with thousands of garment workers in southwest Bangladesh Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices. (Image may be subject to copyright. see MSRB Fair Use Notice.

Food Riot in Kenya

About a thousand Kenyan demonstrators protesting against rising food prices were assaulted by the riot police who fired teargas to disperse them on Saturday.

Widespread food shortages have led to skyrocketing food prices amid political corruption. Annual inflation rose by an average 24.2 percent in April and May.

“The government must subsidize the cost of food, it is not fair for the poor to be suffering with high food prices yet the government has not increased salaries,” said one of the organizers.

Disputed presidential election has also triggered violent clashes across Kenya killing 1,600 people and displacing about one half of a million people since December 2007.

Food and fuel riots, protests and strikes have erupted this year throughout the “third world” countries in Africa Asia and the Americas including Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Pakistan, Philippines Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen (other countries may have been omitted inadvertently).

Video links:

mno

Posted in Africa, against nature, agriculture, Americas, asia, basic needs, biocapacity, China, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Food, Global Warming, government, money, politics, staple diet, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

If the world were falling apart!

Posted by msrb on May 25, 2008

Why Does “IF” Hate America, its Middle Class and the Poor So Much?

Warren Buffet: “If the world were falling apart I’d still invest in companies”

Mr Buffet, we know how your anti-environment, contorted mind works! There really isn’t much more you can do, other than waging war on nature, is there? It would of course be out of the question to do something outrageous like changing the system, creating a sustainable future, or working in harmony with nature …

  • Warren “IF” Buffet’s Net Worth: $62.0 billion
  • CO2 pollution produced by Mr Buffet in 2007: At least 12.62 million metric tons [MMT]
  • Combined Net Worth of World’s Richest 100: $1,725 billion
  • No. of World’s Billionaires: 1,125 heads
  • Combined Net Worth of World’s Billionaires: $4,384 billion (source)
  • CO2 pollution produced by World’s Billionaires in 2007: At least 891.43MMT
  • No. of people who live on less than $2 per day: About 4 billion souls (Source)


Warren “If” Buffet listens to a question during a news conference in Madrid May 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea Comas. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB fair Use Notice!

If it were possible to amass so much money by so few without declaring war against nature …

If it were possible to accumulate so much “wealth” without causing severe ecological degradation, creating abject poverty and harming so many …

If it were possible to transform so much of the earth’s natural resources into trash and still have a future …

If it were possible to do what you do without committing genocide, war crimes, murder …

If the world were not falling apart …

[Warren Buffet produced at least 12.62 MMT of CO2 in 2007]

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abc

Posted in collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Pinheads in the House: Fanning Oil Chaos

Posted by terres on May 22, 2008

Summited by a member

The pinheads in the House of Reps. make even White House look “smart!”

House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

The House of Representatives voted 324-84 to approve legislation allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for not pumping out enough oil. The White House has reportedly threatened to veto the bill.

“This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities,” said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

Just exactly what are the supply and demand economic rules in a political economy, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I bet you don’t have a single clue what you are talking about.


Uncle Sam: I Want You, Your Oil, ‘n Your Money!

Uncle Sam’s Drinking Habits and the OPEC Dimwits

Lo and behold, the good ol’ lynch mob [the House of Representatives] is out to get someone: The bartender [OPEC], no less!

They are desperate to hang the bartender, not because he had Uncle Sam smashed out of his tiny head by giving him too much to drink; they are lynching him because he refused to serve more of “them devil’s brew” to the usual clientèle who would never leave the bar sober: The runaway economy, the corporations from hell and the rest of the morons who are so addicted to their waste-intensive lifestyles they wouldn’t know their sustainable energy sh*t from Shinola.

Weak dollar and inflation are eating out the heart of the system; the cars are getting thirstier than ever before [and a hell of a lot more of them hit the roads each day;] Mrs Rabbit is breeding too many bunnies, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 even 9 bunnies a throw; the bunnies diets are getting more exotic, they’d no longer settle for carrots; four times as many lambs air-cruise today as they did a decade or so ago; Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil and other oil monsters broke all their previous profit records.

But all of those factors put together couldn’t possibly play more than a minor part in the overall picture. They could probably account for 5-10 percent of the price rise. That’s child’s play when compared to the wholesale fleecing of an entire flock of marsupial boneheads by Wall Street speculators. How do they do it?

Uncertainty!

The oil price is rising rapidly because of the uncertainty created by the US military presence in the Gulf. The continued occupation of Iraq, the threat of war [true or false] against Iran and Syria [fed by the frenzy created by the free media, trusted journalist prima donna and venerable "ex-CIA" political activists] and the implied warning of a US military takeover in Saudi Arabia, in case their ruling regime loses favor with its own people, are the main drivers for the rapid price rise. [The perils of a possible regional war in South America, waged by US-backed Colombia against Venezuela, and fears of supply disruptions in Nigeria also help increase the uncertainty factor.] Who created the chaos in the first place? The Prez and the Congress, of course! And who is responsible for the rapidly rising oil prices? It is the OPEC, stupid!

Gotta strike while the iron is hot!

Who else can we sue, while the proverbial iron is still hot, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I know, let’s sue the pants off the National Corn Growers Association. Just look at the mess they have created. So what they are producing overcapacity? It’s not enough! Look at price of corn, $6 dollars a bushel and there isn’t nearly enough of it going around to feed the poor. [Stay clear of any absurd argument about the obscene amounts of grains wasted to produce ethanol. Why, don't you drive a car? Start with the ethanol and you'll end up in a feedlot looking a red heifer in the eye.]


Uncle Sam Supplying the World with Berry Brothers Hard Oil Finish, chromolithographic print c. 1880.

OPEC: Damned if they do; damned if they don’t!

It’s very difficult to sympathize with some of the OPEC members, for example, Saudi Arabia. But to blame OPEC for the inebriated Uncle Sam’s bladder mishaps goes an extra mile and a half beyond the Reps. standard milestone of hypocrisy.

In the first three months of 2008, the five companies Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil, Chevron and BP America earned $36 billion.

Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil made a profit of $1,504 per second in the first quarter of 2008. That’s stealing an additional 43 cents a day [each and every day] from each US citizen [woman, man and child,] thanks to Wall Street speculators. But even Exxon knows that level of corporate racketeering is unsustainable. That’s the stuff riots are made of.

Do the Reps. dare upset their old paymasters, the oil monsters like Exxon? Of course not. Can they afford to point a finger at Wall Street? Not a chance. Or mess with their own future by saying something stupid like healthy economy, renewable energy, or other scary stuff like that? No way!

The ol’ lynch mob have eyed their “nigga,” and are about to unleash the bloodhounds.

With a bunch of remarkable idiots making moronic queen-of-hearts laws for the greatest flock of sheeple on Earth, is it any wonder the world is teetering precariously on the brink of catastrophe?

What Others Say

[ Updated May 24, 2008 ]

JOAN CLAYBROOK, president of Public Citizen, said: “You are paying sky-high prices at the gas pump because the barons of ‘big oil’ have bushwacked the American people. With the help of major league lobbyists and the high-ranking politicians receptive to them, oil companies are earning enormous profits through a combination of anti-competitive practices — including market manipulation — made even easier by the wave of recent oil company mergers and the government’s outrageously weak regulatory oversight.

“Every time you buy gas, you know you are being price-gouged, but did you know that, for every gallon of gas you buy, you are being charged an extra 70 cents — at least — that is related purely to market speculation and not a function of supply-and-demand? The oil barons not only get away with this, they use their considerable influence to prevent the passage of meaningful fuel economy legislation, further squeezing consumers by ensuring automakers will continue to build gas-guzzling cars.”

Steve Kretzmann, Founder, Oil Change International, said: “In their testimony about high gasoline prices, top oil executives repeatedly ducked questions about gas prices, demanded access to more drilling, and could not tell Senators how much they earn. Not a single suggestion came from the oil executives that will lower gas prices. There’s a reason for that, which is that the only answer is one they don’t want to discuss — an urgent transition to renewable energy.

“We could drill every last inch of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and our coasts and it would barely make a dent in supply or prices. Congress needs to stop this political theater and get serious about the transition to renewable forms of energy. So far, they’re continuing to lavish the industry with billions in subsidies, while receiving millions from the industry in campaign contributions.”

Nadine Bloch, field director with Oil Change International, said: today: “I was arrested in the Senate hearing room yesterday for demanding a Separation of Oil and State. We can’t drill our way out of this problem. We need to get Big Oil money out of our Congress.” [Source]

Jeroen van der Veer, CEO, Shell, second largest oil monster in the world, said: “What we say and what we see is there are no physical shortages [...] There are no tankers waiting in the Middle East, there are no cars waiting at gasoline stations because they are out of stock. This has to do with psychology in the markets and you cannot forecast psychology.” (Source)

[Update: May 28, 2008 ]

Deborah Fineman [via Ralph Nader,] president of Mitchell Supreme Fuel Co. in Orange, New Jersey: “Energy markets have been dictated for too long by hedge funds and speculators, who artificially manipulate the numbers for their own benefit. The current market isn’t based on the sound principles of supply and demand but it is being rigged by companies and speculators who are jacking up prices for their own greed.”

Harry C. Johnson [via Ralph Nader,] former banker and oil executive said, “some industry experts, who profit greatly from the high price of crude, and have stated openly that the worldwide economic price of crude, absent speculators, would be around $50 to $60 per barrel.

Ralph Nader: “Oil was at $50 a barrel in January 2007, then $75 a barrel in August 2007. Now at $130 or so a barrel, it is clear that oil pricing is speculative activity, having very little to do with physical supply and demand. An essential product—petroleum—is set by speculators operating on rumor, greed, and fear of wild predictions. “

“A sane government would drop all subsidies and tax loopholes for Big Oil’s huge profits and other fossil fuels and promote a national mission to solarize our economy to achieve major savings from energy conservation technology, retrofitting buildings, and upgrading efficiency standards for motor vehicles, home appliances, industrial engines and electric generating plants.

“Those are the permanent ways to achieve energy independence, reduce our trade deficit, create good jobs that can’t be exported and protect the environmental health of people and nature.

“Those are the reforms and advances that a muscular consumer, worker and small business revolt can focus on in the coming weeks.

“What say you, America?”

Related Links:

Possibly elated Links:

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In Petroleum We Trust!

Posted by msrb on May 9, 2008

The New Oil-Rule Economy will replace the “old” economy in the very near future. A single company/organization will have a monopoly on about 80 percent of “economically recoverable” global oil reserves. It will dictate “production,” pricing, and delivery (and will even decide on the end user – who may or may not buy the oil). How much is too much for a barrel of oil, $40, $240, or $4,000? Soon, the current monetary system will be of no value. Harry Saloor, The Management School of Restorative Business, May 2004.

Crude oil reaches another record high at $124.61 a barrel

The price of a barrel of crude oil reached another record high in London and New York last night with US light crude at $123.69 in New York trading ( in after-hours trade it hit $124.61 a barrel). In London, Brent crude settled at $122.84 a barrel, an all time record.


In Petroleum We Trust (Gas coupon printed in 1973 oil crisis)

It is believed that tight supply concerns, higher world energy demand forecasts and the weak dollar are the main factors that are pushing up oil prices. According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, the price of crude oil could reach $200 a barrel in as little as six months due to tightening supplies.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil shares rose by 1.3% and Chevron’s climbed 2.2% on the New York Stock Exchange.

Related Links:

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“Apocalypse”: A “Biblical,” or a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Posted by msrb on April 30, 2008

Should we surrender our fate to a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (War, Famine, Pestilence and Death), by Viktor Vasnetsov (1887).

The Old Testament: Fiction, Farce, Fallacy or Forgery?

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel [note that there was no such entity as Israel at the time when this is supposed to have happened,] how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (I Samuel 15:2-3)

Ox and sheep, camel and ass? What have they done, Lord? Can we shoot their moose, polar bear, and poison their water supply, too?

[FYI, the LORD of hosts has since denied any connection with I Samuel 15:2-3. He said in a concerned voice: "I have nothing to do with the Book of Exodus and all other fiction in that series, and have never advocated the slaying of anything, especially not "man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." ]

(Source) The Exodus as described in the Book of Exodus, is the departure and emancipation of the Israelite slaves in Egypt. Led by Moses and Aaron, the Hebrew slaves …

The Hebrews moved from Canaan into Egypt when Joseph was vizier of Egypt. …] Hebrews spent another four hundred years growing and multiplying. At the end of these 400 years, a new king rose in Egypt who didn’t know of Joseph. He enslaved the Hebrews and compelled them to perform much manual labor intensive work [Note: Historically, there absolutely no evidence of this claim.] … Moses, in exile from Egypt for murdering an Egyptian while defending a Hebrew slave [note that Moses was merely exiled, even though he, a "Hebrew slave," had murdered an Egyptian "master"] received a call from God [last week a friend of the author also received a call from God, who said that HE never contacted Moses, and had no idea who he was] to free the Hebrew people … Moses attempted to negotiate with Pharaoh, who was not receptive… Moses, under God’s instruction, called forth a series of ten plagues [God categorically denied any knowledge of this claim, too, and said HE was a committed pacifist and hated biological warfare.]  The Pharaoh, enduring most of the plagues, would not let the Hebrews go, however the final plague, in which the firstborn sons of the Egyptians were taken, made the Pharaoh agree to free the Hebrews …

“And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the Land of Egypt.”

However, the Pharaoh changed his mind soon after they undertook their journey and sent soldiers after the Hebrews. They escaped however, after Moses’ famed miraculous parting of the Red Sea [God said: "If you believe the total nonsense... you deserve Hollywood!"] Once they had crossed the sea, the water returned and caught the following Egyptians as they tried to turn back. … Significant events occurred at these early locations or ‘stations’, including the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, along with the remainder of Mosaic law. [Psychoactive hallucinogenic stuff brewed from Acacia tree and the bush Peganum harmala ?]

Exodus

Exodus 12:37 refers to 600,000 adult Hebrew men leaving Egypt with Moses, plus an unspecified but apparently large number of non-Hebrews (“A mixed multitude also went up with them” – Exodus 12:38); allowing for women and children, the total number involved may have been two million or more. Egypt at the time might have supported a total population of around 3-4 million, maybe even up to 6 million; in any event, the numbers given in Exodus 12:37 seem to represent something between half and almost the entire probable population of Egypt.


[Why is] Moses smashing the Tables of the Law? A painting by Rembrandt van Rijn

The logistics of the Exodus also present problems. Recent archaeological research has found no evidence that the Sinai desert ever hosted millions of people, nor of a massive population increase in Canaan, estimated to have had a population of between 50,000 and 100,000, at the end of the march.

Non-historical theories

Many archaeologists, including Israel Finkelstein and William G. Dever, regard the Exodus as non-historical. … In his book, The Bible Unearthed, Finkelstein points to the appearance of settlements in the central hill country around 1200 BCE, recognized by most archaeologists as the earliest settlements of the Israelites.

Biblical minimalists, such as Philip Davies, Niels Peter Lemche and Thomas L. Thompson, regard the Exodus as ahistorical.

The findings of modern archaeologists may present a challenge for Orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians. The Exodus and the subsequent Conquest of Canaan that the chronologies of the archaeologists seem to plainly diverge from those that may be derived from known versions of the Bible …

The strong negative reaction to leading Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe’s 2001 Passover speech, where he plainly stated that the Exodus did not happen … (Source)

But when you capture cities in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, kill everyone. Completely destroy all the people: the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as the Lord ordered you to do. (Today’s English Version: Deuteronomy 20:16-17)

A Letter From A. Einstein to Eric Gutkind

An abridgment of the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954, translated from German by Joan Stambaugh.

… I read a great deal in the last days of your book, and thank you very much for sending it to me. What especially struck me about it was this. With regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common.

… The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the priviliege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, ie in our evalutations of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual ‘props’ and ‘rationalisation’ in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things. With friendly thanks and best wishes

Yours, A. Einstein (Source)

Why Must Otherwise Intelligent Humans Surrender their Fate to a Farcical, Fallacious, Forged, Fictitious and Violent Storybook?

Related Reading:

Moses high on Mt Sinai: Israeli study
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/04/2179961.htm

Did the Red Sea Part? No Evidence, Archaeologists Say! http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/world/africa/03exodus.html

Who Built the Pyramids? Not slaves.
http://harvardmagazine.com/2003/07/who-built-the-pyramids.html

Strictly speaking, there has never been any clear evidence discovered in Egypt, or elsewhere, to support the Israelite Exodus from Egypt!
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/egyptexodus.htm

Those Amazing Biblical Numbers: Taking Stock of the Armies of Ancient Israel by William Sierichs, Jr.
http://www.theskepticalreview.com/tsrmag/1num95.html

[T]here is clear and definitive evidence that a group of Semitic foreigners lived in Egypt for a considerable period – however, they were there not as slaves, but as rulers. http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/otarch2.html

The Dark Bible

http://www.nobeliefs.com/DarkBible/darkbible3.htm

Evil Bible
http://www.evilbible.com/

Is God real, or is he imaginary?

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

More About the Bible

Related Posts:
coming soon!


Related Links:

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“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . .”

Posted by msrb on April 30, 2008

Who is thinking, if we all think alike?

By Harry Saloor, Founder, Creating A Sustainable Future
April 21, 2008

In The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1) I quoted E. F. Schumacher who, in Small is Beautiful, described what he called the six leading ideas, a toolbox of ideas stemming from the nineteenth century by which the civilization interprets the world:

- Systemic application of the theory of evolution;
– Natural selection, which insures the survival of the fittest through competition;
– Suppression of spirituality, religion, philosophy, art and culture in favor of economic gains;
– Relativism, which denies all absolutes and negates the idea of truth in pragmatism;
– Positivism, which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge and such knowledge can only come through empirical sciences (i.e., positive affirmation of scientific theories via exact scientific observations);
– Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression.

Freud said, “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will. [And if the technique guided by science fail to reverse the ‘marsification’ of Earth that it started in the first place, you can always hide behind more abstractions!]”

Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression forms the backdrop for a powerful myth that, coupled with a discourse based on [fatal] traditions [narrative enforced through social proof] and religious dogma [pluralistic ignorance], are driving human race toward extinction.

Social Proof and our response to the Collapsing world

How could we be ignoring the signs of the looming environmental catastrophes, and what has that got to do with social proof? Robert Cialdini, the famed psychologist, says: “Experiments have found that the use of canned merriment causes an audience to laugh longer and more often humorous material is presented and to rate the material as a funnier. In addition, some evidence indicates that canned laughter is most effective for poor jokes.”

But why is canned laughter so effective, especially when we know it to be “mechanically fabricated” and so blatantly false? To understand this, Cialdini says, we first need to understand the nature of the principle of social proof, a potent weapon of influence. “It states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior.”

On those conditions under which social proof operates optimally, Cialdini adds, “when we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct.”

Pluralistic Ignorance

The main danger of acting under social proof is “the reaction of other people to resolve uncertainty,” Cialdini says, because the others “examining the social evidence, too. Especially in ambiguous situation, the tendency for everyone to be looking to see what everyone else is doing can lead to a fascinating phenomenon called ‘pluralistic ignorance.’ A thorough understanding of the pluralistic ignorance phenomenon helps immeasurably to explain a regular occurrence in our country that has been termed both a riddle and a national disgrace: the failure of entire groups of bystanders to aid victims in agonizing need of help.”

Cialdini cites the classic example of “bystander inaction” that has been the subject of much debate in political, scientific and journalistic circles. The case is about the murder of Catherine Genovese in Queens, New York City. The murderer, the NYC police revealed inadvertently, had stalked and attacked his victim for thirty five minutes in three separate attacks before finally stabbing her to death. At least thirty-eight of the victim’s neighbors witnessed parts of the attack “from the safety of their apartment windows without so much as lifting a finger to call the police.” Why?

[Note: The accuracy of some details of the The New York Times report of Catherine Genovese's murder written by Martin Gansberg has since been challenged, but extensive research into other similar cases, as well as an impressive program of research performed by two New York based psychology professors, John Darley and Bibb Latané, their colleagues and students, has produced unambiguous results that verify the characteristics of “bystander inaction” as described by Cialdini.]

Why did so many “good folks” fail to call the police even anonymously?

Did those folks hated the victim and wanted to see her dead? Were they all cold-hearted bastards who were hardened by the sheer volumes of violent crime in NYC? Were they afraid of the murderer? Was it the “depersonalization” associated with urban life?

Cialdini knows why: “The psychologists speculated that, for at least two reasons, a bystander to an emergency would be unlikely to help when there are a number of other bystanders present. The first reason is fairly straightforward. With several potential helpers around, the personal responsibility of the each individual is reduced: ‘Perhaps someone else will give or call for aid, perhaps someone else already has.’ So with everyone thinking that someone else will help or has helped, no one does.”

“The second reason is the more psychologically intriguing one; it is founded on the principle of social proof and involves the pluralistic ignorance affect. Very often an emergency is not obviously an emergency. Is the man lying in the alley a heart-attack victim or a drunk sleeping one off? Are the sharp sounds from the street gunshots or truck backfires? Is the commotion next door an assault requiring the police or an specially loud marital spat where intervention would be inappropriate and unwelcome? What is going on? In times of such uncertainty, the natural tendency is to look around at the actions of others for clues. We can learn, from the way the other witnesses are reacting, whether the event is or is not an emergency.”

What are we doing as the global catastrophe unfolds?


The Last Judgement – Fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

Each day, we are faced with the facts about collapsing ecosystems, droughts, floods, declining fisheries, wild food, fiber, timber and wood fuel resources, deteriorating supplies of freshwater, eroding croplands, deteriorating air quality and climate regulation systems, failing mechanisms for disease and pest control, loss of pollinators, loss of natural hazards regulation, mounting toxic pollution in the environment . . . each case being tantamount to a premeditated murder. Every time we watch the news on the TV (or computer screen) from the comfort of our livingroom couches we witness yet another ecological disaster in the making. More species are becoming extinct, sea-levels are rising, ice is melting faster, extreme climatic events claiming more victims each day . . . every disaster a separate instance of “attack” on “Catherine Genovese,” over and over again, as we look on until she is finally murdered right in front of our eyes without our so much as lifting a finger to dial the “police.”

Cialdini says: “What is easy to forget, though, is that everybody else observing the event is likely to be looking for social evidence, too. And because we all prefer to appear poised and unflustered among others, were likely to search for that evidence placidly, with brief, camouflaged glances and those around us. Therefore everyone is likely to see everyone else looking unruffled and failing to act. As a result, and by the principle of social proof, the event will be wrongly interpreted as nonemergency. This, according to Latané and Darley, is the state of pluralistic ignorance ‘in which each person decides that since nobody is concerned, nothing is wrong. Meanwhile, the danger may be mounting to the point where a single individual, uninfluenced by the seeming calm of others, would react.”

Where does the religious dogma come in?

The problem becomes compounded when some people, prejudiced by the same powerful methods of influence of social proof, believe everything is meant this way and that “the beginning of the time of salvation would be marked by an important and undeniable event, usually the cataclysmic end of the world.”

Among the examples cited are: The Montanists of Turkey (second century CE); the Anabaptist in Holland (16th century); The Sabbataists of Izmir (17th century) and the Millerites of the US (19th century).


Posters like this were placed in public locations around the New England area in 1992. (Image maybe subject to copyright). See MSRB Fair Use Notice.

There we have it. The “almighty” took the good part of 4.54 billion years to create and perfect the Earth (not counting the preparatory time of 9 or so billion years that he previously spent to “create” the universe) so that it could be destroyed by a cataclysmic event, at least according to Christian eschatology (study of the religious beliefs concerning final events, or End Times).

With the heaven and angels (“they were created before God created the Earth”) awaiting our arrival, do we need to decontaminate, restore and preserve this garbage-dump of a planet and keep it fit for life? Why must we bother, if our peers, the pluralistic ignorant inactive bystanders, who surely must know better because there are so many of them, invite us to have faith and join the believers instead?

For those who “believe,” “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . . ” latecomers may dial “R” for Rapture!

References:

- Cialdini, R.B. (1993). Influence: The psychology of persuasion, New York: Quill William Morrow

- Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1). Killed by Homo Economicus. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.restorative-business.org/empire_focus.htm [website no longer maintained.]

- Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 5). Who Really Benefits from Cheap Oil. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.restorative-business.org/empire_focus.htm [website no longer maintained.]

- Saloor, H.(2007, February). Cosmic Scale Evil: Money Fetishism and the Looming Omnicide. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/08/08/p18766

Posted in 6th Great Extinction, Armageddon, basic needs, biocapacity, business, cabal, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, religion, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Food Fetishism, Cheap Oil and Pollution

Posted by msrb on April 28, 2008

Excerpts are from:

Environmental Cost of Shipping Groceries Around the World

The Food Chain

The New York Times April 26, 2008
by E. Rosenthal and D. Pinto

Cod caught off Norway is shipped to China to be turned into filets, then shipped back to Norway for sale. Argentine lemons fill supermarket shelves on the Citrus Coast of Spain, as local lemons rot on the ground. Half of Europe’s peas are grown and packaged in Kenya. ["Norwegian cod costs a manufacturer $1.36 a pound to process in Europe, but only 23 cents a pound in Asia." And the hell with internalizing the environmental costs. Oh, and it's nice to know there is still cod left off Norway!]

In the United States, FreshDirect proclaims kiwi season has expanded to “All year!” now that Italy has become the world’s leading supplier of New Zealand’s national fruit, taking over in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter.

And the penetration of mega-markets in nations from China to Mexico with supply and distribution chains that gird the globe — like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco — has accelerated the trend.

But the movable feast comes at a cost: pollution — especially carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas — from transporting the food. [Include processing, packaging and refrigeration!]

Under longstanding trade agreements, fuel for international freight carried by sea and air is not taxed. Now, many economists, environmental advocates and politicians say it is time to make shippers and shoppers pay for the pollution, through taxes or other measures.

“We’re shifting goods around the world in a way that looks really bizarre,” said Paul Watkiss, an Oxford University economist who wrote a recent European Union report on food imports.

He noted that Britain, for example, imports — and exports — 15,000 tons of waffles a year, and similarly exchanges 20 tons of bottled water with Australia. More important, Mr. Watkiss said, “we are not paying the environmental cost of all that travel.”

[Cheap oil has distorted the notion of creating ‘economic gains’ to such great extents that governments subsidize the industry to export and import the same product, often in similar quantities, within the same fiscal period. Country A exports Q tons of product P to country B, while it imports Q tons of the same product P from country B at the same time, with a net zero gain in commodity exchange for either country. However, the exchange produces about 9Q tons of CO2e pollution, nine times the weight of the commodity that was flown in either direction, for every 1,000 miles that the consignment is airborne. See The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)]

The European Union, the world’s leading food importer, has increased imports 20 percent in the last five years. The value of fresh fruit and vegetables imported by the United States, in second place, nearly doubled from 2000 to 2006.

Under a little-known international treaty called the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago in 1944 to help the fledgling airline industry, fuel for international travel and transport of goods, including food, is exempt from taxes, unlike trucks, cars and buses. There is also no tax on fuel used by ocean freighters.

Proponents say ending these breaks could help ensure that producers and consumers pay the environmental cost of increasingly well-traveled food.
[Our weekly shopping basket includes items that would have flown more air miles than the average family fly in their lifetime! A 1kg (2.2lb) bag of New Zealand kiwifruit (in any of its cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury… or organochlorine varieties) produces about 142kg (313lb) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent gases) pollution flying to the US, or 188.7kg (416lb) of CO2e to Europe. See The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)]

And with far cheaper labor costs in African nations, Morocco and Egypt have displaced Spain in just a few seasons as important suppliers of tomatoes and salad greens to central Europe.

Some studies have calculated that as little as 3 percent of emissions from the food sector are caused by transportation. But Mr. Watkiss, the Oxford economist, said the percentage was growing rapidly. Moreover, imported foods generate more emissions than generally acknowledged because they require layers of packaging and, in the case of perishable food, refrigeration.

Britain, with its short growing season and powerful supermarket chains, imports 95 percent of its fruit and more than half of its vegetables. Food accounts for 25 percent of truck shipments in Britain, according to the British environmental agency, DEFRA.

Mr. Datson of Tesco acknowledged that there were environmental consequences to the increased distances food travels, but he said his company was merely responding to consumer appetites. “The offer and range has been growing because our customers want things like snap peas year round,” Mr. Datson said. “We don’t see our job as consumer choice editing.” [Tell that to melting ice!]

Global supermarket chains like Tesco and Carrefour, spreading throughout Eastern Europe and Asia, cater to a market for convenience foods, like washed lettuce and cut vegetables. They also help expand the reach of global brands.

Pringles potato chips, for example, are now sold in more than 180 countries, though they are manufactured in only a handful of places, said Kay Puryear, a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble, which makes Pringles.

Proponents of taxing transportation fuel say it would end such distortions by changing the economic calculus.

“Food is traveling because transport has become so cheap in a world of globalization,” said Frederic Hague, head of Norway’s environmental group Bellona. “If it was just a matter of processing fish cheaper in China, I’d be happy with it traveling there. The problem is pollution.”

Switzerland, which does not belong to the E.U., already taxes trucks that cross its borders.
Some studies have shown that shipping fresh apples, onions and lamb from New Zealand might produce lower emissions than producing the goods in Europe … [Don't the statistics related to shipment of toxic food from New Zealand have a habit of defying physical laws and conventional maths?]

But those studies were done in New Zealand, and the food travel debate is inevitably intertwined with economic interests. [Right!]

Last month, Tony Burke, the Australian minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, said that carbon footprinting and labeling food miles — the distance food has traveled — was “nothing more than protectionism.” [O RLY?]

Box Fresh Organics, a popular British brand, advertises that 85 percent of its vegetables come from the British Midlands. But in winter, in its standard basket, only the potatoes and carrots are from Britain. The grapes are South African, the fennel is from Spain and the squash is Italian.

Related Links:

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Posted in Energy, environment, Global Warming, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Let Them Eat Bullets!

Posted by msrb on April 23, 2008

Delivering Climate Security: International Security Responses to a Climate-Changed World

According to the above-titled report written for Britain’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), governments around the world have hugely underestimated the potential conflicts resulting from climate change. The highlights of the report are:

  • If climate change is not slowed and critical environmental thresholds are exceeded, then it will become a primary driver of conflicts between and within states

  • In the next decades, climate change will drive as significant a change in the strategic security environment as the end of the Cold War,” said Mabey.
  • If uncontrolled, climate change will have security implications of similar magnitude to the World Wars, but which will last for centuries
  • A failure to acknowledge and prepare for the worst case scenario is as dangerous in the case of climate change as it is for managing the risks of terrorism or nuclear weapons proliferation
  • Unless achieving climate security is seen as a vital and existential national interest it will be too easy to delay action on the basis of avoiding immediate costs and perceived threats to economic competitiveness

Source

Can the world elite brand the poor and starving masses as “terrorists” in order to eliminate them?

Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.” According to a report by New York Sun.

News Reports:

Special Links:

Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bolivia’s Morales blames fuels crops for food shortage

Posted by feww on April 22, 2008

Morales: Life first and cars second

Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized “some South American presidents” for supporting the use of biofuels, which he blamed for high food prices and global hunger.

Morales said he disagreed with “some South American presidents who were talking about biofuels but did not understand what they were talking about.”

“This is very serious,” he said. “Cars come first, not human beings. But, for us, how important is life and how important are cars? So I say life first and cars second.”

In his U.N. speech, Morales called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to develop policies to curb the use of biofuels “in order to avoid hunger and misery among our people.”

Less than 48 hours earlier the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell declared that world will need every form of energy available – from coal to biofuels – to keep pace with a booming population. He added:

“Despite high prices [oil touched $117 a barrel on Friday] , demand is not dropping, there is only slower growth. Easy oil and easy gas cannot supply all that surge in demand …”

“So it is not a matter of choice, do we do coal, or oil, or nuclear? The world will need everything, including biofuels. You name it.”

“The essential point of biofuels is over time they will play a role,” “But there are high expectations what role they will play in the short term.”

“Biofuels are all about how you develop them without unintended consequences. It is not only the competition with food, it is also the competition for sweet water in the world …”

The oil minister for Qatar, a member of the OPEC severely criticized biofuels at the energy forum, where producers and consumers meet.

“Now the world is facing a shortage of food,” he said in his answer to a question on food shortages, but “I don’t think we should blame oil, we should blame biofuels.”

Related Links:

Posted in collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, freshwater, Global Warming, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

On The Way To Armageddon

Posted by feww on December 12, 2007

On The Way To Armageddon: Could We Make A Detour?

by Harry Saloor [May 31, 2004]

James Lovelock: ‘Only nuclear power can now halt global warming’

Lovelock’s assertion that “Only nuclear power can now halt global warming” [Independent UK, May 24, 2004] is what Ed Regis (Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition) calls turn of century’s “great wave of fin-de-siècle hubristic mania.” The Professor can be forgiven for his tardiness: He is 84.

Lovelock proposes that a massive expansion of nuclear power is the only thing that “can now check a runaway warming which would raise sea levels disastrously around the world, cause climatic turbulence …”

He says he is concerned by “two climatic events in particular: the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which will raise global sea levels significantly, and the episode of extreme heat in western central Europe last August, accepted by many scientists as unprecedented and a direct result of global warming.” He is right to be concerned.

As well, “climate change is speeding, but many people are still in ignorance of this.” Unfortunately, he is right on target on this one, too.

Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, says: “Climate change and radioactive waste both pose deadly long-term threats, and we have a moral duty to minimize the effects of both, not to choose between them.”

“[A]s of the end of 2000 the world counted 438 reactors with a total of 350 GW, less than 8 percent of the projected nuclear capacity. They produced about 17 percent of the world’s electricity or about 7.5 percent of its commercial primary energy, far behind oil (40%), coal and natural gas (25% each). Nuclear power accounts for only 2 to 3 percent of the world’s commercial final energy consumption.” http://www.greens-efa.org

Lovelock also fails to consider the issue of time frame: It would probably take 15 to 20 years to even double the projected nuclear capacity from 8 to 16 percent (increasing to 5 percent the nuclear share of world’s commercial final energy consumption) without taking too many shortcuts with devastating consequences (the Chernobyl disaster, the Three Mile Island incident, and many recent near misses in Japan and elsewhere spring to mind). By then, however, the rising sea levels will have inundated most of the existing reactors.

How would Lovelock propose to solve the civilization’s mobility dilemma that we have created in the last 100 years? (About 600 million cars are registered worldwide, as well as millions of trucks and buses, thousands of trains, planes, boats … and millions more are being manufactured each year). What is Lovelock proposing, cars running on nuclear powered batteries? [How about nuclear-powered jets flying over Washington DC?]

Soon the additional demand for oil fueled by the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads and planes in the air would render the nuclear conversion ineffective. The only thing to show for a fleeting moment of madness would be a bigger pile of radioactive waste, which no one knows what to do with.

Global Warming is not the disease; it’s a symptom, albeit the most serious symptom of a cancer caused by industrial civilization. Prescribing more nuclear power (even if it were physically possible) as a cure to the civilization’s cancer is tantamount to treating a smoker’s lung-cancer by switching her over to a different brand of cigarettes.

According to Lester Brown (Earth Policy Institute) the world experienced the fourth consecutive harvest shortfalls in 2003. Last year’s shortfall of 105 million tons (5.4 percent of the total world consumption) was “easily the largest on record.” The world’s carryover stocks of grain are at their “lowest level in 30 years,” amounting to “dangerously low level of 59 days of consumption.” The minimum level needed for food security is considered to be 70 days of consumption. Meanwhile, 74 million people will be added to the world population in 2004. (www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update40_data.htm).

Based on the United Nations projections, by 2015 nearly 1.4 billion people in up to 48 countries will face severe water shortages (we believe this figure is highly optimistic), while the water quality continues to deteriorate globally from pollution and rising temperatures.

World oil production is about 80 million BPD [barrels per day] and the projected demand for 2015 [a conservative estimate] is an unsustainable 135 million BPD. The New Oil-Rule Economy will replace the “old” economy in the very near future. A single company/organization will have a monopoly on about 80 percent of “economically recoverable” global oil reserves. It will dictate “production,” pricing, and delivery (and will even decide on the end user – who may or may not buy the oil). How much is too much for a barrel of oil, $40, $240, or $4,000 a barrel? Soon, the current monetary system will be of no value.

mushroom-cloud-hb.jpg

The world spent about 1,500 billion dollars on military [the war racket] in the last 12 months. The US share of the spending was about 1,000 billion dollars, or 52 cents in every dollar of Federal Funds (current military spending 29 percent; Iraq and Afghanistan 4 percent; past military 19 percent, including national debt created by military spending) while 35 million Americans live at or below the federal poverty level.

All around us we have created a garbage quicksand. We are sinking rapidly in a quicksand of 57 trillion pounds of materials that is turned into waste annually. Of course, there is a price to pay: The Sixth Great Extinction is looming.

To avert extinction we need an ecological revolution. We must unlearn, rethink, undo, and re-do all human activities re-mapping a sustainable path within the framework of eco-centrism.

Unless the dynamics of our civilization pertaining to our morality, militarism, mobility, consumption, and our perceived ideas about possession and waste are reversed rapidly, this writer believes, the “final” war (which is being fought over the control of resources) would, in the very near future, enter its next sinister stage – a global thermonuclear holocaust.

How else could you prevent anyone in China, to quote but one example, from eating a square meal a day, or owning a car, or the gasoline to drive her car, while the United States with less 5 percent of the world population is taking more than 25 percent of the energy and 30 plus percent of all the resources?

We must begin a new chapter in human evolution, one that rejects wars for control over the oil, food, water supplies, and other resources.

But how do we do it? Is there a “single” solution that would avert an all-out nuclear war, prevent further militarism, check global warming, stop consumerist madness, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 80 percent, reduce acid rains, minimize toxins in the land, air, and sea … ?

The Zero Oil Solution

Yes there is. The zero-oil, NO fossil fuel principle—a moratorium on oil extraction and fossil fuel consumption.

Freeze the oil. Seal the oil wells. Cement them, or otherwise make it impossible to pump out any oil for 50 years. Keep all the fossil fuels in the ground, where they belong!

Stopping the flow of oil globally and keeping the fossil fuels in the ground are drastic measures, of course, and cannot be easily implemented. Freezing the consumption of fossil fuels has far-reaching socio-economical implications; it will create great upheavals. The consequences of the zero-oil, NO fossil fuel principle, however, would be far less devastating than the remaining alternatives: The inevitable global thermonuclear war, and global warming.

A moratorium on oil and fossil fuel production can only be reached through global consensus among governments; it would require an unprecedented level of cooperation among the “representatives” of nations.

The existing resources need to be redistributed fairly; populations must be readied to assume new challenges; lifestyles will be changed dramatically; communities would have to learn how to produce their food (and renewable power) locally, be sustainable and learn to do more with less.

Unfortunately, this author does not believe such levels of cooperation could possibly develop between the world governments anytime soon.

We must, therefore, rely on “we the people.” We need non-violent volunteer organizations to develop and promulgate a new, unified value system based on an eco-centric economy at war speed, employing creative ways and means of stopping the flow of oil and consumption of fossil fuels globally to avert The Sixth Great Extinction.

If we choose life, that’s a price well worth paying for.

Related Links:

Posted in Armageddon, China, Global Warming, NO fossil fuel principle, nuclear power, Sixth Great Extinction, United States | 7 Comments »

500 Weather-Related Disasters A Year

Posted by msrb on November 27, 2007

According to a report by British “charity” Oxfam, weather-related disasters, caused by global warming, have quadrupled over the last twenty years reaching a record 500 per year.

“This year we have seen floods in South Asia, across the breadth of Africa and Mexico that have affected more than 250 million people,” Oxfam reports.

“This is no freak year. It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people. The number of people affected by disasters has risen by 68 percent, from an average of 174 million a year between 1985 to 1994 to 254 million a year [4% of world population] between 1995 to 2004. Earlier this year the Asian floods alone affected 248 million people.

“Action is needed now to prepare for more disasters otherwise humanitarian assistance will be overwhelmed and recent advances in human development will go into reverse,” the report says.

“There has been a six-fold increase in floods since 1980. The number of floods and wind-storms has risen from 60 in 1980 to 240 last year. Meanwhile the number of geothermal events, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, has stayed relatively static.”

Oxfam is urging the UN conference on Climate Change in Bali in December to negotiate a global deal that would assist developing countries against the adverse effects of global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There are no estimates available yet concerning the carbon footprint for the UN conference on Climate Change in Bali.

Original Report

Climate Alarm:
Climate Alarm: Disasters increase as climate change bites (pdf 296.8 kb)

Posted in Climate Change, extreme weather events, floods, global disasters, Global Warming | 5 Comments »

The Point of No Return

Posted by msrb on August 25, 2007

Important Notice WARNING!

[First Released October 2005]
Unless the global energy consumption is reduced rapidly—by mid 2006—to levels below 60 exajoules (6E+19J) annually (this level is about 12.4 percent of the global energy consumption in 2005), our studies show that the runaway positive feedback loops and mechanisms that are destroying Earth’s ecosystems including ozone holes, global heating, extreme climatic events, toxic pollution, depletion of food and energy resources, unethical conduct, war, and disease pandemics would reach the point of no return and overwhelm our life support systems rendering most of our cities unsustainable.

The MSRB Index of Human Impact on Nature (HIoN) stands at a terminally high level of 171.40 as of March 2007, that is 71.4 percent higher than our planet could cope with resulting in the collapse of the population centers by as early as 2015, possibly earlier.

Failure to rein back the global energy consumption to levels below 60 exajoules by mid 2006 would render the concept of sustainable management redundant (it seems highly unlikely that post industrial civilization would voluntarily sacrifice its perceived privileges and values in favor of sustaining life on Earth). MSRB has replaced its EcoPreneur program with Ecological Disaster Rescue Operations.

Notes:

1. MSRB estimate for global energy consumption in 2007 is 531 exajoules [16.8 terawatts, revised October 7, 2007] equivalent to the energy released by detonating 26,636 Hiroshima-sized A-bombs on the planet every day, or 9.73 million bombs throughout 2007.

2. The energy released by the Hiroshima Bomb was equivalent to the destructive power of about 14 kilotons of TNT (5.46E+13J).

3. For related information see: Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming, Earth’s Energy Budget, Earth’s Radiation Budget.

4. Fossil fuels accounted for about 88 percent of global energy consumption in 2006.

 

Posted in ecosystems, Energy, extreme climatic events, Global Warming, human impact, ozone hole, sustainability | 2 Comments »

Union of Concerned Scientists Issue Some Global Warming Snakeoil

Posted by msrb on August 22, 2007

The following post was submitted by Catherine T. CASF Member.

Global Warming Snakeoil

[The Union of Concerned (sic) Scientists have recently posted an article on their website under the banner of Global Warming, titled: Ten Personal Solutions. Unfortunately the article lacks adequate substance and stands short of persuading the informed readers that their personal choices can have a significant impact on global warming.

Ed Crane said: “The history of mankind is a history of the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the ‘ruling class’. The ruling class has many manifestations. It can take the form of a religious orthodoxy, a monarchy, a dictatorship of the proletariat, outright fascism, or, in the case of the United States, corporate statism. In each instance the ruling class relies on academics, scholars and ‘experts’ to legitimize and provide moral authority for its hegemony over the masses.”

Not surprisingly, UCS’s Ten Personal Solutions fails to make an impact in the absence of an appeal to readers for radical changes in their politics, businesses and lifestyles that are urgently needed to save the planet from the looming ecocide.

Cindy Smith, a member of Creating A Sustainable Future (CASF), has prepared a brief reply to the UCS’s Ten Personal Solutions to Global Warming which follows their article. - Harry Saloor, The Management School of Restorative Business.]

***

Global Warming: What You Can Do

Ten Personal Solutions

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/ten-personal-solutions.html

Individual choices can have an impact on global climate change. Reducing your family’s heat-trapping emissions does not mean forgoing modern conveniences; it means making smart choices and using energy-efficient products, which may require an additional investment up front, but often pay you back in energy savings within a couple of years. Since Americans’ per capita emissions of heat-trapping gases is 5.6 tons—more than double the amount of western Europeans—we can all make choices that will greatly reduce our families’ global warming
impact.

“The Ten Commandments”

1. The car you drive: the most important personal climate decision. When you buy your next car, look for the one with the best fuel economy in its class. Each gallon of gas you use is responsible for 25 pounds of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Better gas mileage not only reduces global warming, but will also save you thousands of dollars at the pump over the life of the vehicle. Compare the fuel economy of the cars you’re considering and look for new technologies like hybrid engines.

2. Choose clean power. More than half the electricity in the United States comes from polluting coal-fired power plants. And power plants are the single largest source of heat-trapping gas. None of us can live without electricity, but in some states, you can switch to electricity companies that provide 50 to 100 percent renewable energy. (For more information go to Green-e.org.)

3. Look for Energy Star. When it comes time to replace appliances, look for the Energy Star label on new appliances (refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters use the most energy). These items may cost a bit more initially, but the energy savings will pay back the extra investment within a couple of years. Household energy savings really can make a difference: If each household in the United States replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we would save $15 billion in energy costs and eliminate 175 million tons of heat-trapping gases.

4. Unplug a freezer. One of the quickest ways to reduce your global warming impact is to unplug the extra refrigerator or freezer you rarely use (except when you need it for holidays and parties). This can reduce the typical family’s carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 10 percent.

5. Get a home energy audit. Take advantage of the free home energy audits offered by many utilities. Simple measures, such as installing a programmable thermostat to replace your old dial unit or sealing and insulating heating and cooling ducts, can each reduce a typical family’s carbon
dioxide emissions by about 5 percent.

6. Light bulbs matter. If every household in the United States replaced one regular light bulb with an energy-saving model, we could reduce global warming pollution by more than 90 billion pounds over the life of the bulbs; the same as taking 6.3 million cars off the road. So, replace your incandescent bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescents, which now come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll be doing your share to cut back on heat-trapping pollution and you’ll save money on your electric bills and light bulbs.

7. Think before you drive. If you own more than one vehicle, use the less fuel-efficient one only when you can fill it with passengers. Driving a full minivan may be kinder to the environment than two midsize cars. Whenever possible, join a carpool or take mass transit.

8. Buy good wood. When buying wood products, check for labels that indicate the source of the timber. Supporting forests that are managed in a sustainable fashion makes sense for biodiversity, and it may make sense for the climate too. Forests that are well managed are more likely to store carbon effectively because more trees are left standing and carbon-storing soils are less disturbed.

9. Plant a tree. You can also make a difference in your own backyard. Get a group in your neighborhood together and contact your local arborist or urban forester about planting trees on private property and public land. In addition to storing carbon, trees planted in and around urban areas and residences can provide much-needed shade in the summer, reducing energy bills and fossil fuel use.

10. Let policymakers know you are concerned about global warming. Our elected officials and business leaders need to hear from concerned citizens. Sign up for the Union of Concerned Scientists Action Network to ensure that policymakers get the timely, accurate information they need to make informed decisions about global warming solutions.

***

A Response to the UCS

by Cindy Smith
Creating A Sustainable Future

The Union of “Concerned Scientists,” or overpaid hypocrites?


Moses smashing the Tables of the Law, a painting by Rembrandt van Rijn

This must be a sick joke in 10 installments. Why don’t the Concerned Scientists tell you

1. The total number of “the best fuel economy cars” our planet can sustain?

2. Maximum amount of energy we could consume before the ecosystems collapse irreversibly?

3. The threshold at which the Energy Star turns into a “white dwarf!” How many more refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters … could we buy? Prey tell!

4. What is the total number of refrigerators and freezers that can remain plugged in?

5. How many new homes would it take to offset the “old” family’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction?

6. How much difference would their suggested steps make when each year more than 65 million cars and light commercial vehicles hit the roads globally?

7. See my reply to No. 6, above.

8. What are the total volumes of “good wood” that consumers can buy each year without destroying the forests and the environment?

9. When they doubt you, tell them to plant a tree! So you must be the good guys, otherwise you wouldn’t be saying that. Right?

10. Should we let policymakers and elected [sic] officials know we are concerned about global warming, climate change, dwindling natural capital before we impeach them for starting illegal wars, murdering a million plus people, torturing prisoners and spying on citizens, or after?

Fair Use Notice: In accordance with TITLE 17, CHAPTER 1, § 107 Limitations on exclusive rights

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work… for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching… scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

Posted in biodiversity, Bush, carbon dioxide, ecocide, ecosystems, Energy, Energy Star, environment, Global Warming, government, greenhouse gasses, lifestyle, money, oil, politics, snake oil, Snakeoil, spying on citizens, Union of Concerned Scientists, White Dwarf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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