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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

I am interested in the way that we look at a given landscape and take possession of it in our blood and brain.  None of us lives apart from the land entirely;  such an isolation is unimaginable.  If we are to realize and maintain our humanity, we must come to a moral comprehension of earth and air as it is perceived in the long turn of seasons and of years.
    —     Navarre Scott Momaday
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On This Day In:
2020 In The Moment
2019 I Will Try Again
Original Chips
2018 Still Blogging
2017 Reliable Vision
2016 Still Walking
2015 Steps
2014 To Be Greatly Good
2013 Limited Capacity
2012 Two Ear Ticklers
Justification
2011 To Avail The Nation

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Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group.  Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations.  We have broadened the circle of those we love.  We have now organized what are modestly described as super-powers, which include groups of people from divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in some sense together — surely a humanizing and character building experience.  If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth.  Many of those who run the nations will find this idea unpleasant.  They will fear the loss of power.  We will hear much about treason and disloyalty.  Rich nation-states will have to share their wealth with poor ones.  But the choice, as H. G. Wells once said in a different context, is clearly the universe or nothing.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Stay Gentle
2019 Immoral #45
2018 From My Soapbox
2017 The Single Most Effective Thing For Health
2016 A Trumpet Solo
2015 Potential Is A Heavy Burden
2014 Fear Not, Weep Not
2013 Half Way There
2012 Sacrificed Any Lately?
2011 The Value Of One’s Character
2010 Intervals
On Being Human
Non-predictive Emergence
Events
Bodily Functions
Standing Thoughts
Sent Home Is Better Than Fixed

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So, this was our house last year after the new paint job…
And here it is after updating our front garden to help conserve water…
As you can see, we’ve removed the front grass and replaced it with (mostly) white stone.  We’ve circled the two trees with larger riverbed stones and red pumice (like) stones.  We’ve high-lighted the roses on either side of the brick path and added river stone edging on the sides.  We added a “fake” stream bed curving from near the top of the path, around our big tree, down to the sidewalk.  And, finally, we sprinkled various plants in the white stone areas.  We hope they will fill out and add a bit of color to the otherwise plain white space.
Many (not quite most) of the houses in our neighborhood have already done the same to their front gardens.  I don’t know how much money we’ll save, but every drop of water counts in this age of climate change.  Over 25 of the last 30 years have been drought years here in California, so our action is long past due.  Hopefully, better late than never…
And, of course, the best news is:  NO more mowing the lawn, while reducing the expense of our water bill.
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On This Day In:
2020 Was #IncompenentDonald Born To Be A Diplomat?
2019 Have You Planted Lately?
2018 Something / Nothing
2017 Kindness
2016 Dealing With It
2015 Too Many Choices!
2014 Vini, Vidi, Vici
2013 Heroes
Education, n.
2012 Who I Want To Be
2011 Mythic Forgetfulness

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Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Favorite Line(s):
Whoa,
Oh,
Mercy mercy me
Oh,
Things ain’t what they used to be,
No no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows
From the North and South and East
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On This Day In:
2020 A Profound Source
2019 Sad Words
2018 Self-Sorted
2017 Right
2016 At Least One Step
2015 Month To Month Rental
2014 Professional Beliefs
2013 Books Are…
2012 True Distinguishing Marks
2010 Sub-300

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Since this series’ maiden voyage, the impossible has come to pass:  Mighty walls that maintained insuperable ideological differences have come tumbling down; deadly enemies have embraced and begun to work together.  The imperative to cherish the Earth and protect the global environment that sustains all of us has become widely accepted, and we’ve begun, finally, the process of reducing the obscene number of weapons of mass destruction.  Perhaps we have, after all, decided to choose life.  But we still have light years to go to ensure that choice.  Even after the summits and the ceremonies and the treaties, there are still some 50,000 nuclear weapons in the world — and it would require the detonation of only a tiny fraction of them to produce a nuclear winter, the predicted global climatic catastrophe that would result from the smoke and the dust lifted into the atmosphere by burning cities and petroleum facilities.
The world scientific community has begun to sound the alarm about the grave dangers posed by depleting the protective ozone shield and by greenhouse warming, and again we’re taking some mitigating steps, but again those steps are too small and too slow.  The discovery that such a thing as nuclear winter was really possible evolved out of the studies of Martian dust storms.  The surface of Mars, fried by ultraviolet light, is also a reminder of why it’s important to keep our ozone layer intact.  The runaway greenhouse effect on Venus is a valuable reminder that we must take the increasing greenhouse effect on Earth seriously.
Important lessons about our environment have come from spacecraft missions to the planets.  By exploring other worlds we safeguard this one.  By itself, I think this fact more than justifies the money our species has spent in sending ships to other worlds.  It is our fate to live during one of the most perilous and, at the same time, one of the most hopeful chapters in human history.
Our science and our technology have posed us a profound question.  Will we learn to use these tools with wisdom and foresight before it’s too late?  Will we see our species safely through this difficult passage so that our children and grandchildren will continue the great journey of discovery still deeper into the mysteries of the Cosmos?  That same rocket and nuclear and computer technology that sends our ships past the farthest known planet can also be used to destroy our global civilization.  Exactly the same technology can be used for good and for evil.  It is as if there were a God who said to us, “I set before you two ways:  You can use your technology to destroy yourselves or to carry you to the planets and the stars.  It’s up to you.”
   —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2020 Still Willing
2019 Another Prayer
2018 After Silence
2017 Are You Looking Forward To A Trump Presidency?
2016 Three Errors From Eureka
2015 Limiting Choices
2014 Praise The Lord And Pass The Hypocrisy
That Sound
2013 Still Waiting For Answers
2012 Informal Leadership
2011 A Little More Progress
2010 Bec’s Gone Again…

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There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil; but you have to be willing to wait and receive.
   —     John Hay
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On This Day In:
2019 In Silence
Not Much Light Here
2018 A Gift
2017 Unless You Genuinely Are Small
2016 B1
2015 Five Things
2014 Have Faith
2013 Found In A Mine
2012 Two-Sided Coin
2011 Passionately Scorned Rules

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There are many hypotheses in science that are wrong.  That’s perfectly alright; it’s the aperture to finding out what’s right.  Science is a self-correcting process.  To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny.  The worst aspect of the Velikovsky affair is not that many of his ideas were wrong or silly or in gross contradiction to the facts; rather, the worst aspect is that some scientists attempted to suppress Velikovsky’s ideas.  The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science.  We do not know beforehand where fundamental insights will arise from about our mysterious and lovely solar system, and the history of our study of the solar system shows clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources.
   —   Carl Sagan
[Accidents happen…  As the saying goes:  “Even the blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.”  And, so it appears President Trump has (purely by stupid chance) stated a truth…
A few days ago, while visiting California to view the destruction being caused by wildfires, the President was advised one of the reasons for the massive fires is “Climate Change”.  Trump replied:  “It’ll start getting cooler.  You just watch.
I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot (Wade Crowfoot is California’s secretary for natural resources) countered.
Well, I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump said.
As bizarre as it sounds, President Trump is correct (for all the wrong reasons).  To start off, in less than a week Autumn starts.  Followed by Winter!  So, yes, the daily temperature will start getting cooler.  The second part is the “squirrel finding the nut“.  No, “science” doesn’t KNOW if the climate will stay hot or get hotter.  Just as science doesn’t KNOW the sun will rise in the East tomorrow.  Science does, however, have a pretty good certainty that IF the sun does rise tomorrow, it will be in the East.  President Trump’s BASELESS claims “Climate Change” is a “hoax” and / or invented by the Chinese to cripple our economy are both as unscientific as they are silly, but that doesn’t make his “uncomfortable idea” wrong (from a scientific perspective).  His claim also erroneously conflates two issues:  1) is climate change real; and, 2) if it is real, what is causing it?
And, this is the problem (for science and all rational humanity):  we have overwhelming data supporting the theory of climate change; we don’t have overwhelming evidence of causation – just a LOT of data of correlation.  Our little blind squirrel is denying both the substantial data of change AND the substantial data of correlation.
True science requires that we admit the possibility “Climate Change” is not happening – despite the multiple decades of data which support the scientific conclusion “Climate Change” 1) is real, 2) has already happened, and 3) is getting worse.  More precisely, we must admit the possibility that our current understanding of why “Climate Change” appears to be happening is not valid, i.e., it’s not being caused by human production of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The policy question is:  What if our little squirrel is correct?   Well, if he is correct and there is no climate change, then “eventually” the consistent rise in temperature which the planet has been experiencing with revert back to the norm.  If humanity is lucky, this will happen soon (and quickly) and life will go on pretty much as it has for the last 10,000 years (or at least since the last major ice age).  Policy decision:  do nothing and hope for the best.
Alternatively, if he is correct the climate change (which has been accelerating for the last 50 years) is not caused by humans, what IS the cause and how do we slow, stop or reverse it?  If we don’t discover the “real” cause, humanity (and most of life as we know it) on Earth will become extinct.  Unfortunately, because the data has been so one sided (climate change is real and is happening NOW), we don’t have any good / reasonable alternative theories to human caused CO2 emissions.  Policy decision: we need to pore tons of money into research to come up with an alternative root cause which we can then pore TONS more money into correcting / fixing.   (All the while hoping and praying we’re not too late to fix the problem.)
And if our little squirrel is wrong about Climate Change and its cause?  Well, despite what we’ve seen over the last 20 years (droughts and wildfires / hurricanes and typhoons), you ain’t seen nothing yet!  Forty(40%) percent of humanity lives within 60 miles of an ocean.  What happens when the ocean levels rise and large swathes of that coastal area becomes uninhabitable due to flooding, storm surges and salination of coastal water supplies?  What happens to sea life when the salination in the oceans changes due to the increased ice melts dumping fresh water into their environment?  What happens to the rest of the life on Earth when there is a vast die-off of life in the world’s oceans?  Policy decision:  we better get busy because our window of opportunity to save the habitable planet we’ve known for the last 10,000 years is closing fast!!!
Our little squirrel is in his 70’s and probably won’t live to experience the full results of his blindness.  Somehow, I don’t find that comforting.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Future Tools
Three Swedish Girls
2018 Four Loves
Favorite Westerns
2017 Faith In Science
2016 What The World Calls
2015 Say What?
2014 Start Today
2013 Fly!!
2012 Greater Love
2011 Before

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Way back in November 2018, #PresidentIdiot said the problem of California forest fires was caused by poor forest management and not by “Climate Change.” He suggested raking 13 million acres of Federal land to prevent future fires.  Today (14 September 2020), #IncompetentTrump restated this opinion (if not his solution).
Let’s look at some of the “facts” about “forests” in Washington, Oregon and California (WA numbers are rounded, so they don’t add up to 100%):
Washington State is 53% forested.  Of that:
44% is Federal owned
36% is privately owned
14% is State and county owned
8% is Tribal
Oregon 49% forested.  Of that:
60% is Federal (Forest Service or Park Service)
3% is State and Local gov
35% is Private
2% is Tribal
California 33% forested.  Of that:
57% is Federal owned
40% is privately owned
3% is State owned
The President of the United States (that would be #IncompetentDonald), said TWO years ago, the problem of wildfires was caused by mismanagement.  Two years later, he’s still saying the same thing.  In two of the three states, the Federal government owns and is responsible for the majority of the “forested” land.  In the third state (Washington), the Federal government owns the largest percentage of forested land, but not the majority.
This means he admits for the last two years his administration has been knowingly mismanaging the forested land in these three states.  Since that date was almost two years into his presidency, that means he has been mismanaging the forests for almost four years.
Today, it appears the President has inadvertently told the truth:  he has mismanaged the National Forests for the whole of his Administration.
Now, this doesn’t mean I agree his mismanagement is the cause of the fires.  Only, that I agree he has mismanaged the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (basically, the Department of the Interior).
Here’s three more bits of information I picked up while browsing around looking for information about “forest fires” vs “wildfires”.  They don’t have anything to do with President Trump:
“Forestland” is land that is capable of having at least 10% cover of trees.
  —   Oregonloggers.org
“Forestland” means any woodland, brushland, timberland, grazing land or clearing that, during any time of the year, contains enough forest growth, slashing or vegetation to constitute, in the judgment of the forester, a fire hazard, regardless of how the land is zoned or taxed. As used in this subsection, “clearing” means any grassland, improved area, lake, meadow, mechanically or manually cleared area, road, rocky area, stream or other similar forestland opening that is surrounded by or contiguous to forestland and that has been included in areas classified as forestland under ORS 526.305
  —   Oregon State law
Timberland is “forest land” that is producing, or is capable of producing, more than 20 cubic feet per acre per year of industrial wood crops under natural conditions, that is not withdrawn from timber utilization, and that is not associated with urban or rural development.
Forest land is land at least 10% stocked by forest trees of any size, or formerly having had such tree cover, and not currently developed for nonforest use. The minimum area for classification of forest land is one acre.
Reserved forest land is withdrawn from timber utilization through statute, administrative regulation, or designation.
  —   Illinois Dept of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
[Of course the title to this post is a bit “tongue-in-cheek”…  The #LiarInChief would NEVER accept responsibility for anything the least bit negative.  He only takes credit when something “good” happens – irrespective of whether or not he had anything to do with it.   But hey, that’s OUR President for you!  —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 A Lifestyle
Day 16: Cheat Day
2018 The Children Are Our Future
2017 And Three
2016 Nine Parts Mystery
2015 Little Or No Common Ground
2014 Just Between Me
2013 Beyond The Strings
2012 Saving The Union
2011 Still And Too Often

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Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate.  How will we use this power?  Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family?  Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth?  Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet?  The Earth is a tiny and fragile world.  It needs to be cherished.
Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred.
  —   Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 Day 1: Done
#IncompetentDonald Fails On All Three
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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Today I am offering up a special prayer for the people in central China.  The “Three Gorges Dam” is one of the largest dams in the world.  It spans the Yangtze River.  It is at flood stage and has been going through emergency release procedures for a number of days as the area has experienced torrential rains.  Thousands are currently being evacuated for reasons of safety and have already been flooded from their homes.  If the dam should collapse, the effects will be devastating for tens of millions with the potential to reach 100 million.
For any readers who might say: “What’s China got to do with me?”  You should be aware that the central region of China is one of the main manufacturing centers in the world and they produce a significant portion of the personal protective equipment (PPE) – masks and gowns, worn by the medical staff and first responders around the world.  Even if the worst (dam collapse) is avoided, there is still a high probability of shortages and delays in the manufacture and delivery of PPE for the next few months.
Climate change, pandemics, global trade…  We really are ONE world and I encourage everyone to think positive thoughts / offer prayers for the people of China.
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On This Day In:
2019 Historic Contact
All Good
2018 History Judges Incompetent Presidencies, Too
2017 Our Confident New President
2016 Ways
2015 Be Happy, Too
2014 At Least Smile
2013 Comfortably Bound
2012 Certainty
Thinking About Fathers
2011 And In Every Level Of Media

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Our global civilization is clearly on the edge of failure and the most important task it faces, preserving the lives and well-being of its citizens and the future habitability of the planet.  But if we’re willing to live with the growing likelihood of nuclear war shouldn’t we also been willing to explore vigorously every possible means to prevent nuclear war.  Shouldn’t we consider in every nation major changes in the traditional ways of doing things, a fundamental restructuring of economic political social and religious institutions.  We’ve reached a point where there can be no more special interests or special cases, nuclear arms threaten every person on the Earth.  Fundamental changes in society are sometimes labelled impractical or contrary to human nature, as if nuclear war were practical or as if there’s only one human nature.  But fundamental changes can clearly be made, we’re surrounded by them.  In the last two centuries abject slavery which was with us for thousands of years has almost entirely been eliminated in a stirring worldwide revolution.  Women, systematically mistreated for millennia are gradually gaining the political and economic power traditionally denied them and some wars of aggression have recently been stopped or curtailed because of a revulsion felt by the people in the aggressor nations.  The old appeals to racial, sexual, and religious chauvinism and to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work.  A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed.  We are one planet.  One of the great revelations of the age of space exploration is the image of the earth finite and lonely, somehow vulnerable, bearing the entire human species through the oceans of space and time.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 The Ones Worth Remembering, Anyway
Boot Edge Edge (My New T)
2018 To Reach The Next Threshold
2017 Streaking Tales
2016 Singular Reality
2015 He Says It’s Hard To Get There From Here
2014 Question From A Founding Father
2013 Make Heroes
2012 See And Hold
2011 Am Not, Are So

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In order to slow down climate change, we must solve four seemingly unsolvable problems.  We must eliminate poverty.  We must change the unsustainable lifestyles of so many of us.  We must abolish corruption.  And we must think about our growing human population.  There are 7.7 billion of us today, and by 2050, the UN predicts there will be 9.7 billion.  It is no wonder people have despaired.  But I believe we have a window of time to have an impact.
  —  Jane Goodall
From her opinion / article: “The devastation of climate change is real.  But there are reasons to be hopeful
The article appears in: “Time Magazine“,  dtd:  September 23, 2019
The article is online at:  https://time.com/5669043/jane-goodall-climate-change/
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On This Day In:
2019 No Escape
2018 Except When It Is From The Oval Office
2017 Bad Karma
2016 Poor Management Choices
2015 Is It Still Dark Out?
2014 Rule One
2013 Spelling God’s Name
2012 Love Your Life And Sing
Feeling Under the Weather?
2011 Cheers, Friend!

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We’re in very bad trouble if we don’t understand the planet we’re trying to save.
We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.
We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.
    —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 The Deep Center
2018 Oh, Heaven (Too)
2017 Now Pausing Makes Sense
2016 Just Spicy
Only One Part
2015 Positive Acts Of Creation
2014 One Thing Is Clear
2013 Corrections
See Greatness
2012 Gemutlichkeit
2011 Back On The Asphalt

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The following image is from the United Nations Development Program, who’s task it is to gather and provide information related to helping people build a better life for themselves.
Image of 2016 Climate Related Population Disruption

2016 Climate Related Population Disruption / Displacement

Relative to the complete human species (roughly 7 billion people), a figure of 15 million people being displaced due to climate related issues in a single year (2016) may not seem like a large number.  What needs to be understood is this is just the canary – coughing and wheezing –  in the coal mine, or (probably) a better image might be the first trickle of water from the smallest of cracks in a gigantic dam.  And this is just the wet weather data…  It does not show displacement due to drought and water shortage (increased fires) or winter storms and tornado damage.
New Orleans (LA), Seaside (NJ), Houston (TX) and Puerto Rico are just the beginning…   And, yet, we (the United States) are withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords…  We need to wake up and smell the coffee.  Climate change is already here, not coming in the future.  The question is:  What are we going to do to mitigate its effect on our country and our civilization?  This is a national security issue, not some pie in the sky hoax started by environmentalists.  The longer we wait, the more difficult (and expensive) our response will be.  …And the more catastrophic the period between now and whatever becomes “the new normal”.
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On This Day In:
2018 Be My Hero – Vote Tomorrow!
He Was All Of Us…
2017 Black And White
Advice For #DumbDonald
2016 Mirror, Mirror
2015 Speaking With Forked Tongue
2014 The Code
2013 Eventually Formed
2012 Remember To Vote Tomorrow
2011 It Sounds Like Chaos Theory To Me

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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
    —    John Muir
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On This Day In:
2018 Not Sure Anyway…
All Clear Nuclear And Burn
2017 Forms Of Conservation
2016 Oh, So Lacking
2015 e pluribus unum
2014 Nothing So Far Removed
2013 Positions
2012 Two Errors
2011 Long Live The King!

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