Bye Bye and Thanks for All the Fish

30 September 2015

This article suggests we are ahead of schedule for deleting the world’s oceans. An article I read some time ago said fishable populations would be gone by 2048. At this rate, it sure looks like we can beat that date.


One Small Word, One Small Victory for Science

23 September 2015

The Associated Press revised its stylebook to eliminate the use of “skeptic” as a descriptive term for those who reject the science of climate change. I’ll take all such small victories

Don’t believe in climate change? You’re not a skeptic anymore

Our Not So Infinite Resources

19 August 2015

“California’s Central Valley Is Sinking — Here’s Why”

Some people really don’t know what’s going to happen. That scares me.


Time Runs Short

14 August 2015

I lost 90 days work this Spring because unusually high rainfall kept me out of the fields. Then rain vanished–dry here since June. All this causes me to wonder about the weather more than usual–which is a lot.

Oh well. At least it’s not just one country. And, unlike some countries, China is trying to do something.

“China Is Building Another Great Wall — of Trees. to Hold Back the Desert”

The odds are against everyone.

Have a nice day.


Climate: CO2 hinders plants’ nitrogen uptake

6 July 2015

I’ve seen a couple of earlier studies on midwest grasslands that indicated something like this.

There is no brighter future.


Summit County Citizens Voice

Wheat field in Upper Austria Wheat ripens under a summer sun. @bberwyn photo.

Study suggests that greenhouse gas pollution will have a fundamental impact on plant-nutrient cycles and food production

Staff Report

FRISCO — Increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide is hindering some plants from absorbing nitrogen, the nutrient governing crop growth in most terrestrial ecosystems.

Concentrations of nitrogen in plant tissue is lower in air with high levels of carbon dioxide, regardless of whether or not the plants’ growth is stimulated, University of Gothenburg (Sweden) researchers found in a new study, published in the journal Global Change Biology.

The study examined various types of ecosystems, including crops, grasslands and forests, and involves large-scale field experiments conducted in eight countries on four continents.

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Cost Benefit Analysis

29 June 2015

“Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Limits on Power Plants”

As if I needed another example of how human beings are short term thinkers. Profits over people, profits over the future. Profits not only give some of us fits, profits will kill us all.

I’m going to go outside and pull a few more acres of weeds now.


A Little Note [on] Music

12 June 2015

“Scientists Just Discovered That Listening to a 191-year-old Symphony Could Be Good for Your Heart”

I agree completely. I’d be shocked if human rhythms weren’t inherent in music, both to soothe and to rouse.

That’s why I love the 9th and “Nessun Dorma.” That’s also why I love jumping up and down to the Clash’s “Complete Control.”


Trading Blind

26 May 2015

Just read this article on theTrans Pacific Partnership: “Stop Calling the TPP A Trade Agreement – It Isn’t.”

The central point states, “TPP elevates corporations and corporate profits to and above the level of governments. TPP lets corporations sue governments for laws and regulations that cause them to be less profitable. Enabling tobacco companies to sue governments because anti-smoking campaigns limit profits has nothing to do with trade. Enabling corporations to sue states that try to regulate fracking has nothing to do with trade.”

If this is true, I’m even more deeply afraid for the future of this country. Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is true because, as a citizen, the text of the TPP is hidden from me.

That fact also adds to my fear for the future of this country.


Some Day

22 May 2015

David Horsey’s “CEO Salaries Defy Gravity and Any Sense of Shame says pretty much everything I’ve been muttering for a long time now. I don’t begrudge people good salaries, but when a few whose accomplishments suggest only modest talent start making hundreds even thousands of times more than many other people working diligently and hard for a tiny fraction of those bloated salaries, then something is wrong.

Today’s salary nobility, almost as closed a group as the nobility of Europe, parallels the excesses of pre-Revolution France, I suddenly realized why the revolutionaries swept up and murdered the children as well as the adult nobility. The closed club, whether by birth or by college connections or by whatever, creates a searing, blinding anger in those locked outside those doors. This level of inequality creates an atmosphere where I could envision myself knitting beneath the guillotine and not batting an eye when Muffy and her Harvard legacy brother were dragged to the blade behind their father and mother.



Is there a global warming pause — or not?

8 May 2015

Summit County Citizens Voice

nmaps A new study examines the language and psychology of climate science and the idea of a global warming pause.

Are climate scientists psyching themselves out?

Staff Report

FRISCO — Talk of a global warming pause, or hiatus, has been widespread the past few years, as the rate of increasing temperature slowed slightly since the 1990s.

But multiple lines of evidence show that global warming hasn’t paused at all, which means that talk of a pause is misleading. Recent warming has been slower than the long term trend, but this fluctuation differs little from past fluctuations in warming rate, including past periods of more rapid than average warming.

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