Archive for July, 2008

Daily Scold — Book Review

15 July 2008

I just read a review of The Bridge at the Edge of the World by James Gustave Speth. Short summary of book: Unless we act RIGHT NOW, humanity is doomed.

Old news. But what did surprise me a bit was the site where I read the review:

Click the link: Planet Earth Burns, Mankind Pays for Its Ecological Sins: Books

Those of us who’ve been preaching doom for some time may find little new here, but it’s nice to know that some people fretting solely about financial collapse might now add worries about humanity’s collapse to their Doomsday list.

Have a nice day.



Good News (Kinda) — Cow Farts

9 July 2008

OK, so I’m reaching for good news. But at this point, I’ll take what I can find. The article in the UK Telegraph outlines a study that determined the output of cows. It’s a lot. In fact, some dairies are now powering their facilities by capturing some of this energy.

“Cow Farts Collected in Plastic Tank for Global Warming Study”


Im Westen Nichts Neues

6 July 2008

Actually there is much new in the Western world, but it’s old news to some of us. But it’s waying heavily. I’m depressed and so is at least one other Scold. That’s why we’ve been relatively quiet. I, for one, am retreating to practical life, watering my garden, working with my students. In short, the news is too bleak even for me.

Click on this Peak Oil Report.

I wish I could see a future other than this, but I can’t. In fact, many scenarios I can see look even worse. And yet I see people cheerfully having children and going on with life as if things were soon going to return to what they consider normal.


Jefferson on newspapers

3 July 2008

Quote of the day:

The Thomas Jefferson words that journalists like to trot out as Independence Day nears:

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

Of course, Jefferson also said the only reliable truths in newspapers were the advertisements, and that he was happiest when not reading the papers.


Low Car Sales are BAD news?

2 July 2008

Thanks to The New York Times’ Bill Vlasic for covering this bit:

DETROIT — Sales of new cars and trucks plunged to their lowest level in more than a decade in June, as high gas prices and a weak economy kept American consumers away from dealer showrooms. 

With the drop last month of more than 18 percent, automakers now expect to sell well below 15 million new vehicles this year, far fewer than the norm this decade of more than 16 million vehicles a year.

May I suggest that, economy notwithstanding, the death of fossil-fuels driven automobiles can’t come too soon? Perhaps the failure of this particular leg of the stool, rather than dumping us all on the floor, will rather goad the stool-makers into newer, better techniques for resting our backsides and getting from A to B (pointwise). 

I note that Starbucks is closing 600 stores, too.  That can’t ALL be bad either: making room for local coffee shops and conversation centers seems rather the consummation devoutly to be wished.  All those barristas will find work pressing beans for their neighbors’ cafes while we sip shade grown, locally roasted coffees.  We’ll drive electric (or whatever) vehicles to our humane, environmentally friendly, economy-boosting, fair wage (and trade) amusements, whistling while we work.  (Photo below inserted without copyright permission.  See Wikipedia.) 


What, me worry?  Jeremiah