Archive for June, 2013

And Eat It Too

27 June 2013

Read this line from “World Bank Sees ‘Vulnerable’ Food System on Climate Change”:

The world will need to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 to feed a global population expected to grow to more than 9 billion from 7 billion now, the United Nations’ Rome-based Food & Agriculture Organization estimates.

If it didn’t send a chill up your spine then you are likely old or unaware of the looming problems with food production, which include loss of top soil, water shortages, climate variables, and increasing costs for fossil fuel-based fertilizers and such.

I’m reading about possible production drops of twenty percent or so. So if we are going to need seventy percent more food, where’s it gonna come from? Soylent Green?

Cassandra

UPDATE: The information comes in from all over, but it all says pretty much the same thing. Reading between the lines, everything says FEWER BABIES!!

“This Terrifying Chart Shows We’re Not Growing Enough Food to Feed the World”

When I think of the future, I think of a new neighbor cheerfully telling me she has ten grandchildren. I shuddered and managed a wan smile.

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Hold My Beer and Watch This

19 June 2013

Every time I think of the Keystone XL pipeline, I think, OK, the US has reached the Hold My Beer and Watch This phase of existence. Are Americans now officially their own worst enemies?

This article provides a good overview of the reasons we should not build this pipeline: “You, Terrorist”

Considering the suicidal form of insanity now rampant in the United States, I will be surprised if this pipeline doesn’t go through.

Bah, humbug.

Cassandra

Addendum: Next day news: “Yet ANOTHER Toxic Spill In Canada Raises Critical Questions About The Safety Of Keystone XL”

Colorado’s New Usual: Dry, Windy, and Burning

13 June 2013

In 2013, Colorado’s wildfire season arrived two months earlier than it used to. Right now, the Black Forest fire has already claimed some 360 homes. Black Forest is–or was–a magically beautiful area just north of Colorado Springs. I haven’t visited for decades, but I remember its mix of open meadows and thickly treed areas populated with impish, tufted-ear black squirrels.

I’m saddened but not surprised by the fire. Most of us who follow scientific reports were not surprised. Even some conservatives whose work forces them to be aware of the outdoor world are coming around to reality, that is, things are changing rapidly in Colorado and most of the rest of the world and, for the most part, not for the better.

For example, over the last few years, I’ve watched one right-leaning friend–yes, I have some conservative friends–reverse direction on climate change. Several years ago, I mentioned climate change and he said he didn’t “believe in all that.” Then, after a brief pause, he said, “Well, there are the pine beetles.”

The number of dying trees had become epidemic and, since he’s a wild-land firefighter who also does wildfire mitigation for people living in Colorado’s mountains, he had to admit something was up. People who just glance at the mountains now and then might not notice the progressive changes, but his job wouldn’t allow him to avoid knowing. Snow was melting earlier each year. Trees were dying. This meant more fires.

Then the pine beetle epidemic got worse. His wife is a forester, so he knew about the role of warmer nights as well as hot days on the beetle’s breeding cycles. Now, given increased temperatures–suitable for pine beetle orgies–Colorado now gets not one but two crops of pine beetles during one summer. Mountain forests now resemble war zones, dead pines and water-stressed aspen stand at attention awaiting their ultimate fate–wildfires.

When I last saw him, my conservative friend mentioned talking to someone who did wind research in the mountains. That person had talked about unprecedented wind speeds of 160 mph. The once-denier shrugged and said, “Well, it’s all good for me. I’m going to have a lot of work.”

According to this article, yes, he will:
“How Climate Change Makes Wildfires Worse”

I wonder if he’ll appreciate being in agreement with an article in Mother Jones.

Perhaps I’ll be kind and not tell him. Or I’ll be my normal self and gloat. Does it matter? Either way I now get to go back to worrying about the Big Meadows fire. It’s far away from us in Rocky Mountain National Park, but that land is part of the drainage which supplies us with irrigation water, something we aren’t getting much of this year because of the drought. Next year, we could get even less as the burned land spills debris into the reservoirs.

Cassandra

Wealth Redistribution—EEEEK!!

12 June 2013

The words “wealth redistribution” freak out a good many Americans, but perhaps that’s because most of us don’t know where to place ourselves on a wealth continuum–a line with the poorest on the left–where else?–and the richest on the right–where else?

Those on the right fear that wealth distribution means some or even most of their money will be taken away and “given” to people on the left. A frightful thought, no doubt.

A question arises though: Where are most of us on this continuum? I read The Spirit Level a few years ago and I now spend way too much time wondering what our propaganda merchants are selling these days, so I was not surprised by this video:

“9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact”

Too many Americans will be surprised after watching this video and that is a testament to the effectiveness of the propaganda emitted by those in control of the wealth of the country. Many of us embrace the illusion that we are wealthier than we actually are. Could that be because those who really hold the wealth fear we’ll find out the truth? Don’t those with the most to lose sell us illusions via their hold on the media and the political process?

Why else would so many of us look to the left when we think of wealth redistribution when we need to look right?

Cassandra

“You’re a Troll”

9 June 2013

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to break myself of reading comments under news stories. My attempts however have been unsuccessful. So I found this morning’s post on Political Irony particular appropriate.

Of course, this video is also proof that some people have too much time on their hands.

Cassandra