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dirty earth So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on CNN/Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because we’ve just had two Winter Olympics in a row where snow had to be trucked in from the mountains and today the Iditerod, the annual sled-dog race across 1,000 miles of the Alaska outback, has for all practical purposes been canceled for lack of snow. No snow. In Alaska.

No snow. In Alaska. While the Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle warns it may stop serving Guacamole as climate change gets worse.

I, and mine, will survive. You, and yours, will not.

No fear.

Climate change is happening, fools, so put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on CNN/Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because the biggest problem climate change poses isn’t how the Department of Defense should plan for resource wars, or how we should put up sea walls to protect Alphabet City, or when we should evacuate Hoboken. It won’t be addressed by buying a Prius, signing a treaty, or turning off the air-conditioning.

dirty earth

The biggest problem we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront this problem, and the sooner we realize there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the hard work of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality.

The choice is a clear one. We can continue acting as if tomorrow will be just like yesterday, growing less and less prepared for each new disaster as it comes, and more and more desperately invested in a life we can’t sustain. Or we can learn to see each day as the death of what came before, freeing ourselves to deal with whatever problems the present offers without attachment or fear.

We as a species, the human species, as a “race”, the human race, today stand at a cusp, an iteration, in the evolution, in the maturing, of humankind. But if we don’t abandon – outgrow – this irrational dependency on adolescent fairy-tales and attendant adolescent squabbles over whose imaginary dog has the bigger dick… we may very well not survive at all.

You are a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s survival.

Fear me.

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on CNN/Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because the biggest problem climate change posesdirty earth isn’t how the Department of Defense should plan for resource wars, or how we should put up sea walls to protect Alphabet City, or when we should evacuate Hoboken. It won’t be addressed by buying a Prius, signing a treaty, or turning off the air-conditioning.

The biggest problem we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront this problem, and the sooner we realize there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the hard work of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality.

The choice is a clear one. We can continue acting as if tomorrow will be just like yesterday, growing less and less prepared for each new disaster as it comes, and more and more desperately invested in a life we can’t sustain. Or we can learn to see each day as the death of what came before, freeing ourselves to deal with whatever problems the present offers without attachment or fear.

We as a species, the human species, as a “race”, the human race, today stand at a cusp, an iteration, in the evolution, in the maturing, of humankind. But if we don’t abandon – outgrow – this irrational dependency on adolescent fairy-tales and attendant adolescent squabbles over whose imaginary dog has the bigger dick… we may very well not survive at all.

You are a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s survival.

Fear me.

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on CNN/Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because adaptation isn’t about giving up, it’s about getting real.

dirty earth

Today, President Obama issued an executive order that establishes a task force on “climate preparedness and resilience.” It directs federal agencies to begin dealing with the quandaries of planning for a world of bigger storms and rising seas. The order acknowledges that the impacts of climate change “are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health.”

These problems will only worsen. At this point, there’s no stopping climate change, not altogether. Even if the entire world today abandoned its cars for bicycles and replaced every coal plant with a field of solar panels, the planet would continue getting warmer because of the carbon dioxide we’ve already sent into the atmosphere. The world will still need to drastically rein in carbon emissions if it is going to avoid making the crisis far worse. But we will also need to learn how to live on a warmer planet.

The executive order represents a rapid shift in the approach to climate change, as events like Hurricane Sandy have made it obvious that we’re living in an era of weird weather. Until recent years, environmentalists and policymakers were eerily silent about adapting to climate change. “When I started you couldn’t talk about it,” says Lara Hansen, a scientist and expert on climate-change adaptation who serves on the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “because it was considered giving up”—abandoning the idea that we could slow global warming.

But Hansen noticed something: When she did talk about adaptation with people like city planners and land managers, it transformed the whole conversation about climate change. “When people feel the effects of climate change where they live, they don’t need to see An Inconvenient Truth. They want to know what to do about it.”

We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. Expect us!

No fear.

blackcatSo put down the AmbienProzacViagra and crotch-shots on CNN/Fox News Kool-Aid, turn off the television set and PAY ATTENTION - because doing as we have been doing puts us on the path to a 6° C (almost 11° F) increase, which will make our planet uninhabitable for humans in two generations.

You are a clear and present danger to my grandchildren.

Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) and Harvard University published today the most comprehensive “Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years” ever done, revealing just how stable the climate has been — and just how destabilizing manmade carbon pollution is and will continue to be unless we dramatically change what we are doing:

() data from 73 ice and sediment core monitoring sites around the world, scientists have reconstructed Earth’s temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age.

The analysis reveals that the planet today is warmer than it’s been during 70 to 80 percent of the last 11,300 years.

… during the last 5,000 years, the Earth on average cooled about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit–until the last 100 years, when it warmed about 1.3 degrees F.

I have several times proposed a twenty-first century version of Pascal’s Wager: the Climate Change Denier’s Wager. Blaise Pascal was of course the fifteenth century ardent atheist, scientist and math master The Church so feared that upon his death cut off his head and it is now stored pickled in a jar somewhere in the Vatican basement. At some point in his life he was famously challenged by a “priest” that he would “convert”, that he would wimp out and take the safe bet, upon his deathbed. No word yet as to whither or no he did so, but my proposed wager is really rather simple:

If I am wrong, I don’t lose a god-damned thing.

On-the-other-hand, if you are wrong, if  climate change IS real and human activity is contributing to it, we as a species, we humans, our children and our grand-children, lose the only planet we know of that will sustain we as a species, we humans, our children and our grand-children. We lose the whole damned world.

You want to take that bet, fool?

The sound you don’t hear is me jacking a round into my well-oiled AR.

We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.

You’re either with us, or against us.

No fear…

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because May Was Hottest On Record For Northern Hemisphere

If we keep talking about Obama’s birth certificate, no doubt this will all go away:

BOOTHBAY, Maine — Phytoplankton. If the mention of the tiny plant organisms that permeate the world’s oceans isn’t enough to pique your interest, consider this: They produce the oxygen in every other breath you take.

Still not interested? This is where it’s hard not to take notice. In 2007, the reproduction rate of phytoplankton in the Gulf of Maine decreased suddenly by afactor of five — what used to take a day now takes five — and according to a recently released study by the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay, it hasn’t bounced back.

So what does it mean? According to Barney Balch, the lab’s senior research scientist and lead author of the study, such a change in organisms at the bottom of the planetary food chain and at the top of planetary oxygen production could have disastrous consequences for virtually every species on Earth, from lobsters and fish that fuel Maine’s marine industries to your grandchildren. But the 12-year Bigelow study focused only on the Gulf of Maine, which leads to the question, will it spread?

“I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to know that if you shut down the base of the marine food web, the results won’t be positive,” said Balch.

Balch said the study, which was published recently in the Marine Ecology Progress Series, provides one of the strongest links to date between increases in rainfall and temperature over the years and the Gulf of Maine’s ecosystem. Key factors in the study’s conclusions were driven by 100 years of records on rainfall and river discharge, both of which have increased by between 13 and 20 percent over the past century.

You stupid reich-wing retards are killing the rest of us, and our grand-children. I’m thinking a little “self-defense” is in order – maybe a little Stand Your Ground.

Party like it’s 1999: Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere

“Humans are now forcing another such transition, with the potential to transform Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience,” wrote the authors, who are from the U.S., Europe, Canada and South America.

If current trends continue — exploding global population, rapidly rising temperatures and the clearance of more than 40% of Earth’s surface for urban development or agriculture — the planet could reach a tipping point, they say.

“The net effects of what we’re causing could actually be equivalent to an asteroid striking the Earth in a worst-case scenario,” the paper’s lead author, Anthony Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley, said in an interview. “I don’t want to sound like Armageddon. I think the point to be made is that if we just ignore all the warning signs of how we’re changing the Earth, the scenario of losses of biodiversity — 75% or more — is not an outlandish scenario at all.”

Or rather Cookie Jill, who rounds up today’s environmental news stories

violence hits brazil tribes in scramble for land.- the expansion of huge cattle ranches and industrial-scale farms in remote regions of brazil has produced a land scramble that is leaving the ancestors of brazil’s original inhabitants desperate to recover tribal terrains, in some cases squatting on contested properties – nytimes

strawberry farms suck spain dry. - for decades, local fruit farmers around doñana have used wells, legal or not, on the perimeter of the vast wetland on spain’s south-western coast. “If the doñana park were a patient, it would be on the point of entering the intensive care unit,” said eva hernandez of the world wildlife fund – the independent

fire retardants in food. - fire retardant chemicals are commonly found in household items like furniture and electronics. But a new study found them in a place you probably wouldn’t expect: food – living on earth

record heat marches on: texas and contiguous US had warmest spring on record. - much of texas has been getting something of a break from the history-making, headline-grabbing drought of 2011 in recent months, but the state’s excessive heat marches on. In 2012, texas had its warmest spring on record and its third warmest january-through-may period. – texas climate news

north texas water needs could cost billions in coming years. - meeting the water needs of north texas 50 years from now will require significant conservation, at least several new reservoirs, an unbending political will and a whole lot of money – dallas morning news

water war reignites as l.a. resists fixing some owens lake dust. -los angeles and the owens valley are at war over water again, with the city trying to rework a historic agreement aimed at stopping massive dust storms that have besieged the eastern sierra nevada since l.a. opened an aqueduct 99 years ago that drained owens lake. – latte times

the deadly legacy of america’s fields of gold. - richard nixon is remembered for his infamous part in the watergate scandal, but his lasting legacy may be a burgeoning army of people in the west who are too fat- the independent

virginia lawmakers avoid climate buzzwords. - state lawmakers discovered that they could not use the phrases “sea level rise” or “climate change” in requesting a study because of objections from republican colleagues. so they did away with all mention of sea level rise, substituting a more politically neutral phrase: “recurrent flooding.” – hampton roads virginian-pilot

groups fight back after conservatives try to dilute environmental laws. - discord between the tories and environmentalists began when the federal natural resources minister maligned environmental groups as radicals. it escalated with the introduction of a package of new laws, some directly targeting charities and environmental protections. – vancouver sun

longtime Hinkley residents haven’t looked back from community plagued with contaminated water. - now living near apple valley, california, the kearney family left behind their dream house in hinkley, which had turned into a nightmare due to a plume of carcinogenic chromium 6. Since then, they haven’t looked back. – san bernardino county sun

potomac named most endangered river. A conservation group says the potomac river is the most endangered river this year in the united states – that pollution in the potomac is decreasing water quality, threatening marine life and will become worse if congress rolls back national clean-water protections – voice of america

shell oil injunction forces greenpeace to get creative. - with a judge ordering greenpeace’s boats to stay away from shell’s arctic rigs, the anti-drilling organization turns to social media and other means of getting its message out – latimes

oil’s dirty price in north dakota. -oil and gas fracking operators in north dakota have dumped at least 1.7 million gallons of brine and 716,000 gallons of oil on the western plains between 2009 and 2011. and that’s just what they’ve reported – minneapolis star tribune

state allows industrial-scale exploration without hearings. - for the last 24 years, mining companies have been exploring for copper and gold on state lands in the headwaters of bristol bay.and they’ve done all that – with the state’s permission – without public notice, without inviting public comment, and without public hearings – anchorage daily news

house committee adopts bill banning epa, corps from issuing water act guidance. - the house transportation committee adopts bill to prohibit epa and army corps from finalizing guidance clarifying clean water act jurisdiction and from using that document to issue rules or decisions – bloomberg bna

nebraska cattlemen, politicians protest ‘weird’ epa flyovers. - epa’s use of aerial surveillance to nab clean water act violators on great plains farms isn’t sitting well with Nebraska farmers and lawmakers. the state’s congressional delegation criticized the practice in a letter last week to epa administrator lisa jackson. – greenwire

new wyoming supercomputer expected to boost atmospheric science. - this month, on a barren wyoming landscape dotted with gopher holes and hay bales, the federal government is assembling a supercomputer 10 years in the making, one of the fastest computers ever built and the largest ever devoted to the study of atmospheric science. – latte times

new orleans barge gate crack is likely to delay lake borgne project. - contractors have discovered a 15-foot-long, horseshoe-shaped crack in the bottom of a concrete barge gate designed to block hurricane storm surge from moving from the gulf Intracoastal waterway into the Industrial canal – new orleans times picayune (remember…this is the paper that is on the verge of extinction…imagine this important news not being told. 

assessing consumer concerns about the meat industry. - tom philpott, who covers food and the agricultural industry for mother jones, raises concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy – mad cow disease – infiltrating the food chain. – npr

Einstein famously declared that were the bees to die, in four years we will die: A new study published in the journal Science has revealed that, in addition to the destruction of natural habitats and the widespread use of industrial chemical pesticides, the global bee die-off witnessed in recent years is also caused by a deadly virus carried by bloodsucking parasitic mites.

Varroa destructor is a bloodsucking parasite that feeds on honeybees and has spread globally, destroying colonies worldwide. (Photograph: Alamy)The report in Science is available to subscribers only, but according to The Guardian‘s Damian Carrington, the researchers who conducted the study warn that the virus, called Varroa destructor and carried by the varroa mite, is now one of the “most widely distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet.” Equally troubling, the new dominance of the killer virus poses an ongoing threat to colonies even after beekeepers have eradicated the mites from hives.

The research team, led by Stephen Martin of Britain’s University of Sheffield studied the impact of Varroa in Hawaii, which the mites have only recently invaded.

“This data provides clear evidence that, of all the suggested mechanisms of honey bee loss, virus infection brought in by mite infestation is a major player in the decline,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

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