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drought 2095So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because California is in its fourth year of drought, which has left its water reserves dry and cost its economy billions of dollars. Imagine these conditions across southern and central U.S. for another 30 years. There’s an 80 percent chance that 30-year droughts will be the new normal for the region after 2050, if we continue to burn through fossil fuels at the current rate, according to a NASA study published Thursday in the journal Science Advances. They expect higher temperatures will dry out the soil, increasing droughts.

A megadrought of that length is like nothing the U.S. has experienced before. But there’s still something we can do about it. NASA scientists note that the sooner we take action on greenhouse gas emissions, the better the chances are to avert a megadrought: NASA looked at what happens if greenhouse gas emissions start to come down worldwide by mid-century, and the risk of a megadrought drops to 60 percent.

Digby askes the clearest question: what do you suppose will happen when all that dark brown land no longer can produce the food needed to feed all the people who live there? And when water becomes scarce?

You are a clear and present danger to my grandchildren’s survival.

Fear me.

On March 29, 2009 I wrote [somewhat updated for timeliness]:

To be Gnostic [nos-tic`] is Greek to know, or more accurately to choose to know. As a-typical (atypical) is to be not-typical, a-political (apolitical) is to be not-political, asymmetric is not symmetric, etc. a-gnostic (agnostic) [ag.nos-tic`] is to not know, or more accurately chose not to know.

Likewise, as a-typical (atypical) is to be not-typical, a-political (apolitical) is to be not-political, and asymmetric is not symmetric, A-Theism (atheism) is not-theism. Theism is the fervent belief in gods or deities – religion. Atheism is not-religion. And no, “being an atheist” does not “require[s] as much belief in an unknowable…”

Atheism rejects belief in an unknowable. War is not the answer. Next question.

I find it fascinating as a not-necessarily disinterested nor outside observer as reinforcement of comfort zones unfold through the exercise of definition of that unlike. The fundamental problem here is people don’t listen. When I say there are no gods people don’t hear “there are no gods” – people hear does not believe in gods. Atheist. But what was heard, “does not believe in gods”, is not what I said – there are no gods. It makes people comfortable, it reinforces their worldview, their belief system, to assign labels to that which they do not understand, are indeed fundamentally incapable of understanding. It makes them comfortable to call me a name, a something, I am not – to call me “does not believe in gods” as if “gods” exist, but that is not what I am. There are no gods.

As a Gnostic I have chosen to know, or more accurately have chosen to pass through the doors of and pursue the path of knowledge – to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, if you wish. There is no unknowable. Only the undiscovered. Upon entering into, embracing, investing in, your belief system you consciously chose to close the door to the path of knowledge, to reject the fruit of the tree of knowledge, to embrace ignorance and thus must reinforce your conscious choice to do so through “definitions”, insults, labels and mockery.

I mock as I have been mocked for my consumption of green tee when I say “far more the likely than Jesus floating down out’a the heavens on a white horse with a thousand angels to carry away the faithful thousands of cavernous spacecraft piloted by ravenous vaguely reptilian creatures repleat with horns and folked-tail. We did, afterall, invite them to “Come Eat”.” But does that sound any crazier than the apocalyptic christian worldview? I shock people when I say “animals, those insufficiently evolved, bow down to gods, Human Beings do not”, but I would far rather they didn’t exist to me at all… I am far more interested in understanding why there are California Wood Ducks on The High Desert for the first time in my half century and more memory than inter-fairytale squabbles ‘ore whose non-existent dog has the bigger dick. And make no mistake, the jew/muslim/christian cult, the cult of Abraham, as with all other theisms – religions - is naught but a fairytale to explain away the dark, keep the bed dry at night, and justify sex with children… yet one somehow, seemingly divinely manifest, capable of bringing about the end of the world my grandchildren are growing up in.

As I have said here and elsewhere numerous times before, facing the challenges we today face we as a species, the human species, as a “race”, the human race, 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 fairytales we may very well not survive at all.

We are but fleas agitating the hide of a far greater organism.

I have long been an advocate for a wall: from Eureka California to Eureka Montana, and it has nothing to do with Mexicans.

In April 2012, Pew Research reported that net migration from Mexico to the U.S. had fallen to zero – and perhaps less.

Immigration from Mexico to USThe sharp downward trend in net migration from Mexico began about five years ago and has led to the first significant decrease in at least two decades in the unauthorized Mexican population.

This week, Pew Research reported that border apprehensions of Mexicans have fallen to historic lows.

The new Border Patrol apprehensions data reflect a broader ongoing shift in the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population that was shaped by a migration wave from Mexico that lasted from the 1980s until the Great Recession. Mexico remains the top country of origin for the nation’s unauthorized immigrants, but their numbers have declined since 2007, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

Pew’s research suggests the following reasons for this dramatic change:

The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and broader economic conditions in Mexico.

When Is Our Southern Border Secure Enough?

 

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because the outlook for Cascadia and our neighbors to the south over the next three months is twenty to thirty degrees above average.

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Each member of Congress will get 88 seconds apiece to debate this bill.”

2optionsStop this trade agreement:

Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida told Acronym TV’s Dennis Trainor that the United States did not go to war in Syria in September 2013 because the American public “rose up”. He says the same response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can prevent an unwise, democracy-killing trade bill from passing the Congress into law.

Although Mr. Grayson didn’t mention his theory of the TPP beyond, agreeably, the further concentration of corporate power at the expense of the people and their right to democratic actions in nations signing on to the trade deal, perhaps the real motivation behind TPP – plus the equally gigantic Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – is corporate solidification of legal rules in their favor, before the people of the world can gather enough strength in unity to stop the trade deals. The reason both TPP and TTIP are so, so secretive is precisely to prevent the people of the world from becoming fully aware and rising in opposition – strongly enough for the people and democracy to prevail.

The feature of TPP which has outraged the most men and women, one of the few provisions which has become known – through “leaks” by Wikileaks and other avenues, is given the legal term “Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement”. This is how every dispute will become resolved among the signatory nations and their people. The angering aspect is that corporate tribunals – not traditional, neutral, government legal institutions – are given the power to make all the legal determinations.

A fellow in the following video gives an example of how this controversial feature of the TPP works. The people of Germany have decided to phase out nuclear power in their country, and a corporation whose business is nuclear energy has sued the German government for over $2 billion dollars for “future lost profits”. He notes there are 500 similar cases in litigation now. If Vietnam signs on to TPP, the trade bill passes, and down the road the people of Vietnam decide to raise their national minimum wage, corporations will be able to sue the Vietnamese government for “lost profits” as a result of wage increases.

 

Who will remember what this age was like? And how will it be remembered?

The Golden Age, by Christy Rodgers

freddykruegerunclesamThe vast fields of oil-stained asphalt surrounding the gargantuan concrete temples in which there were no collective public rituals, only individual ones, requiring currency transactions. The heads of mountains sliced off and their guts ripped out and their veins bleeding black waste through the bleak towns. The dry exurban plains of the brown world glittering everywhere with acres of windblown plastic trash. The mountains of waste, as tall as Everest, as deep as the oceans. The waste, the waste, the waste.

The superhighways, the soft wheels turning everywhere. The global triumph of the private car. The daily traffic jams. A city disgorges ten million vehicles and they inch along a ten-lane freeway. What’s the saddest pretty thing in the world? At night in the western desert, the endless line of diamonds winding up the grade, the endless line of rubies winding down. A whole separate history unfolding inside each car. A history whose unique and intricate detail will disappear like a melting snowflake leaving behind only a genetic trace – perhaps – and a tiny increase in local entropy. “All these memories will be lost… like tears in the rain.” What is human?

Outside each car? The Sixth Extinction

The contingent sanctuaries, the oases in the desert of the real. The last river you can drink from. The last forest where you can go a whole week without hearing the noise of a single machine. The last tundra from which you can see the pulsing velvet blackness of the night sky unpolluted by any other light. The last village where no wants to leave and no one has to leave to make money. The last glacier? The last uncontacted tribe. The Last Poets.

Sowing the wind, reaping the whirlwind.

The sense that it was all foretold, by word-poets, image-poets, first and last. It was all foreseen long before the Bomb went off or the Wall came down – thewhat, if not the how. What “freedom” would look like. The infinity of darkness under all the lights, the silence under all the noise, the reverberating sound of the final crash echoing distantly, daily, somewhere in our minds. Which never comes but is always here, our constant companion, close as our own shadow, from now on, world without end, amen.

You all are a clear and present danger to my grandchildren’s future.

Fear me.

There is a lot to feel good about as far as the U.S. climate movement and what we did and accomplished in 2014. Without question, we are heading into 2015 with some wind at our back and, to continue the relevant metaphor, the sun to light our way forward. by Ted Glick

6) And still no West Coast coal exports:  In the words of climatesolutions.org, “Stopping any new coal export off the West Coast continues to be a major stake in the ground for the climate movement. iww-kat_0.thumbnailOur Power Past Coal coalition campaign has made major advances in the past year, with two proposals pulled off the table in Oregon, and the Washington Dept. of Ecology announcing a broad scope of review for the impacts of the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point north of Bellingham, WA. Now with three export proposals off the table, we continue to watchdog the remaining three proposals and partner with community leaders to build a powerful constituency for building a better, more prosperous future in the region.”

graffitiSo put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because even a 10 percent loss of Antarctica’s ice would cause catastrophic flooding of coastal cities.

“Almost three miles of ice buries most of Antarctica, cloaking a continent half again as large as the United States. But when an Antarctic ice shelf the size of Manhattan collapsed in less than a month in 2002, it shocked scientists and raised the alarming possibility that Antarctica may be headed for a meltdown. Even a 10 percent loss of Antarctica’s ice would cause catastrophic flooding of coastal cities unlike any seen before in human history. What are the chances of a widespread melt? “Secrets Beneath the Ice” explores whether Antarctica’s climate past can offer clues to what may happen. NOVA follows a state-of-the-art expedition that is drilling three-quarters of a mile into the Antarctic seafloor. The drill is recovering rock cores that reveal intimate details of climate and fauna from a time in the distant past when the Earth was just a few degrees warmer than it is today. As researchers grapple with the harshest conditions on the planet, they discover astonishing new clues about Antarctica’s past—clues that carry ominous implications for coastal cities around the globe.” NOVA | Secrets Beneath the Ice – PBS

 

You should be reading Dr Cole every day.

From Ten Good Things about the Year 2014

New gains for legalizing marijuana. With the majority of the country now supporting legalization, and Colorado and Washington proving that it actually works, new gains were achieved at the ballot box in Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. World leaders like former UN head Kofi Annan and presidents from Latin America called for an end to the drug war and for legally regulating drugs. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder continued to speak out against racist mandatory minimum drug laws and mass incarceration, while President Obama made national news declaring that marijuana is not more harmful than alcohol.

Massive wins for gay marriage. In decision after decision, courts in 18 states struck down gay marriage bans. It is now legal for gay couples to marry in 35 of the 50 states. A year ago, only about a third of Americans lived in states that permitted same-sex marriage. Today, nearly 65 percent of Americans do, making 2014 perhaps the biggest turning point in the history of same-sex marriage in the United States.

Raises for minimum wage workers. From ballot initiatives and grassroots organizing to major legislative efforts, campaigns to raise the minimum wagegained momentum across the country. Voters, cities and statehouses passedminimum wage increases. The states included Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, New Jersey and South Dakota; cities included San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Louisville and Portland,OR. And the calls for raises came from workers themselves: Black Friday saw the largest strikes ever against Walmart, with pickets and strikes at 1,600 stores in 49 states. And on December 5, fast-food workers went on strike in 190 cities. Congress might not be able to push through national legislation, but workers and local communities are not waiting!

imagesSo put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid, turn off the television and pull your head out of your ass, because NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have both confirmed that 2014 is set to be the warmest year in recorded human history.

And, as 2014 draws to a close it seems likely to be the first calendar year that recorded no sub-zero temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska, the National Weather Service reported Sunday.

According to NWS, the last time that Anchorage saw temperatures that dropped below zero was December 26, 2013—although the city briefly hit zero degrees exactly on February 11 of this year. The balmy forecast for the next few days means it is safe to say Anchorage will not see any negative temperatures before the year is up, NWS meteorologist Mike Ottenweller told the Alaska Dispatch News.

“With as much certainty as a meteorologist can put behind anything, there is no chance we will go below zero before the end of the year,” Ottenweller said.

This is not the first time in recent history that Anchorage has seen long-term warm temperatures, having gone without sub-zero days from January 18, 2000 to November 30, 2001. However, the relatively warm temperatures mean that 2014 is the first calendar year, from January 1 to December 31, that the NWS did not record a single sub-zero day in the Alaskan city since the service began tracking temperature in 1952.

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