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So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because it is fifty-seven degrees on the Oregon High Desert at ten-thirty on the mid-winter morning of the eleventh of February, at four thousand feet in elevation just miles from what were once prolific High Cascade glaciers close enough to the forty-fifth parallel to call it half way to the North pole, and grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park are rising out of hibernation weeks earlier than usual this year due to mild winter weather.
According to the Yellowstone National Park Service, the first confirmed grizzly bear sighting happened on February 9th when a bear was spotted scavenging a bison carcass. On Tuesday, park spokesman Al Nash said that “the arrival of spring-like weather, with warmer-than-usual temperatures and rain instead of snow” was causing grizzlies to emerge roughly a month earlier than in recent years.
The bears start looking for food shortly after coming out of hibernation, and they are especially drawn to elk and bison carcasses. Visitors to the park are advised to stay in groups of at least three, make noise on the trail, and carry bear spray, according to park officials.
While Boston and much of New England endures a winter of record snowfall, Western mountain ranges are looking on enviously. With Boston communities dumping snow into the harbor, California snowpack, critical to the state’s water needs, is at about 21 percent of average. In Washington state, the mild winter has left snowpack at around 39 percent of normal, as much of the potential snow ended up falling as rain.An unusually warm, dry January slowed snowpack accumulation across much of the West, according to federal data released this week.
“This is as low a snowpack as I’ve seen across the Sierra Nevada and Cascades for many locations at this time of year,” said National Water and Climate Center Director Mike Strobel.
You are a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s future.
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.
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.
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
The 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.
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. Our 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.”
And We Are Responsible. So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and pull your head out of your ass, because a 2,500 square-mile methane plume is silently hovering over Western US:
A monstrous cloud of accumulated methane—a potent greenhouse gas—is now hovering over a large portion of the western United States according to satellite imagery analyzed by NASA and reported by the Washington Post.
Created by years of intentionally released and errantly leaked natural gas during fossil fuel drilling operations, the cloud—invisible to the human eye but captured by advanced satellite imaging technology—is centered over northwest New Mexico and described by thePost as “a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud, so vast that scientists questioned their own data when they first studied it three years ago.”
So alarmed by the size of the plume were scientists, NASA researcher Christian Frankenberg told the Post, “We couldn’t be sure that the signal was real.”
Though there is considerably less of it put into the atmosphere each year, methane is twenty times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon-dioxide or CO2.
The accumulation of methane is not a new problem, but one that appears to be worsening as hydraulic fracture drilling (or fracking) and other intensive fossil fuel extraction operations continue to soar in the southwest region of the country. The latest NASA analysis of the phenomenon put the approximate “average extent of the gas plume over the past decade at 2,500 square miles.” Frankenberg pointed out that this estimate pre-dates the most recent gas and oil drilling boom now underway in the southwest.
Though the industry has longed ignored the dangers of so-called gas “flaring”—in which excess methane is simply burned off during oil and gas drilling or processing—environmenalists and climate scientists have long been sounding the alarm about methane’s impact when it comes to global warming and other ecological hazards. And though natural gas has been heralded as a cleaner alternative to coal, numerous studies have shown that though gas burns cleaner than coal, the ability of gas to escape during extraction and transportation, the cumulative greenhouse impact could be equal or worse than coal.
So 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
This map maps out the areas that were killed by the pine bark beetle from 1980 to 2008. With sixty odd fires burning across the Oregon High Desert, six of them “major” fires, we would all do well to remember that we are just one spark away from a fire that burns from Mount Shasta to Southern Alaska.
You can always go back where you came from. You’re not welcome here.
I encourage everyone out there to get back on the bus. Back in the lime-light.