Thursday, September 13, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 9-13-07

Climate Policy puts up a learned post on the risks of climate policy and never once indicates that the amelioration of those risks can create an entire new world of economic investment and development, opening whole new worlds for invention and creativity. It’s this kind of limited thinking, even by those who have voices in the actual policymaking, that will limit and prevent us from making the changes we need with the speed and scope that is needed. Way to go, guys. . . . Good news for Neanderthals (the real ones, not deniers and obstructionists)—looks like you weren’t killed off by past climate change. Bad news—looks like we humans got you. . . . Climate change and desertification sittin’ in a tree . . . . Ancient fossilized shells that stored old carbon and oxygen isotopes confirming the link, yet one more time, that CO2 and temp rises go together. You'd think this is something the ancient fossil shells in Congress and on talk radio would at least understand their own kind. . . . Governors getting testy with the Bushevik stalling on emissions, many trying to create a de facto national policy through enough state actions. . . . Oil at $80 a barrel = potential inflation = keeping interest rates up. Housing spiral = potential recession = forcing interest rates down. Hmm. This could be a problem. . . . Parking lots as global warming contributors? Let’s see, good arable land covered over by heat-absorbing asphalt that pollutes underground water . . . yeah, could be. Next they’ll be telling us the cooking and eating of meat adds to warming. . . . Nut-crunching time in London, as we used to say. Their plan to limit car use in the city won’t meet emissions goals necessary to be effective against warming. Only banning cars completely will get it done. The first of many cities to face this, I suspect. How they go might set the precedent. In any case, just shows that the “extremists” arguing major lifestyle change might not be that extreme at all. . . . Tell me nature doesn’t have a sense of humor. AL (Alabama, not Alaska) farmers planted more corn to cash in on the ethanol craziness, saw their crops eaten up by drought. At the very least, ironic, yes? . . . One good sign. Muhammed Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who pioneered “micro-loans,” has set his sites on warming, calling for a three-tier color system to let people know the extent to which products come from renewable sources. The guy is one of the few actual saints on this planet already. Having him on board can’t help but be a good thing. If we could just get him and Natalie Portman to have children . . . but that’s conjuring up all sorts of unpleasant images. Best to move on now. . . . Here’s a headline for you: Dirty energy threatens health of 2 billion - study . But they’re not here, so don’t worry about it. . . . Finally, at Grist, David Roberts has the Wall Street Journal conjuring up carbon numbers, Christie Todd Whitman whoring yet again (this time for nuke), Congress dithering as expected, and, lastly, some of the wisest words on rejecting the “privatization of responsibility” in our efforts you’ll hear in links to Alex Steffen of Worldchanging. David tips you to what he likes best but I liked this part better:

Over the next decade we need a real reckoning of the ecological limitations we face, a public commitment to redesign our civilization to produce widespread prosperity within those limits, collective visions of what such a sustainably prosperous (bright and green) future might look like and a whole lot of innovation on tools for building that future.

Because ultimately, it is only our progress towards building that future -- not our intentions, sympathies or displays of concern -- that matter. If we don't move fast enough, we'll simply be attending a global ecological collapse well-heeled and stylishly attired, watching the planet burn with a glass of organic champagne in hand.

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