Friday, February 1, 2013

Are We Losing the Race Against Climate Change?

Marker shows the extent of the Athabaska Glacier, Canadian Rockies, in 1925 and now (courtesy Idle Moor)

Science Friday's Ira Flatow talks to experts on climate change.
(link)

24 comments:

  1. Yes, we have lost. Talking of 100 years from now, 30 years from now was always too weak. It's happening now!

    Some states are not even too interested in prevent it at all because they hope to extract oil from the Arctic or simply use this sea as navigation route (these are obviously Russia and US-Canada primarily). Also, while the effects will be/are being felt everywhere, the Tropics and Arctic bear most of the effects, so wealthy people living in temperate areas do not notice unless they go skying.

    That's the way it is. And when the refugees of the drought and famine come to our gates begging for a bit of mercy, the worst among us (and there are many like that) will say: go back to your country, brown person, and demand your local government to solve your problems. And of course that is a chimera because the government of, say, Mali has no power to solve or patch such massive ecological problems.

    We live in a single global "city" with fragmented governance... and plenty of slums. And this collapse of the ecosystem challenges all the global "city" as a whole but the slums will be, are already, the worst affected.

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  2. I also agree that the worst affected are the poorest countries.

    However, some of the countries that are now experiencing serious impacts of climate change, C02 impacts and pollution impacts are, in fact, the chief C02 producers themselves. It is doing a lot more than disrupting our ski vacations:


    US and Canada:

    2012-2013 North American drought:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012%E2%80%932013_North_American_drought

    "Hurricane Sandy may cost Taxpayers $80 Billion"
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/29/Hurricane-Sandy-May-Cost-Taxpayers-At-Least-80-Billion

    "Hurricane Irene one year later: Storm cost $15.8 Billion in damage from Florida to New York to the Caribbean"
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/hurricane-irene-year-storm-cost-15-8-damage-florida-new-york-caribbean-article-1.1145302



    China:

    Drought in China:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/china-drought-2012-three-year-long-dry-spell-continues-southwest-554974

    Cancer now leading cause of death in China:
    http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2011/update96


    Russia:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/20/us-grain-russia-harvest-idUSBRE87J0BE20120820


    Western Europe:

    World Bank issues hunger warning after droughts in US and Europe:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/aug/30/world-bank-global-hunger-warning-drought


    India:

    The drought India forgot
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-19959329

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  3. I would also add that a lot of the impacts are ones we are not even yet willing to admit to.

    For instance, when I was visiting the Museum of Flight (http://www.museumofflight.org/) about ten years ago, one of the docents at the museum was a retired pilot. He had been a transcontinental pilot for about forty years, for Pan Am, in its heyday.

    I was interested in finding out about where the most turbulent flight routes in the world are. He told me that the most turbulent routes in the world are simply flights that cross the continental US.

    As the climate becomes increasingly turbulent, it is possible that air travel across the continental US may be disrupted.

    Of course, there is also sea level rise which will sink large portions of New York, New Orleans, Montreal, San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/28/us-coastal-cities-sea-level-rise

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  4. Personally more than by climate change or each of the singled out local effects, what worries me most is the total collapse of the planetary ecology, which is not just caused (but also) by climate change. For example overfishing and deforestation (for pretty much petty reasons that could easily be sidelined) are at least as important threats as is global warming.

    All together could easily spiral in a century (or maybe much less) into a snoball effect of planetary collapse. I guess the process can still be stopped on its heels but that is mere theory, needing in fact clarity of vision (scrap mass media and their sleep and confusion clouds and direct brainwashing propaganda rays) and strong willpower (scrap "who cares?", "leave now!", "don't they have anything else to worry about?", i.e. scrap genetically and memetically sonfigured SEP fields.

    Desirable? Indeed. Probable? Not much.

    Statistically speaking Humankind is condemned by its own tendency to pass the ball and not assume any personal responsibility as soon as the problem is a bit too large or can be tossed around for any other reason.

    Can we overcome that? Maybe but statistics are against us. Robots will rule our ruins... if anyone at all.

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  5. "what worries me most is the total collapse of the planetary ecology, which is not just caused (but also) by climate change."

    Climate change is definitely driving down the ability of many natural ecosystems to recover.

    Take, for instance, the pine beetle impact on forests stretching from British Columiba to Mexico: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_pine_beetle

    or

    The reduction in Caribou herds in the Canadian North which are due to both over hunting and climate change.

    The same very rapid changes in climate are now being experienced in Europe as well. I've been hearing many Europeans talking about changes in the Alps and I've also been struck by the stories told by elderly people from the mountains of the Balkans. They all talk about changes in the migratory paths of the swallow, the loss of snow in winter, and the loss of trees. I've been their in the summer and even in the moutains, you can just feel the incredible waves of heat sweeping across the Mediterranean from the Sahara.

    There are also the terrible fires in Australia.

    So yes, there are huge changes taking place in world eco systems that anyone who is reasonably observant would notice.

    I am also rather pessimistic about our ability to act, but I would still rather speak out about the reality of the situation and try to act than do nothing.

    Will robots rule the world? They need electricity, so probably not.

    What will happen?

    The sea will rise. Parts of many coastal cities will sink.

    Africa and the center of most continents will become increasingly drought ridden and probably uninhabitable.

    The weather will become very turbulent, with increasing hurricanes, flash floods and burst wind storms. Periods of drought will increase. There will be more forest fires.

    Many species and even whole ecosystems will go extinct.

    There will be increasing food and water shortages.

    Russia and the Canadian North will become warmer. However, it should be considered that a lot of Northern Canada is at low sea level, so the land availability in the Canadian North may be limited.

    I am surprised that Ira Flatow didn't call out the speaker who mentioned that the world population had to increase to nine billion. The fact is that we probably don't need the population to go to nine billion. We could all live perfectly happily by implementing policies to sustain the population at current levels. In order to contain the climate to below an average 6 degree increase, it would probably be absolutely necessary to contain the world population at current levels. Of course, no one ever mentions this. However, given the energy generation capacity of wind and solar, which is quite limited compared to fossil fuels and coal, it is absolutely not possible to lower C02 emissions and also increase population. In fact, as the developing countries increase their energy needs, we are exactly heading in the wrong direction and are both increasing population and C02 emissions.

    So, yes, the picture looks grim. I won't make conjectures about the loss of human life and the loss of quality of life. It's obvious.

    To check C02 emissions, we would have to go full bore on alternative energy and also check population growth.

    I haven't heard a single politician table such an agenda.

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  6. Very different states like Germany, Cuba and Nicaragua are going renewable all they can. Cuba and Nicaragua, being less developed and smaller nations, look a bit more anecdotal but Germany is the fourth global economic power and they have just decided to scrap all nuclear energy (in a decade or 20 years but beginning already), are leaning heavily to solar (50% of all produced energy at noon) and wind, and together they are allowing them to become a major energy exporting power in Europe, displacing France (nuclear) and Russia (gas).

    Population growth is no doubt part of the problem but remember that it is Capital which needs plenty of cheap workers and willing consumers, that it is this system who feeds and sustains the popes and muftis who promote extreme population growth, while fighting against activists of communist inspiration who try to cut it by reducing the influence of religion/superstition. I'm thinking Afghanistan especially, where the commies had implanted nearly all the right policies only to be displaced by the US-supported Talibans. I'm also thinking in the contrast bewteen China and India, the first one with population control policies and the latter without.

    But still all those population-growing countries have such a tiny ecological print compared with demographically non-growing advanced states, that the issue of whether population growth is the real problem or mostly a distraction must be raised. Someone with a palace in Beverly Hills consumes as much as thousands of poor people. Recently Oxfam declared that only the 100 wealthiest people of Earth, the Forbes 100, can perfectly fix the problem of global poverty with their wealth not one but four times!!!

    Of course population growth must be controlled but which is the big problem: 1x7 (last century's pop. growth) or 1=4x1,000,000,000,0 (ultra-rich vs. regular poor)? The main problem is obviously the latter.

    We obviously need another very different social and political model all around the world but while we two (and maybe many thousands others in parallel) are righteously discussing this, corruption, nuclear crimes, subsidies to sea-depleting industries, etc. continue... I'm beginning to be too old to keep just believing that Humankind is good enough to change the way it needs. But maybe the young ones can still believe and make it happen. Many of the old ones are their main obstacle however, not because they have needs but because they think in obsolete keys. While technological and ecological change has accelerated brutally, human generational change has slowed down instead and that is a big problem, IMO.

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    1. I did not know Nicaragua and Cuba had a renewable program. I will have to check that out.

      Germany is certainly leading the way on many fronts, including on wind turbines, solar, low loss high voltage DC electricity transmission, energy efficient building standards and clean diesel transportation.

      Regarding population, I am simply saying saying that it is irresponsible on a science program, which Science Friday is, to not question a statement that "it is a good and necessary thing for the world's population to reach 9 billion."

      The fact is that in the US, a top producer of C02, the population continues to grow quite dramatically. Almost incessantly in the press, population growth is always considered to be a must. Much of the population growth is occuring among the poor. In the US, the poor often do drive a car and therefore do contribute to C02 levels.

      I think it should be said that some of the most vibrant economies simply have stable population numbers, neither growing or decreasing. They have reached this point without population control. They simply have public education systems for both girls and boys, have provided families with family planning access, have reasonable immigration policies and have provided healthcare so that parents can have confidence that the one, two or three children they raise will live to adulthood.

      Implementing policies that permit women to remain in or re-enter the work force when their children reach pre-school age has allowed women to focus on increasing their family's income, rather than producing more children.

      As far as radical population policies go, it is radical policies that limit access to family planning and relegate women only to child bearing that push the population, poverty and economic instability up.

      I am not sure that we need a totally different model, but the model of the last ten years in the US, where there is little to no regulation, no direction, and where everything is supposed to be driven by short term profit incentives is clearly not working. The bankers and executive have gotten rich and everyone else has gotten poorer.

      For instance, the wind industry is in a shambles in the US because there is no long term R & D to support it. Solyndra was another giant blackhole for tax dollars. Need more? The latest most visible casualty is the sell off of the lithium ion battery company A123 Systems to China's Wanxiang Group Corp. Chock up another $100million plus loss to be paid by, your's truly, the American taxpayer.

      So I agree that the market driven only approach is clearly not working for energy innovation. These projects need decades long commitments that should be supported by a collaboration between industry and governments.

      Regarding the younger generation being more altruistic, I am not so sure. Just look at the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.

      On the other hand, there is Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland.





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    2. "I am simply saying saying that it is irresponsible on a science program, which Science Friday is, to not question a statement that "it is a good and necessary thing for the world's population to reach 9 billion.""

      Said like that, of course. But maybe the author of the sentence meant just that it is an unavoidable foreseeable event (~necessary) and that it is less evil than implementing a Nazi-like eugenics program (~good). On the other hand the author speaks like a preacher not a scientist. Population growth is not and has not been good for Humankind since long ago.

      However I estimated recently that my fair share (i.e. per capita) of the planet is ~2 Ha, of which maybe 1 or half would be arable. It is still enough probably to feed us all with the appropriate permaculture-based Eco-Maoist program (to be implemented soon because there's no other way out of this mess) but we'd be much better off with the 14 or 15 Ha we would have got if the Earth's population would have frozen at 1 billion early in the 20th century.

      But instead of persecuting the focuses of uncontrolled population growth: pro-life fanatics, the Pope, Saudi Arabia and its religious tentacles, etc. Our Capitalist leaders are persecuting those who do a good work controlling population growth: for example communist forces in Afghanistan, etc.

      Capitalism is the force that promotes today uncontrolled pop. growth (more cheap labor, more consumers) and, of course, unequal sharing of the Earth's resources.

      And I want to emphasize the latter because, I said before, the matter of ecological footprint and who controls the wealth (=waste), which are not the majority of the population by a long shot. If in the USA the class war was described as 1% vs 99%, at global level the differences are much worse. Also, as people live better and women and young ones are more empowered, they have a more balanced number of children. It is patriarchal societies with high influence of religion and usually high poverty levels as well, where demographic growth is extreme.

      Still it is clearly declining everywhere and we should not consider it a major problem anymore. In that sense a goal of stabilization at 9 billion people is "good" and "necessary". At least very rational.

      The real problem is who controls the wealth. If I don't control by any means my fair share of c. 2 Ha of emerged land (or whatever equivalent), why should I care about pop. growth? I care about accumulation of property in way too few hands, which forces me, property-less proletarian to beg in the so-called labor market (slave market) for a master to own me even if only provisionally so I can eat of his/her crumbs.

      It is that master and his/her own higher level great masters who own nearly all the ecological footprint, who waste nearly all Earth's valuable resources in their swimming pools, yachts and all the other caprices, as well in paying mercenaries (armies, police...) to protect them and in wasteful centralist management of the fraction of the World's economy they, as feudal lords, control illegitimately.

      That's the real problem: some people wasting the resources of us all, and also squeezing our very lives, draining our lifeblood and living out of it. Population growth is, in this context, little more than a smokebomb.

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    3. Communism suffers from the same problems that unfettered capitalism suffers from: too much power concentration by a select group. I'm not ready to give up on participatory democracy yet. Lack of planning, lack of regulation, and lack of well thought out research spending on alternative energy are impeding advances in this area.

      Given the experience of my husband's family with communist forces in Northern Greece during the 30's and 40's, I will never believe that a communist system could solve our problems. That history is tragically captured in the book "Eleni" by Nicholas Gage. It's been translated into many languages. As a matter fact, for my husband's family, this is not just history in a book, but an actually experience of tyranny in which many innocent people, including women and children, were executed.

      As far as political systems go, I am also not happy with the current concentration of power in the US and Canada.

      My own thinking is that it is the failure of policy making in both the US and Canada that is leading to these terrible environmental decisions.

      Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, for instance, has been very harmful to the US.

      Regarding population, I don't think that the population will self regulate to 9 billion people except through catastrophy.

      For example, California's population is still increasing dramatically. The agricultural economy in the Central valley is fighting over water resources, and yet, Governor Brown (Moonbeam) has just approved a very costly high speed rail system in the central valley. This will likely encourage population increase there.

      In California, the long term problem is that most of the state relies for its water on the snow pack in the Sierra, which is under duress due to climate change. So in California, you could end up with upwards of 40 million people with no water to drink or grow their food within the next 200 years.

      So, no, I don't agree that population doesn't matter. It won't self regulate without a more open discussion that stops promoting population increase.

      Also, on another front, China and India are now considered to be some of the largest green house gas emitters and their populations are continuing to increase:

      http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21571109-emerging-markets-are-big-part-problem-they-are-essential-any-solution-take

      So, no, I don't think that what we need is a change to communisim. What we need are better policies that limit wealth concentration, that encourage population stability and that encourage long term investments in alternative energy research and implementation.

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    4. Current research indicates that even by 2050, 25% of the Sierra snow pack will be lost:

      http://www.water.ca.gov/climatechange/

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    5. Participative democracy or representative pseudo democracy in which the Single Party of Capitalism presents two or even more nearly identical options? There's no more democracy, much less participation in decission-making in the USA than in Cuba. But in Cuba there are no homeless, no hunger, no health nor education costs...

      But this advantage of Communism is even more clear where cultural revolution is obviously needed, as in the Muslim countries or wherever Patriarchy and superstition are too strong, like Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. You may have heard of Malala Yousouf but the media is hiding her clear communist leaning... because in that area only the reds had ever a plan for the people and by the people, women included. And today is the same.

      California's main water problem is overconsumption, not by showers but by irrigation of farms and gardens, use for golf courses, swimming pools and industries. Mostly there are enough resources but not for wasteful Beverly Hills.

      China and India should be ina balanced World the gratest consumers and emitters, after all they include 2/5 of humankind. What is not normal is the level of waste of the USA, for example, with a mere 5% of the people. And within them, the wealthiest class accumulates most of the waste. Not acceptable by any standards but they have nukes and Hollywood as propaganda machine, so it will be a lengthy conflict unless the working class of theUSA rises in arms first.

      I feel that you're blaming others for what is mostly Western responsibility. Istead of discusing the waste of Beverly Hills yo seem now to prefer blaming the slums of Calcutta.

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    6. Canada, many European countries, and some Asian countries such as Singapore also have universal healthcare, very little homelessness, and low rates of hunger, etc. Their average standard of living is much higher than that of Cuba.

      In any case, I am not going to disparage Cuba. They have accomplished a lot with few resources. However, I would not want to live there and many people have left Cuba because they have found it to be an oppressive system.

      California's main water problem is not overconsumption. Very few people have swimming pools these days. Many of the golf courses are being eliminated. In fact, most of California's water is consumed in agriculture. Most farmers now use state-of-the-art drip irrigation methods.

      It should be pointed out that the Central Valley grows and feeds much of the Western United States. In fact, if you go into a grocery store in British Columbia or Alberta, Canada, you will notice that much of the produce comes from California.

      Something to think about, hey? As the Sierra snowpack declines, the bread basket of much of the Western United States could collapse.

      I'm sure the situation is similar in Europe. The diminishment of the snowpack in the Pyrenees and the Alps could lead to a water crisis in Europe that would have a devastating impact on agriculture.

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    7. "China and India should in a balanced World be the greatest consumers and emitters".

      Population China: 1.4 billion
      Population India: 1.2 billion
      Population US: 0.31 billion
      Population Europe: 0.74 billion

      Regarding China, the recent report "Trends in Global C02 emissions", finds that "Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increased by 3% last year, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion tonnes in 2011. In China, average per capita CO2 emissions increased by 9% to 7.2 tonnes CO2. Taking into account an uncertainty margin of 10%, this is similar to per capita emissions in the European Union."

      http://www.pbl.nl/en/publications/2012/trends-in-global-co2-emissions-2012-report

      "What is not normal is the level of waste of the USA, for example, with a mere 5% of the people. And within them, the wealthiest class accumulates most of the waste. Not acceptable by any standards but they have nukes and Hollywood as propaganda machine, so it will be a lengthy conflict unless the working class of theUSA rises in arms first."

      Perhaps you are watching too much media. Most people in the US live quite modestly, work very hard and are quite thrifty. There is of course the Wall Street crowd, the Hollywood Media crowd and the Silicon Valley VC crowd, but that is a very small segment of the population. In terms of emissions, statistics bear out that even on a per capita basis, the rate of C02 emissions in the US is falling below that of China.

      "I feel that you're blaming others for what is mostly Western responsibility. Istead of discusing the waste of Beverly Hills yo seem now to prefer blaming the slums of Calcutta."

      Beverly Hills? Most people in the US don't live live like what you see in the media. In fact, I've noticed many people who come here from other countries are quite surprised to see how modestly Americans live, how incredibly hard working and uncomplaining they are. Of course Americans do have their oddities, but so does everyone else.

      The main problem in the US at the moment is not their per capita energy footprint, it is the failure of the political and business class to show leadership on alternative energy innovation. Also, they are failing to show leadership on the need for population restraint.

      I'm not "blaming" anyone, just looking at the statistics. Again, unless we do something about world population, we are going to be cooked and pretty quickly it looks like.

      The Science Friday broadcasters did get some things right. Their comment on uncertainty was right on. In fact, based on the last few years of weather, it looks like the climate scientists have been quite conservative in their predictions.

      The atmosphere doesn't care about politics.

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    8. Cuba was a plantation colony until 100 years ago and a plantation neocolony cum casino until 50 years ago. You don't compare Cuba with Sweden, not even with Spain (where dental and optical go essentially through the private sector and where Cuban programs against illiteracy have been used with great success and little notice by the media). You compare Cuba with Mexico, Haiti or Honduras. You compare Cuba with Philippines or at most you compare Cuba with the Deep South of the USA.

      European welfare system is a chimera which is being dismantled and only really applies to Germany and some small states in its periphery. True that for Germany it works relatively well but we should not forget that it is a semi-socialist regime after all, designed to withstand Soviet charms under a hybrid social-capitalist regime that incorporates unions to company decision-making and much more.

      Everywhere else, welfare is mediocre and imperfect: Britain, France, Italy, Spain... and the other smaller countries like Greece or Portugal, all lack but a very basic welfare system, with just some social security (pensions, minimal unemployment coverage) and partial public health care that is anyhow now being demolished almost overnight.

      "Beverly Hills? Most people in the US don't live live like what you see in the media"...

      I know that very well. That's precisely why you should sharpen the pitchforks and loot Beverly Hills and all the other wealthy suburbs with swimming pools and golf courses. It's those areas, those 5%, 1% or whatever who are sucking dry the planet! Of course there are "Beverly Hills" elsewhere, even in Calcutta probably, but the bulk of the waste is produced by that kind of people, whose abuse must be curtailed, and many certainly live in the USA and other developed countries.

      "The diminishment of the snowpack in the Pyrenees and the Alps could lead to a water crisis in Europe that would have a devastating impact on agriculture".

      Incidentally irrigation agriculture is part of the problem. In the past and to some extent still today dry land farming was common. In fact wheat and other cereals are typically dry land produce and it is cereals what we need to survive first of all. There's no point in displacing half a river from this to that basin only to grow tomatoes in the desert: you don't grow anything in a desert, much less tomatoes and strawberries! Our agricultural policies are nefarious, irrational, totally unsustainable!

      ...

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    9. ...

      "The main problem in the US at the moment is not their per capita energy footprint, it is the failure of the political and business class to show leadership on alternative energy innovation".

      They are doing exactly what they are suppossed to do: look for their short and mid term profit. All the rest matters not. Business are business (i.e. mafiosi), not a charity and not any leadership either, except in what regards to making a profit, even at the expense of the state and certainly at the expense of the public. You are deceiving yourself if you expect solutions and transforming leadership from them.

      I reckon that China and others are increasingly part of the problem, as they try to become equal with the West, but the source of the problem was and is the West, so blaming China is just trying to ignore our own collective responsibility, unless we do point fingers at them within a much wider self-criticism, which must not be just present day but also historical - 500 years of destructive Western imperialism - I'm not getting over it: wealth must be redistributed if we want to get over it, same with Black people in the USA: where is their share of the plantations they collectively built and kept working in slavery conditions? Or are the slave masters still keeping them, how curious! Just nominal "freedom" is not enough, as is not for our ex-colonies: equality must be accomplished before we can get over it.

      And that requires communism or socialism at global level.

      "The atmosphere doesn't care about politics".

      Surely not. It does not care about carbon either: the atmosphere is mere inert matter.

      The issue is which politics will save the atmosphere and Earth overall in the best shape possible for us humans? That is politics: everything we humans do collectively is politics. Humans are political animals and ecology, economy, industry and agriculture are politics.

      You can't make demands to the slum-dwellers of the World, or in general to the working classes, without first dealing with the vampires of Beverly Hills. Once equality has been achieved, more or less, people in general can be rallied (through politics, mind you) to help even harder to save the planet. But you can't make demands to the shoeless while ignoring those who collect shoes by the hundreds, you can't make demands to the waterless while ignoring those who waste water in their swimming pools, you can't make demands to those who struggle for survival while ignoring those sucking them dry.

      Sorry if it is politics: Humankind is politics and the survival of an Earth that is still useful for us humans is politics as well.

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    10. Maju,

      Your off topic regarding a discussion about C02 emissions.

      Also, I don't appreciate you inciting hatred.

      It's a beautiful day and I am going for a bike ride with my family.

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    11. Hatred?! Are you kidding me? Hatred against what: golf courses? Hatred against child explotation? Hatred against deforestation? Hatred against the fact that a few people are sucking us all dry? Sure, I hate all that. But I'm not inciting hatred against anyone...

      I'm not off topic at all re. CO2 emissions, which are produced by almost exactly the same process of wasteful consumption (mostly luxuries) as every other kind of pollution and damage to the planet: it is Capitalist exploitation (of people and Earth which is behind that). But if you think that speaking the truth clearly is "inciting hatred", then I'm obviously in the wrong place.

      So long and thanks for nothing.

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    12. Seriously, Luis, I really had to call you out on that pitchforks statement.

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  7. "For example overfishing and deforestation (for pretty much petty reasons that could easily be sidelined) are at least as important threats as is global warming".

    I agree Maju. The New Zealand government has just introduced an emmissions trading scheme which will do absolutely nothing to reduce carbon let alone pollution in general. It is primarily a money making scheme for paper shufflers.

    "I guess the process can still be stopped on its heels"

    I don't see how, as long as money is king.

    "I am surprised that Ira Flatow didn't call out the speaker who mentioned that the world population had to increase to nine billion. The fact is that we probably don't need the population to go to nine billion. We could all live perfectly happily by implementing policies to sustain the population at current levels".

    I actually think that overpopulation is the main cause of all problems, including climate change.

    "remember that it is Capital which needs plenty of cheap workers and willing consumers, that it is this system who feeds and sustains the popes and muftis"

    That hits the nail right on the head. Money is king.

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    1. " The New Zealand government has just introduced an emmissions trading scheme which will do absolutely nothing to reduce carbon let alone pollution in general. It is primarily a money making scheme for paper shufflers."

      I also agree that "cap and trade" approaches are likely going to be too adhoc to result on much progress on the development of C02 reducing technologies.

      "I actually think that overpopulation is the main cause of all problems, including climate change."

      Me too. It's obvious. At least with the standard of living that everyone in the world currently aspires to, the population needs to go down, not up. Otherwise, as the standard of living comes up for those in developing economies, the C02 is going to go through the roof, even if we manage to bring wind and solar online.

      "Money is king."

      Yes, it's a weird and unhappy culture that we live in.

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  8. "Money is king."

    Here it is, the Growling Tiger:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMlfUirBs4E

    I was thinking of this song when I wrote the comment yesterday.

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    1. Great and funny song and video.

      I'm copying the write up below this song as the history of "The Growling Tiger" describes the importance of this song in Calypso musical history:

      Neville Marcano, aka The Growling Tiger (1915-1993) was a calypsonian from Trinidad, an ex-boxer who became a star in the 1930s, when calypsonians started exporting their music overseas, and big names emerged like Lord Kitchener, Lord Invader or Roaring Lion (I don't know which one of Roaring Lion or Growling Tiger earnt his nickname first).

      After a semi retirement, Growling Tiger was recorded by Alan Lomax in Trinidad in 1962 with an acoustic band, playing a traditional form of Calypso and even older styles. You can find these recordings on the Alan Lomax Series under the name The Growling Tiger Of Calypso.

      Then 15 years later American enthousiast Steve Shapiro rediscovered a 64 year-old Tiger and recorded him again, this time with a more "modern" band featuring horns. These sessions gave birth to Knock Down Calypsos.

      It is difficult to resist the Tiger's charms. His music, a sum of various influences from French, Spanish, English and African traditions, ranges from old-school minor-key calypso ("Money Is king") to derivations from more ancient styles like kalinda (a stick-fighting dance popular in Trinidad carnivals) or songs with a strong African heritage like "Youruba Shango".

      A common trait in calypso, the lyrics and the singer's personality are very important. The singer must forge himself a strong identity in order to outshine the competition. Growling Tiger, with his deep baritone voice, was famous for his political and social lyrics, and never ceased to mock the rulers and the system, in pure carnival tradition.

      "Money Is King", both funny and serious, is a great example of his consciousness. The album also features bawdy songs like "The Train Blow".

      As Robert Leaver says, "A master of improvisation (extempo) and the competitive Calypsonian duel, Tiger could rhyme on diverse subjects with intelligence and wit. Rappers take heed -- Growling Tiger could school you".
      http://riversinvitation.blogspot.com

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  9. "Also, I don't appreciate you inciting hatred".

    Maju really does seem to have a chip on his shoulder.

    ReplyDelete

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