May 252017
 

This is a topic that generates little real interest in the majority of the American population. Nuclear energy is very risky. Researchers from Princeton University and the Union of Concerned Scientists, the article argues that NRC inaction leaves the public at high risk from fires in spent-nuclear-fuel cooling pools at reactor sites.

My own state recently had a nuclear emergency, which as you might expect, is not over. The entire Eastern seaboard is another high-risk region.

Personally, I do not support nuclear energy and never have. Creating elements that are so utterly toxic to all life and that will have catastrophic effects for tens of thousands of years is worse then stupid. It’s arrogant and criminal.

But isn’t that the “way” of humanity, when you examine our behavior in detail? I think so. We seem to presume too much, such as humans will always be in control of the things which they create.

Not so. I know this not to be true and intuitively, you do too. There is a great deal we do not control anymore, once released into the environment. And the whole world is suffering today because of it. This only promises to get worse, not better.

May 142017
 

May 14, 2017. The weather around here cannot decide if it is spring or winter. The grass is green now, but it is very cold. Burning wood again. It’s dropping to near-freezing at night.

It’s been the strangest, coldest and wettest spring that I’ve ever seen. I haven’t been paying much attention to what is happening elsewhere, but I heard Kansas had a freak snowstorm and lost nearly the entire wheat crop. Flooding up in Canada.

I don’t think these event will make the essential connection for the majority of people. Food comes from supermarkets anyway. Farmers will cope. Nothing to worry about.

I think they’re wrong.

I haven’t cut any of the grass. The dandelions are blooming and the bees are supposed to need the dandelions. I haven’t seen any bees. Not a single one.

Hmm, now that I think about it, I’ve only seen one yellow-jacket. It was so cold it couldn’t move.

My cat cornered a baby rabbit yesterday. It was the middle of the night. I could hear it screaming. Then it stopped. I tried going back to sleep, but then the rabbit started up again.

I got up, got dressed and went outside with a flashlight. I found the rabbit trying to hide under a tiny fern next to the shop. It was just a little guy. I scared off the cat who was anxious to pounce again. I found a small cardboard box and cornered the rabbit myself. Being the top predator on this planet, it was easy. The rabbit went into the box and then into the house.

Some shredded paper, water and a ‘good night’ to the rabbit and I went back to bed. In the morning, the rabbit was still alive, looking rather chipper. Feisty little bastard, actually.

I waited until evening to let it loose. Again, using my super-skills as the Alpha male / dominant species, I locked the cats up in the shop by blocking their access door. They both glared at me, knowing what they were in for. A long night with no killing spree. Nothing to chase, terrorize, murder. Their little demons actually, with a bloodlust that only matches humans.

Off into the forest I let the rabbit loose. He wasted no time and scampered for cover. Good luck, I thought. Hope he makes it. Short, brutal lives. Either the coyotes will devour him, or another cat will find him, or the hawks or eagles will dine on him. Such is his life.

Humans don’t connect. Food comes from nature. All of our food. Nature is in serious, serious trouble. One tiny, insignificant act of kindness or compassion will do absolutely nothing about the assault humans have inflicted upon nature. Even the bees are gone here. There are two deer that sleep next to my house every night now. They’re using me and my habitation for protection against predators. So far, so good, but I’ve seen the coyotes up close here. And I’ve lost chickens to these cruising appetites, several times.

I’m not surfing too much online. This blog contains all the warnings, news, information and ‘scare’ necessary for anyone to get up to speed on what is unfolding in our world. But like most blogs these days, it does not get updated much, and read even less. People remain distracted by the toys and times of this world. I think most of us have given up. We’re just going through this life and sort of waiting for it all to end with our death. We intuitively know that there is not much that we can do. Not when everything has been ripped out of our hands.

The young, the naive and the angry – and the greedy still think that they can ‘do something’. Maybe. But maybe not. The forces that now dominate Nature and destroy the living biosphere are out of their control too. The only thing left to do is the hard thing that nobody wants to do. Revolt, rebel, kill. Stop the evil by becoming evil itself. Otherwise, it’s just a fucking game. Legislate our way to goodness or greatness. Fool ourselves again that reform from within will work. It’s all lies.

Idiots fall for these fables, just like idiots fall for most fables. They’re stupid people, ignorant, uneducated, uninterested in learning much of anything. They’d simply rather be told. Told what to do, what to eat, what to enjoy, even what to worship. They get it all wrong. Their lives are scripted, fashioned into the form and adornment chosen for them. They don’t get it. They never will.

I think you have to go through all that yourself to figure this out. Waking up is part of it, a term that is very over-used. It’s supposed to mean a meme. A new awareness, but it really isn’t. It doesn’t mean what it seems. You don’t really wake up until you’ve had to go through a lot of shit. This world offers everyone a lot of shit. Your attitudes towards wading through shit has a lot to do with how well you will do, but it does not mean at all that you will wake up.

The essential connections to life and what it might mean, and what you might do, and how it all fits together for you is different for everybody. But there are general themes. Truths even. You can make yourself aware of these, or not. You can choose to be an ignorant, overfed slug who doesn’t care about anything. In many ways, that’s the great thing about life. But it is also one of the more evil things about life. A world full of ignorant, overfed slugs devouring everything.

I wish I had a hammer. I  would hammer the slugs into oblivion. There would be dead slugs everywhere. I don’t think I could stand the stench. It’s always better to just stay home and avoid the smell. There aren’t any slugs here, because I never allowed it. Everybody works. Hard. I cut ten cords of birch the other day. Me, with spinal stenosis. Yeah, it hurts, like a mother fucker. But who else is going to cut my wood supply? Nobody gives a shit about me. Trump sure as shit doesn’t. I’m still uninsured, still suffering, still in massive levels of pain, day after day.

It gets slightly better when I stop trying. Stop moving. But that hurts me in other ways. I’ve always been a doer. Taking on projects, tasks, things to do. My kid needed the valve cover seals replaced on the car, so I did that. Didn’t even break anything, but usually, I don’t. I can fix a lot of things.

I’ll be tearing down one of my sheds soon too. And more brush piles will have to burned. Always plenty to do around here, but to be honest, this is just the tiniest tip about what it is like to be me, and what it is I do. I’ve never been one to really share it all. Why should I? This is isn’t Facebook. My life here is probably a lot different then your life there. I’m sure we are both busy. I’m sure we both get things done. Or at least, I like to think so.

Damn it’s cold today. Dark heavy clouds covering the mountains. Yesterday I had to go to the city again and sell off some more stuff. Got ‘er done. That’s what counts for me. Get it done. We spend a lot of time yapping about stupid shit. A lot of time worrying and wrestling. It’s a huge waste of life force. Fix the shit that you can control. That might mean you have to step into a new role and do something you’ve never done before. So do it. Get it done.

I think most of my garden might fail this year. Damn. Just too much rain. Too cold. And no bees. That’s a scary thought. Food does NOT come from the supermarket. It comes from nature. And we killed it.

Apr 262017
 

I wish this article about young people and their view of the future went into a lot more detail. Unfortunately it doesn’t, and is typical of what is getting published these days on major news sites.

There is pessimism among the younger generation, but also hope “for a sustainable future”. I have to wonder if they really know what those words mean.

In their quest to be environmentally friendly, climate-smart citizens, the young people look for the ‘right’ things to do. Not finding what they’re looking for in the world around them, they express negative feelings such as powerlessness and hopelessness instead of hope that might lead to an ability to act on environmental issues.

“The important lesson to learn from this study is that there are young people aged 17–18 walking around with a very real expectation that their future, and the future of their children and grandchildren, is a world that may be characterised by environmental collapse and climate chaos.”

Cool. At least they get it. I hope. Sometimes fear is a catalyst for action. Or at least personal preparedness. Like learning the essential life skills to stay alive in a declining world. But somehow, I sort of doubt this. The young people I run in to are surly, rude, careless and indifferent (so far). I’m not rubbing elbows with intelligent, capable, competent or even interested young people. Perhaps they’re out there, just not here. Or perhaps this article doesn’t convey the whole story.

If they’re truly aware of the predicament of the future – they already know that they really are powerless within the current paradigm to change much of anything. That would be start – to realize that seeking a system change within the system is already a failure.

The young people in the study also have difficulty seeing how adult society, the education system, politicians and the business sector can help them create a sustainable future.

Well, they can’t. Not really. The education system, politicians and business sector is going to choose the path of self-survival. As always. An entirely new paradigm has to be created – from the ground up, that encompasses real true sustainability (assuming that this could even happen, another topic altogether). But as always, the terminology is always being redefined and watered down to mean something that it was never meant to mean. And the goal posts get shifted around along with new verbiage. What we’re really talking about here is business as usual. The new is the old and the old just doesn’t intend to change.

I feel for the young people, but there’s just not much I can do. Learn life skills for a declining world would be my advice. Quickly. Abandon any and all notions of stability. Know that what you have today will be gone tomorrow. And so on. But I don’t think they read this blog, so I’ll stop here.

Apr 262017
 

This is yet one more story of massive tree losses occurring from climate change. This time, Southern California. The cause – bugs and drought.

Up to 38% of the trees are expected to be lost – in just 3 counties. Tree loss means a lot of other losses too. Forest fires increase (due to dead and dying trees), critical shade habitat is lost, surface winds increase, soil erosion increases, hillside slump and fall and so on.

But Southern Californians would face many other costs.

“Catastrophic loss of our canopy would have consequences for human health and well-being, property values, air-conditioning savings, carbon storage, the removal of pollutants from the air we breathe, and wildlife habitat,” McPherson said.

Apr 262017
 

Researchers in Canada have finally gotten around to actually inspecting the amount of volatile organic compounds being released from surface mining activities. Prior to this, they simply relied upon the measurements provided by the oil companies themselves.

Well, duh! I’ve yet to read of a single, ethical oil company that has not engaged in deception, lying, coverup, fraud and even murder. Their track record of truth is absolutely horrendous. If and when they’re every actually held accountable for their actions (after DECADES of litigation), they pay armies of lawyers to forestall any penalties, fines or fees levied by the courts. In the meanwhile, they’re busy raping, polluting, poisoning and destroying the planet – and the living contingent of life within this sphere.

So of course it is of no real surprise to learn that they’ve been under represented their own emissions. It is what you would expect from greedy, pollutive, destructive companies that have also heavily funded climate change denialism and faked-science research.

A lot more research would need to be done to inspect them all – but this won’t happen. I’d hazard a educated guess that this sort of inspection will soon be outlawed by compliant governments. It will be deemed illegal to fly over mining activity. Or it will be deemed illegal to make inspections like this without prior authorization of the oil companies themselves.

These are the same companies that are not only helping to pollute the atmosphere, but their poisoning the water supplies too – which is another arena that has seen a lot malfeasance and denial.

 

Apr 062017
 

This is the new picture on the Bureau of Land Management website – be patient, it may load slowly:

If you don’t know what this is – it is a giant lump of coal.

Previously, the BLM showed a nice picture of range land with a couple of backpackers in the foreground. Now, it’s TRUiMPhantly showing a lump of dirty coal.

We live in an INSANE world. And it’s getting rapidly worse.

Parts of the Arctic Ocean are Turning Into the Atlantic

Over 1/3 of the Arctic Ocean has now changed into something resembling the Atlantic.

And Paul Beckwith reports “last week there were 37 icebergs calving off from Greenland, this week 450 plus icebergs”.

I don’t suppose this is going to wake anyone up.

Unless their steaming their way through on the Titanic.

Which we all are.

Mar 302017
 

This is a story that will “hit home” – but will Trump just try to build another wall?

Sea-level rise may displace 13 million people in the US by 2100.

Sea-level rise could force three times as many people in the US from their homes by the end of this century as previously thought, according to an analysis of population trends.

Mathew Hauer, a demographer at the University of Georgia in Athens, says that until recently most studies that predicted the risks associated with sea-level rise used current population numbers combined with projections of future sea levels.

The problem with that, he says, is that the predictions have become “outdated almost immediately”.

“Coastal communities are some of the most rapidly growing communities in the world, so you have to account for the fact that these areas are growing,” says Hauer. “Using current data, we’re underestimating what the future growth in coastal communities is likely to do in terms of placing people at risk of sea-level rise.”

Hauer and his colleagues therefore combined projected population growth with the scenarios of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on predicted sea-level rise.

They found that a 1.8-metre rise by 2100, near the top end of NOAA’s predictions, could lead to 13.1 million people being displaced – more than three times as many as indicated by current populations. A more modest 0.9-metre rise would still displace 4.3 million, also a three-fold increase on previous estimates.

I am aware that that 1.8 metre claim is incorrect. If you are not aware of the real number, it will be much, much higher then this with a corresponding number of American climate refugees (as high as 50 million). If any of us are still here in 2100 that is, but even if we’re not, the seas will have risen at least 9 feet by then and some science sources say as much as 30 feet (2.7 – 9.1 meters).

Pretty much “everyone” seems to be under order to under-report the real expected sea level rise. I’m sure it helps keep prime real estate values high as long as possible.

Oh, this is going to be a major problem – no more drinking water in these areas. Ground water inundation. Imagine that! Rising seas and fresh water don’t mix! Maybe the Trumpatolla could build a wall that would circle the entire island of Hawaii! But wait – that won’t work either:

In a statement announcing release of the study, Habel said, “This flooding will threaten $5 billion of taxable real estate; flood nearly 30 miles of roadway; and impact pedestrians, commercial and recreation activities, tourism, transportation, and infrastructure. The flooding will occur regardless of seawall construction, and thus will require innovative planning and intensive engineering efforts to accommodate standing water in the streets.”

The researchers also found that about 85 percent of the active cesspools in the study area are probably swamped with groundwater, which means that cesspool effluent, including remnant human waste, is  entering coastal groundwater and coastal environments.

Sea level rise of approximately three feet would fully inundate 39 cesspools, introducing effluent at the ground surface where people work and live. This presents a serious health concern that will become progressively more serious as contaminated waters begin breaching the ground surface.

“Our findings suggest that coastal communities in Hawai’i and globally are exposed to complex groundwater flooding hazards associated with sea level rise in addition to the typical concerns of coastal erosion and wave overtopping,” said Chip Fletcher, professor of Geology and Geophysics and associate dean in SOEST and principal investigator on the study.

Sea level rise is HUGE threat to humans. And like most everything else with this Administration, it’s not worth paying attention to.

Am I the only one who detects a major political problem here?

Mar 292017
 

The Trump agenda is not about putting America first. It’s about putting the privileged (monied) first. The Washington Post has a decent perspective on this, but it doesn’t go quite far enough.

Really, though, Trump’s policy reflects a deeper truth. Climate change denial is not incidental to a nationalist, populist agenda. It’s central to it. And that’s not a coincidence.

Combating global warming requires international cooperation, multinational agreements and rules. Done right, no country is exceptional, and some might have to sacrifice for others. In other words, it strengthens the international order that Trump and his team are so assiduously trying to dismantle in the name of “America First.”

As Andrew Norton, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, explains:

“Climate change is a highly inconvenient truth for nationalism, as it is unsolvable at the national level and requires collective action between states and between different national and local communities. Populist nationalism therefore tends to reject the science of climate change however strong the evidence.

Although I write about climate change most often, it is not the only issue of concern (by a long shot). It is however, THE issue that will affect all humans and all other species of life on this planet because it transcends borders, Presidents, races, religions, regions and even our imagination. It is the Extinction Level Event that spells the end of our species.

I have come to accept that Americans will never give a damn about their environment in a measure that will be meaningful to true conservation. I have also come to realize that conservatives have no concept of conservation at all. There is nothing conservative about them. American history is not about preservation, protection, liberty or respect, it’s really about domination, destruction, total dominion and extraction. These are the principles that built America  and destroyed the country as each successive generation of dominionists trampled upon everything they possibly could.

It is an untold story that only comes to your awareness upon deep reflection of history and current events. It is not going to change either, no matter how much “evidence” there is, or how many people, species or life suffers. The real story of modern humans is one of conquest and domination and the final chapter has not been written. The Trump Administration is hell-bent on ensuring that their mark upon the historical record imprinted upon the Earth will never be forgotten. Some people are convinced that this will be good for the country, I’m convinced of just the opposite.

But in the end, it is not going to matter what I think or what anyone else thinks. The reigns of power have passed to a madman and like the stupid puppets we really are, we will respond to the pull on the string. There is no courage in this country to refuse the President and his many asinine decrees just as there was no courage before with other Presidents and their many decrees. Every governmental employee is just “doing their job” which is really just another way of saying their job always comes first and to hell with principles. It is the same with military contractors and assembly line workers and every other employee who is building, buying or engaging in any aspects of destroying the lives of other humans. The job always comes first.

We are all playing lip-service to what we claim to believe and what we actually do. It’s all quickly forgotten when our monetary survival is threatened and then we simply do what we are told. Once they controlled how we survived, they had us – forever, and they know it. Everything else is now just vented steam. Our anger is meaningless, our disgust misdirected, our activism nearly useless. They’re quite adept at shifting the goal posts and keeping the dissenters distracted, divided and ineffective. The rest can’t be bothered to care enough anyway.

So this is what life has become. Puppeteers and pulling strings. The next go-around will be another agenda, another President, another war, another event. And the goal posts will change ever so slightly once again, but it will always be business as usual. Those of us that are few and concerned about a habitable future are not going to achieve the success that is needed because the status-quo will never, ever allow it. We lack the courage to kill them and take the reigns ourselves and even if we did it would not change anything. The human trajectory is a Juggernaut of immense enormity and weight, the essential course correction that many champion for will never happen.

I think I should start another business in the field of death and destruction, that would put me on semi-equal terms with the rest of America. Your suggestions on how I might do this would be appreciated.

Mar 292017
 

In a warming world, cows are going to produce less meat and milk and more methane. That is the results found in a study from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt.

“… plants growing in warmer conditions are tougher and have lower nutritional value to grazing livestock, potentially inhibiting milk and meat yields and raising the amount of methane released by the animals. Higher amounts of methane are produced when plants are tougher to digest – an effect of a warmer environment. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, around 25 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. More than 95% of the methane produced by cows comes from their breath through eructation (belching) as they “chew the cud”.  Making Cows More Environmentally Friendly

There is a widespread misconception that a warming world will improve plant yields too. It’s not true. Both yields and nutrition decline.

Less meat however, is actually a good thing overall, but that’s assuming humans would want to eat less meat, which they don’t. Just the opposite is true, meat consumption continues to rise taking up more and more of the world’s grain production.

Methane production is generally expected to increase all around the world, with hotspots identified in North America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia, where the effects of climate change may be the most severe. Many of these regions are where livestock farming is growing most rapidly. For example, meat production has increased annually by around 3.4% across Asia, compared with a more modest 1% increase across Europe.

Global meat production has increased rapidly in recent years to meet demand, from 71 million tonnes in 1961 to 318 million tonnes in 2014, a 78% increase in 53 years (FAOSTAT, 2016). Grazing lands have expanded to support this production, particularly across Asia and South America, and now cover 35 million km2; 30% of the Earth’s ice-free surface.

Cows are producing 15% of the global methane contribution, which is a very large figure (76 – 92 Tg per year. 1 Tg = 1 million metric tonnes).

These are ridiculous figures, but then again, so is the incredible sprawl of human civilization (destruction) across the Earth. And still we want more.

Mar 292017
 

2050 isn’t that far off. I might even live that long myself. But I’d be among the old, young and infirm that are certain to suffer from heat stress, potentially killing millions.

An analysis of 44 of the 101 most populous “megacities” showed that the number of cities experiencing heat stress doubled with 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) of warming, researchers reported.

That trend would potentially expose more than 350 million additional people to heat stress by 2050, if population continues to grow as expected, the study authors said.

Expect more deadly heat from climate change, study says

It’s been raining all month here (when it didn’t snow) with just a couple of days of decent sunshine. The increased atmospheric vapor falling as rain and snow is caused by a warming planet. The ground around here is extremely saturated. There was a massive mudslide that nearly killed a father and son, and the river is at flood stage already.

It’s not just heat stress that the world needs to be concerned about, but what all the extra water does when it comes down. And how this extra heat, flooding, and cycles of drought will affect global food production and economic activity.

Think I’m kidding? It’s being studied right now and it does not look good: Farming becoming riskier under climate change. The models studied suggest that the typical planting window for corn will no longer be workable; April and May will be far too wet to work the fields. That’s a huge loss of a global staple crop. And this is just one of the factors being considered elsewhere. Under study is drought, aquifer depletion, pests, disease vectors, temperature variations, pollination and soil depletion, every one in worsening conditions world-wide.

I’ve been accused of being too negative, but honestly, I don’t think I’m wrong about the future at all. So far, I’m on track with what the future will be.