Jan 312007

Here is the latest news on what we can expect:

2,000 islands gone within 23 years. And that’s just in India.

Sea levels will continue to rise for at least 1,000 years – no matter what we do.

The number of refugees will number in the hundreds of millions.

Global temperatures will rise no matter what we do – and won’t decline for at least 200 years.

No breaking news yet on what this might mean to the global food supply – but not that hard to figure out. Does “global famine” ring any bells with anyone?

This Friday will “tell all” on what the real impacts are expected to be.

I’m taking no pleasure whatsoever in having reached the same conclusions as these 2,000 scientist from around the world. Even with a immediate and massive, coordinated global effort, we’re going to see some dramatic and life-threatening changes.

Just imagine what property values and investment values on the world’s islands are going to be after this makes the news and maybe, finally, somehow, penetrates the public conciousness. But I’m thinking it will take an asteroid the size of the one in Deep Impact to penetrate the sombelent state of the public before they wake up and notice what the hell has been going on.

Yeah, I’m angry. I’m still seeing moronic posters arguing the “fine point” of whether or not global warming is real, and whether or not it’s caused or enhanced by human activity.  They’ll probably still be arguing over it as the water rises over their heads.

Jan 302007

Drudge is flying some headlines on climate change, garnering more attention probably than Prince Charles. Warming, water shortages, and the 10 year thingy. It’s “old news” to readers of this blog.

And there are still those that of course, want to argue the finer points, such as claiming it’s natural and not man-made. At this point, what difference does it make? The profiteers will keep skimming the cream from the planet no matter what. As long as this ball of wax keeps spinning in space, this nonsensical argument will keep going round and round.

In other news, the FBI is sucking in vast hordes of data. Worse, Bush has granted himself the power to override federal health, environment, civil rights and privacy agencies. And on the lighter side, this story by Isaac Asimov is a worthy read on the last question.

Jan 282007

Found on another board, this bears some serious contemplation:

In 1998 the US produced over 6.6 billion dozen eggs! …

Number of chickens slaughtered every minute in the US: 14,000

Number of cows and calves slaughtered every 24 hours in the US: 90,000

Food animals (not counting fish and other aquatic creatures) slaughtered per year in the US: 10 billion

How could we possibly unleash figures such as those, on the wild?
Wild ducks, geese, turkeys, … all extinct.
Deer, elk, goats, rabbits … all extinct.

Billions of people world wide, scavaging for anything edible.

You throw in domesticated animals and agriculture into a primitive, over-populated environment

You will need wire.
Someone will need to fire up a tractor.
Food and animal feed will need to be transported by the mega-tons.
To bring “primitive sustainability” to the modern world, we have to look at the other side of the equation.

How to eliminate x billion people, first.

Turning the world loose on a primitive lifestyle would accomplish this.
Within days the slaughtering would start.
Lakes and seashores would become territorial battlegrounds.

The race would become one of eliminating enough people before everything that is edible in the wild became extinct.

Sustainability would be a hard thing to achieve, should the entire population try it.

“We” would become the problem. Eliminating the vast majority of “us”, the solution.

We need to look for a way to balance the population with the resources, but I don’t see how it would work by going primitive.

Not with the number of people that we have, anyway.

Not said (yet), is where is the wire, fuel and feed going to come from in an energy starved world? Or how to protect the meager herds of domesticated animals from the starving millions?

This post puts the difficulty of survival post-crash into a perspective that is not often considered.

But on the other side, pre-crash domestication of animals (and agriculture) is a gigantic industry that (presently and stupidly) affords stupendously large human and animal populations. All which requires available (affordable) energy, adequate rainfall and growing seasons, a huge (functioning) distribution network, and a vast array of processing plants, factories and personnel to make it all happen.

None of which will be available indefinitely, or even much longer.

Sustainability simply isn’t possible for the world’s 7 billion. Especially in today’s highly industrialized and mechanized First World nations that are heavily reliant upon petroleum (imported or otherwise). They, having lost their distributed farming base, will be hit the hardest as their civilizations crash to the level of available energy in a declining environment.

Primitive living may be the only truly sustainable way of living mankind has ever found, but there was a valid reason that 500 hundred million (or less) were able to do this globally, which 7 billion cannot possibly hope to attain.

I expect a total collapse of global populations to reach less then 500 hundred million – in my lifetime. But the quest for real sustainability will only be found by those who are willing to engage in it’s actual practice.

Most efforts fail to be sustainable. And there is absolutely no way 7 billion, particularly in the First World, industrialized nations can even achieve sustainable. This is proving to be yet another mythological pipe dream that directly contradicts the existing cultural expectations.

When the energy collapses, or the environment heats up enough, or the plankton collapse, or the Amazon burns up, or desertification becomes even worse, or any number of things, populations will start to decline precipitiously. As they must.

So it’s not a question of existing populations finding sustainability and never really was. The human and animal slaughter he speaks of will happen anyway.

Jan 282007

This is a real headline, one that I’ve been warning about.

THE world has just 10 years to reverse surging greenhouse gas emissions or risk runaway climate change that could make many parts of the planet uninhabitable.

The stark warning comes from scientists who are working on the final draft of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Sunday Times

30+ year shelf life on storable food is starting to look like a mighty good investment. Imagine what food is going to cost when 7+ billion people can’t find enough to eat. Or how ugly it’s going to get as you scramble for that last bag of Cheetos.

I think it needs to be realized that so little is being done by so few, that the chances of stopping global warming are nil. I don’t believe it’s possible, and never did. Yes, I think we should all try, but it’s probably already too late since we are now witnessing the effects of decades past.

What will the gas emissions of the 90’s produce? How hot will it be, in say, 20 – 30 years? And what about beyond, as we debate the issue some more?

When the Amazon goes, everything else will be gone.  The boreal forest is the world’s largest forest – now burning in large sections. The permafrost is already melting, and can potentially billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere. This is NOT hyperbole.  The thermohaline currents are stopping and slowing down all over the world (now), the oceans will eventually die, the plankton will die, the entire food chain will collapse. Even the amount of oxygen produced will fall precipitously as all the plants die and the plankton die.

We are already in survival mode, most of the world refuses to admit it, being blinded by false reality portrayed by the media. This is the time for the governments and nations of the world to be implementing crash programs to protect and preserve as much as possible, but they still find it necessary to sit around and argue about it.

No salvation will be forthcoming from any government. Each and everyone of us is going to be on our own when it comes right down to it. This isn’t a regional disaster like Katrina, or even a national disaster like the Argentina meltdown. This is global, worldwide and all encompassing disaster affecting billions and billions of people. No governmental body in the world has the capacity to deal with that. Or even mitigate the effects adequately. It’s too big, too vast and far beyond the ability of human control.

What you “need” to do, if you take this issue seriously, is to implement your own plans and how you intend to live for the next few decades.

Me? I’m going to try to make things easier for my kids. It’s all I can do. I don’t intend or expect to survive this at all, but I’d like to help my kids out if I can. That will be my legacy, my gift to them. They’ll never know the world that I knew, which is probably a good thing. But I cringe when I think of the suffering that they will have to endure. It’s heart-rending.

Jan 272007

Judge denies unemployment benefits to woman who was fired from her job for keeping a journal detailing her efforts to avoid work

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An administrative judge has denied unemployment benefits to a woman who was fired from her job for keeping a journal detailing her efforts to avoid work.

Emmalee Bauer, 25, of Elkhart, was employed by the Sheraton hotel company as a sales coordinator in Des Moines. While on the job, she kept a handwritten journal. A supervisor told her to stop writing on company time, but instead, Bauer wrote her journal, all 300 single-spaced pages, on her work computer.

In the journal, portions of which were introduced during a recent hearing regarding Bauer’s request for unemployment, Bauer describes her efforts to avoid work.

“This typing thing seems to be doing the trick,” she wrote. “It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important.”

Bauer also wrote: “I am only here for the money and, lately, for the printer access. I haven’t really accomplished anything in a long while … and I am still getting paid more than I ever have at a job before, with less to do than I have ever had before. It’s actually quite nice when I think of it that way. I can shop online, play games and read message boards and still get paid for it.”

In her journal she speculated it could someday be published.

Bauer was fired for misuse of company time after a supervisor discovered the journal late last year.

Administrative Law Judge Susan Ackerman denied Bauer’s request for unemployment last week, saying she the journal demonstrated a refusal to work, as well as Bauer’s “amusement at getting away with it.”

I once had a job like this. They didn’t want me to work and actually preferred I goof off and simply look busy. I absolutely hated it and tried to work anyway.
A lot of people took advantage of the situation, and still do, to this day.  I was making over $50k doing nothing, if I was still there, I’d be somewhere in the high $70’s by now.  Goofing off.

It’s a sign of the cultural decay. Executives can play golf, jet set and hang out doing whatever it is that they do, pulling down multi-million dollar incomes every year, but the rank and file are supposed to work. Her mistake was obvious, but it’s probably not what you think.

No, it’s not the journal.  Guess again.  It’s not the unemployment claim. Guess again.

Give up?

She should have been the supervisor.

Jan 242007

I’m doing a bit of reading on minimalist living, and stumbled across this ridiculous practice. Sure, it’s “their stuff” and in a free country (bear with me) they can do what they want – but, companies that make this a practice should be boycotted. Besides, who buy’s $90 T-shirts?

Anyway, here’s some plans for solar cookers you can easily build yourself. Don’t forget to bookmark their home page.

Jan 232007

NEW YORK – A newcomer to the city became hopelessly lost for five days after going for a walk. Damon Mootoo was staying at his brother’s house in South Jamaica, Queens, when he decided to go for the stroll last Wednesday, 12 hours after arriving in New York for the first time, the Daily News reported Monday.

The 32-year-old man quickly got disorientated by the confusing streets of Queens.

On Sunday night, after a good Samaritan came to his aid, he was recovering at Jamaica Hospital from dehydration and frostbite.

Mootoo, who is hard of hearing but can communicate in English, said he didn’t ask for directions because he was afraid he’d be deported and because he had heard many scary stories about New York. He recently had received his permanent resident card.

The Samaritan, Michael Bharath, was walking home from church when he spotted Mootoo shivering on the street. After he and his wife made him a sandwich, Mootoo opened up and told them his story.
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Luckily, Mootoo found a piece of paper with his stepmother’s address in his pocket, and Bharath drove him there.

“When I see people in need, I try to help them,” Bharath told the News. “He was in need, and I’m pretty sure that within a couple more hours he would have been a dead man.”

Mootoo had begged for water, but was too ashamed and shy to ask for food or directions, his worried brother, Roger Miller, told the News. He slept in an abandoned car or sought shelter under a piece of wood in a stranger’s yard. Temperatures dropped into the low 20s on some nights.

“When we saw him, he was just crying,” said Miller, who had plastered flyers with Mootoo’s photo all over South Jamaica.

“He said he was trying to find his way back,” Miller said. “He said he was just walking all over. He was scared. He heard all the stories about New York.”

“I want to go home,” Mootoo told the paper. “I’m thinking about going back to Guyana.”

Our fast pace and bizarre world in stark evidence; confusing, convoluted, overbuilt, in a hurry, indifferent, frightening and dangerous. What an indictment against ‘civilization’.

Jan 212007

Pics of the ‘local’ winter conditions:

And a waste of resources plowing this up (I didn’t do it):

It’s not a lot of snow, it keeps warming up and melting down. Underneath all of this is about 3″ of ice on the roads.