Monday, May 28, 2007

Drought prompts concern

Drought is hitting many states harder this year than ever before. Farmers have had to skip planting crops. People have had to stop watering their lawns. What will happen next? How long will our government act like it doesn't have a responsibility to act?

What Can I Do

I'm not an expert on Climate Change. But as I read Tim's book, I am deeply moved and troubled. What can one person do? The picture he paints does not look good from what I've read so far. I'm starting chapter four. I think the underlying message in this book so far is that the future is uncertain. Whether man survives or not will depend of whether we are able to make changes quickly to cut CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases that we are pouring into the atmosphere. The future will depend on how fast we are able to do this. And this in turn will be the deciding factor as to whether or not our species survives. Some will die because of climate change. That is almost certain. How many will die is the unknown... I can't read this book and believe otherwise.

Green Resources

Tree Hugger's Green Guide

MSN's Guide to live green

Living Green

Live Earth

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How to Green Your Wedding

Neo Green Sustainable considerations

Things to consider when buying green or from social responsible companies:

How a company designs, sources, produces, and distributes. Upstream and down stream factors. What sustainability training do they offer? Do they have a sustainability pledge? If so, what is it? What is the minimum age of their overseas’ worker? Does their building have LEED’s certification? What causes does it give its one percent to? Environmental issues, human rights issues, public health and safety? How does it help the community in which it operates? How does it treat its employees? Check the articles of incorporation to see what it says its commitment to these issues.

Neo-Greens vs. the Age of Brutalism

To borrow from Al Gore's movie when he showed how much CO2 there is in our atmosphere and the critics who say, "It doesn't matter." He said, "R-E-A-L-L-Y? How could it not matter?"

William McDonough said in his TED talk that when NOAA was testing water above Hawaii in the North-Pacific-Central-Gyre and they discovered that it had six times more plastic particles than phytoplankton in it! I'm sure some will say that this doesn't matter. My answer to this is "R-E-A-L-L-Y? How could it not matter?" Phytoplankton is the source of half of all of the oxygen on this planet. How could that not matter? It is a live organism that depends on certain nutrients being found in the water. It can't eat plastic and there is six times more plastic particles than phytoplankton? Who could say that is not a problem?

McDonough says that we are "making our ocean into a giant toilet that doesn't flush" with all the junk we are dumping into it! Anyone that wants to bet against the neo-greens is only looking at the short-term. There is no place for them to go but up.

What is LOHAS

William McDonough's TED talk!

From talk: Bershire Hathway's Shaw Industries is working with McDonough

What is a Neo-Green

Here are some articles about the rise of the Neogreens

TED Story Tellers

One Percent for the Planet...

Businesses and professionals are giving a percentage of their profits for environmental causes. Interesting, a tithe for change...

Zero Waste

We need to do this in Central Florida

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The New Dragon...

I've spent a life time trying to lift the down trodden with the gift of education as a way out only to have those efforts fall on blind minds and deaf ears. People whose minds were too distracted to realize that an education may be their only hope for a better future. But they valued Nike shoes, gold chains and hip clothes over knowledge. The scoffed at reading and writing and chose hip hop gangster rap instead to be their guide. And now a monster threatens our shores, people who are dying to live on 35 cents a day are changing the economic landscape that we depend on for our way of life. We have no will to fight this dragon. We have lost our way...

If we could take a portion of the 27 million who live in poverty, and put them in American schools, would they too choose hip hop gangster rap over wisdom and sage advice? Would they learn to shun the things that could free them? Would they value and take advantage of their education or would they chose to follow the path of indifference like so many American children? Are we just too limited as humans to make the right choices? Maybe we just haven't evolved enough as a species and it will take millenniums before we can change our self destructive tendencies that seem to be hardwired into our genetic coding. Unfortunately this isn't new to human kind, it's just on a grander scale. It turns out that Darwin was probably right:

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent, but those most adaptive to change." Charles Darwin


Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Blades

The horror of slavery, says Kevin Bales, is "not confined to history." It is not only possible that slave labor is responsible for the shoes on your feet or your daily consumption of sugar, he writes, the products of forced labor filter even more quietly into a broad portion of daily Western life. "They made the bricks for the factory that made the TV you watch. In Brazil slaves made the charcoal that tempered the steel that made the springs in your car and the blade on your lawnmower.... Slaves keep your costs low and returns on your investments high." The exhaustive research in Disposable People shows that at least 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world. Bales, considered the world's leading expert on contemporary slavery, reveals the historical and economic conditions behind this resurgence. From Thailand, Mauritania, Brazil, Pakistan, and India, Bales has gathered stories of people in unthinkable conditions, kept in bondage to support their owners' lives. Bales insists that even a small effort from a large number of people could end slavery, and devotes a large chapter to explaining the practical means by which this might be accomplished. "Are we willing to live in a world with slaves?" he asks. As a sign of his commitment, all his royalties from Disposable People will go toward the fight against slavery.

No, University of Surrey lecturer Bales isn't reporting on wage slavery: the stories that slip into the newspaper now and then about workers in sneaker or soccer ball factories in Indonesia or Vietnam earning 20 cents or $1 a week. Bales means 27 million people held in chattel slavery, debt bondage, or contract slavery: "enslaved by violence and held against their wills for purposes of exploitation." Their masters he calls "slaveholders" because they don't claim to own their victims; they control their victims' lives and mobility and gain enormous profits from their labor. Bales investigated five case studies--prostitution in Thailand, water delivery in Mauritania, charcoal making in Brazil, brickmaking in Pakistan, and bonded labor in Indian agriculture--to trace the nature of modern slavery and compare its forms. Three factors explain the new slavery: the population explosion; economic globalization and modernized agriculture; and "the chaos of greed, violence, and corruption created by this economic change in many developing countries." Globalization ties us all to the new slavery, and Bales suggests what the reader can do...

( Hope we evolve faster... )

Tuesday, May 22, 2007



Friday, May 18, 2007

Antarctica’s ability to absorb carbon is critical and declining

I use to roll my eyes when people talked about Global Warming. It was too big of a problem to worry about. There was no way that you could get two people to agree about what to do much less two cities, two states or two nations. To solve the problem, you'd have to have global cooperation. Ever seen that happen for anything that didn't involve money? I sound like a cynic. I feel discouraged like Bill Maher. I find myself posting a lot about Global Warming/Climate Change though lately. I heard some 5th graders today joking about Global Warming. I wanted to shake them and say, it's no laughing matter. You are the ones who will suffer. No one wants to hear that. They would just roll their eyes and think I was crazy. Most people will not bother thinking much about it unitl it's too late, I'm afraid. Anyway, here is an article from Discovery Channel News:

May 17, 2007 — Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, a crucial "carbon sink" into which 15 percent of the world's excess carbon dioxide flows, is reaching saturation and soon may be unable to absorb more — a deeply troubling development, the journal Science reported Thursday.

Do you recon that if Al Gore actually ran for president, he could get people's attention?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Eco Solutions-Forbes

Now this is an eye opener. Forbes and the environment? This is something new...

Australia's drought a warning for others?

I found this on MSN Video about the drought in Australia. Water is the new gold.

Anartica is melting

Saw this picture on MSNBC's website tonight. Also found an interesting list of scientists who have turned into Global Warming Skeptics. The jest of their argument is: 1. it’s less about science and more about making money. 2. CO2 is probably secondary to the root cause.

It would seem to me that the concentration of capital around green issues like Global Warming is a good thing. Like it or not, things will not change unless business begins to buy into it and profit from it. We know that businesses can not exist unless they make a profit. So turning Green issues like Global Warming into a capitalist venture, I'm not so sure that is a bad thing, if in the long run we begin to develop more sustainable practices.

One could ask the question: "If man has developed the technology to cut down every tree on the face of the earth, is it the right thing to do?" Man has the technology to do so, but is it a good practice? It is doubtless that anyone wants to cut down every tree or catch every fish in the ocean for that matter, but it is the cumulative effect of our actions that creates the problem. If we can develop a less harmful way to provide goods and services for consumers, how can that be a bad thing? Isn’t it our responsibility as citizens’ to care about future generation’s ability to continue to thrive on earth? Regardless of the cause, it would seem prudent to me for civilizations to examine the issue of sustainable business practices.

I'm not so sure I agree with the writers premise that climate change is just a scam.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

In Search of Answers Part II

I find it difficult to locate an actual figure for the cost of the GW Iraq War has cost. Bill Maher said on his show last night that it was costing around $1 billion dollars every day. When NPR asked the Bush administration in February 26, 2003 how much it had cost so far, they said around $50 billion dollars but NPR's Jennifer Ludden research showed it was between $100 billion and $200 billion dollars.

Frank Luntz, the man Democrats love to hate, was on Bill Maher's show last night. Luntz said Democrats lose because they only attack and never tell what they stand for. I'm sorry to say but I agree with him. This report: Improving the Allocation Process for Federal Science and Technology written in 1995 recommended that we should stay away from funding the research of energy physics as a nation and try to "share the cost" with other nations instead .

What we did as a nation was embark on a path of non-research for our energy consumption needs. Only a babe who was totally naive about geopolitics would believe that our county’s strategic interest in Iraq was not about oil. There have been too many academics and national leaders who have debated this argument already so I will leave it stated as a fact. As a nation, if we look at the cost of the Iraq war, which was a policy decision about our energy, wouldn't we have come out ahead if we had not followed the recommendation by the National Academy of Science?

To me, this is a Katrina thing. NOW on PBS showed how the oil companies have been funding public education and Science organizations which are supposed to be independent and not influenced by special interests. I go back to Jackson Browne's song, "I want to know who the men (and women) in the shadows are…” I want to see their faces. I want to see who was influencing their decisions. How did they come to their conclusions? And what are they saying now?

If the Iraq War is the result of special interest groups' influence over lawmakers, I’d like to know? Who are they, how did the come to their conclusions and recommendations? Who or what influenced them, and now that we have paid billions if not billions, trillions of dollars in Iraq, have the changed their mind?

We have lost so much more than money because of our leader’s short-sightedness. We’ve lost credibility and good will in political capital around the world. I'll go back to what Luntz said, what do the Democrats believe in anyway? I search and search and search for a rationale plan for the future by the marketplace and all I see is more of the same. Conspicuous consumption, billions of dollars spent each year on things that end up in land fills and no concern about the sustainability of our consumption habits, no effort to modify our designs or move in a new direction; only lip service. It's just not there. Do the Democrats not think that this might be a good place to start regarding stating out beliefs?

The definitive guide to every single GOP scandal

Between fired U.S. attorneys, deleted RNC e-mails, sexually harassed pages, outed CIA agents, and tortured Iraqi prisoners—not to mention the warrantless wiretapping, plum defense contracts, and golf junkets to Scotland—you could be forgiven for losing track of which congressman or Bush administration flunky did which shady thing.

read more | digg story

A guide to GOP Scandals

For an interactive feature on the recent scandals of the Republican party, click here

In Search for Answers

I may have accidentally discovered one reason why this country is not taking the lead in developing alternative energy. According to a report called: Millennium Project Papers, a National Academy of Sciences study suggested a blueprint that addresses many of the concerns globalization. The report titled: Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology stated that the nation should strive to be the absolute leader in areas of strategic importance such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and information technology. However the study reports, it need only be among the leaders in an area like high energy physics. Leave the heavy dollar investing to other countries and be ready to act when a breakthrough is made. That is the jest of what the report appeared to be saying. Could this be a clue to the decisions that helped shape our current lack energy R &D in alternatives?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Why So Many Wars

From Flickr Group "War is Hell.
Policy, originally uploaded by Mark Cummins. "
I oscillate between environmental issues and political issues. I have been ambivalent about the war in Iraq since the beginning. My husband has been against it from day one. The geopolitical reality of this war presents an ugly truth about the industrial world’s dependency on oil. The world needs the Middle East Oil and until we find an alternative energy source, we have no choice but to do what ever it takes to protect our interests. It really becomes the consumer’s responsibility to demand an alternative. Our purchasing power can shape the behavior of the market and corporations follow the market. How do we awaken the sleeping giant from its slumber? When will we wake up and end this war?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Demand an Alternative!

Oil Reserves in Doubt, originally uploaded by Michael P. Whelan.

Find an alternative energy source and stop this war!

What makes gas prices go up?

R E G R E T, originally uploaded by EscaFlowne.

Our Miltary-- Lest we forget

Miltary, originally uploaded by c w l f o t o g r a f i.

So many lives have been lost...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Bill McKibbin's talk on technology

Is the technology revolution all good? Heare is talk about it.