Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Since October 24, when you helped lead thousands of events around the world calling for climate action, we've seen new political momentum behind the climate solutions that science demands. After meeting with dozens of delegates during the last round of UN climate negotations in Barcelona, I can tell you first-hand that your local climate leadership is making a real difference--and helping clear the political space for national leaders to take ever-bolder stances on the climate crisis.
Earlier this week, President Nasheed--the leader of a low-lying nation faced with the very real threat of imminent extinction due to rising seas--delivered a powerful speech at the opening of the "Climate Vulnerable Forum." In his speech, he calls for a survival pact in a plea so eloquent that you need to read it for yourself and sign the survival pact today.
The "Climate Vulnerable Forum" included many of the nations on the very front lines of the climate crisis, nations that are grappling with the impacts of the climate crisis here and now.
The focus of President Nasheed's speech was to bring attention to the dire consequences of ending the Copenhagen Climate Talks this December with a weak or non-binding agreement.
I'll let President Nasheed's words speak for themselves:
We are gathered here because we are the most vulnerable group of nations to climate change.Nasheed called on all nations to push for carbon neutrality in order to ensure the survival of his country and all the most vulnerable people around the world:
Some might prefer us to suffer in silence but today we have decided to speak...we will not die quietly.
Members of the G8 rich countries have pledged to halt temperature rises to two degrees Celsius. Yet they have refused to commit to the carbon targets, which would deliver even this modest goal.
At two degrees we would lose the coral reefs. At two degrees we would melt Greenland. At two degrees my country would not survive.
As a president I cannot accept this. As a person I cannot accept this.
I refuse to believe that it is too late, and that we cannot do any about it. Copenhagen is our date with destiny. Let us go there with a better plan.
After all, it is not carbon we want, but development. It is not coal we want, but electricity. It is not oil we want, but transport. Low-carbon technologies now exist, to deliver all the goods and services we need. Let us make the goal of using them.Finally, he made the distinction between what might be considered a good deal in Copenhagen, and one that would ensure the end of his people:
At the moment every country arrives at the negotiations seeking to keep their own emissions as high as possible. They never make commitments, unless someone else does first.These are bold words, bolder than most people understand.
This is the logic of the madhouse, a recipe for collective suicide.
We don't want a global suicide pact. And we will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere. So today, I invite some of the most vulnerable nations in the world, to join a global survival pact instead.
Here's the backstory: President Nasheed and other leaders of some of the world's most vulnerable countries are already being pressured to back down from their commitments to strong action. For example, when African countries stood up at the UN Climate Talks in Barcelona last week and demanded rich countries commit to strong climate targets, European capitol's placed immense pressure on them to back off, so much so that the chair of the African negotiating bloc was forced to leave the negotiations.
Leaders like Nasheed need our support. Your actions on October 24th opened the door for bolder leadership. And the deliveries of photos from Oct 24 events to over 110 countries in Barcelona (and cities all over the world) are helping turn grassroots action into political momentum.
Now, with just a month to go before Copenhagen, we must stand together. All of us, from presidents and politicians to scientists and citizens, must seize this moment and take this movement for survival to the next level.
Please join us.
Teresa Niño and the 350.org Team
P.S. Please help increase the volume of this important call to action -- share it with your friends on Facebook with literally two clicks. Sharing the call on twitter is even easier--please take mere seconds out of your day to grow this movement.
P.P.S. We're still committed to offline, grassroots organizing, and we're gearing up for some historic events on the weekend of December 12th. Plans are still evolving, but for now clear out that weekend--it's the midway point of the Copenhagen climate conference, and at that critical time we'll need all hands on deck to make this movement soar.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We should add Senator Byron Dorgan to the list on this tenth anniversary of the passing of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, which led in whole or in substantial part to the current financial disaster. Senator Dorgan said then:
"I think we will in 10 years' time look back and say we should not have done this,"(Huffington Post). Senator Kennedy had vision too concerning the Iraq war, indicating that in all his years as a senator his best vote was the vote he cast against going to war with Iraq.
We often repeat the notion that "no one can tell the future", but we tend to pervert the meaning into the false notion that "no one can have vision".
It is one of the ways of "thinking" that blinds our nation by exalting incompetence. Competent leaders can see what is coming.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Prolonging any war should be the second last thing any nation does.
A report says that over 2,200 veterans died last year because they did not have health care coverage.
Not as many died in combat.
After war suicide stalks them as well.
If we avoid wars that can be avoided veterans will have been treated with the utmost respect, yes if we really respect them war will be avoided any time it can be.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I read a news report that indicated the Supremes had denied his petition, but it did not indicate his religion:
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block the scheduled execution of the mastermind of a string of deadly shootings in the Washington, D.C. area seven years ago.(Voice of America). This guy was an Army sharpshooter who went criminally insane like the Fort Hood shooter we wrote about recently.
John Allen Muhammad is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday night in the southeastern state of Virginia for the murder of a man at a gas station in Manassas, located 51 kilometers southwest of Washington.
So is this Muhammad dude a Christian, or is the news source cited more professional?
UPDATE: John Allen Muhammad was executed last night in Virginia.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Quantum mechanics is an incredible theory that explains all sorts of things that couldn’t be explained before, starting with the stability of atoms. But when you accept the weirdness of quantum mechanics [in the macro world], you have to give up the idea of space-time as we know it from Einstein. The greatest weirdness here is that it [quantum mechanics] doesn’t make sense. If you follow the rules, you come up with something that just isn’t right.(Discover). The Ecocosmology Blog calls out for a movement toward a new physics free from the blind faith Penrose talks about. We criticize the flailing space programs of the nations of earth because they use eons old propellants while they cling to bad habits. But this blog's criticism is mild compared to the castigation some writers offer:
Bluntly, we're not going to get there by rocket ship. ... The long and the short of what I'm trying to get across is quite simply that, in the absence of technology indistinguishable from magic — magic tech that, furthermore, does things that from today's perspective appear to play fast and loose with the laws of physics — interstellar travel for human beings is near-as-dammit a non-starter.(Antipope). Meanwhile the rear view mirror debate about whether or not creationism or evolution best explains where we came from rages on as evolutionary scientists send mixed messages while backing down from relying on biological evolution to solve the cosmic problems humanity faces. We have seemed radical I am sure when we point out what would be considered madness if an individual did what nations do sometimes. See for example "Etiology of Social Dementia" or "100 Years of Psycho Therapy - Take Cover" to mention two. But some highly respected scientists consider the same subjects, offering criticism that would seem to be as severe as this blog ever is:
A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival. There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption. Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.
(Monbiot). I have offered the notion that a reason we deny impending death or catastrophe can be a matter of capacity rather than moral turpitude, or a matter of self deceit of the physical crisis kind of the type people go through when they are freezing to death. But I always call for the better essences within us to arise to the occasion by working together, even to the point of asking science and religion to work together.
The next post in this series is here.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Which would mean that the neoCons are doomed to lose control of the GOP.
No complaints here.
Cao voted for HR 3962, the health care reform bill, which helped it pass 220-215 last night.
He was the only republican to vote for it, surprising Minority Whip Eric Cantor who had stated "no republican will vote for this bill".
That of course sets the stage for the neoCon elements, who have infested and ruined the Republican Party, to declare that Cao is not a republican.