Archives for posts with tag: Global warming

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“”The president’s been very clear, he’s not going to pursue climate or environmental policies that put the American economy at risk,” said a senior Trump administration official Monday evening. Asked whether climate change poses its own long-term threat to the economy, the official said he was not familiar with research drawing such a conclusion.” (President Trump signs executive order rescinding Obama’s clean energy plans. abcNEWS, March 28, 2017)

“Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas parted ways with his Republican colleagues on the issue. He said the privacy protections were “commonsense measures” that would have ensured internet users continue to have control over their personal information.

“We don’t want the government having access to our information without our consent, and the same goes for private business,” Yoder said”.

“The American Civil Liberties Union urged Trump to veto the resolution, appealing to his populist side.

“President Trump now has the opportunity to veto this resolution and show he is not just a president for CEOs but for all Americans,” said the ACLU’s Neema Singh Guliani.”

“”Lawmakers who voted in favor of this bill just sold out the American people to special interests,” said Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.” (House votes to block Obama-era online privacy rule, abcNEWS, March 28, 2017.)

“Supporters of the proposed constitutional changes say handing Erdogan sweeping new authority is the only way to achieve the stability that society craves and businesses need to thrive. But opponents say approving the referendum is an invitation to dictatorship, particularly since Erdogan, already the most dominant leader in eight decades, jailed or fired more than 100,000 perceived enemies after rogue army officers attempted a coup in July.

“Everybody on the street tracks the exchange rate on a daily basis and Erdogan wins support as long as Turkey can keep the lira stable,” said Wolfango Piccoli, the London-based co-president of Teneo Intelligence, a political risk advisory firm. “But the challenge here is the external backdrop. They can’t really predict what’s coming.” “ (Erdogan Races against the Dollar in Campaign for Unrivaled Power, Bloomberg.com, March 28, 2017.)

“So we now know that Khalid Masood, the 52-year-old Briton who carried out the Westminster attack in London, had a string of criminal convictions. His first was in 1983 for criminal damage and his last was in 2003 for a stabbing. He was also a convert to Islam. Neither fact should come as a surprise.

Attackers apparently inspired by Islamic extremist ideologies are, for all their righteous rage at others, rarely particularly puritanical in their personal lives. A man who earlier this month seized an automatic weapon from a police officer at Orly airport in Paris had traces of cocaine in his blood and a long criminal record, while the attacker who killed 86 in Nice last July had a history of heavy drinking, cannabis use and casual sex. Several key members of the network which killed 140 in Paris in November 2015 had been involved in drug and arms sales. Almost every high profile attack in Europe – and many in the UK – in recent years has involved someone convicted for petty or serious crime.

There has long been a link between criminality and Islamic radicalism. One of the men who killed the off-duty soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 in south-east London had served time as a young offender for his role in a crack ring. Richard Reid, who tried to detonate a bomb in his shoe on a transatlantic flight in 2001, was a juvenile delinquent.

The proportion of Islamic militants with criminal backgrounds has been rising over recent years. One reason is that Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), which established its new caliphate in 2014, offers adventure, camaraderie, violence, excitement, relative comfort, cash rewards and even sexual opportunity in a way which contrasts dramatically with the asceticism of previous militant groups like al-Qaeda.

A young man from Dortmund or Lyon or Sheffield could thus expect much that a gang back home offered but repackaged. Violence was no longer wrongdoing but resistance, and even redemption. The extremist’s selective teaching of religious texts encouraged former criminals to see themselves as washed of former sins by their commitment to jihad.

The one surprising fact about the London attacker is that most recruits were between 23 and 28 years old. Some were teenagers. There is no evidence that Masood, so much older, has been involved in criminal activity in recent years. Indeed, reports of his unstable, punchy, pub-going persona a decade or so ago are in stark contrast with neighbours’ description of his “devout” and “quiet” lifestyle recently.”  (Khalid Masood was a convert with a criminal past. So far, so familiar. The Guardian, March 25, 2017.)

“According to general data, the suicide wave began in 2015 in Russia, where local media reported about secret communities for teens that invited them to participate in a dangerous game. In each case, the players must complete 50 tasks, beginning with cutting a vein and using a blade to draw an image of a blue whale on their hand. Suicide is the last mandatory task and if not completed, the game creators threaten to “deal” with the player’s family.

One social media user shared the results after he courageously took part in a game.

“I became curious about how this works and why people commit suicide after 50 days. My friend and me created two fake accounts on VKontakte and were both reached by a person for each one of us. Different people were giving tasks every day. The first one was to ‘scribble’ a blue whale on our hand,” which the user said they did with the help of Photoshop, reported Tengrinews.kz.

“We had to choose either ‘to hang ourselves’ or ‘to jump’ on the 50th day. Death is the end of the game. I then replied that I was scared and received a link. The ‘404 not found’ message appeared after I followed the link. After 10 minutes he wrote ‘If you don’t end your life, I will kill your loved ones’ to me, wrote my address and apartment number and I realised how they do it,” he continued in his message.

He called upon others to spread the post in the hope of preventing possible tragedies. He is confident while many might have refused the final offer, the gamers know where the child lives once the link has been followed.” (Suicide games raising concerns in Kazahstan, The Astana Times, February 15. 2017.)

“Police today warned Devon parents to be on their guard against a sick social media challenge which encourages youngsters to cut themselves. At its most extreme, the so-called ‘Blue Whale’ challenge encourages teenage suicide.” (Devon police issue warning over new ‘suicide challenge’ being spread on social media. Devon live.com, March 13, 2017)

What we have here is piled up evidence that we, as a species, have been focusing too much, for already too long,  on short term goals. While setting aside, or simply ignoring, any possible consequences of our ‘binging’ habits.

We elect our leaders based on their promises that they will ‘fix’ everything. As if any of them ever did. Go back to the history book and show me a single authoritarian leader who didn’t disappoint his followers. And yet we still ‘invite’ them to lead us.

Furthermore, we allow them to convince us that our present actions cannot possibly harm us, or our children, in the future.
Madagascar, one of the poorest nations on Earth, is taking steps to ‘clean up their act’ (“eliminate defecation in the open air; a practice still rooted in the culture and in the Malagasy society“) while the President of the US believes that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” And acts according to his convictions.
Why?
Simple. People living in Madagascar have finally figured out, like many other people before them, that careful management of ‘human waste’ drastically reduces the incidence of diarrhea – which mainly affects the children.
What must happen for the American public to understand that we cannot burn, in two short centuries, the carbon accumulated in hundreds of millions of years without having to face any consequences?

During most of our history, most people have been mainly preoccupied with the welfare of their children. For a very reasonable motive. Having children at your bedside is the most efficient manner to ‘enjoy’ a decent death.

No more. Nowadays we buy life insurance to supplement our pensions and plan to hire ‘outside help’ to wipe our arses,  if and when the ‘time will come’.
And in order to get ‘enough’ money we, or at least some of us. are willing to transform even personal data into ‘merchandise’.

This very obsession with money is the reason for which we care more about the promised stability of the exchange rate than about the character, and past actions, of the person who makes the promise.

This is why we no longer keep in touch with our children. Not even with the under-aged ones who continue to live with us.
This is why some of them become ensnared in ‘challenges’ which ‘inspire’ them to commit suicide.
This is why some of them fall prey to fundamentalist preachers. Islamic, White Supremacist, you name it. Yet another ‘reason’ to commit suicide…

Now, after too many wretched souls have become ‘radicalized’ – some of them even without any outside intervention, and after so much innocent pain has been inflicted, time has come to ask ourselves ‘why is this “blue whale” lurking around in the room?’.
And ‘why haven’t we noticed it before?’.

blue whale

CSIROParkesradiotelescope

“…they are extinct.” says an article just published in Astronomy.com.
Here’s another plausible explanation.
We have ourselves evolved to such an attitude that we leave the natives of the Amazonian forest alone – unless we covet their land, of course. We no longer impose our (technological) civilization on everybody who is unable to resist us – like we did to the Incas, for example.
How about the ‘surviving aliens’ keeping mum while waiting for us to grow up some more?
The next step being for us to stop killing each-other…

Deutsche Bank is sitting on more than $75 Trillion in derivatives bets — an amount that is twenty times greater than German GDP.

Both the next 3D printer and Deutsche Bank derivatives portfolio were designed by us, the human people.
When are we going to get our act together?

“We research and develop groundbreaking, cost-effective robotic technology with which we can 3D-print beautiful, functional objects in almost any form,” wrote MX3D on the project Web page. “The ultimate test? Printing an intricate, ornate metal bridge for a special location to show what our robots and software, engineers, craftsmen and designers can do.”

And why do we need the pope to remind us that the Earth is the only home we’ve got?


“Scientists weary after years of often vicious opposition by doubters of their climate-change findings see this year as crucial to the planet’s future because of a religious document expected from Pope Francis on Thursday. The rare encyclical, or teaching letter, expected to promote climate action as a moral imperative could do more to slow global warming than international negotiations this year to limit greenhouse gas emissions, scientists say.”

Oh, I forgot. Right now we are still under ‘the spell’, we have somehow convinced ourselves that having money, loads of it, trumps every thing else.

We’ll get over it, sooner or later. Francis Bacon has already warned us, all we need is to remember.

Or we can ask ourselves:

What is money, instrument or goal?

Image

This is a NASA satellite picture of the forest fire currently raging in California.
How did things became so bad: “An average of 5 million acres burns every year in the United States, causing millions of dollars in damage­.”?

It all started more 100 years ago: “The 1910 fire—fanned by hurricane-force winds called Palousers and known variously as the Big Burn or the Big Blowup—scorched 3 million acres of Idaho and Montana, killed 78 firefighters and nine civilians, turned entire towns to cinder, and darkened sunsets all the way to New York City….   The Big Burn ….  “was one of the main drivers, if not the main driver, of the Forest Service getting deadly serious about fighting fire.” The horrific maelstrom produced a public outcry to suppress future forest fires at all costs.”

Only recently people started to understand what really happened: “Fifty years of aggressive fire suppression by the U.S. government has hindered fire’s natural and beneficial processes; many areas have become choked with brush, and other kinds of trees are competing with the large species that formerly dominated the forest. The U.S. Forest Service tried to solve the problem by allowing timber companies to log more of our National Forests. However, the logging companies take only the high-value timber — the largest trees whose thick bark naturally resists the small periodic fires that sweep through forests, leaving behind saplings and massive piles of sticks and debris called “slash.” The forest floor dries out more quickly and temperatures can get much hotter, turning slash piles and debris-strewn clearings to fire-friendly tinder.”

What should we do?
About the fires? I don’t know, I’ll leave this to the specialists. The problem is that I recently saw the picture above on the FB.  My  comment was:
“You wish…
‘Too big to fail’ is a human concept, not a natural occurrence.
Watch what happened to the dino’s  and last time I checked elephants and whales weren’t doing that well either.
And while we didn’t have anything to do with the fate of the dinosaurs it was us who hunted the elephants, the whales, the dodo birds and so on…
The Earth is not at all too big to fail but rather it should be too important for us to meddle with!”

Another issue: The so called Global Warming.
– Everybody agrees that carbon dioxide is indeed a ‘hot house gas’ and that we produce huge, and growing, amounts of it.
– England has seen a resurgence of commercial wineries.
– French, Spanish and other grapes have so  much sugar that wines reach now an alcoholic concentration of 14-14.5% on a regular basis.
And the list can go on.
Yet we not only choose to ignore the deluge of carbon dioxide (chlorofluorocarbons, another class of hot house gases were only recently banned) we unleashed onto the Earth’s atmosphere but also try to deny what’s going on around us: ” “Global Warning Has Stopped”? How to Fool People Using “Cherry-Picked” Climate Data”.

Now what am I driving at? That we should go back in time and live in caves like our fore fathers?

Certainly NOT!
Actually for the time being I’m not that worried about the global warming – the heat spell that transformed the the southern Greenland into the pastures where  Erik the Red fed his sheep had been probably more intense, the same places are not (yet at least) green again.
Moreover the contribution of the carbon dioxide to all this is debatable and debated. (The chlorofluorocarbons were banned because they destroy the ozone layer, that’s another human contribution to the well being of the planet.)

BUT WHY RISK IT?

We strongly need another economic ‘seed’ – like wool clothing and then steel were for England and like the automobiles and airplanes were for the US.
So why not transform this potentially dangerous situation into a win-win situation and turn the global economy around by building a carbon dioxide free future?

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