Monday, September 28, 2009

Humanity's suicide note at Copenhagen and the need to plan polar cities now

The head of the European Union said this the other day: "If we do not
get it together before and during the Copenhagen meetings in December,
and get the 250 page document done right, if we don't come together
and get it right, the Copenhagen document will be seen as humanity's
suicide note to the future..."


Paraphrasing, of course. Go see what he said. He did use the term
"suicide note."

Andy, it's way too late to build a cathedral now. For the past two
years i have been watching everyone argue here on Dot Earth about
every which way to go and even today, above, everyone is still
arguing. This is how we will go out, arguing to the end. And the End
is not near, it won't happen for another 500 years or so, but it has
begun. Rather than build a cathedral, we need to start building....... polar
cities, Andy. Planning them, siting them, pre-building them. Those
will be the cathedrals that save the remnants of humankind. Ask James
Lovelock. Why does nobody listen to him? Oh, I forgot, he is an old
man who is off his rocker so why listen to him? SIGH.

A note to Andy Revkin at Dot Earth at the New York Times re CHINA rises, the USA is nobody now

Andy, one more note. You keep framing the debate as if America has some role to play in all this, as if America is the center of the world. It is not. Read the recent oped titled [''China's success and Western woes''] by Orville Schell, the old China hand. China has already replaced America. America is nobody now. America no longer matters. Don't believe me? Wake up, all ye who dwell in the land of the USA, your days are more than numbered, they are already over:

Quote: When I began studying China at Harvard a half-century ago, China's
leaders trumpeted the superiority of their socialist command economy,
which controlled every aspect of life. Hostility between the US and
China prevented students like me from traveling there. But in 1975, there were no private cars,
shops, advertisements or property, I arrived in Beijing. 1975. Fast forward to 2009:

That trip set an indelible baseline against which I have since been
able to measure the changes in CHina since then and the decline of the USA

Quote 2: As the imbalance between China's increasingly dynamic, modern and
globalized economy and its opaque, single-party political rule
deepened, many Western specialists predicted the contradiction would
inevitably trip China up.

Instead, it was the US and the West that went into an economic tailspin.

QUOTE 3: Congress became paralyzed by partisan politics. Seemingly lacking a
central nervous system, it has become a dysfunctional creature with
little capacity to recognize any common national, much less
international, interest.

QUOTE 4: As governments across the West have become increasingly bogged down
trying to fix their economies, China has been formulating a series of
new, well-considered policies and forging ahead with bold
decision-making to tackle one daunting problem after another.

Triumphant after last year's Beijing Olympics, China has undertaken
the most impressive infrastructure program in history, implemented a
highly successful economic stimulus package and is now moving into the
forefront of green technology, renewable energy and energy efficiency
-- the activities out of which the new global economy is certain to
grow.

In short, China is humming with energy, money, plans, leadership and
progress, while the West seems paralyzed.


Quote 5: As I strolled through Tiananmen Square, the paradox that struck me was
that the very system of democratic capitalism that the West has so
ardently advocated seems to be failing us. At the same time, the kind
of authoritarianism and state-managed economics that we have impugned
seems to be serving China well.

It is intellectually and politically unsettling to realize that if the
West cannot quickly straighten out its systems of government, only
politically un-reformed states like China will be able to make the
decisions that a nation needs to survive in today's high-speed,
high-tech, increasingly globalized world.

William Safire, RIP, a very good man and a life well lived -- (combover and all)

I often corresponded with Mr Safire, and in fact, one of my letters
made it into on his language books in the 1990s. A great man, great
writer. Just one thing, and please do not clobber me for this but I
must ask: why does "an entirely unassuming guy" as one observer so well put it at the Chronicle (sic) of Higher Education,and such a friendly avuncular man, why does he sport a combover in his
later years when he was going bald?

This is something I do not
understand about American intellectuals. We all age, many of us go
bald, there is nothing ugly and unbecoming about being bald. In fact,
an older man who is bald on top looks great! European men seem much less
afraid of going bald than American males.

So why do highly
intelligent people like Bill Safire and David Gergen, another very
good man, why do they bother to "cover up" their heads with combovers
that are completely visible to anyone watching them on TV or in
lecture halls? Who do they think they are fooling?

And if they are in
the businesss of telling the truth and analyzing life, why do they
"lie" to the public by covering up their bald heads? I feel it is a
sorry sorry day when American politiicans and intellectuals feel they
must cover up their bald heads with ridiculous combovers. Okay, so
clobber me on the head for saying this.

But I just saw an interview
with Safire replayed again today on TV for this obit, and there he is
in 2005 with the combover thing, and it looks dishonest. This is what
bugs me about these combovers.

Can anyone explain this? And please do
not get angry over this message so soon after his death, when else should I bring it up? I am asking an important question about
American intellectuals. Combovers make American men look ridiculous.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Communist China's success and Western woes

China’s success and Western woes: It's China 12, The West 3, in the final inning of the baseball game
By Orville Schell

Sunday, Sept 27, 2009, Page 8

A Obituary for the West (1776 - 2020)

Communist dictatorship China’s government is making massive preparations for a grand National Day propaganda parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s (sic) Republic of China (PRC - sic) and the 30th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) program of “reform and opening up.”

Walking through the square recently, I found myself thinking back to when I first began following China’s amazing odyssey. The iconic, Mona Lisa-like visage of Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) still gazes out from the Gate of Heavenly Peace, but the activities taking place around me suggested how much things had changed.

When I began studying China at Harvard a half-century ago, China’s leaders trumpeted the superiority of their socialist command economy, which controlled every aspect of life. Hostility between the US and China prevented students like me from traveling there.

But in 1975, while Mao still lived, the Cultural Revolution still raged, class politics still held sway and there were no private cars, shops, advertisements or property, I arrived in Beijing. Even we visiting foreigners — all dutifully clad in blue Mao suits and caps — were expected to attend regular political “study sessions” to purify our bourgeois minds with proletarian tracts written by the Gang of Four.

That trip set an indelible baseline against which I have since been able to measure the changes China has undergone.

As Deng began to encourage individual incentives over the next decades — embodied in such slogans as “To Get Rich Is Glorious” — China’s private economy began to rise from the ashes of Mao’s revolution and I watched with amazement.

As this process unfolded, it became fashionable for market fundamentalists in the West to bask in a sense of vindication. After all, were the scales not falling away from the eyes of Chinese leaders, and were they not now turning for salvation toward the god of capitalism that they had once so militantly denounced?

This “end-of-history” interlude, when communism was either failing or recycling itself into its opposite, also encouraged many latter-day US political missionaries to proselytize for democracy and capitalism — to urge China’s leaders to abandon state controls not only over their economy, but over their political system as well.

Of course, China’s leaders vigorously resisted that evangelism — especially after the collapse of communism in Europe in 1989 — often berating the West for “intruding in the internal affairs of China” and clinging even more to their Leninist, one-party form of governance.

As the imbalance between China’s increasingly dynamic, modern and globalized economy and its opaque, single-party political rule deepened, many Western specialists predicted the contradiction would inevitably trip China up.

Instead, it was the US and the West that went into an economic tailspin.

When, after the eight catastrophic years of US president George W. Bush’s administration, his successor Barack Obama entered the White House, it seemed for a moment as if the US might be able to arrest its downward slide. But then Obama ran into a perfect storm of the worst aspects of US democracy: red-state provincialism and ignorance, fearful conservatism, Republican Party obstructionism and even some Democratic Party dissidence.

Congress became paralyzed by partisan politics. Seemingly lacking a central nervous system, it has become a dysfunctional creature with little capacity to recognize any common national, much less international, interest.

Under such circumstances, even a brilliant leader with an able staff and promising policies will be unable to pursue his agenda.

As governments across the West have become increasingly bogged down trying to fix their economies, China has been formulating a series of new, well-considered policies and forging ahead with bold decision-making to tackle one daunting problem after another.

Triumphant after last year’s Beijing Olympics, China has undertaken the most impressive infrastructure program in history, implemented a highly successful economic stimulus package and is now moving into the forefront of green technology, renewable energy and energy efficiency — the activities out of which the new global economy is certain to grow.

In short, China is humming with energy, money, plans, leadership and progress, while the West seems paralyzed.

As I strolled through Tiananmen Square, the paradox that struck me was that the very system of democratic capitalism that the West has so ardently advocated seems to be failing us. At the same time, the kind of authoritarianism and state-managed economics that we have impugned seems to be serving China well.

It is intellectually and politically unsettling to realize that if the West cannot quickly straighten out its systems of government, only politically un-reformed states like China will be able to make the decisions that a nation needs to survive in today’s high-speed, high-tech, increasingly globalized world.



Orville Schell is director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society.


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Taiwan Mobile

Jon Favreau commits gaffe in Obama UN speech: re: "black, white and brown..." WHAT? NO ASIANS NEED APPLY?

Jon Favreau, ghostwriting for Obama, leaves out ASIAN people at UN General Assembly address on Sept. 23: "Together, north and south, east, west, black, white, and brown...

NO ASIANS IN NEW WORLD ORDER?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

President Obama leaves out yellow people at UN General Assembly address: "Together, north and south, east, west, black, white, and brown...NO YELLOW?


QUOTE:

In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. .... Together, we must build new coalitions that bridge old divides -- coalitions of different faiths and creeds; of north and south, east, west, *black, *white, and *brown.

UH? YELLOW? PRESIDENT OBAMA, YELLOW? DID YOU LEAVE OUT ALL ASIAN PEOPLE ON PURPOSE? FAUX PAS? GAFFE? SPEECHWRITER'S WHITE OVERSIGHT?

The choice is ours. We can be remembered as a generation that chose to drag the arguments........

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
______________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release September 23, 2009


REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York

An Interview with Dr Steven Moffic, compiler and chief author of the Global Warming Mental Health Fact Sheet for the PSR


An Interview with Dr Steven Moffic, compiler and chief author of the
Global Warming Mental Health Fact Sheet of the Physicians for Social
Responsibility in Washington, DC

http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/mental-health-implications-of-global-warming.pdf

interview conducted and edited by Danny Bloom, Internet blogger

Webposted October 1, 2009

[ Editor's Note: Dr H. Steven Moffic of Milwaukee has compiled and authored a very
important "Global Warming Mental Health Fact Sheet" of the Physicians
for Social Responsibility in Washington, DC. It is part of four other
fact sheets on climate change and global warming that the PSR has
compiled. The other fact sheets from the PSR cover such topics as Heat's Deadly
Effects, Vector-Borne and Water-Borne Diseases, Shrinking the Food
Supply and Vulnerable Populations, Environmental Justice.
All five
facts sheets can be viewed at www.psr.org. This interview
was conducted in late September by email. The fact sheet is listed below at the bottom of this page, please scroll down if you are using a computer.]


When asked how he got started on this project of compiling a mental health fact sheet on global warming for the PSR, of which he is a member, Dr Moffic said: "As a physician, these fact sheets seemed excellent to me, but as a
psychiatrist I was chagrined that mental health was barely mentioned.
Yet again. Over the last 2 years, I've found that mental health is
usually left out of the health discussions on global warming
(including President Obama's recent speech), even though our
psychology is crucial to the development, maintenance, and
repercussions of global warming. Of course, this is not new for mental
health and illness. The stigma around mental illness is longstanding
and powerful, so it is not surprising to find its impact also in the
discussions on global warming."

Dr Moffic continued: "Since I had been working on incorporating
psychiatry into the global warming debate for these 2 years, this
seemed like another good opportunity to do so, especially because PSR
is such a renowned and respected organization. This also offered a
unique way to discuss this in terms of a checklist of scientific
facts. I've found that we need to try all kinds of ways of
communication, as people learn and become interested in different
ways, to address the issues of climate change and global warming. That
was my start, my inspiration. I wanted to contribute my ideas to all
this."

"When the PSR realized this mental health data was missing from the
earlier fact sheets, both the director and deputy direction of the
environment & health committee supported my project. The deputy
director, Barbara Gottlieb, was the editor.

Dr Moffic continued: "I already had an annotated bibliography on ''The
Psychological Aspects of Global Warming'' that I put together for a
national think tank meeting about 6 months ago. From that, I narrowed
in on this topic. The major reference that I used was a book by Cindy
Parker and Steven Shapiro titled "Climate Chaos: Your Health At
Risk"."

When asked how long it took to complete the project, Dr Moffic
replied: "It didn't take me long to finish the project, about a day
or two of hard work, since I like to "strike when the iron is hot",
but its publication on the Web site had to await the completion of
other important PSR projects."

The mental health fact sheet on global warming was vetted and edited
by the PSR team, according to Moffic, who added: "Barbara Gottlieb
processed it, and she sent it to Steve Shapiro, a psychologist and one
of the authors of that book mentioned above. He had a couple of good
suggestions that we incorporated."

The PSR shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 about the nuclear arms
race. The PSR's mission statement is: "Guided by the values and
expertise of medicine and public health, Physicians for Social
Responsibility works to protect human life from the gravest threats to
health and survival."

Dr Moffic said that the PSR now feels that global warming is as grave
a threat as nuclear proliferation, and that is why these five fact
sheets were compiled.

"PSR shared the Nobel Peace Price in 1985 for building public
awareness and pressure to end the nuclear arms race," Moffic
explained. "I think any organization that can make a major impact on
cooling global warming should receive consideration for the award,
since you'll note on the fact sheet that global warming will likely
lead to increased international conflict and war over changing and
scarce resources. The U.S. military recognizes this and now is a
driving force for our country to address global warming. Maybe the PSR
will be nominated or even win another Nobel Prize someday for these
five fact sheets, who knows. And not only for these fact sheets, but for all the related extensive and extraordinary work PSR is doing to address global warming."


When asked who the target audience for the fact sheet is, Dr Moffic
said: "It's for everyone, for medical professional to the lay public,
students and grandparents, everyone, really, and I tried to write it
clearly and simply enough for that."

Although the fact sheets appear in English only now, Dr Moffic said he
hoped that in the future, they might be translated into other major
world languages. "This is obviously a global problem, and the mental
health concerns are relevant to all," he said.


When asked about how the five facts sheets might reach the public, via
publicity and media attention, Dr Moffic said that word is slowly
getting out to the media, and that the PSR hopes for some major
publicity soon in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post
and the Guardian newspaper in London, among other media outlets
worldwide. "We are beginning out PR campaign now, and this interview
will help.," he said. "Thank you for your interest in this."

Dr Moffic noted that he was told a few months ago by a reporter
at the New York Times, that "the psychology of the global warming
problem was the toughest variable to address" in the media. "But this
is all the more reason for the PSR to get the word out and for the
world to listen to us."

Dr Moffic hopes that the five fact sheets from the PSR, including the
fact sheet on mental health and global warming, will reach a broad
audience worldwide.

"I now have 4 grandchildren, and the birth of our third grandchild, a
girl, about 3 years ago, was an epiphany and catalyst for me," Dr.
Moffic said. "Right after she was born, I went to the local grocery
store to do some shopping and the clerk asked, as usual: 'paper or
plastic?' Thinking of my fourth grandchild, so new to the world then,
I froze for a second, because I realized the answer was relevant for
her future. How then could I not try to save the environment for the
well-being of all our children? This seems to me to be a personal
moral, and a professional ethical, imperative."

Dr Moffic added that he hopes his fact sheet will also be of interest
to his colleagues in the field of psychiatry worldwide, noting: "It
soemtimes seems that due to the daily pressures of our work and the
needs of our patients, we as a professional group haven't paid that
much attention to this problem yet. If this list will make that easier
to do so, to pay attention, I will feel pleased."

http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/mental-health-implications-of-global-warming.pdf


[For media interviews with Dr Moffic -- via print, radio, TV and blogs -- on The Global Warming Mental Health Fact Sheet, please contact him at his office -- or contact this reporter at danbloom@gmail.com and forwarding details
will be provided.]

Health Implications of Global Warming:

Be Mindful of Mental Health

Global warming is acknowledged by scientists around the world to be a reality and to be caused primarily by
human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels. As the earth warms, the delicate balance of climate,
weather events and life is disrupted. Consequences emerge that threaten human health and, ultimately, survival.
This is one of several fact sheets produced by Physicians for Social Responsibility that examine recent scientific
evidence of global warming’s impact on health.

All of the specific health risks of global warming have associated mental health risks.i

• Heat waves contribute to more alcohol and substance abuse.ii
• Just an increase of 1 degree F (0.5 C) seems to increase the risk of violent behavior, especially in warm climates and the inner city.iii
• Food and water shortages threaten our basic sense of security and therefore are associated with increases in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health problems.iv
• The chronic drought in the outback of Australia is causing a new and dangerous variation of grief, solastalgia, which is a kind of distress about environmental losses in one’s homeland.v
• Perceptions of poor air quality results in increased anxiety, especially in children, along with increased family violence.vi
• Individual panic and group hysteria are risks of vector-borne or waterborne diseases. Recent harbingers of this possibility were seen in the SARS epidemic.vii
• People with schizophrenia are of particular risk health-wise as they tend to ignore health risks and tend not to take necessary precautions. One study links increased air pollution, specifically from motor vehicles, with an increased risk for schizophrenia. If duplicated, this would be an important finding with implications in regard to climate change.viii
When viewed in the totality of its impacts, global warming creates the potential for large-scale human conflict, as a result of displacement from climate-scarred lands and/or disputes over increasingly scarce resources.
The direct mental health risks of global warming have some unusual variations.
• The mental health implications will vary with the type, suddenness, and scale of climate change damage, as well as the social, historical, and cultural context. All of this will be filtered through the resilience of each individual.ix
In certain isolated locales, the climate change of global warming can be desirous and beneficial to human life, at least temporarily. In these environments, mental wellbeing can improve.

NOTE: "Yet more people are likely to be vulnerable to the mental health implications of climate change than to physical health impacts", according to one observer. That remark does not figure into the fact sheet above, since -- even though Dr Moffic thought it was likely to turn out to be true -- he also felt it was too speculative for a “fact” sheet.

NOTE TWO: This fact sheet has been sent to a key coalition of nonprofits lobbying on climate change. It is a very large list of top activists. It has also been sent out to the Sierra Club list of coal activists – another good list, with subscribers all across the country.

INTERVIEW POSSIBILITIES:

National Public Radio, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED show
BBC - UK
CNN, Sanjay Gupta medical correspondent
New York Times
Washington Post
Boston Globe
Los Angeles Times
Juneau Empire
Chicago Tribune
Yahoo News
Drudge Report
Climate Depot

NOTE THREE: FROM PSR:
Hi
I’m pleased to send you a new PSR fact sheet on the health impacts of global warming: Health Implications of Global Warming: Be Mindful of Mental Health compiled by Dr H Steven Moffic. While the health effects of global warming are becoming more widely recognized, the mental health impacts are often overlooked. Yet more people are likely to be vulnerable to the mental health implications of climate change than to physical health impacts.

PSR has also prepared four other fact sheets on the health impacts of global warming. As debate heats up about climate legislation, PSR invites you to use them all when you talk to policy-makers. You can access them at http://www.psr.org/resources/new-global-warming-factsheets.html

Best,

Barbara Gottlieb
Deputy Director, Environment & Health
Physicians for Social Responsibility
1875 Connecticut Ave. NW, suite 1012
Washington, DC 20009
202-587-5225

Friday, September 18, 2009

Roger Cohen: Intelligence: New York Times, Tom Brady, Distant Echoes Under a Plum Tree

Distant Echoes Under a Plum Tree

Cherence France

by Roger Cohen, New York Times embellisher par excellence ! (Kidding, Roger, Kidding!

Back in 1975, Claire Izzouz studied puppetry in Taiwan with one of the great glove puppeteers, Li Tien-lu. They became friends and, in later years, Li often visited.

Such was his attachment to Cherence, and such peace he found in this French village, that when Li died in 1998, he requested that part of his anatomy find its final resting place here. At a ceremony in 1999, a piece of bone -- believed to be a fragment of the great man's left finger -- was buried under [Claire's plum tree]. There were offerings galore so he should lack for nothing in the next life.

This year, Li's son died. Naturally he wanted to be close to his father [in France, even though he was Taiwanese]. So arrangements were made ...[through Claire] ... [and] father and son, or rather, tiny fragments of the finger bones of each, were united beneath the plum tree.

When the chutney was made, and judged satisfactory, I took a jar of it to Claire's. We met under the plum tree. Or rather, India and China met, and France, too, as the bells chimed from the 12th century [church]. Marrying East and West, past and future, life and death, the global village lives as a New York Times reporter makes up a story out of whole cloth!



NOTE: This "story" by New York Times reporter Roger Cohen is a blatant lie and not true at all. In addition, India did not meet CHINA, India met Taiwan. But Roger Cohen, for all his education, does not know the difference yet. Why he makes up stories like this and submits them to the New York Times is hard to fathom.

But one of the reasons Cohen was able to get away with this sloppy writing was that

1. it does not appear online anywhere in the world so no other reporters or readers or editors can check it for accuracy

2. Cohen writes this special Intelligence column for the NYTimes weekly insert in foreign newspapers as a special arrangement, it is NOT his real job at the Times and he does not CARE about what he writes here, it's just an obligation and if he lies and cheats a bit, nobody will notice, he knows.

3. Cohen apparently looks down at non-English readers of the New York Times and thinks he can tell embellished stories like this and get away with it.

2.

Climte Depot webmaster Marc Morano took down my criticism of climate denialists after less than a day, showing that he is in denial himself. Gotcha!

Climate Depot webmaster and all around nice guy Marc Morano took down -- read: censored, "deleted" -- my criticism of climate denialists after less than a day, showing that he is in denial himself. Gotcha, Marc! You say you are open to all POVs but in fact you are not. Marc wrote me when I asked where the post was:


Yes {i took it down] , It is in my archive. I put it up long enough on the home page. It
struck me as just trying to get attention. I left it up for almost a day.

Climate Depot compared to Holocaust deniers What-Jews-What-Final-Solution-What-death-camps-Thats-all-leftwing-propa

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/2908/Climate-Depot-compared-to-Holocaust-deniers-What-Jews-What-Final-Solution-What-death-camps-Thats-all-leftwing-propaganda-its-not-happening-period

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Roger Pielke will be debating Marc Morano in Washington, DC. The event will be hosted by the AEI and moderated by NY Times reporter Andrew Revkin

On March 9, 2010 -- post Copenhagen -- Roger Pielke will be debating Marc Morano in Washington, DC. The event will be hosted by the controversial, conservative, rightwing climate denialist American Enterprise Institute and moderated by New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin. It will be made available online for those who cannot attend
in person.

Says Pielke: "We'll be negotiating a suitable resolution to be
debated (feel free to offer suggestions in the comments), which won't
be settled until after we see what happens in Copenhagen and with U.S.
cap and trade legislation."

Dr Pielke will provide updates on the event as things
get organized.

How Climate Denialists Like Marc Morano and Anthony Watts, among others, Jeff Jacoby, too, see Climate Change Evidence Yet continue to deny it is real

How Climate Denialists Like Marc Morano and Anthony Watts, Jeff Jacoby, too, among other
well-intentioned by seriously misguided people, See Climate Change
Evidence and Continue to Deny It is Happening, Inspite of it all


30 COMMENTS BELOW and COUNTING. KEEP 'EM COMING!

UPDATE: I need to make this very clear, not everyone saw this at first. I am not saying Holocaust deniers of today are similar to climate denialsts. I wrote in the post below that just as MANY people AT THAT TIME, during WWWII, 1939- 1945, refused to "SEE" what was happening to the Jews in Europe, despite govt reports and photos and documents, MOST PEOPLE at that time DID NOT BELIEVE any Holocaust was HAPPENING. This is what my post is about. Just in the same way that TODAY, MANY PEOPLE like our friends in the denialist/skeptic camps DO NOT BELIEVE that AGW is real or that climate change is happening, despite govt reports and photos and scientific docs. This is about DENIAL at the time. It is not about Holocaust deniers of today. They are insane crazy people. The climate denialists are sane, good people. But they are in denial. THAT IS MY POINT HERE. READ IT AGAIN. BELOW.




Look at it this way: it's as if trustworthy and trusted world
intelligence from scientists and universities have ample aerial photos
of marked trains making their way toward concentration camps in Nazi
Germany during WWII during the Holocaust, photos and written reports
of eyewitnesses of Jews being rounded up in ghettoes for eventual
deportation to said death camps, and the evidence includes German govt
statements about Jews and the Final Solution, intel reports that Jews
were being gassed -- this is in 1941, mind you! -- AND to climate
denialists like Marc and Anthony and Rush and Jacoby who say: "What
Jews?" "What Final Solution?" What death camps?" "That's all leftwing
propaganda, it's not happening, period." "There are no Jews being
rounded up and put on trains for Auschwitz and Treblinka. There are no
showers with poison gas for the deportees; that's all propaganda by
the Holocaust Industry!"

"The intel reports by the anti-Hitler groups on the left and liberal
groups in the middle are mere propaganda to raise money for their onw
war chests," says the climate denialists like Jacoby and Morano and
Watts and Rush Limbaugh. "And Al Gore contributed to this anti-Nazi
propaganda, even though he was not even born yet. Yes he did!"

THIS IS HOW CLIMATE DENIALISTS SEE THE WORLD, IN THEIR
WELL-INTENTIONED YET TWISTED WAY.
And Jeff Jacoby is a good friend of
mine, and I mean no disrepect to him by making these comparions. He will understand my analogy very well. And
if anyone will get it, he will. But Jeff won't budge. Marc Morano will get it, but he will
make up a good excuse. Anthony Watts will ban me from commenting on
his blog again. I don't even know Rush.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thomas McMahon on Polar Cities in our Future?


The gulf stream is slowing, the artic is thawing, methane is being released in enormous quantities from the permafrost which is thawing in Siberia and now Alaska and the nothern reaches of Canada. Scientist are alarmed at the rate of change happining around the world and the Republican party is still worried about corporate profits instead of focusing on climate change legislation. Can you say catastrophic, you better because what is happining is we have reached a point of no return we just won't acknowledge it in terms of the earth is undergoing monumental changes that threaten the very existence of mankind. Our failure to act has caught up with us, I feel very sorry for future generations we have let them down in a bigger way than can ever be imagined.

thomas mcmahon
millis ma

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the run-up to Coping with Copenhagen, Dec. 7-`16, 2009

I wrote this for the print edition of the New York Times, but it was rejected, of course. But here is what you might have read in the print edition of the August NYTimes, if the editors of the letters section allowed it to run:

Dear Editors in Your Airconditioned Nightmare Rooms:

When the historic climate talks begin in Copenhagen on Dec. 7, there will, of course, be many colorful and creative protests by social activists from around the world. There will be large balloons floating above city squares with banners protesting the continued use of coal and oil and other fossil fuels. There will be
marches, sit-ins, outdoor parades and a many a loud "cri de coeur" from concerned invididuals and groups visiting Copenhagen.

One protest that has been planned involves a team of climate activists unleashing a controlled, non-fatal self-immolation protest using Hollywood stunt suits so that nobody dies or gets burned from the very real flames. The group is calling itself SIPREP (self-immolation public relations protest). To see projected and rehearsed images, go to:
http://northwardho.blogspot.com

Sincerely,

Etc

National Preparedness Month Preps Us For '2012' the Movie and Later, THE ROAD, on Oct. 16th


National Preparedness Month Preps the World For '2012' and "The Road" and Polar Cities in our Future

hat tip to ADRANTS.com

We're enjoying this new advertisement from Ready.gov by Cramer-Krassalt for National Polar City Preparedness Month which encourages people to be ready for any kind of disaster the universe might throw our way. Like global warming on a massive scale in the year 2323. Or even now, soon.

Even the inexplicable, gravity-defying kind. As a family and all their belongings are tossed about in slow motion, an announcer asks, "What if a disaster strikes without warning? What if life as you know it has completely turned on its head? What if everything familiar becomes everything but?"

It's beautifully done and, with the simple grab of a preparedness kit duffel bag at the end of the spot, the message is clearly delivered. When disaster strikes, you had better be ready. The calmness of it all makes you stop and think and ask yourself, what would you really do if disaster stuck? How would you react? Would you be prepared? Where would you go?

Although if you watch the upcoming Roland Emmerich flick, 2012, it would seem all the preparedness kits in the world might as well be duffel bags filled with Styrofoam packing chips. Oh, but wait! That might actually be a good thing considering the size of the tidal waves that movie will deliver.

But, better safe than sorry.


The Ready.gov campaign's emphasis on U.S. citizens' self-preparedness seems to confirm what most Americans already know: We'd better not rely on our government for help in times of disaster. This latest PSA, timed to coincide with the start of National Preparedness Month, was fashioned by Cramer-Krasselt and features some nicely done special effects. We never learn what the disaster is. Climate chaos? Mass migrations north to polar cities? Nuclear war? Earthquake? Genetically re-engineered dinosaurs? Whatever it is, it's obvious that the shit has hit the fan (and is seriously messing with gravity), so we'd better have our preparedness kits handy. Speaking of dinosaurs, the opening shot of the toy raptor sends a neat subliminal message about extinction for those who are unprepared for the worst.

Posted by David Gianatasio

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Maldives to miss climate summit, but Northwardho will pay for Maldives president's trip, email us here!


The BBC reports that Maldives to miss climate summit

Scientists say the Maldives face a serious threat from climate change

The president of the Maldives has said that, even though his country is under threat from climate change, he cannot afford to go to a summit on the issue.
President Mohamed Nasheed said his nation would only go to the December talks in Copenhagen if someone offered to pay for the trip.
He said the Maldives needed to be defended from the effects of global warming and rising sea levels.
But he added that the country would have to do much of the work itself.
"We can't go to Copenhagen because we don't have the money," President Nasheed told journalists.

Northwardho will pay for Maldives president's trip, email us here!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Letter to Editor, The New York Times: Self-Immolation Climate Protest


To the editor:

When the historic climate talks begin in Copenhagen on Dec. 7, there will, of course, be many colorful and creative protests by social activists from around the world. There will be large balloons floating above city squares with banners protesting the continued use of coal and oil and other fossil fuels. There will be
marches, sit-ins, outdoor parades and a many a loud "cri de coeur" from concerned invididuals and groups visiting Copenhagen.

One protest that has been planned involves a team of climate activists unleashing a controlled, non-fatal self-immolation protest using Hollywood stunt suits so that nobody dies or gets burned from the very real flames. The group is calling itself SIPREP (self-immolation public relations protest). To see projected and rehearsed images, go to: http://northwardho.blogspot.com


Sincerely,

Northwardho Blogger
EARTH, Milky Way Galaxy, The Cosmos

C.O.P.E.N.H.A.G.E.N = Climate Organizations Preparing Emergency News Hotline Amidst Global Earth Noose


C.O.P.E.N.H.A.G.E.N = Climate Organizations Preparing Emergency News Hotline Amidst Global Earth Noose

COPENHAAGENDAZS


COPENHAAGENDAZS

Copenhagen's origins are reflected in its name. Its original designation, from which the contemporary Danish name is derived, was Køpmannæhafn, "merchants harbor". The English name for the city is derived from its Low German name, Kopenhagen. The element hafnium is also named for Copenhagen, whose Latin name is Hafnia.

An interview with Rina Mukherji, a journalist in India, on important issues of the day


PHOTO CAPTION: Rina Mukherji with her daughter [see note at bottom of page for explanation of photo].


An interview with Rina Mukherji

webposted by D.Bloom in Taiwan on September 15, 2009

Meet Rina Mukherji. She is an Indian journalist based in Kolkata, who has a keen interest in many compelling issues of our day, both in her own country and overseas as well. In a recent email interview, we sat down with Rina to ask her a few questions about her writing, her interests, her family life and her concerns for the future.

[Rina is a Kolkata-based journalist who has had a long career writing on business, politics, law, science, medical research and a host of developmental issues –in short, everything under the sun. She is a highly-acclaimed environmental journalist whose articles have been widely published in India and abroad. She writes in both English and Hindi, and has worked for several national dailies and magazines in Mumbai and Kolkata. She has freelanced for nearly all major Indian publications so far. She also holds a doctorate in African Studies, and has several academic articles to her credit in books and journals. She has qualified in classical Indian dance forms such as Kathak, Bharat Natyam and Kathakali, and has a special love for Hindustani classical music, which she considers a great form of relaxation. She loves to compose poems and pen short-stories and has had several of her works published in literary magazines. Painting in oils and water-colours, cooking, knitting and embroidery are her other passions.]



Question: You have been writing about development issues for a long time, of course.
What do you feel were your most important stories so far?


Rina Mukherji: Now, that’s a tough one. However, I must say that of all that I have written, there are three stories that are very close to my heart.

One was headlined "Stranded in the Sundarbans", which was published in The Hindu, on February 24, 2008 [www.thehindu.com/mag/2008/02/24/index.htm].

This story was on the effect that global warming and rising levels are having on the poorest sections of the Indian population. Prior to that article, I had done numerous articles dealing with the issue, starting with the disappearance of two islands in the Indian Sundarbans into the Bay of Bengal due to the rising sea level. But each story dealt with one aspect of the problem -- namely biodiversity, people, agriculture, or salinity. This was the first article of mine that dealt comprehensively with the entire gamut of problems that we are facing in the eastern region.

I wrote it for The Hindu, which is the biggest newspaper in southern India and is one of the major national dailies, to apprise the rest of India with the gravity of the situation in the Indian Sundarbans. This article was widely quoted all over the country and abroad, and achieved what I had intended to.

Subsequent to my article being published in The Hindu, there has been a lot of attention given by the authorities and the media to the problems being faced by already-marginalized people all over the country. Perhaps, this has not been enough for the poorest in the Sundarbans; but at least, it has been a beginning which I hope, shall translate into much more in terms of relief.

Another story that I am proud of was titled "Worth Trust’s able work force". and it appeared in "CIVIL SOCIETY" in January 2009 [ http://www.civilsocietyonline.com/Jan09/jan094.asp ]

The disabled or handicapped are either an object of pity, or else never considered worth being trusted to do anything worthwhile to be counted as worthy citizens of society. But the Worth Trust and its work is an exception. Run by a conglomerate of industrial groups, it is a rare institution and workplace where the disabled are employed as employees on par with the able-bodied and paid as per industry standards. Most significantly, it is unlike any do-good NGO that calls on people to donate to keep it going. The website only requests visitors to please inform the trust of disabled persons they can employ. Very few people know of this place; and I feel proud and immensely happy of having got my readers to know of it.

The third piece I want to spotlight was titled "Devi Cult and the Girl Child", which was published on the South Asian Women’s Forum’s webzine CONNECT [http://www.sawf.org/newedit/edit09192005/gendervoices.asp ].

Although this was written for a little-known webzine, it dealt with a subject I felt strongly about all my life. As a little girl growing up in a Hindu home, I always resented the manner in which the birth of a girl-child was dreaded. You may have heard about female infanticide indulged in by the rustic and illiterate in Indian villages. But educated, urbane Indians who may or may not indulge in female foeticide continue to be prejudiced against girl-children. Begetting a girl-child is considered unlucky, while a boy-child is always welcome. No one ever talks of a girl being expected; a pregnant woman is said to be "expecting" a baby boy.

The column in the webzine -- "Gender Voices" -- gave me the opportunity to write on many issues that are generally swept under the carpet, and I therefore consider the column to have marked an important phase in my professional life, in spite of the fact that I was an unpaid contributor for the webzine.





Question: You studied science at university, majoring in chemistry and then
you followed it up
with a Master's Degree in Politics, and then a doctorate in
African Studies. In your life, in terms of your university studies and
your career goals, who was your mentor and who were your most important
teachers in school or at home?

Rina: You know, in India, it is very rare to find a mentor. Ours was a typical Hindu home; where a girl-child is never in the reckoning. My parents never bothered to think of or encourage me to have a career of my own. When I won prizes at the inter-school or inter-college level, my parents never bothered to cheer me on. A girl-child is only looked upon as a potential home-maker. Of course, it makes most Indian girl-children grow up more mature than their counterparts elsewhere. My choice of career, my doctoral fellowship, everything was my own doing.

But that said, I would also single out certain professors at the university who recognized my talents and encouraged me to attain all I wanted to. They include my doctoral guide, Professor R. R. Ramchandani, and the then Head of our Centre for African Studies and currently Director, Centre for International Strategic and Development Studies, Professor A. B. Sawant.

I have a small personality problem. I cannot spend years working on just one subject. I get bored easily, and hence need constant intellectual stimulation. I need to move on from one subject to another in quick succession. These professors encouraged me to do so, and thus I found myself research and write on many different subjects.

Professionally, this quality was appreciated by several editors in organizations that I worked for. Here, I would single out Mr Hari Jaisingh, Resident Editor at the Indian Express, Mumbai in the late 1980s, Mr Anish Gupta of the Hindustan Times, Kolkata, and Ms Rita Anand (editor, CIVIL SOCIETY) whom I am writing for right now. All of them gave me the freedom to work on a myriad subjects I wanted to work on, and I unfailingly come up with some of my best stories day after day.

I loved to study; and even today, I want to learn. Every subject I handle, every article I write means a new learning experience that I cherish. I hated the compartmentalization of knowledge which is the norm in Indian universities. That is precisely why I ultimately chose an interdisciplinary subject to do my doctorate in. (In fact, it was one of the first interdisciplinary subjects introduced by the University Grants Commission at the research level).

I loved to write, and loved to learn. I was certain that I did not want to teach; it was too boring a profession for me. I loved excitement and wanted to do something to change the way things were. It was around the very first year of college that I had started freelancing for newspapers and magazines; and absolutely loved it. It was after my master's degree that I seriously thought of training to be a journalist. That was what prompted me to do a post-graduate course in journalism and mass communications, and become a professional journalist.

QUESTION: You cover every aspect of development now, from child
rights, education, disability, human rights, the environment, gender, health. What do you think is the most important development issue now in
India, and also in other parts of the world?

RINA: Overpopulation and illiteracy, in my opinion, is the bane of the developing world. This is what is affecting us all.

Whatever our rate of economic growth, our achievements on the economic front get negated in the face of an unplanned population growth. We have a huge population of one billion. We cannot afford to provide the basic necessities and housing for these people, faced as we are with limited resources. There is not enough land for our people; every natural calamity hits our people harder. There are not enough jobs; and not enough money going around totrain the poorest in skills that can make them useful. Overpopulation breeds illiteracy, and illiteracy limits access to resources. It is this, more than anything else, which accounts for what is being termed the clash of civilizations, violence and war everywhere.

QUESTION: The world is facing possible global warming and climate change in
the next 500 years. What do you think we can do to prepare for this
now, and should we as a human species be worried about the future?

RINA: I have a problem with your question: we are already facing the consequences of global warming -- right here and now! We have already lost two islands in the Indian Sundarbans, and there are many more getting swallowed rapidly by the seas. The same is the case with certain islands in the Bangladeshi Sundarbans. The problem is getting exacerbated by population pressures here in this densely-populated region. Cross-border infiltration in the Indian Sundarbans is causing the forests to disappear, as trees get illegally felled and forests cleared by people in need of a place to settle down.

In addition to planning our families, we need to conserve our forests. Our carelessness in taking nature for granted has caused the depletion of our groundwater levels. Large-scale irrigation has only worsened matters, (as a recent report by U.S. scientists on the basis of satellite imagery has just revealed). Organic farming and indigenous crop varieties suited to our soil should provide the best bulwark to this problem. In addition, our coastline is suffering from increasing salinity, which in turn, is causing a drinking water problem for the population. Cyclones and storm surges only worsen this problem. This time, the Indian Sundarbans cannot yield a single crop, owing to saline water from the seas having overrun the farmlands.

We cannot turn back the clock on global warming. But if we move to crop varieties that are salinity-resistant and need less water, it can help us overcome the worst effects of global warming.

Similarly, strengthening public transport, and lesser reliance on vehicles that emit noxious fumes, can contribute to reducing the sum total of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

QUESTION: Do you believe in a God or in gods -- or what kind of spiritual base
do you use to gain
emotional and intellectual clarity about life?


RINA: Being an Indian and a Hindu has made me realize that all religions are true; it is only that they follow disparate paths to the same destination. Hence, each one subscribes to the same basic tenets of right thinking, simple living, honesty and charity. To me, my conscience is the personal God I believe in. It is the sum total of revelation and reason that define my faith.

I must admit that I do not believe in rituals, since most are based on superstition. To me, work is worship. I derive innate strength from reading religious philosophy, and striving to experience the Almighty in nature.



QUESTION: You have
also covered lifestyle, art, film, music and dance in the past (and
occasionally write on these even now) and you have also written on
literature, faith and religion. How do the arts play an important role in
our lives? How does religion play an important role in our lives?



RINA: When man moved on to a settled life, the idea of an omnipotent God/Goddess came in. The desire for Order had the elders formulate religion.

The performing and fine arts had their origins in religion. In India, classical music had its origins in the vedic hymns; just as church choirs seem to be the precursor of all music in the West. Classical dance forms in India developed in temples, as a stylized form of worshipping the deity. The most beautiful sculptures and frescoes we see in India are found in the Indian cave temples of yore.

In India, you will find the roots of the Chinese yin and yang. Ancient India never considered the Almighty to be a He (unlike the Semitic religions from the Middle East -- Judaism, Christianity, Islam). In India, the Almighty was always considered to be Ardhanarishwar -- or a Supreme Being with the qualities of both the male and female. Our dance and music compositions are all aimed at celebrating this reality. Additionally, we appreciate the anahad (immanent) and aahad (struck) naads, or immanent /inherent sounds in nature, and the ones produced by striking on various instruments.



Similarly, the very first books written were of a religious nature. Secular writing came much later. To me, the idea of religion is related to the need for order in society. Literature, the fine and performing arts are aimed at helping us realize the Supreme Being, by lifting our spirits higher and appreciate the world better.

QUESTION: What is your favorite way to be happy? What leisure time activites
give you the most pleasure and inner happiness?


RINA: I love to read, dance, sing, embroider and knit, watch movies, and of course, travel. But not necessarily in that order!

Of course, as a mother, I have found special pleasure in nurturing my daughter, and seeing her grow up. It may be a tough task balancing work and home; but I will say that it has definitely been worth it. Spending a mere week holidaying with my husband and daughter rejuvenates me for the next 15 months, in the least!

QUESTION: Are you hopeful about the future of humankind and this planet, or
do you despair a bit from time to time?

RINA: One hears a lot about how the West has caused global warming to reach the present level; but on my trips abroad, it was heartening to see a lot of awareness at the individual level. Scandinavians are extremely mindful about such matters; in Spain, you find most people using public transport, or else cycling away on their chores. Although there are a lot of private vehicles in the U.S., pollution norms are strictly followed.

In our country, it is the lack of reliable public transport that compels people to fall back on private vehicles. In many parts of the country, pollution norms are ignored. It is this that makes me despair. When I see the condition of our coastal people, who must battle the rising seas, loss of livelihoods and an acute drinking-water problem, I cannot but wring my hands in helplessness.

There are many yet who ignore the need for planning their families, and fail to understand the imperatives of the day. It is high time that people realized that our resources are limited. We cannot colonize another Earth!

Unless mankind practises restraint, we will all sink!

IN A PERSONAL ASIDE, RINA ADDS: "In case this is of any interest to you or readers of your blog here, on a more personal note, I am a Hindu married to a Parsi (Zoroastrian). Ours is an inter-religious marriage -- something of a rarity in India. (Perhaps that is what got a friend of ours to write about our marriage being one of the most successful inter-religious /inter-community marriages to keep going for years. Although neither of us is rigidly religious, we celebrate both Hindu and Zoroastrian festivals at home. And yes, my husband
is very well up in all kinds of religious philosophy; religious writings are his favourite non-fiction reading.He can explain every nuance of religious /theosophical belief."

PERSONAL ASIDE, part 2: Regarding the photo above, it was taken at the time of our daughter's Navjot. Navjot refers to a thread ceremony performed by Zoroastrians. This is akin to that done by the Hindus among the upper castes. Nav (new) jot (light, or enlightenment) refers to a ceremony that makes Hindus or Zoroastrians twice-born or enlightened. I would say, it is something like Christian baptism in the West.

However, among Hindus, the privilege is bestowed on males only. Zoroastrians give the opportunity to both males and females. A Zoroastrian child does not belong to the community unless this ceremony is performed by the age of nine.

Since my husband and I got married under the Special Marriages Act, our child is free to choose whichever religion she wants to follow. The two of us follow our respective religions; she makes her own decision once she becomes an adult. The ceremony recognizes her as a Zoroastrian; if she wants to follow that religion, she is free to do so. In case she wants to be a Hindu, she can do so, too.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Never forget. The lone protester against the tanks in China, 1989. Where is he now? A real hero of the 20th Century!


Rest in peace, wherever you are, Mr Chin!

The "crying face" on a glacier in Norway is a genuine photo by Michael S. Nolan


UPDATED:

This website has confirmed that the famous crying face, tears of Nature, that seems to appear on the face of a glacier in Norway is in fact a genuine photo taken by Michael S. Nolan on July 19, 2009 during a trip to Norway. Mr Nolan told this blog:

"This image is absolutely as I
took it, no manipulation other than slight cropping and sharpening.
Nothing added or taken away. This is exactly how the image appeared.
The feeling of this being a face was of course totally overwhelming
and immediate. Once I connected to the face I couldn't see the ice cap
in any other way. I leave the interpretation of the face and the tears
of the waterfall to the viewer."

- Mike S. Nolan

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Taiwanese professor says global warming not cause of earthquakes, typhoons, flooding, swine flu


http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2009/09/03/2003452681

Disaster contingencies are a must

By Lin Chong-pin 林中斌

Sept 3, 2009

Just as people in Taiwan are worrying about global warming and the possibility of more calamitous storms like Typhoon Morakot, reports show that five people have died so far in Taiwan of the new strain of the (A)H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, with four deaths occurring in as many days.

It seems society’s social vigilance “radar” is working more like a driver’s rear-view mirror, focused too much on what has already happened and not enough on what lies ahead. The chances of Taiwan getting hit by another powerful typhoon in the near future are slim, just as the safest place to be on a battlefield is a shell crater. However, other kinds of disasters could happen at any time.

Here are three suggestions and observations: We must be fully prepared to deal with infectious diseases this autumn; we must actively prepare for the possibility of an earthquake and we must be aware that disasters around the world are not caused by global warming alone.

DISEASE

The threat of swine flu is looming. The Department of Health (DOH) is warning the public through widespread media reports that there may be as many as 7 million (A)H1N1 infections in Taiwan. The DOH assures us that the government is fully mobilized to fight the epidemic and everything is under control. However, there are other diseases waiting in the wings.

Experience tells us that autumn is the key season for infectious diseases. There have been outbreaks of more and more different kinds of contagious illnesses around the world in recent years, and the scale of these epidemics is growing.

Medical workers who often travel between Taiwan and China reported an outbreak of pneumonic plague in China’s western Qinghai Province last month and, around the same time, reports of a spate of infections of a type of herpes that attacks internal organs emerged in central China.

Although these reports need further verification, it is advisable to be prepared for the spread of such illnesses well in advance.

I have two suggestions. First, the governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should willingly strengthen procedures for notifying each other when diseases break out. Saving lives is more important than saving face. Second, Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine each have their strong points. Practitioners of the two traditions should set aside their prejudices and work together on disease prevention. Chinese herbal medicine, whose history stretches back thousands of years, can sometimes help in cases that specific Western drugs cannot cure.

EARTHQUAKES

Strong earthquakes have been occurring more frequently in Taiwan recently. Although the first half of this year only saw nine quakes above magnitude 5.0 on the Richter scale — fewer than the 19 and 16 that occurred in the same period of last year and 2007 respectively, the frequency has picked up considerably from July onward.

There were four earthquakes above magnitude 5 in the last five days of July. Then, on Aug. 17, two earthquakes stronger than magnitude 6.0 shook the seabed off the coast of Hualien County, followed by one measuring 5.6 in the sea off the Hengchun Peninsula on Aug. 22. During the same period, there was a series of three earthquakes of around magnitude 7.0 in Japanese territorial waters near Taiwan on Aug. 5, Aug. 9 and Aug. 11.

There are two ways of interpreting frequent earthquakes. One is that they reduce the chances of a major quake by releasing accumulated friction forces between tectonic plates. The other is that they are a sign a major earthquake is coming soon.

For the sake of public safety, it would be better to exercise caution by preparing for a major earthquake. Even if there is no big earthquake in the short term, the fact remains that Taiwan is on an earthquake belt,and powerful quakes cannot be avoided.

In this respect, I offer three suggestions. First, rescue drills for handling a sudden and high-magnitude earthquake should be held. With personnel, equipment, rescue dogs and so on ready for quick deployment, action can be taken within the crucial first 48 hours after a disaster occurs.

Second, the government and media should collaborate to reinforce the public’s knowledge about earthquake response. Third, the government should invite experts to list the locations at which an earthquake could cause calamitous damage and make contingency plans accordingly.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Global warming cannot explain disasters caused by excessive cold. In a column published in the International Herald Tribune on Dec. 9, journalist Jeff Jacoby wrote: “Some experts point out that global temperatures peaked in 1998 and have been falling since then.” The article names several academics holding such a view, including Richard Lindzen, a professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This year, two US meteorologists — Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling Jr — published a book called Climate of Extremes, in which they present data and charts casting doubt on the theory of global warming. Furthermore, there have been many instances of disastrously heavy snowfalls. Record amounts of snow fell in Japan in January 2006, leading to the deaths of 89 people.

In February of the same year, temperatures in China’s ­Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region plunged to minus 41°C, and many gazelles died from the cold or because they could not reach grass buried under deep snow.

In January 2007, blizzards struck many parts of Europe, killing 40 people. In January last year, heavy snowfall struck 21 of China’s provinces, affecting more than 100 million people.

All in all, the trend in the global climate seems to be that cold places are getting colder and hot places hotter. Warming, therefore, is not the whole picture.

Global warming also offers no explanation for the increasing frequency of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Tom Simkin and Lee Siebert, authors of the Smithsonian Institution’s Volcanoes of the World, have found that volcanic eruptions around the world have become more frequent since 1950, and data collected by the US Geological Survey shows that the frequency of earthquakes worldwide has been increasing continuously since 1973.

The Earth’s surface, or crust, is a layer of rock ranging from 3km to 60km thick. Beneath this crust is molten rock, called magma, whose temperature ranges from 600°C to 1,300°C. If the average surface temperature of the Earth, which is about 15°C, were to rise by less than 1ºC because of global warming, it is hardly conceivable that this could agitate motion of the magma beneath the crust, making earthquakes more frequent and volcanoes more active.

Currently, a more likely explanation for increasingly frequent disasters of various kinds around the world is something deeper. Put simply, the movement of heavenly bodies — the Sun and the Moon — causes shifts in the Earth’s magnetic core and a weakening of its magnetic strength, and this in turn leads to more frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and to extremes of temperature, frequent disease outbreaks, epidemics and other disasters.

The challenges that lie before us include more than just typhoons and global warming. Will an understanding of potential disasters alarm the public? Not really — being prepared can only increase public safety.



Lin Chong-pin is a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in TAIWAN.

TRANSLATED BY JULIAN CLEGG in Taipei for the Taipei Times newspaper.
This story has been viewed 123,468 times.

Burning Up! Climate Activists Planning a Dramatic Self-Immmolation Protest in Front of UN to Protest Climate Inaction -- CLIMATE DEPOT blog reports


Burning Up!

Climate Activists Planning a Dramatic Self-Immmolation Protest in Front of UN to Protest Climate Inaction

-- CLIMATE DEPOT in Washington DC blog reports


Climate Depot

Washington, D.C. 20006

www.ClimateDepot.com

UPDATED: Denial by photo agency that crying glacier photo was faked or photoshopped



UPDATED: September 6, 2009

The "crying face" on a glacier in Norway is a genuine photo by Michael S. Nolan

Mr Nolan tells this blog in an UPDATE on SUNDAY, Sept. 6:

This image is absolutely as I
took it, no manipulation other than slight cropping and sharpening.
Nothing added or taken away. This is exactly how the image appeared.
The feeling of this being a face was of course totally overwhelming
and immediate. Once I connected to the face I couldn't see the ice cap
in any other way. I leave the interpretation of the face and the tears
of the waterfall to the viewer.
-- Mike S. Dolan

The News Photo Agency swears the photo is a true photo, taken by Michael Nolan, USA citizen while visiting Norway this past summer.

Three letters say the photo is not fake or photoshopped, but a true real photo.


Dear NorthwardHo,

I can assure you 100% that this image is not faked and has not been faked in any way.


We are providing some of the highest quality images from around the world to the biggest media publications and broadcasters in the world.


Furthermore, we woould never seek to dilute the serious matter of climate change and we actively avoid photographs that have been photoshopped.


If you speak to the World Glacier Monitoring Service, you will find that the crying face in the ice-sheet is genuine and has actually existed for a number of years.


http://www.geo.unizh.ch/wgms/


Signed,
_________ ______
Reporter


Barcroft Media,Unit 9, 14 Southgate Road
London, N1 3LY


xxxxxx@barcroftmedia.com


Check out our website
http://www.barcroftmedia.com


tel: UK country code +44 (0)845 370 2233

LETTER TWO

Furthermore, as I journalist, I assume you will be researching your article, and establishing whether your belief is true before you publish anything?


I am confident that once you have spoken with the WGMS, and realise the face exists, that you will be satisfied enough not to publish anything suggesting that the image has been faked.


Look forwards to heating from you.



Best


____ ______
Reporter


Barcroft Media,Unit 9, 14 Southgate Road
London, N1 3LY

LETTER THREE


We are a news agency delivering news and features to national newsdesks and broadcasters in 52 countries.


We ran the original story and distributed the story to The Sun in the UK. They have used [our] copy.

[We]interviewed Michael Nolan.


That's how [THE SUN and the world media] got it.


It is of little relevance to us if bloggers out there do not believe the face exists.


We deliver news and the readers can discuss it in any way they see fit.


If you are interested in purchasing the images and copy, tell me what country you are in and I will direct you to our agents in that territory.


Thanks

_____ ______

Crying Face in Glacier:

Monday, September 28, 2009
Mother Nature in Tears
July 16, 2009 - Austfonna ice cap located on Nordaustlandet in Svalbard, Norway

Sometimes an image just seems to be too good to true! The image above has caused quite a stir around the world in so many ways. When I took the image early in the morning on July 16, 2009 from the bow of the National Geographic Explorer I was struck by the unmistakable likeness of the face of a woman crying. In fact once my mind locked onto the face it was hard to see any other pattern in the ice cap. I was moved to photograph this particular waterfall several different ways with a couple of different lenses. It was one of the best examples of a human likeness I have ever witnessed in nature.

All well and fine but now comes the controversy. The image was picked up by one of my best stock agencies in the U.K. and the face was likened to Mother Nature. I loved the stylized look of the waterfall as it formed the pool of tears, and think it is strikingly similar to what a thoughtful yet mournful Mother Nature might appear to look like, and what better place to appear than on the face of the largest (by area) retreating ice cap in all of Europe?

Of course folks on one side of the climate change issue took it as a sign, while folks on the other side of this same issue were sure the image was fabricated. "Photoshop Experts" started weighing in on how the image was manipulated or downright faked all together. From my perspective as the photographer who took the image I am amazed at what strong sentiments this image has provoked, and the ensuing attacks on the authenticity of the face. So here it is, as simply and plainly as I can say it:

This image was shot on July 16, 2009 with a Canon 50D digital camera body and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8L lens. The camera settings were 1/640 second at f5.6, handheld. The image was shot in Canon Camera Raw (CR2) file format. The ONLY things done to this image in Photoshop were a slight crop (to straighten the horizon), color correction (to match the blue of the glacier to what I saw), and sharpening (which RAW photos all require). That's it. Nothing was added or taken away, altered, fabricated, or manipulated.

Is this Mother Nature in Tears? If you want it to be then I say absolutely!

Is it a sign of climate change? Of course, the ice cap is retreating and has been for many years now.

Is this a beautiful stylized look of a woman's face in the Austfonna ice cap? This thought is exactly what moved me to create the image.

Was the image fabricated, manipulated, altered, or down right faked? Absolutely not. The image is exactly as it appeared to me (or as close as minor adjustments in Photoshop could make it). I have the RAW file to prove it, and if you chose to believe otherwise that is of course your right. It is just sad (and pitiful) that anyone would choose to make accusations against someone they don't even know about something they weren't even around to witness for themselves. Really, don't you have anything constructive or positive to do in your life? No? Try a little harder!

Enough already. I encourage everyone to go and experience Mother Nature for themselves, wherever (and however) you can find her! Perhaps she will change your life, as she has changed mine. I have hope for even the most ardent unbelievers. The beauty is all around you, you just have to open your eyes (and heart).

The Austfonna ice cap from the bow of National Geographic Explorer.


Waterfalls formed in the melting ice cap.


A black-legged kittiwake on the wing in front of the ice cap.



To see more of my photography please visit http://www.wildlifeimages.net/

Haunting face crying a river of tears as glacier melts into the sea

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1210706/Caught-camera-Mother-Nature-cries-river-tears-global-warming-threatens-planet.html

Pictured: Haunting face crying a river of tears as glacier melts into the sea
September 2009

At first glimpse it looks like any other glacier you might find in the freezing Arctic wastes of Norway.
But on closer inspection an eerie face is depicted in the melting ice wall that appears to be crying a river of tears.
The forlorn-looking 'Mother Nature' figure appeared to locals during a thaw, with the melting ice and snow falling towards the sea below.
The striking image of the Austfonna ice cap, located on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago, would seem certain to be heavily used by environmentalists protesting against climate change.

Tears of Mother Nature: The image of a crying face looming from an icy cliff wall was taken at the Svalbard archipelago in Norway

Rising sea levels caused by melting ice caps are one of the most worrying effects of global warming and experts warn swathes of low-lying countries will be left under water.
The picture was captured by marine photographer and environmental lecturer Michael Nolan while on an annual voyage to observe the glacier and its surrounding wildlife.
A glacier expert has confirmed the ice cap carrying an image of Mother Nature 'crying' has been continually shrinking by as much as 160 feet every year for several decades.

''Speaks volumes! The human race has a lot to answer for!!''
--- Amanda, Glasgow, UK


''The say that pictures are worth a thousand words... well this one certainly gives out a message about global warming. It's very sad that this is happening, but despite what the gouvernment tell us to do to save the envirmonet, in hundreds of years to come, all the ice will certainly melt away & we will lose some very beautiful creatures & scenery.''
- Welsh Girl, Anglesey, N.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Climate Depot to Post Item about Self-immolation Climate Protest: "Thanks Danny. I will post. Very interesting."


re this planned climate activiststs' self-immmolation climate protest before Copenhagen talks begin on Dec. 7, perhaps in front of UN bldg in Manhattan.....
NOTE: with Copenhagen meetings starting in less then 100 days, some climate activists are now planning a dramatic self-immolation protest in front of the UN bulding in NYC before the summit opens, with 5 people appearing to set themselves on fire to protest the world's inaction on all this. However, they will be using Hollywood stuntmen suits to protect them from the flames and no one, repeat, no one, will get hurt or die. It's all part of a concerted PR effort to get the world to wake up and pay attention. If anyone wants details and rehearsed photos of the event, email me at bikolang AT gmail dot com


Marc Morano, who runs Climate Depot, a major climate change website, which doesn't always agree with me, or me with it, but Marc is a good man and very civil, and he emails me after I sent him this item: "Thanks Danny. I will post. Very interesting."






AND
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郭台銘手護健康 拱手不握手 - New gesture for avoiding swine flue -- Terry Gou in new ad for CDC, Taiwan


郭台銘 手護健康 拱手不握手 -- Kuo Shu-song, right, director of the CDC in Taiwan, poses with an ad featuring Terry Gou. The copy says instead of shaking hands, it is better now to use body language and give the traditional Taiwanese gonxi greeting, two hands clasped together, so as to avoid touching the other person's hand (skin) and thus helping to prevent swine flu viruses from spreading nationwide or even in the boardroom or classroom. GoOD IDEA!

SO OO JEN HAN in Chinese pronounciation

PHoto from CNA news service, August 31, 2009

FINITUDE is a book whose time has come: Hamish MacDonald has seen the future, and it's not a pretty picture


FINITUDE is a book whose time has come: Hamish MacDonald has seen the future, and it's not a pretty picture

book review by Danny Bloom

While Taiwan is a relatively small island nation and far removed from the centers of world power and influence, a novel set in the distant future about the kind of climate chaos that could very well impact this country's entire population is not something to consign to the science-fiction corner of the local bookstore. For Hamish MacDonald, a 40-something Canadian writer who makes his home now in Scotland, has created -- with his self-published novel "Finitude" -- perhaps the most important work of literary fiction about the possibilities of future climate chaos. The novel is surely one of the most important novels written in the last 50 years.

And yet you have never heard of Hamish MacDonald. Why? Because he writes and publishes outside the circles of commercial book companies in New York and London, and most literary agents are only interested in making a quick dollar on huge bestsellers. Very few people have time for a book like "Finitude" or a writer like Hamish MacDonald.

But if you were to open his book to the very first page and begin reading, I am sure you will not be able to put his picaresque novel down. He is a witty and well-read man, and he has studied the intricacies of climate change and global warming issues. True, he is not a scientist, and he is not a climatologist, either. If someone wants to argue with him that global warming is not caused by humans burning fossil fuels as if there was no tomorrow, you can argue about this.

But if you want to read a gripping novel about what life might be like in an un-named country in the far distant future -- say 2121 or maybe 2323 -- then "Finitude" will set you straight.

The 288-page handbound novel begins like this: "The world was supposed to come to an end, but it didn't."

Featuring a character named Jeremy Chutter and a supporting cast of colorful people, male and female, the book operates on two levels: on one hand, it's a light-hearted adventure novel, a road trip, a quest, a journey; on the other level, it's a peek into what the future of climate chaos might very well look like.

When a cruise ship comes in to dock after a voyage across the newly-opened Arctic Ocean, thousands of residents of a port city come out to meet it -- but something looks gravely wrong.

Jeremy asks a woman on the pier what the problem is. "She pointed at one of the large screens. He removed the pin from his lapel and saw what she saw: the passengers and crew of the ship, all slumped over as if they'd all fallen asleep in an instant, all dead."

This is both science fiction and a speculative climate chaos story. It's not 2009 in MacDonald's book. Although he does not specify a time or a place, it seems that the novel takes place in a country much like Britain in around the year 2300. While much of the landscape is bleak and life apparently cruel and brutish, Jeremy and his friends survive and keep hope alive, even when all around them there is nothing but despair and end-of-the-world blackness.

Believe it or not, the book has a happy ending, sort of. The very last page points to a better future, to the light, to wisdom and affirmation. But it takes 287 pages to get there, and MacDonald keeps the action flowing on every page.

I read the novel in one sitting. For me, it was that good. I could not put it down once I started, and kept reading until around 4 am. It's not just a book about a journey or a road trip or a quest. It's also a book about the very future of humankind.

Will it turn you into a climate activist? No. Will it make you despair that nothing can be done
stop global warming in its tracks? No. Will it give you hope? No.

What it will do, though, is give you renewed insights into how the humans might cope with the coming climate chaos in a hundred years or so. Like Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Road" (now a bleak Hollywood movie about a possible comet strike on Earth), MacDonald's "Finitude" pushes the boundaries of what we normally like to think about or feel.
It's that kind of book, it's that kind of experience.

Why the commercial book firms in New York or London were afraid to touch this book is something for history to judge. But if you liked the novels of Douglas Adams, you will enjoy reading Hamish MacDonald's take on the future of humankind. I couldn't put it down. I still can't get rid of that image of a cruise ship docking in an un-named port with all the passengers dead from methane gas poisoning.


Finitude
Hamish MacDonald
ISBN 978-0-9560169-0-4
288 pages
Available at hamishmacdonald.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Taipei and much of Taiwan will be flooded out in future due to global warming; millions will move north to polar cities in China and Russia


Taipei will be undersea in future: researcher

The China Post reported on September 3, 2009

TAIPEI, Taiwan (as seen in photo above, might be under water in 2121 AD -- Taipei will be entirely under the sea by the end of this century, an Academia Sinica research fellow warned yesterday. Not just the Taipei basin will be engulfed by the rising seas triggered by climate warming, Wang Chung-ho told an Academia Sinica-sponsored seminar on climate change and the prospect of indigenous culture.

[Dr Wang, born in 1950, received his PH.D. in 1984 from the University of Hawaii -- in Marine Geology and Geophysics. He earned his B.S. degree in geology from the College of Chinese Culture in Taipei in 1976.] [for newspaper inquiries or interview requests, contact chwang@earth.sinica.edu.tw]


Most of the plains area on Taiwan, including every city and county along its west coast, will be submerged under the rising seawater, Wang said in a research paper theorizing the attack of the seas on the island.

Wang, research fellow at the AS institute of geoscientific research, theorizes the invasion of the seas on the basis of an estimate by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the sea level will rise by at least one meter before this century is out.

“Not 40 centimeters or 50 centimeters,” Wang said, “but one meter at the very least, that will gobble up most of the low-lying areas on Taiwan.”

Taiwan's east coast will be a little better off, however.

As a result, Wang went on, the people in the heavily populated plains would have to go up to higher ground, the mountains which are the traditional habit of most of Taiwan's indigenous Austronesian peoples.

The mass migration which would result in overdevelopment of mountainous areas, causing landslides like the ones hitting the tribal villages in the wake of Typhoon Morakot whenever heavy rains fall, Wang said.

At least 500 residents of Siaolin, the tribal village in the county of Kaohsiung, still remain buried since August 9, presumed dead.

Morakot struck Taiwan August 8-9. The village, buried in mudslides, was abandoned.

“That may be an inevitable disaster we have to face in the next nine decades,” Wang pointed out.

Climate warming is thawing the ice in the arctic ocean, Wang said. All the ice in the polar zone is expected to melt in three decades, compelling Taiwan to move its capital from Taipei to a much higher place.

“We have to be prepared for that worst scenario,” Wang added.

Dr. Liu Shao-chen, director of the climate change research center, joined Wang in issuing the warning of the rapid rise in the sea level and a tripling of precipitation.

“It's not impossible,” Liu said.

Moreover, Liu said, a rise by one degree Celcius in the temperature would increase Taiwan's precipitation by 1.4 times.

“In other words,” Liu continued, “before the end of this century, the mean rainfall will rise 2.8 times. And if no greenhouse gas emission isn't controlled, the rise will shoot up by 5.6 times.”

It means the record torrential rains that hit central and southern Taiwan in Morakot's wake will be repeated frequently, touching off devastating landslides.

But the mass exodus of people from the plains to the mountains would squeeze indigenous tribes out of their traditional habitat.

“They may have nowhere to go,” Wang said.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/local/taipei/2009/09/02/222961/Taipei-will.htm

Vissarion: the Russian Messiah, 2nd Coming of Jesus?



Climate change, global warming, go figure. This is for real. Google him. He has 400,000 followers so far. More coming soon. This is just the beginning of end of the world poseurs. Prepare.

Vissarion founded and heads a religious movement known as the Church of the Last Testament with its head church in the Siberian taiga in the Minusinsk Depression east of Abakan in the southern Siberia Kuraginsk district of Krasnoyarsk territory. He has around 400,000 followers (called Vissarionites) in around thirty villages in the immediate vicinity of his base at Sun City, while having approximately 1,000,000 followers around the world. Is the END near? Not until 2500 A.D. -- we still have 30 more generations to go. Enjoy!