Is There A Pandemic Building In China – Oh God let’s hope not

There are many things that environmentalists have said over the years. The 2 most consistently true ones are that there are too many people on this planet and the other is that we will pay a price for befouling our planet. This has led some to talk about the possibility of a human “die back”. Is this what the beginning of one might look like?

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/04/01/is_this_a_pandemic_being_born_china_pigs_virus

 

Is This a Pandemic Being Born?

China’s mysterious pig, duck, and people deaths could be connected. And that should worry us.

BY LAURIE GARRETT | APRIL 1, 2013

Here’s how it would happen. Children playing along an urban river bank would spot hundreds of grotesque, bloated pig carcasses bobbing downstream. Hundreds of miles away, angry citizens would protest the rising stench from piles of dead ducks and swans, their rotting bodies collecting by the thousands along river banks. And three unrelated individuals would stagger into three different hospitals, gasping for air. Two would quickly die of severe pneumonia and the third would lay in critical condition in an intensive care unit for many days. Government officials would announce that a previously unknown virus had sickened three people, at least, and killed two of them. And while the world was left to wonder how the pigs, ducks, swans, and people might be connected, the World Health Organization would release deliberately terse statements, offering little insight.

It reads like a movie plot — I should know, as I was a consultant for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. But the facts delineated are all true, and have transpired over the last six weeks in China. The events could, indeed, be unrelated, and the new virus, a form of influenza denoted as H7N9, may have already run its course, infecting just three people and killing two.

Or this could be how pandemics begin.

On March 10, residents of China’s powerhouse metropolis, Shanghai, noticed some dead pigs floating among garbage flotsam in the city’s Huangpu River. The vile carcasses appeared in Shanghai’s most important tributary of the mighty Yangtze, a 71-mile river that is edged by the Bund, the city’s main tourist area, and serves as the primary source of drinking water and ferry travel for the 23 million residents of the metropolis and its millions of visitors. The vision of a few dead pigs on the surface of the Huangpu was every bit as jarring for local Chinese as porcine carcasses would be for French strolling the Seine, Londoners along the Thames, or New Yorkers looking from the Brooklyn Bridge down on the East River.

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Those that defend nuclear power always take it out of context

Pro  Nuke people always ignore the long chain that leads up to the first Nuclear reaction, including mining the dangerous ore and the tremendous construction costs. This chain may negate at least several years of their contention that Nuclear Power is “carbon free”. They also never discuss the after chain. Which includes both the disposal of the waste from the reactor but eventually the cost of decommissioning the reactors themselves. I think that Yucca Mountain was a perfect response to that, but I am alone on that one. This piece also mentions the distructive economic system that these reactors would perpetuate, which is disgusting. BUT the larger picture is that nuclear reactors are totally unnecessary. I have included here only the Monthly Review’s preface.

http://monthlyreview.org/2011/02/01/on-nuclear-power

On Nuclear Power

Response to John W. Farley’s ‘Our Last Chance to Save Humanity’

and

Monthly Review has long been on record as opposed to the expansion of nuclear energy.1 Most recently, some of the dangers of nuclear power, both in its present form and with continuing new technological developments, were spelled out by Robert D. Furber, James C. Warf, and Sheldon C. Plotkin of the Southern California Federation of Scientists, in their article on “The Future of Nuclear Power” (MR, February 2008).

Nevertheless, we recognize that many scientists, including climatologist James Hansen and our friend, physicist John W. Farley, now see a place for nuclear energy as a kind of last resort, given the dire planetary threat raised by the burning of fossil fuels—made even more dire by the current shift toward even dirtier, more carbon-emitting fossil fuels, such as lower grades of coal, oil from tar sands, and shale oil. If nuclear power presents great dangers to the human population and the earth, it also cannot be denied that the continuation of “business as usual” with respect to carbon emissions will lead to eventual social, economic, and ecological collapse, threatening civilization and most species, including our own. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that some are looking at nuclear energy as a lesser, or more remote, evil. Moreover, the prospect, though still at the theoretical/experimental stage, of revolutionary developments in nuclear power technology, namely Generation IV plants, which could greatly increase the efficiency of nuclear fuel use, reducing the nuclear waste generated, is also changing the nature of the controversy for some.

Yet, in our view, none of this alters the essential nature of the problem: the crossing of planetary boundaries by an economic system that, as long as it exists, must continually produce more and more goods, and thus degrade the environment. In this context, a turn to nuclear energy as a solution is both myopic and a Faustian bargain. The development of alternative energy sources coupled with conservation, in the context of radical transformations in social relations, constitutes the only real, long-term solution.

 

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The People Who Defend Nukes Are Ruthless – They can admit no fault

It always amazes me that the nuclear power business is just a beard for nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are a thing of the past, but no one can admit it. Thus the amazing charges in this case. What about the lax security measures? That is where the prosecution should start.

http://consortiumnews.com/2012/11/21/muzzling-an-anti-nuke-trial-defense/

Muzzling an Anti-Nuke Trial Defense

November 21, 2012

By John LaForge

Three disarmament radicals who snuck into the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex last summer are preparing for their February 2013 trial, and face the prospect that any mention of nuclear weapons will be forbidden.

Y-12 is the 811-acre site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that’s been building H-bombs and contaminating workers and the environment since 1943. On July 28, Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed snipped through fences and walked up to the new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility building. They unfurled banners, spray-painted the building with phrases such as “Woe to the empire of blood,” poured blood, prayed and broke bread.

Now they face felony charges that carry a maximum of $500,000 in fines and 15 years in prison. Additionally, in what looks like an attempt to scare them into pleading guilty now, federal prosecutors have mentioned bringing two heavier charges, including sabotage “during wartime,” which together carry up to 50 years imprisonmen

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Bill Gates Is A Butthead – It takes everyone pitching in to make a change

There is so much wrong about this piece but I understand his sentiment. We have to get going soon or his children’s future and his grandchildren’s future are at stake. But that wouldn’t be true if he would have gotten the message 20 years ago.

http://gigaom.com/2011/05/03/bill-gates-energy-solutions-need-to-be-big-not-cute/

Need to Be Big, Not Cute

To solve the world’s energy problems and combat a rise in global warming, the solutions need to be dramatic and powerful. And definitely not cute. That’s the blunt assessment of Bill Gates, who dismissed smaller scale technologies like residential solar installations as being “cute” but ineffective.

To solve the world’s energy problems and combat a rise in global warming, the solutions need to be dramatic and powerful. And definitely not cute. That’s the blunt assessment of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who dismissed smaller scale technologies like residential solar installations as being “cute” but ineffective.

Speaking at the Wired Business Conference in New York, Gates sounded a now familiar call for innovation in clean energy production. But he said the challenge of meeting the world’s growing energy needs while reducing the rise of carbon emissions won’t be handled by smaller deployments of technology. For example, he said solar panels attached to homes and connected to smart grids is no match for the real impact of large remote solar installations.

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Global Warming Causes The Illinois Drought – This will probably last until May 2014

Why do I say that. Because the Sun is finally into its warming phase. The Sun always has 4 cycles: cooling, quietude, warming and maximus. These cycles inhabit an 11 year cycle most probably related to the creation of some of the heavier elements in its core. What does change in no known sequence is which is bigger the cooling cycle or the warming cycle and I suppose some brief time periods of equilibrium. For the last 30 years (almost 3 full cycles) the cooling side of the cycle has been bigger than the heating cycle and the last quietude was almost 2 full years which I believe is the biggest in recorded history. Here is the point. The planet should be cooling but it isn’t. During the cooling we still had some pretty hot years. Why. There is no other thing to blame, but humans. Now that the Sun is heating up and for the next 3 years or so, Watch Out!

http://www.examiner.com/article/drought-affects-nation-s-energy-prices

If you think the drought of summer 2012 is only increasing the prices of the nation’s corn and grain supplies, you’re missing a large part of the picture. Drought reaches into every corner of American pockets, affecting even the cost of driving a car and what we pay for air conditioning.

Current drought conditions

The United States is experiencing the most severe drought, with the highest percentage of land affected by it, in over 60 years, according to the National Climatic Data Center‘s July 17 report. (See August 5 Palmer drought severity map at left. Yellow = moderately dry, orange = severely dry, red = excessively dry.)

Parched conditions have now led to disaster declarations in more than half the counties in the nation–1,584, in 32 states–this growing season. The declarations make these areas eligible for government aid, including low-interest emergency loans to hold the line until farms and ranches recover.

And the ripple effects of this brutal weather will extend farther than the farms in the Midwest, where corn and soybean crops are failing. It will affect meat production nationwide as well because pasture and grazing land has been blighted, forcing farmers and ranchers to seek other–and more expensive–feed for cows and other animals.

In some areas, cattle have to be fed with next year’s grain reserves because local pasture lands have dried up. Almost four million acres of federal conservation land has been opened for haying and grazing. Crop insurers have also begun to provide penalty-free 30-day grace periods on 2012 premiums.

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The Hottest Year Ever Recorded By Science – I was gona continue the solar meditation

And in away this is a solar earth issue, just not one that involves pollution free power generation. It has always amazed me how good a source of news Rolling Stone has become. It was the home of Hunter S. Thompson too.

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/3_215_high_temperature_records_broken_or_tied_in_the_us

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is

July 19, 2012 9:35 AM ET

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.

Not that our leaders seemed to notice. Last month the world’s nations, meeting in Rio for the 20th-anniversary reprise of a massive 1992 environmental summit, accomplished nothing. Unlike George H.W. Bush, who flew in for the first conclave, Barack Obama didn’t even attend. It was “a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago,” the British journalist George Monbiot wrote; no one paid it much attention, footsteps echoing through the halls “once thronged by multitudes.” Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back in 1989, and since I’ve spent the intervening decades working ineffectively to slow that warming, I can say with some confidence that we’re losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.

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The World Is Ending – Well right after it doesn’t

Well really the guys point is that there will have to be fast and furious changes from a growth model economy to a static or sustainable economy for humans to survive in the civilized manner that we have gotten accustomed to. Still the world has suffered severe trauma before and humans are still here. Plus I believe the subtext of his piece is that the rest of the planet will never notice that mankind ran out of oil or even very much that the climate was destabilized by climate change. It is a really really long article so I will give you a little bit here.

http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1124

Can We Avoid the Perfect Storm?

It is quite possible that by the year 2100 human life will have become extinct or will be confined to a few residential areas that have escaped the devastating effects of nuclear holocaust or global warming.
—Brian Barry1

Evolution equipped us to deal with threats from dependably loathsome enemies and fearsome creatures, but not with the opaque and cumulative long-term consequences of our own technological and demographic success. As cartoonist Walt Kelly once put it, “We’ve met the enemy, and he is us.”

Deforestation, agriculture, and the combustion of fossil fuels have committed the world to a substantial and possibly rapid warming that will last for hundreds or thousands of years. Rising temperatures, whether gradual or sudden, will progressively destabilize the global climate system, causing massive droughts, more frequent storms, rising sea level, loss of many species, and shifting ecologies, but in ways that are difficult to predict with precision in a nonlinear system. These changes will likely result in scarcities of food, energy, and resources, undermining political, social, and economic stability and amplifying the effects of terrorism and conflicts between and within nations, failed states, and regions.

Action to head off the worst of what could occur is difficult because of the complexity of nonlinear systems, with large delays between cause and effect, and because of the political and economic power of fossil fuel industries to prevent corrective action that would jeopardize their profitability. Political leadership has been absent in large part because no government is presently organized to deal with the permanent emergency of climate destabilization. The effects of procrastination will fall with increasing weight on coming generations, making our role as the primary cause of worsening climate destabilization the largest moral lapse in history.

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Video About How The Planet Can Be Saved – Environmental claymation

Here we go again . I am going to try to share a video from a cool website I found. You all know how bad I am at this so do not hold your breath.

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/08/the-healing-power-of-new-energy-friday-fun/

The Healing Power of New Energy (Friday Fun)

June 8, 2012 By
Here’s a fun video in support of clean energy and a healthy planet that I ran across on NewEnergyNews recently:

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Well for now I failed but if you go to the New Energy News link you can see it.

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Go there and see the video from The Colbert Report. More tomorrow.

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The Military Understands Peak Oil And Global Warming – But conservatives not so much

I am only going to post a little bit of this article. This is so in part because I have serious trouble calling killers of humans environmentalists. Still the point is that if all the militaries in the world just quit using any fuel tomorrow the price of all those fuels would crash and stay very low in price for a very long time. So here is a very little bit of a very good article. I mean really anything that gets Inhofe to pound on his table is a very good thing indeed.

The Real Reason the Military is Going Green

Big Oil is a big risk for national security. Can our military—the world’s No. 1 oil guzzler—change the politics of climate change?
posted Jun 04, 2012

 

Retired Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson calls himself  “an accidental environmentalist.”

His epiphany about climate change started with a tactical problem. In 2006 and 2007, when he served as the military’s chief logistician in Iraq, he coordinated the transport of millions of gallons of fuel across the country to power everything from vehicles to the large compressors used to cool individual tents—or, as Anderson puts it, for “air conditioning the desert.” He was taking one casualty for every 24 fuel convoys, and he was doing 18 convoys a day. That’s one casualty every other day. He needed to get the trucks off the road. He needed to find a way to reduce the military’s fuel use.

The question remains, can the weight and pragmatism of military leadership sway political leaders in Washington?

“There’s a direct relationship between energy and the military. The more energy consumed, the less effective you are militarily because you’re more vulnerable,” said Anderson, who reported to General David Petraeus. “They love to take out our field trucks. They make a big boom when they do.”

Since then, Anderson, like many military leaders, has realized that guzzling oil makes the United States vulnerable in other ways. “I’m a soldier,” Anderson said. “Why should I be concerned about climate change? Climate change brings about global instability. That makes the world more vulnerable and it’s more likely that soldiers like myself will have to fight and die somewhere.”

Never mind D.C. conservatives who claim to be tough on defense and suspicious of climate science: The Department of Defense isn’t denying that climate change is a major national security threat. “The change is happening. It’s just a reality,” said retired Marine Col. Mark Mykleby, a former strategy assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Science tells us it’s coming our way.”

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Go there and read the whole thing. More next week.

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