Apr 13 2013

Lawrence Lessig on US election corruption

Kal @ 20:53

Bipartisan equal opportunity corruption.

There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That's the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.

Tags:

Category: Politics | misinformation | Morals | Climate Change

Apr 4 2013

Texans fear the term ‘climate change’?

Kal @ 23:11

Rebecca Leber in Climate Progress Texas Conservatives Start Fund To Battle Impacts Of Warming-Driven Droughts, But Won’t Mention Climate Change.

txdrought-300x195 Whether Texas lawmakers want to admit it or not, they are already planning for the effects of climate change.

Much of Texas has suffered a prolonged drought that has drained reservoirs to some of their lowest levels — this year could be even worst. The situation is so dire that the GOP-led Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a long-term “rainy day” fund that invests in water infrastructure to prepare for the more frequent droughts in coming decades, although they did not acknowledge the connection to climate change.

Tags:

Category: Climate Change | Politics

Jan 28 2013

The New York Times Recognizes Climate Change

Kal @ 18:30

The Climate Change Endgame by Thomas E Lovejoy:

WHETHER in Davos or almost anywhere else that leaders are discussing the world's problems, they are missing by far the biggest issue: the rapidly deteriorating global environment and its ability to support civilization.

The situation is pretty much an endgame. Unless pressing issues of the biology of the planet and of climate change generated by greenhouse gas emissions are addressed with immediacy and at appropriate scale, the matters that occupy Davos discussions will be seen in retrospect as largely irrelevant.

This week, in Bonn, out of sight and out of mind, international negotiators will design the biodiversity and ecosystem equivalent to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A full eight years have passed since President Jacques Chirac of France acted as host at a meeting in Paris to create this "Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services."

Progress has been painfully slow. Only now is the "platform" and its work program - to assess status, trends and possible solutions - being designed. In the meantime, rates of extinction and endangerment of species have soared. Ecosystem destruction is massive and accelerating. Institutional responsiveness seems lethargic to a reptilian degree.

Environmental change is happening rapidly and exponentially. We are out of time. Only three generations back - in the same decade as the original scientific publication of the greenhouse effect - my great-grandfather chaired the commission that designed the New York subway system. How was he to anticipate the sea-level rise that contributed in part to the impact of Hurricane Sandy?

How will things look just two or three generations ahead? Can we avoid the greatest intergenerational environmental injustice of all time?

Tags:

Category: Climate Change | Politics | Resource Depletion

Nov 6 2012

Will Texas be a climate/podcar leader?

Kal @ 17:54

From The Alcalde

13. Create a futuristic transit system.

Texas’ capital city ranks among the country’s most gridlocked, 2012 could be the costliest year ever at the pump, and our carbon footprint grows ever larger.

The chairman of UT’s Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department, Tad Patzek, proposes a solution: podcars.

Podcars are driverless vehicles that run on electricity-powered guideways suspended over existing highways. The concept may seem futuristic, but such cars have already been launched in countries like Sweden and England.

“Podcars cost 10 times less to operate and are 11 times more energy-efficient than today’s vehicles,” Patzek points out. “Also, photovoltaic panels can be installed on the guideways to augment power supply.”

Patzek is moving the concept forward in the U.S. by collaborating with Ron Swenson, one of the scientists leading the charge on podcar development. They both serve on the board of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, which examines the issues around fossil fuel production.

Podcars are already transporting people at one of the world’s busiest airports, Heathrow in London. Given that, Patzek says, “there is no reason why they couldn’t move people between the main UT campus in Austin and the Pickle campus 10 miles north. This would be a convincing demonstration project for the city.” Katharine Grieve

Tags:

Category: Climate Change | PRT | Peak Oil | Sustainability

Nov 6 2012

Its later than you think!

Kal @ 17:38

From Climate Progress:

A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers finds humanity has its foot on the accelerator as we head toward a cliff. The only hope is very rapid deployment of  carbon-free technology starting ASAP.

If Romney wins we appear to be done for. If Obama wins the chances are somewhat better, but I would not go so far as to call them good.

Tags:

Category: Accounting | Climate Change | Sustainability

Oct 7 2010

Back Yard Sea Level – Your back yard

Kal @ 11:54

Click to view full size

Information is Beautiful puts some things in perspective. Sea rise due to Global Warming, for instance.

Two meters higher wipes out Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and St. Petersburg. Large parts of San Francisco and Manhatton are also submerged.

That is a lot of nice Real Estate that will be going to waste.

Tags:

Category: Climate Change | Beyond Petroleum | Economics | Population | Politics | Sustainability

Aug 16 2010

Full Employment – Gone forever?

Kal @ 23:05

A few days ago someone sent the following email with the subject: EMPLOYMENT MAP.....Shocking!!!

Incredible!
Wow!!!  Very sobering and enlightening.
Somebody spent a lot of time breaking this down by every county in the country.

Review this Unemployment map of the United States .
This is hard to believe! I had to review this map a couple of times to grasp the enormity of it.


Displayed this way sure brings the perspective up close and personal.
This is scary. If you have a job, be thankful!


Be certain to click the PLAY button in the middle of the map
and take note of the dates above the US map as it advances month by month
! ! !

http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html

More...

Tags:

Category: Climate Change | Politics | Population | Resource Depletion | Steady-State Economics | Sustainability

Jun 4 2010

Beyond Petroleum – Can anyone still think more petroleum is good?

Kal @ 09:07

Petroleum related disasters everywhere. The Gulf is burning. The climate is deteriorating. Europe is broke. The US has nearly 20% unemployment. Other regions have even more. People are hungry and homeless.

Isn’t it about time to think about alternative ways to organize the distribution of goods and services? What we are doing is clearly not working.

But all I hear from officialdom is “more of the same”, possibly better, but more of the same basically.

No discussion of whether it is a jungle we live in, or a community? There is a lot of discussion of The Market, and how efficient it is. The Market looks a lot like a very complex jungle to me, where the strong win and the weak get eaten.

Tags:

Category: Beyond Petroleum | Climate Change | Peak Oil | Politics | Population | Solar | Sustainability | Steady-State Economics

May 30 2010

Beyond Petroleum – Beyond BP

Kal @ 12:17

Top Kill Fails!

Tags:

Category: Climate Change | Peak Oil | Sustainability | Beyond Petroleum

May 28 2010

Beyond Petroleum – Wind and Solar are better deals

Kal @ 09:30

Offshore oil vs. offshore wind ... who wins?

How many offshore wind turbines could have been bought for the cost of 1 Deepwater Horizon? The answer is enlightening.

More...

Tags:

Category: Climate Change | Peak Oil | Politics | Solar | Sustainability