This page provides information from external sources, information that I believe is important to the understanding of the issues of global warming. Color Code: green = web links; red = my comments; black = direct quotes from sources.
A well-written statement of what needs to happen for our civilization to survive the coming apocalypse. As evidenced by the Extinction Rebellion success in the UK and the increasing number of cities throughout the world who are at least espousing a climate emergency, we are gradually moving in this direction.
An excellent article on the complexity of our exposure to toxic chemicals within our environment. The title unfortunately belies the seriousness of the issue; in particular, the article names our cultural ignorance of a) at what level do we consider chemicals to be toxic as well as b) our even greater ignorance of synergistic interaction between toxins.
A fascinating description of how much money is hidden, and how it is hidden, by the world’s wealthy. As of 2016, the top 0.1% hold 20% of American wealth and the top 1% hold 39%, surging (more than doubling) after the economic decisions of the 1980s. For me, these are staggering figures, and an indictment of the ills of capitalism.
We are in the middle of the sixth great extinction crisis, but we don’t call it this because we are not yet at the level of 75% species loss. What insanity!
The title speaks for itself — I totally agree with its conceptualization. Nature is an incredibly complex interrelated whole such that our attention to saving individual species is not likely to be effective. I am reminded of a book I read a few years ago questioning “of the many issues we need to address, which is most important, most urgent?” The fundamental answer: “All of them!”
What Will It Take? (20190509)
Dave Pollard’s blog post of 20190509 to how to save the world, this time on Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) is one with which I strongly agree — it is not at all likely that the dominator powers of our world will stop until massive NVDA resistance occurs, such that “the economic viability of the destructive activity falls apart.” Yet it is also very likely that the final outcome will not change. And the falling apart of the economic models of capitalism and neoliberalism will not be pretty. Sad! I hope otherwise, and I act into the possibility of significant maturation of our species.
A Plague (20190525)
Another of Dave’s posts is intriguing as it draws parallels between the occurrence of plagues (“a destructively numerous influx or multiplication of a noxious animal; an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality”) and the activities of the human species. Although I do not subscribe to Dave’s pessimism, I find he writes thoughtfully and well.
Slowly the world is waking to the need to respond. Hopefully the waking is associated with definitive action.
An excellent summary of the confusion that can arise when we are not clear as to what we mean by ‘climate emergency.’ And it truly is an emergency!
Worth watching. Simply one intelligent man attempting to cope, he having been a major activist in his youth. The whole basis of my PhD dissertation was that climate disruption is not a technological issue; it is a psycho-spiritual issue. I am heartened to see it identified as such in this video.
A journalist whom I respect asks “From this moment on, knowing what is happening to the planet, to what do I devote my life? A moment by moment issue!
A simple animated video that could be the banner of hope for our civilization.
Two graphics that illustrate the changes in average temperature over the 20th and 21st centuries. Simple, impressive.
re: Generation (20190218)
An excellent article regarding our failure as a generation to respond to the existential crisis of climate disruption — we need now to support our youth as they stand up to our acedia. Hopefully they will manage better than we have done.
The second in a series (the first is also online). Both express the vulnerability needed to come to terms with the possibility of our collapse as a species.
The strongmen strike back (20190314)
An excellent article on the rise of authoritarianism throughout the world. I am currently in a small group exploring issues of Power & Privilege; what I recognize from this article is that I am currently only exploring the tip of the iceberg.
The Gentriﬁcation of Payments (20190317)
The complexity of the issues whereby power infiltrates systems astounds me.
I assume it is also likely true of Canada. The denial of garbage is another illustration of the complexity we must overcome if we are to survive, let alone thrive, as a species.
An amazing description of life existing in places where I would not have thought possible. The resiliency of life astounds me such that I imagine that even if we destroy ourselves, life will persist. Who knows — maybe in another billion years archeologists will wonder who we were.
The Transformative Power of Climate Truth (20190204)
An excellent summary of the power of speaking the truth, especially in the nature of climate disruption. As readers of this blog will know, I am an advocate of The Climate Mobilization, and note that momentum for this organization and its partners is evolving.
The need for major overhaul of the political situation is being recognized. Perhaps it is the beginning of transformation of capitalism and neoliberalism. Perhaps. Will we do so in time to avert disaster?
A fascinating interplay between colonialism and global warming. Sad.
As usual, things are worse than we thought.
Another way in which things are worse. We are so close to collapse — as noted above, will we create a new cultural process in time to make a difference?
Yet another. What else can I say?
How the greenwashing campaign works (20190212)
This series of articles on methane, the principle component of natural gas, speaks to the complexity of assessing data as well as the interpretation of data, some of which is almost certainly disinformation.
As the Climate Collapses, We Ask: “How Then Shall We Live? (20190204), the first of a series by Dahr Jamail, a journalist for whom I have a great deal of trust.
The End Of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption (20190122) by Dahr Jamail
Climate Disruption Dispatches, an ongoing series by Dahr Jamail, all of which are excellent.
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming (2017) Edited by Paul Hawken
Tomorrow (2015), directed by Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent
The most dangerous climate feedback loop is speeding up (20190117) by Joe Rohm, another journalist for whom I have great trust.
And on the flip side: Opinion: Our house is on fire, and many Albertans want more lighters (20181229)
An excellent talk on the skill of debating; I offer a more simple process in the post of 20181201 Finding Common Ground.
How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking The Planet (20181126)
An excellent report by Bill McKibben (350.org) regarding the current state of global warming as well as the complexity of human relations over the past 60 years.
Finding Hope in Hopelessness (20181123)
Margaret Wheatley reflects on loss of hope, and yet finding her own stance to contribute within hopelessness.
I’d rather die than feel this. (20180608, reprinted from 2014)
An excellent article on why some choose suicide as a resolution of their pain. It reminds me of the spate of celebrity suicides (Robin Williams and Anthony Bourdain as examples) as well as the numerous deaths within the Fentanyl crisis.
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and the Legacy Museum
I’ve currently finished a brief workshop on White Supremacy Culture, part of a presentation within the Unitarian Church I attend. I hate the term White Supremacy and yet I recognize that the destructiveness of the immense power and privilege issues that have dominated European culture (and thus world culture) for the past 500 years (or more, perhaps as long ago as the origin of what we call civilization). Somehow we need to do much more in the nature of multi-cultural restoration.
The Fortune-Teller (20181105)
“how to save the world” is a blog written by a local BC resident, often regarding his chronicle of civilization’s collapse. Overall I find it well-written with interesting reflections (although from the perspective of a staunch materialist — not my preferred ontology). I especially like his present comment: “Lemonade is everywhere. Wisdom is scarce.”
We are becoming more and more divisive as a culture, especially in the United States but also Canada. I assume it is simply a harbinger of the stresses of our current world, but it does not bode well for resolution of issues. I have long maintained that cultural anger is the canary in the coalmine of our demise.
Is Civility A Sham? (201810 TED Salon)
Why It’s Worth Listening To People We Disagree With (201804 TED2018)
How To Have Better Political Conversations (201609 TEDx Marin)
Three brief videos that look at the difficulty of conversation in divisive areas. They stress the need for basic civility and meeting the other in their worldview, all important points in coming to common ground. They all seem to operate from the presupposition that if the other person/people feel respected and acknowledged, then the other will want to find common ground — likely true in many cases.
What is missing for me is what to do when the other has no interest in finding common ground — this is the central breakdown point for me, especially when the other has powerful influence on the outcome (corporations, the fossil fuel industry, et cetera). Our culture usually operates from the seeking of consensus — and the weakness of consensus is that terrorists are not interested in consensus.
In this regard, I am currently reading Deep Green Resistance, a book which delimits the need for resistance beyond the attempt to achieve consensus. It is quite a dense read, and likely I will eventually describe it in greater detail in this blog. For now, I recommend it as an important study in the complexity of change.
The terrible impact of deliberately dishonest information.
The Third Industrial Revolution (20180316)
A fairly long video by Jeremy Rifkin via UBC Connects, and a quick summary is available as The Zero Marginal Cost Society.
“Everyday, I am faced with the challenges of our troubled and complex world. But none of them loom so large as climate change. If we fail to meet the challenge, all our other challenges will just become greater and threaten to swallow us. Climate change is, quite simply, an existential threat for most life on the planet — including, and especially, the life of humankind.”
Degree sparks necessary debate (20180517)
David Suzuki is often blunt in his critique of the societal issues of climate change, something I appreciate. Yet, as he notes, his bluntness often is subject to ad hominem attacks, rather than depth of dialogue — unfortunate, and part of the distortion that occurs in transfer of information to meaning.
Climate Reality Check (2016)
The Uninhabitable Earth (20170709)
Two good descriptions of the likely impacts of global warming. Painful to explore.
A draft document — one with much suggestion as to how to manage the despair of anyone who attempts to confront the issues of global warming.
What attracts us? What is interesting?
Dave Meslin on TED describing the overwhelm of modern communication difficulties.
The father of Public Relations (i.e., propaganda).
Wow! How ideas persist, and how power controls communication.
Exploring the influence of Bernays on advertizing.
Another TED talk, this one exploring the impact of information selection by major search engines, deciding for me what information is appropriate. Scarey!
A Big Tent with Even Bigger Dreams(20180506)
A playful yet profound commentary on community as viewed by a minister within the Unitarian-Universalist Church.
The graphs says it all. And if more than half of Americans are certain global warming is a major concern, what is it going to take for action? I imagine the data for other countries is similar. Action, not just talk, is needed.
I love snorkeling, having been to the Virgin Islands many times, yet I no longer do so; I have been so dishearted by the devastation I have seen in my lifetime. One of my ambitions used to be to go to the Great Barrier Reef — another dream I have let go. Sad!
A preview of what will happen, especially in those areas and countries with limited resources.
The insanity of politics.
A discussion of the many great solutions that are emerging, summarized by Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown.
An excellent video discussion of the many issues of global warming, and how they might come together in effective resolution. Worth watching in its entirety (66 minutes). I am a strong advocate of the work of The Climate Mobilization organization.
Lessons from Cape Town’s water crisis (20180315)
Cape Town is the harbinger of what may happen to many modern cities, the issues being “related to climate change, population growth, waste and mismanagement. Depleted supply is only one result” (see also What You Need to Know About the World’s Water Wars)
We’re drowning in seas of plastic (20180329)
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to be sixteen times larger than previously assessed.
Harmful algae blooms occur mainly because of nutrient run-off from land usage (fertilizer), resulting in toxic water as well as high methane production (a major greenhouse gas).
An editorial in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet does not say much, but the title in itself is significant of questioning what we are doing as a culture.
Audit exposes Canadian climate failures (20180405)
As someone living in the British Columbia Lower Mainland, I am very aware of the duplicity of the Canadian government, especially in its support of the tar sands and the Kinder-Morgan expansion.
A good article on the nature of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and its possible implications.
Yet more warning of how serious the issues are!
A number of articles within this link point to the impact of global warming. Cape Town (South Africa) is considering mandatory limitation of water usage. China is refusing to be the dumping ground for plastic waste, especially plastic bottles, thereby forcing other countries to deal with their recycling products.
Who is Guilty of Climate Crimes? (20180216)
The basis answer is that we are all guilty. However, some aspects stand out: the extreme right, the fossil fuel industry, the media, and the major industrial countries (Canada, my country, included).
The highest weather station in the world, about 400 miles for the North Pole, has warmed to 43°F in the dead of winter! In addition to feedback loops that further increase Arctic warming (and loss of more ice), thus impacting the entire weather system of the northern hemisphere (the jet-stream impact), there is also the massive release of methane from permafrost and seabed melting, the rise of sea level (as the Greenland ice field melts), and the slowdown of the global ocean conveyor belt effect. These are just some of the effects; we simply do not know what tipping points will be reached and when.
Another factor in loss of both beauty and a basic food chain component — in addition to warming being destructive of coral, the acidification also is weakening the underlying sedimentary structure of the reefs. Our world food supply is thus at risk.
Climate science deniers’ credibility tested (20180301)
This is the greatest crime — the controversy created by the massive disinformation processes we have unleashed in the past 50 years!
The article is for me a good summary of the similarities and differences amongst various presidencies. To quote the article, “The expectation of integrity has given way to a cynical acceptance of deceit. As much as anything Mueller uncovers, this is the scandal of our time.”
Consumer society no longer serves our needs (20180111)
As usual, David Suzuki presents a reasoned argument, in this case, “How can we have serious discussions about the ecological costs and limits to growth or the need to degrow economies when consumption is seen as the very reason the economy and society exist?”
An excellent summary of the fears of a parent, reflecting my own fears for my grand-children, and the many children of this planet. I am currently working part-time in a homeless shelter, and thereby see the cost of what we have already created on our planet — the coming costs will be immensely greater.
The Emerging Church: Weekly Summary (20171126-20171201)
It is a long article, and well worth reading.
For years now, I have been aware that almost every new estimate of the consequences of global warming indicates that our current assessment is inadequate and that the dangers are worse than previously thought. This is another in this series. Our choices are immediate wartime mobilization (as advocated by The Climate Mobilization) or adapt to irreversible changes (with high cost). Rationally we could do the first; politically we are stumbling to the second. Good luck!
What will it take? When will we listen?
Humans cause growing heat wave danger (20171112)
The likelihood of death as a direct consequence of heat is increasing; interestingly (at least to me as a physician) is the elucidation of 27 different physiological mechanisms whereby life is threatened.
The world of technology at its core! One of my favorite expressions is “technology is wonderful, when it works!” When it does not, it is dehumanizing and deeply destructive of what I value of the greatness of our species.
A comprehensive and important document from the only organization (to my knowledge) truly committed to cooperative mobilization on the scale necessary to resolve the issues of global warming.
As David Suzuki points out, the report did not receive much attention — presumably, simply another report as to the state of the disaster — a non-issue in the current political scene. Sad.
America is facing an epistemic crisis (20171002)
Initially this article is confusing, but it then presents a fascinating study of the question: “What if Mueller proves his case, and it doesn’t matter?” Another suggestion in support of the theme that civilization is about power, and who wields it.
100% renewable electricity in reach by 2050 (20171108)
We are capable of resolving the issues. Will we?
Paleo Politics (20171101)
An interesting link supporting the contention that “civilization” is fundamentally an issue of power dynamics, something I have written about in other posts.
Jamail is a very reliable source, and here provides a summary of the current status of our planet. It is not good news.
Three new studies that indicate the dangers of continued fossil fuel usage, more and faster if we continue our present course. As usual, each report portrays more and more danger as we get better and better data.
Global warming is having major impact now, as well as in the future.
Continuing our present course, and a reminder of the BP disaster.
A comprehensive summary of the revolving issues as of 20171031. Overall, I find the issues difficult to follow, but this is fairly good in keeping me up to date.
Fascinating the ways of shifting evidence and the intricacies of investigation.
Fascinating description of the last song by Leonard Cohen, and the search for love and peace.
The Improbable Origins of PowerPoint (20171031)
A fascinating history. I was very surprised to learn that PowerPoint was originally an Apple product.
A Very Old Man for a Wolf (20171030)
The complex story of mankind and wolves; sadly the wolves usually lose.
Sarah Polley: The Men You Meet Making Movies (20171014)
Another reflection on the immaturity of our species, especially the sexual arrogance of many men in our culture, as well as the huge issues of powerlessness. Worth reading. I’ll have more to say on men in our culture in my next post.
A detailed description of aspects of the development of the militant white supremacist movement, again reflecting a statement I took years ago from Isaac Asimov: “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent,” or more accurately those who feel completely disillusioned and dis-empowered by the system, those who are now mobilizing with a sense of permissiveness (of arrogance and violation) in the current political chaos of our world.
Interesting to have two former presidents of the US speaking out against the current political scene, something with which they are likely very familiar.
An excellent summary of the purpose of impeachment, and its initiation.
Warming soils bad for atmosphere (20171018)
More bad news for carbon sequestration.
It’s time to nix neonics (20171012)
I know at some level that shifts in government regulations is slow, given the conservative nature of the systems involved. However, like all major environmental issues, there appears to be a further resistance due to hidden economics, the 1% who basically control the economy. It “should” not be this way, but it is; and until we make the necessary choices of maturity as a species, we will continue on our path to destruction.
Faith And Science: Open To Change (20171023)
I find Richard Rohr to be incredibly mature in his spiritual views. In this post, he reflects on the characteristics of good science as being much more in keeping with enriching spirituality as compared with most religious dogma. What is needed is an integration of good science with mature religion.
Even more risk of sea level rise!
The Canadian government this time. Trudeau (like Obama) offered such hope, and such disappointment. I wonder what it will take for governments to do more than talk.
Fentanyl overdose is so common now, and like all addictions and overdoses represents the attempt to get away from the pain of living. And Fentanyl is so appealing! As a retired anesthetist, I was very aware of its potency, but it was not until I had an anesthetic myself that I appreciated its appeal. I was given Fentanyl as part of the induction and had about a minute of pure bliss before being unconscious — if I were to become addicted to anything, I would certainly choose Fentanyl.
Two Dark American Truths From Las Vegas (20171002)
These two links discuss the ineffectiveness of modern attempts to limit the use of power, both in preventing individual tragedies and in developing just resolutions to such forces that underlie these tragedies.
An interesting example of how the interplay of legality and power work in our culture. To quote the lead-in: “A peculiar confluence of history, legal precedent and defiance has set the stage for a regulatory mutiny in California that would reverberate throughout the country.” Legally, California can regulate independently of national concerns, and controls at least a third of the auto industry, with a sizable impact on how industry must react. I am reminded of a statement that our culture has a legal system, perhaps sometimes a justice system.
An example of the inability of our species to deal with power.
I am suggesting this link, not as a critique of Trump (which it is), but as an indication of the need for definitive action in stopping this kind of tribalism, a stance that likely results in major deterioration of justice and viability. The current system is not healthy.
Where does surveillance stop? When is it effective? Here we seem to be moving to a police state, again with a major deterioration of justice and vitality.
So easy, and with enough computer power, likely also easy to cross-map details of how groups of people interact. Truly, Big Brother is watching.
North Korea accuses Trump of declaring war (20170925)
The escalation of rhetoric is a sad reflection of our immaturity as a species, and in that immaturity, the risk of irreversible consequences is high. My fear is that even if only one side believes their rhetoric, we are in grave danger.
Potentially good news (if correct), but so different from other models that it will require careful study to determine how well these calculations fit experience. The danger is that a) a more generous margin of safety may be used to justify additional delay, and b) the changing landscape will be used to discount the clarity of scientific consensus (especially as to the significance of man’s technology). Science is never able to prove anything; it can only test for the best and simplest explanation of experience.
To quote: “Hurricanes are built to convert heat energy into wind energy, and seawater’s available energy rises exponentially as it warms.” This says it all — the more energy, the more damage when released.
If we persist in moving to 10 billion people, we need technology like this. The quality is improving markedly. Now the cost needs to go down, and the acceptance go up.
Paul Kennedy, a highly respected Canadian broadcaster, speaks to the resistence to discussion of global warming. Gradually the conversation evolves. This particular conversation is not nice; it is however necessary. This link references Part One of a podcast as follows; Part Two aired on September 14th.
The program as aired.
Part Two of this program.
The absurdity of politics (Canadian this time), promising that we can have everything.
Another fascinating individual speaking to the insanity of our species.
In general, psychiatrists and other mental health issues do not comment on the mental health of those whom they have not directly examined, especially public figures. However, in The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump (in publication), 27 leading individuals have chosen to do so, given that they have concluded that he presents a clear and present danger to society.
RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory of War (20170913)
Long and detailed, this is an interesting study of the age of dysinformation. If accurate, it contributes in a major way to the difficulty of managing global warming. particularly how internectine conflict distracts from effective action.
An Introduction to the Spiritual Disciplines (20170904)
Two links that discuss the need for discipline, and its impacts.
An interesting model of an individual being highly disciplined, perhaps in too serious a fashion; I wonder to what extent he was playful. For me, playfulness is a major component of maturity.
The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura (20170916)
In contrast, another spiritual discipline, one of great beauty.
Amazing use of technology by the Netherlands has allowed them to be the second largest exporter of food in the world, second only to the USA (the US having a land mass 270 times greater than the Netherlands!).
Naomi Klein, as usual, speaks clearly concerning the issues that become hidden when we are in high anxiety mode responding to catastrophe. The usual stall is “We’ll talk about it later; right now, there is too much pain.” But amidst the next source of anxiety, later never seems to come.
Video: How to Resist Trump’s Shock Doctrine (20170613)
Some very good ideas on the politics of catastrophe, and of how to respond, but as a populus, we are not yet ready. I wonder when and how … (In the light of recent events in Korea, I also find it fascinating that she even names the possibility of war as a pretext for societal injustice, our current dilemma.)
We must also come to terms with the age of disinformation.
A more classic way in which disinformation has functioned — ignore the contributions of minorities and women.
The nature of Kim Jong Un seems to be that of wanting to wave a big stick, but I doubt if he is really wanting nuclear war, especially one that would lead to total destruction of his country (even if he did manage to damage the USA). However, he is butting heads with someone whose ego is sensitive to confrontation, and who has essentially unlimited discretion to initiate agamemnon. Not a pretty scene.
Such posturing is frightening.
The rapidity of scientific development is impressive, even if the posturing is frightening.
Another link as to North Korea’s potential.
Money talks, and unfortunately, is the face of power. Despite years of diplomacy and major sanctions imposed at the UN level, money still talks, and generates ways to by-pass sanctions.
Those Who Support Trump
The basic theme appears to be that Trump’s advocates can seletively find a piece (or peace) within the multiple messages generated. After all, Trump’s most important skill has been that of being a salesman.
They seem to think that they can work their own political agendas within the confusion, and some kind of blind acceptance of the authority of the “office of the President.”
Why most evangelicals don’t condemn Trump (20170901)
Trump lives into the belief systems that they value: conservativism, challenge to science, “a fellow sinner willing to fight the forces of the establishment on their behalf.”
On The Lighter Side
Humor: The Clown Chakra (20131217)
Amidst the insanity, I fall back on an important maxim:
There is extensive evidence that life is painful;
there is no evidence that it is serious.
As such, I remind myself frequently that I am powerless to impact the larger picture; I only have the power to influence myself, and that which I can touch. This may be enough (or not) — ripple effects can have immense influence.
When times get dark, we must shine brighter (20170824)
A good message, but lacking definition as to who and how. Unfortunately, it is simply an admonition of what we should be doing. And readers of this blog likely know how I feel about shoulds. We must come together for something other than more of the same ills of our civilization (my admonition).
The message is also based on the assumption that the alt-right is a last-ditch effort, and will die out soon: “the last desperate efforts of a minority of small-minded people to hold onto ideas and perspectives that history has proven wrong many times.“ I wonder. Our civilization has become so complicated and so dis-empowering that the alt-right may well represent a significant gap in the character of our civilization without a clear alternative. The following links are in keeping with this.
An excellent investigation into the milieu of the far-right culture, reflecting with compassion on the struggles that have led individuals into these stances. for me, he recognizes that compassion does not mean acceptance; it means emotional acknowledgment as the beginning of resolution.
He also identifies the very real issue of the moderate message that we are all in this together, “and if only you people (the alt-right, for example) will get that, we will all be fine.” We must limit the violations (as unacceptable), and still include the validity of the needs of all parties (meeting in compassion).
An excellent TED talk by the same individual, emphasizing the need for human connection. Humorous at times, and very succinct as to need. Unfortunately, my usual concern is that we are on the knife edge of danger, and must resolve immense issues simultaneously and with only limited time — the usual super-wicked difficulty of our species.
On the flip side of healing, given the increasing appearance of the alt-right, is the risk of major escalation, entirely possible in that the situation is so polarized. It is so difficult to make sense of the confusion, … and life will be what it will be.
I was not around during the rise of Hitler in pre-war Germany, but I imagine such threats were common in that situation also. Potentially we are moving to dark times; it will not be fun.
An interesting commentary of the skills required of a president, and the current mismatch. What it does not disclose is what would be required for him to quit by choice, rather than by threatened impeachment.
A major set-back in American policy, easily lost amongst the hype and anxiety created by the emotional turmoil of the Trump administration. It may well be that such turmoil is deliberate to defuse responsiveness to more important issues such as this.
The duplicity of Exxon Mobil is now well-documented. I wonder if the consequences will be more than a slap on the wrist.
Time for Truth and Reconciliation (201708)
As usual, Jack Kornfield speaks from compassion and wisdom; such is needed in our culture (internationally) at this time. If we are to survive as a species, we must learn compassion and cooperation.
Modern technology astounds me at times — this is an example, the management of the mosquito. As well, the article details the attempt of the scientific community to act into a cooperative ethical stance — I applaud this.
Wildfires are a climate change wake-up call (20170817)
Definitely a call to action in British Columbia (where I live), and it should be a call internationally since fire knows no political boundaries. Greenland is an example.
Yes, Greenland. I’ve been to Greenland; I’ve never thought of it as having forests, let alone forest fires! Nor had the scientific community to any great extent. Such is one of the unexpected outcomes of global warming.
A fairly good review of the current climate situation, especially in geopolitical terms.
Beneath the angst and conflict is the reality of how destructive our political environment has become. We humans care about the angst, but the science of global warming does not!
A detailed look at the complex issues (for those who want to track them)
Again for those interested, this seems to be a good review of the current complexity in Russian international politics.
Interesting statements from many knowledgeable sources, the major danger being misinterpretation of posturing, certainly be possible given the emotional maturity of the principal actors.
Such power in the hands of one man reflects the immaturity of culture and the posturing of the individual tribes (read ‘nations’) as well as the potential consequences of the system that must deal with such tribes.
An older article outlining the media releases of Donald Trump prior to becoming president. I hope he is less fatalistic now that he is in power, but the adage is “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
This is a fairly clear description of the current situation in Washington, a situation which will have great impact on our world regardless of the final outcome. “The wheels of justice grind finely and slow but this is a wood chipper, and all these various items and [sic] going to get fed into it.”
A fairly good summary of how the Trump administration is doing, and what they are doing, “a volatile, combustible combination.”
A very good review of the heavy emotions, and lack of concrete resolutions in this new world in which we live. The author stresses that doubt and reflection time can be powerful tools into the future, and that certainty (especially self-righteous certainty) will be the path to societal doom.
Very scary that if Trump were to bypass US democratic rule, “half of Republicans” would support him.
It is difficult to know what to say about this. The study recognizes that new technology, as yet unknown, may occur. At the same time, I see no indication that the study takes into account “tipping points” that may worsen the scenarios. To quote a link in the article, [These experts say we have three years to get climate change under control. And they’re the optimists]. Fundamentally, if we are to survive, we need drastic (and decisive) action, not fatalism, not denial.
Phenomenal ad. If all advertising was like this, I would actually be engaged in seeking the products offered.
A Chilling Theory on Trump’s Nonstop Lies (20170803)
The title is misleading; the article is actually a fairly good description of how human beings are overwhelmed by too much noise, unable to separate the signal from the background. If deliberate, it is a powerful tool to confuse.
The Troubling Return of Al Gore (20170724)
Again, a misleading title. The title again does not do justice to the significance of this article — the divisiveness within the climate movement.
In our modern world, government standards as to the protection of the environment are definitely needed. This article pertains to Canada; I had not realized previously that “The Toronto Public Library collected more late-book fines in one year than the government [of Canada] has collected from fines imposed through the [currently existing] act in 20 years!.”
Another consequence of global warming. Given I live in West Vancouver, I am able to look outside my apartment window and see the sun partially hidden by haze, the smoky residue of the humdreds of forest fires currently raging in British Columbia (apparently this is a comparatively low-count year in terms of numbers).
Another article of similar consequences. My objection to this article is that it does not place it in the context of the many warnings of the past few years, nor does it seem to acknowledge the possible tipping points that will emerge such that the actual numbers mentioned are only the “tip of the iceberg.” (To my knowledge, the concept of “tipping point” refers to the point at which an iceberg actually tips — when the lower portion, the hidden portion, melts faster than the visible portion above the surface of the water. Once an iceberg tips, it establishes a new equilibrium in a more stable fashion. As far as climate is concerned, this new tip point will be at a stable highertemperature.)
A fairly good article on the complexity surrounding the lack of effective responsiveness within American politics.
My source, someone whose astuteness I trust, regards Michael Klare as “one of the world’s experts on international energy politics, peace studies, and [the] American politics of both of those.”
Given the gross lack of effective response to global warming, it is highly likely that carbon-removal processes and other machinations will occur. This is the beginning of such. Unfortunately it may well be ineffective for three major reasons:
- it is basically unexplored technology, and given our historic relation with technology, there are always hidden and deleterious consequences around the corner
- it does not address the basic inefficiency of the system, the immaturity of our species such that we have created the problem in the first place
- it is not being applied as a consensus response of our culture, and thus there will be those who impose their “solutions” upon the rest of the populus, a common difficulty of our species.
Productivity tips are common, but this one seems well organized, and links to a detailed free description. As usual, the limitation is the willingness of the individual to be disciplined.
Last week, I listed The Unhabitable Earth, an article that discussed the worst case scenario of what we face, indicating how close it comes to doom-mongering (worst case scenarios are usually very challenging). This link (The Planet Is Warming . . .) is an excellent response to the concern re doom-mongering in regards to global warming — unfortunately, if we are to respond effectively, we each need to deal with our despair. Not fun, but necessary.
A Brief History of the Straw (20141023)
Plastic straws suck (20170720)
Two interesting links to the impact of plastic straws, the first on our creativity, the second on our ecology. Apparently we discard 180,000,000,000 straws a year (1,400,000 kilograms a year, 500,000,000 a day) to landfill and other forms of discard. I deliberately changed the data from 180 billion to 180,000,000,000 to emphasize the impact. And that is just drinking straws!
A clearly written description of the legal process involved in challenging the US federal government. If successful, the results for individual politicians would be such they might face significant consequences (removal from office to inprisonment). Clmate denial by the US government would likely have to stop, and appropriate actions taken. Perhaps such judgment would spill over to Canadian law also. Unfortunately, even if successful by the plaintiffs, the institution of resolutions may take so long that global warming will be irreversible by the time of their implimentations.
Because of better sampling tools, it appears that most vertebrate species are in major difficulty. A total of 27600 species were examined, 177 in great detail; of the 177 species, more than 40% had species range loss (thus diminished population) of greater than 80%. Not good (by any stretch of the imagination)!
The Uninhabitable Earth (20170709)
A detailed article bordering on doom-mongering, but even if the details are inaccurate, the themes are not — they emphasize the types of outcomes that will occur if we do not respond effectively to global warming. The side articles, referenced in the main article, are also worth reading.
A much more moderate tone, responding to The Uninhabitable Earth (above), but also noting the importance of knowing the worst case scenarios. “If you don’t know where you are , you cannot get to where you say you want to be!”
A sensible article on what we need to do.
Massive iceberg breaks away from Antarctica (20170712)
An iceberg the volume of Lake Erie, the size of the state of Connecticut (5800 square kilometers). What can I say?
The good news is that life is likely to survive. Some contraversy as usual in the scientific research, but with multiple ecological niches, still a good chance that life will persist, and evetually florish (after a few million years).
‘TED’ Sparks Paradigm War (20130413)
The fundamentalism of scientism is often hidden, yet very powerful.
Amongst the usual hype that surrounds American politics, this comes from a very reliable source. As usual, time will tell, but I cannot imagine it being totally off.
More fallout from Trump’s international stances. Necessary, but pushing a bully has consequences. I wonder where and how it will end.
Warning: The following three videos scare me. I suggest you do not (and do) watch them
NRA Declares War on Half of America (20170629)
NRA Charlie Daniels Commercial (20160523)
These terrify me — presumably they represent a significant portion of US citizens, those who actively support the National Rifle Association.
Scientific principles cannot be ignored; we can pretend we have lots of time yet, but the science disagrees. Two degrees (or more realistically, 1.5°C) does not seem much to fuss about, but irreversible tipping points are likely above this level. Imagine driving your car at high speed while having a strong possibility of the brakes being defective! Consequences!
Wow. The commercial world amazes me sometimes with its machinations.
Photos of our culture as it is! not how we like to think it is.
A step in the right direction — our civilization desperately needs new models of governance, models which lead to the valuing of human activity in ways that provide guaranteed incomes, health benefits, and ongoing education.
Canada’s progress is slow, but overall steady. My basic concern is that it is not enough.
‘Love Thy Neighbor?’ (20170701)
Well worth reading. The story of a Muslim physician with a US mid-West practice.
THE CLIMATE MOBILIZATION BEGINS IN L.A. (20170621)
As previously indicated, I am an advocate of The Climate Mobilization — I believe it is the only way in which our species will be able to survive, let alone thrive. As part of the rebound effect created by Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord, California has now recognized the need for such massive mobilization concerning global warming.
A story of courage and the structure of much of our modern society — those who speak out usually get punished in some way. Reminds me of how the society represented by Nineteen Eighty-four (George Orwell, 1949) would have been initiated.
A dense but readable article on Transnationalism and the Transnational Capitalist Class, in which market forces created by a small group of people determine much of the fate of the world. Such is not consistent with true democracy, and not an easy system to oppose.
Two links for those who attempt to follow the Trump-Russia morase; I find the entire issue to be incredibly complex and difficult to follow. It must be equally difficult for those who are tasked to deliver conclusive reports, especially since the issues represent the depth of deceptiveness and collusion within our so-called democracy. Such clandestine affairs; probably they have always been part of the struggle for power and domination, but are so much more sophisticated today.
Interesting commentary on how information is gathered in today’s high tech world, as well as the risks imposed by Trump’s tweeting.
Bicycling never gets old! (20170622)
A good description of the history of bicycling, and an emphasis on the benefits of bicycling. I used to enjoy it, although I have not yet taken up the modern aspects of long distance cycling nor the hype on new (expensive) technology.
Mr. Mueller Is Following the Money (20170615)
A rather crude article, but it hits all the sore points of this insanity of politics.
The responses to the testimony.
Cashing in on the Rise of the Alt-Right (20170616)
The strange nature of our society, as it becomes more polarized.
WTF is going on in the UK? (20170609)
Strange politics is also part of other areas of the world.
A potential harbringer of the future.
New Solar Milestone Has Big Consequences (20170606)
Progress is slow, but ongoing.
A good summary of Trump issues.
A good article on local action regarding the off-loading of consumer costs, and the possibility of legal challenge — a slow, but necessary, step in a more mature process.
Protecting oceans is paying off (20170608)
Jack Kornfield often has brief but intersting comments of living with the insanity. My own stance is that we need much greater emphasis and availability of teaching on how to do this work. Otherwise such articles simply become another ‘should’ of how we should live.
A good summary of the multiple reactions to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord.
We may be surprised at how things play out… (20170603)
I’ve previoiusly noted the possibility that Trump’s exit from the Paris Accord may have surprising outcomes — this article also supports that.
Why Orwell’s ‘1984’ matters so much now (20170125)
Likely an accurate metaphor for the Trump era.
President Trump’s Epic Fail on Paris (20170601)
The deed is done; now we see the blowback.
Oil and plastic are choking the planet (20170525).
Excellent article on renewable alternatives.
What is Universal Basic Income? A brief history. (20170525).
Having attended a TED talk on the advantages of Guaranteed Income, I have become a strong advocate. It potentially have major benefits in eliminating poverty, and promoting much better health and education as well as significant reduction of crime.
Like many aspects of modern technology, the dark side is significant. There are many legal ramifactions, especially in the use of gene pools for further technological advances.
Global warming continuing to worsen. (Are you surprized?)
The Disappearing Data Project (20170522)
The continuing dangers associated with American politics.
An astounding statistic!
The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal (20170324, with ongoing updates)
American politics is incredible, and determines much of the fate of the world.
Global warming issues as presented by reliable reporters.
More environmental catastrophes!
If we ever decide to resolve our cultural difficulties, it is women who will lead.
Comments on global warming, especially the current politics.
Most of us are overwhelmed with data, and we have a huge need to take a break from technology.
The Broken Mirror, a Fractured Movement and the 2016 Elections (2016 November 6)
We live in such a complex culture, currently in painful decline. Unfortunately it will get worse before it gets better (if at all).
Examples of greatness within the unraveling of our culture.
The denial of the unraveling.
Post-truth — how complex the world is becoming!
All the ways in which we distort information to bring our desired meaning.
The complexity/duplicity of politics depends on how it is viewed.
the complexity of the disinformation processes
Exploring the multitude of factors surrounding our inability to resolve global warming
US Congressman John Lewis has recently stated
Another example is this blog post from Jim Garrison
The insanity of current US politics
First, some fascinating technological innovations
Second, some commentary on civil disobedience.
Climate Disruption Dispatches with Dahr Jamail
The best source I know for reliable information regarding our current climate
Two excellent articles on reconquest consciousness — rare examples as to what human beings are capable.
Selected responses to the election of Donald Trump as future President of the USA
YouTube videos with up-to-date information regarding global warming
An example of what may come, and its consequences
Ezra Silk’s commentary on our social dilemma.
The inadequacy of Canada’s response
Sources of information in my attempts to understand the energy issues in the Vancouver area.
I encountered the book Cosmic Consciousness in 1975 when I was six months into the spontaneous occurrence of it in my life. The book validated my experience, and in particular the description from page 72 to 75 was totally accurate of an encounter with mystery that totally transformed my life.
David Suzuki’s notes that humans are the dominant predator of the world, yet our common characteristic is that we degrade ecological systems. Healthy predator-prey relationships improve system resilience, and thus we fail abysmally as predators, further evidence of how unhealthy we are as a species.
The Court That Rules The World (20160829)
Consistent with the adage “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” there is much in the modern legal system that does not reflect justice, but merely legal maneuvering — a sad state of affairs with respect to the possibility of a mature culture.
A World At War (20160815)
McKibben: Time To Declare A War … (20160815)
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, indicates “We’re under attack from climate change — and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII.”
An excellent presentation detailing the many factors involved in global warming.
Past presents warning on greater warming (20160715)
Recent documents that allude to the worsening of our climate, such that we are very close to the edge, if not already starting to fall.
Recent research suggests that 54% of people … acknowledge high risk
A huge number of people are aware of the dangers of global warming; they need somehow to be mobilized (I will do a future post to look at this).
There have been a variety of investigations of the nature of evil, but it is not a topic that is easy to explore.
Long, detailed, but very good.
Far too complex for me to understand. I would need to get a degree in Economics (to add to my collection).
I have therefore joined the Climate Mobilization in its pledge of action.
Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History presents interesting commentary how people function, in this case the threshold of anxiety that prevents change.
Margaret Klein Salamon’s writings describe the many ways in which people ignore the reality of global warming.
The average temperature for the first quarter of 2016 is 1.48°C, at the temperature level of the non-binding Paris COP21 agreement. The fact that our culture is NOT in emergency response is insanity!
see here for excellent visual representations
Dramatic visual presentations of what is happening. Scary!
It is likely that, by 2°C, we will have irreversible changes
Even more scary!
The scientific community is in agreement (at least 97% consensus)
But the political morass wages on!
A good talk on the numerous ways in which the difficulties of modern life wear us down.
The Climate Mobilization (previously referenced 20160728)
For me, The Climate Mobilization organization is an effective stance for challenging the issues of global warming. I have taken their Pledge to promote discussion of and political challenge to our current dilemma.
A brief video showing the potential changes that can be made to modern cities.
An artistic presentation of a possible future city. The work has been donated to the University of Cincinnati Foundation for use in architecture, design and urban planning. Prior to the death of the artist, I had his verbal permission to use his work.
Gaian Democracies (previously referenced 20160629)
The appointment of Barry Johnson as UK Foreign Secretary has stirred widespread concern of the risks to our culture of falling into greater pain. We live in such interesting times!
More information on how dire our status is as we approach the edge of destruction.
There is a huge need for maturity in the leadership of a mature culture. Recent events in Britain are not good examples.
Barry Johnson’s work on polarity management as a way of understanding difficulties is an important addition to my understanding.
Roy Madron and John Jopling present a detailed study of how democracy would function in a mature culture.
A modern process that may make for much more effective organizational functioning.
Gradually in our culture, there are emerging groups that offer deepening of community processes. Tamarack in Kitchener Ontario seems to be one of these organizations.
Scientific materialism is the philosophic ontology (perspective on the nature of being) which dominates modern life; it assumes that only physicality exists. Especially it assumes that consciousness is physically based in the brain, and that when we have explored the neurosciences enough, we will understand the nature of mind. It is not a perspective to which I ascribe.
Neoliberalism is the ideology (a comprehensive normative collation of beliefs which define the individual) which underlies modern consumerism, and its ills. It assumes that only the marketplace is of importance, and that competition is the defining characteristic of human relations. I recommend the book The Parable of the Tribes as a study of the nature of power as the underlying key to civilization and its ills.
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations, 20160621
On the importance of unconditional and conditional love.
The reactions expressed in this BBC article suggest to me a man of emotional immaturity, someone at high risk of self-righteousness, and therefore highly unlikely to be committed to cooperation, let alone his own personal growth.
2016 predictions on potential temperature rise
2013 predictions of the impact on species
A good site for current information on global warming, including the daily levels of CO2, with comparisons of past data.
A very good summary of the impact of global warming, from one degree centigrade to six degrees.
(The news sometimes sounds good, but . . . . Fortunately one of my sources often highlights important details.) The article includes: But … then listen to the rest of the news . . ., and then indicates many issues whereby the promises are potentially invalidated.
(I subscribe to the blog of Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation (cac.org). I find him to be one of the most spiritually mature individuals that I have encountered. His reflections offer much for those seeking personal and cultural maturity.) Eric Fromm, in his classic book The Art of Loving, states that the healthiest people he has known are those who received from their two parents and early authority figures a combination of unconditional love and conditional love.
I am not against guns; I am against the insanity that allows private massacres such as are common in our current society. As a physician myself (albeit Canadian), I am almost ashamed that they (the American Medical Association) have not pushed hard for public research prior to this.
She delineates the absolute need to know your “enemy” — he/she is human too.
We are approaching a time when the technological issues of climate change will be resolved. Other indicators are: David Suzuki’s summary of feed-in tariffs. and ThinkProgress’s summary on lithium-ion battery technology.
The status of this woman can be corroborated (it is in the public record of the legal system) — but it is not in the public record of the media blitz that is so invasive. For me, it is essential to maintain both discussion and privacy.
Added 2014 July 18
(Illustrating the difficulty of changing behaviours by rational information) greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased
(Illustrating the difficulty of changing behaviours by rational information) a large number of psychological studies have shown that people respond to scientific or technical evidence in ways that justify their preexisting beliefs.
(a vital distinction in creating a vision) we all have blinders in some situations. The question then becomes: What can be done to counteract human nature itself? . . . paradoxically, you don’t lead with the facts in order to convince. You lead with the values—so as to give the facts a fighting chance.
Added 2014 July 15
David Suzuki is both an entertaining speaker as well as an internationally acclaimed environmental activist.
For First Time, California Gets Ready For Mandatory Water Restrictions (from 20140714 Thinkprogress.Org)
(Illustrating our cultural acedia) Californians have been looking to the sky all year for signs of rain, and in January Gov. Jerry brown declared a drought emergency and asked for voluntary cuts by residents of 20 percent. A board survey recently found that statewide water use had declined by just five percent since then.