A fierce band of protesters – self-described ‘Patriots’ – stormed the old neighborhood yesterday:
A dozen or so protesters wearing red, white and blue showed up at Mote Marine Laboratory to protest World Environment Day, a UN Program hosted by the County this year.
There were signs of course – the kind that shatter world views:
“Sun makes climate change. Not man.”
“Save the U.S. from the UN.”
They even had a spokesman (can’t have all eleven talking at once):
“We’re here because we’re concerned with the involvement of the United Nations in Sarasota and the United States . . . There is no reason for them to be here. Oceans do not rise. Temperature has not risen in 17 years. There is no such thing as man-made climate change.”
. . . upon hearing about this, every political leader in the freakin’ world
would should be shouting ‘tell me more!”
Sure, circumstances are different – maybe a lot different – here than there. But the single most important thing they did was decide to do something. And they went from there.
Portugal’s electricity network operator announced that renewable energy supplied 70 percent of total consumption in the first quarter of this year. This increase was largely due to favorable weather conditions resulting in increased wind and water flow, as well as lower demand. Portuguese citizens are using less energy and using sources that never run out for the vast majority of what they do use.
. . . Portugal’s investment in modernizing its electricity grid in 2000 has come in handy. Like in many countries, power companies owned their own transmission lines. What the government did in 2000 was to buy all the lines, creating a publicly owned and traded company to operate them. This was used to create a smart grid that renewable energy producers could connect to (encouraged by government-organized auctions to build new wind and hydro plants).
And then there’s this – surprising, and very hopeful:
Other countries have been making steps of their own on renewable power production. The U.S. had a record-breaking year for wind energy in 2012, growing by 28 percent. Sweden is looking to have no dependence on oil by 2020. Australia could be looking at 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. Global solar power world will soon be a net-positive energy source.
Here are some snowfall totals from coastal Connecticut. According to the Weather Channel, at times it was falling there at rates of five and even six inches an hour. They’re noting that the satellite pictures look like hurricane patterns and just said that we’re going to see even more remarkable numbers.
- Milford – 38 inches
- Bridgeport – 30 inches
- New London – 27 inches
- New Haven – 34 inches
Good info here. The photo is from Fairfield CT.
(Thank Elvis, Romney is still all talk.)
A Rhode Island company plans to begin construction in 2014 on the Atlantic coast, of the US’s first offshore wind farm.
“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Edison.
Blogfriend Duane at The Erstwhile Conservative was in Joplin last year when that 100-year tornado hit. He lives there with his family. His post from the day after began . . .
Sunday evening, before the onset of the cruel aftershocks that continue to pummel our devastated city with remorseless storms and rescue-impeding rains, my youngest son and I undertook a journey to a destination he—a high school student and baseball player—seemed desperate to see.
He wanted to go to his school
It’s a gorgeous bit of writing and so deeply felt. Read it all and bear witness.
In the 1950’s film Gigi, Maurice Chevalier (I know, you never heard of him)) strolled the boulevards of Paris singing: “Oh I’m so glad that I am not young anymore”.
None of us iz anymore.
Be kind to your planet.
Here in my region we’re heading into a third year of serious drought. Last year’s rainfall was 16 inches below normal. Scary, but not as scary as the fact that in just the first three months of this year, we’re already seven inches behind.
Via a trackback to Whatever Works, I discovered Greenfrye‘s blog (here). It’s a frackin’ good resource for climate information with lots of handy links and includes a “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” feature, an amusing (at first) but ultimately maddening read that also features dozens of delicious videos. (He’s frequently wonky, but there’s plenty there for we mere mortals.)
A few minutes later, I came across this story at the famous lefty rag Scientific American:
LONDON (Reuters) – The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.
A recent panel (lost link, sorry) of environmentalists said that Al Gore’s movie hurt because it energized the deniers and recast global warming as a political issue instead of a scientific human issue. That rings true; Gore’s traditional opponents – like those chicken hawks who mocked his Vietnam service by saying he wasn’t, you know, in battle carrying a gun so it didn’t count. At least not like it counted sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots at those who did go into battle and came home wiser and with less enthusiasm for sending their younger brothers off to become the next batch of dead soldiers – piled on.
This planet of ours has a problem, but not to worry – I’ll close my eyes, click my heels, and make it all go away. Easy.
We look pathetic enough with our insane refusal to address the horrific costs and poor outcomes of our health care system. We look worse yet when we are 5% of the world’s population and use 25% of its energy and when we incarcerate more people per capita (by a huge factor) in the US than any other free nation on earth while hundreds of thousands have died on our streets and still do while we deny that we long ago lost the poorly conceived War on Drugs. And we can pretend that angry eyes aren’t turned our way from South of our border as entire regions become war zones fighting the drug cartels who kill and maim to bring our drugs to us.
The world may sit back and actuallyl enjoy it when our time comes to face the awful truths but meanwhile, I invite them to go ahead – go ahead and just make fun of us for this bit of silliness and greed. We’ve been asking for it.
Earth Hour was observed yesterday across Planet Earth (except, well, you know, here). The story is at Scientific American:
The great Thailand flood just won’t stop. Over half the country is now underwater. Two million people are already displaced and the waters haven’t yet reached Bangkok, although that is imminent. (Dark blue indicates flooded areas.)
How do peoples and nations deal with disasters on such a monumental scale? The waters will doubtless recede. Or mostly recede. But this is still just stunning in its reach and, I assume, its consequences.
“Texas was having a 100-year drought, so Rick Perry asked people to pray. Now Texas is on fire – that
tells us a lot about the power of prayer.”
– Bill Maher, Tonight Show
The weather here has finally begun to stabilize and has almost reached normal temperatures for this time of year. As cold and hard as this winter has been all over the Eastern US and Western Europe, it’s interesting to note that Canada is just coming out of its warmest winter since they began keeping records. Suggests migrating climate. Or it could just be a freak year. The few climate sites I try to follow all are looking at ocean temperatures – at least the Atlantic. That seems to be where the action is right now. Changes in ocean temperatures especially in the fresh water ‘rivers’ that run underwater and convert cold water to warm water and warm water to cold water. Wonky stuff.
Read an interesting article a few days ago by a NY Times reporter who spent years in Afghanistan. He was talking about The Hurt Locker, about its accuracy. He liked the movie and agreed is probably the best so far about the war. Wish I’d made a note so I could link to it. Of course, it reminded me that I was a few days behind in my count. So let me catch up right here. Today is the 157th day of the War in Afganistan.