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Author Topic: Global Warming is WITH US  (Read 29852 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #630 on: July 31, 2016, 07:28:53 pm »
Coral
ls are Like… What?! 

Posted On July 25, 2016 by Sarah Cooley

 

This week we’re celebrating all things coral! It’s no secret that coral reefs are spectacular ecosystems, but we wanted to do a deep dive into what exactly makes corals so special. Check out nine ways corals are even cooler than you thought:

1)  Corals are like speed bumps. They slow down waves and lessen wave energy. This protects coastlines from hurricanes, cyclones and tsunamis. Coral reefs protect the shoreline in 81 countries around the world, sheltering the 200 million people living along those coasts.


 

2)  Corals are like nurseries.
They provide homes and hiding places for marine animals large and small. An estimated 25% of all fish species call reefs home, and even more fish species spend part of their young lives there. Losing reefs to ocean warming or acidification costs animals their homes.


3) Corals are like history books. Corals’ hard calcium carbonate skeletons contain bands, like tree rings, that record environmental changes in temperature, water chemistry and sediment. These records help scientists reconstruct what past ages were like before humans kept records.


 

4) Corals are like tropical rainforests.
Both corals and tropical rainforests support an incredible array of life. Both are also under stress from human activities. Rising temperatures, heavy fishing (hunting) pressure and physical destruction are just some of the human-caused problems hurting both corals and rainforests.

5) Corals are like Venus flytraps. Some corals can eat passing plankton by grabbing them from the ocean and ingesting them. This provides a source of fatty acids for corals, and it is thought to help corals resist bleaching and other stresses.

6) Corals are like solar panels. Coral animals contain “symbionts,” which are small cells that photosynthesize, or harvest the sun’s energy, and pass some of it along to the coral in exchange for housing.

 

7) Corals are like flowers. To reproduce, most corals release gametes, or eggs and sperm, into the water. This is similar to how flowers release pollen (gametes) into the wind. Both corals and flowers decide when to reproduce based on temperature and lighting.

8 ) Corals are like medicine cabinets.  Coral reefs and the animals that live around them have many chemical defenses to drive away predators. These chemical compounds could be the inspiration for future medicines, nutritional supplements, pesticides and more.

 
parrotfish on patrol  ;D

9) Corals are like rock quarries. Broken bits of coral create silt and sand that forms seafloor and sandy beaches in many tropical locations. Some coral breakdown is normal, like when parrotfish crunch off bites of coral to digest the living coral tissue, and spit out or excrete the hard skeleton crumbs. Other breakdown isn’t normal, such as the physical and chemical breakdown of coral by ocean acidification, dynamite fishing, ship strikes or other human-caused stress.

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/07/25/corals-are-like-what/#more-12444


Agelbert NOTE: Humanity must protect Coral Reefs as if our lives depended on it - Because our lives DO depend on it. Protecting this vital part of the biosphere is a sacred trust that we, as self aware beings, alone are responsible for.








Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #631 on: July 31, 2016, 07:50:49 pm »
Senator Mazie K. Hirono


Senator Hirono Speaks Up for Coral Reefs

Posted On July 27, 2016 by Guest Blogger

 

Written by Hawaiian Senator Mazie K. Hirono.

Last month, 2,500 people from 97 countries flew to Hawaii–not for vacation, but to address the international crisis facing coral reefs around the world.

Participating in the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, these world leaders, scientists, activists and students issued a powerful call to action to address the growing threat of coral bleaching around the world.

Failing to take action now will have increasingly profound consequences in the future because the health of coral reef ecosystems are not only critical for the health of our environment, but also for our economy. And as we celebrate National Coral Week, we have the opportunity to amplify the voices of advocates like Dr. Robert Richmond and Dr. Ruth Gates in Hawaii to ensure these vital ecosystems receive the attention they deserve.

Coral reefs are essential to our oceans and environment, especially in island and coastal communities. In my home state of Hawaii, more than 640 square miles of coral reefs surround the main Hawaiian Islands–more than the total landmass of the island of Oahu. Our reefs are home to more than a quarter of the world’s marine life, including thousands of species that are only found in the Islands.

Protecting our reefs is not just an environmental issue. It is an economic imperative. When coral reef ecosystems are healthy, they drive a tremendous amount of economic activity. In Hawaii, our reefs generate nearly $800 million for local businesses every year. Worldwide, coral reefs generate more economic activity than any other type of ecosystem.

Unfortunately, our coral reefs are under severe stress from coral bleaching and other environmental threats. There have only been three major coral bleaching incidents recorded in history–and two of them occurred in the last two years. These rare events are likely to become only more common as ocean temperatures continue to rise.

As an island state, Hawaii is particularly susceptible to the economic impact of coral bleaching. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that last year’s bleaching event killed 90 percent of West Hawaii Island coral colonies.

 

We must work together to break this cycle and to promote healthy coral reef ecosystems both in Hawaii and around the world. It has recently been found that approximately a third of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef are also dead or dying as a result of the current bleaching event.

Unfortunately, there is a disconnect in Washington between what scientists know and what Congress is willing to do to address this environmental crisis. Too many of my colleagues in Congress deny basic science when making national policy. To them, global warming is a myth, and climate change and the rising temperature and acidity of our oceans have no impact on the lives of everyday Americans.

We know this is fundamentally untrue, but we can’t just count on these members coming to their senses. We have to dedicate ourselves to the hard work it will take to educate policymakers and other naysayers to change their views.


While there’s much we can do to address this problem, earlier this year I introduced legislation to spark innovation in coral reef health research. My bill would direct federal agencies and the private sector to team up in offering a competitive prize to stimulate innovative solutions to protect our reefs.

I’m also working to build consensus in both parties for additional action. For example, I led a bipartisan letter to the Obama Administration to make sure our nation’s leaders are paying attention to the crisis facing our coral reefs, and urge the Administration to take action on new solutions to preserve, sustain, and restore coral reef ecosystems.

As a member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources committee, I will continue to be a strong advocate for science-based policies that protect our environment, grow our economy, and address climate change.
Quote

Protecting our coral reefs requires all of us to put our heads together–scientists, policymakers, technology developers, etc. to create solutions so that future generations can enjoy healthy, vibrant ocean environments.
 

Mazie K. Hirono was elected to the Senate in 2012 and sworn in as Hawaii’s first female senator and the country’s first Asian-American woman senator. Hirono’s priority is to ensure that every American family has the opportunity to work and succeed.

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/07/27/senator-hirono-speaks-up-for-coral-reefs/#more-12487

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #632 on: August 01, 2016, 11:13:11 pm »

Methane Emissions From Arctic Ocean Seafloor
 
Paul Beckwith


Quote
Published on Jun 24, 2016


I discuss a recently published paper (May, 2016) titled "Effects of climate change on methane emissions from seafloor sediments: A review".

Rapidly declining sea ice and snow cover is darkening the Arctic, leading to large temperature amplification. I talk about some of the paper highlights, and how a warmer, wavier and more open Arctic is leading to many physical and geochemical processed that are causing increased methane concentrations in both the water column and the atmosphere.

Methane Clathrate


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #633 on: August 02, 2016, 04:07:53 pm »
 
Coral reefs around the world have been degraded by climate change.
(Credit: Abel Valdivia)

To Save Corals, Stop Burning Fossil Fuels   

By Abel Valdivia, Marine scientist at Center for Biological Diversity, marine conservation, fisheries, coral reefs, climate change, R stats, landscape photography, astrophysics

Jul 20, 2016 ·3 min read

New research shows climate change is causing widespread degradation of coral reefs

 
The above bleached coral is a dead coral

Tropical corals around the world are dying. Scientists used to assume that degradation had multiple synergistic causes, from global warming down to pollution, overfishing, and other localized impacts. But new research that I co-authored shows that global stressors are overwhelming the effects of more localized forces. Not surprisingly, it zeroes in on a single culprit: our over-reliance on fossil fuels.

The implications of this study are alarming, but they also clarify what we must do, adding to a growing body of scientific research calling for a rapid transition to renewable energy sources. Simply put, corals and the diverse ecosystem they support are unlikely to recover if we don’t address climate change now.

 


 
Extensive bleaching, like that shown above, degrades and depletes the marine food chain.

Coral reefs are among the most important and diverse ecosystems in the ocean. They supply food for humans and myriad coastal and oceanic food webs, not to mention supporting entire local economies through tourism and protecting coastal areas from storms and erosion. Carbon emissions that are steadily warming the planet and are being absorbed by the ocean are slowly killing corals by warming and acidifying the water they live in.

This isn’t news. We already knew global warming harms coral reefs; since last year we’ve seen that reality on vivid display during massive coral bleaching episodes from the Hawaiian Islands to the Great Barrier Reef. But some in the scientific community believed we could buy ourselves some time with better management of local factors, such as creating marine protected areas that minimized the impacts of fishing and addressing water-quality problems in coastal areas.

That hope was based on the belief that isolated coral reefs are in better shape, having more live corals and less seaweed than those near urban areas, which are presumably more profoundly affected by human activities. But when we analyzed a database of more than 1,700 coral reef surveys from around the world, we found that conventional wisdom didn’t hold up to scrutiny.

 
Some coral reefs in Curacao, southern Caribbean, still have relative high coral cover, but large reef fishes are mostly absent due to fishing. (Credit: Abel Valdivia)

Healthy coral reefs have more living coral and less seaweed, factors that we’d expect to find in areas untouched by people. But the data showed no correlation between isolation and healthy coral reefs, leaving only one possible cause for their steady global degradation: ocean warming and acidification, both caused by global carbon emissions.

Don’t get me wrong: Local stewardship of coral reefs is extremely important. Recent research has shown bright spots across the world’s reefs where good governance is driving fish communities to thrive unexpectedly. In fact, biodiversity of reef fish makes these ecosystems more resilient and able to adapt to changing ocean conditions, so we should control overfishing. Coastal runoff and local pollution sources can also undermine the health of coral reef communities.

There’s much we should do to restore the health of oceans, which have been hurt by generations of abuse and neglect. We need to protect endangered species, from the chambered nautilus to sharks and whales; reduce the amount of plastic pollution building up in the oceans; prevent the devastating oil spills that go along with offshore drilling; regulate wasteful fishing practices that kill mountains of unintended bycatch; and generally become better stewards of our seas.

But when it comes to saving our coral reefs for the future, there’s one important thing we must do immediately: end our unhealthy addiction to fossil fuels.

https://medium.com/center-for-biological-diversity/to-save-corals-stop-burning-fossil-fuels-217c35a852b4#.pi7oxza73






Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #634 on: August 10, 2016, 10:53:14 pm »

States Urge Texas Court to Dismiss Exxon Suit

A dozen states are urging a US District Court in Texas to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at blocking an investigation of ExxonMobil’s climate denial.   

In the amicus brief filed on Tuesday, the attorneys general of the states, including Massachusetts, New York and Mississippi, argue that legal precedent nullifies the oil giant’s lawsuit because Exxon should be making a challenge to an AG in their home state, not Texas.

In June, Exxon filed a complaint against Massachusetts AG Maura Healey in Texas and Massachusetts after her office subpoenaed the company for an investigation on whether the company intentionally misled the public on dangers of climate change.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-09/exxon-climate-fight-with-green-states-heats-up-in-court

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #635 on: August 11, 2016, 02:58:37 pm »
 

UN Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Uncontacted Amazon tribe faces annihilation 

 
The Kawahiva's land is being targeted by illegal loggers and cattle ranchers © FUNAI 2013


On UN Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Survival International is calling for the full demarcation and protection of the land of the Kawahiva people, an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon that is at extremely high risk of extinction.

With the eyes of the world on Brazil during the Rio Olympics, campaigners are hoping that more will be done to secure their land for them, and to give them the chance to determine their own futures.

Many powerful people in the region, including José Riva – dubbed “the most corrupt politician in Brazil” – are targeting the tribe’s land. The Indians are acutely vulnerable to the threat of forced contact from these loggers and ranchers.

In April 2016, pressure from Survival International supporters helped push the Brazilian Minister of Justice to sign a decree ordering the full mapping out and protection of the tribe’s land.

But despite this, the Minister’s demand has not been carried out. Until the Brazilian indigenous affairs department enacts the demarcation, the tribe faces annihilation.

First contact has been catastrophic for many Brazilian tribes. Jirusihú, from the Zo’é people in the northern Amazon, who were forcibly contacted by evangelical missionaries in the 1980s, said: “After the outsiders came, Zo’é became sick and some died. Back then… there was diarrhea and there was pain. Fever killed many, many Zo’é.”

 
Brazilian tribes like the Zo'é have suffered terribly since forced contact. © Fiona Watson/Survival


Many tribes have been wiped out as a direct result of land theft and forced contact. Konibu, the last shaman of the Akuntsu people, died in May 2016. He left behind just four members of his tribe.

Uncontacted tribes are the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. Whole populations are being wiped out by genocidal violence from outsiders who steal their land and resources and by diseases like flu and measles to which they have no resistance.

Quote
We know very little about uncontacted tribes, but we do know there are more than a hundred around the world. Brazil is home to more of these peoples than any other country on Earth.

All uncontacted tribal peoples face catastrophe unless their land is protected, but, in areas where their rights are respected, they continue to thrive.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “It’s time for Brazil finally to end centuries of genocide by respecting the rights of its tribal peoples and protecting their land. Uncontacted tribes are not backward and primitive relics of a remote past. They are our contemporaries and a vitally important part of humankind’s diversity.”

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/11377

Agelbert NOTE:
For those wishful thinkers who believe the fairy tale that hunter gatherers have a greater chance for survival than the rest of homo sapdom, perhaps you need to wrap your head around the scientific consensus that the biodiversity in the tropics (that all those hunter gatherer tribes living there REQUIRE to survive and thrive) is more degraded by climate change than the biodiversity in any other part of the planet.

Climate Change: Why the Tropical Poor Will Suffer Most
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538586/climate-change-why-the-tropical-poor-will-suffer-most/


Tropical ecosystems appear to be more sensitive to climate change and less able to store carbon
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tropics-feel-the-heat-of-climate-change/

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #636 on: August 11, 2016, 03:54:22 pm »
The REAL World of POLLUTION & CORRUPTION Since Spindletop in Images & Numbers
 

 














Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #637 on: August 11, 2016, 07:46:02 pm »

The EU’s new Science Advice Mechanism

August 11, 2016 at 3:48 pm
 
Mandating science advice 


SAM Jan 2016 w900 2 - Georges Boulougouris - EC Audiovisual Service

The new EU Science Advice Mechanism, convening for its inaugural meeting in January 2016.

In July, Science reminded its readers of the existence of the European Commission’s new Science Advice Mechanism (SAM), a panel of internationally-recognised scientists tasked with providing scientific advice, in a mechanism intended to address the shortcomings of the ill-fated, single-headed role of Chief Scientific Adviser abandoned in 2014.

In fact, the SAM has already held its first two panel meetings, on 29 January and 16-17 March this year, at which it was agreed its first two questions would relate to “improving the measurements of CO2 emissions so they more closely resemble real-world emissions” and (more vaguely) cybersecurity and “the single digital market”.

A number of the problems with the initial Chief Scientific Adviser position appear, at least to some extent, to have been resolved: there is now a panel of advisers representing diverse interests and backgrounds; they have a reasonable budget; and they have a much larger team of support staff to do the research on which their advice will be based (see the legislative mandate here).

Problems of budget and staffing are relatively trivial, however, compared to the challenge of giving the SAM appropriate mandate and oversight, to ensure that it complements rather than supplants the political process.

This is important because, while it is intuitive to say that policy should in some way follow the evidence, it is in fact only in some very specific circumstances (sometimes described as “tornado politics”) possible or appropriate for “the evidence” to play a decisive role in what the appropriate policy outcome is (and even then, with certain important caveats).

This is because when people disagree it is very often due to their wanting different outcomes, not because they interpret “the evidence” in different ways. Resolving disagreement and defining a mutually acceptable course of action is what politics is for; if the job is handed over to scientists (or handed over further still, to some dictat of “the evidence”), the political solution is short-circuited and there is a deficit of democracy.

Keeping politics separate from science is therefore important. Political processes should be transparent, not masked behind a supposedly scientific debate which is in reality determining a political outcome. Conversely, if science is a proxy battleground for politics, its value in understanding our factual environment, the consequences of our actions, and the mechanisms by which we can most likely expect to achieve our desired goals, becomes diminished.

However, only so much can be done in defining how the SAM should function; it is as much up to the recipients of advice from the SAM as it is up to the SAM itself that its pronouncements are not taken as determining outcomes when politics is required instead. As to whether and how that happens, only time will tell.

https://healthandenvironmentonline.com/2016/08/11/the-eus-new-science-advice-mechanism/

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #638 on: August 11, 2016, 09:07:35 pm »


August 11, 2016

Fossil Fuel Export Moratorium Issued on Cherry Point

Whatcom County, Washington, passed an emergency moratorium on new fossil fuel shipments through Cherry Point, a major export hub, citing environmental and safety issues. The ordinance does not affect current refining or oil shipments.

The county council is expected to hold public hearings during the 60-day moratorium as the county finalizes an update to its 20-year comprehensive plan, which could include a permanent ban on exporting coal or natural gas.

In May, the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit to build the country’s largest coal-export terminal at Cherry Point after objections from the Lummi tribe.

The local environmental community, which has been demanding such a ban, celebrated the moratorium as a precedent-setting victory.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article94774637.html

 
Middle East Heat a Harbinger of Future Disasters
Recent extreme heat events in the Middle East have climate scientists worried about future climate-related catastrophes.

Temperatures have climbed above 115°F across the region this summer, and Kuwait and Iraq recently recorded most likely the hottest temperatures ever in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Record-breaking extreme heat -- estimated to have claimed more lives than wars -- has worsened over the years and recent studies have suggested future climate change will make parts of the region uninhabitable.

A sergeant major in Iraq equated the heat wave to a weapon of mass destruction, saying, “It makes my skin crawl. It is killing us.”
 https://psmag.com/the-unique-burden-of-covering-climate-change-in-the-middle-east-73dd95c51860#.16l8zkgwd



Volcano Eruption Masked Sea Level Rise

The temporary global cooling effect of a major volcanic eruption in 1991 could have slowed the rate of sea level rise, but a “detectable acceleration” is likely in the next decade as its effects fade, new research shows.

Scientists have recorded a steady 3 millimeters per year increase in sea levels since 1993, when satellite record-keeping began.

However, a climate model that negates the effects of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines showed a much quicker rise in sea levels. "Now that the impacts of Pinatubo have faded, this acceleration should become evident in the satellite measurements in the coming decade, barring another major volcanic eruption," the study’s lead author said.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/volcano-hid-sea-level-rise-acceleration-20595
 

US News
•In California's climate debate, state lawmakers push for more authority (LA Times $)

•Solar manufacturers pivoting away from big U.S. utility projects http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-10/solar-manufacturers-pivoting-away-from-big-u-s-utility-projects

•Electric car charging station companies issue warning over VW settlement
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-settlement-idUSKCN10L038

•California mayors voice support for climate proposal (LA Times $)

•Investors have $100 billion to spend on oil assets no one else wants http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-11/oil-busts-leery-bankers-and-100-billion-for-distressed-deals

•Thousands of lives could be saved in California by stricter air pollution limits, study finds (LA Times $)

•With droughts and downpours, climate change feeds Chesapeake Bay algal blooms
http://phys.org/news/2016-08-droughts-downpours-climate-chesapeake-bay.html

•Illinois leaders promote NY energy program as model
http://qctimes.com/business/illinois-leaders-promote-ny-energy-program-as-model/article_aca789d5-6c72-541d-9ead-b6865a98f8ed.html

•Pilot Fire: School districts still closed, fire at nearly 7,800 acres
http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/08/10/63463/pilot-fire-school-districts-still-closed-fire-at-n/

•Climate could be pivotal in this congressional race between two California Democrats (Grist)
http://grist.org/election-2016/climate-could-be-pivotal-in-this-congressional-race-between-two-california-democrats/

•Sometimes art has to get gritty—especially when big oil provides the muse https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/sometimes-art-has-get-gritty-especially-when-big-oil-provides-muse

•Elon Musk's new solar project: 'It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof'
http://www.ecowatch.com/elon-musks-new-solar-project-1966820558.html

•Growing Zika cases weigh on state lawmakers (E&E News $)



World News
•This island in Russia's Arctic is vanishing into the sea
http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/08/10/this-island-in-russian-arctic-is-vanishing-into-the-sea-climate-change

Scotland completely powered by wind turbines for a day [img width=60]http://us.cdn2.123rf.com/168nwm/lenm/lenm1201/lenm120100200/12107060-illustration-of-a-smiley-giving-a-thumbs-up.jpg[/img]   
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/11/scotland-completely-powered-by-wind-turbines-for-a-day

•Solar and wind 'cheaper than new nuclear' by the time Hinkley is built (Guardian)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/11/solar-and-wind-cheaper-than-new-nuclear-by-the-time-hinkley-is-built

•Sydney Opera House targets 'carbon neutral' status by 2023 (Business Green $)

•Scottish ministers appeal court ruling that blocks offshore wind     
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-09/scottish-ministers-appeal-court-ruling-that-blocks-offshore-wind

Emma Thompson tells it like it is in this video:
Telegraph , known attack dog for the fossil fuel industry, writes hit piece with BULLSHIT about Emma Thompson's 'inaccurate' climate change claims found' by 'watchdog'.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/10/bbc-let-emma-thompson-get-away-with-inaccurate-climate-change-cl/

•Mountain biodiversity more vulnerable to climate change than previously reported
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/um-research-mountain-biodiversity-more-vulnerable-to-climate-change-than/article_dbc994ed-fb73-5d50-9aae-55bcea71d469.html

•Three more ways climate change is going to change our lives
https://psmag.com/three-more-ways-climate-change-is-going-to-change-our-lives-eb563e5781d6#.jk3wvgto3

•At least three dead in Portugal wildfires as flames creep into downtown Funchal
http://mashable.com/2016/08/10/portugal-wildfire-photos/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-science-link%23O4Smx57EK9q2#KAbHB2Davqqn

•Rice farmers bracing for droughts, floods
http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/28321/rice-farmers-bracing-for-droughts--floods/

•Lake Tanganyika ecosystem sensitive to climate change
http://www.voanews.com/a/lake-tanganyika-climate-change/3458543.html

•How climate change will hurt humanity's closest cousins
http://phys.org/news/2016-08-climate-humanity-closest-cousins.html

•Tackling cities’ hidden climate footprint
http://ensia.com/notable/cities-hidden-climate-impact/


ANALYSIS & OPINION

•Tax carbon, California — the rest of the nation will thank you (LA Times, Michael Wara, Adele Morris & Jerry Taylor op-ed $)

•Piecing together the Arctic’s sea ice history back to 1850
https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-piecing-together-arctic-sea-ice-history-1850

•If the US took its climate goals seriously, coal beneath federal land would stay there
http://www.vox.com/2016/8/10/12410048/coal-leasing-2-degrees

•Unprecedented federal court ruling elevates environmental justice over demands of industry
http://fusion.net/story/335110/federal-court-elevates-social-cost-of-carbon-over-industry-demands/

•The Galileo gambit and other stories: the three main tactics of climate denial
https://theconversation.com/the-galileo-gambit-and-other-stories-the-three-main-tactics-of-climate-denial-63719?

•ExxonMobil’s latest campaign to stymie federal climate action (Huffington Post, Elliot Negin op-ed)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/exxonmobils-latest-campai_b_11408752.html

•Fracking ‘bribes’ raise problematic questions
 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/10/fracking-bribes-raise-problematic-questions
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #639 on: August 11, 2016, 09:45:24 pm »

Massachusetts AG defends climate investigation against Exxon
   
By Timothy Cama - 08/08/16 05:25 PM EDT

Massachusetts’s attorney general is fighting Exxon Mobil Corp.’s attempts to have a Texas court block its climate change investigation into the oil giant.

Maura Healey (D), the state’s top lawyer, filed a pair of briefs late Monday in the Texas federal court where Exxon sued to stop Healey’s wide-ranging demand for documents related to its stance on climate change going back to the 1970s.

Healey believes Exxon might have violated state law and committed fraud by understating the company’s research into global warming and trying to sow public doubt about the role of fossil fuels in climate change. She sent her civil investigative demand — similar to a subpoena — earlier this year.

Now Healey is accusing Exxon of “forum-shopping,” or trying to get a Texas court to intervene in a matter that should be handled in Massachusetts.

“This court should reject Exxon’s transparent attempt at forum-shopping and dismiss this case,” Douglas Cawley, who is representing Healey’s office, wrote in a brief with the federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

“Exxon has challenged the validity of the [demand] in Massachusetts state court and will have a full and fair opportunity to press its claims there,” he said. “Notwithstanding that fact, Exxon also elected to file a nearly identical suit in this court and asks the court to exercise personal jurisdiction over Attorney General Healey — despite the fact that all relevant events alleged in the complaint occurred in Massachusetts or New York and no relevant events occurred in Texas.”

Healey also filed a brief opposing Exxon’s attempt in the Texas court to get a preliminary injunction against the investigative demand while the litigation is ongoing.

The court, Cawley wrote in the brief, “need not reach Exxon’s preliminary injunction motion because it should dismiss Exxon’s suit for lack of personal jurisdiction over Attorney General Healey, as well as on the other grounds set forth in her motion to dismiss.”

Healey and her colleagues in New York, California and the Virgin Islands have launched investigations into Exxon’s stance on climate.

Healey agreed last month to hold off on enforcing her investigative demand while Texas challenges it in court, a standard practice in similar cases.

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/290790-massachusetts-ag-defends-climate-investigation-against-exxon



Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #640 on: August 16, 2016, 08:21:55 pm »
August 16, 2016


Taking the Earth's Temperature

 “Our Warm Regards,” a new podcast on climate issues hosted by meteorologist Eric Holthaus, released a new episode that discusses taking the Earth’s temperature. Click here for the latest episode. 


 
July 2016 Hottest Month Ever, NASA Shows

 Global temperatures in July were 0.84°C (1.51°F) above the 1950-1980 average, making it the hottest month since record keeping began, as well as the hottest July ever. The latest NASA data show that July is now the tenth consecutive record warm month, and 2016 is still on track to be the hottest year on record. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, expects July to be the last record warm month of 2016 as the effects of El Niño fade.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/july-another-record-hot-month-20605



McKibben: It’s WWIII, We’re Losing   

 Bill McKibben, in an in-depth piece headlined “A World at War”, explains exactly why the Democratic Party platform commits to address climate change “on a scale not seen since World War II.” He stakes out a forward position for the party’s climate policy, writing,
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“It’s not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war.”


McKibben calls on the next president to display the same urgency and foresight as FDR and take immediate action, because, with the devastation from climate-strengthened extreme weather events happening right now: “World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing.”
https://newrepublic.com/article/135684/declare-war-climate-change-mobilize-wwii

Agelbert NOTE: I agree. We ARE losing. 

And ANYTHING the "Democratic" Party platform commits to is to be categorized as an election campaign empty promise.

But the politicians all over the world will NOT be able to keep a lid on the ongoing climate change catastrophe. Eventually, though far too late for most of us, the empathy deficit disordered psychopaths running this biosphere into the Sixth Great Extinction will commit to seriously addressing climate change by phasing out fossil fuels and accelerating the transition to a 100% Renewable Energy economy.

WHY? ??? Aren't they immune to the pain and struggle of most of the human population, never mind the multiple species extinctions going on as we speak? 

Because, the biosphere math challenged poobahs will witness rain bombs and other increasingly frequent sorts of climate change caused damage to THEIR properties and THEIR profits.

 
Hammond, La. August 13, 2016 after record amount of rainfall - Don't think that the high end properties all over the WORLD are not going to take an increasingly severe beating too (as well as the stock of property insurance corporations that the rich of this world own).

Until hard experience forces these stupid greed balls to extract themselves from their blind devotion to profit over planet, they will continue to make up fairy tales, doubletalk, bold faced mendacity and blatantly false happy talk in defense of the corrupt and unsustainable fossil fuel status quo (SEE latest Fossil Fuel Industry/Koch chicanery below).

Experience is not the best teacher for people who actually believe that they can perpetually distort reality by "externalizing" the consequences of their hubris onto we-the-people and the rest of the life forms in the biosphere; it's the ONLY teacher.

Selfish people are nauseatingly predictable.

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Kochs’ New Front “Fueling U.S. Forward” Points Energy Policy Backwards   
 
 
Though they still refuse to support/to spend on Trump, the Kochs apparently feel they have to do something with their $750 million budget to influence voters. Beyond focusing on down-ballot races, they’re also revving up a new (probably) anti-electric car and (definitely) pro-fossil fuel front group as part of their ongoing efforts documented by the new microsite, KochsVsClean. Teased last February, publicly announced on Saturday and exposed by DeSmog’s Sharon Kelly on Sunday, the “Fueling U.S. Forward” group seeks to get the public emotionally invested in fossil fuels as being “pro-human.”
 
To do so, it will deploy the kind of doublespeak propaganda that we’ve come to expect from these entrenched interests, if its name or debut are any indication. As described in the post you should just go read at DeSmog, the president and CEO of the new group told the crowd at the Red State 2016 gathering that not only are fossil fuels all the usual talking points of “reliable, abundant, efficient,” but also they are “sustainable.”
 
Which, of course, is as backwards as can be. Not only are fossil fuels finite resources that will at some point be depleted if we continue business-as-usual, but they’re also mostly responsible for that little old thing called climate change. So even if they were a renewable resource, they still wouldn’t be sustainable indefinitely, in that if we continue burning them, it would render the planet incapable of sustaining human life. 
 
At this point, you may be wondering why the Kochs are bothering to spend big bucks on such an obviously absurd ad campaign. Is this just fodder for talk show mockery, like John Oliver’s brilliant (though NSFW) skewering of the American Petroleum Institute’s new ad campaign?
 
Unfortunately, it’s much more than that. Though those who oppose renewables may not be nationally successful, they are finding wins at the state level. Case in point: the coal-heavy Wyoming, where state legislators are considering a massive tax increase on wind power    as a major new project is being developed.
 
Seems without the glare of national media, deniers are able to advance their anti-clean energy agenda. This means instead of going forward on the path to a clean energy future, the Kochs’ funding is not fueling the U.S. forward, but backwards to the time when our only energy options were their “pro-human”* fossil fuels .

*”Human” defined as “one who makes money off of fossil fuels,”      since apparently those are the only people that count in the Koch universe.

http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/08/14/new-koch-back-campaign-rolled-out-red-state-gathering-aims-promote-positives-fossil-fuels

 The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleteing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID DOING THE TIME   or   PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it!   Pass it on! 
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #641 on: August 17, 2016, 03:33:17 pm »
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Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention.[/quote]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism

Since most people, whether they have studied philosophy or not, believe that "pleasure is the greatest good", then espousing an Epicurean type world view should come naturally. But these modified Epicureans of today reject a very important part of the epicurean philosophy.

THAT IS, eschewing a modest life.

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Epicurus believed that what he called "pleasure" was the greatest good, but that the way to attain such pleasure was to live modestly, to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and to limit one's desires[/i][/b].
Cool... so since becoming a doomer, I've become a true Epicurean... my greatest joy in life is listening to my daughter's laughter.


Since I am a bit of a 'no spiritual gain without pain' fanatic, I can never embrace Epicureanism, but I applaud your modest life style.




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Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism

Since most people, whether they have studied philosophy or not, believe that "pleasure is the greatest good", then espousing an Epicurean type world view should come naturally. But these modified Epicureans of today reject a very important part of the epicurean philosophy.

THAT IS, eschewing a modest life.
Quote
Epicurus believed that what he called "pleasure" was the greatest good, but that the way to attain such pleasure was to live modestly, to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and to limit one's desires.
Cool... so since becoming a doomer, I've become a true Epicurean... my greatest joy in life is listening to my daughter's laughter.

Glad to know that there is a name for it.

One of the greatest keys to happiness (IMO) is knowing what is "enough." A daughter's laughter is MORE than enough. I'd suggest it is great wealth.




Thank you for your words of wisdom.

It is a dark time. All words of wisdom are welcome in a time of a great flowering of evil, such as this one, so massive that it threatens most of the material macroscopic biosphere's viability.

The above is a reasonable facsimile of the full moon view last night and tonight from my kitchen windows as I ponder the future of humanity. Will humans ever learn to respect, revere and protect God's creation or will they continue to invent ever more convoluted and self delusional excuses for the rejection of God mandated altruism?

Will the leaders of humanity continue to embrace the celebration of blatant, vulgar and sinful rampant and unrepentant egotism?


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e·go·tism
/ˈēɡəˌtizəm/

noun

noun:
egotism

the practice of talking and thinking about oneself excessively because of an undue sense of self-importance.

synonyms
: self-centeredness, egomania, egocentricity, self-interest, selfishness, self-seeking, self-serving, self-regard, self-love, narcissism, self-admiration, vanity, conceit, self-importance; boastfulness 

A remnant will do the right thing. Most probably will not. May God have mercy on all of us.


« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 09:31:28 pm by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #642 on: August 18, 2016, 02:05:16 am »
Agelbert NOTE: Originally published in September of 2015 in three parts. I'm reposting it in full, with a few graphics changes, for you to pass on to friends and family. It's message continues to be of the utmost importance to intelligent, caring humans.

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Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere.- A. G. Gelbert

The following multi-part article post makes a case for the premise that ignoring, deriding or mocking the high probability of the existential threat we face from anthropogenic climate change is irresponsible. Anyone who is alive after around 2040 will pay for their present irresponsible, egocentric, empathy deficit disordered behavior.

Unfortunately, the innocent will suffer equally along with the criminally negligent reprobates who support incremental measures to deal with this existential threat. Have a nice day.



The essay, "What it Means to be Responsible - Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future" by Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz references the work of Fitzpatrick, Jonas, Aristotle and others. I have summarized the essay to save the readers time.

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FitzPatrick, W.J. 2007. Climate Change and the Rights of Future Generations: Social Justice Beyond Mutual Advantage. Environmental Ethics. 29(4): 369-388.

The author discusses the moral responsibilities that current generations have to future generations, and how arguing for protecting the rights of future generations is an effective answer to political arguments against taking mandatory measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions when these are unpopular with a democratic populace.

Climate Change, Engineered Systems, & Society Bibliography
http://www.onlineethics.org/Resources/Bibliographies/ClimateChangeBib.aspx
Theoretical & Applied Ethics Vol. 1, Issue 42 2, Spring 2011

What it Means to be Responsible
Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future
Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz

The concept of responsibility is a central one in ethics but it seems to require rethinking when we consider the fact that oftentimes the consequences of actions in contemporary, technological society extend far into the future. To whom or what are we responsible, and how far into the future do our obligations extend?

In this essay, I consider the question of our possible responsibility for the future, specifically the future state of our planet, and the well-being of future people and other beings. I argue that we do have responsibilities to future people and an obligation to try to preserve and protect the planet and its living beings for the future, and I present a new concept of responsibility, one that provides a way of understanding our actions in light of concern for the future.



The central problem with an argument that considers the effects of present actions on the future world lies in the fact that those acting today will not exist in the world they are affecting with their actions.

Why should people, now living, care about the consequences of their actions on a future world whose inhabitants are currently non-existent? Even if held accountable by those future generations, no price for wrongful actions can be extracted from the dead. We lack the usual motivations for acting ethically in situations that might impact future generations, and though we may imagine angry voices condemning us for our lack of forethought and care some several generations into the future, we will never hear those words of contempt.

Despite this, Attfield (1998) argues that "intergenerational justice remains a serious possibility, as actual future generations which come into being, and find that they have been deprived by earlier generations of opportunities for satisfying some of their most basic needs, could reasonably criticize their ancestors for failing to facilitate the satisfaction of foreseeable vital interests" (p.211).


Ethical arguments struggle, however, when lack of proximity is a factor, for it is difficult to take into consideration the impact of our actions on those spatially distant from us.


This problem arises whenever we are asked to take into consideration or contribute to the welfare of those who live in distant places, those who do not share our community, and those whose suffering we do not directly experience.

Without the presence of the other face-to-face, without a real relation to the other person, it is difficult to remain aware of and concerned about his or her need.

How much more difficult then, to take into consideration those who do not yet exist, those others we will never know and can only imagine.

The difficulty is further complicated by the fact that often the choices we make today, choices that involve use of finite resources, for instance, or the use of technology that may have deleterious aftereffects, may seem at the time to be valuable for the comfort, health or well-being of the contemporaneous human population. Indeed, most of our ethical deliberation is concerned with present actions.

In what way and how can it be argued that sacrifices or restrictions on some very useful and beneficial activities and technologies must be made in order to benefit future peoples who do not yet exist?



Responsibility in Aristotle

For Aristotle, the capacity human beings have to think about what they will do is what lies at the root of our responsibility for our actions. We are free to act, within certain necessary limits, and we have the capacity to think about our choices, therefore responsibility accompanies actions when, as Aristotle says, the "source is in oneself."

Rational beings with the capacity to choose among actions and bring about ends cannot escape from the notion of responsibility. It is a given, provided one is free from coercion in one's actions. Here responsibility is not responsiveness to the Other, not responding to another's need or want, as in Levinas. Rather, it is that since we are free to make choices and commit acts, we must accept responsibility for the consequences of those choices.

For Aristotle, to act responsibly is to act beautifully, because when a person does so he or she engages the greatest capacity available to human beings; that is "thinking things through," dianoia . What differentiates ethical choice from willing, desiring, and wishing, for Aristotle, is that it involves deliberation (NE 1112a 15).

To think things through is to look ahead and estimate consequences using imagination and forethought and to make judgments about possible actions based on experience and memory; this is the kind of reasoning that responsibility requires.

Aristotle says, "We deliberate about things that are up to us and are matters of action" (NE 1112a32). Choice is not something that is shared by irrational beings, it is the mark of a being with self-control (NE 1111b15).


Thus choice is firmly in the realm of practical, ethical action. With his emphasis on dianoia, Aristotle offers one way to think about responsibility to the future; it is the lack of "thinking things through," in preference for shortsightedness regarding means and ends, that results in acts of harm, both to the environment and to future people.

If we fail to think things through to the consequences of our actions we are not acting responsibly.

And ignorance is no justification for poor choices, for Aristotle points out that we can be ignorant and still responsible. If we deliberately become irrational, as when we become drunk, or when we ought to know something and yet fail to, we are still held responsible, "on the grounds that it is up to people themselves not to be ignorant, since they are in control of how much care they take" (NE 1114a).

Aristotle is rigorous in his insistence that human beings, because they are rational and have the capacity to "think things through," are responsible for their actions.


But perhaps, Aristotle says, "one is not the sort of person who takes any care" (NE 1114a5). Perhaps here we have the crux of it; that there are people who don't care, who are careless.

We must act on Global Warming: Climate Change has already made the world three times more dangerous.

Aristotle says such people, despite their lack of care, are still responsible because it was always in the beginning up to them to use their intelligence to make good choices and the fact that they don't care is the result of a long line of deliberations that denigrated the value of their own beautiful actions, the concerns of others, and the consequences of their actions on themselves and others.


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On Aristotle's view, we always become who we are through a series of choices over time, and those choices form our moral character.
The Problem of Responsibility Today

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That ignorance is no excuse for Aristotle seems to indicate that those of us who fail to acknowledge scientifically based warnings about climate change, or who acknowledge the warnings and refuse to heed them, are responsible for our failure.

To think things through would be to take into account in deliberating about our choices the realities that face us, the sure consequences of some of our actions, those that we have experience and knowledge enough to foresee.  If the consequences of our actions today extend far into the future, this would require that we take that far future into consideration in our actions.

It is just because of this farther extension of consequences into the future that Jonas argues that human action today differs radically from human action in Aristotle's time. As he says, "modern technology has introduced actions of such novel scale, objects, and consequences that the framework of former ethics can no longer contain them" (Jonas, 1984, p. 6). Powerful technologies in use today have effects that extend far into the future, and this includes harms that arise directly from their manufacture and use, such as resource depletion and pollution from hazardous waste, as well as harms that occur because of the scope their reach, as in climate change. The negative effects are not limited to the earth and its ecosystems but include effects on communities of people whose livelihoods are harmed and whose basic goods, such as water and air, are polluted and rendered unusable.

These consequences affect living beings over their lifetimes, threaten the health of the planet, and are passed down to future generations as the integrity of the global ecosystem is damaged over time.

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For Jonas, technology has enabled us to greatly extend the scope of our actions and magnified their repercussions, and yet our concept of responsibility has not grown to encompass the new range of action.

Particularly, Jonas has in mind the repercussions of genetic engineering, nuclear technologies, and other technologies that have the capacity to impact the future in highly significant ways: "more specifically, it will be my contention that with certain developments of our powers the nature of human action has changed, and since ethics is concerned with action, it should follow that the changed nature of human action calls for a change in ethics as well, in the more radical sense that the qualitatively novel nature of certain of our actions has opened up a whole new dimension of ethical relevance for which there is no precedent in the standards and canons of traditional ethics" (1984, p. 1).

For example, the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf had consequences that extend far into the future, affecting marine and coastal ecosystems, the livelihood of human beings dependent on a healthy environment for sustenance, and marine life far from the origin of the spill.

Ecosystems are by nature interconnected and interdependent, and the reach of the spill was extensive. Its impact is not limited in space or time. As well, we might ask who exactly is responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf? Is it the technicians and engineers, the government regulations that allow drilling to be done in extreme conditions, the companies making a profit, or the consumers whose desire for cheap fossil fuel drives the market?

This kind of diffusion of responsibility, a diffuse collective responsibility that Stephen Gardiner refers to as a "fragmentation of agency," means that it is difficult to assign responsibility.

As Gardiner points out, "climate change is caused not by a single agent but by a vast number of individuals and institutions not unified by a comprehensive structure of agency. This is important because it poses a challenge to humanity's ability to respond" (2010, p. 88).

How much is up to us then, to use Aristotle's term, in today's technological, global world? The notion of collective responsibility is pertinent because in a democratic society responsibility for collective actions like oil drilling would seem to rest with all citizens.

How we are to understand democratic responsibility, diffused among many, is a significant problem given the altered nature of human action and the extended reach of the consequences of our actions. And because the consequences will fall primarily on future generations, there is a disincentive to alter our behavior, particularly if that might make current lives more difficult.


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While there have been past periods in Earth's history when temperatures were warmer than they are now, the rate of change that is currently taking place is faster than most of the climate shifts that have occurred in the past, and therefore it will likely be more difficult to adapt to.
The Last Time CO2 Was This High, Humans Didn’t Exist

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Without a Trace ‘The Sixth Extinction,’ by Elizabeth Kolbert

New York Times Sunday Book Review Snippet:

In the same way, and for many of the same reasons, many today find it inconceivable that we could possibly be responsible for destroying the integrity of our planet’s ecology.

There are psychological barriers to even imagining that what we love so much could be lost — could be destroyed forever.

As a result, many of us refuse to contemplate it. Like an audience entertained by a magician, we allow ourselves to be deceived by those with a stake in persuading us to ignore reality. ...

... we continue to use the world’s atmosphere as an open sewer for the daily dumping of more than 90 million tons of gaseous waste. ...

... The resulting rapid warming of both the atmosphere and the ocean, which Kolbert notes has absorbed about one-third of the carbon dioxide we have produced, is wreaking havoc on earth’s delicately balanced ecosystems.

It threatens both the web of living species with which we share the planet 
and the future viability of civilization. “By disrupting these systems,” Kolbert writes, "we’re putting our own survival in danger.”


While a new ethical understanding
that takes into consideration the extended consequences of our actions in a technological society seems necessary, another question arises: where do our obligations end if we begin to think of extending them to future beings and the future existence of a livable planet?


How might such seemingly open-ended obligations be argued for? And if, to be responsible, as Aristotle claims, is to "think things through," are there limits to our capacity to be responsible?


Rethinking Responsibility

Here I think it is a good moment to turn to Jonas, who argues in The Imperative of Responsibility that, difficult as it may seem, we do have a responsibility for the future.

He presents an argument for responsibility based on the presence of an objectively existing good, and he claims that fulfillment of the human good results from taking the effects of our actions on the future into account (Jonas, 1984, pp. 80-82).

When we are not able to predict the long-term consequences of our actions he argues that we should proceed with prudence, even to the extent of being guided by fear, in order to ensure that we do not create extensive future harms.


For Jonas, the human being occupies a special place in the lifeworld. Jonas sees the human being as that being which is uniquely capable of responsibility, and the presence of this capacity entails that it must be acted on if a one is to fully become the being one is capable of becoming.

The capacity for responsibility contributes to the "what it is to be" a human being and as such, informs the telos of human being. Jonas says that
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"every living thing has its own end which needs no further justification. In this, man has nothing over other living beings, except that he alone can have responsibility also for them, that is, for guarding their self-purpose" (Jonas, 1984, p. 98).

For Jonas, the fact that each organism desires and pursues the continuance of its own life points to the fact that life is a value for each being. Life is a good and as such it presents the being with the capacity to take responsibility with an imperative to protect and preserve it, to recognize the value it is for all living beings. The particular human good lies in the capacity of the human being to recognize and respond to the imperative of responsibility.

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The practice of taking responsibility for our choices, of taking the well-being and future of the planet and its beings into consideration, draws out the higher capabilities of the rational animal.

For Jonas, the imperative of responsibility commands us to respond ethically for the sake of the good that is evidenced in Being, a good that reveals itself in each living beings' pursuit of its own continuance, its desire for life.

As well, responsibility includes protecting the possibility for the continued existence of human freedom and ethical responsiveness.

As Jonas says, "the secret or paradox of morality is that the self forgets itself over the pursuit of the object, so that a higher self (which indeed is also a good in itself) might come into being.

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The good man is not he who made himself good but rather he who did the good for its own sake.

As Jonas tries to show, the good of the human and the good in the world are not separate but the same.


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Taking responsibility for the future becomes necessary as soon as we recognize our potential to harmfully impact the future and, as Aristotle argues, once this recognition registers, ignorance is no longer an acceptable plea.

Rights and Responsibility

Another means of arguing for responsibilities to future generations, one that is less metaphysical and more supportive of political action, is to consider the question of the rights of future people. A proponent of this view is Hiskes (2009), who argues that "global warming and climate change have made it abundantly clear that the human impact on the environment is an emergent one, the product of uncounted individual decisions and choices on one hand, and public policies and political omissions on the other, which make every one of us responsible for putting all the rest of us in a new situation of risk, and not only "all of us" but those who come after us as well" (p.146).


Hiskes goes on to explain that "rights are necessarily the legal response to harms, real or potential. The fact that they are new and collective harms that do not fit within the traditional individualist language of either rights or responsibility do not alter the equation of rights as a response to harm.

New harms demand new rights. Because they are emergent harms, the rights that they begat will share their emergent ontological nature" (p. 146).

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This argument supports the contention that we cannot disregard responsibilities to the future simply because future people do not now exist.

Future people are continually coming into existence, even as the effects of our actions emerge over long periods of time. There is a synchrony in terms of the emergence of future beings and the emergence of harms.

Both are initiated in the present, in the actions of present day beings, and both concern a time after present day actors are gone.

Future needs are predictable and future beings are coming into being all the time. It is not as if the future exists at some point far into the distance, with no connection to the present. The future is always coming into being, it follows closely on the heels of the present, and while we see changes in each generation, physical human beings will always need clean air to breathe and water to drink, as well as fire to stay warm.

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The realities of life for future beings are being established now through our contemporary actions and this is a fact we cannot deny. If we refuse to take responsibility for the impact of our actions on future generations, we must admit that we are willfully disregarding this fundamental reality and its ethical implications.


In a similar vein, Fitzpatrick (2007) argues that a conception of justice based upon a notion of "mutual advantage among cooperating parties of roughly equal power and vulnerability" is too restrictive (p. 377).

Justice, insofar as it relates to rights and obligations, is a concept not limited to those sharing space and time. He says that, "attribution of rights to future generations will therefore be legitimate if we can speak of an earlier generation's wronging future generations by spoiling the environment the former was given and has relied upon for its flourishing in the same way that future generations depend upon it for theirs" (Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 377).


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Fitzpatrick turns to a notion of stewardship to frame the question of responsibilities to future generations; contemporary inhabitants of the Earth do not own it, they have merely inherited it and should care for it sustainably in order to pass a flourishing environment down to future generations.

Future generations have a right to inherit a healthy ecosystem, just as we did, and this right entails an obligation on the part of the living to pass down a viable planet. The responsibility to do so is centered in the right future generations have to be protected from harms caused by others, as well as the right to inherit and enjoy what previous generations have inherited and enjoyed.

That people depend upon a healthy environment to flourish, and that a diminished environment is harmful to people is at the basis of Fitzpatrick's argument.
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"The core responsibility assigned to governments in democracies is the public welfare, protecting the human birthright to basic needs: clean air, water, land, and a place to live, under equitable rules of access to all common property resources.

It is astonishing to discover that major political efforts in democracies can be turned to undermining the core purpose of government, destroying the factual basis for fair and effective protection of essential common property resources of all to feed the financial interests of a few.

These efforts, limiting scientific research on environment, denying the validity of settled facts and natural laws, are a shameful dance, far below acceptable or reputable political behavior. It can be treated not as a reasoned alternative, but scorned for what it is – simple thievery." —George M. Woodwell, Woods Hole Research Center founder

He considers future people to be the moral equals of presently living people, and therefore claims we cannot disregard their rights or turn aside from our responsibility not to cause them harm.

He argues that "if we fail to conserve limited natural resources, or to control dangerous waste, or to curb greenhouse gas emissions, then we will be causing people harm, not merely failing to benefit them" (Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 377).


Quote
The currently prevailing “law of the jungle”, causing the atmosphere to be overused in terms of the deposition of carbon ad infinitum, is thus de-legitimized by the Pope.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/06/heaven-belongs-to-us-all-the-new-papal-encyclical/#sthash.MYn2tGnT.dpuf

The fact that these people do not exist simultaneously with us is not a reason to fail to take them into ethical consideration. Fitzpatrick concludes by arguing that we need to reconsider the meaning of justice rights in order to include responsibilities to future generations in our consideration because there is simply no justification possible for disregarding the effects of our actions on the future.



Quote
There is no doubt that accepting responsibility for the future will require a great deal of effort and even sacrifice on the part of those of us living today.


In the next and final section, I take a brief look at the way in which an ethic of care might provide the needed motivation for the difficult changes that taking future generations into ethical consideration might require.


Motivation and Care

To accept the burden of responsibility for what is up to us, difficult as it is where our technological reach is so extended and agency is so fragmented, is to strive to fulfill the capacity we have to respond to the good and protect and preserve it.


This task, however, is difficult, not only because of the extent of effects in time and space, fragmentation of agency, and the difficulty of predicting harms, but also because in many cases we may benefit now from actions that result in harms to future generations.



What could motivate us to make the necessary sacrifices required by responsibility of this scope and nature?

Jonas turns to the human capacity for care for an answer to this question. He uses the analogy of the parent and child to demonstrate that we are attuned to caring in a fundamental way (Jonas, 1984, pp. 98-108).

 Jonas sees that caring is a mode of being for the human being, one that is demonstrated naturally in the attention and love parents give to their children as they nourish these beings who will exist in the future.

It can be argued that the care of children is ultimately selfish, a way to project particular and individual genetic material forward. Yet, at the same time, most stable societies demonstrate their concern and care about the future through the fostering of all children in the society and through their concern with passing down cultural and physical artifacts to posterity.

Quote
If selfish instincts were at issue here, individuals would not bequeath to unknown future others the endowments and monuments and institutions they have.

Jonas’ example of the statesman as a paradigm of responsibility toward the future reflects the important role of democratic social institutions and governments in responsibility. Established to foster and preserve culture and enable the orderly transfer of power from generation to generation, governments, at their best, are concerned with bettering the conditions of the people and ensuring that opportunities, values, artifacts, inventions, techniques, and other "objects" cultivated and produced by society are preserved and passed down.

This example illustrates the presence, in social institutions, of a fundamental care and concern with the future and future peoples that can serve as an example and guide for a practical ethic of responsibility for the future.

It is only through care of the future that we can extend the reach of our grasp on life through bequeathing a planet that is livable and viable, one that preserves and protects the cycle of life for the beings who will inhabit it.


The natural drive toward transcendence of finitude through leaving behind works, objects or beings of lasting value can be engaged as a motivating force in an ethics that is concerned with extending its reach to future generations.


Quote
There is, finally, another way to think of the role of care as a motivating force for assuming responsibility; not necessarily care or love for future persons unknown to us, but love for the Earth and for life itself.

Perhaps we should reframe the question of an ethics of responsibility for the future, because it can be argued that we are motivated to moderate and measure our actions toward nature and to care about the health and continued viability of the Earth because of our love for it, and for the life it offers.

We are capable of caring not only about those potential beings of the future who will inherit this planet but also about the planet itself as a living being we will pass down.[1] Inspired by the beauty of existence, fleeting though it is, we desire its continuance even though we will not be here to enjoy its pleasures forever, and this too is reflective of our ethical capacity.

Conclusion

In the preceding I've shown what I see is a need for a reconsidered understanding of the meaning and extent of responsibility today, and I've talked about some of the difficulties facing us in attempting to accept responsibility for the future, as well as some of the motivational forces that might help us overcome those difficulties.

To begin to take responsibility for the Earth and future generations we can consider ourselves as caretakers, trustees or stewards. We can pursue sustainable practices that conserve resources and other basic goods for future generations to benefit from and enjoy.

Recognizing the presence of the good in existence, we can protect it by considering the long-term effects of our choices and actions on the future. The damage we've done has been done collectively, as Fitzpatrick points out, and the only way to prevent further damage and protect the future is through collective action.


Taking responsibility will require thinking about ourselves differently, as well. We must develop a new self understanding, one that reflects our increasing knowledge concerning the extent of the effects of our actions on the Earth and the future. The human capacity for responsibility is a reflection of what Jonas calls "the higher self," a good-in-itself that comes into being when we recognize the value of life, reflect on the consequences of our choices, and take responsibility for the harms we cause.

Thus, a significant aspect of the good of the human being is the human capacity to bear responsibility.

The continued existence of the good for all beings rests on humans assuming that responsibility, and the time for us to recognize that is now.

If we fail to take responsibility it will be a failure of justice and of love, towards both future beings and the planet.




Notes

1. "When men act for the sake of a future they will not live to see, it is for the most part out of love for persons, places and forms of activity, a cherishing of them, nothing more grandiose. It is indeed self-contradictory to say: 'I love him or her or that place or that institution or that activity, but I don't care what happens to it after my death.' To love is, amongst other things, to care about the future of what we love" (Passmore, 1980, p. 53


References

Adam, G. (2011). Futures Tended: Care and Future-Oriented Responsibility. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society,
31, 1, 17-27.

Aristotle. (2002). Nicomachean Ethics, J. Sachs (trans). Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing.

Attfield, R. (1998). Environmental Ethics and Intergenerational Equity. Inquiry, 41, 2, 207-222.

Fitzpatrick, W. J. (2007). Climate Change and the Rights of Future Generations: Social Justice Beyond Mutual Advantage.

Environmental Ethics, 29, 4, 369-388.

Gardiner, S. M. (2010). A Perfect Moral Storm. In Climate Ethics. NY: Oxford University Press.

Hiskes, R. P. (2009). The Human Right to a Green Future. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Jonas, H. (1984). The Imperative of Responsibility. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Passmore, J. (1980). Conservation. In Responsibilities to Future Generations. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books..

https://blogs.montclair.edu/tae/files/2011/03/Vol.-1-Issue-2-Morris.pdf

Agelbert NOTE: The mens rea of the fossil fuel industry and almost half of the world’s 100 largest companies, including Procter & Gam ble and Duke Energy, has been recently exposed. They all funded lobbyists and propagandists in order to obstruct climate change legislation.

I use the Latin legal expression, "mens rea", because the above obstructionists of climate change legislation were knowledgeable over 40 years ago of the damage that burning fossil fuels causes to the biosphere in general and humans in particular.

As Theresa  Morris made quite clear in her essay, these corporations made the wrong choice. And they made that choice because they refused to think things through.

Theresa  Morris said,
Quote
This task, however, is difficult, not only because of the extent of effects in time and space, fragmentation of agency, and the difficulty of predicting harms, but also because in many cases we may benefit now from actions that result in harms to future generations.

Ethical considerations aside for a moment, the people in these powerful corporations are not stupid. They love their own children.

So, if they knew, because over 40 years ago ExxonMobil scientists laid out the facts to oil executives, who then secretly joined with several other corporations to fund denial of climate change and obstruct climate change legislation, why did they, with malice and aforethought, engage in disguising the fact that they were, and are, getting an F in viable biosphere math?

Some will say that it's a no brainer that they did it for profit. While that is partially true, it ignores the fact that big oil corporations DO believe their own scientists. It also ignores the fact that fossil fuel corporations DO NOT believe the happy talk propaganda that they fund.

They plan ahead. They plan to take advantage of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' mentioned by  Stephen Gardiner. The corporations did not get limited liability laws passed because they wanted to be socially responsible. I believe they will use the 'Fragmentation of Agency', in regard to biosphere damage claims, to unjustly limit their liability in a typically unethical "damage control" exercise.

One of the themes about human history that I have tried to communicate to readers over and over is that predatory capitalist corporations, while deliberately profiting from knowingly doing something that causes pollution damage to the populace, always plan AHEAD to socialize the costs of that damage when they can no longer deny SOME liability for it. Their conscience free lackey lawyers will always work the system to limit even PROVEN 100% liability.

When 100% liability is blatantly obvious, as in the Exxon Valdes oil spill, they will shamelessly use legalese to limit the liability. ExxonMobil pulled a fast one on the plaintiffs by getting "punitive", rather than "compensatory" damages. See what the learned counselor said, "The purpose of punitive awards is to punish, not to destroy, according to the law". Ethics free Exxon and its ethics free lawyers KNOW how the Court System "works". JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW [Vol. 18:151] The purpose of this comment is to describe the history of the Exxon Valdez litigation and analyze whether the courts and corresponding laws are equipped to effectively handle mass environmental litigation..

While the profits are rolling in, they will claim they are "just loyal public servants, selflessly providing a service that the public is demanding", while they laugh all the way to the bank. When the damage is exposed, they will claim we are "all equally to blame" (i.e. DISTORTED Fragmentation of Agency).

This is clearly false because polluting corporations, in virtually all cases, AREN'T non-profit organizations. If they were NOT PROFITING, THEN, and only then, could they make the claim that "we all benefited equally so we all are equally responsible to pay equally for the cost."

Those who presently benefit economically from the burning of fossil fuels, despite the scientific certainty that this is ushering in a Permian level mass extinction, will probably be quick to grab on to a severely distorted and duplicitous version of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' meme, in regard to assigning the proportionate blame for the existential threat our species is visiting on future generations.

Privatizing the profits and socializing the costs is what they have done for over a century in the USA. They have always gotten away with it. That is why, despite having prior knowledge that their children would be negatively impacted by their decisions, they decided to dispense with ethical considerations.

They assumed that, with all the profits they would accumulate over the last 40 years (or as long as the populace can be blinded to the truth of the existential threat), they could protect their offspring when things got "difficult".

They know that millions to billions of people, in all probability, will die. But they think their wealth can enable them to survive and thrive.   

As for the rest of us, who obtained a pittance in benefits in comparison to the giant profits the polluters raked (and still continue to rake) in, we can expect an army of corporate lawyers descending on our government(s) demanding that all humans, in equal portions, foot the bill for ameliorating climate change.

The lawyer speak will probably take the form of crocodile tears about the "injustice of punitive measures" or, some double talk legalese limiting "punitive damage claims" based on Environmental LAW fun and games (see: "punitive" versus "compensatory" damage claims).

This grossly unjust application of the 'Fragmentation of Agency' is happening as we speak. The poorest humans are paying the most with their health for the damage done by the richest. The richest have avoided most, or all, of the deleterious effects of climate change.

When the governments of the world finally get serious about the funding needed to try to clean this mess up (present incremental measures ARE NOT sufficient), the rich plan to continue literally getting away with ecocide, and making sure they don't pay their share of the damages for it. 

As Kevin Anderson (after showing the alarming rate of increase in CO2 emissions) put it in the graphic below, the 1% bear about 50% of the blame.


Since, according to the U.N., the richest 20% of the world's population uses 80% of the resources, the 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart for the damage done to the biosphere should look like this:



The way the fossil fuel industry, and almost half of the world’s 100 largest companies, will want that 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart to look like is as follows:


The world of business has made many Empathy Deficit Disordered, unethical choices. We are all paying for their rejection of  their responsibility to use dianoia in their decision making process.

But they are relatively few in number. Their chicanery would cease from a huge public outcry if they did not have so many people aiding and abetting their unethical biosphere destroying modus operandi.

Those are the comfortable millions who have swallowed the corporate happy talk propaganda.

Those are the people that continue to delay progress on the implementation of the drastic government action we must demand, which is desperately needed to stem, or eliminate, the length and breadth of the climate change damage existential threat.

The people who think that this climate change horror can be addressed by incremental measures are, as Aristotle said, deliberately becoming irrational.

Quote
Thus choice is firmly in the realm of practical, ethical action. With his emphasis on dianoia , Aristotle offers one way to think about responsibility to the future;

it is the lack of "thinking things through," in preference for shortsightedness regarding means and ends, that results in acts of harm, both to the environment and to future people.

If we fail to think things through to the consequences of our actions we are not acting responsibly.


And ignorance is no justification for poor choices, for Aristotle points out that we can be ignorant and still responsible.

If we deliberately become irrational, as when we become drunk, or when we ought to know something and yet fail to, we are still held responsible, "on the grounds that it is up to people themselves not to be ignorant, since they are in control of how much care they take" (NE 1114a).

Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere.

Please pass this on with attribution to Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz. I just summarized her essay and added images to enhance the gravity and importance of her message. We are in a world of trouble. 

A. G. Gelbert
Colchester, Vermont


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #643 on: August 19, 2016, 02:38:37 pm »
Friday, August 19, 2016
   
Storms over Arctic Ocean

Posted by  Sam Carana


 Winds over the Arctic Ocean reached speeds of up to 32 mph or 52 km/h on August 19, 2016. The image below shows the Jet Stream crossing Arctic Ocean on August 19, 2016 (see map on above image for geographic reference).


 

The Naval Research Lab image below shows a forecast for sea ice speed and drift run on August 15, 2016, and valid for August 17, 2016.

 

 These storms come at a time when the sea ice has become extremely thin, as illustrated by the Naval Research Lab sea ice thickness animation below, covering a 30-day period run on August 17, 2016, with a forecast through to August 25, 2016. The animation shows that the multi-year sea ice has now virtually disappeared.

 With the sea ice in such a bad shape, strong winds can cause a rapid drop in sea ice extent, at a time when the Arctic still has quite a bit of insolation. At the North Pole, insolation will come down to zero at the time of the September 2016 Equinox.

 
 


Even more terrifying is the Naval Research Lab's Arctic sea ice thickness forecast for August 25, 2016, run on August 17, 2016, using a new Hycom model, as shown below.


 
 

 With the thicker multi-year sea ice virtually gone, the remaining sea ice is prone to fracture and to become slushy, which also makes it darker in color and thus prone to absorb more sunlight.

 Furthermore, if strong winds keep hitting the Arctic Ocean over the next few weeks, this could push much of the sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean, along the edges of Greenland and into the Atlantic Ocean.



 Strong winds are forecast to keep hitting the Arctic Ocean hard for the next week, as illustrated by the image below showing a forecast for August 24, 2016.




As sea ice extent falls, less sunlight gets reflected back into space and is instead absorbed by the Arctic. Once the sea ice is gone, this can contribute to a rapid rise in temperature of the surface waters.

 The image below shows sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic (latitude 60°N-90°N) compared to 1961-1990.

 

 The Climate Reanalyzer image below also shows sea surface temperature anomalies August 16, 2016, this time compared to 1979-2000.

 


 The image below, from an earlier post, shows sea surface temperature anomalies on August 12, 2016, in the left-hand panel, and sea surface temperature anomalies in the righ-hand panel.


 

Sea surface temperature and anomaly. Anomalies from +1 to +2 degrees C are red, above that they turn yellow and white

Above image also shows that on August 12, 2016, sea surface temperatures near Svalbard (at the location marked by the green circle) were as high as 18.9°C or 65.9°F, an anomaly of 13.6°C or 24.4°F.

 Where seas are shallow, a surface temperature rise can quickly warm up water all the way down to the Arctic ocean seafloor, where it can destabilize methane hydrates contained in sediments.

 This could make that huge amounts of methane get released from the seafloor. Given that many of the seas in Arctic are very shallow, much of this methane can enter the atmosphere without getting broken down in the water, resulting in huge additional warming, especially over the Arctic. As discussed in an earlier post, this could contribute to a global temperature rise of over 10°C or 18°F by the year 2026.

 One of the people who has been warning about these dangers for many years is Professor Peter Wadhams, whose new book A Farewell to Ice was recently launched (256 pages, published September 1, 2016).


 The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the Climate Plan.

http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/



Agelbert NOTE:The above is the part of the Precautionary Principle of Science that the fossil fuel industry AND all the other polluters out there have never been able to get through their Biosphere Math Challenged heads.




Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #644 on: August 19, 2016, 06:56:23 pm »
Did federal agents spy on offshore oil lease protesters in New Orleans?

By Sue Sturgis August 11, 2016

Hundreds of protesters disrupted an offshore oil and gas lease auction held in March at the Superdome in New Orleans. This week, an environmental group filed information requests with federal agencies to find out if undercover law enforcement agents were among the protesters. (Photo by Paul Corbit Brown/Rainforest Action Network.)
 

Back in March, hundreds of protesters descended on the Superdome in New Orleans to disrupt a federal auction for new Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases.

 

They waved signs, carried banners and chanted "Shut it down!" and "the Gulf is not for profit!" The action was part of the international Keep It in the Ground campaign seeking to halt the extraction of fossil fuels in order to prevent devastating climate change.


Now an advocacy group wants to know if federal officials worked with local law enforcement and oil and gas industry insiders to spy on environmentalists involved in that and other protests held as part of the campaign.


This week the Center for Biological Diversity filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the federal agencies that oversee oil and gas leasing. The Aug. 11 filings came in response to a recent report by The Intercept that revealed several participants in a May protest of a fossil fuel auction in Lakewood, Colorado, were actually undercover agents sent by law enforcement to monitor the demonstration, and that they were relying on intelligence gathered by Anadarko Petroleum, a major Texas-based oil and gas producer.

The Center's filings seek information about all offshore and onshore federal fossil fuel auctions conducted by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) since last August, including the March 23 New Orleans auction and 13 others targeted by protesters. To read the request sent to BLM, click here.

"There's a large and growing movement of peaceful protesters calling on their government to make a moral choice to save our climate and end new fossil fuel leasing on public lands," said Taylor McKinnon with the Center. "The public has a right to know whether the government has launched a surveillance program targeting climate activists who are courageously speaking up for what's right."

The protest in New Orleans drew about 200 people from across the Gulf region, with buses bringing demonstrators from Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Despite the boisterous protest, the auction proceeded as scheduled.

Over the past decade, the burning of federal fossil fuels has been responsible for nearly a quarter of all U.S. energy-related emissions. An 2015 report commissioned by the Center and Friends of the Earth found that remaining federal fossil fuel deposits — oil, gas, coal, oil shale and tar sands — that have not been leased to industry contain up to 450 billion tons of potential greenhouse gas pollution, the release of which would have calamitous effects on the climate.

Quote

Climate change and related sea-level rise are already taking a heavy toll on communities along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Earlier this year, for example, the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians announced plans to resettle their chronically flooded South Louisiana community to drier land using a $48 million grant won in the National Disaster Resilience Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and The Rockefeller Foundation.

https://www.facingsouth.org/2016/08/did-federal-agents-spy-offshore-oil-lease-protesters-new-orleans

 
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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