I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Lands in Atlas

We're discovering and naming new land  - thanks to of climate change.  Mapmakers have deemed a new island that popped up due to ice melt  large enough to be named and included in a new atlas.  You can buythe atlas  at
http://www.timesatlas.com/TimesAtlasRange/Pages/AtlasDetail.aspx?IDNumber=63021 for 110 British pounds on sale.
No , I have not purchased it: I read about it at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/15/new-atlas-climate-change .  Naming a new island isn't the only thing that has changed.  From the Guardian:
Sections of the Rio Grande, Yellow, Colorado and Tigris rivers are now drying out each summer. In Mongolia, the Ongyin Gol has been redirected to allow gold mining, while the Colorado river these days does not reach the sea most years. "We are increasingly concerned that in the near future important geographical features will disappear for ever. Greenland could reach a tipping point in about 30 years," said Jethro Lennox, editor of the atlas.
How long is Canada going to do absolutlely nothing about climate change?
Forever, if we don't generate the political will to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Climate change is a pyschological issue - not an environmental issue.   Win -win solutiosn exist ( you save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions) but collectively we don't implement them.   Denial is such a cozy blanket .....
Check out the site below and be arrested in Ottawa on September 26, 2011 (after taking the train to get there!)  if you're tired of writing letters.

Apparently the atlas is published by Rupert Murdoch - and is inaccurate.  Quelle surprise!   However, climate change is happening in the Arctic - and Canada should be taking steps to prevent and mitigate climate change.  Even if Rupert Murdoch's empire publishes inaccuarate information. ....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The March of Folly

What happens when ideology trumps science - and common sense?  Armageddon, apparently.

An update from the Texas Forest Service yesterday, Sept. 7, 2011.

"Yesterday Texas Forest Service responded to 19 new fires for 1,490 acres, including new large fires in Red River and Rusk counties. In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 172 fires for 135,051 acres."  http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/main/article.aspx?id=12888
Oooooh.  Scary stuff.  And look at their drought index:  Texas is dryer than clothes hung out to dry on a windy summer day.

No wonder fires are  burning and have been burning for a long time. 

"Wildfires are burning across central Texas right now, the product of an historic drought and high winds from Tropical Storm Lee. An estimated 3.6 million acres have been scorched since November, with the flames approaching the city limits of Austin; damage is expected to exceed $5 billion. In the macro-sense, this is climate change-caused problem, with Texas' climate set to become dryer and dryer over the ensuing decades, making extended droughts the new norm."
Please note that's November  of 2010 !!!!  These Texas fires are not merely nature gone mad:  humans have contributed to the outbreak.  How?  That's where belief systems came in ....
"Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a GOP presidential candidate, scoffs at the notion of human-induced climate change, even suggesting recently on the campaign trail that scientists are manipulating data to make money. He also has declared a weather-related state of emergency every month since December. Meanwhile, Texas' state climatologist has warned that his fellow citizens should get used to this climate of extremes."

Not only does Mr Perry scoff at the reality of climate change while Texas dries out around him, and refuse to discuss action on climate change, he has slashed firefighters' budgets.
"The state of Texas has been battling wildfires for almost a year now. The wildfire season began in November last year, and Gov. Rick Perry and cash-strapped state lawmakers took a stance against raising taxes and against putting their hands too deeply into the states rainy day fund. So in order to save some money, Perry and GOP allies slashed funding for the agency responsible for fighting wildfires ‑ in the midst of a historic wildfire season that's seen more than 2 million acres burned by fire. The Texas Forest Service is slapped with about $34 million in budget cuts over a two-year period, which is roughly a third of the agency's total budget."

Why on earth slash government budgets for essential services when one could raise taxes?  Belief systems - less government good - taxes bad.

Perhaps someone should hand Mr Perry a copy of The March of Folly by Bbarbara Tuchman. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great Green Transportation Tune-UP

Great Green
Travel $marter, Live Better
The Kamloops 350 Environmental Association, is partnering with the City of Kamloops and BCSEA to present the Great Green Transportation Tune-up from September 26 to October 1, 2011. 
The Great Green Transportation Tune-Up is a week of events that provides Kamloops residents with many ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. By promoting vehicle efficiency, removing barriers to transit use and providing fun ways for citizens to "test-drive" alternative modes, the Tune-Up will increase overall awareness of the issues and facilitate an eventual transition to a sustainable transportation future. 

The Great Green Transportation Tune-Up will:
·         Encourage residents to increase the efficiency of our vehicles through maintenance, trip reduction strategies and carpooling,
·         Increase familiarity with our City's transit options by providing incentives and free access,
·         Promote alternative modes of travel; including walking, cycling, and other "clean " ways of getting around, and
·          Give residents a chance to dream a bit about what an ideal future Kamloops transportation system might look like.

Activities include:
·         The Reel Sustainability Film Fest on Friday, September 23 to Saturday, September 24, 2011 at TRU. (There are too many movies to list individually.)
  • How to Boil A Frog will be shown Tuesday , September 27 in the evening - downtown at the Paramount or at TRU. (venue uncertain at this time.)  
  • BCSEA will present a panel discussion on "The Future of Transportation" at TRU on Wednesday, September 28, 2011.  Panelists are John Kenney and Erin Felker.
  •          The Transit Treasure Hunt - participants become eligible for prizes as they travel the City by bus all week, picking up clues as they go.
  •          Tire pressure checking mobs will distribute vehicle efficiency information at parking lots everywhere.
  •          The Green Your Transportation Pledge - if you reduce your vehicle use by car pooling, biking, walking, or taking transit for one week, you will be eligible for prizes. 
  •          Cool Wheels - a  show featuring hybrid & electric cars, and one solar car,  as well as scooters and bikes.
  •          The Transportation Imagination Station -   a place where people can describe their vision of a sustainable Kamloops.
  •          Bike , Bus or Boogie challenge - a multi-modal challenge where each participant uses a different means of transportation to complete a set of errands.
Check it out at     http://www.kamloops350.com/