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Welcome to Madagascar, 2009.  Forget the kids' movie with the lush forests and singing, dancing lemurs.  Forests are dying.  Lemurs are critically endangered.  Children are dying.  

The word "deforestation" is both obvious in its meaning -- to remove a forest -- and bureaucratic.  These days, it's popular among climate negotiators who speak of REDD (reducing emissions through deforestation and degradation) along with RES (renewable energy standard) and SFM (Sustainable Forest Management).  Well meaning entities, including Dell Computers, have tried to pay Madagascar not to cut down its forests.  However, Madagascar now resembles a starving person consuming itself in a desperate search for short term nutrients.

 title=Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, slightly larger than France.  Having split from the African mainland approximately 160 million years ago, Madagascar exemplifies biodiversity.  5% of the world's plant and animal species, including all of the 99 different species of lemurs (photo credit: LA Times), are unique to the island.  Cooks treasure Madagascar vanilla.  There should be two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April, and a cooler, dry season from May to October.  In 2005, with the release of the animated movie and planned ecotourism, the country's future looked bright.  Instead, well meaning efforts to reduce carbon emissions by preventing deforestation are failing in the face of political turmoil.

In 2007, the World Bank announced its Country Assistance Strategy to remove constraints to investment and growth in rural and urban areas and to improve the scope and quality of service delivery. Madagascar depends on aid for about 40% of its budget and 70% of investment spending.

In 2008, Dell used Madagascar's forests to trumpet its becoming carbon-neutral, in partnership with Conservation International; "the "avoided deforestation" funds (REDD) will be used to promote sustainable income-generating activities for poor rural communities who might otherwise clear forests for subsistence agriculture and cattle grazing."  However, a recent Nature article, How To Save A Forest (pdf) highlights difficulties of starting up the REDD program: "In the future, the WCS (World Conservation Society) intends to pay the affected communities directly using the carbon money from Makira, but currently there is no distribution mechanism in place.... It could be years before carbon payouts come through a UN-regulated REDD system."  (My emphasis.)  

Madagascar has lost 90% of its forests, reports the World Wildlife Fund.  Most of the trees, including prized ebony and rosewood, have been cut down for firewood, cattle grazing, charcoal production, and construction materials.  The LA Times interviews a villager who founded a village in 1971 with the sacrifice of a sheep: "'I sacrificed a big fat sheep. I hoped we'd flourish and grow.'  The second thing, after the sacrifice, was to slash and burn every bit of greenery. It took only a day.  And the wood made good houses."

 title=Sometimes well-meaning foreigners tell villagers that cutting down trees means less rain, but the villagers don't listen.  Madagascar's rainfall has decreased 10% in the last 50 years, and its temperature has risen 10%.  Three of the last five years have seen crop failures because of drought.  And after slash-and-burn deforestation comes erosion, which adversely affects soil quality.  (Photo credit: Wild Madagascar)  

Early this year, a coup toppled the government.  The African Union has refused to recognize the new government, and the United States, the European Union, and the World Bank responded to the coup by imposing sanctions, including suspension of USAID's environmental programs. USAID, the U.S. State Department's development agency, had been supporting the Ministry of the Environment, Water, Forests and Tourism, helping the country protect its forests and fauna.  The natural corollary of the loss of aid: people rush in to illegally chop down trees, including rare ebony and rosewood.  The LA Times reports that starving people are now eating lemurs despite taboos.  Since the coup, armed bands are decimating rainforest reserves in northeastern Madagascar, killing lemurs and intimidating conservation workers, reports Wild Madagascar.  The timber barons also threaten villagers with beheading and have broken the feet of one park ranger as a threat to others.

Ongoing illegal felling of trees leads to extra carbon emissions, and political instability causes international donors to cut funding for REDD programs.  

Eventually, Madagascar might survive its political coup, and the world's efforts might reduce deforestation, but right now the country's ability to survive both looks bleak.  People don't have enough water.  8,600 children have been treated for malnutrition in southern Madagascar in the last six months because of drought and crop failure, more than double the number expected.  81,500 children younger than 5 die annually. 53% of children that age are chronically malnourished.  

There's no justice on this island, only a slow starvation of its people.  

Originally posted to RLMiller on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 07:56 PM PST.

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  •  This diary is a part of the EcoJustice series: (139+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, Odysseus, ferg, grollen, decembersue, SarahLee, natasha, AaronInSanDiego, PeterHug, RunawayRose, Shockwave, GayHillbilly, mataliandy, RabidNation, shanikka, vmibran, sberel, fumie, antirove, high uintas, Wamsutta, wader, minorityusa, Miss Jones, gmb, Nina, kalmoth, RebeccaG, alizard, JayDean, realalaskan, Fabian, NoMoreLies, greycat, Simplify, Blissing, cfk, EdlinUser, where4art, Ice Blue, kaliope, shiobhan, coolbreeze, the fan man, JanL, begone, kittania, gwilson, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, vigilant meerkat, yojimbo, Lefty Coaster, tecampbell, imabluemerkin, boatsie, sceptical observer, doinaheckuvanutjob, lazybum, JugOPunch, blueness, lynneinfla, B Amer, blueintheface, markthshark, Nulwee, Aaa T Tudeattack, eastmt, AmericanRiverCanyon, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, xaxado, tgypsy, possum, leema, Wino, FishOutofWater, certainot, Seneca Doane, HCKAD, millwood, Zydekos, Captain C, Wes Opinion, VA gentlewoman, Cat Servant, lineatus, Akonitum, beach babe in fl, geomoo, codairem, Karl Rover, Guadalupe59, palantir, SolarMom, jlms qkw, maggiejean, smellybeast, snackdoodle, greengemini, An Affirming Flame, Stranded Wind, Pale Jenova, Sarge in Seattle, Daily Activist, zaka1, asym, allep10, kevinpdx, jfromga, mahakali overdrive, Emalene, citisven, Norbrook, icemilkcoffee, LaughingPlanet, voracious, polar bear, pixxer, Marja E, Weaselina, Unenergy, alethea, Casual Wednesday, cany, rossl, mieprowan, the dogs sockpuppet, ems97007, wildlife advocate, island in alabama, soothsayer99, Lorikeet, Cinnamon Rollover, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, MichaelNY, chparadise, Mathazar, Jerry Melton, James Allen

    EcoJustice series discuss environmental justice: the disproportionate impacts on human health and environmental effects on minority communities. All people have a human right to clean, healthy and sustainable communities.

    Please join EcoJustice hosts on Monday evenings at 7PM PDT, and email boatsie if you are interested in hosting.

  •  thanks for picking up on this (17+ / 0-)

    I read about Madagascar being a hotspot for biodiversity (and destruction thereof) some years back.

    The islands always get it first. There is something to learn from that...an island can be cut off in more ways than by water.

    "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

    by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:00:09 PM PST

    •  an old friend & i were on the phone and he... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, polar bear, mieprowan

      wondered:   How long before the countries (starting with the islands) that are sinking beneath the waves of sea level rise, and otherwise suffering right now due to climate change:

      How long before they SUE the wealthy nations for redress?

      •  I think there may be some of that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, G2geek, Fabian, polar bear

        starting to come up, except you need assets to hire attorneys, and if your land is your asset, well...

        "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

        by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:48:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They already are suing. See Kivalana. But they (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, G2geek, RosyFinch, RLMiller

        lost the first round and are appealing, I believe. The is up in Alaska, where the sea is eating up their land and the ice they hunt on.  there's at least one of two islands that are almost gone, too.

        This is partly why the denialists are so firm, imo.  They know that to act with justice, the more developed world owes these other populated places, big time.

        •  or to put it bluntly.... (0+ / 0-)

          ....the denialists are more concerned with their ill-gotten fortunes than with the fact that they are effectively killing people.  

        •  Federal court ruled against the villagers (0+ / 0-)

          Kivalina's lawsuit, charging that oil companies are conspiring to create a global-warming "nuisance" that is causing the village to disappear beneath rising sea levels, does not have "judicially discoverable and manageable standards," the court ruled.Anchorage Daily News

          "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." [Ray Bradbury]

          by RosyFinch on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:38:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Under the thumb of the World Bank (25+ / 0-)

    And btw:

    Instead, well meaning efforts to reduce carbon emissions by preventing deforestation are failing in the face of political turmoil.

    One has to wonder whose carbon emissions are being reduced -- Madagascar's share of the world's crude oil consumption is, what, 0.01%?

    "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:06:28 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary RLMiller (12+ / 0-)

    I have long dreamed about going to this magical island, lured by its unique natural history and culture. I didn't know about the most recent developments on deforestation, so thanks. I'd like to turn everyone on to Mahaleo, a great Malagasy band that I have admired for a long time. Check out the trailer to a recent movie about them:

  •  bold marauder (5+ / 0-)

    Richard and Mimi Farina. Pete Seeger is watching in the background.

    "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

    by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:08:22 PM PST

  •  Nice diary, as always, (7+ / 0-)

    RL.  I much appreciate environmental justice diaries.  This is so important and so often overlooked.

    "Politics is not left, right or center ... It's about improving people's lives." -Paul Wellstone

    by maggiejean on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:12:05 PM PST

  •  do you know about the Climate Prosperity Plan (10+ / 0-)

    link

    private sector commitment and parallel process to the normal public financing that comes through UN/National Govts. The UNis driving this in the $13T investment community - . The Desertec MOU is also a huge potential pilot for this with their $500B+ proposed clean energy project in North Africa - .

    I am speaking on a panel today at Bioneers regarding social media and Copenhagen Climate Campaigns representing Hopenhagen and 350.org campaigns. I think that a financial framework is one of the most possible concrete components that can come out of Copenhagen as a milestone and it might not be accomplished by the politicians, but rather the private sector.

    As far as cities that have adopted Climate Prosperity Strategies - Portland and San Jose/Silicon Valley are the leading projects that are implementing the regional sustainable urban development framework. Our team was recently down in Brazil for the State of the World Forum, where the "2020 Climate Leadership for Climate Prosperity" national campaign was launched with GloboTV, targeting 80% GHG reductions in 10 years.  China is looking to make major shifts to a low carbon economy with city scale pilot projects and big stimulus fund investments.James Hanusa. (link to discussion)

    Thoughts?

    "And the dream lives on" Edward M. Kennedy

    by boatsie on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:16:02 PM PST

  •  This isn't an event, it's a trend (19+ / 0-)

    Hotter, drier, hungrier :-(

    It starts at the edges as the human species rolls up like an old vinyl record left in the sun. There are simply too many of us here for either climate change OR peak oil, and we're getting both just as our banking system unravels, leaving us far less capable of preserving the survivable enclaves we do have.

     It's a disaster movie, but lined up to play out over two centuries ... or perhaps just two decades, as opposed to the two hour action packed thing we've come to expect.

    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:16:16 PM PST

    •  well, as Lovelock points out (10+ / 0-)

      it's happened before and we survived it that time (ice age).

      However, it still IS possible to make this all easier and more pleasant. And it will ALWAYS be possible, no matter how badly we screw it up.

      Always possible.

      That's assuming the atmosphere remains breathable, of course.

      I'd vote for "Lot of bad stuff in the next 50 years" and then maybe everybody left getting a clue.

      But we must work now to inform as many as possible, no matter what. It's only too easy for information to be lost.

      No matter what happens, we must keep informing people. You never know when the tipping point might come. The good one, I mean.

      "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

      by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:19:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yo bro' .... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller

      ...fancy meeting you here!

      No doubt you saw this quote in the diary:

      "I sacrificed a big fat sheep. I hoped we'd flourish and grow."

      Know what it reminded me of?

      Investment bankers and fund managers.  

  •  a snapshot of the not too distant (8+ / 0-)

    future for many parts of the world it would seem.

    Why do we spend so much time and effort telling the rest of the world they are doing things wrong?  And when are we going to realize that sanctions on a barely functional society don't work.

    When will we step forward and recognize that we have to change before we can expect the rest of the world to change?

    •  yep (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, jfromga, citisven

      I especially cringe when we tell countries we've abused that they need to stop reproducing so much.

      "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

      by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:19:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please Define "We" - n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mieprowan
        •  citizens of the USA (5+ / 0-)

          many of whom blog here. Occasionally somebody does that, and it bothers me more all the time.

          Because we, as USA citizens, by virtue of being citizens of this country, have forfeited the right to chastise countries our country/government has abused, about their reactions to the insecurity they experience that WE are responsible for, as citizens of this country. And that includes having too many kids.

          If we can't stop the predators in charge from doing it, at least we should stop blaming the victims.

          "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

          by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:41:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  however that is also true. (6+ / 0-)

        Every human requires X gallons of potable water per day, Y calories of food per day, and Z square feet of space in which to sleep every night, as well as Q amount of sewage removed from their habitat every day.

        Overpopulation is co-evil with overconsumption.  

        Overpopulation also feeds the cycle of desperate poverty and makes it impossible to break free.

        But guess what else?

        Every American has three times the ecological impact of every Eastern European, and ten times the ecological impact of every Chinese or Indian.

        Know what that makes us?

        It makes us overpopulated ourselves.  

        350 million Americans = 1.05 billion Eastern Europeans.

        350 million Americans = 3.5 billion Chinese or Indians.

        Now think of the world with another 3.5 billion Chinese or Indians.

        That's us.  That's our contribution.  We are overpopulated.

        America's population needs to come down to about 120 million at most.  And anyone who opposes contraception & family planning is committing mass murder as directly as if they were running a concentration camp.  

        •  oh, we suck (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, B Amer

          no argument.

          I do my part to be minimal. I occasionally explain that here.

          No car. Never go anywhere. Bicycle when I do. No kids. No air conditioning. 2000 Watt Club. Etc.

          I consider my computer something of an indulgence, but since I live where just about everybody has their head up their collective poorly evolved asses, I need SOME contact with conspecifics.

          And see? Even FireFox does not recognize "Conspecific" as being spelled correctly.

          Do you want to hear about my interaction with the people on our local Internet newspaper Forum?

          No, I thought not.

          "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

          by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:52:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ooh, you beat me by one: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            B Amer, RosyFinch, mieprowan

            "No car."  You beat me by about 12 gallons of gas per month, that you're not using.  Excellent!

            I have to go to my clients' sites when they need physical equipment additions & moves (office telephone systems).  However I've radically reduced my driving by putting all those systems on remote maintenance so I can do programming from my desk.  And I do > 95% of my personal trips (groceries and suchlike), on the way back from those clients' sites.

            Monthly electric consumption is about 140 KWH.  Had it down to 105 with LED lighting, but cheap LED fixtures do not last (grrrrr!).  

            What did you mean by the "2,000 watt club"?  Sounds interesting.  My friends & I have a goal of getting below 100 KWH/month, and two of them already made it.    

            •  well.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RosyFinch

              First, I'm cheating. I get about $10,000 gifted each year.

              What did you mean by the "2,000 watt club"?  Sounds interesting.  My friends & I have a goal of getting below 100 KWH/month, and two of them already made it.    

              You can work it out from your utility bills, and you can figure out more of it online. 2000 watts per year.

              You can also try to figure out more of it with regards to the energy needed to make what you purchase new.

              There have been some good essays published on DK about how to evaluate this but I can't tell you what or by whom off the top of my head.

              But you know the general idea. Always evaluate your actions to the extent that you are capable of, and teach others to do so to the extent that they are capable of understanding, and always be open to being taught thusly.

              That would be a great sig line, but I bet it's too long. I hate being an outlier.

              I'll try this:

              "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback."

              "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback." Me

              by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:22:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  heh, that's a pretty good "cheat" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RosyFinch

                $10k a year free & clear on top of whatever-else, translates to a natural selection advantage if it's used correctly.

                The measure "2000 watts per year" is technically meaningless so you must have stated it erroneously.  

                Watts = power being consumed at any given moment, for example if you have a 25-watt light bulb, it is consuming 25 watts.  

                The maximum wattage a household typically draws at one time, is a relevant number for purposes of sizing its peak capacity.  For example you could keep your peak power usage down below 2,000 watts by not using more than one high-wattage appliance at a time (e.g. not running the microwave and the toaster at the same time).  

                However, in terms of yearly power consumption, or power consumption over any period of time, what matters is Kilowatt Hours (KWH).  

                For example a 25-watt bulb left on for 4 hours uses 100 watt/hours, which is 1/10 of a KWH.  Left on for 40 hours, it uses 1,000 watt/hours, which is 1 KWH.  

                If that number 2,000 was supposed to refer to KWH/year, then it averages to 166.7 KWH/month.  I've already beaten that by a bit so I'm on safe ground.  MJy yearly electricity consumption is around 1,680 KWH/year.  

                Virtually everything I do is done with the thought of Ma Nature watching.  I also take care to measure my inputs & outputs wherever possible.  For example my solid waste output is about 5 lbs/week (measured), compared to the USA average of 4 lbs/day.  

                •  I was honest (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek, jfromga

                  you can disparage that. But I still am careful. I donate money to charities. I give things away to neighbors.

                  I live without many things that many Americans consider a given.

                  If you really want to work out who is greener than whom, I'd be happy to invite you to visit here, at 401 S. Maple St, Carlsbad, NM for a week. You could see how I live and maybe give me some advice and help. I do have room, and couches.

                  I might surprise you with what I live without, and you might surprise me with helping me work out how to improve my circumstances without increasing my carbon imprint.

                  But of course this will never happen.

                  Miep

                  "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback." Me

                  by mieprowan on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 01:20:49 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  realistically, my chances of... (0+ / 0-)

                    ....getting away from here are few & far between, since I'm responsible for a lot of companies' phone systems and it's tough to predict when some last-minute emergency may arise (as you might guess I don't get much vacation).   But in any case thanks for the offer.  

                    I also live without many things people consider a given.  No cellphone (no need for one here), no cable TV ("rabbit ears" on a 9" diagonal black & white set that uses about 15 watts; I prefer B&W anyway), etc.  

                    Thing is, we can work out the details of greener lifestyle online, because most of it can be conveyed in text.  There are plenty of conservation diaries around and a lot of folks have good ideas.  

                    BTW, never publish your physical address, that is a major security issue; if you like I can HR your comment there to make it disappear from casual view.  

                    If you're donating to charities I would suggest instead putting that money into savings for your tribe to use for self-sufficient development of whatever kind, when the need arises.  Any surplus I have goes into the tribal plan, and most of the time we're strapped for resources so everything counts.  

                    Key question implied there is: who's your tribe?  You don't have to name names or run down the specifics, but consider:  nuclear & extended family, close friends and their families, and others with whom you can establish common ground in terms of a) the means of subsistence, and b) shared meme-sets (values, philosophy, outlook). Given what's coming, the idea that any individual or nuclear family unit can make it on their own, is highly unlikely: it takes a village.  If you don't have that web of relationships yet, it's time to start building it.  

                    And in particular it's time to consider how peak oil and climate change are going to affect the area you're in right now.  If that area is viable, stay put.  If it's not, make plans to move, do your research before deciding on a destination, and save your resources.  This is a darwin test, and Ma Nature doesn't allow do-overs.  

                    •  one HR (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      G2geek

                      doth not a disappearance make. Anyway, I know the risks I take when I make decisions while blogging. It's my call and frankly I consider the neighbors more dangerous than any of you.

                      Sorry I got a bit cranky there; been having a bad week. Month. Year. Whatever.

                      As far as advice goes, we all love to give it; it's a little harder to recognize how obvious it tends to be. Build a web of relationships? Why didn't I think of that? Bet that's even on a website somewhere.

                      I do understand that I could pretend to be an entirely different person and have chat dates with dim-witted Republican women here, but for some strange reason that doesn't strike me as something with much of a future to it (other than more chat dates, after enough of which I would eventually slit my wrists).

                      My main goal is to get the hell out of Dodge.

                      I'll stop now; you don't need to hear any more of this. I really hate this time of year and it's particularly bad this year. That's pretty much all I have to say about any of this.

                      "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback." Me

                      by mieprowan on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:35:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  well, maybe one HR (0+ / 0-)

                        doth hide things, I'm not really sure. But it takes two to count in at least some ways.

                        Anyway, don't worry about it. I'm a big girl, I can decide how much of my life I want to reveal, and where.

                        After all, what are they gonna do? Send me to VietNam?

                        Drive all the way out to Carlsbad and throw rocks at my house?

                        I mean, why bother? I'm small fry. I blog under most of my own name, and if any of the insane locals work that out, they'll likely figure out how to find me, if the mood strikes them. I blog on the local newspaper forum under my first name, which is pretty distinctive. And that place makes this one look like a tea party (and I mean that in the nicest possible of ways).

                        "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback." Me

                        by mieprowan on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:09:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  nutter neighbors eh? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mieprowan

                          Yeah that's a good reason to get out of town.  

                          I don't know how to interpret some of your other comments; sorry if i sounded like i was suggesting the obvious.  

                          Yes this time of year can be stressful.  

                          •  not to worry (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            G2geek

                            My tact filter is inverted (i.e., I'm not all that tactful, but I filter out anything that other people say that seems tactless, if I otherwise consider them to be good people).

                            Normal tact filters keep people from saying anything tactless in the first place. This can be very confusing for people whose tact filters are inverted. We never know what they're up to, because they're always being so careful to be polite.

                            It's okay if none of that makes any sense to you either. I hope you have a reasonable Thanksgiving. Mine would be just fine if all my favorite bloggers lived within ten miles, but life is not like that, alas.

                            "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback." Me

                            by mieprowan on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:13:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  thanks; and you too. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mieprowan
            •  is 140 kwh for a single person or family? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RunawayRose

              My bills seem to be in the 500 kwh/month range for a family of three, so you definitely have me beat by any way of measuring it.  

              •  some of the load doesn't scale... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RLMiller

                I'm gay & single, thanks a shitload to the constantly-shifting sands of the culture vis-a-vis relationships.  (And if someone tries to round up all the singles & put 'em in barracks, they are going to face an organized armed defense.)

                Per capita you're at 166.7 KWH/month, which translates to 2,000 KWH/year, which I think is the target that Mieprowan was referring to.   If that's the case, y'all are doing OK, and a few minor adjustments would probably bring it down even further (for example unplugging wall transformers when the devices are not in use).  

                A major chunk of any household electrical load is stuff that does not scale linearly with number of persons, for example refrigeration.  A small fridge uses just about as much power as a larger one.  However I built my own fridge/freezer system, which measures at about 388 KWH/year.  

                If I ever met the dude of my dreams and we made it permanent together, our total household power consumption would probably increase by something like 40 watts x 14 hours/day = 560 watt/hours per day = 204.4 KWH/year.  That would bring our total for the household up to about 1,884 KWH/year, but between two people that works out to 942 KWH/person/year.  

                There is an obvious advantage in larger numbers of people sharing infrastructure.  However, as I said, if someone was to try to force me to move into some kind of communal living situation (been there, done that, no more), they'd meet with armed resistance.  

                I do have additional technical fixes up my sleeve if such turned out to be needed.  Will probably implement most of those when I move to the area where my tribe is settling.  

          •  I want carbon credits for no children. Since my (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfromga, mieprowan

            wife and I were thinking of having a large family, I'm due for a windfall. :)

            He who distinguishes the true savor of food can never be a glutton, he who does not cannot be otherwise. - Thoreau

            by the fan man on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 03:38:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  we had our chance when.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not, codairem

      ....the economy crashed last year.  

      But we didn't do it: we didn't pull the plug and let nature run its course on our economy.  

      I don't fault Obama from going into "stay the course" mode when he took the oath of office.

      But I have to wonder how many of us, if push came to shove, would be willing to live at even a Western European standard of living, much less an Eastern European standard of living, in order to save people halfway around the globe...?

      We had our chance and we didn't go for it, because we want what we want, we want what we have, and no matter else, what we want is MORE.

      The addiction to MORE and the refusal to say ENOUGH!, are our contribution to the multi-gigadeath dieoff around the corner, of which Madagascar is just one more teeny tip of an enormous iceberg.  

      •  we're not at last chance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RosyFinch, RLMiller

        yet to learn.  We keep getting closer.  People don't always learn from tragedy.  Such unusual circumstance cause unexpected reactions.  Sure the greatest generation, because of the Great Depression, learned to save, waste not, live simply, but they inculcated in an entire generation they raised, that they should have more, they deserved it.  

        Education works best in building foundations and adding to the complexity and breadth of knowledge.  The hard way isn't always the best way to learn.

        We may have more and waste more now because of learning the hard way.

        And good luck with cutting the US' population to 120 million.   What we need to do is learn to live simply but well.  Less junk, more things of lasting value, use less space in our planning, etc.   Those things are doable.  But the roots will need a generation to grow.  In some ways we don't have a generation, 25 years, but some things take the time it takes.

        •  we all agree on simpler lifestyle. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RosyFinch

          But the implication of that is, necessarily, a cutback in the economy.  The unemployment could be offset by massive government spending on climate-clean energy and related infrastructure such as highspeed rail.

          But cutting back wasteful lifestyle is going to be as difficult as the transition to 1-child families.  Neither of these issues should be underestimated.  

          Realistically, Ma Nature is going to give us a swift kick in the ass, and we'll adjust, with much suffering and dying along the way.  The key to maintaining a civilized culture is to minimize violence and maximize the accumulation of knowledge.  Doing those things in the face of what's coming is also going to be a stretch.  

  •  Population - (13+ / 0-)

    Madagascar has one of the fastest growing populations in the world.

    Population in Millions
    1900 - 2.2
    1975 - 7.6
    1993 - 11.9 est
    2009 - 20.7 est

    http://countrystudies.us/...
    http://www.state.gov/...


    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    One must discuss population -
    In relation to environmental sustainability.

    •  that happens (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnnygunn, shiobhan, citisven

      when people are terrified.

      "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

      by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:21:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It Also Happens - (8+ / 0-)

        When the GDP per capita is less than $500 per year.

        What that means is that a majority of people in Madagascar are living on $1 or less per day. The environment simply cannot sustain such numbers at the subsistence level. Forests will be destroyed for fuel, crop plots, and timber. Wildlife will be hunted to extinction for food.

        •  okay, you're right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnnygunn, shiobhan, Nulwee

          but my point was that people don't tend to have such high birth rates when they feel more secure. That means no war and good health care and reasonable livelihoods for men and women both. Then they level off, like the USA has, and much of Europe. The population increase in the USA is mostly about immigration from the much less secure countries south of us.

          "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

          by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:28:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed - (4+ / 0-)

            In societies without social safety nets - family is the only resource. Large families, thus, offer greater security than small families. On the micro level - it makes sense. Worldwide, it is not until there are economic and governmental structures in place that offer greater long-term stability that family size declines.

            Even in the United States, among the poor and minorities - family remains the primary security for those facing unemployment, homelessness, and chronic illness.

          •  people don't shoot heroin in their veins.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mieprowan

            ....when they feel secure.  

            But it's pretty obvious that when someone is feeling insecure and shooting smack, the first thing to do is stop them shooting any more smack before it kills them.  

            Then you can work on improving their actual security.  

            •  it's the ol' Molly Ivins thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              I think she was who said this first..god I miss her...

              "When you're in a hole...the first thing to do is stop digging."

              "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

              by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:07:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Easter Island. The Greenland Norse. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andhakari
    •  People vs unique species (13+ / 0-)

      Right now both are losing the battle.

      One of the largest lasting damages of the Bush administration was done by it's opposition to family planning programs.

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:26:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so who gets to decide which of us are the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beach babe in fl, mieprowan

      acceptable losses? who has the right to determine which worldview is correct? The indigenous, which lived in unity with nature or the western view which viewed the world as chock full of resources to be used up and then when we've used all of ours up, we move back to the regions from whence we all descended and fuck with them and decide their lives are not worth saving because they procreate too much? Because there are too many of them? Same principles being used in the UsofA today: where the ruling elite determines who gets to live and who gets to die .... by manipulating the econony and fucking with the minds of the populace because they own the minds of some of the world's most gifted neurologists; shit, they started grabbing them up in the 60s. pulled the damn rug out from under us while we were thinking it was all about a war overseas... where we were killing and being killed. all acceptable losses. For what end? WTF did that whole crisis end up causing save for a genocide in Cambodia, deaths of millions of vietnamese and how many of our soldiers. all acceptable losses. As is Madagascar. Just fuck up with their enviroment some more. They are gonna die anyway so WTF let them procreate? Is that what was at the core of Bush's no condom policy in Africa in reality? Cause it sure as hell wasn't religion. That man only went to church 4 times the entire time he was in office. What a bunch of BS.

      "And the dream lives on" Edward M. Kennedy

      by boatsie on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:02:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and what's sad (0+ / 0-)

        is that we're all much more closely related than we often know or want to realize. In so many ways.

        "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

        by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:04:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  why did i know it wld be u miep (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mieprowan

        to recommend my rant? I am so angry lately.... so raw and angry....

        "And the dream lives on" Edward M. Kennedy

        by boatsie on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:04:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Go watch the Buffy Saint Marie video (0+ / 0-)

          just below here. Great for feeling ranty.

          I love this stuff I found. Pete Seeger set it up. I found a BUNCH of it. It may not hang around indefinitely.

          If the video hangs, it does that sometimes. But not always.

          "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

          by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:09:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  who gets to decide? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnnygunn

        Ma Nature decides.  

        And she could give a flying fiddler's fart about what any of us think.

        Ask yourself who benefits from overpopulation.  

        Who benefits from a surplus of labor driving down the wage rate around the globe?

        Who benefits from increased demand (therefore increased prices) for inelastic goods and services?  

        Who benefits from countries sinking into a quagmire of desperation and selling their natural resources on the cheap?

        Who benefits?  

  •  Awesome Diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MissInformation, mieprowan, RLMiller

    So sad to see, I hadn't realised this was going on in Madagasgar.

    So sad and I hope that something can get done sooner rather than later.  What that something is I don't know.../sad

  •  I'm glad this hit the rec list (6+ / 0-)

    It's kind of cheering to think people might care about Madagascar that much.

    "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

    by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:46:25 PM PST

    •  little wheel, spin and spin (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, cany

      Buffy Saint Marie, again with Pete Seeger

      "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

      by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:48:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  one can't not-care. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, mieprowan

      It's like walking down the street and seeing a car wreck at the intersection.  

      You don't know those people and you might or might not ever give a hoot about them under any other circumstances.  But seeing them trapped in the wreckage compels you to act.  

      So you grab a phone and call 9-1-1 and then roll up your sleeves and try to render first aid.

      There is no choice in the matter.  One can't not-care.  

  •  No Island is an Island (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, G2geek, Nulwee, mieprowan

    What a sad encapsulated look at what is ahead. I can only hope we learn from such mass tragedies unfolding before us.

    The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies - Bill Maher

    by Wamsutta on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:02:33 PM PST

    •  well, yeah (0+ / 0-)

      but regions that are islands for various reasons (cut off from various things for various reasons) can teach us a lot about what may happen in the future as things get more difficult. The entire concept of islands is great to work with as a predictor (and thus great for warning systems).

      "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

      by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:07:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OH YES! (6+ / 0-)

    the second time EcoJustice makes the rec list!!! We got the heavy hitters out tonight. Good on you, RL. We're aiming to recruit some more diarists. This might just help!

    "And the dream lives on" Edward M. Kennedy

    by boatsie on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:03:30 PM PST

  •  The late Luke Cole was an ardent advocate for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, cany, mieprowan, RLMiller

    Madagascar.  When we lost him, the island lost a strong and committed ally.

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:07:15 PM PST

  •  Collective will is necessary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, RLMiller

    for ecological justice. Kenya is starting to recognize it ecological patrimony, and parts of oil rich Nigeria is starting to preserve much of the environment. But people, whether in Africa or Asia must understand and develop their own ecological movements; I don't think that you necessarily need a middle class or merchant class to develop these sorts of movements.

    Why yes, I am Catholic.

    by ems97007 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:12:34 PM PST

    •  but what if you're worried (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, AllisonInSeattle

      about being invaded and taken over by countries like the United States?

      That tends to complicate things. We DO do that, ya know.

      "You've got to watch your mind all the time or you'll awaken and find a strange picture on your press." - Lord Buckley

      by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:16:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Difficult to do when.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, codairem

      .....global corporations are feasting on your natural resources.

      And difficult to do when the Pope comes to your country to condemn contraception and family planning.  

      Ecological movements are meaningless unless they can confront the root causes: overpopulation and overconsumption.  We can talk all we like, but we vote with our dollars, and those votes count more than our words.

      •  But overpopulation for whom? (0+ / 0-)

        and overpopulation where? We don't blink here in the US when there is a family with 4 or more children. In other parts of the world, we accuse these people indirectly of gobbling world resources...as we sit at computers and work under electric lights and eat produce brought in by truck.

        One thing that many African resource workers tend to resent from so called Western progressives is the issue of sexuality and population being continously brought up- as if darker people were, somehow, simply incapable of handling their own sexuality and fecundity. One should seriously have a care when bringing up the issue of contraception and overpopulation. If anything, due to the Great Western States Wars,  Translantic Slave Trade that follwed as a result of that, colonization and HIV/AIDS, Africa is underpopulated. For a continent of it's size and scope, it only has 900 million, and that may decrease by as many 70 million due to HIV/AIDS.

        The Pope had a reason for condemning contraception: it's under the banner of respecting human life brought into this world. And yet, so called progressives fall for the whole "OMG! Anti Birth control!" and tell Native peoples their babies are directly the cause of the Earth's climate change. If it was me, I would not listen to any Westerner who tells me my baby or my ability to have children somehow impacts the earth when they fly to Madagascar.

        This bullshit has go to stop. Seriously. Want to address environmental degradation? Address political instability, as was talked about in the diary. Talk about emancipation of women and the freedom for them to decide when to marry and start families. Talk about low impact technology, like solar ovens and stoves for cooking and rain cachements devices for water. Talk about replanting and alternate construction methods.

        But stop with the bullshit with overpopulation and then tying that to overconsumption, when we have access to so much.

        Why yes, I am Catholic.

        by ems97007 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 01:11:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, let's go there. (0+ / 0-)

          Re. Americans having four kids:  Every American has the ecological impact of ten Chinese or Indians.  Those four American babies have the impact of forty Chinese or Indians, and you'd better believe I raise a stink about that at both ends: the number of kids and the resource consumption of each.  

          America's population is equivalent to 3.5 bilion Chinese so yes we are overpopulated as well.

          The laws of thermodynamics don't care what color you are any more than if they care whether you're a poet or a pickpocket: if you leap off a high place, you'll accelerate at 9.8 meters per second squared, and go splat! when you hit the ground.  

          So please don't play the race card with me; aside from being insulting, it's irrelevant.  Every human requires X liters of potable water, Y calories, Z square feet to sleep in, and Q amount of sewage removed, every single day.  If you find a way to overcome those requirements, apply for a Nobel, you'll deserve it.  

          If the Pope really respected life that is actually brought into the world, he would leave it up to each family to determine how many kids they want and can support, and not stand in the way of the availability of family planning and contraception around the world.  When women have the right and the ability to choose for themselves, the birth rate drops by half.   High birth rates are a direct product of the oppression of women and restrictions on the availability of birth control.  That's a provable fact, both by comparing across cultures, and by comparing within any culture before and after.  

          So the "life brought into the world" arguement doesn't fly, any more than the race card trumps thermodynamics.  And the arguement about respect for individual choice doesn't fly either, otherwise the Pope truly would respect individual choice rather than promoting an ideology that forbids it.  

          Further, any institution that presided over the coverup of child molestation on a huge scale, 11,000 victims in the USA alone, has forfeited any right whatsoever to make statements or claims about sexual morality.   And the fact that the Pope has given Cardinal Law a place to hide from prosecution in the USA, demonstrates that the Church has failed utterly to grasp the moral dimension of the crimes committed on its watch.   The enablers of child molestation have no right to speak about sexual morality, whatsoever.  That they continue to do so is an insult that only compounds the injury.  

  •  Ridiculous (4+ / 0-)

    Authorities in Madagascar have blocked shipment of 176 containers of rosewood and other valuable timber from Vohémar port, pending payment of 72 million Malagasy ariary ($37,500) in fines reports Noro Niaina of Les Nouvelles. The wood was illegally harvested from Marojejy and Masoala National Parks during the chaos that followed a March military coup on the Indian Ocean island nation. The exporters will also be required to pay taxes on the illicit timber. If payments are not made within 15 days, the timber will be seized by the government.....The timber, valued at 12.6 billion ariary ($655,000), is expected to be exported to China.

    Got that?...you can KEEP and then SELL the timber you harvested illegally, as long as you give us a kickback.

    And I imagine there is no way in hell to get the Chinese to stop buying...

    Ugh.

    The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies - Bill Maher

    by Wamsutta on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:14:22 PM PST

  •  shit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:32:09 PM PST

  •  I think I'm gonna be sick... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leema, RLMiller

    so, what do we do to help?

    •  I decided not to include an action link in this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leema, LaughingPlanet

      diary, because I'm very uneasy about the relationship among well meaning and well respected conservation institutes, REDD, and what looks to be an inability to get the carbon offset money where it needs to go.  With that major caveat in mind, World Wildlife Fund is well respected, and Wild Madagascar (link in diary) seems to be the most passionate smaller action group.  

      Any other suggestions, folks?

    •  what we do first of all is.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges, mieprowan

      ...reduce our consumption levels.  

      The root causes of local as well as global ecological catastrophes, are overpopulation and overconsumption.

      Overpopulation is reciprocal with desperate soul-destroying poverty.  The root cause of overpopulation ultimately is organized religion restricting access to contraception and family plannning.  

      Overconsumption here is reciprocal with desperate soul-destroying poverty there.  The root cause of overconsumption is our own lifestyles.

      The most important things we can do on both fronts are to reduce our consumption levels and stop supporting the core problems with our money.  

      •  humans are hugely driven to reproduce (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        like all creatures.

        Were we supposed to evolve beyond doing so, just because we discovered steam and coal and oil etc., a mere couple of hundred years ago?

        It's good to pick up on poverty and women's rights, etc. But at the same time, these are not easy fixes. Not so long ago, we were struggling to survive as a species.

        This has all happened VERY quickly. 200 years is a mere nothing. We've been evolving a couple three million years as a species.

        I believe very strongly that we're doomed to crash bigtime as a species. I equally believe that we will not go into extinction. I expect we'll be around for a very long time, in some form or another. We are just too amazingly well evolved not to.

        I look to the future. What will future humans need? It's obvious that many will not survive, because we have not evolved as a species that is concerned about that, overall.

        But people who blog here are.  So, how do we make sure we survive? So that we can go on to be a dominant but more caring species on this planet?

        "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback." Me

        by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:39:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  how to make sure we.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mieprowan

          survive.

          Look for places that you can reasonably expect will be able to sustain a civilized way of life, by which I mean, a culture in which violence decreases over time and knowledge increases over time.  

          Find one of those places, move there with a handful of others who you can trust, settle in, and start organizing people to do the necessary tasks.  Household gardens are always a good start and sound innocuous enough on the surface, for example "good cheap food during a recession."   Your core group should always be one step ahead (or more) than the folks you're trying to organize, so you can show them successful results before trying to persuade them to take the next step.  

          The most difficult part is establishing economic livelihood in a new area particularly if it's a rural economy.  Every individual and every group needs to find the answers to that question that suit their local conditions.  

          Me & mine are doing all of this.

          This is not an abstraction: this is for the sake of our own individual futures, and for the sake of the future of what emerges from the crash at some point in the future.    

  •  awful (6+ / 0-)

    that picture of the scarred landscape is heart wrenching...does the surface of the earth have to look like a hibachi before they wise-up?

    "the word "deforestation" is both obvious in its meaning -- to remove a forest -- and bureaucratic."

    i saw a show on discover channel that showed how europeans had chopped down all the trees to make roofs and bows (yew trees) and then they started using iron weapons and such and the used trees for fuel for the forges...they showed how all the wars in those days were fought in , around and for forests 'cause it was the energy of the day.

    Kinda like OIL is today? We are running gout of time.

  •  Okay, okay, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose

    saw some suggestions upthread after I posted...

  •  There are days (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, leema, LaughingPlanet, cany, mieprowan

    ..when I think that the best thing for this amazingly beautiful planet and her biodiversity would be a devastating plague on humans instead one compromised of humans.

    If the Earth was conscious, would she know that she had a cancer?

    If humanity was awake, would we realize that there's no-place else to go after burning our home into dust?

    Look! A recently married gay immigrant couple at an abortion clinic! Teabags!

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:48:16 PM PST

  •  Colonization (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, mieprowan

    ...the gift that keeps on giving. Way to go whitey.

    Glenn Greenwald was right and the rest of you should be ashamed!

    by SBoswell on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:51:10 PM PST

    •  Not to say you're wrong here, (0+ / 0-)

      but every race and most cultures have shown a unfortunate tendency for destruction, self and otherwise.

      "... it wasn't so much the underworld you had to fear as the overworld." ~Ian Rankin

      by Andhakari on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 01:02:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Disturbing microcosm of our world and the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, mieprowan

    human race.

  •  auto-darwinization: (4+ / 0-)

    What's the first thing that comes to mind when you read a quote such as "I sacrificed a big fat sheep. I hoped we'd flourish and grow"...?

    The first thing that comes to my mind is, "I invested wisely, in blue-chip stocks and tax-deferred bonds!  I hoped we'd flourish and grow!"

    So easy to see the obvious flaws in someone else's reasoning, halfway around the globe.  So easy to see how they're auto-darwinizing themselves by cutting down their forest and eating their endangered species.  

    But we're doing it too.  We're auto-darwinizing ourselves on a slightly longer time frame.  Our technology puts a little bit of padding between our plump posteriors and the pot-holes in the road.  We think we're immune, when in fact we're what Ma Nature is having an immune reaction against.

    We have our own primitive religion, chock full o' superstition:

    It's called economics.  

    And it's killing us.  

    •  have you read Lovelock? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Fabian, RosyFinch

      I find him cheering. He sees it all, he's 90 years old, and he's so peaceful about all of this. Down from nine bil to one bil humans? Oh, prolly a good idea.

      And I agree with him. I also agree with him that it would be much nicer if we'd do it on our own, but we're not going to.

      But I also agree with him that it's going to happen one way or the other.

      "Evaluate yourself as you can - teach what can be understood - be open to feedback." Me

      by mieprowan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:30:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is among things I know itellectually (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, mieprowan

    but when confronted with in such stark terms make me reconsider what makes me get out of bed and face every new day. How long will the human race defy the forces that always bring overpopulated species back in check? Will said forces wait till we have wiped out even more  species than we have already driven to extinction? Oy vey, what a f#cking mess.

    The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

    by realalaskan on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:09:52 PM PST

  •  Is ANYTHING being done to curb the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaughingPlanet

    obvious overpopulation or is this a case of Christian ministry ala condoms and birth control... bad?

    866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

    by cany on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:21:47 PM PST

  •  Ack. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, RLMiller

    Not the light reading of the night.

    Yet thanks.

    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

    by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 12:37:43 AM PST

  •  Endangered Species: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear, RLMiller

    If we don't respect the balance and interconnectivity of nature and our place in it, then we lose permanently.  No amount of money can reverse the damage.

  •  How very sad. i imagine that is why Animal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    B Amer, RLMiller

    Planet stopped making an annual series with the lemurs, like they do(did?) with the meerkats and the orangutans, unless they've started again, I don't know.  At any rate, maybe Dell can start the money flowing w/o seeing an immediate exchange.    Great diary, R L.  Going to sleep soon.

    Lemurs are so cool.

  •  Population issue again (0+ / 0-)

    The world is FUCKING ITSELF TO DEATH. Whether it is madagascar, or global warming or the pirates of Somalia. . .all of these things and nearly every problem facing mankind is being caused by our stupidly unchecked population growth.

  •  Excellent diary RL, thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, RLMiller

    Darwin did some brilliant work in Madagascar. He would be rolling in his grave to see it now.

    Of course, it's about over consumption and our economic model.  And perhaps a weakness in our collective character that produces such greed and inability to consciously sacrifice.

    Thanks for all your passionate work

  •  Beautiful diary, RL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller

    Sorry I didn't comment until now.

    It is one of the places I've long wanted to visit. The lemur is such a special animal.

    Thank you for this heartbreaking report.

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing!

    by LaughingPlanet on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:22:55 AM PST

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