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It looks like we are living with people who want lots of us dead.  Tonight's budget victory for them is a death warrant for so very many.  I don't know if anyone can calculate the numbers but it seems clear that they want people dead.  I don't know about you but I feel very uncomfortable knowing what they want.  

Somehow they seem to be able to deny this and see it as a positive move in their other world.  My world and theirs are so far apart that even the notion of sanity is unable to frame the difference.

As a kid in the late 1930s and on I was shown a world far away where people did unbelievable things to other people.  I have never understood how it could happen.  It seems like I am living in a new version of those times and once again I can not understand how it can be happening.

Read on below if you want to see more of my reaction to this unbelievable event.

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the republican budget

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Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 11:14 AM PDT

Is the planet getting revenge?

by don mikulecky

I have often stated my support for the Gaia hypothesis

The Gaia hypothesis, today also commonly referred to as Gaia theory, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. The hypothesis was begun in 1965 by chemist James Lovelock and co-developed with microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. The first paper co-authored by Lovelock and Margulis, which was the first significant published presentation of the hypothesis (1974), stated, “This paper examines the hypothesis that the total ensemble of living organisms which constitute the biosphere can act as a single entity to regulate the chemical composition, surface pH and possibly also climate.” The term "Gaia" itself was described as follows in this early paper, “Hence forward the word Gaia will be used to describe the biosphere and all of those parts of the Earth with which it actively interacts,” but it was not until later in the following decade, after considerable criticism from neo-Darwinian biologists, that it was made clear that the self-regulation arising from this totality was an emergent property of the whole system (today commonly referred to as the 'Earth System') and not stemming from organisms alone.
 My published work supporting this idea is based on the model of an abstract organism created by Robert Rosen (theoretical biologist)
Rosen's abstract relational biology approach focuses on a definition of living organisms, and all complex systems, in terms of their internal organization as open systems that cannot be reduced to their interacting components because of the multiple relations between metabolic, replication and repair components that govern the organism's complex biodynamics.

He deliberately chose the `simplest' graphs and categories for his representations of Metabolism-Repair Systems in small categories of sets endowed only with the discrete topology of sets, envisaging this choice as the most general and less restrictive.

 It is not difficult to map processes in the Earth system onto Rosen's metabolism repair system and thereby identify the Earth system as an "organism" in this context.  Read on below for why the earth system's ability to repair itself is something we should be aware of.
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The Earth System

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This article by lindsay Abrams in Salon:  This is absolutely terrifying: “There are really only two big patches of intact forest left on Earth”  brings some obvious but inconvenient truths to the forefront.  We are ruining the planet like it does not matter what we are leaving for future generations.

We are constantly being told that Republicans still ignoring reality with regard to things like the ACA.  It is time to stop scapegoating them while we go on bringing about an end to the kind of planet we have abused for so long.

I have been accused of being a ranting old man so read on below for this rant.

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cutting down forests

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I looked back on the diaries I wrote the last few years on my birthday.   I find this year's a bit different.  Once again I am glad to have made it this far and as long as I can keep learning, writing and growing I will keep that attitude.

I had a great birthday present in 2010 when the President signed the ACA.  I have always been disappointed that we did not get single payer, but I have also always been glad we could get help to some people even if they are stuck with the insurance and drug industries and other profit makers.

What is most on my mind this year is the political climate and the climate.  Read on below if you are interested.

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my pessimism

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The headline startled me.  Living in the Eastern US I had no idea.  But here's what they say:  Earth Records Its Warmest Winter on Record

The winter of 2014-15 was the warmest on record worldwide, according to the state of the climate report released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday.

NOAA says that December through February – for meteorological record-keeping purposes, winter is defined as those three months in the Northern Hemisphere – was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average for all land and ocean areas. This tops the previous warmest winter of 2007 by 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit. Global temperature records are available for the period 1880-2015.

Individually, here is how each month ranked for the earth:

- December 2014: Warmest on record.
- January 2015: Second warmest on record.
- February 2015: Second warmest on record.

Though it was a cold winter overall in eastern North America, including the United States, the Northern Hemisphere also saw its warmest winter on record. This was due to widespread above-average temperatures in western North America, Europe and Asia. NOAA says that record warmth was observed in the western United States, portions of central Siberia and eastern Mongolia.

 Read on below for more.
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winter 2014-2015

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The list is growing.   When our book came out in November 2012 we were among a small group.   A lot has happened in those two years and some months.  Most of it is along the lines of accelerating effects of global warming and tipping points being passed.  This author, science writer Michael Tennesen, has written The Last Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man and talks about it in an interview in Salon  by Lindsay Abrams.

We had some exciting news this week when it was announced that carbon dioxide emissions had leveled off in 2014.  I am afraid that that is not near enough to help us much and given the low level of understanding out there it may actually lull some more people into inaction.  Read on below for more.

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the future of our species

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Sun Mar 08, 2015 at 10:39 AM PDT

Happy Women's Day!

by don mikulecky

Today is International Women’s Day

In 2015, International Women’s Day will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain. This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part.
 Since the US seems to be moving backwards in this and every other sphere we all need to get moving.  I know lots of you are but the regressive forces are too.  Read on below for more about this day.
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The rights of women

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There seems to be a bit of controversy about this legend:  The Warriors of the Rainbow Prophecy

One day... there would come a time, when the earth being ravaged and polluted, the forests being destroyed, the birds would fall from the air, the waters would be blackened, the fish being poisoned in the streams, and the trees would no longer be, mankind as we would know it would all but cease to exist -
 Controversy or not the words are very real right now.  Here's one story:
The Rainbow prophecy, as it has come to be known, refers to the keepers of the legends, rituals, and other myths that will be needed when the time comes to restore the health on Earth.  It is believed that these legendary beings will return on a day of awakening, when all people will unite and create a new world of justice, peace and freedom, and they will be named the ‘Warriors of the Rainbow’. They will reteach the values and the knowledge that has been lost in time, demonstrating how to have wisdom and extra-perception, and how unity, harmony and love is the only way forward.
 It seems to me that we need to start right now....at this moment.  Read on below for more.
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If the Rainbow Warriors were to form now

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And the onset of El Niño  makes it even worse.   I'm very tired of bad news.  I am especially tired of news of more tipping points being passed and of more positive feedback loops kicking in.  Here's a recent study that has very depressing results:  Droughts in the Amazon are speeding up climate change: 'Lungs of the planet' are emitting more CO2 than they capture.

Trees absorb a tenth less CO2 from the atmosphere during droughts

2010 dry spell saw forest release 8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide

This is as much as annual emissions of China and Russia combined

Trees may be channelling more limited energy reserves into growth

 The picture gets more grim by the day.  Read on below for more.
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If the planet's "lungs" stop working

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It has reached the point where some people can no longer sit still.  The editor of the Guardian is one.  Climate change: why the Guardian is putting threat to Earth front and centre

The climate threat features very prominently on the home page of the Guardian on Friday even though nothing exceptional happened on this day. It will be there again next week and the week after. You will, I hope, be reading a lot about our climate over the coming weeks.

One reason for this is personal. This summer I am stepping down after 20 years of editing the Guardian. Over Christmas I tried to anticipate whether I would have any regrets once I no longer had the leadership of this extraordinary agent of reporting, argument, investigation, questioning and advocacy.

Don't look away now, the climate crisis needs you.  Very few regrets, I thought, except this one: that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will probably, within the lifetime of our children, cause untold havoc and stress to our species.

So, in the time left to me as editor, I thought I would try to harness the Guardian’s best resources to describe what is happening and what – if we do nothing – is almost certain to occur, a future that one distinguished scientist has termed as “incompatible with any reasonable characterisation of an organised, equitable and civilised global community”.

 Pinch me.  Am I dreaming?  Read on below for more.
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with respect to global warming the press has been

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It has been only a matter of time but things are happening faster than most anticipated.   Greenland Reels: Climate Disrupting Feedbacks Have Begun

Greenland is warmer than it has been in more than 100,000 years and climate disrupting feedback loops have begun. Since 2000, ice loss has increased over 600 percent, and liquid water now exists inside the ice sheet year-round, no longer refreezing during winter.
 That is but part of the story.  Read on below for more.
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The situation in Greenland

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The answer  seems clear:  These are the impacts of climate change we will never be able to fix  

The IPCC's latest report states: "Warming caused by CO2 emissions is effectively irreversible over multi-century timescales unless measures are taken to remove CO2 from the atmosphere," meaning unless we find a way to suck huge quantities of carbon out of the atmosphere — still a pipe dream at this point — the planet will be running hot for a very long time.
 This is an understatement at best.  There still are a lot of people with the misguided belief in technology that hope for it to save us.  Unfortunately that's a little bit like opening the refrigerator door to cool the house.  Read on below to find out why.
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we are now at a point where

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