Welcome to the eKos Earthship, your one-stop-shop for green diaries and series.
Tonight's editor: LaughingPlanet
So did ya hear? The one about the stuff hitting the fan?
Yeah, so far 2010 is the year of mega-disasters.
Jan 10: Haiti quake
April 20: BP's Big Problem
Jul 30: Russian wildfires
Jul 31: Pakistan's floods
At least 3 of those things can be chalked up to our fossil foolish bender last century.
And yes, there are others.
I got 4 words for ya:
Beneath the fold you will find news and notes, community announcements, and our eco-diary roundup.
All views expressed by today's editor do not necessarily represent those of eKos or eKos listed diarists.
Quote of the day:
"I urge individuals around the world to stand up, and ask local leaders, if they haven't already, to pledge to purchase cleaner cars, build green facilities, and buy green power like wind or solar energy. Our actions may determine if we become a casualty in the war for a habitable planet for generations to come."
- Leo Dicaprio
Things are bad and getting worse fast.
Oh, wait. That's hardly news.
Ready or not, climate change, and climate displacement, is happening
By Alice Thomas - 08/18/10 11:28 AM ET
The devastating floods in Pakistan have claimed the lives of at least 1,500 people and rendered millions more homeless and displaced. According to the United Nations, the deluge’s human toll, which has reportedly affected 14 million Pakistanis, is worse than the 2004 tsunami, the January earthquake in Haiti, and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan combined. The record-breaking floods – along with other recent unprecedented climate-related catastrophes such as the heat wave in Russia and torrential rains and subsequent mudslides in China – are in line with the predictions of climate scientists that global warming will cause an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
Let's see why this fact is true at least.
Extreme Weather Events Signal Global Warming to World's Meteorologists
GENEVA, Switzerland, August 17, 2010 (ENS)
Fires across Russia, record floods in Pakistan, a huge Greenland iceberg - this current unprecedented sequence of extreme weather events "matches" scientific projections of more frequent and intense extreme weather events due to global warming, says an organization of meteorologists from 189 countries.
"Several diverse extreme weather events are occurring concurrently around the world, giving rise to an unprecedented loss of human life and property. They include the record heatwave and wildfires in the Russian Federation, monsoonal flooding in Pakistan, rain-induced landslides in China, and calving of a large iceberg from the Greenland ice sheet," said the World Meteorological Organization in a statement August 11.
But the utter failure of the media and our world leaders to connect the dots is a developing story as they say...
Let's Call It "Climate Chaos"
by Toby Barlow
The colossal failure of the media to keep us focused on the planet's larger story is only overshadowed by those who fail to acknowledge there is a story at all. Every single thing that is now happening -- floods, heat, crop failure -- was entirely predicted more than a decade ago by those familiar with the science, and yet there are actually talking heads still debating the existence of climate change. These malicious idiots are spewing confusion and blocking legislation aimed at curbing the problem's human causes.
Where for art my legislators?
Ready for 'climate chaos'?
OK, complain about the weather. It's a time-honored tradition. But, unlike in the old days, there is actually something we can do about it. And the first step is acknowledging the reality of climate chaos and reducing our carbon footprint - not just internationally, but right here at home.
Let us hope we take the actions required.
It seems as if this is everyone's favorite can to kick down the road.
Noticing that, I think anyone wanting to have kids in the coming years is absolutely crazy.
(NOTE: Editor's opinion only)
Carcinogen Levels in Oil Sands Waste Water Increasing, Canada Admits
Levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead and nickel in giant 'tailings' lakes have increased as much as 30 percent in four years, new government data reveals
by Stacy Feldman - Aug 17th, 2010
Newly released data from the Canadian government affirm that the booming oil sands industry in Alberta is leaving behind a rising environmental toll from toxic sludge ponds.
Figures released by the government-run Environment Canada reveal a jump in the level of carcinogens dumped in mining waste lakes, or "tailings ponds," like arsenic, nickel, cadmium, benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
"Sizable quantities of heavy metals" were reported, the agency said.
Corals Bleached and Dying in Overheated South Asian Waters
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, August 16, 2010 (ENS) - The rapidly rising temperature of south Asia's Andaman Sea has triggered coral bleaching and die-off that scientists working in Indonesia are calling one of the most rapid and severe coral mortality events ever recorded.
The coral die-off was indentified though monitoring by marine ecologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society based at New York's Bronx Zoo, Australia's James Cook University and Indonesia's Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh.
Following up on local reports of coral bleaching in the waters off the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the scientists determined from field studies completed in early August that 80 percent of some species have bleached and died since the initial assessment in May and more colonies are expected to die within the next few months.
Life in Pakistan is not good.
They need much more help than they are receiving.
Western Donations Lag for Pakistan Flood Victims
By NATHANIAL GRONEWOLD of Greenwire
Published: August 17, 2010
UNITED NATIONS -- Public and private funding for the international response to Pakistan flooding has been trickling in, compared to the rush of support for Haiti following its January earthquake.
Why? Aid workers and officials at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, say Pakistan's reputation as a haven for the Taliban and al-Qaida, among other extremist groups, is leading some would-be Western donors to pause before offering support that experts say is desperately needed. Donors have also expressed concern over possible corruption and theft of resources, concerns that the humanitarian community is working hard to dispel.
What do YOU suggest we do to increase interest in this issue?
We have had a small trickle of diaries on the topic.
But frankly, most people on Daily Kos simply refuse to recommend them.
Why is that?
The comments of GlowNZ's diary featured a disturbing amount of what I perceive as anti-Muslim bigotry. I had hoped this community was better than that.
Was I wrong?
Greg (Three Cups of Tea, Stones Into Schools) Mortnenson's non-profit (CAI) recommends supporting a local (Pakistani) group to which donations will likely have a large, immediate, and lasting impact-
Healing Development Foundation
(800) 705 1310
From their page about the flooding:
HDF is committed to work towards relief and reconstruction efforts in flood affected HDF program areas including Mardan and Tandoo Muhammad Khan. HDF already has the existing infrastructure and a team of trained employees and volunteers in place. Currently there is need for basic necessities like tents, blankets, cooking sets, utility containers, soap and bedding as well as, basic healthcare.
More details and videos at their site and their YouTube channel.
• • • • • •
Other groups that deserve support as well.
Doctors without Borders (MSF):
The Red Cross:
OXFAM's Pakistan page:
With an estimated 6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, I am concerned that so far the international community hasn’t responded with the speed or on the scale warranted by a disaster of this magnitude.
• • • • • •
From the US State dept.
How You Can Help:
Text "SWAT" to 50555; $10 goes to fund for flood victims
Will Rupert Murdoch Give A Million Dollars To Pakistan?
As devastating floods hammer Pakistan, it’s easy to dismiss both the extreme weather and the twenty million people whose lives have been shattered from our minds. After all, Pakistan is a long way off. But their extreme weather is a manifestation of the same complex set of phenomena that gave New York its most recent heat wave: anthropogenic global warming. If we as a nation are to undertake meaningful action on behalf of the planetary systems that sustain us, we must ensure that our citizenry is genuinely informed about these issues, no matter how complex or daunting they may seem. The fact that the phrase “climate change” does not appear at all in an article on Pakistan’s misery is a demonstration of how poorly our news media handle the most important threat humanity has ever faced.
Keep up the great work!
And yes, we DO steal your letters!
While the Land of Giants project was originally submitted to a Icelandic contest aimed at obtaining new ideas and looks for high-voltage towers and lines, it could easily cross borders. Several versions exist, so take a gander at the designs here, which won an honorable mention at the Icelandic High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition, as well as a 2010 Boston Society of Architects award for unbuilt architecture.
More pix at the LINK
I have started a(nother) Google group do address the crisis in Pakistan. Anyone who would like to get involved or get alerts when a new HELP PAKISTAN diary is posted, please join.
< ==== CLICK THE PIC
(All times Eastern!)
So have you noticed the paucity of eco diaries on the rec list lately?
Yeah, me too.
Seems like we can hardly crack 100 recommends.
(Two weeks = 3 diaries > 110 recs)
Was there a memo that we missed telling everyone to pay attention to everything EXCEPT environmental issues for a few weeks?
Someone should go ahead and re-send the memo...
|eKos diaries from Wednesday, August 18, 2010
|EcoAdvocates: A green model in the Gulf
|Recommended, EcoAdvocates, New Orleans, Gulf gusher, BP
|Expensive, inconvenient, and scratchy: solutions are easy
|antibacterials, history, solutions, environment, habits
|BP's Oil is NOT on the Surface -- it's on the Sea Floor
|Recommended, CNN, USF, University of South Florida, Marine Science
|BP Catastrophe Liveblog Mothership: 85
|Recommended, Oilpocalypse, BP, Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico, LMRP
|OPEC and Low Oil Prices, "Raising the entry barrier for alternative fuels"
|Recommended, Environment, eKos, Gas, Alternet
|eKos diaries from Tuesday, August 17, 2010
|The Latest Global Warming Conspiracy Theory
|Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Change Skeptics, Climate Change Deniers, NOAA
|The Reign of King Coal is Ending
|eKos, coal, coal ash, EPA, Sierra Club
|WI-Sen: Ron Johnson, Friend of Science
|2010, WI-Sen, Ron Johnson, Russ Feingold, ekos
|BP Catastrophe Liveblog Mothership: 84
|Recommended, Oilpocalypse, BP, Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico, LMRP
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In no particular order:
Regina in a Sears Kit House
Please give them some mojo if you see them, they deserve it!
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