Thursday, January 14, 2010

From: Omnicenter Communications (omninews@listserv.uark.edu) on behalf of Gladys tiffany (gladystiffany@yahoo.com)
Sent: Thu 1/14/10 11:05 PM
To: OMNINEWS@LISTSERV.UARK.EDU
You can sign up to receive 350PPM direct now, OMNI folks. There's a link in there to register. Thanks Robert. This looks very professional, and we hope it'll work for dial up folks too. Let us know what you think.
Gladys Tiffany


--- On Mon, 1/11/10, OMNI-CCTF wrote:

Reduce & Cap Carbon Dioxide At Or Below 350 Parts Per Million
Volume 3, Number1 January 2010
www.go350ppm.org

If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed, paleoclimate evidence and on going climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.
DR. JAMES HANSEN, 2008


IN THIS ISSUE
--Beyond Copenhagen
--Requiem For A Crowded Planet
--2010 Climate Criminals
--The Ethics Of Eating A Chicken Sandwich
--Legislative Alert
--Update on the JW Turk Coal Plant
Why 350PPM

350PPM (parts per million concentration of carbon dioxice in the Earth's atmosphere) seeks to educate the public about the impending crisis of global warming and climate change. It is our belief that the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and return the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million. It is only at these levels or below that the climate and environmental systems of the earth as we know them can be maintained. As a point of reference it was 1988 when the earth's atmosphere contained 350 PPM of CO2.

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

TAKE ACTION NOW!
Sen. Pryor has joined a few other Senators urging delay for the Climate Bill. Tell him we want action NOW!

Call: (202) 224-2353
Contact via website:
Click Here

EVENTS
Friday, Jan 15.
6 - 9 PM. CCTF Women's Book Forum on Climate Change.
Nightbird Books, Fayetteville

Saurday, April 17.
Arkansas Earth Day
Russelleville, AR
Click here for moredetails.
LINKS
Legislative Contacts

350PPM

OMNI CENTER


A Newsletter of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology's - Climate Change Task Force produced by the Peaceable Kingdom's Thinking Like A Mountain Institute dedicated to the education about the impacts of C02 in Earth's atmosphere and the urgent need to cap and reduce CO2 emissions NOW! at levels below 350 PPM.  
Beyond Copenhagen
Joanna Pollock

We are at a pivotal point in human history. We have actually reached a precipice of fundamental social change largely due to unjust global economic practices that have been escalating since the industrial revolution. What I am speaking of in the simplest of terms is a fundamental characteristic of human nature, albeit in varying degrees from person to person. That quality is Greed.

Climate change is the global ecological outcome of social injustice. Social injustice is inherently ecological because the earth is the source of our resources. Don't misunderstand me, I am not blaming or suggesting maliciousness by any given society. I am speaking of something insidious we will all need to join together as a human people to remedy. We shall see by tomorrow morning, but citizens may need to take the lead.

Regardless, of what world leaders do or do not do, lifestyles, as we have known them will be transformed. Those of us in nations that have over-consumed resources, needed to sustain life on our planet, will begin to notice droughts, floods, severe storms and mass migrations like we have not known before. Many nations of the global South already do experience those daily. The way we produce food and what many of us eat will eventually change.

Leaders of the global South are telling us that bribery and the failed debt programs of the past (IMF) will not work this time. The global South is already feeling the outcomes of a warming earth and will continue to feel them more severely at first. Scientist tell us that they will reach the North. (the Union of Concerned Scientist and the IPCC report of 2007 are excellent resources).

We need a cultural transformation. The best part of this transformation is that it will actually make us in the more "developed" nations healthier, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Our culture tells us that without the accumulation of luxury and things (and yes cheap food) then we cannot be happy. But what is the more difficult challenge is that our infrastructure makes it difficult to survive without burning fossil fuels.

Humans want their basic needs met and they want community, family and to contribute to their tribe creatively. People want to be accepted by those they love. They want to be appreciated and encouraged. These are the "things" that actually give us a sense of well-being.

Bottomline: We are going to have to reduce our emissions, which will take lifestyle change. Will our local, state and especially federal government help us by creating the green economy and infrastructure we really need? We can only keep telling them to do just that. In the meantime, we can start to revolutionize our own lives and help each other do it. I know I need a lot of help! Making these changes isn't easy and we all start at varying baselines.

The G-77 (the lower emitters per capita and there are actually 134 of them) is asking the global North leaders to reduce our emissions by 45-60% so that they can go on living. The G-77 comprises 80% of the world population according to Ambassador Lumumba Stanislaus D-Aping. He also reminds us that we are ultimately one human family. See:
Click Here

Ironically I feel the need to quote John Locke today. "All mankind...being all equal and independent no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions." Well, that is precisely what NAFTA and CAFTA have done. Now the global South is calling us on our "Climate Debt." Climate debt is what many of the global South believe we owe them for our disproportionate release of green house gas emissions that is wreaking ecological havoc on them already. They don't want our money. They want us to live in respect of their rights and the planet we all share.

Greed does not just harm those it directly denies. Greed hurts us all.

Can you feel it? The tide is turning.

Back to Top
Requiem For A Crowded Planet
George Monbiot

This is what the failure of the climate talks means.


Published in the Guardian 21st December 2009. The last time global negotiations collapsed like this was in Doha in 2001. After the trade talks fell apart, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) assured the delegates that there was nothing to fear: they would move to Mexico, where a deal would be done. The negotiations ran into the sand of the Mexican resort of Cancun, never to re-emerge. After eight years of dithering, nothing has been agreed.

When the climate talks in Copenhagen ended in failure last week, Yvo de Boer, the man in charge of the process, urged us not to worry: everything will be sorted out "in Mexico one year from now."(1) Is Mexico the diplomatic equivalent of the Pacific garbage patch: the place where failed negotiations go to die?

De Boer might pretend that this is just a temporary hitch, but he knows what happens when talks lose momentum. A year ago I asked him what he feared most. This is what he said. "The worst-case scenario for me is that climate becomes a second WTO. ... Copenhagen, for me, is a very clear deadline that I think we need to meet, and I am afraid that if we don't, then the process will begin to slip, and like in the trade negotiations, one deadline after the other will not be met, and we sort of become the little orchestra on the Titanic."(2)

We can live without a new trade agreement; we can't live without a new climate agreement. One of the failings of the people who have tried to mobilise support for a climate treaty is that we have made the issue too complicated. So here is the simplest summary I can produce of why this matters.

Human beings can live in a wider range of conditions than almost any other species. But the climate of the past few thousand years has been amazingly kind to us. It has enabled us to spread into almost all regions of the world and to grow into the favourable ecological circumstances it has created. We currently enjoy the optimum conditions for supporting seven billion people.
A shift in global temperature reduces the range of places than can sustain human life. During the last ice age, humans were confined to low latitudes. The difference in the average global temperature between now and then was four degrees centigrade. Global warming will have the opposite effect, driving people into higher latitudes, principally as water supplies diminish.
Food production at high latitudes must rise as quickly as it falls elsewhere, but this is unlikely to happen.

According to the body that summarises the findings of climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the potential for global food production "is very likely to decrease above about 3C"(3). The panel uses the phrase "very likely" to mean a probability of above 90%(4). Unless a strong climate deal is struck very soon, the probable outcome is a rise of three or more degrees by the end of the century.

Even in higher latitudes the habitable land area will decrease as the sea level rises. The likely rise this century - probably less than a metre - is threatening only to some populations, but the process does not stop in 2100. During the previous interglacial period, about 125,000 years ago, the average global temperature was around 1.3 degrees higher than it is today, as a result of changes in the earth's orbit around the sun. A new paper in the scientific journal Nature shows that sea levels during that period were between 6.6 and 9.4 metres higher than today's(5).

Once the temperature had risen, the expansion of sea water and the melting of ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica was unstoppable. I wonder whether the government of Denmark, whose atrocious management of the conference contributed to its failure, would have tried harder if its people knew that in a few hundred years they won't have a country any more.
As people are displaced from their homes by drought and sea level rise, and as food production declines, the planet will be unable to support the current population. The collapse in human numbers is unlikely to be either smooth or painless: while the average global temperature will rise gradually, the events associated with it will come in fits and starts: sudden droughts and storm surges.

This is why the least developed countries, which will be hit hardest, made the strongest demands in Copenhagen. One hundred and two poor nations called for the maximum global temperature rise to be limited not to two degrees but to 1.5. The chief negotiator for the G77 bloc complained that Africa was being asked "to sign a suicide pact, an incineration pact, in order to maintain the economic dominance of a few countries"(6).

The immediate reason for the failure of the talks can be summarised in two words: Barack Obama. The man elected to put aside childish things proved to be as susceptible to immediate self-interest as any other politician. Just as George Bush did in the approach to the Iraq war, Obama went behind the backs of the UN and most of its member states and assembled a coalition of the willing to strike a deal which outraged the rest of the world. This was then presented to poorer nations without negotiation; either they signed it or they lost the adaptation funds required to help them survive the first few decades of climate breakdown.

The British and American governments have blamed the Chinese government for the failure of the talks. It's true that the Chinese worked hard to mess them up, but Obama also put Beijing in an impossible position. He demanded concessions while offering nothing. He must have known the importance of not losing face in Chinese politics: his unilateral diplomacy amounted to a demand for self-abasement. My guess is that this was a calculated manoeuvre guaranteed to produce instransigence, whereupon China could be blamed for the outcome he wanted.

Why would Obama do this? You have only to see the relief in Democratic circles to get your answer. Pushing a strong climate programme through the Senate, many of whose members are wholly owned subsidiaries of the energy industry, would have been the political battle of his life. Yet again, the absence of effective campaign finance reform in the US makes global progress almost impossible.

So what happens now? That depends on the other non-player at Copenhagen: you. For the past few years good, liberal, compassionate people - the kind who read the Guardian every day - have shaken their heads and tutted and wondered why someone doesn't do something. Yet the number taking action has been pathetic. Demonstrations which should have brought millions onto the streets have struggled to mobilise a few thousand. As a result the political cost of the failure at Copenhagen is zero.

Is this music not to your taste sir, or madam? Perhaps you would like our little orchestra to play something louder, to drown out that horrible grinding noise.
www.monbiot.com

References:
1. Yvo de Boer, 19th December 2009. http://unfccc.int/2860.php
2. From transcript of video interview for the Guardian's "Monbiot Meets" series. You can watch the edited discussion here: Click Here

3. IPCC, 2007. Assessing key vulnerabilities and the risk from climate change. Table 19.1.
Click Here

4. Click Here

5. Robert E. Kopp et al, 17th December 2009. Probabilistic assessment of sea level during the last interglacial stage. Nature Vol 462, pp863-868. doi:10.1038/nature08686

6. Click Here.

Back to Top
2010 Climate Criminals

Some of the bastards responsible for subverting public understanding of climate change

Michael Roddy & Ian Murphy
SOURCE: http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=1237

THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IS PRETTY BASIC: humans dig up fossilized carbon to fuel power plants and internal combustion machines, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. Result: greenhouse effect global heating. Around 50% of all the species on the planet are predicted to become extinct by 2100 in the CO2-as-usual model. Our own species will face drought, famine, rising tides, soaring temperatures, calamity and chaos. Hundreds of millions will become climate refugees. Billions may die from starvation, genocide and war. We have precious little time to mitigate this looming global catastrophe.
Those of us still denying the depressing facts are either tragically stupid or profoundly corrupt - or both. If there's anyone alive to write the history of corporate funded climate science denial, the following list of 15 Heinous Climate Villains will, by the sheer magnitude of death their lies wrought, make the infamous dictatorial monsters of the 20th century seem like incompetent children. Enjoy!

1) Don Blankenship, CEO Massey Energy
Misdeeds: According to the EPA, Massey's mountaintop removal coal operation is filthier than a Tiger Woods text. When a West Virginia Circuit Court fined the energy giant $50 million, it wasn't a problem for Blankenship, because he owns the West Virginia Supreme Court.
2) George Will, Columnist
Misdeeds: The errors Will has committed to print over the years are both more numerous and irresponsible than his bow tie collection, for which he also feels no remorse. He claimed in a February 2009 Washington Post column that "According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979." The Center responded: "We do not know where George Will is getting his information... global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979."

3) James Inhofe, Senator from Oklahoma
Misdeeds: Inhofe thinks that global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind," yet somehow served as the Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee from '03 to '07. Once called Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton to testify as a key witness. Believes that "scientific consensus" on climate change is a conspiracy perpetrated by greedy scientists to score grant money. Went to Copenhagen as the leader of the Climate Truth Squad, earning big laughs from overseas reporters. Lifetime recipient of Twelve Dumbest Members of Congress award.

4) Steve Milloy, Fake Scientist
Misdeeds: Founder of the aptly named junkscience.com and featured "junk science expert" on Fox News, Milloy believes science favoring tobacco or oil companies is "sound science," and the peer-reviewed stuff coming from nerds in lab coats is "junk science." Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts and a law degree; you almost have to admire his chutzpah.

5) Fred Singer, University of Virginia
Misdeeds: For the last 60 years, Singer's pimped his PhD credentials to any and every industry in need of phony science. He's slithered seamlessly from denying that smoking causes cancer to saying that DDT is harmless to "raising questions about and undercutting the 'prevailing scientific wisdom'" of climate change. Glacier data he later attributed to his wife was denounced as "complete bullshit" by the Glacier Monitoring.

6) Myron Ebell, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Misdeeds: As head of CEI, Myron admits using the money his organization solicited from the DDT, cigarette and coal industries to conduct intentionally biased research that suits their bullshit PR goals.

7) Patrick Michaels, Cato
Misdeeds: As a Senior Fellow at The Cato Institute and the Chief Editor of World Climate Report (an industry PR rag created by the evil coal trade group Western Fuels Association), Michaels is often touted as a climate expert in the mainstream media, though he has done no scientific research in 20 years. He lies about the wonders of "clean coal" so that the coal "families" can survive - you know, if black lung hasn't killed them already.

8) Sallie Baliunas, George C. Marshall Institute
Misdeeds: As an astrophysicist and ruthless GOP housewife lookalike, Baliunas lends both credibility and aesthetic reassurance to the denier movement. Claimed in a 2003 paper that "The Medieval Warming Period was hotter than today." (Actually, it's hotter today than it's been for 400,000 years.) Her article in Climate Research was so riddled with errors, and so subverted the peer review process, the editor and half of the journal's editorial board resigned. This led to celebrity status in the denier world, where if research is published that makes top scientists throw up, it must be accurate.

9) Stephen McIntyre, Mathematician
Misdeeds: Despite having no training or field experience in climate science, McIntyre runs the blog ClimateAudit.org, whose mission is to use arcane statistical analyses to break the "hockey stick" reconstruction of historical climate patterns. He recently claimed victory over the Briffa tree ring data controversy, but failed to note that there are at least 15 studies that don't need tree ring data to show the identical late 20th century hockey stick shape of rising temperatures and CO2 concentrations.

10) Marc Morano, Professional Douchebag
Misdeeds: Morano is possibly the most embarrassing wingnut in all of Denierdom-a dishonor earned as an Inhofe staffer and producer for the Rush Limbaugh Show. Reporting for Cybercast News Service, he was the first source of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth lies about John Kerry in 2004 and John Murtha in 2006. It's no surprise that his blog (climatedepot.com) is primarily a vehicle for lies, smears and character assassination aimed at credible climate scientists.

11) Professor Roy Spencer, University of Alabama at Huntsville
Misdeeds: Professor Spencer is skeptical of widely accepted Paleoclimate data, like the kind provided by 800,000 year old ice cores, because he believes God created the earth and sculpted man out of clay approximately 6,000 years ago. Even you can do better, Alabama.

12) Richard Lindzen, MIT
Misdeeds: The professor's predilection for citing bad data to try to refute widely accepted climate science is a black eye for the state of Massachusetts and research institutes everywhere. Lindzen thinks global warming is basically a "political" issue, and yet has not provided compelling scientific evidence for his contrarian views.

13) Bjørn Lomborg, Economist
Misdeeds: A serial liar, whose books have spawned a cottage industry for scientists who debunk them, Lomborg reluctantly admits that the earth is getting hotter, but insists that we'll like the warmer weather. He has opinions about many scientific issues, but is trained only in economics and game theory. His love of numbers and arguments does not extend to facts.


14) Roger Pielke Jr., Political Scientist
Misdeeds: It's telling that Pielke thinks his poli sci degree entitles him to have an opinion about all aspects of climate science. Specifically, it's telling us that he thinks we're idiots. Pielke constantly parrots fallacious claims about ice, ocean temperature and warming rates from whacked out websites like wattsupwiththat.com. Roger has been dubbed the Most Debunked Science Writer in the Blogosphere by Climate Progress, yet still appears in the media as a contrarian "expert."

15) Lord Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley


Misdeeds: Admired by Glenn Beck. His Lordship's hysterical condescension and anger flashes are classic examples of dangerous Royal inbreeding. Can be found at all the big denier fests, including Blankenship's nightmarish blasted mountaintop jamboree. Habitually confabulates his autobiography and fabricates scientific facts. Monckton recently called a gathering of activists in Copenhagen "Hitler Youth."

Back to Top

Ethics Of Eating A Chicken Sandwich
Jacob Holloway

As the title implies, this essay will be answering the question of ethics and the food that we choose to eat. This essay will attempt to prove that there is not only moral implications to the choices in food that we choose to eat but also that we have a moral imperative to choose foods that are ethically sound to consume.

As I write this, about a week ago, I engaged an acquaintance in a conversation concerning the issue of food, specifically, chicken sandwiches. The acquaintance, which was unfamiliar with contemporary issues in agriculture, was determined to continue to eat at a fast food restaurant whose business model supports an unsustainable and destructive form of agricultural practices. Now, I know that there are some serious ethical issues concerning animal cruelty and industrial meat production but, I believe, this issue goes far deeper than just animal rights.

As one begins to see the totality of the situation being presented in this essay, I believe, it is important to offer some kind of solution to the ethical dilemma being presented. Lori Gruen, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University, advocates for a new system of ethical thought known as contextual vegetarianism. Gruen calls herself a "contextual moral vegetarian" because she thinks that sometimes a caring response may entail the killing of animals for food. Lori Gruen advocates contextual vegetarianism, but she does so by contending that the bonds we develop with nonhumans in our lives augment our empathetic awareness.

Furthermore, Gruen fairly summarizes the anti-meat arguments:

"When billions of animals are still being born to be slaughtered, when the environment is being destroyed by agribusiness, when maldistribution of food leads to the starvation of thousands of children around the world, when the activities of the rich and powerful cause untold suffering to marginalized peoples and animals, one may sensibly be pragmatic. There are many reasons to think hard about what one is contributing to when purchasing the products of modern factory farming and many reasons to stop eating animals"

So, in the spirit of this essay, I will now end with an "alter-call" to my fellow caring citizens to consider converting to this new ethical idea of contextual vegetarianism. I do not believe in fooling myself or others into thinking that any problem this large can be solved easily. I do believe, however, that having a morally sound and ethical argument on your side helps when confronting the issue if not just for the mere sake of being able to invoke such moral rules when confronted by others that are less aware of these problems. Perhaps, even, this essay will convince my acquaintance to eat a few less chicken sandwiches... And if that happens, then this ethical argument was well worth the effort of being made!

To read the complete paper.

Back to Top

Legislative Alert

The Climate Bill in the US Senate from 1Sky.org
Sen Pryor among a group of Senators pushing to delay climate action

On Christmas Eve, the healthcare bill passed the US Senate 60-39, thanks to a last-minute compromise with climate-swing Ben Nelson (D-NE). For any bill in this Congress, Senate passage is the biggest hurdle, but now the varying Senate and House health care versions need to be streamlined into one bill -- a process that may take months, but won't stop action on other important issues.

In Copenhagen, Senator Kerry (D-MA) reiterated his resolve to spearhead climate and clean energy legislation in this Congress. Before the UN conference, he told reporters that he hoped to pass a bill "by early spring." Senator Kerry will be working on a climate bill framework with Senators Graham (R-SC) and Lieberman (D-CT), while specific aspects of the bill are taken up by committees, like the Finance Committee that Senator Baucus (D-MT) chairs. Although he did not vote in favor of Kerry-Boxer bill in the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Senator Baucus has stated that "there's no doubt that this Congress is going to pass climate change legislation." Climate Progess
A recent politico piece identifies a faction of moderate democrats who are pushing to delay climate action, including Sens. Landrieu (D-LA), Conrad (D-ND), Pryor (D-AR), and Bayh (D-IN).
Click Here!

Their move to separate climate components from energy legislation is among the worst possible outcomes we could see in this Congress. 1Sky will be fighting for a strong clean energy and climate bill this spring that includes a cap on carbon, in addition to complementary policies that incentivize cleaner and more efficient energy technology.
In addition to the "dual track" process led by Senator Kerry to build on his EPW-passed bill, other climate proposals have been put forward as well:

The CLEAR Act developed by Senators Cantwell (D-WA), and Collins (R-ME) has several positive dimensions as well as some drawbacks. On the positive side,Cantwell-Collins takes a stand against the high quantity of offset credits that can be substituted for clean energy investments, eliminates giveaways to fossil fuel companies like Big Oil, Dirty Coal, and nuclear power, and does not interfere with existing Clean Air Act requirements that old dirty coal plants meet modern performance standards.

Unfortunately, the Cantwell-Collins bill contains weak carbon reduction targets that fall well short of levels needed to prevent dangerous climate change and seal a strong global deal. 1Sky hopes that the best elements of the Cantwell-Collins bill will inform the work that other Senators are doing to build support for strong climate legislation, and urges all of Congress to design bills that will meet the increasingly ambitious science-based targets for reducing global warming pollution.

Less encouraging alternate bills include a "power plant only" approach led by Senators Voinovich (R-OH) and Lugar (R-IN), and a "nuclear only" approach led by Senators Webb (VA) and Alexander (R-TN). 1Sky supports an economy-wide bill that will reduce carbon pollution from all fossil fuels, and we do not think nuclear power investments are cost-effective or necessary for reducing emissions.

Contact Senator Pryor and urge him not to delay climate action in the US Senate

Call: (202) 224-2353

Contact via website: http://pryor.senate.gov/contact/

Back to Top



Update on the JW Turk Coal Plant


Photo by Leo Talaska,, Ashdown, Arkansas

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Thank you for your support and we hope to hear from you on how we can improve 350PPM and better serve your need for meaningful information on the climate crisis.

Submit articles for consideration to: robertjmca1@gmail.com

Robert McAfee
for the Carbon Caps Task Force, OMNI and PKI-TLAMI.

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Reduce & Cap Carbon Dioxide At Or Below 350 Parts Per Million
Volume 3, Number1 January 2010
www.go350ppm.org

If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed, paleoclimate evidence and on going climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.
DR. JAMES HANSEN, 2008


IN THIS ISSUE
--Beyond Copenhagen
--Requiem For A Crowded Planet
--2010 Climate Criminals
--The Ethics Of Eating A Chicken Sandwich
--Legislative Alert
--Update on the JW Turk Coal Plant
Why 350PPM

350PPM (parts per million concentration of carbon dioxice in the Earth's atmosphere) seeks to educate the public about the impending crisis of global warming and climate change. It is our belief that the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and return the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million. It is only at these levels or below that the climate and environmental systems of the earth as we know them can be maintained. As a point of reference it was 1988 when the earth's atmosphere contained 350 PPM of CO2.

NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

TAKE ACTION NOW!
Sen. Pryor has joined a few other Senators urging delay for the Climate Bill. Tell him we want action NOW!

Call: (202) 224-2353
Contact via website:
Click Here

EVENTS
Friday, Jan 15.
6 - 9 PM. CCTF Women's Book Forum on Climate Change.
Nightbird Books, Fayetteville

Saurday, April 17.
Arkansas Earth Day
Russelleville, AR
Click here for moredetails.
LINKS
Legislative Contacts

350PPM

OMNI CENTER


A Newsletter of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology's - Climate Change Task Force produced by the Peaceable Kingdom's Thinking Like A Mountain Institute dedicated to the education about the impacts of C02 in Earth's atmosphere and the urgent need to cap and reduce CO2 emissions NOW! at levels below 350 PPM.  
Beyond Copenhagen
Joanna Pollock

We are at a pivotal point in human history. We have actually reached a precipice of fundamental social change largely due to unjust global economic practices that have been escalating since the industrial revolution. What I am speaking of in the simplest of terms is a fundamental characteristic of human nature, albeit in varying degrees from person to person. That quality is Greed.

Climate change is the global ecological outcome of social injustice. Social injustice is inherently ecological because the earth is the source of our resources. Don't misunderstand me, I am not blaming or suggesting maliciousness by any given society. I am speaking of something insidious we will all need to join together as a human people to remedy. We shall see by tomorrow morning, but citizens may need to take the lead.

Regardless, of what world leaders do or do not do, lifestyles, as we have known them will be transformed. Those of us in nations that have over-consumed resources, needed to sustain life on our planet, will begin to notice droughts, floods, severe storms and mass migrations like we have not known before. Many nations of the global South already do experience those daily. The way we produce food and what many of us eat will eventually change.

Leaders of the global South are telling us that bribery and the failed debt programs of the past (IMF) will not work this time. The global South is already feeling the outcomes of a warming earth and will continue to feel them more severely at first. Scientist tell us that they will reach the North. (the Union of Concerned Scientist and the IPCC report of 2007 are excellent resources).

We need a cultural transformation. The best part of this transformation is that it will actually make us in the more "developed" nations healthier, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Our culture tells us that without the accumulation of luxury and things (and yes cheap food) then we cannot be happy. But what is the more difficult challenge is that our infrastructure makes it difficult to survive without burning fossil fuels.

Humans want their basic needs met and they want community, family and to contribute to their tribe creatively. People want to be accepted by those they love. They want to be appreciated and encouraged. These are the "things" that actually give us a sense of well-being.

Bottomline: We are going to have to reduce our emissions, which will take lifestyle change. Will our local, state and especially federal government help us by creating the green economy and infrastructure we really need? We can only keep telling them to do just that. In the meantime, we can start to revolutionize our own lives and help each other do it. I know I need a lot of help! Making these changes isn't easy and we all start at varying baselines.

The G-77 (the lower emitters per capita and there are actually 134 of them) is asking the global North leaders to reduce our emissions by 45-60% so that they can go on living. The G-77 comprises 80% of the world population according to Ambassador Lumumba Stanislaus D-Aping. He also reminds us that we are ultimately one human family. See:
Click Here

Ironically I feel the need to quote John Locke today. "All mankind...being all equal and independent no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions." Well, that is precisely what NAFTA and CAFTA have done. Now the global South is calling us on our "Climate Debt." Climate debt is what many of the global South believe we owe them for our disproportionate release of green house gas emissions that is wreaking ecological havoc on them already. They don't want our money. They want us to live in respect of their rights and the planet we all share.

Greed does not just harm those it directly denies. Greed hurts us all.

Can you feel it? The tide is turning.

Back to Top
Requiem For A Crowded Planet
George Monbiot

This is what the failure of the climate talks means.


Published in the Guardian 21st December 2009. The last time global negotiations collapsed like this was in Doha in 2001. After the trade talks fell apart, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) assured the delegates that there was nothing to fear: they would move to Mexico, where a deal would be done. The negotiations ran into the sand of the Mexican resort of Cancun, never to re-emerge. After eight years of dithering, nothing has been agreed.

When the climate talks in Copenhagen ended in failure last week, Yvo de Boer, the man in charge of the process, urged us not to worry: everything will be sorted out "in Mexico one year from now."(1) Is Mexico the diplomatic equivalent of the Pacific garbage patch: the place where failed negotiations go to die?

De Boer might pretend that this is just a temporary hitch, but he knows what happens when talks lose momentum. A year ago I asked him what he feared most. This is what he said. "The worst-case scenario for me is that climate becomes a second WTO. ... Copenhagen, for me, is a very clear deadline that I think we need to meet, and I am afraid that if we don't, then the process will begin to slip, and like in the trade negotiations, one deadline after the other will not be met, and we sort of become the little orchestra on the Titanic."(2)

We can live without a new trade agreement; we can't live without a new climate agreement. One of the failings of the people who have tried to mobilise support for a climate treaty is that we have made the issue too complicated. So here is the simplest summary I can produce of why this matters.

Human beings can live in a wider range of conditions than almost any other species. But the climate of the past few thousand years has been amazingly kind to us. It has enabled us to spread into almost all regions of the world and to grow into the favourable ecological circumstances it has created. We currently enjoy the optimum conditions for supporting seven billion people.
A shift in global temperature reduces the range of places than can sustain human life. During the last ice age, humans were confined to low latitudes. The difference in the average global temperature between now and then was four degrees centigrade. Global warming will have the opposite effect, driving people into higher latitudes, principally as water supplies diminish.
Food production at high latitudes must rise as quickly as it falls elsewhere, but this is unlikely to happen.

According to the body that summarises the findings of climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the potential for global food production "is very likely to decrease above about 3C"(3). The panel uses the phrase "very likely" to mean a probability of above 90%(4). Unless a strong climate deal is struck very soon, the probable outcome is a rise of three or more degrees by the end of the century.

Even in higher latitudes the habitable land area will decrease as the sea level rises. The likely rise this century - probably less than a metre - is threatening only to some populations, but the process does not stop in 2100. During the previous interglacial period, about 125,000 years ago, the average global temperature was around 1.3 degrees higher than it is today, as a result of changes in the earth's orbit around the sun. A new paper in the scientific journal Nature shows that sea levels during that period were between 6.6 and 9.4 metres higher than today's(5).

Once the temperature had risen, the expansion of sea water and the melting of ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica was unstoppable. I wonder whether the government of Denmark, whose atrocious management of the conference contributed to its failure, would have tried harder if its people knew that in a few hundred years they won't have a country any more.
As people are displaced from their homes by drought and sea level rise, and as food production declines, the planet will be unable to support the current population. The collapse in human numbers is unlikely to be either smooth or painless: while the average global temperature will rise gradually, the events associated with it will come in fits and starts: sudden droughts and storm surges.

This is why the least developed countries, which will be hit hardest, made the strongest demands in Copenhagen. One hundred and two poor nations called for the maximum global temperature rise to be limited not to two degrees but to 1.5. The chief negotiator for the G77 bloc complained that Africa was being asked "to sign a suicide pact, an incineration pact, in order to maintain the economic dominance of a few countries"(6).

The immediate reason for the failure of the talks can be summarised in two words: Barack Obama. The man elected to put aside childish things proved to be as susceptible to immediate self-interest as any other politician. Just as George Bush did in the approach to the Iraq war, Obama went behind the backs of the UN and most of its member states and assembled a coalition of the willing to strike a deal which outraged the rest of the world. This was then presented to poorer nations without negotiation; either they signed it or they lost the adaptation funds required to help them survive the first few decades of climate breakdown.

The British and American governments have blamed the Chinese government for the failure of the talks. It's true that the Chinese worked hard to mess them up, but Obama also put Beijing in an impossible position. He demanded concessions while offering nothing. He must have known the importance of not losing face in Chinese politics: his unilateral diplomacy amounted to a demand for self-abasement. My guess is that this was a calculated manoeuvre guaranteed to produce instransigence, whereupon China could be blamed for the outcome he wanted.

Why would Obama do this? You have only to see the relief in Democratic circles to get your answer. Pushing a strong climate programme through the Senate, many of whose members are wholly owned subsidiaries of the energy industry, would have been the political battle of his life. Yet again, the absence of effective campaign finance reform in the US makes global progress almost impossible.

So what happens now? That depends on the other non-player at Copenhagen: you. For the past few years good, liberal, compassionate people - the kind who read the Guardian every day - have shaken their heads and tutted and wondered why someone doesn't do something. Yet the number taking action has been pathetic. Demonstrations which should have brought millions onto the streets have struggled to mobilise a few thousand. As a result the political cost of the failure at Copenhagen is zero.

Is this music not to your taste sir, or madam? Perhaps you would like our little orchestra to play something louder, to drown out that horrible grinding noise.
www.monbiot.com

References:
1. Yvo de Boer, 19th December 2009. http://unfccc.int/2860.php
2. From transcript of video interview for the Guardian's "Monbiot Meets" series. You can watch the edited discussion here: Click Here

3. IPCC, 2007. Assessing key vulnerabilities and the risk from climate change. Table 19.1.
Click Here

4. Click Here

5. Robert E. Kopp et al, 17th December 2009. Probabilistic assessment of sea level during the last interglacial stage. Nature Vol 462, pp863-868. doi:10.1038/nature08686

6. Click Here.

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2010 Climate Criminals

Some of the bastards responsible for subverting public understanding of climate change

Michael Roddy & Ian Murphy
SOURCE: http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=1237

THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IS PRETTY BASIC: humans dig up fossilized carbon to fuel power plants and internal combustion machines, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. Result: greenhouse effect global heating. Around 50% of all the species on the planet are predicted to become extinct by 2100 in the CO2-as-usual model. Our own species will face drought, famine, rising tides, soaring temperatures, calamity and chaos. Hundreds of millions will become climate refugees. Billions may die from starvation, genocide and war. We have precious little time to mitigate this looming global catastrophe.
Those of us still denying the depressing facts are either tragically stupid or profoundly corrupt - or both. If there's anyone alive to write the history of corporate funded climate science denial, the following list of 15 Heinous Climate Villains will, by the sheer magnitude of death their lies wrought, make the infamous dictatorial monsters of the 20th century seem like incompetent children. Enjoy!

1) Don Blankenship, CEO Massey Energy
Misdeeds: According to the EPA, Massey's mountaintop removal coal operation is filthier than a Tiger Woods text. When a West Virginia Circuit Court fined the energy giant $50 million, it wasn't a problem for Blankenship, because he owns the West Virginia Supreme Court.
2) George Will, Columnist
Misdeeds: The errors Will has committed to print over the years are both more numerous and irresponsible than his bow tie collection, for which he also feels no remorse. He claimed in a February 2009 Washington Post column that "According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979." The Center responded: "We do not know where George Will is getting his information... global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979."

3) James Inhofe, Senator from Oklahoma
Misdeeds: Inhofe thinks that global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind," yet somehow served as the Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee from '03 to '07. Once called Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton to testify as a key witness. Believes that "scientific consensus" on climate change is a conspiracy perpetrated by greedy scientists to score grant money. Went to Copenhagen as the leader of the Climate Truth Squad, earning big laughs from overseas reporters. Lifetime recipient of Twelve Dumbest Members of Congress award.

4) Steve Milloy, Fake Scientist
Misdeeds: Founder of the aptly named junkscience.com and featured "junk science expert" on Fox News, Milloy believes science favoring tobacco or oil companies is "sound science," and the peer-reviewed stuff coming from nerds in lab coats is "junk science." Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts and a law degree; you almost have to admire his chutzpah.

5) Fred Singer, University of Virginia
Misdeeds: For the last 60 years, Singer's pimped his PhD credentials to any and every industry in need of phony science. He's slithered seamlessly from denying that smoking causes cancer to saying that DDT is harmless to "raising questions about and undercutting the 'prevailing scientific wisdom'" of climate change. Glacier data he later attributed to his wife was denounced as "complete bullshit" by the Glacier Monitoring.

6) Myron Ebell, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Misdeeds: As head of CEI, Myron admits using the money his organization solicited from the DDT, cigarette and coal industries to conduct intentionally biased research that suits their bullshit PR goals.

7) Patrick Michaels, Cato
Misdeeds: As a Senior Fellow at The Cato Institute and the Chief Editor of World Climate Report (an industry PR rag created by the evil coal trade group Western Fuels Association), Michaels is often touted as a climate expert in the mainstream media, though he has done no scientific research in 20 years. He lies about the wonders of "clean coal" so that the coal "families" can survive - you know, if black lung hasn't killed them already.

8) Sallie Baliunas, George C. Marshall Institute
Misdeeds: As an astrophysicist and ruthless GOP housewife lookalike, Baliunas lends both credibility and aesthetic reassurance to the denier movement. Claimed in a 2003 paper that "The Medieval Warming Period was hotter than today." (Actually, it's hotter today than it's been for 400,000 years.) Her article in Climate Research was so riddled with errors, and so subverted the peer review process, the editor and half of the journal's editorial board resigned. This led to celebrity status in the denier world, where if research is published that makes top scientists throw up, it must be accurate.

9) Stephen McIntyre, Mathematician
Misdeeds: Despite having no training or field experience in climate science, McIntyre runs the blog ClimateAudit.org, whose mission is to use arcane statistical analyses to break the "hockey stick" reconstruction of historical climate patterns. He recently claimed victory over the Briffa tree ring data controversy, but failed to note that there are at least 15 studies that don't need tree ring data to show the identical late 20th century hockey stick shape of rising temperatures and CO2 concentrations.

10) Marc Morano, Professional Douchebag
Misdeeds: Morano is possibly the most embarrassing wingnut in all of Denierdom-a dishonor earned as an Inhofe staffer and producer for the Rush Limbaugh Show. Reporting for Cybercast News Service, he was the first source of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth lies about John Kerry in 2004 and John Murtha in 2006. It's no surprise that his blog (climatedepot.com) is primarily a vehicle for lies, smears and character assassination aimed at credible climate scientists.

11) Professor Roy Spencer, University of Alabama at Huntsville
Misdeeds: Professor Spencer is skeptical of widely accepted Paleoclimate data, like the kind provided by 800,000 year old ice cores, because he believes God created the earth and sculpted man out of clay approximately 6,000 years ago. Even you can do better, Alabama.

12) Richard Lindzen, MIT
Misdeeds: The professor's predilection for citing bad data to try to refute widely accepted climate science is a black eye for the state of Massachusetts and research institutes everywhere. Lindzen thinks global warming is basically a "political" issue, and yet has not provided compelling scientific evidence for his contrarian views.

13) Bjørn Lomborg, Economist
Misdeeds: A serial liar, whose books have spawned a cottage industry for scientists who debunk them, Lomborg reluctantly admits that the earth is getting hotter, but insists that we'll like the warmer weather. He has opinions about many scientific issues, but is trained only in economics and game theory. His love of numbers and arguments does not extend to facts.


14) Roger Pielke Jr., Political Scientist
Misdeeds: It's telling that Pielke thinks his poli sci degree entitles him to have an opinion about all aspects of climate science. Specifically, it's telling us that he thinks we're idiots. Pielke constantly parrots fallacious claims about ice, ocean temperature and warming rates from whacked out websites like wattsupwiththat.com. Roger has been dubbed the Most Debunked Science Writer in the Blogosphere by Climate Progress, yet still appears in the media as a contrarian "expert."

15) Lord Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley


Misdeeds: Admired by Glenn Beck. His Lordship's hysterical condescension and anger flashes are classic examples of dangerous Royal inbreeding. Can be found at all the big denier fests, including Blankenship's nightmarish blasted mountaintop jamboree. Habitually confabulates his autobiography and fabricates scientific facts. Monckton recently called a gathering of activists in Copenhagen "Hitler Youth."

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Ethics Of Eating A Chicken Sandwich
Jacob Holloway

As the title implies, this essay will be answering the question of ethics and the food that we choose to eat. This essay will attempt to prove that there is not only moral implications to the choices in food that we choose to eat but also that we have a moral imperative to choose foods that are ethically sound to consume.

As I write this, about a week ago, I engaged an acquaintance in a conversation concerning the issue of food, specifically, chicken sandwiches. The acquaintance, which was unfamiliar with contemporary issues in agriculture, was determined to continue to eat at a fast food restaurant whose business model supports an unsustainable and destructive form of agricultural practices. Now, I know that there are some serious ethical issues concerning animal cruelty and industrial meat production but, I believe, this issue goes far deeper than just animal rights.

As one begins to see the totality of the situation being presented in this essay, I believe, it is important to offer some kind of solution to the ethical dilemma being presented. Lori Gruen, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University, advocates for a new system of ethical thought known as contextual vegetarianism. Gruen calls herself a "contextual moral vegetarian" because she thinks that sometimes a caring response may entail the killing of animals for food. Lori Gruen advocates contextual vegetarianism, but she does so by contending that the bonds we develop with nonhumans in our lives augment our empathetic awareness.

Furthermore, Gruen fairly summarizes the anti-meat arguments:

"When billions of animals are still being born to be slaughtered, when the environment is being destroyed by agribusiness, when maldistribution of food leads to the starvation of thousands of children around the world, when the activities of the rich and powerful cause untold suffering to marginalized peoples and animals, one may sensibly be pragmatic. There are many reasons to think hard about what one is contributing to when purchasing the products of modern factory farming and many reasons to stop eating animals"

So, in the spirit of this essay, I will now end with an "alter-call" to my fellow caring citizens to consider converting to this new ethical idea of contextual vegetarianism. I do not believe in fooling myself or others into thinking that any problem this large can be solved easily. I do believe, however, that having a morally sound and ethical argument on your side helps when confronting the issue if not just for the mere sake of being able to invoke such moral rules when confronted by others that are less aware of these problems. Perhaps, even, this essay will convince my acquaintance to eat a few less chicken sandwiches... And if that happens, then this ethical argument was well worth the effort of being made!

To read the complete paper.

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Legislative Alert

The Climate Bill in the US Senate from 1Sky.org
Sen Pryor among a group of Senators pushing to delay climate action

On Christmas Eve, the healthcare bill passed the US Senate 60-39, thanks to a last-minute compromise with climate-swing Ben Nelson (D-NE). For any bill in this Congress, Senate passage is the biggest hurdle, but now the varying Senate and House health care versions need to be streamlined into one bill -- a process that may take months, but won't stop action on other important issues.

In Copenhagen, Senator Kerry (D-MA) reiterated his resolve to spearhead climate and clean energy legislation in this Congress. Before the UN conference, he told reporters that he hoped to pass a bill "by early spring." Senator Kerry will be working on a climate bill framework with Senators Graham (R-SC) and Lieberman (D-CT), while specific aspects of the bill are taken up by committees, like the Finance Committee that Senator Baucus (D-MT) chairs. Although he did not vote in favor of Kerry-Boxer bill in the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Senator Baucus has stated that "there's no doubt that this Congress is going to pass climate change legislation." Climate Progess
A recent politico piece identifies a faction of moderate democrats who are pushing to delay climate action, including Sens. Landrieu (D-LA), Conrad (D-ND), Pryor (D-AR), and Bayh (D-IN).
Click Here!

Their move to separate climate components from energy legislation is among the worst possible outcomes we could see in this Congress. 1Sky will be fighting for a strong clean energy and climate bill this spring that includes a cap on carbon, in addition to complementary policies that incentivize cleaner and more efficient energy technology.
In addition to the "dual track" process led by Senator Kerry to build on his EPW-passed bill, other climate proposals have been put forward as well:

The CLEAR Act developed by Senators Cantwell (D-WA), and Collins (R-ME) has several positive dimensions as well as some drawbacks. On the positive side,Cantwell-Collins takes a stand against the high quantity of offset credits that can be substituted for clean energy investments, eliminates giveaways to fossil fuel companies like Big Oil, Dirty Coal, and nuclear power, and does not interfere with existing Clean Air Act requirements that old dirty coal plants meet modern performance standards.

Unfortunately, the Cantwell-Collins bill contains weak carbon reduction targets that fall well short of levels needed to prevent dangerous climate change and seal a strong global deal. 1Sky hopes that the best elements of the Cantwell-Collins bill will inform the work that other Senators are doing to build support for strong climate legislation, and urges all of Congress to design bills that will meet the increasingly ambitious science-based targets for reducing global warming pollution.

Less encouraging alternate bills include a "power plant only" approach led by Senators Voinovich (R-OH) and Lugar (R-IN), and a "nuclear only" approach led by Senators Webb (VA) and Alexander (R-TN). 1Sky supports an economy-wide bill that will reduce carbon pollution from all fossil fuels, and we do not think nuclear power investments are cost-effective or necessary for reducing emissions.

Contact Senator Pryor and urge him not to delay climate action in the US Senate

Call: (202) 224-2353

Contact via website: http://pryor.senate.gov/contact/

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Update on the JW Turk Coal Plant


Photo by Leo Talaska,, Ashdown, Arkansas

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Thank you for your support and we hope to hear from you on how we can improve 350PPM and better serve your need for meaningful information on the climate crisis.

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Robert McAfee
for the Carbon Caps Task Force, OMNI and PKI-TLAMI.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The immediate reason for the failure of the talks can be summarised in two words: Barack Obama."

You've got to be kidding. He did not sign that treaty because he knew no one else would, and also he knew once the public found out that the real purpose of Copenhagen was to create a socialist global central government, it would never be supported in the US Congress and he'd never win another election. It was total poison.

愉快 said...

要保持更新呦,加油!!!期待你的新文章!!!........................................