Saturday, March 24, 2018

"[Chevron] representative says the oil industry accepts that humans are the driving force of global warming"


On March 21 CBS San Francisco (CBS SF) reported in "Judge Calls For Tutorial While Hearing Climate Change Lawsuits" "the [Chevron] representative says the oil industry accepts that humans are the driving force of global warming but oil companies argue that they can't be held liable for emissions that are indeed government regulated." The oil companies' response is laughable because, as Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse noted, after the Supreme Court passed Citizens United in 2010 providing limitless "dark money" in politics "virtually instantly all republican work on climate change stopped." To give human and nonhuman species a fighting chance, the Supreme Court must overturn Citizens United as soon as possible. Scientist, polar explorer, diplomat, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen, known for helping hundreds of thousands of refugees, said to a group at the 1925 League of Nations "The wonderfully eloquent speech which we have just heard reminds me of the definition of the difference between the difficult and the impossible. The difficult is that which can be done at once: the impossible is that which takes a little longer." If recent climate trends are an indicator, time is short to massively reduce carbon emissions because, as some scientists note, the climate effects now are from emissions about 10 to 30 years ago, and we have poured in much more carbon since then. We can expect conditions to get worse until long after this problem is solved.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Big Oil Knew: Part 1


Update: "On Wednesday, a federal judge [ William Alsup] will hold a 'climate science tutorial' as part of San Francisco’s and Oakland’s nuisance cases against five oil giants for damages related to sea level rise" according to Ann Carlson and Peter C. Frumhoff of the San Francisco Chronicle.  I wonder What is the dollar value of Earth's coral reefs, and Pacific Northwest salmon?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Former California Governor "Arnold Schwarzenegger Accuses Oil Companies Of Murder"

Cornel West's Great Essay "Brother Martin Was a Blues Man"

This morning I enjoyed Cornel West's great essay "Brother Martin Was a Blues Man" in Boston Review, which is also a podcast.  The essay notes, "72 percent of Americans disapproved of Martin when he was shot in Memphis and 50 percent of black Americans disapproved of Martin when he was shot. We should never forget that. We all love him now that the worms got his body. But when he was speaking the truth, he was radically unsettling folk. [ . . . .]  The New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New Republic, exemplary liberal [ . . . ] pushed Martin aside. [ . . . .] For him, a Vietnamese baby has the same value as an American baby. That’s when they said, 'You ain’t nothing but an extension of Radio Hanoi. You are a communist.' And then what happened? Black preachers turned away from him, didn’t allow him to speak at the pulpits anymore."  Poets, that is our job in the tribe -- to speak the truth, and as Joy Harjo noted, "to sing" while we are doing it.

Thanks to visitors this morning from Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Philippines, Pakistan, and Russia, and recently from Japan, South Korea, Poland, Portugal, and, Australia.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Climate Change Effects Are Local and Global

© 2011 Ruth Wallen. All Rights Reserved.
I enjoyed meeting artist Ruth Wallen, a lecturer at the University of California, San Diego, with an art exhibit Listen to the Trees at San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery from March 12  - April 3, 2018. The hours are MTW 11 am - 4 pm, TH 11 am - 7 pm, closed Fridays, weekends and college holidays. Visitor parking info is here, and a map is here.  It is in building D1.

The ad for the Exhibit notes, "Since 2010, over 100 million trees have died in California alone--ravaged by beetles, drought, fires and more. Humans and trees are bound in reciprocity.  In addition to shade, shelter and food, trees produce oxygen and take up the carbon dioxide that we increasingly spew into the atmosphere.  In many cultures, trees are a symbol of life itself.  What does it mean that the trees are dying?"

My favorite part was "A tree stump with an ipad display[ing] diagrams of trees rings with historical data and models projecting climate to the year 2100. Tree rings are often labeled with historical events and pressing on selected rings reveals information about a local ecological event that has occurred or might occur in that year."  This science-based show was revealing and haunting. Check it out by visiting the Gallery or clicking the Listen to the Trees link.  Her exhibit began at the Weather on Steroids project at La Jolla Historical Society, the same group that sponsored my book launch of the climate change poetry collection Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems.

Update: All are invited to a 4 p.m. March 22 poetry reading complementing Ruth Wallen's Remember the Trees art exhibit at San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery, room D101. 

Students from the first two terms of Scott Starbuck's Honors Climate Change Poetry Seminar 247 / 247B will read ecopoems, and other poems.  The students' book Earth-Rent is in the LRC, and the course will be offered fall term 2018 Thursdays at 6:35 p.m.

Coffee and cookies! [ . . .]

Alessandra Moctezuma, Gallery Director

Saturday, March 10, 2018

"Warning System Down: California’s Deadliest Fires"

Thich Nhat Hanh taught to focus on what is helpful. It is helpful to listen to this Reveal radio broadcast to ask for systems planning and AMBER-style alerts that can be used in regional emergencies: "Warning System Down: California Deadliest Fires" ("Last October, more than 170 wildfires ripped across Northern California. It was the deadliest fire incident in the state's history [and cost 44 lives]") (Click the  LISTEN  button under the title.)

Thank you to 99 visitors from Japan this morning (3/12/18) as well as many other visitors from Ukraine, Russia, South Korea, Australia, Germany, Portugal, Canada, and Indonesia.

The "Red Team, Blue Team" Climate Change Debate E. P. A. Chief Scott Pruitt Wanted, and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly Rejected, was Clarified in a 2011 Debate, and Eco and Political Situations Have Grown Much Worse

Click here for the 2011 debate.

A New York Times article by LISA FRIEDMAN and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS reported yesterday "The E.P.A Chief Wanted a Climate Science Debate. Trump’s Chief of Staff Stopped Him."

United States' leadership is the only leadership on Earth rejecting science that human-caused carbon is the main thing heating Earth and acidifying oceans. If you care, now is the time to contact elected officials, and join others like 350.org working on solutions. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave a good overview of climate disasters in 2017.  March 6, 2018, the Chicago Tribune published an article by Seth Borenstein updating the heating situation in the Arctic.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Is a human life worth $450 to you?

I went to hear "the Pope's advisers" on climate change March 2 at a UCSD panel called "Climate Change. What Can Be Done About It?" attended by about a hundred students, professors, and concerned citizens.  The advisers were Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Dr. Richard C.J. Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Congressman Scott Peters who serves California's 52nd Congressional District.  The highlight was when, as noted elsewhere, "Dr. Ramanathan said it would take $450 per person per year in the top one billion people to change from our carbon economy to renewables" saving over 3 billion people that may otherwise die from exposure to 130 degree plus heat 35 years from now if humans fail to convert energy sources from coal and fossil fuels to "solar, wind, hydro, and possibly nuclear. [ . . . . ] We have 10 to 15 years to solve the problem."

Dr. Somerville noted "human behavior" in responding to climate crisis is the main unknown factor, and lamented lack of enough leaders on the issue. I asked what they thought about nonviolent civil disobedient climate action.  Congressman Peters said he thought it was ineffective, but Dr. Ramanathan mentioned Gandhi made it work in India, and Dr. Somerville reminded everyone of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights movement. I would have suggested Bill McKibben as a leader, but had already taken my turn to speak when there were no hands in the air, and at that point, there were many hands in the air. Prior to that I mentioned Dr. James Hansen but received no response.

San Diego County has about 3 million people who need to be involved.  The hundred in the room asked good questions about what to tell people concerned about climate change solutions, and how society can get gas and diesel cars off the road in the next ten years.  Listening, I recalled William Stafford's poem "Serving With Gideon" read by his son Kim.

Congressman Peters talked much about the need to get evangelicals involved.

The last question was about carbon removal from the atmosphere, though my reading indicates that may not work (see last four paragraphs).

Click here for a Southern California perspective.