Business/ Economics

PRESIDENTAL QUOTES

The liberty of a democracy is not safe
if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where
it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.
That in its essence is fascism:
ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power

Franklin D. Roosevelt
April 29, 1938
F D Roosevelt
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/219075.Franklin_D_Roosevelt
For a speech still relevant:
http://publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/faculty-research/new-deal/roosevelt-speeches/fr042938.htm

AND
“I believe this is the defining challenge of our time,
making sure our economy works for every working American.”
President Barack Obama
http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-economic-inequality-is-hurting-americas-future/1803524.html
For video- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/04/obama-income-inequality_n_4384843.html

- When I heard Obama on the radio say that the economics of working Americans is the defining challenge of our time, I shouted back at him No! No! Why? Solving climate change will be how our era is judged in the future. Without that, no economic shift will be meaningful, eaten up by ecosystem collapses and severe weather. Yes, you need to feed your kids breakfast, but if your house is on fire, which will be the defining challenge?
I read The Crash of 2016 and decided not to include this depressing book in Climate Today, but after Obama’s claim, it’s jumped back in. We need to see how both unjust economics and inaction on climate change are connected, backed by the same greedy players!  Thom Hartman’s reveals HOW, over decades, big funding has manipulated all aspects of our democracy, and he makes it clear why solving climate change- and economic justice- is proving to be a very tough battle. Billionaires crave even more billions, while our planet’s ecosystems collapse, and the poor get poorer. Corporate interests twist elections, court decisions, education, and importantly, the media. Hartman concludes that we will just have to begin to build the new systems that will restart our society after the Crash. We can hope he’s wrong about the Crash, but he’s right about building eco-responsible and socially just solutions NOW. FDR warns about the dangers of allowing private power to be stronger and more controlling than democracy, and this book begins to shed light on how decades of hidden plots and big money blind us to the science and politics of survival. – Editor

The Crash of 2016 Thom Hartman 

The Crash of 2016 -The Plot to Destroy America”and What We Can Do to Stop It
The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted. Corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced democratic infrastructure and governance. Although we are in the midst of what could become the most catastrophic economic crash in American history, a way forward is emerging. Before us stands a genuine opportunity to embrace the moral motive over the profit motive- and to rebuild the American economic model that once yielded great success. THE CRASH OF 2016 is not just a roadmap to redemption in post-Crash America, but a critical wake-up call, challenging us to act.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-crash-of-2016-thom-hartmann/1115779224?ean=9780446584814
For a video interview- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izxP_U2vzoU

Bjorn Yesterday: NY Times Runs Op-Ed Asserting Poor People Need More Carbon Pollution

- Just one example of far too many! Great climate reporters are being fired in so many companies. Ownership and advertisers permeate most media to cleverly not deal with greenhouse gases building up. – Editor

media confuscating climate science

The New York Times shuts down its environment desk and its Green Blog this year. Then last week, the Times’ public editor publishes a damning analysis showing that the paper’s climate coverage had dropped sharply.
The paper’s response? Devote some of its scarce op-ed space to the umpteenth rehashed Bjorn Lomborg piece touting more carbon pollution and R&D in place of climate action, The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels. If that headline sounds familiar, it’s because Lomborg had pieces in USA Today and National Post making similar arguments. Lomborg twists the facts beyond recognition.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/04/3018051/bjorn-lomborg-carbon-pollution/

Tasmania Aims For 100% Renewable Energy

QUOTE
It will take commitment from all Tasmanians
if we are to achieve our shared vision for the future.

I am optimistic that while the task ahead is urgent,
we have built strong foundations that will
support Tasmania to adapt and prosper in a low-carbon economy.
Together, we can help shape the future in this,
the critical decade.

Cassy O'Connor Tasmania
Cassy O’Connor, Minister for Climate Change, Tasmania, and Visionary

- Continuing the vision of solutions even when her nation’s Prime Minister Abbott aims to repeal carbon emissions trading and has slashed funding for renewable energy! An example for us all! - Editor

Climate Smart Tasmania

Last week, the Tasmanian government released “Climate Smart Tasmania: A 2020 Climate Change Strategy.”  “Tasmania is a renewable energy powerhouse – our annual average electricity supply comes from 87 per cent renewable energy,” says the Minister for Climate Change, Cassy O’Connor. Tasmania has also set a goal of slashing its carbon emissions by 35% by 2020. The Strategy sets out 9 priority areas and more than 80 actions both to reduce emissions and prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.
http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4055
For the report Climate Smart Tasmania- A 2020 Climate Change Strategy- http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/212762/2020_Climate_Change_Strategy.PDF

Ready Or Not. Abrupt Climate Changes Worry Scientists Most

- At Climate Today, we have a file called Surprise Factor, stuffed with articles of scientists in a wide variety of fields being shocked because climate changes were happening far faster than they’d anticipated. The surprise file is the scariest of them all. Years ago, we reported on the book Abrupt Climate Change written in 2002- it’s more than tragic that we’ve known for so long and done so little! Some changes will occur very quickly and will be irreversible. Now the crazies don’t even want to fund a warning system! Don’t they have children? – Editor

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

An expert panel at the National Academy of Sciences is calling for an early warning system to alert us to abrupt and potentially catastrophic events triggered by climate change.
The committee says science can anticipate some major changes to the Earth that could affect everything from agriculture to sea level. But we aren’t doing enough to look for those changes and anticipate their impacts. And this is not a matter for some distant future. The Earth is already experiencing both gradual and abrupt climate change.
To listen- http://www.npr.org/2013/12/03/248474721/ready-or-not-quick-climate-changes-worry-scientists-most
http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/other-reports-on-climate-change/2013-2/abrupt-impacts-of-climate-change/
For a 4 page summary- http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/reports-in-brief/abrupt-climate-change-brief-FINAL-web.pdf
For the older book Abrupt Climate Change- http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

2014 Shrimp Season In The Gulf Of Maine Has Been Canceled

QUOTE
I think everyone was startled by what we saw in 2012,
and there was a lot of pressure to close down the fishery for the 2013 season.
The survey this summer found just 20 percent of the 2012 record low,
so it has fallen off incredibly sharply.

John Annala
John Annala, Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute

- Here’s a small example of how precarious ecosystems and their bounty can be. When you hear words like surprised or startled, it’s not good. This is also a hint of why we at Climate Today are deeply concerned about the issue of food. Similar situations of reducing diverse food yields are happening all over the world. – Editor

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted unanimously to halt shrimping for the upcoming season. The annual shrimp survey in 2012 revealed the lowest abundance of adults ever recorded in the survey’s thirty-year history. During the last ten years the water temperature in the Gulf of Maine has been running about 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the previous one hundred year average. Even if Northern shrimp prove themselves to be more heat tolerant than scientists predict, the warmer waters in the Gulf of Maine are proving deadly to the shrimp’s food supply, tiny zooplankton. Last spring, the usual surge in plankton never happened.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/04/3021451/maine-shrimp-season-closed/

Preparing for Hell and High Water

QUOTE
“Adapting to an evolving climate is going to be required
in every sector of society, in every region of the globe.
We need to get going, to provide integrated science if we are going to meet the challenge.
Richard Moss PNNL
Richard Moss, senior scientist, Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

In the journal Science, an international group of researchers urge the development of science needed to manage climate risks and capitalize on unexpected opportunities. Climate preparedness research needs to integrate social and climate science, engineering, and other disciplines.  The need to adapt and adjust is going to be global.
http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=1020
For the article Hell and High Water: Practice-Relevant Adaptation Science “http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6159/696.summary?sid=f9097460-2c0d-4d2d-a856-0f2aac9893bc

Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’

Dr Hansen's family
Here’s Dr. Hansen with his family. Which of your loved ones have rights to a healthy future?

- Dr. Hansen deeply loves his grandchildren, has warned about climate change for decades at the highest levels, and is now dedicating his life to his and our precious descendants’ rights to a decent future. Politicians have not listened well, so now to the courts. – Editor

sources of GHG chart

Earth’s history shows that 2C global warming is likely to result in eventual sea level rise of the order of six meters (20 feet). Moreover, we note that such warming level would induce “slow amplifying feedbacks”.
Our paper was initiated to provide the scientific basis for legal actions against national and state governments for not doing their job of protecting the rights of young people and future generations. A lower court ruling in the case against the U.S. federal government, suggesting that the “trust” doctrine does not give the court a constitutional basis for ordering actions on the executive branch, is now being appealed to a higher court. The appeal places greater emphasis on “equal protection of the laws” and “due process”, which the U.S. Constitution guarantees to all people.
From an email from James Hansen-http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2013/20131202_PopularSciencePlosOneE.pdf
Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’- Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature
http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0081648&representation=PDF

ACTION: Rethink holiday consumerism.

Here’s a book suggesting ways to end the addictions of consumerism and flow into a cultural renaissance.
This might make a good gift. Give it to all the members of your book club or other group so all of you can discuss it. Our biggest event at Christmas now is with our neighbors, and we have a long table lined with 3 generations making delicious tamales! Great fun! No boxed gifts, no cards- just real gifts of laughter, sharing, special food, and LOVE! Try it! – Editor
The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to Extinction

Hidden Door

Many people sense that consumer culture is dragging us toward extinction. We must discover an exit. There is a door, hidden in plain sight. What sort of culture might appear if we took seriously the essential values and principles that form the deep structure of voluntary simplicity and used them to inform a new perspective of the good life? Can we find the passage leading to cultural renaissance? This book aims to help seed this renaissance by widening the conversation about how we transition from the road to extinction to a path with heart that has a future.
https://www.createspace.com/4477285
http://www.amazon.com/The-Hidden-Door-Sufficiency-Alternative/dp/0987588478

Did You Know?

Moving a person in a car requires moving 3000 pounds of metal.
It would take 81 electric bikes to emit the same amount of pollution as
one car traveling the same distance.
electric bike
From: Pedal Power- Taking E-Bikes Mainstream
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2013_11_19_Pedal_Power

- For a brief conclusion of the Warsaw conference, since last week it had not completely ended.- Editor
Warsaw climate talks set 2015 target for plans to curb emissions
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/24/warsaw-climate-talks-greenhouse-gas-emissions