Senator Inhofe Says Global Warming Is a Hoax

What are the odds that Senator Inhofe represents big oil? He certainly knows how intimidate and threaten anyone who disagrees with him.

Source: Senator Inhofe’s Climate Of Confrontation – BusinessWeek

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, has famously derided global warming as a "hoax." He has been on the offensive against those he considers heretics. That has left business in doubt about the regulatory environment.

The Reverend Richard Cizik is an evangelical Christian and a die-hard Reaganite….He believes that climate change is a growing problem, and that Christians have a duty to protect the planet by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases.

Last year, Inhofe demanded six years of tax and membership records from two groups of state and local air-pollution control officials after they testified that his proposed clean air legislation was too weak. On Feb. 7, the day before evangelicals kicked off a campaign for carbon controls, Inhofe sent a preemptive letter to senators asserting "there is, in fact, no movement in that direction" among evangelicals. Now he is requesting information on all employees and projects at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Some green conservatives are speaking out more. "Inhofe is to the right of Attila the Hun on climate change," says the Reverend Jim Ball, director of the Evangelical Environmental Network. Meanwhile, Environmental Defense and the Ad Council were set to unveil an ad campaign on Mar. 23 aimed at boosting public awareness of climate change. If more Americans come to believe the problem is urgent, eventually even Inhofe may not be able to hold back the tide.

E. F. Schumacher Quote

We must do what we conceive to be the right thing and not bother our heads or burden our souls with whether we will be successful. Because if we don’t do the right thing, we will be doing the wrong thing and we will just be a part of the disease and not a part of the cure.

E. F. Schumacher

via Gil Friend

We Have 10 Years to Reverse Global Warming

The top US scientist on weather says we have 10 years to reverse global warming. The White House says shut up.

Link: Rewriting The Science – CBS News.

James Hansen is taking a risk. He says there are things the White House doesn’t want you to hear but he’s going to say them anyway.

Hansen is arguably the world’s leading researcher on global warming. He’s the head of NASA’s top institute studying the climate.

What James Hansen believes is that global warming is accelerating. He points to the melting arctic and to Antarctica, where new data show massive losses of ice to the sea.

Is it fair to say at this point that humans control the climate? Is that possible?

"There’s no doubt about that, says Hansen. "The natural changes, the speed of the natural changes is now dwarfed by the changes that humans are making to the atmosphere and to the surface."

Those human changes, he says, are driven by burning fossil fuels that pump out greenhouse gases like CO2, carbon dioxide. Hansen says his research shows that man has just 10 years to reduce greenhouse gases before global warming reaches what he calls a tipping point and becomes unstoppable. He says the White House is blocking that message.

Dozens of federal agencies report science but much of it is edited at the White House before it is sent to Congress and the public. It appears climate science is edited with a heavy hand. Drafts of climate reports were co-written by Rick Piltz for the federal Climate Change Science Program. But Piltz says his work was edited by the White House to make global warming seem less threatening.

Piltz worked under the Clinton and Bush administrations. Each year, he helped write a report to Congress called "Our Changing Planet."

Piltz says he is responsible for editing the report and sending a review draft to the White House.

Asked what happens, Piltz says: "It comes back with a large number of edits, handwritten on the hard copy by the chief-of-staff of the Council on Environmental Quality."

Asked who the chief of staff is, Piltz says, "Phil Cooney."

Piltz says Cooney is not a scientist. "He’s a lawyer. He was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, before going into the White House," he says.

Should Our Government Sell the National Forests?

NO!

The Bush administration’s FY 2007 budget request includes a proposal to sell up to 300,000 acres of National Forest land. They say they will use the revenues to for funding rural schools over the next 5 years. While funding of rural schools is necessary, this is another example of a political misdirection game that politicians use when they want to fool the citizens.

Bush bashers have been saying that the administration would start selling off public land to help reduce the budget deficit. Now it is happening. Our country is spending $150 million a day in Iraq, with no end in sight. Overspending is the problem, not lack of revenues, and selling National Forest land will not fix an unprecedented record of budgetary mismanagement.

Whether this is desperate act to raise revenues, or, another let’s destroy the credibility of government strategy, it stinks.

Here’s more info from the Wilderness Society: The President’s Billion Dollar Public Land Sell Off Scheme

Here’s the contact information. Please write or email to stop this foolish move.

USDA Forest Service
SRS Comments, Lands 4S
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop 1124
Washington, DC, 20250-0003
Fax: 202-205-1604
Email: SRS_Land_Sales@fs.fed.us

P.S.: Dave Pollard predicted this would happen:

…sell off large amounts of public property to private interests at a greatly accelerated rate. This second alternative fits precisely with the Norquist/neocon "weaken government until you can drown it in a bathtub" agenda. They would then be doing exactly what corporations do — treat the entire country’s public property, the Commons, as an enterprise in liquidation, as economist Herman Daly has described. Until they’re sold off to private developers, they’re ‘worth’ nothing because they generate little or no cash revenues.

So now you know why Bush is not only unworried but actually pleased with skyrocketing deficits. They give him the excuse to cut government services and programs (if you read the harsh rhetoric of his annual budget he makes no bones about the fact he sees only defense and ‘homeland security’ expenses as essential), and to sell off ‘priceless’ parks, national forests and other public lands….

Are We Ignoring Peak Oil?

Below are some excerpts from an article by Richard Heinberg describing peak oil and how prepared the US is for the inevitable decline in oil production.

Link: George W. Bush and Peak Oil | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse.

  • Peak Oil is foreseeable.
  • The consequences are also foreseeable and are likely to be ruinous.
  • The Bush administration has been repeatedly warned.
  • Actions could be taken to reduce the impact, but the longer those actions are delayed, the worse the impact will be.
  • The administration, rather than taking steps to mitigate these looming catastrophic impacts, has instead done things that can only worsen them.

Peak Oil—the point at which the rate of global production of petroleum begins its inevitable historic decline—is a subject of growing public interest. The basic concept is derived from experience: during the past century-and-a-half all older oil wells have been observed to peak and decline in output. The same has been noted with entire oilfields, and with the collective oil endowment of whole nations. Indeed, most oil-producing nations have already seen their output enter terminal decline. Few informed observers doubt that the rate of oil production for the world in total will reach a maximum at some point and then slowly wane.

In short, the science behind Peak Oil is well established, and, while there is some disagreement about exactly when the global peak will arrive, there can be no excuse at this stage for ignoring the problem.

In sum, while it is impossible to say whether Mr. Bush understands Peak Oil, no one could credibly argue that that he simply hasn’t heard about it.

In fact, it would be no exaggeration to view Peak Oil as potentially representing the economic, social, and political impact of a hundred Katrinas. And that impact will not subside in a few days’ or years’ time: once global oil production has peaked, the energy shortfalls for transportation and agriculture will be ongoing, relentless, and cumulative.

Our automobiles could be made much more fuel-efficient, though this will require government leadership via higher CAFE standards. But over the long term automobiles and trucks simply aren’t good options for transportation, given their inherent energy inefficiency. Thus the nation will need a much-expanded freight and passenger rail system. Our cities, most of which have been designed for the automobile, need to be made more neighborhood-oriented and walkable, and provided with light-rail transit systems. Meanwhile agricultural production must be freed, as quickly and completely as possible, from fossil-fuel inputs. All of these efforts will require substantial investment and many years of work.

In his 2006 State of the Union address, Bush said that the U.S. is “addicted to oil,” and put forward the goal of reducing oil imports from the Middle East. The next day his staff backpedaled, saying that this goal was only an “example.”24

Five years into the Bush administration, the nation is more dependent on imported oil than ever before. It is facing an impending energy crisis that a government-funded study says will be “unprecedented” in scope and consequences. And needed preparation efforts are nowhere to be seen.

Are We on the Titanic?

Serious criticism of the current leadership and direction of the United States can be called unpatriotic and unproductive, or viewed as a necessary wake-up call. If you fall in the wake-up call camp, you will find the following excerpts from an article in Salon by Michelle Goldberg very pertinent.

Source: Salon.com Books | Decline and fall

In 1984, the renowned historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Barbara Tuchman published "The March of Folly," a book about how, over and over again, great powers undermine and sabotage themselves. She documented the perverse self-destructiveness of empires that clung to deceptive ideologies in the face of contrary evidence, that spent carelessly and profligately, and that obstinately refused to change course even when impending disaster was obvious to those willing to see it.

Kevin Phillips’ grim new book, "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century," puts the country’s degeneration into historical perspective, and that perspective is not conducive to optimism. The title is a bit misleading, because only the middle section of the book, which is divided into thirds, deals with the religious right. The first part, "Oil and American Supremacy," is about America’s prospects as oil becomes scarcer and more expensive, and the last third, "Borrowed Prosperity," is about America’s unsustainable debt. Phillips’ argument is that imperial overstretch, dependence on obsolete energy technologies, intolerant and irrational religious fervor, and crushing debt have led to the fall of previous great powers, and will likely lead to the fall of this one. It reads, in some ways, like a follow-up to "The March of Folly."

"Conservative true believers will scoff: the United States is sue generis, they say, a unique and chosen nation," writes Phillips. "What did or did not happen to Rome, imperial Spain, the Dutch Republic, and Britain is irrelevant. The catch here, alas, is that these nations also thought they were unique and that God was on their side. The revelation that He was apparently not added a further debilitating note to the later stages of each national decline."

There’s a sad irony to the fact that Phillips has come to write this book. His 1969 book, "The Emerging Republican Majority," both predicted and celebrated Republican hegemony. As chief elections and voting patterns analyst for the 1968 Nixon campaign, he is often credited for the Southern strategy that led to the realignment of the Republican Party toward Sun Belt social conservatives. Today’s governing Republican coalition is partly his Frankenstein.

Phillips’ book is very valuable in the way he brings all the strands together and puts them in context. He has a history of good judgment that affords him the authority to make big-picture claims: In 1993, the New York Times Book Review wrote of him, "through more than 25 years of analysis and predictions, nobody has been as transcendentally right about the outlines of American political change as Kevin Phillips." Other recent books foresee American meltdown; James Howard Kunstler’s "The Long Emergency" deals with some of the same gathering threats as "American Theocracy." Kunstler is a far more engaging writer than Phillips, but he’s also more prone to doomsday speculation, and he sometimes seems to relish the apocalyptic scenario he conjures. It’s Phillips’ sobriety and gravitas that gives "American Theocracy" ballast, and that makes it frightening.

Unless the United States proves immune from the economic laws that have heretofore prevailed, this arrangement is unsustainable. As former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker wrote last April in the Washington Post, under the placid surface of the seemingly steady American economy, "there are disturbing trends: huge imbalances, disequilibria, risks — call them what you will. Altogether the circumstances seem to me as dangerous and intractable as any I can remember, and I can remember quite a lot. What really concerns me is that there seems to be so little willingness or capacity to do much about it."

Again, as Phillips shows, the historical record provides warnings: "Historically, top world economic powers have found ‘financialization’ a sign of late-stage debilitation, marked by excessive debt, great disparity between rich and poor, and unfolding economic decline."

But if Phillips is correct, the coming years are going to be ugly for all of us, not just blithe exurbanites with SUVs and floating-rate mortgages. With oil growing scarce and America unable or unwilling to even begin weaning itself away, we could see a future of resource wars that would inflame jihadi terrorism and bankrupt the country, shredding what’s left of the social safety net. As Phillips notes, a collapsed economy would leave many debt-ridden Americans as what Democratic leaders have called "modern-day indentured servants," paying back constantly compounding debt with no hope of escape via bankruptcy. The prospect of social breakdown looms. The desperation of New Orleans could end up being a preview.

In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, it was clear to everyone that the United States had suffered a hideous blow, but few had any idea just how bad it was. It didn’t occur to most people to wonder whether the country’s very core had been seriously damaged; if anything, America had never seemed so united and resolute. Almost five years later, with Bush still in the White House, a whole cavalcade of catastrophes bearing down on us and a lack of political will to address any of them, the scope of Osama bin Laden’s triumph is coming sickeningly into focus. He didn’t start the country on its march of folly, but he spurred America toward bombastic nationalism, military quagmire and escalating debt, all of which have made its access to the oil controlled by the seething countries of the Middle East ever more precarious. Now the United States is careening down a well-worn road faster than anyone could have imagined.

via WordWhammy

Good News from the Middle East

Good news from the Middle East is a pleasant surprise. Yet here’s an amazing transformation that occurred when intelligence overcame ignorance. If you don’t have time to read the article, watch the movie.

Link: Permaculture Research Institute of Australia ? The Dead Sea Valley Permaculture Project.

The Dead Sea Valley Permaculture Project

Commissioned in August 2000 by a Japanese aid organization to work in association with a Jordanian aid organization their first visit involved the design of a flat 10 acre, highly salted, very alkaline, piece of land in the Dead Sea Valley, 400m below sea level and just a few kilometers from the Palestinian border. The aim was to demonstrate sustainable farming practices. A plan was drawn up and accepted and arrangements were made for them to return in December during the cooler time of the year.

The local agricultural department described the land as useless for any serious production. With a soil salt level of 5,000ppm, the only available irrigation water at 4,100 ppm salt content, and a pH of 9.5, even10 in places it was considered impossible to grow figs and many other fruit trees and crops.

Here’s the movie: The Dead Sea Valley Permaculture Project documentary

via GroovyGreen.com