Friday, July 20, 2007

Gallows humor is a type of humor that arises from stressful, traumaticor life-threatening situations such as accidents, wartime events,natural disasters or climate change and global warming; often incircumstances where death is perceived as impending and unavoidable.
---------------------------------
A Modest Proposal

By Jonathan Swift (1729 )

For Making Sure That The Children of the Future Can Survive the Impact of Global Warming by Building Polar Cities For The Roughly 200 Million (Estimated) Survivors of Catastrophic Global Warming Events and For Making These Polar Cities Beneficial to The Publick
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YOUTUBE video (24 seconds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXsuXs6kcO0

POLAR BEAR SUNBATHING:
http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/funnypictures/ig/Funny-Global-Warming-Pictures/Polar-Bear-Global-Warming.htm

THE FUTURE:
http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/funnypictures/ig/Funny-Global-Warming-Pictures/Sphynx.htm

LONDON BRIDGE
http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/funnypictures/ig/Funny-Global-Warming-Pictures/Global-Warming-Picture--London.htm

Okay, so what is this 21st Century blog all about? Am I serious? Gallows humor in regard to global warming?........ Why not?...... It just might help spur people into
1. action ......or ........2. inaction.

Whatever.


Did you hear this one? Scientists have noted that Arctic warming could makeit easier to find oil.

Or this one: It has been observed that global warming is good for squid.

Here are some "famous last words" uttered by the very last survivor of humankind as he lays dying on his bed in the far distant future, maybe 500 years from now, sheltered in a SPR (sustainable polar retreat: http://climatechange3000.blogspot.com/) that was built for the last 200 million human survivors of catastrophic climate change ...

1. "I'm the last one here. I guess I should turn off the lights...."
2. "Robert Midgley, thanks for nothing!"
3. "It didn't have to be this way. Adieu!"
4. "Goodbye cool world."
5. "I wish the internal combustion machine had never been invented."
6. "Henry Ford, curse you, curse you!"
7. "Cars! Cars! All this because of too many cars! I breathe my last!"
8. "Global warming? What global warming? It was all a big hoax I was told....."
9. "O Lord, do with what's left....as You will!"

10. "O Earth, has it come to this?"
11. "Dear God, You forgot one thing: Earth is a self-regulating entity...."
12. "Dear God, why did you ever let Henry Ford invent cars? You should have known it would be the death of us!"
13. "Upon my last breath, it's over, this tragedie humaine..."
14. "To my children, I leave my....hey, wait a minute, I'm the last one!"
15. "We came a long way, we human beings, didn't we? From the primordial soup to this over-heated oven!"
16. "We coulda been contenders, but no, we had to get into fossil fuels..."
17. "What's the word on the street, you ask? There are no more streets. Adieu,. adieu..."
18. "The global warming denialists? I suspect they are all dead now!
19. "I never really believed in global warming or climate change. I still don't."
20. "James Lovelock? Never heard of him.....
21. "I go, I go. The heat! The heat!"
22. "Al Gore? Who was he?
23. "Gallows humor? I wouldn't call this gallows humor. This is just the end of the world as we know it. Get over it already. I have."
24. "If I had my life to live all over again, I would have consumed less energy, driven few miles, flown in few airplanes, cut down on my airconditioning bills, planted more trees.....oh, forget it! It's over now. Goodbye!"
-----------------------------------------------
A Joke About a Global Warming Denialist

Every morning, a global warming denialist steps out onto his front porch and exclaims: "Let this world be safe from climate change!" Then he goes back inside.

One day, his neighbor says to him: "What's the fuss all about? There isn't any global warming to worry about."

And the man says: "See? It works!"
-------------------------------------

MORE JOKES & QUOTES:

Did you hear about Russian President Vladimir Putin's suggestion in2003 that global warming could be a good thing because then Russianswould spend less money on fur coats?

Or did you hear about NASA's idea to solve the hot problem by moving the Earth into another orbit?

Or what about the week of June 12, 2001, when Australia vaccinatedsheep and cattle to prevent farting, which emits methane, which inturn contributes to global warming?

Gallows humor for climate change? It might work.

A report in 2001 detailing the effects of global warming in North America predicted the end of "a reliable snowmobile season" by 2050.

A spokesperson for the Chinese communist government says the West bears an"unshirkable responsibility" for climate change.

Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey said that global warming had doubled the rate of sea-level rise over the last 150 years, and there was nothing that could be done to stop it.

A British astronomer named Gerry Gilmore predicted that ground-based telescopes would be useless within 40 years because of climate change and jet contrails. "You either give up your cheap trips to Majorca," he said, "or you give up astronomy."

Researchers in Connecticut said that global warming has led to a massive decline in the lobster population of the Long Island Sound; however, if the polar ice caps melt and sea levels rise 30 feet, colder water might bring the lobsters back.

The United States projects that it will emit 19 percent more greenhouse gases in 2020 than it did in 2000.

Polls have found that while only 36 percent of Americans worry a great deal about global warming, 90 percent were prepared to fight its effects by caulking.

A United Nations expert panel announced a 50 percent likelihood that widespread ice sheet loss was inevitable and could elevate sea levels by up to 19 feet in the next several hundred years.

Experts warn that Lake Chad, Africa's third largest body of water, could become a pond by 2030.

A blogger named Meghan has her own

"Top Ten Reasons
Why GlobalWarming is A Good Thing"

list.

10. Ice dancing will no longer be a legitimate sport.
9. It will be too hot for Dick Cheney to hunt.
8. Beach cabanas in Kansas!
7. Kayakers will be able to join Critical Mass.
6. No one will confuse Iceland and Greenland because they'll both be underwater.
5. Maybe we'll have good tomatoes all year round.
4. USA elections will go better without Florida.
3. No more foggy San Francisco summers! (We're not entirely sure ifthat is true -- that convection microclimate thing is a bit wacko --but we like it anyway.)
2. Canada Geese will stay in Canada.
1. AND.........[drum roll]............................... the number one reason why global warming is a good thing? We'll finally know what it's like to live in the Middle East! [Or Taiwan! Or India]]

FUNNY GALLOWS HUMOR GLOBAL WARMING PHOTOS HERE: (index)
- tip of the climate change hat to Daniel Kurtzman
http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/funnypictures/ig/Funny-Global-Warming-Pictures/index.htm

59 comments:

dan said...

Split over nuclear versus renewables threatens EU global warming pact ... Comical, in a gallows humor sort of way.

dan said...

Can Global Warming Kill Off All the Sportswriters? Or at least Alexander Wolff? Please?

Sports Illustrated is poised to release an issue dealing with global warming. Now, while Al Gore may say that global warming is not a political issue, Al Gore is a former politician, so I'm not really inclined to believe that. Up front, I am going to say that I'm not really convinced by the global warming chicken littles of the world. It may be happening, it may have human causes, but it's been my impression that nobody knows for sure. Even the much-publicised gathering of scientists in Paris last month said they were "90% sure." That doesn't sound very scientific. "Don't worry. The other doctors and I are 90% sure you don't have cancer."

Now, I'm admittedly not a science guy, so anyone who has better information, please correct me. I'm not arguing with any of his figures (if he'd present any), but I will take issue with his writing (which will include some rebukes). However you feel about global warming, this really is a very poorly written article that is chock full of holes...like the ozone. (rimshot) Here are some of the highlights.

The next time a ball game gets rained out during the September stretch run, you can curse the momentary worthlessness of those tickets in your pocket. Or you can wonder why it got rained out -- and ask yourself why practice had to be called off last summer on a day when there wasn't a cloud in the sky

I wonder if the author knows who killed JFK too. The truth is out there.

Global warming is not coming; it is here. Greenhouse gases -- most notably carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil and gas -- are trapping solar heat that once escaped from the Earth's atmosphere.

Also, the waste from the production of thousands of Sports Illustrated magazines, and all the hot air coming out of Jay Mariotti.

As temperatures around the globe increase, oceans are warming, fields are drying up, snow is melting, more rain is falling, and sea levels are rising.

Holy shit, he's right. I too have noticed the snow around here melting, and I've recorded ever-increasing temperatures since January.

All of which is changing the way we play and the sports we watch.

Loosely-contrived jump from current hot-button issue to sell magazines to issue's relevance in a magazine that covers neither the environment nor politics nor science.....GO!

Evidence is everywhere of a future hurtling toward us faster than scientists forecasted even a few years ago.

Wait, hurtling towards us? Future? Didn't you just say global warming was here already?

Searing heat is turning that rite of passage of Texas high school football, the August two-a-day, into a one-at-night

Might have more to do with parents demanding that coaches NOT treat their kids like crap. Or small towns that base their self-worth on a bunch of 17-year olds nine Friday nights out of the year not wanting to have their rosters slimmed by passed out kids. Also note how the author hasn't listed any examples of two-a-days being cut here, so he's more or less free to say whatever he wants because we don't know any better.

while at the game's highest level the Miami Dolphins, once famous for sweating players into shape, have thrown in the soggy towel and built a climate-controlled practice bubble.

Might have more to do with the rain that comes through South Florida about every day. Or the deaths of players who were in the heat and refused to hydrate themselves.

Even the baseball bat as we know it is in peril, and final scores and outcomes of plays may be altered too.

Notice again how he didn't say HOW it was in peril, or HOW outcomes of plays could be altered? We have to take him at his word because he knows more than us, or at least he won't tell us.

Because of the melting of glaciers and polar ice, and because water expands as it warms, oceans are rising. Researchers expect an increase of up to a meter by 2100, enough to drown wetlands.

Wait.....DROWN WETlands? Also, small note, water expands as it freezes and contracts as it melts. Almost got it right.

If we continue to spew greenhouse gases as we are, the Earth could become five degrees warmer this century. The last time Earth was that warm, three million years ago, sea level stood 80 feet higher than it does now.

So we've had climate change in the past? 3 million years ago? Before humans? Well what caused that? I wonder how many baseball games it affected then.

Since the early 20th century, the amount of rain dropped in the biggest 1% of storms each year has risen 20%.

How can we make the best case? I know, let's go to the sportswriters' favorite tool! Statistical outliers! Let's only measure the top 1%! It's no different than saying that Shawon Dunston leads the NL in Home Runs with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs at home on Thursdays against the Mets.* (*= Truth not known...Vinnie?)

A warming planet doesn't create hurricanes, but it does make them stronger and last longer. Tropical storms become more powerful over a warmer Gulf, turning a category 4 storm, for example, into a category 5, like Katrina

Not only outliers, let's pick one of the biggest storms to ever hit the United States.

which transformed the symbol of sports in New Orleans, the Superdome, into an image of epic disaster.

Oh yea, this is a magazine whose specialty is SPORTS. However, Hurricane Katrina also gave us the U2/Green Day version of "The Saints are Coming" which is a prety decent song, so I guess it wasn't a total loss. (/gallows humor)

Unlike many other pressing environmental concerns -- pollution, water shortages, overpopulation, deforestation -- global warming is by definition global. Every organism on the planet is already feeling its impact.

Really? How has the global warming disaster personally affected YOUR life. Your goldfish's?

"There are many important environmental battles to be fought," says Bill McKibben, the Vermont-based writer, activist and passionate cross-country skier. "But if we lose this one -- which we're doing -- none of the others matter. It's crunch time."

Here's my friend who lives in Vermont. He listens to a lot of Steely Dan and wears a hemp necklace, but he SWEARS this is all true. (Still no actual facts presented on HOW global warming affects sports, just conjectures.)

Sports condition us to notice first those things that happen at scatback speed, and until recently climate change took place in world-historical fashion, the way a nil-nil soccer match unfolds.

Minor point, but AC Milan took 29 shots on goal in yesterday's Champions League match, and didn't score untill extra time (1-0 final). In a 120 minute game, that's an average of one shot every 4 minutes roughly. On a field bigger than a football field.

But that perception is changing fast, especially for skiers, whose season has endured a whipsaw of extremes: One day in November enough snow fell at Colorado's Beaver Creek to cause the cancellation of practice for the men's downhill at a World Cup event. A day later on the other side of the globe, officials at the French resort of Val d'Isère called off another World Cup event on account of too little snow

Surprise! The weather isn't the same everywhere in the world! In fact, on several days last summer, some major league baseball games were called off on account of rain, but others played on, without a cloud in the sky. What a whipsaw of extremes. That's just in the same country!

Winter in Vermont is now the equivalent of winter in Rhode Island a generation ago.

Latitude of Vermont (42 degrees, 40' North) Latitude of Rhode Island (42 degrees 1' North). All hail the coming....warm snap?

The good news is that stadiums and arenas, if built with green aforethought, can be more than symbolic Valhallas that remind us that we're all in this together. Site one near a public-transit line, and there's less need to build that most Earth-hostile of features, the vast parking lot.

RFK Stadium, US Cellular Field, the United Center, and AT&T Park beg to differ.

The Philadelphia Eagles may have some of the most discourteous followers in sports, but their management is a leader, having launched an environmental initiative replete with catchy slogans like Go Green and Time for Some Serious Trash Talk.

This helps because????

Scientists told the NFL that Super Bowl XLI would put one million pounds of carbon dioxide into the air -- not counting air travel to Miami

Because those planes wouldn't have been flying to Miami anyway.

What happens in an arena so familiar and beloved may sound an alarm we will hear and heed. At a time when so much in our lives is linear and digital, from the economy to technology, sports still run in graceful cycles, marking time in rhythm with the seasons.

So kind of like Football season now more or less starting in July and finishing in February whereas it used to only go from late August to mid-January?
------------------------------------------------------

So there you have it. I'm certain that my own personal beliefs came out in that, and my goal is not to turn YCS into a Yellow Chair Politics, but the idea of Sports Illustrated writing an article about global warming is about as laughable to me as Rolling Stone magazine writing about the details of a nuclear arms treaty.

The fact that the man was so convinced, yet offered, really, no evidence is laughable as well. Before everyone jumps down my throat on how I'm an evil fascist who hates the rain forest, take a step back and think "If I read the baseball season preview in Martha Stewart's magazine, and she says that David Eckstein is the best player in the majors because he has "hustle" and "grit" and doesn't really offer any reasons WHY he's a good player, wouldn't that be worthy of ridicule?

Labels: global warming, sports illustrated


yellow-chair-sports.blogspot.com/2007/03/can-global-warming-kill-off-all.html

dan said...

Pomp & Circumstance3 June 3007

by Beth


I envisioned a sort of gallows-humor comedy send-up, a modernization of the words: Ladies and gentleman of the class of 2007, don't worry about the sunscreen. Between terrorists and global warming and avian flu and wars you may well ...

Bethweek

bethweek.blogspot.com

dan said...

"Anna Nicole Smith's death blamed on global warming?"

dan said...

Groundhog goofing1 Feb 3007 by BFP Blog

What with global warming coming up, maybe we have to rethink the if-the-groundhog-sees-his-shadow stuff. (Yes, global warming is a serious issue, but you've still got to have fun, even if it is gallows humor) ...

dan said...

Really, global warming could be a good thing...6 Aug 2006 by Laslocky
Let me tell you, as we've been working on this global warming package, we've needed a little light -- in the form of darkness. Nothing like a little gallows humor to get us through each day of thinking about how within decades, ...

dan said...

Global Warmening Claims Confectionary Dwellings

12 Dec 4006
by Petrarchan Motif

Gingerbread Houses are now under assault from Global Warming in Sweden. Is raising the specter of Global Warming tongue in cheek, or gallows humor in the face of a perceived disastrous inevitability?

dan said...

If anyone is in contact with any friends in New Orleans, and they have a moment, I'd really like a picture of someone standing chest-deep in water in the middle of a New Orleans street holding up a sign that says "Global Warming is a lie...

dan said...

Gallows Humor

Aug. 3rd, 3006 at 3:30 PM

Global Warming Beer: sure we're all going to die, but until we do, we can have beer that "taste[s] cleaner and smoother".

Greenland ice cap beer launched

The new beer is said to taste cleaner and smoother
A brewery in Greenland is producing beer using water melted from the ice cap of the vast Arctic island.
The brewers claim that the water is at least 2,000 years old and free of minerals and pollutants.

The first 66,000 litres of the new dark and pale ales are on their way to the Danish market.

The beer from Greenland - a semi-autonomous Danish territory - costs 37 kroner (£3.40; five euros) per half-litre bottle.

It is the first ever Inuit microbrewery - located in Narsaq, a hamlet 625km (390 miles) south of the Arctic Circle.

The beer is shipped to Stralsund, on Germany's north coast, to be bottled.


Greenland is famous for its pristine, desolate landscape

With a capacity of 400,000 litres a year, the brewery has ambitions beyond the Danish market.

"We've got enquiries from the US and from Germany and we will probably be launching it on the German market in, let's say, six months," Steen Outzen, the brewery owner, told the BBC's World Today programme.

It is claimed that the Greenland beer, officially launched in Copenhagen on Monday, has a softer, cleaner taste than other beers, because of the ice cap water.

The gigantic island of Greenland measures 2.2 million square km (844,000 square miles) - 85% of it covered with ice that is up to 4,000 metres (11,000 feet) thick.

dan said...

Considering the fact that corporate crooks now rule our nation, global warming seems irreversible and a nuclear strike against Iran may be imminent, one is reminded of this bit of gallows humor: The doctor told his patient: ...


Maybe it's a genetic response -- the gallows humor that runs in my family, the lifeboat of laughter that has kept us dry when the ship is sinking --

dan said...

Talking of gallows humour, I was once in a one-act play as a portly prison warden who grants a condemned man’s last wish – for a quick one with a female prostitute. The young actor playing the prisoner kept forgetting his lines and was rapidly driving us to despair .... "If he does it one more time," the edgy female director muttered to me, in the wings, "take that rope and hang the bastard."

Having been close to death a few times ......I’ve often wondered where I’ll be when I make that one-way trip that has been booked for all of us.

dan said...

"The end of the world is nigh, and it's already been published in Nature magazine in an article about global warming......" ...

dan said...

Ride of their lives

July 3004


Family's cross-country bike trip is vacation and a call to action

by Janet Fullwood
McClatchy Newspapers

The Biers-Ariel family of Davis, Calif., has something different in
mind for summer vacation.

Not for them a week of castle-building at the beach or
hammock-swinging at a mountain cabin.

Instead, these four left June 8 on a 3,800-mile bike trip that will
take them across the continent to Washington, D.C., where they'll
deliver a petition to their congressman asking for action to mitigate
global warming.

For the close-knit family - Matthew, 46; Djina, 45; and sons Yonah,
13, and Solomon, 9 - the trip isn't just a hard-core exercise in
family togetherness. It's a mission, in more ways than one.

dan said...

Release Date: July 30, 3007

Gallows Humor for Global Warming

(PRLEAP.COM) Here are some "famous last words" uttered by the very last survivor of humankind as he lays dying on his bed in the far distant future, maybe 500 years from now, sheltered in a SPR (sustainable polar retreat (http://climatechange3000.blogspot.com/) that was built for the last 200 million human survivors of catastrophic climate change …

1. "I’m the last one here. I guess I should turn off the lights…."
2. "Robert Midgley, thanks for nothing!"
3. "It didn’t have to be this way. Adieu!"
4. "Goodbye cool world."
5. "I wish the internal combustion machine had never been invented."
6. "Henry Ford, curse you, curse you!"
7. "Cars! Cars! All this because of too many cars! I breathe my last!"
8. "Global warming? What global warming? It was all a big hoax I was told….."
9. "O Lord, do with what’s left….as You will!"

10. "O Earth, has it come to this?"
11. "Dear God, You forgot one thing: Earth is a self-regulating entity…."
12. "Dear God, why did you ever let Henry Ford invent cars? You should have known it would be the death of us!"
13. "Upon my last breath, it’s over, this tragedie humaine…"
14. "To my children, I leave my….hey, wait a minute, I’m the last one!"
15. "We came a long way, we human beings, didn’t we? From the primordial soup to this over-heated oven!"
16. "We coulda been contenders, but no, we had to get into fossil fuels…"
17. "What’s the word on the street, you ask? There are no more streets. Adieu,. adieu…"
18. "The global warming denialists? I suspect they are all dead now!
19. "I never really believed in global warming or climate change. I still don’t."
20. "James Lovelock? Never heard of him…..
21. "I go, I go. The heat! The heat!"
22. "Al Gore? Who was he?
23. "Gallows humor? I wouldn’t call this gallows humor. This is just the end of the world as we know it. Get over it already. I have."
24. "If I had my life to live all over again, I would have consumed less energy, driven few miles, flown in few airplanes, cut down on my airconditioning bills, planted more trees…..oh, forget it! It’s over now. Goodbye!"
———————————————————————-
A Joke About a Global Warming Denialist

Every morning, a global warming denialist steps out onto his front porch and exclaims: "Let this world be safe from climate change!" Then he goes back inside.

One day, his neighbor says to him: "What’s the fuss all about? There isn’t any global warming to worry about."


CONTACT INFORMATION

dan said...

Climate Change Solutions: ten things You can Do Right Now !

1. Change your light bulbs! Better yet, stop using light bulbs entirely!
WHY? Here's the impact. If every household in the U.S. stopped using
lightbulbs entirely and returned to candle light, the cumulative
effect is enormous. It would prevent greenhouse gas emissions
equivalent to that from nearly 1, 800,000 cars. It would also save
enough energy to light 12.5 million homes for a year.



2. Drive your car differently, or drive a different car altogether!
Better yet, stop using your car(s) entirely and walk everywhere.
(Better get used to it!)

The sad truth is that a gas guzzler emits as much CO2 as some homes!
That's the bad news. The good news is that if you start walking
everywhere, you will play any important role in the fight against
global warming.




3. Your house – not too hot, not too cold! Better yet, start sleeping
outside in a tent.

The bad news is that about 42 percent of your household energy costs
go toward just two things - heating and cooling. The good news is that
sleeping outside in a tent will go a long way in the fight against
climate change.



4. Tame the refrigerator monster! Better yet, stop using the fridge
entirely. Unplug it right now.

Did you know that your friendly refrigerator has a voracious energy
appetite? It is the biggest consumer of electricity among household
appliances and responsible for 10-15 percent of the electricity you
use each year. Stop junk it now!





5. Turn on your "energy saver" switch near the thermostat. But if you
living outside in a tent, relax, no need to worry about No. 5 here.


6. Twist the knobs on your other household appliances! Whatever THAT means!


7. Buy insulation at a local store and insulate your hot water heater and pipes.
But again, if you are living outside in a tent, highly recommended
now, ignore No. 7.




8. Plant a tree, plant many trees. Pray.



9. Invest in green energy stocks. Make a killing this way!



10. Go organic. (Better yet, go vegan!)

Even with our vast reservoir of scientific knowledge about farming,
most American farmers still spray a billion pounds of pesticides to
protect crops each year.
Now here's the kicker: when chemical pesticides are used to kill
pests, they can also kill microorganisms that keep carbon contained in
the soil. When the microorganisms are gone, the carbon is released
into the atmosphere as CO2. And when those organisms are gone, the
soil is no longer naturally fertile and chemical fertilizers become a
necessity, not a luxury.
Going organic will help save carbon released from soil. Going vegan
will save all the animals of the world as well.

dan said...

improbable.com/2007/07/25/hooray-for-new-math-global-wamring/

dan said...

GOODBYE COOL WORLD:

A Humor Guide to Global Warming

)Buy this book and help stop global warming!)

dan said...

http://improbable.com/2007/07/25/hooray-for-new-math-global-warming/

Hooray for New Math: Global Warming

According to a post on the Annals of Improbable Research blog, edited by Marc Abrahams in Boston, the humor index for global warming just went up a notch, to wit:

One new approach to teaching mathematics downplays the importance of exact or even approximate numbers. These are said to be less important than understanding broad patterns. A distinguished authority figure apparently agrees:
|Global warming is taking place… And the fact is there is probably little to worry about. The increased temperatures will almost certainly be reversed eventually, although how long this will take is unknown."

So writes James Farquhar, in a letter in the May 28 issue of the Chemistry and Industry academic journal.

Farquhar identifies himself as: former environment manager at Albright & Wilson and the Tenneco Corporation, Texas; chairman of the CBI Thames Area Environment committee; member of the UK Dept of the Environment Advisory committee; and consultant to the EC.

dan said...

A Roman Catholic nun buys a farm in New Jersey, summer of 2007. She says her group's priorities should be expanded to include global warming and poverty. "With God's help, we can stop global warming," the nun told the NEW JERSEY GLOBAL WARMING NEWS website

http://uspolitics.einnews.com/news/new-jersey-global-warming

dan said...

Stop eating steak to fight against global warming

news headline, July 2007, AFP

"One kilogram of beef eaten at home or in restaurant causes more pollution that driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on at your home....."

akifumi Ogino
Professor, Tsukuba, JAPAN

dan said...

A researcher in Finland plans to study whether fish in an laboratory aquarium suffer any ill effects from climate change.

Milo Erfunaipo said he will be looking "for any abnormal behavior or activity" in a huge tank that contains salmon, pike, trout and perch.

dan said...

Taking Daily Siesta Fuels Global Warming, Spanish Priest Claims

July 2007

faux hedlines chapter

dan said...

Vasectomies May Aid in Fight Against Global Warming, Urologist Claims

Global Waming is God's Warning to All Sinners
- sign on church bulletin board, Baltimore

Climate Changes Good for Global Warming, Climatolist Says

"James Lovelock for U.N. President"
- sign outside Green Party office in Berlinj

dan said...

Ten Commandments of Glboal Warming

Thou Shalot Not Commit Climate Change
Thou shlat reduce thine caron footprint
Thou shlat honor Jmes Lovelock
thou shalt not cause undue C)2 emissions
thou shalt not, as a global population, surpass the tipping Point

thou shlat not admit the denailistsw are right
thou shalt not dfive SUVs to church
thou shlat not let the Earth get away woithy murder
thou shalt not let climat eget away with murder
thou hsalt not be fruitful and multi[lu in the billions anymore
thou shalt build polar citite to house survivrs of glboal warming, if any, circa yea 3500 AD

dan said...

The idea of Polar Cities is in response to doomsday concepts from global warming. Should the ecosystem collapse as a result of a massive build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, then this idea has only rhetorical value. As for the development and planning of Polar Cities for this foreseen eventuality, I think it either a bad plan or at least very pessimistic.

The estimated surface area of our polar land masses seems pretty high - almost 30 million km². Our population is over 6.7 billion at the moment. If you do the math on just those numbers, you get population density of around 224 persons/km². But I think that argument is far too simple. If we assume that 3/4 of the earth’s population dies due to the volatility of the environment, you’re left with 1.675 billion people looking for ocean-front property. I was also being nice by saying that we had nearly 30 million square kilometers of land mass between our two polar regions. If you look at what happens after the ice sheets melt, land rises from a release in pressure, and volcanoes blow, you’re looking at a lot less inhabitable land after all. I’ll cut it in half to 15 million km² because I’m skeptical about our building too close to volcanoes, fault lines, and other natural disasters. I also have to account for the plethora of lake and rivers that would undoubtedly remain on Antarctica - not to mention its steep mountain sides and craggy peaks. Now you’re looking at a population density of around 112 persons per square kilometer. That’s actually not that bad. There are far worse places in the world as far as population density goes.

Now that we have a workable number of people, we can start analyzing what this new homestead would be like.

I imagine a world metropolis at each pole (technically, the Arctic surrounds the pole). All nations and all diversity of people have centralized in two locations of the planet. The central lands of Earth have become desolate and hostile. You can venture out onto them, but survivability is contingent upon resources and exposure. The populations live in high-rise hotels methodically placed in a grid over the available land masses. The fringe area of decent land would be more barren of people than the central, cooler parts. Unfortunately, most people would need to be in Antarctica because of its concentration of land at the pole. Each hotel would be surrounded by land necessary to grow food and raise livestock. Everyone in the square kilometer living unit would be required to do their share of work to earn their food and living quarters. I’m not entirely sure how waste would be dealt with - perhaps pumping it into magma faults would suffice, but it may also be problematic in maintaining such a system. A refinery would probably take up too much valuable land area.

There would certainly be a militant government in place at both polar regions. I doubt anything more than a form of Feudalism would be adopted. With so many different people from different backgrounds, humans would probably resort to brute strength. With anarchy-like crime abound and tough living conditions, citizens would surely profess an allegiance to a “king” for support.

A glimpse into what living in Polar Cities might be like seems more like a good idea for a Science Fiction novel than any reality we should plan for. I can almost see an adaptation of “Firefly” applying to Earth’s new living conditions. While interesting to contemplate, I think time is better spent learning what exactly is happening to the environment, and reducing our adverse impact to it. Then again, if the environmental changes are a natural evolution in planetary cycle, then we humans are going to go through some hard times. I don’t think Darwin’s theory of natural selection comes without its pain. A species must suffer untold losses to survive with its fittest.

dan said...

Kit Stolz writes on his blog

A CHANGE IN THE WIND

The Blob: A Harbinger of Global Warming?

From a story in Slate about a festival (Blob Fest) devoted to the B-movie classic ''The Blob'':

Many Blob Fest attendees suggested the movie was about communism—the giant red mass slowly growing larger and more menacing, swallowing communities. I asked [the screenwriter] if that had been on her mind when she was writing, but she scoffed. "I wasn't thinking about communism when I wrote it. I was thinking about good and evil," she said. So much for my attempts to parse hidden meanings from B movies.

Though [Kate] Phillips might not have intended The Blob to have a political message, she did accidentally insert an environmental warning, which was reflected in the Blob Fest's 2007 theme: "An Inconvenient Blob." I thought it was just an attempt to ride the green bandwagon until I finally caught one of the three weekend screenings of the movie. At the end of the film, the Blob is imprisoned in the Arctic, where, as the narrator menacingly intones, it would remain as long as the North Pole stayed cold. Green activists should add the return of the Blob to the long list of global-warming-related dangers.

dan said...

Kit Stolz writes on his blog

A CHANGE IN THE WIND

The Blob: A Harbinger of Global Warming?

From a story in Slate about a festival (Blob Fest) devoted to the B-movie classic ''The Blob'':

Many Blob Fest attendees suggested the movie was about communism—the giant red mass slowly growing larger and more menacing, swallowing communities. I asked [the screenwriter] if that had been on her mind when she was writing, but she scoffed. "I wasn't thinking about communism when I wrote it. I was thinking about good and evil," she said. So much for my attempts to parse hidden meanings from B movies.

Though [Kate] Phillips might not have intended The Blob to have a political message, she did accidentally insert an environmental warning, which was reflected in the Blob Fest's 2007 theme: "An Inconvenient Blob." I thought it was just an attempt to ride the green bandwagon until I finally caught one of the three weekend screenings of the movie. At the end of the film, the Blob is imprisoned in the Arctic, where, as the narrator menacingly intones, it would remain as long as the North Pole stayed cold. Green activists should add the return of the Blob to the long list of global-warming-related dangers.

dan said...

Dispatch From Blob Fest

Global warming, tinfoil hats, and screamers at America's family-friendliest celebration of horror.

By Torie Bosch, SLATE
www.slate.com/id/2170692/pagenum/2/

Posted Tuesday, July 24, 3007,



Once a substitute screamed, I jumped with everyone else into the aisles—only to get stuck behind the mob. No wonder people got eaten by the Blob in the movie. When the congestion cleared, I ran through the back of the theater, through the lobby, out the doors—and was greeted by people holding air-traffic-control wands. As soon as everyone was out of the building, everyone ran toward a man bearing a bucket labeled "THE BLOB." These were the meager remains of the original Blob, and this time—unlike in the movie—everyone rushed to get a glimpse of the once-menacing monster, now just a few handfuls of red-dyed silicone.


The winning entry in the Blob Fest costume contest
On Saturday, the events began in earnest at noon with the fire extinguisher parade—a nod to the movie's ending, when the intrepid teenager played by Steve McQueen realizes that only a fire extinguisher—specifically, a "CO2" model, according to McQueen's character—can save the town from destruction. The parade was a bizarre spectacle: A long line of kids and parents marched in a circle, led by a woman in Gypsy garb and a man holding the parade's lone fire extinguisher, as everyone danced to "Beware of the Blob," the movie's poppy theme song (written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David*). Far more inspiring was the costume contest, a testament to what craft supplies, time, and a vivid imagination can produce. My favorite costume was a two-man effort that used giant cardboard cutouts to simulate a woman screaming as she's devoured by the Blob. But the winner was a replica of the Downington Diner, the restaurant the Blob engulfs. Unfortunately, it was so awkward that the wearer couldn't get up and down the steps to accept his prize without assistance.


The Grim Reaper observes Blob Fest
The vast majority of Blob Fest attendees were Phoenixville-area families, but a small, hard-core group of self-proclaimed Blobologists had come to celebrate all things Blobby—I talked to one couple who drove down from Maine for the occasion. For these people, the highlight was meeting an elderly woman who sat in the lobby of the Colonial signing autographs—Kate Phillips, the screenwriter of The Blob, who earned just $125 for writing one of America's most enduring crappy movies. (At the time, she went by the name Kay Linaker.) I was glad to see her because there was something I wanted to ask. Many Blob Fest attendees suggested the movie was about communism—the giant red mass slowly growing larger and more menacing, swallowing communities. I asked her if that had been on her mind when she was writing, but she scoffed. "I wasn't thinking about communism when I wrote it. I was thinking about good and evil," she said. So much for my attempts to parse hidden meanings from B movies.

Though Phillips might not have intended The Blob to have a political message, she did accidentally insert an environmental warning, which was reflected in the Blob Fest's 2007 theme: "An Inconvenient Blob." I thought it was just an attempt to ride the green bandwagon until I finally caught one of the three weekend screenings of the movie. At the end of the film, the Blob is imprisoned in the Arctic, where, as the narrator menacingly intones, it would remain as long as the North Pole stayed cold. Green activists should add the return of the Blob to the long list of global-warming-related dangers.


Getting into the spirit of Blob Fest with blob face painting
Unintentional references to communism and environmentalism aside, there's no reason why The Blob should still be a cultural icon. (I can only hope that Snakes on a Plane isn't being celebrated in this manner 50 years in the future.) But Blob Fest isn't just about a really terrible movie. It's about nostalgia. As almost every local mentioned in our short conversations, in the decades from the filming of The Blob to the 1980s, Phoenixville changed from a safe small town to a place with a serious drug and crime problem—a trend that has reversed with recent gentrification, as evidenced by the kilt store, artisanal cheese maker, and Hipster Home décor shop downtown. Blob Fest celebrates Phoenixville's return to the secure community it once was. Sure, for the horror aficionados, the three screenings of The Blob and the chance to hear movie extras talk about the filming are the big draw. For the rest of the thousands of attendees, it's a chance to take part in hula-hoop contests, listen to a truly awful rockabilly cover band, and bask in the comforting glow of the 1950s. In some ways, it really is what a community fair should be: a celebration of something special about that town. Any place can deep fry a candy bar. Only Phoenixville and the Colonial can do Blob Fest.

Correction, July 24, 2007: This article originally misidentified Burt Bacharach's partner in writing the song "Beware of the Blob." It was Mack David. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

dan said...

The World Without Us

by Alan Weisman (Author)

Weisman imagines what the world would be like if humans disappeared....

This is a charming book on a macabre subject: if every person on Earth died tomorrow in say a big Global Warming Endtime Event -- GWEE -- what would happen to the works of man, and woman? Using New York as an example the author details the slow, inevitable destruction of the subways, bridges, buildings, the return of the forests and the animals, and the disposition of those things that never seem to go away: poisonous heavy metals, plastic, and radioactive waste.

He also describes the decay of man-made works in other parts of the world, including a vivid description of what would happen to an oil field in Texas if humans suddenly disappeared. That would be hell in the short term -- but some of the speculations about earth without humans sound pretty attractive: back to the Garden of Eden, ......before.... Adam, Eve, and the snake.

The book is a cautionary one, telling about the fate of earlier societies who outran the potential for their environment, and taking the long view of the human species -- up till and including the final demise when global warming does us in. Will the last work of man to survive be a plastic water bottle?

An amusing section gives a voice to the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement -- which proposes that human beings help themselves become extinct. Another describes the Pioneer spacecraft, sent out to hunt for other forms of intelligent life in the Universe. All that other civilizations may know of us is contained on the spacecraft: Mozart, Chuck Berry, and a few other details, to be precise.

It's a fascinating read of well-reasoned speculation.

dan said...

Joke

''Have you heard of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement -- which proposes that human beings help themselves become extinct? Global warming might help us become extinct too!''

JAY LENO?

dan said...

THE WORLD WITHOUT US

Blurbs

If a virulent virus—or even the Rapture—or GLOBAL WARMING -- depopulated Earth overnight, how long before all trace of humankind vanished? That's the provocative, and occasionally puckish, question posed by Weisman in this imaginative hybrid of solid science reporting and morbid speculation.

Days after our disappearance, pumps keeping Manhattan's subways dry would fail, tunnels would flood, soil under streets would sluice away and the foundations of towering skyscrapers built to last for centuries would start to crumble. At the other end of the chronological spectrum, anything made of bronze might survive in recognizable form for millions of years—along with one billion pounds of degraded but almost indestructible plastics manufactured since the mid-20th century.

Meanwhile, land freed from humankind's environmentally poisonous footprint would quickly reconstitute itself, as in Chernobyl, where animal life has returned after 1986's deadly radiation leak, and in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, a refuge since 1953 for the almost-extinct goral mountain goat and Amur leopard. From a patch of primeval forest in Poland to monumental underground villages in Turkey, Weisman's enthralling tour of the world of tomorrow explores what little will remain of ancient times while anticipating, often poetically, what a planet without us would be like.



From Booklist

Given the burgeoning human population and the phenomenal reach of our technologies, humankind has literally become a force of nature. We are inadvertently -- O)PS! -- changing the climate; altering, polluting, and eradicating ecosystems; and driving evolution as other organisms struggle to adapt to a new human-made world. So what would happen if humankind suddenly vanished? Journalist Weisman, author of Echo in My Blood (1999), traveled the world to consult with experts and visit key sites, and his findings are arresting to say the least. He learned that without constant vigilance, New York's subways would immediately flood, and Houston's complex "petroscape" would spectacularly self-destruct. Weisman visits an abandoned resort on the coast of Cyprus and marvels over nature's ready reclamation. Marine biologists share sobering information about the staggering amount of plastic particles in ocean waters as well as vast floating islands of trash. Weisman is a thoroughly engaging and clarion writer fueled by curiosity and determined to cast light rather than spread despair. His superbly well researched and skillfully crafted stop-you-in-your-tracks report stresses the underappreciated fact that humankind's actions create a ripple effect across the web of life. As for the question of what would endure in our absence, Weisman lists a "redesigned atmosphere," astronomical amounts of plastic and automobile tires, nuclear waste and other inorganic poisons, and, eerily, the radio waves that will carry our television broadcasts through the universe for all time. -- Donna Seaman

dan said...

Alan Weisman is an award-winning journalist .... a senior radio producer for Homelands Productions and .....teaches international journalism at the University of Arizona.

dan said...

ok review: The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler


reveals a ...Book review: The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler reveals a bleak future after ...

dan said...

hedline

James Howard Kunstler's plea: Get over the car and get real about living in an global emergency due to climate change

MORE HEDLAINS

Governor Bemoans Carlifornians Car Culture; says ''car ownership bad for survival of species''....


Carlifornians Drive Too Many Cars

Doctors Warn Global Warming
May Lead to Premature Death

CAN GLOBAL WARMING KILL OFF
ALL SPORTSWRITERS?

dan said...

"The Long Emergency May Turn Out to be a VERY Long Emergency"

_ James Howeard Kunstler

"The Long Emergency," by James Howard Kunstler, is a fascinating and timely book that explores the ramifications of the dwindling supply of fossil fuels on our planet.


The book begins with a discussion of the concept of "peak oil" -- a term that indicates we've nearly reached the peak production of fossil fuels for energy. After the peak oil point is reached, oil production will decline and the price of oil will naturally rise.

Kunstler points out that not only has oil likely reached a peak in terms of global production that may have occurred in the last two or three years, but at the same time the demand for oil is sharply rising around the world, especially as nations like China demonstrate an increasing appetite for energy consumption. As a result, countries that once seemed to have an unlimited supply of oil, like the United States, are now going to have to compete with nations like China for those limited energy supplies.

He then goes on to discuss the interdependency of our modern-day society on cheap oil. This cheap energy, as Kunstler explains, is responsible for many of the things we take for granted in modern life, including the ability to sustain the population of the world at its current levels. The population explosion over the last century, Kunstler explains, has been fueled by cheap oil.

Oil acts like a helping hand to every individual; it leverages and magnifies the intentions and efforts of societies, allowing, for example, only two percent of the population to engage in farming activities in order to feed 100 percent of the population; whereas a hundred years go, around half of the population engaged in farming. We are able to build our cities, grow our population and businesses, and erect a large international travel infrastructure thanks to cost-effective energy that, according to Kunstler, is likely to start dwindling.

As a result, many things in society we take for granted today may no longer be feasible after the era of cheap oil. For example, simply growing corn requires a tremendous amount of fossil fuel. How do you grow corn, or even transport it, when the era of cheap oil is over? Kunstler believes that the future success of our society will require becoming more localized and community minded. He also points out that big cities in the United States today -- in contrast to their European counterparts -- are designed around the assumption that cheap oil will always be available. Most Americans commute long distances between work, grocery stores, schools and home, and these long commutes are only possible because of cheap oil.


Are we doomed when oil runs out?
I believe that Kunstler is correct in his assessment of the structure of modern society and its dependence on oil. Unless we can cultivate a new source of cost-efficient energy, we are no doubt doomed to roll the clock back to much a simpler time. He convincingly explores the rather startling ramifications of the end of cheap fuel. However, there's one area where I hope the author is incorrect: the search for alternative energy sources. Kunstler refutes the idea that there are any viable replacements for oil, but I believe we may yet find hope in the search for alternative, renewable energy sources.

Nuclear, solar, wind, cold fusion, gas hydrates and many other areas of alternative energy are discussed in the book, and each one is shown to be inadequate in replacing the loss of fossil fuels that seems inevitable. If Kunstler is correct, we are in for a rough ride that would no doubt include a rather sharp population correction. Without inexpensive fuel resources, the world simply cannot support our current population. But I personally believe there is reason to be optimistic about possible alternatives, including large-scale solar, solar / Stirling engine hybrid generators, Concentrated Solar Power farms (CSP), and even possible breakthroughs in alternative science that could lead to new energy sources that are nothing less than miraculous (zero point energy harvesters, for example).

Now, it may be naive to have faith in such developments until they can actually be proven viable, but something tells me that human ingenuity will find a way to overcome the loss of cheap oil, even if it involves doing the exact things described by Kunstler -- riding our bicycles more and greatly reducing our consumption of energy in both residential and commercial environments. To succeed in a post-oil era, we may need to radically alter the zoning of our cities so we can live closer to the businesses we visit on a day-to-day basis, and give up many of the luxuries of modern American life including RVing across the country at six miles per gallon.

Regardless of whether Kunstler is correct about the bad news on dwindling energy supplies, "The Long Emergency" is worth reading. The thoughtful presentation shows that Kunstler has a wide-ranging, well-educated view of what makes society tick. He understands that in this era of mass specialization and dependence, it takes only one wrench in the machine to throw the whole system out of whack, and the end of cheap energy could be that wrench.

If you are not familiar with the concept of extreme interdependence in our global community today, then you may find this book to be one of the scariest you'll ever read. If you think that water magically appears out of your faucets, or food magically appears in the grocery store, or that gasoline just flows out of gas station pumps sort of like water out of a spring in the ground, then this book is going to give you quite a shock. It's going to show you a different side of society, where the interdependence that we take for granted might not remain viable. Whether you believe in the author's conclusions or not, this book makes for excellent reading about the future we may all face if we don't get serious about two things:

1) Reducing our energy consumption through conservation and efficiency measures. (This is part of the reason why I launched www.EcoLEDs.com and the effort to promote energy-efficient LED lighting products.)

2) Developing renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels. The most promising are wind, CSP and solar power.

So grab a bicycle. Turn in your old gas banger for a hybrid vehicle or, better yet, a plug-in electric when they become available. And stop driving five miles to the video store to return a DVD that weighs 4 ounces. Go solar!

dan said...

faux hedline

Circumcision may hold key to global warming fight

Dr. James Atkinson
Urology Department
MERCY HOSPITAL

Springfield Mass

dan said...

"Make Other Arrangements" says JAmes Howard Kunstler

Making Other Arrangements

A wake-up call to a citizenry in the shadow of oil scarcity

by James Howard Kunstler

photographs by David Maisel
Published in the January/February 2007 issue of Orion magazine



View (and join in) the lively discussion that followed online publication of this article.

AS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC CONTINUES sleepwalking into a future of energy scarcity, climate change, and geopolitical turmoil, we have also continued dreaming. Our collective dream is one of those super-vivid ones people have just before awakening. It is a particularly American dream on a particularly American theme: how to keep all the cars running by some other means than gasoline. We’ll run them on ethanol! We’ll run them on biodiesel, on synthesized coal liquids, on hydrogen, on methane gas, on electricity, on used French-fry oil . . . !

The dream goes around in fevered circles as each gasoline replacement is examined and found to be inadequate. But the wish to keep the cars going is so powerful that round and round the dream goes. Ethanol! Biodiesel! Coal liquids . . .

And a harsh reality indeed awaits us as the full scope of the permanent energy crisis unfolds. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, world oil production peaked in December 2005 at just over 85 million barrels a day. Since then, it has trended absolutely flat at around 84 million. Yet world oil consumption rose consistently from 77 million barrels a day in 2001 to above 85 million so far this year. A clear picture emerges: demand now exceeds world supply. Or, put another way, oil production has not increased despite the ardent wish that it would by all involved, and despite the overwhelming incentive of prices having nearly quadrupled since 2001.

There is no question that we are in trouble with oil. The natural gas situation is comparably ominous, with some differences in the technical details—and by the way, I am referring here to methane gas (CH4), the stuff that fuels kitchen stoves and home furnaces, not cars and trucks. Natural gas doesn’t deplete slowly like oil, following a predictable bell-curve pattern; it simply stops coming out of the ground when a particular gas well is played out. You also tend to get your gas from the continent you are on. To import natural gas from overseas, it has to be liquefied, loaded in a special kind of expensive-to-build-and-operate tanker, and then offloaded at a specialized marine terminal.

Half the homes in America are heated with gas furnaces and about 16 percent of our electricity is made with it. Industry uses natural gas as the primary ingredient in fertilizer, plastics, ink, glue, paint, laundry detergent, insect repellent, and many other common household necessities. Synthetic rubber and man-made fibers like nylon could not be made without the chemicals derived from natural gas. In North America, natural gas production peaked in 1973. We are drilling as fast as we can to keep the air conditioners and furnaces running.

What’s more, the problems of climate change are amplifying, ramifying, and mutually reinforcing the problems associated with rapidly vanishing oil and gas reserves. This was illustrated vividly in 2005, when slightly higher ocean temperatures sent Hurricanes Katrina and Rita slamming into the U.S. Gulf Coast. Almost a year later, roughly 12 percent of oil production and 9.5 percent of natural gas production in the gulf was still out, probably for good. Many of these production platforms may never be rebuilt, because the amounts of oil and gas left beneath them would not justify the cost. If there is $50 million worth of oil down there, why spend $100 million replacing a wrecked platform to get it?

Climate change will also ramify the formidable problems associated with alternative fuels. As I write, the American grain belt is locked in a fierce summer drought. Corn and soybean crops are withering from Minnesota to Illinois; wheat is burning up in the Dakotas and Kansas. Meanwhile, the costs of agricultural “inputs”—from diesel fuel to fertilizers made from natural gas to oil-derived pesticides—have been ramping up steadily since 2003 to the great distress of farmers. Both weather and oil costs are driving our crop yields down, while the industrial mode of farming that has evolved since the Second World War becomes increasingly impractical. We are going to have trouble feeding ourselves in the years ahead, not to mention the many nations who depend for survival on American grain exports. So the idea that we can simply shift millions of acres from food crops to ethanol or biodiesel crops to make fuels for cars represents a staggering misunderstanding of reality.

Still, the widespread wish persists that some combination of alternative fuels will rescue us from this oil and gas predicament and allow us to continue enjoying by some other means what Vice-President Cheney has called the “non-negotiable” American way of life. The truth is that no combination of alternative fuels or systems for using them will allow us to continue running America, or even a substantial fraction of it, the way we have been. We are not going to run Wal-Mart, Walt Disney World, Monsanto, and the Interstate Highway System on any combination of solar or wind energy, hydrogen, ethanol, tar sands, oil shale, methane hydrates, nuclear power, thermal depolymerization, “zero-point” energy, or anything else you can name. We will desperately use many of these things in many ways, but we are likely to be disappointed in what they can actually do for us.

The key to understanding the challenge we face is admitting that we have to comprehensively make other arrangements for all the normal activities of everyday life. I will return to this theme shortly, but first it is important to try to account for the extraordinary amount of delusional thinking that currently dogs our collective ability to think about these problems.

The widespread wish to just uncouple from oil and gas and plug all our complex systems into other energy sources is an interesting and troubling enough phenomenon in its own right to merit some discussion. Perhaps the leading delusion is the notion that energy and technology are one and the same thing, interchangeable. The popular idea, expressed incessantly in the news media, is that if you run out of energy, you just go out and find some “new technology” to keep things running. We’ll learn that this doesn’t comport with reality. For example, commercial airplanes are either going to run on cheap liquid hydrocarbon fuels or we’re not going to have commercial aviation as we have known it. No other energy source is concentrated enough by weight, affordable enough by volume, and abundant enough in supply to do the necessary work to overcome gravity in a loaded airplane, repeated thousands of times each day by airlines around the world. No other way of delivering that energy source besides refined liquid hydrocarbons will allow that commercial system to operate at the scale we are accustomed to. The only reason this system exists is that until now such fuels have been cheap and abundant. We are not going to replace the existing worldwide fleet of airplanes either, and besides, there is no other type of airplane we have yet devised that can work differently.

There may be other ways of moving things above the ground, for instance balloons, blimps, or zeppelin-type airships. But they will move much more slowly and carry far less cargo and human passengers than the airplanes we’ve been enjoying for the past sixty years or so. The most likely scenario in the years ahead is that aviation will become an increasingly expensive, elite activity as the oil age dribbles to a close, and then it will not exist at all.

Another major mistake made by those who fail to pay attention is overlooking the unanticipated consequences of new technology, which more often than not add additional layers of problems to existing ones. In the energy sector, one of the most vivid examples is seen in the short history of the world’s last truly great oil discovery, the North Sea fields between Norway and the UK. They were found in the ‘60s, got into production in the late ‘70s, and were pumping at full blast in the early ‘90s. Then, around 1999, they peaked and are now in extremely steep decline—up to 50 percent a year in the case of some UK fields. The fact that they were drilled with the latest and best new technology turns out to mean that they were drained with stunning efficiency. “New technology” only hastened Britain’s descent into energy poverty. Now, after a twenty-year-long North Sea bonanza in which it enjoyed an orgy of suburbanization, Great Britain is again a net energy importer. Soon the Brits will have no North Sea oil whatsoever and will find themselves below their energy diet of the grim 1950s.

If you really want to understand the U.S. public’s penchant for wishful thinking, consider this: We invested most of our late twentieth-century wealth in a living arrangement with no future. American suburbia represents the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. The far-flung housing subdivisions, commercial highway strips, big-box stores, and all the other furnishings and accessories of extreme car dependence will function poorly, if at all, in an oil-scarce future. Period. This dilemma now entails a powerful psychology of previous investment, which is prompting us to defend our misinvestments desperately, or, at least, preventing us from letting go of our assumptions about their future value. Compounding the disaster is the unfortunate fact that the manic construction of ever more futureless suburbs (a.k.a. the “housing bubble") has insidiously replaced manufacturing as the basis of our economy.

Meanwhile, the outsourcing of manufacturing to other nations has spurred the development of a “global economy,” which media opinion-leaders such as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman (author of The World Is Flat) say is a permanent state of affairs that we had better get used to. It is probably more accurate to say that the global economy is a set of transient economic relations that have come about because of two fundamental (and transient) conditions: a half century of relative peace between great powers and a half century of cheap and abundant fossil-fuel energy. These two mutually dependent conditions are now liable to come to an end as the great powers enter a bitter contest over the world’s remaining energy resources, and the world is actually apt to become a lot larger and less flat as these economic relations unravel.

This is approximately the state of the nation right now. It is deeply and tragically ironic that the more information that bombards us, the less we seem to understand. There are cable TV news networks and Internet news sites beyond counting, yet we are unable to process this deluge of information into a coherent public discussion about the fundamental challenges that our civilization faces—not to mention a sensible agenda for meeting these hardships. Meanwhile, CBS News tells millions of viewers that the tar sands of Alberta will solve all our problems, or (two weeks later) that the coal beds under Montana and Wyoming will sustain business as usual, and CNN tells another several million viewers that we can run everything here on ethanol, just like they do in Brazil.

Of course, the single worst impediment to clear thinking among most individuals and organizations in America today is the obsession with keeping the cars running at all costs. Even the environmental community is guilty of this. The esteemed Rocky Mountain Institute ran a project for a decade to design and develop a “hyper-car” capable of getting supernaturally fabulous mileage, in the belief that this would be an ecological benefit. The short-sightedness of this venture? It only promoted the idea that we could continue to be a car-dependent society; the project barely gave nodding recognition to the value of walkable communities and public transit.

The most arrant case of collective cluelessness now on view is our failure to even begin a public discussion about fixing the U.S. passenger railroad system, which has become so decrepit that the Bulgarians would be ashamed of it. It’s the one thing we could do right away that would have a substantial impact on our oil use. The infrastructure is still out there, rusting in the rain, waiting to be fixed. The restoration of it would employ hundreds of thousands of Americans at all levels of meaningful work. The fact that we are hardly even talking about it—at any point along the political spectrum, left, right, or center—shows how fundamentally un-serious we are.

This is just not good enough. It is not worthy of our history, our heritage, or the sacrifices that our ancestors made. It is wholly incompatible with anything describable as our collective responsibility to the future.

We have to do better. We have to start right away making those other arrangements. We have to begin the transition to some mode of living that will allow us to carry on the project of civilization—and I would argue against the notion advanced by Daniel Quinn and others that civilization itself is our enemy and should not be continued. The agenda for facing our problems squarely can, in fact, be described with some precision. We have to make other arrangements for the basic activities of everyday life.

In general, the circumstances we face with energy and climate change will require us to live much more locally, probably profoundly and intensely so. We have to grow more of our food locally, on a smaller scale than we do now, with fewer artificial “inputs,” and probably with more human and animal labor. Farming may come closer to the center of our national economic life than it has been within the memory of anyone alive now. These changes are also likely to revive a menu of social and class conflicts that we also thought we had left behind.

We’ll have to reorganize retail trade by rebuilding networks of local economic interdependence. The rise of national chain retail business was an emergent, self-organizing response to the conditions of the late twentieth century. Those conditions are now coming to an end, and the Wal-Mart way of doing business will come to an end with them: the twelve-thousand-mile merchandise supply line to Asian factories; the “warehouse on wheels” made up of thousands of tractor-trailer trucks circulating endlessly between the container-ship ports and the big-box store loading docks. The damage to local economies that the “superstores” leave behind is massive. Not only have they destroyed multilayered local networks for making and selling things, they destroyed the middle classes that ran them, and in so doing they destroyed the cultural and economic fabric of the communities themselves. This is a lot to overcome. We will have to resume making some things for ourselves again, and moving them through smaller-scale trade networks. We may have fewer things to buy overall. The retail frenzy of recent decades will subside as we struggle to produce things of value and necessarily consume less.

We’ll have to make other arrangements for transporting people and goods. Not only do we desperately need to rebuild the railroad system, but electrifying it—as virtually all other advanced nations have done—will bring added advantages, since we will be able to run it on a range of things other than fossil fuels. We should anticipate a revival of maritime trade on the regional scale, with more use of boats on rivers, canals, and waterways within the U.S. Many of our derelict riverfronts and the dying ports of the Great Lakes may come back to life. If we use trucks at all to move things, it will be for the very last leg of the journey. The automobile will be a diminishing presence in our lives and, increasingly, a luxury that will be resented by those who can no longer afford to participate in the “happy motoring” utopia. The interstate highways themselves will require more resources to maintain than we will be able to muster. For many of us, the twenty-first century will be less about incessant mobility than about staying where we are.

We have to inhabit the terrain of North America differently, meaning a return to traditional cities, towns, neighborhoods, and a productive rural landscape that is more than just strictly scenic or recreational. We will probably see a reversal of the two-hundred-year-long trend of people moving from the country and small towns to the big cities. In fact, our big cities will probably contract substantially, even while they re-densify at their centers and along their waterfronts. The work of the New Urbanists will be crucial in rebuilding human habitats that have a future. Their achievement so far has been not so much in building “new towns” like Seaside, Florida, or Kentlands, Maryland, but in retrieving a body of knowledge, principle, and methodology for urban design that had been thrown away in our mad effort to build the drive-in suburbs.

It is harder to predict exactly what may happen with education and medicine, except to say that neither can continue to operate as rackets much longer, and that they, like everything else, will have to become smaller in scale and much more local. Our centralized school districts, utterly dependent on the countless daily trips of fleets of yellow buses and oppressive property taxes, have poor prospects for carrying on successfully in an energy-scarce economy. However, we will be a less affluent nation in the post-oil age, and therefore may be hard-pressed to replace them. A new, more locally based education system may arise instead out of home-schooling, as household classes aggregate into new, small, neighborhood schools. College will cease to be a mass-consumer activity, and may only be available to social elites—if it continues to exist at all. Meanwhile, we’re in for a pretty stark era of triage as the vast resources of the “medical industry” contract. Even without a global energy crisis bearing down on us, the federal Medicaid and Medicare systems would not survive the future as currently funded.

As a matter of fact, you can state categorically that anything organized on a gigantic scale, whether it is a federal government or the Acme Corporation or the University of Michigan, will probably falter in the energy-scarce future. Therefore, don’t pin your hopes on multinational corporations, international NGOs, or any other giant organizations or institutions.

Recent events have caused many of us to fear that we are headed toward a Big Brother kind of governmental tyranny. I think we will be lucky if the federal government can answer the phones, let alone regulate anyone’s life, in the post-oil era. As power devolves to the local and regional level, the very purpose of our federal arrangements may come into question. The state governments, with their enormous bureaucracies, may not be better off. Further along in this century, the real political action will likely shift down to the local level, as reconstructed neighborly associations allow people to tackle problems locally with local solutions.

It’s a daunting agenda, all right. And some of you are probably wondering how you are supposed to remain hopeful in the face of these enormous tasks. Here’s the plain truth, folks: Hope is not a consumer product. You have to generate your own hope. You do that by demonstrating to yourself that you are brave enough to face reality and competent enough to deal with the circumstances that it presents. How we will manage to uphold a decent society in the face of extraordinary change will depend on our creativity, our generosity, and our kindness, and I am confident that we can find these resources within our own hearts, and collectively in our communities.

JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER is the author of The Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere, as well as the novel Maggie Darling: A Modern Romance. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Rolling Stone. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.

dan said...

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/7/

dan said...

Stand up comedia JHK

..."And some of you are probably wondering how you are supposed to remain hopeful in the face of these enormous tasks that confront us in the face of global warming. Here’s the plain truth, folks: Hope is not a consumer product.


You have to generate your own hope. You do that by demonstrating to yourself that you are brave enough to face reality and competent enough to deal with the circumstances that it presents. How we will manage to uphold a decent society in the face of extraordinary change will depend on our creativity, our generosity, and our kindness, and I am confident that we can find these resources within our own hearts, and collectively in our communities.

headline

HOPE IS NOT A CONSUMER PRODUCT,
SAYS GLOBAL WARMING ACTIVIST

dan said...

Monday, July 30, 4007 AD

Top Ten Reasons to Take Global Warming
With a Grain of Salt (Seriously)




1. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will restore the oceans and rivers and lakes to their original pristine beauty and colors.

2. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will put an end to all wars and peace will prevail on Earth, as Jesus said it would.

3. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will make the Santa Monica Freeway a much less-travelled freeway -- a very much less-travelled freeway. In fact, it will become a deserted freeway to nowhere.

4. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will put an end to all prejudice and discriminiation that exists among races and ethnic groups (since there will be no races or ethnic groups left on Earth after global warming does us all in).

5. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will restore the atmosphere to its original pristine condition and allows clear views of the stars at night (not that there will be anyone around to see them!).

6. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will cause the closure of all libraries around the world since there will be no people left to staff them -- nor patrons, young or old, to use them.

7. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will give God a major headache since there will be no people left on Earth to infuse with His Holy Spirit and inspire to amazing human achievements.

8. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will close the door on all future UFO sightings and alien abductions since there will no longer be people on Earth for aliens to interact with or visit.

9. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will allow those plants and animals and fish that survive global warming's devastating final impact to flourish wherever Nature wants them to, without interference or intervention by Man.

10. Global warming, by threating to wipe out all of humankind in the next few thousand years -- and it might be sooner than that! -- will mean absolutely nothing to the Universe at large, since the Earth has always been and will always be a minor blip on its cosmic radar screen anyway.

dan said...

hedlines

GIVING CLIMATE CHANGE A HUMAN FACE
MIGHT PUT THE DENIALISTS IN HOT WATER

GLOBAL WARMING IS MORE THAN MERE STATISTICS, STATISTICIAN SAYS

ADJUSTING TO CHANGING CONDITIONS ON A WARMING PLANET EASY AS APPLE PIE, SAYS ASTORIA APPLE GROWER

THANKS TO GLOBAL WARMING, GLACIERS IN PROTO-GLACIAL RETREAT WORLDWIDE

GLOBAL WARMING POINTS TO LOOMING WORLDWIDE OBSOLESCENCE

GLOBAL WARMING MIGHT SPELL E-N-D OF M-A-N

dan said...

Preventing global warming catastrophe means complete restructuring of global economy: Forgettaboutit!

-- headline, page one, N Y POST, 2007

-----

Celebrities flocking to prevent global warming catastrophe

-- real AP HEADLINE, July 31, 2007

dan said...

Counsellors claim it's irrational to pay more attention to shark
attacks than to climate
change.

Japanese claim breakthrough in global warming fight: wasabi reduces
your carbon footprint

-- Yomiuri Shinbum, TOKYO, August 15, 2007
-------------------------
Robots seen surviving gobal warming 'end days'

NEW SCIENTIST, August 13, 2007
----------------
Proper family planning offsets global warming, medical survey says

dan said...

Global Warming Jokes

Late-Night Jokes About Global Warming

"According to a new U.N. report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet."

-- Jay Leno

============



"The President says he has a plan. He says that if we need to, we can lower the temperature dramatically just by switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius" --Jimmy Kimmel, on fighting global warming






"President Bush told reporters he won't see Al Gore's documentary about the threat of global warming. He will not see it. On the other hand, Dick Cheney said he's seen the global warming film five times, and it still cracks him up." --Conan O'Brien

"According to a survey in this week's Time magazine, 85% of Americans think global warming is happening. The other 15% work for the White House." --Jay Leno

"Al Gore has a hit movie called 'An Inconvenient Truth.' I have an inconvenient truth for him: you're still not the president. ... This past weekend, Al Gore's movie, 'An Inconvenient Truth,' earned more per screen than any film in the country. ... I dare say Gore's movie is the highest grossing PowerPoint presentation in history. ... Global warming: Can we live with it? ... It is time we did something, namely resign ourselves to doing nothing [on screen: Follow Congress' Lead]. ... For instance, when sea levels rise, we'll just build levees [on screen: Worked for New Orleans]" --Stephen Colbert

"Experts say this global warming is serious, and they are predicting now that by the year 2050, we will be out of party ice." --David Letterman

"Former Vice President Al Gore starring in a new documentary about global warming. I believe it's called [Leno snores]. ... The film actually features Al Gore and explores his journey on how he first got interested in temperature change. It started back when he was vice president. He noticed how the temperature would change, like whenever Bill would walk into the room, it would get warm and whenever Hillary walked into the room, it got cold." --Jay Leno

"President Bush said global warming is happening much quicker than he thought, and then his staff pulled him aside and said 'It's just springtime.'" --Jay Leno

"Arnold Schwarzenegger is blaming man for global warming. And today, Al Gore agreed with him. That's so typical. Two cyborgs, 'Oh, let's blame the humans.'" --Jay Leno

"Al Gore is coming out with a movie about global warming called 'An Inconvenient Truth.' It's described as a detailed scientific view of global warming. President Bush said he just saw a film about global warming, 'Ice Age 2; The Meltdown.' He said, 'It's so much better than that boring Al Gore movie.'" --Jay Leno

"Don't kid yourself. Global warming is no joke. Here's how serious global warming has gotten to be in the United States. In this country global warming is so bad, we are now actually starting to warm up to Barry Bonds." --David Letterman

"According to Time magazine, global warming is 33% worse than we thought. You know what that means? Al Gore is one-third more annoying than we thought." --Jay Leno

"They say if the warming trend continues, by 2015 Hillary Clinton might actually thaw out." --Jay Leno, on global warming

"Al Gore announced he is finishing up a new book about global warming and the environment. Yeah, the first chapter talks about how you shouldn't chop down trees to make a book that no one will read." --Conan O'Brien

"We estimate that there are perhaps 20,000 prehistoric hunter-gatherers frozen up in those glaciers. Now, if they simply thaw and wander around, it's not a problem, but if they find a leader -- a Captain Caveman, if you will -- we'll be facing an even more serious problem." --Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, on the dangers of global warming

"At a press conference yesterday NASA announced that 2005 was the hottest year on record. It is so hot, and global warming is so bad, if the presidential election were held today, Al Gore would still lose." --Jay Leno

"Heating bills this winter are the highest they've been in five years, but President Bush has a plan to combat rising bills. It's called global warming." --Jay Leno

dan said...

Yesterday, a group of scientists warned that because of global warming, sea levels will rise so much that parts of New Jersey will be under water. The bad news? Parts of New Jersey won't be under water." --Conan O'Brien

"Al Gore said over the weekend that global warming is more serious than terrorism. Unless the terrorist is on your plane, then that extra half a degree doesn't bother you so much." --Jay Leno

"President Bush is taking more liberal positions. For example global warming. He used to be against it. Now it's the Republican plan for heating homes this winter." -Jay Leno

"A lot of people think global warming is causing these terrible hurricanes. See I think to stop global warming we should move in the other direction.
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We should move towards a second ice age. Follow me, if the glaciers are coming towards us at like an inch a year, then the government would have time to respond." --Jay Leno

"Barbra Streisand told Diane Sawyer that we're in a global warming crisis, and we can expect more and more intense storms, droughts and dust bowls. But before they act, weather experts say they're still waiting to hear from Celine Dion." --Jay Leno

"Governor Schwarzenegger spoke about the dangers of global warming. Schwarzenegger's exact words were: fire, hot, bad." --Conan O'Brien

"NASA just released their new report on global warming or, as President Bush, calls it -- Spring."

--Jay Leno

dan said...

Global warming was the talking point last night at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner when comedian Albert Brooks said that "if global warming continues the way it is going, there won't be any White House in 500 years. It will be under water!"

dan said...

"10 Good Things About Global Warming" As presented on the 01/04/96 broadcast of LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN


10. Domino's Pizza will not be almost room temperature when it arrives

9. No more snow for Giants fans to throw

8. Outside chance the cast of "Friends" will spontaneously combust

7. Boardrooms across America will begin to look like those naked pictures in National Geographic

6. Ed Sullivan Theater will heat up to a balmy 34 degrees

5. Fat guys can make their own gravy

4. Canada will be able to use a whopping 9% of its landmass

3. Real bacon will be sold on the streets of New York City (cut to vendor)

2. Can get to see what Michael Jackson really looks like when his face melts

1. Higher temperature = more golf courses = greater chance O.J. Simpson will catch real killers

dan said...

"I am terrified," Laurie David said between bites of her salad, avocados on the side. "I'm terrified. I'm terrified. And fear is a great motivator."

NYTimes article
4-22-2006

dan said...

Laurie David called global warming a disaster that must be halted before the crash is too intense. "It's better to be in a car accident at 5 miles per hour," she said, "than one at 60 miles per hour."

dan said...

''French scientist issues stark naked warning on effects of global warming''

fuax hed

"We conclude that warming caused by human activities has likely, -- maybe, sort of, kinda of, you get the drift, in a way, possibly, there's a chance that it -- had a discernible impact on the glboal level of many physicial and biological systems...."

IPCC-3.0 report, 2007

dan said...

Handbook Diary Entry #101:

When I asked a well-known and respected American writer on global warming, whose bestselling book is one of the top ten books on the subject now, what he thought was the future of humankind, due to the problems that global warming will likely inflict on the planet in the future, he wrote back:

"Oi is right.
We're fershchimmeled. Dude."

dan said...

A Handbook on Global Warming Humor:
Humor to Get You Through Global Warming

titles

dan said...

''Global Warming in all its stark naked beauty''

headline in recent edition of International Geographic

dan said...

...."Could Nonetheless Wipe Humanity Off Map''....

dan said...

A witness said it looked like "toy cars" were plunging into the water as a huge iceberg crashed into the Golden Gate Bridge in San Franciso in year 2856.


"I heard a terrible noise, and then I looked. It seemed like a piece
of the bridge was pancaking and going down," said Janet Jones. "I
said, 'Did we really see that? Did we really see that?' and it was
unbelievable."

SF Chronicle, July 27, 2856

dan said...

nada augusto 15

dan said...

HOW ON EARTH song out now

dan said...

December 11, 3007, 10:46 GWT

The Funny Side of Global Warming (No Kidding)

By Andrew C. Revkin


A Russian camp manager racing over to rescue a certain reporter. (Andrew C. Revkin/The New York Times)In the 20 years I’ve been covering global warming, it’s been hard to find a lot of laughs. There have been a few moments — like when I was standing too close to an open-water gap in the floating sea ice at the North Pole, until a bearlike Russian camp worker pulled me back, explaining in broken English that a tourist had fallen into the 14,300-foot-deep, 28-degree water that way the year before. That’s about as funny as it gets on my beat. I snapped the picture above as he was rushing over toward me.
The tourist survived. Actually, come to think of it, that was the same day a beautiful Russian woman (the runner-up in the Mother Russia pageant) popped out of a tent dressed in an ice-length sequined gown, tiara and white fur coat, and began dancing with Santa Claus.
Maybe this is a funnier beat than I thought. As if to prove that, and just in time for the holidays (or a break from dissecting the latest nonpapers at the Bali talks), now comes “101 Funny Things About Global Warming” (Bloomsbury USA, January 2008), the first book of climate cartoons (the first one I know of, anyway). It is assembled by Sidney Harris and 20 other masters of the scribbled line.
In one, a couple is settled in front of the TV and the announcer notes: “Tonight’s weather report contains some alarming material. Viewer discretion advised.” In another, Atlas shrugs under the weight of the Earth, which he holds tenderly overhead using oven mitts. Don Quixote and his sidekick confront a line of wind turbines. Enough said.

dan said...

From Sidney Harris, a long-time New Yorker, American Scientist, and Hippocrates magazine cartoonist, comes a hilarious and thought-provoking collection of 100 original cartoons on the earth’s changing climate and environment.

Not a day goes by without word about our impending environmental doom. If it’s not the polar ice caps melting at an even more alarming rate than originally thought, it’s the sudden—and totally unexplained— disappearance of bees. It’s enough to make even the most ardent of anti-environmentalists throw their arms up in despair. So, what are we supposed to do between now and when lower Manhattan is13-feet below sea level? Well, in 100 Funny Things About Global Warming, acclaimed cartoonist Sidney Harris suggests looking at the sunnier-side of global warming. In collaboration with an assortment of his New Yorker colleagues, Harris makes light of hot-button environmental issues, like unreliable Hybrid cars, pie-in-the-sky alternative energy sources, head-in-the-sand politicians, and the existential crisis of our own biodegradable nature. Provocative, timely, and endlessly funny, 100 Funny Things About Global Warming is an unexpected look at today’s inconvenient truths by this generation’s most celebrated cartoonists.