Nigeria: Al Gore's Award, Fresh Impetus
This Day (Lagos)
15 October 2007
Posted to the web 15 October 2007
Dr Saleemul Huq, Head of the Climate Change Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has described the Nobel Award for former US Vice President Al Gore as giving fresh impetus to efforts to agree action on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and helping vulnerable communities to adapt to the changes ahead.
His statement circulated by Dr Mike Shanahan, the Press Officer at IIED continued "The award recognises the work of hundreds of scientists from all around the world who have been working for years to shed light on what is happening to our climate, what is causing it to change, what the consequences of that change are and what the global community can and must do to avert a global disaster.
Hug said the awards committee has rightly recognised that the scientific evidence shows overwhelmingly that human activities are changing our climate change in a way that threatens peace, security, the natural environment and future generations.The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development.
Gore and a United Nations panel were awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their continued fight against global warming. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's web site, "Gore, 59, said he planned to donate his half of the $1.5 million prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan nonprofit group.
Gore, chairman of the alliance board, met with the group in Palo Alto." Gore, with his wife, Tipper by his side, said the prize is "just the beginning," in the long and arduous fight against global warming. A climate scientist from Harvard University elaborated on the award's significance,
"The award establishes that change is the most challenging of all environmental problems tat threaten peace and prosperity," said John Holdren, who also chairs the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
end of excerpt.
Yes, this is truly fresh impetus for a new day for the global community. With the Nobel Peace Prize added to Mr. Gore's amazing abilities and vision, wonderful things can be accomplished in communities that as of now have little to no hope. This is my wish... for Mr. Gore to take what this award represents and to be a true global leader who brings hope, opportunity, and education to communities around the world including the U.S. where he is already doing that through The Climate Project and The Alliance for Climate Protection.
When I stated that I believe this Nobel Peace Prize raises him now above a president I meant it. This is not just some temporary job that will in the end judge him harshly. This is a prestigious honor that will last for a lifetime. There is no limit now to what he can do with the resources available to him on a global scale, and I suspect that he will now be receiving many requests from communities all over the world to be a guiding force for change.
And while I am saddened by reports of the damage we have done to this planet and ourselves being far worse and excelerating at a faster pace than was first thought or predicted, I am now much more hopeful knowing that Mr. Gore and others are going to be devoting their time to empowering, educating, and inspiring people specifically I hope in the poorer communities of our planet who need that the most in order for us to be able to face this global challenge as we need to right now.
I have never been prouder to call myself a supporter of this man, because he inspires me to be a better person too and to speak about this crisis to others. No political campaign can now match what he has at his disposal or what he has and will accomplish, and I am so grateful to see him doing this work because it is urgent that it be done. Awareness of this crisis must now lead to viable solutions and the only global leader I trust to see that happen is the Honorable Al Gore, Nobel Laureate.
edited for spelling.
crossposted from: http://www.water-is-life.blogspot.com
It is a tragic scenario we see playing out on our only home. With new predictions from scientists that Arctic glaciers may be gone within 23 years and glaciers around the world melting three times faster than worse case scenarios, what are we going to do to preserve the dwindling fresh water resources we are certain to see strained in the next fifteen to twenty years even more than they are now?
One-third of the world’s population is now in need of potable water which was a scenario not predicted to happen until around 2025 and which is now predicted to get worse unless things change drastically. We are nearly twenty years ahead of predictions on this and yet we are woefully unprepared for the consequences. There is no other way to state this: unless we work to solve this global water crisis now, many of the poor and malnourished in our world where this crisis is most dire will die.
A report by the International Water Management Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka, put out last year painted a bleak picture of global access to fresh water and warned us that this Earth cannot continue by doing business as usual. The time for doing business as usual is over. However, are we listening?
We are reaching the breaking point in many areas of our world due to waste, pollution, mismanagement, lack of water infrastructure, inadequate water infrastructure, and privitization. However, the most damning reason for this is our own lack of will and a basic misunderstanding by people (especially in America) that water is an infinite resource that we can continue to use without any concern for tomorrow. It isn't. And we can't.
Therefore, areas where the poor are looking for a way to not only lift themselves out of poverty but also have a chance at survival must be shown ways to conserve water such as rain catchement, rain agriculture, and effective conservation. This also then ties into people in these areas having information about the climate crisis and its effects and how they can best deal with those effects. The Yellow River basin in China which feeds literally millions of people is just one example of resources exhausted to the point where they can no longer sustain life. Where would those millions of people go?
Just what are we doing?
Is it really that hard to bring better agricultural techniques to farmers in these countries? Is it really that hard to teach them how to deal with the affects of climate change? Is it really that hard to actually do as we say must be done?
* rain water agriculture- cheap, efficient, and saves water.
* rain water catchment (off houses and roads)- cheap, efficient, and saves water. And of course, the health and safety of those using it must also be taken into consideration.
* less water intensive crops that yield more to give farmers more for their planting.
* pressure bought to bear on governments to shore up water infrastructure and work to eliminate corruption and mismanagement.
* planting trees in the most deforested areas to bring water to the source and provide sustinence.
* also providing information and services for women and men in third world countries regarding birth control and health.
These are just some ways to begin which are all possible, but like with anything else those involved in it must also feel hope for the future.
As to how that should happen, we need a "Marshall Plan" (reference to the Honorable Al Gore's term from his book Earth In The Balance) to modernize Africa and look at the priorities of those who live there and in other areas of our world where the climate/water crisis will change their relationship to the planet instead of just throwing money at it (but it cannot be disputed that money is also important, though not the only factor.) But action must begin now or the need for water globally will far exceed capacity to provide it. However, by doing the moral thing we could actually decrease global demand by half. I think the choice is clear, and it is a choice we all have to make.
Water is life
As anyone who has followed my efforts regarding climate change knows, I have been writing to the UN to request that the post of UN Global Environmental Ambassador be instituted especially in light of the acceleration of the effects of climate change, and the need for a true global environmental leader to bring all nations together to address this properly.
Well, Mr. Gore will be making another presentation at the UN this Monday, September 24 as he did last September, so I have faxed a new letter to the new Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, entreating him to think about this position and the effect it could have on bringing about a cohesive global movement regarding this crisis to the forefront of the UN agenda with Mr. Gore as its leader. I will also be faxing this to Mr. Gore's office along with my own letter to him regarding it.
Also in light of this story printed just this past April, I remain optimistic about this effort:
UN's Ban, Gore Discuss Climate Change
Dear Secretary General Ki-moon;
Firstly, allow me to express my gratitude to you for making the climate crisis a primary concern of the UN. For me this crisis and how we react to it now will define us as a species. I am then writing to you as a citizen of the world who is very concerned regarding how this crisis will affect all of us, but chiefly the world’s poor who on the whole do not have the education, information, tools, and opportunities they need to be able to face this crisis in a way that will lead them out of poverty and into a more sustainable future. No one in this world should die because they lack clean potable water or other necessary life sustaining resources, and they surely do not deserve to have to face a future of environmental devastation at the hands of those nations that pollute the most but shirk their moral duty and responsibility in being accountable for what has transpired in our world because of it.
My concern is also with us missing the opportunity on a global scale to join together in this moment for this common purpose with an environmental leader of sincerity and passion who can bring the world together and bring clarity to this most urgent moral challenge. Out of that concern I sent two letters to then Secretary General Kofi Annan regarding the possible introduction of a new UN post, Global Environmental Ambassador, and I requested that should such a post ever be considered that the Honorable Al Gore be appointed as the first Ambassador.
I did receive a response to my request from the Executive Office of the Secretary General dated October 18, 2006 which explained that the belief was that Mr. Gore’s role at that time could not be enhanced further by appointment to such a post. While I do agree that his work has led to an increased and necessary awareness of this crisis in the past few years, I however do believe such a post would most certainly be a force regarding negotiations with world leaders regarding solutions considering that countries will be gathering to forge a new ”Kyoto” style treaty hopefully by 2009.
I see Mr. Gore as an integral part of that process as a leading advocate for our global concerns, but more importantly as a voice of reason who has shown he has the ability to bring people together of all political, social, and economic backgrounds. Mr. Secretary General, as you well know our world is now heading on a collision course between growing populations (many in urban areas and living in poverty) and the continued un abated wasteful use of resources with climate change working faster than predicted against us to tip the scales.
Just from last October to this year, ice melt in the Arctic has been accelerating at a rate three times faster than scientists’ predictions. Targets then must be set within this next year if we are to truly begin to see any sort of mitigation of the greenhouse gases that are responsible for the devastating droughts, desertification, and glacial melt we see taking place in Africa, Asia, Australia, and even now in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States.
I truly do believe our vision must begin with evasive action now, and that means having leaders that can inspire, motivate, negotiate, and who have a background in the moral, ethical, political, technological, and social issues that all come into play in any global treaty or global initiative that must move people to action. And we also need leaders who understand the plight of the poor in our world and who will not forget them, for they are the most important part of our future.
I then entreat you to once again consider my request, as I do believe this post would work in the favor of uniting many nations under a common purpose to begin the work we should have begun many years ago. I have attached the letter I sent to your office last year to then Secretary General Annan, and I thank you for your time in reading this letter.
And that's my two cents.
This groundbreaking invention on the part of Al Gore that could now save this world from the catastrophic affects of the climate crisis still sits in a warehouse in Maryland after being scrubbed in January 2006. As usual, "budget" is the answer for why it sits, but I believe it goes deeper than that.
Don't know what Triana was? Not surprising, since Republicans did all in their power from the late nineties by using their partisanship and hatred for Al Gore to see it fail and keep it secret. Now it is dead, and so are some very high hopes for measuring the affects of climate change from deep space. Once again, political partisanship trumped the best interests of not only our country, but our world.
From The NY Times:
Some info on this and a link showing the technological, scientific, and environmental vision of Al Gore, our Global Environmental Ambassador.
Scripps Calls For Quick Launch Of Triana
Al Gore-Leader in Technology
Al Gore-Inventor of Triana
Triana was the brainchild of Mr. Gore literally dreamed up by him during a restless sleep in 1998. His idea was to place a spacecraft in orbit far enough away from Earth (one million miles to be exact) to get 24 hour continuous images of the entire globe which is impossible with existing satellites because they are too close.
After battling in Congress with what Republicans trashed as "Gore's screen saver," the $135 million project appeared to have survived their ambushes, rising costs, and scientific scrutiny. It was slated for launch early in 1999. Then it was pushed back to after 2000... Now, it will never take off, and that is truly sad especially in light of the affects of the climate crisis we are experiencing all over the world. This satellite would give us a chance to see the Earth in motion from the side of the sun in a continuous 24 hour view that would have been able to be seen on a cable channel by us (and particularly students) in order to be better prepared for catastrophic events taking place due to climate change.
Although some scientists building Triana admitted to feeling ambiguous about it originally, they claimed that Mr. Gore's idea to observe Earth from deep space could prove to be revolutionary. The hope in launching it was to gain insight into climate change by measuring how much energy Earth absorbs and reflects into space, and to measure levels of aerosols that affect the ozone layer from around the world.
It certainly would have been not only a momentous achievement for Mr. Gore, this planet, and for our future, but also would have been a fitting payback to those like former President George Bush who dubbed Al Gore, "Ozone Man." Of course, we all know how his idiot son felt about it. He probably couldn't even pronounce it. I cannot for the life of me understand how people can claim to care for this planet when they would scrap such a visionary and revolutionary mission as this, yet continue to spend money we don't have on weapons of war and death. And scrapping this entire program was done secretly, quietly, and in my view maliciously.
For besides providing ways to pick up atmospheric patterns not readily apparent to satellites that scan only one region or continent at a time, the Triana mission could have blazed a trail for more deep-space Earth observation and inspire replacement of some low-orbit satellites. It is said that Al Gore had long wondered how to get more photos like those from the Apollo moon missions when astronauts captured the first pictures of Earth as a whole from great distances. Those images had a deep effect on him as he kept a huge blow-up photo of the Earth on his White House office wall.
This is the account of how he came upon this idea:
As he tells it, he awoke from a dream at 2 o'clock in the morning, logged onto the Internet, "went to a couple of sites and figured out how to do this." What he learned about was the orbital point called Lagrange-1 about 1 million miles away, where the gravitational attraction from the sun equals that of Earth. Satellites placed at L1 move in an orbit that mirrors the Earth's, with our planet's sunlit half always in view. A few probes have been sent to L1, mostly for research on the sun. But surprisingly, NASA had never seriously considered placing an Earth observatory at L1, even though it provides what scientists now say is a natural vantage point for that purpose.
He then proposed the satellite in March 1998 that would transmit continuous television images from L1 and cost no more than $50 million. He dubbed it Triana in honor of Rodrigo De Triana, the sailor who first observed the New World on Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage. NASA then announced several months later that a contract had been given for it to Valero, but it came up to swift opposition in the Republican Congress. The House of Representatives cut off funds for Triana in May 1999, in what was clearly a partisan move by people who hate science.
After that an NAS committee of 10 scientists was formed, and in the end they reported that Triana did have scientific merit. Work on it continued but then was halted, and now it will never be seen as the entire program has been scrapped by NASA. Once again because of hateful, bitter, partisan BS that has done nothing but stop the scientific advances necessary for us to peacefully explore our universe and to also warn of impending disaster as this 24 hour view would have facilitated, will it now not see the light of day. And I have not seen one Democrat stand up for Al Gore's work on this satellite in Congress as well, and that too is sad. One reason why I don't happen to have faith in the Washington DC beltway to truly care about this issue, even now as it needs to be cared about.
It is sad, but it is only one more action to show where Republicans in this government really stand on breakthrough advances that would give us a better understanding of our world, and others who constantly let them win...And damn them for it, because this is not about partisan political grudges, this is about saving lives.
I mention this now because of the reports from thousands of scientists, the IPCC, the NAS, the UN, and many other scientific reports that have now given the window of our planet's sustainability not long before it closes. And this was the one tool we could have had to not only gauge that damage, but use to work quicker to mitigate it.
Personally, I think Congress should work to redeem themselves and bring Triana up to the forefront again in light of the damage done to this planet by the climate change we are responsible for. I think that since we can always find money when it comes to waging wars of aggression, we damn sure can come up with what is needed to launch this satellite that will aid us in our quest to reverse the damage we have done.
Shame on Congress for turning their backs on this clearly out of partisan political rancor. We are now reaping the whirlwind for it.
In October the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced and Al Gore is one of the main contenders for the prize this year and deservedly so. For he has brought an awareness of the climate crisis we face to the world that has now brought about a new hope with a warning that unless we as a global community act now to prevent the worst affects of our actions towards this planet we will not have a sustainable planet to live on. It is for certain the most important issue/crisis we will have to deal with in this century as its affects touch upon every other aspect of our lives and the lives of those to come after us.
To me the work he has done on this issue for the last thirty years and now continues as a global ambassador is indicative not of a person doing it for political gain or to score political points which to me is actually very refreshing. It is the work of a man who is truly passionate about preserving a balance that not only sustains us but all species. His slideshows, books, An Inconvenient Truth the movie, speeches, appearances, and organizations such as The Climate Project and The Alliance for Climate Protection have been in concert with his lifelong commitment to the moral aspect of us as stewards to this planet.
And indeed, his work and advocacy in the past few years since he left politics has now influenced how companies do business, how governments respond to this crisis, and how individuals live their lives. And winning such a respected and coveted prize as the Nobel would only enhance his ability to get this important message out to more people. With him continuing his training in Australia next month and expanding it to South America, India, and I hope Africa, there is so much more he can accomplish in his mission to bring about a global grassroots sea change regarding the mindset surrounding global warming and our part in the solutions.
As he reiterated recently, people in America are becoming more environmentally aware, however, it is not enough yet to cause the moral tidal wave of demand that we must see in order to make the political changes necessary that will not come in this military/industrial system that only seeks to placate with words but not actions. I do believe being a Nobel Peace Prize winner is a much deserved prize for anyone seeking to take on such a monumental task that to me makes running for office look like a cakewalk. It is most assuredly not standing on the sidelines by any means.
Therefore, I wait to hear the announcement of the winners and hope that Al Gore wins this prize because of the man he is, the work he has done and is doing, and the hope for the future he will continue to bring to others who will benefit from his knowledge, his vision, and his work on this the most crucial issue of our lifetime.
Good luck Mr. Gore, with much love.
Al Gore calls for civil disobedience
Posted by Glenn Hurowitz at 12:44 PM on 16 Aug 2007
From The New York Times's Nicholas Kristof ($ub req'd):
I ran into Al Gore at a climate/energy conference this month, and he vibrates with passion about this issue -- recognizing that we should confront mortal threats even when they don't emanate from Al Qaeda.
"We are now treating the Earth's atmosphere as an open sewer," he said, and (perhaps because my teenage son was beside me) he encouraged young people to engage in peaceful protests to block major new carbon sources.
"I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers," Mr. Gore said, "and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants."
Say it, Al! But it's not just young people who need to do it -- everyone needs to join in, starting with you. Shutting down coal plants, blockading palm-oil importers like Imperium Renewables and other rainforest destroyers, and stopping work at oil refineries could move the climate debate beyond just personal action and put the spotlight squarely on the big polluters who are the real culprits behind the problem.
This could be Al Gore's Gandhi moment (especially appropriate for a Nobel Peace Prize nominee). It would be great if you (in conjunction with say, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and other civil disobedience-oriented environmental groups) announced a day of civil disobedience to confront polluters -- and were the first one to get arrested. You'll find thousands of people, myself included, to back you up.
If you're interested in being one of those people, click here to send Al Gore a fax letting him know you're ready to participate in civil disobedience on behalf of the planet.
Yes, say it, Al... but your question as to why young people aren't forming rings around bulldozers is exactly what you wrote about in The Assault On Reason... the politics of fear. People feel cowed in this country and with the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act still in place that this Congress has still done nothing to repeal, I really cannot say I totally blame them. But I think it goes beyond that as many people still aren't aware of the true urgency of this crisis yet because of the lies of the media and the lobby you even eluded to that is spending millions of dollars in a campaign to discredit the science and cause doubt in peoples' minds about its existence and the causes of it.
And believe it or not, not all Americans have even seen An Inconvenient Truth yet, or read the book, or know the science around global warming. They are not going to protest something they do not understand and something they do not see as an imminent threat to their own lifestyles. Comfort and convenience hold huge sway in this country regarding peoples' decisions.
And realistically, they will question just how we should go about doing this in a country where it is more and more difficult to stand up for what you believe in. And they will question why they even need to do so if there is a Congress that is supposed to be doing the right thing in making sure these coal fired plants are not now built unless they have sequestration mechanisms attached to them as voting in this country is supposed to be how our voices are heard.
Of course, I also believe a big reason why is because people and many of them young people are too distracted and yes, spoiled to care about this planet. Technology and the Internet are wonderful things, but they can also be distractions with video games and other ways of keeping them entertained without giving them the knowledge they need to even begin to care about this catastrophe, and it even goes to the lack of civics education in our schools where children are not taught about this Constitution, past sacrifices made to preserve it, and what Democracy entails if it is to thrive. This is not the country of Thomas Jefferson any longer, unfortunately, and that is a reality we must deal with.
And then of course, we have the groups that have done nothing on the Internet but brainwash people into thinking they need not do anything because you are going to fly down in your superman cape and save us all, so why should they feel compelled to do anything if they believe you are going to save them? That is why I believe that mindset and that kind of rhetoric is not any more helpful to this cause now than those actively working against you on the other side to discredit your words, because it has politicized it and caused a partisan rift that also impedes success.
You stated in an interview just recently that people are becoming more environmentally aware but that we aren't close yet to where we need to be...Well, to me these are just some of the reasons why.
I can only hope that the three year blitz planned through The Alliance For Climate Protection will move those who are too complacent, lazy, distracted, brainwashed, afraid, ignorant of this topic, or just tying this into a partsan political agenda. But as you stated it will take more work on the part of those of us who are awake to awaken others.
Frankly, I think boycotts and hitting them in their wallets is a great form of civil disobedience that can also be very effective and if successful can lead to other forms of standing up ... however, to boycott gas is not now even feasible as for many of us there is no other option. So perhaps when the people out here who are poor and who cannot afford other options that are either not available to them now or out of their reach financially get the feeling that business and govenment is behind them on this, perhaps then they will demand change. I think it works both ways.
I would gladly join you on a picket line Mr. Gore to stop a bulldozer from laying foundation to a carbon spewing coal plant if I thought it would actually stop it from being built, but infortunately, I don't think it would stop it, and therein lies the biggest part of this problem. MONEY RULES.
As the Times article excerpt (which was all I could read since I don't subscribe to Times Select) stated, this could well be your Gandhi moment, but it could also be as well for many of us. However, that fear not only of speaking out but of change is a powerful force, Mr. Gore, and as you also stated in your book is the enemy of reason.
We then need to ovecome that fear first, and in my view that cannot be done unless more people in this country are armed with truth. Your movie should then be available to anyone to download anywhere in the world. People need to set up groups that coordinate boycotts against these companies that last for more than one day. And to me the crux of all of this is teaching our children about civics and citizenship. You cannot expect protest in any form without a good foundation being laid first. So while I believe many peoeple are not doing all they could be doing now, I also believe that they cannot be entirely held to blame when the system that brought this on is continually allowed to hold sway over their lives by those who do have the power to change it. Just my two cents.
One reason is because he is not a good "politician." And I say that with the highest regard for him, because to me a "politician" is the label I put on someone who is just part of the status quo fabric of this corrupted political system. Someone only out for their own benefit. Someone who plays the game at others' expense. Someone who does not see any higher purpose in what they do. So no, Al Gore is not a good "politician" and that is really a good thing.
However, he is a magnificent statesman (regardless of whether I may agree or disagree with him on some matters,) a passionate and effective advocate for this planet, and above all to me, a man who has sworn off all of the pretense that comes with political life to see the big picture and bring it to as many people as he possibly can with a sincere purpose at heart. There is no higher achievement to me for a person than to see beyond the horizon and to keep going even when going through the fire burns you.
For many, continuing to do nothing but cajole this man to once again enter that "political" system seems to them to be the highest achievement regardless of anything else. I say that is false. Right now in this man's life he has achieved an awakening of spirit that goes beyond the platitudes and pretense and now has a burning desire to share that with the world and has made that his mission in life, and it is noble. As I have stated before, I am heartbroken at what transpired in years past and with all of my heart wished to see him take that oath of office (when I was naive enough to think it a system that actually worked for the people) and like many worked hard to see it come to pass. However, life is strange with its twists and turns and I firmly believe that some things happen the way they do because they bring you to a better place.
We will never know what really would have been... but I do know what can be, and Mr. Gore's words and passionate advocacy for this planet at a time when that is paramount for our survival have me believing that we may just have a chance, and isn't that really our purpose on this planet? To work to make it better regardless from where we do it? I also don't know what the future holds, but I do know that from wherever Mr. Gore chooses himself to be the change he wishes to see in this world I will be right there being the change I wish to see as well. So again, not being a good politician in this day and age is not something to be too heartbroken about, because from where I sit Al Gore is an exceptional human being and right now we need more of those to see us though this fire.
And that last sentence is exactly stated in response to his book, The Assault On Reason in placing blame for that lack of reason where it belongs... on us. What is wrong with America goes so much deeper than any one candidate regardless of who it may be, and he sees that and is approaching changing it in a truly brilliant way. He is doing so much more than we could have ever expected of him based on the past, and I believe nothing will change regardless of candidate unless we now do it in the way in which we demand change and in the way we relate to a media that has done nothing but work against reason.
There is much we can do as citizens to get out truth. I am starting a book on the global water crisis and even though it scares me a bit because I have never attempted to write a book before, I am compelled to do it because I have armed myself with knowledge that I feel I have to share, and because the environmental advocacy of Mr. Gore was a great inspiration in that decision.
The Internet is a place of great potential for that truth as well, and so are the other options open to us as citizens to now become a part of the process instead of always waiting for others to do it for us. Mr. Gore and those involved in this noble cause have opened up those possibilities and given us our chance for our voices to be heard and our actions to be part of the solution, and that is really what Democracy is all about.
And while he will always be my president and I will support any personal decision he makes on his own, he is a great man more so to me because he is doing this for the good of this country the way he now sees fit, and I am not about to apologize to anyone for how I choose to support him now simply because I don't support the soundbite, jingoistic, status quo way others still wish to continue to do things year in and year out... the very ways that got us nowhere in the past.
He is a great man because he sees beyond all of that to new horizons and is walking on a new road, and that is the road I now wish to travel as well because I believe it is the road that will now be most effective in saving this planet and our relationship to it because it is a road built on truth and reality.
Blame the media for climate woes: analysis
Mike De Souza, CanWest News Service
Published: Sunday, August 05, 2007 Article tools
* * * * OTTAWA — Mainstream U.S. media are to blame for stalled international efforts to reach an agreement to fight climate change, according to a new analysis released by a media watchdog group.
The report, in the latest edition of a magazine published by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, said there are multiple examples of major American media organizations watering down recent warnings from peer-reviewed scientific literature about the consequences of global warming and the human-produced pollution that is causing it.
The watchdog group based its analysis on a comparison of American and British headlines and articles about the release of a series of international reports that assessed the latest peer-reviewed on climate change.
"Where U.K. media generally presented climate change as an urgent crisis that requires immediate action, in the U.S. it’s still widely portrayed as an unresolved debate," says the article, written by Neil deMause in the July-August edition of Extra!.
The coverage is helping to prop up U.S. government policies which suggest aggressive action to tackle climate change could be economically costly, deMause said. For example, he explained that many Americans were unaware of a British government study by former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern that warned the cost of doing nothing would be much worse than immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
end of excerpt.
And this is where The Alliance for Climate Protection comes in and why I support their three year plan and Mr. Gore's way of doing this now, because this must be countered in order to see the groundswell necessary from people in order to filter up the urgency to make changes in business and government. This unfortunately is where the battle still is. It is also where it will have to start as the sustainability window closes and we in this country are still debating whether humans are the cause of it because of the arrogant, narrow minded, self righteous, self serving, greedy attitudes of those in this country for whom responsibility is not part of their vocabulary nor the ability to see a moral imperative through the dollar signs in their eyes.
When Al Gore stated that more people are aware environmentally, but that we aren't yet close to being where we need to be to tip the political scales, he wasn't wrong. His premise behind An Inconvenient Truth and most recently The Assault On Reason is this very problem within our country. Without Democratic dialogue based on truth and reason rather than fear and propaganda, we will not be able to address the climate crisis as it must be addressed now. And not just on a political level, as this is a moral issue. This must begin with us, with us demanding change from business and government at all levels.
And that unfortunately will take time which is why this three year plan should be supported as education is imperative to change the perception of this crisis as 'not dangerous' as has been put forth by denialist spin doctors working for corporate benefactors who in turn use their influence on the media to skew the facts for their own benefit. This is s systemic flaw in our perceptions as well as our government.
Just today I was speaking with someone about the climate crisis, and they admitted to me that they were afraid of changing their lifestyle. I then told them not to see it as a change but as an improvement. You will still light your lamps as you always have by flicking the switch, but having a CFL bulb in place of an incandescent one improves your life and your planet. I hope they got the message, but again, this is the uphill battle we must face now as Mother Nature waits for no man.
Is Dennis Avery a legitimate skeptic, or a corporate shill? Well, considering these press releases always specifically target Al Gore and not address the facts he presents that represent an entire scientific community, one can only surmise that it is the latter and not the former.
Al Gore Faces New Debate Challenge Expert
Ok, let's start here:
SourceWatch: Dennis Avery
From the site:
About that misleading claim:
Bogus Research of Dennis Avery
Al Gore Invited To Mexico City
"Mexico's capital of nearly 20 million people exemplifies chaos. Its potholed streets are snarled by more than 4 million drivers each day. The city is notorious for "express kidnappings," in which victims are forced to drain their bank accounts from automated tellers at gunpoint. Millions live in cement hovels with little running water.
At times, the city seems hostile to human life itself — one sinkhole recently swallowed a young man, along with a car and a building's facade.
Since taking office in December, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has imposed tougher traffic rules to make pedestrians safer, installed security cameras in high-crime neighborhoods and required city staffers to ride their bicycles to work once a month.
The city trucked in sand to build "urban beaches" at seven public pools, screened outdoor movies and inaugurated "bicycle Sundays" when thousands of cyclists, skaters and pedestrians take over the main avenues. Ebrard even invited former Vice President Al Gore to lecture city residents about climate change this week."
End of excerpt.
I only found one accounting of this visit today in the Reforma newspaper from Mexico (front page too,) but it is not in English. In a way I wish he would allow someone from the media to cover his talks on this topic because I am intrigued in knowing if he discussed biofuels that have led to tortilla riots in Mexico as countries such as Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil look to grow crops strictly for biofuel use, which compromises water and food resources. I will keep looking however, and if I find anything else on this visit I will add it.
See my entry on his remarkrs regarding the dangers of biofuels in Argentina, here:
Former US Vice President Al Gore has warned that the drive to produce alternative fuels to combat global warming must not create new forms of environmental damage.
Speaking in Argentina on Friday, Gore, whose global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth won an Academy Award this year, said: "Every potential solution much be handled carefully and the danger with biofuels is that extremely valuable forests will be destroyed unnecessarily.
"Another danger is that, if it is not pursued carefully, it will drive food prices up."
Gore was talking to a private gathering of biofuel industry players inside a Buenos Aires hotel.
US President George Bush wants to slash petrol consumption by 20% by 2017, a move requiring 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels to replace fossil fuels.
But South American sceptics worry that diverting farmland for biofuels made from corn, sugarcane, palm oil and other agricultural products will harm the environment and worsen already troublesome inflation in the developing world.
As Gore spoke, outside the hotel demonstrators on bicycles and wearing surgical masks chanted slogans against multinational agribusinesses, saying the biofuel boom will cause deforestation.
Gore Warns Of Biofuel Dangers
Or if this link doesn't work:
Al Gore Warns Of Biofuel Dangers
In reading what Mr. Gore had to say at this conference I am very pleased he spoke about the impact upon food production and prices as well as environmental devastation the production of biofuels on a massive scale can have if not handled equitably and morally. In Brazil for example, this is a problem especially because 30% of its people live on less than two dollars a day, and much of the arable land is owned by the rich with a power struggle regarding land rights currently taking place.
The tragic murder of environmentalist and peoples' advocate Sister Dorothy Strang brought this to the forefront, and it is said that the current president of Brazil, Lula, is working to bridge the gap between rich and poor. Of course, I don’t see how signing any pact regarding biofuels with Bush on behalf of companies like Archer Midland Daniels that controls more than half of the grain market business accomplishes that, which is what people were protesting outside of Mr. Gore’s speech in Argentina and with good reason.
There is a risk that the rush in seeking solutions may just wind up giving us more problems than what we started with if not handled correctly with the same status quo controlling our lives. This should not only be an opportunity for people on a global scale to change lifestyles to save this planet, but also an opportunity for the poor of our world to finally have a place in the solutions that will not only benefit the sustainability of our world for us and our children, but also finally bring parity between those who have always controlled our fate at our own detriment.
That is why I believe it is so important to have Al Gore and others out here speaking as advocates for people and to mobilize smaller companies into taking on the task of becoming involved in the biofuel market in a way that will sustain the environment and the livelihoods of the people indigenous to those areas. What Mr. Gore is doing as a global environmental advocate is now the most important thing he could be doing in standing up to the status quo and in seeking a new way of not only doing business, but living.
A recent UN Biofuel Report Sustainable Bioenergy; A Framework For Decision Makers shares those sentiments as well as it looked at the link between biofuels, deforestation, and food production, and the harm that a rapid change to biofuels could make if communities involved are excluded from ownership without the right ecological balance, especially regarding damage to land and water usage. Again, this all goes back to our moral code that Mr. Gore so correctly alluded to in his speech in Argentina.
And in reading his comments and those of the UN Biofuels Report, I too have concerns, even though I do believe that biofuel is a very viable renewable energy source that must be pursued vigorously (along with solar power) especially by developing nations looking to bring themselves out of poverty while providing a way for the global community to lessen its impact upon this world in order to mitigate climate change.
One of my concerns is that companies like Archer Midland Daniels will use its influence to entice farmers in countries with limited agricultural land to switch from food production to biofuel production exclusively. And even though that might lift some out of poverty, if not handled correctly it could lead to higher food prices, water scarcity (which already exists particularly in South America due to glacial melt) and more environmental degradation of the land.
It is also fact that privatization of resources has many times only exacerbated environmental devastation. This is why I do not believe in clearing forests to specifically use land only for biofuel crops, especially in developing countries where water resources are already scarce and available agricultural land limited.
I believe making cellulosic ethanol as a biofuel is a much better way because the cellulose contained in the stalks of corn for example, would not deplete the food supply (which is important with the world population set to reach 9 billion.) I also think switchgrass (because it is a very low water intensive plant, drought resistant, and can be grown in warm climates) and other second generation biofuels are more viable because they have much fewer well- to-wheel CO2 emissions, but there is much we need to learn about them, and we must do it in a very short time.
Which brings me to the biggest concern I have in all of this, which is replacing what may be cut down to be used for biofuel. Without replacing trees cut down to make way for biofuel plants, we would essentially be pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere, and that defeats the purpose. Therefore, any country devoted to taking on biofuel production must have a sustainable plan where trees will be planted to offset the deforestation that would ensure an energy balance.
The bottom line to all of this then is ensuring a way for new technologies to provide what we need in a world that is also aware of any repercussions to economic markets and the lives of those already being affected by the climate crisis, as well as the ecological impact they will have as well as what works best considering the area of the world it is being grown in and the current economic and environmental situation. Biofuels offer one of the few options to effectively mitigate climate change, but as Mr. Gore warned in his speech in Argentina, if not handled correctly it will lead to the exacerbation of other problems in the developing world that would in essence negate the good being done.
We stand on the horizon of a new world with possibilities that never existed before, and this is our chance to make sure that the decisions made not only lead to a cleaner sustainable safer world for our children, but also lead to a more equitable planet where the moral imperative takes precedence over the temptations of human nature that led us here to begin with. I then feel much more secure regarding our environmental future with advocates like Mr. Gore reminding us of our moral obligations.
Earth's habitability at increasing risk, Gore tells summit
Daniel Bayer © Special to the Rocky
By Sarah Gilman, Special to the Rocky
July 19, 2007
ASPEN - Former Vice President Al Gore said Wednesday that climate change is a "planetary emergency" and that many scientists believe there may be less than 10 years to moderate warming's destructive effects.
"What we're facing worldwide really is a planetary emergency," Gore said. "I'm optimistic, but we're losing this battle badly."
Gore has been touring with his slide show on global climate change, which became the Oscar winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
He is also on a campaign to teach 1,400 people worldwide how to deliver the global warming message in different languages. Next week, the campaign will be China, then India.
"It's a different kind of campaign," Gore said, one that he said surpasses what he might be able to accomplish in a presidential bid.
"Dealing with this climate crisis is not only what we have to do, it's our chance to get our act together," he said.
"These are not political problems," he said. "They are moral imperatives."
We are losing the battle badly because we are losing our focus, and that focus is about going out ourselves and telling people this truth and telling them that we are now on a collision course with the future sustainability of this planet if WE continue on the current road we are on. It is time to do what we must do outside of the political framework to help in building that grassroots momentum to make this crisis what tips the scales of political will REGARDLESS of candidate or party. So where are all the Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and supporters of other "candidates" in making this an issue they MUST TALK ABOUT? How will they do that if YOU don't tell them it is what they must now do?
That is what I believe Mr. Gore is trying to accomplish. That is what must be done. Even on the Republican side and we already know there are Republicans who care, so those that do also need to step up to the plate. We can't even begin to mitigate the effects of this crisis successfully unless we open up the dialogue with people regardless of political affiliation because this goes BEYOND that... and that is where I also lose hope, because I see so much partisan hatred on all sides in this country it is a wonder we will accomplish ANYTHING in this country before it all goes down.
I like Al Gore cry when I talk about the state of this world when I see the SOS on the whole even after Live Earth. I have known for a long time that Mr. Gore is NOT doing this for any political purpose for himself. He is doing this because it MUST BE DONE because our planet is in dire need of our help to sustain it so we can sustain ourselves and future generations. That isn't a sound bite, it is reality.
So instead of writing posts here about romantic letter writing campaigns to once again push Al Gore to please please please run and save you, how about a letter writing campaign from those same people urging EVERY candidate in this race to make this crisis a cornerstone of their campaign whether you like them or not? If you really care about this planet and think the presidency is so damned important regarding this crisis why wouldn't you do that? I sure as hell intend to do that besides continuing to support Mr. Gore's campaign for this planet that does indeed surpass anything that could be done stuck in the same political grind without true grassroots support and education.
And the fact that he is taking his training to China and India is an immeasurable gift to this world. That is how it is done!
I am still recovering from attending Live Earth because it was a transformational experience unparalelled. It was truly an undertaking that was handled with a real concern for our planet. AL GORE, YOU ARE TRULY A GREAT MAN!! When he first stepped out on that stage after being introduced by Leonardo De Caprio, I was the first in my section to jump to my feet and yell "I love you Al!", and I am still hoarse this morning because I have never had such a good and EDUCATIONAL time at a concert event as I had yesterday.
And what is even more WONDERFUL is that my son, 16 years old left that concert which was the first he ever attended with a smile on his face telling me that he will pledge to live his life as best he can to love Mother Earth after signing the Live Earth seven point pledge... and you know that made me cry because if all the other young people who were at this concert feel the same and spread that feeling around, WE WILL DO THIS.
Oh, and what was genuinely hilarious was the plane (polluting the air of course) that flew over the stadium with a banner behind it that read: " Don't Believe Al Gore" DemandDebate.com. I made sure when it went by the next time after first seeing it to hold my hand up real high to it in a one finger salute. That proves that he and we are getting to them from outside the system, and THEY ARE SCARED because we are the new revolution!
I can't even begin to describe the atmosphere at this concert. It was ELECTRIC. Giants Stadium for one day was turned into the epicenter of so much positive energy for our planet that I do not believe it will diminish for a very long time.
And the performances? I'm still hoarse from shouting and singing along! Keith Urban and Alicia Keyes singing "Gimme Shelter" was AWESOME. Melissa Etheridge? What can you say? MAGNIFICENT. Are you awake? Yes, Melissa, I am! Bon Jovi...Hey, I'm from New Jersey, and he is the holder of its heart! LIVING ON A PRAYER is what we are doing now, and he rocked that house down to its core with "our national anthem" (Bon Jovi fans know what that means) "Wanted Dead or Alive." EVERY act even including Ludacris (and no, I'm not really a fan of rap) had me moving and seemed to exude such a raw energy and sincerity, and I KNOW it was because of the cause they were singing for... our planet. And not one of them got paid for it. I also freaked over Roger Waters and "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Brick In The Wall" when a giant inflatable pig came out with SOS all over it. Yeah, that means YOU EXXON!
I could go on for a very long time, but suffice it to say this is without a doubt THE GREATEST event I have ever been to in my entire life, because I not only took away those great performances (including of COURSE, The Police who ended with "Message in a Bottle/Sending Out An SOS To The World") and a hoarse voice, ringing ears, and sunburn I took away even more than I went in with regarding my purpose in life, and most importantly, my son has been transformed! They also showed SOLUTIONS all day long and the names of those pledging to make a difference as well as performances from other venues.
And one of the highlights for me was when RFK Jr. came out to speak and he spoke just like his father, which caused me to cry. I am so grateful to him as well for all of the work he does EVERY DAY to fight ernvironmental injustice in this country and in this world. And James Hansen from NASA even showed up with his grandchildren to speak TRUTH. WONDERFUL.
Mr. Gore, Mr. Wall, and ALL who handled this event even down to the security at Giants Stadium which was PHENOMENAL in handling all of the people without incident, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!
Who says you have to be "president" to make HISTORY in this world? And just imnagine, this happened simultaneously ALL OVER THE WORLD. You can't get any better than that.
WE WILL DO THIS AND THEY WILL SIMPLY HAVE TO FOLLOW US!
Al Gore: Moving Beyond Kyoto
By AL GORE
Published: July 1, 2007
WE — the human species — have arrived at a moment of decision. It is unprecedented and even laughable for us to imagine that we could actually make a conscious choice as a species, but that is nevertheless the challenge that is before us.
Our home — Earth — is in danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings.
Without realizing the consequences of our actions, we have begun to put so much carbon dioxide into the thin shell of air surrounding our world that we have literally changed the heat balance between Earth and the Sun. If we don’t stop doing this pretty quickly, the average temperature will increase to levels humans have never known and put an end to the favorable climate balance on which our civilization depends.
In the last 150 years, in an accelerating frenzy, we have been removing increasing quantities of carbon from the ground — mainly in the form of coal and oil — and burning it in ways that dump 70 million tons of CO2 every 24 hours into the Earth’s atmosphere.
The concentrations of CO2 — having never risen above 300 parts per million for at least a million years — have been driven from 280 parts per million at the beginning of the coal boom to 383 parts per million this year.
As a direct result, many scientists are now warning that we are moving closer to several “tipping points” that could — within 10 years — make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilization.
Just in the last few months, new studies have shown that the north polar ice cap — which helps the planet cool itself — is melting nearly three times faster than the most pessimistic computer models predicted. Unless we take action, summer ice could be completely gone in as little as 35 years. Similarly, at the other end of the planet, near the South Pole, scientists have found new evidence of snow melting in West Antarctica across an area as large as California.
This is not a political issue. This is a moral issue, one that affects the survival of human civilization. It is not a question of left versus right; it is a question of right versus wrong. Put simply, it is wrong to destroy the habitability of our planet and ruin the prospects of every generation that follows ours.
Live Earth will offer an answer to this question by asking everyone who attends or listens to the concerts to sign a personal pledge to take specific steps to combat climate change. (More details about the pledge are available at algore.com.)
But individual action will also have to shape and drive government action. Here Americans have a special responsibility.
End of excerpt. More at the link.
Oh, to truly be able to do this, Mr. Gore. To see a global awakening that somehow enlightens the human spirit to see the moral imperative and to act on it. To see people actually giving a damn about their actions in regard to their effect not only on themselves but on the world. To see responsible governments globally that do not utilize resources for war and exacerbating the conditions that bring about war, poverty, disease, and hopelessness, but rather using them to really foster peace, prosperity, equality, and sustainability.
However, that would take one grand ephiphany and one I only see coming about from a cataclysmic event, as that seems to be the only way people wake up. But even now I wonder, what effect if any would it really have? Hurricane Katrina was not only a national disaster, but a national disgrace in light of the response to it by this government as people there are still suffering from the effects of it with it being totally forgotten in our media and our consciousness on the whole.
Will GHG emissions have to reach 450ppm before we wake up? Will NYC and other points in Florida have to go under water? Will there have to be such a severe and prolonged drought in this country that our economy suffers to the point that food and water are scarce as to effect our daily lives? At this point I do think so, unless the moral compass of our people can be awakened on a massive scale to see that these events are likely and in many parts of this country and world are happening now and won't be stopped by any one presidential campaign in any country, but by THEIR participation in making it happen.
However, people need education and truth Mr. Gore as you well know and are providing, and once that truth is dessiminated it is then up to those people given that education and truth to take the action necessary to demand and implement changes to stop the endless beating we are giving to our only home that gives us life. And it is not only human life that is at stake here, it is the lives of other species such as rocker penquins, polar bears, birds, insects, marine life all the way down to plankton and many other species that are feeling the brunt of the effects of this crisis. It is an environmental calamity that goes to the very core of the entire web of life.
Therefore, what event could possibly reach the global community simultaneously to give that education and truth in the hopes of inspiring that moral awakening from individual, to business, to government? Well, I believe it is coming this Saturday, 7/7/07, and that it must bring about that global summit that leads us beyond Kyoto to seeing beyond political boundaries. Will we see it? At this point based on the past, we will have no choice but to see it.
So again, thank you Mr. Gore for giving the people of America and the world the chance to see this truth and say to them, you now have this knowledge, what are YOU going to do with it? It should be very interesting to see the responses, especially from those stuck in neutral and those consigned to thinking that they need not be a part of this themselves because they either think they don't have a part in making it or that someone else will save them from it. This truly is the moral challenge of our generation and especially the generation to come and we must now all be leaders.
So here's to 7/7/07, may it truly be the first day of the rest of our lives.
Keep your eye on the prize
AFRICA NEWS/Environment Woes Key Source Of Sudan Conflicts
The Darfur region of Sudan.
by Lucie Peytermann
Nairobi (AFP) June 22, 2007
Lasting peace in Sudan will not be possible unless the fractious country takes serious steps to address alarming environmental woes, said a UN report published Friday. Decades of war have devastated Africa's largest country and fresh competition for its resources continue to fuel conflict, said the report by the United Nations Environment Programme said.
"Long-term peace in the region will not be possible unless these underlying and closely linked environmental and livelihood issues are resolved," it said.
In its report, entitled "Sudan post-conflict environmental assessment", the UN agency stressed that desertification and land degradation had been a key source of conflict in impoverished Darfur.
"Northern Darfur -- where exponential population growth and related environmental stress have created the conditions for conflicts to be triggered and sustained by political, tribal or ethnic differences -- can be considered a tragic example of the social breakdown that can result from ecological collapse," the UN said.
The conflict in Sudan's parched western region of Darfur erupted in February 2003 when rebel groups complaining of marginalisation and demanding a greater share of the country's resources took up arms.
According to the UN, the Darfur conflict has left some 200,000 people dead. A bitter two-decade long north-south civil war ended in January 2005, after killing an estimated 1.5 million people.
The report identified a string of critical issues, such as population displacement, desertification, land degradation, deforestation, water projects, chaotic urbanisation and pollution from the country's booming oil industry.
"Sudan's tragedy is not just the tragedy of one country in Africa -- it is a window to a wider world underlining how issues such as uncontrolled depletion of natural resources like soils and forests allied to impacts like climate change can destabilise communities, even entire nations," he said.
Source: Agence France-Presse
And once again the human race should be learning a stark lesson from the horrors perpetrated by our own hand in the Sudan, but we won't. We learned nothing from the Crusades... We learned nothing from Guernica... We learned nothing from the holocaust during WW2... We learned nothing from Rwanda...We learned nothing from Bosnia... We learned nothing from the horrors still occurring in the Middle East which seek to subjugate Palestinians and Israelis alike...and we will once again on the whole turn our heads to what is happening in the Sudan that was indeed spawned by environmental devastation caused by greed.
To have hope for the future is a daily struggle in light of the violence and devastation we see our Earth being pummelled with... but again, it is by our own hand that all of this horror is occurring. So does reason not tell us that that which can be perpetrated by evil, can be undone by good? That which spawned hatred, can also spawn love? That which perpetrates war can also perpetrate peace?
The overriding fact regarding the solution to reversing all of the devastation we see on our planet today environmentally comes down to us making moral choices to reverse the damage done. The question is, is that even possible now? And if so, are we in time? Will the kneejerk reactions of human nature that govern emotion over reason and morality continue to stand in the way of us ever truly evolving to the kind of species we were meant to be?
For even though we have everything we need to feed all of our people, tend to all of our sick, and heal the hearts of all of our people, we chose to allow the resources that aid their sustanence to be manipulated by those with selfish motivations as the horror continues to intensify all around us. From the earliest spaces in time to present day, man has done the same in reaction to crises...taking resources by force by whatever means possible to exploit the poor, the weak, the sick, and all who are deemed unworthy of sharing in the beautiful bounties of this planet put here for all of us.
I say this century must see a new renaissance. A transformation and transcendence to a new level of thought, and a resolve and moral courage unseen in any times past. But is that moral courage lost on us? Are reports put out by organizations just pieces of paper with words on them? Are the images we see on our televisions just stimuli we use to pass the time?
We are now far beyond the self -refllection stage as this global crisis has been thrust upon us by our own indifference to seeing the big picture in lieu of believing that it will somehow just fix itself, or be fixed by those with only selfish motivations in their hearts we place our trust in through their own malicious manipulation of our beliefs.
Darfur is but one stark example of the spiral we are taking downward as a civilization as a result of that, and that should outrage all of us, but more importantly it should motivate us and challenge us to lift ourselves out of this descending spiral to that transformation.
This is why I place faith in Live Earth and support wholeheartdly the environmental endeavors of my environmental leader, Al Gore, and all of those on this planet sincerely working to see that renaissance. This is why I see it as more than just a concert, but an historical event of such proportions globally as to wake the populace up to that transcendence of thought to shake the very foundations of this status quo that has strangled all of the good out of this planet and replaced it with nothing but a dark void.
So as a citizen with the power of my voice and the strength of my character, I will see July 7th as the beginning of a new chapter for our world, because without the health and balance of this planet coming first and surpassing all other distractions, we will never see the balance of heart and mind that will be required of us now and of future generations to never ever allow another Darfur again.
From a distance...
Desalination Not The Solution
Desalination 'not the solution'
Untapped resource: oceans contain 97% of the planet's water
Turning salt water into drinking water is not a solution to tackle global water scarcity, the WWF has said.
A report by the environmental group said a growth in the energy intensive technology would increase emissions and damage coastal and river habitats.
More attention should instead be paid to conserving supplies, it suggested.
The study was published as Australia announced plans to build one of the world's biggest desalination plants to supply drinking water to Melbourne.
"Desalinating the sea is an expensive, energy intensive and greenhouse gas emitting way to get water," said Jamie Pittock, director of WWF's global freshwater programme.
"It may have a place in the world's future freshwater supplies but regions still have cheaper, better and complementary ways to supply water that are less risky to the environment."
The report called for greater emphasis on managing existing supplies before the go-ahead was given to major water projects.
It added that new desalination plants, which were primarily located in coastal areas, should also be subject to tighter impact assessments to minimise damage to the marine environment.
Advances in technology meant that it was also possible to develop alternative "manufactured water" systems, such as treating waste water, the authors wrote.
end of excerpt.
As I have written here before, I too believe that desalination (reverse osmosis process) is an expensive GHG emitting procedure that is simply a bandaid on a crisis that will not be solved by looking to methods that actually exacerbate the problem of emitting GHGs, particularly the Co2 that causes drought, wildfires, and water shortages.
In many cases it is only through the wasteful practices of humans that water becomes scarce. Seventy percent of the water that is wasted in this world is lost through wasteful irrigation practices. Why then is it easier for man to expend countless hours and dollars in building these huge desalination plants that do nothing to replace the water lost and threaten the habitat of other marine animals, instead of simply looking to their moral compasses and conserving what we have?
Is it because we simply do not wish to admit that we are the cause of this crisis?
However, that is not to say that I am against desalination as a process when it is absolutely necessary to provide water to people, as in the case of the Middle East where water scarcity makes it necessary to emply such methods. I personally prefer geothermal desalination as the best method to protect marine life and cut down on carbon emissions.
This report from the Pacific Institute dated last year is a totally comprehensive and expert analysis of desalination globally and in the United States with both pros and cons explained in detail. There is no doubt that as we head further into the 21st Century in a world where water will be in greater demand desalination can be a part of a water management plan if absolutely needed (especially regarding using it in agriculture to conserve fresh water for human use,) but certainly not as the solution to this crisis and at the expense of other species and our environment especially regarding the clean up process. Only moral courage to conserve and to devise ways to use irrigation water more effectively and funds more effectively to shore up substandard water systems can we find the balance necessary to preserve all life.
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