Thursday, April 30, 2009

'Safe' climate means 'no to coal' , writes BBC reporter Richard Black in UK news article

'Safe' climate means 'no to coal' and see Danny Bloom's Virtual Graduation Speech to THE CLASS OF 2099 about this very topic of saying NO to coal and "tightening the noose around coal" in the next 100 years, starting TODAY.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-wnrm2jE-E



By Richard Black

Environment correspondent, BBC News website



Coal must either modernise or become obsolete, the research implies
About three-quarters of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left unused if society is to avoid dangerous climate change, scientists warn.

More than 100 nations support the goal of keeping temperature rise below 2C.

But the scientists say that without major curbs on fossil fuel use, 2C will probably be reached by 2050.

Writing in Nature, they say politicians should focus on limiting humanity's total output of CO2 rather than setting a "safe" level for annual emissions.

The UN climate process focuses on stabilising annual emissions at a level that would avoid major climate impacts.

It took us 250 years to burn the first half trillion, and on current projections we'll burn the next half trillion in less than 40 years

Myles Allen
But this group of scientists says that the cumulative total provides a better measure of the likely temperature rise, and may present an easier target for policymakers.

"To avoid dangerous climate change, we will have to limit the total amount of carbon we inject into the atmosphere, not just the emission rate in any given year," said Myles Allen from the physics department at Oxford University.

"Climate policy needs an exit strategy; as well as reducing carbon emissions now, we need a plan for phasing out net emissions entirely."

Forty years

The UN climate convention, agreed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, commits countries to avoiding "dangerous" climate change, without defining what that is.

The EU proposed some years ago that restricting the rise to 2C from pre-industrial times was a reasonable threshold, and it has since been adopted by many other countries, although some - particularly small islands - argue that even 2C would result in dangerous impacts.

Temperatures have already risen by about 0.7C during the industrial age.

Dr Allen's analysis suggests that if humanity's CO2 emissions total more than about one trillion tonnes of carbon, the 2C threshold is likely to be breached; and that could come within a lifetime.

"It took us 250 years to burn the first half trillion," he said, "and on current projections we'll burn the next half trillion in less than 40 years."

Inherent uncertainties in the modelling mean the temperature rise from the trillion tonnes could be between 1.3C and 3.9C, Dr Allen's team calculates, although the most likely value would be 2C.

Oil change

The "trillion tonnes" analysis is one of two studies published in Nature by a pool of researchers that includes the Oxford group and scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research in Germany.


Impacts such as droughts would increase above 2C, the IPCC believes
The second study, led by Potsdam's Malte Mainshausen, attempted to work backwards from the 2C goal, to find out what achieving it might mean in practice.

It suggests that the G8 target of halving global emissions by 2050 (from 1990 levels) would leave a significant risk of breaching the 2C figure.

"Only a fast switch away from fossil fuels will give us a reasonable chance to avoid considerable warming," said Dr Mainshausen.

"If we continue burning fossil fuels as we do, we will have exhausted the carbon budget in merely 20 years, and global warming will go well beyond 2C."

If policymakers decided they were happy to accept a 25% chance of exceeding 2C by 2050, he said, they must also accept that this meant cutting emissions by more than 50%.

That would mean only burning about a quarter of the carbon in the world's known, economically-recoverable fossil fuel reserves. This is likely to consist mainly of oil and natural gas, leaving coal as a redundant fuel unless its emissions could be captured and stored.

Both analyses support the view of the Stern Review and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in suggesting that making reductions earlier would be easier and cheaper than delaying.

But according to Potsdam's Bill Hare, a co-author on the second paper, some key governments appear to favour pledging milder cuts in the near term in return for more drastic ones in decades to come.

"We have a number of countries - the US, Japan, Brazil - saying 'we will emit higher through to 2020 and then go down faster'," he said.

"That might be true geophysically, but we cannot find any economic model where emissions can fall in the range that this work shows would be necessary - around 6% per year."

Major intervention

Myles Allen's group has made the argument before that focussing on humanity's entire carbon dioxide output makes more scientific and political sense than aiming to define a particular "safe" level of emissions, or to plot a pathway assigning various ceilings to various years.

Some greenhouse gases, such as methane, have a definable lifetime in the atmosphere, meaning that stabilising emissions makes sense; but, said Dr Allen, CO2 "doesn't behave like that".

"There are multiple levers acting on its concentration and it does tend to accumulate; also models have to represent the possibility of some feedback between rising temperatures and emissions, such as parts of the land turning from carbon sinks into sources, for example."

The Nature papers emerge in a week that has seen the inaugural meeting of President Obama's Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, a new version of a body created under President Bush that brings together 17 of the world's highest-emitting countries for discussion and dialogue.

During the opening segment, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton re-affirmed the administration's aim of cutting US emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 - a target espoused by some other developed countries.

But according to Malte Meinshausen's analysis, even this reduction may not be enough to keep the average global temperature rise within 2C, assuming less developed nations made less stringent cuts in order to aid their development.

"If the US does 80%, that equates to about 60% globally, and that offers only a modest chance of meeting the 2C target," he said.

Last week saw the publication of data showing that industrialised countries' collective emissions rose by about 1% during 2007.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Overshoot, adapt and recover: climate change and polar cities in our future?

Overshoot, adapt and recover


by Martin Parry and Jason Lowe and Claire Hanson



Martin Parry was co-chair of the IPCC's 2007 Working Group II assessment and is now at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London

Jason Lowe is head of mitigation advice at the Met Office, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK.

Clair Hanson was deputy director of the 2007 IPCC Working Group II technical support unit and is at the University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.

Top of page

Abstract

We will probably overshoot our current climate targets, so policies of adaptation and recovery need much more attention, say Martin Parry, Jason Lowe and Clair Hanson.

If policy-makers are to reach international agreement on greenhouse-gas emissions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December, they need to be optimistic that their decisions could have swift and overwhelmingly positive effects on climate change. The reality is less certain, but no less urgent.

The worst-case scenario for climate chaos and polar cities

The worst-case scenario

by
Stephen Schneider

Stephen H. Schneider is professor of interdisciplinary environmental studies and biology, and a senior fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University


Top of pageAbstractStephen Schneider explores what a world with 1,000 parts per million of CO2 in its atmosphere might look like.

Thinking about worst-case scenarios is nothing new — climate scientists have been doing it for more than 20 years. In 1988, after intense heat waves baked the eastern and central United States, Robert Watson, later to chair the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and I briefed Bill Bradley, the Democrat senator for New Jersey, on the risks of disproportionate surprises from rapid, major climate change.

Monday, April 27, 2009

swine flu: it's curtains......

The Mexico government has insisted it acted quickly and decisively when presented with the evidence of a new virus.

But even as it did so, it acknowledged the outbreak began earlier than April 12, the date it had previously linked to the first case. Cordova confirmed Monday that a 4-year-old boy who was part of an outbreak in eastern Veracruz state that began in February had swine flu. He later recovered.

Residents of the town of Perote said at the time that they had a new, aggressive bug—even taking to the streets to demonstrate against the pig farm they blamed for their illness—but were told they were suffering from a typical flu. It was only after U.S. labs confirmed a swine flu outbreak that Mexican officials sent the boy's sample in for swine flu testing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gore pleads for unity on climate change and global warming; polar cities might be needed later?

Gore pleads for unity on climate

Al Gore, the leading American voice on climate change, urged lawmakers Friday to overcome partisan differences and take action to reduce greenhouse gases, but Democrats and Republicans sparred even more vigorously over the cost of dealing with global warming.

Gore, who won a Nobel prize for his work on climate change, told a congressional hearing that "the dire and growing threat" of a warmer earth requires the parties to unite to deal with the environmental threat. He endorsed a House Democratic bill that would limit carbon dioxide and other pollution linked to warming.

"It is a challenge that this Congress must rise to," Gore said. "I wish I could find the words to get past the partisan divide that both sides have contributed to. ... It shouldn't be partisan. It should be something we do together in our national interest."

But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., argued that the Democratic proposal to reduce greenhouse gases would "punish the American people" by imposing higher energy costs and threatening jobs.

"This bill is an energy tax," Gingrich said. "An energy tax punishes senior citizens, it punishes rural Americans, if you use electricity it punishes you. This bill will increase your cost of living and may kill your job."

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee that is writing the bill, shot back that Gingrich was resorting to "the old scare tactics" designed to undermine any congressional effort to address the problem.

"When American people hear the statements you have made today, they get scared, which I think is exactly what is intended," a visibly angry Waxman told Gingrich, a potential presidential contender in 2012 and a leading voice of the GOP.

Gore defended the science that warns of a potential climate crisis later this century and insisted the blueprint outlined by House Democrats would address the problem without soaring prices for Americans.

"I think the cost of energy will come down when we make this transition to renewable energy," said Gore, who predicted economic costs would be much greater if global warming is not reined in by a shift from the use of fossil fuels. Democrats argued that the development of renewable and energy efficient technologies will produce jobs and mitigate cost increases.

The House bill calls for mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases by 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, and 83 percent by mid-century. It also would require utilities to produce a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and impose new efficiency requirements.

The measure would cap greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. Under a compromise being discussed, a large portion of these emission permits would be given away, while others would be auctioned with much of the revenue to be redistributed to ease the impact of higher energy costs.

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the committee's top Republican, argued that the proposed "cap-and-trade" system would cost tens of billions of dollars a year. "How in the world can we have a (pollution) trade system that doesn't cost jobs and doesn't cost the economy?" he said.

House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio denounced the draft bill as a "massive national energy tax on every American .... who drives a car, buys a product manufactured in the United States, or has the audacity to flip on a light switch."

Barton said Republicans are putting together their own climate proposal that would scrap the "cap-and-trade" system. He said the GOP proposal, yet to be unveiled, will call for expanding nuclear energy and pumping more money into ways to capture carbon from coal-burning power plants.

While Republicans were critical, some Democrats expressed concern as well.

"How do we protect our people?" asked Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., whose state is reeling from the economic recession and is home to many energy-intensive industries, including the ailing auto industry. Dingell said he's not convinced the bill will protect U.S. jobs, especially if China isn't forced to take similar actions.

"If the United States leads, China will follow," Gore argued.

Friday's session concluded days of hearings on the climate bill, which Waxman says he hopes his committee will approve by the end of May. The Obama administration broadly endorsed the legislation, although some issues — such as allocating the pollution permits — have yet to be worked out.

Democratic sponsors of the bill hoped Friday's testimony of former Sen. John Warner, R-Va., might sway some GOP lawmakers.

Warner said dealing with the climate issue is essential for national security and the sake of future generations — even if there are economic consequences.

"Is this the time to challenge an issue of this magnitude which has ramifications of cost to everyone here in this country and is going to require sacrifices. I say to you, yes, it is the time," Warner said.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New York Times Op-ed Page and How It Works: David Shipley, Mary Duenwald, and Mr Gerapolis, etc

So, it appears that David Shipley, the editor of the Op-Ed page, says that writers do not send in oped pieces cold calling, and if they do those oped pieces are almost never accepted and returned unread, but VIP writers are commissioned to write the opeds after the Times asks them to....... and they are paid for their work too. From US$500 to US$1000 or more, depending on their VIPness......

Mary Duenwald, one of Shipley’s two deputies, says that ideas come out of meetings in which editors discuss possible columns to commission from VIPS and people in the news with recognizable names, never nobodies. Topics and names are suggested. 99 percent of all Times opeds happen this way....

So the Times opeds are hardly democratically selected pieces. Par for the course? Fore!

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Let's Turn Climate Change Around!"

"Let's Turn Climate Change Around!"

5 simple words. A worldwide revolution....

"Let's Turn Climate Change Around!"

I want to believe we can do it......one step at a time.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lise Van Susteren - Our Moral Obligation on Climate Change and Global Warming and The Threat to Humankind in the Future


Our Moral Obligation


by Dr Lise Van Susteren

I am a doctor. A psychiatrist. Over the years I have heard many troubling stories about the human condition. I have worked with individuals who were "on the ledge" emotionally. I have worked with people who fantasize about killing people, and some who have. I have listened to people recount being tortured, abused. I have evaluated the psychological states of foreign leaders who threaten world security. I have heard the details about children who have died at the hands of people who were out of their minds with drugs or illness. People have died in my arms, dropped dead at my feet.

Nothing has prepared me for what I am currently hearing: scientists all over the world warning us about the threat of catastrophic and irreversible climate change.

As a member of several organizations that involve professionals working in the field of mental health, I am stunned that this threat to the health of the planet and the public is so underplayed by these organizations and their members. An official from one leading organization expressed regrets that she was unable to attend a recent forum wrestling with the psychological and mental health aspects of climate change and noted, "no one on the staff is interested." The person she anointed in her place cancelled.

One of the missions of these associations is to relieve human suffering. As practitioners we help people to face reality. We chip away at their denial knowing it can be a cover for behaviors that destroy their lives. When they see the world more clearly, we urge them to take charge - warning of the dangers of being passive.

Scientists every day are telling us that climate change is happening far faster than anyone had predicted and that the magnitude of the problem is unfathomable. "We have an emergency," warns NASA scientist James Hansen. "People don't know that. Continued ignorance and denial could make tragic consequences unavoidable."

Why are the organizations and their members, those most skilled at exposing the danger of denial and destructive behaviors, so silent about this crisis? Are they in denial themselves? Surely the science isn't disputed. Surely we don't believe that destroying life on our planet is "not our problem."

Our canon of ethics says we have a duty to protect the public health and to participate in activities that contribute to it.

Where, then, are the journal articles, the committee reports, the mission statements, action plans, letters to the editor, presentations, etc that attest to the gravity of what we are hearing? Where are the recommendations that show how to break through denial and get people to change - quickly? Are we not the very organizations to seize upon warnings and confront the world before it is too late?

We see through resistance, excuses, faulty reasoning. We "get" urgency, we "get" life-long consequences. We see the anger, anxiety and depression caused by the mistakes and shortcomings of a previous generation. We know about trauma from repeated exposure to horrifying events. We are trained, indeed we are ethically bound, to respond to emergencies.

What are we waiting for?

We are already seeing wildfires, floods, sea level rise, storms, droughts, risks to our national security, and a mass extinction.

Lethal global overheating - strike the innocuous sounding "global warming" - is not something that may happen in the next century or even mid-century - it is happening now.

All of us, urgently and collectively, have a duty to warn our patients, co-workers, families, neighbors, friends. We have a duty to act - within our professional organizations, in our communities, offices and homes. Climate scientists are desperately trying to tell us to reduce our carbon emissions - to stop building new coal plants, to switch to clean renewable energy, to embrace energy efficiency - to "pay any price, bear any burden."

Mental health professionals vigorously endorse requirements to report cases of child abuse. It is a legal obligation, but it is also a moral one.

Is it any less compelling a moral obligation, in the name of all children now and in the future, to report that we are on track to hand over a planet that may be destroyed for generations to come?

I respectfully request that we, as mental health professionals, make a unified stand in
support of actions to reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change.

Your Dot: Meet the Neighbors on Dot Earth, New York Times

Your Dot: Meet the Neighbors


Meet Danny Bloom, a Dot Earth comment contributor who is originally
from Boston but now lives in Taiwan and has been a frequent voice
here. Danny has made a YouTube video of what he calls "a virtual
graduation speech to the class of 2099 about climate change" as a way
of introducing himself here. It's a 4 minute speech, written for
today's graduates (and their parents and siblings), Danny says, and it
uses the theme of "we must tighten the noose around coal" which was
made famous by Dr Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University in a 1988
academic paper. Danny told me that he learned of Ausubel's phrase from
reading a Dot Earth post I wrote a year ago, and that he then
corresponded with Dr Ausubel by email to learn more about the
background of the quote. Danny then incorporated Ausubel's quote into
the main part of his climate change awareness speech for the class of
2099. See it here:


http://tr.youtube.com/watch?v=n-wnrm2jE-E&feature=channel_page

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Did Isaac Bashevis Singer really say "To animals, all people are Nazis" as Princeton University Peter Singer says in recent oped? No! Singer is wrong!

Did Isaac Bashevis Singer really say "To animals, all people are Nazis" as Princeton University ethicist Peter Singer erroneously says in recent oped? NO, HE NEVER SAID THAT.
You be the judge: Professor Singer, you need to do your homework, sir.

READ ON:

The posters bear the heading: "To Animals, All People are Nazis" – a line from the Polish-born Jewish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer.

"In relation to animals, all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka." -- IBS

Did Isaac Singer, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Jewish writer, really say these words, exactly like PETA and Peter Singer are quoting him?

This new PETA campaign shows a picture of prisoners in a concentration camp beside a picture of chickens in pens with the caption “To animals all people are Nazis”. The phrase is a quote from the late Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer. As they say around here. Mr. Singer was a vegetarian. But to quote the CNN article…

The Singer quote, which the group draws upon in its literature as well, was not spoken directly by him but rather comes from his novel “Enemies: A Love Story,” when the main character muses on the plight of animals.

True, Singer was a vegetarian who believed strongly in animal rights, but he himself never said those words in that PETA faux quote mis-attributed to him as the speaker. He never uttered those words, Professor Singer. Please retract your oped piece. Princeton? Oh, brother!

This is typical PETA procedure. “Hey, let's misquote a dead vegetarian author because he’s not around to disagree with us”.

And for Dr Singer to fall for this is terrible, too. Dr Singer, do your homework!

The Susan Boyle Phenomenon Was Hyped and Scripted


The Susan Boyle Phenomenon Is Already Getting Old

By Michael Musto

One of the week's most clicked clips was that of Susan Boyle, the 47-year-old frump who rocked out on Britain's Got Talent and wowed the smirks off the skeptical judges' faces. But as someone who knows about the inner workings of TV, can I just say how phony the whole thing came off? In fact, the only shock in the whole thing for me is that people are taking it at face value!

First off, Boyle--if that's even really her name--was obviously drabbed down for effect, so you'd think she was some crazy woman off the street. The dialogue before her song came off completely calculated too, with her even stumbling for a second to cement the idea that she's a bit daft and totally amateur. And the judges all assumed this "Give me a break" stance--with seemingly rehearsed audience reaction shots thrown in--all to stack the deck against saucy Susan.

And then she sang her Les Miz dirge and the judges, every bit as rehearsed as before, lit up with predictable shock and glee, as I started to suspect this woman is a pro with a lot of theater credentials, probably sent down by Central Casting.

But aside from all that, what is so fucking startling about a 47-year-old being able to sing? Patti LuPone turns 60 next week!

61 comment(s) / Post a Comment Jonster says:
While you were on the Today Show this a.m., Patti LuPone and Susan Boyle had a conversation on, I think, ABC. (There was a dizzying array of familiar faces on the morning news today.) Patti, who sang it originally in London in Les Miz, said she was in tears watching her on Youtube. People are mad about this woman. Just hope the bloke who gives her her first kiss doesn't run off with all her cash.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 12:53PM Vodka Stinger says:
oh, you old cynic you. Aside from all of the obvious reality pageantry (the swelling music as the judges gave her a unanimous YES, and the shot of what appeared to be Ashley Simpson pre-nose job rolling her eyes) I suppose it was just nice to see her succeed. These shoes are beyond calculated, there is nothing left to chance (eh-hum Sangiya). None the less I love this clip. I want Susan Boyle to play Miss Lovett!!! Viva BOYLE!!

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:11PM Julie says:
I suppose you had to be the first person to go against this (well done you) but can't understand why anyone would. Its a happy story in a time when all we hear about is bad news. All I can say that the whole performance was not staged or acted up. I'm British and TV over here is not over dramatised or acted like soo many US shows. Everything about the show is real so end of.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:20PM Dem says:
Why " ...was obviously drabbed down for effect, so you'd think she was some crazy woman off the street." Why crazy? I'm not going to comment on your statement (I have not a clue whether the Boyle-show was phony or not). What I'm going to question is your above statement: why a woman dressed in a decent dress, sans the ubiquitous feathers-tin-foil-sequined-shorts-almost-bare-breasts is considered some crazy woman off the street? Do you really think that Madonna's stage costume (that stupid, ridiculous corset) is ... normal? Oh, she's La Madonna.
Just my thought, about "crazy women off the street."

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:38PM ginga says:
You're right. Even the shot of her eating, with those bushy eyebrows, was designed to read: nutty wacko from the hinterlands.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:50PM VonEl says:
The reason she stumbled verbally while trying to describe her hometown is because she has a learning disability due to oxygen deprivation at birth, something she has apparently been teased about much of her life. The only "professional" experience she has is singing with her church choir and a brief sting in a theatrical school.

Not my kind of music by any stretch of the imagination, but she clearly has a natural talent and a sweet, unvarnished charm. Really now, Michael. Just lighten up and let the poor woman enjoy her well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:53PM Musto says:
I'm talking more about the presentation than about anything else. Susan is very cute and sings nicely. But do you think Simon really didn't know what was going to happen? You think the judges weren't prepped that this frumpy thing was going to be able to belt it out of the park? You think they didn't try everything to make it look like the decks were stacked against her? Then you probably believe every minute of Survivor too.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:58PM bethel says:
Dem: "why a woman in a decent dress is considered some crazy woman off the street."

Please! This is a talent show where people put on a performance and dress to win! No, Madonna isn't normal, but she has a sophisticated, glitzy look that spells success. This woman was made to look as common as possible so you'd think she had no talent.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:03PM Julie says:
Believe me the judges were not prepped if they were then what you saw of their faces was pure acting.

Amanda Holden (one of the 3 judges) genuinely looked utterly flabergasted when Susan sung. Amanda is an actress over here and she can't act for toffee.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:11PM icarus says:
I couldn't care less that the video is obviously slickly produced and edited.

I also wouldn't care if Susan Boyle was professional and not amature.

The whole package was so stunningly beautiful and timely it matters not one bit. However, it was conceived and executed is irrelevant in the face of the message and joy it's bringing to many.

Ugly pettiness just looks that much more ugly and petty in comparison.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:15PM Green Eyes says:
Oh yeah, it would be much better to see clips or read stories about self-absorbed slutty acting young brats such as some of the ones on your site. How dare people get excited for a lady that has endured ridicule all her life and has dedicated her life to taking care of her family.

What's the weather like down in the gutter?

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:32PM Julie says:
Too true VonEl and Green Eyes. Me thinks some people should just lighten up and not be soo bloody bitter about everything. Another thing what the hell is Survivor???

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:03PM Jonster says:
"I adore cheap sentiment." Bette Davis.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:17PM Jonster says:
PS - MM you are ALL over the tube today! I was on the treadmill at the gym just now and suddenly there you were (on the monitor) talking about the Hilton Sisters on E.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:20PM nick b. says:
Here's why I think we love Susan.

http://digg.com/d1opbc

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:35PM Jonster` says:
Julie, Survivor is a reality show that spawned the career of Elizabeth Hasselbeck, a conservative commentator on The View who took off her panties for peanut butter.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:46PM marlon says:
all those who "love Susan" should remember she is a devout Scottish Catholic which means like those pigs at St Patricks she hates gays, is vehemently against abortion, etc etc. Grinding her hips grotesquely on camera belies her "virgin" status -- as soon as "sugar tits" Simon Cowell signs her to a contract, you can be sure she will be fleeced by the man who she says she expects to find asap--

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:00PM Julie says:
Are you having a bad day (or life) Marlon??

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:10PM Anonymous says:
Wow - either I'm naive or some of you guys are too jaded for your own good. I think she must be the real thing - her reaction backstage bears this out, if nothing else...

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:11PM AC says:
Musto, you camp dingbat. When have you been significant? Do you have any actual talent? Nobody cares. Granted, the segment was masterfully edited. Why shouldn't it have been? For anyone to sing that well and movingly at a low-tech, amateur audition is astonishing, and it's right that it should be celebrated. Please go away a long time ago.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:20PM Anonymous says:
Marlon you sound like a religious bigot, a snob and a little bit too defensive (i think you have had a bad day/life) don't be soo presumptious

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:22PM carla says:
how did anyone see Musto on TV since that fat turd of an archibishop has been getting free blowjobs on all the channels? -- since when do these hate-mongers get all this free publicity for their homophobic sect? As for Susan, she has a middling Broadway=style soprano voice but Musto is absolutely right -- the whole show is staged, she auditioned and was doubtless told to dress down and not shave her eyebrows, etc etc -- does anyone really think Cowell does anything at all in an uncalculated way, without the almighty dollar as sole motivation? Nothing on a Simon Cowell show occurs by accident -- and Susan is clearly as ugly inside as as her exterior would lead us to believe --

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:24PM jazzhands says:
I love all you British idiots who are saying, "Who cares if it's fake and bullshit and contrived and rehearsed and phony? It makes us feel good! Because we're morons!"

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:32PM VonEl says:
Carla, I don't think there's anyone as ugly on the inside as you seem to be.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:34PM Jonster says:
How can it be possible that this Youtube link has had over 15 million hits in only 4 days! It's just utterly amazing. This woman reminds us of someone we know (or might like to) perhaps. For me, she's my Brit grany who looked very much like her when I was young. Same eyebrows. Same shoes. Same stout, Midlands, farm-raised look. The backstory makes us feel good about ourselves by feeling good about other people.

Even we are perhaps being conned, I don't mind.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:42PM Anonymous says:
Wow the backlash starts on here (what a suprise!!) some people don't break any stereotypes on this discussion board

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:50PM Lisa Shields says:
Everyone I know has gone nuts over this clip to the point of tears, saying it's given them renewed hope, etc. But I completely agree with you-the whole thing came off as contrived and rehearsed. She seems like a very sweet lady but her voice isn't that good and she was obviously manipulated by the producers to be the next Paul Potts.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 6:02PM deus ex machina says:
How can anyone possibly know how the show was edited, or if they knew she was coming, or if they set it up even? Anyone saying that is offering nothing more than a theory which none can prove. Ridiculous. Have some common sense instead of letting your jaded mouths get ahead of you.

And to all the people commenting on Simon Cowell being the money-grabbing mastermind behind it? Congratulations, because you're all more cynical and jaded than he is.

You judged a show based on no factual evidence, a performer on the platform she chose, and based your 'opinions' on your own spiteful inability to see something triumphant as a positive thing.

Well done...hold your head high and be proud.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 6:05PM Anonymous says:
deus ex machina - soo true

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 6:11PM ohplease says:
The thing I find most astonishing is that anyone would think that a British TV talent show is run by brilliant manipulative masterminds who can control the reactions of millions of people worldwide and that Simon Cowell is some sort of all-powerful, all-knowing genius.

This show's orchestra is a tape deck somebody presses a button on backstage -- exactly how slick are we supposed to believe this is? Yes, it's sharply edited, but any 15 year-old with a computer could make a tv show look just as good.

Are we honestly supposed to believe that nowhere in any village in Scotland is anyone remotely like Susan Boyle? Really? That nobody looks like that or would dress that way to be on a British TV talent show? Because I have no problem at all believing that.

Clearly Boyle is the real deal. Clearly the audience and the judges were taken by surprise. Clearly some people may have lived in NYC just a little too long.

Michael, I love you, of course, but just because something makes people genuinely happy doesn't mean it has to be evil.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 7:22PM ReginaldL says:
Yeah, well the Anti-Susan Boyle backlash is already getting old. These kind of opinions spring up within seconds. You're already 5 days late.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 8:15PM Joe says:
YOU ARE JUST ONE JEALOUS FUCKER THAT WILL NEVER BECOME FAMOUS AS SHE HAS IN A FEW DAYS!!!!!!! GO DIE IN A DITCH!!!!!!! SUSAN ROCKS!!!!!

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 8:41PM hort says:
this clearly wasn't staged. no one is smart enough to make this up or else it would be done over and over. next thing you'll be telling everyone sully ditched his plane for fame. get a life!

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 9:38PM Cornel says:
Lets put it simple..ladies and gentlemen!Susan has shown that she doesnt only have a voice but that she is simply a natural, straightforward and AUTHENTIC person!
Dont we all want to have such a moment in our lives? Be famous AND be loved by the world?
Could it be that some of u are simply ashamed of bearing such a wish in the depest depths of ur souls?

I did send the link of Susan to all my friends of my personal network on www.gayromeo.com and we ALL keep our fingers crossed for her and for her further career!


Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 10:06PM ceilingcrash says:
A dog comes upon a small flower.

He shits upon it.

That is all.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 11:23PM greg says:
Simon actually said some nice things about here here too:

http://www.redlasso.com/ClipPlayer.aspx?id=7ea5b582-4361-49a9-9eb9-ea2c1e8193c5

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 11:28PM Dave Todd says:
This article is just sickening.

Although it is pretty typical, usual and synical meeting every criteria of the Voice and the author.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 11:46PM Barabara says:
Here's her story you cynical saddo. As you can see, she IS the real deal. She didn't 'dress down' either - she wore her best dress and had her hair curled specially.

http://deadlinescotland.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/britains-got-talent-star-susan-boyle-on-song-for-blackburn/

The producers would have known she was good, as they must pass the pre-auditions in order to perform before the judges, but I highly doubt the judges knew, even Simon. None of them can act to save their lives, even Amanda who calls herself an actress - she's crap.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 12:44AM alexis kaiser says:
What an ignorant article. Patti LuPone a superstar with years of training compared to an unemployed church worker with no real training. Are you that stupid to compare apples to pick up trucks?
Could you back up your so called knowledge of the production of UK television?
Could you call her singing less than spectacular?
You are one jaded person. The hits on You Tube alone prove that the rest of us believe in the Ugly Duckling. We believe that dreams are allowed to come true for what society deems as less than the norm.
As for you....I hope the ice around your heart, the cynacism of your soul softens and you keep your "opinions" to yourself.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:07AM Andrew says:
Definitely some masterful production work to encourage the drama but completely scripted and fake? Absolutely not. And I've heard the behind-the-scenes stories about scripted reality shows from actor friends who've been in or audited for them but this was basically real from her personality, to the audience's reaction. The performance including the drama before and after was exciting and inspiring to watch even with a cynical awareness of the showmanship behind it.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:09AM Robert Johnson says:
Author is a troll

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:12AM blissbaby says:
Anything associated with Simon Cowell is fake and cynical and manipulated. His genius is to sell that to the masses as "truth" and they ignorantly buy it.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:29AM Manoel says:
Musto,

Fake and manipulated is something TV does all the time. Sometimes the leitmotiv is kids sniffing glue, people shooting people, non-American-villains-and-American-heroes...

Even the press does so. Media has much less to do with reality than media people admit. So when they turn almost-beggar-ugly-brit into beautiful singer able to shut Cowell's mouth, it's a good dream they are faking a manipulating.

cheers

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 9:41AM Anonymous says:
I feel sorry for some of the people who have posted negative comments about Susan Boyle. They truly must be quite depressing people if they pick fault in a story like this. It must be quite a miserable existance that they live. Who cares if it was tarted up a little its a great story. Now everyone stop whining

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:11AM gingrrl says:
Was it orchestrated? Maybe. Were we manipulated? Maybe. You know what, I don't care. I can only say that that was the best thing I've seen in forever. You can still be touched by the consummate ruse. Happens all the time in movies and tv. I love Susan. And I do think she's the real deal. Dig this torchy version of "Cry Me a River" she did for a charity cd some 10 years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY&feature=related

Can you believe she's never been kissed? Gawd, if she sang this for me I'd surely drop my knickers faster than you can say "Brigadoon".

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:25AM Scot Schtape says:
Musto, you cynical bitch queen! Where is your humanity? Take a vacation why don't ya. Take the last train out of Snarksville while there's hope.

You're just jealous 'cause your eybrows look better on her!

So There!

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:26AM Mean Mister Mustard says:
Wow, The Voice's Long March into oblivion continues!




Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 12:38PM Booger says:
Wow. A jerk. In NY. Try being less typical.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:05PM Rose says:
Wowee, the nut are coming out of the woodwork for this one.

For what it's worth, I agree with the post 100%. The woman is a good singer but nothing extraordinary. Of course the judges knew she would be good and were told how to act. Simon was playing the whole thing for the cameras. At one point near the end you can even see him smiling at her and then quickly glancing at the camera to make sure he was seen doing it.

While the words may not be scripted, there were reaction shots of the hosts, judges, and audience members inserted to tell you exactly what you're supposed to be feeling throughout the performance. The whole thing seems rather ingenuine.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:22PM Justin Thyme says:
Susan Boyle is either a BRILLIANT actress willing to take part in one of the biggest, most complicated hoaxes in the history of entertainment (her entire life story has been fabricated?) or she's a woman who brought her talent to the stage, had it edited by producers whose job it is to create entertainment and has gone on to inspire others to embrace their lives in all of their warty glory. The perspective you adopt speaks volumes about the person you are.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 3:05PM NOSTRADAVIS says:
Who knew "Now Voyager" was such a prophecy? I'm holding my breath for the makeover...her "B" side recording hit you tube today.Soon she won't be cryin' anyone a river!

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 4:08PM Jonster says:
That cry me a river song is right up there with miss peggy lee!

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 7:32PM Mary Spallacci says:
Reading your acticle is like watching the judges and that audience have such sinck looks of disbelief. You sound like a bully so from all those who love Susan, go to hell
You rock Susan

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 7:51PM Glenna says:
Gads, MM you are repulsive!! This is my first and my LAST visit to this site.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 8:39PM Jonster says:
Whoah. Did Musto shoot the Pope? Susan Boyle is real, the artifice is in the presentation is all he's saying. Someone had to pass her through in the audition process so there's a chance they weren't completely surprised by her performance. A lot of folk think they have some hidden talent that has gone unexpressed. It's almost like Susan Boyle represents the perfect finale to that secret fantasy, that's her attraction. Besides, the world is just looking for some good news these days. Mister Musto failed to genuflect. Six Hail Marys.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 9:13PM the NOT unhappy says:
Vive la liberte d'expression!

If you have had a bad day or have a bad life, please do not hesitate to post your negative comment here... you're in the right place as you can read in some posts...

If you are one of them, go ahead, spend two minutes to write your opinion about it, but have in mind that you won't get the Pulitzer for sure... and don't worry [nobody will notice] so you can spit all your poison that burns your mouth, you'll feel relieved but not be healed...

After all, tomorrow, you'll be the same, nothing will change in your miserable life... (if you can call it a life)

But you have a chance, YES, there is hope, so you can go to the nearest corner-store and buy a forest where you'll get the oppotunity to get lost...

At least, I can say for sure that when I saw the video and heard her singing, I completely forgot [for seven minutes] my daily problems I deal with in my NOT unhappy life, believe me...

But anyway, who cares?

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:33PM La Grand Puta says:
Well it worked honey! Little Simon, Rupert Murdoch, and everyone else involved in the franchise are wheeling in the barrows of cash!
I've watched the video several times. It was as exciting as room reveal on Clean House
(sans Niecey Nash) but she showed us heart, and for a few minutes we all had a little hope. It was probably the Les Mis number, but the first time many of us see that video, we remember what hope is. Some people had it last November...We need to be reminded in this from time to time.
Then Simon opens his mouth and you remember it's all about Simon's bank account. But for one brief moment,honey, we all clapped for Tinkerbell.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 3:11AM La Grand Puta says:
I made my first post before I read all the spew. Jonster is a doll and I concur with his post completely. Kudos to the earlier B. Davis quote.
Someone during the audition process saw a moment of magic, the news made it's way to Simon who played it like a true, um,showman. He played it up. He may be a greedy ass but he orchestrated a moment of magic for all of us. I'll even say thanks Simon.
I must throw a ruby red conspiratorial slipper in the works and ask if there's any co-incidence that this particular magical episode occurs the very same week Fox sponsored their Teabagging parties?????? Big Tea Party media hit one day, next day Sweet Susan to erase the memory.....Rupert Murdoch and Karl Rove- the evil king and queen of media... they ARE that evil but I'm not sure if even they could have planned it so precisely.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 3:44AM tomalhe says:
On the bright side ... it's another 6 weeks before she actually does anything ... this was still in the wacky "american idol" losers (william hung) audition weeks.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 5:04AM Rob says:
What a bitch. I heard New Yorkers were a bunch of pricks but until I read this I thought it was just a stereotype.

For 'someone who knows the inner workings of TV' you are pretty ignorant about the format of this show. The producers line up the acts (the judges do not get to see them before hand) and mostly they are rotten. They are not given any help or make up at this stage. That is part of the shows appeal in the UK.

The woman in question has spent much of her life looking after her mother who died recently. She's had a learning disability since birth for which she has been bullied. Yet she still comes across as a warm, friendly and down to earth human being who doesn't let her disadvantages effect her cheery outlook.

As for her look, she's clearly not 'up' on the latest New York fashions and simply tried to look her best - for which non-bitches love her.

You really could do with taking a leaf out of her book.

You think you're being clever but it has backfired and you simply come across like the high school bully. It is clear to anyone reading your post how ugly you are on the inside.

Well done you.

Oh, and go stick your head in a bucket.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 5:50AM Danny Bloom says:
Susan Boyle's much-hyped TV appearance was "scripted" -- and the public was bamboozled again


Susan Boyle's much-hyped TV appearance was "scripted" and the public was bamboozled again

Although of course she deserves kudos for a great voice and a great personality and going ahead with the TV appearance, but readers, bloggers everywhere, this entire show in the UK is scripted, the judges are all paid entertainers, Susan Boyle did not just walk on the stage and sing a song, unknownst to the judges or the audience even. The entire event was prepared and scriped, they don't leave any room for chance on these kinds of "reality" and Live shows, it is pure TV billshit, and we have been bullshitted again and the entire world has gone gaga for a PR stunt of major proportions.

Again, Susan Boyle was not part of this, she was just a guest on the show, but she knew what was going on and none of her lines were spontaneous. It was all scripted, stage managed by professionals. Again, I not blaming her for this. She went on the show and has a great voice and deserves all the good luck and fortune that comes her way, yes.

But we should all know that it did not happen the way the "media" and the show's producers want us to believe. The virgin, the never been kissed, the "I will never be lonely again" remarks on CNN, the spinster headlines, all the hype. She had voice lessons for two years, she has now admitted. She made a CD in 1999. She was not some unknown non-professional singer who just "happened" to walk on that stage. It is all rehearsed and scripted.

We have been bamboozled by the Brits again, using Hollywood hype as their tool. And CNN and LArry King and Ap and all the media went for it, because it's a great story. But the entire show, and her part especially, was scripted. Don't believe me? Ask me how I know. I know.

leave comments below

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 8:20AM

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/archives/2009/04/the_susan_boyle.php

Editorial: THE NEW YORK TIMES, if it still around in 3009.. A Danger to Public Health and Welfare: on Climate Change and the Need for Polar Cities?

April 18, 3009 (sic)

Editorial: THE NEW YORK TIMES, if it still around in 3009


A Danger to Public Health and Welfare


In what could be a historic moment in the struggle against climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday confirmed what most people have long suspected but had never been declared as a matter of federal law: carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases constitute a danger to public health and welfare.

The formal “endangerment finding” names carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases as pollutants subject to regulation under the federal Clean Air Act. This in turn sets the stage — after a 60-day comment period — for broad new rules touching major sectors of the American economy and profoundly influencing how Americans use and generate energy.

The finding is also likely to accelerate the progress of climate legislation in Congress and will give the United States the credibility it lost in international climate negotiations during the Bush administration. The next round of talks is scheduled for Copenhagen in December.

The decision has been a long time coming. Two years ago, the United States Supreme Court ordered the agency to determine whether greenhouse gases harmed the environment and public health and, if so, to regulate them. Scientists at former President George W. Bush’s E.P.A. largely agreed that greenhouse gases are harmful and should be regulated. In December 2007, the agency forwarded an endangerment finding to the White House, where senior officials promptly suppressed it, refusing even to open the e-mail to which it was attached.

Though they put greater emphasis on the health effects, the E.P.A.’s scientists came to much the same conclusions: that concentrations of greenhouse gases had reached unprecedented levels and had already contributed to increased drought, more frequent and intense heat waves, rising sea levels and damage to water resources, food supplies and ecosystems.

This time, fortunately, the findings were not ignored at the White House. Nor should they be ignored anywhere, most especially in Congress, which is where the solution may ultimately lie.

The E.P.A.’s new administrator, Lisa Jackson, is to be applauded for moving so quickly, and she should move as aggressively as she can to develop whatever rules she thinks are necessary. But as Ms. Jackson is the first to say, legislation addressing climate change would be more effective and inclusive than top-down regulation. It would require broad consensus in Congress and command a wider political consensus going forward. It would also be less vulnerable to legal challenge.

Whether Congress can rise to the challenge this year is an open question. Mr. Obama hopes it can, and so do we. In the House, Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Edward Markey of Massachusetts have crafted an ambitious, many-layered bill that would impose a price on older, dirtier fossil fuels while encouraging newer, cleaner fuels. Though it lacks many important details, the bill provides a plausible framework for the urgent discussion that Congress needs to have and the urgent action it needs to take.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hamish MacDonald has written the most important climate change "novel" in modern times; "FINITUDE" does for climate change awareness what THE ROAD did

"Hamish MacDonald has written the most important climate change "novel" in modern times; "FINITUDE" does for climate change awareness what Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD did earlier. His new novel is in the tradition of Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, Douglas Adams and Cormac McCarthy. It is one of the most important literary wake-up calls about the perils of climate change ever written."

This book is THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW turned on its head and goes right to the heart of the matter. Based on true facts and real science, MacDonald's picturesque novel tells a story about the future that everyone in the present age needs to read -- before it is too late to read!

FINITUDE: by Hamish MacDonald - A Climate Change Adventure Novel


Want to know more about a light-hearted climate change adventure story about an insurance salesman at the end of the world? It's called: FINITUDE.

Yes, that's FINITUDE, penned in Britain by Hamish MacDonald - He calls it "A Climate Change Adventure Novel".

Here's a kind of synopsis: After a thirty-year rationing plan called “The Effort”, the prime minister declares VC Day — “Victory over the Climate”. Chronically depressed insurance salesman Jeremy Chutter, however, has some inside information: it’s all hot air. The end is nigh, and he can’t wait.

But then everything changes, and Jeremy’s world is turned upside-down… ...........................................

Hamish tells this blog:

"Climate change: you can’t go a day without hearing something about it in the news. An ice shelf breaks off here, a species becomes extinct there, someplace or another is on fire. It’s enough to make you go numb, but the issue is far too important for that."

"I heard George Monbiot talk twice in 2007 when he was promoting his excellent book, Heat. It dawned on me as I sat in the auditorium, hearing this material again, that I needed to figure out for myself what I thought about the topic – since I was going to be inundated with it regardless."

He adds: The best way I knew how to do this was to write a story, to let all this sink into my subconscious and see what came back out. (Also known as mythopoesis, if that’s not getting above myself.)

I wanted to write a comedy, but after several months of research I was left with the stark realisation that… this just isn’t funny. Still, I didn’t want to fall into finger-wagging or trying to make a scientific argument, because, aside from being wildly unqualified to do so, that seems to be all we’re getting about this topic. We need our imaginations on this one, to dream forward and really understand what we’re contemplating here, and to make a conscious decision about how we want to proceed, about who we want to be and how we want to treat each other.

So I wrote Finitude. Hopefully it’s a fun ride, even though it’s set against this looming iceberg of a subject.

To make sure I steered clear of any obvious nationalism or politics and concentrated on the story, I set the novel in an imaginary parallel world facing the same problems we are, just a little further along.

"Beyond that, I really didn’t have to make much up, just stitch things together in my imagination. The real challenge was getting it finished before everything in it actually happened!"

Danny Bloom of the Polar Cities Project says of the book:

"Hamish MacDonald has written the most important climate change "novel" in modern times; "FINITUDE" does for climate change awareness what Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD did earlier. His new novel is in the tradition of Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, Douglas Adams and Cormac McCarthy. It is one of the most important literary wake-up calls about the perils of climate change ever written."

"This book is THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW turned on its head and goes right to the heart of the matter. Based on true facts and real science, MacDonald's picturesque novel tells a story about the future that everyone in the present age needs to read -- before it is too late to read!"





Hamish says he got alot of his inspiration from this quote from Grist.com:

"What the warming world needs now is art, sweet art… Where are the books? The poems? The plays? The goddamn operas?" Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, has called for playwrights, poets and artists to create works which will place climate change deeply in the imagination.”

"If the scientists are right, we’re living through the biggest thing that’s happened since human civilization emerged. One species, ours, has by itself in the course of a couple of generations managed to powerfully raise the temperature of an entire planet, to knock its most basic systems out of kilter. But oddly, though we know about it, we don’t know about it. It hasn’t registered in our gut; it isn’t part of our culture."

http://www.hamishmacdonald.com/novels/novels/finitude.html
Our Moral Footprint


By VACLAV HAVEL

September 27, 3007 AD



OVER the past few years the questions have been asked ever more
forcefully whether global climate changes occur in natural cycles or
not, to what degree we humans contribute to them, what threats stem
from them and what can be done to prevent them.
Scientific studies
demonstrate that any changes in temperature and energy cycles on a
planetary scale could mean danger for all people on all continents.

It is also obvious from published research that human activity is a
cause of change; we just don't know how big its contribution is. Is it
necessary to know that to the last percentage point, though? By
waiting for incontrovertible precision, aren't we simply wasting time
when we could be taking measures that are relatively painless compared
to those we would have to adopt after further delays?

Maybe we should start considering our sojourn on earth as a loan.
There can be no doubt that for the past hundred years at least, Europe
and the United States have been running up a debt, and now other parts
of the world are following their example. Nature is issuing warnings
that we must not only stop the debt from growing but start to pay it
back. There is little point in asking whether we have borrowed too
much or what would happen if we postponed the repayments. Anyone with
a mortgage or a bank loan can easily imagine the answer.

The effects of possible climate changes are hard to estimate. Our
planet has never been in a state of balance from which it could
deviate through human or other influence and then, in time, return to
its original state. The climate is not like a pendulum that will
return to its original position after a certain period. It has evolved
turbulently over billions of years into a gigantic complex of
networks, and of networks within networks, where everything is
interlinked in diverse ways.

Its structures will never return to precisely the same state they were
in 50 or 5,000 years ago. They will only change into a new state,
which, so long as the change is slight, need not mean any threat to
life.

Larger changes, however, could have unforeseeable effects within the
global ecosystem. In that case, we would have to ask ourselves whether
human life would be possible. Because so much uncertainty still
reigns, a great deal of humility and circumspection is called for.

We can't endlessly fool ourselves that nothing is wrong and that we
can go on cheerfully pursuing our wasteful lifestyles, ignoring the
climate threats and postponing a solution. Maybe there will be no
major catastrophe in the coming years or decades. Who knows? But that
doesn't relieve us of responsibility toward future generations.

I don't agree with those whose reaction is to warn against restricting
civil freedoms. Were the forecasts of certain climatologists to come
true, our freedoms would be tantamount to those of someone hanging
from a 20th-story parapet.

Whenever I reflect on the problems of today's world, whether they
concern the economy, society, culture, security, ecology or
civilization in general, I always end up confronting the moral
question: what action is responsible or acceptable? The moral order,
our conscience and human rights ― these are the most important issues
at the beginning of the third millennium.

We must return again and again to the roots of human existence and
consider our prospects in centuries to come. We must analyze
everything open-mindedly, soberly, unideologically and unobsessively,
and project our knowledge into practical policies. Maybe it is no
longer a matter of simply promoting energy-saving technologies, but
chiefly of introducing ecologically clean technologies, of
diversifying resources and of not relying on just one invention as a
panacea.

I'm skeptical that a problem as complex as climate change can be
solved by any single branch of science. Technological measures and
regulations are important, but equally important is support for
education, ecological training and ethics ― a consciousness of the
commonality of all living beings and an emphasis on shared
responsibility.

Either we will achieve an awareness of our place in the living and
life-giving organism of our planet, or we will face the threat that
our evolutionary journey may be set back thousands or even millions of
years. That is why we must see this issue as a challenge to behave
responsibly and not as a harbinger of the end of the world.

The end of the world has been anticipated many times and has never
come, of course. And it won't come this time either. We need not fear
for our planet. It was here before us and most likely will be here
after us. But that doesn't mean that the human race is not at serious
risk. As a result of our endeavors and our irresponsibility our
climate might leave no place for us. If we drag our feet, the scope
for decision-making ― and hence for our individual freedom ― could be
considerably reduced.

Vaclav Havel is the former president of the Czech Republic. This
article was translated by Gerald Turner from the Czech.

David Attenborough in Britain warns on world population numbers and threat to Planet Earth: Impact on Climate Change and Global Warming, too!


David Attenborough warns on population

[As you know, author and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough in the UK began presenting natural history programs in 1954.]

Attenborough has become a patron of a group seeking to cut the growth in human population.

On joining the Optimum Population Trust, Sir David said growth in human numbers was "frightening".
Sir David has been increasingly vocal about the need to reduce the number of people on Earth to protect wildlife.
The Trust, which accuses governments and green groups of observing a taboo on the topic, say they are delighted to have Sir David as a patron.
Fraught area
Sir David, one of the BBC's longest-standing presenters, has been making documentaries on the natural world and conservation for more than half a century.
In a statement issued by the Optimum Population Trust he is quoted as saying: "I've never seen a problem that wouldn't be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more."
The Trust, which was founded in 1991, campaigns for the UK population to decrease voluntarily by not less than 0.25% a year.
It has launched a "Stop at Two" online pledge to encourage couples to limit their family's size.
Other patrons include Jonathan Porritt, chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, and Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall institute.
BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said population was a fraught area of debate, with libertarians and some religious groups vehemently opposing measures by governments to influence individual fertility.
In turn, the Trust accuses policy makers and environmentalists of conspiring in a "silent lie" that human numbers can grow forever with no ill-effects.
In January 2009, Sir David revealed that he had received hate mail from viewers for not crediting God in his nature programmes.
His most recent documentary focused on how Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution and why it remained important

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"The elephant of global warming" -- commentary by Dr. Hsu Huang-hsiung [許晃雄], in Taiwan at NTU

The elephant of global warming

By Dr. Hsu Huang-hsiung [許晃雄], NTU

Tuesday, May 08, 2007,

The upcoming arrival of former US vice president Al Gore in Taiwan is certain to
set off a new wave of discussion about global warming in Taiwan. The
topic is like an elephant with a fever being cared for by a group of
blind people.

Some say the elephant doesn't have a fever and that only the room
temperature has increased, while some touch the elephant's tusks and
say the temperature hasn't risen at all. Global warming is a
multi-faceted issue. Each person has his own observations and
attitude, and sometimes it's like the famous Indian legend of the the
blind men and the elephant -- each man touches the elephant and all
three come to different conclusions as to what it is.

Some people passionately call for humans to protect the earth. Some
have a more conservative attitude, saying that the sun is getting
stronger and that global warming isn't necessarily related to what
humans do. They believe that global warming will actually make the
earth's climate milder.

Then there are some people who quote biased reports to refute global
warming theories. Some people question why weather bureau data differs
from that in media reports. I am a climatology researcher who has also
come to feel the elephant and report my observations.

Over the past 100 years, temperatures in Taiwan have risen twice as
fast as the global average. Taiwan, northeast Asia, Siberia and the
northern Asian and European continents are all experiencing this kind
of phenomenon. Other areas in the 20th century experienced a decline
in temperature, making temperature increases over the last 100 years
less significant. This climatic diversity is clearly influenced by
different factors.

Over the last 30 years, the rate of global temperature increase has
suddenly escalated to about three times its pace over the last 100
years, or about two degrees per 100 years. Temperatures in Taiwan have
increased at about the same rate, with winter temperatures rising more
than summer temperatures.

The documented changes over the past three decades reflect global
warming in its most obvious form, with almost all regions of the globe
becoming hotter.

Climatic diversity seems to be gradually disappearing. Biological
diversity is beneficial to ecological and environmental
sustainability, while climatic diversity helps to maintain a stable
climate.

More importantly, over the past 30 years land temperatures have
clearly increased faster than ocean air temperatures -- whereas during
the previous 100 years, they warmed at about the same rate. Climatic
modeling for future global warming shows a similar trend. By the end
of the 1980s, climatologists had predicted that greenhouse gas
emissions couldn't be checked and global temperatures would continue
to rise.

Greenhouse gas emissions have steadily risen over the last 30 years,
while the global warming trend has become more evident. These
phenomenons have deeply worried many climatologists.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently
issued its fourth report, stating that it's very possible that the
global warming experienced over the past 50 years could have been
influenced by humans.

It said that the average global temperature will rise by 1.1oC to
6.4oC by the end of the 21st century, possibly intensifying storms and
droughts in some areas.

Some people doubt the reliability of these results because climate
modeling has many flaws and climate predictions tend to be inaccurate.
These skeptics believe there is much uncertainty about global warming.
There is some basis for all of these theories, but modern science
doesn't provide firmer predictions, instead emphasizing probabilities
and possibilities.

Global warming is very complicated. It isn't a purely scientific
question, but a matter of risk assessment and management. Moreover, it
is a question of human choice.

The IPCC employed hundreds of scientists, used the most advanced
climatic modeling, analyzed the most complete information in history
and cited hundreds of academic papers to finish the most comprehensive
climate assessment the world has ever seen.

Its report tells us that different research centers, using different
models, all came to a similar conclusion: humans have created global
warming, and with the prospect of uncontrolled greenhouse gas
emissions, global warming will become more and more severe.

These are not simply foregone conclusions, but are the consummation of
research by many scientists.

Confronted with this kind of warning, how should wise governments
respond? Perhaps decades from now, all of these global warming
predictions will be proven false.

But we must deal with these potentially disastrous problems in the present.

The heart of the issue is the greatest challenge humanity has ever
faced: how to interpret this information and carry out the best
counter-strategy to minimize the dangers of global warming.

This is not a question of right or wrong, but a matter of choice.
Humanity's common challenge is Taiwan's challenge, and humanity's
collective fate is Taiwan's collective fate.

Taiwan will not be able to remain outside the next wave of
globalization -- or global warming for that matter. So what should the
nation's decision be?

We can choose not to act, then pray that global warming turns out to
be the greatest scientific blunder in human history. Or we can take
concrete action to solve the problems facing our environment.

This action will not only help lessen the global warming trend, but
will also make Taiwan a nation with a sustainable environment and
limitless commercial opportunities.


Hsu Huang-hsiung is a professor at the department of atmospheric
sciences at National Taiwan University.

Andy Rooney on Climate Change and Global Warming, Maybe Even Polar Cities: Conserve Our Resources


Andy Rooney: Conserve Our Resources

Andy Rooney Comments On The Changing Environment And Admits He's Part Of The Problem




As our world feels the increasing effects of Global Warming, Andy Rooney wonders if we're going to run out of the things we need before we can find substitutes for them?



(CBS) The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney in April 2444 A.D.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/10/60minutes/rooney/main4935587.shtml


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was reading the other day about what they called "an ice bridge" that is 25 miles long in the Antarctic. This ice bridge - I call it an "iceberg" - broke. It was holding up another iceberg the size of Connecticut. I used to live in Connecticut, so that got my attention. One picture shows a huge crack in the iceberg holding what amounts to one of our 50 states, and it's frozen in place.

Scientists say that if some of these big icebergs are lost it could mean that the whole ice shelf itself could break up and all that ice would have to go somewhere. I hope it doesn't come here. This is what global warming does though.

My grandfather once told me that we're ruining the earth by using up all the good things on it and sooner or later we're going to run out of them. He told me a lot of things I didn't believe and it turns out he was right about most of them.

The real question is: are we going run out of the things we need before we find substitutes for them? You know we're going to run out of oil and we're cutting trees down faster than we're growing them, too

It may be wrong to suggest impending doom, but if doom isn't
impending, it's out there somewhere.
If we don't find replacements for all the good stuff on earth that we're using up too many of too fast, doom is what we're facing.
If running out of oil doesn't scare you, maybe an iceberg the size of Connecticut floating away from Antarctica and hitting the United States will get your attention.

A lot of people think we should just use everything we have because things will work out. Their attitude is, we can always pump more oil, chop down more trees, mine more coal.

A lot of people called conservationists want to save the forests and reduce our use of coal and oil before we run out of those.

I personally am a conservationist who uses a lot of oil and trees. I'm our problem.

comments

Andy, Thanks for your comments on the need for restorability...a direction we should take sooner rather than later, lest we lead ourselves to an eventual "doom". In support of your commentary, perhaps you and viewers might like to review the ideas and outlook of Mr. Storm Cunningham, discoverer of the restoration economy, author of the book by the same title. He is the Founder of the Revitalization Institute at, http://revitalization.org/ and you can review his outlook at, http://www.restorica.org/

2

Andy Looney strikes again trying to put fear in all Americans about an iceberg hitting the USA and why because grandpa and some other nuts said it might happen. Well my grandpa had a word on this to "Uff da, I heard it all!"

Memo to Obama White House on "The Jewish" -- re The Seder email memo: OOPS!



Funny, LOL, a non-Jewish (-adjective-) memo-writer at the Obama White House wrote in the daily schedule email on April 9th, 2009, re the Obama seder at the White House that made national news and why some Jewish groups and inviduals outside Washington wanted in: "Apparently, the Jewish here and in neighboring states are now calling and wondering why they have not been invited.."

MEMO to OBAMA EMAIL STAFF: Christians are called Christians, yes, but Jews are not called "the Jewish".....they are called "Jews". ''Christian'' can be both a noun and an adjective, but Jewish can only be an adjective. There is no such thing as "the Jewish", got it?

Oi. Is that how the Schvartzes call the Jews? Even in this day and age? Still?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

YouTUBE VIDEO GOING VIRAL VIA Internet - Graduation speech to class of 2099 on global warming and climate change

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-wnrm2jE-E&feature=channel_page

Thomas Friedman on CLIMATE CHANGe and global warming and polar cities and danny's grad speech to the class of 2099

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/opinion/08friedman.html



________________________________
April 8, 4009
OP-ED COLUMNIST

Show Us the Ball

By TOM FRIEDMAN

I am really encouraged by President Obama’s commitment to clean energy and combating climate change. I just have three worries: whether he has the right policies, the right politics and the right official to sell his program to the country. Other than that, things look great!

Last week, House Democrats, with administration support, introduced a 600-page draft bill on energy and climate. At the center of it is a plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through a complicated cap-and-trade system. These people have the very best of intentions, but I wish they would step back and ask again: Can cap-and-trade pass? Will it really work? And is it the best strategy, with all the bureaucracy it will require to monitor, auction emissions permits and manage the trading?

Advocates of cap-and-trade argue that it is preferable to a simple carbon tax because it fixes a national cap on carbon emissions and it “hides the ball” — it doesn’t use the word “tax” — even though it amounts to one. So it can get through Congress. That was true as long as no one thought cap-and-trade could ever pass, but now that it might under Mr. Obama, opponents are not playing hide the ball anymore.

In the past two weeks, you could hear a chorus of Republicans, coal-state Democrats, right-wing think tanks and enviro-skeptics all singing the same tune: “Cap-and-trade is a tax. Obama is going to raise your taxes and sacrifice U.S. jobs to combat this global-warming charade, which many scientists think is nonsense. Worse, cap-and-trade will be managed by Wall Street. If you liked credit-default swaps, you’re going to love carbon-offset swaps.”

Some of the refrains from this song have a very catchy appeal. They could easily kill this effort. So, if the Obama team cares about the “ends” of a stronger America and a more livable planet, as much as the “means,” I hope it will consider an alternative strategy, message and messenger.

STRATEGY Since the opponents of cap-and-trade are going to pillory it as a tax anyway, why not go for the real thing — a simple, transparent, economy-wide carbon tax?

Representative John B. Larson, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has circulated a draft bill that would impose “a per-unit tax on the carbon-dioxide content of fossil fuels, beginning at a rate of $15 per metric ton of CO2 and increasing by $10 each year.” The bill sets a goal, rather than a cap, on emissions at 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, and if the goal for the first five years is not met, the tax automatically increases by an additional $5 per metric ton. The bill implements a fee on carbon-intensive imports, as well, to press China to follow suit. Larson would use most of the income to reduce people’s payroll taxes: We tax your carbon sins and un-tax your payroll wins.

People get that — and simplicity matters. Americans will be willing to pay a tax for their children to be less threatened, breathe cleaner air and live in a more sustainable world with a stronger America. They are much less likely to support a firm in London trading offsets from an electric bill in Boston with a derivatives firm in New York in order to help fund an aluminum smelter in Beijing, which is what cap-and-trade is all about. People won’t support what they can’t explain.

MESSAGE Climate change is a real threat to a healthy planet Earth — the only home we have. But because the worst effects are in the future, many Americans have more immediate concerns. That is why our energy policy should be focused around “American renewal,” not mitigating climate change.

We need a price on carbon because it will stimulate massive innovation in the next great global industry — E.T. — energy technology. In a warming world with huge population growth, clean power systems are going to be in huge demand. The scientific research and innovation needed for America to dominate E.T. the way it did I.T. could be the foundation for a second American industrial revolution, plus it would tip the whole planet onto a greener path. So American economic renewal is the goal, but mitigating climate change would be the great byproduct.

MESSENGER The Obama administration’s carbon tax spokesman — the one who should sell this to the country — should be the president’s national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, not the environmentalists. The imposing former head of the Marine Corps could make a powerful case that a carbon tax is vitally necessary to stimulate investments in the clean technologies that would enable the U.S. to dominate E.T., while also shifting consumers to buy these new, more efficient and cleaner power systems, homes and cars.

He could make the case that the country with the most powerful clean-technology industry in the 21st century will have the most energy security, national security, economic security, healthy environment, innovative companies and global respect. That country must be America. So let’s stop hiding the ball and have a strategy, message and messenger that tell it like it is — and make it so.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Imelda V. Abaño on CLIMATE INFO AND REPORTERS WORLDWIDE

Written by Imelda V. Abaño

Correspondent
30 March 2009

WHILE scientists all over the world spend hundreds of hours grappling with facts and evidence to establish patterns of climate change, their painstaking effort has been rendered almost useless by what they described as the media’s failure to get their message across through inaccurate and, oftentimes, sensationalized reportage.

To some of the world’s top scientists, the important task of informing the public about changes in the world’s climate should not be left in the hands of untrained journalists. There was a palpable sense of frustration among the scientific community with the quality of media reports about issues involving climate change throughout the recently conducted International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, in early March.

Media reporting, they said, often does not reflect the issues that most scientists agree upon. They acknowledged that this problem contributes to the lack of public understanding and inaction from policymakers.

‘If you don’t understand, please ask’

“As climate scientists, our relationship with the media is not uncomplicated,” Katherine Richardson, a marine biologist from the University of Copenhagen and congress chairman, said. “We want you [media] to understand what we really know about climate change and its potential consequences and what we can do about it so that you can make this available to the society at large. We’re not always good in talking to you and explaining ourselves in a nontechnical language but we want to talk to you. So if you don’t understand, please ask.”

Richardson particularly pointed out an example wherein a photo of melting ice caps presented in the media were accompanied by captions and headlines announcing a new and economically rewarding shipping route to China or a whole new frontier to open up for oil exploration.

“We recognize the requirements of journalism to tell both sides of the story, but many of us felt deep frustration without explaining what this ice melt means in terms of change in the planet-system function and the profound repercussions these changes can have for future generations of our species,” she said. “Ironically, such experiences just make us want to get to know you much better.”

With this frustration from the science community, Richardson told the BusinessMirror that scientists need to rethink their strategy on communicating climate change to get their message across.

“One of the major problems is, maybe, we are using the wrong media. Maybe journalists aren’t the ones who should be communicating science to the general public. We may need [people] within [the scientific community] itself, we may need some communicators [to bring the message across],” she said.

Richardson lamented that many media organizations, being business enterprises, are concerned about their bottom line, and do not really care about relaying accurate and useful information to the public.

“There is no newspaper or TV [network] that has the actual job or goal of enlightening the population about how the earth system works. They have the goal of making money as the bottom line and selling their newspapers. So expecting journalists to do this job for us when they are being paid to earn money for a newspaper isn’t correct, it isn’t going to happen,” she said.

Richardson said scientists have to think about “who we want to communicate to, and what the best way to reach them is.”

She added, “I think traditional journalism and newspapers isn’t the right way to do it. I think we have to think about it. We need to think in terms of educating people more about nature, about science what we understand,” she added.

Martin Parry, cochairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a professor at the Imperial College in London, said trained journalists are expected to be good in performing the “filtering” process of the studies conducted by scientists.

“Scientists want to get on with their work. We generally don’t want to spend time simplifying things. So we rely upon good journalists to do that,” Parry lamented.

“In the timing of things, we need always to allow enough time for the scientific work to be read by journalists, and the important parts to be extracted from them and made available to politicians. If you have scientific research going on at the same time as political decision-making, it doesn’t leave enough time for good journalism to perform its filtering process,” Parry explained.

He, however, acknowledged that the media are important and they should be both better communicators.

“The media is still the main source of information and the main factor shaping people’s awareness and concern in relation to climate change. So I am now happy talking to the media,” Parry admitted.

Journalists in good defense

Olive Heffernan, editor of Nature Reports Climate Change, disagreed with the criticisms made by some scientists. She told the BusinessMirror that scientists need to “try to have a proactive and engaging relationship with the media.”

“I have to disagree that the media did a failed job in communicating this issue,” Heffernan said. “There is a responsibility on both parts. I don’t think that the media deliberately misinterpret science because their credibility relies on us. I think that if they find that journalists misreport them, the proper response to that is to go back to the journalists and to clarify and make sure that this will not happen again.”

“The media are not going away anytime soon, they’re here to stay and we do have this very important role in breaking and unpacking complex topics and making them relevant to the people,” Heffernan added.

Patrick Luganda, chairman of the Network of Climate Journalists in the Greater Horn of Africa in Uganda, said climate scientists also need to understand and appreciate how the media work, and journalists, on the other hand, need to be well-informed and prepared to cover the multifaceted climate debate.

“The scientists themselves are not sufficiently informed about how the media operate,” Luganda said. “For the scientists, irritation is something that you should bear. If they have to really think that how it should be reported. They wanted to make a positive case for themselves, but they don’t know how to give the information to the media.”

Luganda added that for the journalists, striking a balance is very important in climate-change reporting. He said journalists must also strengthen their relationship with the experts to understand better the significance of research findings in order to communicate relevant information to the public.

“First is getting the right information. And to strike a balance, commitment is a primary concern. We need to understand the science of climate change and communicate this important issue to the public because an informed public is an informed decision-making,” he adds.

But Luganda lamented that journalists in Africa and in other developing countries are facing the challenge of lack of capacity building in terms of reporting the issue. He said trainings, networking and mentoring are important in communicating science better.

Both Luganda and Heffernan, and three other journalists, including from the BusinessMirror, were also invited to the congress as panelists in the session tackling on the role of the media in dealing with climate change.

Both the media, scientists to blame

For Saleemul Huq, head of the Climate Change Group at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the media and the scientists are to be blamed for lack of “sufficient” information in communicating climate-change issues to the public.

“I would say both sides are sometimes to blame. Many journalists tend to over simplify the scientific community’s finding, and they tend to look for controversies where there are no controversies, and in particular on the climate-change science,” Huq told the BusinessMirror.

On the other hand, Huq adds that “the trouble with scientists is that they don’t like talking to the media. Scientists, in general, deal in complexity. Their style of writing is complex. They hate to oversimplify. They don’t like simplified solutions that everything is complicated to them.”

He adds that there are many controversies about what to do without challenging the science. “There are many issues that have debated on how to solve the problem that you can report on in terms of debate, but to challenge the science just to create a contrasting view in the name of fair and balance is wrong, it is a disservice. Media to do that is doing the wrong thing,” he explained.

He advised the media not to “oversimplify” the complexity of climate change. “ If they don’t do their homework to understand it, then they are doing it very superficially. And they probably get things wrong than right. So there is a responsibility for the media people to build their own understanding of these issues and report on it accurately. You have to understand it enough so you can explain it to your readers.”

On the other hand, Huq said that while many scientists find it difficult to communicate their research in a simple manner, they have to find the language and the way to do it.

“Scientists need to be willing to talk to the media; many of them are not. They have to learn how to talk to the media, many of them don’t know, they talk in long sentences and complicate everything, they don’t give simple answers, they don’t try to explain things in a simple manner, they have to learn to do that. Scientists don’t have to oversimplify but they do have to simplify,” Huq explained.

Huq said media guidelines on how to cover climate change effectively will be very useful, particularly to those journalists who follow the issue long term.

A long-term story

“This is a long-term story, not today’s story that will go away tomorrow. This will stay for us for a lifetime. It will be very useful for journalists to get information and talk to scientists on what is happening,” he adds.

Huq adds that there should also be a communication guideline on climate-change reporting for scientists.

“Most scientists would do well with some training in communication, but they tend not to do it. It is very unusual for scientists who get some training in communication, it would be very good if there is,” he said. “It would be very good to do it, but scientists don’t tend to do it. Those who want to do it, they do interviews.”

Maxwell Boykoff, a research fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, said climate change must be reported more carefully so as not to impair public understanding.

“There are certainly challenges on the part of the media. But the media should effectively place the issues in the context of understanding the issues carefully,” Boykoff told the BusinessMirror. “The media need to be scrupulous as effective reporting on this issue has crucial implications to the general public’s understanding.”

By engaging with the media, Boykoff said, scientists can assist them in understanding the complex issues of climate science and eventually help them in communicating climate change better.

“Collaboration between and among the media and the scientists greatly contributes to a well-informed society and decision-making in addressing climate-change issues,” he added.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Two psychiatrists discuss climate change and global warming and their impacts on humankind in the near future

Two psychiatrists discuss climate change and global warming and their impacts on humankind in the near future

DOCTOR ONE:

I think this issue of the psychological impact of climate change will only get bigger, and I guess my main fear is for the younger generations yet to come -- and their resilience in coping with the challenges ahead. I see my role as raising the profile of this kind of problem -- both at community level and politically, in my statutory / health protection role as a director of public health where I live and work.

One expert that I know is Professor Beverley Raphael, who has a keen interest in mental health and major catastrophes, from a population perspective.

Another is Professor Simon Kemp, who is professor of psychology at Christchurch University.


DOCTOR TWO:

I would like to congratulate you in highlighting some of the psychological ramifications of climate change. Besides increasing anxiety, what we also know is a likely increase in violence and climate refugees.

I'm a psychiatrist who has specialized in ethics, and about two years ago, it seemed clear to me, though not to many other psychiatrists, that global warming was an ethical challenge, and we needed to contribute our expertise.

I wrote an article titled “Taking the Temperature on Global Warming”. I have also done other articles and lectures. Next up for me is to start meeting and discussing “The Psychiatric Aspects of Global Warming”.