Category Archives: global warming

where is the logic in this?

is it just me, or is what this article seems to be saying just simply nuts? (it was published originally in 2004, but i came across it at cnn.com this past friday.) the gist of it is because global warming is causing large areas of the arctic to melt, this will make more areas in the arctic available for oil exploration and drilling. good lord, let’s just speed up the planet’s demise by drilling for more of the product that’s already caused so much destruction. and has anyone bothered to think seriously about where we’re gonna look for oil next when we’re done raping and pillaging that part of the earth? as author and activist derrick jensen says, ‘we are so fucked.’ and so shall we continue to be.

born, never asked

i just had an experience that confirms to me that my decision to stay in kc (for the time being) is the right thing to do. there are lots of things that go along with that decision, that i’m not going to go into with this post, but part of it is that in the not-so-distant future i feel that we are coming upon some big changes to our way of living. my decision to stay here is based on my using this as a time of preparation, on a number of levels.

that being said, i am currently reading derrick jensen’s two volume endgame, and it is blowing my mind. i have previously read his a language older than words and the culture of make believe, both a few years ago. although the subject matter of each book is somewhat different, the underlying premise in both is that western civilization is inherently destructive. in endgame, he ratchets this up by saying not only is it destroying the planet (he says simply in a number of places in the book, ‘we’re fucked; we’re so fucked.’), but it needs to be taken down.

frankly, most of you reading this blog, or people who manage to make it through both books (they total 929 pages), are going to write him off as some sort of environmentalist whacko (as rush limbaugh would say), and probably think that what i’m writing here is a little over the top. here we have a grown man who claims to communicate with trees, and with coyotes, and is in love with salmon, not as a well-prepared seafood entrée, but as living species who are being driven to extinction by humans. he advocates violence as an appropriate mechanism to take down the system. by violence, he means, well, look it up in the dictionary, you know what it means. by system, he means… well, in his ideal world, there would be no internet, because there would be no computers, because the cheap third world labor used to build those computers is instead living directly off of their own land, instead of working to supply ‘our’ ‘needs’, and as for us, well, we’re living off the land too. yeah, that means you.

but to even ask if anyone reading this would be prepared to live off the land if necessary would be a huge joke. hell, i live in a 10-story high-rise apartment building. if an e-bomb went off tomorrow, i (along with many millions of others) would be totally screwed. as i sit here today in my air-conditioned haven with background music going and plenty of filtered water available (who in their right mind drinks straight from the tap anymore?), i have no fucking clue as to where i would get fresh water and anything edible (outside of looting, which helps only in the very short term). however, jensen is not the only person thinking that, some time not so far off, this is what it will come to here in america, the most affluent society to ever exist. of course it may not be due to an e-bomb, but any number of scenarios could cause this: remember katrina? with the advent of global warming, and political hot spots ever increasing around the world, and the arrival of peak oil, and many social ills here and around the world, our affluence is simply unsustainable. something’s got to give and it’s going to be ugly for at least a couple of hundred years when it does. the only thing different about what jensen is saying compared to many others is that we should be the ones to instigate the downfall of civilization, in order to prevent it from doing any further damage to the earth.

um, so, anyway, a couple of hours ago i started reading this passage from page 436 of volume 1:

Far less likely to fight back even than slaves are those so deeply and thoroughly enslaved that they no longer perceive their own slavery. This is what we today would call normal. As Frank Garvey wrote, “In this country people are rarely imprisoned by their ideas because they’re already imprisoned by their ideas. The wage-slaves of today aren’t ripe for revolt because they don’t know that they’re slaves and no more free than the slaves of yore, despite the fact that they think so…. You can’t get rid of slave culture until the slaves know that they are slaves, and are proud of the historical responsibility it gives them to be the agent of social change.”

It’s not too much to say that most of us have essentially no understanding of what it would be like to live free.

at the moment i am reading this passage, in the background i have on community radio station kkfi, and i hear the beginning of my favorite laurie anderson song ‘born, never asked’ from the cd ‘big science’. i put the book down and turn the radio up so i can listen to the entire song, which is actually mostly instrumental. in the beginning there is a brief monologue with no background music, then about a quarter through the song, she speaks one line, then the rest of the song is without vocals. beautiful, beautiful song.

the one line she speaks is this: ‘You were born. And so you’re free. So happy birthday.’ tears just start running down my face when i hear this. because i finally get it. *i get it.* buying all the environmentally friendly toilet paper in the world and eating organic foods and recycling, while all these things are good and necessary, they are not what’s going to save the planet. corporations and the government are now encouraging us to ‘go green’, so we can feel good about ourselves, like buying a hemp knapsack made in honduras is going to save the planet, and meanwhile, they continue on with their abuse of the forests and the oceans and brown-skinned people. i’ve had a distrust of government in general for a number of years, especially since 9/11, but this book has helped me to realize that they have never had my best interests in mind or the best interests of any other person or group of people (except for maybe stockholders). and if they don’t care about people, they are certainly not going to care about ‘lesser’ beings such as animals or trees, or inanimate items.

i see the system for what it is, and i want to do something about it. i plan to continue to be a part of the system and use it for what i can (and eventually use it against itself), but i no longer am a member of it. library school is still in my plans (what better way to inform and prepare people than through being a stewardess of knowledge), and i still plan to make yearly treks to new orleans (even though ultimately, rebuilding may be a waste of time?), and i’ll go to concerts still (next one: ben harper on september 2; i also may go to etta james on august 23), and just live my life. but in the meantime, i’m also going to slowly but surely prepare for whatever is ahead, and talk about what i’m reading by jensen and other likeminded people, and write about it, and live it, and maybe get another person or two to break off the chains.

live earth

i don’t know what to make of al gore. i mean, i know he means well, even if he doesn’t always walk his own talk. and with the live earth concerts taking place today, i know it’s supposed to be a good thing, raising awareness to the things we all can do to help slow down or even reverse climate change. however, i think today’s concerts are really little more than corporate musicians thinking they are doing something good and therefore feeling good about themselves. it also seems to me that the costs and logistics of putting on these concerts negate any benefit that may have been derived. i had a friend joke that maybe the shows should have been ‘unplugged’, which very well may be true, but still, getting performers and their crews to various points on the planet had to have some negative effect on the very ice caps we are trying to prevent from melting.

i am all for being environmentally responsible. i use the funky looking compact fluorescent bulbs, i am an ardent user of public transportation, i’m a vegetarian, and in general, i just try to be environmentally aware of my actions in day to day living. hopefully the concerts today will help people become more aware of the necessity of, and the fairly easy options involved in doing their small part to slow down climate change. but, as i watched these shows, it was painfully obvious that most of the people attending were overwhelmingly caucasian, even at the johannesburg concert. the fact is people who were able to attend or watch these shows are affluent (even the poorest americans watching the shows on tv are affluent in comparison to many people on the planet) and therefore have the option as to whether or not they will prioritize living in an environmentally friendly way (although it may not always be just an option). however, if every single person who watched/attended the concerts did something positive in their own lives to help alleviate global warming, while it certainly would make a difference, it wouldn’t end the problem. while the west has contributed more than its fair share to the global warming problem, the fact is that third world countries also contribute a great deal. however, most of the people living in these countries simply don’t care about the problem; their main concern understandably is with day to day survival. they don’t see as we do how their actions affect the planet; they only care about feeding themselves and meeting other more immediate needs. i believe that one way we can help to combat global warming is through helping people in these underdeveloped countries learn how to better meet their own needs in an environmentally conscious way. once their immediate needs are met, then perhaps they can turn their focus to joining the rest of us in helping to avert climate change. but it’s unrealistic to expect that the problem will be solved by a few relatively rich folks buying compact fluorescent bulbs and recycling. it’s a great start, but i think that the only way the planet can realistically be saved is with the entire planet participating, and the only way that will happen is for the basic needs of the entire planet being met.

excellent book to read: world changing: a user’s guide for the 21st century. at 600 pages, you’re not gonna sit down and polish it off in one evening, but it’s a great book for getting ideas on things we can do locally and beyond to help deal with global warming. another book to look at, a much smaller book, is the rough guide to ethical living by duncan clark.

quotes of a lifetime

as we all know, the rev. jerry falwell passed away the other day. i would like to express my condolences to his family, friends and associates, as i’m sure he meant a great deal to them, and his presence will be missed. however, they need not worry; to use a cliché, his legacy will live on. some of the ignorant, misinformed opinions this ‘man of god’ expressed will be with us forever, as a reminder of why integral is so important, as far as helping to develop healthy expressions of first-tier memes and not the pathological expressions, such as seen in these quotes below. (i have borrowed a few selected quotes from mark morford’s sf gate column entitled ‘the sad, quotable jerry falwell’.) i’m not going to say anything else about what i think of rev. falwell as a person; i believe these quotes speak for themselves:

“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.” [so what is the excuse of all the fundamentalist christians out there?]

“Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.”

“I listen to feminists and all these radical gals — most of them are failures. They’ve blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they’re mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They’re sexist. They hate men — that’s their problem.” [if all men were like rev. falwell, i could see some truth to the part about hating men.]

“I am such a strong admirer and supporter of George W. Bush that if he suggested eliminating the income tax or doubling it, I would vote yes on first blush.”

“I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I’m going to buy a Suburban next time.”

“It appears that America’s anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men’s movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening.”

“There’s been a concerted effort to steal Christmas.”

“Someone must not be afraid to say, ‘moral perversion is wrong.’ If we do not act now, homosexuals will ‘own’ America! If you and I do not speak up now, this homosexual steamroller will literally crush all decent men, women, and children who get in its way … and our nation will pay a terrible price!”

“The whole global warming thing is created to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.”

“You’ll be riding along in an automobile. You’ll be the driver perhaps. You’re a Christian. There’ll be several people in the automobile with you, maybe someone who is not a Christian. When the trumpet sounds you and the other born-again believers in that automobile will be instantly caught away — you will disappear, leaving behind only your clothes and physical things that cannot inherit eternal life. That unsaved person or persons in the automobile will suddenly be startled to find the car suddenly somewhere crashes. … Other cars on the highway driven by believers will suddenly be out of control and stark pandemonium will occur on … every highway in the world where Christians are caught away from the drivers wheel.” (from Falwell’s pamphlet “Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Christ”)
[why in the world would an unsaved person even be in the same vehicle as a saved person?!]

“The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etcetera.”

global warming = hotter sex

hmm, well, maybe global warming isn’t such a bad thing, at least when it comes to sex…

global warming IS manmade…

…and here’s the proof right here.

what exactly do ‘carbon credits’ do, anyway?

okay i’m not denying that gore and other hollywood liberals who have apparently gone green are being hypocritical, especially when i read stuff like this:

POWER: GORE MANSION USES 20X AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASE AFTER ‘TRUTH’
Mon Feb 26 2007 17:16:14 ET
Nashville Electric Service/Gore House
2006
High 22619 kWh Aug – Sept
Low 12541 kWh Jan – Feb
Average: 18,414 kWh per month
2005
High 20532 Sept – October
Low 12955 Feb – March
Average: 16,200 kWh per month
Bill amounts
2006 – $895.60 (low) $1738.52 (high) $1359 (average)
2005 – $853.91 (low) $1461 (high)
Nashville Gas CompanyMain House
2006 – $990(high) $170 (low) $536 (average)
2005 – $1080 (high) $200 (low) $640 (average)
Guest House/Pool House 2006 – $820 (high) $70 (low) $544 (average)
2005 – $1025 (high) $25 (low) $525 (average)

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization, issued a press release late Monday:Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy. Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES). In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average. Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359. Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006. Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year. “As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

gore is obviously a prime example of the ‘do as i say not as i do’ ethic. nevertheless, this does not mean we average citizens need to do nothing in regards to global warming. i still believe that ‘an inconvenient truth’ is an important work, and that it is the responsibility of each individual to do what he or she can in the name of the environment. maybe by doing so, we can shame those who say one thing and do another into practicing what they preach.

(thank you, dave.)

okay, i should get back to work now… 🙂