Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Green Revolution: Waging A War Against Hunger


chocoabuddha

Uploaded on Mar 22, 2010

NHD – Senior Group Documentary 2010
Districts Version
Theme: Innovation in History Environmental Justice   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters    http://Food-Matters.TV

Vandana Shiva describes the Green Revolution

Uploaded on Sep 2, 2009
Vandana Shiva describes how the Green Revolution ‘high response’ seed varieties have led to severe water shortages in India and a loss of fertility.
Vandana Shiva 2: Shooting in the Dark…Genetic Engineering

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGX7xZ-AOM0

Uploaded on Sep 8, 2009

First Vandana Shiva talks about the true costs of the Green Revolution in terms of loss of bio-diversity and loss of nutritional value of the newly introduced high response varieties. Then she addresses the truly disastrous introduction of genetically modified cotton and corn and the resulting suicides among Indian farmers.

Uploaded on Sep 10, 2009

Vandana Shiva debunks more of the GM crop myths and makes the case for bio-diversity, and diversity of farming methods to maintain a healthy agrarian economy and way of life. Here the role of organic seeds is examined with some wisdom of Mahatma Ghandi.

Environmental Justice   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics   http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters    http://Food-Matters.TV

When Common Core and Climate Change Collide | Somewhat Reasonable

http://blog.heartland.org/2013/06/when-common-core-and-climate-change-collide/

by James H. Rust
June 29, 2013
My interpretation of the Common Core science standards is that they are based on three publications from the National Academy of Sciences.

The report dealing with course material is called “A Framework for K-12 Education,” published in 2012. This report is a revision of a previous report by the National Academy of Sciences published in 2011. I examined parts of the 2011 report in 2011 and thought it was a propaganda report supporting the hypothesis that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is causing catastrophic global warming. The National Academy of Sciences has taken this position for many years.

The chapter dealing with Earth and Space Sciences is found from pages 169 to 201. The coverage is cursory due to the shortness of the material. “Part ESS3.D: Global Climate Change” covers global warming from pages 196-199. The coverage mentions computer models which are used for predicting future climate and weather conditions for the planet. There is insufficient attention paid to the reality that all computer models fail to replicate what happens in the future when data for comparison is unavailable.

In my opinion, the models should not be used for policy purposes and should not be included in K-12 education materials because our understanding of forces influencing climate is incomplete and many of the models have failed to be validated. Material in the book does not make this clear.

The material states that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is causing global warming, which is a highly controversial topic. Three references are cited at the end of the discussion. One is the 2009 report by the United States Global Change Research Project which contains frightening predictions for the future of the world due to global warming caused by burning fossil fuels. A revision of this report is scheduled for publication later this year that portrays an even grimmer future.

No doubt numerous copies of the 2013 Report will be sent to all schools to provide reference material illustrating how fossil fuel use should be abandoned in order to save the planet. This report, and other U. S. government printed reports, will provide numerous reference materials to indoctrinate students to accept the premise that catastrophic climate change is occurring unless fossil fuel use is abandoned.

I only read 32 pages of a 400-page report and found material about global warming that should not be used in education of students at the K-12 level. More material of this nature could be in the National Academy Report. This is sufficient reason to abandon the science education portion of Common Core. ….(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Military Report: America Has ‘Misguided’ Fixation With Domestic Drilling

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130624/military-report-america-has-misguided-fixation-domestic-drilling

The report, released quietly this month, says climate change is a bigger national security threat than the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

By John H. Cushman Jr., InsideClimate News
Jun 24, 2013

U.S. marines build a solar panel. For several years, the view that global warming caused by burning fossil fuels is an overwhelming national security threat has been taking firmer hold in national security circles. Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

WASHINGTON—A new report from the U.S. Center for Naval Analyses and the London-based Royal United Services Institute, two of the NATO alliance’s front-line strategy centers, recommends putting more effort into fighting global warming than securing reliable supplies of fossil fuels.

The authors call the habitual American fixation on winning energy independence through expanded North American production of oil and natural gas “misguided.” They say the “only sustainable solution” to the problem of energy insecurity is not through more drilling, but through energy efficiency and renewable fuels, like biofuels to replace oil.

Despite the steady supplies provided by the current U.S. drilling boom, “the increased domestic production of oil and natural gas is not a panacea for the country’s energy security dilemma,” they say.

And in blunt language, they criticize American policymakers and legislators for refusing to accept the “robust” scientific evidence that emissions of carbon dioxide are already causing harmful global warming, and for refusing to take actions that, if taken swiftly, could ward off its worst effects.

“Political leaders, including many in the United States, refuse to accept short-term costs to address long-term dangers even though the future costs of responding to disasters after they occur will be far greater,” said their report, published this month.

The report, in the works for a year, was released as President Obama prepared to ramp up the administration’s efforts on climate change, and while the State Department was immersed in its review of whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in the United States. …..(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

University of Michigan News Service | Some Americans are cooling off on global warming

http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21541-some-americans-are-cooling-off-on-global-warming
Published on Jun 19, 2013
Contact Greta Guest

ANN ARBOR—A complaint-worthy winter has led to a drop in the number of Americans who believe that global warming is real, according to a University of Michigan survey.

The percentage of Americans surveyed who think there is solid evidence of global warming remained at a majority, or 63 percent, in the spring. That’s down from 67 percent surveyed last fall, which was the highest since 2008.

“This drop suggests that the solid rebound in acceptance of global warming among Americans observed in recent surveys has, at least temporarily, ended,” said Barry Rabe, director of the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at U-M’s Ford School of Public Policy.

The results come from the National Surveys on Energy and Environment, a joint effort of U-M and the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.

“The fairly cold winter and slow arriving spring weather this year appears to have contributed to a slight decline in the number of Americans that think global warming is happening,” said Chris Borick, the survey’s co-author and director of the Muhlenberg Institute.

The telephone survey of 852 Americans between April 1 and April 14 had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points either way.

Other findings include:

  • Of the 22 percent of Americans who do not think there is evidence of global warming, a growing number cite their personal observations of cold and snowy winter conditions as the primary factor influencing this belief (31 percent versus 18 percent last fall).
  • Among Americans who express doubt about the existence of global warming, 16 percent cite religious factors as the primary reason for their skepticism, compared to less than 1 percent in fall 2008.
  • The spring results provide continuing evidence that while weather conditions may play a role in shifting individual positions on the existence of global warming, more often they tend to confirm existing beliefs on the presence or absence of global warming.

http://closup.umich.edu/national-surveys-on-energy-and-environment/4/the-chilling-effect-of-winter-2013-on-american-acceptance-of-global-warming/

http://closup.umich.edu/files/nsee-climate-belief-spring-2013.pdf

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2013/06/25-american-acceptance-global-warming-rabe-borick

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Climate-Science Denying Governor Perry Renews Declaration Of Drought Disaster Throughout Texas

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/23/2199171/climate-science-denying-governor-perry-renews-declaration-of-drought-disaster-throughout-texas/

By Jeff Spross on Jun 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

(Credit: AP photo)  Rick Perry, the Republican Governor of Texas and one of the country’s most prominent and outspoken climate change deniers, renewed a proclamation this past week declaring a drought emergency in over 200 counties throughout the state. The original declaration came on July 5, 2011. It suspended “all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat” as long as the disaster declaration remained in effect, and authorized “all necessary measures” to assist in responding.

“Record high temperatures, preceded by significantly low rainfall, have resulted in declining reservoir and aquifer levels, threatening water supplies and delivery systems in many parts of the state,” the proclamation states. “Prolonged dry conditions continue to increase the threat of wildfire across many portions of the state; and… these drought conditions have reached historic levels and continue to pose an imminent threat to public health, property and the economy.”

What’s striking about this frank admission of the way extreme weather is ravaging Texas is that it stands alongside Perry’s ongoing dogged refusalbacked by many of the state’s other Republicans — to acknowledge the science that links these weather shifts to climate change and human-driven global warming.

In the last few years, Perry has called the data on Global warming “doctored,” claimed the “so-called science” has been “hijacked by the political left,” and said “it’s all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.”

All the while, Texas is laboring under the third-worst drought to hit the state since record keeping began in 1895 — and that’s after enduring a series of droughts in the 2000s. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 95.24 percent of Texas’ area is in a category of dryness ranging from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought” — the latter being the most severe level. In May it was 98.55 percent, in September it was 90.87 percent, and last April it was 81.40 percent.

 

The heat and lack of precipitation has hit the state’s rice farmers and beef production industries especially hard. On top of that, Texas just lost a Supreme Court fight with Oklahoma over water rights, and has allocated $5 million for another water-based legal dispute with New Mexico. All told, the drought is costing Texas something on the level of 115,000 jobs and $11.9 billion in losses to its economy every year the dryness continues. All of which makes Perry’s blithe disregard for climate change’s potential to permanently remake rainfall patterns in his state especially disturbing. ….(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

House Republicans’ Response To Obama’s Climate Plan: Drill, Baby, Drill

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/28/2234351/house-republicans-response-to-obamas-climate-plan-drill-baby-drill/

By Michael Conathan, Guest Blogger on Jun 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

President Obama’s speech about climate change at Georgetown University on Tuesday laid out a comprehensive plan to deal with what ClimateProgress editor Joe Romm called “the moral urgency of cutting carbon pollution.” Not surprisingly, the President’s words have fallen on deaf ears on the Republican side of the aisle in the House of Representatives.

Today, less than a month after it was introduced, the House passed H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, by a vote of 235 to 186. The bill reads like Big Oil’s Christmas list. It would open virtually all of the U.S. Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast off Southern California, and much of Alaska’s offshore space to new drilling; require the Obama administration to create a new Five-Year Plan for offshore operations; and generally perpetuate an energy agenda driven by climate deniers.

And if the bill is a Christmas list, its lead sponsor Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), is playing the role of Santa Claus. Hastings rushed the bill through the Natural Resources Committee he chairs, holding a hearing (at which I testified) just two days after introducing the bill — without giving sufficient advance notice for the Department of the Interior to even send a witness to represent the administration’s position.

The Committee website describes the legislation as “a contrast to President Obama’s no-new-drilling, no-new-jobs plan.” But the truth in this statement ends with the word “contrast.” In fact, earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal described the offshore oil and gas industry under President Obama as “booming.”

Furthermore, the Big Oil fueled coalition supporting more offshore drilling does so while completely ignoring the fact that there are other, far more effective ways to create jobs in coastal communities. According to the National Ocean Economics Program, in 2011 the ocean economy accounted for 2.7 million jobs and contributed more than $250 billion to our GDP.

Nearly 2 million of those jobs occur in fisheries, tourism, and recreation — all industries that would be put at tremendous risk by expanded offshore drilling activity…..(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120