Daily Archives: April 5, 2015

‘Drone pilots, please, refuse to fly’: US vets launch anti-UAV ads campaign


RT

Published on Apr 5, 2015

Anti-drone campaign ads have hit television screens in the US, with the aim of ending the deadly attacks. The commercials were paid for by none other than US military veterans.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Noam Chomsky, “Masters of Mankind”


BookTV

Published on Apr 5, 2015

Noam Chomsky discusses his latest book of essays with David Barsamian of Alternative Radio. This event, hosted by the Lannan Foundation, was held at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Harvesting the Coffee Farms – This World: The Coffee Trail With Simon Reeve


BBCWorldwide

Published on Apr 5, 2015

Simon visits a coffee farm in the Central Highlands of Vietnam where he gets hands on with harvesting coffee.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Pope Francis and the Environment: Yale Examines Historic Climate Encyclical

On April 8, Yale will host a panel discussion on how Pope Francis’s upcoming encyclical on the environment could transform the global climate debate for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

On April 8, Yale University will host a panel discussion on Pope Francis’s upcoming Encyclical, in which he is expected to declare climate action a moral imperative for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. In this video, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, co-directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, explain why the Encyclical is important — and why Yale is hosting this event.

This summer Pope Francis is expected to issue a rare Papal Encyclical on the environment in which he is expected to declare climate action a moral imperative for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The encyclical — or “papal letter” — will be the first in the church’s history that addresses environmental issues specifically.

At Yale on April 8, a panel of experts from across several disciplines will discuss the potential impacts of this event — and how it might transform the global climate debate for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

The panel event, “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Linsly Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street, Room 102, New Haven.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate One

Climate One at The Commonwealth Club is a thriving leadership dialogue on energy, the environment and the economy. It brings together top thinkers and doers from business, government, academia and advocacy groups to advance the discussion about a clean energy future. Here are some topics recently covered by Climate One:

Building & Land Use: According to the famous McKinsey carbon abatement curves, transportation and commercial and residential buildings offer some of the greatest opportunities for lifecycle cost savings and carbon reductions.

Food & Agriculture: Agriculture’s sensitivity to dramatic changes in weather puts our food production in grave danger. With Silicon Valley nearby, California’s Central Valley provides not only sustainable food and agriculture, but also sustainable innovation.

EVs & Transportation: With rising oil prices and President Obama instating a vehicle fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, car companies will need to invest heavily in change to keep up with green demand. What changes are needed for car companies to develop sexy electric vehicles and reach the new CAFÉ standard?

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Mounting Evidence has Republican Climate Change Deniers on Thin Ice for 2016


TheRealNews

Published on Apr 5, 2015

Subhankar Banerjee & Michael E. Mann reveals the mounting body of evidence that disruptions in the arctic sea ice is impacting not only in the northern hemisphere but also connected to what is happening to the water supply in California

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

On Institutional Stupidity | Noam Chomsky

By Noam Chomsky, Philosophy Now, 4 April 15

aturally I am very pleased to be granted this honour, and to be able to accept this award also in the name of my colleague Edward Herman, the co-author of Manufacturing Consent, who himself has done a great deal of outstanding work on this crucial topic. Of course, we’re not the first people to have addressed it.

Predictably, one of the earlier ones was George Orwell. He’s written a not very well known essay that is the introduction of his famous book Animal Farm. It’s not known because it wasn’t published – it was found decades later in his unpublished papers, but it is now available. In this essay he points out that Animal Farm is obviously a satire on the totalitarian enemy; but he urges people in free England to not feel too self-righteous about that, because as he puts it, in England, unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force. He goes on to give examples of what he means, and only a few sentences of explanation, but I think they’re to the point.

One reason, he says, is that the press is owned by wealthy men who have every interest in not having certain ideas expressed. His second is a interesting point, that we didn’t go into but should have: a good education. If you go to the best schools you have instilled into you the understanding that there are certain things it just wouldn’t do to say. That, Orwell claims, is a powerful hook that goes well beyond the influence of the media.

Stupidity comes in many forms. I’d like to say a few words on one particular form that I think may be the most troubling of all. We might call it ‘institutional stupidity’. It’s a kind of stupidity that’s entirely rational within the framework within which it operates: but the framework itself ranges from grotesque to virtual insanity.

Instead of trying to explain it, it may be more helpful to mention a couple of examples to illustrate what I mean. Thirty years ago, in the early eighties – the early Reagan years – I wrote an article called ‘The Rationality of Collective Suicide’. It was concerned with nuclear strategy, and was about how perfectly intelligent people were designing a course of collective suicide in ways that were reasonable within their framework of geostrategic analysis.

I did not know at the time quite how bad the situation was. We have learnt a lot since. For instance, a recent issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists presents a study of false alarms from the automatic detection systems the US and others use to detect incoming missile attacks and other threats that could be perceived as nuclear attack. The study ran from 1977 to 1983, and it estimates that during this period there were a minimum of about 50 such false alarms, and a maximum of about 255. These were alarms aborted by human intervention, preventing disaster by a matter of a few minutes.

It’s plausible to assume that nothing substantial has changed since then. But it actually gets much worse – which I also did not understand at the time of writing the book.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth

By ADAM NAGOURNEY, JACK HEALY and NELSON D. SCHWARTZAPRIL 4, 2015

The 25 percent cut in water consumption ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown raises fundamental questions about what life in California will be like in the years ahead, and even whether this state faces the prospect of people leaving for wetter climates — assuming, as Mr. Brown and other state leaders do, that this marks a permanent change in the climate, rather than a particularly severe cyclical drought.

This state has survived many a catastrophe before — and defied the doomsayers who have regularly proclaimed the death of the California dream — as it emerged, often stronger, from the challenges of earthquakes, an energy crisis and, most recently, a budgetary collapse that forced years of devastating cuts in spending. These days, the economy is thriving, the population is growing, the state budget is in surplus, and development is exploding from Silicon Valley to San Diego; the evidence of it can be seen in the construction cranes dotting the skylines of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been the state’s engine has run against the limits of nature.

LOS ANGELES — For more than a century, California has been the state where people flocked for a better life — 164,000 square miles of mountains, farmland and coastline, shimmering with ambition and dreams, money and beauty. It was the cutting-edge symbol of possibility: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, aerospace, agriculture and vineyards.

But now a punishing drought — and the unprecedented measures the state announced last week to compel people to reduce water consumption — is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been this state’s driving engine has run against the limits of nature.

…(read more).

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Watering California’s Farms | NYT Editorial

California’s snowpack is now so low that when Gov. Jerry Brown visited a measurement station on Wednesday, there was no snow to measure. “We are standing on dry grass, and we should be standing on five feet of snow,” he said. The low snowpack — at 6 percent of normal — is further evidence of the seriousness of the state’s drought as well as another reminder of the excruciating choices facing California’s citizens and policy makers as they struggle to cope with it.

The governor’s executive order imposing mandatory water use reductions of 25 percent on California’s cities and towns will help. But those restrictions don’t apply to California’s giant agriculture industry, which accounts for 80 percent of the state’s water use. The order expands planning and reporting requirements for agricultural water use, but it does not impose specific cuts.

Farms in California draw water from three sources: federal and state water projects, waterways they have the right to divert and groundwater reserves. Two of these sources have been compromised by the drought. This year, the state water project will deliver only one-fifth of the amount requested by users; the federal water project will deliver zero. And farms with newer water rights have been told to stop drawing from the state’s waterways; some farms with older water rights have so far avoided such directives, though they may be affected in the future.

But there are no restrictions on tapping groundwater, and the state says it has no immediate plans to impose them. Officials say that groundwater reserves are meant to be a resource in a drought. That’s all well and good if the drought ends relatively soon, but prolonged tapping of groundwater can cause the land to sink, increasing flood risk and impairing the soil’s ability to store groundwater in the future. A 2013 report by the United States Geological Survey found that one area in central California had already subsided more than 20 inches between 2008 and 2010. And the tapping of groundwater even during nondrought years has made the problem worse.

A law passed in September requires local agencies to develop plans for groundwater sustainability, but it does not require them to actually achieve sustainability until 2040.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice
Food-Matters