Daily Archives: January 28, 2018

American farmers on edge as NAFTA negotiations show little progress


Oil and gas companies are facing major technological disruption

The Economist

Published on Sep 20, 2016

Pressure to reduce carbon emissions is putting the future of fossil fuel giants in jeopardy. Their survival plans involve carbon storage and floating wind farms. Meanwhile, one small German village is showing how large companies aren’t always essential.

EPA Chief Under Nixon And Reagan: GOP’s Climate Denial Is ‘Killing Everything’ | HuffPost

Bettmann via Getty Images
William Ruckelshaus in 1970.

William Ruckelshaus, the first and fifth EPA administrator, has been a fierce critic of Scott Pruitt. By Alexander C. Kaufman

The nation’s first Environmental Protection Agency chief, who returned as administrator in 1983 under President Ronald Reagan, excoriated his own party on Friday, warning that Republicans’ ideological opposition to widely-accepted climate science would prove lethal.

“It’s a threat to the country,” William Ruckelshaus, whom President Richard Nixon appointed in 1970 to lead the newly-created EPA, told HuffPost in a wide-ranging interview by phone from his home in Seattle. “If you don’t step up and take care of real problems, and don’t do anything about it, lives will be sacrificed.”

“They certainly are killing everything,” he added, noting that President Donald Trump’s assault on climate change policies would be a cornerstone of his legacy.

Ruckelshaus, 85, has emerged over the past year as a fierce critic of current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

In March, less than a month after Pruitt was sworn into office, Ruckelshaus cautioned the former Oklahoma attorney general against gutting regulations and coddling polluting industries. He compared Pruitt’s zeal for deregulation to Anne Gorsuch, Reagan’s first EPA administrator, whom Ruckelshaus replaced after she resigned and was held in contempt of Congress. On Friday, he again drew parallels between the two.

“They don’t believe in the mission of the agency,” he said, adding that Pruitt is the only EPA administrator he has never met. “Neither one of them did. Anne Gorsuch did not, and I don’t think Pruitt does either. They think we’re over-regulating.”

…(read more).

Living on Earth: Extreme Weather Likely to Increase

This January 4th Geocolor image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-16 satellite captured the record ‘bomb cyclone’ nor’easter that battered the East Coast of the United States in January 2018. (Photo: NOAA)

Air Date: Week of January 26, 2018

2017 brought devastating storms and wildfires to the U.S., costing lives and a record $306 billion. Penn State University climate expert Michael Mann tells host Steve Curwood that global warming is making powerful storms and drought driven wildfires more likely. But Professor Mann says this is not a “new normal,” because the planet has not reached a new climate stability. Instead humanity is now facing an ever-increasing threat of unpredictable and extreme weather.


CURWOOD: From PRI, and the Jennifer and Ted Stanley Studios at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, this is Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood. Extreme weather events are the most likely major threats in 2018, and second only to weapons of mass destruction as risks with the potential of catastrophic impacts. That’s according to a study by the World Economic Forum, released at this year’s conclave in Davos, Switzerland, which, by the way, was disrupted by a record-breaking blizzard. We’ll have more on climate-related risk assessment later in the show, but first for a look at the science behind the dire weather predictions, we turn now to Penn State professor and atmospheric scientist Michael Mann. Michael, welcome back to Living on Earth!

MANN: Thanks. Great to be with you, Steve.

CURWOOD: So, what a lot of people want to know, including me, is: this past year we saw a lot of extreme weather that seems to be connected to the added effects of climate disruption – three killer hurricanes, there were these monster fires, the massive landslides. So, how much of what we saw this past year was just a perfect storm or how close are we to some sort of a new normal, do you think?

MANN: Yeah, well we probably won’t be facing a new normal in the sense that a new normal implies that we reach some new sort of equilibrium and that’s where things stay, whereas what we’re looking at is an ever-shifting baseline. If we continue to emit these warming gases, greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere then the heat waves will become more frequent and more intense – droughts, wildfires, floods. We are seeing a taste of what’s in store and there’s no question in my mind that in the unprecedented extreme weather that we’ve seen over the past year, we can see the fingerprint of human influence on our climate.

…(read more).

Why is the world running out of sand?

Al Jazeera English
Published on Jan 28, 2018

Sand is one of the most-consumed natural resources on the planet. The United Nations estimates that mining of sand and gravel may exceed 40 billion tonnes a year. Due to the high demand for sand, the planet’s reserves are now being threatened.

Revealing What Our Leaders Are Not Telling Us: Noam Chomsky (2008)

The Film Archives
Published on Dec 17, 2017

Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist.
About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/087… Sometimes described as “the father of modern linguistics,”

Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He has influenced Michael Albert, Julian Assange, John Backus,[11] Derek Bickerton, Bono,[12] Julian C. Boyd, Jean Bricmont, Hugo Chávez, Daniel Dennett,[13] Daniel Everett, Clinton Fernandes, Norman Finkelstein, Robert Fisk, Jerry Fodor, Amy Goodman, Stephen Jay Gould,[14] Glenn Greenwald, Gilbert Harman, Marc Hauser, Christopher Hitchens,[12] Norbert Hornstein, Niels Kaj Jerne, Naomi Klein,[12] Donald Knuth,[15] Peter Ludlow, Colin McGinn,[16] Michael Moore,[12] John Nichols, Ann Nocenti,[17] John Pilger,[12] Steven Pinker,[18] Harold Pinter,[12] Tanya Reinhart, Arundhati Roy, Edward Said,[19] John Searle,[20] Neil Smith, Aaron Swartz,[21] Crispin Wright,[13] and many others.

His influences include J. L. Austin, Mikhail Bakunin,[1] Alex Carey,[2] C. West Churchman, William Chomsky, René Descartes,[3] John Dewey, Nelson Goodman, Morris Halle, Zellig Harris, Hebrew literature,[4] Wilhelm von Humboldt,[1] David Hume,[5] Roman Jakobson, Immanuel Kant,[6] Martin Luther King, Jr.,[7] Karl Korsch, Peter Kropotkin,[8] Karl Liebknecht, John Locke, Rosa Luxemburg, Dwight Macdonald,[9] Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, George Armitage Miller, George Orwell, W. V. O. Quine, Pāṇini, Anton Pannekoek, Jean Piaget, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Hilary Putnam,[10] David Ricardo, Rudolf Rocker, Bertrand Russell, Russian literature,[4] Diego Abad de Santillán, Ferdinand de Saussure, Marcel-Paul Schützenberger, Adam Smith, Leon Trotsky, Alan Turing, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Noam Chomsky interview on Dissent (1988)

Manufacturing Intellect
Published on Sep 15, 2017

Noam Chomsky, “America’s Leading Dissenter,” answers questions about dissent and democracy with Bill Moyers.

»»﴿───► Check out the Noam Chomsky Playlist for more: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…
»»﴿───► See more on the Authors Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…
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On the face of it, this seems the worst of times for the political radical. The consensus seems to be that dissent died with the ’60s. People today are too contented and too rich, or too poor and put upon to protest anything; we’ve become a nation of couch potatoes. But stop a minute and consider this: in 1988, at the height of the Reagan-Bush era, more than 500 students were arrested in campus political protests and over 3,000 people were arrested protesting against nuclear arms. In this program with Bill Moyers, Noam Chomsky shares his thoughts about the meaning of protest today. Chomsky believes in the blunt scrutiny of national power, arbitrary government, and injustice. He discusses the decline of political democracy, and his admiration for the common sense and creativity of ordinary people.

Antarctica’s Weddell Sea ‘deserves protected status’ – BBC News

BBC News

Published on Jan 28, 2018

A submersible mission in Antarctic waters has revealed unique ecosystems so rare they deserve special protection, say scientists. The seabed investigation, co-ordinated by the campaign group Greenpeace, will help build the case for the creation of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuary.

US and Russian secret service collaboration on climate change | DW Documentary

DW Documentary

Published on Jan 28, 2018

After the Cold War, climate change was the driving force behind unusual political cooperation between secret services in the United States and in Russia. The story of how climate change forced the American secret services to collaborate with their erstwhile Russian adversaries in the aftermath of the Cold War is not widely known. But the perceived threat of global warming transcended diplomatic and ideological fault lines and forced the two rival blocs to collaborate.

Right after the end of the Cold War the CIA, one of the biggest and most powerful intelligence agencies in the world, focused intensively on the controversial issue of global warming. The magnitude of climate change created an almost unthinkable collaboration with Moscow’s military intelligence service, GRU.

The report is both a political thriller and a science documentary at the same time, not only looking at secret research projects but also some extraordinary friendships that grew out of the joint venture. At first, the intelligence agents and scientists eyed each other with suspicion, but soon they developed close personal relationships and came to share an almost utopian vision of a better future.

HD: Arctic Melt Time Lapse – Nature’s Great Events: The Great Melt – BBC One