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Showing posts from February, 2012

Tax the Oil Companies

February 27, 2012 - Fighting climate change by taxing carbon pollution has been given a new lease on life.  An op-ed appeared in the Washington Post within the last few days, authored by two current and two past members of Congress.  The strategy they endorse addresses two sets of problems: fiscal and environmental. Carbon producers wish to pay as little tax as possible, and would find themselves taking a renewed interest in emissions reduction.  At the same time, emissions are difficult to eliminate completely, thereby producing an income stream for the government.  Can you say "deficit reduction?"

Considering that Exxon and Chevron were two of the most profitable (nos. 1 and 3) businesses in the country last year - and that they accomplished this by shamelessly pouring toxins into the air that you and I breathe - the two companies not only are, without question, beholden to the citizens of this country, but plainly capable of paying the proposed tax.  The carbon pollution …

The Meaning of Deforestation

February 20, 2012 - Have you seen that picture of the Amazon that looks like it ought to be captioned "Iowa Farmland?"  It's been awhile since I saw it, but it's difficult to forget my dumbfounded surprise when I realized it was actually a picture of the Amazon rainforest.  I recall lovely rows of something being grown - it was resplendently green - with a pathetic patch of forest, growing so avidly it broke the heart to see its eagerness, having been beaten back into a corner of the picture.  My gosh, didn't my soul just ache.  If it were possible to take a picture of avarice, that surely was it.  What a loss, what a loss, what a loss.

All the more reason, then, for the rest of the world to take care of their forest heritage.  I have good news to share on that point, good in more ways than one.  A federal appeals court in Denver has refused to review the Clinton administration's rule barring most logging and road building in nearly 60 million acres of nation…

Those Who Already Know

February 14, 2012 - Happy Valentine's Day - here's wishing you the pleasures of loving and being loved.  I'm late because of a nasty cold, but it's time to get myself pulled together.  Climate Change waits for no one!

Mostly, I've been hearing about the cold snap in Europe this winter.  I haven't kept up with how the British are faring, but past brutal winters have caused an alarming death rate amongst old-age pensioners; perhaps the British government will have understood by now that their intervention can make the difference between life and death.  Not surprisingly, the homeless are a primary source of unhappy statistics elsewhere.  In Australia, Queenslander's are once again dealing with widespread flooding.

While none of us wishes Europeans or Australians ill, these two groups face climatic challenges armed with copious amounts of information, and at least the possiblity of paying for the necessary shelters, fuel, and damage control.  The same cannot b…

A Few Good Websites

February 7, 2012 - Hi everybody, glad to be back at last.  You know, I have friends who are very hip to permaculture, the need to end environmental degradation, and organic farm products, but who still can't get their minds wrapped around climate change.  They can't see it playing out in their town or neighborhood, so what's the worry?  Whenever I find myself talking to such people, I've wished I could whip out a fact like "Don't you realize that over 12,000 climatologists worldwide believe that global warming is a real threat to human existence?"  I still don't have that number at the ready (it's not 12,000 - I made that up), but I have found a website called 100 Top Climate Change Sites - http://www.world.org/weo/climate.  I though I'd give at least some of them a look and tell you what I think.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions -http://www.pewclimate.org/ (formerly The Pew Center on Global Climate Change) is ranked number 1 on this…