By Lance Simmens In 1993 then Vice-President Al Gore was instrumental in establishing the Federal Government’s first Office of Sustainable Development in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. I, along with former New Bedford, Massachusetts Mayor John Bullard, was tapped to turn the concept of the office into a reality. One of the first tasks we faced under direct orders from Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was to come up with an operational definition of sustainable development. Over the course of several weeks we did our research into contemporary uses and definitions of the concept but in the end went decidedly simple and reported back to the Secretary that sustainable development was little more than a euphemism for long-term planning. Eureka! That was perfect, it was understandable and could be easily explained to a largely uninitiated public, exclaimed the Secretary. From that moment on we dedicated ourselves to formulating and implementing a series of sustainable development initiatives in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Gulf of Mexico that incorporated fisheries management regimes with economic development that would have profound impacts upon the communities and individuals that relied upon the commercial fishing industry. I have spent nearly 40 years in politics, government and public policy and I use this as an illustrative example of one of the most important precepts that often does not receive appropriate attention but should serve as the foundation for public policies and programs across a wide spectrum of issues. And this is particularly true in the arena of resource issues. In my just released book entitled “The Evolution of a Revolution: An Attack Upon Reason, Compromise, and the Constitution” I delineate six conceptual criteria for unchaining the current system of government and governance from the dysfunctional shackles that currently render us incapable of addressing issues of any significance, let alone those that critically need action. One of those key criterion is supplanting short-term thinking in our political and governance systems with long-term thinking. This, combined with replacing leadership with statesmanship, which requires vision and wisdom, will go a long way towards resolving our current predicament. In my estimation there is no more serious long-term problem facing the human species than the issue of climate change. Unless we develop a sustainable approach geared towards curbing our insatiable appetite for activities that pump unsustainable levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere we are dooming future generations. An integral component of any definition for sustainability is to ensure that we leave the earth in at least as good a shape if not better than we found it. If we do not immediately move to shift the predominant economic and energy paradigm governing the world from one based upon fossil fuels to one reliant upon renewable energy sources we have no hope whatsoever of fulfilling even the most basic definition of sustainability. Yet Democrats and Republicans alike seem to have been hoodwinked by a fossil fuel industrial complex into believing that continued reliance upon this finite, carbon-emitting resource holds the key to our future. The senselessness of that last sentence is mind-boggling in its absurdity yet evidences the current degree of disregard for common sense. coque iphone That it is often accompanied by wholesale rejection of science or intellectualism only exacerbates the current state of inertia we are witnessing with regard to our reluctance to confront the crisis that stands naked before our very eyes. coque iphone 8 If this nation is unwilling to lead on the issue of sustainability despite being the most egregious trespasser upon the commons, the incentive for developing or developed nations to do will melt faster than ice in the Artic. coque iphone en ligne The current rage is fracking. The United States is in the middle of a fracking frenzy, tapping into shale plays from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, Ohio to Texas, Louisiana to California in search of fool’s gold that until several years ago could not be unearthed in an economically viable way. Technological advances that have made hydraulic fracturing possible effectively crowd out important investments in renewable energy and fatten the coffers of an oil and gas lobby that thrives in a post Citizens United political environment. This is an industry in which the top five corporations reaped $93 billion in net profits in 2013, a dramatic reduction from years past but still prodigious enough to shape tax and energy policies at will in State Capitols, the Halls of Congress, and the White House. All the while the observable manifestations of such a reckless disregard for the economic and environmental impacts of climate change, both short-term and long-term, continue to mount. And from a sustainable point of view other issues that are becoming increasingly documented point to the destructive nature of the extractive industry. They include: adverse impacts upon water, both quantity and quality; adverse impacts upon air contamination; adverse impacts upon public health; and an increasingly troublesome cause and effect relationship between drilling, waste disposal and seismic activity. The incidence of earthquakes has increased dramatically in places where they are common and in places where they are relatively unheard of, such as Ohio. coque iphone Failure to face the fallacy that fracking for fossil fuels is the future is potentially fatal. The fossil fools perpetrating this inter-generational injustice place profits over people. It is wrong on so many fronts but most of all it is an affront to our sensibilities. It is quite simply unsustainable. It was brought to my attention several years ago that the planet will survive climate change. When I asked whether the species would survive a famous earth sciences professor explained that that was a very different question. coque iphone xs max To quote Carl Sagan, “The Earth is the only world known to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.” In other words, there is no Planet B. Lance Simmens has worked for two Presidents, two U.S. Senators, two Governors, and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. He is currently living in California and actively involved in grassroots efforts opposing fracking. He is the author of “The Evolution of a Revolution”, published by Inkwell Productions.
The Sky Really Is Falling – Global Warming
by Chris Hedges (Published on Monday, May 30, 2011 by TruthDig.com) The rapid and terrifying acceleration of global warming, which is disfiguring the ecosystem at a swifter pace than even the gloomiest scientific studies predicted a few years ago, has been confronted by the power elite with equal parts of self-delusion. There are those, many of whom hold elected office, who dismiss the science and empirical evidence as false. There are others who accept the science surrounding global warming but insist that the human species can adapt. Our only salvation—the rapid dismantling of the fossil fuel industry—is ignored by both groups. And we will be led, unless we build popular resistance movements and carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience, toward collective self-annihilation by dimwitted Pied Pipers and fools. Global climate change has made for freak storms and more intense weather. soldes coque iphone The result is Hurricane Katrina, this month’s devastating tornadoes and floods, and routine forest fires in California. Here, a tornado touches down in Iowa in 2008. (AP / Lori Mehmen) Those who concede that the planet is warming but insist we can learn to live with it are perhaps more dangerous than the buffoons who decide to shut their eyes. It is horrifying enough that the House of Representatives voted 240-184 this spring to defeat a resolution that said that “climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.” But it is not much of an alternative to trust those who insist we can cope with the effects while continuing to burn fossil fuels. coque iphone Horticulturalists are busy planting swamp oaks and sweet gum trees all over Chicago to prepare for weather that will soon resemble that of Baton Rouge. That would be fine if there was a limit to global warming in sight. But without plans to rapidly dismantle the fossil fuel industry, something no one in our corporate state is contemplating, the heat waves of Baton Rouge will be a starting point for a descent that will ultimately make cities like Chicago unlivable. The false promise of human adaptability to global warming is peddled by the polluters’ major front group, the U.S. coque iphone 6 Chamber of Commerce, which informed the Environmental Protection Agency that “populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological, and technological adaptations.” This bizarre theory of adaptability has been embraced by the Obama administration as it prepares to exploit the natural resources in the Arctic. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced recently that melting of sea ice “will result in more shipping, fishing and tourism, and the possibility to develop newly accessible oil and gas reserves.” Now that’s something to look forward to. “It is good that at least those guys are taking it seriously, far more seriously than the federal government is taking it,” said the author and environmental activist Bill McKibben of the efforts in cities such as Chicago to begin to adapt to warmer temperatures. “At least they understand that they have some kind of problem coming at them. But they are working off the science of five or six years ago, which is still kind of the official science that the International Climate Change negotiations are working off of. They haven’t begun to internalize the idea that the science has shifted sharply. coque iphone 8 We are no longer talking about a long, slow, gradual, linear warming, but something that is coming much more quickly and violently. Seven or eight years ago it made sense to talk about putting permeable concrete on the streets. Now what we are coming to realize is that the most important adaptation we can do is to stop putting carbon in the atmosphere. If we don’t, we are going to produce temperature rises so high that there is no adapting to them.” The Earth has already begun to react to our hubris. Freak weather unleashed deadly tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. It has triggered wildfires that have engulfed large tracts in California, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. It has brought severe droughts to the Southwest, parts of China and the Amazon. coque iphone xr It has caused massive flooding along the Mississippi as well as in Australia, New Zealand, China and Pakistan. It is killing off the fish stocks in the oceans and obliterating the polar ice caps. Steadily rising sea levels will eventually submerge coastal cities, islands and some countries. These disturbing weather patterns presage a world where it will be harder and harder to sustain human life. Massive human migrations, which have already begun, will create chaos and violence. India is building a 4,000-kilometer fence along its border with Bangladesh to, in part, hold back the refugees who will flee if Bangladesh is submerged. There are mounting food shortages and sharp price increases in basic staples such as wheat as weather patterns disrupt crop production. The failed grain harvests in Russia, China and Australia, along with the death of the winter wheat crop in Texas, have, as McKibben points out, been exacerbated by the inability of Midwestern farmers to plant corn in water-logged fields. These portents of an angry Gaia are nothing compared to what will follow if we do not swiftly act. “We are going to have to adapt a good deal,” said McKibben, with whom I spoke by phone from his home in Vermont. “It is going to be a century that calls for being resilient and durable. Most of that adaptation is going to take the form of economies getting smaller and lower to the ground, local food, local energy, things like that. But that alone won’t do it, because the scale of change we are now talking about is so great that no one can adapt to it. Temperatures have gone up one degree so far and that has been enough to melt the Arctic. If we let it go up three or four degrees, the rule of thumb the agronomists go by is every degree Celsius of temperature rise represents about a 10 percent reduction in grain yields. If we let it go up three or four degrees we are really not talking about a planet that can support a civilization anything like the one we’ve got.” “I have sympathy for those who are trying hard to figure out how to adapt, but they are behind the curve of the science by a good deal,” he said. “I have less sympathy for the companies that are brainwashing everyone along the line ‘We’re taking small steps here and there to improve.’ The problem, at this point, is not going to be dealt with by small steps. It is going to be dealt with by getting off fossil fuel in the next 10 or 20 years or not at all.” “The most appropriate thing going on in Chicago right now is that Greenpeace occupied [on Thursday] the coal-fired power plant in Chicago,” he said. “That’s been helpful. It reminded people what the real answers are. We’re going to see more civil disobedience. I hope we are. I am planning hard for some stuff this summer.” “The cast that we are about is essentially political and symbolic,” McKibben admitted. coque iphone “There is no actual way to shut down the fossil fuel system with our bodies. It is simply too big. It’s far too integrated in everything we do. The actions have to be symbolic, and the most important part of that symbolism is to make it clear to the onlookers that those of us doing this kind of thing are not radical in any way. We are conservatives. The real radicals in this scenario are people who are willing to fundamentally alter the composition of the atmosphere. I can’t think of a more radical thing that any human has ever thought of doing. If it wasn’t happening it would be like the plot from a Bond movie.” “The only way around this is to defeat the system, and the name of that system is the fossil fuel industry, which is the most profitable industry in the world by a large margin,” McKibben said. “Fighting it is extraordinarily difficult. Maybe you can’t do it. The only way to do it is to build a movement big enough to make a difference. And that is what we are trying desperately to do with 350.org. It is something we should have done 20 years ago, instead of figuring that we were going to fight climate change by convincing political elites that they should do something about this problem. It is a tactic that has not worked.” “One of our big targets this year is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is the biggest front group for fossil fuel there is,” he said. “We are figuring out how to take them on. I don’t think they are worried about us yet. And maybe they are right not to be because they’ve got so much money they’re invulnerable.” “There are huge decisive battles coming,” he said. “This year the Obama administration has to decide whether it will grant a permit or not for this giant pipeline to run from the tar sands of Alberta down to the refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. That is like a 1,500-mile fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet. We have to figure out how to keep that from happening. The Obama administration, very sadly, a couple of months ago opened 750 million tons of western coal under federal land for mining. That was a disgrace. But they still have to figure out how to get it to port so they can ship it to China, which is where the market for it is. We are trying hard to keep that from happening. I’m on my way to Bellingham, Wash., next week because there is a plan for a deep-water port in Bellingham that would allow these giant freighters to show up and collect that coal.” “In moral terms it’s all our personal responsibility and we should be doing those things,” McKibben said when I asked him about changing our own lifestyles to conserve energy. “But don’t confuse that with having much of an impact on the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. You can’t make the math work one house or one campus at a time. We should do those things. I’ve got a little plaque for having built the most energy-efficient house in Vermont the year we built it. I’ve got solar panels everywhere. But I don’t confuse myself into thinking that that’s actually doing very much. This argument is a political argument. I spend much of my life on airplanes spewing carbon behind me as we try to build a global movement. Either we are going to break the power of the fossil fuel industry and put a price on carbon or the planet is going to heat past the point where we can deal with it.” “It goes far beyond party affiliation or ideology,” he said. “Fossil fuel undergirds every ideology we have. Breaking with it is going to be a traumatic and difficult task. The natural world is going to continue to provide us, unfortunately, with many reminders about why we have to do that. Sooner or later we will wise up. The question is all about that sooner or later.” “I’d like people to go to climatedirectaction.org and sign up,” McKibben said. “We are going to be issuing calls for people to be involved in civil disobedience. I’d like people to join in this campaign against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It’s very easy to sign up. If you don’t own a little business yourself you probably shop at 10 or 20 of them a week. It’s very easy to sign those guys up to say the U.S. Chamber doesn’t speak for me. We can’t take away their [the Chamber’s] money, but we can take away some of their respectability. I would like people to demonstrate their solidarity with people all around the world in this fight. The next big chance to do that will be Sept. 24, a huge global day of action that we’re calling ‘Moving Planet.’ It will be largely bicycle based, because the bicycle is one of the few tools that both rich and poor use and because it is part of the solution we need. On that day we will be delivering demands via bicycle to every capital and statehouse around the world.” “I wish there was some easy ‘end around,’ some backdoor through which we could go to get done what needs to be done,” he said. “But that’s not going to happen. That became clear at Copenhagen and last summer when the U.S. Senate refused to take a vote on the most mild, tepid climate legislation there could have been. We are going to have to build a movement that pushes the fossil fuel industry aside. I don’t know whether that’s possible. If you were to bet you might well bet we will lose. We have been losing for two decades. But you are not allowed to make that bet. The only moral action, when the worst thing that ever happened in the world is happening, is to try and figure out how to change those odds.” “At least they knew they were going to win,” he said of the civil rights movement. soldes coque iphone “They didn’t know when, but they knew they were going to win, that the tide of history was on their side. But the arch of the physical universe appears to be short and appears to bend towards heat. We’ve got to win quickly if we’re going to win. We’ve already passed the point where we’re going to stop global warming. It has already warmed a degree and there is another degree in the pipeline from carbon already emitted. The heat gets held in the ocean for a while, but it’s already there. We’ve already guaranteed ourselves a miserable century.
What is a Retrograde Planet?
When a planet is said to be in retrograde that planet is not technically moving backwards, it only appears, from our perspective and view, to be doing so. coque iphone x The influence of the retrograde planet operates more predominately at an inner level, rather than an outer level, more yin than yang in application. The gift of the retrograde is creative and contemplative, not action oriented. It is characterized by a slowing down in progress as well as delays. coque iphone Projects do not have to be suspended or abandoned, at the same time, patience is required as they may not meet goals and expectations as quickly as planned, and glitches may sidetrack the most well thought through strategies. The opportunity of a retrograde is the use of this time to adjust expectations, assess goals, invest time in revisiting, revising, reevaluating, researching and reconsidering new approaches. coque iphone 6 Rather acting on ideas, use creative approaches to fine tune your plans, and reconsider what you may have discarded. coque iphone It’s a time to take a second look. coque iphone 8 It is not a favorable time to sign new contracts, launch new projects, or enter into new agreements. vente de coque iphone Although retrogrades test our patience they also offer the gifts of second chances, and finding a better way.
This Is What A Green NYC Could Look Like
The Huffington Post | by Kevin Short Posted: 03/24/2014 New York City is many things, but sustainable it is not. coque iphone The people of New York City require some 4 million acres of food-producing land — roughly the size of the entire state of Connecticut — just to produce all the food they eat annually, according to Terreform Research Group, a sustainable architecture firm. soldes coque iphone That’s a problem, especially since the energy used to transport foods from around the globe to American dinner plate is a significant contributor to climate change. Even food grown within North America travels more than 1,200 miles on average from where it was grown. Those so-called “food-miles” are why researchers at Terreform set out to determine what the biggest city in the U.S. vente de coque iphone would look like if it could produce all the food and energy needed to power itself. And in a city with so little available space, it’s no surprise that figuring out how to pack all that food production within the city limits proved quite a challenge. What they developed was the New York (Steady) State project, a self-described “thought-experiment” that envisions a wholly self-sufficient New York. In this dream scenario, the city meets the needs of its citizens by repurposing structures into food-producing towers. coque iphone 7 Their architectural renderings reflect a New York that produces all that food within the five boroughs using a “cradle-to-cradle” system with minimal pollution. coque iphone 2019 (The team assumed that New York’s 8.5 million residents each require 2,500 calories per day.) For now, the tremendously ambitious plan remains a pipe dream. But the design firm’s president, Michael Sorkin, said it provides the city with an “encyclopedic” roadmap to a more sustainable future. “[The New York (Steady) State project] allows us to truly test the limits of the possibility for direct action to save the planet,” Sorkin wrote in an email to HuffPost. “Our investigation takes place at every scale, from the window box to the apartment, to the building, block, neighborhood, and city.” Here’s some of what they envision: Green roofs would cover nearly every Manhattan building.