The Beauty of Change, the Basics for Survival, Earth Unplugged

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Basics for Survival, Earth Unplugged

The Beauty of Change, Essay 1, the Basic Steps…

Simple Steps for Improving Your Life:

  1. Cherish what you have. Appreciate your life, family, friends, and your blessings given by our planet and ‘Mother Nature.’  Everything comes from Nature. Every material object in your life came from our Earth, at a great cost. The planet cannot keep up with our consumption. Give back to Nature, recycle what you do not need, it is made from precious material. Watch what you throw away, are you really giving back to Nature by dumping into her earth and water what you have consumed and no longer want?
  2. Recognize that you have what you need. If you have a home, food, water, you have enough. Everything else is a want. The First World (us) has taken too much from a finite planet (the only one we have). We are stripping our planet of its resources for our pleasure, leaving little for the rest of humanity. We choose not to see what our selfishness has caused, and the suffering of the Third World, who is starving and thirsty. I know we can do better.
  3.  Simplify your life. Having less material objects creates a space that you will enjoy more. Give away or sell what you do not need, someone else can use it. Eating less and more healthy simple foods will increase your enjoyment also. Growing your own organic foods gives pleasure, knowing that you are working with, and in nature. Your body is part of Nature, give it simple good food, and it will reward you with good health. Learn to recognize what will enhance your diet, and create good health. Eat less high resource foods: meat, out of season fruits and vegetables (they have probably traveled more that you have), factory created foods (processed, and dead, also well traveled).

What Easy Improvements I Made to Enjoy My Life More:

  • I sold my large house, and downsized (2003)…AND use way less power. Easier to clean, more time to spend outside in Nature
  • I became a vegetarian (1995)…I grow my own food, and my protein is from fruits and vegetables, legumes, and eggs from my chicken, AND have great health. I eat less and enjoy it more. I don’t eat GMO corn or soy products (they are hidden in packaged food).
  • I use less energy in my new home, replace your light bulbs with more energy efficient CFL’s…Check your appliance efficiency. My heater is on a low setting, so I dress warm.
  • Gave up TV (1995)…The new flat screen TV’s use 2x to 4x the energy of the old tube ones. Again, I am outside in Nature, or reading, or painting.
  • Unplug what you are not using, standby mode uses electricity….
  • I sold my super cool Black & Silver Dodge Ram truck, and bought a small Toyota pickup, now I have downsized again, being given a free car that has great gas mileage.
  • I found something useful to do, and am getting a teaching credential, AND blogging about climate change.
  • I stopped buying what I do not need. Yes, even Christmas presents, I bought everyone socks for Christmas! I make my own beer and wine (another blog), and gave as Christmas presents).
  • I recycle everything. I have a compost pile, recycle cans, jars, plastic, etc., I have very little trash to send back into the Earth.
Starting the Garden
Starting the Garden
Growing the Garden
Growing the Garden
Eating the Garden
Eating the Garden
Mother Nature

Mother Nature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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BBC Program on Fracking, featuring Professor Iain Stewart.

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

iain_stewart

Professor Iain Stewart

***

Letter written to Professor Stewart by Lack of Environment, author Martin Lack: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

Herewith appended below is an email I sent today to Professor Iain Stewart (and copied to all those named in it).

Dear Professor Stewart,

I wanted to express my appreciation for the sensitive way in which you handled the issues in last night’s Horizon programme and for all the facts, figures and research findings it contained.  I was particularly interested in the evidence that shale gas has escaped from poorly-constructed wells in the USA.  Even if the UK can improve on the 6 to 7% failure rate in the USA, 100% success (i.e. no failures) is highly improbable.  Therefore, if fracking must be pursued (for whatever reason), this would make it imperative that the BGS establish baseline monitoring for methane as soon as possible. Would it be possible to get a copy of the transcript of the programme (or a list of References)?

Given my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog.  However, having started out very much opposed to both Fracking and CCS, my position has evolved as a consequence of ‘exchanges of views’ I had last year with Professor Peter Styles (Keele) and with Professor Robert Mair (Cambridge/Royal Society).  As a result of these exchanges – summarised or linked to here on my blog – I would agree with Peter that we probably need shale gas.  However, I believe Peter also agrees with me that we probably cannot afford it*.  I also understand that the remit of the Royal Society specifically excluded the long-term sustainability implications of pursuing fracking.

Nevertheless, this leaves me wondering whether you could encourage the BBC to do a second programme to address the consequences of humans burning all the Earth’s fossil fuels simply because they are there; and/or the need for ‘Western’ per capita energy consumption to be drastically reduced?  Having read David MacKay’s book, Sustainable Energy: Without The Hot Air, I think our biggest problem is that most people do not think holistically about the problems we face or, even worse, they seem to think concepts such as ‘ecological carrying capacity’ are just eco-Marxist propaganda.  However, although it would seem that CCS is now going to be essential in order to minimise anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), I think it is also the biggest obstacle to getting politicians to take decisive action to decarbonise our power generation systems.

Even if such a second Horizon programme is not likely, I remain very appreciative of all you have done – and are doing – to raise the profile of ACD as an Earth Science issue that should be of concern to all.

Kind regards, [etc]

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

* If fracking becomes the new energy boom, it is very hard to see how CCS will ever be able to be rolled-out on a global scale to keep pace with unabated CO2 emissions.

“Let Fury Have The Hour”, film by Antonio D’Ambrosio. Artist’s Unite!

YouTube Link:  $3.99     http://www.youtube.com/movie/let-fury-have-the-hour?feature=mv_sr

A documentary that chronicles how a generation of artists, thinkers, and activists used their creativity as a response to the reactionary politics that came to define our culture in the 1980s.

Director Antonino D’Ambrosio took seven years interviewing various artists who discuss how their work stems in large part from reactions to the conservative politics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. They explain how their creative responses to what they felt were dehumanizing social changes allow them to find a way to affect the world. Among the many interviewees are Chuck D, Tom MorelloJohn Sayles, and Eve Ensler.

LET-FURY-HAVE-THE-HOUR

Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant Room - The Creek So...

Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant Room – The Creek South Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan greet Prime Min...

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan greet Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Denis Thatcher of the United Kingdom for the State Dinner at the North portico of the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World Bank: What Climate Change Means for Africa, Asia and the Coastal Poor

***
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A new climate report looks at likely impacts of present day, 2°C, and 4°C warming across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.
  • It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia.
  • Turn Down the Heat warns that poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change.

As the coastal cities of Africa and Asia expand, many of their poorest residents are being pushed to the edges of livable land and into the most dangerous zones for climate change. Their informal settlements cling to riverbanks and cluster in low-lying areas with poor drainage, few public services, and no protection from storm surges, sea-level rise, and flooding.

These communities – the poor in coastal cities and on low-lying islands – are among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change and the least able to marshal the resources to adapt, a new report finds. They face a world where climate change will increasingly threaten the food supplies of Sub-Saharan Africa and the farm fields and water resources of South Asia and South East Asia within the next three decades, while extreme weather puts their homes and lives at risk.

A new scientific report commissioned by the World Bank and released on June 19 explores the risks to lives and livelihoods in these three highly vulnerable regions. Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience (Read it in IssuuScribdOpen Knowledge Repository) takes the climate discussion to the next level, building on a 2012 World Bank report that concluded from a global perspective that without a clear mitigation strategy and effort, the world is headed for average temperatures 4 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times by the end of this century.

Small number, big problem

Communities around the world are already feeling the impacts of climate change today, with the planet only 0.8 ºC warmer than in pre-industrial times. Many of us could experience the harsher impacts of a 2ºC warmer world within our lifetimes – 20 to 30 years from now – and  4ºC is likely by the end of the century without global action.

The report lays out what these temperature increases will look like, degree-by-degree, in each targeted region and the damage anticipated for agricultural production, coastal cities, and water resources.

“The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “In the near-term, climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth’s temperature.”

The report, based on scientific analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, uses advanced computer simulations to paint the clearest picture of each region’s vulnerabilities. It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia that can lead to flooding in some areas and water scarcity in others, as well as affecting power supply.

“The second phase of this report truly reiterates our need to bring global attention to the tasks necessary to hold warming to 2ºC,” said Rachel Kyte, the Bank’s vice president for sustainable development. “Our ideas at the World Bank have already been put into practice as we move forward to assist those whose lives are particularly affected by extreme weather events.”

Open Quotes

The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones. Close Quotes

Jim Yong Kim
President, World Bank Group

The Transformation of Society

Who are we as a nation, and what ideals do we represent?
I know that our lives are so busy; family issues, job security, day-to-day survival; I recommend that we speak out while we still can. Will we be willing to trade our freedom’s for security from ‘terrorists’?

THE INTERNET POST

View original post

I am a girl: Poisoned in Afghanistan: Education Today!

100612 PP 2 (Medium)

125 girls, 3 teachers poisoned at Afghan school

Posted on: 11:03 am, May 23, 2012, by updated on: 08:53pm, May 23, 2012

 
Girls poisoned in Afghanistan
***
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — Some 125 girls and three teachers
 were admitted to an Afghanistan hospital on Wednesday, May 23rd,
after being poisoned in their classes with a type of spray, a Takhar provincial official said.

The incident occurred in the provincial capital of Talokhan,

in the Bibi Hajera girls school, said Dr. Hafizullah Safi,

the province’s director of public health.

***

Forty of the girls were still hospitalized, he said, with symptoms including

dizziness, vomiting, headaches and loss of consciousness.

***

Blood samples have been sent to Kabul in an effort to determine the substance used, he said.

“A number of girls from 15 to 18 were brought from a school to hospital today,”

said Dr. Habibullah Rostaqi, hospital director.

“Generally they are not in a critical condition.

We are looking after them, but let’s see what happens later.

We understand so far from the situation, they are more traumatized.”

“The Afghan people know that the terrorists and the Taliban

are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them from going to school,”

said Khalilullah Aseer, spokesman for Takhar police.

“That’s something we and the people believe.

Now we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan and we want girls to be educated,

but the government’s enemies don’t want this.”

***

There have been several instances of girls being poisoned in schools in recent years.

***

In April, also in Takhar province, more than 170 women and girls were hospitalized

with suspected poisoning after drinking apparently poisoned well water at a school.

Local health officials blamed the acts on extremists opposed to women’s education.

While nearly all the incidents involve girls,

earlier this month nearly 400 boys at a school in Khost province fell ill

after drinking water from a well that a health official said may have been poisoned.

I will punish the student,” Education Minister Ghulam Farooq Wardak told

a press conference on Tuesday.

***

0

***

ReBlogged from PRESS INSIDE :http://saccsivdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/80-school-girls-poisoned-in-faryab-province-of-afghanistan/

logo6

80 school girls poisoned in Faryab province of Afghanistan

By SAYED JAWAD – 21 May 2013, 9:36 pm

school girls poisoned in Faryab

According to local authorities in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan,

at least 80 school girls were poisoned in Sherin Tagab district on Tuesday.

District chief for Sherin Tagab, Syed Luqman confirming the report said

the school girls belonged to Islam Qala girls school.

Mr. Luqman further added the incident took place after an unknown individual

attacked the compound of the school with toxicant gas,

leaving at least three girls unconscious.

***

He said the number of school girls later increased

to 80 after inhaling the poisonous gas.

This comes as several girls were poisoned in north-eastern Takhar province of Afghanistan last month.

However, education ministry officials denied militants involvement

behind the poisoning of school girls and

called it a psychological issue.

***

Education officials also warned to try

those school girls who ‘claims’ of being poisoned in the future.

Follow Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan Online Newspaper on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook. Stay updated via RSS

***

Yahoo! News Singapore

70225864-dbcf-4a00-827c-9fe9a930576b_RVB_AFP_20CMAFP News – Wed, May 8, 2013

Afghan minister vows punishment for fainting girls

th 

I will punish the student,” Education Minister Ghulam Farooq Wardak told

a press conference on Tuesday.

“From now on, if I find anyone saying ‘I’m poisoned’

and the poisoning is not proved by the hospital,

***

“I will punish the teacher, I will punish the head teacher and

I will punish the school director,” he added.

***

Afghanistan’s education minister

has threatened to punish schoolgirls who

claim to suffer from alleged “poisonings” that many officials

believe are actually temporary psychological illnesses.

***

Scores of girls’ schools over recent years have seen mysterious mass faintings,

nausea and similar symptoms that are often blamed by police and the local media

on poisoning by Taliban insurgents or toxic gas leaks.

But no laboratory evidence of poison or other toxins has ever been found at schools

and no deaths have occurred,

with the girls often released from hospital after only a few hours.

***

In the latest case, 200 girls were reported to have been “poisoned”

at a school in Kabul on May 1,

causing an outbreak of screaming, stomach aches and vomiting.

***

The education department said the government was determined to

crack down on the causes of outbreaks of

‘psychological illnesses among young girls’.

“When one student faints,

it spreads around and everyone might think it’s poisoning,”

Mohammad Kabir Haqmal, spokesman for the ministry, told AFP.

***

“If tests prove it is mass hysteria or any other natural cause,

of course no one will be punished”.

***

What the minister said was that we will pursue those who disrupt the classes.”

***

Wazhma Frouqh, a female education activist,

criticised the minister’s stance and said

that previous cases of “poisonings” had dissuaded families

from sending their daughters to school.

“The minister should not have said that he will punish schoolgirls,”

she told AFP.

“His job is to find out what has happened and protect schools.”

***

Girls were banned from going to school under the Taliban,

but numbers have risen since the extremist regime was ousted in 2001

and the government says 40 percent of pupils are now female.

***

70225864-dbcf-4a00-827c-9fe9a930576b_RVB_AFP_20CMAFP News – Wed, Apr 18, 2012

photo_1334684798378-1-0

‘Poison’ scare at Afghan girls’ school

More than 100 Afghan schoolgirls were taken to hospital Tuesday after

drinking water believed to have been poisoned by opponents

of education for girls, an official said.

“I think some radical elements who oppose girls going to school are behind this act,”

said district governor Mohammad Hussain, adding that police were looking into the incident.

***

The schoolgirls fell ill after drinking water from a tank at their high school

in the small town of Rustaq

in the northeastern province of Takhar, Hussain said.

Education ministry spokesman Abdul Saboor,

however, cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the cause of the incident.

“According to our reports a number of these schoolgirls

were panicked and taken to hospital

and they were then quickly dismissed.

“But some others are still there.

We think it is a small incident,

but we are continuing our investigations.”

***

Afghan girls were banned from going to school or working in offices by the hardline Islamist Taliban

regime until it was overthrown by a US-led invasion in late 2001 for sheltering Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban have since waged an insurgency against the Western-backed government of

President Hamid Karzai and some 130,000 NATO troops in the country.

Millions of girls now go to school,

but they and their teachers are occasionally attacked.

***

Provincial health director Hafizullah Safi said 140 schoolgirls had

been admitted to local health facilities

but most were released after recovering from symptoms which included headache and nausea.

“Most of the schoolgirls who were brought to the hospital after falling ill have been dismissed,

the other girls in the hospital are in stable condition,” he said.

In similar cases last year hundreds of girl students were taken to hospitals across the country

after falling ill from suspected gas attacks or water poisoning.

Authorities at the time mostly blamed the Taliban,

though some suggested that the cause might have been mass hysteria,

‘a phenomenon recorded around the world, often among young girls’.

***

Also printed in the New Zealand Herald : http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10799685

***

ReBlogged from Morning Cup O’ Joehttp://morningcupojoe.com/2010/06/29/afghanistan-school-for-girls/

In Afghanistan from 2006 to 2008, there were 461 attacks on schools for girls,

and in 2008,

15 girls were attacked with battery acid on their way to school.

***

Afghan Schoolchildren in Kabul

Afghan Schoolchildren in Kabul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Afghanistan34P-Takhar

Afghanistan34P-Takhar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Join Congresswoman Jackie Speier, in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

English: Jackie Speier (D-CA), Member of the U...

Below is an email from Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Courage Campaign. Congresswoman Speier started a petition on the MoveOn website, where anyone can start their own online petition.


Congress: Support the STOP Act to end military rape. 
Sign the Petition!

Dear MoveOn member,

Sexual violence in the U.S. military is a crisis.The Pentagon estimates that sexual assaults increased from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012. That’s 71 sexual assaults EVERY DAY, and in roughly 56% of cases, the victims are men.

Making matters worse, each branch of the armed forces has its own judicial system, and it’s currently legal for base commanders to overturn a jury’s guilty verdict, as happened at Aviano Air Force Base in February 2013.

The STOP (Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention) Act takes the prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the normal military chain of command—which has proven grossly ineffective—and places jurisdiction in an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

That’s why I started a petition to the United States Congress, which says:

I stand with Congresswoman Jackie Speier in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thanks!

–Congresswoman Jackie Speier

This petition was created by the Courage Campaign on on MoveOn Petitions Political Action Edition, which is licensed to and paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action. We are not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. The Courage Campaign didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the MoveOn.org list.

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