Closing Thought–03Sep21

Some days you learn of some special person that is their part to protect the wildlife of this planet….this is one such report…..

The internet is awash with photos of wealthy holidaymakers and criminals posing alongside the heads of elephants and rhinos.

But US military veteran Kinessa Johnson spent years battling gangs of poachers in Africa, working as part of a team trying desperately to protect the world’s most endangered species.

Following her military career, she signed up to the Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife (VETPAW) as an anti-poaching advisor.

She had previously worked as a weapons instructor and mechanic during a tour of Afghanistan.

https://www.ladbible.com/news/news-female-army-veteran-hunted-down-poachers-to-protect-endangered-species-20210826

A great vet…she has my vote for person of the year….it is great to see a vet getting involved in the protection of endangered species and hold poachers to task…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Infrastructure Update

WE have a deal on the infrastructure bill…..it will take om our rail system, roads and bridges, and climate change and that is where I want to pick up this post.

Granted we need to bring our rail, roads and bridges into the 21st century….but this bill offers very spurious solution to the climate problem…..

publication of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report whose findings United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called “a code red for humanity,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that the infrastructure bill does not adequately fund measures to address the climate emergency.

“Not even close,” he said. “Though it includes important investments in hard infrastructure like our roads and bridges, it vastly underfunds public transit, [electrical vehicle], and grid infrastructure.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/10/bipartisan-infrastructure-bill-rebuked-funding-false-climate-solutions

To get bi-partisan support the good parts of the bill have been gutted to make the concern for the climate just words not action.

I agree with those that state that polluters need to pay for their part in the destruction of the climate…..

Amid unrelenting heatwaves, droughts, fires, and floods, congressional Democrats are seeking to tax roughly two dozen oil, gas, and coal corporations to ensure that the carbon polluters most responsible for the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency pay for some of the destruction.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that a draft bill from Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) “directs the Treasury Department and the Environmental Protection Agency to identify the companies that released the most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from 2000 to 2019 and assess a fee based on the amounts they emitted.”

Van Hollen estimates that the legislation could raise up to $500 billion over the next decade, with the biggest polluters facing annual bills of $6 billion over 10 years. The funds would be used to pay for renewable energy research and development as well as to assist communities in responding to and preparing for extreme weather disasters that climate scientists say are increasing in frequency, duration, and intensity due to planet-warming emissions.

“It’s based on a simple but powerful idea that polluters should pay to help clean up the mess they caused, and that those who polluted the most should pay the most,” Van Hollen told the Times. “Those who have profited the most should help now pay the damages that they’ve already caused.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/04/polluters-should-pay-draft-bill-could-raise-half-trillion-big-oils-climate-wreckers

Keep it simple, stupid!

You pollute you pay.

It is not rocket science….just good solutions.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The World Is On Fire!

Greece, Turkey, China, Siberia, North Africa, Brazil and The United States it is all burning and of course climate change is making it worse….but all that is another post…this Saturday I would like to talk about the fires that are raging in California…..

The Dixie Fire has scorched about 450 square miles of forest to including an entire town…..then there are some smaller fires….some of those were started by a single person…..and an arrest has been made…..

A college professor was charged Tuesday with what the Sacramento Bee calls an “arson spree” in Northern California, near the massive Dixie Fire. Gary Stephen Maynard, 47, who has worked at multiple colleges in the state, was arrested Saturday. “Over the course of the last several weeks, Maynard has set a series of fires in the vicinity of the Lassen National Forest and Shasta Trinity National Forest,” an assistant US attorney wrote in a detention memo, going on to note that Maynard allegedly set at least one fire near the still-not-contained Dixie Fire, which engulfed the entire town of Greenville last week.

So far, Maynard is charged with setting Lassen County’s Ranch Fire, and could face up to five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted. Prosecutors say mental health issues may be involved. Authorities began investigating Maynard on July 20, after a US Forest Service investigator found him underneath a car near the Cascade Fire, which broke out that day. He at first refused to get out from under the vehicle or identify himself, then acted erratically once he did come out, authorities say. Witnesses told police Maynard had been “mumbling a lot and having bipolar-like behavior,” including brandishing a knife. Authorities used tire tracks left at the scenes of multiple fires, among other evidence, to determine arson was involved, KCRA reports

5 years and $250,000….seriously?

If it is true then this person has destroyed an entire ecosystem and that is the best they can do as a penalty?

The system he destroyed is irreplaceable….there should be MORE consequences than the stated possible outcome.

Just thinking out loud!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Latest On Climate

The clock is ticking!

TICK TOCK

The UN has released its report on the condition of the planet with climate change…..not at all a glowing report…..

The new week begins with grim reading from a landmark UN report about the state of the planet. The 3,000-plus page assessment of the climate concludes that while things are bad now—witness the extreme weather unfolding around the globe—they are certain to get worse in the coming decade. However, the authors say it’s possible to stave off the most dire scenarios, essentially a planet unrecognizable from the one we know today, though only if nations take immediate steps to start reining in greenhouse gas emissions. Coverage:

  • The report: Read it here. Produced by the International Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it was written by more than 230 scientists and based on more than 14,000 studies. It’s a “code red for humanity,” says the UN, per the AP.
  • New rate: Extreme heat waves that used to hit once every 50 years now happen once a decade, say the authors, per Reuters. And that rate will almost certainly get worse. The same general trend applies to droughts and heavy rains.
  • The warming: The world has warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the 19th century, and the authors say it is almost certainly too late to avoid reaching the Paris accord threshold of 1.5 degrees by 2040, reports the New York Times. At that mark, the world becomes an even more dangerous place, with more than 1 billion at risk from frequent heat waves.
  • Bleak quotes: “We can expect a significant jump in extreme weather over the next 20 or 30 years,” says Piers Forster of the University of Leeds, one of the authors. Another co-author, Linda Mearns of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, tells the AP: “It’s just guaranteed that it’s going to get worse. I don’t see any area that is safe.”
  • Longer term: The report lays out five scenarios, and in three of them, the world surpasses 2 degrees Celsius warming by mid-century. On these tracks, it’s possible the mark could surpass 3 or even 4 degrees. In the rosiest scenario, an immediate shift away from fossil fuels would enable the rise to level off at about 1.5 degrees.
  • One forecast: A rise of 2 degrees “could trigger the inexorable collapse of the Greenland ice sheet and more than six feet of sea-level rise that could swamp coastal communities,” per the Washington Post. “Coral reefs would virtually disappear.”
  • Blame: The report says it’s “unequivocal” that human behavior has warmed the planet. As for current events: “Extreme events, heat waves, droughts, heavy precipitation: When we see these things in the news, they really are a result of climate change and the science is really able to detect that,” says co-author Jessica Tierney, of the University of Arizona, per Quartz. “You can always get an extreme flood or drought by chance, but now we can show that the chances of some of these events happening would have been almost nil.”

The planet is burning and the best we can do is ignore the coming problems.

Time is running out!

TICK TOCK

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

All Those Cow Farts

I can recall from a decade of more ago when cows were being blamed for all the global warming…..oh sorry climate change because they eat a lot of fiber and supposedly do a lot of farting.

Does anyone else remember this?

There were even some that blamed the demise of the dinosaur because of their massive consumption and of course their farting….sorry again I digress.

Long a target of environmentalists due to its purported negative effects on the global environment, cattle farming has lately been pilloried by eco-activists for its alleged hastening of warming across the planet due to the high levels of greenhouse gasses that the industry produces every year. 

Yet a relatively small but growing body of research suggests that certain types of cattle farming— namely, those in which cows are raised on pastures for their whole lives as opposed to in feedlots — may actually have a carbon-negative effect on the environment by helping to sequester greenhouse grasses under well-managed grasslands. 

The vast majority of beef produced in the U.S. is sourced in feedlots in which cattle are fed primarily corn and grains, a diet which hastens their fattening and prepares them for slaughter much earlier than traditional methods.

Environmentalists have criticized those systems as ecologically ruinous due to their heavy carbon footprints, citing in part their dependence on chemically fertilized cattle feed and the copious amounts of methane that cows emit in the form of burps and flatulence.

https://justthenews.com/nation/science/beef-takes-beating-environmentalists-research-suggests-cows-can-actually-climate

Stop blaming cows for the problem….assign blame where it belongs….the technique used by the ranchers.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

But are cows the culprit?

 

Who Put This D/Bag In Charge?

That ultra-conservative Dem, Sen. Manchin (D-WV)has found his obstructionist footing….first he did not want the $15 minimum wage included in the Covid-19 package and it was taken to secure the votes Dems needed…..now he is thumping his well owned chest over the bill Biden will put forth on Climate…..

Sen. Joe Manchin said he may block Joe Biden‘s climate change and infrastructure package unless Republicans are allowed more influence during negotiations.

Mr Manchin, who describes himself as a “moderate” Democrat, carries an important vote in the near evenly-divided Senate. He wants to see Republicans have more say in the negotiations than they did in the $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus discussion.

Democrats managed to pass the coronavirus stimulus using reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority. Mr Manchin said he refused to use reconciliation to pass the climate and infrastructure package.

“I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying,” Mr Manchin told Axios.

Who does this political coward think he is?

Why does the Majority leader, Sen. Schumer, allow this grandstanding?

Best answer to that question is Schumer is scred to death that if he pushes Manchin he will jump parties and make McConnell the leader yet again.

If the Dems had a larger majority then Manchin would be just another back-bencher with no power at all.

Another scenario is Manchin knows that anything Biden tries to do will be blocked by the Repubs in the Senate….this way he looks like the hero trying to find that elusive lie of “bi-partisanship”

He is doing this to make the coal industry happy and to make him appear as a “peacemaker”.

Not to cover that he would be screwing the people of West Virginia out of good jobs…the people he was sworn to work for and their best interests….on this topic he fails miserably.

Manchin has been waiting his whole senatorial career to have this much power….and Schumer is a spineless slug to allow this one person to control bills in the Senate….a Senate that the Dems control by one vote.

Schumer is afraid that a senate this close can be torpedoed by one defection to the GOP and Manchin is the perfect ilk to do so.

How long will his obstructionism be tolerated by the Dem leadership?

Are they so afraid of him that they allow this backwoods yahoo to dictate the bills that will be considered?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Jobs Guarantee Resolution

Jobs and income stability should be priority one.

With the backing of civil rights organizations, labor unions, and economic experts, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley on Thursday morning unveiled a jobs guarantee resolution demanding that “meaningful, dignified work” at a livable wage be made an enforceable legal right in the United States.

Presenting her resolution as an effort to build on the work of generations of civil rights leaders who have connected the cause of racial justice with the fight for full employment, Pressley said in a statement Thursday that “it’s long past time to pursue bold, intentional policies that affirm equity and recognize the dignity and humanity of all people”—an objective that requires sweeping legislative action, not mere tinkering by the Federal Reserve.

According to a summary (pdf) released by Pressley’s office, the resolution calls for a permanent jobs program that would be administered by the Department of Labor in partnership with the Treasury Secretary.

“The Secretary of Labor would direct Treasury funds to local Employment Offices to manage job guarantee projects and match job seekers to projects, as well as cover any related capital and administrative costs,” the summary states.

Jobs created under the new federal program, according to Pressley’s office, would be geared toward:

  • Ensuring the delivery of high-quality, professional care to children, seniors, and others in need of long-term support in family based, informal, and formal settings;
  • Augmenting the staffing of public education and early childhood learning, including Head Start and preschool;
  • Strengthening public afterschool programs, libraries, and recreational programs to provide lifelong learning and enrichment for people of all ages;
  • Implementing community infrastructure and improvement projects that revitalize neighborhoods and increase accessibility…;
  • Expanding emergency preparedness, and relief and recovery from natural and community disasters, including public health, natural disasters, and environmental emergencies;
  • Producing works of public art and documentation of American history akin to the WPA’s Federal Arts Project;
  • Implementing environmental conservation, remediation, and sustainability initiatives and increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and our housing stock to address climate change;
  • Rehabilitating and retrofitting our existing affordable housing stock to ensure safe, affordable, accessible, quality homes, and supporting the development of new affordable housing and social housing to address the nation’s housing crisis; and
  • Other projects that address public needs and can be implemented quickly.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/02/18/demanding-dignified-work-and-living-wage-legal-rights-ayanna-pressley-unveils-jobs

This is a good plan….it needs to be more than a resolution….this should be immediate policy.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Biden’s Climate Change

When Joe Biden was elected he promised to act and act decisively on the question of climate.

He has done just that with the stroke of a pen on an Executive Order…..

“Today is climate day at the White House,” President Biden declared Wednesday as he signed executive orders to “confront the existential threat of climate change.” “We’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer,” Biden said, per the New York Times. The executive actions include a pause on new oil and gas leasing on federal land and an order for the Department of the Interior to conserve 30% of America’s lands and water by 2030. Federal agencies have been asked to “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law.” More:

  • Focus on jobs. Biden tried to get ahead of criticism that the measures will eliminate jobs at a time of mass unemployment, the BBC reports. ” When I think of climate change and the answers to it, I think of jobs,” Biden said. “We’re going to put people to work. We’re not going to lose jobs. These aren’t pie-in-the-sky dreams. These are concrete actionable solutions.” He said millions of people will be able to get jobs “modernizing our water systems, transportation, our energy infrastructure.”
  • Ambitious goals. Biden aims to make the electricity sector emissions-free by 2035, followed by the rest of the economy by 2050, the AP reports. The orders will “supercharge our administration’s ambitious plan to confront the existential threat of climate change,” he said Wednesday.
  • A big tent. Biden’s climate plan is backed by a broad coalition that includes racial justice groups, auto companies, labor unions, and the US Chamber of Commerce, Politico reports. But holding the coalition together long enough to get Congress to approve trillions in funding will be a challenge.
  • A “whole-government” approach. Biden’s orders established a National Climate Task Force with leaders of 21 government agencies, the Guardian reports. He also established an environmental justice council to address the disproportionate impact of climate change on low-income and minority communities.
  • An “essential element” of foreign policy. The executive orders state that climate action will be an “essential element” of foreign policy and national security decisions. John Kerry, Biden’s international climate change envoy, denied Wednesday that the administration would make concessions to China on issue like human rights or the South China Sea in return for progress on emissions, Vox reports. “Those issues will never be traded for anything that has to do with climate,” he said. “That’s not going to happen.”
  • Opposition from oil companies. Oil companies have slammed the halt to new leases on federal lands, saying the move will cost jobs and make the US more dependent on foreign energy. But environmental advocates note that energy companies can still extract oil and gas from the existing leases they stockpiled during the Trump administration, the Los Angeles Times reports. “If what this pause does is say to the oil companies, ‘OK, you have thousands of permits you’re not using, let’s work on those,’ that’s still a lot,” said Nada Culver, vice president of public lands for the National Audubon Society.

It is an ambitious plan and I am behind him for the most part…..but I am not optimistic that he can get much of it into policy…..the push backs will be many….

But then…nothing new.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Could Russia Finally Dominate The World?

The USSR tried unsuccessfully to dominate the world in its day and failed……climate change is real and could it be just the thing Russia needs to finally dominate?

Around the world, climate change is becoming an epochal crisis, a nightmare of drought, desertification, flooding and unbearable heat, threatening to make vast regions less habitable and drive the greatest migration of refugees in history. But for a few nations, climate change will present an unparalleled opportunity, as the planet’s coldest regions become more temperate. There is plenty of reason to think that those places will also receive an extraordinary influx of people displaced from the hottest parts of the world as the climate warms. Human migration, historically, has been driven by the pursuit of prosperity even more so than it has by environmental strife. With climate change, prosperity and habitability — haven and economic opportunity — will soon become one and the same.

And no country may be better positioned to capitalize on climate change than Russia. Russia has the largest land mass by far of any northern nation. It is positioned farther north than all of its South Asian neighbors, which collectively are home to the largest global population fending off displacement from rising seas, drought and an overheating climate. Like Canada, Russia is rich in resources and land, with room to grow. Its crop production is expected to be boosted by warming temperatures over the coming decades even as farm yields in the United States, Europe and India are all forecast to decrease. And whether by accident or cunning strategy or, most likely, some combination of the two, the steps its leaders have steadily taken — planting flags in the Arctic and propping up domestic grain production among them — have increasingly positioned Russia to regain its superpower mantle in a warmer world.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-big-thaw-how-russia-could-dominate-a-warming-world

While we ignore the consequences of climate change the Russians are preparing for their day of ascension…

Will we wake up in time?  Or will we try to snooze our way through the coming crisis?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Does Working From Home Help?

Since about March of 2020 many of us have been working from home as a health precaution to fight the pandemic that is claiming lives. After 9 months or so can we say that it has helped in the spread of the virus and is working out well?

It may be helping to slow the spread of the virus but the other “benefit” is that will less travel on the roads it would also help with another problem….that of climate change.

So the next question is …..does the home from home help slow climate change?

This study has come out of California…..

A year from now, what will your Monday morning look like? 

After your umpteenth consecutive weekend hugging your mother, your friends and complete strangers in poorly ventilated spaces, do you picture yourself pouring coffee in your thermos to begin your bleary-eyed commute into work? Or are you about to begin your bleary-eyed all-staff on the morning Zoom? 

The answers to those questions will depend on your job, your income level, your employer and, if you’re lucky enough, your preference. They will also dictate whether the next decade of California’s housing affordability crisis looks radically different from the last. 

Within a matter of months, the pandemic-necessitated rise in teleworking has inverted parts of the state’s real estate market in ways housing economists never imagined possible. The median rent in San Francisco has dropped nearly 25% since stay-at-home orders began in March. Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego have also seen rents drop or at least taper, instantly flattening a decade-long spike. 

As younger professionals flee overcrowded and overpriced apartments in urban cores, rents and home prices in many suburbs, exurbs and mid-size cities have shot up significantly. 

Fresno, Bakersfield and Chula Vista, a San Diego suburb, have seen some of the biggest post-pandemic rent increases in the country. The median price of a single family home in California set an all-time-high of over $700,000 four months ago, with some of the steepest increases in the Inland Empire and Central Valley. 

With the prospect of widespread vaccination on the horizon, private employers, local governments, urban planners and state officials are reluctantly playing the role of housing crisis Nostradamus: Is what we’re seeing in 2020 an aberration or a new normal?

https://calmatters.org/housing/2020/12/remote-work-california-housing-crisis/

Whatcha think?  Good or ineffective?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”