Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One More Shot At Climate Change/More On The Rapture/Hamlet On War/Catherine Sevenau Poem/

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

- Martin Luther King

(P1) Political

Uh Oh!

0u know what? Perhaps what I've been saying is true, that folks don't like to read about changes in the weather, rising of the seas, melting of the ice caps, and all such macabre stuff. So maybe I should
stop writing about it and calling for responses about the inevitable. After all, no one really likes "Chicken Little." But how about one more shot at it by way of the United Nations' top climate official Christiana Figueres ?

Tom Zeller Jr.
Tom Zeller Jr. tzeller@huffingtonpost.com

Prospects For Reaching CO2 Benchmark And Curbing Global Warming Grow Dimmer

First Posted: 06/ 3/11 08:52 AM ET Updated: 06/ 3/11 10:01 AM ET

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres is calling for world leaders to aim for an even lower threshold for rising global average temperatures, even as new figures suggest that the prospects for preventing temperatures from rising beyond a key benchmark grew dimmer in 2010.

According to estimates released this week by the International Energy Agency, global emissions of energy-related carbon dioxide in 2010 were the highest ever measured at 30.6 gigatonnes -- a 5 percent jump over the previous record year of 2008.

The increase follows a decline in global emissions in 2009 that accompanied the economic downturn.

The sizable leap in emissions suggests that limiting rising average temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) -- a threshold that many scientists believe is crucial for preventing runaway and irreversible impacts of climate change -- will be an increasingly elusive goal.

As the IEA explained:

For this goal to be achieved, the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be limited to around 450 parts per million of CO2-equivalent, only a 5 percent increase compared to an estimated 430 parts per million in 2000.

The IEA’s 2010 World Energy Outlook set out the 450 Scenario, an energy pathway consistent with achieving this goal, based on the emissions targets countries have agreed to reach by 2020. For this pathway to be achieved, global energy-related emissions in 2020 must not be greater than 32 [gigatonnes].

For all this math to work out, and for temperatures to keep below the 2-degree Celsius threshold, global energy-related emissions would have to rise less over the next decade than they did over just the last year, according to the IEA.

"Our latest estimates are another wake-up call," said Dr. Fatih Birol, a chief economist at the IEA, in a published statement. "The world has edged incredibly close to the level of emissions that should not be reached until 2020 if the 2-degree Celsius target is to be attained. Given the shrinking room for maneuver in 2020, unless bold and decisive decisions are made very soon, it will be extremely challenging to succeed in achieving this global goal."

The Copenhagen Accord reached in 2009 was the first time that countries involved in global climate talks informally agreed to a goal of limiting rising temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius.

That benchmark was reiterated and placed on a timeline for review at talks in Cancun, Mexico, in December. Some nations, particularly those vulnerable to rising seas, believe even that amount of warming could result in catastrophic climatic changes, with attendant floods, food shortages and other impacts, over the next century.

Speaking at a carbon conference in Barcelona on Wednesday, Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, suggested that the 2-degree benchmark might be too high.

"Two degrees is not enough – we should be thinking of 1.5C," she was quoted as saying by the Guardian. "If we are not headed to 1.5 we are in big, big trouble."

The notion that the opportunity to contain an average temperature increase below a 2-degree Celsius threshold may have already passed is not a new one. Several studies suggest that without some sort of collective action, global temperatures are likely to rise well beyond 2 degrees.

On a per capita basis, most emissions continue to come from the developed world. But the fastest growth in new emissions is coming -- and will continue to come -- from furious economic expansion in the developing world, chiefly in China and India. Without some sort of global incentive structure that would encourage developing nations to forego fossil fuels as they expand their economies, there is increasing pessimism that targets like the 2-degrees Celsius benchmark will prove anything beyond symbolic.

The majority of the energy-related CO2 emissions last year -- 44 percent -- came from from coal, while 36 percent arose from from oil and 20 percent from natural gas, according to the IEA.

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(P2) Philosophical

After and Before and After The Apocalypse Again

So Harold Camping, "bewildered" at blowing another of his end-of-the-world-rapture predictions has set his newest date which is October 21st. That gives me reason here to publish David Madgalene's dad's right-on-the-money piece titled

Christ Comes To California

by David J. Randolph ©2011
More at newwaymediafest@blogspot.com

Christ is coming tomorrow, according to a neighbor in Oakland.
So I went over to check it out.
He was already there.
He stretched out his hungry hand to me on San Pablo Avenue.
She said she was thirsty and asked me to buy her a drink.
He spoke to me in a strange language I couldn’t understand at the airport.
She was rummaging through the clothes bin at Goodwill.
He was in the back seat of the police car going to jail.

I said, this can’t be you. Like this is gold, Jesus .
Where’s the televison crew?

He said, “Do you think that any of these people are going to appear
On the news or talk shows? Let alone American Idol?

But whenever you feed someone who’s hungry and provide water for the
Or welcome a stranger, or help clothe the naked or visit a prisoner,
And support others who do,
I am there.”

So maybe my neighbor is right about the day and wrong about the end.
Like every day Christ comes
and the end is not about blowing up but growing up
and caring for one another.

I reached out my hand
And felt the rapture.

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(P3) Poetical

Ed Coletti's latest collection of poems When Hearts Outlive Minds now available at Amazon.

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Hamlet On War

The imminent death of twenty thousand men,

That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,

Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot

Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,

Which is not tomb enough and continent

To hide the slain? (Act 4 Scene 4)

Great-Grandfather Isaac Willard Chatfield 1836-1921 /
Civil War Photo 1861: 2nd Lt., Illinois Infantry


by Catherine (Clemens) Sevenau

I am.

I am from

Leinen and Nigon,

from Chamberlin and Hoy.

I am from Clemens and Chatfield,

from Surdam, Sumner, Smith, Shade, Mastick and Tomlinson too.

From Matthew, Isaac, Finley and Charles. From Barbara, Eliza, Emily and Nellie.

I am from soldiers who fought for the Union and from a nurse who tended them.

From singers, shopkeepers and teachers, from miners, writers and preachers.

From wagon trains and railroads. From hard work and harder lives.

I am from cattle ranches and farmlands, from sowing and plowing and reaping.

I am from whiskey and ale, from betting and bad odds—and from the fall-out of it all.

I am from Noreen and Carl who were like sin and prayer.

What ever in the world made those two think they could stay together?

I am from bad kidneys, bad backs and bad eyes. And bad blood.

I am from dime stores and small towns.

I am from one-pot meals. From white beans, white bread and white rice.

I am from sweet peas, green peas and green tea.

I am from holy water and rosaries, from Hail Mary and Our Father, from mea culpa.

I am from Little Women and Nancy Drew, from I’m a Little Teapot and the Hokey Pokey.

From pop-beads, pee-wees, paper dolls, pick-up-stix, skate keys, comic books and jacks.

From coin collections and stamp collections and collections of cobalt blue glass bottles.

I am from a long line of sharp-tongued women.

From list makers, rule makers and rule breakers—from umbrage and resentment.

From complaining, carping, and keeping score. From they don’t speak… we don’t speak…

Sometimes it seems impossible for me to do it differently, to break this invidious pattern of ours.

And sometimes it is easier to not even try.

I am from good intentions and unattended sorrows. From courage and hope. And grace.

I am from extended arms, extended kindness and extended family. I am grateful.

I am from a company of strangers—this family—of it, but not in it,

watching from the sidelines, taking notes, sifting through

our story and writing down our history, wondering

what directs us, what pokes us and prods us

and has us be who we are, questioning

how I fit into the whole catastrophe,

and, at the end of the day—

knowing I belong.

I am they.

I am me.

I am.

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