Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Long Shadow

A couple of weeks ago, the Mayor of Austin announced a new initiative to deal with climate change. It was pretty aggressive. The real estate folks were unhappy with it. Some of the Enviros were unhappy with it, because it didn't go far enough.
Yesterday another Mayor announced his plans. This time it is that sleepy little town called London.

Cleaning up the Big Smoke:
Livingstone plans to cut carbon emissions by 60%

David Adam and Hugh Muir
Tuesday February 27, 2007

A detailed plan to slash London's carbon emissions by 60% within 20 years and place the city at the forefront of the battle against climate change will be announced today by Ken Livingstone.
The mayor will appeal to Londoners to stop using energy wastefully and will urge businesses to embrace green technology to heat and light offices and workplaces.
Mr Livingstone wants a quarter of London's electricity supply to be shifted from the national grid to local combined heat-and-power systems by 2025. The city will offer "green gurus" to help families make their lifestyles more environmentally friendly, and will subsidise supplies of cavity wall and loft insulation.

The move is the most far-reaching attempted by a big city in the UK, but dozens of others are also planning action to cut emissions. Nearly 200 local authorities have a signed a pledge to take action, known as the Nottingham Declaration, and other cities, such as Birmingham, have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases.
Officials say the "vast majority" of the measures announced today will save money, mainly in reduced fuel and energy bills. They estimate that half the required carbon savings can be made through simple changes in behaviour.
In his foreword to the published details of the plan, Mr Livingstone says: "All of us have a responsibility, actions taken at an individual level can have consequences that are unaccceptable for society as a whole. Buying a gas-guzzling 4x4 vehicle is an 'individual choice' but it creates carbon emisssions that contribute to global warming and harm everyone.

It should be no more socially acceptable than to claim the right to dump rubbish in the street." (clip)

The 60% target also relies heavily on ministers introducing regulations that place a nationwide price on the carbon pollution caused by fossil fuel use. Mr Livingstone has drawn up plans for such a scheme in London, which would charge the drivers of the most polluting cars £25 to enter the congestion zone. Similar moves across other sectors must be an "absolute priority" for ministers, the mayor's office said. more

Yesterday, while eating lunch before my presentation before a group of energy geeks, I mentioned to a couple of colleagues that in a carbon constrained world, both in supply and in emissions, we may soon be approaching a time when we might need a permit to drive to Houston and back. And what if someone thought we should attend the teleconference instead?
Or what if we had already used up our carbon travel allotment?
These are the dark shadows that can befall us all if we are not careful about how we respond to the need to restore the balance on earth.

Will we find ourselves in a regulated police state carbon economy?

Or will we choose a free economy that runs on light?

We must consider our liberties in the climate struggle, perhaps even more so than we do in the struggle against those who resist our oppression.

If we do not,

We will find our future full of permissions, permits, and fees,

and the long shadow of totalitarianism

will cover the land.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Moving Scale

Over the last four or five days, we have seen the movement of the scales regarding the American recognition of the Climate Change issue.

Even as the VPOTUS flies off to control yesterday's news cycle with his lecture to the President of Pakistan about his inability to deal with the Taliban on his border, a bomb explodes on his own perimeter, requiring the Veep to be whisked into a bomb shelter . Perhaps, he finally got to hear a real explosion up close and maybe, just maybe, he caught a taste of the horror he unleases.

But even as this story breaks, the big story is the buyout of TXU and the apparent victory of the forces who had come together to oppose their building of 11 coal plants. The new deal will allow only three. More importantly, the new plan will include a doubling of wind and an increase in investments in efficiency.

TXU buyout includes global warming, emissions plan
Electric Light and Power

New York, NY, Feb. 26, 2007 -- The record-setting buyout of the utility giant TXU being proposed by a group of top private equity investors includes a set of commitments developed in close consultation with leading environmental experts to reverse the company's drive to build a new fleet of high-emission coal power plants in favor of a new strategy focused on energy efficiency, clean technology and a commitment to cut global warming pollution, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has been involved in the extensive negotiations.

"This turnaround marks the beginning of a new, competitive focus on clean, efficient, renewable energy strategies to deliver the power we need while cutting global warming emissions," said NRDC president Frances Beinecke. "It is a big step forward for the State of Texas and for the American energy economy as a whole."

Arrangements with the two buyout firms, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group, include a commitment to withdraw permit applications for eight of eleven pulverized coal power plants proposed in Texas.

The prospective owners would also throw their support behind a mandatory nationwide limit on global warming emissions paired with a market-based emissions trading system. They also say they will endorse the positions of the recently-announced U.S. Climate Action Partnership, and will seek to formally join the group of companies and environmental organizations already involved.

The new company would aim to limit its total CO2 emissions from its generating operations and reduce them over time, and pledge not to propose any additional traditional pulverized coal plants outside Texas. " more

Just a few days ago, Environmentalists in Texas scored a big victory as one liberal judge slowed down the Governor Good Hair's fast tracking of the original 11 plants. He will probably need more than goop and spray to keep at least a few strands from springing out of the fold once the fall out from this story reaches his door.

Does this turnaround truly mark the beginning of a new, competitive focus on clean, efficient, renewable energy strategies to deliver the power we need while cutting global warming emissions for the American business community?

It just might.

Yesterday, I gave a presentation at the Texas Capitol. It was entitled Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.: Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030. At the end of the presentation, I talked about how a scale remains on one side and it doesn't move. Day after day, you put a pebble on the other side. Nothing happens. Then one day, you put one more weight on it, and it moves, and it moves completely.

Today, I go to Houston to give another version of this same meme.

Climate Change is real.

Al Gore has his Oscar.

And the Scale Is Moving.


What it is About

art courtesy of Ota Janecek


Sunday, February 25, 2007



Along the Tigris River, where the city of Mosul is today, Abraham’s children searched for water, but the desert people fought with them or filled the wells with sand. For many years it went like that—Abraham’s children finding water, the desert people taking back their own, until one day a well was dug and no one noticed, or cared. Isaac dug a well and named the land Rehoboth, place of peace. He said his people would stay there and plant. He said the land would bear great bounty, enough for everyone. And so the people lived to dream in peace of staircases leading up to heaven, lined with Ziegfeld angels. Jacob lay his head down on a stone that turned into Bathsheba which turned into something else. And Rehoboth which seemed like eternal peace was in fact more like the peak on one rise of a roller coaster that hadn’t been invented yet. When Grandmother inherited the farm, three hundred years after the Indians had been banished from land they knew was their mother, it was already called Rehoboth, place of peace. And for a time it was a place of prosperity. Each generation added structures and then graves. The Cure brothers, children of the first John Cure, built the old barn, which is still standing, although the cabin is gone. They built a church and the small outbuilding next to it which became a library my grandmother called Rehoboth Storybook House. She hosted children’s hours and concerts. Neighbors and family members played hymns and sang popular songs. My father was Thomas Jefferson in a play Grandmother wrote about freedom from racism, players calling to each other at the top of their lungs in a makeshift amphitheater, outdoors in the spring, to raise money for scholarships, children to be educated from the bounty of a place in the Allegheny Mountains where two roads met. Rehoboth was to be a retreat, an art school but the land slid out from under her children, in spite of the fact that they baked great holiday feasts, cracked jokes, told stories and filled concert halls in Pennsylvania and Up/State/NewYork with the songs of a thousand musicians. Rehoboth is fresh painted white and empty now, one instant in a fast carnival of intersections and highways, art and being smashed into great waves of howling feedback.

from House of the Mother, by © Susan Bright, 1994.

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

* Image from -- a slow loading montage of war scenes from Mosul.

And you can listen to Tony Blair's greatest hit here. It's getting lots of hits today, so it may take a few minutes to load. Fun tho.


What it is About
Earthfamily Principles
Earthfamilyalpha Content III
Earthfamilyalpha Content II
Earthfamilyalpha Content




Friday, February 23, 2007

Wheel of History

On a work day afternoon, 2/23/07, Barak Obama
spoke in Austin to gathering of 20,000 plus
people. Friend Carolyn and I walked along
Riverside drive, closed to traffic, to the beat
of "For the Funk of It."

We found our way into the thick
of the crowd, wrangling a view of the stage.
I'd heard Obama at the Dem convention
in 2002, and have watched him with interest —
watched the film of his visit to Kenya,
grew up outside Chicago, know the rough
Midwestern chill of Springfield where
Lincoln said, "A nation divided cannot stand."
I was curious to see Obama in person,
like many, want him to vote for cutting funds for
the war now, but am encouraged that
his bill for re-deployment stipulates
no permanent military bases in Iraq.

Today, in an almost conversational tone, Obama
gave a speech I will in the future think of
as his Wheel of History speech.

He talked about American history —
the revolution, the civil war, suffrage,
the labor movement, civil rights.
He talked about New Orleans, said
we are at a turning point in history.

He'd said the roots of terrorism were in Darfour, in injustice.
"If all of you are willing to put your shoulder to the wheel
of history at this moment, then amazing things can happen."

Obama has a way of talking to thousands of people
as if he were talking to a small group, backs off
rhetorical crescendo, is more intent on connecting
past to present to future, less eager to lead cheers
than tell a story about civil rights.

I couldn't help realizing how completely vulnerable
he was, on a raised platform, surrounded
by thousands of people, no security at the gate
of a free event, we signed our names to get in,
or showed email invitations.

He quoted MLK --
"The arc of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice."

He talked about the Wheel of History,
and the building of a movement.

Give it a listen. Part two and three are the best.

*Photo from the Obama website. You can watch the video here too.

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Re. yesterday's post about the coal plants Rick Perry has
proposed to fast track in Texas, check out Ric Sternberg's
You-Tube video
produced for the SEED Coalition.


What it is About
Earthfamily Principles
Earthfamilyalpha Content III
Earthfamilyalpha Content II
Earthfamilyalpha Content




Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Clean Coal Myth

Seems like I find myself talking more and more about coal.

The good news from Texas is that the giant coal plants that the Governor with the Good Hair has fast tracked were just slowed down by one liberal judge from Austin.

Here is part of the story.

Local Ranchers Move To Block Coal Plants In Texas
The Huffington Post
Melinda Henneberger
February 21, 2007

WACO -- On the eve of hearings on six of the 11 coal-burning power plants that TXU wants to build in a hurry across the state, a judge in Austin ruled that Governor Rick Perry never had the authority to fast-track permits for the new plants in the first place.

It is unclear whether Goliath will stay dead. But at a rally of nearly 1,000 opponents of the TXU plan at the Waco Convention Center Tuesday night, a local rancher who filed the lawsuit that led to the temporary injunction got a long standing ovation.

"Here we are, a little old group from Riesel, Texas, and we sued the Governor and won,'' said the rancher, Robert Cervenka. If the new plants were built, "I'd have four right around my house.'' They would also double CO2 emissions in Texas, which already emits more of the greenhouse gas than any other state in the country.

"I feel like a pyromaniac who lit the spark that started the blaze,'' Cervenka exulted, and pulled a copy of the late afternoon ruling by District Court Judge Stephen Yelenosky from his coat pocket.

Almost immediately after it was issued, though, the Republican Governor's spokesman suggested that "a single liberal Austin judge'' was not the ultimate arbiter in the case. Both TXU and their opponents still plan to show up for the scheduled hearing on the permits in Austin on Wednesday. more

The bad news is this.

There is this growing meme out there that we can dig up coal, combust it into the biosphere, and then put the carbon back, and everything will be just hunky-dory. Even my piano tuner thinks clean coal is better than ugly wind turbines. I told him there is no such thing as clean coal. It's a myth. A fiction of those who intend to make big profits at our expense.

You're probably thinking, some folks must think it is possible. Otherwise, why would all of these smart people say that this is what we should do. I should remind you that, at one time, everyone also thought that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Here is part of a story that captures part of the real truth.

Cleaner Coal Is Attracting Some Doubts
The Ledger
Matthew Wald

Within the next few years, power companies are planning to build about 150 coal plants to meet growing electricity demands. Despite expectations that global warming rules are coming, almost none of the plants will be built to capture the thousands of tons of carbon dioxide that burning coal spews into the atmosphere.

Environmentalists are worried, but they put their faith in a technology that gasifies the coal before burning. Such plants are designed, they say, to be more adaptable to separating the carbon and storing it underground.

Most utility officials counter that the gasification approach is more expensive and less reliable, but they say there is no need to worry because their tried-and-true method, known as pulverized coal, can also be equipped later with hardware to capture the global warming gas.

But now, influential technical experts are casting doubts on both approaches.

“The phrases ‘capture ready’ and ‘capture capable’ are somewhat controversial,” said Revis James, the director of the energy technology assessment center at the Electric Power Research Institute. “It’s not like you just leave a footprint for some new equipment.”

A major new study by faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scheduled for release soon, concludes in a draft version that it is not clear which technology — the so-called integrated gasification combined cycle or pulverized coal — will allow for the easiest carbon capture, because so much engineering work remains to be done."

"So much engineering work needs to be done"?

You mean we are basing our entire electrical future on a technology that does not exist except in very small scale, and it has not even been demonstrated at the scale we plan to build?

Yep, you got it Sherlock.

The story goes onto say,

“It will work,” Randy Zwirn, the chief executive of Siemens Power Generation, said of the ability to separate carbon from a gasified coal plant. “The question is, Can it be done economically?” more

And the answer is no.

Non-Clean Clean Coal will be more expensive than a blend of central station solar, distributed third generation solar, and large scale wind, with ultra capacitor/hydrogen turbine/unified energy system back-up.

And it won't be clean. And it won't be affordable.

And you can't take nerve poisons like mercury that are found in the coal out of the ground and then bring them into the biosphere without those poisons ultimately finding their way into the biosphere. (that would be you)

This world move into this fiction of "affordable clean coal" is as great a folly and as insane as the coalition of the willing's move into Iraq.

Only this time, we won't be able to pull out.

We'll have squandered our resources

and the precious time we have left,

to rescue our climate,

and our children.


What it is About

Earthfamily Principles

Earthfamilyalpha Content III

Earthfamilyalpha Content II

Earthfamilyalpha Content




Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happily Motoring

More and more these days, I tend to avoid doomsters like Kunstler who have made it their stock and trade to entertain those of us who somehow enjoy knowing that we are a lot smarter than all those other dumb bumpkins out there who don't know just how totally screwed and glued we are.

However, the "prophet of the long emergency", can still tell it like it is as good as anyone.

The Big Chill

February 19, 2007

One of the farmers who organized the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture's annual meeting put it nicely: "The ethanol craze means that we're going to burn up the Midwest's last six inches of topsoil in our gas-tanks."

The American public is in chill mode in more ways than one. We are finally freezing our asses off in the Northeast after a supernaturally mild December and January, and the heating oil trucks are once again making the rounds of the home furnaces (and running down their inventories). But we're also chillin' on the concept that there is an energy problem per se. The public is convinced that we are one IPO away from attaining the sovereign rescue remedy that will permit us to continue running our Happy Motoring utopia. clip

The truth is, we will never be energy independent as long as we remain a car-fixated society. It's that simple. If we can't let go of the sunk costs associated with Happy Motoring, we're probably not going to make it very far into the future, either as a nation or a viable economy or as an orderly society. By sunk costs I mean our previous investments in car-oriented infrastructure.

For the moment, I blame the Democrats (and I am a registered Democrat). One shouldn't expect rational thinking from the current generation of Republicans. The sheer fact that so many of them have sold their allegiance to the Born Again dominionist fold, where magical thinking rules, means that they are incapable of evaluating the energy predicament -- in fact, if they are sincere in their apocalyptic dogma, then many of them would probably welcome a global struggle over oil, with all the military mischief it would entail in the vicinity of the Holy Land.

No, I blame the Democrats. The Democrats are supposed to represent the reality-based faction of the general public. They should be able to do the math without getting sidetracked by Jesus-haunted visions of WalMart running on biodiesel. They should be willing to tell the public the hard truth before it's absolutely too late to make some collective decisions that would lessen the hardship in the circumstances we face -- like allocating some federal funds to passenger rail, or reforming codes, incentives, and subsidies that favor suburban sprawl, or replacing the FICA taxes with a gasoline tax (as proposed by oil man Jeffrey Brown of Dallas), or by aggressively promoting local agriculture. more

Kunstler goes on to say,

"This may be the Democrat's last chance to get their shit together. The Republicans are already done. You can stick a fork in them. But the Democrats have an opportunity to lead America back into a reality-based channel of history's stream. They can tell the truth about climate change, about oil-and-gas, and about the terrible misinvestments that we have to put behind us.

They can prepare the public to deal with the new facts of life."

I had lunch with a Democrat today. And she still thinks that we can use coal to make fuel. It will be clean coal they say. Using coal to solve our climate problem is like using water to stem the tide.

Maybe the Democrats will show some real leadership.

Maybe my skin will stop aging.

Vitamin E will help my skin.

But if the Ds don't find a big dose of C,

We may all find ourselves happily motoring

right into the Kunstler abyss.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Do You, Mr. Jones

Day after day, the climate change stories just continue to roll out.

Yet, somehow the biggest event in the history of humankind continues to be carefully avoided by the main streamers. Now, the world's largest general scientific society has joined the IPCC in declaring the issue a threat.

Climate change 'growing threat to society': AAAS
Feb. 19 2007
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The world's largest general scientific society on Sunday joined the concern over global climate change, calling it a "growing threat to society."

It is the first consensus statement of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on climate change. It comes just weeks after the International Panel on Climate Change issued its most recent report on human-induced warming.

"The evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now and is a growing threat to society," the AAAS said at its annual meeting.

"Scientists are observing the rapid melting of glaciers, destabilization of major ice sheets, rising sea levels, shifts in species ranges and increased frequency of weather extremes," said John P. Holdren, director of the Woods Hole Research Center and AAAS president. more

And, there is this story.

Scientists warn it may be too late to save the ice caps
David Adam, environment correspondent
Monday February 19, 2007
The Guardian

A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world's scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a UN expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss "may no longer be avoided" because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Such melting would raise sea levels by four to six metres, the scientists say. It would cause "major changes in coastline and inundation of low-lying areas" and require "costly and challenging" efforts to move millions of people and infrastructure from vulnerable areas.

The previous official line, issued in 2001, was that the chance of such an event was "not well known, but probably very low". clip

The warning appears in a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assesses the likely impacts of global warming and will be published in April. A final draft of the report's summary-for-policymakers chapter, obtained by the Guardian, says: "Very large sea level rises that would result from widespread deglaciation of Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets imply major changes in coastlines and inundation of low-lying areas, with greatest effects in river deltas.

"Relocating populations, economic activity and infrastructure would be costly and challenging. There is medium confidence that both ice sheets would be committed to partial deglaciation for a global average temperature increase greater than 1-2C, causing sea level rise of 4-6m over centuries to millennia." Medium confidence means about a five in 10 chance." more

Under normal news editorial guidelines, the predicted loss of most of the world's great coastal cities in a period that is shorter than the age of the building stock of those cities, would constitute news.

Yet, it is not.

We are instead fed our standard fare of Libby and the politics of war.

Something is going on here, and we do know exactly what it is.

You see,

If we truly accept our situation.

It will be bad for business, and they know it.

If we truly accept our situation,

It will be be hard to deify the all-knowing market.

If we truly accept our situation,

this news would represent the greatest market failure

in the history of humankind.

The glitz, and the glamour, and the greed of our Corporate culture

will be permanently and fatally wounded,

And they know it.

That's why you'll see a story about a long missing little girl,

or a tragic fallen hero on the news tonight.

These corporate magicians of the air want to keep your eyes,

and your ears, and your brain, looking over there.

Instead of here

That's what it is.

Mr. Jones

"The longer we wait to tackle climate change, the harder and more expensive the task will be."


Sunday, February 18, 2007

What We Honor

Well of Peace

"Most beautiful of things I leave is sunlight,
then come glazing stars and the moon’s face;
then ripe cucumbers and apples and pears."
Pracilla (ca. 450 B.C)

In a London print shop eight years ago
I picked up a woodcut from Sebastian Munster’s
Cosmographiae (1567).

I was drawn to the energy of the water,
which I thought was a fast running river,
the tile rooftops, the walled city —
often wonder if the city state
wouldn’t be a kinder civil unit than nation states
have turned out to be — our vast needs
unattached to the earth around us
have given rise corporations which
turn us into ravenous war machines
set to kill the planet — there
has to be a better way.

You’d have to lose feudalism, of course,
to humanize any civil living unit, and
organize around principles like education,
nurture, environmental sustainability,
kindness, joy — people would have
to think and act differently than they do now —
which is the paradigm shift the world soul
might accomplish in time, or not.
We can nudge it along, or shout it from
the roof tops.

I was able to pick out words like Aegyptij (Egypt)
and some names:
Gerardus, Roberrus, Petrus, etc., but it took awhile
to discover the location of the city in
Munster’s woodcut because, while there are
websites dedicated to this remarkable work —
one of the most widely published and read
books in the Middle Ages, Shakespeare surely
read it, perhaps gathered details for plays
set in places he had never seen — the print I have
wasn't on the internet, until today.
It celebrates the Crusades.

Mary Berwick reminded me the strange "f"
is really "S" so we had a name: Ascalon
and thanks to search engines and maps
a location.

It’s about ten miles north of Gaza.
There used to be a Well of the Peace,
an amphitheater surrounding it —
a spring that gave forth enough water
for everyone.

It was one of five Philistine City States
alongside Mediterranean Sea.

They were at constant odds

with Israel, captured Sampson, who pulled
down a temple — in Gaza.

When Israel pulled out of it’s settlements in Gaza
in the summer of 2005, they bulldozed
all the houses, community centers, everything —
leaving 1.5 million Palestinians living for the most part
in squalor along the Gaza strip today as miserable
and homeless as they were before Israel's beneficence.

Later Israel plowed under another

1500 homes along the border with Egypt,
leaving Mr. and Mrs. Shatat, for example,
and their 8 children to find shelter in a storage
room beneath the Rafah soccer stadium,
where they have lived for three years.

I found a frame for the Munster print
a few months ago, and last week I located
Ascalon, now Ashkelon, an archeological park
on the coast in Israel. Scallions originated
there and were named after the city.

Betty and James sent me a map
of all the empires who have claimed this land
for the past four thousand years,
leaving anyone's claim to it, absurd.

I keep thinking about The Well of Peace,
how we have to change our way of thinking and living
in the world to celebrate it —

I wonder if we might revere something
besides battles, conquests, gods, bulldozers —
why not honor a well of peace,
the ordinary moments that are our lives,
a small, mild onion, a child's laughter,
a sacred crack in stone where water
flows from earth.

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


What it is About

Earthfamily Principles

Earthfamilyalpha Content III

Earthfamilyalpha Content II

Earthfamilyalpha Content




Saturday, February 17, 2007

Climate Change Theater

Here is part of a growing list of documentaries and reports on Climate Change. I'll try to add more as they become available.

If you have any friends who are still in denial on this issue, you can send them this link and ask them to consider the evidence.

Next to the Inconvenient Truth, this BBC piece by David Attenborough is as good and convincing as it can get.

Are We Changing Planet Earth
BBC Documentary Runtime 59 Minutes

David Attenborough explores just how much climate change is altering our planet. He looks ahead to find out what needs to be done to save Planet Earth from the worst impact of global warming and discovers what could happen to the planet once a 'tipping point' of carbon emissions is reached,

And here is another piece by the BBC on Global Dimming.

Global Dimming
12/05/06 - BBC - Runtime 49 Minutes

This is a film that demands action. It reveals that we may have grossly underestimated the speed at which our climate is changing. At its heart is a deadly new phenomenon. One that until very recently scientists refused to believe even existed. But it may already have led to the starvation of millions.

Here is a BBC piece on the Bush Adminstration's attempts to play down global warming

Climate chaos: Bush's climate of fear

A US government whistleblower tells Panorama how scientific reports about global warming have been systematically changed and suppressed.
Here is 60 minutes with Jim Hansen
James Hansen on Global Warming

And here is Tony Blair on the subject.

A Global Warning...

The 10 hottest years on record were all in the last 15 years, and arctic ice drilling shows that Co2 levels in the atmosphere are the highest for 650,000 years, yet some people still think this isn't happening. It is, we all know it is, but yet not many of us are doing anything about it.

Global Warming: Point of No Return?

James Lovelock says Global Warming is now at point of no return. Other top climate scientists are more hopeful but say we only have less than 10 years before it's irreversible and time is running out.
And here is one my favorites

Blue Man Group on Global Warming

Even Lou Dobbs understands it.

Lou Dobbs - Global Warming

Yet the POTUS is still his usual AWOL

George Bush on Global Warming

The link I found for the Inconvenient Truth is not active right now, but it will show up someplace else. In the meantime, rent it or buy it, and send it to that friend who still has his/or her head in the sand.


What it is About

Earthfamily Principles

Earthfamilyalpha Content III

Earthfamilyalpha Content II

Earthfamilyalpha Content




Friday, February 16, 2007

World Climate Accord

While the daily news oxygen was being sucked up by the standard MSM sucubus, this story happened.

World leaders reach climate deal
The Independent
James Watson, PA
16 February 2007

World leaders have reached a new agreement on tackling climate change at a meeting in the United States.

Delegates agreed that developing countries will have to face targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions as well as rich countries. (clip)

The group is a discussion forum that is part of British-led environmental group Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (Globe).

Globe was set up to encourage discussion of environmental issues between politicians and business leaders of the world's leading industrialised nations.

The announcement will be seen as a major coup for the British government because the discussion forum was launched at the House of Commons in February 2006 and its president, Elliot Morley MP, is a special representative of the Prime Minister.

The forum's closing statement yesterday said man-made climate change was now "beyond doubt".

A statement from Globe said: "Climate change is a global issue and there is an obligation on us all to take action, in line with our capabilities and historic responsibilities."

The declaration carries no formal weight but it is considered to indicate a real change in mood of the world's most powerful nations.

The two-day meeting brought together legislators from countries including the Group of Eight rich nations plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Former cabinet minister Stephen Byers MP took part in the forum, joined by influential US senator Joe Lieberman and presidential candidate John McCain.

British businessman Sir Richard Branson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, all gave keynote addresses. "

This is very likely the foundation of a global cap and trade agreement.

The BBC also reports that

"US senator Joe Lieberman forecast that the US Congress would enact a law on cutting emissions by the end of next year, possibly this year.

And presidential candidate John McCain, who is co-sponsoring climate legislation with Mr Lieberman, was emphatic on the need for new initiatives.

"I am convinced that we have reached the tipping point and that the Congress of the United States will act, with the agreement of the administration," he told the forum.

But Dr John Holdren, the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said President George W Bush needed to appreciate that the US economy would not suffer unnecessarily if emission were capped.

"The economic damage from not addressing climate change is much larger than the economic cost of addressing it," he said. more

Clearly, this is a significant development.

The American MSM reads the European papers.

Don't they?


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Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Mugwump


Amongst all of the inanity that falls from the congressional orify of those who claim to be addressing the great issues that are before us, this one stands out.


The SPEAKER pro tempore laid before the House the following communication from the Speaker:

February 14, 2007.

I hereby appoint the Honorable MICHAEL E. CAPUANO to act as Speaker pro tempore on this day.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Reverend Carl Toti, Senior Pastor,
Trinity Church, Lubbock, Texas,
offered the following prayer:

Let’s welcome God’s presence into our hearts and into this place. ‘‘I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and Earth.’’

Father, hear our prayers. ‘‘If My people, called by My name, will humble themselves, pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.’’

We pray this Nation will return to the faith exhibited by men and women who trusted God, forged a Nation out of wilderness, raised families guided by standards from Your Word, and established a Nation that presently is the rival of the entire world. May the same standards be raised high by these leaders You have placed over us. May integrity and wisdom guide them to make decisions that please You.

Father, shield our military troops protecting our freedoms around the world. May godly decisions be made concerning them. Lord, we ask that You would guide and bless our Representatives as they advance our Nation.

I pray in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will entertain 15 one-minutes per side.


(Mr Oz asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. OZ. Thank you. Pastor Toti just prayed these words. "Father, hear our prayers. ‘‘If My people, called by My name, will humble themselves, pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.’’

And I want to second that.

He then said, "We pray this Nation will return to the faith exhibited by men and women who trusted God, forged a Nation out of wilderness, raised families guided by standards from Your Word, and established a Nation that presently is the rival of the entire world."

This nation has become the rival of the whole world.

Now the good pastor just said that this nation is wicked and that we are the rival of the world.

I agree.

Vladimir Putin agrees.

This war is not about fighting terrorism. In our hearts, we all know that. It is about our strategic interests. And Operation Iraqi Liberation provides the right acronym for what we are doing.

Now, my friends on the right say this is about freedom, but mostly about "not losing" this war to a pitiful so called enemy that has the resources and capabilities of a gnat compared to the wealth of the great western nations they are fighting, who now occupy their lands for their riches.

Pastor Toti is right. What we are doing in Iraq and in the Mideast, in general, is wicked. And we should stop it.

But to my dismay, my friends on the left say we should "bring the troops home", or that we should "redeploy". But they offer no solution to the problem, which is not terrorism by the way, it is our need to invade and prop up these countries and regimes where our strategic interests lie.

We must solve this issue, that our present strategic interests lie primarily in foreign lands, if we truly intend to win this so called War on Terrorism, which is actually born out of our own strategic vulnerability.

We must do that by moving away from these resources.

We can start today towards a post carbon economy.

We can plow the trillions, yes trillions, we will put into these wars,

defending our strategic interests,

and put our time, our money, and our young people

into building an advanced economy that runs on light.

Simultaneously, we must craft an enlightened view

of our role in this world.

If we do this, we may not make the oil rich Putin very happy,

but I think God will feel just fine about it, and

He just might forgive our sins,

and heal our land.

I yield the balance of my time.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Day of the Heart

In a Galaxy not so terribly far away.

The People of the Sun are simple yet they are not. Their understanding of the world is full. They live in small communities on the land in balance with the forces of nature around them. The Pact is the essential element of their social and spiritual lives. Most Pacts have 100 to 200 elder guides and childpersons. Theta 3, the Pact where Lily communes, is on the east banks of the Lake of Time, in the Valley of Memories. There are many Pacts in this Valley. There is Alpha 9 towards the rising sun, and Beta 7 towards the point star of the turning. There are many other Pacts in the Valley and many Valleys.

They practice the Way of Living that was given to them by the Ray which brought them from the Tombs. This Way was simple yet profound, uncomplicated, and wise. Each pact is self sufficient. Nourishment comes from garden domes where livingwater and earthfood is delivered by automated system routines with the helpful watchfulness of the elderguides of nourishment. They manage all the gifts of earth.

The Way of Living provides all things for the PACT. The energy to power their communicators and helpmates comes only from the Sun. Crystals are made by the elderguides of worklight that transform the warmth of the sun into a doingforce. The technology is very old and was found even in the Days of Darkness. The use of crystals for communication, calculation, and work force is the way of the People of the Sun.

The Sun People live in houses that are soft and flowing. Their life graces the earth. Their life abodes are warm during lowsun and cool during the season of highsun. Their surfaces change like the light lizard. They invite the warmth of the sun or they ask it away. When it is very cold, the people of the Sun wear their lowsun suits of skin. They are very light yet very warm. When the sun is high, they wear their suits of cooling. These living fabrics of color and touch are more like the living skin of their bearers.

The Way of Life was a meaningful collage of mindwork, musetime, and bodymovement. Even though there is always work to be done, much is given by the cyborgs. These devices and cybersoids provide all of the food, water, and production needed for the Pact. But bodymovement is considered part of the earthlife and many elderguides choose to work in the fields with the cybersoids.

Some Elderguides roam about the Valley adopting a carerange where they work with the earth to make the natural earthscape its most beautiful. By moving a boulder here, transplanting a tree there, or planting a garden at the foot of a spirit place, the elderguides of the earth slowly and surely had turned the whole of the valley into a garden of beauty and balance.

The People of the Sun brought the Sky to the Earth. Unlike the trees that, like stitches, hold the earth and the sky together, the People were like its messengers, its bees, that allowed the earth and the sky to talk, to move, and to share their abundance.

Many of The People commune with nature and its life. These Elderguides of Earth talk to the bees, the flowers and the friends of the people who are not human. They understand the cry of the wolf, the moan of the cattle, and the bleating of the goat. Often birds follow them through the valley forest and rest upon their shoulders. They charm the smallest flying life and convince the largest bear that this is not the time for either of them to pass.

The Elderguides of Mater work on their communicators and computators to further the knowledge of the people. They know much of the stars and the heavens and they know much of the smallest things. They build with tiny robots substance from the level of the smallest thing. The fabrics for their life abodes, their tools, their crystals are made from the smallest of the smallest. The elderguides of mater were known for their understanding of all things both great and small.

The Life of the Pact was blessed. The Time of Darkness could be remembered in story only by the Elderguide of Memories.
He was the seventh elderguide since the Tombs. "

Excerpts from Day of the Heart.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Prayer for the Abuser


We recently returned from the Tucson Gem Show
where we find icons and materials for the jewelry
we make to compliment our publishing work.

It is a world bazaar ringing with wondrous languages.
Gemstones and folk art treasurers fill up hundreds of
of motel rooms which during the day are small shops
and at night are campsights for extended families.

There are a half dozen public auditoriums full of exhibitors,
five or six tent encampments the size of big box malls,
all full of exotic stones — as if the earth
had turned inside out, lapis, turqoise, rose quartz,
amethyst caves, pertified wood big enough to sleep on.

In and among these exhibits we find icons from
different cultures, sometimes under a table, or
in a van. Some vendors seeing us coming come out
with what they know we're looking for.
Sometimes they tell us about the figures,
sometimes they don't.

On the first day this year,
I picked up a few dozen pieces of quartz
etched with Quan Yin superimposed on
a prayer. When I asked the vendor
what it said, he recited it —
in Chinese.

I'm pretty sure this is what he said.

Kuan Yin Prayer for the Abuser

To those who withhold refuge,
I cradle you in safety at the core of my Being.

To those that cause a child to cry out,
I grant you the freedom to express your own choked agony.

To those that inflict terror,
I remind you that you shine with the purity of a thousand suns.

To those who would confine, suppress, or deny,
I offer the limitless expanse of the sky.

To those who need to cut, slash, or burn,
I remind you of the invincibility of Spring.

To those who cling and grasp,
I promise more abundance than you could ever hold onto.

To those who vent their rage on small children,
I return to you your deepest innocence.

To those who must frighten into submission,
I hold you in the bosom of your original mother.

To those who cause agony to others,
I give the gift of free flowing tears.

To those that deny another's right to be,
I remind you that the angels sang in celebration of you on the day of your

To those who see only division and separateness,
I remind you that a part is born only by bisecting a whole.

For those who have forgotten the tender mercy of a mother's embrace,
I send a gentle breeze to caress your brow.

To those who still feel somehow incomplete,
I offer the perfect sanctity of this very moment.

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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