Informed Consent: The Right to Make Your Own Decisions and Mistakes Regarding Your Life

The main reason, I have been calling bullshit on the regreters, who think they should have the right to sue the doctors over medical treatment they sought out and either jumped through Health Insurance Program’s hoops to fund or personally paid for, is simple.

I believe TS/TG people are ordinary people first and foremost, average and normal in every way except for being TS/TG and therefore members of a minority, that generally speaking meets Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall of being despised and dispossessed.

One of the main problems with being a member of such a class is that authorities spend a lot of time and effort denying us personal agency.

I post a great deal of material about how the right wing religious fanatics try to deny women access to birth control and abortion.  The principle is the same the one at work when TS/TG people are denied the agency to make their own informed decisions regarding their own bodies.

Either way the denial of agency is dehumanizing and infantilizing.

If I had come out in the 1980s or later rather than in 1969 and the early 1970s I would have been driven to revolutionary levels of rage by the  imposition of of all the new gate keeping rules that seem meant to enrich the Psychiatric Industrial Complex.

The instituting of the GID diagnosis effectively disenfranchised TS/TG people, denied us the agency to decide on our own what we considered right for us to do with our bodies.

I came out at a point and time when women and gay and lesbian people were clamoring for their rights and freedom, at a time when African American people had destroyed  major parts of cities in acts of rebellion against America’s racist oppression of black people.

All I had to do was walk into the office of a public health clinic in San Francisco and state I was a transsexual, that I wanted to take female hormones and get a sex change operation. I went to more psychiatrists as part of an effort by social workers in the Berkeley Welfare Department to obtain public funding for SRS.

Think about that for a moment.  In 1969 social workers in Berkeley were waging a campaign to obtain public funding for SRS.  Further they weren’t alone social workers in other parts of the country were doing the same thing.

We were being treated as ordinary sane people with an issue that required medical care.

We had agency and weren’t treated as though we were mentally ill children in need of professionals to make our medical decisions for us.

Yes we did have to be on hormones and living full time for at least a year prior to SRS.  I tend to consider that an important part of the process of transition, perhaps along with the hormones the most important part, because it tests one’s ability to cope as a member of the sex/gender one is transitioning to live the rest of one’s life as.

Beyond that some psychiatric testing and a psychiatric interview by the surgery provider should be sufficient to insure that a patient is intelligent enough and sane enough to both understand the extensive medical releases one is obliged to sign and realize the full implications of the step one is embarking upon.

While one should still retain the right to sue due to medical malpractice and surgery complications one should not have the right to sue based on the idea that some how the doctor failed to protect the patient from making a mistake regarding his/her desire for this course of treatment.

The one who sought out this course of treatment has the existential responsibility for that decision.  Doctors are human beings, not mind readers and there is no fool proof biological marker, no little purple gene waving a sign saying, “I’m the gene that makes people transsexual/transgender.

When I came out being transsexual was self-diagnosed and in most cases to day being TS/TG is still based on self-diagnosis.  Much of what the Psychiatric Industrial Complex does is extract a toll ranging between hundreds and thousands of dollars from each person making the transition journey.  In the process they dehumanize, pathologize and infantilize.

Demanding the agency to make our own decisions regarding medical treatment requires accepting responsibility for our decisions, including our mistakes.  But shouldering that responsibility is the price we pay to be fully human adults with the agency to make our own decisions on these matters that are of vital interest to us.

How They See Us: Unmasking The Religious Right War on Gay America

For the last month, Alvin McEwen, of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters has been working on a booklet showing the connections of those individuals who make up the organized anti-LGBT hate groups.  Along with linking these individuals, he exposes some of the filthy lying propaganda they use.

Alvin has made this pamphlet into a PDF which may be downloaded and printed out.  Please read it, discuss it and disseminate this pamphlet widely.

Hate flourishes when good people fail to denounce it.

From Holly Bullies and Headless Monsters:  http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-they-see-us-unmasking-religious.html

By Alvin McEwen
Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Reposted with permission

How They See Us: Unmasking The Religious Right War on Gay America

Due to the importance of this post, it will be the only one I write today.

I have said all that there needs to say and the only thing left now is the posting of How They See Us.

This booklet is free to anyone who wants to read, download, or link it to their blog. By all means, please do so. And above all, please “like ” it on Facebook, twitter, and other forms of social media. In spite of the claims of the religious right, our goal is not to silence them, but to demand an answer from them regarding their tactics. Lies told in the name of God are still lies: HowThey See Us

For PDF Click Here

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TS/TG Regreters and the Cowgirl up/Cowboy up Approach to Life and Personal Responsability

The most important point to remember in all this is that people who claim they are TS/TG and seek out hormones and surgery to change their sex characteristics do so voluntarily.  No one forces them to seek out this treatment.  If anything the process along with violence and discrimination against TS/TG people should discourage anyone from doing this on a whim.

Before TS/TG Regreters who cut corners, doctor shopped, and lied to therapist who were screening them go and sue doctors for providing them treatment they sought out; they need to do some serious self assessment.

Damned few people people in the vast on line world of actual TS/TG people who live the life really make it sound like some sort of paradise behind the pink or blue door.

If that is what you are finding get the hell off the TV/DC fantasy lists and read what activists are writing about anti-violence and anti-discrimination struggles.

Look in the mirror and see the person responsible for making the decisions regarding transition.

Deciding to transition is like deciding to sky dive, get a major not covered by normal work clothing tattoo, or joining the military decision.  It could turn out badly.  Cowgirl up/cowboy up: Accept the risks and take responsibility for your own choices.

Don’t fucking cry about how you made a mistake and the doctors or someone else didn’t stop you.  That isn’t all that acceptable for some one who plays football and winds up brain damaged, or joins the military and winds up a multiple amputee and it isn’t really acceptable from someone who decides they want sex characteristic altering hormones and surgery.

Sympathy yes, payouts or making getting these procedures harder for everyone else seeking these treatments without your hangups no fucking way.

Further if you later find religion or radical feminism and decide you made a mistake, go into therapy and lose the religion or radical feminism.

Where in hell do you get off with your selfish cry baby behavior.  You chose to do this.  You fucking own it.  It is your fault, not the fault of the doctor.  Cowgirl up/cowboy up and take some responsibility for your own decisions.

You aren’t a victim of anyone except yourself.

Further your actions are harming the lives and access to medical care of hundreds of thousands of TS/TG people who do not regret the medical treatments we receive.

A commenter to a previous post named Toni summed it up quite accurately:

Not really… Regret is a self-fulfilling prophecy under the Standards of Care and/or any regime, because SEEDS OF REGRET FLOURISH IN SOIL OF “I didn’t do it the ‘right way’ and ‘they’ failed to protect me.”

Argentina does it right: Need counseling? Get counseling. Need HRT? Get HRT. Need surgery? Get surgery. Need legal name and gender change? Get legal name and gender change. Everything is on you, because you are responsible for every step of transition taken or not taken, and responsibility cuts regret off at the pass.

Basically: no gatekeepers, no one to blame, no problem, no regret.

Doctor probed over trans patient complaints

From Gay Star News:   http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/doctor-probed-over-trans-patient-complaints070113

Investigation into doctor who treats gender reassignment patients accused of being a ‘witch hunt’ by NHS

By Matthew Jenkin
07 January 2013

A doctor who treated trans men and women seeking gender reassignment is being investigated after several patients complained about his practices.

One of the most serious complaints which prompted Britain’s General Medical Council to investigate Dr Richard Curtis was filed by a patient who had a double mastectomy and hormone therapy but later regretted the decision.

Other allegations against the London-based General Practitioner include that he prescribed gender reassignment drugs to a patient under 18, without the specialist knowledge and skills to do so, and gave hormone treatment without referring the patient for a second opinion or before they had undergone counseling.

Dr Curtis is also accused of breaching restrictions placed on his practice in Marylebone by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), which were first imposed in November 2011.

The conditions, which include a ban on prescribing hormone treatment for trans patients before they have undergone a mental health or psychological assessment, were extended until May 2013, reported The Guardian.

They will remain in place until the GMC publishes the results of its investigation. If the complaints are upheld, the case will return to the MPTS for a further hearing.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/doctor-probed-over-trans-patient-complaints070113

UK: Transgender doctor under investigation by the General Medical Council

From Pink News UK:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/07/uk-transgender-doctor-under-investigation-by-the-general-medical-council/

by
7 January 2013

Britain’s first post-operative transgender doctor is under investigation following complaints that he provided inappropriate treatment to patients wishing to change gender.

Dr Richard Curtis is being investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC), after at least three separate complaints.

The London-based GP is accused of prescribing hormone therapy to several patients – when it was not suitable to do so – and also ignoring restrictions placed on his practice.

The Telegraph states in one case reportedly under investigation by the GMC a woman complained she regretted undergoing treatment, which included having a double mastectomy and taking hormones.

In another case, it was alleged Dr Curtis prescribed drugs to patients under 18, without the specialist knowledge or the skills to do so.

Dr Curtis is also accused of failing to follow acceptable levels of care and breached conditions placed on his practice by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), the GMC’s arm’s-length disciplinary body.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/07/uk-transgender-doctor-under-investigation-by-the-general-medical-council/

Jeanne Manford, PFLAG Founder And Pioneering Gay Rights Ally, Dead At 92

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/08/jeanne-manford-pflag-founder-dead_n_2433626.html?1357678822&utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

By
Posted: 01/08/2013

Jeanne Manford, the founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and an all-around pioneering straight ally in the LGBT rights movement, has died at 92.

Manford died at her Daly City, Calif. home and had been in declining health for some time, daughter Suzanne Swan confirmed.

“She is known to thousands of people as the mother of the straight ally movement, but to me –- she was my mother,” Ms. Swan said in an email statement. “She was someone who would always do the right thing, the good thing. She supported all people, and that meant so much to us growing up.”

Born Jeanne Sobelson on Dec. 4, 1920 in Queens, N.Y., Manford became active on behalf of LGBT rights in 1972 after her son Morty was beaten during a Gay Activists Alliance demonstration. After Morty’s attack, Manford penned a letter to the editor of The New York Post, declaring “I have a homosexual son and I love him.”

She subsequently joined her son in the 1972 Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade (predecessor to NYC’s LGBT Pride Parade), carrying a placard stating “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support Of Our Children.” The first meeting of PFLAG (which was then known as “Parents of Gays” or “POG”) was held in New York’s Metropolitan Community Church the following year.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/08/jeanne-manford-pflag-founder-dead_n_2433626.html?1357678822&utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Marriage Equality is Not Enough: The Perfect Storm Part 4

From Truth Wins Out:  http://www.truthwinsout.org/opinion/2013/01/32740/


January 08, 2013

As marriage equality becomes a reality as each day goes by, I would like to make a bold statement:

Marriage equality is not enough!

That is easy for me to say, as someone enjoying heterosexual privilege? I have been married to the person I love for over a decade and there was no traveling to a different state then our home state to have our marriage legal. So my saying marriage equality is not enough, could be taken as an ill advised statement from a heterosexual male who is blinded by his own heterosexual privilege.

My words are influenced by those who do not have the protection of heterosexual privilege, they are influenced by those who reminded daily that they are black and same gender loving.

On Saturday May 5th  2012, a group of us (majority were LGBT/SGL) from diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities met to discuss the issues impacting the black LGBTA/SGL community of Kansas City. On this day, our first task was to identify the top five challenges (we came up with eight) that face the Black LGBT/SGL community of Kansas City.

They were:

  1. Church Based Homophobia/Heterosexism
  2. Racism
  3. HIV/AIDS
  4. Homelessness
  5. Apathy and Self Loathing
  6. Lack of spaces of support
  7. Hypermasculinity
  8. Lack of community involvement

No one spoke on marriage equality.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthwinsout.org/opinion/2013/01/32740/

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Huge Turnout for Hearing In Sexual Rights Uganda’s Lawsuit Against “Kill The Gays” Bill Promoter Scott Lively

From Pam’s House Blend @ Fire Dog Lake:   http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com/2013/01/08/huge-turnout-for-hearing-in-sexual-rights-ugandas-lawsuit-against-kill-the-gays-bill-promoter-scott-lively/

By:
Tuesday January 8, 2013

Over 150 people gathered at the United States District Courthouse in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts on Monday to hear arguments in the case Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Lively.

Brought by the advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda, the lawsuit “alleges that [Scott] Lively’s actions over the past decade, in collaboration with key Ugandan government officials and religious leaders, are responsible for depriving LGBTI people in Uganda of their fundamental human rights based solely on identity. This is the definition of persecution under international law and is deemed a crime against humanity. U.S. law allows foreign citizens to sue Americans for crimes against humanity under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the suit, the first such case brought to protect the rights of LGBTI people, on behalf Sexual Minorities Uganda.”

“This case is about making it clear to people who have exported their hate agenda to Uganda that their actions have a very real effect on us and they must stop,” said Pepe Julian Onziema, the Advocacy and Policy Officer at Sexual Minorities Uganda.

Pamela Spees, a senior attorney at CCR representing SMUG, said “Scott Lively’s role in orchestrating the deprivation of the rights of LGBTI people in Uganda has caused untold damage.  Persecution – the deprivation of the rights of people solely because of their identity – is a crime, and he must be held accountable for it.”

Continue reading at:  http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com/2013/01/08/huge-turnout-for-hearing-in-sexual-rights-ugandas-lawsuit-against-kill-the-gays-bill-promoter-scott-lively/

See also:  The New York Times:  Ugandan Gay Rights Group Sues U.S. Evangelist

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Under Obama, a Skew Toward Male Appointees

Maybe Obama needs a binder of qualified women presented to him.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could elect a really Progressive Democratic candidate in 2016.  Someone who remembered the Democrats were the party of FDR, not to mention Henry Wallace and the common man and woman.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/politics/under-obama-a-skew-toward-male-appointees.html

By
Published: January 8, 2013

WASHINGTON — In an Oval Office meeting on Dec. 29, 11 of President Obama’s top advisers stood before him discussing the heated fiscal negotiations. The 10 visible in a White House photo are men.

In the days since, Mr. Obama has put together a national security team dominated by men, with Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts nominated to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as the secretary of state, Chuck Hagel chosen to be the defense secretary and John O. Brennan nominated as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Given the leading contenders for other top jobs, including chief of staff and Treasury secretary, Mr. Obama’s inner circle will continue to be dominated by men well into his second term.

From the White House down the ranks, the Obama administration has compiled a broad appointment record that has significantly exceeded the Bush administration in appointing women but has done no better than the Clinton administration, according to an analysis of personnel data by The New York Times. About 43 percent of Mr. Obama’s appointees have been women, about the same proportion as in the Clinton administration, but up from the roughly one-third appointed by George W. Bush.

The skew was widespread: male appointees under Mr. Obama outnumbered female appointees at 11 of the 15 federal departments, for instance. In some cases, the skew was also deep. At the Departments of Justice, Defense, Veterans Affairs and Energy, male appointees outnumbered female appointees by about two to one.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/politics/under-obama-a-skew-toward-male-appointees.html

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Fox News Takes on the No Billionaires Campaign

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Does It Matter if John Brennan Was Complicit in Illegal Torture?

From The Atlantic:  http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/01/does-it-matter-if-john-brennan-was-complicit-in-illegal-torture/266918/

Conor Friedersdorf
Jan 8 2013

Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a report on CIA interrogations during the Bush Administration, when prisoners were tortured in violation of domestic and international law. “The report uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and interrogation program and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, an occasional apologist for executive power, said after the vote. “I strongly believe that the creation of long-term, clandestine ‘black sites’ and the use of so-called ‘enhanced-interrogation techniques’ were terrible mistakes. The majority of the Committee agrees.”

Arizona Senator John McCain, another War on Terror hawk, is among the several elected officials who have publicly called for the report to be declassified, but Dixon Osborn of Human Rights First made the case best: “Telling the American people the truth about torture isn’t a task that should be left up to speculative reporting, Hollywood filmmakers, or publishing houses. It should be based on the facts. Thankfully, that report already exists. Now it should be made public.”

In nominating John Brennan to head the CIA, President Obama has made it more urgent that the report be declassified. It is one of several sources that could help us to answer an important question: Are the American people being asked to entrust our clandestine spy agency and its killing and interrogation apparatuses to a man who was complicit in illegal torture?

There is strong circumstantial evidence that the answer is yes. At minimum, Brennan favored rendition and what he called “enhanced interrogation tactics” other than waterboarding. As Andrew Sullivan put it in 2008, when Obama first considered Brennan as CIA chief, “if Obama picks him, it will be a vindication of the kind of ambivalence and institutional moral cowardice that made America a torturing nation. It would be an unforgivable betrayal of his supporters and his ideals.”

These days, Sullivan is uninclined to oppose Brennan because “people change,” though Sullivan neither possesses nor presents any evidence that Brennan has changed. Sullivan adds that the Brennan confirmation hearings could be useful. “We have an unusual opportunity to grill a nominee over the vital issues of torture and accountability, drones and secrecy,” he argues. “We need more sunlight — including public access to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s definitive report on the torture program under Bush-Cheney. But the Brennan hearings are a start.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/01/does-it-matter-if-john-brennan-was-complicit-in-illegal-torture/266918/

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Give Me Coffee Or Give Me Death: Only 8% Of Americans Are Tea Party Members

From Addicting  Info:  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/08/give-me-coffee-or-give-me-death-only-8-of-americans-are-tea-party-members/

By
2013/01/08

In 2009, one couldn’t turn on the TV or surf the interwebs without being flooded with news of angry white  mobs holding up hilariously misspelled signs and screaming at Democratic Congresspeople at town halls. The failure of John McCain to beat Barack Obama in 2008 and, even more frightening, the creation of Sarah Palin, instigated a new wave of racism and far-right economic anarchism. Instead of hoods  they wore tea bags, and they operated under the guise of “fiscal responsibility.” After 8 years of reckless spending under Bush, they were overnight Austrian economists.

No moderate Republican was safe, and certainly no progressive Democrat could possibly navigate through these turpentine-laced waters. Calling itself the Tea Party, this incipient movement claimed to be carrying on in the footsteps of the founding fathers, with its emphasis on combating tyranny in the form of excessive taxation. Sounds adorable so far, right?

The Tea Party and its adherents overlooked one all-important caveat with regards to the cause of the Boston Tea Party: the British subjects were lamenting taxation WITHOUT representation, not taxation on ridiculously-wealthy-people-during-an-economic-depression WITH representation. The Tea Party saw its zenith of power in the 2010 midterm elections, when unsuspecting voters bought the pink slime being sold as Angus beef.

Ever since the crazies took over the asylum, they have stopped at nothing  to machete through the entire edifice of FDR’s New deal programs in order to get the Kenyan Socialist out in 2012. I wonder how that worked out for them? Since we’re not all speaking Mandarin, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump’s wig, or commuting to our jobs in Bangalore, it must mean that Mitt Romney lost. Even though Romney was a crappy Christmas sweater who was never quite embraced by the Tea Party, they might as well be shopping with Captain Capitalist at Costco since they appear to be just as finished.

According to a new survey, an unimpressive 8 percent of voters said they were Tea Party members. How could this be? Is the white part of Obama going to serve in the second term? In any case, Americans’ feelings toward the Tea Party have turned decidedly sour. According to a  Rasmussen Reports poll49 percent have an unfavorable view of the movement and only 30 percent of likely voters had a favorable view. This is quite telling when compared to 2009, when the Tea Party had its highest favorability.

Continue reading at:  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/08/give-me-coffee-or-give-me-death-only-8-of-americans-are-tea-party-members/

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America is Not a Conservative Nation: More Voters Identify as Democrats than Republicans

From PoliticusUSA:  http://www.politicususa.com/america-conservative-nation-democrats-outnumbered-republicans-4-5-presidential-elections.html

By: Jason Easley
Jan. 8th, 2013

Republicans have long argued that America is a conservative nation, but Democrats have now outnumbered Republicans in four of the past five presidential elections.

In article about the rise of moderates, Charlie Cook broke down the Democratic advantage in party identification,

But last year, Mitt Romney won the independent vote 50 to 45 percent, yet lost the election by almost 4 percentage points. For many avid election-watchers, if all that we knew was that Romney would carry the independent vote by 5 points, many of us would have bet on Obama losing the election. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans carried the independent vote nationally by an even wider 7 points, 51 to 44 percent, yet narrowly lost the popular vote for the House.

What has happened is that the gap between the share of voters who identify themselves as Democrats compared with those who consider themselves Republicans has grown so wide that, for the GOP, winning a majority of the independent vote nationally is necessary but no longer sufficient for winning a national popular vote. In this past election, 38 percent of voters called themselves Democrats, and just 32 percent called themselves Republicans. In 2008, it was Democrats at 39 percent and Republicans at 32 percent. Over the past five elections, only in 2004 were the two parties evenly matched at 37 percent each. In the other four elections, the Democratic advantage has been 4 points in 2000 (when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College), 5 points in 1996, 6 points in 2012, and 7 points in 2008. This is certainly one reason why Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the past six elections; generally there are more Democrats than Republicans. When the gap gets really wide, independents can’t make the difference.

Continue reading at:  http://www.politicususa.com/america-conservative-nation-democrats-outnumbered-republicans-4-5-presidential-elections.html

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Billionaires vs “We the People” – This is War!

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It’s Official: 2012 Was Hottest Year Ever in U.S.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/science/earth/2012-was-hottest-year-ever-in-us.html

By
Published: January 8, 2013

The numbers are in: 2012, the year of a surreal March heat wave, a severe drought in the corn belt and a massive storm that caused broad devastation in the mid-Atlantic states, turns out to have been the hottest year ever recorded in the contiguous United States.

How hot was it? The temperature differences between years are usually measured in fractions of a degree, but last year blew away the previous record, set in 1998, by a full degree Fahrenheit.

If that does not sound sufficiently impressive, consider that 34,008 new daily high records were set at weather stations across the country, compared with only 6,664 new record lows, according to a count maintained by the Weather Channel meteorologist Guy Walton, using federal temperature records.

That ratio, which was roughly in balance as recently as the 1970s, has been out of whack for decades as the country has warmed, but never by as much as it was last year.

“The heat was remarkable,” said Jake Crouch, a scientist with the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., which released the official climate compilation on Tuesday. “It was prolonged. That we beat the record by one degree is quite a big deal.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/science/earth/2012-was-hottest-year-ever-in-us.html

See also:  The Age (Australia): Temperatures off the charts as Australia turns deep purple

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It’s Time to Stop the Pebble Mine

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/its-time-to-stop-the-pebb_b_2432767.html

01/08/2013

Since 2010, I have fought alongside the Natural Resources Defense Council to stop the Pebble Mine — a colossal open-pit copper-and-gold mine that a consortium of global mining giants want to gouge out of the spectacular untamed wilderness above Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

Nothing like this place exists anywhere else on Earth.

Tens of millions of salmon course through this unspoiled Eden, feeding not just an abundance of bears, whales, seals and eagles but also the Alaskan Native communities that have thrived here for thousands of years. Salmon are the backbone of the region — a renewable resource supporting a commercial fishing industry worth around $480 million a year. The fishery provides 14,000 full and part-time jobs, whereas the Pebble Mine promises only 1,000 permanent jobs.

The Pebble Mine is a disaster waiting to happen.

Now, a long-awaited study by the Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that the Pebble Mine — along with its estimated 10 billion tons of mining waste — would spell disaster for Bristol Bay, its legendary salmon runs, its pristine environment and its people.

Complete article at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/its-time-to-stop-the-pebb_b_2432767.html

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Rebecca Tarbotton, the activist who brought Disney to heel

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/rebecca-tarbotton-obituary-rainforest-action-network

Anna Lappé remembers the executive director of the Rainforest Action Network – a graceful, visionary campaigner

Anna Lappé
Guardian Professional  Friday 4 January 2013

The last time I saw Rebecca Tarbotton, one of the few women leaders of a major US environmental organisation, deliver a speech was on a cold San Francisco night in October in the African Hall of the California Academy of Sciences.

The executive director of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) since 2010, Becky, as she was known, held the roomful of friends, donors, and colleagues enraptured as she shared her vision for RAN and announced how she and her staff had helped the giant Disney corporation create the most environmentally sound paper purchasing policy in the industry. I just watched the speech again – you can view it here – and seeing her so vibrant, it’s still hard to believe that Becky died on 26 December, 2012 after being overcome by rough waves while on vacation in Mexico. She was 39.

As a board member of the Rainforest Action Network and a friend, I was devastated. But this is more than just a personal loss. Becky’s death is a loss for all of us. The speed at which we’re destroying rainforests and heating the planet is a reminder of the urgency to address the fundamental crises of our time: forest destruction and climate change. And we have no surplus of graceful, visionary, strategic leaders.

The first woman to lead RAN in its 25-year history, Becky was a brilliant campaigner and a deep thinker. She was, as her friend and co-conspirator Bill McKibben said, “a hero among heroes”.

Before becoming RAN’s executive director, Becky served as the organisation’s finance campaign director, tackling one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions: coal.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/rebecca-tarbotton-obituary-rainforest-action-network

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Avoiding a climate-change apocalypse

From The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-a-climate-change-apocalypse/2013/01/07/f440d704-58e4-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

By
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

As you may have noticed, the end of the year was all about the end of the world. Mayan doomsday prophesies. Rogue planets on a collision course with Earth. Fear-mongering about an artificial “fiscal cliff.” House Republicans doing, well, what they usually do.

Fortunately, for now, life as we know it continues. And scary as all of this sounds, the real horror show, the true existential threat, is yet another crisis of our own making: the catastrophic effects of climate change.

There’s no need to read Revelations or catch a Michael Bay-Jerry Bruckheimer matinee to understand what it will look like. Just Google image search “Hurricane Sandy and Staten Island,” and you’ll get the general idea.

Certainly, it will take much more research to understand whether there’s a direct link between Sandy and climate change. But we do know that storm’s impact was made worse by rising sea levels, increasing ocean temperatures and unusual weather patterns, all of which are definitively connected to climate change.

2012 was the hottest year on record. Arctic sea ice is melting. Sea levels are rising faster than projected. And extreme weather events — droughts, storms, heat waves — are increasing in number and intensity, disproportionately harming the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-a-climate-change-apocalypse/2013/01/07/f440d704-58e4-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

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