The National Climate Assessment: No Time to Waste

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/al-gore/national-climate-assessment_b_5279943.html

Al Gore
05/07/2014

The latest National Climate Assessment provides clear evidence of what many Americans are already experiencing in their daily lives: the growing impact of extreme weather events linked to global warming.

When Pensacola, Florida, gets two feet of rain in 26 hours, that is exactly the kind of extreme and destructive event that scientists have long warned will become way more common.

From stronger and more frequent storms that take lives and damage infrastructure, to deeper droughts and heat waves that hurt agriculture and threaten water supplies, to rising seas that threaten our coastal cities — the way Miami Beach is already threatened — the costs of carbon are growing rapidly.

The good news is that we now have the technologies and alternatives we need to really solve the climate crisis — but we must start acting now.

More and more businesses and governments around the world understand this and have started working to stop recklessly dumping global warming pollution into the atmosphere, as if it is an open sewer. And under the leadership of President Obama, the United States has also now finally begun to make important changes to our energy infrastructure and start reducing emissions of pollution — but we can and must do more. It’s time for Congress to step up and enact legislation to make it easier to shift to a more efficient and competitive — and job rich — renewable, low carbon economy.

We have no time to waste. We must end our addiction to dirty fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy in order to ensure a prosperous and sustainable future.

Cross-posted from Al’s Journal.

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Social Media, Smartphones, Connectedness and the Delusion that being an e-Warrior will change the World

Today I closed my Linkedin account.

It was a total waste of time and served little or no purpose not served by either Facebook or e-Mail.

As a Blogger I view myself as a reporter of sorts and as a conduit for sharing information I think is important.

I haven’t been an actual activist for a long time.

A few years ago I announced my withdrawal from the eternal trans-wars.  Fighting over words is stupid and as the Jefferson Airplane put it “Doesn’t mean shit to a tree.”

Politically correct language never ever put a roof over the head of a homeless person or stopped a crime of violence.

Fighting over politically correct terminology gives people an illusion of action, of being an e-warrior fighting bigotry and oppression.

Way back in the 1960s Dick Gregory, a civil rights/human rights/anti-war activist called his auto biography the racially charged word that starts with “N”, the word we are never to speak.

Has making that word taboo solved the the issue of racism in this country?  Or is the issue really the racism and not the word?

Recently Andrea James and Calpernia Addams, two long time activists have found themselves under attack because of their questioning of the motivations of one of the rising e-warrior stars of Planet Transgender.  It seems this e-warrior wannabee went on the attack against Calpernia for her defense of a word that was until a couple of years ago a staple in the trans-vocabulary albeit one considered street slang used by prole class TS/TG folks.

Parker Molloy malgendered Calpernia and the e-War was on with the Twitteratti and e-Warriors slinging harsh words back and forth across the interwebs, Smartphones drawn, pithy 140 character biting comments.  Battle lines were drawn, alliances formed.

The Transgender Borg with their generalized homophobic and classist subroutines immediately did what e-Warriors do.  They formulated a harsh letter of condemnation severely chastising Andrea and Calpernia for straying from the Transgender Borg politically vetted for correctness party line.

I swear I haven’t seen such wars over ideology since the battles between the Communist Party apparatchiks and the Trotskyites at the  Mediterranean Cafe on Telegraph Avenue in 1960s Berkeley.

Such indignation, such fury, such bullshitski.

What the fuck ever happened to people actually doing something to earn the label of activist?  Now it all seems about who has the most Twitter Followers, the most Facebook friends and likes.  Afew years back I tangled with wannabee activist and poor little rich girl, Ashley Love.  A really spoiled little a-hole who used her privilege to show up in selfies at all sorts of major events.

She wanted to be a leader.  Pity no one cared to follow.

Now it seems as though all the e-Warriors are looking at e-Activism as a way to become stars, polish their brand and get a platform in Huffington Post or the like.  They want to be leaders.  They want to be special even more than they want to be ordinary women or men who may have talents that make them special.

Too many have a vested interest in perpetuating a life time commitment to membership in a community that should be transitory.  At least it should be transitory for transsexuals who should get their SRS and go on to be ordinary women or men.

The idea of being transgender forever is in total opposition to how I have lived my life, to what my life experience has taught me.

The very idea of having self appointed e-Warriors acting as thought police patrolling the borders of the Transgender Ghetto is disgusting.  Even more infuriating is the shaming of anyone who happens to have a different oppinion from these true believers.  Further many of these true believing know-it-alls are newbies, people who haven’t a history of activism and certainly haven’t had years of experience living the life.

 

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson Praises Scientist Who Knew to Check His Religion at the Door; Creationists Go Apoplectic

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/belief/its-funny-soon-neil-degrasse-tyson-brings-religion-creationists-dont-want-him-talking-about

It’s hard to please the dogmatic creationists, who fundamentally hate science.

By Dan Arel
May 12, 2014

Creationists want religion out of Cosmos, unless of course it favors them. Each week Neil deGrasse Tyson has been attacked by creationists and the religious right for anything he says that makes religion look bad. In this week’s episode about electricity, Tyson discussed a Christian scientist, brushing off the importance of religious belief while engaging in scientific inquiry. Naturally, creationists don’t like that.

Michael Faraday was introduced this week to millions around the globe for his contributions to science, many of which benefit us all today in our everyday lives. Faraday was a devout Christian, and Tyson mentioned this, but as David Klinghoffer of the Discovery Institute points out:

“Faraday’s faith is mentioned at the beginning but implicitly dismissed as having anything to do with his science.  Cosmos shows us his impoverished family saying grace at the dinner table and explains that he ‘took [their] fundamentalist Christian faith to heart. It would always remain a source of strength, comfort and humility for him.’ That’s it—nothing more than a warm blanket on a cold night.”

Tyson is not lying or misrepresenting Faraday here. Faraday was a great scientist who knew how to check his faith at the lab door and study the actual data in front of him.

This upset Klinghoffer to no end. He goes as far as to mention his 12-year-old son, a fan of Cosmos, who is not allowed to watch any episode because of the content. You have to love the open mindedness of raising your kid to only believe what you believe.

Klinghoffer quotes MIT professor Ian H. Hutchinson:

“One example of the influence of [Faraday’s] theological perspective on his science is Faraday’s preoccupation with nature’s laws. ‘God has been pleased to work in his material creation by laws,’ he remarked, and ‘the Creator governs his material works by definite laws resulting from the forces impressed on matter.’”

While this is correct, how would Tyson benefit the viewer by pointing this out? Faraday’s discoveries would not change based on his belief or the validity of his personal faith. Faraday calls them nature’s laws; he just happens to believe a God created them.

Klinghoffer continues:

“Tyson has gone out of his way, indeed twisting the facts, to depict faith as an obstacle to science. But when acknowledging its vital role in scientific history would be most appropriate,  Cosmos invariably falls silent.”

It is Klinghoffer who twisted the facts, trying to make his readers believe that all of Faraday’s discoveries were based on his faith and not his devotion to the scientific method.

Continue reading at: http://www.alternet.org/belief/its-funny-soon-neil-degrasse-tyson-brings-religion-creationists-dont-want-him-talking-about

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How the Right Wing is Killing Women

From Robert Reich:   http://robertreich.org/post/85556159055

Robert Reich
Monday, May 12, 2014

According to a report released last week in the widely-respected health research journal, The Lancet, the United States now ranks 60th out of 180 countries on maternal deaths occurring during pregnancy and childbirth.

To put it bluntly, for every 100,000 births in America last year, 18.5 women died. That’s compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland.

A woman giving birth in America is more than twice as likely to die as a woman in Saudi Arabia or China.

You might say international comparisons should be taken with a grain of salt because of difficulties of getting accurate measurements across nations. Maybe China hides the true extent of its maternal deaths. But Canada and Britain?

Even if you’re still skeptical, consider that our rate of maternal death is heading in the wrong direction. It’s risen over the past decade and is now nearly the highest in a quarter century.

In 1990, the maternal mortality rate in America was 12.4 women per 100,000 births. In 2003, it was 17.6. Now it’s 18.5.

That’s not a measurement error because we’ve been measuring the rate of maternal death in the United States the same way for decades.

By contrast, the rate has been dropping in most other nations. In fact, we’re one of just eight nations in which it’s been rising.  The others that are heading in the wrong direction with us are not exactly a league we should be proud to be a member of. They include Afghanistan, El Salvador, Belize, and South Sudan.

China was ranked 116 in 1990. Now it’s moved up to 57. Even if China’s way of measuring maternal mortality isn’t to be trusted, China is going in the right direction. We ranked 22 in 1990. Now, as I’ve said, we’re down to 60th place.

Something’s clearly wrong.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/85556159055

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