Thursday, December 28, 2006

Govt. sees polar bears as 'threatened'

I just started reading Al Gore's book "Earth in the Balance", since I haven't seen his documentary yet. For a book published 15 years ago, it's still gripping reading. Not to say that it's ancient, it just feels that so much has happened since then, in terms of global warming seeping into our consciousness. It's easy to forget that even then, the problem was on the horizon.

I found this on Yahoo, even the Bush administration has had to admit that polar bears are threatened by global warming, since the land they live on is literally melting away at a fast rate. Maybe if they'd acknowledged that this was a problem requiring the most immediate speed 6 years ago, it'd be a little easier to handle. And of course Yahoo puts an unbearingly (pun not intended) cute picture of a polar bear. Save the polar bears.

Govt. sees polar bears as 'threatened'

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press WriterWed Dec 27, 9:25 PM ET

Polar bears are in jeopardy and need stronger government protection because of melting Arctic sea ice related to global warming, the Bush administration said Wednesday.

The Interior Department cites thinning sea ice as the big problem; outside the government, other scientists studying the issue say pollution, overhunting, development and even tourism also may be factors. Greenland and Norway have the most polar bears, while a quarter of them live mainly in Alaska and travel to Canada and Russia.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Beginner's Guide to Global Warming

I saw this in the Long Island Press by a humorist. It was funny and terrifying at the same time.
The Beginner’s Guide To Global Warming

Chapter I. Introduction
If you’re new to global warming, here’s how to tell if it’s arrived in your neighborhood:

a. It’s Christmas and you notice that Santa Claus, ringing his bell at the mall,
is sweating like a pig. His “Ho! Ho! Ho!” doesn’t sound quite as jolly as last year.

b. While walking the dog, you suddenly realize that your local beach is missing.

c. Although you bought a modest Florida condo on a golf course, it is now valuable waterfront property.

d. Your local NFL team has shed its hot helmets and shoulder pads and is now playing touch football.

These are surefire signs that global warming is about to change life as you know it.

Chapter II. It’s All Around Us
Here are some highlights of what’s happening in other parts of the world:
In Europe, the bears are confused. It’s too warm to hibernate, and all the berries are gone. What the bears will eat, and what they’ll do with their spare time if warm weather persists, is anybody’s guess.

Flowers are confused, thinking that November’s record-breaking warm weather is a very early spring. Forsythia is blooming in some Austrian alpine valleys.
Ski resorts in the Rockies are moving to higher elevations, where there’s actually snow. Some resorts are lobbying the government for new leases on federal land at higher altitudes.

Butterflies are moving north, from southern Europe to Finland. If you live in Helsinki and have spent a fortune on parkas, scarves and alcoholic beverages for a long, gray winter, butterflies can be disconcerting.

High pollen counts in December, an almost unheard of phenomenon, are causing problems among asthma sufferers in Scandinavia.

On a positive note, global warming is good news for cockroaches, fleas and ticks! They thrive in warmer weather, so they’ll reproduce more during the year, and more will survive through the shorter winter freezes.

Chapter III. Take Action
Here’s what you can personally do:
Politically correct: Write to President George W. Bush. This will make you feel better, but will not do any good. If Texas has six months of 100-degree heat and low-lying cities vanish into the Gulf of Mexico, that might get his attention.
Politically incorrect: Get a large boat. Collect a male and a female of your favorite kind of animal.

Buy retirement property in the new Sunbelt. (This includes North Dakota, Montana, parts of Idaho, Alaska and northern Maine.)

Check out the exciting new investment opportunities! Ask your stockbroker about sunscreen manufacturers, pharmaceutical firms with skin cancer products, solar panel companies, and anybody still in business that makes large hats. Insect repellents will be the hot new market sector.

Start a GWDC (Global Warming Defense Corps) branch. You’ll learn basic survival skills like “Xtreme grilling,” using the hood of your car or your concrete driveway. They’ll also teach you which weapons and strategies are effective against marauding bears.

Global warming has arrived. It’s time for us to adapt and evolve.

Peter Tannen is the recipient of a 2005 National Press Club Award for humor writing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Warm December

This is from the "It's Getting Hot in Here" blog. It pretty much speaks for itself, and it's funny too. If I have to hear one more person saying how beautiful it is, I think I'm gonna throw up.

“A Warm December”
A warm December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe next will be hotter than the last
I just remember the way it used to snow
and the jackets I once wore have turned to dust
and it’s one more day you’ll still be tanning
and it’s one warm night in shorts and tees
but if you think its gonna be a blessing
think again.
The sight of glaciers slowly melting
and the feeling that we’re straddling the drop-off with no shute
but then you look across a muddled planet
and think that just a little hope can save the world

and it’s one warm day you’ll still be tanning
and it’s one warm night in shorts and tees
and soon we all be Californians, think again
Drove to the Capitol sometime after two a.m.
And thought a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you act a little slower,
Makes you feel a little lower about the things you could have done
And its been a warm December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be hotter than the last
I cant remember all the things I gotta do
to just shift the world slightly as it passed
and it’s one warm day you’ll still be tanning
and it’s one warm night in shorts and tees
now Santa’s got a boat on the ocean, sinkin in.

Thanks to Josh Tulkin at the It's Getting Hot in Here blog:

Friday, December 15, 2006

Asian boom undercuts pollution cleanup

m, I found this on Yahoo. It illustrates how it really boils down to whether we want economic "prosperity" or to ensure a future for our children and future generations. Seeking economic equality and a better way of life for people can be a double-edged sword, in my opinion. As bad as global warming is at the moment, imagine how worse it would be if most of the rest of the world was in a post-industrial state, rather than environment-neutral poverty. It goes to show that there aren't any easy answers.

Asian boom undercuts pollution cleanup

By MICHAEL CASEY, AP Environmental WriterThu Dec 14, 5:25 PM ET
Asia's economic boom has caused a surge in car and motorcycle sales, undercutting efforts to promote public transport in the region and clean up its dirty skies, delegates told a pollution conference Thursday.
While some Asian governments were praised for toughening vehicle emission standards, and most have phased out leaded gasoline, many of the region's big cities are doing little to enforce laws or establish effective bus and train networks, they said.
"Transport is growing faster in most cities so transport emissions are a big part of the problem," Lew Fulton, a transport expert with the U.N. Environmental Program, told the three-day Better Air Quality Conference 2006 in Yogyakarta.
The meeting — one of the biggest air quality conferences in the region — comes at a time when Asia has begun to address the bad air that has resulted from double-digit economic growth rates, especially in India and China. Soot from coal-fired power plants, greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and haze caused by slash-and-burn land clearing activities have all helped turn the region into the world's most polluted.

Read the rest of the article at:

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Hi everyone,

This is something I just started on a total lark. I hope I can stick to it and keep posting. Although it's tentative, and I know there are many other sites, I have become very concerned with the state of global warming across the world. I am a 27 year old college graduate (just graduated, actually) and a political activist, although I've been inactive for quite awhile, as some of you may be able to attest to. Nonetheless, if there's any issue that can get me back in, it's this one. I am not an expert, I haven't seen the Al Gore movie yet, I can only judge the problem based on what I've been able to observe and what life is like day-to-day. I live in Long Island, New York. It's Mid-December, and it's nearly 60 degrees out. I find that a tad freakish. People come to me all day long (I work in a retail store, so I communicate a lot) and say "Oh, this is wonderful, it's like springtime". Well, it's not supposed to be springtime, it's supposed to be on the verge of winter. I like a warm day as much as anybody, but there comes a point where you have to scratch your head and say "what's the deal?" There comes a point where you have to stop scratching your head and start delving into the details.

What's more puzzling, or more frustrating since it's all too typical, is how most people can live in a state of ignorance and can't seem to acknowledge that global warming exists and is a clear and present danger. Again, there are a lot of websites, I just want to contribute to the issue and blog on various items making their way throughout the web that relate to global warming and climate change. I have a very busy schedule (full-time job and hopefully attending grad school next fall), but will be on as often as I can.