I apologize for my lack of technical skill- I have been unable to figure out how to embed this video. But if you click the link below you can watch it on The Weather Channel site. It is about a new study that found a pretty serious error in the majority of climate models- and what that error means as far as what is happening versus what was predicted.
Dahr Jamail, Truthout: The third-largest nuclear disaster in world history occurred in New Mexico in 1979, but the devastating consequences of uranium mining and processing continue to unfold.
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: A fracking well exploded in a town in Pennsylvania, and Chevron compensated the neighbors who were affected with free pizza. Reality has reached such a level of absurdity that satire could easily be mistaken for reality.
Staff, PR Watch: A new report shows that America’s highest-paid “government” workers are not your local teachers, nurses or sanitation workers. Rather, they are corporate executives who sign lucrative contracts to take over public services and pay themselves and other executives eye-popping salaries.
Pam Bailey, Truthout: Professors in cultures everywhere should challenge, explore, investigate and critique. Boycotts have an honorable history as a vehicle to promote citizen participation. Academics are rightly concerned that bills seeking to punish academic organizations boycotting Israeli institutions will impose a political test on faculty members.
William Ayers, HarperCollins: In Imagine Living in a Socialist USA, retired education professor William Ayers writes about knowledge as an inherently public good. The development of free people is the central goal of teaching toward the free society of the future, he says, and the fullest development of all is the condition for the full development of each.
Stephanie Van Hook, Open Democracy: Civil disobedience is vital, but it is insufficient to transform society. A new science of cooperation illuminates the path ahead.
Evaggelos Vallianatos, Truthout: Nature photographer and photojournalist Peter Essick, who worked for most of his life for National Geographic, has produced a beautiful, horrifying mirror of our Earth in his new book, Our Beautiful, Fragile World.
The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program: The result of media and popular culture portraying blacks as more likely to be criminals is that they’re far more likely to be treated as criminals, even when they aren’t. It’s time for white Americans to wake up and help heal this country of 400 years of self-inflicted wounds.
Laicie Heeley, Truthout: While negotiations between the US and its P5+1 partners on Iran nuclear inspections go smoothly, a wide gap remains to be bridged.
Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: The inhabitants of our secret state have been moving in dark and disturbing ways. What we know is already disturbing enough. What we don’t know would surely unnerve us far more.
In today‘s On the News segment: Denton, Texas is taking on the fracking industry; the Federal Communications Commission won’t stand up for internet freedom; nearly 100,000 people are about to lose their healthcare in Arkansas; and more.
Richard D. Wolff, Economic Update / Truthout: Updates on the Olympics; Chicago university faculty strike; Chevron’s contempt; Gallup poll on unemployment; consumer debt rising again; Europeans opposing the privatization of water; US adults marrying less to cope with the economy; and more.
In Plundering the Earth With Rash Excess, the Oligarchy Has Dug the World’s Largest Mass Grave
Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The biblical fable that Jesus multiplied a few fish and loaves of bread to feed 5,000 people is the stuff of faith. In reality, however, the Earth is well on its way to a population of 8 billion individuals. The profiteers are extracting a finite amount of natural resources, exacerbating climate change and creating a toxic carcass of the environment.
Judge Sides With Landowners, Strikes Down Eminent Domain Law Allowing Keystone XL
Celebrate World Social Justice Day – February 20
Living in Poverty Is Like Being Punched in the Face Over and Over on a Daily Basis
Seeking Reverence for Planetary Balance
Scott Walker, Eyeing 2016, Faces Fallout From Probes as Ex-Aide’s Emails Are Released
What Happens When the Man Standing His Ground Isn’t White?
After Five Banker Deaths in January, a Sixth: JPMorgan Exec Jumps
Thank you Laura!
Aurora : we would like to welcome you back onboard for a couple of nights starting from Thursday 20th Feb. to Sunday 23d February nights. We have been in orbit in fact in orbit for a few days already, and many of you have made contact with us last weekend and during the week.
In fact there is a picture of us that Laura took on her flight home last Saturday, and she will post if again for you to see. Her return flight will take place night time, so she will not be able to take pictures of us this time, but we will be very near again, of course.
We asked Laura to take that picture of us, and she heard us, we even directed her camera towards space, and she listened and heard us guide her where to find us, and we decloaked for you to see us…
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Thank you Aisha!
As many of you may have noticed, this ongoing intensifying of energetic upgrading is barely taking a pause these days, and so, you may be apt to think that this time, it will be too much for your hapless body. That is certainly not the case here, for if you manage to dive below that churning surface of energetic chaos, you will find that you are actually growing more resilient and balanced by the day. We know this may be cause for disbelief for many of you, for we are well aware that this round of energetic combustion will have lit a fire under the feet of many an issue that still lingers somewhere in your system. And yes, we do mean that as in issues stemming from earlier lives as well. For this is indeed the most thorough “housecleaning” you will ever have, and as such, this rattling of…
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Disseminating Moon Phase: communicate, share, express, feedback
Moon in Scorpio
Ruling Mahavidya: Matangi
The music of the spheres, courtesy the Sun and Neptune, continues to ring truth today and a special message comes through.
While there is a confluence of astrological signatures converging today that presses feelings of disappointment, disillusionment, isolation, fear, failure, suffering, emptiness, waste, helplessness, lack, stinginess, and paralysis, there is a more powerful signature that reinforces the dissolution of these things. We want to connect with this more powerful signature.
To do this, we focus on what feels GOOD! It seems like a simple solution, and it is, but it means we suspend the “negative” feelings long enough to not only entertain the thought of what would make us happy at the moment, but also actually pursue it.
There is more happening with this than plain hedonism. It’s about shifting frequency (mindset) on a day when the cosmos is disseminating massive information through light and sound. We can hold more of the “download” if we are in an open/receptive state. Being mired in the feelings listed above is not conducive.
If you believe that the negative feelings can’t be turned off, consider what you would do if the Universe gave you a “pass” today. If someone came to you and said “Hey, I will do this for you for the day and it won’t be a problem at all,” what would you do? Most would jump at the chance for a break. But others may feel the negative feelings are deserved, so they would not. What if that blessed soul said “In order to fulfill the mission, you must give this over to me?” Would you do it then? Truly this is what we have today. So if you can’t suspend those feelings for yourself today, do it for the collective. Pressure off.
The effect of this “day off” from negativity and switch to positivity will change the field. Tomorrow will be different because of it. Don’t be surprised if situations that are causing the negativity are resolved in some way.
What makes you happy? The feeling is congruent with being in love with life and our creatrix Gaia Sophia. Color a picture, take a photograph, drink a fine wine, cook a scrumptious meal, read a book, listen to a song, take a walk, pet a four-legged creature, make a child’s day, thank the Sun, wish on a star, share a story. The wave we create today ripples through time.
I just wonder how utterly lost someone has to be to propose “artificial trees”??
We have everything we need to turn around climate change now except a planet not run by greedmonkeys.
In 1990 we had less than 2% of world forests left. Clearcutting has accelerated since then.
Why not plant REAL TREES?????
Why not use proper grazing, and hundreds of other simple, natural, direct solutions instead of ridiculous pie in th sky (or chemicals in the sky!) Expensive boondoggles?
Why in short not listen to and learn from Mother Nature instead of trying to find more ways to “conquer and control” Her?
Isn’t it obvious YET that hubris is a fault not an asset?
Geo-engineering ‘could mean more heat’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Another way to cooling: Removing trees from snowy slopes would increase reflectivity
Image: Thomas Maier via Wikimedia Commons
By Tim Radford
Finding a technology that would let us counteract the effects of climate change is a cherished dream. But if there is a cure, it could be worse than the disease, scientists say.
LONDON, 19 February – The geo-engineers just cannot win, it seems. First, scientists demonstrated that ambitious plans to cool the planet by dimming solar radiation could have unintended and unwelcome consequences. And now they have shown something even more alarming: any programme to block the sunlight could precipitate even more dramatic global warming once it stopped, according to Environmental Research Letters.
Geo-engineering as a fallback strategy has been on the climate science agenda for decades. Almost all climate researchers argue, and have argued for 30 years, that the most effective response to global warming and the threat of climate change is a drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuel, everywhere on the planet.
Although many governments have agreed, and have even introduced attempts to control greenhouse gas emissions, levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases keep rising.
So researchers have suggested other possible solutions: “artificial trees” to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide; the fertilisation of the oceans to accelerate algal photosynthesis; and even the injection of sulphate particles into the stratosphere to block the incoming sunlight. Such things happen naturally, during occasional violent volcanic eruptions, and global cooling has been observed to follow.
This last deliberate technological response might create other kinds of unwelcome climate change, among which would be an alarming change in rainfall patterns, other scientists have argued.
But now Kelly McCusker of the University of Washington in the US and colleagues have proposed yet another reason for limiting discharges into the upper atmosphere. Whatever benefits might follow the technique known as solar radiation management or SRM would be wiped out once the management stopped.
Worse when you stop
Quite simply the technology could ultimately make climate change more dramatic and global warming more alarming. If solar radiation management techniques were applied for a few decades and then halted, global temperature increases would more than double. The consequential heat would be worse than that expected if the sun-block had never been applied at all.
(Read the rest of this article at the link below-
by Tim Radford
Tree roots ‘are natural thermostat’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In sight of the Carpathians: Mountain forests can cool – and warm – the Earth
Image: Horia Varlan from Bucharest, Romania, via Wikimedia Commons
By Tim Radford
Trees can influence the climate in unexpected ways, and British researchers say their roots are an important way of helping rocks to weather and drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
LONDON, 18 February – Trees have become a source of continuous surprise. Only weeks after researchers demonstrated that old forest giants actually accumulate more carbon than younger, fast-growing trees, British scientists have discovered that the great arbiters of long-term global temperatures may not be the leaves of an oak, a pine or a eucalypt, but the roots.
The argument, put by a team from Oxford and Sheffield Universities in the journalGeophysical Research Letters, begins with temperature. Warmer climates mean more vigorous tree growth and more leaf litter, and more organic content in the soil. So the tree’s roots grow more vigorously, say Christopher Doughty of Oxford and colleagues.
They get into the bedrock, and break up it up into its constituent minerals. Once that happens, the rock starts to weather, combining with carbon dioxide. This weathering draws carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and in the process cools the planet down a little. So mountain ecosystems – mountain forests are usually wet, and on conspicuous layers of rock – are in effect part of the global thermostat, preventing catastrophic overheating.
The tree is more than just a sink for carbon, it is an agency for chemical weathering that removes carbon from the air and locks it up in carbonate rock.
That mountain weathering and forest growth are part of the climate system has never been in much doubt: the questions have always been about how big a forest’s role might be, and how to calculate its contribution.
Keeping climate stable
US scientists recently studied the rainy slopes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps to begin to put a value on mountain ecosystem processes. Dr Doughty and his colleagues measured tree roots at varying altitudes in the tropical rain forests of Peru, from the Amazon lowlands to 3,000 metres of altitude in the higher Andes.
They measured the growth to 30 cms below the surface every three months and did so for a period of years. They recorded the thickness of the soil’s organic layer, and they matched their observations with local temperatures, and began to calculate the rate at which tree roots might turn Andean granite into soil.
Then they scaled up the process, and extended it through long periods of time. Their conclusion: that forests served to moderate temperatures in a much hotter world 65 million years ago.
“This is a simple process driven by tree root growth and the decomposition of organic material. Yet it may contribute to the Earth’s long-term climate stability. It seems to act like a thermostat, drawing more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere when it is warm and less when it is cooler”, Dr Doughty said.
If forests cool the Earth, however, they might also warm it up. A team from Yale University in the US has reported inGeophysical Research Lettersthat forest fires might have had an even greater impact on global warming during the Pliocene epoch about three million years ago than carbon dioxide.
Rapid rise expected
Nadine Unger, an atmospheric chemist, and a colleague have calculated that the release ofvolatile organic compounds, ozone and other products from blazing trees could have altered the planet’s radiation balance, by dumping enough aerosols into the atmosphere to outperform carbon dioxide as a planet-warmer.
In fact, the Pliocene was at least2°C or 3°C warmer than the pre-industrial world. The Pliocene is of intense interest to climate scientists: they expect planetary temperatures to return to Pliocene levels before the end of the century, precisely because humans have cleared and burned the forests, and pumped colossal quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The greater puzzle is why a rainy, forested and conspicuously human-free world should have been so much warmer.
“This discovery is important for better understanding climate change through Earth’s history, and has enormous implications for the impacts of deforestation and the role of forests in climate protection strategies”, Dr Unger said.
All this scholarship is concerned with the natural machinery of ancient climate change, and the Yale research was based on powerful computer simulations of long-vanished conditions that could not be replicated in a laboratory.
Meanwhile, ironically, forest scientists have had a chance to test the levels of volatile organic discharges from blazing forests because freakish weather conditions in Norway have seenunexpected wild fires in tracts of mountain forest. December was one of Norway’s warmest winter months ever. In one blaze, 430 residents were forced to evacuate. – Climate News Network
This issue is the one that changed my life, my goals, my beliefs about many things, and my career path. My understanding, awareness and determination to change these things expanded from this point.
I have always been an environmental and justice activist- I developed that way in the womb and have some of my earliest memories of protests.
But something about a photo in an article about the uranium pollution at four corners tore something integral in my heart. I felt it tearing just like catching your shirt on something sharp and afterwards nothing was ever the same again.
The photo was a mother cradling her nine year old daughter who was obviously frail and dying from leukemia caused by exposure to radiation in her drinking water, and dust in the air.
The article detailed a broad spectrum of horror that is day to day normal for the people who live there and it all upset me but that photo is seared into my mind like the brand is seared onto a cow. It still haunts me almost 20 years later.
When you think of cheap electricity to dry your clothes faster than hanging them up, for playing video games or watching tv or YouTube, for neon signs and air conditioning- do you ever, even once think of people like that mother and her dying child?
Or maybe the folks bathing in bottled water when they can get it in West Virginia after the coal waste spill?
The nightmares that make our pretty, convenient, thoroughly paved lifestyle possible are usually carefully hidden or denied so we can easily avoid making the connection.
But that doesn’t mean the connection isn’t real.:-(
Nestled Amid Toxic Waste, a Navajo Village Faces Losing its Land Forever
By DAN FROSCH
February 19, 2014
CHURCH ROCK, N.M. — In this dusty corner of the Navajo reservation, where seven generations of families have been raised among the arroyos and mesas, Bertha Nez is facing the prospect of having to leave her land forever.
The uranium pollution is so bad that it is unsafe for people to live here long term, environmental officials say. Although the uranium mines that once pocked the hillsides were shut down decades ago, mounds of toxic waste are still piled atop the dirt, raising concerns about radioactive dust and runoff.
And as cleanup efforts continue, Ms. Nez and dozens of other residents of the Red Water Pond Road community, who have already had to leave their homes at least twice since 2007 because of the contamination, are now facing a more permanent relocation. Although their village represents only a small sliver of the larger Navajo nation, home to nearly 300,000 people, they are bearing the brunt of the environmental problems.
“It feels like we are being pushed around,” said Ms. Nez, 67, a retired health care worker, who recalled the weeks and months spent in motel rooms in nearby Gallup as crews hauled away radioactive soil from the community’s backyards and roadsides.
These days, this sprawling reservation, about the size of West Virginia, is considered one of the largest uranium-contaminated areas in United States history, according to officials at the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency has been in the throes of an expansive effort to remove waste from around this tiny and remote Navajo village, and clean up more than 500 abandoned mine areas that dot the reservation.
Federal officials say they have been amazed at the extent of the uranium contamination on the reservation, a vestige of a burst of mining activity here during the Cold War. In every pocket of Navajo country, tribal members have reported finding mines that the agency did not know existed. In some cases, the mines were discovered only after people fell down old shafts.
“It is shocking — it’s all over the reservation,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the E.P.A.’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “I think everyone, even the Navajos themselves, have been shocked about the number of mines that were both active and abandoned.”
Between 2008 and 2012, federal agencies spent $100 million on the cleanup, according to the E.P.A.; an additional $17 million has been spent by energy companies determined to be responsible for some of the waste.
But the scope of the problem is worse than anyone had thought. The E.P.A. has said that it could take at least eight years to dispose of a huge pile of uranium mine waste that has sat near Red Water Pond Road since the 1980s — waste that must be removed before the area can finally be free of contamination.
“The community is frustrated, I know I’m frustrated — we’d like it to go quickly,” Mr. Blumenfeld said.
But before the latest round of cleanup can begin, an application to remove the waste pile must be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which will then conduct environmental and safety reviews. That process will probably take two years, and there is the possibility that public hearings on the plan could extend the process several more years, said Drew Persinko, a deputy director for the commission.
That time frame seems unreasonably long for tribal members, who said that spending so long living away from the reservation has been difficult. So far, the E.P.A. has spent $1 million on temporary housing for residents of Red Water Pond Road; much of that cost will be reimbursed by General Electric, which acquired the old Northeast Church Rock Mine site in 1997, and also its subsidiary company, United Nuclear Corporation, which operated the mine.
As in the past, the relocations will be voluntary. Some residents wondered — as they have for years now — if the land will ever really be clean.
“Our umbilical cords are buried here, our children’s umbilical cords are buried here. It’s like a homing device,” said Tony Hood, 64, who once worked in the mines and is now a Navajo interpreter for the Indian Medical Center in Gallup. “This is our connection to Mother Earth. We were born here. We will come back here eventually.”
Residents still remember seeing livestock drinking from mine runoff, men using mine materials to build their homes and Navajo children playing in contaminated water that ran through the arroyo. Today, the site near Red Water Pond Road holds one million cubic yards of waste from the Northeast Church Rock Mine, making it the largest and most daunting area of contamination on the reservation.
The waste does not pose any immediate health risk, Mr. Blumenfeld said, but there are concerns about radioactive dust being carried by the wind, runoff from rain, and the area’s accessibility to children, who can slip in easily through a fence.
Under a plan being developed by General Electric and the E.P.A., the waste would be transported to a former uranium mill just off the reservation — already considered a Superfund site — and stored in a fortified repository. The estimated cost is nearly $45 million.
“General Electric and United Nuclear Corporation are committed to continue to work cooperatively with the U.S. government, Navajo Nation, state of New Mexico and local residents to carry out interim cleanups and reach agreement on the remedy for the mine,” said Megan Parker, a spokeswoman for General Electric.
The Navajo E.P.A., which is an arm of the tribe’s own government, for years has been calling for a widespread cleanup of abandoned mines. Stephen Etsitty, the executive director of the agency, said he was hopeful that progress was finally being made, but acknowledged that the scope and technical complexity of the operation at Red Water Pond Road was unprecedented.
“We’re pushing and doing as much as we can to keep the process going as fast as we can,” Mr. Etsitty said. “It’s just taken so long to get there.”
On a recent day, Ms. Nez and several other residents stood on a bluff near a cluster of small homes and traditional Navajo hogan dwellings as the wind whipped across a valley that once bustled with mining activity.
The group talked of their grandparents — medicine men who were alive when the mines first opened — and wondered what they would think about Red Water Pond Road today.
“They would say ‘How did this happen? They ruined our land,’ ” Ms. Nez said. “ ‘How come you haven’t prayed to have this all fixed up?’ ”
(Please click the link below to read this article on the New York Times site with links, photos and comments