Sunday, October 25, 2009

Irreversible Catastrophic Climate Destabilization

Global average radiative forcing estimates and...Image via Wikipedia

Last Friday's edition of NOW on PBS asks, "Is a coastal catastrophe approaching, and what should we be doing about it?" It specifically addresses the issue of flooding in Bangladesh, currently the 7th most populous country on the planet and one of the most densely populated (1063 per sq km). (The next most populous country is Russia with a mere 8.4 per sq km!) Featured is Dr A. Atiq Rahman, the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) and a Lead Author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Chapter-19 on “Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change”, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr Rahman says terms like Global Warming and Climate Change are deceptively euphemistic, and says Irreversible Catastrophic Climate Destabilization is much more accurate and impactful. Where I come from, people might say, "It's time to get the finger out!"

You can watch the segment below. I recommend you view the NOW page also, as the comments are enlightening. For instance, commenter Forrest M. Mims III says,"... land subsidence alone may account for an elevation change of -30 cm over the past several decades," which for me is in the category of "things you never thought of".


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Saturday, October 10, 2009

California Water Policy

I got this letter from my state legislator last week. Posted without comment.

Dear Mr. Xxxxxxxxx:

California’s lack of water could result in more than 800,000 acres of farmland going unplanted this year. And if the current water shortage doesn’t improve, the Central Valley could lose $1.8 billion in agricultural revenues by the end of the year.

But what many people don’t realize is that a large part of our water supply crisis is due to a man-made drought. In 2007, environmentalists persuaded a federal court to drastically cut back intake at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water pumps in order to protect a 3-inch fish known as the Delta smelt. These environmentalists argue that the pumps harm the smelt’s habitat and are therefore in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

And now the Delta pumps have been turned off. Officials are predicting that the Central Valley won’t receive any federal water this year and it will only get 15% of the normal supply of state water.

These Delta pumping restrictions must be lifted in order to save our region’s economy and reduce record unemployment. As your representative in the State Assembly, I am taking action to prioritize the economic needs of our region and stop this man-made drought.

If you have any questions about our water supply, or any other topic, please do not hesitate to contact me. It is an honor to serve you in the State Assembly.


Assemblymember, District 34

Friday, October 09, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize goes to US President Obama

Congratulations to Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America, who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2009 "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". Here's what President Obama had to say:

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