Tag Archives: Crisis

Bill McKibben and The Moral Math of Climate Change [Speaking of Faith® from APM]

This hour, with Bill McKibben, we seek perspective, both factual and moral, on human responsibility in a changing natural world. McKibben wrote The End of Nature, the first book on climate change for a general readership, in 1989. “Only in the disappearance of nature as we have known it,” he warned, “may we finally realize how essential it has been to human civilization.” Yet it’s hard to know how to orient our minds and our lives to a sweeping scenario like this and to the constantly accelerating data on global warning that comes at us daily. So we’ll seek foundational knowledge we can trust that Bill McKibben has gathered in two decades of being ahead of this curve, and we’ll explore the evolution of his moral imagination and his action from a focus on personal responsibility to a sense that what might save the planet would also renew the skill of neighborliness and the meaning of human community.

From American Public Media this is Speaking of Faith, public radio’s conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas. Today, Bill McKibben on “The Moral Math of Climate Change.”

And so begins this weeks podcast of Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet. If you have any interest in Climate Change you really should listen to the show. Krista and Bill hold a conversation about the history of Bill’s involvement and the history of the climate change “movement”.

An interesting part of the conversation revolved around Farmers’ Markets…

Mr. McKibben: But the real reason that’s so interesting that we like farmers’ markets, I think, turns out to be they’re different. Parasociologists followed shoppers first through the supermarket, then through the farmers’ market. Everybody’s been to the supermarket. You know how it works. You walk in, you fall into a light fluorescent trance. You visit the stations of the cross around the perimeter of the supermarket. You emerge with your items. That’s it. When they followed people around the farmers’ market, they were having, on average, 10 times as many conversations per visit. OK?

Cheap fossil fuel, you know, heated the planet. It made us rich. But it also, maybe most profoundly, made us the first kind of our species who’ve had no practical need of our neighbors for anything. We tell ourselves, you know, what a great chic thing we’ve invented, the farmers’ market.

Ms. Tippett: Right.

Mr. McKibben: In fact, that’s how all human beings shopped for food until 50 years ago and 80 percent of the planet still does.

Ms. Tippett: Still does, yeah.

Mr. McKibben: No wonder it feels good. I mean, this is what we’re built for.

via Transcript.

If you have never listened to the show before you might want to check it out. Over the years they have put out some really thought provoking shows, most of which you download to your favorite mp3 player.

via Bill McKibben and The Moral Math of Climate Change [Speaking of Faith® from APM].

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International Year of Biodiversity

Welcome to the International Year of Biodiversity

You are an integral part of nature; your fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of other animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments, all over the world.

You rely on this diversity of life to provide you with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials you simply cannot live without. Yet this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of human activities. This impoverishes us all and weakens the ability of the living systems, on which we depend, to resist growing threats such as climate change.

The United Nations proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing. We need to do more. Now is the time to act.

The International Year of Biodiversity is a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth. ~ International Year of Biodiversity.

Here we are 3 months into 2010 and this is the first I’ve heard of this…The International Year of Biodiversity

Humans are part of nature’s rich diversity and have the power to protect or destroy it.

The first thing I have see was an email this morning from the Encyclopedia of Life…

Nearly a decade ago, the United Nations announced that 2010 would be deemed the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). Global biodiversity, or the web of life, is estimated to include 13 million species—only 10% have been identified thus far.

A highlight of the IYB program will be the Tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in October, 2010. In addition to establishing goals for post-2010 global conservation efforts, conference participants will assess the international progress made toward conserving biodiversity. ~ EOL Newsletter.

As I read the news each day, it seems I see more and more how the biodiversity of the earth is being threatened by the actions of … Us. Our actions are almost at war with biodiversity, especially here in the United States. Our industrial agricultural practices, our resource “management” practices (mining, forestry, water), even our living habits all seem to be geared toward limiting the biodiversity we encounter. Whether it is our monoculture farms, our clear-cut forests, or even our manmade lakes that inundate thousands of acres of unique biologically diverse waterways, we tend towards destructive use of our environments.

So…I look forward to seeing what this International Year of Biodiversity will bring in the way of focusing our attention on what it is we may be losing if we don’t wake up. I’ll have my eyes open for more news now that I am aware of the significance of the year…

Oh, by the way, 2011 is the International Year of Forests. Start thinking about it now.

A Treasonous Vote of NO!

If only there was a court to try the cases in…

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no…

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Betraying the Planet – NYTimes.com.

Saturday Muses

I saw Patry’s post about the medicinal use of red wine in the treatment of influenza

Patry Francis Red wine may prevent swine flu, which is the absolute only reason I drink it. http://www.anotherwineblog.com/archives/4253

I checked my stock and decided I needed to make a “medicine” run…Off to Spec’s we went. After a stop for a lunch of TexMex cuisine I went shopping in the aisles of my favorite neighborhood “medicine” store. Granted, I came home with a few bottles of the white version of the “medicine”, but most met the “flu medicine” test…Does anyone know if I can write these off as medical expenses on my income taxes?

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I was reading another blog today that seems to be looking at this swine flu story with newly opened eyes…

There are serious problems and concerns with our nation’s the world’s current model of how meat is put on the table – call it Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), or Industrial Food Animal Production (IFAP) as the Pew Commission does – threatened public health, environmental degradation, severely compromised animal welfare, and decimated rural communities. Just recently, just this week, just today, we’re all getting a dose of reality about the public health angle with the discovery and emergence of the H1N1 triple-hybrid human/bird/pig flu virus.

via Why Small Farms? «

The more I observe this modern world we have created…The more I wonder who was paying attention to the details.

It seems as if we have let the corporate profit takers have their way with the world in the past few years without holding them accountable for their lack of knowledge in what they were messing with. Does anyone other than me find it strangely coincidental that it was with the rise in CAFO’s or factory farms that the obesity “epidemic” began to grow. Who has tested the cumulative effects of all the growth hormones and antibiotics that we are accumulating in our bodies just so the big meat companies can pull a few more cents of profits out of their factories? The residues of all of these chemicals are leaching out into the groundwater. We are accumulating them in our bodies with practically every meal we eat.

From recent news reports, it doesn’t even make a difference if you are a vegetarian. The antibiotics and other chemicals have become so pervasive, they are now measurable in the very vegetables we eat.

We have had thirty years of food “scientists” telling us what we should and shouldn’t eat. We have a thirty year history of getting more and more unhealthy as a result. This weeks health problem’s “cure” leads to next years new “disease”. And yet, every magazine, every newspaper, every hour of television has us being told by “experts” that we should ask our doctor if this or that new medicine isn’t right for us…Don’t pay any attention to the fine print or the announcer rattling off the infamous side effects. Is it just me or do these lists always sound worse than the “disease” they are treating.

Now…Quite suddenly, the questions being raised or of a different level of scary. Could or penny pinching CEO farmers be breeding the bugs that will lead us to the next pandemic. I know, we are not supposed to call it swine flu any more because it hurts the profits of the factory pig farmer. Guess what, it seems there is a lot more than flu growing in those pig farms…And just think, as we keep pumping the antibiotics into these animals we are creating “bugs” that wont be treatable…All for a little faster growth, that tough of “wellness” that lets us crowd just a few more animals into the shed…All for that almighty extra few cents per head per month…If it’s that hard to make these things profitable, maybe, just maybe there is a reason.

Is it any wonder that when the avian flu scare happened a few years ago, chickens were slaughtered in great numbers around the world to stem the spread. We are already seeing the same thing with pigs in certain parts of the world.

And all this is happening at time when the world’s financial ability to weather additional shocks is at an unprecedented low…Schools are closing down daily. Here in Texas, some are closing for upwards of three weeks. What is going to happen as families already strapped by shaky finances are forced to stay away from jobs to take care of children?

We are throwing money at the banks…We have always thrown money at the corporate farmers…Who is going to be around and pay the bills?