Living in Peace and Wisdom on our Planet

  My Profile  Log In   Register Free Now   
Living in Peace and Wisdom on our Planet Planet Thoughts Advanced       Click to see one of our videos, chosen at random from the database, along with its PlanetThought
 Try a video
Home   About   Books&Media   Resources   Contact  
   News   Quote   Review   Story   Tip   All   Blogs   News   Quotes   Reviews   Stories   Tips
Get Email or Web Quotes
or use our RSS feeds:
New Feed:  Fossil Fuel
 Full  Blog  News
Read & Comment:
A Solar Community In Isr...
'Let's You And Him Fight...
Paul Krugman's Errors An...
Why Climate Change Is An...




Most recent comments:
From Farm To Fork
A Simple List: Things We...
Can the affluent rest at...

Actions:
Bookmark the site
Contribute $
Easy link from your site
Visit Second Life
Visit SU Blog
  Technorati


Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge




Blog item: Keep Calm And Carry On

Recommend this:  Hover here and click below to recommend this PlanetThought     Email a Friend     See Related

0 comments   Add a comment   Author: GuestWriter (May-24-2011)
Categories: Global Warming, Peak Oil/Gas & Energy Demand, Philosophical & Quality of Life

The British mantra from World War II – good today as well?By Bill McKibben

Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week's shots from Joplin, Missouri, you should not ask yourself: I wonder if this is somehow related to the huge tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that — together they comprised the most active April for tornadoes in our history. But that doesn't mean a thing. 

It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advised to try and connect them in your mind with, say, the fires now burning across Texas — fires that have burned more of America by this date than any year in our history. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they've ever been — the drought is worse than the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if it's somehow connected. 

If you did wonder, you'd have to also wonder about whether this year's record snowfalls and rainfalls across the Midwest — resulting in record flooding across the Mississippi — could somehow be related. And if you did that, then you might find your thoughts wandering to, oh, global warming. To the fact that climatologists have been predicting for years that as we flood the atmosphere with carbon we will also start both drying and flooding the planet, since warm air holds more water vapor than cold. 

It's far smarter to repeat to yourself, over and over, the comforting mantra that no single weather event can ever be directly tied to climate change. There have been tornadoes before, and floods — that's the important thing. Just be careful to make sure you don't let yourself wonder why all these records are happening at once: why we've had unprecedented megafloods from Australia to Pakistan in the last year. Why it's just now that the Arctic has melted for the first time in thousands of years. Focus on the immediate casualties, watch the videotape from the store cameras as the shelves are blown over. Look at the anchorman up to the chest of his waders in the rising river.

Because if you asked yourself what it meant that the Amazon has just come through its second hundred-year-drought in the last four years, or that the pine forests across the western part of this continent have been obliterated by a beetle in the last decade — well, you might have to ask other questions. Like, should President Obama really just have opened a huge swath of Wyoming to new coal-mining? Should Secretary of State this summer sign a permit allowing a huge new pipeline to carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta? You might have to ask yourself: do we have a bigger problem than four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline?

Better to join with the US House of Representatives, which earlier this spring voted 240-184 to defeat a resolution saying simply "climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare." Propose your own physics; ignore physics altogether. Just don't start asking yourself if last year's failed grain harvest from the Russian heatwave, and Queensland's failed grain harvest from its record flood, and France and Germany's current drought-related crop failures, and the death of the winter wheat crop in Texas, and the inability of Midwestern farmers to get corn planted in their sodden fields might somehow be related. Surely the record food prices are just freak outliers, not signs of anything systemic.

It's very important to stay completely calm.  If you got upset about any of this, you might forget how important it is not to disrupt the record profits of our fossil fuel companies. If worst ever did come to worst, it's reassuring to remember what the US Chamber of Commerce told the EPA in a recent filing: there's no need to worry because "populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of range of behavioral, physiological, and technological adaptations." I'm pretty sure that's what they're telling themselves in Joplin today.

Bill McKibben is founder of the global climate campaign 350.org, and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College.

Source: http://action.350.org/signup_page/connections  
Related PlanetThoughts.org reading:
  Why Climate Change Is An 'Everybody Issue' Now (Sep-21-2014)
  The Peak Oil Crisis: When? (Aug-29-2014)
  The Nightmare After Christmas (Feb-1-2014)
  Dr. James Hansen Talks On Long Island (Aug-4-2013)
  NOAA Focus On Climate (Apr-19-2013)
  Protective Flood Berm Collapse At Ft Calhoun Nuc... (Jun-28-2011)
  A Frog In Water -- Is Us (May-21-2011)
  Will The Nuclear Power Industry Melt Down? (Apr-29-2011)
  Could A Solar Green White House Finally Face The... (Oct-15-2010)
  Is The 'Nuclear Renaissance' Dead Yet? (Oct-5-2010)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
  
^ top
Add a comment    
  Follow the comments made here? 
  (Please log in or register free to follow comments)

  
^ top 
About author/contributor GuestWriter

PlanetThoughts.org welcomes occasional articles and opinion pieces from writers who are not regular contributors. Their contributions will be listed under the "GuestWriter" name, and additional attribution will be shown in accordance with the agreement with the original writer and source of the PlanetThought.
Real Time Oil Price Watch: 

Visit Green Wave Email Marketing
Email Marketing for You and Your Planet


We won a Gotham Green Award for 2010, on Earth Day! Thank you Gotham Networking for this award.

See the attractive event brochure.


Recommended Sites

  Member of:
GOtham Green networking
Green Collar Economy
New York Academy of Sciences
Shades of Green Network

  PlanetThoughts
     Members/Affiliates *

Approaching the Limits
    to Growth
EcoEarth.Info
Environmental News Network
EESI.org
GreenBiz.com
GreenHomeBuilding.com
Heroin and Cornflakes
NewScientist
ScienceDaily


* Members of PlanetThoughts      
  communities on SU or MBL,      
  and blog article affiliates      

  Other Favorite Blogs
21st Century Citizen
Center for Bio. Diversity
Easy Ways to Go Green
EcoGeek
Good Bags
Opposing Views


Valid my RSS feeds


We Do Follow

ClickBlog.org



  Volunteer      Terms of Use      Privacy Policy  

Copyright © 2018 PlanetThoughts.org. All Rights Reserved.
Except for blog items by David Alexander: Some Rights Reserved.