… while I was off picking up my son at Reagan National Airport yesterday and my wife was at a meeting. Of course, I didn’t discover it until this morning (he carefully hid his donation behind the washing machine closet door which was ajar). If you don’t catch him right when he is doing it, trying to teach him an object lesson is useless.
… from figures at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Click on the expand button so it fills your monitor and watch your area of the country. I saw the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia go from 2% to over 10% in the 4 year coverage (which includes me!)… and look at how the whole country changes.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats, nor Tea Baggers, nor anyone else has done anything to solve this problem. So what do we do?
If you want to read a depressing but true book on the changes in our planet and it’s environment… not changes coming in a generation, but the changes that are HERE NOW, then pick up a copy of “Eaarth” by Bill McKibben (who 20 years ago tried to warn us with “The End Of Nature.” The spelling of the planet’s name is not a typo… McKibben wants us to see that our planet is somewhat familiar to us, but has changed enough to be not quite the same… and we will have to get used to it.
One of his scariest points is that, even if everyone in the world were given an electric car tomorrow, changed all our lightbulbs to the low output variety, grew all our own food and collected our own water from rain, ended all wars we are involved in and brought everyone home, it would still be hundreds of years before we recovered the world of the mid 20th Century, if at all.
Here’s a video of McKibben on the book:
To me, starting the change in how we live, what we eat, how we power what we do must begin now, even if it is my grandchildren’s grandchildren who start to see the results. But, as McKibben points out, change has to be complete and worldwide, either voluntarily or by political force, for anything to really matter. Of course, this brings up the conflicts of economics, progressive growth of economies (which must end…especially in huge countries like China and India as well as with us), and views of climate change moving faster than all predictions by politicians and scientists.
And it brings up the problem of religious belief.
For instance… there is reason why some extreme right leaning Christian fundamentalists might do nothing to help change our ways of living”
Many Christian fundamentalists feel that concern for the future of our planet is irrelevant, because it has no future. They believe we are living in the End Time, when the son of God will return, the righteous will enter heaven, and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire. They may also believe, along with millions of other Christian fundamentalists, that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed — even hastened — as a sign of the coming Apocalypse.
Then there are those who take a Biblical view that there is no change which is going to effect our climate and therefor our lives. God’s promise to Noah:
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Gen 8:22)
… and if you think intelligent people do not take this seriously, then you miss the views of members of our own Congress:
-IL Rep John Shimkus tells us how climate change is bullshit via the theological argument. March 2009
Well, some of us see this, and try to get the word out, but I’m not sure it works. For instance:
– Rachel Maddow April 2009
And major religions, like the Lutherans, are assuming that God is behind everything and will keep radical change from destroying us.
From God, Creation and Climate Change:
Despite all the negativities—such as the disruption and destruction occurring due to climate change—we still trust that God is at work in this world, often hidden beneath its opposite.
– published by the Lutheran World Federation, 2009
And then there are the people who, while not in Congress anymore, are the big pushers of the Tea Bagger’s movement:
What I’m suggesting is we have a sort of an eco-evangelical hysteria going on and it leads me to almost wonder if we are becoming a nation of environmental hypochondriacs that are willing to use the power of the state to impose enormous restrictions on the rights and the comforts of, and incomes of individuals who serve essentially a paranoia, a phobia, that has very little fact evidence in fact. Now these are observations that are popular to make because right now its almost taken as an article of faith that this crisis is real.
Let me say I take it as an article of faith if the lord God almighty made the heavens and the Earth, and he made them to his satisfaction and it is quite pretentious of we little weaklings here on earth to think that, that we are going to destroy God’s creation.
– Dick Army
I guess I am, and McKibben is, and Rachel Maddow is a pretentious little weakling…I believe that all of “creation” can be destroyed.
Believe what you want…but think about changing at least one element of your energy consumption or carbon output. And think about who you vote for and will they end the war, or will they promote conservation of water and air, or will they stop our economy from growing–since growth increases consumption.
And read McKibben’s book if you don’t do anything else.
“Keeping world markets open is important, but avoiding planetary catastrophe is a lot more important….”
– Paul Krugmann in the NY Times
You deserved the Nobel Prize, Krugmann. Keep reminding us what the results of our inaction will be.
Signals being sent by tapping on pipes down shafts which have been drilled 1000 feet or more have not gotten responses. Governor Manchin’s update this morning was pretty depressing, but family members of the four unaccounted for men still continue to wait.
Perhaps they will be able to send a team down later today, but the odds against finding anyone alive are very long.
This thanks to CBS and Reuters:
Aside from the support from the US which was virtually immediate, support has come in from China, Brazil and other countries. I’m going to relist where you can send $$$ to help. May I also suggest that anyone who was going to make a donation to Pat Robertson’s ministry, via the 700 Club or other means. give that cash to one of the following Haiti support sites:
•The American Red Cross is pledging an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by this earthquake. They expect to provide immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support. They are accepting donations through their International Response Fund.
•UNICEF has issued a statement that “Children are always the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and UNICEF is there for them.” UNICEF requests donations for relief for children in Haiti via their Haiti Earthquake Fund. You can also call 1-800-4UNICEF.
•Donate through Wyclef Jean’s foundation, Yele Haiti. Text “Yele” to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and given to relief projects through the organization.
•Operation USA is appealing for donations of funds from the public and corporate donations in bulk of health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements which it will ship to the region from its base in the Port of Los Angeles. Donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave, Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.
Just as a side comment, here’s why I’m so glad Rush Limbaugh is aligned with Neo-Conservatives and not with human beings… this from the HuffPo:
Well, it didn’t take long for conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh to use the crisis in Haiti to attack President Obama politically. On his radio show yesterday Limbaugh said the earthquake in Haiti will play right into Obama’s hands by allowing him to play up his “compassionate” and “humanitarian” credentials, and that the President will use this crisis to “boost his credibility with the black community.”
As if that weren’t enough, Limbaugh also pivoted off a caller who complained about Obama directing the public to the White House website to find charitable organizations operating in Haiti to promote a conspiracy theory that finding these charities via the White House website puts your money at risk of not reaching Haitians.
Limbaugh also seems to feel we’ve done enough already for Haiti: “We’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”
Dylan Ratigan made a disturbing announcement on his show this afternoon, Apparently Credit Card companies are slicing a fee off of donations going to Haiti…the one exception that he found was American Express. Ratigan was starting an alert to get people to call and complain about the practice by the other card companies… they may have pulled the fees by now… but it’s worth checking to see if these capitalist pigs are taking advantage of an international tragedy.