Quotations are selected from this pool (and other quotation pools) in a pseudorandom way every hour and inserted at the top and bottom of some of the major pages on this website. Feel free to copy any of these quotes and paste them for whatever purpose you please.
Wrong Way Canucks
Canada’s green house gas emissions have increased by 30% since 1990.~ CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) News 2007-12-07
I Am An Animal
The human species is one of many animals on the earth.~ Cheryl Strayed née Nyland (born: 1968-09-16 age: 45)
100,000 Times the Extinction Rate
For millions of years, on average, one species became extinct every century.… We are now heaving more than a thousand different species of animals and plants off the planet every year.~ Douglas Adams (born: 1952-03-11 died: 2001-05-11 at age: 49) author of Last Chance to See
Cause Of Exxon Valdez
It wasn’t the Exxon Valdez captain’s driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours.~ Greenpeace advertisement New York Times 1990-02-25
Some scientists are predicting by 2050, only 8% of biomes [plants and animals] will be left in their original habitats.~ Dr. Sally Aiken
Despair vs Hopelessness
One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.~ Woody Allen (born: 1935-12-01 age: 78)
The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.~ Scientific American (born: 1845 age: 169)
Enbridge Cowboy Culture
Enbridge is last company in North America that should be permitted to do the job [the Northern Gateway pipeline]. Enbridge clearly has a cowboy culture quite inappropriate for building a pipeline in one of the most sensitive parts of the world.~ David Anderson (born: 1937-08-16 age: 77) former Minister of the Environment
Mr. Anderson understands the essential problem. Enbridge has mastered only 1/1000 the technology needed to safely build the Northern Gateway pipeline. They can’t even go three weeks without a spill.
The other crucial fact has not yet sunk into the public consciousness is that when you clean up a spill of crude oil, once it hits water, you can only recover at best 3 to 5% of the oil. The cleanup is primarily window dressing. It does almost nothing to undo the spill. When you clean up a spill of bitumen, once it hits water, you can’t clean up any of it because it sinks. It is heavier than water. You can only clean up bitumen spills on land, not in rivers, lakes and oceans.
Product Safety Is Not Monsanto’s Job
Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) ’s job.~ Philip Angell Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. Playing God in the Garden New York Times Magazine, 1998-10-25
It is not just market-ready products submitted to the FDA for approval that cause problems. It is all the experimental crops planted in open fields that the FDA never sees.
We Create the Future
One of the biggest flaws in the common conception of the future is that the future is something that happens to us, not something we create.~ Michael Anissimov (born: 1985 age: 29)
Economy and Ecology
Contrary to popular belief, we do not face a choice between economy and ecology, It is often said that protecting the environment would constrain or even undermine economic growth. In fact, the opposite is true: unless we protect resources and the earth’s natural capital, we shall not be able to sustain economic growth.~ Kofi Annan (born: 1938-04-08 age: 76) Secretary General of the United Nations
Don’t blow it — good planets are hard to find.~ Anonymous
Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold. What have we to offer in exchange? Uncertainty! Insecurity!~ Isaac Asimov (born: 1920-01-02 died: 1992-03-06 at age: 72) Russian-born American scientist and prolific writer
No Better Than WoodsA small grove massacred to the last ash,
An oak with heart-rot, give away the show:
This great society is going to smash;
They cannot fool us with how fast they go,
How much they cost each other and the gods.
A culture is no better than its woods.
~ Wystan Hugh Auden (born: 1907-02-21 died: 1973-09-29 at age: 66) A Culture Is No Better Than Its Woods
Destroying the Land
It is not possible for us to agree to the destruction of land that sustains us.~ Chief Marilyn Baptiste of the Xeni Gwe’tin first nation
Drill, Baby, Drill
There have been more than 30,000 oil wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico in the last 50 years. This is the first time something like this has ever happened [BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill], and we need to get to the bottom of it, find out what happened, make sure it doesn’t happen again. But I think it is very reasonable to continue to drill.~ Haley Barbour (born: 1947-10-22 age: 66) Republican governor of Mississippi and shill for the oil industry.
Granted the Deepwater Horizon spill was the biggest spill in US history, but there were hundreds of smaller spills. The oil industry has publicly admitted the oil industry has no tools to stop a deep water spill, save a relief bore that takes months to complete. That is the issue. There is no mystery that we need to get to the bottom of.
You cannot sustain population growth and / or growth in the rates of consumption of resources.~ Dr. Albert A. Bartlett (born: 1923-03-21 age: 91)
Population Growth is Toxic
Can you think of any problem, in any area of human endeavour, on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?~ Dr. Albert A. Bartlett (born: 1923-03-21 age: 91)
Understanding the Exponential Function
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.~ Dr. Albert A. Bartlett (born: 1923-03-21 age: 91)
I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case a $20 billion shakedown.~ Joe Barton (born: 1949-09-15 age: 64) Republican Representative for Texas, the potential head of Energy and Commerce committee along with rival John Shimkus.
Barton believes it is unfair to ask BP to clean up its own oil spill and to compensate those damaged by it. To him it is a random act of God, and thus the taxpayers should pick up the tab. Not surprisingly Barton receives more over-the-table contributions from big oil than any other politician. He has roughly a four-year old’s understanding of science. He denies plate tectonics. He thinks Jesus placed the oil for Americans to find it. He denies global warming, but simultaneously thinks it will solve the energy crisis.
The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.~ Gregory Bateson (born: 1904-05-09 died: 1980-07-04 at age: 76)
Toni Lilly introduced us in the summer of 1979 at Esalen, a year before he died. He was in a wheel chair and quite ill. I got the feeling he was throwing me the torch. He looked on me benignly. Unfortunately, I did not know who he was at the time, and I did not understand what he was trying to tell me.
Whereas CO₂ is the dominant greenhouse gas overall, it accounts for only 11 percent of agricultural emissions. The rest is nitrous oxide (53 percent), and methane (36 percent). Nitrous oxide is 296 times more potent per pound than CO₂ as a climate-change gas, and on farms it results mainly from the use of fertiliser but also from cattle pee, especially if there is excessive protein in the diet, and from burning biomass and fuel. Methane which is 25 times more potent than CO₂ is mainly emitted by cows and sheep when they belch.~ Mike Berners-Lee How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything
There is no away.~ Jeb Berrier Bag-It
When you throw something away, all you are doing is moving it to a different place on the planet. It does not magically recycle.
Plastic bags are made of single-use disposable plastic. Think about it. Why would you make something you are going to use for a few minutes, out of a material that basically is going to last forever, and that you are just going throw it away. What’s up with that?~ Jeb Berrier Bag-It
Fossil fuels are too valuable to waste on bags used once then discarded.
Promoting Plastic Bags
California made it illegal to charge for plastic bags.~ Jeb Berrier Bag-It
This was to increase waste/sales because of pressure from the plastic bag industry.
Threat of Global Warming
Global warming threatens the survival of our species.~ Lucien Bouchard (born: 1938-12-22 age: 75) Environment minister in the Conservative Mulroney administration of Canada
End of the Age of Oil
We’ve embarked on the beginning of the last day of the age of oil.~ Mike Bowlin (born: 1943-02-20 age: 71) Chairman and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of ARCO petroleum
What they [Jim deMint and the oil lobby] do care about is the precedent. If they open up ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) , they’ll think they can do anything to the environment — anything at all. Drilling in Yosemite? In the Grand Canyon? What’s next?~ Barbara Boxer (born: 1940-11-11 age: 73) Democratic senator from California
Pretend There Is No Danger
Wear protective gear, and you are fired!~ BP
93% of the human diet consists of just nine plants: corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, millet, beans, barley, rye and oats.~ Bill Bryson (born: 1951-12-08 age: 62) At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Public Interest Requires Long-term Thinking
The public interest requires doing today those things that men of intelligence and good will would wish, five or ten years hence, had been done.~ Edmund Burke (born: 1729-01-12 died: 1797-07-09 at age: 68)
Short Oil Creation Era
The great bulk of the earth’s oil was created in two very brief periods of global warming 90 and 150 million years ago.~ Colin Campbell (born: 1931 age: 83)
Oil Production Peaked 9 years Ago
Discovery peaked 30 years ago. It takes no feat of the imagination. It takes no feat of intellect to conclude we now face the corresponding peak in production in 2005.~ Gordon Campbell , geologist, addressing the British House of Commons.
No Papers Debunking Climate Change
We don’t seem to be getting papers that show that it’s [climate change] wrong.~ Dr. Philip Campbell (born: 1951-04-19 age: 63) , Editor Of Nature
Climate Change = Thermonuclear War
Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to global nuclear war.~ Environment Canada (born: 1971 age: 43) (The Canadian equivalent of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) )
A World Without Insects
Who has the right to decide that the supreme value is a world without insects even though it would be a sterile world ungraced by the curving wing of a bird in flight. The decision is that of the authoritarian temporarily entrusted with power.~ Rachel Carson (born: 1907-05-27 died: 1964-04-14 at age: 56)
Why would anyone believe it is possible to lay down such barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? They should not be called insecticides, but biocides.~ Rachel Carson (born: 1907-05-27 died: 1964-04-14 at age: 56)
Control of Nature
The control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and the convenience of man.~ Rachel Carson (born: 1907-05-27 died: 1964-04-14 at age: 56)
Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.~ Rachel Carson (born: 1907-05-27 died: 1964-04-14 at age: 56)
If it were any other species but ours, there would be no doubt that the condition was pathological.
Seeing With Fresh Eyes
One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?~ Rachel Carson (born: 1907-05-27 died: 1964-04-14 at age: 56)
We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less travelled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.~ Rachel Carson (born: 1907-05-27 died: 1964-04-14 at age: 56)
During the 1960s, we used twice as much oil as during the 1950s. And in each of those decades, more oil was consumed than in all of mankind’s previous history.~ President Jimmy Carter (born: 1924-10-01 age: 89) 1977-04-18
The societies of consumption and squandering of material resources are incompatible with the idea of economic growth and a clean planet.~ Fidel Castro (born: 1926-08-13 age: 88)
Takeover consists in diverting some fraction of the earth’s life-supporting capacity from supporting other kinds of life to supporting our kind. Our pre-Sapiens ancestors, with their simple stone tools and fire, took over for human use, organic materials that would otherwise have been consumed by insects, carnivores or bacteria. From about 10,000 years ago, our earliest horticulturalist ancestors began take over land upon which to grow crops for human consumption. That land would otherwise have supported trees, shrubs or wild grasses and all the animals dependent thereon — but fewer humans. As the expanding generations replaced each other, Homo sapiens took over more and more of the surface of this planet, essentially at the expense of its other inhabitants.~ William Catton Jr. (born: 1926-01-15 age: 88) Author of Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change.,
From the point of view of the other species on earth, we humans are as welcome as Viking invaders or pancreas cancer.
Only the extinct don’t change.~ Chris Chandler
Man the Destroyer
Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he’s been given. But up to now he hasn’t been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild lifes become extinct, the climate’s ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.~ Anton Chekhov (born: 1860-01-29 died: 1904-07-15 at age: 44)
Environmentalists are Witches
Environmental policies are driven by a kind of emotional spiritualism that threatens the very foundation of our society. There is increasing evidence of a government-sponsored religion in America. This religion, a cloudy mixture of new-age mysticism, Native American folklore, and primitive Earth worship, is being promoted and enforced by the Clinton administration in violation of our rights and freedoms.~ Helen Chenoweth-Hage (born: 1938-01-27 died: 2006-10-02 at age: 68) Rep, R-Idaho, testifying to congress about her delusions. She has such a sectarian view of the world, that she can only grasp science in terms of warring cults.
We are investing millions in alternative energy.~ Chevron (born: 1911 age: 103)
On the other paw, in 2010 they invested $21.8 billion in fossil fuels. Millions is the cost of two homes or less than the advertising budget Chevron spent lying that it is an environmentally responsible company.
Conservation = the New Energy Source
The biggest gains, in terms of decreasing the country’s energy bill, the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, and our dependency on foreign oil, will come from energy efficiency and conservation in the next 20 years. Make no doubt about it. That’s where everybody who has really thought about the problem thinks the biggest gains can be and should be.~ Dr. Steven Chu (born: 1948-02-28 age: 66) Secretary of Energy for the USA, 1997 Nobel Prize winner.
Switching to light-coloured roofs and roadways would have the equivalent effect on greenhouse gas emissions to taking one billion cars off the road for eleven years.~ Dr. Steven Chu (born: 1948-02-28 age: 66) US Secretary of Energy, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 1997
Confront the Bastards
We must confront the privileged elite who have destroyed a large part of the world.~ Hugo Chávez (born: 1954-07-28 died: 2013-03-05 at age: 58)
You have to puzzle why Americans hated and feared Chávez so much. He was certainly no military threat. In most third world nations, such as Saddam’s Iraq, the revenue from natural resource sales goes to fund palaces and armies for the dictator and his cronies. In the USA, the wealth ends up in the pockets of investors, bankers and wall street brokers. Chávez used that wealth for programs to help the poor such as sanitation, health care, education, housing, subsidized food, 6 cent a gallon gasoline… American capitalists were terrified that other third world nations would start demanding similar socialist perks from their capitalist plutocracies. Americans believed they had to stamp out the socialist governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Chile and Cuba because they were too attractive, too successful as examples. Then again, it could have been simple envy. His approval numbers were astronomical by North American standards.
Assault on the Environment
The modern assault on the environment began about 50 years ago, during and immediately after World War II.~ Barry Commoner (born: 1917-05-28 died: 2012-09-30 at age: 95)
What is new is that environmentalism intensely illuminates the need to confront the corporate domain at its most powerful and guarded point — the exclusive right to govern the systems of production.~ Barry Commoner (born: 1917-05-28 died: 2012-09-30 at age: 95)
Worse Than You Think
When you fully understand the situation, it is worse than you think.~ Barry Commoner (born: 1917-05-28 died: 2012-09-30 at age: 95)
What Does Must Mean?
The Panama Canal must double its capacity.~ Zurich Insurance Company (born: 1872 age: 142)
The world got by without any Panama Canal for most of its history. What they mean is, if the capacity of the Panama Canal were doubled, the new capacity could be profitably sold. This is not the same thing as need.
We Are Doomed
Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress.~ Charles Darwin (born: 1809-02-12 died: 1882-04-19 at age: 73)
Forestry Contribution to Climate Change
16% of global warming in caused by forestry practices.~ Guy Dauncey (born: 1948 age: 66)
How Much Fossil Fuel Reduction?
We need to reduce fossil fuel use by 100% by 2020 to avoid a 2.0°C (3.6°F) global temperature increase.~ Guy Dauncey (born: 1948 age: 66)
On Schedule for Something Unpleasant
If we continue business as usual we are on schedule for a 6.0°C (10.8°F) global temperature increase by the end of the century. That means the end of civilisation and all the world ecologies.~ Guy Dauncey (born: 1948 age: 66)
Three More Planets
If everyone lived the way people do in Vancouver, we would need three more entire planets to support us.~ Guy Dauncey (born: 1948 age: 66)
We accept it as normal that people who have never been on the land, who have no history or connection to the country, may legally secure the right to come in and, by the very nature of their enterprises, leave in their wake a cultural and physical landscape utterly transformed and desecrated. What’s more, in granting such mining concessions, often initially for trivial sums to speculators from distant cities, companies cobbled together with less history than my dog, the government places no cultural or market value on the land itself.~ Wade Davis (born: 1953-12-14 age: 60) in lecture 4 of the 2009 CBC Ideas lectures.
Poison is Not Poisonous. Really?
It’s never been proven that air toxics are hazardous to people.~ Tom DeLay (born: 1947-04-08 age: 67) former Republican House Majority Leader, and shill for the oil industry, cited in the Houston Chronicle 1990-10-27
By definition, something toxic is hazardous. That is what toxic means.
Learning Is Not Compulsory
Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.~ Dr. W. (William) Edwards Deming (born: 1900-10-14 died: 1993-12-20 at age: 93)
Survival Is Not Mandatory
You do not have to change: survival is not mandatory.~ Dr. W. (William) Edwards Deming (born: 1900-10-14 died: 1993-12-20 at age: 93) On Overcoming Resistance to Change
Drill Now, Think Later
But my bill, the Drill Now Act, would actually expedite the whole process, let the Interior Department move ahead quicker… it would stop the radical environmental lawyers from delaying for years with frivolous lawsuits the leasing of the property.~ Jim deMint (born: 1951-09-02 age: 62) Senator from South Carolina and shill for the oil industry.
In parts of Montana, salt concentrations in soil water, have reached those double those of seawater.~ Jared Diamond (born: 1937-09-10 age: 76) Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition page 47
We see this same pattern over and over. Man finds an emergency solution to a problem then tries to use it in perpetuity. But the long term side effects lead to disaster. Even when man knows the consequences, because the short-term economics favour it, man persists in the path to destruction.
Natural vs Artificial Selection
Natural selection is engineering; sexual selection is art.~ What Females Want and Males Will Do a PBS (Public Broadcasting System) Nature Documentary.
Plants with leaves no more efficient than today’s solar cells could out-compete real plants, crowding the biosphere with an inedible foliage. Tough omnivorous bacteria could out-compete real bacteria: They could spread like blowing pollen, replicate swiftly, and reduce the biosphere to dust in a matter of days. Dangerous replicators could easily be too tough, small, and rapidly spreading to stop — at least if we make no preparation. We have trouble enough controlling viruses and fruit flies.~ Eric Drexler (born: 1955-04-25 age: 59) Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology
Global Warming Means Mass Starvation
This is a world [the world after climate change] where people are starting to starve, but it is not always the familiar scene of helpless peasant societies facing famine with numb resignation. Some of the victims now are fully developed, technologically competent countries, and their people will not watch their children starve, so long as there is any recourse, however illegitimate, that might save them. So the lucky countries in the northern tier that can still feed themselves — but that have little or no food to spare — must be able to turn back hordes of hungry refugees, quite probably by force. They must also be able to deal with neighbours who try to extort food by threats — and these desperate neighbours may even have nuclear weapons. Appeals to reason will be pointless, as it is reasonable for nations to do anything they can to avoid mass starvation.~ Gwynne Dyer (born: 1943-04-17 age: 71) Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats page 4
Consider how badly the USA has behaved in its desperate pursuit of oil. Nations will behave even worse to avoid mass starvation.
Global Warming Progressing Faster than Expected
The scientists are really scared. Their [global warming] observations over the past two or three years suggest that everything is happening a lot faster than their climate models predicted.~ Gwynne Dyer (born: 1943-04-17 age: 71) 2008-12-08 based on 18 months of 70 interviews in a dozen countries.
Looking Ahead on Global Warming
This is a world [the world after climate change] in which food imports are no longer available at any price, as there is a global food shortage. But even then there are relative winners and relative losers: the highest-latitude countries — northern Europe, Russia, Canada — are still getting adequate rainfall and are able to feed themselves, while those in the mid-latitudes are in serious trouble. Even the United States has lost a large amount of crop-growing area as the rain fails to fall over the high plains west of the Mississippi, persistent droughts beset the southeast, and the rivers that provide irrigation water to the Central Valley of California cease to flow in the summertime. Countries of smaller size, like Spain, Italy and Turkey, on the northern side of the Mediterranean, (not to mention those on the southern side), find that their entire land area is turning into desert, and that they can no longer feed their population. The northeastern monsoon that brought rain to the north Chinese plain has failed, and the rivers that watered southern China have suffered the same fate as those that provided California’s water now: they only flow in the wintertime.~ Gwynne Dyer (born: 1943-04-17 age: 71) Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats page 4
Military On Top of Global Warming
The military profession, especially is the long-established great powers, is deeply pessimistic about the likelihood that people and countries will behave well under stress. Professional officers are trained to think in terms of emergent threats, and this [climate change] is as big a threat as you are going to find. Never mind what the pundits are telling the public about the perils of climate change; what are the military strategists telling their governments. This will tell us a great deal about the probable shape of the future, although it may not tell any anything that we want to hear.~ Gwynne Dyer (born: 1943-04-17 age: 71) Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats page 5
The surprise is the old walruses in the military are the ones clammering for action on climate change. This is because, unlike business that thinks only 3 months ahead, they routinely plan for contingencies 50 years into the future.
Missing the Target On Purpose
But we are almost certainly going to miss our [global warming] deadline. We cannot get the 10 lost years back, and by the time a new global agreement to replace the Kyoto accord is negotiated and put into effect, there will probably not be enough time left to stop the warming short of the point where we must not go.~ Gwynne Dyer (born: 1943-04-17 age: 71) 2008-12-08 based on 18 months of 70 interviews in a dozen countries.
So humanity is doomed by its own stupidity, like a monkey in a trap holding a banana refusing to let go to free itself.
No Fossil Fuel Burning At All
The real requirement, if we are to avoid runaway global warming, is probably 80% by 2030, and almost no burning whatever of fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil) by 2050.~ Gwynne Dyer (born: 1943-04-17 age: 71) 2008-12-08 based on 18 months of 70 interviews in a dozen countries.
The Tipping Point
There is a point of no return after which warming becomes unstoppable — and we are probably going to sail right through it. It is the point at which anthropogenic (human-caused) warming triggers huge releases of carbon dioxide from warming oceans, or similar releases of both carbon dioxide and methane from melting permafrost, or both. Most climate scientists think that point lies not far beyond 2.0°C (3.6°F) C hotter.~ Gwynne Dyer (born: 1943-04-17 age: 71) Harsh Truths 2008-12-08 based on 18 months of 70 interviews in a dozen countries.
Edison Likes Solar
I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.~ Thomas Alva Edison (born: 1847-02-11 died: 1931-10-18 at age: 84)
Population Growth and Global Warming
CO₂ emissions are causing global warming. This is a fact. Many in the scientific community propose that an 80% reduction in CO₂ emissions by 2050 is necessary to forestall the extreme consequences of global warming. But how can this be done when at the same time we are adding 3, 4, or even 5 billion more people to the world?~ The Population Elephant
The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago, had they happened to be within reach of predatory human hands.~ Havelock Ellis (born: 1859-02-02 died: 1939-07-08 at age: 80) .
Outdoor Water Use in the USA
More than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns and gardens. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day.~ EPA (born: 1970-12-02 age: 43) source
Algae are amazing little critters.~ ExxonMobil (born: 1999-11-30 age: 14) in a TV commercial.
If ExxonMobil wants to claim expertise in biofuels, the first thing they need to learn is that algae are plants not creatures.
The passenger pigeon was once a widespread and abundant bird in North America. Nineteenth-century accounts describe millions of birds flocking like clouds during seasonal migrations. Clearing trees from forests where the birds nested make way for farm and pasture land, coupled with excessive hunting, drove the species to extinction by the early twentieth century. Accounts from the time tell of people saturating grain with alcohol to make the birds drunk and easy to capture and netting large numbers as people raided forests where they nested, killing them by the hundreds of thousands as they tended their eggs. The last individual of what had been billions of passenger pigeons died in 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo.~ Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks (born: 1956 age: 58) Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters
The Rainforest is our Enemy
Getting rid of he green inferno with the discipline of work.~ Brazilian propaganda film referring to the Amazon.
Cuts: How Deep?
The best evidence indicates that we need to reduce our CO₂ emissions by 70% by 2050. [Kyoto round one aims for only 6%]. If you own a four-wheel drive, and replace it with a hybrid fuel car, you can achieve a cut of that magnitude in a day, rather than half a century. If your electricity provider offers a green option, for the cost of a daily cup of coffee, you will be able to make equally major cuts in your household emissions. And if you vote for a politician who has a deep commitment to reducing CO₂ emissions, you might change the world.~ Tim Flannery (born: 1956-01-28 age: 58) , The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth
Trucks: Greenhouse Gas Culprits
Although they [light and medium trucks] have only 5% of the transportation market…, they account for fully 35% of greenhouse gas emissions from freight transportation.~ David Suzuki Foundation (born: 1990 age: 24) 2002-09
Unbelievably Inefficient Cars
Less than 10% of the fuel energy burned in automobiles is translated into forward motion of the vehicle, and even then most of this energy is needed to move the vehicle itself, which typically weighs 20 times more than its passengers.~ David Suzuki Foundation (born: 1990 age: 24) 2002-09
In contrast, a bicycle weighs about 1/8 of the weight of its rider, and it can get as low as 1/50.
Saving = Earning
A penny saved is a penny earned.~ Benjamin Franklin (born: 1706-01-17 died: 1790-04-17 at age: 84)
It is also true that every barrel of oil you save in energy efficiency saves you from buying a barrel of oil from OPEC (the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) .
Definition of Pollution
Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (born: 1895-07-12 died: 1983-07-01 at age: 87)
More With Less
Do more with less.~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (born: 1895-07-12 died: 1983-07-01 at age: 87)
The earth is like a spaceship that didn’t come with an operating manual.~ Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller (born: 1895-07-12 died: 1983-07-01 at age: 87)
Temperature and Salinity Change
Too much change in ocean temperature and salinity could disrupt the North American thermohaline circulation enough to slow or possibly halt the conveyor belt — causing climate changes in time span as short as a decade.~ Robert Gagosian (born: 1944 age: 70) National Geographic 2004-09.
Ocean currents are propelled by temperature differences and by salinity differences. If you screw things up, the massive global conveyor belt ocean currents such as a the Gulf Stream stop flowing. Scotland is at the same latitude as Alaska. It is habitable only because of the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream. European agriculture could not possibly adjust if everything changed over a period of only ten years. (Note in this climate change case, the problem for Europe is cooling, not warming, though it is a side effect of overall global warming.)
CO₂ Carbon Dioxide is a powerful cerebral dilator. At concentrations between 2 and 10%, Carbon Dioxide can cause nausea, dizziness, headache, mental confusion, increased blood pressure and respiratory rate. Above 8% nausea and vomiting appear. Above 10%, suffocation and death can occur within minutes.~ Universal Industrial Gases
Solar Land Requirements
It would take only 10% of the federal lands in Nevada to generate sufficient solar energy to completely power the entire USA.~ National Geographic (born: 1888-01-27 age: 126) Eco-Engineering: Solar Engine
Shamefully, we’re 27th — and that’s out of 27 nations in environmental protection ranking.~ Jian Ghomeshi (born: 1967-06-09 age: 47)
Canada used to be a world leader. This plunge into the toilet is completely Stephen Harper’s doing. Canada now ranks 55th of 58 on climate policy among industrialized countries. Canada is ahead of only Iran, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia. source
Predict and Do Nothing
We humans can look deep into future and predict what will happen, but then turn around and do nothing about it.~ Daniel Todd Gilbert (born: 1957-11-05 age: 56) , Professor of Psychology at Harvard
Why Humans Ignore Global Warming
Humans react to danger when it is immediate, immoral, visible… Global warming does not press any of those buttons.~ Daniel Todd Gilbert (born: 1957-11-05 age: 56) rough paraphrase., Professor of Psychology at Harvard
Antarctic Ice Loss
The epic collapse of the 3,237.49 sq kms (1,250 sq miles) section of the Larsen Ice Shelf [in Antarctica] took just over a month in early 2002.~ Daniel Glick National Geographic 2004-09.
CO₂ in the Water
In the waters between ¼ km (273.40 yards) and 0.45 km (492.13 yards) deep, CO₂CO₂ Rise CO₂ levels are rising at nearly twice the rate as in the surface waters.~ Daniel Glick National Geographic 2004-09.
This should not be a surprise. A cold soft drink can hold more fizz than a warm one.
When President Taft created Glacier National Park in 1910 [in Montana], it was home to 150 glaciers. Since then the number has reduced to fewer than 30, and most of those remaining have reduced in area by two-thirds.~ Daniel Glick National Geographic 2004-09.
You don’t have to go to the North Pole to see for yourself the earth is heating up, just Montana.
How Long Can You Tread Water
More than 100 million people live within 91.44 cm (3 ft) of mean sea level.~ Daniel Glick National Geographic 2004-09.
3.05 metres (10 ft) Most people think if the ocean rose 3.05 metres (10 ft) , if would not affect them. They would just walk to high ground, if even that is necessary. But what do they do when the sea level stays there, and much of the downtown is flooded out? Who will pay to rebuild the town on higher ground. Who will invest to rebuild all the shipping facilities to deal with the deeper water knowing they could have a fairly short life. Where do you house all the people whose houses are now underwater? Rents will go through the roof. Only the wealthiest people will be able to afford even crummy shelter. Further, all those people living on flood plains will have to leave by the millions and become unwelcome immigrants all over the earth. Their only other choice is to drown. You will not enjoy this. Reducing CO₂ emissions is painful, but not as painful as putting up with the consequences of letting it rise.
Shipping by sea produces 1/60 the emissions of shipping by air and about 1/5 that of trucking.~ Daniel Goleman (born: 1946-03-07 age: 68) Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything Read online page 54.
Shipping is about 1/6 that of trains. In other words, shipping is better than trains and trains are better than trucks.
Our brains have been finely tuned to be hypervigilant at spotting dangers in a world we no longer inhabit, while the world we live in today presents us with abundant dangers we do not see, hear, taste, or smell. The brain’s threat response system is buffaloed time after time.
Although the human brain is extremely alert to threats it can sense, our brain is unsuited for the ones we face on the ecological front: these are dangers that come on gradually, or at the microscopic level, or globally. Our brain has been exquisitely tuned to notice changes in light, sound, pressure, and the like within a narrow range — the zone of perception that tigers and reckless drivers come in. These trigger our get-out-of-the-way system to react in milliseconds; we sense these familiar threats as clearly as we see a match light up a dark room. Ecological dangers, though, we notice as poorly as we see the difference that a match makes in a well-lit room.~ Daniel Goleman (born: 1946-03-07 age: 68) Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything Read online page 33
If Tom Lovejoy is correct, by 2050 the seas will be 6 metres (19.69 ft) to 8 metres (8¾ yards) higher.~ Dr. Andrew Gonzalez
The greatest danger to our future is apathy.~ Jane Goodall (born: 1934-04-03 age: 80)
Raise the Standard of Living
We can’t leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for 80% of the world’s people, while bringing it down considerably for the 20% who are destroying our natural resources.~ Jane Goodall (born: 1934-04-03 age: 80)
Abundance of Solar
There is 20,000 times the energy in sunlight hitting the earth each day as we use in fossil fuels. We just have to learn to use it.~ David I. Goodstein (born: 1939 age: 75)
Hydrogen Not The Answer
The economics right now are that we use the equivalent of 3 to 6 gallons of gasoline to make enough hydrogen to drive a drive a car the same distance that 1 gallon of gasoline would drive it. So the hydrogen economy makes no sense.~ David I. Goodstein (born: 1939 age: 75)
Atmosphere as Sewer
So today, we dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow, we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now trapping more and more heat from the sun. As a result, the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong. We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.~ Al Gore (born: 1948-03-31 age: 66) Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Oslo, Norway 2007-12-10
On 2015-02-05, Sweater Day, lower your heat and put on your favorite sweater to take action against climate change and work towards a sustainable future. Join Canadians across the country fighting climate change by conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If every Canadian lowered the heat by just 2.0°C (3.6°F) this winter, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 megatons!~ Sweater Grannies source
Golden FeathersGolden feathers
Shining like metal against the black
This precious gold
On a Pheasant
Warms my stomach
For a palpable golden day.
~ Cynthia Green (born: 1955-05-31 age: 59) The Golden Pheasant from A Book of Birds
Why Tar Sands Are Worse that Oil
Producing usable oil from the tar sands is a dirty, energy-intensive process — tar sands production generates between three to five times more greenhouse gas emissions that conventional oil extraction.~ Greenpeace
Nature does not pile up 1000 hogs, then hope for the best.~ Joan Dye Gussow (born: 1928 age: 86) This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader
Expect the Unexpected
I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.~ J.B.S. Haldane (born: 1892-11-05 died: 1964-12-01 at age: 72)
Dealing With Climate Change is a Bigger Problem that WWII (World War II)
The most difficult task, phase-out over the next 20-25 years of coal use that does not capture CO₂ , is Herculean, yet feasible when compared with the efforts that went into World War II. The stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis. The greatest danger is continued ignorance and denial, which could make tragic consequences unavoidable.~ James E. Hansen (born: 1941-03-29 age: 73) along with 14 other scientists in Science 2005-06-03
Why did business people rise to the occasion to fight Nazi Germany, but fund FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) to delay dealing with global warming? They saw WWII as an economic windfall, but see the even bigger threat of global warming as purely a liability ignoring the huge opportunities for an exploding world market who will have no choice but to buy green energy. They still don’t get it that profits fall to zero when global warming decimates workers and customers.
If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilisation developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO₂ will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm [parts per million] to at most 350 ppm… If the present overshoot of this target CO₂ is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.~ James E. Hansen (born: 1941-03-29 age: 73) along with 14 other scientists in Science 2005-06-03
Analogously, you can’t do it until you need glasses, because by the time you need glasses, you have set in motion an irreversible process that leads not only to blindness but to death. Because we did nothing in 2005, the action we need to take is now ever more drastic.
Idiot Humanity IS Already Screwed
Global warming has already triggered a sea level rise that could reach from 6 metres (19.69 ft) to 25 metres (27.34 yards).~ James E. Hansen (born: 1941-03-29 age: 73) head NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Goddard Institute for Space Studies Is there Still Time to Avoid Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference with Global Climate Change
Recent Heat Wavers are Climate Change, not Flukes
Our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change. The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year  can each be attributed to climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.~ James E. Hansen (born: 1941-03-29 age: 73) head NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies The Washington Post 2012-08-03
The True Cost of Gasoline
If you factor in the cost of the military to protect our petroleum assets in the middle east, gasoline costs us $7 a gallon. We have to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.~ Gary Hart (born: 1936-11-28 age: 77) of The Last Word TV show on MSNBC 2010-11-21
What an arrogant, imperialistic, but at least candid American! He refers to the oil in the middle east as belonging to the USA. I suppose it does now in a sense, stolen, now that Obama had the big auction to sell off all of Iraq’s oil reserves to American and European oil companies on the very day he announced the pullout.
For Lack of a Predator
A species may eat a particular bacterium, phytoplankton, smaller fish, or plant in an area. Lacking a predator, these species/populations will overgrow and alter the area’s biology, overwhelming and driving to extinction dozens or hundreds or thousands of other local species.~ Thom Hartmann (born: 1951-05-07 age: 63) Threshold: The Progressive Plan to Pull America Back from the Brink page 24
The more species, the greater the biodiversity, the more stable an ecosystem is. When you start killing off half the species, the ecosystem becomes much more fragile, and more susceptible to complete collapse from even minor disturbances.
Livestock Effect on Global Warming
Because nitrous oxide [released by nitrate-fertilised soil] is 296 times stronger than CO₂ at global warming, and methane [cow farts] is about 25 times as potent as CO₂ , the combined greenhouse effect of our livestock worldwide is greater than the sum total of all the cars, trains, busses, trucks, ships, airplanes and jets.~ Thom Hartmann (born: 1951-05-07 age: 63) Threshold: The Progressive Plan to Pull America Back from the Brink page 33
We have no choice but to reduce our consumption of meat, to use it more like a condiment, the way the Chinese do. The first step is to stop the astronomical agricultural subsidies on fodder and meat to let it gradually rise to its true market price.
When the Europeans first arrived in North America, the average depth of the topsoil was 53.34 cm (1¾ ft), and it was rich in the types of symbiotic organisms necessary for plant roots to absorb minerals from the soil. Today North America averages around 15.24 cm (6 in) of topsoil and most if it is exhausted of nutrients and much is devoid of life.~ Thom Hartmann (born: 1951-05-07 age: 63) Threshold: The Progressive Plan to Pull America Back from the Brink page 22
As any gardener can tell you, you can’t get soil much thinner than 45.72 cm (1½ ft) and still grow a decent crop of vegetables. Yet, even knowing the rate of erosion, farmers persist in the agricultural practices that strip the soil. They refuse to look ahead any more than one year.
The Reality of Climate Change
Climate change is no longer a doomsday prophecy, it’s a reality.~ Astrid Heiberg (born: 1936-04-14 age: 78) president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Competition for Dwindling Resources
The industrial civilisation is based on the consumption of energy resources that are inherently limited in quantity, and that are about to become scarce. When they do, competition for what remains will trigger dramatic economic and geopolitical events; in the end, it may be impossible for even a single nation to sustain industrialism as we have know it in the twentieth century.~ Richard Heinberg (born: 1950-10-21 age: 63) Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies
Disturbing the Planet
We have unintentionally, begun to disturb massive planetary systems that have kept much of the world climate relatively hospitable to civilisation for the last 10,000 years. We are heating the deep oceans, which leads to more frequent and intense El Niño weather patterns. The time of the seasons is noticeably altered and most of the Earth’s glaciers are retreating at accelerating rates. The potential effects are catastrophic. They include the drowning of coastal cities and whole island nations, as a result of rising sea levels and intensified storms; the proliferation of disease-spreading insects into new regions, resulting in cases of malaria perhaps doubling in tropical regions and increasing 100-fold elsewhere; and the loss of forests and wildlife that depend upon a stable climate, leading to vastly increased extinction rates and the collapse of entire ecosystems.~ Richard Heinberg (born: 1950-10-21 age: 63)
When a caterpillar eats a leaf, then a thrush eats the caterpillar, or when a hawk eats the thrush only 5 to 20% of usable energy is transferred from one level to the next. … Thus herbivores will account for a much smaller fraction of the biomass [than plants], and the carnivores for a still smaller fraction.~ Richard Heinberg (born: 1950-10-21 age: 63) on why carnivores starve first when food gets tight.
Economics is a Subfield of Ecology
Early ecologists soon realised that, since humans are organisms, ecology should include the study of the relationship between humans and the rest of the biosphere. … We don’t often tend to think about the social sciences (history, economics and politics) as subcategories of ecology. But since people are organisms, it is apparent that we must first understand the principles of ecology if we are to make sense of the events in the human world.~ Richard Heinberg (born: 1950-10-21 age: 63) Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies
Living With a Reduced Energy Budget
We are about to enter a new era in which, each year, less net energy will be available to humankind, regardless of our efforts or choices. The only significant choice we will have will be how we adjust to this new regime. That choice — not whether, but how to reduce energy usage and make a transition to renewable alternatives — will have profound ethical and political ramifications.~ Richard Heinberg (born: 1950-10-21 age: 63) Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies
True Cost of Meat
Would you go into a fast food restaurant to order a hamburger if you knew it would cost you over $50? Would you order steak in a fancy restaurant if you knew it was going to cost you over $200? In truth that’s already what you are paying. When is the price you pay not the price you pay? When the government helps to foot the bill.~ Fatoumata Issifi Hidjo , America’s first head of the EPA source. The government massively subsidises the water and corn needed to raise beef.
A 2009 survey by the International Union for Conservation of Nature estimated that over 17,000 animals and plants are at risk of extinction. More than one in five of all known mammals, over a quarter of reptiles, and 70 percent of plants are under threat, according to the survey, which featured over 2,800 new species compared with 2008. These results are just the tip of the iceberg.~ Craig Hilton-Taylor
When Sequestering Becomes Economically Viable
hen the price of carbon reaches $100 a tonne, then it will become an economically viable business proposition to start taking CO₂ out of the atmosphere and sequestering it underground.~ Thomas Homer-Dixon (born: 1956 age: 58) in Energy and Climate Change: A Sustainable Future?
Why Bitumen is Junk Energy
Bitumen is junk energy. A joule, or unit of energy, invested in extracting and processing bitumen returns only four to six joules in the form of crude oil. In contrast, conventional oil production in North America returns about 15 joules. Because almost all of the input energy in tar sands production comes from fossil fuels, the process generates significantly more carbon dioxide than conventional oil production.~ Thomas Homer-Dixon (born: 1956 age: 58) in The Tar Sands Disaster
Business as Usual
Around the world people are dying, ecosystems are crumbling, and economies face ruin because of climate change, and all Bush and the oil industry can think of is how to maximise their profits and continue business as usual.~ Paul Horsman , Greenpeace spokesperson
The Earth As We Know It Is Toast
The earth as we know it will no longer exist in the 21st century because of climate change.~ Steve Hounsell
Why You Should Ignore Climate Change
We should have no concern for the environment, because, after the great flood with Noah, God promised that He would never ruin the earth again.~ James Inhofe (born: 1934-11-17 age: 79) Republican Senator for Oklahoma
Inhofe is spewing Christian bafflegab to cover up the fact that he is a big oil shill. He may or may not believe his own drivel. Even if you take this biblical prediction seriously, it says nothing about the possibility of humans, corporations or Satan deliberately bringing on global climate change/floods by releasing massive quantities of CO₂ into the atmosphere. If you read the promise in Genesis 9:11 , it says neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. All Jehovah promises is not to do to destroy the earth by flood; he leaves open all other means including parching it.
The Art Of DeceptionShe was practised at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood stained hands.
~ Mick Jagger (born: 1943-07-26 age: 71) You Can’t Always Get What You Want
I have watched shills for the Enbridge pipeline practised in the arts of deception through distraction:
- They cite crude oil statistics. They are irrelevant. They plan to ship bitumen.
- They talk about pipeline spills and ignore the far more devastating marine spills.
- They talk about state of the art tankers, not the Liberian wrecks that will submit the lowest bid.
- They never mention that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) says only 25% of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill was removed, including recovery, burning and evaporation.
- They never mention that unlike the BP crude oil spill, bitumen sinks and does not evaporate.
- They never mention that there is no technology of any kind to clean up bitumen once it sinks.
- They make absurd claims for safety when they have a spill a month.
If your homeland were invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?~ Derrick Jensen (born: 1960-12-19 age: 53)
If yes, why won’t you resist corporations doing the same thing?
Soft on Planet Killers
We have been too kind to those who are killing the planet. We have been inexcusably, unforgivably, insanely kind.~ Derrick Jensen (born: 1960-12-19 age: 53)
The Ice Parable
Verily, verily I say unto you. Consider a package of frozen chicken wieners. They are strong, manly and inflexible. The ice holds them unified and resolved as a turgid block, but if you let the ice melt they turn into a pile of individual rubbery things.~ Ecology Jesus (born: 1012-10-27 age: 1001)
Ecology Jesus experts including the renowned Sylvia Browne, tell us this is a parable about global warming. If we let the ice caps melt, it will cause widespread erectile dysfunction.
Oceans Are a Much Bigger Heat Sink Than the Atmosphere
If you haven’t noticed, the ocean is awfully big, and it holds a great deal more heat energy than the atmosphere. In fact, about 90 percent of the energy that’s been added to the climate system by human activities has gone into the ocean.~ Scott K. Johnson source
Oil Corporation Weak Spot
The one thing oil companies are good at is making money. You have to hit them [BP] in the heart, in the place if they had a heart [money].~ Keith Jones father of one of the workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion
Ignoring Real World Trends
If you ignore real world trends, real world trends will not ignore you.~ Dr. Jeremy Kerr (born: 1971-04-30 age: 43)
Population Control Is Not Rocket Science
Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victim.~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (born: 1929-01-15 died: 1968-04-04 at age: 39)
Way More than Enough Solar Energy
Within 6 hours deserts receive more energy from the sun that humankind consumes in 1 year.~ Dr. Gerhard Knies (born: 1935-12-01 age: 78)
Plastic Outweighs Life
In the central North Pacific, plastic outweighs surface zooplankton 6 to 1.~ Thomas M. Kostigen , reported in Discover Magazine. Since he wrote that, according to the movie Tapped, by 2009 it had increased to increased to 46 to 1.
Drill ⇒ Spill
If you drill, there’s going to be a spill. It’s axiomatic.~ Dennis Kucinich (born: 1946-10-06 age: 67) Democratic member of congress for Ohio
We only have to capture 1/10,000th of the solar energy landing on earth to completely satisfy all our energy needs.~ Ray Kurzweil (born: 1948-02-12 age: 66)
Nuclear Waste, the Gift that Lasts
Nuclear waste is a heavy burden to lay on our children and their children and their children’s children and their children’s children’s children and their children’s children’s children’s children…~ Rufina M. Laws
Climate Change and Pine Beetles
Mountain Pine bark beetles need -37°C (-35°F) for three days to freeze to death. Unfortunately, with global warming, that no longer happens in British Columbia [Canada]. This means the population of the beetles have exploded. They have destroyed more forests than all the environmentalists put together have saved.~ Mark Leiren-Young (born: 1962 age: 52)
Humanity is a Virus
Humanity is a virus that destroys any community it touches.~ Link an android in the The Human Factor episode of The Outer Limits played by Zack Ward (born: 1970-08-31 age: 43)
Sustainability is Illegal
Sustainability is illegal under our current system of law.~ Thomas Linzey
Our future is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail.~ James Lovelock (born: 1919-07-26 age: 95)
The Earth’s population will be culled from today’s 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million, with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes — Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin.~ James Lovelock (born: 1919-07-26 age: 95) on the effects of global climate change. Only one in 13 will survive.
Sahara Headed For Europe
By 2040, the Sahara will be moving into Europe, and Berlin will be as hot as Baghdad. Atlanta will end up a kudzu jungle. Phoenix will become uninhabitable, as will parts of Beijing (desert), Miami (rising seas) and London (floods). Food shortages will drive millions of people north, raising political tensions.~ James Lovelock (born: 1919-07-26 age: 95)
Lovelock is more pessimistic than the consensus, because he thinks man will refuse to take significant action to ameliorate global warming. So far, he has been right.
Economies as Master
Economies are supposed to serve human ends… not the other way round. We forget at our peril that markets make a good servant, a bad master and a worse religion.~ Amory Lovins (born: 1947-11-13 age: 66)
Ocean acidification is often referred to as the evil twin of climate change, since it derives from increases in carbon dioxide emissions and has equally devastating implications for the planetary system.~ Fred Magdoff What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism
Sea Water Rise
Loss of the entire West Antarctica ice sheet would raise the sea level by 6.10 metres (6.67 yards) to 7.62 metres (8.33 yards) and open the way to the ocean for the much larger East Antarctica ice sheet.~ Fred Magdoff What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism
To put this in perspective, a tide rise is typically 60.96 cm (2 ft).
Job Is Much Bigger That We are Prepared For
It might take another 30 Kyotos over the next century to cut global warming down to size.~ Jerry Mahlman (born: 1940-02-21 age: 74), director of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton (born: 1940-02-21 age: 74)
To generate the political will, we must first wipe out most of the people on earth and scorch forever entire continents. We are incapable of acting on scientific warnings.
The Scoop on Climate Change
There is compelling evidence to indicate that climate change is occurring and that the atmosphere will continue to warm at an unprecedented rate throughout the 21st Century. A scientific consensus holds that a large part of this warming is attributable to human activities, primarily through the concentration of CO₂ and other greenhouse gases. Change will be intensified and accelerated by the diminution of natural carbon-capture processes (such as forests and marine life) and the reduction of the polar ice-caps. Uncertainty remains as to the precise rate and character of expected changes over the next century. Climate science is complex, with linear cause and effect relationships not yet readily apparent; therefore, the consequences of climate change will vary in their impact in time, incidence and geographical extent. It may be a very unstable and unpredictable process, involving both progressive evolution and sudden instabilities. Major consequences are likely to include melting icecaps, thermal expansion of the oceans, and changes to ocean currents and flows, with seawater becoming more acidic as CO₂ transfers from the atmosphere. On land, some regions will experience desertification, others will experience permanent inundation, and tundra and permafrost are likely to melt and release methane, possibly in large amounts. Global climate change will reduce land for habitation and will result in changing patterns of agriculture and fertility, while tropical diseases, like malaria, are also likely to move North and into temperate zones. There will be an increased risk of extreme weather events, threatening densely populated littoral, urban and farming regions with eccentric growing seasons, flooding and storm damage. Climate change will remain highly politicized: although the relationship between causes and effects is likely to be increasingly understood as more evidence and computing power becomes available, responses will be contested and affected by self-interest.~ The British Military DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036
You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s GoneThat you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
~ Joni Mitchell (born: 1943-11-07 age: 70) , Big Yellow Taxi
Japan imports half of all tropical hardwoods harvested from rainforests worldwide and uses much of it to make plywood molds for ferro-concrete buildings. These molds are used once or twice and then burned.~ Darrell G. Moen (born: 1955 age: 59)
Canada the Villain
Until now I believed that the nation which has done most to sabotage a new climate change agreement was the United States. I was wrong. The real villain is Canada. Unless we can stop it, the harm done by Canada in December 2009 will outweigh a century of good works.~ George Monbiot (born: 1963-01-27 age: 51) The Urgent Threat to World Peace is… Canada 2009-12-01
A 1.5 litres/100km (3 mpg) increase in the auto and light truck fleet is worth 158,968.35 cubic meters (41,994,994.53 US gallons) of oil a day.~ Ernest Moniz , Professor of Physics, born 1938
Everyone Else Should Ride the Bus
Everyone should ride the bus so that I can drive.~ Charles Montgomery (born: 1968 age: 46)
A Gross Misunderstanding
We’er under some gross misunderstanding that we’re a good species, going somewhere important, and that at the last minute we’ll correct our errors and God will smile on us. It’s delusion.~ Farley Mowat (born: 1921-05-12 died: 2014-05-06 at age: 92)
Who Is Blocking Solar
The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.~ Ralph Nader (born: 1934-02-27 age: 80) 1980
Loads of chemicals and hazardous wastes have been introduced into the atmosphere that didn’t even exist in 1948. The environmental condition of the planet is far worse than it was 42 years ago.~ Gaylord Nelson (born: 1916-06-04 died: 2005-07-03 at age: 89)
The Lure of Technology
Technological possibilities are irresistible to man. If man can go to the moon, he will. If he can control the climate, he will.~ John von Neumann (born: 1903-12-28 died: 1957-02-08 at age: 53)
He will also make weapons to drive him extinct or artificial intelligence to supplant him.
This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.~ Barack Obama (born: 1961-08-04 age: 53)
You Can’t Always Have What You Want
We can’t drive our SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 22°C (72°F) at all times… and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.~ Barack Obama (born: 1961-08-04 age: 53)
Climate change is real.~ Marvin Odum (born: 1958-12-13 age: 55) , CEO Shell Oil, in CBC interview with Peter Mansbridge, 2010-05-01
No Real Climate Change Controversy
Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. It’s time to lay that misapprehension to rest. There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth’s climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason. We need to stop repeating nonsense about the uncertainty of global warming and start talking seriously about the right approach to address it.~ Naomi Oreskes , 2004-12-26 science historian
Feeding Corn to SUVs
We shouldn’t be feeding corn to SUVs when people are starving.~ Oxfam
One in eight species of birds are threatened with extinction according to a report released by Birdlife International. And it isn’t just rare birds that are declining. Familiar species such as the barn swallow and purple martin are disappearing at an astonishing rate. In the case of those two birds, 80 to 90 per cent of the population was wiped out in the last 20 years.~ Max Paris Environment Unit, CBC News source
Pangloss vs Cassandra
Pangloss is admired and Cassandra is despised and ignored. But as the Trojans were to learn to their sorrow, Cassandra was right, and had she been heeded, the toil of the appropriate preparation for the coming adversity would have been insignificant measured against the devastation that followed a brief season of blissful and ignorant optimism… Today, Cassandra holds advanced degrees in biology, ecology, climatology and other theoretical and applied environmental sciences.~ Dr. Ernest Partridge (born: 1935-05-14 age: 79) Perilous Optimism
Advertising Junk Food
For every $1 advertisers spend advertising something healthful like apples, they spend $500 advertising junk food.~ Raj Patel (born: 1972 age: 42)
CO₂ is up from 280 parts per million in the 19th century atmosphere to almost 400 parts per million now — a 43% increase. We’re emitting six times more carbon from fossil fuel use now than we did 50 years ago. Atmospheric CO₂ hasn’t been this high in 400,000 years.~ Bill Patzert NASA climatologist
Poisonous Breast Milk
When a women breast feeds her infant, she is dumping her lifetime supply of pollutants into her baby. If she were to bottle her breast milk, it would be illegal to carry it across state lines because it is so polluted. Pollutants concentrate with each level of the food chain. Every time you eat a pound of swordfish, a fish 6 levels up the food chain, you eat the concentrated contaminants collected from the sea water by 453.59 tonnes (500 tons) of diatoms.~ Dr. Roger Payne in the Sir David Attenborough documentary Planet Earth
Feeding the Conspiracy Without Evidence
I think there are a substantial number of [climate change] scientists who have manipulated data, so that they will have dollars rolling into their, to their projects.~ Rick Perry (born: 1950-03-04 age: 64)
Perry later admitted he had no evidence to support this claim. Can you trust someone who makes such serious accusations based on a hunch as a president?
Feeding Greenhouse Gasses
After cars, the food system uses more fossil fuel than any other sector of the economy — 19 percent. And while the experts disagree about the exact amount, the way we feed ourselves contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than anything else we do — as much as 37 percent, according to one study. Whenever farmers clear land for crops and till the soil, large quantities of carbon are released into the air. But the 20th-century industrialization of agriculture has increased the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the food system by an order of magnitude; chemical fertilizers (made from natural gas), pesticides (made from petroleum), farm machinery, modern food processing and packaging and transportation have together transformed a system that in 1940 produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil-fuel energy it used into one that now takes 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food. Put another way, when we eat from the industrial-food system, we are eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases.~ Michael Pollan (born: 1955-02-06 age: 59) Farmer In Chief New York Times 2008-10-12
America ships tons of sugar cookies to Denmark, and Denmark ships tons of sugar cookies to America. Wouldn’t it be more efficient just to swap recipes?~ Michael Pollan (born: 1955-02-06 age: 59) author of In Defense of Food
Overpopulation: the root of all problems
Climate change, energy depletion, food shortages, resource wars, species extinction — these are not the problem, they are only the symptoms. The singular root problem that causes all these horrifying threats to mankind is overpopulation.
So — logically — the solution that will eliminate these threats is simply to reduce the population of humans on this planet to a sustainable number.
Yet, no one proposes this obvious solution. No one is even willing to discuss it.
It is the elephant in every room.~ PopulationElephant.com
You Do Not Own the Earth
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.~ Native American proverb
You Do Not Own the Earth
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.~ Native American Proverb
Christian View of Nature
If you’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all.~ Ronald Reagan (born: 1911-02-06 died: 2004-06-05 at age: 93)
Defence of Nature
The environment should be put in the priority category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?~ Robert Redford (born: 1936-08-18 age: 78) Yosemite National Park dedication 1985
We share with other species, two very important ecological qualities. The first is a tendency to completely fill all accessible habitat. The second is a tendency to use all available resources, but we are the only one that has been able to take the cap of that and actually release ourselves to grow indefinitely.
Almost all rich countries exist in a state of what we call ecological deficit. They are overshooting their own domestic carrying capacity or biocapacity, so each year as they are in that state of overshoot their deficit is increasing and it essentially adding to the ecological debt and which you might think of as the amount of the ecosphere that has been drawn down as a result of overuse so the simply reality is that most wealthy countries contribute to the annual ecological deficit and the growing debt that human beings owe the planet and frankly, there is no way around this except to back off.~ Dr. William E. Rees (born: 1943-12-18 age: 70)
Colorado has a 3 percent growth rate. That’s like a third world country with no birth control.~ Jim Reidhead Larimer County Land Use Center, Denver Post 1998-05-02
Rising ocean temperatures linked by some studies to tropical storms are very likely a result of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. The lead author of the new study, Benjamin D. Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of the Energy Department, said the findings suggested that further warming would probably make hurricanes stronger in coming decades… The researchers compared a century of observed temperature changes with those produced in more than 80 computer simulations of how oceans respond to natural and human influences on the climate. The simulations were generated on 22 different computer models at 15 different research centers. The simulations correctly mimicked the cooling caused by plumes from volcanic eruptions, which temporarily block the sun. At the same time, the authors said, the only warming influence that could explain the changes in the oceans was the buildup of heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe gases in the air.~ Andrew C. Revkin Study Links Tropical Ocean Warming to Greenhouse Gases, New York Times 2008-09-06
Leave it as it is. You can not improve on it. You can only mar it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you.~ Theodore Roosevelt (born: 1858-10-27 died: 1919-01-06 at age: 60) 1908-01-11 on the Grand Canyon, 26th president of the USA.
Nature’s Free Lunch
Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.~ William Ruckelshaus (born: 1932-07-24 age: 82) , America’s first head of the EPA , Business Week 1990-06-18
Definition of Hell
Hell is other people.~ Jean-Paul Sartre (born: 1905-06-21 died: 1980-04-15 at age: 74) Huis Clos, (No Exit) 1934
Energy for Food
Every calorie you eat requires ten calories of hydrocarbons to produce it.~ Matthew David Savinar
It takes 27 to 54 barrels of oil to build a car. A barrel of oil that sells for $100 costs only $1 to extract from the ground in Iraq.~ Matthew David Savinar
The extinction of an animal is an insult to God.~ Jewish saying
My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a jet airplane. His son will ride a camel.~ Saudi saying
How Long Do We Have?
We have 20 years [until 2026] to reduce carbon emissions or climate change will become irreversible.~ Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (born: 1950-06-07 age: 64) Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change 2006
Tomorrow in Australia
Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.~ Charles Schulz (born: 1922-11-26 died: 2000-02-12 at age: 77) Religion: a Dialogue cartoonist, creator of Peanuts.
The End of the Stone Age
The Stone Age ended, not because we ran out of stones. It’s ideas, it’s innovation, it’s technology that will end the Age of Oil before we run out of oil.~ Richard Sears Ted Talk
We Do Not Own the EarthThe earth does not belong to us.
We belong to the earth.
~ Chief Seattle (born: 1786 died: 1866-06-07 at age: 79) 1834
Reuse is Mandatory
If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.~ Pete Seeger (born: 1919-05-03 died: 2014-01-27 at age: 94)
Consider the drawing at the right: The three blue spheres represent respectively all of earth’s water, earth’s liquid fresh water and water in lakes and rivers.
~ US Geological Service (born: 1879-03-03 age: 135) source
All of Earth’s WaterThe largest sphere represents all of earth’s water, and its diameter is about 1,380 km (857.49 miles) . It would have a volume of about 1,386,000,000 cubic kms (332,519,083.03 cubic miles) . The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, ice caps, lakes, and rivers, as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant.
Liquid fresh waterHow much of the total water is fresh water, which people and many other life forms need to survive? The small blue sphere over Kentucky represents the world’s liquid fresh water (groundwater, lakes, swamp water, and rivers). The volume comes to about 10,633,450 cubic kms (2,551,100.32 cubic miles) of which 99% is groundwater, much of which is not accessible to humans. The diameter of this sphere is about 273 km (169.63 miles).
Water in lakes and riversDo you notice that tiny bubble over Atlanta, Georgia? That one represents fresh water in all the lakes and rivers on the planet, and most of the water people and life of earth need every day comes from these surface-water sources. The volume of this sphere is about 93,113 cubic kms (22,339 cubic miles). The diameter of this sphere is about 56.20 km (34.92 miles). Yes, Lake Michigan looks way bigger than this sphere, but you have to try to imagine a bubble 56.20 km (34.92 miles) high — whereas the average depth of Lake Michigan is less than 91 metres (99.52 yards).
The politicians of the world on the take from mining companies, such as Stephen Harper, see that tiny sphere as their personal property. The believe its sole purpose is to dilute mining tailings and other industrial wastes or to process tar sands.
Christian View of Environmental Stewardship
Genesis 8:22 As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease. I believe [without evidence] that is the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it is going to be for his creation. The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.~ John Shimkus (born: 1958-02-21 age: 56) Republican Representative for Illinois, 2009-03 at a House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing.
Even if you take this biblical prediction seriously, it has the loophole of allowing Jehovah the option of merely wiping out billions of humans (and 95% of its species as has happened a number of times before in global extinction events). Mr. Shimkus conveniently ignores that fact this verse contradicts all of Revelation and the end-times prophesies. It also allows Jehovah the loophole of vaporising the entire planet in some cosmic collision.
Desperately Seeking Parking
33% of urban traffic is actively seeking a parking space.~ Donald C. Shoup (born: 1938-08-24 age: 75)
Think how much energy that is wasting. What solutions are there?
- Computers that know where the parking spots are and direct cars to them.
- Self driving cars that park themselves far away where there is ample parking and come when you call them.
- Self-driving taxis. You get out and the taxi drives off to another fare. It usually has no need to park.
- One-passenger vehicles for urban transport. Three of them could fit in a conventional parking spot. My informal survey of traffic showed nearly all vehicles travelling through my city had no passengers. The vehicles were every imaginable size. What a waste to use 5 tonnes of metal to cart around a 100kg driver!
- Automated parking garages where cars are packed like sardines by robots.
- Banning cars from the city core. You must use taxis or public transport.
How Much Oil Do We Need?
We need to find three Saudi Arabias just to offset [the] decline.~ Matthew Simmons (born: 1943-04-07 died: 2010-08-08 at age: 67) energy advisor to George W. Bush
By 2005, 33 of the largest 48 oil producing nations were already in decline. By 2008, the global decline rate reached 9.1%.
Economic Cost of Climate Change
Failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or the world wars by spawning environmental devastation that could cost 5 to 20% of the world’s annual gross domestic product.~ Nicholas Stern (born: 1946-04-22 age: 68) , economist
Acting on Imperfect Information
People are saying that they want be convinced [about global warming], perfectly. They want to know the climate science projections with 100 per cent certainty. Well, we know a great deal, and even with that there is still uncertainty. But the trend line is very clear. We never have 100 per cent certainty. We never have it. If you wait till you have 100 per cent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield. That’s something we know. You have to act with incomplete information. You have to act based on the trend line…~ General Gordon Sullivan (born: 1937-09-25 age: 76) former Chief of Staff of the United States Army, 2007-04
Military people deeply understand the need to act on incomplete information. He who hesitates is lost.
Canada, more than any nation, will be affected by rising sea levels from global warming.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78)
Not counting the small island nation of the Maldives being evacuated as it sinks beneath the waves. Look at a physical map of Canada. All that green will be under water.
Humans are now the most numerous mammal on the planet. There are more humans than rats or mice. Humans have a huge ecological footprint, magnified by their technology.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78)
We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78) on global warming.
Nature Recycles Everything
In nature there is no such thing as waste. In nature nothing is wasted; everything is recycled.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78)
Not In 65 Million Years
Our planet has not seen an extinction crisis as serious as the one in progress for 65 million years.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78)
Each of us now has 2.27 kg (5 lbs) of plastic embedded in our bodies.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78)
Stuff-selling is Incompatible with Environmental Sustainability
The fact of the matter is that today, stuff-selling mega-corporations have a huge influence on our daily lives. And because of the competitive nature of our global economy, these corporations are generally only concerned with one thing — the bottom line. That is, maximising profit, regardless of the social or environmental costs.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78)
The Plastic Gyre
There is a gyre of discarded floating plastic the size of the continental USA in the ocean. In it, plastic trash outweighs plankton 40 to 1.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78) , reported in Discover Magazine. Since he wrote that, according to the movie Tapped, by 2009 it had increased to increased to 46 to 1.
We Have Solutions
The terrible part of this looming catastrophe is that people have been working on solutions for years and have developed concrete steps to massively reduce our energy use, while stimulating whole new industries and technologies that are more efficient and affordable.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78)
Yes, Windmills Kill Birds, But…
Danish studies of 10,000 birds killed revealed that almost all died in collisions with buildings, cars and wires; only 10 were killed by windmills. Alternative energy sources are absolutely necessary. Global warming will kill birds and bats, as well as other species, in much greater numbers than wind power.~ Dr. David Suzuki (born: 1936-03-24 age: 78) Common Ground 2008-12
Who Is In Control?
We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us.~ Henry David Thoreau (born: 1817-07-12 died: 1862-05-06 at age: 44)
Ignoring the Future
Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.~ Henrik Tikkanen (born: 1924-09-09 died: 1984-05-19 at age: 59)
Never Started; Never Finished
It’s a job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish.~ J. R. R. Tolkien (born: 1892-01-03 died: 1973-09-02 at age: 81)
Root Of Chinese Hatred for the Environment
Man must conquer nature.~ Mao Tse Tung (born: 1893-12-26 died: 1976-09-09 at age: 82)
Mao’s war on nature influences China to this day, one of the world’s more environmentally irresponsible countries.
There Is No Away
There is no away to throw toxins to.~ Lynne W. Twist (born: 1945 age: 69)
Cities of Tomorrow
There are no articles any more that dream about the cities of tomorrow.~ Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (born: 1958-10-05 age: 55)
Ecologists are the Long Term Accountants
Over the long haul of life on this planet, it is the ecologists, and not the bookkeepers of business, who are the ultimate accountants.~ Stewart Udall (born: 1920-01-31 died: 2010-03-20 at age: 90) Secretary of the Interior of the USA
Taking Earth Downhill
We stand today poised on a pinnacle of wealth and power, yet we live in a land of vanishing beauty, of increasing ugliness, of shrinking open space and of an overall environment that is diminished daily by pollution and noise and blight. This, in brief, is the quiet conservation crisis.~ Stewart Udall (born: 1920-01-31 died: 2010-03-20 at age: 90) Secretary of the Interior of the USA
There Is No New Oil
No new major oil field discoveries have been made in decades. Presently, world oil reserves are being depleted three times faster than they are being discovered.… The nation must now start to respond to peaking global oil production to offset the adverse economic and national security impacts.~ US Department of Energy Assessment of Strategic Issues 2004-03
CO₂ emissions anywhere threaten civilisation everywhere.~ Gore Vidal (born: 1925-10-03 died: 2012-07-30 at age: 86) on overpopulation.
Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die.~ Gore Vidal (born: 1925-10-03 died: 2012-07-30 at age: 86) on overpopulation.
Cold Turkey on Oil
Here’s what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.~ Kurt Vonnegut (born: 1922-11-11 died: 2007-04-11 at age: 84)
Drunk on Oil
Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.~ Kurt Vonnegut (born: 1922-11-11 died: 2007-04-11 at age: 84)
We’re terrible animals. I think that the Earth’s immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should.~ Kurt Vonnegut (born: 1922-11-11 died: 2007-04-11 at age: 84)
What Gives Humans the Right?
I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.~ Kurt Vonnegut (born: 1922-11-11 died: 2007-04-11 at age: 84)
The elephant does not know it no longer owns the ancestral lands.~ Laotian game warden
The warden was explaining why elephants raid the gardens of villagers. Elephants don’t recognise the legitimacy of this alleged transfer of lands purely for human use. It would be similar to the way Palestinians don’t recognise the Jewish claim to their territory in what the Jews now call Israel.
Stem Cell Research
Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans favour research using embryonic stem cells, and yet politicians continue to pander to the outspoken religious minority that is hampering efforts to develop this potentially valuable technology.~ James D. Watson (born: 1928-06-06 age: 86) DNA: The Secret of Life
Exxon thinks Algae are Critters
Algae are amazing little critters.~ Joe Weissman researcher for Exxon Mobil.
Oops, algae are not critters; they are one-celled plants.
Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.~ H. G. Wells (born: 1866-09-21 died: 1946-08-13 at age: 79)
Native vs White Attitudes
When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don’t ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don’t chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything… the White people pay no attention… How can the spirit of the earth like the White man?… everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore.~ Wintu Woman
End Of Fishing by 2048
At this point, 29 percent of fish and seafood species have collapsed — that is, their catch has declined by 90 percent. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating. If the long-term trend continues, all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime — by 2048.~ Dr. Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia,
Giant jelly fish have already replaced the Japanese fishery.
It Will Never Fly
No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris.~ Orville Wright (born: 1871-08-19 died: 1948-10-30 at age: 77) 1908
We see that same conservative pessimism in those crafting today’s computers and computer tools. They are overwhelmed by the details of producing even today’s solutions. You need young, over-confident people who don’t know too much to chart the course ahead. This is especially true of global warming where the current generation has entirely given up hope of a green planet and sustainable human survival.
Problem of Scale
Like most problems with technology, pollution is a problem of scale. The biosphere might have been able to tolerate our dirty old friends coal and oil if we burned them gradually, but how long can it withstand a blaze of consumption so frenzied that the dark size of this planet glows like a fanned ember in the night of space.~ Ronald Wright (born: 1948 age: 66) Massey Lectures in a 2004 Massey Lecture
Too Big To Fail
Like all creatures, humans have made their way in the world by trial and error. Unlike other creatures we have a presence so colossal that error is a luxury we can no longer afford. The world has grown too small to forgive us any big mistakes.~ Ronald Wright (born: 1948 age: 66) in a 2004 Masse Lecture
Anti-EnvironmentalistMiss Rachel Carson’s reference to the selfishness of insecticide manufacturers probably reflects her Communist sympathies, like a lot of our writers these days. We can live without birds and animals, but, as the current market slump shows, we cannot live without business. As for insects, isn’t it just like a woman to be scared to death of a few little bugs! As long as we have the H-bomb everything will be O.K.
P.S. She’ probably a peace-nut too!
~ Letter to the New Yorker protesting the publication of Silent Spring
This mindless response is even sillier than it first sounds. Carson was afraid of pesticides, not bugs.
The Importance of Reusable Bags
If every American consumer brought their own reusable bags when shopping, we’ll cut more than 453.59 tonnes (500 tons) of CO₂ this month — that’s the equivalent of taking 1,300,000 cars off the road!~ Rebecca Young care2.com
Cost Of Filling a Barrel of Oil
The most significant trend in the US industry has been the decline in the amount of energy recovered compared to energy expended. In 1916, the ratio was about 28 to 1, a very handsome energy return. By 1985, the ratio had dropped to 2 to 1, and it is still dropping.~ Walter Youngquist , Professor of Geology, University of Oregon Geodestinies: The Inevitable Control of Earth Resources over Nations and Individuals page 183, 1997
By 2003, it had dropped to 0.5 to 1 in the US, making oil extraction no longer economically viable, no matter how high the price of crude. The catch is as the price of crude rises so does the price of the energy to extract it, and in the same ratio. In Iraq, it still costs only $1 a barrel to extract. That is why Bush invaded.
Big Economic Hit for Climate Change
We will pay for this [climate change] one way or another. We will pay to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions today, and we’ll have to take an enormous hit of some kind. Or we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll. There is no way out of this that does not have real costs attached to it.~ General Anthony Zinni (born: 1943-09-17 age: 70) former commander in Chief of the US Central Command, 2007-04
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