Monday, November 12, 2012

Climate Change: Food Crisis & Future Hunger Wars

Climate Change and its Effects on Food Production
Climate change affects food production
Climate Change
In a recent post I wrote about Overpopulation: Food Crisis and future Hunger Wars. The article focused on the impact of the population explosion on food supplies – will there be enough food for a population of 9 billion in 2050? There are many interrelated and complex factors affecting worldwide food production. Climate change is singularly the most critical factor.

The “Final” Wake-up Call

There have been many so-called wake-up calls about the environmental slippery slope humanity finds itself on. The summer of 2012 – raging wildfires, drought, extreme heat, (more than 3000 high-temperature records broken)  “affecting 87 per cent of the land dedicated to growing corn, 63 per cent of the land for hay and 72 per cent of the land used for cattle” and now hurricane Sandy. Americans collectively have reached the "wow" moment. Even prior to hurricane Sandy, 70% of Americans believed that climate change is not a hoax. See previous blog - Common Sense Revolution.
The U.S. drought is having global effects as the world's biggest grain exporter struggles with shortfalls. Drought conditions affected over more than 60 percent of the lower 48 states, the government said. The same is happening elsewhere around the globe.
Centre for Strategic & International Studies report by (Johanna Nesseth Tuttle & Anna Applefield) stresses that corn prices have risen 45 per cent since mid-June as a result of the drought. Global food prices are at an all-time high. Since the United States is the world’s top exporter of both of these crops, significant disruptions in domestic production can impact global food prices. In fact, 40 percent of the wheat and soya beans traded on the global market last year were grown in the United States.
Climate change is now widely believed to be the cause of the intensification of weather patterns that disrupt food production around the globe. Human-induced climate change will intensify the geographic extent, duration and severity of storms – winds, flooding, drought, extreme heat and snowfalls.
"Perhaps the biggest single question about climate change is whether people will have enough to eat in coming decades", says Justin Gillis in the NYT Environment/Green Blog:
Rising temperatures during the growing season in many large producing countries are cutting yields below their potential, the research suggests. On top of that background factor, extreme events like droughts or torrential rains can destroy crops altogether. Extremes have always been part of the agricultural picture, of course, but they are expected to increase on a warming planet.
Extreme weather will intensify and aggravate future food crises. An article appearing in Arctic News recently highlights that:
Storms and floods do damage to crops and cause erosion of fertile topsoil, in turn causing further crop loss. Similarly, heatwaves, storms and wildfires do damage to crops and cause topsoil to be blown away, thus also causing erosion and further crop loss. Furthermore, they cause soot, dust and volatile organic compounds to settle on snow and ice, causing albedo loss and further decline of snow and ice cover.
Arctic News also features the Diagram of Doom which pictures three kinds of warming and 10 catastrophic feedbacks.
comprehensive action plan to avert food crisis caused by climate change
Diagram of Doom

Changing extreme events

An IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (November 2011) highlights the following findings:
• Observations since 1950 show changes in some extreme events, particularly daily temperature extremes, and heat waves
• It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation will increase in the 21st century over many regions
• It is virtually certain that increases in the frequency of warm daily temperature extremes and decreases in cold extremes will occur...very likely—90 per cent to 100 per cent probability—that heat waves will increase in length, frequency, and/or intensity over most land areas.
• It is likely that the average maximum wind speed of tropical cyclones (also known as typhoons or hurricanes) will increase throughout the coming century
• There is evidence... that droughts will intensify over the coming century in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil, and southern Africa.
• It is very likely that average sea level rise will contribute to upward trends in extreme sea levels in extreme coastal high water levels.

Impacts of Climate Change on Yield

The following excerpts are from a UNEP study about the impact of environmental changes on world food production – The environmental food crisis – The environment’s role in averting future food crises:
Global climate change may impact food production across a range of pathways... 1) by changing... general rainfall distribution, temperature regime and carbon; 2) by inducing more extreme weather such as floods, drought and storms; and 3) by increasing extent, type and frequency of infestations
The estimated impacts of changes in the general climate regime vary with the different models in the short to mid-term (2030–2050), but after 2050 an increasing number of models agree on rising negative impacts
Furthermore, projected changes in the frequency and severity of extreme climate events are predicted to have more serious consequences for food 2080, assuming a 4.4° C increase in temperature and a 2.9% increase in precipitation, global agricultural output potential is likely to decrease by about 6%, or 16% without carbon climate change increases, projections have been made that by 2080 agricultural output potential may be reduced by up to 60% for several African countries, on average 16–27%... these effects are in addition to general water scarcity as a result of melting glaciers, change in rainfall patterns, or overuse.
  Impact of Climate Change on world food production
Projected losses in food production due to climate change by 20 80. (Source: Cline, 2007).

Impacts of Water Scarcity

Water is essential not only to human survival but in food production. The UNEP study reports that:
Agriculture accounts for nearly 70% of the water consumption, with some estimates as high as 85% (Hanasaki et al., 2008a,b). Water scarcity will affect over 1.8 billion people by 2025 (WHO, 2007).
Projections suggest that water demand is likely to double by major factor beyond agricultural, industrial and urban consumption of water is the destruction of watersheds and natural water towers, such as forests in watersheds and wetlands, which also serve as flood buffers.
It is evident that in regions where snow and glacial mass are the primary sources of water for irrigation, such as in Central Asia, parts of the Himalayas Hindu Kush, China, India, Pakistan and parts of the Andes, melting will eventually lead to dramatic declines in the water available for irrigation, and hence, food production...of great importance, therefore, is the effect of climate change on the extent of snow and glacial mass and on the subsequent supply of water for irrigation. Climate change could seriously endanger the current food production potential, such as in the Greater Himalayas Hindu Kush region and in Central Asia. Currently, nearly 35% of the crop production in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan is based on irrigation, sustaining over 2.5 billion people. Here, water demand is projected to increase by at least 70–90% by 2050.
Projected losses in food production due to climate change by 2080
Projected losses in food production due to climate change by 2080
The wars of the future will be 'Hunger Wars' fought over the resources that are left.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Great US Unpresidential Election Campaign

Mitch Potter of the Washington Bureau has summed up this US presidential election campaign as - miserably unpresidential. His article, U.S. election — It’s all over but for the rage, describes this campaign as the "the longest, ugliest, most expensive, most lie-infested campaign ever."

A perfect theme for UPRAGE

This campaign has been an incredible trip, falling further and faster down the rabbit hole of American political Wonderland, where
where things are not always always what they seem.
  In this case it's a land of incredible fiction far removed from reality. It's no wonder the American voter is so cynical, because the main American political attraction has been made a most devious distraction.  
Perhaps democracy would be better served if the candidates were hooked up to lie detectors in their debates. At least a running record of the lies could be kept (they are so blatant in most cases). I dare say Obama would gain the least lies advantage.  

"It’s been dreadful — in many ways the worse campaign I’ve ever lived through,"
said Stephen Hess, a presidential scholar who served four different White House teams in remarkably bipartisan fashion. 

Hess describes them as "Mad Men, really — who said tying themselves in intellectual and moral knots was the way to win."

Americans are peed off with the affair, claims the article. The voters, like Alice, feel belittled and are reluctant guests to the Mad Hatter's tea party, invited by the Cheshire cat grinning candidates. 

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

Who is the Mad Hatter? 

The article quotes media observer Robert Thompson: "You didn’t need Saturday Night Live to satirize it. The comedy was built in to the real thing."

The centerpiece of the American election circus is called the "presidential debates," though they were not presidential and certainly not debates. They were the worst kind of insults to the real world situation of American citizens today, dragged down from their former security by corrupt American politics, representing moneybags instead of people. "It’s sinful, how much money was spent," says a quote from David Biette.

The article says that the poison from this campaign will be followed by the rage of the sore, barely losing side. This is rabbit hole talk. That rage will be just more drama.

The losing side is the American public who would be right to rage because, as the article points out, nothing much is going to change. That makes the loser the citizenry of the world because corrupt PR-spun American politics is dragging us all down. Here is where the joke ends.

America was once the nation that could take on the most overwhelming logistical challenge and win. Today there are nearly 1 million homes and businesses still without power in New Jersey, and about 650,000 in New York City. Their governments cannot even afford to cope with Hurricane Sandy and the main candidates for power maintain their guilty silence on climate change, condemning them to many more much worse Frankenstorms. 

America once led the world to defeat the evil of Nazi fascism. Now it leads the world in bullying and trashing other nations for world fossil fuel dominance. The American corporate corruption of Iraq's reconstruction is legendary, the rebuilding a dismal failure. The living conditions in Iraq, "liberated" by the US's illegal invasion, remain far worse than under the much publicized evil of Saddam Hussein. The governance is a human rights nightmare but the oil is freely flowing under private corporations. 

Under Obama, the use of unmanned assassinator drones has become standard military practice in Middle East oil regions. Only this is much more and much worse than assassination. It's a hi tech version of Hitler's secret weapon V rocket or "buzz bomb."  Obama personally signs off on the kill list. 

A 2012 study by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law found the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- about 2%. It's an American terror weapon killing, maiming, and traumatizing civilian populations. From June 2004 to mid-September 2012, available data showed that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children. These strikes also injured an additional 1,228 - 1,362 individuals.

This strategy can only breed a generation in these regions enraged against America. It's a strategy that makes any US president a war criminal. Only this isn't war- it's a US reign of terror ordered by the oil industry. These are not smart weapons and it's not smart, legal, or humane foreign policy. It's inhuman and was once un-American.  It's more blood letting more oil flow.  

America leads the world in obstructing any chance of nations honouring the UN climate convention. Once the US fought the enemy of civilization. Now it leads the world on a heading to end all civilization by catastrophic end of the world atmospheric greenhouse gas pollution.   

Whichever candidate is elected, business as usual will go on, only it will be much worse for most Americans and for the world than has been usual in the past. 

This election with all its fanfare is a fictional distraction from who really makes the decisions. It is the "Money Power" (as Thomas Jefferson called it) held by the big banksters that makes the decisions, under whomever is the next president. The president signs off on the decisions of the big bankers. Everyone knows this, but the televised election smoke-and-mirrors show pretends it's not. This is the biggest lie behind all the belittling lies of the battling candidates.

Who is the Mad Hatter in top hat? The banker -- mad with making money out of money no matter what the cost.  

The Economy, the great American deception, is uneconomic. It does not distribute wealth amongst the nation. It redistributes wealth to the increasingly wealthy. Fossil fuel energy is vastly uneconomic if fully costed, even excluding the greenhouse gas pollution costs. All the human and environmental costs of fossil fuel pollution continue to be excluded -- "externalized" the economist lackeys of the banks call it.

The suicidal fossil fuel subsidies survive in the US to this day even as the crops wither from the great American grain belt drought and deathicanes pound the Atlantic coast.    

The show keeps any candidate who might change business as usual out of public attention.In the TV circus, there are always only two contenders in the ring and they are the stars paid to perform. This is not democracy. 

Cast back to the last election in which Hope and Change were sold to the American people. What was the last act and the first act of that electoral revolving White House door? At the last US presidential power takeover, the big banksters made off with many trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, in the greatest bank robbery of all time. Their timing was perfect. The robbers were the robber baron bankers and they stole, by the grossest fraud ever, trillions in the biggest and fastest transfer of public funds ever, by far. The reverse heist amounted to at least $20 trillion. 

The outrageous fraud was permitted and the money handed over, with no accountability whatsoever, by the outgoing GOP and the incoming Dem president. The bankers blackmailed the US government, but it was a criminal act of presidential treason that paid them off, and was rapidly repeated in all wealthy nations. America is leading the world to economic ruin.

As a result we have the insanity of both today's candidates saying, directly and indirectly, that America cannot afford to do anything to prevent global climate catastrophe. The climate policies of both are no policy: business as usual, increasing dependence on fossil fuels for the US economy. That is a global death sentence making the next American president committed to global treason.

No doubt it would all be worse under Romney, but it is all still a most terrible crime under Obama. We are still left hoping for a great change in America and the world deserves so much better. 

The main message from this election comes from an unsaid oxymoron. America and the world must be ruined for The Economy. Remember the image in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth -- the scale with the planet and the bars of gold? On today's tospy turvy scale, the planet goes down as the gold goes up. 

What are the big mad robber bankers doing behind the scenes of this presidential election distraction, I wonder?  


Monday, October 22, 2012

Still Time Left to Talk about ‘Climate Change’ in US Elections

Still Time Left to Talk about ‘Climate Change’ in US Elections

In spite of an obvious reluctance for President Obama to discuss Climate Change, I hold the strong belief that he must, at the very least, mention the issue during the remaining weeks of his campaign. Not doing so is morally irresponsible and disappointing.
President Barack Obama in Second debate
President Obama during Second Debate
During the second Presidential debate, we heard all the confusing rhetoric about the middle class, tax cuts & plugging tax loopholes, Obamacare, job creation, the economy, restoring America’s glory, Libya, military spending, etc. These are important issues but little has been said about Climate Change – the mother-load of all crises facing America and humanity. And yet not a single reference to ‘Climate Change’.
Tackling the Climate Crisis is a moral imperative. It’s the right thing to do. Period! There is a huge divide between Obama and Romney on Climate Change. Voters who believe that the environment and the future of their children and grandchildren is at stake have nowhere to go but to Obama.
Could it be that the Obama Campaign Team is waiting for just the right moment to capitalize on the climate change gap between Obama and Romney? Is it not time to use the climate issue to their political advantage? In a recent article “Is Climate Change the Sleeper Issue of the 2012 Election?, some organizers and strategists believe that they:
could be using the climate issue to their political advantage, especially after a summer of drought, wildfires, and record heat. Ever since the collapse of cap and trade, it’s been “strong conventional wisdom, even within major environmental organizations, that it can hurt us to talk about climate change,” explains climate strategist Betsy Taylor, whose consulting firm Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions just released a new report on the subject. “And I think that was a mistake.”
Climate Change in the American Mind
Climate Change Communication
A report by Yale University, Climate Change in the American Mind deals with the potential impact of global warming on the presidential election and highlights the following:
A new national survey finds that 11% of likely voters remain undecided about whom they will vote for President. The majority of these undecided voters say the Presidential candidates’ positions on global warming will be one of several important factors determining how they cast their vote.
The survey found that Undecideds are much more similar to likely Obama voters than likely Romney voters across a range of climate change and energy-related beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences.
Another report on - Climate change a ghost issue in U.S. Election - states that:
Four years ago climate change was a dominant campaign issue for Obama who promised leadership and immediate action on an international scale, but never delivered…now it is a mere phantom of that time. A ghost issue that hovers in the background of a campaign
most voters agree that the government should take steps to reduce carbon emissions…one independent poll this week found that 85 per cent of Obama voters, 83 per cent of undecided voters and 73 per cent of Romney voters believe more clean energy should be used. Four separate polls indicate that about 72 per cent support federal regulations to curb greenhouse gases from power plants, cars and factories to reduce global warming. That included 61 per cent of Republicans.
More recent polls show the climate change concern continues to be rising. People are starting to fear their future and fear is a great motivator.
Hundreds of initiatives started by ordinary Americans and organizations have failed to generate much discussion by candidates about climate change (with the exception of the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein).
One such group – Friends of the Earth – is advocating
for voters to break the silence and “take a stand to ensure that climate change is addressed. This year, extreme weather causing unprecedented Arctic melting and widespread drought and wildfires has shown the dire need for action. The longer the candidates refuse to take a direct, vocal stance on the issue, the more our world is endangered”

Friends of the Earth, Break the Silence

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Second Chilling Climate Change-Censored Debate

My fossil fuel d!ck is bigger than yours

Second US presidential debate climate change coverage:

Climate: ZERO

Environment: ZERO


The two candidates are agreed that the priority is American energy independence. Fossil fuel independence – not independence from fossil fuels.

They are agreed that the US and the world are to remain dependent on and dominated by fossil fuel energy.

They possibly have minor disagreement on how much the small contribution of clean, renewable and everlasting energy will be.

Energy transcript

ROMNEY: President Bush and I are - are different people and these are different times and that's why my five-point plan is so different than what he would have done. I mean, for instance, we can now, by virtue of new technology, actually get all the energy we need in North America without having to go to the - the Arabs or the Venezuelans or anyone else. That wasn't true in his time, that's why my policy starts with a very robust policy to get all that energy in North America - become energy secure.

OBAMA: The most important thing we can do is to make sure we control our own energy. So here's what I've done since I've been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades.
We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment. But what I've also said is we can't just produce traditional source of energy. We've also got to look to the future. That's why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. That means that in the middle of the next decade, any car you buy, you're going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas. That's why we doubled clean - clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels.

And all these things have contributed to us lowering our oil imports to the lowest levels in 16 years. Now, I want to build on that. And that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas for drilling. We continue to make it a priority for us to go after natural gas. We've got potentially 600,000 jobs and 100 years worth of energy right beneath our feet with natural gas. And we can do it in an environmentally sound way. But we've also got to continue to figure out how we have efficiency energy, because ultimately that's how we're going to reduce demand and that's what's going to keep gas prices lower.

Now, Governor Romney will say he's got an all-of-the-above plan, but basically his plan is to let the oil companies write the energy policies. So he's got the oil and gas part, but he doesn't have the clean energy part. And if we are only thinking about tomorrow or the next day and not thinking about 10 years from now, we're not going to control our own economic future. Because China, Germany, they're making these investments. And I'm not going to cede those jobs of the future to those countries. I expect those new energy sources to be built right here in the United States. That's going to help Jeremy get a job. It's also going to make sure that you're not paying as much for gas.

ROMNEY: Well, let's look at the president's policies, all right, as opposed to the rhetoric, because we've had four years of policies being played out. And the president's right in terms of the additional oil production, but none of it came on federal land. As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters.

So where'd the increase come from? Well, a lot of it came from the Bakken Range in North Dakota. What was his participation there? The administration brought a criminal action against the people drilling up there for oil, this massive new resource we have. And what was the cost? 20 or 25 birds were killed and brought out a migratory bird act to go after them on a criminal basis.

Look, I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. I believe very much in our renewable capabilities; ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix. But what we don't need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas. This has not been Mr. Oil, or Mr. Gas, or Mr. Coal. Talk to the people that are working in those industries. I was in coal country. People grabbed my arms and said, "Please save my job." 

The head of the EPA said, "You can't build a coal plant. You'll virtually - it's virtually impossible given our regulations." When the president ran for office, he said if you build
a coal plant, you can go ahead, but you'll go bankrupt. That's not the right course for America.

Let's take advantage of the energy resources we have, as well as the energy sources for the future. And if we do that, if we do what I'm planning on doing, which is getting us energy independent, North America energy independence within eight years, you're going to see manufacturing jobs come back - because our energy is low cost - that are already beginning to come back because of our abundant energy. I'll get America and North America energy independent. I'll do it by more drilling, more permits and licenses.
We're going to bring that pipeline in from Canada. How in the world the president said no to that pipeline? I will never know. This is about bringing good jobs back for the middle class of America, and that's what I'm going to do.

CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me just see if I can move you to the gist of this question, which is, are we looking at the new normal? I can tell you that tomorrow morning, a lot of people in Hempstead will wake up and fill up and they will find that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. Is it within the purview of the government to bring those prices down, or are we looking at the new normal?

OBAMA: Candy, there's no doubt that world demand's gone up, but our production is going up, and we're using oil more efficiently. And very little of what Governor Romney just said is true. We've opened up public lands. We're actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration and my - the previous president was an oil man.
And natural gas isn't just appearing magically. We're encouraging it and working with the industry.

And when I hear Governor Romney say he's a big coal guy, I mean, keep in mind, when - Governor, when you were governor of Massachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, "This plant kills," and took great pride in shutting it down. And now suddenly you're a big champion of coal.

So what I've tried to do is be consistent. With respect to something like coal, we made the largest investment in clean coal technology, to make sure that even as we're producing more coal, we're producing it cleaner and smarter. Same thing with oil, same thing with natural gas. And the proof is our oil imports are down to the lowest levels in 20 years. Oil production is up, natural gas production is up, and, most importantly, we're also starting to build cars that are more efficient.

And that's creating jobs. That means those cars can be exported, 'cause that's the demand around the world, and it also means that it'll save money in your pocketbook.

ROMNEY: I will fight for oil, coal and natural gas. And the proof, the proof of whether a strategy is working or not is what the price is that you're paying at the pump. If you're paying less than you paid a year or two ago, why, then, the strategy is working. But you're paying more. When the president took office, the price of gasoline here in Nassau County was about $1.86 a gallon. Now, it's $4.00 a gallon. The price of electricity is up.
If the president's energy policies are working, you're going to see the cost of energy come down. I will fight to create more energy in this country, to get America energy-secure. And part of that is bringing in a pipeline of oil from Canada, taking advantage of the oil and coal we have here, drilling offshore in Alaska, drilling offshore in Virginia where the people want it. Those things will get us the energy we need.

CROWLEY: Mr. President, could you address, because we did finally get to gas prices here, could you address what the governor said, which is if your energy policy was working, the price of gasoline would not be $4 a gallon here. Is that true?

OBAMA: Well, think about what the governor - think about what the governor just said. He said when I took office, the price of gasoline was $1.80, $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney's now promoting. So, it's conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies, we might be back in that same mess.

What I want to do is to create an economy that is strong, and at the same time produce energy. And with respect to this pipeline that Governor Romney keeps on talking about, we've - we've built enough pipeline to wrap around the entire earth once. So, I'm all for pipelines. I'm all for oil production. 

What I'm not for is us ignoring the other half of the equation. So, for example, on wind energy, when Governor Romney says "these are imaginary jobs." When you've got thousands of people right now in Iowa, right now in Colorado, who are working, creating wind power with good-paying manufacturing jobs, and the Republican senator in that –
in Iowa is all for it, providing tax breaks to help this work and Governor Romney says I'm opposed, I'd get rid of it, that's not an energy strategy for the future. And we need to win
that future. And I intend to win it as President of the United States.

ROMNEY: Candy, I don't have a policy of stopping wind jobs in Iowa and that - they're not phantom jobs. They're real jobs.

ROMNEY: I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa and across our country. I appreciate the jobs in coal and oil and gas. I'm going to make sure - we're taking advantage of our energy resources. We'll bring back manufacturing to America. We're going to get through a very aggressive energy policy, 31/2 million more jobs in this country. It's critical to our future.

What the Hell is the Obama campaign playing at?

Today is the second debate between the US election candidates Obama and Romney.

You’re really not going to believe this blog, and I wish I had taken screen captures to show - two different Obama campaign platform websites in two days.

Two days ago I was feeling really down that there was still no sign from the candidates or the media that global climate change, the most important issue that humanity has ever faced, will be allowed to even show up in the United States presidential election.

My mood was raised only slightly when I received an email from the United States friends of the Earth to lobby for the inclusion of climate change. Good for FoE. However there was no great appropriate outrage from the environmental community as a whole at this absurd grossest negligence of the democratic process in the United States.

What had really brought me down was that I'd checked through the website to find what the Obama campaign’s issues were. Incredibly, global climate change was not even listed among the issues. I checked the energy issue page but climate didn’t even show up there.

Energy An unprecedented boom in domestic production has led to cheaper natural gas, and President Obama will take every possible action to safely develop this abundant source of American energy to support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. U.S. oil production is at a 14-year high and President Obama has charted a course to cut net oil imports in half between 2008 and 2020, lowering imports by 5.5 million barrels per day and reducing our reliance on foreign oil to its lowest level in almost three decades.

I just didn’t have the spirit to write about this ridiculous situation.

In the evening I decided to check the platform one last time and much to my pleasant surprise found a very different website, one that featured global warming and climate change fairly prominently. I felt elated. 

Wow, the Obama campaign had listened to the little outrage at no climate change mention, and climate change would be in the campaign from now on.

Today, just before the second debate, I checked the campaign platforms again. Holy crap – the previous no-climate-change / no-environment site was back. What a fool I felt. 

I had already emailed to say we had a small victory getting climate change on the election agenda. Maggie Zhou took me to task with an outraged Oh Heavens! pointing out that Obama’s record on mitigating climate change was dismal and he couldn’t be trusted. The only candidate who could, Maggie said, is Jill Stein for the Green Party and I agreed, having written my first US election blog on Jill’s best-ever-from-anyone climate change platform.

So because it is totally unbelievable here is the Obama campaign list of issues, again, by screen capture.

That leaves the Energy platform as covering the Obama climate change position.

"... domestic production has led to cheaper natural gas, and President Obama will take every possible action to safely develop this abundant source of American energy."

That means fracking for gas. Natural gas is mainly methane, a deadly, powerful greenhouse gas. Plus, cheap fracked gas is squeezing out zero carbon renewable energy, making American gas fracking a planet killer.

"U.S. oil production is at a 14-year high."

This is a blatant pro-oil corporation policy and to hell with the climate. To avoid global climate catastrophe, according to the IPCC, we have to be burning less oil by 2015 at the latest, making increasing US oil production a planet killer.

The mysterious 2012 US election continues. Why would the Obama campaign change to a global warming / climate change look-what-Obama-has-done-for-climate website, only to change it back again? Now you see climate change, now you don't. Are they fracking with us? 

Is the responsible American climate voter caught between a rock and a hard place?

There is no indication from any media sources that climate change will be allowed in this second debate. All we can do is Hope for Change from the Obama 2012 campaign. 

Jill Stein is looking better than ever and the future worse than ever.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Great 2012 US Presidential Drought

The 2012 US election is going down in history, right now, as the year American politics wrote off the American people. It is the great historic mystery of how, under the climate change president, global climate change was rejected as an issue.

This is not President Obama's fault.

It is clear Obama does not have the US media with him. His post-debate "fight back" issued by his campaign office was reported as all pro-Romney.

Not surprisingly, the polls now show Romney the Joker leading the Full of Hope President.

The election is going down in history because while the candidates are avoiding global warming, prolonged historic drought has been brought to the US by global warming, and it can devastate the US and world food security in a mere few years.

The extreme US drought, rather than letting up this autumn, is getting even worse. The forecast is that the entire great American breadbasket will be in drought through to December. What the Hell is happening?

While the US Republican Party has been working its evil political campaign of global warming denial, nothing has ever been more obvious than the fact that global warming causes more drought. The insidious success of this PR denial campaign now has us on the brink (if not past) of committed planetary catastrophe that would wipe out most life.

Did I say evil? It's beyond evil to go on, after all these years, lying and deceiving about global warming -- as more climate change disasters hit more people on every continent -- all for more profit.

It is now more than global warming. It's the deadly climate-change-amplifying complications of global warming that are hitting the US and the world now.

While the 2012 Arctic summer sea ice was quite rightly recognized as a dramatic historic event, the media did not explain the full extent of why. The sea ice loss was reported as a historic visual event that would be interesting to watch, when in fact it is condemning the planet to runaway methane global heating catastrophe.

The sea ice collapse was not the only all-time historic record. What Americans have not been told by their ubiquitous information industry is that the US summer warming was a record and the Northern Hemisphere snow retreat, particularly over the far American north, was a record.

The science has recently been published showing, not surprisingly, that the rapid loss of far north snow cover, which occurs as spring and summer reach the Arctic, drives increased drought and, most significantly, prolonged drought as a "blocked" extreme weather event. (Blocked as in stuck or unable to shift.) This is what is happening and it's no joke. It's a potential nation killer because global warming is real and can only increase.

What we are seeing in real time and the real world is greenhouse global warming and loss of Northern Hemisphere snow cover (caused by the global warming) and the resulting loss of albedo cooling combining warming forces over the centre of the North American continent -- bringing severe, spreading and prolonged drought.

If ever there was time when the US needed decisive leadership, this is it. If ever there was a time when the world needed intelligent American climate policy leadership, this is it.

That is not to be, for the days of political leadership are history. Even the US president is led by his handlers and they are pollsters and spin doctors, for which global climate change is merely a minute-by-minute political advantage or risk. They have decided it is a risk for Obama, so presto, global warming vanishes behind the media smoke and mirrors.

The PR decision goes back to 2008. Since the successful GOP spin of Obama's fine ocean-rise-slowing, Earth-healing 2008 speech, the president has been on a tight environmental leash. This is so, so dumb -- but that's what PR politics is.

What about US civil society, the big environmental and social justice NGOs based in the US? They are playing the exact same game. They are run by PR environmental politics. They have been incredibly silent about climate change the past couple of years. Global climate change politics is on hold -- but the changing climate is not. The race for the planet and for a future is being lost by political expediency and pandering.

PR politics is disgustingly cynical. It assumes the American people have no sense and no heart, that people do not know what is good for them. That is true of the PR industry, not the people. Americans know global warming is behind the historic US drought. According to the latest survey, "a large and growing majority of Americans (74%) say 'global warming is affecting weather in the United States.'"

The NGOs know their future rests with an Obama win, and they are carefully, but foolishly, taking their lead from the Obama election campaign (if it can now be called that), even to the absurd extent of joining the election denial of climate change. They are keeping tight lipped on the climate, trusting that the President knows best and will win the day for them. That's damn dumb of them.

We face a great political drought of sense, of integrity, and of caring created by the PR industry and spread by the corporate media.

The American life blood out on the prairies is being drained and American freedom is being choked, but the PR hacks don't care.

Never has there been anything so democratically or morally negligent as keeping climate change out of this election. That's what PR politics is and what democracy has succumbed to.

Who, then, is going to lead us out of this nightmare?

We are. We, the people. We must take control of this madness to save our future.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can the Candidate Say Climate Change ?

With the chosen questions of the first US presidential debate, the American media have given the world a message. Global climate change will be not an issue in this election. 

A US presidential election is the biggest media event in the world. If ever there was an opportunity to have the public engage in the biggest event in human history (global warming climate change), this is it. 

Even so, the American media have censored climate change right out. Cleansed the election of the deadly dirty truth of fossil fueled global climate apocalypse. 

In our media-managed world, world leaders who want to stay in power have to say what the media want them to say. 

The media have most obviously already been rejecting climate change. The media have avoided the record northern hemisphere warming, the cause of the extreme US drought, and totally ignored the connection to the record loss of northern hemisphere snow and summer sea ice albedo cooling. 

The American media have given Obama a message: Don't debate Romney on climate change. And he isn't.

There were dull words, dumb words and false words in the first debate, but climate was one word that was not spoken. Not once. The American media are serving us up a world of make believe – and it's world that will not last much longer.

Watching the debate through the TV screen, we are Alice through the looking glass in one crazy dream.

We were looking down the rabbit hole last night but there is no light at the end of this make-believe tunnel to Wonderland.

Our world is being destroyed, but our candidates acted out Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
    Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
    Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

That is about the standard of the non debate. The candidates take their grinning lead from PR Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter is running the world.

The climate is being kept out of the US election. Why? 

The media have made us consumers instead of citizens; zombies instead of thinking, caring beings; and we must keep buying more and more of the free market/global market tacky techy toys, to keep funneling more and more money into the pockets of the mega global rich.

The planet be damned, business must carry on as usual. Any serious talk of conserving more, of wasting less, of buying less is anathema to the globalizing marketers. Only burning more and more high-energy-intense fossil fuels can keep the world economy constantly expanding. No matter that our future is rapidly shrinking – like Alice down the rabbit hole. It is a fact that we have no future with fossil fuels, and that's a fact the corporate media will not allow in this US election.

The Guardian, just before the dismal debate, reported that the only bipartisan consensus during this 2012 election is not to talk climate change. Nine environmental organizations delivered more than 160,000 petitions to Jim Lehrer urging him to ask at least one question about climate change during the first presidential debate. Mike Palamuso, for the League of Conservation Voters, says the goal is to bring attention on a national stage to an issue that's been pushed aside in the election. Pinch me. I must be having a bad dream.

From last night's debate, voters were given no idea of what is really in the platforms of their two main candidates. There is a US Green Party leader called Jill Stein who wants the fossil fuels left in the ground so today's children might inherit a planet with a future. Of course, in the American media version of democracy, she never ever gets a mention.

I wonder how many American voters know what is in the climate change policy platform of the two main contenders, Obama and Romney. If you don't, read on, because it may surprise you.

My American climate friends feel desperate and determined that all votes must go to Barack Obama to prevent any risk of Mitt Romney in the White House. This, they say, is a surprisingly close election. They tell me Romney has proved himself to be an idiot, but even so, the polls indicate the race is close. They are right (on both counts) – I checked all the polls. It is close enough for Romney to get elected, and after last night's phony debate, more likely. 

So I delved deeper, and I do see what they mean, but American politics now scares the bejesus out of me more than ever.

My first shock? It's true. Both presidential candidates are steering clear of climate change.

So far the full extent of global climate change for this election is Romney's joke in his nomination acceptance speech and Obama's quick reference to it in his. That makes one mention each. Global climate change is not on the US election agenda.

That is so-ooo OUTRAGEOUS – totally incredible. US and northern hemisphere temperatures and drought are at record highs. World food prices are climbing as a result. The Arctic summer sea ice is collapsing. Methane feedback emissions are so large they are making the atmospheric methane level climb even higher. That means planet Earth is on the brink of runaway feedback warming. We are looking at the collapse of civilization but climate change is not an issue for the American presidential candidates!!!

So I just had to find out what the official party platforms were on climate change policy. GOP Romney had joked about Obama and climate change, so I knew the GOP climate change platform would be bad. But I also knew that under President Obama, federal lands had been opened up for more coal mining and for shale oil.

James Hansen warned back in 2008 that if all the coal was mined and burned, we might trigger the runaway greenhouse effect. He said that if the tar sands and shale oil were burnt as well, greenhouse runaway was a dead certainty. Hansen called this dead planet result the Venus Syndrome. So we have to be dead against more coal and any start up of shale oil.

So what is the official Dem climate change platform? Surprise! A good one.

Even though he is not talking climate change this time around, Obama, I found, still believes what he said about climate change when he won the White House, and even more. The Obama platform actually recognizes that global climate change is catastrophically dangerous. Most climate change organizations, most of the time, are strangely silent on global climate catastrophe. The big climate C word is in the Obama platform – twice. Score another point or two for Obama! Most important of all, Obama recognizes that climate change is a catastrophic threat to US national security.

Democrat Party 2012 platform. Climate Change. The national security threat from climate change is real, urgent, and severe. The change wrought by a warming planet will lead to new conflicts over refugees and resources; new suffering from drought and famine; catastrophic natural disasters; and the degradation of vital ecosystems across the globe. We know that global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation – an economic, environmental,  and national security catastrophe in the making. We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies  that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits.

Why in God’s name then is Obama not telling the American public that global climate change is a catastrophic threat to their national security? That is his sworn duty as president. Of course. Because the media prefer him to be Tweedle Dum(b) on climate.

It would be to Obama's great personal advantage to talk about it. This summer, not surprisingly, has turned Americans into global warming believers. Global warming causes more drought, and drought kills crops. Ergo, global warming really matters. The American media have been busy connecting dots all summer. Record warming and record drought mean that record warming leads to record drought.

Last election, Obama, the presidential hopeful, presented himself as the climate change savior and won. This time Americans know they need a climate change savior – but there is no candidate for the job. Why is Obama throwing away this huge opportunity to defeat his climate change denier opponent?

The American media have decided climate change is not to be an election issue. Today, even the US president cannot risk running against the media. 

Though climate change is absent from this election, don't think this election is not very much about climate change. Americans are very worried about global warming right now. They have seen the terrible drought, which even now has not let up. But this US election is going to take their minds off their climate change concerns. Come November, drought and dying crops will be all forgotten. This election is all about removing climate change from the minds of Americans. It is all about continued inaction on greenhouse gas emissions. 

So what about the GOP Romney climate change platform? I read it all the way through and through again. I spell checked every possible word. I looked for other versions of the GOP platform. But, oh my God, there is nothing. Can you believe the Romney platform does not say a word about climate? Obama says we are headed to climate change catastrophe, and the science is now overwhelming that we are. But for Romney, climate change literally does not exist. Now I know you can't believe this. Nor could I, but I am not making it up. 

How strange a coincidence that climate change does not exist in Romney's platform and climate change does not exist in this election. What a huge advantage to Romney. 

Here is a Romney shocker. What a difference eight years makes. In the past eight years, global climate change has turned globally disastrous, including in the US. But as climate change catastrophe has loomed ever larger, Mitt Romney has turned from climate change champion to climate change denier. You see, in 2004 as governor of Massachusetts, Romney proudly delivered a great climate change disaster prevention plan.

I am proud to announce the Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan, the first in the history of the Commonwealth and among the strongest in our nation. The same policies that protect the climate also promote energy efficiency, smart business practices, and improve the environment in which our citizens live and work. For Massachusetts,promoting climate protection in the Commonwealth and throughout our nation also promotes Massachusetts businesses that are at the forefront of the new markets for renewable energy technologies. … We can also lead the nation in new energy technologies. The actions in this Climate Protection Plan will have a significant impact on the future of our state. Although many of the policies will not be easy to implement, the benefits will be long-lasting and enormous – benefits to our health, our economy,our quality of life ,our very landscape.These are actions we can and must take now if we are to have “no regrets” when we transfer our temporary stewardship of this earth to the next generation.

Public opinion says climate turncoat / denier Romney won the debate by quite a margin. Romney is guilty of the greatest lie of all time, that global climate change does not matter. Obama could knock him right out of this election by holding him accountable to this world-ending lie.

An American president who supports more global warming emissions and opposes any measures to even slow them? In a sane world, this would be out of the question. We are down the rabbit hole, folks. At this rate Tweedle Dee Romney will get into the White House. 

The American people can and must get out of this hole. They can make climate change the big election issue. They can give Romney no chance of winning. They can turn a disastrous election into a potential winner for all humanity.