Saturday, October 27, 2012

Teach your children well... part II

 the old and the new - the very busy, industrial traffic on the Yangtze River
 The Venice of China - Tongli - some of the older living conditions
 Condo - newer living conditions
 Multi-stories of wash day in the condos
 The newest - glitz hotels for tourists, the rich and those in charge
 The new - industrial China.  I believe that is sulfur on the carrier ships
The old farmstead.  There appeared to be this yellow crop (Canola perhaps?) all along the Yangtze where ever there was space for a bit of it to grow.
Above photos from April 2012
I am up to page 142 of Gwynne Dyer's book CLIMATE WAR$ @ Copyright 2008.  This is an extremely scarey book...  Page 142 Quote:
      Three things need to be borne in mind about the negotiations in Kyoto in 1997.  At that time, it was not clear that global warming would move as fast as subsequent models have predicted (let alone as fast as some recent events suggest).  Neither did most of the participants realize in 1997 that the recent ten-year growth spurt in China and the even more recent acceleration in India's growth rate were not transient events, but would both continue into the future at an even faster pace.  Both countries were actually on course to become major emitters of greenhouse gases in their own right, but this was a very new and contentious idea in 1997, so leaving them without obligations to curb their emissions in the first round of negotiations was seen as relatively cost-free.  And finally, there was already concern that the United States, the biggest emitter by far, producing one-quarter of the world's man-made greenhouse gases with only one-twentieth of the world's population, would not ratify the treaty if it demanded significant sacrifices from the US.  The Clinton White House might be in favour, and Vice-President Al Gore put a lot of effort into the negotiations, but the Senate would probably kill any treaty that placed serious obligations on the United States.
      So the treaty that emerged in Kyoto was an unambitious little thing, requiring the industrialized countries to cut their emissions by a very modest 5 - 7 percent by 2012 (from a 1990 baseline) and imposing no constraints on the emissions of developing countries, including China and India.  But it was far from a waste of time, and until the end of the twentieth century, there was still reason to believe that the response would match the scale of the problem.
.....from the Glynne Dyer's interview with James Hansen... June 28, 2008 ....
It was actually a quite remarkable rate of progress, given the fact that you really couldn't see many effects of this global warming.  It was a theory that we had some confirmation for, and we knew what we were talking about, but it was quite impressive.  Already within four years (after the creation of the IPCC in 1988) we had the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and then the Kyoto Protocol (in 1988).  But what happened, as we all know, was that the U.S. sabotaged the effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol by not signing on.  Without the biggest polluter by far, and without the biggest economy, Kyoto could not be very effective.
     It would have been much more effective in reducing the developing country emissions because of the Clean Development Mechanism that was part of it . . . There would have been a lot more incentive to get moving on the renewable energies and clean energies.  But why did the U.S. take that position?
      Well, it was because the industries had more influence on our government than the public good.  The interest of a small number of people, the influence of money in Washington, and the fact that so many congressmen and administration are influenced by the fossil-fuel industry, which is huge.  That's why we need to try to draw attention to the activities of that lobby, because otherwise they may continue to muddle the story enough that we fail to get the strong and rapid actions that we now need.  Beause now we've used up the time -- we're at the hairy edge right now.  We have to make rapid changes.
--- James Hansen, director, NASA Goddard Space Studies Center, in an interview with the author (Gynne Dyer), June 28, 2008.
      U.S. President Bill Clinton never sent the Kyoto treaty to Congress for ratification, because he knew that it had zero chance of ratification: by now the fossil-fuel lobby had bought up enough members of Congress to ensure that.  Shortly after President George W. Bush entered office in 2001, he declared that the United States was withdrawing from the treaty entirely -- and the next eight years of international negotiations on climate change were characterized by official American obstructionism that often verged on wrecking tactics.  Somehow or other, the issue of climate change had got caught up in the 'cultural wars' in the United States, and the Bush administration was on the side that denied it was happening.
      It is not immediately obvious why the reality or otherwide of climate change, essentially a scientific question, should have become such an intensely emotional issue in the United States.  It did not become a left-right struggle elsewhere (except in Australia and Canada, which were carried along in the cultural wake of the United States), and conservatives like former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and German's Chancellor Angela Merkel could be found in the front rank of climate activists.  Even allowing for unusually ideological character of American politics, why did this particular issue become a badge of ideological allegiance in the United States?
      The fact that there was a campaign of denial funded by the usual suspects in the American oil, coal and automobile industries (and partly run by the same people wo had previously conducted the tobacco industry's campaign to cast doubt on the evidence that smoking causes fatal diseases) does not explain the emotion that Americans invested in the issue.  After all, smoking never became a pure left-right issue in the same way.  The passionate commitment to the cause that is evident in American blogs on climate issues, especially on the part of the deniers, is quite disproportionate to the impact that the topic has on the real lives of the participants.  
......  on to page 146 ....
     In less ideological societies, climate change could be treated as a more or less neutral fact.  Given the ferocity of the culture was in the United States during the Clinton and Bush administrations, global warming was bound to become a highly contentious 'values' issue in the United States, rather than a scientific one.  This was a major misfortune, since the Bush administraion, whose international position on climate change was shaped by its role as a partisan in those domestic ideological struggles, certainly bore a large share of the responsibility for the lost decade in international action on the global warming agenda.  However, it is also the case that some other countries used American foot-dragging as an excuse not to pursue a more ambitious policy themselves.  We have yet to know how they will act if they lose that political cover due to to a change in American climate policy.
      We may find out quite soon, however, since the period of time covered by the Kyoto Protocol is now drawing to an end, and the parties to the treaty have until late 2009 to decide on a follow-on deal that determines what further cuts will be needed in the period after 2012.  Membership in the post-Kyoto negotiating group is now almost universal, with even Australia having signed up after the 2007 election removed prime minister John Howard, an inveterate climate change denier, from office.  Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada has hinted at leaving the treaty and has ceased to work towards fulfilling its existing commitments, but it will probably be forced back into line after the inauguration of the next U.S. president in January 2009 (since the presidential candidates of both major parties in the U.S. are committed to action on climate change). It is even possible that the United States itself will sign up to the Kyoto Protocol or its successor in the next few years, although that is by no means guaranteed.  But will the next round of negotiations really yield a dramatically different result?
 ..... interview with Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber with the author Gwynne Dyer, March 15, 2008.
  HANS-JOACHIM SCELLNHUBER:  I don't want to be pessimistic, but there are two possibilities.  We might get a good post-Kyoto agreement by 2010 or so, which would mean that developed countries would have a road map that would include  a commitment to 40 percent emission reductions by 2030.  That's still a possibility.  China, India and so on would have soft targets, but only for the commitment period until 2020 ... Then we would revise the whole thing in 2015, 2016, so that they could enter in the third commitment period fter 2020 to crisp numerical targets.  In a sense, it would be a training camp for developing countries between 2012 and 2020.  It would not ensure that we would get this 40 percent reduction by 2030, but at least we would be on track.
      If that does not happen, there is still the possibility that you would have a coalition of the willing, in the sense that just the most advanced countries -- say Germany, U.K., Netherlands, Sweden, United States, hopefully Australia, where we had this sea change already, Japan --- (my insert - sea change refers to the recent rain in UK and drought in eastern US due to the change in the  traditional direction of the trade winds - you will have to read the book to see where this is a documented fact) would just form a club of countries who want to become extremely energy- efficient, extremely energy-independent, decarbonizing their societies, and do it through a patchy but ever evolving global-emissions trading system.  Then market forces as well as political willpower would drive the whole thing.  So we wouldn't get global targets, but they would simply emerge from the bottom, if you like.  That would be the alternative.  I think either way we will see something.
 Gwynne Dyer:  Does that alternative approach keep us clear of the 450 parts per million threshold?
Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber:  Only if this is just a training camp.  After 2020, clearly, you need to engage all the major industires in the world.  I still think that if we are able, for a certain period of time, to demonstrate in a credible way that the most developed countries are on track, are willing and able to do this decarbonization, then this will become something like an infectious disease.  If you see that you can lead a good life and nevertheless decarbonize your society, I'm sure the Chinese would be happy to copy that.  But it would all depend on the success, on the shining demonstration of that period.  Then I still think the 450 line could be held.
      We might have a little bit of help from our dirty friends, namely the aerosols in the atmosphere.  You know that they have this global dimming, masking effect.  The Aerosols might just help us over that period of time.  It's almost ironic:  without these aerosols we probably would have already much higher global warming.  So it may turn out that if we would do a very subtle management of aerosols by SULPHUR filtering in China, India and so on, in line with CARBON DIOXIDE REDUCTION, we might still save the day, but it may become a very tricky game, actually.  So, the answer to your question is a definite maybe.
--- Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research, in an interview with the author (Glynne Dyer), March 25, 2008.
--- unquote ---
This was the book published in 2009, but the information is all based on far earlier scientific research due to the fact that all theories have to be tested and agreed to before publication.  So the information that Dyer could draw on was prior to 2005, perhaps 2003 information if we are lucky.  I say, if we are lucky, because, the more recent information that is available is illustrating the fears of the scientists researching in this climate change field.  The droughts, the forest fires, the floods, the glacier melts, the depletion of the underground water supplies, the fierce tropical storms, the dessertification of more and more land, not to mention out of control population increases,  all point to what I think is the fact that the world is going into a hot period, whether it be due to human intervention or be it due to natural cycle of our world, which has happened before -- granted -- but it is too soon for the cycle to be happening.. we need a couple of million years yet if the natural cycles happen rather regularly.
Hang on to your hat and head for cover and colder climates.. and teach your children well...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Teach your children well...

 This is a photo from our trip to the Southwest US in 2007, somewhere in California, I believe.
 This photo was from the same 2007 trip at a rest stop not far from Los Banos, California.  The water hydrant appeared to be out of order, or not in use.  The grass at the rest stop looks lush and green.  In the washrooms there were signs about using as little water as possible.  Perhaps they had a system where the gray water was recycled for the upkeep of the grounds.
 This is the Santa Fe River in downtown (old town) Santa Fe, N.M.  There is very little water in the River and it has ice on it.  Since taking this photo I have read that there is a project underway for the  reclamation of this river.  I cannot easily find photos of this spot of the River to show how the restoration project has worked out for the area. 
 This photo shows the area of California food production system fed by the Dos Amicos pumping Plant into the canals.
 here is a closer look at one of the canals.. photos from 2011.
 This is a 2011 photo of the once mighty Rio Grande River
 Another photo from the same time.  I could have waded across this Grande River.
And the sign at the side of the highway explaining what has happened to the Rio Grande.

This post has nothing to do with home gardening, but everything to do with global gardening and management of our resources... not just in the US, but world wide.

I recently started to re-read Gwynne Dyer's book "Climate Wars" that I read a couple of years ago.  It was a scary book then and it has become even more so as time goes on. 

Quote from Gwynne Dyer's book, Climate Wars, page 23: Climate Wars Review

:: Leon Fuerth, professor international affairs, George Washington University, one of the lead authors of The Age of Consequences, in an interview with the author, February 5, 2008:

"GD:  What you're saying, essentially, is that we're looking at potential system collapse, politically as well as physically.
LEON FUERTH:  This whole thing is an interaction between human beings as a highly organized industrial civilization, and the world's physics and chemistry and so on, and the consequences of things that we already have done, and set in motion, before we were smart enough to recognize the patterns."

     Among the non-linear political events Fuerth forsees in the event of severe climate change are class warfare "as the wealthiest members of every society pull away from the rest of the population;" an end to globalization and the onset of rapid economic decline owing to the collapse of financial and production systems that depend on integrated worldwide systems; and the collapse of alliance systems and multilateral institutions, including the United Nations.  He suggests that massive social upheavals will be accompanied by intense religious and ideological turmoil, in which the principal winners will be authoritarian ideologies and brands of religion that reject scientific rationalism.  Even more disturbing (and persuasive) is his observation that "governments with resources will be forced to engage in long, nightmarish episodes of triage:  deciding what and who can be salvaged from engulfment by a disordered environment. The choices will need to be made primarily among the poorest, not just abroad but at home.  We have already previewed the images, in the course of the organizational and spiritual unravelling that was Hurrican Katrina
.--- end of quote.

Some of the things I have read about before page 23 are the depletion of our sources of water, the rise of the ocean levels due to glacier melt from the increase of the earth temperature, the over heating and desertification of much of the equatorial countries, and much more.  It is all happening, as we can see by the violent storms, and the political situations that are reported daily in the news, as well as the many people world wide going without enough food, from the climate changes.
3 days ago I downloaded the movie 2012.   Compared to that movie this scientific prognosis for our future is by far a more long drawn out horrifying life for our children.  Teach your children well!

October has been busy

 The Autumn colors are spectacular this year.  In looking back at last year's October in the garden, I find I have many similar photos, though. 
 This is the last clematis that climbs up the deck posts and sometimes surrounds the tub garden in blooms. 
The leaves are beginning to fall and I will need to do some more skimming of debris off the pond.  I will soon need to clean the leaves off the rock plants and put them on the grass to run over them with the lawn mower.  This worked really very well last Autumn to get some mulch to lay over the veggie garden space.  I will add bone meal again and lime and maybe greensand and other nutrients.  I will let this work naturally into the soil over the winter.  We are finished eating the purple plums.  We had more than 30 lbs.  We ate quite a few right off the tree, and I have about 20 pints preserved. 
It is the season for soups and I have been making extra large batches of different kinds of soup.  We are trying to stay away from the canned stuff in the stores as it is generally full of salt and these unrecognizable stuff.  I have also been making ratatouille, a few extra cabbage rolls, lasagne, and other things that I will have ready for when I do not feel like cooking.  I have a few more things that I want to make, yet, so the remainder of the month is going to be busy, too.
We have finally been getting some rain.  The temperatures have been a bit cooler . . . its a beautiful Autumn this year.  The michaelmas daisies, heathers, autumn crocus and heathers have been looking good in the garden too.  I should bring in the heliotrope as its fragrance is heavenly, and it should survive in the house.... maybe I can even carry it over to next year. 
I finally caught another snapshot of a drop on a flower.  This is not set up, but just a natural raindrop on a flower.  I found it while out taking snapshots while waiting to board the Coho to go to the crabfest in Port Angeles last weekend.
 This is shooting from the deck of the Coho while on our way to Port Angeles.  It was fairly cool out there.  The sailors must have been a bit chilly.
This is at the crab fest where there were a few kiosks with interesting things to see or buy.  This was a demonstration by the rescue team in their helicopter.  Thanks Irene and Dan for the wonderful hospitality at your home.  Was so much fun!

Aside from this, I have been learning a bit more about my Ipad.  I bought the movie 2012 from itunes on my pc and then managed to transfer it to my ipad by tethering the ipad to the pc and syncing them.  I learn how to do this stuff and them have to relearn it all if I ever go to do it again.  Once I transferred a photo, without the tethering, this time I transferred a photo with the sync method.  Well... its not as complicated as I like to make it.    Amazing stuff, really.  I have also been reading voraciously on my ipad too.  And so the garden goes without attention, as there is so many other things I want to do.
I have finished the Island Challenge photos and loaded them to my megashot account for the car stuff, and have let the people who were at the meet know of the gallery.  I am now working on the Can Am tour, and have also done a few more for the 2011 Pincher Creek Model T meet... there are some terrific photos in that one... but lots of them!  And so it goes...  I have finished processing the June photos for my album of that month on the gardening page of my old web page.  I need to now create that album with photoshop and them add titles, etc in notepad, before I can load it to the page.  I really like doing this stuff, but seem to have too little time to do it.  ..  So this is retirement?  Time seems to fly by.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

On the 30 of Sept. we took the 1912 Model T out and road tested it's speedometer.  We clocked the fastest speed at 50 miles per hour, but that did not include the fast downhill runs we sometimes do in order to get a good run at the hill we must climb next.  In the evening, we packed our prepared supper into the Dodge Lodge and went out near the airport to try to catch the sunset.  With a little help from photoshop, this one turned out not too bad.  It helps to shoot in RAW.
 I am adding photos from our trip to Sask to an account at Megashot, where I have shared the link with family members.  This is somewhere in the Merritt area.  You can see the damage from the forest fire of some years ago, is now growing in green again. 
 This is one of the photos from our Island Challenge meet of the Antique Chapter of the VCCC.  Our meet hotel was at Campbell River Lodge that is located right next to the river.  Its a marvelous location.  I am uploading photos from this meet to a gallery on Megashot.  I will be linking all the participants in the meet to the gallery, as soon as I am finished adding all the photos, which should be soon. 
This is Pat's car at the "I blew it" Glass blowing studio on Quadra Island.  It was a challenging road to arrive at this, our final destination on the Island Challenge.  More photos in my Megashot gallery for the Island  Challenge

I have been making soups and freezing them.  Last one was the Classic Pea Soup with ham made from split peas, carrots, celery, onion, ham and the meat stock from cooking some smoked turkey legs.  We tested it for lunch today and it was pronounced good.  Today I made cabbage rolls, but only have one meal of them to freeze.    I must make more.  I found a very nice recipe for clam chowder that I will be making up next week.  I will be making lasagne also. 

We have had no rain for a month.  The soil is very dry.  Perhaps I should be out watering.