The Friends of California Libre...

09 April 2006

What James Ellroy Had to Say About the Environment

Greetings, friends,
Today seemed like a lively, healthy day outside my window. A blue jay was dive-bombing a squirrel on the neighbor's roof, while a crow watched from a nearby telephone line. Down in the valley, the usual flock of white birds (unknown YOU know?) was circling the parking lot of Bogie's Liquor.

Still, I couldn't help noticing that it is gray and cold, as yet ANOTHER winter storm ploughs into Southern California. Most of my screed about the environment has been academic, scientific studies, disasters in other places, but in the last few years I've finally noticed the weather shift drastically here in Los Angeles. Winter used to be January and February; in wet years we'd get rain as early as November and as late as now. In the last few years, the monsoon season (which used to be in the warmer climes to our south) now covers much of late summer, and all the winter weather has shifted to late February, March and April. Yeah, yeah, I know "April showers bring May flowers". That's not a California saying. In California, April showers bring freaked out flowers, which bloomed in the February dry heat and now are washing away. Even the birds seem confused by the late onset of winter weather.

We'll see what happens in May, when the reliable jacaranda trees usually bloom. In the meantime, though, I subscribe to James Ellroy's opinion, after his clipped manner: "We are FUCKED."

Today is Palm Sunday, so here's a message my favorite tree, the palm, can appreciate.

I will strive to find good news, like the recent end of the "terminator seed" program:
Let's Cheer Our Defeat
By Murray Dobbin
Genetically modified seeds produce sterile offspring. Canada tried to un-ban 'terminator' seeds. Instead, 1.4 billion farmers won.

And also signs that at least parts of the Federal Government realize global warming will still be a problem when George W. Bush is out of office a few years:
NASA Puts Its Weight Behind Warming Signs
By Miguel Llanos

I mean, you KNOW things are getting bad when the Feds, who have nearly a zero interest in conservation, are suddenly contemplating such drastic moves:
Salmon Fishing Ban Considered
By Eric Bailey
The Los Angeles Times

Yeah, we're all about conservation now.
The recommended page is:
Girls Gone Wild Released Back Into Civilization

The news is not good:
Climate Scientists Issue Dire Warning
By David Adam
The Guardian UK
Little Time to Avoid Big Thaw, Scientists Warn
By Peter N. Spotts
The Christian Science Monitor
Level of Climate Change Gases Hits Record High
By Fiona Harvey
The Financial Times

It's no surprise with our "growth rate" (thanks, Mike):
grow your fuckin' bell w/this!

But seriously, things are going wrong very, very fast, and it starts to the north:
Arctic Climate Study Produces Startling Findings
By Michelle Macafee
The Canadian Press
Inuit See Signs in Arctic Thaw
By Doug Struck
The Washington Post

And the south:
Loss of Antarctic Ice Increases
By Andrew C. Revkin
The New York Times
Glacier Melt Could Signal Faster Rise in Ocean Levels
By Shankar Vedantam
The Washington Post

And while the poles melt, the ocean heats; much of the predicted rise in sea level comes not just from melted ice, but the actual swelling of the water as it warms up:
The Fate of the Ocean
By Julia Whitty
Mother Jones
Research in Pacific Shows Ocean Trouble
By Lisa Stiffler
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

In response, an ENTIRE country in Polynesia declared themselves a marine sanctuary, but that can't stop the pollution and warmth of the ocean from destroying their coral reefs; still, an encouraging beginning, and one that bodes well for their coral and "eco-tourism":
Pacific Islands Paradise Protected
By The New England Aquarium

All around the world, the waters flowing into the oceans turn from freshwater rivers to sewer outfalls:
Death of the World's Rivers
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent UK

With predictable results:
Climate Change May Spark Conflict Between Nations
The Independent UK

In this country, however, we "go with God" and forget about science:
Rewriting the Science
By Scott Pelley
CBS News
"In my more than three decades in the government I've never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public." -- James Hansen
Judges Overturn Bush Bid to Ease Pollution Rules
By Michael Janofsky
The New York Times
Oil Gushes Into Arctic Ocean From BP Pipeline
By Leonard Doyle
The Independent UK

Private industry is way ahead of the Feds on this score:
Ceres Releases First-Ever Ranking of 100 Global Companies on Climate Change Strategy

Some answers to the crisis seem farfetched (if not fun; thanks, Blake):
Subject: In one day's effort, we can save the world!
http ://

While others are more practical, like a biodiesel vehicle being prepared for mass production by Saab:
Please click on the link to see the corresponding content:

The biggest changes are yet to come; we haven't even addressed the pollution of airline engines:
Flying Is Dying
By George Monbiot
There is no way to halt global warming and continue traveling long distances at high speeds. The only solution is to stop flying in airplanes.

And amazingly, Earth-bound astronomy might be finished if light and air pollution continues:
Telescopes 'Worthless' by 2050
By Paul Rincon
BBC News

Gee, now you have something to pray for this Semana Santa...the survival of the human race! Go to it,
and vive le screed!

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