Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hard Rain Journal 9-26-06: Climate Crisis Update -- Global Warming & The Nuclear Option, A Convergence of National Security Issues

The planet's temperature has climbed to levels not seen in thousands of years, warming that has begun to affect plants and animals, researchers report in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Earth has been warming at a rate of 0.36 degree Fahrenheit per decade for the last 30 years, according to the research team led by James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. That brings the overall temperature to the warmest in the current interglacial period, which began about 12,000 years ago. Global Temperature Highest in Millennia, Associated Press, 9-26-06

Hard Rain Journal 9-26-06: Climate Crisis Update -- Global Warming & The Nuclear Option, A Convergence of National Security Issues
By Richard Power

Global warming and climate change should be one of the two or three dominant topics of discussion both within the political establishment and within the mainstream news media; but tragically, and unforgivably, it is not...

Here are some important insights and urgent issues for debate -- brought forward via podcasting, progressive talk radio and amplified here in the blogosphere. Sustainability is vital to the survival of civilization, and, clearly, so is independent media.

In the conclusion to a recent series of podcasts on the issue of global warming, Gen. Wesley Clark, (US Army, Retired), former Supreme Commander of NATO forces and serious US presidential contender, articulates the threat of global warming in a way no other political leader has dared (with of course the heroic exception of Al Gore):

"Just the warmer weather and the raising of the sea levels and the greater temperatures in the oceans will bring stronger and more frequent storms. It means storms like Rita and Katrina could occur every five years instead of every hundred years. It will mean changes in rainfall patterns that will force nations and people to compete for land and food and water. And just these minimal effects may not imperil American security, but it will certainly push the less well-off nations into strife, pulling to the limits treaties, traditions and relationships among nations....What I say about global warming is that it is not an EPA problem, it is not an environmental problem, per se; it is really a national security problem. You have to see it that way and treat it that way."
ClarkCast 008: Final Thoughts on Global Warming

On a recent edition of Eco-Talk, Air America Radio's environmental news and analysis program, now airing Monday thru Friday (yes, you can download it as a podcast!), award-winning journalist Betsy Rosenberg did in-depth interviews with Helen Caldicott and James Lovelock.

Caldicott is busy putting together "a roadmap for a totally carbon-free, nuclear energy free future." Lovelock believes that sustainable development is a "fantasy" and advocates what he terms "sustainable retreat."

Betsy Rosenberg: "Now what about James Lovelock. He is an esteemed scientist, and he has been looking at environmental issues for more than three decades. What do you think of his claim that nuclear really is the answer?"

Helen Caldicott: "He's wrong. I have talked to James Lovelock twice. And he was very enthusiastic when I called him. He said, "Your book, Nuclear Madness, is the best book I have read on the medical effects of nuclear power. But he has been a supporter of nuclear power for twenty years. He is not a physician, he is a medical scientist. But you know I have to suspect....He is absolutely right on global warming, and absolutely wrong on nuclear power. If he knew more about it as a scientist he would not be in favor of it. Clearly, he doesn't understand the nuclear fuel cycle. He doesn't understand the isotopes. He doesn't understand the bio-concentration in the food change..."

Betsy Rosenberg: Helen Caldicott says you are "absolutely right on global warming and absolutely wrong on nuclear power." Let's jump right in...

James Lovelock: I am not nuclear fanatic. Countries like the UK (where I live), West Germany and other European countries don't have any indigenous energy supplies, and so they don't have many options. A city dies in about a week if it you cut off electricity. We have a lot of big cities. Nuclear is the safest and surest way of making sure that they can keep going. It is necessary in America, but not as vital as it is for us. Unless you live in Iceland where they have all the geo-thermal energy they need, and in fact are going to export it.

There are some profound issues to be debated and decided upon -- if the human race is going to mitigate the impact of global warming and adapt to its consequences. Unfortunately, the political establishment in many countries is not providing leadership; nor is the mainstream news media. In both cases, this failure of leadership, at least among the great nations, is most egregious in the USA.

Want to participate in the effort to mitigate the impact of global warming? Download "Ten Things You Can Do"

There is a powerful magic in personal commitment.

Hard Rain Journal (9-24-06): Climate Crisis Update -- News on Farmers, Home Builders and Small Business Owners from Costa Rica and the UK
Hard Rain Journal 9-19-06: Climate Crisis Update – Gore Articulates The Profit in Prophecy and The Return on Reality
Hard Rain Journal 9-15-06: Climate Crisis Update – If You Have Children, or Care About the Future for Any Reason, You Should Read These Five News Items
Hard Rain Journal 8-28-06: Six Ways for the US to Fight Global Warming
Hard Rain Journal 8-17-06: Typhoon Season Intensifies, Canada Starts to Slide into Denial, New Study Offers Insight on Global Warming Impact
Hard Rain Journal 8-2-06: North Korean flood toll thought to be 10,000, Agence France Press reports
Hard Rain Journal 7-27-06: Killer Heat Waves, Massive Blackouts -- You Were Warned 3 Years Ago
Hard Rain Journal 7-26-06: NRDC Reports on Global Warming's Direct Threat to 12 National Parks in Western USA
Hard Rain Journal 7-24-06: Five Stories about the Reality of Global Warming, Is Continued Denial Criminally Insane?
Hard Rain Journal 7-21-06: Heat Waves in Europe & US are Direct Consequences of Global Warming
Words of Power #25: Lost Symbols, Part II -- The Rainbow Serpent Hisses, Lessons about Sustainability & Survival from Darfur, Senegal and Ecuador
Hard Rain Journal 6-27-06: Global Warming, Bush's Alleged "Incompetence," and the So-Called "Conservative" Agenda
Words of Power #20: Cusco, Kyoto and The Yellow Sand Storm
Words of Power #7: Global Warming Is A Security Threat To Your Family & Your Business
Words of Power #1: Truths Salvaged from Post-Katrina Debacle

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