Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hard Rain Journal 4-10-07: Climate Crisis Update -- April could be the Turning Point for the USA -- Step It Up to Save the Planet

Image: Tara, the Green Goddess of Mercy, and Her Twenty-One Emanations

Hundreds of millions of people are at early risk from the consequences of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed in its new assessment . . . Inter Press Service, 4-6-07

At a news conference here, Martin Parry, the co-chairman of the team that wrote the new report, said widespread effects were already measurable, with much more to come. "We're no longer arm-waving with models," he said. "This is empirical information on the ground." . . . New York Times, 4-7-07

Despite its harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by some scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by governments seeking to deflect calls for action. “The science got hijacked by the political bureaucrats at the late stage of the game,” said John Walsh, a climate expert at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who helped write a chapter on the polar regions. . . . Los Angeles Times, 4-7-07

Hard Rain Journal 4-10-07: Climate Crisis Update -- April could be the Turning Point for the USA -- Step It Up to Save the Planet

By Richard Power

The latest news from Argentina, Australia, the US Southwest and elsewhere underscores the dire prognosis of the IPCC:

Unusually heavy rainfall has once again highlighted the vulnerability of a vast area in eastern Argentina to the effects of climate change. The preliminary toll of the catastrophe is 12 deaths, tens of thousands of people evacuated, 3.5 million hectares of land under water, highways and roads flooded, and bridges down . . . Inter Press Service, 4-2-07

Global warming is starting to have a significant impact on Australian marine life, driving fish and seabirds south and threatening coral reefs, Australia's premier science organisation said . . .

 Reuters, 4-4-07

The U.S. Southwest, home to some of the fastest growing cities in the country, could be on a path toward permanent drought caused by greenhouse warming, a new study said . . .

 Reuters, 4-6-07

This is the time for individual and collective action.

Sydney is a dazzling, vibrant city of four million inhabitants. Recently, 2,000 businesses and 60,000 individuals signed up for an hour-long consciousness-raising act, sponsored by the local government:

The Sydney Opera House's gleaming white-shelled roof was darkened Saturday night along with much of the rest of Australia's largest city, which switched off the lights to register concern about global warming . . . 
Restaurants throughout the city held candlelit dinners, and families gathered in public places to take part in a countdown to lights out, sending up a cheer as lights started blinking off at 7:30 p.m.
 . . . It's an hour of active, thoughtful darkness, a celebration of our awakening to climate change action," said Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, who attended a harborside function to watch the event.

. . . ABC News, 4-2-07

Why has no major US city done the same?

Portugal and Germany have recently built the world's highest-capacity solar power plants:

One of the largest solar plants in the world has opened in Portugal's sunny south. . . . The plant, which is located in Serpa in Portugal's underdeveloped Alentejo region . . . has a capacity of 11 megawatts, and will deliver electricity to around 8,000 households . . . The Serpa plant was originally intended to have the highest capacity of any solar plant in the world, but has since been overtaken by the Gut Erlasse plant in Bavaria, Germany, which will have a capacity of 12 megawatts. However, the plant's management believe the Portuguese plant will overtake its German rival once actual operation begins . . . Der Spiegel, 3-29-07

Why has the USA, with all its sun-drenched, vast expanses not built something to rival Serpa and Gut Erlasse?

But April 2007 could be a turning point.

There is great momentum.

In 2000, the Clinton-Gore administration identified Global Warming as a national security issue. But for the last seven years, with corporatist disinformation being pumped out from the Bush-Cheney regime, the cult-formerly-known-as-the-Republican-Party, and the US mainstream news media, it has been a lonely struggle.

Finally, it looks like the reality-based timeline will be restored for risk, security and intelligence professionals:

The CIA and Pentagon would for the first time be required to assess the national security implications of climate change under proposed legislation intended to elevate global warming to a national defense issue. The bi-partisan proposal, which its sponsors expect to pass the Congress with wide support, calls for the director of national intelligence to conduct the first-ever "national intelligence estimate" on global warming. Boston Globe, 4-9-07

But only citizen activism will keep the pressure on.

Laurie David and Sheryl Crow have launched their bio-diesal fueled bus tour of college campuses in the Southeastern USA:

Ok, no turning back now. We are on our way heading to Dallas, TX. The state that is the number one CO2 emitter in the country... a perfect place to kick off the Stop Global Warming College Tour! By the way, our bus alone is already the talk of the cb radio set, making friends with truckers and drivers along the highway. You can't miss this thing with its huge Stop Global Warming logo wrapped around it. (Huffington Post, 4-8-07)

Two upcoming dates, April 14th (Step It Up) and April 21st (Earth Day) offer opportunities for you to raise your voice in protest and prayer.

Al Gore and John Edwards explain:

Step It Up 2007 has organized a National Day of Climate Action on April 14. They've already scheduled more than 1,100 rallies in all fifty states - locations vary from the melting glacier on top of Mt. Rainier, to the levees in New Orleans, to underwater in an endangered coral reef off the coast of Florida, to your neighborhood park.
You can find the rally closest to your home, or if there isn't one nearby, host one yourself by visiting:
One simple message will unite these rallies - "Step it up, Congress! Enact immediate cuts in carbon emissions, and pledge an 80% reduction by 2050. No half measures, no easy compromises - the time has come to take the real actions that can stabilize our climate."

Al Gore

Last month, Senator Edwards released a bold and detailed energy plan. Now, he's asking all of his supporters to take action to halt global warming. In order to do that, we're counting on One Corps members to take part in a two step plan.
Step One: Join a Step it Up! rally in your community on Saturday, April 14th.
Step Two: Organize your own local action event on April 22nd (Earth Day)
The Earth Day events are simple: you just gather in a public place (like a farmers market, or a park or any local Earth Day celebration) and offer people information about how to calculate their carbon "footprint", what actions they can take to reduce it, and ask them to pledge to take those simple actions . . .

John Edwards

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 4-4-07: The Twisted Link Between Peak Oil and Global Warming

Hard Rain Journal 4-1-07: Hartmann & Gelbspan Debunk the Swindle that is "The Great Global Warming Swindle"

Hard Rain Journal 3-28-07: Climate Crisis Update -- -- The Greatest Climate Crisis Challenges are Spiritual and Psychological

Hard Rain Journal (3-20-07): Climate Crisis Update -- Four Simple Truths to Advance in Your Dialogue with Those Still in Denial

Hard Rain Journal 3-13-07: Climate Crisis Update -- Seven Stories that Underscore Dangers and Highlight Proactive Efforts

Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and Words of Power. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: richardpower@wordsofpower.net. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net

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