Other News, Articles, Or Links Of Interest
"In November of 1959, as a shocked American public were hit with the news that a number of their favourite quiz shows had in fact been rigged for some time, author John Steinbeck wrote the following letter to his friend, politician Adlai Stevenson, and spoke of his concern at such a morally bankrupt turn of events occurring in his increasingly gluttonous country…"
America Is Like That Second Kind Of Christmas (November 5, 1959)
"…Do you remember two kinds of Christmases? There is one kind in a house where there is little and a present represents not only love but sacrifice. The one single package is opened with a kind of slow wonder, almost reverence. Once I gave my youngest boy, who loves all living things, a dwarf, peach-faced parrot for Christmas. He removed the paper and then retreated a little shyly and looked at the little bird for a long time. And finally he said in a whisper, 'Now who would have ever thought that I would have a peach-faced parrot?'
"Then there is the other kind of Christmas with present piled high, the gifts of guilty parents as bribes because they have nothing else to give. The wrappings are ripped off and the presents thrown down and at the end the child says – 'Is that all?' Well, it seems to me that America now is like that second kind of Christmas…"
Quiz shows, huh? And now when B of A knowingly does something criminal, we barely bat an eyelash.
A nice little one-primer on the science of gardening.
Discusses seed preservation, soil, temperature, rainfall, wind… and chemicals behind photosynthesis, growth, ripening, wilting, etc. Example garden is one based in the UK.
Gardeners World – The Science of Gardening
"Carol [Klein] asks the questions to which many gardeners want answers: Why don't my seeds germinate? How does compost work? What is photosynthesis and why is it important? What happens when we prune a plant? How do insects see flowers? And how can I work out which plants should go where in my garden?"
12 U.S. Intelligence Officials Tell Obama It Wasn’t Assad... (September 7, 2013)
"We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this."
I love Agafia's smile.
Humanity Is Getting Verrrrrrry Close To Extinction (August 21, 2013)
"If you were to take a comparative look back at our planet during the 1950s from some sort of cosmic time-traveling orbiter cube, you would probably first notice that millions of pieces of space trash had disappeared from orbit.
What if this was going to happen?
We seem to be inexorably grinding on towards our own demise. Fossil fuels are the planet's booby trap for unsuspecting hominoids.
Big changes are happening very rapidly. We haven't caught up in our awareness of them on a large enough global scale to make a difference. The time lag is just too long between realization and action at this pace of change. We appear to be too self-absorbed to look up in time to see the boulder crashing down on us. At least not enough of us to make a difference so far. We seem incapable of making such a radical change in the time alloted. There is a disconnection between our actions and the consequences manifested in the environment as though we aren't affected even as fires rage, temperatures rise and storms ravage. We rationalize, we deny, we project – all defense mechanisms designed to shrug off any responsibility for our lack of accountability.
What will the planet look like in 20 years? By then, if I'm still here, I will be 82 years old. Not so bad for me as I will be ready to go anyway. But what about those coming up behind me? I can't help but feel sad for them when they didn't create this mess yet they will face the results of our selfishness and greed.
Natural laws have been broken. Overpopulation being the most basic one. Anyone paying attention could see where this would lead. Yet our biological, cultural and religious imperatives drove us to replicate beyond reason. We don't see ourselves as a part of the fabric of life on the planet because if we did, we couldn't behave in this unconscioius manner. We would look around us and notice that too many of us means not enough for everything else. Instead, we've sucked the life out of what was once an abundance.
So now we're entering resource wars for what is left. The vise tightens as we scramble for the remaining space before it tightens even more and it eventually reaches us. Outside in, as Chris says. We are still able to delude ourselves in the wealthier countries that life isn't really changing so much. Or if we could only get rid of "fill in the blank" everything would go back to "normal". But it's just a matter of time. We are dependent on the life around us for our own. That is the truth. Yet look at how we have treated it. There is something really profoundly wrong with us when we believe we are above it all. Or that our technology will save us even though that technology relies on the same natural resources we are destroying. How crazy is that?
Anyway, Poet, thanks for the article. These are hard things to think about but we will have no choice as events play out. I know there are some even on PP who don't see things this way. Time will tell. In the meantime, at least those of us here who do can have some solace in reaching out to each other in our horror at what we've created and what we see is before us.
Oh for a time machine to go back to the discovery of oil and warn humanity not to exploit it and to limit the population. But would they listen even then?
Is This Aging South Florida Power Plant a Disaster Waiting to Happen? (June 5, 2015)
by Jon Silman
"Philip Stoddard keeps a bottle of a radiation sickness medicine called potassium iodide in a safe place in his home.
"Just in case.
"Just in case the sea rises as much as scientists predict, or a hurricane barrels through Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, the nuclear power plant about 20 miles south of Miami, breaching its walls and overrunning its ancillary equipment.
"Stoddard is not a typical doomsday conspiracy theorist, but a three-term mayor of South Miami and a local college professor. Those disaster scenarios are real possibilities, not just because of climate change, but because the plant is operating beyond its intended lifespan and capacity, according to local news reports and experts interviewed for this article."
A Psychologist Explains Why People Don't Really Give A Sh*t About Climate Change (June 9, 2015)
By Bill Kilby
"Stoknes is the author of What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming, which begins by exploring the "climate paradox"—the depressing phenomenon observed in wealthy countries like the US, Canada, and Australia, where public concern about climate change has steadily decreased, despite broad consensus among climate scientists and more frightening journalism about climate change than ever before. A psychologist and economist, Stoknes draws on the findings of social, evolutionary, and cognitive behavioral psychology to explain why English-speaking people just can't be bothered to care about climate change…"
Why Humans Rule The World (June 16, 2015)
by Yuval Noah Harari
"Only Homo sapiens can cooperate in extremely flexible ways with countless numbers of strangers. One-on-one or ten-on-ten, chimpanzees may be better than us. But pit 1,000 Sapiens against 1,000 chimps, and the Sapiens will win easily, for the simple reason that 1,000 chimps can never cooperate effectively. Put 100,000 chimps in Wall Street or Yankee Stadium, and you’ll get chaos. Put 100,000 humans there, and you’ll get trade networks and sports contests.
"Cooperation is not always nice, of course. All the terrible things humans have been doing throughout history are also the product of mass cooperation. Prisons, slaughterhouses and concentration camps are also systems of mass cooperation. Chimpanzees don’t have prisons, slaughterhouses or concentration camps.
"Yet how come humans alone of all the animals are capable of cooperating flexibly in large numbers, be it in order to play, to trade or to slaughter? The answer is our imagination. We can cooperate with numerous strangers because we can invent fictional stories, spread them around, and convince millions of strangers to believe in them. As long as everybody believes in the same fictions, we all obey the same laws, and can thereby cooperate effectively."
Paradises Lost (November 1997)
by Jared Diamond
"When the mutineers from HMS Bounty landed on Pitcairn Island, they found no people–just a desolate land marked by the relics of a vanished society. The story of that lost civilization is just now being learned. And it's far more frightening than any tale of Captain Bligh."