Thursday, January 28, 2010
I'm seeing readership up to 28 people per day average incoming site hits, and 31 feed subscribers for the GL Zephyr. Even the old site, which refers visitors here is getting an average of 29 hits per day.
These visitors come in from all over the world - I've seen visits from every continent, including South America, which has been rare for my other blogs. (I think that's due to the language barrier.)
It's good to know that at least some people value what I'm doing here, because it's strictly a one-person voluntary thing. I've never made a cent off this blog, but the news I share here gives me great hope, because I see POSITIVE environmental stories every day. People all over the world are working hard to make new technologies succeed, technologies that protect the environment AND preserve our technical capabilities and quality of life. I see a future where people all over the world live in relative abundance, have safe, clean transportation and homes, and sustainable places to work. It IS happening, and entrepreneurs from across the globe are doing it, despite all the naysayers and people invested in the status quo.
Speaking of positive news, I saw President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last night. To me it was filled with positive rhetoric and ideals. The things that he was saying are things that many Progressives and independents voted for. I only hope that he really makes the moves toward clean and sustainable infrastructure in the United States in a timely fashion. He will need steady hard pressure on the Congress to get those intiatives done.
To be honest, I've heard by far the widest support for the infrastructure upgrades he mentions. The rank-and-file out around the country really want to see that done. I think the overwhelming focus on health care reform, while necessary, has held up infrastructure work that has far more popular support. People really do understand that infrastructure investments pay huge long-term dividends.
Many people I've talked to would have loved to see the entire second half of the $1.4 trillion-dollar "stimulus package" go into infrastructure upgrades and education instead of banking. I think that if the President had made THAT his first priority, he would be running on the top of a wave of huge popular support with a great success at his back right now. Maybe even enough to help him plow into the mountain of resistance on health care reform.
My advice to the president, for what it's worth: Switch focus to infrastructure and education in a BIG way right away. People get it on this one. They will support you.
Still, the speech was candy to the ears seeking to hear fairness, understanding, and support from Washington in difficult times. The speech had all the trimmings of great leadership potential. But we're past wanting candy. We're hungry for steak and potatoes, Sir.
Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read my efforts.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
This is some GREAT news on the energy front. Apparently the installer has contracts to install 1.6 BILLION watts of solar generation capacity in California and Texas.
Thank you for your dedication!
Basically, the idea was to look for addresses where you see Hummers and other obnoxiously large SUV's parked regularly, and note the street address down. Keep a list of such addresses going.
Once a month go online to Mother Earth News magazine, (Or another environmental magazine, but Mother Earth has a flair that appeals to those with a wide "independence from government" streak) and purchase a gift subscription for that address in the name of Anonymous Free or something like that.
I believe Mother Earth News is priced around ten dollars per year for a subscription if you save the paper and purchase it online. (Which saves the paper AND the fuel for the postal vehicle to deliver it.)
Voila! For ten dollars, you have just purchased and entire year of Progressive, environmentally sustainable how-to information and put it in the hands of someone who likely has little concern for a cleaner and sustainable Earth. For twelve months, they will be seeing stories on this subject. Additionally, Mother Earth News has been around since the 1960's, I believe. They have a LOT of experience with their subject matter.
At the end of the first year, you will have spent a total of $120.00 or so, and reached twelve households continuously. Given the "average' of two adults and 2.5 children per household, that is potentially 54 people to whom you have provided a year of on-going Progressive, Earth-first outreach, with zero face-to-face in-you-face interaction. There is no risk of confrontation.
And so you have it, the art of gentle persuasion, and you get to support your favorite Earth-friendly magazines.
Go forth - and subscribe people!
Thank you for your dedication.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Climate change: melting ice will trigger wave of natural disasters
Scientists at a London conference next week will warn of earthquakes, avalanches and volcanic eruptions as the atmosphere heats up and geology is altered. Even Britain could face being struck by tsunamis: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/06/global-warming-natural-disasters-conference
This one is full of references to other scientific papers on the subject:
www.sciencemag.org › Science Magazine › 16 November 1979 -
I have been holding back from writing about this for a couple of days, because it is just so large and horrible I haven't been able to find the words. I have my own theory about where these earthquakes and volcanoes and such are coming from, and if it's right, things are NOT pretty.
Think about a rubber ball - say one of those Super Balls from when we were kids, the ones that were the size of a ping pong ball, but would bounce way higher than your house.
If you squeeze the top and the bottom, the sides bulge out, right? If you stop squeezing the top and bottom and you squeeze around the middle, the whole surface of the ball changes shape, doesn't it?
Now picture the whole Earth as a giant rubber ball. The squeezing at the top and the bottom are the weight of trillions and trillions of tons of ice at the North & South poles. Now all that ice is melting, and the water is moving toward the equator, changing where all that water weight is pressing on the surface of the Earth - so now the whole surface of the Earth is changing shape.
I actually stumped the scientists on Earth Talk with this about 3-4 years ago, and then a year later I saw a scientific paper published outlining the basic theory.
Now, what exactly effect on fault lines and volcanoes do you think it will have if the polar tectonic plates are rebounding upward while the oceanic plates are being depressed by having more water on top of them? Not a pretty thought.
We'd best get our act together with regard to making changes in the global climate and natural systems, because otherwise, we ain't seen nothing yet. Check out the Google search terms "yellowstone super volcano". Mother Nature can spank a LOT harder than we can stand.
My heart absolutely goes out to the people of Haiti. It is like Banda Aceh and the Tsunami, or hurricane Katrina on steroids all over again. And as much of a jerk as Pat Robertson has been about it, it is quite possible that the hand of Humanity's collective insanity is involved.
We must do better. We CAN do better.
Thank you for your consideration and dedication.
NOTE: The following compiled aggregation of stories was excerpted from Jean Hudon's archived compilation on Earth Rainbow network at: http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2010/TurningTide31.htm
Larger Magnitude Quakes Trend Up (January 17, 2010)
Over the last nearly four decades, the number of larger magnitude earthquake events has increased. To be objective in this count, we use only higher magnitude quakes. (...) Either Earth is flushing out seismic tension early, or it's going to be a busy year. It will be interesting to see if quake activity kicks up in California after the "unrelenting rain" forecast for next week. Not only does massive moisture promote landslides, it's also known to "lubricate' earthquake faults and add weight on underlying rock.
126 small earthquakes this past week in the Yellowstone National Park
Where Will the Next Five Big Earthquakes Be?
Quakes can't be predicted with the same accuracy as the weather, but a look at global fault lines and the geologic record suggests some places are due for a rumble.
- Los Angeles - Earthquakes have always been part of Los Angeles' past — and its future. In 1994 a 6.7-magnitude quake hit the Northridge area of the city, badly damaging freeways, killing more than 70 people and causing $20 billion in damages. But those numbers could be dwarfed by a major quake in the future. The geologic record indicates that huge quakes occur roughly every 150 years in the region — Los Angeles lies along the southern end of the San Andreas Fault — and the last big quake, which registered a magnitude 7.9, happened in 1857. Los Angeles has done a lot to beef up its building codes and emergency response in the 15 years since the Northridge quake and may be better prepared than any other major U.S. city, but its sheer size ensures that the next Big One will be bloody.
- Tokyo - Roughly the same size as California, Japan shares the Golden State's precarious plate tectonics. The nation's four main islands get hit regularly with earthquakes of varying strength. But while California has about 36 million people, Japan's population is nearly 4.5 times as large, and most Japanese live in extraordinarily dense cities. That puts more people squarely in a danger zone — nowhere more so than in the capital of Tokyo, which has a population of 13 million. A major quake struck the city and its surroundings in 1923, killing as many as 150,000 people. Although Japan has vastly improved its infrastructure since then and has the strictest building codes in the world, a similar temblor — which seismologists believe is almost inevitable — could kill more than 10,000 people and cause more than $1 trillion in damages.
- Tehran - All of Iran lies within a major earthquake zone, and the country has suffered terrible temblors before — most recently in 2003, when a 6.8-magnitude quake leveled the ancient city of Bam and killed more than 30,000 people. But a similar quake in the congested capital of Tehran — where more than 7 million people live — would be a shattering catastrophe. Unlike building codes in other endangered cities such as San Francisco and Tokyo, Tehran's are relatively lax, and many residents live in the sort of unreinforced-concrete houses that turn into death traps in the event of a strong quake. The Iranian Health Ministry once estimated that a 7-magnitude quake would destroy 90% of the city's hospitals. Tehran is so threatened that there has been periodic talk about moving the capital.
- Pacific Northwest - The rain-drenched residents of the Cascadia region — roughly from Oregon to southern British Columbia — probably assume that earthquakes are something for their neighbors in California to worry about. But Cascadia sits on top of major faults, and although it doesn't get hit very often, the region has seen massive quakes before. The most recent one was in 1700, when a megathrust earthquake that may have been as severe as 9.2 on the Richter scale struck the region. The geologic record indicates that a catastrophic quake hits Cascadia only about every 500 years, but the cities of the Pacific Northwest, like Seattle and Vancouver, are far less prepared than San Francisco and Los Angeles for a major earthquake, so when the next powerful temblor comes around, the region could suffer.
- Indonesia - It's called the Ring of Fire, a semicircle of violently shifting plates and volcanoes that runs along the edges of the Pacific Ocean, from New Zealand to Chile. The most seismically active region on the planet, the Ring of Fire has triggered countless quakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, mostly in Southeast Asia. That tsunami was set off by a 9.3-magnitude quake near the northern coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, a region that has been hit repeatedly by massive temblors, most recently a 7.6 earthquake in September that killed more than 1,000 people. Sadly that's a relatively small quake death toll by Indonesian standards — and seismologists expect more to come in the future.
Tsunami-generating quake possible off Indonesia: scientists (Jan 17, 2010)
PARIS (AFP) – A huge wave-generating quake capable of killing as many people as in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami could strike off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and the city of Padang is in the firing line, a team of seismologists said on Sunday.The group -- led by a prominent scientist who predicted a 2005 Sumatran quake with uncanny accuracy -- issued the warning in a letter to the journal Nature Geoscience. The peril comes from a relentless buildup of pressure over the last two centuries on a section of the Sunda Trench, one of the world's most notorious earthquake zones, which runs parallel to the western Sumatra coast, they said. This section, named after the Mentawai islands, "is near failure," the letter warned bluntly."The threat of a great tsunamigenic earthquake with a magnitude of more than 8.5 on the Mentawai patch is unabated. (...) There is potential for loss of life on the scale of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami." The letter gave no timeframe for this event but warned starkly of the danger for Padang, a city of 850,000 people that lies broadside to the risky segment. "The threat from such an event is clear and the need for urgent mitigating action remains extremely high," it said.
"I am connected to, a protector of, protected by, and supplied by the Earth."
This serves as a reminder several times a day (I have to take it off and put it back on every time I wash my hands or do anything with water.) of the nature of my relationship with the Earth, and my duty to it as a human being.
This is a picture of the ring: