There is a brutal reality facing humanity; scientists have known it and released evidence that indicates earth is in its sixth extinction cycle as far back as 1993, but political and financial pressure have driven these dire predictions into obscurity while planet Earth continues to falter and succumb to the greed and power of international corporations and the corruption of our own politicians here and abroad. LINK Events which have transpired in the past few days are so troubling that if not reversed, all but guarantees the eventual extinction of humanity along with thousands of other species – and we can blame it on the “New World Order” of international corporatism that now rules our lives rather than individual governments.
Earth is complicated and is itself, a living and breathing entity that sustains itself through checks and balances that humanity is destroying, now at such an elevated pace that if something isn’t accomplished on a global basis, now and not tomorrow, humanity is all but guaranteed to go the way of the dinosaurs by our own hand, not Mother Nature’s; even with drastic reduction of airborne pollutants throughout the world, we may be able to put off the inevitable, but ensuring our survival as a species appears to be past the point of no-return! (In this author’s opinion.)
The lungs of the planet that supply our oxygen and absorb carbon are found throughout the planet in old growth forests and rain-forests that are essential to our survival, the largest of which are in South America. The rainforest’s have been acknowledged as the “lungs of the planet”, and now the largest rainforest in the world is being ravaged by corporations, and the champion of saving those forests has admitted defeat and quit fighting to save what’s left of the most important sources of oxygen, water, and is the largest carbon-sink on the Earth:
I give up, says Brazilian minister who fought to save the rainforest
By Daniel Howden, Deputy Foreign Editor
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Brazil has been accused of turning its back on its duty to protect the Amazon after the resignation of its award-winning Environment Minister fueled fresh fears over the fate of the forest. The departure of Marina Silva, who admitted she was losing the battle to get green voices heard amidst the rush for economic development, has been greeted with dismay by conservationists.
The Latin American giant’s supposed progress on environmental protection has unraveled in the past year as revelations of record levels of deforestation, violent land disputes and runaway forest fires have followed in quick succession. The worldwide boom in agricultural commodities has created an unparalleled thirst for land and energy in Brazil, and the result has been a potentially catastrophic land grab into the world’s largest remaining rainforest. The Amazon basin is home to one in 10 of the world’s mammals and 15 per cent of its land-based plant species. It holds more than half of the world’s fresh water and its vast forests act as the largest carbon sink on the planet, providing a vital check on the greenhouse effect.
Since President Lula won a second term Ms Silva found herself a lone voice in a government acutely aware that its own political future depended on the vast agribusiness interests she was trying to rein in. The final breakdown in her relationship with the President came after he gave the green light to massive road and dam-building projects in the Amazon basin, and a plan she drafted for the sustainable management of the region was taken from her and handed to a business-friendly fellow minister. MUCH MORE
When you understand that carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is at the highest level in 655,000 years, the above article takes on the significance it should, and yes, this is a development that will speed-up global warming and add to a situation that in a gross understatement, is threatening all forms of life on planet earth:
World carbon dioxide levels highest for 650,000 years, says US report
David Adam, environment correspondent
The Guardian, Tuesday May 13 2008
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to the latest figures, renewing fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control.
Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stand at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years.
The figures, published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on its website, also confirm that carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is accumulating in the atmosphere faster than expected. The annual mean growth rate for 2007 was 2.14ppm – the fourth year in the last six to see an annual rise greater than 2ppm. From 1970 to 2000, the concentration rose by about 1.5ppm each year, but since 2000 the annual rise has leapt to an average 2.1ppm. MORE
Wildlife is already dying-off at an alarming pace, some through pollution and climate change, while others are dying because of habitat loss:
Wildlife numbers plummet globally: WWF
The world’s wildlife populations have reduced by around a quarter since the 1970s, according to a major report published Friday by the WWF conservation organization.
Marine species have been particularly hard hit as the human population booms, while numbers of birds and, fish and animals have also gone down, said the WWF in a report.
The WWF’s Living Planet Index, which tracks the fortunes of nearly 4,000 populations of 1,477 vertebrate species from 1970 to 2005, showed an overall decline of 27 percent. MUCH MORE
The evidence is conclusive that mankind is at least partially responsible for global warming, and rather than taking a position to curb emissions in our own country, President Bush has again assaulted the environment by relaxing clean-air rules that protect our national parks. Even worse, these new “rules” that are supposedly put in place to help guarantee clean air for America are also facilitating the construction of more coal-fired power plants that will significantly add more pollutants to an ecological nightmare that has been aided by corporate greed and politicians that seek to gain favor with their corporate sponsors rather than protecting their own families. How will these CEO’s and greedy corporations explain to their own families that their actions border on genocide, not of one species in particular, but of the entire global community?
Clean-Air Rules Protecting Parks Set to Be Eased
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 16, 2008
The Bush administration is on the verge of implementing new air quality rules that will make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas, according to rank-and-file agency scientists and park managers who oppose the plan.
The initiative is the latest in a series of administration efforts going back to 2003 to weaken air quality protections at national parks, including failed moves to prohibit federal land managers from commenting on permits for new pollution sources more than 31 miles away from their areas and to protect air resources only for parks that are big and diverse enough to “represent complete ecosystems.”
Yesterday, the National Parks Conservation Association, an advocacy group, issued a report estimating that the rule would ease the way for the construction of 28 new coal-fired power plants within 186 miles of 10 national parks. In each of the next 50 years, the report concludes, the new plants would emit a total of 122 million tons of carbon dioxide, 79,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, 52,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 4,000 pounds of toxic mercury into the air over and around the Great Smoky Mountains, Zion and eight other national parks. MUCH MORE
The new regulations are absurd on their face and represent a not-so-clever approach to make it easier for corporate America to pollute our air without having to face any consequences for adding pollutants that are pressing the global ecosystem close to collapse; the change in how their pollutants will be measured is just another farce in a long history of the Bush administration backing big business rather than the people:
“For 30 years, regulators have measured pollution levels in the parks, over both three-hour and 24-hour increments, to capture the spikes in emissions that occur during periods of peak energy demand. The new rule would average the levels over a year so that spikes in pollution levels would not violate the law.”
To place this new rule change in perspective, it amounts to someone traveling at 75 miles per hour in a 35 Mph zone and explaining to the officer ticketing him that for the previous three months, he had always driven under the speed limit, therefore, averaging his speed for the prior three months of driving negated his responsibility for a sudden burst of speed that was an obvious infraction of the law. Maybe this should be the new defense for those caught speeding on our roads and highways; if it’s good enough for the corporations, then why isn’t it fair for “the people” to entertain such a ridiculous defense when they are in obvious violation of the law?
Now, as we are beginning to understand why honeybee colonies are being wiped out, it is of tantamount importance to reduce pollution, not make it worse. The threat of honeybee eradication is a danger to agriculture that will impact our fragile food cycle even more – and it will be you and I who will bear the brunt of their demise, not the corporate thieves who rob, steal and plunder our environment with impunity:
Why flowers have lost their scent
Pollution is stifling the fragrance of plants and preventing bees from pollinating them – endangering one of the most essential cycles of nature, writes Environment Editor Geoffrey Lean Sunday, 20 April 2008
Pollution is dulling the scent of flowers and impeding some of the most basic processes of nature, disrupting insect life and imperiling food supplies, a new study suggests.
The potentially hugely significant research – funded by the blue-chip US National Science Foundation – has found that gases mainly formed from the emissions of car exhausts prevent flowers from attracting bees and other insects in order to pollinate them. And the scientists who have conducted the study fear that insects’ ability to repel enemies and attract mates may also be impeded.
Already bees – which pollinate most of the world’s crops – are in unprecedented decline in Britain and across much of the globe. At least a quarter of America’s 2.5 million honey bee colonies have been mysteriously wiped out by colony collapse disorder (CCD), (Emphasis added) where hives are found suddenly deserted. MUCH MORE
The current food crisis the world is experiencing is another example where corporate greed has caused government policy to be skewed toward using corn and other agriculture products to manufacture biofuels, which gallon per gallon, actually cause more hazards to the ecology than good, and have caused huge increases in the cost of food. Americans are having a tough time keeping food on their tables, and as an effective alternative to fossil fuel products – have proven to be of little or no value as it pertains to the price of gas. In short, diverting crops to manufacture biofuels is triggering a global food crisis, and if it continues, is nothing short of mass-murder! The following articles bring this matter into perspective, and again, its corporate profits which drive governments to turn to biofuels, not the good they will provide to the people:
Wheat and corn are the food staples for the western world, and rice is the staple for the east; Wheat, which the United States can produce in enormous quantities when we choose to do so is becoming a “threatened” crop with the reemergence of “Stem Rust”:
Stem Rust Never Sleeps
By NORMAN E. BORLAUG
Published: April 26, 2008
WITH food prices soaring throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, and shortages threatening hunger and political chaos, the time could not be worse for an epidemic of stem rust in the world’s wheat crops. Yet millions of wheat farmers, small and large, face this spreading and deadly crop infection.
Stem rust, the most feared of all wheat diseases, can turn a healthy crop of wheat into a tangled mass of stems that produce little or no grain. The fungus spores travel in the wind, causing the infection to spread quickly. It has caused major famines since the beginning of history. In North America, huge grain losses occurred in 1903 and 1905 and from 1950 to ’54.
In the last decade, global wheat production has not kept pace with rising population, or the increasing per capita demand for wheat products in newly industrializing countries. At the same time, international support for wheat research has declined significantly. And as a consequence, in 2007-08, world wheat stocks (as a percentage of demand) dropped to their lowest level since 1947-48. And prices have steadily climbed to the highest level in 25 years. MUCH MORE
As you begin to understand the significance of “Stem Rust” and the danger it poses to our nation’s health and well-being, you would think the U.S. was stockpiling wheat as “stem rust” works its way into our crops – but it isn’t so, and in fact, the Bush administration has done quite the opposite! When this new “stem rust” was first discovered in Uganda in 1999, it was called “Ug99.” The author of the above Op-Ed was one of the scientists who initially helped to develop wheat varieties that were resistant to the Stem Rust that wrecked havoc on America’s wheat crops in the early 1900′s and 1950′s. He (NORMAN E. BORLAUG) states that when “UG99″ was first discovered, the Bush administration was quick to recognize the danger and the Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, ordered the federal agriculture research service to take the lead in helping to develop new strains of wheat that would be resistant to this new type of stem rust. When I read this, I thought that for once, the Bush administration would actually do something “Presidential” and had acknowledged a threat and instructed his staff to place all of the necessary efforts and monies that was necessary to mitigate its damage.
Just a paragraph later, I found out that if nothing else, President Bush is predictable, and for no apparent reason “the administration has begun reversing direction. The State Department is recommending ending American support for the international agricultural research centers that helped start the Green Revolution, including all money for wheat research. And significant financial cuts have been proposed for important research centers, including the Department of Agriculture’s essential rust research laboratory in St. Paul.” (Emphasis added.) Based on the above direction of the Bush administration, I can only surmise that President Bush believes that financing his War for profit is more important that the health and welfare of the American people and through his obvious negligence may be sentencing millions of people in the global community to starvation and death… On this issue, only the future will hold that answer, but be aware that his actions are not accidental – and are deliberate, and for whatever reasons they claim this action was necessary, it is “we the people” and the global community who will again suffer the consequences for our President’s incompetence and disdain for anyone that isn’t wealthy, disagrees with his policies, or is simply a common man or woman.
For in-depth information on the crumbling infrastructure in America, be sure to read “Pols fail to comprehend breadth of infrastructure crisis” which is posted on Scholars and Rogues. To understand the depth of the crisis in America, this is a must-read article! Our roads and bridges are in disrepair, our water is tainted and full of pharmaceuticals, many of our dams aren’t safe, and the troubles we face a nation grow as each successive Presidency ignores the crisis of our aging infrastructure. Add that to the above issues previously discussed, and it becomes clear that for far too long, we have allowed the corporate giants of this world to guide our lives. If we wish to exist in any semblance of prosperity and democracy, it is far more than a President we must replace; ousting the Bush Regime will be the beginning, not the end, of the fight to come if we wish to alter the destructive course of humanity.