I found this in Forbes, to my personal surprise. Perhaps I’ve become too jaundiced from the insanity that now passes for “reality” inside Washington D.C.‘s Beltway these days. I no longer expected a prestigious magazine like Forbes to permit a truly balanced comment. I must thank William Pentland for posting this in such an elite publication, and thank Senator Whitehouse for taking a strong and informed stand, where so many have lacked the moral substance, or just the plain backbone to say what needed to be said. I hope he does not end up retreating or recanting, and I hope the people of Rhode Island see fit to re-elect someone who is so clearly a leader.
Enough of my babble, first the comments from Mr. Pentland, and then the Senator’s statement. Ooooorah! Senator!
“I don’t speak for Al Gore and Al Gore doesn’t speak for me.”
I would not say the same about Rhode Island’s Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
In a speech delivered before the U.S. Congress a few days ago, Sheldon argued that America has a duty to respond to the risks posed by global warming. Sheldon concluded:
Right now I must come before the Chamber and remind this body that we are failing in that duty. The men and women in this Chamber are indeed catastrophically failing in that duty. We are earning the scorn and condemnation of history — not this week, perhaps, and not next week. The spin doctors can see to that. But ultimately and assuredly, the harsh judgment that it is history’s power to inflict on wrong will fall upon us . . .
It is magical thinking to imagine that somehow we will be spared the plain and foreseeable consequences of our failure of duty. There is no wizard’s hat and wand with which to wish this away. These laws of nature are known; the Earth’s message to us is clear; our failure is blameworthy; its consequences are profound; and the costs will be very high.
I have posted the entire transcript of Sheldon’s speech below.
Thank you, Senator.
Most of you will know that the name of this blog comes from the reference to Carl Sagan‘s observation about the Earth when viewed from space… since I recently found someone had uploaded the clip itself, it seemed to be a good thing to reference here.
If you watch this video, try to keep in mind what Carl was saying. We’re here, not somewhere else. We are tiny to the point of insignificance as far as the rest of the universe is concerned. And our pale blue dot is fragile.
Many times life has nearly been wiped from the surface of this tiny blue dot. One of the worst was the Permian Mass Extinction, which killed 95% of all species on the planet. If you haven’t heard of it, try watching this video from the BBC. This clip is the 5th of 5 parts of a show called “The Day the Earth Nearly Died”.
I’ve recently learned that the majority of humans don’t really react to things until something is in their faces, so I suspect the majority of people reading this will give it the “so what” treatment. So if you’re in that 95% majority then please do continue. For those of you who are being willy nilly dragged toward the brink of extinction by the other 95%, here’s some things to take a look at:
- A Pale Blue Dot (darkroomsuffi.wordpress.com)
- Pale Blue Dots: Iconic Images of Earth From Space (wired.com)
- One of Carl Sagan’s most pertinent messages for humanity (theboldcorsicanflame.wordpress.com)
- Via Nova: Carl Sagan Reads From Pale Blue Dot (spottybanana.net)
- New technique unlocks secrets of ancient ocean (physorg.com)
- When Neil deGrasse Tyson met Carl Sagan (boingboing.net)
The news day got away from me a little bit yesterday but I don’t want to miss the opportunity to highlight Tuesday’s most-gasped-at graphics. In the segment introducing Denver election clerk and recorder, Debra Johnson, Rachel compared the Denver Elections Division map of percentage of “inactive voters” per precinct (pdf) with a map of 2010 Census block data on race/ethnicity (pdf).
And then, sitting alone on my couch, I heard the internet gasp.
On the surface it looks like if you wanted to make it harder for blacks and Hispanics in Denver to vote, you could start by not sending “inactive voters” a ballot. I think the actual answer is a little different but not much more complicated. An inactive voter is defined as someone who didn’t vote in the 2010 elections or more recent municipal elections, and hasn’t taken care of re-upping. In other words, if you came out for Obama in 2008 and then went back to your life ignoring politics, the state regards you as “inactive” and the Secretary of State doesn’t want to send you a ballot to vote (for Obama again?) in 2012.
It’s doubly disappointing that people who are less engaged in politics are being encouraged to disengage further.
Square State Democrats, are you paying attention?
Clearly people stumble across this blog, it’s not like it’s sitting out in the middle of the “information superhighway” with barricades and flashing lights.
So I became curious. What do the people who eventually arrive here actually think on my primary subject, that being Global Warming / Climate Change / Global Climate Disruption / Climate Weirding.
Why so many names? Because, with the possible exception of Climate Weirding, all of these names have been politicized and I’m not sure people realize which parts are scientific fact, which are politician’s wishful thinking, and which parts are lies spread to confuse the issue.
I think anyone who has read any of my posts knows how I feel about the subject. But I want to know, in simple terms, what the people who arrive here think about it. So I’m going to release several simple questions, and see if I get answers.
- 8 in 10 Americans Now Believe Global Warming Is Real – Majority Think Humans To Blame, Too (treehugger.com)
- Ethics and Global Climate Change (alternativo21.wordpress.com)
- Why will animals and plants be more affected than humans by global climate change (wiki.answers.com)
- Climate change influences disease pattern (chimalaya.org)
- What is your reaction about global warming and climate change (wiki.answers.com)