Archive for May, 2006

Book – Americans and Climate Change

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

From the opening of this book’s Executive Summary:

Why has the robust and compelling body of climate change science not had greater impact on action, especially in the United States?

From a policy-making level down to personal voting and purchasing decisions, our actions have not been commensurate with the threat as characterized by mainstream science.

This book, published by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is a concise and detailed exploration of why there is such a disjoint between what the science tells us about climate change and what Americans think about it and are doing about it.

The full Executive Summary can be found here:

The best news is that this book is available for free download as a PDF file:

If you are frustrated with America’s response to impending climate change, read this book. Understanding clearly why things are the way they are is a necessary first step towards changing them.

Setting up a LinkSys WRT54G as a router

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

I’m replacing an AirPort Base Station Access Point in my home WiFi network with a LinkSys WRT54G v2.2 Broadband Router. As is usual, it wasn’t a simple or easy process. Details which may prove helpful to someone else are here:

Bear Hunting Caught in Global Warming Debate

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

RESOLUTE, Nunavut — Bob Hudson says he has played in the Rose Bowl, jumped out of airplanes, scuba dived off Fiji and stalked bighorn sheep in the Rockies. But for all the excitement of his 67 years, there was one thrill he still craved: hunting polar bear in the high Canadian Arctic…

This story illustrates a point I’ve often made:

that in our efforts to achieve a steady-state balance with the biosphere, there are some cultural practices that we are going to have to dispense with regardless of our cherished ideal that all cultures are worthy and should be equally preserved.

By the way, this story (which you can get to by clicking the arrow) is in the NY Times.  They will stop you with a password query but you can get by it by simply filling out their sign-up for once – no money involved


Switch over completed

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Earlier this month, when I decided to begin a blog, I thrashed a bit and then settled on the Radio UserLand blogging software.   Then after a week or two of playing with it and setting up an inital blog, I talked to another blogger whose site I admire (Cryptogon) and asked why he chose the software he was using (eBlogger).   He said because it was cheap (read free) then but if he had it all to do over again, he’d switch to WordPress and host it on Bluehost.

Well, before I had myself too deeply into the Radio UserLand approach, I decided to make the switch.   What you are reading now is hosted on Bluehost and was generated with WordPress blogging software.

I can’t say I had problems with Radio UserLand in the short time I used it and I can’t say that I won’t have problems with WordPress in the future.  I’m way too new at all of this to go out on those limbs.

Frankly, learning how to setup a blog is a bit like wading into a new computer language – very heavy on the learning curve and very short on the actual product for awhile.  And, if you want to do anything other than use the plain vanilla layouts they’ve pre-setup for you, well that’ll be another deeper learning curve.

But, it does work out in the end and I’m to the point now where I think I can focus more on putting up content and less on how to put up content.

By the way, Bluehost has a plan which only costs $6.95US per month if you sign up for two years.  And, they have a script which you can execute, once you are signed up, which automatically installs the WordPress blogging software on Bluehost as your default hosted website.  WordPress software is free and this makes it particularly easy to get a blog up and running for those who are new to the process.


Vanity Fair does Global Warming

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

The May 2006 Vanity Fair Magazine has a great article on Global warming.

The Red Cross strongly criticises the US

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

There are a lot of reasons why I’ve been discouraged and even disgusted with our government’s policies in recent years and this sort of thing is a good representative of why.

US lambasted on secret detainees. The Red Cross strongly criticises the US for refusing to allow it access to detainees in secret locations. [BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

First Light

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

When astronomers use a new telescope for the first time, they call the event “First Light”. This then is “First Light “for this blog. With luck, it will run for many years.

Please be patient if you are an early reader. I expect it to be uneven and sparse for a few weeks as I get the various areas up and populated.

This blog will have a central theme and the following text gives a good sense of what that theme will be:

—- begin description —-

We will focus on a gathering storm of problems confronting mankind and the planet’s other biological inhabitants. The thread common to all of these problems is humanity itself. Mankind’s evolution of higher intelligence has freed it from the checks and balances which have tended to preserve order in the natural world since biological evolution first began on Earth.

Each of the subjects discussed in this column illustrates the fact that while humanity has developed higher intelligence, it has not developed the commensurate level of wisdom to balance it.

These are stories of the overuse of natural resources without consideration of what we’re going to do when they run out.

These are stories of humanity’s destructive impact on the integrity of the physical and biological systems around us in the world – systems upon which we are deeply dependent.

These are stories of how humanity’s greed and shortsightedness, both individual and collective, repeatedly lead to severe inbalances in the distribution of essentials like food, water, shelter, education and information. And these imbalances, in turn, lead to problems like overpopulation and fundamentalism.

And, finally, it is a meta-story about how the problems mankind is causing are potentiating and empowering each other to create a ‘perfect storm’ of consequences. Consequences which are going to fundamentally alter the physical and biological systems of the planet and degrading the kind of environment we will be leaving to our children for hundreds, if not thousands, of generations.

The following are some of the subjects which we will consider:

Peak Oil, Global Warming, Falling Water Tables, Rising Ocean Levels, Biodiversity Loss, Over Population, Failing Fisheries, Pollution, Rich vs. Poor Gap, Fundamentalism, Globalism, Post-Modernism, Women’s Literacy, Food Shortages, Fresh Water Shortages, Terrorism, Pandemics, Desertification, Corporate Power, Bubble Economics, The Gulf Stream Conveyor, and the Marginalization of Science.

This is an incomplete list and other subjects will be added.

—- End description —-

In addition to the general theme of impending disasters, as described above, we will wander into a number of other areas which are of interest to me (and hopefully to you). These will include poetry, philosophy, books, spiritualism, science and history among others.

Stay tuned.