Monday, May 27, 2013

The Odds of Disaster: An Economist's Warning on Global Warming

One premise of modern economics is that we humans discount the future. This simply means that we value something that happens in the here-and-now -- the present -- more than we value it, right now, if we will only get it in the future. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar a year from now, for example. And that means that a dollar a year from now is worth less, in today's money, than the dollar today.

[ PBS Newsdesk]
Paul Solman: Are headlines trumpeting the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the earth's atmosphere have now passed 400 parts per million for the first time in something like three million years unduly alarmist? Or are they a timely warning?
I asked noted environmental economist Martin Weitzman to address the question.
An expert on the Soviet economy in the '70s and '80s, Weitzman first made news in 1984 with the publication of a book called The Share Economy, an argument for profit sharing instead of fixed wages. Fourteen years later came his paper Recombinant Growth, which revolutionized how some of us understood the enormous potential of technology.
But for many years, Weitzman has also been working on environmental economics and most recently, in a series of widely cited academic papers, on the economics of global warming; the most famous, on the "Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change."
Weitzman's central idea is not unlike the legendary bet proposed by the 16th century Catholic French philosopher Blaise Pascal. One way to interpret Pascal's argument: even if you think the likelihood of God's existence is vanishingly small, the cost if you're wrong -- eternal damnation -- is infinitely high. An infinite cost times even a tiny probability is still ... an infinite cost.
So you make a finite investment by believing in God and acting accordingly in order to avoid an infinite cost. To put it another way, you're obliged, mathematically, to make the investment in belief.
You might keep Pascal's argument in mind while reading Weitzman. Or think of the "Black Swan" argument of Nassim Taleb: certain events, however unlikely you think they may be, could have such enormous consequences, you just can't take the chance of letting them happen.
Martin Weitzman: Recently the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reached an unprecedented level of 400 parts per million. What is the significance of this "milestone"? Does it portend catastrophic climate change? The short answer is no. The long answer is a more complicated and more nuanced maybe.
The modern era of carefully measuring and recording atmospheric CO2 began with the work of famed scientist Charles Keeling. In 1958, Keeling began to accurately monitor daily CO2 levels atop Mauna Loa, the highest mountain in Hawaii. Keeling chose this location because it was so remote from manmade sources that it would accurately track average "well mixed" CO2 levels throughout the world. Thanks to Keeling's pioneering work we now have a continuous ongoing record of CO2 levels since 1958.
In 1958, Keeling recorded an atmospheric CO2 level of 315 ppm. Every year since then the Mauna Loa station has recorded ever-higher levels of CO2 than the year before. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have grown relentlessly over the years until they just recently blew past the well-publicized milestone of 400 ppm.
The 400 ppm milestone is basically just a round number. To see why it might (or might not) be viewed as something unusual, or even threatening, we need to examine a longer record of CO2 levels over time. Read More

Monday, May 20, 2013

Climate change: human disaster looms, claims new research

Forecast global temperature rise of 4C a calamity for large swaths of planet even if predicted extremes are not reached

Some of the most extreme predictions of global warming are unlikely to materialize, new scientific research has suggested, but the world is still likely to be in for a temperature rise of double that regarded as safe.
The researchers said warming was most likely to reach about 4C above pre-industrial levels if the past decade's readings were taken into account.
That would still lead to catastrophe across large swaths of the Earth, causing droughts, storms, floods and heatwaves, and drastic effects on agricultural productivity leading to secondary effects such as mass migration.
Some climate change skeptics have suggested that because the highest global average temperature yet recorded was in 1998 climate change has stalled. The new study, which is published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows a much longer "pause" would be needed to suggest that the world was not warming rapidly.
Alexander Otto, at the University of Oxford, lead author of the research, told the Guardian that there was much that climate scientists could still not fully factor into their models. He said most of the recent warming had been absorbed by the oceans but this would change as the seas heat up. The thermal expansion of the oceans is one of the main factors behind current and projected sea level rises.
The highest global average temperature ever recorded was in 1998, under the effects of a strong El Niño, a southern Pacific weather system associated with warmer and stormy weather, which oscillates with a milder system called La Niña. Since then the trend of average global surface temperatures has shown a clear rise above the long-term averages – the 10 warmest years on record have been since 1998 – but climate sceptics have claimed that this represents a pause in warming.
Otto said that this most recent pattern could not be taken as evidence that climate change has stopped. "Given the noise in the climate and temperature system, you would need to see a much longer period of any pause in order to draw the conclusion that global warming was not occurring," he said. Such a period could be as long as 40 years of the climate record, he said. Read More

Former Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out On The Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered Food

I retired 10 years ago after a long career as a research scientist for Agriculture Canada. When I was on the payroll, I was the designated scientist of my institute to address public groups and reassure them that genetically engineered crops and foods were safe. There is, however, a growing body of scientific research - done mostly in Europe, Russia, and other countries - showing that diets containing engineered corn or soya cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats.
I don't know if I was passionate about it but I was knowledgeable. I defended the side of technological advance, of science and progress.
I have in the last 10 years changed my position. I started paying attention to the flow of published studies coming from Europe, some from prestigious labs and published in prestigious scientific journals, that questioned the impact and safety of engineered food.
I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment and of course that they are safe to eat.
There are a number of scientific studies that have been done for Monsanto by universities in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. Most of these studies are concerned with the field performance of the engineered crops, and of course they find GMOs safe for the environment and therefore safe to eat.

Individuals should be encouraged to make their decisions on food safety based on scientific evidence and personal choice, not on emotion or the personal opinions of others. We should all take these studies seriously and demand that government agencies replicate them rather than rely on studies paid for by the biotech companies.
The Bt corn and soya plants that are now everywhere in our environment are registered as insecticides. But are these insecticidal plants regulated and have their proteins been tested for safety? Not by the federal departments in charge of food safety, not in Canada and not in the U.S.
There are no long-term feeding studies performed in these countries to demonstrate the claims that engineered corn and soya are safe. All we have are scientific studies out of Europe and Russia, showing that rats fed engineered food die prematurely. Read More

Friday, May 17, 2013

“Absolutely Every One” – 15 Out of 15 – Bluefin Tuna Tested In California Waters Contaminated with Fukushima Radiation

California Fish Contaminated with Fukushima Radiation

Washington Blog - We noted more than a year ago:
The ocean currents head from Japan to the West Coast of the U.S.
***
Of course, fish don’t necessarily stay still, either. For example, the Telegraph notes that scientists tagged a bluefin tuna and found that it crossed between Japan and the West Coast three times in 600 days:
And see this.
CNN reports today:
Low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.
The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources
The Wall Street Journal quotes the studies’ authors:
“The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean,” said marine ecologist Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who led the study team. “We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.” Read More

Helen Caldicott - The Truth About Fukushima

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The effects of global warming: How American cities will look if sea level rises

Jefferson Monument, 2013 & after 25 foot sea level rise

Still don't think global warming is real? These photos, showing American cities as they are now and as they will be if sea level rises, may be your game changer. Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm has compiled renderings of popular tourist destinations nearly under water. They're meant to project the impact of a rising sea level due to global warming - and to bring the alarming results to life. The Jefferson Monument is seen here as it is today (l.) and as it would be if sea level rose 25 feet. If scientists' predictions about global warming are correct, this is what many popular destinations in America could eventually look like ... Read More

Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears

New York Times, by Justin Gillis

The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.
Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.
The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.
“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading. 
Ralph Keeling, who runs another monitoring program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said a continuing rise could be catastrophic. “It means we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possibly tolerable thresholds,” he said.
Virtually every automobile ride, every plane trip and, in most places, every flip of a light switch adds carbon dioxide to the air, and relatively little money is being spent to find and deploy alternative technologies.
China is now the largest emitter, but Americans have been consuming fossil fuels extensively for far longer, and experts say the United States is more responsible than any other nation for the high level.
The new measurement came from analyzers atop Mauna Loa, the volcano on the big island of Hawaii that has long been ground zero for monitoring the worldwide trend on carbon dioxide, or CO2. Devices there sample clean, crisp air that has blown thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean, producing a record of rising carbon dioxide levels that has been closely tracked for half a century.
Carbon dioxide above 400 parts per million was first seen in the Arctic last year, and had also spiked above that level in hourly readings at Mauna Loa.
But the average reading for an entire day surpassed that level at Mauna Loa for the first time in the 24 hours that ended at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday. The two monitoring programs use slightly different protocols; NOAA reported an average for the period of 400.03 parts per million, while Scripps reported 400.08.
Carbon dioxide rises and falls on a seasonal cycle, and the level will dip below 400 this summer as leaf growth in the Northern Hemisphere pulls about 10 billion tons of carbon out of the air. But experts say that will be a brief reprieve — the moment is approaching when no measurement of the ambient air anywhere on earth, in any season, will produce a reading below 400.
“It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a unit of Columbia University.
From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked.
For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.
Indirect measurements suggest that the last time the carbon dioxide level was this high was at least three million years ago, during an epoch called the Pliocene. Geological research shows that the climate then was far warmer than today, the world’s ice caps were smaller, and the sea level might have been as much as 60 or 80 feet higher. Read More

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Lori Toye: Earth Changes, The Golden Cities And The Possible Future After 2012

Well my cast is off and it’s easier to write, so here goes another post. For those looking for more updated info sooner, please check my Facebook page for 2012 Messages at www.facebook.com/2012messages
I have some backlogged info that is still relevant today. This one is about Lori Toye and her work with the Ascended Masters, non-physical beings who are here to teach and guide us through this next cycle, especially Master St Germain who I give credit to for saving my life when I had terminal cancer in 1989. I was given the Violet Flame meditation and recovered in 6 months. I also used alternative treatments, herbs and healing, but the healing begins when the energy shifts. It all starts from the Soul.     
Lori Toye is an Ascended Masters channel, clairaudient, a psychic channel and metaphysical author. She is the creator of a series of maps drawn from channeled information she received from the Masters in the ‘80s and 90s. See her site here for links to maps, books, videos and other resources. www.iamamerica.com
This information is from a radio interview on Coast to Coast in February, 2012 and can be downloaded at their site www.coasttocoastam.com  
Right now there is an etheric golden ray that is shining on the Earth which is helping to awaken people by removing belief systems little by little that keep us separated form our God Source, if you will, or that inhibit our connection to that Source. This allows us to recognize the truth when we hear it or see it. This has also brought in the New Children, like the Indigos, who are helping to raise the vibratory rate through their influence. (I have also heard from other sources that the children and the grandchildren of the Indigos will be the ones that are actually the new root race, a new type of evolved human.) As this galactic light increases we will have longer life spans and this will bring changes to the medical field.
Earth changes portrayed in her map sequences may not be as drastic as originally thought, but how this all plays out is still uncertain. We are at a time now when our spiritual consciousness can actually change or lessen the destruction and the earth changes. In her predictions for the USA, it was actually the whole world that was going through these earth changes, known as the great purification or cleansing, and would include all elements – earth, air, water, fire.
She says that many predictions such as Edgar Cayce’s have not come about because those psychics are accessing multiple timelines or different dimensions and may not apply to our particular timeline or reality. Lori got the guidance that we needed to look for events as markers rather than dates. This seems to be the way that Spirit works and also the way that some ancient prophecies work. You may have read them. They go something like, “when the_________ happens, then the ________ is near...”
Her 1997 six map scenario showed a sequence of events of what may occur in progression from not so bad to catastrophic, depending on our spiritual consciousness. She believes that some changes could occur, but does not think that it will be as bad as it could be in our lifetime. She thinks that map number 1 will be seen in our lifetime, which is pretty drastic in itself. Seattle is more like a bay with an island in it, some of the southern California coast is affected, the tip of Florida looks a little washed out, Cape Cod is nonexistent and the Mississippi has widened out a lot all the way north and south .
Even though the maps look drastic, prophecy is always subject to change. The Masters and many prophets hope that we can change and so shift the future that they foresee. It is a warning that we can heed or not.
In her maps of a future America (there is also a world map), she shows 5 Golden Cities in the USA, which will be spiritual energy vortexes of the future, similar to a chakra on the human body, each having their own purpose and energetic climate. These areas are protected for interaction of spiritual energy where 4 ley lines cross and will be protected from any disasters. She says that you can visit these areas and feel it already. People who have moved there get sleepy, dreaming a lot. She says the Ascended Masters have said that many people wouldn’t even try to move the golden cities and this is just individual destiny and choice, or karma—a learning lesson. Many will not hear the message but many will awaken in the final hours.
The Masters had actually prophesied the nuclear disaster in Japan and a major fire in Arizona, which may have been the one that occurred the summer of 2012 all through the west and south west of the USA. She sees Europe having monsoons and flooding. Through the study of Joytish (kind of like ancient Eastern Indian astrology) she predicts that in 2020 we are going to have more incredible earth changes and that the economy will shift because it is part of a grand cycle. Read More

Climate change may bring drought to temperate areas, study says

WASHINGTON — Climate change may increase the risk of extreme rainfall in the tropics and drought in the world's temperate zones, according to a new study led by NASA.
"These results in many ways are the worst of all possible worlds," said Peter Gleick, a climatologist and water expert who is president of the Pacific Institute, an Oakland research organization. "Wet areas will get wetter and dry areas will get drier."
The regions that could get the heaviest rainfall are along the equator, mainly over the Pacific Ocean and the Asian tropics. Increased aridity and drought could have a greater effect on human life, however, because those conditions are more likely to occur where most of the world's population lives.
In the Northern Hemisphere, drought-prone areas include the Southwestern United States, Mexico, North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and northwestern China. In the Southern Hemisphere, drought could become more likely in South Africa, northwestern Australia, coastal Central America and northeastern Brazil.
"Large changes in moderate rainfall, as well as prolonged no-rain events, can have the most impact on society because they occur in regions where most people live," said William Lau, the study's lead author and a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Read More