Search This Blog/Linked Pages

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Disaffected Lib: It's Here - Earth Overshoot Day, This Year 20 August, 2013

The Disaffected Lib: It's Here - Earth Overshoot Day, This Year 20 August, 2013: Tuesday, August 20, marks Earth Overshoot Day for 2013.  This is not a record to celebrate.  It tells us that, in under eight months, mankind exhausts an entire annual supply of renewable resources.  After that, we're eating our seed corn.   Another way of looking at it is that, at current rates of biomass consumption we need 1.5 planet Earths.

Brian Doucet: Toronto has to think outside the box on transit (in TheToronto Star)

"If Toronto is to truly have a transportation system that will meet the needs of its current and future residents, two key things will need to be done. First, it will need to ditch the streetcars versus subways debate and start to think outside the box. Second, it will need to leave the planning of its future transit infrastructure to the experts rather than politicians. Streetcars versus subways has defined the last two mayors and these benign words have become toxic. They inhibit thinking up more innovative solutions practised elsewhere."

Full article: Toronto has to think outside the box on transit.

Brian Doucet is a lecturer in urban geography at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Gwynne Dyer: The world’s most important hamburger (in The Toronto Star)

"“Right now, we are using 70 per cent of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock,” Professor Mark Post, the lead researcher, told the Independent at a conference in Vancouver last year. “You are going to need alternatives. If we don’t do anything, meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive . . . ”

"“Livestock also contributes a lot to greenhouse gas emissions, more so than our entire transport system,” explained Post, a medical physiologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. “Livestock produces 39 per cent of global methane, 5 per cent of the CO2, and 40 per cent of the nitrous oxide. Eventually, we will have an eco-tax on meat.” On meat raised in the open air, that is."

Full article: The world’s most important hamburger.

Monday, August 5, 2013

George Saunders' commencement address: Try to be kinder (in The Toronto Star)

"Do all the other things, the ambitious things — travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) — but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.

"Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality — your soul, if you will — is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly."

Full address: George Saunders' commencement address: Try to be kinder.

George Saunders’ address to Syracuse grads has gone viral.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Rick Salutin: The diplomats hit the bricks (in The Toronto Star)

"Unions could pay a vital role in today’s political debates but are strangely absent. ...

"Why doesn’t the union protest loudly that they’re taxpayers, too? Or that fairness in pay is something anyone who has a job can identify with and support. Plus: higher wages lead to more demand in the economy, therefore more jobs and taxes paid, lowering deficits, etc.

"In other words, why don’t they contest the battle for the public mind? I don’t know why but they don’t, or rarely do."

Full article: The diplomats hit the bricks: Rick Salutin.

Derecho, atmospheric river: new weather terms demystified (in The Toronto Star)

"Atmospheric rivers, or ARs, are described as “narrow regions of intense moisture flows in the lower troposphere of the atmosphere that deliver sustained and heavy rainfall to mid-latitude regions.”

"They can be up to 300 kilometres wide and up to 2,000 kilometres long. They flow, invisibly, about one to 2.5 kilometres above the surface of the ocean. There can be multiple atmospheric rivers at any time covering the hemisphere.

"Known to bring heavy rainfall, they have been blamed for severe flooding in California and in England."

Full article: Derecho, atmospheric river: new weather terms demystified.

Rising sea levels will seal fate of 316 U.S. cities, study warns (in The Toronto Star)

"A rise in sea levels has already sealed the fate of at least 316 American cities, including Miami and Jacksonville, but if global warming keeps up its current rate through 2100, the number of towns and cities doomed by water could easily go up to 1,400, a chilling new study says.

"Prior greenhouse gas emissions “have already locked in four feet of future sea-level rise that will submerge parts of 316 municipalities,” says the paper that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ...

"An interactive map on the website of Climate Central shows the cities and towns that are under threat."

Full article: Rising sea levels will seal fate of 316 U.S. cities, study warns.