Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Seattle Shines

(This is a cross-post from one I made at

The City of Seattle reported that its on-target to its Kyoto goals. That is fabulous. There’s a conference of Mayor’s meeting there this week that includes other global warming luminaries as well (Clinton/.Gore – sound like a ticket to you? And perhaps they are now doing even more good than they did in the White House).

In a post awhile back, I mentioned that Global warming is a problem we need to solve on a global basis. I still believe that. The good we do in Seattle must be joined by the good we do in Shanghai, in Dubai, and in Mexico City. To succeed here, we must have an unprecedented level of global cooperation.

But that doesn’t diminish the value of the shining light in our region. I’m quite proud of Seattle. Of my city, Kirkland, too (We have signed up and are working hard to get a handle on measurement. We’re behind Seattle in our program, but still, we’re in there making real changes). Cities, in particular, matter. Statics show that over half of the world’s populations will live in cities in the very near future. We should all cheer the luminaries leading them to cleaner and better designs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

CNN's Planet in Peril

Appears to be a good show so far, about 10 minutes in. It's a bit interrupted by fire news. Global warming news interrupting global warming news.

A Conversation at Work...

Depending on which south you're in, the world is drying up around you or burning up around you. I work in the Pacific Northwest, where warmer and wetter seems to be the prevailing crystal-ball fuzz about us and global warming. The conversation went something like this.

"Glad we live here."
"All that must be climate change, right?"
"Pretty much."
"We're lucky we have so much rain."
"But we're not always out of the woods for drinking water."
"Snowpack's been bad some years."
"Last winter was okay."
"Think about places like Arizona, where there's too many people for the ecosystem. What happens when California wants the Colorado River water back?"
"Where are all those people going to go?"
"Uh oh."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kansas blocks coal plant

This morning I found a Washington Post story re-printed on page A16 of the Seattle Times. Pretty well buried. "Kansas cites carbon emmions in blocking coal plants," by Steven Mufson.
Good for Kansas.
Good for us, too. The ruling by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was based on the April April Supreme Court ruling that greenhouse gasses could be considered polltants.
This is too big to bury on page A16 - it's a rather important ruling, particularly if it gets held up.
I wouldn't have expected this to come from Kansas, but I'm really pleased it did. That sends an even stronger message than if one of us on the coast started this trend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Resource Wars: Water in the South

I get an email called something like "The Homeland Security Daily Wire" every day at work. One topic in yesterday's email was the drought in the south. It showed up again in the paper today - in an AP article, so it's probably in everyone's paper today.

Climate change is going to redistribute resources. At this point, at least in the American south today, we're dealing with it in the courts. But what happens when if whole communities run out of water?

What kind of long-term thinking do we need to do now to manage this kind of issue globally?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Al Gore and the IPCC Deserved the Medal

It's amazing how much grumbling has been going on about the Nobel Prize award today. But maybe that's a sign of how good and important the work is.

Peace requires a world without resource wars. Think about Maslow's hierarchy. It defines those things we need, like food and shelter, as required before we can reach for the higher-pinnacle stuff like enlightenment.

Before we can reach for anything as lofty and elusive as peace, we need the bottom of the pyramid built - we need solutions to problems like hunger and inexpensive and healthy energy, like basic human health and freedoms, and the right to lay our head down at night and know that we won't be killed for something as uncontrollable as gender or race, as ethnic origin or religion.

Let's all quit grumbling and get on with all the myriad ways we're looking for peace - for ourselves, our families, our countries, our home.