Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The flood of 1927: Forgetting the past and denying the future

The past returns

Hurricane Irene caused flooding and destruction along the east coast, but has been especially devastating in Vermont and parts of upstate New York. It was however not the first time.

The nearly forgotten Flood of 1927 caused havoc in parts of New England more than 80 years ago. It was especially bad in Vermont and upstate New York and may have brought on The Great Depression in parts of New England two years before the 1929 crash of the stock market.

The economic systems and infrastructure of upper New England were destroyed. The mill town economies of Vermont and upstate New York were finished. The recovery process was long, painful, and expensive and continued well into the 1950s.

The future has arrived

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an interesting chart covering the major natural disasters in the U.S. since 1980 by state. See Billion Dollar Climate and Weather Disasters 1980-2010. As well, take a look at the Climate Prediction Center. By all indications the number and severity of these natural disasters will rise in the foreseeable future.


Public screening for the film Mother: Caring for the 7 Billion will continue throughout the U.S. from 9/21-10/21, including Kansas City, KS on 10/4/11. Also see MOTHER caring for 7 billion.

Additional reading:

Hurriquake! Mudslami! Volnado!

Transition to a different system

New England Flood of 1927

Friday, August 26, 2011

Marching to the 19th century

Of course like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution.

(Woodrow Wilson, campaigning for President of United States in 1912)

Thank Heaven, I sat at the feet of Darwin and Huxley.

(My Life as a Naturalist by Theodore Roosevelt, President of United States, 1901-1909)

It was somewhat surprising. Dr. Ron Paul, medical doctor, darling of the Libertarians and Republican presidential candidate apparently doesn't believe in evolutionary theory, at least according to the video. Whether he was pandering to the general ignorance or truly believes in what he uttered, it hardly speaks well of a man wishing to become the President of the United States.

Of course, Ron Paul is unlikely to ever wander through the White House. But it says something about the general dumbing down of the U.S., and that is the real problem in America.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The theory of gravity and other 'false' beliefs

While Rick Perry, governor of Texas, is a nasty, ignorant piece of work, he certainly tells us something about the Republican cult, Texas politics and maybe the Southern political culture in general. His arrival as still another dismal presidential wannabe also shines a light on all of us at the present time. We have only ourselves to blame if we don't move way beyond this endless, increasingly harmful nonsense.
Building actual resiliency

In the United States and elsewhere there are a lot of reasons to take seriously the development of resilientcommunities. Certainly our collapsing political and economic system offers a couple of reasons, but global climate change and demographic pressure will also likely affect all of us in ways we can only begin to imagine right now.

Transitioning to functioning resilient communities means bringing people together to create community and connection. The resources and expertise however are growing rapidly. In America, as the various systems grind to a halt and the elites attempt to run for cover, we'll soon discover the importance of resiliency, be it in a rural village, a suburban enclave or within the central city. (See U.S. Scrambling to Ease Shortage of Vital Medicine.)

While the elites in the U.S. are increasingly devoid of original thought and are more often than not part of the problem, it pays to keep track of them sometimes. Apparently AIPAC, the influential Israel lobby, enjoys paying for congressional vacations. It seems that some 80 or so politicians headed to Israel for their August recess, perhaps to inspect the infrastructure for the Christian “End Times” festivities. Your Congress at work—and play.

The 12 member “super committee” of the U.S. Congress will, beginning in September, decide what gets cut over the next ten years, while the remaining members of Congress, as expected, can claim it wasn't their fault; their hands were of course tied behind their backs.

According to MapLight these 12 members of the super committee received some $65 million from various interest groups over the past ten years, which of course doesn't mean it was illegal. But it still remains worthwhile to know who gets what and from whom. In our political system it's always about following the money. Your Congress is always at work but not necessarily for you.

The science thing

The word “theory” is seemingly hard to grasp in the United States, especially when it comes to the natural sciences. Governor Rick Perry is not the only one that is confused and befuddled. A guy in a bar may have a “theory” about blond women, but it's not a scientific theory.

Yes, gravity and evolution are actual scientific theories, and it is a fact that the Earth is getting warmer and humans just might have something to do with it. But of course, as Governor Perry has suggested, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Science Teachers Association may be involved in a massive conspiracy to fool the people. We only have ourselves to blame if we tolerate this never ending buffoonery.

Sources and additional reading:

Resilient communities

Nuts and Bolts

Additional Reading