Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Climate: 7 Questions on 2 Degrees by John D. Sutter, CNN

CNN columnist John D. Sutter is spending the rest of the year reporting on a tiny number --2 degrees -- that may have a huge impact on the future of the planet. He'd like your help. Subscribe to the "2 degrees" newsletter or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can shape his coverage.
(CNN) We're 2 degrees from a different world. Humans never have lived on a planet that's 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) warmer than it was before we started burning fossil fuels in the late 1800s, and climate experts say we risk fundamentally changing life on this planet if we do cross that 2-degree mark.
"This is gambling with the planet," said Gernot Wagner, the lead senior economist at the Environmental Defense Fund and co-author of the book "Climate Shock." Think super droughts, rising seas and mass extinctions.
Yet for all of its importance, I don't think the 2-degree threshold is as famous as it should be. I've heard it referred to as the "north star" for climate negotiations. Meaning: This one little number carries huge importance as a way to focus the world's attention.
It's so significant that it's going to be the subject of my reporting for the rest of the year. I'm calling that effort "2 degrees," and I need your help to make it work.
Until 5 p.m. ET Monday, you can vote on the first story I'll report for the series.
Vote using the Facebook poll below (or go here if you don't see it.)

All of those story ideas came from you, by the way. They focus on what a 2-degree world might look like.
CNN kicked off this effort with a Facebook chat last week. We asked for your questions about climate change and about the 2-degree threshold, specifically.
I don't have all the answers right now. We'll continue to explore the importance of this number together. But below you'll find quick responses to seven basic questions about this crucial number. Many of them come straight from you, the readers. And I tossed in a couple of my own.
If you'd like to follow this project as it evolves, I'd encourage you to sign up for the "2 degrees" newsletter. And feel free to ask more questions in the comments section below. They'll shape the way I spend the rest of the year reporting on this super-critical number.

1. Where did the idea for 2 degrees come from?

One guy, it turns out. William Nordhaus, an economist at Yale.
Nordhaus, 73, proposed the 2-degree threshold in a 1977 (1977!) paper titled "Economic Growth and Climate: The Carbon Dioxide Problem."
The estimate was "crude, but it was a reasonable first start," he told me.
"If there were global temperatures more than 2 or 3 degrees above the current average temperature, this would take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years," he wrote in "The Climate Casino."
A growing body of research now supports the idea.

2. How did 2 degrees become the international standard?

Science has continued to raise red flags about 2 degrees of warming. And that work has led policy experts to conclude that a 2-degree world is something none of us should want.
"You need a judgment call for these things," said Carlo Jaeger, chair of the Global Climate Forum, who has written on the history of 2 degrees Celsius. "And this 2-degree thing was a judgment call that happened at the interface of science and policy."
Germany was first to push 2 degrees as an policy goal, Jaeger told me. That happened in the 1990s. Later came the European Commission, the G8, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and, most significantly, the Copenhagen Accord, which was signed by more than 100 nations who agreed 2 degrees would be too much. The United States was among the signatories.

3. What would the world look like at 2 degrees?

I'm going to spend the month of May exploring this question, so look for more on this. But here are some striking facts about what scientists expect a post-2-degree world to look like. These are pulled from reports by the National Research Council, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the World Bank.
• Wildfires in the United States are expected to increase 400% to 800% in size.
• Hurricanes are expected to become 2% to 8% more intense.
• A range of species will be at risk for extinction, particularly amphibians. The IPCC estimates 20% to 30% of animals and plants species will be at "increasingly high risk of extinction" at or near the 2-degree mark.
• The Arctic is expected keep melting, losing 30% of its annual average sea ice.
• Certain crop yields in the United States, India and Africa are expected to decrease 10% to 30%.
• The availability of freshwater is expected to decline by 20%.
So ... not good.
And numbers don't convey the emotional toll.
"I'm from New Mexico," said Nordhaus, the economist who proposed the 2-degree threshold. "I love it there, and I know it's going to be a completely different climate. The trout fishing probably won't be as good. The hiking won't be as good. These forests may look completely different, or burn down. I love to ski. It's one of my things I love most. And that's obviously affected by warming. I love the ocean, and the New England coastline, and it's in peril. That's just for starters."

4. What happens at 2.1 degrees?

No one knows, exactly. Think of 2 degrees like a sort of speed limit -- or a zone of increased risk. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech, told me that burning fossil fuels is like smoking. How many cigarettes give you cancer? No one knows, exactly. But the more you smoke, the more you up your risk. And 2 degrees, policy experts agree, is certainly risky territory.
Plus, everyone hates a fraction.
Targeting 1 degree of warming is "ridiculous because you can't do it," said Nordhaus, the economist. "Three sounds too high. And you can't have a fraction because it's too complicated.
"So two is kind of an obvious number."

5. How much has the climate warmed already?

The climate already has warmed 0.85 degrees since the Industrial Revolution. And we reasonably can expect to reach 1.5 degrees simply based on the pollution we're already putting into the atmosphere, even with "very ambitious mitigation action" to reduce carbon emissions, according to a 2014 report from the World Bank. Some of that warming is "locked-in to the Earth's atmospheric system," that organization says. The impacts of climate change already are being felt.

6. Is it possible to stay below 2 degrees?

Yes, but it won't be easy.
"If you want to stay below 2 degrees, you have to reduce emissions at an amazing speed -- to an incredible degree," said Jaeger from the Global Climate Forum.
Here's the best guess for what that "amazing speed" might need to look like: Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by some 80% to 90% by 2050, said Jennifer Morgan, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute. "It depends on how much risk you want to accept," she said. Some activists, including those from 350.org and Avaaz, which together organized the largest climate change rally in history last year in New York, want to accept less risk than that.
"Our position is 100% clean energy," said David Sievers, a senior campaigner for Avaaz.

7. What happens if we don't take action?

If we continue burning fossil fuels at the current rate, we could hit 2 degrees of warming before midcentury. Scarier still, we could hit 3 to 5 degrees of warming by 2100.
Some writers have called for the world to abandon the 2-degree target, saying it's too ambitious, or even naive. But we need a yardstick to measure progress -- and we need that "north star" to help us set goals that actually would be weighty enough to make a dent in this problem.
If you think 2 degrees sounds bad, 5 degrees is far, far worse.
The IPCC expects a 5-degree world to be characterized by "major extinctions around the globe" and a "reconfiguration of coastlines worldwide." Just beyond that, at 6 degrees, we're looking a "catastro-f***" that would be almost "infinitely costly," said Wagner, the Environmental Defense Fund economist. "It's akin to killing the planet, basically. Or society on the planet."
This much should be clear: Something has to change.
If we shoot for 2 degrees and end up at 3, that's still better (or less awful) than 5 or 6. What's important is that we maintain a sense of urgency, and keep sight of the goal.

Earth Song, Michael Jackson

 The Telephone Number, a miniscript w/ polls to vote for favorite to star in role:
 @ http://whoseroleisitanyway.blogspot.com


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday is for Poetry: FOR EARTH: The Ocean & A Drop of Water


Waves slam the beach
forging, rearranging the shoreline.

They recede, I feel their pull
from New Jersey to Greece.

Can you see?
No beginning;
No end;
And everything between.
**written by petra michelle (June 2008)**

The Plastic Age, A Documentary

Before the Deluge, Jackson Browne

Before The Deluge Lyrics
by Jackson Browne

Some of them were dreamers and some of them were fools
Who were making plans and thinking of the future
With the energy of the innocent, they were gathering the tools
They would need to make their journey, back to nature

While the sand slipped through the opening
And their hands reached for the golden ring
With their hearts they turned to each other's hearts for refuge
In the troubled years that came before the deluge

Some of them knew pleasure and some of them knew pain
And for some of them it was only the moment that mattered
And on the brave and crazy wings of youth
They went flyin' around in the rain
And their feathers, once so fine, grew torn and tattered

And in the end, they traded their tired wings
For the resignation that living brings
And exchanged love's bright and fragile glow
For the glitter and the rouge
And in a moment they were swept before the deluge

Now let the music keep our spirits high
And let the buildings keep our children dry
Let creation reveal its secrets by and by, by and by
When the light that's lost within us, reaches the sky

Some of them were angry at the way the earth was abused
By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
And they struggled to protect her from them, only to be confused
By the magnitude of the fury in the final hour

And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
In the naked dawn, only a few survived
And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
Believed that they were meant to live, after the deluge

Now let the music keep our spirits high
And let the buildings keep our children dry
Let creation reveal its secrets by and by, by and by
When the light that's lost within us, reaches the sky


Mother Earth, Joanne Shenandoah


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Michael Flatley got it right in "Feet of Flames..."

"Every person has many selves," Buddhist saying.  By showing the following scenes from Michael Flatley's epic production "Feet of Flames," seems to me, he understood this concept.

From Good to Evil and every state in between, virtuous woman to vixen, from alpha male to a sensitive one, his storytelling reveals each of us capable to experience/identify with each of these states.
Here goes:


Woman in Love,

A Vixen,

Virtuous vs. Vixen,

Virtuous can be vixen,

Truly, mirror images of each other



Alpha Male

Sensitive Male

Good vs. Evil


Hope you've enjoyed being all characters in "Feet of Flames."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

SUNDAY IS FOR POETRY: A poem by Cheryl Becklin

Cheryl Becklin wrote this poem after her father died.  I relate deeply to it myself.  This Easter Sunday, I would like to dedicate her poem to my mother.  She loved Easter and is sorely missed since she died of Alzheimer's on January 9, 2013.

When I layed there beside you,
Could you feel me there?
My arms were wrapped around you,
And I was stroking your hair.

I was talking about all the good times,
For me they were every single day.
I wanted you to feel love and comfort,
And happy in some way.

I watched your every breath,
And prayed that each one wasn’t your last.
The time we got to share together,
Went by too quick…Too fast.

I wanted you to wake up,
Please Dad…Open your eyes.
Tell me this is a nightmare,
And not our goodbyes.

As your last breath grew closer,
We layed there peacefully together.
My heart continually breaking,
Because I wanted you forever.

Then there it was,
Your final breath of air.
I didn’t want to believe it,
This is so cruel and not fair.

I held your beautiful face,
And prayed you’d breath again.
I wasn’t ready for you to go,
I couldn’t admit that this was the end.

But then I realized that you were now in peace,
And not suffering anymore.
You were beginning the life of an Angel,
And your body would no longer be sore.

I held you close and squeezed you tight,
And tried to say goodbye.
I’ve lost my Dad and my number one best friend,
All my heart could do is cry.

I slowly got up,
I wanted so much to stay.
I leaned over and gave you one more kiss,
It was so hard to walk away.

Dad you are my entire world,
And I miss you so very much.
I wish I could feel your loveable cuddle,
And your soft and gentle touch.

But for now I have to wait,
Until we meet again.
You will always be in my heart and thoughts,
My dear Dad and best friend.

Always and Forever,
Our hearts will always touch.
Always and Forever,
Your lil girl loves you so much
**written by Cheryl Becklin, 2015**


God Is Standing By, Al Green


Saturday, April 4, 2015



The love Norman Rockwell captures as a couple grows old together is absolutely stunning.
Silliness and playfulness are so important --

to embrace one another's idiosyncracies and foibles -- eternal youth? 


Norman Rockwell's April Fool
How many silly things can you find?
And where are the words, April Fool?
Hint:  How do we know it's April 1st without keeping up with time?

Poor Little Fool, Ricky Nelson

Everybody Loves A Clown, Gary Lewis & The Playboys

The Tears of a Clown, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Chain of Fools, Aretha Franklin