Friday, May 28, 2010

Hallelujah! Obama SO gets expounded by Science Advisor Holdren!!

I was saddened but not surprised to see that the newest owners of Barnet Hall - the very home, as it happens, where I raised my children - are removing the old ash trees,
because I expect them to be rotten inside, from exposure to toxic greenhouse gases. I doubt they are quite as old as the beautiful Colonial farmhouse (circa 1770) but they probably could have boasted at least a century or so. Anyone who doesn't understand that should read the Basic Premise page - which is linked to at the very top of this blog.
Further back on the property, which I subdivided to build Wit's End, the gardens are full of roses.
The peonies are luxuriously dense.
In this outstanding interview, Obama's Science Advisor, John Holdren, makes clear that Obama understands what needs to be done to mitigate climate change, and how serious and extensive will be the need to adapt. I am assuming that Holdren is very precisely and deliberately speaking for the President - and what he has to say is forthright and vitally important...a tactical advance volley, if you will, in the war against the Deniers, Ignorers, and Paid Whores of Oil, Gas, Coal, and Biofuel Industries.
I believe that much of what Obama has done so far - with healthcare, and "bipartisanship" in general, has been merely laying the framework for tackling the ultimate issue ever - climate change. Like a consummate chess player, he thinks many moves ahead.
It may be too late to save a habitable climate - and there are many reasons to think this has been so for at least 30 years - but one thing has been certain in my mind for some time - there is no one more able to do it than Obama.
We should all redouble our efforts to make sure he stays President, with a working majority in government, and let him know we support him. He has said, he can't do it alone. CO2 emissions must be drastically curbed.
In the meanwhile, however, the ecosystem is suffering from the "other" greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, and acetaldehyde, that form ozone and are pure poison to plants. This subject seems to be so taboo, I do not know whether Obama knows it. The EPA knows (check out the excerpts on this post)- but they aren't broadcasting the information, for obvious reasons. Who wants to incite panic? Flowers are deformed,
leaves show obvious damage to stomata
and loss of chlorophyll.
Dandelions, usually the scourge of immaculate lawns, are oddly scarce this spring, and abnormally small.
All sorts of flowers are smaller than they should be.
I hung a birdhouse on the shed mostly for decoration, I didn't really anticipate it being used because the opening is miniscule.
But there is a diminutive mother bird that goes in and out all day!
I would love to peek inside to see the babies but I don't want to disturb them.
This is one of the few butterflies to be found, so far.
No wonder it's hard for me to find birds to photograph with the entourage that follows me whenever I go for a walk in the woods!
They are constantly underfoot.
This catbird on the other hand seems to deliberately try to provoke me, with endless calls, from squawks to meows to rich, juicy flurries of chirps.
It never shuts up!
I am very concerned about food crops. Already the early plants, like spinach, lettuce, and herbs are looking wilted or worse - damaged, like these peas.
from the same patch, May 17.
Mint shows stomatal injury, which begs the question, have levels of ozone suddenly reached intolerable levels for most vegetation, or is there something new and different and unmeasured happening in the atmosphere?
It became necessary to visit second daughter who is at vet school at UPenn. And of course I was delighted to see her!
Along the way there was ample evidence of severe tree decline. It's lucky this tree didn't crush the house - right across the street, pines are just sloughing to their sides.
I am still reading "Requiem for a Species" much of which so far is about the unwillingness of people to even envisage a world without endless economic growth, which is of course based upon relentless resource extraction and cheap energy from burning fossil and biofuels.
And I have been thinking quite a bit about what life would be like in a world without conspicuous consumption as its focus.
Our agriculture is completely dependent on oil-based products from fuel to pesticides and fertilizers essential to large-scale industrial farming.
Without that, how can we feed the billions on the planet? There are so many more of us now, it is terrifying to imagine how everyone can be fed without relying of oil, the supply of which is dwindling. As I drove I marveled at how quickly the landscape changed from the pastoral hayfields to a power grid that fills the horizon.
Cities are foreign to me, exotic, with a terrible beauty.
The streets in Philadelphia are lined with dead and dying trees, even though, like every city, there are constant attempts to remove them.
Here too there are flowers that look rather forlorn.
So in this city where Ben Franklin lived, long before the internal combustion engine and computers, life was rich and complex and rewarding - as witnessed by the architecture, literature, philosophy, music, and art of the time.
I wonder if that is because societies in the past were propped up by slaves or their equivalent - indentured servants and serfs and just the abjectly poverty-stricken.
And so the upper echelons may not have had access to fossil fuels, but they consumed human energy instead.
I don't know what that means, if anything, for the possibility that humans can ever achieve an equitable, decent, sustainable society for all its citizens.
Fallen leaves both green and brown mar the sidewalks.
Puckered flowers languish in the little gardens. This red rose looks like it is trying to escape a wrought-iron prison!
Ah well. It was lovely to have lunch with Sophie
and eat crab spring rolls, while they are still available!

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