Thursday, June 30, 2005

ENDLESS SUMMER

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Las Vegas golf course.

We humans evolved on the warm sea shores and dry, hot savannahs of Africa. Humaniods then spread over Africa and Eurasia several times, each time, dying off, more colonizers moving out of Africa to replace the now extinct former homohablians. We like grasslands graced with scattered trees and this is replayed in miniature in our landscaping attempts.

A golf course is our Eden.

The Great Ice Ages were our evolutionary eye of the needle. We nearly didn't make it. Homohabilis nearly became homoextinctus. The tiny bands that survived, and it seems to be probably only one band!--experienced a huge change in brain size. Only the very smartest survived. These smart creatures, homosapiens sapien, changed from being cannibalistic hunters of fellow homo-species to hunting fur bearing animals for their hides as well as meat.

This ability to live in cold climates by clever manipulation of other plants and animals is the wellspring of our entire civilizations as well as our brain abilities. This extended in two directions: it allowed humans to colonize difficult environments and it allowed us to alter those environments to achieve our goal: the eternal golf course. Our buildings reflect our desire for a warm, dry, semi-shaded place. We don't want the full sun nor cave-darkness. Even though we indulge in lying in the sun, this is always followed by retreating into the semishade of our ideal environment.

Our quest for this eternal Eden is backfiring now.
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BBC newsKalahari desert

From the BBC:
Their research details how the immense dunefields of the Kalahari could be stirred up by global warming.

The investigation, reported in the journal Nature, warns that large areas of currently productive land could become engulfed by shifting sands.

"The social consequences of these changes could be drastic," they say.

The team, led by Professor David Thomas, urges politicians in the region not to pursue development policies that might exacerbate the coming problems, turning currently semi-arid areas into desert.

"We've seen in Botswana, for example, with European Union support, an enormous growth in livestock production using groundwater. That in itself has put great pressure on the Botswana landscape," Professor Thomas told BBC News.
The well digging programs across the planet, tapping into fossil water sources left over from the last Ice Age has had a bio-feedback cycle which means desertfication. Namely, to reproduce our Ice Age savannahs, we populate the place with ungulants we want to eat and for their hides, they then overgraze the place because we eliminate all other predators who used to plague us in the old days, greed takes over and we don't cull the herds ourselves nearly fast enough and the place turns into a desert.

On top of that, global warming is extending desertfication at a really mad rate.
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From the BBC:
Spain and Portugal are suffering one of the worse droughts on record, with far-reaching economic consequences - from the closure of swimming pools to the loss of crops and livestock.
The desert is always at our heels. The fragile balance of a savannah is easily tipped towards desert if the animals don't leave frequently. The huge herds that lived pre-human hunting moved leisurely about, seeking water and grass, mowing the world's lawns and then going off until the grasses grew high enough to crop again. But now, they can't for we have taken charge and humans over build the herds and overgraze the lands.

Now, with the mass burning of millions of years of fossil fuels, the CO2 of zillions of plants are being released into the atmosphere, tipping the scales, causing heat to build up. From the BBC:
Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett has spoken of the UK government's frustration over America's failure to agree to take action on climate change.
UK prime minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush were unable to reach a deal on the issue during talks in Washington last week.

Mr Blair is hoping to highlight climate change at next month's G8 summit.

Mrs Beckett told The Independent the UK was "disappointed" that there was a lack of "common ground" over the issue.
The number one polluter is the USA. We refused, from day one, to endorse the Kyoto Accords and we continue down this destructive path because, like the goat and cow herders destroying Africa and Texas, we think we will be millionaires if we pay no attention to the destruction caused by our own choices. Not too long ago, I wrote about the sheep herders of Outer Mongolia and the dust that is being raised by over grazing of cashmere-wool bearing goats. They, like all the other elements in our environment, are part of the tipping of the scales that will cause sudden climatic shifts..towards another Ice Age. Because when great amounts of dust rise, the world temperatures drop. Couple that with global warming, the melting of the glaciers, desertfication and volcanic activity plus the sun cycling through yet another chill period thanks to it being a variable star, not a steady state star, and we get another Ice Age indeed.,
The British government had made no secret that it wants Washington to be "more engaged" on the subject, she said. "Certainly there is a degree of disappointment that there isn't more common ground than there already is," she said.

President Bush was aware of the importance Mr Blair attached to addressing climate change during his presidency of the G8 summit, she said. "He [Bush] has known for a long time. He has known since before it was in the public domain that Tony had every intention of making climate change as well as Africa a top priority for our G8 year," she said.

Ex-foreign secretary Robin Cook said Mr Bush was "spectacularly out on a limb" over climate change - and he urged him to "accept the science". He said climate change had to be treated as seriously as African poverty because the two were intrinsically linked.
Tony tries to herd Bush along but fails. No surprise. Bush has zero reason to cooperate. He is a fatalist. Like the gamblers in the churches of America, he thinks Jesus will save him while blessing him with great luck and without work, he will be rich and happy and have infinite herds mooing on his own golf course savannah.

From his right wing buddies, pretending to be an environment site:
We’ve come across research published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters, the title of which pushes the limits of scientific acceptability: “Forty-five years of observed moisture in the Ukraine: No summer desiccation (yet).” It appears we have now entered a phase of the global climate change debate wherein scientists feel free to trumpet their personal bias even if it runs contrary to evidence compiled by the scientific entity they represent or, even more astounding, if it runs counter to research results they themselves produce!

An example of the first type is illustrated by NOAA hurricane researcher Christopher LandseaÂ’s recent letter resigning from participation in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see www.co2andclimate.org/wca/2004/wca_30b.html). Landsea described how Kevin Trenberth participated in a press conference last fall in which Trenberth expressed his personal view that global warming likely was responsible for the high level of hurricane activity along the U.S. coastline, last year.
Hehehe. According to the corporations running this blog's site, all of whom are energy companies, the hurricanes have nothing to do with CO2 or global warming. Nothing has anything to do with global warming. It isn't getting warmer, it is imaginary! Turn up the airconditioner, dudes! And use more energy! Make us rich!
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From Yahoo!:
Skyrocketing housing prices are driving people from San Francisco, Boston and other big cities. Warm weather and more affordable living are behind the rapid growth in midsize cities in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California.

Census Bureau figures being released Thursday show no letup in the migration to the South and West, which are home to all 10 of the fastest-growing cities with at least 100,000 people.
Housing is cheap to build out West outside of California because land is cheap and foundations cheaper. You just pour a 4" thick cement slab on the caliche dirt and presto! A house with thin walls can be erected! Here in snow country, you need a basement, deep foundation, drainage pipes, thick walls, a lot of insulation up by the roof, double pane or better windows. It costs significantly more to build up here. The main reason people are moving to these places is to regain paradise: the eternal golf course of ancient homohabilis. The warm oceans that allowed us to shed our monkey furs as we lounged on distant beaches, swimming, eating sea shell creatures scrapped off of rocks using stones, hacked sharper for that purpose. Moving inland to harvest migrating herds of animals. Lounging in the shade of the trees, standing periodically to see if any herds were coming, to watch out for predators.

Paradise.

Alas, our attempts at fine tuning this paradise, the use of air conditioners and cars, is also bringing global warming and desertifcation. We can't live in deserts. Deserts kill us. Only if we turn deserts into golf courses can we live there. But thanks to global warming and watering golf courses in deserts, the sand demons are catching up with us all.

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