PATRICE GREANVILLE—In terms of sheer labor inputs, and engineering difficulties, the Carretera Austral is in a class comparable to the “near miraculous” projects recently seen in China. We wonder indeed how long it would take the Chinese to build this highway across impossible fjords, glaciers, ocean expanses, and all. With their advanced machinery, proven skills, and legendary tenacity, who knows, maybe they would get it done in less time than anyone in the West would expect. Ironically, the “Carretera Austral” Project was pushed against all naysayers by Augusto Pinochet (the road was originally called Carretera Austral Gen. Augusto Pinochet), and may eventually serve to whitewash the dictator’s innumerable crimes. Cynics claim Pinochet saw the project as a gigantic, bottomless pork barrel opportunity for his family and hangers-on. In any case, the ecological price of “developing” this fragile and precious environment is unquestionably bound to be high, perhaps prohibitive, even if the region is only kept as mostly a tourist reserve. The German documentary featured on this page suggests as much: the red tide (“marea roja”) that killed hundreds and possibly thousands of whales, a mind-boggling number for an animal whose numbers remain fragile in the global oceanic ecosystem, is a tragic reminder that the human footprint should not be extended thoughtlessly.
ANIMAL LIVESANIMAL MARTYRDOMCAPITALIST SICKNESSCLIMATE CHANGECULTURE & HISTORYENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLESSAVING THE PLANETVIDEOSWILDLIFE/MARINE
CLIMATE CHANGECULTURE & HISTORYSCIENCE & MEDICINESICK SOCIETYVIRTUALUNIV
JOHN SCALES AVERY—Today, human greed and folly are destroying the global environment. As if this were not enough, there is a great threat to civilization and the biosphere from an all-destroying thermonuclear war. Both of these severe existential threats are due to faults our inherited emotional nature.
Our emotions have an extremely long evolutionary history. Both lust and rage are emotions that we share with many animals. However, with the rapid advance of human cultural evolution, our ancestors began to live together in progressively larger groups, and in these new societies, our inherited emotional nature was often inappropriate. What once was a survival trait became a sin which needed to be suppressed by morality and law.
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISMAMERICAN STUDIESAMERICAN WAY OF LIFECAPITALIST SICKNESSCAPITALIST TENTACLES & FRONTSCLIMATE CHANGECORPORATE CRIMESENERGYENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLESFossil FuelsNuclearSolar
ERIC SCHECHTER—A 26-minute video explaining feedback loops, exponential growth, etc. in nontechnical terms. Transcript (and links) at author’s main blog A 26-minute video explaining feedback loops, exponential growth, etc. in nontechnical terms. Transcript (and links) at http://leftymathprof.wordpress.com/
AMERICAN STUDIESANIMAL EXPLOITERSANIMAL MARTYRDOMCAPITALISM & SOCIALISMCAPITALIST SICKNESSCLIMATE CHANGE
GEORGE WUERTHNER—Much of what is burning in the large California fires as well as elsewhere in the West is not forest at all, but chaparral, grasslands, sagebrush, and non-forested habitat. So “active forest management” would have no influence upon much of the acreage currently in flames.
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISMCAPITALISM & SOCIALISMCAPITALIST SICKNESSCLIMATE CHANGEENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLESSAVING THE PLANET
Arctic Heating Races Ahead of Worst Case Estimates • Temperatures climb to 38C in COLDEST city on Earth in Siberia
TIM RADFORD—An international team of scientists brings bad news about Arctic heating: the polar ocean is warming not only faster than anybody predicted, it is getting hotter at a rate faster than even the worst case climate scenario predictions have so far foreseen.
Such dramatic rises in Arctic temperatures have been recorded before, but only during the last Ice Age. Evidence from the Greenland ice cores suggests that temperatures rose by 10°C or even 12°C, over a period of between 40 years and a century, between 120,000 years and 11,000 years ago.