Issue: Environment

The Inflection is Near? Tom Freidman, NYT op-ed
Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”

The Great Disruption and the Need for Meaning
In part a response to Freidman's article listed above:
"The crisis we face is more than a merely ecological or economic crisis. It's also a geo-political crisis, one which is demanding that older concepts of national sovereignty and international law stretch in new directions to accommodate the need for global responses our truly global problems; it is a social crisis, which itself demands new understandings of our interconnectedness, and of the stake each of us has in the lives of one another's children; it is, as well, a cultural crisis, where we are being forced to confront the emptiness that is so often found at the core of our new prosperity.

Lord Nicholas Stern Paints Dire Climate Change Scenario: Mass Migrations, Extended World War by Charles J. Hanley, The Huffington Post, February 21, 2009
His audience Saturday, small and elite, had been stranded here by bad weather and were talking climate. They couldn't do much about the one, but the other was squarely in their hands. And so, Lord Nicholas Stern was telling them, was the potential for mass migrations setting off mass conflict.

Are Planets Living Super-Organisms? World's Leading Expert Says "Yes" Posted by Casey Kazan, The Daily Galazy, February 24, 2009
Japan's Maruyama Shigenori, one of the world's leading geophysicists, is working on a global formula for a vast new field of study that would include dozens of disciplines collaborating to produce an overall picture of the Earth.

Science Diplomacy for the 21st Century SEED Magazine, by Nina Fedoroff, February 2, 2009
In this year’s book, Friedman concedes that the flat world is also hot and crowded. He has begun to acknowledge the degradation and depredation of our planet by a very large and clever human population still growing in both numbers and affluence. He calls for a Green Revolution to strengthen America and to ameliorate global warming and biodiversity loss through conservation and clean energy innovations.


Some stats from Obama's energy budget 2009:

The $646 billion figure presumes that a U.S. law to limit carbon emissions will be in place by 2012.

Among other funding methods, here are some measures of the budget that will impact the environmental and energy sectors:

  • $17 billion - reinstate Superfund taxes
  • $5.3 billion - excise tax on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas
  • $3.4 billion - repeal expensing of tangible drilling costs
  • $62 million - repeal deduction for tertiary injectants
  • $49 million - repeal passive loss exception for working interests in oil and natural gas properties
  • $13 billion - repeal manufacturing tax deduction for oil and natural gas companies
  • $1 billion - increase to seven years geological and geophysical amortization period for independent producers"
At a very local level, plants matter. For those designing environments for creativity, consider this information…. for those wanting a healthy home, consider this, etc.

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