Monday, September 24, 2007

100 Top Effects of Global Warming

Center for American Progress reports on the effects of Global Warming.

Global Warming Wrecks All the Fun

Say Goodbye to French Wines
Wacky temperatures and rain cycles brought on by global warming are threatening something very important: Wine. Scientists believe global warming will “shift viticultural regions toward the poles, cooler coastal zones and higher elevations.” What that means in regular language: Get ready to say bye-bye to French Bordeaux and hello to British champagne. [LA Times]

Say Goodbye to Light and Dry Wines
Warmer temperatures mean grapes in California and France develop their sugars too quickly, well before their other flavors. As a result, growers are forced to either a) leave the grapes on the vines longer, which dramatically raises the alcoholic content of the fruit or b) pick the grapes too soon and make overly sweet wine that tastes like jam. [Washington Post]

Say Goodbye to Pinot Noir
The reason you adore pinot noir is that it comes from a notoriously temperamental thin-skinned grape that thrives in cool climates. Warmer temperatures are already damaging the pinots from Oregon, “baking away” the grape’s berry flavors. [Bloomberg]

Say Goodbye to Baseball
The future of the ash tree—from which all baseball bats are made—is in danger of disappearing, thanks to a combination of killer beetles and global warming. [NY Times]

Say Goodbye to Christmas Trees
The Pine Bark Beetle, which feeds on and kills pine trees, used to be held in control by cold winter temperatures. Now the species is thriving and killing off entire forests in British Columbia, unchecked. [Seattle Post Intelligencer]

Say Goodbye to the Beautiful Alaska Vacation
Warmer weather allowed Spruce Bark Beetles to live longer, hardier lives in the forests of Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, where they killed off a section of spruce forest the size of Connecticut. [Alaska Science Forum]

Say Goodbye to Fly Fishing
As water temperatures continue to rise, researchers say rainbow trout, "already at the southern limits” of their temperature ranges in the Appalachian mountains, could disappear there over the next century. [Softpedia]

Say Goodbye to Ski Competitions
Unusually warmer winters caused the International Ski Federation to cancel last year’s Alpine skiing World Cup and opening races in Sölden, Austria. Skiers are also hard-pressed now to find places for year-round training. Olympic gold medalist Anja Paerson: “Of course we’re all very worried about the future of our sport. Every year we have more trouble finding places to train.” [NY Times]

Say Goodbye to Ski Vacations
Slopes on the East Coast last year closed months ahead of time due to warmer weather, some losing as much as a third of their season. [Washington Post]

Say Hello to Really Tacky Fake Ski Vacations
Weiner Air Force and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey are building a year-round ski resort in Texas, with “wet, white Astroturf with bristles” standing in for snow to make up for all the closed resorts around the country. [WSJ]

Say Goodbye to That Snorkeling Vacation
The elkhorn coral which used to line the floor of the Caribbean are nearly gone, “victims of pollution, warmer water and acidification from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide seeping into oceans.” [Denver Post]

Say Goodbye to That Tropical Island Vacation
Indonesia's environment minister announced this year that scientific studies estimate about 2,000 of the country's lush tropical islands could disappear by 2030 due to rising sea levels. [ABC News]

Say Goodbye to Cool Cultural Landmarks
The World Monuments Fund recently added “global warming” as a threat in their list of the top 100 threatened cultural landmarks. “On Herschel Island, Canada, melting permafrost threatens ancient Inuit sites and a historic whaling town. In Chinguetti, Mauritania, the desert is encroaching on an ancient mosque. In Antarctica, a hut once used by British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott has survived almost a century of freezing conditions but is now in danger of being engulfed by increasingly heavy snows.” [AP]

Say Goodbye to Salmon Dinners
Get ready for a lot more chicken dinners: Wild pacific salmon have already vanished from 40 percent of their traditional habitats in the Northwest and the NRDC warns warmer temperatures are going to erase 41 percent of their habitat by 2090. [ENS]

Read it all here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sustainability is bad

The blog Good things to Eat comments on the new trend of sustainable luxury.
There's a vile new trend of "sustainable luxury" blemishing our so-called civilization, perpetuating our fantasy of cake that is both had and eaten.

Most of what the first world does is "sustainable," meaning it can go on and on. We have enough money and weapons to ensure that we can continue having more than our share of everything for as long as we want it. It can and will be sustained--at a cost to everyone else.

But that aside...

The idea of sustainable luxury presumes, first of all, that luxury is something essential. Absurd--the very definition of luxury is excess, something beyond what is needed. Spa-sellers and foot-rubbers have taken advantage of the purposeless feeling that comes with having too much by birthright to convince us that we need a weekend in a soaking tub, a nice hot wrap in a banana leaf. We don't. We don't need grand hotels, beachfront condos, jumbo jets or foie gras. They're luxury--in fact, they are gluttony.

Read is all HERE

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Thoughts on Eco-Religion

The Environmentalist writes on the role of religion in the "green" movement.

...environmentalism is not a Hollywood intellectual property. While the environment may have become topic du jour for some and a near religious calling for others, it is a religious issue for this Grist list of 15 "green" religious leaders that includes: the Patriarch of Eastern Orthodoxy, the Dalai Lama, an Episcopal Reverend, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Pope, the leader of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology, an Australian theologian, the head of the American Rabbis' Committee on the Environment, a Dominican Nun, a member of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, a Unitarian reverend, a Methodist theologian, and Father Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest who refers to himself as a 'Geologian.'

The comments on the Grist article are worthy of review, as well. They include suggestions for the list from other countries/world religions that are making a significant contribution.

And there's the robust environmental movement of South Asia (India, Nepal...) and Harvard's FORE (Forum on Religion and Ecology) research into the environmental traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Indigenous American Indians, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Which all goes to say that those who label environmentalism as a religion in the hope that it will invalidate the movement are as out of touch with reality as those who cite religion as an obstacle to environmentalism. The truth is the environmental movement is as diverse as humanity itself. It includes those who are deeply religious, those for whom the environment has become a religion, those who keep their religion to themselves while they seek to validate the science and those whose need to deny climate change may have become a religion, as well.

It is a global epiphany.

Read it all here.