Merry Christmas

From Coffee Muses

A fifty year old Christmas Card greeting being sent from my family one more time just as it was in 1958. Merry Christmas all…

I’ll be doing the family bit for the next couple of days. Y’all enjoy the holiday and I’ll catch ya on the other side…

CO2, Methane and Climate

I’ve posted a few times on the global warming controversy (not that I see a controversy, but to be politically correct we’ll call it a controversy). I wanted to pass on this link from Daily Kos from Friday because it puts most of what I’ve been saying into a single well written piece.

Science Friday: Pale Blue Flame

Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 02:52:46 AM PDT

Despite the common notion that the earth is in the sweet spot with respect to our distance from the sun, the truth is we’re a little too far out. By the rights of simple thermal science, our planet should be locked in ice right now. And since our sun was even cooler in the past, the primeval earth should have quickly settled into a permanent, stable, snowball condition billions of years ago.

Go on over and check out the full post.

Buy local…Sustainable agriculture

I guess this is a prime reason for local sustainable agriculture if there ever was one…

Calif. Farm Firm Linked To Tainted Spinach – washingtonpost.com: “Federal health officials last night linked a deadly E. coli outbreak in bagged spinach products to a California farm company that sells organic produce in 74 percent of the country’s grocery stores.

Natural Selection Foods, widely known for its Earthbound Farm brand, yesterday recalled all its fresh spinach products, along with packaged salads.”

The really telling part of this story is that 74% of the organic produce in America comes from this one firm. I am really torn by this. On the one hand I am all for the organic movement in this country. I bought into the healthy soil – healthy food philosophy so long ago that I can’t remember not believing organics were better for you.

I personally eat Earthbound Farm’s Salads on a regular basis and have their Romain Lettuce in my refrigerator now. Will this change that? Probably not. Though I was surprised to learn the size of their operation…From their website

Serving as a catalyst for positive change

Earthbound Farm wants nothing less than to change the way America farms and the way America eats. Over the past 22 years, our land base has grown to 26,000 acres of organic farmland—much of that transitioned by Earthbound Farm.

Annually, Earthbound Farm’s organic farming:

  • Avoids the use of 267,000 pounds of toxic and persistent pesticides
  • Avoids the use of more than 8,400,000 pounds of synthetic fertilizers
  • Conserves nearly 1,381,000 gallons of petroleum by avoiding the use of petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers
  • Combats global warming because carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is absorbed by organic fields at the rate of 3,670 pounds per acre—and with our acreage, that’s the equivalent of taking more than 6,000 cars off the road each year!

Organic farming is a sustainable method of producing safe and nutritious food for many generations to come. At Earthbound Farm, we believe organic is the healthiest choice for people and the planet . . . that it’s truly “Food to live by.”

So, yea, I’ll probably keep buying their bagged salads until a local supply comes available. But like I said…even the organic farming movement has gone bigtime.

Today’s Walk

grass-sunset_0184

I went walking with my camera around sundown today. For the first time in days the sky is clear. We have had a “cold” front blow through and the weather folks are saying we should expect a couple of days of “autumn” weather. They are predicting a low tonight of…Maybe 68 degrees and the height tomorrow will be a moderate 89. I really can’t wait for the cool days of fall to hang around for a week or better before they run back north…Maybe next month.

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At least the hazy look of fall showed up for a day or too.

Have a great day…

New Camera and rainy weather

Don’t you know how it is…You get a new camera, the weather which has been dry for weeks turns stormy immediately…Here are some shots from my backyard this weekend.

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Along the path by Mustang Bayou…

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Mustang Bayou…

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Sights along the trail…

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End of the day…

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Have a great week…

Siberian thaw to speed up global warming

From the Observer | World we learn the Global Warming trend could be accelerating…

“The frozen bogs of Siberia are melting, and the thaw could have devastating consequences for the planet, scientists have discovered.

They have found that Arctic permafrost, which is starting to melt due to global warming, is releasing five times more methane gas than their calculations had predicted.”

Methane gas is becoming the unexpected final straw. Also a “greenhouse” gas, methane is coming to the fore as a harbinger of global climate change. Methane is a natural byproduct of decomposition, it is being produced all around us everyday and generally released into the air.

“…in the permafrost regions of Siberia and the Arctic the gas gets locked into the frozen soil, and over the millennia this has built up to create a vast reservoir of the gas.”

Add this to the fact that there are probably large amounts of methane held in the sediments on the floor of lakes and seas around the world. That methane is produced in the raising of rice by the decomposition of organic matter in the flooded fields.

Here is a graph of the growth in global methane between 1993 and 2002-

Something to think about on a Sunday morning…

Photo of the Day

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Sunset in the backyard

Playing with the new camera last evening. When I went out and set up to wait on the sunset there were many more clouds here. Unfortunately, they dissipated fairly quickly. I’m still learning the controls and settings…Thank god I can just delete the mistakes…

New Toy


The Drive to Work

I picked up the new Nikon yesterday evening, so now I’m digital.

On the way to work I was caught at a light around the corner from the office and this is what greeted me out the passenger window. I couldn’t move so I had to play…look for more as I get used to the new camera.. Posted by Picasa

Leon Hale: Fill ‘er Up?

Take a trip down memory lane (at least if you are anywhere near my age)…

Leon Hale: Fill ‘er Up?: “Fill ‘er Up?

Service stations? No, I’ve gone back to calling them filling stations because you go in and pump the gas yourself and if you want any help you pay extra.

But I remember service stations. In the ’50s I traded at a Humble Oil station near where I lived. Drive into that place and at least two guys would come out and they’d be in grinning good humor.”

A Climate Repair Manual — Global warming is a reality.

Fred at Fragments posted this link this morning. You should jump on over and check the article. I know I will be looking for the magazine at the B&N this week to read the rest.

Scientific American.com: A Climate Repair Manual:

“Translation of scientific consensus on climate change into a consensus on what should be done about it carries the debate into the type of political minefield that has often undercut attempts at international governance since the League of Nations. The U.S. holds less than 5 percent of the world’s population but produces nearly 25 percent of carbon emissions and has played the role of saboteur by failing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels.

Yet one of the main sticking points for the U.S.–the absence from that accord of a requirement that developing countries agree to firm emission limits–looms as even more of an obstacle as a successor agreement is contemplated to take effect when Kyoto expires in 2012. The torrid economic growth of China and India will elicit calls from industrial nations for restraints on emissions, which will again be met by even more adamant retorts that citizens of Shenzhen and Hyderabad should have the same opportunities to build their economies that those of Detroit and Frankfurt once did.”

In a earlier paragraph they telling point was:

The debate on global warming is over. Present levels of carbon dioxide–nearing 400 parts per million (ppm) in the earth’s atmosphere–are higher than they have been at any time in the past 650,000 years and could easily surpass 500 ppm by the year 2050 without radical intervention.

Too bad so much of our leadership has so much invested in the fossil fuel economy and doesn’t have the integrity to even ask the hard questions. American leadership is rapidly becoming an oximoron at the federal level. The stories in the news should give pause to those leaders in Washington though as the States begin to make the needed changes themselves and not wait for the corporate owned Federal Legislature to begin to move.

The problems the States face will be compounded by the fact that every time a State Legislature pushes for tighter controls the corporate owned Congress will protect the interests of their controllers.

Maybe it’s the “back-to-the-lander” in me that managed to hang thru the past 30 years of corporate life, but I still am convinced that we must change the way we live here in America. I guess the American Ideal I was raised with still lingers in the back of my soul. You know the one. It says we should be the shining example for the world to see. Somehow it got twisted by the greedy so that now we just appear as the abusers and users of the world.

Cross posted at Blues from the Red Side of Life

UnSATisfactory

UnSATisfactory: “THE DRAMATIC decline in SAT scores announced yesterday raises the issue of whether there is something wrong with the new test or, even more worrisome, with the lessons being taught in high schools.”

Could it be that the test has run up against “the Test”. Wouldn’t it be right about now that the teaching to the test in “no child left behind” begins to show results in the students taking the SAT tests? Just a thought…Being from Texas we have had the benefit of the Bush doctrine of education a little longer than most…