This Tuesday, as President Barack Obama and other world leaders addressed the United Nations on the need to tackle global warming, some entrepreneurs hoped to demonstrate their own solution. Notably, this solution allows humanity — at least those who are sufficiently wealthy — to completely ignore climate change. The Yes Men displayed SurvivaBalls, self-contained survival suits impervious to the ravages of global warming, on the banks of the East River:
When the planet heats up, it will be time to slip into something more comfortable – like the SurvivaBall. A self-heating, self-cooling and self-powered pod, the SurvivaBall is designed by top scientists to weather all of the effects of climate change to keep its user alive through catastrophe. Even though it makes its occupant resemble a giant tick, it’s also luxurious – “Like a gated community for one,” claims the SurvivaBall’s site. And only for the low price of $100 million!
Although the demonstrators of “Halliburton’s solution to global warming” hoped to reach the United Nations headquarters, they were detained by New York City police. However, CNN’s Jeannie Moos was able to file a report on the pranksters’ novel approach to a planet under siege. Watch it:
Just as Yes Men activists were detained on Monday “when they handed their own version of the New York Post (headline: ‘We’re screwed!‘) to the paper’s conservative owner, Rupert Murdoch, the group’s founder was arrested during the roll-out of the SurvivaBall.” After all charges were dropped, Yes Men founder Andy Bichlbaum has been released.
Huffington Post‘s Jason Linkins interviews Andy Bichlbaum about the New York Post action, the new Yes Men Fix the World movie, and how his group is beating the media at their own game.
A wall of dust stretched from northern Queensland to the southern tip of eastern Australia on the morning of September 23, 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image [see amazing photo below]. The dust is thick enough that the land beneath it is not visible. The storm, the worst in 70 years, led to canceled or delayed flights, traffic problems, and health issues, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News. The concentration of particles in the air reached 15,000 micrograms per cubic meter in New South Wales during the storm, said ABC News. A normal day sees a particle concentration 10-20 micrograms per cubic meter.
Watts also points out a bright side: “dust headed to sea has an unappreciated benefit – it will fertilize the ocean with its mineral rich dust.” Yes, the record drought wipes out land-based crops, and we’re in the process of poisoning the oceans for millennia, but hey, a massive Dust Bowl may create “some interesting blooms of sea life in the weeks to come.”
Strong winds blew the dust from the interior to more populated regions along the coast. In this image, the dust rises in plumes from point sources and concentrates in a wall along the front of the storm. The large image shows that some of the point sources are agricultural fields, recognizable by their rectangular shape. Australia has suffered from a multiple-year drought, and much of the dust is coming from fields that have not been planted because of the drought, said ABC News.
Here’s the amazing satellite picture of the Wall of Dust [click to enlarge]:
Trying to burnish its international reputation as it prepares for a major climate conference, India is considering adoption of curbs on carbon emissions that it has long resisted.
India had thus far rejected emission cuts, declaring that they would compromise the populous nation’s economic growth, even as developed countries criticized its intransigence. But under a proposed national law, India may set limits on greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decade, focusing on energy efficiency, new building codes, clean energy and fuel economy standards.
India’s leadership hopes that by acting on its own, rather than responding to what are likely to be tough demands from other countries during the December climate conference in Copenhagen, the measures will garner more domestic support.
“We have to take up bold new responsibilities that we have evaded so far,” Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister, said at a recent trade conference. “But if we want durable political consensus, then it has to be rooted in domestic legislation and not in an international agreement.”
The cuts would be a national goal; they would be neither an internationally binding commitment nor open to international verification. Still, Ramesh said he hoped that the measures would portray India as a “positive player” in climate talks.
India’s emerging economic might and global ambitions are nudging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an Oxford-educated economist, to be more mindful of the nation’s image. His aides say he wants India to engage with the world in a way that befits its aspiration to be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and have greater say in the running of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
UPDATE: Here is the EPA letter against the latest version of the Murkowski amendment.
UPDATE2: She is on the Senate floor right now (12:53) throwing in the towel and defending her absurd proposal. Now she claims there is a “rush” to pass a Senate climate bill — after 12 years of doing nothing.
UPDATE3: Murkowski says she will “working in good faith” with those in the Senate trying to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill. She says she has cosponsored cap-and-trade legislation. Claims the Senate energy bill would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which isn’t true.
UPDATE3: Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) smacks down Murkowski at great length, saying “we can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand on climate change” and if you don’t want the EPA to take action, then the only alternative is cap-and-trade. “Global warming is real…. it’s happening all over the world.” Attacks the “Flat Earth Society” who opposes action.
“You know the old saying, if you put a frog into boiling water, he’s going to jump right out, because he’s scalding hot, but if you place the frog in lukewarm water and gradually raise the temperature, it won’t realize what’s happening and die?”
We strongly disagree with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change legislation and particularly reject its recent theatrics calling for a ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ to put the science of climate change on trial. We believe the science is compelling enough to act sooner rather than later, and we support comprehensive federal legislation to meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect customers against unreasonable cost increases.
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