NYC 17 Sep 2023
What are we fighting for? The Earth! Or more precisely, all of the
people who inhabit the Earth. Carbon
become a serious pollutant that's
heating up the planet. The highest
safe level of carbon in
the atmosphere is 350 parts per million (ppm). We're currently at about
420 ppm. The result is not some future projection. The consequences are right
Curiously, Carbon Dioxide doesn't settle evenly over the planet, but
is more concentrated over some areas than over others.
time-lapse picture here shows the amount of it increasing to
What's the actual effect of human-caused climate change? It's not good.
in the Midwest is contributing to record low river levels on the
Mississippi that allows saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico
upriver as far as New Orleans, threatening the drinking water supply of
hundreds of thousands of people. Salt water is not only not potable but
it can wreak havoc on drinking water infrastructure.
Renewable energy supplied a record of 69.2 percent of Germany’s public
net electricity generation in July 2023, according to data by research
institute Fraunhofer ISE.
Curiously, the number of people in the Philadelphia Climate March was only about 100. This march
was estimated to be 75k! I can beliece it. We sat around, saying "When
is it going to start?" and were told it HAD started, but it took a
while for the rest of the crowd to get moving!
Biden in Hanoi, 12Sep2023:
The president then waxed a bit philosophical, underscoring that such
green foreign aid is essential because “the only existential threat
humanity faces even more frightening than a — than a nuclear war is
global warming going above 1.5 degrees in the next 20 — 10 years. We’re —
that’d be real trouble. There’s no way back from that.”
Here's some very good environmental news!
Renewable energy, wind and solar primarily, is intermitent, which means
batteries are extremely important to prevent power outages. Lithium is
a very important element in batteries, but the supply of lithium is
limited, more bcause people haven't been looking for it as long as
they've been looking for oil, but it's in limited supply. Zinc,
on the other hand, is plentiful and it can be reccled!
Sigh! So, we're on shutdown watch. There have been three this century,
one in 2013 and two in 2018. Republican John Boehner was the Speaker of
the House for the first and Republican Paul Ryan was the Speaker for
the other two. Republican Kevin McCarthy is the Speaker this
time. Earlier, the House under McCarthy threatened a debt limit default. So if the Republican-led House now wants to hold America for ransom, what's the ransom note say?
The Hill says:
The plan, dubbed the Spending Reduction and Border Security Act, would
extend funding through the end of October but impose across-the-board
cuts of about 30 percent — with exemptions for national defense, the
Departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, and for funding
designated disaster relief.
Music and beats of all sorts.
Is the Republican House at all interested in peventing a shutdown? Doesn't appear like it.
The House dosn't appear to realize that if they can't get their bill
through the Senate, then they're just wasting their time doing a
"messaging bill" that communicaes with, and excites, their base voters
but that does nothing to actually solve any problems. Across-the-board
cuts of 30% may sound great to ideological opponents of "Big
government," but there's no desire among the Americn people to reduce the size of government. Those who wish to make drastic cuts essentialy have
to do so by force. If the Republican right-wing Freedom Caucus people
want to convince Americans to accept smaller government, they have a long way to go!
Unfortunaely the media, with their "BothSides" approach, that is, they beliece that in every issue, both sides have legitimate arguments. Which is true in many cases, but not in every case. Sometimes, you DO have a right and a wrong side where there is no symmetry between the two sides. The approaching government shutdow is a case where the Republican House is wholly and completely to blame. The blogger wrote the following a decade ago. Yep! Still true!
When the political leadership of this country is incapable of even
keeping the government open, a political course correction is in order.
But how can democracy self-correct if the public does not understand
where the problem lies? And where will the pressure for change come from
if journalists do not hold the responsible parties accountable?
Commentary on the scandal
of the Canadian Speaker of the House who introduced a 98-year old
Ukrainian for the gathering to applaud. Oops! Turns out he was in the
Nazi Waffen SS! The Speaker promptly resigned.
Ukraine has chopped out a salient in the Robotyne-Verbove direction. Russians don't appear to be able to keep it from gowing. A former infantry oficer responds to a commenter noticing that Ukraine's forces haven't moved very far in the past several monts.
are taking casualties but are taking out more Russians by a signficant
ratio. The last couple of weeks have seen AFU penetrate the big
minefield field and the first two defensive lines. They are operating
with heavy vehicle south of Verbove now. Only 10 km for cutting off the
landbridge connection to Crimea by artillery fire. They have trapped
the Russians in Bakhmut. Russian artillery losses are absolutely
staggering. This is setting up faster AFU advances now.
Under the subtitle "Ukraine’s counterbattery fire continues to improve,"
the blogger claims that Russia is producing about 200 artillery piece a
month. Unfortunately for Russi though, Ukraine has eliminated more than
that each month since March of this year, with numbers really jumping
as of May and hitting 800 this month. A report for September 27th shows
38 pieces taken out in a single day!
As to Republican sentiment on Ukraine:
...there's a division within the Republican Party between
internationalists, like Nikki Haley, who support Ukraine and are
concerned about Russian aggression spreading in the so-called
American-first wing, of course, led by former President Trump.
Of course, Trump is so far ahead, that his view will ulimately prevail,
but it's heartening to see that the party has not settled into a hard
anti-Ukraine position yet. As it is, opposition to supporting Ukraine appears to be growing. Opposition members (All Repblican) in March 2022 were only 15. This latest vote was 93
I did a report on what's been going on with Israel/Palestine
for the last few years and gave it as a lecture to my congregation. One
interesting thing was that for a short time, a small Palestinian party
allowed the opposition to Netanyahu take the majority. They didn't get
a whole lot in terms of policy chanes, but they managed to get a few
modest ones. Mostly in terms of getting money allocated to their needs.
Lined up, preparing to march!
End of the march, with speeches from the big screen.
Relaxing and chilling.