Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fukushima pets in no-go zone face harsh winter

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) - Dogs and cats that were abandoned in the Fukushima exclusion zone after last year's nuclear crisis have had to survive high radiation and a lack of food, and they are now struggling with the region's freezing winter weather.
"If left alone, tens of them will die everyday. Unlike well-fed animals that can keep themselves warm with their own body fat, starving ones will just shrivel up and die," said Yasunori Hoso, who runs a shelter for about 350 dogs and cats rescued from the 20-km evacuation zone around the crippled nuclear plant.
The government let animal welfare groups enter the evacuation zone temporarily in December to rescue surviving pets before the severe winter weather set in, but Hoso said there were still many more dogs and cats left in the area.
"If we cannot go in to take them out, I hope the government will at least let us go there and leave food for them," he said.
A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami on March 11 triggered the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years and forced residents around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to flee, with many of them having to leave behind their pets.
More than 150,000 people from Fukushima prefecture still cannot return to their homes, with nearly half of them from the exclusion zone.
While Japan focuses on containing the nuclear accident and protecting people from radiation, Hoso, representative director of United Kennel Club Japan, has been trying to save as many dogs and cats from the no-go zone as possible, or keep pets for those who are living in shelters where pets are not allowed.
Toru Akama, an engineer working at the Fukushima nuclear plant, asked Hoso to look after his 14 dogs when an entry ban was imposed on his town.
"I was really happy for my dogs. They are part of my family. There was no way I could abandon them," Akama said.
Hoso said he aims to carry on until the last dog in his shelter is returned to its owner or finds a new home.
"When dogs are returned, many owners are really grateful and a limited few are not so grateful. But when it comes to dogs, all of them, without exception, become really ecstatic when they get reunited with their owners," Hoso said.
"That is what keeps me going, what makes me determined that I have to push ahead until the last one goes back to its owner."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peak Oil and the economy

Even with large supplies of coal and natural gas, the world faces a potential energy shortfall, one reason that the U.S. Department of Energy suggested in a 2005 report (pdf) that a "crash program" to cope with any decline in oil supplies be instituted. The report argued this program should start 20 years before peak global production to avoid "extreme economic hardship." That's because it will take decades for any kind of energy transition to occur, as evidenced by past shifts such as from wood to coal or coal to oil.

In fact, King and Murray argue that global economic growth itself may be impossible without a concurrent growth in energy supply (that is, more abundant fossil fuels, to date). "We need to decouple economic growth from fossil-fuel dependence," King adds. "This is not happening due to industrial, infrastructural, political and human behavioral inertia. We are stuck in our ways."

Has the 'Era of Easy Oil' Ended?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Guernica / Christian Parenti: Why Climate Change Will Make You Love Big Government

In the face of an unraveling climate system, there is no way that private enterprise alone will meet the threat. And though small “d” democracy and “community” may be key parts of a strong, functional, and fair society, volunteerism and “self-organization” alone will prove as incapable as private enterprise in responding to the massive challenges now beginning to unfold.

Guernica / Christian Parenti: Why Climate Change Will Make You Love Big Government

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Global warming: Welcome to the age of mankind

Global warming: Welcome to the age of mankind

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Off topic somewhat

This will be interesting to anyone following the OWS movement.
Slightly wonkish, but stick it out. The question and answer session is pretty awesome.
Simon Johnson, Lawrence Fish discuss 'Financial Services: Prospects for Your Future'

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Random Rant

 We who follow climate change and the depletion of Earth's resources often decry the fact that the general population of the planet appears to be blithely ignorant of the pending catastrophe.

If we continue BAU we're headed for as much as 7C warming in the next 90 years. That level of warming threatens civilization as we know it. It is as scary as things get.

We think a black swan event will wake them up.  But then it occurred to me we might go from an ignorant population to a  panicked one. That could be dangerous!

It also occurred to me that if scientists really think we are on the path of destruction of Earth as we know her they would do something more than they are doing. Like taking our full page ads in all the major papers all over the globe:

Get off fossil fuels or else millions will die!

I think in the next two or three decades we'll see farms abandon because of monsoonal rains and subsequent floods happening every year instead of every 100. Here. In the US.

Here's one of the reasons I started this blog. How are we going to pay for this stuff and still pay for other essentials?