Pollution of a different kind

I just read this little Andy Rooney-esque rant on wired: [LINK]. It ends with a good line: "The world is noisy enough without adding completely useless aural pollution to the mix. So knock it off, wouldja?"

I agree. Noise pollution is out of control, both inside and outside cities. Living in LA has been a loud 4 years. Whenever I get away from the constant cacophony of loud, distracting noises, I am berated by a not-quite-white noise the fills the background. I live near the intersection of I-405 and I-10, and there the background drone is constant. At 4:00AM I wake up and hear traffic. At 9:00AM I wake up and hear traffic. The only relief is from other, louder noises.

That is all. We should learn to be quieter in all respects.


"Where's the beef?" ( or "Why vegetarians are just better people")

This is again off topic, but interesting in a tangential sort of way. It does seem like I've gone away from climate-related posts more and more as I became more and more dedicated to the idea of being a "topical" blog. Oh well.

Anyway, I just read a post by George Monbiot about beef in the UK and imported beef from Brazil. I like to read Monbiot because he's got references, but I also have to admit that I like to see things I know in print, e.g.,
We shouldn't be eating beef at all. Because the conversion efficiency of feed to meat is so low in cattle, there is no more wasteful kind of food production."

George Monbiot, Are You Paying to Burn the Rainforest? [LINK]

Basically, Monbiot is demonstrates a shortcoming of globalization. Even if people in Britain aren't directly buying Brazilian beef, or if they only buy some, the beef is getting exported from Brazil. Whether it goes to catering companies, stores, restaurants, dog-food companies, whatever, the beef is moving out of Brazil. That leaves less domestic beef in Brazil, which means there's more demand for beef production, and more impetus for people to burn down the Amazon to create pastures. By eating beef, people are indirectly burning down the Amazon. That destroys species, and might have serious large-scale environmental consequences.

[I had a paragraph here about how destroying the tropical rainforests could have far-reaching impacts on weather and climate, but I've decided to leave that for another time.]

Also, a couple lines in Monbiot's article about the treatment of workers on the beef ranches in Brazil reminded me of migrant farm workers in USA, especially California. For a quick introduction to that topic, check out Eric Schlosser's Reefer Madness, section 2.

If you happen to make it down to this point of the post, good for you! But also, I'm thinking about trying to organize my thoughts better for the blog. Right now it is whatever strikes my fancy, and then a few minutes of stream-of-consciousness writing. I've noticed that other blogs (some at least) have been doing a better job of writing a coherent "article," and that seems like a good idea. I'm not sure that I can really do it, but I'm thinking about trying. If you have any climate-related issues that you think I should tackle, leave a comment.


Tropical cyclone Stan

It was easy to miss the category 1 hurricane that made landfall in Central America a few days ago, mostly because the media in the USA doesn't report on storms that don't threaten Americans. ... um, well, that is North Americans.... um, I mean, well, I guess I mean people in the United States of America.

So while the tropical system called 'Tammy' is dumping some rain on the southeast, Stan dumped rain across central America, including large regions of deforested moutains. When forests are ripped out of the mountainsides, there's not much holding the top-soil down, and torrential rains can easily cause landslides. That's what is happening across the region now. Here's a link to a BBC article about the devastation: [LINK].

Also, according to Jeff Master's blog [LINK], there is a lot of unsettled activity in the tropical Atlantic, so look for Vince to form sometime next week. There's a good chance there will be more storms than names this year, meaning that it will be a banner year for Atlantic tropical cyclones.


Look out, even the cowboys are starting to believe

This post doesn't really have much content, since the story was already covered here, but a little website called YubaNet.com has a story about the German study [LINK] discussed previously [PermaLINK]. I just wanted to post this one because YubaNet.com is apparently a news website for northern California, where cowboys (yes, you could call them hicks) still often outnumber normal people. When they are reporting on climate change, we must be experiencing a social paradigm shift. Perhaps this is part of the pre-propoganda tactics that were mentioned on Rhinocrisy [LINK]. Eventually everyone will be comfortable with the idea that the world is warming, and maybe then we can do something about it. Of course, it might already be too late, as I think Geoge Monbiot believes [LINK].

I said, "Good day!"