The Viridian Design Movement

Subject: Viridian Note 00448: Viridian Current Events

Key concepts
Wildfires, droughts, green energy, crop failures, heat waves, insurers panicking, bizarre weather anomalies, artificial space rings, roaming deserts, business as usual
Attention Conservation Notice:
Following these links could consume a couple of days, maybe even a week.

(((I'm often mildly surprised when I examine my email and Google News and find the plethora of Viridian issues in the mainstream press. This week, it's climate change and green energy right left and center. The day approaches when, as a futurist, I get to declare victory and go home. Not that we get a victory over the Greenhouse -- I likely won't live long enough to see that -- but I'll definitely live long enough to see my 1990s fringe issue become the vital stuff of everyday discourse. And when that happens, it will behoove me to devote my small energies to some topic that's a bit more far-out.)))

(((FUTUREdition, one of my favorite email newsletters, hammers the issue relentlessly these days; they've made environmental developments one of their central areas of study. I like the way they are now citing Worldchanging.)))


Power Generating Microbes
Clearing Smoke May Trigger Global Warming Rise Insurers Sound the Alarm on Climate Change Slowing Currents Could Cause Catastrophe How Much Excess Fresh Water Was Added to the North Atlantic in Recent Decades? Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global Warming Desert dunes set to roam

Power Generating Microbes -- ( -- June 8, 2005)
Microbiologists report finding a species of bacteria able to both remediate some pretty nasty industrial chemicals and produce usable amounts of electricity while doing so. The technology could be used to assist in the reclamation of wastewaters, resulting in the removal of waste and generation of electricity. (((Wow.)))

Clearing Smoke May Trigger Global Warming Rise -- (New Scientist -- June 29, 2005)
Three top climate researchers claim that the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere should have warmed the world more than they have. The reason they have not, they say, is that the warming is being masked by sun-blocking smoke, dust and other polluting particles put into the air by human activity. Their best guess is that, as the mask is removed due to controls on pollution, temperatures will warm by at least 6 C by 2100.
(((Life is full of little ironies.)))

Insurers Sound the Alarm on Climate Change -- (Financial Times -- June 28, 2005)

Global climate changes are expected to influence financial markets and leaders are taking these risks into account when making decisions on insurance underwriting, investments, or credit. The cost worldwide of storms, expected to become more frequent owing to climate change, is likely to rise by two-thirds to 15bn ($27bn, 22bn) a year in the next seven decades according to the Association of British Insurers. Some of the costs, however, could be avoided by taking preventative measures including improved coastal defenses to reduce global annual damage.
(((Oh yeah. Coastal dikes everywhere. That sounds cheap and sensible, eh? They're gonna go broke and they're gonna sue Exxon.)))

Slowing Currents Could Cause Catastrophe -- (Stuff -- June 1, 2005)

Scientists have detected evidence of a slowdown in ocean currents that control climate across the globe, supporting earlier research on the threats of global warming. Without these currents, parts of the globe are expected to alter dramatically. The climate in Europe would cool significantly, while New Zealand would be warmer and more susceptible to exotic diseases, scientists suggest.
(((Pray it goes real, real slow.)))

How Much Excess Fresh Water Was Added to the North Atlantic in Recent Decades? -- (Science Daily -- June 19, 2005)
Large regions of the North Atlantic Ocean have been growing fresher since the late 1960s as melting glaciers and increased precipitation, both associated with greenhouse warming, have enhanced continental runoff into the Arctic and sub-Arctic seas. But, until now, the actual amounts and rates of fresh water accumulation have not been explicitly known. A new report shows patterns of fresh water accumulation over the past four decades suggesting a freshening threshold, important to the ocean circulation and its poleward transport of heat, could be reached in a century. (((This is the sort of thing that would actually repay "more study" if opponents of warming actually funded the "studies" they always cite.)))

Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global Warming -- (Live Science -- June 27, 2005)
A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes. The ring of particles or spacecraft casting a shadow on equatorial Earth might be kept in place by gravitationally significant shepherding spacecraft. They would herd the particles much like small moons keep Saturn's rings in place. (((Nutcase "solution" of the week, but it makes a certain sense if smoky pollution is already shading us in our own atmosphere -- because at least we wouldn't have to BREATHE a giant zillion-dollar homemade Saturnian ring.)))

Desert dunes set to roam -- (Nature -- June 29, 2005)
Sand dunes in the Kalahari Desert in Africa, which have been immobile for thousands of years, will soon start to move again, researchers warn. The wandering dunes may affect hundred of thousands of people in southern Africa. Scientists' simulations revealed a significant increase in dune activity in the southern Kalahari by 2039. By 2099, sand dunes throughout South Africa, Angola and Zambia will be on the move, they predict; such a phenomenon has not occurred in the past 14,000 to 16,000 years. (((Imagine watching this sinister, uncanny march!)))

(((Google News, late June 02005: green pork sweeps the Senate. The amount of bucks these Senators are waving is probably about as much as the fledgling Green energy sector could swallow without turning completely corrupt. I predict a greenwashed energy policy rapidly passed by both houses. These guys really don't want to go home this summer with booming gasoline prices and nothing coherent accomplished. No need to give links, I'll just cite the headlines for flavor.)))

Broad energy bill sweeps through Senate International Herald Tribune, France - 4 hours ago
WASHINGTON The Senate has overwhelmingly passed broad energy legislation. The bill's authors hope it strikes a balance between traditional ...

Senate OKs Energy Bill; House Fight Looms Washington Post, DC - 5 hours ago
By H. JOSEF HEBERT. WASHINGTON -- The Senate approved an energy bill Tuesday that was more favorable to conservation, wind farms ...

Senate energy bill set for showdown with House's plan San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 7 hours ago
Washington -- The Senate overwhelmingly backed a new national energy policy Tuesday that would provide more than $18 billion in tax breaks to spur more ...

Energy bill unlikely to help at the gas pump, critics say - Chicago Tribune, IL - 7 hours ago
By William Neikirk. WASHINGTON -- With the price of oil hovering near record levels and gasoline prices showing little sign of easing ...

Energy Bill Passes Senate With Bipartisan Support Los Angeles Times, CA - 10 hours ago
The measure encourages alternative resources more than the House's plan does. Bush calls for a compromise version before the August recess....

Senate OKs bipartisan energy bill Seattle Times, WA - 10 hours ago
By Justin Blum. WASHINGTON ? The Senate yesterday overwhelmingly approved an energy bill that would provide tax breaks and incentives...

Senate's energy bill heads for conference, MI - 12 hours ago
Measure promises to boost supplies of oil, gas, but have little impact on gasoline costs. WASHINGTON -- The Senate overwhelmingly...

Senate Passes Bill That Strives to Balance Oil and Alternatives - New York Times, NY - 15 hours ago
WASHINGTON, June 28 - The Senate overwhelmingly passed broad energy legislation on Tuesday, with its authors hoping the bill strikes a balance between...

High-octane energy fight
Christian Science Monitor - 20 hours ago

The Senate passes a version of energy legislation long sought by Bush, but it differs sharply from the House bill. By Gail Russell...

Senate passes energy bill, House talks loom, UK - 23 hours ago
By Chris Baltimore. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a wide-ranging energy bill that doubles....

Energy bill step closer to 'a national policy' Financial Times, UK - 23 hours ago
By Holly Yeager in Washington. The Senate on Tuesday approved a broad energy bill, setting the stage for negotiations with the House...

Senate Energy Bill Strong on Renewable Energy, NH - 1 hour ago
by Jesse Broehl, Editor, Washington, DC [] On Tuesday, the United States Senate....

Senate Passes Cleaner Energy Bill WebProNews, KY - 3 hours ago
The Senate passed an energy bill by large numbers yesterday to provide tax incentives to domestic energy companies in the hopes of encouraging oil and natural....

(((Another news source I treasure.)))

World Environment News - June 29th, 2005 from Planet Ark


US Senate Passes Energy Bill, House Talks Loom


Sales of Hybrid, Diesel Cars Seen Surging in United States
(((hallelujah, I got mine, Jack)))


Global Warming to Raise Storm Damage Costs - Insurers


Climate Changes to Push Up Insurance Fees - Allianz


Finance Giant Allianz wants G8 Climate Change Move
(((Even the oil biz doesn't have an infinite pocketbook.)))


Russia Signs First Kyoto Project, More Seen
(((I frankly doubt that the scarily incompetent Bush Administration could do anything coherent and useful with Kyoto even if they signed the treaty.)))


France to Host World's First Nuclear Fusion Plant
(((It won't work, but that never bothers the French.)))

(((Meanwhile, Europe is frying. This will happen every summer henceforth and it will get a lot more intense before it can possibly get any better.)))


EU Grain Crop Dented by Early Summer Heatwave
(((What will they eat?)))


G8 Leaders' Cars to Use Eco-Fuel made from Straw
(((The Emperors' New Clothes, woven from straw Rumpelstiltskin-style.)))

'World Environment News' is copyright (c) Planet Ark 2004 All headlines are copyright (c) Reuters 2004

To unsubscribe, either visit our website
or send a blank message to
with 'unsubscribe' as the subject

(((More Google-headline weather mayhem.)))

Italy heatwave kills at least 16
CNN International - 2 hours ago
ROME, Italy (AP) -- At least 16 people, mostly elderly, have died in northern Italy over the past two days from causes linked to a weeklong heat wave, with....

Italy plans state of emergency to counter sizzling weather
Xinhua, China - 3 hours ago
ROME, June 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The Italian government is considering declaring a state of emergency in parts of the country as fears grow that a heat wave may...

(((Imagine Italy denouncing CIA agents for rogue kidnapping during a climate-caused state of emergency. That really sounds like a farfetched futurist scenario. To have lived to see the day, eh? Wow!)))

Italian heatwave "puts one million people at risk" Reuters AlertNet, UK - Jun 28, 2005 By Robin Pomeroy. ROME, June 28 (Reuters) - A heat wave in Italy has put the health of one million people at risk and the government.?;

(((Huge Spanish drought this year.)))

Spain's Drought Hurts Farmers, Boosts Inflation Rate (Update1) ((("Greenhouse Inflation," interesting development there.)))
Bloomberg - Jun 15, 2005
June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Spain's worst drought in more than 50 years is hurting farmers and boosting food prices, making it harder for the government to rein in....

Spain's drought strangles farming Billings Gazette, MT - Jun 18, 2005 Although the millions of tourists visiting Spain's coasts this summer may not realize it ... In the 1990s a five-year drought hit harvests and triggered a bitter ...

Europe Suffers as Mercury Soars
Deutsche Welle, Germany - Jun 29, 2005 In Spain, meanwhile, seven regions have reacted to the drought by curtailing the water supply. Water pressure was reduced along....

Spain's worst drought just the start as deserts spread Financial Times, UK - Jun 27, 2005 A severe drought in Spain, the worst since records began in 1947, is playing havoc with livelihoods, sparking forest fires and threatening millions of tourists ...

(((Could get lively this summer here in Los Angeles, too. A very wet, stormy winter, lots of brush growth, huge areas of trees already killed by a hyperactive bark beetle. That all adds up. And it's gonna keep adding up, no matter how vociferously it's denied and no matter how may vested interests come to harm.)))

LA's Rainy Season Was Wettest in More Than a Century Los Angeles Times, CA - Jun 29, 2005 ...of how to deal with too little, such as fires. John Todd, an assistant chief with the Los Angeles County Fire ... Right now, the moisture content in the brush is up ...

Brush Fires Threaten Homes In Southern California, CT - Jun 22, 2005
...the fire's burning in a "very inhabited area" about a hundred miles east of Los Angeles. But firefighters said most homeowners have cleared brush away from ...

Brush Fire Grows but No Evacuations Yet Los Angeles Times, CA - 18 hours ago ...brush fire had grown to 167,000 acres as it continued to burn southwest of the mountain communities of Pine and Strawberry. Fire crews were setting back fires...

Crews battle fires along 57
OCRegister (subscription), CA - Jun 26, 2005 BREA ? A series of spot brush fires that burned on both sides of the Orange-Los Angeles county line were quickly extinguished Saturday after briefly...

Brush fire precautions urged as early season feared Los Angeles Daily News, CA - Jun 24, 2005 ...The San Bernardino County fires in the desert east of Los Angeles burned at least six homes. A number of smaller brush fires broke out in the Antelope Valley ...

(((The summary in LA:)))

It was the worst storm damage since the mid- to late 1990s. The El Nino period of December 1996 and January 1997 caused eight deaths and $1.8 billion damage, Lamoureux said. The next winter saw 17 deaths and $550 million in damages.

But the threat spawned by from this year's storms isn't over. They have left a legacy of fire.

The rain grew a bumper-crop of brush on hillsides and in wildlands. Extensive growth in the deserts has fed wildfires that already have blackened tens of thousands of acres and destroyed about a dozen homes.

"We heard stories of the beautiful wildflowers that were covering the desert. But when summer comes along, the flowers are going to die out," said Jim Wright, chief of fire protection for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O

Go back to the Viridian Design home page.