Book Review: A Planet for the President

A Planet for the President, by Alistair Beaton, showed up in the remainder bin at BookPeople in Austin, and thus, inevitably, followed me home.

It’s a dark comedy by a British writer about a US President of the conservative stripe (the name of his party is never mentioned but is obvious) and his cabinet finally coming to terms with the unsustainability of the American lifestyle on a crowded world. [more]

Major Cuts to Environment Canada

From a promising young researcher at the University of Toronto. James emphasizes that he is speaking for himself here, independently of his supervisor and his department.

Canadians, especially, please take note.

Over the past several months we have seen major cuts to Environment Canada that have left it without any real scientific or research power. [more]

Is There a Swarm Solution?

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/12772935 w=400&h=225]

Coalition Of The Willing from coalitionfilm on Vimeo.

It’s a stupid name; about grass roots environmentalism rather than about wars of invasion.

It starts off strong and then gets into some frantic handwaving and saccharine and not entirely well-grounded reassurance and encouragement.

I honestly don’t think the swarm they describe will be enough. [more]

Daily Rainfall Record Exceeded By 60%


While we’re caught in futile waiting for our first raindrop in over a month and perhaps our fourth rain event of the year here in Austin, the northeast continues to be drastically, roll-a-13-ishly wet.

Jeff Masters, as usual, has the scoop:

An extreme rainfall event unprecedented in recorded history has hit the Binghamton, New York area, where 7.49″ fell yesterday. [more]

Another Anthropogenic Forcing

Rick Perry, among his other interesting attributes, has managed to unbalance the state budget of Texas, you know, the state with the miracle economy, to the tune of $2.5e10/annum; yes that is twenty-five billion dollars. Consequently, the forest service and the volunteer fire departments were among the services substantially defunded as of September 1, and some professional firefighters just recently lost their jobs. [more]

More on Fires

An excellent piece on the Texas fire situation at Texas Climate News.

“In rapidly growing population areas like Austin, as more and more of the desirable land fills up, you get kind of a pushing in and a pressure to build in the zone that everybody knows you shouldn’t be building in,” says George Rogers, a senior research fellow at Texas A&M University’s Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center. [more]

A Recent Comment About Lost Pines

Andy S said…

I believe the loblolly pine forest is a good indicator of long-term climate trends. They and their long tap roots are sensitive to long term soil moisture levels. The lost pines of Bastrop are there because it’s an island of sandy soil that is permissive so that more of the region’s rainfall is available for tree growth versus becoming surface runoff. [more]

Foley says the same thing twice

My classmate Jon Foley has an interesting presentation, and it’s mostly true and important, so admittedly everything actually should be said at least twice.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJhgGbRA6Hk&w=560&h=345]

So he does.

I wonder about the presentation. Which is more effective, the twelve minute talk with images or the four minute screed-toon without much evidence. [more]