Thursday, January 9, 2014

Understanding Global Warming: Oceans are the Engine that Drives Climate

Aurora Borealis from the space stataion
(NASA)
Global warming refers to the rise in temperatures at the surface of the earth causing changes in the ocean currents. You may remember lots of discussion about El Nino changing off the coast of Peru. Since the oceans are the engine that drives climate even a small rise in temp at the earth's surface has an effect on climate.

Weather is an element of climate but it is not the same as climate. Weather is rain, hot temps, tornadoes, freezing temps, etc. that the meteorologist explains for us each day about our local area. The weather trends have been changing over a few decades as global warming at the ocean's surface causes a shift in the climate.

The reason carbon dioxide (CO2) is mentioned more than the other greenhouse gasses is because the places that absorbed atmospheric CO2 in the past are disappearing (like the Amazon forest). During certain periods of earth's history the ocean is the largest sink for CO2. When the carbon sinks are full or missing, the CO2 remains in the atmosphere which increases the greenhouse effect and in turn that adds to the small increments of increased temps at the earth's surface. The carbon cycle is critical to all life on earth and should be kept in balance for high quality living conditions.


For a more careful explanation of the terms used see Global Warming and Climate Change: Cause and Effect 

Alternative energy sources that do not require fossil fuels are available in many forms, as many as the human brain can devise.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Politics Podcasts with Vicki Chats on BlogTalkRadio
Christmas Day in Palestine.

The Abu Sbeikhah family home today. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem.
The Abu Sbeikhah family home today. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem.
B’Tselem held initial inquiries into the Israeli response to yesterday’s killing of Israeli civilian Salah Abu Latif who was killed by a Gazan sniper yesterday. Among other actions, a tank fired three shells at the two-story home of the Abu Sbeikhah family. Their home is located in an agricultural area in al-Maghazi Refugee Camp, approximately 500 meters from the Gaza perimeter fence. The shelling killed toddler Hala Abu Sbeikhah (2 years, 8 months old) while she was playing in the yard of the family home. Hala’s aunt and two young cousins sustained injuries. The Abu Sbeikhahs reported that the military had been known to warn residents by loudspeaker of impending operational activity in the area and, accordingly, order them to vacate their homes. Yesterday’s shelling, however, was preceded by no warning.
B’Tselem does not know the reasoning for the tank’s firing at the Abu Sbeikhah home. Hala’s uncle, who was outside during the firing, said there was no activity by armed Palestinians in the area at the time. The IDF Spokesperson announcement did not state the proposed object of the strike, apart from the laconic description of the attack on the central Gaza Strip as aimed at “a core of terrorist activity and terrorist infrastructure”. The IDF announcement also stated that “the targets were seen to have been hit precisely,” yet to the best of B’Tselem’s knowledge, the only casualties in of the military attack were the four members of the Abu Sbeikhah family. The IDF Spokesperson’s announcement did not address the harsh results of the shells fired.
Deliberate firing at a home occupied by civilians, without its inhabitants having been given any prior warning and without the military ensuring that the civilians have vacated the premises, as appears to be the case in this situation, is unlawful. The military must launch an immediate investigation of the incident, including questioning those directly responsible for firing the shells as well as the senior commanders who ordered the attack. 
The Abu Sbeikhah family home today. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem.
The Abu Sbeikhah family home today. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem.
Also in response, the Israeli military yesterday closed Kerem Shalom Crossing, thereby barring the export of 16 tons of strawberries and 100,000 flowers scheduled for shipping to Europe. Hundreds of families are dependent for their livelihood on the sale of this produceabroad. The farmers will have no choice but to sell their goods locally at great financial loss. Moreover, according to information provided by Israeli NGO Gisha (Legal Center for Freedom of Movement) the military has also not allowed through hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel for the electric plant and the private sector. The fuel has not been allowed into Gaza despite the dire humanitarian situation there and the serious shortage of electricity and fuel at a time when the damage by the recent storms has not been overcome.
Closing the crossing constitutes a collective punitive measure of the entire population of the Gaza Strip which violates the basic tenets of law and justice.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

what to do to aid gaza

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of 

Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports from Gaza

What You Can Do

1. Urge U.S. government officials and United Nations representatives to tell Israel and Egypt to open the crossings to the Gaza Strip. 
Contact:
John Kerry, U.S. State Department: Call 202-647-4000, select option 4 and ask the operator for the comment line.
Your elected officials: 
Visit “Vital Activist Resources” on our Web site 
Contact your member of Congress in the House of Representatives andSenate or call Congress 202-224-3121 or email through .
President Barack Obama: Call  202-456-1414  or Fax: 202-456-2461 or e-mail e-mail President Obama
Office of Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations   

Office of  Ban Ki-Moon
Fill out the form at Near and Middle EastDesk at The International Committee of the Red Cross Ms. Dibeh FAKHR or telephone

2. Call or write your local newspaper and ask them to cover the crisis in Gaza. 
Write the editor a letter. Make it brief and to the point.
Add comments about Gaza at the end of any article you read in that newspaper about the Middle East. 
Google a photo about the Gaza crisis. With a graphic program add the words: Gaza Aid NowPut the picture on Facebook and get people to like it. 


 Send out tweets using the hashtags #GazaAidNow and #SaveGaza and plain old #Gaza 


Ask any groups that  you work with to take on the cause of getting relief into Gaza.
Ask news sources to focus on stories about Gaza  Democracy Now!NPR, The Real News
Hold a teach-in about Gaza at your local college or library
 Hold a demonstration

3. Send a financial contribution to an organization working to help Gazans survive this latest catastrophe. Here are some suggestions: (Many of these organizations are helping refugees in Lebanon.) 
AmericanNear East Refugee Aid (ANERA)1522 K St. NW, Suite 202 • Washington, DC 20005-1270 • (202) 347-2558  Sponsors ongoing programs in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan and provides emergency relief.
HelpingHand for Relief and Development ( Helping Hand USA)12541 McDougall St • Detroit, MI 48212 • Toll Free #1-888-808-HELP (4357) A global humanitarian relief and development organization responding to human sufferings in emergency and disastrous situations anywhere all over the world regardless race, gender, ethnicity, class, location, religion, color, cultural diversity and social background; with special focus in countries where the massive population living below the poverty line like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Kenya, Sudan and many others.
IslamicRelief USA P.O. Box 6098 • Burbank, CA 91510 • 1-888-479-4968 Works in over 30 countries to alleviate hunger, illiteracy and diseases, provides rapid relief to victims of man-made and natural disasters.
KinderUSA P.O. Box 224846 • Dallas, Texas 75222-9785 • 972) 664-1991 Supports relief and development programs in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan.
Life for Relief and Development P.O. Box 236 • Southfield, MI 48037 • (248) 424-7493  Provides medicines and medical equipment and supports infrastructure development in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine.
M├ędecins SansFrontiers / Doctors Without Borders 333 7th Ave., 2nd Floor • New York, NY 10001 • (212) 679-6800 Global organization that provides emergency medical relief across the Arab and Muslim world.
Near East Foundation 230 Euclid Ave., NY 13210 • (315) 428-8670 Supports community development and provides humanitarian and emergency assistance in over 16 countries.
Palestinian Medical Relief Society  (PMRS) • P.O. Box 450554 • Atlanta, GA 31145 • (404) 441-2702 U.S.-based support group which receives tax-free donations for this grassroots, community-based Palestinian health organization.
UnitedNations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees  inthe Near East (UNRWA) American Friends of UNRWA Association, Inc. • 1666 K Street NW • Suite 440 • Washington, DC 20006 2• (202) 223-376702.223.3767 This U.N. agency aids Palestinian refugees through emergency relief such as food and health care, as well as long-term assistance through education and finance programs.
United Palestinian Appeal 1330 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Suite 104 • Washington, DC 20037 • (202) 659-5007 Sponsors health, education, and community development programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
World Vision P.O. Box 9716 • Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 • (888) 511-6598 Global Christian humanitarian organization providing relief in many countries in the Arab and Muslim world.
TheZakat Foundation of America P.O. Box 639 • Worth, IL 60482 • (708) 499-6151 • Fax (708) 499-6154 Sponsors programs for emergency relief, orphan sponsorship, education, development and health in 10 countries.
Original article is available at Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Species Survival & Private Weapon Arsenals 12/19 by Vicki Chats | Blog Talk Radio

Species Survival & Private Weapon Arsenals 12/19 by Vicki Chats | Blog Talk Radio


Will the human species survive the privatization of weapon arsenals?
            Dead children here, dead children there, and dead children everywhere: sounds like the United States has become one of those gory and bloody Grimm’s Fairy Tales; in the modern day fairy tales though, the big bad wolf with sharp teeth is totally obsolete.  Who is the big bad wolf in the US though? Pointing fingers and trying to place blame are knee jerk reactions that are ineffective in a culture saturated with the celebration of violence.  Billions of dollars are budgeted to the military with money “that does not really count” so it can be ignored when tallying up the country’s deficit.  Need a job? Employers with the best record for staying in business are those making weapons. continued on the audio . . . 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Israel waits 3 to 4 years to tell the truth



No rockets from UNRWA schools in Gaza during the Gaza war of 2008-2009
Israel’s Channel Two publishes correction
24 October 2012
East Jerusalem
Israel’s highest-rating news programme, Channel Two News, has published a statement correcting false claims that rockets were fired from schools operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) during the Gaza war in 2008-2009. The statement makes clear that Israeli officials themselves acknowledged that such claims were false and that there was no evidence to support them.
“We heard this misinformation during the war when there was shelling on and around the Agency’s schools and our main warehouse in Gaza”, said UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness, “but Israeli officials made it clear to the UN during the war itself that they knew claims about militants in UNRWA installations were completely false. Constant, unchecked repetition of this misinformation has been very damaging to the Agency and has produced some very poor and biased journalism, which I will continue to confront. This is the third time in just a few months that a major news organisation has issued a public retraction because of false information about UNRWA.”
The shelling in and around UNRWA installations, such as schools and the Agency’s warehouse in Gaza, were condemned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders. In a statement issued on 15 January 2009, Mr. Ban expressed “outrage”, saying he had protested to Israel’s defence and foreign ministers. The defence minister had told Mr. Ban that the shelling of the UNRWA warehouse was a “grave mistake”.
After the warehouse was destroyed along with all material and equipment within it, the Israeli government paid over USD 10 million to the United Nations. “Would all this really have happened? Would all this really have been said by such senior officials if there were militants firing rockets from our installations?” asked Gunness.