we’ll get thru this too

Some good news about what’s ahead
in the very long run! . . .

crossing the bering strait

by Daily Mail Reporter, 11/20/11

Climate change over the past two million years has boosted human evolution by forcing us to adapt to changing conditions and allowing us to migrate to new areas. Researchers found that far from hindering our development, periods when the earth is either cooling or warming up have actually been highly beneficial. As well as prompting us to migrate, changes in climate have also forced humans to evolve culturally by encouraging us to learn to work together.

Far from hindering human development scientists now believe periods of climate change helped us evolve. Experts from the National History Museum and Cambridge University have identified five key time periods when shifts in global climate have resulted in accelerated social and genetic evolution.

The first began around two million years ago when a prolonged dry period caused forests to disappear leading to the emergence of Homo erectus – an early human adapted to running and hunting on the grassy plains.

The next major development came during the ice age which began 450,000 years ago during which scientists believe human beings were split into three separate groups. European humans evolved into Neanderthals while Asian humans evolved into Denisovans.

Those remaining on the African subcontinent evolved into modern human beings but this group had to wait until around 60,000 years ago when a prolonged warm spell allowed them to spread north. Then a sustained cold period between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago caused further changes as the freezing temperatures caused a 330ft drop in sea levels allowing humans to cross the Bering land bridge into North America.

Wild fluctuations in climate between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago prompted another period of change by forcing humans to develop agricultural techniques which enabled them to stabilise food supplies.

Chris Stringer of London’s Natural History Museum and author of The Origin of Our Species told the Sunday Times: ‘Climate change has been a major player in our evolution.’ The Royal Society is holding a conference this week where details of recent research will be released. The scientists are keen to point out they are not suggesting that modern global warming is beneficial. Rhiannon Stevens of Cambridge University who is co-organising the conference told the newspaper: ‘What intrigues them is the growing evidence that human evolution and climate change have been inextricably linked for hundreds of thousands of years.’

Read more

moving faster -where?

Dear reader

been awhile
looks like gonna be another
before we step aside again
with words to look mother in the eye

one word pops out today
and i’ll say it: swarm
how can i decry what’s goin on in dc
or closer: what’s not

when i’m no better
i’m carried away too
in this swarm of activity
passing for life on planet earth

got a house to sell
place i hate to lose
scrubbing down for next occupant
performing my grief yet again

last weekend’s workshop leaves me
with a mountain of video to edit and
i gotta prep for next weekend’s show
pix ahead to print & mount

thought i’d let you know
what ant’s alone here?
yeah, i gotta live here too
( oh-oh less & less like once i was )

i’m weeks behind another fine read
paul gilding’s GREAT DISRUPTION
talk about out from the swarm!
it rattles plenty to get off my chest

Wbound on lake monroe bikeloop

meantime to keep timely in touch
won’t you accept last week’s glimpse
off the pedals, my backyard lake loop
one more generous smile from ma

i ride now towards bro sun
‘stead of away from his swelter
missing those bests-of-the-day
these sudden cool mornings

i’ll be back . . .

weighing in

Time to weigh in, given such
surfacing substance, by way of
so many earthy outpourings

just where YOU comin’ out, jim?
i hear you asking
i hear me asking

yes, scribbler of little hesitation
tell us how it really is,
señor ernesto evrimon

all this dawning
from earned enlightenments
of underway lineup, these eco-prereqs

sunrise over the st johns, sanford, florida 9/21/11

ok, so dazzling eurekas of global import
but what lights up here at home re:
your sad beleaguered brite blue mom?

maybe time to confess
( old tradition, comes easy )
well then, i can at least own up

check it out dear reader
either of us yet rid ourselves
of one of those cars?

or even drive them somewhat less?
or even think to turn off the a/c?
or sometimes take the slow lane?

let’s face it
we’re formed here
here’s how we live

so what’s it gonna take now that
both of us know well what’s coming
… asking yourself something familiar?

you with me, friend?

o i’ve the best of excuses myself
bet you do too
shall we compare … ?

where’s any public alternative?
besides, open air’s much too noisy
and right now i’m in a hurry

not to mention, just this side of
3/4-century mark i’m entitled
damn well fully earned it by now

and this old house older even than me
never did get the insulation it needs
how’s soc security to pay for that?

move to another place you say?
hey, i’m planning to die here
. . . shall i keep going?

got kids? can hear you too
uproot kit & kaboodle?
you must be kidding

and so our very survival’s dumped
once again down to very last place
in bulging list of what’s daily to do

while grim reality of goodbye gaia
creeps up on us sure, no matter
learnéd warnings & evidence galore

this gets weary. still with me pal?

one thing of mine long a-pestering:
sealed in here, windows all rolled up
life out there’s become IRRELEVANT

no wonder this crisis all-of-a-sudden
i’m out-of-touch, lost sensitivity
can’t tell smell of storm-on-the-way

not so my cat- like his wild cousins
first to escape the oncoming cyclone
don’t laugh- ask abby the weather!

closer by far, yon eons of touch, that
native knowing and learning and
passing along, respectful & balanced

a way of living now gradually going for
encircling family much more immediate
trading it in for something of MINE?

still, ask any person we call aborigine
even farmer -you remember farmer-
just listen what you get back …

“things are not as once they were!”
yet on march we as if no change
look: sun’s coming up, projects press,

and yes, i gotta go, i’m in a hurry!
cut back to global, the picture-in-full
if how we live that’s got us here

then what’s to do different? could
marx after all have had it right?
“FROM each according to ability

balanced by TO according to need”
current reading now takes me there
THE GREAT DISRUPTION by PAUL GILDING

with startling finale in fine crystal ball
( more on that in a coming posting )
does have this one cold warrior thinking

. . . aside from just who it is
doing the from-&-to, i’d much rather
GIFTS for that hard-edged ABILITY

helping our kids side up to their niche
but that old contest now long past
how ever’d we get off

living & breathing market has won!
well we’re sure paying for it now
our turn to fold from cold war of old

and this dear reader’s where i stop
left on my own i’m still in the woods
our way out? best keep on reading

and let’s keep meeting
at the rock in this place, ’cause
gilding, hertsgaard, mckibben & gore

agree: no matter harm already done
once awoken and made up our minds
we can do this thing

life resurrected
on orb we call
home

~ jim rucquoi

( posted by chance day following
major upheaval in human climate
centering in the state of georgia, USA )

eaarth . . .

. . . Making a life on a tough new planet
BY BILL McKIBBEN

"read it ... nothing could be more important" --Barbara Kingsolver

thanks barbara
coming from you that means something
farming like you write
with verve, all you got

and you, bill
writing as you act
i bumped into you only recently at planetary 350.org
your going-on-half-century alerts now filling in

just the 101 for someone playing catch-up on climate change
well said too, kind of read i can’t put down
you take us by the hand, shake us to our boots
then steer us to a place we can get to

where to begin . . . ?
nowhere better than where you do
from the top: what is this place we’ve fashioned?
across our blink of earth history

whatever it is sure ain’t anything like it was
best rename the planet on which we now find ourselves
to not confuse it with where we grew up
that different, yes

like what i came across just yesterday about homo sapiens himself
thanks to australian science writer JULIAN CRIBB
not much left of sapiens given what we’ve done here
better to call him something else ( cribb won’t say )

to not disassociate entirely, how about homo transitus?
as in, on-our-way/definitely-not-there-yet
it wouldn’t take much to go farther
you don’t go there bill; i won’t either

but that doesn’t keep you from the facts
the sheer math as you call it
things lurking at the periphery of consciousness
when added all up now astound

you get right to it in four sections
starting with that shocking inventory
of a new world, pulling no punches
the damage is done, this climate’s already changed

or as you put it we’re like the guy
who smoked for forty years then had a stroke
he doesn’t smoke anymore
but the left side of his body doesn’t work either

so how to make the necessary transition to this new place
in the time we’ve let go by?
more shock awaits in section two, high tide
definitely not a matter of more of the same

need to dampen our intuitive sense
that the future will resemble the past
our standard issue optimism
that the future will be ever easier

eaarth is an uphill planet now
gravity pulls stronger
more friction than we’re used to
have to work harder to get where you’re going

you cite the club of rome’s landmark study of 1972
limits to growth: it circled the world back then
more important those unheeded dire warnings
have largely come to pass

so then the end to civilization as we know it?
per jerrod diamond’s nifty observations of collapse
those poor mayans, anasazis, easter islanders?
hopefully not: section three, backing off

comes down to a matter of growing up you say
getting over this race-horse fixation of ours
how about a long hard look at something sturdier
say a belgian workhorse

so let’s turn a deaf ear to massive, global, hi-growth
tune into something human, local, steady
we’ve let our energy & food systems grow “too big to fail”
just as we did our banks

the answer is the same
smaller, closer to home
you take us through our own history
and much local geography

notably your own vermont
right down to the friendly local farmer’s market
fastest growing part of our food economy
where we humans have always shopped

where we acquire gossip and good cheer along with our calories
even -imagine!- to circulating a fully local currency
all, a mighty long way from the 5,000-mile straw
thru which we suck hydrocarbons from the persian gulf

your last section outlines practical steps ahead
pointedly titled lightly, carefully, gracefully
about mastering the essentials of our survival
in food, energy, and the internet

you show us right down to the furrow
how that can work
energy too needs to go local
once we conserve how we use it

as for the internet
here’s our deus ex machina
appearing just in time
to make our next evolution bearable

and then there’s your 350.org
most widespread day of political action
in the planet’s history
as you quote cnn

not content with words
you are moving us
as this poor mother moves you
bill, i can hear her thank you for both

HOT . . .

. . LIVING THROUGH THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS ON EARTH, by Mark Hertsgaard

Mark Hertsgaard and the Climate Cranks from Mark Hertsgaard on Vimeo.

As I near the end of this book, I still find it hard to reconcile the joy that is Chiara with the climate disasters that loom before her. The older she gets, the closer those disasters come. The relentless momentum of the climate system assures as much, and the glacial pace of the human response to date only adds to my foreboding. I look at Chiara, at her cheerful countenance, her mischievous eyes, her blond locks, and there is a disconnect. Despite all the research I’ve done on climate change, I still can’t fully take in that this innocent creature, and millions more like her around the world, will have to suffer because grownups insisted on making foolish choices. In my father’s heart, I think there must be a way to stop this movie before it gets to what Chiara would call “the scary part.” But my journalist’s brain knows the truth: at this point, there’s no avoiding the scary part; our only hope is to prepare for it as best we can.           ( p 212 )

and so it is, mark, that you step aside from day-to-day journalism to address something that bothers you deeply, at the level of your little daughter’s future, focused & personal. and so, with HOT, i too am finally brought face to face with a subject that doesn’t go away, that refuses to accept its all but officially sanctioned lot of last place issue-of-the-day.

my first full-length treatment of the subject: truly a wide-eye opener! as expected of any journalist able to fill the bill, a rare enough accomplishment these days, the work’s packed with vital facts and thoughtful insights while all along progressing smoothly, an accessible read easy on the eye. you neither minimize an intricate subject nor in any way inflate your understanding of it. i’m happy to admit that yours, mark, has been one savored text for this barely initiated earthling undertaking at last his pre-req, climate change 101.

i’m especially grateful for your clear distinction up-front of proposed solutions -those mitigating the effects of climate change vs those addressing our adapting to a climate and environment already, irreversibly changed. and how at this late date we need to get on with realizing both of them.

there’s so much i’d like to say about your book, mark, so many places you go, so many people you talk to, such models you uncover, what some in particular are doing across the country to prepare their communities for planetary catastrophe, so many points that need to be made. but then they’re for you to make to future readers, not me, not here. can i leave them with these choice quotes, the way you do ? . . .

“We have one question for the political leaders of the world,” Kumi Naidoo, the international executive director of Greenpeace International, said at the huge climate rally held in Copenhagen halfway through the summit. “If you can find not millions, not billions, but trillions of dollars to bail out the banks, the bankers, and their bonuses, how is it that your cannot find the money to bail out the planet, the poor, and our children?” ( p 287 )

“Being a good ancestor,” said ( San Francisco based NGO Global Exchange co-founder, Kevin ) Danaher, “means getting involved in all aspects of building a greener world: political engagement, grassroots economics, personal change.” I would add that it also means starting right away. We don’t know everything necessary to avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable of climate change, but we don’t have to. As Ron Sims commented about his own efforts in King County, our job is to begin, do the best we can, and trust others to carry on after our work is done. This was the guiding principle of the Renaissance geniuses who designed the Duomo, Danaher pointed out. They deliberately built the cathedral with a hole in the ceiling awaiting the construction of a dome that was not yet technologically feasible. “The confidence of the Renaissance era was so great that they knew someone would come up with a way to engineer the dome, and the architect Philippo Brunelleschi did it,” marveled Danaher, who added, “Regarding our environmental situation on this little blue marble, I believe a certain percentage of humanity will survive the coming collapse, and it will be the local, sustainable green economy that will be the base of that survival. If we can get the foundations ( of that economy ) right, future generations will figure out how to put the dome in place.”              ( p 291 )