What Drove a Man to Set Himself on Fire in Brooklyn? – By Annie Correal -NYT

It is impossible to know all the reasons a person commits suicide. Mr. Buckel suggested one: He was trying to call attention to pollution and global warming. “My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” he wrote in his email.

His suicide is one of the few known cases of political self-immolation in the United States since the 1960s — when demonstrators set themselves on fire to protest the war in Vietnam — and perhaps the first one anywhere in the name of climate change.

But his political message still left Mr. Buckel’s friends and family at a loss: Why would someone in his position resort to such a drastic measure to make his message heard? Why would someone who was committed to the quiet, daily work of making change — and who was notoriously private — stage a dramatic public suicide? He told no one of his plan, not his husband and partner of 34 years, Terry Kaelber, nor the lesbian couple with whom they raised their college-age daughter. He did not say goodbye to them.

via What Drove a Man to Set Himself on Fire in Brooklyn? – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  I am deeply pleased to see this piece about David Buckel, emphasizing, the main reason for his protest suicide: “His suicide is one of the few known cases of political self-immolation . . .  since the 1960s — when [Vietnamese Buddhist] demonstrators set themselves on fire to protest the war in Vietnam — and perhaps the first one anywhere in the name of climate change.”

The first article in the NYT was clumsy, and buried this revelation in the end of what was a sad pondering about whether the man was mentally ill, since he must have been. It completely missed the sad but powerful part of his turning to Buddhism, and becoming an admirer of the Buddhists in Tibet and Vietnam, who used self-immolation, because of their deep desire to communicate their distress over government policies that they despised. As I recall, the Buddhist monks who used self-immolation in Saigon were mostly protesting against how the South Vietnamese government was persecuting members of the the Buddhist community.

Though apparently depressed, David Buckel was more to the point, a saint and a martyr. Saints and martyrs are often people who grow so impatient with their contemporaries, that they are willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs.

It would be useful to get a copy of David Buckel’s letter to the press, so we can learn more about his thinking at the time of his sacrifice.

Australia Turns Its Back on Climate Science – The New York Times


“For decades, Australia has run the most advanced and comprehensive atmosphere and ocean monitoring programs in the Southern Hemisphere, providing critical information not only for a nation that is already the driest on earth and fast getting drier, but also for a world in urgent need of such data to search for ways to cope with climate change.Last month, to the dismay of climate scientists around the world, Australia’s federally financed science agency — the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or Csiro — announced plans to shift its focus to commercially viable projects and cut or reassign 350 researchers. The decision, as more than 3,000 climate scientists have declared in an open letter to the Australian government, demonstrates a deplorable misunderstanding of the importance of basic research into what is arguably the greatest challenge facing the planet.”

Source: Australia Turns Its Back on Climate Science – The New York…

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Obama, at Conference, Says U.S. Is Partly to Blame for Climate Change – The New York Times

Do I hear the gods of war laughing in the background?


Do I hear the gods of war laughing  in the background?

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India said on the opening day of the summit meeting that poor nations have the right to burn carbon to grow their economies.“Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow,” he wrote in a column published in The Financial Times. “The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder.”Citing statistics showing that carbon pollution last year was equal to the year before while economic growth continued, Mr. Obama rejected arguments that cleaning up the world’s air would be too costly or lead to poorer lifestyles.“We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with one another,” he said.”

Source: Obama, at Conference, Says U.S…

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Shift to Lower-Carbon Energy Is Too Slow, I.E.A. Report Warns – The New York Times


“LONDON — Even as the world shifts toward lower-carbon forms of energy, the changes are happening too slowly to keep global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels in the coming decades, an international research group warns in a report released on Tuesday.And low oil prices could make the problem worse by slowing the planet’s transition to cleaner and more efficient cars, trucks and aircraft, according to the report, by the International Energy Agency. The group represents nearly 30 countries and aims to promote secure and environmentally sustainable global energy.”

Source: Shift to Lower-Carbon Energy Is Too Slow, I.E.A. Report Warns – The New York Times

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NYT: Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change


What a great piece of good news to greet us this morning. Thank you Pope Francis.
I’m back from three weeks in France, Italy, Croatia and Bosnia, with Kathleen Schomaker and Catherine Lindsay. I plan to post my journal to LindsayonVietnam (and the World).wordpress.com as soon as it is finished.

He blamed environmental destruction on apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness.
nytimes.com|By JIM YARDLEY

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Germany, the Green Superpower – NYTimes.com


Tom Friedman brings good news: “…what the Germans have done in converting almost 30 percent of their electric grid to solar and wind energy from near zero in about 15 years has been a great contribution to the stability of our planet and its climate. The centerpiece of the German Energiewende, or energy transformation, was an extremely generous “feed-in tariff” that made it a no-brainer for Germans to install solar power (or wind) at home and receive a predictable high price for the energy generated off their own rooftops.”

Germany, the Green Superpower – NYTimes.com.

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“The New Optimism of Al Gore” makes good sense to this writer. The tide is turning.

Great article by John Schwartz on Al Gore and his work. I didn’t realize that Al Gore is behind The Climate Reality Project. Gore thinks we are turning a corner, and will confront this beast. I agree. I have been saying for about a year, that I think in the next 5 years or so, there will be a huge, upsurge in acceptance of climate change as a national and international threat. I like to joke, that in 5 years, we will miss the old days, when it wasn’t so popular.
When we get the carbon tax, which I so keenly espouse, along with most scientists and economists who have studied the issue of pollution externalities, gas powered vehicle travel will become more expensive, but the chances of the earth as we know it remaining for our grand children and great grand children will increase. The Republicans are slowly realizing, one at at time, that they too, have progeny to care for.

Al Gore has warned of the dangers of climate change for years. Now he’s found a new role: prophet of possibility.
nytimes.com|By JOHN SCHWARTZ

More questions than answers: Who is the organization Heartland Institute that funds climate change deniers?

I have more research projects than I have time for and could use partners or helpers. Who is the organization Heartland Institute that funds climate change deniers, and how much of their money is from Exxon Mobile or other oil gas or coal companies? Is the research wing of Greenpeace accurate when they claim that Exxon Mobile has given 29 Million dollars to climate change denial research in the last 20 years?

Wei-Hock Soon, who is at the center of a controversy over fossil-fuel funding for climate research, denounced his critics and said he would be happy to comply with possible…
nytimes.com|By JUSTIN GILLIS

Paul Krugman on IPCC’s good news about sustainable energy! 4/17/2014 NYT

David Lindsay Wow, this is great, but I’ve read it. Didn’t I already post it? Krugman ends his piece:”So is the climate threat solved? Well, it should be. The science is solid; the technology is there; the economics look far more favorable than anyone expected. All that stands in the way of saving the planet is a combination of ignorance, prejudice and vested interests. What could go wrong? Oh, wait.”

isn’t an atrophysicist, and did not disclose conflicts of interest in his funding

Wei-Hock Soon doesn’t work for Harvard, and isn’t an atrophysicist, and did not disclose conflicts of interest in his funding, and yet he is one of the main proofs that climate change is not caused by humans.

Newly released documents show the extent of the links between corporate interests and the published work of Wei-Hock Soon, a Smithsonian-affiliated scientist who has…
nytimes.com|By JUSTIN GILLIS