I don’t know how this can be explained purely by the neo-Darwinian idea that the purpose of life is to propagate one’s genes. (Could such architecture be programmed within the genes of a single ant???) And I don’t know how this can be explained without some notion of supra-organism intelligence or mind. Watch and wonder at our world -
Archive for the ‘video’ Category
…that global warming is deflected:
1. Hope for the Rain Forests
California, as part of its effort to curtail global warming, could allow companies to pay for projects that preserve Brazilian and Indonesian rain forests, according to Bloomberg. The agreement was described as “pioneering” and goes a long way toward tackling the “other” cause of carbon emissions (other than burning fossil fuels) – destroying forests. Indonesia and Brazil are among the world’s top carbon polluters (No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, behind China and the United States) largely because their forests are disappearing so quickly. This agreement could help stop the 20% of global carbon emissions that come from deforestation.
Indonesia, meanwhile, plans to plant 100 million trees in 2009, according to Reuters. Indonesia has already lost 70% of its original forests, and loses enough forest every year to cover Connecticut and Rhode Island (and then some), but it still retains a forest about the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined.
2. Britain Goes All In
Britain became the first nation in the world to set binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions that match U.N. targets. The law requires the government to slash emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, according to Agence-France Presse. Under the law, Britain will have to meet new carbon-reduction targets every five years.
3. Coal Is on the Defensive
For years, the norm in environmental litigation has been something like this:
- i. Polluting industry proposes polluting
- ii. Government agencies agree
- iii. Environmental groups sue
- iv. Courts side with environmentalists
Well, there’s a new chapter. In Kansas, where the Democratic Gov. (and one-time purported vice presidential possibility for Obama) Kathleen Sebelius stopped the construction of a coal plant because of the greenhouse gas emissions it would pump into the atmosphere, Sunflower Electric is taking her and her environmental agency to court. The company’s complaint? That its civil rights were violated by the governor’s decision.
4. The U.S. Can Cut Energy Use 20%
A new report lays out a framework for U.S. states to dramatically cut energy use — 20% by 2025. The proposed investments in energy efficiency would save $500 billion over 20 years, cut the need for new energy sources by 50% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.
So who produced this report? Some radical left-wing conspiracy of economy-killing tree huggers? Nope. Try Bush Administration. The Department of Energy and The Environmental Protection Agency released the report, National Action Plan Vision for 2025: A Framework for Change.
“Change” … Now where have we heard that word recently …?
In a speech delivered via video to a bipartisan climate summit in California, Obama pledged to take strong action to combat global warming. Here’s what he had to say:
- those reasons from 19th November ’08. There’s also the news from 20th November that an environmentally-progressive US Congressman has upended the formerly oil- and Detroit-friendly leadership of the influential Energy Committee. Which is good for Obama’s agenda, and better for the wider world. Even if it does foster the end of the car-manufacturing machine as we know it. Too bad. So long and thanks for all the (dead) fish.
This quote has been attributed, correctly or no, to Nelson Mandela -
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Go vote, America, and choose wisely.
For some, including for Time magazine’s Joe Klein, Obama’s rise and campaign management has been bewildering. Klein’s recent article captures beautifully the personal qualities and decisions made that have generated such momentum for the Obama campaign. For example, Obama’s policy of ‘no dramatics’ within his campaign team paid off in the primaries against Clinton. And his instinctive judgement calls as to when leadership could most effectively be deployed enabled him to reflect on the issue of race in America, and neutralise Jeremiah Wright, in a speech followed by a press conference; and, it enabled him to keep his cool during the banking bail-out fiasco.
Here’s how Klein finishes up -
If an Apollo project to create a new alternative-energy economy is his highest priority, as he told me, why hasn’t he given a major speech about it during the fall campaign? Why hasn’t he begun to mobilize the nation for this next big mission? In part, I suppose, because campaigns are about firefighting — and this campaign in particular has been about “the fierce urgency of now,” to use one of Obama’s favorite phrases by Martin Luther King Jr., because of the fears raised by the financial crisis and because of the desperate, ferocious attacks launched by his opponent.
If he wins, however, there will be a different challenge. He will have to return, full force, to the inspiration business. The public will have to be mobilized to face the fearsome new economic realities. He will also have to deliver bad news, to transform crises into “teachable moments.” He will have to effect a major change in our political life: to get the public and the media to think about long-term solutions rather than short-term balms. Obama has given some strong indications that he will be able to do this, having remained levelheaded through a season of political insanity. His has been a remarkable campaign, as smoothly run as any I’ve seen in nine presidential cycles. Even more remarkable, Obama has made race — that perennial, gaping American wound — an afterthought. He has done this by introducing a quality to American politics that we haven’t seen in quite some time: maturity. He is undoubtedly as ego-driven as everyone else seeking the highest office — perhaps more so, given his race, his name and his lack of experience. But he has not been childishly egomaniacal, in contrast to our recent baby-boomer Presidents — or petulant, in contrast to his opponent. He does not seem needy. He seems a grown-up, in a nation that badly needs some adult supervision.
Here’s another stunner of a non-Obama-Campaign, campaigning video -
What was that I said?
I watched this thanks to Ray Ison, and was mightily impressed with the quality of the animation and the sound effects.
I found myself wanting more! I’d love to see the team that created this apply their talents to lots more stuff. It strikes me this medium can work incredibly well as a storytelling and educational vehicle. Very nice song at the end.
Now for my critique. On the whole, the narrative was cogent, but the intense relaying of scientific information seemed to cater more for a science-literate audience. I felt the scripting and narration left quite a lot to be desired. The narrator skipped quickly between concepts, leaving non-scientists like myself befuddled and breathless, and needing to rewind the animation to work out what was being discussed and to catch up. It seriously denigrated my experience of what could be a stunning project. I dearly wanted a simpler script and much, much clearer transitions between each science-spiel segment. And less jargon. (Interestingly, the animation’s creator conceived the animation as an old-fashioned piece of unilateral communication.)
I’m curious what you think and how you feel about it. Comments and insights welcome.