So, I have decided to indulge in the nirvana of nerdiness and I put a page in the Research & Rescue Amazon Store, called Thinkers - Global Issues. As I discover new books (or books that have been around but I hadn't noticed them), I'll add them in. Some of these are ones I've read; others are wish list items (if you're a personal friend, there's a hint). This is the first of a series of store pages in the Books for Thinkers category but I haven't quite decided what the others will be. Since I have a background in AI, perhaps the next shelf will be technology books with a bent toward philosophy and cognitive science.
Not to worry, I don't make a fortune of of Amazon Associates fees. In fact, I make pretty much nothing. You're welcome to change that, of course! In the meantime, think of this as just another venture into internet curation :-)
I am watching unbelievable pictures tonight of endless swaths of brown oil mixed with the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, of dying wetlands and marshes, of miles of contaminated coastlines, of dead birds and animals, of helpless and hopeless Gulf Coast residents sadly witnessing their livelihoods and their lives slipping away. With the explosion and sinking of the BP oil rig six weeks ago, the immediate talk was about environmental threats and technical fixes, economic losses and political blaming, and debates about responsibility for the costs. But with the failure of the latest attempt to stop the spill, and with both BP and the federal government admitting they still really don’t know how much oil has already spilled or will spill, a national discussion is beginning about the fundamental moral issues at stake, and perhaps even a national reflection on our whole way of life based on oil dependence and addiction.
Everyone should watch this video of Severn Suzuki, speaking at the Rio Summit in 1992.
There are times when I am fed up with the banalities of the world. We lose focus on what's important. Much of the time we don't even spend the time figuring out what really does matter to us, so how could we focus on goals we haven't even discovered? It's easier just to get up in the morning, get our Starbucks, and get through our to do lists. When I saw this video, I had to pause it to stop crying. I wish her speech had changed the world but we don't learn. 2.5 MILLION GALLONS of oil every day into the Gulf and we aren't going to stop drilling. As Severn said, "If you don't know how to fix it, PLEASE stop breaking it!"
I missed this story when it came out back in early May but, fortunately, Bodewadmi on Twitter posted a link to it Sunday evening. Apparently, back in May, Stavropol experienced a storm of purple snow, that was the result of a dust cyclone in Africa that mixed with clouds and descended again in Russia as part of the precipitation. You can watch the video here and theres a link to the article below.
Amazing piece on Alternet this morning on the oil industry roots of the tea party movement. - a must read.
Why are the hoppin'-mad Teabaggers so oddly quiet these days, ever since the BP oil disaster? That's what Thomas Frank, author of What's The Matter With Kansas? asked last week in his column, "Laissez-faire Meets The Oil Spill." Ideologically, it's painfully obvious why the Teabaggers are now the Teagaggers: their free-market gospel got mugged by oil-drenched reality -- a reality so horrific that even pollster Frank Luntz couldn't spin the BP disaster as the government's fault. Best to just shut up when you're that wrong.
But there's another, more concrete reason why the Tea Party revolutionaries melted back into their suburbs as soon as the enormity of the Gulf spill disaster hit: The Tea Party evolved out of the pro-offshore drilling astroturf movement in 2008. They even share some of the same organizers and front groups, from PR operative like Eric Odom, to advocacy groups like FreedomWorks, whose combined efforts on the "Drill Here! Drill now!" astroturf campaign succeeded in opening up all of America's coastlines and waters to offshore drilling, overturning a 27-year ban thanks to threats of "a Boston-style Tea Party," as one Republican put it in the summer of 2008.
Solar Sisters, a new solar entrepreneur program, has taken Avon's social sales model and is using it to spread solar powered lamps across Uganda. Avon cosmetics began as a failed 19th century book-selling venture. Its “Avon Calling” approach, where saleswomen sold directly to other women, helped it grow into one of the 500 largest companies in the United States with annual global revenues of over US$10 billion.