Scientists have said climate breakdown caused by the burning of fossil fuels is the cause of unusually hot summers and winters with very low snow volume, which have caused the accelerating melts. The volume lost during the hot summers of 2022 and 2023 is the same as that lost between 1960 and 1990. … Experts have stopped measuring the ice on some glaciers as there is essentially none left.

    Swiss glaciers lose 10% of their volume in two years | The Guardian

    After extreme fire seasons in 2020 and 2021, Congress funded a temporary bonus that boosted average U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighter pay by either 50% or US$20,000, whichever was lower. But that increase expires after Sept. 30, knocking many federal firefighters back to earning the minimum $15 per hour

    The National Federation of Federal Employees warns that a large number of firefighters could quit if their pay also drops.

    $15/ hour to do that job?! Insanity to cut their pay.

    Wildland firefighters face a huge pay cut without action by Congress

    March to End Fossil Fuels in New York City, activists decried President Joe Biden’s continued investment in fossil fuels and his refusal to declare a national emergency over the worsening effects of climate change. Louisiana climate justice activist Roishetta Ozane said Biden is “personally accountable” for climate change-fueled natural disasters, while 16-year-old Fridays for Future organizer Helen Mancini proclaimed, “There is not enough time to put this off another term.”

    Frontline, Labor & Youth Voices Call on Biden to Immediately Act to Prevent Climate Catastrophe

    Earth’s life support systems have been so damaged that the planet is “well outside the safe operating space for humanity”, scientists have warned.

    Their assessment found that six out of nine “planetary boundaries” had been broken because of human-caused pollution and destruction of the natural world. The planetary boundaries are the limits of key global systems – such as climate, water and wildlife diversity – beyond which their ability to maintain a healthy planet is in danger of failing.

    Earth ‘well outside safe operating space for humanity’ | Climate crisis | The Guardian

    The devastation wreaked by floods in eastern Libya is nothing less than apocalyptic. In Derna, where two dams burst after torrential rains, a wall of water deluged the city and sliced out the land from beneath its inhabitants. Entire neighbourhoods were swept into the sea, which is now dumping bodies along the shore. More than 6,000 have died there, and 10,000 people are said to be missing, but because entire families were washed away, there may be no survivors to report some losses.

    The Guardian view on Libya’s floods: humans, not just nature, caused this disaster | The Guardian

    In the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, teens and older people alike rely on little electric vehicles to get around. Is this a potential model for a more sustainable suburbia?

    With about 9,300 golf carts registered among its 13,000 households, this town 31 miles southwest of Atlanta might be the most golf-cart-friendly municipality in America. A hundred miles of car-free multi-use paths crisscross the town’s 25 square miles…"

    E-Bikes and golf carts would seem to be perfect for slower, safer, more climate friendly local travel.

    The Electric Vehicle That Suburbia Needs Could Be a Golf Cart

    Climate rallies over the next few weeks to demand an end to fossil fuel usage ahead of the United Nations’ summit on 9/20.

    “Clearly, saving the planet is the most important issue facing humanity,” the Democratic senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, said. “But here’s the ugly and brutal truth: right now, humanity is failing..”

    The rally was one of some 200 global climate actions taking place this week in countries including Bolivia, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Austria.

    Climate activists kick off rallies against fossil fuel in week of action in New York | The Guardian

    Leaders failed to agree on a phase-out of fossil fuels despite a United Nations report a day earlier deeming the drawdown “indispensable” to achieving net-zero emissions.

    G20 nations account for about 80 percent of global emissions and an inability to agree on the phase-out is a cloud over a key round of climate discussions to begin in November in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

    I want to be hopeful but there is no evidence that we will phase out fossil fuels. Progress is far too slow, far too little.

    Five key takeaways from G20 summit: ‘We need bolder action’ | Al Jazeera

    The task ahead is immense: According to the report, global emissions need to be slashed 43 percent by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, one of the main goalposts of the Paris agreement…

    Among its recommendations, the report unapologetically calls for “phasing out all unabated fossil fuels” and for a “radical decarbonization of all sectors of the economy.”

    The world’s brutal climate change report card, explained The first international climate change stocktake says trying is not enough - Vox

    Canadians, Australians, and Americans are some of the most carbon privileged in the world. All our news reporting is about how magical hurricanes and fires are. Nothing about climate change or burning fossil fuels for the most part. Climate news revolves around incrementals like electric vehicles, banning straws, solar panels.

    Never do we actually talk about taking away the privilege of intense energy use. We don’t talk about building denser, smaller homes. We don’t talk about NOT taking that vacation. We don’t talk about NOT buying things. At most we sub in one form of consumption for another.

    Like white privilege or male privilege, those who have carbon privilege are loathe to give it up. We are all entitled, right?

    Why should we live on less?

    We, the largest energy users in the world can’t just talk about alternative energy. We need real energy reduction and yes, that means the “economy” will hurt, that means fewer vacations, that means smaller homes.

    We will never get anywhere until we accept using less. For starters, no homes in the greenbelt where we need cars to drive between McMansions."

    Carbon Privilege | Mastodon | T Chu 🌍

    The climate crisis has hit home this year for many Americans — its effects have been nearly inescapable in most parts of the country. With that, writes Bill McKibben, has come a sense of unease about the future, particularly about the places we live and will be able to live.

    We’ve come through 75 years where having neighbors was essentially optional: if you had a credit card, you could get everything you needed to survive dropped off at your front door. But the next 75 years aren’t going to be like that…

    The Climate Crisis and the Resilience of Social Trust

    Electricity generated from coal collapsed by 23% and gas fell by 13%, compared with the same period a year earlier.

    At the same time, solar generation increased by 13% and wind power output by 5%.

    This allowed 17 EU countries to generate record shares of power from renewables. Greece and Romania both passed 50% renewables for the first time, while Denmark and Portugal both surpassed 75% renewables.

    EU’s use of fossil fuels for electricity falls 17% to ‘record low’ in first half of 2023 - Carbon Brief

    Billy Brag on Oliver Anthony’s Rich Men North of Richmond:

    I think Oliver Anthony is thinking about class as well, but it’s not so focused for him. Again, I don’t want to attack him, because I don’t really know him, don’t know what his background is. But in the lyric, anyway, it’s not so clear. I think he all but gets there. You’d only have to take three or four lines out of the song.

    Billy Bragg’s version

    Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond”: Why Billy Bragg rewrote the song.

    Reduction in sea ice in Antarctica has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 10,000 emperor penguin chicks. In 2022, satellites recorded a colony of emperor penguins disappearing into the Bellingshausen Sea as the ice they were living on melted away. The chicks had not fully developed waterproof feathers and they most likely froze to death. Emperors rely on sea-ice to breed and as the world warms due to climate change…

    Given our current trajectory and lack of progress extinction seems a near certainty.

    Thousands of emperor penguins killed in the Antarctic - BBC News

    Extinction Rebellion’s co-founder Clare Farrell and conservation scientist Dr Charlie Gardner team up once more to discuss issues and stories they feel are not getting enough airtime.

    EPISODE 2: Aerosol masking, geoengineering, and the pension problem

    In this episode they discuss the evolving discourse on aerosol masking, particulates and solar radiation management approaches, plus the pensions report from carbon tracker that shows the flawed economics of climate overlooks science and leaves the pension sector in grave risk.

    Aerosol masking, geoengineering, and the pension problem

    The iPad Failing Again: Summer 2023 Edition

    A iPad Pro in a stand sitting next to an external display. There is a keyboard and trackpad in front of the iPad and it is connected to the display.
    Nevermind me, just over hear desinging an annual report for a client.

    It's late August 2023 and during this slow time for Apple-related news the pundits have all found time to circle back around to the age old problem of the iPad. The most recent round seemed to start with Jason Snell's post Giving up the iPad-only travel dream.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of my colleagues who were previously working hard to integrate the iPad into their professional work have backed off, retreating to the more flexible and powerful Mac side of the house.

    The iPad is a tool meant to help you. If you're working hard to make it work it's possible that you may have chosen the wrong tool. Of course, it's also true that a powerful tool like a computer and the associated app ecosystem might take some time to learn and explore. Depending on one's workflow and needs, willingness to learn and explore, it may not be an obvious mis-fit.

    But he goes on:

    I’m not at all ready to declare the “use iPad to get work done” experiment dead. With the forthcoming release of iPadOS 17, Stage Manager has thrown in a bunch of improvements that suggest the iPad’s progression to more functional status continues, albeit at a pace that’s a bit too slow for my liking.

    He then discusses the ways that the iPad doesn't fit as well as the Mac for his specific needs. The stand-out shortcoming is, not surprising for a podcaster, the limitations of the iPadOS audio system which has never been up to the needs of podcasters. This has been a well known issues for years and yet, they keep trying, failing and complaining.

    The real problem seems to be knowingly using the wrong tool for a very specific job. And in the case of this select group of independent Apple "content creators", there is the added element of drama, brand identity and the ever persistent need for new content fodder. It's especially gross on tech/Apple You Tube.

    But, for the moment, let's assume it's not about content fodder. What is it? There is this strange fascination some have with the iPad. It's the computer they use but shouldn't. Or don't use but want to. Folks, just walk away.

    Back to JS:

    My productivity needs are clearly unlike those of most people, but the truth is that everyone’s got different productivity needs. The problem with the iPad continues to be that as it builds functionality, it has failed to build in flexibility—or at least the flexibility offered by a platform like macOS.

    Yes, true, we all have different needs and the iPad will work for some, not others. But the discussion of flexibility is not so clear-cut. In terms of OS, yes, macOS is more open and more flexible. We'll come back to that in a moment. But in terms of hardware, I've found the iPad form factor to be the one that is the most flexible. In fact, the modularity of the iPad is one of its strong points.

    As I type this I've got the iPad in a stand raised up 6 inches for better posture. I'm using an external Bluetooth keyboard and a mouse. I could be doing this at my desk but at the moment I'm reclining on my futon with a little lap desk. It's fantastic. I'm not using the touchscreen much so it's sort of in traditional computer mode. I can do all sorts of things in this physical arrangement.

    But if I need to adjust or change modes I can set the lap desk, stand keyboard and mouse aside and use the iPad as a tablet. No keyboard stuck to it, just my hands for scrolling, swiping, tapping. You know, a tablet. And in a few weeks as the weather cools I can attach the keyboard to the case and step outside to a table on the porch. If I need the keyboard/trackpad, cool, it's there. If not, no problem, I can detach it and get it out of my way. Thanks to the flexibility of the iPad I can do all sorts of things with just my fingers on the screen or the Pencil. And in a pinch, if I don't want to bother reaching for the keyboard dictation has gotten good enough that it's easy to dictate text.

    My point is that any discussion of flexibility in regards to computers should take into account the physical form factor or it is an incomplete discussion.

    Jason goes on to talk about a the Stream Deck, a device he finds useful but which won't work with the iPad. He goes on:

    This is where the iPad is today. It’s good enough for what it does. If it doesn’t do it, it doesn’t do it. This is the fundamental difference between the Mac (a platform that basically lets developers and users do anything they want) and the iPad (where if Apple doesn’t specifically allow it, it can’t be done).

    But, you know, not really. Yes, it's true that the iPad is locked down in a way that the Mac isn't. That's due to its origins in iOS and the initial intended niche as a super easy to use and safe computer for anyone. Its initial positioning in 2010 was indeed as a tablet computing device meant for consumption but with acknowledgement that it could be used for more computery tasks like creating documents in Pages.

    But yes, 13 years in and Apple continues to balance between ease of use, safety/security and the low maintenance simplicity of a computing device with full-on, do anything computer. A variable to remember in this scenario is that the largest portion of the iPad user base is likely to be less sophisticated users. Certainly this is the case in my own extended family where most iPads are used daily as primary computers for basic tasks. I'm the only one using the iPad in its more advanced modes.

    In any case, when discussing any computer platform or OS, much of this seems relative. Talk to a Linux or Windows user and they'll have their opinions of the limitations of macOS and/or Mac hardware.

    Back to JS, he states that with the Mac "Apple doesn't have to think of every use case" and that it "empowers developers and users to build what they need" thereby extending it's functionality which he pits against the iPad as being limited by Apple and it's operating system cycle which is too slow.

    Okay but again, the Mac has been around longer and you know, from Apple to third party developers, everything (waves hands in the air wildly) takes time. There are other considerations with the iPad. If you are tired of waiting as you say you are then it sounds like it's time you moved on. That's okay. The iPad is not the tool you need. I mean, I don't try to make toast with my blender. And if I did I don't think I'd offer it up as a critique of the blender.

    He concludes:

    I want to do it all on my iPad. I hope that one day I’ll be able to.

    But why? If the iPad is not the right tool for the job just accept that and move on to the tool that works for you. It just seems like a strange fixation at this point.

    Speaking of moving on, John Gruber, linking to Snell, also chimes in:

    But I know I’m best off, productivity-wise, using my iPad basically as a single-tasking consumption device for long-form reading and video watching.

    The reason this topic remains evergreen is that I want to use my iPad more. There’s something ineffable about it. It’s a thrill when I use my iPad to do something that an iPad is actually best at. I honestly think I’d be more productive if I owned no iPad at all, yet I keep trying to find ways to use it more.

    Not much to say regarding Gruber other than he uses BBEdit for all of his writing. He's mentioned it many times over the years. And while there are many excellent text editors on the iPad BBEdit is not. So I'd guess that's a limiting factor?

    While it's pretty clear that JS really has used the iPad and Gruber has tried it over the years, the next example is off the hook goofy. Truly uninformed Apple podcasters willing to discuss the iPad that borders on the embarrassing. In the August 25 episode of The Context Machine Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin take on the iPad and though they don't mention it I'm guessing the Snell article is what prompted this conversation. Just a guess but it seems pretty common for these folks to echo one another with the same topics and opinions. I've listened to this podcast off and on and Bryan especially seems to be one of the most uninformed Apple podcasters I've heard. Early in the conversation he complains that the iPad does not do Command-Tab app switching as well as the Mac. When pressed by his co-host who correctly states that it works exactly the same with any keyboard as it does on the Mac Bryan admits that he hasn't actually used a keyboard with his iPad.

    Ummmmm. Okay. Cringeworthy.

    But he keeps digging his hole. He then says "I feel like the lack of a mouse on an iPad is going to also make this more complicated."

    This is some high quality, knowledgeable punditry. It's clear that Bryan has no clue what he's talking about. Of course the iPad can be paired with any Bluetooth mouse or the Apple Trackpad and has had this feature since the spring of 2020. I'll file this into the folder of examples of Apple podcasters feeling free to discuss features of a device which they have not made a good faith effort to actually use at all or regularly enough to learn how to use.

    At this point in the podcast Jeff diplomatically skirts the issue and simply says that he has no problem using the trackpad or a mouse with the iPad and he indicates that he does it regularly. In fact, he makes the case for the iPad being capable of almost anything a Mac can do. But then does a turn about and falls back to the current pundit/podcaster narrative: He can't do his podcasting. When pressed for other examples he finally comes up with the inability to plug in multiple drives which of course, isn't a problem. Plug in a hub and then plug in as many drives as you have ports for.

    Honestly, the whole conversation is so sloppy. He finally brings up multiple apps and windows on the iPad saying it's clumsy. Then he brings up multiple drives again. To be clear, plug in a hub and then drives to that hub and Files app shows every attached drive in the sidebar. Then drag and drop between them with no problem, exactly like the Finder.

    It's almost as if old-timey Mac users want to dwell on short comings in iPadOS that no longer exist simply because that's the easy thing to do for them as Mac users. They simply don't want to be bothered to learn or be informed. It's a strange, confused conversation. More than anything it demonstrates that some podcasters don't feel an obligation to be informed on the topics they cover.

    Perhaps the real story here is that there are far too many indy content creators in the Apple/Tech bubble and as a mini cottage industry they're all just stepping on one another, repeating the same casual rumor talk.

    I'll have to keep looking for more informed, thoughtful nerdery that makes the effort to explore the actual, helpful on-the-ground use cases of the existing tech.

    Pundits, podcasters, it's okay to just move on, use the Mac and be happy. Remember, not every tool is made for you or will be useful to you. You can trust that there are those of us out here that find the iPad to be the perfect computer for us and what we need to do with our a computer. We'll leave you to your Macs and hope that one day you'll be able to turn your gaze away from the iPad and learn to be happy with your Mac.

    Democracy? No. What will it take for the citizenry to act like citizens again?

    Tennessee’s Republican-dominated state Legislature is still facing public outcry over the state’s permissive gun laws…

    Earlier this week, Republicans imposed new penalties on lawmakers believed to be too disruptive and banned visitors from carrying signs — a ban that has since been challenged by the ACLU for violating the First Amendment. Amid the new rules, visitors can still carry guns into the building.

    Reelected Tenn. State Rep. Justin Jones on GOP Silencing of Critics on Gun Control - YouTube

    McNamara calls this device the “Mythic I.” It’s a sweeping, curved object that starts with a leather palm rest before sloping sharply upward like dunes on a beach, then gently cresting down again in the back.

    Oh my. This is a beautiful computer. Aesthetically but also the focused use is a sharp turn from the omnipresent, mobile computing devices that can be taken anywhere and do anything. Simple, beautiful website too: The Mythic Computer Company.

    Mythic Computer is trying to change the PC world one wood computer at a time - The Verge

    The amount of public money flowing into coal, oil and gas in 20 of the world’s biggest economies reached a record $1.4tn(£1.1tn) in 2022… even though world leaders agreed to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow two years ago.

    The report comes ahead of a meeting of G20 countries in Delhi next month that could set the tone for the next big climate conference, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates in November.

    G20 poured more than $1tn into fossil fuel subsidies despite Cop26 pledges – report | The Guardian

    🌍

    With unprecedented heat waves and record-breaking global temperatures, it’s hard to believe that there might be a place on earth that has actually COOLED since the industrial revolution. But, it turns out, there is such a spot. The COLD BLOB off of Greenland mystified scientists for years, but new studies have uncovered a scary reality - this cool patch might be a warning of the impending collapse of a vital earth circulation system. And the consequences would be dire.

    Is Earth’s Largest Heat Transfer Really Shutting Down? - YouTube

    🌍

    Excellent presentation describing the already ongoing migrations and what will happen as the climate emergency deepens. From growing food scarcity, increasingly difficult living conditions and economic impact, those least responsible are already being forced to leave their homes.

    Abrahm Lustgarten, a nationally recognized writer and thinker about climate change, was the presenter for the 2023 Linda Cotter Speaker Series, co-hosted by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Mid-Maine Global Forum.

    Unlivable: how a changing climate will force a global migration - YouTube

    🌍

    Canadians have crammed into a local airport and lined up along a major highway out of the Northwest Territories to escape wildfires, a day after authorities warned the blazes were moving closer to the territory’s capital and largest city, Yellowknife.

    Authorities had called on Yellowknife’s nearly 20,000 residents to leave the city by Friday, and an evacuation order was also issued for surrounding communities.

    Thousands flee as ‘unprecedented’ fires hit Canada’s Northwest Territories - YouTube

    I wish I didn’t have to tell you about this again, but I do. It’s not being reported much in the news — and you know why?

    Because it’s not ‘new’ (the origin of the word ‘news’), it’s old. This has been going on for months now, and corporate news outlets are simply tired of reporting it. But it is still happening.

    Canada’s boreal forests are burning up.

    At least 1100 fires are active, more than 700 out of control. Over 13 million hectares have been burned so far, with no end in sight. It’s an unprecedented climate and environmental disaster.

    At least 1100 fires are active, more than 700 out of control. Over 13 million hectares have been burned so far, with no end in sight. It’s an unprecedented climate and environmental disaster.

    I wish I didn’t have to tell you

    As climate-related disasters become more frequent, more unpredictable and intensively destructive, a step change is needed in how governments and societies respond to the threat. In this regard, state authorities in Hawaii appear to have been badly behind the curve. An emergency management plan, published by state officials last year, identified tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic hazards as potentially deadly threats, but described the risk of wildfires to human life as “low”. That judgment now looks culpably complacent.

    Global heating has inaugurated an era of climatic instability and volatility. Proactively analysing and preparing for worst-case scenarios means acting to anticipate disasters that may not happen, and persuading the public that such caution is worth the cost – both financially and in terms of disruption. The rest of the world, not just Hawaii, needs to wake up to this new and deeply challenging reality.

    The Guardian view on Hawaii’s lethal wildfire: lessons to learn from a catastrophe

Older Posts →