We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, February 6, 2014

2013 was the second-hottest year without an El Niño since before 1850

Click here to access article by John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli from The Guardian. 
Over the past decade, we've seen less warming at the surface and more warming in the oceans. This has been in large part due to a change in Pacific Ocean cycles. We're currently in a cycle that tends to produce more La Niña than El Niño events, which has resulted in the oceans accumulating more heat, leaving less energy than normal to warm the atmosphere. This in turn has led to the widespread myth that the slowed rate of increase of global surface temperatures means we no longer have to worry about global warming, or that its consequences won't be as bad as expected.
The article has several links to supporting evidence, for example, see this (Global warming continues and won't be stopped by wishful thinking) which also contain interesting links.

See also this and this.

However, such scientific evidence will not stop our global capitalist classes from using more carbon spewing fossil fuels. Now that Obama has gotten the expected approval of the Keystone pipeline from the ruling class's State Department, he will be expected to clear the way for construction. According to the news release in the Washington Post, the State Department's approval contained this key statement:
Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States.
As a Forbes columnist confirmed, the approval was based mostly on a narrow context: there was an assumption that the oil sands would be mined anyway--without a pipeline the oil will continue to be shipped by rail car. Thus, the environmental impact would likely be less with a pipeline than without. You can't really argue with that type of capitalist logic! Besides, it would create lots of jobs! (sarcasm)