It’s Earth Day, and the prognosis for our planet isn’t great. We’ve passed 400 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere, high above the 350 ppm from which 350.org took its name – signifying the maximum levels we can sustain if life is to survive on earth.
As Dr. James Hanson, former head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. and one of the most respected climatologists in the world, said of our situation:
“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from[current levels] to at most 350 ppm.”
Unfortunately, here’s where we are now
We get regular doses of climate news on the show each Monday and Wednesday morning, courtesy of the Green News Report. Today, Desi Doyen emerged from the report to join us for an Earth Day look at the state of our planet.
In the second hour, as she does each Tuesday morning, GottaLaff joined in from The Political Carnival to have some fun with the news. Unfortunately, during the news report from Victoria Jones at the Talk Radio News Service, we learned that
The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive.
The directive, issued by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, also requires the agencies’ employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists. Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired, the directive say.
There’s lots more in this NY Times article by Charlie Savage that will – and SHOULD – make you incredibly angry.
Savage’s article mentions that although the directive was signed in March, it went unnoticed until yesterday when Steven Aftergood blogged about it!
The directive limiting contact with reporters was reported Monday by Steve Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist for the Federation of American Scientists. In a blog post, Mr. Aftergood portrayed the directive as seeking to ensure that “the only news about intelligence is to be authorized news.” He criticized the policy as going too far, arguing that routine interactions between agency employees and reporters about unclassified matters did not pose a threat to national security, but that limiting them would hurt the public.
“The new policy is likely to be effective in reducing the quality, independence and critical content of intelligence-related information that is available to the press and the public,” Mr. Aftergood said.
Just in case you’ve forgotten, the First Amendment states
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In 2014 Amerikka though, it looks more like this:
Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I think we’re fucked.