S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oct. 15 - Blog Action Day

(NASA Photo - "On the Way to Mercury" # 5 of the Top Ten Views of Earth from Space*). Caption quote:
MESSENGER's Earth flyby on Aug. 2, 2005, not only adjusted the spacecraft's path to Mercury but allowed the spacecraft team to test several of the onboard instruments by taking some shots of its home planet. The camera, designed to characterize minerals that may have formed in Mercury's crust, took this three band composite image on the left using multiple wavelength imaging, giving the continental areas their red color - a result of the high reflectance of vegetation in the near-infrared part of the spectrum.

Harmony is necessary for space cooperation. Harmony is necessary if the people of the earth are to get ahead of the dangers posed by global warming threats. S/SW is posting today about the environment because not long ago I got a suggestion from betmo about the idea. Today, if all goes well, millions of us will be writing about this crucial subject. This is my contribution to the broader blogosphere's environmental effort:
Today we learned that the recent financial award from Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize will go to "a year-old Palo Alto nonprofit that will receive the $750,000 former Vice President Al Gore received along with his Nobel Prize." The alliance has gotten other support from Gore in the past. It works to provide climate change education. Quoting further from the San Jose Business Journal:
"The Alliance for Climate Protection, which was once lauded by Gore as the planet's "PR agent," is a think tank focused on letting people know about the effects of global warming and helping them become activists against it.
From we get this story: "STS-120 Bringing Space Station ‘Harmony.’" What does this have to do with the environment? Plenty! I quote from the story:
Think of the next component set for delivery to the International Space Station as an international crossroads in space. That's the major function of the Italian-built U.S. module that will be ferried to the station aboard space shuttle Discovery during mission STS-120.

The pressurized component was named "Harmony" by U.S. students in a nationwide contest. "This module will allow all international partner pieces of the station to connect together, so it's really wonderful that kids recognize that harmony is necessary for space cooperation," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations, when the six winning schools who submitted the name were announced.

The module will be the connecting point between the U.S. Destiny lab, the European Space Agency's Columbus module and the Japanese Kibo module. Harmony's delivery to the station sets the stage for the following two space shuttle flights that will carry the Columbus and Kibo components to the station.
We will need to find new ways to achieve harmony as humans deplete our precious resources. This chilling (4/17/07) headline gives a sneak peek at what may be to come in the near future. "U.S. and Global Water Wars Loom." To quote,
As the world warms, water -- either too little or too much of it -- is going to be the major problem for the United States, scientists and military experts said Monday. It will be a domestic problem, with states clashing over controls of rivers, and a national security problem as water shortages and floods worsen conflicts and terrorism elsewhere in the world, they said.

At home, especially in the Southwest, regions will need to find new sources of drinking water, the Great Lakes will shrink, fish and other species will be left high and dry, and coastal areas will on occasion be inundated because of sea-level rises and souped-up storms, U.S. scientists said.

The scientists released a 67-page chapter on North American climate effects, which is part of an international report on climate change impact.

Meanwhile, global-warming water problems will make poor, unstable parts of the world -- the Middle East, Africa and South Asia -- even more prone to wars, terrorism and the need for international intervention, a panel of retired military leaders said in a separate report.
Blog Action Day will give us all a chance to find out more about what the blogosphere thinks of environmental issues. My own take on today's news is that there is much about which to be hopeful. The International Space Station and NASA already know how nations can work together. The Nobel awards to Al Gore and the UN's group of scientists give sanction to good works. And the water fight can be deferred because I still have a good stream coming from my own tap.
A good place to start today's further reading might be at "life is a journey." My blog friend "betmo" is a very good blogging activist who maintains that website. I recommend you visit her blog regularly for the latest on environmental activism. I will.
  1. "Looking back at 50 Years of Space Flight" - multimedia presentation from
  2. *"The Top Ten Views of Earth from Space" - Countdown list from
  3. "Experts Pick: Top 10 Space Science Photos" - again from
  4. "The Environment" - seen on Live
From a reader -- Check out your community's carbon footprint.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today at Making Good Mondays is an old piece of prose abut connectedness.
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