Photo credit: Supreme Court Pediment by Flickr.com user Kevin Harber

Fireflies, Chrysler, and Auto Bailout

Horrible-and we thought it couldn't get worse when we were in southern Africa six months ago......Paul Ehrlich

December 12, 2008: "A new ordeal bleeds Zimbabwe" By Celia W. Dugger, The New York Times Cholera swept through the five youngest children in the Chigudu family with cruel and bewildering haste. On a recent Saturday, they chased one another through hardscrabble streets that flow with raw sewage, and chattered happily as they bedded down for the night. The onslaught of diarrhea and vomiting began around midnight. Relatives frantically prepared solutions of water, sugar and salt for the youngsters, aged 20 months to 12 years, to drink. But by morning, they were limp and hollow-eyed. The disease was draining their bodies of fluid. "Then they started to die," said their brother Lovegot, 18. "Prisca was first, second Sammy, then Shantel, Clopas and Aisha, the littlest one, last." » Full story.

----------

These were perhaps the most stunning sight Anne and I have ever seen in nature; at 4am one morning on New Britain while "owling." It's too bad that Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, W, Sarah Palin and their gangs could never enjoy them—due to the positions of their heads......P

December 10, 2008: "Talking to Fireflies Before Their Flash Disappears" By Seth Mydans, The New York Times Ban Lomtuan, Thailand - Thousands of fireflies fill the branches of trees along the Mae Klong River here, flashing on and off in unison—relentless and silent, two times a second, deep into the night. Nobody knows why. "It's one of the most amazing things you'll ever see," said Sara M. Lewis, a professor of biology at Tufts University. Evolutionary biologists have studied synchronous flashing for 200 years, she said, and it remains a mystery. But it is a spectacle that may be disappearing. » Full story.

----------

What else can you expect when nothing significant is being done about the problem?......P

December 9, 2008: "Too late? Why scientists say we should expect the worst" By David Adam, The Guardian At a high-level academic conference on global warming at Exeter University this summer, climate scientist Kevin Anderson stood before his expert audience and contemplated a strange feeling. He wanted to be wrong. Many of those in the room who knew what he was about to say felt the same. His conclusions had already caused a stir in scientific and political circles. Even committed green campaigners said the implications left them terrified. Anderson, an expert at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Manchester University, was about to send the gloomiest dispatch yet from the frontline of the war against climate change.

» Full story.

----------

It won't do any good—our politicians are too stupid to understand that the U.S. and the rest of the world will have to flee from gasoline-powered autos......P

December 3, 2008: "Saving the Big 3 for You and Me" By Michael Moore, Political Affairs Magazine I drive an American car. It's a Chrysler. That's not an endorsement. It's more like a cry for pity. And now for a decades-old story, retold ad infinitum by tens of millions of Americans, a third of whom have had to desert their country to simply find a damn way to get to work in something that won't break down: My Chrysler is four years old. I bought it because of its smooth and comfortable ride. Daimler-Benz owned the company then and had the good grace to place the Chrysler chassis on a Mercedes axle and, man, was that a sweet ride! When it would start. » Full story. What do you think? Leave us a comment. ———- Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. He is the author of hundreds of scientific papers, and numerous books including The Population Bomb and Betrayal of Science and Reason (Island Press, 1997). His latest book is The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment, which he co-authored with his wife Anne.