Death and birth

O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark,
And dark the Sun and Moon, and the Almanach de Gotha
And the Stock Exchange Gazette, the Directory of Directors,
And cold the sense and lost the motive of action.
And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,
Nobody’s funeral, for there is no one to bury.
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing—
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.

– TS Eliot, Four Quartets

Gives new meaning to ‘blow hole’

Whale-Protection Cuts Sought
NOAA Scales Back Proposed 30-Mile Speed Limit Zones

Mama whale & calf

Mama whale & calf

One of the leading causes of death for right whales, this one with a calf off the coast of Florida in February 2005, is collision with a ship.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Bush administration yesterday proposed scaling back protected zones for endangered whales in the Atlantic Ocean, yielding to cargo companies’ concerns about new speed limits for ships in these areas.

The proposal, unveiled yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, could end more than a year of wrangling between federal fisheries scientists and the White House over new measures to protect the North Atlantic right whale. About 300 of the whales remain, and researchers say their tiny population has been reduced further by fatal collisions with large ships.

WP

Our Chemical Imbalance

I saw a documentary by Bill Moyers on PBS a few years back. It was about the American chemical industry and its depredations — about how it dumped chemicals on the poor, introduced thousands of foreign substances into our environment and gutted the EPA.

Lately, I’ve begun to wonder which chemical(s) might be responsible for the current epidemic of autism.

Now this:

Congress Examines Role Of Industry in Regulation

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 27, 2008; Page A01

Despite more than 100 published studies by government scientists and university laboratories that have raised health concerns about a chemical compound that is central to the multibillion-dollar plastics industry, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed it safe largely because of two studies, both funded by an industry trade group.

[…]

“Tobacco figured this out, and essentially it’s the same model,” said David Michaels, who was a federal regulator in the Clinton administration. “If you fight the science, you’re able to postpone regulation and victim compensation, as well. As in this case, eventually the science becomes overwhelming. But if you can get five or 10 years of avoiding pollution control or production of chemicals, you’ve greatly increased your product.”

Studies on Chemical In Plastics Questioned – washingtonpost.com

Hang ‘Em High

“Internal memo: If we have to devastate the planet and kill billions to line our pockets, that’s a small price to pay.” [Ooh – ooh, let’s have some soccer mom say it.]

– Deleted scene, from America’s Energy Future, brought to you by the Oil and Gas Industry.

If Oil Industry Profits Are Up, Why Aren’t Gas Prices Down?

Could critics be right in accusing oil industry of gas price gouging? – KTKA.com


Please, God — damn them all to hell.

Idiots from Hell

Global Warming Skeptics Insist Humans Not at Fault

   

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 4, 2008; Page A16

When Christopher Monckton, who served as a special adviser to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, ponders the current political push to curb greenhouse gases linked to climate change, he thinks of King Canute.

According to Monckton, Canute — the Viking who ruled England along with much of Scandinavia nearly a thousand years ago — took his courtiers to the ocean’s edge one day, set down his throne and ordered the tide not to come in. The tide, of course, came in, and the king got his feet wet.

The lesson? The king taught his advisers “humility,” Monckton said, by showing them that even he, a king, could not control nature. In the same way, he argued, modern-day politicians should not fool themselves into thinking that humanity is having a big impact on climate.

Monckton, along with other high-profile global warming skeptics such as University of Virginia professor emeritus S. Fred Singer and Virginia state climatologist Patrick J. Michaels, are gathered in New York this week for a conference aimed at challenging the idea that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank funded by energy and health-care corporations as well as conservative foundations and individuals, the 2 1/2 -day session poses a stark contrast to the near-unanimous chorus of concern expressed by top U.S. politicians and most of the scientific mainstream.