Browsing All Posts published on »October, 2012«

A Planet Weak as a Baby

October 29, 2012


Our Human-Stressed Planet Is Vulnerable to Climate Change It has been clear for some time that climate change will bring about a passel of ecological changes, and that some elements of some systems will not survive the change.  Organisms will die.  In extreme cases, whole ecosystems will collapse.  And when ecosystems begin to collapse, some […]

Shelter from the Frankenstorm? No Way, Romney Sez!

October 29, 2012


In one of his most famous lines from “Blood on the Tracks,” Dylan writes, “Come in, she said, I’ll give you, Shelter from the storm.” The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been pretty busy lately, this year and last—the whole decade, really—dealing with the ongoing series of climate disasters which have struck […]

Natural Cycles and Climate Change [video]

October 28, 2012


Natural cycles, you say?  Then you’ll want to know about El Niño and La Niña, about the affect on climate of volcanic eruptions and solar cycles.  Scientists have carefully studied all the natural influences on Earth’s climate and found out that by themselves, they don’t suffice to explain our current warming.  Until the human-caused increase […]

Settling California, 15,000 BCE

October 26, 2012


Looking at a map of Aboriginal languages in California, one is first struck by how very many there are.  In fact, the hundred-plus California indigenous languages add up to at least 20% of all languages spoken in Aboriginal North America.  North of the 49th parallel, British Columbia similarly dominates.  The twenty-eight languages spoken in Aboriginal […]

The Sun and Climate Change [video]

October 24, 2012


Nobody doubts that the Sun influences Earth’s climate.  In fact, it powers the whole thing, and powers life itself through photosynthesis.  Even oil is bottled sunlight.  However, when you talk about climate change, you have to remember the change part.  The Sun may run the climate, but that doesn’t at all mean that it powers […]

Missions in Spanish California, 1769-1836

October 23, 2012


The 21 missions established after 1769 in Spanish California were, in fact, the primary economic engines of Spanish and then Mexican California.  The mission lands comprised hundreds of hectares of fields where wheat, barley, corn and other crops were grown and where orchards were cultivated. Within their acreages were also thousands of head of cattle […]

Bringing Missions to California, 1769-1823

October 22, 2012


Traveling with Gaspar de Portolá’s 1769 land expedition to California was the Franciscan missionary Junípero Serra.  From his arrival there until his death in 1784, Serra was to serve as the first Father President of the mission system project in California. Gaspar de Portolá and Father Serra, whatever their personal or other motivations for being […]