Thursday, April 03, 2014

Setting Up a Viewing Party?

"Years of Living Dangerously", coming out on Showtime Sundays 10 pm E beginning April 13, 2014: right after the hugely important Fox educational series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"


Years of Living Dangerously

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Executive producer James Cameron

Years of Living Dangerously is a forthcoming nonfiction documentary television series focusing on the American and international impact of, and solutions to, climate change. It is expected to premiere on Showtime on April 13, 2014 at 10pm.[1]James CameronJerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger are executive producers of the series.[2] Schwarzenegger said that he had been thinking about why the issue of climate change has not yet resonated strongly with the public despite the warnings from the scientific community: "I think the environmental movement only can be successful if we are simple and clear and make it a human story. We will tell human stories in this project. The scientists would never get the kind of attention that someone in show business gets."[3]

Years of Living Dangerously consists of nine episodes.[4] The episodes feature celebrity investigators, who travel to areas around the world and throughout the U.S. affected by global warming to interview experts and ordinary people and view the impacts of climate change. The celebrities include Harrison FordMatt DamonJessica AlbaDon CheadleAmerica Ferrera, Schwarzenegger, Lesley StahlMark BittmanIan SomerhalderOlivia Munn and Michael C. HallJoseph Romm and Heidi Cullen are the chief science advisors.[5][6] Electus International has acquired the international rights to the series.[7]

Segments from the show are slated to include the following:

Executive producer and correspondent Schwarzenegger

·         Alba reports on how Climate Corps fellows work to make the corporate sector more environmentally friendly;

·         Bittman investigates rising sea levels and the environmental impact of producing natural gas;

·         Cheadle reports on the severe droughts in the Southwest United States;

·         Damon explores the public health issues raised by heat waves;

·         Ferrera reports on the political obstacles to the growth of wind and solar power;

·         Ford visits Indonesia to learn about deforestation and the struggle to prevent it;

·         Thomas Friedman investigates how climate change impacts national sovereignty in the Middle East;

·         Hall travels to Bangladesh to see how climate change will impact the rest of the world in the coming decades;

·         Chris Hayes reports on how Super Storm Sandy affected towns and families;

·         Munn follows the new governor of Washington State, who is making the fight against global warming a top priority;

·         M. Sanjayan circles the globe to see the effects of climate change firsthand;

·         Schwarzenegger accompanies a team of elite firefighters in Western U.S. forests as they face the destructive fire season;

·         Somerhalder follows the daughter of Evangelical preacher Rick Joyner, as she tries to persuade congregations and preachers in North Carolina (including her father) to join the fight against global warming; and

·         Stahl visits Greenland to view the effect of rising temperatures melting the arctic ice sheet.[5]


The Globe and Mail calls the series "a lavish, gripping production focused on the real effect of climate change in real people's lives around the world."[3] The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media noted that the series shows what scientists do in the field "and why they're reaching the conclusion that this problem is such a serious risk to the viability of our civilization and requires urgent action. ... [The] actors [get] their 'hands dirty'. ... [The show] may ... open new avenues for climate change communications."[8]



From: Anna Goldstein - []
Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 7:03 PM
To: Suckow, Paul (CSD)
Subject: A moment you'll want to seize.


Dear friends,

Have you ever thought that the movement to fight climate change needs to get WAY bigger?

Good news: in 11 days, a new TV show is coming out that might just get a huge number of people connecting the climate dots.

It's called "Years of Living Dangerously", and it's shaping up to be a pretty big deal. It's got some big stars (Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle), is being produced by James Cameron (who made Avatar and Titanic), and tells a story of planetary proportions: the story of the climate crisis. The first of nine episodes is coming out on April 13th, and the buzz is really starting to build. 

This is one of those moments you want to seize, so we're going big and launching a day of watch-parties on April 13th. All over the country, in living rooms and libraries, we'll gather to watch the show, join a live web-chat afterwards, and talk about where we can go from here.

To make this work, we need people like you to step up and host an event. It's pretty easy -- the episode is being streamed for free on YouTube, so all you need is a way to display it and a place for folks to gather and watch it.

Can you help out by hosting a local watch-party on April 13th?

Yes, I'm interested in hosting an event!

I can't host an event, but I'd like to join one near me.

Hosting a watch party is simple -- you just need two things:

1) A couple of hours on Sunday April 13th

2) A way to display the show for an audience.

Our team will send you resources to help make sure your event is a success -- and, if you'd like,  we'll spread the word about your watch-party to 350 supporters near you.

At, we're working on a lot of big campaigns: the Reject and Protect action in DC to stop the Keystone XL pipeline on April 26th, the fast-growing Fossil Free divestment campaign, plus hundreds of vitally important local and regional struggles across the country.

All of these efforts have one thing in common: the more people that join them, the stronger this movement becomes. This show, "The Years of Living Dangerously", has the potential to get a LOT of new folks thinking about the climate crisis.

So, let's harness this moment

With gratitude,

Anna for the team

P.S. Not sure if you can commit yet? Click here to learn more about hosting an event and watch the epic trailer for the Years of Living Dangerously. is building a global climate movement. Become a sustaining donor to keep this movement strong and growing.

You can update your contact information here, or if you're 100% sure you never want to hear from again you can click here to unsubscribe.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Begin today

We must begin seriously to ramp down global carbon emissions, and if you think that "global" means we must wait for everyone else in the world to begin taking action before we start, you're wrong.  We must be the change the whole world needs.  Eliminating fossil fuels from new power plants would make a good faith beginning, but there is more, much more to do.  We have all the rest of the burning fossil fuels that make up 85% of economic activity to retire as quickly as humanly possible and to replace with methods of producing power which do not emit carbon.  Then we must also accomplish the task of sucking back the error of our past ways from the air and sea back to solid earth reservoirs to return Earth to its carefully balanced climate optimum.  If we sincerely set our sights on a two hundred year effort to get it all done, life everywhere on Earth will forever thank us!!  I only hope we are not too late.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Climate Change 101

Bill Nye the Science Guy
catches us up to the reality
of climate change due to
excess greenhouse effect
in Earth's atmosphere:

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

FW: 2014 GISPRO Call for Presentation Proposals Submissions Due: January 27, 2014

Write up a topic track on alternative views of sustainability:  3 Pillars/ 1996 Planner's Triangle and following/ Robert Muhammad's Planner's Pentagon/ as wrapped into our trihedron?


From: []
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 11:19 AM
To: Suckow, Paul (CSD)
Subject: 2014 GISPRO Call for Presentation Proposals Submissions Due: January 27, 2014


Call for Presentation Proposals

Submissions Due: January 27, 2014




GIS-Pro 2014: URISA's 52nd Annual Conference

September 8-11, 2014

New Orleans, Louisiana


Leveraging Spatial Technology to Support Sustainable and Resilient Communities


Why should you present at GIS-Pro?

  • Get recognized for your achievements and enhance your professional profile.
  • Increase the visibility of your organization. 
  • Help somebody else who is facing similar challenges.  
  • Receive valuable points toward your GISP certification or renewal.
  • Practice your presentation skills … discuss your work in a meaningful way to a variety of individuals.
  • Receive valuable feedback from your peers. Are you on the right track?


Proposals for individual presentations, lightning talks, panel discussions and interactive session formats are welcome. But this year, we are encouraging submissions of complete sessions with specific learning objectives to make the attendee experience even more valuable.


The GIS-Pro 2014 Conference Committee has proposed a list of suggested topics organized according to the "3 Pillars of Sustainability": Society, Environment, and Economy.  In addition, the Committee is inviting presentations on GIS Management to highlight best practices in support of GIS projects, and Solution Central, a track to showcase vendor-based solutions to technical challenges. 


Visit or for further details and an online submission form. Submissions must be received by January 27, 2014.


More Education in 2014:


2014 GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference
18th Annual Conference for Professionals in Property Assessment, Tax Administration, Mapping and Information Technology

February 24-27, 2014
Jacksonville, Florida


20th Annual California GIS Conference

April 14-16, 2014           

Monterey, California


URISA Leadership Academy

May 5-9, 2014

Calgary, Alberta Canada


GIS-Pro 2014: URISA's 52nd Annual Conference

September 8-11, 2014

New Orleans, Louisiana


URISA Leadership Academy

October 13-17, 2014

Louisville, Kentucky


Watch for announcements about URISA's 2014 Caribbean GIS Conference and an extensive line-up of virtual webinars and workshops! Also check out URISA chapter events in 2014!


Visit frequently and follow us on Twitter @URISA



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Monday, January 06, 2014

I keep referring back to this graphic about BitCoin …

Why do I ascribe climate change adaptation benefits to Bitcoin (and any successor financial transaction protocols)?

  • More efficient than all existing alternatives = less wasted electrons (though mining activity is another story entirely)
  • More direct solution = person-to-person (P2P) transactions, eliminating the activities and pollution by middlemen, hegemonic overseers, or under-belly leeches.
  • Global solution = not localized to a nation-state (as are centralized fiat currencies), so tender everywhere
  • Micropayments possible = even the tiniest slivers of a crypto-currency can be transacted efficiently, yet responsive to the personal consent of those involved.
  • Above-board = the transaction record is public, hugely redundant (so highly resistant to falsification) and decentralized (so no entity can intervene, interfere or inhibit transactions)
  • No new physical infrastructure is required = adoption can occur over fully existing networks and using existing end user devices (though currently mining farm electricity proliferation is another matter).  Over time improvements to the efficiency of technology will further assist adaptation efforts.
  • Unconnected to spin machines = taxation of fiat money occurs before it is transacted with bitcoin or other crypto-currencies. Transactions within the crypto-currency ecosystem cannot be influenced compulsively by external policies and they ultimately support individual choice and responsibility.
  • You might think that because of its person-to-person (P2P) nature, a crypto-currency could provide a loophole for compliance with the rule of law foundational to civilized behavior. However, democratic control over modern laws eroded under special, self-serving and increasingly anti-public interests. A centralized agency, regardless how large or powerful, cannot compel compliance that runs counter to the wishes of those involved with any transaction.
  • Unjust laws will be effectively and publicly vetoed and the interests that sustain themselves by unjust means will wither. Worldwide laws establishing rates of taxation, fees, or government withholding will be transformed exclusively into economic incentives that will fight for and maintain overwhelming public buy-in (the actual real-time consent of the governed).
  • Special interests, such as those who have obfuscated issues and prevented cohesive societal action to head off climate change, even if they maintain a stranglehold on centralized power systems, will lose their influence entirely over those participating in a non-inflating cryptographic financial ecosystem. This includes the central banks that oversee fiat currency money supplies.
  • Without the deflationary effects on monetary units caused by bank fractional lending practices and the general price inflation that this causes, an apple can be compare to an apple throughout the global economy, across time and space. Real economic gains and losses will become publicly visible and will prompt appropriate actions through widespread inclusive consensus.
  • Primary to rapidly turning away from fossil fuel burning in the open atmosphere is a fee-and-dividend approach conceded to by global energy interests and supported by the public (in case you missed it, I’ve discussed in past postings such as  Use of a crypto-currency would allow easy integration of these payments and payouts for all who unearth or purchase fossil carbon resources.  We would finally impose a just price (enwrapping former “externalities”) on additional fossil carbon entering the Earth atmosphere to incentivize retiring polluting sources as quickly as humanly possible.

It’s this (re)binding of real-time personal actions to public, inclusive consensus that I believe holds the key to adaptations none of us will enjoy making at the time we make them, but which will pay off effectively forever after we have made them. It is very early in a new age of cryptographic currencies, with leading bitcoin flickering between US$ 6 and 12 billion in a US$ 60,000+ billion global economy. A new age of significant consequences due anthropogenic climate change is nearly as young.  To this day centralized powers have proven resistant to even embracing a correct understanding of what is staked on future climate change, let alone taking a first appropriate action. We all know that the ultimate vote happens with our wallet. How much more so with our bitcoin wallets!  Person-to-person is how we will save the civilized human species from untimely extinction at its own hand.

I am part of a new endeavor to mainstream bitcoin direct deposits for workers everywhere.  More at:

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Science-based, comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Planning

Dr. John Anderson, Rice University professor of Oceanography and academic director of the Rice University Shell Center for Sustainability (Rice’s Shell Center), says science-based comprehensive planning is urgently needed to find ways to minimize the impact of sea-level rise on coastal communities. “We are seeing unprecedented change take place related to what has been happening over the past 1,000 years,” Anderson says. “The rate of sea-level rise is five times what it was 200 years ago, and that’s very important. Some coastal areas are not able to keep up.”


Dr. Anderson authored The Formation and Future of the Upper Texas Coast: A Geologist Answers Questions about Sand, Storms, and Living by the Sea (2007, Gulf Coast Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi).  It quite bothered me that short shrift was being given Gulf Coast sea level rise based on the lack of upper bound for dynamical ice flow changes reported in the IPCC AR4, and because ground subsidence had appeared to stabilize under ongoing water/wastewater regionalization and a continued switch toward surface water utilization.  Now after five years' recovery from (2008) Hurricane Ike, and the region's sharp 2011-2012 drought with its serious fire threat and renewed tight resource ground withdrawls, the good doctor's quote in October 2013 is indeed gratifying!
Recent local works rather timidly break topics of sustainability open for our region (TAMU's 2009
Adaptation to Climate Change in the Houston-Galveston Area: Perceptions and Prospects; H-GAC's 2013 Sustainable Communities draft Our Great Region 2040). A very large gap remains between probaballistically well-understood science and what is now publicly perceptable. The gap is greater still which stretches toward collective preparedness, social justice and existing institutional policies.  The IPCC 27 September 2013 Fifth Assessment Report: Summary for Policy Makers is recommended reading.  All statements are made at a level of certainty above 90% confidence and they include nuggets such as:

  • "The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia."
  • "Over the period 1901–2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] m."
  • "Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century." The best possible scenario where emissions fall to zero by 2070 and then go into reverse (an extreme effort to mitigate climate change) would watch sea levels rise by 1/4 to 1/2 meter by 2100.  The worst scenario analyzed, where emissions do not peak until after 2250 by which time concentrations will have risen to over 2000 parts per million (7 times their preindustrial level), results in 1/2  to a full meter sea level rise (SLR) by 2100. 
  • Either way, with extreme efforts to combat global warming (~1.0 degree C further temperature rise to 2100 and ~1/3 meter SLR by then) or very modest efforts to fight global warming (~3.7 degrees C further temperature rise to 2100 and ~2/3 meter SLR by then), the sea is coming up in a way it hasn't before, and coastal Climate Change Adaptation Planning is necessary.
  • "The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years."
  • "CO2 concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification."
Currently I'm most interested in what a GIS-based COAST v1.0 damage assessment model might reveal to local policymakers about adaptation tradeoffs.  The necessary local data to populate that model is close to fruition, but explicet support for such a project is essential and not yet foreseeable.

I returned to grad school 2004-2007 at Texas Southern University's Urban Planning-Environmental Policy Program at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs to learn all I could about what would become known as science-based Climate Change Adaptation Planning.  I'm delighted at last to see the discipline begin hitting home. May continued colaboration and success grace the SSPEED Center, Shell Center for Sustainability, Institute for Regional Forecasting, Center for Houston's Future, Houston Tomorrow, H-GAC, City of Houston and Harris County (there are so many others that could equally bear mention) sustainable communities, emergency management, disaster mitigation and Hurricane Ike recovery efforts!

Super also to find a dear TSU professor, Walter J. McCoy PhD, JD, serving on the advisory board, source of  Vicki Wolf's linked article and Dr. John B. Anderson's quote above.