Game Over for Planet Earth: The Month’s Biggest Story You Never Read

By Tom Engelhardt,
Posted on November 16, 2011, Printed on November 22, 2011


To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from here. 

What’s the biggest story of the last several weeks?  Rick Perry’s moment of silence, all 53 seconds’ worth?  The Penn State riots after revered coach JoePa went down in a child sex abuse scandal? The Kardashian wedding/divorce?  The European debt crisis that could throw the world economy into a tailspin?  The Cain sexual harassment charges?  The trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor?

The answer should be none of the above, even though as a group they’ve dominated the October/November headlines.  In fact, the piece of the week, month, and arguably year should have been one that slipped by so quietly, so off front-pages nationwide and out of news leads everywhere that you undoubtedly didn’t even notice.  And yet it’s the story that could turn your life and that of your children and grandchildren inside out and upside down.

On the face of it, it wasn’t anything to shout about — just more stats in a world drowning in numbers.  These happen to have been put out by the U.S. Department of Energy and they reflected, as an Associated Press headline put it, the “biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases.”  In other words, in 2010, humanity (with a special bow to China, the United States, and onrushing India) managed to pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than at any time since the industrial revolution began — 564 million more tons than in 2009, which represents an increase of 6%.

According to AP’s Seth Borenstein, that’s “higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.” He’s talking about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, which is, if anything, considered “conservative” in its projections of future catastrophe by many climate scientists.  Put another way, we’re talking more greenhouse gases than have entered the Earth’s atmosphere in tens of millions of years.

Consider as well the prediction offered by Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency: without an effective international agreement to staunch greenhouse gases within five years, the door will close on preventing a potentially disastrous rise in the planet’s temperature.  You’re talking, that is, about the kind of freaky weather that will make October’s bizarre snowstorm in the Northeast look like a walk in the park.  (That storm had all the signs of a climate-change-induced bit of extreme weather: New York City hadn’t recorded an October snowfall like it since the Civil War and it managed to hit the region in a period of ongoing warmth when the trees hadn’t yet had the decency to lose their leaves, producing a chaos of downed electrical wires.)  And don’t get me started on what this would mean in terms of future planetary hot spells or sea-level rise.

Honestly, if we were sane, if the media had its head in the right place, this would have been screaming headlines.  It would have put Rick Perry and Herman Cain and the Kardashians and Italy and Greece and Michael Jackson’s doctor in the shade.

The only good news — and because it unsettled the politics of the 2012 election, it did garner a few headlines — was that the movement Bill McKibben and spearheaded to turn back the tar-sands pipeline from Hades (or its earthly global-warming equivalent, which is Alberta, Canada) gained traction in our Occupy Wall Street moment.  Check out McKibben’s account of it, “Puncturing the Pipeline,” and think of it as a harbinger.  Mark my words on this one: sooner or later, Americans are going to wake up to climate change, just as they have this year on the issue of inequality, and when they do, watch out.  There will be political hell to pay.


 Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s as well as The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute’s His latest book, The United States of Fear (Haymarket Books), will be published in November.

Sign up to receive the latest updates here.

© 2011 All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano unleashes violent explosion

April 30, 2011 – Banos, Ecuador — Tungurahua Volcano spews ash as high as 10km (33,000-feet) into the air, triggering residents to evacuate and officials to divert flights. Known as “Throat of Fire,” Tungurahua is one of eight active volcanoes in Ecuador.  Ecuador’s “Throat of Fire” volcano erupted today spewing ash that forced hundreds of residents to flee, authorities said. Loud explosions shook the ground and rattled windows near the volcano, known as Tungurahua in the indigenous Quechua language, 81 miles southeast of Quito, officials said. Vulcanologist Silvana Hidalgo said scientists are carefully monitoring the situation and have detected a small dip in activity. “In these last few hours, what we’ve registered is a small decrease in volcanic activity regarding the energy with which the columns are expelled,” she said. Officials in the area said hundreds of families had evacuated, some voluntarily, while Ecuador’s aviation authorities closed the airport in coastal Guayaquil and altered the routes of some flights to avoid the ash cloud. Baños, a town popular with foreign and local tourists, was among the places evacuated voluntarily, officials said. Tungurahua, a 16,500 ft volcano, has been classed as active since 1999 and had a strong eruption in 2008. It is one of eight active volcanoes in Ecuador. –Dig Triad
Update: Eruptions growing more violent- Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano hurled lorry-sized pyroclastic boulders more than a mile in a powerful eruption that prompted at least 300 people to flee their homes, authorities said. “The smallest blocks are that size of an automobile while the biggest reach the size of a truck, which cause impact craters up to 10 meters (33 feet) wide as they hit the flanks,” the scientist, Silvana Hidalgo, told The Associated Press. Schools were closed for a third straight day as ash showered down on a dozen towns in the sparsely populated area surrounding the 16,480-foot volcano. Thundering explosions could be heard miles from Tungurahua, which is on the Andes cordillera 84 miles southeast of Ecuador’s capital, Quito. –Daily Mail

“Quakes & Earth Changes” Physicist Stan Deyo on Coast to Coast March 31, 2011

Quakes & Earth Changes:

First hour guest, Stan Deyo presented an update on earth changes. Interestingly, he’s found that at the same time as the great quake hit Japan on March 11th there was seismic activity recorded at Yellowstone ( related graphics). He suggested that a great pool of magma underneath Yellowstone is connected to an even larger undersea pool of magma that stretches to the Fukushima quake site. He also predicted that we’ll see another mega-quake somewhere in the Pacific Rim in the near future.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3  Stan talks about comet Elenin, this was before it was discovered that it had grown 80,000km in size – that can’t be a comet. He also talks about the groaning sounds coming from the Earth.

Below Stan talks about the seismographs for Yellowstone from March 11 during the 9.1 magnitude Japan earthquake, it’s obvious that magma chambers under Yellowstone connect to Japan’s volcanic chain.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone 11 Mar 2011
Madison River, Yellowstone 11 Mar 2011
Moose Creek, Yellowstone 11 Mar 2011