Our 'Gross National Happiness' is now threatened...


Bhutan's soon-to-be former king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, an environmentalist who has decided to give up power after establishing the protection of resources the cornerstone philosophy of his nation, had named that philosophy, the idea that lifestyle and values were as important as material gains, their: 'Gross National Happiness'.

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National Flag of Bhutan

For this high Himalayan nation lined by lakes and rivers -- a country that has done more than most to help the environment -- the sins of others have overwhelmed that philosophy, as twenty four of their over two thousand glacial melt lakes threaten to spill over their natural dams due to glacier retreat.

Leading Bhutan's Agricultural Minister to announce that their 'Gross National Happiness' is now threatened:

Bhutan eyes glacier floods as area warms

THIMPU, Bhutan - High in the Himalayas, the isolated mountain kingdom of Bhutan has done more to protect its environment than almost any other country.

Forests cover nearly three quarters of its land, and help to absorb the greenhouse gases others emit. Its strict conservation policies help to guard one of the world's top 10 biodiversity hotspots, often to the chagrin of its own farmers. Yet Bhutan could pay a high price for the sins of others — global warming is a major threat to its fragile ecosystem and the livelihoods of its people.


The most dramatic threat is posed by what scientists call Glacial Lake Outburst Floods. As the Himalaya's glaciers recede, these lakes are forming and filling with melt water all along the mountain range...

Bhutan reports their glaciers are believed to be retreating at sixty to ninety feet a year. They are also beginning to record diseases never before experienced in the high Himalayas, such as Malaria and dengue fever.

Their government is drawing up a national plan to address the problems of climate change, but even the best planning in the world will not be enough if the other nations of the world do not do their part. In the meantime, they're giving radios and walkie-talkies to villages at the highest elevations in a effort to provide an early warning of sudden floods to the populations below.

Bhutan is not the only place where dramatic glacier change is occurring.

ABC reported, in Nov., about a Norwegian glacier that was melting so fast, the scientists working there had to abandon their research.

Video link here.

And environmental photojournalist, David Arnold, recently took identical photographs of glaciers photographed seventy years ago by mountain climber, Brad Washburn. The results, which are stark, are at this link.

Malaria in the Himalayas.

A canary on top of the world.

Everyone's Gross National Happiness is threatened.

More information:

Here's a story about Bhutanese refugees in Nepal with an interesting paragraph at the end about Bhutan's former king's decision to hand power over to an elected government.

The video story of the Norwegian glacier.

And the glacier comparison photos.

[image of Bhutan National Flag is public domain]

Pet Food Recall - The FDA Updates their lists


Although the news has been almost non-existent lately about the Pet Food Recall, the risk to animals still exists for those that have not been keeping up with the recall lists. The FDA, while falling notably short at times in the crisis, has been working to update their website as a junction of information about recalled pet foods:

FDA Pet Food Recall/Tainted Animal Feed
Updated: May 14, 2007

Topics on this Page

* Introduction
* What Pet Foods Have Been Recalled?
* What Is FDA Doing About the Pet Food Situation?
* News Updates
* Recall Notices by Company
* How Do I Report a Pet Food Complaint?

Symptoms of pet food contamination: Any sign of excessive thirst, loss of appetite, lethargy; get your pet to the vet.

For a list of non-recalled foods, here's a page with a list of all foods (recalled and NOT recalled): http://www.thepetfoodlist.com/

An ongoing list is also available from Pet Food Tracker

And this more complete list of recalled foods from the same site.

Here's some good news: HealthyPetNet (Life's Abundance) has confirmed that NONE of their food is effected by the recall, nor do they use any ingredients that are suspect.

PetConnection's page on the recall has lists of both recalled and other non-recalled food: http://www.petconnection.com/...

SusanHu has also written about this at No Quarter.

Has your pet been affected? Report it here: http://www.PetConnection.com

The ABC News report on the class action suit building on the recall.

Important!! If your pet is sick, be sure to TELL your vet about the ingredients suspected in the poisoning (melamine, cyanuric acid, amilorine and amiloride). The head vet at Cornell mentioned, during his press conference, that there are TREATMENTS for the poisons, as long as the treating vet knows about it.

Menu Foods says they will reimburse expenses for pet owners who can verify their pets were impacted by the recalled food (not saying they will, but make sure your vet charts everything and gives you a copy).

How to make your own cat food: http://www.catinfo.org/

Dr. Michael Fox's Recipes for Cats and Dogs: http://tedeboy.tripod.com/...


The Hot Politics Behind Global Warming


PBS's Frontline has produced a well researched and troubling documentary entitled: "Hot Politics - Examining the politics behind the US Government's Failure to act on the biggest environmental problem of our time"

As more and more Americans look for a response to the realities of climate change, FRONTLINE correspondent Deborah Amos investigates the political decisions that have prevented the United States government from confronting one of the most serious problems facing humanity today.

Starting with the first Bush administration, the documentary shows the purposeful neglect and obscurification behind the politics of global warming, from both sides of the aisle.

Timeline: A chronology of the strengthening science on global warming -- and the United States' failure to address the issue.

Co-produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the documentary reveals an action plan memo from Joe Walker, a public relations representative of the American Petroleum Institute, that:

describes a strategy that had been used effectively by the tobacco industry in earlier years: attack the science. "Because the science underpinning the global climate change theory has not been challenged effectively in the media or through other vehicles reaching the American public," states the memo. "[T]here is widespread ignorance, which works in favor of the Kyoto treaty and against the best interests of the United States."

The coalition sought to recruit five scientists to speak to the media, distribute research papers undercutting conventional scientific wisdom, funnel a steady stream of information to science writers at newspapers and magazines, produce opinion pieces authored by scientists, and convince journalists to re-examine the theory of global warming. Scuttling Kyoto and making climate change a "non-issue" were the stated goals of all this work.


The report identifies which senators, congresspeople, business and administration officials worked to solve the problem and those whom worked aggressively to keep it from being solved.

At a press conference last year the president told a reporter that the "fundamental debate" was whether climate change was "manmade or natural." Vice President Dick Cheney echoed that view in a recent interview with ABC News.

Christie Todd Whitman is interviewed and does not pull her punches on the Bush Administration:

"The way it happened was the equivalent to flipping the bird, frankly, to the rest of the world ... on an issue about which they felt so deeply." That is how former New Jersey governor and the former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman describes the Bush administration's decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol...

Robert Byrd, Chuck Hagel and others, do not come out so well.

As Bush says: "Climate Change, with its potential to impact every corner of the world, is an issue that must be addressed by the world."

He then goes on to trash the Kyoto accords and refuses to sign them...

Well, he got part of it right.

The documentary also pins down the infamous Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist whose global warming denying memo became the talking points of the GOP:

The full text of pollster and political consultant Frank Luntz's memo coaching Republicans on how to speak about global warming -- or, as Luntz might counsel, "climate change." While Luntz says he now believes global warming is real, his strategy of doubting the science was embraced by some prominent Republican politicians.

Rick Piltz and other scientists and journalists describe how the science was suppressed and James Hansen relays how he was told not to speak about science or policies on climate change:

"I don't think my opinion about policies has any more weight than anyone else, but I don't think I should be prevented from saying it or from connecting the dots."

James Hansen - NASA Goddard Space Sciences Institute

The surprise of the report? The coalition of big business and environmentalists (The United States Climate Action Partnership - USCAP) that has come together to demand that Congress cap C02:

USCAP Members Include:

  • Alcan Inc.
  • Alcoa
  • American International Group, Inc. (AIG)
  • Boston Scientific Corporation
  • BP America Inc.
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Deere & Company
  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Duke Energy
  • DuPont
  • Environmental Defense
  • FPL Group, Inc.
  • General Electric
  • General Motors Corp.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Marsh, Inc.
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • PepsiCo
  • Pew Center on Global Climate Change
  • PG&E Corporation
  • PNM Resources
  • Shell
  • Siemens Corporation
  • World Resources Institute


This is a stunning documentary that presents its evidence in a clear and irrefutable manner. It should be shown in every science and political science classroom and, as we face fires, floods, tornadoes and environmental refugees, by everyone else, as well, so we know who to curse as our planet shudders in horror at our neglect.

Here's a link the video of the documentary.

Here's a link to the PBS page on the story.

And this link to see where your state stands on the issue.