Archive: 04/2011

Extreme Precipitation and Scary Math

BY BRUCE E. JOHANSEN

By 2011, scientific studies were beginning to bear out what many incidents of extreme precipitation have been telling weather watchers who follow the meteorological news: a warmer atmosphere produces more rain and snowfall—and a greater risk of damaging floods. These studies also lend credence to a scary prospect, and one that popular media coverage of these studies largely missed: while increases in temperature are linear, intensity of precipitation increases exponentially. One must wonder what the atmosphere has in store for us once temperature increases get really serious. 

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Local View: Military spending feeds national debt

Linda Ruchala
Posted Sunday, April 24
Lincoln Journal Star 

Friday's Lincoln Journal Star opinion noted that Congress was finally "getting serious about national debt", but chided them and the president for not proposing changes to Social Security: "Why ignore that issue?"

Indeed. I am curious as to how the Editors could write an editorial about getting serious about national debt without mentioning the real elephant in the room -- our soaring expenditures on military activity. Earlier last week, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported that $ 1.6 trillion was spent world -wide on military activities, with the United States alone spending just under half that amount. They went on to report that "The United States has increased its military spending by 81 percent since 2001. At 4.8 percent of gross domestic product, U.S. military spending in 2010 represents the largest economic burden outside the Middle East."

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Our Growing Income Inequality (It's NOT an Accident)

Hendrik Van den Berg
UNL Professor of Economics 

Something very disturbing has been happening in the United States, the land of equal opportunity: Income has become much more unequal. The U.S. is now the least equal of all developed countries.

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Global Day of Action Rally Makes Headlines

Former State Senator Ernie Chambers addressed the Nebraskans for Peace rally at the Lincoln Federal Building Tuesday, April 12th commemorating the "Global Day of Action on Military Spending". Below are the articles about Senator Chambers' talk that appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald.

Ernie Chambers calls for military spending cuts

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A Firsthand Account of the Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster

Japanese citizen Nobuko Tsukui delivered the ‘Greeting’ at the Lincoln NFP Chapter “Annual Lantern Float” last August commemorating the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Nobuko, who took her Ph.D. at UNL in the ’60s, is a distinguished critic of American poetry and translator of Japanese poetry and prose. She has written about the poet Ezra Pound, worked with author John Gardner, translated the writings of the Japanese novelist Hotta and many other Japanese works, and published a number of essays on 19th-century American literature.  She is also a member of Nebraskans for Peace.  Recently she sent her journals and reflections on the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe in Japan.  Her reflections may help us to understand what Japanese people—who are not at the center of the catastrophe but still feel its power—experience in these times.  These reflections were not intended for publication, but I asked Nobuko’s permission to condense them for posting on the NFP website. (Paul Olson) 

#1:  March 16 

I just realized that I have more than a dozen friends living in the U.S., who are concerned about me, especially after the horrendous earthquake of March 11. Until now I have tried to respond individually to each of you.  But for the time being, please allow me to send my e-mail to all of you simultaneously.   Because I believe you (in the U.S.) are getting the reports, pictures, statistics, etc. on this present disaster from TV, newspapers, the Internet, etc., I will write more about what is taking place around me, as a kind of reflection of, or a glimpse at, the effects felt in Tokyo of the devastation in the northern part of Japan. 

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