In Sweltering South, Climate Change Is Now a Workplace Hazard

“For too long, a lot of the climate change and global warming arguments have been looking at melting ice and polar bears and not at the human suffering side of it. They are still pushing out the polar bear as the icon for climate change. The icon should be a kid who is suffering from the negative impacts of climate change and increased air pollution, or a family where rising water is endangering their lives.”
~ Robert D. Bullard, a professor at Texas Southern University who some call the “father of environmental justice.”

We’re feeling the heat here in Los Angeles. I now have to avoid going out until after five in the evenings. For my son, an independent contractor who often works outdoors, it’s hell.

The Secular Jurist

GALVESTON, Tex. — Adolfo Guerra, a landscaper in this port city on the Gulf of Mexico, remembers panicking as his co-worker vomited and convulsed after hours of mowing lawns in stifling heat. Other workers rushed to cover him with ice, and the man recovered.

But, for Mr. Guerra, 24, who spends nine hours a day, six days a week doing yard work the episode was a reminder of the dangers that exist for outdoor workers as the planet warms.

Continue reading:  In Sweltering South, Climate Change Is Now a Workplace Hazard

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“Eyes of Liberty” – Poem by Jamaican Rastafarian Poet Mutabaruka

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Mutabaruka - Jamaican Rastafari Dub Poet

My Poetry Corner August 2017 features the poem “Eyes of Liberty” by Mutabaruka, a Jamaican Rastafarian dub poet, musician, actor, educator, and talk-show host. Born Allan Hope in December 1952, he grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, where he trained as an electrician at the Kingston Technical High School. Marcus Garvey’s son, a teacher at the trade school, influenced his world view and awakened his Black awareness.

As an adolescent, Mutabaruka identified with the Black Power Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s that swept across the Caribbean. His poems became a means to changing the political system in Jamaica.

“Because they say that the pen is mightier than the sword, in that case it was a gun! So we used the pen instead of turning toward this what dem call revolution that was in we that was fashioned and shaped in us,” Mutabaruka told his audience at a book signing in San Francisco in April 2005. Continue reading

Disruptive Technology: The Breakthrough in Renewable Energy – Documentary 2016

Thanks to Guyanese Online blog for sharing this must-see video.

While the American government has decided to invest more in producing fossil fuels, the transition to affordable renewable energy is underway in major regions around the world. As investments continue to grow for the renewable energy industry, the fossil fuel industry will collapse. The transition is unstoppable: so says the Managing Director of Citigroup (9:50 on video).

Since October 2016, the cost of producing wind & solar energy has fallen below that of coal, oil, and gas. According to a German investor (21:15 video) seeking to expand his company’s portfolio in the Middle East, oil would have to fall to US$10/barrel to compete with renewal energy.

Meanwhile, our corporate-controlled government has convinced its supporters that America can become great again like it once was in the 1950s. Moving backwards inside of forwards into a sustainable and livable future on Earth.

Watch Video on the Guyanese Online Blog.

Guyanese Online

The Breakthrough in Renewable Energy – Documentary 2016

Aerospace Engineering –Published on Jun 18, 2017 

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Guyana ties the knot with ExxonMobil

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ExxonMobil Country Manager receives Production License from Guyana Minister of Natural Resources - 15 June 2017

ExxonMobil Country Manager Rod Henson receives Production License
from Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman
Georgetown – Guyana – June 15, 2017
Photo Credit: Guyana Ministry of Natural Resources

On June 15, 2017, Guyana tied the knot with ExxonMobil with the signing of a production license for the extraction of oil and natural gas, located offshore the Caribbean/South American nation with a population of 800,000 people. With this license, together with the Environmental Permit granted on June 1st, ExxonMobil will proceed with the Liza Phase 1 development. Located 120 miles offshore in an area known as the Stabroek Block, the Liza field development includes a subsea production system and a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Exxon and its partners plan to begin production by 2020.

ExxonMobil’s press release on June 16th states: “Phase 1 is expected to cost just over $4.4 billion, which includes a lease capitalization cost of approximately $1.2 billion for the FPSO facility, and will develop approximately 450 million barrels of oil.

It is a marriage of unequal partners. ExxonMobil’s profit margin in 2016 is more than twice that of Guyana’s GDP of US$3.5 billion for the same year. With the assistance of local and foreign experts in the industry, the Guyana government has reviewed the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), signed in 1999 when exploration began under the former leftist Guyana government. Continue reading

America’s Clean Energy Momentum: How’s your state doing?

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UCS - Clean Energy is Sweeping the Nation

The news is good. Despite our pro-fossil-fuel administration of climate change deniers, the use of renewal energy is growing across the United States. So says the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in their report Clean Energy Momentum: Ranking State Progress released in April 2017.

Across America, the growth of wind and solar power generation is impressive. Over the past decade, wind power expanded more than tenfold, supplying energy to more than 20 million households in 41 states. Since 2011, solar power has sprinted ahead with more than 900 percent in growth. In 2016, two million more households now use solar-powered electricity.

That’s not all. Investments in energy efficiency, over the last 25 years, have reduced our need for constructing more than 300 large carbon-emitting power plants. Last year alone, we saved a year’s worth of electricity usage of 20 million households. Continue reading

“Immigrant Song” – Poem by Korean-American Poet Sun Yung Shin

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Happy Fourth of July America

My Poetry Corner July 2017 features the poem “Immigrant Song” by Sun Yung Shin, a Korean-American poet, writer, and educator. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she was one year old when an American couple adopted her. Raised in Chicago, she later moved to Minneapolis where she earned a BA in English from Macalester College and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of St. Thomas. She teaches at Macalester College and lives with her husband and their two children. 

When asked about her relationship with the English language in an interview with Lightsey Darst for Minnesota Artists (January 2016), Sun Yung Shin said that strangers often question her ability to speak English without a “foreign” accent. Her fluency and sense of belonging as an Asian American offend them.

Shin’s opening verses in “Immigrant Song” from her poetry collection, Skirt Full of Black (winner of the 2007 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry), express the restraints she faces to achieve her full potential as a human being. Continue reading

Father said…

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Father with Baby Daughter - A girl's first love is her Daddy

Father said not to worry about anything.
He was working to provide for my needs.
And I believed him.

Father said he would never let anyone hurt me.
He was there to protect me, Mother, and my brother Paul.
And I believed him.

Father said not to worry about climate change;
the science is still debatable.
And I believed him.

Father said the abortion of an unborn child is an abomination.
Life is sacred. Only God can take a life.
And I believed him. Continue reading

Climate Change & the Water Cycle

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The Water Cycle

As a geographer and former high school geography teacher, I must confess that I take some scientific facts for granted, such as climate and the water cycle. A recent post “Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students” by fellow blogger Robert Vella brought to my attention the challenges some of our high school science teachers face in regions of America where climate change denial creates havoc in the minds of our youth.

When your father has raised you to believe that the coal they once mined, or still mine, can in no way affect our climate, it’s difficult to have an open mind to scientific consensus on the issue.

Geography lessons in high school expanded my curious mind to our relationship with our world: land, oceans, atmosphere, and all the in-between. When taking a climatology course at university, I found myself at a disadvantage for having chosen to study art instead of physics in high school. I had lots of catching up to do. Our course in biogeography alerted me to the ways that we humans are degrading our ecosystems. Those were the days before the Internet and Wikipedia. Continue reading

Patativa do Assaré: Brazil’s Popular Oral Poet

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Patativa do Assare seated in front of his hut in Assare - Ceara - Brazil

My Poetry Corner June 2017 features the poem “The Peasant Farmer and the Factory Worker” (O Agregado e o Operário) by Antônio Gonçalves da Silva, known as Patativa do Assaré (1909-2002), a popular Brazilian oral poet, improviser of oral verse, composer, singer, and guitar player.

The son of poor peasant farmers eking out a subsistence livelihood in the semi-arid hinterlands, known as the sertão, of the Northeast State of Ceará, Patativa began working at an early age on his family’s small plot of land. At the age of four, he lost his sight in one eye due to lack of medical assistance. With his father’s death four years later, he had to work as a farmhand to help his family, leaving him no time to attend school. During his six months of formal education, he learned to read and write.

God was his Master; Nature was his teacher.

Sertao Nordestino - Northeast Brazil (2)Sertão Nordestino – Northeast Brazil  [Photo Credit: poesiafaclube.com]

 

I was born listening to songs
of birds in my mountain terrain
and seeing wonderful marvels
that the beautiful woodlands enclose.
That is where I grew up
watching and learning
from the book of nature
where God is most visible
the heart most sensitive
and life has more purity.
Continue reading

American Cities and States Affirm Commitment to Paris Climate Agreement

We the people of America who know that climate change is a fact cannot falter now in moving forward on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to clean energy resources.

JoAnn Chateau

If Donald Trump wanted to prove he is irrelevant, withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement seals the deal. American mayors and governors are prepared to fill the gap. As NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says, “When our national government falls down on the job, local government steps up.”


Mayor de Blasio Signs Executive Order to Adopt Goals of Paris Climate Agreement for New York City | NYC Mayor’s Office

“Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order today that promised New York City would commit to the principles enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement following President Trump’s announcement that he would formally withdraw the nation from the accord.” ~ NYC Mayor’s Office


180 Us Climate Mayors Commit to Adopt, Honor and Uphold Paris Climate Agreement Goals | Climate Mayors

“…We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more…

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