Two weeks ago, we looked at the struggles the city of Venice endures as it slowly sinks into the surrounding waters. Today, we turn to the submerging Pacific Island nation of Kiribati. Without any mountains, low-lying Kiribati is sinking like the disastrous Titanic, under rising seal levels caused by global warming. Located exactly in the center…
Thomas Fire – Santa Barbara County – Southern California – December 12, 2017
Photo Credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Here in California, after years of drought, ferocious wildfires have consumed the tinder and everything in their path. Ignited on December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire was not fully contained until January 12, 2018. Now ranked as the largest fire in California’s modern history, it burned about 281,900 acres, equivalent to the size of Dallas and Miami combined. It destroyed 1,063 structures and damaged another 280.
Torrential rainfall on January 9, a welcome respite for firefighters, brought more distress to residents in the area. Mudslides roared down fire scarred slopes, destroying and damaging hundreds of homes, as well as commercial property. Twenty people lost their lives; three are still missing.
Home damaged by mudslides – Montecido – Santa Barbara County – Southern California
January 10, 2018
Photo Credit: Kenneth Song/Santa Barbara News
Meanwhile, extreme winter weather on America’s East Coast provides vindication for climate change deniers. But, as world-renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains, this is “an example of precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.” What’s happening is the collision of increasingly warm Atlantic Ocean waters with cold Arctic air masses. To make matters worse, the warmer oceans also mean more moisture in the atmosphere to fuel the storm and produce larger snowfalls.
Woman walks down street in East Boston – Massachusetts – January 4, 2018
Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP
In November 2017, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released its 477-page Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), in compliance with regulations issued by the Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The CSSR is “designed to be an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change, with a focus on the United States, to serve as the foundation for efforts to assess climate-related risks and inform decision making about responses.”
Dotard & Rocket Man
play nuclear war games
while Frankenstorms rage.
Bill Moyers, managing editor of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com, recently sat down with 91-year-old Robert Jay Lifton, a renowned American psychiatrist and historian. They talked about his just published book, The Climate Swerve: Reflections of Mind, Hope, and Survival. Lifton borrowed the term “swerve” from Harvard humanities professor Stephen Greenblatt who used the term to describe a major historical change in human consciousness. Lifton has turned his attention to climate change, which, he says, “presents us with what may be the most demanding and unique psychological task ever required of humankind.”
I share with you some excerpts from Lifton’s responses to Moyers during the interview. Continue reading
America’s Clean Energy Momentum, Electric & plug-in hybrid vehicles, Reducing carbon emissions, Renewable energy capacity, Renewal energy jobs, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), US investments in energy efficiency, US wind & solar power generation
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
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
30 Million Directed by Daniel Price and Adrien Taylor (2016) Film Review Thirty Million is a New Zealand documentary about how rising sea levels in Bangladesh are already displacing (and killing) people in low lying coastal areas. It depicts quite dramatically how coastal farmers inundated by rising tides are moving into incredibly congested cities, where […]
“I think the trick in our hand is that we [the United Nations] have enough knowledge, enough information to act. But it is the collective acting that is what is required now. But if we are not that careful then we will definitely be suicidal if not evil. Evil is the word that could definitely be attributed to the people who have the choice and have not acted, who have the power and have not used it for the greater good of themselves, the community and the planet as a whole. We must not lose this opportunity because our leaders [of the world] have not thought it through. Or their personal, narrow, myopic vision blurs their understanding of the planetary processes. Climate change is a global phenomenon, with local impacts. But action must be taken globally. We are all in it together, either we all swim or all sink. There is no plan B, there is no planet B, this is all we have.”
~Dr. Atiq Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, excerpt from the New Zealand documentary film, “30 Million.”
Way to go, Elon Musk and team! Can’t wait for Los Angeles to transition entirely to solar roofs. We even have a choice of solar glass tiles: textured, slate, smooth, and Tuscan.
Tesla’s Elon Musk unveils Solar Roof (2016.10.28)
During a press event at Universal Studios in L.A., Elon Musk announces that Tesla will build and sell its own line of solar panels with integrated batteries. Coupled with the also unveiled PowerWall 2, it will allow residential homeowners to replace their entire roof with solar panels, making it much simpler for homes to be entirely powered by solar power.
With atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations having reached a “symbolic and significant milestone” in 2015—and with no signs of them abating this year—the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Monday that “a new era of climate change reality” is upon us.
The campaign to hold Exxon accountable for their climate cover-up just took a big step forward.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on September 20, 2016, that they’re opening an investigation into whether Exxon has failed to account for the risk climate change and climate regulations could pose to their business model.
Learn more at 350.org.