tagged w/ Earth
The Climate Reality Project training session in San Francisco this past week that I attended as a trainee was an amazing event for all. It was a life changing event for me. I arrived early the first day excited about the prospect of learning new things and understanding in more depth what I already knew. I was not disappointed. Our first day we were greeted by Maggie Fox, President and CEO of the Climate Reality Project. The day was interesting as we delved into the intracacies of the technological strategies used to bring awareness to a cause and the many ways we can use them to our advantage by Aaron Dignan, CEO of Undercurrent and Rob Schuman, CEO of Action Marketing. There were also discussions about having discussions with Joan Blades, founder of Livingroom Conversations and relating to climate change in our daily lives by crossing political barriers and seeing our commonalities as humans. We were also treated to a performance and presentation by Kathy Matea, Grammy award winning artist and climate/coal leader and activist. Her presentation was remarkable and heartwrenching as it hit home about the devastation of coal on the soul of our land and ourselves. Her interweaving of music with it left me truly wanting to tell my own personal story and I will be doing that. Thank you for that inspiration, Ms. Matea.
The second day was for me one I will never forget. Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation delivered an informative presentation on how climate change affects species and Former Vice President and Nobel laureate Al Gore delivered his slideshow to us and explained the context and corrolation of the science of climate change and its corrolation to extreme weather events and what we can do to address it along with Dr. Michael McCracken. I actually had the pleasure of having Dr. McCracken sit next to me at breakfast by chance and we had a conversation about current conditions in the Arctic, Greenland and extreme weather. At the end of it he told me to never stop asking questions and anyone who knows me knows I certainly won't stop doing that. I thought to myself, imagine that- me an average citizen sitting with an IPCC scientist at breakfast discussing this important crisis. It made it all the more clearer to me the importance of all of us seeking to arm ourselves with knowledge because it does make a difference.
What can I say about Al Gore that I have not already said over all these years of following his endeavors? Prescient, incredible, amazing, informed, intelligent and a great teacher. Being trained by him was a dream come true. Just being in the same room with the man who was my president and who should have been our president was an honor I will not soon forget. His depth of knowledge, his humor and his courage were and are inspiring. To him I say, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this honor.
That evening we were also treated to a reception with photographs with Mr. Gore and a special 'Nashville style guitar pull' with Kathy Matea, her husband songwriter Jon Vezner and guitarist Bill Cooley that was fantastic. The music, being with a room full of people who shared a unified cause and seeing Al Gore listening to it all as he sat on the floor like the down to Earth man he is solidified for me that I was where I belonged-here in this movement doing this work. It was a great end to an inspiring day. And while I really didn't get a chance to talk personally with Mr. Gore because of security I hope he got the message I sent him.
The last day of training was about presenting, presenting, presenting. Afterall, standing up in front of an audience to deliver any message can be daunting. Standing up in front of an audience to talk about climate change is like entering the arena to face the lions. That requires a bit more armor and the presentations that day provided it in spades. Andy Goodman, Director of the Goodman Center and Anthony Wilson, Director of Executive Influence Pty Ltd. showed us ways to change the story to change the world and to face our audience with confidence. Very, very helpful.
These three days of intense informative training gave me the inspiration and hope I need to now go out into my community and spread the truth- the simple truth of the Reality of the world we are now living in and making with the hope that working together we can prevail in addressing it. And I was one of many. People came from all over the world to be part of this training event: 57 countries and 47 states. I had conversations with people as close to me as the Jersey shore and as far away as Indonesia. I talked to people about GMOs in India and solar energy in NJ as well as the plight of indigenous people in Borneo. So in my detailing the presentations we had that were informative, helpful and amazing I cannot leave out the people who attended this event with me. They are people like all of us: Mothers, fathers, students, youth, workers. People with the passion to do what is right for our planet, our present and our future and I was and am truly humbled to be part of it all with them.
I'm also proud to be a Climate Leader determined to spread the Reality of our world situation in the hope that we can in our presenting the truth arm people to fight the misinformation that has only led to the steady deterioration of our ecosystems which now threatens our survival. I have every confidence we will prevail and bring our children the future they deserve. No doubt it is a daunting task based on the current Reality and one that can bring despair. However, human spirit and will are in great supply and after this training event I know that better now than I ever did.
Thank you to Climate Reality Staff, Maggie Fox, all the presenters and Al Gore, a man of humbleness, passion and perseverence. I will never forget this and I will not falter in my journey as a citizen of the world to bring Reality with confidence, love and hope.The Climate Reality Project training session in San Francisco this past week that I... more
You may recall from a recent article how non-environmentally friendly our potential Republican VP is; with today’s article, further illustration is provided to how the onslaught against green policies continues from the republican side of the presidential race.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=41555You may recall from a recent article how non-environmentally friendly our potential... more
A Canadian company opens a test pit in Utah and could be running a sizeable mine by early 2014. But is there enough water to support the industry?
To the ancient Indians who roamed the Colorado Plateau in what is now eastern Utah, the black globs of sticky, smelly bitumen they picked up from the sandy soil mystified them so much they called the strange substance "rocks that burn."
Today, the bitumen that fascinated the Indians for its mysterious quality of combustion is the focal point of a battle over whether bitumen—a thick, tarry substance also known as tar sands oil—should be mined in Utah, which harbors the nation's largest oil sands deposits.
According to the Utah Geological Survey, about 25 billion barrels of bitumen are buried on state and federal land. If every drop of that oil was extracted, it would supply all the nation's current oil needs for a little more than three years.
Utah regulators already have issued permits to an up-start Canadian energy development company that hopes to mine nearly 6,000 acres. The Calgary-based company, U.S. Oil Sands Inc., has scooped open a two-acre test pit in its first step toward full-scale production. If it keeps to its timetable, the nation's first sizeable oil sands mine will be operating in this largely unspoiled wilderness by early 2014.
But even as U.S. Oil Sands is finalizing its plans and calling its operation "shovel ready," two environmental organizations have stepped up their efforts to keep oil sands mining out of Utah. They say that ripping open the land for bitumen is an imprudent and desperate attempt to slake the national thirst for oil—and that it threatens what little water there is in a vast yet delicate ecosystem. According to a letter written by the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, "It is expected that the mine will use 116 gallons of water per minute on a 24-hour basis."
"This is the time and place to stop it, stop the needless assault on our wilderness," said John Weisheit, a river guide who for the last decade has been the conservation director of Living Rivers, a Moab-based environmental organization.
Click here to view a slideshow of the U.S. Oil Sands test pit in eastern Utah
Living Rivers has joined with Western Resource Advocates, a nonprofit environmental law and policy organization, to appeal U.S. Oil Sands' mining permit. An administrative law judge in Salt Lake City is expected to rule soon on their argument that state regulators ignored threats to ground water when they granted the permit.
In a preface to a 2010 report on tar sands and oil shale, Western Resource Advocates President Karin P. Sheldon said oil sands mining offers too little energy in exchange for the water consumption and environmental destruction and expense it requires. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, at least 4,000 pounds of earth will be dug up for every 20 gallons of gasoline made from oil sands.
U.S. Oil Sands estimates that as much as two barrels of water will be used for each of the 2,000 barrels of bitumen it expects to produce each day. (Converted into gallons, that means the company needs as much as 168,000 gallons of water to produce 84,000 gallons of bitumen.) Company officials say 85 percent of the water will be recycled, with the remainder lost to evaporation or returned to the pit as moisture in the leftover sand.
More at the linkA Canadian company opens a test pit in Utah and could be running a sizeable mine by... more
Index can help planners preserve and restore the seas.
Health can be assessed in many different ways—temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate are all measures of human health. But how do we know if the oceans are healthy? Scientists recently developed an index to answer that question.
The oceans play a critical role in supporting life on Earth. As noted oceanographer Sylvia Earle has repeatedly said, “No blue, no green.” Not only is the ocean responsible for providing half of the planet’s oxygen and regulating the global climate, but it also provides humans with food, livelihoods, and opportunities for recreation.
In order to take all of these components into account, scientists have created an index composed of ten diverse factors that contribute to the health of the oceans and the benefits they provide to humans. The assessment, published in Nature this week, calculated the index for every coastal country individually, as well as a combined global health index.
Globally, the ocean health index was 60 out of 100, with developed countries generally performing better than developing countries, with a few noticeable exceptions—Poland and Singapore, both developed countries, scored poorly, while the developing countries of Suriname and Seychelles had relatively high scores. West African, Middle Eastern, and Central American countries scored poorly, while parts of Northern Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and various tropical island countries and uninhabited regions scored highly.
Only five percent of countries scored higher than a 70, whereas 32 percent scored below 50. Index scores were significantly correlated with the Human Development Index, in part because developed countries tend to have stronger economies, better regulations and better infrastructure.
To an extent, the index quantifies what we already knew: human activities such as overfishing, coastal development, and pollution have already taken their toll, altering marine ecosystems and the services they provide now, and for future generations. But it could also be used as a tool to help keep further damage from accumulating.
Ecosystem-based management—an environmental management approach that recognizes the full array of interactions within an ecosystem—has come to the forefront through recent initiatives such as the US National Ocean Policy and the EU Marine Strategy. Rather than looking at a single issue or species, this approach takes a comprehensive look at all factors, including humans. While ecosystem-based management relies heavily on the concept of ocean health, before this work, there were few guidelines for how to measure it.
The ocean health index could be just the tool needed. It focuses on waters within the global and exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which includes nearly all continental shelf area and produces the vast majority of food, natural resources, recreation, livelihoods, and other benefits to humans. Countries with identical or similar scores show that there are different paths for achieving any given index score, and provide guidance on areas that can be improved upon. The United States and The United Kingdom had similar scores, but the US scored higher for coastal protection and coastal livelihoods and economies, while the United Kingdom scored higher for food provision and natural products.
More generally, the index provided information about global trends. Food provisioning from wild-caught fisheries and mariculture was far below what it could be if wild fish were caught more sustainably and sustainable mariculture was increased. Coastal habitat loss, which affects multiple goals and reduced the index scores of many of the countries that scored poorly, could be significantly improved through restoration and increased protection.
This index can be a powerful tool to raise public awareness, direct resource management, improve policy, and direct scientific research. By demonstrating how ocean issues fit into a broader context, the index opens the dialogue about how to use or protect the oceans.
http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/08/scientists-create-a-dow-jones-for-ocean-health/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Technica+-+All+content%29&utm_content=My+YahooIndex can help planners preserve and restore the seas.
Health can be assessed in... more
Has your hometown or homestead been feeling unbearably hot and dry for the past few months? If so, you're not alone — according to National Public Radio (NPR), about 55 percent of the United States is experiencing the worst drought conditions seen since 1956, and 1,297 counties have been declared natural disaster areas.
These kinds of dry conditions can cause crops and economies to suffer, and lead a lot of eyes to look skyward and eagerly watch for any sign of rain.
To further portray the level of drought the United States is experiencing, NPR posted an interactive map that allows viewers to follow the drought's parched path across the country, on a timeline that goes back to January 2011.
The map shows drought categories ranging from "abnormally dry" to "exceptional drought.” You can allow the map to play out for you or choose a particular date's drought conditions to study — and, when you’re done, cross your fingers for the red areas to recede.
Ready for a rain dance, anyone?
http://www.motherearthnews.com/health-people-healthy-planet/interactive-map-follows-timeline-of-us-drought-conditions.aspxHas your hometown or homestead been feeling unbearably hot and dry for the past few... more
Will we further our dependence on climate-altering fossil fuels? Will we risk oil spills and the health of communities for a slice of short-term revenue? Or is it time to invest in cleaner, safer energy solutions and green jobs of the future?
Let your voice be heard. Please tell your elected leaders that short-term financial gain cannot make up for what we stand to lose if we don’t protect the natural world that sustains us. Tell them Canada needs a national energy strategy that values the environment.
In addition to sending an email to our leaders using the form here, you can also register your opinions with the National Energy Board Joint Review Committee on the Enbridge Northern Gateway project website. Hearings on the project will continue into 2013, but the deadline for public comment is August 31, 2012.
David Suzuki FoundationWill we further our dependence on climate-altering fossil fuels? Will we risk oil... more
How much more proof do we need?
Few scientists doubt that Earth's climate is changing and growing warmer. Only a small number of skeptics dispute that humans are a prime cause of the problem.
But still, as a nation, we dither. The United States is among the world's top three emitters of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, along with China and India.
And yet our so-called leaders continue to tiptoe around the issue as if they might wake a sleeping baby.
At least some people are awakening. They've slept late, but they're awakening nonetheless.
UC Berkeley physics Professor Richard Muller has joined the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is real, and that human-caused pollution is a major culprit.
Describing his "total turnaround," Muller wrote in a Sunday column for The New York Times: "Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. "I'm now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause."
This summer offers a sense of the consequences of inaction. We've seen massive drought, Colorado on fire, and the hottest day in Atlanta in its recorded history. While it's impossible to tie specific events to climate change, these are exactly the kinds of extremes predicted by the climate models scientists have been developing for decades. And we will witness increasingly dramatic and dire climate calamities unless emissions are brought under control.
On the campaign trail, there is plenty of vague talk about "energy independence" or "clean energy," with both presidential candidates ducking what policies they will pursue to reduce greenhouse gases.
Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has been a major flip-flopper, depending on the audience, providing little confidence that he knows where he stands.
In 2003, as governor of Massachusetts, Romney said climate change "is beginning to affect our natural resources and that now is the time to take action." In 2005 he supported the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade system among Massachusetts and eight other states, calling it a "great thing" for Massachusetts' jobs and economy.
Then he got cold feet and withdrew his support.
Fast forward to the current campaign, and Romney has been all over the map.
In June 2011, he said, "I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing."
A few months later, he said the opposite: "My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course."
Obama made climate change a priority in running for president in 2008, saying future generations would look back and say, "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
But he has backed off in the face of Republican opposition in Congress. On the campaign trail this year, he talks about "energy." Addressing climate change is a promise Obama has failed to deliver upon.
Both candidates must be pressed on what policies they would pursue, nationally and globally. If Muller can change his tune on climate change, Obama and Romney can at least discuss the issue and offer solutions. The stakes involved couldn't be higher.
Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2012/08/01/2308493/presidential-contenders-cant-duck.html#storylink=cpy
http://disasterandemergencysurvival.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Global-Warming.jpgHow much more proof do we need?
Few scientists doubt that Earth's climate is... more
The globe we live on is changing in ways that the human species has not experienced. Global temperatures have risen 1.3 degrees in the past century and the emissions that are driving that increase further are continuing to increase to a point where positive feedback loops leading to that tipping point are now occurring. This is and will have consequences regarding the human species' ability to grow food, maintain biodiversity, preserve water sources and stave off diseases. And though there are interests that would have people believe this is either not happening, not pushed by man or made up to institute some worldwide tax slave state the reality and the facts behind climate science reveal that to be rhetoric contrived by a network of politically and ideologically slanted think tanks that deal in propaganda and misinformation in order to support their profit driven benefactors.
Since the 1930s scientists had begun questioning whether man's behavior and habits on this Earth post Industrial Revolution had amplified the natural carbon cycle and atmospheric composition of our planet. Thousands of studies and peer reviewed papers have been published with over 98% of climate scientists publishing stating and agreeing that humans are indeed changing the face of the Earth and pushing the natural processes that we have come to rely on for centuries to a place beyond their natural ability to sustain us. We do not live in a linear system and are now seeing clearly globally that pushing the natural variables of climate are now causing those systems to push back.
The question we should now be asking ourselves is just what are we prepared to do to deal with the changes taking place. The changes we have precipitated by continuing to remain closed off from reality listening only to those voices telling us everything is OK in order to preserve the status quo that benefits the few at the expense of the many. It surely may be hard to accept that man has such an influence on this planet, but ever since man began changing the face of Earth thousands of years ago through agriculture and deforestation we have been setting the scene for the future.
Climate had remained basically stable up to that point with interglacial and glacial periods happening on a time scale of thousands of years. What we are seeing now is a pace and severity of change faster than ever before due to the time lapse feedbacks of the concentration of greenhouse gases put up into the atmosphere by humans from this past century and even before that which have pushed those natural cycles. Continuing this same behavior only increases exponentially the chances of our world being an even more unstable place for our children.
I say this because I love this planet and I care about its future: This is real and it is affecting places globally now with rapid melting of glaciers particularly in the Arctic where warming has been twice as fast than anywhere on the globe. Places worldwide are now seeing changes in weather patterns that due to this melting and other factors and forces on the atmosphere are jeopardizing their ability to farm, to maintain adequate and healthy water sources and to maintain health due to extreme drought, deluges and storms that are becoming more common and damaging. We can no longer afford to treat this as some distant event we do not have to worry about. It is a present danger to our way of life precipitated by us and the only way to address it is to look in the mirror.
Please, those who read this, look beyond the political walls, ideological barriers and human frailties that in the past have inhibited us as a species from achieving our true potential. The current world situation is of our making and the good news of it all is that we do still have time to change it. Our children and theirs will remember our actions and choices made now. How do you wish to be remembered?
More at the linkThe globe we live on is changing in ways that the human species has not experienced.... more
In an attempt to ‘stop global warming’, scientists have been experimenting with dumping several tons of iron into the Antarctic ocean in order to potentially fertilize the development of plankton. Despite raising a multitude of red flags raised from leading scientific organizations and health watch organizations, a new study is now calling for the practice to be even further extended as a worldwide ‘geoengineering’ strategy to alter the climate via dumping hundreds of tons of iron dust into the ocean. Previous research found that by dumping the heavy metal into oceans worldwide it could not only devastate the marine life population, but deplete oxygen levels and explode the growth of certain unwanted organisms. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/your-details/43075-geoengineering-fraud-dumping-iron-at-sea-capture-carbon-and-then-sell-carbon-credits-In an attempt to ‘stop global warming’, scientists have been experimenting... more
10 months ago
The Best Kept Secret About The Way We Eat Today
Everyone knows we live with a broken food system, but often it is easier to focus on the bad news rather than the good. In fact, we are surrounded by communities that already know how to feed the world for our generation, and for generations to come.
From Malawi to Michigan, people and organizations are building better ways to eat today so that all of us can eat well tomorrow. This knowledge demands to be shared and spread.
Changing the food system couldn’t be more urgent. All signs point to that conclusion, whether you consider the droughts, floods and fires caused by climate change, the rise in global food prices, or that the health effects of our current food system is predicted to shorten children’s lives. Better, SMARTER ways of growing food, and feeding the world are needed, now.
That’s why we’re developing a new documentary, book and multimedia project, called Generation Food.
We want to show how ordinary women and men around the world are overcoming obstacles and “setting the table” for themselves, their communities, and generations to come. Generation Food is our way of sharing the resilience and wisdom of these communities with you, and yours with them online, on screen, on paper and in person.
Our Dream Team
Led by documentary-making legend and award-winning director, Steve James, of Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters, and best-selling author Raj Patel, of The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved, our team of fourteen researchers has worked for over a year to find some of the most inspiring stories from across the world.
From a climate-change-ready farming system in Cuba, to a way of cooking and eating that transforms women’s lives in Malawi, there are amazing experiences to share across the table, and across the world.
Stories that Matter
In the Peruvian highlands, for instance, indigenous farmers have lost a quarter of their growing season to climate change. In response, communities haven’t just invented better ways to farm the 700 native varieties of potato at 11,000 feet, but also have markets with sliding-scale prices, to make sure that no one goes hungry for lack of money.
It is through sharing surprising ideas and deep knowledge that we can build the foundation for global food stability for generations to come. We are eager to launch Generation Food’s online content platform to share peoples’ ideas for action. We want to start filming a documentary. We want to work with communities around the world, including yours. But all of this takes money. You’ve heard of fair trade food? Well, we want to practice fair trade film making, making sure everyone from our researchers to hired hands are paid properly.
But we can’t do it without you.
More at the linkThe Best Kept Secret About The Way We Eat Today
Everyone knows we live with a... more
ANTISANA, Ecuador — Our crampons crunch into the ice and the wind whips the tepid drizzle into our faces.
High on the glacial flanks of Antisana, Ecuador’s fourth highest summit, the signs of climate change are unmistakable.
Ignacio Espinosa, one of the South American country’s top mountain guides, tells me that previously, it rarely rained here above 4,500 meters (14,764 feet). Now, snow usually only falls above 5,000 meters (16,404 feet), he says.
"It breaks my heart to see the way these mountains are changing,” he adds. As he speaks, storm clouds loaded with water vapor from the Amazon gather around us, threatening to make our tour of Antisana a miserable experience.
Helmets on, ice axes in hand and roped together to manage the risk of falling into a crevasse, we wind our way up the mountain’s main glacier.
As we approach 16,000 feet, a huge rock-field and alpine lake come into full view below us. It is a breathtaking, deeply troubling sight.
Just a decade ago, the whole area — at a guess, the size of New York’s Central Park — was blanketed by the glacier.
But the warming climate has raised the equilibrium line — the altitude at which the glacier remains stable without gradually melting away.
More from GlobalPost: El Salvador fears rising sea
Later, Ecuadorean glaciologist Marcos Villacis tells me that between 1979 and 2007, Antisana lost roughly 40 percent of its glacier cover — 3.3 square miles.
Like the poles, the Andes are unusually sensitive to climate change, with areas above 12,000 feet expected to experience particularly strong rises in the mercury. In the last 25 years, average recorded temperatures on Antisana have already jumped by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
That poses huge problems for Ecuador, where millions depend on Andean run-off for their water.
Subsistence farmers will be hit but so will city slickers — Antisana and the surrounding spongy grassland known as the “paramo” provide the 2 million residents of the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, with one-third of their water.
“Where it is going to be most critical is if the climate of the paramo is totally altered,” says Othon Zevallos, head of EPMAPS, Quito’s municipal water authority.
Compared to the glaciers, the paramo’s delicate ecosystem and unusual capacity to store and gradually release water are little studied or understood.
EPMAPS is already preparing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 15 years to help compensate for the lost water. That includes the construction of a 13-mile tunnel through the Andes, the world’s second-highest mountain range, to bring water from the Amazon.
It is also buying up more than 50,000 acres of ranchland established on the paramo around Antisana, to protect it from the heavy hooves of horses and cattle, as well as the highly destructive grazing of sheep, which rip up the grass by the roots.
Interestingly, llamas and alpacas, the Andes’ traditional livestock, have much softer pads on their feet and only eat the tips of the grass, allowing the paramo to thrive.
Antisana is typical of the Andes, home to 99 percent of the world’s tropical glaciers, says Bernard Francou, a glaciologist with the French government’s Development Research Institute. In Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, where most of the glaciers are concentrated, losses in ice cover range from 30 percent to 50 percent.
More at the linkANTISANA, Ecuador — Our crampons crunch into the ice and the wind whips the... more
In the Northwest, coastal tribes are noticing melting glaciers and rising sea levels.
Native tribes are working with climate scientists to utilize their holistic knowledge.
Some tribes have been collecting generations of information.
Native American tribes are teaming up with climate scientists to monitor environmental changes along the coast, changes that are disrupting indigenous ways of life that tribes say are key to their survival.
Tribal leaders say their understanding of natural ecosystems such as long-term weather patterns or wildlife migrations can be just as important as CO2 measurements or satellite data.
“The long term perspective of our people has scientific value,” said Micah McCarty, chairman of the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay, Washington. “We can establish a more holistic baseline of the big picture of things. Some scientists may be more narrowly focused and have an excellent perspective, but we have a broader perspective to draw from. That’s a value."
The Makah people and their descendants have been living in the area for 4,000 years, and have collected generations of information about their environment. That environment has recently been changing, McCarty noted, as droughts have destroyed freshwater streams that are important salmon spawning nurseries and shellfish that are collected for traditional clothing and crafts are facing threats from increasing ocean acidification.
“We live on one of the wettest places on earth,” McCarty said about his tribal lands on Washington’s rainy Olympic Peninsula. “The salmon could not go upstream because there wasn’t enough water. If we experience more and more of these events, what are we going to do to adapt?"
The Makah aren’t the only tribes facing changes. The Quinault people of Washington are watching the disappearance of a glacier that feeds their local salmon stream, while tribes living along the Bering Sea in Alaska are abandoning their villages because of rising sea levels. Tribal leaders from Hawaii, Samoa, the Marshall Islands and other low-lying atolls are also worried about the future and planning to relocate, according to Dan Basta, director of the office of marine sanctuaries for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“These cultures have been codifying to a fine scale so many natural factors that they are a treasure trove of knowledge if we pay attention,” Basta said.
This unique collaboration between tribal leaders and federal climate researchers will be the subject of a three-day gathering this week at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, DC., sponsored by NOAA, the NMAI; the Hoh, Makah, and Quileute Tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation – all of whom live on the Olympic Peninsula.
McCarty and other tribal leaders hope the meeting will form the basis of a collaboration between tribal members and scientists to act as “first responders” in the face of environmental shifts. That includes working together on monitoring sea levels, water quality, thickness of mollusk shells and fish and wildlife migration patterns, he said. Future meetings will include tribal members from other parts of North America, including those facing drought in the Southwest or rising sea level along the Gulf Coast.
“We’re hoping to build a coalition to address climate change,” McCarty said, “so we have more people doing what needs to be done to change how we live on this planet.”In the Northwest, coastal tribes are noticing melting glaciers and rising sea levels.... more
America declared a natural disaster in more than 1,000 drought-stricken counties in 26 states on Thursday.
It was the largest declaration of a national disaster and was intended to speed relief to about a third of the country's farmers and ranchers who are suffering in drought conditions.
The declaration from the US department of agriculture includes most of the south-west, which has been scorched by wildfires, parts of the midwestern corn belt, and the south-east.
It was intended to free up funds for farmers whose crops have withered in extreme heatwave conditions linked by scientists to climate change.
According to the US drought monitor, 56% of the country is experiencing drought conditions – the most expansive drought in more than a decade.
The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said the funds were intended to help farmers and ranchers across the country who have lost crops to extreme heat or wildfires.
The declaration will make affected ranchers and farmers eligible for low-interest loans and speed processing of disaster claims.
"Agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy," Vilsack said. "We need to be cognisant of the fact that drought and weather conditions have severely impacted on farmers around the country."
The declaration covers counties in California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Delaware and Hawaii. It does not include Iowa, the country's biggest corn producer.
The first six months of this year were the warmest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies set temperature records.
Those record-breaking temperatures deepened drought conditions across much of the American west, triggering an early and violent season of wildfires in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
The heat also destroyed expectations of a bumper corn crop. American farmers planted more than 96m acres of corn this year, the most in 75 years.
The early spring got the crop off to a good start but , after June's extreme heat, only 40% of the crop was in good condition, according to USDA figures.
From the midwest to the mid-Atlantic, meanwhile, there were triple digit temperatures, breaking hundreds of heat records. On Thursday, St Louis confirmed 18 deaths due to extreme heat conditions.
"The recent heat and dryness is catching up with us on a national scale," Michael Hayes, director of the national drought mitigation centre said in a statement.
Photograph: Eric Gay/AP
And as usual, the same ones turn this into only being about a political contest while people across the globe suffer because their political psychosis and appeasing it is more important than the reality.America declared a natural disaster in more than 1,000 drought-stricken counties in 26... more
David Pratt’s publication in the year 2000 enumerates multiple problems affecting the theory of plate tectonics and seafloor spreading.
What are Pratt’s concerns with the current theory of Plate Tectonics?
1. The lithosphere is not a contiguous structure. There are alternating layers that make the separation of the lithosphere from the asthenosphere impossible to determine.
2. Earthquakes and volcanoes are supposed to define plate edges. However, recent oceanic research detected earthquakes at depths that are supposed to have no seismic activity, since the deep oceans are far from plate boundaries.
3. Many plates seem not to even exist. As Pratt describes, the northwest boundary of the Pacific, North American, and Eurasian plates, the southern boundary of the Philippine plate, part of the southern boundary of the Pacific plate, and most of the northern and southern boundaries of the South American plate, are fictitious.
4. The appearance of the “continental fit” is an illusion. Many proposals for how the present day continents fit together leave out important considerations. Overlaps of the continental shelves are passed over, while gaps are given no credence. The reader is referred to pages 7-9 of Pratt’s paper.
5. The assumption that rocks are magnetized when they form, and that they retain that magnetization over eons of time is untenable. Furthermore, it is necessary that they retain the magnetic orientation that existed on Earth at the time of their formation.
6. Rather than India being an island for over 200 million years after it separated from Antarctica, and before it “crashed into” Asia, the evidence is that it has always been part of Asia. India shows no sign of a unique flora and fauna that would suggest hundreds of millions of years as an isolated environment, such as the biota in Australia.
7. Heat flow from the spreading zones in the mid-ocean does not fall off farther from the zone. Instead, there is hardly any variance in temperature distribution from the ridges and the rest of the ocean. This fact contradicts a concentrated flow of magma creating new crust in the seams of the ocean floor.
8. The seafloor spreading theory of magnetic anomalies on the ocean floor has been disproven by drilling cores. The so-called “magnetic bands” on the ocean bottom have been found to be composed of isolated ovals, rather than linear formations.
The theory of Plate tectonics does not consider the Electric Universe. As explained in several previous Picture of the Day articles, Earth was once the scene of devastating electrodynamic forces that raised mountains, emptied ocean basins, and melted continents. It is possible that those events took place within the memory of human civilization on this planet. If that is the case, then there is no need to resort to other theories that require ad hoc addenda whenever new information is discovered.
more at link.
Pangaea is a scientific fraud. Its pathetic how the priest class of so-called modern science clings to their outdated theories with their plate tectonics, AGW global warming, Victorian age gravity/inertia models, Big Bang, etc. History will prove them to be losers as the Electric Universe Theory, plasma cosmology, comparative mythology debunk all this quackery.David Pratt’s publication in the year 2000 enumerates multiple problems... more
I have been critical of the media for ignoring the link between man-made global warming and the off-the-charts extreme weather we have been seeing. And many have documented how they have been downplaying the story of the century in the last couple of years.
But the extreme weather has been so unprecedented — and NOAA and leading climate scientists have been so blunt — that we have the unprecedented situation of the evening news shows last night on ABC, CBS, and NBC (and PBS) all talking about the link between greenhouse gases and the stunning heat wave. All the videos are posted below (with some of the best excerpts).
Here’s the excellent ABC World News piece, where Sam Champion, ABC News weather editor, says to anchor, Diane Sawyer
“If you want my opinion, Diane, now’s the time we start limiting manmade greenhouse gases.”
And here’s the CBS News video, with the accompanying online story, “NOAA links extreme weather to climate change“:
On Tuesday, for the first time, government scientists are saying recent extreme weather events are likely connected to man-made climate change. It’s the conclusion of a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report says last year’s record drought in Texas was made “roughly 20 times more likely” because of man made climate change, specifically meaning warming that comes from greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide. The study, requested by NOAA, looked at 50 years of weather data in Texas and concluded that man-made warming had to be a factor in the drought.
The head of NOAA’s climate office, Tom Karl, said: “What we’re seeing, not only in Texas but in other phenomena in other parts of the world, where we can’t explain these events by natural variability alone. They’re just too rare, too uncommon.”
More at the linkI have been critical of the media for ignoring the link between man-made global... more
Activists from Marcellus Earth First! have erected a slash pile blockade and two tree sits blocking an access road to an EQT hydro-fracking site in Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield County, PA., halting drilling operations set to begin this week. The blockaders were joined by 40 supporters and concerned citizens, who turned around a Halliburton truck. The blockade is trying to stop the further destruction of Pennsylvania’s state forests—more than half of which have already been leased for drilling—and call attention to the devastating effects of hydrofracking on the state’s communities. The sitters’ anchor lines are blocking the road by crossing each other and the road, and if an anchor line is cut a sitter will fall. This action has been coordinated as the post-Rendezvous action. Each Summer Earth First!ers and allies come together to skill share, take part in discussion workshops, and keep it wild in our last remaining wilderness places in the US. Following a week in the woods, we take part in an action in support of the local organizers hosting the camp out, also know as the Round River Rendezvous, or Rondy.
Today’s blockade is the latest in a series of escalating actions of resistance to the destructive impacts of hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale. Last May, residents of Butler County occupied the office of State Representative Brian Ellis, demanding accountability for widespread contamination caused by horizontal drilling. In June, seven families, along with dozens of supporters, blocked the entrance to the Riverdale Mobile Home Community to prevent their imminent eviction at the hands of Aqua America PVR. Aqua sought to destroy their homes and construct a water withdrawal facility permitted to extract up to three million gallons of water from the Susquehanna River daily for use in fracking. Residents were able to maintain the blockade for 12 days. On June 17, 1,000 Ohioans stormed the statehouse in Columbus and passed a “people’s resolution” banning hydrofracking. Most recently, a 31-year-old landowner from Athens County, Ohio chained herself to concrete barrels and shut down operations at one of Ohio’s 170 injection wells, which contain about 95% of the toxic and radioactive fracking waste generated from Pennsylvania drilling.
Momentum in the anti-fracking battle will continue to build across the Marcellus and Utica shale regions throughout July. Next weekend, residents from Ohio and beyond will gather at an anti-fracking action camp in Youngstown and prepare to enforce the “people’s resolution” against fracking. The upcoming months show the beginnings of a national rebellion against extractive industry across the board. On July 28, anti-frackers from across the nation will gather in Washington D.C. for “Stop the Frack Attack,” the largest mobilization against fracking ever. In West Virginia, Appalachians and allies will stand together at the “Mountain Mobilization” and shut down an active strip mine the last week of July. In Montana,the “Coal Export Action”, a ten-day campaign of civil disobedience at the beginning of August will target coal shipments from strip mines in the Powder River Basin, overseas. And later in the month, Texas residents have called for the “Tar Sands Blockade” to block the recently approved southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
More at the linkActivists from Marcellus Earth First! have erected a slash pile blockade and two tree... more
By 2050, more than 6 billion humans are expected to live in cities, according to the United Nations. Ports, which constitute more than half the world's largest cities, will face unique challenges as their populations swell.
More than 130 port cities around the world are at increasing risk from severe storm-surge flooding, damage from high storm winds, rising and warming global seas and local land subsidence. Poorly planned development often puts more people in vulnerable areas, too, increasing risk. About $3 trillion of assets are at risk today, a tally on track to reach $35 trillion by 2070, according to an ongoing study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Here are the 20 port cities most vulnerable to climate extremes, ranked by assets at risk.
More at the link
When you think of the trillions wasted on war, it certainly puts the climate crisis into perspective. And some complain about the money necessary to prepare and adapt? Well the price of business as usual will be much higher and not just financially. By these assessments there will be close to a billion people affected directly in these locations alone which does not take into account other effects in other parts of the globe.By 2050, more than 6 billion humans are expected to live in cities, according to the... more
Germany Swaps Nuclear for Solar and Wind Power
Friday, 22 June 2012 12:37 By Oliver Lazenby, Yes! Magazine | Report
Wind Power(Photo: Ekhinos / Flickr)
In response to the Fukushima meltdown - which did $50 billion in damage to Japan’s economy - Germany aims to close all its reactors by 2022.
Germany, the world’s most aggressive adopter of renewable energy, is taking a bold leap toward a future free from nuclear energy. In March, the German government announced a program to invest 200 billion euros, or approximately $270 billion, in renewables. That’s 8 percent of the country’s GDP, according to the DIW Economic Institute in Berlin.
Last year, in response to the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a plan to close down all 17 of Germany’s nuclear reactors and replace them with renewable energy, mostly solar and wind power.
Germany has already closed eight nuclear reactors, and the rest will be shut down by 2022. For now, natural gas is filling the void left by nuclear power, which formerly produced 20 percent of the country’s electricity. Under Merkel’s plan, 80 percent of Germany’s energy will come from renewables by 2050, according to the German Advisory Council on the Environment. Studies by the council show that 100 percent renewable power is a realistic goal for Germany.
In contrast, the United States has been much less ambitious. The president’s “New Energy for America” plan aims to supply the country with 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
Eighty percent of German residents want to see their country abandon nuclear power, but some Germans have also opposed new energy projects in their backyards. The website for “Wind Power Opponents,” Windkraftgegner.de, lists more than 70 protest campaigns, most of which are regional, grassroots groups organized to stop specific projects.
Germany’s renewables plan will be expensive, but so was the Fukushima meltdown—it did $50 billion in damage to Japan’s economy by some estimates. Dealing with the effects of climate change won’t be cheap either. Even German nuclear power companies are investing in the plan. Not only will it make Germany’s energy infrastructure among the safest in the world, it should provide many chances for economic growth, according to press statements by Philipp Rösler, Germany’s economics minister.
Oliver is a freelance writer, former YES! intern, and farm laborer.
Germany Swaps Nuclear for Solar and Wind Power
Friday, 22... more