One hour with 16 Year Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg – Democracy Now!

One hour to hear from Greta in her own world. Get inspired.

https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2019/9/11

No flights, a four-day week and living off-grid: what climate scientists do at home to save the planet – The Guardian

I have talked to a number of people who wonder what they can do to help alleviate climate change, or prepare for it. Here’s a great article, with thoughts by a number of climate scientists on what they are doing. Can you cut down on the number of airplane flights a year? Switch diets? Maybe do just one of these.

 One of the best things you can do to address climate change is go down to a four-day working week. This would take some of the heat out of our ever-expanding economies, reduce our capacity and urge to consume, and create space to live a more balanced life.

I decided to retire from full time work a number of years ago, for many reasons, but one of them was to reduce  my carbon footprint. So far, it’s been a good, no, great choice. I only eat meat that has been small farm raised on grass and not grain, but there are numerous additional things I can do. A great idea for summer with your kids is to do a list of the various things that *could* be done to reduce your personal carbon footprint. i.e. is it really necessary to drive to a big box store to buy large bulk items? or paying a bit more to save the gas and pollution worth the trade off? How much do you actually save?

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jun/29/no-flights-four-day-week-climate-scientists-home-save-planet?utm_source=pocket-newtab

While you are there reading this, donate a dollar or two to the finest newspaper on the planet, The Guardian.

 

Low snowpack, hot spring lead to drought declaration for nearly half of Washington state – Bellingham Herald

While there is overcast and rain, we are not out of the danger of drought yet.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared drought Monday for nearly half of Washington watersheds, as the mountain snowpack that churns through hydropower dams, irrigates our state’s orchards and provides for fish continues to dwindle well below normal. Twenty days into May, “our statewide snowpack is the fourth-lowest it’s been over the past 30 years,” said Jeff Marti, the drought coordinator for the Washington Department of Ecology. Winter left many areas of the state with lower-than-normal snowpack. A hot, dry spring quickly zapped much of the snow that did accumulate. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Nooksack expected to be 25 percent below average. Here’s how the state is responding  A total of 24 Washington river watersheds — including the Nooksack, the Upper Skagit, and the Lower Skagit-Samish — were included in the order, which could spell trouble for farmers and residential users as well as the salmon that require a constant supply of cold, clear water through summer.  Robert Mittendorf reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Low snowpack, hot spring lead to drought declaration for nearly half of Washington state 

Climate change: Global impacts ‘accelerating’ – WMO

More bad climate news.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that the physical and financial impacts of global warming are accelerating. Record greenhouse gas levels are driving temperatures to “increasingly dangerous levels”, it says. Their report comes in the same week as the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported a surge in CO2 in 2018. (BBC)

Climate change: Global impacts ‘accelerating’ – WMO

UW research: Western glaciers losing ice at an increasing rate, but less so in Washington state – KNKX

It is a sobering reminder that our water supply for Port Townsend, comes from snow pack in the Olympics, not wells. We seem to be slightly benefitting from the climate changes happening all around us, at least in the shoas it relates to water in snow pack.

It appears a pattern of heavy storms in the Pacific Northwest may have obscured the effects of climate change over the past 20 years. Researchers here have identified a southern shift in the jet stream as a source of heavy precipitation that built up snow pack and glacier mass in Washington and Oregon, while they were declining elsewhere. David Shean, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington, uses high-resolution satellite images to get precise measurements of glaciers and ice mass. For a recent study, Shean teamed up with colleagues at the University of Northern British Columbia to assemble thousands of satellite pictures of North America’s western glaciers. They mapped and modeled changes in the ice since 2000. Shean says they found a rapid increase in ice loss over the past 18 years overall, but less happening in the Pacific Northwest. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

UW research: Western glaciers losing ice at an increasing rate, but less so in Washington state

Hope

The other day a woman came up to me and asked, “How do you have hope for the environment with a President like this?” It’s an interesting question and worth an answer.

The key reason I have hope that we will get through this and on to a better day, is by looking at how far we have come. In my life of 65 years, I have personally watched a polluted river burn in Ohio, smelled the steel mills of south Chicago spewing massive amounts of toxic pollution into the air, ran with all the other children behind DDT smoggers in our neighborhood on a regular basis every summer, and witnessed the pollution of Los Angeles at its worse. There was no organic food movement when I was a child. No one imagined that cars could run on battery power.

Since then, the country, with help from both the old Republican Party and Democrats, has put  into action thousands of laws to protect us, our children, our food, air and water. The laws are so ingrained that many of the voters who supported Donald Trump and his minions in the current incarnation of the Republican party, have forgotten just why the laws are there. That we have huge numbers of eagles in our area is because of public pressure, and science research recognizing the dangers of DDT and Congress passing a law that a President signed banning its use in the U.S.

The splitting of news media into real news (now labeled fake news by Trump) and a propaganda machine called Fox News,  which has through clever programming become one of the most watched news media in the country, has worked to dumb down those watching it and created a population who no longer understands what we have gained by the laws that it rails against.  This was by intent. As documented in numerous news reporting a small cadre of people  started working on the program to take control of America back in the 1970s. They were reactionary to the events happening in the 60s. They have all but succeeded in their goals, but whether the population will continue to support them remains to be seen.

As Trump and his administration go about tearing down the laws and even the notion of using science to make decisions, those inside those institutions are not willingly going along with the destruction. Outside the organizations, there is a coordinated effort to take the Trump administration to court over these blatant attacks on our resources. We will lose some of these battles to be sure. But when it’s all over, I have no doubt that future administrations will come along and rebuild these laws.

When looking at these laws, it is undoubtedly true they often are laws that were built and added onto over the decades since the 1970s, and probably can be improved. A rewriting of them by future administrations and Congresses can be hoped to improve on them,  not destroy them.

The bigger concern is the lack of desire to even admit to global warming and do anything about it by Trump. As many of the world’s leading climate scientists said last week, we have not much time left to avoid global catastrophe. Over the last decade we witnessed from afar the creation of a global class of climate refugees.  This year, we are witnessing the creation of a class of climate refugees here in the U.S. As we have seen in the Southeast U.S. just this last two months, and the forests of Northern California this summer and last summer, along with numerous smaller incidents that don’t make “ink”  in the news. The poor along the Gulf Coast of Florida, the backwaters of South and North Carolina, the areas around Redding and Santa Rosa California, and elsewhere are facing a horrendous future as they watch their entire homes and places of work blown to bits or burned to ash. Given that it has been reported by Money magazine and other real news sources that 6 in 10 Americans don’t have $500 savings, it points to an unrecoverable situation for those who are affected by global warming.

While each of us can do some small thing to help, like use less fossil fuels or install solar panels, this looming global catastrophe is waiting on leadership from the U.S. to move towards a true solution. Our country is the largest global polluter closely followed by China and India. We have to lead in order to really change anything. Luckily, the economics of solar have created a financial incentive that even Trump can’t lie his way around. Coal is doomed by the costs of solar. It’s happening already. And states such as ours are taking the initiative because of popular demand, to move towards sustainable energy sources. But there is a huge amount of work yet to be done.

Once we were challenged by a true leader, President Kennedy, and supported in that challenge by President Johnson and Republican President Nixon, to put a man on the moon in 10 years. We did it. Out of that effort, came huge benefits to our society and to the rest of the planet. When the next true leader comes along, it will be up to us to get ourselves out from under the rule of fossil fuels to a solar and wind powered future. It will not be easy. It will disrupt numerous industries and jobs (just ask the coal miners in Kentucky).  But the outcome will eventually create a better world. Unfortunately, in the meantime we have to protect ourselves from the planet doing what it is programmed to do with a rise in greenhouse gasses, absorbing the heat in the oceans, which fuels hurricanes and creates ocean acidification, among other problematic scenarios.

My hope is in  two things that humans have had in their favor over the last 100,000 or more years,  ingenuity and tools. We have created our way out of so many seemingly insurmountable problems, from bacteria caused illnesses with penicillin to  sewer, light and transportation systems to support cities of tens of millions of people. I trust in our ability to find a way through the next hundred years.  A good place to start is to vote in politicians who believe in science and recognize the problem for what it is. That starts next week. The decision is yours to make.

 

 

 

Supreme Court rejects government motion in “climate kids” case.

Stunning loss for the Trump administration. Now the facts can be presented in court and the kids can claim damages and a threat to their “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Ours too!

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend proceedings in a potential landmark climate case that pits a group of youth plaintiffs against the federal government.

The court’s decision preserves the Oct. 29 start date for a federal trial in U.S. District Court in Eugene.

Read the whole story here;

http://www.registerguard.com/news/20180730/supreme-court-rejects-government-motion-in-climate-kids-case

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