Tag Archives: climate change

The Grass Is Always Greener Just Before…

30 Apr

According to a recent NASA study, thanks to higher amounts of carbon dioxide on our planet, the earth is getting greener as a result of a phenomenon called “CO2 fertilization.” The boost in growth and greenery happens because the increase in CO2 gas causes more sugar to be produced by plants.

This has fueled a greening of our planet in areas that were once icebound, barren or sandy and the report says that an area about twice the size of the continental United States is now green when only a few decades ago it wasn’t. The report concluded that about 70 percent of the Earth’s new greening could be attributed to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations

Unfortunately, the report also tells us that this effect while pretty to behold, is only temporary. Eventually rising CO2 levels, should they continue to rise in the Earth’s atmosphere as they have been doing for over 100 years, will lead to the continued melting of glaciers, rising sea levels and more dangerous weather.

The photo above is of the planet Venus, named for the most beautiful of the ancient gods because it shone the brightest of the five planets known to ancient astronomers. Venus, sometimes called Earth’s sister planet because it is so similar in size, mass, density, composition, and gravity to Earth, is however surrounded by an atmosphere that is mostly Carbon Dioxide.

Planetary scientists believe that Venus once had an atmosphere similar to Earth’s. Now on Venus it’s a toasty 880 degrees at the beach. That’s if Venus had one. But not to worry because we’re not as close to the sun as Venus is and our CO2 levels have a long way to go before they reach the levels found on the “Morning Star”.

And besides, our beaches will all be under water way before it gets that hot here…but that’s only if you believe in such things. In any event we can all enjoy the greener greenery while it’s here… I suppose.

 

Speak No Evil…Hear No Evil

9 Mar

Your grandchildren's East Coast of the United States
Here’s some discouraging news…according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, employees of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection claim they  were ordered to refrain from using the terms “climate change”, “global warming” or “sustainability” in official communications. Apparently the unwritten policy went into effect shortly after Gov. Rick Scott, a global warming skeptic, took office. The new Florida policy is similar to a 2012 law passed by lawmakers in North Carolina that prohibits the state from basing coastal policies on scientific predictions regarding sea level rise.

Scientists have warned that, like much of Florida’s coastline, North Carolina’s outer banks are at particular risk from climate change. But what do environmental scientists know? All they have is science and study and facts on their side while their political opponents have silence, sarcasm and like climate change denier Senator Inhofe, snowballs!

Unfortunately scientists aren’t in charge of our environment and Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, while they are in charge of planning for how to try and combat what could be catastrophic sea level rise…just can’t talk about it, make reference to it or shhhhhhh…say its name.

But don’t despair! All we have to do is cut our worldwide carbon emissions by 85% so as to begin the process of reversing that unmentionable climate thing. However, since we appear do be doing exactly the opposite in our never ending frenzy to grow, grow, grow our fossil fuel production and use, better just not to buy any beach property. And tell your grandchildren to move inland or to higher ground because by the end of this century…or sooner… 80 out of 100 coastal cities in the world will be under water…
But that’s just scientists talking and they haven’t had much luck in convincing many of our political leaders that this is a serious global problem for humanity, the planet and…did I mention humanity? Probably because half of our political leaders are happy to approach the problem by covering their ears and pulling the blankets a little tighter around their ignorant and empty heads.

A Winter’s Tale

17 Feb

comparison of Arctic sea ice extent

Well, it’s cold and snowing here in the northeast again so the global warming deniers, Big oil company executives and evangelicals everywhere are probably having a field day. Winter weather during the winter? That’s Absolute proof that the Earth is getting colder not warmer and that we earthlings can do as we please here on Mother earth because…well, it’s ours and has been given to us by Our Father to do whatever we want to with it. So there, mom! Dad says we can go out and play!

Anyway, the scientific data still says that the ice is melting in the arctic and that is definitely having a global affect on weather patterns everywhere. Normally here at the Jersey Shore (and I say normally meaning over the last 10-20 years or so) the daffodils are beginning to bloom right about now. Which I found quite strange for February when it first happened, but not so much any more…And nowadays hurricanes come along quite regularly right as the beach season is beginning to end. Used to be that hurricanes at the beach were once or twice in a life time events. And summers at the beach now bring more than just tourists and sun seekers. They bring tornado season! To the beach! In Jersey!?!

So, have there been any climate changes where you live? And if so, who’s to blame, if anyone? Earth Mom? Father God? Or the 7.25 plus billion humans who live here every day producing waste, destroying forests, fracking shale, burning fossil fuels, growing feed for 10 billion animals to eat so that we can eat them in return each year, and blowing noxious gasses into the atmosphere at ever increasing levels?

These were just thoughts running through my head as I was shoveling the by product of another winter snow storm…in winter…Global warming? Nah!

…But would someone please tell that to the stray wolf chasing that polar bear past my driveway!

Mercy, Mercy, Me

24 Apr

It’s the day after Earth day, 2014. Earth Day has become an annual event, celebrated every April 22, when events are held to demonstrate the support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

In 1971 Marvin Gaye wrote a song entitled Mercy, Mercy Me and subtitled (The Ecology Song) in which he sang about the sad state of affairs that the Earth and the human condition found themselves in and how, on the Earth of 1971, “Things ain’t what they used to be”.

That was 43 years ago and after 45 Earth Day observances in which the world has come together to support and rally for environmental protection across the planet… how is the Earth doing?

In his song Marvin Gaye asked the question: Where did all the blue skies go? Today in China the sun hardly even shines and in its largest cities the morning sunrise is broadcast over giant televisions in efforts to cheer the population as they begin another workday. Smog alerts and air quality announcements are common in all major cities throughout the world and who among us can say that allergies and breathing ailments are not known to exist within ourselves or our families.

Mr. Gaye next lamented the oil slicks that could be found in the oceans of 1971 along with the fish contaminated with mercury. Today, in 2014, oil slicks and oil spills are still a common occurrence and when they occur they occur in amounts greater and greater each time and 43 years later we are still using oil and fossil fuels in increasing, not decreasing, amounts, while new and more imaginative ways for digging, sucking and fracking these substances from the planet’s very core are being pioneered each year and even as debate continues over whether or not we should invade our national parks and coastlines in the search for more and more.

As for fish and the oceans? Temperatures are rising, corral reefs are dieing, the ice caps are melting and fish are disappearing while plastic debris and garbage is replacing plankton within the fish food chain. Mercury continues to be a problem contaminant and tuna, perhaps the world’s most famous fish, are so contaminated with mercury that the FDA recommends no more than 1 can be ingested per person each week. And now many scientists predict that the oceans may be without fish all together by the middle of this century.

Radiation and air, water and ground contamination from nuclear power plants was a worry and concern back in the 70s and the subject of Mercy Mercy Me‘s next refrain, but back then the nuclear industry was promising safer standards and designs and yet years after this song was produced the very real scare of a melt down at 3 Mile Island occurred in 1979 in Pennsylvania. Then a real melt down happened at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986 and then again in Fukashima, Japan in 2011. Radioactive debris from that disaster is still in our oceans today yet many of our politicians are still championing nuclear energy as the panacea for our future…and safer… energy needs.

Mr. Gaye then concluded his song with lyrics that discussed the over population of the world in 1971, a year that would see the greatest percentage of population increase in the world’s history, and the great strain that mankind was putting on the planet Earth with a world population of almost 3 billion 800 million inhabitants… Today, we have almost doubled that number and the Earth now has 0ver 7 billion 228 million human residents with a total world population of 12 billion predicted by 2050.

So, what have we accomplished with our 43 Earth Day celebrations since the debut of Marvin Gaye’s ecology anthem, over 4 decades ago? Have these Earth Days been rallies to help raise awareness of the Earth’s plight and our complicity in its demise along with the sharing of a process for us to change our ways… or have they simply been a series of going away parties? A way to pay lip service to ourselves and our late, great planet Earth while we continue to pursue our ever more increasingly decadent and deadly ways?

Well, the only thing we can say for sure is that the most prophetic line of Mr. Gaye’s song was it’s first and it still rings true for each and every year that passes into the next…

Things sure ain’t what they used to be!

In fact, they are decidedly worse… and the only ones among us who could even believe it to be otherwise are oddly enough, Creationists! How ironic for this to all be part of an intelligent designer’s very intelligent…plan?

But just to brighten your spirits, I will leave you with a bit of 1971 trivia that is perhaps even more prophetic and of greater irony than Marvin Gaye’s Mercy Mercy Me, the Hot Soul Number 1 Single on Billboard’s charts that summer… for what song did it replace at the top of the charts?…And you climate change deniers will just love this…

James Brown’s… Hot Pants!

Hey-uh!                                                                                                                                                                                            Ooooh! Bring it home!
One more! Hit me! Aaay!
Bring it home! Bring it home!
Oh uh! Bring it on home
Bring it on home…

 

Seeing Red

27 Feb

Yesterday I posted a map of the world that color coded the Earth’s temperatures for the month of January with red and pink representing warmer than normal temperatures. Most of the Earth was covered in various shades of reds and pinks. Today’s map is color coded to show areas of the United States where hydraulic fracturing has been taking place since 2005.

Hydraulic Fracturing, or “fracking”, as it has become commonly known is the process of injecting water mixed with chemicals into the earth at high speeds in an effort to break up underground shale deposits in the hopes of releasing natural gas that is trapped within the shale. The gas then rises through the injecting well up to the surface where it is captured by the fracking companies and then piped or delivered to our homes so that we can all enjoy hundreds of more years of good old fossil fuel.

Now, I understand that we all love our fossil fuels, especially when the prices are relatively cheap, but in places like Central Oklahoma (one of the red states on the fracking map) there has been a massive increase in earthquakes in recent years, leading geological scientists to link the quakes to oil and gas development as a result of hydraulic fracking. (guess whose scientists say it’s just a coincidence?)

In any case, From 1975 to 2008, the US Geological Survey found that central Oklahoma experienced one to three magntitude-3.0 earthquakes per year, That number jumped to an average of 40 a year from 2009 to 2013 and now in 2014, Oklahoma has received 25 such quakes already this year… and 150 total quakes just this week! Overall, the entire state of Oklahoma has experienced 500 earthquakes of any magnitude since Jan. 1, 2014!

So what do you think could be the cause? 500 earthquakes in 2 months, in a state that has never really had earthquakes before fracking began kind of makes me think that fracking could be the reason. Try digging some holes in the ground under your home’s foundation or busting up some cinder blocks in your basement and see if your house doesn’t coincidentally start sinking or shifting around…then tell your family that it’s probably just ghosts.

Anyway, fracking doesn’t just bust up the underground shale. It also uses a lot of water in the process which is contaminated with chemicals (mostly secret and toxic chemicals…are there any other kind?) as part of the process which of course makes the water unfit for human consumption…and if you look at the map, you’ll see that states like California and Texas, already experiencing monumental droughts, are states where fracking is using up valuable water supplies…and by the way, did I just say California!!! Does California really need help with enhancing its earthquake potential?

And to make matters worse many of these fracking wells spill methane (which also used to be trapped underground) into the air at alarming rates, not to mention that the natural gas that we get from them is burned to create heat and energy in our homes which leads to more red spots on the climate change map.

If I didn’t know any better I’d say that aliens had sent an advanced team to earth and have spent the last decade preparing for the main invasion which will begin once our planet is hot enough and crumbly enough for an easy takeover. Either that or we’re in a bad science fiction movie and this is the part where the hero finds the old video disk in the run down and forgotten library that when played explains how the misguided humans of the 21st century destroyed the planet and that’s why in the 22nd century zombies walk the earth, monkeys ride horses and octopuses swing from trees…or is that squid?

But on the bright side, at least New Jersey finally has something nobody wants…and that’s a good thing!

 

 

Hot Enough For Ya?

26 Feb

   ImageIt’s been a cold, snowy winter here in the Northeast United States… so to a lot of folks that means that global warming was just a hoax…unless of course you live just about anywhere else on the planet! Sometimes we all do need to look at the “Big Picture”.

Here’s the latest data from the National Climate Data Center. Personally, I can’t wait for Spring and the warmer temperatures but maybe I should be careful about what I wish for…

What’s the weather been like where you are?

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