I’ll be posting a new page in the near future highlighting how our polarization has come to be. In the meantime “enjoy” this video.
Let me begin by thanking those of you who follow my blog. I started it nine years ago with my late wife, Susan. Back then our focus was birds, particularly those whose populations are in decline. The idea was, and still is, to present attractive photos of the natural environment to remind people of what we are losing. More recently, I’ve expanded my focus with human-made structures so viewers can consider how these might impact our environment.
You will also see a new layout for my blog. Do send me comments about your likes and dislikes so I can consider any changes.
Read my, The End of the Mass-produced, Industrial Era? about the interrelationship between the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, first, and then click the link, above. I hope you will forward this link to others. Then view the just released documentary, Endgame 2050, available on Amazon Prime. You can also view it on YouTube. There, everything I and others have discussed about climate change and the time remaining to address this crisis (about 10 years, maybe less) are nicely illustrated. One caution, the film is very disturbing.
It will come as a surprise to many that if we all ate vegan it would not only be good for limiting cruelty to animals, keeping our arteries clear, and reducing our cancer risk; it would also be good for the biosphere. You can find an article discussing the health risks of meat production in the New York Times Magazine.
I look forward to receiving any comments.
Like everyone, lock-down is beginning to wear on me. And even though the corona virus is more likely to result in complications and death for those 60+ and the infirm, media reports have shown that these can also strike the young and healthy. So, deciding to go back to our work and social settings is a bit like playing Russian Roulette, isn’t it? The whole experience is quite surreal. The world around us appears as it was, but it’s not.
Despite a still growing number of Covid-19 cases in Maine, the governor is starting to open things up, slowly. Recently, I’ve been out with the camera looking for some good places to photograph, though trips to the mountains and back country will have to wait. The object is to find out what hangs out where, then return later (typically at twilight periods) and take up a hidden position and wait.
back on the bike a couple of days ago. There was little or nothing in the way of tanker or freighter traffic. Nor was there much in the way of street traffic, much to the delight of myself and other cyclists. Very unfortunately though, no cafes to duck into, either.
I added a new page about this. Please click on the COVID-19 tab above to read it.
And please, send me your comments, pros or cons.
The New York Times reports how the current administtation inserts distortions of credible environmental scientists into government climate reports. This is made possible by the people he has appointed to head government agencies, people who are loyal to the president, not to the principles of the agency that they head.
This is just one more example of how the United States is moving away from democracy to a more Orwellian state.
I’ll continue to review reports that I cite in this blog for these distortions. However, if you find something you question, do let me know.
Humans are making hurricanes worse, as reported in the New York Times. In fairness to us, just imagine when we figured out how to build furnaces and other machines that could harness all that pent up energy in fossil fuels. Wow! All the stuff we could produce. We built better shelter, increased food production, could move us and freight longer distances in far less time (oh, there are a few labor and social issues, but we don’t need to belabor those here). What’s not to love? Well, there are downsides. Human population rapidly increased requiring more fossil fuel energy. Along with this was an increase in our wants, requiring more, you guess it, fossil fuel energy. The results are warming temperatures, expanding landfills, ocean and (somewhat less) air pollution, sea-level rise, more extreme weather, and the sixth extinction of species.
Today we are faced with a choice. Go to negative carbon emissions (i.e., no fossil fuel use and carbon recapture) by 2050 or so or go on as we are doing and run out of resources within the next hundred years, along with the loss of much humanity. It’s a formidable societal “addiction” requiring policymakers willing to risk their careers. You can read more about this elsewhere on my site.
Either way, the earth will survive just fine (at least for the next 500M years).
Yet another major report documents the effects of climate change. Although there are many local and regional initiatives around the world that will slow this down a bit, a concerted world initiative is necessary to stop the sixth extinction. I do not see this as likely to happen, given that it has to start now. The result will be a great die-off, including some of humanity. Although the developing countries will be most affected, many in the developed world will be affected by mid-century–just thirty or so years away.
And to think that we did this in about 170 years (in the “blink of a geological eye”).
I was just listening to Living on Earth on NPR. Steve Curwood was hosting Michael Pell of Reuters. Pell and Joshua Schneyer just published a report showing that many communities around the U.S. have lead levels in their water supplies as high or higher than Flint Michigan. According to several scientific studies, lead is harmful to developing brains by hindering learning ability and causing behavioral problems, the latter related to less ability to control impulses. Until recently, lead exposure was seen as most related to living in old, run-down housing that poses the greatest risks to the poor. Though this is still true, lead contaminated water is now understood to pose a second risk that threatens all socio-demographic communities.
This is another example of how over the past 150 years we have managed to not only warm our planet, but we have also contaminated our water supplies upon which all life depends. If this isn’t bad enough, our leaders are slow to react to these fundamental threats, indeed, many will not even acknowledge that they exist.
The report lists communities around the country that identified as having lead contamination.
We are truly entering Orwell’s age of doublespeak ( i.e., language used to deceive, usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth). One such example is the Trump Administration’s deletion of the term climate change from government websites (and funding agencies are suggesting that applicants do the same in their federal grant proposals), so it is up to the rest of us to keep this term in the public’s eye. Yes, the vast majority of us believe that climate change is occurring as we witness extreme weather events and fires in the west.