Earth Day 2019

Earth Day 2019

As many of you probably know, Earth Day falls on April 22nd each year. But it’s being celebrated in many communities today simply because it’s a Saturday and it’s much easier to get folks out on a weekend.

I’m in Central Florida and the Earth Day celebration at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando is quite an event here each year.

I hope there’s a party near you!

Here’s a link to a site all about Earth Day and celebrating it. A web search about Earth Day will also bring up a bah-zillion results, some of which may actually be about events in your area!

I hope today and this weekend go wonderfully well for you, whatever you may be doing.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Ben is not the owner of the banner photograph and believes it to be covered by the Fair Use Doctrine.

Ban on Arctic Drilling Restored

It created quite an outcry when the trump Administration overturned an Obama-era ban on most drilling in the Arctic.

The Executive Order lifting the ban was signed back in April of 2017.

The League of Conservation Voters believed that that executive order could not withstand a legal challenge and so they filed suit.

They won their case yesterday–and though the trump Administration is almost sure to appeal Judge Sharon Gleason’s order–the planning for drilling in some extremely environmentally-sensitive areas has come to a screeching halt.

To see a story with more detail about this rare piece of good environmental news, follow this link.

To learn more about the League of Conservation Voters, click here.

 

 

Bulldog Ben

First Cali, now New York

Some of you may know that California was the first of the 50 States to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. That happened back in August of 2014.

New York is about to become the second to do it.

Of course, some members of the public think it’s an awesome thing. Some, predictably, are complaining about it.

Sara Goddard sits on the City Council of Rye, New York and is one of the folks who advocated for this law.

Now that it’s about to take effect, she has put together a quick feature in a question-and-answer format to help people get up to speed on how this change might work out, how it might affect them.

I have no idea whether anyone who may read today’s feature lives in the Empire State or not, but because similar legislation is under consideration in other states, I’m thinking that running it here could be worthwhile.

I would love to see this spread to Florida, my home state. I consider that a long shot at best but public opinion on this seems to be changing very quickly.

And that’s a good thing.

 

 

Bulldog Ben

 

What Does the EPA Do?

If you’re familiar with this blog at all, you know that environmental issues are a very big deal to me.

If you care about our planet, no doubt you’ve made sure that the way you go about living your life reflects that attitude of caring. Caring about the Earth on which we all depend.

No doubt you also think that public policy should be made and be carried out in ways that favor the Earth. Ways that, if they don’t actually help our planet, would at least not harm it.

Well, if you feel that way, you’d definitely be at odds with the way our policies about the environment are being made and being carried out right now.

If you’d read this far, some thought relating to the EPA most likely has popped into your head.

And yes, how the EPA goes about its business is a very big deal.

If you’re not quite sure what the EPA does or whether its work actually matters, this article from Nat Geo would be a big help.

It’s a fairly quick read. I recommend it highly.

Public policy matters. It matters a lot.

It’s time to step up our game. The welfare of our Planet and the survival of our species depend on us and what we do. Our elected officials are not only not helping, they’re making it harder for concerned citizens and Earth defenders to do anything.

The sad truth is that this will not change unless we force those in power to make the changes.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

The Environment: The Good News and the Bad News

It may sound like the lead-in to a joke, but that cliche does perfectly sum up where we are right now with the environment.

Where we are as far as taking actions which are desperately needed today, to be more precise.

The situation is dire. That’s an understatement! There are thousands of studies and documents to substantiate just how bleak the situation is for our planet.

And here’s another study for good measure.

The good news is that the nascent Sunrise Movement has a huge potential, not only to change the conversation, but to prod us into taking some very, very necessary actions.

Or to slow down all the foot-dragging, at the very least.

The Guardian published an article yesterday to highlight the work being done by this largely youth-led movement; it’s well worth the next few minutes of your time.

The Earth is our common home. She is not dying. She is being killed! We cannot afford to go on with the status quo.

As you no doubt know, there are very committed, well-financed interests which are going all out to muzzle the voices calling for action and to stifle any change.

We’ll always have that to deal with.

But getting more and more committed friends of the Earth on-board for the fight–including the people who are being galvanized by the Sunrise Movement–may at least give the Earth a fighting chance.

 

Bulldog Ben

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

A grim milestone for Earth

A grim milestone for Earth

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of many scientific bodies that monitor CO2 levels on our planet and they noted in the last few days that we’ve crossed an alarming threshold.

After examining the data for the month of April, they’re announcing that the concentration of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere has crossed the 410 ppm threshold for the entire month, something which hasn’t happened on our planet for 800,000 years.

This is a very bad thing.

The Nation seems to be totally polarized now. About most any subject relating to our common life. I would include anything relating to politics; issues around the environment, especially climate change, are certainly on the list.

As I post on another grim event relating to the change in climate on our planet, I know that readers who live in the fact-based world and embrace science will not need any more evidence to persuade them that the time for foot-dragging is over.

Those who draw their opinions from science-deniers and the drivel put out by agencies who get their funding from corporate interests will not be persuaded by anything they read, especially on an obscure blog with a tiny readership.

But I’m going to go on beating the drum.

To see a timely and very informative article about this grim milestone and what this uber-high concentration of atmospheric CO2 means for humanity, just follow this link.

To have a look at the home page for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and learn more about their amazing work, click here.

The longer we wait to take action, the harder it will be to mitigate the damage to our Earth.

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Ben does not own this photo and believes it is covered under Fair Use.

 

Tabasco HQ is in deep trouble!

Tabasco HQ is in deep trouble!

I keep one eye open for important stories about worsening climate change. There’s certainly no shortage of those these days.

This article is about one spot where the results of warming and the accompanying rise in sea levels is affecting the heart of Cajun country. It’s a place where many folks hold strongly conservative beliefs and where warnings about climate change from scientists and treehuggers are at considerable risk of being ignored or blithely explained away.

Avery Island–where Tabasco Sauce has been made for over 150 years–is slowly sinking. But the main problem is that the water surrounding most of the island is rising very fast. Faster than almost anywhere else on the planet.

It’s not actually an island in the technical or scientific sense, but it’s going to become one soon. By 2050, according to recent estimates.

The Island rises 163′ above sea level now, but the marshes surrounding it are retreating by a staggering 30′ per year. At that rate, the 2,200 acres of Avery Island will shrink dramatically before the mid-century mark, leaving only its core above water. That’s hardly enough real estate to support the growth of peppers and the production of the hot sauce which has made Tabasco one of the best known brands in the food industry and made the McIlhenny family very, very rich.

The Guardian published an article just this morning by writer Oliver Milman which lays out skillfully and in painstaking detail how this unhappy development is unfolding. I strongly recommend this piece to anyone who’s interested in climate change, great hot sauce, or contemporary events affecting life in the American south.

Climate change is real. The seas are rising. And regardless of how long it takes for some Americans to see what’s actually happening all around us, we’re going to have to meet the challenges caused by the damage we’ve done to our planet, and we’re going to have to be for real.

The denying, the explaining away and the foot dragging have got to stop. If we still have a lot of people and a lot of corporations–who have a financial interest in mucking up the issue–pulling in the wrong direction, wondering how we’re going to keep our favorite hot sauce on the store shelves will be the least of our worries.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile