Paying Attention and Taking Action

Climate Scientists have been sounding the alarm for years about how the Earth is warming and how big changes are on the way for all of us.

The signs that our planet is changing–and changing very fast–are so numerous that it’s hard to know what to focus on.

But we should not allow that to keep us from getting and staying engaged and advocating for policies and actions to mitigate the damage we are inflicting upon our beleaguered planet.

In an article that appeared in June, writer Jordan Davidson lays out for concerned readers some of the alarming signs that the melting of ice around Greenland is a very big deal and is–most troubling of all–accelerating at a rapid pace.

Davidson followed up with another piece yesterday which focuses on one of the more urgent aspects of this whole matter of melting glaciers and rising sea levels.

Scientists, researchers and policy wonks have been warning all who will listen that we need to be prepared to move away from the coastal regions of our planet as the phenomenon of rising sea levels proceeds.

And to this observer, it appears that not too many people are listening to those warnings.

Mr. Davidson’s article makes a fine entry point for anyone who’d like to take a closer look at these issues. It focuses closely on the melting of ice around Greenland, the Helheim Glacier in particular. The piece is very timely and not overly-wonky and can be read here.

So many are doing this work of watching for the signs, for the evidence, that our planet is struggling, is being seriously degraded.

Keep listening. Stay engaged. Stay engaged and take action!

The plight of the Earth demands nothing less.


“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Trouble in the Arctic, Trouble Everywhere

As many of you no doubt know, I post about environmental issues regularly. That’s true of thousands of bloggers, of course.

I usually give a great deal of thought to whether the tone of my posts is too dark. I often agonize over such things, truth be told.

But the news is so overwhelmingly bad as the bill comes due, so to speak, for humanity’s stunning and persistent failures to take care of our planet, that merely passing along the plain truth about all this can sound like some blogger woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

I came across writer Dahr Jamail’s article in Truthout yesterday and could see right away that its message was timely, spot-on and needed the widest possible dissemination.

It details a lot of the most recent events that have those of us who keep an eye on environmental issues from getting much sleep. It’s not an easy read.

But you should read it. All of it.

The part of the article that deals with the importance of feeling the shock and grief that any of us feels when coming to grips with the reality of our planet’s degradation is vital. Don’t shrink back from that part of the piece. Let it all the way in.

There are so many engaged in this work. The work of sounding the alarm as we rush ever-closer to the abyss.

Don’t stop reading. Don’t turn a blind eye.

It’s time for all of us to look unflinchingly at the truth and take the actions this grave situation demands.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

The National Climate Assessment

The comprehensive  report about Climate Change and its consequences is called the National Climate Assessment and it was released about ten weeks ago.

I noted that the report had been released at that time but failed to put together a post about it.

But, obviously, the assessment is still very relevant a few weeks later. And it’s very, very urgent.

This was the fourth Assessment, the third having been released in 2014.

Not only is the tRump administration showing complete indifference to the report, they tried to minimize its impact by timing its release for Black Friday.

Just what you’d expect from a president who has tried very, very hard to kill our nascent solar power industry, done everything in his power to shrink National Parks, green-lighted proposed drilling projects in extreme environmentally-sensitive areas and who believes that the very idea of climate change is a hoax cooked up by the Chinese government.

I am in that clique of passionate climate change-watchers who are science-literate, pretty well up-to-date on the latest developments and who have concluded that humans will never take the hard actions which would be necessary to keep the horrible, earth-killing consequences which are outlined in the assessment from happening.

The chances that humanity will act in time are very, very close to zero.

And it certainly won’t be because we weren’t warned.

It will be because business interests who are profiting from the status quo and corrupt and ignorant politicians were hell-bent on raping the Earth to safeguard corporate profits.

It’s a dark, disgusting and dystopian story. One with a shitty, tragic ending.

And humanity is too cowardly and too subservient to its corporate overlords to keep the story from coming true.

To see the assessment in its entirely, follow this link.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

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

 

 

 

Climate Scientists Issue Second Warning: We Are Killing the Earth

We are killing our planet. Humanity received a first warning from scientists who specialize in the environment in 1992.

Nothing changed. Exploitation of our planet for her resources–often in the most rapacious and unsustainable ways–has only accelerated. The Paris Agreement is a very substantial step in the right direction, but is only now beginning to be implemented.

The tRump Administration has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, taken steps to gut the E.P.A., is trying hard to eliminate incentives to use wind and solar and killed through Executive Orders every possible policy put in place by previous administrations to safeguard the environment.

The overall situation has gotten much worse, with only one issue relating to the earth’s degradation improving–that being the hole in the ozone layer of our atmosphere–and all other indicators sliding downhill far faster than climate scientists feared.

And now a second warning has gone out. We’ve been put on notice. Twice.

It’s time–way past time, actually–to pull our heads out of the rapidly-warming sand, try to mitigate this damage and begin to heal the earth.

Our survival depends on it.

 

 

Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Pine Island Glacier: Manhattan-sized Antarctica iceberg breaks off

Ben writes: there are fresh stories in the media every day about the very serious changes happening on our planet because of climate change. Here’s another one. If you’re listening to what climate scientists are saying on the subject, here’s one more piece of evidence. If you’re a skeptic, let me encourage you to stop getting your information from sources tied to corporate interests or right-wing politicians lining their pockets with money from those corporate interests. We’re at the point where kicking the can down the road threatens our very survival.

The break comes two months after a 2,200 square-mile piece of ice detached from Antarctica in July.

Source: Pine Island Glacier: Manhattan-sized Antarctica iceberg breaks off

The first American settlers cut down millions of trees to deliberately engineer climate change

Bulldog says: It’s important to keep an eye on the subject of climate change. It’s beyond a doubt the most important issue we face in the 21st Century. This is the very first article I’ve ever come across that looks at the issue from the earliest times of European settlers coming to North America. I found it fascinating. Really good stuff for tree huggers like us from writer Stephanie Buck:

 

Long term, it worked, but not how they intended

Source: The first American settlers cut down millions of trees to deliberately engineer climate change