Tag Archives: climate change

The disposable planet – and its people

jonflan-blueearth - 1As a people, we are suffering the twin insanities of our Chief Executive, Mr. Donald Trump, who has insisted on pursuing two separate paths that promise to destroy our planet and ourselves.

First, our “Commander in Chief”, and another mad world leader from Korea, improvised a bullying chest-beating duet of world-shattering war threats, from the slippery edge of an existential precipice, promising to hurl nuclear fire upon the world, and to kill countless innocents.

Second, our “Chief Executive,” Mr. Trump, belittled every other nation in the world and refused to honor a hard fought international agreement on climate change that the United States had signed.  Mr. Trump also dismantled air and water safeguards and denied that humans have in any way caused the planet to heat from fossil fuel emissions.

Each of us is a furnace of life, warmed within a sheaf of skin, at 98 degrees Fahrenheit, with a strong will to survive.

But too many of us defer to leaders, trusting them to do what’s best for us and the world’s survival when we now know they are doing nothing of the sort.

Our leaders take the corporate contributions of fossil fuel predators and vote their way, insisting that we not trust our senses that that’s what they are doing, even as they do it at the cost of our health and safety and survival.  In the bargain, they stall cleaner, safer renewable energy sources. Continue reading

The president of Pittsburg, not Paris

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

There are plenty who embrace space travel and the science that might take us to Mars – in part because a lot of these wannabe astronauts have given up on saving earth – and think space flight to Mars is next up to form colonies.  Any takers?

These self-styled survivalists delude themselves that these other worldly colonies are a good idea because of what Matt Damon’s stranded character did in a sci-fi movie – given the ingenuity of this imagined scientist to stay alive until he could be rescued.

If we do the kitchen table math, to get to the fourth rock from our sun, to Mars, we could travel the 35 million miles in several hundred days if we were going at about 36,000 miles an hour.

But here’s the rub, putting aside how complicated that space mission would be, based on low bidder equipment, when we get there with our landing party, we have to terraform Mars, modify its atmosphere, temperature, topography and ecology so that Mars is habitable.

What makes us think we can or would make Mars livable when we won’t take the time or effort to sustain the planet where we now live – and the only known space rock in the universe where we can live.

You might ask Mr. Donald Trump that question.

The Paris agreement was a break through to address the threat of global climate change.  The objective was for the nations to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

After all, we are the 2nd greatest carbon emission polluter on the planet.  We are a large part of the “problem.”

It took more than twenty years for nations around the world to agree to an approach, and Mr. Trump preferred instead to join Syria and Nicaragua in dissent from that approach, with a thumb in the eye and thug shove to every other nation who might have believed we were all in this together to save the planet.  Continue reading

We fiddle while the world warms

globalwarmgraphIt’s hard to believe there is any one on this planet not truly alarmed at our planet’s yearly warming, with huge glaciers melting, waters rising, islands submerging, weather systems changing, water supplies declining, droughts increasing, and, with the most advanced scientific observers saying, we may have passed the tipping point on our way to global disaster.

World leaders have converged on Paris and have a working outline how to address global warming while “leaders” in our Congress resist EPA efforts to restrain the outpouring of carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

“Climate change” is the term preferred by those who don’t get the science and believe somehow or other an unseen beneficent force will save the planet.

Comedian Robin Williams had a line in his stand-up act when the audience missed a joke. Williams would say, “Catch up!” We have some evidence that there are folk who never will.

The most sinister and deceitful participants in this crucial worldwide dialogue are the fossil fuel adherents, the oil and gas industry tools, and motor city defenders, resisting change to alternative energy sources, stifling the truth, busy buying politicians who put us all at risk, while recklessly flooding the air waves with false promises and assurances. They busy themselves publishing Disney fantasy claims, saying that coal can be clean, and that they are going to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – someday – if it doesn’t cost too much.

The average High School student knows that carbon dioxide is a gas unlike oxygen or nitrogen; that it’s not transparent to sun light, and that it blocks and traps infrared light rays when reflected back from the earth. Continue reading

Clean Air Is Important For Most Of Us

Some may remember when Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary James Brady, grabbed the president as they flew over a forest and said in mock alarm, “Look, Mr. President — Killer trees! Killer trees!”

Mr. Brady made this mid-flight stand-up joke in reference to the President’s statement that trees were a major source of air pollution.

Most High School students appreciate that trees absorb Carbon Dioxide and other harmful gasses including Sulfur Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide, and release the oxygen that we need to breathe.

One tree can store 13 pounds of carbon dioxide a year and supply enough oxygen in a day for four people to breathe.

Few think it was the “good old days” when President Reagan’s Administration cashiered twenty top EPA employees, when Assistant EPA Administrator, Rita Lavelle, was convicted of perjury after misusing toxic clean-up Superfund monies, and EPA Administrator Anne Burford resigned when found in contempt for refusing to turn over Superfund records. Continue reading