Archive for the 'climate change' Category

DANGER OF EXTREME CLIMATE CHANGE ON PLANET EARTH

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

“Global heating is technically more correct (than “global warming”) because we are talking about changes in the energy balance of the planet. The risks are compounding all the time. It stands to reason that the sooner we can take action, the quicker we can rein them in.”
—Richard Betts, University of Exeter

There has not been a flake of snow so far this winter here in New York City on Saturday, the fifteenth of December.  Forty years ago, we would have had several feet of snow by this time and the city would have made a sort of path along the sidewalks, piling the snow up on either side higher than my head.  We walked along unable to see anything but the walls of snow until we got to the intersection where the snow had been cleared away enough for us to cross the street.  I can attest to “global heating” here in this city.

The article referenced above from the Common Dreams website gives a very good account of the distressing state of affairs. It mentions the “suicidally slow pace at which world leaders are working to confront the crisis that—if immediate and bold action is not taken—threatens to render the planet uninhabitable for future generations.”

That article ends with this: “the “Extinction Rebellion movement—which is demanding that governments reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025—has spread to 35 countries in just six months.”

Emissions spewing into the atmosphere

The United States is not among those countries and the article reports that the Trump administration here in the United States is actually attempting to increase production of fossil fuels!  This is very frightening.

It is encouraging to see in the article that “people around the world are mobilizing around ambitions solutions like a Green New Deal, which is rapidly gaining support in the U.S. Congress.”   Let us hope that the United States does adopt and implement such a program.

SCARY WEATHER

Friday, January 12th, 2018

It is 58 degrees at 9:51 am in New York City in January!  It is raining and foggy as well.

This frightens me even though the high tomorrow is predicted to be 41 degrees and the prediction of the high for Sunday is 26 degrees, much more what it used to be here at this time of year.  Global warming is nonetheless very much evident.

Though there is excellent public transportation here, there are large numbers of automobiles visible from my window that are going up 10th Avenue.  There always are many in the streets of this city.  I personally made a choice when I moved here several decades ago not to own a car.  It puzzles me that others drive cars in this city.

Choosing bumper to bumper traffic during rush hours, the outrageous expense of an automobile, and the trouble of owning and operating one seems senseless to me.  It does not appear so to large numbers of others here.  Though many of us in this city defy the national love affair with the automobile, many do not.  Unfortunately, these latter are contributing to global warming.

How much is at stake?  Is there a danger that this planet will become uninhabitable by human beings–because the climate is so changed that  it will not be possible to grow food for them or that it will be too hot for people to survive?  Even if people in the few cities in the United States where there is good public transportation were to give up automobiles, the rest of the country is heavily dependent on them, and on trucks which emit even more noxious gases.  And the US is far from the only source of automobile and other noxious emissions such as those from manufacturing for instance.

What can we do to protect life on this planet Earth?

AUTUMN?

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

        Fall Color in Central Park in Past Years

A look out my window just now showed me a faint trace of fall color in some of the trees in front of the hospital across the street and going up 10th Avenue.  I remember well times when we would have masses of beautiful colored leaves by now, more like those in the photograph above.  Alas, not so colorful today.

I don’t know if we will have that beautiful color this year, just later than a few decades ago.  I certainly hope so.  What I do know is that global warming is real and is affecting New York a great deal.

GLOBAL WARMING SEEN ON COLUMBUS DAY

Monday, October 9th, 2017

If one doubted global warming, a photograph taken during today’s Columbus Day celebration in New York City would give evidence of it.

                             Mayor DeBlasio during celebration

As the photograph shows, Mayor DeBlasio is without a top coat and his jacket is not buttoned.  On the 9th of October in New York!

I was out today in a cotton shirt with no jacket at all and was very comfortable.  When I first moved to New York nearly forty years ago, it was chilly in September much less October. Today was nearer a summer day than what we knew as autumn several decades ago.

CARBON BOMB UNDER OUR FEET

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

In an article published on Common Dreams today, “Warming Soils Could Trigger Potentially Unstoppable Climate Feedback Loop: Study”, the authors report a quotation, “There’s a carbon bomb right under your feet,” that points toward “a potentially unstoppable feedback loop as earth’s rising temperatures drive soils to release more carbon emissions.”

Another quotation from a distinguished scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts says, “each year, mostly from fossil fuel burning, we are releasing 10 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere. That’s what’s causing the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and global warming.”

The four distinct seasons that I loved and the snowy winters which I enjoyed when I moved here nearly forty years ago have given way to winters without snow and hotter summers. It is the seventh of October and outside my window, people are on the streets in shorts and short sleeved shirts.

Aiweiwei looking at things in an exhibit today in NYC

One reason I live in New York is that I do not need to drive here. In the South where my family is from and the Southwest where I lived for a time it was imperative to have an automobile; indeed in most of the United States it is. I have lived several times in France where that is not the case; indeed, not having to have a car was one of the reasons I lived there. Even there, however, there are far too many automobiles pouring carbon into the atmosphere.

Will human beings stop this poisoning of our world? There are a few efforts now, but not nearly enough. Will my great-grandchildren and their children be able to survive on this planet?

GLOBAL WARMING OBVIOUS IN NYC

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Today, the 22nd of September 2017, at 1:19 pm it is 80 degrees here in New York City and will be warmer yet before the evening. Climate Change writ large!

I remember when there would be a few nippy days in August, the harbingers of cool Fall weather to come, and when it would now be cool with quite chilly nights.

Tomorrow it is predicted to reach 87 degrees, followed by 88 degrees on Sunday and 86 degrees on Monday.

This weather frightens me. The change I have seen in the past forty years is staggering and if change like this continues, the Earth could become uninhabitable by human beings.

GILLIBRAND OPPOSES TRUMP’S WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS ACCORD

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Below is Senator Gillibrand’s statement on Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Accord:

“This decision by President Trump to leave the Paris Accord is irresponsibly shortsighted and harmful to the United States. There is no credible doubt that climate change is real and is caused by human activity. We have irrefutable data that temperatures are rising, Arctic ice is melting, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather is becoming more severe. This scientific question has been settled for years, yet the few deniers who are still out there have gained outsized and dangerous influence with our President at the expense of our safety and security. For the sake of our country and our future, President Trump must quickly embrace the truth that climate change is real, and act on it – by supporting investments in clean energy technology that will create good-paying jobs and drive innovation, and by restoring American leadership in this massive global effort.

“Our children’s generation will have to deal with the potentially catastrophic effects of this shortsighted and dangerous decision to leave the Paris Accord, and I urge all New Yorkers and all Americans who care about our health, our security, and our economy to raise their voices and speak out forcefully against this decision.”

I, for one, appreciate her speaking out so clearly.  I have contacted my Congressional representatives on this matter.  Let us hope that we see change in Trump and his administration.