Our planet is currently facing an unprecedented climate crisis, which threatens a sustainable world for our children and grandchildren.
Our planet is currently facing an unprecedented climate crisis, which threatens a sustainable world for our children and grandchildren.
Most of us reading this know that we are in a climate emergency. We’ve read the reports that say the greenhouse gasses we’ve put into the atmosphere are the highest in 400,000 years. Our weather is getting more extreme; we’re faced with severe droughts and wildfires, devastating hurricanes, our biodiversity loss is staggering, the Arctic is melting, income inequality is the greatest it’s been since the 1920’s, our economic system of capitalism promotes unsustainable growth on a finite planet, and still …. our politicians dither!
With all these issues coming to a head at once, this time is history is truly unprecedented.
So now what?
There is an urgent need to switch to renewables as fast as possible, as NC Solutions is doing with the promotion of 100% renewable resolutions around North Carolina. We can also press our representatives to vote for policies that support the shift to renewables, like the Green New Deal.
It is also clear that we have an opportunity for something so big that it is daunting, even overwhelming … we have the possibility of a "civilization re-boot".
As climate activist and educator Paul Gilding said in his book, The Great Disruption:
We have the possibility to transition to a sustainable and thriving future! This will challenge each of us to bring forth the best within ourselves.
In the words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, "… the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement".
Take Heart! This is the year to make our biggest difference! With blessings for our full and passionate engagement in 2019!
Our backs are pushed to the wall, and it’s not looking good for the "Home Team"!
We are faced with unprecedented converging crises: climate change including the Arctic melting at an unprecedented rate, which is projected to be ice free this summer or next; our ability to produce enough food for a global population that keeps growing; decreasing supplies of cheap oil which are expected to drive prices up; our unsustainable industrial agriculture with it’s heavy use of fossil fuel-based pesticides, fertilizers and farm equipment – note: it takes the equivalent of 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of food; loss of biodiversity including pollinators upon which agriculture depends; and sea level rise, all against the backdrop of a surreal reality created by repeated lies at the highest levels.
It’s important not to go numb or distract ourselves with easy and useless activities. It’s also important to acknowledge our deep grief over what’s happening. Everyone awake to the truth of our current reality is going through a grieving process of some kind. It’s a process and you can get through it. Seek out your "tribe" of similarly awake and awakening folks. Remember you are not alone.
Now is the time to reach deep inside ourselves and bring forth our heroic self in order to rise to the challenge of this historic moment.
For this two kinds of courage are needed:
WHERE WE’RE HEADED
For decades scientists have been warning us that burning fossil fuels is warming the planet. James Hansen, then head of Goddard Center at NASA, testified to Congress in 1988 about the dangers of climate change. We have held multiple international conferences on it, numerous IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports with dire warnings, and still very little action has been taken to reduce emissions.
Last fall 15,000 scientists signed a "Second Notice" Warning about Climate Change, stating that we are on a collision course with the natural world, and that "soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory".
Climate change is linked to droughts, wild fires, crop failures, depleted ocean fish stocks, and extreme weather events, costing the U.S. billions of dollars just last year alone. We now know that our climate has become destabilized and the jet stream has been weakened. This resulted in last winter’s spilling of cold air from the Arctic that traveled all the way down to Florida.
This is a stunning number as you can see in the graph! The recommended maximum is 350 ppm.
One of the big problems is that carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 50-300 years, with 20 percent lasting thousands of years. Based on all this, we are at risk of going over the agreed upon 2C (C = Celsius) degree limit set by the Paris Climate Accord. The latest research shows that we may reach that limit in 10 to 15 years, much sooner than projected in previous reports. The 2C degree limit is the line between dangerous and very dangerous climate change.
Another perspective on the limit we are approaching is to look at our carbon budget, the amount of carbon we can put into the atmosphere and still have a reasonable chance of staying under the 2C degree limit. According to Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Institute in the UK our carbon budget runs out in the mid 2030’s.
Right now renewable energy is increasing exponentially which is great news, but it’s also important to realize that ALL manufacturing plants that make solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars use fossil fuel. Not to mention the hundreds of items that are part of our daily lives that are made from fossil fuel, which includes pharmaceuticals, concrete and asphalt, and plastics that are in practically everything: food packaging, soap and make-up containers, plastic bags and plastic bottles, to name some of the obvious ones.
Our backs are pressed to the wall!
It’s time for thoughtful, caring people to awaken to the challenges ahead, and come to terms with the potentially devastating impacts of climate change before it’s too late.
and the courage to act on it.
Read the links in this article.
Subscribe to a newsletter at EcoWatch, Climate News Network, The Guardian/Environment or Truthout Climate Disruption Dispatches so you receive climate information from an independent source, not an organization dependent on corporate advertising that promotes the status quo.
Watch videos and documentaries on climate change and our multiple crises. There are hundreds of them! See suggestions here.
Find people you can talk to about what’s happening in our country and our world; find your "tribe" who are similarly awake or in the process of awakening to the truth of the multiple crises we’re facing.
Discuss climate change and related topics often; help others understand and come to terms with what’s happening. Help shift our culture to one of urgency about addressing climate change and moving to a life-affirming culture.
Follow what’s happening in the courts about climate, e.g., the case of the kids suing the government over not providing a livable planet for their future and the lawsuits claiming that Nature has rights.
Participate in bringing forth the world you want to live in and the world you want for your kids! Not to mention your grandkids… but notice the urgency here … we are talking about effects on your kids!
As grim as these statistics are, change is already happening! Paul Hawken shares that there are hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of people all across the world already involved in solutions to our many crises, mostly running under the radar. This time will be remembered as the Great Unraveling or the Great Turning…. it’s up to us. We can be part of this great movement!
This is an unprecedented shift, as David Korten says in his book, The Great Turning: from Empire to Earth Community.
We can participate in the Great Transition to a life-sustaining culture! This is a once-in-an-epoch opportunity!
Do your part… don’t sit this one out… you want to be able to tell your grandkids what you did to help to help bring our country back from the brink of disaster and what it was like "back in the day!"
Sit down with your family and discuss what you want to do! Involve your whole family, especially the kids, in your projects.
Ideas: reduce your use of plastic, especially single use plastic bottles; figure out how to simplify your life and use less energy by flying less, driving less, biking and walking more; eat less meat and dairy; recycle more actively until your recycling each week is bigger than your trash; plant a garden; consider solar panels on your roof or back yard… prices have come down over 70% in recent years, and there are federal write off’s, plus the monthly savings on your energy bills are tremendous! Batteries are now available so it would be possible to go off grid. Thousands of Germans have already done that!
Divest from fossil fuel.
Fight fracking in your community. Fight all forms of fossil fuel infrastructure, like pipelines and new ports, that locks us in to fossil fuels for decades.
Put your values on the line and demonstrate in local issues. Make it a family affair and invite your neighbors to join you.
Vote for folks who pledge to support policies to protect the earth.
Vote for people who take no money from the fossil fuel industry. Excitingly, this is a growing movement!
Call your representatives … often … even to the point of being a nuisance! Attend town hall meetings and speak up!
This is part of our civic duty and these are necessary actions in order to have a thriving democracy, rather than a system of governance characterized by legalized corruption that works only for the 1% …
Get enough rest, exercise, drink pure water, and eat healthy organic food (organic farming actually sequesters carbon in the soil, so it acts as a "sink" to reduce carbon, compared to industrial farming that increases the amount of carbon in the atmosphere; not to mention avoiding all those pesticides!).
Spend time with family and friends. Spend time in Nature, find the beauty everywhere, laugh, sing, dance, and savor life…
EARTH DAY 2018 is Sunday, April 22! The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970, nearly 50 years ago … and the response to it was massive! Twenty million Americans showed up to participate in demonstrations, rallies, and educational programs all around the country! That was 10% of the population!
It’s amazing to look back and realize that before 1970 factories could release black clouds of toxic pollution into the air or dump tons of toxic water into our waterways, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. It was legal! At that time there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act. There were no regulatory or legal mechanisms to protect our environment.
Fortunately for us, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day in order to bring attention to this growing problem. After pressure from millions who showed up to protest this travesty, only months later Congress authorized the creation of a new agency, The Environmental Protection Agency, to tackle our growing environmental issues.
As we have seen the current administration and the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, are doing everything they can to dismantle these basic protections of our environment and destroy the beauty of Nature, valued so highly by the vast majority of Americans.
I find it heart-breaking that a prominent environmental advocate and gay rights lawyer, David Buckel, set himself on fire in New York on April 14, as a protest suicide against ecological destruction. The New York Times reported that it received an emailed copy of a suicide note that read, "Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result – my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves."
My dear friend and colleague Marty Adams was so touched by the story that she wrote this moving and eloquent piece about it. It’s re-printed here with her permission:
"Monks immolated themselves in protest to the Vietnam war.
This man took a serious stand about the tragic destruction of Mother Earth that we are all witnesses to, by ending his life in this dramatic and public way.
Whether we are awake to the ravages of climate catastrophe or not, it is happening. We don’t have to "believe"; this is not about faith or beliefs.
Observe that your car windshield does not need to be cleaned of insect debris nearly as often as years back: there are hugely reduced numbers of insects. Good, you might say. But insects are many creatures’ food source.
Observe that there are also fewer birds and butterflies. Look around you.
Don’t believe my observations and reporting, look up the numbers yourself.
While you are at it, look up Sixth Mass Extinction.
May this man RIP. I am sad for those who knew him and his many talents.
Find a way in your own life to participate in solutions. It can be a small step, but do something."
One hugely important small step you can take today is to reduce your use of plastic. In fact there is so much plastic pollution in our landfills, oceans, and now even in our bodies that the focus of EARTH DAY this year is on plastic.
Did you know there is a massive dump of floating garbage in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from the nearest land? … called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? … bigger than the size of Texas? Did you know that millions of sea birds, fish, and turtles die each year from ingesting plastic?
There are now 5 Garbage Patches! … they are a testament of our indiscriminate use of plastic. We contribute to them everyday by littering and using non-biodegradable materials. Landfill trash flows out with the rains, moves into rivers and into the ocean, where currents sweep it to the closest patch.
Did you know?
In response to our excessive plastic pollution, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to "fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics."
Chose any of these steps to get started reducing plastic use:
Here are 10 Ways to "Rise Above Plastic":
How to make a difference? Stop using single use plastic bottles today!! And share why with everyone you know!
On Earth Day, show your appreciation for our magnificent Earth, our One and Only Home, by your actions!
With appreciation & love for our magnificent Mother Earth,
Earth Day Network is working to secure a future free of plastic pollution. Sign their petition to world leaders, national governments, and local legislators:
Over 1 billion people worldwide will participate in Earth Day in 2018! Earth Day Network, the global coordinator of Earth Day, is building the world’s largest coalition of people united to ensure a healthy planet. Click here for more information or to join the Earth Day Network and be part of the largest environmental movement in the world!
Calling all those who know the world is One Humanity!! All those who know we sink or swim together, whose hearts are filled with courage and resilience, who are willing to step up to what’s now required for our future.
No, no, you protest, you are not ready!! None of us feels ready when we are called to a task so daunting that we feel on the verge of overwhelment. Yet this is what Life is now calling us to do: to bring forth our most heroic, warrior spirit and fight for our future. This is a time for your extraordinary heart to reveal itself in all it’s magnificence and splendor. This is what you have been waiting for, training for, practicing for … the opportunity of a lifetime to open your heart to All Humanity and join with others to make the most significant difference that’s ever been possible on Earth.
Below is an article on the terrifying state of our Climate, just published this week. Due to the hyper attention the media has given to their profits, and therefore their focus on the circus of our elections, few people realize that climate destabilization has increased exponentially, risking irreversible tipping points. Unfortunately our climate has no pause button when we become distracted by our elections and the media fails to inform us of what really matters.
Because of it’s significance I’ve printed the entire article here and also given the link if you’d like to go to the website. The Job One for Humanity website includes options for individual and collective action.
Please share this article with your friends and family. It is truly a wake up call to the significant crossroads we now face.
POSTED BY DAVID PIKE ON JUNE 14, 2016
An apocalyptic future is materializing that threatens human civilization and all life on the planet…
The truth about climate change is more terrifying than our worst nightmares. We are teetering on the brink of a world that is the stuff of nightmares. This includes starvation, riots, disease, violence, and war.
Climate change augurs a wide range of adverse impacts. These impacts range from the seemingly innocuous, like more potent poisonous plants, to cataclysmic extreme weather events, like continent-sized superstorms. Other serious threats include widespread coastal flooding, storm-surges, heatwaves, drought, wildfires, mass migration, famine, disease, conflict, anoxia, species extinction and ultimately human extinction.
Scientists tell us to avert the worst impacts of climate change, we must keep temperatures from rising no more than 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial norms. Given our current trajectory, we are looking at temperature increases that could be as much as four times the upper threshold limit. A temperature increase of 4 degrees would wreak bloody havoc on an unprecedented scale, seven degrees would cause hell on earth. The situation is dire as we are already more than 1 °C above preindustrial norms.
As stated in Seeker:
"More heat is sending the planet spiraling closer to the point where warming’s catastrophic consequences may be all but assured."
We are on the cusp of a number of tipping points that will irreversibly devastate life on the planet, the same planet we depend on for our survival. This has prompted some scientists to suggest we have entered a new epoch.
The Age of the Anthropocene
Scientists are suggesting that human impacts on the Earth warrant a new geological epoch. This new epoch is being called the age of the Anthropocene. Study after study tells us that human activities are putting life on Earth in jeopardy.
As referenced in the Guardian, there are two recent independent studies that have added to the vast amount of data corroborating the conclusion that we are in the age of the Anthropocene.
Last August, Eric Holthaus wrote a piece published in Rolling Stone in which he cited a number of reasons why we should be nervous. This includes everything from bee mortality to the collapse of the ocean food chain.
It is important to understand that climate change is not some distant event, these catastrophic events are already beginning to unfold. Some of the most cataclysmic impacts of climate change are taking shape far faster than scientists had anticipated. Many are concerned that climate change could explode exponentially.
"The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen and much faster than climate scientists expected."
New research suggests the climate situation is far worse than initially thought. According to this and other studies, we can expect short-term temperature increases of between 1.6 °C and 2.1 °C above pre-industrial norms. Impacts will be far worse than predicted in most research as these studies commonly focus only on CO2, however, carbon is but one of several greenhouse gasses (methane, nitrous oxide, and others).
A paper from the National Academy of Sciences states that climatic changes could occur within decades or even sooner. The most challenging changes are the abrupt ones, said James White, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder and chair of the report committee.
While exact timelines are impossible to know for sure, a paper co-authored by a team of 14 climate-scientists integrated all previous research and came to the conclusion that the truly catastrophic impacts of climate change will hit
the tropics in 2020 and the rest of the earth in 2047.
According to an analysis by Carbon Brief, we have only five years (2021) until we exceed our carbon budget, which the IPCCC defines as the amount of carbon that can be released into the atmosphere while staying within the prescribed 1.5 C upper threshold limit.
Others have suggested that we could see a very rapid onset well before the dates referenced above. Jacquelyn Gill is a paleoecologist at the University of Maine who studies extinction. Her research reveals, "…really compelling evidence that there can be events of abrupt climate change that can happen well within human life spans. We’re talking less than a decade."
New research suggests that climate change is expected to cause coastal flooding of some of the world’s biggest and most populous cities far sooner than many had envisioned. In July 2015, James Hansen, the former NASA climatologist, published research which suggested that mean sea levels could rise 10 times faster than previously predicted.
"We conclude that multi-meter sea level rise would become practically unavoidable. Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea-level rise could be devastating. It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization."
As reviewed in a Robert Scribbler post, half a billion people already suffer from famine and droughts and the situation will only intensify as the planet continues to warm. A study released in April from the European Commission has found that 240 million people across the world are now suffering from food stress. Greenpeace said that 330 million people in India alone are faced with water shortages and the threat of famine. Millions more are under both food and water stress in Vietnam as a record Southeast Asian heatwave ramps up to never-before-seen extreme temperatures.
The death of our children
Children bear the brunt of climate change. As reported by the NRDC, WHO statistics say that children under the age of five suffer more than 80 percent of the illness and mortality attributable to climate change. Further, weather-related disasters will affect as many as 175 million children globally over the next decade.
The death of our oceans
Ocean acidification is a disaster on a planetary scale. It is already too late for vast swaths of the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs around the world. Plankton is the basis of the ocean’s food chain. A July 2015 study that shows acidifying oceans are likely to have a "quite traumatic" impact on plankton diversity. Areas with extremely low oxygen keep increasing, causing ever larger ocean dead zones where nothing can survive. The mass die-off of plankton also has implications for terrestrial creatures. Research published in the journal Bulletin of Mathematical Biology from the University of Leicester in the UK, suggests that rising ocean temperatures will lead to declining plankton populations. Since plankton is responsible for two-thirds of atmospheric oxygen, this could cause the Earth’s oxygen levels to fall dramatically, killing massive numbers of people and animals.
Research suggests that global warming played a role in the world’s largest extinction event known as the Great Dying, 250 million years ago at the end of the Permian Era. This event wiped out more than 90 percent of all species of plants and animals.
As reviewed in the Atlantic, a person alive today is more than five times as likely to die in an extinction event like runaway climate change than in a car crash. This is the conclusion of a new report on the economics of climate change from the U.K. based Global Challenges Foundation. According to the Stern Review, over the course of a century, the average person runs an almost ten percent chance of being annihilated by an extinction event. The report states that the most likely such event is catastrophic climate change. A 2008 Oxford study says that number is even higher.
Biologists have shown that humans are behind the fastest rate of species extinction since the end of the reign of the dinosaurs 250 million years ago. This research also concludes that humanity is also at risk of extinction.
Paul Ehrlich, one of the researchers who contributed to the study said that there is very little doubt that "we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event. Even worse, the research shows that we triggered the event ourselves." He added, "We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on."
Professor Phil Gibbard, a geologist at the University of Cambridge said:
"The Earth is now on course for a sixth mass extinction which would see 75 percent of species extinct in the next few centuries if current trends continue."
The current climate trajectory is rushing headlong towards catastrophe, moving us ever closer to doomsday. Ours would not be the first civilization to succumb to climate change, as evidenced by the demise of cultures in South America and the Indus valley.
Climate change is one of the most studied phenomena in human history. Thousands of research papers tell us how dire the situation is and how urgently we must act. The fact is that climate action is incredibly urgent, we must acknowledge that even with a consorted global effort it will be difficult to solve. A New York Times headline read "New Dark Age Looms".
However all is not hopeless, there may be time if we act now. This is the view contained in UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6), their most comprehensive report to date. The title says it all: "Rate of Environmental Damage Increasing Across the Planet but There Is Still Time to Reverse Worst Impacts if Governments Act Now."
"The obvious truth about global warming is this: barring miracles, humanity is in for some awful shit," David Roberts said. He also said: "Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed…"
We cannot be sure that our efforts will succeed. Some believe that we will exceed the upper temperature threshold limits even if we stopped spewing GHGs into the atmosphere today. Perhaps the most incisive remark on climate change comes from EPA chief Gina McCarthy who said, "the scary thing is doing nothing."
Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, green investor and author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, eco-economics and enviro-politics. He is the owner of The Green Market Oracle, a leading sustainable business site and one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment. Find The Green Market on Facebook and follow The Green Market’s twitter feed.
original story HERE
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I love that Yoga challenges us to take our consciousness practices off the mat and into daily life. If we both pause and listen to The Call of The Times, we can respond with a contribution for the Good of all. Clearly we are going through a time of major economic, social, environmental, and political upheaval. The good news is that there are some very bright lights to guide us through this process.
One of them is Barbara Marx Hubbard, a futurist, author and workshop leader. She is a brilliant and resilient spiritual heroine of mine. Barbara has just published a new website: JOB ONE FOR HUMANITY, which includes a Petition to Declare a Global Warming State of Emergency.
Her new website is filled with clear and succinct information, an Ebook you can download, and also a current summary of the climate situation. There are also options to receive regular updates on the latest climate science plus great ideas for action for yourself and your community.
As Paul Gilding said in his book, The Great Disruption:
"Getting through to the good side of this crisis
is going to require us all to engage …
This crisis presents
what may be a
‘once in a civilization’ opportunity
for a step change in human evolution,
but one driven consciously rather than biologically."