COURAGE needed

Greetings!
Reading the headlines about the heat waves and fires enveloping the globe with records being broken for the highest temperatures in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, we are seeing the effects in our weather due to climate change.


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.

We’re in a David and Goliath story if there ever was one!
 

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:

  • Courage to confront the truth: unless we change, we are headed toward an unlivable planet in 10-15 years
  • Courage to take action on this truth


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.

Current carbon in our atmosphere measures 410 ppm (parts per million), an amount not seen for over 800,000 years!

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.

We cannot simply continue the status quo, going full blast burning fossil fuels, and come to a screeching halt when the budget runs out. That would crash the economy. The transition from a high-carbon to a zero-carbon energy infrastructure takes decades. It’s necessary to rein in our carbon emissions now so that when the carbon budget runs out we are at or close to net zero emissions.

You can see from the graph above that the longer we wait to begin reducing our emissions, the shorter the amount of time left to stay within our carbon budget, and the steeper the cuts have to be.

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.

The transition to finding ways to make all these products out of something other than fossil fuel, and to not use fossil fuel in the manufacturing process, is a colossal challenge… Yet this is what we need to do in order to get to net zero emissions. This undertaking is beyond any challenge that humanity has ever faced. The Climate Mobilization is a committed organization that recognizes this fact and is calling for a WWII-type plan to make this transition as fast as possible.
As mentioned previously:

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.

If you just cannot imagine that this devastation could happen, watch Earth 2100, a gripping ABC documentary about potential consequences of putting off addressing climate change until it’s too late.
Now what? The situation is dire.
We need to educate ourselves and then act.
WHAT WE CAN DO:
Have the courage to confront the truth

and the courage to act on it.

EDUCATE YOURSELF AND SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE!
Please don’t just believe what I say, do your own research. And when you do, first find out who funded the article or the study. There are many so-called "think tanks" that are really lobbying arms of the climate deniers, like the Koch Brothers or the petroleum industry.

Read the links in this article.

Subscribe to a newsletter at EcoWatchClimate News NetworkThe 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.

Start a book club with a climate focus. Suggestions include: This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein or any of her other books, and/or Climate Disruption by Paul Gilding.

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.

GET ENGAGED!

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% …

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

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…

And when you remember the David and Goliath story …
REMEMBER WHO WON!

How To Make A Difference

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?

  • We currently recover only 5% of the plastics we produce.
  • The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
  • Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide; more than one million every minute!
  • A plastic bag has an average "working life" of 15 mins.
  • In the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the entire last century.
  • In the US, 100.7 billion plastic beverage bottles were sold in 2014; 315 bottles per person!
  • 57% of those were plastic water bottles.
  • The process of producing bottled water requires around 6 times as much water per bottle as there is in the container.

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":

  • Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
  • Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other "disposable" plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
  • Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
  • Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them, which is a great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
  • Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
  • Seek out alternatives to plastic items that you rely on.
  • If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
  • Volunteer at a beach cleanup. 
  • Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
  • Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to reduce plastic in our lives and the nasty impacts of plastic pollution.

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, 

      Betsey

MORE RESOURCES:

EARTH DAY NETWORK

Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit

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!

3 Years to Change Direction …

As a yoga and meditation teacher since 1973, I am getting many questions about why I’m talking about climate change and civic engagement these days instead of yoga poses and philosophy. To my mind addressing climate and being involved in our collective life is yoga! It’s taking yoga off the mat and into the world, seeing The One in The Many, which is the heart of the non-dual philosophy I’ve studied and taught. This perspective goes to the crux of the crises we are facing: thinking that we are separate beings rather different manifestations of One Spirit. We are in the midst of a tremendous shift in consciousness on the planet ~ from the love of power to the power of love. As Martin Luther King, Jr. says it so eloquently,
“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.” 
I have loved yoga, and taught classes, workshops, and trainings for decades, and am now expanding to speak about one of the most urgent and serious issues of our time: climate change and how close we are to irreversible tipping points. I fully believe that yoga practitioners and all spiritual practitioners have immense gifts to offer this unfolding emergency: to honor the Earth, to show compassion for all creatures, especially those weakened by climate stress, and to be courageous in living the deep values of our One Humanity.
So, that said, here’s the latest on climate science …
recently published study states that the world must set greenhouse gas emissions on a downward path by 2020, or risk not being able to contain the temperature rise within what is considered the safe limits of 1.5-2.0 degrees Celsius, according to the Paris Agreement.
To get a clearer idea of how much warming we’re talking about, convert the temperature in Celsius to Fahrenheit by multiplying the Celsius temperature by 1.8. So that 1.5-2.0 C becomes 2.7-3.6 F. That’s quite a bit warmer that many people may have realized.
One helpful way to get a handle on our climate situation is to consider our ‘carbon budget’, as reported in the Nature article noted above:
"The magnitude of the challenge can be grasped by computing a budget for CO2 emissions – the maximum amount of the gas that can be released before the temperature limit is breached. After subtracting past emissions, humanity is left with a ‘carbon credit’ of around 600 Gigatons (Gt)."
  • Clearly we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate until we spend the 600 Gt budget and then stop on a dime. We must begin as soon as possible to lower our global carbon footprint in order to reach net zero emissions when our budget runs out. See the graph below:

  •   
Clearly we are in a climate emergency of mammoth proportions and this should be an "all hands on deck" moment,
            … but it isn’t.  
This could be a time when the entire country comes together to address an enormous problem, that left unattended will ruin the lives of your children and grandchildren (and my niece and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and my new grandnephew born less than a week ago),
             … but it isn’t.
Many scientists and researchers point out that we have the tools and the technology to shift from fossil fuels to renewables in time to avoid the worst damage of climate change. Mark Jacobson at Stanford University has a detailed plan for our country to get to net zero emissions that we could be following,
            … be we aren’t. 
This could be a moment that the entire country goes on high alert to address a major risk to the continuation of our civilization as we know it,
            … but it isn’t.  
It’s clear that waiting for the government to act will be too late, working alone will be too little, and the media has failed us by not reporting on the severity of the climate story.
Why aren’t we on high alert to this climate emergency?
  • Lack of political will. Extreme amounts of money are given to members of Congress to ensure their favorable vote, from corporations like the Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, BP, and the auto industry, among many others. They are pros at climate denial. 
  • This "influences" mainstream media, including CNN, CBS, NCB, ABC, the New York Times, and The Washington Post, etc. in what stories they will cover, because of the advertising dollars at risk if they cover stories negatively affecting their advertisers.
  • Check here for independently owned media that do not have the biases of corporate media.
So, it is up to each of us to get engaged in protecting Earth and our future! What can you, as one single person, do to make a difference? Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Align your actions with your values and lower your carbon footprint. The U.S. uses the equivalent of 5 earths each year, so we all have room to improve! We can simplify and de-clutter our lives and in the process lower our footprint. Compute how many earths you use each year with this Ecological Footprint Calculator. It’s fun, informative and also humbling! However, it’s easy to start with the low-hanging fruit, whatever is easiest to change.
  • Surprisingly one important thing you can do is to talk about climate change!!  Talk with friends, neighbors, family, store clerks, everyone! Share the videos above!  Forward this email to friends and family.
  • Research shows that 70% of people now believe climate change is happening and think that the government should do something about it! However, most people do not hear anyone talking about climate change in a given month. Talk about it! Speak up!! Let’s each do our part to bring the collective awareness of our impending climate catastrophe to the level of the national emergency that it is!Individual actions are important but are not enough! We must work together in groups.
  • Find an organization whose values you like: join and participate with your time or money.  See a list here. 
  • Especially note The Climate Mobilization, which along with many climate scientists, is calling for a WWII-scale mobilization that restores a safe climate by reaching net zero emissions within a decade.
    • "The climate crisis is causing immense human suffering and damage to the natural world. It threatens to destroy civilization and kill billions of people. Overcoming the climate emergency is the great moral imperative of our time." 
 
  • Increase your civic engagement!  Call your MOC’s (Members of Congress) regularly.  Let them know your opinions.  Repeat!
    • Join Daily Action and get a single action to do daily that focuses your civic activity!
    • One recent report said there were hundreds of thousands of calls to Congress demanding health care, and thousands attending town hall meetings (I was one of them!) Joining together in civic engagement made the difference! …and the healthcare repeal was stopped.    
Finally don’t forget to take care of your most important asset: YOU!
  • Take good care of yourself. Many people are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, sad, angry, and/or grief over what has happened and is happening to our Earth. Accept your feelings. Sit and experience them. Journal or talk with a friend. Get help if you need it. Get moving, breathing, eating well, resting, & sleeping well. Don’t forget to play and have fun!
Hold the most expansive perspective you can …  This is about a deep shift in consciousness, from seeing ourselves as separate individuals to being an integral part of the Web of Life, embracing our One Humanity.
"It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good… We are needed, that is all we can know".You were made for these times! You would not be here otherwise…
With love & appreciation for our Earth and all her inhabitants,

       Betsey

4 Days Until Electors Choose Our Next President

In 4 days, on December 19, the Electoral College will vote, choosing the next president of the United States.
Clearly President-Elect Donald Trump has broken his campaign promise to "drain the swamp".  Instead has filled his cabinet with three men from Goldman Sachs and appointed people to head agencies who are on record saying those agencies should not exist.  Most of us are recoiling in horror to realize Trump’s presidency would do tremendous harm to our climate, democracy, economic equality, social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, freedom of speech, our standing in the world, and on and on…  It would be a country that functioned even more to serve the elite 1% and create greater suffering for everyone else.  It would not be a country that we want to live in, nor want to pass on to our next generations.
But there is a glimmer of hope…  The Electoral College makes the final decision … in 4 days.  There is a huge effort underway to convince at least 37 Republican electors to not vote for Trump.  According to Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard University constitutional law professor, there are 20 Republican members of the Electoral College who are considering voting against Donald Trump.  I know it’s a long shot, and it is an unprecedented possibility … however, we are in an unprecedented situation.
You can get involved!
Make Democracy Matter has set up a map of the electors in each state.  Click on any red state to get a list of the Republican electors in that state; click on the elector and you have the option of calling or emailing them to request that they NOT vote for Trump.
Law professor Geoffrey R. Stone argues persuasively that voting against Trump under these circumstances is faithful to our nation’s founding principles: it is the courageous, patriotic thing for electors to do.  Also by the latest count, Trump lost the popular vote by over 2.5 million votes.
If ever there was a time for us to take action, to move out of our comfort zone and make a few calls (or emails, although calls have been shown to be more effective), to take a stand for what in our heart we know is right, to believe in the power of the people, to hope for a miracle and take action on it … THIS IS IT!!  
Let’s tap our Inner Warrior to get active and stay active … to fight for the country and the values that we believe in!
It’s also good to remember, as this great organization Climate Mobilization states:
"Whatever happens on December 19, there is no substitute for building an unprecedented mass movement to protect American democracy, secure fundamental human rights for everyone, and restore a safe climate through a WWII-scale mobilization. We remain firmly committed to that mission, and will keep mobilizing and organizing to build it in the coming weeks, months, and years."
Go to the Save Democracy website and click on your state to learn about protests in your state capital on December 19.  Sign up and attend!  Make history!

Our Collective Blind Spot That Elected Trump

The entire world was stunned last week by the results of the US Presidential election.  How could the wealthiest country in the world, one that professes democracy, have elected a man who runs counter to what the majority holds dear?  How could we elect a climate denier, who used racist, sexist, and xenophobic language throughout his campaign?
How can we make sense of this?  Is there a way we can view the election from a broad perspective that includes not only politics but also the economy and our culture, and thereby see more of the forces shaping the election?
"We have entered a watershed moment not only here in America, but also globally.  It’s a moment that could help us wake up to a deeper level of collective awareness and renewal – or a moment when we could spiral down into chaos, violence, and fascism-like conditions.  Whether it’s one or the other depends on our capacity to become aware of our collective blind spot."
This is the opening paragraph of an article by Otto Scharmer, co-founder of u.lab at MIT, Senior Lecturer, and Thousand Talents Program Professor at Tsinghua University.
In his article, On The Making of Trump – The Blind Spot That Created Him, Scharmer discusses the Economic Divide, the Political Divide, and the Cultural-Spiritual Divide that resulted in Trump as the President-Elect.  This is the most thoughtful, thorough, uplifting, and helpful response to these questions that I’ve read.
Scharmer also leads an international online program with over 75,000 people worldwide having participated.  His insightful, free course is designed for collaboration and guides participants to create solutions for their specific situations that serve our "Emerging Future".  There are 29,000 people registered in his current course!  This is a great opportunity to participate in a powerful, uplifting and global training.  If you’re intrigued, consider participating!

The Unnerving Science – plain & simple

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.  

THE TERRIFYING TRUTH ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE…

POSTED BY DAVID PIKE ON JUNE 14, 2016

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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, heatwavesdroughtwildfiresmass migration, famine, diseaseconflictanoxiaspecies 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.

Timelines

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.

Holthaus explained:

"The worst predicted impacts of climate change are starting to happen and much faster than climate scientists expected."

Neresearch 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."

Coastal flooding

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."

Famine

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.

Mass extinction

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 catastrophemoving 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.

Urgent action

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."

By Richard Matthews

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.

source: http://globalwarmingisreal.com/

original story HERE

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 To sign a critical petition for declaring a national and international global warming State of Emergency, click here!

A Spiritual Heroine

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.

  • I’ve signed the petition and hope you’ll join me! 
  • Clearly to End Global Warming is our number one priority.  If we don’t tackle that successfully – and soon – we risk leaving an uninhabitable Earth for our children and grandchildren.  

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. 

  • One of the best antidotes to fear and anxiety is purposeful action. Check the website for great ideas!  

In addition 350.org, one of the major organizations fighting for a livable earth, is sponsoring a worldwide 2-week program starting May 3 to keep coal, oil, and gas in the ground.

  • There will be several major peaceful demonstrations around the world.  If you cannot attend in person there’s the option to watch the events online and still support the effort to break free of fossil fuel.  

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."    

Amen!  

The Basic Situation is This …

Our Common Home, the Earth, is facing a crisis.       

The basic situation with the climate is this:

  • Enough solar energy reaches Earth every hour to meet the power needs of the entire world for a full year.
  • A Stanford University study has shown the U.S. could convert to 100% renewable energy by 2050, with huge strides by 2030.
  • ExxonMobil knew in 1946 that fossil fuels were warming the planet and deliberately lied to the country about it.  Lawsuits are pending.
  • Despite the Paris agreements we are currently on track for a temperature increase of 3-4 degrees C, which is an unlivable planet.  

The basic economic injustice is this:

  • It produces obscene extremes in wealth: the richest 1% now own more global wealth than the other 99%.

The basic political issue is this:

  • Economic wealth = political power; thus the vast majority of people are controlled by the 1%.

The basic media issue is this:

  • Over 90% of the media is owned by 6 corporations. Corporations, including car and fossil fuel industries, control ads and editorial content. 

The basic situation in our country is this:

  • Our elected leaders are incapable of solving our problems.  Period.
  • They are "owned" by corporations because corporate money buys votes.
  • We no longer have a democracy. 

The basic spiritual challenge is this:

  • Can we recognize that we are One Humanity?  That we sink or swim together?

The only way to change all this is to participate fully!

  • To stand up, to speak out: join organizations whose values we share; and participate!
  • Politicians don’t create political will. They respond to it.
  • It’s up to us to create the life we want on planet Earth.
  • No one is going to save us.

There is no one else.

A significant question to ask ourselves is this:

Are we willing to participate like our children & grandchildren’s lives depended on it?

They do.

 

"Democracy is one of the 

deep spiritual challenges of our times".  

Drew Dellinger

See handouts below for ideas on how to respond to our climate crisis.  See Upcoming Events for classes and workshops to help manage the turbulence of our times.  

Handout: Mitigating & Adapting to Climate Change:What You Can Do  April 2016

For inspiration: We Were Made For These Times by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Detailed Handout with links: Yoga & Climate Change.  April 2016

Also, my friend and colleague, Michelle Johnson, is offering a unique and transformative teacher training program:  

Skill in Action: Yoga and Social Justice Teacher Training

The only such Yoga TT in the country.  Begins September 2016.

"This Changes Everything"

"This Changes Everything"

In early November I attended a screening of the documentary film, This Changes Everything, based on the book of the same title by Naomi Klein. She makes the case, so succinctly, dramatically, and clearly that the way our economy runs, promoting profits above all else, increases environmental pollution and the amount of CO2 put into the air, which exacerbate global temperature rise.
Most U.S. manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas where labor costs are less and environmental controls are lax. This exacerbates climate change as well as taking jobs away from Americans. These actions have hastened the slide of so many out of the middle class, making our economy more fragile, rather than robust. Our economy depends on a vibrant middle class to purchase products and services that drive our economy.
This film is so worth seeing and discussing. In fact, take your family and friends to see it with you, and then have a heartfelt discussion of the issues and solutions. Check here for screenings in your area. If it’s not in your area, it’s available through iTunes. Rental is $4.99; to buy it is $9.99.
 "To change everything we need everyone"!
More US citizens are waking up each day to the urgency of our climate situation and to the power that we have when we act collectively! There have been recent major victories:
  • Exxon has been exposed for deliberately covering up the consequences of burning fossil fuels. They did the research and then funded climate denier groups. New York State is investigating bringing a lawsuit.
  • A Texas utility has so much wind power that it is giving it away (yes, for free!) from 9 pm until 6 am!
  • President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • The growth of renewables, especially wind and solar, has exceeded expectations.
  • The price of solar has decreased 80% in the past 10 yrs.
  • Organic food is the fastest growing segment of our food supply. People want food without pesticides! Eating both local & organic decreases our carbon footprint even more!
  • The youth climate movement is gaining steam with a powerful message: "we want an earth worth inheriting"!A 13-year old girl is suing North Carolina for not protecting her generation from climate change.
  • There are thousands of youth groups all around the world. Their power and passion keep growing.
Time to get involved in solutions!
COLLECTIVELY:
  • Join a climate organization and donate your time or money. Numerous options are at the end of this email.
  • Show up for local climate marches happening now through the December Climate Talks in Paris.
  • Educate yourself: Talk it up with family and friends. Talk about the risks of climate change for the price of food, economic stability, and the destruction of our habitat, our Earth, that supports life as we know it.
INDIVIDUALLY:
  • Earth Overreach Day was August 13 this year. That’s the day that we used up all the planet’s sustainable resources for this entire year; we’re now into "resource debt".
    • The U.S. has 4% of the population but uses 25% of the world’s resources.
    • Continue to do what you can to reduce your carbon footprint; see below.
  • Here’s one issue I haven’t talked about yet: conscious shopping! Ask questions! Find out where the products were made, and whether it was in a sweatshop. Green America.org has great & empowering info to make more conscious choices.
    • It’s tempting to buy the cheapest product, but it feels so much better to make a conscious choice to use our money in service of our values.
    • Note Target received a D+ and Wal-Mart an F on responsibly produced products.
  • Consider buying holiday gifts through a company like Heifer, Inc. Giving a goat, cow, chicks, or clean water to a family in a developing country is a gift that empowers them to change their lives, and is a meaningful gift to give in honor of someone important in your life. This kind of empowerment is the key to ending hunger and poverty. It’s exciting to put our money where our values are, knowing we can make a difference!
Remember we are all in this together!
We are all One Human Family! 
"This is not just about telling people to change their light bulbs or buy a hybrid car.
This disaster has gone beyond choices individuals can make.
It’s now about industries and our governments
around the world taking large scale, decisive action."
– Leonardo DiCaprio

Sending blessings for our collective future,

Betsey

Notes:
Google "climate change organizations" to find a climate organization that speaks to you. Or go here for more information. Choose one group to join and keep up to date with the latest happenings.

The Road To Paris

"The Road to Paris" is a term climate activists are using to call attention to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) held in Paris this coming December. The intention is to secure a legally binding global climate agreement to dramatically curb carbon emissions and accelerate the planet-wide shift to clean energy.

Diverse groups, organizations, corporations, businesses, and citizens, as well as religious and spiritual groups are joining together to put pressure on world leaders to sign a legally binding agreement in Paris. 

Many climate scientists emphasize the urgency for us to come together this year … finally … as One Humanity/One Planet, to tackle the greatest challenge that we have ever faced: climate change.

Educate others!  The more loudly we all speak up and also show up, the more pressure we put on our world leaders to sign a binding agreement in Paris.

"Politicians don’t create political will they respond to it".

Citizens Climate Lobby  (http://citizensclimatelobby.org/)

Help others wake up from thinking we’re powerless! 

We’re not!!

This is the most important time in the history of the planet.

Encourage others to participate and 

help create the world we all want to live in

Let’s work together, speak up and create some political will.

For the beauty of all we love, especially the earth …

Just choose one thing to get involved in!  Just one!!  You’ll feel so much better, so much more empowered, to be working with others on the solutions.  It makes all the difference in the world … literally.

Many websites make it easy to participate or get more info: 

http://roadtoparis.info

  • Editorially independent, they provide the basic facts on the biggest challenges of the 21st century.

http://350.org

  • 350 is building a global climate movement that is active in over 188 countries.
  • The Road Through Paris fights for a climate agreement that keeps fossil fuels in the ground. 

http://350.org/off-on-live/?akid=7471.769189._TFby7&rd=1&t=3&utm_medium=email

  • 350 Off + On is a great presentation that discusses the future of the climate movement. Inspiring. Informative.

http://350.org/the-time-for-feeling-powerless-in-the-face-of-climate-change-is-over/

  • Uplifting article to release feelings of powerlessness and take actions that make a difference!  

 http://www.earthday.org/climatejusticerally.html

  • Moral Action on Climate Justice: September 24, 2015

 http://peoplesclimate.org/calendar/

  • November 28-29 Climate rallies

http://roadtoparis.info/top-list/20-women-making-waves-climate-change-debate/

  • Background information of the top 20 women making waves in the climate debate.  Awesome!!

http://citizensclimatelobby.org/ 

  • Citizens Climate Lobby works with members of Congress for a bipartisan bill putting a fee on carbon.  

https://www.climaterealityproject.org/initiative/road-paris

  • The Climate Reality Project educates citizen volunteers to speak about Climate Change. I attended in 2013!

https://www.cdp.net/roadtoparis

  • CDP offers companies a platform to act and be recognized in supporting climate change solutions. 

http://www.theclimatemobilization.org/

  • Climate Mobilization is urging President Obama to declare a National Emergency on Climate and move to renewables at the fastest speed possible.  

http://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org

  • Interfaith Power & Light mobilizes a religious response to global warming as faithful stewards of Creation.

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/climate-change-crisis

  • The Episcopal Church is actively involved in addressing the climate crisis.  Many useful materials on their site. 

http://www.wclimate.com/road-to-paris-2015/

  • The Road to Paris is a campaign to help set a Solutions Agenda with business, financiers and governments that will support and complement the COP21 in Paris.

Locals in North Carolina, I’ll be starting a yoga class at Sfeer in Chapel Hill on October 14, plus teaching some local workshops!  Click here for more information or call Betsey at 919-903-9557.