Monday, July 30, 2018

"Is climate change causing the worldwide heatwave?" ITV News

These 11 to 22-year-olds Are Taking President Trump to Court Over Climate Change

Many thanks to the Irish Examiner for this article explaining the legal case. As a reminder, "Ireland [will become] world's first country to divest from fossil fuels." Ireland's former President Mary Robinson has been a powerful force in climate-awareness. Ireland is a good best-practices model for other countries. Here are excerpts from the Irish Examiner article:

"In Kelsey’s case, it outlines how she depends on the freshwaters of Oregon for drinking water, for her seafood diet, and for recreation. [par break] Acidification of the ocean, rising sea levels, soaring temperatures and vanishing rains are dramatically changing the environment that sustains her. [ . . . .] Kelsey, who loves to swim, snorkel, raft and canoe, can’t enter the water much because of algal bloom. She can’t camp in summer because of wildfires."

"Nick Venner, 16, from Lakewood, Colorado, is witnessing the destruction of his beloved forests by wildfires and pine beetle infestation caused by the rising temperatures, and the loss of his family’s fruit growing enterprise due to hail, rainstorms and drought."

Regarding this legal case, now is a good time to repost the video A climate of TRUSTand my  "Manifesto from Poet on a Dying Planet" at Split Rock Review.

Update: A July 30, 2018, update on the course is Greg Stohr's Bloomberg article "U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Teenagers’ Climate Lawsuit" noting "The U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt a novel and sweeping lawsuit pressed by children and teenagers seeking to force the federal government to take steps against climate change." and "The case is United States v. U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, 18A65."

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fast-wind Fires in N. California and Greece Strain Planning and Resources

"Massive California fire jumps over river and roars into city of 95,000 people" (94,127 views since yesterday)

"The deadly fire in the city of Redding, three hours north of San Francisco and near the Oregon border, was only around 5% contained having grown overnight by 35% to 127 square miles."

"Greek firefighters join public outcry at ‘woeful’ response to lethal wildfires"

"Warning system down: California’s deadliest fires" (audio I posted March 10, 2018 about unsuccessful rescue attempts in "Whac-A-Mole" fire conditions as people are trapped in a swimming pool and on roads). "Last October, more than 170 wildfires ripped across Northern California. It was the deadliest fire incident in the state's history [and cost 44 lives]." (Click LISTEN button under title.)

Click Cameron Beccario's animation "earth:: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions" with "updates every 3 hours with weather data taken from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's Global Forecast System [ . . . ] The system uses supercomputers to create models of the weather from various measurements, like temperature, soil moisture, wind, ocean currents and precipitation." Use your cursor to move Earth across, up, or down.

Rachel Morison, Marvin G Perez, and Nicholas Larkin wrote at Bloomberg on July 25, "A heatwave across swathes of North America, Europe and Asia, coupled with a worsening drought in some areas, is causing spikes in the prices of anything from wheat to electricity. Cotton plants are stunted in parched Texas fields, French rivers are too warm to effectively cool nuclear reactors and the Russian wheat crop is faltering. [par break] The scorching heat is extracting a heavy human cost – contributing to floods in Japan and Laos and wildfires near Athens. Relief from soaring temperatures, which topped 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Arctic Circle,  may not arrive for at least two weeks."

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ludovico Einaudi - "Elegy for the Arctic" Video

Thanks to blog visitors this week from United States, Ukraine, Russia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Denmark, France, Peru, United Kingdom, and Nigeria.

The Bad News, and Good News

Dallas "Record-setting July 19" at 108 F (Click to see melting crayon art video.)

"Los Angeles set a new all-time high on July 6, when temperatures reached 111 degrees, and cities in Vermont, New Hampshire and Colorado also set new records."

On July 5 Ouargla, Algeria, "with a population of half a million," was 124.3 degrees (and "likely broke the highest ever recorded in Africa, according to the Washington Post.")

"[Japan . . .] logged its highest-ever temperature at
106 degrees Fahrenheit (41.1°C) in Kumagaya, near Tokyo on Monday afternoon [July 23], according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency." 

Thanks to Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY, for these July 25 updates: "In the last 30 days, there have been 3,092 new daily high temperatures, 159 new monthly heat records and 55 all-time highs worldwide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration." and "In the U.S. alone, there have been 1,542 new daily high temperatures, 85 new monthly heat records and 23 all-time highs during the same period, most of which were recorded in Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana."

The good news is "Ireland [will become] world's first country to divest from fossil fuels."

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

CHESC 2018

I enjoyed presenting today at the annual CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) on the UC Santa Barbara campus.  The session was "Sustainability Through a Humanities Lens," and also featured Kristin Hogue, Student Engagement Fellow, UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative, and Juan E. Campo, PhD, Professor, Religious Studies, UC Santa Barbara. The moderator was David Braun, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo.  I showed how my Honors Climate Change Poetry Seminar links students' personal lives with global themes like climate change.

The audience of about 50 professors and others had great questions and participation.  Overall, it was a wonderful conference with many professors, education leaders, and business leaders bringing their best gifts to the table of sustainability, health, planning, and resiliency.  California State University, Monterey Bay, gave an impressive presentation on their "Living Community Challenge." 

Scenic beach walks and bike rides also made this trip memorable.  CHESC noted, "This conference attracts close to 1000 attendees from 80 campuses, [and was] jointly organized by Independent / Private Colleges, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California." I met wise elders, a trickster, insightful and committed students, and a friendly community. Mia Lopez, former tribal chair of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, said the area was a tribal gathering place for teaching and learning among diverse cultures.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Remembering Celilo Falls

Some say nearby She Who Watches pictograph
is about looking over her children.
Others say it is a death mask about diseases brought by settlers.

Maybe it will take tearing down upriver dams
to get young people to stop killing themselves.

This poem/film is from my forthcoming book Carbonfish Blues (Fomite, 2018), and is about loss of natural world and teen suicide epidemic which, according to a March 19, 2018 USA TODAY article  “was up 70 % between 2006 and 2016 [. . .] for white children and teens [and] 77% [. . .] for black children and teens.”  I heard one Millennial say recently "Nothing matters." which was an honest feeling, but I wonder how her feeling would change in presence of wild salmon ascending undammed rivers, or at least river sections.  I understand need for flood control, but our society must be more in balance with nature.  I recall Ed Abbey wrote, “One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”