Monday, November 11, 2019

Climate Dominoes in California and East Australia


Used with permission of Extinction Rebellion. Related to the Mullins quotes below, the above video notes "It's obviously the case that some tasks are too big for one person [ . . . ] This is the last chance we have to solve this without serious serious consequences [ . . . ] All areas of life, certainly that includes our education culture, need to start focusing on this subject [ . . . . ] Coastal communities all over the world are threatened."

California fires the past three years and fires today in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia show results of increased climate vulnerability according to climate scientists. The link above notes these parts of east Australia are having "the worst bushfire conditions in four decades." In this ABC News (Australia) video former New South Wales Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins, meeting with California firefighters, says his warnings to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison were ignored. It was reported on November 6, 2019, Mullins said "We're coming into what I think is the [ . . . ] the most dangerous build up to a fire season I've seen since 1994 when New South Wales was devastated and there's not even platitudes [from politicians]. There's just closed doors and closed minds [ . . . ] That's atrocious that our national government doesn't recognize that there's a disaster heading their way so [ . . . ] again, please listen Prime Minister." Unfortunately, the Australian government's response was too late as this series of fires, which began the morning of November 8, now includes more than 60 fires, and the overall situation may get much worse, according to several news sources.

Regarding the global situation and specifically California, Mullins said "The most fire prone parts of the planet are burning more and more. Here in California 18,000 homes [or structures] last year. 9,000 the year before. Previously, 3,000 was the biggest they'd think of. They're just shaking their heads saying 'What the hell is around the corner?'"

Scott Roars, another speaker in the video said "When I started in this business with the forestry [ . . . ] our [fire] seasons, especially in this [California] region, would maybe run four good months [ . . . ] Now, we start in April and we go almost to Christmas."

In addition to the human cost of Prime Minister Scott Morrison ignoring Mullins' warnings, CNN reported "Hundreds of koalas [are] feared dead." The article has a great photo of a fire-injured koala.

Guardian News posted a video "A volunteer firefighter Dan Boswood has captured just how difficult the fire conditions have been in mid-north Queensland."

All these ignored warnings in Australia and the United States, and noted "catastrophic" results, are grounds for Extinction Rebellion's third demand: "Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice [not bound and gagged by fossil fuel companies]." I recall Antigone said about King Creon in that Greek tragedy "There is no gag like terror, is there, gentlemen?" and in his Day of Affirmation Address against injustice of apartheid in 1966, Robert F. Kennedy said, "Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change. [ . . . . ]  I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the world." This is a good reminder of the work Extinction Rebellion has been, and is, doing.

In a bbc.com article "Is climate change to blame for Australia's bushfires?" University of Sydney Professor Glenda Wardle said "It's not every weather event that is the direct result of climate change. But when you see trends... it becomes undeniably linked to global climate change."

Friday, November 8, 2019

"Senators announce bipartisan climate caucus: 'We look a bit like Neanderthals'" -- CBS NEWS

See the CBS News video Senators announce bipartisan climate caucus: "We look a bit like Neanderthals."  Talk of going after "low hanging fruit" reminds me of Christine Lagarde's statement about the 2008 financial crisis in the film Inside Job: "And l clearly remember telling Hank: 'We are watching this tsunami coming, and you're just proposing that we ask which swimming costume we're going to put on."' At the time, she was France's Finance Minister, and would later serve as President of the European Central Bank and Chairwoman and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.  This climate crisis is much much worse because natural systems that support many economies are in rapid decline.

Greta Thunberg recently tweeted "Again and again, the same message. Listen to the scientists, listen to the scientists. Listen to the scientists!"

What are they saying?  It was widely reported this week including a Guardian article "Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’." The article notes "We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency [ . . . . ] The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.”

The CBS News video says "In our EYE ON EARTH series a bipartisan group of senators is announcing new action on climate change [ . . . ] Some prominent republicans are joining democrats to address the crisis." Something is better than nothing, but the speed of effort is too slow for reality outside Washington, D. C.

Monday, November 4, 2019

“Violence is a failure of the imagination.” -- William Stafford


"Radiohead - Idioteque" used with permission of Extinction Rebellion.

It's a hard but important time for creative artists, scientists, young people, and middle aged or elders of conscience. Washington Governor Jay Inslee said in his recent Rolling Stone interview with Jeff Goodell "The more I think about this, the more I understand this [climate] challenge as a lack of imagination, in two ways. One, some people can’t imagine a world that is as degraded as science tells us it’s going to be. They have trouble imagining a world without coral reefs, or a way to grow grapes in California; they can’t imagine that. But more importantly, they can’t imagine a world where we are driving electric cars, where we are powering the grid with a combination of renewable energy and have much more energy-efficient homes. [par break] We have done this before, with the mobilization for World War II. We have reorganized our economy [ . . . . ]"

Similarly, see Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army. The report noted "Rising seas will displace tens (if not hundreds) of millions of people, creating massive, enduring instability. This migration will be most pronounced in those regions where climate vulnerability is exacerbated by weak institutions and governance and underdeveloped civil society. Recent history has shown that mass human migrations can result in increased propensity for conflict and turmoil as new populations intermingle with and compete against established populations. More frequent extreme weather events will also increase demand for military humanitarian assistance. [par break] Salt water intrusion into coastal areas and changing weather patterns will also compromise or eliminate fresh water supplies in many parts of the world [. . . .]"

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Climate Conversations

A few nights ago, I quoted John Steinbeck in my World Literature class from his fall 1969 Paris Review interview: "The writers of today, even I, have a tendency to celebrate the destruction of the spirit and god knows it is destroyed often enough. But the beacon thing is that sometimes it is not." I also thought of this when I read a Yale Climate Connections story of "Mary Beth Downing of Boulder, Colorado, [standing] outside her state capitol and [ringing] a bell [. . . .] to express her concern about climate change." Downing said "[. . .] Here’s a crazy idea: anybody want to join me on the 11th day of every month at eleven o’clock to raise an awareness, raise an alarm?" The article continues "It was the start of a monthly interfaith event called the 11th Hour Calling. Participants ring the large bell [11 minutes] at a local church. Across the street, members of a Buddhist center respond by striking their gong. [ . . . .] She says it’s an opportunity for people to come together, [to] confront their fears about global warming [. . .]"

The idea sparked a plan for my next sabbatical where maybe I will host informal "Climate Conversations" on how to prepare psychologically, spiritually, and practically for what is coming.

Dahr Jamial wrote in his July 15, 2019 article "Dancing with Grief" at resilience.org "The reality is, no government on Earth is currently willing to take the dramatic measures necessary that might begin to mitigate what is coming our way. [. . . .] There can no longer be any question that life as we know it, at least for those of us in the privileged West, is now ending." I blogged about this in my July 25, 2019 post where I quoted the writer Charles Bukowski "what matters most is / how well you / walk through the / fire."

Thursday, October 31, 2019

"New Study: 300 Million Face Severe Risk of Climate-Fueled Coastal Flooding by 2050"-- Democracy NOW!


In the above video, Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change for ActionAid, says "Let’s understand, the climate crisis and the social unrest in Chile or elsewhere have the same root cause: that’s inequality. Governments continue to prioritize corporations over the rights of people [ . . . .] And if you look at these historical resolutions, the United States is responsible for more than quarter, and another quarter of emissions come from European Union. That is the inequality. Yes, China is the biggest polluter at the moment, but historical emissions come largely from United States and European Union. And if you look at the emission reduction targets that they have put on the table from the United States, European Union and even Japan, it is one fifth of their fair share."

Benjamin Strauss, co-author of the [above] study in Nature Communications and CEO and chief scientist at Climate Central, adds "If I can find any silver lining in this—and it’s hardly one, but I will say that—just as the threat from sea level rise and coastal flooding turns out to be much greater than we thought it was——three times greater—the benefits of cutting climate pollution would also be three times greater."

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

California Fires: This is Not the New Normal

Yesterday cbsnews.com showed two videos about recent California fires: here and here.

I heard people say "This is the new normal" but it isn't.  Instead, conditions are likely to get much worse. This 2010 post by Alan Marshall at skepticalscience.com noted "With 40 years between cause and effect, it means that average temperatures of the last decade are a result of what we were thoughtlessly putting into the air in the 1960’s. It also means that the true impact of our emissions over the last decade will not be felt until the 2040’s. This thought should send a chill down your spine!"

In contrast, Brian Kahn on December 3rd, 2014, at climatecentral.org noted "CO2 Takes Just 10 Years to Reach Planet’s Peak Heat." Kahn wrote "The research, published Wednesday in Environmental Research Letters, provides policymakers and economists with a new perspective on how fast human carbon emissions heat the planet. Back-of-the-envelope estimates for how long it takes for a given puff of CO2 to crank up the heat have generally been from 40-50 years. But the new study shows that the timeframe for CO2 emissions to reach their maximum warming potential is likely closer to 10 years."

To magnify the challenge, global carbon and methane emissions increased again in 2017 and 2018.

Criminally insane vested interests, and their political puppets, accelerate us toward this "train wreck."

Specifically, there is a brutally honest scene in the film Before the Flood where astronaut Piers Sellers is interviewed by Leonardo DiCaprio the same year Sellers died of of pancreatic cancer.  The film parts are here and here. Part of the text is below:

"[LD:] [. . . ] And what about my home state of California?"

"[PS:] Not looking great, I’m afraid. Our models predicted persistent drought in the Dust Bowl and here 50 years from now. But we’re just seeing the worst drought in 900 years here right now [in the eastern Mediterranean], so it’s coming a bit earlier than we thought. We’re talking about this happening over the period of a few decades…"

"[LD:] This is not great news."

"[PS:] People get confused about the issue, but the facts are crystal clear – the ice is melting, the Earth is warming, the sea level is rising – those are facts. Rather than being, 'oh my god, this is hopeless', say, 'OK, this is the problem, let’s be realistic and let’s find a way out of it'. And there are ways out of it. If we stopped burning fossil fuels right now, the planet would still keep warming for a little while before cooling off again."

Here is map of California fire updates.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Reflections on Arctic Circle 2019 Assembly and Leslie Field's Ice911 Geoengineering Idea to Cool the Arctic With Hollow Silicate Beads

It was great to read Mia Bennett, of the University of Hong Kong's Department of Geography and School of Modern Languages & Cultures, report on power brokers' ideas in Arctic Circle 2019 Assembly October 10 - 13 in Reykjavík. Bennett's Cryopolitics article "Welcome to the geoengineered Arctic" had informed perspective and helpful insights. She wrote, "Attending most of the Arctic Circle’s meetings over the past seven years has given me some perspective as to how the conversation about the region’s future has evolved over the better part of a decade. Over the years, everyone from former President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grímsson to former United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and now, this year, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, has said something to the effect that the 'Arctic is at the front lines of climate change.'” She added "geoengineering technologies like glass microbeads [from Ice911] and carbon capture offer more opportunities to invest. After all, there’s little money to be made in slowing down or cutting consumption and greenhouse emissions, which, let’s face it, are never going to be burning topics for plenary discussion."  Her overall article showed why it would be wiser to focus on these topics than capitalist investment strategies, and the sooner the better. Bennett's humanity brought clarity, and showed the need for Extinction Rebellion's third demand noted below of a UK "Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice."

I wrote about Ice911 in May 2019 and reminded readers of Clive Hamilton's March 10, 2015 Scientific American article about aerial sulfate spraying, another form of geoengineering, "Yet every [National Research Council] scientist, including the council authors, is convinced that if albedo modification is implemented and not followed by a program of global emission reductions, then we are almost certainly finished. Sulfate spraying without a change in the political system would make the situation worse." Similarly, I wrote on this blog about President Niinistö of Finland's statement in a joint press conference with President Trump, August 28, 2017, “If we lose the Arctic, we lose the globe.”

Eric Niiler of wired.com had good timing in his October 18, 2019 article "Can Tiny Glass Beads Keep Arctic Ice From Melting? Maaaybe,"  Niiler wrote "A group of Bay Area scientists and engineers say they have just such a solution: A thin layer of tiny glass beads that, when spread across the ice, would boost its surface reflectivity, start a slight Arctic cooling trend, and overall create more ice [ . . . .] Field says geoengineering is not a replacement for cutting back on carbon-emitting fossil fuels. Rather, she sees it as a way for nations to buy time to make bigger economic shifts. [. . . .]  Because each one is 35 micrometers in diameter, they are too big to make it past the respiratory tract filters of mammals, according to Ice911. The organization tested the material on minnows and birds with no ill effects, according to data provided in its research paper, but still needs to evaluate how it would affect marine mammals. [ . . . .]" The article notes the hollow glass bead plan, if used, may risk affecting weather in other areas.

Niiler added "Other scientists who have looked at the team’s proposal remain skeptical. Chad Thackeray, a climate scientist at UCLA, says that even with this intervention the Arctic will continue to warm, because planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions aren’t slowing down. Thackeray says the scale and cost of an operation to offset increasing Arctic temperatures would be massive."

In a previous post I cited Corey Gabriel, Executive Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Masters of Advanced Studies in Climate Science and Policy (MAS CSP): "[ . . . .]  In the event that geoengineering did cause disparate regional impacts, a regulatory scheme would need to develop that would contain enforceable compensation mechanisms to compensate those who suffer any damages.  Also, I think it’s important to note the relevant comparison to make in the context of whether or not to deploy geoengineering in the future is a comparison between the damages in a world with global warming and geoengineering vs. the damages in a warmer world without geoengineering.  An extra 0.5C-0.75C of warming, on top of, say 2.5C above preindustrial, would likely be very problematic.  Potentially a great deal more problematic than whatever disparate impacts a geoengineering regime would bring about."

World history shows who gets to decide can be as important as what is decided.  Extinction Rebellion's "Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice" would help each government maintain order as food prices skyrocket and climate danger increases.

Extinction Rebellion's three demands are therefore rising in importance:

Tell the Truth
"Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change."

Act Now
"Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025."

Beyond Politics
"Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice."

Sunday, October 20, 2019

For My Christian Friends (Ruth Jarman of Christian Climate Action)


Used with permission of Extinction Rebellion.

Ruth Jarman of Christian Climate Action said "I believe we are called to be faithful, and not successful."

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fighting Climate Change with Dance | KQED Arts


Used with permission of KQED Arts

KT Nelson's Dead Reckoning is an amazing dance that deserves to be seen and discussed. 

In the above six and a half minute video, ODC/Dance Co-Artistic Director KT Nelson says “With this thing called climate change, we have scientific evidence, we have statistical analysis. I think maybe the missing ingredient is our emotional world. Dance, because it is human beings on stage in a world, can help us can help us embody the meaning of climate change. [. . . .] Where we are with climate change is that we are navigating blindly right now. I think we’re in the middle of dead reckoning. [. . . .] The natural world to me is a friend, is a best friend. I think if a dear friend is sick any one of us would turn around and care for them. Yet, here is our planet. It’s in trouble, and I don’t think we realize we need to care for it. [. . . .] One of the things I want to convey is this feeling of being lost in this world of climate change. The panic. The franticness. The futileness of it. [. . . .] [In the Dead Reckoning dance] they eventually step on this other person, and smash her. So at the end I ask the question ‘Is what we do to the environment also what we do to each other?’”

In a previous post I quoted Forbes writer James Conca who noted September 10, 2019, "To bring this home, all you have to do is see how climate scientists are seeking psychiatric help for the depression, anxiety and PTSD that happens when you see a train wreck coming but no one seems to want to do anything about it - and you’re on the train."

In a 2016 interview at The San Diego Union Tribune I said, "People are just overwhelmed paying the rent and taking care of the kids and it was like, 'Why are you bringing us this painful information?'” [. . . .] I gave a reading at Cascadia College (in Bothell, Washington), and after it students asked me what they should do. My answer was that climate change is such a serious issue, if you are a graphic artist or a musician or an accountant, whatever you are, we need your help." 

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Moscow Times Reports East Siberian Sea Methane Emissions "Up to Nine Times the Global Average"

Thanks to Paul Beckwith for his video update Arctic Methane Measurements over Eastern Siberian Shelf Are Now the Highest Ever Measured. The Moscow Times 10/7/19 article he cites quoted Professor Igor Semiletov, of Tomsk Polytechnic University, a colleague of Natalia Shakhova, ("Expertise: chemical oceanography") Research Associate Professor at International Arctic Research Center at The University of Alaska Fairbanks. The article notes Semiletov said "This is the most powerful gas fountain I've ever seen. [ . . .] No one has ever recorded anything like this before.”

I wrote about scientific debate regarding his concern in a previous post quoting Semiletov from an October 4, 2016, Siberian Times article: "We have reason to believe that such emissions may change the climate. This is due to the fact that the reserves of methane under the submarine permafrost exceed the methane content in the atmosphere [ . . . ] many thousands of times. If 3-4% from underwater will go into the atmosphere within 10 years, the methane concentration therein (in the atmosphere) will increase by tens to hundreds of times, and this can lead to rapid climate warming. This is due to the fact that the greenhouse effect of one molecule of methane is 20-30 times greater than one molecule of CO2."

In my post, his concern was not shared by Carolyn Ruppel, Ph.D, a Research Geophysicist at Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, and leader of the USGS Gas Hydrates Project.

My post also quoted a Democracy Now! video of Dahr Jamial: "[Dr. Ira Leifer, Chemical Engineering Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, noted] the normal background rate for methane seeps from a seabed in [one area] is approximately 3000 methane seeps over a thousand square kilometer area. He had, using satellites to measure the methane, [ . . .] found in another thousand square kilometer area, [. . .] there were already 60 million methane seeps [ . . .]"  I added "Leifer was 'chief mission coordinating scientist for the NASA effort for airborne remote sensing of the Gulf oil spill.'"

In 2013 Nafeez Ahmed wrote a good overview in The Guardian "Seven facts you need to know about the Arctic methane timebomb" but it seems most world leaders did not do their homework. If they were students in my Critical Thinking class, most would receive F grades.

In a related matter, it was announced today a much better critical thinker, Valve Turner Ken Ward, faces a third trial for his help shutting down "all pipelines carrying Canadian tar sands oil into the US" according to authors of his legal fund site requesting donations.  They wrote "the Skagit County prosecutor announced they will try Ken Ward a third time, likely next February."

As of today, this blog has 7,090 views from Russia which are starting to make sense with their methane releases, floods, and fires.

In US fire news, James Rainey and Joseph Serna reported in the 10/11/19 Los Angeles Times, "A forecast of high winds and increased fire danger led PG&E to cut power Wednesday to about 730,000 customers across 34 counties, stretching from Humboldt County in the north to Kern County in the south." Today cbsnews.com reported on the ten active Southern California fires. Their video shows brave firefighters working against high winds reminding me of fast-wind fires in 2017 and 2018. Update: Doug Stanglin, Chris Woodyard and Grace Hauck of USA TODAY reported "Two dead near Los Angeles as Saddleridge fire forces 100,000 people to evacuate." The article noted "'This is a very dynamic fire,' Los Angeles Fire chief Ralph Terrazas told reporters Friday, warning that the fire — dubbed the Saddleridge fire — was devouring 800 acres an hour [. . . .] Terrazas said the fire, as of Friday morning, was 'zero' contained."

The Guardian reported "[ Update: 'millions across Japan'] were advised to evacuate due to fears of flooding as a powerful typhoon [Hagibis] was set to make landfall late on Saturday, bringing with it the heaviest rain and winds in 60 years."

Many sources noted September 2019 was Earth's "hottest" since humans kept records, as was July 2019, as was June 2019BBC Newsnight ran a revealing 7 and half minute interview with Extinction Rebellion organizer Sarah Lunnon and one IPCC author, the Oxford University Professor Myles Allen. When host Emma Barnett asked Professor Allen "Have you found some of the scientific claims made by those associated with Extinction Rebellion unhelpful?" his answer was "It was quite gratifying as I wandered through the demonstration yesterday to actually find copies of the IPCC 1.5 Degrees Report [. . .] I think Extinction Rebellion [leaders] actually have done a very good job of trying to stick as close as they can to the science [. . . .]" That may explain why former UK police officers in the video two posts down joined them.

Matthew Green of Reuters wrote "More than 300 scientists have endorsed [the] civil disobedience campaign aimed at forcing governments to take rapid action to tackle climate change, warning that failure could inflict 'incalculable human suffering.' [par break] In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne."

The climate crisis relationship between the Arctic, Canadian tar sands, California fires, Japanese typhoon Hagibis, and faster-than-predicted sea rise reminds me of a quote by John Muir: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."

Thursday, October 10, 2019

IMF Proposes Global $75 a Ton Carbon Tax "by 2030"

Today's Washington Post reported "The world needs a massive carbon tax in just 10 years to limit climate change, IMF says" by Chris Mooney and Andrew Freedman.

The first paragraph notes "A global agreement to make fossil fuel burning more expensive is urgent and the most efficient way of fighting climate change, an International Monetary Fund study found on Thursday."  The article added "The Nobel Prize-winning Yale economist William D. Nordhaus has argued that a carbon tax of $300 per ton or even higher might be required." and "'The climate crisis is so dire, and public/popular determination to attack it is suddenly so strong and unquenchable, that even $75/ton by 2030 seems far too moderate a target,' wrote Charles Komanoff, director of the Carbon Tax Center, in an emailed response to the IMF study."

The article cited Paolo Mauro, deputy director of the fiscal affairs department at the IMF: “If you compare the average level of the carbon tax today, which is $2 [a ton], to where we need to be, it’s a quantum leap.”

The gap between so-called "idealism" and serious planning is rapidly narrowing but action is what matters to reduce CO2 emissions before humans lose control of the climate crisis. As I noted before, political realism is the same as planetary suicide.

In a previous post, I wrote The Imitation Game noted "We were at war with the clock." and "Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of [Think Greta Thunberg.] who do the things that no one can imagine."

Monday, October 7, 2019

Former UK police officers share their views on XR and the climate crisis | Extinction Rebellion Oct. 5, 2019


Used with permission of Extinction Rebellion.

I understand not all are ready for the bravery and sacrifice shown by these former UK police officers, but everyone can explore bank options to stop funding fossil fuel companies and projects. Watch this video, then click "SHOW MORE" below it to see Dave Borlace's list of banking options in the USA, UK, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equador, France, Germany, Greece, Honuras, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Palestinian Territory, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, and Uganda. Now is a good time to repost part of my Disclaimer: "Nothing contained [on this blog] should be construed as investment advice or financial advice of any kind."

Democracy Now! posted a video on 10/8/19: This Is Not a Drill: 700+ Arrested as Extinction Rebellion Fights Climate Crisis with Direct Action.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Two Items from New IPCC Report, "Sky Whale" Poem, and New Book


The above video by Dave Borlace's Just Have a Think is full of great information but I will focus on two items and what 5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial of 1850 means: 1) "It's actually more like about 5 degrees Celsius higher [ . . . . ] within 80 years or so at our current trajectory." and 2) "It's the small island developing states that are getting walloped right now but much of the western coast of America looks like being pretty vulnerable within the next 10 years or so."

3) 4 degrees Celsius, as I quoted before, means severe consequences according to Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Rockström noted "It’s difficult to see how [Earth] could accommodate a billion people or even half of that."

Here is a poem from my forthcoming book Between River and Street:

Sky Whale

After the last whale died
whale-shaped clouds appeared.
Some said “whale spirits.”
Others “just clouds.”

The ones who spoke the latter
were the same who
killed most of the planet.
#

And this is from another poem in the book:

Now, our blue jewel planet undoes 4.54 billion years of evolution
to try again.  In a twist on Plato,
there can never be hope until scientists become politicians
or politicians become scientists.