A pleasant surprise popped up in social media recently: A quick lesson from NASA (you know, rocket scientists) outlined the growing evidence of harm to our climate from excess carbon in the atmosphere, traceable to human burning of coal, oil and gas.
Why a surprise?
The news most recently has revealed where the current White House occupants are driving suppression of even the mention of climate science across agencies.
Foreign Policy cited the threat to national security from the administration’s “shadow war” on climate science. (Foreign Policy, July 31):
“Rod Schoonover, an analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, resigned in protest this month after the White House blocked his prepared testimony before a congressional intelligence panel on the national security implications of climate change. Schoonover said what he planned to say did not adhere to the Trump administration’s position on climate change,” the magazine reported.
The article cited other government scientists whose work on climate science led the administration to reassign them or force them to quit to uphold their integrity.
So, it is a relief that NASA still has educational material online documenting the significant consensus among scientists that our climate is being disrupted by human activity that trips the earth’s capacity to absorb carbon. How long will will it stay? Hurry to visit the site at climate.nasa.gov\evidence.
The Trump administration threatens national security, agricultural productivity and even our civil society in its climate science denial. But their game, their shadow war, is exposed. Shell and ExxonMobil tried to keep secret their own science that began ringing alarm bells about looming climate disruption in the early 1980s but, ultimately, their own science was exposed. Americans want the U.S. to take action to blunt the worst effects from climate change.
Take a stand – if not for yourself, for your grandchildren and their children – and become a climate voter. Join us at citizenseclimatelobby.org. Bipartisan climate action is in bills before the House and Senate now.
The following is my tribute to my sister, Denise, two years younger. She passed on Feb. 6 after living five years with metastatic breast cancer. Her services were held Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at Peace Church, Duluth, MN.
I sat the other day and gathered pictures of Denise.
photos. Stacked up prints … skinny kids with knobby knees dating back to our
childhoods in the ‘50s and ‘60s taken in careful pose in twos, threes, fours, fives,
sixes and finally sevens by our father, aware of the cost of developing but
not, clearly, of child rearing.
photo is a piece of her life and our lives and I had too few pieces of her to
looked at one of the photos and thought what was she doing smoking a cigar?
stacks of photos reminded me of her stacking and organizing fabric for her
quilts. She would stitch together carefully arranged pieces to become a
greater, warmer whole.
She would make the quilting run in elegant, geometric loops and sweeps, or orderly lines, or organically, like spreading branches, connecting each piece and binding them tightly, even if stitched imperfectly, where only she could see and would point out.
lives in memory are like that: episodes and people stitched together. For
Denise, it was always careful, determined, practical work. Denise warmly
embraced life with Dennis, Chris, Becky and Lara, and each grandchild, Zalia,
Tinley, Brooklyn, Owen, Leila and Matteo, this gifted time had graced to her.
always run along the stitching laid out in plan. It doesn’t for any of us.
Cancer certainly wasn’t in the pattern. Denise chose to live with
cancer, not letting it break her off her design, simply folding it into her
past December she made sure she was with family over the holiday as in pattern.
Family is a bit far-flung but it was she who made the journeys. Her visit to us
was joyfully welcomed.
She took respite in Costa Rica in early January this year, as she had since resting there after a mission trip a few years earlier. Earlier trips now seem so long ago. Then, we had forgotten cancer as she had walked with us; bicycled to beaches and into town and back; and, laughed about grandchildren at restaurants over fresh fish, rice and beans, and gin and tonic from grapefruits picked off the trees at the house we all shared.
this year, when she rode the bike to Playa Carillo, she rode back on Dennis’
motorcycle. We walked more slowly to sunset on the Pacific beach together, she
holding Dennis’ hand. We took the bus into town and not a bike on the beach.
She was stoic, but weakened, as we knew since she had relinquished the kitchen
she had always commanded previously there and elsewhere.
and Dennis were planning trips to Alabama and on a Mediterranean cruise. One
evening she sat in our chat circle and arranged travel insurance. It was a “just
in case” arrangement, she said, turning the focus to what they would do in
lived with cancer, but it wasn’t going to dominate her days.
time for our visit had ended and she and I hugged goodbye, her grip around me
stronger and longer lasting, it seemed.
occupied the trip home for Roseanna and I. Regret crept back for childish
teenage fights Denise and I had. Who was in charge while mom and dad played
bridge? (She was!) Who got the car this night? (I did.) Roseanna reminded me
that Denise had introduced us one winter evening some 50 years ago.
clearly wasn’t well and wanted to see her doctor here in Duluth. She returned
early. Dennis took her home where she passed peacefully in her bed, her family
beside her. This is so precisely how she intended … having lived with
the last piece she had determinedly stitched into the pattern of her life.
tomorrows, I will wrap myself warmly in her quilt, running my hands over the
stitching while tracing the better memories of our lives, episodes we can laugh
about or cry over even regret but must always embrace.
lived with cancer while planning quilts, gathering the pieces, artfully laying
out the design, stitching the pieces, then the quilting to bind everything
together only to, once finished, give quilts to family, her children,
grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews and their children and beyond to
friends. This was her pattern.
how she addressed life.
would be good to live as generously determined, as purposefully stitched to
life, living with as did my sister, Denise.
It’s been pretty darn cold and on cue, out comes the canard
that such cold weather puts an end to debate on climate change as global
The scientists should just set aside all their data and call an infamous person who touts this and ask if he’s comfortable.
“Hello, this is the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. How are you today?”
“Why thanks for calling, I’m just fine, comfortable as can be.”
“Well, sir, that’s just hunky-dory.
I guess we can ignore the decaying ice sheets, rising oceans, droughts and
wildfires, violent hurricanes and other crazy weather until we call again next
week. Have a great day!”
The science is overwhelming that rising global average
temperatures are our most serious threat.
Right now change is driven at an unprecedented sharp rate by
human activity – primarily through burning of coal and oil that releases carbon
into the atmosphere. Our industrial age has tripped the balance of nature in
the absorption and release of carbon into Earth’s remarkable but thin
While, the global climate has changed over eons but that’s
no cause for complacency. The past decade has been the hottest on record for
The Upper Midwest of the US has been facing shuddering low temperatures this week due to disruption of the polar vortex (Jetstream). Climate change science predicts such disruptions will be more common as Earth further warms.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the globe, Australia, faces
abnormally high, even deadly, temperatures. Remember when you studied averages
in grade school?
Time to act is now. Call your Representatives and Senators at 202-224-3121 to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763), reintroduced in the 2019 Congress. This bill signals bipartisan recognition of the need for robust climate policy. Putting a price on carbon where practiced has been shown to effect sharp reductions in carbon emissions. We need this on a national and global scale.
“Why so optimistic about 2019? Everything is so messed up?
“I think it will bring flowers.”
“Yes? Flowers? Why?”
“Because I’m planting flowers.”
Cartoon on the Facebook
page, Limping to Jerusalem
While a generation of environmental progress followed the
first Earth Day in 1970, bringing cleaner air and water did we Boomers succeed
with the environmental movement?
No, not yet. Today’s deregulatory zeal – rolling back
regulations on mercury pollution – makes it seem that cleaning our environment is
too inconvenient. Is addressing the reality of human caused climate change just
likewise too much bother, despite the dire warnings of the Fourth National
Oh, here a lot of people will pitch in with denial since
they’re smarter than the scientists or the National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Institute, NASA, the Pentagon and even the Vatican. They should
read why former climate skeptic Richard Muller, professor of physics at UC-Berkeley,
changed his tune to full-voiced support of the climate movement. They should
read why the Heritage Foundation’s lead denialist changed sides and now leads
the Niskanen Foundation’s efforts to address climate change.
They should but I doubt they will do anything but pen a few
As for me, I’m calling political leaders and, as our recent
election showed, such efforts by hundreds of thousands of Americans are
creating the political will to save a livable planet. The House is moving
We urge your careful attention in the new session of Congress to the Energy Innovation and Dividend Act introduced with bipartisan signatories during the lame duck session passing. The act is expected to be introduced after you begin office, mid-Q1.
As the quadrennial climate assessment argued forcefully, the time for strong action to curb emissions of carbon and other heat-trapping gases is immediately at hand. Earth faces crisis and the Trump administration sits firmly in denial.
Your election provides hope. Northeastern Illinois is now uniformly represented by people dedicated to science and, most importantly, to listening receptively to the concerns of their constituents.
Introduction of the bill is a positive step, but the battle is just beginning. We know that the bill, its co-signers, our group, the Citizens Climate Lobby, and climate science in whole will be under vicious attack by those whose financial interests are rigidly calcified in protecting carbon intensive coal mining, oil and gas exploration. They have billions of dollars in sunk assets on the line.
These forces stand in the way of creating the political will for a livable world. They stand in the way of a majority of US citizens, including those in your district who proudly elected you to represent them. More information about carbon fee and dividend is available on the CCLwebsite: cclusa.org/bill.
In closing, the Green New Deal is a terrific, bold and energizing idea, but certainly of tenuous likelihood until Democrats flip the Senate and White House in 2020. Just so, we need affirmative action on climate more quickly to force the deniers’ and delayers’ hands ahead of the election.
With best regards,
Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters
Constituent and Ardent Phone Banker
Member, McHenry County Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate
How can you remember in detail something that happened 30 years ago?
How can you not remember something that is so extraordinary to your life?
I was attacked by four boys my junior year in high school, more than 50 years ago. I remember the incident with absolute clarity. I believe Professor Ford can remember being assaulted 30 years ago with the same clarity.
It leaves me seething that Professor Ford must face systemic doubt, questions about her character, and, now, threats for coming forward.
While I faced no social stigma for prosecuting punishment to the boys, our cultural history is clear that girls and women would have then as now. So, for many wrong, culturally imposed reasons, Professor Ford kept her silence then.
Times change. It’s time to listen up to Professor Ford in this instance as we have begun with women in other cases.
It’s not on our credit report but as of Wednesday, a $12,000 bill was added to our obligations. That’s roughly what every household in America will owe under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act’s added weight to the U.S. National debt.
That’s $12,000 on top of the estimates of maybe $67,000 we’re already burdened to owe. Did you ask to borrow this much money? No, of course not. You didn’t get to use it or even have much say in it.
We’re just the lucky winners of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (The Act). We’re told we’re winners anyway.
Both of us will be retired soon and this proud moment in Congress and the White House is going to give folks like us a tax cut of a $270, based on the Tax Foundation analysis. (Think of us as Couple Number 8 in the Tax Foundation analysis.)
But, $12,000 divided by $270 leaves us just, um, 44.44 years to break even on the additional debt load of the act — assuming no interest compounds this national obligation. Of course, no one is really paying towards reducing the national debt. It just keeps getting bigger as it has since the Reagan Administration.
What does our additional $12,000 debt buy us?
Does The Act buy health care security? Trump bragged afterwards that The Act “secretly” achieved his goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance mandate, something the GOP couldn’t do straight up. They lied to Sen. Collins, R-Maine, and bribed Sen. Murkowski, R-Alaska, to get their votes.
Does The Act address poverty: The root of crime?
Does The Act help teach the children well?
Does The Act feed the poor and hungry?
Does The Act move us towards a sustainable world for our grandchildren?
Does The Act release those grandchildren from our obligations?
Does The Act lead us to peace and away from being the world leader in war?
*This assumes a 10-year, $1.5 trillion onto the national debt divided among American households. This is a consensus figure and one the Tax Foundation takes issue with.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a prosperous New Year to you all. We’re going to need it.