Bearing Witness to Climate Change September 2019

The month starts with one of the worst hurricanes ever in the Atlantic decimating the Bahama Islands. Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hovered over the islands for more than a day unleashing winds of 150-200 mph devastating entire communities and killing dozens  There are reported to be over 70,000 homeless refugees seeking aid and rescue. At one time entire states in the southeast U.S. were under a state of emergency in expectation of Dorian striking the U.S, mainland. Millions were ordered to evacuate coastal areas. Floodwaters inundate the entire eastern seaboard all the way up to Canada’s Nova Scotia which rarely sees storms born in the Caribbean. Meanwhile the President spends his time not helping those in need or talking about climate change, but defending that he was the victim of fake news when he showed the path of Dorian to include part of Alabama. Research has predicted that climate change will make Atlantic hurricanes like Dorian more dangerous. With warmer waters of the Atlantic they will become more powerful, move more slowly, gather more moisture. The Trump administration threatens to fire NOAA scientists who contradict his false claim that the path of Dorian included the state of Alabama.

Dangerous hot spots are occurring all over the planet where local temperatures are already higher than 2 degrees C from their historic norms. This includes the arctic, south Atlantic, eastern Europe, and much of Siberia.

Saving the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, the lungs of the Earth, has become yet another environmental crisis as thousands of forest fires burn across mostly Brazil.

Newspaper editorials and letters to the editor around the country call out President Trump for his environmental vandalism, or more like terrorism,  as he deconstructs years of work in protecting the environment and regulations that reduced greenhouse emissions. This time it is rollback methane leaks and the use of more energy efficient light bulbs.

Democrats running for their party’s 2020 Presidential nomination participate in a series of townhall meetings  where they take up the issue of climate change with the seriousness and urgency it deserves. A new poll shows that 64% of Americans disapprove of President Trump’s policies toward climate change.

The Egyptian coast city of Alexandria which has always been prone to flooding at the mouth of the Nile Rives is now said to be in more danger due to rising ocean levels. Historic sites, industrial facilities, and neighborhoods of the poor are all said to be threatened.

A new study has found that Hummingbirds have changed their migration patterns due to warming climate. Unfortunately, it is feared they may be arriving before their plant blooms food supply that they depend on has bloomed.

An bleak article in the New Yorker claims that it is too late to turn back the worst effects of climate change and that we should prepare for a climate apocalypse. Anything else is not hope and optimism but more denial and pretending that got us this far into the abyss.

A new poll finds that Americans may now be wakening up to affects of climate change with 72% believing that severe weather evens are more catastrophic, and half of those believe it is due to climate change.

A new report claims that carbon emission from airlines grew at 7% the past two years. More efficient airplanes did not compensate for more flyers and flights.

A PBS interview with young climate activist Greta Thunberg, who speaks in front of the UN this month, reveals that she is more informed, mature and articulate than most American legislators. In her speech she called out the adults of the planet for not taking action or listening to scientists. “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future….Maybe you are simply not mature enough to tell it like it is, because even that burden you leave to us children. We become the bad guys who have to tell people these uncomfortable things because no one else wants to, or dares to.” In her admirable demonstration of a new behavioral term, ecological grief, not surprising, a climate-change denier on the Fox News propaganda channel would later call her mentally ill.

Hundreds of thousands of young and old Americans demonstrated in the streets around the US, as well as around the world in a display of environmental activism not seen since the 1960’s Earth Day celebrations. New polls show that most teens are frightened by the prospects of their future world undergoing climate change, and 1 in 4 say they have taken some action about global warming. Another recent poll shows that most Americans are somewhat confident that the world will eventually step up to address the causes of climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

Energy companies in the oil and gas industry are being confronted by their own industry insiders who say that the ship has sailed on public opinion as well as the scientific facts as to their accountability to greenhouse emissions creating climate change.

A major US corporation, Amazon, has committed to moving to 100% renewable energy sources in the next ten years. Meanwhile, the Trump administration revokes the state of California’s authority to set stricter auto emissions rules.

A new U.N. climate report presented at the Climate Summit documents that monumental changes are already occurring to the world’s oceans and frozen regions. The death of coral reefs, creation of super hurricanes, extreme rainfalls, flooding of coastal regions, fueling ocean heat waves, and loss of sea ice are just a few of the consequences. However so tragic the Trump administration decided that the US would not attend or contribute to the international climate summit. Americans are not an evil people, but the intentional lack of participation and leadership from America’s government on the existential threat of climate change is an act of evil.

The term “climate emergency” is now being used more often by activists as well as the media. Major news publications are stepping up to feature special publications on the affects of climate change, including this one from USA Today,.

Droughts and hotter temperatures are reported to be affecting vineyards and wineries around the world. Some are looking to move further north.