Bearing Witness to the Pandemic June 2022

The Biden Administration announced that vaccine shots for children 5 and under could be ready to go before the end of this month, pending final approval from the CDC and FDA. This would be the last group of Americans, some 18 million, to become eligible for vaccines. But it is still uncertain how many parents will avail their families of the shots, given that less than 30% of previously approved 5-11 year olds have been vaccinated. Read More

Bearing Witness to the Pandemic May 2022

This month US officially surpassed 1 million deaths due to COVID. President Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff and reminded Americans that the pandemic was not over. As if this number was not shocking enough, many health officials say the actual number is substantially higher. The US has the tragic distinction of having the worst death rate due to how the country handled the pandemic combined with the overall poor health and obesity status of its population. As the month begins, an average of 370 Americans are still dying of COVID every day. Read More

Bearing Witness to Climate Change May 2022

CO2 in the atmosphere as measured at Mauna Loa hit another record at 420 ppm. April is the month when C02 is the highest in the Norhtern Hemisphere. The Keeling Curve shows no sign of slowing down and is expected to blow past 430 then reach 440. The last time levels were this high was millions of years ago on a planet that would not have been habitable for humans or the fauna that we now have. Read More

Bearing Witness to the Pandemic April 2022

Over 500 million official coronavirus cases have now been recorded across the world in two years since the pandemic began. Public health experts claim the actual number of fatalities, out of a total global population of nearly 8 billion, is likely much higher. As the month begins, the number of new cases per day is still over 1 million with an average of 3,800 confirmed daily deaths. Read More

Bearing Witness to Climate Change April 2022

In excellent news, for the first time ever wind and solar energy was reported to have generated more than 10% of total global electricity in 2021. Over 50 countries now get more than 10% of their electricity from solar and wind sources, which grew 23% and 14% respectively last year. Unfortunately, power from burning coal also rose last year by an alarming 9%.

Another green energy milestone to celebrate in the US; wind power produced more electricity during the month of March 2022 than coal and nuclear combined. On one day alone in March, clean wind energy was responsible for over 2,000 GW, or nearly 20%, surpassing all other sources except for natural gas. Read More

Bearing Witness to the Pandemic March 2022

The month begins with the official global death count from COVID surpassing 6 million. Public health experts say the actual number is likely much higher, perhaps closer to 18 million, due to poor or misleading record keeping. Rates of infection in parts of Asia Pacific such as Hong Kong and New Zealand are still soaring.

In the US at the start of the month, the death toll is now near 950,000 with an average of over 1,500 still dying every day. The CDC estimates that some 140 million Americans have now been infected, whether they know it or not. That is not quite 50% of the country’s entire population. Read More

Bearing Witness to Climate Change March 2022

In the latest grim report from the UN, the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) warns that humanity has a brief and rapidly closing window to avoid an unbearably hotter and deadlier climate. They warn the planet will face increasing floods, heat waves, droughts, rising sea levels, storms, melting glaciers and permafrost, wildfires, loss of biodiversity, population migrations, tropical illnesses, water conflicts, hunger, and human suffering. Huge portions of the globe may eventually become inhabitable. The good news is that we still have time to arrest the most catastrophic consequences if we move faster in transforming to a low-carbon economy. Read More

Bearing Witness to Climate Change February 2022

A new study reports that gas stoves in the US are putting over 2.5 million tons of CO2e of methane into the atmosphere year. That is said to be equivalent to the GHG from 500,000 gas powered cars.  Not surprising, more progressive cities and states are enacting regulations to reduce the use of gas-powered appliances.

Solar energy has become so affordable and efficient that utilities in the US are being overwhelmed by consumers and businesses to connect their projects into the transmission grid. Some grid operators are asking for a two-year pause on approvals. Read More

Bearing Witness to the Pandemic February 2022

Just after the start of the grim third year of the pandemic, the US surpasses 900,000 confirmed deaths.¬† Over 100,000 were added in just the last 60 days. Could anyone have imagined two years ago that a million would perish from Coronavirus, especially since we pulled off a moon shot with creating highly effective vaccines in a year’s time. Many of the deaths in the past year were avoidable as less than two-thirds of Americans, about 211 million, are fully vaccinated.

The COVID pandemic has stolen the equivalent of 13.5 million years of future lives not lived from our families and communities. Think about that. Thirteen million years lost in the lives of parents, grandparents, sons, daughters, kids, lovers, friends, coworkers and all the contributions they would have made that we will now never know. Read More

Bearing Witness to the Pandemic January 2022

The World Health Organization reported that nearly 10 million new COVID cases were recorded  around the world during the first week of January, breaking all previous records. An additional 45,000 new deaths were also added to the heartbreaking toll.

WHO officials warned that the Omicron will likely not be the last variant surge that humanity experiences. They advise that half of all residents of Europe could soon be infected with the Omicron variant as if overtaken by an unstoppable tidal wave. Not surprising, some countries like Chile, Brazil and Israel have begun authorizing a second booster shot, the fourth overall, to fight off the surge in cases. Read More