The "Environmental Page" or

Planetary Responsibility and Involvement

LGNEpic

As a human taking up space on the planet, and consuming its resources, we are all called upon to be good stewards of the Earth.

Unfortunately, we are contributing to the rapid eradication of species (plant & animal*) due to:


* - In a press release on January 22, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed that the Eastern Puma (a.k.a., cougar or mountain lion) is now extinct and removed it from the federal "Endangered Species" list. (Read more at The Center for Biological Diversity's web site.)

* - The world's last male northern white rhino, Sudan, was euthanized to end his age-related suffering. (It was 45 years old.) As the last male, this leaves his species on the brink of extinction. - TIME magazine, April 2, 2018 issue


A Brief Reminder of Recent Weather/Climate History and Events

Whether you believe in climate change or not, if your memory is good enough to remember back to the 1980's, you know that even your local climate is changing. Here in New Jersey, for example, tornados were very rare back in the early 1980s, but since the early 1990's twisters have become more common. Here's a very short list of other recent weather events (read from the bottom up):

  1. In a landmark study published in the journal Climate Change, 60% of plants in the world's richest forests are at risk of extinction in the next century unless stronger measures to combt climate change are put into practice. - TIME magazine, April 2, 2018 issue
  2. According to the World Bank, climate change could lead to the mass displacement of people (est. 143 million) by the year 2050. Much of the displacement is expected to occur in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. It is expected that such mass movements of people will put strains on national and local governments. - TIME magazine, April 2, 2018 issue
  3. As of January 20, 2018, following three years of unprecedented drought, the city of Cape Town in the Union of South Africa, has projected that its reservoirs will run out of water by April 21, 2018 (~90 days). Planners have determined that taps will have to be turned off (except for essential services) once reservoir capacity drops to 13.5%. "Residents will be allowed to collect 6.6 gallons of water a day from municipal water points" (which are to be protected by armed guards) after that. - TIME magazine, January 29, 2018 issue
    (For a more detailed, first-person account, see the TIME magazine, February 19, 2018 issue.)
  4. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana shuts down due to extensive ice and temperatures down to 21ºF, which broke a record of 23ºF set in 1977. - NPR News, January 17, 2018
  5. Penrith, Australia hits a new record temperature of 117ºF (47ºC) on January 7, 2018, making it the hottest place on earth for that day. - TIME magazine, January 22, 2018 issue
  6. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the cost of damage caused by natural disasters in the U.S. in 2017 was $306 billion, making it the most expensive year on record. - TIME magazine, January 22, 2018 issue
  7. December 1st-13th, 2017 marks the warmest December on record in Alaska. - The Weather Channel, December 14, 2017
  8. The winter of 2015-2016 was Europe's warmest ever, with snow cover in the southern French Alps just 20% of its typical depth, with December of 2015 being its driest in 150 years of record keeping. - TIME magazine, December 11, 2017 issue
  9. From 1960 to 2017 the snow season in the Alps has shortened by 38 days; starting an average of 12 days later and ending 26 days earlier than normal. - TIME magazine, December 11, 2017 issue
  10. A study found that ocean acidification, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, to be a great danger to marine life. The report found threats like plastic pollutants had affected organisms' ability to withstand acidification. - TIME magazine, November 6, 2017 issue
  11. Only TWO Adélie penguin chicks that survived the breeding season in an eastern Antartic colony of 18,000 pairs. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) "unusually extensive sea ice" formed in late summer which meant parents had to trek farther than usual to find krill, and their babies starved waiting for them to come back. - TIME magazine, October 30, 2017 issue
  12. July 12, 2017, A colossal iceberg having almost twice the volume of Lake Erie, broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. It has been estimated to weigh over 1 trillion tons, and covers 2,240 square miles (5,802 square kilometers), which is roughly the size of the state of Delaware. - from Accuweather.com
  13. January 2016, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announces that the 2016 has now become the WARMEST YEAR on record, with average global land & sea temperatures 58.69ºF (14.83ºC) which is 1.69ºF ABOVE the 20th century's average. This broke 2015's record by 0.07ºF. (This record has been broken five times, in 2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and now, 2016.) - from NOAA's website
  14. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the average concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 400 parts per million (ppm) in 2016. This is a threshold that even pessimistic climate-change scientists thought wouldn't be reached for decades. - from TIME Magazne from Oct. 24, 2016 issue
  15. Global wildlife populations shrank by almost 60% in 40 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). According to the WWF's findings, mammals, birds and fish dropped by 58% from 1970-2012. They forecast that the world might lose two-thirds of wildlife populations by 2020. - from TIME Magazine from Oct. 27, 2016 issue
  16. June 5, 2016, Tropical Storm "Colin" is the third "named" storm this year. The earliest on record for this many "named" storms. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with David Muir"
  17. January 20, 2016, NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announce that 2015 was the WARMEST YEAR (by the widest margin) for the planet on record since record keeping began in 1880. It is also the fourth year since 2000 that a global record has been broken. - from a National Public Radio (NPR) newscast, November 19, 2015
  18. October, 2015 was the WARMEST October on record. The average temperature for the month was 1.76 degrees WARMER than in 2014. This includes both air AND ocean temperatures. - NOAA
  19. January, 2014, 1,100 temperature records were broken.- National Climate Center
  20. August-October, 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada received 4.7" of rain. More than the city gets, on average, in an entire year.
  21. June, 2012 over 3,282 heat records broken, or tied, throughout the U.S. in this month alone. - Climate Central web site
  22. The warmest spring on record. The average temperature throughout the U.S. for March through May, 2012 was 57.1°F (13.94ºC) which is 5°F above average. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  23. Spring, 2012: A "record for breaking [weather] records" in the U.S. Heat records are broken in scores of American cities all over the country in March & April. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  24. Spring, 2012, a record in the number AND magnitude of tornadoes in the midwestern & southeastern U.S. - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  25. September, 2010: 135 daily rainfall records were broken along the East Coast of the U.S. (e.g., Wilmington, NC got 19.7 inches of rainfall in 3 days.) - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  26. 2010 beat 1998 as the hottest year on record. - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  27. August, 2010: An ice island four times the size of Manhattan broke off from the Greenland glacier. (Manhattan is 22.7 square miles. Approximately 13.4 miles long and 2.4 miles wide at its widest.) - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  28. Summer 2010: 153 of 1,218 U.S. weather stations recorder their hottest summer since 1895. - from Newsweek magazine, December 6, 2010 issue
  29. Summer 2010: Moscow, Russia suffers its first major heatwave in centuries.
  30. September 27, 2010: Los Angeles, California has its hottest day on record - 113℉ (45ºC) - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  31. December 15, 2010: Parts of Florida drop to 19ºF (-7.22ºC). - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  32. December, 2010: Syracuse, NY gets 72" of snow before Christmas. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"
  33. 2000-2009 has been the warmest decade on record worldwide. - from a broadcast of ABC-TV's "World News with Diane Sawyer"

By the early "double-aughts," the U.S. had one summer of severe draught in the southwest U.S., followed by severe flooding in the southeast, followed by another year of severe drought in the central west, followed by a year of severe drought in the southeast. (Do you remember the legal battles that Florida, Georgia and Alabama had over water rights to their shared rivers because of the droughts back in 2008-2009?)

After a while, you just can't keep saying: "These are all just coincidence."

When the atmosphere heats up, it means you'll not only have draughts, but you'll also have more atmospheric energy for severe storms (including winter storms), and also, floods. Climate change also means that there will be fluctuations in hot & cold, dry & wet weather, in extremes that we've never seen before; and in places we wouldn't expect to see them. Such changes can lead to crop failures, pest infestations (e.g., the A. aegypti and A. albopictus mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus), wild fires (e.g., the "Thomas" wildfire in California, Dec. 2017), and all of those problems that come in their aftermath, such as:

And remember, the climate doesn't care about borders or where you live. You can't hide from "Mother Nature!"


What you can do

Regardless of wheter you believe that climate change is natural or man-made, the fact of the matter is YOU are one of the factors that can possibly help bring things back into balance.

This page provides links to a variety of environmental web sites. Find one that suits you, and contribute. Whether its donating your time, energy, knowledge, skill, or being a "checkbook activist," every person's involvement can make a difference over time.

Remember, you're not really "saving the Earth," the Earth will go on just fine if mankind suffers and goes extinct. You're really helping to preserve your OWN skin (and those of any descendants you have, or HOPE to have).

Get involved now, and do something to help reduce or eliminate the problems.


Links to Environmental Organizations

The Ocean Conservancy The Nature Conservancy The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) The Adirondack Council
The Cousteau Society The Sierra Club The Land Conservancy of NJ Defenders of Wildlife
The Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) The Wilderness Society
Center for Biological Diversity American Rivers Environmental Defense Fund Union of Concerned Scientists
The Trust for Public Land The Conservation Fund The National Parks Conservation Association The 5Gyres Institute  

 


Page updated on March 25, 2018 10:38 AM