More Weird Weather

 

This is April 15?

Usually on April 15, I would be excited about new plants popping up, migrating birds, bike riding, cleaning my yard, and picking up litter.

This year there is a raging snowstorm hitting Minnesota and Wisconsin.  We have done four rounds of shoveling, with at least one more to go. What is going on?

Did the female cardinal sitting in this tree think she missed mating season?

I wrote earlier this week about the warming Arctic and Alaska hijacking the jet stream.  More on a “loopy jet stream” in this opinion by Bonnie Blodgett.

The weather becomes weirder with everyday, right before our eyes. The extremes are becoming the normal. In the past 10 years we have experienced historic floods/rain, historic droughts, historic snow and historic warming. Denying climate change is not an option, nor is the affect humans are having on our earth. The weather is a combination of many things. The winds, location of the sun, the warming oceans, the chemicals we spew into the air/land, too much dark green in the Arctic and many other factors.  How much do humans on earth have to do with all of this?

Somehow we need to put things into balance. When we make purchases, put gas in our tanks, eat beef, waste food, and use chemicals, we should ask ourselves, “Is there a better way to do this?”

Advertisements

Weather Weird

The wind is constantly moving the slushy ice around the lake.

Who would ever think you would wake up to 9 degree temperatures on April 9? It has been a cold two weeks of 20 to 30 degrees below normal! Meteorologist Paul Douglas calls it “Weather Weird!” One theory is that the warm weather in the Arctic and Alaska could be hijacking jet streams causing polar air to move south. I recollect some of this happened during the famous Polar Vortex.

NASA picture of Lake Superior

Yes, it is cold but the days on Lake Superior are sunny and beautiful. Deer are feeding wherever they find open snow-free ground, the eagles are protecting their new babies, and the migrating seagulls and Canadian geese are back. Mourning cloak butterflies are finding sunny muddy patches, and ore boats are again crossing the big lake. All are signals that spring is finally on its way!

April can be the cruelest month, but April can also be one of the best months to be outside. I hope you get outside to experience the changes and new beginnings. Make a daily walk part of your routine. Enjoy!

Budget Cuts Waste Water

A dry river bed in the heart of Tehran. Water is more valuable in Iran than oil.

How much water do you use? We expect clean water when we turn on the faucet and forget that not everyone has lots of water. Not only Cape Town but three American cities could face severe water shortages soon.

Water is a valuable resource and the purpose of this post is for us to become aware of the amount of water we use. We are unaware where our water comes from and the chemicals with which we pollute it. Every time we turn on the tap we should think about the amount of water we use, and be thankful for clean drinkable water.
I am on a road trip through the southern part of the United States. Arkansas and Louisiana are dripping with water puddles overflowing streams, trees standing in water, wetness and mud everywhere. Oklahoma and Kansas are overcome with drought and wild fires. I realize some of this is normal for these areas, but not these extremes.

Budget cuts keep a running faucet from being fixed. Is there a volunteer to help?

Whether we live where it is wet or dry we should heighten our awareness of the amount of water we use. It is ridiculous to stay in a hotel where the water drips all night, and when informed they will usually write-up an order to try to get it fixed.
I was at Louisiana State University, and it was impossible to turn off the faucet in the restroom. When I reported the faucet to officials they said it had been like that for a while, “Budget cuts keep it from being fixed!” they told me. Could a volunteer near Alexandria, Louisiana fix that faucet? Constant running and wasting of water makes no sense!

With climate change many believe the wars of the future will be about water. Think about it, everyone making small changes and reducing the water they use can make a big difference!  Earth911 has good ideas to reduce water use, but should also add, fix those leaky faucets and toilets. Read here ways to reduce water use. https://earth911.com/home-garden/conserving-water-at-home/

Everyone making small changes, can make a big difference!

Massive Threats to Our Oceans

Minnehaha Creek drains into the Mississippi River which runs to the Gulf of Mexico

I’ve pledged to reduce single-use plastic in my life, Refuse plastic straws & cutlery, use refillable water bottles, coffee cups, & bring my own bag to the store. Together we can do this! Join me & take the challenge  Mick Jagger

Why would you ever purchase bottled water? It contains plastic fibers. Read here

Two thirds of our earth is covered by ocean, and our oceans are paying a price for our behavior on land.

The Mississippi River water shed drains much of the United States.

This afternoon I walked over the Minnehaha Creek, and saw plastic bags stuck in the ice. I live 1,500 miles from an ocean, but this creek, a few blocks from my house, drains into the Mississippi River which runs into the Gulf of Mexico over a thousand miles away.  When the ice melts, this plastic will probably take a long journey down the Mississippi River and end up in our oceans.What we do to the land, we do to our water.  Most ocean pollution starts out on land and is carried by wind and rain to the sea. Plastic from the land ends up in the ocean and plastic is so durable that the EPA reports “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” Even the pristine Arctic Ocean is being inundated with plastic. Read at Arctic. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy5c-BZUjHQ  See this video how Norway recycles plastic.

The second threat to oceans is our warming planet. Oceans in 2017 were warmer than they have ever been.  Most of the heat from our warming planet is absorbed by the oceans. More than 90 percent of the Earth’s heat related to global warming is absorbed by the ocean.  Read at ocean heat.

What are the consequences of warming oceans?  Warmer oceans could bring storms, rain droughts and winds like we have never seen.  The hurricanes in Houston and Puerto Rico are just examples of what could come. The warming ocean melts the glaciers faster causing sea rise.   Cities and countries will be under water if this trend continues, and many people will become refugees having to move inland causing refugee crisis to get worse and worse. Unfortunately, this is only going to continue with extreme drought in some places and too much water in others!

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42947155

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/ocean_plastics/

Our World Is Moving in the Right Direction!

 I need a boost of positive energy, and these stories are full of hope and energy. I hope these positive stories get your week started with gratitude and full of positive energy.  Enjoy!

** McDonald’s has announced a new commitment to sustainability. The fast-food chain will launch recycling in all of its restaurants and by 2025, 100% of its packaging will be sustainable.  I am assuming this means compostable or recyclable? Also Boston will ban plastic bags, and Iceland and Denmark are doing research to create biodegradable plastic bottles.

** Recent victories for our oceans.

Car of the future!

** 52% of Norway’s new cars are electric

**  Clean energy investments throughout the world reach 333.5 billion in 2017.

** France will shutter all coals plants by 2021. Read at France and Macron 

** Reasons to be hopeful for our earth! From EcoWatch  

** And from Climate Reality local climate action reasons to be hopeful.

** Unique gym class in suburban high school is what we need during divisive times. Read at diversity

Other Good News:

https://health4earth.com/2017/07/21/ready-for-good-news/

https://health4earth.com/2017/06/01/its-good-news-2/

https://health4earth.com/2017/09/03/exciting-good-news/

Insist on a Saner World!

It’s 2 minutes to midnight, half a minute closer than last year!  Careless uninformed leaders are moving the clock closer to disaster.

From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

“In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago—and as dangerous as it has been since World War II.”

 “Leaders react when citizens insist they do so…They

What causes the clock to get closer to midnight?

can insist on facts, and discount nonsense. They can demand action to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change. They can seize the opportunity to make a safer and saner world.
 
“They can #rewindtheDoomsdayClock.”

Read the entire statement from the bulletin of the Atomic Scientists here.

Citizen Diplomacy and Iran

We are friends!

Ancient Persepolis

In November I was fortunate to become one of the few Americans  to travel to Iran this past year. We were there for 8 days. After hearing what an awful country Iran is for the past 40 years, I was thrilled to find a vibrant, friendly people. Their friendliness was amazing  It was difficult to go for a walk or get anywhere because they stopped us to give us candy, find out where we were from, and they would ask: “Where are you from?” “How do you like the food” How do you like our country?” I think some of it was they are so isolated and we were a window to the world, but they are genuinely a friendly people.  One couple came up to me at the historic site Persepolis and told me they loved me because I was so kind.  We heard over and over,”We both have bad governments, but we the people, we are friends!”

These soldiers wanted me to take their picture.

An interesting article from the Washington Post, five myths people believe about Iran. myths of Iran

A dry river bed in the heart of Tehran

This article blames the recent protests on water issues, and they do have a serious drought problem. Read about climate change  and a lack of water in Iran at Climate