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

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/

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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  

Be Healthier in 2018

  • Buy less stuff: Reuse, reuse and reuse the things you have
  • Reduce food waste: http://www.savethefood.com/
  • Drive less: Walk, bike, ride share, Carpool, combine errands, and take public transport.
  • Protect butterflies and bees: Add more pollinator friendly plants to your yard or balcony, and eliminate your use of pesticides, and all chemicals in your home. Your family, your pets, birds and butterflies will be much healthier.
  • Reduce or eliminate beef from your diet.  Producing beef uses lots of energy! Go meatless and fishless several days a week!
  • Reduce all plastic use, and recycle, recycle and recycle everything you can. Always work for zero waste.
  • Become a climatarian: Always consider the earth when you make decisions
  • Walk: Everyday get outside to enjoy nature.
  • Finally, work to elect leaders that believe in climate change, clean air and clean water, and support clean renewable energy solutions

Ways to be a better environmental steward from Ecowatch

From Earth911 ways to be more sustainable. Read at Earth911

Four Powerful Things You Can Do

Individually we are a drop, together we are an ocean.

As 2017 rolls out and 2018 rolls in, remember to set some environmental goals for the new year. As people of this planet earth we all should be aware of our warming climate, and how we are causing it!  Yes, it is very cold in many places this new year, but it is the over all tend that our planet is warming, not just one or two events, that we need to worry about. Extreme weather events, warming and rising oceans, and drought should not be ignored. CNN has an easy list of things you can do. Read it here.

Climate Reality, https://www.climaterealityproject.org/   has a more serious and difficult list, things most of us just don’t want to do, but should seriously think about! This is their list:

The four most powerful things you can do to fight climate change:

  1. Eat a plant-based diet
  2. Fly less, or not at all
  3. Drive less, or not at all
  4. Have smaller families

 

Using Food a WIN-WIN

 

 Cook it,   Soup it,   Taco it,    Stir fry it,   Eat it,   Freeze it,   Share it 

                             Be creative

How did you manage your Thanksgiving left overs? What do you generally do  with left over food? 40% of the food  in the United States is not eaten, and ends up in our landfills causing an enormous waste of our precious resources. Wasting food is an enormous waste of water, money, time, labor, energy and transportation.  The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has an incredible education campaign to inform the public how much we are wasting.  For example the production of one egg takes 55 gallons of water!Their website is savethefood.com

So let’s get creative and “Save the Food.” One of my favorite cooking activities is to reinvent leftovers into a new lunch or dinner. Stir fry, soups, tacos, enchiladas, salads, fried rice, and many other things lend themselves to create special meals of uneaten foods.

Not only does wasting food, waste valuable resources and lots of water, but also food in our landfills decomposes creating and giving off methane gas which is a harmful air pollutant contributing to global warming.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (Source: EPA)

Have a fun holiday month, but make a creative difference by reusing, planning, seriously cutting waste, and saving food from your garbage!

The story of a strawberry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WREXBUZBrS8