2015 was the warmest year on record, and January 2016 was the warmest recorded. Alaska, Minnesota and Wisconsin have enjoyed a mild winter. The winter warmth has been pleasant, and because this is just weather, it will probably be brutal next year. It is the long-term trends that are troubling. Sadly, the problem lies in our oceans. Eighty to ninety per cent of this heat goes into the oceans. So of course the oceans are rising with the melting glaciers. Also, as the oceans heat they expand taking up more space. With record warm years, no wonder that the oceans are rising at a very fast rate.
Our planet is already in crisis as migrants are leaving Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. We haven’t seen anything in compared to the migrant crisis that will be created by the rising oceans. Those living on the ocean coasts and the islands that will be inundated and disappear will need to find new homes .
The Syrian crisis was caused in part by our warming earth, the continued rising of warm oceans will create migrant problems that will be an even greater challenge! Miami, Venice, Bangladesh and London are a few that could disappear. Where will these people forced out of their disappearing cities, farms, and villages go?
Denial of our man-made climate crisis will not continue to work, and everyone needs to take personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprints. Just committing to turning off lights and to drive less can make a big difference. What is one thing you do?
This week 5 activist judges on the U.S. Supreme Court delayed implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. A delay that could throw clean air into years of litigation. This also gives China, India and other countries an excuse to delay their own clean-air plans to reduce dangerous carbon emissions.
This past December 195 nations came together in Paris for an incredible historic agreement. They agreed to work together to reduce carbon emissions. A corner-stone of this agreement in the United States was to require states to reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. To accomplish this states need to switch from dirty coal and oil to the renewables of solar and wind, or however the state chooses to get to a 30% reduction. Twenty-seven states are protesting these new rules, and the Supreme Court says these lawsuits need to finalized before the Clean Power Plan is implemented. My rural electric cooperative does not support clean air initiatives because they don’t want to pay for it. This is a lack of vision for the future. I think that switching to renewables will be cheaper for consumers in years to come!
What these climate deniers don’t understand is the cost of doing nothing about air pollution is much more expensive. The oceans will continue to warm and rise, storms intensify, and the clean up and health issues will continue to cost billions of dollars a year. Many lives will be lost because of this lack of vision for the future.
The MPCA study says recycling pumps billions of dollars into the Minnesota economy. The 60,000 jobs and the new products created from recycling are worth billions to Minnesotans. Products created from recycled materials are the most exciting! When you purchase products from recycled materials, you are closing the recycling loop.
What happens when you close the recycling loop? The first arrow
represents the first step of recycling, Collection of materials for recycling. Arrow two represents the manufacture of new products from the recyclables. Arrow three is the purchase of the products made from recycled items. This is “Closing the loop” or a circular economy. A win- win!
Why do we recycle? It saves valuable resources, keeps material from the landfills, reduces polluted landfills and as this report (below) shows produces economic opportunity and jobs!
This election is already too long, too silly, and too expensive, but please don’t sit it out! Choosing the next president of the United States is a long cumbersome process, and such a small number of people actually participate in this beginning process, but it is the most important! Those that show up have the power!
How do we get more people to participate? You are important to this process, and everyone needs to feel that their vote and their opinion count, but you can’t do that if you don’t show up. If you don’t vote, you pass your power as a citizen to those that do participate. With all the money in politics, participation in the voting process is our one voice. This voice is needed to try to keep big money and corporations from making all the rules. Good elected leaders are important to health of our planet and the health of our people. We need to elect serious leaders that are capable of getting the big picture and choose leaders that are not beholden to those that make big financial contributions. A democracy is only as strong as those who work to make it strong by participating.
In Minnesota like Iowa we have caucuses. Caucuses take a high level of commitment. Political parties organize and run the caucus meetings. Because the political parties run the caucus meetings, many think they aren’t welcome. Everyone is welcome, and your voice is not heard if you don’t attend. Even though I don’t like the process, I attend. I believe in the voice of all citizens. You need to attend because your voice as to who is elected is just as important as the party hacks and leaders. In Minnesota you don’t need to be registered to participate according to what I read, and I have never seen anyone register. Caucuses in Minnesota are not set up to register people. Find you caucus location through your state Secretary of State website.(This is Minnesota as an example)
If your state has a primary you are lucky, go and cast your vote on the correct date, at the correct polling location, but make sure you are registered. Call or google your city hall or Secretary of State to find out how to register and where to vote. Every state has different rules for registering and voting. Don’t waste your one vote! See the link below for your state’s primary election or caucus date.
The job of all citizens is enormous, and your help is needed! Caucuses can be fun. Go and make a night of it. You will learn something, and you will meet new people! If your state has a primary election, get registered and vote. Our country will be stronger the more people who participate. Many around the world would love to have this opportunity!
See when your state presidential event takes place in the link below:
“There is a privacy about winter that no other season gives you. Only in winter can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.” Ruth Stout
January has been a month of peace, quiet and intense beauty on Lake Superior. Snow frosted balsams radiate a charm that goes unnoticed during other seasons.
The face of the lake can change hourly as the lake refreshes itself, and the wind shifts. The lake dramatically changes from ice-covered to a few floating chunks of ice, and then back to ice-covered. Sporting new looks adds to the mystique of this enormous fresh water lake.