Twenty Good News Stories:
This is my occasional series on happy good news.
Twenty Good News Stories:
This is my occasional series on happy good news.
Can you think of anything in our lives that does not deal with science? Scientists have gotten us to where we are in civilization, and we still have a long way to go to cure cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, ALS, heart disease….and the list goes on. Science research must be funded to keep us safe and healthy.
Read more about the marches here.
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, was a day set aside to think about creating lifestyles to reduce waste and destruction of our environment.
One of the main messages many of us heard that day was that human life can continue on Earth only if people cooperate with nature. Strides have been made over the past 47 years in cleaning up many rivers and lakes, recycling, protecting natural ecosystems, becoming more aware of hazardous materials, and the list goes on. But we have a long way to go if we are to live in a sustainable way in harmony with nature.
There are things to do and things not to do when it comes to being a good steward of our planet, but one of the best may be to take pleasure in the true beauty of the Earth’s ecosystems and its creatures. Too, take time to learn about some of the plants and animals that share the Earth with us. It’s just about impossible to destroy something you understand and love.
“Throughout the year, and especially April 22, with the wonders of spring all around us, we should make a point to get out and observe. Every forest, wetland and prairie remnant is full of spring signs — evidence that our Earth is designed as a place for life, no matter what foolish acts people may commit.” Jim Gilbert, Startribune
Where I live the climate is clearly changing and impossible to deny. See the video from Climate Reality on five indicators the climate is changing. View here.
Five Changes from Climate Reality:
It’s clear that weather stations on land show average air temperatures are rising, and as a result, the frequency and severity of droughts and heat waves are increasing. Intense droughts can lead to destructive wildfires, failed crops, and low water supplies, many of which are deeply affecting southern areas of the United States and other parts of the world.
Roughly 70 percent of the world is covered by oceans. So you can understand how hotter air over our oceans could make a big difference in the climate system.
It’s simple, as the air near the surface of the oceans gets warmer, more water evaporates. The result? Potentially stronger tropical storms, more extreme precipitation events, and more flooding.
The disappearance of glaciers is one of the clearest signs of climate change. People who rely on melting glaciers for water are facing shortages, and in many regions, the situation is only getting worse.
In a world unaffected by climate change, glacier mass stays balanced, meaning the ice that evaporates in the summer is fully replaced by snowfall in the winter. However, when more ice melts than is replaced, the glacier loses mass. And the people who depend on melting ice for water to support their farming and living needs are deeply affected.
>> Related: The Climate Crisis Deserves Our Attention Right Now <<
Satellite images from space show that the area covered by sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking, continuing a downward trend for the past 30 years. As with glaciers, Satellite images from space show that the area covered by sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking, continuing a downward trend for the past 30 years. As with glaciers, there’s a seasonal rhythm (or supposed to be) at work. The Arctic ice cap grows each winter when there’s less sunlight, and shrinks each summer when days are longer and warmer, reaching its lowest point of the year in September.
Previously, this cycle of melting and freezing has more or less balanced out. But with temperatures rising, we’re seeing more ice melt in the summer than forms in the winter. The result is that some research suggests that the Arctic could lose almost all of its summer ice cover by later in the century.
Sea levels have been rising for the past century. And the pace has only increased in recent years, as glaciers melt faster and water temperatures increase (causing oceans to expand). You can imagine how this would affect the almost 40 percent of the US population that lives in a highly populated coastal area. Let’s not forget that eight of the 10 largest cities in the world are near a coast.
Consider how many millions of people are at risk as sea levels rise, storms intensify, and more extreme flooding occurs. Additionally, as sea levels rise, salt water begins intruding into freshwater aquifers, many of which support human communities and natural ecosystems. From Climate Reality
Even in just the past ten years I have observed enormous changes. First, it is scary that in ten years we have experience more than five hundred year storms. Second, it just doesn’t get really cold at night anymore. Ticks and other invasive bugs(emerald Ash Bore and others) survive the winters. Third, we are constantly going from drought to inundation. Fourth, the trees and plants are moving north. Fifth, sadly the wildlife is disappearing. We have fewer song birds, the moose and deer are struggling with disease.
What changes do you see as the climate warms?
We love an underdog, and when a small town Iowa newspaper takes on the industry that dominates its state you pay attention! The Storm Lake Times has just won a Pulitzer Prize for editorials on Iowa’s water problems caused by agriculture. To me this is a story about justice and fairness. Why should an industry be allowed to pollute, and harm the health of surrounding communities? Why has it become such an expensive struggle in farm country for communities to provide clean water for their residents? Because I live in Minnesota where agriculture has poisoned many of our lakes that are near Iowa, I have followed this story of Des Moines Water Works suing the surrounding Iowa counties. The Storm Lake Times and Art Cullen receive all my praise and congratulations for their year of editorials on this challenging issue.
Below is one of Art Cullen’s editorials:
“The public would appear to have made up its mind about the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit against Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties over nitrate pollution of the Raccoon River. The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll reported Sunday that 60% of those surveyed believe the water works was right to sue drainage districts in the three counties for discharging polluted water into the river.
It is virtually the same result the poll found a year ago.
Urban residents, small towners and even rural dwellers all show majority support for the water works position. This after a barrage of advertising in the Des Moines TV market sponsored by Farm Bureau, and a host of radio ads aiming to fire up rural residents against encroaching government.
Anyone can see how filthy Storm Lake is, how the Des Moines River near Humboldt is a mud flow, how shallow lakes in Northwest Iowa have eroded into duck marshes.
Anyone with eyes and a nose knows in his gut that Iowa has the dirtiest surface water in America. It is choking the waterworks and the Gulf of Mexico. It is causing oxygen deprivation in Northwest Iowa glacial lakes. It has caused us to spend millions upon millions trying to clean up Storm Lake, the victim of more than a century of explosive soil erosion.
Everyone knows it’s not the city sewer plant causing the problem. And most of us recognize that this is not just nature at work busily releasing nitrates into the water. Ninety-two percent of surface water pollution comes from row crop production — an incontroverted fact from the court case.” The entire editorial
And an excerpt from another Art Cullen editorial: “Which goes to show that nobody really knows what to do. The initial reaction to the lawsuit was to condemn the water works for interrupting our way of doing business. The second intuitive reaction was to throw a ton of money at the issue. The agri-industrial community has tried to convince us it will take $6 billion or $10 billion or $15 billion to protect Iowa’s surface water from nitrate pollution. It scares the bejeebers out of taxpayers, especially in defendant counties.” The entire essay
Read more about this story here.
The farming community should never have been exempt from the Clean Water Act. Agri-business has become too powerful and now there is no controlling them. The reasons why regulations are so important for the health of us all!