The Ocean Reacts to A Warming Climate


Looking at this above chart, it is not surprising there are super storms on our oceans. Tens of Thousands are paying for the price of carbon with the loss of lives, homes, and destruction of their world.

I am grieving for the people of the Philippines.  What a horrific storm for this Pacific island to withstand. As Typhoon Haiyan was destroying the Philippines, individuals in Minnesota were meeting to plan how to adapt to our changed Minnesota climate. Is it possible for the Philippines, Hawaii, Florida or other ocean locations to adapt to super storms like this?  It seems impossible to adapt to a winds of 195 miles an hour or mountains of water washing over the land.  Without a doubt the warming and rising oceans played into this disaster.  Residents reported, “Surges of water as high as the trees.”  Can humans continue to inhabit land with the threat  of such devastation?  Yes, they are paying for the cost of carbon pollution with their health, their lives, and the loss of their world as they know it as they become climate refugees.


I thought the extreme weather event I experienced in 2012 was frightening when thunderstorms kept rolling across Duluth and northern Wisconsin for 2 days and 3 nights.  The heavy rain, thunder and lightning just wouldn’t stop!  Today I am happy to be land-locked.

Please contact the Philippine Red Cross, Team Rubicon, or UNICEF to donate and find out about other ways to help.

While this storm was pounding and destroying life on the islands of the Pacific, Minnesota leaders were meeting to discuss how to adapt to Minnesota’s changed and changing climate. How are we going to adapt and prepare for climate change?  The average temperatures on earth continue to rise.  2013 will be the 37th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th century average.  These rising temperatures allow the air to hold more water, More water in the air creates more of these extreme weather events.  In Minnesota we have droughts alternating with floods.

Below is a must read op-ed by Mark Seely of the University of Minnesota about Minnesota’s changed climate.  Climate Changed, by Mark Seely

Everything is Interconnected

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Everything is interconnected.  Pollution in China affects weather and ocean levels everywhere else on earth.

A year ago was the Super Storm Sandy,  and climate change just won’t go away!  Sandy was the 2nd most expensive storm ever for the United States! Because of the rising oceans, the damage of these storms will just continue to increase.  But this was not the only extreme weather event in the past year –   floods, drought and many forest fires also added expense to tax payers and the cost of insurance. And most important the loss of human lives. It is a reality that we are all paying for extreme weather.

This is from meteorologist, Paul Douglas in the Startribune on 11-3-13 :

It is a fact that the growing season in Minnesota is 2 weeks longer than it was just a few years ago.  “It is what we don’t know that makes scientists nervous. The unknown unknowns.  The Arctic is warmer than any time in the last 120,000 years – the Pacific Ocean is warming faster than any time in the last 10,000 years. Everything is connected, How will this impact us?  Great question.  Climate volatility is favoring all-weather now.”

In Alaska, October also has set records for warmth and rain instead of snow:

Some scientists are worried that climate change is going to affect our food supply in the future:

And yes, pollution is harmful to us all:

Have a Happy Sustainable Halloween

Bran Castle in Romania.
Bran Castle in Romania.
Dracula (first edition cover), Bram Stoker's v...
Dracula (first edition cover), Bram Stoker’s vampiric novel, a reference for gaslight fantasy literature. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bran Castle by some accounts is where the Hollywood version of Dracula was born.  A novel written in 1897 by Bram Stoker created an infamous legend about Count Dracula based on a real Prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476).  I visited this castle in Transylvania a month ago.

Will Dracula be visiting you on Halloween? I love the creative costumes that come to my door. The best are the imaginative creations made from the reuse of old clothes and what you have around the house.  Remember to reuse, eliminate plastic, and recycle.

What types of sustainable healthy treats have you passed out?

Below are some terrific ideas for a healthy sustainable Halloween:

The Price We Pay For Carbon Pollution


We are all paying the cost carbon pollution with our health, our taxes, our climate, the loss of wildlife and our insurance.  I am posting this excellent video in honor the Cost of Carbon week that has just concluded.

The National Research Council is pleased to present this video that explains how scientists have arrived at the state of knowledge about current climate change and its causes.



Important Reads from the Past Week


Pollution is a human caused factor creating the reality of climate change and harming the health of all people, our oceans, and all living things. See articles below:   New research shows that human impact on the climate will heavily influence marine habitats by 2100, supporting a study earlier this month that showed coral reefs could be extinct by 2050. Pollution is expensive and we are all paying the costs to our lives, environment and through higher taxes.  And….  The World Health Organization has come out saying that pollution causes cancer.   Minnesota is trying to adjust for the future to the changes in the climate for the north woods.  What new trees might thrive or will the north country become prairie?


Fall Vegetable Soup for Meatless Monday

I have just returned from 3 weeks of eating vegetable soup through Romania, Ukraine and Moldova. Even though I couldn’t always read the menu, I could communicate “legume soup” Most of the soups had potatoes, parsley and green beans.  Many had cabbage.  I was surprised at the lack of pasta, beans and grains in their soup.   Most of the time vegetable soup contained vegetables I loved.  Once in a while, chicken or beef would be an ingredient.  Many restaurants would also serve a whole hot pepper separate, not like in my below picture.  In this recipe I have tried to capture the best of the soups I enjoyed in my travels.

Becky’s Fall Vegetable Soup  

Vegetable Soup with a hot pepper
Vegetable Soup with a hot pepper


1 onion

¼ small cabbage

12 small banana potatoes

4 carrots cleaned and sliced

2 celery ribs chopped

1 apple chopped or shredded.   I used Minnesota organic Fireside apples.

6 cups water

2 vegan bouillon cubes

½ lb of fresh green beans

1 ¼ tsp salt

pepper and fresh parsley to taste

Suggested Directions:

Saute onion 10 minutes, Add cabbage and sauté 5 min, then add carrot, celery, potatoes, apple and sauté 10 more minutes.  Add  green beans, bouillon cubes, water , and salt and simmer at least 30 minutes.  Garnish with a hot pepper, parsley or toasted nuts of your choice.  Serves 4-5

I served with a spinach salad and open-faced melted cheese toasts, or add vegan sausage or vegan hot dogs to increase protein content.