Monday, April 3, 2017

It's here, rain or shine


                        Climate Change Is Real

By Lynne Baker, from the Napa Register:

As a parent, a nurse, a woman of faith, an interested citizen and an involved climate activist, I find the just-released executive order to rescind the nation's Clean Power Plan profoundly alarming, absurdly imprudent and completely without merit.
Climate change is real. The threat of doing nothing, or reversing the efforts thus far put forth, spells disaster for us and for generations yet to come. Each day, we learn more deeply and more thoroughly about the near and long term risks to our earthly home and all who inhabit it because of insidious and far-reaching effects of largely man-made threats to the environment.
From the perspective of national security: Secretary of Defense James Mattis remarked, "... the effects of a changing climate — such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification, among others — impact our security situation." His remarks echo those of his predecessors who have long identified climate change as a major security threat.
From the perspective of health and well-being: "WHO estimated that, in 2012, 12.6 million deaths (23 percent of deaths worldwide) were attributable to modifiable environmental factors, many of which could be influenced by climate change." Further: "The direct impact of climate change result from rising temperatures, heatwaves and increased in the frequency of complex extreme weather evens such as windstorms, floods and droughts. The health and social consequences of these events are far-reaching, ranging from reduced labor productivity and heat-related deaths, through to direct injury, the spread of infectious diseases and mental health effects ...  The results of climate change will be ... mediated across different environmental and social systems resulting in changing patterns of the burden and distribution of infectious diseases, changes in food productivity and potential effects on food and water shortages, population displacement and conflict. Climate change places undue burden on the countries least responsible and least able to respond, with low-income and middle-income countries experiencing multiple impacts simultaneously" (The Lancet, vol. 389, March 18, 2017).
From the perspective of environmentalism: "...[the crisis], which includes climate destabilization but also plummeting biodiversity, deforestation, dramatic losses of topsoil, fresh water scarcity in many locales, crashing fish stocks, the growing toxification of the biosphere, and, most scarily, the acidification of the oceans, which risks unraveling the entire marine food chain and could hamper phytoplankton’s oxygen-generation capacity (probably 50 to 80 percent of global oxygen creation). That last one is probably the most terrifying, as, should that acidification accelerate and reach a tipping point that reduced oxygen levels in our atmosphere, it could eventually spell the end of mammalian and much other life on the planet.
"We have to hope the increasingly dramatic, tangible, clearly visible impacts of climate change will finally convince a sufficient swath of the population to at least begin to face the situation with the urgency required to avoid catastrophe. The jury is out…" (J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers, March 21, 2017).

From the perspective of faith: "... local individuals and groups can make a real difference. They are able to instill a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land. They are also concerned about what they will eventually leave to their children and grandchildren. These values are deeply rooted in indigenous peoples. Because the enforcement of laws is at times inadequate due to corruption, public pressure has to be exerted in order to bring about decisive political action. Society, through non-government organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls. Unless citizens control political power -- national, regional and municipal -- it will not be possible to control damage to the environment" (Pope Francis, Laudato Si: Care for Our Common Home, May 24, 2015).
From the perspective of political momentum: "We are not fully meeting the challenge of climate change yet. We are doubling down on our commitment. We are reaching out to other states in America and throughout the world and other countries …. We have plenty of fuel to build this movement. ... This is real. The nations of the world have recognized it in Paris … I will continue doing my best to work with and rouse the world community, whatever the politicians in Washington do or don’t do" (Jerry Brown, Governor of California, March 28, 2017).

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