1. 7 mins Drowning Out the East Coast (Feb. 13, 2017)
When I read this article I was struck by how things can become relative and common place. Where I live it has never flooded in my memory. It has, rarely, in the next community, 2.5 hours down the road. On the East Coast, where the water is rising twice as fast as other coastal areas, flooding would happen occasionally, with big weather events. Now it happens monthly and that is on the rise, it is the new norm. “High tide flooding could become nearly incessant in 30 years”, which means instead of monthly flooding, it will be three times a week. It is amazing to watch this relentless, slow, rising disaster where, as the article says, folks will be flooded out within the life of their mortgage. When it comes to climate change deniers, or those who debate the need to act swiftly, it reminds me of King Canute standing on the ocean shore ordering the tide not to come in. Didn’t work for King Canute, not going to work now.
2. 5 mins On Climate Change, the EU looks to China (Feb. 4, 2017)
The global politics surrounding climate change are very dynamic. In the free world, elections tend to happen every 1460 days (4 years). Sometimes dramatic, destabilizing things happen like the recent US election. In other countries with authoritarian leadership, regimes can hang on to power for many years at a time, often decades. They all have to work together. The crisis of global warming has also had a destabilizing effect. Most of the countries in the world see the issue as a life and death one. As of January 20, 2017, not the Americans. The US government now denies climate change, encourages fossil fuel use, is closing its borders, is setting up trade barriers, seems to be deliberately trying to erode the rights and liberties of its citizens and says it is planning for war with China and again in the Middle East. In doing so it is isolating itself. The world will adjust and keep moving to protect the planet. Countries with many differences, but a common understanding of the global threat, will put other differences aside and come together to protect earth. This is what people do in emergencies, I have seen it many times in my community. It gives me hope, even as the US steps back and down, that the rest of us will come together to save the planet. Hats off to the EU and China on this.
3. 10 mins Guardians of a Vast Lake (Feb. 13, 2017)
Deline, NWT is as spectacular as this New York Times article says it is. The people of Deline are as unique as the big lake they live beside. The water is clear, cold and drinkable right out of the lake. This article is worth the read, just to get a glimmer of understanding of this incredible part of the NWT. The people are very determined and persistent. This article shows just how much: “Called the Tsá Tué Biosphere Reserve, it is the largest in North America, and the first in the world to be led by an indigenous community. Several months later, the Canadian government granted Deline self-government, ensuring local control in areas like language and education. It is the first time that an aboriginal government in Canada will represent everyone in the community, aboriginal and nonaboriginal alike.” They wanted self-government and fought hard for it in a protracted, adversarial process they had no say in designing, and didn’t like. They never relented until they finished the agreement, which was decades in the making. Chief Negotiator for Deline, Danny Gaudet (mentioned in the article), and Mullfret authors wrote a paper showing what we see an alternate, quicker, more effective path to self-government. We are still waiting for Canada or the GNWT to fully commit to a better approach.
Deline people manage their lives and the land and water that greatly defines who they are. This article shows the kinds of things amazing things they do and care about.
4. 10 mins Seas Have Become a Plastic Graveyard (Feb. 13, 2017)
This U.K. Telegraph article is a tough read, especially when you watch the video clips and see the visuals of the harm to the oceans and all that dwell there. We are a plastic society, with a chronic and deadly practice of creating things that end yup in landfills at best, are littered everywhere at worst. The article shows though, out of this blackness, technology has been developed that will allow all plastic to be recycled, which is a lot more than the 12% recycled right now. There are generations of work to clean up the extreme plastic mess. And, there are many companies as shown in this article that have parts of the solution, including a Canadian company behind one part of the system, called PyroGenesis. But, what we really need to do is eliminate plastic altogether: “There is a worldwide need for it. Only a small amount of plastic is recycled – most ends up in landfill or in the ocean. We need to stop this happening in the first place.”
5. 5 mins Air Conditioning Material (Feb. 13, 2017)
This article is an interesting read, especially if you have been following the news about the 45c+ temperatures baking Australia. In our increasingly hot world, where are cooling systems can’t keep up, this type of inexpensive but complex development, is going to be what makes life bearable in those intense temperatures. What happens to it at the end of it’s lifecycle?