Mourning Our Planet: Climate Scientists Share Their Grieving Process

Published on Truthout, 25 January 2015.

I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for Truthout for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals.

On a nearly daily basis, I’ve sought out the most recent scientific studies, interviewed the top researchers and scientists penning those studies, and connected the dots to give readers as clear a picture as possible about the magnitude of the emergency we are in.

This work has emotional consequences: I’ve struggled with depression, anger, and fear. I’ve watched myself shift through some of the five stages of grief proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance I’ve grieved for the planet and all the species who live here, and continue to do so as I work today.

I have been vacillating between depression and acceptance of where we are, both as victims – fragile human beings – and as perpetrators: We are the species responsible for altering the climate system of the planet we inhabit to the point of possibly driving ourselves extinct, in addition to the 150-200 species we are already driving extinct.

Can you relate to this grieving process?

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Scientists and Doctors Sound Alarm Over Health Dangers of Oil Spill Dispersants

Published on Truthout, 20 January 2015.

While the EPA has proposed changes to its standards governing the use of toxic chemical dispersants during oil spills, like those used during BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster, several scientists said the agency has not gone far enough in protecting people, wildlife and the environment.

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The Methane Monster Roars

Published on Truthout, 13 January 2015.

Losing Arctic sea ice due to rising global temperatures means releasing larger amounts of previously trapped methane into the atmosphere. This process will magnify the effects of feedback loops and climate disruption, which, scientists warn, threaten all plants, animals and humans on earth.

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As Climate Disruption Advances, 26 Percent of Mammals Face Extinction

Published on Truthout, 6 January 2015.

Two recently released studies brought bad news for those living near coastlines around the world. One published in the peer-reviewed Nature Climate Change, the other in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the studies showed that existing computer models might have severely underestimated the risk to the Greenland ice sheet from warming global temperatures.

Bear in mind that if Greenland’s entire ice sheet melts, 20 feet would be added to global sea levels.

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