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Archive | Environment

“Peak Water,” Methane Blowholes and Ice-Free Arctic Cruises: The Climate Crisis Deepens

(Image: Anthropogenic climate disruption via Shutterstock)

(Image: Anthropogenic climate disruption via Shutterstock)

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

We begin this month’s climate disruption dispatch with comments from NASA’s Earth Observatory about the extreme juxtaposition of temperatures we are experiencing in North America this summer.

“If you live in the northern hemisphere, the past few weeks have been strange,” NASA states. “In places where it should be seasonably hot – the eastern and southern United States and western Europe – it’s just been warm. In places where weather is usually mild in the summer – northern Europe, the Pacific coast of North America – it has been ridiculously hot.”

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NASA Scientist Warns of Three to Four-Meter Sea Rise by 2200

Robert Bindschadler, NASA emeritus scientist. (Photo: Robert Bindschadler)

Robert Bindschadler, NASA emeritus scientist. (Photo: Robert Bindschadler)

It is common knowledge in the climate change scientific community that governments around the world had better be planning for a one-meter rise in global sea levels by the end of this century.

What isn’t common is for a world-renowned scientist to warn that there could be a greater rise than that before 2100 – in addition to a catastrophic two to three-meter rise by 2200, and worsening increases thereafter.

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The Brink of Mass Extinction

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;
we borrow it from our children.

— Native American Proverb

March through June 2014 were the hottest on record globally, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. In May – officially the hottest May on record globally – the average temperature of the planet was .74 degrees Celsius above the 20th century baseline, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The trend is clear: 2013 was the 37th consecutive year of above-average global temperatures, and since the Industrial Revolution began, the earth has been warmed by .85 degrees Celsius. Several scientific reports and climate modeling show that at current trajectories (business as usual), we will see at least a 6-degree Celsius increase by 2100.

In the last decade alone, record high temperatures across the United States have outnumbered record low temperatures two to one, and the trend is both continuing and escalating.

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Salvadoran Farmers Successfully Oppose the Use of Monsanto Seeds

(Photo: Edgardo Ayala)

(Photo: Edgardo Ayala)

Farmers across El Salvador united to block a stipulation in a US aid package to their country that would have indirectly required the purchase of Monsanto genetically modified (GM) seeds.

Thousands of farmers, like 45-year-old farmer Juan Joaquin Luna Vides, prefer to source their seeds locally, and not to use Monsanto’s GM seeds.

“Transnational companies have been known to provide expired seeds that they weren’t able to distribute elsewhere,” said Vides, who heads the Diversified Production program at the Mangrove Association, a community development organization that works in the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador.

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