Archive | Climate Change

Sixth Great Mass Extinction Event Begins; 2015 on Pace to Become Hottest Year on Record

Published on Truthout, 29 June 2015.

A recent study shows that the earth has officially entered its sixth great mass extinction event, with humans being both the cause and a species at risk of annihilation. Other climate events and reports released this month show mounting evidence that anthropogenic climate disruption has ramped up, and is progressing in a rapid, nonlinear fashion.

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Dahr interviewed on Democracy Now! about US Navy War Games in Alaska

Bombing the Arctic: US Navy War Games in Gulf of Alaska Threaten One of World’s Most Pristine Areas

The U.S. Navy is set to begin a major war exercise in the Gulf of Alaska amid protests from local communities concerned about environmental damage. The Navy is reportedly unleashing thousands of sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines and Coast Guard members along with several Navy destroyers, hundreds of aircrafts, untold weaponry and a submarine for the naval exercises. The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most pristine places left on Earth; the region includes critical habitat for all five wild Alaskan salmon species and 377 other species of marine life. The Navy’s planned live bombing runs will entail the detonation of tens of thousands of pounds of toxic munitions, as well as the use of active sonar in fisheries. The Navy has conducted war games in the Gulf of Alaska, on and off, for the last 30 years, but these new exercises are the largest by far. They come at a time when scientists are increasingly worried about climate change causing Arctic melting. Meanwhile, the unprecedented melting has created an opportunity for the military to expand its operations into previously inaccessible terrain. We are joined by Dahr Jamail, staff reporter at Truthout, whose latest piece is “Destroying What Remains: How the US Navy Plans to War Game the Arctic.”

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“Imminent” Collapse of the Antarctic Ice Shelf and a “New Era” in the Arctic

Published on Truthout, 1 June 2015.

As human-caused climate disruption progresses, recent scientific reports show the collapse of a massive Antarctic ice shelf is “imminent,” changes in the Arctic Ocean are so profound scientists say the region is entering a “new era” and sea level rise is happening far faster than previously believed.

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Destroying What Remains: How the US Navy Plans to War Game the Arctic

This essay is a joint Truthout/TomDispatch report, published 21 May 2015.

I lived in Anchorage for 10 years and spent much of that time climbing in and on the spine of the state, the Alaska Range. Three times I stood atop the mountain the Athabaskans call Denali, “the great one.” During that decade, I mountaineered for more than half a year on that magnificent state’s highest peaks. It was there that I took in my own insignificance while living amid rock and ice, sleeping atop glaciers that creaked and moaned as they slowly ground their way toward lower elevations.

Alaska contains the largest coastal mountain range in the world and the highest peak in North America. It has more coastline than the entire contiguous 48 states combined and is big enough to hold the state of Texas two and a half times over. It has the largest population of bald eagles in the country. It has 430 kinds of birds along with the brown bear, the largest carnivorous land mammal in the world, and other species ranging from the pygmy shrew that weighs less than a penny to gray whales that come in at 45 tons. Species that are classified as “endangered” in other places are often found in abundance in Alaska.

Now, a dozen years after I left my home state and landed in Baghdad to begin life as a journalist and nine years after definitively abandoning Alaska, I find myself back. I wish it was to climb another mountain, but this time, unfortunately, it’s because I seem increasingly incapable of escaping the long and destructive reach of the US military.

Continue reading the full story on Truthout (with photos), or TomDispatch.

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