Archive for the ‘trees’ Category

MY LAST EVER BLOG ON CLIMATE CRISIS, I PROMISE

August 6, 2019

If you get beyond the mere political and performance news and look at what is happening to our planet, survival is THE ISSUE on our crowded Earth.  From microbes to migration of displaced persons, from charcoal to coral reefs, there is constant change and struggle and a feeling that change is bringing an inevitability.  Is it down the drain?  Over the cliff?  Into the abyss?  To even type the word “hope” seems now almost cynical, like urging somebody to go shopping to make themselves feel better.  We are consuming the planet and destroying its ability to support life, ours along with the gorilla, the coral, the right whale, the ponderosa, the banana we love to eat, the Bachman’s Warbler (oh wait, that one’s long gone).

This will be my final catalog of the climate crisis events.  I find I can no longer read and shrug and vow to move on.  It all looks so awful I almost think the author of The Uninhabitable Planet was just having fun and making us feel false hope…even though his opening line is “It’s worse, much worse, than you think.”

No, David Wallace-Wells (author of above), your book doesn’t even approach my imaginings, my pity for my grandkids, my relief that I am old enough not to be around when we hit 3 degrees Centigrade above the old average, or 4 or 6 or…

Here’s some of the recent stuff, each indicative of what we have to look forward to…and I am not even going to mention the Dengue Fever outbreak in the Pacific.  Wait until that spreads like West Nile or Lyme’s Disease have.

Hardly worth noting that July, 2019, was the hottest month on record.

Meanwhile Greenland used to be a sort of ironic name for that icy land.  No more.

In Brazil the authoritarian regime seems determined to deforest the Amazon, bad in too many ways to count.

The oceans and their living ecosystems suffer, from coral and plankton to whales and sharks.  Beyond mere acidification, heat, deadly algae, pollution, oil spills, upheaval of ocean currents…we now find that climate change is inhibiting creatures for communicating and even sensing their watery world.  This tantamount to taking away all the cells phones in a high school.

Bee deaths continue and we are not sure why or what or how or…  I hope I do not outlast almonds and cherries.

Turns out the meteor that crashed to Earth near the Yucatan 66 million years ago was a disaster that almost didn’t happen.  Yet it did for the dinosaurs and millions of other organisms and allowed the conquest of Earth by our mammalian ancestors and avian cousins.  There will be no swerve in the current extinction event.

Cities are particularly vulnerable to climate change.  Too much heat. There is a biological limit to how much heat a Human body can stand and that limit is far below boiling water or baking granola.
And then high water or drought or general social collapse.

Speaking of social collapse.  Human migration will only increase as drought and starvation get worse…it won’t stop at Honduras or Somalia or Syria.  It will be tens of millions of people not mere thousands.

That will cause even more violent nationalism, genocide and racism.  The gunner in El Paso already sees the future as a fight to save his lifestyle from the impoverished hordes because the environment is disintegrating.  Young eco-fascist have leap-frogged the right-wing deniers and grabbed climate crisis as a great reason to kill their enemies.

One bright spot seems to be that the current U.S regime is trying to save us from the worst.  They are blocking information that might upset.  They want to protect us from the unpleasant science that says future crops of rice will far less nutritious because of the heat.  The researcher who did the studies has quit.  Oh well, rice is only the #1 source of starch for billions of people. Let ’em eat cake.

Advertisements

SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING ARE ON FIRE

June 27, 2019

Europe’s biggest forest fire in two decades.
And some of Europe’s hottest June days in recorded history

Meanwhile, climate emergency declared in New York City.  While Dems debate in Miami on what is now the Florida peninsula, likely to become an archipelago with a storied past.  Not only Florida is in danger, and not only New York City.  Nor all the coastal cities in California.  How about Texas?  That homeland for so many professional oil-enriched climate change deniers?

Yet petroleum does not have to morally corrupt as it has in Oklahoma and Texas, Venezuela and Russia, Saudi Arabia and most of the oily parts of the Mideast…oil wealth can lead to good things if there is a honest and conscientious government.  Norway is green.  We shoud all be green with envy.

Covering the climate can be deadly for reporters.  Or, if your are fortunate, you just lose your job, and rise another day.  Neither is good since the US Department of Agriculture doesn’t want you finding out about the possible damage from a hotter planet.

NEWS STORIES RELATED TO SAN FRANCISCO’S NATURAL HISTORY

November 30, 2017

Climate change killing off ocean fish.

2019 report on pollution on Treasure Island.  Thanks, U.S. Navy.

In a recent Guardian an article traces the changes made in California’s Silicon Valley since the days of the Ohlone, who got there before the Spanish Empire and their vicious missionaries who came to “convert” and enslave the locals.  This piece does describe the epidemics that nearly wiped out the Indian population.  It does not disclose that even before Europeans and their guns arrived, the Indians had more slowly done great damage to the native wildlife.  Why did Europeans in 18th and 19th Century find a wildlife paradise when they arrived in the Bay Area?  European diseases arrived first and the Indian population had decreased markedly, removing alpha predators, allowing ducks and deer and elk populations to soar.

Scallops, nanoplastics and what we have done to our planet.

Plastic in every human  body.

What climate change has already done…destruction and deaths.

The sixth mass extinction now underway. Over 80% of mammals killed by people.

Climate change: will the west see major emigration?  Smoke the wine industry.  Smoke leads to lay-offs at theatre festival.

Now the transit center next to the troubled Millennial Tower has its own structural issues.  Engineering does not conquer all.

Climate change will make disease and traffic accidents…worse.

Curse of the introduced spartina–a video tour.

August, 2018:  California firefighters on front lines of battle with climate change.

The earth as a hothouse.

San Francisco is a disaster waiting to happen…according to scientists.

July, 2018: Northern Hemisphere overheated.

How we need to get beyond plastics.  So old and out-dated and dangerous.

Earlier springs.

The battle over fuel efficiency standards in California.  Trump Admin comes out in favor of more pollution and more gas guzzling.

The ecological woes of the Central Valley; slumping land, arsenic in the water.

Why plant restoration should be done in stages.

China has stopped being the world’s major plastic buyer.  Oh well, we can always keep dumping it into the ocean…or maybe burn it, sniff that aroma…or bury it where it can last through the millennia and leach chemicals for eons…or maybe we could stop making the stuff?  Oh, sorry, that might hurt some corporate profits.  Oh dear…

How climate change is killing off trees around the globe, including California’s pines.

How badly the world is failing to deal with climate change according to one of the first scientists to sound the alarm…thirty years ago!

How our use of antibiotics has led to superbugs, that we cannot stop, like MRSA and a new strain of gonorrhea.

How robotic tech will alter the food poison industry.  Zap, not spray away.  Why not lasers? I ask?  Or super-heated steam?

National Park Service quietly releases report on climate change and sea level rising.

Two pieces in “Sierra Magazine” on effects and economics of climate change: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2018-3-may-june/feature/the-case-for-climate-reparations

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2018-3-may-june/feature/worlds-sinking-islands-challenge-our-imagination

California has sick and dying Brown Pelicans. 

Now you can watch an animation that lets you see what happens to your favorite coastal area. South of Market goes under water. Martinez will take a drowning as well.  Back east Florida becomes a narrow neck of land.  Sea level rise with climate change…watch it happen on this website, Earthtime. 

American cities losing their trees because of streets, parking lots and construction, i.e. capitalism,  not conservation.

Humans have been destroying other species for a long time.

How cities’ artificial environments speed up wildlife evolution.

Can migratory songbirds adapt to climate change?  Will migration and nature’s changing schedule cause population crises?

Trash vs. whale…trash wins.

New York City joins SF’s lawsuit against fossil fuel companies over climate change.

Scientists look at what climate change could do to California agriculture.

Modern agriculture  messes with environment; nature strikes back in Argentina.

Up to one-third of American wildlife species may be headed to extinction.

Heavy use of antibiotics, polluting planet and helping resistant microbes evolve faster.  Will this bring the demise of people?

Washington State has banned all Atlantic salmon farms in that state.  That follows an accidental but apparently careless release of Atlantic salmon into the wild when netting around a salmon farm broke in 2017.

San Francisco and Oakland vs. five big fossil fuel companies…in climate change lawsuit.

Bay Area biologist, Paul Ehrlich, predicts over-population will destroy civilization.

The heat blob diminishes in the Pacific Northwest.

Pacific plastic pollution worse than earlier estimated.

What’s killing starfish–the science.

San Francisco’s endangered manzanita.

Hot times in the Arctic…bad news for polar bears, coastal cities and life in general.

Drying earth leads to big crack in Arizona’s skin.

NOAA’s 2017 technical report on projected sea level rise in US.

Washington State ousts Cooke Aquaculture from one lease after the firm’s nets broke, releasing thousands of Atlantic salmon.

Dutch man comes up with plant to remove plastic pollution from the oceans.  We need to hurry because most seabirds on the planet are already carrying plastic inside them.  If Bill Gates puts enough of his money behind the clean-up, it could be good news. We need some.

Plastic is just another bad thing we humans are doing to coral reefs.

The ozone layer in the atmosphere is not recovering over cities…likely due to man-made chemicals.   One more self-destructive move by people against themselves.

Capetown dried up due to climate change.

Joys of fossil fuels: gas well explosion in Oklahoma.

2017 one of the three hottest years on record.  Other two: 2015 and 2016.  Get it?

Salmon killing ag chemical protected by Trump Regime.

Poison used by non-organic pot farms threatens wildlife.  I point in my book that poisoning rats in Golden Gate Park killed off the Great Horned Owls and it took them a decade to return.

New York City vs. Big Oil

Noise pollution hard on birds as well as humans.

How animals cope with extreme heat–some die.

Story on the size of 2017’s climate related disasters.

Graphic showing increasing costs of climate change influenced disasters. How long before our lifestyle drives this nation broke?

Leaning tower of San Francisco (Millennium) cited for fire risk.

Modern technology and economy killing the Earth’s oceans.

Oregon sues Monsanto over PCBs, decades after they were banned.

Is there a population problem on earth or is that a silly worry?

Greenland’s melting ice and coastal cities’ future.

Don’t flush those drugs down the toilet or put ’em in the sink or the landfill.

SAN FRANCISCO’S NATURAL HISTORY

November 27, 2017

RECOMMENDED READING LIST:

Abbey, Edward.  Monkey Wrench Gang.

Harper, Kyle.  The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire.

Lifton, Robert Jay.  The Climate Swerve.

Monbiot, George.  Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

Thoreau, Henry David.  Any or all of his journals.