According to Carbonify.com, the atmospheric carbon dioxide level was 365.26ppm in 1998 when I began RochesterEnvironment.com. Today it’s 406.13ppm. In some places it’s projected to soon hit 410ppm. We have known for quite some time now that we are quickly warming up our planet, which is and will continue to affect all life on Earth, while increasingly making it problematic as to whether we can adapt.
For ten thousand years of the Holocene, during which humanity thrived, our carbon dioxide concentration levels hovered around 280ppm. Then in the mid-1800’s our planet’s temperature took off.
There is much about Climate Change that folks are debating and denying, but these figures on the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are pretty clear. Hard to squirm away from the math.
Carbon Dioxide Could Reach 410 PPM This Month A never-ending stream of carbon pollution ensures that each year the world continues to break records for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This year will be no different. Like a rite of spring, carbon dioxide is poised to cruise pass the previous mark set last year and reach heights unseen in human history. In the coming weeks, carbon dioxide will start to breach the 410 parts per million threshold on a daily basis at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. The monthly average for May could come close to topping 410 ppm, too, according to the U.K. Met Office’s inaugural carbon dioxide forecast, released last week. (March 6, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
The New York Times recently headlined the news that spring comes earlier each year (see below). I’m sure there is a vast swath of our U.S. citizens who won’t read the New York Times—which is odd because it’s the largest selling newspaper in the world.
Spring Came Early. Scientists Say Climate Change Is a Culprit. After a mild winter across much of the United States, February brought abnormally high temperatures, especially east of the Rockies. Spring weather arrived more than three weeks earlier than usual in some places, and new research released Wednesday shows a strong link to climate change. By the 2017 calendar, the first day of spring is March 20. But spring leaves arrived in mid-January in some parts of the South, and spread northward like a wave. The map above plots the date of “first leaf,” a temperature-based calculation of when vegetation that has been dormant starts to show signs of life. This year, with the exception of a few small areas, the wave has arrived much earlier than the 30-year average. (March 8, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
Science tells us more of our greenhouse gas emissions are getting into our atmosphere each year. Our media (some of them anyway) explains what that means for our way of life.
Yet, we put a climate denier into the top office of our country: “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world” (The Declaration of Independence, 1776):It’s now time to Declare our independence from climate denial.
- He has claimed that Climate Change is a hoax. (Trump Says Climate Change Is a Hoax. Rex Tillerson Just Disagreed. (January 11, 2017 Mother Jones)
- He has in bad faith used our National Guard and law enforcement officers to remove activists opposing the Dakota Access pipeline—a fossil fuel infrastructure. (Police remove last Standing Rock protesters in military-style takeover February 23, 2017, The Guardian)
- He has scrubbed government websites of Climate Change (With Trump in Charge, Climate Change References Purged From Website, January 20, 2017, New York Times)
- He has threatened to pull out of the Paris Agreement that our country signed with 193 nations to acknowledge and address Climate Change. (President Trump Prepares to Withdraw from Groundbreaking Climate Change Agreement, Transition Official Says, January 30, 2017, Fortune)
- He has threatened to lift restrictions for oil and gas drilling on federal lands (Trump Interior nominee would consider more drilling on federal land, January 17, 2017 Reuters)
- For he has put U.S. science leadership at risk (Yale professors: Trump puts U.S. scientific leadership at risk, February 8, 2017, The Washington Post)
- He is gutting the Environmental Protection Agency. (Trump plan for 40% cut could cause EPA science office ‘to implode,’ official warns, March 3, 2017 Science)
- He is proposing a 97% reduction in funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. (Trump wants to cut Great Lakes funding by 97 percent and people are not happy, March 3, 2017 Detroit Metro Times)
- He is thwarting major efforts to stop the most invasive species ever to invade the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system in the world. (Sources: Trump administration delays Asian carp plan, February 28, 2017 Detroit Free Press)
- He is stripping our government’s ability to monitor Climate Change by gutting NASA and NOAA. (Trump Administration Seeks Big Budget Cuts for Climate Research, March 7 2017 Scientific American)
- He is threatening to roll back the Endangered Species Act. (Donald Trump's former adviser calls for overhaul of Endangered Species Act as environmentalists' fears grow, February 10, 2017 Independent)
- He is threating our Clean Water laws (Donald Trump’s Assault On Clean Water Laws Has Already Begun, February 23, 2017) The Huffington Post)
- He is threatening to end the Energy Star program that millions of U.S. consumers depend on in order to buy environmentally responsible products (Climate-Friendly Energy Star Program Could be Cut, March 9, 2017, Climate Central)
We, therefore, the people of the united States of America, in general, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these United States, solemnly publish and declare, That these United States are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent of climate denial, that they are Absolved from all anti-science and Climate Injustice, and that all political connection between them and climate denial, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent peoples, they have full Power to support science, work with other nations around the world to address Climate Change.— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
We shall not be denied a future:
Rather than the trajectory of a future riven with pollution, disease, and a vast inequality of wealth and resources brought on by climate denial, we aspire to an Attractive Future possible to all of us by addressing Climate Change immediately, which will ensure better city designs, more Equality, and a healthy and sustainable environment from which all Peoples, Business, and Life can flourish.
Inspiration to Act:
Overwhelmed about what to do in a world that is warming and not enough folks seem to care? Need some real inspiration in four minutes from someone who is walking the rallies? Paul Flansburg has put together an amazing personal story about why and how to care about our planet—especially at this incredible moment in history. Powerful. Incredible.
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