Tag Archives: Climate change

Why are we ignoring deforestation in the climate change debate?

I am delighted to hear the Democratic Party presidential primary candidates debate among themselves about how they intend to attack the scourge of climate change/global warming.

They recognize the obvious, that it poses a grim and dire threat to our national security. They are challenging Donald Trump’s ridiculous assertion that climate change is a “hoax” cooked up by the Chinese, who are trying to “destroy our fossil fuel industry.”

There. That all said, I am wondering about what I believe is a missing element in the climate change debate.

While the candidates talk about carbon emissions and their impact on the atmospheric temperature and the changing climate, I hear next to no one mention deforestation as a key part of the crisis.

What’s going on in many regions of the world? Human beings are encroaching further and more deeply into habitat occupied exclusively by wildlife. To do that humans are wiping out millions of acres of forestland annually. Why is this important? How does it contribute to the changing climate worldwide?

Trees consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. CO2 warms the atmosphere, while oxygen cools it. With more CO2 being thrown into the air with less oxygen present to counteract its impact, well … what do you think happens? The atmosphere warms up. Those polar ice caps are exposed to warmer air. The ice melts. The oceans’ levels rise. You know how this goes.

And yet we hear precious little from these men and women running for president that speaks directly to ways to pressure other nations to curb their deforestation efforts. What’s more, the European Union is the leading importer of goods produced from the deforestation epidemic that continues full throttle throughout the world.

This plague is occurring throughout Latin America, in Africa, in Southeast and South Asia. Lush forests are disappearing daily.

Developing countries are looking for places to grow, to improve industrial capacity, to find places where their residents can live, rear their families and continue their search for success and happiness. I don’t begrudge them those desires.

However, the cost of all this hideous scarring of our planet is too great to ignore.

We’re going to elect a president in 2020. If we keep the current guy in power, climate change will continue to get short shrift from the White House. We need someone in power who at a bare minimum is going to refocus our effort to curbing this terrible trend.

We also need to apply a lot more of our focus on finding ways to stop obliterating Earth’s forest lands. Without those trees, we are doomed to suffocate in an ever-warming environment.

Climate change gets the attention it deserves

If there was an issue that won the day during the two nights of Democratic presidential candidates’ joint appearance, it had to be climate change.

The Republican president these men and women want to replace has ignored the issue, other than to declare it is a “hoax.”

It is no such thing. The Democratic candidates have spoken at varying levels of enthusiasm about the need to deal with climate change and the existential threat it poses to our national security.

I am glad to hear these candidates raise the level of attention to this dire issue. I am delighted they have elevated the issue to the front rank. I want to them to keep the issue in front of us for as long as it takes.

Donald Trump’s non-response to the climate change crisis is to promote exploration of fossil fuels, the burning of which is one of the primary sources of carbon emissions that are warming Earth’s atmosphere and, thus, are changing the climate that surrounds the planet.

Climate change is the signature issue of one of the Democratic presidential candidates: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. He makes no apology for his intention to make the issue his front-and-center talking point as he campaigns for the White House. Nor should he.

Climate change won’t elect Jay Inslee in November 2020 to the presidency. However, the issue will continue to be discussed openly and fully by the Democratic contenders for their party’s nomination.

Whoever emerges as the nominee to face Donald Trump must keep the climate change volume turned up. I trust that nominee will continue to sound the alarm.

Yep, the biggest threat to the nation is its president

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee drew the biggest round of cheers tonight with what might have come off as a quip, but which — the more I think about it — now sounds like the brutal truth.

He and the nine other Democratic presidential candidates gathered on the debate stage in Miami were asked to name the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States: Inslee said it is Donald John Trump.

Not Russia. Nor the People’s Republic of China. Or Iran. Or terrorist organizations. Or even climate change, which happens to be Inslee’s signature campaign issue.

He said the biggest threat is the president of the United States of America. I agree with him.

Donald Trump is systematically destroying our alliances with Europe, with Asia, with Latin America. He’s gone after Australia and Canada, for crying out loud!

Donald Trump has isolated the nation from the rest of a shrinking world. He cozies up to tyrants — Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin being the most notable. He challenges the nation’s intelligence network’s findings. He makes foreign and domestic policy pronouncements via Twitter, without advising his senior policy  advisers.

Trump has burned through two national security advisers. He is talking openly about possible war with Iran without a defense secretary on board. He is reportedly losing patience with his third White House chief of staff.

Yes, Gov. Inslee was right. Donald Trump has become the greatest existential threat to the very nation he was elected to govern.

Wow!

Wow! That’s all one can say about that storm

This picture came from the Washington Post’s website, which leads me to believe it’s the real thing. It’s no Photoshop product, or the result of some other photographic trickery.

It is a picture of what occurred over Dallas, Texas, yesterday. The storm produced high wind, heavy rain and it knocked over a construction crane in the city’s downtown district.

They call this phenomenon a “microburst.” It was deadly, indeed. One person died when the crane crashed into a building, cutting the structure virtually in two.

I got an inquiry from a friend downstate who asked if had experienced any of that mayhem. I told her “no,” and noted that we got a bit of rain and a little bit of wind in Princeton, which is about 40 or so miles north of Dallas.

I have heard it said about Texas weather — whether it’s on the Gulf Coast or in the Panhandle, where we have lived during our 35 years in Texas — that “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes …” I also have heard it said of the Panhandle that “You can experience all the seasons of the year in just a matter of minutes.”

Let it also be said of North Texas, where we now call home, that meteorological violence can erupt just on the other side of our neighborhood.

Storms such as the one that roared Sunday over downtown Dallas can produce magnificent images … but they aren’t to be trifled with.

Wow!

Wanting climate change to get a full hearing in 2020

Climate change is not the “hoax” that Donald Trump says it is.

Therefore, I want the issue to take center stage during the 2020 presidential election campaign. I keep seeing data that tell us about warming global temperatures, shrinking ice caps, rising sea levels, coastal communities facing an existential danger.

Yet the president does nothing about any of it. He says he wants to boost fossil fuel production, which means an increase in carbon emissions that scientists blame for the warming atmosphere.

Most of the Democrats running for president tell us they subscribe to the notion that climate change poses a legitimate national emergency and is a threat to our national security. I happen to believe them.

I also want there to be commitments — ironclad, cast in stone, signed in blood if need be — that the United States is going to resume its investment in alternative energy sources.

Indeed, one of the Democratic candidates — South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — noted the other day that such investment could produce literally thousands if not millions of jobs for Americans. Thus, such an emphasis not only would save the planet from its self-destruction, but it also would Americans to work.

Hmm. How’s that for “putting America first”?

It works for me.

If you want to declare a national emergency, then let’s turn away from this nonsense about migrants seeking entry into this country. The national emergency exists in the changing climate that threatens the entire planet.

Give POTUS the dickens on climate change, Your Highness

Climate change is happening. It isn’t a hoax. It isn’t a made-up figment of billions of Earthlings’ imagination. Honest. It’s happening right now in real time.

One of the world’s pre-eminent climate-change activists happens to be the United Kingdom’s monarch-in-waiting, Prince Charles.

Prince Charles is going to play host soon to Donald Trump, president of the United States and one of the world’s pre-eminent climate-change deniers.

Thus, the visit is filled with controversy, and Trump hasn’t even arrived yet.

Trump has said climate-change is a hoax drummed up by China, which he alleges is trying to undermine the U.S. fossil fuel industry. Of course, as he does with virtually every allegation he makes, the president doesn’t offer a shred of evidence to buttress whatever he says.

Prince Charles agreed to meet with the president when he makes his initial state visit to the U.K. These visits usually involve a meeting with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Any meeting with her son, the heir to the throne, isn’t required of visiting heads of state.

But it’s good that Trump will meet with the prince.

It also is my fondest hope that Prince Charles raises the issue of climate change with Donald Trump. Oh, I wish I could be the proverbial fly in whatever room where such a meeting would occur . . . although I doubt there will be a fly anywhere near the two men, if you get what I mean.

There’s also the situation involving the possible meeting between Trump and Sadiq Khan, the Muslim mayor of London. Trump has spoken ill of Muslims, saying how they “hate America”; he has tried to enact travel bans of Muslims to the United States. Along the way, he has managed to offend Muslim worshipers, such as Mayor Khan.

The issue at hand, though, is whether the planet’s climate is changing and what the world’s leading industrialized nations are doing to minimize the damage being done to our ecosystem. The Brits are being proactive, responding to the rhetoric espoused by the Duke of Windsor and other environmental activists. Americans, though, are hamstrung by the president’s rescinding of environmental regulations aimed at curbing carbon emissions, a serious cause of Earth’s annual warming.

Give the president the dickens on climate change, Your Highness.

I am one American who is on your side. I am quite sure I’m not alone.

One-note samba won’t cut it on campaign trail

I’ll give Washington Gov. Jay Inslee plenty of credit for candor.

He announced his candidacy the other day for president of the United States declaring right up front, out loud and for all the world to see and hear that he’s running on one issue only: climate change and the peril it poses for the world’s most powerful nation.

Fine. What about the rest of the job, governor? What about, oh, let’s see: fighting terrorism, creating jobs, fiscal responsibility, dealing with cybersecurity, border security? There are a whole lot of other issues, too.

Inslee wants to make climate change the strongest plank in his platform on which to seek the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020.

I don’t dispute the urgency he is placing on the matter. I do dispute whether it’s enough all by itself to commend him for nomination and election.

Just as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is running on economic inequality, which kind of mirrors Issue No. 1 for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Inslee is staking his candidacy on a single issue.

We have Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar in the hunt already. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado is in. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is, too. I know I’m missing someone. There’s too many of ’em to keep up.

The Democratic Party field has reached a dozen candidates so far. There will be more. Many more, or so it appears. Texan Beto O’Rourke appears to be set to go. Former Vice President Joe Biden is letting it slip out that his family is all in on his running for president.

They all need to demonstrate a well-rounded, well-considered and well-tested competence on an array of domestic and foreign policy issues. Climate change is a big one. So is income inequality.

Spare me, though, the one-note samba. I tend to tire of hearing the same thing coming out of candidates’ mouths.

We’ve already elected an incompetent business mogul/boob to the nation’s highest office. We don’t need to train another president on the vast complexities of the nation’s highest office.

Here is your ‘national emergency,’ Mr. President

Donald Trump keeps yapping and yammering about the “national emergency” he insists is occurring on our nation’s southern border.

I continue to doubt that such an emergency actually exists. I do know of an actual emergency that the president and his fellow Republicans keep ignoring.

It involves climate change, the meteorological condition known formerly as global warming. That emergency is real. It’s occurring 24/7. It is bringing harm to Earth, the only planet we are able to inhabit.

Here is a bit of good news. The Democratically controlled U.S. House of Representatives today had an actual hearing to discuss climate change. It was the first such hearing in about eight years. The GOP has controlled the House and it decided that climate change was a phony issue. It’s a “hoax,” as Donald Trump prefers to call it.

It’s not a hoax. It’s real. It is posing an existential threat to our coastal regions. It is putting our polar wildlife in dire peril. Polar ice caps are melting, creating a significant loss of hunting habitat in the Arctic for polar bears.

The hearings in Congress, which must continue, are meant to expose further the cause for this changing climate. Scientists from across the spectrum are arguing that human beings are a primary cause for the changing climate on Earth. Those carbon emissions are depleting oxygen, causing the atmosphere to warm at dangerous levels.

I know that’s at times a tough thing to swallow during winter months. The Upper Midwest is enduring frigid temperatures, causing climate change deniers to say, “See? We told you that climate change is ‘fake news.’ It’s phony. It ain’t happening.”

Except that it is happening.

Can we stop it? Slow it? Can we prevent Earth from suffering irreparable damage? Those, folks, are the questions we need to explore. I am glad to know that a change in the congressional command structure in one legislative chamber is going to elevate this discussion to where it belongs.

Man it’s cold out there . . . but Earth is still getting hotter!

I love the ignorant statements from climate-change deniers who insist the record winter deep freeze means the planet’s climate isn’t changing, that it isn’t getting warmer.

One of those bizarre declarations came from none other than Donald J. “Stable Genius” Trump, the nation’s president. Why, he just cannot understand why if the planet is warming that people are coping with record low temperatures in the Midwest.

Sigh . . .

Scientists say cold doesn’t debunk warming fear

We need to look at the big picture, the longer term. Ice caps are melting. Median Earth temps are climbing. Sea levels are rising.

It’s happening. Scientists say it is and I believe them. I disbelieve the notion that snow, ice and bitterly cold wind means that climate change is a “hoax” or that it is a conspiracy cooked up by lefty tree-huggers who are bent on destroying our industrial infrastructure.

Yet we keep hearing this nonsense from political leaders — such as POTUS. Donald Trump doesn’t have a scientific background. He quite likely hasn’t studied the works of those who do have such expertise. He instead appears to rely on the word of fossil fuel industry lobbyists, radio talk show hosts who agree with his “hoax” allegation and politicians from states that produce fossil fuels and spew tens of thousands of tons of emissions into the atmosphere.

I stand with the scientific community. They know more than I do about these things. They also know more about them than the president of the United States. Therefore, the president is wrong and he should be ashamed over his profound ignorance.

Except that he knows no shame.

Knock it off, Mr. POTUS; Earth is getting warmer!

Donald John “Dipsh** in Chief” Trump put this tweet out today to take note erroneously of a global crisis.

He wonders why, given the intense cold in the Midwest, that Earth’s climate is changing, that it’s getting warmer and that quite likely human beings are largely responsible for this peril.

Never mind the typo when he refers to “Global Waming.” That sort of thing happens, even when it involves the president’s self-proclaimed brilliance.

What I cannot fathom is why this individual cannot understand the need to look at the bigger picture, that today’s cold temps do not negate what scientists around the world have been reporting on for many years. Perhaps he does understand, but chooses to willfully ignore it because his political “base” comprises so many climate change deniers.