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Friday, June 15, 2018

Climate Change, Toxics in the Air & Water,
Biodiversity Loss, and Land Degradation:
#ThisIsZeroHour, and now, we’re all on Notice.

Courtesy of the Alliance of World Scientists
Please note: All graphs end at, or prior to, 2016. This data is evidence-based,
not in any way predicted, modeled, or contrived. All values prior to 1992,
the date of publication of the first warning, are in grey, post-1992 in black.

Part 1: Beyond the Tipping Points – Core Article

All of us have been put on notice. By November 13, 2017, the date of its publication, over 15,000 scientists from 184 nations had already signed on to the "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice', spearheaded by William J. Ripple, Professor of Ecology at Oregon State University. It warns about impending disaster from Climate Change and Environmental Dystopia.

The first notice, to which Ripple referred, was issued 25 years earlier in 1992, with the title, "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity", sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and signed on to by over 1,700 independent scientists, including, at that time, most of the living Nobel Laureates in the Sciences.

“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.”

To quote the Washington Post regarding this warning, ”They said humans had pushed Earth's ecosystems to their breaking point and were well on the way to ruining the planet. The letter listed environmental impacts like they were biblical plagues — stratospheric ozone depletion, air and water pollution, the collapse of fisheries and loss of soil productivity, deforestation, species loss and  catastrophic global climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels. “If not checked,” wrote the scientists, led by particle physicist and Union of Concerned Scientists co-founder Henry Kendall, “many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world, that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.”

A direct quote from this 1992 document, “Our massive tampering with the world's interdependent web of life—coupled with the environmental damage inflicted by deforestation, species loss, and climate change—could trigger widespread adverse effects, including unpredictable collapses of critical biological systems whose interactions and dynamics we only imperfectly understand. Uncertainty over the extent of these effects cannot excuse complacency or delay in facing the threats.”

Their message was, “that in order to prevent widespread misery caused by catastrophic damage to the biosphere, humanity must practice more environmentally sustainable alternatives to business-as-usual. Our vital importance and role comes from scientists’ unique responsibility as stewards of human knowledge and champions of evidence-based decision-making.

These scientists went on in 1992 to make 5 recommendations, the first and probably the most urgent:
“We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth's systems we depend on. We must, for example, move away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water. Priority must be given to the development of energy sources matched to Third World needs—small-scale and relatively easy to implement. We must halt deforestation, injury to and loss of agricultural land, and the loss of terrestrial and marine plant and animal species.”
The 1992 document makes this statement. “We the undersigned, senior members of the world's scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.”

25 years later, many thousands of scientists, who had decided to sign the World Scientists' Warning To Humanity: A Second Notice, formed the Alliance of World Scientists, ”the only independent, grass-roots organization comprised of scientists from around the world committed to the well-being of humanity and the planet.”

Their ‘Second Notice’ published November 13, 2017, starts with this assessment of how badly we had done so far:

Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse (See the graphs at the top of this post). Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs (Greenhouse Gases) from burning fossil fuels (Hansen et al. 2013), deforestation (Keenan et al. 2015), and agricultural production— particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption (Ripple et al. 2014). Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century. Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends (See the graphs). We are jeopardizing our future by not reining in our intense, but geographically and demographically uneven, material consumption, and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats (Crist et al. 2017). By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere. As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life.”

So, the question is, are these many thousands of scientists, who signed onto this warning, telling us that we are beyond the point of no return? Are they saying we are beyond the tipping point? 
No. First of all, as we covered in an earlier article, 'Closer to the Tipping Point’, in our discussion on Abrupt Climate Change, every mini-ecosystem, every pond, every stream, every field, every forest, has its tipping point, beyond which, it is so degraded, it may be unable to sustain life. We discussed how our goal must be to avoid, or, at least, delay, the reaching of these many critical climate and ecosystem tipping points as best as we can. Far from saying we are beyond the tipping points and there is no use taking action, these scientists, by stepping out and staking their reputations on it, and signing this document, are encouraging dramatic action. That is the point of making these dire warnings, to, hopefully, spur action.

As Jamie Margolin, 16 year old lead organizer of the 'Zero Hour" Youth Climate March in Washington, DC, with sister marches in other cities, points out, 'Acceptors' of the science of Climate Change, who rationalize inaction on the basis that it is too late to do anything that would substantially change the outcome, are just as bad, as destructive, from her perspective, as the Deniers of Climate Change. Jamie is also 1 of 13 plaintiffs in Our Children’s Trust ‘Kids’ Climate Trial’ in Washington State, suing the State for knowingly risking their human rights to their ability to live in a habitable world. Later in this report, we’ll cover the 9 States’ and the Federal (scheduled 10/29/2018) ‘Kids’ Climate Trials’, and the ‘Zero Hour’ Youth Climate March (7/21/2018).

How could anyone look a teen in the face, and tell her or him that there is no reason for hope? These kids have their whole lives in front of them. Many of them, as young as they are, along with their families, are already victims of Climate Change. They have already seen it with their own eyes, having survived the destruction of storms, floods, mudslides, and wildfires. You can’t fool these kids. They get it. Regarding Climate Change Deniers, they know ‘BullShit’ when they see and hear it.

Since the publication of the 2017 'Second Warning" in November, 2017, over 4,000 additional scientists have signed on, bringing the total to close to 20,000 from all over the world, more than 184 nations. It would be ludicrous for anyone to believe that so many scientists from every corner of the world could be engaged in a 'left wing conspiracy', as right wingers and business interests allege. Another allegation made by the Deniers of Climate Change is that these scientists are making this all up for financial gain. Though some Climate Scientists might possibly benefit from the ascension of the subject of Climate Change, the overwhelming majority, of the 20,000 signers, are specialists in other scientific disciplines, chemists, biologists, physicists, etc., even social scientists, and would have nothing to gain by the signing of this document. Some of the signers might actually be putting themselves and their careers in jeopardy with governments, courts, employers, and law enforcement, if they are found to be encouraging actions that might be seen to be contrary to business interests. Many climate and environmental activists have been murdered in recent years for their activism in more than a few nations. So why would scientists risk their reputations, and, in some cases perhaps, their lives, by the signing of this document?

The answer is, besides being scientists, these people are human beings. They have children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, parents, and friends, of whom, looking at this evidence, they are genuinely concerned. Scientists, just like non-scientists, recognize the beauty of nature and this wonderful world in which we live, and for everyone's benefit, would like to see future generations enjoy it as much as they have been able to in their lives.

And, if most of the signatories are not Climate Scientists, if they have no expertise in this area, on what basis did they make the decision to sign this document? The answer to this question is easy. They are scientists, and are basing their decision to sign on the empirical evidence represented by the graphs in this report, which you'll note, all end in 2016. These graphs are simply data on what has already taken place, not projections of what may happen in the future, though the trajectories represented, in all but one, clearly predict, if no action is taken that might change that trajectory, certain disaster, and soon.

The data in these graphs are evidence-based, the readings of thermometers, gauges, instruments, and factual reporting. The numbers behind these graphs are not contrived, or the objects of theories, guesswork, or opinion. Any scientist, (or non-scientist, for that matter), after examining the trajectories of these graphs, would reach the same conclusions, and that is why close to 20,000 scientists from every continent have so readily signed their names to it. They are genuinely concerned for their families and friends, and for future generations, and so their only reason is to wake up the world to this evidence as they see it, in order to incite urgent action that might avoid, or at least delay, immense disaster and human suffering, as they fear the data indicates.

Part 2: Review of the nine graphs in
            World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice          

Here are a few notes on each of these graphs, and this is the interactive part. Take a look at each of these graphs, and draw your own conclusions. Is the trajectory sustainable, if we do nothing  to change it? For ease of reference, we’ll reprint the graphs here.

Courtesy of the Alliance of World Scientists
Please note: All graphs end at, or prior to, 2016. This data is evidence-based,
not in any way predicted, modeled, or contrived. All values prior to 1992,
the date of publication of the first warning, are in grey, post-1992 in black.

a. Ozone Depletors

Out of the nine graphs, this is the only one that shows vast improvement. This is an example of the world actually getting it together and doing something beneficial for the planet and everyone on it. The world recognized the danger of losing the ozone layer protecting us from dangerous solar radiation, and successfully remediated the problem. But don't forget your sunscreen. Even now, there is less protection from sunburn than is safe for long exposure.

b. Fresh Water Resources per capita (1,000 cubic meters)

Since 1992, our Fresh Water Resources are down 26%, and the trajectory seems to be continuing downwards towards drought and scarcity in many parts of the world  the Middle East, India, Australia, Africa and the American West. In many parts of the world, there simply isn't enough water to go around. In some areas, groundwater, lakes, and reservoirs are alarmingly receding, due to overuse, and in more and more cases threatening to go dry. The wasteful practices of industrial agriculture are draining the surface waters, ground waters, and aquifers, and polluting the water with agropoisons, and nitrates, and phosphates, causing algae blooms in lakes and oceans and Dead Zones. Due to toxics in the water, more and more people in every part of the world are losing fresh, clean tap water in their homes, the mark of a modern home.

c. Reconstructed Marine Catch (metric tons/year)

Despite ever more extreme forms of fishing, with long lines, gill nets, factory boats, deep sea trawling, with 90% bycatch thrown back dead, whether legal or illegal, and despite more and more money spent in fuel and other costs to go further beyond Dead Zones to reach the fish, the catch is now diminishing. Protecting our fisheries is essential. Climate change is causing migrations of fish disturbing food chains,
and robbing fisheries of some species. 2,600,000,000 people rely on fish as their principal source of protein, and more billions rely on fish as part of their diet. Hundreds of millions of fisherman and their families rely on fishing for income and food. Ninety percent of the big fish are already gone, and acidification from high levels of CO2 absorbed into the water is harming the development of shells and plankton, the base of the ocean food chains. Coral reefs, the rainforests of the seas, just 0.2% of the area but 25% of species, are bleaching and dying from the heat in the ocean.

d. Dead Zones (number of affected regions)

More and more Dead Zones are developing in lakes and oceans and at the mouth of many of the world's major rivers. The reason they are called Dead Zones is that these large areas of bays and oceans (and lakes) can no longer support life. Most animals cannot survive without oxygen. This is what causes them.. Nitrates and phosphates from massive amounts of synthetic fertilizers, and or sewage gets into the water, even more with the massive downpours of climate change. Nitrates and phosphates are the perfect food for algae blooms, also aided by the warmth in the water, the algae take over  with massive green (or red) blooms, and  then die, taking all the oxygen out of the water emitting CO2, and eventually only methane, from the decomposition of the dead algae, dead fish and all the organisms that had depended on oxygen for life.

e. Total Forest (billion hectares -one hectare=2.5 acres approximately)

We continue to be losing more and more trees each year, felled, or burned intentionally for land, for development, agriculture, and mining. Hundred foot wide swaths of forest are cut for right-of-ways for more and more pipelines and power lines, and for new roads. That fragments the land. And that fragmentation is harming the ability of all large mammals who need IFLs, Intact Forest Landscapes, and more and more species are facing extinction. We need trees for biodiversity. And we need trees, and organic agriculture (conventional ag produces more CO2 and other GHG’s than the CO2 it absorbs) We need trees as a major source of oxygen, and as long as we need to burn fossil fuels, we better have trees to suck up some of the CO2 emissions. In Closer to The Tipping Point, we talk in detail about the many intersections between Forests and Climate Change.

f. Vertebrate Species Abundance (% of 1970)

Fish and Birds are Vertebrates, Too. Any animal with a backbone is a vertebrate species, and their abundance is diminishing. We spoke about fragmentation of Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) as one of the causes. But there are many other causes, including poisoning by EDCs, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. All vertebrates have endocrine systems much like ours including estrogenic and androgenic hormones, and can be poisoned by toxic chemicals. Climate Change is causing migration, disturbing food chains, and harming ecosystems. Biodiversity matters, because every plant and animal species provides ecosystem services, and the removal of any one of them causes reverberations down each of the food chains. In the U.S., the Republican Congress and Senate is doing all they can to undermine the Endangered Species Act, while so many animals are becoming endangered.

g. Carbon Dioxide-CO2-Emissions (giga-tons/year – one giga-ton= one billion tons)

CO2 levels are rising to above 410 ppm. That is well documented at the Mauna Loa in Hawaii and observatories around the world. However, the rumor is, and as has been noted in such studies as the National Climate Assessment, that emissions seem to be flat-lining during the past two or three years and had,only this year  increased, as if carbon emissions had really turned a corner.. I contend that's just due to false reporting from nations that wanted to show how well they were complying with the Paris Agreement. No nation includes in their accounting of carbon emissions the massive tonnage of CO2 emitted from the huge wildfires, or the CO2 emitted from burning Biomass for electricity, or from conventional Big Ag, or from pouring concrete and cement. The US doesn't account for the massive tonnage of CH4 (Methane) pouring from all the 100s of 1000s of fracking wells, a powerful greenhouse gas, as part of their stated carbon emissions.   

h. Temperature Change (degrees Celsius-conversion factor to Fahrenheit-x1.8)

Year after year, it's getting hotter and hotter, just as predicted. 2017 was the hottest year on record. When it gets hotter, people and animals need more water to survive. And with less and less safe, clean water available, people have to choose between toxic poisoning, disyntery, and dehydration. With ever scarcer water supplies in many areas it's getting more and more difficult to survive. If temperatures keep rising, it'll make whole regions uninhabitable, and cause massive evaporation and desertification, and could cause massive human migration, billions of refugees. Sea Level Rise caused by a warming Arctic and Antarctic, warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, will surely also cause massive migrations with billions of climate refugees, if we don’t stem the massive pouring of fossil fuel and conventional agriculture greenhouse gas emissions.

i. Population (humans and ruminants-cows, buffalos, sheep, goats)

This graph is really two graphs, one for ruminants, and one for humans.
Ruminants - The world is raising more and more livestock, now over four billion ruminants, straining the world's resources and increasing the mostly GMO feed requirements and emitting vast quantities of methane emissions.

Humans – ‘Exponential Growth in a Finite World’ is not sustainable. We discussed this subject in depth in part 10 of Living in a Toxic World, about a fascinating study published in 1972, which became the best selling environmental book ever with sales of over 12 million, entitled, The Limits to Growth. This study was sponsored by an international group of luminaries, including the late Renaissance Man, Pierre Trudeau, father of Justin Trudeau, and was performed by a team of Frisbee playing scientists and computer experts with a mean age of 26 and a half, on what we believe was the first computerized environmental modeled graphs. They projected into the future and proved their point that unlimited exponential growth of population, and various other factors, on a finite planet, is not sustainable. They modeled 12 different scenarios from Doomsday scenarios to Equilibrium. This was the real first warning, not the World Scientist's Warning to Humanity from 1992. This warning was 20 years earlier.

Part 3: 2018 National Climate Assessment – Science versus Policy

In 1990, a Democratic but Bipartisan, Congress and Senate voted in a new law, the Global Change Research Act, signed by the Republican first President Bush, which mandates a periodic scientific assessment of the planet, and of the development of climate change, and of how we are faring across the USA. The Third National Climate Assessment, published in 2014 was shocking with its assessment of our vulnerability and the ravages of climate change. The Fourth NCA (National Climate Assessment) was published in November, 2017, and shows the situation of our Climate, and its effects on Ecosystems, worsening in every area, that was covered in our post, Closer to the Tipping Point, our oceans, our forests, our wetlands, our grasslands, just about everywhere.

The NCA explores what has already been experienced in each area of our country in the way of climate change, and makes predictions, based on various emissions scenarios. Will our emissions continue to ramp up? Or will they slow down? Before any scientist can model any future scenario, one needs to enter the answers to those questions.
In August of 2017, the fifth and final draft of the NCA, prepared by NOAA, was sent out to scientists in every one of the 13 federal agencies that were required to approve its publication. It was promptly leaked to the New York Times, presumably by a scientist or scientists, who, knowing Trump and his cabinet members, and the majority of the House and Senate and powerful industrial groups and all the Koch funded denial groups like Heartland, Heritage, AFP, etc., these scientists never believed it would ever get published.

They feared the report would be squashed by Trump and his people, with their anti-environmental mindset, so they leaked it. Once the draft was leaked, once it was available on the internet for all to see, the cat was out of the bag, and obviously the Trump administration, realizing that they could no longer prevent its release, since it was already basically out, so they decided to publish it, rather than make a scene, by not publishing it.

But based on multiple leaked memos and emails, we have found that they published this report, fully intending to "ignore" it. U.S. Policy has become: Ignoring Science. Knowing how vigorously Trump, Pence and all of Trump's people, and most of the Republican leaders, unanimously defend the denial of Climate Change, it is scandalous and hypocritical that this report, that definitely confirms the real science of Climate Change, was published under the auspices of:

            1. Pruitt's EPA
            2. Zinke's Department of Interior
            3. Perry's Department of Energy
            4. Then Tillerson's, Now Pompeo's State Department
            5. Ross' Department of Commerce
            6. Purdue's Department of Agriculture
            7. Mattis' Department of Defense
            8. Azar's Department of Health and Human Services
            9. Department of Transportation
            10. NASA
            11. Smithsonian Institution
            12. USAID (United States Agency for International Development)
            13. National Science Foundation

The leadership of these 13 important governmental and executive branch agencies, other than perhaps the last five listed, that vigorously deny climate change, and, in some cases, won't even admit that CO2 is a bad thing, have endorsed a report that affirms the exact opposite in clear language. Written by the cream of the crop of the U.S. Government's scientists, these political executive branch leaders’ only excuse for publishing science that clearly states the opposite of what they are espousing, is that they intend to ignore it, borne out by the leaked memos and emails.

That sends out a loud statement, that Science is no longer relevant, and that there is not any more the need for Policy in accordance to Science. They are even challenging the accepted and revered academic peer- review process on scientific studies, as if it somehow implies collusion between scientists.

Those of you that know the depths of ignorance to which the Deniers are willing to go, have got to read the detail in this Executive Summary of the CSSR (the Climate Science Special Report), the first volume of the NCA, and like me, your jaw will hang open by the extent to which this conservative, in its estimates, but very thorough, scientific document, diverges from the Cabinet and Republican leaders stated views.

We’ll include this quick Executive Summary of the new NCA’s findings, so you’ll be able to see for yourself, that the science in this report backs up the urgency of the ‘World Scientists Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice’, covered earlier, in every respect.
Highlights of the Findings of the U.S. Global Change Research Program -
Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) - Volume 1 of 2017 NCA4 –
Fourth National Climate Assessment – Executive Summary

The climate of the United States is strongly connected to the changing global climate. The statements below highlight past, current, and projected climate changes for the United States and the globe.
Global annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8°F (1.0°C) over the last 115 years (1901–2016). This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization. The last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes, and the last three years have been the warmest years on record for the globe. These trends are expected to continue over climate timescales.
This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.
In addition to warming, many other aspects of global climate are changing, primarily in response to human activities. Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor.
For example, global average sea level has risen by about 7–8 inches since 1900, with almost half (about 3 inches) of that rise occurring since 1993. Human-caused climate change has made a substantial contribution to this rise since 1900, contributing to a rate of rise that is greater than during any preceding century in at least 2,800 years. Global sea level rise has already affected the United States; the incidence of daily tidal flooding is accelerating in more than 25 Atlantic and Gulf Coast cities.
Global average sea levels are expected to continue to rise—by at least several inches in the next 15 years and by 1–4 feet by 2100. A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out. Sea level rise will be higher than the global average on the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States.
Changes in the characteristics of extreme events are particularly important for human safety, infrastructure, agriculture, water quality and quantity, and natural ecosystems. Heavy rainfall is increasing in intensity and frequency across the United States and globally and is expected to continue to increase. The largest observed changes in the United States have occurred in the Northeast.
Heatwaves have become more frequent in the United States since the 1960s, while extreme cold temperatures and cold waves are less frequent. Recent record-setting hot years are projected to become common in the near future for the United States, as annual average temperatures continue to rise. Annual average temperature over the contiguous United States has increased by 1.8°F (1.0°C) for the period 1901–2016; over the next few decades (2021–2050), annual average temperatures are expected to rise by about 2.5°F for the United States, relative to the recent past (average from 1976–2005), under all plausible future climate scenarios.
The incidence of large forest fires in the western United States and Alaska has increased since the early 1980s and is projected to further increase in those regions as the climate changes, with profound changes to regional ecosystems.
Annual trends toward earlier spring melt and reduced snowpack are already affecting water resources in the western United States and these trends are expected to continue. Under higher scenarios, and assuming no change to current water resources management, chronic, long-duration hydrological drought is increasingly possible before the end of this century.
The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades will depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) emitted globally. Without major reductions in emissions, the increase in annual average global temperature relative to preindustrial times could reach 9°F (5°C) or more by the end of this century. With significant reductions in emissions, the increase in annual average global temperature could be limited to 3.6°F (2°C) or less.
The global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has now passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level that last occurred about 3 million years ago, when both global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today. Continued growth in CO2 emissions over this century and beyond would lead to an atmospheric concentration not experienced in tens to hundreds of millions of years. There is broad consensus that the further and the faster the Earth system is pushed towards warming, the greater the risk of unanticipated changes and impacts, some of which are potentially large and irreversible.
The observed increase in carbon emissions over the past 15–20 years has been consistent with higher emissions pathways. In 2014 and 2015, emission growth rates slowed as economic growth became less carbon-intensive. Even if this slowing trend continues, however, it is not yet at a rate that would limit global average temperature change to well below 3.6°F (2°C) above preindustrial levels.

As I mentioned, this is a very conservative report; the data in the following graphs are conservative estimates. For instance, sea level rise could be far worse. Also, we contend that the last several sentences in this executive summary, that, until the increase last year, carbon emissions had leveled off for a few years, are a product of false reporting, skewed by the participants of the Paris Agreement and even the U.S. and the EIA’s (Energy Information Agency) desire to make it look like that. For an example, the IEA, International Energy Agency, gets its information on Russia's emissions, from Rosneft (Russia's State Oil Company), and ultimately from Putin, and so, one may doubt its veracity. We also doubt the veracity of the reporting of the U.S.A.'s EIA, under Trump, Obama, and Bush, since the fracking boom began.
Also, neither the U.S.A. nor Russia, nor any country, includes the carbon emissions of the mammoth and growing wildfires each year. No country includes emissions from burning Biomass for electricity, on the absurd basis that burning trees for energy doesn't increase carbon in the biosphere, because trees absorbed carbon to grow in the first place. That is preposterous. Burning Biomass is no less increasing the carbon in our atmosphere, than the forest fires, or the burning of fossil fuels.

The fact is that research stations all over the globe have come up with recent readings of over 410 ppm. The CO2 is increasing in our atmosphere, whether the conservative, approved by 13 federal agencies, report wants to admit it or not, when they stated that the levels had flat-lined in the final sentence of the executive summary on this report, as though the world had turned a corner on CO2 emissions,  but again, they based their statement on the evidence, the data, which we believe is skewed.

Now I'd like to take the following graphs published in the NCA, and turn them into an interactive exercise, by asking you the following question, Which world would you choose to live in, the world represented by the red line in each of these four graphs, the most extreme of the scenarios on carbon emissions, or the world represented by the gray line, the least extreme scenario? You'll note the past and present line in each graph is made up of single data points, and the future is represented by one of four scenarios or models.

The scenario depicted in red is unfortunately the path we are currently following (the Trump path, though Obama was not much better) of unmitigated fossil fuel exploration, extraction (fracking and mining on land and sea), and export. Regarding export, whether it’s burned here, or burned elsewhere, makes no difference to the climate.

Unless we sideline a good portion of the world's reserves of oil, gas, and coal and not burn it, it is agreed by most scientists and environmentalists, that this red line projection in these graphs, or far worse, is inevitable. And if we extract it, and put it in pipelines, it will eventually all be burned. This we can guarantee.

I say that it could be far worse than what’s depicted in these graphs, because many of us believe that in order to make it acceptable, just like in the case of the IPCCC report, the UN's climate report, which was the foundation of the Paris Agreement, these estimates would have to be very conservative, and could very well prove to be on the low side. The gray line of least emissions is possible to achieve, but recognize that it would involve lifestyle changes. Or perhaps you might choose one of the scenarios in the middle. 

"Which world would you choose to live in, and to leave to your children and grandchildren?"

All Graphs Courtesy of U.S. Global Change Research Program -
Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) - Volume 1 of 2017 NCA4 –
Fourth National Climate Assessment

The final pictures and graph we’re including, from the NCA, is about Arctic Sea Ice Extent, comparing 1984 to 2016. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. Not only is the extent diminishing, but the thickness and age of the ice in the Arctic Ice Cap is vastly diminishing. 90% of the Arctic Sea Ice is now less than two years old, which was very different in 1984. The Albedo Effect of white ice reflecting heat back into space, is diminishing, as the white snow and ice is being replaced by blue water, green trees and vegetation, and brown earth, which absorbs more heat, meaning that the Feedback Effect of that will melt more ice and permafrost on land and underwater. If you’ve ever walked on spongy melting permafrost, you’d understand that any pipeline over it is no longer safe, with the very spongy footing. Pipelines are not very flexible, and could very well spill. Another feedback effect is that melting permafrost yields methane, the same dangerous greenhouse gas they frack for, and burn on your stove, and it’s bubbling up in the water from under the Arctic Shelf and is seeping out of the Arctic Tundra, and making the world even warmer.

Courtesy of U.S. Global Change Research Program -
Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) - Volume 1 of 2017 NCA4 –
Fourth National Climate Assessment

Part 4: 2018 IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

“The Earth’s life support system is failing. Nearly everywhere, the various forms of non-human life are in decline, according to a series of landmark international reports released (March 23, 2018).

“Biodiversity (plant and animal) – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere, according to four landmark science reports released, written by more than 550 leading experts, from over 100 countries.

“The result of three years of work, the four regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services cover the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, as well as Europe and Central Asia – the entire planet except the poles and the open oceans. The assessment reports were approved by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in Medellín, Colombia, (on March 23, 2018) at the 6th session of its Plenary. IPBES has 129 State Members (nations).

“Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people sound, to many people, academic and far removed from our daily lives,” said the Chair of IPBES, Sir Robert Watson, “Nothing could be further from the truth – they are the bedrock of our food, clean water and energy. They are at the heart not only of our survival, but of our cultures, identities and enjoyment of life. The best available evidence, gathered by the world’s leading experts, points us now to a single conclusion: we must act to halt and reverse the unsustainable use of nature – or risk not only the future we want, but even the lives we currently lead. Fortunately, the evidence also shows that we know how to protect and partially restore our vital natural assets.”   
“The extensively peer-reviewed IPBES assessment reports focus on providing answers to key questions for each of the four regions, including: why is biodiversity important, where are we making progress, what are the main threats and opportunities for biodiversity and how can we adjust our policies and institutions for a more sustainable future?

“In every region, with the exception of a number of positive examples where lessons can be learned, biodiversity and nature’s capacity to contribute to people are being degraded, reduced and lost due to a number of common pressures – habitat stress; overexploitation and unsustainable use of natural resources; air, land and water pollution; increasing numbers and impact of invasive alien species and climate change, among others.”

The last two words in the title of this report on Biodiversity, and in the name of this organization, that wrote it, are ‘Ecosystem Services’, and that is key. Whether you consider yourself a religious person, as do the vast majority of the world's billions of humans, and care about God's creations, like the Pope and religious leaders of every religion do, or whether you are an atheist, but subscribe to science, you will recognize that Biodiversity in every animal, every plant, even insects, provide ecosystem services.

Every species, every insect matters, because of the ‘ecosystem services’ it provides. If plants or animals are removed from ecosystems by extinction, or by migration due to Climate Change, or by fragmentation by roads, pipelines, electrical lines or development, the ecosystem services that plant or animal offers is no longer performed, disturbing food chains with reverberations down the line. Much of this is conveyed in our article, ‘Closer to the Tipping Point’, where we also discuss climate impacts on Biodiversity and Ecosystems. The aspect of Crop Biodiversity Loss is covered in, ‘Messing with Mother Nature’, where Climate is an essential part.

Part 5: 2018 IPBES Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration

“Worsening land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two fifths of humanity, driving species extinctions and intensifying climate change. It is also a major contributor to mass human migration and increased conflict, according to the world’s first comprehensive evidence-based assessment of land degradation and restoration.

“The dangers of land degradation are detailed for policymakers, together with a catalogue of corrective options, in the three-year assessment report by more than 100 leading experts from 45 countries, launched (at the same IPBES meeting as the above 4 regional Biodiversity reports).

“Produced by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the report was approved at the 6th session of the IPBES Plenary in Medellín, Colombia.

“Providing the best-available evidence for policymakers to make better-informed decisions, the report draws on more than 3,000 scientific, Government, indigenous and local knowledge sources. Extensively peer-reviewed, it was improved by more than 7,300 comments, received from over 200 external reviewers.

“Rapid expansion and unsustainable management of croplands and grazing lands is the most extensive global direct driver of land degradation, causing significant loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services – food security, water purification, the provision of energy and other contributions of nature essential to people. This has reached ‘critical’ levels in many parts of the world, the report says.

“With negative impacts on the well-being of at least 3.2 billion people, the degradation of the Earth’s land surface through human activities is pushing the planet towards a sixth mass species extinction,” said PECS-SC member Prof. Robert Scholes (South Africa), co-chair of the assessment with Dr. Luca Montanarella (Italy). “Avoiding, reducing and reversing this problem, and restoring degraded land, is an urgent priority to protect the biodiversity and ecosystem services vital to all life on Earth and to ensure human well-being.”

In 2013, we featured, in ‘Messing with Mother Nature’, a major report published by UNCTAD, a United Nations organization, entitled ‘Wake Up Before It Is Too Late!’, to feed the world, with billions more people per projections, in a time of Climate Change.

And chemical intensive Big Agriculture is also a major contributor of greenhouse gases to increase climate change, literally tons of CO2, N2O and CH4 (Methane). It also pours Nitrates into our water and into our aquifers and drinking water, making it toxic (example, Blue Baby Syndrome), and nitrates and phosphates are causing Algae Blooms and Dead Zones around the world.

One of the worst parts of chemical intensive Big Ag is that it is causing us to lose our Soil to massive erosion, especially with the major downpours of Climate Change. We are literally watching our farmlands wash down our rivers, sometimes at rates, per a study in Iowa, of as much as 50 tons per acre per year.

Regarding Land Degradation, Land Use is another issue. In order to open up more farmland, we are converting our Forests which absorb carbon dioxide to Big Ag farmland, which literally pours CO2, N2O and CH4 (Methane). Besides erosion, we are also losing our Soil to Salinization and Desertification. We urge to read our post, The Story on Soil, which covers this all important issue.

 Instead of Chemical Intensive Big Ag, Regenerative Organic Agriculture, the promotion of small, organic farms and Crop Biodiversity, holds many answers to these problems. It is also an answer to how to reverse Climate Change, by burying  carbon back into the Soil, making the Soil, (without pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers) and the food grown in it tastier and healthier, and improving yields. Dead non-productive Soil can be regenerated and made productive. It can be restored. We have the experts who know how to do it.

Part 6: 2016 IPBES Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food           

In studying the two above 2018 IPBES reports on Biodiversity and on Land Degradation, we found that the IPBES had already published their first report in 2016, (IPBES was founded in 2012), ‘Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production’. Bees are dying at exponential rates,.  In our discussion of environmental tipping points, this subject must be included. Bees are dying at exponentially damaging rates, as much as 40% mortality year after year, and 75% of the food in the produce aisle mainly depend on bees for pollination. Bats, some small birds, and butterflies are also pollinators, but they, too, are being endangered. The techies are already talking about designing nano-drones to pollinate fields, as if that would ever be a real solution. The only real answer is to go organic and stop killing flying insects (also a major source of food for birds), and, there may be other causes, but what’s killing our pollinators is, no doubt, pesticides and herbicides).  

Part 7: Other Recent Reports on Climate and Biodiversity

There have been many scientific reports in recent years, all of which have examined the serious deterioration of the climate and the natural world. Confirming everything we told you about the recent National Climate Assessment (NCA) in this report, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, just published their State of the Climate 2017 – Extreme Weather and High Impacts. Here are two graphics from this new consummate report. Just check them out. They say a lot. And a link to the full report can be found in our documents section, as with all of these.

Courtesy of the World Meteorological Organization

A new extensively peer-reviewed study was just published on March 13, 2018, entitled, ‘Wildlife in a Warming World: The Effects of Climate Change on Biodiversity’, attributed to the University of East Anglia (UK), James Cook University (Australia), and the World Wildlife Fund. This study is further confirmation of the IPBES Report on Biodiversity, that we talked about in part four, One of their findings is that “as much as half of wildlife and 60% of plants in the world’s richest forests could be at risk of extinction in the next century if stronger efforts aren’t taken to combat climate change, according to a new report on the risks of rising global temperatures.”

On May 21, 2018, a very extensive Rutgers University led study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS), called, ‘The Biomass Distribution on Earth’. (Here, they’re not talking at all about the fraud of burning biomass for electricity.) This is a census of all the biomass (the weight of all living things, plant and animal) on earth. One of their findings is that the biomass of all humans and ruminants (cows and similar livestock) together, is 96% of the biomass of all mammals currently on Earth. That means the biomass (weight) of all remaining mammals on earth, including dogs, cats, and all wild animals, including big mammals, like whales and elephants, and all the little mammals, like squirrels, mice and rats, comprises just the remaining 4%. Exponential growth of human population and of the meat they eat, 96%of the biomass of all mammals on Earth, are in many ways harming biodiversity and dominating the biosphere. This extensive Biomass study is a first of its kind.

The last report we’ll include in this section is from the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), which published a major report on February 1, 2018, entitled ‘Climate Change and Health’, about how the rising temperatures are causing a myriad of health problems around the globe, which will continue to worsen, unless and until we get a handle on controlling the rise in temperatures, in other words controlling our emissions.

These scientific studies on climate change and biodiversity, and the scientists, who perform them, deserve more recognition and publicity, in order to raise awareness and to rouse political, legal, and social action on Climate Change.

Part 8: Accumulation of Toxins in Air and Drinking Water

We could not write a report referring to environmental tipping points, without referring to the accumulation of toxins in the environment, and the dangers of exposure to us all, especially to children, not just because they’re small, but because they are in key stages of development.

Almost daily, we hear of communities that are being told not to drink the water, tap water or well water, because it contains heavy metals or toxins in excessive amounts.

It is well known that air quality puts us all at risk for lung disease and cancer, and our kids, rich and especially the poor, due to where they live, are developing asthma and childhood allergies and childhood diseases (and conditions like Autism) at ever increasing rates. We covered this subject comprehensively in our article, ‘Living in a Toxic World’, and, especially if you have children, we urge you to read that, as well as a previous article called ‘Chemistry Gone Wild’, on the subject of Endocrine Disrupter Chemicals (EDCs).

Recognizing the peril our children are in just living in this toxic world, the EPA joined with the NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) to produce a very comprehensive 120-page study of all the environmental causes for our kids' illnesses. The Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center's impact report is entitled, Protecting Children's Health Where They Live, Learn, and Play. Yes, we are poisoning our children at crucial stages in their development with harmful toxins, and this very well produced 120-page report with colorful graphics creditably covers the subject.

Time Magazine reports on it, “The sweeping report chronicles the toll of pesticides, industrial chemicals and air pollution on the health of America’s children. It summarizes the results of a 20-year effort by the two federal agencies, which have invested $300 million on dozens of long-term studies of American children. The research links everyday exposures to BPA, flame retardants and pesticides with asthma, cancer, and brain and behavioral problems. It estimates the cost of environmentally related diseases in children at $76 billion a year. These findings are a striking difference from the direction of the EPA under the Trump administration.”

This amazing report was completed and remarkably produced under Trump, Pence, and Pruitt in October, 2017, who had, and have, no intention of doing anything about it. In fact, they and many Republican Senators and Congressmen and State Officials are doubling down, and intend to do just the opposite of protecting ourselves and our children. They fully intend to do everything possible to dismantle all the “Regs”, as though all regulations, to keep the air and water safe, were bad.Their wish list includes dismantling the Clean Water Act and Rules, the Clean Air Act and Rules and the ESA, (Endangered Species Act), and many Americans are cheering them on, in the illusory name of “Economy”, while even their kids and grandchildren are getting sick.

This well produced report, published under the Trump administration, is the ‘smoking gun’ on Pruitt's not banning, as the EPA had intended, the dangerous child brain-wasting pesticide, Chlorpyrifos, applied to non-organic apples, fruits and vegetables, while a clear and present danger to children and their life-long development, is clearly discussed as a real danger on pages 29 and 53 of this report. The link is included in the Documents section. Look at pages 29 and 53, and see for yourself. Are American babies not worth protecting? Does the US Health Department and Education Department wish to pay for the needs of impaired children, who will be equally impaired as adults? Of course, Pruitt's decision to not ban this pesticide  took place directly after Dow Chemical, it's principal producer, donated a million dollars to Trump's inauguration committee.

Part 9: Climate Tutorial in Federal Climate Trial –
            San Francisco and Oakland versus Big Oil

On March 21, 2018, Climate Change was on trial in federal court in San Francisco. San Francisco and Oakland are suing five Big Oil companies for billions in damages from global warming and sea level rise, with coastal flooding threatening the Bay area. They plan to use any award for adaptation, building seawalls, relocation, etc. In this decision on whether to allow this lawsuit to go to trial, tired of hearing all the conflicting arguments bandied about, Judge William Allsup ordered both sides to give him a "Tutorial" on the "the best available science on global warming and sea level rise". Each side was given two hours and 14 questions for which he demanded answers. A high priced attorney from Chevron spoke on behalf of the oil companies, and instead of voicing Climate Change Denial, he surprisingly referred to, and largely agreed with, the finding of the U.N's 2013 IPCCC report, which was the basis of the Paris Agreement, (very close to the same findings as the 2014 National Climate Assessment), that the world was warming and would continue to warm from the human causes of burning fossil fuels.

Rather than continuing to deny the science, the oil companies must have decided that any such argument would be so unsupportable, that their better strategy was to agree with factual, evidence-based science, but to deny their own liability, on the basis that the emissions from burning their oil was government regulated. If the District Court of Northern California,( which has recently demanded the production of documents from the oil companies, which indicates the judge has not yet made a decision), agrees to let this suit go to trial and awards damages, there will almost surely be subsequent similar trials all over the United States, since this is the first time cities have ever sued oil companies for climate change.

Whatever the outcome, that first time ever "Climate Tutorial" the judge ordered, and which took place on March 21, 2018, is now on record in federal court with a federal transcript available, to be used as evidence in future climate trials., and since Chevron and Exxon, and all the Big Oil companies are multi-national corporations, this transcript can be used  in courts all over the world., whether against fossil fuel companies, or against national, state and local governments, like the kids' climate trials that we're about to discuss. This is big!

Also big, is that, by accepting real climate science, by doing the best thing they could do strategically to defend their case, Chevron, for the oil companies, pulled the rug right out from under the API (American Petroleum Institute) and from all the Koch and Bradley-funded denial groups like Heritage, Heartland, American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council, Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Institute for Energy Research, etc., who have devoted 50 years to denying that climate change was even taking place. These climate denial organizations may well be freaking out, deciding whether or not to change their position on climate now that the oil companies pulled the rug out from under their ignorant denial, with their, on the record, acceptance, in this “Tutorial” on the Science of Climate Change.

Part 10: ‘Our Children’s Trust’ Climate Trials – Federal and 9 States

“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” 
                 - U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken

“Our Children's Trust ( elevates the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations.

Julia Olson, Chief Legal Counsel, Executive Director, and Founder of the organization, is currently managing youth climate lawsuits against 9 States, and against the United States. 21 kids from across the country, now with ages ranging from 10 to 21, many of whom, along with their families, have already been touched by Climate Change, and they're suing the government.

James Hansen, renown pioneer and, sometimes controversial, Climate Scientist, who formerly worked for NASA, and testified before the Senate on Climate Change as early as 1988, provided the evidence-based science, the basis for these lawsuits, and to be used all over the world. His 2013 study is called, ‘Assessing "Dangerous Climate Change": Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature, more recently updated in a new study named, Young People’s Burden in October 2016, and an even newer study called, Young People’s Burden: Negative CO2 Emissions, in July, 2017. In our video section, we’re including a video he did on this study with his granddaughter,Sophie, a plaintiff in the federal ‘Our Children’s Trust’ case, and she will also be testifying.

In the words of Julia Olson, “Youth filed their constitutional climate lawsuit, called Juliana v. U.S., against the U.S. government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, in 2015. Earth Guardians is also an organizational plaintiff in the case.

“Their complaint asserts that, through the government's affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.

“The fossil fuel industry initially intervened in the case as defendants, joining the U.S. government in trying to have the case dismissed. In April 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin recommended denial of both of motions to dismiss. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken upheld Judge Coffin's recommendation, with the issuance of an historic November 10, 2016 opinion and order denying the motions. When the defendants sought an interlocutory appeal of that order, Judge  Aiken denied their motions in June 2017.

“In June 2017, Judge Coffin issued an order releasing the fossil fuel industry defendants from the case, and setting a trial date for February 5, 2018 before Judge Aiken at the U.S. District Court of Oregon in Eugene. 

”In July 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals requested attorneys for youth plaintiffs submit a response to the government's petition for "writ of mandamus" and invited the District Court to respond as well. The District Court responded via letter and the youth plaintiffs filed their answer. Further, eight amicus briefs were filed with the Ninth Circuit in support of the youth plaintiffs. 

“Pursuant to its order, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, made up of Chief Justice Sidney Thomas, and Circuit Justices Alex Kozinski and Marsha Barzon heard oral arguments on December 11, 2017. Watch a video recording of the oral arguments below. Youth plaintiffs, now age 10 to 21, and their attorneys look forward to the panel decision. Eric Grant, representing the Trump administration and the U.S. government, argued that the case be dismissed. Justice Kozinski subsequently resigned and was replaced on the panel by Circuit Justice Michelle Friedland.

“Due to the Trump administration’s drastic tactics before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to silence the voices of youth and keep science out of the courtroom”, the trial did not begin on February 5th, as originally scheduled.

But, “on March 7, 2018 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration’s “drastic and extraordinary” petition for writ of mandamus. During a public case management conference on April 12, 2018, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin set October 29, 2018 as the trial date for Juliana v. United States.”

When the judge set this new court date, he warned the Trump administration that the court would accept no further delay tactics. This is a matter of constitutional and human rights of children to grow up in a habitable world. The remedy sought is not monetary, but “legally-binding, science-based climate recovery policies”, to give our kids and us a chance.

If you can, please support these young plaintiffs and Our Children’s Trust with donations. It takes a lot of money every step of the way. Help them have their day in court. It could be a way to help every one of us.

Part 11: #ThisIsZeroHour Youth Climate March – July 21, 2018

The Zero Hour movement started with the founder, 16-year-old Jamie Margolin, a fierce climate justice advocate, who has been working tirelessly for the last few years to move her home state of Washington to adopt common sense climate change laws. Frustrated by the inaction of politicians and the fact that youth voices were almost always ignored in the conversation around climate change and the profound impact that it would have on young people, Jamie started gathering several of her friends in the summer of 2017 to start organizing something big, something hard to ignore!
“Jamie was inspired by the mass mobilizations like the Women’s March that had occurred in early 2017 and realized that a national day of mass action, led by youth, would be an ideal platform to ensure that young voices were not only centered in this conversation, but that politicians and adults would hear their voices loud and clear!
“By the end of the summer, young activists from across the country, from diverse backgrounds, had joined the team and the Zero Hour movement had started taking shape.
“At the start of 2018, a few founding members traveled to Washington, D.C. to lay key groundwork for this growing movement—and meet each other in person for the very first time! With the help of key partners who have come on board to support our vision, we are well on our way to organizing a movement that will ensure that our elected officials and leaders at every level of society stop ignoring the needs of young people and their right to a safe, healthy, and clean environment.
“Our team of youth leaders and adult mentors are more than just a collective—we have become a movement family! This vision depends on people like you willing to support and uplift youth by making this vision your own. We would love for you to join our family and come write the next chapter of our story together, as we plan our march and advocacy day in Washington, D.C.

“Zero Hour is not mobilizing just for the sake of mobilizing. We the youth are demanding an end to business as usual on climate change, so we have created science-backed demands for both our leaders, and the general public to take action on. On July 19th youth are taking over Capitol Hill to deliver our demands to our politicians. We are giving them the exact asks that we are marching for—so they have no excuse not to take action.

“We will prepare for our mobilization by having art builds around the DC area to celebrate our movement and earth through art. In any movement, it is important to have community building, because community is the best antidote to hopelessness. Through these art builds we are building our community and beautiful banners and signs for The Youth Climate March on July 21, 2018.
“In Washington D.C., youth will march on the National Mall for the demands that we delivered to our leaders during The Youth Climate Lobby Day. We will rally and highlight the voices and stories of youth on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Then, we will flood the streets as a demonstration of youth power and show how #ThisIsZeroHour demands we act on climate change.”

As good as these kids are, not just Jamie, but every single one of them, and even though they’re working tirelessly for free, it takes money to pull off a big event like this, and they could use any help you might be able to offer in the form of donations, however small. Adults, they remind us, have been ineffectual in tackling Climate Change, as borne out in this report. Please help our kids make an impact. March with them, also in Sister Marches around the country on July 21, and please donate to

Part 12: Beyond the Tipping Points – Final Thoughts

The World Scientists Warning to Humanity of 1992 was not the first warning, which makes the Second Notice in 2017, the third warning. 20 years before 1992, in 1972, a group of luminaries, including the late Renaissance Canadian Pierre Trudeau, (father of Justin Trudeau), who called themselves the Club of Rome, commissioned a study, the result of which was published as, The Limits to Growth, which turned out to become the best-selling environmental book ever, having sold 12 million copies, and having been translated into 37 languages. Speaking of youth, the average age of the scientists hired to do this study was 26 ½ years old, and they produced the first rudimentary environmental computer models on a computer, at MIT the size of a room, with processing power less than your laptop, and the graphs were printed on a huge, dot-matrix ink-ribbon printer. It is staggering that these scientists, so long ago, foresaw so many of the problems we’re facing today. We covered this amazing story in our article, Living in aToxic World part 10, and we urge you to read it. The messages about ‘exponential growth in a finite world’ are key to solving our problems, and this story of how they put this together is fascinating. The problem is, there have been many keys, also in the 1992 and 2017 warnings, but society has not yet chosen to turn them.

The lack of action on climate change is an unprecedented crime. Or, as noted in this new book, Unprecedented Crime, Climate Science Denial and Game Changersfor Survival, with a foreword by Dr. James Hansen (who was mentioned earlier in this report, and don’t miss the video with his granddaughter, Sophie, a plaintiff in the Our Children's Trust Federal climate trial, in the video section).

Dr. James Hansen, former NASA chief climate scientist, professor, pioneer and grandfather:
“Peter Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth make an overwhelming case that the public, especially young people, are victims of 'Unprecedented Crime'. And the fossil fuel industry, they explain, are not the only perpetrators. There has been extensive collusion and denial. Fortunately, Carter and Woodworth do much more than expose the crimes against humanity—they also present actions that people can take to alleviate the consequences for today's public and for future generations.” 

What’s happening right now with the Climate, and how it’s affecting the Weather, is, also, unprecedented. We have levels of Greenhouse Gases, CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide, in our atmosphere, that have no precedent in over 800,000 years, when temperatures were 2 to 3°C warmer, and sea levels were 15 to 25 meters higher. The water vapor in our atmosphere, due to unprecedented warmth in our oceans, and the evaporation from heat over land, is also a very powerful greenhouse gas, and is helping make both temperatures and precipitation events ever more unprecedented. Ellicott City, Maryland near Washington, DC, just got hit with massive flooding from a deluge type rain storm for the second time in two years, causing massive destruction.

In 2017 alone, Americans were harmed in devastating “500 years floods” in 20 different States, losing their homes, their possessions, their income, and, in some cases, their lives. This is beyond the thousands of deaths from floods all over the world with similar deluges, months worth of rain in hours. And the wildfires have reached frightening unprecedented proportions all around the globe, and droughts are devastating large areas of the world, and have severely limited water availability. We recommend you read Weather Extremes and the JetStream, in order to reach an understanding of what is happening to the jet streams contributing to this extreme weather, and The Science of Superstorms to bring you up-to-date with the latest, written by climate scientist, Paul H. Beckwith.

We recommend you read an article we wrote in 2014, Weather Extremes and the Jet Stream, where you can gain an understanding of the mechanics of the Jet Stream in the New Normal of Climate Change, resulting in Extreme Weather events. But, Paul has shown us that the Jet Stream has changed a bit since this article was published, and though it is still meandering North and South causing the same storms and droughts described, the Jet Stream is becoming even weaker and less defined, and is it’s now meandering even further, and has been seen more than once this past winter to shoot warm air all the way to the North Pole (in the 24 hour darkness of winter), and, all the way South to the Equator, and has even been found to have crossed the Equator, joining into the Southern Hemispheric Jet Stream.

The New Normal is not normal. The climate has already changed, and is still changing, and the changes are accelerating. The anomalies of winds and ocean currents shooting warmth all the way to the North Pole in the darkness of winter, as we’ve experienced in the last two years, is unprecedented. and is one of the factors that is causing the Arctic to warm twice as fast as the rest of the world, and, in turn, is contributing to the way the Jet Stream is misbehaving, bringing Weather Extremes all over the world.

The bottom line is that we’re dealing with a full-blown emergency, and we have to take action commensurate with the threat. I’d venture to say that climate scientists, Paul H. Beckwith, Eric Holthaus, James Hansen, and even, I believe, Katherine Hayhoe, and Michael E Mann, a contributor to the IPCCC, would agree with elevating Climate to EMERGENCY status. The Paris Agreement just won’t do it (keep the world below 1.5 Celsius of warming). Though it is a baby step forward that the world had to take, and is better than nothing, and the US should not be withdrawing from it, the voluntary “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” with no overview and no verification, set up by the Paris Agreement, is not nearly enough.

Our best reason for optimism is the activism on Climate that we’re seeing in the youth. Just as insistent and eloquent as the Gun Control kids, they understand that what’s happening to our planet is not normal, that it’s not OK. In many cases, they’ve seen Climate Change with their own eyes, and have seen the pain it has caused their families, friends, and neighbors, and they won’t hear any of the BullShit, that it’s not really happening, when they know it is. And these kids won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, when it comes to protecting their, and all of our, futures. Many of these kids are almost of voting age, and when they are able to vote, we might find ourselves amazed by the power of these kids, and what they can accomplish. And I’m not just talking about United States kids. There are kids all over the world as motivated as our kids, who have faced or know of friends and neighbors who have faced climate tragedies as bad or worse, and they are taking action, politically, legally, and lifestyle related, to make a difference.

As I’ve said before, there are billions of us, and few  of them (the 1%), but the only way we will prevail on the fossil fuel establishment, and on the politicians, the bureaucrats, and law enforcement that support them, will be to make this movement a transnational effort.

We’ll end with quotes from two eco-philosophers, one, an 89 year old, named Joanna Macy, and the other,  the at-that-time 14-year-old indigenous activist rapper/eco-philosopher (and a founder of EarthGuardians), Xuihtezcatl, who is now 17 years old, a plaintiff in the Federal, and also a plaintiff in one of the State Climate Trials mentioned earlier in this report, and he, and a lot of these kids, are an inspiration to us all.

“If you want an adventure, boy what a time to choose to be alive! Don’t waste time in self-pity over darkness. Don’t waste time trying to figure out better circumstances, that you might like. You were born into this, and you’re here to love it, and see that it goes on.” Joanna Macy - eco-philosopher

“Every living system that we see is unraveling…Our planet is collapsing. And in the light of a collapsing world, what better time to be born than now, because this generation gets to rewrite history, gets to leave our mark on this earth, because we will be known as the generation, as the people on the planet that brought forth a healthy, just, and stable world for every generation to come, because this generation of people gets to create the rebirth, gets to co-create and re-create this new world of sustainability, of justice, of equity, for all peoples on earth. And we are the generation of change. We are the generation, ‘Rise’.” Xiuhtezcatl – activist/rapper/eco-philosopher

Part 13: Message to our Readers

Once again, we will probably be accused of “sensationalism” for this article. Ten major climate and environmental studies and assessments were published in recent months. If we weren’t to have reported on these landmark scientific reports, we wouldn’t have been doing our job. You’ll note much of our report to be direct quotes taken verbatim from the studies themselves, (and which we’ve included with links to the full text in the document section of this report, should you wish to look further). We didn’t make anything up, and we certainly didn’t exaggerate the severity of the situation that is portrayed in these reports. So, if you find our article “sensational”, that’s all the more reason to heed the warnings, and please don’t blame the messenger.

Instead of going through the documents and videos in paragraph form, as we’ve always done in the past in this section, this time we have so many, 12 documents and 9 videos, that we decided to give you any notes we felt we must in parentheses right below the document or video to which it refers. For the most part, we’ll let the titles speak for themselves. And if we’re missing a video, we should have included, forgive us; it was all we could do to narrow it down to 9, and it is all the way up to 9, only because we couldn’t leave any 1 of these out.

Since the last two documents were not mentioned in any of the text in this report, I’d like to give you one or two notes now on why they’re included..

The 12th Document is entitled, ‘Terra Viva - Our Soil, Our Commons, Our Future - A new vision for Planetary Citizenship’. It’s 104 pages long (2 pages per PDF page), with a Table of Contents right after the intro. In writing ‘Terra Viva’, with her many international associates on that project, Dr. Vandana Shiva, the leader of the Seed Freedom movement, envisioned a society which “exchanges a linear process of exploitation of land and resources with a circular process based on reintegration and regeneration, which in turn guarantees resilience, sustainability, justice, and peace. This new agriculture (culture) is part of a process which aims to redefine the very concepts of democracy and freedom. It is capable of generating both a new economy and a new democracy; Earth Democracy.” Beautifully written, Terra Viva makes so much sense.

The 13th Document is Pope Francis’s 184 page ‘Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si - Of The Holy Father Francis – On Care For Our Common Home’. It’s not just about Climate Change. Besides Human Rights and many related subjects, including the right to Food and Water, it covers most every environmental subject, including Biodiversity, GMOs, Air and Soil and Water Pollution, Our Oceans, Forests, and more. We encourage you not to miss, at very least, the introduction, and pages 9 to 12, where the Pope introduces St. Francis of Assisi, after whom he named himself when he was elected Bishop of Rome. St. Francis was a total nature loving “hippie”, very much like the spiritual environmentalist, John Muir. There’s a Table of Contents at the end, and we encourage you to peruse the Science in the words of the Pope, and see how he presents it. In general, the scientific community was very supportive of the accuracy of his presentation and conclusions.

Whether you are a religious person, and, like the Pope, you accept the realities of science and the natural world, or whether you are an atheist, who believes solely in the science, you’ll equally see how relevant and urgent all of these subjects are.

One more thing, the 7th video is a two hour recording of a webcast on January 31, 2018, the day after Trump’s first State of The Union address, of a program in Washington DC, called “FossilFreeFAST”, hosted by Reverend Lennox Yearwood and Bill McKibben along with the folks at, and with many other sponsors. Rather than suggesting you just sit there and watch it, I’m asking for you to use it in organizing grass-roots watch parties and fundraisers for activism on climate, for raising donations for, or for, or for, or or for any many environmental organization. Find a room with a big TV, and it’s time to party (!!!), while hearing some truly inspirational stuff. It includes a little music, and early on, it features Bernie Sanders on Climate Change, who, as always, knocks it out of the park, (“What we are talking about is nothing less than the future of this planet.”- Bernie Sanders). You’ll hear from many incredible activist speakers with incredible stories from every corner of our nation. “No, we are not alone.”, as Michael Franti of Spearhead reminds us (but, not in this video). After working hard on climate action, banging our heads against the walls, it’s nice to take a break, and feel like you’re part of a larger community, and watching this video, will do just that.

The youth from every country in the world, who take Climate Change as a real ‘existential threat’, are our best hope for change. They’re done accepting the ‘BullShit’, and as soon as they can, you can bet, they will join us in voting for Climate Action.

We thank all of our US and international readers (from over 150 nations). We really do appreciate you taking the time to read our articles. And we extra-appreciate when you refer them to friendsThat’s where our readers can really make a difference. If we can make people aware of the Science behind what they obviously see happening, and they gain an understanding, and share that understanding with enough friends, we’ll have more of a chance of taking real #ClimateAction, and actually do something about it.

We love getting feedback. Our email address is:, or if you prefer Twitter, you can use: @Mikethemikeman1. For the sake of our people, our families, and Mother Earth, we encourage all of you, as charter members of Woodstock Earth, to spread the word and help get these stories out.

Part 14: Documents
Part 15: Videos

Crisis Inherited:
The Our Children's Trust Story

Our Children's Trust: An Introduction

James Hansen and Sophie Kivlehan,
his granddaughter, and plaintiff in Federal Climate Trial, discuss ‘Young People's Burden’ research


Climate Change, Capitalism & Community—Trailer

Our Best, Last Chance
with Eric Holthaus, at Earth Games on Tap 2018

FossilFreeFAST Livestream 1-31-18
The Climate Resistance

Kids Head to Court to Fight Climate Change
MSNBC – Morning Joe

Click Here for the MSNBC video

Activists Condemn Failure of 2017 UN Climate Talks
to Address Interrelated Crises of
Climate, Energy & Inequality
Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now

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