2016 was the hottest year ever recorded at 1.26C above preindustrial times. Life as we know it is in dire jeopardy because humans are pumping heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 10X faster than during the previous 66 million years.
Nature is collapsing on land and under the sea. Unprecedented.
Man-made heat, infused into the oceans from climate-altering fossil fuels, has doubled since 1997. That’s the equivalent energy of detonating one atomic Hiroshima-style bomb every second for 75 straight years.
Next month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had scheduled a conference for climate change and health. Despite the warning of experts with the Union of Conservation of Nature -- 80 scientists from 12 countries -- that global warming is making the oceans sicker, spreading diseases in people and animals, the CDC abruptly cancelled the conference on Jan. 9. It did not explain the reason behind the decision.
Every successfully businessperson knows that, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Meanwhile, earlier this week at The White House, President Trump signed an executive order reviving both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. He authorized these pipelines in spite of a 2010-2015 analysis detailing more than 1,000 spills from US pipelines that leaked 7 million gallons of oil.
Whether or not Trump still owns an investment in Energy Transfer Partners, the operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the US presidency was designed to represent the people, not the corporations.
Frighteningly, President Trump believes he doesn’t need facts as long as ‘very smart’ Fox News viewers agree with him.
The air is currently so polluted that the Beijing city government told officials, including the smog police, to crack down and not set off fireworks or firecrackers to welcome the Lunar New Year. The government is determined to reduce putrid smog.
On the other side of the world, deadly wildfires razed an entire Chilean town. At least 10 dead and 1,000 building incinerated in the ruins of Santa Olga. An overheated world from burning fossil fuels brought stifling heat waves and gripping droughts to Chile in the worst fires in the country’s recent history.
A recent climate report from the European Environment Agency warned governments to prepare for rising sea levels, more extreme weather including heat waves, flooding, droughts and fierce storms as a consequence of global warming. The agency said climate change poses increasingly severe risks for ecosystems, human health and the economy in Europe.
Yesterday former Vice President Al Gore agreed to host the CDC’s cancelled climate change conference, it’s back on next month. The conference will take place outside of any government circles. Rather than at the CDC, it will occur at the nonprofit Carter Center in Atlanta.
There’s more uplifting news. Employees from more than a dozen US government agencies established a network of unofficial ‘rogue’ Twitter feeds in defiance of the Trump administration’s muzzle on communicating climate change research and other science.
In addition, scientists across America will soon march against the climate-denying Trump administration.
The only way to contend with the climate in crisis is to tackle it head on. Not to subsidize the biggest, wealthiest polluters to hasten the planet’s demise.
Earth Doctor Reese Halter’s upcoming book is “Save Nature Now.”