The Air We Breathe

We need a healthy environment.

In fact, a healthy environment (for us humans, as well as for other life forms) should be a top priority; far higher than the profits sought by the few among us who get rich by fracking and blasting and pumping for more cheap hydrocarbons to sell.

We topped 400 ppm CO2 last week. Hopefully, more people are slowing down to take a look at the CO2 problem, and trying to learn more about it … and about what they can do to help fix the problem. In support of that, here is a an animated graph from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth Science Research Lab). It shows the annual rise of CO2 as modeled across the entire globe, from 1979 onward. The graph on the right shows the growth of the Keeling Curve for more than thirty years, and an annual ‘clock’ that demonstrates the seasonal variations. The graph on the left shows the wilder fluctuations in the northern hemisphere and at the North Pole (90° N); note, too, how the line slowly rises up, like a bathtub on its way to overflowing.


And here are a few links for video/audio content:

James Hansen’s Ridenhour Courage Prize
One of the earliest people to speak up about the looming CO2 problem (and one of the first to come under intense attack from climate denialists) was NASA scientist James Hansen. He was awarded the Ridenhour Courage Prize, and gave a short (six-minute) speech on 5/3/2013. [transcript] He outlined the persistence of the CO2 problem and offered a simple and equitable solution that discourages excessive fossil fuel consumption. His suggestion is that a stiff carbon fee/tax should be assessed, with ALL OF IT being disbursed in equal amounts to all legal residents. He emphatically adds, though, that “….not one dime of the carbon fee should be used to make the government bigger…,” and “…the government is incompetent to choose the best technologies; let them all compete.”  WEB
Dalai Lama, David Suzuki et al, at an Environmental Summit
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was here in Portland late last week, attending an environmental summit. On Saturday 5/11/2013, he sat on a panel at the Veterans Coliseum, with David Suzuki, Andrea Durbin, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. WEBWEBWEB
Some Appreciated Comic Relief
Many have noted how our Presidential candidates completely ignored climate change and CO2 last fall, how the media tends to miss the stories, and how TV news and weather reporters seem to go out of their way to avoid even a reference. So, have you ever wondered what would happen if your local TV meteorologist just got tired of suppressing the facts and blew a gasket and let go with a ‘real’ weather forecast? Here’s a pair of short videos from 2012.
…Meet Pippa, the TV weathergirl…
(click on the images to watch the videos)

the Labor Day weekend forecast…

…and another forecast in late September