Nature 2016


Arrivederci Venezia
Sand Haven?


Arrivederci Venezia                            February 1, 2016

Never visited Venice? Make your plans now. Its years are numbered, along with so many coastal sights. But that’s simply a long-term threat, still a few years away. The immediate threat of climate change is severe weather. Warmer oceans supercharge storms. Hurricane Patricia was the first one with sustained winds over 200 miles per hour. Pam, the most intense cyclone on record, decimated Vanuatu. Fires in Indonesia killed 10,000 people. Record floods and droughts occurred all over the world. How can any thinking person deny that climate change effects are upon us?

The upward march of average world temperature did not peak last year as deniers predicted. Instead, a record high was posted and next year will exceed that. The natural variations our planet experienced over the centuries has been skewed by gases we now spew constantly into the atmosphere. Random volcanic eruptions simply superimpose their effect on top of the general curve.

Since preindustrial times, the planet is now more than halfway to the 2°C (3.6°F) “defense line” that the world’s top scientists and governments say we must stay well below to avoid catastrophic climate impacts. We have no more time to lose in slashing carbon pollution. And if you don’t believe this impact has already begun …

Okay smart-ass, so what are you doing about it? Good question. Obviously, governments and corporations must play a lead role. At least in the case of governments, I can vote and support candidates who want to address the problem. On a personal level, this summer we plan to install a solar power system (even in the cloudy northwest) and our next car will burn much less (if any) gas. Beyond that lies the myriad of little items that contribute their miniscule effects which over a population become significant … and we will probably forego the visit to Venice before it goes.


Sand Haven?                                         April 19, 2016

Yesterday the temperature here in Redmond, Washington went over 90 degrees (32.2 C). First time that’s ever happened in April.

Look around you and imagine you are standing up to your knees in a sixteen inch deep lake that stretches as far as you can see. That’s what dumped on Houston in a twenty-four hour period.

Weather extremes mount month after month. Deniers—pull your heads out of the sand before you drown or have your protruding rumps shriveled in a heat wave or singed by a wildfire.

Deniers of climate change, human rights, the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court decisions and appointments, curbs on violence, on and on, insult us with a myth of making America great again. The epitome of an offensive offence. The perpetrators are quick to condemn the hatred and violence of other extremists around the world (ISIS, Al Qaeda, Taliban, etc.). Yes, so far they are more violent. But is the American Taliban that far behind with their hate mongering and violence incitement? Tearing down America while claiming the opposite.

My last novel, Ickee Mushta, written a year and a half ago, predicted what has in fact transpired. As a reader recently said, the most frightening thing about the novel is that what started out as fiction may become non-fiction. I believe the election this year will prove that wrong. The optimist in me has faith that the vast majority of sensible people will drive back the destructive force that has taken over the Republican Party.

Still, the number of people that have their heads in the sand with respect to all claims of the extremists, not just climate change, is a serious concern. By and large, they are the very people being exploited. How I wish they would raise their heads and open their eyes to reality! There is no safe haven in the sand.

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