Extreme Weather Costing U.S. Billions – When Does The Climate Change Lightbulb Go On?

It’s been an exhausting and extreme year weather-wise across the U.S., as this pointed out in this Reuters article, Weather Disasters Keep Costing the U.S. Billions This Year. And yet, there is still resistance across that country and my own, furiously propped up by wealthy fossil fuel interests, to the scientific evidence pointing out people’s contribution, through our unrestrained burning of fossil fuels, to a warmer global atmosphere. A warmer atmosphere results in global climate instability, more extremes such as the floods, droughts, and wildfires that much of North America has been experiencing in 2011. Which just goes to show, as Saul Bellows, writer, and Nobel laureate (1915-2005) said:

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

All but about 100 acres of the 6,000 acre Bastrop State Park in Bastrop, Texas has been blackened by a wildfire. This video shot by Texas Parks and Wildlife on September 5 shows just how fast the fire moved through:


Nearly 100,000 people were ordered to flee the rising Susquehanna River on Thursday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped more rain across the Northeast, socking areas still recovering from Hurricane Irene and closing major highways at the morning rush. At Binghamton, N.Y., the wide river broke a flood record and flowed over retaining walls downtown:


Storms Sweep Through NEW YORK CITY August 19, 2011:


More links:

Get involved in spreading the word! Moving Planet 350.org

A Fiery Summer Continues

I can hear the Ministry of Natural Resources helicopter up in the sky early on this hazy Red Lake morning. The smoke from nearby forest fires continues to drift  into town, getting better or worse depending on the wind direction. This morning it’s heavier than it has been in a few weeks. The fire situation in the region is  keeping  the fire fighters extremely busy as our dry and sunny weather continues. Our family is planning another canoe camping trip this week, but where we go will be determined by the fire conditions when we leave on Wednesday. Currently there are three fires burning in Woodland Caribou Park, and the access point that we generally use is closed.

As the global climate changes from our carbon pollution in the atmosphere, scientists say we can expect more and more severe weather. This year in northern Ontario we are more fortunate than the folks in Texas, who haven’t had rain since last fall and whose farmers are now slated to get emergency relief from the government due to the conditions of “drought, excessive heat, high winds, and wildfires”. Those people who say that addressing climate change is too expensive, haven’t considered the big picture. Governments aren’t going to be able to afford to compensate everybody who faces calamity because of increasingly severe weather conditions. Former World Bank Chief Economist Lord Stern has said that climate inaction will cost one third of the world’s wealth. The Texas drought relief is just one small example of how we will all start to pay for our government’s reluctance to address this issue. How could they start? Carbon fee & dividend, which collects a fee at the source of the carbon pollution – mine, well, etc – and passes the money collected back to citizens and/or households (dividend) would allow the market place and human ingenuity to develop newer, cleaner ways of running our economy and producing goods. Want to learn more? Check out this great resource, Building a Green Economy, by Citizens Climate Lobby member Joseph Robertson.

smokey sunrise over Howey Bay. July 2011

Huge Sand Storm Causes Power Outages, Closes Airport in Phoenix

Some incredible footage from a huge sandstorm that blanketed Phoenix Arizona yesterday. One local resident said:

I have been in Arizona for 20 years and have never seen a storm this size. Once the dust reached us it was as dark as the middle of a moonless night.


Get ready for more and more extreme weather, folks, as our atmosphere continues to heat up thanks to our addiction to fossil fuels. As Chief Oren Lyons said when addressing the UN’s Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues back in 2007:

There is no mercy in nature; nature has none. It has only law, only rule. You don’t abide the rule, you suffer the result.

Want to hear more about the connection between extreme weather and climate change?  Check out these links:

Jeff Master’s Weather Underground: 2010 – 2011: The Earth’s Most Extreme Weather Since 1816?

Climate Progress: West Texas Sees Worst Drought Since Dust Bowl

An Introduction to Global Warming Impacts: Hell and High Water

Or have you had enough information, and are ready to move from “Well-Informed Futility Syndrome” to action, to protect your future, along with your children’s and grandchildren’s?  Moving from Futility Syndrome to action not only means your children have a chance at a better life, it also does wonders for your mental health!  I’m speaking as one who suffered from this syndrome until I was inspired by 350.org to take a stand back in October of 2009.  Check out these links, and/or contact me at 350orbust@gmail.com for practical ways to work on the most pressing issue of our times:

350.org: Moving Planet, Sept 24, 2011

A Rising Movement: 2010 Year in Review, 350.org

Citizens Climate Lobby (Canada)

Citizens Climate Lobby

An invitation to take action, and possibly engage in civil disobedience to demonstrate against the Keystone XL Pipeline project, was recently issued by leading North American activists, including Bill McKibbon, David Suzuki, Danny Glover, Naomi Klein, Dr. James Hansen, Maude Barlow, Tom Goldtooth, and others:

The short version is we want you to consider doing something hard: coming to Washington in the hottest and stickiest weeks of the summer and engaging in civil disobedience that will quite possibly get you arrested.

Click here to the read the full invitation and to respond.