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The Biomass Fiasco

Stop cutting down trees for biomass… STOP WOODY BIOMASS! That should be a bumper sticker on every vehicle in America and around the world as easy-to-read bumper stickers are more effective than many forms of advertising.

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America’s Great Greenwashing

Celebrating 50 years of Earth Day, Michael Moore, executive producer and the director Jeff Gibbs re-released their daunting and alarming documentary about the heart and soul of America’s Green Movement in a compelling film: Planet of the Humans (2019).

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The Coronation

“Covid-19 is like a rehab intervention that breaks the addictive hold of normality. To interrupt a habit is to make it visible; it is to turn it from a compulsion to a choice. When the crisis subsides, we might have occasion to ask whether we want to return to normal, or whether there might be something we’ve seen during this break in the routines that we want to bring into the future.”

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The IPCC’s Worst Case Scenario

A recent landmark study of massive ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland fulfills the “worst case” prognosis, as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It’s a nightmare come true, as the impact of global warming on the planet’s most significant/biggest masses of ice multiplied six-fold in only 30 years. It wasn’t supposed to happen so unexpectedly, so suddenly.

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Book Review – “The Enlightened Society” by John L. Hill

John Lawrence Hill is an author and law professor who is very concerned about international human rights. This book is a manifest on how humankind can save ourselves while in turn saving the planet. He has since written other books that have a similar theme – The Case for Vegetarianism: Philosophy for a Small Planet (1996), and The Political Centrist (2009).

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Forever-Chemicals Tap Water

In Feb 2020, the Trump administration signed a regulation to remove America’s water resources from federal protection. “This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen,” according to the Southern Environmental Law Center.

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Global Warming on a Rampage

The year 2019 is the 43rd consecutive year since 1977 with both land and ocean temperatures above the global 20th century average. And the global rate of global warming has doubled since 1977, an ominous and clear signal of accelerating global warming. Frankly, it’s horrible news. Brace yourself!

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Amazon Onslaught

This month, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill promoting mining, expanded agriculture, and energy production on indigenous lands in the Amazon. During Bolsonaro’s first full year in office, Amazon deforestation increased by 85%, an eye-popping number expected to get even worse.

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Save Our Soil – Save the World

Our current system of food production involves monoculture, the tilling of soil, and the adding of biology-destroying chemical crutches. This destructive dis-empowering process is slowly decreasing the Earth’s health, and our health along with it. We need to be more expansive on our view of health – without our natural world thriving, then we have no chance.

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Mega Droughts Engulf Countries

Throughout the world, mega droughts are hitting hard with a ferocity not seen in decades and in some cases not seen in centuries. It’s not merely coincidental that as global warming accelerates droughts turn more vicious than ever before.

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Kill GDP to Help Save the Planet

There’s a problem with America’s favorite statistic: GDP. It avoids pretty much everything that’s actually, truly, really good for society, including the importance of robust ecology. Still, it’s the biggest measure of what’s happening with the economy and used around the world, even though horribly flawed.

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The Amazon at a Tipping Point

The Amazon rainforest is a crucial life-support ecosystem–without it, civilization would cease to exist beyond scattered tribes, here and there. But recent research concludes that the life of this beacon of biodiversity and resilience may soon come to an end: “The tipping point is here, it is now.”

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Biosphere Collapse?

The world is on a colossal fossil fuel growth phase in the face of stark warnings from scientists that emissions must decline to net zero. Otherwise, the planet is destined to turn into a hothouse. As things stand today, it appears “Hothouse” is baking into the cake.

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Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold

For tens of thousands of years the Arctic’s carbon sink has been a powerful dynamic in functionality of the Earth System. However, that all-important functionality has been crippled and could be permanently severed. According to new research, the “entire Arctic” now emits more carbon than it absorbs, a fact that can only be described as worse than bad news.

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Neoliberalism Backfires

Massive, continuous demonstrations in the streets around the world bespeak a universal threat that neoliberalism’s self-immolation will grow worse and worse if it continues its horribly stale rotted emphasis on globalization and austerity of social programs as the answers for progress. It’s backfiring.

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Ignoring Climate Catastrophes

The planet is coming apart at the seams right before the eyes of scientists at work in remote fringe areas of the North where permafrost crumbles and collapses. It’s abrupt climate change at work in real time, but the governing leaders of the world either don’t care or don’t know.

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Circles of Life

I wrote this about 20 years ago when I was really struggling to come to terms with the enormous destruction humanity is wreaking upon the Earth, while also appreciating the deep resilience of life.

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Methane SOS

Global warming is on speed, especially in northern latitudes where an international team of scientists recently made a startling discovery aboard the Academic Mstislav Keldysh (see photo above), the kind of discovery that sends chills down the spine, i.e., “methane bubbles boiling in water.”

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Earth 4°C Hotter

Because prominent scientists addressed the issue of a 4°C planet and because climate scientists, in general, are constantly apologizing for being too conservative, too timid in their forecasts, it is a worthwhile exercise to look at a 4°C world. It could happen within current lifetimes.

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Pounding Heat Clobbers Greenland

Greenland is one of the biggest targets for global warming, in part, because it’s so big it’s hard to miss. And sure enough, only recently crazy halting weather with inordinate hot temperature hit Greenland bull’s-eye, dead-on with one helluva meltdown. That’s bad news for pretty much everybody on the planet.

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Alaska Governor Demolishes Climate Research

Crumbling permafrost is an extraordinarily dangerous situation that, over time, can lead to deadly RGW (runaway global warming) and subsequent burn-off of mid-latitude agriculture and massive food shortages among other calamities. But, not to worry, there’s a political answer: Alaska’s governor, taking field notes from “Donald Trump’s Tips on Handling Climate Change” proposes: Defund it! Kill it! Hide it!

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The Flawed Food Dependency

Julian Cribb’s ‘Food or War’ is an important book: “The world faces the greatest threat to global food supply in all of human history… There has never been a situation faced by the entire human population at one time to compare with today’s.”

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The Dangerous Methane Mystery

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) hosts massive quantities of methane (“CH4”) in frozen subsea permafrost in extremely shallow waters, enough CH4 to transform the “global warming” cycle into a “life-ending” cycle. As absurd as it sounds, it is not inconceivable.

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Opening Our Hearts and Minds Across the Cultural Divide

After attending my first formal Maori meeting (hui), I took home a new perspective on a culture I thought I already knew. Turns out I know very little but would love to learn more and I’ll become a better person for it. This experience for me has brought to life a mantra I already believe in—‘Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself’, I just understand it better now.

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What’s the Measure of Success for Good Urban Form?

What’s the measure of success of good urban form? For me, it’s equity. This looks like all members of the community enjoying access to safe, reliable and affordable transport that connects them within the community and to amenities. It’s housing that doesn’t have labels like ‘social’ and ‘affordable’ – everyone gets to live in a space that benefits their wellbeing. It’s also when the intrinsic value of nature is incorporated into our spaces, not built out.

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Striking for System Change, Not Climate Change

Students have been striking all over New Zealand. Much has been said about the rights and wrongs of them skipping school to march the streets. From my experience, these students understand more about the problem and solutions we’re facing than many of the adults making decisions on their behalf. I spoke to a few of them at the strike to get their thoughts on what the government should be doing to take action against climate change and what they were doing individually.

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Ozone-Depleting CFCs Return

But on May 22nd 2019, the same Science News magazine that broke the good news and celebrated “A Shrinking Ozone Hole in 2012” newest headline reads: “Emissions of a Banned Ozone-Destroying Chemical Have Been Traced to China.” It appears that our ozone problems are not over yet.

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Custer’s Last Stand Meets Global Warming

A recent article in Arctic News on the outlook for global warming foresees a frightening scenario lurking right around the corner. Hopefully, the article’s premise of impending runaway global warming (“RGW”) is off the mark, by a lot. More to the point, off by really a lot in order to temper the sting expected when abrupt temperature increases hit hard, as projected in the article, which is entitled: “Greenhouse Gas Levels Keep Accelerating.” Oh, BTW… the worst-case scenario happens within one decade!

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The Zero Carbon Bill Through the Eyes of an Everyday Activist

The Zero Carbon Bill was released by the New Zealand Government on the 8th May, 2019 and everyone has an opinion on it.  Will it be any good for us, the biodiversity we cherish and the planet? The jury is definitely out on that one as scientists, academics, economists, politicians and everyday activists like me try to figure out what it will mean. Its intention is to get New Zealand on a pathway of no more than 1.5C warming, in a way which includes all sectors.

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Silent Spring’s Encore

Rachel Carson’s famous and brilliant book Silent Spring (1962), which single-handedly ignited the environmental movement, has never been more relevant than it is today. A mimeo of Silent Spring is scheduled for publication by the UN, as the most comprehensive study of life on the planet ever undertaken, an 1,800-page study by the world’s leading scientists that spells out in detail the results of a massive study of the world’s ecosystems. The conclusion: Nature is in “steep decline.”

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Pompeo’s Arctic Shipping Lanes

America’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo christened the Arctic meltdown: “A wonderful economic opportunity for international trade.” The silver lining within Pompeo’s pomposity is the inescapable conclusion that the world needs a wakeup call, a kick in the shins, or a hard knock on the head that an ice-free Arctic could be absolutely devastating. So far, the world community doesn’t seem to take the risks seriously, as CO2 emissions are ready/set for all-time records in 2019.

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Can Madness Save the World?

It is well known that people who fall into those deeply transformative and chaotic states typically referred to as “psychosis” often feel at different points throughout their journeys that they have received a special calling to save the world, or at least the human race. The great irony I have come to appreciate is that while I think it’s true that these individuals are often experiencing some degree of confusion, mixing up different realms of experience, I have come to feel that perhaps the key to saving the world, or at least the human species, may in fact actually be revealed within these extreme experiences.

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Bavarians Vote to Stop Extinction

Bavarians will implement a sweeping set of conservation measures, including: (1) Setting aside 13% of state land in special ecological zones, inclusive of ecosystem infrastructure of hedgerows, meadows, and wetlands  (2) Organic agriculture must be practiced in 1/3 of Bavarian farmland, as well as cutting out fertilizers on all state-owned farms to reduce nitrogen pollution (3) Protection of wetlands, waterways, and threatened insect populations by eliminating insecticides as much as possible.

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Will our Domination be our Downfall?

For those of us who’ve been paying attention to the general state of the world and human society, it’s readily apparent that we as a species have sent ourselves hurtling into the depths of a global crisis that has the potential to wipe ourselves out along with many of our fellow Earthlings. While it’s easy and certainly well justified to point our finger at the many harmful industries that have emerged from our society, could it be that what really lies at the root of this crisis is humankind’s sense of superiority?

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The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems

Sometime in the near future it is highly probable that the Arctic will no longer have sea ice, meaning zero ice for the first time in eons, aka: the Blue Ocean Event.Surely, the world is not prepared for the consequences of such an historic event, which likely turns the world topsy-turvy, negatively impacting agriculture with gonzo weather patterns, thus forcing people to either starve or fight. But, the problem may be even bigger than shortages of food.

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The Lost Teachings of Jesus: Have Compassion for the Earth and All Beings

Jesus Christ was sent to show humanity how to live and interact not only with each other but with the world around us. But the true essence of his teachings was lost when his group, the Ebionites, was disbanded after the fall of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD, and the final nail was put in the coffin when Christianity was blended with the Roman Empire in the 4th Century AD. I believe that another Christian reformation is coming, one that will show the world how to live authentically with compassion, love, creativity, and with a light impact on our beautiful planet.

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Arctic Permafrost No Longer Freezes … Even in Winter

The most sensitive areas to global warming, (1) the Arctic (almost all of its multi-year ice, or old ice, is gone- already melted), and (2) East Antarctica, the coldest spot in the planet… strangely melting, and (3) Siberian ground that “no longer freezes in winter” are three occurrences that should keep world leaders up late into the night, blankly staring at the ceiling.

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A Beautiful World of Abundance

Scarcity is one of the defining features of modern life. Around the world, one in five children suffers from hunger. We fight wars over scarce resources such as oil. We have depleted the oceans of fish, and the ground of clean water. Worldwide, people and governments are cutting back, making do with less, because of a scarcity of money. Few would deny that we live in an era of scarce resources; many would say it is dangerous to imagine otherwise. Yet it is not hard to see that most of this scarcity is artificial.

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