Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Climate Crisis Update: Thunderous Warning Echoing Down from the Highest Peaks; Still, Small Voice in the Garden Soil

The "Primitivist" Henri Rousseau painted "The Dream" in 1910. It hangs in Manhattan's MOMA

Climate Crisis Update: Thunderous Warning Echoing Down from the Highest Peaks; Still, Small Voice in the Garden Soil

By Richard Power

This is the Vernal Equinox. Spring in the north of the world, autumn in the south of the world. Life is a oneness. You cannot have the one without the other.

On this Equinox, I ask you to listen -- not to me, but to the oneness of this world. There is a thunderous warning echoing down from the highest peaks. There is also whisper of promise from the still, small voice in the garden soil.

Can you hear one or the other, or better yet both in a rhapsodic mingling?

It is not just the melting of the polar ice, and the subsequent rise of the sea levels that threatens our future, it is also the melting of the mountain glaciers and the subsequent drying up of the rivers that give us our fresh water.

It is not just the burning of fossil fuels in automobiles and power plants that is causing the climate crisis, it is also how we grow and distribute the food we consume.

Here are three warnings from those who listen to the mountains, followed by a promise from those who listen to the soil.

On this Equinox, heed the warnings and embrace the promise.

Celebrate life by changing how you live.

The world's glaciers are continuing to melt away with the latest official figures showing record losses, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced. ... Data from close to 30 reference glaciers in nine mountain ranges indicate that between the years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting and thinning more than doubled. UNEP, 3-16-08

The sparkling glaciers high up in the Rwenzori Mountains—and their crystal-clean mountain streams—may be no more, according to WWF, the global conservation organization. Climate change has taken its toll on some of Africa’s highest peaks; the mountains’ glaciers are on their knees. A 27-person team from eight nationalities has just returned from the Rwenzori Mountains with some startling observations. WWF, 3-17-08

Europe's Alps could lose three-quarters of their glaciers to climate change during the coming century. That is the conclusion of new research from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) in Zurich. Richard Black, BBC, 3/xx/08

In "There’s a Homegrown Way to Address Climate Change," an op-ed piece in the Seattle Post-IntelligencerAnna Lappé writes of Seattle Tilth and its global implications.

Asked to name climate-change bad guys, most would tag Shell and ExxonMobile before Sara Lee or General Mills. ... We’ve been missing a huge part of the story. The global industrial food system — from how we grow crops to the way we raise livestock and what we do with the waste — accounts for at least 33 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, according to analysis of data from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. The livestock sector alone is responsible for nearly one-fifth of the world’s total emissions — more than the entire transportation sector. ...
Here’s the good news: We already know how to build a climate-friendly food system. Indeed, organizations such as Seattle Tilth have been showing the way going on three decades. We now have long-term evidence of the wisdom of their work.
Research is showing that organic farms can decrease emissions by eliminating fossil-fuel based agricultural chemicals, for instance, and working with nature to foster soil fertility, promote animal health and handle pests and weeds. Organic farms can also be effective “carbon sinks,” removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and fixing it in soil. ...
Anna Lappé, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3-13-08

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

For the Words of Power Climate Crisis Updates Archive, click here.

Click here for access to great promotional tools available on The Eleventh Hour action page.

To sign the Live Earth Pledge, click here.

For analysis of the US mainstream news media's failure to treat global warming and climate change with accuracy or appropriae urgency, click here for Media Matters' compilation of "Myths and Falsehoods about Global Warming".

Want to participate in the effort to mitigate the impact of global warming? Download "Ten Things You Can Do"

Want to join hundreds of thousands of people on the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and become part of the movement to demand our leaders freeze and reduce carbon dioxide emissions now? Click here.

Center for American Progress Action Fund's Mic Check Radio has released a witty and compelling compilation on the Top 100 Effects of Global Warming, organized into sections like "Global Warming Wrecks All the Fun" (e.g., "Goodbye to Pinot Noir," "Goodbye to Baseball," "Goodbye to Salmon Dinners," "Goodbye to Ski Vacations," etc.), "Global Warming Kills the Animals" (e.g., "Death March of the Penguins," "Dying Grey Whales," "Farewell to Frogs," etc.) and yes, "Global Warming Threatens Our National Security" (e.g., "Famine," "Drought," "Large-Scale Migrations," "The World's Checkbook," etc.) I urge you to utilize Top 100 Effects of Global Warming in your dialogues with friends, family and colleagues.

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