It’s not a fluke, it’s climate change
Last week, Robert Redford wrote an article on CNN, “The big question I want answered.” After waiting so long to prevent unlivable weather from burning fossil fuels, Redford is asking, “What do we do now?”
Redford lives in California and has seen firsthand gigafires burning four million acres with people running from the flames. These are not only massive, but the crown fires and strong winds changing direction are more like hurricane wildfires, the “perfect storm” during the pandemic. Climate fires make fire suppression methods used in the past obsolete. Firefighters risk their lives from the toxic gases created by the combustion of trees, homes, and anything in their path.
Coal, crude oil, and natural gas and all related products are called fossil fuels because they were formed from buried remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Extracting these old relics, miles deep in the ground, is like traveling back in time to release a toxic micro bacterial soup. By 2050, drug-resistant infections are predicted to kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined. Choosing profits over people breeds deadly viruses and bacteria.
Fossil fuels have a high carbon content, the main source for electric power, sold at a low price, as if burning them to create steam was a pollution and emission-free process.
The price of carbon emissions is real. The Carbon Fee and Dividend is a fair way to stop carbon emissions. If you use your sidewalk as a garbage dump instead of paying for trash collection, you will be fined, and your neighbors will want to talk with you. Dogs love to hunt for treasures inside smelly trash bags. You will be responsible for the cleanup and all other damages from your dirty emissions.
The U.S. Department of Interior and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality illegally approved the expansion of the Montana Rosebud Coal Mine, extending the operational life until 2038. Why would our federal and state agencies in charge of protecting our land and environment side with Big Coal?
Coal mining is a source of methane emissions. Coal-fired plants are a major source of carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, and groundwater contamination from coal ash ponds. Documented damage since 1967 shows coal ash has injured people, fish, birds, amphibians and other wildlife.
Last week, Dr. James E. Hansen, Director of the Climate Science, Awareness, and Solutions program at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, joined a lawsuit to stop further coal mining at Rosebud.
Please visit Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions where Dr. Hansen and his team discuss the best climate solutions.
The U.S. electric generation is fueled by 21 percent coal and 44 percent gas, a total of 65 percent!
“Freedom gas” is mostly methane with leaks from head to tail. “Poison gas” would be a better name. Like the Covid-19 virus, an invisible, odorless, deadly threat, you would have to be a moron to keep burning and exporting deadly gas.
China is leading the way reducing carbon emissions. China is building new generation small modular nuclear reactors and working with the Paris Climate Agreement nations to replace coal.
Blaming China for our economic bust is just plain silly, why make China our enemy?
Robert Redford asks, why have we waited so long to act on carbon emissions as the planet gets warmer and we kill off species and the most beautiful places? Why would we wait another month?
Pope Francis’s new encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti” (we are all brothers and sisters), says we are one family spread all over the world with the same rights, hopes, dreams, and future. Pope Francis was inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of ecology, who saw the sun, sea, and all the animals as his brothers. Wherever he went he sowed seeds of peace and walked alongside the poorest of the poor.
Pope Francis shines a light to guide our way out of the climate crisis. To survive, we need to change together.