Archive for Climate Change Posts

published in Change, Climate Change, Environment, Face the Future by Maryanne | March 31, 2017 | No Comment

This is the second blog in the Face the Future Spring 2017 blog series:

Countdown to the Carbon Bubble Burst – Point of No Return Dangerously Close

 

 

“For decades now, we’ve looked the other way as global temperatures and sea levels have risen, as the ice caps have shrunk, and as greenhouse gas emissions have grown unchecked. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, we’ve chosen to believe that we can go on living the way we’ve always done. We can’t. Our past choices are catching up with us, quickly.”

– Jeff Rubin, The Carbon Bubble; What Happens to Us When it Bursts

Happy Friday & thanks for being part of the Face the Future blog series!

Tomorrow – April 1st – is April Fool’s Day. It is also Fossil Fools Day – a national day of student action across Canada to raise awareness about the need for society to move away from fossil fuels as our primary energy source and towards a more sustainable future.

“Emissions from fossil-fuel consumption have remained at historically high levels since 2011 and are the primary reason atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing at a dramatic rate.”

– Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA

We are rapidly running out of time to make the changes that need to be made – in order to ensure a sustainable future.

Last weekend, I was browsing in my favourite bookstore (Munro’s in Victoria), doing my darndest to avoid worrying about the environment – despite the terrifying dispatches from Washington, DC about Trump & Company’s insistent denial of climate change AND the subsequent policy changes this denial is leading to.

But wouldn’t you know it, what book jumps out at me from the damn bookstore shelf? Jeff Rubin’s 2015 book, The Carbon Bubble; What Happens to Us When it Bursts. It was in the sale section.

Of course it was on sale! Who wants to read about reality? Especially when reality really sucks.

Alas, I am a glutton for punishment so I forked over my $7.99 and trundled home with my depressing treasure.

I haven’t gotten very far in the book yet but what I read in the first two chapters certainly wasn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep – especially since I also went on-line to research for myself the eerily rapidly increasing amount of carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels.

Did you know we actually have very few years left before we overload our atmosphere with carbon – beyond the point of no return?

“The longer we wait to reduce our emissions, the shorter the time we have left to power our world by burning carbon. And, unfortunately, the trend in annual emissions is moving in the wrong direction.”

– Jeff Rubin, The Carbon Bubble

Here are a few sobering facts from Rubin’s book:

1.) Anything greater than a 2-degrees-Celsius rise in average global temperature would overwhelm our capacity to adjust, putting the human population – not to mention countless other species of animal and plant life – at risk.

2.) Atmospheric carbon was stable at around 280 part per million (ppm) from the time of the last ice age (roughly 10,000 years ago) to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution (1760).

3.) According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the point of no return is 450 parts per million. Anything beyond that and the 2-degrees-Celsius threshold will be breached.

So how much time DO we have left until we reach the point of no return of 450 ppm?

You’re not going like the answer.

But first a few more facts from my on-line research (data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration):

1.) In February 2000, atmospheric carbon had reached 370 ppm.

2.) In February 2005, atmospheric carbon had reached 380 ppm.

3.) In February 2010, atmospheric carbon had reached 390 ppm.

4.) By February 2015, it had reached 400 ppm.

5.) By February 2016, it was 404 ppm.

6.) As of February of this year (2017), we were at 406 ppm.

So there I sat, studying the damn chart right before going to bed. A mathematician I am not – but  even my little pea brain could see that the atmospheric carbon number was increasing every year by 2 ppm. Until, that is, we hit 2015.

“The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record,” said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.

Uh oh.

So I pulled out my handy-dandy calculator and punched in a few numbers. Get this: if our atmospheric carbon continues to increase by 2 ppm per year, then we have 22 years left (we are now at 406 ppm) before we hit the point of no return (450 ppm).

BUT if we continue to increase by 3 ppm (or, God forbid, even more), we only have 14 years left. That would bring us to about 2030.

And then what happens? What would our world look like if we go over the 2-degrees-Celsius rise in average global temperature?

The answer, in a nutshell, is: Glaciers melt, ocean levels rise and crop yields falter. Please click here to read an article for more deets.

“The rate of carbon dioxide growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age. This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”

– Pieter Tans, NOAA

This should also be a real shock to us – the inhabitants that rely on said atmosphere…to survive.

Kay, great…thanks for ruining my weekend, Maryanne ☹

Or perhaps you might be asking, “What on earth can I do about this looming catastrophe?”

Or not.

But let’s say you do happen to care that we are hurtling ever faster towards environmental disaster, there are, in fact, two tiny things you CAN do right now:

1.) Join me in pulling our collective heads out of the sand on this issue

2. Check out this website that tracks our atmospheric carbon: Earth’s CO2

Or if you want to go directly to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration website that gathers the data, here is the link:

Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce)

But you might want to check that website out sooner rather than later. With the Environmental Protection Agency now its on way to going the way of the Dodo bird, Oceanic & Atmospheric data could very well be next on Trump & Company’s hit list.

Annoying scientific facts have no place in a post-truth world.

Happy Fossil Fools Day! 

Face the Future is an on-line environmental awareness campaign that raises awareness about how and why individuals can lessen their environmental footprint one step at a time. The 2017 blog series runs from Mar 24th to Apr 28th. To receive the weekly blogs via e-mail, here is the link to subscribe . Face the Future is an initiative of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.  

 

 

published in Change, Climate Change, Environment, Face the Future by Maryanne | March 22, 2017 | No Comment

This is the first Face the Future blog in the Spring 2017 series:

Don’t Forget About Earth Hour at 8:30 pm on Sat March 25th!

 

“No one causes climate change in isolation and no one can tackle it alone.”

2016 Earth Hour Report

Hallo & Welcome to the Face the Future spring 2017 blog series!

And what better way to kick off this round of Face the Future blogs than to raise awareness about Earth Hour.

What is Earth Hour?

Around the globe, millions of people, businesses, and landmarks set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and make noise for climate change action.

This year Earth Hour is at 8:30pm on 25 March 2017.

Earth Hour is a charitable organisation based out of Singapore. Their mission is uniting people to protect the planet. Coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other volunteer organisations, the purpose of Earth Hour is to shine a light on the need for action on climate change.

Earth Hour 2016 was celebrated in a record-breaking 178 countries and territories across seven continents and aboard the International Space Station, serving as a strong visual reminder of the globe’s determination to tackle our planet’s biggest environmental challenge yet.

Earth Hour is more than an event. It is a movement that has achieved massive environmental impact, including legislation changes by harnessing the power of the crowd.

What to do during Earth Hour?

You could host a candle-lit dinner 🙂 go stargazing, or simply switch off your lights for an hour.

If you’re on social media, here is the link for further details on how to help spread the word. Donate your social power for Earth Hour and help shine a light on climate action. Your action today can change our tomorrow. This is our time to #ChangeClimateChange.

Face the Future is an on-line environmental awareness campaign that raises awareness about how and why individuals can lessen their environmental footprint one step at a time. The 2017 blog series runs from Mar 24th to Apr 28th. To receive the weekly blogs via e-mail, here is the link to subscribe . Face the Future is an initiative of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.  

published in Change, Climate Change, Environment, Face the Future, Habits, Inspiration, Nature by Maryanne | November 16, 2016 | No Comment

Are You Concerned About the Environment?

 

Face the Future Christmas Blog Series Begins Nov 25th, 2016

face_future

“We don’t have much time. If we truly care about the future of our planet we must stop leaving it to “them” out there to solve all the problems. It is up to us to save the world for tomorrow: it’s up to you and me.”

– Jane Goodall, Reason for Hope

A Bit of Background…

I love this beautiful planet of ours and care deeply about the environment. I am extremely concerned about many environmental issues, from climate change and warming oceans to the plight of polar bears and the loss of wildlife habitat – and species – the world over.

My idea of the perfect Saturday afternoon is lying on the couch reading National Geographic, cover to cover :) My idea of the perfect Sunday afternoon is heading to the woods or beach for a hike with my dog, followed by a couple of hours of puttering in the garden.

I recycle as much as I possibly can. I try not to buy anything unless I really need it. I compost my kitchen and yard waste. I use my reusable coffee cup 99% of the time. Likewise with my Nalgene reusable water bottle. I use a cardboard box and reusable grocery bags to carry my groceries. In the summer, I try to hang my clothes outside to dry instead of using the dryer. I walk instead of drive as much as possible…

But I do have a car. I heat my home with oil. I love to travel and take multiple flights every year. As much as I love the environment and do what I can to lessen my personal footprint, I also contribute my fair share – and perhaps more, when it comes to air travel – to the problems :(

Which is probably why I didn’t get the Face the Future environmental awareness campaign going until the spring of 2016. I actually planned on getting Face the Future started SEVEN years ago – but for one reason or another, I kept putting it off.

Yes, I was busy with life and other work projects. But I suspect a part of me also felt like a hypocrite. How dare I tell other people how to reduce their environmental footprint when my own footprint is, at times, pretty damn big?

And the answer is: I can really only provide suggestions to people on how to reduce their environmental footprint in ways that I have already reduced my footprint.

So that’s what Face the Future is: a rather personal campaign about raising awareness about environmental issues and providing people with tips on simple ways they can help reduce their environmental footprint or take positive action in some way…because every little bit helps.

Even though I am just one imperfect person running a tiny company with limited resources, I reckon Mother Nature needs all the support she can get at this point.

What is Face the Future?

Face the Future is a grass-roots on-line environmental awareness campaign initiated by my company, Pink Gazelle Productions Inc. The purpose of Face the Future is to raise public awareness about the potential global impact of individual actions, while inviting people to be part of the solution by making simple changes in their own lives.

By reflecting the cumulative effect of seemingly harmless habits – such as vehicle idling, regularly using disposable hot beverage cups instead of a reusable cup, buying single-use water bottles instead of using a reusable one, etc – the Face the Future campaign is a call to consumers to ‘face the future’ by thinking globally and then acting locally.

Spring 2016 Blog Series

The Face the Future campaign began in spring 2016 as a weekly blog series, whereby a short blog went out once a week (every Friday) from Friday Apr 22nd (Earth Day) until Fri June 24th, 2016.

To read these blogs, please click here.

Christmas Blog Series: A Few Tips on How to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint During the Season of Gift-Giving

Starting Fri Nov 25th, 2016 we will be sending out a weekly Friday blog (for just 4 Fridays) that will focus on providing tips on how to reduce the environmental impacts of the Christmas season.

Subscribe to Face the Future

If you would like to receive these Face the Future weekly blogs, please subscribe here.

“Giving up is a copout because no one knows what the future holds. And although it is true that each of us is insignificant, a lot of insignificant people add up to a real force. For me, the rewards of getting involved are that I will be able to look my children in the eye and say, ‘I did the best I could.’”

– David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance; Rediscovering Our Place in Nature

Together, we may still be able to change the future we are heading towards.  Because if we don’t, who will?

take care polar bear picture by Ella

The next generation, that’s who. And how fair is that?

“The science is clear. The future is not.”

– Before the Flood, an outstanding documentary by Leo DiCaprio & Fisher Stevens

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive the Face the Future blogs, please sign up here.