Government Inaction on the Climate Emergency
More than 90% of the countries signing the Paris Climate Agreement have failed to meet their target emission reductions. Some countries, notably the U. S., have instead grown their emissions beyond the worst-case predictions.
The original goal was to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees celsius (2.7 degrees fahrenheit). However, national actions that would keep warming below 2 degrees celsius (3.6 degrees fahrenheit) were acceptable. Only three countries are on track to do either of these. Most are on the way to increases of 3 or 4 degrees celsius. Scientist fear that these higher increases will wipe out human civilization.
Government Inaction on the Mass Extinction of Wildlife
At the same time global warming is threatening humanity, global wildlife numbers are plummeting. This itself threatens the survival of human civilization even without the compounding effect of global warming. Under threat here is the soil, the foundation of life on Earth. And in the oceans, the delicate chemical and temperature balance that allows abundant marine life to exist.
As the majority of the world’s citizens become aware that both climate and extinction are in danger of spiraling out of control, there are growing efforts to direct our governments to take action. Since the time India separated from the British Empire, we have all known that peaceful demonstration and protest can force major changes. The Student Strike, the progressive politics embodied by the Green New Deal, and The Sunrise Movement are starting to have an impact on government policies. It is essential that these groups welcome and endorse the efforts of the Extinction Rebellion. It is essential that all of us take part in local demonstrations sponsored by these and other groups concerned with avoiding extinction.
Photo: Rupert Read
Here are the basic demands of the Extinction Rebellion. I expect these will be expanded in the months ahead:
These demands only represent XR US. They are still in the process of development.
- That the Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, it must reverse all policies not in alignment with that position and must work alongside the media to communicate the urgency for change including what individuals, communities and businesses need to do.
The Government must enact legally-binding policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and take further action to remove the excess of atmospheric greenhouse gases. It must cooperate internationally so that the global economy runs on no more than half a planet’s worth of resources per year.
We do not trust our Government to make the bold, swift and long-term changes necessary to achieve these changes and we do not intend to hand further power to our politicians. Instead we demand a Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from the wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose.
We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty; establishes reparations and remediation led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities for years of environmental injustice, establishes legal rights for ecosystems to thrive and regenerate in perpetuity, and repairs the effects of ongoing ecocide to prevent extinction of human and all species, in order to maintain a livable, just planet for all.
The first U. S. XR (Extinction Rebellion) events begin tomorrow.
There are many growing threats to nature and humanity. The growing human population that now exceeds the Earth’s carrying capacity is producing toxic wastes and is eliminating natural habitat. Food and water shortages for people and wildlife are causing hardship, death, and for wildlife, extinctions. Those first loose snowballs of the coming avalanches of destruction are rolling by and the only way we will break the inertia of capitalism and its plutocratic and kleptocratic governments is to take control of our political systems. The hour is late, but there is still time to save some of our planet’s health and beauty. The message below came to me from the Alliance of World Scientists (AWS) that formed after last year’s Warning to Humanity.
You may wish to join in the “. . . upcoming global day of public demonstrations on March 15th, with details available at fridaysforfuture.org. This event was inspired by Greta Thunberg, the internationally famous Swedish youth activist whose one person Student Strike for the Climate has engaged hundreds of thousands of students around the world to demand policy change that considers their climate future with the utmost clarity and gravity that it deserves.
The youth demonstrating that day will be joined by additional thousands of adults (including scientists) who come to support their demands, which are demands for the kind of action that will benefit of all life on Earth. We make you aware of the day of demonstrations should you wish to personally attend, or share the information with your students, family, or friends. (Map of global events here.)” — Alliance of World Scientists
See Greta on this short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5iHuSFJIEI
Trump and the Republicans act as if they want the US to become a fascist country ruled by wealthy people and corporations.
Fascism (Merriam-Webster): A political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. Government regulation limits individual rights and freedoms.
Social Democracy: Incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices. The pursuit of profit is open to all, but it is regulated to improve people’s lives, guarantee personal freedom, and protect the environment.
It’s starting to look like it. CO2 emissions this year (2019) are expected to be the highest yet. Even if we achieve AOC’s 2035 end to fossil fuels, we may not avoid the tipping points..
“A series of recent studies and reports suggest that, without immediate and drastic action, the worst-case climate scenario will become the rule rather than the exception”–Kate Wheeling.
Not to Wall
View of the border fence between the US states of Texas and New Mexico, left, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, right, on Jan. 25, 2017.
GR: Instead of building a wall on our southern border, we should look closely at the causes of emigration from the south. Is there anything we can do in Central and South America to help reduce immigrant numbers? Worldwide, the growing human population is destroying wildlife habitat and polluting the Earth’s surface. Rather than solving our emigration problem, a wall merely treats a symptom of over population and climate change. And it causes problems for wildlife.
Drought-prone places like Arizona, Syria, and the dry west coast of Central America are facing increasing emigration pressure as surface and subsurface supplies of water decline. We should be analyzing potential steps to take to mitigate drought effects in the Central American Dry Corridor (CADC). Drought is increasing in the tropical dry forest region on the Pacific side of Central America that stretches from the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, Mexico, to the western part of Costa Rica. The drought is impacting portions of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Is there an environmental solution to the decline in productivity or is population reduction through emigration and birth control the only answer?
Severe drought has continued for several years. Here’s a map that shows locations.
“Besides the 600 miles installed, there may be 1,953 miles of border wall yet to come. In one generation, humans will have successfully disintegrated an extraordinary biodiversity web that evolved over millions of years. It is a legacy of which we should not be proud. Building the border wall sacrifices the ancient biodiversity of North America for the momentary political gain of one president. Our biodiversity is less flexible, requiring millions of years to evolve to its intricate state of ecological intactness. Further construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall will undoubtedly lead to the death of countless species in the process—adding to the 10 million species marching towards extinction worldwide as a result of the broader human footprint” –Jennifer R. B. Miller.
BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – “Poor harvests caused by drought in parts of Central America could leave more than two million people hungry, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, warning climate change was creating drier conditions in the region” –Anastasia Moloney.
2556 scientists have endorsed a study that shows just how devastating Trump’s wall will be for wildlife.
Illustrations of the Weeds of Coldwater Farm
All invasive plants are weeds but not all weeds are invasive.
In fact, a great majority of weeds aren’t invasive. Most are native plants that respond to natural and human-made disasters by covering and protecting exposed soil. They do not invade native vegetation by spreading among the longer-lived, shade-casting plants that make up what we call climax vegetation. Here are illustrations of the 153 weed species observed or expected to appear at Coldwater Farm. Click images to see weed names and image creators. If there is no name or creator given, or if you want information on a weed’s characteristics including its value as medicine and food, refer to the book Weeds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona available from Amazon.
Drawings, Paintings, and Photographs
Plant identification is easier with drawings made by an experienced botanical illustrator than with photographs. In photographs, important features aren’t always distinct on a particular leaf or flower. An illustrator can emphasize the appropriate features. Photographs are useful for showing plant colors and typical settings with other plants.
For each weed, I tried to present the best illustrations available. Many of the drawings are by Lucretia Breazeale Hamilton from the book An Illustrated Guide to Arizona Weeds by Kittie Parker published in 1972. In the gallery, they are usually identified as “Parker”. They are included with the generous permission of the University of Arizona Press. Most of the photographs have Creative-Commons licenses that allow reproduction only requiring attribution to the photographer (CC BY 2-4 and BY-SA 2-4). I did not alter the photographs except as needed to fit them on the page and make them suitable for printing. Some of the drawings and photographs are from U. S. government web sites and are in the public domain. Paintings were available for some of the weeds. The ones I used are over 100 years old and are in the public domain. For all images, Weeds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona has the names of creators in the captions and in an Index of Illustrators, Painters, and Photographers just before the General Index.
You can find more works by the photographers by entering their names or the names of the plants they depicted in the search box at Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, or Flickr Creative Commons. “GR” in a caption identifies photos by me. You can use my photos as long as you attribute them as “© Garry Rogers.” Look up Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 to read the license requirements.