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Wildfires Burning in 11 U.S. States

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(CBS News) KETCHUM, Idaho – First came the drought, then the summer heat — the perfect formula for wildfires. And as of Monday night [Aug.22,2016], there are [were] 49 large fires burning in 11 western states.

In the mountains of Utah, smoke still billowed nearly a week after a fire was set off by lightning. The smoke nearly almost blocked the sunrise in Idaho. Thousands have been evacuated and the flames have crept near a prime tourist area… The flames have now burned across more than 100,000 acres in a part of Idaho famous for its scenery and known as a playground for the rich and famous.

Fires continue to rage outside Los Angeles, California.

Climate Change and the 1,000-year Flood in Baton Rouge: When Will We Learn?

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Climate Change and the 1,000-year Flood in Baton Rouge: When Will We Learn?

We’ve learned to quickly forget about this and other extreme weather linked to climate change because we love our cars and freedom to fly the globe on a moments notice. Our commercial and public media, educational institutions, professional sports, games and award shows all help us forget about reality and settle into John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever” mentality.

Inaction on Climate Change Could Cost Millennials $8.8 Trillion in Lifetime Income

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A new study has found that without action on climate change, the millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income dealing with the economic, health and environmental impacts of climate change.

Rio Olympics, Brazil – 3 Good Reasons for Calling Off the Games – NOW!

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Three Reasons why the International Olympic Committee ought cancel the games immediately (in no particular order of importance):

1. Russian Team Doping Scandal

2. The zika virus is being spread by mosquitoes in the state of Florida.

3. Jet travel to and from Rio de Janerio’s airport will dump millions of tons of greenhouse gases high into the atmosphere – FREE OF CHARGE!

Historic Showing of Global Warming and Its Causes and Effects This Wednesday Night, May 25, 2016, in Madison at the Barrymore Theatre

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Unless things change really greatly, AND FAST!, and we all together put the brakes on our fossil-fuel-burning-dependent world economy, NOTHING ELSE WILL MATTER! Doing so will not only be for the better now, in 2016, but it will be far better for the sustainable living of Earth’s future populations, other animals, and all other forms of life.
The film “This Changes Everything” is a MUST SEE for all who care about making the right decisions now, and in the future, for the good of humanity.

The new Avi Lewis film will be screened at 7 p.m. tonight in the Barrymore Theater, 2090 Atwood Avenue. The film delivers a powerful message on climate change through the language of floods, storms and droughts. Sponsored by the Madison Institute, 350 Madison, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Sierra Club.

Sadly, we are all now witnesses to the realization of global climate change, predicted by many dedicated global warming scientists over a number of years, as well as by other strong minded and conscientious individuals (some who are no longer with us). Those who dared to voice their concern about society’s almost mindless burning of fossil fuels in virtually all the economic sectors, especially for electricity, heating, transportation, and frivolous recreational pursuits, were systematically ridiculed, demonized or simply (and purposely) ignored (especially by the commercial and “right” wing media sources).

This occurred despite the overwhelming evidence that the concentration levels of greenhouses gases had been building up in the atmosphere (and the oceans) to unprecedented and dangerous volumes, according to the claims of the world’s most renown climate scientists following those statistics.  a direct result of humans burning fossil fuels in virtually all the economic sectors, the heavy energy use required to provide a meat-dominated consumer diet, plus the use of products made from distant locations, which require, therefore, require either very fossil fuel energy dependent (and heavily government subsidized) air travel, land (highway system also heavily subsidized and the building of upkeep of it is also a major greenhouse gas contributor as is its use, or sea travel.

Following the screening of the film, which will be beginning at 7:00 pm, there will be a discussion of local issues and planned action. Doors open at 6:30 pm for anyone interested in participating in per-screening discussions.

Hosted by a 350 Madison climate action team, for more information, visit http://www.350.org, contact the Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Avenue.

Also see April 20, 2016, blog post.

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World Asthma Day

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World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.

Asthma affects more than 26 million people in the United States, including one in 10 school-aged children. Asthma is the leading chronic disease in children. It is also the top reason for missed school days, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s Now or Never – Please Join the Movement to Save Our Planet from Runaway Global Warming by Signing “Preserve Our Climate” Petition

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It’s now or never, folks. What’s wrong with making extra income by helping to save our planet from run away global warming? If not for us, how about for today’s and tomorrow’s children? How about as an alternative to the federal government raising the minimum wage?

Our USA spends over $600 billion a year on military defense, and plans to spend trillions of dollars upgrading its nuclear weapons (see yesterday’s story on this at http://www.democracynow.org). This week, the U.S. Armed Services Committee of the House of Representative voted to approve 3 new combat ready naval ships, one more than the Navy had asked for!

In addition, our President Obama signed a multi-billion dollar spending bill on December 3, 2015 funding a major and costly rebuilding and expansion of the capacity of the country’s highway system, providing for millions of cars and trucks burning fossil fuels, free of charge. And rebuilding highways puts more millions of tons of greenhouse gases from the cement making process and large equipment emissions into our and future Earth inhabitant’s atmosphere and oceans, again, free of charge.

And next up is Congress’s continued funding of the nation’s aviation system, to provide the flying public with greater airport capacity, meaning more pavement of the landscape and more people flying, adding million more tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and oceans, again, free of charge. All of these billions of tons of emissions may be free of monetary charge, but they are certainly not “free” of cost. The ultimate cost of degrading the planet’s atmosphere, oceans and all growing things is insurmountable  —  upholding the status quo is clearly very, very costly – to us now and to all those who will have no choice but to live on the earth bequeath them.

It’s no wonder today’s children are getting increasing worried about what is reported to be happening to their future of their planet. They have good reason to be concerned, don’t you think? I know I do, and have said so for the last 16 years of my life, to my former employer (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – as a whistleblower), to my family,  to public and community radio , and to our area’s newspapers readers.

I also helped formed the nonprofit “Preserve Our Climate” with two area women, working to the inform Madison area people about the issue in the first few years of this century, holding workshops, funding a play at the University of Wisconsin Theater, and trying to keep “Kites of Ice” possible in Madison – the organizers ultimately decided the reliability of our Madison area lakes to have safe ice all winter long was no longer the case, thanks to a warming climate caused by an increasingly stronger “blanket” of greenhouse gases since Earth’s human population started burning ever greater quantities of fossil fuels in power plants, transportation, agriculture and in the construction industries.

Others concerned about the future of Earth’s climate have tried to change things, as well. But unfortunately, all the efforts have been to little avail, because the “powers that be” want to keep things the way they are, promoting the increased burning of fossil fuels often for frivolous activities. They are not only fools, what they are doing is criminal. Things will never be the same – they can never be.

But we have to do what we can to prevent a worldwide catastrophe of unimaginable dimensions. You can sign the Preserve Our Climate petition here. Then IMAGINE a world the famous peace activist and musician John Lennon believed was possible, until his life was taken.. And speaking of John Lennon, we need to “Give Peace a Chance”., and stop funding the militarism of the world as the famous civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about .  Peace is what most everyone who doesn’t profit from war wants; and not the continuing destruction of the planet and death and injuries to so many of Earth’s human and other populations.  Peace on Earth  is what all civilized beings need and deserve, not more “investment” in war.

Governments Everywhere Should Ban ALL Future Oil Drilling – ASAP

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The Obama Administration is right now assessing whether to permit commercial oil companies’ to do offshore drilling for oil in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

Why is our government wasting the nation’s dwindling middle and lower incomes after taxes (rich folk seldom pay taxes to the U.S. Government) on assessing whether to allow oil drilling in the oceans? That is LUDICROUS!

Not only is drilling for oil in the oceans ill-advised (certainly they must not have forgotten BP’s massive oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico which occurred 6 years ago in 2010?), the public’s burning of all that extra oil (a fossil fuel) could make the world’s best climate change predictor’s WORST GLOBAL WARMING NIGHTMARE FOR THE EARTH NOT ONLY COME TRUE BUT BE HERE SOONER!

Considering all the changes which have already begun occurring and expected to accelerate in future years to the earth’s climate, its massive but shrinking (rapidly) ice sheets, the rises in sea temperatures, acidity and continuing rises in the elevation of the oceans everywhere, and the increasingly costly and dangerous (stronger storms) submerging populous shoreland areas in the U.S. and elsewhere, the Obama and other nation’s administrations, worldwide, ought be considering permanent BANS ON ALL OIL DRILLING – BOTH LAND AND SEA – AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

“The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.” – Gaylord Nelson

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Gaylord Nelson at Wisconsin’s Governor Nelson State Park (undated photo)

Fly Like An Eagle (The Steve Miller Band)

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Naomi Klein: “We’re out of time on climate change. And Hillary Clinton helped get us here.”

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Naomi Klein shared her latest conclusions on how close Earth is to the “tipping point” on global warming and climate change in an April 7, 2016 opinion piece in The Guardian.com, and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton actions that have made things worse, not better.

Unfortunately, there are so many other federal and state politicians, virtually all so-called public and commercial-funded  media sources, and others who have also “helped” us get where we are now –some have even shown they understood and were aware of the significance of the problem being created (oil industry, possibly auto, truck and airline industries, highway, bridge and airport building industries, coal mining industry, possibly others) yet, almost unbelievably,  chose to continue selling the fuel despite knowing the the significance and potential for calamity for current and future generations.

The path to achieving sustainability on Earth for humans and most other species living on our planet is, unfortunately, rapidly narrowing. It could soon close, say the great many of IPCC climate scientists, and as a result jeopardizing the lives of children living today and in the future. Indeed, there are far too many people in the U.S. and most other developed countries who have not seen fit to overcome their dependence on fossil fuels for activities such as driving motor vehicles, flying jetliners, using products and services made more readily available because of subsidized fuel costs, conserving energy in their homes and mansions, and their choice of a lifestyle which is grossly overdependent on the burning fossil fuels in spite of the now widely accepted crisis which the president of the United States appropriately calls “urgent”.

In short, our continuing with our “business as usual” economy – one centered around the philosophy that we should “eat, drink and be merry” now, while throwing caution to the wind; a philosophy that we can eat our cake and still have it for tomorrow – is unfairly going to saddle the children of today and tomorrow with a planet that is, for all intents and purposes, dying, and thus less likely to sustain life in the not too distant future.

When you place a large kettle of cold water on a hot stove burner, one would not expect to see the water immediately come to a boil. It would take several minutes of heating for the water to reach the boiling point of 212 degrees F.. So it is with adding more greenhouse gases to the volumes of such gases already present in the atmosphere. At some point, scientists predicted the surface waters of Earth’s oceans would begin to show warming. Such warming has now been measured, along with the increase in sea level from thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers, worldwide. The warming of the oceans is increasing, ever so slowly because of the tremendous volume of water the Earth’s 5 oceans, but increasing at a faster rate with the continuing accumulation of more and more atmospheric greenhouse gases, which are cumulative over time

Clearly, our burning such vast quantities of fossil fuels in transportation and for electricity today, while paying nothing for the great harm being inflicted on future generations, is a monumental injustice. The damage being created by the present and recently passed generation’s fuel burning activities is undoubtedly huge and devastating to future societies and animal life – stronger and more deadly storms, worse flooding, longer droughts, hotter heat waves, and impairments to water and other life-sustaining resources and infrastructure.  Calling this anything other  than a crime against humanity seems too kind. The human and economic cost linked to people and animals who will be more exposed to degraded living conditions and more dangerous weather extremes is very real and predictable. Those of our society set on continuing to uphold the status quo of “business as usual”,  as our earth continues to warm under the blanket of a thicker greenhouse gas laden atmosphere have chosen the wrong path.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). Each book has been translated into over 25 languages worldwide. She is a contributing editor for Harper’s and reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. Additionally, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail, El Pais, L’Espresso and The New Statesman, among many other publications.

Naomi is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. She is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. In 2014 she received the International Studies Association’s IPE Outstanding Activist-Scholar award and in 2015 she received The Izzy Award honoring outstanding achievement in independent journalism and media. She holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia. (Photo by Kourosh Keshiri.)