Friday, April 11, 2014

Thousands Remain Homeless Following Solomon Islands Flash Floods

ADDED 4-14-14: IPCC Report Released Today

How many more will now be doomed to rising seas, extreme storms, droughts and floods because we refuse to face our addiction?

Death Toll Rises in Flood Hit Solomon Islands

Disease is now an urgent concern with 2 toilets for 2000 people in one camp! Misery follows this lack of preparation as heavy rains are too much for infrastructure. These are exactly the conditions that we can expect to intensify as climate change becomes more severe. These disasters are what is happening now while people concern themselves with FOX NEWS. We no longer have time to care what FOX NEWS is saying. The reality of this and the science behind why these events are so much more severe has been known for years. We now need to ask this question: What is more important? Getting the Earth prepared for the catastrophe of our making as we certainly will continue to behave against our own survival or constantly arguing with someone who will never understand or care? As with the entry I placed here about Colombia as all the other entries about the loss of life, culture and the systems that sustain us due to climate change, this is becoming too overwhelming to continue business as usual.

Thousands Remain Homeless Following Solomon Islands Flash Floods

By Ika Koeck, IFRC

On 3 April, flash flooding triggered by prolonged heavy rainfall swept through the Solomon Islands, killing at least 17 people and leaving more than 20 missing. An initial assessment estimated that 12,000 people in the capital city of Honiara were affected. Another 37,000 people across Guadalcanal province were displaced when the Mataniko River burst its banks and carried entire riverside communities away.

The flooding in Honiara forced staff from The Solomon Islands Red Cross to evacuate from their headquarters and establish an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at the Honiara Hotel from where they have been coordinating relief efforts. More than 10,000 people remain sheltered in 26 evacuation centres set up around the city. Red Cross teams assisted in the evacuation of vulnerable communities along the Mataniko River and registered people in shelters. Emergency response teams deployed to the main evacuation centres have been working with other relief agencies and the National Disaster Management Office to distribute food and non-food relief items.

Electricity and water supplies to the city have been disrupted, and there are growing concerns for the health of the local population.

"We really need to get on top of helping these people live comfortably and hygienically, and ensure they are being fed and looked after well. That's our greatest concern now here in Honiara," says Joanne Zoleveke, secretary general of the national Red Cross society."

End of excerpt.



Solomon Island Floods:Photos

"At least 19 people are dead and another 40 remain missing after devastating flash floods struck the Solomon Islands late last week. Another 49,000 people have been left homeless by the rising waters and over a dozen bridges have been washed out.

The floods were caused by a slow moving low pressure weather system that dumped rain on the islands on Thursday, causing major rivers in cities to burst their banks and inundate surrounding areas. The Mataniko River, which runs through the heart of the capital city, Honiara, pulled dozens of houses into the floodwaters and brought down a bridge as it overflowed its banks.

That weather system has since been upgraded to tropical cyclone Ita and could bring severe weather to parts of the Philippines still rebuilding after Hurricane Haiyan. To add to the misery of islanders and the difficulty of the recovery effort a 6.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the region late Friday.

“This is unprecedented, and I’ve seen earthquakes and tsunamis and other very bad flooding incidents,” Katie Greenwood, country director of Oxfam told the Guardian.“But this flash flooding is unlike anything that I’ve seen previously here in the country.”

End of excerpt

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Global Flood Map/Solomon Islands

Cyclone Ita: Queensland hit by 'very destructive' storm

Destructive Cyclone Ita mentioned above has now hit Queensland, Australia rapidly intensifying from a strong Category 1 to a Category 4 equivalent cyclone in just 12 hours Thursday.

SST/Australia

So again, we know cyclones hit this area of Australia. It is not about that but the amplififcation of severity and ferocity that leads to what we now see happening with more frequency throughout the world. Take a look at current SST (Sea Surface Temperature) off Eastern coast Of Australia.

The heartbreaking disasters culminating from our fossil fuel addiction continue. The longer we wait to take adequate global action the worse it is going to get.

NASA GISS Shows March 2014 Was Third Hottest on Record as Arctic Heatwave Spurs Siberian Fire Season to Early Start



This is April 12, 2014. Notice the Arctic red. Methane?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A Voice From The Future



Dateline: 2050.

I write to you from the future. I think it is necessary for me to do so considering that many living in your present 2014 still do not comprehend the true urgency of what is now taking place due to mankind's insistence that it either has little to no effect on the systems of the Earth that sustain it or that what is occurring is not going to come to full catastrophe in its lifetime so it just doesn't care. As a voice from the future I am writing to tell you how so very wrong and immoral that assumption is.

I am writing from a place where water is now not something we see everyday though it was once flowing. We once had prosperity here which allowed us to grow a number of crops that brought us great wealth. However, we truly did not understand the definition of true wealth until the drought of 2020. We had thought the drought of 2014 was bad but it was nothing like the one to follow six years later and by then we had drilled so far down into the ground that most of the water had already been used with little being replenished due to changing rain patterns and snow melt that left us next to nothing. It was only then that we realized where our wealth was and that we had squandered it.

Many people left after that and moved inland, though it wasn't much better there as the main aquifer as well was running too low to sustain the huge thirst and hunger of a growing population. Many of us now are doing what we can to adapt (tapping the declining table of the Great Lakes in a tenuous agreement with Canada) and asking this question: Where were you all in 2014?

If you recall, in 2014 and in all the years before it back to the 1950s (which is about one hundred years ago now) scientists warned that if humans continued on the path they were on there would be a time when they would push Earth's systems to a place they had never been before. As more scientific data came forward and these effects began manifesting themselves at a greater pace it was obvious these warnings were correct. Yet, people continued to place power in the hands of the very entities and governments of the world proliferating the crisis and continued to burn fossil fuels, deforest land and pollute the water and air denying that the cumulative effects would do much if any harm. Even countries that signed that so called climate treaty in Paris in 2015 signed in name only because they knew that even in 2015 it was too late- that they had waited too long- perhaps by design.

Well, I now ask you from the future: Is this not harm?

Our oceans are acidic, our marinelife dying. A combination of climate change with other human factors as well as erosion and sea level rise are now laying waste to many low lying areas of the world. Some species of fish are no more because they were all fished out of the ocean with areas of the Atlantic and Pacific now cordoned off and designated as no entry zones due to the amount of waste and pollutants.

We now have seen the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, the Maldives, the Carteret Islands, Vanuatu, much of Bangladesh and many other island nations under the rising waters as continued logging and oil excavation also led to greater subsidence in concert with sea level rise due to anthropogenic climate change. Many were evacuated years ago yet still suffer from the injustice of being given no citizenship and no place to call their own. Many indigenous people were pushed off their land to make way for mega-dams that did nothing but provide limited power to the rich while ignoring the plight of the poor as their lands were flooded, their agriculture destroyed and their cultures decimated. This led to conflict in concert with the effects of climate change with many dying.

On the continents, heatwaves have increased in severity and global food output has decreased. North America has become much like a desert in the Southwest US with many species dying due to drought. The Midwest as I mentioned before is not faring too much better as people moving inland from both coasts now fight over remaining water supplies and resources to sustain a growing population. Sea level rise on the East Coast is now encroaching on many shore areas and salt water intrusion also affecting agriculture. The East Coast also was lulled into a false sense of security after Hurricane Sandy when it had not seen another storm for the next couple of years. However, the hurricane that hit the coast in 2019 was even stronger than Sandy as many shore areas were totally taken by the sea. The huge storm caused great economic turmoil and the emotional and psychological effects are still being felt today. Yet, fossil fuels continued to be burned.

There was a great insurgence started in 2014 to bring about an end to what was called "fracking" in order to save water with more civil disobedience leading to a renewed hope. Then the KXL pipeline was approved and that started massive resistance but to no avail. I visited the memorial dedicated to those who fought and died in fighting to stop it. Brave people. It was however, the administration in place at the time like all before it that bowed to the fossil fuel industry instead of putting principle first even in light of these warnings that precipitated all this by continuing to allow tarsands.

Their "All Of The Above" policy did little to help solve anything as continued forcing and feedbacks on the system made the increases in renewable energy though promising not enough to stave off the effects of what was happening in the Arctic which was virtually all but ignored except for a few who rang the alarm bell.

Then the Arctic War began in 2025 as governments of the world continued to loot the planet of its fossil fuel resources in order to control the energy markets thus leading to more casualties once again of our young people fighting for a false choice that has done nothing but lead us to more conflict. It was the people in Congress then who denied all this because it brought them oil money as well who have much blood on their hands.

South America is in what seems to be perpetual drought and flood stages with much of its wildlife suffering as many more have died and resource wars rage there. It is a constant struggle to keep the Amazon from being totally deforested as illegal loggers and crime lords wage war against indigenous people to land grab. Monoculture as well has not lent to prosperity for anyone but industrial agriculture/biotech companies with effects manifesting themselves across the environmental sphere with great losses to biodiversity.

In Europe, Asia and Africa there were great uprisings by the people as well, however the effects of climate change now overtake many poor areas of the world with constant conflict over resources raging with military control of many areas. Australia has seen the worst effects as the Great Barrier Reef is dying and coal and oil exploration has brought Australia to the point of being the focal point of climate change effects. This once again due to government apathy to principle.

While some good has come from all this in that many more people have awakened and mobilized it has been too late in many places to forge a real change as the Anthropocene era is bringing us full circle regarding our species. We are now in a stage called "peak oil" as we see the end of the carbon age upon us as we now have no choice but to transition, but now knowing it will not help stop what has already been put into motion. Since we collectively did not heed the warnings of those voices from the past regarding the consequences of our addiction nor answer the call with our moral voices we in this world now in 2050 face the turning point of our existence as a civilization as we see our cherished places being lost to us forever. It could all have been avoided if only those living in 2014 and before had put aside their pettiness, hubris, selfishness, political hatred, pride and greed to understand that what they did then effected now.

Therefore, while you still live in 2014, heed the warnings of my voice from the future: Water is your wealth. It is your life. Unless you see that in concert with finding your humanity the events described because you did not will play out.

It is your time now to save what you can and to prepare to adapt to the world you have the power to make. Use it wisely.


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I don't think this is even half of what we will experience by 2050. However, I think sometimes people need to see a glimpse into the future which is really now in order to appreciate the time we have in the present to make the right choices, because time is running out... and believe me, it took great restraint on my part to not be more emotional in writing this. Our children do not deserve this!

Perspective is now imperative and we can no longer claim ignorance.

Also see:

IPCC: Climate Change Increasing Risk of Hunger, Thirst, Disease, Refugees and War

New IPCC Report More Sure Of What We Were Already Sure About

The Oceans Warmed Up Sharply in 2013

Monday, April 07, 2014

Extreme Drought Causes Environmental Crisis In Colombia

Extreme Drought Causes Environmental Crisis In Colombia

On World Water Day, March 22, Colombian news reports were released with horrific photos of scores of dead wildlife. A devastating drought has created an environmental crisis, threatening public health and killing more than 20,000 fish and animals in the Paz de Ariporo municipality of Casanare, Colombia. This water shortage rings the alarm that we need to adjust environmental policies regarding our water resources from the local to the international level.

SLIDESHOW ► Slideshow

The three Waterkeeper organizations in Casanare, Colombia—Rio Meta Waterkeeper, Rio Pauto Waterkeeper and Rio Cravo Sur Waterkeeper—have spent years fighting for access to clean water as a basic human right, advocating for industry compliance with Colombian law and educating citizens about the detrimental effects of industrial hydrocarbon exploitation, and the uncontrolled expansion of thirsty agriculture and livestock industries at the expense of small farmers, rural communities and the environment. It is clearly time for Colombian environmental policy and institutions to be strengthened, and for all world citizens to reconsider placing economic interests, dirty energy and unsustainable technologies before the environment and our public health. Global water resources need to be a priority in all political and policy conversations, and as citizens we need to organize our communities to defend and conserve our water.

The Orinoquia region of Colombia is seasonably vulnerable to environmental pressures because it is an expansive savannah with submerged wetlands during the wet season, April to December, and desert-like conditions with temperatures consistently above 100° Fahrenheit from January to March. Historically, the principal industry is cattle farming, and it is rich in wildlife, including rare animals like capybaras, as well as turtles, alligators, foxes, jackals, wild pigs, deer and many species of fish.

The last three months have brought one of the worst dry seasons in Colombia’s history, drying up the reservoirs that already handle excessive demand from cattle farms, exploratory oil drilling and exploitation, and unsustainable land use for commercial crops. We are now seeing the devastating consequences of these unregulated industries, with widespread loss of wildlife from dehydration.

Public statements that this is an abstract consequence of climate change are simplistic and do not attribute responsibility to the multinational industries directly causing environmental damage through water overuse and indirectly by contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as evidenced in the new IPCC report Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. As Waterkeepers we are calling on the Colombian Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Mines and Energy and National Authority of Environmental Licensing to fulfill their legal responsibility to prevent large-scale environmental disasters and protect public health and key ecosystems.

SNIP

Clearly, an environmental disaster of this magnitude has several causes, as our ecosystems are delicate, complex and interconnected. It is important that we use our developing knowledge of climate change in assessing and improving our current economic and environmental strategies from the local to the international level. To effect real change we need to pressure the appropriate governmental bodies to hold the oil, agriculture and livestock industries accountable, and to protect their citizens.

SNIP

Today, climate change strikes Casanare, Colombia with extreme drought and thousands of wildlife deaths. Nearly every month we hear of another environmental disaster caused by extreme weather events around the world. If we do not heed recommendations to adapt our behavior and mitigate the disastrous consequences of climate change immediately, how many will be affected tomorrow, and where?

End of excerpt

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"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."

Albert Einstein.



20K Wildlife/Livestock Dead Due To Brutal Drought

It is very hard to write about these horrible events especially knowing what is to come. There are not many more ways to express the urgency of this and hard to have hope as well especially among the silence. This is beyond heartbreaking and cruel. The quote above from Albert Einstein says it all. How can this not touch your very soul?!

Humanitarian Disaster in the Sahara

Algeria has stranded 13,000 migrants in the Sahara forcing them to walk across it in response to EU directive to North Africa to lessen mi...