Antarctic Ice Melting: It's Not Just the For North Pole

“We found a significant increase in the length of the melting season at most of the stations with the longest temperature records. At one station the average length of the melt season almost doubled between 1948 and 2011.
—Dr Nick Barrand

For some time now, we’ve been hearing that Antarctica isn’t showing any evidence of melting ice. In fact, some data suggest that the ice cover at the South Pole has actually been increasing, something often used as evidence that global warming is a myth. So what’s the truth of that matter?

When one looks at the details of what’s happening at the South Pole, it turns out it’s a little more complicated than that. Satellite data help to show that indeed sea ice is increasing around the Antarctica continent. However, what skeptics and deniers fail to mention is that land ice at the South Pole is decreasing, and the rate of decrease is accelerating. Continue reading

The Discrepancy of Wealth Distribution

“It is neither wealth nor splendour; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.”
—Thomas Jefferson

I love this video. It explains the major discrepancy of wealth that exists in the US, and makes good points arguing that things need to change, arguments that are hard to contradict in my mind. Spend a few minutes watching this, and then I’ll point out what its significance is to fighting climate change.

Some of you may be surprised to learn that despite the fact that I support this video’s message, I tend to vote conservative. I believe that hard work deserves its rewards. But I also believe that being conservative means I want to conserve things. Like the environment. And I definitely don’t think that being conservative is the same thing as being selfish. Something that too many conservatives in North America seem to have forgotten.

So what does this have to do with combatting global warming and climate change? Continue reading

The Price of Carbon

“Many scientists and economists also say putting a price on carbon through carbon taxes and/or cap-and-trade is necessary.”
—David Suzuki

Climate Reality has produced a new video that eloquently—and, as always, humorously—describes the plight our planet is facing, and offers a solution that can help: putting a price on carbon.

Continue reading

Costa Rica: A Green Nation Getting Greener All the Time

Pura Vida
—means “pure life, or good life,” the most commonly heard phrase in Costa Rica, and reflects the Costa Rican way of life.

My family has just returned from our March Break in Costa Rica. We went with a Disney Adventure called “Costa Rica: Coast to Coast” and it took us from San Jose in the central valley to Tortuguero on the Caribbean side to the Arenal Volcano and lastly to Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste on the Pacific Side. We did zip-lining, white water rafting, and horseback riding. It was a trip we’ll never forget.

We booked the trip partly because we wanted to be sure we were somewhere warm for this time of year, partly because everyone we know who has been there has loved it, and partly because it focuses on ecotourism, trying to preserve its natural treasures and its wildlife rather than exploiting and destroying them.

In fact, its economy has been dramatically boosted by tourists who want to shoot animals with cameras rather than rifles. We saw sea turtles, toucans, crocodiles, various reptiles, three different species of monkeys (howler, spider and capuchin), three-toed sloths, and a variety of beautifully coloured birds, all in their natural habitats rather than in some wildlife preserve or zoo. After a while, iguanas seemed no more special than squirrels do back home, simply because they are everywhere.

As with any time I travel to a place I’ve never been before, I try to find out how they’re dealing with energy and the climate crisis. Are they embracing renewable sources of energy and trying to get off any dependence on fossil fuels? Are they working hard to preserve nature for tomorrow’s generations or are they destroying it in the name of today’s economy? Continue reading

The Vatican Goes Off the Grid

“The ecological crisis reveals the urgent moral need for a new solidarity, especially in relations between the developing nations and those that are highly industrialized… I wish to repeat that the ecological crisis is a moral issue.”
—Pope John Paull II

As the world welcomes the white smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and embraces Pope Francis I, it’s worth considering what the Vatican’s take on global warming and climate change has been over the years. Continue reading