In early July, I asked Truthout readers to share the weather anomalies they are witnessing on their home turf. Large numbers of readers responded with a range of harrowing observations, from vanishing snow, to shifts in seasons, to skyrocketing temperatures, to wildfires and floods. People often conceptualize climate disruption in very theoretical terms – as if it is a phenomenon that will take place in the future. However, as the Truthout community knows, the impacts of planetary warming are very real – and they are happening now.
. . . → Read More: Mourning The Changes That Surround Us: Readers Speak Out, By Dahr Jamail
Editor’s Note: What this means is that a 4 degrees C rise in temperature is baked into Arctic drilling in the short term. In the long term, the rise will be 6 degrees C. 6 degrees C is unequivocally not survivable by any life form on this planet. Can we please stop using the words . . . → Read More: Stop Calling It Climate “Change”: This Is Climate Catastrophe: Royal Dutch Shell Drives Earth Over The Edge
A stunning new study published in the prestigious journal Science concluded that we are on the verge of causing “a major extinction event” in the oceans, and one of the scientists who authored the study stated frankly, “I honestly feel there’s not much hope for normal ecosystems in the ocean” without a dramatic shift away from the current business-as-usual fossil-fueled economy. Additionally, another recent study found that sea levels are now rising 25 percent faster than previous estimates, and the acceleration witnessed in the 1990s is even more dramatic than previously calculated. To make matters worse, another major study published in Science recently found that human activity has already pushed the planet beyond four of its nine “planetary boundaries.” The conclusion of the study said that at the rate things are progressing, the coming decades will see the earth no longer as a “safe operating space” for human beings, let alone most other species. The four boundaries we’ve already crossed are the extinction rate, deforestation, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous (land fertilizers) into the oceans.
. . . → Read More: Species Extinction, Human Chronic Disease On The Rise, As Climate Disruption Mounts, By Dahr Jamail
Some scientists, Guy McPherson included, fear that climate disruption is already so serious, with so many self-reinforcing feedback loops already in play, that humans are in the process of causing our own extinction. August, September and October were each the hottest months ever recorded, respectively. Including this year, which is on track to become the hottest year ever recorded, 13 of the hottest years on record have all occurred in the last 16 years. Coal will likely overtake oil as the dominant energy source by 2017, and without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change.
. . . → Read More: Are Humans Going Extinct? By Dahr Jamail
As we slide now into flu season, into a time of year when we are normally braced for winter diseases, colds, flus, sick days and cancelled plans, the American people has also now been truly exposed to another disease entirely: the excruciating truth about our health care system’s dysfunction — and the prognosis doesn’t look good.
. . . → Read More: I’m A Hazmat-Trained Hospital Worker: Here’s What No One Is Telling You About Ebola, By Abby Norman
The single greatest truth underlying the Ebola tragedy is that humanity is systematically dismantling the ecosystems that make Earth habitable.
. . . → Read More: Ebola A Symptom Of Ecological And Social Collapse, By Glen Barry
We are in uncharted territory with the Ebola virus disease (EVD). The last time we had a plague that was this deadly was the Black Death in the 14th century, when there were only 450 million people in the world. That pandemic killed 30% to 70% of the population. There is no benchmark for EVD, which kills 3 out of 4 people it touches, and is emerging into a global population of 7 billion.
. . . → Read More: Uncharted Territory For A System In Overshoot, By Mary Odum