from time zone to time zone
from time zone to time zone
I contemplate Dorian, prowler of North America’s Eastern seaboard from southern tropical waters to Canada in the North.
rebelling in all directions
water wind fire earth
Rain and more rain fills the roadside ditch a safe distance away from my house. I think of the people in my hometown fleeing the Ottawa River.
spring floods –
holding ponds fill with
As heat and humidity increase, populations of bugs, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and stinging flies, are rising—some of them carry West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. Covering up is essential. My solution is to wear a tube scarf and hat on my head, a netted pullover and netted pants (bug shirt and bug pants) over light summer clothing.
netted bug shirt
blocks those bloodsuckers
Carpe Diem Summer Retreat 2018, Finding the Way, July 15 to August 14.
let’s name this
betrayal of trust
preserve to perpetuate
air water shelter
let’s name this
to mitigate disaster
floods droughts hurricanes
jailed for death of son
No charge for head of state who
ignores climate change?
to name is
to take a stand is
to call this
neglect, perhaps manslaughter
I wrote this poem after the close of the world climate summit held in Bonn—the leader of the largest carbon emitting nation expressed an intention to withdraw the United States from the international climate agreement. Despite this stance, an independent delegation of sub-national United States leaders attended to report ongoing efforts by states, cities, businesses and citizens to achieve the carbon emissions target agreed to in the 2015 Paris Agreement. I am warmed by the words of Fiji’s Prime Minister, who opened the summit with the overall sentiment: “we must not fail our people”:
The need for urgency is obvious. Our world is in distress from the extreme weather events caused by climate change – destructive hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts, melting ice, and changes to agriculture that threaten our food security. All consistent with the science that now tells us that 2016 was a record year for carbon concentrations in the atmosphere.
All over the world, vast numbers of people are suffering – bewildered by the forces ranged against them. Our job as leaders is to respond to that suffering with all means available to us. This includes our capacity to work together to identify opportunities in the transition we must make.
We must not fail our people. That means using the next two weeks and the year ahead to do everything we can to make the Paris Agreement work and to advance ambition and support for climate action before 2020.
Opening speech of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji, President of the United Nations Climate conference held in Bonn November 6 to 17, 2017 (COP 23)
I look and tremble.
When I look away,
it still remains,
free market mantras
fumes of exhaustion–
we forget who we really are
who we can become.
Photo of coal plant is in the public domain, made available by Pixabay.
We attribute ancient hatreds, religious intolerance or simply greed to many of the current conflicts. However, from desertification to eroding shores, climate change has intensified resource scarcity, poverty and hunger. Vast new waves of migration may have a political ignition, but the fuel is climate change, from Africa to Asia. Somehow, even Syria’s conflict can be attributed to the spark of longer-term drought. No continent has been secure, including the more developed ones.
Often war and terror are seen as greater global threats than climate change. This view does not recognize that environmental stress fuels violent conflict. How? Global warming creates stressors such as drought, famine, insect infestations, destruction of food supplies and destruction of shelter (think floods, fire, hurricanes). Such disasters lead to mass migrations. As Muhamed Sacirbey notes in the above quote, hunger and dislocation are sparks that ignite conflict.
Hunger—conflict—depletion of arable land—conflict—water shortages—conflict—failed crops—conflict—homes destroyed by natural disasters—migration—friction between migrants and natives—conflict—military zones—persecution—migration—conflict. Food, water, arable land, and places to live are essentials that people fight for in times of scarcity.
A United Nations Global Trends Report released in June 2016 states that worldwide forced displacement has reached an all-time high: in 2015, one in every 113 humans (65.3 million people) were displaced from their homes due to violence and persecution.
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Thank you for reading my Sunday quote post, number 2 in a series of three for a Three Day Quote Challenge. I would like to thank Louise Farrell of Fantasy Raconteur for inviting me. I love this challenge as it gives me a nudge to do a kind of post that I enjoy.
As part of the challenge tradition I invite three other bloggers to join in if it strikes their fancy. Before I list the nominees for this week, I would like to talk about using quotes in posts. When I first started blogging I was mystified by references to quote challenges until I discovered what it was all about from reading blog posts, particularly those linked to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge, hosted by Colleen Chesebro and Ronovan Hester. There are many approaches to using quotes in posts, for example:
If you have a secret desire to try a 3-quote challenge, let me know and I will nominate you next week. For today I have chosen three nominees who I ask to not feel in any way obliged to follow through—not all bloggers enjoy this type of challenge. My nominees today are:
Magarisa of Becoming Unstuck
Yazek of Successia
The ‘Rules’ or suggested guidelines are:
Fumes seep and spiral,
Canaries in the coal mine
Chirp their last faint song.
RonovanWrites’ prompts of the week (trill and final) made me think of canaries in a coal mine. Initially, I had an image of canaries singing to warn of danger. However the canary warning is not their chirping–it’s their death. Miners used to bring caged canaries into mines to warn them of dangerous gas leaks. When their feathered friends passed out, they knew it was time to get out of the mine.
As Wednesday is the day I do a quotations post, I searched for a ‘canary in the coal mine’ quote. I was not disappointed. I found three interesting candidates–the first two have an environmental theme and the third one offers artistic inspiration.
“Whales are humanity’s canary in the coal mine,…As ocean pollution levels increase, marine mammals like whales will be among the first to go.”
Roger Searle Payne (born January 29, 1935) is an American biologist and environmentalist famous for the 1967 discovery (with Scott McVay) of whale song among humpback whales. Payne later became an important figure in the worldwide campaign to end commercial whaling.
“I believe that these sea lions that are washing up along the coast are actually acting as important canaries in the coal mine, warning us of some ocean changes that contribute in fact to human health.”
Dr. Frances Gulland is the Director of Veterinary Science at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. Dr. Gulland has been actively involved in the veterinary care of stranded marine mammals and research into marine mammal diseases since 1994.
“I sometimes wondered what the use of any of the arts was. The best thing I could come up with was what I call the canary in the coal mine theory of the arts. This theory says that artists are useful to society because they are so sensitive. They are super-sensitive. They keel over like canaries in poison coal mines long before more robust types realize that there is any danger whatsoever.”
What do you think about Kurt Vonnegut’s theory? I believe he was pondering human survival and asking ‘how do the arts promote the survival of humankind?’ His answer, quoted above, is that artists (writers, painters, photographers, dancers, actors, musicians, etc) are more sensitive; in touch with feelings, senses, imagination, intuition, and such. Artists notice more of what is going on in the world.
A bit elitist or grandiose? Perhaps, but Vonnegut may have been onto something. Another approach would be to attribute sensitivity to artistic endeavour rather than to those who pursue it full-time. In other words, people are more fulfilled and aware when they can incorporate the arts into their lives. We all have the potential to be canaries in the coal mine.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction.
In response to Jane Dougherty Poetry Challenge #14:
Running Against the Wind
Why are we running against the wind?
Been trying for hundreds of years,
Wants and needs left wisdom behind.
Why are we running against the wind?
Black smoke and fumes choking us blind,
Ice cracks; only polar bears hear.
Why are we running against the wind?
Been trying for hundreds of years.
The challenge this week:
…choose a favourite line, of a song, a poem, a play or a novel, and let it inspire you. You can change it, transform it or reproduce it in any poetic form you like.
My poem uses an altered form of ‘I was runnin’ against the wind’ from the song, Against the Wind by Bob Seger. Please follow the challenge link at the top of this post to discover other poems quoting or rephrasing lines from other sources.
©2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, made his State of the Union address last Tuesday (January 12, 2016). He addressed many important issues, but my focus is on how the current leader of the United States proposes to address climate change. The good news is that President Obama talks about taking steps to transition away from the burning of fossil fuels. Whether or not those steps will be sufficient, is, at this stage, less important than whether those who support action will prevail after the elections later this year. Here is an excerpt from his speech where he addresses climate change:
Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You will be pretty lonely because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.
But even if — even if the planet wasn’t at stake, even if 2014 wasn’t the warmest year on record until 2015 turned out even hotter — why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?
Listen, seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills and employs more Americans than coal — in jobs that pay better than average.
We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy — something, by the way, that environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support. And meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.
Gas under $2 a gallon ain’t bad either.
Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future, especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. We do them no favor when we don’t show them where the trends are going. And that’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. And that way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system. (APPLAUSE)
Now, none of this is going to happen overnight, and yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, the planet we’ll preserve, that is the kind of future our kids and our grandkids deserve. And it’s within our grasp.
Now, climate change is just one of many issues where our security is linked to the rest of the world, and that’s why the third big question that we have to answer together is how to keep America safe and strong without either isolating ourselves or trying to nation- build everywhere there’s a problem.