Category Archives: environment

A Powered-Up Moon and A Tide With A Crown

Did you catch Sundays historic Supermoon?  This phenomena occurs when the moon is closets to the earth, radiates a sight that is true beauty.   Many people around the world enjoyed differing shades of red, while looking at a larger-than-life moon.

While most people were enjoying this event that won’t return till 2034, others were feeling it’s after effects.  The after effects I’m talking about are king tides.

A king tide (perigee tide) is a yearly occurrence when the high tide is at it’s highest point during the months of November-February.  While it is common and only happens 1-2 times a year, there are growing concerns for the overall increasing level of the tides.

  Because the gravitational pull is a lot stronger from the Supermoon this year, the King Tide was especially high.  In areas like Miami Beach, the rising water levels has caused  flooding to road ways and other infrastructure.  Reports of sea levels 2 feet higher than normal have flooded Boston this week.  Coastal flooding has become the new norm, as evidence has shown a rise of 6-8 inches since the 1960’s.

“A year ago, we were having to close the road twice a day because the water was about a foot taller than the ground,” said Coley. “If we have to close this road, that affects our police, our fire, our ambulance service.” — Ray Coley, Miami Beach Infrastructure director

Places close to the coast can’t afford an increase in sea levels.  If nothing is done, coastal areas can be inundated with floodwaters in as little as 15 years.  Geographical changes like this will force radical transformations to entire cities.

The rising sea level issue is undoubtedly a consequence of climate change.  However, this is only one caveat of the slew of issues we face in the battle for our environmental future.  

This U.S just recorded it’s third-warmest October on record and Canada is seeing an unprecedented 30 degrees warmer than normal temperatures.  In central Africa, climate change has made it unsustainable for small-scale farming, causing mass migrations to Europe .  Places like California is seeing its fifth straight year of severe drought, which has put considerable stress on crops and water use. 

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All of these alarming signs point to a warming planet.  That’s why it is so imperative we act now to prevent an impending calamity.  However, with the new president elect Donald Trump, we may be moving in the other direction.  Trump appointed a climate denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency and wants to back out of the Paris Accords; a plan to have 190 countries reduce their emissions of the carbon dioxide pollutants that warm the planet. 

These changes might cause catastrophic set-backs to an already ticking time bomb.  No one knows how much longer we have to take action before things are to late.  While we can lobby to fight against the changes the Trump administrations wants to implement, there are steps we can take ourselves.

With advances to technology, solar, wind, battery, and LED lighting costs have significantly dropped since 2008.  This is a great incentive for businesses to convert to a clean energy source. Things like carpooling, insulating homes, energy reduction, recycling and gardening are adjustments anyone can make to their everyday lives to fight climate change.

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Do your part. Stay educated and informed.  Change habits and educate others to do the same.  Lead by example and maybe the rest of the world will follow suit.

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The Water Protectors: The Dakota Access Pipeline

Is climate change something you believe in?  Are environmental issues a cause for concern?  Would you care if you no longer had access to clean water?

These questions are becoming a harsh reality for a Native American tribe called the Standing Rock Sioux.  The reality of the Dakota Access pipeline project directly endangering the tribe’s way of life.

The Dakota Access pipeline project aims to build a 1,172 mile long pipeline that would connect North Dakota to Illinois, in which to transport crude oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast or East Coast.  Supporters of this project see the potential to increase the region’s surrounding economy, while decreasing the need for imported oil.  However, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe see things differently.

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The pipeline would cross directly cross under the Missouri River at a place called Lake Oahe, which is only half a mile away from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.  This lake is used as the primary drink water for the reservation and is an integral part of their economy.

Although builders of the pipeline insist they’ve taken all necessary measures to protect against disasters, history shows leaks are almost inevitable.  The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has reported more than 3,300 incidents of leaks and ruptures at oil and gas pipelines since 2010.  The smallest crack will have detrimental impacts to the surrounding water supply.   Even with all these risks for contamination, the Energy Transfer company was able to find loopholes to pull the proper permits for construction.

Additionally environmentalists argue the pipeline would only fuel man-made climate changes by increasing the country’s oil infrastructure.  For these reasons we are seeing a vast majority of protestors on site at Standing Rock, physically halting the pipeline’s construction.

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Various groups of people from all different backgrounds have come together to stand alongside the Sioux Tribe (including a huge social media presence).  Even after controversial reports of brutal treatment (guard dogs, rubber bullets, sound devices) from police authorities, activists are still standing their ground.  Camps filled with tents and tipis will continue to occupy the space throughout the winter.  All united together to enforce the one message of “Water is Life”.

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How do you perceive this situation?  Do you believe nature should be protected at all costs?  Does water actually equal life?

If you believe in this cause you can sign the petition to stop this construction.