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The message of Earth Day. Balancing despair with hope, vision and action toward a sustainable, just future.

Earth Day 2015: A Balancing Act Between Hope and Despair

For most chroniclers of recent history, April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day, marks the beginning of the modern environmental movement. It was a different time in so many ways. Instead of SUVs and hybrids, muscle cars and big sedans dominated the roads, guzzling leaded gas at an average cost of 35 cents per gallon. The exhaust spewed out their tailpipes mixed with…

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2014 hottest year on record. What, me worry?

2014 Hottest Year on Record – Some Thoughts

Was 2014 the hottest year or wasn’t it – and does it matter?  – Widely reported this past week was confirmation from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), concurring with the Japanese Meteorological Agency, that 2014 as the hottest year on record. NASA’s GISS Surface Temperature Analysis shows an average global temperature for the year at  at 14.68° Celsius (58.42 Fahrenheit),…

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Maintaining hope in the face of an onslaught of money and denial in the 2014 midterm elections

Searching for Hope in the Wake of the Midterm Climate Fiasco

For all those who support climate action, it is hard to find a reason to hope in the wake of the 2014 midterms. The fact that most of the new slate of Republicans deny the scientific consensus on climate change and support fossil fuels warrants our despair. President Obama cautions us to avoid cynicism. As Obama said in a recent…

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The Koch Brothers will protect their fossil fuel interests to the detriment of a sustainable future

The Koch Brothers Control of America 

Charles and David Koch are brothers and oil billionaires who have a long history of political interference and climate misinformation. Their multifarious support for fossil fuels has helped to slow America’s adoption of renewable energy. They have also undermined efforts to pass climate and energy legislation at both the state and national levels. They have even managed to influence the…

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A healthy environment leads to human well-being. Can we leverage the climate crisis for planetary health?

The Pearl in the Oyster – Leveraging the Climate Crisis for Human and Planetary Health

We may be able to leverage the threats posed by environmental degradation in a way the could contribute to human health and galvanize action on climate change. The deteriorating state of our environment has prompted research that shows how the preservation of the natural world augments our physical and mental wellbeing. Adverse health impacts from climate change combined with the…

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Leave climate change deniers to the lunatic fringe

U.S. Climate Denial Will Not Die Quietly

Those engaged in efforts to enlighten climate deniers can learn a great deal from the long history of the anti-evolution movement. Almost one hundred years ago this month, a young high school teacher by the name of John Thomas Scopes went on trial for teaching Darwinian evolution. To this day, the science of evolution has been under siege. Climate denial is like resistance to evolution in that it is an irrational…

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Clean coal used to mean less dust and dirt. Coal was never clean. The concept of clean coal has evolved but that reality hasn't

Clean coal was all about no dirt or dust back in 1921

“…The public wants coal and must have it.”   Wall Street Journal. Editorial excerpt: September 30, 1902 (from ‘A Journal Sampler,’ July 8, 2014.) It was a time of big industrial growth in big, big cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis, as coal fed the maw of uber expansion. In fact, the latter part of the nineteenth century, provided…

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