Deforestation in Amazon Is Driven by Consumption | Will this Lead to Our Demise?

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 8, 2022 by Noreen WiseFounder & CEO of Gallant Gold Mediaand authorImage Credit: AdobeStock

Deforestation numbers for January 2022 have just been released and reveal that a staggering number of trees were felled in the Amazon rainforest this winter. This, despite it being the rainy season when loggers usually stay away, and despite the fact that 141 world leaders, including Bolsonaro of Brazil, signed the Declaration On Forests and Land Use at COP26 in Glasgow to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. 

This record high 166 square miles of leveled rainforest, is significant in size. It’s a little larger than the land mass of Philadelphia. A shocking swath of biodiversity that has been cut out of the Amazon’s dense wilderness in defiance of existing protections. This has set-off alarm bells for environmentalists and NGOs who are enraged that such a tragedy could occur on protected land, especially sections of the pristine, Indigenous areas of Brazil.

Bolsonaro is no friend of the environment. Since becoming President in 2019, he immediately loosened environmental protections, eyeing Brazil’s rich natural resources as a way to boost the Brazilian economy. Bolsonaro’s world view is that nature should be exploited to reduce poverty. 

Bolsonaro is not alone in this Anthropocene perspective. American biologist and naturalist E. O. Wilson, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author, wrote about the warped Anthropocene perspective in his book Half-Earth. Wilson cited the work of Peter M. Karieva, former Chief Scientist and Vice President of the Nature Conservancy, who advocates that nature preserves should be opened up for profit. That our remaining wilderness should become “working landscapes.” Karieva never entertained the idea that there would be consequences, despite the immense scientific proof warning of the dire and deadly consequences of destroying biodiversity. 

“Biodiversity holds the world steady.”

E. O. Wilson 

According to NOAA, the Amazon rainforest stores an astonishing 123 billion tons of carbon. Amazon deforestation has brought this massive carbon reservoir to a tipping point, where the large treeless areas of the Amazon are now emitting more carbon than they once absorbed. The imbalance of global carbon emissions rising, and the smaller area of the Amazon storing carbon, is partly what’s fueling the climate crisis.

The force driving the record deforestation of the Amazon wilderness is unchecked global consumption. The forest is primarily cleared to grow cash crops, and raise cattle, as well as harvest timber. According to Stacker, the following are the top 20 consumer products from the Amazon rainforest:

  1. Soybeans
  2. Beef
  3. Chocolate
  4. Vanilla
  5. Rubber
  6. Gold
  7. Golf balls
  8. Food coloring
  9. Medicine
  10. Diamonds
  11. Black pepper
  12. Coffee
  13. Wood
  14. Brazil nuts
  15. Corn
  16. Sugar
  17. Palm oil
  18. Rice
  19. Bananas
  20. Pineapples 

Deforestation in the Amazon has skyrocketed in the past twenty years. The leveled 75 million hectares in the Amazon have now destabilized climate across the globe. Several of the products on the list of 20— bananas, cacao/chocolate, Brazil nuts — generally aren’t harvested on deforested land turned into farms. Soy beans and cattle ranching are the primary drivers of deforestation. But much depends on how the farmers grow their crops. Consumers have to demand information about the farming practices. Are they regenerative, organic, all natural? Do the farmers plow and release all the stored carbon in the soil? Do they use pesticides, have cover crops? All these details matter in determining if the land is storing carbon, like it did when it was forested, or if it’s now emitting carbon and destabilizing the world. 

Consumer consumption for these common products must be tempered. We have to become experts at refusing the products that weren’t grown following soil health and biodiversity principles and practices. With climate change bearing down on us, several countries have begun to rethink their destructive path to profit, and have discovered a new solution. Eco-tourism. Restoring their wilderness and sharing the wonder of nature with visitors from all over the world.

In one episode of Sir David Attenborough’s Netflix documentary streaming series, Our Planet, the episode entitled Forests, Attenborough explains the heartbreaking tragedy of deforestation. “Worldwide we have destroyed over half of the forests that once flourished on our planet.” He brought viewers through each of the massive iconic forests so we could see all the life and biodiversity and experience the wonder. “Not only are we losing the animals that once lived in them, we’re changing the climate on the entire globe.”

Attenborough highlighted how resilient forests are, and how quickly they can be restored, showcasing the deserted land surrounding Chernobyl within the Exclusion Zone that has been deemed uninhabitable for 20,000 years. And yet, despite this grim fact, a forest has grown on this extensive hazardous waste sight, and biodiversity has flourished despite the radioactive contamination, proof of nature’s resilience. 

We can restore what we have destroyed. All that it takes is the political will. The goal is 30×30 as outlined by the UN. Nations have to act now to protect and restore 30% of our terrestrial land, and 30% of our oceans. It all begins with us. Our vote matters. Our shopping choices matter. We each have to commit to doing our part to make a difference.

“A future with more forests is key to the resilience of our planet.”

Sir David Attenbough, Our Planet

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

US Schools Are Climate Action Champions | Top 10 Climate Actions

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 28, 2021, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author 

From the IPCC Report boldly stating a Code Red for Humanity warning in August 2021, to the COP26 global conference in Glasgow a few months later in November, (both which urgently pleaded with communities across the globe to act immediately to lower carbon emissions), now is a great time to look back and see who was paying attention.

“It’s simple. Will we act? Will we do what is necessary? Will we seize the enormous opportunity before us? Or will we condemn future generations to suffer.”

President Joe Biden, COP26

Based on the following 10 bedrock climate actions, which are basic requirements for reducing carbon emissions, boosting biodiversity, and drawing down legacy load carbon, it’s very exciting to see that our schools have become a bright beacon of light at the top of the hill. Additionally, not only are schools leading the way to a green community, they’re also climate action accelerators that transmit vigorous energy through a very powerful nationwide network.

Join the conversation and receive regular climate action tips, and soil health and biodiversity advice by staying engaged at Act Now for the Earth Cafe. You’ll feel hopeful when you ask questions and interact with like-minded others about finding solutions that will help the earth recover from the damage of climate change. You’ll feel confident that we can succeed at staying below tipping points. It’s all about community. We’d greatly value you being part of our ecosystem. CLICK here today and join the conversation at  Earth Cafe!

The combination of quick climate action that improves the well-being of our children, as well as provides significant financial benefits that enable school districts to have budget surpluses and finally offer teacher raises, is a win-win combination that is topped off with interactive hands-on science learning opportunities for students.

Did you know that our schools collectively are one of the largest landowners in the US?

The following list of 10 key climate actions pertain to K12 public schools, which have the most public data available. Private K12 schools are likely moving forward at the same quick pace. Colleges and universities with their larger campuses and sustainability departments may even be doing that much more than K12. The awesomeness of K12 schools, though, is that parents can learn from their children and establish the same habits at home. 

  1. EV buses

School districts have begun switching to EV buses at a faster rate than the general public is transitioning to EV cars. According to the World Resources Institute, in a report released in August 2021, data shows that 258 school districts out of 13,500 have committed to one or more EV buses. Fourteen of these districts have procured 10 or more, and 5 of these 14 are the largest school districts in the country. 

Just last week SEA Electric announced that it reached a deal with Midwest Transit Equipment to convert 10,000 diesel school buses to EV over the next 5 years. According the Live Green, districts save 80% on maintenance and 72% on fuel costs when they switch to EV. Montgomery County, Maryland has made the largest investment so far, committing to a procurement of 326 electric buses over the next 4 years. Fairfax County, Virginia just rolled out its first 8 EV busesin October 2021.

  1. Solar Panels

Installing solar panels on school roofs, as well as open fields have become a very big deal to superintendents. These savvy “just do it” community leaders are motivated by the substantial financial benefits that clean energy provides. Seven thousand schools across the country have solar power, and nearly 200 schools operate using wind energy. An Arkansas High School was able to install solar panels on their open field and within three years their budget surplus grew so large they rewarded all teachers with raises between $3,000 – $15,000. Arlington County, Virginia public schools are ranked number 4 on a list of the top 30 school districts with highest green power usage.

  1. White Roofs

Painting school roofs white lowers the heat inside schools by 10ºF, which cuts carbon emissions by as much as 29% and decreases electricity bills significantly. The Chelsea school district north of Boston, a sweltering heat island across from Logan Airport, painted the middle school roofs white during the summer of 2021. Superintendent Almi Abeytawas looking forward to the lower electricity bills and the various ways that the much needed extra money could be used.

Back in 2009, Nobel laureate and President Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, announced at a global conference, “If you take all the buildings and make their roofs white, and if you make the pavement more of a concrete type of color rather than a black type of color, and you do this uniformly…it’s the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions of all the cars on the road for 11 years.” 

  1. High albedo parking lots

Large stretches of black asphalt becomes a danger as well as a health risk in high heat. Black asphalt is 40-60ºF warmer than the air temperature which can become a major safety risk for children playing at recess. Light concrete or asphalt painted with a high albedo color such as white or light grey, not only lowers the heat bringing it closer to the air temperature, but also reflects more of the sun’s energy just like the shrinking icecaps, which helps to cool the entire planet.

  1. Composting

In many cities and communities, the town waste management facility partners with schools to incorporate waste management into the curriculum. Most provide lesson plans. Composting is a big part of this educational opportunity. Schools that have vegetable beds, pollinator gardens and tree planting programs, likely have their own compost pile outside near the gardens. Every school produces hundreds of pounds of organic waste each day. Schools now know not to throw food scraps away anymore. They’ve created efficient composting systems. Students are quickly becoming the composting experts in our communities. 

  1. Recycling & Upcycling

Many school districts consider their students citizens of the earth and stewards of the environment. Recycling is part of the daily routine. Teachers are quite resourceful, taking students on field trips to the landfill and town recycling center. Teachers also host fun activities such as upcycle night where students transformed newspaper into pencil holders, a juice box into a wallet, jars into piggy banks, etc. Recycling and upcycling develop critical thinking skills, inspire innovation and are now a part of most STEM learning programs. 

  1. Food Program

Our flawed food system emits 9 billion tons of carbon per year. In order to stay below 1.5ºC, we have to cut 7 billion tons of carbon per year, beginning immediately. As John Doerr pointed out recently, “humans have never been able to cut any carbon in the history of our planet, so this is a tall order.” But schools are moving quickly on the food front as well, much faster than any other mass population. 

One hundred large school districts and counting, including Los Angeles Unified School District and New York City Public Schools, have adopted the Meatless Monday campaign. According to FoodPrint, between these two large school districts alone, 1.5 million meat-free meals are served each Monday. Additionally plant-based meat alternative companies (ie Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods) have begun connecting with schools through the K12 marketplace, hoping to inspire school districts to switch to plant-forward recipes.

By the way, School districts will want to buy Dana Ellis Hunnes PhD, MPH, RD’s new book Recipe for Survival(available January 27, 2022). Dr. Hunnes shares invaluable tips on the health impact of climate change, food choices and food insecurity. Hunnes is a Senior Dietician at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Assistant Professor at the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA.

  1. Pollinator Gardens

Our overall pollinator populations around the globe have shrunk significantly in recent decades and scientists worry that our food supply is at risk. Thankfully, teachers are coming to the rescue. Pollinator gardens are popping up on school grounds from coast to coast. These vast displays of native flowers not only provide food and shelter for our life-saving pollinators, but they also boost campus biodiversity, create biodiversity corridors within our communities, beautify campuses, brighten moods, and store more carbon above ground in the plants themselves, and in the soil. Schools across the United States and Mexico are embracing pollinator gardens as a STEM teaching tool and are all in on planting lots of milkweeds in the mix.

  1. Tree planting

Schools are major property owners, and the vast majority of our schools are eagerly taking ownership in increasing the tree canopy in our communities. Trees beautify the school campus, increase carbon storage, stabilize the soil, purify the air and the water, lower the heat, reduce noise pollution, and increase privacy. Tree planting is also a STEM tool for teachers.

  1. Vegetable beds

Vegetable beds are an ideal learning environment that inspire students to eat more fruits and vegetables. Vegetable beds promote the scientific method through inquiry, observation and experimentation. Movement is also a big part of the outdoor gardening experience which improves dexterity. The USDA promotes Farm to School programs and provides much guidance. Home grown produce is also that much more nutritious, containing higher vitamin content. 

If climate action is this beneficial, quick, easy and fun for schools, why is it so hard for everyone else? 

Just imagine how quickly we’d be able to cut carbon emissions if every household, business, organization and community quickly implemented these same 10 climate actions in 2022. We’d then have no problem staying below 1.5ºC. 

Let’s do this!

© Copyright 2018 – 2021. ALL Rights Reserved.


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Groundbreaking YA book series for all ages. Gripping modern day nail-biter with Machiavellian villains, but also a tale that opens our eyes to the brutal war going on beneath our feet that controls our destiny, despite our obliviousness to this potentially civilization-destroying threat.

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“Dr. Mindy, can I be vulnerable in your car?” | Don’t Look Up

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 20, 2021, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author 

All true things said in jest, right? That was certainly my impression when I checked out Don’t Look Up on December 10, 2021. This timely film is an ink blot test, which becomes abundantly clear when scrolling through the majority of mainstream media reviews. You’ll quickly discover that most are nothing more than defensive ambushes against Adam McKay, (writer, producer and director of Don’t Look Up), and his star-studded cast, with the trademark fossil fuel maniacal thumbprint.

The truth hurts. 

As a climate activist, my impression of McKay’s intrepid work was that it was masterfully written. A satirical mask covering the faces and behaviors of very real people. Picking up on the legitimacy behind each raw jab, I felt grateful to hear the facts spoken this way. It disarms and makes us much more open-minded to the next painful truth. It’s as though the script was written in code, and whoever can decipher will know how to proceed with climate action.

Heart of the matter. Don’t Look Up is a multi-dimensional, emotional roller-coaster filled with nuances. In addition to his unchained smack down of politicians and their short-term priorities, self-serving tech giants, and the soulless media, Adam McCay skillfully weaves in valuable advice throughout the film that we’d otherwise have to pay a lot of money when we visited a crisis manager or therapist.

Timothée Chalamet’s character, Yule, portrayed this aspect of the parody so admirably. The best line in Don’t Look UP wasn’t a slick diss, but rather  Chalamet’s, “Dr. Mindy, can I be vulnerable in your car?”

In my humble opinion, allowing ourselves to admit to our vulnerability is the key takeaway.  “Can I be vulnerable” is a pivotal question in this transformational film, and becomes Don’t Look Up’s valuable contribution to our global society. It’s the question that will lead to the majority of effective solutions required to successfully solve the climate crisis. Until we’re willing to expose ourselves to risks and rejections, making mistakes through trial and error, and taking big leaps, we won’t be able to stay below 1.5ºC. 

Chalamet also models the benefit of having a personal spiritual substratum to help us deal with all the harsh unknowns.

Thankfully, Chalamet nails both of these critical concepts. We now have a mental image to work off of that reinforces how cool it is to be vulnerable and deep.

Adam McKay was first in line to expose his own vulnerability in taking the big leap of faith to create Don’t Look Up. As if on cue, the mainstream media’s shallow and acidic reaction to Don’t Look Up is WHY so many innovators with new ideas remain silent and refuse to act. By putting his own neck on the line, McKay has not only exposed, but he’s ruptured the barriers that restrain many innovators.  What a brilliant and daring legacy McKay has bestowed on humanity at this critical juncture in our timeline, creating a path in the tangled wilderness for others to follow. Hopefully many of us will take the necessary risks after watching Don’t Look Up when it’s released on Netflix, December 24, 2021.

The remarkable cast of stars, promoting a powerful message to the public, urging us to open our eyes, “JUST LOOK UP,” and do the right thing to end global warming for humanity’s sake, is the equivalent of the music industry banding together and creating “We Are the World” to provide relief during the 1985 African famine. 

Jennifer Lawrence’s flawless depiction of PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky embodies the classic hit-job women often experience when they have discoveries and make valuable contributions that organizational psychologist and Wharton professor Adam Grant posts about regularly on social media. “When men get mad, they’re commended as strong leaders. When women get angry, they’re condemned as aggressive bitches.” Or how about, “When men raise ideas, they’re respected as leaders. When women voice ideas, they’re often ignored.”

As thrilled as we are to have a female president, Janie Orlean, played by Meryl Streep, represents how a crisis would unfold under the leadership of a female Donald Trump (Marjorie Taylor Greene?!). LOL. All joking aside, the unfortunate reality is that power tends to warp good judgement, no matter what the gender. Nobel laureate Daniel Khaneman explains this ruinous flaw in his book Noise, A Flaw in Human Judgement.

On the other end of the spectrum is Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe, Rob Morgan, NASA’s head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office. Teddy models excellent leadership behavior in the film, providing viewers with a baseline of what real leadership looks like, which helps to underscore the deficiencies of President Orlean, ridiculous Peter Isherwell played by Mark Rylance,  (I kept wondering if he was a heartless hologram), and General Themes, Paul Guilfoyle, who was apparently trying to make up for all the grifter defense contractors who deceptively invoice the military with padded bills like the $435 hammer. (Kate couldn’t get over that the General had charged them for what were supposed to be free snacks and water.) 

As always, Jonah Hill was amazing. I wouldn’t have wanted him to play the President’s son, a male Ivanka, I mean Jason Orlean, any other way. I can’t help but wonder if Peter Brand in Moneyball, played by Johah Hill, and Peter’s genius idea, is the type of solution we need to uncover to solve the climate crisis. (Make sure to keep watching beyond the credits to see Jason’s P.S. to the world. Haha.)

I found that I was the one who laughed the most in the theater. I’m sure I was the one who cried the most, too. The majority in my millennial and Gen-Z audience seemed to be processing the significance of what the film was conveying and appeared too stunned to know what to do. We all seemed to be connecting with what Greta had warned us about. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.” And there Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) was, panicking. And suddenly, so were we. (I had to look this up, because I was so curious about how a star’s acting could actually make me feel an extreme emotion like panic. It’s called the chameleon effect. But seriously, see if you don’t physically feel “pit in your stomach” panicked when you watch Randall panic. Trust me, you will.)

I have to admit that I too was glad they cut Randall’s beard when they were preparing him for his whirlwind media blitz.

Sadly, the double ending (plus Jason’s P.S.) made sense. Most of us speculated as much on social media when Jeff Bezos lifted-off for his test flight to outer space this past summer while in the middle of unprecedented heatwaves and out of control wildfires. 

As I exited the theater, and in the days that have followed, I couldn’t help but imagine a different kind of outcome for our real climate crisis. The kind of ending that becomes a new beginning with millions, and billions of us following the lead of Leonardo DiCaprio in the Revenant, clawing our way back to our original paradisiacal earth, this after being left for dead along the edge of a cliff by the extreme capitalists and billionaires who are busy trying to profit off our planet’s death spiral just the way Mark Rylance did in Don’t Look Up.  

Leonardo DiCaprio has been a global leader and environmentalist supporting biodiversity and rewilding the world since 1998, particularly for marginalized groups, such as the Waorani People of the Amazon and the ICCN in Virunga National Park. DiCaprio’s philanthropy aligns with Sir David AttenboroughJohan RockströmJane Goodall and multiple others who are urgently promoting rewilding. 

So yes, imagining the better conclusion that Sir David Attenborough spoke of at COP26 in November 2021 when he said, “If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it.” Attenborough went on to assure his audience in Glasgow, “In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a terrible decline. In yours, you could and should witness a wonderful recovery.”

That’s the brilliance of Don’t Look Up. The craftsmanship of subliminally showing us what we don’t want to have happen within the next decade, which opens our eyes to the natural path leading in the opposite direction.

Whether it’s Dr. Randall Mindy, Hugh Glass from the Revenant, or the real Leonardo DiCaprio of Appian Way Productions and the Leonardo DiCaprio FoundationDon’t Look Up adeptly inspires viewers to reach for a better path forward. (Note to self, it’s rather extraordinary that one actor can play the two dissimilar roles of Dr. Randall Mindy and Hugh Glass to such excellence. Looking forward to seeing what DiCaprio does with Jim Jones.) 

And although we may have panicked when Randall panicked, we don’t have to calmly accept annihilation the way Randall, Kate, Teddy, Yule and Randall’s wife and two sons did. Rather, let’s Hugh Glass ourselves and reach and stretch and claw our way back to civilization by rewilding our local communities so that we can have the happily ever after outcome the majority of us want so desperately. 

“We really did have everything, didn’t we? I mean when you think about it…”

Yes, Dr. Mindy, we really did. Let’s get it back while we still have time.

Don’t Look Up is the entertainment world’s Code Red for Humanity. An urgent warning for those who may have missed the 2021 IPCC Report Report, or forgot to read the Paris Agreement. We only have a few short years to stay below 1.5ºC. We must return to the Garden of Eden. Let’s reach this blissful destination within the next ten years, rather than 22,740 years.❃

© Copyright 2018 – 2021. ALL Rights Reserved.

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No rose without thorns. —French Proverb.
Groundbreaking YA book series for all ages. Gripping modern day nail-biter with Machiavellian villains, but also a tale that opens our eyes to the brutal war going on beneath our feet that controls our destiny, despite our obliviousness to this potentially civilization-destroying threat.

Subscribe to Force of Nature to stay connected to the insights we provide in our effort to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, eco-friendly, carbon neutral global community. Click here to subscribe.

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Extreme Tornadoes Digging Up Ground Where Superfund Sites Are

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 17, 2021, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author 

The severe chain of tornadoes that ravaged eight states on December 10, 2021, touching down in 30 separate locations, opened our eyes to the new normal that we’ve thrust ourselves into after breaking through the boundaries that human civilization has existed in for more than 10,000 years. 

We’ve left the Holocene Epoch, the era of stable climate and predictable seasons with a global temperature of +/- 1ºC, and entered the unstable Anthropocene Epoch, the age of humans. Nothing is predictable anymore. We’re currently at a global temperature of 1.2ºC above the pre-industrial age baseline. Climate scientists have warned that we’ll experience many more extreme weather events and thus have to find more ways to adapt as quickly as possible, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions, just as urgently, in the hopes that we can make our way back to the safe Holocene conditions.  

Join the conversation and receive regular climate action tips, and soil health and biodiversity advice by staying engaged at Act Now for the Earth Cafe. You’ll feel hopeful when you ask questions and interact with like-minded others about finding solutions that will help the earth recover from the damage of climate change. You’ll feel confident that we can succeed at staying below tipping points. It’s all about community. We’d greatly value you being part of our ecosystem. CLICK here today and join the conversation at  Earth Cafe!

However hopeful we may be about the future and our ability to turn this around, the current conditions are baked in for the next 20 years. Understanding the new extremes and creating strategies for adapting, (ie deep underground tornado shelter bunkers), will keep people much more safe, although our personal property will still be at great risk from here on out, as we saw with the total destruction of Mayfield, Kentucky

The heart of the matter.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL),  under Severe Storms 101, powerful tornadoes have the ability to shred the ground itself, spew dirt, and in some cases dig trenches as deep as 3 feet. There have even been reports of tornadoes pulling up asphalt.

A powerful tornado’s ability to dig into the ground, should set off alarm bells. Graveyards are a concern of course, although right now, most caskets are 6 feet deep so they’re still relatively secure. But for how long? How deep will a tornado be able to dig if we reach 1.5ºC, or worse 2ºC?

And how about Superfund sites? The remedial procedure for decontaminating soil tainted by toxic waste is to cap it off, usually with clean soil, the depth of which is determined by the EPA and varies. 

For example, General Tire & Rubber Co (Mayfield Landfill ) is located two miles north of Mayfield, Kentucky and was deemed a superfund site in 1990 at which time it was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). The EPA removed General Tire & Rubber Co (Mayfield Landfill ) from the NPL when it determined that no cleaned would be necessary after all following the PRP (potentially responsible party) covering the trenches (that contained 152 tons of hazardous waste) with two feet of clean soil, and seeding the top.

Not cleaning up the contaminated area and instead just covering it up, may have benefitted the PRP and the EPA in the short term, but it has become a significant threat in the long term. The hazardous waste at General Tire & Rubber Co (Mayfield Landfill ) is still there, two feet below the surface based on EPA records. The tornadoes will become more powerful due to climate change, more stronger than the 163-190 mph winds that tore up Mayfield on December 10, 2021. Stronger tornadoes have the potential to dig into the trenches where the hazardous waste still remains and propel it into the air where it can swirl around and potentially spread hundreds of miles. 

In 2021, there were 1,317 Superfund sites in the US. Kentucky has its fair share, a dynamic list that the EPA is trying to whittle down to zero. It appears that at one point there were 21 Superfund sites in Kentucky. Eight are still showing as active on the current list, although at least one of these was removed from the NPL in September 2021.

The tornado that raged through Kentucky on December 10, 2021, passed over 3 Superfund sites in two counties. 

  • Logan County (EF2, 111-135 mph winds)
  • Marshall County (EF4, 166-200 mph winds)

According to WLKY “assessments show the tornado was on the ground over the entirety of Marshall county.” Marshall County is home to two Kentucky Superfund sites.

The Airco Superfund site had been an industrial landfill and is located in close proximity to the BF Goodrich Superfund site. The EPA determined that Airco toxic waste would not harm local residents because it is fenced, secured and capped. Based on this low safety standard, the public needs to demand that the EPA investigate how well the Airco Superfund site withstood the force of an E4 tornado raging across every inch of ground in Marshall County on December 10, 2021.

The EPA asserted that the BF Goodrich Superfund site posed a significant public health risk to before the tornado. In light of the fact that the December 10 tornado was “on the ground over the entirety of Marshall County,” an investigation should be conducted as quickly as possible to determine how the public is affected:

Contaminated soil and groundwater underlying the Site pose a potential for the occurrence of contaminated vapors in the vadose zone and intrusion of vapors to indoor air spaces. An investigation of indoor air in buildings occupied by administrative workers not regulated under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicated elevated levels of VOCs. The maximum indoor air risk estimated was 5 × 10-4 for cancer risks and a hazard index (HI) of 20 for non-cancer risk. However, a comparison of the outdoor air and sub-slab data indicates an outdoor air source for the VOCs. The elevated levels of VOCs encountered in the outdoor air may be attributable to point and non-point emissions from plant operations.” —DOJ (Remedial Action Work Plan for the B.F. Goodrich Superfund Site, Calvert City, Marshall County, Kentucky)

Again, it’s imperative that local officials who are working with FEMA connect with the EPA about investigating all the Superfund sites the tornadoes passed over in all eight states. There were three in Kentucky alone. Several more are relatively close to Edwardsville, IL where the Amazon warehouse caved in. With more than 1300 Superfund sites in the US, climate change extreme weather events striking the same location as a Superfund site and spreading the toxins far and wide, is highly likely and poses a significant danger to the public. Some of these are nuclear contaminants. Communities must be made aware of the best health protocols to implement and follow when extreme storms collide with highly toxic waste.

Gallant Gold Media will following this and will keep the public updated.


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No Protein Problems Here — 10 Vegan Athletes Crushing It!

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 14, 2021 by Sarah J. Kings

There has been a significant boom in the accessibility and inclusivity of veganism over the last decade. We are in the midst of a culture shift. The same people who once asked, but where do you get your protein from, are now filling their shopping carts with brands like Gardien, Beyond Meat, and Impossible. Athletes all over the globe are dispelling myths that paint vegans as anemic weaklings suffering from malnutrition. Below are just ten of the world’s vegan athletes who are crushing it in their field. 

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Twitter – @Kaepernick7

  • Colin Kaepernick – Activist & Former NFL Quarterback
  • Tia Blanco – Pro-Surfer to Represent the USA in the 2021 Summer Olympics
  • Kyrie Irving – Brooklyn Nets Point Guard
  • Hannah Teter – Snowboarder & Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Serena & Venus Williams – World-renowned Tennis Legends
  • Novak Djokovic – 5 Time Wimbledon Champion
  • Ed Templeton – Professional Skateboarder
  • Austin Aries – Professional Wrestler
  • Kendrick Farris – Olympic Powerlifter
Join the conversation and receive regular climate action tips, and soil health and biodiversity advice by staying engaged at Act Now for the Earth Cafe. You’ll feel hopeful when you ask questions and interact with like-minded others about finding solutions that will help the earth recover from the damage of climate change. You’ll feel confident that we can succeed at staying below tipping points. It’s all about community. We’d greatly value you being part of our ecosystem. CLICK here today and join the conversation at  Earth Cafe!

With each gold medal placed on a vegan athlete’s shoulders, more and more people are seeing the truth about plant-based diets.  By avoiding animal products, people can take control of many of the problems facing the world today.  A vegan diet saves the lives of countless animals, protects the environment, and promotes overall health.  This simple dietary and lifestyle change can lower your chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. It can also drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as water and land usage.  A 2016 study released by the University of Oxford found that the planet’s food-related emissions would drop by 70 percent if the world were to go vegan.

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Instagram – @vegan_truthbomb

Whether it is the 150 billion animals that are killed each year in ‘animal agriculture’, or your own personal health that has started you on your plant-based mission, we can all agree that Mother Nature will benefit from this change. Look to these athletic legends for inspiration on your path towards veganism.  Who knows, maybe you will be the next vegan athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics!

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No rose without thorns. —French Proverb.
Groundbreaking YA book series for all ages. Gripping modern day nail-biter with Machiavellian villains, but also a tale that opens our eyes to the brutal war going on beneath our feet that controls our destiny, despite our obliviousness to this potentially civilization-destroying threat.

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How Do We Open the Eyes of Those Who Can’t See Straight? | Story

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 27, 2021, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author 

Global environmental groups have begun posting regular Twitter threads outlining how grave their concerns are that the top 10 percent of wealthiest people in the world aren’t doing enough to curb their carbon emissions after creating the climate crisis in the first place.  

Sadly, the 50 percent poorest in the world, who have not been contributors to the climate crisis in any way, have begun experiencing complete destruction of everything they own and love. Many are having to flee their homes and become refugees in other countries.

Join the conversation and receive regular climate action tips, and soil health and biodiversity advice by staying engaged at Act Now for the Earth Cafe. You’ll feel hopeful when you ask questions and interact with like-minded others about finding solutions that will help the earth recover from the damage of climate change. You’ll feel confident that we can succeed at staying below tipping points. It’s all about community. We’d greatly value you being part of our ecosystem. CLICK here today and join the conversation at  Earth Cafe!

And although these harsh realities were mentioned by world leaders and climate activists during their impassioned speeches at COP26 in Glasgow, and reminders are shared through various social media platforms every single day, there still appears to be a disconnect. For whatever reason, the message isn’t seeping into the minds of the right people. Many of the top 10 percent, the 22 million millionaires in the United States, appear to have a pronounced blindness to the fact that they are the problem.

We can actually see this with our own eyes in many affluent communities in the United States. The indifference. The flagrant disregard for the personal space and rights of others. See what you see when you go shopping at Whole Foods next time. I’m stunned by how many shoppers are oblivious in my affluent community. Do you notice this, too?

I had to dash into Whole Foods the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving to pick up a few extra items. It was much more crowded than I expected and I was short of time, so I was that much more aware of unnecessary obstacles and delays caused by indifference. I kept marveling that so many shoppers couldn’t see that parking their cart in front of the shelves, while they trekked down the aisle to find what they were looking for, meant that other shoppers couldn’t grab the items on the shelf behind the cart without having to move their cart, which wasn’t always easy because of the tight space.

There was a family of five in one aisle that was completely indifferent to the other shoppers.  They took up the entire aisle width so that no one could pass. Their children were trying to balance objects on their heads. The parents didn’t ask their kids to stand back and let shoppers through, but rather indicated that everyone had to wait until their kids were finished playing.

The most glaring and problematic indifference happened in front of the five foot tall enclosed refrigerated desert display. The display with the double glass doors. An older mother and daughter pushed their cart up to the right-hand display door and parked it there (rather than further off to the right where there was open space). They stepped to the left and opened the left door. Meanwhile, when I approached, I couldn’t open the right-hand door. They swiveled and saw that I couldn’t open the right display door, but did nothing. So, I gently moved their cart back and explained, “I just need to grab something.” They huffed and acted annoyed, (rather than apologetic). They didn’t think to move the cart further away from the display so that the next shopped wouldn’t also be inconvenienced. 

It dawned on me while walking to my car after checking out, that if affluent humans can’t even process where to park their cart in the grocery store so that it doesn’t negatively impact the shopping experience of other shoppers, how will it ever register in their minds that the car they drive and the size of their big house is killing innocent people in other states and across the world.

There appears to be something in many of their brains that prevents them from seeing clearly, and when someone politely points out what the problem is, rather than apologize, they become  defensive, and indignant. This suggests that hearing an impassioned COP26 speech isn’t going to register either. They likely became angry in their homes when hearing the news that they’re the problem. When angry, most don’t change their ways, but rather dig in their heels. 

It appears that incentives, laws and policies will be the only way to motivate change for many of the wealthiest. The greatest advantage the poorest 50 percent have over the wealthiest 10 percent is their voting power. Quantity of voters matters significantly in the war on climate and may be the only way we’ll be able to stay below 1.5C.

Election year 2022 will decide our fate.

Greenpeace DATA:

  • Consumption of ultra-rich will be 30x greater than what is compatible with keeping global heating below 1.5C.
  • If current consumption continues, richest 1% are on track to release 70 tons of CO2 per year.
  • Poorest 50 percent are only projected to release an average of 1 ton of CO2 per year.
  • The glaring indifference of many of the wealthiest towards the hardship they cause the poorest 50 percent, and the havoc the wealthiest wreak on the lives of the poorest, can only be solved through policy and legislation. They don’t have the proper mind sight to see the pain they’re causing others. 
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No rose without thorns. —French Proverb.
Groundbreaking YA book series for all ages. Gripping modern day nail-biter with Machiavellian villains, but also a tale that opens our eyes to the brutal war going on beneath our feet that controls our destiny, despite our obliviousness to this potentially civilization-destroying threat.

Subscribe to Force of Nature to stay connected to the insights we provide in our effort to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, eco-friendly, carbon neutral global community. Click here to subscribe.

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Beyond Meat, Being Vegan & Our Long Term Health

Washington (GGM) Analysis | October 28, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

Overhauling our food system is a primary focus for nations across the globe as the world quickly moves forward with mapping out urgent and effective mitigation strategies to lower global warming in an effort to stay below 1.5ºC. Additionally, the goal for all G-20 nations heading to COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, is to implement clean energy, zero waste, carbon neutral solutions so we can transition to a sustainable culture aligned with biodiversity in nature. 

Conventional farming, (those farms where farmers plow the soil, releasing all the stored carbon, and who use strong microbe-destroying pesticides that contain glyphosate), along with the notorious animal feed lots, have been identified as the chief villains in our global food system which generates extraordinarily high levels of methane and CO2 emissions. Many climate activists around the world are insisting that we all become 100 percent vegan so we can win this particular battle in our fight to cut carbon emissions.

We only have until 2030 to cut carbon emissions by 50%. Half the battle is knowing what to do first. Reach out so we can help you figure out the best path forward.

I was all in on becoming vegetarian 16 years ago, and more recently trying diligently to become 100 percent vegan. This mission of mine was for health reasons, though, after surviving Stage 3 invasive cancer at a relatively young age. Once the 7 surgeries, 3 months of chemo, and 2 months of radiation were completed, my plan had been to stay away from the toxins found in our food supply. I had learned more about these hazardous chemicals while sitting in a chemo chair, researching, trying to keep myself busy during treatment. I simply could not figure out how I got cancer. I ate a healthy diet, and exercised regularly. I didn’t know anyone who had cancer, no family or friends. I became convinced that if I could uncover how it happened, I’d be able to prevent a recurrence.

I wasn’t eating organic before being diagnosed with cancer. I also knew nothing about the glyphosate that was covering the fresh broccoli and other fresh fruits and vegetables that I consumed daily. After all, it was 2005.  But, in 2006, following the conclusion of my my cancer treatments at the end of 2005, I was determined to rebuild my immune system and had the good fortune of meeting with a life-changing doctor associated with what was to become Duke’s new holistic wellness Integrative Medicine Center, which sent me down a bright new path in life. This wonderful wellness doctor offered several natural remedies. One was the daily regimen of pressing a garlic clove into broth and heating to boost my immune system. (I now add the pressed garlic clove to a quarter cup of water instead of broth and heat in microwave for 35 seconds, then chug.) This is super cheap and easy. As is the fresh ginger added to tea.

My cancer doctor at UNC wasn’t expecting any miracles, and had explained when my treatment was completed that I only had a 34% chance to live longer than 2 – 4 years if I didn’t take Tamoxifen. But, I didn’t want Tamoxifen side effects. There had to be another way. I was determined to prove that rebuilding my immune system by establishing strong daily wellness habits based on natural and holistic principles that incorporated medicinal plants in my diet would work. I’d done everything else my doctor had recommended, but I couldn’t take Tamoxifen. Natural remedies had kept humans alive for thousands of years. There simply had to be some truth behind the belief that it was beneficial, and I was determined to prove it. My initial cancer doctor was not happy with me, at all.

I relished the opportunity to test different plants and vitamins and combinations of plants and vitamins, as well as sleep 8 hours a day and exercise vigorously. I quickly found myself involved in endless days, weeks, and months of testing, altering various amounts of plants, vitamins, sleep and exercise, and after approximately 9 months, ended with a powerful formula that made me feel happy, healthy, and fit, much more so than I’d felt before cancer. My bloodwork even returned to normal with a boost.

All my curiosity and effort paid off. At the two year mark, my pet-scan showed 100% cancer free. I continued maintaining the same rigorous health routine, and 16 years later feel extremely grateful for the guidance I received in 2006 at Duke, that set me on a successful path and taught me so much about health, wellness, and a strong immune system.

Join the conversation and receive regular climate action tips, and soil health and biodiversity advice by staying engaged at Act Now for the Earth Cafe. You’ll feel hopeful when you ask questions and interact with like-minded others about finding solutions that will help the earth recover from the damage of climate change. You’ll feel confident that we can succeed at staying below tipping points. It’s all about community. We’d greatly value you being part of our ecosystem. CLICK here today and join the conversation at  Earth Cafe!

But to become 100 percent vegan for climate, I had to somehow find, or create, the right “complete protein” formula. I learned back in 2006, that for me, powders and supplements weren’t the same as medicinal plants. They seemed the same in theory, but they didn’t feel the same when I used them. I had learned the hard way that too much of a good thing isn’t good. IE, B6. Why so many vitamins have 1000 percent daily recommended amount of B6, is something I’ll never understand. High doses of B6 negatively alter my mood and make me very emotional. I can’t have more than the simple 100 percent B6 and thus have to take children’s chewable vitamins. Another example is garlic. I’ve found, that one clove fresh garlic everyday is different than a garlic supplement. This might just be me, though.

Morning Star products have been around for awhile and they typically have 9g protein, versus Beyond Meat’s Beyond Sausage’s 16g. None of my lentil, chickpea, black bean or kidney bean formulas were working perfectly, so I had to eat a small piece of antibiotic-free turkey everyday. But 16 months ago, a vegan friend told me about Beyond Meat and how amazing it was, and the effectiveness of the protein. When I spotted it in the grocery store, I grabbed a package of plant-based Beyond Sausage Hot Italian. It tasted great with organic black bean spaghetti and organic marinara sauce. An ideal plant-based product with the perfect protein level. Finally! I was 100% vegan which felt like a big win. But:

  • I never connected my sudden vision deterioration to Beyond Sausage (suddenly not being able to read a text when out in the city without my reading glasses was a problem).
  • Nor could I figure out why every time the water that the sausage was cooking in bubbled over the top of the pan, it started a fire on the stove (with real flames).
  • It also changed my mood, although I didn’t pick up on Beyond Sausage being the cause at the time. I simply wondered why my serotonin rich sunflower seeds, dark chocolate squares and running 5k every day didn’t make me happy any more. That magic “happiness” formula had worked for 15 years, then it abruptly ended after I began eating Beyond Sausage.
  • And I was astonished and very frustrated that changing one thing in my diet could make me gain 10 pounds.

I began to fret, still not piecing together that these issues were connected to Beyond Sausage, but rather I attributed them to staying home during covid. Covid stay home side effects.

As a soil health advocate and believer in regenerative agriculture, I’m also a big fan of Gabe Brown and Understanding Ag and watch their webinars. It was in June 2021, that I viewed Regenerating Human Health: The Soil and Human Microbiomes with Sara Keough that I learned that those of us who eat these high protein, plant-based meat alternatives should be careful, that recent studies had shown that faux meats aren’t as healthy as they appear to be.

I love to follow the advice of those I trust, and I trust Gabe Brown’s advice implicitly (as well as those connected with Gabe Brown). Thus, I stopped eating Beyond Sausage after Sara Keough’s webinar. In less than 4 weeks, my vision was back to normal, as was my happiness level. And after 2 months, the 10 pounds was gone as well.

I haven’t been able to find much information on the Beyond Meat side effects of vision, mood, and flammability that I experienced, so maybe my symptoms are a one-off. But I did discover one article that mentioned weight gain.

I’ll now begin researching more about these other concerns, but wanted to document my anecdotal experiences at this time, a few days prior to COP26, since veganism and meat alternatives will be a big discussion at COP26 and the months that follow. These types of health conditions — vision, mood and weight gain — are tough for medical professionals to properly diagnose when the cause is something as innocuous as plant-based meat.  How would a doctor possibly determine that a patient’s health condition might be related to a meat alternative. Is that even a question that doctors ask patients? 

I’m currently hypothesizing that the side effects might have something to do with the pea protein.

With any new product like Beyond Meat, and now a whole line of competing brands, (that climate activists have been hoping will become one of the many silver bullets that lower atmospheric CO2 levels), it’s vitally important that we have assurance that each solution is healthy and safe. With so many forever chemicals hiding in plain sight all around us, any one new drop of an extra chemical added to a daily diet can be the final straw that pushes our health into the danger zone. 

I’ve returned to eating a little bit of meat each week and it feels like the ideal balance for my overall health and wellness. I’m back to being happy, healthy and fit, while still maintaining a very low carbon footprint.

Beyond Sausage Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Pea Protein Isolate
  • Refined Coconut Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Natural Flavor
  • Contains 2% or less of: Rice Protein, Faba Bean Protein, Potato Starch, Salt, Fruit Juice (for color), Vegetable Juice (for color), Apple Fiber, Methylcellulose, Citrus Extract (to protect quality), Calcium Alginate Casing.
No rose without thorns. —French Proverb.
Groundbreaking YA book series for all ages. Gripping modern day nail-biter with Machiavellian villains, but also a tale that opens our eyes to the brutal war going on beneath our feet that controls our destiny, despite our obliviousness to this potentially civilization-destroying threat.

Subscribe to Force of Nature to stay connected to the insights we provide in our effort to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, eco-friendly, carbon neutral global community. Click here to subscribe.

© Copyright 2018 – 2021. ALL Rights Reserved.

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Top 6 Things to Know About NEW Whitest Paint Ever | Global Warming

Washington (GGM) Analysis | October 5, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

Researchers at Perdue University in Indiana, have recently announced the ingenious whitest paint ever. It is expected to be available to the general public at major retailers across the country, within a couple of years, according to lead researcher Xiulin Ruan, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Perdue, who, along with his students, created the ultra-white paint. Ruan explained that they were in the process of partnering with large corporations to commercialize the paint. 

This white paint overachiever will be listed in the 2022 Guinness Wold Record book as the whitest white paint.

Commercial white paint has an albedo (measurement of 0-1) of .8 and is considered highly reflective. White’s albedo is a little lower than light silver, which has an albedo of .90 (black has an albedo of 0). The current commercial white paint is a full .20 lower than the highest albedo material of all, the perfect mirror, which has an albedo of 1.

Solar Reflex Index (SRI, measured from 0-100) is considered a better indicator than albedo in calculating a material’s response to solar radiation in that SRI also includes emissivity (the re-radiating of absorbed solar-radiation back out to the sky), while albedo does not.

So, why is this newest whitest white paint such a phenomenon?

  • It has an SRI of 98.1%.
  • Will make roofs cooler than the surrounding ambient air temperature (19ºF cooler at night, 8ºF cooler during day), existing commercial white paint cannot match this extraordinary feat.
  • It is more powerful than standard air conditioners in lowering the heat, with no carbon emissions.
  • Contains a very high concentration of barium sulfate.
  • Barium sulfate particles are all different sizes which enables it to scatter more of the sun’s light spectrum.
  • Ruan and team’s research began 6 years ago and was built on previous scientific research that dates back to the 1970s.
Durham, NC

Once this ultra-white paint is available to the general public, it will become a simple, easy, affordable climate solution that will not reduce indoor temperatures at no cost, but will simultaneously put more money in our pockets, and reduce total global carbon emissions, as we strive to reduce CO2 (from 2005 levels) 50% by 2030. The whitest of white paints will be able to be applied very quickly by the vast majority of businesses, communities, and families. (In US, home cooling and heating is responsible for approximately 441 million tons of carbon emissions per year.)

Until the ultra-white paint arrives on store shelves, businesses and government buildings can continue using current commercial white paint that has successfully cooled many millions of square feet of rooftops, roads and other flat surfaces from coast to coast in the Unites States. 

No rose without thorns. —French Proverb.
Groundbreaking YA book series for all ages. Not only a gripping modern day nail-biter with Machiavellian villains, but also one that opens our eyes to the brutal war going on beneath our feet that controls our destiny, despite our obliviousness to this potentially civilization-destroying threat.

© Copyright 2021. ALL Rights Reserved.

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System Change NOT Climate Change | Leaders in Energy

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 29, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

Can you feel it in the air all around you? The sensory clues that we pick up on just before the season changes. A shift in temperature. A new scent wafting through the air. Displays of seasonal delights appearing in the produce section of the grocery store. We recognize these subtle clues, make a mental note, and slowly begin to shift gears. 

Of course, we know that there will always be a few who wear shorts into November, and flip flops until the first snow. While others are fashion aficionados and can’t wait to slip on designer boots and stylish jeans the day after Labor Day. Adjusting quickly to the changing seasons isn’t foreign to any of us, it’s part of our normal life, our American culture. We may have individual preferences about how long we wear white pants, but none of us will be standing in the middle of Main Street, declaring that we refuse to allow winter to arrive.  

The changing seasons are the same way we’ll shift into this new revolutionary, clean energy “system change” that we’ve been slowly inching toward for awhile now. We had no problem adapting to smart phones. We love our technological innovations and advancements, so we should be thrilled with clean energy solutions.

Global Climate Strike, Washington DC, September 24, 2021.

The truth is, whether we realized it or not, we’ve been making this green shift ever since the turn of the millennium in 2000. Small baby steps at first for many of the most progressive communities scattered around the country. While for other towns and states, the shifting to green living may not have crossed local leader’s minds until an unexpected extreme weather disaster struck. It doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things, all that matters is an understanding and acceptance of the fact that we are now officially here, and we have to do what we always do. Adapt.

The IPCC Report released on August 9, 2021 made it very clear. Code Red for humanity. There can be no more slow and steady. We now have to rush.

In many regions, the green framework is already built and operational. Green companies and organizations like Northern Virginia nonprofit, Leaders in Energy, a global network of thousands of leaders who work together to “advance clean energy and sustainable solutions for a more sustainable energy system, economy, and greener world,” are on the rise. And Resilient Virginia, an organization that has been working hard to accelerate “resiliency planning in communities across the commonwealth” to help move toward a “vibrant, healthy and equitable community.”

To support the big shift into a green future, with the goal of helping community leaders, businesses, professionals, and families create a path towards resilience, Leaders in Energy partnered with Resilient Virginia to offer a Green Jobs Forum & Career Fair in August 2021. This informative three day event, included an array of workshops and breakout sessions:

  • National and State experts on new initiatives that bolster the transition to a Clean Economy while rebuilding our nations infrastructure 
  • Ensuring equity is a core element for local residency planning
  • Steps needed for infrastructure to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate adaptation strategies
  • Examples from urban and rural communities on approaches to resiliency that include climate risk assessments that lead to economic health and equity consideration
  • Examining the accelerating opportunities for economic diversification and entrepreneurship to bolster a Clean Economy.

With hundreds in attendance, eager to receive the much needed information and incorporate it into planning and projects, the green shift took another step forward. Each and every conference and moment like this one, are additional layers of preparation for the future opportunities that are awaiting us.

“Chance favors the prepared mind.”

Louis Pasteur, Father of Immunology

Founder and Executive Director of Leaders in Energy, Janine Finnell, has been preparing professionals to become leaders in our green future, unofficially since 2012, and officially since its founding in 2017, using its four pillars:

1. Green Jobs

2. Marketplace and Economy

3. Green Finance

4. Multi-generational Leadership

And now thousands of leaders and other professional have prepared minds and are able to act immediately, just as the IPCC Report has urged (in fact, demanded), to harness the opportunities and possibilities that the Build Back Better Bill will bring to communities across the country as we rush to lower our carbon emissions dramatically in an effort to overtake the speed by which the global temperature is now rising.

Let’s get the Build Back Better Bill passed and begin our “fast break” into the future. 

Get daily climate action tips by joining Act Now for the Earth Cafe and have fun learning the amazing & valuable tips that will help the earth recover from the staggering damage of climate change. Cafe communities are the new big thing. Sustainability is all about community. We’d greatly value you being part of our ecosystem. CLICK here today and join the conversation at  Earth Cafe!

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The Mysterious Deaths of a Young Family on California Trail Near Toxic Algal Blooms | Who Has the Answers?

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 20, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

The mysterious deaths of the young California family and their dog while out hiking along the remote Savage Lundy Trail in Devil’s Gulch in Sierra National Forest in Mariposa, California on August 15, 2021, should have us all on high alert as we enter this new high heat era that scientists know very little about. 

Heart of the matter. There are many toxins in our environment that become more dangerous in high heat, especially extreme high heat with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. These hazardous chemicals are likely to become airborne in temperatures with a heat index of 90 degrees. Examples of such toxins are the pesticides used on golf courses as well as conventional farms. These toxic pesticides — typically glyphosate and chlorpyrifos — run off the treated land during heavy rains, and spread far and wide. They’re invisible, and most are odorless, which results in the public being unaware that we’re exposed. A family might live hundreds of yards from a golf course, and not think to attribute a health condition to this unfortunate reality. In fact, doctors might be stumped and unable to quickly identify what is causing an ailment. 

This appears to be the way investigators in Mariposa, California are feeling right now as they try and solve the tragic deaths of John Gerrish, 45, his partner Ellen Chung, 30, their one-year-old daughter, Miju, and dog, Oski, who all died while hiking in the California wilderness on a hot Sunday afternoon when local thermometers hit 109 degrees.

Get daily climate action tips by joining Act Now for the Earth Cafe and have fun learning the amazing & valuable tips that will help the earth recover from the staggering damage of climate change. Cafe communities are the new big thing. Sustainability is all about community. We’d greatly value you being part of our ecosystem. CLICK here today and join the conversation at  Earth Cafe!

Important facts.

  • Harmful algal blooms (HABs, also known as cyanotoxins) were in the south fork of the Merced River a couple of miles from where the family was found. The investigators didn’t provide any information about whether the family swam or waded in the toxic water, or drank from it, although apparently they did not, since no evidence of that was discovered during the autopsies, and no information to that effect has been reported.
  • Upon testing the water, high levels of anatoxin-a (ATX) were found. ATX is also known as Very Fast Death Factor that can cause multiple conditions including breathing paralysis and death.
  • In April of this year, scientists found airborne ATX around Capaum Pond on Nantucket and weren’t clear about how it became airborne. They expressed concern: “People often recreate around these lakes and ponds with algal blooms without any awareness of the potential problems.”
  • University of Michigan researchers, Andrew Ault and Kerri Pratt, conducted a study on the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Michigan in 2018 where toxic blue-green algal blooms appear each year en masse in the wake of agricultural run-off. They found that the waves splashing against the algal blooms along the shoreline, resulted in the toxic algal blooms becoming aerosolized. Ault and Pratt were the first to report this finding.
  • The terrain itself may have posed a problem. Steep mountain walls on all sides, with  the four bodies found along the trail on the lower section of the mountain. Hopefully investigators are researching whether thermal runaway was a contributing factor. Thermal runaway is a condition, where “an increase in temperature changes the conditions in a way that causes a further increase in temperature, often leading to a destructive result.” This likely was not the case, but because the new high heat conditions are foreign to us, scientists don’t necessarily know whether or not it was a contributing factor, and might want to research this possibility. The toxic algal blooms were located at the very bottom of the mountain range in the valley, with towering mountains on all sides. Can thermal runaway cause the toxins to become more potent and rise further in the air?

Next Steps:

  • The Savage Lundy Trail is closed until at least September 26, 2021. Investigators have been very tight-lipped about their investigation, not providing any additional details after they learned about the high levels of ATX in the Merced Rivers due to toxic algal blooms. They did not respond to our request for an update, nor whether the Savage Lundy Trail would re-open after the 26th. 
  • Murder and suicide were ruled out. 
  • Nine out of ten Americans breath polluted air that becomes that much more toxic in the high heat.
  • We all may want to consider wearing facemarks outdoors in the high heat due to the sheer volume of chemicals that become airborne.
No rose without thorns. —French Proverb.
Groundbreaking YA book series for all ages. Not only a gripping modern day nail-biter with Machiavellian villains, but also one that opens our eyes to the brutal war going on beneath our feet that controls our destiny, despite our obliviousness to this potentially civilization-destroying threat.

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