Category Archives: #AlwaysBelieve

Extreme To The Next Level

Hurricane Dorian is taking extreme to the next level.

With sustained winds of 185 mph Sunday afternoon and evening,

the Category 5 storm has risen to the top of the charts among the

most powerful tropical systems ever observed in the Atlantic Ocean”.

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The warm summer waters of places like the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico are the ‘fuel’ that grow tropical cyclones like the devastating Hurricane Dorian into monster storms. And as global temperatures continue to rise due to mankind’s use of fossil fuel products such as gasoline and coal scientists predict that we will face more frequent and more powerful hurricanes than ever before. In fact, Hurricane Dorian might have just made that point for us with an exclamation point (!).

Earth’s temperatures have been rapidly rising ever since the Industrial Revolution in the late 1880’s when man’s ‘modern’ machines were first introduced, machines that are fueled by fossil fuel products like gas and coal and that send carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in volumes never before seen here on earth.  Those carbon emissions have grown dramatically greater since the 1950’s and they are the key cause of earth’s rising temperatures and climate crisis. Consider this:

  • Humans have been able to scientifically measure the earth’s temperature since 1880.
  • 2014 was the hottest year on record in the history of these measurements.
  • Until 2015, which broke the record.
  • Until 2016, which broke the record.
  • Then 2017 became the third warmest year,
  • And 2018 became the fourth warmest year,
  • And July, 2019 was the hottest month EVER.

And that brings us to this summer and Dorian. As one article explained the devastation, Dorian took extreme to the next level”. Consider some of the records that the storm has set:

  1. As measured by wind speed and its low pressure Dorian is the strongest storm on record each of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean (ever).
  2. At 185 miles per hour, Dorian is tied with 1935’s un-named Labor Day storm as the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall.
  3. By pressure Dorian is the strongest storm to ever hit the Bahamas.
  4. By wind speed at 185 miles per hour Dorian is the strongest hurricane to hit the Bahamas.
  5. Dorian is the second strongest storm ever recorded over the Atlantic’s waters.
  6. Dorian is the fastest growing storm (in just nine hours Dorian’s winds grew from a 150 miles per hour to 185 mph).

Logic and common sense tell us that if we continue to pump carbon pollution into our oceans and atmosphere, temperatures will continue to rise.

And that same warmer and warmer water that’s also melting ice and causing sea levels to rise is what’s fueling the storms that threaten tens of millions of people and their property.

It’s time to consider that Dorian might be the new normal. It’s time to consider that sea level rise threatens the way of life for hundreds of millions of people and the places they live all over earth. It’s time to realize that we have now taken extreme to the next level” and that we must act in serious and material ways to eliminate our carbon pollution before it’s too late.

For more pictures of the Bahamas before and after Dorian please click here, and to learn how to help the people of the Bahamas please click here.

Things Are Changing And That’s Okay

Buggy

There was a time when people had to walk to get to their destination.

Until riding a horse became the norm.

Until folks began riding in a wagon or buggy pulled by a horse or mule.

Until the gas combustible engine and the automobile was invented.

And so it went and continues to go. One transition after another and all the while society and the economy did not collapse. Things changed and everything was just fine.

And now that’s happening again. Things are changing right before our eyes during our lifetimes and it’s an important change. It’s one you and I should support and accelerate. One that might just save a good many people on our planet and the places they live if it happens soon enough.

The change I am talking about is the world’s shift away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable solutions such as electric cars and solar power. And why do I know things are changing? Well, as they say, just follow the money.

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ExxonMobil has dominated the world’s economy for generations and for nearly 100 years it has been one of the ten largest businesses in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Stock Index, an index of the 500 largest businesses. In fact, for six years straight, just a decade ago, it was the number one ranked company. Six years in a row as the largest. As number one. But, like I said, things change.

Today, as the world shifts away from the core products it sells, ExxonMobil is now number 12. Still a gigantic company, and one whose products are killing our planet by causing temperatures to rise from the carbon pollution those products emit, but it’s no longer number one or even in the “top 10”.

Today the top 10 is dominated by high tech, financial and healthcare businesses. Apple, Amazon, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Visa and so forth. Not an oil or energy company amongst the top 10 these days. Here’s the list as of August 30th, 2019 according to S&P Dow Jones Indices:
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And it’s not just ExxonMobil that is being impacted by the changes being made all over the world. The entire energy sector has been greatly diminished. Four decades ago 25% of the S&P 500 Index was comprised of energy businesses while today it’s just 4.4% as of August 30th. As of December 31st, 2018 that figure was 5.8% and while there are many business reasons (you can read about some of them by clicking here and here) related to the short term decline, the price of a drum of oil or such, the evidence is clear that oil’s dominance is on the decline and not likely to greatly rebound. And that’s OK too.

Here is what Sumit Roy wrote in July in EFT.Com (click here to read the entire article):

“Going forward, it’s hard to imagine that the fortunes of the energy sector are going to improve in any sustained way. OPEC’s production cuts over the past three years have merely been a bandage over a market awash with oil.

On the demand side, consumption in developed countries peaked more than a decade ago, though total global demand continues to be carried higher by emerging markets. As electric cars become more prolific, emerging market demand may peak too, marking the official end of the oil era.”

People don’t generally like change and changes take time. A transition of the size that’s happening with our global energy market will fully take a decade or longer, but I believe that it has begun. People my age increasingly want sustainable energy, electric cars and other solutions to our climate crisis and don’t understand why anyone would debate or delay their benefits.

So, I say embrace the changes.

Accelerate them.

And don’t listen to the oil and coal and utility companies whose fat profits they and the politicians beholden to them want to forever protect. Tell them that things are changing and that it’s OKAY.

Everything, just as history has taught us time and time again, will be just fine.

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I Vote For Humanity

In my recent post, Business As Usual, I expressed frustration over how silent so many in the Republican Party are over the outrageous, incompetent and increasingly inhumane behavior that President Trump, Vice President Pence and their Administration are subjecting our country to every day of our lives.

Only days after that post we are faced with yet more dire examples of why our country is at a monumental cross roads and needs to decide whether the inhumane behavior that’s taking place while his fellow Republicans remain so often silent in a way that only condones what is happening is who America is or aspires to be. Are we not better than what we are watching and what Republicans far too often support with their silence? Are the offices they hold so selfishly important to them that they are afraid to speak up and take issue with the attacks on America’s foundational values that we witness every day and night these past two plus years?

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Case in point: this week a reputable writer shared a story of rape in a department store dressing room by Mr. Trump. I’d think that an allegation of rape against a sitting President should concern all Americans, yet despite a picture showing the two of them together at a party his response that he’s never met the woman and that she’s “not my type” seems acceptable to Republicans given that only two in Congress have as of yet expressed any public concern. Where is the humanity and concern we should all have to determine if this serious allegation is true?

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Case in point: the horrific, vivid picture of a father and his young daughter washed up on the shore of a river on the Mexican/American border, having drowned while seeking the promise of freedom that America was founded on. Or for that matter, stories that are pouring out into the public domain about children being maliciously separated from their families, forced to sleep outside or without bedding or with the lights on all night in concentration camp type facilities. The immigration related atrocities just go on and on and none of it strikes me as humane or the way we Americans should want to treat our fellow man.

smkVx5dR-720Or case in point: the recent interview Vice President Pence gave about climate change in which he stated that there are “good scientists on both sides of the ‘debate'”.

First off, there is no longer any “debate” by unbiased and even slightly educated folks that our climate is warming and seas are rising, much less that it’s caused principally by man-made carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels we use. 98% of scientists agree on these facts.

Secondly, his comment about “good scientists on both sides” reminds me of his mentor, the President, saying that there were “good people on both sides” of a peaceful demonstration that turned deadly when white supremacists, key supporters apparently of Trump, Pence and the rest of the “R” crowd, invoked vile, racial mayhem that has rippled across America ever since. His words and the silence of nearly every Republican only served to condone what the racists did that day and because of their lack of action we see a growing element of that hatred building all over America. Surely that’s not who America is or aspires to be and become.

I realize that democracy is not always linear, nor painless. Progress ebbs and flows over time as our society and culture evolves, but I also know that many patriots have fought and died for our values. Many brave Americans have spoken up and out to make our country truly great.

For our freedoms.

For women’s rights.

For racial and gender equality.

For cherishing and protecting our environment so as to leave it in better shape for the next generation than the last.

There is a deep humanity in these achievements and their aspirations that defines who we, as Americans, are and who we want to become. But that humanity is lost everywhere I look within the Trump Administration and that loss seems to be growing like a cancer in need of a cure.

And so with our country beginning to contemplate our next Presidential election, starting in earnest with last night and tonight’s Democratic debates here in Miami, I hope that you will join me in seeking a cure and by supporting a change in our nation’s highest office before it’s too late. Consider your options starting tonight and spread the word to your friends and family.

Together we can fix the terrible mistake America made in 2016. And for my part, I vote for humanity in 2020 and will happily support anyone not named Donald Trump.

 

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