Category Archives: Delaney Reynolds

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

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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.

ExxonMobil Logo

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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Quit Obsessing About Climate Change? Does What You Do or Don’t Do Matter?

Hi everyone, I hope you had a fantastic summer filled with fun and adventure! Mine has been a blur of activity that’s included a few week-long shark tagging and marine science trips out in the Atlantic Ocean; a month long coastal geology expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada in which we studied everything from marine environments to glaciers; work as the Director of Sustainability for the new Miami Beach Pop Festival (wwww.miamibeachpop.com) and more. Much of the time during my travels I’ve not had internet or much in the way of cell service, but the lessons and experiences have been incredible.

School starts on Monday and I’ve been on campus a great deal in recent days getting ready for what will be a full semester (18 credits), in addition to my work here at The Sink or Swim Project, the Festival, our ongoing climate lawsuit and more. I have a few new blogs headed your way soon but with the arrival of my dear friend Richard Jacob’s own blog post today I hope you won’t mind my setting them aside in favor of sharing his newest, and certainly timely work entitled “Quit Obsessing About Climate Change? Does What You Do or Don’t Do Matter?” as a guest blog:

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Glen Hendrix is a designer, writer, inventor, and entrepreneur. And he has a blog worth checking out.

In his A Timeline for Climate Change Hendrix points out the difficulty we have recognizing the effects of climate change because we lack historical comparisons. A scientist commenting on Hendrix’s blog suggests:

“It is because we are right at that instant where you have cracked an egg on a hot pan, and it’s not cooked yet because the heat from the pan has not transferred into the proteins in the egg to denature them. We are living the infinitesimally small second or two before the egg turns white. You are making an observation which is so difficult for people to understand and thank you for making it.”

I wasn’t too surprised when Hendrix followed up with another blog, “Quit Obsessing About Climate Change. What You Do or Don’t Do No Longer Matters.”

Hendrix starts out:

“Quit worrying about going vegan, or recycling, or riding a bicycle to work, or buying a Tesla instead of that Ford F-650 pickup you’ve always wanted in order to save the planet. You’re off the hook. It’s out of your hands. You can do these things if it makes you feel better, but they are not going to change the big picture. Whatever you do does not matter.”

He concludes:

“So tell your children you are sorry for what is going on with the climate, but it’s not their fault or yours. Tell them some bad people made it too hard to do anything until it was too late. Tell them you will vote for people that might help with the problem. Maybe if we elect the right leaders, and they do the right things there is still time.Tell them to study science and engineering so that someday they might help with a solution or figure out adaptations to deal with it. Or you can put that whole talk off for later. I won’t blame you. You are only human.”

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Hendrix’s comments about our obsessing were quite timely.

I had just received emails from three friends regarding climate change articles I had sent to them, including, A letter to my fellow boomers about climate change.

• One responded, “I am frightened.”
• Another, “It’s hard not to be discouraged. I don’t know what to advise my kids and grandkids about how to prepare themselves for the future.”
• The third, “My wife agrees we have environmental problems, but that it’s hopeless. I don’t agree and want to go down fighting to the end no matter the end. How do we deal with those who have given up hope?”

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We can accept Hendrix’s fatality. We can tell our offspring we’re sorry.

Many well-meaning people have accepted the fatality of our circumstances.

• Too many of us don’t vote since we are convinced our vote doesn’t matter, or there’s really no best of the worst choices. The result is that 29% of us who could vote elected the President for all 100% of us who could vote. And most of us agree that hasn’t been the best result.
• Many of my generation – our “senior” generation – are too willing to say: “We’re too old to worry because the worst won’t happen in our lifetimes.”

But I have trouble with that, with Hendrix’s conclusion:

“What You Do or Don’t Do No Longer Matters.”

That’s contrary to the message Jane Goodall gave us:

“What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

And it’s contrary to what Margaret Mead said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Yes, we’d like to have leaders that would solve our problems; we’d like leaders who are inspiring, moral roll models for us all, not just conformations for extremists.

But necessary change doesn’t come from top down; it comes from the bottom up. It comes from folks like you and me. It comes from concerned young folks, like 16 year old 2019 Nobel Peace Price Nominee, Greta Thurnberg from Sweden, who told NBC News:

“Instead of worrying about how that future might turn out, I’m going to try to change that future while I still can.”

And from 19 year old Delaney Reynolds from Miami, who reminds us:

“My generation must decide whether we want our planet to sink or swim.”

Delaney, a star student at the University of Miami, is the lead plaintiff in Our Children’s Trust lawsuit, Reynolds vs. Florida.

Some three decades ago, Bruce Courtney wrote a book about these sorts difference makers: “The Power of One,” which became a great movie in the late 1990s. It’s still available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Time.

The film closes with our hero challenging us:

“Changes can come from the power of many, but only when the many come together to form that which is invincible . . . The power of one.”

So, decide what kind of difference maker you want to be.

What you do or don’t do matters.

Choose. You can come together as part of the invincible POWER of ONE!

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