Tangled up in Blue

While many of Bob Dylan’s songs resonate with me, my personal favorite is “Tangled up in Blue.” The poetic storytelling of this song keeps me fascinated from start to finish. Plus, the title means to me that we are all blue more than we care to admit and get tangled up in our sadness and melancholy.  Here are the lyrics to this poetic song.

Early one morning the sun was shining
I was laying in bed
Wond’ring if she’d changed it all
If her hair was still red
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like Mama’s homemade dress
Papa’s bankbook wasn’t big enough
And I was standing on the side of the road
Rain falling on my shoes
Heading out for the East Coast
Lord knows I’ve paid some dues getting through
Tangled up in blue.

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam I guess
But I used a little too much force
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out West
Split it up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best
She turned around to look at me
As I was walking away
I heard her say over my shoulder
“We’ll meet again someday on the avenue”
Tangled up in blue.

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the axe just fell
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Working for a while on a fishing boat
Right outside of Delacroix
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind and I just grew
Tangled up in blue.

She was working in a topless place
And I stopped in for a beer
I just kept looking at her side of her face
In the spotlight so clear
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I was just about to do the same
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said to me “Don’t I know your name?”
I muttered something underneath my breath
She studied the lines on my face
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe
Tangled up in blue.

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
“I thought you’d never say hello” she said
“You look like the silent type”
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the fifteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs
There was music in the café at night
And revolution in the air
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside
And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue.

So now I’m going back again
I got to get her somehow
All the people we used to know
They’re an illusion to me now
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter’s wives
Don’t know how it all got started
I don’t what they’re doing with their lives
But me I’m still on the road
Heading for another joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point of view
Tangled up in Blue. 

If you are like me, you will be saying these words in time with the music. I love the references and wordsmithing throughout. My favorite line which I use on occasion is “we will meet again someday on the avenue.” I just find that so profound. Dylan wrote and sang about many causes and some of his songs are anthems. Yet, I find this real kind of storytelling is what makes his words live beyond his eventual death. He will be viewed favorably centuries from now. Tangled up in blue.

 

 

Welcome to Obamacare Senator Cruz

There has been a media sensation created by Senator Ted Cruz’s throwing his hat in the ring to run for President as the Republican candidate. Irrespective of how you feel about that decision, another interesting bit of news is Senator Cruz is signing up for the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. The reason this is such news is Senator Cruz has been an ardent naysayer of Obamacare and actually played a key role in shutting down government with an over twenty-one hour filibuster replete with “Green Eggs and Ham” readings.

As a Tea Party champion, it could be safe to say, he has been a leader of the effort to denounce, discredit and disinform about the veracity of Obamacare. As an aside, while Obamacare is complex and could be improved, it is working pretty well to expand coverage, dampen cost increases and assure coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. So, what does this all mean with Senator Cruz joining the ranks?

He and his supporters have dismissed the irony noting it is the law of the land and he needs healthcare coverage. I cannot disagree with those reasons. Yet, what is more than ironic and bothers more than just me are two key points. First, Senator Cruz has not been shy about his criticisms of Obamacare. He has made others aware of his great concerns using needed areas of improvement and areas where the facts get in the way of a good story (Obamacare is a government takeover of healthcare – no it is the opposite; Obamacare is socialism – no it is a blend of for-profit and social insurance, e.g.). As a result, voters have been influenced by this bashing of Obamacare and may have made decisions that were not in the best interest of their families. While they should have considered the law on the financial merits of what it means for their family, they dismissed it as an option.

I have written before that people should not take financial advice from elected officials. On issues like whether you should look into healthcare insurance, politicians are not qualified to give such advice. This is an individual cost/ risk analysis that should be influenced by people qualified to give such advice. We have far too many people who have died, foregone care, gone bankrupt, or needed fundraisers to help pay for medical bills. I have guided several people to navigators who received appropriate advice. A good friend was one of these people and when she ended up in the hospital yet again due to COPD complications, she was covered.

Second, Senator Cruz prides himself on sticking to his beliefs. He does not advocate or condone compromise. This stance has caused him to run afoul of Republican leadership as evidenced by the shutdown of the government and his position last fall that played into the hands of Senator Harry Reid and many judicial appointments not favored by the GOP were put up for vote and passed. Now, here is one key time to stick to beliefs, but his pocketbook made the decision for him. He voted to be covered by Obamacare. If I were one of those who did not sign up because of his stance or due to news coverage of his stance, I would be more than a little perturbed.

It goes without saying I am not a supporter of Senator Cruz. He is a grandstander of the worst kind and blocks progress that could be made by more reasonable elected officials. What frustrated me most is during his twenty-one hours of filibuster to shut down the government, while criticizing Obamacare, not once did the Senator from Texas mention his state had the most uninsured citizens in the country. Obamacare has helped people gain coverage, including many Texans. It is working pretty well. And, it will work for even one of its staunchest opponents. Welcome to Obamacare Senator Cruz. It is not perfect, but should serve you well.

PS – It should be noted, the Senator is walking back his statement saying he has not made a final decision.

Also, while Googling  “Ted Cruz Obamacare,” I came across the Quick Poll the Senator did last year on the 4th anniversary. The comments he received were exceedingly positive toward the new law. One person commented I hope the Senator is reading these comments. Apparently, he did not.

My boomer lane has been bumpy, but still worth the ride

Our friend Renee writes a consistently humorous blog called “Life in the Boomer Lane.” She ranges from “tongue-in-cheek” to “call them as she sees them” humor and her blog is very much worth the read, even if you are not living life in the boomer lane. She has a range of followers, including a number of men, who will actively wade in with comments, even when our gender is being scrutinized in a painful manner. An example of this is evidenced in a link to her latest post is below.

Beneath her humor, her posts cause genuine reflection, laughter and melancholy from her readers. As one of her constant readers, I find myself often in this boat as I look back on my life thus far, complete with great moments and a few which could have been better or I could have acted better. Being a guy, we are prone to do and have done foolish and, even, irresponsible things. Hopefully, I have learned the hard lessons and will avoid them in the future, but I do reserve the right to be a dumb ass on occasion. I think we all need a hall pass every once in a while. Now, though, I recognize my poor behavior and will sincerely regret and apologize for my deficiencies. I guess that is what being a grown-up is all about.

For the most part, I have lived a life of trying to do the right thing. That was ingrained in me early on by my parents, especially my mother. Also, since I was invited by a friend to begin helping people in need dating back to 1999, it has made me realize how fortunate I have been and how opportunities do not exist for many in our country. Or, how when people are down and out, the chances to climb out of the hole, sometimes can be challenging. They need to climb the ladder, but we need to make sure that ladder exists for them and that the steps are not greased.

Yet, I have hurt people’s feelings, as well, just as we all have done. A single guy in his early twenties is prone to shun involvement and I did some of that. As quid pro quo, I have had my heart broken a few times, as well. Fortunately, that ended when I met my wife and we eventually married when we were twenty-six. We have been together for going on 30 years, so she has been able to put up with my faults and help me improve the ones she can. I look back on some of my previous relationships noting where I was less than a gentleman or where I could have and should have tried harder. Again, I guess that is what being a grown-up is all about.

So, I have been a fixer upper all of my life. I have made mistakes, but for the most part have tried to stay on a good path forward. I wish I could re-write some of that history, but it may have changed the wonderful person I have been married to for these 30 years and the wonderful children and family we have together. It is not unlike my favorite Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever,” where Dr. McCoy goes back in time and his actions negate the existence of the Enterprise and change the future. So, my life in the boomer lane is a good one. It is an imperfect, but wonderful ride. And, we still have plenty of daylight to drive on some more and enjoy the view.

http://lifeintheboomerlane.com/2015/03/25/why-older-men-should-date-younger-women/

The end of the beginning

My daughter just completed her senior graduation project in high school last week and the melancholy of her last few months of high school is kicking in. In August, she will be off to college, so we will be officially empty nesters. We are so very excited for her as we were (and are still)  for her brothers, when they headed off. But, this is not the beginning of the end. This is the end of the beginning.

People have said many times that it is interesting to see the change in relationship as their children grow more into adulthood. I totally see this with our oldest son and am seeing this with our youngest son. While it is a journey upward and onward, there are moments when they make child-like errors in judgment. We all do, but they are more in number at this age. Boys take a little longer than girls to make that journey, but we take pride in more adult conversations that we are having with our children.

Our girl has equipped herself with a keen sense of humor and an ability to get along with many. While we could have done many things better, our children share their friends, so our youngest is more mature due to such interaction. She also carries a passion for doing the right thing and standing up for others and the environment. She does not appreciate showing teachers disrespect for the sake of juvenile enjoyment.

She is a neat young woman and we are quite proud of her. We are looking forward to her taking flight and will be there when the need arises. Yet, this is her story to write. It is only the end of the beginning. There is much more story left.

It will also give my wife and me the chance to do things for us. As parents, we are forever planning around events, classes, schedules, etc. It will be quite lovely to do a sudden day trip or take a long weekend. Or, go on a longer vacation. We will be able to date more, which oftentimes is killed because of being tired or busy. So, it is our new beginning, as well.

Which movies include these quotes?

I am movie buff, but one who likes plot and dialogue. I am not too big on action movies unless they come with a  plot and/ or have more people than computer generated characters. The exception of course being Pixar or cartoon movies, which are entirely computer generated or drawn. I am also a collector of quotes.

With that context, let me know from which movies the following quotes can be found. Note the quotes are from memory, so I may not get them exactly correct, but they echo in my mind and come to me from time to time.

1. “We gotta get a bigger boat.”

2. “This is the stuff dreams are made of.”

3. “Sometimes, there are not enough rocks.”

4. “Mrs. Robinson, I believe you are trying to seduce me.”

5. “I’ll have what she’s having.”

6. “Louie, I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

7. “I could have been a contender.”

8. “You know how to whistle Steve. You just put your lips together and blow.”

9. “You could sweep the seas for England.”

10. “Round up the usual suspects.”

11. “I’ll just have to worry about that tomorrow.”

12. “Love is never having to say your sorry.”

13. 1st person: “Love is never having to say your sorry.” 2nd person: “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

14. “Isn’t our time, my time as well Mr. Hand?”

15. “I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”

16. “Rollo Tomassi.”

17. “Your honor is a gift you give yourself.”

18. “Snap out of it!”

19. “I am so mad, I just want to hit some one.”

20. “Twas, beauty that killed the beast.”

Let me know what you think. Try to do them from memory, first, and let me know where I have strayed on the quotes. Please feel free to share your favorites and I will guess where they originated. Sorry, there are no prizes for winning other than maybe learning of a new movie to watch or walking down memory lane.

A town’s neat idea worth replicating

With a tremendous need to return to community policing, a story about Farmington, New Hampshire has caught the attention of many. Police Chief Jay Drury started a very simple program where police officers approach citizens on the street after witnessing them doing the right thing or simply doing what they are supposed to do. To the citizens surprise, the officers award them with a coupon for a free slice of pizza or an order of fries at local restaurants who elected to participate.

Below is a link to the NBC Nightly News story where I learned of the program. People who have cleaned up after a pet, walked across the street using the crosswalks, walked with a properly leashed pet, or helped shovel snow off a common sidewalk or street, are afforded coupons. The people are surprised at first, but delighted with the positive reinforcement.

To me, this is replicable and sustainable idea. The award is not super huge, but is commensurate with an economic gold star. The restaurants benefit from getting notoriety as well as customers in the door. It is akin to the kids selling the coupon books to raise money. My guess is you will buy stuff for others while you are there, which makes it advantageous to the restaurant.

Yet, the key is the positive interaction between people and the police. As a parent, my wife and I learned there are many opportunities to fuss at your kids to correct  behavior. You could end up only being negative with them if you chose to do so. Mind you, our kids are very good kids, but they have been teenagers and pre-teens. So, when we found ourselves harping on things more than we needed, we curtailed that negative discussion. Now, when we must help them see the error of their ways, we can do it sparingly, but with a calmer voice of “you need to recognize what you did and how you could do better the next time.”

The same goes with the police. If your only encounters are negative, it flavors your perception. With the profiling going in many communities, it behooves police officers to reach out more to the communities, especially those who have members that are profiled. I go back to the book called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg (link provided below). In the book, he notes how Paul O’Neill turned Alcoa around by focusing on safety when he became CEO. He noted later that it was the only thing he could get management and labor to agree on. In so doing, he improved communication up, down and across the organization, so not only was safety improved, but performance improved and new ideas of conducting business were shared from those on the manufacturing floor.

The same concept applies here. If the police officers reach out in positive ways to the community, not only should safety be improved but the communities will as well. People will see that what they do and say matter and will begin sharing ideas to improve their community. And, that is worth the effort. Well done Farmington, New Hampshire.

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/nh-police-department-rewards-good-behavior-pizza-fries-n321741

http://www.npr.org/2012/03/05/147192599/habits-how-they-form-and-how-to-break-them

Congress – Stop worrying about keeping your job and do your job

In merger settings, it becomes apparent the employees who are doing more politicking to keep their jobs. Their focus is beating the competition from the merger partner, that some will play themselves up while putting others down. In these settings, as a manager and consultant who led teams helping the merged entity, I would find myself saying “worry more about doing your job than keeping your job.”

This is an ideal metaphor for elected officials. The issues become unimportant, except for how they are marginalized into talking points that can be won or lost. Governance is thrown out the window. Solving problems are thrown out the window. It is far more important to grease the skids to remain in office or get elected. Elected officials worry more about keeping their job than doing their job. And, we are the ones who suffer.

More often than not, unimportant issues are discussed to win a political gotcha game. It is a true zero sum game, where I must win and you must lose. In a day when neither of the major political parties own all of the best ideas and, in some cases, have only poor ones, to say the other side is always wrong, is just plain inaccurate. To say that your side is always right, is even more inaccurate.

So, let me state an admonition of our elected officials. Stop worrying about keeping your job and do your job. At the end of this month, the Department of Transportation trust fund will run out of money, again. It is St. Patrick’s Day and have you read much about our Congress doing something about this? It has been extended through smoke and mirrors for a few months, but we must do something material. Right now, our infrastructure is in need of great repair. Right now, interest rates are low, so it is an ideal time to borrow money to improve our assets. Right now, we would benefit from jobs that would be created by acting.

Yet, our Congress will not act. They would rather talk about gotcha politics that solve nothing with the intent to embarrass the other side. Folks, it is time to do your job. You owe it to the American people. If you choose not to act, I would beseech you to relinquish your position, as you are providing head winds to any progress we must make.

A few workable and impactful jobs initiatives

With the domestic economy doing well with one of the longest growth periods, we have a lot to herald in the US. However, we still have some room to improve on job growth as many are working, but not everyone are in jobs that can provide sustainable living. Many are working multiple part-time jobs as there has been a trend for some time to cut hours in retail, restaurant and service jobs. There is a lot of lip service provided for job creation legislation, but one party believes jobs are created through trickle down economics, so tangible efforts to promote jobs either need to be masked or do not get passed. Yet, there are few things that could be done which will solve other problems and create job growth.

First, I have written many times before about our increasingly obsolete and in need of repair infrastructure. Bridges, roads, ports, airports, internet connectivity, distribution facilities, etc. are all in need of update, improvement or replacement. There is a huge bi-partisan message that this needs to be done and yet it still cannot get funded beyond Band-Aid fundings. These needs are long overdue, so say the US Chamber of Commerce and Department of Transportation, and with interest rates so low, now is the time to borrow. I repeat a theme from earlier, borrowing to build or maintain an asset is different than borrowing to pay for operations. From these investments, jobs will come. Jobs that will impact highly educated folks and blue collar folks. We need to fund the Department of Transportation Trust Fund once again by months end. Congress needs to make a move and do something productive.

Second, I have harped on this issue a great deal, but numerous studies by foundations and universities have reinforced this. Those states who have not expanded Medicaid are missing the boat economically. The impact on the states’ economies who have done this is measurable. The impact on the rural hospitals in those states who expanded Medicaid is measurable. This is includes more healthcare jobs remaining and keeping major employers in an area alive and well. Plus, those who need healthcare and cannot afford it, are being left out in the cold. With healthcare paid for, they will be able to spend more on gas and groceries. The data shows this to be true, but leaders in some states have such a negative perception of the Affordable Care Act, they refuse to consider this option which is economically additive to their states.

Third, in keeping with the infrastructure comments, some states have done a better jobs than others with reinvesting in their communities. Many states have Historic Redevelopment Tax Credits, which have an eye toward taking abandoned factory or housing assets and repurposing them to be community assets. The numbers from redevelopment are staggering over time. To take a liability and turn it into an asset that will draw business, retail, tourists, and jobs, can be an amazing thing to behold. These are examples of blending public and private funding to do targeted things. In North Carolina, our General Assembly wants to let the tax credit expire. That would be a disservice to our state, as we can point to so many developments that make a place more inviting. Of course, not all development is well-conceived, but there are so many things that can be invested in that will pay dividends, if parties do their homework.

Fourth, the renewable energy future is showing up more and more, but there is so much more that could be done. This is also where jobs are, especially as dirty fuel sources wane or are phased out over time. Solar jobs tally 174,000 at year-end and have been growing at a double digit rate for several years. If we invest in wind energy more, we could have over 500,000 jobs by 2030.  Yet, the federal tax credit to incent renewable investments will be cut back in a couple of years and the North Carolina credit will expire at year-end. These are wise investments, through tax breaks, that will spur even more growth. So, we should not take the wind out of our sails.

Each of the above changes would add significant numbers of jobs. They are not outlandish, as America’s greatness has been fueled by public/ private investment. The rest of the world is copying us, so we should not throw our baby out with the bathwater. Let’s invest in America. Let’s invest in us.

Reality is scarier than fiction this Friday the 13th

I have never been a big fan of gory horror movies, although I did enjoy Frankenstein and Dracula when I was little. And, The Exorcist and The Omen did cause some chills and entertainment. However, what is most scary to me are stories that could happen or did happen in real life. With that in mind this Friday 13th, the most scary things that could happen are very real and that is being led down poor paths by our leaders.

In no particular order:

– ISIS is scary, but what is most scary to me is our leaders possibly taking their bait and introducing US ground troops. That is precisely what ISIS wants. We have reached a tipping point and that is the Muslim world is saying no more to terrorists like ISIS who have hijacked their religion with extreme views. The fight against ISIS must be a Muslim-led effort with our support and help. ISIS knows this and wants to draw in America, so they can point to another enemy.

– Before leaving the Middle East, I shared with my Senator’s office that signing a letter to Iran with 46 other senators is asinine. These 47 senators endangered America by showing our division to the world. It is more than OK to debate and argue, but to circumvent negotiations over something this important and to disagree with something before you know what it is childish and dangerous. Columnist Michael Gerson, who is one of the best conservative bent writers, largely said the same thing in his column today. A shrewd leader will use this to our disadvantage. Putin has already written op-ed pieces in our papers to sway opinion. Remember this is the guy who controls his media, so he can play us against ourselves.

– But, let’s set this aside for a minute. What do the chest beaters want us to do if this agreement fails? What do the chest beaters want us to do in Ukraine? What do they want us to do in Syria? Our troops have said to people who will listen, we don’t mind fighting, but give us a clear-cut mission with an end strategy. What does winning look like? These folks that want us to get more heavily involved can not define what winning looks like, as to be brutally frank, it may not be clearly definable. There is a two-word term that comes to mind that military personnel use often to describe these situations and it begins with the word “cluster.” I will let you complete the thought.

– At the same time I was including in my previous post about the City of Miami and the three surrounding counties spending $200 million to combat the encroaching sea that is now coming up through the storm drains and flooding the streets, the state of Florida was striking the words climate change and global warming from formal documents. This is akin to the George W. Bush White House marking through scientific papers presented to them striking the same language. It is also akin to the state of NC General Assembly refusing to accept a peer-reviewed scientific paper that said the sea levels will rise 39 inches (one meter) by 2100, the same prediction accepted in Virginia, Maine, and Louisiana. I wish I could handle my problems this easily, by erasing them with my delete key or pencil eraser. Didn’t you know you could hold back rising sea levels with legal briefs?

– The scariest thing in America right now is our leadership and political machinations. No one cares to govern and only wants to grease the skids to get elected or remain in office. Everything is a win/ lose zero sum game, where one party has to disagree with the other party no matter what. For example, Obamacare borrows from Romneycare, a Republican idea which was advocated by Tea Party leadership for the country and is working for the most part, but Republicans have to hate it. Americans generally know what the problem is in large part, but with the election system gerrymandered and controlled by large donors coupled with a specifically uninformed public who does not know when they are being lied to by faux news shows, we do not have much hope for better governance.

Yet, we must try to make a difference. We have to hold our elected officials accountable. We have to ask questions of news experts and pundits regarding positions or statements they have made. We should also be wary of name-callers and labelers. When you hear someone resort to labels, be mindful that the person must not have a very good argument. We must also read, listen and watch more reputable news sources such as NPR, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, BBC World News America, Al Jazeera News to name a few. If we don’t, then everyday may be a Friday the 13th.

 

 

 

 

 

A Cautionary Tale of Too Little and Too Much Water

We have two major environmental concerns that are impacting us now and will continue to do so, unless we plan and execute a more dramatic strategy. One gets too little air time, while the other gets talked about, but is under constant attack by hired public relations people who are highlighted in the documentary ‘Merchants of Doubt” and the most recent airing of “Vice” on HBO. First, we have a growing fresh water shortage problem that is predicted to get worse in drought stricken and other areas. Second, we have an increasing intrusion of salt water in low-lying coastal areas that will also get far worse than predicted, likely displacing 300 million people by century’s end.

Fresh water is one of our two most dear resources on the planet, with the other being the air we breathe. Managing a predicted water shortage may be one of the most crucial tasks in front of us, yet we do not give sufficient news coverage to this looming problem. I would encourage you to read one of the best history books I have ever read by Steven Solomon called “Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization.”  The book does more than look backwards as it highlights a major concern going forward and uses the term “water is the new oil.” A link is provided below to an article on the book.

Any investment that requires the substantial use of water needs to factor that use in its Return on Investment calculations. I am against fracking for several reasons, but my greatest fear is the significant use of water that we cannot let trickle back into our water supply. When this issue is scoffed at by industry people, it should be noted that in the past couple of years frackers and farmers have been fighting over water in California, Kansas and Oklahoma. It should be noted in some areas of Texas, which is heavily drought prone, about 20% of an area’s water supply goes to fracking.

I use the fracking case as an example. We must be mindful of coal ash supplies near water sources, which is where they almost always are placed. We must be mindful of developers and how run off can occur from houses built on various lakes. We must be mindful of where we have placed dams and where we may have straightened out rivers, which can be harmful. And, we must re-emphasize conservation of water through the use of waterless water heaters, planting more endemic plants to an area, less water sprinkling, gray water plumbing for toilets, and what Orange County has done with sewage water which is treated and filtered many times over and reused as drinking water (yes, it is drinkable).

The other major concern relates to the impact of climate change on coastal locations, especially those below or at sea level. Climate change has many impacts, one of which is to make drought prone areas worse, but the rising sea levels is getting more attention. And, after watching what is happening in Antarctica and Greenland on the documentary “Vice,” the scientists who measure the impact on melting ice masses say it is too late to save Antarctica from severely melting with what we have done thus far.

The “Merchants of Doubt” who are the hired guns of the fossil fuel industry note that Antarctica is growing in ice mass. Yet, this is clearly refuted by the scientists doing the annual measuring noting the PR folks are purposefully confusing sea ice with land ice. The “sea ice” is thawing and refreezing to the tune of a meter thick, while the “land ice” which is kilometers thick is melting away and that is the major problem. The scientists equate it to ice thawing in a glass and refreezing (sea ice) versus adding more melted ice to the glass (land ice) which is causing the glass to run over. I make this distinction as the “Merchants of Doubt” are very good at what they do and are well paid by the industry to cause this doubt. Just remember the overflowing glass as a metaphor for what is actually happening versus the false message put forth by deniers.

The sad truth is people and some leaders believe this messaging and it is actually harming our planet and its inhabitants by delaying what needs to be done. The country of Bangladesh is being consumed by the encroaching waters in a very noticeable way. Impoverished people who farm and fish are required to move to overcrowded cities. The country of Denmark developed a long-range plan that had to survive different parties in power, so it had the buy-in of everyone. Ecuador is fighting a never-ending battle against the relentless sea. The City of Miami’s county (Dade County) has joined with three adjacent counties to invest $200 million into plans to stave off the encroaching sea water which is coming up through the storm drains in the streets more frequently. Below is a link to an article on the renewed efforts.

The rising sea levels will impact every low-lying area on the planet and is already consuming islands like the Cartaret Islands, whose ambassadors had to go to larger islands to ask if they could move there. It is also making the impact of hurricanes worse and will continue to do so. Climate scientists note hurricanes hitting shore with higher sea levels is like dunking a basketball off a raised court. The damage is more severe. Hurricane Sandy is a precursor to what will happen more often. This is where the cost of repair comes into play which totaled in the hundreds of billions, just with Sandy.

But, don’t take my word for it, read for yourself. I am not a scientist, but I can read. 97% of scientists note that man-influenced climate change is a happening and is a major concern. Out of 14,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change, only three were contrarian. Mercer Investment Consulting surveyed the largest pension scheme sponsors on the planet and these sponsors estimate the cost of climate change impact will be in the tens of trillions of dollars. Marsh, the largest risk management firm in the world, is speaking routinely with clients about managing risk of coastal assets. Georgia State University, one of the most well known risk management and actuarial schools in the US, has a curriculum around planning for climate change. Wall Street is factoring in the cost of climate change risk in their pricing. You also have the conclusions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, the UN International Panel of Climate Change, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science on man-influenced climate change. And, it goes on.

These two water issues are critical to our future. We are past time on acting and we need to plan and execute accordingly. We do not need well paid BS artists using science out of context to further prevent action from happening. We are at a point where we must question politicians on what we should do about these issues. And, if they say climate change or global warming is hoax, do us all a favor and do not vote for them. If they do not recognize water shortage as the major problem it is has become, do not vote for them. If they say it is a jobs issue more so than an environmental issue, note that the one of the fastest growing industries for jobs is the solar energy industry, which is averaging annual double-digit growth with 174,000 US jobs at year-end. The wind energy industry is growing as well and could also grow at the same clip with even more investment. And, the sun shines and wind blows in every state, some more so than others, so the energy impact and job creation can be spread around.

If anything, please understand the importance of these two issues. Question everything, especially politicians, leaders and so-called news sources. We do not have time to wait on leaders to catch-up. We need to make them catch-up. If they don’t or are not willing, get leaders who will look at real data and listen to unbiased science and help us do something about our problems. Our failure to act has made this even more crucial.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-solomon/water-is-the-new-oil_b_380803.html

http://www.law360.com/articles/613588/miami-dade-officials-accelerate-response-to-sea-level-rise