The concerns we are not talking enough about

In the US, we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about whatever the President may tweet or say. And, since he is not known for being the most truthful person, we often chase issues that are over-stated, over-simplified or just not true.

Yet, what we are not talking enough about concerns me. Here are a few items that get too little air time.

– With global warming, coral reefs are in jeopardy. Coupled with over fishing due to territorial issues (like in the China Sea), fish populations are diminishing. This should concern us all, and will create conflict along with industry and food loss. *

– Also due to global warming, we are seeing heavier and repetitive weather patterns which are flooding our farmlands, causing more elongated droughts in drought prone areas, and sparking more forest fires. I read a forward-looking report from 2010 sponsored by the largest global pension trustees that predicted global warming causing more of these occurrences and the multiple tens of trillion dollars in costs to remedy them. *

– We also have a global water crisis that is rearing its ugly head in a number of places such as Capetown and Saudi Arabia. Aquifers are diminishing in certain areas and increases in population far exceed the ability for some areas to provide fresh water. Global warming is making the water crisis worse.

– Bee populations around the globe are in decline. The UN reported 37% of bee species are in decline with 9% now extinct. That is 46% of bee species. The bees pollinate many foods which will be in decline as well, which when added to other threats should raise alarm. Certain pesticides are one cause, but it is likely a more holistic problem, including global warmlng.

– Finally, as alluded to above, we need to be concerned about population growth. A scientist said a few years ago that if everyone consumed resources like the average Rwandan, the earth could support 15 billion or so. Yet, if they consumed like the average North American, the number drops to around 2 billion. We have about 7 billion now. Family planning and birth control have to be in the equation.

There are so many more things to discuss, but we need to discuss protecting our species and environment. Call me crazy, but I think that is important.


* Note: I did see a few stories this morning that were encouraging and concerning. The Central US flooding is a recurrent issue for some towns and even barge shipping traffic on the Mississippi River has shut down until June as a result.

On the coral reef bleaching, I read that Florida and Australian scientists are sharing working approaches to save and try to revitalize dying reefs. That is encouraging, but is it enough?

A science teacher teaching climate change is actively identifying (and teaching her students to do so) the approx. 30,000 internet sources of misinformation on climate change using dated, refuted and untruthful information saying variations that climate change is a hoax. Also, several petroleum companies have provided free teaching materials, which downplay climate change and sell the advantages of petroleum. In contrast, there are about 700 reputable, peer reviewed scientific sites that are worthwhile. That smaller number reveals where the money lies.

7 thoughts on “The concerns we are not talking enough about

  1. Good post, Keith. I share your concerns. At 72 years and on a pension, not much I can do now except boycott certain corporate products and in particular, Amazon. The concerns you raise, incidentally, we were mocked for expressing in the 70’s. What I ‘predicted’ in the 70’s is now coming to pass and now I am making another ‘prediction’ – the age of man, not just this civilization, is ending without any recourse. It isn’t just a lack of will but the end of an era. People sense this inevitability and would rather not dwell on it. It’s like a coming, inevitable war: people know it’s coming but they feel helpless to stop it, so the war comes and they go to fight and die. This is more than a war, it’s an end. People will fight, struggle to survive and die by the millions in the next few hundred years. Billions will disappear in the coming transition times. But then a new era begins and it will be as different from this one as day is from night. I could write novels on the events during and after this transitional period. The main thing is, homo sapiens has to be removed from any position of power and authority over any other life on this world. Taking the long view, just another chapter in the history of our world and solar system.

    • Sha’Tara, you were very prescient back in the 1970s. It is clear that we are violating the covenant of leaving a better world for our children. It is clear the future will be very different for all of us. I am not as pessimistic as you are, but unless something major is done, you are directionally correct, as we will be in a heap of hurt. Coastal cities awash with sea water, with more people clamoring for fewer resources. Keith

      • For those of us who are cursed with long-distance time viewers, what is the saddest is not just the inevitable that we “see” but the fact that the more “something major is done” the more the problem exacerbates. The more ‘we’ do to counter current destructive currents, the longer we prolong man’s agony and death throes. It took a lifetime to arrive at such a terrible conclusion, and I know it is totally unacceptable – we’re not made to just curl up and die but to fight back – so we will fight and each time we win a tiny battle among the horrors of a global conflict we will rejoice and we will believe that we can win just as the donkey is convinced that if it moves faster it will reach the carrot on the stick. If we had the courage and the wisdom, we would simply call a complete halt to all our activities – religious, political, scientific, financial, economical. We would look at our neighbours globally with nothing but the eyes of compassion and we would act accordingly. We would accept the deaths, not as victims or collateral damage but as necessary, including those of our loved ones and our own, and we would evolve ourselves into a whole new way of interacting with … everything. We should know by now we will not have our cake and eat it too. We cannot avoid the consequences of what we have ignorantly and greedily set in motion, but we can mitigate the long-term results. I already know that such a thing, though eminently possible, cannot happen because the collective understanding isn’t available for this current ruling species. It has learned how to “create” riches by taking life but it has never learned how to give life. Essentially man remains a low level brained predator.

      • Sha’Tara, as I read through your comment, the line from John Lennon’s “Imagine” came to mind. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”

        It seems populist wall builders are getting far too much attention around the globe. That is truly sad, as it shuts down opportunities to build bridges. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: It is troubling that companies have hidden things from the public for decades:
    – Monsanto is being sued for knowing that Round-up was more harmful to humans than they let on dating back to the early 1970s
    – The tobacco companies knew nicotine was addictive dating back to 1964, and eight CEOs lied to a Congressional Committee that they did not know
    – ExxonMobil is being sued by three state AGs and its shareholders for misrepresenting the impact of climate change on its financials – there cases use information from Exxon’s own files.
    – The same type of historical information is being used by twenty or so kids in a lawsuit against the federal government for not acting fast enough on limiting fossil fuels. Like Exxon, the US government has known for decades about climate change concerns with fossil fuels.

  3. As intoxicating as the knee-jerk reaction to Trump’s Tweets is, I have long thought that things would look far more hopeful if we could ALL just ignore every single Tweet and inane, off-the-cuff proclamation made by the US President. Even I get caught up in it though.

    • Linda, I agree. I usually ignore them. I did take some pleasure that his hissy fit today was the third story on the news. It is not newsworthy when the President demeans the office. It will get worse. Keith

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