Idaho lawmakers vote to remove climate information from science curriculum

It is unfortunate that politicians don't listen to scientists but honestly why am I not surprised by US Republicans?  The Republican party is only political party in the world that collectively does not believe in man-made climate change.  It is obviously all of the money rolling in to the Republican senators and representatives from the fossil fuel industry.  This study is pretty compelling. 

This idiocracy has hit a fever pitch in Idaho with State Lawmakers removing any mention of climate change from the K-12 Science Curriculum.  Please spread the word to any and all science teachers in Idaho who care about the truth and teaching proper science please contact me.  I will help you teach Climate Change and develop a thorough curriculum on how our planet is changing.  The Climate Curriculum Project has you covered.

Can Nations Unite to Save Earths Climate?

With Trump's plan to cancel the US commitment to the Paris Climate Talks, it is important to step back and reflect upon what was accomplished in December 2015 in Paris, and what we know about a warming planet.

What the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was able to accomplish in 2015 was really over 20 years in the making.  The IPCC was established in 1989, and delivered their first report to the UN in 1990 about the consequences burning fossil fuels and adding excess greenhouse gases to our atmosphere.  What is especially troubling is the fact that world leaders were warned of this issue 27 years ago, but because of the financial influence of the fossil fuel industry on politics, there has been little regulation on green house gases during this time.

In November of 2015 Nature published a very descriptive and engaging look at the delicate nature of enforcing a global policy on greenhouse gases and protecting the atmosphere.  This graphic novel inspired comic titled the "Fragile Framework" explains how scientists have known about the phenomenon of climate change for well over 100 years.  

First was the discovery by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius calculated the effects carbon dioxide could have on changing the temperature of the atmosphere.  

In 1958, Bell Labs produced an episode of their program Bell Telephone Science Hour which highlighted the consequences of climate change and how society should develop new technology to deal with the anticipated threat.

Through some investigative reporting it has been shown that in 1977 Exxon Mobil was aware of the dangers of climate change, but spent millions of dollars to cover up any concerns over harming the environment.  All to protect the short term profits of very few, while jeopardizing the safety of billions around the globe.

The IPCC and UN convened in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 to address the concerns of carbon dioxide emissions from major corporations and countries, and even floated the idea of instituting a carbon tax.  Because of heavy pressure from the fossil fuel industry on US politicians, the US never ratified the treaty.  Any global efforts towards stemming the flow of green house gasses into the atmosphere has languished ever since.


Unregulated Nature

With the president of the US proposing to slash the EPA's Budget by 31%, I think its time to reflect on the importance of the EPA.

The EPA was established by executive order in 1970 by President Nixon after facing a backlash of opposition from US citizens over the mistreatment of the environment by private industry.  Events like the Cuyahoga River Fire in Ohio in 1969, exemplify the mistreatment of the nations rivers which lead to the establishment of the Clean Water Act.

Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" ushered the collective mindset into an era where we had to face the facts of over-spraying toxic chemicals on the environment and disrupting food webs and trophic pyramids which have been in place for millions of years.  

The harmful effects of DDT were not completely understood until decades after Paul Hermann Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1948 for its discovery.  DDT singlehandedly almost wiped out certain bird species, most notably the American Bald Eagle. Think about that, the overuse of one toxic chemical almost made the US national symbol almost go extinct!  And we don't need an EPA?

Internationally, specific events raised concern over the environment like the Minamata Bay disaster, in which the Chisso corporation deliberately poisoned the bay with Mercury, intentionally killing and disfiguring countless local citizens.  

The Torrey Canyon Oil Spill disaster off the coast of Great Britain was the first time humanity dealt with an offshore oil spill, but unfortunately not the last.

In 1989 the Exxon Valdez Oil tanker was captained by a fellow who figured out the hard way not to drink and drive at sea when he spilled almost 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska.  The environmental/health threat still continues to this day, where workers who helped with the oil spill cleanup used the chemical corexit, which has shown to cause cancer in those exposed to it in elevated doses.

Oil spills have been part of the national conversation ever since, and in 2010 BP stole the record with 210 million gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. The two tragically ironic facts about this disaster just add to the absurdity with #1 The rig sinking on earth day and #2 BP Executives and head Engineers were on board the rig to celebrate its stellar safety record the day before it sank.  Also, roughly 1.8 million gallons of corexit were spread in the Gulf to help disperse the oil, which believe it or not made things worse for the environment, but better for BP.

Needless to say, I could go on for hours explaining why the US needs an EPA, or a stronger EPA. If there is no regulatory agency to keep private industry from contaminating our environment, then we are moving backwards towards a time where the rivers are undrinkable, the air is toxic, and biodiversity is lost.  One can only hope that our congress is intelligent enough to push back against our degenerate president, but I a not optimistic.

Idiocracy of America

After reading about Trump's proposed budget, it got me thinking about the sheer size and scale of the US military.  Why do we need to spend more money on our military than the other top seven nations combined?  Why do we have more military strength than the rest of the world combined? Where are we going to war, or is it more about funneling US taxpayer dollars to defense contractor to feed the Military War Complex President Eisenhower warned us about in 1961?

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.

Needless to say, Trump's budget proposes to dismantle programs that support science, the arts, humanities, and safety programs that support our most vulnerable citizens.  The following infographic from the New York Times highlights these cuts.

The most disheartening aspect of all of this is just how corrupt our government is.  This has been going on for the better part of the 20th and 21st centuries in the US, but now it seems the gap between the haves and the have nots is growing wider.  This Princeton University study on how effective corporate lobbying is on which type of laws in the US are passed is rather sobering. Watch the six minute long video below to learn more.