Worsening heat waves are currently causing many to die in Canada. Not only are the highest ever recorded temperatures very alarming, but so too is the inaction of governments to protect the population despite all the means at their disposal to do so. Meanwhile, both the Canadian and U.S. government refuse to take responsibility for the absence of potable water in many communities. In Canada more than 30 communities on reserves have no safe potable water. This is also the case of several U.S. towns where drought has become permanent. The consequences of disasters linked to nature are affecting the peoples of the entire world, especially Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is as if the domination of nature by human beings had never occurred and is beyond reach, which is absolute nonsense.
Fossilized fish dating back 56 million years have been discovered in Egypt’s Eastern Desert, shedding light on a time period when Earth was experiencing massive warming | ALAA OMRAN
Remains of an early whale from 40 million years ago lies on the desert pavement of Wadi El-Hutan, 100 km south of Cairo. About 400 skeletons of ancient water life such as mammals and reptiles have been identified in what used to be an ancient shoreline | CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP via Getty ImagesAlaa Omran
CAIRO (June 16) — An Egyptian research team that includes Egypt’s Mansoura and Tanta universities, the American University of Cairo and the University of Michigan recently discovered the remains of vertebrate fossils from sediments dating back 56 million years at a site in Egypt’s Eastern Desert.
A full moon will appear in the evening sky today. The Harvest Moon will appear nearly opposite the sun at about 5:05pm EDT. This brighter, larger moon occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, and was traditionally said to be bright enough to guide farmers’ work late into the night. The full moon will last through Saturday morning. October will see a rare “Blue Moon,” the second full moon in a calendar month, on Halloween.
“We can’t fix the climate crisis if we aren’t talking about it. It’s critical that the media start reporting on the crisis with the quality and quantity it merits. We’re talking about the greatest challenge of our time.” | JKW JOHNSON, commondreams.org
“Given the gravity and urgency of the climate crisis, as well as a surfeit of relevant, newsworthy developments, one would expect U.S. media to report on climate and clean energy issues daily,” Public Citizen’s David Arkush writes | Public Citizen
Despite the fact that 2017 saw a flurry of devastating and “record-shattering” hurricanes, enormously destructive wildfires, and extreme droughts, a new report by Public Citizen published on Friday concludes that major American media outlets “largely failed” to connect these weather events to the broader global climate crisis. Continue reading →
The social effects of extreme weather for the homeless, the poor, the elderly and the colonized, in the cities and on the roads; the abnegation of social responsibility and the public interest by the media and governments shows the need for empowerment. “When tragedies do occur, the monopoly media focuses on the technical mechanics of the disaster, excluding who should be held accountable, how the concerns and campaigns of the community were dealt with or ignored, and the response of the public bodies” | TONY SEED
(December 30, updated January 5) – According to the CBC, the main “news” and social consequences of the record extreme cold weather seems to be the status of outdoor civic New Year’s parties, the condition of the ice on a short-term, multi-million dollar outdoor rink erected on Parliament Hill, polar bear dips, and an outdoor World Junior hockey game between Canada and the U.S. in Buffalo on Friday December 28th.
A fiery crash of a tractor trailer truck on the QEW (pictured above) that shut down the Niagara bound lanes near Bartlett Ave. in Grimsby was reported merely as a freak obstacle or an inconvenient “long delay” to the many Canadians heading to the game. While no one was hurt this time, the damage to the highway was extensive and will take time to repair.
One CBC anchor, Hanna Thibodeau, joked with meteorologist David Phillips as to whether Russia was to blame for the Arctic front.
In seeming contrast, CBC published on December 29 a long photo feature titled “Toronto has officially frozen over. See it here in all its icy glory” highlighting the beauty of a nature that is benign. The kicker called on readers to “Take in the stunning sights of the city during the deep freeze.” (The photos were submitted.)
As 2017 ends, the working people face a media onslaught about what is going on in Canada and around the world, of which the weather occupies one sphere. We think that a sober approach going into 2018 is of importance.
An awesome lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on February 27, 2014. Lake effect squalls from Georgian Bay are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400.
The following reflection was written on February 28, 2014 but for some reasons was not published at the time. I am posting it now in the midst of the extreme cold weather front that is gripping Canada and the United States.
The view from Blantyre
By TONY SEED
WHEN extreme weather event strikes, the reporting of the media proceeds from the premise of the insurance companies: it is a supernatural “act of God,” a natural disaster divorced from the social conditions made by man. It has become a genre and given a name – disaster journalism. It was all so “unexpected.” Hurricane Katrina? Just blew in suddenly from the Gulf. That ice storm in Atlanta? The weather suddenly shifted upstate in the morning. That tsunami in the Indian Ocean? No-one at the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii had the phone number of the Sri Lanka president and hence the island received no warning. Thousands of people, mainly poor fishers, along the eastern and southern coastline were engulfed by the deep blue sea, as if an act of Buddha. Due to the large number of victims, that far-off disaster did make the evening news. These were not “accidents”; natural disasters became crimes. Continue reading →
Trees have been around for about 370 million years, and as you can see from these incredible pictures, there’s a good reason why they’ve survived for so long. Whether they’re growing in the middle of gale-force winds, on the tops of rocky platforms, inside concrete tunnels, or even growing out of each other, trees know how to survive in places that few living organisms can, which explains why the planet is host to around three trillion adult trees that cover an estimated 30 per cent of the earth’s land. Considering that plants produce the vast majority of the oxygen that we breathe, we should all think ourselves very fortunate that trees are as resilient as they are. We wouldn’t even be here if they weren’t. Thanks
NY Times –A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them. Continue reading →
Green Med Info (25 Feb.) – A NEW STUDYfrom the U.S. Geological Survey, accepted for publication online ahead of print in the journal Enviromental Toxicology and Chemistry, reveals that Roundup herbicide (aka glyphosate) and its still-toxic degradation byproduct AMPA were found in over 75 per cent of the air and rain samples tested from Mississippi in 2007. Continue reading →
Common Dreams – U.S. STATES along the Atlantic coast are witnessing an “alarming” trend of dead dolphins washing up on their shores.
Virginia has had 100 dolphin carcasses on its shores this year. Twenty-five dead or dying bottlenose dolphins have washed up on New Jersey shores since July 9, while Maryland and Delaware have seen several dead dolphins on its shores this summer. And in July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries declared an Unusual Mortality Event for bottlenose dolphins in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, where 50 dead dolphins have been found, a number three times the historical average.
Scientists aren’t sure what’s causing the deaths at this piont, though Susan Barco, research coordinator for the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, said the strandings are “eerily familiar” to mass die-off of dolphins in 1987 when the measles-like morbillivirus brought 750 dolphin carcases to shores between New Jersey and Florida.
December’s monthly average level smashes record low set in 1964
By ANDREA GERMANOS*
AS the ongoing drought continues to push levels in the Mississippi River to historic lows, water levels in two of the Great Lakes are also succumbing to its effects.
The water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron have reached historic lows. (Photo: epa.gov)
Preliminary figures from the US Army Corps of Engineers show Lakes Michigan and Huron, considered a joint body of water, had record low water levels in December. The lakes’ water ended the month at 576.15 feet above sea level, just under the record 576.2 feet set in 1964. Continue reading →