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Climate Change Is Here; Readers Think We Need To Do Much More Than We Are Currently

May 7, 2014 Environment, Featured Comments Off on Climate Change Is Here; Readers Think We Need To Do Much More Than We Are Currently

Yesterday a new report confirmed what many of us thought, that Climate Change is already underway:

Climate change is no longer a distant threat, but a real and present danger in the United States, according to a government report issued Tuesday. The report is the latest update from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and details ways that climate change — caused predominantly by the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases — is already being felt across the country. (Huffington Post: Climate Change Is Already Here, Says Massive Government Report)

From Climate Change report issued May 6, 2014. Click image to view Midwest region
From Climate Change report issued May 6, 2014. Click image to view Midwest region

The following is from the Midwest region, which includes Missouri & Illinois:

Key Messages 1. In the next few decades, longer growing seasons and rising carbon dioxide levels will increase yields of some crops, though those benefits will be progressively offset by extreme weather events. Though adaptation options can reduce some of the detrimental effects, in the long term, the combined stresses associated with climate change are expected to decrease agricultural productivity. 2. The composition of the region’s forests is expected to change as rising temperatures drive habitats for many tree species northward. The role of the region’s forests as a net absorber of carbon is at risk from disruptions to forest ecosystems, in part due to climate change. 3. Increased heat wave intensity and frequency, increased humidity, degraded air quality, and reduced water quality will increase public health risks. 4. The Midwest has a highly energy-intensive economy with per capita emissions of greenhouse gases more than 20% higher than the national average. The region also has a large and increasingly utilized potential to reduce emissions that cause climate change. 5. Extreme rainfall events and flooding have increased during the last century, and these trends are expected to continue, causing erosion, declining water quality, and negative impacts on transportation, agriculture, human health, and infrastructure. 6. Climate change will exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes, including changes in the range and distribution of certain fish species, increased invasive species and harmful blooms of algae, and declining beach health. Ice cover declines will lengthen the commercial navigation season.

The last section is “Response Strategies”, from the introduction:

People make choices every day about risks and benefits in their lives, weighing experience, information, and judgment as they consider the impacts of their decisions on themselves and the people around them. Similarly, people make choices that alter the magnitude of impacts resulting from current and future climate change. Using science-based information to anticipate future changes can help society make better decisions about how to reduce risks and protect people, places, and ecosystems from climate change impacts. Decisions made now and in the future will influence society’s resilience to impacts of future climate change. In recognition of the significance of these decisions, the National Climate Assessment presents information that is useful for a wide variety of decisions across regions and sectors, at multiple scales, and over multiple time frames. For the first time, the National Climate Assessment includes chapters on Decision Support, Mitigation, and Adaptation, in addition to identifying research needs associated with these topics.

The report is massive, I’ve only skimmed it a little. Here are the results from last week’s poll:

Q: Which of the following is closest to your current view on the environment

  1. We need to do much more to stop/reverse Climate Change 59 [71.08%]
  2. We’ve gone off the deep end worrying about global warming 10 [12.05%]
  3. We could do more, but there’s no need to be excessive 9 [10.84%]
  4. We’re doing all we can/should do 3 [3.61%]
  5. We’re fretting too much over the environment 2 [2.41%]
  6. Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

To those who say we’ve gone off the deep end, I suggest you buy ocean front property for your retirement years.

— Steve Patterson


Poll: Current Thoughts on the Environment

Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

St. Louis is celebrating Earth Day in Forest Park today:

25 Years of Earth Day in 2014

Join us in Forest Park on Sunday, April 27 for the St. Louis Earth Day Festival from 11am to 6pm, rain or shine.

Don’t miss the Recycling Extravaganza at STLCC on the same day as the Festival (10am-4pm).

I was wondering how readers felt about the environment, and efforts such as Earth Day. The poll this week has six answers representing a wide range plus an unsure answer. The poll is in the right sidebar.

— Steve Patterson


Rain Gardens Are Great, Except When Blocked By Excessive Mulch

Rain gardens are an environmentally-friendly way to handle water runoff, rain water runs into an area where it gets absorbed into the soil. Well, assuming the water doesn’t get blocked.

Visual evidence of standing water at opening to this rain garden on Tucker
Visual evidence of standing water at opening to this rain garden on Tucker

The newly rebuilt North Tucker Boulevard has numerous rain gardens, but unfortunately many are like the one shown above — not able to function as designed because too much mulch blocks the water.

— Steve Patterson


Lunch Al Fresco

April 12, 2014 Downtown, Environment, Featured Comments Off on Lunch Al Fresco

According to the calendar it has been Spring for three weeks now, but it sure hasn’t felt like it. Finally, on Wednesday we began to warm up. That day I met friends for lunch…al fresco.  They’re from Springfield IL, they came in the day before for the Cardinals game, we met at Pi downtown, as it was near their hotel and they have a nice outdoor patio.

Pi MX at 11:30am on Wednesday, by noon every table was occupied.
Pi MX at 11:30am on Wednesday, by noon every table was occupied.

After lunch I had grocery shopping to do but they had two hours to sight see until they needed to be back at the Amtrak station. They hadn’t seen Citygarden yet, so I showed them. Culinaria was next, I stayed to shop while they continued on.  I’d suggested places a few places for them to see:

  • Big Shark bike shop & adjacent bike station
  • Central Library
  • Soliders Memorial

I’m just very glad we’re above freezing. Now if we can get rain at night, but dry clear days.

— Steve Patterson


Glad Spring is Here!

March 20, 2014 Environment, Featured Comments Off on Glad Spring is Here!

I usually don’t mind winter too much, but I’m very glad Spring is officially here!

Chives coming up on our balcony.
Chives coming up on our balcony.

I’m planning what to plant on our balcony and looking forward to sleeping with the windows open. What is your favorite part about Spring?

— Steve Patterson