This page is dedicated to bringing awareness to the public about the detrimental forces that affect the El Yunque National Rainforest and the rest of our beautiful planet.
1. The upwind destruction of habitat. Building large tracts of cement houses causes thermal currents to rise prematurely and does reduce the amount of rain that reaches the Luquillo Mountains. Urge local politicians to add more protective zones around the rainforest. The El Yunque rainforest is experiencing less rainfall.
2. The Federal Budget has been cut to all things environmental and especially the Forest Service and US Fish & Wildlife. So when you visit this beautifully preserved forest be sure to leave a donation! Either pay to go into the visitor center or just leave a donation at a ranger station.
3. Should the Puerto Rican government allow the growth of genetically modified crops?
by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero:
"If the American people are for the most part unaware of genetic engineering and food biotechnology issues, the people of Puerto Rico are blissfully in the dark – so far.
Puerto Rico now has a new crop: the biotech harvest. Read the entire blog.
Much of the genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean seed planted in the United States comes from this Caribbean island. Furthermore, Puerto Rico is also a preferred location for agricultural biotechnology experiments." . . . According to data from the US Department of Agriculture.
Prince Charles of England has his own organic farm at his Gloucestershire estate. He made a statement to the press:
"Companies developing genetically modified crops risk creating the biggest environmental disaster of all time", Prince Charles has warned. . . GM crops were damaging Earth's soil and were an experiment "gone seriously wrong", he told the Daily Telegraph. . . A future reliance on corporations to mass-produce food would drive millions of farmers off their land, he said.
“In a walk through old growth forest, there are thousands if not millions of chemicals and their synergistic effects with one another,” Diana Beresford-Kroeger said: “What trees do chemically in the environment is something we’re only beginning to understand.”
Trees also absorb pollutants from the ground, comb particulates from the air and house beneficial insects.
Some studies support a role for trees in human health. A recent study by researchers at Columbia found that children in neighborhoods that are tree-lined have asthma rates a quarter less than in neighborhoods without trees. The Center for Urban Forest Research estimates that each tree removes 1.5 pounds of pollutants from the air. Trees are also used to remove mercury and other pollutants from the ground, something called phytoremediation. And, of course, trees store carbon dioxide, which mitigates global warming.
Dr. Wilson, at Harvard, said that more research into the role of trees in the ecosystem was imperative and that it was alarming how little was known. “We need more research of this kind to use the things we have, such as trees, to their fullest,” he said.
By JIM ROBBINS of the New York Times published August 11, 2008
The Eleventh Hour film clip with Leonardo DiCaprio
Glaciers suffer record shrinkage
Some glaciers in Europe have suffered significant losses. The rate at which some of the world's glaciers are melting has more than doubled, data from the United Nations Environment Programme has shown. Average glacial shrinkage has risen from 3ntimetres per year between 1980 and 1999, to 1.5 metres in 2006.0 ce
Some of the biggest losses have occurred in the Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges in Europe. Experts have called for "immediate action" to reverse the trend, which is seen as a key climate change indicator. Estimates for 2006 indicate shrinkage of 1.4 metres of 'water equivalent' compared to half a metre in 2005.
Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary General of the UN and executive director of its environment programme (UNEP), said: "Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry and power generation during key parts of the year. There are many canaries emerging in the climate change coal mine. The glaciers are perhaps among those making the most noise and it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice.
"If the sky is not in love, then it will not be so clear. If the sun is not in love, then it will not be giving any light. If the river is not in love, then it will be in silence, it will not be moving. If the mountains, the earth are not in love, then there will be nothing growing." Rumi - Sufi Mystic and poet
The Roar of Rumi - 800 year birthday!
by Rita Farrell:
Global warming has plunged the planet into a crisis and the fossil fuel industries are trying to hide the extent of the problem from the public, NASA's top climate scientist says. "We've already reached the dangerous level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," James Hansen, 67, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. "But there are ways to solve the problem" of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which Hansen said has reached the "tipping point" of 385 parts per million.
Hansen calls for phasing out all coal-fired plants by 2030, taxing their emissions until then, and banning the building of new plants unless they are designed to trap and segregate the carbon dioxide they emit. . . "The problem is that 90 percent of energy is fossil fuels. And that is such a huge business, it has permeated our government," he maintained.
"What's become clear to me in the past several years is that both the executive branch and the legislative branch are strongly influenced by special fossil fuel interests," . . In a recent survey of what concerns people, global warming ranked 25th. . . . "The industry is misleading the public and policy makers about the cause of climate change. . .
Loosing our democracy: . . . . There are many levels at which a market economy called corporate globalization has to kill democracy in order to survive. Take the birth of World Trade Organization (WTO), an undemocratic institution. There are no negotiations on the rules it imposes. These rules are created undemocratically. Then, every time these rules are implemented, there are protests. Normally in democracy, if the will of people say change this policy, governments change. Unfortunately, governance today is run by corporations not the people. Every step of deepening the market economy is a depletion of democracy. Our very governments have been stolen from us, and we have to use democracy to counter these rules, this paradigm, and the absolute destruction [it causes]. . . See complete article at bottom of this page.
Fourth Warmest June on record
June 2016 was the warmest June for the globe on record, according to statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center. The global temperature record goes back 128 years. The global average temperature for June was +0.55°C (+0.99°F) above the 20th century mean. Over land, June global temperatures were the third warmest ever measured. Ocean temperatures
ARCTIC ICE MELT . By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.
Greenland's ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer's end was half what it was just four years earlier, according to new NASA satellite data obtained by The Associated Press. "The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government's snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo. Just last year, two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040.
This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer much faster than previous predictions."
So scientists in recent days have been asking themselves these questions: Was the record melt seen all over the Arctic in 2007 a blip amid relentless and steady warming? Or has everything sped up to a new climate cycle that goes beyond the worst case scenarios presented by computer models?
"The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming," said Zwally, who as a teenager hauled coal. "Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines."