Majorityrights News > Category: Environmentalism & Climate Change

Typical Right, The ((Alt-Right)))‘s Kosher boy, Trump, panders to blacks, as feudalistic henchmen

Posted by DanielS on Sunday, 04 February 2018 05:37.

Trump strikes familiar Alt-Right pose: “Hail himself, Hail Israel, Hail our black feudalistic-henchmen enforcers.”

Typical Right/Alt-Right:

A distinguishing characteristic of the Alt-Right, which betrays its right-wing stiltedness, its inorganicism, its artifice as pseudo-representation of White interests, is that it will align vigorously with Trump, turn its back on his complete merging with Jewish interests; with that, side with and pander to blacks, their feudalistic henchmen enforcers against White - Asian left nationalist coalition (here looking upon Amerindios as “Asian”).

Whether it is the disingenuous fat kosher fuck, Mike Enoch, his Alt-Right and the TRS crew, with their deep kosher resource supplying them with foils and marketing memes, there’s but one stipulation - that they endlessly back the Zionist Trump and phrase their argumentation as being against “the left.”

Trump tries to encourage blacks to applaud him for altercast role in the Judeo-Alt-Right coalition.

....or the unbearable ‘logic’ of “Father Francis” going on and on sweetly about his black friend, “Brother Carl,” to show how objective and non-racist he is, how thoughtful he his is about the impact of Mexicans on American blacks (like a person normally and organically motivated by White interests would care about that).

We are highly cognizant of the critical issue of population control and carrying capacity, but with that do not look upon the YKW and blacks as our allies in those ethnonationalist concerns, as the Right/Alt-Right would pretend, or intimate that they are, in their phony campaign against the left natonalism, i.e., that which structures carrying capacity and population control against imperialist Abrahamic “coalition building,” deal making/bribing with blacks and the Right/Alt-Right.

Members of Congressional Black Caucus offer no reaction as Pres. Trump says “African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded”

Like Trump’s deal-making with the YKW, a quid pro quo with African Americans will be found to not reciprocate White interests very well. And while they can assist if the goal is to tear things down, nor will African Americas be much positive good for Asians and Amerindios if they know what’s good for their long term interests.

President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address

Remarks as prepared for delivery

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.  That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action.  A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.

Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.  We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined.  We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship.  We endured floods and fires and storms.  But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.

We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.  Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.  Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives.  Thank you, Ashlee.

We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg.  He is here with us too.  David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally.  With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later:  the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.

We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.

In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people.  But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy.  Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew:  that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans.  If there is a mountain, we climb it.  If there is a frontier, we cross it.  If there is a challenge, we tame it.  If there is an opportunity, we seize it.

So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.

And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.  After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.  African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

Small business confidence is at an all-time high.  The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.  That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone.  Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free.  We also doubled the child tax credit.

A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.

We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.  We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world.  These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio.  They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history.  Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

Welding together the Mulatto supremacist coalition.

One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight.  Corey is an all-American worker.  He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.  Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education.  Please join me in congratulating Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.  Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

This is our new American moment.  There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time.  If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Condescending applause for Mulatto supremacists who help weld together the kosher - right wing - liberal - civic - alliance under imperial Abrahamism.

Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be.  All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life.  Our motto is “in God we trust.”

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Population, Environment & Carrying Capacity: the elephant in the room of liberal hypocrisy

Posted by DanielS on Monday, 29 January 2018 01:00.

Two sites that deal with these issues as they combine, the largest elephant in the room of liberal and neoliberal hypocrisy:

Population-Environment Research Network:

Carrying Capacity Network:


Dear Congressperson,

How would you like to tell your constituents that there was an extra $758,000,000 each year to spend in their district? How could you help direct the spending of $758,000,000 ($758 MILLION!) in your district each year?

According to a study by noted Economist, John Williams, which can be viewed at Carrying Capacity Network [1] which sponsored the Study, U.S. Taxpayers pay out a NET $330 BILLION ANNUALLY (believe it or not) on LEGAL Immigration. That is, LEGAL Immigration costs U.S. tax-payers $330 BILLION AFTER SUBTRACTING ALL TAXES IMMIGRANTS PAY. [And this $330 Billion does NOT include the additional NET amount of Taxes State and Local Taxpayers pay to finance this LEGAL Immigration.]


The Devil We Know: DuPont & 3M Used Poison Chemicals in Products Such as Teflon and Waterproofing

Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 25 January 2018 01:32.





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200,000 Salvadorans May Be Forced to Leave the U.S. As Trump Ends Immigration Protection

Posted by DanielS on Monday, 08 January 2018 23:50.

In my cursory look at the situation, if these photos are indications of the genetics of the nations Honduras and El Salvador, I’d wish to treat Salvadorians as closer allies than Hondurans - all are expected to manage their own, of course. But there would be a preference for Siberian influence over African for any WN but the most disingenuous, elitist snob. 

Salvadorians

After that - i.e., protecting from the genetic distance and destruction of African, Jewish and some genetic groups housed within Islam - the matter is largely of carrying capacity, and who can be reasoned with to manage human ecologies - both reasons factor largely into considerations of who to ally with more closely, but particularly when it comes to “reasoning with people” to manage human ecologies, the first three categories are less promising in addition to their genetic distance (or insufficient lack thereof in the case of Jewish crypsis).

Carrying capacity is not only a concern of pervasive ecology corresponding with the management of human ecological enclaves within a nation such as The Unites States, but also a matter of the reasoned negotiation of ethnostates - with a reasoned negotiation, would living in Honduras or El Salvador be such a bad thing?

Still, that’s not the immediately interesting question. The question is, why are right wingers cool with blacks but not people like the Salvadorians? Again, I get the carrying capacity argument and the fact that they are in large part different from Whites, but when I hear Richard Spencer saying that he is cool with giving Florida to blacks, and his right wing ilk playing the violin for blacks being dispossessed by Central and South Americans it bothers me. I’ll take that trade-off of Amerindios/Amerindio-White mix for blacks any day (and yes, CC, we do need allies). And who has more righteous claim to Florida - the Seminole or blacks? Who should have more claim to the Caribbean - The Taino or blacks?

Monica Martinez, Salvadorian advocate.

Washington Post, “200,000 Salvadorans May Be Forced to Leave the U.S. As Trump Ends Immigration Protection”, 8 Jan 2018:

In one of its most significant immigration decisions, the Trump administration said Monday that it will terminate the provisional residency permits of about 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the country since at least 2001, leaving them to potentially face deportation.

The administration said it will give the Salvadorans until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the United States or find a way to obtain legal residency, according to a statement Monday from the Department of Homeland Security. The Salvadorans were granted what is known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, after earthquakes hit the country in 2001, and their permits have been renewed on an 18-month basis since then.

Monday’s announcement was consistent with the White House’s broader stated goal of reducing legal immigration to the United States and intensifying efforts to expel those who arrived illegally. But Homeland Security officials characterized the decision by Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in narrower legal terms: as a recognition that conditions in El Salvador have improved enough since the earthquakes to no longer warrant the TPS designation.

{snip}

The DHS statement noted that the U.S. government has deported more than 39,000 Salvadorans in the past two years, demonstrating, it said, “that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the earthquake has been addressed.”

DHS officials said 262,500 Salvadorans have been granted TPS permits, but recent estimates indicate that closer to 200,000 people with that status reside in the United States.

{snip}

“Only Congress can legislate a permanent solution addressing the lack of an enduring lawful immigration status of those currently protected by TPS who have lived and worked in the United States for many years,” the DHS statement read. “The 18-month delayed termination will allow Congress time to craft a potential legislative solution.”

Trump administration officials have repeatedly said they considered the TPS program an example of American immigration policy gone awry, noting that when Congress created the designation in 1990, its purpose was to provide “temporary” protection from deportation following a natural disaster, armed conflict or other calamity.

In November, DHS ended TPS for 60,000 Haitians who arrived after a 2010 earthquake, and for 2,500 Nicaraguan migrants protected after Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

Salvadorian women and children

{snip}

Lawmakers from both parties who represent cities and states with large immigrant populations blasted Monday’s DHS decision, including Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who called it “a shameful and cynical move” whose purpose is to “score political points with the extreme right-wing Republican base.”

{snip}

There were new signs Monday that TPS could end up as a bargaining chip in a potential congressional immigration deal. A source familiar with the negotiations said Congress could step in to help the Salvadorans, Haitians and other groups whose temporary protected status is now set to expire in 2019.

Honduran family of Rosa Rivera.

NY Daily News, “Hondurans live in limbo as over 200,000 Salvadorans await Trump’s decision on Temporary Protected Status”, 6 January 2018:

It was the hardest decision of Rosa Rivera’s life: leaving her three small kids in Honduras as she headed for the U.S.

“You don’t know how it felt to leave them so young and then to see them grown today,” said Rivera, 55, speaking with the Daily News in Spanish. “But it was for them to have a better life. That was my sacrifice.”

Rivera is one of roughly 86,000 Hondurans with federal Temporary Protected Status, a program created by Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990.

She and the rest are temporarily shielded from deportation and permitted to live and work legally in the U.S. — although that could change this year.

Related article at Majorityrights: Do the Taino still exist?


Jonathon Porritt calls for progressive case for taking control of EU immigration

Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:03.

Jonathan Porritt, author of The World We Made, feels the Green Party must still discuss population.

The Ecologist, “Jonathon Porritt calls for progressive case for taking control of EU immigration”, 7 Dec 2017:

JONATHON PORRITT, author of The World We Made, joined the Green Party four decades ago. At that time the party keenly debated population growth, and the impact this would have on the environment. Today, Porritt argues, the referendum and anxiety around immigration means progressives still need to discuss this hotly contested issue.

These increasingly significant deficits are not caused by high levels of immigration: they’re caused by wretchedly inadequate economic and fiscal policy.

When I joined the Green party in the mid-1970s population was a big issue, regularly debated with enthusiasm and intellectual rigour. People joining the Green party today would have to wait a long time before even hearing the word mentioned – and then might easily find themselves ‘warned off’ from this no-go territory.

I just don’t get this. In a world where overall population growth projections are rising, and where global migration is still on the rise, it’s a complete dereliction of all environmentalists’ duty to protect the planet (particularly members of the Green party) to continue to ignore population growth and not to campaign for its reduction. Without such a reduction, all solutions to other aspects of ecological and social concern are made far more difficult to deal with.

A couple of weeks ago, myself and Colin Hines published a paper entitled The Progressive Case for Taking Control of EU Immigration – and Avoiding Brexit in the Process. This case is simple: Brexit could still be reversed; hard Brexit can certainly be avoided.

Population growth

But this won’t happen unless Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party stop dickering around and come up with some serious ideas about more effectively managing immigration into and between EU countries. Without that, many of those who voted Brexit will cry out in rage at the referendum result being seen to be ‘set aside’, given that concern about immigration was paramount in their minds at that time.

Uncomfortable though this might be for contemporary greens – and indeed for all progressives – high levels of population growth and immigration go hand-in-hand. If net migration continues at around recent levels, then the UK’s population is expected to rise by nearly 8 million people in 15 years, almost the equivalent of the population of Greater London (8.7 million).

At least 75 percent of this increase would be from future migration and the children of those migrants. As already indicated, future population growth would not stop there. Unless something is done about this growth, it is projected to increase towards 80 million in 25 years and keep going upwards.

It’s important to be completely logical about this. For instance, the UK is already struggling to maintain critical infrastructure, to meet housing demand, and to invest sufficiently in education, healthcare and social services.

As Colin and I unhesitatingly pointed out in our paper, these increasingly significant deficits are not caused by high levels of immigration: they’re caused by wretchedly inadequate economic and fiscal policy, going back at least a couple of decades. But continuing population growth clearly exacerbates those deficits.

Resolutely defended

The UK’s Total Fertility Rate has not been above 2.1 children per mother since 1972, but ‘population momentum’ (increase in numbers of births when babies born at peak of population growth reach reproductive age), plus net immigration, has led to a population increase of nearly 10 million people since 1972.

And these challenges can only get worse. We know, as a matter of increasingly painful inevitability, that the lives of tens/hundreds of millions of people (particularly in Africa and the Middle East) will be devastated by the effects of climate change.

We know that many of those people will have no choice but to leave their homes and communities if they are to have any prospect of survival, let alone a better life. And we know that many of them will seek to come to Europe, as the place that offers the best possible refuge in an all-encompassing storm not of their own making.

How can anyone suppose that an ‘open borders’ positioning is an appropriate response to that kind of backdrop? How can most progressives stick to the line that the EU’s principle of ‘freedom of movement’ should be resolutely defended, especially after resurgent right-wing populism has had such a negative impact on elections this year in France, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria?

All I can do, therefore, is to urge all environmentalists to open up their minds again and re-think the whole population/immigration nexus – from a radical, genuinely progressive perspective. 


This Author

Jonathon Porritt is an environmentalist and author.


A Dispatch From Bonn: “1.5 To Stay Alive”

Posted by DanielS on Friday, 24 November 2017 12:13.

Frontline, “A Dispatch From Bonn: “1.5 To Stay Alive”, 18 Nov 2017:


Faith Debrum, 12, is pictured near her home on the Marshall Islands. The island nation is part of an international coalition fighting to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius. (Michelle Mizner/FRONTLINE)

BONN, Germany — One of 12-year-old Faith Debrum’s favorite hobbies is diving off the seawall in front of her house and swimming to a nearby reef in search of interesting fish. When asked how climate change might affect that hobby, she had a ready answer: “1.5 to stay alive!”

It was a phrase that my reporting partner and I heard again and again while we were in the Republic of the Marshall Islands earlier this year speaking to children like Faith about the risks climate change pose to their country’s future. “One-point-five” refers to the degrees Celsius (2.7 F) that scientists believe world temperatures can afford to rise by 2100 without making life on low-elevation island nations like the Marshall Islands nearly impossible. Researchers believe it would also keep the number of new heatwaves and heavy rains globally in check.

Beach house in Arno Atoll

“In the seminal 2015 Paris Agreement on climate, the world committed to holding global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 – but also “pursuing efforts to limit” warming to 1.5 degrees. That additional proviso was added under pressure from a “high ambition coalition” of 100 nations, which had spent years advocating for a 1.5-degree goal to be included in the agreement, and, against political odds, succeeded.

By all accounts, staving off the extra half-degree of warming will require radically new efforts – and soon. Climate experts say every year that passes without significant action will make it harder to reach the 1.5 target.

Already, temperatures have risen 1.1 degrees Celsius (2.0 F) since pre-industrial times. And, even with the Paris accord in place, temperatures are on track to surge by 3.2 degrees Celsius (5.8 F) by the end of the century. One study published this year pinned the planet’s odds of achieving 2 degrees at just 5 percent – and of achieving 1.5 at just 1 percent.

Despite seemingly unsurmountable obstacles, those who advocated for 1.5 degrees in Paris were once again advocating for it at this year’s United Nations climate negotiations in Bonn, while preparing for another major push at next year’s conference in Katowice, Poland.

The half-degree between 1.5 and 2 may seem minor, but for low-lying coastal areas, it is imperative: According to climate models, it likely means an extra 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) of sea level rise, perhaps more. Those extra inches are critical for places like the Marshall Islands, where the mean elevation is six feet above sea level.

Researchers and environmental groups insist the goal is achievable.

The train has not left the station,” said Andrew Jones, co-director of the nonprofit climate research group Climate Interactive. “It’s leaving, though, and we need to run faster than we ever have in our lives to catch it.”

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Occupy Hambach forest, another step toward pervasive ecology

Posted by DanielS on Friday, 17 November 2017 03:36.

Again, while the source of this news story, unfortunately, is the anti-White Democracy Now, the protestors “look huWhite to me”; and their protests should not be at odds with the survival and protection of European peoples; quite the opposite, they are a part of pervasive ecology.

This open coal pit is nearly as big as Cologne, which is the next city here, where over one million people live.

Basically, 90 percent of the forest is destroyed already because of the coal mining ...and we have less than 10 percent of the Hambach forest left.


...and we are trying to protect this last ten percent of the Hambach forest.

We will take you to the occupation of the Hambach forest…

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The Water Will Come and US Cities are Under Threat

Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 26 October 2017 06:25.

Environment

NPR, “Climate Change Journalist Warns: ‘Mother Nature Is Playing By Different Rules Now”, 24 Oct 2017:

Fresh Air

Author Jeff Goodell says that American cities are under threat from extreme weather, rising sea levels and lax enforcement of environmental regulations. His new book is The Water Will Come.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have shown how extreme weather can destroy towns, cities and islands. My guest Jeff Goodell is the author of a new book about what cities around the world face in a future of rising seas and increasingly intense storms. It’s called “The Water Will Come.” Goodell is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and has covered climate change for 15 years. He’s also written about fossil fuels, including the coal industry and their impact on the environment.

Jeff Goodell, welcome back to FRESH AIR. So Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria - all the climate people say no one event can be attributed with certainty to climate change. But what about the confluence of these three consequential hurricanes?

JEFF GOODELL: Well, I mean, I think that we’re seeing what’s happening as we’re warming up the earth’s climate here. I mean, it’s a very well-established fact that as the ocean temperatures heat up, that is going to increase the intensity of these storms. One of the complicated things about what’s happening in our - as CO2 levels rise in our climate is that no one can predict exactly how these sort of new impacts are going to play out and what kind of consequences we’re going to see.

So you know, these hurricanes, these storms that we’ve seen this season are an indicator that, you know, we’re moving into this sort of new age when the sort of old rules of how our climate works are off the table. And Mother Nature is playing by different rules now.

GROSS: So just to sum up, do you think that these three hurricanes are the result of climate change?

GOODELL: The hurricanes themselves are not the result of climate change. But certainly the additional intensity, the fact that we’ve had a number of Category 5 hurricanes is likely the result of warmer ocean temperatures and higher CO2 levels.

GROSS: So your book opens with a very upsetting description of what Miami might look like by the end of the 21st century. So give it a go for us. Describe what, like - your dystopian fantasy of what Miami will look like as a result of climate change.

GOODELL: Well, I mean, one of the problems with Miami is that it’s very - you know, it’s a very low-lying place. There’s no high ground to run to. And so you know, with only, you know, 5 or 6 feet of sea level rise, which we could certainly see by the end of the century, you know, you’re going to see major parts of the city inundated.

You’re going to see more and more flooding in residential areas. You’re going to see more and more kind of pollution coming out of those flooded areas like we’re seeing in Houston with Harvey - major infrastructure like the airport underwater or not functional, massive losses in real estate investment along the coast, fleeing from low-lying areas inland, which are also going to be flooded out, places like Hialeah and Sweetwater. I think the real thing that you’re going to see that people don’t really think about is just this sort of economic collapse and economic problems that are going to be caused by a plummet in real estate values, which are really important to the Florida economy.

GROSS: What actually is happening in Miami now? You spent some time in Miami Beach, and you saw flooding just caused by high tides. Describe what you saw.

GOODELL: Well, I started this book, you know, shortly after Hurricane Sandy hit New York. And you know, there was nine feet of storm surge that came into New York. And I was talking to some scientists after that, and they said, you know, think about this as a sort of, you know, experiment of what sea level rise will look like. Imagine if you had nine feet that came in and didn’t go away the way it did with Sandy. So then I started thinking about that, and other scientists said, well, if you’re going to really think seriously about this, you need to go to Miami.

So I did. And I happened to be there on king tides, which is the time of - in the fall when the high tides are particularly high. And I started wandering around through Miami Beach on the western side of it in this sort of very wealthy neighborhood, and there was water up to my knees. I mean, there were people kayaking through the streets of Miami Beach on king tide. And it didn’t take a whole lot of thinking to figure out that if you had 2 or 3 feet of sea level rise, much less 6 or 8 feet of sea level rise, this place was in big trouble. And thinking about that and thinking about what the kind of trouble it would be in and the kind of trouble that other coastal cities would be in was really the genesis of the book.

GROSS: What do the people who live there do about those waters that you can kayak in?

GOODELL: Well, since then - this was four years ago, and since then, they’ve, you know, invested $500 million in building - improving the storm drainage, improving - putting in a bunch of pumps. And so some of these areas are - you know, in short term, you know, the flooding has been better. But that’s just a sort of short-term fix. And so what people are doing now is they are, you know, kind of living in a kind of denial.

They are hoping that - you know, a lot of people who live in Miami Beach aren’t there for - they’re not thinking about being there for the next 50 years. They’re thinking about being there for the next five years and how much fun they can have and, you know, how they can enjoy their retirement or their parties on the beach. And there’s not a lot of long-term thinking going on in a place like Miami Beach. And so basically people’s time horizon is the next five years. And will I be OK for the next five years - you know, probably. And so that’s where it’s at. People who think more broadly about it - and there are a number that I know - are selling and moving.

GROSS: What makes Miami Beach so vulnerable?

GOODELL: Well, it’s interesting. Miami Beach is a barrier island not unlike the Outer Banks or Galveston, Texas, or - you know, there’s many barrier islands around on the East Coast and on the Gulf Coast. So that’s one thing. It’s low-lying. Its elevation is 4, 5, 6 feet at max. But the real problem with Miami that makes it different than a lot of other places is that it’s built on this sort of porous limestone. The particular kind of limestone it’s on is full of holes. And so what that means is that you can’t build sea walls in the traditional sense around Miami Beach. In New York and in Boston and of course in the Netherlands, there’s lots of sea walls, and they can be an effective, if problematic, way of keeping water back for a while.

But in Miami, that’s not really possible because of this porous limestone, which means the seawater can just go right underneath a wall and just pop up on the other side. And this has complications not just for kind of protection of the place but also because as that seawater rises and begins to seep underneath, it gets into the freshwater drinking aquifer, which is very shallow in Miami. And so there’s going to be impact. There’s already problems with the salinization of drinking water. So there’s going to be a problem with drinking water in the very near term also.

GROSS: What’s Governor Rick Scott’s position - the Florida governor - on climate change?

GOODELL: Rick Scott is, you know, a pioneering climate denier. Rick Scott has, you know, unofficially kind of prohibited government employees from using the phrase climate change in any kind of government communication. I mean, he’s this sort of prototype for what we’re seeing in the Trump administration with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and others who are basically just trying to deny that this is a problem.

And it’s a particular disservice in Florida because Florida is, you know, so obviously at risk. It’s not like he’s the governor of Oklahoma or something where, you know, sea level rise is not going to be a problem. In Florida, it’s a direct risk not only to people’s lives with flooding but also just to the economic future of the state.

GROSS:  So let’s talk about the ice sheets. Many of them are melting, and that’s affecting sea levels, causing them to rise. And that’s affecting climate change and ocean levels. So let’s start with the ice sheets. You say that there’s much more melting in the Arctic than in Antarctica. Why is that?

GOODELL: Well, a lot of the heat from the warming of the Earth is sort of concentrating itself up in the north in the Arctic right now, and that’s the, you know, fastest melting place on the planet right now. And when we think about sea level rise, you know, there’s a number of factors - the thermal expansion of the ocean, the melting of glaciers on land, you know, land-based glaciers around the world - but it’s really - when it comes down to it, it’s really all about Greenland and Antarctica. Those are the only two sort of big ice cubes on the planet that if they - when they go, that’s big trouble. So what we’ve seen mostly right now is a lot of surface melting up in Greenland, and that’s been a big cause for concern.

We’ve seen - in 2012 there was a record ice melt up there. And, you know, we’re seeing acceleration of the glaciers in Greenland. But ice physics is very complex and, you know, scientists up until recently sort of had this idea that they could calculate how fast a big ice sheet like Greenland can melt and have a good idea of what sea level rise rates might be like in the future. But recently, a lot of attention is being focused in West Antarctica, especially this couple of glaciers there called Thwaites and Pine Island Glacier where the real problem is that you have a warming ocean - the ocean absorbs a lot of the heat of - as the atmosphere warms. And that warming ocean is getting underneath the ice sheets there, and that can cause big problems because you have melting from below.

And one of the things that scientists are figuring out is that you can calculate to a pretty good degree how fast an ice sheet will melt, but calculating how fast it can collapse is a whole a different thing. And some of the ice sheets in West Antarctica are a mile or two high. And if the water gets underneath them and they start to collapse, that could mean very rapid sea level rise.

GROSS: Yeah, why is a collapse so catastrophic?

GOODELL: Well, because you have an ice sheet that’s, you know, a mile or two high. Imagine, you know, everyone - a lot of people have seen pictures of El Capitan. Imagine something like that or twice as high as that of sheer ice melting from below. And the physics of ice structure tells us that a cliff like that of ice can’t stand on its own. So it will collapse, and as it collapses, it falls into the sea, and as it falls into the sea, sea levels rise. And so the risks of this are a really new idea that are only in the last three or four or five years are scientists really beginning to understand. And that’s why when you talk to the best ice scientists in the world you hear a rising alarm in their voice about what we might potentially be facing.

GROSS: You’ve been to Greenland, and you say you actually stood on land that you might have been among the first people to stand on because it wasn’t - it was ice before.


Photo, Earthworld

GOODELL: Yeah, it was a very surreal experience. I was there with a scientist named Jason Box, and we were flying a helicopter over the Jakobshavn Glacier, which is the fastest-moving glacier in the world. And he spotted this bare spot of ice, and he said, we have to land there, we have to land there. So we brought the helicopter down, and we jumped out and, you know, he shouted out new climate land. You know, this is - this patch of Earth has never been - you know, no human has stood here before and it hasn’t been seen - you know, it hasn’t been uncovered in tens of thousands of years. It was very profound because standing there and being on that bare patch of ground and seeing these enormous glaciers all around me, I had just been in Miami Beach, I mean, a few weeks before.

And you really connected, you know, I really connected in a visceral way, you know, what was happening in this faraway, distant place on this bare piece of ground that was being uncovered where I could actually see the ice going away fast with the rising waters in Miami Beach that I had seen and been wading through, you know, a few weeks earlier. And so this sort of connectedness of these places, which is so hard for most of us, including myself, to really grasp, I really felt in a very powerful way at that moment.

GROSS: I’ve seen film images of some of the ice and snow - I guess it’s mostly ice - in the Arctic darkened by soot. Like, why is there soot there?

GOODELL: That’s an interesting question. That’s one of the things that I was up there to look at with the scientist who I traveled up there with, Jason Box, is, you know, we talked about wildfires earlier. As the wildfires in California and other - in Russia and in China and other places burn, that soot gets picked up and carried up into the circulatory patterns in the atmosphere and gets dropped places. And one of the places a lot of it gets dropped is in Greenland and in the Arctic. And it’s really remarkable that even a small amount of darkening of snow has a big impact on how fast it will melt. It’s the same reason why you wear a light-colored shirt on a hot day and you feel a lot hotter if you’re wearing a black shirt. It absorbs the heat.

And in Greenland, where you have these vast ice sheets, if you get even a modest amount of soot on those ice sheets, both from wildfires or from industrial pollution like coal plants, it can really speed up the melting. And one of the things that’s happening as scientists think harder and harder about what’s happening on the ice sheets is they’re understanding that there’s a lot of new factors that they didn’t consider before. Like, you know, 10 years ago, not very many scientists were really thinking about the impact that darker soot would have on the melt rate of the ice sheets in Greenland. But now they know that it’s a significant factor.

And there’s a lot of other factors that they think they have not considered very well that - including the friction on the bottom of the glaciers and the friction on the sides of the canyons as the glaciers move through them, the warming of the ocean on the bottom of the glaciers. There’s just - it’s a - you would think it’s a very sort of simple idea of trying to calculate melt rate of ice, but it’s in fact incredibly complex.

GROSS: Let’s look at Alaska. Alaska’s in a kind of interesting situation in that it’s very dependent on fossil fuel. It raises a lot of money from fossil fuel. And at the same time, temperatures are rising in Alaska because of the whole phenomenon that we’ve been talking about - about how, you know, the Arctic is warming and ice is melting. So what are political leaders in Alaska saying about climate change and the impact it’s having on the state and the connection of that to fossil fuels?

GOODELL: Well, they’re not saying much. I’m actually just back from Alaska. I was just there for a few days. I just got back yesterday. So I’ve - and I talked to a number of politicians there, and, you know, the basic problem in Alaska is that, you know, their economy is dependent upon fossil fuels. Eighty percent or so of the revenues of the state come from oil and gas.

And so there’s no real way that the state can continue to function by, you know, reducing the drilling and pumping of oil and gas. It’s - they’re just completely dependent upon it. So there is no conversation, basically, about, you know, reducing that. And in fact, they’re talking about expanding it, looking into offshore drilling.

Right now, Congress is, you know, moving towards opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and nobody there that I talked to in the sort of political establishment is anything but, you know, sort of embracing that. What is beginning to happen, though, is they are beginning to realize that, you know, no matter what they do, they’re going to be feeling impacts. They are feeling impacts.

When I was there with President Obama in 2015, we visited the villages on the - in the Arctic Circle that are already in trouble because of erosion from sea level rise. They’re just going to have to relocate many coastal villages because of - they’re just at risk now because the seas are higher and the storm surges are bigger.

So they’re facing hundreds of millions of dollars in helping people adapt there. So they’re beginning to have this, like, OK-so-how-are-we-going-to-adapt conversation. What are we going to do about this? And they’re beginning to think more about the future in diversifying their economy and trying to encourage kind of what they call this, you know, sort of transition from an oil economy to a salmon economy. That’s a big issue. But basically, it - they’re in a really tough spot because they are really, you know, dependent upon the very fossil fuels that’re doing them in. And it’s a very vicious circle to be caught in.

GROSS: Do you think political leaders are acknowledging, OK, we’re dependent on fossil fuels, but we acknowledge, at the same time, that fossil fuels are helping to lead to climate change, which is having an altering effect on the geography, the landscape, the life of Alaska?

GOODELL: Yeah. I mean, I don’t think that they’re - the political leaders that I’ve talked to up there - it’s very hard to be a denier there in the sort of classic way of say, you know, Florida Governor Rick Scott or EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt because it’s just all around. And the permafrost is melting. It’s just, you know, obvious there.

But the question is, what can you do about it? And it’s a really - for - if you’re, you know, the governor or a senator from Alaska - and I’m not giving them a get-out-of-jail-free card, but, you know, for any politician, you know, keeping the economy going is the No. 1 job. And in Alaska, keeping the economy going for the moment means, you know, oil and gas drilling. And that’s just the fact, and that’s the way it’s going to be in the near term.

The question is, how quickly can they diversify away from that? How quickly can they begin to build another, a new kind of economy based on clean energy? I mean, there’s a lot of engineering ability in Alaska. I mean, look at the pipelines they’ve built. I mean, this is the headquarters of sort of big, you know, brilliant engineering.

And the idea of beginning to, you know, apply some of that to adaptation, to diversifying, to building new kinds of clean energy, you know, is really appealing. And I was, you know, trying to make the pitch to them up there that they can be a real leader in showing how to adapt to these massive changes that’re coming and how to change from a fossil-fuel-dependent economy to something else. I mean, West Virginia’s a classic example of a state that never did make that turn and has been sort of beholden to coal for, you know, 150 years, and it’s just been, you know, devastating for the economy of that state.

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