Tag: drought

Let’s Become Rainmakers | Way of the World

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 6, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

“Soil. Earth. Ground. And due to its vast scale and its ability to sequester immense quantities of greenhouse gases, it could just be the one thing that can balance our climate, replenish our freshwater supply, and feed the world. That’s why some people are racing to save our soil, in hopes that our soil just might save us.” —Award winning documentary, Kiss the Ground

Soil health becomes even more important once we realize our food supply is at risk due to conventional agriculture practices merging with climate change weather events that increase droughts and extreme heat. Currently, according to US Drought Monitor, there are 14 states experiencing extreme and exceptional drought conditions, with the following states having the highest exposure:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Utah
It’s time to face the music. #ActNow on climate by restoring our habitat. Let’s return to the Garden of Eden.

Heart of the matter. In the center of California’s prosperous farm belt in the San Joaquin Valley, farmers are struggling to stay afloat after four years of extreme drought. In June 2021, the Fresno Bee published an article with the headline: San Joaquin Valley needs to stop waiting to be rescued. The piece outlined that the Bureau of Reclamation issued an update for the Central Valley Project for Agriculture informing farmers that water deliveries to famers were being reduced from 5% to 0%. Farmers would now have to rely on groundwater, which would likely be challenging due to reduced snowpack and little to no rain.

Pioneer soil health expert, and North Dakota rancher, farmer and author, Gabe Brown, knows the perils all too well and has been working tirelessly since the mid-nineties to educate and promote the six principles of regenerative agriculture to farmers across the country in an effort to help prevent the precarious downward spiral that leads to soil degradation when heat and drought set in. Additionally, Gabe was invited to speak to the House Agriculture Committee back in the spring about the impact of climate change on farming.

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I recently spoke with Gabe and asked him what he recommended for homeowners in states experiencing drought conditions. Is it better to conserve water, or plant diverse no mow plants? He explained that the regenerative soil health principles are the same everywhere, and can be applied despite tough conditions. He suggested the following:

  • Plant native species that are low water users.
  • We need living plants in order to get more rainfall (“people don’t often believe this, but it’s true”).
  • Living plants attract moisture conditions.
  • Plus they emit moisture.
  • Way better off to grow something than not.
  • Compounding problem by NOT growing things.
  • Need to grow plants that can tolerate these conditions

This can seem challenging to wrap our minds around, so I better repeat. If we want rain, we have to start planting the right native species. Live roots in the ground, generate the rain.

Take a listen to Gabe Brown explain how to be a rainmaker.

Next Steps

  • A quick search online generates lists of plants that grow well in drought conditions.
  • Become a citizen scientist and test to see which species grow best in your community.
  • Diverse mix of no mow, drought tolerant grasses are ideal.
  • Once we feel more certain about which plants will survive we can pass the word to neighbors as well as the environmental department at town hall. Collective action will turn us all into rainmakers. Let’s give it our best shot.

Good luck!

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Oceans Are the Heart of the Climate Crisis

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | July 17, 2019)
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

The melting glaciers are an urgent wake up call for all of us to pay attention to global warming. The vast mountains of snow and ice that blanket our poles, are what has provided climate stability for 20 million years. Glaciers breaking apart and melting, immediately raises sea levels along the world’s coastlines, particularly the entire East Coast in the United States, flooding many major cities from Maine to Florida.

If anyone is having trouble visualizing the dramatic impact of rising sea levels, please visit Miami ASAP. Scientists have determined, that due Miami being built on to the lime rock, retaining walls can’t save Miami. It literally won’t survive global warming. In fact, it’s projected that if we maintain to current carbon emission trajectory, Southern Florida is guaranteed to disappear, the only question is “when?”

Ocean waters store carbon, which has always been considered a good thing. Scientists refer to this as carbon sink. The positive benefits unraveled however, when the oceans began to store too much carbon, due to the rise in carbon levels in the atmosphere from irresponsible carbon emitting daily habits and lifestyle.

  • Too much carbon in ocean waters, raises the ocean temperature
  • Warmer ocean waters, melt the polar glaciers from underneath
  • Less snow & ice, and more water cause the oceans to heat faster because dark blue ocean waters store the sun’s heat, while white snow and ice reflects it; an increase in water equal an increase in heat
  • An increase in the amount of water on the globe, also esults in an increase of moisture in the air, causing fiercer storms
  • This massively shifting balance between ice and water and atmospheric moisture, alters the jet streams
  • Without the reliable jest stream moving storms along and out of the way, storms & droughts hover for much longer periods resulting in massive flooding and prolonged droughts
  • Prolonged droughts leads to entire communities having to relocate, often to foreign countries, resulting in a refugee crisis
  • We’re seeing this right now in Central America… the thin section of land, rising sea levels on both coastlines, sustained drought conditions in the middle, all this created by US carbon emission excesses; citizens fleeing the unlivable land to our southern border and then stuffed into concentration camps
  • The military and CIA have both asserted that Global Warming is a major nation security threat, particularly when we are blamed for another countr’s economic woes that result from climate woes

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It only takes a few of these events to open our eyes. But clearly in the past two years, we’ve seen the deadly weather systems destroy communities, and undermine our security.

It will take thousands of years to rebuild out glaciers, but we can immediately curb the rising ocean temperature by making different choices in 4 key areas for ourselves and our families, as well as speak with community leaders about using solar panels to run street and traffic lights as well as town buildings.

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Climate Change Expert  Dr. Joseph Romm, an MIT alumni, has organized Climate Action choices into four categories:

  • Transportation: make the switch to Hybrid or EV autos; public transportation, walk, scooter, ride bikes
  • Home:  go solar, LED lightbulbs, turn out lights when leaving a room
  • Diet: change our eating habits, red meat & dairy increase our carbon footprint
  • Stuff: buying, storing and carting around “stuff”

Switching from our current home electricity source to solar, and from current gas guzzling cars to Hybrids & EV’s is as exciting and life-changing as switching from flip phones to iPhones, or from 3G to LTE. Huge game changer that we immediately love and never look back.

We can do this!

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