Tag: droughts

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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America’s Youth Stressed About the Reality of the Climate Crisis

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 19, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Listening to the four determined youth activists air their views during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday September 18, 2019, was a refreshing moment of realism after nearly three torturous years of altered reality, alternative facts and a
constant deluge of propaganda through rallies, tweets and proxies.

These four activists cut through the pervasive GOP BS and made it clear that if Congress doesn’t act, and if GOP continues denying the existential threat to their hopes and dreams and bright futures, then their generation would hold them accountable.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg did not suffer fools lightly. She spoke little, was very direct with her answers, and submitted a multi page document written by scientists as her testimony, asking Congress to rely on the experts.

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But it was the words of 17 year old youth Climate Activist Jamie Margolin, co-founder of Zero Hour, that should resonate with all parents. Jamie explained that the most devastating impact about the looming climate crisis is that she can’t dream about a ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300
bright future. She stated that her horizon is nothing more than a big “IF.” She is not able to wrap her mind around which colleges to apply to, because “what if” the climate crisis impacts her dream college or potential career. The future is now too unpredictable to plan for. Nothing is solid or certain. Her testimony made it clear that Generation Z feels like they’re standing in quick sand.

Can any of us imagine growing up without being able to tightly clutch a dream to lift us out of present day hardships? That dark void of hopelessness is too difficult to process. This is America. I refuse to let this be the reality of today’s youth. I personally would not be able to exist without having hopes and dreams, nor would I have been able to survive the many difficult challenges I’ve faced across the years without these two vital life-sustaining essentials.

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Additionally, stress and anxiety impacts the immune system and changes our perspective on relatively minor everyday challenges. An “uncertain future” creates an emotional crisis and the only way to counter it, is for all adults to quickly move into action and commit ourselves to lowering our personal carbon footprints ASAP.

We can fix this. Let’s go!

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Clean Water is Vital | Trump Gives EPA Green Light To Poison Water With Coal Ash

Washington (GGM) | Analysis | August 5, 2019)
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Clean water shortages around the world are considered a civilization altering condition that threatens the survival of millions, perhaps billions of global citizens. Prolonged heat waves and sustained droughts are already creating unlivable zones in large swaths of the world, and increasing the demand for clean water in areas that currently have an adequate water supply. More people trying to sustain themselves on less water often escalates conflicts and violence and has the potential to become a national security threat.

In light of the extreme water shortages resulting from climate change, it’s now more important than ever that the water we do have, remain protected and pure. Thus, it’s incomprehensible that Trump would insist the EPA rollback Obama’s regulations on coal ash removal and storage, established to protect ground water, and allow coal manufacturers to use coal ash for leveling in unrestrained quantities, as well as store in unlined ponds without liners.Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 5.08.07 PM.png

Every single irresponsible, life-threatening Trump decision like this one, is a call to action. Constituent phone calls to Congressional Representatives make a significant difference. Climate change further exacerbates an already dangerous situation, spreading the thick coal ash hundreds of miles beyond the original site. For example, Hurricane Florence in North Carolina last year, with 1,200 roads flooded, and an epic spreading of hazardous waste such as coal ash, was so alarming, the state still has no conception of the overall extent of the harm to human health. Only time will tell.

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Coal Ash‘s impact on health:

  • Contains: arsenic, lead, mercury, chlorine, and many other heavy metals
  • Causes cancer
  • Impacts Nervous System
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Developmental delays
  • Behavioral problems
  • Birth defects
  • Heart damage
  • Lung disease
  • Reproductive problems
  • And more…

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The writing is clearly on the wall, however. Regulations for the storage of hazardous materials during a time of shrinking water supply, and increased weather extremes, is an absolute imperative. Trump increasing profit margins for a few cronies, while destroying the health and well-being of millions of Americans, seems criminal.

I urge you to please let your Representative know how strongly you object to your water supply being contaminated and your health compromised.

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