We discovered on November 8th that history does not progress in a straight line.  The arc of progress, the road of history, twists and turns and sometimes bends back on itself…just like in our own lives.  I’ve paddled a few wilderness creeks like this.  Back and forth never being sure where you’re going and if or when this frustrating endeavor will end. But it does and you end up in a beautiful place as we did in this photo.  

Lilly Bay with Mel Revised #4 Resized

Since the night of November 8th, like so many of you, I’ve been feeling like we’re living in an alternative universe where the world you thought you knew doesn’t exist anymore.  Basic norms that we have fought for and upon which we have come to rely upon, we can no longer take for granted.  I keep hearing the words of the 1982 song that was a hit for a group called Golden Earring: “Help I’m steppin’ into the Twilight Zone.”  (I wonder what Rod Serling, creator of the hit show The Twilight Zone, could do with this concept of a Trump Presidency???)  It’s ironic that Golden Earring was Dutch… Ronald Reagan’s nickname since many have compared Trump to Reagan.  


But every morning we get up and realize that this is reality and that science matters.  And thus, we get this news:

2016 was 2nd-warmest year in U.S. history

Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Last year was the second-warmest in the United States since record-keeping began in 1895.
The weather was also costly, with 15 weather and climate disasters that each caused more than $1 billion in damages, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported yesterday. The most destructive events include flooding in Texas and Louisiana, severe thunderstorms in the Rockies, and wildfires in the South and West.
“The year was notable for its widespread warmth, with virtually all states having annual average temperatures in the top 10 percent on record,” NOAA officials said in a statement.
The average annual temperature was 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which was 2.9 F above the 20th-century average, according to NOAA. The average low temperature also broke records, as 43.1 F was the highest minimum temperature on record.
Only 2012, which had an average annual temperature of 55.3 F, was warmer in 122 years of record-keeping.
Alaska, meanwhile, had its warmest year on record in 2016, the third time in three years it has done so. The Southeast also had its warmest year on record, as did Georgia.

Next week, NOAA is expected to announce that 2016 was the warmest year on record in terms of global temperatures, beating out 2014 and 2015 for the title. The news is widely expected as climate scientists tracking temperatures have noted that the record was on track to be broken for most of the year.

The destruction caused by weather and climate disasters in the United States was the second-greatest in 39 years, second only to 16 events in 2011. Four events were caused by inland flooding, which doubles previous records set in 2015. Altogether, the United States experienced more than $46 billion in weather and climate damages.

“This was the first year since 1997 that inland flooding was the costliest disaster type of the seven categories tracked, and the first time that more than two inland flooding events caused losses exceeding $1 billion each,” NOAA researchers said in a statement.
Persistent drought conditions improved in parts of the country, as the year saw more rain than average. Last year was the 24th-wettest year on record. The yearslong drought in California was slightly alleviated by precipitation in the early part of the year, but drought conditions intensified east of the Mississippi River, particularly in the Northeast.

So is this the time to roll back action on the Climate and eviscerate the EPA?  Of course not and the vast majority of the U.S. population agrees. But not President Trump and his surrogates and Administration nominees.  And that is why we must fight back and not allow our planet to be destroyed by misdirected public policy.  

I hope you’ll be doing your part in speaking out, joining rallies, calling and writing your government representatives and otherwise being active in standing up for what we know to be right and just.  Trump may, in a sick way, be a blessing in disguise in so far as he will make clear to our citizens that we can not take our rights and values for granted.  We must stand up, speak out and be counted.

So here it goes.  Now it begins as it did yesterday when millions all over the world took to the streets to demand attention, justice and equity.  

I hope you too will not simply stand on the sidelines but join in to stand up, speak out and show up for our values.



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