Where is the water?

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.18.08 AMWhere is the water? (Week #21)

The WHY:

We are clearly in the Age of Man’s Influence on the Planet. I have heard much discussion of the Age of Man since the atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen (Nobel Prize Winner), made Eugene F. Stoermer’s term anthropocene popular.

The last time I flew over the Western US, I couldn’t help but notice how riverbeds, lakes and reservoir’s appeared shadows of their former selves.

EDF author, Kate Zerrenner states, “…roughly 90% of the energy we use today comes from nuclear or fossil fuel power plants, which require 190 billion gallons of water per day, or 39% of all U.S. freshwater withdrawals (water “withdrawal” indicates the water withdrawn from ground level water sources; not to be confused with “consumption,” which indicates the amount of water lost to evaporation.)”

The more we consume energy, the more water is withdrawn. And clearly that makes the case for wind and solar energy transitioning.

Man has depleted aquafirs, overfished our lakes, rivers and oceans, and created at least 5 plastic gyres (some as large as 270,000 sq. miles).  The USGS says that 97.5% of the earth”s water is unusable, and is present in our ocean’s. Of the 2.5% freshwater remaining, 68.7% remains in glaciers and ice-caps, and we know those are melting rapidly. Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.40.27 PMAs we approach World Oceans Day on June 8th, this year’s theme is Healthy oceans, healthy planet. Let’s examine how our human created carbon dioxide emissions effect our oceans. We’ve all heard that warming of the oceans results in melting glacial ice, rising sea levels, heavy rain in some areas, and drought in others.

According to marine biologists, “Almost half of all the carbon dioxide emitted since industrialization has been absorbed by the ocean. When carbon dioxide reacts with water, it forms carbonic acid, and releases more hydrogen ions into the sea, lowering pH and causing “acidification” of the ocean. Further, these hydrogen ions quickly bind with carbonate ions. This deprives animals like hard corals and certain mollusks and plankton of the raw material for their calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. This may ultimately cause the world’s oceans to become corrosive to such animals, and coral reefs to dissolve.” Environment 360

The WHAT:

A healthy ocean contributes to a healthy climate, and a healthy climate is crucial for our ocean life.

5 easy ways to celebrate World Oceans Day (June 8, 2015) while making a difference:

  1. Donate to a favorite Ocean Advocacy Group (We recommend OceanaConservation InternationalSave Our Seas, or Project Kaisei)
  2. Learn more about local marine life by visiting an ocean observatoryzoo, or aquarium, NOAA office ( WOD events at the New England Aquarium, or Marine Science Sunday)
  3. Read your children or family an inspired ocean-related story from the library, web and bookstore or see an ocean movie. (Amazon, films linked below)
  4. Sign up to clean up.
  5. Take the Better Bag Challenge, find out more here.

The HOW:

Our oceans will benefit from our efforts to reduce carbon emissions. How can we do this?



  1. Reducing meat and fish consumption.
  2. Eating more locally and sustainably grown food.
  3. Reduce our use of plastics and consumption in general.
  4. Transition your energy to renewables (Solar, Wind, Water harvesting, Methanol)

The Deep Dive:

http://worldoceansday.org/

It’s Time Our Policies Reflect The Fact That Energy And Water Are Fundamentally Intertwined, 7/20/13 article from the Energy Defense Fund A few TED Talks on ocean sustainability:

  1. Sylvia Earle’s, 18 min. TED Prize “Ask” video on Protect Our Oceans
  2. Greg Stone: Saving the ocean one island at a time
  3. Jackie Savitz: Save the oceans, feed the world
  4. Will Steffen, The Anthropocene

What Would Happen If Sharks Disappeared?, 2 min. Youtube video

Jacques Cousteau Films

Voyage of the Mimi

Project Kaisei, marine debris awareness non-profit

Turn the Tide for Our Ocean, 4 min. Youtube Rio+20 UN film on ocean sustainability

The Island President Trailer Wild Ocean IMAX Trailer, 2 min. Youtube video

Oceans Trailer, 3 min. Youtube video

San Francisco students created Digital Ocean, 30 min. Youtube video

The Cove Movie website, http://www.thecovemovie.com/

How to Save a Dying Ocean, 6 min. Youtube video

Finding Nemo trailer

Finding Dory

Happy Feet One trailer

Happy Feet Two trailer

World Environment Day

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 8.47.20 PMWorld Environment Day June 5th (Week #20)

The WHY:

In two weeks, on June 5th, we celebrate World Environment Day. The 2015 theme for World Environment Day is Seven Billion Dreams, One Planet, Consume with Care. 

It all started back at the UN conference in 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden. Attended by 113 countries that agreed upon a Declaration containing 26 principles concerning the environment and development; an Action Plan with 109 recommendations, and a Resolution. It is said this arguably paved the way for further understanding of global warming, which has led to the Rio Declaration in 1992 and such agreements as the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

This year, 43 years after the Stockholm Conference and 23 years after Rio, the 2015 global WED celebrations will be organized at the world famous Universal Exhibition, in Milan, Italy. This event attracts over 20 million visitors. Expo Milano 2015 will run from May 1 to October 31 and is expected to include over 140 countries plus a significant number of international organizations.

Announcing World Environment Day 2015, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “While industrialized countries account for the bulk of the world’s resource consumption, unsustainable consumption patterns are becoming more prevalent worldwide, with 3 billion middle class consumers expected to be added to the global population by 2030 – many of them from emerging economies.”

“Food production is one of the most obvious examples of unsustainable consumption patterns, with 1.3 billion tonnes of food being wasted every year, while almost 1 billion people go undernourished,” he added. “This is an issue that UNEP is helping to address with partners like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through our joint campaign against food waste, Think.Eat.Save. We are glad the Expo’s theme also focuses on sustainable food systems.”

“World Environment Day provides us with an important opportunity to identify solutions for re-engineering our consumer culture to create a sustainable society in which everyone has enough to live well while staying within the planet’s regenerative capacity. It is time to look seriously at what our appetite-for-more is costing the planet, our health, our future, and the future of our children,” he said.

The WHAT:

Think Global, Act Local. Get involved and take a step, try any or all of these steps A-Z. Or join others in Milan, Italy, the host country, program here.

The HOW:

Join others at your school, university, community or workplace, or start your own group and register your activity here.

The Deep Dive:

United Nations Environment Programme Stakeholder Forum: Ottawa
read more: http://nr.iisd.org/events/united-nations-environment-programme-stakeholder-forum-ottawa/

Where will you be on June 5th? Invest ahead for people and planet.

Cultural Diversity and International Biological Diversity Days

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.19.43 AMCultural Diversity and International Biological Diversity Days (Week #19)

In the coming weeks we have two important diversity days:

World Day for Cultural Diversity is May 21, 2015 and International Biological Diversity Day is May 22, 2015.

We all know that human activities are directly responsible for climate change, the impoverishment of many cultural and natural communities, the extinction of biological species, and the reduction in ecosystem services.

It seems to me that if more folks understood that diversity and inclusion ensure a more sustainable world, the dial would reach the “Tipping Point” much faster.

“Humanity’s fate is tightly linked with biological diversity – the variety of life on earth. Biodiversity is essential for sustainable development and human well-being. The examples are plenty.

  • Biodiversity is a vital asset in global and local economies
  • Food production depends on biodiversity and the services provided by ecosystems
  • Clean and secure supplies of water also depend on biodiversity
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning provide goods and services essential for human health – including nutrients, clean air and water and regulation of pests and vector-based diseases
  • Biodiversity is the basis for sustainable livelihoods
  • Traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity is also important and has value not only to those who depend on it in their daily lives but to modern industry and agriculture as well
  • Biodiversity is the cornerstone of the work, belief systems and basic survival of many women
  • Biodiversity plays a major role in mitigating climate change by contributing to long-term sequestration of carbon in a number of biomes
  • Even the built environments of our cities are linked to and affected by biodiversity” from


This year’s theme for the former is inclusion and sustainable development for the latter. Let’s connect the dots.

In our neck of the woods, the Parker and Ipswich Rivers, have worked decades to promote the conservation of our watersheds and natural resources through education and consistent legal due diligence.

Let’s restore biodiversity genetically, culturally and horticulturally. The Ethnosphere and the Biosphere are losing cultures, seeds and species daily. Lets reverse the trends and practice terranthrophy; become biodiversity warriors and activists!

The WHAT:

Become your own diversity warrior or biological diversity activist. Reduce the emissions, pollution, and destruction of our marine world. This week, observe, support or engage your fellow humans in a conversation about the importance of restoring biological diversity.

The HOW:

  1. Support your local watershed or river refuge.
    1. Become an Ipswich River Watershed Association member and take a free canoe trip down the river (IRWA)
    2. Obtain an annual pass to visit the over 300 species on Plum Island, (PRNWRbrochure)
    3. Find your local watershed here.
  2. Volunteer to co-found or head a diversity/inclusion (Yes, we are part of biological diversity) initiative at your workplace, industry focus group, and professional organization or trade council.  See Notes: below.
  3. Show up at a local or national event to focus on a biodiversity issue
  4. Start a biodiversity garden.
  5. Volunteer to engage in a biological diversity initiative at your child’s school, your university or other academic institution.

Note:

As Co-Founder of the Women’s Initiative of our local Technology Council, I am passionately involved engaging the corporate executive world in the New England corridor to understand how diversity and inclusivity are essential to becoming a sustainable organization.

I am also a Parker River Refuge Pass Holder, involved with IRWA and a Crane’s Beach Sticker owner.

The Deep Dive:

History of International Biological Diversity Day

Center for Biological Diversity

Local action for Biodiversity

Cary Fowler’s Excellent TED talk on protecting the Future of Food Biodiversity

Wade Davis’ TED talk on Endangered Cultures

You tube video on Biological diversity and conservation (for the kids)

Global Ocean Biodiversity Events for 2015

Diversity Management: Measuring ROI