Earth day — challenges and hope

It’s easy to be cynical about the multitude of challenges to sustaining life on earth, but there are promising steps toward meeting some of those challenges, and today is a good day to think about them.  As a start, check out this commentary on CNN this morning.  Efforts made to reduce the steep rise in average global temperature are happening on a variety of fronts — such as 155 countries signing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change today!

Things we worry about — illustrated by photos from past blog postings

island in Lake Superior

Warming climate, rising sea levels, disappearing coastlines…


Violent weather: tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms with high winds


Lack of winter precipitation snow pack reduces the spring/summer water flow in rivers…

Okavango delta, Botswana

Changes in rainfall and river flow impact wildlife populations

protea garden, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town, SA

Rising average temperatures that make the local climate unsuitable for plants (and animals). The Cape Floral Kingdom at the tip of South Africa is doomed if temperatures rise much because there is no more southerly retreat for them.


Rising ocean temperatures coupled with increased acidity of ocean water due to higher CO2 content threaten invertebrates such as coral…


Habitat loss, as more acreage is converted to farmland, impacts wildlife and native plants, resulting in local extinctions…

MN farmland

Changes in weather patterns affect crop harvest and food production…

buffalo at Cross Ranch ND

Preserving habitat AND wildlife for future generations

Not just today, but everyday, let’s think about the global consequences of our local actions to be part of the solution to these challenges.

4 thoughts on “Earth day — challenges and hope

  1. Sue, my worry is that nowhere near enough people are taking this seriously enough, from governments down to individuals. They will only sit up and take notice when it is too late. Sorry to be the pessimist, I am normally quite the opposite.

    • Thanks for your comment, Joyce. I suppose it depends on where you see the world from…but here in MN and elsewhere in the U.S., we hear of and see numerous undertakings to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, biking in the Twin Cities has undergone a huge surge of interest, and with that interest comes further development of opportunities for using bikes. Technology for and use of wind and solar generated energy has increased markedly in the last decade, and will most likely continue to do so, even without government subsidies. Most importantly, I see the increased enthusiasm for carbon reduction projects among college-age students as one of the most positive forces in the effort to become more sustainable and more carbon neutral.

      • I am pleased that you are seeing so many positive moves in the right direction. Here in the UK, I don’t feel that our government are doing anything like enough to promote cutting our carbon footprint.

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