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Educating, informing and motivating website visitors on a wide range of environmental topics. That has been the mission of Our Environment since the early 1990s. Each column features "What We Can Do" information to assist in acting on important and timely topics. Here are a few examples of our current work.



OCTOBER 2020

NOW OR NEVER?
By Jeff Stark


Join the -- VOTE!We hear a lot about "existential" threats these days. Seems like everybody with an environmental opinion is trying to convince us to buy into their particular apocalyptic vision. They point out that there is plenty of information in the historical record leading to the conclusion that civilizations and cultures do indeed disappear. The cause can range from self-destructive politics and policies to nature turned destroyer. Living is a dangerous business, dangerous to each of us and all of us. There is nothing new about existential threats. The only thing that is new is that every day we have more at risk.

It does seem like we are playing in a more dangerous playpen these days. In large part this is a function of human beings becoming more and more capable of creating ....MORE ...

AUGUST 2020

INSTANT CARMA
By Jeff Stark


Before and after One thing we are learning as a result of the Covid catastrophe is that positive actions can have immediate effects. For example, when the lockdown began one of the most visible results was a huge reduction in automobile traffic. Commuting to work by car represents, by some reports, about 30% of all automobile traffic. As we all know it consumes, for some, hours of every workday and is essentially unproductive time. It is unpleasant, expensive and can be a huge negative element in the social disruption that can make modern life so unfulfilling. However,there is also good news. According to the website cnbc.com "Air pollution has dropped to unprecedented levels across the world as major cities and countries impose lockdown measures to curb the spread of the corona virus."

The primary cause of this phenomenon, not surprisingly, is fairly easy to understand. ...MORE



JULY 2020

ARE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS JUST IN IT FOR THE MONEY?
By Jeff Stark


today's leaders are ready for tomorrow One of the most enduring memes of the climate change deniers is that climate scientists - climatologists - are united in a global scam to enrich the scientists. They are also responsible, as the meme goes, for the "fake news" that seems always to accompany their "reports." This is a claim and belief that is easy for the deniers. They have no strong connections to science, and often seem to revel in their own ignorance. This is classic conspiracy theorist behavior, easy to believe, and difficult to debunk. It is also beloved beyond belief among those who still believe that President Obama was actually born in some foreign country and groomed from childhood to prepare for the ...MORE ...

JUNE 2020

IT'S LYIN' TIME AGAIN
By Jeff Stark


Deniers VS. Skeptics With apologies to Buck Owens, who penned and performed the country classic "It's Cryin' Time Again" we note that it is now lyin' time again. We know that because nowhere is it more obvious and widespread than in the ranks of the climate deniers. They "don't believe" the science that is the foundation of the movement to combat global climate change. The lies coming from this small but vocal minority assault us every day. They come from social media and corporate boardrooms. They recycle the same lies over and over as new converts behave as if ... ... MORE


MAY 2020

A TALE OF TWO CRISES
By Jeff Stark


It's one crisis vs.another There's' a lot of angst free floating around the environmental community these days. After decades of efforts to move the discussions about climate change, loss of species, ocean acidification, large scale air and water pollution and other giant threats we finally made it to the top of the heap. There we were, number one or two on most lists of issues which were threatening us. It looked like decades of diligent effort were beginning to payoff. Finally, we saw movement, some growth in the group consciousness, some reason to be hopeful, even fulfilled. Perhaps most amazing thing was the delightful way we found people lecturing us using facts, and arguments, we had been using for decades. ... MORE
APRIL 2020

GETTING BACK TO ABNORMAL?
By Jeff Stark


Business As Usual There's lot of talk these days about "getting back to normal." We say it when we remember what it was like when we could go to the grocery store without needing a mask, and when they almost always had what we wanted. We say it when we remember that we used to go to the movies with friends, and take our kids to the beach, and plan a vacation. We greeted each other with a hug and a kiss on the cheek and jammed into a restaurant booth. When we thought about the way we lived it seemed normal, and we took it for granted. Now we are grappling with the effects of a dysfunctional national leadership, a poorly educated populace and a disease that seems medieval in its threat to humans. Given all this it is no surprise ... MORE
MARCH 2020

HAVE TOXINS WILL TRAVEL
By Jeff Stark


Today's city viewsThere are new data and they are clear -- our neighbors may be killing us. This is not fake news or a convoluted scheme to extract money from an uninformed public. Rather it is one of the main findings of a new study, entitled "Out-of-State Emissions Cause Half of Pollutions Deaths." recently published in the journal "Nature." According to the authors "More than half of all early deaths in the United States due to poor air quality are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur."

These data are derived from a new study that tracked "combustion emissions of polluting compounds from various sectors, looking at each state in the lower 48, from season to season and year to year between 2005 and 2018." The research illustrated that half of the air pollution released in one locale inevitably floats over state lines. Here it affects human health and increases the incidence of early death. ... ... MORE