March, 2001

What's new at EarthFriend Arts???????

OK, so it's not art. But it is important to all of us.

Countdown to Earth Day!

April 22nd marks the 31st anniversary of Earth Day, a time to pause and reflect on our relationship with the planet that gives us life and everything we have.

Right now we and our fellow inhabitants of the Earth are facing the most crucial environmental problem of our time; humanity's large-scale, inadvertent experiment with the world's climate system. How we deal with this problem will affect our lives and the lives of our children for decades to come. It's a problem that is not readily apparent, having come upon us slowly. But in it's a worldwide scale it could represent the single greatest threat ever faced by humanity.

Earth's climate has been warming at an accelerated rate for the last century and a half. Our average annual global temperature is about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degree Centigrade) higher than it was at the beginning of the 20th Century. This may not seem like a lot, but we are already seeing the effects of warmer temperatures. The 1990s were the warmest decade on record; 1998 was the warmest year - at least since 1861. Glaciers around the world are in rapid retreat. The snow cap on Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro will probably disappear before the end of the decade. According to the Navy, the thickness of the Arctic ice cap has been reduced by 40% over the last forty years. The melting of polar ice along with thermal expansion has caused average sea levels to rise around the globe by 4 to 10 inches since 1900.

Why the Earth is warming is not an easy issue to understand. Many factors play into the heating and cooling of the planet. Is global warming caused by human activities, in whole, in part, or not at all? Are there other, natural causes at work over which we can have no influence at all? Understanding past climate trends and being able to project future climate change accurately is a daunting task. And then, even if we know what direction the world's climate is heading, can we predict the range of possible impacts?

If global warming is being caused by human activities, and if it is likely to increase, then we have a moral obligation - to our fellow residents on the planet, and to our children - to change our ways. Given the current Administration's decision to reject the 1998 Kyoto Protocol on global warming and challenge the scientific basis for international action - a move that brings us to the brink of being branded a "rogue" environmental state - makes an understanding of this topic more urgent than ever.

Over the next three weeks I'll be exploring global warming how it works, why it's happening, and its consequences for humanity and how we as individuals can begin to deal with it.

April 3

April 4

April 5

April 6

April 9

April 10

April 11

April 12

April 13

April 16

April 17

April 18

April 19

April 20

April 22 - Earth Day