Earth Is In Serious Trouble If We Don’t Make Major Changes. Period.

   Earth is amazing when you think about it. The Universe is such a vast place with countless stars, planets, solar systems, and galaxies. It’s incredible to think about how so many things had to come together just right in order for life as we know it to form and evolve on this world. If Earth had been a little closer to the Sun or a little farther out, it wouldn’t have happened.
   So it’s really unfathomable how human beings, who are supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet, are in the process of destroying the only home we have.
   Why are we doing this? Why are human beings devastating this beautiful world?
   Humans get so caught up in their daily lives that they often become thoughtless and short-sighted. They seem to only think about what will improve their own personal lives, families, careers, friends, and so on. People often lose sight of the bigger picture. Many don’t think about how their actions impact the world around them and as a whole. Plus, there are also humans who knowingly damage the environment out of pure greed. They don’t care. Companies and individuals that have willfully and illegally dumped toxic waste into lakes and rivers are classic examples.
   Most of the time I would say it’s a combination of these various factors. There are plenty of people who don’t necessarily want to be hurtful and greedy, yet to varying degrees become so as they pursue what they want and what they feel they need.
   The thing is: there is overwhelming evidence that human activity is causing serious damage to the only home we have, Earth. Ecosystems are being lost and too many species of animals and plants are on the verge of extinction because of human activity. CO2 levels continue to rise which is leading to dangerous increases in global temperatures and changes in the Earth’s climate. This in turn leads to more frequent extreme weather events, droughts, wildfires, water shortages, and more. Many scientists are genuinely concerned that if things don’t change very soon, there will be mass extinctions of many species of animals and plants.
   We can’t keep doing this to the only home we have.
   We all need to make changes in our lives, big and small, in order to take better care of Earth. People need to start educating themselves and seeing the bigger picture of what is going on and what we need to do.
   If we start making better choices and working to make this a better world, in a hundred years, Earth could be a beautiful place where humans and nature have found a balance and live in harmony.
   But if we continue down the destructive path that we are headed, in a 100 years, Earth will be a place that is grossly overpopulated, badly polluted, and where countless species of plants and animals have gone extinct.
   It’s time for all of us to make changes so that in a hundred years, the former will hopefully be true and not the latter.
  

http://ocean.si.edu/through-time/ancient-seas/sea-level-rise

https://climate.nasa.gov/

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24021772

We Must Fight COVID Aggressively Right Now And Avoid Getting Too Lax Too Soon

3-6-21
   The COVID pandemic has been raging for over a year now. People are getting tired of wearing masks, social distancing, not seeing friends and family in person, not attending gatherings, and so on and so on. A great number of people are hurting financially due to jobs being lost or hours being severely curtailed because of the economic impacts of the pandemic. Many businesses are suffering and quite a few sadly have closed permanently.
   So I understand why people are so eager to try to get life back to a more normal level.
   But, the pandemic is still raging. While in a number of areas, cases have slowed down to some degree compared to during the holidays, the numbers of new cases are still dangerously high. And in many states and cities, the rate of new cases right now is higher as compared to the spring of 2020 when states went into total lockdown.
   I’m not saying we should to go into a total lockdown again. But we must continue to fight the pandemic.
   Texas has rescinded its mask wearing mandate and is allowing businesses to open to full capacity. This is dangerously premature and in my opinion will absolutely cost lives to be lost unnecessarily and tragically. It’s way too soon to open businesses at 100% capacity, and rescinding mask wearing mandates is grossly irresponsible.
   The COVID virus has mutated as viruses due. Currently, there are multiple variants spreading around the country and the world. Several have shown to be more contagious than the original strain. We also can’t say how efficacious the current vaccines will be against all these new variants. This is why mask wearing, social distancing, and restrictions on how many people are allowed inside businesses are still vitally important in fighting this virus.
   What we need is for everyone around the country and the world to continue wearing masks and social distancing in public. Businesses will have to find ways to function as best they can with restrictions such as limiting the number of customers allowed inside. We also need as many people as possible to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. If we do this, we will get control over the COVID virus much sooner, which in the long run will save lives and help businesses get back to more normal levels sooner than otherwise.
   But fully reopening and relaxing mask wearing/social distancing rules too soon will prolong the pandemic and cost more lives to be lost, lives which could have been saved otherwise. The other thing that would prolong the pandemic is if too many people refuse to get vaccinated. In order to reach herd immunity, we need as much of the population to get vaccinated as possible.
   So please, continue taking precautions. Wear masks and social distance in public. And when your turn comes, unless your doctor has a genuine legitimate reason not to, get vaccinated against the COVID virus.
   By working together we can get through this and get through it sooner. But it’s up to all of us.

Everyone Needs To Do Their Part In Battling The COVID Pandemic

3-1-21
   I know people are sick and tired of the pandemic. They want to get out and do things. They miss restaurants, family gatherings, bars, movie theaters, the list goes on and on.
   People are getting impatient. They want their lives back to the way they were before.
   But folks, the COVID Pandemic is still raging.
   People are still dying. As a matter of fact, people are dying at a daily rate that is higher than was seen back in early 2020 when strict shut down measures were first instituted.
   We must all do our part to fight this deadly disease, and that means keep wearing masks and social distancing in public. It also means that when your turn comes to get a vaccine, get it! Unless your doctor has genuine legitimate reasons not to, get a COVID vaccine when your turn comes because it’s not just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting everyone. In order to gain herd immunity in the population, we need as many people as possible to get vaccinated. That’s how it works. If a bunch of people refuse to get vaccinated, the pandemic will continue and people will keep dying needlessly, tragically, and before their time.
   So please, please, please: do your part.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing in public. Avoid large gatherings especially when indoors. And when your turn comes, get vaccinated!
   Together, we will get through this.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

NASA’s Perseverance Spacecraft Is Due To Land On Mars Thursday, February 18th.

2-15-21
   We’re almost there!
   The Perseverance spacecraft will be arriving at Mars this Thursday, February 18th, after having traveled 292.5 million miles from Earth to the Red Planet. That in itself is an extraordinary feat. But then the real challenge begins.
   The plan is that at approximately 3:55 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the descent stage of the craft will start the process of entering Martian atmosphere and descending down to the surface of the planet. This is what NASA calls “7 minutes of terror. “
   Why is it so terrifying you might wonder?
   Well consider this. The craft will enter the atmosphere of Mars at approximately 12,000 miles per hour. It must do so at the proper angle, otherwise the mission could fail right then and there. Once it enters the atmosphere, the craft must slow down in 7 minutes so that it can safely land on the surface without being damaged. It will essentially go from 12,000 mph to zero mph in 7 minutes. Also consider this: it takes radio signals approximately 10.5 minutes to travel from Earth to Mars. The result is that once NASA instructs the craft to begin descent, it will be totally out of NASA’s hands. The spacecraft will be entirely on its own as it conducts a complex series of dangerous procedures to land on the Red Planet. And NASA won’t be able to do a single thing to help it out.
   Pretty terrifying when you think about it.
   If all goes well, humanity will have sent a craft and landed it on another world. Impressive when you think about it.
   Once landed, there will be diagnostics and tests conducted to check things out and see if everything is performing properly. One of the Perseverance rover’s missions will be to find a flat surface onto which to place the miniature helicopter, which is called Ingenuity. The plan is that over a 30-day period, there will be a series of short flights to demonstrate the ability of flying a helicopter on another planet. This will be an amazing accomplishment by itself.
   The other primary mission of the Perseverance rover will be to explore its landing site, the Jezero Crater. Billions of years ago, it is believed that an ancient lake and river delta once existed there. Using a variety of instruments, the rover will explore the area learning about its geology and climate as well as searching for potential signs of ancient microbial life. This mission will take years.
   If all goes well, the Perseverance mission is going to be a great achievement that expands our knowledge of another world and further explores the question of whether life evolved on places outside our own planet Earth.
   I recommend checking out the attached links which go into more detail about the exciting Perseverance mission to Mars.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/02/15/world/mars-landing-nasa-perseverance-guide-scn/index.html

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invites-public-to-share-thrill-of-mars-perseverance-rover-landing

Restrict Indoor Holiday Celebrations To Only Those Who Already Live In The Home.

12-20-20
   COVID cases are rising at a dangerous rate here in the United States. As a matter of fact, right now, the leading cause of death in the US is COVID with a person dying of the dangerous virus approximately every 30 seconds.
   Think about that: every 30 seconds, a human being dies of COVID-19 in the United States. Putting it in these terms: when you listen to Bing Crosby’s “A White Christmas,” odds are that 5-6 people just died of COVID in the United States.
   Think about that.
   As of 10am EST on December 20, 2020: 316,209 people have died of COVID in the United States, and with the way things are going, by April 1, there is a very real chance that number will be well over 500,000.
   There are a number of reasons for why the US is getting hammered so badly. One factor is that a number of viruses get worse in terms of spread during cold weather. Flu is an example of that.
   Another reason is due to the fact that the United States has mishandled this pandemic so badly. Leadership from the Federal Government has frequently been severely (or at times totally) lacking and when present, has often been uncoordinated and terribly inadequate. The Trump Administration has botched the job with confused, inconsistent responses and messaging which has often been filled with bad information and even flat out lies. In many ways, states have been left on their own in battling the pandemic (to a far greater extent than they should have been) with some states being more effective and responsible than others. The result has been a kind of disorganized ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy.
   On top of this is the fact that many Americans (including Donald Trump) are still not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. Far too many people ignored the pleas of the medical community and went ahead and traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday to have inappropriately large gatherings. This undoubtedly worsened surge of COVID cases and deaths this country is seeing.
   Enough folks!
   The COVID pandemic is real, serious, and deadly. COVID has a significantly higher mortality rate than flu and can lead to debilitating long term effects in some who survive it.
   Another factor in COVID’s rapid spread is how a number of people who get COVID have mild or no symptoms but can still unknowingly spread it to other people, who in turn may be at high risk of serious disease and potentially even death.
   Hospitals around the country are nearing (or have reached capacity), and ER personnel are beyond exhausted with too many getting sick themselves. Southern California is literally running out of ICU beds as I write this. When hospital systems get overwhelmed, more people die who could have been saved otherwise.
   So, damn it, open your minds and do your part.
   Listen to the scientists and medical experts. Practice social distancing and mask wearing in public. Don’t have big holiday gatherings. Holiday celebrations (particularly indoor ones) should be restricted to only those who already live in the household. Stay home as much as you can. This is not the time for unnecessary travel, big indoor gatherings, and such.
   We are at war with COVID, and everyone should make adjustments in their lives in order to do their part in combating the virus to save lives.
   It’s up to all of us!

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

Human Caused Climate Change Is Here And Must Be Battled Now

12-15-20
   Human Caused Climate Change is here!
   It’s too late to prevent it.
   It’s here whether we like it or not! And worse yet is that human activity brought this on.
   That’s right, it’s our fault.
   Human activity, particularly the extensive use of fossil fuels for energy, has resulted in rising CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. In 1850, the CO2 level was 280 ppm (parts per million) while in November, 2020, it was 415 ppm. That is a major increase in atmospheric CO2, which along with other gases, has created a greenhouse effect that is warming the planet.
   What makes this situation even more tragic is that scientists have been warning everyone about this for decades. But most ignored it.
   Well, it can’t be ignored any longer!
   The effects of Climate Change are affecting us now.
   For example, glaciers and the polar ice caps are melting, thus raising ocean levels. Many mountain snowpacks are getting smaller in winter (and often melting sooner), in large part due to the fact that more precipitation is falling as rain (especially at lower elevations) instead of snow for more of the year. This means that water problems will likely worsen for areas that rely heavily on the spring melt for their drinking water and agriculture, places like California and India.
   Weather patterns are changing so that some areas are experiencing greater numbers of intense storms while others are getting significantly drier so that droughts are occurring more frequently and often with increased severity. This is why we are seeing worsening wildfires in various parts of the world such as California and Australia. Both of these places were already prone to wildfires, but as they become hotter and drier, they are experiencing wildfires that are greater in terms of number and intensity.
   Climate Change is also affecting tropical coral reefs around the world. Increasing air temperatures are warming the oceans’ water. When the water gets too warm, coral expels algae that was living in its tissues. This turns the coral white in color (this is also known as coral bleaching). In this state, the coral is under stress and at greater risk of dying.
   Now consider this: as the conditions of the planet are altered (by human actions), there is a greater chance of more animals going extinct.
   Because of us humans.
   These are just some of the effects we are seeing from Human Caused Climate Change.
   Now, it’s up to all of us to work together in battling it to try to minimize the damage.
Each one of us must make changes in our daily lives to be more pro-environment. Examples include using public transportation, carpooling (after COVID), driving vehicles with better fuel efficiency, recycling, decreasing use of plastic (take permanent reusable bags to the grocery store, and if you use plastic bags, take them back to the store for recycling (plastic bags can’t be put in curbside recycling in most places)), and educate yourself. Spread the word. Put pressure on businesses, governments, and organizations to become more pro-environment.
   In addition to these, vote!
   Vote for elected officials who acknowledge Human Caused Climate Change and are taking action to fight it.
   Vote out Climate Change deniers.
   If we all take action, we can slow Climate Change down and minimize the damage.
   But we must act now! 

https://climate.nasa.gov/

http://ocean.si.edu/through-time/ancient-seas/sea-level-rise

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html#:~:text=When%20water%20is%20too%20warm,and%20are%20subject%20to%20mortality.

12-7-20: 282,436 People Have Died In The US From COVID 19

12-7-20
   COVID cases are rising at a dangerous rate here in the United States. As a matter of fact, right now, the leading cause of death in the US is COVID with a person dying of the dangerous virus every 30 seconds.
   Think about that: every 30 seconds, a human being dies of COVID-19 in the United States, and it will get worse.
   As of December 7, 2020: 282,436 people have died of COVID in the United States, and with the way things are going, by April 1, there is a very real chance that number will be well over 500,000.
   There are a number of reasons for why the US is getting hammered so badly. One factor is that a number of viruses get worse in terms of spread during cold weather. Flu is an example of that.
   Another reason is due to the fact that the United States has mishandled this pandemic so badly. Leadership from the Federal Government has frequently been severely (or at times totally) lacking and when present, has often been uncoordinated and terribly inadequate. The Trump Administration has botched the job with its confused, inconsistent responses and messaging which has often been filled with bad information and even flat out lies. In many ways, states have been left on their own in battling the pandemic (to a far greater extent than they should have been) with some states being more effective and responsible than others. The result has been a kind of disorganized ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy.
   On top of this is the fact that many Americans (including Donald Trump) are still not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. Far too many people ignored the pleas of the medical community and went ahead and traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday to have inappropriately large gatherings. There will undoubtedly be a worsened surge of COVID cases and deaths because of this.
   Enough folks!
   The COVID pandemic is real, serious, and deadly. COVID has a significantly higher mortality rate than flu and can lead to debilitating long term effects in some of the people who survive it.
   People can also get COVID without symptoms but unknowingly spread it to others.
   Hospitals around the country are nearing (or have reached capacity), and ER personnel are beyond exhausted with too many getting sick themselves. When hospital systems get overwhelmed like this, more people die who could have been saved otherwise.
   So, damn it, open your minds and do your part.
   Listen to the scientists and medical experts. Practice social distancing and mask wearing in public. Don’t have big holiday gatherings. Holiday celebrations (particularly indoor ones) should be restricted to only those who already live in the household. Stay home as much as you can. This is not the time for vacation travel, big indoor gatherings, and such.
   We are at war with COVID, and everyone should make adjustments in their lives to do their part in combating the virus and thus save lives.

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

12-5-20: The Leading Cause Of Death In The US Right Now Is COVID-19

12-5-20
  Cold weather is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it is a rising tide of COVID cases, especially in the United States. To anyone paying attention to what has been going on, this should come as no surprise. As a matter of fact, right now, the leading cause of death in the United States is COVID, with a person dying of the dangerous virus every 30 seconds.
   Think about that: every 30 seconds, a human being dies of COVID-19 in the United States, and we haven’t even seen the full effects of the surge of new cases that is coming due to people ignoring medical advice and having big Thanksgiving gatherings.
   As of December 5, 2020: 280,634 people have died of COVID in the United States. At the rate the US is going, by April 1, 2021, there is a very real chance that number will be over 500,000 dead which would be more than the 418,500 Americans who were killed in World War 2 (and that’s the entire war, both fronts).
   Now, consider how the United States as a whole has done a terrible job in trying to deal with the COVID pandemic. The Trump Administration has grossly mishandled the crisis with confusion, incompetence, false information, and a lack of coordination coming from the White House. States have in many ways been left to their own devices in battling the pandemic far more than they should have been. Their tactics have varied with some being more effective than others. The result has been a kind of ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy. On top of this is the fact many Americans (including Donald Trump) are still not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
   As a result of this confused quagmire of a response, it is no surprise that we are now seeing record numbers of cases throughout the country, and tragically, it will get worse. Many more people are going to die.
   Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in combating COVID.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing whenever you are in public. Educate yourself in what you need to do in fighting the pandemic. Avoid big crowds, especially when indoors. Do not have big holiday gatherings. Period. Holiday celebrations should be restricted to only those who live in the household already. No one from the outside should be there.
   Remember since people can carry the virus without even knowing it, this is more than keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping everyone you come in contact with safe as well.
   By working together, we can get through this.
   It’s up to all of us!

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Trump’s Lies About The Election Are Endangering America

11-17-20
   Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the presidential election. That is very clear, yet Donald Trump has thus far refused to concede and is making baseless, destructive accusations of fraud. In addition to that, Trump is refusing to allow the Biden transition team the access it needs to prepare for the peaceful, safe transfer of power from the old administration to the new.
   All states are reporting that no significant irregularities occurred this election. International observers monitored the election as well and are also reporting that no widespread irregularities happened. As a matter of fact, an international observer report has criticized Trump for making baseless claims against the election.
   The United States is deeply divided to a scary, unhealthy degree with people, organizations, and political parties not trusting each other and often even hating one another. It’s hurting our nation. Donald Trump has exacerbated these divisions throughout his time in politics and the presidency.
   It’s no surprise that Trump is making unfounded claims of fraud despite having no evidence for it. He has been sending clear signals for months that he would act like this if he lost. Thing is, Trump’s childish behavior making baseless attacks upon the election is hurting our democracy. Even when Trump is clearly lying, millions of Americans still choose to believe him. This means that even though there is overwhelming evidence that the election was fair, millions of Americans think the contrary.
   This is dangerous and is really hurting our nation.
   Elections and the peaceful transfer of power is part of the very foundation of the United States. It’s a major factor in making this nation great. But Donald Trump (along with the millions of Americans going along with his dangerous behavior) is undermining the entire process with false claims of fraud and in doing this is undermining the United States itself.
   By impeding the transition process as he is currently doing, Trump is endangering this country’s national security as well as increasing the likelihood that more innocent people will needlessly die from COVID. Biden should be receiving intelligence briefings like Trump does, but Trump is blocking this from happening. Biden officials should be coordinating with Trump officials in the various government departments (such as the State Dept, Intelligence, Defense, Health, and so on) to ensure a smooth transition so that things don’t get screwed up and fall through the cracks. Again, Trump is blocking this. The production and distribution of new COVID vaccines is a monumental, complex operation that will go well beyond the date of the inauguration. Biden’s COVID officials need to be coordinating with Trump’s to avoid confusion and delays that would cost lives. But Trump is preventing this from occurring as well.
   People need to open their minds.
   Joe Biden won in a free, fair election, and Donald Trump lost. Time for people to accept this and move forward.
   To be blunt, stop blindly following Donald Trump! Don’t blindly follow anyone. Look at the facts using varied, reliable, independent sources for information. Don’t use sites that just tell you what you want to hear.
   There is no evidence of widespread irregularities. None.
   Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election fairly.
   Time for people to accept that and move forward. Demand that the transition process proceed. Put pressure on Republican officials to demand this as well.
   And for goodness sakes, quit blindly following Donald Trump’s outrageous, dangerous lies and rhetoric.  Don’t contribute to undermining democracy, people’s health, and the security of this nation because that is what Trump’s actions are doing right now.
   Stand up for truth, honesty, democracy, helping one another, and trying to do the right thing.
   We need to start working together so that we can begin healing this nation and get through this pandemic.

The COVID Pandemic Is Getting Worse

11-14-20
   Cold weather is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it is a rising tide of COVID cases, especially in the United States. To anyone paying attention to what has been going on, this should come as no surprise.
   Other viruses such as the common cold and flu often seem worse in terms of numbers during colder weather as compared to warmer weather. There are a variety of possible causes for this phenomenon that we won’t delve into here.
   Now, consider how the United States as a whole has done a terrible job in trying to deal with the COVID pandemic. The Trump Administration has grossly mishandled the crisis with confusion, incompetence, false information, and a lack of coordination coming from the White House. States have in many ways been left to their own devices in battling the pandemic far more than they should have been. Their tactics have varied with some being more effective than others. The result has been a kind of ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy. On top of this is the fact many Americans (including Donald Trump) are not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
   As a result of this confused quagmire of a response, it is no surprise that we are now seeing record numbers of cases throughout the country, and tragically, it will get worse. Many more people are going to die.
   Since Trump is president until Biden’s inauguration on January 20th, we cannot expect much, or any, new help from the federal government for the next couple of months. It will primarily be up to local and state governments to do what they can in addition to every day people.
   Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in combating COVID.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing whenever you are in public. Educate yourself in what you need to do in fighting the pandemic. Avoid big crowds, especially when indoors. Don’t have big holiday gatherings with people coming from all around because doing so would spread the virus.
   Remember since people can carry the virus without even knowing it, this is more than keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping everyone you come in contact with safe as well.
   By working together, we can get through this.
   It’s up to all of us!

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/