Sleeping Giant Awakening
December 14, 2016
The quotation is portrayed at the very end of the 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora! as:
I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve
Snapshots from the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.
Above, California Governor Brown gave a rousing and defiant talk that was well received.
Below, updated animation from the Arctic Report Card.
The year showed “a stronger, more pronounced signal of persistent warming than any other year in our observation record,” he said.
These changes have had considerable impacts on Arctic ecosystems and native communities, as well as opening up the fragile region to more commercial activity. But they also have impacts outside the region, including potentially influencing weather conditions over North America, Europe and Asia.
Skyrocketing Temperatures, Plummeting Sea Ice
The Arctic has continued to warm at twice the rate of the planet as a whole, and 2016 reinforced that trend. The annual average temperature (from October 2015 to September 2016) was 3.5° Fahrenheit (2°Celsius) above the 1981-2010 average, the highest in records that go back to 1900. Since that time, the Arctic has warmed 6.3° Fahrenheit (3.5° Celsius).
More localized temperatures skyrocketed even more, thanks to winds pulling in warmer air from the south. In January 2016, some places saw temperatures that were a stunning 14° Fahrenheit (8° Celsius) above average, according to the report, which has been issued every year since 2006. The 2016 edition was compiled by 61 scientists from 11 countries.
Those warm temperatures contributed to extremely low sea ice coverage, which has been on a downward spiral for several decades. The end-of-summer minimum is now half of what it was just three decades ago.
I spoke briefly at an event last night. My message:
Even if Hillary had won the election, without a major shift in congress, Washington could at best hold the line. Most action would continue to be local, city, and state level.
Given the dramatic activation that we are seeing in people across the world in response to the current attack on Democracy – we need to provide avenues for a new era of climate action.
Now is the time for activists to envision and demand the highest goals possible for climate and renewable energy.
Watchwords are LOCAL, VOCAL, and NEVER BACK DOWN.
The fossil fuel industry is no longer even bothering with Sock puppets like Bush, Condi Rice, and Dick Cheney. The sock is discarded and now we see the naked fist, in the person of Rex Tillerson, and Vladimir Putin.
They are mad. They are crazed with greed, and completely out of touch with the realities of life on planet earth.
I’ve had years of experience as a first responder on the street, and I’ve dealt with a lot of crazies. Sometimes you can reassure and reason with them.
Sometimes you can medicate them.
And sometimes, they are such a threat to themselves and others, the only thing you can do is sit on them and tie them down till they chill the fuck out.
If Congress is not willing to put a price on carbon, the people who understand science, and love life, will have to impose one of our own. The protesters at Standing Rock have shown the way. Look for that action to be a template for resistance to fossil fuel development at every level, in every state, in every country.
In addition, we will be creating new ways for local groups to advocate renewable energy development in their local areas, cities, municipalities. Look for more on this in the coming year.
My parents taught me that the highest constitutionally defined office in the United States of America is not a congressman, a Senator, or even the President.
It is the citizen. Every one of us.
The moment that you find clarity of purpose, and act decisively, you become, if only for a microsecond, the center point of the turning universe.
Mr. Trump, and Mr Putin, may think that they are powerful.
They do not know real power. They have not seen real power. They are about to find out what Admiral Yamamoto found out, and they will see what an awakened Humanity can do – in defense of our children, our grandchildren, the next 50,000 generations of human beings, and all our family of beings on this tiny but beautiful planetary home.