Cafe Verd

We know a few things about our world.

  • The sun is a star, similar to billions of others in the Milky Way galaxy, which is similar to billions of other galaxies in the known universe.
  • The earth is spheroid and revolves around the sun, and was born from the debris of supernovas.
  • The universe we inhabit has been measured to be 13.82 billion years old.
  • Evolution is real.
  • Humans have existed on earth for 200,000 years, more or less, depending on how “human” is defined.
  • We humans have been modifying our environment enough to bring about a new epoch, the Anthropocene. We may, as a result, cause our own extinction.

These things are not in dispute by those who are seriously studying the data.

We’ve always been concerned here about the environment at the Café, but now it’s different. The weather patterns aren’t like they used to be. The rain isn’t as reliable, and the storms have been coming in harder. We may have to relocate to higher ground. But it’s not just us, it is global. What you may call climate change or anthropogenic global warming is beginning to affect millions of people around the world. Those who live near the sea are starting to experience salt infiltrating ground water. Weather is starting to stall in persistent patterns, causing floods in some places and severe droughts in others.

Our carelessness has hurt many in years past. We have dispersed toxins into the atmosphere, rivers and lakes, and thoughtlessly destroyed pristine forests and wetlands. Now we have the capability of altering climate over the entire earth, in a way that is beginning to have grave consequences for humanity far beyond rising temperatures and sea levels. In just a few years, we are likely to see climate refugees who have left homelands that can no longer support them.

These changes are due to the careless and wasteful practices of human beings. Nations became rich with the help of cheap energy from fossil fuels, and dumped the waste products of that cheap energy into the atmosphere without penalty. Now all the inhabitants of Earth are beginning to pay. We live in the environment, we are part of it, and the environment is part of us. We only have one Earth; there is no planet B.

What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The extent of ice and the amount of open water there has big effects on the weather patterns over most of the Northern Hemisphere. Visit our Arctic Ice page to view satellite images of sea ice extent and volume in the Arctic region.

Title image is a mural titled “Man, Controller of the Universe,” by Diego Rivera; from El Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.

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