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September 2020

Trump Greenlights Destruction of America’s Amazon-like Rainforest

in The Life Slant by

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Nestled along 500 miles of Alaska’s verdant Inside Passage there are spellbinding skyscraper Sitka spruce, giant western hemlocks, colossal  western redcedars and weathered 1,800-year-old yellow cedars. The hallowed old-growth temperate rainforest is ruled by the monarchs of nature, three-quarter ton grizzly bears. Altogether, some 17 million dripping, breathing, climate-making Mother Earth forested acres are guarding a whopping eight percent of all the carbon held in the United States. The Tongass National Forest is America’s Amazon rainforest. It contains about one-third of the sanctified old-growth temperate forests left on our man-besieged planet. That priceless rainforest is every American (and planetary) Gen Zs birthright, and Donald J. Trump, the chief promoter of extinction, has just signed off on the death warrants for more than half of it, some 9 million acres.

Yellow cedar tree rings are living museums. They provide an unparalleled looking glass into the climate when the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great established his capital at Constantinople in 330CE (much later becoming Istanbul, Turkey).
Image Credit: Reddit
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Vengeance: Climate Fires

in The Life Slant by

* As I’m writing, the air is putrid and acrid. A fog of death has cloaked Washington, Oregon and California. Climate fires have incinerated about five million acres – a once-in-a-generation-event – and they are far from over.

The enormity and ferocity of these man-made, global heating fires is gobsmacking. The climate has reached a planetary tipping point. The only unknown is how we survive it – especially with Republicans intoxicated on Trumpism, recklessly reassured by Rupert Murdoch’s science-denying talking heads.

Four hundred and fifty million honeybees were burned to death during the December 2019 Australian climate-driven bushfires. Image credit: ABC News

*My upcoming book Gen Z Emergency has chronicled the hideous 2019-2020, worst-ever, Australian climate fires. More than one billion of our brethren and sistren, the animals, were cremated. This does not include frogs and insects, which would have elevated that number into several billions.

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Racism, Riots, and Our Republic

in The Political Slant by

The tragic death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, has set into motion a public outcry that will go down in American history. In Mr. Floyd’s case, the officer who was responsible for his safety will be held responsible for his demise. Anyone issued handcuffs should be aware of the fact that handcuffed suspects who are laid on their stomachs cannot breathe because the pressure on the diaphragm restricts their breathing. If the officer charged in the death claims he was never advised of the potential danger, then he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, under the much-used police phrase: “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” 

The United States is a nation of laws, where those who enforce those laws are the police. Accused of being the hands of unfair laws and enforcers of discriminatory policies, there are now movements to defund and even disband police departments. There have been riots, burned buildings, and destroyed public monuments. There have also been dozens of murders of those of the same race as George Floyd, all presumed just as innocent (certainly the murdered children were innocent) as Mr. Floyd. How the murders of innocent citizens will motivate legislatures remains to be seen. Which moves us to legislation.

Image Credit: NY State Senate
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