Climate Change This Week: Looming Health Disaster, Clean Power Kites, and More!

Climate Change This Week: Looming Health Disaster, Clean Power Kites, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.

2016-10-19-1476845878-7036270-PangolinManispentadactylasoutheastasiaindonesiaSourcewww.edgeofexistence.orgccr351.jpg

Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this asian pangolin, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Pangolins everywhere are endangered. These prehistoric creatures are being vigorously hunted due to false rumors of their scales’ healing powers. Source http://www.edgeofexistence.org

OO Warning To Forest Destroyers: This Scientist Will Catch You With his satellites that spot deforestation as it happens.

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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A Rarity That Could Soon Disappear Forever – the Saola of the mountain forests of Vietnam and Laos is extremely rare and unique, and was discovered from a skull found in a hunter’s home. Source wildlifeleaders.org

OO Hunting, Not Deforestation, Biggest Threat To Southeast Asian Biodiversity shows a new study. Forest animals are vital to the health of forests. Takeaways:

  • animal populations have declined sharply at multiple sites across Southeast Asia since 1980, with many species now completely wiped out in substantial portions of their former ranges.
  • Besides improved enforcement of hunting restrictions on protected areas and species,
  • efforts to engage hunters in sustainable hunting practices are urgently needed.
  • the region will likely lose most of its iconic species, and many others besides, within the next few years.
  • Hunting is pushing many species close to extinction.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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HOT NEWS

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OO Planet At Its Hottest In 115,000 Years Thanks To Climate Change experts say, a time during an interglacial era, when sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30 ft) higher than today.

MELTDOWN

@@ The Melting of the Arctic – surface ice cover is decreasing, but what’s happening beneath it is far more dramatic – the TOTAL volume of the Arctic is shrinking dramatically and fast, as this flick shows.

Arctic surface ice acts as a thermal shield by reflecting sunlight back to space, but the ice beneath it helps keep it cool, and helps winter reformation of ice. When that submerged ice goes…

OO Disappearing Yosemite Glacier Becomes Symbol Of Climate Change – the dying Lyell Glacier has become a vivid example of the effects of climate change, a touchstone of increasing concern for National Park Service officials.

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WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND…

2016-10-19-1476845960-5073858-forestfirewildfireIndonesiaSourceyournewswire.comccr351.jpg

Indonesia Will Not Be Able To Control Its Fires if it doesn’t start controlling them now; global warming will create conditions that will likely set massive Indonesia peat fires beyond human control. Photo Source yournewswire.com

OO How Earth Will Pay Back Our Carbon Emissions With …
More Carbon Emissions,
Beyond Our Control

if we don’t control it now. Takeaways:

  • Many natural feedback cycles amplify carbon emissions,
  • and will likely become self-generating, without human help.
  • Examples include:
  1. Indonesian peat wildfires can release massive climate changing emissions, fueling more fire;
  2. Melting Arctic ice increases heat absorption there, further speeding global warming (albedo effect);
  3. Warming drying ecosystems (like California) burn more, emitting more climate changing emissions.

In all these cases, the carbon that can fuel massive further climate change is locked into the soil, peat and forests of ecosystems that span the tropics to the poles.

Like lighting a fuse, if we allow enough emissions to heat our planet enough, these natural cycles will start generating themselves – and we will be facing uncontrollable global warming and climate change.

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GOOD IDEAS

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Credit DearTomorrow at facebook

What Would YOU Write To Your Children Or Grandchildren In 2050? Maybe it will inspire you.

OO Climate Letters To The Future That Should Inspire You Now Part social movement, DearTomorrow uses how much we care about future generations to get people engaged in dealing with climate change now.

OO Public Art Or Renewable Energy? New Designs Aim To Produce Both and enlighten the public on environmental issues.

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It Might Not Look Like Much, But Can It Store Energy! And cheaply, too – enough to make wind power cheaper than natural gas, Siemans is betting. Source http://www.greentechmedia.com

OO Breakthrough Thermal Storage System For Wind Power Could Beat Natural Gas – Takeaways:

  • surplus energy fuels a big heater blowing 1000+ F air across an insulated, packed bed of basalt rocks;
  • when needed, the energy is used to drive a steam turbine to deliver power.
  • system could store up to two days’ worth of energy for a week for111/megawatt-hour,
  • beating the price of natural gas.
  • Energy giant Siemens is testing it with a pilot project.

“This technology operates on a set of simple principles with off-the-shelf, tried-and-tested technologies that can…achieve high system efficiencies at relatively low cost,” said an energy expert.

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OO Hawaiian Electric Is Testing Flywheels As An Energy Storage Option

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Wind Power Kites are an example of the innovative renewable clean technology that Oregon’s BEST Program funds, pairing universities with companies. Source http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org

OO Oregon’s ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Approach To A Clean Economy The state’s BEST program pairs universities with companies to develop affordable solutions in clean energy and energy efficiency, providing unusually consistent and adequate funding to such startups.

OO How Midwest States Are Pursuing Efficiency Amid Trend Against Mandates They’re doing so by:

  • Using, not wasting, the heat created from generating electricity;
  • Creating energy efficiency requirements for buildings, transport and appliances.

MEH: While mandates might not last, they probably provided impetus for states to increase their energy efficiencies.

OO Europe: Big Utilities Fund Renewable Energy For Profit – without involving banks, as a way to balance cuts in subsidies for fossil fuels.

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Growing MaryJane Is Energy Intensive – so doing so efficiently, with LEDs, is important.

OO LEDs Light Up Indoor Farming And Marijuana Cultivation

2016-10-19-1476846168-3474179-tomatoesSourcewww.rodalesorganiclife.comccr351.jpg

OO A Desert Full Of Tomatoes, Thanks To Solar Power And Seawater – is growing in Australia, where Sundrop Farms is using solar power to desalinate water and grow lots of greenhouse tomatoes.

The catch? You have to sell a LOT of tomatoes to pay the $150 million price tag of the desalinization plant – and then there’s maintenance…

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HEALTH DISASTER LOOMS

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In An Every Hotter World, More Children Will Die – whether from heat exhaustion, the spread of disease, hunger, extreme weather disasters like storms and flooding, or the conflict over resulting scarcity of resources.

OO The Coming Public Health Disaster – High temperatures are disrupting global ecosystems and food production, causing more extreme weather events and wildfires, threatening coastal communities with accelerated sea level rise and creating the perfect conditions for deadly diseases to spread.

The young and old are most vulnerable.

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CONNECTING THE DOTS

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Want to Stop More Storms Like This? Vote for leaders who understand and will support solutions to climate change. Credit Luis Rodriguez at weather.com

OO Hurricane Matthew Looks A Lot Like Climate Change which should be a focus of public safety.

And if we want to stop storms like this – or worse – we need to do everything we can to rid the economy of fossil fuels.

Related Headline:

2016-10-19-1476846376-1608530-hurricanematthewgeorgiafloodinghomelesswomanCreditStephenB.MortonatAPphotoccr350.jpg

Credit Stephen B. Morton at AP photo

OO Hurricane Matthew’s Strength Is Yet Another Climate Change Indicator – a record-shattering storm that is unusual for October, it is a reminder of climate change’s potential to turn seasonal weather into extreme, year-round threats.

The storm has surpassed several milestones as one of the strongest, longest-lasting hurricanes of its kind on record.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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Source DOE Revolution Now 2016

OO The Us Clean Energy Revolution Is Here says the US Department of Energy in a new report, with several charts to prove it. Takeaways:

  • Costs have dramatically declined for renewable clean energy;
  • Installation of wind and solar power structures has exploded.
  • Electric vehicle sales are also exploding
  • As are highly energy efficient LEDs.

OO Global Energy Efficiency Has Tripled, But Not Enough To Curb Climate Change
We need to improve [energy efficiency] by 50 % … immediately.

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Reykjavík: The geothermal city that aims to be the firsty city to go carbon neutral.

OO Iceland: Geothermal Capital City Aims To Be Carbon Neutral by 2040, and become the first city to do so.

OO $$$: ‘Significant Economic Opportunities’ For Low-Carbon Cities says a new analysis.

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OO The Future Belongs To Clean Energy Wind power is projected to more than double in developing countries and increase by one-third in developed nations by 2030.

OO From Amazon To Wal-Mart, Wind Power Deals Are Blooming in Texas and beyond.

OO UK: Solar Panels Outstrip Coal-Fired Electricity in previously ‘unthinkable’ feat.

2016-10-19-1476846669-9636354-kitewindpowerSourceKitePowerSolutionsLtd2015ccr351.jpg

Source Kite Power Solutions Ltd 2015

OO One Of World’s First Kite-Driven Power Stations To Open In Scotland – Its company says the system is so cheap it will not need any kind of subsidy – unlike fossil fuels or most renewables.

OO 191 Countries Strike Deal To Cut Aircraft Emissions – every bit counts.

2016-10-19-1476846699-8963901-trumpimmigrationmodifiedclimatecartoonCreditNateBeelerattheColumbusDispatchccr329.jpg

Credit Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch, modified

OO The Paris Climate Agreement Is Officially Happening. Unless Donald Trump Wrecks It. – don’t forget to vote!

Related Headline:

OO Paris Climate Accord To Go Into Force In November – to face the test of enforcement.

2016-10-19-1476846763-5023067-carbonpricepricingSourceeconews.com.auccr351.jpg

How Much Will They Pay To Make It Go Away? Is a question that Canada is letting its provinces answer on the price of carbon emissions. Source econews.com.au

OO Canada’s Trudeau Steps Up On Climate Change With Carbon Pricing and leaves provinces with choices on how to carry it out.

OO Oil Clout Ebbs In Alaska As Billions In Tax Credits Are Cut – finally, people are realizing that oil doesn’t pay.

NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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OO US: No Matter How Much It Rains, Megadroughts Are ‘Virtually Certain’
Due To Climate Change
with the Southwest to suffer scorching, decades-long “megadroughts” if the world continues producing greenhouse gas emissions at its current pace, a new study warns.

OO Global Warming Could Kill Off ‘Good Bacteria’,
Weakening Ecosystems
– shows new research focused on an insect, but its implications ripple all the way up the chain to us: bacteria form a mutually beneficial relationship with virtually all animals, not noted in the piece itself.

Two interesting facts:

  • Bacteria help us digest our food;
  • Bacteria outnumber human cells on any human body.

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SPEAKING OUT

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OO Paul Krugman: What About The Planet? Our two major political parties are at odds on many issues, but nowhere is the gap bigger or more consequential than on climate.

OO Recognizing Smokescreens:
Putting Carbon Back In The Land vs. Real Climate Action

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Mainstream Media Is “Missing in Action” – and so are, consequently, much of the public, on the important evolving story of climate change – not only its dangerous acceleration and consequences, but even the good stories of how nations are starting to seriously address it.

OO Is The Media To Blame For Climate Inaction? Media needs to report far more frequently and openly on important actions being taken to solve climte change, such as these recent developments:

  • Ratification of a climate treaty to tackle emissions worldwide;
  • Commitment of nations to phase out climate changing HFCs;
  • Commitment of nations to a climate changing emissions limit in aviation.

MEH: Coverage of climate change in most media is lacking, and inconsistent – so, yes, media is significantly part of the blame for climate inaction.

OO UK Conservationists Deal Last-Minute Blow To ‘Unlawful’ Fracking Bid

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Military Acts on Climate Change by increasingly cutting its climate changing emissions via adoption of clean energy in the field, and at its bases. Source US armed forces, via pewenvironment.org

OO US Military View On Climate Change:
It’s Eroding Our National Security And We Should Prepare For It
Something not even being discussed in the current election.

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Source Reuters

OO Global Economy Could ‘Self-Destruct’
If World Carries On Burning Fossil Fuels
a leading economist warns. Lord Nicholas Stern – author of the influential Stern Review on climate change in 2006 – says ‘strong investment’ in green technologies could finally revive growth in the world economy.

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Bye Bye California Salmon? Populations and entire species of fish, many of which we eat, are facing extinction, as Californians take away their water – and Californians, present and future, are the ultimate losers. Source chowhound.com

OO San Francisco Bay Ecosystem Collapsing As Rivers Diverted scientists report. Evidence of what scientists are calling the planet’s Sixth Mass Extinction is appearing in San Francisco Bay and its estuary, the largest on the Pacific Coast of North and South America, says a major new study.

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OO Invasive Insects Cause Tens Of Billions In Damage: Study – at least $77 billion in damage every year, says a new study, and that this figure is “grossly underestimated” because it covers only a fraction of the globe. It will worsen under continuing climate change.

And this is just due to crop damage – it doesn’t apply to malaria, zika or other diseases spread by mosquitoes invading new areas.

  • All insects, including those in their native habitat, take a heavy toll on agriculture, consuming 30 to 40 % of global harvests — enough to feed a billion people.

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Source International Business Times

  • Mosquito-borne diseases, especially malaria, claim hundreds of thousands of lives every year.
  • Climate change is on track to boost the damages by nearly 20% before 2050.

The distribution of many invasive species is today limited by temperature barriers, and climate change could allow them to invade regions that were inhospitable up to now“, said the lead study researcher.

2016-10-19-1476847189-7218538-homehouseburnsfromtheBlueCutwildfireCaliforniaAugust2016CreditEugeneGarciaEPAccr344.jpg

OO When Spark Meets Sprawl: Building In Wildlands Increases Fire RiskWildfires, now threaten many other parts of the country as extreme weather becomes more commonplace and more people live in areas at risk for wildfire.

OO As Cities Heat, Their Trees Partly Lose Ability To Remove
Climate Changing Carbon From The Air
shows new research.

OO Climate Change Is Causing Earlier Springs In National Parks which could hurt their ability to manage invasive species.

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Source climateandcapitalism.com

OO Europe Must Prepare For Extreme Weather – Cities and towns are warned to adapt to the battering they face from intense storms as extreme weather events become more frequent.

OO Will Climate Change Sink The Mekong Delta? It is vital to the lives of millions of southeast Asians. No delta region in the world is more threatened by climate change.

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FIXING CLIMATE CHANGE

@@ A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change given by Dan Miller in 2014 at a Ted talk suggests a way to profit as we tackle climate change, by finally charging those who sell and use fossil fuels – and distributing the revenues back to all of us.

The strategy is sure to speed transition to clean renewable energy. What’s not to like? Check it out!

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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Source fort-russ.com

OO Economic Growth Ups Pollution, And Mortality modestly, and because it is largely linked to increased pollution from fossil fuels, says a new study. Another reason to go clean…

But economic growth also spurs death via upping alcoholic intake, stress. overwork, and driving more.
And high economic levels (as opposed to growth) correlate with longer lives.

That is, “If the pollution doesn’t kill you in the short run, then in the long run the increased income will help you live longer,” a study author says.

2016-10-19-1476847387-9307480-deathintheairthecostofpollutionSourcewww.worldbank.orgccr351.PNG

Dirty Driven Growth Costs – mortality also costs society, when you account for the money spent on humans whose productivity is cut by premature death.

Wait a minute. Step back.
What this study does not tackle is the overall long term effect of unsustainable economic growth on our health, safety, and future quality of life – and all indications are that the effect is dramatically negative.

2016-10-19-1476847468-1895528-northseaoilspillSeaEmpressSourceWalesOnlineccr351.jpg

Another Reason to Give Up Oil Source WalesOnline

OO North Sea Oil Spills Reach Record High

OO Fossil Fuel Industry’s Methane Emissions Far Higher Than Thought – up to 60% greater than previously estimated, meaning current climate prediction models should be revised, new research shows.

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What Climate Change at 400 PPM Will Look Like – Only Worse and more.

OO Milestone For Carbon Dioxide In The Atmosphere:
A Climate Changing 400 Ppm
has been reached.

OO World Bank Secretly Funds Asian Coal Boom

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CLIMATE OR CLUELESS LEADERSHIP: YOU DECIDE

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Your Vote Is ALWAYS Meaningful – because it’s not just about winning or losing, but by how much, which gives incoming leaders a sense of how much of the populace supports their policies – and that influences their actions. So, don’t forget to vote!

OO Sign The Environmental Voter Pledge For Your Family And Future

OO Climate Change Must Be A Bigger Part Of Election Discussion

OO What’s At Stake For The Climate In The 2016 Election? Everything.

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If Only It Worked That Way Credit Hilary B. Price on Earth Day 2016

OO Next ‘Renewable Energy’: Burning US Forests, If Senators Get Their Way – the president’s Clean Power Plan is being fought by 28 states, and a bipartisan group of senators who want burning wood for electricity to be considered carbon neutral.

Just goes to show that greed is nonpartisan.

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ELECTION YEAR:

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If You Don’t Vote For Climate Action, You Can Forget The Rest – in a climate-changing world of famine, drought, rising seas, giant storms and heat waves, there will be no security in jobs, health, wealth, or national safety. There will be chaos ensuing from increasing crises and disasters. Vote.

OO Global Warming Policies We Set Today Will Determine The Next 10,000 Years – of global warming, a new study shows — and whether our civilization survives or not: history shows that harmful climate change has destroyed civilizations before.

This time, it could be worldwide. Let’s keep “The Hunger Games“ in the realm of fiction.

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If we do not grow sustainably,
Our children will die inhumanely.

@@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young

Teen childbearing cost US taxpayers $9+ Billion in 2010
And the costs of raising a child usually ensures decades, if not a life, of poverty for its mother.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
publicize where women can access affordable contraception.

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They can go here to find locations:

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And there are many more actions you can do, right here.

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SOLAR KEEPS SAILING

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OO Bringing Light To The Darkness: Illiterate Women Trained As Solar Technicians By an Indian organization, which hopes to help 1.2 billion people in the world living without electricity.

OO In Rural Bangladesh, Solar Power Dents Poverty Via microfinance and small rooftop panels, which can transform lives in a country where the electric grid reaches just 25 %of the population.

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Check it out here, right now!

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 18, 2016

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is “caused” by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues and so does the drought in California, despite recent rains.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures – not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

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There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I’ve compiled, “Climate Change News Resources,” at WordPress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check thisout!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this wild flower I photographed one spring. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you’d like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It’s our way of letting Congress know there’s a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly columns at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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