The KarenClimate Corner -- The Power Of Fiction

The KarenClimate Corner Considerations from a climate science communicator.
The Power of Fiction
"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams...we are the movers and shakers, of the world forever it seems."
As a climate science educator, I hold Hollywood accountable for the overwhelming onslaught of apocalyptic, dystopian movies we've been inundated with over the last forty years. The effect has been to normalize the idea that apocalypse is inevitable, that Charlton Heston in anguish on the sand over the Statue of Liberty at the end of planet of the Apes, is our expected fate.
When I initiate climate conversations and ask what people feel about the climate crisis, often there's initially the cavalier response of "oh we're f*kd! We always knew something would get us, right? If not nuclear war, pandemic, or climate change, it'll be zombies, aliens, or the population bomb!"
This devil-may-care attitude is a kind of bolstering strength. …

Will Switching to Nuclear Power Save Us From Climate Change?

The KarenClimate Corner Considerations from a climate science communicator.
Will switching to nuclear power save us from climate change?
I hear this question a lot when educating about climate science. Let's look at benefit versus payoff. In risk management, there are some instances where the consequence of an event are too dire to ever consider risking that event. You walk away from it. You don't do it.
Nuclear power is in this category. Human beings need to reach a level of maturity to stop accelerating our impact on nature -- and walk away from some technologies.
Externalities are side expenses which aren't counted toward your business' bottom line. Expenses paid by nature or by society.
The externalities of nuclear power are costly. A main one is plutonium waste that is radioactive for 250,000 years, and never existed on earth before humans made it. In generating waste that is deadly long after we are gone, we off-load responsibility for our waste onto the shoulders o…

Loading Climate as a Weapon

The KarenClimate Corner: Considerations of a Climate Science Communicator

When you FEEL that wind shaking your house, and the next day you SEE the evidence of the devastating power of weather, at some point I hope you may be able to share the fact with others that Climate Change will create stronger (not necessarily more frequent) storms which move more slowly, staying over an area pummeling it longer.
As we huddled in the basement last night with the tornado sirens ending, then beginning again as another and then another and another storm system swept over us, I thought of those people under the extremely slow advance of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
We felt physical effects from 90 minutes of stress and trepidation. When it was over, we acted strange. We were exhausted but couldn't sleep. We wanted to eat in the middle of the night, then dropped to sleep before we could eat what we prepared. Those people endured hours and hours under the storm.
Our fossil fuel use today -- emission…
Examine Your Ideal of Government / The KarenClimate Corner: Considerations from a climate science communicator. Examine Your Ideal of Government
Interviewing over 200 people on what they think about our climate situation, I found many realize "it's us." They understand the science and know that human fossil fuel emissions are responsible for the rapid rate of planetary warming. Yet they think we should do nothing about it.
They resist any action because their ideal of government is not compatible with any unified, "all-hands-on-deck" action on the large scale required. They see that as totalitarian and anti-freedom. They say, "nobody is going to tell me what car I can drive, or what I can do. If I can afford it, I should be able to do it."
What do you think about large-scale action to meet a challenge, as a nation, as a world? What could help us avoid the dangers inherent in that? Would there be a way to accomplish unified change, in the rapid time f…
Nature's Rights Versus Apocalyptic Predictions / The KarenClimate Corner Considerations from a climate science communicator. Nature's Rights versus Apocalyptic Predictions
Pope Francis expressed Nature's right to exist beautifully in Laudato Si. He said God speaks through His Creation. And none of us has a right to destroy it and forever obliterate that message. In addition, it has a right to exist whether or not it is useful to human beings. And that rang a bell within me. A strong tone whose resonance continues on.
Yet, in my climate listening project, I found that concept forcefully rejected by many protestant Christians. I repeatedly heard from self-identified Christians who expressed a strong opposition to any effective action on climate, because they were absolutely sure we are living in End Times. Christ was coming back within their lifetimes. It doesn't matter what we do to the Earth as God's intention is to remake the Earth anew anyway. This proves (they would…

Climate Science Roadshow Layout of the Kinesthetic Learning Stations


A Taken Name

The KarenClimate Corner Considerations from a climate communicator.
February 2019: A Taken Name
The inspiration for the name "KarenClimate" came from a lovely shared house I was privileged to abide in for a time. The other residents had all taken "water" to their names to indicate their dedication to preserving the Earth's water and nature's integrity. We had Smithwater, Clearwater, Heartwater.
I named my blog KarenClimate to show how educating and advocating for rapid action on climate is now part of me. Every other worthy cause I care about, depends on a healthy planetary climate system. By being alive at this time in history, the responsibility is mine. Once awake, I will keep doing the next right thing.
What would you name yourself, if you were to choose a significant name indicating a new direction, commitment, or purpose to your life? What arises when you consider the centrality of climate to all other causes? -- …

Is THIS evidence of climate change?

The KarenClimate Corner Considerations from a climate science communicator. Is THIS evidence of climate change?
I've been rolling my eyes over the "debate" in the media about whether the polar vortex is related to climate change. That is compartmentalized thinking. It's like wondering if your arm has anything to do with your heart.
What science has learned increasingly over the last 50 years, is that the Earth's systems are intricately balanced and interdependent. The beautiful and subtle interactions between the "rivers of air" in our upper atmosphere, the rain forest's out-breaths, and the ocean currents, strongly affect each other.
What's more -- these systems had arrived at a balance that generally favored the development of civilization for the last 10,000 years. Until fossil fuel emissions unbalanced the system.
Instead of debating whether this particular cold snap means climate change is "here now" -- (and do they think we're…