A PERSON CAN COVER A LOT OF GROUND IN ONE YEAR, both physically and mentally. I began posting in the “Changing Tides” blog in November, 2018. The posts that followed ran a wide gamut of topics and included road trips, outdoor experiences, hiking trips, art, writing, authors, fishing boats, wild horses, wild rivers, wild fish, wild fires, the moon landing, solar energy, nuclear proliferation, oil exploitation, environmental justice, and yes, even Zen and the art of snow shoveling. Various locations for these entries included western mountain ranges, high mountain deserts, arctic ice floes, and Africa’s ivory coast. Over 13,000 readers from fifty-five countries and all fifty states visited the “Changing Tides” blog this past year.

Although the subject matter tended to meander over the months, I tried my best to keep a common thread running through as many of the posts as possible. In a response to global warming and a rapidly changing environment, I conveyed some thoughts and perspectives in regard to what’s happening around us—an attempt to learn and translate what it all means. Increasing environmental changes (regional, national, and global in scope) can appear bleak and overwhelming.

View from atop the Sierra during my summit of Mount Whitney in October.

 

Recent events have shaken confidence that we can successfully solve or manage the climate crisis. The extent of Arctic sea ice was second lowest since modern record keeping. Along 217 miles of the northern California coastline, more than 90 percent of bull kelp and 96 percent of red abalone were lost within the past few years. The Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, is still in flames after fires broke out in August. In Paraguay alone, 18,200 fires resulted in a 16% increase from 2018. In spite of the need to maintain a coordinated effort in fighting climate change, the U.S. formally left the Paris Climate Agreement.

On the upside, this past year has provided reasons for renewed hope. The first step in solving a problem, is of course recognizing it. In March, climate strikes were held around the world. Young people, inspired by Greta Thunberg, rallied to press politicians to act on climate change. It’s estimated that more than 1 million students protested government inaction on climate change. There were more than 2,000 protests in 125 countries, from Australia and New Zealand, to Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America.

 

The impacts of a changing environment are rapidly altering our oceans and sea life.

 

As I stated in my first post, I love this country and the world in which we live. For 2020 and beyond, I’m no less determined to do whatever I can to support the fight to protect our natural surroundings. I’ll continue to be intolerant of individuals and corporate entities who take advantage of others for their own gains. My strongest advice for those who share this same view, is GET OUT AND VOTE IN 2020 (in both local and national elections).

As always, I fully welcome any thoughts and musing others might share. I will always listen and consider challenging ideas with an open mind. The learning and listening process remains a lifetime commitment.

2020: The journey continues.

 

I continue to have faith in the future. Young, passionate people will lead the way.

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