This time of year seems right for thinking deep thoughts about who we are and where we are going. Since we began in 2007 as an environmentally focused hyperlocal blog, we have covered mainly coastal stories.
But we do not live in a vacuum. Environmental issues particularly are interconnected. So I propose that we do more reporting and commenting on the global environment that we are a part of.
For seven years, we have done a good job of covering local wildlife, pollution, stewardship, conservation, land use, open space, etc. (our motto is "cover the waterfront").
Now let's start connecting our local stories to the bigger picture. Let’s cover environmental issues that concern us all on the regional, state, national, and international level—but always with our unique coastal perspective.
What say you, men and women of Pacifica Riptide? Are you up to the challenge?
The view from atop The Rock (Fassler at Highway 1). Rockaway Beach is in the foreground. Rockaway Quarry is in the background. The Best Western Lighthouse Hotel (top right) was sold recently to a foreign buyer for an undisclosed amount.
Our planet has nearly died before. Five
times in the deep geologic history of planet Earth, massive quantities of
greenhouse gases have been released through the Earth's crust.
One was provoked by a meteorite strike, others by tectonic and
volcanic activity. In each case, these massive releases of greenhouse
gases warmed the planet enough to cause global mass extinctions—the
death of more than half of all life.
Last Hours is a film that
explores the possibility that we could be close—centuries or perhaps
just decades—to tipping points that could lead to a sixth mass
extinction. Last Hours relies on input from some of the world's leading
“It's almost impossible to know when
you have passed a tipping point," says Thom Hartmann. "You only
see them in retrospect. So we have to do everything we can now
to avoid inadvertently hitting tipping points that might lead to
catastrophic methane releases.” Hartmann's most recent book, The Last
Hours of Humanity, goes in depth on the topic.
While climate scientists rarely study
mass extinctions, geologists are quite familiar with them. And
increasingly they are speaking out about how our extraction of
carbon fuels from beneath the earth and burning of them into the
atmosphere is mimicking processes that, in the deep geologic past, have
caused mass extinctions.
“Geology is a patient teacher and it
repeats its lessons over and over again," says Last Hours co-producer
George DiCaprio. "Last Hours explains that the
same chemical circumstances will yield the same results. There is
no reason to suppose otherwise. It's time to tell everyone that
global warming may cause a calamity; we have no time to waste.”