Posted by Miguel Juanez On August - 19 - 2016 0 Comment

Global warming has raised global sea level about 8 inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. A Climate Central analysis finds the odds of “100-year” or worse floods occurring by 2030 are on track to double or more, over widespread areas of the U.S.

Across the country, nearly 5 million people live in 2.6 million homes at less than 4 feet above high tide — a level lower than the century flood line for most locations analyzed. And compounding this risk, scientists expect roughly 2 to 7 more feet of sea level rise this century — a lot depending upon how much more heat-trapping pollution humanity puts into the sky.

Miami and St. Petersburg, Florida, New York City, various Islands across the worlds oceans, Holland, Bangladesh and many other places are seriously considering what should be their strategies to adjust to rising seas. All the while, debates between scientists and climate deniers continues in the background [source].

On a personal note, in 1963, I was a volunteer (one month training in engineering with degrees in botany and rural sociology) with the International Voluntary Service. I entered in a partnership with USAID, Social Conservation Service and the Algerian Forestry Service.

The newly formed government challenged my team and I to stop the Sahara Desert from moving farther north, that is, stop the desertification of northern Algeria. As a 26 year old at the time, an optimist, I thought about the request and wondered what steps could be initiated to stop the desertification process from the base in Tlemcen, Algeria. We planted some 30 thousand trees with 3000 Algerian refugees from the civil war per year. Unfortunately, because of the military takeover of the government, the project lasted only 3 years.

Slowing down climate change by moving to a non-carbon economy would appear to be necessary. It does seem adjusting to forced relocation of coastal populations around the world will need to be addressed, regardless. Recently the Financial Times reported that in the last five years, renewable energy use has jumped 70%, a good shift away from fossil fuels. (August 14, 2016). Some good news, but fossil fuels still dominate the energy sector.

Let us focus on Louisiana and the struggles of the Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw band.

Plenty International is working with Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw band. As the Gulf of Mexico is rising, the water is slowly eroding the coastal land. See snapshot from Rebecca Ferris’s documentary “Can’t Stop the Water” below.

Sea Level Rising

They have also been involved in the BP oil disaster which happened in the waters where the Choctaw live and fish. They were also exposed to millions of gallons of high levels of toxic dispersants that were sprayed to sink the oil.

Plenty International has been working with this tribe since Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Rebecca Ferris’s documentary “Can’t Stop the Water”, a 30-minute film, does an excellent job telling the story of the Island Tribe and all that they are up against with the rising waters and exposure to hurricanes. The film can be purchased for $4.99 as a one-time rental or for $10.99 to buy as a download for continuous watching. Click here to visit the website for more information.

climatechange-post-3 climatechange-post-2 climatechange-post-4

Isle de Jean Charles is one Island that is sinking quickly and the people  on the island have been granted federal funding to move inland to higher ground.

Pointe-Aux-Chenes is on a peninsula experiencing flooding also and is stable at the moment but eventually will have to confront similar issues as the water continues to rise.

Two other locations to review the impact of climate change are the Chesapeake Bay, where islands have vanished due to rising sea levels and where other are being reduced in size. [Source]

The other location is the coast of Florida, where anti-climate change ideology is dominating the legislature in Florida. As a result, many Mayors of Florida’s coastal cities do not find much support for discussions on how the state can assist them. However, the shift from anti-climate change to climate change positions undertaken by costal Mayors indicates the seriousness of the matter.

All of this goes back to the title of the post. Are we experiencing an ecocide?

Jared Diamond (2005) in his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail and Succeed, points to many reasons why societies decline and die historically, not all by “ecocide”. He writes about five major factors:

  1. climate change
  2. hostile neighbors
  3. collapse of friendly trade partners
  4. environmental damage
  5. society’s response to its environmental problems.

Climate change may or may not be slowed down.

Are the US and the world going to respond with wise choices and action? Or not?

Perhaps in some small way, the FWOP network can support Plenty International as it assists the Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw band on the Southern Louisiana Coast adjust to relocation and climate change. The time is now.

 

Stan Ingman, PhD. University of North Texas 

 

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On December - 3 - 2015 0 Comment

Nigeria

Amanda Sunny, MPH,  Director, Exquisite Water, Inc. and Whitney Carr, Vice President of UNT FWOP Chapter and on the advisory board of Exquisite Water, Inc. recently returned from water testing in three villages in the State of Anambra, Nigeria. Two water treatment systems were also tested Rorus and Cascade Designs. They are going back to more testing in dry season and begin to implement an intervention in one village.  They have a fundraiser on crowdrise for their organization. Link to fundraiser: www.crowdrise.com/exquisitewater

Mexico – GuadalajaraColegio Union Mexico, affiliate of FWOP

In October twenty-eight students from Colegio Union Mexico (K- 12)  in Guadalajara arrived in Denton for a week at Camp Compass. Program included field trips in museums in Dallas and Fort Worth, a tour of zero net energy lab house at UNT, afternoon on organic dyeing of fabric, and an afternoon on recycling, waste water treatment, and methane gas for electricity at Denton Water-Recycling-Solid Waste complexes. Rotary and FWOP members had great dinner with these working class middle and high school students one evening while they were in town. We believe the students at CUM may start a solar cooperative at their school.

To see the visit to Bettye Myers Middle school in Denton, click here: www.realmyersfc.wix.com/titans#!cum-visit/c1syt They visited class rooms and attended the soccer practice of a special program designed to reduce dropout rates from schools in Denton ISD. The program is entitled GOAL, it mixes soccer with mentoring and community service.

Ivory Coastivory Coast and UNT FWOP Teams

UNT FWOP and Ivory Coast FWOP hosted its first benefit dinner to support the establishment of two  solar lamp cooperatives in Ivory Coast in December.  One location is in the western mountain village and another will be in Abidjan, the Capital.

 

St Louis, MOAnthem USA Empowering the HomelessArbor Health Management

Anthem USA took over some six months ago Arbor Health for  veterans with mental  health and addiction challenges.  On Veteran’s Day they decided to look for homeless veterans and by weeks end two new veterans were moved into Arbor Health and take off the streets of St Louis.

Mexico – TepheuaTepehua's OB/GYN ClinicOB/Gyn Mobile Clinic

The Tepehua Centro in Chapala (operated by retirees and volunteers from barrio and region) is completing the OB/GYN clinic at the Centro soon  and they have a new van for their OB/GYN mobile clinic program that goes to other poor barrio near Chapala around Lake Chapala  area, southeast of Guadalajara. (www.tepehua.org)

Costa Rica

UNT FWOP and FWOP leadership met with the Co-Directors of Sustainable Tourism (Dr. Dan Spears and Eliecer Vargas)  and the newly formed FWOP Graduate Student Chapter officers. We discussed their goals in Texas and in Costa Rica. We also began to explore if we may hold the 2017 Summit at university in Cartago, Costa Rica (Solutions for Environment and Development – CATIE – www.catie.ac.cr). We will keep you posted.

Ugandan FWOP MembersUganda

The newly formed Uganda FWOP chapter recently passed out some 40 solar lamps to senior citizens in western Uganda. FWOP will work with this Uganda FWOP Chapter and CHC Foundation Limited to establish a solar cooperative in the coming months. Ishmaels Kabanukye, Chair of  Uganda FWOP Chapter is initially strongly focused  on poverty among elders in Uganda .   In the 16th of October,  he was elected as Chairman of Uganda Association of Gerontology and Geriatric Association. See photo above. This will provide a good foundation for FWOP to expand its impact in Uganda.

More details on our partnerships on the next round!

-Miguel Juanez

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On August - 20 - 2015 0 Comment

Exquisite Logo

ExquisiteWater, Inc. is a charitable public health consulting company dedicated to providing clean water to rural and underprivileged communities around the world with plans to eventually eliminate adverse health effects caused by waterborne diseases. ExquisiteWater has officially started their first pilot in Nigeria. Their director, Amanda Sunny left for Nigeria on July 5th until the 14th to attend the very successful annual Anambra State Association World Medical Mission and Health Summit 2015. While she was there, she presented their mission for the communities in Anambra State, Nigeria to the 250+ attendees and spoke to the state’s Commissioner of Health.

Ewater3

The medical mission consisted of a group of 50 volunteers (physicians, ophthalmologists, pharmacists, nurses, and general volunteers) who traveled to six rural villages in Anambra State, Nigeria (Agbaghana, Obosi, Ihembosi, Ozubelu, and Oba) with donated prescription eyeglasses and pharmaceutical care.

In each village, the team was able to serve at least 1,500 people with a six day total of at least 9,000 people seen; including some individuals whom have never seen a doctor before in their life.

In the midst of this preliminary trip with the medical mission and health summit presentation, they were able to learn how to manage the steps needed to secure operations within a village as well as the importance of good communication. Click article to read more. 

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