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Melting ice, rising seas, hotter planet
11/23/2016 Volume XLIX, No. 46

In November, Arctic sea ice is usually on the rise. But extraordinarily warm temperatures in the polar region are having the opposite reaction.

According to the Washington Post, researchers in the Arctic report that as of last weekend Arctic sea ice was still shrinking, during a season when short daylight hours usually mean bitter cold and ice growth.

Why does this matter? Arctic sea ice acts as the Northern Hemisphere’s air conditioner, keeping vast parts of our planet cool enough for human habitation. The ice reflects light and heat from the sun, rather than absorbing it as a dark ocean would.

Arctic sea ice is one of many climate change topics explored in Before the Flood, a new documentary produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s recommended viewing for anyone who is interested in, or skeptical about, about climate change.

Leonardo and his team traveled the globe for two years to witness climate change firsthand and talk with experts about what can be done to prevent catastrophic consequences.

In Greenland, climatologist Jason Box describes how more than 30 feet of solid ice melted in just the past two decades, contributing to sea level rise. As the ice disappears, he explains, it disrupts global weather patterns, contributing to both flooding and droughts.

Before the Flood also takes viewers to Florida, where the mayor of Miami talks about “sunny day flooding” and a massive pumping project to buy his city another 50 years; to Beijing, China, where millions of people can’t go outside without face masks because of extreme air pollution from burning fossil fuels; to New Delhi, India, where millions of impoverished people without access to energy see coal as a solution despite its risks.

In the South Pacific, low-lying islands are being inundated by rising seas; in Sumatra, rainforests are burned to make way for palm oil plantations, destroying the last remaining places on Earth where elephants, rhinos, tigers and orangutans live together in the wild.

What are the solutions? Leonardo visits the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada to talk with founder Elon Musk about his vision for a future powered by solar energy. Since the sun doesn’t shine all the time, Musk believes new super-batteries capable of storing enormous amounts of power gathered by solar panels can completely eliminate the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

In Sweden, Stockholm University professor Johan Rockstrom tells Leonardo of his country’s plan to have “free energy forever” through solar and wind power. Sweden aims to become the world’s first fossil fuel-free country.

Those who question climate change get stern words from NASA Earth Sciences Director Dr. Piers Sellers, a former astronaut. “The facts are crystal clear: The ice is melting. The Earth is warming. The sea level is rising. Those are facts,” he says as he demonstrates NASA’s satellite mapping of Earth’s ocean temperatures.

Sellers, who is dying of pancreatic cancer, tells Leonardo he is confident Earth’s residents will come “out of the fog of confusion” and stop climate change: “We need to be realistic and find a way out of it – and there are ways out of it.”

Takeaways from Before the Flood:

  • Consumers need to change their ways on what they buy, what they eat and how they get power.
  • We need to support leaders who will fight climate change by investing in renewable energy, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and backing a carbon tax.

Before the Flood – which gets its name from a panel in a 500-year-old painting, Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, depicting the fall of civilization – can be viewed for free online. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ctu7O7cUtE. To check out the trailer first, go to http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/before-the-flood/videos/before-the-flood-trailer/.

To read the Washington Post story about Arctic sea ice, go to https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/21/things-are-getting-weird-in-the-polar-regions/?utm_term=.ccae4d194300.

And to learn about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, go to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

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Call on Governor Christie to sign the open space bill!

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National Park Service turns 100

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Come join us for a Season of Celtic Music at the Sellersville Theater. Check out our website to see a listing of shows for March, April, and May 2017.

Opened in 1974 initiated by parents in the community, LifePath, a non-profit organization, has been providing a variety of community and residential services to individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities in 7 counties in Pennsylvania. LifePath's programs and services are guided by the principal of everyday lives, an environment of respect and dignity and opportunities to make decisions and choices about one's own life. If you are ready to make a difference in the lives of individuals in your community, we have a position for you! EOE

Snipes Farm and Education Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings vitality and empowerment to our community through organic food and education programs. Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program provides fresh food, grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, to over 300 families, including vegetable shares to the Bucks County Homeless Shelter. Nutrition, farming, environmental and garden education programs serve thousands of children throughout the year. Children learn, create, make friends and have outdoor adventures at our summer camp! There are many happy birthday parties in spring, summer and fall here. Bonfires, hayrides and picnics have provided fun venues for youth/school groups and congregations. Classes for adults are offered in spring and summer. We are dedicated to sustainable farming practices and are 80% solar powered. Snipes Farm and Education Center offers hope through action.

Frank Harrison Asphalt Paving is a full-service asphalt paving company that has been serving residential, commercial, and municipal customers across Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas (NJ, NY) for 60 years. If you need your driveway or parking lot needs paving, resurfacing, line striping, or asphalt sealcoating, look no further than Frank Harrison Paving. With our state of the art equipment, we deliver affordable long-lasting asphalt or tar & chip paving results that look great!  Our long list of satisfied clients is a testament to our commitment of quality results done on time and on budget. Contact us today for a free on-site estimate!

You can trust the service and quality that Colagio The Painter provides. Over the past 25 years we have served the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, Montgomery County and South Jersey areas as a premier residential and commercial painting contractor. In addition to painting, we provide full detailed prep work, dustless sanding, trim work, drywall repair, stucco repair, and pressure washing. We have earned the highest reputation in our industry by providing top-quality craftsmanship on time and on budget.

Visualize yourself coming home to a clean house!  SIMPLIFY.  Free up your time and leave the cleaning to us.  We have been providing professional, healthy home cleaning services to your Central Bucks County friends and neighbors since 2003.  We are a local, family owned business, and multi-year Best of Bucks award winner specializing in weekly, biweekly, monthly, and priority house cleaning. Call or click on our website to set up your free in-home quote. Visualize yourself coming home to a clean house!  SIMPLIFY.  Free up your time and leave the cleaning to us.  We have been providing professional, healthy home cleaning services to your Central Bucks County friends and neighbors since 2003.  We are a local, family owned business, and multi-year Best of Bucks award winner specializing in weekly, biweekly, monthly, and priority house cleaning. Call or click on our website to set up your free in-home quote.

Kinder Works offers Infant/Toddler care, Preschool, Kindergarten, and Summer Camp. With a staff of certified teachers, Kinder Works is fully accredited by the Department of Public Welfare and the Department of Education.  We have a unique building design with specialized classrooms, open space, lots of light and natural colors. Full and Part-time schedules are available.

Mercedes-Benz of Princeton is a family owned and operated exclusive Mercedes-Benz dealership located in the Lawrenceville / Princeton NJ area serving Central New Jersey, Lehigh Valley and the Bucks County & Philadelphia region. We have been providing the community with a friendly automotive experience since 1983. We comprise the most competitive lease & purchase options and a 22 Bay Service Department with MBUSA trained technicians to help serve you & your Mercedes-Benz. We continue to provide our clients with quality customer service in sales, service, and customer relations, striving to meet every luxury car driver's unique needs in each and every department.

The Barn Nature Center offers tours, birthday parties, and events to the Bucks County Community. We offer a setting where children can learn about, pet, play with, and interact with a wide variety of animals, including reptiles, birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and bugs! Where else can you hold a madagascar hissing cockroach, hand-feed parakeets and cockatiels, take a picture with an 11 ft snake, feed our 100 lb Sulcata Tortoise, or pet rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, or ferrets? We offer something for everybody! We offer daily tours to the public as well as larger events, including, but not limited to: birthday parties, field trips, school trips, Scouts events, etc.  We also have a rock climbing facility on-site that can be added to party packages or booked as a stand-alone event. The rock climbing area has a number of climbs for beginners to more advanced climbs for climbing enthusiasts. With over 30 foot walls, angled and tiered walls, there is something for everyone. We also have a game room, with pool, foosball, air hockey, etc. that can be utilized before or after rock climbing.

The IMPACT Project, Inc. is a private children and youth agency established in 1991. IMPACT provides foster care services for Pennsylvania clients from birth to age 20. Foster parents receive a wide array of training & support services provided by professional staff. IMPACT has had the honor of being the only foster care agency in Pennsylvania to have won the prestigious Program of the Year award from Pennsylvania?s Juvenile Court Judges? Commission for both our foster care programming as well as our community based programs. Please join us in our pursuit to help children in need, become a foster parent today!

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