Newsdesk – December 8

Alan Burns’ Journey Continues. Memorial service for Alan was held at Charlotte Friends Meeting the evening of December 7.

Last night I got to know my friend Alan Burns by the quality and the grace of the space he left behind. By the people who gathered and the attention they gave to honoring him. His memorial was marked by the artistry and exquisite details provided by his comrades: People who walked with him and fought with him, hoped with him and wrote with him. Quaker Friends held space for the memorial in quiet worship and fond memories. Political figures of Charlotte stood side by side with family and climate activists to honor his life. Poets and orators and heart-stringed instruments sang out his work and his life’s message. The words “quiet” and “strength” were repeated by many who shared grateful remembrances. The sheer length and continuity of Alan’s peaceful conviction is enough to give pause to the frenzied efforts of a modern day lifestyle.

  • “What if I, too, lived with such integrity in what I believe?”
  • “What if I, too, lived in such consonance with the God-whispers in my life?”

These were questions that arose in the sharing and reverberated with many. Voices of Alan’s small grandchildren chattered lightly and joyfully at times in the service and set a tone of the future unfolding – the still present hope. “That’s my dad,” his grown children whispered with teary smiles to their own children. “That’s my dad.” The service was hauntingly ended as we sang in our own voices Alan’s hymn of peace to the music of Finlandia played on the cello. – Anne Klaus.

“This is my song
O God of all the nations,
A song of peace,
For lands a-far and mine…”

Rest In Peace. Your spirit is free.

Program for Alan Burns Celebration of Life

Preparing for the summit in Katowice. PHOTOGRAPHER: BARTEK SADOWSKI/BLOOMBERG

A Climate Summit in the Heart of Coal Country. The UN’s COP24 conference will seek to create new rules for cutting carbon emissions. As government officials, scientists, and green activists gather for the United Nations climate conference in Poland, Adam Pietron has a few words of advice: try to avoid the air. Katowice, home to this climate conference, is the heart of the coal industry in the country with Europe’s worst air. This international climate meeting’s venue, attended by more than 22,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries, is on the site of an old coal mine, and its design was inspired by mining culture: the predominant color inside and out is anthracite, and the hallways and meeting rooms have irregular angles meant to resemble mineshafts.  Delegates to the meeting, an annual event that moves from country to country, will seek to transform pledges made in Paris three years ago into an international rulebook aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions – Bloomberg

Large rivers form on the surface of Greenland each summer, rapidly moving meltwater from the ice sheet to the ocean. Credit: Sarah Das, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Greenland ice sheet melt ‘off the charts’ compared with past four centuries. “Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has gone into overdrive. As a result, Greenland melt is adding to sea level more than any time during the last three and a half centuries, if not thousands of years,” said Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University’s School of Earth & Environment and former post-doctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This surface melting across Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19th century and then ramped up dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries. These melt rates “are off the charts,” said Sarah Das, a glaciologist at WHOI. To determine just how intensely Greenland ice has melted in past centuries, a research team used a drill the size of a traffic light pole to extract ice cores from the ice sheet itself and an adjacent coastal ice cap, at sites more than 6,000 feet above sea level. “To be able to answer what might happen to Greenland next, we need to understand how Greenland has already responded to climate change,” Luke Trusel said. “What our ice cores show is that Greenland is now at a state where it’s much more sensitive to further increases in temperature than it was even 50 years ago” –

  • Climate reality check: Global carbon pollution up in 2018 –
  • Trump’s EPA Plans To Ease Carbon Emissions Rule For New Coal Plants – NPR
  • Recycle your old mobile phone to save gorilla populations –
  • America’s Love–Hate Relationship with Science – Scientific American
  • Fine-tuning renewables could help Texas balance energy resources –