The seriousness of climate change

Take a moment from your Christmas escapades to think about the looming dangers of excess fossil-fuel consumption



What can you do? (Think about it)
I hate to bum anyone out during the Christmas season, but Chris Hedges’ recent Truthdig column, “Stand Still for the Apocalypse,” addresses some issues that only the most hard-headed shopper and/or anti-environmentalist would choose to ignore.

Referring to the recently published 84-page document, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided,” prepared by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics for the World Bank, Hedges writes that “a planetwide temperature rise of 4 degrees C—and the report notes that the tepidness of the emission pledges and commitments of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will make such an increase almost inevitable—will cause a precipitous drop in crop yields, along with the loss of many fish species, resulting in widespread hunger and starvation. Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to abandon their homes in coastal areas and on islands that will be submerged as the sea rises.

“There will be an explosion in diseases such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever. Devastating heat waves and droughts, as well as floods, especially in the tropics, will render parts of the Earth uninhabitable. The rain forest covering the Amazon basin will disappear. Coral reefs will vanish. Numerous animal and plant species, many of which are vital to sustaining human populations, will become extinct. Monstrous storms will eradicate biodiversity, along with whole cities and communities.

“And as these extreme events begin to occur simultaneously in different regions of the world, the report finds, there will be ‘unprecedented stresses on human systems.’ Global agricultural production will eventually not be able to compensate. Health and emergency systems, as well as institutions designed to maintain social cohesion and law and order, will crumble.

“The world’s poor, at first, will suffer the most. But we all will succumb in the end to the folly and hubris of the Industrial Age. And yet, we do nothing.”

Go to to read the entire piece.

The best of local shopping
Head on out to the Plant Barn (406 Entler Ave., 345-3121) this Saturday, Dec. 8, for its annual Saleabration, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Food, fun, frivolity and of course random sales,” as the Plant Barn’s Facebook page has it, as well as Gale Vineyards wine tasting and music from Rock Ridge Bluegrass Band, are only part of what’s in store.

For the unfamiliar, in addition to its cut-above, wide-ranging selection of plants, the Plant Barn also features a delightful offering of gift items, a number of them made locally. While you’re there, definitely check out Plant Barn’s beautiful new poinsettia house, which will be open until Christmas.

Go to www.tinyurl/PlantBarn to “like” the Plant Barn!

Helping local farmers become greener
Jerry Morano, recycling director at Fair Street Recycling (2300 Fair St., 343-8641), advised me that the business’ Oroville branch (1245 Oro Dam Blvd. East) has begun accepting agricultural plastic—such as drip pipe and tape, plastic pots and trays, and plastic film—for recycling.

Call 343-4394 for more details.

Fruit-tree extravaganza
Laurie Niles, of Cultivating Community NV, told me about an upcoming free workshop on pruning fruit trees at Hodge’s Nursery & Gifts (9681 Midway, Durham) on Dec. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.

“Ken Hodge welcomes new fruit-tree stewards to Hodge’s Nursery demonstration orchard where we will see and learn the why, when & how-tos of fruit-tree pruning,” wrote Niles in a recent email. “Learn Ken’s technique for keeping fruit trees under 6 feet tall & still producing bushels of fruit.”

Pre-registration required: Go to or call 588-0585.