The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.
One year ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard with high winds, heavy rain and a storm surge of more than 13 feet, claiming 44 lives and displacing thousands. The Superstorm turned the greatest city in the world into a city of darkness and called new attention to climate change.
Two years after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and almost one year after Superstorm Sandy altered New York’s land and seascapes, relief aid --- from both private donors and government agencies --- has been painfully slow in coming, as communities struggle to return to normal.
In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face.
In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems.
Schwartz says Cows Save the Planet is a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.
Launched in Albany Thursday, the New York Rising Community Construction program’s goal is to empower localities to develop and implement recovery plans after the damage done by storms Sandy, Lee and Irene, and more recently, by the severe flooding in the Mohawk Valley caused by heavy rains in late June.
The incessant rain is causing scores of problems in northern New York and Vermont - from flash flooding and road wash outs to train delays. With two drownings in the past 72 hours, officials are reiterating their call for caution.