Climate Change Tagged ‘Climate Change’

Manipulating Climate

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Engineering Winter, The Increasing Desperation Of The Weather-Makers

by Elle Nov 9, 2015

0 11

Dane Wigington

The climate engineers are increasingly desperate to mask the true extent of planetary meltdown by creating short term extreme chemical cool-downs. In recent winters the geoengineers kept most of their focus on the Eastern US. Boston was the target for headlines in the winter of 2014-2015. The engineered winter in the East was accompanied by engineered drought in the West. The 8 minute video below, “Engineered Winter, Engineered Drought” outlines this scenario.

In the next map the sporadic spotting of frozen precipitation is telling. Rain in northern Montana and snow in south central Arizona. Chemical ice nucleating materials sprayed over storm precipitation can and do turn what should have fallen as rain, into snow. The Chinese government has openly disclosed this practice. The nucleation process creates a cold dense layer of air which sinks, builds up on the ground, and eventually lowers the mercury. This is a temporary effect, but it produces the desired headlines and deception in regard to the overall picture.


The Nov. 4, 2015, map below shows extensive radio frequency/microwave transmission impacts which are clearly visible in the moisture flows feeding the engineered western winter event.


On the evening of November 4th, 2015, corporate media (like the Weather Channel) were trumpeting the big winter storm in the West. Does the next map below reflect true winter snow storm temperatures? There is only one temperature reading on the entire map that is even at the freezing mark, and that is not where the snow is falling. The majority of the map shows record or near record highs for a 6 pm temperature reading for November 4th. More record highs are expected in the East during the coming week and perhaps off and on during the rest of November. Welcome to geoengineered weather whiplash.


The Taos New Mexico report below shows possible snow showers for Thursday November 5th at a temperature of 41 degrees. Why would it snow at 41 degrees?


Let’s go North to Montana where snow showers can apparently occur at 43 degrees after rain at 41 degrees.


This is the latest NOAA extended “forecast” (scheduled weather) map. It is important to remember that private defense contractor (and geoengineering entity) Raytheon, does all the weather modeling for NOAA (whose personnel are all under a federal “gag order” along with all NWS employees). This is yet another ridiculously unprecedented scenario showing conditions that are unbelievably out of balance. Record high temperatures in the East are expected to continue in some regions until mid November.


What did it look like for most of the last three winters? The exact opposite of what is occurring at this time. The East was put under the big chill while the West was fried. The geoengineers can only cover so much area with their jet stream manipulated chemical cool-downs. The size of those areas is shrinking as the planet continues to warm.


The map below is especially astounding and documents a very tragic event that occurred on October 4th, 2013.


Take a good look at the temperatures on the map above, they are as a whole, very high. The small cool section is a huge departure from the rest of the country, but still there are no below freezing temperatures shown. Yet, this map documented a snowstorm in South Dakota that killed up to 100,000 cows, how is that possible when temperatures were almost 90 degrees in regions surrounding the event? I captured the temperature map above before it was taken offline, the map reflects another example of engineered winter.

The next map shows the “departure from normal high temperatures” for a 2 year period from 2013 to 2015. The constantly engineered cooling Eastern North America is evident. It has been the most anomalously below normal zone in the entire world since 2013 (2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the US). What happened? The geoengineering assault was ramped up to new highs. Temporary toxic cooling at the cost of a worsened overall warming.


Though there are countless sources of anthropogenic damage to the planet and the climate system, climate engineering must be considered the top of the list. The ongoing winter weather warfare is not natural in any way. The extreme climate forcing being pushed on planet Earth by the climate engineers is tearing the climate system apart and wreaking havoc on the biosphere as a whole. Few have any idea how extensively the weather and climate is being modified. Even many who are already aware of geoengineering are unfortunately not yet acknowledging the cool-downs for what they are, completely engineered. Accepting the engineered cool-downs as natural is exactly what the power structure and the geoengineers want, why would we do their bidding? If we are to effectively fight against the climate engineering insanity, it is imperative to understand and recognize all the parts to the puzzle. The engineered deception of the US population is a major goal for the geoengineers, we must all learn to see through it. Make your voice heard in the critical battle to stop the ongoing omnicide being inflicted on our planet by climate engineering.



Climate Change & Geoengineering

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Climate Engineer’s Latest Forecast From NASA: “Mostly Cloudy”

by Dane Wigington


The newly produced map below reveals the most recent NASA “forecast” for planet Earth, “mostly cloudy”. This composite image of Earth’s cloud patterns shows NASA’s Aqua satellite observations from July 2002 to April 2015. Colors range from dark blue (no clouds) to white (frequent clouds). Photo credit: NASA Earth Observatory


The next image is a combination satellite/radar map. In the combination format map the more heavily aerosolized cloud cover shows up as the brightest white. The goal of SRM (solar radiation management) is to blot out as much sky as possible for the stated purpose of global warming mitigation, but even NASA admits the “aircraft clouds” are making global warming worse overall, not better. A “Scientific American” published study states “geoengineering could turn skies white“. Wherever there is moisture, there will generally be the most consistent and heaviest spraying. This has the effect of greatly diminishing the overall precipitation that otherwise would have occurred and scattering the aerosolized cloud cover over vast areas (though deluges can also increase where too much moisture accumulates).

The bright white aerosolized cloud cover broadcasting out from the areas of precipitation in the map are indicative of the aerosol spraying that is taking place in each region. A massive heavily sprayed zonal flow of moisture is very visible plowing into the entire west coast, yet there is almost no precipitation showing up for the reasons already cited. Historically, counterclockwise swirls of low pressure storms constantly pounded the Pacific Northwest with heavy precipitation. Now, more often than not, there are just large drifting massive canopies of heavily aerosolized cloud cover with some rain in the most dense areas of moisture build up. “Mostly sunny” is now also a common meteorological term of choice and is often used in “forecasting” days with heavy spraying. “Meteorologists”, in so many cases, are now simply paid liars reading the scripts they are given .


Radio frequency transmissions are a major component regarding the manipulation of the highly electrically conductive aerosol particulates being sprayed into skies around the globe. Though “official sources”, of course, completely deny any connection between the radio frequency transmitters and weather modification, available date says otherwise. The map below from October 7, 2015, is only one example of the radio frequency bombardment occurring on a constant basis. This map does not reflect the much larger radio frequency transmitters known as “ionosphere heaters” (which have an even greater effect on the overall climate system).


Take a good look next map below, If you think the images in the map are just “clouds” showing up on radar, they are not, and the National Weather Service admits it. So what are these large and very distinct radar images from? According to the National Weather Service, it’s all just “butterflies”. No, this is not a joke. “Official statements” from “official sources” are becoming astounding beyond comprehension.


“Mother Nature Network” claims this upper level aerosol accumulation shown in the photo below (with a very clear radio frequency pattern) is just a natural “rainbow cloud”, do you believe them?


Below is the NOAA forecast (scheduled weather) map for the middle of October. Each shade represents a 2-3 degree “departure from normal” temperature zone. Places in the western US are thus “forecasted” to be a record shattering 20 to 25 degrees above normal which has already been the case for an extremely long time. The record heat and drought continues to fuel record forest fires in the region.


The next image shows that the remaining pool of cold air at the top of the world is rapidly shrinking as the geoengineering juggernaut of insanity continues to shred the ozone layer and the climate system as a whole (along with other contributing anthropogenic factors).


The global temperature maps below reflect the true state of our rapidly warming completely geoengineered planet.


Ocean temperatures are already radically above normal, especially in the Arctic ocean as the mapping below clearly shows.


The current Arctic ice volume (ice mass) is at all time record low levels and continues to decline very rapidly due to all the record warm conditions already cited. 2015 saw the lowest Arctic ice “maximum” ever recorded. So how is it that the Arctic ice “extent” (surface area) hit it’s minimum for the year on September 11th, 2015 (4th lowest extent ever recorded), and has increased since? Welcome to geoengineering and chemical ice nucleation. What is the true extent of climate engineering experimentation currently occurring in the Arctic?


Where are we heading if we stay on the current course? Few are yet willing to face the fact that our planet will very soon not support life unless there is a complete change of direction on many fronts, starting with the complete cessation of the climate engineering insanity. Geoengineering is fueling countless catastrophic scenarios on our planet including mass methane release in the Arctic. We are on track for “Venus Syndrome“. Though industrialized civilization is already in its final stages and will soon collapse, we could yet salvage a planet that could sustain life. With each passing day we are determining our own future by what we do, or don’t do. The greatest single leap we could collectively make in the right direction is to expose and halt the weather warfare assault. Arm yourself with credible data and pass it on to others. Ask them to do the same. We must make every day count in this critical fight, time is not on our side.  DW


Geo-Engineering Whistleblowers

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Geoengineering Whistleblowers: USDA Official, Forest Service Scientist and Military Veterans Speak Out

US Forest Service Scientist, Defense Industry Technician and Military Veterans Speak Out About Geoengineering 4

17th September 2015

By Dane Wigington

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Exposing the Climate Modification Assault Against Humanity

On August 14th, 2015, there was a major event in Northern California that was organized for the purpose of exposing and halting global climate engineering programs that are decimating our planet and the entire web of life. Numerous experts spoke out at this event including attorneys, former government scientists, a former defense industry technician, former military personnel, a prominent Northern California neurologist, and a CEO for one of the largest environmental and engineering consulting firms in the world. Approximately 1000 people attended this event.

This article features videos of 3 key speeches from this groundbreaking event, plus presentations from U.S. Air Force Bio-Environmental Engineer turned geoengineering whistleblower, Kristen Meghan.

Former U.S. Department of Agriculture Official, Rosalind Peterson

Rosalind Peterson is a former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm service agency agricultural crop loss adjustor and co-founder of the Agriculture Defense Coalition (ADC). Rosalind has spoken on the floor of the United Nations about the climate engineering issue (at the 60th Annual Conference on Climate Change) and has fought long and hard to expose the the truth about many dire issues. Her statement of urgency is contained in the video below.

Former US Forest Service biologist, Francis Mangels

Former US Forest Service biologist, Francis Mangels, has shown tremendous courage by consistently speaking out about the extremely dire heavy metal contamination we are all being exposed to from the ongoing climate engineering fallout. Because Francis is a former government scientist, his ongoing lab testing has been extremely helpful in the battle to expose climate engineering. A short statement of urgency from Francis is featured in the attached video below.

US Military Veteran, Mario Ramirez

Mario Ramirez is a US Navy veteran who has shown tremendous courage by speaking publicly about the tyranny that is rampant within the ranks of our own government and military. I have great respect for Mario, he is setting an example of honesty that will help to compel other honorable armed services personnel to step forward and tell their story.

Former defense industry technician, Mark McCandlish

Former defense industry technician Mark McCandlish has been a very outspoken voice in the ongoing fight to expose the global climate engineering insanity. Mark has a long resume which includes employment by Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, Northrop Grumman, the US military, and others. In the video below Mark shares his perspectives on the dire threat we face from ongoing aerosol spraying of our skies.

My deepest appreciation to emcee John B. Wells (radio host for the acclaimed “Caravan to Midnight” show), to all the speakers who participated in this event and shared their knowledge, to each and every activist that contributed countless hours, and of course our gratitude to all those that attended the event.

Ex-Military Specialist, Kristen Meghan

The following 2 videos are introduced by Andy Whiteley, Co-Founder of Wake Up World.

Kristen Meghan spent nine years in active duty in the U.S. Air Force, as a Bio-Environmental Engineer (Air Force Specialty Code 4BOX1). Meghan audited chemicals as part of her USAF duties, and when she heard about the “chemtrails conspiracy”, she wanted to prove it wrong — but the opposite happened.

“In an attempt to debunk it, it changed my life,” Meghan says.

In the following presentation filmed in Hauppauge, NY, 2014, Kristen Meghan gives an informative presentation of what she had discovered about Geoengineering while serving her country, and exposes websites “Metabunk” and “Contrail Science” as government sponsored disinformation sites.

In this second presentation, filmed at the 2013 Atlanta Music Liberty Festival, Kristen Meghan explains how she discovered evidence of Geoengineering programs, and reveals why she left the military — after an attempt to silence her from speaking out on employee exposures from industrial sanding operations.

California Jam 2015, featuring Dane Wigington

On March 27th and 28th of 2015, a major global awareness event was held in Southern California called “Cal Jam”. This gathering brought together several thousand concerned citizens from all arenas of the global community. Many that attended were from the medical and chiropractic professions, and a number of speakers presented information on critical issues that we face.

One of the primary subjects addressed was the issue of geoengineering. The 25 minute presentation below is an outline of the threat posed by global climate engineering. It is also an appeal for all of us to pull together in the critical effort to expose and halt the spraying of our skies with highly toxic aerosols which is contaminating every breath we take.

My deepest and most sincere gratitude to event organizers, Dr. Billy DeMoss, D.C. and Mary Jane Mirasol, for their tireless efforts toward the common good and for producing this video. I also wish to thank all the other speakers at the Cal Jam event as well as all those who attended. Cal Jam was truly a gathering of people who are committed to making the world a better place.

Learn how you can help and join us in this all important fight for the future of our planet.


Resurrecting Ancient Viruses

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Why is this a good idea?

Scientists Are About To Resurrect A 30,000-Year-Old Virus “To Discover If It Is Harmful To Humans”

frankenvirusBy Amanda Froelich

A ‘monster’ virus which has lain dormant in the frozen wastelands of northeastern Russia is about to be resurrected by researchers curious of its potential effects.

Scientists anticipate “reanimating” a 30,000-year-old virus to learn more about it and discover if it is harmful to animals or humans. Mollivirus sibericum, which translates to soft Siberian virus, has been dubbed “Frankenvirus” by many who are in opposition of the quest to bring it back to life. 

In contrast to other viruses, the soft Siberian bug is a monster. Not only does it have 523 genetic proteins and measures 0.6 microns, it can also be seen using light microscopy.

As BBC News reports, the Mollivirus sibericum virus is the fourth prehistoric virus to have been discovered since 2003, and experts warn climate change and thawing ice could resurrect similar – and perhaps even more dangerous – pathogens.

The French National Center for Scientific Research made the discovery in the Kolyma lowland region of Russia. The soft Siberian virus is the second of its kind to be found by the team. In 2003, researchers discovered the Minivirus, followed by the Pandoraviruses in 2013, and Pithovirus sibericum which was discovered last year.

Reserachers wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS): 

The saga of giant viruses started in 2003. Two additional types of giant viruses have been discovered [and] we now describe Mollivirus sibericum, a fourth type of giant virus isolated from the same permafrost sample. These four types of giant virus exhibit different structures, sizes, genome length, and replication cycles. Their origin and mode of evolution are the subject of conflicting hypotheses. The fact that two different viruses could be easily revived from prehistoric permafrost should be of concern in a context of global warming.

The regions in which these mega microbes are being discovered are being increasingly exploited for their mineral resources, especially oil. As Upriser shares, the rate at which they are exploited will no doubt increase as the areas become more accessible due to melting ice and climate change.

Said lead researcher Jean-Michel Claverie:

A few viral particles that are still infectious may be enough, in the presence of a vulnerable host, to revive potentially pathogenic viruses. If we are not careful, and we industrialize these areas without putting safeguards in place, we run the risk of one day waking up viruses such as small pox that we thought were eradicated.

That’s definitely concerning. 

In the lab, Professor Claverie and his team will attempt to resurrect the newly discovered virus by placing it with a single-cell amoeba, which will serve as its host. The virus Pithovirus sibericum was revived in March 2014 using similar techniques.


Research has been carried out, and according to co-author Dr Chantal Abergel, the virus “comes into the cell, multiplies and finally kills the cell. It is able to kill the amoeba – but it won’t infect a human cell.”

Still, a lot of controversy surrounds the scientists plan to “revive” the Mollivirus sibericum virus. Different than most viruses circulating today, these ancient pathogens are not only bigger, they’re far more complex genetically.

The recently discovered virus has more than 500 genes, and the Pandoravirus found in 2003 has 2,500. Compare that to the Influenza A virus which has eight genes.

Of course, a philosophical debate will not deter scientists from doing their work, but a number of pros and cons deserve to be weighed before further research is conducted.

In 2004, United States scientists resurrected the “Spanish flu” virus, which ended up killing tens of millions of people at the start of the 20th century. The revived the virus to understand why the pathogen was so virulent. 

Researchers from the States traveled to Alaska to take frozen lung tissues from a woman who was buried in permafrost, and teased genetic details out of the samples and from autopsy issues stored in formalin. Their work allowed the team to reconstruct the code for the virus’ eight genes – but at what cost? All the work was done in a top-security lab at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), yet still wasn’t contained.

We have to ask ourselves as an informed public – and voice our concerns to those ‘in charge’ – if “reviving” a monster virus and is really in the best interest of the public.

Senators in Charge of Science Policy Score an F in Science

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Well, this is more than a little depressing: The politician who tried reducing NASA funding (and successfully shut it down for over two weeks) is now in charge of the senate subcommittee that effectively controls NASA. More than that, one of the most vocal climate-change detractors is now in charge of the United States Senate’s Environmental committee. Let’s let that sink in for a minute, shall we? Despite all the progress we’ve made so far with things like unmanned, deep-space space-flight and our efforts toward limiting the negative effects that humans have had on the environment, any future plans are now up in the air. Any major scientific progress is now at the mercy of Republican senators Ted Cruz and James Inhofe. With their actions and words over the recent years, the pair have proved just how little they understand about each area they’re now controlling.

In addition to exploring the reaches of space, NASA also has done a number of climate change studies — something that Cruz also is an opponent of. He once told CNN that climate change was a hoax and a bogus theory that was designed to be immune to detractors. “They’ll [scientists] say, well, it’s changing so it proves our theory.” He maintains that the problem with climate change is there’s no data to support it and that “there has never been a day in the history of the world in which the climate is not changing.” If you’re curious why he was on camera in the first place, it was to espouse his energy bill that, among other things, would repeal “harmful” EPA regulations and promote more oil drilling.

In 2013, however, he said that it’s “critical” that the US maintains its continued leadership in space. How he intends to do that isn’t exactly clear given his track record.

Inhofe, on the other hand, is even more keen to undo emissions regulations, according to The Independent. Why? He thinks that rising world-wide temperatures might be an asset:

“It’s also important to question whether global warming is even a problem for human existence. Thus far, no one has seriously demonstrated any scientific proof that increased global temperatures would lead to the catastrophes predicted by alarmists. In fact, it appears that just the opposite is true: that increases in global temperatures may have a beneficial effect on how we live our lives.”

That stands in stark contrast to what the some 97 percent of climate scientists — and non-climate scientists, like Stephen Hawking — have to say about climate change. For his part, Hawking compares climate change to a threat on par with nuclear weaponry.

The pair of lawmakers have proven time and again that they have a shocking misunderstanding of the world around them and now they’re in positions of direct power over topics they don’t grasp. Whether it’s due to willful ignorance or a simple refusal to accept fact is anyone’s guess. To quote Neil deGrasse Tyson, the good thing about science is that it’s true, whether or not you believe in it. Unfortunately, “science” can’t write legislation or filibuster, but Ted Cruz and James Inhofe can.

[Image credit: Shutterstock/ Stephen Rees]


How Cities are Taking Action

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Want to See How Governments Are Making Real Progress? Look to the Cities Tackling Our Biggest Problems

New energy is transforming our cities into hotbeds of democracy and progressive innovation.
Amanda Winter biking by Martha Williams

Photo by Martha Williams.

If you’ve been looking to the federal government for action on big challenges such as poverty, climate change, and immigration, this has been a devastating decade. Big money’s dominance of elections, obstructionism by the Tea Party, and climate denial have brought action in Washington to a near standstill. But while the media focuses on the gridlock, a more hopeful story is unfolding. Cities are taking action.

Cities can’t afford to wait for the ideological wars to play out.

Climate change is a case in point. Cities are already experiencing the damage caused by an increasingly chaotic climate. Many are located along coastlines, where rising sea levels coupled with giant storms bring flooding and coastal erosion. Some low-lying areas are being abandoned.

Others cities face protracted water shortages due to diminishing rainfall and shrinking snowpack. And cities are subject to the urban heat island effect that can raise temperatures to lethal levels.

Cities can’t afford to wait for the ideological wars to play out.

On Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast, flooding lower Manhattan, filling subway tunnels, twisting up the boardwalk along the beaches in the Rockaways, and turning Long Island and New Jersey communities into disaster zones.

Just two weeks later, Munich Re, a major insurance company, reported that weather-related disasters in North America had increased five-fold over the previous three decades, causing $1.06 trillion worth of damage. And the disasters are just starting, the report said.

While Congress debates whether climate change is a vast left-wing conspiracy, Houston is spending $200 million to restore wetland ecosystems in anticipation of increased flooding. The 4,000-acre Bayou Greenways project will absorb and cleanse floodwater while creating space for trails and outdoor recreation.

“Houston’s best defense against extreme climate events and natural disasters is grounded in its local efforts to leverage … its bayous, marshes and wetlands,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in a press release.

In Philadelphia, if you look up while waiting for a bus, you might find you are standing under a living roof. Philadelphia is dealing with excessive storm water runoff by encouraging rain gardens, green roofs—large and small—and absorbent streets that allow water to soak through into the soil.

Given the threat posed by runaway climate change, one would expect ambitious national and international action to reduce greenhouse pollution. But cities are out in front, taking action to reduce their own climate impacts with or without federal support. From New York to Seattle, cities are adopting efficient building standards, taxing carbon, switching to energy-efficient street lighting, promoting local food, and financing building-scale conversion to solar energy.

Cities are responsible for a new surge in bicycling, not just on the crunchy West Coast, but in old industrial cities. In September, Bicycling Magazine named New York the number-one U.S. city for bicycling, noting its hundreds of miles of bike lanes, ambitious bike-share program, and long-term commitment to cycling. “One million more people will come to New York City by 2030, and there’s simply going to be no more room for cars,” Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, told Bicycling.

Chicago, named number two, is set to meet its goal of creating 100 miles of protected bike lanes by 2015, and it will soon have the nation’s largest bike-share program.

These developments are in part thanks to enlightened city officials, including those looking for low-cost ways to attract young, entrepreneurial residents.

But cities are getting more bike-friendly in large part because of persistent pressure by activists. For more than 20 years, Critical Mass bike rides have taken over streets in more than 300 cities around the world, with large groups riding together and claiming the right to a safe ride.

Kinzie bike lane by John Greenfield

Chicago will have built 100 miles of protected bike lanes by next year, and the Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 calls for a 645-mile network of bikeways, up from the current 215 miles, to be in place by 2020. The goal is to make sure every city resident is within a half-mile of a bike path. Photo by John Greenfield.

A citizens’ group in Minneapolis made the point about bike safety by building pop-up bicycle-only lanes, using DIY plywood planters to separate the bike riders from automobile traffic. Bicycle advocates in Atlanta, Denver, Oakland, Calif., Fargo, N.D., and Lawrence, Kans., followed suit.

These urban climate solutions are not only homegrown. Increasingly, cities are sharing their best climate innovations. In September, the mayors of Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Houston announced the Mayors National Climate Change Action Agenda. The initiative will be built on other urban collaborations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

Responsive to the poor and excluded

Cities are leading in other realms, too, where the federal government has failed to act.

Immigration reform is stalled at the national level. But Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Haven, Conn., and New York City are issuing identification cards to undocumented residents, allowing them to open bank accounts, sign leases, and access city services.

On issues of poverty and inequality, cities have a mixed track record. Some neglect poor and minority neighborhoods or steer polluting projects and noisy highways to those areas. Others promote policies that displace the most vulnerable residents, making desirable land available to the wealthy and well-connected. Some cities have even criminalized homelessness.

But in many cities, strong people’s movements are electing leaders with a greater connection to the poor and middle class.

The top 1 percent of New Yorkers took in 32.3 percent of the city’s total personal income; the bottom 50 percent shared just 9.9 percent.

New York City, one of the most unequal cities in the country, is a case in point. The top 1 percent of New Yorkers took in 32.3 percent of the city’s total personal income in 2009, according to the city’s comptroller. The bottom 50 percent shared just 9.9 percent.

But organizations like the Working Families Party have spent years building a grassroots power base, and their work paid off when they helped elect Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2013. Today, de Blasio is working to boost the minimum wage and is requiring developers to offer affordable housing. And thousands of new prekindergarten slots opened up this fall, with the goal of universal access to free pre-K.

Richmond, Calif., and Newark, N.J., also have progressive mayors elected in cities with strong popular movements. Both were hit hard by the foreclosure crisis and the predatory lending that especially targets poor people and people of color. And both cities are now exploring using eminent domain to reduce home mortgages to current market value and restructure loans so that current homeowners can retain ownership.

Seattle is leading the nation by raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour, following a successful grassroots initiative in the nearby city of Sea-Tac, and an insurgent city council race that focused on a higher minimum wage. Popular movements across the country are pressing for better pay and human rights for the working poor.

Why cities?

What is it about cities that enables them to move forward while the nation as a whole is stalled?

Benjamin Barber, political scientist and author of If Mayors Ruled the World, thinks a lot about what makes urban leaders effective problem solvers.

City leaders can’t afford to be ideologues, Barber said in an interview with YES! Magazine. “Their job is to pick up the garbage, to keep the hospitals open, to assure fire and safety services and that police and teachers do their jobs.”

This pragmatism requires civility. “Mayors simply can’t afford to trade in bigotry,” he said. “A businessman like [former New York Mayor Michael] Bloomberg has to deal with the unions, and a progressive like de Blasio has to deal with business and developers.”

“Cities are points of intersection, communication, sharing, and travel. Cities have always contained multitudes.”

Perhaps this focus on getting work done explains why nearly two-thirds of Americans polled by the Pew Research Center have a favorable view of their local government, at a time when just 28 percent approve of the federal government.

Along with pragmatism, cities have the advantage of multiculturalism and the innovative spark that goes with it, Barber says. “Cities are points of intersection, communication, sharing, and travel,” he said. “And cities have always—to paraphrase Whitman—contained multitudes.”

Nations, on the other hand, are a more recent idea, more oriented around independence than interdependence, and more competitive. “The last 400 years of nation-states ruling the world has gone very badly, with war, genocide, rivalry, and very little social justice as a consequence,” Barber said.

Cities are solving problems while nation-states are failing, Barber said. So it’s time to put cities in charge. Of the whole world.

Barber laid out a plan for a global parliament of mayors in his recent book, and now he’s working with city officials on bringing the idea to reality.

Should cities rule the world?

Mention global governance, and some people imagine black helicopters. But Barber insists he is not proposing a top-down system. Instead he sees mayors and other city leaders reaching consensus on solutions and then bringing the policy ideas home. The result, he said, would be a sort of horizontal, pragmatic, noncoercive form of global governance.

Cities could agree on a universal minimum wage, for example. Such a move would remove incentives for companies to relocate to low-wage regions. Metropolitan regions are where most economic activity is happening, Barber said. So if enough cities agreed on a minimum wage, companies would just have to pay it, thus helping to alleviate poverty and inequality.

If Detroit were redefined to include the well-off suburbs, it would be the fourth most prosperous U.S. metropolitan region.

A first step in making this vision a reality is to incorporate the suburbs and central cities into metropolitan regions. Such a move would make sense for cities whether or not they rule the world. If Detroit, for example, were redefined to include the well-off suburbs, instead of being bankrupt, it would be the fourth most prosperous metropolitan region of the United States, Barber said.

From that foundation, cities could lead even in arenas like immigration that are not normally part of urban decision-making. If more cities begin issuing their own immigration documents, “you’re going to have a fast track to citizenship inside cities, since 85 or 90 percent of undocumented workers are in cities,” Barber said.

A global parliament of cities “is a means to regulate the global economy, address climate change, deal with immigration and global trade,” he said.

It’s a bold idea that is capturing the imagination of an international group of urban leaders. On Sept. 19, mayors, city planners, and others met in Amsterdam. If all goes as hoped, Barber said, 600 mayors could join him in London in September 2015 to launch a pilot parliament.

Not everyone thinks cities are up to the challenge. Following the Amsterdam meeting, Reinier de Graaf, a Dutch architect and city planner, wrote in European Magazine, “The current vitality of cities is largely based on the luxury that more heavy duty political responsibilities are kept at bay.”

But British journalist Misha Glenny found the proposal intriguing. In a column for the BBC he wrote: “This group of can-do politicians may end up rewriting constitutions across the globe … by doing what they always have—getting on with the job.”

The idea is worth exploring when so much else isn’t working, Barber said.

“In a time of pessimism about democracy, pessimism about government, a sense of too many problems, I believe the cities movement is a powerful note of hope and optimism,” he told YES!

“Moving the focus from states to cities is a new brief for democracy,” he said. “It’s a new brief for hope. And a new sense that maybe we can, after all, control some of the forces that seem to be pushing us toward an unsustainable, unjust world, so we can move instead in the direction of the more sustainable and more just world.”

Sarah van Gelder bio picSarah van Gelder wrote this article for Cities Are Now, the Winter 2015 issue of YES! Magazine. Sarah is co-founder and editor in chief of YES! Magazine.



Thursday, May 15th, 2014

The Earth is a Sentient Living Organism

Contrary to the common belief that the Earth is simply a dense planet whose only function is a resource for its inhabitants, our planet is in fact a breathing, living organism. When we think of the Earth holistically, as one living entity of its own, instead of the sum of its parts, it takes on a new meaning. Our planet functions as a single organism that maintains conditions necessary for its survival.

James Lovelock published in a book in 1979 providing many useful lessons about the interaction of physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes on Earth.

Throughout history, the concept of Mother Earth has been a part of human culture in one form or another. Everybody has heard of Mother Earth, but have you ever stopped to think who (or what) Mother Earth is?

What is Gaia?

Lovelock defined Gaia as “…a complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.”

Through Gaia, the Earth sustains a kind of homeostasis, the maintenance of relatively constant conditions.

The truly startling component of the Gaia hypothesis is the idea that the Earth is a single living entity. This idea is certainly not new. James Hutton (1726-1797), the father of geology, once described the Earth as a kind of superorganism. And right before Lovelock, Lewis Thomas, a medical doctor and skilled writer, penned these words in his famous collection of essays, The Lives of a Cell:

“Viewed from the distance of the moon, the astonishing thing about the earth, catching the breath, is that it is alive. The photographs show the dry, pounded surface of the moon in the foreground, dry as an old bone. Aloft, floating free beneath the moist, gleaming, membrane of bright blue sky, is the rising earth, the only exuberant thing in this part of the cosmos. If you could look long enough, you would see the swirling of the great drifts of white cloud, covering and uncovering the half-hidden masses of land. If you had been looking for a very long, geologic time, you could have seen the continents themselves in motion, drifting apart on their crustal plates, held afloat by the fire beneath. It has the organized, self-contained look of a live creature, full of information, marvelously skilled in handling the sun.”

John Nelson illustrated the Breathing Earth,” (below) which are two animated GIFs he designed to visualize what a year’s worth of Earth’s seasonal transformations look like from outer space. Nelson–a data visualizer, stitched together from NASA’s website 12 cloud-free satellite photographs taken each month over the course of a year. Once the images were put together in a sequence, the mesmerizing animations showed what Nelson describes as “the annual pulse of vegetation and land ice.”


As the climate changes, the planet comes alive. Earth appears to breathe when ice cover grows and melts–in and out, in and out.

White frost radiates out from the top of the globe and creeps south in all directions. It travels through Siberia, Canada, and northern Europe, heading towards the equator located around the circle’s edge, but ends before the top of Africa. The Mediterranean Sea is the visible body of water on the top left hand side, and the Great Lakes make up a small network of dark blue shapes on the land mass to the right.

The Earth acts as a single system – it is a coherent, self-regulated, assemblage of physical, chemical, geological, and biological forces that interact to maintain a unified whole balanced between the input of energy from the sun and the thermal sink of energy into space.

In its most basic configuration, the Earth acts to regulate flows of energy and recycling of materials. The input of energy from the sun occurs at a constant rate and for all practical purposes is unlimited. This energy is captured by the Earth as heat or photosynthetic processes, and returned to space as long-wave radiation. On the other hand, the mass of the Earth, its material possessions, are limited (except for the occasional input of mass provided as meteors strike the planet). Thus, while energy flows through the Earth (sun to Earth to space), matter cycles within the Earth.

The idea of the Earth acting as a single system as put forth in the Gaia hypothesis has stimulated a new awareness of the connectedness of all things on our planet and the impact that man has on global processes. No longer can we think of separate components or parts of the Earth as distinct. No longer can we think of man’s actions in one part of the planet as independent. Everything that happens on the planet – the deforestation/reforestation of trees, the increase/decrease of emissions of carbon dioxide, the removal or planting of croplands – all have an affect on our planet. The most difficult part of this idea is how to qualify these effects, i.e. to determine whether these effects are positive or negative. If the Earth is indeed self-regulating, then it will adjust to the impacts of man. However, as we will see, these adjustments may act to exclude man, much as the introduction of oxygen into the atmosphere by photosynthetic bacteria acted to exclude anaerobic bacteria. This is the crux of the Gaia hypothesis.

One of the early predictions of this hypothesis was that there should be a sulfur compound made by organisms in the oceans that was stable enough against oxidation in water to allow its transfer to the air. Either the sulfur compound itself, or its atmospheric oxidation product, would have to return sulfur from the sea to the land surfaces. The most likely candidate for this role was deemed to be dimethyl sulfide.

Published work done at the University of Maryland by first author Harry Oduro, together with UMD geochemist James Farquhar and marine biologist Kathryn Van Alstyne of Western Washington University, provides a tool for tracing and measuring the movement of sulfur through ocean organisms, the atmosphere and the land in ways that may help prove or disprove the controversial Gaia theory. Their study appears in this week’s Online Early Edition of the  (PNAS).

The Story of Water by Alick Bartholomew, is another unique publication in that it reflects the author’s deep knowledge of the principles of whole geophysical systems, which helps us understand the Earth as an integrated Gaia system that sustains us. The book begins by describing our usual view of water based on Western science and then deftly moves on to the frontier sciences that embrace water as the source of life in terms of biological systems, quantum energy fields, etheric fields, spirals, vortices, and as a medium for communications and memory. An understanding of these principles can lead to strategies for treating our water in ways that guarantee a sustainable future for humankind.

How Does Gaia Work?

The homeostasis regulated by the Earth is much like the internal maintenance of our own bodies; processes within our body insure a constant temperature, blood pH, electrochemical balance, etc. The inner workings of Gaia, therefore, can be viewed as a study of the physiology of the Earth, where the oceans and rivers are the Earth’s blood, the atmosphere is the Earth’s lungs, the land is the Earth’s bones, and the living organisms are the Earth’s senses. Lovelock calls this the science of geophysiology – the physiology of the Earth (or any other planet).

To understand how the Earth is living, let’s take a look at what defines life. Physicists define life as a system of locally reduced entropy (life is the battle against entropy). Molecular biologists view life as replicating strands of DNA that compete for survival and evolve to optimize their survival in changing surroundings. Physiologists might view life as a biochemical system that us able to use energy from external sources to grow and reproduce. According to Lovelock, the geophysiologist sees life as a system open to the flux of matter and energy but that maintains an internal steady-state.

Beyond the scientific importance of what we have discussed here, we might do well to consider some of the more poetical thoughts of the originator of the theory:

“If Gaia exists, the relationship between her and man, a dominant animal species in the complex living system, and the possibly shifting balance of power between them, are questions of obvious importance… The Gaia hypothesis is for those who like to walk or simply stand and stare, to wonder about the Earth and the life it bears, and to speculate about the consequences of our own presence here. It is an alternative to that pessimistic view which sees nature as a primitive force to be subdued and conquered. It is also an alternative to that equally depressing picture of our planet as a demented spaceship, forever traveling, driverless and purposeless, around an inner circle of the sun.”

The strong Gaia hypothesis states that life creates conditions on Earth to suit itself. Life created the planet Earth, not the other way around. As we explore the solar system and galaxies beyond, it may one day be possible to design an experiment to test whether life indeed manipulates planetary processes for its own purposes or whether life is just an evolutionary processes that occurs in response to changes in the non-living world.

About the Author

Liz Bentley is a graduate in geology, professional photographer and freelance journalist with an acute insight into fossil records and climatology.


Positive Trends for 2014

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

10 Hopeful Things That Happened in 2013 to Get You Inspired for What’s to Come

Beyond the headlines of conflict and catastrophe, this year’s top stories offered us some powerful proof that the world can still change—for the better.
by Sarah van Gelder
posted Dec 27, 2013
2014 photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

There was something almost apocalyptic about 2013. Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, the strongest storm ever recorded on land. It killed more than 6,000 people and affected millions. But it was just one of the 39 weather-related disasters costing $1 billion or more in 2013.

In Australia, record high temperatures forced mapmakers to create a new color on the weather map. Massive wildfires swept through California, historic flooding took out bridges and roadways in Colorado, and tornadoes swept through the Midwest, destroying towns like Moore, Okla. Millions of people are on the move, seeking to escape the effects of climate-related disasters.

CO2 concentrations passed 400 parts per million for the first time this year, and yet governments have done little to curb emissions. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars—much of it from secret sources—flow to climate-denier think tanks and advocacy groups.

Pop culture often explores a change before politicians do, and 2013 saw a rash of post-apocalyptic movies—from World War Z to Oblivion—and zombie apocalypse role-playing games.

Much happened that was hopeful this year—a new pope focused on inequality, successful minimum wage campaigns spread across the country, and the number of states allowing gay marriage doubled.

But responses to the threat of the climate crisis lead off this year’s top stories as we look at seeds sown this year that could make 2014 transformational.

1. We saw surprising new leadership on the climate issue

In northeast Nebraska, Native Americans and local ranchers formed a new alliance to resist the Keystone XL pipeline. Seven thousand activists gathered in Pittsburgh to press for action on a wide range of environmental justice issues. Students across North America persuaded nine colleges and universities to divest from fossil fuel companies. Hundreds of climate activists walked out of the COP19 climate talks in Poland to hold their own climate talks.

The governors of California, Oregon, Washington, and the Canadian province of British Columbia have committed to taking action on the climate crisis. But Congress remains deadlocked and in denial, and climate scientists—when they let down their careful professional demeanor—express astonishment that world governments have failed to act on what is fast becoming a global emergency.

A new potential ally is coming from an unexpected source. Some investors are beginning to worry that fossil fuel companies may not be a good bet. Investors worry about a “carbon bubble.”

The reserves of oil, gas, and coal counted as assets by the big energy corporations would be enormously destructive to life on Earth if they were allowed to burn. Many believe that new regulation or pricing will keep a large portion of those reserves safely in the ground.

If that happens, the companies’ reserves, and thus their stock, may be worth far less than believed. Savvy investors are placing their bets elsewhere: Warren Buffett, for example, is investing $1 billion in wind energy, which, along with solar energy, is looking better all the time.

2. Native peoples took the lead in the fossil fuel fight

In response to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s attempt to ramp up fossil fuel extraction on Native lands, Idle No More blossomed across Canada this year. First Nations people held flash mob round dances, blockaded roads, and appealed to government at all levels to protect land and water.

And it’s not just Canada. In Washington state, the Lummi Tribe is among those resisting massive new coal transport infrastructure, which would make exported coal cheap to burn in Asia.

In Nebraska, the Ponca Tribe is teaming up with local ranchers to resist construction of the Keystone tar sands pipeline. Indigenous peoples in the Amazon, the Andes, Malaysia, the Niger Delta, and elsewhere are also at the front lines of resistance to yet more dangerous fossil fuel extraction. Many are turning to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples and the new Rights of Nature movement for support.

Indigenous peoples developed ways of life that could sustain human life and the natural environment over thousands of years. The rest of the world is starting to recognize the critical importance of these perspectives, and there is growing willingness to listen to the perspectives of indigenous peoples.

3. The middle and lower classes fought for economic justice

Income inequality is reaching levels not seen since the Roaring Twenties. People stuck in long-term unemployment are running out of options, and those who do find work often can’t cover basic living expenses. The issue is now getting attention from mainstream media, becoming one of the defining issues of our time, as President Obama said.

Now a movement is building to create a new economy that can work for all. Voters this year passed minimum wage laws in SeaTac, Wash., ($15 an hour) and the state of New Jersey. An overwhelming majority favors raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. Domestic workers won the right to a minimum wage after years of organizing.

The message was also clear in the election of Bill de Blasio, a founder of the Working Families Party, as mayor of New York City. Inequality is a top plank of his platform and his public record. At the national level, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s defense of the rights of student borrowers and her proposal to strengthen Social Security (instead of weaken it, as leaders in both party are discussing) is winning widespread support. There is even talk of drafting Warren to run for president.

4. A new economy is in the making

At the grassroots, National People’s Action and the New Economy Institute are leading new conversations about what it takes to build an economy that works for all and can function in harmony with the environment. Thousands of people are taking part.

And a growing cooperatives movement is linking up with unions and social movements. Some are working with large “anchor” institutions, like hospitals and universities, that can provide a steady market for their products and services. Credit unions, too, are proving their value as they keep lending to local businesses and homeowners as Wall Street-owned banks pulled back.

And a new DIY sharing economy is taking off, as people do peer-to-peer car-sharing, fundraising, and skill-sharing, and bring open-source technology to new levels.

5. U.S. military strikes didn’t happen

The big news of the year may be the two wars the United States refused to instigate.

The United States did continue its drone strikes, and the civilian casualties are causing an international uproar, with some calling for an outright ban on drones. And military spending continues to devastate the country’s budget. (The United States spent more on the military in 2013 than China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy, and Brazil combined.) Few dared to call for the same fiscal discipline from the military and its many contractors as they expect from schools and services for the poor.

On the other hand, the United States stepped back from the brink of military strikes against Syria and Iran—a step in the right direction.

6. Pope Francis called for care and justice for the poor …

…and for an end to the idolatry of money and consumerism. He also criticized “ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.”

In his “Evangelii Gaudium” he says: “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”

This call is provoking outrage from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News commentators, but elsewhere, it’s leading to a new questioning of the moral foundation for a system that concentrates wealth and power while causing widespread poverty.

7. Gays and lesbians got some respect

On June 26, the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Today, married gay couples are entitled to federal benefits once reserved for straight couples. The year saw a doubling of the number of states allowing gay marriages, and a third of all Americans now live in such states.

Support for gay marriage has flipped from a slight majority opposing it to a majority now supporting the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry. As a wider range of gender identities has become acceptable, men and women, gay and straight, are freer to shed gender stereotypes without fear of bullying and humiliation.

8. There were new openings for a third party

Just 26 percent of Americans believe the Democratic and Republican parties are doing “an adequate job,” according to an October Gallup poll; 60 percent say a third party is needed. Eighty-five percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Even cockroaches (along with zombies, hemorrhoids, and Wall Street) have a higher approval rating according to a recent poll by Public Policy Polling.

But it’s not the Tea Party that Americans are looking to as the alternative. Support for the Tea Party has fallen: In an October NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, only 21 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the party.

New space has opened for independent political work. The Working Family Party (see #3 above) is an especially interesting model.

9. Alternatives to Obamacare are in the works

Democratic leadership believed that the big profits the Affordable Care Act guaranteed to private insurance companies would make the act popular with conservatives.

But the resulting system, with all its complications and expenses—and requirements—is frustrating millions. There are features that benefit ordinary people, but it compares poorly to the simpler and more cost-effective systems that exists in most of the developed world. Canadian-style single-payer health care, for example, had the support of a majority of Americans. Some jurisdictions are still looking for alternatives. Cooperative health insurance is available in some states and others are working to establish statewide single-payer healthcare.

10. An education uprising began

The momentum behind the education reform agendas of Presidents Bush (No Child Left Behind) and Obama (Race to the Top) is stalling. The combination of austerity budgets, an ethic of blame directed at teachers, high-stakes testing, and private charter schools has stressed teachers and students—but it has not resulted in improved performance.

Seattle’s Garfield High School teachers, students, and parents launched an open rebellion last spring, joining a handful of others in refusing to administer required standardized tests. The movement is spreading around the country, with more rebellions expected in the spring of 2014 (stay tuned for an in-depth report in the Spring issue of YES!)

We live in interesting times, indeed. The growing climate emergency could eclipse all the other issues, and the sooner we get on it, the more we can use the transition for innovations that have other positive spin-offs.

There’s not a moment to lose.

Sarah van Gelder newSarah van Gelder wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. Sarah is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of YES!


Huge Jump in Amazon Deforestation

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Amazon deforestation jumps 28% in a year

Deforestation has risen exponentially after years of decline, with environmentalists attributing this change to the easing of laws in Brazil.
By Ananth Baliga   |   Nov. 15, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Deforestation in the Amazon has reached a new high after years of declining numbers, owing to the easing of environmental laws in Brazil.(CC/Alex Rio Brazil)
Nov. 15 (UPI) — Brazil has acknowledged a 28 percent rise in deforestation of the ecologically sensitive Amazon forest, between August 2012 and July 2013.The rise has been blamed on changes made to Brazil’s forest protection law. The country uses to sattelite imagery to track the decline of the country’s forest cover and is particularly shocking considering it recorded its lowest deforestation levels last year.

Initial statistics point to 2,255 sq miles of forest lost as compared to 1,765 sq miles lost in the previous 12 months. This rise ends a streak of declining deforestation which began in 2009 but does not come close to the loss in 2004 — nearly 10,500 sq. miles of forest were lost.

Environmentalists say the controversial reform of the forest protection law in 2012 is to blame for the trend in Brazil. The changes reduced protected areas in farms and declared an amnesty for areas destroyed before 2008.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeir called the destruction of the Amazon “unacceptable” and a “crime,” but denied allegations that President Dilma Rousseff‘s administration was to blame.

“This swing is not related to any federal government fund cuts for law enforcement,” she said.

A majority of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions has been linked to the rapid deforestation of the Amazon. These figures undermine the pledge made by Brazil in 2009 to reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 80% by the year 2020.

Read more:

Ice Cap Melt Can Lead to Tsunamis

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Underwater Avalanche! Melting Ice Caps Could Trigger Tsunamis

Charles Q. Choi, OurAmazingPlanet Contributor   |   August 16, 2013
Example of a submarine landslide complex along the southern New England continental margin
 Example of a submarine landslide complex along the southern New England continental margin, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of Cape Cod, Mass. The 3D perspective includes the seafloor seismic imaging. The image highlights the relationships between the seafloor structure along the continental slope, such as shallow faults (black lines), and underwater landslides. Data used to construct this image were collected by the USGS and NOAA.
Credit: Daniel Brothers

If melting ice caps trigger rapid sea level rise, the strain that the edges of continents could experience might set off underwater landslides, new research suggests.

Submarine landslides happen on every continental margin, the underwater parts of continental plates bordering oceanic plates. These underwater avalanches, which can happen when underwater slopes get hit by earthquakes or otherwise have too much weight loaded onto them, can generate dangerous tsunamis.

A staggering half of all the Earth moved by submarine landslides over the past 125,000 years apparently happened between 8,000 and 15,000 years ago. “This time period coincides with the period of most rapid sea level rise following the end of the last ice age,” said study co-author Daniel Brothers, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass.

Since these prehistoric disasters coincided with changes in climate, previous research suggested natural global warming might have been their cause, but what exactly the link might be was unclear. To learn more, Brothers and his colleagues generated 3D computer models of the effects of 395 feet (120 meters) of sea level rise on the continental margins off North Carolina and Brazil’s Amazon coast

The rapid sea level rise that happened between 8,000 and 15,000 years ago was due to melting ice caps, which were originally hundreds to thousands of feet high. These glaciers placed weight on the planet’s rocky surface, building stress on faults in the Earth for millennia. The later thinning and retreat of these glaciers raised sea levels by about 395 feet, increasing the amount of pressure these critically stressed faults experienced across their entire length by an amount similar to that of the average human bite. This would be enough pressure to set off the faults, triggering underwater landslides, the models showed.

The scientists added that such underwater landslides could have helped release vast quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas, from the seabed. This could have, in turn, driven profound changes in the oceans and the atmosphere, such as the warming of the climate.

Brothers and his colleagues Karen Luttrell and Jason Chaytor detailed their findings online July 22 in the journal Geology.