A few items of global interest caught my eye in the September/October issue of "Sierra" magazine. Some of these factoids suggest that world-wide progress is being made toward cleaning up the atmosphere and hopefully at least slowing down the trend toward overheating the planet. Some of these facts could be seen as positive in that progress is being made or negative in that there is so far to go and I believe we are rapidly running out of time.
1. One-fifth of the world's electric energy production now comes from renewable - that leaves 80 percent non-renewable.
2. Finland aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the middle of the century. Let's hope that some others sign on as well (e. g. China, USA, India).
3. Pope Francis declares that it is a sin to destroy the earth. I hope polluters go to confession.
4. The stock market for coal is collapsing in the U.S. Good news is that coal use is in decline here, bad news is that it is increasingly cheaper.
5. America has more solar power workers than coal miners. Retraining programs for miners in the solar energy industry would be a win - win situation.
6. The West Antarctic ice sheet is in irreversible collapse. It holds enough water to raise sea level four feet world-wide. I can't think of an upside to this one.