The time to act on climate change is now

By Steve Wall • Guest Columnist | The place — Canton; the time — 7 a.m.; the date — September 9, 2004. 

Mayor Pat Smathers and I walked down Park Street in disbelief. Colonial Theater, Canton Medical Office, police and city offices had all flooded with up to seven feet of water from the Pigeon River. Hurricanes Ivan and Frances hit within a week and left a grim mark on Haywood County. That was 2004.

Climate alarmism is not based in reality

By Patrick Gleason • Guest Columnist | The alarmist rhetoric and proclamations found in Mary Jane Curry’s recent column published in The Mountaineer, “A Life Or Death Matter,” (Aug. 15) are certainly worrisome. The good news is that they are completely detached from reality.

The ‘new normal’ just isn’t acceptable

“It’s the new normal.”

It was the husband who had spoken. The couple we had encountered were lean, fit and tanned, obviously spending a lot of time outdoors.

Introducing triple-win climate solutions

By Mary Jane Curry • Guest Columnist

“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.”

— William Wordsworth, 1798

Agreeing generates peace and optimism — emotions hard to come by over the past year. Fortunately, a growing majority of Americans do agree that we must do more to lessen the climate crisis and they want to be part of the solution. But how and what?

A saint among us: a new Thomas Berry biography

I was one of the lucky ones. I met and befriended Thomas Berry on Earth Day in the late 1980s during his youthful middle age and at the beginnings of his meteoric rise to prominence as an author of books on spiritual ecology. These were books that raised the bar on the beginnings and what would become the awareness and movement regarding what was then being labeled “Global Warming” and what is now a full-blown “Climate Change Movement” that is global in scope and scale.

The Naturalist's Corner: Climate change brings more challenges

WNC Climate Action Coalition’s screening of David Weintraub’s new documentary “Guardians of our Troubled Waters” is both a history lesson and a call to action. 

The film, made in collaboration with the Wilma Dykeman Legacy Foundation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Conserving Carolina, Mountain True, Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, Friends of the Everglades and Haywood Waterways Association, will be aired at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Lake Junaluska Assembly Terrace Auditorium at 689 North Lakeshore Drive. There will be a panel discussion following the film. The panel will include filmmaker David Weintraub, Eric Romaniszyn of Haywood Waterways, Callie Moore of Mountain True and more.

Like canaries in a coal mine

By Sandi Sox • Guest Columnist

I have been haunted this week by words Kathryn Stripling Byer wrote in a piece about changes around her home near Cullowhee. “We are losing our homes,” she wrote. 

Denuding paradise to erect strip malls and apartment complexes is certainly heartrending, especially when ugliness slouches ever closer while you watch from your front yard. 

Climate change – deadly serious

The last installment of “The Naturalist’s Corner” began kind of tongue-in-cheek, referring to climate change in Trumpian terms of a global hoax. But climate change is no hoax and it’s not amusing… it is deadly serious. I ended the last column talking about the alarming rate of sea level rise over the last century, “ … global sea level rose nearly 8 inches in the last 100 years or so and the rate of sea level rise has nearly doubled in the last two decades and has been rising every year.”

Signs the Chinese are very good hoaxers

I’m sure many can remember what President Donald J. Trump, a legend in his own mind, has had to say about climate change, i.e., anthropocentric global warming. 

Comprehending climate: Smokies seeks to understand impacts of shifts in seasonal patterns

According to the National Phenology Network, Punxsutawny Phil had it all wrong when he emerged from his hole this month to declare six more weeks of winter — across the Southeastern U.S, the NPN’s data shows, spring 2017 is arriving three weeks earlier than the 1981-2010 average. 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for volunteers to help gather the data that will bring such generalizations down to a more local level. Phenology — the ways that plants and animals respond to seasonal changes — has been the subject of increasing interest as discussions about climate change have heated up, and the park is now four years into a volunteer program to collect data for the larger NPN project.

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