On this #EarthDay, let’s think about agriculture — “When ranchers, farmers and environmentalists choose to bury the hatchet…it is a game-changer” — @HighCountryNews #EarthDay2020

From The High Country News [April 22, 2020] (Gary Paul Nabhan):

Farmers and ranchers hold the key to carbon storage.

As we celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, the environmental movement finds itself at a critical point in time to reflect upon its record. When have we, as environmentalists, fostered collaboration with the food and farming sectors, and when have we pushed those potential partners away and generated conflict in our rural communities?

When I worked at the headquarters of the very first Earth Day in 1970, it operated as a network of grassroots environmental organizers, and there was little focus on the overall environmental benefits or consequences of farming and ranching.

Micha Ide of Bright Ide Acres farm, Washington, practices rotational grazing on her farm. Animals are moved frequently around the pasture to increase soil fertility and enhance the sustainability of the farm.
Photo credit: Audra Mulkern

Our little newsletter, Environmental Action, covered how toxins were appearing on the lands and in our food, even though terms like “environmental justice” and “food justice” had yet to be coined. Nevertheless, very little of our “environmental action” was directed to ensuring the health of the soil, the diversity of the crops planted on it, the preservation of food-producing or the viability of livelihoods for farmers and ranchers.

Francis Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet had recently hit the stands, and all the talk was about abandoning meat to eat low on the food chain. For a while, many of us tried to boil up soybeans or pintos to plop down on a heap of brown rice or corn mush. To my amusement, the results did not always sit well with our GI tracts or our taste buds.

As Wendell Berry — farmer, poet and natural historian — has pointed out in his many books, including The Unsettling of America, few environmentalists had any notion of how important it might be to support small-scale, diversified farming, with or without livestock. There was little dialogue about how to help reduce the kinds of collateral damage that food production caused to the environment and to the farm workforce. Berry wrote: “At the time of the first Earth Day, conservation was dealing with wilderness preservation and environmental emergencies,” not regenerative agriculture.

In some ways, Berry believes, not much has changed: “Now it is dealing with wilderness preservation, environmental emergencies, saving the world by replacing too much fossil fuel energy with too much wind and solar energy, and by eating fake meat!”

In retrospect, it is almost hard to imagine how little we recognized that solving the challenges faced by farmers and ranchers had everything to do with solving the challenges faced by the planet and its inhabitants at large.

Today, food-producing activities extend to nearly 40% of the planet’s land surface, not counting the aqua-cultural production that spans a large swath of the world’s estuaries, lagoons and wetlands as well.

While agriculture (including livestock production) may generate 9% to 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions, it also sequesters a large portion of the carbon that humans produce. The ways we source, process and waste our food generate roughly one-fifth to one-third of global “anthropogenic” greenhouse gas emissions.

So why are farmers and ranchers increasingly seen as adversaries — not allies — to environmentalists? Perhaps it is because of the powerful influence that industrial food production, processing and distribution have on accelerating climate change, creating hypoxic dead zones in the oceans, and diminishing the diversity of microbes, plants and wildlife in our landscapes.

But what has escaped the logic chain of many environmental activists is this: More than any other human activity, small- and medium-scale food production has the capacity to shift from being a major emitter of carbon to becoming a major absorber and storehouse of it.

At least a half-dozen global surveys — and hundreds of on-farm projects — demonstrate that the widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture can reverse food production’s contribution to global warming. It can do so by 2050, according to a University of Virginia study released this last year in Nature Climate Change.

But even climate-friendly farming will not bear fruit unless environmentalists become allies to the farmers and ranchers who are trying to produce food in ways that heal both the land and the rural communities that depend upon it. As Mary Berry — Berry’s daughter and the executive director of the Berry Center — recently warned, “Since the first Earth Day, we haven’t made any progress in linking the threats to environmental health with the health of working landscapes. How can farmers afford to farm well, and how do we become a culture that will support good farming?”

When ranchers, farmers and environmentalists choose to bury the hatchet and work on the collaborative conservation of working landscapes in Western states, it is a game-changer.

Just seven such collaborative efforts have brought more than 3.8 million acres into co-management and restoration. When the Diablo Trust ranching collaborative invited the Arizona Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit focused on conservation, to see the work they were doing for pronghorn habitat enhancement, conflicts between the two groups subsided, and they began working together.

Collaborations like these have built bridges between more than 250 federal, state, county, local, nonprofit and for-profit entities in counties where divisiveness and litigation once reigned. Would you rather feed the bank accounts of litigious lawyers, or feed the soil, our rural communities and the landscapes that nurture us all?

As Berry prophesized several decades ago, “The most tragic conflict in the history of conservation is that between the conservationists and the farmers and ranchers.

“It is tragic because it is unnecessary.”

Gary Paul Nabhan — the sleepy-headed dropout who dozed on mailbags at Earth Day headquarters in 1970 — now works as an agro-ecologist, orchard-keeper, nature writer and Ecumenical Franciscan brother. His latest book is Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Lands and Communities from Island Press. Follow him on http://www.garynabhan.com and http://www.healingtheborderdisorder.org.

Email High Country News at editor@hcn.org.

When it Comes to #Water, You Have to Think Global — @NASA

A pale blue dot. A mosaic of 60 images make up this famous NASA Voyager 1 view of Earth. Credit: NASA

From NASA (Aries Keck):

Earth is a pale blue dot when seen from space. Its blue color is due to our home planet being 71% covered in water. NASA monitors Earth’s water from space, the skies, ground stations on land, ships sailing the seas and even with apps on mobile phones.

While Earth is so wet that it looks blue from space, most of that water is saltwater. Only 2.5% of water on Earth is fresh water, and nearly all of that water is frozen—locked up in polar ice caps, glaciers and other ice. The small amount of fresh water that remains is all that’s available for all the ways we use water.

“All the water on Earth already exists. We can’t make more,” said Bradley Doorn, program manager for NASA Earth Applied Sciences’ Water Resources program area. “We can only track it, predict it and protect it as it cycles around our world.”

NASA tracks nearly every aspect of this water cycle—as precipitation falls from clouds; as groundwater; as water soaks into soil; as it moves into rivers and lakes; as it is taken up by plants, used by animals and evaporates back into the atmosphere.

“Water is a precious resource on this planet, and one that NASA is at the cutting edge of monitoring,” said Doorn.

The cyclical nature of fresh water moving around our world has led to the overarching science question that NASA is trying to answer about water on our world—where it is, when it is and in what condition. To a finer and finer degree, NASA research scientists are determining how much and when fresh water is available worldwide. As these core science questions are being asked and answered, NASA is also looking toward developing and strengthening new and innovative ways data are used to track both the use and quality of the world’s fresh water. In addition, as the world warms due to climate change, NASA scientists are investigating how the world’s water cycle is affected by and has effects on Earth’s climate.

NASA’s Earth Science Division studies fresh water using data collected in many ways, including satellites, airborne missions and even information collected by volunteers. NASA scientists study water in nearly all of its aspects on Earth: as precipitation, ice and snow, in groundwater reserves and in lakes and rivers, just to name a few. A few examples of the research focus NASA scientists take to studying water include ways to track water quality, determining water availability and predicting drought, measuring irrigation and water use for agriculture, and world-wide precipitation.

What Goes Up Must Come Down
The amount of precipitation falling on Earth at any given time varies greatly from place to place, so having a satellite-level view provides more uniform observations around the globe because it includes data over the world’s oceans and is more complete than most on-the-ground measurements.

NASA’s IMERG data showing world-wide precipitation on April 20, 2020. Credit: NASA/GPM

In 2019, scientists released a worldwide precipitation data set that compiled more than 20 years of satellite and other data. It is based significantly on information collected by the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) project the Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM) and an earlier, precursor NASA-JAXA satellite mission the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM). This Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) also includes information from a constellation of other Earth-observing satellites, airborne campaigns and ground stations.

All told, the record compiles data from 1997 to the current day. These records include four-dimensional views of rain, snow, sleet and storms, how heavy the precipitation is and how it changes over time. While IMERG produces a higher accuracy product that takes time to process and prepare, a near-real-time summary of global precipitation is available every half-hour that is used for time-sensitive applications like weather forecasting and disaster recovery. This multiple-decade baseline of rain and snow data worldwide shows how precipitation may deviate from normal, informing models that predict crop yields, disease outbreaks and landslides.

Seeing Stressed Plants
One project currently working toward including IMERG data as a larger effort to monitor agriculture is led by Christopher Hain of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He and his team have built a world-wide global agricultural monitoring tool that provides early drought warnings by looking at “vegetation stress.”

The Evaporative Stress Index drought indicator captured a “flash drought” in the eastern U.S. in 2019. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory

About 31% of all fresh surface water in the U.S. is used for agriculture irrigation, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and plants go under stress when they don’t have enough water. When a plant releases water from its leaves, in a process called “transpiration,” it cools them. This allows farmers to track the temperature readings of a field over time as a way of determining the health of their crops. If a field is unusually warm, it shows the plants are under stress long before leaves fade and turn brown.

This plant stress is quantified in part by these temperature changes into the Evaporative Stress Index. It’s used in many different products and is incorporated into the U.S. Drought Monitor, a map developed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Updated on a weekly basis, it ranks drought conditions across the U.S. As part of a NASA Earth Applied Sciences-funded project, Hain’s team is expanding the use of this data beyond the U.S. to a world-wide “Global Evaporative Stress Index.”

In addition to the IMERG data, this index includes a plant temperature indicator taken from NASA’s ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) instrument, which was launched to the International Space Station in 2018. Also contributing to the index are land surface temperatures from many National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites, observations from the NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites and the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite.

This index of plant stress also includes data from the Landsat series of satellites; the longest continuous record of Earth science data from space. Begun in 1972, Landsat is a partnership between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Landsat data is used in NASA Earth Applied Sciences water projects as varied as measuring from the stress on vineyards in California to tracking scarce water resources in remote areas of the Navajo Nation.

Managing Water in the West
In the drought-prone Western U.S., water is a particularly scarce resource, which is why in 2015 NASA’s Earth Applied Sciences Water program area established the Western Water Applications Office (WWAO). It facilitates getting satellite and other NASA data into the hands of western state, local and federal water agencies.

One of the two Twin Otter aircraft used by the Airborne Snow Observatory mission to study snowpack in the Western U.S. Credit: NASA

“Managing water in the western United States is particularly challenging,” says Indrani Graczyk, WWAO manager. “That’s because most precipitation falls in winter and is stored in mountain snowpack, but must supply users throughout the long, dry summers.

One of many NASA programs that investigate the important connections between snow and water availability is the Airborne Snow Observatory. This multi-year NASA aircraft project began in April 2013 and was a collaboration between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Department of Water Resources. It created the first maps of the entire snowpack of two major mountain watersheds in California and Colorado, producing the most accurate measurements of how much water they hold, a boon to the millions of Americans relying on those water basins for their water supply.

The Airborne Snow Observatory project also made the first measurements of snow in the area created by surrounding mountains, known as a ‘basin,’ as well as on the mountains themselves. This understanding of precipitation in mountains provides data that are now being incorporated world-wide to help improve water management for the 1.5 billion people globally who rely on snow melt for water.

Data in the Palm of Your Hand
In addition to satellite and airborne missions, NASA is also using the power of citizen scientists to monitor the world’s water resources. One example is NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to benefit the Environment Program (GLOBE) program. Begun in 1995, this worldwide program and brings together students, teachers, scientists and citizens and through its GLOBE Observer mobile phone app, users can upload information about cloud cover, rainfall depth and other information which is then relayed to scientific teams who use it as part of their research in monitoring water resources worldwide.

A number of NASA projects use mobile phone applications (apps) to put satellite data into the palm of your hand and allow intrepid citizen scientists to upload data. Credit: NASA

Another hand-held scientific resource is CyAN, an android mobile phone application that’s part of the multi-agency Cyanobacteria Assessment Network, (CyAN). The network began in 2015 with a goal developing a uniform and systematic approach for identifying potentially harmful algal blooms using satellite and other data. While individual algae are microscopic, under the right conditions they can multiply and “bloom” and release harmful toxins that can sicken people and pets, contaminate drinking water and force closures of boating and swimming sites.

These blooms can be large enough to be seen both with the naked eye, and from space via images from Earth-observing satellites. As part of this ongoing, long-term mission, a mobile phone application now combines satellite information with user-uploaded data about potentially harmful algal blooms of cyanobacteria.

Developed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the mobile phone app, includes NASA supercomputing power, and provides weekly reports on the color and other water quality information of more than 2,000 lakes across the U.S. Users can choose particular lake and see a color-coded index of water quality. The app also allows users to submit data, turning each user’s report into a data source for water quality managers to review and confirm the data.

While CyAN is one hand-held way to track water quality, NASA remote sensing data is incorporated into other water quality resources, for example NASA is refining the Freshwater Health Index with the non-profit group Conservation International. This index views water as part of a system that also takes into account data on human population centers as well as, environmental and other data. In addition to creating resources like the index, NASA also trains people to use them. For example, the Earth Applied Sciences Capacity Building program area holds both in-person and remote training courses on the Freshwater Index, how to monitoring harmful algal blooms and many more courses on how to access and interpret Earth observation data.

Too Much and Too Little
While water quality is an issue, so is quantity. Having too much or too little water can be devastating. In addition to NASA’s precipitation missions, two other key NASA satellite missions have broken new ground in monitoring the world’s water.

A data visualization of the Western U.S. showing SMAP and IMERG data. Credit: NASA / Science Visualization Studio

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, launched in 2015, measures the amount of water in the top two inches (5 centimeters) of soil. This near-real-time data maps global soil moisture, providing links between Earth’s water, energy and carbon cycles. For example, this data incorporated into a NASA software application called the Land Information System and with other resources, provides users with crucial information on soil saturation, drought forecasting and agriculture.

NASA also tracks water through the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on (GRACE-FO) mission. A partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center, GRACE-FO is a successor to the GRACE mission, which made observations from 2002 to 2017.

The GRACE-FO mission consists of two twin satellites that follow each other in orbit around the Earth and are separated by only about 137 miles (220 km). By constantly measuring the distance between them, they track changes in Earth’s gravity field, which is influenced by differences in mass, such as when passing near and then over a mountain range. While these changes would be imperceptible to us, the extremely precise measurements of distance between the two satellites reveal gravity changes worldwide.

The data are used to construct monthly maps of the Earth’s average gravity field, offering details of how mass, is moving around the planet, which on the scale of monthly is mostly attributable to water movement. Thus GRACE-FO data is able to be used to uncover changes in underground water storage, the amount of water in large lakes and rivers, root-zone soil moisture, ice sheets and glaciers, and sea level caused by the addition of water to the ocean. These discoveries provide a unique view of Earth’s climate and have far-reaching benefits to society.

Water Data Everywhere
Despite all of our ways of tracking and monitoring the quality and quantity of water around our world, there is still much to learn about how to best watch the world’s water, especially as climate change is shifting the water cycle and affecting water availability around the world.

NASA’s satellite and modeling products provide a huge volume of valuable global water resources information, extending back for years across a broad range of areas (from local to global) and across many timescales (from hourly to decades), and while this information is used for ongoing scientific research, many of the resources are available in near-real-time which can make them useful for applications like responding to a hurricane or drought.

All NASA data are free, and openly available, allowing everyone to get access to the information – all with a goal of watching and protecting the water on our pale blue planet.

Cracks in #COVID19 treatment reveal need to bolster primary care — The Conversation #coronavirus


Throughout the U.S., hospitals are short on supplies. At UNLV Medicine (University of Nevada at Las Vegas), the staff is running out of COVID-19 test kits.
Getty Images / Ethan Miller

Tuba Agartan, Providence College

Every day the COVID-19 crisis reveals just how unprepared the U.S. health care system was.

But it’s not only the shortage of masks, tests and ventilators, nor our chaotic and contradictory public health response, evident across every level of government. COVID-19 has also brought into sharp relief how fragmented and disorganized the American health care system really is.

The U.S. system is often referred to as the dispersed model of care – less structured, with minimal central planning. This model encourages competition over collaboration. Indeed, many patients today can go directly to a specialist without consulting their primary care provider.

COVID-19 has shed light on these organizational problems – and the inability of our health care system to respond to growing demand. As an associate professor of health policy and management working on comparative health systems reforms, I’d like to highlight what primary care can offer in the U.S., especially in the context of a crisis like this one.

Primary care physicians can provide tremendous front-line support during the pandemic.
Getty Images / Westend61

The hidden costs of specialty care

While being able to go directly to a specialist may sound like a good deal for the patient, this model has downsides, including higher costs.

That’s in part due to the fact that specialists stay in business by performing diagnostic examinations such as MRI examinations, and surgical procedures, such as coronary artery bypass grafts. And, these specialists compete with each other and try to maximize revenue. The health care industry as a whole spent US$30 billion on advertising. This competitive model encourages provision of high cost services at a higher volume.

These services are not only expensive but are also associated with higher rates of complications and avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions as well as higher rates of hospital-acquired infections. All of these factors point to waste and major inefficiencies in the health care provision and a lack of communication between providers.

How primary care doctors would help

In the current crisis, governors, health officials and the public have placed much attention on 911 and hospital bed capacity. Cities and state governments are coming up with their own response plans without much support from public health agencies and federal government. One example: A fire department battalion chief in Paterson, New Jersey, responded to 911 calls in person to assess possible COVID-19 cases; he determined whether a specialized ambulance should follow up.

Primary care providers could support this triaging work on the front lines and possibly save lives. They also could identify and contact high-risk patients and educate them about the symptoms of COVID-19 before they get sick. They could facilitate at-home testing – of course, depending on the availability of tests. If patients have COVID-19, primary care doctors can manage their care at home through telemedicine or by phone, and refer to hospitals when they get worse.

As the crisis deepens and then abates, primary care doctors will need to educate their patients and encourage behaviors that prevent the spread of disease. And, they can also play a key role for recovering patients in care teams deciding the discharge procedures and help integrate with social care services. These would be essential services for recovering nursing home residents or homeless individuals.

When the system blocks care

But because of our dispersed model, many people don’t even have a primary care doctor. And for those of us who do have them, there is no guarantee that we will be able to receive much needed services.

Some practices are struggling to remain open, due to staff shortages and financial difficulties, while others change their delivery practices such as switching to telemedicine or canceling well and chronic care visits to accommodate need.

A recent survey by Primary Care Collaborative, conducted April 3-6, 2020 with more than 1,000 primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, shows primary care services are “dangerously under-resourced”: 58% of participants report the use of used and homemade personal protective equipment at their practice, while 29% of clinicians report no capacity for COVID-19 testing and 39% have only limited capacity. Nearly half of practices have clinical care team members out sick or quarantined, while 40% report their clinical staff being redeployed within the health system.

The use of telemedicine is growing, but 72% of clinicians reported that “patients most vulnerable do not have capabilities for virtual visits” due to not having a computer or internet access. In addition, 43% of participating clinicians revealed tremendous financial strains threatening practice closure. Especially small, independent practices are struggling with a severe drop in visits, and close to 60% are not sure the majority of care they are provided is reimbursable.

Similarly, community health centers that provide care to medically underserved urban and rural communities are struggling to survive.

In Harlem, New York, nurses and health care workers protest for more personal protective equipment and safer working conditions. The shortages, says the author, are indicative of an inefficient health care system.
Getty Images / Giles Clarke

Reconsider universal health coverage

I do not think that these are just small hiccups. Rather, I think these are the reasons we urgently need a renewed debate on universal health coverage, with primary care as its cornerstone.

Various analogies have been used to describe primary care providers, ranging from gatekeepers to quarterbacks. I would suggest another familiar analogy – that of a large, shiny building representing the American health care system. Primary care is often considered as one of the pillars holding the building or the foundation that addresses majority of the health care needs and refers patients to higher levels for complex cases. I would like to add that primary care is also the control center in charge of ensuring an integrated, people-centered system of care.

Primary care system in the U.S. needs to be supported with an organized response that protects the workforce, ensures financial sustainability and facilitates access to accurate information.

To focus on their care management and integration responsibilities, primary care providers need assistance to field questions about COVID-19 symptoms and triaging patients. There are some initiatives we can learn from such as the British health care system’s NHS911 hotline or COVID-19 Connected Care Center created in partnership with the Oregon Health & Science University in the U.S.

Our COVID-19 response does not have to be another instance of the “rediscovery of the deficiencies and promises” of our medical and public health systems, but instead, a system-building effort that will better serve us during times of crisis.

[You need to understand the coronavirus pandemic, and we can help. Read The Conversation’s newsletter.]The Conversation

Tuba Agartan, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Providence College

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

#EarthDay2020 goes online: “I am a mad scientist” — @DrKateMarvel

Photo credit: http://www.marvelclimate.com

I’ve heard it a couple times already, from a journalist, a family friend, a neighbor: You must be happy about all of this. The implication is that because I’m a climate scientist, I must be excited about this time of reduced economic activity and greenhouse emissions. The Earth is healing, they say. Nature is returning. Why wouldn’t I be glad about it? Friends, I’m definitely not happy. I’m not even sad. What I am, more than anything, is angry.

I’m angry at the very idea that there might be a silver lining in all this. There is not. Carbon dioxide is so long-lived in the atmosphere that a small decrease in emissions will not register against the overwhelming increase since the start of the Industrial Revolution. All this suffering will not make the planet any cooler. If the air quality is better now, if fewer people die from breathing in pollution, this is not a welcome development so much as an indictment of the way things were before. [ed. emphasis mine]

I’m angry at the politicians for creating that status quo. I’m angry they ignored the scientists and put their own careers or pocketbooks ahead of the survival of their citizens. It’s infuriating to see the willful, cynical ignorance: bashing models (as if there existed any science not built on models, simple or complex) and weaponizing uncertainty. An epidemiological model, like a model of the climate system, is a way to explore different futures and the impacts of different choices. It’s a tool, not a crystal ball. But at the core of all useful models lies something true: the inescapable facts that mass and energy are conserved, that a greenhouse gas traps heat, that a virus can turn a host cell into a factory for self-replication. Misinformation, rumors, and hatred may go viral, but nothing is better at spreading than a virus itself. Politicians are powerful, but science is real.

I’m angry at the scientists, too, or at least at the institutions that employ them. I’m angry at a culture of precarity and fear that makes scientists timid, compliant, and reluctant to speak truth to power. I’m angry that speaking truth to anyone, powerful or not, is discouraged unless it results in a publication, grant, or other resume-boosting reward. How can scientists be listened to if we’re too frightened to raise our voices?

But more than anything else, I’m angry at the implication that “we” are at fault. There is a bad but persistent narrative that climate change and pandemics are caused not by greenhouse gases and viruses, but by human nature. We are greedy for food, shelter, adventure, self-fulfillment, human contact and— says this narrative—we must be punished for our sins. But the current situation- death, poverty, loneliness- is an ineffective blueprint for climate solutions. We were never going to be able to sacrifice our way out of climate change, especially not on the backs of the people who have historically done most of the sacrificing. There is an entrenched system that extracts CO2 from the ground and pumps it into the atmosphere, one that results not from inherent human badness but from the choices of a few humans with power. Confronting that system will take work. We need to build things: wind turbines, solar panels, public transportation, denser cities, fairer societies. We don’t need purification. We don’t need absolution. We need to get to work.

I’ve been scared to let myself feel anger because I’m a scientist. We’re supposed to be objective, to prevent emotions from clouding our judgement. But it strikes me as unscientific to pretend a thing that clearly exists does not, and I’m unsure that lying about our feelings will somehow make us more honest. I’ve read too much British literature to believe that repressing emotions will lead to a healthy outcome for anyone.

I’ve also been reluctant to be publicly angry because of who I am. I want to be liked and accepted. I’ve learned to make myself small and agreeable, to use “I feel” rather than “I know” even when discussing the solutions to mathematical equations. I know the lexicon for angry women: bitter, difficult, bitch. But there’s a difference between the small and insular resentment that festers in the dark and the kind of illuminating fury that lights the way out of the tunnel.

That’s the fury I feel. It’s that incandescent rage, shining like a beacon through dark times, lighting the way to something better.

Kate Marvel is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University.