Threshold at the Tucson Festival of Books

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March February 4, 2023 | Tucson, Arizona

Visit Threshold for more details.

Southwestern Novel From Fireship Press—A fictional novel exploring the dramatic affects of climate change in the desert community of Tucson, Arizona

A Love Story in a Time of Climate Change
A Love Story in a Time of Climate Change

Susan Feathers will be present to sign and sell copies of Threshold during the Indie Authors Pavilion at the Tucson Festival of Books on March 5, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Confronted by crisis in their own world—climate scientists, politicians, and desert museum curators face the biggest challenge man can encounter—no water, anywhere. In the barrios, families and community leaders, band together as they face unbearable heat and the crushing weight of the gangs that intimidate them. Amidst the turmoil, three teens navigate adolescence to become leaders in a new world. With shifting sand underfoot, characters follow their intuition and learn new skills as they chart a way into a viable future. Threshold will make you think while it celebrates the enduring nature of communities as they search for what is lasting and true. Threshold is a powerful new western novel in the best of its tradition. Appropriate for high school classes.

“In a riveting, multi-stranded plot, Threshold translates the conceptual worry over climate change into immediate, interpersonal dramas.” –Mary Lawlor, Muhlenberg College

 Such a well written and thoughtfully conceived novel regarding very poignant issues of the day; THRESHOLD is a valuable contribution. The author continues a tradition in Southwestern Literature of social and environmental consciousness –Mark Rossi, Frank Waters Foundation.

About the Author

Susan Feathers is a writer and educator with 30 years of experience communicating science to the public. She served as the Director of Education at the Sonora-Arizona Desert Museum. Her writing focuses on the importance of place in forming character and destiny. Susan is an excellent speaker with years of experience delivering programs to the public. Her blog, WalkEarth.org, now in its 14th year, has an active following.

Fireship Press

P.O. BOX 68412 • Tucson, AZ 85737

520-360-6228 • fireshipinfo@gmail.com

http://www.fireshippress.com

Fiction: General, Action and Adventure, Urban

Trade paperback: 978-1-61179-369-7 / $19.95 • ePub & Mobi: 978-1-61179-370-3 / $7.95

Available through: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks and Kobo, and at Antigone’s and Barnes and Nobel (Wilmot) in Tucson.

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2023: Plant a tree – Annus Mirabilis

Williamsburg, VA Photo by Susan Feathers 2022

The most important action any human being can do in 2023 is to plant a tree native to his, her, or their area of the world.

For North America, go to this tree guide and put in your city or area code. Trees that are native or grow well in your home will be listed.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger has paved the way for people to restore forests by simply planting one tree a year for six years – THE BIOPLAN. You can plant it on your property, with a church or city or any like-minded people to both enhance your health and beauty in landscape but also to help reduce carbon dioxide and methane accumulation in our atmosphere.

In 2023 we will remember the power of people acting together to create great changes that enhance life everywhere.

Diana’s BIOPLAN

Fund Developing Countries: COP 27

During the final days of the Conference of the Parties (COP) 27th meeting of world leaders and parties to continue to plan toward the goal of 1.5 degrees C average global temperature rise, a fund of $2B was pledged. Dozens of countries are currently ravaged by floods, droughts, and heat extremes. Most of them need assistance from the big polluters such as the U.S.

Read the World Resources Institute article about the fund and what the COP 27 accomplished.

Dream Acres, Bowling Green, KY – Photon by Susan Feathers

All Hands On Deck!

11-10-22 UPDATE: From David Roberts at Volts Podcast: Transcripts from his recent interviews with experts on the IRA funding and impact on pocketbooks and climate change goals. These are invaluable for keeping track of the IRA.

Today I learned about the Bicameral Electrification Caucus. Contact your representative if a member of the caucus, and alert them to join it if not.

A new Volts podcast with two experts discusses the relationships between EV charging and keeping the grid functioning well. This is an important component of the new EV world that is coming at record speed. A very enlightening discussion. EVs can be storage units of energy, too and potentially could help stabilize the grid during this change over from dirty fuels.

Yale Climate Connections: Lithium mining is much less impactful than coal mining. Video presents the Salton Sea as a huge reservoir of lithium in the U.S. Explains how the mining there is less polluting than other mining sites in the world due to how the lithium is geologically structured.

Because Virginia K-12 schools are allowed to purchase third-party solar, they lead in the U.S. for solar power generation. Also see Brighter Future 2022 Report on solar energy use among K-12 Schools nationwide.

Talking Through the Inflation Reduction Act: Volts Podcast: https://www.volts.wtf/p/talking-through-the-inflation-reduction#details

Diving further into the Inflation Reduction Act: Volts Podcast: https://www.volts.wtf/p/diving-further-into-the-inflation-d7e#details

Calculate savings with Rewiring America Calculator: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator

From EESI: How the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Work Together to Advance Climate Action – September 13, 2022

Rewiring America; Electrification and the IRA

From RMI: How Contractors and Electricians are Tackling Emissions in US Homes.

New Volts Podcast: What’s up with Manchin’s plan to reform energy permitting. David interviews Abigail Dillen at Earth Justice. 09=07-22

U.S. Department of Energy: Newsroom

Check here for Sept. 8 Webinar re: Careers in Clean Energy

The success of the climate bill depends on states, cities and us.

Come January 1, 2023 citizens will be eligible for tax credits for their homes and transportation. Each citizen can receive up to $2,000 in tax credits for energy saving purchases and installations of a heat pump, insulation, energy saving windows or appliances, and other weatherization costs. Tax credits for purchase of EVs is another investment that citizens can reap through purchase of a clean energy vehicle. The legislation invest in the industries producing the cars and trucks, and the infrastructure (recharging stations, battery production, etc.) to support it.

Axios article about these tax credits.

The tax credits will be refreshed each year for a decade. So, plan ahead: what do you need first, second, etc. Over the decade you may be able to greatly reduce the amount of energy you need to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. These improvements will increase the value of your home. By millions of citizens participating, it creates a wave in the right direction: rapid transition to a clean economy. But, we all have to participate for it to work. Spread the word and help neighbors and friend to invest in their homes and transportation.

I suggest also that you subscribe to Volts Podcast on Substack Publishing Platform, moderated by David Roberts. See podcasts 1 and 2 about the details in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) legislation. These are long but worth the listen as it includes estimates through modeling about how likely we are to meet the climate goals to reach carbon pollution reduction to the 2005 level by 2030.

There are still unknowns since each state may handle these funds differently. **If your state is not acting within the spirit of the funding, go to your state reps and local council to make sure they use the funding as it was intended. Call them out publicly, use social media — we have to make this happen. Every hour counts now as to how much we can put the brakes on climate-induced forces that are causing record floods, heat, fires and droughts here and abroad.

As I learn more details I will continue to post information for you and your family to take advantage of these savings programs. **I invite each of my readers to comment back with what they are learning with links if possible.

The success of this legislation is directly dependent on us participating as much as we can. There are provisions for offering communities without the resources to take advantage of these savings through nonprofits and other community programs which will assist families in weatherizing their homes and reducing energy costs.

One more thing: if effective programs to reduce climate risk are in danger of misuse or, not used, due to politics, shout it from the rafters! Generations are depending on us to do the right thing.

HEAT.GOV

New Resource about Heat and Health. Sign up for webinars and links to follow on social media.

Also, check out this article by David Klepper Associated Press on the deleterious impact of climate misinformation.

See below also, my novel about heat and water issues in Tucson, Arizona. Learn how different cultures respond to living in hot places with limited water. Consider the wildlife affected by human induced climate and follow Duma, a jaguar in the Sierra Madre Plateau. We can solve this problem and live better.

Threshold - a Novel about Climate Change in the Southwest
Novel about Climate Change in Tucson and the Southwest

Growing and securing world food supplies during war and climate change …

Most of us do not pay much attention to the geography or politics of food production, trade, and distribution. In western countries in general, we go to shop and the food is simply there on the shelves.

Today, steady and abundant food supplies are not a given for anyone. We’ve already experienced a sharp rise in food prices in the U.S. caused by the rising price of gas and other inflationary conditions such as interruptions in global and national supply chains.

Famine is present in war-torn countries (Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia) and it may become more generally present in countries where dependence on imports of grain can be disrupted by conflicts.

Climate change threatens food supplies much more than war as it is changing the ecosystem functions of land and sea. We do not pay attention to this in our fractious human community, beset by troubles which hold our attention from the fact that food is becoming less obtainable for more and more people.

Read a New York Times Article by Michael J. Puma and Megan Konar where this is discussed as well as actions that governments must make to stabilize prices and availability of food. Not least of these is ending the war in Ukraine, which produces a lion’s share of the grain many nations depend upon.

COP26 Goals

COP26 will begin this coming Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland. Read the major goals of the conference here.

See this informative paper that explains the COP26 and the path to Glasgow. It is a hopeful but realistic summary of where we are and what is at stake now. Good way to get ready for following the gathering of world leaders.

Farmers Could Help Reduce Climate Change Impact

In Threshold, Dr. Carla Connors takes a 2-yr sabbatical from her job as a climate scientist to learn from ethnologists at the Mission Garden in Tucson who are growing heirloom seeds to test for viability in new climate conditions, while demonstrating many previous cultures’ farming practices in their Timeline Garden.

Carla investigates the potential of plants to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and deposit it into the soil. While this is a normal activity of some kinds of microbes in the plants we call legumes (barley, soy, clover), she wants to know if the ways farmers planted, grew, and harvested crops actually may be important clues to how farmers might help stem global warming.

carbon-farming-heroIts called CARBON FARMING. See this article from Modern Farmer, “Carbon Farming: Hope for a Hot Planet” by Brian Barth, March 25 2016.

Scientists now believe carbon framing could become an important and beneficial tool in fighting the rise of carbon dioxide in the air and could potentially reverse it while producing healthier food and enriching top soil.

The New Normal

Novel about Climate Change in Tucson and the Southwest
Novel about Climate Change in Tucson and the Southwest

We hear the expression “the new normal” so often that the phrase has entered the lexicon as a substitute for transformation of something previously thought to be a truth or a given. It means thinking about or doing something differently with a new set of parameters.

The New Normal is a pulse that heralds a significant change so that what is present no longer resembles what was past, and the operating instructions are still under construction.

Tucson’s New Normal” 115 degrees and more?

“Our big heat waves in Tucson won’t be 115, 117. They’ll be 130. And that means we’re going to have more than 100 days, probably pushing 150, 200  days a year above 100 degrees,” [Johnathon] Overpeck said. …What is the new normal we can expect?

“(It will not be) long before we start breaking 120 in Tucson and maybe even 125 or hotter in Phoenix. So that’s the new normal that we have to get used to,” Overpeck said. “(We’ll) probably continue to warm until about mid-century, but slowing down as we reach that point where we stabilize things. And then we’re stuck with that climate for hundreds of years.” ~ From Tucson News Now

READ THE NEW NORMAL FOR WILDFIRES IN THE WEST IN HIGH COUNTRY NEWS – Lindsey Gilpin, 8-13-16

 

Follow the Trees?

From Mt. Lemmon Homeowners Guide: http://mtlemmonhoa.org/plant-information.html
From Mt. Lemmon Homeowners Guide: http://mtlemmonhoa.org/plant-information.html

If we were really paying attention, we’d notice that trees are on their way up the mountains. With increasing drought and heat, soils evaporate more moisture. Trees are gradually found in greater abundance at higher elevations. Lower ranges where trees forested the landscape are turning to grass and woody shrubs.

In Tucson, where my novel, Threshold, takes place, a long term study dramatically revealed this “march up the mountains”.

Richard Brusca and a team of scientists found the lower ranges of mountain conifers and trees had advanced up the mountain over a 60-year period. During that time they also documented a decrease in average precipitation and a 10 degree increase in average temperatures on Mt. Lemon in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson.

A study conducted in the ’60s established the baseline data for a companion study using the exact same transects and protocol to count the numbers of species in the study area. This allowed scientists to compare and document  changes over time.

The message? Forest communities are undergoing ecosystem change on a large scale and in a relatively short time.