After some Zoom socialization, President Nancy opened the meeting at 12:30 p.m. and the salute to the flag was led by Jim Crane, followed by a message of peace from PP Marsha Hunt: Life and Relationships. Marsha said both will be back and continue after the political changes we have been through. Politicians will do their work, while we as people and Rotarians, will continue to live, eat, study, worship, and work to make America great as people and community members. Not the politicians
PP Ed Gauld sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and reminded us that it is the anthem song for the Liverpool Soccer Club.
We were delighted to be joined by Michael and Sheila Yousem, visiting Rotarians, who were able to join us by Zoom thanks to PP Mark Rogo who sat up their computer at home.
President Nancy reported on the success of the Polio Plus Campaign during October where our WVRC fund raising exceeded our target of $4000 for PolioPlus by 43%, and when grossed up by matching funds, the total was just under $20,000.
Similarly, Nancy reported on the success of the Foundation Celebration contributions, and asked PP Steve Day to share some details. Steve told us that we had a 65% increase this year relative to last year’s sale of Opportunity Tickets (aka raffle tickets).
President Nancy announced that Don Nelson and Don Park’s Celebration will be on November 10 at 5:30 by Zoom (look out for your invitation).
PP Marsh Hunt shared a video that shows how an Iraqi musician had introduced beauty of culture to a war-torn region, and the positive impact it had on peace. The video was titled “Sharing Peace Through the Arts,” by Karim Wasfi.
PP Tom Barron introduced our speaker John Harlow, the Managing Editor of UCLA Magazine. British-born Harlow is an international journalist and discussed an article he wrote on how UCLA is providing solutions to the climate change issues that are confronting the world.
Mr. Harlow shared that he was a skeptic about climate change, until he got to look at the evidence closely, and with academics from UCLA, that he later joined.
Ten areas of environmental disasters that John Harlow noted were, first: forest fires in California increasing in frequency over recent years. He reported that such a trend in forest fires was equally true around the world e.g., in Australia, Brazil, and the Congo.
Second area of concern that Mr. Harlow shared with us was the rising sea levels, and the estimate that it rose by over 8 inches since 1990 around the world. That gave rise to loss of properties, and the need to move communities, or homes (e.g., Del Mar area). Further, higher sea levels increase the disease incidence (e.g., mosquitos’ population in Bangladesh and increase variety of flu).
Flooding as witnessed in Huston Texas (6-8 inches of river cresting), and across the globe was a third area of Mr. Harlow’s observation of environmental impacts due to global warming.
Four, was the example of hurricanes across the world, and the ones we saw in the US in the Gulf of Mexica, hitting the shores of Florida, Louisiana, and others (e.g., Katrina 2005, and Laura 2020).
Droughts were a fifth area that John spoke about, emphasizing the impact on agriculture and animals that ultimately translated into human food and drinking water availability.
John Harlow’s presentation suggested that “hunger refugees” are increasing annually by some 30-40 million people due to environmental degradation. That sixth area of concern alluded to the social injustice in the distribution of that population.
Recent trend in nutrition, Mr. Harlow shared was the “meatless meat” production reflecting a declining ability to breed cattle due to global warming.
John Harlow suggested that the impact of climate change can be observed in the increased incidences of plagues across the world, even prior to COVID-19 impact.
The decline in wildlife, and the increased statistics on vanishing varieties of biota are other key evidence of the warming global impact on our lives, John Harlow said.
The last area that John cited as an area of concern resulting from global warming, is “Human Health.” He said that there was an increase in reported cases of mortality due to heat disease and deaths related to extreme heat. Mr. Harlow cited CDC predications of continuing higher trends in heart attacks, declining baby birth weight, and seeing spikes in respiratory disease.
After a couple of questions related to the rise in plagues on account of environment warming, and the increased ocean temperatures in recent years, President Nancy thanked Mr. John Harlow, and presented a token appreciation in the form of a donation in his name to the Westwood Village library.
The meeting was concluded slightly after 1:30 p.m.
Meeting notes prepared by Adel Shalaby
Photograph by Mark Rogo