Just another natural variation, they said.

Just another natural variation, they said.

Yep, “natural”. Heat the oceans, heat the air, get more water into the air. It’s only natural that it’s gotta dump somewhere.

Advertisements

We’ve been watching this situation with a sort of grim determination.

The determination is to know the truth, the somber attitude because we know what the truth implies about the future of our civilization.

There is far more to be concerned about in those two images (above) than anything the Romans faced when the Visigoth‘s rebelled.

All those projections, about what’s going to happen in 2050?  Those were based on theories about how we would act to stop Climate change. Well, we just broke the 2007 melt record, and we’re still melting.

The theories were too optimistic. There was always a worry about sounding an alarm, losing credibility. Well  Climate Change is only a “theory” in the sense that “The Theory of Gravity” is a theory. Calling it a theory doesn’t invalidate it’s effects. If you let go of something, it still falls. Climate change is here, it’s real, and it’s happening right on top of you no matter what you call it.

The melting of the Arctic Sea Ice isn’t just about sea level rise. It means record heat, droughts, floods, it means rain when you don’t want it and none when you need it. It means winters without snow, and springs that happen too soon.  That Sea Ice is part of the engine that drives the world’s weather, and losing it means our world must change along with it.

We know the cause, we know how to start fixing it, and we can easily do it. But we have to show enough sense, and enough care for each other to actually step up.

The time to step up is now. We best start steppin, or real soon there won’t be anywhere to go.

Climate Denial Crock of the Week

National Snow and Ice Data Center:

Arctic sea ice appears to have broken the 2007 record daily extent and is now the lowest in the satellite era. With two to three more weeks left in the melt season, sea ice continues to track below 2007 daily extents.

Please note that this is not an announcement of the sea ice minimum extent for 2012. NSIDC will release numbers for the 2012 daily minimum extent when it occurs. A full analysis of the melt season will be published in early October, once monthly data are available for September.

Arctic sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) on August 26, 2012. This was 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) below the September 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles).

Including this year, the six lowest ice extents in the satellite record…

View original post 10 more words

Keep Shell Out of the Arctic! | Save BioGems

For years, Shell has been vying for one environmental jewel that has remained off-limits to the company’s drill rigs: the Polar Bear Seas off the northern coast of Alaska, including the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Polar bear mother and cub
Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.The Obama Administration has just given Shell a tentative go-ahead to begin drilling this summer off the coastline of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—the polar bear’s most important denning ground in Alaska. An oil spill is all but assured if the company moves forward with full-scale oil production. Even worse, the oil industry has no proven method for cleaning up oil in the Arctic‘s ice-filled waters. So the death toll of oil-soaked and poisoned polar bears, whales and seals would be unimaginable.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., NRDC Senior Attorney

Looks like Shell Oil, you know, Royal Dutch Shell?, is finally going to get their way in the Arctic. Despite the fact that they don’t have a plan to handle a spill, don’t have effective technology to handle an accident, and our government lacks technology or money to handle a problem, we’ve given them a shot at creating another Deepwater Horizon for the Arctic. Oh, and to make a lot of money exporting petroleum.

In case you think this drilling will cut your gas bill, guess again. Our number 1 export last year was, wait for it, Gasoline! (“Gas, other fuels are top U.S. export – USATODAY.com” http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2011-12-31/united-state… ) We’re using less gas, so they’re selling it offshore to South America rather than cut prices. They won’t cut prices, they’ll keep them high and sell whatever we don’t use offshore and pocket the profits.

Which is why they want to drill in the Arctic so badly. Not to reduce our energy dependence on foreign oil. Just to make more money while soaking your wallet.

I do, indeed, have a problem with this. If you do too, have a look at the attached.

KEEP SHELL OUT OF THE ARCTIC! http://www.savebiogems.org/stop-shell/

Siberian shelf methane emissions not tied to modern warming

English: Methane hydrate chunk with dissociati...

Image via Wikipedia

Abstract

EOS, TRANSACTIONS AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, VOL. 92, NO. 49, PAGE 464, 2011
doi:10.1029/2011EO490014

RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT

Siberian shelf methane emissions not tied to modern warming

Colin Schultz

American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C., USA

Eight thousand years ago, a rising sea inundated the vast permafrost regions off the northern coast of Siberia. Comprising the modern east Siberian shelf, the region holds enormous quantities of methane hydrates bottled up in remnant subterranean permafrost zones that are, in turn, trapped beneath the ocean waters. Records of seafloor water temperature showing a 2.1°C rise since 1985, coupled with recent observations of methane emissions from the seabed, have led some scientists to speculate that the rising temperatures have thawed some of the subsurface permafrost, liberating the trapped methane. The connection is compelling, but an investigation by Dmitrenko et al. into the sensitivity of permafrost to rising temperatures suggests the two observations are not connected. Using a permafrost model forced with paleoclimate data to analyze changes in the depth of frozen bottom sediments, the authors found that roughly 1 meter of the subsurface permafrost thawed in the past 25 years, adding to the 25 meters of already thawed soil. Forecasting the expected future permafrost thaw, the authors found that even under the most extreme climatic scenario tested this thawed soil growth will not exceed 10 meters by 2100 or 50 meters by the turn of the next millennium. The authors note that the bulk of the methane stores in the east Siberian shelf are trapped roughly 200 meters below the seafloor, indicating that the recent methane emissions observations were likely not connected to the modest modern permafrost thaw. Instead, they suggest that the current methane emissions are the result of the permafrost’s still adjusting to its new aquatic conditions, even after 8000 years. (Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, doi:10.1029/2011JC007218, 2011)

Published 6 December 2011.

Citation: Schultz, C. (2011), Siberian shelf methane emissions not tied to modern warming, Eos Trans. AGU, 92(49), 464, doi:10.1029/2011EO490014.

This work does not discount the work due to be presented by Drs Semiletov and Shakhova sometime mid-year next year (2012). While the article from December 6th, above, indicates that the current evolution of methane may be from the condition change 8,000 years ago, it does not mean that we aren’t seeing some speed up due to localized warming, similar to stirring or scraping the bottom of a pan on the stove.

Regardless, this problem and the apparent acceleration of methane release has to be added to the efforts to deal with carbon gas emissions. So an increase now is not helping.

Pale Blue Dot

Part of Image:Planetary society.jpg Original c...

Image via Wikipedia

Most of you will know that the name of this blog comes from the reference to Carl Sagan‘s observation about the Earth when viewed from space… since I recently found someone had uploaded the clip itself, it seemed to be a good thing to reference here.

Cropped from ‘Pale Blue Dot’, see below.

Image via Wikipedia

If you watch this video, try to keep in mind what Carl was saying. We’re here, not somewhere else. We are tiny to the point of insignificance as far as the rest of the universe is concerned. And our pale blue dot is fragile.

Many times life has nearly been wiped from the surface of this tiny blue dot. One of the worst was the Permian Mass Extinction, which killed 95% of all species on the planet. If you haven’t heard of it, try watching this video from the BBC. This clip is the 5th of 5 parts of a show called “The Day the Earth Nearly Died”.

I’ve recently learned that the majority of humans don’t really react to things until something is in their faces, so I suspect the majority of people reading this will give it the “so what” treatment. So if you’re in that 95% majority then please do continue. For those of you who are being willy nilly dragged toward the brink of extinction by the other 95%, here’s some things to take a look at:

A Very Simple Poll.

Devils Punchbowl Waterfall at Arthurs Pass in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Clearly people stumble across this blog, it’s not like it’s sitting out in the middle of the “information superhighway” with barricades and flashing lights.

Up the winding path

Image by Steve-h via Flickr

So I became curious. What do the people who eventually arrive here actually think on my primary subject, that being Global Warming / Climate Change / Global Climate Disruption / Climate Weirding.

Why so many names? Because, with the possible exception of Climate Weirding, all of these names have been politicized and I’m not sure people realize which parts are scientific fact, which are politician’s wishful thinking, and which parts are lies spread to confuse the issue.

I think anyone who has read any of my posts knows how I feel about the subject. But I want to know, in simple terms, what the people who arrive here think about it. So I’m going to release several simple questions, and see if I get answers.

Climate change

Image by jeancliclac via Flickr

What If the GOP Was the Climate Change Party?

By James Thindwa

Some of us say what we believe, and believe what we say. Some of us even fight for what we believe. There are also those who claim to believe something or other, but won’t fight for it. That’s the way of the world. So let’s imagine a world only slightly different, with only the names changed to protect the guilty…

What If the GOP Was the Climate Change Party?

By James Thindwa

Imagine if you will, an alternative universe, in which the GOP believes in climate change, and the Democrats are the naysayers? How would a climate crusading Republican Party approach this most consequential issue?

In their customary hard-nosed fashion, the GOP would no doubt have made more progress on climate change—replete with tough regulations and high-minded international treaties—than we have seen so far. GOP politicians and talking heads would be making hay from all the horrible weather, beating the drums about the grave danger to our “national security” and way of life posed by climate change. They would be warning of gloom and doom and calling for—to hell with cap-and-trade—new legislation with stricter timetables for cutting greenhouse emissions, higher carbon taxes and stiffer penalties for polluters. And they would dare the president to veto it!

Republican politicians would be talking about climate change in town hall meetings, with obligatory reference to the increasingly ferocious tornadoes and hurricanes. “Climate change” and “green jobs” would become synonymous—a mantra seared into GOP political lexicon as Republicans declare that their legislation simultaneously creates jobs, limits greenhouse gases and stimulates the economy. Yes, Republicans would be ready to steamroll Democrats on this one.

For GOP leaders, Irene would be an opportunity to stoke the passions of environmentalists. They would urge activists to hold rallies in Washington and across the country. The GOP media machine—led by Roger Ailes at Fox—would parade environmental leaders on television and talk radio pontificating about local struggles to shut down polluting coal-fired plants, the imperative to raise CAFE standards for autos, insulate buildings and retrofit solar panels—the whole kitchen sink. Rightwing talking heads would be in full swing, prodding activists to hunt down “Democrat” lawmakers at “town halls” to demand they stop protecting Big Oil’s profits at the expense of our country’s future.

For GOP lighting rods like Michelle Bachmann and Sara Palin, climate change would be manna from heaven—red meat for the party faithful. They would be browbeating Democrats for standing in the way of strong regulations and shilling for corporate polluters (yes, they’d say it despite both parties’ footsy-playing with industry—they don’t care about the hypocrisy). Palin and Bachmann would be mocking Democrats for aligning themselves with a fringe element that hates science and would endanger our national security and the planet. Of course, GOP candidates would already have made climate change a central issue in the presidential election, and aiming to place it high up on the 2012 party platform.

As expected, GOP strategists would have learned how to capitalize on disasters from their successful experiment in New Orleans, where they quickly moved in after Katrina and expanded charter schools. Thus, a salivating GOP would seize this moment to remind all Americans affected by Irene that climate change is real and urge them to demand immediate congressional action.

For maximum impact, rightwing pundits would cite the Pentagon’s finding that climate change constitutes “a grave national security threat” and the military’s plans to cope. On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol would advise that invoking the military in this debate “is strategically brilliant” because Democratic are vulnerable on anything to do with “our men and women in uniform.”

On the O’Reilly Factor, Ann Coulter would taunt President Obama for lacking “the kahunas” to take on corporate polluters. She would point to Obama’s cozy relationship with the likes of Exelon, and his silence on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Sean Hannity would harangue the “liberal media” for ignoring the words “climate change” in their coverage of Hurricane Irene. Rightwing hothead and former UN ambassador John Bolton would announce on Fox his new campaign for a new international climate treaty. It would carry heavy sanctions—even military action—against countries that did not sign on.

Finally, GOP leaders would be all over the hypocrisy of Democratic governors for stoking hatred of government even as they, in this crisis moment, expect emergency relief from the federal government. On the campaign trail and in presidential debates, GOP candidates would use Irene to highlight the indispensable role of government not just in public safety, but in healthcare access, infrastructure investment, helping foreclosure victims and reining in predatory banks, and alleviating poverty—that silent but ongoing emergency for millions of women, men and children. They would forc efully explain to voters that paying taxes is not a subversive notion, but an act of patriotism.

 Yes, sir, that’s exactly what the GOP would do if it were the party of climate change.

(Are you listening, Democrats?)

Fortunately, James Thindwa lives very much in the real world, where he is a Chicago-based labor and community activist. He also writes for In These Times and serves on its board of directors.

Share this

This needs to be spread around… if you like it, pass it on!