Image: Variations of the Earth's surface temperature: year 1000 to year 2100, IPCC
Climate Crisis Update 9-12-07: When will the nations of the world comes to grips with reality? What will you and I do if they don't?
By Richard Power
The newswires keep crackling with warnings --
The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes. ... Christian, Shia, Sunni, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist and Jewish religious leaders took a boat to the tongue of the glacier for a silent prayer for the planet. (Guardian, 9-8-07)
Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be killed off by 2050. (Associated Press, 9-7-07)
A three-day meeting of over 2,500 delegates from more than 500 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and representing 80 countries affirmed that climate change "is potentially the most serious threat humanity and our environment have ever faced." (Inter Press Service, 9-7-07)
If the increased rate of melting of the Arctic ice cap continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030. (Guardian, 9-4-07)
Global warming, and the underlying sustainability (water, food, energy, etc.) issues it exacerbates, pose the greatest national and global security threat.
When will the nations of the world, in particular the USA, which is after all the greatest contributing factor, come to grips with the reality of our circumstances?
Perhaps more important is the question, what will you and I do if the governments and business communities of our nations do not face up to these challenges?
Here are some excerpts from these stories, with links to the full text:
The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off.
Scientists monitoring events this summer say the acceleration could be catastrophic in terms of sea-level rise and make predictions this February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change far too low. ...
Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Ilulissat yesterday: "We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. ...
He is visiting Greenland as part of a symposium of religious, scientific, and political leaders to look at the problems of the island, which has an ice cap 3km thick containing enough water to raise worldwide sea levels by seven metres.
Yesterday Christian, Shia, Sunni, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist and Jewish religious leaders took a boat to the tongue of the glacier for a silent prayer for the planet. Paul Brown, Guardian, 9-8-07
The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced.
Experts say they are "stunned" by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone.
So much ice has melted this summer that the Northwest passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the Northeast passage along Russia's Arctic coast could open later this month.
If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030. Guardian, 9-4-07
A three-day meeting of over 2,500 delegates from more than 500 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and representing 80 countries affirmed that climate change "is potentially the most serious threat humanity and our environment have ever faced."
A declaration adopted Friday warns that global warming can possibly have a devastating impact on virtually all aspects of life in the planet, including "catastrophic effects on our earth's ecosystem, biodiversity and infrastructure."
Among other potential threats singled out were: the significant reduction of available food, water, energy and transport; massive migration of populations and the possible destruction of entire cultures and small island nations; significant damage to economic, political, cultural and social bases; and irreversible harm to the lifestyles of indigenous peoples. Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service, 9-7-07
Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be killed off by 2050 — and the entire population gone from Alaska — because of thinning sea ice from global warming in the Arctic, government scientists forecast Friday.
Only in the northern Canadian Arctic islands and the west coast of Greenland are any of the world's 16,000 polar bears expected to survive through the end of the century, said the U.S. Geological Survey, which is the scientific arm of the Interior Department.
USGS projects that polar bears during the next half-century will disappear along the north coasts of Alaska and Russia and lose 42 percent of the Arctic range they need to live in during summer in the Polar Basin when they hunt and breed. A polar bear's life usually lasts about 30 years. Associated Press, 9-7-07
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