United States of Climate Change, Sightline
Climate Crisis Update: In Deep Denial, & Seemingly Rushing Toward Oblivion
As the two recent news stories excerpted here indicate, we are not only failing to come to grips with this crisis, we are in deep denial and seemingly rushing toward oblivion. Human carbon dioxide output jumped three percent from 2006 to 2007, while forests and seas sucked it up at a lower rate than in the 20th Century; and to aggravate the problem further, massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic melts. There is still time to make a profound difference in the future of civilization (such as it is). But the window is narrow and getting narrower. -- Richard Power
The world pumped up its pollution of the chief man-made global warming gas last year, setting a course that could push beyond leading scientists' projected worst-case scenario, international researchers said ...
The new numbers, called "scary" by some, were a surprise because scientists thought an economic downturn would slow energy use. Instead, carbon dioxide output jumped 3 percent from 2006 to 2007.
That's an amount that exceeds the most dire outlook for emissions from burning coal and oil and related activities as projected by a Nobel Prize-winning group of international scientists in 2007.
Meanwhile, forests and oceans, which suck up carbon dioxide, are doing so at lower rates than in the 20th century, scientists said. If those trends continue, it puts the world on track for the highest predicted rises in temperature and sea level.
The pollution leader was China, followed by the United States, which past data show is the leader in emissions per person in carbon dioxide output. And while several developed countries slightly cut their CO2 output in 2007, the United States churned out more. Seth Borstein, Associated Press, 9-25-08
The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats.
Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. Scientists aboard a research ship that has sailed the entire length of Russia's northern coast have discovered intense concentrations of methane - sometimes at up to 100 times background levels - over several areas covering thousands of square miles of the Siberian continental shelf.
In the past few days, the researchers have seen areas of sea foaming with gas bubbling up through "methane chimneys" rising from the sea floor. They believe that the sub-sea layer of permafrost, which has acted like a "lid" to prevent the gas from escaping, has melted away to allow methane to rise from underground deposits formed before the last ice age. Steve Connor, Independent, 9-25-08
Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.
For the Words of Power Climate Crisis Updates Archive, click here.
Click here for access to great promotional tools available on The Eleventh Hour action page.
To sign the Live Earth Pledge, click here.
For analysis of the US mainstream news media's failure to treat global warming and climate change with accuracy or appropriae urgency, click here for Media Matters' compilation of "Myths and Falsehoods about Global Warming".
Want to participate in the effort to mitigate the impact of global warming? Download "Ten Things You Can Do"
Want to join over one million people on the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and become part of the movement to demand our leaders freeze and reduce carbon dioxide emissions now? Click here.
Center for American Progress Action Fund's Mic Check Radio has released a witty and compelling compilation on the Top 100 Effects of Global Warming, organized into sections like "Global Warming Wrecks All the Fun" (e.g., "Goodbye to Pinot Noir," "Goodbye to Baseball," "Goodbye to Salmon Dinners," "Goodbye to Ski Vacations," etc.), "Global Warming Kills the Animals" (e.g., "Death March of the Penguins," "Dying Grey Whales," "Farewell to Frogs," etc.) and yes, "Global Warming Threatens Our National Security" (e.g., "Famine," "Drought," "Large-Scale Migrations," "The World's Checkbook," etc.) I urge you to utilize Top 100 Effects of Global Warming in your dialogues with friends, family and colleagues.
Global Warming, Energy Security, Environmental Security, Alternate Energy, Sustainability, Green Power, Renewable Resources, Climate Change, Human Rights, Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth,Laurie David, Stop Global Warming!, The Eleventh Hour, Organic Gardening, Richard Power, Words of Power