Thursday, March 12, 2009

Climate Crisis: Deaf to the Oceans & Rainforests, But Attuned to the Vapid Muttering of George Will? What has Happened to the US Body Politic?

Celtic Triple Spiral/Triple Goddess Symbol

The economic impact of global warming has been grossly underestimated and scientists must warn that inaction will spell disaster, top economist and climate change expert Nicholas Stern said on Thursday. Stern told 2,000 climate scientists meeting here that they had failed to clearly tell humanity what it faces if global temperatures reach the upper range of forecasts made by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). Agence France Press, 3-12-09

Unfortunately, a new Gallup poll shows that while a majority of Americans still believe global warming is happening, a record number now say that it is “exaggerated” by the news media ... Considering the manner in which the media covers global warming, it’s not surprising that the public is confused. For instance, when conservative columnist George Will published demonstrably false claims about climate change in the Washington Post, the Post refused to run a correction. Editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, defended Will, claiming that he was simply “drawing inferences from data that most scientists reject” and that his critics were “irresponsible.” Think Progress, 3-11-09

Climate Crisis: Deaf to the Oceans & Rainforests, But Attuned to the Vapid Muttering of George Will? What has Happened to the US Body Politic?

Reading Think Progress's report on the new Gallup poll indicating "a record number" of people in the USA now feel that the threat from climate change is "exaggerated," I find myself almost speechless.

But apparently, even rendered almost speechless, I am among the fortunate, because an alarming number of my fellow citizens are deaf, dumb and blind to the fire which is already upon us.


Yes, deaf to the oceans and the rainforests --

The Amazonian rainforest is likely to suffer catastrophic damage even with the lowest temperature rises forecast under climate change, researchers have found.
Damage will be so severe that it will cause irreversible changes to the world's weather patterns, which would be expected to bring more storms, floods and heatwaves to Britain.
Times Online, 3-11-09

The U.N.'s climate change panel may be severely underestimating the sea-level rise caused by global warming, climate scientists said on Monday, calling for swift cuts in greenhouse emissions. "The sea-level rise may well exceed one metre (3.28 feet) by 2100 if we continue on our path of increasing emissions," said Stefan Rahmstorf, professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Reuters, 3-10-9

Human pollution is turning the seas into acid so quickly that the coming decades will recreate conditions not seen on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs, scientists will warn today. The rapid acidification is caused by the massive amounts of carbon dioxide belched from chimneys and exhausts that dissolve in the ocean. The chemical change is placing "unprecedented" pressure on marine life such as shellfish and lobsters and could cause widespread extinctions, the experts say. Guardian, 3-10-09


Yes, blind to the evidence produced by the most populous of the fifty United States and the most populous country on the planet --

California's interagency Climate Action Team on Wednesday issued the first of 40 reports on impacts and adaptation, outlining what the state's residents must do to deal with the floods, erosion and other effects expected from rising sea levels. Hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars of Golden State infrastructure and property would be at risk if ocean levels rose 55 inches by the end of the century, as computer models suggest, according to the report. LA Times, 3-12-09

Can a climate catastrophe still be averted? Scientists voice pessimism in a new study, which concludes that no matter what the Western industrialized nations do, China's greenhouse emissions will be hard to stop. ... "Many Western industrialized nations want China to commit to reducing its CO2 emissions," says Dabo Guan of the Electricity Policy Research Group at the University of Cambridge in England. "But the country will not even be capable of doing so." Der Spiegel, 3-6-09

If you have not already joined the Alliance for Climate Protection, Al Gore and I urge you to do so. Click here.

For the Words of Power Climate Crisis Updates Archive, click here.

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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