Saturday, February 27, 2010

Global Warming Block

Global Warming Block

We're experiencing some pretty confusing climate changes., yards of snow for instance. We're now hearing reports of inaccurate or exaggerated climate change data. And everywhere we hear global warming humor - from meteorologists, news anchors, talk-show hosts.... its all so very funny. Well, not so funny... Global Warming Block is a dangerous condition.

Yes, we are experiencing one of the wettest winters on record. Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. have far exceeded their record annual snowfall. We’ve had snow as far South as Naples, Florida, and in the past 48 hours, over 20 inches of snow has fallen in Central Park. Northern suburbs got well over three feet.

So with all this SNOW, global warming would certainly seem to be a bad joke, right? The Green movement is dead in the water, right? A new volume of the Al Gore jokebook about to be written right? Wrong.

Sure, its easy to poke fun at dear old Al, but.. wait just a minute.... If you were paying attention, you may remember one line from “ An Inconvenient Truth”, (I paraphrase)

“We’ll see historic flooding in some places, historic drought in others.“ We're beginning to see it now. Some examples?

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • most of Texas
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
All are experiencing extreme water shortages. In November of 2007, with 27 days of water left, prayer vigils were held on the lawn of the state house in Atlanta. To make matters worse, Georgia by agreement shares water with Alabama and Florida. A war between the states?
  • Lake Chad, has all but disappeared, with catastrophic consequences for populations in Africa.
  • The water level of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, has been dropping precipitously since 2000. This year alone, the lake is expected to drop 2.6 feet. This is bad for more people than you can imagine.

The problem is, most people are confused….. by "Global Warming". They have Global Warming block . The words conjure visions of sunblock and Pina Coladas in January. Bermuda shorts in February. When tropical fish in Florida are freezing their little fins off.... we’re understandably confused.

So, heretofore the expression "Global Warming" is to be replaced by the term "Climate Change". Climate change evolves over decades and centuries and the changes are incremental, and in many cases barely noticeable.Until now.

Now we're beginning to notice. We're noticing that warming oceans are creating more numerous and powerful storms. We're noticing California wildfires. The snowpack in the mountains is all but gone, and when the Santa Ana winds kick up, this tinderbox has Californians running for their lives. Firewatch is a regular morning traffic segment. And when you add a little rain, voila’- mudslides.

The tragedy of all of this, is that this confusion could cause us to lose the momentum that's been building. We might postpone stricter emissions control standards; we might allow construction of more coal plants; we could even dispute that CO2 is the problem - because we're confused and in denial.

And certainly, we didn’t need overzealous scientists playing numbers games with their data. It added fuel to the fire. It matters not to me If they’ve fudged numbers to make their conclusions more compelling. They should be discredited , and they should lose their positions if found guilty.

Anyway, does it really matter if we see catastrophic consequences in 2035 or 2050, or at the end of the century? It'll be here before we know it...

There is no doubt that the oceans of the world are warming, becoming more acidic.. in time they will be all but dead. There is no doubt that our glaciers are breaking up, that polar ice will be gone. We quibble about when.

Yes, no one wants to talk about polar bears anymore. We’ve worn it out. The problem remains. When the glaciers of the Himalayas are gone, glaciers that feed seven of the largest rivers in the world; glaciers that provide water to 70% of the world’s population; when those glaciers are gone.. those people will move – in the hundreds of millions.

And they’ll be coming here. Its just a matter of time.

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