Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hot new ski destination

Snow fell yesterday in Malibu, California. I hear the next new Reality TV show is going to be called Ski Malibu With The Rich And Famous.

Really, today I will leave the domestic spying issue to other, more eloquent bloggers to address, especially the part about how Bush and his administration have broken enough laws over the last five years to lock them up and throw away the key. Today, as snow confounds Los Angeles, and Greenland heats up, today I want to mention what a board of scientists, including 18 Nobel Prize winners, has determined.

The directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine, who set the time on the Doomsday Clock, said: “We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices. North Korea’s recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a renewed US emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia are symptomatic of a larger failure to solve the problems posed by the most destructive technology on earth.

“As in past deliberations, we have examined other human-made threats to civilisation. We have concluded that the dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons. The effects may be less dramatic in the short term than the destruction that could be wrought by nuclear explosions, but over the next three to four decades climate change could cause drastic harm to the habitats upon which human societies depend for survival.” (emphasis mine.)

They say that Global Warming poses the most dire threat to civilization, second only to nuclear weapons. Second ONLY to nuclear weapons. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that most of the warming over the last 50 years is caused by human activity: the result is that carbon dioxide levels in the atmoshpere are at the highest level in 650,000 years. That carbon dioxide acts like a blanket that heats up the earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere, which in turn helps to create more carbon dioxide, which... Dependence on fossile fuels (Big Oil) is a key factor in this cycle.

And so the panel has focused on this global problem, noting that in some areas, Global Warming has been happening faster than predicted. If the Global Community maintains a "business as usual" attitude, wherein we take no further measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions--this would raise the global temperature 2.8 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, causing a sea-level rise of about 80 feet. The United States would lose most of its cities on the East Coast: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Miami, and nearly the whole state of Florida. China would have 250 million displaced people; India, 150 million. India has already lost one inhabited island, displacing 10,000 residents who moved to another island that is almost completely submerged.

The panel proposes Global action, because this is a Global problem. Civilization depends on this. Of course, we can wander through many Right Wing blogs which dismiss Global Warming as a liberal plot, but to them I pose this question: Would you rather be right, or swimming with the fishes?


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this, divajood. It is an amazing thing to be living in a time when the changing climate is dire enough to rank second only to nuclear disaster. It shocks and saddens me to think that there are those who find this information a joke or a hoax. Or, that there are those whose fortunes are made on these industries that contribute to the climate change, so therefore invest in disinformation campaigns. I sincerely feel deep sadness for future generations and what they will inherit.

DivaJood said...

When I read that the Doomsday Clock had been reset to 5 Minutes to Midnight for the first time in years, I simply got sick. There are so many contributing factors, all driven by greed, hatred and arrogance, that it takes my breath away. Meanwhile, I feel I have an obligation to keep talking about it as well as acting on my beliefs. Anything I can do to help reduce pollutants -which range from ignorance and hatred to carbon dioxide emissions - I will do.

Last night as I drove home from work, there was a single woman on a corner with a candle and a sign which said her candle was lit for the dead and wounded in Iraq, both military and civilian, and an urge for an end to war. It was an unplanned vigil. I waved at her, gave the peace sign, and noticed that every car around was doing the same thing.

Donnie McDaniel said...

This planet is truly about to puke! The planet is sick like never before, and there is no end in sight. It is sad to watch!

Anonymous said...

not to mention the effect that oil has had on places like nigeria and the rest of the oil producing nations. you can't get it through the right's collective head because they don't want anything to change their way of life. don't get me started!

Comandante Agí said...

I saw the Malibu snow story on the local news. A cop had to prevent some kid from snowboarding on the road.

You really think this is caused by global warming/climate change? I think it's the highly concentrated presence of crazy celebrities in Malibu that generated the freak storm...