Thursday, February 19, 2009

As Usual, They’re Ignoring the Important News

All we’re hearing about these days is “The Stimulus.” Speaking of which – our beloved masters of hypocrisy, the Republicans, are now taking credit for the stimulus “pork” that will be flowing into their districts, even though they opposed the stimulus en masse. You’ve really got to hand it to them: their chutzpah knows no limits.

But the big news got ignored, as it always does. This is from Reuters, on Sunday:

Global Warming Seen Worse Than Predicted

The climate is heating up far
faster than scientists had predicted, spurred by sharp increases in greenhouse
gas emissions from developing countries like China and India, a top climate
scientist said on Saturday.

"The consequence of that is we are basically
looking now at a future climate that is beyond anything that we've considered
seriously," Chris Field, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, or IPCC, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science
meeting in Chicago.

Field said "the actual trajectory of climate change
is more serious" than any of the climate predictions in the IPCC's fourth
assessment report called "Climate Change 2007." He said recent climate studies
suggested the continued warming of the planet from greenhouse gas emissions
could touch off large, destructive wildfires in tropical rain forests and melt
permafrost in the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gasses
that could raise global temperatures even more.

"There is a real risk
that human-caused climate change will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide
from forest and tundra ecosystems, which have been storing a lot of carbon for
thousands of years," Field, of Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution
for Science, said in a statement.


In other words, the runaway greenhouse effect. I warned about this in the April/May 2007 issue of Grassroots Press: “When temperatures increase a bit more, and the permafrost starts to melt in a serious way, enormous quantities of CO2 and methane will be released, which will double the percentage of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. This will cause temperatures to rise even faster, which will release even more greenhouse gases, and so on. Needless to say, the climatologists are keeping a close eye on this situation.”

So now we have respected climate scientists warning about the runaway greenhouse effect, but the average American is just as likely to believe the lies of the global warming denialists. As long as the Republicans retain their power to obstruct, and the Dems remained locked within their status quo mindset, the prognosis for effective action remains bleak. Obama’s stimulus package contains some worthy environmental initiatives, but they don’t go nearly far enough. If this is the best we can do, then we can kiss our collective ass goodbye.


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