Monday, April 5, 2010

Time to get serious about climate change

In 1951, the year my brother was born, we had such a severe spring blizzard in Southwest Minnesota that my mother was in a state of near panic because her doctor was 10 miles away over roads blocked by 10-foot drifts.  The day before she delivered, my father discovered that the road to the town with the doctor was finally open.  Almost immediately, my mother went into labor.  My brother's birthday is April 17.  Spring blizzards in Minnesota were once considered normal.

This year, the snow is gone, the ice is out of the lakes, and we have had temperatures in the 60°s F for weeks.  It's only the 5th of April!  Anyone who can deny climate change around here has severely diminished powers of observation.
This Is The Moment. There Won't Be Another
by Turkana 
Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 09:58:50 AM CDT 
Anyone that pays attention to the science understands that humanity now faces an unprecedented, and possibly existential, threat. As Al Gore likes to say, we are conducting a giant chemistry experiment with our atmosphere, and the consequences are unknown. Frank Egler once made what I consider to be the most salient statement ever about the environment:
Nature is not only more complex than we think. It is more complex than we can think.
Ocean acidification, and methane release from thawing tundra, may, by themselves, threaten our very existence. Rising oceans, storms of unprecedented intensity, desertification, loss of arable land and potable water, migration of deadly diseases, massive extinctions and a host of other disasters certainly await. It has been estimated that there are already tens of millions of climate refugees, and it has been estimated that there are hundreds of millions more to come. Beyond the pure environmental impacts, try to imagine hundreds of millions of people forced to flee their homelands, in search of food, water, and shelter. Desperate people do desperate things. Desperate governments do desperate things. The world is brimming with all manner of deadly weaponry. The world is not brimming with wisdom and rationality. more

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