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This blog is to store what I consider to be important - or weird - stories about health and science. To read these, you will need the Adobe Reader; you may download it at: Be sure to check out my political blog at: Welcome to my friends from LeftWingRadicals!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Global warming changes are here now

It has always been amazing to me that Republicans - and some ignorant Democrats - question global warming. The nay-sayers argue that there isn't any evidence that man is causing it; they say that 1) global warming might not be happening at all or 2) that global warming now is just part of a natural cycle of Earth, but that we will be able to adjust.

They miss - perhaps on purpose - the point that CO2 is the major contributor to global warming (assuming one accepts that it's happening), and that regardless of whether we started it or it is part of Earth's natural cycle, our increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere is contributing to the warming. They ignore the fact that, even if this warming is part of a natural cycle, if we cut back on CO2 emissions, we could at least mitigate the warming.

Since the end of the 1700's, we have increased the CO2 levels in the atmosphere from 280ppm to 370ppm. This level is higher than any time in the past 160,000 years (link)

There is no arguing that CO2 levels have been high during each of the Earth's warming periods in the past, and low during ice ages, so the relationship of CO2 level to global warming is indisputable.

As noted in the article that was linked to just above, just to stabilize CO2 emissions at today's level would require a 60% reduction in emissions. Even so, levels in the upper atmosphere would continue rising for some years, and effects would continue to grow for the next 50 years. And that's if we cut emissions 60% today. That is not going to happen.

As you may have noticed, over the past 10 years (at least), the maximum temperature increase predicted has kept going up, and the time in which that increase would occur has shortened. It is no longer IF we will feel the effects, it is only a question of how bad they will be. In fact, we are feeling the effects now. Glaciers all over the world are melting; some are already gone. Ice at both poles is thinning and breaking up, just witness the B15 iceberg, which is 2500 sq. miles.

What's really amazing to me is that when the Pentagon came out with it's own report on global warming, people (in general) dismissed it. (summary : full report) The report, if you bother to read it, is nothing short of a doomsday scenario that WILL happen; no maybes here. One of the major threats in the report is that the ocean conveyor, which, in our part of the world is known as the Gulf Stream, will slow down or stop; this will (and currently already has) have ever-increasing effects. If you follow one website that I do (link), it has a link to Gulf Stream velocities by week. Over the past year, the link, which changes text to reflect the state of the Gulf Stream, has taken more and more to saying, "strikingly weak". In fact, for the past several months, it has not said anything else.

Also, if you read the news about England, you have noticed that they are getting cooler and that they have been having more storms, and those storms are more violent, and in the past 2 years, this has become the standard.

Climate change is here. The drought in the West, storms over Europe in the winter, blistering heat over Europe in the summer, drought in Australia, etc. etc.

Within the next couple of years, people are going to wake up to what's happening, and that awakening is likely to come in the form of gunshots as countries, and people within those countries, battle of water and food resources.

But until then, Bush will continue to suggest more 'studies', the petroleum industry will continue to propagandize against global warming, just as they are in England. Recently, there was a news article about a group put together by U.S. oil and gas companies to specifically go to England to try and distort the global warming issue enough so as to confuse people and reduce pressure on the respective U.S. companies. Nothing like good ole propaganda.

It seems that some people are more interested in immediate money than they are in the long-term state of the world. As with the coal-fired power plants in the U.S. that convinced Bush to ignore mercury regulation and thus trade immediate profits for the health of our children, these heartless sons of bitches are basically condeming millions - maybe billions - of people to a slow, nasty death.

But then again: they are conservatives and lack any type of compassion. This is what made Bush's first run at the White House so strange; he had to actually come out and say that HIS would be conservatism, but WITH compassion. Umm.... sure.

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