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Bottom Line on Climate Change

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's happening, and it is practically irreversible.
What does this mean and what should we be doing about it? Depends on where you live. If you live near one of the "extremes" i.e. near an extremely arid and hot place or an extremely cold place, effects will be greatest. If you live in a temperate environment (middle latitudes) then the effects might be more subtle. The science is complicated, yes. But the fact is that if we had really wanted to do something about this, we should have started decades ago. This is confirmed by over 120 scientists from 11 countries. Fact, not fiction. You can read more about this, for example, from the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study.

If you would like an idea of what the model forecasts for your area are, let me know. In the meantime, there is a significant amount of attention on the Arctic. The scientific community is startled by how fast polar ice is melting. An area about the size of Lake Superior is melting every year, and has been for the past thirty. The Canadian Press reported today that the Inuit are being greatly affected. Houses are being washed away, shorelines are eroding, and food sources are threatened. Did you hear about this in the news today? Of course not, the Inuit don't hold a lot of power politically. And globally, we are consumed with wars, cartoons gone awry and bird hunting idiots. Our attention is diverted. We are giving our kids baths, and making lunches, doing the laundry, going to work, and generally living our lives. We are the generation that the future will look back on and say: "What the hell were they doing? Thanks for screwing up the planet." How many generations do we look back on and think "how foolish they were...if only they knew then what we knew now." The problem with this analogy is that we do know. Now. But we choose to ignore because life is good. We drive big cars, we consume Consume CONSUME...Enough.

This is what we must do: pressure our governments to make this a priority. Work towards the Kyoto obligations and individually, do everything we possibly can to conserve energy, drive efficient compact cars (better yet, walk, ride a bike or take public transit) and generally be conscious of what kind of ecological footprint we are having on this planet. Really folks, not to be too preachy, but I would like future generations to live in the wonderful natural environment that we currently are fortunate to have. We need to change our ways. Seriously. Now.

  1. Blogger Neo said:

    Cathy - Great point. It's one I've heard people and scientists talking about for a long time. People need to realize the facts and stop ignoring the problem because it's only going to get worse!

    When those ice shelves and glaciers melt the amount of water that will be in the ocean will destroy alot of things.

    You would think with the erractic weather we've had, along with the hurricanes and freak weather, people would notice.

    No, they're too ignorant!

    I pray for the worlds future children that will receive this planet from those who destroyed it.

    It's just sad.

    TV and media isn't interested in this. You're right, people have short attention spans.

    Neo shakes his head

    Peace & Hugs,

    - Neo

  1. Blogger riskybiz said:

    Will Kyoto work when the largest economies in the world don't want it to?
    I think not enough people care, yet!

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It takes more...

    And this is why the attention of those in the biggest economies needs to be grabbed by the scientists and the media....we are going to have to work on this one from the bottom up.

  1. Blogger Skye said:

    Cathy, I was looking at goggle earth and was I ever shocked to see what litte is left of the polar ice cap. This really has to a little too late wake up call and the main issuse on the next political agenda or we might as well kiss our butts goodbye.

  1. Blogger Meow (aka Connie) said:

    Cathy, I thought exactly the same as Skyblue when I was looking at Google Earth ... wow !!! I hope the saying "it's never too late" applies here, but I don't imagine the damage that has been done is reversible. Hopefully it can be stopped where it is, before it gets any worse. Take care, Meow

  1. Blogger Gurgo said:

    hey, I think you saw "the day after tomorrow". I know it's not that realistic but something on this movie is true and the gulfstream already heated about two or three degrees.

  1. Blogger Michelle said:

    Cathy, this is so very very interesting. I whole heartedly agree with everything you've mentioned. Food for thought though, in a recent summit here, environmental scientists were saying just as you have. Then a group of i think ...geologists?? not too sure but i think it was, dragged out a bunch of stats (legit evidence) refelecting the climate changes etc over the last 12 years, and there was a definate pattern in the weather........meaning, that the world is experiencing normal cyclic conditions, that is, every 3 or so years there has been a rise or fall in temps etc, then the reverse or a plateau for the next...then the rise and so on. So having found this, how do you relate with all the rest of the changes?? Very curious to hear your opinion.

  1. Blogger marellecone said:

    So informative. And, you are so right.

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    SkyeBlue and Meow;
    I wish more people would look at these images on google Earth!

    The movie is, of course, exaggerated and there are things in the film that could not happen, but no doubt about it...our oceans have warmed and continue to warm.

    Superimposed on the human-induced climate change there are natural cycles; climate naturally does change and has well before people started to influence things. What has been documented now and is well established is the human impact and the carbon dioxide induced impact (from fossil fuels) that we have done over the last 30 years. When we try to add up the cumulative effects of nature and humans, the scenario is complicated, but like I said in my post, the bottom line is the unfortunate fact that we have discussed, debated and argued about this for so long now that some impacts are irreversible.

    I can understand why Austrlia would be having summits on the topic because desertification is a serious concern for your country.

    Sobering topic, but one we need to discuss...

    I am glad you think so.

  1. Anonymous Anonymous said:

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  1. Blogger Tai said:

    One of the major problems with this, is the fact that it's a 'slow' problem.

    Nothing grabs attention like a meteor screeching to Earth, but a dripping glacier thousands of miles away is 'boring'.

    The world has known about this problem for years and years...I hate to sound so negative, but it's going to be years and years before the Kyoto Accord dominates peoples thinking, and more years before SOME countries adjust their thinking.

  1. Blogger Devil Mood said:

    These things worry me a lot. I don't live exactly in an extreme but I certainly feel the climate change - the Iberian Peninsula is every year more like Northern Africa, it doesn't rain, it's colder in winter and much hotter in the summer.

  1. Blogger Berlinbound said:

    I'm with you on this Cathy ... I despair at the leadership our planet now suffers with ... But when will we start voting with our hearts and not our wallets?

  1. Blogger Lisa said:

    Very well said and very true.

  1. Blogger Scholiast said:

    I know it's a serious issue, I just can't be too worried right now - we're practically buried in snow, and it's supposed to keep snowing for the next few days.

    Which means, typical Norwegian winter, as it has always been...

    I'm hoping Someone's repairing the hole in the ozone layer...

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    thanks for stopping by...

    Devil Mood;
    Yes, and countries arounf the Mediterranean are expected to be substantially impacted.

    We'd better start soon...

    Thank You.

  1. Blogger x said:

    i live in Greece but i can see it happening. we never used to have such harsh winters here. i can't really say we have spring or autumn. we have winter and we have summer (really hot summers) and nothing in between. I'd hate to think my son won't be able to feel autumn or spring.
    I am very worried about these things.Sometimes i write about such matters and when i do even the slightest research, the things i read make me shiver.
    I admire you for caring so much about the environment. I try to do a few things, obviously not enough. My only pride is that i don't drive (because i'm too lazy, but hey, it's for the best!)

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