Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Scary Science Saturday

The potential for this first time ever in recorded history event makes it clear just how advanced global climate change may be. There is a real chance that the North Pole may briefly have no ice this summer.

The chances for a total meltdown at the pole are higher than ever because the layer of ice coating the sea is thinner than ever, he said.

"A large area at the North Pole and surrounding the North Pole is first-year ice," Serreze said. "That's the stuff that tends to melt out in the summer because it's thin."

Preliminary February and March data from a NASA satellite shows that the circle of ice surrounding the North Pole is "considerably thinner" than scientists have seen during the five years the satellite has been taking pictures, NASA ice scientist Jay Zwally said Friday. He thinks there is slightly less than a 50-50 chance the North Pole will be ice-free.

Since the Reagan administration, scientists have advised us that the climate was acting in unusual ways. They have pointed out that temperatures were going up and this had implications to all of humanity. They have also stressed that these changes are caused by, or made much more dangerous by, the carbon consumption of human beings.

Since the first warnings, there has been a large portion of our society and our political landscape who contested this statement. This group, composed mostly of right wing politicians, followers and corporate stooges, at first denied that it was happening. As more evidence piled up they have worked hard to both confuse the issue and move the goal posts on the proof they demand. Even now, with all the evidence being produced they try to argue that we still don't know enough about the root cause to do anything.

This group is trading the future of our society for thier own short term gain. They don't want to have to face the hard choices that this issue could demand. The politicians don't want to tell their constituents that Hummers and 2 hour commutes are no longer viable lifestyles and the company executives want another quarter of record profits.

And it's easy to sell this inaction to the American public. The narrative created by those that deny the science fits right into the preprogramed thinking of the American right. They hate tree huggers. They don't really understand, and to some extent fear, science. Anything that is made to sound like it is coming from tree hugging scientist is easy to slander.

Even when the slander is a lie.

So here we sit, 25 or so years since the early warnings, watching the North Pole melt, while our Republican politicians and their corporate money driven echo machines keep telling us that there is no real evidence of climate change.


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