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Sunday, December 10

Pacific Views (dot org)

What a great, informative site

I just finished reading this recent post -- Al Gore on Oprah
Now that the DVD of An Inconvenient Truth is available, lots more people are getting an introduction to Al's fine work. FINALLY!

(from his RollingStone interview in July):
At the end of the movie, you make it sound like it's not going to be that hard to stop global warming -- we'll just change our lifestyles and turn this thing around. But isn't that too optimistic? The scientist James Lovelock says that by the end of this century, most of the Earth will be uninhabitable -- the planet's population will plummet by eighty percent.

Lovelock is truly a visionary. But I disagree with his darker view. He's forgotten more about science than I'll ever learn -- but I think I know one thing about politics that he doesn't. Sometimes, the political system is like the climate system, in that it's nonlinear. It can seem to change at a snail's pace and then suddenly cross a tipping point beyond which it shifts into a shockingly fast gear. All of a sudden, change that everybody thought was impossible becomes matter of fact.

Here's the essence of our problem: Right now, the political environment in the country does not support the range of solutions that have to be introduced. The maximum you can imagine coming out of the current political environment still falls woefully short of the minimum that will really solve the crisis. But that's just another way of saying we have to expand the limits of the possible. And that's the main reason that I made this movie -- because the path to a solution lies through changing the minds of the American people. Not just on the facts -- they're almost there on the facts -- but in the sense of urgency that's appropriate and necessary. Once that happens, then things that seem impossible now politically are going to be imperative. I believe there is a hunger in the country to be part of a larger vision that changes the way we relate to the environment and the economy. Right now we are borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the most unstable region of the world, and to bring it here and burn it in ways that destroy the habitability of the planet. That is nuts! We have to change every aspect of that."

YEP! Don't you think most people are almost there on the facts now?
After our spring-like November here on the east coast, I'd say most people do know deep down that things MUST change.

This recent observation should wake up the rest of those who question global warming

Disappearing Phytoplankton

The ocean has been getting bluer, according to a study published in the journal Nature. But that's not really good news for the planet. It means that the plants that give the ocean its green tint aren't doing well. Scientists say that's because the ocean has been getting warmer

This is at least the third significant peer-reviewed research paper in the past six months showing that long-anticipated global warming biological side effects are already happening.

We may have one last chance according to a New Climate Model

Recently, climate scientists have used this process to adjust the computer models for how the southern ocean winds are behaving. What they've found is that the westerly winds have been moving southward the past 30 years and this is creating a different dynamic in regards to climate change. Factoring this new information leads to a new climate model that plays out differently than earlier models. This new model shows that the ocean could end up absorbing a lot more heat and carbon than originally believed leading to an overall slower warming of the atmosphere.

This could be good news for humans because it means that we have more time to clean up our act and make up for the lost Bush years. But it is not good news for the creatures of the ocean because as I wrote last month, the warming of the ocean is leading to the acidification of the ocean and this is leading to the oceans being inhabited mostly by jellyfish.

The new finding surprised the scientists, said lead researcher Joellen L. Russell. "We think it will slow global warming. It won't reverse or stop it, but it will slow the rate of increase."

So we humans could have more time than we understood to mitigate global warming, although our luck comes at a steep price -- the expense of the ocean's shelled wildlife and all the fish and marine mammals that depend on the existence of those shelled creatures. Too bad they didn't have a vote on who should ultimately pay for the poisoning of the earth with excess carbon.

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