Arctic sea ice this year reached its fourth lowest level in recorded history, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) revealed Tuesday, in what scientists and climate campaigners say is a disturbing reminder that human-made global warming continues to worsen.
How big of a sign is needed when a melting Polar Ice Cap is not enough to make us change our ways?
Immense forest fires? Drought? Marine species die offs? What?
We will ignore (not completely but without urgency nonetheless) almost anything except the grim and dire. We wait for that clarity of death and destruction that cannot be ignored.
Doom and gloom but in real time not extrapolated to some future date. We wait for that super sized storm like Sandy (yep that was a big one) but one with the destructive knock out punch of Katrina.
We the hollywood generation from cradle to grave... we wait for a big finale... a big action scene... we want a spectacle!
So melting Ice Caps? Real but far away and you got to read about it and look at pictures. Now a super sized storm hitting the East Coast or another month with the gigantic tornadoes from hell' or something like that, well now that's global warming!!!
Scientists say the slight cooling (did you notice that btw) that gave us the hottest years on record will end and that next year and those following will be hotter than ... um... the hottest years on record. A bad sign imo. A disappearing Ice Cap is also a bad sign.
But we wait for the spectacular ... the perfect storm of global warming... we wait for deaths actually. Incremental sea level rise? Nah... we wait to see lots of bodies because of a gigantic storm... then maybe we will believe. Truly believe.
Meanwhile ... what will it be like in twenty years?
Good luck kids...
Oh, but the energy companies in the US, Norway, Great Britain, and Russia are slobbering all over themselves at the prospect of more resources coming into view along with more temperate weather conditions for their exploration/excavation/desecration. Climate change deniers ALL.
And Obama authorized Shell to drill, drill, drill in the Chuckchi Sea, a move that gives the finger to myriad protestors and environmental groups opposing the authorization.
I agree with you, wereflea...the results of severe weather that are cataclysmic in size and destruction that occur more regularly as the result of climate change have to be seen (bloated floating bodies of people and animals, denuded landscapes as a result of wildfires and tornadoes, seeing all the devastated families who lost loved ones and/or their homes, etc.) in order for any concerted, large scale outcry to form. The daily carnage shown on TV during the Vietnam "War" served to mobilize massive anti-war demonstrations and activists.
Now, how to change the Zeitgist of the major contributors to our planet's destruction: corporations, energy and mining giants worldwide?
I think a major shift in perspective would work at least for the public, if not for the oligarchs (they will be in denial as long as it remains profitable for them regardless of the environmental cost).
I'm hoping that if Bernie gets elected that will open the floodgates on major change. People will try once again to change the system and make a better world. Bush/Cheney and then Obama have been spoilers. They soured many people on good will and helping others. When the world is that corrupt then why try at all kind of thing.
With Bernie I expect technological innovation in alternative energy, multi-source investment in solar and wind on the local level, groups pulling together to work out problems the right ignores etc. The right holds the debate right now but look at what happened in Iceland. The government said one thing and the people overwhelmingly said something else about the refugees. I expect many years of repair work on the soul of America by the American people. Good folks who believe in tolerance and helping will be in the forefront and not pushed off to the side.
I think America has a very rare opportunity to get someone who isn't corrupt in the White House... I think that would make for a big change with many more to follow.
what will it take?
my mum's 93, she's in the hospital barely clinging to life, she thinks she'll survive this.
Individually, mum's loss is a tragedy to those who knew her. Collectively, the loss of most of us won't be missed at all.
There's nothing that can be said to those who won't notice at this point. Hopefully, those who have noticed are enough, otherwise we're all going into palliative care.
Hope the morphine's good there.
The only criticism is the author seems to think politicians are leaders.
And what is the mass of the sea ice this year? It is the lowest it has been. Climatologist Paul Beckwith describes the current state of sea ice as all slush. There is no multi-year ice and we are not at the end of melt which occurs when refreezing begins.
Like most aware people I have been looking/seeing/reading/thinking about this for a very long time. Our ego's are way too strong and out of line. The Planet Earth will survive just fine without us, we are a plague, a parasite, an infestation upon this little blue ball in space. And yet we have the collective gull to think we matter? WTF???
Perhaps, but this beautiful planet might survive as a sterile, lifeless planet, not too different from that of our planetary neighbor, Venus. So I'd say, 'we matter,' just not in the way you are suggesting. We have created this disaster and can stop it. If the biosphere becomes so compromised that homo sapiens disappear from this planet, we will be taking many other mammals and other life forms with us. Not acceptable AFAIAC.
The meat industry is responsible for tremendous environmental degradation. Yet there's little discussion about this by Big Enviro. People need to drastically reduce or eliminate animal products from their diet. Can't really call yourself an environmentalist if you're consuming one of the most environmentally destructive products on the planet.
And more attention needs to be paid to the giant subsidies given to the meat industry. Why are the tax dollars of vegans going to supporting the meat industry?
I wish, I had a wish, to wish a wish away: Donovon...I think if we spent every penny on the planet and used everyone's braininess we could develop a system to clean up our room like good girls and boys and ship it off to that great incinerator in the sky, our sun, Sol. That is what I wish for. But our actions are 180 degrees removed. NASA just went to Mars, Mr. O sent Shell to the northern most sea and Japan is still leaking. Would it not be Grand to send all our nuke puke to the sun in disposable rockets. It is within our power(s) All of those fishing fleets could be clean-sweeping the sea free of plastic's so the fish could swim once again and we could, again, send it off into space. But look at us, we are fighting over every little stupidness we can find, i.e. each other. In truth, reality sucks. There is a mass extinction going on right before our very eyes. There will be little pockets of animals, including humans left-over so that things will continue, things just won't be shaped as they are now. Humans, those that are left-over, that have adapted, will once again be hunter gather's. Wearing skins and bark, throwing spears and rocks.
That, is the 64,000 dollar question. On the days that I am the most panicked, the most depressed, the most afraid, I am convinced that they will never stop. They will drive us over the edge.
Then, I have to try and come back from that. I have to tell my self not to give up. I have to try to do what ever I can. Educating, which, the word itself, does not begin to explain the actual "action" that I am trying to accomplish. I am really sounding an alarm to those I talk to.
Twenty years! I love optimists and do secretly hope they turn out to have been right. But my own strong hunch is that two years is about what's left to us.
It all depends on two things: tipping points and the war madness of large industrialized political leadership.
There's not much to be done about tipping points at this late stage of the process. Things will either keep heating until living conditions progressively morph into unlivableness Or it will cross some threshold: arctic and antarctic ice melt causing the sea to change and flood out billions of people is one oft cited possibility, but certainly not the only one.
But it would be too late to change that fate now.
The war posturing "national security" madness, on vivid display during today's Republic candidate talk off, says that those aspiring to the top jobs are terrified (although unable to perceive and admit this to themselves) about their helplessness, and it soothes their fears to strike bold "I would be the best Commander In Chief of the Mightiest Armada thar humankind has ever had" poses.
So important "issues" like ongoing environmental poisoning, the criminality of the finance industry and their various debt scams, the insanity of all if their who promises to make the military "stronger," the epidemic of refugeeism get no mention, and the fact that they were not mentioned itself gets no mention -- well, that gets no mention. Runaway opinions full of sound bytes and fury, signifying nothing.
I would pity the fools but their pose striking might set off real nuclear wars, which would get it all over with, and quickly and thoroughly.
Two years to what? Two years is far too short a time period for much to happen on a global scale. Nothing can affect the world to punch our ticket in just two years. It'll get hotter for sure (did you know that we were in a cooler 'pause' event ala El Nino (where the hottest years on record still happened... geez!!!) in the next two years but the heat index will not kill us.
I call it the Misery Index because as global warming intensifies, that will be what it will feel like ... MISERY.
Even if there were a sudden economic collapse... who the F knows with these people?
Even if the catastrophic climate change event happened like Antarctic Ice sloughed off the land in a massive surge that first caused a super tsunami wave (s) that circled the world a few times and pretty much made finding a parking space less of an issue for a helluva lot of people!
Even if the Methane Bomb popped suddenly.
Even if the ocean's died... okay this one is kind of iffy but even if suddenly every ocean became a dead zone suddenly, we'd still have a few years before all the oxygen went. We still have land plants etc.
Even if some prehistoric supervises is reanimated up from the melting permafrost and... and... um? Well even if a bioengineered weaponized virus was released by terrorists or escaped through incompetence and... and... um? Okay I scared myself and want my blankie!!!
Two years barring viral or nuclear war catastrophe seems far too quick and unlikely. What are you in a rush? Lol. Sheesh!
Twenty years is super fast as it is but twenty years is enough time for a lot of things to happen.
I think economic melt down will accompany a global warming 'melt down' and that will be pretty terrible for everybody... I'm pretty sure that I won't see twenty more years... but I'm pretty confident that most people will. A lot of species won't but we will still be here... and will be really cranky too.
Heat baby! Heat!!!