Friday, February 1, 2008

Climate change? Nah.



I'm in a funk today because running a business is hard, even when you have wonderful people like Jesse, Dayna, and Cara to work with.

And because our national political discourse is sadly devoid of meaning and especially ignorant of serious environmental issues. Have you noticed?

From the AGU's revised position on climate change (just this week): "The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system—including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land, and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons— are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century."

Here in Carbondale we had near 60 degree F temps this week followed by thunderstorms with hail and winds that turned over trucks and wrecked schools. In late January.

Then six inches of snow. It will all melt tomorrow.

On the melting front, there is now concern that the Antartic ice sheets won't just slowly melt, but could slide off the bedrock into the ocean. This graphic, from here, shows how big Antarctica is compared to Europe. Average ice thickness is about a mile. Ice sheet slides could raise sea level enough to put much of south Florida under water, redirecting voter interest in environmental issues for that region.

And climate change will mean all bets are off for levees along our big Midwestern rivers.

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