"Human activities are changing Earth’s climate. At the global level, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases have increased sharply since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel burning dominates this increase. Human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed global average surface warming of roughly 0.8°C (1.5°F) over the past 140 years. Because natural processes cannot quickly remove some of these gases (notably carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere, our past, present, and future emissions will influence the climate system for millennia." From American Geophysical Union's (AGU) "Human Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action" (August 2013).
These are dire reports, the first an extensively researched scientific study, the second, a call for action. Will President Obama step up and use his "bully pulpit" to urge reform and the necessary behavioral changes required to stop the increase in carbon dioxide, warming of the planet, the melting of the polar ice caps, the rising of the seas and oceans? Is some international body able to bring all nations to the table to save the planet from human destruction? Can the nations that have claims on the Arctic Circle, for example, a major but under-reported concern, come together?
"One giant tsunami over Florida, and that state is gone," my friend Dan, who lives in Tampa, said over coffee recently. I can see that happening, and sooner rather than later. Whenever I fly into or out of Florida and look down from the sky, I wonder how the fragile peninsula, so overbuilt, can survive the next big hurricane, let alone a major tsunami like the ones that hit Thailand and Japan, or the recent cyclone that swept over India.
I suppose until something like that happens, we the people and the governments of the people won't do much to hurry the prevention agenda. Kind of like Katrina over New Orleans, but even worse. A nightmare scenario.
Maybe it won't be wars that destroys our planet, although they do a lot of damage, but the behavior of human beings who wage war and do not respect Mother Earth enough to act now. My brother Loren said that all the time. Respect our mother. Respect Mother Earth. I hear his voice so clearly on this issue, his lifelong commitment to the environment, until his last breath on his last hike on the Aucilla River in northern Florida. "Come together, right now, over me," a Beatles line for our planet, he would say.
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Another blog on the environment.
|North Pole with border
countries, yahoo image. Portions of 8 countries|
surround the Arctic circle, which is super rich in oil and gas resources.
The Arctic, I am learning, is a vast untapped resource, larger than the African continent, eyed hungrily by many nations. A quick online search of what for me is a rather esoteric subject confirms this. It's huge. Almost unfathomable. Santa's North Pole is one of the most unexplored, undeveloped, resources-rich regions on planet Earth. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic has 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It's all up for grabs. (See Amy Crawford, Smithsonian magazine, April 2013).
Huebert continues: “The ice kept everybody out, but now all of a sudden the ice is going to be gone. So what happens?”
There seems to be little doubt, however, that the frigid and remote Arctic region will be hotly contested in the not-too-distant future. The fight's already begun.
It appears that the Obama administration is on it, through an Interior Department’s "high level working group" on
What a daunting agenda. The future of the globe is at stake. The Arctic is no longer just Santa's benign North Pole. And we haven't even talked about Antarctica, whose polar ice is melting at an alarming rate, causing oceans to rise.