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This is the lead story in Sunday's Washington Post (not online yet)

... This ``tipping point'' scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.

There are three specific events that these scientists describe as especially worrisome and potentially imminent, although the time frames are a matter of dispute: widespread coral bleaching that could damage the world's fisheries within three decades; dramatic sea level rise by the end of the century that would take tens of thousands of years to reverse; and, within 200 years, a shutdown of the ocean current that moderates temperatures in northern Europe.


Scary scenario!!!

Urgent action is needed before it is too late.
Do we have the political will? That seems to be the question.
Some politicians prefer to live in denial rather than accept the hard choices that must be made NOW!
I am glad WaPo is ringing the alarm bell.


The debate has been intensifying because Earth is warming much faster than some researchers had predicted. James Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, last week confirmed that 2005 was the warmest year on record, surpassing 1998. Earth's average temperature has risen nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past 30 years, he noted, and another increase of about 4 degrees over the next century would ``imply changes that constitute practically a different planet.''

snip

Princeton University geosciences and international affairs professor Michael Oppenheimer, who also advises the advocacy group Environmental Defense, said one of the greatest dangers lies in the disintegration of the Greenland or West Antarctic ice sheets, which together hold about 20 percent of the fresh water on the planet. If either of the two sheets disintegrates, sea level could rise nearly 20 feet in the course of a couple of centuries, swamping the southern third of Florida and Manhattan up to the middle of Greenwich Village.

While both the Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets as a whole are gaining some mass in their cold interiors because of increasing snowfall, they are losing ice along their peripheries. That indicates that scientists may have underestimated the rate of disintegration they face in the future, Oppenheimer said. Greenland's current net ice loss is equivalent to an annual 0.008 inch sea level rise.

The effects of the collapse of either ice sheet would be ``huge,'' Oppenheimer said. ``Once you lost one of these ice sheets, there's really no putting it back for thousands of years, if ever.''


and now the CRIMINAL negligence part ...

This tipping point debate has stirred controversy within the administration; Hansen said senior political appointees are trying to block him from sharing his views publicly.

When Hansen posted data on the Internet last fall suggesting that 2005 could be the warmest on record, according to a Goddard scientist who did not want to be identified, NASA officials ordered Hansen to withdraw the information because he had not screened it with the administration in advance. More recently, NASA officials tried to discourage a reporter from interviewing Hansen for this article and later insisted he could speak on the record only if an agency spokeswoman listened in on the conversation.

``They're trying to control what's getting out to the public,'' Hansen said, adding that many of his colleagues are afraid to talk about the issue. ``They're not willing to say much because they've been pressured and they're afraid they'll get into trouble.''

Silly me, I thought the government had a responsibility to protect its citizens, not coverup and do nothing in face of imminent catastrophe.

Originally posted to EZ writer on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 05:14 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hope it's not too late. (4.00)
    Future generations will not look kindly on our mountaintop removal for a few year's worth of electricity, and changing our climate just so we can run TV sets and air conditioners.

    If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen.

    by EZ writer on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 05:15:22 PM PST

    •  Too late (4.00)
      There is no more debate about this as far as I am concerned.  

      I am in the woods in northern Wisconsin and tonight it is raining.  It rained two other times this week.  Statistically, this should be the coldest week of the year.  

      People, we have been fed a line of bullshit.  It has rained in the northland every Januay since 1998.  This does not happen like this by accident.

      Wake up!  

      This is the mega-issue of mega-issues and dwarfs everything else.  When will we stop focusing on the bullshit of the Bush administration and focus on what really matters?

      Reduce fossil-fuel emissions now or the human race becomes a desperate struggle to survive in a hostile, unforgivng environment.

      Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

      by Mi Corazon on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:41:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also being rained on in northern Wisconsin... (4.00)
        ... and people are getting very weirded out by it.
        By far the most frequent comment you hear about the weather around here is "Do you think this is how it's going to be from now on?"

        Our local paper runs a story every week or two on some angle of how Wisconsin winter tourism has been shot to hell by the climate change.  Fake snow can only do so much...  Plus many more stories about people/trucks falling through the ice (trying to ice fish).

        I agree -- "there is no more debate."

      •  I never thought that I'd say that I miss the cold (4.00)
        Yeah. Our weather is being quite kind to the heating bill. Last winter was warm, too.
      •  I live in central New York (4.00)
        56 effin degrees today!!!! I wrote in another diary you really have to have some historical perspective to realize how alarming this is... I'm 44 and I can remember the bitter cold winters of my youth. I felt like things began to change in the early 8's.

        We are all fucked in so many ways it's really depressing to think about... That's why I'm drinking right now!!!!

        •  Manhattan (none)
          And we were out enjoying the 58 degree evening in Manhattan last night.  I wore a t-shirt, jeans and a windbreaker.  No hat, gloves or scarf.

          "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

          by bink on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 06:06:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It was 50 degrees in Vermont today. (4.00)
        And the expectation is that it will rain tomorrow or the next day. When I first came to Vermont (1986) there would be periods in the winter when the thermometer wouldn't go above zero for weeks. and you'd hit a few 30 below zero nights. That was the Northeast Kingdom. Now, in Burlington, (admittedly about 10-15 degrees warmer than the Northeast Kingdom) if the temperature goes below zero, it's unusual. And 30 degree below zero nights are just a memory. While the weather bounces around, it hasn't been really cold in years. I have clothes that I only wear when it goes below zero, and I haven't worn them in two years. The biota in the various ecology zones aren't going to be able to migrate fast enough (and sometimes the zones are islands surrounded by other ecology zones so they can't migrate), so many species of animals and plants will go extinct just from global warming alone. We may end up eating soylent green eventually. Well, my kid will. One day i told him, I won't experience all this but you will. He looked at me balefully and said, 'Thanks, Dad.'

        -7.25/-6.41 Service [to others] is the rent we pay for the space we occupy. -Rev. M. L. King, Jr.

        by sravaka on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:12:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They can't move (none)
          These days, the biota are islands surrounded by parking lots.

          -- I share no man's opinions; I have my own. -Ivan Turgenev -6.75 -3.79

          by tergenev on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:13:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So much for American (none)
          maple syrup.

          "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

          by ogre on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:49:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Within perhaps (none)
            as little as a couple of generations, if weather trends continue, maples will likely die off and be replaced by things like oak. I believe Bill McKibben has written about this, perhaps in The End of Nature.

            Somehow, leaf-peeping for oak trees just doesn't do it for a money-making fall tourist season, you know?

            The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

            by Mnemosyne on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 07:18:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm in Minnesota (none)
          and it was raining tonight. WTF?

          "The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting." Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at WH function, 2003

          by kathika on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 12:14:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Northeastern Weather Changes (none)
          Great post. My father went to Lyndon State College in the early 70s and his memories of Vermont always include the winter nights where it was -30 degrees and he had snow past the first story window of his home.

          I grew up in Connecticut (now in ATL) and it amazes me when I talk to friends in CT when they've told me that it's 62 degrees on an early January day. That's downright scary. Early January meant that my driveway was frozen solid and I was having snowball and iceball fights with the kids across the street, while neighbors were literally skiing down our street.

    •  I Do Believe... (4.00)
      ...that the most learned researchers in this field have come to the conclusion that we are past the point of no return.

      There appears to be a growing body of information about where to move/relocate for the best survival odds over the next 50 years or so.

      Inland river valleys is a top pick. Migrations out of coastal areas are a good idea. Mountainous areas of central Europe are considered the best areas. World population numbers must drop to about 25 percent of what they are. Famine will help with that.

      In the final analysis, global warming is a product of catastrophic overpopulation. Nothing more than that, really.


      It's okay to be a sheep, but not at the wheel. -- Cap'n Pluto

      by Pluto on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:58:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed (4.00)
        there's very little that could possibly be done...even if Europe and Canada reduce their emmissions the developing world won't.

        Unless there's a a). nuclear war, b.) massive volcanic eruption or c.) asteroid strike small enough to not kill everyone but big enough to shroud the Earth the planet will warm until it corrects itself and that correction will be violent.

        It's already too late.

        •  I hear than GW Bush is trying to help (none)
          especially with the a.} selection.

          He's doing a heckuva job. Between him, the Iranians and the perhaps the Chinese, we can have some pretty light shows {if you happen to be on Mars, that is}.

          </snark>

          Seriously, the balance of weather patterns cannot be corrected by making "other changes". It's much more complex than that.

          "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

          by shpilk on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:51:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe. Maybe not. (none)
        Two good places to learn more:
        Union of Concerned Scientists
        and
        California Climate Choices

        IMPEACH THEM NOW! It only takes One State.

        by arbortender on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:02:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wow (none)
          i went to climate change.org and read this and now i'm really confused. that's real change, i mean not a token gesture at all -- coming from ahnold?! and this was signed in june which was way before the special elections made him run to the left. the guy is hard to figure out. shit, though, i mean, gray davis never did it. between this and the solar rebates ($10,000 vs. only $2k from the feds) -- can i possibly vote for a republican???
          i know every other policy has been totally abhorrant (education cuts!) to me, but at the end of the day the issue i care about most is the environment, and this is real leadership on that issue. i think i would take a lot of shit from a politician for a clean environment...

           

          "i was always dreaming of very powerful people, dictators and things like that." -- arnold schwarzenegger in "pumping iron"

          by hoodoo meat bucket on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:07:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you dig that (none)
            you're going to really dig this.
            California Solar Initiative
            Money to make it happen.

            IMPEACH THEM NOW! It only takes One State.

            by arbortender on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 12:25:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, i was aware of the solar initiative (none)
              and a while back when arnold defied the religious freaks and did that stem cell initiative (i think the dollar amount was close to the solar program?) i warmed up to him slightly until the special election bullshit. but now i'm really fucking confused on if i should vote for him. i'm leaning towards yes because of how really fucking revolutionary these actions are -- i'd be a hypocrite not to support a politician -- any politician -- who actually stepped up and delivered a policy to get us to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, right?

              "i was always dreaming of very powerful people, dictators and things like that." -- arnold schwarzenegger in "pumping iron"

              by hoodoo meat bucket on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 12:33:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Ahnold (none)
            I actually think if Arnold had a few terms of being in a state senate he would have been a hell of a governor.  As it is, his lack of government experience shows pretty bad.  Then again, I think if he'd had that experience he might have switched sides and been a conservative democrat, or at least toned down to a less conservative republican.

            Personally I'd rather have Arnold up there, than a full blood neo-con.  I don't agree with Arnolds views or agenda, but he can be dealt with as a republican.  Unlike Bush and his Neo-con handlers who should simply be locked up for crimes against humanity.

      •  Pluto (none)
        Yet another good reason to migrate to (soon to be) sunny Canada :-)

        Actually, seriously.

        Come see TV from the reality-based community at RealityBasedTV.com

        by MarkInSanFran on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:45:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh. (none)
          I've considered Canada, but I'm having a hard time immigrating there, and dumping my U.S. passport is my first priority.


          It's okay to be a sheep, but not at the wheel. -- Cap'n Pluto

          by Pluto on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:26:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          It was 4 degrees (Celsius) in Toronto today, and yesterday, and the day before that.

          We haven't had snow ALL winter.

          Oh wait it was -6 (Celsius) one day last week I think.... carry on nothing to see here   

      •  Actually, in Europe (none)
        predictions I have seen indicate that is going to get colder - because of the changes to the Gulf Stream and other factors North and Western EU will suffer from reduced moderating effects that the ocean normally would supply.

        They are trending toward having record rain as well as lower temperatures - and yes, swings to the other extremes in the summer - again a result of the lack of the moderating influences of ocean currents.

        "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

        by shpilk on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:48:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ironic, (none)
      though, is it not? The reason we run air conditioners is to change our climate.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:58:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  All these papers and pundits (none)
      try to regain some cred and curry favor with the greenish left by publishing stuff like this, which is considered "safe". Look at e.g. the disgraced Tom Friedman who tried to make amends for his disastrous support of the Iraq invasion with a series on ecology topics.

      It doesn't work. I mean, sure, we have to ring the alarm bells about this stuff, and a lot louder.

      But the way to actually do something about this is to venture out into the less safe waters and bring down the Republican Hegemony that is advocating continued rape and pillage.

      I'm not going to let anyone try to make amends by stating the obvious.

      <div style="display:inline;color:#CCC">The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.</div>

      by peeder on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:08:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The alarm bell... (4.00)
    ... has been ringing for a while.  It's just that no one listens.

    p.s.  I'll recommend if you leave off three of the exclamation points ;-)


    Political analysis, comfortable chairs, and free coffee, all at The Next Hurrah.

    by Page van der Linden on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 05:19:48 PM PST

  •  Politcal Will (4.00)
    I stopped on a Christian channel the other day, and the fluffy haired huckster was saying that to "worship the earth is to worship dirt" and went on to attack environmentalism.

    (He gets to say that tax free. Meanwhile, when I send my donations to Seira Club, it's not tax excempt.)

    I think the scary Christians really want to destroy the world, to hasten the second coming. I wish some reporter would have the balls to ask the President that very question.

    •  Turn it around. (4.00)

      Conservationists want to preserve the beauty, prosperity, sanctity of God's creation for our children.

      What would Jesus think when he comes back and finds we've been fouling His land with our waste?

      •  The Bad News: He Never Said (none)
        The good news? Based on what he said about earning and saving money, praying in public, and generally treating the poor, sick, elderly, outcasts and foreigners--

        He's gonna be talking to the Republicans for quite a while.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:33:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Christian (and other religions) view (4.00)
      on global warming and environmentalism really confuses me.  They say that God "created" the Earth. So why is it OK to damage it so badly?

      Just imagine (as an example) building a beautiful house.  With great care, you put up the foundation, the walls, and the roof. You carefully handcraft the wooden furniture, the floors, the cabinetry, and meticulously hand-paint pictures and embroider curtains and tapestries.  Everything is done with the finest materials and greatest of care.

      Then you have guests stay in your house and they totally trash the place. Your paintings are smashed, and there's filth everywhere. According to religious people, the Earth is "God's house".  All the little creatures; plants, animals, are His artwork. If I was God I would be pissed, and I certainly wouldn't invite any of those responsible to any "heaven".

      But like I said, religious logic these days really confuses me - on this and many other topics.

      •  A lot of evangelicals... (none)
        ...are starting to see it your way. But the Bush/Television/Mega Church types are sticking to destroying the planet. I don't know, but I'm thinking they come in two flavors:

        • Believers. They think they can hasten the second coming by destroying the earth.

        • Dumb Fakes. They don't believe in God anyway, and they are so stupid they think they can get in their private jets and fly to another planet. (Remember--science is for liberals). Think I'm kidding? Remember, the guy Bush I put in charge of NASA? Dan Quayle?
        •  Dirt (none)
          Dirt is evil
          Dirt is bad
          What grows of dirt
          Should not be had
          Eat only the flesh of beast
          If you'd by dirt not be deceased

          Remember, Cain slew Able because God prefered Able's meat to Cain's grain.

        •  Most are just fakes (none)
          Don't tell me that Pat Robertson believes any of the shit he says.  He's benefited so much from televangelism.  He's just another businessman conservative, except he's got a captive audience who actually believes the crap he spouts.  He couldn't care less about anything other than his own tax cuts and wealth.  

          In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

          by Asak on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:29:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I hope Gore's documentary gets extremely (4.00)
    wide distribution.

    I know they are in talks but I've yet to see any deals reached.

    •  Sundance Channel (4.00)
      Last night I watched their "Festival Dailies" show.  They had a segment on Gore's documentary.  It looked pretty good and I hope I'll have the opportunity to see it.

      "You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own set of facts." - Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) 1/25/06

      by Ellicatt on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 05:40:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hansen is a hero (none)
    His priorities are right on the mark; suicide for the planet vastly outweighs political pressure.  Let's hope the others just take a deep breath and plunge in too.
  •  Just a personal observation (4.00)
    It has been an unusually mild winter here (WNY).  In fact, we are on track to have the warmest January in over 70 years, which came right after the warmest summer in about the same timeframe.  With the exception of a few days ago (we had 20 inches of snow), we've barely had any snow and have had temperatures in the 40's to 50's. (This in an area where 200 or more inches of total winter snow accumulation is not uncommon.)  Today, we were back into the mid 40's.  Even my crocuses had started to peek above ground, and that usually doesn't happen until late March or mid April. We've even had several instances this month when the temperature rose overnight.  While this has been great for my heating bill, I can see the "bigger picture".  It does have me concerned for the hurricane season next summer.

    "You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own set of facts." - Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) 1/25/06

    by Ellicatt on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 05:36:50 PM PST

    •  Winter in New England (4.00)
      Back in the fifties the snow was usually up to my waist and temperatures routinely dropped below zero. This year I'm outside on bare ground in shorts all through January

      Sea level rise is supposed to be close to a foot by the end of the century... I probably won't be around to see Florida go but temperatures will go up as much as 16 degrees fahrenheit and then a lot of very shallow, very warm water where Florida used to be, close to the Gulf coast, ought to make the storms kind of interesting.

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:03:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same Around the Great Lakes (none)
        In the Akron area I'd build igloos for winter campouts. My wife's family in east central Ohio reports solid winter snows back into the 1800's.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:40:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  it is already too late (4.00)
    We have begun the large scale release of methane from two differrent sources and the thermal curve is no longer in our control. period. It is already tipped. the wapo is is wayslow.....

    it is our cares which organize the human mind....

    by wildwisefree on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 05:36:58 PM PST

  •  Reduction of the thermohaline circulation... (4.00)
    would also devastate life in the oceans. As Havard's Agassiz professor of biological oceanography James McCarthy explains it:
    For complex reasons, the fertilization effect of CO2 (see "The Great Carbon Sink," page 36) does not stimulate biological production in the oceans as it can on land. What regulates these plants' growth is light (of which there is plenty near the surface) and the availability of nutrients. Patterns of circulation control both these parameters. For example, plankton does not thrive in sinking water masses such as those found deep in the North Atlantic, because it is pulled down and away from the light. Similarly, warm surface waters don't hold much in the way of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. What these plants require is an upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich waters from lower levels of the ocean, and then a particular stratification of waters of different temperatures, in order to thrive. "These upwellings follow natural cycles," says McCarthy, "which is why there are seasonal blooms of plankton in different places near ocean-circulation features. Here in New England, we see a spring bloom off Georges Bank that feeds the great cod and haddock fisheries." Nobody knows how climate change will affect currents, stratification, and nutrient supply. "But to say that the ocean will continue working just the way it is, and that the biological pump will continue to work the way it does at present -- this is sophistry," says McCarthy. "We know that it will not."
    This is one point of many made in an issue of Harvard Magazine devoted largely to global warming: http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/1102195.html Be sure to read all the sidebars, too.
  •  Link to Havard Magazine Global Warming Issue (none)
    was supposed to be : http://www.harvardmagazine.com/.... (that post was the first time I've used html mode here, sorry.)
  •  Wait (none)
    Rush says this is just a theory.....

    "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

    by bonddad on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:07:33 PM PST

  •  Two points (none)
    The key quote from the WAPO piece:

    "We know there are icebergs out there, but at the moment we're accelerating toward the tipping point," Warrilow said in an interview. "This is silly. We should be doing the opposite, slowing down whilst we build up our knowledge base."

    But we should all be aware of this: in one sense the tipping point is in the past---the climate crisis is upon us now and nothing we do can stop it for the next several decades at least.  We must realize this and plan our responses.

    But the tipping point on truly devastating global climate change that will likely wipe the planet clean of life as we know it may yet be in the future.  That's what scientists are now focusing on.    

    "The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

    by Captain Future on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:08:16 PM PST

  •  Don't you worry now... (none)
    Researching my diary, I found this.
    COLLEGE PARK, Md., Jan. 25 (AScribe Newswire) -- President Bush has said he'll use his upcoming State of the Union Address to talk about the need for action to spur U.S. scientific and technological competitiveness.

    Chimpy is aware.  Bwaaaaaahahahah

    On MTR, one of the 10 most stuffed stories, according to Want to Know

    •  reality check. (4.00)

      I am a federally funded (or rather formerly funded) professional scientist.

      The money for all levels of science research---especially at DOD---has been transfered out.

      I have a friend (a climate scientist at Yale) who heard this directly from the President's Science Adviser:   The National Science Foundation budget was cut after the election because of the full-page advertisement from the 50 Nobel Laureates (and many others) urging against the re-election of Bush for anti-science policies.

  •  ezwriter - I inadvertantly 'unrecommended' (none)
    So sorry!  This is vitally important stuff and in my zeal to get it to the rec-list, I double-clicked the reco button.

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

    by frisco on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:10:14 PM PST

    •  You must suffer from (4.00)
      Premature Unrecommendation.

      "How freeing it must be to walk through this world heeding neither conscience nor soul." - the rude pundit, 5/4/05

      by pattyp on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:15:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sure - seeing a shrink about it (none)
        but all he ever says is practice makes perfect...

        Actually, it's just terminal sleep deprivation.  I really need to get some sleep tonight!

        "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

        by frisco on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:23:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  NY Times on Hansen censoring... (4.00)
    The New York Times is also on the story of the Bush Administration's attempts to censor Hansen. Check the story here.

    The censorship is the big news , because if politicians start censoring scientists, then there will be a revolt. The Bush administration has drastically cut science & science education funding, and has already earned strong disapproval from the scientific community. Adding censorship to the mix could be the tipping point not for global warming but for scientists speaking out strongly against an administration and a political party.

    I was at the talk Hansen gave at AGU that sparked this censorship effort. In it, Hansen encouraged scientists to speak out - actually said that scientists now have a duty to do so, given the incredible import of what the data is telling us.

  •  In 50 years... (none)

    we will be far past peak oil.  It is hard to say what annual oil production would be, but it ought to be less - a lot less - than what we use now.  I have a poster which shows estimated production, and it looks like we will be at about 50% of peak in about 50 years.

    Peak natural gas will have also long been passed - the only thing left would be coal.

    I would rather we deal with this in a more responsible manner, but the planet will ultimately force it upon us.

  •  Oh, we're past tipping point. (4.00)
    There is next to nothing that can stop it, shy of kick-starting a supervolcano explosion..and that would be worse that enduring high sea levels by a couple of magnitudes.

    But acknowledging the wrongness would be a death sentence for the GOP as a force in U.S. politics.

    however, if deferred long enough, long enough to eliminate all other competition, that fate can be avoided.

    And all it will costs is, oh, several hundred million lives, most of them not even U.S. voters.

    This is not even about money. It's about winning elections and consolidating power before the truth becomes impossible to hide.

    They know it, know that the truth revealed right now would kill their crediblity (and therefore their power) and therefore the lies must continue.

    They are exactly that selfish, that evil.

    They know what's coming...and are making plans to make sure that they have a public change of heart to 'green', but only after there are no such things as Democrats and Greens.

    The Republicrime Party is coming for your money and your life.

    by cskendrick on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:31:35 PM PST

    •  The Pentagon will Take Care of US (none)
      Actually, I think what they have in mind is the  "screw you, sucker" strategy.
      Pentagon Goes Crazy for Massive Climate Change

      "Turning inward, the U.S. effectively seeks to build a fortress around itself to preserve resources." U.S. borders are "strengthened to hold back starving immigrants from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean islands -- waves of boat people pose especially grim problems."

      I think we got a taste of this during Katrina.  It seems that the only thing provided from Washington was troops.

      •  The Rex 84 detention camps (none)
        must be in preparation for the massive influx of climate refugees from Central America.

        Link, link and link.

        •  Canada's got lots of real estate (none)
          If it gets hot and bothersome here, rest assured there will be no concern whatsoever about relocating.

          Indigenes aren't always nonwhite.

          In fact, among the first Christian genocides was the elimination of the original Prussians, by a combination of German and Polish knights.

          Of course, the Canadians might put up a slightly better fight.

          But consider this: It took a vastly superior fighting force thirty years to clear out and Christianize Prussia.

          I'm thinking Canada could hold off Americanization for a somewhat longer period.

          The Republicrime Party is coming for your money and your life.

          by cskendrick on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 06:10:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  So what? (4.00)
    Is what the Freepers say to this. What if we DID cut CO2 emissions by 50%? One good volcanoe could offset that in days. Or an asteroid could hit us and kill every vegan on the planet. They have a rather curious fatalism about the whole thing.

    Just musing a little here, but....the future of human technological civilation, if there is one, is in space. The planet Earth's resources, as vast as they are, are finite. Our current economy, however, and that of all humanity, is predicated on the basis of infinite growth. Infinite growth of population, infinite growth of resource harvesting, infinite growth of production of food, of goods, of services, and of the economy as a whole. To any reasonable observer blessed with God's humble gift of common sense, our entire civilization is unsustainable--unless we can develop the technology to live in space. As long as we're stuck on one planet, we need to live sustainably, or die. Or maybe both, when the asteroids hit.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:39:44 PM PST

    •  I'm Future Oil (none)
      I think our species has a great deal to give planet earth, especially in the form of piles of human bodies forming new oil reserves for use by a more enlightened species that may evolve in another million years or so.

      The earth can only hope that we all die out soon.


      It's okay to be a sheep, but not at the wheel. -- Cap'n Pluto

      by Pluto on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:49:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno (4.00)
        how far I'd go along with that. But I do wonder. Cancer cells and viruses have a nasty habit of killing off their hosts. Kind of an evolutionary dead end, if you ask me. Is humanity smarter than a virus? Or are we the result of a less-than-intelligent design?

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:55:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A more enlightened species doesn't just evolve (none)
        We're that species.  We need to work our way through this and become more enlightened.  If another species evolves in a couple billion years, they're going to be just as stupid as us.  The process of natural selection doesn't select for an enlightened technological society.  

        We need to grow beyond what we are now, not just become fatalists and hope that next time around things work out better.  How many tries does the planet get before the sun goes super nova and it's game over?  What if it turns out we're the only life out here in the universe.  We can't just go quietly into oblivion, we owe the universe more than that.  

        In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

        by Asak on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:38:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see much hope there (none)
      Doesn't it take generations to travel to another
      planet or moon in another solar system that may or may not be useful to us. I see nothing sustainable about Space Travel.  I'm still hoping we can save this planet.
      •  I'd rather (4.00)
        we do both. I was not referring so much to space travel as to the idea of gaining the ability to live in space, using solar energy and minerals from the moon and/or asteroids to sustain growth, and moving all polluting industries and energy off the Earth's surface. Earth would be used for agriculture, and as a nature preserve, with significant portions of each continent left to revert to a wilderness state of being.

        And, yeah, I know, I read too much sci-fi. Or not enough.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:06:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Our technology isn't advanced enough (none)
        Who knows, maybe eventually we'll be able to do all that stuff, but not now.  Probably not even in a hundred years.  We can't afford to sink our only ship while we're in the first stages of learning how to build a dug-out canoe.  

        In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

        by Asak on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:39:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if somebody doesn't invest in this technology (none)
          it won't happen.

          Conversely, while our technology is up to putting a demo Solar Power Satellite up now, assuming one is willing to save money using Russian rocket boosters... the enabling technology required for the exploitation of space resources is something cheaper than rockets for launching into orbit. We need to get things into orbit for tens of dollars per pound, not thousands of dollars per pound.

          The possibilities:


          • blimp-to-orbit Biggest problem discussed by the involved parties was getting ion-drives considerably better than discussed in the public research. Such ion drives are now under development in EU.
          • Space Elevator. The biggest problem is the obvious one, materials to build a 20K mile high self-supporting structure. Carbon nanotubes are theoretically strong enough, but nobody has ever built even a 100 meter long CNT cable, let alone a 20K cable. Long shot, but interesting.
          • electromagnetic rail gun ... a great deal of research was done on this in connection with StarWars (SDI ... for the younger people around here, Reagan's planned anti-missile defense system) The hardware actually was by and large feasible, but nobody could write the software to run it.) I mention this last because while I judge this possible using today's technology, it's the most expensive option, the rail gun will have to be about 70 miles long and would probably take over $100 billion to construct. (IIRC, that's for a 40 gravity railgun) Of course... how much did the US railroad system that made exploiting the American West cost-effective cost to build?

          Solve the problems with any of the above and the Solar System is on our doorstep... and most immediately, Solar Power Satellites become feasible in the near term. We know how to make space-grade solar cells, we know how to transmit power via microwave.  

          One of the above is likely to be built in the next generation, probably a lot faster if large amounts of money is dumped into the project.

          Actually, I expect this to happen. Whether it will be done by Americans or governments smarter than ours has proven to be ... is in part, up to us.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 10:13:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Recommended... (none)

    "I will make a bargain with the Republicans. If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." -- Adlai Stevenson

    by Scientician on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 06:42:09 PM PST

  •  When I Read This Topic on the Right (none)
    About the idea that global warming is past the point of no return, the general consensus is:

    "Good. Now maybe the tree-huggers will shut the hell up and go away."

    What a world.


    It's okay to be a sheep, but not at the wheel. -- Cap'n Pluto

    by Pluto on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:03:14 PM PST

  •  One thing that seems fishy (none)
    The article claims that "Greenland's current net ice loss is equivalent to an annual 0.008 inch sea level rise."

    .008" * 100 years is 0.8"

    Combine this with the fact that melting of the polar ice cap has no net effect on global sea level (since it is already floating in the sea), and the fact that the Antarctic ice sheet has not been melting suggests that the threat from rising ocean levels is not particularly great considering current trends.

    Certainly, it is expected that things will accelerate as time goes on. But looking at this data as evidence that ocean levels will rise catastrophically means that you probably aren't taking a critical look at the data.

    Global warming is definitely a serious issue, which we must face now. But science is about looking at the data first, and coming to conclusions. If you look at some "not-particularly-impressive" data, and then claim that the sky is falling, it doesn't bring credit to your argument.

    Also, the comment that "Earth is warming much faster than some researchers had predicted" seems a bit misleading also. The Earth has been warming much SLOWER than most researchers had predicted 20 years ago, if I recall correctly. It's warming much faster than the anti-global warming crew predicted. Suggesting that Global Warming is outpacing the estimates of researchers is very misleading.

    congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

    by bartman on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:05:40 PM PST

    •  re: greenland (none)
      At at the fall AGU meeting back in December the ice changes in Greenland was a hot research topic and it sounds like a lot of smart folks are looking at it but if I remember right there wasn't a good agreement between the the various estimation methods.  People looking at the retreat of coastal glaciers were seeing an accelerated loss of water but and so were the people doing fly overs but the scientists using satellites were seeing a small net increase.  So, for sure there's a lot of change and the coastal glaciers are in retreat but the net water balance sounded like it was still up in the air.
    •  Only if you take Michael Crichton's word for it (none)
      1. As RealClimate reports, Crichton and other Republicans are particularly fond of distorting Hansen's Congressional testimony to make it look like he claimed there was going to be a huge rate of increase. Hansen presented 3 curves, one where we take agressive action to curb warming, one where things proceed according to moderate model predictions, and one showing model results predicting more rapid increases in CO2 and temperature. Crichton in his book follows the Republican practice of showing only the rapid curve. In fact, until the last few years warming has matched the middle curve very closely. Now that China has come on line, the rate of warming seems to be picking up measurably (again, as predicted). We are very lucky that so far Antarctica has remained cooler, but it looks like that is starting to change as Jeff Masters at Weatherunderground.com notes:
      It's sobering to note that even the Antarctic showed a net warming for 2005. The Antarctic had been the only land area on the globe to have cooler than average temperatures the past decade. If 2005 signals an end to this Antarctic cooling trend, we can expect a higher rate of global sea level rise in coming years as Antarctic melting increases.
      (Be sure to check out the entire blog entry, including the image showing temperature anomalies for 2005 -- we live on a pretty red planet)
      2. The sea level rise that we have experience so far (and it is significant enough that some Pacific islands are in the process of being abandoned) is due to thermal expansion. And we've just started down that long road:
      Contrary to popular belief, most global sea-level rise to date is caused by thermal expansion, not melting of ice. As ocean waters warm, they expand at a predictable rate in response to temperature. During the twentieth century, driven by warming waters, the global sea level rose 4 to 8 inches. This century, sea level is expected to rise between 4 and 35 inches, according to the IPCC, with mid-range values (a little more than 18 inches) more likely than either extreme. Sea levels will continue to rise for centuries, even if new emissions of CO2 were limited tomorrow, because to date, only a fraction of the ocean--the warmest water that lies on the surface--has been warmed by higher temperatures. It will take hundreds or thousands of years for all the water in the ocean to be exposed to our warmer planet, so coastal inundation, erosion, storm damage, contamination of freshwater supplies, and rising water tables are problems that will be around for a long time.
    •  not floating ice (none)
      The ice in question is over land.

      -7.00,-7.74 "He is a bad version of us! No more money for him."

      by subtropolis on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 08:54:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a sad fact that (none)
    the only way to get BushCo and the corporate powers-that-be to pay any attention to global warming is if they find a way where they can make a profit.  All they care about is lining their pockets.  

    Unfortunately, doing something about global warming would require most Americans to be inconvenienced and would result in a loss of corporate profits, rather than a gain, so nothing is going to be done until it's way too late.      

    •  and the kicker is (4.00)
      that it doesn't haven't to be this way.

      all the money spent in Iraq -- between one and two trillion when all is said and done -- could have advanced scientific research and technology that would have employed thousands more and put us on the cutting edge (where we USED to be) of developing alternative energy. Leading the world to real peace and prosperity.  

      It makes me sick. Bush worries about his legacy. I think what may have been and I just shudder at his sheer stupidity and ignorance and shortsightedness.

      What a fucking disgrace he is, and all of them.

      "I did NOT have sex with that lobbyist!"

      by donailin on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:07:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Global Warming = Reduced Heating Bills... (none)
    The only reason the Repulicans have not claimed ownership of global warming to reduce home heating bills is because no one has figured out how to privatize it! Once they get a handle on that, they'll readily take credit for it, and give a tax credit to the oil companies. LOL

    Sorry, I couldn't resist, and I'm very tired.

    •  That reminds me of an SNL back in the 70's (none)
      Where Nader was host, playing an oil company exec talking about the drive to go to solar energy.  The oil exec was explaining how to make it a reality:  "First, we would have to own the sun."
  •  Hansen is a hero (4.00)
    ..and has been a hero for a long time.  He's been proactive for the better part of a decade now--and was one of the first to make credible--on the validity of the (now obvious) onset of global warming.  Good for him, and for us, that he's not backing down.

    "Give me liberty or give me death"

    by Alabama Bill on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:16:42 PM PST

  •  From Saturday's NYT article on this: (4.00)
    Where scientists' points of view on climate policy align with those of the administration, however, there are few signs of restrictions on extracurricular lectures or writing.

    One example is Indur M. Goklany.....

    Indur M. Goklany, Clearing the Air: The Real Story of the War on Air Pollution (Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 1999).

    Indur M. Goklany, The Precautionary Principle: A Critical Appraisal of Environmental Risk Assessment (Washington, DC: Cato, 2001).

    Indur M. Goklany, Living With Global Warming (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Policy Analysis, 2005)

    "global warming is unlikely to be the most important environmental problem facing the world, at least for most of the remainder of this century."

    Indur M. Goklany, Technology Helps the Earth "Factors Affecting Environmental Impacts: The Effect of Technology on Long-term Trends in Cropland, Air Pollution, and Water-related Diseases," in Ambio (December 1996), Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Box 50005, S-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden.

    Air pollution. While federal laws such as the Clean Air Act of 1970 helped reduce air pollution, rising incomes have enabled consumers to replace coal-fueled furnaces and wood-burning stoves with cleaner natural gas heaters. And increasing population meant more customers for natural gas pipelines, ensuring lower costs for this more environmentally friendly fuel.

    Some of Goklany's work is listed on junkscience.com

  •  Please don't troll me on this (none)
    but I don't know what to believe.  Read Michael Crighton's "State of Fear."  I know that is a novel, but it is one hell of a novel.  

    "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - 1984 - George Orwell

    by elveta on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:27:50 PM PST

    •  Uh. . I'm going to believe the scientists (4.00)
      before I believe the fiction writer.

      I'm funny like that when it comes to reality.

      "I did NOT have sex with that lobbyist!"

      by donailin on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:55:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  PLEASE read this about Crichton (4.00)
      A thorough analysis of State of Fear from RealClimate.
      Also this, by Michael B. McElroy and Daniel Schrag. McElroy is Harvard's Butler professor of environmental studies, who recently concluded his service as faculty director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the post Daniel P. Schrag, professor of earth and planetary sciences, now holds.
      •  Thank you for that (none)
        Because it was quit a compelling novel.  

        "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - 1984 - George Orwell

        by elveta on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:07:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I won't troll rate you, but... (4.00)
      I wouldn't take anything Crichton writes without a liberal dose of sodium chloride. He is a novelist, not a scientist.
      •  Even worse (none)
        Even worse is the fact that he seems to believe that commercial success as a writer (which he's had lots of) means he knows what he's talking about whenever he writes anything, including fiction.

        I have more than a passing connection with fiction writing, and I can tell you without hesitation that Crichton's Disease is very common.

    •  Do you think we're cloning dinosaurs too? (none)
      Geeze, don't take scientific advice from a second-rate hack like Crichton.  

      In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

      by Asak on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:42:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Poorly written book (none)
      I made the mistake of buying this as an airplane ride book, coming home from Christmas break.

      I disagree on a couple levels: besides his selective "science", his prose was just awful: leaden, mechanical, yet zooey-pow-ey, full of manly action men who are the only ones who can pierce the secrets of the EVIL global warming--environmental complex. As a reward for his righteous fight, the nerdish lawyer turns into a Clark Kent type and wins the alpha babe (the voluptuous blonde martial arts expert, conveniently non-threatening as the executive assistant to one of the millionaire manly men).

      His characters repeatedly made miraculous escapes from certain death every chapter---I actually started hoping they'd die so the book would end!

      •  Crichton is a hack (4.00)
        His writing evolution stopped at Andromeda Strain. He is a great example of the potential issues with early success. His novels read like TV screenplays, with the cliffhangers at the end of chapters so obvious that you start looking for the commercials to kick in at the break. And as said, his sentences are painful to the trained ear.

        A very bright guy, from what I hear, but a stunted novelist, and an example of how ego and massive wealth can distort ones thought process.

  •  Suggestion (4.00)
    I thought that this might be a good time to float an idea of an online library for information on global warming.  This library would be composed of links to articles that have appeared on climate change elsewhere in the meida.

    The articles could be catalogued geographically, so that one could look up
    articles that would be of interest to people who live in particular regions of
    the country.

    Maybe there could be a map of the United States, and from there, you could click
    on your particular region (east coast, west coast, south, upper midwest, etc.)
    to get a notion of how that region is being affected by global warming, and how it might be affected by global warming in the future.  When one clicked on the east coast, for example,
    one might find a list of links to news articles that focused on the dangers of
    flooding to coastlines.

    By clicking on the midwestern zone, a reader would find articles the effect that
    global warming would have on the Great Lakes and on the agriculture of the
    great plains.

    By clicking on the south, a reader could find links to articles on the
    relationship between global warming and hurricanes.

    By clicking on Alaska, one would find articles that discuss the effects of
    permafrost melting.

    It also might be a good idea to have global warming articles conveniently
    indexed along the following categories--

    1) The response of businesses to global warming--here you could have all kinds
    of articles dealing with how ceo's and various companies (e.g., insurance) are
    struggling to deal with the consequences of climate change.

    1. The effect of global warming on agriculture and food prices.

    2. The effect of global warming on fishing.

    3. The effects of global warming on various animal species.

    4. Articles by political conservatives warning about global warming.

    With articles catalogued in such a fashion, people who wanted to alert their
    friends, relatives, or elected representatives about the dangers of global
    warming would have an easy time selecting articles to forward by e-mail.

    For example, if one had a cousin who was a b-school student, one could forward
    the items exploring how businesses are seeking to cope with global warming.  If
    one had a relative in coastal Alabama, one could forward the articles on the
    links between global warming and hurricanes.  If one had an uncle who had voted
    Republican since 1964, one could forward the article by a conservative
    political commentator warning about the dangers of global warming.  If one had
    a relative who was an animal lover, one could forward articles on how various
    species are being threatened by global warming.  If one needed to convince a
    Republican state representative in Kansas that global warming was a real
    threat, one could forward the article that examines the potential consequences
    of global warming for the great plains.

    Anyway, these are just some ideas--I know very little about how to set up a website, but I thought that this might be a good way to organize information on the topic.  

    •  This (4.00)
      is an amazingly excellent idea!

      If a group gets together I would love to be a part of this.

      •  Be sure to include this site (none)
        ExxonSecrets.org has various ways of showing all the different global warming institutions and people that Exxon supports. For example, they have a nice flash animation that lets you follow networks of connections.
      •  Thanks! (none)

        Thanks for your comment!  What I was thinking for a start was simply a website (minus the map bells and whistles) where people could forward articles on issues in certain categories, such as--

        1)Effect of global warming on

        South
        Northeast
        Midwest and great plains
        Mountain west
        Pacific coast
        Alaska/Hawaii

        2) Effect of global warming on agriculture

        3)Effect of global warming on Fishing

        1. Corporate concerns about warming

        2. Corporate efforts to muffle debate on warming.

        People could then forward links, as well as cut
        and paste excerpts from articles, under various categories. (That way, if the link eventually goes dead, you still have a citation and an excerpt to work with).  Eventually, someone with decent webskills could organize these listings more effectively. There are a lot of entries on these topics in dkos and other sites, referring to articles, but many of these are more or less forgotten once they disappear from the screen.  This would also be a chance for a lot of these diary entries to have a new lease on life.

        Is there any chance that this could be piggybacked onto dkos encyclopedia?

        I'm thinking of announcing this proposal as a diary later this week.

    •  Great Idea (none)
      When I was researching the topic the other day for an article, there was no central "library" with links relevant to location and specific experiences.

      There are other spin-off topics, as well, I would like to see indexed or tagged. For example, I was looking for information about the post-warming catastrophe and how and where to deal with the coming changes.

      (I personally don't think there is any point in wasting further resources trying to stop global warming, politically or economically. I think resources should now be focused on monitoring changes and helping people and species survive the inevitable -- as best they can.)

      Anyway, I would love to see a large-scale resource such as you propose. Perhaps it's out there, but I haven't found it.


      It's okay to be a sheep, but not at the wheel. -- Cap'n Pluto

      by Pluto on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:15:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wasting? (none)
        Let's not stop being drunks. Let's just put better air bags in our cars?

        We have vast choices ahead of us. Every single one of them should be informed by the desire to minimize climate change.

        Further, we can't well prepare for the effects, because we don't really know what the fuck they'll be. This is an extremely complex system we're discombobulating, and many different localities are going to spin outside of control in unpredictable ways. It is much easier to predict stable systems than destabilized ones.

        So we'd better do all we can to maximize the degree to which we get a future we can prepare for, rather than one that's so crazy that only extreme luck will let any particular band of people survive for a while.

  •  Silly (4.00)
    Silly me, I thought the government had a responsibility to protect its citizens, not coverup and do nothing in face of imminent catastrophe.

    I don't know what planet you've been picking your bananas from, but on this planet citizens don't enter into the equation. There are no endangered species, only endangered profit.

    Wages get driven down to the point where citizens can't consune? Easy. Offshore to the Marianas, and retail through Wally*World.

    Personal bankruptcy? Easy. Protect the banks.

    In the contemorary repub model, we are but turnips awaiting our harvest.

    •  not only that: (none)
      The upcomming use of nuclear weapons against Iran will take care of global warming via the "nuclear winter" scenario.
      Given their track record, I am sure that bushco will carefully calculate the yields to balance things out nicely.
      •  you know what -- that's an interesting thought. (none)
        what would happen if we did something to... block the arctic sky?  like, we could build some kind of shield, either out of particles in the sky (environmentally risky?) or even build a big sail that would orbit over the icecaps or important areas that needed to be cooled to stabilize the climate.

        big, but like, apollo big?  

        i'm thinking that if we don't get a solution to this problem as like, THE campaign issue in 2008, we are definitely beyond fucked.

        Mr. Gore, please... please stand up.

      •  Disproven (none)
        Climatologists now dismiss the nuclear winter scenario, which was popular a few decades ago.  The assumption was that if all the thousands of nuclear weapons the US and the Soviet bloc and China had were detonated, enough dust would be kicked up to shroud the earth and reflect the sun's heat away.  

        Dropping atomic bombs on Iran would not even begin to produce enough dust to change climate trends.  Compared to a big volcano, like Pinataubo, an atomic bomb is a tiny firecracker.

        Furthermore, the stupidity of using even a small nuclear weapon against people in the Middle East is so enormous that I believe that the military would refuse to deliver the weapon to the target and that Bush would be deposed.

        We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein

        by Plan9 on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 09:22:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  doing nothing (none)
      Doing nothing in the face of catastrophe is what Bush does best. You're doing a heckuva job, Georgie!
    •  Marianas sink? (none)
      Not gonna be so easy to offshore to an island nation in a few years.
  •  Not a FUCKING HOUR goes by (none)
    when I am not reading yet another article on the scandalous behaviour of this criminal administration.

    Fucking CRIMINALS!

    I am at a loss for words anymore, nothing but vulgarity is all I have left.

    "I did NOT have sex with that lobbyist!"

    by donailin on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 07:54:15 PM PST

    •  I know, my husband and I both commented (none)
      on the fact that more of what has been done in this administration is illegal than legal.  How is it that Clinton was .... oh I forgot....sex bad...illegal war and spying and campaigne finance and yada yada yada.

      I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

      by panicbean on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 08:00:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  warming-cooling (none)
    For the last 800K years, every global warming has been followed by a cooling, either an ice age or a "little ice age." With the gulf stream about 37% is baseline (1950's) flow, we must be getting really, really close to the tipping point. My guess is that the best we can hope for in coming decades is a little ice age like the 1400s-1800s; at worst, Boston will be under a glacier sometime this century.
  •  this IS scary! (none)
    In addition to political action, we need to do what we can as citizens. If you want to get started in your own life, check out my site http://www.dailygranola.com and please please send it to friends.

    Also if you are looking to live off the grid, I can put you in touch with some people I know who have done it on the cheap and some who have done it on the expensive.

  •  It's Already Too Late (4.00)
    I don't have the time, motivation or the energy to dissect that Washington Post article, but you can find the info easy enough. Google independent, lovejoy, global warming.

    The WaPo is full of shit. Surprise.

    200 years my fucking ass. My only comforting thought is these naysayers and enablers will be despised soon.

    I've held off writing a diary about this cause if there's even a .00001% chance that we can do something, we should try.

    But a .00001% chance is optimistic. The atmosphere already has more greenhouse gases than at any time in the last 600,000 years. I wish I could type 600,000 in all caps.

    So it has already begun. And here's the clincher: if we stopped releasing any GH gases today, I mean zero discharge - no cars, no power plants, completely stopped the world engine - it would take anywhere from 100 to 300 years for the existing GH gases to be absorbed.

    And it's even worse: the majority will be absorbed by the oceans dramatically increasing their acidity. This will destroy much ocean life.

    It is possible ocean life will already be destoyed before this happens as a new study predicts that even a moderate increase in ocean temperatures will wipe out plankton cutting the food chain.

    See why I didn't even bother to diary this. My wife is due to have a baby in June. I can't even think about it for long.

    So my file transfer is almost done. I'm setting up a computer for my nephew to record music. Some really cool shit. But posterity is a loaded word to me now.

    My only comforting thought is that George Bush probably live long enough to see his real legacy. And to endure the wrath of the entire world for however many generation will follow. History will show not ignorance, but will negligence. It will show that he and his oil buddies were presented with the truth and sold off our very future for a few dollars more. For a bigger yacht.

    Hey, I think SNL is on. Wonder if it'll be funny.

    •  Frickin' awesome post (none)
      TocqueDeville.  I bow down to this - your thoughts presented here is what is on my mind; only difference is that I don't have a baby due anytime soon.

      Jerome recently posted a diary on how energy will be the topic of 2006.  I don't disagree, but I think it's gonna be a combo: energy and global warming.  They're kinda hand in hand, if you ask me.

      I'm doing my best to remain optimistic:  going back to school, embarking on new creative projects, looking forward to 10, 20 years down the road - but it's been hard.  And reading reports like these don't make it any easier to stay optimistic.  I think we still have a chance - but we'll have a better chance with Cheney, Bush and their slimy ilk out of the way. That'll be the only way for the US to get fully onboard to save this planet.

      "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."- "V" in "V for Vendetta

      IMPEACH Bush

      by smugbug on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:47:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, we're toast . . . (none)
      as it were. Tipping point is past. If nothing else, the melting permafrost and concommitant release of methane and CO2 has already done it. Then there's the plankton die off, already started by some accounts.

      It's a done deal.

      Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

      by CarbonFiberBoy on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 10:31:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  cost of extreme weather rising rapidly (4.00)
  •  Seriously .. it's already too late (none)
    short of making radical changes to reverse some of the poisoning we are doing to the planet, there are permanent changes going on that will impact future generations.

    Global climate change via warming, which has clearly already begun to wreak havoc on normal weather patterns is perhaps the least of our environmental troubles. We can hope to mitigate the worst of it's effects - frankly, I think it will take perhaps 10 years of severe disruptions in the normal weather patterns, or even longer for the f**** politicians to finally figure that out.

    There is going to be lots of sick {changes in the environment will shift patterns of mold, viruses and other illnesses} and dead people. People will lose their homes permanently, by the tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions as a response to these changes.

    But the bigger threat is that Mankind has been poisoning the air and water of the planet with substances that are causing massive species extinction. This is not new to the Bush Administration, this has been happening for over one hundred years. Once polluted, it is very expensive to reclaim places taken past the tipping point - and the species that are lost, are lost forever, further upsetting the balance of nature.

    Of course, the continued denial by Corp Bush of the impact of chemical wastes being spewed into aquifers, lakes, streams, landfills, the air and the oceans and continued support of industrial interests over that of nature itself isn't helping any.

    What troubles me is the relative silence of most policians - one of the brightest exceptions to that is Al Gore.

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 09:42:12 PM PST

  •  The Hottest Year Ever? (none)
    The most hurricanes ever?

    The warmest winter ever?

    All this heat.  When did this start?  Seriously, did it start last spring?  Something tipped about a year or so ago.  Maybe the tip took a year, or started a year ago and is taking a year.

    I'm sorta scared.  I live on the Gulf.  Can I come back up north and be a Yankee again?

    I need to make more Canadian chat friends.

    When you say "river valleys are good places to run to" what do you mean?  Like mountain river valleys, or Ol' Miss'?  The Ohio River?  

    And as far as giving up my air-conditioning?  Like hell I will.  But I am going to get in on a clean energy supplier.  Next $20k I have to spare I'm going solar.

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 10:54:40 PM PST

  •  And again I ask (none)
    What can be done to force traditional media to actually offer the news that will impact our lives?
    •  Yeah (none)
      I'm showing up to picket King George when he visits Nashville Wednesday, and I just can't decide what to put on my sign:

      • At least Nixon had brains
      • George W. Bush: Killing us all, one drop at a time
      • Never in history have so few taken so much from so many

      Maybe I'll make one of those sandwich boards and festoon logos all over it...

      The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Eleanor A on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 11:15:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also (none)
    I read a recent article that was a little on the tinfoil end of the spectrum but it talked about a weatherman that quit his job to report on the bizarre increase in contrails and cloud formations across the US.

    His theory was that the government has been running flights everyday to create contrails and other weather patterns that facilitate cloud cover and rain production to help counter the increase in global temperature.  

    The article talked about how he had identified cloud formations that seemed to follow a grid pattern and were not natural.

    Now I don't know if this is true or if this guy was smoking something, but it does give us all something to think about.

    (if by "criminalization of politics" you mean politics being taken over by criminals, you are absolutely correct)

    by Drezden on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 11:50:47 PM PST

    •  yes, i think "ignorant" (none)
      (The ex-meteorolgist, that is)

      I saw an article about that guy a few days ago. I had the disinct feeling that he'd become too much of an embarrassment to the station he worked for and had "agreed" to leave.

      Search on google for "chemtrails" and you'll find more than you'd probably like. You'll see all sorts of images of contrail clusters. Apparently, this is evidence of some evil plan. If one hangs around areas below continental air traffic paths, many of these contrails will be evident. But it's only evidence of our crowded skies. Nothing more.

      Now, that isn't to say that these contrails don't have something to do with the weather. In fact, some scientists have been studying how aircraft traffic may affect the climate for some time now. In the few days after the incidents of 01-09-11, you'll remember, the skies were cleared of all air traffic. This was unprecedented and afforded these scientists the opportunity to make some very helpful measuements. See more: Shutdown of airlines aided contrail studies.

      -7.00,-7.74 "He is a bad version of us! No more money for him."

      by subtropolis on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 09:20:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Demand Destruction" (4.00)
    The economic cost of Peak oil is 'Demand Destruction'  -- Global Warming will provide it.

    Much of Africa and the crowded regions of South and Central Asia will DIE.  As lack of petrolium resources in the 2010s reduces available fertilizers, the 'Green Revolution' will be rolled back. Global Warming will greatly change currently arable land:  If super hot summers are what we can expect in Nebraska and Iowa, Corn and wheat won't grow there like it does now.  Rice paddies may dry up from rainfall changes, or become salt-water infested from rising sea levels.  

    A massive die-off is almost inevitable.  Right now, the #1 cause of Starvation is inability to transport food to where the people are hungry.  Peak Oil will greatly increase that problem.  If 67-83% of the world's cut current population population (a reduction from our current 6.6 Billion to between 1 and 2 Billion), it would would greatly resolve the energy problem.  The ECONOMIC and PSYCHOLOGICAL devastation that would follow from such a die off is almost incalculable.  Several Indian tribes in the 1890s, losing thosands of menbers to war and disease, saw the last few tens of survivors die from apparently nothing, literally losing the will to live after their livelihoods, culture, and families all died.  Similar things are coming for the least-well prepared parts of the world.  Relatively wealthy countries in the developed world will use their militaries to try to control the overwhelming flood of refugees.  They will still be profoundly changed.  The US, still blessed at the moment with abundant coal resources, could see one of the smallest changes, though its midwest breadbasket will be slowly desertifying, leading to difficult food production problems even within the US. (Desertification is happening in the US: Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma are in decade-long droughts, and the water resources are slowly disappearing, but its not as rapid or as thorough as Central Asia or the Horn of Africa) The Mexican Border might well be overwhelmed with Refugees.  Even in the US you might see a sharp population decline.

    Europe is going to be best off from this (as they are better prepared and have a declining population already, along with a number of river valleys and areas with a 2000 year history of local self sufficiency.

    Oil Shortages will add to these problems, eventually resulting in FOOD shortages.  It takes 6 barrels of oil per cow from Birth in the British Midlands to market in London(!), nevermind cattle from Texas to your table.   the Food on your table travels an average of 2500 miles to get there.  there is a metric F#CKTON of oil in the fertilizer, transport, and preparation of food in the US, an estimate of something like 10 Calories of petrolium products per Calorie of food.  And if you think Organic Food isolates you from this, you're dead wrong.  Organic may use less, but its still around 8 or 9 Calories of oil per Calorie of food, because the fertilizer is all you cut out -- they still use tractors, package the food, and transport it long distances.

    This situation is quite probable if the moderate warming trends continue -- and its clearly accellerating: In 2001, most scientists preicted an ice-free Kilamanjaro in central Africa between 2015 ad 2020, a frighteningly rapid death of the Glacier.  It was ice free in 2004!  The Permafrost in Alaska has retreated over 100 miles in the last 5 years, releasing more carbon than New York and Los Angeles put together.

    It is TOO LATE to prevent warming.  2005 was the warmest year in recorded history, surpassing 1998, the previous warmest year.  1998 was a particularly strong el Nino year. 2005 had NO El Nino to speak of. The Final HURRICANE of 2005 was still churning on December 31st! 2006 is shaping up to be just as warm, as people are already commenting on the lack of much 'winter' weather everywhere.  Here in NC, the local Weatherman announced last week that 'Winter just seems to have been cancelled.' -- we've had temps more like October running all winter long. Just last week there was already a Tropical Disturbance in the Carribean.  It didn't amount to anything,  but its much too early for such things.

    Myself, I'm pretty depressed on this.  We've known the trouble with oil was coming since the 1970s, and with global warming since the early 1980s.  We've done almost nothing about either one.  The only thing we did do right was fixing the Ozone layer -- Ozone has been steadily improving since 1999, and is expected to be fully restored between 2020 and 2050, which is good, but not enough on its own.

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Sat Jan 28, 2006 at 11:53:23 PM PST

    •  a metric F#CKTON (none)
      Funny as Hell.  I'm using this from now on.

      It'll have alot more impact than -we must reduce by 7 Giga Tonnes per annum the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere or we get CO2 runaway.  We are putting 8 metric FUCKTONS in the air now.

      James

      •  no chance (none)
        400 billion metric tonnes of methane are entering the atmosphere right now from the melt off of the perma frost.  we canot reduce the carbon burden. very soon - less than 5 years over 10,000 billion metric tonnes of methane will enter the atmosphere from the loss of the artic ice cover over the shelf off of siberia where most of it is deposited.  way tooo late.
        nothing humanity can do will stop these releases.

        it is our cares which organize the human mind....

        by wildwisefree on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 08:36:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  PBS' Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda (none)
    has an excellent episode on the topic that can be view online using Realplayer. The title of the episode is Hot  Planet - Cold Comfort I highly recommend it.
  •  Wind (none)
    What I have noticed over the past couple of years in New England is the increased winds.  We seem to get 30 mile an hour winds much more often, every couple of days.  This means a real change in how often we have more intense pressure gradients.  Also, I have arthritis, not bad, but when we have low pressure my joints ache, and this winter my joints have been aching every other day,  No long stretches of cold clear high pressure, rollercoaster temps and little or big storms every couple of days.  My husband has been complaining that the ground is not frozen, we have a dirt drive and when he plows, if the ground is soft, it is all too easy to plow up the driveway along with the snow.
    We had bare ground a week or so ago.  In January!!
    Also, as I have mentioned before, odd bugs moving north, invading buildings in the fall, finding stink bugs in my bed during the winter, we never had stink bugs in the past!

    We believe in prosperity & opportunity, strong communities, healthy families, great schools, investing in our future and leading the world by example.

    by nhselectwoman on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 04:08:07 AM PST

  •  great diary, recc'd (none)
    writing from a mountain valley in yurp....

    peeps say 'why do they hate america?'

    terrorists don't seem to care about global warming, but while millions of world citizens being taught ecology all over the world don't hate america, they sure hate the gang that hijacked it, and the terrible consequences for the rest of the planet.

    if we quit so much meat eating (see 'Chew this',a great diary on eurotrib), we could support the planet's present population, and maybe more.

    it's greed that's ruining our ONLY habitat, just like it's greed stirring up the middle east to nuclear heat, and it's greed in the 'non-negotiable lifestyle'  (bush 1) of suvs and burgers that's despoiling this fragile, precious ecosystem.

    fucking assholes...like a bunch of piggy vandals throwing spanners in the most delicate of works.

    thank goddess for dkos, my spiritual web-home, it has given me back my faith in american ingenuity, intelligence, imagination, know-how and brilliant wit.

    kossaks rock and we euros are major rooting for you to take back your country; we're sorry we modelled so many rapacious behaviours during the last centuries; a lot of us have seen the light and we're trying to beam it in your direction.

    let's join together for a saner world, stat!

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Sun Jan 29, 2006 at 04:28:46 AM PST

  •  Move uphill, (none)
    move north, and safeguard your food supply.

    We've passed the tipping point.  Millions
    will die.  There will be mass extinctions.  It's too late.  And it's all Bush's fault.  Sigh.

  •  Important story, (none)
    Living on a little speck of land in the middle of the Pacific I feel this is the most important story on the planet.
  •  When... (none)
    I read this stuff I sink into a deep depression as I realize its just about all over...

    So this is how it ends... with the greediest troglodytes ever riding the wheels of civilization all the way down...

    It's because of stuff like this that it became unbearable to even speak to all the Bush-supporting, pod-people in my family.

  •  I must agree (none)
    The tipping is probably long past, and the last six years of the Misrule of Bush the Lesser is greatly compounding the damage.

    Here in what was the frozen North, we are on our way to having the warmest January in the 125 years that weather records have been kept in Montana. We have spring wildflowers not ususually seen until late March, blooming in early January, for cripe's sake.

    It will take an enormous change in our country, (not to speak of our politics) just to begin to slow the massive changes that our profligate use of fossil fuels have caused to the climate system.

  •  We can't wait for Bush and the ReThugs (none)
    Instead, it's time to take action at the state level immediately.  Or we're screwed.

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