Drayton's Gazette discusses social and political issues happening around the globe through the eyes of the African American, minority and disaffected communities.

Global Warming a Concern for Us All by: V. Lyn

Here is the world when the temperature has risen by 4 degrees.

At six…

Scientist agree that even if we act now in a measurable and significant way some warming is inevitable. While some warming is natural and cyclical, some of  the damage we HUMANS have created is already in the atmosphere and will not be reduced no matter what we do, however we can make changes NOW to mitigate man-made carbon dioxide and other green house gas increases to our atmosphere. While we have already “screwed the pooch” as we said in the military,  that does not mean that we can not turn back the dial and stopped adding to what is potentially the most catastrophic problem to face civilization. 

Governments and the scientific community,( the ones that are not pandering to corporations or political parties which would rather turn a blind eye to science), are already looking towards programs that will help us adapt and survive the changes to our world. Local governments are making plans to address the raising sea levels and the damage it can cause, such as coastal erosion and the limiting of high risk development along coastal areas. Many are underway making plans to create “living buffer” systems of sand dunes and forest. Philadelphia has created emergency response programs to address the future rise of heat wave illnesses and deaths.  These programs are however not the most radical or aggressive that are underway or are in discussion. 166 communities in Alaska are at risk for coastal flooding due to thawing permafrost, high winds and coastal erosion, (I am sure Sarah Palin) will not be in her beloved Alaska when the water rises, perhaps she will say she had never heard about the threat to those coastal communities or at the very least can’t recall whether she had or not, which could be a viable argument for her since she does remember what news papers she reads. Thinkprogress reported; Sarah Palin has claimed that studies showing polar bears are threatened by global warming are “snake oil science.” Speaking in Redding, CA, at the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference, Palin argued that the science of climate change is really just a plot to hurt oil companies. “Those promoting polar bear listing really want to shut down oil and gas leasing in Arctic coastal waters off Alaska,” Palin argued.  While I say that Sarah Palin and the majority of the Republican party are in bed with corporations and doing their bidding  “Get up off your knees Sarah, pull up your skirt, wipe your mouth, fix you lipstick and try using what you consider to be a brain.” Then again those promoting the fact that you have a brain maybe just spewing “snake oil”…   Nasa Earth Observatory blog states that 6 of the 166 communities have already decided to move at a cost of 30-50 million per community for transfer to safer areas is the estimate made by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

The need to reduce our carbon imprint is unquestionable (unless you are in the pocket of big business or a republican). For all those who worry about the growth of the deficit that our children might inherit it maybe wiser still to worry about a world that our children may… OR may not inherit. Estimates indicate that if we each cut our carbon imprint by 5% we can keep the dangerous carbon dioxide levels from increasing to irreversible and cataclysmic levels.

There are added benefits, as if saving the planet isn’t enough, to implementing policy to decrease global warming. The reduction in petroleum usage would mean less dependency on foreign fuel. There are other side benefits as the scientific research has proven as noted in a 2010 Board of Atmospheric Science and Climate, one of which would be an economic benefits. Interestingly another study conducted by Andrea Liverani…

Andrea Liverani

Andrea Liverani's picture
World Development Report 2010

…indicated that the two countries that were the least concerned about global warming and climate change were the ones that thought they were least likely to be affected adversely by it …these two countries were America and Russia… I will let you draw your own conclusions on what that finding says about us as a nation. 

Another possible solution being considered  as a last resort  to combat the damage that we have created is geoengineering. Geoengineering is the deliberate changing of the earths atmosphere, land and/or ocean. This method would be utilized until the effects of global warming can be reduced enough to prevent catastrophic climate change.  Geoengineering is considered very risky and a last minute tool…I for one don’t want to get to the last minute…not for myself, my  daughter, grandson, nor the other people I love…Do you?  

Here are a list of references that are posted on Nasa EO site :

  • America’s Climate Choices. (2010, May). Adapting to the impacts of climate change. National Research Council of the National Academies. Accessed July 16, 2010.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2007). Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change
    Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
  • Pacala, S., and Socolow, R. (2004) Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies. Science, 305 (5686), 968-972.
  • Parkinson, C. L. (2010). Coming Climate Crisis? Consider the Past, Beware the Big Fix. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Robock, A., Marquardt, A., Kravitz, B, and Stenchikov, G. (2009, October 2). Benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L19703.
  • Further Reading

  • The Carbon Mitigation Initiative, is a collaboration between Princeton University, BP, and Ford to find solutions to the global warming problem.
  • The Energy Star Website, published by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides information for individuals and businesses on making energy-conscious choices.
  • Not So Fun Facts

    1) Evidence of global warming can be seen now increased tropical and severity of storms.

    2) polar Ice caps melting.

    3)  Massive glaciers (the most recent was the size of Manhattan) are breaking and floating away to melt in the sea causing water levels to rise. From the ( WWF Blog) According to the University of Delaware press release on Friday, the ice island has a “thickness up to half the height of the Empire State Building.”  Professor Muenchow said:  “The freshwater stored in this ice island could keep the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years. It could also keep all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days,” 

    4) The Tearfund study says there are 25 million refugees already due to increase floodings or drought.

    5) Coral reefs are dying.

    6) the current water line is three times

    7) Spreading disease such as dengue fever

    8) Oceans warming as are the Artic and Antartic.

    9) Shifting animal &  plant patterns

    10) Only 13%  of GOP believe in Climate Change…. (and “seemingly” intelligent American citizens voted these people in)

     http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/gop-senate-deniers/by Brad Johnson, ThinkProgress Wonk Room Climate Editor

     http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Climate-Change/The-impact-of-climate-change-in-the-rest-of-the-world

    http://blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/category/tags/timeline

    http://www.solarpowernotes.com/global-warming-history.html

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    2 responses

    1. Scary video, but it so important that everyone watch it, thank you for posting. I don’t understand why people don’t see the risks, don’t believe it. It is so frustrating. We are the generation to act, no other generation in the history of humankind has had such a responsibility. All we can do is keep pressing forward, hoping more and more people get the message.

      November 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

      • You are so right SherryGreens, I also don’t understand why so many people refuse to either see or acknowledge the risk to our planet, and therefore to future generations. Hopefully as you said people will watch the video and then check out a variety of sites that offer solid scientific data.

        November 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm

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