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This link recently saved by shanucore on August 28, 2012
There are no comparisons to be made. This is not like war or plague or a stockmarket crash. We are ill-equipped, historically and psychologically, to understand it, which is one of the reasons why so many refuse to accept that it is happening.
What we are seeing, here and now, is the transformation of the atmospheric physics of this planet. Three weeks before the likely minimum, the melting of Arctic sea ice has already broken the record set in 2007. The daily rate of loss is now 50% higher than it was that year. The daily sense of loss – of the world we loved and knew – cannot be quantified so easily.
This link recently saved by shanucore on January 18, 2012
A comprehensive report about the climate-induced vulnerability of societies, released yesterday at COP 16 by the humanitarian research organisation DARA, throws more light on the economic and humanitarian consequences of global warming. According to the “Climate Vulnerabilty Monitor”, rising temperatures and its after effects (storm-tides, droughts, wildfires etc.) already cause up to 350,000 deaths per year. If action is not taken, this number might climb to 1 million deaths per year from 2030. Not all regions of the world would suffer in the same way: according to the study no less than 99 per cent of all mortality occurs in developing countries, and most of those affected will be children and women.
This link recently saved by shanucore on January 18, 2012
Welcome to the world of extreme energy. While the tar sands of Alberta, Canada have long been the poster child for how far the system will go to feed its addiction, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas is bringing these extreme extraction processes to the doorsteps of much greater numbers of people. The destruction of the sparsely inhabited forests of Canada may have only evoked token outrage but the sacrifice of areas much closer to major population centres is now being demanded. The desperate thirst for fossil fuels is driving the frenzy that is threatening the countryside and environments of some of the most affluent areas on the planet.
This link recently saved by shanucore on December 06, 2011
Some hard truths from African leaders at the conference included a serious discussion about who is most responsible for climate change, and failings on the part of the West when it comes to confronting the issue and seriously committing to reducing emissions. A turning of the tables occurred, with African leaders demanding that industrialized nations start taking action on the issue. Issuing demands to save the world is, of course, viewed as upstart behaviour when it comes from people who are not occupying positions of global power, especially when those people are pointing out that the people responsible for the problem should be a big part of the solution.
This link recently saved by shanucore on September 25, 2011
The greatest threat to the future of humanity is now not political brinkmanship, but paranoid indifference: the certainty that the future is both finite and short and that all we can do is burn what little of the remaining money we have and hope civilisation outlasts us.
This is a terribly foolish way to live. The anarchist thinker David Graeber writes in Debt: the First 5,000 Years that in response to the blinding obviousness of economic and ecological world buggeration, "the most common reaction - even from those who call themselves 'progressives' - is simply fear. We can no longer imagine an alternative that wouldn't be even worse." Graeber adds: "About the only thing we can imagine is catastrophe."
This link recently saved by shanucore on September 14, 2011
A pair of scientists is trying to rally public support—and funding—to help other scientists fend off attacks from climate deniers. They've launched a legal defense fund to help individual scientists like Pennsylvania State University's Michael Mann deal with the sizable legal fees that have resulted from attempts to gain access to their emails and other correspondence.
This link recently saved by shanucore on February 16, 2011
This link recently saved by shanucore on December 13, 2010
The modest deal wrangled out by the 200 countries meeting at the Mexican resort of Cancún may have done more to save a dysfunctional UN negotiating process from collapse than protect the planet against climate change, analysts said today.
"The UN climate talks are off the life-support machine," said Tim Gore of Oxfam. "The agreement falls short of the emissions cuts that are needed, but it lays out a path to move towards them."
This link recently saved by shanucore on March 15, 2010
"we do the same with the environment: we fail to take painful measures in the present that could ease our existence in the future, because we think they're too arduous – unless you're a spluttering contrarian, in which case you think the whole climate change thing is a load of trumped-up phooey anyway, and that all scientists are shifty, self-serving exaggerators, apart from the brave handful who agree with you. Hey, I'm no scientist. I'm not an engineer either, but if I asked 100 engineers whether it was safe to cross a bridge, and 99 said no, I'd probably try to find another way over the ravine rather than loudly siding with the underdog and arguing about what constitutes a consensus while trundling across in my Hummer."
This link recently saved by shanucore on November 27, 2009
"Science is so powerful that it drags us kicking and screaming towards the truth despite our best efforts to avoid it. And it does that at least partly fueled by our pettiness and our rivalries. Science is alchemy: it turns shit into gold. Keep that in mind the next time some blogger decries the ill manners of a bunch of climate scientists under continual siege by forces with vastly deeper pockets and much louder megaphones." Paul still wins at pulling out the best quotes.