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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:27 AM

The Baffling Response to Arctic Climate Change by David Suzuki

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/02/03-0

The Arctic may seem like a distant place, just as the most extreme consequences of our wasteful use of fossil fuels may appear to be in some distant future. Both are closer than most of us realize.

The Arctic is a focal point for some of the most profound impacts of climate change. One of the world's top ice experts, Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, calls the situation a "global disaster", suggesting ice is disappearing faster than predicted and could be gone within as few as four years.

"The main cause is simply global warming: as the climate has warmed there has been less ice growth during the winter and more ice melt during the summer," he told the U.K.'s Guardian.

Over the past 30 years, permanent Arctic sea ice has shrunk to half its previous area and thickness. As it diminishes, global warming accelerates. This is due to a number of factors, including release of the potent greenhouse gas methane trapped under nearby permafrost, and because ice reflects the sun's energy whereas oceans absorb it.

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Reply The Baffling Response to Arctic Climate Change by David Suzuki (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
mraponick Feb 2013 #1
XemaSab Feb 2013 #3
Ghost Dog Feb 2013 #4
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #2
mraponick Feb 2013 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:26 AM

1. Economic disincentives to change

While many of us are either drowning in Eastern Australia or killing for water in the horn of Africa, or fighting out-of-control wildfires in the American West,many countries and companies(it's hard to differentiate) see in it the opportunity to exploit untapped hydrocarbon and mineral resources. This is their last "gold rush". Every country around the Arctic Circle is vying for territorial rights to the opened waters, carriers are lauding the access to a northern route to cut costs and increased profits, oil companies are trying to get leases to the newly opened fields and the list of those seeing this climate crisis as an opportunity and not a cataclysm goes on and on. I am sure there is more time and money and talent trying to redraw borders than is spent trying to address the bigger issue before us.
On the one hand we have scientists and other well meaning individuals trying to publicize the crisis and seek solutions while the giants of the hydrocarbon industry are adverizing their exploitation of resources in a "responsible" and "friendly" way. The fight is so tilted in favor of the industries, it is a David and Goliath battle. I'm afraid Goliath has the upper hand. in the middle of the debate are the vast number of persons in more affluent countries that can break this deadlock are more concerned about their energy costs rising and can't see the relationship between their costs, the declining resources, and climate change. They will vote with their pocketbooks in democracies most every time. Others under more autocratic regimes will march blindly with their governments who exploit resources to enrich themselves and avoid insurrection by the increased expectations of growth that millions have come to expect. Where is the tipping point in favor of saving our planet and will it make a difference by that time? Where is the key to disincentivize the exploitation of our planet for short term gain?
I am pessimistic about breaking this deadlock before man's nature has played itself out to an Armageddon we knew we could have avoided in a more rational fore thinking world. I don't see any other conclusion to be drawn.

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Response to mraponick (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:07 PM

3. Welcome to DU!

And the EE group!

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Response to mraponick (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:08 PM

4. Yes indeed. Welcome. You are surprised Goliath has the upper hand?

We are doing business/jihad with Goliath. Retiring Energy Secretary Steven Chu has pointed out:

...In the last two years, the private sector, including Warren Buffett, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Google, have announced major investments in clean energy. Originally skeptical lenders and investors now see that renewable energy will (be - ed) profitable. These investors are voting where it counts the most - with their wallet. As one CEO recently commented, “Solar is now bankable. When solar was perceived as more risky it required a premium.”...

/... http://energy.gov/articles/letter-secretary-steven-chu-energy-department-employees-announcing-his-decision-not-serve

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:54 AM

2. The global elites have decided to take the do nothing approach.

My guess is that they view the coming disaster and mass die off as inevitable and perhaps, over the long term, an acceptable way to reset global civilization, with them remaining firmly on top of course.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:18 PM

5. I agree with the do nothing approach as a strategy of the Goliaths of the world

There is no worldwide agreement on population control. There is no effort to adequately conserve and effectively protect and distribute water. There is no attempt to encourage the growth of economies in Africa except to keep them in a state of war, Malaria, the #1 killer on the planet has no Manhattan like project to cure this disease or any other diseases in the tropics, Central and South American countries are kept politically off balance in their attempt to create a sustainable economy, There is no effort to develop crops similar to the green revolution to adequately feed the world. The arable land being developed is done so to put 10% ethanol in U.S. gas tanks. The list of ignorant acts to decimate the poor and overpopulated of the world can go on and on. Purposeful neglect is an informal strategy to rid the world of the poor and unsupportable in the current context. The balance would be slaves forced to exploit the resources to the benefit of developed countries on the lands gained by this non-strategy. Extreme weather will take care of many more.
So I do agree that in part the do nothing approach will crassly take care of population. Up until now in history, the have-nots live in the flood plain while those more wealthy live on the hill. I don't expect this strategy to change soon, if at all.

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