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If We Want to Survive the Climate Crisis We Must Change

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:50 AM
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If We Want to Survive the Climate Crisis We Must Change
from YES! Magazine, via AlterNet:



If We Want to Survive the Climate Crisis We Must Change

By Bill McKibben, YES! Magazine. Posted March 15, 2008.

Either we build real community -- with mass transit and local food -- or we will go down clinging to the wreckage of our privatized society.



At any given moment we face as a society an enormous number of problems: there's the mortgage crisis, the health care crisis, the endless war in Iraq, and on and on. Maybe we'll solve some of them, and doubtless new ones will spring up to take their places. But there's only one thing we're doing that will be easily visible from the moon. That something is global warming. Quite literally it's the biggest problem humans have ever faced, and while there are ways to at least start to deal with it, all of them rest on acknowledging just how large the challenge really is.

What exactly do I mean by large? Last fall the scientists who study sea ice in the Arctic reported that it was melting even faster than they'd predicted. We blew by the old record for ice loss in mid-August, and by the time the long polar night finally descended, the fabled Northwest Passage was open for navigation for the first time in recorded history. That is to say, from outer space the Earth already looks very different: less white, more blue.

What do I mean by large? On the glaciers of Greenland, 10 percent more ice melted last summer than any year for which we have records. This is bad news because, unlike sea ice, Greenland's vast frozen mass sits above rock, and when it melts, the oceans rise -- potentially a lot. James Hansen, America's foremost climatologist, testified in court last year that we might see sea level increase as much as six meters -- nearly 20 feet -- in the course of this century. With that, the view from space looks very different indeed (not to mention the view from the office buildings of any coastal city on earth).

What do I mean by large? Already higher heat is causing drought in arid areas the world over. In Australia things have gotten so bad that agricultural output is falling fast in the continent's biggest river basin, and the nation's prime minister is urging his people to pray for rain. Aussie native Rupert Murdoch is so rattled he's announced plans to make his NewsCorp empire (think Fox News) carbon neutral. Australian voters ousted their old government last fall, largely because of concerns over climate. .......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/environment/78498 /





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