Monday, March 15, 2004


As a result of last week’s scandal with Tony Blair attempting to suppress the commentary of David King, a scientist from the UK who had commented that Bush’s policy of denying global warming was even more dangerous than terrorism (how does that play in Spain?), more information is coming to the surface about the disastrous effects of abrupt climate changes.

Yesterday’s PROCESO magazine ran a story, “Apocalipsis, ya” (Apocalypse Now), about the report by the Global Business Network that was commissioned by the Pentagon and later given the deep six by the same government agency because it contradicted the Bushites’ position that global warming doesn’t exist.

Raven, I think this is serious business.

”Science fiction, more likely. Those CBN guys say that the US and Mexico will be going to war over the use of the water from the Colorado River!”

They have practically done that already, Rave. Where have you been hiding your head?

“I think I won’t pursue that….”

Listen. There’s more than just that PROCESO article which is a scary script. On the Common Dreams site there’s more:

Ten years after the ratification of a United Nations treaty on climate change, greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming are still on the rise, signalling a "collective failure" of the industrialized world, according to the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI), a leading environmental think-tank.

"We are quickly moving to the point where the damage will be irreversible," warned Dr. Jonathan Pershing, director of WRI's Climate, Energy and Pollution Program. "In fact, the latest scientific reports indicate that global warming is worsening. Unless we act now, the world will be locked into temperatures that would cause irreversible harm." “

“Your species, again. Destroying the planet.”

I know, guy. But what’s going to be done? Listen:

Studies over the past decade have shown that the warming trend continues. "The five warmest years in recorded weather history have taken place over the last six years," noted WRI's president, Jonathan Lash.

"The ten warmest years in recorded weather history have taken place since 1987. Whether it's the retreat of glaciers, the melting of the permafrost in Alaska, or the increase in severe weather events, the world is experiencing what the global warming models predict," he said.

Europe, the main champion of the Kyoto Protocol, suffered its hottest year on record last year. Some 15,000 people in France alone died due to heat stress in combination with pollution, while European agriculture suffered an estimated $12.5 billion in losses.

Britain's most influential scientist, Sir David King, recently excoriated the Bush administration for withdrawing from the Protocol and ignoring the threat posed by climate change. "In my view, climate change is the most severe problem we are facing today," he wrote in Science magazine, "more serious even than the threat of terrorism."

Even the Pentagon recently issued a warning that global warming, if it takes place abruptly, could result in a catastrophic breakdown in international security. Based on growing evidence that climate shifts in the past have taken place with breathtaking speed, based on the freshening of sea water due to accelerated melting of glaciers and the polar ice caps.

“Freshening?” What kind of word is that?"

I don’t know, but the article goes on to say:

Given enough freshening, the Gulf Stream that currently warms the North Atlantic would be shut off, triggering an abrupt decline in temperatures that would bring about a new "Ice Age" in Europe, eastern Canada, and the northeastern United States and similar disastrous changes in world weather patterns elsewhere--all in a period as short as two to three years.

Wars over access to food, water, and energy would be likely to break out between states, according to the report. "Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life," according to the report. "Once again, warfare would define human life."

Even if climate change is more gradual, recent studies have argued that as many as one million plant and animal species could be rendered extinct due to the effects of global warming by 2050. A recent report by the world's largest reinsurance company, Swiss Re, predicted that in 10 years the economic cost of disasters like floods, frosts, and famines caused by global warming could reach $150 billion annually.

"Accelerated development of a portfolio of technologies could stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, enhance global energy security, and eradicate energy poverty," noted David Jhirad, WRI's vice president for research. "We urgently need the political will and international cooperation to make this happen."

Raven bursts into hysterical laughter.

“Political will? International cooperation? Who are they kidding? Don’t they know that this is the Age of Unilateralism?”

There’s hope, Rave. Yesterday the voters in Spain threw out the burros that hitched their wagon to the Bush star.

“A tiny ray of hope, that. The US burros need to throw out Bush. Then maybe international cooperation will have a shot. In the meantime, how about microwaving a spot of Earl Grey?”

I’ll microwave your spot, all right…Even Walter Cronkite is up in arms over global warming. Listen to this:

One thing we have to keep in mind: While these might only be worst-case scenarios, many of the conditions and processes scientists think might trigger them already are present or under way. Global warming is at least as important as gay marriage or the cost of Social Security. And if it is not seriously debated in the general election, it will measure the irresponsibility of the entire political class. This is an issue that cannot, and must not, be ignored any longer.

"Okay. I give up. I'll make my own tea."