Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Armageddon, Only Faster

A recent episode of PBS’s excellent series “Now” dealt with the facts and politics of global warming. One scary prospect some scientists predict is a phenomenon called “abrupt climate change”. As opposed to the slow burn we think of when we hear global warming, one degree in a century, the climate will slowly change up to a point and then jump dramatically.

Not quite “The Day After Tomorrow” and okay, maybe not Armageddon, but with the oceans rising twenty feet, coastal cities will vanish. Numerous plant and animal species will become extinct. And with the Arctic, the “air conditioner to the world” in scientist Susan Joy Hassol’s words, melted away, temperatures around the world will get a lot more sticky and unbearable.

2 Knee-jerk Reactions:

Anonymous Andy said...

I think this is one of those areas of climate science which is easily dismissed by the right. They write these ideas off as kooky, since it's so much easier than acknowledging a potential danger.

I sincerely hope that the reality is much less dire.

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's also easier to scream that the sky is falling than to back it up with repeatable science. "Watch the piggies run, I've scared 'em again!"

I just know this year's mild winter (for those living outside of, oh, the whole Midwest) won't be the el Niño they've already said is occurring, and they won't call it an "Indian Summer" like we did when we were kids (HEY, DAMMIT, IT'S 'NATIVE AMERICAN' SUMMER!), but it'll be proof that Algore should've been elected President, then everything would be all right.

For those of you old enough to have been reading in the late 1970's and early 1980's, these same guys who can't tell you whether it's going to rain next week were telling you the earth was headed back into another ice age. I mean, we DO know the climate changes every year, right? We DO know that we're currently working our way out of a mini ice-age? We DO know that 500 years ago it was so warm the British were growing more (and better) wine than the French, yes? For Heaven's sake, is it just easier to let the lunatics run the assylum?

6:58 PM  

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