Dangerous Climate

August 28, 2012

As Hurricane Isaac bears down on New Orleans, Republicans are still scurrying about like little kids caught with their collective hands in the cookie jar.

All in the words: The word ‘climate,’ in fact, appears in the current President’s strategy more often than Al Qaeda, nuclear proliferation, radial Islam, or weapons of mass destruction. The phrase ‘global war on terror’ does not appear at all and has been purposely avoided and changed by his Administration to “overseas contingency operations.’”

(Illustration found here).

The above is from the GOP draft platform for their bullshit convention, which is in scramble mode similar to the Titanic after rubbing up against a ice berg — nothing left to do but go down.
Climate change is by far the way-most important singe event in our lifetimes, maybe in all of freakin’ history and it’s not in the expanding ferocity of hurricanes, but weird shit.
From Climate Progress and rural Ohio:

We are standing on the edge of a 15-acre underground fire that Canterbury’s team of firefighters hasn’t been able to extinguish.
The field, which borders a 200-acre soybean farm, sits on top of a deep deposit of spongy peat, also known as “muskego muck.”
In late May, as temperatures rose into the 90’s — nearing record highs for the region at that time of year — Canterbury’s department got a call about a field fire.
But after trying to put it out, they soon realized the fire was spreading underground, “burning layers off, sinking down, burning more layers, and causing new spots to pop up,” says Canterbury.
The lack of snow over the winter combined with the spring and summer heat waves dried out the muck, making it susceptible to burning.
And when the local fire department found no evidence of a man-made fire, they concluded that it was spontaneous combustion.
“I’ve talked to a lot of old farmers and they say ‘we’ve never seen anything like this before,’” says Canterbury.

Nature’s horror stories are springing up all over, and with Arctic melting like a popsicle in July, the future is way-here: “We still have a little time left,” said NSIDC’s Julienne Stroeve in an interview, “but the rate of melting in August has been really fast, the fastest we’ve ever seen.” It’s starting to slow down, she said, “but I doubt we’ve seen the true minimum.”
And the real, real scary part is coming — methane, within the Arctic soils.
From Earth Island Journal:

Actually, any CH4 released today is at least 56 times more heat-trapping than a molecule of C02 also released today.
And because of the way it reacts in the atmosphere, the number is probably even higher, according to research conducted by Drew Shindell, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Center.
So why is the 21 times figure the one that gets bandied about?
Because methane breaks down much faster than carbon dioxide.
While CO2 remains in the atmosphere for at least a century (and probably much, much longer, according to Stanford’s Ken Caldeira), CH4 lasts only about a dozen years.
When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had to come up with a way for comparing different greenhouse gases, it decided to use a century baseline to calculate a molecule’s “global warming potential.”

Why does it matter?
Because we don’t have a century to get serious about the impacts of runaway greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change is upon us now.
And we appear to be approaching some irrevocable tipping points that will create powerful negative feedback loops, the most worrisome being the release of methane stores at the bottom of the ocean and locked into sub-Arctic permafrost.

And all this CO2 we got right now is from a generation ago, and time is of the most-essence.
Yet, it’s all in the politics.

Nothing like it’s going to be a Big Easy:

“Skepticism toward anthropogenic global warming is part and parcel of Republicans’ DNA, expected of its politicians and grafted onto its voters by the right-wing media machine, including Fox News,” lamented University of Georgia professor Cynthia Taylor in the Wisconsin State Journal.
“Recently I watched in disbelief as a young, well-respected GOPer whom I know insisted on a cable news show that climate change is a hoax intended to “make Al Gore rich.”

And to kill all of us.

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