Quick Punch

November 23, 2009

(Illustration found here).

A new satellite-based study published Sunday in Nature Geoscience indicates the supposedly more-stable East Antarctic ice sheet has as been losing 57 billion tons of ice bulk a year since 2006.

From the BBC on the report:

“We felt surprised to see this change in East Antarctica,” study leader Jianli Chen from the Centre for Space Research at the University of Texas in Austin told BBC News.
The loss still looks small by contrast with West Antarctica, which is losing 132Gt (tons) per year, and with Greenland, where a recent analysis combining Grace data with other measurements indicated an annual figure of 273Gt.

(h/t Climate Progress).

Another brick in the wall of weird.
Also published Sunday in the Energy Bulletin:

The trouble with apocalypse is that most people have already seen it at the movie theater, watched it on television, read it in a book, or heard all about it from the pulpit.
So inundated with the language of crisis are we that we have become immune to it.
From the perspective of the historian our age has been chock full of “great transformations.”
And, it is, after all, the historian’s business to write about great change even if he or she has to invent some.

What apocalyptic narratives do is elevate the importance of the trajectory of every person’s life regardless of his or her station in society.
If we’re all in this together, then we can share in a great destiny no matter who we are.
But destiny sounds like fate.
What can one do if one is headed toward a great apocalypse? Pray, perhaps. Repent, maybe.
But responding to such a gargantuan event calls more for attaining the right relationship with one’s god than engaging in constructive social and political action.

Punch line: Don’t mothball the tuxedo!

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