Moving Magnolias

October 8, 2011

A glaring example of how long climate change has been developing, and how the warming quickens/intensifies nature.
Climate Central reports  a study on the migration north of Southern magnolias, among several tree species, where average temperatures some 2.7°F higher, and a growing season several weeks longer, than it was a few decades ago.

Although magnolias have moved before, a warming environment speeds the process, and since trees don’t move all that fast, the shift has been occurring for some time: “Their results support the broad conclusion that longer growing seasons and warmer winters have allowed seedlings to establish and survive” in new areas, said Scott Merkle, a forest biologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the study.

(Illustration found here).

And another story caught my eye this afternoon on the total dumb-ass, sorry-state-of-affairs as supposedly humanoid peoples handle a rapidly-changing and dangerous environment.
A crazed circle of insanity — suck up more oil to create more heat to worsen mankind’s ability to live on the planet, rinse and repeat.
Case in way-ugly point comes from the nefarious Athabasca tar sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada, and the required Keystone XL pipeline to carry that shit nearly 2,000 miles to refineries around Houston and the Gulf of Mexico designed to process the heavy crap.
If OKed, the pipeline is expected to be up and running by 2013 — because it crosses national borders, pipeline approval requires President Obama’s signature.

Producing crude oil from tar sands (a heavy mixture of bitumen, water, sand and clay) is so ironically-horrifying it’s Orwellian ridiculous — getting the shit out of the ground generates up to four times more carbon dioxide, the principal global warming gas, than conventional drilling (100 million tons of CO2 by 2012).
And beyond totally trashing a pristine wilderness, it takes two tons of raw sands to produce a single barrel of oil.
If that ain’t batshit crazy…
Just add a rigged jury, and we be f*cked.

From the New York Times on Friday:

The State Department assigned an important environmental impact study of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to a company with financial ties to the pipeline operator, flouting the intent of a federal law meant to ensure an impartial environmental analysis of major projects.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress concluded his post this afternoon on the Times story (where I first saw it) on legal action by environmental groups on the wacked impact study with a way-sad, but portent note: And at the very least that could hold up the pipeline for a while, until we have a a president who understands the urgent need to stop building huge amounts of infrastructure that lock us into ever-rising greenhouse gases.

If not Obama, who the shit — Mormon Mitt, Quick-draw Rick or Happy Herman?
Mankind’s in a wilted-magnolia of a fix.

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