Urgency past

June 23, 2013

dali-013Drizzling rain this Sunday morning along California’s north coast as a storm front is making its way across the region — the next couple of days we’re supposed to get almost an inch of rain, though, more will fall in the interior areas than out here along the Pacific Ocean.
Some good news, at least, for fighting drought.
Although northern California as a whole is considered in the ‘moderate‘ range, Humboldt County and some spots in Mendocino County to the south, the drought is reaching the ‘severe‘ point with rivers and creeks down to levels usually seen in late July.

The shifting/morphing change in earth’s environment is constantly overawing everybody — when the experts start getting a little confused, bewildered or going crazy, the situation is most-likely way-worse than way-bad.

And can mankind get its greedy, dumb-ass shit together in time?

(Illustration: Salvador Dali, ‘Alice’s Evidence,’ found here).

Surprisingly, the answer is no. Problem being the world is way-too top heavy in apathy for the situation, which is already fairly chaotic.
And way-too-little, way-too-late, President Obama has announced a major “climate speech” for this coming Tuesday at Georgetown University in DC. In a cute little video on Saturday, Obama, without specifics, earnestly droned: “I’ll lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go – a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it,” he said, looking directly into the camera.
Really, can we believe him, even looking directly into the camera, which expectantly in turn, looks directly into us?

What’s to come in the big speech is murky — the InterWebs offer some insight, but it’s all about the same. Obama is publicly still on the fence (which speaks volumes) about the fate of the lunatic-laced Keystone XL pipeline, and might approach curbing coal use at existing power plants,  a big pollutant — about 40 percent of US emissions.
The EPA itself has been dragging its collective, chicken-shit feet for months to produce new emission rules.
Obama will offer nothing really helpful and dynamic — the national plan touted since forever of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels is now considered way-not enough.
Via Climate Progress last March:

One new study shows that we have to reduce emissions even more than scientists initially thought in order to avoid climate change’s worst impacts.
A paper published in Energy Policy on February 20 by Michel den Elzen and colleagues examines new information on likely future emissions trajectories in developing countries.
This includes recent clarification of assumptions and conditions related to developing country pledges.
In addition, countries have also come forward with further information on their emissions projections.
As a result, the report finds that developed countries must reduce their emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 if we are to have a medium chance of limiting warming to 2°C, thus preventing some of climate change’s worst impacts.

While the den Elzen and colleagues’ paper is just one of many studies on necessary levels of emissions reductions, it lays out a troubling issue: the world may need to reduce its emissions even more significantly than previously thought.
The bad news is that we knew we were already far from a 25 to 40 percent reduction in developed countries by 2020.
And in light of den Elzen’s new data, we are even further from a 50 percent reduction decline.

And on top of the science, another major problem/roadblock is shit like this: John Boehner, the house speaker, pre-empted the speech by several days, telling Fox news on Thursday it would be “absolutely crazy” to use the EPA to reduce carbon emissions.
Or this:

None of the seven companies operating in the tar sands met the original performance standard, set in 2009, during the last two years, the ECRB said in its report.
Only one of the companies met a revised and weakened standard.
The finding was quietly published last week, without a press release.

This in cleaning/regulating those toxic wastes:

Mining waste from the tar sands, a mix of water, sand, silt, clay, contaminants, and hydrocarbons, is dumped in a system of open lakes, known as tailing ponds.
The ponds are hugely toxic to marine life, and some 7,000 ducks and geese die every year after mistakenly landing there.
The ponds currently occupy an area about 50 percent larger than the city of Vancouver, according to the Pembina Institute, an environmental research centre.
By 2020, they are expected to expand to 250 square kms.

And then just add this latest of dire-urgent warnings to a long list:

Earth has been building up temperatures at a rate equal to heat generated by four Hiroshima nuclear bombs every second, a climate scientist has warned.
According to John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, humans are emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other time in history of humankind.
“All these heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere mean our planet has been building up heat at the rate of about four Hiroshima bombs every second – consider that going continuously for several decades,” said Cook.
Cook said about 90 per cent of global warming was going into the oceans, which act like a natural thermometer along with changes in land, ice, and animal species, AAP reported.
He warned that distributions of trees are shifting towards cooler areas of Earth such as the poles or mountains, and animal species are responding to global warming by mating earlier in the year.
“This is not because animals are getting randier, it is because the seasons themselves are shifting,” Cook said.
Cook said studies have tried to put a number on how much of global warming is caused by humans, ‘and the rough answer is, all of it’.
He said for the last 20 years, 97 per cent of scientists have been in agreement that human activity is behind warmer temperatures.

Hence, I and anyone else who cares and has the capability, can view the end of an age via the laptop.

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