Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported on Monday, and they warned that the problem was likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.
But some geniuses are having the bright idea to reconstitute the dodo and a couple dozen other extinct species while we're waiting for current populations to die. If, as some are suggesting, a new ice age is set to envelop Northern Europe, maybe they can evacuate the polar bears from the melting ice caps and let them duke it out with wooly mammoths among the glaciers in what is now merrie olde England.The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.
This is beyond depressing. It is downright terrifying. But other geniuses in high places are balking at the UN's suggestion that rich nations had better start sending massive amounts of cash to poor nations, who will be especially hard hit by the climate change they had no hand in causing.
The poorest people in the world, who have had virtually nothing to do with causing global warming, will be high on the list of victims as climatic disruptions intensify, the report said. It cited a World Bank estimate that poor countries need as much as $100 billion a year to try to offset the effects of climate change; they are now getting, at best, a few billion dollars a year in such aid from rich countries.
Hmm.... I guess those geniuses who had a hand in censoring the report think their own ivory towers will be immune from catastrophe. We should have learned by now that under no circumstances must one offend rich people for any reason, as the mere thought of parting them from their money to help the less fortunate sends them into paroxysms of rage and shrieks of class envy.The $100 billion figure, though included in the 2,500-page main report, was removed from a 48-page executive summary to be read by the world’s top political leaders. It was among the most significant changes made as the summary underwent final review during an editing session of several days in Yokohama.
The edit came after several rich countries, including the United States, raised questions about the language, according to several people who were in the room at the time but did not wish to be identified because the negotiations were private. The language is contentious because poor countries are expected to renew their demand for aid this September in New York at a summit meeting of world leaders, who will attempt to make headway on a new treaty to limit greenhouse gases.
I want the names of those Americans and I want to know who is bankrolling them. Rupert Murdoch? Jamie Dimon, the skills gap guru? On that topic, I also want to know why our normally stingy Congress is so eagerly sending a $1 billion aid package to Ukraine. What's that you say? That the money is going straight to the oligarchs who took over in that right-wing putsch? That it could be a way to undercut Russia and grease the skids for some all-American polluting fracked gas and oil to be exported? And that the poor people of Ukraine will take the blame for the crimes of the elites, and be forced into austerity?Many rich countries argue that $100 billion a year is an unrealistic demand; it would essentially require them to double their budgets for foreign aid, at a time of economic distress at home. That argument has fed a rising sense of outrage among the leaders of poor countries, who feel their people are paying the price for decades of profligate Western consumption.
One "bright side" in the United Nations climate report is mentioned by the New York Times, however. Because this is America, where we must always look the bright side because it's always darkest right before it goes totally black:
Since the intergovernmental panel issued its last big report in 2007, it has found growing evidence that governments and businesses around the world are making extensive plans to adapt to climate disruptions, even as some conservatives in the United States and a small number of scientists continue to deny that a problem exists.
“I think that dealing effectively with climate change is just going to be something that great nations do,” said Christopher B. Field, co-chairman of the working group that wrote the report and an earth scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif. Talk of adaptation to global warming was once avoided in some quarters, on the ground that it would distract from the need to cut emissions. But the past few years have seen a shift in thinking, including research from scientists and economists who argue that both strategies must be pursued at once.Translation: yack while you frack. Pursue an all-of-the-above strategy. Transport flammable Bakken shale oil by rail instead of by pipeline. Choose between polluting water and polluting dry land. Well, I hope that is not what they're talking about when they talk about a "shift in thinking". Like the shift in a deforested mountainside that resulted in a deluge of mud burying an entire housing development.
Is anyone taking bets about when CNN will break into its marathon coverage of the missing plane and the unbelievable amounts of garbage in the oceans, and give us some brief coverage of the Washington state disaster and all the impending disasters on our global plate?
Never mind. Because oil and gas is a big sponsor of cable news shows. Because the earth will have the unmitigated gall to ignore the mindlessness of its human inhabitants as it takes its natural and inevitable man-made course.
Nan Socolow said it best in her recent comment on the Times:
In due course, the tragic truth of what happened to that Boeing 777 Dreamliner will be known to all of us. This is not a wild goose chase in the South Pacific looking for Amelia Earhart whose bones lie, undiscovered as yet on Nikumaroro Island not far from Howland Island where she crash-landed with her co-pilot Fred Noonan on 1 July 1937. But it's a needle in a haystack search for the floating debris from the 777 thousands of miles off Australia, in the gyre of the Pacific Ocean. The Roaring Forties is where that Malaysian plane with 239 innocent souls aboard may be found. The talking heads and "experts", who don't know a whit more than you and I about what happened, what Is happening and are fouling the airwaves with their nattering, codswallop and bumf. The remains of the plane will be discovered - maybe not the black boxes, but the tale will be told on the waves of the Pacific Ocean. A tale of immeasurable grief that greeted those who were lost on Pan Am 103 in Lockerbie, on TWA 800, on the 4 jets of 9/11, on so many other tragic air mishaps dating back to the Hindenburg. Tears will be shed. There will be no such thing as "closure" as we have been scalded mercilessly by nature, by man's invention of flight, and by know-nothings, belabouring us with their jabber on our cyber-widgets from pcs to iphones to tablets to TV. We are small and ignorant, filled with folly.