Pack a Towel

Did readers see the climate change article in the New York Times?[1] Do you know how to swim? Do you have a nice looking bathing suit? If no, change the answers to yes soon. The latest report on rising sea temperatures suggests that catastrophic rises will occur in decades, not centuries. A quote from the report:

“In 2009, nations agreed to try to limit the planetary warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, above the preindustrial level. The Earth has already warmed by about half that amount. The climate appears to be destabilizing, virtually all land ice on the planet has started to melt, and the oceans are rising at an accelerating pace.

The paper, written by Dr. Hansen and 18 other authors, dwells on the last time Earth warmed naturally, about 120,000 years ago, when the temperature reached a level estimated to have been only slightly higher than today. Large chunks of the polar ice disintegrated then, and scientists have established that the sea level rose 20 to 30 feet.

Chicken Little is racing around the compound. “The sea is rising! The sea is rising! His anxiety is triggered by the fact that civilization – at least those with shorelines – will suffer financial ruin, cultural destabilization, and unacceptable shifts in global weather patterns. Don’t worry about Florida, LA and New York City – they’ll be gone. The question is will we be able to grow corn and wheat.

Mariner has mentioned in other posts that today’s nations are not designed to deal with planetary issues. We’re still fighting wars and raping women and children for Pete’s sake! How many times do we have to say, “Don’t cut any more trees in the Amazon forest?” The world’s capitalists will hold on to profit schemes until they drown. Common folks around the world have nowhere to turn. In the US 2016 election, who should we vote for to deal with a dangerous and imminent situation that’s never heard the word ‘politics?’ or the word ‘Constitution’ or the word ‘humans?’ Hillary? We’re doomed. Bernie? We’re doomed. Ted? We’re doomed. Donald? Take him off the ballot!! Still, we will all drown because Congress wants to protect the coal industry.

The experience of waiting for the ultimate result will not be pleasant. Already storm surges have ravaged sea fronts around the world more frequently and more destructively. Islands with many people are disappearing now. The warmer temperature already is wreaking havoc by pumping energy into the atmosphere; this will grow worse well before the biosphere reaches a catastrophic shift.

Teach your children to swim!

Mariner will move to a boat…. The wait for a really high tide in Iowa will have arrived.

Ancient Mariner

[1] See: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/science/global-warming-sea-level-carbon-dioxide-emissions.html?_r=0

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