Extreme weather, more extreme greenhouse gas emissions beckon urgent activism by Patrick Bond

Dandelion Salad

by Patrick Bond
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
Durban, South Africa
August 28, 2013

Lightning Storm

Image by vonderauvisuals via Flickr

The northern hemisphere summer has just peaked and though the torrid heat is now ebbing, it is evident the climate crisis is far more severe than most scientists had anticipated. The latest report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a notoriously conservative research agency – will be debated in Stockholm next month, but no one can deny its projections:

“widespread melting of land ice, extreme heat waves, difficulty growing food and massive changes in plant and animal life, probably including a wave of extinctions.”

Even worse is coming, for a giant Arctic Ocean “belch” of 50 billion tonnes of methane is inexorably escaping from seabed permafrost, according to scientists writing in the journal Nature. North Pole ice is now, at maximum summer heat, only 40 per cent as thick as it was just 40 years ago, a crisis only partially represented in the vivid image of a temporary “lake” that submerged the pole area last month.

The damage that will unfold after the burp, according to leading researchers from Cambridge and Erasmus Universities, could cost $60 trillion, about a year’s world economic output. Global warming will speed up by 15-35 years as a result.

With these revelations, it is impossible to mask the self-destructive greed of fossil-fuel firms and their carbon-addicted customers. The ruling crew in the United States, Russia and Canada will enthusiastically let oil companies exploit the soon-to-be ice-free Arctic summers with intensified drilling, joined by unprecedented bunker-fuel-burning in the newly opening shipping lanes.

[…]

via Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

see

The Seeds of Hope by Tristan A. Shaw

Shift — Beyond the Numbers of the Climate Crisis + Coalition Of The Willing

Global Heat Emergency by Alex Smith

How Can We Face A Future Of Climate Change If We Have Forgotten Our Past? by Lesley Docksey

How Much Change On Climate Change? by Chris Williams

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