Climate Crisis Quickens, Dramatic Action Warranted

The Earth needs a revolutionary spirit of actionArctic melting leading to methane release [ark | moreark] — a major climate change feedback — has kicked in again after an eight year hiatus, indicating a major quickening of the climate crisis. A global study in Geophysical Research Letters found a major increase in methane levels of about 28 million tonnes since mid-2006 due to release of gas in and near the Arctic. Methane is responsible for some 20% of global warming — and Arctic warming is melting permafrost, leading to increased bacterial emissions from wetland areas. Indications are frozen methane clathrates found on the ocean floors [search] are also melting .The finding comes as research published in Nature Geoscience found solid evidence that temperatures are rising in Antarctica [ark] as well, and that climate change there and in the Arctic was conclusively caused by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gas.
Humanity is at a dramatic juncture. We can continue careening wildly towards global ecological collapse including abandoning collapsed ecosystems [ark], with token feel-good efforts to appear like we are doing something, or we can commit immediately to dramatic ecologically sufficient policy responses. These include rigorous voluntary incentives to reduce human population [search] and consumption [search], immediately ending ancient forest logging [search] and coal use [search], urgently embracing energy efficiency [search], conservation [search] and renewable energy [search], and fully protecting remaining intact ecosystems while beginning the ecological restoration of entire regions [search].
Less rigorous ecological proposals acquiesce to the inevitability of global ecological collapse and are just as guilty as the industrial growth machine's destroyers in ensuring the demise of being. It is well past time for each of us to embrace both a personal and social revolutionary spirit of action — as we both reduce our own environmental impact, and join with those intensifying global ecological protest [ark]. Shared survival depends upon successfully demanding these and other ecologically sufficient measures are swiftly adopted.

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14 Responses

  1. R. Gates says:

    I've been warning about methane for a number of years. The positive feedback power of this potent feedback gas is enormous. If one could find a true “trigger” for completely out of control global warming…methane would be it…and once this genie is out of the bottle, nothing can put it back in.
    There are really two significant sources of methane, only one of which is getting any real attention in the press. The first is of course the melting permafrost, and here is the heart of the positive feedback loop. Warming causing melting of the permafrost, which causes release of methane which causes more warming and so on and so on. But there is another, less well know source of methane, and that's in the frozen methane clathrates on the worlds ocean floors. The potential of this source (if it begins to be released) to change the climate perhaps even dwarfs the permafrost source. There is even some studies that suggest this has happened at least once before in earth's history.
    So to your point about radical protests. They are indeed warranted, but I still maintain that the best action is grass roots and personal. Each one of us must stop any behavior that supports the status quo. Stop being a mass consumer, when you have to purchase, purchase locally and purchase green. Reduce your own carbon footprint to not just zero, but negative by doing things that absorb more carbon than you produce (organic gardening for example, or planting a few trees).
    Yes, we must demand of our leaders action NOW, but we must first demand action of ourselves, and each of us must truly commit to changing our lifestyle to reject the mass consumerism and old-paradigm industrialization that has got us into this very serious mess…
    R. Gates

  2. Patrick Troup says:

    Good post R Gates. I agree it will take a synthesis of personal, community-wide and political action. One thing I CAN do as an individual that I know will have tangible positive results are actions to change my OWN life.
    Individuals are the foundation for all change. Without individual action we find ourselves in situation such as the one we are in now. Always believe in yourselves.
    Political action is also tremendously important. However, we need individuals to believe in themselves, take large, action based steps towards relocalization, peace, and sustainability, and inspire and connect with one another so larger grassroots swells grow. In our communities. Then local, townwide politics are passed. Then communities form networks with each other to form larger political action to create larger politically fueled sustainable systems. Then regions do it. And so on.
    All the while pressuring our politicians from the bottom to very top, our president, to make political changes for the better.
    The times are so dire folks.
    Just go out there and talk to people in your communities and cities that you have never met before. Just say “hello”. “How are you doing?” Start conversations with people you would not have before. Create common ground. Grow the seeds. People of all backgrounds are in trouble these days. Our Earth and all systems within it are breaking down. Liberal, conservatives, we're facing the crunch. We all have common ground.
    Get out there and make friends. Form network and collaborations. Have dinner with one another. Share what goods things you are working on to help one another. Tell of the challenges and hardships you are facing and how you could resolve them. Organize a block party.
    Keep up the great work all.

  3. Patrick says:

    I would like to compliment and thank Dr. Barry for his phenomenal work here on and EcoInternet. The essays here are of infinite value in these times. And the articles posted here are wonderful as well. I must say I have been so inspired at times by this website and your essays, that you have changed my life in large ways.
    The unrestrained truths you speak inspire me tremendously. They give me motivation and inspiration to continue my work.

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Of far greater concern (to me) is the drying out of peatbogs and marshes. This releases copious quantities of methane.

  5. Speak out loudly, clearly and often for the protection of life as we know it and the preservation of Earth and its environs, just as Glen Barry is doing.
    Lee Iacocca Says:
    “Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say,

  6. Cyber-Rain says:

    “Climate Crisis Quickens” – this is exactly why people need to make sure they are being responsible in their daily usage of vital resources, such as water. Really, the #1 concern right now may be finding easy ways to conserve water, as we face a global climate crisis, and droughts across the globe. One new technology available is Cyber-Rain, which is a “smart” sprinkler controller that can save thousands of gallons of water per year. We're very proud of our step in the right direction, and congratulate anyone else who also feels the need to come up with fascinating and useful solutions with which to face this impending climate crisis. Please see what we've been up to at

  7. Patrick says:

    I would say that water is one of the top priorities in this era. Can't live without water. Our ovoerconsumption, poor and inefficient management of it, and climate change/droughts has the potential to be bad.
    I would say to anyone, especially living in dry areas, to repland your lawns and get rid of them. Put in a food garden instead.
    We can't afford to waste water anyone. Not a drip.

  8. Carolin Gschwilm says:

    the best way to counteract climate change on a personal level is to go vegan, go without meat and dairy products. If all of us did this, the result could be seen immediately, and a climate desaster could still be averted.
    Meat production is the no. 1 contributor to climate change, according to the FAO study “Livestocks' Long Shadow”
    Further infos:

  9. With the election of Barack Obama, a new day is surely dawning for the family of humanity. We have good reasons to be hopeful. The agonizing throes of the severe and colossal storm we have endured in the past several years have produced an unexpected outcome. The air is being cleansed and the dark clouds that had been gathering on the horizon are being blown away.
    Al Gore has reminded all of us that now is the time for intellectual honesty and moral courage as necessary attributes for responding ably to the human-driven global challenges which are looming ominously before humankind. As the horrendous, once in a century storm is being swept away by benevolent winds of change, perhaps we will see that honest and courageous activities of many people will begin to replace cascading, self-interested behavior which appears to be borne of whatsoever is politically convenient, economically expedient and socially fashionable.
    Perhaps sufficiently reality-oriented changes in policymaking and action planning, changes that protect biodiversity from mass extinction, prevent more wanton environmental degradation and preserve Earth's body from relentless dissipation as well as the human community from endangerment, are in the offing.

  10. On the matter of bankrupting the human family's global economy.
    It appears intellectual dishonesty is but one of the perverse ways in which old, out of touch leaders in my not-so-great generation are bankrupting the family of humanity.
    Please note the way ideologically-driven leadership is providing ample evidence of being morally bankrupt and spiritually vacuous.
    Unbridled greed and institutionalized fraud by mortgagors of our childrens' future are leading to decay within the financial system and threatening to ruin the real global economy.
    Many too many economic powerbrokers and their bought-and-paid-for politicians are besmirching our honor and degrading the value of rational authority.
    As I recall the course of human events, never in history have a few million stupendously rich people but otherwise bankrupt people stolen, consumed and hoarded so much of Earth's resource base, come what may for billions of other people in the human family who happen to be less fortunate. That a tiny minority of rich and powerful people have been so unfairly and inequitably rewarded by an economic scheme favoring their wanton avarice, is no longer a set of circumstances which can be concealed by the refusals of the mainstream media to bring up this situation for open discussion….. or by our collusive silence.
    Thankfully, a new day is dawning.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  11. R. Gates says:

    I agree that a POTENTIAL new day is dawning. I too voted for President Elect Obama, and his words hold much promise, but we must do all we can to make sure that he doesn't end up compromising away the potential of the moment. Greedy lobbists are even now plotting how they can continue business as usual for the very rich and powerful interests they represent.
    Constant support and pressure on President Obama to not compromise is essential! Rapid and radical climate change is already underway, and nothing short of radical new policies and economic systems are necessary to cope with it. So in addition to the political pressure and support of ecologically sustainable policies, each of us must adopt radical new PERSONAL lifestyle changes. If we don't…it is your children's and grandchildren's future you are dooming to even worse conditions…
    No compromise politics…and personal change is the chance we have to mitigate the ecological collapse upon us…
    R. Gates

  12. Great site, this is a topic that pulls on the heart strings of many.
    I have started a blog and writing about affected species and endangered species in Canada caused by the climate crises.
    great job, lets keep it going and speak loud to save our animals and planet!

  13. Billions of dollars in bailouts and year-end bonuses are being directed to the “wonder boys” on Wall Street. These self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe have turned a great capitalist system into a paltry gambling casino. In the light of all their avaricious risk-taking and conspicuous hoarding behavior, they can no longer be called by any name other than “thieves of the highest order”.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  14. katesisco says:

    Just thinking: you know how water is always in motion, always wanting to be ice?
    About Gaia: possibly Gaia wants to be flat. She wants her water inside, no mountains outside.
    Really, that our planet wants to fit in and somehow this eliminates surface features and large pools of water.
    I just read some report that said it seemed that the land coalesced into the large single land mass and then, like the game pac man, after it ate everything else, it ate itself.
    If Gaia is intelligent, smarter than us, she is sheparding her resources inside—–what an idea!
    Worth considering.

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