A Week in the Death of a Planet

Climate change intensifiesWhat a week it has been in climate change: ends up Antarctica is dramatically warming too [ark | search], America's old-growth is dying [ark | search], the U.S. East coast is to be submerged [ark | search], and spring is coming two days early [ark]. Thankfully, the signs of ecological collapse have now become so evident that global citizenry and their governments are swinging into action — committing to ending the damage, and protecting and restoring global ecological systems. The people made clear that ecological transformation was required, and governments listened rather than be overthrown. In the face of imminent global ecological collapse, a new found sense of commitment and sacrifice reigns, as plans are being made to end ancient forest logging and coal use, while embracing energy alternatives, efficiency and conservation. Sigh.

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6 Responses

  1. R. Gates says:

    Dr. Barry,
    It has been indeed a big week of news related to the continued signs that the planet's biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans are under extreme stress. But those us of, like yourself, who are constantly researching these issues know that virtually everyday there are reports and research being released that confirms all this. It is only the really big stories that make it to the mainstream…
    In regards to a new found sense of “sacrifice” emerging right now…I must confess, aside from a few dedicated individuals, and even small communities, I just don't really see that. The Walmart near my house has a parking lot full of SUV's and people coming up with their carts loaded up with plastic crap made in China. You and I both know that mass consumerism is the biggest beast eating up the planet. So long as the consumers are alive and healty and acting like the locusts they are…the planet is in peril. Walmart represents everything that can't go on if the planet's ecosystem is not to go through a radical transformation to a much simpler state…sans humans.
    R. Gates

  2. It is so refreshing to be able to acknowledge and begin to address the formidable, human-driven global challenges that are looming ominously before the family of humanity on the horizon.
    Let us hope that the confederacy of dunderheads who have been providing terrible leadership during these earliest years of Century XXI have not done insurmountable damage to the global economy, moral authority, the environment and Earth's body as fit place for habitation by our children and coming generations.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php
    http://www.panearth.org

  3. David Moore says:

    On the old growth only a few percent of increase in tree death was noted. More habitat for species using dead trees, more soil building carbon from the dead trees and more space for new saplings.
    On the new activism, most main stream groups are into feel good activities as you have often noted Glenn. Drive lots of miles to pull a few invasive weeds or plant a tree seedling,jetting thousands of miles for ecotourism like Sierra Club fundraising tours, etc. These range from a good introduction for newbies to a distraction for the committed to becoming part of the consumption problem.
    Hard hitting reality checks like climate ark, Jim Hansen's letters to stop coal fired factories of death are the exception which must become the standard. After all the talk about CO2 its still rising and maybe accelerating. Even Obama and Hansen seem to demand nothing of China and India. This approach will not work. Keep telling it on the mountain, Glenn.

  4. zephyr says:

    David Moore wrote:
    …..Even Obama and Hansen seem to demand nothing of China and India…..
    I see your point, David.
    However, if I may say this, it is my observation that Hansen in particular is currently emphasizing the idea that the United States needs to begin LEADING, after which countries like China and India will, it is hoped, be more inclined to get on board.
    Also, it does appear that the Obama administration is this week beginning the process of reversing some of the more obstructive (I'm being kind here) of the rulings of the Bush administration in regard to climate change issues.
    Perhaps we need to begin calling our Congress persons to encourage this process as it unfolds. In other words, acknowledge and extend thanks for steps in the right direction. Let them know we are watching and ready to support these steps.

  5. Dave Moore says:

    There is no time to wait for India and China to “get it”. They must participate in worldwide CO2 negotiations and reductions FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.
    This is a global emergency and Chinese and Indian food supplies are in great danger from global warming plus their largest cities could be drowned by sea level rise.
    Of course the US must lead and the coal expansion here is being challenged by Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and other local groups like Appalachian opposition to mountain top removal.
    But China must be stopped from their current plan to build ONE NEW COAL FIRED ELECTRICAL PLANT PER WEEK. This is unnacceptable. We should offer massive economic and technical help to China and India to find energy alternatives and poverty reduction methods.

  6. zephyr says:

    Dave Moore wrote:
    …..There is no time to wait for India and China to “get it”…..
    I know, Dave, believe me.
    I am strongly suggesting that unless the U.S. gets off its self-interested rear end and starts LEADING we cannot expect rapidly developing countries to participate fully in negotiations crucial to implementation of meaningful emissions reductions protocols.
    In my opinion we should have been well underway with hammering out this process by the close of the 1970's.
    I just hope it isn't too late.

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