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An inconvenient global catastrophe

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
June 30, 2006

 

I'm a Gore groupie. There, I said it. I'm a Gore groupie, and always have been. When he was hanging out with that Clinton creep, endorsing NAFTA, inventing the Internet, hanging with that evil Keibler elf Joe Lieberman, and conceding to the 2000 presidential coup, I was a Gore groupie. While campaigning for Ralph Nader I remained a Gore Groupie. And yes, Tipper knows.

With disclaimers out of the way let's talk truth, as in, the inconvenient truth at the center of Al Gore's crusade to save humanity from itself.

Global warming is real, climate change is real, and Al Gore is talking about it with everyone with enough sense to listen and learn. Sure, all the science is not in. Data will continue to be collected until data can no longer be collected, or rendered unnecessary as the new reality sets in.

The opposite of science fiction, the ecology of planetary systems in crisis is science fact, and hardly escapable, denied by only those lacking intellectual integrity. Most libertarians come too mind, as does Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, California Congressman Richard Pombo, and Senator James Inhofe. A republican Senator from Oklahoma, via the bottom of the gene pool, Inhofe is the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, governs from a place of convenient ignorance, studied denial, and ecocidal hostility.

A lap dog to corporate profiteers and bible thumping hate mongers, Inhofe the man controlling the Senates environmental agenda, has declared global warming a hoax, while taking millions from the energy and natural resource extraction sectors, oil and gas being his top contributors. In spite of an overriding consensus that human induced climate change is well under way, professional skeptics such as Inhofe force government to drag its collective feet, to keep pace with their knuckle dragging ideology.

An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's well researched dissertation on disaster, is a powerful film. Watching it, I became convinced, more so than ever, the ecological dice have already been thrown, and in response to humans having it's way with nature, nature is beginning to have its way with humanity. Polar bears are caught in the conflict.

I write this having just read accounts from American and Canadian scientists suggesting polar bears in Alaska's southern Beaufort Sea may be turning to cannibalism due to longer seasons without sea ice, preventing them from getting to their natural food sources, and other biological pressures. Polar bears feed primarily on ringed seals and use sea ice for feeding, mating and giving birth.

News of massive flooding along the northeast only adds to the mounting evidence that the world as we knew it is changing at a rate we can only guess at. Things are in play, melting sea ice will contribute to thawing permafrost which will only turn up the heat as carbon is released from sediments built up on the ocean floor. A warmer atmosphere means warmer oceans fueling the cycle of environmental degradation and biological hardship.

Denouncing science fact as a liberal hoax is as absurd as it is delusional. As a species we can no longer afford the luxury of pretending we haven't damned future generations to hardships we can only imagine. Hungry polar bears are the least of our problems. Rising sea level resulting from melting glaciers will erase some cultures before they are able to adapt. New Orleans is but a taste of the reality to come.

As someone who has been reading the signs of the times in the news of the day, I am glad Mr. Gore has found his way to the multiplex to sound the warning, to those willing to brave the truth from the comfort of an air conditioned theatre. An Inconvenient Truth is a film that should be required viewing, every year, for every California school child.

Knowledge makes a lousy lifeboat, but it might give the unsuspecting a chance to learn to swim as the water rises around them.

 
 
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