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Dramatic Increase In Arctic Methane Release Requires Dramatic Increase In Political Will To Address Climate Crisis

2013/02/12

admiral titley quote*

All eyes in the climate change community are going to be on President Obama tonight as he delivers his State of the Union address, which outlines his administration’s vision for the next four years. The clip below,  from AP, discusses the urgent need for Obama to address climate change (although one wonders why they chose Bill Gates to weigh in on the connection between the current extreme weather and climate change).

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As Obama prepares his speech, Mother Nature isn’t waiting for humans to act on climate change. I’m hoping to be reassured in the State of the Union speech that we humans aren’t completely suicidal and lazy, but I’m not sure. The latest news on methane release is very alarming:

January 2013 has seen vast amounts of methane rising from the Arctic Ocean. CH4 molecule is 256 times more powerful in trapping sun’s energy than CO2. If summer time phytoplankton devour CO2 and these are then eaten by methane-belching zooplankton as their exhalation product, a very dangerous positive feedback loop is established between photosynthesizing plankton in summer and methanogenic zooplankton that devour them in the winter darkness, effectively setting a course where CO2 is being converted into CH4 by the ocean microbes. It could also be a result of open oceans in winter darkness leaking out as a result of reduction in methane consuming plankton and bacteria in seas. This would allow more deep water methane to escape without being consumed to CO2.

global methane emergency

The Eaarth will put up with only so much abuse, and she is starting to send us louder and louder signals that we need to dramatically change the way we treat her – like our lives depend upon it! Looking for ideas to respond?  There’s so many great people and organizations doing amazing work out there.  Here’s a few of my favourites:

Citizens Climate Lobby

Transition Network

Post Carbon Institute

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 2013/02/12 10:42 am

    … one wonders why they chose Bill Gates to weigh in on the connection between the current extreme weather and climate change…

    I don’t wonder, at all. Most people would consider that a multi-billionaire entrepreneur knows what he’s talking about (even in a field within which he has absolutely no expertise).

    There actually is no connection between the weather events we’ve seen and climate change.

    I’ve always considered Bill Gates an idiot, simply judging by the failings of the Windows software I have to work with every day. Now he’s proven it: he clearly has never read the Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) report, which indicates a clear link between weather and climate.

    • 2013/02/13 10:58 am

      Quite – the link between increasingly abrupt climate change and extreme weather has moved from the speculations of the lunatic fringe to increasingly mainstream climate science over the last few years. Now, why doesn’t anyone remember what the lunatic fringe was saying? Oh, that’s right, we’re not qualified to comment, no more than Gates anyway. Where”s my invite?

  2. 2013/02/12 11:56 am

    I agree, although I can’t critique Mr. Gates’ computers, as I’m a PC user, not an Apple fan. But he certainly is very good at making lots of money with computers, but that doesn’t make him a climate scientist, or even particularly bright in general. I just came across this link, that shows how much money Mr Gates has invested in Monsanto, which brings up other questions about Mr Gates’ judgement.
    http://truththeory.com/2013/02/12/bill-gates-dodges-questions-on-why-he-owns-500000-shares-of-monsanto/

    • 2013/02/15 7:05 am

      I’m not an Apple fan either; I consider PC architecture vastly superior to Apple simply on the grounds of its reusability. My PC is twenty years old, it’s like the proverbial three-hundred-year-old mallet that has had three new heads and two new handles. When a part fails, I can replace it; when an Apple computer part fails, all you can do is junk the whole machine and buy a new one.

      The problem with the PC isn’t with the hardware, it’s (in general) with the software that runs on it. A true genius would have been able to improve the software such that each upgrade made it better; but that was never the intent of Microsoft, which was, and is, to make money.

      Your link says it all, really. I have no respect for anyone who puts his ill-gotten gains into a company that bioengineers sterile seeds that cannot reproduce (purely for profit), products that, moreover, encourage suicide.

      • 2013/02/15 2:10 pm

        You’re clearly a computer genius, P, as well as being an all-round astute fellow. 🙂

      • 2013/02/16 5:28 am

        Flatulence can get you anytime.

  3. 2013/02/13 11:07 am

    Beware the silver tongued platitudes of politicians playing upon the gullible expectation of the general population that their leaders are there to look after them and to solve their problems.

    They have other richer masters, it is enough to put the poorer masses to sleep until catastrophe is here and then simply try to “manage” them to their graves.

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