Thursday, December 28, 2006

Food For Thought

I can’t stop thinking about those friends of mine that don’t accept that this form of global warming is anything but ordinary. Think about some of these numbers and statistics gleaned straight from the National Geographic experts below. There is no topic for debate. As Al Gore says, the very idea that global warming is a subject of discussion is ludicrous and derived directly from propaganda bought by oil companies, loggers, and big business. This thing is real, the numbers don’t lie.

• Over the last century, global temperatures rose by about 1 degree across the board.

• Modern weather records have kept been for a variety of statistics, dating back to the mid 19th century. To date, the warmest years on record stand in this order: 1998, 2002, 2003, 2001, and 1997. Coincidence?

• In the Northern Hemisphere, the fall freeze now starts about ten days later than it did a century-and-a-half ago and the spring thaw comes at least nine days early.

• In Barrow, Alaska, the average yearly temperature has risen almost five degrees Fahrenheit over the past 50 years.

• Arctic icebergs have shrunk by nine percent since 1978 and half will be gone by this century’s end.

• Where will all this water go, you ask? Well, the ice sheets on Greenland alone hold enough water to raise world sea levels 23 feet. No need buying real estate in London, New York, Miami or Cape Cod. The vast majority of these areas would be sea floor by this time. You can watch South Beach and downtown Miami get a good ol’ fashioned global warming welcome here.

• Which brings up a sore issue… weather. Higher sea levels result in more destructive storms that are able to reach even further inland and cause vastly more damage. And you thought Katrina was bad for New Orleans? Wait until we’re seeing hurricanes reaching Chicago.

• A rise of just 1.5 inches of sea level corresponds to a typical coastline retreat of about 150 feet. What would 23 feet in rise do?

• European plants now flower and average of a week earlier now than they did in the 1950s. Those beautiful linden trees that flank Parisian boulevards now lose their leaves five days later.

These statistics are designed to shock. Unfortunately, for most people it’s not enough. So that’s when Mother Nature decides to show us her displeasure of our harmful ways with wake up calls in the name of Katrina, Tsunami, Rita.

Get the facts. Get moving. Get ready, because it’s time for a change.



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