We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ancient Warming Has Disturbing Implications for Our Future

Click here to access article by Michael D. Lemonick from Climate Central.
By delving into an unusually rich and well-preserved set of ancient marine sediments from Spitzbergen Island on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, an international team of researchers has come up with an estimate of how quickly carbon entered the atmosphere at the start of the PETM [an ancient period when carbon buildup happened rapidly].

It’s a key question because climate change is really only a major problem if it happens relatively quickly. If it plays out over many centuries, ecosystems will have time to adapt, and the vast infrastructure that underlies the developed world — cities, transportation systems, industrial facilities and more—can be moved, rebuilt, or modified at a reasonable pace and cost. If, as is currently the case, climate change unfolds rapidly, the changes can be enormously destructive.
A major problem for many people to understand the threat of climate change are time scales and the speed of change over larger periods of time. Such time scales are beyond the realm of ordinary human experience.

Fortunately, most scientists are keenly aware of their importance. To understand the present threat of climate change, scientists are looking at similar periods of carbon buildup in past geologic time with which to compare our own age. The results are disturbing. 

Such information is routinely hidden, obscured, and belittled by capitalist media managers. They sense that if too many people become informed of this threat, their favorite system that provides them with so much wealth and power will simply collapse.

Also, I recommend reading the comments following the article.