The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as world governments, ignores the risks of an ice-free Arctic (Wadhams). Rather, an ice-free Arctic is widely applauded by much of the world as a positive way forward for re-opening of northern shipping routes, new trips for cruise lines, and access to a huge cache of fossil fuels.While capitalists are celebrating the opening of an ice-free Arctic so that they can accumulate more profits and power, the methane explosion that is expected there in the near future is one example of a feed-back loop that climatologists have been warning us about for decades.
According to Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, an ice-free Arctic with its concomitant methane outbreak potential is scarcely mentioned by the IPCC in its assessment. Evidently, the IPCC does not want to discuss the possibility of major catastrophes.
In truth, an ice-free Arctic tempestuously opens up eons of methane entrapped ever since the last Ice Age. The ramifications are profound.
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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up