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The Hunger Games For Real
By Ernest Stewart

"We're seeing a classic case of not dealing with the problem, because, I mean, it sounds awful to say, but some of us were saying 20 something years ago that if we didn't tackle these issues you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources and ever greater difficulties over drought, and the accumulating effect of climate change, which means that people have to move.

"And, in fact, there's very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land." ~~~ Prince Charles

For those of you who have been paying attention, you know that a series of weather disasters have shaken the world in recent weeks, with deadly floods in the central and western United States and Britain adding to ongoing droughts in Brazil, South Africa and India.

Global warming is partly to blame because it heats up the world's oceans and sends evaporated water into the atmosphere, where it generates more heat. With a warmer atmosphere, you've got more energy to power bigger storms. Rainstorms will get worse; and when you've drought in a particular area, it can be more intense because the underlying temperatures are higher. Like they're experiencing in the Middle East -- adding to the migrations in Europe!

Global warming has been raising the planet's temperatures for years. But in 2015, that trend coincided with the start of an unusually strong El Nino, (The Godzilla El Nino) a natural, periodic warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean that can last a year or two.

Some climate observers say the concurrence of global warming and El Nino may've caused temperatures at the North Pole to rise briefly above 50 degrees in December, something that has happened only three times since 1948, melting sea ice and creating a 'feedback' effect.

The loss of sea ice turns a white reflective surface to a dark heat-absorbing surface (viz., water), so during the summertime, the Arctic Ocean is sucking up a lot more heat from the solar rays; and, over time, it re-radiates that heat over the fall and into the winter. And that is a really big, new impact that we're seeing. Which means the more that it does this, the stronger it becomes, and the thinner the ice becomes in the winter, which in turn is bad for seals and polar bears and suchlike.

And their numbers are dropping, according to Polar Bears International, a U.S. and Canadian nonprofit group dedicated to conserving the animals. Stephen Amstrup, chief scientist at Polar Bears International, said he expects more of the animals to disappear, even if the international community can limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as agreed to at last month's Paris climate conference.

"The impacts [from a 2 degree C warming] would be significant, and we would lose polar bears over much of their current range," Amstrup said. "But this is about a lot more than polar bears. People say, 'Well, polar bears live way up north and why should I care?' They really are harbingers of what is coming to the rest of us."

These climate observers say 2016 could bring more losses to human habitats from cyclones, floods and droughts as global warming and El Nino continue to interact with each other in the coming months. Oh, and speaking of cyclones we have hurricane Alex brewing in the eastern Atlantic! Alex is not just the first named storm for the 2016 calendar year. It's also the first January-born hurricane since 1938, and just the fourth known storm to arrive in the month since records began in 1851. Turn and face the strange Ch-ch-changes.

If this is left unabated by the Year 2050, up to 39% of plant and animal species could become extinct due to Global Warming. Though many people focus on the impact global warming will have on humans, plants and animals continue to suffer as well. In just 35 years, nearly 40% of plant and animal species could fall prey to the effects of global warming. There are already a billion hungry people now and with 40% of the food gone in a few years that number could triple and bring the dystopia of the 'Hunger Games' for real.

Not only can you look forward to worsening weather but we may soon have food wars, and not in any far-off country, but right here at your local supermarket. We're just a few crop failures away from disaster. Oh, and you can bet that any food that's available will go to the rich first; and what's left will be fought over. If this scenario doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, perhaps you might want to do something to lessen global warming! A good start might be throwing the 1% puppets out of office, and electing those who're aware of the mess we're in, and are prepared to do something about it!


01-08-1947 ~ 01-10-2016
Thanks for the music!

02-19-1937 ~ 01-11-2016
Thanks for the film!

02-21-1946 ~ 01-14-2016
Thanks for the film!


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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 03 (c) 01/15/2016