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The Canary Is Dead
By Ernest Stewart
"The Arctic is genuinely collapsing. Scientists used to call these things the canary in the mine. What they say now is, The canary is dead. ~~~ Dr. Ovid Byron
For another example, a new study finds that a remote ice cap in northern Europe, above the Arctic Circle, is shedding so much weight it now races toward the sea 25 times faster than it did in 1995.
The Austfonna Ice Cap, which hugs an island offshore of northeastern Norway in the Svalbard Archipelago, holds about 600 cubic miles of ice, a volume bigger than most glaciers, but smaller than the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets. Most of this ice cap sits on land, but on the island's eastern side, the ice floats outward into the Barents Sea. In 20 years, it may be gone! How long can you tread water?
Left to its own devices, global warming will have a significant impact on the sustainability of water supplies in the coming decades. A new analysis, performed by consulting firm Tetra Tech for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), examined the effects of global warming on water supplies and demand in the contiguous United States. The study found that "more than 1,100 counties or one-third of all counties in the lower 48 will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming. More than 400 of these counties will face extremely high risks of water shortages." Places like Phoenix, Tucson, and Las Vegas will become ghost towns.
Finally, there's some good news: a new poll finds most Americans support government action to combat the effects of global warming, and will likely vote for candidates who put forth a promising stance on environmental issues.
The telephone poll, conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University, and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future, surveyed 1,006 adults across the nation from Jan. 7 to 22. Participants were asked questions such as "whether they think climate change is human-caused, if global warming is perceived as a serious threat, and if they have strong opinions on the matter." Respondents were also probed about government-related issues, including "whether they think the government should limit greenhouse gases and how a candidate's opinion on climate change affects their vote."
The poll found that "eight in 10 Americans think that climate change is human-caused, including 88 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of Independents and 71 percent of Republicans. Roughly two-thirds of Americans also said a candidate's stance on global warming influences how they vote, which has implications for the 2016 presidential campaigns. The findings suggest a growing concern nationwide, as the public worries about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions."
So, it was noteworthy that 15 Republicans voted last week in favor of a resolution declaring that humans contribute to climate change, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was, at the time, the only 2016 presidential contender to go on record espousing such a belief. Five Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, voted in favor of a resolution declaring that humans contribute significantly to climate change. Imagine that, America! Even former deniers like Lindsey and Lamar are beginning to see the light. Maybe there is some hope for us yet!??!
04-14-1918 ~ 02-03-2015
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(c) 2015 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.