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Igniting methane coming to the surface in Alaska

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Not A Snowball's Chance In Hell: Part Two
By Ernest Stewart

As a scientist, my attention became totally focused on global warming some 15 years ago by the elegant and powerful measurements of carbon dioxide trapped in ice cores taken as much as 2 miles deep from the great East Antarctica ice sheet. ~~~ John Oliver

Did you know that Antarctica contains 90% of the ice, and 70% of the fresh water to be found on Earth? Remember when the Pine Island Glacier calved an iceberg the size of Singapore in 2013? In 2014, we found an area the size of Germany and Austria composed of Pine Island, Thwaites, Haynes, Pope, Smith and Kohler glaciers were rapidly melting -- because they were being undercut by warm water and winds at a rate that may cause the ocean to rise about 2 feet. While globally 90% agree that global warming is happening, it's man-made; and we're almost to the point that we mayn't be able to stop it; no matter what we do. Here in the United Snakes, fully 25% of people don't believe in global warming; and half of those who do don't think it's Mankind's fault. Of course, there are those working for the Dark Side, viz., The Koch Brothers: Big Oil, Coal and Gas, who are spending billions of dollars to misinform the sheeple, so they can keep on raking in trillions. Their stooges in Con-gress are keeping our hands not only tied, but are desperately trying to roll back climate-friendly sources of power like wind and solar.

Even if we stopped creating carbon today, the ice will continue to melt in Antarctica; we've reached that tipping point, and gone beyond it. All this thawing is not only making the sea levels rise, but is unleashing methane gas into the air; and just as methane can heat the air in your furnace, methane in the atmosphere heats the atmosphere up, too -- and is as big a danger to the atmosphere as is carbon.

Methane that's soaked up into the ground and trapped under permafrost is being released by global warming as the permafrost melts away; even methane trapped under lakes is rising with the center of some arctic lakes never freezing over because of the constant rise of the gas. Oh, and let's not forget the gas that's leaking from gas wells and pipelines. Put it all together, and you may have a 16-foot rise in the oceans. It was projected 20 years ago this could happen in 300 years; then a decade ago 200 years; five years ago, 100 years. All of which Mankind could deal with -- building dikes, moving people to higher ground, and we're talking about one billion people as it stands now. But what if this happened in the next 5 years? The glaciers are now melting at 10 times the rate that they were just 100 years ago. In the last ten years, the glaciers are melting 3 times as fast as they were just ten years ago! Away from the sea, the glaciers are losing some ten feet a year of ice, and the glaciers are retreating currently at the rate of a kilometer a year! Not only in Antarctica, but all over the world, as well. The Greenland glaciers no longer freeze solid in the winter, water under them stays unfrozen all year round, hastening their demise.

While the deniers point out that in eastern Antarctica the sea ice is increasing; and, therefore, it's getting cooler, not warmer. In reality, that has nothing to do with it being cooler, but because the same western winds coming off of Australia, that are forcing the warm surface water under the glaciers in western Antarctica, are creating sea ice. Sea ice doesn't count as it's like lake ice in the winter; when springs comes, it all melts away -- while sea ice is maybe 3 feet deep, the glaciers are kilometers thick -- but not for long! Did I mention that inland in Eastern Antarctica the ice pack is several miles deep and starting to break up?!!?

Even now, low-lying areas around the world are beginning to disappear under the ocean. Some Pacific island chains are going under the waves, and places like Bangladesh see their coastal areas going under, causing a million people to seek shelter further inland as their fields and villages wash away. Trouble is, it's just going to get worse, the southern half of Florida may soon disappear, as well as the southern end of Manhattan, just to bring this disaster home. Do you remember Hurricane Sandy in 2012 which flooded large sections of New York? By the time it hit, it was barely a Category 1; can you imagine the damage from a Category 5 with the sea level that was just two-feet higher? As it was, Sandy caused over 68 billion dollars in damages when it came ashore near Brigantine, New Jersey, just to the northeast of Atlantic City, as a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds. Three years later, and there are still parts of New Jersey and New York that have never been rebuilt.

How do we Americans deal with this? A good example might be what those bribe-taking geniuses in North Carolina legislature came up with. They passed a law that bans the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise; can't have the truth come out, because what it will do coastal cities and towns, i.e., higher insurance rates, building new towns in areas that will be underwater in a few years; nope, can't have that! As Stephen Colbert joked, "If your science gives you a result you don't like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved." NOT!

Even though the sheeple have gone from over half of them not believing in global warming to a quarter that still clings to everything is normal mantra, there's little that we can do in this country about it. As long as our Con-gress is the best Con-gress that money can buy, it's only going to get worse and worse -- not only for us, but for the rest of the world, as well. Global warming is the biggest threat to mankind that we've ever had to face and we're losing. Remember what George Carlin once said about the Earth...

"The planet isn't going anywhere. WE are!

We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam ... The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the Earth will be renewed."

While that's bad for us, it's good news for the cockroaches!


02-20-1944 ~ 03-08-2015
Thanks for the music!

06-06-1955 ~ 03-08-2015
Thanks for the laughs!

02-07-1948 ~ 03-11-2015
Thanks for the music!

04-28-1948 ~ 03-12-2015
Thanks for the read!


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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.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 15 # 11 (c) 03/13/2015