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Have A Nice Day!
By Ernest Stewart
"Easier to destroy the world than to change capitalism even one little bit." ~~~ Kim Stanley Robinson
Yeah, I get it -- in most cases they knew it was bad, and getting worse, but didn't know how bad it already was. They were predicting around the turn of the century that in 300 years all Hell would break loose if we didn't do something -- like change our polluting ways! Ten years ago, it was 100 years from now when it would be too late to stop it. Five years ago, it was 50 years before it hit the fan. Since most of us are going to be dead in 50 years, it doesn't have the punch that it might if it was going to happen tomorrow. It takes a hell of a lot to get your average American couch potato up off his ass and into the streets to demand that our government address this problem while they still can. Perhaps I can light a fire under you? Forget the 50 years time table; it's happening now -- today!
University of Edinburgh researchers warn that the carbon emissions that drove a mass extinction event some 252 million years ago were released at a rate similar to today's. This rapid acidification of the world's oceans, according to a new report by leading scientists, finds that this very phenomenon is to blame for the worst mass extinction event Earth has ever seen.
The findings, published this week in the Edinburgh Journal of Science, raise serious concerns about the implications of present-day acidification, driven by human-made climate change. Lead author Dr. Matthew Clarkson said in a statement:
"Scientists have long suspected that an ocean acidification event occurred during the greatest mass extinction of all time, but direct evidence has been lacking until now. This is a worrying finding, considering that we can already see an increase in ocean acidity today that is the result of human carbon emissions."The paper looks at the culprit behind the Permo-Triassic Boundary mass extinction, which wiped out more than 90 percent of marine species and two-thirds of land animals, making it even more severe than the extinction of most of the dinosaurs.
The scientists evaluated rocks in the United Arab Emirates that, 250 million years ago, were on the bottom of the ocean. Researchers then employed a climate model to determine what drove the extinction.
A summary of the researchers' findings explains the mass die-off: "It happened when Earth's oceans absorbed huge amounts of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions. This changed the chemical composition of the oceans-making them more acidic-with catastrophic consequences for life on Earth."
The report summary concludes, "The carbon that drove this process during the Permian-Triassic Boundary extinction was released at a rate similar to modern emissions. This fast rate of release was a critical factor driving ocean acidification."
Over the past 200 years alone, international oceans have become dramatically more acidic, putting coral reefs and sea life at risk; and even, in some cases, causing snails' shells to dissolve.
As Dr. Rachel Wood of the University of Edinburgh told the Independent: "The important take-home message of this [report] is that the rate of increase of CO2 during the Permian mass extinction is about the same rate as the one to which we are exposing the ocean to today."
As I keep reminding you of that old George Carlin quote: "We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away." Even with the above report driving another nail in our coffin and Earth Day coming up on the 22nd to remind you once again of our current plight, I see no commitment from you or our bought-and-paid-for leaders -- just another day, another nail in our collective coffin. We're fast approaching the "End of the beginning" and moving forward to the "Beginning of the End." It's about to hit the fan, folks, "Have A Nice Day!"
06-04-1926 ~ 04-10-2015
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11-25-1940 ~ 04-14-2015
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Until the next time, Peace!
(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.