Please visit our sponsor!
Don't It Always Seem To Go...
By Ernest Stewart
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone
Big Yellow Taxi ~~~ Joni Mitchell
Over the past 50 years, temperatures across Alaska increased by an average of 3.4 F. Winter warming was even greater, rising by an average of 6.3 F. The rate of warming in Alaska was twice the national average over that same period of time. Average annual temperatures in Alaska are projected to increase an additional 3.5 to 7 F by the middle of this century.
Precipitation in Alaska has also increased slightly. Climate projections indicate that Alaskan winters are likely to be wetter; and that summers could become drier -- as rising air temperatures accelerate the rate of evaporation.
As the super typhoons have increased across the Pacific over the last few years, most all of them, still packing a mighty punch, land squarely on the shores of Alaska. When combined with the lack of sea ice, vast coastlines are quickly eroding into the sea. This is causing problems for most of the natives who tend to build their villages along the coastline, many of whom are forced to pick up and move inland or be swept up by the sea! This also affects the folks in the Midwest and in the East as these typhoons push the Arctic weather south, giving us those polar vortexes that've become so popular of late!
The permafrost is melting and causing a whole bunch of other troubles, too. You'll recall that permafrost is the frozen ground located one to two feet below the surface in cold regions. As permafrost thaws and the soil sinks, structures built on or within the soil are damaged. The impacts of melting permafrost on transportation, forests, ecosystems, and the economy could have widespread implications for Alaskans. As the permafrost melts and hydrocarbons are released to the atmosphere, the grounds sinks in its absence. The trees in Alaska are another victim. As temperatures rise and permafrost thaws, the softening soil interferes with root systems. The altered soil conditions cause trees to sink into the ground. As a result, the trees in many of Alaska's forests lean, creating so-called "drunken forests."
As the permafrost melts, highways, airport runways, railroad tracks, and structures that are built upon it rupture. Many of Alaska's highways are built on permafrost. When permafrost thaws, roads buckle. Vehicles are only allowed to drive across certain roads in the tundra when the ground is frozen solid. In the past 30 years, the number of days when travel is allowed on the tundra has decreased from 200 days to 100 days per year. Projected increases in temperatures and permafrost thawing would continue this trend and could further limit access to the tundra. Building infrastructure on thawing permafrost requires additional engineering, and can increase the cost of construction by 20% or more. Most existing structures were built without the new engineering and are becoming affected.
This is also affecting most of the wildlife, too. Sea ice which is important to sea lions and walruses is melting away, which is bad for them -- but also bad for their predator, the polar bear, which relies on ambush from atop the ice to survive. On land, the lichens are drying up and being replaced by bushes -- which the vast herds of caribou who rely on the lichen to survive and now can't eat. Fish and water fowl are suffering as the lakes and swamps are drying up and disappearing, leaving them no habitat.
Most all of this destruction is cause by the gas, coal, and oil industries so that their billionaires can become trillionaires, no matter the cost, or who or what they destroy in the process! So, how are you liking our oligarchy so far, America?
09-15-1945 ~ 04-30-2015
Thanks for the film!
04-01-1930 ~ 05-01-2015
Thanks for the film!
07-27-1927 ~ 05-02-2015
Thanks for the music!
We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can...?
So how do you like Bush Lite so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?
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.