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What It Will Come Down To!
By Ernest Stewart
"Going from one extreme to another is a hallmark of climate change." ~~~ Jon Queally
With upwards of 20 people dead, and even more missing, the raging high waters have been described as having "tsunami-type power" in Texas over Memorial Day Weekend; the latest example of extreme weather in the United States is being tied to a global pattern of increasingly volatile events that are claiming lives and costing billions of dollars in damage each year. Another benefit of ignoring global warming is dam failure! Midlothian, Texas reports failure of Padera Lake Dam is imminent, begging the question, "How long can you tread water?"
Meanwhile, an international conference sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization started on Monday, and may shed additional light on the impact that human-caused climate change is having on the planet's highly-dynamic weather patterns.
With the title of 'Facing Up to Climate Change, Extreme Weather,' the WMO conference itself is asking the world's foremost meteorologists to weigh in directly on the interchange between the planet's existing weather patterns and the role of increased atmospheric and ocean temperatures created by carbon and other heat-trapping gases.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said ahead of the meeting, "So far in 2015 - as in preceding years - weather-related disasters have destroyed or disrupted millions of lives and livelihoods." Citing devastating events like Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, major droughts in India, California, and Brazil, and the kind of flooding that recently struck Chile and now being seen in Texas, Jarraud said the "list of extreme events is long and there is growing scientific evidence that at least some of them would have been unlikely without human-induced climate change."
With the next round of UN climate talks slated for later this year in Paris, Jarraud affirmed that the WMO's efforts will be aimed at addressing the threat of increasingly extreme weather caused by global warming. "It is a pivotal year for action on behalf of future generations. We have more than a responsibility. We have a moral duty to take action to limit climate change. If we don't do it we will be judged by our children and our grandchildren.
"There is no argument that the planet has undergone many a climatic change in its 4.5-billion year history, but most scientists agree that this time is different. To name just one indicator, never before has the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide climbed as rapidly as in the last century, since the industrial revolution really took off. This month atmospheric CO2 reached 400 parts per million, a concentration last seen before man even began to evolve some 2.5 million years ago."
And while the cause of any individual weather event is debatable, a pattern has emerged; and it isn't business as usual.
And with the planet increasingly warming due to humanity's continued emission of greenhouse gases, the current experience of those living in Texas's and Oklahoma's intense flooding caused by heavy rains after prolonged periods of drought is just one of the expected dangers that climate scientists have long warned about. As Think Progress reported on Monday:
"Going from one extreme to another is a hallmark of climate change. Scientists predict more droughts in the coming decades, as well as more intense rainstorms. In the midwest, the number of storms that drop more than three inches of rain have increased by 50 percent, according to an analysis from the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Texas and Oklahoma both face intensifying drought and flooding, although politicians in both states have denied climate change. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Texas 'has yet to formally address climate change preparedness' - one of only 12 states to not have taken any steps toward addressing the impacts of climate change on water resources."
The Natural Resources Defense Council added, "Between more intense rainstorms and sea level rise, flooding will only increase if we don't address climate change."
Meanwhile over in India, hundreds of people are dying from the heat wave that's gripped most of India for the last month -- with temps averaging between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. With no relief in sight for at another least 2 weeks! The fact the several electrical generating stations are down due to overloads from everyone using their air conditioners has certainly added to the death toll. How hot is it? (Can't you just hear Ed McMahon ask Johnny, "How hot is it, Johnny?") It's so hot, that the roads are beginning to melt!
Here's some more good news from the Associated Press:
The scariest thing about global warming? Giant, super-fast spiders! New research suggests that climate change could make spiders not only more numerous but larger and faster on their feet!
If floods, droughts, sea-level rise and even the melting polar ice caps doesn't do it for you, here's a really compelling reason to worry about global warming.
Now a new study, published in the journal Experimental Biology, has concluded that they are likely to be able to run faster, and, therefore, harder to catch.
It all comes down to how the arachnids move. Instead of using muscles, they rely on fluid to move their limbs. And as it heats up, the fluid's ebb and flow gets faster. So, the researchers found that while they moved sluggishly at a cool 59F (15C), they sprinted around at three times the speed when the thermometer rose to a stifling 104F (40C).
They sped up mainly by taking more steps, which also made them clumsier because they were unable to control their limbs so well. So there you have it: more bigger, speedier spiders, which are more liable to stumble into your bath.
Memo to Miss Muffet: our response to those insisting that we will easily adapt to climate change has to be: 'No whey!'"
The more we look into what climate change really means, the stranger and scarier it gets. Now that we're beyond the tipping point, it's just going to get worse. Meanwhile, all over the Southwest the army is getting ready to practice Marshall Law; so they know what to do when climate change causes the economy to crash and our money is worthless and the starving masses start to revolt. When we get to the Happy Camps, I call top bunk!
09-20-1929 ~ 05-23-2015
Thanks for the laughs!
06-13-1928 ~ 05-23-2015
Thanks for the math!
06-12-1936 ~ 05-24-2015
Thanks for the jazz!
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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.