The recent typhoons and hurricanes that swept across the Atlantic Ocean and South China Seas, have left death and devastation in their paths in the Bahamas, South East Seaboard of the U.S., China and Japan.
Rather than write another blog on the climate crisis, I decided to re-run my earlier blog Climate Vortex published several years ago. What I said then, is doubly true today.
“Spending winter 2013-2014 in sunny Los Angeles, watching
the news from drought stricken California showing the mid-western,
southern and northeastern states getting hammered with endless freezing
snow storms, is just the latest expensive reminder that climate change, in
addition to being a weather warning, is also a serious economic issue.
“Billions of dollars of lost productivity, more than 75,000 flight
cancellations that caused chaos at airports, hotels, car rental agencies and
restaurants where people were forced to go and spend millions more of
their hard earned savings on food, shelter and alternative transportation —
and that’s not counting the people stranded in their cars on America’s
highways sleeping wherever they could find shelter.
“Is what America is experiencing on the weather front not only the
beginning of the end of the environment as we know it, but our
way of life economically and politically because of climate change?
“Hurricane Sandy was the wake-up call America needed. It even got
President Obama to acknowledge that climate change is an issue that
must be addressed.
“The reality is that the Arctic Ocean will probably be ice-free by 2030.
This is not the main worry, however, as this is floating ice. When it melts it
does not raise sea levels. The real worry is the Greenland ice shelf, which is
also melting at an unprecedented rate. If this disappears too, the effects
will be catastrophic.
“Sea levels around the world will rise between six and seven meters,
wiping out cities like New York, London and Shanghai. The addition
of so much cold fresh water into the seas would also change ocean
currents and weather patterns in ways we can’t even imagine. At the
same time, rising temperatures in the northern hemisphere now risk
melting much of the Siberian permafrost, which, like Greenland, will
release vast clouds of trapped methane, accelerating the speed of
climate change even more. This risks starting a chain reaction, which
we could do nothing to stop.
“When predictions were made a few years ago, scientists said it would
all be more or less OK if we limited the rise in average global temperatures
to two degrees celcius. We have missed that target.
“Without change, we are now heading for a four-degree rise, which will
take the earth’s average temperature back to levels seen 40 million years
ago. This will cause the Antarctic to melt too, with sea levels rising 60-70
meters. The droughts and floods we would experience along the way
would make the planet virtually uninhabitable,” says Graeme Maxton,
a fellow of the Club of Rome.
“The biggest threat to our existence is not the lack of economic growth
or terrorists – it is climate change. It is something I encounter frequently
when I travel across the U.S., especially in winter. The thousands of travel
advisories and flights canceled is a nightmare for frequent fliers like myself,
as well as economic and financial nightmare for everyone.
“I was delighted to read that one global warming skeptic, prominent
physicist Richard Muller, who was on the payroll of the energy companies,
had come clean and in from the cold, reluctantly admitting after two years
of trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong that they
were right and that temperatures really are rising. Muller’s study was
partially funded by a foundation connected to global warming deniers. He
pursued long-held skeptic theories in analyzing the data. He was spurred to
action because of “Climategate,” a British scandal involving hacked e-mails
“Yet he found that the land is 1 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in the
1950s. Those numbers from Muller, who works at the University of
California Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, match those from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA. He said
he went even further back, studying readings from Founding Fathers
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
“What got everyone’s attention and raised a lot of eyebrows was the
“fact that one-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research came from the
Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of not only the
Tea Party movement, but of skeptic groups. The Koch brothers, Charles and
David, run a large private company involved in oil and other related
“The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that the problem
is very real and that climate change is man-made from the burning of fossil
fuels such as coal and oil. “Greenhouse gases could have a disastrous
impact on the world,” Muller concludes.
“Isn’t it time we wake up to this economic nightmare instead of wasting
any more time on political spin?”
Enough said. Unfortunately, it is something that has to be repeated over and over again until we address the Climate Change crisis head on. NOW! Before it is too late.