Monday, April 10, 2006

Global warming: Bush stands on fast thinning ice

I know I am behind the times but the sober speech given recently by US Senator Barack Obama bears reading if you haven't already: The Coming Storm: Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet (Chicago, IL. April 3rd, 2006). It's great to see some leadership taken on global warming for a change...

"The issue of climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril. There may still be disputes about exactly how much we're contributing to the warming of the earth's atmosphere and how much is naturally occurring, but what we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe."

...and to read these gems...

"And yet, when it comes to finding a way to end our dependence on fossil fuels, the greatest vacuum in leadership, the biggest failure of imagination, and the most stubborn refusal to admit the need for change is coming from the very people who are running the country."

...

"This is not a serious effort. Saying that America is addicted to oil without following a real plan for energy independence is like admitting alcoholism and then skipping out on the 12-step program. It's not enough to identify the challenge - we have to meet it."

He talks of Shishmaref, the first village to reluctantly up and move because of global warming, harbinger for the 40% of the world's population who live within 60 km of the coast.* They are harbingers in every sense as the word derives from Middle English herbengar, or person sent ahead to arrange lodgings.

Fellow harbingers and Arctic and Antarctic photographers, Brian and Cherry Alexander have been to the Inuit village in Alaska to snap the ice before it melts.

Shishmaref - A Casualty of Global Warming (photo essay)
Artic Meltdown (photo essay)

Planet Ark reports that it is going to be expensive to relocate the village of 600 people to a new spot 22kms (13.5 miles) away.

The cost of moving Shishmaref is currently estimated at $150 million to $180 million, said Bruce Sexauer, a senior planner for the Corps' Alaska district.

The pro rata cost of relocating Sydney's 5 million strong population then is a silly $1,250,000,000,000 to $1,500,000,000,000. While strictly an apples with oranges comparison, it does show that the cheapest option is to do all we can to fight global warming now to mitigate extreme climate change. The alternative is to keep investing big in cheap energy now to save enough of an inheritance to pay for your children and grandchildren's global warming induced relocation costs, currently estimated at $250,000 to $300,000 per child or grandchild by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Don't forget to adjust for inflation.

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10 comments:

Glitch said...

Howdy!

Uh, Interesting Article -

:):)

Wadard said...

hi Glitch,

Thanks for stopping by. The article you reference is by a geologist. Geologists are employed to look for coal and oil so I take his familiar oil lobby talking points with the a grain of salt.

Income protection said...

It will be a big problem to us.

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arts courses said...

Looking back, should the NCAA be given any ideas? Like it wouldn't be that surprising to see the NCAA respond this way.

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