Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Global Warming: "This is not just another issue. It is an absolutely central one. There is widespread agreement in the world scientific community that unless we dramatically shift from the use of fossil fuels to the use of clean and renewable energy, we are facing a truly apocalyptic future. Among the likely consequences:

"-The Hadley Center, a major climate research laboratory in Britain, recently said that, 'by 2040, most of the world's forests will begin to die.' (1) -The near-disappearance of arctic sea ice. 'It is 40% thinner than it was forty years ago.' (2) -'Climate change would probably exacerbate hunger and poverty around the world. . . People who are highly dependent on farming, fishing or forestry will see their livelihoods destroyed.' (3) -We will see heat waves worse than the one last summer in Europe that killed upwards of 35,000 people. -Hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe storms will become more frequent and deadlier. May, 2003 brought 562 tornadoes to the United States, 163 tornadoes higher than the previous monthly high of 399, set in 1992. -'Results of a major study showed yesterday that more than a million species will become extinct as a result of global warming over the next 50 years.' (4) -'New research in Australia suggests that the amount of water reaching the rivers will decline up to four times as fast as the percentage reduction of rainfall in dry areas. This, alongside the disappearance of the glaciers, spells the end of irrigated agriculture.' (5) -The melting of the glaciers and arctic sea ice could lead to a shutting down of the Gulf Stream, 'which bathes the UK and northwest Europe in warm water carried northwards from the Caribbean' (6) And because the Gulf Stream is the 'engine' powering what is called the 'Great Ocean Conveyor. . . a twisting, swirling current that wends through all the world's oceans,' (7) 'the possibility exists that a disruption of the Atlantic currents could have implications far beyond a colder UK and northwest Europe, perhaps bringing dramatic climatic changes to the entire planet.' (8)"

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