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OPINION: The Rising Costs of Climate Denial

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by Michael Cody, Hardwick

When it comes to the increasingly pressing environmental issue of global warming/climate change, the short-sighted, deceitful, tactics of the fossil fuel industry and their institutional puppets are hardly surprising.

But the continued refusal to understand and accept what far too many experts now recognize as a very grave, and immediate, threat to modern civilization (and potentially all life) is now much worse than a farce.

Deny all you wish, but just over 35 years after former United States President Jimmy Carter’s solar panels were removed from the White House, this is the world’s “inconvenient” reality:

Today’s human caused carbon emissions are roughly twice that of 70s, and are still growing, (although less slowly than during the past few decades).

Wanna’ go back there? Neither do I. Who in their right minds would??

Now, the planet’s temperature is trying to “catch up.” And the latest predictions are that it wants to do so in within a few decades at most (ouch!).

Consider this from NASA: each of the past three years has been the “hottest on record.” And ten of the past 14 months have been warmer than the 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial times that the already obsolete December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is supposed to keep us from exceeding.

So just how much fossil fuel heat is now coming back our way?

The equivalent of early 4.5 BILLION Hiroshima bombs worth since 1970 alone (presently, several per second: tick, tick, tick…)!

As a result, the world’s oceans are maxed out. They are warming up, and acidifying, significantly. This is having a terrible impact on marine life. On land, forests are in decline, with wildfires and insect infestations now reaching a scale unimaginable just a generation ago (adding on to ever greater rates of deforestation for settlement, agriculture and industry).

The overheated oceans are delivering the excess warmth to both poles. The Arctic is now melting down at an astonishing rate, and is experiencing high temperatures previously unheard of, including in the dark of winter.

Arctic Ocean sea ice is at an all-time low in modern history, and is refusing to properly refreeze this winter (yet another unfortunate “first”).

The Arctic’s astounding warm-up has severely diminished the temperature differential (“gradient”) between the North Pole and the equator, significantly weakening the northern hemisphere’s Polar Jet Stream and thus allowing for “abnormal,” “stuck,” weather patterns (such as “polar vortex displacements”) that are already wreaking havoc with crops, infrastructure, private property and life.

Greenland’s glaciers have become undermined by melt water, further accelerating their collapse. There is now a vast area of even colder than normal surface water in the Atlantic Ocean south of Greenland. This is weakening and diverting the Gulf Stream, further contributing to “freak” weather.

The Antarctic is also warming, and melting down, at an increasing rate. Although thus far this pales in comparison to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice is now in rapid decline, and ever larger chunks of ice are breaking free from both the Antarctic mainland and continental shelf.

And the southern hemisphere Polar Jet Stream is now also showing signs of weakening, leading to adverse weather effects “down under” as well.

Editor’s Note: Edited for length

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