[OPE-L] Global warming soon irreversible

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon Jan 30 2006 - 08:41:31 EST

This is a story that has more than one dimension: on the one hand,
it is a story about the Bush administration threatening government
scientists (in this case, a NASA scientist) about talking about
global warming.  You probably know that the Bush administration denies
that global warming is an urgent problem and favors voluntary
agreements ("self-regulation") by corporations.  It also echoes
the "its now or never" claim of President Chavez when Hansen argues
that Earth is approaching a "tipping point", i.e. when the quantitative
increase in warming results in an "irreverible" qualitative climatic
changes for this planet.  Is this alarmist? ... is there something
missing or assumed in Hansen's claim? ... or are we approaching The

In solidarity, Jerry


                  Report: Global warming soon irreversible
                  WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- There is growing concern
that global warming, if left unchecked, will reach a
point of no return within just decades, The Washington
Post reported Sunday.

                  James Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute of
Space Studies, confirmed that 2005 was the warmest year
on record, surpassing 1998.

                  Earth's average temperature has risen nearly 1 degree
Fahrenheit over the past 30 years, and another increase
of about four degrees over the next century would "imply
changes that constitute practically a different planet."

                  "It's not something you can adapt to," Hansen told the
newspaper. "We can't let it go on another 10 years like
this. We've got to do something."

                  There are three specific events scientists fear. They
are ongoing widespread coral bleaching that could damage
the world's fisheries within three decades; a dramatic
sea level rise by the end of the century, and a shutdown
of the ocean current that moderates temperatures in
northern Europe.

                  The rising sea level would claim the bottom third of
Florida, and drive the coast well into New York City as
far as Greenwich Village, the report said.

                  Copyright 2006 by United Press International. All Rights

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