I'm Right Again Dot ComA new commentary every Wednesday — March 16, 2016
The Argument Over Climate Change
I read recently that more than 30,000 sea lions were stranded on South California beaches last year. An ongoing fish famine is preventing sea lion mothers from producing milk, resulting in fewer, less hardy pups.
But what about we humans? Despite the fact that warmer temperatures all around the globe is causing ice to melt more rapidly than earlier predicted, the scientists at the University of California at Santa Barbara estimate that sea levels will rise only 50 centimeters (19.4 inches) in the next 100 years. You and I certainly need not lose a lot of sleep over that happenstance. Nevertheless, I read recently that some tiny fish low in the food chain are found in far fewer numbers in cooler waters in which they too, once abounded. We can expect there to be an escalation in the price of all seafood. I can live with that. Mollusks have never been a great part of my diet. I am not crazy about sushi, either.
The great dispute is no longer whether a warming of our planet is happening or not, but who is causing it and how they are doing it. I can remember hearing the learned rightwing seer, Rush Limbaugh saying 30 years ago that this business about humans releasing more carbon particulates into the atmosphere was nothing more than left-wing propaganda intended to curtail industry. Detractors insist that Mother Earth goes through these warming and cooling cycles every few thousand centuries and we're just going have to live with it. Others insist that we are experiencing an augmented period of more and worse hurricanes and tornados due to the cyclic frequency of El Nino seasons. If that's true, the human victims of nature's vicissitudes ought to be praying for the current dreadful cycle of weather extremes to begin to peak out.
I'm afraid that is not going to happen soon. Big "IF" this worldwide heating is the result of human-caused pollution and the real lessening of it has finally begun in earnest worldwide, we can judge that is happening on some day far into the future; a time when one is able to see for more than 100 feet at midday in downtown Shanghai. In the meantime, better hold your breath.
-Phil Richardson, Observer of the human condition and storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself." - Joseph L. Menchen
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