Friday, January 19, 2007

The Rising Tide Of Carbon Dioxide

It appears, from the evidence that is coming in, that global warming, the "hoax" according to Republican Sen. James Inhofe, is happening at a much faster rate than scientists believed.

"Carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere much faster than scientists expected, raising fears that humankind may have less time to tackle climate change than previously thought.


New figures from dozens of measuring stations across the world reveal that concentrations of CO2, the main greenhouse gas, rose at record levels during 2006 - the fourth year in the last five to show a sharp increase. Experts are puzzled because the spike, which follows decades of more modest annual rises, does not appear to match the pattern of steady increases in human emissions.

At its most far reaching, the finding could indicate that global temperatures are making forests, soils and oceans less able to absorb carbon dioxide - a shift that would make it harder to tackle global warming. Such a shift would worsen even the gloomy predictions of the Stern Review which warned that we had little over a decade to tackle rising emissions to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

David Hofmann of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), which published the figures, said: "Over this last decade the growth rates in carbon dioxide have been higher. I don't think we can plausibly say what's causing it. It's something we're going to look at."

Unfortunately I don't think we as a species are going to do much to change it. It is not in the "interests" of the rich, you could say, to do anything about it. Even though many scientists think it is the worst threat facing the planet.

Do you think this is going to do the job?

"Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat and chairwoman of the committee with broad jurisdiction over climate change issues, called for aggressive caps on US greenhouse gas emissions in an interview with Reuters.

Boxer's committee will hold a hearing Jan. 30, where all 100 members of the Senate will be invited to propose legislation to cut heat-trapping emissions linked to global warming and rising ocean levels.

Rather than combining all the proposals into one bill, Boxer said the issue could be addressed through a series of legislation.

"The consensus bill could be one bill with five parts, it could be five smaller bills," Boxer said. "We don't know."

Panel hearings on the issue could be wrapped up by March and "we'll have action hopefully this year" on a vote, she said.

The "gold standard" for climate change legislation is the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, a bill she co-sponsors that would cut US emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 through a series of reduction targets."

Don't get me wrong, I am very happy my Senator is doing this, but it appears as if know one gets how severe the situation really is. And if what we are hearing is correct, that we have a decade to get serious reductions in carbon dioxide, then bills like this are not going far enough to really alleviate the problem.

We would probably need a national effort of sacrifice similar to what was done during World War 2. This would involve a vast change in the American "lifestyle" that would effect every aspect of our lives.

In order for this to happen the public would have to be told the truth and I don't know if anyone really wants to hear it.

Do you?

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