Tuesday, May 13, 2014

As Republicans stick their heads even further up their asses, anthropogenic global warming continues to wreak havoc, with global catastrophe likely inevitable

By Michael J.W. Stickings

From the Times:

A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.

Global warming caused by the human-driven release of greenhouse gases has helped to destabilize the ice sheet, though other factors may also be involved, the scientists said.

The rise of the sea is likely to continue to be relatively slow for the rest of the 21st century, the scientists added, but in the more distant future it may accelerate markedly, potentially throwing society into crisis.

"This is really happening," Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA's programs on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research, said in an interview. "There's nothing to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the ice can flow."

Note here, once again, how scientific research produces not inflammatory polemics but cautious, nuanced conclusions and sober, reasoned projections -- this is science.

In contrast, the head-up-the-ass denialism that governs the Republican Party, and pretty much the entirety of American conservatism today, with respect anthropogenic global warming in particular but also with respect to science in general, is rooted in ideology, igorance, and bias, much of it theocratic.

But the latter, given America's corrupted two-party system and much of the country enthusiastically basking in abject ignorance and bias, is politically powerful enough to paralyze the U.S. from doing anything to respond to a mammoth crisis despite almost the entire scientific community reaching the same conclusions about global warming.

And that's not about to change anytime soon, what with Republicans pushing their heads further up their asses, not least to appeal to a base deeply rooted in various forms of reality-denialism. (Marco Rubio made the latest stupid comments, but he's the rule, not the exception.) Which only makes global catastrophe even more likely, and perhaps even inevitable. It's really just a matter of when.

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  • Republicans are able to drive the debate on major issues in America, thanks to their massive propaganda apparatus of Drudge/Fox/Talk Radio. In today's culture, the side that screams its message the loudest and the most often "wins" the debate.
    By contrast, the world's scientists don't have any kind of propaganda apparatus to counter the GOP message. Indeed, their occasional squabbles on relatively minor issues is often seized upon as "evidence" that there is still doubt about Global Warming.
    I guess if there's any "good" news in all of this, it's that America's eager embrace of fracking as the cure-all to our energy issues will itself turn out to be a bubble in the near future. I urge people to read the book, "Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future" for more on this.
    I personally despise fracking and I will be glad to see that whole racket blow up in the face of the "drill baby drill" crowd.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 12:53 AM  

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