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Earth Mom Journal
Posted by TheGoldenRule in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat May 08th 2010, 10:04 AM
Unless we change our present course soon, the future of human civilization will be in dire jeopardy. ~Al Gore




The Crisis Comes Ashore
Why the oil spill could change everything.
Al GoreMay 8, 2010 | 12:00 am


The continuing undersea gusher of oil 50 miles off the shores of Louisiana is not the only source of dangerous uncontrolled pollution spewing into the environment. Worldwide, the amount of man-made CO2 being spilled every three seconds into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding the planet equals the highest current estimate of the amount of oil spilling from the Macondo well every day. Indeed, the average American coal-fired power generating plant gushes more than three times as much global-warming pollution into the atmosphere each day—and there are over 1,400 of them.

Just as the oil companies told us that deep-water drilling was safe, they tell us that it’s perfectly all right to dump 90 million tons of CO2 into the air of the world every 24 hours. Even as the oil spill continues to grow—even as BP warns that the flow could increase multi-fold, to 60,000 barrels per day, and that it may continue for months—the head of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, says, "Nothing has changed. When we get back to the politics of energy, oil and natural gas are essential to the economy and our way of life." His reaction reminds me of the day Elvis Presley died. Upon hearing the tragic news, Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, said, “This changes nothing.”

However, both the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the CO2 spill into the global atmosphere are causing profound and harmful changes—directly and indirectly. The oil is having a direct impact on fish, shellfish, turtles, seabirds, coral reefs, marshes, and the entire web of life in the Gulf Coast. The indirect effects include the loss of jobs in the fishing and tourism industries; the destruction of the health, vitality, and rich culture of communities in the region; imminent bankruptcies; vast environmental damage expected to persist for decades; and the disruption of seafood markets nationwide.

<snip>

During the last 22 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has produced four massive studies warning the world of the looming catastrophe that is being caused by the massive dumping of global-warming pollution into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, this process has been vulnerable to disruption and paralysis by a cynical and lavishly funded disinformation campaign. A number of large carbon polluters, whose business plans rely on their continued ability to freely dump their gaseous waste products into the global atmospheric commons—as if it is an open sewer—have chosen to pursue a determined and highly organized campaign aimed at undermining public confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the global scientific community. They have attacked the scientific community by financing pseudo-studies aimed at creating public doubt about peer-reviewed science. They have also manipulated the political and regulatory process with outsized campaign contributions and legions of lobbyists (there are now four anti-climate lobbyists for every single member of the House and Senate).

More from this MUST READ article:
http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/the-cr...
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