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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Yesterday I again posted on maybe the worst case weather scenario:  The Venus Syndrome.  That killer gas was methane.  So today I return to carbon dioxide.  Absolutely essential, but perhaps counterproductively, we keep getting those scare releases from yet another new United Nations report about the coming dangers of global warming, that the masses might actually be getting immune to the  noise.   But this latest indicates:

  • Grain production has dropped by several percentage points.
  • Higher seas.
  • Devastating heat waves.
  • Torrential rain.
  • Super hurricanes.
  • Loss of the ice sheet over Greenland will cause a sea level rise of 23 feet.  (Of course, this will take centuries to unfold.)  If Antarctica melts, with 90% of the world's ice and 70% of the freshwater liquifies, add another 200 feet.  (This might take millennia.)  Note that total melting of the Arctic will essentially add zero inches to the level, for this ice is already floating.  Anyway, if all the ice melts, and the seas warm as expected, the sea level will be around 250 feet higher.  Florida will disappear:

          But I wouldn't move out of Florida for that reason because this will take many millennia.

So the matter of time is a factor, and the relatively lethargic pace of the effects is deluding.  But, more so, there are elements in society dedicated to misleading the public so that they can maximize profits:
  • The fossil industry is not run by idiots, as their misinformation campaign is clever and effective:
    • "Dark money" donations fund much of the climate denial efforts.
    • The ExxonMobil and Koch (that's their logo to the right) Affiliated Foundations gave heavily to these deniers up to 2008.  Then this link ended.  The money became dark.  Read this article.
    • 140 third-party foundations funneled $558 million to 100 anti-global warming organizations from 2003 to 2010
  • The temperature of our atmosphere actually stopped warming 15 years ago.  Well, not really, but cherry-picking data can lead to this conclusion.
  • Read Forbes and the National Review, watch Rush Limbaugh and Fox News:  global warming is a hoax.
  • Honestly now, do you really feel the higher temperatures?  If the atmosphere warms 3 F by 2100, that means, on average, the increase is 0.03 F/year, or a total of 0.3 F in a decade.  You won't be able to detect this change.  In fact, too many winters remain much too cold.  The problem, though, is that while you should be able to tolerate a 3 F increase (and no one reading this will be alive in the year 2100), the effect on Planet Earth will be calamitous:  droughts, super hurricanes, specie extinctions, unproductive farmlands, failure of major economies and worse.
The headline article of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today, taking the up the full first page, was entitled:

The front page had Duke Kahanamoku's statue chest high in seawater, and the reasons were global warming and sea level rise:
  • Hawaii's hotels are located near the shore.  They will all be endangered.
  • Beaches will erode.  According to Charles Fletcher of the University of Hawaii:  By the end of the century, I would be surprised if Waikiki Beach is still there.  The sea level will rise by 3 feet.  Sand replenishment in 2012 cost $4.5 million.  Might be cheaper to move Waikiki elsewhere.
  • Lost visitor expenditures of nearly $2 billion.
  • There will be higher energy costs for air conditioning, and Hawaii pays THREE times more for electricity than the national average.
  • Environment will deteriorate.
  • Freshwater will become expensive.  Yikes, golf courses will be hard hit.  Come to think of it, my Ala Wai Golf Course already shows evidence of seawater when the tide is very high.  Three feet more would inundate the whole playing area.
To the credit of researchers and planners, this study was released not to necessarily alarm the residents, but more to educate and urge for better planning and execution of solutions.  As I indicated exactly a week ago, Hawaii is a Special Place.  However, the negatives are frightening.  Can we avoid the impending doom?  Of course.  We have time, and I don't expect most of the core of Honolulu to someday be under water.


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