Monday, January 29, 2007

Still not much time left

Yesterday I posted a bit about a report due out this week on global warming. James Young noted that the picture I used was less-than-stellar. Actually, he wrote, "Here's a little news flash: a single glacier that has retreated 35 meters (about 100 feet) in three years proves utterly nothing." True enough. I guess I didn't look long and hard enough for pictorial evidence. I usually use the first decent picture I find that is either in the public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons License. So, taking Mr. Young's challenge, I now direct us all to better examples.

Exhibit A is posted here. While I didn't get this particular image from Time, this article has the same picture, crediting it to Greenpeace. Here's the cutline:
The photograph taken in 1928 shows how the Upsala Glacier, part of the South American Andes in Argentina, used to look. The ice on the Upsala Glacier today, shown in 2004 below, is retreating at least 180 ft. per year.
The Time article, by Jeffrey Kluger, is pretty good. I recommend it.

If Exhibit A doesn't do anything for you, like my earlier picture, you could check this comparison photo of Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park in Montana. Or perhaps you'd rather just surf this global warming site for more pictures that might be compelling.

And, I recommend Gary Braasch's global warming site which is stock full of pictures Mr. Braasch has taken around the world. On his site, he notes,
Global Warming is a wide-ranging, and urgent problem. People in the U.S. and around the world are already suffering from its effects. The truth is we all must begin reducing global warming, and fortunately there is much to do.
The report that started this thread came from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel is an international organization headquartered in Switzerland. From their website:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been established by World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. It is currently finalizing its Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007". The reports by the three Working Groups provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change. The Synthesis Report integrates the information around six topic areas.
I first learned about the IPCC in an English publication. I'm thinking the Europeans are a little more interested in this.

David A. King, Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government, wrote in 2004,
In my view, climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today -- more serious even than the threat of terrorism.
Janet L. Sawin noted in a 2005 article,
The parallels with terrorism are compelling. Traditional responses to security threats cannot address the root of such problems, and related impacts could persist even if global emissions are cut dramatically over coming decades because of the significant lag time between cause and effect. As with terrorism, we know that changes will occur, but not when or where they will strike, nor how damaging and costly they will be. Climate change already claims more lives than does terrorism: according to the World Health Organization, global climate change now accounts for more than 160,000 deaths annually. By the time the world experiences the climate equivalent of September 11th, or the 2004 Madrid bombings, it could be too late to respond.
So, the question remains: What are we going to do about it?

And I don't want to hear mumblings of "I'm just one person."

Update @ 1225: Reposted, this time with the photograph attached... ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Heh.

    Agree with you or not, I love it when people actually take the time to get evidence to support their debate.

    Nice job, Peter