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    Posted February 8, 2014 by
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    How much more can our planet take?


    As an advocate for the planet and a believer in anthropogenic climate change, it isn't surprising to me that we are experiencing such a severe winter. Right now, my region is creeping out of a deep freeze that saw wind chill temps drop to as much as 45 below. Other parts of the country have been mired in snow and sub-freezing temperatures. Energy bills are skyrocketing. Animals are dying. People are suffering from the cold.


    The recent freeze and snow in Atlanta crippled the state. People in the South are ill-equipped for such frigid temperatures.


    Yet, scientists still contend that the planet is warming. Are they pulling the wool over our eyes?


    Ask a climatologist and they will respond with a resounding "no." Ask a Tea Party conservative and they will sneer at any scientific explanation. Then they will offer up some alternative theory that they read on some reactionary right wing blog.


    To me, the severe winter weather makes perfect sense. The Earth is remarkable. The ability to adapt to the significant impact that humans make is a wonder. I see the extreme winter conditions as a way that the planet compensates for the impact humans are creating.


    But the planet can only support so many people. At some point it will not be able to adapt if we don't mitigate the effects we create. Some think the earth will adapt to anything. Some put faith in amateurs who have morphed into experts simply through a crash course in skepticism.


    I'm not so gullible.


    I am a supporter of Union of Concerned Scientists so I went to them to find out why we are experiencing such a brutal winter. I quote:


    "NASA and NOAA plus research centers around the world track the global average temperature, and all conclude that Earth is warming. In fact, the past decade has been found to be the hottest since scientists started recording reliable data in the 1880s. These rising temperatures are caused primarily by an increase of heat-trapping emissions in the atmosphere created when we burn coal, oil, and gas to generate electricity, drive our cars, and fuel our businesses.


    Hotter air around the globe causes more moisture to be held in the air than in prior seasons. When storms occur, this added moisture can fuel heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain or snow."


    So why so cold?


    "In the Arctic, frigid air is typically trapped in a tight loop known as the polar vortex. This super-chilled air is not only cold, it also tends to have low barometric pressure compared to the air outside the vortex. The surrounding high-pressure zones push in on the vortex from all sides so the cold air is essentially "fenced in" above the Arctic, where it belongs. As the Arctic region warms faster than most other places, however, the Arctic sea ice melts more rapidly and for longer periods each year, and is unable to replenish itself in the briefer, warmer winter season. This can destabilize the polar vortex and raises the barometric pressure within it."


    The result is what we are seeing all across America this winter.


    Although many have experienced above average snow fall, other areas have not. Here in the Inland NW of Washington State, drought is predicted for later in the year. Several cities in California are facing water emergencies with severe risk of running out of water. The situation looks dire.


    Fire season is predicted to be challenging.


    I know I will get some push back from those on the right who are still steeped in bs and denial. The time to entertain the skeptics is past. So much money has been spent to perpetrate the lies that it's useless to argue with those who refuse to get their facts from credible sources.


    Let's elect politicians who take our future seriously and not just for the short term. Yes, the economy is very important but we should not forsake the planet and consequently humanity because a bunch of emboldened citizens without scientific understanding bully legislators into delaying action that is needed to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change.


    It's real folks. Let's stop denying it and take action before it's too late.


    Read more here:




    Photo 1: taken by me

    Photo 2: MN oil spill March 2013 (tar sands oil)

    Photo 3: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/pb-121208-train-snow-brocken-454p.photoblog900.jpg


    Thanks for reading!

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