Stephen Harper cannot hear the cry of the earth

 

 

The science of the situation is clear — it’s time for the politics to follow

Dr. James Hansen is director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor in the department of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University. He is the recognized voice, the voice of consensus among the scientific community. He  was the first scientist to warn the US Congress of the dangers of climate change.

 

In a recent article in the NY Times he turned his attention  to the appalling ecological footprint of Alberta’s Tar sands. he wrote:

 

Global warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves “regardless of what we do.”

If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.

Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk.

That is the long-term outlook. But near-term, things will be bad enough. Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Economic losses would be incalculable. More and more of the Midwest would be a dust bowl. California’s Central Valley could no longer be irrigated. Food prices would rise to unprecedented levels.

If this sounds apocalyptic, it is. This is why we need to reduce emissions dramatically

Our PM Harper goes blithely on ignoring the sacredness of the “Greater Economy”. the natural world which sustains us. We have here a PM of massive tin ears unable to hear the pre-eminent sign of our time, the cry of the earth, the assault on the Body of God.

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