By Bill Maher
Climate change deniers hear manmade global warming will likely increase temperatures by a few degrees by the end of the century and think, “So what? I’ll just eat my ice cream a little faster.” What they’re not considering is what scientists call “the climate change time bomb” – the melting of permafrost in arctic and subarctic regions that rapidly increases the release of heretofore-trapped methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
AFP reports on a new study that says the Earth’s permafrost is melting and releasing these gasses at a much higher rate than previously thought. They say, “Even stabilizing the world's climate at 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels – the daunting goal laid down in the 196-nation Paris Agreement – would melt more than 40 percent of permafrost, or an area nearly twice the size of India…” And the co-author of the study says, "We estimate that 1.5 million sq. miles… will disappear for every additional degree of warming… That's about 20 percent higher than previous estimates.”
We’re releasing gasses that warm the planet, causing permafrost melting, which releases far more of these gasses. We don’t have to do that – there are proven alternatives that could abate the crisis – but we prefer a collision course with extinction. After all, there are coal jobs at stake.
What do we do to convince President HeadUpHisAss that a “tipping point” is more than just how much of a gratuity you give the hooker who pees on you?
Speaking of not helping, Indonesia likes to use fire to clear land for palm oil and acacia plantations. It’s got the highest rate of deforestation in the world, even higher than Brazil. Findings from another new study show that the 11.3 metric tons of carbon released daily from burning in southeast Asia outpace carbon emissions from the entire European Union. It also makes the air in Indonesia thick with ash and haze. People call it the one of the single biggest climate issues in the world, and the driver is the growing use of palm oil.
Maybe we shouldn’t use that.