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September 9, 2007

"Shocking" Changes in Greenland.

By: Rowan Wolf

on September 7th, I wrote about the arctic melt. More specifically, the concern is regarding the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. What scientists now believe is that condition of the Greenland ice sheet has been pivotal in dramatic climatic changes throughout at least the known climate shifts of Earth's history. Words such as "shocked" and "stunned" are cropping up in corporate media reports regarding the current disappearance of the ice in Greenland.

It takes something fairly significant for scientists to use such language with the press. After all, science is staid and tested. One does not admit problems with models using such "dramatic" language. If scientists are saying they are shocked and stunned, then we all better hold on to our hats.

This does not come as a surprise for those of you who have read my articles on this issue over the years ... or who have followed the off-the-front-page news regarding global warming.

At this time I am waiting for the "other" news to hit. The news that we are at a tipping point. Not at the tipping point where global warming is unstoppable. That may already be the case. No the other tipping point where we flip from global warming into an ice age. I discussed this in two articles from 2004: Environmental collapse - sooner not later, and Global Warming on Cats Paws. This "tip" into an ice age is not wild speculation, any more than global warming has been speculation.

While the climatic and sea level changes we are seeing with global warming are both measurable and devastating, and rapid flip to an ice age could geometrically magnify both environmental and social catastrophe. The fact that we have stripped many critical resources (oil, gas, fresh water, metals, top soil, etc) from the planet reduces our capacity to respond.

It is well past time for folks to realize that we as a society and the globalized consumption oriented culture need to change paths - radically. I get sick of even progressive pundits talking about "democracy" and promoting free market capitalism. While I greatly appreciate Air America radio, Randi and Ed - you need to wake up. Capitalism is only "democratic" for those with the economic resources to participate - and that is not most of the population even in the United States. The same goes for politicians - left, right, and center - who refuse to speak honestly about the issue. All of these "opinion leaders" are reaffirming the social myth that we can "tweak" capitalism, or "tweak" the way we are living (and promoting others to live the same way) and resolve the global warming issue.

It is not technology that is going to "save" us from environmental disaster. The transformation needed is a change of mind and heart and culture. The pundits, the politicians, and the people, all need to get out of dream land or all members of the planet - furred, finned, feathered and frond - are in a world of hurt.

Some of you have made dramatic changes and I commend you for them. It is more than difficult to be surviving in the land of corporate capitalism in an oil-based economy and try to work against that very system. However, somehow we must. It is clear that it will take us experimenting, sharing, and leading to change the culture and the lives that we live. The pundits are not going to do it. The politicians are not going to do it. The "enlightened" corporatists are not going to do it.

Let's face it. This system is not working for many of us. Increasingly (as the busting of the housing bubble is demonstrating) it is not even fictively working for most of us. It is time for some brutal honesty, and we are the only ones who are going to speak those truths.

Posted by Rowan at September 9, 2007 9:08 AM Category: Global Warming