I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scream or A Flicker of Hope

Climate change is accelerating.  Climate change models  - much derided by deniers - look pretty conservative.    Arctic summer sea ice is vanishing: we may see an ice free Arctic summers by  2020.

Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth's polar caps.
Greenland's ice cap seems to be thawing like a popsicle dropped on asphalt on a hot Kamloops day.
 New data compiled by the European Space Agency (ESA) has suggested that Greenland’s ice sheet is melting much faster than previously thought.    Officials said that new satellite images from ice-measuring radar firm Cryosat were combined with NASA IceSat images, which revealed that the landmass is currently losing ice at the rate of around 900 cubic-km each year.  Experts say that although ice melt figures vary greatly, the new results are nearly 50 percent higher than the majority of findings and have sounded new alarms among scientists.


But - WHOHOO! open Arctic water means access to oil!
Ottawa has placed 905,000 hectares of the northern offshore up for bids, clearing the way for energy companies to snap up exploration rights for an area half the size of Lake Ontario. The scale of the offer indicates eagerness in the oil patch to drill for new finds in Canada’s northern waters less than two years after such plans were put on hold following the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a major Arctic drilling safety review.


And HEY - maybe we can get metahne out of them thar frozen wastelands !  Do you think?????? Ignore that person chittering away about potent greenhouse gases.

The pilot experiment will explore the possibility of ‘mining’ from gas hydrates: cages of water ice that hold molecules of methane. Such hydrates exist under the sea floor and in sandstone deep beneath the Arctic tundra, holding potentially vast reserves of natural gas. But getting the gas out is tricky and expensive.

 On my more despairing days I think humanity is too stupid to survive. Makes me want to scream..... But The Joint Review Panel on Northern Gateway did ask for the US NTSB's report on their bungling of the Kalamzoo spill. 
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report was published in July, but Enbridge has not tabled any information about the spill, which leaked 3.3 million litres of oil into the Kalamazoo river, coating wildlife.  Now the Joint Review Panel assessing the company's proposed oilsands pipeline from Alberta to B.C. has tabled a detailed request asking Enbridge to supply the synopsis report and the final report by noon MT on Sept. 4.

A flicker of hope in an oil addicted world.....why on earth wouldn't we admit our addiction when we're reduced to scrabbling for  oil with an EROI of 2.41?     How much destruction do we have to cause before we admit this culture and way of life is unsustainable?  We need to change our values.

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