Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Global Warming Update

Of all the subjects covered here at the Edge, global warming (or "heating," as Lovelock likes to put it) is consistently the most alarming, simply because the rate of change keeps surpassing the best scientific predictions. In part this can be explained by the phenomenon of the "feedback loop," popularly known as the vicious cycle, i.e., once things get going, they continue on their own, regardless of the original stimulus. The heating of the planet is particularly susceptible to a feedback loop. (You did see An Inconvenient Truth, didn't you? If not, perhaps this site will help you...) Today's news is the shocking developments in the Arctic, wherein you could actually this summer sail a boat to the North Pole. Previously, this was thought to be somewhat further in the future, and thus the news is not the phenomenon itself but the speed at which bad news has accelerated. Alarming, yes, and sad too, since it is obvious that any efforts at this point will be mere window dressing, since nobody is about to give up their irresponsible energy-hogging lifestyles, not the overfed mean-spirited inhabitants of the 'richest nation on earth' (hah!) nor the many wannabes around the world. Population control is a nonstarter, and a worldwide ban on carbon usage is a sad delusion.

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