Year 2, Month 9, Day 16: There Is No Gravity — The Earth Sucks

The September 10 Christian Science Monitor notes the unsurprising but extremely scary decline in the Arctic ice cap:

While tropical cyclones, as well as record droughts, floods, and wildfires have kept several of the lower 48 states occupied this year, the Arctic appears to be elbowing its way on to 2011’s list of extremes.

On Thursday, the extent of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean fell to its lowest level for any Sept. 8 since satellites first began to monitor conditions there in 1979, according to researchers at the University of Bremen’s Institute of Environmental Physics.

Coming so close to the end of the melt season, the observation holds out the prospect that 2011 could replace 2007 as the toughest year for sea-ice survival at the top of the world.

I used it as a hook on which to hang a bashing of Republican idiocy. Sent September 12:

As Arctic ice dwindles ever more rapidly, the prospect of a climate-change denialist occupying the White House is unsettling at best and terrifying at worst. One wonders: what would convince Republicans that global warming is real, human-caused, and dangerous?

Apparently nothing will do the trick — not even unequivocal statements from Army intelligence or the CIA that climate change will be an exceptional security threat in the coming decades. Apparently, any expert opinions running counter to GOP shibboleths are immediately and contemptuously dismissed, no matter how authoritative their sources.

The ice cap’s precipitous decline is a grim omen for our planet’s future — and pretending it’s not happening is fatal foolishness. If our democracy is to successfully address the most severe threat our species has ever faced, Republicans must come to their senses and recognize the grim and frightening reality that climatologists in the Arctic measure, each and every day.

Warren Senders

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