Year 2, Month 10, Day 17: Repent!

The Worthington Daily Globe (MN) runs an AP piece on Al Gore’s words about the Great Lakes, which are shrill:

Former Vice President Al Gore says dealing with the climate change crisis is essential to fixing some of the environmental problems plaguing the Great Lakes.

Gore drew links between results of a warming planet and regional issues affecting the lakes in a speech Thursday in Detroit during the annual meeting of the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canadian agency that advises both nations on shared waterways.

He said increasingly intense storms likely caused by global warming are overwhelming wastewater treatment systems in the region. They dump excessive nutrients and sewage into the lakes, leading to beach closings and algae blooms.

Gore said climate change also causes more evaporation, which drives lake levels down.

I’m in a bit of a hurry today, and this letter’s joinery is slightly rickety in places. What the hell. Sent October 13:

While it’s fashionable in some circles to dismiss Al Gore’s words of warning on climate change, his facts are irrefutable. Excess precipitation has indeed overwhelmed water management systems — not just in the Great Lakes area, but all over the planet — triggering massive blooms of algae, contaminating public areas and impacting fish and wildlife populations.

Of course, this is just one aspect of a systemic problem so enormous it’s no wonder climate-change denialists prefer to ignore it entirely. Whether it’s the loss of biodiversity, the shocking decline in Arctic sea ice, or the uptick in extreme weather events everywhere on Earth, the evidence substantiating the danger posed by the greenhouse effect is now overwhelming — and very scary.

While the former Vice-President has the facts on his side, it’s fair to say that, unlike most prophets, Mr. Gore won’t gain any personal satisfaction from being proved right in the end.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 7, Day 19: A Thick Protective Coating

More hilarity on Jim Inhofe’s swimming adventure, this time from the Joplin, MO Globe. They used the same AP feed, so there’s nothing more to add but my letter, sent July 2:

The report on Grand Lake’s algal blooms omitted an important fact: according to an April 4 paper published in the journal Science, the conditions that give rise to the proliferation of the toxic scum are consequences of climate change. BGA loves unstable weather, record high heat, and excess atmospheric CO2 — all of which are results of global warming. This, of course, renders James Inhofe’s ill-fated swim more than a little ironic. The Senate’s top climate-change denier — a man who revels in his “enemy of the environment” status — finally experiences the impact of the greenhouse effect personally. But it will probably take more than exposure to poisonous algae to change Mr. Inhofe’s mind. He’s protected by another sort of green scum: the oil industry money financing his public campaigns against sensible action to deal with the looming climate crisis.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 7, Day 18: Look Before You Leap!

James Inhofe is still an idiot. Witness, for example, this AP article printed in the Greenfield Reporter (IN):

TULSA, Okla. — Sen. James Inhofe says he believes a swim earlier this week in algae-laden Grand Lake made him ill.

Inhofe told the Tulsa World that he took a routine dive into the lake Monday morning and that night he was “deathly sick.”

Oklahoma authorities warned people Friday against swimming in the lake, saying potentially toxic blue-green algae had been detected. They’ve also advised against water skiing and other activities that would bring people or pets in contact with the water.

The algae would undoubtedly do a better job as Senator. Sent July 2:

James Inhofe’s excellent adventure — diving into Oklahoma’s Grand Lake — wound up making him seriously ill. No wonder: the surface of the water was covered with a blue-green scum which the senator had never before seen, despite decades of living on the lake shore. It’s unsurprising that Mr. Inhofe didn’t look before leaping, since the senator has made a successful political career out of a public contempt for facts, prediction, and analysis. If he’d bothered to investigate the algae, he would have learned it was exceptionally poisonous — up to 18 times more toxic than the warning level used by the World Health Organization. If he uses his convalescence to do some more research, he might learn that according to an April 4 paper in the journal Science, the cyanobacteria that laid him low thrive and flourish in the weather extremes that are a consequence of (you guessed it!) global warming.

Warren Senders