Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look Over Your Shoulder, Bill McKibben!

This new study of evapotranspiration has cause and effect completely upside down - the scientists are blaming dead vegetation on drying soils but haven't considered that soils are drying out because ozone is killing the vegetation!!

"Greater evapotranspiration was expected with global warming, because of increased evaporation of water from the ocean and more precipitation overall. And data indeed show that some areas are wetter than they used to be.
However, other huge areas are now drying out, the study showed. This could lead to increased drought stress on vegetation and less overall productivity, Law said, and as a result less carbon absorbed, less cooling through evapotranspiration, and more frequent or extreme heat waves."

There is a series of ornamental pots along the sidewalk of this little strip mall in Liberty Corner.  They've been watered all summer, so the plants in them aren't suffering from drought.  Yet the leaves - which look the same as all others on potted plants and all trees, shrubs, and other vegetation growing in the ground - are stippled, singed, shriveled and losing chlorophyl leading to discoloration.  It's the atmosphere.
I can't help but be amused that throughout this interview with Bill McKibben on Canadian television, the completely bare branches a very dead tree are conspicuously visible just behind him.  I have begged him and other climate leaders to stop focussing solely on climate change due to CO2, because it's a strategy that is failing miserably.  The people consuming the most energy and creating the most emissions simply don't care enough about polar bears in the Arctic, or temperatures fifty years from now, or isolated floods to even consider making the radical changes to behavior that will be imperative if we want to avert global catastrophe.
I can only conclude that he is so surrounded by congratulatory supporters that he simply doesn't realize that we've run out of time for a feel-good, positive, "let's get to work" movement to be effective - and that it's way past time to scare people out of their wits by educating them about ozone killing trees in their own back yards, as well as reducing crop yields leading to price inflation.

Market Skeptics continues to document the unfolding agricultural crisis...and that should be enough to scare the wits out of anyone who likes to eat food occasionally.
On a brighter note, HuffPo has a collection of innovative green projects from around the world.  Looking at the photos of amazing architecture and alternative energy production facilities almost makes me think - if only evil bastards like the Koch brothers hadn't been funding the campaign to deliberately deceive people about the existential threat from pollution...and the military industrial machine wasn't so busy making war profits...we might have been able to live in harmony with each other and the beautiful, disappearing natural world, almost forever.

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