Friday, January 20, 2006

plankton

Plankton isn't just an evil restaurant owner on Spongebob Squarepants, it is the basis for the entire marine foodchain. And it too could be threatened by global warming. If plankton disappears, not only will a lot of fish go hungry and die, but plankton's role in converting carbon dioxide to oxygen will end, and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be reinforce just that little bit more. And that would really suck.

Meanwhile, former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency ex-EPA chiefs say the de facto Bush Administration isn't doing enough about this whole climate change thing. Christie Todd Whitman, W's first EPA administrator, said "You'd need to be in a hole somewhere to think that the amount of change that we have imposed on land, and the way we've handled deforestation, farming practices, development, and what we're putting into the air, isn't exacerbating what is probably a natural trend. But this is worse, and it's getting worse."

Even the CURRENT EPA guy (Stephen Johnson, like any of us knew that) agreed at this event that global warming is a real problem. The Bush Administration solution: fire up that air conditioning and buy more pumps to keep the ocean out of Florida while waiting for magic to save us from a swampy fate.

Now, this Aussie scientist thinks global warming is here BUT that we have some time to keep us from reaching a tipping point -- in other words, time to save the world as we know it. Who the hell really knows? It's not like this is an experiment we can conduct and then return to starting conditions. But to continue blithely on our current path -- firing up the barbecue, driving Canyoneero SUVs, airconditioning everything to 65 degrees, etc -- is clearly in-fucking-sane. We can't be sure whether doing something now will work or not, but shouldn't we at least TRY? Because trust me, if you think the economic disruption from cutting emissions by 50% (say) would be bad, just wait till you see what it's like when the Gulf Stream stops and the icecaps melt and Florida sinks under the sea and crops can't grow in our grainbelts anymore because of too-rapid climate change.