Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Treading Water: How Soon Can Humans Evolve Gills?

Burning coal, whether within America’s borders or in China, above, contributes to temperature changes and rising sea levels that could cause a refugee crisis the likes of which the world has never seen. The United States’ national security will surely be threatened as untold millions flee submerged lowlands, catastrophic storms and newly created deserts.
Scott Ritter, writing on Truthdig, makes some dire predictive speculations concerning the future of the REST of the world once the sea rises to dispossess the BILLION-plus (about a quarter of the world's population) people who live now at sea-level near sea-coasts.

The oceans ARE rising, and they aren't gonna stop--absent a nuclear winter or a massive mega-volcano, either of which might spawn the 'nuclear winter' scenario. The problem is serious enough that even Obama's national security maven, Dennis Blair, is concerned.
While pundits and politicians wrestle with immediate issues such as the economic meltdown, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, global climate change has emerged as one of the most critical and contentious security issues of the 21st century. The new director of national intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, has cited rising temperatures, combined with an increase in weather-related natural disasters, as a major facilitator of governmental instability worldwide, especially in underdeveloped regions. Issues of poverty, infrastructure degradation, social and political collapse and environmental decay will all be exacerbated by global warming. While the crises stemming from climate change will initially manifest themselves most critically in regions of the world already impacted by political, social and economic turmoil, there is a pronounced threat of spillover as entire populations migrate from the stricken regions into areas where humans have a better chance of survival. The severity and longevity of the consequences of severe weather-related events will make current mechanisms of containing and mitigating these crises inadequate. The scope and scale of these massive migrations would be unprecedented in modern history, as would the ensuing conflicts over basic resources such as food and water, not to mention energy.
Now there's some happy news to go with your morning Cheerios...See how they float and bob around in the milk? Practice, babees, practice...

No comments: