Red Alert

on Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Photo by LGS:- Power plant across the bay (U.K.)
"Red sky at night, shepherd's delight;
Red sky in the morning, storm warning;
Red sky all day, Climate Change is here to stay,
Red alert warning ignored, Climate Change will wreck havok."

Today is World Environment Day and the main message is that Climate Change is not a theory or an opinion. It is happening already today. Eleven of the last twelve years were the hottest on record. The ice caps are melting, the ice shelf is breaking up and the glaciers are retreating. Sea levels are already on the rise and Indonesia reported last month that up to 200 of its islands is in danger of disappearing. Violent storms are becoming more frequent and at the same time, other parts of the world face severe drought. The effects of Climate Change are numerous and life changing if not life threatening in some parts of the world. I will just make a quick list here but encouracge you to read more on the topic yourself.

1) Loss of ecosystems - many ecosystems from the sensitive Artic tundra, Antartica, alpine and coral reef ecosystems will be affected. Corals may bleach with rising sea temperatures and all life on coral reefs may be affected.

2) Loss of species - already the extinction rate of plants and animals is the highest since the disappearance of the dinosaurs but climate cjange is likely to affect many plant and animal species and push them off the edge of extinction.

3) Water shortages. Severe drought is occuring in parts of USA as well as in parts of Africa. Australia's long drought may mean the loss of billions in agriculture as no water is available for farms in Southern Australia this year. Glacial fed rivers like the Mekong have more waters in Spring from melting glaciers, causing flooding but the water is insufficient for the rest of the year.

4) Agriculture crop failure.
This would range from food staples, fruits and animal products. Food shortage and food security are important issues.

5) Severe storms like the ones that hit Stanley Park in Vancouver last winter become more frequent and severe, causing a lot of damage.

6) Rising sea levels would put many coastal areas under threat of disappearance or erosion. This would also project saline intrusion and loss of major agricultural lands.

7) Diseases will spread out of their normal ranges. Hence the appearance of Western Nile Virus in New York. Vector borne disease may increase.

8) Insurance rates will skyrocket as damage from rising seas, violent storms as well and agricultural losses.

9) Housing developments near the coastline will be endangered resulting in large financial losses.

10) Combined effects may lead to the largest number of refugees (e.g. residents of islands under threat, Bangladesh, Netherlands and even Louisiana.

The warning is over. We are now in the midst of a Red Alert - disaster pending. We must act to prevent further global warming or else we will be faced with catastrophic and non-reversible Climate Change scenario.


Janice Thomson said...

It's a thought-provoking paradox is it not that while the ocean levels are rising the ground is drying out in places where drought was unheard of...
So much to ponder on in these days of great technological advances yet little clue, or worse, an ignoring of the horrendous damage mankind does to this earth. What will it take, I wonder, for man to see his folly?
Good post Lgs.

Open Grove Claudia said...

And the bees!! Don't forget the bees!!

I wish there was something more I could do about this....

Top cat said...

How much of this is due to man's neglect of the planet and how much is just a cyclical thing?
For instance the time period which caused the demise of dinosaurs was not caused by man.
Of course things like depletion of the rain forest and other environmental disasters are.

Josie said...

Albert Einstein once said, "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left." It's starting to happen. The bees are disappearing.

I don't understand anyone who denies all of this is happening. The evidence is all here. West Nile Virus has now spread right across North America. It's one of the diseases that the CDC where I work tests for now. People are advised to bring in all dead crows for testing. The earth is in more danger from climate change than it ever was from nuclear war or terrorism. Climate change will bring out epidemics of diseases that we haven't even heard of yet, and for which we have no immunity. And yet people still deny it's even happening. I don't understand it.

(I haven't been visiting many blogs lately, but I'm catching up now.)


Lorraine said...

We'll have to live with the consequences of our actions. Mother Earth though doesn't deserve the pain of destruction...great photo lgs

evalinn said...

LSG, I have a post on different cultural activities in the order of how they affect the climate:

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Pride and greed are the reasons man remain blind to his folly.

yes, the bees are affected too with shifting timing of flowers blooming etc. Although the current major crisis with bees may be pesticide related. But this again is a topic too few people know about and understand and yet has such large impacts on food production and the econemy.

top cat,
The earth's cyclical temperature swings have never reached this high and in such a short time. Normally climate change would take thousands of years and everything has time to adjust but this one is happening within a few decades. i urge you to see the "Inconvenient truth" - glaciers that have existed in pre-history are gone!

The latest slap in the face is Bush's comment that we must work together to solve climate change but that caps on emission of greenhouse gases is not on the table for discussion. What meaningless dribble. Nero playing the violin while Rome burns!

Thanks for complimenting the photo. i am rather proud of it. My first attempt at playing with aperture and shutter speeds. The photo is 25 years old.

Sounds interesting. I will definately pop inon that link.

Jocelyn said...

Yes, yes, yes.

And those of us up in arms feel that we can only make small changes, the overall impact of which may (or may not) have any long-lasting effect.

But we do what we can. And I, personally, await a president/government who will acknowledge and take action.

Melanie said...

I was happy to see that our President got a very cold reception on his recent tour to discuss environmental protection 'goals', and that our media actually pointed out that the rest of the world wants *action* rather than *goals* at this point.

and of course, this reminds me. i really need to test the idea of riding my bike to work, at least on days when i don't have to shuttle the children around. it's only 2.5 miles from home, but my main concern is the stretch of road with all the memorials on it where bikers have been killed by oblivious drivers and there are no sidewalks. there is no way in HELL that i'm riding in traffic in this part of the world. it would be insane, i don't care what the traffic laws say about blending your bicycle in with car traffic.

Proxima said...

Climate change bad, check.
Got it!

-P teasingly

squirrel said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that before reading your blog I really thought that the was no such thing as gloabl warming. This is so scary!

Molly said...

Sober stuff Squirrel. You have made me decide I must rent the movie and maybe invite some friends over to watch it, and then discuss what we can do in our own small ways....You should add you name to a list of bloggers determined to do all they can in their own life to lessen our negative impact on the environment.

Molly said...

You can add your name at Click on the picture of the earth [from An Inconvenient Truth, I think] in her sidebar.

Dr.John said...

I agree we are in some part responsible and that part can be changed. The scarrey thing is that part of this may be the natural rhythm of the planet. Long before we meddled species came and went and there were great climate shifts.

Proxima said...


I hope my short answer didn't offend you. This was an EXCELLENT post for people who have not studied Global Warming at the acadmeic level. I realized that my comment probably sounded mean and uncaring to people who don't know me. I do care about Global Warming though. -P

Gina said...

Wow, these are scary times.
It is overwhelming information for a society based on immediate gratification. Certainly modern times are reaping the downside of modern technology. When we were kids, I remember the crying indian standing beside a roadside and river strewn with trash. We were stirred into action by emotion and guilt and not wanting to be one of the bad guys.Often it takes emotional appeals such as these to motivate change. Little did we know the devastation brewing on a much larger scale just beyond the horizon. I suppose the technology to measure these things had not yet been invented. We relied on that Farmers Almanac...crossed our fingers and prayed for rain. Not something we really had direct relation to.

CS said...

And yet, so many people continue to cover their eyes (and brains) and insist there is no problem. So distressing.

evalinn said...

Just letting u know, u have inspired me to make a new effort - and not print more papers at work than are really necessary. Just one more little thing...

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