Sunday, April 22, 2007

Go Hug Mother Earth Today

Yes, fellow Earthlings, today is Earth Day, around the world. Have you hugged Mother Earth today? No? For shame! Love your momma! Go outside and lay on the ground, arms spread out, and hug your planet. Go on, I'll wait . . . .

This year's Earth Day topic is, of course, Global Warming. Every week there are dozens of new research reports, papers, and science organization statements about climate changes and the resultant effects: bleaching of corals, increasing storms and hurricanes, decline of species, rise in sea level, change in the atmosphere and weather, and effects on economy of all these things. Even the Bush administration can no longer ignore the validity and pretend the problem doesn't exist. After 7 years of blatant disregard for the scientific data and a coordinated disinformation campaign, suddenly Bush is an advocate for global warming (though not enough to join the Kyoto Treaty, of course). Consider this article, released today, saying that Bush will be meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan to cooperate in building a zero-emissions coal plant. While I applaud the change in stance, I still have to shake my head, along with every other scientist in the world, and mutter, "What the hell took you so long? Too little too late, Mr. 'Junk Science.'"

Perhaps the most obvious effects of global warming can be seen anywhere there is "permanent" ice. Glaciers are melting and disappearing all over the world. Giant icebergs are breaking off both in the Arctic and Antarctic. And huge changes are happening to the ecology at both poles. Consider a report released last week:

According to the report, the sea ice is forming later, freezing thinner, and thawing sooner in the arctic. As a result, more and more Inuit hunters are falling through thin ice and drowning; animals never before seen in those cold waters are now migrating to the region, including finches, robins, and even dolphins, which the Inuit have no words for; cold-climate mammals such as polar bears are migrating further north; and, interestingly, the Inuit in certain regions are unable to build igloos anymore.

Polar bears are starving or drowning from exhaustion. Sea ice is growing thinner and melting away, revealing new islands. What are we to do?

There are many, many things you can do. A simple search on the web will produce action lists - everything from being energy-conscious, taking part in political action, or simply planting a tree. HERE, HERE, and HERE are some sample pages. But the main thing, of course, is to educate yourself, dummy, and pay attention, unless, of course, you don't mind increasing heat waves, hurricanes, and the loss of many species all over the world. Those species were WEAK, anyway! Who needs 'em? Buck up, polar bears! Learn to fish.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You've heard it all, already. Every frickin' day there's some report on Headline News about this stuff. Frickin' "liberal media"! It's becoming wallpaper. But let's not get too used to this wallpaper. It gets an uglier shade every week, and before long you won't be able to ignore it anymore.

You didn't actually go out and hug the ground, did you? I see you, sitting there at your computer. I can read your mind, too. You're thinking about playing computer solitaire, aren't you? Typical. Now go out and hug the planet. Momma Earth loves you.

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