Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet


The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Monday 28 August 2006


The Montreal Protocol of 1987, is it seems having the desired effect. The Antarctic ozone hole seems to have stopped growing, and 'may' return to normal by about 2060. If so, that is good news. The bad news, of course, is that if we had started trenchant international action in the 1970s or 80s aimed at the far bigger problem of global overheating we could now be overcoming the problem. We didn't. Now it is too late. We attacked the easy problem, we failed to attack the big hard one. Which may mean that the easy one will be negatively affected, because global overheating also affects the ozone layer, due to the fact that as the troposphere warms the stratosphere cools and that makes the CFCs more efficient at zapping ozone. So the Fat Lady of GOH (global overheating) has yet to sing the final ozone aria. It remains to be seen whether it is a song of triumph or doom or an unwelcome mixture.

A huge study across Europe, involving scientists from 17 nations and 125,000 studies over 561 species has proved conclusively that the climate is changing, reports the BBC. Spring is coming earlier (six to eight days than it was thirty years ago--and up to two weeks in Spain). Autumn is coming later. The bad news is species that depend on each other can be pushed out of sync, threatening the survival of some.

Monday 14 August 2006


Latest measurements by NASA show that Greenland's icecap is melting three times faster than it was two years ago--reported by BBC News. The total loss is now estimated at 239 cubic kilometres a year. If all Greenland's ice melts the world's oceans will be about 6.5 metres higher.

Underlining that bad news are these extracts comes from the New York Times: 'China uses more coal than the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. And it has increased coal consumption 14 percent in each of the past two years in the broadest industrialization ever.'

'The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks.'

Oh, goody! Just what we needed. An even worse polluter than the United States...

If all that was not bad enough, yet another global-overheating story on BBC News, based on a huge fifty-model study at Bristol University, paints a gloomy picture of what the planet is in for--especially if you remember that the temperature rises being talked of in those articles are by no means the maximums predicted by some authoritative models.

Thursday 10 August 2006


What a weird Orwellian world! We know that burning the black stuff will seriously degrade the planet for millennia, and therefore that it will guarantee a future that cannot be as good as the past. Yet country after country is pinning its hopes for economic prosperity on oil, gas and coal. The list is long: Iraq, Venezuela, Russia, Scotland, Norway, Nigeria, Congo, etc., etc.

That is Orwellian double-think. Big Black Stuff is looking after you. Trust Big Black Stuff. Love Big Black Stuff. Happiness is Big Black Stuff.

Stuff and nonsense. But in consequence the addiction that is wrecking the only planet we can live on will not be cured, it will not be given up. Like smokers puffing away in the lung-cancer ward of a hospice, the billions of black-stuff addicts will go to their graves still sucking greedily on the exhaust-pipes and chimney-stacks of their insanity.


For an insane (as in way-out) look at global-overheating, read this piece on the BBC News site, written by George Meyer, a long-time writer on The Simpsons. D'oh, we wrecked the planet...