Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday The Thirteenth

It's a day to avoid ladders, black cats, broken mirrors, strange guys in hockey masks, and most of all - Republicans. As Bruce's German headline in his post below this one states, those creeps are out to torpedo Obama's niceguy dreams of consensus and bipartisanship into a morass of confusion and failure. And soon enough, climate action will be the big issue requiring some sort of consensus in Washington. We don't really need black cats or movie monsters when we have this list of thirteen scary facts sent out this morning by the Environmental Defense Fund.

Global Warming By The Numbers:

1. 35% Increase in the global carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1992.

2. 388.57 ppm Average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in May 2008, a record high.

3. 541 – 970 ppmThe projected concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 2100 under a business as usual scenario where we don't dramatically reduce global warming emissions.
4. 260 – 280 ppm Average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere before industrial emissions.

5. 50 – 200 years Length of time carbon dioxide stays in the earth's atmosphere before it is absorbed into carbon sinks.

6. 1000 years Length of time changes in the earth's surface temperature, rainfall, and sea level will remain even after carbon dioxide emissions are completely stopped.

7. 34% Percentage that 2008's Arctic seasonal sea ice melt outpaced normal levels.

8. 70% Increase in the rate of Greenland's ice melt over the last five years.

9. 1.7 days Number of days earlier seasons are coming than 50 years ago.

10, 1.5 million Number of acres of forests in Colorado destroyed by the pine beetle, which is better able to survive warmer winters and is wrecking havoc in America's western forests.

11. $427 million Amount spent by the oil and coal industries in the first six months of 2008 in political contributions, lobbying expenditures and advertising to oppose climate action.

12. 0 Number of global warming bills passed by the Senate.

13. 0 Number of global warming bills passed by the House.

There's more on all this on the EDF page, including the sources for the above hair-raising facts. Most importantly, there's an "take action" button which will lead you to a letter to your reps in Washington imploring them to help Obama take action on capping global warming NOW. Please check it out, sign the letter, and sign up to become part of Operation Climate Vote Take a look at number eleven on this list - is this what we want influencing what may well be the most important congressional actions (or lack thereof) of our lifetimes?

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posted at 1:54:00 PM by marigolds2

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