Highest Greenhouse Gasses in Millions of Years
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Atmospheric greenhouse gasses absorb infrared radiation from the sun, releasing it, including the sun’s heat.
As natural and man-made greenhouse gasses increase, more heat is retained in the atmosphere instead of escaping into space. Heating the earth is called the greenhouse effect – from water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and fluorocarbons.
Since the mid-18th century industrial age onset, atmospheric carbon dioxide alone increased by 40%. Use of coal, oil and natural gas fossil fuels are the major contributors to global warming – along with use of nuclear power.
Contrary to government and industry disinformation – even during normal operations, nuclear power generation causes significant discharges of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as hundreds of thousands of curies of deadly radioactive gases and other radioactive elements into the environment each year.
Splitting the atom may turn out to be catastrophic. In her book titled “Nuclear Madness,” physician, anti-nuclear activist/expert Helen Caldicott said the following:
“…(N)uclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced.”
Failure to rely on clean, renewable energy may doom us. Of all sources of energy today, nuclear power is by far the most dangerous.
Although power plants release no carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary greenhouse gas, a vast infrastructure is required. Called the nuclear fuel cycle, it uses large amounts of fossil fuels.
Each cycle stage exacerbates the problem, starting with the enormous cost of mining and milling uranium, fossil fuel needed to do it.
Disposing mill tailings produced in the extraction process requires great amounts of greenhouse emitting fuels to remediate.
Other nuclear cycle steps require use of fossil fuels, including conversion of uranium to hexafluoride gas prior to enrichment, the enrichment process, and conversion of enriched uranium hexafluoride gas to fuel pellets.
Nuclear power plant construction, dismantling and cleanup at the end of their useful life require large amounts of energy.
So does cooling contaminated water, nuclear waste, its handling, transportation and disposal/storage.
Relying on fossil fuels and nuclear power as energy sources is a catastrophe waiting to happen – if nuclear war doesn’t doom us first.
The Trump regime chose the holiday period to quietly release the damning National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “Fourth Annual Climate Assessment.”
It said greenhouse gasses are at the highest levels in the past five million years, explaining the following:
“Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth,” adding:
“More frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.”
“Future climate change is expected to further disrupt many areas of life, exacerbating existing challenges to prosperity posed by aging and deteriorating infrastructure, stressed ecosystems, and economic inequality.”
“Global action (is needed) to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions, (what’s essential to) substantially reduce climate-related risks…”
Unless this issue is addressed, “climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.”
“(M)itigation and adaptation efforts” are way short of what’s necessary to avoid likely catastrophic consequences in the coming decades – why strong action is needed now.
Climate change affects the quantity and quality of planetary water – for human consumption, agriculture, and other needs.
Rising air and water temperatures produce droughts in parts of the country and elsewhere worldwide.
Health and well-being are adversely affected by transmission of diseases through insects, other pests, along with compromised water availability and quality.
Climate change adversely affects global ecosystems, transformational changes already occurring.
“Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands, and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the United States. Expected increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality, and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad threaten rural livelihoods, sustainable food security, and price stability,” the NOAA report explained.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Thursday, greenhouse gas global warming increased by 41% since 1990.
WMO’s Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said “(t)he science is clear. Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed.”
Rising temperatures and sea levels may greatly impact coastal areas, forcing countless millions to move inland.
The Trump regime largely ignores the likely catastrophic consequences if this vital issue isn’t responsibly addressed now.
Hugely destructive California wildfires and other environmental catastrophes may be prelude for much worse to come without action to contain and reverse generations of environmental abuse.
Food and Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter sounded the alarm, saying:
“Climate change is spawning more extreme weather, causing irreparable harm to communities, costing billions of dollars a year, and leading to countless deaths. We can stop climate destruction, but only if we act quickly to end the use of fossil fuels and transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy.”
Without worldwide responsible action, the alternative may be ecocide.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”