Tuesday, May 31, 2011
In my previous blog, I sought inspiration from one of my childhood heroes, the original space oddity, David Bowie, as I sought to focus on just a few of the millions of climate changes happening throughout our world as we deliberately and permanently alter a planet on which we (geologically) just arrived, moments ago. In my imagining, the man who fell to earth invites us to consider the rather insane changes we are unleashing haphazardly and blindly on a world that existed quite happily without us for over 4 billion years and likely looks forward to doing so again. According to Earthweek, we now have more evidence that "far more serious consequences to climate change could be in Earth's future than just warmer temperatures" as "melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is making it easier for toxic chemicals stored in the polar region to escape into the air."
And "global warming could cause changes in the water cycle that threaten to alter stream acidity worldwide." And "an unprecedented number of forest fires are likely to occur around the planet unless global warming is not curbed through significant reduction in carbon emissions in the near future." And "global warming is also pushing ocean temperatures to record highs, causing extensive coral reef damage. Further damage as the oceans warm even more could destroy the marine food chain."
Sing it with me now: Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
Turn and face the strange
(Ch-ch-Changes) Read More
Physicist Axel Kleidon Says Wind and Wave Energy Not Renewable, Could Adversely Affect Environment In a provocative paper to be published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, German Physicist Axel Kleidon says that there is a limit to the amount of energy humans can extract from wind and wave power, and that in using these sources we could affect our environment in ways as serious as the greenhouse effect. Put simply, Kleidon’s argument is that there is only a finite amount of wind available on the earth, and the attempts humans made to exploit that wind for energy useage in wind turbines actually affect wind patterns and thus the amount available wind to harness for energy use. According to his theory, the more wind farms we build will lead to more turbulence, changes in precipitation and cause atmospheric changes which could change the amount of radiation reaching earth’s surface...
Environmental hazards remain after Joplin tornado As residents confront a gigantic cleanup following the tornado that savaged Joplin, experts say environmental dangers could lurk amid the mountains of debris in the southwestern Missouri city and even in the water and air. Damage from tornadoes, like floods and hurricanes, often goes beyond what is readily visible. Liquid fuels and chemicals can leak from ruptured containers and contaminate groundwater. Ruined buildings may contain asbestos. Fires can generate smoke containing soot, dioxins and other pollutants. Household, industrial and medical wastes are strewn about...