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hawking on global warming

hawking on global warming

From an article by Steve Conner in The Independent: Hawking warns: We must recognise the catastrophic dangers of climate change

Climate change stands alongside the use of nuclear weapons as one of the greatest threats posed to the future of the world, the Cambridge cosmologist Stephen Hawking has said.

Professor Hawking said that we stand on the precipice of a second nuclear age and a period of exceptional climate change, both of which could destroy the planet as we know it …

“As we stand at the brink of a second nuclear age and a period of unprecedented climate change, scientists have a special responsibility, once again, to inform the public and to advise leaders about the perils that humanity faces,” Professor Hawking said. “As scientists, we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects, and we are learning how human activities and technologies are affecting climate systems in ways that may forever change life on Earth.

“As citizens of the world, we have a duty to share that knowledge. We have a duty, as well, to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change.”

And it is our duty as citizens of the world, as citizens of our respective nations, and as stewards of God’s good creation, to ensure that our governments act sooner rather than later to address the looming crisis of climate change, even as we do what we can as individuals to reduce our personal contributions to the problem. Even the smallest step in the right direction is better than taking no step at all.

early fallout from global warming

early fallout from global warming

By Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | November 21, 2006

WASHINGTON — Animal and plant species have begun dying off or changing sooner than predicted because of global warming, a review of hundreds of research studies contends.

These fast-moving adaptations come as a surprise even to biologists and ecologists because they are occurring so rapidly.

At least 70 species of frogs, mostly mountain-dwellers that had nowhere to go to escape the creeping heat, have gone extinct because of climate change, the analysis says. It also reports that between 100 and 200 other cold-dependent animal species, such as penguins and polar bears are in deep trouble.

“We are finally seeing species going extinct,” said University of Texas biologist Camille Parmesan, author of the study. “Now we’ve got the evidence. It’s here. It’s real. This is not just biologists’ intuition. It’s what’s happening.”

Read the rest of Borenstein’s article about the findings of Camille Parmesan’s study.

We are not powerless to reverse the effects or at least the momentum of global warming, but we must act soon, or it may be too late. We means all of us, all of us acting in concert, which means all of us as represented by a government of, by, and for the people. We must not ignore the evidence, downplay the threat, stall for time. We have to act now and acting now requires that we admit there is a problem, a crisis.

We can take baby steps as individuals, to reduce our “carbon footprint,” to offset our contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gases by investing in carbon-reduction technologies, but only acting together can we make reasonable headway to slow the momentum of global warming, only if our national leaders take it seriously and take action.

Too many of God’s creatures are already paying the price for our inaction …

an inconvenient truth

an inconvenient truth

movie posterWe saw Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth tonight. It is a clear and thorough, sobering and hopeful, account of the looming crisis of global warming and our capacity as a human race to address its dangers.

It should be seen, because the problem of global warming needs to be understood and faced. As one of my college classmates has stated, global warming is no more or less a theory than gravity is a theory! The scientific community is in agreement: the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate and the cause is the increased level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. And the consequences of uncurbed warming at the current levels would be disastrous, globally disastrous.

The facts are there to be seen, but we are often good at ignoring the facts when such ignorance lets us avoid a change in personal behavior. Gore is right: global warming is not a political issue; it is a moral issue. Ignorance is not an option. Hopelessness is not an option. Apathy is not an option … unless we wish to bring the guilt of causing the suffering of future generations down on our heads.

See the movie. And check out the website: http://www.climatecrisis.net/. I wish the film had been less politically self-serving — Gore very much promotes himself throughout the film — but this distraction takes nothing away from the power and timeliness and persuasiveness and may I say, the righteousness, of his message.

one small step for the earth

one small step for the earth

Get your TerraPass!

TerraPass decal

I discovered a link to this website while reading an article about global warming. TerraPass is a program that provides a way to offset the global warming impact of your vehicle’s CO2 emissions by investing in clean energy projects that reduce industrial carbon emissions. They call it cleaning up after your car.

I bought my TerraPass. Visit the TerraPass website and clean up after your car!

(And read a May 3 article by Andrew Revkin of the New York Times: Federal Study Finds Accord on Warming.)

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