Oct 23rd, 2015, 01:43 AM

Climate Change: Five Feet High and Risin'

By Sam Baird
Click bait. (Courtesy of: © st__iv / Fotolia)
Well, the rails are washed out north of town, we gotta head for higher ground, we can't come back till the water comes down. Five feet high and risin'...

Johnny Cash (Live) - Five Feet High And Rising

How is it we still live in a world where, in opposition to overwhelming consensus supporting it, there are still educated, successful public figures who don’t just deny the immediate effects of human-caused climate change, but fund the campaigns denying it?

We all know the usual rogue’s gallery of villains. The Koch brothers, owners of the infamous Koch Industries, are the most notorious. They own numerous polluting energy companies that benefit from lax regulations. Other perpetrators include Exxon Mobil, which along with the Koch brothers have donated millions to climate change denial organizations since at least the early 2000s.  Even the massive Edelman PR firm, which “fully recognizes the reality of, and science behind, climate change”, should know something about brand image and not represent the American Petroleum Institute, another supporter of dirty energy enterprises. Unfortunately, most of these entities have been operating largely in the dark for years due to a decline in traceable funding.

I know what you’re thinking: “But what if they’re right…?  What if it’s all just a big conspiracy by the science community, fabricating bullshit for their own diabolical ends?!”

No.  Stop talking.

(Image credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record)

The rules of scientific debate are that both sides must present their arguments with certifiable, peer-reviewed evidence. That’s why this isn’t a debate anymore. Only one side can offer that. NASA reports the following:

"Global temperature rise:

All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years.

Warming oceans:

The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.

Shrinking ice sheets:

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.

Ocean acidification:

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent.12,13 This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year."

"You may leave here for four days in space, but when you return it's the same old place" (Courtesy NASA/MODIS/USGS)

So, is all hope gone?

Yeah, probably...  BUT, there are some stinkin’ rich fools on our side too, so who knows!

Bill Gates. The original alpha-nerd billionaire. The man whose poster is on the wall of every boy who’s ever put the insides of a Magnavox clock-radio in a pencil box and called it an invention. Bill and his wife Melinda have done more than most over the years for a number of humanitarian and scientific causes.  Recently Gates pledged $1 billion to invest in research for clean energy technology over the next five years. He continues to give away enormous amounts of money, but for some reason won’t give me the $17 thousand for that thing I need.

A relatively unknown player in the billionaire advocacy space is Manoj Bhargava. The founder of 5-hour Energy has created a new initiative dubbed ‘Billions in Change’. Through it he’s created an infrastructure of innovation aimed at solving some of Earth’s biggest problems, including energy production. The Free Electric program is a stationary bicycle that can produce a day’s worth of electricity from just one hour’s riding – or better yet, a week’s worth of electricity if the user drinks a six-pack of 5-hour Energy and pedals for a day.

Sorry about the cynicism, I'm usually not so negative. I’m sure everything will work itself out -- always does. This just kind of seems like a big deal.

In conclusion:

Bob Dylan - Not Dark Yet

It's not dark yet...but it's gettin' there.