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Forum Post: The Baffling Response to Arctic Climate Change

Posted 5 years ago on Feb. 4, 2013, 5:19 a.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

by David Suzuki

The Arctic may seem like a distant place, just as the most extreme consequences of our wasteful use of fossil fuels may appear to be in some distant future. Both are closer than most of us realize.

The Arctic is a focal point for some of the most profound impacts of climate change. One of the world's top ice experts, Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, calls the situation a "global disaster", suggesting ice is disappearing faster than predicted and could be gone within as few as four years. With Arctic ice melting, Australia on fire and increasing droughts, floods and extreme weather throughout the world, it’s past time to get serious about global warming. (Credit: Nick Russill via Flickr)

"The main cause is simply global warming: as the climate has warmed there has been less ice growth during the winter and more ice melt during the summer," he told the U.K.'s Guardian.

Over the past 30 years, permanent Arctic sea ice has shrunk to half its previous area and thickness. As it diminishes, global warming accelerates. This is due to a number of factors, including release of the potent greenhouse gas methane trapped under nearby permafrost, and because ice reflects the sun's energy whereas oceans absorb it.

With all we know about climate change and what's happening in the Arctic, you'd think our leaders would be marshalling resources to at least slow it down. Instead, industry and governments are eyeing new opportunities to mine Arctic fossil fuels. Factoring in threats to the numerous species of Arctic creatures — including fish, seabirds, marine mammals such as whales and seals, and polar bears — makes such an approach even more incomprehensible.

Royal Dutch Shell has been preparing to drill in the Arctic, spending $4.5 billion on operations and lease purchases. But its record shows how risky this is. First, a spill containment dome failed a routine safety test and was crushed by underwater pressure. More recently, a drilling rig, which was being towed to Seattle so Shell could avoid paying some Alaskan taxes, broke free during a storm and ran aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska. The disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 showed how dangerous ocean drilling can be even in relatively calm waters and how bogus the claims of the industry are that it can contain or even clean up a spill.

Responding to climate change and vanishing Arctic ice by gearing up to drill for the stuff at the root of the problem is insane. Unfortunately, many fossil fuel companies and governments are engaged in a mad rush to get as much oil and gas out of the ground — no matter how difficult — while there's still a market. The ever-increasing devastation of climate change means we will eventually have to leave much of it where it is — or at the very least, substantially slow the pace of extraction and use the resource more wisely — if we want to survive and be healthy as a species.

In Ecuador, knowing that exploiting the country's massive oil reserves will fuel climate change and cause massive environmental destruction in one of the world's most biologically diverse rainforests, leaders are taking a different approach. The government plans to leave oil fields in Yasuni National Park untouched if other countries help compensate for some of the lost revenue. So far only about $300 million has been raised toward the $3.6 billion over 13 years that the government believes would make up for half the oil's value, but the idea is gaining momentum.

The Guardian notes the money won't go to government but will be "held in trust funds and administered by the UN Development Programme working with a board made up of indigenous peoples, local communities, academics and others."

Ivonne Baki, head of the negotiating committee of the Yasuní-Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini, told the Guardian Ecuador does not want to become overly dependent on oil. "Oil countries are cursed," she said. "Developing countries depend on it so much that they do not develop anything else. It breeds corruption and the poor pay the price."

With Arctic ice melting, Australia on fire and increasing droughts, floods and extreme weather throughout the world, it's past time to get serious about global warming. It remains to be seen if a plan like Ecuador's will work, but surely a developed country like Canada can at least learn that wastefully exploiting precious resources as quickly as possible isn't the only option.




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[-] 3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Without having fully realized the challenges that we face on an environmental level, I considered myself a 'reformer' early in our struggle.

But now realizing how capitalism requires never ending growth, which in turn requires a constant plundering of our natural resources, with severe detrimental consequences to the health of our planet, and its inahbitants

Including causing a near constant strife and/or a state of war to secure those resources

And causing an immense unjustifiable concentration of wealth amongst a corrupt elite

I now consider myself a 'radical.'


[-] 3 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 5 years ago

did you see the superbowl? that was quite a game.

[-] 2 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 5 years ago

Uh yea, but I only pay attention to the car commercials.


[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 5 years ago

Yep, definitely a mental problem. Too bad science can't notice the 86% that controls behavior.

[-] 0 points by oldJohn (-646) 5 years ago

Indeed it is. We have the means to fix the situation, but there is no political will. Very sad.

[-] 0 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 5 years ago

The public can't share info needed to take proper action.

[-] 0 points by oldJohn (-646) 5 years ago

Of course they can. This site let's you share info. You're even allowed to talk about an anarchist revolution. Let's not make excuses. People share info, but seldom take action. When's the last time you took action?

[-] -1 points by chuckuschumer (-366) 5 years ago

You seemed more like a Honda type.

Burn baby burn. Frack and burn as much as we can.

Hopefully the price of gas and oil will come down so I can drive my 351W Ford and burn as much fossil fuel as possible.

The Electric cars are not selling thankfully and they have demonstrated what a folly it was dumping $$billions of tax dollars into the black hole of green energy/batteries and solar,how many of these companies have all gone bankrupt?

Oil is the future for now,deal with it.

[-] 1 points by kimba (14) 5 years ago

I may be wrong, but there seems to have also been a lot of underwater volcanic activity under the arctic ice cap, which heats the water and speeds ice melt? Google tells me this has been lightly reported on since about 2008.

While this does not excuse our climate/environmental behavior, it instead is a sign that we should be even more careful/vigilant about what we spew into the air.

Just for kicks, I watch the 3-min news on youtube in the morning, where "Suspicious0bservers" implies not only earth weather, but solar/space weather is a big factor in our climate change.


[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Be further baffled by the multinational response for cooperation over oil spills in the region.


[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

While I agree with cutting our use of fossil fuels, it's our demand for the products made with their energy that release the many harmful gases into the atmosphere. The farmer that grows the food we eat, the manufacturing plant that produces the cars we drive, and the construction company that builds our houses are all large consumers of energy. Every time we buy something, we're not just paying someone's salary, a large part goes to pay for the energy that helped produce all of those products so efficiently.

As a rule of thumb, the more a person spends, the more they are responsible for green house gases and other forms of pollution. How much does David Suzuki or Al Gore or Robert Kennedy Jr. spend in a year? Does it matter how much they speak out about global warming if at the same time they fly in a private jet, drive a 5000 pound SUV, or live in a 20,000 square foot house? This excess consumption is the cause of the very issue they spend so much time campaigning against. So the bottom line is, if a person is really concerned about global warming, and water pollution, and fracking, and the dozens of other hazards of our industrial society, they must cut their consumption. Spend less! Anyone who doesn't is a hypocrite

[-] 0 points by owsarmy (271) 5 years ago

In fact, cutting our energy use (consumption generally) is the cheapest, (saves money!) most effective way to cut carbon pollution. Give up the car, turn down the thermestat (wear a sweater), give up meat. These are things that if done would have a bigger affect than the greentech we are scheduled to install.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

After the recent "smog in" in Beijing, it will be interesting to see how China's own oil "giants" are treated.


[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8486) from Phoenix, AZ 5 years ago

Imagine how bad it would be if Gore and his corporate backers had won in 2000, count your blessings.

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

let me know when Keystone Xl gets final approval this summer. The southern section was already approved last year.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

How many States in it's pathway have already approved it?

States "rights", baby.

This is ALEC and it's neolibe(R)tarian sponsors hard at work.

Did you follow the link I provided several times on the Canadian pathway of the dilbit pumping scheme?

The question remains. Why don't they refine onsite, or at least clean it some before hand?

What are they planning to pollute with the effluent?

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

it's not just a state issue, it is also a federal issue, executive even. If Nebraska for example denied it, then they could not build through nebraska, so in the regard you are correct. There is federal and state level approval when it comes to the pipelines.

I also support state's rights. For example the legalization of marijuana going against bullshit federal laws.

the question remains - why even utilize this garbage in the first place when it so obviously is a tragedy against nature and existence?

And like I told you before, ALEC boosted it's levels of state legislators in Neb in 2012 to an all time high. But you can continue acting like I do not acknowledge roles of lobby groups and propagandists if it makes you feel good.

We have corporate puppets running the government here in Nebraska, and in every state and at the federal level. That is why everyone will end up approving this pipeline.

All we have left is civil disobedience in regards to this pipeline.

[+] -4 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

You didn't follow the link. They never follow the link.

Completing the dilbit line is an international effort.

I guess you don't mind that ALEC has owned your State for some time now.

The one eating the propaganda is you.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

Yo listen up.

Corporations and banks own both parties. They have corrupted the entire system. They create bullshit super pacs and lobby groups, LOTS OF THEM. ALEC is merely one of the many that are used to corrupt the system for corporate interests.

As the Nebraska state republicans are pushing for the keystone XL pipeline, the city based democrats are pulling favors for realty companies, spending almost a million taxpayer dollars in their favor -in the guise of a good deed.

I am very much in touch with the situation in my state, and I'm even working on trying to get a friend of mine on the Omaha city council to combat these corporate whores.

You make assumptions and place negative judgement on people for idiotic reasons.

Like I said, I know who is corrupting my government, you can act like I don't if it continues to make yourself feel better than others. I'm in the city where the Franklin Credit Union scandal happened. Which showed the elite own our court systems here.

[-] -3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Yo listen up.

ALEC is not a lobby.

You haven't followed any of those links have you?

You have made the biggest assumption of all.

The one about duopoly.

That neither you nor your pal hchc have proven, yet you both continue to state it over and over in different language.

If you're so "well aware" why don't you talk about it?

Why don't you name those who own your State?

You still haven't answered the question I've about dilbit at least twice now.

I guess if it makes you feel better to ignore it. OK.

You should at least stop pretending.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

I'm a firm believer in Martin Luther King's words "war is the enemy of the poor." It is theft from public investment that puts hundreds of billions year after year into violent corporations and war profiteers. That is why I focus so much of my attention on the wars of imperialism.

War leads to the rise of extremism and destabilization. It kills innocents in the name of saving them. It catapults people into a society of illusion.

I also think monetary policy should be used to fund health care, education, infrastructure, job creation, and societal advancement. Instead it is currently used to doll out trillions to banks and corporations that aspire against the people.

If you want to ridicule me for focusing on these important issues, that is your prerogative I guess. I'm glad you focus on a very important issue. I suggest keeping your ridicule for ALEC instead of attacking people like me.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

You should look up the word lobbying

Super pacs and any corporate funded group that tries to influence government is a form of lobbying.

Also I find it ridiculous that you google searched ALEC and Nebraska and then try to act like you know more about the place I've lived my entire life than I do.

I linked you several links about corporations funding government officials, you can keep acting like that never happened, if you want to. Does it make you feel better or something?

The 2 party system has been turned into a corporate entity that serves the corporate interest. Look at the bailouts. Look at my comment about selling out to realty groups and the pipeline etc.

I have not once disagreed with you on ALEC. Why do you keep acting like I am?

You really think that both democrats and republicans are not funded by big banks, corporations, and the elite? The corporate takeover of the government is real, and it's happening on "both sides" in the 2 party system.

Also I have several posts on the corruption behind the tarsands and their lie of oil independence when in actuality the pipeline is for international export.

there's a great quote from James Hansen here - http://occupywallst.org/forum/nature-sold-out-new-article-approves-of-keystone-x/

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

It's a charity, you should look it up, or pay attention to the many threads that told you so..........

Duopoly huh?

Prove it and show me Dems promoting emergency managers.

[-] -1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 5 years ago

it's a form of lobbying shooz.

Look up the word lobbying.

Go look at the fucking TARP voting record. I can't believe you actually want to act like these parties aren't both funded by banks and corporations.

Democrats, like Chomsky has said over and over, are just one of the 2 political factions of the corporate state.

Have you not seen the massive bank fraud on Wall Street go unpunished? Have you not seen trillions funneled into the corrupt system under this administration, just like under the last?

Go look at the war in Afghanistan, it's a war of imperialism yet these people still lie to you and says it's about fighting terrorism.

It's about contracts for boeing, raytheron, and KBR

They never talk about the trillions funneled to Wall Street through our monetary policy either. They won't. They're incapable of addressing this issue because they are funded by Wall Street banks.

Go look at the appointment of Jack Lew, the asshole who bet in hopes that the housing market would collapse. The same asshole pushing for Wall Street deregulation.

Seriously, you are being ridiculous. Go look up who funds these people. It's not hard.


Maybe you didn't notice but the front page of the forum is Hdges V Obama.

But go ahead and keep acting like this is just a movement to support democrats. LOL. You're no better when you push that crap than the ridiculous NRA people that come here.

The system is corrupt. The system is failing the people.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

In the broadest sense, asking anyone for anything is a "form" of lobbying.

Alec's main interest is to create and promoting cookie cutter legislation, across a broad corporate agenda that also falls in line with the views of it's founder, Paul Weyrich.

Look what it's already done in your State, and what it is doing in others.

There is no equivalent organization on what is called the "left".

That being said, I won't respond to another comment on the subject in this thread, unless it has something to do with ALEC's promotion of the anti-ecology movement.

Indeed, I've been trying to tell you all along that ALEC is one of the main contributors to the corruption.

It's you and hchc that keep arguing that point.

PS: You did not show me what I asked you to, you ignored the request entirely.

[-] -2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

There is a post on here with Dems accepting ALEC money. Is that good enough?

Shake the sheeple from their slumber!!!


[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

You want to show the percentages and the States they are in, instead of another lame youtube?


I didn't think so, as this another fact that was discussed months ago that you ignored.

Now you want to pretend like you discovered something?


[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Denial is a long long river my fury little friend.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

OK, whatever my little bald headed buddy.

How about a comment on global warming since you are in that thread?

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

When the Dem Cuomo signs it into law, it will be further proof that the duopoly is in full effect.

[-] -2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

No. That would prove the tr-opoly.

Get out of your Alex Jones box and take a look around.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Bald? People would kill for this head of hair!! :)

Want a take on Global Warming?

Anyone who leads the pack in money accepted from Exxon clearly has no desire to curb pollution. Not exactly ground breaking news, but still lost on most.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

No, not more of your partisanship, an actual comment on global warming.

You know, the kind of thing you need a lot of practice at?

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Listen.... partisan comes from teh root PART :)

Im against them ALL. Not PART. ALL.

Here is something interesting in terms of pollution, which is what would cause global warming.


[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

And that's why fracking under the Great Lakes is something you've chosen to ignore, after all, it's being promoted by the Kochs and ALEC too. Oooops and mostly legislated by (R)epelican'ts and you know you just can't admit that truth.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Nope it's a charity.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3144) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 5 years ago

...Rather than serve the public interest, ALEC champions the agenda of corporations which are willing to pay for access to legislators and the opportunity to write their very own legislation. It helps surrogates and lobbyists for corporations draft and promote bills which gut environmental laws, create a regressive tax system, eliminate workers’ rights, undermine universal and affordable health care, privatize public education, and chip away at voting rights. It’s no wonder that so many big corporations view ALEC as a wise investment. ALEC represents an alarming risk to the credibility of the political process and threatens to greatly diminish the confidence and influence ordinary people have in government.

.... The New York Times wrote that "special interests effectively turn ALEC’s lawmaker members into stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote, and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes."[4] Progressive advocacy groups such as Common Cause questioned ALEC's non-profit status, alleging that the Council engaged in lobbying.[9] ALEC responded by denying that it engaged in lobbying, and arguing that liberal groups were attacking ALEC because "they don't have a comparable group that is as effective as ALEC in enacting policies into law."[9]

...Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company ALEC was the subject of the September 29, 2012 edition of Moyers & Company[30] hosted by Bill Moyers.[31] In the report, Moyers traced the progress of ALEC model legislation through several legislatures. He called it "an organization hiding in plain sight, yet one of the most influential and powerful in American politics... They were smart and understood something very important: that they might more easily get what they wanted from state capitals than from Washington, DC. So they started putting their money in places like Raleigh, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Phoenix, Arizona; and Madison, Wisconsin."[31] As part of the report, Mark Pocan, a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly was identified as a legislator "trying to expose ALEC’s fingerprints". Pocan said "ALEC is a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests that eventually the relationship culminates with some special interest legislation and hopefully that lives happily ever after as the ALEC model. Unfortunately what’s excluded from that equation is the public."[31]


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

One of the most important things I took away from the Moyers piece, was the fact that ALEC realized that those who control the States, control the Nation.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Hey fraud face....here you go....you want proof? ...Denying Duopoly?


How many of your idiotic Democrats accepted money from these guys? Obama alone accepted money from over half the corporations on the list. You hack. You want the official donor lists to Obama from those board members? Will that finally shock you back to reality?

To hell with ANYONE that accepts money from them, that SHOULD be your stance. But you live in a dream land.

Go back to oz.

Screw them, screw the people who accept their money, and screw anyone who wants to defend em.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

Aww, an insult from you, again and again.

It's all you really do around here.

Go back to Alex Jones and your friends at the John Birch Society.

You can take your posse with you. In fact, please do.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

The truth sucks doesnt it. Have fun supporting ALEC.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

You're the one supporting them by minimizing their actions.

Completely ignoring them.

God, but you are a hypocrite.

Go back to Alex Jones and stay there, please.

He likes your John Birch friends and zerohedge too.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

I knew you would deny it all.

Have fun supporting ALEC.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

I didn't deny anything at all.

This list was posted here months ago.

YOU, pretending like you just discovered it is just another thing that makes you a hypocrite.

Along with your hate for the 99%.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

You mean an occupier listens to Alex Jones? Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Maybe MAx Keiser? Nooooooooooooo!!

Or perhaps goes on Drudge Report? Or zerohedge? Nooooooooooooo!!!

I wish I could honk that big red nose of yours right now :)


[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Seems that someone has an agenda... (que doomsday soundbite)

Will you pledge to never vote again for anyone that accepts money from them?

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

You've propagated the Alex Jones agenda for some time now.

Be sure to deny it.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 5 years ago

Give up the car, Give up red meat, turn down the thermostat (use a sweater), Pressure all orgs to divest from fossil fuels. Agitate for widespread green tech implementation. Get in the street. Protest, boycott, we can't let this self destructive profiteering continue.

Great post.