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Obama Arctic Strategy – Hey look, more oil!

Homeless Santa by AZRainman CC BY 2.0Well that’s it. There’s clearly no one left in the US political elite that has the balls to think beyond their term in office.

What is it that makes politicians think they know more than economists and scientists anyway? Maybe if we elected scientists and economists to lead us, they’d actually do the right thing – like implementing “oil austerity” to fight future “climate debt” or something.

The scientific and anecdotal evidence is pretty clear – the climate is changing faster than predicted, and it’s related to man-made CO2.

The reckless insanity of planning to exploit oil from an ice-free arctic defies comprehension. Coastal communities in Alaska are already cued up as the first North American “climate refugees” due to rising ocean waters. Stepping on the climate change gas pedal for short term profit puts the whole world at risk.

America’s new Arctic strategy, if implemented, will dramatically accelerate the very processes of fossil fuel consumption that have already led to carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations reaching a record 400 parts per million. And as Damian Carrington reports:

“… the last time this happened was several million years ago, when the Arctic was ice-free, savannah spread across the Sahara desert and sea level was up to 40 metres higher than today.”

Studies based on paleoclimate data consistently show that conventional climate models of where this current business-as-usual trajectory is heading tend to underestimate the extent of the crisis.

A 2011 paper in Science found that at the current rate of increase of greenhouse gas emissions, by the end of the century they will reach levels last seen when the planet was 16C hotter – far more catastrophic than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) worst case projection of a virtually uninhabitable planet at 6C by 2100.

2100 is only 87 years away… How old are your kids?

Obama’s Arctic strategy sets off a climate time bomb (via The Guardian)

Image: By AZRainman CC BY 2.0

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