She interviewed Robert Ballard. On the topic of Global Harming, the ocean explorer of Titanic fame believes it already is too late. “If you want to know the truth: it’s too late. All the ice is going to melt. There’s a lag and it’s already in the system.”
The current hazard to life on the Planet as we know it is as black as coal, or tar sands, or crude oil, hurtling towards us, densely populated by lobbyists and other less than human things that continue to drone, “Resilience is futile.”
Curiously, nothing was said in the interview about ocean acidification, something about which many oceanographers worry as much as climate scientists are worrying about the disappearance of the polar ice caps. Leading climate scientist and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, has expressed concern about the ice melting, yet has resisted the assertion that crossing this tipping point is irrevocable.
Instead, Hansen has called for the phaseout of coal by 2030. While acknowledging that the governments are lying to the people in words and deeds, e.g., authorizing new coal-fired power plants, supporting unconventional fossil fuels, and subsidizing the search for more oil, Hansen holds out the hope that humanity will resist continuing along the path of atmospheric and hydrologic degradation.
Perhaps, humanity will find the hope and courage that Dr. Hansen emulates. Meanwhile, as Jeff Biggers observes, “While President Obama addresses the US Congress in his historic State of the Union tonight, our nation will sit back and burn an estimated 115,000 tons of coal.”
Close to 250,000 tons of CO2 will be released from coal-fired plants during the hourlong presentation; hundreds of pounds of toxic mercury emissions will enter our air, and inevitably, into the lives of our children.
As we watch the President on our televisions and computer screens generated by coal-fired electricity, arsenic from coal ash, along with boron, selenium and lead, will quietly seep into our watersheds. Drawing from American Lung Association estimates, three American citizens will die prematurely during the State of the Union due to illnesses related to coal-fired plant pollution; three coal miners will also die today from black lung disease. Millions of tax dollars will be allocated in this single hour to cover the external health care and environmental costs of coal.
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