Recommended Action! CLIMATE CHANGE
While governments hesitate over how to deal with the reality of global warming, the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues at an alarming pace. Resulting weather disruptions like more frequent droughts, floods, and violent storms are already severe, and threaten to become far worse. Recent scientific findings indicate that the time window for effective action may be even shorter than we thought.Rising temperatures are causing methane, a greenhouse gas even more powerful than carbon dioxide, to leak from the Arctic seabed and from thawing permafrost in the tundra. The New York Times has now reported on new evidence that the leakage is proceeding faster than scientists earlier believed, and that the amounts of carbon stored in the thawing permafrost are far greater than previous estimates. (“As Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks,” New York Times, December 17, 2011, page A1) The Times quotes one climate scientist as saying the recent findings are “the fingerprint of a major disruption, and we aren’t going to be able to turn it off some day.” For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we need to initiate decisive action now. Recommended action: Contact the White House, and leave a message that we need President Obama to take strong action on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and resisting polluters who seek to weaken environmental safeguards. Call 202-456-1111 and ask for the comment line, or send an email by going to the web page, www.whitehouse.gov, and click “Submit Questions and Comments.” For more information, see the UU-UNO Climate Portal, www.climate.uu-uno.org, and enter “methane” in the Google search box.