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Drip, Baby, Drip!

September 04, 2008

Ellesmereisland0902Okay, maybe not a slogan that'll bring a hall full of Republicans to their feet, but it does seem appropriate in light of the latest dramatic evidence of the warming under way in the Arctic.

According to the Associated Press, the 4,500-year-old, Manhattan-sized Markham Ice Shelf broke away from Ellesmere Island in Canada's northern Arctic in early August and is now adrift in the Artic Ocean.

"The Markham Ice Shelf was a big surprise because it suddenly disappeared," said Derek Mueller, an ice shelf specialist at Trent University. "We went under cloud for a bit during our research and when the weather cleared up, all of a sudden there was no more ice shelf. It was a shocking event that underscores the rapidity of [the] changes taking place in the Arctic."

(I recently blogged about some of those changes here.)

According to the AP, Mueller also said that two large sections of the Serson Ice Shelf had broken off, shrinking it by almost 60 percent, and that the 170-square-mile, 130-foot-thick Ward Hunt Ice Shelf continues to break up.

"These changes are irreversible under the present climate and indicate that the environmental conditions that have kept these ice shelves in balance for thousands of years are no longer present," said Mueller. "[Today] warmer temperatures and a changing climate mean there's no hope for regrowth. A scary scenario."

Unless you happen to be a delegate to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, where last night former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele coined a slogan -- Drill, baby, drill -- that would make a Roman emperor proud. Scary, indeed.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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Posted by DJ  |   September 05, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Yes, "drill baby drill" --because we are going to need our own sources of oil while waiting at least a decade for the development and infrastructural changes we'll need to make for wind, solar, and of course, the magical "alternative fuels" to kick in and make a real dent in our energy usage profile.

Hooray for quotes w/o context!

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Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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