Almost two years ago, ForourGrandchildren noted that the Arctic is the fastest-warming region on the planet. The study quoted in our blog stated that as sea ice melts, darker ocean water is exposed. A darker surface absorbs more heat, and this additional energy then melts more ice, setting in motion a self-reinforcing feedback.
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George Monbiot, known to one and all as a journalist who is well-informed on climate change, brings us up to date on Arctic warming. It is happening much more quickly than the most conservative predictions allowed. The year 2012 will see record losses of Arctic late-summer ice, worse than the three previous record years, all of which took place in the last five years.
What really upsets Monbiot is that the nations of the world seem to be rushing to take advantage of the absence of Arctic ice coverage, and are encouraging exploitation by commercial interests. He says: “The [fossil fuel] companies which caused this disaster are scrambling to profit from it”
Don’t worry! Canada won’t be left behind in this chase for resource riches by fossil fuel companies. On his annual tour of the Canadian Arctic Prime Minister Harper assured us that, the natural resources in the North will be tapped to drive the national economy in the future. For the Inuit, who have been hard hit by climate change, he pointed out that these developments would also generate wealth for them. As if this is compensation for the destruction of the Inuit culture.
If you wish to track one company’s long and expensive campaign to get permission for Arctic drilling, read a Financial Times Article “The risks of climate disaster demand straight talking“. And please note the comment by the authors, Howard Covington and Chris Rapley, a trustee of the British Science Museum and a professor climate science at the University College London respectively:
“The evidence suggests that humanity is locked into a course that it has limited capacity or appetite to alter. Modern economies are built on fossil-fuelled growth. Changing this model materially and quickly has proved to be untenable in the absence of a disaster. Business-as-usual emissions growth is the consequence. This may well produce a disaster that we will be powerless to redress.”