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Ear to the Ground

Say Goodbye to Florida

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Posted on Aug 13, 2009
Wikimedia Commons / Polargeo

A seismic survey on Pine Island Glacier.

One of Antarctica’s largest glaciers is melting much faster than it was a few years ago, potentially adding anywhere from an inch to a foot to global sea levels. According to one of the scientists who broke the bad news: “This is unprecedented in this area of Antarctica. We’ve known that it’s been out of balance for some time, but nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this glacier.”

In addition to super hurricanes, drought, animal extinctions and other natural catastrophes, that means a lot of places where a lot of people live could end up underwater.  —PS

BBC:

One of the authors, Professor Andrew Shepherd of Leeds University, said that the melting from the centre of the glacier would add about 3cm to global sea level.

“But the ice trapped behind it is about 20-30cm of sea level rise and as soon as we destabilise or remove the middle of the glacier we don’t know really know what’s going to happen to the ice behind it,” he told BBC News.

“This is unprecedented in this area of Antarctica. We’ve known that it’s been out of balance for some time, but nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this glacier.”

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By beeline, December 18, 2009 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

If Florida is going to disappear under water, I’d better get over to Orlando and see the Walt Disney Resort before its a giant paddling pool.

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By KDelphi, August 18, 2009 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

purplewolf—you really think that the GOP will have to “steal” an election after the shitty way the Dems are treating progressives??

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By purplewolf, August 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

ChaoticGood: I have always heard and read that the earth ends December 21, 2012, just after the Repukelicans steal another election. Must be the Palin/Bachman ticket the news is pushing. This date was predicted by the Mayans, Nostradamus, one of the Oracles and even on the computers.

Me, the end of the world scenario is like the end of the world a few years back in 2000-well it did end for some and a lot of people and businesses were damaged beyond recovery from it, it was the year G.W. stole his first election of two. Other than that, many of us are still here.

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By KDelphi, August 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Ed—yes but the KEYS! I love the Keys…

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By truedigger3, August 15, 2009 at 4:22 am Link to this comment

hidflect wrote:
“@truedigger3:

Please don’t be such a racist, old boy. I wasn’t alive during the “Empire”. And I don’t see how I’m responsible just because I was born in England. See how it works? You’ve made a serious of rash assumptions based on my race… bad form old boy.

And P.S. old boy… it’s snobbish, not snobish. Take it from a snob, you’ve spelled it wrongly.”
_____________________________________________________

hidflect,

But you benefitted and are still benefitting,  se..eh, till this day from the looting the Empire did and Bangladesh is still suffering from it. Besides, whether you want to admit it or not, you still have the Raj snobbish attitude and has the temerity to lecture about the shortcomings of a previous looted colony.
O Kay it is snobbish and not snobish. I committed a cardinal sin. Are you happy now, se..eh?!!

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By hidflect, August 14, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

@truedigger3:

Please don’t be such a racist, old boy. I wasn’t alive during the “Empire”. And I don’t see how I’m responsible just because I was born in England. See how it works? You’ve made a serious of rash assumptions based on my race… bad form old boy.

And P.S. old boy… it’s snobbish, not snobish. Take it from a snob, you’ve spelled it wrongly.

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By Hulk2008, August 14, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Right on, Ed Harges.  Goodbye “hanging chad”.

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By truedigger3, August 14, 2009 at 2:50 am Link to this comment

hidflect,

A cosmopolitan guy like you who lived in many places all over the world, and being a British, should have known better not to utter that nonsense about Bangladesh.
I think, what is lacking is reading the REAL history of your British Empire coupled with more introspection.
The British stayed in Bangladesh (India) for more than two hundred years and sucked its blood dry.
They left India where mere survival is a struggle and the country is divided and in deep internal strife planned by the British.
And now you are telling me why Bangladesh did not do like the Dutch who accumulated tremendous wealth too by looting their colonies. Give me a break.
No matter how strongly you deny it, yes, you are racist which is understandable for a one who grow up among the snobish British???
What Bangladesh and the rest of the world badly need right now is birth control and sane living and sane consumption of natural resources.

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By hidflect, August 14, 2009 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

Thanks Kesey. I’ve read a bit of Chomsky but not that one. As you say, he can be a bit withering. I visited the USA 3 times on business (L.A.). The level of poverty there shocked me. I never returned.

I’m English. Left. Never going back. Last visit searched 6 times on domestic flights and threatened once by security police into submitting for an illegal security profiling (mugshot and prints). The reason? I think they were worried I didn’t show up on any of their data bases. Zero record of me for the UK. I also lived in Australia. Never going back. The cops are like Stasi. Got illegally detained (never charged) by the cops for 1 day. No reason at all.

Now I live in Japan. Wonderful. Freedoms galore. Public drinking OK. The responsibility is on the individual. If you push and shove a cop they just send you home. Unless you knock their cap off. Then your in trouble.

Ya ya, this culturalist long gave up on his own culture…

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By ChaoticGood, August 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Hey, what! me worry?

I don’t worry because my neighbor the “lunatic” tells me that on May 21st, 2011 the earth will end and he will be raptured and that I will be “left behind” to drown in a sea of fire or something like that.
So if the water rises in 100 years, too bad.  If it is sooner, then it may put out the sea of fire around my house.

Perhaps hanging out with my neighbor and adopting “Lunacy as a way of life” is the best solution or perhaps you should just lose yourself in a MMORG or “second life” video games.

I am convinced that governments will do nothing about this problem at all except talk, talk, talk….

I do believe that we have passed the “tipping point” and that the Earth’s weather system has encountered the “butterfly effect” and is now moving to a new “normal” that has more violent weather as it’s new standard.

While businessmen decry the cost to make changes and the “lunatics” get ready to take that cruise on newest addition to the Carnival Cruise line, the USS Rapture, and the Politicians try to please everyone all at once, the drip, drip, drip of the glaciers continue unabated.

Of course there is hope, but in the current political environment, there is none.  It will take a world government and a draconian alteration of society to even begin to make a difference.  World government will not happen until we have some “food” wars and that will take a few years yet.

Of course, as in most debates, we never even talk about the “real” reasons behind the problem of Global Weather and rising seas.  The 800 pound Gorilla in the room is overpopulation. But that’s another subject… or is it?

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By Kesey Seven, August 13, 2009 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

Hi hidflect:

You should read Noam Chomski’s book Failed States.  Have you?  You might find it interesting. His premise is that the United States itself is a failing state.

Chomsky is a marvel to read, though the details in the book are painful to behold. But as a culturist it would behoove you to scrutinize your own culture with a withering eye.

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By Kesey Seven, August 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

I would think the thing to do would be think Dutch and then modify for a completely different landscape, meaning we’ll have to build dikes, install good pumps, plug canals and ship channels that let storm surges in, and we’ll have to start rebuilding wetlands, because it’s not so much the sea rising that’s killing the coast; it’s the storms.

Remember the pictures of Ike last year? It filled the Gulf of Mexico.  Property was destroyed from Galveston to Bridge City Texas and in to Louisiana.

The media doesn’t talk about it much but the town of Bridge City, which is about 90 miles east of Galveston, was wiped out. Multiple neighborhoods had eight feet of water running through them. People were driving boats down Main Street. It’s lost a lot of its population. People have abandoned their washed out homes.

A ship channel called Sabine Pass let water in to a shallow body of water called Sabine Lake, Sabine Lake backed up in to the Neches and Sabine Rivers as well as Cow Bayou, which threads through Bridge City.

A poem written by resident Jason Crowson is here:  http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Calendar/search?searchType=events&Search=fish 

The reason there was little media coverage is the town was flooded from multiple directions, from the rivers, from the bayou, from the lake. If you stayed during the hurricane, you ended up on your roof. There was no safe place for the media to be. 

Houston is just as vulnerable except it has approximately five million people. It has ship channels leading right up its gullet. It’s right there on the coast. It’s a towering 50 feet above sea level. It’s hell to evacuate.

Screw saying goodbye. Start investing in saving our coasts and our people.

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By hidflect, August 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

The earth is egg-shaped with gravity and water levels different all over the planet. Chances are Florida wouldn’t be affected, who knows… but, say, Bangladesh? Buh-bye. Do I feel sorry for them? No. They’ve had this problem for 1000’s of years but the UN still has to go around there and instruct them (actually SHAME them!) into the idea of digging a hole in the ground to use as a toilet. I think The Dutch seem to have solved the problem, why couldn’t they?

Before anyone rants to me about what a N@zi I am, I should say the difference here is one of culture not genetics. I’m a “culturalist” not a rascist. Failed states have failed cultures. I know nothing of the various minute variations in genetic capacities between broad races and dont care to know.

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By Rodger Lemonde, August 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

Hey Ed some of us live here. Although the demise of developers would be worth it.

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By Anarcissie, August 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

It’s a bit early to say good-bye to Florida.  3cm is a little bit over 1 inch.

However, if what these guys predict is due to come to pass any time soon, then the whole global warming issue is a waste of time.  It’s over.  The only thing anyone is going to be able to do is mitigate.  In Florida, put some pontoons under your house, I guess.

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By Ed Harges, August 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Well, actually, the obliteration of Florida is one of the few bright spots in this scenario…..

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