Dear Branson, Gates, Buffet, Turner…

diamondsWhat a wonderful thing Sir Richard Branson has done and how eloquently he’s gone about it. Not only is he financing the search for solutions to global warming he’s brought greater attention to the issue, which is quickly becoming a topic frequently discussed in the media. It’s about time. Over the past few days, Branson has said what many of us fear, but rarely talk about – the fact that we’re destroying this planet at an alarming rate. Quoted from a New York Times article: “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents,” Sir Richard said. “It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world. We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment.” I believe that statement is what truly drives his generosity, but he has created a win-win situation through his commitment of $3 billion over 10 years, which is very smart. His empire benefits because the money will be invested in Virgin Group companies already exploring options for alternative aviation fuels for Virgin Airline. It’s also a sorely needed investment in our environmental future, one that will benefit us all. Continue reading

Reaching the Boiling Point

Global Warming – Boiling Point by Gelbspan

David recently posted in the Plankton Forums about this book — I haven’t read it yet, but am planning to on our upcoming expedition. He says it’s a quick read and it’s not as depressing as it sounds so everyone interested in the future of civilization should read it. He pulled a few quotes from the book, that all occur before page 33: Continue reading

Excess CO2 Threatens Marine Life

Staghorn coral, Bonaire - Aug, 2004

By Rosanne Skirble, Washington, D.C.

The chemistry of the world’s oceans is changing with increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of the burning of fossil fuels in cars and power plants. A report released recently by the National Center for Atmospheric Research says the change in the air is putting marine life and ecosystems at great risk. Continue reading

Global Warming – What You Need to Know

Global Warming – What You Need to Know, a 2 hour documentary on Discovery Channel last night, made me happy. Happy? Yes. I was happy to see that this issue is getting some attention in the mainstream mass media. This program, in addition to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and recent coverage in “Time” magazine, is a good indication that people are starting to wake up and smell the heat.

Global warming is very real and poses a very real threat if we don’t start making changes now. But people still don’t seem to take it seriously. In my full-time job I lobbied hard to be allowed to work from home a few days a week so that I can reduce my CO2-coughing 45 minute commute; they looked at me like I had 3 eyes.

This is no longer a “debate” — it’s real and if the US, who very likely created the “debate” by ignoring the science that was there 20 years ago, doesn’t lead the way by developing the collective will that’s also needed worldwide (yoohoo — China…) then by the end of our lifetimes, the world will be a very unhappy place — mass extinctions, major cities drowned resulting in enormous displaced populations, severe weather far worse than what we’ve seen in recent years, no more coral reefs….the list goes on. It’s so hard to fathom (pardon the pun) cities that are so iconic in the US — gone. New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston… Florida! I can’t imagine a world with no beaches. Continue reading

Global warming on the rise?

Global warming surpassed natural cycles in fueling 2005 hurricane season, NCAR scientists conclude

Hurricanes Ophelia, Nate, and Maria were among 15 hurricanes that raged across the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean in 2005.

BOULDER– Global warming accounted for around half of the extra hurricane-fueling warmth in the waters of the tropical North Atlantic in 2005, while natural cycles were only a minor factor, according to a new analysis by Kevin Trenberth and Dennis Shea of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study will appear in the June 27 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union.

“The global warming influence provides a new background level that increases the risk of future enhancements in hurricane activity,” Trenberth says. Continue reading