Elaine Meinel Supkis
Once again, the world's greatest polluter of green house gases exceeds itself as the USA sets new records. Americans refused to sign the Kyoto Accords because we wanted lessor polluters like China and India to put in high technology while we run on old, nasty systems. Well, no one is cutting pollution anymore, off we go, to the Permian extinction.
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 19 April 2006
The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change.
The figures, which were quietly released on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide.
This is the biggest annual increase since 2000 and means that in 2004 - the latest year that full data is available - the US released the equivalent of nearly 6,300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Scientists in Britain condemned the increase, saying that it showed how the US was failing to take a lead in the international attempt to curb greenhouse gas emissions despite being the worst offender.
So, these figures were "quietly released." As the Arctic dies, as floods rage across Europe, as the pressure cooker in the Gulf of Mexico rises, as the Amazon dries up, as glaciers everywhere are melting at a mad rate, we in America up the ante. The President of China ought to take us to task for polluting the planet! Har. Right. We feel we should lecture the Chinese about torture and the right of workers to organize unions and aggressive military warmongering.
This is pretty hopeless. The more it heats up in America, the more greenhouse gasses we release for we depend on creating airconditioned bubbles for ourselves so we can die in luxury. We want to be comfortable so we will damn everything on earth to death so we can stay nice and cool while building inappropriate buildings for the climate we are creating. This is a noxious feedback system. All the world's major cities which already are hot spots have made it much worse by building structures that are all windows and no exterior walls. This increases the heating/cooling needs terrifically. And it feeds hot air back into the streets which have no countervaling tree canopy to recirculate the air. Our cities produce ozone and not oxygen. As we build bigger and bigger cities, we make the surrounding enviornment worse and worse.
The Danube flood wave has now reached the river's delta in Ukraine after hitting many Balkan communities.
Ukrainian emergency teams are shoring up dykes and building sandbag barriers in the Odessa region.
Several thousand people have been removed from their homes in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria after floods caused by melting snow and heavy rain.
Serb officials say they think the water level has peaked in Belgrade but many areas may be waterlogged for months.
The Danube has reached its highest level since 1895 in Romania, where some farmland and forest areas have been deliberately flooded to protect towns.
There was an avalanche in Mammoth Lake Park, California. Record snow there which will lead to record melting. Meanwhile, my rivers and streams up here in NY are at midsummer levels. This is bad. At this rate, they will be a slight trickle on most of the mountain streams. Normally, they have a robust flow in the spring.
Billions of people will be at greater risk from storms, floods and droughts in the years ahead, partly as a result of global warming, an international water agency has warned.
"By 2025, half the world's population will be living in areas that are at risk from storms and other weather extremes," the World Water Council said, citing evidence gathered by U.N. and other experts. The economic cost will be huge, especially for poor countries that are likely to bear the brunt of these events, it said.
"Extreme weather records are [already] being broken every year and the resulting hydro-meteorological disasters claim thousands of lives and disrupt national economies," said William Cosgrove, vice president of the Marseille-based think tank made up of users and suppliers of water for social and economic development.
"The big problem is that most countries aren't ready to deal adequately with the severe natural disasters that we get now, a situation that will become much worse as storms and droughts become more pervasive," he said.
There is a lot of yelling going on about this. The people doing the majority of the pollution in the world, the USA's corporate infrastructure, wants us to think this is normal weather. There is a lot of articles and talking heads claiming the recent hurricane season has nothing to do with global warming. When hurricane Wilma shot from a catagory 1 to 4 in only 90 minutes, this incredible fact has been shoved to the side. Hurricane Andrew went from a catagory 2 to a catagory 5 in less than six hours.
So any storm can morph in minutes into a mega-cyclone event! This is what global warming is all about.