It's been a COLD winter in the UK. Climate change experts are warning that if humans don't moderate our use of fossil fuels, there is a real possibility that we will face the environmental, societal and economic consequences of climate change faster than we can adapt to them. At the same time, the UK (which is on an extreme Northern latitude but is warmed by the Gulf Stream) is experiencing what they have long dreaded: one of the harshest winters on record. Will England soon have the same weather as Siberia? Authorities there fear that the death toll from the winter storms could be as many as 35,000 people.
Earth scientist Lonnie Thompson warns that rapid and accelerating retreat of the world's glaciers and ice sheets dramatically illustrates the nature of the changing climate. Linda Howe interviewed Thompson on Dreamland in 2005 (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). Thompson has led 57 expeditions to some of the world’s most remote high altitude regions to retrieve cores from glaciers and ice caps that preserve a record of ancient climate, so he says that his opinion isn't hyperbole, but instead is based on a "very clear pattern in the scientific evidence documenting that the Earth is warming, that the warming is due largely to human activity, that warming is causing important changes to many of the Earth's support systems, and that rapid and potentially catastrophic changes in the near future are possible."
He adds, "Such future scenarios emerge not, as is often suggested, simply from computer simulations, but from the weight and balance of the empirical evidence as well." But his most chilling statement is this: Thompson says that climate change "is here and is already affecting our climate, so prevention is no longer an option." We will just have to learn to deal with it, and the UK is desperately trying to cope.
Extreme winter weather continues to pound the whole northern hemisphere, coming after one of the hottest summers ever recorded. These conditions are consistent both with global warming models and with predictions in Whitley Strieber and Art Bell's book The Coming Global Superstorm. It is possible that extraordinary winter conditions could develop in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom this winter, consistent with a slowing of the Gulf Stream. If this has indeed happened, very harsh winter conditions could also strike the eastern seaboard of the United States. Thompson says, "Everyone will be affected by global warming, but those with the fewest resources for adapting will suffer the most." Don't forget where you heard about climate change FIRST, while everyone else was still denying it. Help us keep the truth alive: Subscribe today! (NOTE: The Key will soon be published by Tarcher Penguin, meaning that we will "retire" the original edition--which will make it an expensive collector's item).