The new administration has been staffed primarily by big business executives. In fact, there has not been an administration so deeply connected to big business and the banking community since that of Herbert Hoover, which was ended by the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932.

And the new president has wasted no time in serving the needs of big companies and banks. Yesterday, he backed down on his campaign pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions, one of the major causes of global warming. This comes after the U.S. refused to sign the Kyoto treaty on the environment and has asked for a delay in upcoming world environmental conferences.

The stratosphere above the northern hemisphere has been much warmer than normal for over a week. This is a relatively unusual situation at this time of year, and could be due in part to recent solar activity, and on a longer-term basis, to the buildup of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

As long as the condition persists, there is the possibility that significant weather systems will develop over the northern hemisphere, however they cannot be predicted with accuracy. Models show that powerful late-winter and early spring storms can emerge when this type of stratospheric condition exists.

The white ice on top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, that Hemingway wrote about so lovingly in his book “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” is melting away. A survey has found that 82 percent of the ice field that has existed on Kilimanjaro since 1912 has melted, says Lonnie G. Thompson of Ohio StateUniversity.

“The ice will be gone by 2015 or so,” he says. He mapped the ice cap last year and compared his results with a survey conducted in 1912. Some of the rivers and streams in Tanzania that are fed by the mountain’s snow melt havealready dried up. “A hospital in Tanzania that depended on a river now has to get its water elsewhere,” says Thompson.

Global warming effect sea levels and weather conditions, but there is an additional threat that few people are aware of-melting glaciers will release ancient microbes and bacteria that have not roamed the earth for 20 million years, since before human beings were even on the planet. Our immune systems will not be prepared for the onslaught.

Buried under thousands of feet of ice in the Antarctic are a series of fresh water lakes that could possibly hold a thriving community of microbes. Researchers have located at least 76 lakes there, including one that is about 5,400 square miles, the size of Lake Ontario, and another, Lake Vostok, that is 3,000 feet deep.