Since my post last week about climate change and the impending apocalypse for humans and the world as we know it (cue R.E.M., please), a massive chunk of the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica broke away from the larger land mass. This shelf is the third one to break away in recent years, and this one only in 3 years time.
The headline from the The New York Times?
“Maps will need to be redrawn – an iceberg the size of Delaware broke away from Antarctica”
TL;DR version of the Times article:
“The collapse of the peninsula’s ice shelves can be interpreted as fulfilling a prophecy made in 1978 by a renowned geologist named John H. Mercer of Ohio State University. In a classic paper, Dr. Mercer warned that the western part of Antarctica was so vulnerable to human-induced climate warming as to pose a “threat of disaster” from rising seas.
He said that humanity would know the calamity had begun when ice shelves started breaking up along the peninsula, with the breakups moving progressively southward.
The Larsen A ice shelf broke up over several years starting in 1995; the Larsen B underwent a dramatic collapse in 2002; and now, scientists fear, the calving of the giant iceberg could be the first stage in the breakup of Larsen C.
“As climate warming progresses farther south,” Dr. Rignot said, “it will affect larger and larger ice shelves, holding back bigger and bigger glaciers, so that their collapse will contribute more to sea-level rise.'”
While our homes may not be under water yet, think of all the wild life that will soon be extinct at the South pole. We have already seen horrifying images of emaciated polar bears, dying of starvation or floating helplessly on a thawing piece of ice. Soon enough it won’t just be the wildlife we have come to love going extinct – it will be us. Of course, the industries of capitalism don’t want to tell you these things. Frankly speaking, they would eventually go out of business or dramatically fall in their stock holdings – something to do with money.
An article I link to at the bottom of my post cites that for each child a family has (or in this case may choose not to have), it’s equal to 58.6 tonnes of CO2 /per year!
Want to make a change but don’t know how? Check out this other article, or if you don’t want to read it, here’s highlight:
“The four actions that most substantially decrease an individual’s carbon footprint are: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car-free, and having smaller families.”
AKA – ride your bike! The bike is the answer. Riding a bicycle is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the environment… Endorphins released from the exercise or minimal effort of cycling can promote positive thinking and encourage a state of overall happiness.
Don’t believe me? Try it! What better way to take charge of your transportation than at the handle bars of your own bike! Ditch the traffic jams and car insurance for an investment in your health and the health of your environment. And if you’re in the Athens area, there are some radical bike shops more than happy to help you find your two-wheeled mate. Ben’s Bikes The Hub Bicycles BikeAthens are just a few to name. And the relentless Tyler Dewey, who is steadfast in promoting and supporting a bike-friendly Athens! For my St. Simons or South Georgia folks, check out Monkeywrench Bicycles.
Here is another article from The Guardian, discussing further in detail:
…And another, of a climate scientist who gave up flying, among other creature comforts, for the sake of our planet:
Click here for a link to a free carbon footprint calculator, from the folks at the Nature Conservancy.