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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/6/16

Fossil Fuel Billionaires Kill Children

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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

Climate Change is here
Climate Change is here
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Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, Prince may have had a drug problem and a record-breaking 88,000 people have been evacuated from Fort McMurray, Canada.

If you've turned on a corporate 24-hour news network in the last couple of days, those are three things that you have definitely heard about.

But what you didn't hear from the mainstream media is that the wildfires in Alberta, and in Alaska, are directly related to climate change.

The media and the fossil fuel industry's shills won't tell you this, but there is no doubt about the fact that we are witnessing one of the most rapid periods of climate disruption in Earth's history.

The deniers will continue to sow the seeds of doubt. They'll say that the modeling is imperfect, that the science is imprecise and that there is still disagreement in the scientific community.

But the fact is, there is now universal agreement in the real scientific community about the fact that the climate is changing, and that it's caused by human activity.

And as we learn more about the nitty-gritty of the Earth's climate, as we study everything from how different types of clouds reflect sunlight to how quickly rivers will evaporate as the planet warms, one thing is becoming clearer and clearer.

The people who have been making the most extreme predictions about climate change, the so-called "alarmists," have been right all along, and in many cases, even have been too conservative in their predictions.

And for millennials, their children and the generation of teens living today: It's past time to be alarmed.

Unless we start treating this like the planetary emergency that it is, here's what's going to happen in the lifetime of a baby named "Baby Blue," if "Baby Blue" were born earlier today.

We're already seeing the loss of oxygen from our planet's oceans, and by the time "Baby Blue" turns 14 in 2030, reports show that large parts of the Earth's oceans will be depleted of oxygen, disrupting marine food chains and threatening marine ecosystems.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that our ocean's assets are worth at least $24 trillion, and that goods and services from coastal and marine environments create about $2.5 trillion each year, meaning that trillions of dollars of marine life would be lost by the time that "Baby Blue" turned 24 in 2040.

And then there's the "Arctic Death Spiral," which according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will likely lead to ice-free summers in the Arctic by the time "Baby Blue" is 24.

As the Arctic melts and reflective white ice recedes and reveals the dark ocean below, less sunlight is reflected from the Earth's surface and more heat is absorbed, which speeds up the rate of warming in a feedback loop that's called "Arctic Amplification."

A study published at the end of April connected Arctic sea ice melt and surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet to extreme weather events in North America, like the unusually hot and dry air that is feeding the wildfires in Alberta and Alaska.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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