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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/28/14

The Battle of Evermore

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Oh dance in the dark of night, Sing to the morning light.

The magic runes are writ in gold to bring the balance back. Bring it back..." Led Zeppelin. (1)

Global warming, accelerated warming in the Arctic, and runaway global warming.
Global warming, accelerated warming in the Arctic, and runaway global warming.
(Image by Sam Carana, Arctic News)
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In every way imaginable our world is a world out of balance. Fewer than 100 people possess more wealth than the poorest 3,500,000,000 people--and the inequality is accelerating! Our much hyped global economy is clearly nothing more than a mechanism for concentrating wealth into ever fewer, ever more elite, plutocratic hands. Pope Francis has just (6/16/2014) denounced the international financial system in unambiguous terms:

"It is increasingly intolerable that financial markets are shaping the destiny of peoples rather than serving their needs, or that the few derive immense wealth from financial speculation while the many are deeply burdened by the consequences," (2)

Across the planet the few are prospering at the expense of the many. Governments everywhere have been captured by this emergent financial oligarchy. The world imprisoning system they are creating surveils each of us constantly. Our life sustaining planet is being plundered mercilessly for their short term gain.

While the absolute necessity for revolution against this evil should be obvious to all clear thinking humans, we generally assume that we have decades of time to organize and strike back before neo-liberal capitalism, and its politician lackeys, fully enslaves us, while utterly destroying the living world around us.

We don't.

The UN's periodic IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) reports do not take methane emissions into consideration at all! The stated reason for this is because the science is still not fully understood. The likely real reason is simply because if they were included in the modeling, the result would show unequivocally that humanity is doomed to extinction unless fundamental changes to business as usual are made NOW. The political will to do this is utterly lacking. So, since it is carbon emissions which "detonate" this "methane bomb" the focus is solely on carbon emissions.

Recently, a group of concerned scientists formed the Arctic Methane Emergency Group. (3) The purpose of this group is to alert the world to the emergency situation caused by the warming Arctic. Global warming has been most rapid in the Arctic. This process is sublimating (changing from solid to gas directly) methane frozen as methane hydrate in shallow arctic waters.

Methane is many times more powerful a greenhouse gas than is CO2. The amount of methane hydrate in shallow arctic waters is at least ONE THOUSAND TIMES more than the amount required to trigger another Permian Extinction like event. This event, triggered by volcanic CO2 eruptions in what is now Siberia, 252 million years ago, warmed the shallow oceans enough to trigger methane clathrate sublimation. This resulted in extreme high temperatures, dead seas, eruptions of methane gas fireballs incinerating everything in their path on land, while the air filled with deadly hydrogen sulfide gas emitted by the bacteria which replaced oxygen emitting plankton. Utter devastation, along with the extinction of 95 percent of all multi-cellular life on the planet ensued. This process of an initial CO2 rise triggering an even more devastating methane ice release is sometimes called the "clathrate gun."

In one of the most dramatic warnings ever issued, a group of researchers published their findings with respect to the clathrate gun going off in the journal Arctic News. In an article entitled: Arctic Methane Global Warning Veil, these researchers stated:

Unfortunately for us, global warming has heated up the oceanic currents fed by the Gulf Stream flowing into the Arctic, causing massive destabilization of the subsea methane hydrates and fault seals and releasing increasing volumes of methane directly into the atmosphere. The total human induced global warming is equivalent to 4 Hiroshima atomic bombs detonating every second. Humanity has signed its death warrant and our final extinction will be carried out by Mother Earth within the next 30 to 40 years unless we immediately take extremely drastic action to entirely curb our carbon dioxide pollution, eliminate large quantities of methane from the subsea Arctic Ocean, seawater and atmosphere (down to ca 673 - 700 ppb) and revert completely to renewable energy. (4)

The writing is on the wall for humanity. If we continue with business as usual, for even a short time longer, our extinction looms just ahead. Is that the future you want? Of course it isn't. Meantime, methane emissions are rising dramatically. (5)

When, not if, warming Arctic Ocean waters trigger massive sublimation, life will end. This outcome is now a certainty by mid-century. For a comprehensive review of supporting scientific literature see THIS and THIS.

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Michael P Byron is the author of The Path Through Infinity's Rainbow: Your Guide to Personal Survival and Spiritual Transformation in a World Gone Mad. This book is a manual for taking effective action to deal with the crises of our age including (more...)
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