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Bye-bye, Miami—Greenland is melting

by Ed Raymond | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Gadfly | February 8th, 2017

Congress diddles while the Earth wobbles

The first real study of the changes in the earth’s climate took place at Camp Century in Greenland, in 1960, which was supposedly built by the United States to test Arctic construction methods and carry out “other research.” Scientists from the engineering school of Toronto’s York University drilled the first ice core samples in order to study the earth’s climate.

Have you ever heard of Camp Century? It’s a big deal. It had a mobile nuclear generator, about two miles of tunnels under trillions of tons of ice, subterranean facilities to house 200 researchers, a hospital, a theater, a wood and metal shop, a bar, a barbershop, and a chapel carved out of ice thousands of years old.

But Camp Century was actually a top secret project of the Pentagon called Project Iceworm. The camp was built 125 miles from Greenland’s west coast with Denmark’s permission, because Greenland was considered a country under Denmark’s control. The Danes were lied to by our government. We told them nothing about missiles. The Danes didn’t find out about the real purpose until the 1990s.

Project Iceworm was built to test a huge launch site so that our nuclear missiles could be fired directly at the Soviet Union. If the idea actually worked we had plans to make Camp Century even bigger. We would build 2,500 miles of underground tunnels and chambers, over three times the size of Denmark itself, housing 600 ballistic missiles in clusters about 3.5 miles apart, all trained on Moscow and other Russian cities.

The plan was to install a sub-glacial railway and shuttle intercontinental ballistic missiles under the ice. This was a very cold place during the Cold War.

Our engineers decided Iceworm was filled with wormy holes by 1967 so we abandoned the site, taking only the guts of the nuclear reactor with us. Nuclear reactors can leave some awful stuff.

Underneath the trillions of tons of ice we left about 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel, unknown gallons of wastewater, and unknown tons of radioactive coolants and other toxic organic pollutants and PCBs behind, never to be heard of again.

Right? Wrong. Here come the unintended consequences. Greenland’s ice is melting faster because of increasing temperatures, and the estimate is that Camp Century will be exposed by 2090 or sooner. Greenland was allowed by Denmark to govern itself in 1979, but the Danes are very concerned about who is going to clean this mess up when the camp is exposed.

New Danish climate project EGRIP drills through 8,000 feet of ice

Our National Aeronautic and Space Administration(NASA) has determined that global warming and the melting of the Greenland and Arctic ice caps is changing the distribution of weight on earth. This has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course. The true pole and polar motion has been measured since 1899.

The Greenland ice sheet is beginning to feed upon itself. As it melts, the ice cap turns darker from pollutants and consequently absorbs more heat from the sun. If all of the ice on Greenland melts it will raise the seas by about 20 feet.

In the last four years, over a trillion tons of ice has melted from the ice cap, enough to cover New York State with 23 feet of water. The very center of the ice cap is about two miles thick. The Danes, through their East Greenland Ice-Core Project (EGRIP), have started to drill through 8,000 feet of ice and are studying the ice cores as they come up. It will take until 2020 to finish drilling.

Greenland is the largest island on earth, 80% covered with ice. The ice-free area of the island is larger than Germany. It currently has 56,000 residents, 12,000 Internet connections, 50 farms, three stop lights, no ownership of private land, and absolutely no trees over a foot high.

While the Greenland ice cap continues to melt at an even faster rate, the Amundson Sea sector of Antarctica, with 200,000 cubic miles of ice, is melting. When it all turns to water, seas will rise another four feet.

The Larson C ice shelf, 1,000 feet deep and 2,000 square miles of ice, and as large as the state of Delaware, is slowly breaking away from Antarctica. The crack in the ice shelf is now almost 100 miles long and is now only 12 miles from a complete break. The split between ice shelf and Antarctica is over 1,000 feet wide in some places and more than one-third of a mile deep. The Larson C is only the fourth largest ice shelf connected to Antarctica, but the long-term result of its breakup and melting would be an increase of four inches in the depth of the seas.

Cartoon son with mop: ten inches of left-wing hoax

When Republicans were actually conservatives instead of just greedy politicians, they actually had a healthy concern for our environment and climate. Republican President Theodore Roosevelt said, “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country,” created four national game preserves, five national parks, 18 national monuments, 24 reclamation projects, 51 federal bird reservations, and 150 national forests. During his time in office he sponsored seven national conservation conferences and set aside 230 million acres for the enjoyment of all Americans.

Republican Richard Nixon, perhaps the most paranoid of our presidents, said in his State of the Union Address in 1970: “The 1970s is a historic period when, by conscious choice, (we can) transform our land into what we want it to become.”

The Nixon Administration then created the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA hired a whole crew of photographers to document the most serious environmental problems such as rivers that burned and lakes without any fish.

Now, with years of propaganda and political pressures against the environment, global warming and climate change financed by the fossil fuel industry, we have 182 climate deniers in Congress (144 Representatives and 38 Senators). They are all Republicans.

Although 67% of Americans support action to fight global climate change, 63% of Americans, or more than 202 million people, are represented by climate deniers. Over 75% of Americans, including 59% 0f Republicans, believe humans are the main contributors to global climate change.

But the entire leadership of the Republican Party are deniers, the only conservative political party in the world that denies human-caused climate change.

President Donald Trump thinks it’s a big hoax. Gee, do you think that $73,294,380 from Exxon/Mobil, the Koch brothers, and other dirty energy industries has bought just a few Congress members over the last couple of decades? During the average career of a senatorial climate denier, he or she has received $889,101 in campaign funds. The average for a House denier is $274,365.

That’s enough to make them say “But I’m not a scientist!” loudly. That’s only one excuse. One Republican Congressman said we didn’t have to worry about climate change because “God would take care of the earth he created.” Tell that to the six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, with many going from gas chambers to ovens heating up the atmosphere. By the way, a Senate non-denier was paid only $202,272 and a House denier got a paltry $92,000 from the dirty energy industries.

A New Yorker cartoon says it all. Dad is sitting near a window showing a house floating on water. His son comes up from the basement with a mop and bucket in hand, and says: “Dad, your basement is flooded with over ten inches of left-wing hoax.”

The Chinese government also called climate change a hoax until the air pollution got so bad in some areas of the country that life expectancy declined by six years.

On September 20, 2016, 375 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, representing 97% of the world’s climate scientists, published a report citing the following evidence: the seas are rising, the oceans are warming, the lower atmosphere is warming, ice is melting, rainfall patterns are changing, and the ocean is becoming more acidic.

They say the facts are incontrovertible: humans are causing climate change.

How does an octopus get into a Miami garage? It swims in!

It’s not an alternative fact that the global sea level has increased by eight inches since 1880. In 2017 almost three million Floridians live only four feet above the normal high tide line and most Floridians live in cities along the coastline.

Have you seen those “No Wake” signs on lakes and rivers so that boats don’t ruin the shore? Well, a lot of “No Wake” signs now line low streets in Florida to prevent damage to lawns during high tides and storm surges.

Many coastal residents have to park their cars away from their houses so they are not damaged by salt water. They often have to wade through sea water to reach their cars or homes. Salt water is very hard on wheel bearings and other low-hanging auto parts.

Many streets are now covered with salt water at high tide. Salt water often seeps up through storm drains and ruins lawns. An octopus was caught making its home in a flooded parking garage near the ocean.

In Key Largo a lot of streets end up with ten inches of water at high tide, trapping residents in their homes. Some residents park their cars on higher ground and use boats to get around the neighborhood. One Key Largo resident quipped: “A climate change denier? Hey, I’ve got a house for you in Key Largo.”

Global warming scientists predict that by 2100 13% of Florida homes will be underwater if we don’t control climate change. People love to live near the water, and over 133 million Americans live in low-elevation coastal counties in 2017.

In the world, 60% of cities where more than five million people live are on coasts. What happens if the Greenland ice cap melts into the oceans?

Climate change is on many minds in Florida—except the minds of Republican Governor Rick Scott and Republicans in the legislature. They don’t want to think about the fact that it costs about $1 million for each third of a mile to raise a street six inches.

There are lots of things to worry about when the climate changes. The weather in Siberia last summer was 25 degrees warmer than usual, so a great deal of permafrost melted. This loosed frozen anthrax spores into rivers and soil, killing a 12-year-old boy and sending 100 people to the hospital. Over 2,300 reindeer in the area died from anthrax. This is not a hoax.

Maybe God was busy deciding football games instead of supervising the climate. Over 25% of Americans believe He picks teams.

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