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Polar Warming Out Of Control As Trump Dumps NASA Earth Science & Attacks EPA

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, and Journalism

Co-written by Kit O’Connell and Eleanor Goldfield for Act Out!

Update: On Wednesday, soon after this segment first aired, Donald Trump selected Scott Pruitt as his nominee to head the EPA.

Operation IceBridge, a NASA survey of polar ice, is underway, and to say the results are alarming would be an understatement.

On Friday, the IceBridge scientists announced the discovery of a 70-mile long, 300 foot wide rift in the Larsen C ice shelf, located in the Western peninsula of the Antarctic. Other portions of the Larsen ice sheet collapsed in 1995 and 2002, and climate scientists have been speculating for years that this third portion’s days are numbered as well. NASA reported in a recent press release that once the rift cuts through the ice shelf completely, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of Delaware.

A huge rift in Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, filmed by NASA’s Operation Icebridge. November 4, 2016. (Nasa / Nathan Kurtz, PD)

Elsewhere in the Antarctic, Ohio State University climate scientists reported last month that part of the West Antarctic ice sheet is collapsing from the inside out. And while rifts normally appear at the edges of the ice sheets, this internal rift is a strange and therefore highly unsettling new development.

Ian Howat, associate professor of Earth Sciences at Ohio State University, reported, “This implies that something weakened the center of the ice shelf, with the most likely explanation being a crevasse melted out at the bedrock level by a warming ocean.”

Howat added, “It’s generally accepted that it’s no longer a question of whether the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will melt, it’s a question of when.”

And when that does happen climate scientists predict the resulting glacier will cause global sea levels to rise as much as 10 feet. Bye bye Miami.

Meanwhile, at the North Pole, temperatures are a record-breaking 36 degrees above normal. For the Arctic regions, winter is not coming, and it’s already having measurable effects on the formation of arctic ice that usually takes place at this time of year, which in turn means that surface ocean temperatures remain warmer perpetuating a dangerous warming cycle.

While sharing a graph of this year’s sea ice formation compared with previous years, climate scientist Eric Holthaus tweeted, “Folks, we’re in a climate emergency. Tell everyone you know.”

Which brings us back to that putrid pile of orange puss, and the long shadow he casts over the planet’s future. On Wednesday, November 23, Bob Walker, a key adviser to the Trump campaign, told The Guardian that Trump plans on scrapping NASA climate research in an apparent crackdown on quote “politicized science.” Walker suggested that climate monitoring was better left to other agencies — other agencies like the EPA, which the president-elect has also promised to completely fuck up under his administration.

Trump, who famously tweeted that climate change was a Chinese plot to weaken our economy, seems to have a particular vendetta against the Environmental Protection Agency. At the end of September, Trump selected Myron Ebell, a climate change denier from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Libertarian think tank, to head up the EPA’s transition team. Ebell, who has no scientific qualifications, believes we should remove all current restraints on fossil fuels, no matter the cost to the climate.

Meanwhile, last Monday, Trump met with two possible EPA administrator candidates — one being Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt who not only has a track record of taking the EPA to court in regulatory feuds but also said that the main thing he’s looking forward to under Trump is quote “Regulatory rollback.”

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. February 28, 2015. (Flickr / Gage Skidmore, CC SA)

Also on the potential roster is Kathleen Hartnett White, a woman who recently argued in an op-ed that carbon dioxide isn’t a pollutant. “The truth is that our bodies, blood and bones are built of carbon! Carbon dioxide is a necessary nutrient for plant life, acting as the catalyst for the most essential energy conversion process on planet earth: photosynthesis.”

Now, I think in order to test this theory, we should put her in a room with nothing but CO2 and a small potted plant – you know, because she seems so sure of the “science” behind her statement.

However, the science behind climate change — meh, a little too shaky. At a congressional hearing last April she said, “I think the elimination of fossil fuels as rapidly as possible would have enormous impacts across the world, but the science that supports the need to do that has to be extremely robust. I think that the current state of climate science is not strong enough, nor are the key models validated, in order to support policy of that magnitude.”

During a sit-in on a New York City street, one activist holds a sign reading “Climate Action Now.” Another is dressed as a polar bear and two are dressed as Planeteers from Captain Planet. September 21, 2014. (Flickr / Resa Sunshine, CC ND)

And since only 97% of scientists agree that not only is climate change a thing but that it’s also our fault — and hmm, how many scientists suggest that pumping carbon dioxide into the environment is a good thing? I wish I could tell you but when I tried googling it, all I got was the number to a psychiatric help hotline. But these ARE the psychotic dip shits slated to run or be a part of the Environmental. Protection. Agency.

Although – as Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore, the co-author of “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy” with Frau Fossil Fuel, Hartnett-White — as this fellow shit brain pointed out last week, “If she doesn’t get EPA, I could easily see her as the head of the Council of Environmental Quality [in the White House].”

Let it not be said we don’t have our work cut out for us – and again, as I mentioned in an earlier episode after election night, this is the silver lining — activating people in the face of the most egregious and horrendous traits of our society. This is undoubtedly a fucked fact, indeed several fucked facts – with no shortage of low life scum. And the only thing standing in the way of continued climate devastation is you — and me, on the front lines.



Polar Warming Out Of Control As Trump Dumps NASA & Attacks EPA by Kit O’Connell and Eleanor Goldfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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