A new report by federal climate scientists predicts, “Sea levels along coastlines in the United States will rise about one foot by 2050, with larger increases on the East and Gulf coasts,” according to Rebecca Hersher of National Public Radio. She continues:

          “Oceans have already risen about one foot in the last century, as climate change melts glaciers and ice caps around the world. But the pace is accelerating, scientists warn, and the next 30 years will see the same amount of sea level rise as the previous 100.”

          The sea level rise will not be uniform, she reports: “The authors predict about a foot and half of sea level rise for the Gulf Coast by 2050, with particular hot spots from Texas to Mississippi, where extraction of underground oil, gas and drinking water is causing the land to rapidly collapse into the rising ocean water.” Subsidence was already impacting the Houston area 25 years ago when I lived in Huntsville (free world).

          And this does not take into consideration the Maritime Executive story from December, where Ella Gilbert wrote, “The massive Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by more than 25 inches if it were to completely collapse….Adding 25 inches to global sea levels would be coastline-changing amounts.”

          Or coastline-erasing amounts as in the case of the Marshall Islands, which could find themselves submerged.

          These worldwide threats are already being felt. In January, Catalan News reported on a NASA Earth Observatory article that Ebro River delta – “one of the Mediterranean coast’s most extensive wetlands” – was “’no longer controlled by the river, but by sea waves’ which have forced the shoreline to retreat by ‘several hundred meters.’”

          The culprit, of course is the climate catastrophe which still generates mostly hollow promises and public relations posturing.

          After last November’s Glasgow Climate Change (“Blah, blah, blah”) Summit, countries and corporations rushed the microphones to pledge action to keep the planet livable in the future. But, as Patrick Galey of NBC News reported in February:

          “Major global corporations are using false or misleading net-zero announcements to avoid meaningful and immediate greenhouse gas emissions cuts, according to a new assessment from two climate watchdogsof the action planned by industry leaders. 

          “The analysis of the climate pledges of 25 of the world’s largest companies, many of which are household names, suggests the pledges will only amount to future emissions reductions of some 40 percent on aggregate — a far cry from the total de-carbonization needed by midcentury to stave off the most dire consequences of global heating. 

          “It identifies an apparently systematic effort from big corporations to exaggerate their climate action through ‘greenwashing tricks, using loopholes and omitting data,’ something that experts said calls into question the credibility of net-zero plans that don’t center on rapid emissions reductions.”

          Big corporations lying to us. Who’d’ve thunk it?

          In late January, Huffington Post reported that “coal-loving” Australia’s  $700 million plan to protect the Great Barrier reef “doesn’t include any significant effort to address the root cause of the reef’s demise: climate change.”

          On Feb. 1, Science Daily cited an American Geophysical Union study saying, “By 2080, around 70 percent of the world’s oceans could be suffocating from a lack of oxygen as a result of climate change, potentially impacting marine ecosystems worldwide….The new models find mid-ocean depths that support many fisheries worldwide are already losing oxygen at unnatural rates and passed a critical threshold of oxygen loss in 2021.”

          Science Daily also reported that Earth’s “Sixth Major Extinction” is likely in progress as we continue to ignore our human-inflicted damage upon Planet Eden.

          This, too, while the European Commission contemplates the dubious step of counting nuclear and natural gas energy plants as sustainable “green energy” though some EU countries are pointing out this absurd ignoring of scientific evidence.

          And, proving once again that the Democratic Party has a solid majority corporate wing, NPR reported last year:

          “Days after President Biden told world leaders that his administration is committed to slowing climate change with “action, and not words,” his Interior Department oversaw one of the largest oil and gas lease sales in American history.

          ”Eighty million acres of the Gulf of Mexico — an area twice the size of Florida — was put on the auction block on Wednesday. Energy companies, led by Exxon Mobil Corp., placed bids on just a total of 1.7 million acres.”

          But – to strike a hopeful note –  just last month a federal judge canceled those leases because they lacked what we used to call environmental impact statements, particularly the effect this drilling would have on changing the climate.

          At the time of the Glasgow conference, I opined that we did not need any more hot air. But, that’s what we have been getting – from greedy corporate offices, their abetting (and bribed) governments and their industries, which threaten our health and that of those who will follow us.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party. Longer versions of his columns can be found at scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/

Warming planet smoke screens

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