During the past 20 years that I have covered environmental issues, one of the few things that has changed, in terms of the corporate paradigm, is the amount of money they must be spending to try and convince the average person, that if in fact there is any global warming, it’s only natural. That there is nothing to be concerned about. While scientists can easily show that the last 50 years on earth are the warmest recorded, as reflected in our ice cores, an excellent measurement of our civilization’s rising and falling temperatures, they can also show that while glacial and interglacial periods are cyclic, a fossil fuel-based energy system, as ours has been for centuries, is in fact altering the biosphere’s ecosystems.

When Lonnie Thompson, a geologist from Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar Research Center recently returned to Quelccaya, Peru,the largest ice cap in the tropics, to sample a location he had measured in 1977, where once there had been an ice mass, there was now a lake. Thompson like the hundreds of scientists world wide, who agreed with the consensual finding reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and representing the opinion of 100 nations, asserts that, “there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

To make their case clear, the IPCC, according to articles on the subject, stated ” that the planet’s average surface temperature increased by about 1.08°F during the 20th century, and is projected to increase another 2.5°F to 10.4°F by 2100.” Is that just another cycle? The report makes clear that the rate of warming they can now measure, has occurred “without precedent during at least the last 10,000 years,”

Consider, that by using satellite mapping tecniques and taking direct samples, Thompson and his team noted that the glacier, Qori Kalis at Peru’s Quelccaya, between 1998 and 2000, was retreating at a rate of more than a foot per day, 32 times faster than in 1978. According to one account, he stated that “You can almost sit there and watch it move.”

Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro has lost 82 percent of what is called its ‘ice field’ since first being mapped in 1912. Thus, while the world is now familiar with the diminishing ice sheet in the Antarctica, the melting of the per ma frost in Europe, there seems less interest in the now predictable rising sea levels. Flooding world wide, and a warming trend on earth can also mean greater famine, and widespread contagious disease in some parts of the world. An assessment, mandated by Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , “identified and examined five key problems influenced by current weather extremes, or predicted future global climate change.” They studied potential “heat-related illness and death; health effects related to extreme weather events; health effects related to air pollution; water-borne and food-borne diseases, and vector-borne and rodent-borne diseases.”

There’s no real threat from global warming, right? Or perhaps, if there is global warming at all, it’s not very serious, right? I wonder if we will see the melt down of ‘profit- driven denial propaganda,’ at least as fast as the ice caps themselves are melting?

Hmm, even that wouldn’t be a terrific future prognosis.As Dawn Stover, writing for popular Science noted in her inquiry ( www.popsci.com) into the subject, “At the current rate of melting, the snows of Kilimanjaro that Ernest Hemingway wrote about will be gone within 15 years.” Perhaps in addition to our meltdown of denial, we can let our hearts melt the sense of separation we may feel, from each other and nature, but which is not real. We are all one. We’ve just been in denial.

Zoh Hieronimus