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Less Ice, Less Oil

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Less Ice, Less Oil

by Dan Burns on February 12, 2012

There are interesting results from a satellite study of global ice melt.  No doubt the deniers will seize on a couple of points, and twist them beyond recognition for the sake of their own ignorant and craven ends, but that won’t help deal with the problem, here in the real world.

The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and Earth’s glaciers and ice caps during the study period was about 4.3 trillion tons (1,000 cubic miles), adding about 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) to global sea level. That’s enough ice to cover the United States 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) deep.

“Earth is losing a huge amount of ice to the ocean annually, and these new results will help us answer important questions in terms of both sea rise and how the planet’s cold regions are responding to global change,” said University of Colorado Boulder physics professor John Wahr, who helped lead the study. “The strength of GRACE is it sees all the mass in the system, even though its resolution is not high enough to allow us to determine separate contributions from each individual glacier.”

In related news:

General economic theory holds that companies will produce more of a good if its price is higher, or if it receives subsidies. Funny that these rules didn’t seem to apply to Big Oil in 2011, when the highest oil price since 1864 and $2 billion in subsidies to the five largest oil companies-BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell-yielded lower oil production than in 2010. But these five oil companies combined made a record-high $137 billion in profits in 2011-up 75 percent from 2010-and have made more than $1 trillion in profits from 2001 through 2011.[1] This exceeds the previous record of $136 billion in profits in 2008.

That article is essential, as it demonstrates on all fronts why we must do whatever it takes to undermine the political power of Big Dirty Energy.

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