The end of the Earth as a habitable planet

A couple of days ago I was worried because scientists were saying the sun would "swell up and destroy the Earth in about five billion years." Now Al Gore tells me that we're in much more imminent danger: "Scientists project that within another 50 years, we may well see the complete disappearance in summertime of the Artic ice cap," which will bring huge disturbances in weather patterns. In fact, the disturbances have already begun, as Gore notes: "Skyrocketing losses from extreme weather events; and more frequent record heat waves, as in Western Europe last summer, when 15,000 people died."

Gore says that with "bold moral and political leadership from the United States of America… there is no doubt whatsoever that we could solve the world's climate crisis." I'm glad he's so confident. I'd like to think he's right, but -- bold moral and political leadership? From the American plutocracy that sees the rest of the world as theirs to plunder? Either we throw the bums out SOON, or we may see that the Maya were right: by their Long Count calendar, the end of the world as we know it is scheduled for 3 Eb 5 Kankin (21 December 2012).

Gore's statement is condensed in a full page ad in today's New York Times. For a fuller presentation, see his January 15 speech on Global Warming and the Environment. That same site has some ideas of what we can do to keep the Maya prophecy and the Bush plan for world disaster from being fulfilled.