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350

My thanks to Barry Graham (the_urban_monk) for linking to Bill McKibben's story in The Nation reporting the results of a publication on greenhouse gases by Dr. Jim Hansen (NASA) and others, which appeared in Science a few weeks ago. This is a chilling, no-bullshit article, and it needs to be read by everyone living on this planet. Because, as McKibben states again and again, we have reached the point where the luxury of time has all but passed, and, in Dr. Hansen's words, "if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm." Anyway, please, take a few minutes and read the article. I am not an optimist, and, personally, I think we've passed the point where turning this great industrial beast back from the brink and averting the cataclysm is no longer very likely. But, I'm also wrong a lot. And this is the thing I'd most like to be wrong about, in my whole entire life.

Also, check out 350.org.

Also, speaking of cataclysm, there's some interesting new evidence surrounding the K/T impact event (you know, the "Fifth Extinction," the one that got the non-avian dinosaurs et al.). Specifically, it concerns the discovery of tiny carbon cenospheres in rocks dating from the time of the impact event.