Numerous newly discovered massive craters across Siberia—believed to have been formed by methane gas exploding through a thawing permafrost—may be the latest visible signs that climate change is here, and it's changing the very contours of the earth's surface.
A 100-foot crater was first spotted last summer in Yamal peninsula, a freezing cold land 2,000 miles north of Moscow, and two other funnels were discovered soon after. While it is not entirely clear what caused the blowholes, the dominant theory is that global warming has thawed the permafrost causing methane trapped inside the icy ground to explode.
In a new development, the Siberian Times reported this week that such funnels, in fact, are "more widespread than was first realized."
"We know now of seven craters in the Arctic area," Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky, deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the paper. "We must research this phenomenon urgently, to prevent possible disasters."The bursts of methane—a highly flammable gas—are themselves dangerous, and many researchers are frightened to study the funnels as a result.
This phenomenon has long been warned about by climate scientists and now what the funnels reveal about the rising temperature in the Arctic is that it is heating twice as fast as the rest of the planet.
The poll of 2,827 Americans was conducted in February to measure the impact of moral language, including interventions by Pope Francis, on the climate change debate. In recent months, the pope has warned about the moral consequences of failing to act on rising global temperatures, which are expected to disproportionately affect the lives of the world’s poor.
The result of the poll suggests that appeals based on ethics could be key to shifting the debate over climate change in the United States, where those demanding action to reduce carbon emissions and those who resist it are often at loggerheads. Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions. And 72 percent said they were “personally morally obligated” to do what they can in their daily lives to reduce emissions.
“When climate change is viewed through a moral lens it has broader appeal,” said Eric Sapp, executive director of the American Values Network. “The climate debate can be very intellectual at times, all about economic systems and science we don’t understand. This makes it about us, our neighbors and about doing the right thing.”
'Moral' and 'ethical' to most people means conforming to notions or accepted standards of what is 'right' and 'good', to recognised standards based on fairness and equity, something akin to treating others as one wishes to be treated oneself. With that in mind, and recognising that this was a poll of very small numbers, respondents concurred that there is a need to seriously address the challenges of climate change, both at the national and personal levels. Socialists would point out that acting at a personal level by changing daily use habits or shopping for green alternatives actually makes minimal difference to the overall problem BUT that when the majority of us come to the realisation that the system which exploits us and our planet's resources can't function without our compliance, then together, overcoming any superficial differences, we are in a strong position to make the difference we choose. It is global capitalism that we must overcome together to have any realistic hope of averting climate disaster.
Bringing together people who are prepared to make changes at the individual level to protect future generations with those global populations who are demanding national and international structural change leads to the ability to implement the results the vast majority is seeking.
There is an alternative to the current system, another way of organising society - one which is built on the concept of democracy, with access for all to the necessities of life. Isn't that what people are clamouring for world wide - to live in societies run by the people for the people? That alternative is socialism.
info from here and here