James Hansen, of the New York Times' Opinion Page, warms that if Canada decides to fully exploit its vast tar sands reserves, "it will be game over for the climate.
Canada's tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet's species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk.
That is the long-term outlook. But near-term, things will be bad enough. Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Economic losses would be incalculable. More and more of the Midwest would be a dust bowl. California's Central Valley could no longer be irrigated. Food prices would rise to unprecedented levels.
|Walk Away From Your Mortgage!|
|Business Schools Incubate Criminals|
|Under Paul Ryan's Plan, Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent in Taxes|
|Can you get swine flu from a dollar bill?|
|We No Longer Can Afford to Listen for Aliens|
|“To create particles with negative mass.”|
|“People are getting rid of their cash.”|
|“How High Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.”|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|Pat the Zombie: A Cruel Adult Spoof of 'Pat the Bunny'|
|“The static fire is one of the last major tests prior to the maiden launch.”|
|Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy.|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“AI codes its own ‘AI Child’.”|
|“World's first passenger drone.”|
|How to Escape Planet Earth|