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If you want to know what I'm on about in the shortest time then please read the introductory first post and my current action plan. Comments are very welcome. And if you like this blog, please tell a friend. Thanks!

Friday, 27 April 2007

Global yawning

OK, let's get this one out of the way.

I'm mentioning global warming as the first of my Big Worries because it's so obvious. You're probably well and truly sick of hearing about it. Just so there's no uncertainty I need to let you know I'm currently in the "this could be really really bad and it looks like it's our own fault" camp.

There are plenty of other places where the causes and impacts of the ever-rising thermometer are being debated and I'm not intending to enter into that here. But I will keep an open mind about it all and let you know if my position changes in any signficant way.

Now there are plenty of unpleasant predictions but for me the scariest thing about the world getting hotter is the thought of what would happen if the unbelievably large masses of ice currently sitting above sea level on solid ground in Antarctica and Greenland were to melt or slide off into the ocean. I've heard estimates of global sea level rises of as much as 60 metres as a consequence of that happening. No idea how reliable those estimates are, but even as I type this my stomach is clenching just a bit at the thought.

According to Google Earth my home is about 8m above sea level. Frankly I don't think I could possibly survive this if it did happen, even if I sold up today and moved to higher ground and joined a commune. For starters, both Michelle and I are pretty much dependent on modern medicines to keep us alive and functional (my heart and her thyroid gland) and I reckon things like drugs would be pretty hard to come by with most of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne etc permanently under the waves.

Of course I have no real idea how likely that is. The vast majority of us can only see a tiny glimpse of the overall picture through our personal experience - like I can tell you that winters just don't feel as cold as they did when I was a kid. But when the people with full-time jobs analysing this stuff tell me there's a chance it'll happen, who am I to tell them they can't possibly be right?

It'd take a lot more than six billion people crossing their fingers to hold back the tide. For the sake of my kids, as well as my own chances of seeing 2050, "a lot more" is what I'm willing to give to try and prevent the ice from melting.

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