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Food security and cooling the Arctic
To: Rt Hon Joe Bloggs MP
Dear Joe Bloggs,
I am contacting you because I have become very concerned about the climate. The recent and continuing damage to farms, crops, and property, is a direct consequence of changes that have occurred in our weather patterns. There is apparently no disagreement about this amongst the majority of scientists, and given that the government has announced an intention to invest £2.1 billion in the coming years to defend against an anticipated increase in extreme weather events , the government also agrees.
If there is any lingering doubt that the climate has changed, a little research on the Internet will rapidly confirm that similar extreme weather events, to the ones we have experienced, are now occurring throughout the world. The United States is experiencing record temperatures and widespread severe drought. Japan has just experienced unprecedented rainfall resulting in flooding on a scale that is hard to comprehend. These are just two examples of many that reveal the change in the climate is worldwide and not a simple fluctuation, or anomaly, confined to the United Kingdom.
Scientists explain these extreme events as due to the polar jet stream getting stuck in patterns, when normally these patterns move on. The jet stream is also dipping further south than usual. Thus the jet stream has been looping below the British Isles for several months now, causing low pressure and bringing cold air from the north. We are told that the primary cause of this jet stream behaviour is the warming of the Arctic. As the sea ice retreats, which is increasing year-by-year, the Arctic is warming ever faster. I also read that there are inexpensive measures that could be taken to cool the Arctic using processes similar to the ones that occur naturally, like the cooling effect of large volcanoes when they put a sun-reflecting aerosol into the stratosphere. Using such measures, the Arctic could be cooled, the sea ice saved and our weather gradually returned to normal.
I have grave difficulty understanding why the proposed policy to counter this situation is to build defences. If, as the government has stated, we need to prepare for an increasing frequency and intensity of these extreme weather events, then it stands to reason that ultimately defence will become impossible. No war has ever been won by simply building better bunkers.
Could you please advise me why an alternate policy is not being instituted, or apparently even considered? That policy would be to address the primary cause of these events, the warming of the Arctic, by cooling it and refreezing the sea ice. Could you also advise if these matters are being evaluated by the Chief Government Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington?
Note that the Arctic Methane Emergency Group has expressed grave concern about the situation in the Arctic . They have submitted incontrovertible evidence to the Environment Audit Committee about the dramatic speed of sea ice retreat and its effect on methane release as well as weather extremes, see Hansard .
The Chairman of AMEG informs me that they are now exploring avenues for international cooperation due to their deep concern of the overall situation. Could you please advise if the government is taking similar steps? I was also informed that other events, linked to the retreating sea ice, specifically the subsea venting of methane from the Arctic continental shelves, portends a potential national security threat. Could you advise if the Ministry of Defence is evaluating this situation?
Quite frankly I am astonished by the conspicuous lack of action from the government to protect the public for the future. At a time when we constantly hear of the necessity for austerity, it would appear that money is going to be spent on a ‘quick fix’ that is destined to ultimately fail. Why can that money not be spent on starting to reverse the deteriorating situation? I am further astonished that the government seems so reluctant to take effective action to defend the livelihoods of our farmers who are so necessary to our overall wellbeing and contribute so much to our food security.
Your response to these matters would be most appreciated.
[Signature, address, other contact details, date]
See especially http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvaud/writev/171/arc31.htm
Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters
Methane Hydrates: Hazard or Resource
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Paul Beckwith at Ecoshock
Saving the Arctic Ice
Nathan Currier describes responses to the emergency in the Arctic in the post Saving the Arctic Ice: Greenpeace, Greenwashing and Geoengineering (#1), concluding that geoengineering will have to be part of the action.
AMEG issues policy brief
AMEG issues policy brief, urging immediate government action.