Run! The Glaciers Are Coming!

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Another ridiculous propaganda effort just emerged from climate denial industry. Robert Felix of iceagenow.com is writing US Senators urging them to vote against the Markey Waxman bill because not only is climate change a bunch of hooey, but we are actually on the verge a new ice age.

Who knew??

Felix trots out a laundry list of glaciers around the world that are racing towards us: “In May, Alaska’s Hubbard Glacier was advancing at the rate of seven feet per day – more than half-a-mile per year. And in Icy Bay, at least three glaciers have advanced a third of a mile in one year…More than 90 percent of the world’s glaciers are growing…”

Sounds like crap? It is. In fact virtually all glaciers in Europe, North and South America and Asia are in rapid retreat. A report released last week showed Swiss glaciers have declined 12% in the last ten years.

The Jakobshavn Isbræ glacier in Greenland started rapidly retreating in 2002 and is now losing 100 feet per day. 

In Antarctica, the massive Wilkins shelf disintegrated this April – a slab of ancient ice the size of Jamaica. A recent study found that one third of Antarctic sea ice could be gone be the end of the centrury.

The list goes on. However, Mr. Felix is instead urging US Senators to believe exactly the opposite.

So what are his qualifications to lobby US lawmakers on such an important issue? According to a bio, he is no scientist, but a “former architect” who is “not affiliated with any university or scientific establishment”. Ten years ago, he wrote a book called “Not By Fire, But By Ice”. Here’s the saucy blurb from the back cover:

The next ice age could begin and day! Next week, next month, next year…One day you’ll wake up – or won’t wake up rather – buried under nine stories of snow as the climate of Greenland, descends on Canada, Britain, Norway, and most of the north…practically overnight.”

Wow. Reminds me of a made-for-TV movie from the 70’s called Killdozer. An earthmover possessed by space aliens manages to chase down a squish almost the entire cast, even though it could only go 2 miles per hour.

For the record, it takes several thousand years for an ice sheet to advance across a continent, though an ice age is clearly not the problem we should worry about. In any case you can sleep well tonight, free of worry that a glacier might come through your bedroom wall.

Felix’s caliber of objectively and scientific rigor apparently qualified iceagenow.com to be a co-sponsor the latest Heartland climate deniers conference. No surprise there.

This loopy misinformation would be a lot funnier if it wasn’t having an impact. This week the Pew Center released a report showing that most Americans don’t believe that humans are responsible for climate change. And public opinion matters a lot in the world of politics, whether it is right or not.

Waxman Markey now moves towards an uncertain fate in the Senate. I am sure that Mr. Felix has sent similar letters to several other Senators. It is no wonder the denial machine is shifting into high gear, given how much some vested interests stand to lose if America embraces a clean energy future.

Like many people, I don’t like being told what to think. If you happen to be one of the 51% of Americans who still seem to question the conclusions of thousands of independent climate scientists, maybe you should instead be suspicious of the coal-funded lobby groups that are telling you not to believe them. Your opinion matters a great deal to the fossil fuel industry, and they are paying a great deal of money to influence it.

Don’t take my word for it. There is a powerful tool call the Internet. Use it and find out for yourself.

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