December 17, 2007

Bali Hai

I'm doing my bit to reduce my carbon footprint by consuming huge amounts of locally made Waiheke Island wine at various Christmas parties around town these days, so blog writing has been taking a backseat for the time being.
Something topical regards climate change caught my eye the other day on DW TV when a reporter travelled to Siberia to look at methane emissions as the permafrost melts. The hardy and lonely Russian climate researcher in Siberia said methane emissions were five times larger than previously estimated, and methane is a greenhouse gas that is far more efficient in greenhousing than carbon-dioxide. That release may dwarf carbon-dioxide emissions we are all fretting about and is creating a feedback loop that emission caps, carbon taxes or trading would not stop. The Siberian tundra is busy collapsing into a huge amount of tiny lakes and broken hillsides due to the methane release - lighting the methane gas bubbles coming up from under the ice looked spectacular and singed more than the reporter's eyebrows. The whole area would become even more inaccessible as it is now. That might not be a big deal unless you want to go there but it just showed to me that that there is no way out of climate change no matter what Bali negotiators, carbon traders and technology buffs come up with.
Will this mean in the future all fresh air will have a tinge of rotten egg smell to it? Will sea levels rise by 15 metres so we will have our own boat jetty at the bottom of our driveway? Is there any way to be optimistic in the climate issue?

No comments: