Global warming is a real danger. More and more of us realise this. Will enough of us stop our rising levels of consumption to make a difference? It’s our choice. I missed this piece by David Langness on the Bahá’í Teachings website when it came out at the end of last month, so I’m making up for lost time now thanks to the alert of an FB friend. Below is a short extract: for the full post see link.
The sea of materialism is at flood tide and all the nations of the world are immersed in it. – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 138.
At the bottom of our planet, down there where the penguins live in Antarctica, the ice is melting. Fast.
In Greenland, at the top of the planet, it’s melting even faster.
If Antarctica’s ice melts, along with Greenland’s, it will flood the world, submerging most of humanity’s great coastal cities under the waves.
Why? Well, the ice is mighty deep in Antarctica—more than a mile deep in most places. About seventy percent—yes, that’s right, seven-zero percent, 70%–of the world’s fresh water is locked up in Antarctica’s frozen mass of ice.
Here’s how it all works: the Earth has two “ice sheets”—huge continental-sized glaciers that cover entire landmasses. The world’s smaller ice sheet covers most of Greenland (1.7 million square kilometers, or 660,000 square miles). The biggest planetary ice sheet covers Antarctica (14 million square kilometers, or 5.4 million square miles—about the size of the United States and Mexico, combined). Together, they hold the vast majority—more than 95%–of the world’s fresh water, frozen in that deep blue ice.
If it all melts—Antarctica and Greenland both—sea levels will rise 216 feet, or almost 70 meters.
That would create a true global catastrophe. It would displace much of the world’s population, since about half of all humans now live within 37 miles (60 kilometers) of the sea. All low-lying, ocean-adjacent areas of the world would be inundated. Three-quarters of the world’s major cities sit on the coastlines of an ocean; so goodbye New York, Sydney, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Kolkata, Bangkok, Tokyo, Miami, etc., etc. Want to see what a post-ice sheet world would look like? National Geographic has an interactive map.
Why do I raise this frightening issue?