Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A Snark on the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

One of the benefits listed by the just-released Arctic Climate Impact Assessment is that "Reduced sea ice is likely to allow increased offshore extraction of oil and gas." A bit like a condemned man being given a bit more rope with which to be hung, isn't it?

For the most part, the report is extremely gloomy about prospects for the Arctic Circle, postulating the possible extinction of polar bears as well as a sharp rise in sea levels due to the melt-off of Greenland's ice sheet. Some of the scientists involved charged that the release of the publication was delayed by the US Government so as not to effect the recent elections.

Which brings me to another point. Shouldn't elections be based on the fullest amount of information possible? Apparently those who currently occupy the White House feel that the suppression of inconvenient facts should trump the democratic process. This report is not an isolated case, and the mainstream media, charged with helping to maintain our democracy by ensuring that people can make choices with as much information as possible, has repeatedly abdicated its role.


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