Our culture – and our economy – is deeply focused on consumption. The most fundamental form of consumption is energy and, in the last two centuries, we have become addicted to fossil fuel consumption. A few people (and a few companies) stand to profit immensely by feeding this consumption habit. They will level mountains for Appalachian coal, scar northern Alberta for tar sands, destroy precious groundwater with fracking, pollute the air and water near pipelines and railroads and refineries, and wage intensive denial campaigns against the growing evidence of man-made CO2 generation. All for a buck, and all with no concern for the problems they create for the next generation. The Keystone XL pipeline decision has been delayed. Money and politicians in Canada (is there a difference?) are upset, as reported in the news. Some in the U.S. are hopeful that this indicates our government may eventually reject the Keystone XL proposal as a first step toward attacking the growing carbon-pollution problem.
One area where the damage is becoming visible is in polar ice. On the next page, please find the latest graphs that look at ice and temperature trends for both the north pole (Arctic Ocean) and the south pole (Antarctica).