I saw this link on DailyKos and was just blown away. The story concerns a report published by the Woods Hole Research Center, which is one of the best environmental research facilities in the world. To truly understand the impact of the article, you have to know this:
Deep in the heart of the world's greatest rainforest, nine days' journey by boat from the sea, Otavio Luz Castello is anxiously watching the soft waters of the Amazon drain away. Every day they recede further, like water running slowly out of an unimaginably immense bath, threatening a global catastrophe.
He pointed out what was happening on Wednesday, standing on an island in a quiet channel of the giant river. Just a month ago, he explained, it had been entirely under water. Now it was jutting a full 15 feet above it.
It is a sign that severe drought is returning to the Amazon for a second successive year.
More after the jump.
The Woods Hole report is based on research where plastic panels were used to block rainfall over a football-sized portion of the rainforest for three years to see the effect of drought. What was expected was a slight change, what occured, after three years, was a massive die-off.
The trees managed the first year of drought without difficulty. In the second year, they sunk their roots deeper to find moisture, but survived. But in year three, they started dying. Beginning with the tallest the trees started to come crashing down, exposing the forest floor to the drying sun.
By the end of the year the trees had released more than two-thirds of the carbon dioxide they have stored during their lives, helping to act as a break on global warming. Instead they began accelerating the climate change.
We have known about global warming and the effect it has on the environment for decades. Scientists have been warning those in power to do something before it is too late. But, in the final analysis, everything we have tried to do has been blocked by the immoral Republican Party. What the cigarette companies did to millions of Americans, that died from lung cancer due to addictive additives in cigarettes, is spit-in-the-face compared to this.
Bush has an opportunity to become a hero. He is the Nixon-to-China for global warming. Al Gore could not have pulled off everything that is required because he is portrayed as a leftist tree-hugger. But, Bush? He could save the planet. That he doesn't should be how he is remembered. The man who had a chance to save the world and instead preferred to pass on profits to big oil.