Ice Cracks and Mercury

I can’t explain what happens to set me off; that split second of clarity – aha moments, outrage, jaw dropping realities, outrageous buffoonery – a dog’s breakfast of circumstances to ponder. Today it was ice cracks and mercury.

Man is one sorry excuse for a species; it defies all reason to have muddled through this far. Name any other species and you’ll find they hone their skills, adapt to environment, and learn from past missteps. Opposable thumb, spoken language, massive brains –  unnecessary for survival. Survival of the fittest and natural selection merely  rough drafts of evolution’s story. Heightened sense of sight, scent, and sound, venom, camouflage, hibernation, migration – simplistic generalizations describing nature’s magnificence

Mankind drew the straw guaranteeing a disconnect from that nature. The straw responsible for impenetrable structures, religious squabbles, pointless aggression, division of classes, and a hot cup of tea. Our evolutionary hiccup resulted in a species of dependant, gullible, attention deficit nincompoops. A species harbouring shreds of animal instinct between marshmallow fluff and Lemming sensibilities.

News of ice cracks and mercury managed to focus mankind’s folly; a perfect example of our hubris. A story about climate change – a scientific paper published in Nature magazine – a warning about alarming levels of mercury in the arctic.

Mercury vapor from coal burning power plants and gold mining pollute the atmosphere. About 20 years ago, science sorted out where all that mercury vapor was going. They knew it travelled thousands of miles into the atmosphere; the kicker was how the planet took care of it. Every spring, something remarkable happened in the arctic. Following months of near darkness, our sun’s rays set a chemical reaction in play – a process that removes harmful mercury.

Here’s the problem – arctic ice has become thinner; thinning leads to sea ice cracking at alarming rates. Huge fissures appear, ice flows break apart, exposing open water. Water is considerably warmer than arctic air. Temperature differentials cause”churning” in the air flow – a phenomenon responsible for pulling mercury down rather than showing it the atmospheric door.

Global warming elicits rolling eyes or impatient blank stares – sure, a concerned group of realists acknowledge the reality, the rest sitting firmly on their opposable thumbs. Climate change peaked with Al Gore, relegated to a dusty shelf along side plastics, oil, tar sands, and nasty banned substances contaminating imported food products.

Nature does the best it can. Our species taking for granted nothing will disturb the complacent unnatural balance our big brains delivered. Oblivious, unprepared, ignorant – pick a word – how about “stupid”? We are so far removed from reality, gobbling big money’s pacifier – a ball gag dipped in honey preferable to imploding reality. It doesn’t matter whether climate change is manmade or a natural cycle. What matters is it’s real, it will effect our lives and we haven’t the skills to cope with difficulty.

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