.. ONCE the polar ice melts ...
.. THEN it may be far too late ...
.. to save our once jewel-like planet's ecosphere
Sufficiently aware observers of recent Aus-events could have witnessed a political coup, whereby Turnbull was replaced by Abbott as the leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition. Describing the position in such a way is itself a total travesty, as was done by the (now ex!) MP for whom the "All politicians lie!" charmer was and possibly still is most often deployed.
The coup included a PR campaign aimed at the sheople-voters and was ostensibly purposed at stopping Lab's ETS - which seems to have been accomplished, and at the same time what might be termed the hard-right faction has seized control of the Federal parliamentary Libs.
It has been pointed out that the Lab ETS was quite similar to an earlier Lib ETS, a policy taken to the last election by the same above mentioned, now ex, MP. That the Lib & Lab ETSs could almost be twins would be no surprise at all; I call the two parties the pug-ugly Lib/Lab twins, and any ETS proposed by either must pass the 'Swiss-cheese/smell' test, i.e. it must have sufficient holes in it for the big-end-of-town to drive an entire fleet of coal-mining trucks through it, and at the same time have sufficient 'playing room' such that the same big-end-of-town may get even richer by manipulating (aka 'trading') within it. (Q: Then why 'smell' test? A: Because all big-end-of-town rip-offs stink.)
Finally (for these ETSs), that neither would produce a sufficiently meaningful reduction in CO2 would also be no surprise; the only possible way of reducing climate-crippling CO2-pollution is to burn (far!) less fossil carbon, total anathema to coal extractors - and therefore sooo politically difficult (for sell-out 'representatives') that neither Lib nor Lab dare risk it. For Libs to accuse Labs of wanting an ETS as a new tax (as in 'tax and spend') surpasses (sick!) comedy. In fact a tightly regulated, escalating-scale tax is probably the best, if not only way to throttle fossil carbon extraction down below a liveable threshold. Liveable, as in allowing our once jewel-like planet's ecosphere to continue to support us. One of the loudest and most rabid anti-ETS agitators was screeching "Jobs!" - a truly delicious irony, for it is the extreme r-wing neoliberal policies which have created the jobs-crisis. Note: There won't be *many, if any* jobs, if (when!) our once-comfortable life supporting climate crashes.
Now, a climate intro, part 3: The sun appears vertically above points within the tropics, very low above points within the polar circle, and for long periods (polar night) "the sun is below the horizon ... from 20 hours at the Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle to 179 days at the Poles." The converse is the long period of light, the midnight sun. If ice is present, it reflects most light (off into space), but any open (i.e. ice-free) water will absorb most light falling on it. This is why melting of the Arctic is taken so seriously; a positive feed-back loop may lead to runaway warming.
|Path of the Midnight Sun viewed from South Cape, Spitsbergen.|
One need not take my word for it ... «Sea ice decline is likely to affect future temperatures in the [polar] region. Because of its light appearance, ice reflects much of the sun's radiation back into space whereas dark ocean water absorbs more of the sun's energy. As ice melts, more exposed ocean water changes the Earth's albedo, or fraction of energy reflected away from the planet. This leads to increased absorption of energy that further warms the planet in what is called ice-albedo feedback.»
[To view animation, <r-click> link and type the letter 'n': NASA.mpg-URL]
[NASA/Loss In Arctic Sea Ice]
Fazit: The threat to the planet is enormous - and not just getting more dangerous; it may go beyond any possibility of reversal. Ergo, our so-called 'leaders' must now lead and not obfuscate; we need effective action. What if we don't get it - and our life-support systems get crippled? Q: Who do we blame? A: The liars, first and foremost; the super-cynical if not outright criminal climate-change sceptic/deniers.
Then Q: What should we do to them? A: String 'em up!
 runaway n. 1 fugitive. 2 bolting animal, vehicle out of control. 3 (attrib.) that is running away or out of control (runaway slave; runaway inflation). [POD]