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'Irreversible' global warming claims its first victims of the New Year
By Ian Herbert
Published: 06 January 2007

A birdseed factory in Shropshire, a holy lake in China, Baltic Sea fish and new-born hedgehogs have emerged as the first tangible victims of climate change in the year which forecasters predicted this week would be the warmest on record.

The CJ Wild Bird Foods company near Shrewsbury has announced that the demand for its products has all but disappeared, because the mild winter had maintained an alternative supply of berries for finches, tits and other species. Some species, such as the dunlin and purple sandpiper, are disappearing from Britain as they can find enough warmth in Scandinavia. The company, which said fears of bird flu has also discouraged the public from setting up bird feeders, has laid off 22 workers.

The warmer environment is also contributing to the gradual disappearance of the vast Lake Qinghai, a holy site for Tibetans in the remote western province of Qinghai. Despite a Chinese government pledge of 442m to stop the lake shrinking, it will have vanished in two centuries, according to a report by the China Geological Survey Bureau (CGSB). Glaciers on the nearby Qinghai-Tibet plateau have also shrunk by 131.4 sq km annually in the past 30 years. "What that means is that an area of glacier equivalent to twice the size of the Beijing downtown area disappears every year," said the CGSB. A further 13,000 sq km of glacier - nearly 28 per cent of the total glacier area - will disappear by 2050 if no protective measures are taken.

These disparate indicators of the effects of a changing climate surfaced at the end of a week in which Sir John Houghton, director general of the UK's Met Office, told a farming conference in Oxford that climate change was now irreversible. The Secretary of State for the Environment, David Miliband, said yesterday that Britons would have to change every aspect of their lives if they are to tackle climate change. In an interview with the children's newspaper First News, Mr Miliband admitted that people had been "short-sighted" in tackling environmental problems.

I just saw a science show that says all of the glaciers in the Rocky Mountains will be gone in 100 years. (or sooner)

And there are similar shows about similar subjects. More and more, and there will be more new ones this year. (I just saw my first 2007 show on one of the Discovery channels)

But don't worry: "Global Warming" and "Climate Change" are figments of your over-active imagination.

You "9/11 People" really need to get a grip on Reality.

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