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Care priorities for a sick earth

To the North Countryman: Our planets ability to support life is seriously sick; it needs emergency care. There are competing issues that some think also need care: these include view preservation. To guide such decisions, hospital emergency rooms apply a technique called triage (Stedmans Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition, p. 1628); it prioritizes care along the immediacy level of threats to life. Greater threat yields care quicker, more intensively; where condition is irreversible though, care is not attempted. Doctorate programs in climatology teach expertise in planetary care. These doctors for our climate find planet Earth very sick yes, but since it still has the cooling effect of: both the heat-of-fusion (energy for melting or freezing) of water and the extra sun-reflecting color of glacier's year-round ice, its not hopeless. Studying geologic past shows losing too much ice does leave planetary warming irreversible though. We need those glaciers. Today, we use fossil fuel and nuclear fission extensively to make steam generated electricity. Our levels of fossil fuels now add so much climate-warming carbon dioxide (CO2), that their continued use at current levels will soon finish melting remaining glaciers. Next time: Can we slow or stop the melting? David E. Manwell, Beekmantown

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