Blog: Fossil Fuels Driving Global Weather


Atmospheric scientists have discovered there is so much toxic Asian air pollution from burning fossil fuels that it’s now changing global weather patterns.

China burns an astounding 69 percent of all coal consumed on Earth. Mega tons of poisonous mercury vapor and other soot are making storms in the Pacific deeper, stronger, more intense, and causing heavier more damaging rainfall patterns to occur. It’s predicted to get far worse.

Already, Pacific blue whales are showing marine scientists that the oceans are laced with deadly methylmercury from mercury vapor, a byproduct of burning coal, from coal-fired electricity plants.

The last great coal rush and the business of killing the Earth is stripping Borneo’s exquisite rainforests and leaving heartbreaking pictures of homeless orangutans, rhinos, elephants and the few remaining tigers. Conservation biologists will tell you, “When habitat is ransacked and critters become homeless, they die!”

In Queensland, Australia the frenetic coal loot is quickly killing the last living quarter of Earth’s largest and most complex organism: The Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is the crown jewel of our oceans. It took 600,000 years to form. It’s about 1,375 miles long or roughly the size of Italy and it’s visible from outer-space. There are 3,000 individual reefs with 600 islands providing unique habitat for 600 types of corals. It’s home to over 1,600 species of fish, 133 species of sharks and rays, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. 

In order to ramp up Queensland’s coal production to feed the insatiable Chinese and Indian energy markets, it will have to go from a whopping 240 million metric tons annually to a monstrous 770 million metric tons each year, within the coming decade. An extraordinarily beautiful and complex natural wonder will be devastated so we can heat up the planet, further destroying most forms of life.

Chinese citizens are choking to death from coal pollution. Our coral reefs are rapidly dying from acidification due to burning coal. Our forests around the globe are dying from the unintended consequences of incessantly burning more heat-trapping fossil fuels.

Without coral reefs teaming with life and forests coursing with sparkling clean water and salubrious air — there is no ‘open loop’ economy, whatsoever. The human race is out of business.

It’s clearly time for our world to embraces a ‘closed loop’ economy, whereby countries, companies and consumers are rewarded for reducing waste and pollution, and safeguarding our environment.

The unintended and unimaginable consequences of burning more and more coal are life-threatening. My colleagues in climatology, marine and conservation biology are now very concerned.

Help Sea Shepherd to re-purpose plastics from our oceans.

Support The Vortex Project and together let’s join forces and stop petroleum-based plastics from suffocating our oceans.

Please support conservation in Borneo by watching Rise of the Eco-Warriors — it’s coming this fall to the United States.

Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster, biologist, educator and author of the upcoming book “Shepherding the Sea: The Race to Save Our Oceans.”