After an inspiring week at Secret Knock in San Diego, this weekend is Mac OS X upgrade “fun” so that I can install an amazing piece of software called vipOrbit for the Mac.

Keeping track of the growing network of like-minded people and opportunities to learn how to take WomanNotWaiting to phase 2 is much too cumbersome using little tools here and there that do bits and pieces.

Also, with my recent grrrrrrr session with a dysfunctional WordPress on the iPad, I expect more upgrades are imminent.

Last night, my Mac became a cougar (OS X Mountain Lion, ladies, nothing juicy to report here) and I was on the iPad again…alas unable to post. I made it back to Toronto though, fortunately without Duck Norris on the wing! (see When Ducks Fly South)

I’m re-energized and ready to hit some more pavement at WNW (old habits die hard…must have a TLA -Three Letter Acronym – for WomanNotWaiting…it’s an IT thing)

Since the posts this week have been in limbo, the polar ice theme will carry forward another week.

It’s a topic that could consume an entire year of posts and several different speculative science fiction plot lines, but for now, perhaps a bite-sized chunk for an alien space monster the size of a Borg cube would be manageable.

The Ross ice shelf.

It’s not some guy with a big beard that scared my older sister at the age of 4 (that would be my uncle), it’s an Antarctic glacier that is feeling a little unstable at the moment and no amount of lithium is going to normalize his behaviour.

Why is Ross so important?

For starters, he’s the size of France! Mais oui! And we all know that the French are the best lovers…but of course. So if that bad boy slides into the ocean, life will lose its “Je ne sais quoi”.

But scientists know what that is. It’s an estimated 5 to 17 meter rise in sea level! That is, 16 1/4 to 55 1/4 feet!

Let’s be conservative then and choose a 5 meter rise. Hmmm. I hope you don’t have your retirement savings tied into the Florida real estate market!  For that matter, I hope you are not buying up beachfront property pretty much anywhere in the world.

“Ahem,” you say. “And if a meteorite the size of France hits Earth then we’re burnt toast too. It’s not likely to happen in my lifetime!”

And you would be absolutely correct. The likelihood of a meteor impact is pretty slim. Our monstrous telescopes see them coming.

However, the likelihood of the Ross ice shelf collapse is not science fiction. The award-winning documentary by Mark Terry entitled The Antarctica Challenge (2009) is worth the watch if you want to understand what is happening in the Antarctic and why scientists are paying very close attention.

The exact date for the collapse is really anyone’s guess. All they know from experience with the Larsen Ice Shelf collapse in 2002 is that when it happens, it happens fast. It took only 35 days for an iceberg the size of Rhode Island to completely disintegrate.

One source I found claimed that NASA predicted a collapse to occur some time between 2012-2016, but I haven’t found the scientific backing for that statement yet. The source goes on to say the information was pulled..Ooooooo everyone love’s a good conspiracy theory. However, I will not indulge and keep digging.

The truth is that other ice shelves are breaking up in the western Antarctic as well which is bad news for the huge land ice mass pushing up against them. It’s a matter of when, not if.

So what can WE do about this? The planet is warming up and luckily fossil fuels are the big culprit.

Yes! You heard me. We are extremely fortunate that human habits are causing the imminent collapse of Antarctica (and the Arctic sea ice, Greenland, glacial retreat…) because that means…

WE ARE NOT DOOMED like the dinosaurs! Yay!

All we need to do is to change ourselves and inspire others to follow suit. Just like we became a throw away society, we can become a society of Stewards (What Is A Steward Anyway?) And that’s good news.

Together let’s:

  • Support all sustainable innovation that we come across.
  • Share all sustainable innovation that we come across.
  • Voice our ideas for sustainable solutions even if we think they are silly because those ideas can spark other ideas in someone else and lead to brilliant solutions.

Those are some important dots we can sprinkle on our polka-dot road to sustainability.