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Showing posts from March, 2017

Trump's Tragic Myopia

Trump’s executive order puts the world on the road to climate catastrophe
The order starts the process of undoing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan standards for power plants. It also spurs fossil fuel consumption and blocks federal efforts to even prepare for the multiple, simultaneous catastrophes that unrestricted carbon pollution the world faces — severe drought, ocean acidification, ever-worsening heat waves, rising seas that threaten to destroy coastal cites.  I truly believe that Trump, Republicans, and climate change deniers in general, are able to see the changes going on in our climate.  Businesses whose bottom line is affected by climate are able to react.
The industries furthest along are those already dealing with climate change on a daily basis. Among them: agriculture, where temperature and rainfall are already shifting how, when, and where crops are grown, and insurance, where climate experts and actuaries are trying to predict the possible cost of things like increas…

Earth is a planet in upheaval

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World Meteorological Organization issues dire climate warning “Truly uncharted territory”
The WMO’s annual “State of the Global Climate in 2016” paints a dire picture for humanity: record CO2 levels, record warming, record drop in both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, and record high sea levels. Severe droughts “brought food insecurity to millions in southern and eastern Africa and Central America.” NOAA reported this month that the record-smashing warming of 2016 continued into 2017. In this country, “there were 11,743 daily warm temperature records broken or tied” in February alone. Globally, it was the second hottest February and January-February on record after 2016.
Climatologist Sir Robert Watson slammed the “Trump administration and senior Republicans in Congress [who] continue to bury their heads in the sand.” The former head of the UN’s climate science panel said our children and grandchildren will some day marvel at such deniers “and ask how they could have sacrificed the planet …

Earth Is Warming Faster Than We Thought

I've posted about this before.  It is likely that the earth is warming faster than we thought.  And now this has been confirmed with a new study.  As described here:
Once again, science is shown to work. The laborious process in which scientists check and recheck their work and subject their ideas to peer review has led to another success. An independent test of global warming data has confirmed a groundbreaking 2015 study that showed warming was faster than prior estimates. There really is no time to lose.  Every day, every month we delay in dealing with global warming means years of serious consequences in the future.

Early Springs Worldwide

The NY Times reports:

Sexual energies were loosed early this year in Tennessee, then quashed. In February, spring peepers made my ears ring as I walked through wetlands east of Nashville’s honky-tonks. These frogs were a month ahead of their normal schedule. But what is normal in a year when the calendar says spring starts Monday, yet the season started weeks earlier for plants and animals? When New York was clipped by a snowstorm last Tuesday, the streets had already been dusted with pollen from early-blooming red maples. Spring has been particularly hasty and irregular this year, but this is no anomaly. In the latter half of the 20th century, the spring emergence of leaves, frogs, birds and flowers advanced in the Northern Hemisphere by 2.8 days per decade. I’m nearly 50, so springtime has moved, on average, a full two weeks since I was born. And you? We now experience climate change not only through the abstractions of science, but also through lived experience. . . . According to …

A Dystopic Prophecy

There's a review in the New York Review of Pinkaj Mishra's Age of Anger: A History of the Present. It has an interesting thesis, that there are a lot of people across the world who are fed up  with "Modernism".  Now we already know about radical Islamism, but he is folding in the xenophobic nationalists of America and Europe.  And his argument is a bit plausible, after all Trump got elected by a lot of disaffected rural Americans.  And I'm sympathetic with his explanation that it's the neo-liberalism that has brought this about, and Hillary Clinton was a staunch neo-liberal.  The problem is that neo-liberalism has swept aside the working class.  Now I'm, of course, strongly for gay civil rights, but somehow trade unionism and the problems of the working class has faded from the Democratic view.

The very popular movie series, the Hunger Games, fits in well with this.  Society is divided into a rural class with which we are very sympathetic (including my fa…

Kids Climate Change Lawsuit Scores Victory In Court

The Trump administration really doesn’t want this climate lawsuit to go to trial Plaintiffs in the case scored a major victory in November, when U.S. Federal Judge Ann Aiken found the group’s complaints to be valid. A major hurdle for the case was the political question doctrine, which holds that some issues cannot be heard by courts because they are under the jurisdiction of political branches of government. But Aiken found that the political question doctrine should not prevent the case from moving to trial, writing in her decision that “at its heart, this lawsuit asks this Court to determine whether defendants have violated plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. That question is squarely within the purview of the judiciary.” If the case goes to trial, it will be the first to argue the federal government has violated the Constitution in its actions regarding climate change. If successful, it would likely compel the government to take action on the issue ... The lawsuit, brought by a gro…

Coastal Property at Great Risk From Global Warming

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Here is more on the effects of increasing sea level, about which I've postedbefore.  Here's the Washington Post:

Trump’s proposed NOAA cuts would disarm our coasts in the face of rising seas, scientists say

And there's more

The U.S. is about to lose a trillion dollars in coastal property values

As I’ve written for years, values will will start dropping before we hit a few feet of sea level rise. They will crash when a large fraction of the financial community — mortgage bankers and opinion-makers, along with a smaller but substantial fraction of the public — realize that it is too late for us to stop catastrophic sea level rise. Sean Becketti, the chief economist for mortgage giant Freddie Mac, warned nearly a year ago this scenario is coming faster than expected. “Some residents will cash out early and suffer minimal losses. Others will not be so lucky,” Becketti said. The country is facing a trillion-dollar bubble in coastal property values, a time bomb which has been infl…

Climate's Progress

We've seen what is and will start happening as a consequence of global warming, increased flooding on the coasts, droughts alternating with floods, extreme weather via the polar vortex.

Australia has a different weather experience to look forward to, alternating blasts of heat.
Southeastern Australia has suffered through a series of brutal heat waves over the past two months, with temperatures reaching a scorching 113 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the state of New South Wales.  “It was nothing short of awful,” said Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney. “In Australia, we’re used to a little bit of heat. But this was at another level.” Well, 113 degrees isn't that hot compared to some parts of the world, like Arizona, or parts of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.  But it is unusual for Australia. Dr. Perkins-Kirkpatrick, who studies climate extremes, did what comes naturally: She looked to see whet…