Climate Change Wakeup Call

Another article I came across that I feel needs sharing …

The Future Has Arrived.
These explosive fires are our climate change wakeup call

Too much of the western United States is on fire, and many areas not suffering directly from fire are enveloped in choking, acrid smoke.

Sidenote: The US is set to exit the Paris climate agreement on November 4, 2020.

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Image by skeeze from Pixabay

56 thoughts on “Climate Change Wakeup Call

  1. And we’ve had how many of these future-has-arrived, final-wakeup-call events now? Australia went through its own nightmare fires during the southern-hemisphere summer (our winter). We’re getting once-in-a-century hurricanes every year now. Half of China has been drowning in monster floods for weeks, floods so huge they’re threatening to overwhelm the biggest dam on Earth. Europe a couple of years ago had heat waves unprecedented in its history.

    The head-in-the-sand denialists in the US are not all going to have a sudden epiphany, though their numbers are shrinking little by little as the evidence piles up mountainously. But they are certainly in the minority now.

    India, Germany, and the Arab countries are expanding solar power massively. The UK is similarly invested in wind farms. France already gets most of its electricity from nuclear power. A lot is being done. Just because US central government policy on this issue is being run by people with the IQ of coleslaw doesn’t mean the other 96% of the world is similarly inactive. Yes, the US needs to get back to being a participant in the effort instead of an obstacle, but we’ll have a chance to do something about that in November.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I know industry leaders have scientific studies showing the effects of our pollution. They put out their own reports denying the effect are coming from human activity. These reports are what they use to convince government agencies to back off on regulations. This president needs little urging to undo environmental regulations. The troglodytes at ground level need little reason to rail against science and education in general. They don’ really want to turn the clock back to the 50s. They just want to carry water for Dear Leader.

      “… but much of our present reality now falls within the jurisdiction of Ballard’s imagination.”
      https://www.newstatesman.com/2020/04/why-we-are-living-jg-ballard-s-world

      It was so bad a Republican created the EPA.
      https://time.com/3921976/cuyahoga-fire/
      In early 1970, President Richard Nixon called for sweeping environmental reform. He created a council on environmental reform which, shortly afterward, was consolidated into the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1972, Congress overrode Nixon’s veto to pass the Clean Water Act, which created national water quality standards.

      Both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court were in agreement on the regulations Nixon wanted to veto. The court ruled against Nixons threat of impounding the funds’ Congress approved.

      “In Train v. City of New York (1975), the court ruled “that the president had no authority to withhold funds provided by Congress in the Clean Water Act of 1972,” stating essentially, “The president cannot frustrate the will of Congress by killing a program through impoundment.” In addition, the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 provided a means of controlling the President’s ability to impound funds for programs that they don’t support.” (btw, this is the same act Trump violated in his action against Ukraine.)

      That is how things worked in the past. No way would that action play out today. Industry rules. It owns Congress, the GOP, and the courts.
      Common sense, like ‘book learnin’, has no place in this regime.

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      • They put out their own reports denying the effect are coming from human activity

        As the tobacco industry once sponsored fake research to “prove” that smoking was not dangerous. The truth won out, nevertheless.

        Industry rules. It owns Congress, the GOP, and the courts.

        A short-sighted investment. We will take back Congress (and the presidency), sideline the GOP, and de-wingnutize the courts.

        India recognizes global warming as a serious problem and is taking serious action against it. Germany recognizes global warming as a serious problem and is taking serious action against it. The UK recognizes global warming as a serious problem and is taking serious action against it. Those are all democracies with powerful industrial interests and (to varying degrees) right-wing governments. If they can do it, so can we.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Why are you assuming “industry” does not own the Democratic Party lock, stock and barrel? Obama appointed a bunch of vampire squids and spreadsheet diddlers to his economic cabinet and we got bank fraudster bailouts and banks too big to fail even bigger. They nickname Good Ol Joe the “Senator from MBNA” for a reason.

          I know you accuse me of defeatism, but come on, man. Being Pollyannaish about the reality of the American One Party State is not very useful, either!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bush signed the original 2008 bailout and started the legislation for the auto industry bailout, which Obama signed. See. We have an upside-down Socialism with the taxpayers frequently bailing out capitalism.

            It has always been industrialists’ intention to take over the government, and they have. When the first politician took money to push one special interest law, he was owned by that industry. When the Supreme Court treated corporations as ‘a person’ with First Amendment rights, industry was in the driver’s seat. The constitutional mandate for Congress to regulate trade and commerce was relinquished to the capitalists.

            That day was a long time coming, but we have been here before. In the late nineteenth century, industrialist/capitalists had a stranglehold on the nation, just as we see now. It finally came to blows between the barons of business and a Republican president and a Democrat Senator. (I think I’ve got that right.) The Sherman Anti-trust Act, the Trust Busters, finally stopped the run-away capitalism, gave labor a better chance for decent wages, and restored order in the economy. That law is still active, but it will take a committed bipartisan effort to give it teeth.

            Capitalists will not give up easily. The church, the GOP, and capitalism have waited years for Trump to come along. We need capitalism, regulated. We need a second party (GOP?) to prevent the DNC from acting the same way as the GOP. We do not need the church and Trump. We have never been a ‘Christian’ nation. We have never been a nation with equal rights for all. We always act contrary to our high ideals.

            The right to vote is the right on which all our rights depend.
            Thomas Payne

            We cannot clean up our world until we clean up our politics.

            An honest politician is as rare as chicken teeth.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Right on. Except….and this is coming from a virulent misotheist who thinks the Abrahamic religions are wicked at their fundamental core…the church can and has played an important POSITIVE role. Even I, as I blast black metal in my late middle aged earphones, cannot deny that. And don;t forget the role of the church…or parts of the church…in supporting social change. Our brave Becky might be an ally more than an enemy on many of these issues.

              Jeez…here I am defending the church. These really are strange times!!!!! 🙂

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          • I accuse you of being human with an opinion. We need the discussion. Diverse opinions help us find our way. If we disagree, it doesn’t call for a verbal smack-down. It calls for an honest search for the facts. It keeps us on a higher plane. I don’t know who your comment was meant for.
            We will never find a blemish-free politician. We can play Demosthenes, but they will sneak through. We have to work with what we have and make it work.
            We will not solve this climate/environmental problem in 2021 if we control the White House and Congress. Nor will we in 2024 nor 2030.
            My optimism doesn’t mean I think that. It means we will survive.Us and most plant and animal life. We need to temper our optimism and progressive aims with a dose of reality. Just get behind that rock and head up the mountain.

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          • The track record of Democratic and Republican governments on global warming speaks for itself. If you believe there is a “one-party state” or that the two parties are remotely comparable to each other, then there is no basis for trying to discuss anything, any more than there would be with a flat-Earther. In terms of practical effect, such claims are just parroting Republican/Russian talking points aimed at discouraging people from voting.

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          • Nan, I apologize already. This is mostly off-topic.

            I don’t think industry/capitalists own the Dems, lock, stock, and barrel because of voting records; because of speeches on the floor of both houses. Neither party has a corner on graft, but if we start putting them on the scales, GOP doesn’t have a chance. The past three years have laid bare the heart and soul of the GOP. I speak of the leadership.

            I know both parties accept money and I know when they get caught with questionable contributions the quickly point out they have or will return that money. Sometimes.

            In 2015-16, everything changed. Blavatnik’s political contributions soared and made a hard right turn as he pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.
            In 2017, donations continued, with $41,000 going to both Republican and Democrat candidates, along with $1 million to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund.

            Blavatnik’s main man is one Oleg Deripaska. He is barred from entering the U. S. He owns a company called Rusal. (Russia Aluminum).
            He bought, through Blavatnik. part of a Kentucky Aluminum company owned by a major contributor to Moscow Mitch. It is almost certain he contributed to McConnell through Blavatnik, who has dual citizenship, legalizing the donation, so to speak. Oleg is one of Vlad’s close associates. One can check with the FEC to get a better idea of who got what; yes, Democrats got some rubles, too. SOP

            We need to check the wind direction once in a while.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. The math is pretty good here for a predictive model that fits the past 100 years: with every increase of 1*C of the global mean temperature, we find an increase of 8% atmospheric energy. This allows us to divide every category of flood by 5, meaning a typical 20 year flood will occur on average every 4 years, a 100 year flood on average every 20. Now add another degree. And another. Do the math. This is the path being sought by the latest climate agreement… and it’s considered quite optimistic now. I think we should add at least another degree by 2100. After all, nearly 3/4 of all atmospheric greenhouse gases has been produced by human activity in just the last 75 years.

    I mention this math because this is now the ‘new normal’ for the big reinsurers (the insurance companies that insure insurance companies!) to calculate expected costs in their actuarial tables. These are then to be followed by the insurance companies who sell to real people; if they fail to do so and don;t charge according to the risk calculation by the reinsurers, they forfeit their own insurance coverage, so it’s a Very Big Deal what the reinsurers mandate. This is one reason why many towns and even cities in the US have been refused insurance coverage.,.. because the mitigation measures necessary to addreess these known changes to climate patterns have not been implemented to reduce the insurance costs to meet the requirements for coverage. Pretty straightforward stuff. The same is true for home insurance where in many locations throughout the West of the US, home insurance cannot be bought because these insurance companies won’t be covered if they do.

    What’s a government – local, state, and national – to do and still peddle the idea that climate change is not an immanent threat, more like a hoax or Chicken Little panicking by radical extremists and deluded socialists, that expensive measures being called for cannot be economically justified and are political suicide to try to implement, that low elevation real estate still has great value and the sprawling California homes in the rolling foothills are desirable?

    Well, various governments POOF! into existence insurance coverage that puts the public as the insurers. No say. No vote. No permission. No consent. Mandated. Much of the East coast for flood insurance is covered this way… especially in Florida (including the Billion Dollar Mile in Miami) and the vulnerable mansions and sea side estates of the rich and famous all up and down the coast, not to mention some coverage for the less fortunate.

    And middle America is not immune. There are many towns with rivers that are not insurable. In fact, some towns have built new subdivisions in higher elevations and had low elevation home owners exchange. That’s actually cheaper for the municipality to implement than to pay damages from the latest catastrophic flood. And look to Michigan at what happens when older earthen damns are not replaced in timely (and very expensive) manner?

    Renewables are a no-brainer. And that’s just to keep us (optimistically as I mentioned) around 3.5*C that is already going to happen by 2100. This is why the tactic of sewing doubt about this solid understanding of climate change caused by human activity is an existential threat to our species. It’s not a political issue of how much or how little individual people can do or one that can tolerate various contrary opinions about changing our energy systems away from greenhouse gases; it’s a very real and growing threat of not doing enough as soon as possible for all of humanity who must suffer the very real consequences of what not doing enough is just beginning to look like that we see today.

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    • “We’re Americans, damn it,” said Robert S. Young, a North Carolina geologist who has studied the way communities like Dauphin Island respond to storms. “Retreat is a dirty word.”

      I don’t think there is a distinction between residential and commercial properties. They all just keep building back on the same foundation. And we just keep paying.

      57% of fires are on or start on Federal property. The affected states should sue the Federal government and Trump for not keeping their forest floor clean of all debris.
      https://www.redding.com/story/news/2018/11/11/trump-blames-state-fires-but-many-worst-federal-land/1971196002/

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      • 5 years of mostly drought, low water table, high winds, bug infestation, a long and hot summer, and now 120*F daily temps will turn any forest into tinder conditions for a conflagration regardless of fuel load. Fuel load is usually what’s left after a forest has been cut down but covered in branch and stump debris but Trump has suggested clearing forest floors is the same thing. It’s not. Besides, the forest needs its dead wood for natural growth cycles and healthy biodiversity (as well as the occasional fire). Such a ‘cleaning’ of the forest floor is actually counter-productive to containing fire outbreaks. So a conflagration is exactly what we should expect and what we’re seeing.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Cleaning the forest floors was said in jest. It is something Trump suggested last year when he visited one of Californias burned out areas. When he got ridiculed for it, he blamed Norway. I will try to remember to add a snerk symbol. s/

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        • Throw in the country retreats and summer cabins of the deluded American middle class (“I don’t wanna live in a city near…THOSE people). Maybe I am being harsh, but look at the voting records of places like Paradise in Butte County or Fresno County.

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  3. Nan, there are many reasons why Donald Trump is a danger to America and the planet. Dating back to 2016, this has been the issue I have feared most. We lost eight years of planning under Bush, so we could ill-afford a president like the one we have. Keith

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    • PS – It should be noted, the US has made huge strides in solar and wind energy. Iowa gets 40% of its electricity through wind, eg. Yet, so much more could be done with more federal direction.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s not Donald Trump. It’s SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE who don’t want to be subsistence peasant farmers. It’s the entire history and our lifestyle..especially…of course…those of us living in “the developed world”.

    There is not enough Lithium and rare earths and other materials to go all renewables. Heck, nuclear would be a more realistic option-something has to power all those o-so-green Teslas, no? But we know the bad side effects of nuclear…, don’t we?

    All the Climate Action Plans and Agreements in the world won’t overcome the simple reality of physics….too many people.

    Sorry to be cynical, but this has been an enervating week. Sometimes there simply is no “solution”. A few solar panel farms with high embedded energy and rare materials won’t make a difference.

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    • There are ways of exploiting solar power that don’t require those specific chemicals. There’s wind and hydroelectric. There’s all the further things we don’t know about yet because they haven’t been invented yet. Every new mouth to feed comes into the world with a brain and a pair of hands attached — and global educational levels are rising steadily. India is already on track to meet its Paris Accord carbon-reduction targets ahead of schedule. If they can do it, so can everybody else.

      In the 1970s people like Paul Ehrlich were predicting mass famine and the collapse of civilization. Since then the population has doubled, but food production has tripled and famine has practically disappeared for the first time in all of history (despite the massive inefficiency of animal agriculture which uses so much land to produce far fewer calories than it could do by growing food directly for human consumption). Human ingenuity kept ahead of population growth.

      We couldn’t remotely support the current global population with subsistence farming. Further technological progress is the only way forward. The worst environmental destruction is happening in places like Amazonia and tropical Africa, which are thinly populated but so poor that people can’t afford to care about the environment (and governments can’t afford to enforce environmental rules). The biggest improvements in environmental quality in the last century were in western Europe, which is densely populated but rich enough to afford to take care of nature. It’s a poverty problem, not a population problem..

      There’s no such thing as “overpopulation” in an absolute sense. In the stone age, a global population of 100 million would have seemed impossible. In Babylonian times, one billion would have seemed impossible. In the Middle Ages, the current population would have seemed impossible. Yet here we are, richer and better fed than ever before.

      With a full shift to non-fossil-fuel energy and abandonment of the disgusting practice of meat-eating, this planet could support twenty or thirty billion people in sustainable affluence. Let’s not make the situation seem worse than it is — despair promotes inaction. Yes, global warming is a serious problem, but we know exactly what to do about it, and it’s being done — just not (for now) in the US. We’ll beat this. We’ve beaten much worse things.

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        • I think you are both wildly optimistic. The resources curve still exists, and the vast, vast majority of people (including myself) are not magical creators of technology that will solve global climate change. Most of us are “takers”.

          But like I said, being a West Coaster has encouraged apocalyptic thinking this month. 🙂 So carry on. Plus, there is money to be made in alternative energy. And certainly in “Climate Action Plans” and the like. You don;t think the people jet setting around the world negotiating the next round of treaties are travelling by donkey cart and working for pennies, do you? 🙂

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          • I won’t argue it until we are all blue in the face, 😉 however, I do like to hope for the best, prepare for the worst—although how in tha hell does one prepare for Earth’s unimaginable fury at our ridiculous apathy & stupidity when She’s had ENOUGH!? 😬

            We will carry on. Thank you. 😉 We still do have barely enough time to do something even at least slow it all down, that is the major mega-industrialized nations and those few developing nations/economies can make significant changes along with a collaborative effort by individuals in those aforementioned nations and otherwise. But if those major nations and developing nations don’t give a shit… then we are ALL, all 7.6 billion plus of us, are totally fucked. My two kids and their kids/my grandchildren. 😔😡

            What IS glaringly clear is that Climate Change (for the worst) is no longer a debate or a doubt in the least! It is now a question of What do the major players in it want to do about it—to save even their own families and descendants? That’s now the question that must be answered.

            Thanks basenjibrian. 🙂

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          • I don’t do ‘thoughts and prayers’, but I hope the best for all. My oldest son is in Bremerton and I hope out of reach of any fires. The smoke he can’t escape. Stay safe.

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    • Yes, over population is a factor. But when you say, “There is not enough Lithium and rare earths and other materials to go all renewables” you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Just wind from the Gulf could power the US economy right now but capturing that energy is a very tricky business. Perhaps nuclear should play a bigger role but I think that conversation is mostly over before it begins.

      There are many kinds of batteries (let’s see what Tesla has up it’s sleeve for the September Battery Day; I suspect some big news is coming down the pike in using lighter and more readily available battery material.) Additionally, there are many methods of capturing this energy including wind and solar. This is going to become a major economic sector of any developed economy… because it has to. We cannot continue consuming toxic energy nor does anyone think it’s a good idea to try to go backwards in development. I predict clean sustainable energy jobs will dwarf even the heyday of greenhouse gas production mostly because it makes good financial sense for both producer and consumer.

      And Tesla is not a car company; it’s an energy technology company. That’s why investors have made it more valuable a stock than just about any combination of car companies you care to name; we see the writing on the wall with Tesla in the same way Amazon dominates retail sales compared to any combination of brick and mortar retail stores chains. Energy as an entire system has to become clean with minimal pollution because the future of your children depends on it. If we can make it (and we are) profitable, then we see what’s actually happening today: utility companies – like all the major oil companies – cannot make money producing greenhouse gas energy. It’s all in decline (just this year alone a 17 billion write down from Exxon, billions more by Shell, the implosion of every fracking company, a price war between the Saudis and Russia, and so on). That’s why 2 of the largest utilities in the States are investing ONLY in renewables because their profit has to come from delivery alone. Throw in the fiscal incentives for rural municipalities to pay for schools and services by granting local energy licenses and I think the future is easily seen to be unfolding before our very eyes. Add in the moral component about our children and I cannot see how life will not change significantly towards massive clean energy production in the next 3 decades. And don’t be surprised if gas powered vehicles disappear just as fast as horses when the automobile came out. That took about 10 years for a complete transition (with massive public investment in infrastructure) so I don’t think it unreasonable to have the vast majority of all transportation including sea and air to be electric by 2030-40. And Tesla is easily 8 years ahead of all other automobile manufacturers and expanding globally right now.

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    • Yes. It’s Donald Trump. I know there are a lot of hands up his derriere. He is the one whose lips are moving. He is the one rolling back regulations that have brought us a long way from, say, the 50s. He is the head of the rotting fish.

      In the 60s on was serving aboard a U, S. Naval vessel. We had one airconditioning unit dedicated to the ‘computer room’. The computers required so much electricity it was difficult to keep them cool enough to operate. Now you carry more computing power in your shirt pocket than all that machinery could produce. Many fold more. Do you remember your first transistor radio?

      “Can’t is a coward and afraid to try.” Remember that taunt on the playground?

      “Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.”
      — Quote by Amelia Earhart

      First of all, keeping our planet in a livable condition will reduce our energy needs greatly. I’m old enough to be able to see the difference our early efforts in environmental clean up have made. Have you heard the jokes about walking across the Hudson?

      Fossil fuels are finite. They are the worst pollutants. What new advances we can make in energy sources today will extend their life by reducing their use. Every little bit counts.

      I don’t have the answers. If not for my spellchecker I couldn’t spell ‘environment.’ But I look at the speed at which our technology advances and I have no doubt we will develop ways to answer our energy needs. Voyagers I and II have left our solar system and are in that vast void between us and the next solar system. Interstellar space. Their voyage began in 1977. The difference in our technology then and now are worlds apart, as we speak.

      Too many people? I wonder what we look like from space. I wonder what percentage of the land surace we are useing. I wonder if it is the number of people or the resources all of us waste.

      We always need something better, cheaper, faster, and lighter. We always find something. In January 2015, Japanese company Fuji Pigment Co. Ltd. announced it was developing a new type of battery called an aluminum-air battery.

      As long as we have people who don’t know they can’t do a thing, they will just keep doing it. I’m just going to stay out of their way. I don’t have the answers but I bet on these progressive young twerps to find them for me.

      I sure do get carrid away.

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      • I hope so. I am old enough that I probably won’t see it, and by no means am I ever sating we should NOT do anything, should not develop these technologies, should not try. I am just expressing my skepticism that the vast edifice of industrial civilization, which you all seriously underestimate, can be so easily transitioned to non-carbon fuels. Maxims from bedroom wall posters sound great, but they are not always true, There is still PHYSICS….and RESOURCES. Me saying faster than light travel a la Star Trek is not possible cannot be so easily waived away by your poster slogan. I wish it was as true as you say, but….

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        • Perhaps this might shed a little more light (and avoid feelings of heat) when it comes to this issue of replacing our entire energy system (which is what is actually needed). Many of the people on this short video are world renowned experts in their fields and not by any stretch of the imagination eco-nuts. The financial case for this necessary change is becoming unidirectional.

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        • I’m old enough that I don’t have ‘bedroom wall posters’. Maybe you have already seen some of the things I posted.

          “All the Climate Action Plans and Agreements in the world won’t overcome the simple reality of physics….too many people.

          Sorry to be cynical, but this has been an enervating week. Sometimes there simply is no “solution”. A few solar panel farms with high embedded energy and rare materials won’t make a difference.”

          I can only respond to your post. You admit, correctly, it is cynical.

          “Fossil fuels are finite. They are the worst pollutants. What new advances we can make in energy sources today will extend their life by reducing their use. Every little bit counts.”

          I doubt very seriously if I will see it either. I’m a little long in the tooth, I’m1/4 of the way into my eightieth ride around the sun. Not expecting it’s my last but we never know. It isn’t about me or you, but those we hope to come after us.

          I only wanted to give a less bleak defeatest look at the future, not raise your hackles. Progress is going to happen.

          No wall posters.

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    • Welll, it’s complex. The climate is always changing, but I think there is more going on than just that contributing to the problem.

      Here’s an interesting video with another perspective relating to California’s wildfires.

      https://www.prageru.com/video/is-california-going-up-in-flames/

      What do you all think? I can’t blame people for wanting to flee Calif. The tax rate is awful. Folks can have so much more for less personal cost living somewhere like Texas. There’s almost no comparison. It’s sad. The state is beautiful, though. I spent a summer there years ago. I loved Yosemite.

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      • I think you should ask Professor Taboo what he thinks about living in Texas. I have a hunch he doesn’t see it quite the same way.

        Can’t put much faith in anything out of PragerU since one of the founders is Dennis Prager, who endorsed Trump as president because he was “in line with” Prager’s principles. (Actually, I find that rather strange because IMO, Trump has no principles.)

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  5. I liked this part of that Guardian article Nan:

    I’m not arguing any individual disaster has been caused by climate change, though the science is strengthening on that as well. I’m saying we are now seeing the unambiguous influence of climate change on these disasters. What used to be considered acts of God are now also acts of humans.

    A needed share, thank you Nan! And I don’t yet subscribe to the person’s above comment that there is no hope of any concerted effort by humanity to change anything, slow this, or stop it… though he/she admitted their current cynicism.

    I am quite certain that it IS NOT 7.6 billion humans that all need to act collaboratively and simultaneously. I doubt that could ever happen. However, I believe it is merely the mega-industrialized nations and those other “Developing nations/economies” that are the main culprits that can do the most significant help in #1) slowing the consistent warming of the planet for the last century, and #2) BEGIN the eventual long-term process of enabling Mother Earth to heal herself with our much more intelligent assistance and much better care of Her entire set of ecosystems that are all intertwined together on one level or another. THAT is what the vast majority of professional, reputable, life-careered scientists have been telling us (screaming at us?), and governments, and corporate manufacturers around the world.

    If those major first-world nations and those developing nations don’t make significant changes within the next 5-10 years, THEN there may be no return to a salvageable point that allows Earth to heal.

    Thanks again Nan.

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    • We have Paulette and Rene approaching from the SE Atlantic. I think it may have been three weeks ago we had three storms developing at once. Can we blame one of them on human impact or can we deny none of them are? The oceans don’t cool down as much as they used to. I wonder what the temperature of the Gulf Stream is going into the Arctic, and coming out.

      Siberia may be best known for being cold. But this summer, large parts of it are in flames – a state of affairs that Russian scientists say is a byproduct of climate change, and is likely to end up accelerating the process.

      Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all. The Batagaika crater in eastern Siberia, half a mile wide and growing, is the largest of many across the Arctic. As permafrost laced with buried ice thaws, the ground collapses, forming craters or lakes. Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. (NatGeo)

      It is hard to deny that climate change is not affecting our globe.

      We can have alternative energy. We cannot have alternative facts.

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      • And regarding thawing permafrost in Siberia and elsewhere I’ve read from epidemiologists and virologists that unknown bacteria, viruses, and any other unknown diseases from thousands and millions of years of dead, decayed, organisms, etc, are being released into our atmosphere. Things our modern times have NEVER experienced or know anything about their consequences.

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  6. We will make no progress unless we get rid of trump and many of the republicans in Congress who will not change their ways. And even with that happening, we are stuck for several generations or more of the mindset of trump supporters and their heirs, who’ve they’ve indoctrinated well. This is currently 40% of the public in the US. That’s actually a huge number that will hold things back dangerously so.

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    • It generally takes eight years of Democrat legislation just to get us back to where we were when the GOP took over. Now Trump and his GOP enablers have rolled us back to the 50s and 60s in some areas. (I just listened to Gavin Newsome say we are not going back to the nineteenth century.) They have undone many environmental regulations but maybe the companies have not taken many actions, like drilling in Alaska. We need to control the White House and Congress both. We will still have to contend with a conservative SCOTUS.

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      • Are we sure a Biden (Senator from MBNA) Administration should even be counted as part of this eight years? I hope so, but his record suggests that even if there is a Dem majority, they will fritter it away being “bipartisan” with the likes of Louie Gohmert and the Turtle Traitor Mitch and Fancy Graham.

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    • I would like to know how much change there has been in the frequency and the size of forest fires since 1900. They didn’t always make the national news, weeks on end.

      Right now: The state is battling about two dozen large complex fires, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday. In total, 560 fires are raging in the state. (USA Today 8/21/20)

      “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said, as he addressed the wildfires in a last-minute video recorded for the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night.

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      • I just read somewhere that the number of lighting strikes is up about 600%. Add 4 months to the fire season, add a drought, add higher mean temperature and lower water table, add higher sustained winds, and human sparked fires don’t matter: the conditions are set by climate for historically unrecognizable fire seasons.

        Liked by 2 people

        • People are rebuilding fancy glass and steel houses in the hellscape hit by the fires two years ago on the ridgeline between Napa and Sonoma County. Along a windy, narrow, fire-trap road. No worries, publically subsidized insurance will make them whole and since everything was burnt to a crisp, I guess there is not much left to4 burn next time. The views are cool, but would you pay millions to live in a landscape of blackened sticks? I would not.

          Liked by 2 people

    • One part of the problem is the American Arcadian Dream. People don’t want to live in “Stack and Pack” cities, they want to live on five acres in the foothills. Which exposes them to fire risk AND makes forest management even more difficult.

      I remember one doom and gloomer on a real estate site I peruse enthusing that San Francisco is DONE and everyone will move to the exurbs. I gently suggested living in Carmel Valley or Camino or Healdsburg might not be such a good choice given the climate change realities. This was BEFORE the fire apocalypse hit!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Are those people building in fire-prone areas able to buy insurance, or is it on the taxpayer to finance rebuilding in the same places? The same situation applies to people building homes on the coastlines. We see hurricanes wipe out those beautiful vacation/retirement homes built right out on the dunes. If there is enough left those people will rebuild on or near the same foundation. Who pays?

        Like

          • In California, the situation with insurance is rapidly changing. In past years, most people were able to privately insure. But now the companies are pulling back. One coworker told me his lake house policy TRIPLED.

            Look….I understand the “Arcadian Dream”. Just like I understand why it is nice to drive a 6,000 pound truck getting 11 mpg that raises you above everyone else on the road, allows you to cart things around even when it is really only used to drive to the supermarket, and protects YOU as your inevitably poorly handling (physics again! Can’t forget physics! Physics, unlike God’s Will, exists) Stupid Useless Vulgarity plows into the Prius when you were fiddling with the 14″ entertainment screen! English Hills, north of where I live, was a lovely rural enclave of rolling hills, and you are spread out and can have zebras and llamas and gardens. Versus the lot on the cul de sac. And people are already proclaiming they are going to rebuild. One of the residents of Paradise from the last megafire darkly proclaimed that dammit, he refused to live in a city with those people and the taxpayers MUST support his lifestyle choices! Butte County is a deep red county who votes against “welfare” for those people, of course!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I live down here in the ‘scratch-off’ society. I don’t understand these people who have to be in a constant pissing contest. Is it the height of insecurity or the height of madness?

              Ah yes. “Those people”. Gotta practice ‘social distancing’.

              Like

  7. From a Guardian article:

    … the Trump administration has reversed, repealed, or otherwise rolled back nearly 70 environmental rules and regulations. More than 30 rollbacks are still in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

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