Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It is very hot

Summer in New Orleans is always bad. When it's not raining, it's hot. Right after it rains, it immediately gets wet hot which is the worst kind of hot. Except for the times it occasionally rains fire. 

Anyway, if you think it's unusually hot even for us, even for now, you aren't imagining things.
According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, March April May June 2016 was the hottest March   April   May June on record, going back 136 years. It was a staggering 1.28°C 1.11°C 0.93°C 0.79°C above average across the planet.* The previous March April May June record, from 201020142015, was 0.92°0.87°0.86°0.78° above average. The good news, such as it is, is that unlike previous months, June 2016 didn’t shatter the previous record; it just edged it out in a statistical photo finish. But don’t let that distract you from the important issue: The Earth is way above average in temperature, and overall that temperature is increasing all the time.
Last night the Republican convention one of the featured speakers was West Virginia Senator Shelley Capito. Senator Capito spent her time on stage railing against President Obama's and Hillary Clinton's approach to regulating fossil fuels.
President Obama arrogantly proclaimed he would slow the rise of the oceans. He introduced and implemented sweeping environmental regulations without Congress' approval and without any consideration for the economy. These unilateral actions are ill-informed and frankly unconstitutional.
Actually it's not that at all. If anything, Obama and Hillary aren't doing nearly enough.   
But for some who study climate change the only shame is this: Obama’s plan does not go nearly far enough. It’s meek and dangerously self-congratulatory, sapping the movement of urgency while doing almost nothing to maintain the future habitability of the earth.

“The actions are practically worthless,” said James Hansen, a climate researcher who headed NASA’s Goddard’s Institute for Space Studies for over 30 years and first warned congress of global warming in 1988. “They do nothing to attack the fundamental problem.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” he wrote, when asked if the plan would make continued climate activism unnecessary. Obama’s plan, and for that matter the proposed plan Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, he continued, “is like the fellow who walks to work instead of driving, and thinks he is saving the world.

Hansen suggested a gradually rising fee for fossil fuel extraction, collected at the port of entry or, in domestic cases, the place where the material actually comes out of the ground. “As long as fossil fuels are allowed to (appear to be) the cheapest energy, someone will burn them,” he wrote in an email to msnbc. “It is not so much a matter of how far you go. It is a matter of whether you are going in the right direction.”
It sure would be nice if Hillary actually were the indomitable anti-carbon monster the coal and oil lobbyists writing RNC speeches make her out to be.  Maybe then we'd actually be doing something about the weather today instead of sitting here complaining about it.

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