Doha do-nothing

December 8, 2012

Using the old phrase most-easily this morning, ‘the sun came up like thunder,’ a clear and quick-explosion of light greeted the day here on California’s north coast — in the wake of last week’s way-wet storm surge, came also the first inklings of winter.

Cold, clear and crisp, but without the rain. This area just a couple of miles from the Pacific is in a much-varied little sector weather-wise — a local aphorism is ‘if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes,’ which about sums it up. We can get a so-called summer day in December, and just as easily a near-about winter day in June.

(Illustration found here).

People’s most-frequent remark this past week has been about the cold temperatures — I manage a liquor store here, next to a Safe-Way, and we get a lot of foot traffic, not spending all that much, unfortunately, but folks quickly-in-and-out after cigarettes or newspapers did have time to pop-off a comment or two on how nippy the air.
An unusual feel to the 20-degree drop.
Most seemed surprised. And I couldn’t blame them, I was surprised. The recent rain sorties were warm — via the “atmospheric river,” also known as the “pineapple express,” those four different storm fronts carried some variation of tropical heat.
Just a burst of clear and cold since the warm rain ended last Tuesday got people a little excited about stuff, I guess, but it’s way-early in the season yet.
And yet because of it all, there’s been a slight but noticeable effect, like use of the term ‘atmospheric river,’ most customers didn’t recognize it, however, a lot of them did — even myself hadn’t heard of it before last week — but just about all of us understood ‘pineapple express.’
Arrival of the science-sounding ‘river‘ in near-normal-everyday nomenclature adds philosophical weight to weather stories — weather has become climate.
Irony in the pop-popular ‘express‘ — duh, “What’s a bong?”

Also last week was the UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar — a big shit-mess of a meeting.
The event was supposed to end yesterday, but haggling was reportedly still going on this morning.
Problem here is none of these assholes have taken climate change seriously — bitter bickering over finances, “hot air” credits, and a host of other shit has just about killed any kind of worldwide action to curb a worldwide warming environment.
Read a good synopsis of the bullshit-chatter at the UK’s Guardian.

Ironic hypocrisy could kill us all.
During the day at the liquor store, I mostly have the radio tuned to NPR, and in the mornings pay some attention to Democracy Now! — last week found Amy Goodman and company broadcasting from the Qatar summit talks.
In one segment on Thursday, she interviewed Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, who let loose the reality of getting the handle on climate change: “…but I just wanted to add one thing, to say that, on this finance issue, if the climate — others have said this: If the climate was a bank, we would have saved it a long time ago.”
A moment in a nutshell.

Even as these assholes trade barbs, the world has become way-way-smaller due to the heating — even way up here in northern California, the attributes of global warming have at least penetrated to some degree the official chambers of government.
Last October, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted okay to a $250,000 study of the effects of sea level rise for Humboldt Bay — 75 percent of Humboldt Bay’s 102-mile shoreline is artificial, which require maintenance.
And this: Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace brought up a recent study that determined that Humboldt County had more land and highway that will be affected by sea-level rise than any other county in the state. The study also found that Humboldt County’s low-income population would be more affected by sea level rise than any other county’s.
In the wording a bottom line — from the Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Adaption Plan (pdf):

Both the county of Humboldt and the city of Arcata have joined the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives and the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign and have prepared Climate Action Plans.
These plans focus on inventorying and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
…the proposed project will result in a plan for enhancing wetland and upland habitats of Humboldt Bay that incorporates predicted habitat evolutions from climate change.

My underline for local emphasis.

Just last week more bad news on approaching sea rise from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its seventh annual “Arctic Report Card,” which carried a lot of Fs.
Via Climate Central:

Since the report card effort began in 2006, each iteration has issued more shrill alarms about the pace and extent of the changes taking place in the Arctic.
This year’s report is noteworthy for what it says about the acceleration of climate change in the Far North.
Despite air temperatures that averaged nearly equal to the average for the past decade — which is warmer than the 30-year average — 2012 saw the most extensive loss of Arctic sea ice ever seen in the 33-year satellite record.
When the melt season finally ended in late September, the Arctic Ocean managed to hold onto less than half of the average sea ice extent seen during the 1979-to-2000 period.

Where be the dock of the bay?

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