Overcast mingled with patchy ground fog this Tuesday morning on California’s north coast — short weather version, ‘AM Fog/PM Sun,’ reflects our normal in the face of extremes elsewhere.
Later this week, maybe already, another prolonged heat wave is scheduled for the interior: An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued by the NWS, with temperatures climbing to 100 and 115, depending upon location. Although forecast not to start until Thursday, a longtime friend, who lives just north of Laytonville down in Mendocino County, reported yesterday afternoon a temperature at an unofficial 108-degrees.
He really didn’t want to hear me whine about “sweltering” in 75-80-degree ‘heat’ here on the coast.
Weather is where you be…
An even-worse situation is the horror of Hurricane Harvey as just a vivid illustration of our future, and if you reside in certain spots, get freakin’ ready…
One sick-to-the-gut sensation is watching T-Rump visit Texas this morning — the pissed-off sadness of people treating this asshole, piece-of-dogshit like he’s anything other than what he really, really is — a nasty, cretin with a mean-heart, who is quietly-quickly dismantling any inroads into getting a handle on climate change.
And laughter in those cruel, orange-stained eyes.
And make no mistake, climate change played a significant part in Harvey’s catastrophic scenario.
An essay yesterday in the Guardian by a top climate scientist, Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, touches upon the high-points of global warming and the impact of storms like Harvey.
Harvey was almost certainly more intense than it would have been in the absence of human-caused warming, which means stronger winds, more wind damage and a larger storm surge.
(As an example of how this works, we have shown that climate change has led to a dramatic increase in storm surge risk in New York City, making devastating events like Hurricane Sandy more likely.)
Finally, the more tenuous but potentially relevant climate factors: part of what has made Harvey such a devastating storm is the way it has stalled near the coast.
It continues to pummel Houston and surrounding regions with a seemingly endless deluge, which will likely top out at nearly 4ft (1.22m) of rainfall over a days-long period before it is done.
The stalling is due to very weak prevailing winds, which are failing to steer the storm off to sea, allowing it to spin around and wobble back and forth.
This pattern, in turn, is associated with a greatly expanded subtropical high pressure system over much of the US at the moment, with the jet stream pushed well to the north.
This pattern of subtropical expansion is predicted in model simulations of human-caused climate change.
As you watch the T-Rump swagger his way across the Harvey landscape, offering up thoughts and prayers, keep in mind the reality with this horrifying motherfucker — an overview-recap via Esquire last Friday:
These aren’t exactly uncharted waters for the Trump administration.
Earlier this month, it emerged that staffers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture were instructed to censor the terms “climate change,” “reduce greenhouse gasses,” “sequester carbon,” and “climate change adaptation” in their work.
In March, Politico reported the Department of Energy’s international climate office had instructed staff not to use “climate change,” “emissions reduction,” or “Paris Agreement” in “memos, briefings, or other written communication.”
And of course, the contemptible Scott Pruitt — the man tasked with destroying the Environmental Protection Agency from the inside — has enacted a policy of secrecy at that agency that wouldn’t be out of place at the CIA.
The problem is so bad that scientists from 13 federal agencies preemptively leaked a terrifying report on the realities of man-made climate change, explicitly stating that they were concerned it would be censored by the administration.
This all fits the mold for Republicans in general.
After all, Vice President Dick Cheney and his operatives did plenty of meddling in climate research during the Bush administration.
And the administration of Governor Rick Scott in Florida– a state in which the biggest city is already flooding at high tide—has long banned the use of certain terms, including “climate change.”
Because again, if you don’t say the words, the problem doesn’t exist.
It’s like playing hide and seek with a toddler.
Just put your palms over your eyes and stand there while the water rises around your ankles.
Scary as shit…