Michael Mann: ‘A second Trump term is game over for the climate — really!’

November 5, 2020

As we continue to wait for the final election results, here’s a reminder of a backburner issue that’s bigger than the stove, and most-likely bigger than the kitchen:

(Illustration found here).

Near-about pushed aside is the real-horror of modern man — climate change. Yesterday, the US offically left the Paris Climate Agreement, an accord adopted in December 2015 by nearly 200 countries to attempt a reduction in carbon emissions, thus we’re isolated from the rest of the planet, despite global warming being a true, all-humanity-encompassing crisis.
The T-Rump’s nasty, cruel fingerprints all over the incident.

Notes via ScienceAlert this morning:

“The decision to leave the Paris Agreement has left the United States globally isolated in its defiance of scientific realities, and will cause real harm to people, the planet and the economy,” Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Climate and Energy Program, said in a statement.

“In the first nine months of 2020 alone, we have endured 16 extreme weather events, each costing at least $US1 billion and collectively leading to nearly 200 deaths, with communities of colour and low-income communities often experiencing the brunt of the devastation,” Cleetus said, adding, “failure to take drastic action in line with the latest science will result in increasingly dire climate impacts in the years ahead.”

And ugly back noise (NPR): ‘The U.S. has emitted more cumulative carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country since the industrial era began in the mid-1800s. Current U.S. emissions are falling but far too slowly to avoid catastrophic warming. That’s in part because the Trump administration rolled back carbon pollution limits from power plants, cars, trucks and fossil fuel operations. American emissions rose slightly in the first two years of his administration. In 2020, the pandemic throttled the economy and led to a short-term dip.’

In the wake of a realization of how many Americans are tied to the T-Rump’s ass, the vote for reality will take longer to achieve, even if Joe Biden is finally, at last, named president.
An example of the problem, this from early last month and how direction of the matter is serious:

See the hang-up? WTF? Like ‘whether to vote Democratic or Republican‘ is the problem — it’s nothing-but Republicans! And Greta, whom I love dearly, there’s no ‘party politics‘ when it comes the climate change/crisis due to the hard-factoid it’s ONLY Republicans who are fucking the subject. And one asshole, orange-turd T-Rump leading the charge.
If the shithead is re-elected we be fucked…

Although I hadn’t been posting much since the summer, I did manage to scribble down this interview at the Guardian early last month with Michael Mann, a professor at Penn State University and one of the most eminent climate scientists in the world. Earlier this year, he tweeted if the T-Rump is re-elected, we be fucked — well, he didn’t use those exact words: “A second Trump term is game over for the climate — really!
From the conversation at the Guardian:

“If we are going to avert ever more catastrophic climate change impacts, we need to limit warming below a degree and a half Celsius, a little less than three degrees Fahrenheit,” Mann said.
“Another four years of what we’ve seen under Trump, which is to outsource environmental and energy policy to the polluters and dismantle protections put in place by the previous administration … would make that essentially impossible.”

Mann denies that it’s a partisan statement to say that four more years of Trump would mean “game over” for the climate.
“It is a political statement, because it speaks to the need to enact policies to deal with climate change,” he says.
“But it isn’t partisan to say that we should act on this crisis.”

It’s also a scientific statement, Mann adds.
Two years ago this month, scientists with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a landmark study, Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees, which found that humanity had to cut heat-trapping emissions roughly by half by 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.
Headlines warned we had “12 years to save the planet”. Those 12 years are now 10.

Except more than two years have been lost, because in that time, the Trump administration has prevented the world’s biggest economy from making “the dramatic reductions that were necessary to keep us on that path” of halving emissions by 2030, Mann says.
“So now the incline is steeper. It’s no longer 5-percent [reductions] a year for the next 10 years. It’s more like seven and a half per cent.”
(As a comparison, 7-percent is how much global carbon emissions are projected to fall in 2020 due to the Covid-19 economic lockdowns that shrank driving, flying and other carbon-intensive activities.)
The numbers get unrealistically challenging if Trump gains another four years as president.

“Four more years of relative inaction, of flat emissions, means that four years from now that number might be closer to 15-percent [emissions reductions] a year,” Mann says.
“And that may be, although not physically impossible, societally impossible.
“The rate at which we shift away from a fossil-fuel-driven infrastructure, it just may not be economically possible or socially viable to do it that [fast].”

And too late the hero, or the ballot box

“The future of this planet is now in the hands of American citizens,” he says.
“It’s up to us. The way we end this national and global nightmare is by coming out and voting for optimism over pessimism, for hope and justice and progress over fear and malice and superstition. This is a Tolkienesque battle between good and evil, and Sauron needs to be defeated on election day here in the United States.”

Additional weight to that, this at the BBC, also early last month on September being the hottest month ever, and 2020 with everything else, could be the hottest year ever:

Ed Hawkins, from Reading University, told us: “We have been saying this for decades – more and more greenhouse gases will lead to more and more warming.”
He warned these events are being experienced with just one degree of warming globally above the long-term average, while under current rates of decarbonisation the world is heading for three degrees.

“One degree of heating is dangerous for some people, as we’ve seen,” he said.
“Two degrees is more dangerous still, and three degrees even more dangerous. We really don’t want to find out what that’ll be like.”

Meanwhile, we await the fate of the world into this early-afternoon Thursday.

Prof. Mann’s street cred via Pinball:

Later…

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