Heavy-air hot this late-afternoon Wednesday here in California’s Central Valley — we’re on a schedule now to greater and greater temperatures with days starting to average at least 90-degrees in the shade.
In the sun is a way-different story. Direct sunshine in a flat-anvil of a valley creates a scorching heat, nearly unbearable in high summer.
Outside, one dashes from shade to shade.
This post is another in the never-ending it seems set of climate-change-related stories — earlier I doomscrolled across a couple of variations to some coming bad, gosh-awful shit:
“The world is at boiling point – with extreme temp., escalating fuel & food prices, and war & conflict,” says SEI's @Perssonasa, calling for 'bold #science-based decision-making' to tackle planetary and inequality crises.
— SEI Climate (@SEIclimate) May 18, 2022
Despite the bad shit, a hint of optimism, though, unwarranted. Details via the Guardian this morning:
The research from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Council on Energy Environment and Water says the solutions to the interlinked planetary and inequality crisis exist, but calls for “bold science-based decision-making” to “completely rethink our way of living,”
“In many ways, the world is at boiling point — with extreme temperatures in south Asia, escalating fuel and food prices, and war and conflict,” said Asa Persson, research director at SEI. “In our report, we seek to connect the big picture of intertwined planetary and inequality crises with the promising momentum for change that we see in public awareness and key technologies, to shift from urgency to agency”
The report is published ahead of a UN meeting, Stockholm 50, which marks 50 years since the pivotal environment gathering in the Swedish capital in 1972.
It argues that although all the ingredients for change exist – from growing public support for structural change to accelerating clean technology – there has been a stark lack of action.
“The ample opportunities for policymakers to take action and the growing momentum for change gives me hope,” said Nina Weitz, from SEI.
“We see how public opinion reflects the urgency and willingness to change lifestyles, how youth worldwide demand and exercise more agency to fight climate change, environmental degradation and inequity and that technological development and uptake is occurring faster than anticipated.”
Reality is another factor overriding all this shit. Although it’s true there is ‘ample opportunities’ right now to check climate change’s most significant impacts, the actual action is seemingly farfetched. There’s way-too much division in the world — the rise of right-wing crazies worldwide (including Republicans in the good-old-USA) will make it harder to unite on something they consider a hoax, or marginal, a threat to fossil fuel income.
Despite knowing the reality, climatologists try to hope for the best, probably let the rest of us.
Yesterday, in the context of nasty environmental news — according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the four key climate change indicators — greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification — set new records last year.
Actually, nothing new as these shit-warnings have been building for years:
The WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report confirmed that the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record. 2021 was “only” one of the seven warmest because of a La Niña event at the start and end of the year.
This had a temporary cooling effect but did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures.
The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level.
Criticizing “the dismal litany of humanity’s failure to tackle climate disruption,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres used the publication of the WMO flagship report to call for urgent action to grab the “low-hanging fruit” of transforming energy systems away from the “dead end” of fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Meanwhile, we wait.
And here we are once again…
(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here)