Hot but not yet unpleasant near mid-day Monday here in California’s Central Valley, the big plus-factor is a nice breeze, which keeps the firestarter temperatures down a notch or two. Once that gentle wind evaporates, though, the air will get heavy as shit with a heat that will be near-impossible to handle.
We’re forecast for triple-digits today — 104 the high — and supposedly the same until the end of the week.
Beyond the shitty regular news this morning — another shooting with a gunman killing three at an Indiana mall, just in time as results of an investigation into the Uvalde school shootings continue to play out, revealing (Duh!) incompetent chickenshit police response; Steve Bannon’s contempt trial starts today; Republicans acting like cruel assholes, and on and on — the environment grabs the main headlines as record-setting heat waves surge across the world.
Great hot temperatures in mostly non-A/C lands, like UK and Europe roasting right now.
And the culprit, despite the obvious, making it worse:
Every fraction of a degree of global warming increases the likelihood of extreme weather events like the current #heatwave in Europe.
This year, countries must deliver on their promise to raise ambition in their national climate plans & keep the 1.5°C goal alive. #COP27 pic.twitter.com/LBi2XWgnWD
— UN Climate Change (@UNFCCC) July 18, 2022
Climate change is here, but there’s not much being done about it — via the World Meteorological Organization this morning:
“We hoped we wouldn’t get to this situation but for the first time ever we are forecasting greater than 40°C in the UK,” climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, Dr Nikos Christidis, said.
“In a recent study we found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to do so during the course of the century”.
“Climate change has already influenced the likelihood of temperature extremes in the UK. The chances of seeing 40°C days in the UK could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence. The likelihood of exceeding 40°C anywhere in the UK in a given year has also been rapidly increasing, and, even with current pledges on emissions reductions, such extremes could be taking place every 15 years in the climate of 2100.”
Extreme heat events do occur within natural climate variation due to changes in global weather patterns. However, the increase in the frequency, duration, and intensity of these events over recent decades is clearly linked to the observed warming of the planet and can be attributed to human activity.
The chances of seeing 40°C days in the UK could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence.
The likelihood of exceeding 40°C anywhere in the UK in a given year has also been rapidly increasing
Whilst a 1°C background temperature increase may not seem significant, the resulting increase in the severity of extreme heat events is already evident in the observed record.
This has widespread and significant impacts.
Of course, according to events here in the US recently, we as a species may be fucked:
My latest — The U.S. plan to avoid extreme climate change is running out of time https://t.co/r4oA4nTyuT with @Harry_Stevens pic.twitter.com/QbdHNpsiO2
— Chris Mooney (@chriscmooney) July 18, 2022
Another jab at the reality of ass-creep Joe Manchin as allowing the world to burn — background/details at The Washington Post, also this morning:
In 101 months, the United States will have achieved President Biden’s most important climate promise — or it will have fallen short. Right now it is seriously falling short, and for each month that passes, it becomes harder to succeed until at some point — perhaps very soon — it will become virtually impossible.
That’s true for the United States, and also true for the planet, as nearly 200 nations strive to tackle climate change with a fast-dwindling timeline for doing so.
This is crucial context for the news late last week that Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), after months of negotiations with his fellow Democrats, is balking at new climate policies. The stated reason for Manchin’s hesitation is raging inflation, a serious concern. But there is always a reason to delay action, and time is not forgiving when it comes to the warming climate.
At the center of the Biden administration’s climate policy is a promise, made in 2021, to slash U.S. emissions by 50 to 52 percent by the end of 2030 — 101 months from this August — against what they were in 2005.
Achieving this target would require a significant reshuffling of the American economy — millions of new electric cars on the road, transformations of key industries to rely more on renewable energy, and probably millions of jobs focused on making this happen.
The targets remain. But after Manchin’s move, the legislation to achieve it seems to have been tabled indefinitely.
“The current official U.S. targets are ambitious,” said John Sterman, an energy policy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “They are also necessary to create a prosperous, healthy climate. And the policies that the administration had proposed — transportation, buildings, et cetera — had the potential to get us there.”
“But with Senator Manchin’s position … we’re not going to be able to do that,” Sterman said.
In many ways, in fact, thinking we have until 2030 to cut emissions to the target dramatically overstates how much time there actually is.
As more time elapses, the amount of emissions that need to be cut grows greater in the remaining months. It is like a ship taking on water — if you wait to start baling, you have to bale ever faster, and if you wait long enough, at some point you no longer have a chance to reach shore.
Mooney has been an environmental writer for a long time, and although he must understand the reality of ever getting anything done will be hard, maybe near-about zero, and pure zero if Republicans take the midterms and return to power, the Post article still carries a clingy optimism. A huge ‘if‘ with a GOP nightmare coming true.
All of us can then just bend over and kiss our asses goodbye.
In its own way, climate change is an E.L.E. — Extinction Level Event — just not coming at a comet’s speed. The planet warming will eventually kill us all:
Despite Téa Leoni now being a longtime, deep-impact favorite, once again here we are…
(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Tête Raphaëlesque éclatée [Exploding Raphaelesque Head],’ found here.)