Blue Monday and Black Gold

September 15, 2014

f264be62c56fb5f5bbc3bea2ac7b5e18A wall of gray this early Monday on California’s north coast — thick fog again, and really wet. My back patio appears as if there’d been a soft, but really-nice-enough rain last night.
Just thick-ass fog.

No rain, however, coming soon for any of these parts. Way-down south, in the heated-bowels of Los Angeles, everybody is madly-hoping for at least some moisture off Hurricane Odile, which hit the southern Baja peninsula last night, but rain is expected until the end of the week.
Those people are boiling. A bunch LA Basin places set record temperatures — with 108 in Pomona, the high for the county.

LA County Fire Capt. Brian Jordan, who could’ve been speaking for the whole state of California: “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.”

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Tragedy,’ found here).

And those parched folks should get something off Category 3 Odile, the biggest hurricane on record to ever hit Baja, and should be sending heavy rains — from Dr. Jeff Masters: Odile’s circulation is bringing up plenty of moisture from the Tropical Pacific and from Tropical Depression Sixteen to its southwest, and this moisture will create flooding rains over Northern Mexico and the Southwest U.S. beginning on Tuesday.
At least there’s fairly-good hope there.
And there’s a good description, too, of Odile’s destructive power at the WunderBlog link above.

The state of California spans an enormous climate difference — from my perspective up here in Humboldt County, there’s an excellent chance, we’ll have another incredible day with warm temperatures, sunshine and a little breeze. We’re forecast for the mid-60s today, with highs in the high-60s the rest of the week. And some sunshine. Or this fog could remain, as it did yesterday for the most part.
On the coast, quick weather shifts are ordinary.

Next Sunday, supposedly the biggest worldwide gathering of environmental activists ever, with the ‘People’s Climate March‘ in New York City, London, and eight other countries — organizers predict at least a 100,000 peope to take part in New York.
Two days later, on Sept. 23, the UN will hold a day-long climate summit, also in New York, and once again politics and global warming don’t mix.
Via The Hill:

Countries pushing for an international agreement to limit climate change see the Sept. 23 summit, organized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as a precursor to a meeting next year in Paris, at which UN leaders hope to carve out a deal.
Environmentalists and others backing an international pact have watched closely as countries decide who to send, and they consider representatives’ ranking as a sign of how serious the nation takes the negotiations.
Among the heads of state in attendance will be President Barack Obama, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, South African President Jacob Zuma and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
Australia, Canada, China and India are among the major world powers who are not sending their heads of state, as many have previously announced.
China is the No. 1 emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, with India third.

What a crock of shit — these assholes are working to push toward the next big full UN summit on the climate next year, but a lot of bullshit is still keeping humanity from awakening to the disaster a-coming-round the mountain.

In the most-ugly face of climate change — and its worse aspects boiling right at us — Americans are still in the driver’s seat, sucking up petroleum by the SUV-full. Maybe Obama’s just a hypocrite.
A good look at this oil-bearing craziness came from Michael Klare at Tomdispatch earlier this month — some highlights:

As it happens, the opposite is occurring.
U.S. oil consumption is on an upward trajectory, climbing by 400,000 barrels per day in 2013 alone — and, if current trends persist, it should rise again both this year and next.
In other words, oil is back.
Big time.
Signs of its resurgence abound.
Despite what you may think, Americans, on average, are driving more miles every day, not fewer, filling ever more fuel tanks with ever more gasoline, and evidently feeling ever less bad about it.
The stigma of buying new gas-guzzling SUVs, for instance, seems to have vanished; according to CNN Money, nearly one out of three vehicles sold today is an SUV.
As a result of all this, America’s demand for oil grew more than China’s in 2013, the first time that’s happened since 1999.
Accompanying all this is a little noticed but crucial shift in White House rhetoric.
While President Obama once spoke of the necessity of eliminating our reliance on petroleum as a major source of energy, he now brags about rising U.S. oil output and touts his efforts to further boost production.

That was then and this is now, and Obama ain’t talking that way no more. Instead, he regularly boasts of America’s soaring oil output and points to all he’s done and is still doing to further increase domestic production.

Although still offering his usual bow to the dangers of climate change, Obama did not hesitate to promise to facilitate further gains in domestic output.

At a national level, such a situation — knowing one thing and doing something else — can only be described as some form of mass delusion or a collective version of schizophrenia.
In one part of our collective brain, we are aware that petroleum use must decline sharply to prevent the sorts of global catastrophes that we are only used to seeing in science fiction movies; in another, we retain our affection for driving and gasoline use without giving much thought to the consequences.
We have a global warming president presiding over a massive expansion of fossil fuel production.
Think of this as a form of collective mental compartmentalization that should frighten us all — and yet from the president on down, it’s remarkable how few seem disturbed by it.
Obviously, this is an unsustainable condition.

And not-so-obvious — what to do?

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