Denial ‘Driving Us Crazy”

October 24, 2016

512jfc3ifllRain splashing heavy on a Monday here along California’s north coast, the rainfall accompanied by some blustery winds, a situation supposedly here for awhile.
In a Short Term Forecast this morning, the NWS predicts maybe a ‘rainfall rate around half-an-inch-per-hour‘ for some locations along the shoreline, which is a pretty-freaking load.

Still a downward wet slide — prelim rainfall totals for September from the NWS shows my little spot is way-under normal — we received zero precipitation last month, with the norm set at 0.95-inch of rain.
And thus, our drought continues, with 62-percent of California in the severe to exceptional category, and even beyond, as nearly 45 percent of the contiguous U.S is in at least ‘significant‘ drought.

In the face of rising global temperatures, drought is just another effect of climate change — most-likely the most-biggest problem for mankind right now.
Denial is not a river anywhere…

(Illustration found here).

Despite 2016 being “locked in” to be the hottest year on record — third record-breaking year in a row — the earth set another bar in CO2 (Climate Central this morning):

On Monday, the World Meteorological Organization released another reminder of the planetary predicament we’re in: The earth’s atmosphere permanently passed the 400 parts per million (ppm) threshold last year.

It’s not a pretty picture. Human’s penchant for burning fossil fuels has increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 144 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution.
That’s caused global temperatures to cross the 1.5°C threshold for a few months this year, sea levels to increase nearly a foot, heat waves to become more intense and oceans to become more acidic, among other impacts.

Yet there’s a staunch, hard-line denial to the actual existence of climate change. An idiocy based on a false sense of political power — the psychology behind climate change denial in a new study via ScienceDaily earlier this month:

The results show that climate change denial correlates with political orientation, authoritarian attitudes and endorsement of the status quo.
It also correlates with a tough-minded personality (low empathy and high dominance), closed-mindedness (low openness to experience), predisposition to avoid experiencing negative emotions, and with the male sex.
Importantly, one variable, named social dominance orientation (SDO), helped explain all these correlations, either entirely or partially.

Explains a lot, huh. T-Rump and the whole, entire GOP.

Last week, the release of a push-back on this craziness of climate change denial with a special, new book, “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy,” by two diverse authors, noted climate scientist Michael Mann, and Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles.
Read a good interview of the guys at Popular Science with key points from each.
From Mann:

For example, there’s a chapter in the book: “Hypocrisy, thy name is climate change denial.”
In my view, there is no greater example of hypocrisy today than the hypocrisy of fossil-fuel funded politicians who are doing the bidding of fossil fuel interests.
With Hurricane Matthew, we’ve actually had some figures from the right-wing extreme of the news media — Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh — accusing the National Hurricane Center of inflating their estimates of the intensity of this storm for some purported political agenda to somehow convey the effects of climate change.

And from Toles:

For a long time, deniers or avoiders would say, “Well, there’s a lot of variation between scientists, they don’t all say the same thing.”
And then when the data became so conclusive that essentially all climate scientists were saying the same thing, and saying the science is as solid as you’re ever going to see, the deniers turn around and say, “Well see, when you get unanimity, that’s when you have to be most suspicious of all.”

Hand-in-hand with that is a way-excellent long-read at at The New Yorker by another noted climate-change chronicler, Elizabeth Kolbert, author of “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History,” and focuses on the meltdown in Greenland.
Key point:

In recent years, as global temperatures have risen, the ice sheet has awoken from its postglacial slumber.
Melt streams like the Rio Behar have always formed on the ice; they now appear at higher and higher elevations, earlier and earlier in the spring.
This year’s melt season began so freakishly early, in April, that when the data started to come in, many scientists couldn’t believe it.
“I had to go check my instruments,” one told me.
In 2012, melt was recorded at the very top of the ice sheet.
The pace of change has surprised even the modellers.
Just in the past four years, more than a trillion tons of ice have been lost.
This is four hundred million Olympic swimming pools’ worth of water, or enough to fill a single pool the size of New York State to a depth of twenty-three feet.

And wonder just as did First Officer Lowe: ‘“We waited too long.”

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