Climate Change Rehearsal In Real Time

December 27, 2021

Wet and chilly this early-evening Monday here in California’s Central Valley as winter storms pound the state, dumping heavy rain on the flatlands and a shitload of snow in the mountains and foothills — major system reportedly due in tonight and another later in the week.
Part-n-parcel of weather quick-snapping to climate change within a situation only to worsen

Weather disasters this year have set records: According to a new study out today, 10 weather events this year — ranging from Hurricane Ida in the US, flooding in Europe and Asia and droughts in Latin America — killed more than 1,000 people, displaced about 1.3 million, and caused $125.5 billion in damages, supposedly just the big shit.
Heidi Steltzer, professor of environment, sustainability and biology at Fort Lewis College in Colorado: ‘“This is a powerful and important report. It is eye-opening to have these climate impact stories of 2021 collected together and the estimates for cost of lives, livelihoods and community, which is irreversibly altered when people are displaced.”

Are we paying attention? As I posted yesterday, a bit of ho-hum and greed involved, and it’s been like this for a long while, longer than should be necessary (click to enlarge):

Plays right in line even 36 months and a pandemic later. (Another good review of “Don’t Look Up” is at Mother Jones from yesterday).

And contextual, too, a look at how environmental action is viewed as not so much a climate problem, but personal financial.
A study in the UK revealed people were not using plastic supermarket bags to save money, without a real thought to the environmental aspects — from the Guardian this morning:

Shoppers have been shunning single-use plastic bags to save pennies rather than the planet, a “big data” study of more than 10,000 consumers has found.

The research by Nottingham University business school’s N/LAB analytics centre of excellence suggests the massive decline in plastic bag use in the UK may have little to do with shoppers’ concern for the environment.

Researchers found bags are most likely to be bought by younger shoppers who are often male and less frugal but whose environmental concerns do not affect their decisions to buy or not.

The findings emerged with plastic bag consumption at its annual peak during the festive period, despite all retailers in England being legally required to charge 10p per bag.

The study co-author Dr James Goulding, N/LAB’s associate director, said: “Until now very little was known about the people who still regularly buy plastic bags — or those who don’t.
“Previous research has tended to focus exclusively on consumers’ personalities or motivations not, crucially, on whether an individual’s beliefs actually translate into action in the real world.
“Our approach recognises that people today leave in their wake a substantial amount of data that can help do social good and shed significant light on how they really behave in practice.”

Dr Gavin Smith, an associate professor in analytics, said: “We expected our findings would show infrequent bag-buyers are at least partly motivated by a desire to save money.
“But what we didn’t expect, not least given environmentalism’s role in underpinning the levy on plastic bags, was that environmental concerns wouldn’t predict consumption at all.
“This suggests future campaigns to further reduce plastic bag consumption might benefit from different messaging. It’s a matter of understanding whom to target, how and when.”

A bummer kind of thing, though, much help in the anti-plastic bag concept.

And close enough for government work:

Here we are, once again…

(Illustration out front found here).

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