Heat is increasing near noon Monday here in California’s Central Valley — we might hit triple-digits later this afternoon, but the air right now seems to be getting hotter by the hour.
However, just another day in a long string of such days where temperatures have remained in the 100-plus range and the ambiance is of a hot-ass skillet.
And it’s making forest fires mean and shitty. Where I live here in the Valley is called ‘Gateway to Yosemite,’ due to its somewhat-near location to Yosemite National Park (about 100 miles or so to the east), where forest fires have ravaged the area in the last few weeks. After the blazes there were contained, another big one bellowed up last week just outside the park and it’s a roaring horror.
Named the Oak Fire, it spread rapidly since Friday and acts scary-weird (CNN): ‘“The fire behavior that we’re seeing on this incident is really unprecedented,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon Heggie said of the Oak Fire, which has exploded to more than 16,700 acres and destroyed at least seven structures. “It’s moving extremely fast and the reaction time to get people out is limited because that fire is moving so fast.”‘
Climate change is making such shit worse. In discussing the Oak Fire yesterday, Al Gore spoke to the reality at hand: ‘“We’re seeing this global emergency play out and it’s getting worse more quickly than was predicted. We have got to step up. This should be a moment for a global epiphany … if we don’t stop using our atmosphere as an open sewer, and if we don’t stop these heat trapping emissions, things are gonna get a lot worse … More people will be killed and the survival of our civilization is at stake.”‘
Yet with Al speaking the truth to the idiot world, that’s not the reality of the reality:
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) July 22, 2022
Our future is shaped by a bunch of Republican assholes — and at least one Democrat asshole, Joe Manchin — and their concrete denial of what’s happening right in front of their faces. And our faces, too. Despite the heat waves around the world, and a massive, hot-ass wave busting across the US even as I punch out these words on my laptop. Denial is still not a river in Egypt.
Climate change waits for no man, even liars — from The New York Times last week:
“I don’t want to be lectured about what we need to do to destroy our economy in the name of climate change,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.
One Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, last week blocked what could have been the country’s most far-reaching American response to climate change. But lost in the recriminations and finger-pointing is the other side of the aisle: All 50 Republicans in the Senate have been as opposed to decisive action to confront planetary warming.
Few Republicans in Congress now outwardly dismiss the scientific evidence that human activities — the burning of oil, gas and coal — have produced gases that are dangerously heating the Earth.
But for many, denial of the cause of global temperature rise has been replaced by an insistence that the solution — replacing fossil fuels over time with wind, solar and other nonpolluting energy sources — will hurt the economy.
In short, delay is the new denial.
Overwhelmingly, Republicans on Capitol Hill say that they believe that the United States should be drilling and burning more American oil, gas and coal, and that market forces would somehow develop solutions to the carbon dioxide that has been building in the atmosphere, trapping heat like a blanket around a sweltering Earth.
“I’m not in a position to tell you what the solution is, but for the president to shut down the production of oil and gas in the United States is not going to help,” said Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho.
President Biden is not proposing to shut down fossil fuel production. He wants to use tax credits and other incentives to speed up the development of wind, solar, and other low-carbon energy, and to make electric vehicles more affordable.
The fact that scientists say nations must quickly cut greenhouse gas emissions or global rising temperatures will reach catastrophic levels does not appear to faze many conservatives.
In many ways, elected Republicans mirror the views of their voters. A May poll commissioned by Pew Research Center found 63 percent of Democrats named climate change as a very big problem, while just 16 percent of Republicans felt the same.
“The Democratic Party has made climate change a religion and their solutions are draconian,” said Mr. Graham, who accepts the science of global warming.
He is among a handful of Republicans who support putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions to encourage industries to clean up their operations.
But Mr. Graham dismissed Mr. Biden’s goal of cutting U.S. emissions by half by 2030, to try keep average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels. That’s the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic impacts increases significantly.
The planet has already warmed by about 1.1 degrees Celsius.
So it has gone with the Republican Party, where warnings of a catastrophe are mocked as hyperbole, where technologies that do not exist on a viable scale, such as “carbon capture and storage” and “clean coal,” are hailed as saviors. At the same time, those that do, such as wind and solar power and electric vehicles, are dismissed as unreliable and overly expensive.
American leadership on a global problem is seen as a fool’s errand, kneecapping the domestic economy while Indian and Chinese coal bury America’s good intentions in soot.
“When China gets our good air, their bad air’s got to move,” Herschel Walker, a former football star and now a Republican candidate in Georgia for the Senate, explained last week.
“So it moves over to our good air space. Then now we’ve got to clean that back up.”
Once again, Pinball has the word:
Heatwave run amuck, yet here we are once again…