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Sunday
Nov252018

Climate Change Is "Speeding Up"

Regardless of all reports to the contrary, the evidence is in that climate change is not just some nebulous prospect beyond our lifetime - it is indeed "speeding up" according to the latest (fourth)  'National Climate Assessment' that must be published every four years by the US Governmen by law, regardless of Trump running interference.

Donald Trump has taken a leaf out of the Australian PM Scott Morrison’s sneak play-book – releasing a devastating report on climate change while the country was distracted by the busiest shopping day of the year.

In September, the Morrison government was accused of trying to sneak-release the latest depressing greenhouse gas emission figures by making them public on the eve of the footy finals. The White House similarly chose Black Friday – the somewhat frenzied opening of the US Christmas shopping season, and part of the extended Thanksgiving  holiday weekend – to release the latest National Climate Assessment.

I thoroughly recommend a read of the summary at least of these findings - they are the best and most scientifically up-to-date we are likely to see in the immediate future, and awash with significant graphs.

The report concludes that hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives will be lost if climate change isn’t met with direct action. As the crisis wears on, those losses will occur year after year.

The report – which has been immediately acclaimed as a “huge achievement” by American science – rings a loud bell from its opening sentences.

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilisation, primarily as a result of human activities. The assumption that current and future climate conditions will resemble the recent past is no longer valid.”

Due for release in December, the report is endorsed by the Department of Defense, and 12 federal scientific agencies including NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that sits within the United States Department of Commerce.

The report is presumably an embarrassment for President Donald Trump as it contradicts every position he has taken on the phenomenon. Trump either shrugs off climate change as a Chinese hoax, whines that fighting climate change will wreck the US economy – or makes declarations on Twitter that are meant to mock climate science. He does this confusing weather (the immediate atmospheric conditions) with climate (the long-term trend).

On Wednesday, as cold weather descended on the US, he smugly tweeted: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” One of Mr Trump’s thought bubbles includes the idea that the climate will “probably change back”.

This, too, is in stark contrast to the report’s conclusion that "the effects of climate change will reverberate for thousands of years, and that much of the planet’s animal and plant life will never recover." The  relentlessly suicidal homo sapien trend-line spirals ever upward. Oh, happy days!

The Morrison government in Australia was accused of a similar tactic by trying to sneak-release the latest depressing greenhouse gas emission figures in that country by making them public on the eve of the footy finals.

Our Government has at least set carbon targets for 2030 and 2050, and looks serious about achieving them. Australia by contrast appears to have completely reneged on its Paris mandated targets by continuing its absolute devotion to coal generated power.

By recent by-election results in Sydney and Canberra, Morrison and his craven minority (+ independents) Government appears ready for the high jump at next years General Election. Unfortunately Labour's Bill Shorten appears equally devoted to a coal future.

With nothing likely to change in the US, the future appears bleak at the very least. Those in, or out of power in the US appear powerless to stop the childlike ranting of what appears from the outside (and probably equally from the inside!) as a deranged, and extremely dangerous Commander-in-Chief.

In the meantime, the immediate economic outlook looks rosy, so why concern ourselves about bleak and opaque graphs?

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

With many in communities whining and protesting about the Government stifling economies of all descriptions and not liberally distributing pay increases to all and sundry how is it reasonable to expect these same communities to bear the very significant costs in future-proofing the planet?
Most reasonable, thinking people accept climate change and its consequent devastating implications.
There is a constant exhortation to all that we must change our ways.
Great.
How do we pay for the required changes?
At the risk of repeating myself, I ask again how are the required changes to be funded?
Take the sea-wall remediation that some Tararu residents are having to partially fund: - running garage sales and b-b-q's to raise the fairly large sum that they are required to contribute.
A a great deal of voluntary community labour required to raise (relatively) paltry sums of money - and the problem really isn't solved - at least in terms of the dire predictions of doom constantly foisted upon beleaguered residents.

November 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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