One of the groups I subscribe to is The Climate Beat (Covering Climate Now). Global warming is the most urgent existential threat to humanity right now so it is important we get educated on what’s happening.
As a nation we have many pressing issues that need to be addressed. They are all “front-burner” issues, but the climate crisis in on a stove of its own. In a recent TED Talk, former Vice President Al Gore said, “The Climate crisis is a fossil fuel crisis.”
In a recent report in Nature Communications on the various tipping points being threatened by global warming is this news: The system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean are putting that great body of water at risk of collapse in the next few decades. They write, “The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current helps to regulate global temperature by cooling warmer water from the tropics, but human caused–global heating has disrupted the current’s natural cycle. By Sarah Kaplan for The Washington Post…”
Kaplan writes, “The Atlantic Ocean’s sensitive circulation system has become slower and less resilient, according to a new analysis of 150 years of temperature data — raising the possibility that this crucial element of the climate system could collapse within the next few decades.” She adds, “Scientists have long seen the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, as one of the planet’s most vulnerable “tipping elements” — meaning the system could undergo an abrupt and irreversible change, with dramatic consequences for the rest of the globe.”
The Guardian’s editorial board added, “It is hard to fathom what further evidence is needed to persuade governments that a drastic change of course is the safest option.”
Stories about global warming and the climate crisis are so prevalent now the Associated Press and Grist have launched Climate Connections, which published six stories in July and August about the impact of the climate crisis on human health around the world. What did we learn this summer about mosquito-borne diseases?
Two “locally acquired malaria” cases have been reported in the USA, one in Florida and another in Texas. Unsurprisingly, two of the most anti-science states in the union. We can add West Nile and Lyme disease to that list of diseases that are making a comeback due to global warming. The USA was not prepared when the West Nile disease spread quickly through Arizona. In fact, scientists say the U.S. is not ready for any tick and mosquito-borne diseases.
The warming climate is expanding the range of mosquitoes. The insects can now survive at higher elevations; like in in sub-Saharan Africa. Mosquitoes are rising in elevation by 21 feet per year, which increases the potential number of malaria victims.
The extreme heat we experienced around the globe in June and July showed us some of the health issues of unchecked climate change. According to the World Weather Attribution Initiative the extreme heat would have been virtually impossible without global warming.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said these extreme weather patterns are no longer rare events. They will be with us for decades. We saw what happened with Hurricane Hilary with the extreme flooding from large amounts of rain.
Another hurricane is barreling down on Florida, Idalia, which could hit the Gulf Coast of the Sunshine State some time on Wednesday, as a category 3 or higher storm. It is expected to hit Cedar Key with a possible 12-foot storm surge — to go along with the extremely high winds and tuns of rain that will fall.
Then there is Maui. The city of Lahaina was wiped off the map. Great cultural treasures were lost in the firestorm, artifacts that cannot be replaced. Currently the county of Maui is looking for someone to blame and they are pointing at Hawaiian Electric Company because the energy company did not cut the power to its lines which some believe sparked and started the fires.
Scientists agree climate change played a significant role in the wild fire that torched parts of the island. Hawaii is like everywhere else on the planet: the effects of global warming will only increase, causing more weather-related catastrophes that will set new records with the scope of the events and their lethality.
The climate crisis is affecting the fresh water on the islands. Maui News reports that the average rainfall has dropped, which causes plants to dry up and become kindling for wild fires. They have studied the effects of global warming on all the Hawaiian Islands. America’s 50th state, one of the nation’s premiere vacation destinations, will see rain fall decrease and dangerously dry conditions get worse.
In Florida, official state documents are not allowed to use terms like “global warming” and “climate change.” Governor Ron DeSantis can ban all the books he wants, but he cannot ban the climate crisis. It’s here, whether he likes it or not. The Florida GOP’s attitude about global warming was and continues to be incredibly stupid. At some point it should become criminal.
Studying all the different aspects of the climate crisis — that includes the sixth mass extinction — is like pulling on a loose thread in a sweater. Once I tug on it, a few dozen more fall semi-free. The temptation to pull on those threads is strong, because it all matters. The hurricanes, wild fires, sea level rise, tornados, extreme heat and cold, record breaking rains and snow fall, more plants and animals going instinct or getting perilously close to extinction — it all matters.
Andrea Mitchell was just interviewing GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, the clown who says Donald J. Trump was the best president in the 21st century and that global warming (climate change) is a hoax. The rest of the candidates have scattered opinions about the climate crisis, but they all want to drill more on protected land
Letting Republicans get control of government again would be an ecological disaster. With the GOP controlling the House of Representatives, no climate-related legislation will get passed. All they want to do is investigate Hunter Biden’s laptop, impeach Joe Biden, Merrick Garland, Alejandro Mayorkas and whatever nutbar ideas they have in their heads.Gym Jordan
I’ve always wondered: What the hell is the deal with Hunter Biden’s laptop? It’s been thoroughly investigated by the House and the Senate, as well as the FBI — so why is it still a GOP talking point? Oh yeah, it helps whip up the MAGA Cult into a crazy-eyed frenzy. It’s one more thing that MAGA Cult representative Gym Jordan can talk about, one more thing for Georgia nutbar Marjorie Taylor Greene to blather on about; one more thing Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) can use to raise funds from their constituents.
The allegedly moderate Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy does the bidding of the so-called Freedom Caucus — they are so anti-freedom it isn’t even funny.
That’s another thread to pull. Anyway, with the Freedom Caucus controlling the House of Representatives we are not going to see any climate-related legislation from this Congress. Their control of the House needs to be terminated with the 2024 general election. Life on this planet depends on it.
The currents in the Atlantic Ocean are collapsing. We might even be too late to stop the changes in the currents. The Runit Dome in the Enewetak Atoll of the Marshall Islands could be leaking radioactivity into the ocean and surrounding islands as the sea level rises around it.
We are close to being out of time. Donald J. Trump being indicted in four different cases is big news, but the climate crisis is even bigger, more important than Trump being the first ex-American president to be indicted and charged with felonies.
We need bold action to save our planet.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.