Climate Change: Part 38.
2020-August and September:
Alarming prediction for the year 2025
False rumors about source of fires in U.S.
Record breaking fires in Western states.
Massive chunk of Greenland's ice cap breaks off.
Climate change ignored as topic of Presidential Debates.
Green Wave 2020 to support pro-environment-politicians.
two historical fire records.
2020-AUG-07: Scientists at NOAA revised its prediction of the number of storms upwards:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revised its 2020 hurricane forecast upwards. They now expect between 19 and 25 named storms (with sustained winds above 38 miles per hour), up from the agency's estimate of 12 to 19 during May.
Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane season forecaster with the climate prediction center at NOAA, said:
"We’be never forecast up to 25 named storms before." 1
2020-AUG-25: Democrats in U.S. Senate propose plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions:
The Democrats’ 260-page report titled "Special Committee on the Climate Crisis" proposes the creation of 10 million new jobs in the clean energy field, and the spending of over $400 billion dollars per year to eliminate U.S. greenhouse emissions by the year 2050!
The bill will currently be stalled in the Senate because of the slim majority currently enjoyed by the Republican Party. However, the NOV-03 elections may change that.
The confident Senate Democratic Leader, Chuck Schemer, said:
"When Democrats retake the majority in the Senate we will be united to move swiftly. Passing climate legislation will be a top priority." 2
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) makes an alarming prediction:
Seth Eisenstein, writing for Huffpost, discussed the Paris climate change agreement that world leaders signed during 2015. It established a maximum average temperature limit increase for the world of 1.5 degrees Celsius [or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] above the average temperature experienced in pre-industrial times. A world hotter than this would survive, but the chances of dangerous problems would increase tremendously.
Petteri Taalas, the WMO Secretary-General, said that:
"The probability of [reaching an increase of] 1.5 degrees (Celsius) is growing year by year, It’s very likely to happen in the next decade if we don’t change our behavior."
Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Breakthrough Institute said that it is:
"...abundantly clear that rapid climate change is continuing, and the world is far from [being] on track [toward meeting the Paris climate goals].
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said:
"Record heat, ice loss, wildfires, floods and droughts continue to worsen, affecting communities, nations and economies around the world." 3,4
2020-SEP-10: False rumors of groups setting fires in Oregon and Washington state:
Massive wildfires have damaged parts of Oregon and Washington state. Both states traditionally have a cool wet climate that discourages major fires. However, recent high winds and dry conditions have caused fires to go out of control.
Many unsubstantiated social media posts blame the fires on arsonists from either the far left or far right -- including far-left antifa (anti-fascist) activists and Proud Boys -- for setting the fires. Posts have claimed that police have already arrested suspected arsonists.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon posted a message:
"Remember when we said to follow official sources only? Remember when we said rumors make this already difficult incident even harder? Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in Douglas County, Oregon. 5
2020-SEP-14: Western wildfires become 2020 campaign issue for the 2020 Presidential election:
Presidential candidate Joe Biden has accused President Trump of not doing enough to battle the present record-breaking fires in Western states, or to limit the rise in global temperature that scientists say is fueling the fires. 6 In California, flames have consumed over three million acres (1.2 million hectares; 4,688 square miles) of land. At least 35 people have died in the fires: 24 in California, 10 in Oregon and 1 in Washington state. Dozens more are missing due to the fires. Portland OR registered 516 on the EPA pollution index, which is off scale.
Both candidates were scheduled to deliver speeches on the topic.
2020-SEP-14: Massive chunk of Greenland's ice cap breaks off:
A massive chunk measuring 80 km by 20 km and totaling 110 square kilometers (50 miles by 12 miles totalling over 43 square miles) split off from Greenland's ice cap in the far northeastern Arctic. It will melt and add to the rising ocean levels worldwide. 7
2020-SEP-29: Debate topics for the first presidential debate selected:
A CNN survey of American adults during mid August found that 48% of all voters regard climate change as very or extremely important.
Yet, Brady Dennis of the the Washington Post noted on OCT-22 that:
"The last time there was a substantive discussion at a presidential debate about the climate was 20 years ago. And Democrat Al Gore’s predictions have pretty much come true." 8
During the second presidential debate, back in the year 2000:
Al Gore noted that:
"I think that in this 21st century, we will soon see the consequences of what is called ‘global warming. The world’s temperature is going up, weather patterns are changing, storms are getting more violent and unpredictable."
George W. Bush responded:
"Global warming needs to be taken very seriously, and I take it seriously. But science — there’s differing opinions. And before we react, I think it’s best to have the full accounting, full understanding of what’s taking place."
During early 2020-SEP, about 70 members of Congress sent a letter to The Commission on Presidential Debates asking that the Commission add a disussion of:
"... one of the most pressing and all-consuming issues currently facing our country: the climate crisis. ... Climate change is no longer an issue that is looming in the distance. It is here, and it is being felt acutely right now. We see it in the wildfires ravaging the west, the heatwaves gripping much of the nation, the hurricanes and derechos devastating communities, and extreme flooding and drought threatening lives and livelihoods." 9
Wikipedia defines "Derecho" as: "... a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms known as a mesoscale convective system and potentially rivaling hurricanic and tornadic forces. Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods.
Marist University conducted a poll of Democrats in mid 2020-SEP. By a 22 percentage point plurality, they considered climate change to be the most important political topic to them.
In contrast, the results of the Quinnipiac and Marist surveys showed that only 1 percent of GOP voters considered climate as their top issue!
In spite of its importance to many Americans, it was not planned to be a topic of debate on TV, at least during the first presidential debate which was held on Tuesday evening, SEP-29. This debate was held at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Chris Wallace of Fox News was the moderator. Five topics had been accepted for debate: the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, election integrity, and street violence. Climate change had been considered, but was rejected as a topic to be debated.
However, Chris Wallace of Fox News unexpectedly raised the subject during the debate. He asked President Trump:
"What do you believe about the science of climate change, and what will you do in the next four years to confront it?"
According to Brady Dennis of the Washington Post:
"That led to a raucous, sometimes rambling, 10-minute exchange about the Paris climate agreement, the Green New Deal, fracking in Pennsylvania and the historic wildfires in California." 8
2020-SEP-30: The Arctic is now warmer than it has been for the past three million years:
and Steve Petsch
at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst wrote an article in The Conversation about global warming in the Arctic.
They noted that the sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean shrinks to a minimum each year during mid-September. During 2020-SEP, this minimum was only about half of the value that it reached four decades ago.
"As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are higher than at any time in human history. The last time that atmospheric CO2 concentrations reached today’s level -- about 412 parts per million -- was 3 million years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch.
As geoscientists who study the evolution of Earth’s climate and how it creates conditions for life, we see evolving conditions in the Arctic as an indicator of how climate change could transform the planet. If global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, they could return the Earth to Pliocene conditions, with higher sea levels, shifted weather patterns and altered conditions in both the natural world and human societies." 10
During 2020-SEP, the sea-ice cover was only 1.44 million square miles or 3.74 million square kilometers. This is only 50% of what it was 40 years ago.
This topic continues in the next article.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Hurricane Forecast: ‘One of the Most Active Seasons on Record’," The New York Times, 2020-AUG-06, https://www.nytimes.com/
- Nichola Groom, "U.S. Senate Democrats unveil $400 billion-a-year plan to tackle climate change," Reuters, 2020-AUG-25, at: https://www.reuters.com/
- Seth Borenstein, "Global Temperature Could Exceed Limit Set By World Leaders In Next Decade: UN Report," Huffpost, 2020-SEP-09, at: https://www.huffpost.com/
- "United in Science 2020," World Meteorological Organization, 2020, at: https://public.wmo.int/
- Ali Swenson, "Officials squash rumors of far right, far left setting fires," Associated Press, 2020-SE
P-10, at: https://apnews.com/
- Dino Grandoni, "The Energy 202: Western wildfires have finally become 2020 campaign issue between Trump and Biden," The Washington Post, 2020-SEP-14, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- "Dismay as huge chunk of Greenland’s ice cap breaks off," Associated Press, 2020-SEP-14, at: https://apnews.com/
- Brady Dennis, " 'It’s a sea change': How climate went from the back burner to a central issue in this year’s debates, Washington Post, 2020-OCT-22, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- Letter by Members of Congess to the Commission on Presidential Debates, 2020-SEP-02, at: https://www.climatepower2020.org/
- Julie Brigham-Grette and Steve Petsch, "The Arctic hasn’t been this warm for 3 million years. ..." 2020-SEP-30, at: https://theconversation.com/
Copyright © 2020 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-OCT-29
Author: B.A. Robinson