Climate Change: Part 39.
2020-October until early 2020-December:
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.
U.S. withdraws from the Paris agreement.
UN warns massive cut to carbon footprint required.
2020-OCT-02: "Green Wave 2020" initiated to support Democrat pro-environment-politicians:
The Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Defense Fund Action, the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund and the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund have created "Green Wave 2020" to support Joe Biden's presidential campaign and over 30 House races and four Senate races to elect "climate champions" to Congress.
Sierra Club President Ramon Cruz said:
"The stakes for the environment, for our climate, and for communities suffering the worst consequences of toxic pollution across the nation have never been more stark than in 2020."
"This unprecedented mobilization of our collective membership, including millions of members nationwide, will also help build lasting infrastructure in key states and districts that environmental champions running for office can rely upon for future election cycles."
Earlier in 2020, the League of Conservation Voters, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Sierra Club launched a campaign called Climate Power 2020 to promote climate issues. 1
2020-SEP/OCT: Fires in California:
Sadly, Charles Morton, 39, a 14 year veteran and a squad boss for the Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Crew, who were battling the El Dorado Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest east of Los Angeles, died in the fire.
On 2020-OCT-04, the total land area burned in California by wildfires exceeded four million acres. This was twice the previous record!
On 2020-OCT-05, for the first time in the state, a single fire has surpassed 1 million acres (405 hectare) in size! It is called the "August Complex" and is burning in Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Tehama, and Trinity Counties in the Costal Range of Northern California. It originally started as a result of 38 separate lightning strikes on 2020-AUG-16-17, each of which started a separate fire. They all coalesced into one massive wildfire. It is still burning, almost two months later. It is being monitored by the Terra satellite which uses nine cameras to take pictures of the Earth from different angles.
Governor Gavin Newsom noted that this one massive fire is larger in area than all of the recorded fires in the state between 1932 and 1999! He said:
"If that's not proof point, statement, to climate change, then I don't know what is." 2,3
2020-OCT-10: Pope Francis issued an urgent call on climate change:
"Science tells us, every day with more precision, that it is necessary to act with urgency. I am not exaggerating, science tell us this. If we want to have the hope of avoiding radical changes in the climate and catastrophes. ... We have just a few years (scientists calculate roughly fewer than 30) to drastically reduce the emissions of gas and the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. ...:
In fact, the earth must be taken care of, cultivated and protected; we cannot continue to squeeze it like an orange. And we can say this, taking care of the Earth is a human right," 4
2020-OCT-15: The presidential candidates debate -- on separate stages and TV channels:
Jonathan Lemire, Will Weissert and Darlene Superville of the Associated Press wrote that:
"Since President Trump would not agree to hold a debate together with on the same stage with Presidential candidate Biden, the two appeared on separate stages and separate TV channels. ... Trump on NBC from Miami, [and] Biden on ABC from Philadelphia."
Fortunately, many viewers were able to watch one TV program live at home, while recording the other program for later viewing.
Trump said that he would accept the results of an honest election, but "only after casting an extraordinary amount of doubt on the likeliness of fairness." He disputed statements in the media about his personal debts.
Biden was critical of the Trump Administration's handling of the pandemic and criticized the closing a pandemic response office that had been established earlier by the Obama administration promised to roll back tax cuts for the weathiest Americans that would add $92 billion to federal revenue. He said that he is "... still not a fan" of expanding the size of the U.S. Supreme Court. He "... blasted Trump's foreign policy, declaring that 'America first' has made 'America alone' and "This president embraces all the thugs in the world."
The third and final debate was held on a stage in Nashville, with both candidates present together.
Topics to be discussed were: "Fighting COVID-19," "American Families," "Race in America," "Climate Change," "National Security," and "Leadership." 5 Finally, climate change was included!
2020-OCT-28: The Laptev Sea in Siberia has not frozen yet in October for the first time on record:
Normally during Autumn, sea ice starts to form in massive amounts on the Laptev Sea at the north-west coast of Siberia. However, during late October in 2020, ice has not started to form yet. This is one more effect caused by climate change.
Julienne Stroeve, senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado, emailed:
"Looking at the sea surface temperatures we can see that ocean temperatures are still several degrees above freezing and also that means the near surface air temperatures are also elevated."
Some scientists are predicting that within a few decades, an ice-free summer will ocurr in the Arctic for the first time in thousands of years. 6
2020-NOV-04: U.S. withdraws from the Paris Agreement:
The U.S. became the first and only country in the world to ever withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. President Donald Trump set up the withdrawl for 2020-NOV-04, one day after the Presidential election. Candidate for the presidency, Joe Biden, has promised to reinstate the U.S. as quickly as possible, if he is elected as President.
Mia Robson, writing for CTV News, said:
"Gerald Butts, vice-chairman at the political-risk consultancy Eurasia Group and former principal secretary to [Canadian] Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said Biden's climate policies are the most aggressive [that] any American presidential candidate has ever proposed.
That includes eliminating fossil fuels from the U.S. power grid by 2050, and using the power of the federal procurement system to spur growth in electric vehicles. ..."
Trump has ... done everything he can to 'bring back king coal', rolling back environmental regulations that made coal less palatable.
But cheaper natural gas and renewable sources of energy are crowding coal out of the market. ... Since Trump took office, coal production has fallen almost 20 per cent, and coal's share of the U.S. power grid fell from about one-third to less than one-quarter." 7
Many U.S. investors, state governors, and colleges declared their intention to support the Paris Agreement, even without federal leadership.
The U.S. currently is the second-largest carbon emitter after China.
2020-DEC-09: UN warns that a massive worldwide reduction in our carbon footprint is required in our near future:
Every year, the United Nations publishes an "emissions gap" report, that indicates how the countries of the world are not reducing their carbon footprint fast enough to slow the rate at which the Earth is warming.
Brady Dennis et al. wrote an article in the Washington Post based on the UN's 2020 report, saying that:
"The world’s wealthy will need to reduce their carbon footprints by a factor of 30 to help put the planet on a path to curb the ever-worsening impacts of climate change, according to new findings published Wednesday by the United Nations Environment Program.
Currently, the emissions attributable to the richest 1 percent of the global population account for more than double those of the poorest 50 percent. Shifting that balance, researchers found, will require swift and substantial lifestyle changes, including decreases in air travel, a rapid embrace of renewable energy and electric vehicles, and better public planning to encourage walking, bicycle riding, and public transit."
Nations would have to "roughly triple" their current pledges of emmisions-cutting in order to limit the warming to "... well below 2 degrees Celius above the preindustrial average by the end of the century. To limit the warming to 1.5 degrees woulld require nations to increase their targets at least five times.
Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said:
"We’d better make these shifts, because while COVID has been bad, there is hope at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine. But there is no vaccine for the planet."
During the year 2019, the emissions of various greenhouse gasses worldwide totaled the equivalent of 59 billion tons of carbon dioxide. That is about 8.4 tons per human being!
If the nations of the world achieve their current plans then the temperature rise by that year 2100 will be about 3 degrees Celsius or 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
- Rachel Frazin, "Green groups launch 'Green Wave 2020' initiative to boost competitive Democratic campaigns," The Hill, 2020-OCT-02, at: https://thehill.com/
- "Northern California Wildfires: Where To Find Updates On Air Quality, Evacuations, And Official Information," Capradio.org. 2020--OCT-05, at: https://www.capradio.org/
- "NASA Observations Aid Efforts to Track California’s Wildfire Smoke From Space," NASA, 2020-SEP-25, at: https://www.nasa.gov/
- "Pope in TED talk: Earth cannot be squeezed ‘like an orange’, " Associated Press, 2020-OCT-10, 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/
- Becky Ferreira, "Arctic Sea Ice Isn't Freezing In October for the First Time on Record," Vice.com, 2020-OCT-20, at: https://www.vice.com/
- Mia Robson, "A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers," CTV News, 2020-OCT-29, at: https://www.ctvnews.ca/
- Daniel Gutman, "Solar Power from Argentina’s Puna Highlands Reaches Entire Country," Inter Press Service, 2020-DEC-10, at: Solar Power from Argentina's Puna Highlands
- Samuel Petrequin, "EU leaders agree to reduce emissions after all-night talks," Microsoft News, 2020-DEC-11, ABC news, at: EU leaders agree to reduce emissions after all-night talks - ABC News
- "Thawing permafrost microbiomes fuel climate change," University of Queensland, 2018-JUL-16, at: Thawing permafrost microbiomes fuel climate change
- Lydia Pflanzer & Erin Browwin, "A frozen chunk of land that scientists thought would never thaw is melting -- and the effects could be catastrophic," Business Insider, 2020-JUL-12, at: Effects of melting permafrost: ancient viruses and carbon release
- Aslak Grinsted and Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen, "The transient sensitivity of sea level rise, European Geosciences Union, 2021-FEB-02, at: The transient sensitivity of sea level rise
- Simon Elstad, "U.S. Rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement: What You Need to Knowm" Greener Ideal, 2021-MAR-04, at: U.S. Rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement
- Ellen Mitchell, "Pentagon announces climate working group," The Hill, 2021-MAR-10, at: Pentagon announces climate working group
- Stephanie Levitz, "Conservative party members vote down resolution to officially recognize climate change." The Canadian Press," 2021-MAR-20, at: https://globalnews.ca/
Copyright © 2020 and 2021by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2021-MAY-22
Author: B.A. Robinson