Thursday, December 01, 2016

Climate Chaos, the GOP and President-elect Donald J. Trump ... by gimleteye

PEOTUS Donald J. Trump says, climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. Tell that to the people of Tennessee who just lost property and the lives of friends and families to freak November fire or the people of red state Georgia devastated by freak November tornadoes.

The following graph from "Peak of Tornado Season Shifting Earlier in Tornado Alley" is based on historical data and shows the improbability of this week's devastating tornado outbreak in Georgia.

Climate Central Sept. 24, 2014
The tornadoes did little to mitigate the severe drought afflicting the red-state Southeast, including Tennessee where massive fire fires just destroyed thousands of acres, destroying homes and property. From the United States Drought Monitor before the deadly fires:
As reported by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), hundreds (at least 212) new fires have started in the Southeast, with 30 of them classified as large wildfires (100 acres or more), and burn bans were widespread across the region. Streams were at record and near-record low levels. Severe agricultural impacts (stock ponds drying up, winter feed being used to keep cattle alive since fall started) were widespread across the South and Southeast. Significant expansion of D0-D4 occurred across the southeastern States. In the Lower Mississippi Valley, D1-D3 expanded across Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, and D0-D2 expanded in Missouri. In Alabama, ponds were drying up in and around Lowndes County, and cattlemen were hauling water and using winter hay to feed cattle since late summer. As of November 22, Oneonta, Alabama, in the northeast part of the state, has gone 94 consecutive days without measurable precipitation. In Mississippi, the USDA has received reports of ponds drying up and cattle producers having to feed hay, in some cases already using up their entire hay supply for the winter months. Rye grass that was planted in the beginning of October has yet to emerge. As described by the Georgia State Climatologist, agricultural impacts due to dry soils in Turner/Tift/Irwin/Worth/Ben Hill/Wicox/Dodge county areas have been just detrimental for peanut and cattle farmers. In Decatur County, dryland winter forage is not being attempted at this time. If there is no irrigation, the small grains have emerged and died. In Coffee County, unless irrigated, small grains for grazing are naught. In Coweta County, hay is becoming harder to find and even irrigated areas are now suffering due to low water levels in ponds and creeks. The USDA has received reports of wells going bad and stock ponds drying up in Holmes County, Florida. According to November 20 USDA reports, 100% of the topsoil moisture and 98% of the subsoil moisture in Alabama was rated short or very short (dry or very dry).
In public, GOP leaders are climate change deniers. In private, they understand climate change perfectly well. The difference between what they say and what they know is that disclosure, reaction and policy changes to reverse climate change impacts don't serve the GOP's political or economic purposes.

Since his election Donald J. Trump has flip-flopped on core positions of his campaign. Climate change denial was one of the red state, raw meat issues candidate Trump flogged mercilessly. Since his victory he has conceded “there is some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.

But speaking to Fox News, his chief of staff Reince Priebus -- who went to law school in Miami, one of the US cities with the most to lose from sea level rise -- dialed back what Trump now says: “As far as this issue on climate change – the only thing he was saying after being asked a few questions about it is, look, he'll have an open mind about it but he has his default position, which most of it is a bunch of bunk, but he'll have an open mind and listen to people."

To be clear: the GOP's Ten Commandments of climate change are:
1) Climate change is like the weather: there is nothing we can do about it.
2) We are top predator. Other species will adapt or die.
3) If some part of climate change is man-made, whatever happens is God's will.
4) We know what is best for you. More golf courses, less public lands.
5) As the party of limited government, environmental regulations are self-defeating.
6) As the party of capitalism, we oppose climate-driven policies unless in our donors' interests.
7) If one size does not fit all, this size fits perfectly well: existing energy subsidies will be protected before any additional subsidies are adopted.
8) Dissenters will be isolated from decision-making on climate change.
9) If there is a dispute on climate change, the leadership will side with jobs.
10) We will adapt economic behavior to climate change as it happens, not before.
What President-elect Trump and red state GOP leaders ought to do is take a short course on logarithmic change because the massive accumulation of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere is now forcing climate change impacts in chaotic, non-linear ways. The evidence is piling up around us. The wheels are off the climate change wagon.

To dissenters, the implication of climate change denialism is clear: if the GOP Ten Commandments prove wrong, the resulting social and economic chaos will require military intervention on civilian populations. This isn't alarmism. It follows directly from the threat assessment of climate change by the U.S. Department of Defense.

There is more. "Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”. ("Climate change will stir 'unimaginable' refugee crisis, says military", Dec 1, 2016, UK Guardian)

Right now, Creation needs more than prayers.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting read, as well.

As long as the Republicans keep on denying, we're in trouble. Especially now with the regime change eminent.

Anonymous said...

A large percentage of people who have advanced academic degrees rely on government grants to stay employed. Not exactly the best data set.
Tourism is a high polluting industry. I would request that the State of Florida and cities like Miami and Miami Beach cease all tourist related advertising immediately and close all city run convention centers. We all need to work together to lessen the worldwide tourism industry.

Anonymous said...

How about Art Basel patrons simply foregoing use of private jets? Environmentalists, too. That would be an easy step, right.