Thursday, October 20, 2016

Care about your job? Vote for the candidate who recognizes the threat to your job by climate change ... by gimleteye

Astoundingly, the televised debates for the next president of the United States failed to probe federal responsibilities to address global warming impacts.

As the King Tides in Florida just demonstrated, there is reality to contend with even if the moderators won't. For the New York Times, Dave Leonhardt aptly wrote:
Tonight wrapped up three weeks of presidential campaign debates. It was also a three-week period in which cities in at least 34 states reported record-high temperatures. New York reached 80 degrees today, and Nashville nearly hit 90.

This year is all but guaranteed to be the planet’s hottest on record, just as 2015 and 2014 were. The damage from climate change is now speeding up.

And how many questions were Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence asked about climate change over the six hours of their four combined debates?


Sir Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE), and President of the British Academy, recently said that the global economy could “self destruct” if the fossil fuel, carbon economy was not quickly reformed.

That's your job he is talking about. So when panderers like Senator Marco Rubio say he's more concerned about the economy than climate change, the bottom line is that he pretty much as clueless as the presidential candidate he supports, Donald Trump.

In a determined effort to enlighten, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert focused this week on Greenland's melting ice cap. Here are a few excerpts:
... Just in the past four years, more than a trillion tons of ice have been lost. This is four hundred million Olympic swimming pools’ worth of water, or enough to fill a single pool the size of New York State to a depth of twenty-three feet.

... As moulins form at higher elevations, more water is carried from the surface of the ice to the bedrock beneath. This lubricates the base, which, in turn, speeds the movement of ice toward the ocean. At a certain point, these feedback loops become self-sustaining. It is possible that that point has already been reached.

... “What concerns me the most is that this is the kind of experiment we can only do once,” Rignot said. “A lot of people don’t realize that. If we start opening the floodgates on some of these glaciers, even if we stop our emissions, even if we go back to a better climate, the damage is going to be done. There’s no red button to stop this.”

... the problem with global warming—and the reason it continues to resist illustration, even as the streets flood and the forests die and the mussels rot on the shores—is that experience is an inadequate guide to what’s going on. The climate operates on a time delay. When carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere, it takes decades—in a technical sense, millennia—for the earth to equilibrate. This summer’s fish kill was a product of warming that had become inevitable twenty or thirty years ago, and the warming that’s being locked in today won’t be fully felt until today’s toddlers reach middle age. In effect, we are living in the climate of the past, but already we’ve determined the climate’s future.

What do Florida’s Congressional challengers and incumbents believe about climate change? A website, Earth Forum, answers that question here. We know what Marco Rubio thinks, because we heard his answer in the presidential primary: oh it's just like flooding in West Dade, we'll engineer around it. Pathetic and ill-informed.

Climate change is not some future, hazy concern on the horizon. It is here, now. We can't afford a single elected office holder who denies climate change or the urgency to change our energy future.

The clearest signal Floridians can send is to elect Hillary Clinton and Patrick Murphy to the US Senate.


Anonymous said...

Of course if people are concerned about their jobs, they have no choice but to vote for Clinton and Murphy. Climate change is one threat, but there are also a host of other threats to jobs out there which they could help defeat or mediate.

That Trump refuses to say he will accept the election outcome, means he has put us all on notice that he intends "to pull his pants down and toot his but up and pat it" to the nation, the world, our democracy and our tradition of a peaceful transition of power. He should not be allowed to cause chaos in this regard, by us not being ready to move on when he pulls this stunt. There should not be days or weeks of chaos while we figure out what to do. The Supreme Court and Congress needs to be ready to quickly transition power in case Trump fails the country by being an irresponsible loser.

Mark Potter said...

Maybe someone close to trump can convince him that he has already done enough damage to his image. That for him to continue to use his name to fill his wallet will be seriously hampered by any further inappropriate behavior on his part.