Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Make American Sane Again

As Chairman of the Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance, I write a brief statement in the monthly newsletter.  Here is my October statement where I gave the Good News:

"Our mission statement to guide and accelerate the adoption of electric transportation in all its forms in the most cost effective way providing maximum benefit to the citizens of Texas" stands on its own whether or not you accept that mankind is changing the climate.

Moving to a transportation future that is unified with the stationary generation grid just makes good sense with or without the issue of climate change.

But of course, there is climate change and the new IPCC report is pretty blunt.  Here is my deep edit on the actual report from the IPCC.

“Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.

Reflecting the long-term warming trend since pre-industrial times, observed global mean surface temperature for the decade 2006–2015 was 0.87°C higher than the average over the 1850–1900 period. Estimated anthropogenic global warming matches the level of observed warming to within ±20%.

Estimated anthropogenic global warming is currently increasing at 0.2°C per decade due to past and ongoing emissions

Warming greater than the global annual average is being experienced in many land regions and seasons, including two to three times higher in the Arctic. Warming is generally higher over land than over the ocean.

Trends in intensity and frequency of some climate and weather extremes have been detected over time spans during which about 0.5°C of global warming occurred.

Warming from anthropogenic emissions from the pre-industrial period to the present will persist for centuries to millennia and will continue to cause further long-term changes in the climate system, such as sea level rise, with associated impacts but these emissions alone are unlikely to cause global warming of 1.5°C

Anthropogenic emissions up to the present are unlikely to cause further warming of more than 0.5°C over the next two to three decades or on a century time scale. “

So the good news is we have not cooked ourselves yet.

Of course the operative word here is YET

And in the spirit of the country western song where falling feels like flying for a little while, good news this bad is hardly worth celebrating.

Because the Bad News is we really have to be good from now on or we won't be just cooked, we'll be well done.

According to the New York Times story:

"A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The Report issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population." (clip)

Avoiding the most serious damage requires transforming the world economy within just a few years, said the authors, who estimate that the damage would come at a cost of $54 trillion. But while they conclude that it is technically possible to achieve the rapid changes required to avoid 2.7 degrees of warming, they concede that it may be politically unlikely."

For most of the month after this shattering pronouncement, the leader of the so called free world stoked the fires of fear with his subjects by proclaiming that a dangerous army of women and children fleeing climate change and the politics of fear were invading our borders.  As they walk from their Central American homes and villages, he sends 5,000  troops to the border.

In Bob Woodward's new book Fear, Woodward  reports that our fearless leader 's response to the question of "what is power" was FEAR.

Creating fake fear while ignoring real danger is crazy.

I need a Make America Sane Again hat.

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