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Author Topic: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️  (Read 77926 times)

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AGelbert

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Agelbert NOTE: Great news about duckweed nutrition value! 🌞

BLACK BEAR NEWS: Record Hit For Most Ice To Melt In Antarctica In One Day

Dec 29, 2019


Black Bear News
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#FridayGasStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #ClimateStrike
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RECORD HIT FOR MOST ICE TO MELT IN ANTARCTICA IN ONE DAY, DATA SUGGESTS: "WE ARE IN A CLIMATE EMERGENCY"
https://www.newsweek.com/record-hit-ice-melt-antarctica-day-climate-emergency-1479326

🦀 Trump 🦕🦖🐍 Administration Removes Federal Database That Tracked Pollution 😠
https://www.ecowatch.com/pollution-database-trump-toxmap-2641963037.html

U.S. Steel announces up to 1,545 layoffs at plants near Detroit starting next year
https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/12/us-steel-announces-up-to-1545-layoffs-at-plants-near-detroit-starting-next-year.html

'He pulled the wool over our eyes': workers blame Trump for moving jobs overseas
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/10/trump-workers-jobs-overseas-factories

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Review of 2019 : Climate In Focus
« Reply #2041 on: December 29, 2019, 09:12:15 pm »

Review of 2019 : Climate In Focus

864 views•Dec 29, 2019


Just Have a Think
42.8K subscribers

As yet another record breaking year of extreme weather events draws to a close, we take a look back at just a handful of examples from 2019 illustrating how our changing climate is bringing increasing levels of inconvenience to some, impacts on livelihoods for others, and loss of life to so many unfortunate souls across our planet.

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#climatecrisis    #actnow    #2019review
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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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BLACK BEAR NEWS: Britain is set for warmest New Year's Eve in 178 YEARS 👀
1,217 views•Dec 30, 2019


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Britain is set for warmest New Year's Eve in 178 YEARS and will be hotter than Greece as 2020 begins with 'early spring' caused by heat bubble over Europe
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7832333/Britain-set-warmest-New-Years-Eve-178-YEARS-95-flood-warnings-remain.html

Are the Wealthiest Americans Tired of Winning Yet?
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/17/are-the-wealthiest-americans-tired-of-winning-yet/

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Like King Canute's attempt to hold back the tide, The U.S. Empire's desperate effort to preserve a hegemony built on biosphere polluting AND democracy degrading hydrocarbon fuels is doomed to fail.

A Monumentally Destructive US Decade — Symptomatic Of Imperial Decline

By Patrick Lawrence, Consortiumnews.com
December 31, 2019 | EDUCATE!

A monumentally destructive U.S. decade — symptomatic of imperial decline  — exposed a shamefully pliant press. But we have at least one reason to resist incurable pessimism.

Quote
I sit in one of the dives

On Fifty-Second Street

Uncertain and afraid

As the clever hopes expire

Of a low dishonest decade.

These are W.H. Auden’s lines, written as the 1930s drew to a close and six years of global conflagration commenced.

Eighty years later, they are pitifully, painfully apt as the second decade of our new century gives way to the third. With 2019 staggering to its end, what do we see when we look back over the 2010s? What when we look forward to the 2020s? These are our questions, each to be answered without flinching, dissembling or deflecting.

It requires a wide-eyed Boy Scout’s optimism to consider the decade now behind us and see anything other than a steady descent into global disorder, violence and abuse of international law. If this seems unduly pessimistic, it is merely because the 2010s were also a decade of probably unprecedented mis– and disinformation, both deployed to mask responsibility for 10 years’ worth of calamities that, with no obvious exceptions, could have been averted.

In this same line, you would have to be Hillary Clinton or Mickey Rooney, fresh from a rendition of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” to miss the rampantly pernicious character of American foreign policy this past decade. The evident trajectory resembles what we find on the climate-change question: Amid copious signs of crisis, the U.S. spent the last 10 years hurtling in the wrong direction. By any measure, it is now very arguably the primary source of global disorder in this century.

U.S. as Major Planetary Threat

The world comes to understand this, even if many 🙈🙉🙊 Americans prefer to bury themselves in illusions and self-deceptions.

A Pew Research Center study published earlier this year indicated that nearly half the planet now considers the U.S. “a major threat” to their nations. This is almost double the rate of negative views Pew found in 2013, when it began this series of surveys.

Two years ago, the Council on Foreign Relations convened a workshop of Europeans to consider “Managing Global Disorder,” as the event was titled. “To some,” CFR reported afterward, “the principal source of instability has been the overzealous actions of the United States — particularly in the wake of 9/11 — in promoting democracy, human rights, and regime change around the world in contravention of established principles of state sovereignty.”

The good people at Pew seem intent on sanitizing the 2010s by dropping the blame for this rise in anti–American sentiment on Donald Trump’s doorstep. The president certainly bears responsibility for souring the global mood, notably in pulling out of the Paris climate pact in 2017, the Iran nuclear accord a year later, and various arms-limitations agreements with Russia. But let us disabuse ourselves on one important point. The world’s wariness and weariness of America’s conduct beyond its shores was well in train before Mr. Trump went to Washington.

🐍 Bearer of Many Clever Hopes

President 🐍 Barack Obama 💵🎩, then a year in office, was the bearer of many clever hopes when the 2010s began. It was not two weeks into the new decade before the first signs arrived that these were to be years of blighted expectations and media manipulation by way of a shamefully pliant press.

The decade announced itself on Jan. 12, 2010, when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck just outside Port–au–Prince, killing some 250,000 Haitians, injuring 300,000 more, and leaving 5 million displaced. In less than a month, it was clear that the U.S. was using its contribution to the rescue effort to establish a formidable military presence in Haiti. This 🦍 corruption foreshadowed the many 👹 frauds to come under the Responsibility to Protect rubric.

Houses destroyed by earthquake in Haiti, Jan. 21, 2010. (EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid/Flickr)

A year later and at Washington’s insistence, the U.N. Security Council cited the R2P doctrine as it authorized a disastrous military intervention in Libya. Low and dishonest hardly do justice to 👹 Hillary Clinton’s determination to destroy an entire nation. It was Clinton, as Obama’s secretary of state, who persuaded the Russians not to veto the Security Council’s resolution by promising to limit the mission to humanitarian amelioration. NATO bombing operations then led to Muammar Gaddafi’s gruesome assassination —  about which Clinton infamously cackled, “We came, we saw, he died.” >:(

One year in, the decade’s 🦍 template was already evident. Let us note its constituent parts as these recur again and again.

In 2012, the U.S. began its not-very-covert regime change operation in Syria by arming the very types of jihadist militias it claimed to be countering. Seven years later, this story continues. We now have liberals and “progressives” howling in defense of U.S. intervention when Trump proposes even a minor withdrawal from Syrian soil.

🦍Regime-Change ☠️ Ops

The coup in Egypt was the premier event in 2013. This was a classic case of wholesale deception. The director of this “regime change” op was Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, who green-lighted the Egyptian military’s move against the legitimately elected Mohamed Morsi hours before it began.

The New York Times reported Rice’s role — once, on July 6, three days after the coup was complete. This was plainly judged an error, for Rice’s telephone call to Cairo was never again mentioned anywhere in the American press. A few weeks later, the Times dutifully quoted John Kerry, Obama’s secretary of state by this time, as he praised the Egyptian generals “restoring democracy.”

Neat and nice. The U.S.–cultivated coup in Ukraine, on Feb. 21, 2014, by contrast, was neither neat nor nice. There is abundant evidence of Washington’s key role in this “regime change” — not least a recording of Victoria Nuland, the State Department apparatchik, as she directed the op against the (once again) duly elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.

President Barack Obama and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after  their bilateral meeting in Warsaw, June 4, 2014. (White House/Pete Souza)

Fabrications Known as Russiagate We still live with the resulting mess, of course. But the U.S. press has not once reported accurately on the events leading to Yanukovych’s ouster, instead pretending that the Ukraine crisis began when Moscow, entirely out of the blue, annexed Crimea (after a properly conducted referendum) to protect its naval base on the Black Sea. Neither has there been any acknowledgement of Kiev’s post-coup dependence on neo–Nazi militias for its survival.

On the decade goes. In 2016 the fabrications collectively known as “Russiagate” began their long life, setting back any prospect of a constructive new détente with Moscow by at least a decade and very probably more. Two years later the Pentagon declared Russia and China America’s two most threatening global adversaries.

This brings us to the year now ending. January gave us the attempted-and-failed coup in Venezuela, starring a jumped-up flunky named Juan Guaidó, whose moment, we now read, has passed. In November we saw the coup — and to be clear, there is no other word for it — against the (again, duly elected) Evo Morales in Bolivia.

Even this pencil sketch of the 10 years gone by yields six U.S.–directed coup operations on three continents, four of them successful (Egypt, Ukraine, Honduras and Bolivia). We end the decade with two officially declared adversaries in the Cold War mold — both of which are on the record preferring a cooperative relationship with the U.S. in the interest of securing a global order we do not now enjoy.

What conclusions are to be drawn? Let us derive one from our backward glance and another from our look forward.

If the 2010s have a single lesson for us, it is that the U.S. has entered its late-imperial phase — those years when its preeminence as a global power begins to fray at its edges and its conduct abroad takes on a hue of desperation.

Look back: America has cast itself as global spoiler these past 10 years — forlornly attempting to hold back an arriving era the way Cú Chulainn, the mythical Irish warrior, wielded his sword to battle back the incoming tide. For all the damage the U.S. has done elsewhere this past decade, notably but not only in the Middle East, it has done as much or more to itself.

There may seem little of good in prospect as we peer into the 2020s, but before succumbing to incurable pessimism and yet more of the deadly ennui that saps our energies, let us consider a few more lines from Auden’s “September 1, 1939.” These appear toward the poem’s end: 

Quote
Defenseless under the night

Our world in stupor lies;

Yet, dotted everywhere,

 Ironic points of light

 Flash out wherever the Just

 Exchange their messages…

At the end of our low, dishonest decade, we find that the ranks of those able to see this nation for what it is—so recognizing the urgent need for remedies and redirection— have swollen considerably since 2010. There are more of us, with our ironic points of light, and newcomers arrive by the day. This already matters, and it will matter ever more as the new decade proceeds.

In this connection, the collapse of corporate media’s ethics and professional standards over the past decade — and hence their credibility — is of special importance. These media bear much of the blame for the messes just outlined. This assign is an ever-greater responsibility to what is commonly called “the alternative press.” This is a phenomenon easily discerned these past 10 years. As these media grow into this responsibility, they stand to re-establish the press as an independent pole of power — a station our corporate media have (with no apparent hesitation) abdicated in favor of a craven devotion to the 👹💵🎩🦍🍌🦀🏴‍☠️ reigning orthodoxy.

In truth, there is no such thing as alternative media: There are only media, good and bad, of greater or lesser resources, of greater or lesser loyalty to principle. If the 2020s turn out at all well, this will become ever-more evident. If we are to make more sense of the decade to come than we find in the decade now ending, these media will have much to do with it.

https://popularresistance.org/a-monumentally-destructive-us-decade-symptomatic-of-imperial-decline/

🤔 Agelbert NOTE: What goes unsaid in too many of these articles, like the one above, that correctly expose the FACT that virtually ALL the social and environmental problems dooming our civilization are the product of the wholesale EMBRACE by TPTB of unethical behavior, is that no amount of prinicipled behavior from the media will stop Catastrophic Climate Change. Sorry to burst all those idealistic political bubbles out there, but all that politically virtuous principled behavior championed by people of good will became moot around 1978.

You see, in 1978 is when we went into the baked in extinction phase of the Global Warming inertia. Sure, most people alive today will live out there natural lives as the biosphere becomes more and more degraded. But the fact remains that human food, shelter and health needs CANNOT be met on a planetary atmosphere averaging 2 degrees C and above.

The following article correctly points out that the U.S. went in exactly the wrong direction in the last decade. True. But, that is what the U.S. has done ever since it KNEW, back in 1976, how dire the situation was for the human species, during the Carter Adminstration. President Carter was blocked at every turn from beginning the transition to 100% Renewable Energy that he supported.

The Reagan and Bush fossil fuel lackeys rigged the election so Carter would lose and the rest, all the way up to 2020, is a clear extinction trajectory. In fact, EVERY decade after the year 1978, even higher temperatures have become baked in, even if we stopped all the GHG pollution at any given point after 1978.

Here we are in 2020 with about 4 to 6 degrees C (those are the conservative estimates - it's probably a LOT worse) baked in by 2100. Back in 1978, we weren't supposed to get past human civilization destroying 2 degrees C warming before 2100. Now it's projected for 2050. Some are already saying THAT is wrong too and we will pass 2 degrees C by the end of THIS decade, not 30 years from now.

My point is that there is no political point any longer. Do YOU think most politicians are going to grow a conscience any time soon? Do YOU think ethical behavior is anything but a joke to TPTB? We are ruled by people who WORSHIP UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR!

Let's get real here, shall we? These spiritually depraved elites are NOT going to change.

The Inertia of Catastrophic Climate Change is NOT going to be slowed. If anything, The Inertia of Catastrophic Climate Change will become more massive as the polluters continue to (as the above article stated in regard to the corporate media) abdicate from principled behavior, with no hesitation, in favor of a craven devotion to the 🐍🦀🐘🦕🦖 reigning orthodoxy.

So, what is to be done by little people like you and I who read the news with increasing dread?

Please hear me out. This is what we all should do:

In life, we must always prioritize what to do among our daily list of pending tasks. As a species, we also have priorities that, though somewhat of a general nature, apply to each and every intelligent, responsible adult person now alive.

The most important priority we all have now is to tell the truth about the unstoppable nature of Catastrophic Climate Change. The importance of our politics does not mean squat in comparison to the importance of countering all lies claiming climate change is "no big deal".

Taxes, health care, "isms" and so on are all lost causes if we do not have the ability to grow our food and preserve the biosphere we all depend on. We can argue and fight about ethics all we want, but it will do nothing to stop our extinction trajectory.

So, from this day on, if you actually don't want be condemned by future generations (I'm being optimistic here) for being willfully masochistic, stupid or hopelessly deranged, you must NOT buy from, vote for, or support in any way, shape or form, ANYONE who does not accept the truth that addressing Catastrophic Climate Change, no matter if it takes over a century, must be funded BEFORE a penny goes to any other government activity, especially wars.

Ask people where they stand. They will tell you. Then tell them that if they do not totally accept the dire, unvarnished truth that making the Government Funded Mitigation of Catastrophic Climate Change, through fostering a 100% Renewable Energy powered economy, plus the the fining and imprisonment of all polluters, is the number one priority, they are part of the problem.

Then walk away, and stay away. Americans who prefer to bury themselves in illusions and self-deceptions are a threat to human civilization. There is no longer any way for YOU to get around the fact that YOU or/and some family members or some politicians or some friends are making things worse by not facing Catastrophic Climate Change FACTS.
 
While it is true that, even if a crash prgram is started by the U.S. Government and all major polluting countries all over the world this very year (an impossibility with people like 🦀Trump,  🦖 Putin, 🦕 Bolsonaro, etc. in power), billions of people and other life forms will die until it is stopped and reversed, it is the only sane thing to do. This is no longer even about ethics, as I mentioned before; this is about SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES.

IF we survive (a mighty big "IF"), we can be less in-your-face with modern day arrogant self-worshipping egotists who endlessly spout their spiritually bankrupt, corrupt status quo defending, doubletalking sophistry, while they hold firm to their vile belief that ethical behavior is "just for suckers and rubes".

You can call the status quo anything you want, but the truth is that preserving the status quo is a death sentence for our species. Anyone defending it is not your friend. It really is GET-IN-THEIR-FACES time.

I support Senator Sanders because he understands that addressing Catastrophic Climate Change is sine qua non for the survival of our species, not just for our country. Medicare-for-All, improved Social Security, taxing Wall Street and so on are all of LESS importance than a crash program to properly mitigate (and reverse) Catastrophic Climate Change.



Enjoy the article but remember what is our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 06:11:04 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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BLACK BEAR NEWS: Climate crisis linked to at least 15 $1bn plus disasters in 2019
1,030 views•Dec 31, 2019


Black Bear News
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Climate crisis linked to at least 15 $1bn-plus disasters in 2019
https://www.theguardian.com/world/201...

If Ukraine Is Impeachable, What’s Afghanistan?
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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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BLACK BEAR NEWS: 🐻 Bears In Ukraine Aren't Hibernating Because It's Too Warm
491 views•Jan 1, 2020


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BEARS IN UKRAINE AREN'T HIBERNATING BECAUSE IT'S TOO WARM, HAVE STARTED SUFFERING FROM 'INSOMNIA'
https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-bears-insomnia-hibernation-warm-winter-1479038

Stop the Spread of Liquefied Natural Gas — Before It’s Too Late
https://truthout.org/articles/stop-the-spread-of-liquefied-natural-gas-before-its-too-late/

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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BLACK BEAR NEWS - Headlines
525 views•Jan 3, 2020


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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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Hat Tip to Surly for this story
« Reply #2047 on: January 04, 2020, 03:12:42 pm »
Wildfires rage under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia. (Glen Morey via AP)

By James Cogan

4 January 2020

SNIPPET:

As with all “natural disasters” around the world, the working class and poor are paying the greatest price. Tens of thousands of workers and contractors in the agriculture and tourist industries have already been stood down or lost their jobs. The extreme temperatures and hazardous air pose the greatest threat to those with medical conditions who live in the low-income suburbs of the cities and regional towns, which are also generally the most heat-affected and have the most under-resourced and overstretched health services.

The capitalist ruling class and its political apparatus are bereft of any answers to the consequences of a climate crisis that their indifference and inaction have created.

In its latest, desperate attempt to portray itself as doing something, the Morrison government today announced a call-up of a few thousand Army reservists, who are not trained for either firefighting or emergency service provision to civilian communities.

The bankruptcy of the official establishment has also been summed up in the statements of Labor Party opposition leader Anthony Albanese over recent days. He has declared the situation a “national emergency” that requires a “national response” that is “appropriate to the scale of the emergency.” As to what that response should be, Albanese has only offered that Labor will “listen” and have policies prepared for the 2022 federal election.

Full article:

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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Displaced by Drought, a Family in Somalia Struggles to Survive | Save the Children
706 views•Sep 11, 2019


Save the Children USA
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When most of their animals died in the drought that devastated Somalia, life
became even harder for Anab* and her 10 children. Thankfully, Save the Children was able to provide a lifesaving intervention and give the family enough wheat flour, cow peas, rice and
cooking oil to last for a month. However, there's so much more support needed to provide long-term solutions to families in Somalia like Anab's. To learn more about Save the Children's work in Somalia and how you can help, visit https://www.savethechildren.org/Somalia

➡ Subscribe: http://ow.ly/2oKi30kWzLX
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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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The sad truth about 1.5C
« Reply #2049 on: January 06, 2020, 12:02:05 am »
BLACK BEAR NEWS: The sad truth about 1.5C
181 views•Jan 5, 2020


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The sad truth about our boldest climate target
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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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BLACK BEAR NEWS: Australia 🔥 fires - Cashless economy collapses as ATMs fail, supermarket looted 😨
1,677 views•Jan 4, 2020


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Tens of thousands stranded while attempting to flee Australia fires – Cashless economy collapses as ATMs fail, supermarket looted
https://desdemonadespair.net/2020/01/tens-of-thousands-stranded-while-attempting-to-flee-australia-fires-cashless-economy-collapses-as-atms-fail-supermarket-looted-we-have-no-capacity-to-contain-these-fires.html

Way Past W.T.F. :The Day After
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Category People & Blogs
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

Surly1

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“No one could have predicted this” says government warned about this in 1988, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

The Australian government has today pledged $2 billion in support for fire affected communities over the next two years, taking only one month longer than the time it took for the government to announce $1.4 billion for a refresh of the Christmas Island detention facilities after the MedEvac Bill was passed.

“Unfortunately the country was completely caught off guard by these fires,” said the Prime Minister who had been sent a letter by the fire chiefs warning about this last year and failed to set up a meeting. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted how terrible or bad these fires would be.”

However, Morrison was seen moments later shredding a 1993 study by the CSIRO which accurately predicted that one degree of warming would increase the size and intensity of Australia’s bushfires, as well as causing more extreme weather in winter months. “Unfortunately this report was completely off the mark,” explained Morrison, “You see, this predicted what would happen if we hit one degree of warming by 2030, and we actually hit one degree of warming last year. What a bunch of idiots.”

Morrison was also forced to deny having seen the government-commissioned 2009 Garnaut Climate Change Review which predicted that bushfires would “start earlier, end slightly later, and generally be more intense” by 2020 if global emissions were not reduced. “The fact is that I was not in government at the time,” explained Morrison, “and as an opposition MP, it’s was my duty to vote against all the sitting government’s climate change measures without actually having reviewed the evidence myself.”

Asked what he thought about the 1988 work of the United Nations first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Morrison explained he hadn’t yet had a chance to read the research, given he’s been very busy in the last 30 years. “Look, there were a lot of Sharkies games to attend,” explained the Prime Minister, “and besides we’ve still got plenty of days left to address the issue.”

Asked whether he’d read the leaked 1982 research by Exxon which reported that “mitigation of the greenhouse effect would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion” to avoid substantial climactic changes such as areas of reduced rainfall, worse agricultural yields and coastal flooding, the Prime Minister said he had to go, and jumped out the closest window.


Surly1

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What Will Another Decade of Climate Crisis Bring?
« Reply #2052 on: January 07, 2020, 06:40:01 am »
What Will Another Decade of Climate Crisis Bring?
2019 has been called the year we woke up to climate change. Australia’s wildfires are yet more evidence that it’s time we started acting like it.




Elizabeth Kolbert January 13, 2020 Issue

Last week, thousands of people in the Australian state of Victoria were urged to evacuate their homes. “Don’t wait,” the alert warned. Bushfires were burning across the state; so large were some of the blazes that, according to Victoria’s commissioner of emergency management, they were “punching into the atmosphere” with columns of smoke nine miles high. The smoke columns were producing their own weather, generating lightning that, in turn, was setting more fires. Some time after residents received the evacuation warning, many of those in the most seriously affected region, East Gippsland, which is a popular tourist destination, received another alert. It was now too late to leave: “You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive.”

Just to the north of Victoria, in New South Wales, blazes have so far destroyed more than nine million acres. Meanwhile, in the state of South Australia, dozens of fires were burning last week, some of them uncontrollably. At least nineteen people have died in the fires, as have hundreds of millions of animals, including a significant proportion of the country’s koalas. More than two hundred and fifty thousand people signed a petition arguing that, in light of the devastation, Sydney’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks displays should be scrapped, but the celebration proceeded anyway, in part at the insistence of the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

“I can think of no better time to express to the world just how optimistic and positive we are as a country,” said Morrison, a Donald Trump-like figure who was on holiday with his family in Hawaii last month when, owing to all the fires, New South Wales declared a state of emergency. (It declared a second state of emergency last Thursday, ahead of what was expected to be another catastrophic weekend.)

In a Dantean sort of way, Australia’s holiday-season infernos provided a fitting close to 2019, which has been called “the year the world woke up to the climate crisis.” In India this past summer, a heat wave killed more than a hundred people in the northeastern state of Bihar, and in Japan a month later a heat wave sent an estimated eighteen thousand to the hospital. All-time temperature records were set in France, where a high of a hundred and eight degrees was reached in the town of Vérargues on June 28th, and in Germany, where the mercury in the town of Lingen hit a hundred and seven degrees on July 25th.

In Australia, records were broken only to be rebroken. On December 17th, maximum temperatures across the entire country, which is roughly the size of the continental United States, averaged 105.6 degrees. Then, on December 18th, they climbed to 107.4 degrees. The “feeling when you open the oven door” is how one Australian described the heat to the BBC. “It’s like that, but just the whole time.” Globally, it was the second- or third-warmest year since accurate measurements began. (The exact ranking is still to be calculated.) In either case, each of the past five years has been among the hottest five, and the decade counts as the warmest ten-year stretch on record. If 2019 was supposedly the year we “woke up to the climate crisis,” the twenty-tens have been called “the decade we finally woke up to climate change.”

What will the twenty-twenties bring? In geophysical terms, this question is almost too easy to answer. Temperatures will continue to rise. It’s virtually guaranteed that the coming decade will be warmer than the twenty-tens, which were warmer than the two-thousands, which were warmer than the nineteen-nineties, which—you guessed it—were warmer than the nineteen-eighties.

And with still higher temperatures will come still greater damage. Droughts will grow more punishing. (Australia’s horrific wildfires are, in large part, the result of what Australians are calling a “big dry,” which is now in its third year and has forced many towns to truck in water.) Warmer air holds more moisture, so the flip side of drought is deluge. (Last week, as Australia was roasting, flooding in Indonesia killed at least forty people.) Meanwhile, the planet’s ice sheets will continue to melt, leading to ever-higher sea levels, as will the Arctic ice cap. It’s possible that by 2030 the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free at the end of the summer.

Which brings us to the question of what it means to “wake up.” If in the past year (or the past decade) the world began to understand how dangerous climate change is, it certainly didn’t act like it. In the past ten years, more CO2 was emitted than in all of human history up to the election of J.F.K.

In 2015, in Paris, world leaders, including President Barack Obama, committed to holding the average global temperature increase to “well below 2°C.” They never committed to how they were going to do this, however, and last month, in Madrid, the creaky machinery of climate diplomacy came very close to breaking down altogether. The Trump Administration, which has filed to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement, and the Morrison government, which wanted to use an accounting trick to fulfill its Paris commitments, were explicitly blamed for the stalemate. Many commentators noted the irony of the situation. A headline in the Guardian put it this way: “AUSTRALIA TOOK A MATCH TO UN CLIMATE TALKS WHILE BACK HOME THE COUNTRY BURNED.”

Every decade is consequential in its own way, but the twenty-twenties will be consequential in a more or less permanent way. Global CO2 emissions are now so high—in 2019, they hit a new record of forty-three billion metric tons—that ten more years of the same will be nothing short of cataclysmic. Unless emissions are reduced, and radically, a rise of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) will be pretty much unavoidable by 2030. This will make the demise of the world’s coral reefs, the inundation of most low-lying island nations, incessant heat waves and fires and misery for millions—perhaps billions—of people equally unavoidable.

Really waking up, and not just dreaming to ourselves that things will be O.K., has become urgent—beyond urgent, in fact. To paraphrase Victoria’s fire authority: The world is in danger, and we need to act immediately to survive. ♦

AGelbert

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Video Diary of Apocalypse 🚩: A Family Flees Australia's Fires
4,925 views•Jan 6, 2020


The Intercept
134K subscribers

My wife and my children (ages 4 and 2) are citizens of Australia and the United States. We moved here a year ago, and up until fire season, it’s been perfect.

But on December 30, we jumped in the family car for a road trip and a long-awaited beach vacation. The website for Bega Valley advertised that it was unaffected by the fires, but thinking of those who were. That was still true until the last hour of our drive, when we noticed an enormous column of smoke rising over the mountains to our left.

By the time, we’d built sand castles and returned to Room 9 of the Pambula Colonial Motor Inn, the highway we had traveled was closed due to the Werri Berri fire. The other westbound highway was closed due to another new fire, called the Wyndham fire, only 20 kilometers away. And the multiple fires burning to our north and to our south, which had been raging for several weeks, meant that we couldn’t leave.

Category News & Politics

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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1 BILLION Animals Dead in Australia! 😱
« Reply #2054 on: January 08, 2020, 09:02:01 pm »
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January 8, 2020   


"It's not arson, you absolute fu ck ing morons" - "The latest victims of Australia's record drought: 10,000 feral camels"

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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