Extreme Temperature Diary- May 4, 2018/ Topic: A Brave New Hope?

 Friday May 4th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. Here is today’s main climate change related topic: 

A Brave New Hope?

Yes, I admit growing up as a real nerd loving all things involved with science and science fiction turning sixteen the summer that Star Wars was introduced to the world way back in 1977. That year Episode Four a Brave New Hope was all the rage in theaters. Last May 4th, which is Star Wars Day, I wrote a positive piece indicating that worldwide carbon emissions had leveled off, and perhaps putting a big dent in the old global warming machine. Here is what I penned:

I promised that my next post would be more positive, so what I will present here is some good news concerning the world’s efforts to stem the worst future effects of climate change. Let’s all think positive, do our part to limit carbon pollution, and trust- I’ll emphasize trust!- experts and those implementing plans. The key to success is the Paris climate agreement. The tools to get to the Paris and United Nation’s goals will obviously be solar and wind power. The following diagram by Keeys van der Leun presents a timeline for the planet to get out of an ever increasing global warming mess:

Target Climate Turning Point = when global emissions start to fall. The scary part about the roadmap is that the target date for this is 2020, a scant two and a half years from now. If the planet had started whole scale energy changes in the 1980’s and 1990’s when climate scientists were ramping up their warnings the situation would not be so dire. Well as an old saying goes, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we would all have a merry Christmas. Dr. Michael Mann from page 29 of his recently published book, The Madhouse Effect, says, “Can we stop our forward lurch before it is too late? Perhaps, but only if we experience a different tipping point, a tipping point of the public consciousness; only if we collectively grasp the profligate nature of our contained reliance on fossil fuels and the urgency of transitioning rapidly toward a clean energy economy; and only if we collective give a satisfactory answer to the following question: Why should we give a damn?” My answer to Dr. Mann’s question: Because the crucible of science imparts trusted wisdom and knowledge that can guide humanity towards better, future living. The vast majority of people would not be doing research in any field of science unless they gave a damn.

Back to the chart. The SDGs are an acronym for Sustainable Development Goals, officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is a set of 17 global goals with 169 targets. The goals are contained in paragraph 54 of United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1 of September 25 2015 if you want to look them up. I’m sure that the goals were set by some of the most brilliant minds of the early 21st century… experts in energy, conservation, agriculture, economics, climate change, sociology… the list goes on and on.

Recently I was entertained by the movie Rogue One, the Star Wars prequel to Episode IV, A Brave New Hope. The heroin’s father in Rogue One had engineered a structural defect in the Death Star, such that the rebels could destroy the thing. There was not much hope for success in either movie, but the rebels persevered, destroying that Death Star. Each main character of both movies found that they had to trust their fellow warrior’s or friend’s skills to accomplish the goal of defeating The Galactic Empire.

So too, whatever our political beliefs, we as a globe must trust experts, and yes put our faith in our fellow man, to defeat The Global Climate Change Empire. I know that this will be hard for libertarian minded folks to accept, but we must trust in our best science and experts that are globalists in their scope or world view. There remains a very small window of opportunity to stop and even reverse the calamity of climate change, just like there was for Luke Skywalker to shoot his torpedo into the depths of the Death Star to avert the Galactic Empire’s oppression. Analytically, already we are seeing glimmers of hope looking at this International Energy Agency global carbon emissions chart indicating that the last three years were flat despite growing planetary economies:

See, I told you that this post would be positive in nature.😊

Ha! A year later it’s back to reality. Emissions have not stabalized globally with political entitles like the Trump Administration not helping matters. Even liberal, well educated politicians like Canada’s Justin Trudeau don’t have the hutzpah to demand that their powerful energy constituents leave fossil fuels in the ground. I don’t have any indications that emissions will start to fall or even stall by 2020, now just a year and a half away. Let’s call this year’s sequel the monstrous Empire Strikes Back:

Hopefully I can write a more positive piece with some good news next Star Wars Day on May 4th, 2019. Oh, and may the Force be with you.😉

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The Climate Guy

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