Thursday December 6th… 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)😊.
Big Jump In Emissions… Now No Hope?
Today the old Climate Guy is angry at the planet, and rightfully so. My dad, a minister, used to call what I am experiencing “righteous indignation.” I’ve tried to stay positive on my posts, but when I get news like that from yesterday, it is very hard for me not to write a doom and gloom post. Remember that I’ve pledged not to change my tune until 1/1/2020 giving the planet another year to show positive tendencies towards solving the climate crisis. It has now been determined that carbon dioxide emissions spiked at an increased rate of near 3% for the planet. In April of 2017 I wrote a positive post entitled Roadmap to Recovery… There Is Hope: https://guyonclimate.com/2017/04/17/roadmap-to-recovery-there-is-hope/
The main point of the piece was to let the public know that at least the rate of emissions had stabilized from 2014-2016 such that targets made by the Paris Climate Accords could be reached. Sadly a year and a half later after writing the post I doubt that this spiffy graphic has any merit as it relates to 2020 goals:
Many a major news outlet has published the sad 2018 conclusion of the new upward trend in emissions. Today I will reference this Los Angeles Times article:
Quoting the article:
Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing.
Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6%. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7%.
The expected increase, which would bring fossil fuel and industrial emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, is being driven by nearly 5% emissions growth in China and more than 6% in India, researchers estimated, along with growth in many other nations throughout the world. Emissions by the United States grew 2.5%, while emissions by the European Union declined by just under 1%.
As nations are gathered for climate talks in Poland, the message of Wednesday’s report was unambiguous: When it comes to promises to begin cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change, the world remains well off target.
“We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in coming years.
I have to write this conclusion in all caps for emphasis even though, professionally, most people are advised not to use all caps: PARIS IS FALLING APART.
It’s all good to make an agreement among nations, but it’s very hard for all parties to adhere to promises. Throughout world history, unfortunately, we have seen time and time again treaties meant to produce a long lasting peace fall apart. Two examples would be those before the excruciatingly bloody 17th century thirty years war in Europe and the Treaty of Versailles agreed to at the end of WWI, which hoped to end all war back in 1919. What all bad treaties lacked in history was the creation of a police force, which would have granted power to a body above each individual nation state signing onto the things.
Today such a worldwide “police force” to enforce the Paris Accords would probably have to stem from the United Nations, a body with no real teeth. Volunteerism among each country signing onto the 2015 treaty evidently is not working, with yet another big country, Brazil, threatening to leave. In late 2018 the Paris Accords are very fragile, but widespread finger pointing at the current Polish summit has not occurred yet. When and if that happens we will know that the last great effort to stem worldwide emissions is history. Nations just aren’t willing to police themselves enough to adhere to emission targets, a realization that is becoming blatantly obvious. Member states aren’t willing to give up enough power for a worldwide body like the U.N. to become the “climate police” of the world, issuing fines, and militarily stopping coal power plants from being built.
I’m seeing many statistics like this one concerning emissions:
Since 2011, China's carbon dioxide emissions have been nearly constant. Some even speculated that China might have peaked.
But now the Global Carbon Project is estimating a +4.7% jump in 2018. A return to rapid emissions growth in China would be very bad news for the climate. pic.twitter.com/JloKtatOkk
— Robert Rohde (@RARohde) December 5, 2018
I’ll be adding more truly unfortunate stats to this post as I see them later today such as the one at the end of this post reported from Jeff Berardeli . Going back to my post written on April 2017 I’d say that old Luke Skywalker has missed his target, and now the Death Star of climate change will continue to roam through our galaxy, reinforcing an iron grip on hope to cast off the imperial oppression of global warming. Still, I’m counting on human spirit and ingenuity to finally win, just not this year.
New Study released today… “It is worth repeating once again that we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it." @StanfordEarth @NYCommTrust @climatesociety @earthinstitute @WMO https://t.co/BVEJh908eg
— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) December 6, 2018
Are #climate scientists alarmist? Well, we're certainly alarmed. But that's different. The thing about shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is that it makes total sense if the theater is actually on fire. When it comes to #ClimateChange, that's essentially where we are right now. pic.twitter.com/7KYgRgVopc
— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) December 6, 2018
Guys, I wrote this story and you'll never guess. It's about climate change. https://t.co/zht1VxSo1J
— Kendra "Gloom is My Beat" Pierre-Louis (@KendraWrites) December 5, 2018
— Chris Mooney (@chriscmooney) December 5, 2018
Here is some more weather and climate news from Thursday:
Critical article here from @FoEScot on Scotland's #ClimateChange ambitions. Their article 'Actions Speak Louder Than Words' expects more rigorous targets from @NicolaSturgeon & @scotgov. #COP24 #EnergyTransition #OilandGashttps://t.co/faoBg8hPXD@mmachch @Richard_Dixon
— Prof Peter Strachan (@ProfStrachan) December 6, 2018
Luxembourg becomes first nation to make all train, bus travel free. A big idea from a small placehttps://t.co/3cFx3rpjxJ
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) December 6, 2018
"Both gas & coal are horrendous for climate and health"
— Mark Z. Jacobson (@mzjacobson) December 6, 2018
— Mike Nelson (@MikeNelson247) December 7, 2018
— Weather Underground (@wunderground) December 6, 2018
— Tornado Researcher (@tornadoresrchr) December 6, 2018
Sea ice is vanishing faster than it has ever been observed in satellite record. Arctic sea ice cover has lost 2/3 of its thickness, altering the seasonal balance of fresh water. Ecosystems will have to adapt to these conditions. Learn more: https://t.co/zI59xxg5i5
— Tornado Researcher (@tornadoresrchr) December 6, 2018
It’s not all about economics.
There is a moral imperative too, as the effects of climate change already dominate our lives.
We are all feeling the effects of climate change,
but the poorest and most vulnerable people will inevitably feel it hardest. https://t.co/wneAHCcdMb
— Paul Dawson on Climate Change (@PaulEDawson) December 5, 2018
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)
(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.)
The Climate Guy