Wednesday June 26th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog 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).😉
The 2020 Presidential race will start to crank into a higher gear today as the first ten of twenty people who are vying for the Democratic nomination debate this evening in Miami. Any one of these candidates would be better than Trump for the environment, but just exactly what would they do to stem the climate crisis, and what has each done in the past? Inside Climate News does a thorough job answering these questions here:
I’ve stated that the first hurdle to right the ship on climate in the U.S. was getting a Democratic House in 2018. That is a done deal, thankfully, to start checking Trump against fossil fuel interests. Personally, I think that it would be helpful for impeachment hearings to start this summer, much to Trump’s chagrin and the rest of those who want oil spigots to continue to flow. The second and most important hurdle is getting a Democratic President for the 2020s, which most experts say will be our last decade as a species to reign in carbon pollution before awful climate consequences.
If Trump and his fossil fuel cronies sink the Paris Accords going into the mid 2020s, that’s it. I will have had it after thirty-five years talking and writing about carbon pollution and the greenhouse effect …I can no longer be optimistic about our future, and I’ll state such on every post. For now, let’s try to pick a good candidate on the carbon issue keeping in mind that we need one who has a very good chance politically of beating Trump.
I invite all to read the linked Inside Climate piece in its entirety. Here is how the article starts:
Debate 2020: The Candidates’ Climate Positions & What They’ve Actually Done
How do the Democratic presidential hopefuls compare on their climate actions and promises to solve the crisis? With the debates coming, ICN analyzes their records.
By John H. Cushman Jr.
Jun 26, 2019
The Democrats running for president have a wide range of climate platforms and views on the policy choices, as these candidate profiles show. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Anyone who views the climate crisis as a compelling issue can only be frustrated by how it has been handled in presidential debates over the years—neglected, mostly. And as the first round of debates for the 2020 election arrives, the frustration may be repeated, if for different reasons this time around.
It’s not that the issue won’t come up. It will, driven by climate events in the real world, by the extraordinary record of reversal and denial in Washington, by the emphatic alarms of scientists, and by the loud insistence of activists that candidates and the media alike do their share in focusing the spotlight on the urgency of action. Even if the interrogators don’t emphasize it, some candidates will.
To prepare for the debates, we explored the candidates’ evolution on climate change and early progress in bringing the issue to the forefront in 2020. In the following series of profiles, we focus on the most prominent candidates and those with the most detailed climate proposals, with an eye toward showing the spectrum of policy choices.
[ Read and share the candidate profiles ]
On Wednesday and Thursday this week, 20 candidates face questioning from a panel of journalists in two rounds, with 10 candidates each evening. With so many candidates and so much ground to cover, there may be only slight attention to climate change. It may be hard to distinguish the candidates’ climate policy positions from one another, let alone to discern the complex details in depth, or to decide which answers are the more coherent, practical or politically appealing.
One goal in these profiles: to help you prepare to watch the debates, perhaps forming in your own mind what climate question you would pose to candidates beyond the most simplistic.
Instead of being asked “do you believe in global warming?” or “would you stay in the Paris treaty?”—every Democratic candidate does and would—we think they should face questions like these:
- “How much would you demand that U.S. emissions decline in your first term, in order to put your targets within reach by the end of your second term?”
- “Many people say we have only 12 years to act. Can you explain where that number comes from and whether you believe it?”
- “Should fossil fuel producers be held liable for the damages being inflicted now because of emissions from our previous use of their products?”
- “Do you think American youth have a constitutional right to a safe climate that could be enforced by the courts?”
- “Should any of the revenues from a carbon tax be spent on research and development of clean technologies, or should it all be returned to households as a tax rebate or dividend?”
- “How much expansion of our natural gas production would be consistent with reaching zero net emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050?”
- “Would you rely heavily on any of these technologies: a new class of nuclear reactors? Capturing the carbon from smokestacks or the atmosphere for storage underground? Geo-engineering to reflect sunlight or seed the oceans as a carbon sink?”
Of course, you can’t count on such probing questions being asked or answered. But keeping careful, probing questions in mind may help you to sort out which candidates are truly informing the public. We, too, will parse the answers afterwards.
Following are profiles of a dozen candidates, listed alphabetically. They were drawn from those who are leading in the polls, have detailed climate platforms, or represent diverse policies.
Again, here is the link for Inside Climate News’ take on all twenty candidates who will share a debate stage over the next two days. Also, please note carefully what all candidates say about Miami. That city along with New Orleans and Norfolk will die to get the dubious distinction of being the first American cities to be swallowed by rising seas. Their fate is now in voter’s hands.
Here is more climate and weather news from Wednesday:
(I’m going to do something a little different today grouping notes on the European heat wave first, the building heat wave in the U.S. second, then more news and “ETs” I see last.)
(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. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
Here are notes on heat developing in the United States:
Thursday dangerous heat, but mostly well below record levels, will be building in the nation’s mid section and South:
Here are more South Florida “ETs:”
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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”