Wednesday March 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)😉
Main Topic: Europe Sees Its Warmest Winter on Record. Also: Is Criminal Activity Justifiable To Combat Climate Change?
Dear Diary. This is a sticky question for today’s main topic. What actions are justifiable against coal, oil, gas, and transportation industries to combat climate change? In the face of the climate crisis what should activists do to politically get as many people as possible geared towards change?
Let’s take one example of activity that activists have been employing since the 1970s, trespassing while protesting. Greenpeace has used this method on oil platforms over the years with limited success, putting up bright yellow banners with bold black letters. I did read a new article by Inside Climate News, which informs all that Extinction Rebellion employed a “necessity” defense in the courtroom. This is worth a long read:
Is Climate Change Urgent Enough to Justify a Crime? A Jury in Portland Was Asked to Decide
The five defendants on trial—members of the activist group Extinction Rebellion—mounted a “necessity” defense for their civil disobedience.
By LEE VAN DER VOO
Mar 3, 2020
Quoting Inside Climate News: “It was the first time an American jury had heard a so-called “necessity” defense—what in Oregon is termed a “choice of evils” defense—in a criminal case against climate activists. Under Oregon law, a crime can be committed if it is necessary as an emergency measure to avoid an imminent public or private injury. The gravity of the injury, however, must outweigh the severity of the crime committed to prevent it.”
Civil disobedience has been employed by Dr. James Hansen and many others who have gotten arrested on behalf of the climate. Blocking or derailing brown energy infrastructure goes one step beyond civil disobedience and protesting on the sidelines, though. Such actions may begin to turn off potential climate voters in this critical election year.
Still, I wonder if eventually actions considered to be criminal in the past will be looked on as necessary, particularly if we think that we are in a war to save humanity. Let’s just hope that nobody goes further than trespassing or spraying messages on brown energy items, attempting to ignite refinery infrastructure or blowing up oil tankers and trucks on highways. Those actions would physically hurt and kill people, which would detrimentally destroy any inroads to bridge the gap between liberals and conservatives that needs to occur for true change.
After all, we are trying to save people and not kill them.
Violence of any kind must be condemned in the strongest language.
We need to circle back to methods of civil disobedience employed by Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Never once did they encourage violence, eventually seeing civil rights justice and change in the face of racism. Social justice, though, continues to be a big fight. The fight concerning climate justice will go on for many decades even if and long after the last internal combustion device is retired and the last drop or lump of fossil fuel is mined from the earth. It’s a fight that will continue long after the 21st century ends.
Please think long and hard before any actions are taken, but do continue that climate fight. Your children and grandchildren will thank you for that.
Now here is the biggest climate news of today:
4TH MARCH 2020
February 2020 temperature highlights:
- Last month was the second warmest February on record, both globally and for Europe. Temperatures were most above average over a large region covering much of Europe, Siberia and Central Asia, and over West Antarctica and were most below average over northern Alaska;
- The past winter (December 2019 to February 2020) was by far the warmest on record for Europe. With persistent mild weather over Europe, particularly in the north and east, it had an average temperature almost 1.4°C higher than that of the previous warmest winter, 2015/16.
Surface air temperature for February 2020
Last month was the second warmest February on record, both globally and for Europe. Temperatures were most above average over a large region covering much of Europe, Siberia and Central Asia, and over West Antarctica, while they were most below average over northern Alaska. The past winter (December 2019 to February 2020) was by far the warmest on record for Europe. With persistent mild weather over Europe, particularly in the north and east, it had an average temperature almost 1.4°C higher than that of the previous warmest winter, 2015/16.
Temperatures in February 2020 were above the 1981-2010 average over almost all of Europe. They were extremely high for the time of year in the east, in a region extending southward from southern Finland to northern Ukraine and eastward over Russia. For the second month running, the average temperature reported for Helsinki was more than 5ºC higher than the 1981-2010 average for the month. Continuing mild temperatures over Germany led for the first time to the complete failure of the country’s harvest of ice wine, as the low temperatures needed did not occur this winter.
Rather unusually for recent years, but as in January 2020, temperatures were below normal over the Svalbard archipelago, where sea-ice extent was close to its 1981-2010 average. Unusually warm temperatures east of the southern half of Greenland coincide with below-average sea-ice cover there.
Considerably above-average temperatures were not confined to Europe, but extended over most of Russia. Temperatures were also much above average over West Antarctica. Other regions that were quite substantially warmer than average include north-western Africa, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia, and much of China, with smaller pockets in North and South America, central and southern Africa and Western Australia.
Temperatures were much below average over the easternmost part of Russia, Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland. It was also colder than average, but to a lesser degree, over several other quite extensive areas of land. Among them is south-eastern Australia, where conditions were in contrast to those experienced earlier in the region’s summer.
Although regions of below-average temperature occurred over all major oceans, particularly in the southern hemisphere, air temperatures over sea were predominantly higher than the 1981-2010 average.
Global temperatures were substantially above average in February 2020. The month was:
- 0.8°C warmer than the average February from 1981-2010, making it the second warmest February in this data record;
- cooler by a little under 0.1°C than February 2016, the warmest February;
- 0.1°C warmer than February 2017, which is now the third warmest February;
- exceeded in anomalous warmth only by February and March 2016.
European-average temperature anomalies are generally larger and more variable than global anomalies, especially in winter, when they can change by several degrees from one month to the next. The European-average temperature for February 2020 was particularly high. The month was:
- 3.9°C warmer than the average February in the period 1981-2010;
- the second warmest February in this data record, after February 1990, which was 4.5°C warmer than the 1981-2010 average;
- •0.1°C warmer than February 2016, which is now the third warmest February.
Boreal winter – December 2019 to February 2020
The regions with highly anomalous temperatures tended to persist throughout the period from December to February, such that the map of temperature anomalies for the boreal winter of 2019/20 is quite similar in pattern to that already shown and discussed for February 2020. Exceptions include the USA, which is generally warmer in the winter average than in the average for February alone, and south-eastern Australia, as discussed earlier.
The persistence of above-average temperatures over Europe resulted in a December-February average temperature for the continent that was 3.4ºC above the 1981-2010 norm. This makes 2019/20 by far the warmest European winter in this and longer data records. The 2019/20 temperature exceeded that of the previous warmest winter, 2015/16, by almost 1.4ºC.
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Here is some more weather and climate news from Wednesday:
(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.)
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”