Friday May 15th… 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).😉
Main Topic: Some Hopeful Political News
Dear Diary. All during 2018 and 2019 my thoughts were that the last hope for the United States and the world to keep global average temperatures below +2.0°C above preindustrial conditions was for A) the U.S. House to flip to the Democrats in the 2018 midterms and B) for a progressive Democrat to get elected in 2020, ousting Trump, and for the Senate to flip as well. Of course, the COVID-19 monkey wrench was not in sight in 2018 and for most of 2019. We can at least check off part A. If there is a silver lining Part B might be easier to accomplish due to the public’s perception that Trump is botching the effort to stem the pandemic. If things go well Trump will have a feather in his cap. If not Biden could win in a landslide.
Vice President Joe Biden was not progressives first choice to become President on climate. Senator Bernie Sanders appeared to have had the most aggressive policies, which are sorely needed. Yesterday, though, I learned that Biden was assembling a new team on climate, headed by AOC (House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), John Kerry, and the cofounder of the youth Sunrise Movement, Varshini Prakash, This is great news for any Green Nee Deal but only if Biden gets elected. Bernie fans should be elated. Here is more from Inside Climate News:
Biden Names Ocasio-Cortez, Kerry to Lead His Climate Task Force, Bridging Democrats’ Divide
Progressives applaud the former vice president’s embrace of Bernie Sanders’ climate advisors. One analyst called the panel “the Climate Dream Team for Democrats.”
With the climate task force that Joe Biden named Wednesday, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is making a clear bid to bridge the divides in his own party that threaten his candidacy and the long-term fight for action on global warming.
In tapping as co-chairs Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the avatar of the Green New Deal, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, an architect of the Paris climate accord, the former vice president signaled his endorsement of ambitious goals—but ones that build on the accomplishments of the past.
With task force members from Michigan and Florida, Biden named representatives from key swing states while acknowledging the need for a climate policy broad enough to help communities navigating economic transition and coping with sea level rise. The team likewise reflects a wide-angle view of environmental justice, with members who can speak to the disproportionate climate impacts in rural farm counties and urban neighborhoods.
“This is the Climate Dream Team for Democrats,” said Jeremy Symons, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental consultant with experience leading green non-profits.
Symons suggested that the Covid-19 crisis has made it even more important for Biden to heal the divisions that surfaced in the long primary battle. “With our health and welfare at risk like never before, there is no better group to pull the climate movement together and unify to bring about the urgent change we need,” Symons said in an email.
Sunrise Co-Founder Also Picked for Biden Team
The climate panel was one of six “unity task forces” announced jointly by the campaigns of Biden and his one-time rival Bernie Sanders in an effort to forge a Democratic platform that can energize the party’s progressives and moderates. The other policy groups include criminal justice reform, the economy, education, health care and immigration.
“A united party is key to defeating Donald Trump this November and moving our country forward through an unprecedented crisis,” Biden said in a statement. “From health care to reforming our justice system to rebuilding a more inclusive and fair economy, the work of the task forces will be essential to identifying ways to build on our progress and not simply turn the clock back to a time before Donald Trump, but transform our country.” The task forces are expected to make recommendations to the Democratic National Committee platform committee and to Biden before the August party convention.
(For more please click on my article link.)
Standing on my proverbial soapbox, this is no time for progressive to stay home from the polls miffed because Bernie was not the democratic nominee, as was the case in 2016. Don’t forget also, if you know your basic civics, that because our system of government we will need a Democratic Senate to get Biden’s initiatives through Congress, so down ballot races are important. Mitch McConnell, if retaining power, will block anything the new climate dream team can get through the House.
After electing Biden we will need to continue to press for aggressive climate measures, not giving into any fossil fuel company pressure. Perhaps Biden will need to circumvent Congress and the Supreme Court declaring a national emergency to implement needed Green New Deal measures. We will all find out what potentially transpires with our climate dream team during this pivotal year of 2020. At least I can present a ray of sunshine today during this very dark time.
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
(As usual, the most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Here is more climate and weather news from Friday:
(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. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”