The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary 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: A Letter Of Plea From Our Youth Leaders At The Start Of COP26
Dear Diary. It’s Halloween, so it would only be fitting for me to express my biggest fears. I’m afraid that COP26 will be yet another climate summit failure as leaders look to the United States for leadership and assurances, not finding much because Build Back Better hasn’t been passed by Congress yet. Also, even if it does pass, global leaders know that many climate provisions have already been struck out of the package due to compromises with so called “moderate” Democrats.
I’m reposting some truly frightening thoughts and predictions from a couple of weeks ago.
I’m deadly serious here (from Uncle Guy’s House of Horrors):
1) Build Back Better won’t be passed before COP26 …and won’t pass at all in 2022 because of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
2) Because the U.S. won’t be bringing much to the table (BBB) for COP24 in Glasgow, that convention will be a failure, much to the delight of fossil fuel companies.
3) Due to the BBB failure with a perception of DEM’s failures, both the House and Senate will flip in NOV 2022 resulting in numerous hearings against Biden in 2023, neutering his Presidency.
4) The climate issue becomes even more polarized, with Fox pundits wanting their viewers to buy gas guzzlers in protest against the “greenies” in 2022…just as illogical and terrifying as the anti-vax movement is now.
5) Trump or some other pseudo-fascist, oligarchical type Republican will be elected in 2024 because of inflation or some other perceived economic crisis, resulting in complete environmental reverses in policy once more going into the mid part of the 2020s.
6) It’s every nation for itself in regards to climate change mitigation after 2024, with too little change towards renewables and electric vehicles to avoid +1.5°C by 2032.
7) As 2030 comes and goes, it’s deemed too late to save our climate, although most climate scientists want us to keep fighting to prevent 2.5°C, 3.0°C, etc.
8) Due to the inability of the human race to act in harmony over one existential threat, mainly just because of politics, we are doomed as a race going into the 22nd century.
How’s that for a fright?
Well, step one has already come true. Build Back Better has not passed Congress, and it’s iffy that the thing will pass at all before the 2022 mid-term election. I hope that this won’t put into motion the other set of grotesque predictions.
It’s only fitting that I repost the letter that Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate wrote as a plea to those in charge at COP26. What gives me another fright is that Greta Thunberg was not given an official invitation for the climate summit. After all, she is leading her generation, and those folks now living will be most affected by climate change going forward through the 21st century. The lack of an invitation gives me one more reason to fear that COP26 will be yet another bust:
BY VANESSA NAKATE AND GRETA THUNBERG OCTOBER 29, 2021 2:14 PM EDT
Nakate is a Ugandan climate-justice activist and founder of the Rise Up Movement. Thunberg is a Swedish climate activist and co-founder of the Fridays for Future movement.
Dear media editors around the world,
Melting glaciers, wildfires, droughts, deadly heatwaves, floods, hurricanes, loss of biodiversity. These are all symptoms of a destabilizing planet, which are happening around us all the time.
Those are the kind of things you report about. Sometimes. The climate crisis, however, is much more than just this. If you want to truly cover the climate crisis, you must also report on the fundamental issues of time, holistic thinking and justice.
So what does that mean? Let’s look at these issues one by one.
First, the notion of time. If your stories do not include the notion of a ticking clock, then the climate crisis is just a political topic among other topics, something we can just buy, build or invest our way out of. Leave out the aspect of time and we can continue pretty much like today and ”solve the problems” later on. 2030, 2050 or 2060. The best available science shows that with our current rate of emissions, our remaining carbon budget for staying below 1.5°C will run out before the end of this decade.
Second, holistic thinking. When considering our remaining carbon budget we need to count all the numbers and include all of our emissions. Currently, you are letting high income nations and big polluters off the hook, allowing them to hide behind the incomplete statistics, loopholes and rhetoric they have fought so hard to create during the last 30 years.
Third, and most important of all, justice. The climate crisis isn’t just about extreme weather. It’s about people. Real people. And the very people who have done the least to create the climate crisis are suffering the most. And while the Global South is on the frontlines of the climate crisis, it’s almost never on the front pages of the world’s newspapers. As Western media focuses on wildfires in California or Australia or flooding in Europe, climate-related catastrophes are ravaging communities across the Global South, but receive very little coverage.
To include the element of justice, you cannot ignore the Global North’s moral responsibility to move much faster in reducing their emissions. By the end of this year, the world will have collectively burned through 89% of the carbon budget that gives us a 66% chance of staying below 1.5°C.
That’s why historic emissions not only count, but are in fact at the very heart of the debate over climate justice. And yet historical emissions are still being almost completely ignored by the media and people in power.
To stay below the targets set in the Paris Agreement, and thereby minimize the risks of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control, we need immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions unlike anything the world has ever seen. And as we don’t have the technological solutions that alone will do anything close to that in the foreseeable future, it means we have to make fundamental changes in our society. This is the uncomfortable result of our leaders’ failure to address this crisis.
Your responsibility to help correct this failure cannot be overstated. We are social animals and if our leaders, and our media, don’t act as if we were in a crisis then of course we won’t understand that we are. One of the essential elements of a functioning democracy is a free press that objectively informs the citizens of the great challenges our society faces. And the media must hold the people in power accountable for their actions, or inactions.
You are among our last hopes. No one else has the possibility and the opportunity to reach as many people in the extremely short timeframe we have. We cannot do this without you. The climate crisis is only going to become more urgent. We can still avoid the worst consequences, we can still turn this around. But not if we continue like today. You have the resources and possibilities to change the story overnight.
Whether or not you choose to rise to that challenge is up to you. Either way, history will judge you.
Greta and Vanessa
Here are some COP26 articles:
Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:
(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.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
(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.)
Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”