Extreme Temperature Diary-Monday January 17, 2021/ Main Topic: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr… The State of Social and Climate Justice as of 2022

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track global 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: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr… The State of Social and Climate Justice as of 2022

Dear Diary. Every anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday I honor him with this annual report on climate and social justice. I’m proud to be from Atlanta, which was the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, where Dr. King preached. Here is a link to last year’s more optimistic report:

Our fight goes on, but today I’m very sad to report the headwinds against both appear to be quite strong. Apparently, the Biden agenda is just about dead, blocked by two members of his own party, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Both senators have basically killed off hopes for a Green New Deal, axing Biden’s Build Back Better bill, and axed reextending voters rights, blocking the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

If this society is to progress, rather than retract, both pieces of legislation must pass, but it appears that they won’t. As a student of history, I know that progression happens with two steps forward and one step back. I keep writing that the inventions of the 19th and 20th century, which began to lift billions out of drudgery and poverty, were two steps forward. Jim Crow racism, fascism and communism of the mid 20th century were one big step back, which took decades to overcome, but we did. Racism was never totally overcome though, as attested by the galvanization of many followers of Trump. The inventions of the past had the side effect of polluting the atmosphere with too much carbon, threatening our very civilization and already affecting the poor among us with ill health. I ask the ghost of Dr. King…Can We Overcome?

We have a scant eight years to reign in carbon pollution such that we can avoid the 1.5°C and 2.0°C above preindustrial conditions thresholds of not being able to fix our climate. It’s not too late, as Dr. Michael Mann attests, but the death of the Green New Deal, or at least another long delay in its implementation, gives me pause. One group of impoverished, mostly African American people, living along the polluted petrol chemical producing Gulf Coast comes to mind. Will they ever see climate justice with us moving towards a green, sustainable future?

The year 2022 will be critical to keep renewed fascism at bay, particularly in light of the coming November midterm election. Should our new breed of Republicans take control of Congress, as many pundits write, democracy may be over for the United States. Fascistic Republicans could rig elections after 2022 through gerrymandering and other means such that they would always win, stymying both social and climate justice. The struggle this year will be hard for us to not take another big step back, but we must prevail.

As stated from my post in 2021, MLK, to my knowledge, had no scientific idea that the issue of climate would become humongous later in the 20th and in the early 21st century. He would be horrified about the scientific truths that the Industrial Revolution have wrought. If he were alive today, knowing that we have a very hard road ahead, he would still believe that we shall overcome. This year we need to be optimistic and believe that indeed, we shall come to the end of that hard, long road, our journey ending at the sight of a green, sustainable city on a hill of much justice and peace.

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Related content and notes:

Here are some “ET’s” from Monday:

Here is some more climatology from 2021:

Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:

(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:

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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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