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 Strong Case for Declaring a Climate Emergency
Dear Diary. As I’ve stated many times, Biden’s Build Back Better plan is dead, having been killed by only one senator, Joe Manchin. Manchin has stated that he remains open for some revitalization of a few aspects of the climate portion of Build Back Better, but time is running out before the midterm election this November. Oh, and my political tea leaves tell me that the Democrats could get shellacked such that they lose both the House and Senate by wide margins. Therefore, after January 2023 it will be impossible to legislate any good climate policy. So, what is good old Joe to do? Why not declare a climate emergency?
I’ve been a proponent of doing such since Joe Biden’s inauguration day. In truth, the situation we are facing is far worse for the United States then the advent of the Civil War, because we are not only dealing with the potential loss of our nation, but also the loss of our planet. We still aren’t treating the climate crisis as a true emergency. The allegorical film Don’t Look Up brilliantly shows viewers what will happen if a major existential crisis is not treated seriously enough. We should give those who are ruining our climate, threatening civilization, no quarter, including those obviously paid off by fossil fuel interests like Senator Manchin. It’s best to go around legislators using presidential powers for true emergencies. If Trump could declare an emergency to generate funding for his border wall, then Biden can do so for the climate, which by comparison is a much more pressing issue.
Here is a Nation article giving many more reasons for declaring a climate emergency:
The Case for Declaring a National Climate Emergency
Biden’s move to ban Russian oil imports shows he can act boldly when he wants to.
By Jean Su and Maya Golden-Krasner
MARCH 11, 2022
President Joe Biden announces a ban on Russian oil imports in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine. (Andrew Harnik / AP Photo)
Earlier this week, President Biden banned all oil and energy imports from Russia, punishing Vladimir Putin for his brutal war against Ukraine and building upon an earlier package of historic economic sanctions.
Biden’s actions are a steely acknowledgment that our reliance on Russian fossil fuels threatens both national and global security. They are also tangible evidence that Biden can act quickly and boldly to confront national emergencies when he chooses to.
One emergency that Biden must now act on with similar urgency is climate change. In fact, there is no greater emergency. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres put it, the climate crisis is drawing an “atlas of human suffering” around the world. Defusing this crisis will require major changes in how we get our energy—both in the United States and around the world. Global emissions of heat-trapping gases must be cut in half by 2030—and even faster in the US, as the largest historic climate polluter pays its fair share of climate debt—if humanity is to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which most experts agree will be essential to stave off the most catastrophic effects of climate change. And making those cuts will require phasing out oil, gas, and other fossil fuels as rapidly as possible.
The confluence of the climate emergency and Russia’s war in Ukraine make this moment an ideal opportunity for Biden to declare a national climate emergency. In fact, during a Tuesday morning speech announcing the import ban, Biden seemed to acknowledge that the two issues are intertwined. Russia’s disruptions, he said, “should motivate us to accelerate the transition to clean energy.”
Since the 1970s, Congress has granted the president various national defense powers that can be deployed during times of genuine emergency. A new legal report from our organization, the Center for Biological Diversity, details how Biden can use these powers to fight climate change—and, in the process, avoid the geopolitical vulnerabilities that come with an overreliance on fossil fuels.
The Defense Production Act, or DPA, is a wartime statute that permits a president to marshal domestic industries to manufacture critical materials needed for the national defense. Historically, it has been used to manufacture weapons for war, but Biden has also invoked the DPA for peaceful means of self-defense: to produce the vaccines and medical supplies needed to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Now he has an important opportunity to use the act to combat climate change—by stimulating the production and deployment of renewable energy and storage, energy-efficiency technologies, and clean transportation and infrastructure.
Specifically, the DPA empowers the president to command private industry to manufacture what the country needs for the national defense. It unlocks funds specific to the DPA but can also leverage the $650 billion annual federal procurement budget to give manufacturers the investment security they need, including government contracts, loans, and grants. All of this could be used to jumpstart the nation’s green manufacturing base and create high quality, green jobs, rejuvenating a Covid-ailing economy.
The DPA also permits the president to allocate these technologies domestically where they’re needed most: in partnership with environmental justice communities that have borne the brunt of climate harms and a racist energy system, helping actualize the president’s environmental justice priorities.
The US could also export green technologies overseas to help other countries transition away from fossil fuels. Doing so would accomplish two things: diluting the geopolitical power of Russia and other petrostates and helping the US meet its legal obligations under the Paris Agreement to provide aid to vulnerable nations in the global South.
Beyond the DPA, Biden could also exercise additional executive powers provided by the National Emergencies Act, the International Emergency Economics Powers Act, and the US Trade Act, to limit not only the import of fossil fuels from countries like Russia, but also the export of those produced here in the United States. If Biden were, for instance, to ban just crude oil exports, he could cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 165 million metric tons each year—the equivalent of shuttering 42 coal plants.
For more, please click on the following link:
Here are some “ET’s” and rare precipitation events recorded over the last couple of days:
Here is some more February 2022 climatology:
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 war on Ukraine:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”