Extreme Temperature Diary- Thursday March 31st, 2022/ Main Topic: Spurring President Biden Towards More Climate Action

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 directly below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Spurring President Biden Towards More Climate Action

Dear Diary. As climate conscious Americans, we all had a lump in our throat during 2021, knowing that deep down President Biden’s Build Back Better plan with all of its Green New Deal initiatives would not pass Congress, and fail by not doing so as early as last April. Democratic in name only Senator Joe Manchin made sure that the bill would not get his one skinny vote, which sunk Build Back Better. So, does this mean that Joe Biden is doing all he can to help the climate using his executive powers without Build Back Better? Hardly. For today’s main topic I will point to much more Biden could do.

First, and most importantly, Biden could declare a climate emergency to implement much of Build Back Better. Perhaps the western and Plains drought with an associated heat wave will get so bad this summer that he will have a good excuse to pull that trigger. In the short term, Biden could have chosen not to release petroleum from the strategic oil reserve, keeping gasoline prices high and thereby spurring consumers to switch to electric vehicles, although he did this today. Not doing so would be political suicide, as we are told by most pundits:

Real headwinds are starting to blow from the political right against a fast but necessary change to renewables. I fear that after the November 2022 election Biden will be a lame duck President, having lost both houses of Congress to the drill baby drill Republicans. This would mean that for the period from 2023 through 2024 Biden’s only tools to stymie climate change will be through executive fiat.

Here is a piece from Common Dreams containing a petition to President Biden urging more climate action:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/03/30/scientists-biden-world-needs-rapid-transition-fossil-fuels-renewable-energy

wind turbines

In a new letter, scientists are calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to “rally the global community around a program of energy security through a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.” (Photo: my Loupe/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Scientists to Biden: World Needs ‘Rapid Transition From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy’

“Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently said ‘we are on war footing’ in calling for increased oil and gas production. This is backwards thinking.”

JESSICA CORBETT March 30, 2022

“In this moment of climate emergency,” five scientists began a new open letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, “we write with utmost urgency to advise you and your administration to halt recent moves towards increasing fossil fuel production and instead take bold action to rapidly reduce fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.”

“The president’s fossil fuel expansion takes us deeper into climate catastrophe.”

Biologist Sandra Steingraber—who is leading the effort with Peter Kalmus, Robert Howarth, Michael Mann, and Mark Jacobson in conjunction with Food & Water Watch—shared a link to the letter on Twitter Wednesday and urged fellow scientists to add their signatures.

“We say the White House call for more drilling and fracking is a climate calamity,” Steingraber said. “Sign with us!”

Here is that letter, which I signed and would encourage others to do so using the above link to the article:

Second Scientist Letter to Biden: Stop Fossil Fuels

Thank you for joining the below letter from scientists to President Biden. Filling out the below form adds your name to this letter which will be delivered to the President and released publicly in April, when we get a critical mass of signatories. The original signers of the letter are Sandra Steingraber, PhD, Peter Kalmus, PhD, Robert W. Howarth, PhD, Michael E Mann, PhD, and Mark Jacobson, PhD. Scientists joining this letter do so in their individual capacities and not on behalf of the institutions with which they are affiliated. The letter is being circulated in conjunction with Food & Water Watch. The organizers of this letter will not share your contact information without your permission.

Dear President Biden,

In this moment of climate emergency, we write with utmost urgency to advise you and your administration to halt recent moves towards increasing fossil fuel production and instead take bold action to rapidly reduce fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure. Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest in a series of dire warnings about the unfolding climate catastrophe. The report from the scientific panel outlined a litany of significant impacts that are currently unfolding – some of which are already irreversible – and called for swift action.

The impacts of climate change are many and severe. Already millions of Americans and even more across the world are being impacted by extreme weather, drought, flooding, sea level rise, and wildfires. The IPCC report highlights millions being impacted by climate change induced food insecurity and water scarcity. These problems will only accelerate as we continue our reliance on fossil fuels. And, this is on top of the significant health and environmental justice impacts that power plants, export facilities, and other fossil fuel infrastructure have on neighboring communities.

The United States, Europe, and the rest of the world desperately need energy independence, but allowing more drilling and fracking, approving more pipelines, and expanding export facilities not only fail to address short term energy needs, they lock us into decades of reliance on fossil fuels and ensure runaway climate chaos for the long run. On this point consider what fossil fuel executives are saying – Enbridge president and CEO Al Monaco, for example, recently told investors and analysts that he sees “conventional energy [growing] at least through 2035.” This is a recipe for disaster. The only real path towards energy independence is through renewable energy.

As the IPCC report indicated, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that we must act now – we simply do not have time to waste. We cannot afford to approve billions of dollars for new fossil fuel projects and allow thousands of new wells to be permitted. As the IPCC report stated, “the cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

Energy Secretary Jennnifer Granholm recently said “we are on war footing” in calling for increased oil and gas production. This is backwards thinking. Instead of fossil fuels, we must apply that level of urgency to building a renewable energy economy. Rather than working to increase oil and gas production, we urge you to use your executive authority to redirect these massive investments, mobilize the country, and rally the global community around a program of energy security through a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

President Biden, you ran for office promising to listen to science. As scientists who look at data every day, we implore you to keep this promise and listen to what the scientific community is saying about fossil fuels and the climate crisis. Do not facilitate more fuel extraction and infrastructure. The impacts of climate change are already significant and we have a very narrow window to avoid runaway climate chaos. We urge you to lead boldly, take on the fossil fuel titans, and rally the country towards a renewable energy future.

Kalmus, who also shared the document Wednesday, tweeted that “the president’s fossil fuel expansion takes us deeper into climate catastrophe.”

The scientists’ effort aligns with recent remarks from climate campaigners and other experts, who have argued since the war began last month that European nations’ attempts to reduce their reliance on Russian fossil fuels—a key source of revenue for Putin’s government—show the importance of a swift global shift to clean energy.

“Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently said ‘we are on war footing’ in calling for increased oil and gas production,” the scientists’ letter states, referencing the U.S. official’s speech at a Houston conference earlier this month. “This is backwards thinking. Instead of fossil fuels, we must apply that level of urgency to building a renewable energy economy.”

“Rather than working to increase oil and gas production,” the letter adds, “we urge you to use your executive authority to redirect these massive investments, mobilize the country, and rally the global community around a program of energy security through a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

Recalling that when Biden ran for president, he pledged to listen to science, the five experts wrote that “as scientists who look at data every day, we implore you to keep this promise and listen to what the scientific community is saying about fossil fuels and the climate crisis.”

They specifically pointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last month, which features “a series of dire warnings about the unfolding climate catastrophe,” including that “the scientific evidence is overwhelming that we must act now—we simply do not have time to waste.”

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“Already millions of Americans and even more across the world are being impacted by extreme weather, drought, flooding, sea level rise, and wildfires,” the letter notes. “The IPCC report highlights millions being impacted by climate change-induced food insecurity and water scarcity.”

The letter warns that “these problems will only accelerate as we continue our reliance on fossil fuels. And, this is on top of the significant health and environmental justice impacts that power plants, export facilities, and other fossil fuel infrastructure have on neighboring communities.”

“The United States, Europe, and the rest of the world desperately need energy independence,” the document declares, “but allowing more drilling and fracking, approving more pipelines, and expanding export facilities not only fail to address short-term energy needs, they lock us into decades of reliance on fossil fuels and ensure runaway climate chaos for the long run.”


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Another take on this issue:

Here are some “ET’s” and rare precipitation events (or non-events) recorded over the last couple of days and some signs of ET’s to come:

Here is more climate and weather news from Thursday:

(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:

(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”

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