Extreme Temperature Diary- Monday March 27th, 2023/ Main Topic: Republicans Want to Stop All Offshore Wind Projects Due to Whale Deaths

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: Republicans Want to Stop All Offshore Wind Projects Due to Whale Deaths

Dear Diary. Excuses excuses excuses. Republicans will drum up just about any reason to keep the fossil fuel spigots rolling. Their latest this month is that the sound of giant offshore wind turbines is confusing whales and killing them. And when did Republicans ever take up the Greenpeace call to save the whales I ask?

This whale excuse effort by Republicans seems very silly to me, but we do need to find the cause for an abnormally high level of whale deaths. Being a scientist, I would suspect that anomalously high sea temperatures off the East Coast due to climate change and/or pollution involving plastics would be the most likely cause, yet we don’t know. I’ll let my readers know of the true cause once scientists figure this out.

You can read more about this issue here from Inside Climate News by clicking on the link below:

Republicans Propose Nationwide Offshore Wind Ban, Citing Unsubstantiated Links to Whale Deaths – Inside Climate News

Republicans Propose Nationwide Offshore Wind Ban, Citing Unsubstantiated Links to Whale Deaths

A new GOP bill calls for a moratorium on wind farms after dozens of dead whales washed ashore since December. Scientists say no evidence suggests wind projects are to blame.

By Kristoffer Tigue

March 24, 2023

A dead whale is found on Rockaway Beach in the Queens Borough in New York City, United States on Feb. 17, 2023. Credit: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Here is more from the Washington Post:

GOP congressmen: Halt offshore wind, probe whale deaths – The Washington Post

GOP congressmen: Halt offshore wind, probe whale deaths

By Wayne Parry | AP

March 16, 2023 at 5:25 p.m. EDT

A dead humpback whale lies on the beach in Seaside Park, N.J., on March 2, 2023. Republican Congressmen on Thursday, March, 16, 2023, called for a halt to all offshore wind power projects amid a spate of whale deaths on the U.S. East Coast in what could be the beginning of an expected campaign by the GOP-controlled house to investigate the Biden Administration’s clean energy plans. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

WILDWOOD, N.J. — Republican congressmen called Thursday for a halt to all offshore wind power projects amid a spate of whale deaths on the U.S. East Coast in what was likely the beginning of an expected investigation by the GOP-controlled House into the Biden administration’s clean energy plans.

Reps. Jeff Van Drew and Christopher Smith, of New Jersey; Andy Harris, of Maryland; and Scott Perry, of Pennsylvania, held a hearing on the boardwalk in Wildwood near where New Jersey has authorized three offshore wind farms, with more to come.

The hearing came as 29 whales have died on the East Coast since Dec. 1.

Opponents of offshore wind, elected officials — most of them Republicans — and several community groups say they believe that preparatory work on the ocean floor has been responsible for the whale deaths, even though three federal and one state agency say there is no evidence that the two are related.

Van Drew said that because President Joe Biden, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and offshore wind companies “refuse to share the facts with Americans, Congress must do its job.”

Smith, who represents parts of the Jersey Shore, was among those calling for a pause on wind farm preparation until the U.S. Government Accountability Office can investigate the “sufficiency of the environmental review processes for offshore wind projects.”

“They all say there’s no evidence,” Smith said. “You’re not even looking!”

Harris used the theoretical example of a dog spooked by fireworks that runs into a creek and drowns. A veterinarian would say the dog’s cause of death was drowning. But Harris said the true cause of death would be the noise that prompted it to run into the creek.

And Perry said, “I get that the administration wants to rush this forward. But this is our country, and we’re in charge here. Look: The lights are on right now, without these turbines out in the ocean.”

Lauren Gaches, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said there is no evidence “to support speculation” that noise resulting from offshore wind site work is killing whales, adding the agency will continue to study the matter.

About half of the 29 recorded dead whales were determined to have been struck by ships or entangled in fishing gear, Gaches’ agency said.

Environmental and pro-wind groups who were not invited to testify at the hearing issued statements supporting offshore wind and decrying falsehoods that Jason Grumet, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, said are being spread by “long-time opponents to offshore wind and irresponsible news outlets who have blamed these deaths on the offshore wind industry without any evidence.”

“Disinformation shouldn’t dictate policy,” he said. “The evidence is clear: There’s no link between offshore wind and recent tragic whale strandings.”

Most established environmental groups in New Jersey support offshore wind and say climate change spurred by the continued burning of fossil fuels is the real threat to whales and other marine life.

“Unlike what Van Drew and others would like you to believe, clean, renewable energy — like wind power in New Jersey — offers an unmissable opportunity to end our dependence on polluters for power,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, New Jersey director of the Sierra Club. “Our dependence on fossil fuels for power, not renewables, put wildlife and coastal communities at risk.”

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection joined this week the growing list of government agencies that have found no link between offshore wind preparation and whale deaths.

“Facts matter, and based on them, there is no reason to conclude that recent whale mortality in New Jersey is attributable to offshore wind-related activities,” said Shawn LaTourette, the state environmental protection commissioner.

Van Drew cited a recent letter from a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management scientist to the agency warning of dangers to whales from offshore wind.

“This is their own scientist warning BOEM that offshore wind will severely impact the whales, yet they moved ahead and completely ignored the few people in their group who would tell the truth,” VanDrew said.

Gaches, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesperson, said her agency and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management “recognize this development must be undertaken responsibly.”


Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports:

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.)

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Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”

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