2016 Breaks 2015's Record Which Broke 2014's Record
For the third year in a row planet Earth has set records for hottest year as the planet warms due to global warming. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row. Meanwhile, President Trump took down the White House climate change website. He has called global warming a hoax and a Chinese plot, and staffed his administration with global warming deniers.
The heat extremes were especially noticeable in the Arctic region where temperatures are running 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Sea ice is melting at a rapid pace and coastal communities are dealing with rapid beach erosion. Polar bears are losing their habitat and starving.
The New York Times reported:
“What’s going on in the Arctic is really very impressive; this year was ridiculously off the chart,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, a unit of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that tracks global temperatures.
But Arctic people were hardly alone in feeling the heat. Drought and starvation afflicted Africa. On May 19, the people in the town of Phalodi lived through the hottest day in the recorded history of India, 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alternative Fact: There Ain't No Such Thing as Global Warming
So El Stupido in the White House reacted to this news with his own "alternative facts." There ain't no such thing as global warming. He takes down the White House page dedicated to the problem of climate change. President Barack Obama's policy to address it is now a broken link: "The requested page '/energy/climate-change' could not be found." Let's just go full steam ahead with spewing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. What do scientists know?
Instead of a Climate Action Plan developed by the Obama administration, Trump is proposing an "America First Energy Plan" which will put coal miners, frackers and drillers back to work. He claims that his "America First" plan will increase the wages of American workers by $30 billion over the next seven years. Trump's plan calls for the development of the vast untapped energy reserves right here in America. "We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own. We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure." Sound good? Yeah, except for the fact that it will be scorching planet Earth in the process.
Both NASA and NOAA track earth's temperature changes. NASA’s calculations showed that the planet had warmed by well over a half-degree Fahrenheit from 2013 to 2016. That is a huge change for the surface of an entire planet to undergo in just three years, and it appears to be the largest temperature increase over a three-year period in the NASA record, which began in 1880. Earth seems on track to follow Mars, which once had flowing streams, into some kind of lifeless oblivion giving new meaning to the words 'scorched earth policy' which describes Trump's policy towards the environment.
The effects from global warming are being felt in many places right now. It's not about some catastrophe far off in the future. Even at current temperatures, billions of tons of land ice are melting or sliding into the ocean. The sea is also absorbing most of the heat trapped by human emissions. Ocean levels are rising at an accelerating pace, and coastal communities including the military in the United States are beginning to spend billions to fight increased tidal flooding. Their pleas for help from Congress have largely been ignored and will continue to be ignored as the Trump administration goes all out to facilitate the development of the fossil fuel industry. And that will continue at least for four more years. That may precipitate runaway global warming from which we may never recover.
Mexico City with 21 million people is sinking, and there are perpetual water shortages especially in poor neighborhoods. Tap water is nonexistant and people fight over who will get a delivery of truck borne water. It's a harbinger of things to come with climate change refugees and wars.
We Have a Choice: Stop Drilling or Watch Planet Go Up in Smoke
As I wrote previously: Bill McKibben of 350.org says we need to stop drilling and fracking now if we want to save the planet from out of control global warming. “If our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do? Here’s the answer: zero.” Fracking has made Oklahoma the earthquake capital of the US and has contaminated drinking water wherever it takes place. But Trump wants to frack and drill and mine up a storm because this puts America first. When other nations stop using fossil fuels then the US presumably may do so also. Till then America will be First in profiting from their development and usage.
Even California Governor Jerry Brown wants to frack away. A supposedly "green" governor, nevertheless, he is on the Trump bandwagon when it comes to fossil fuels. Dan Bacher wrote recently in the San Diego Free Press: "Then this week, we discovered that the administration of Brown’s so-called “Brother,” Donald Trump, has granted requests from Brown’s regulators to exempt three aquifers near the Fruitvale, Round Mountain and Tejon oilfields in California’s Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act."
As America leads the way, other nations will probably follow us in developing their fossil fuel industries as well. Russia has plenty of reserves in the Arctic. As the Arctic warms, this will make development of Arctic resources more feasible. Rex Tillerson, former Exxon CEO, then is the perfect man for Secretary of State. He has already been awarded the Russian Order of Friendship by Putin. Together they can cooperate to develop Arctic fossil fuel resources. As Russia and the US cooperate, the rest of the world will be burning up. Russian and American cooperation though will no doubt serve to keep the "terrorists" in check as climate change refugees stream out of the equatorial regions. The definition of 'terrorist' is somewhat arbitrary though and climate change refugees may well fall under this rubric especially those of the Islamic sort.
When Palm Beach is Under Water, Trump May Become a True Believer
President Obama wanted to curb carbon pollution. He said, "I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that's beyond fixing." However, Trump and his henchmen are hell bent on doing just that. Perhaps when his lavish resort, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach is under water, Trump will become a true believer in global warming, but probably not till then.
Mar-a-Lago has been described as:
Sumptuous appointments framed by rivers of marble, carved stone, and gold leaf, 126 rooms on 17 acres bound by the Atlantic and Intracoastal waterway [emphasis added], liberally graced with glittering chandeliers, oriental rugs, and 16th century Flemish tapestries — this is a lifestyle that makes a statement.
All the little guys, the forgotten people that Trump panders to, will probably never get a chance to visit Mar-a-Lago and take in all its sumptuousness. Only his fellow billionaires will get to do that. But the little guy will have his revenge when the waterways and ocean which bound Mar-a-Lago rise up and inundate Trump's estate. Only then it will be too late. Many experts on sea level believe that a rise of 15 or 20 feet has already become inevitable. A rise that large would drown most of the world’s coastal cities without heroic efforts to fortify them. Trump's investment in Mar-a-Lago would then become worthless, the just desserts for his scorched earth policy towards the environment.
And the beat goes on: the Senate just confirmed climate change denier, Scott Pruitt, to be head of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency he sued 14 times as Attorney General of Oklahoma and called for its elimination.