Greetings one and all! I hope you are faring better than your brackets, and this year (as is the case with every year) that is not that hard to achieve. Fortunately I’m doing just fine in my daily life, although my bracket has suffered from a classic case of March Madness and could use a little magic from Neil Peart.
One thing that is very much alive is the debate over anthropogenic climate change, i.e. the warming of the planet as a result of our actions. Looking at the scientific evidence reveals that there is no debate to be had and that we humans are certainly turning up the heat thanks mainly to our outpouring of carbon dioxide (CO2). I talked about this subject back in January in a post called London Calling: The Clash of the Wild, and John Oliver provided a terrific explanation of the frustration for scientists who can’t seem to get through to so many and finally gave them fair representation in this segment.
I agree with the overwhelming majority of the scientific community and know that most of those who deny that we’re warming things up are ignorant of the facts either because they don’t understand the mechanics of climate change, or they don’t want to accept the horrifying truth of it all. Then there are those who simply don’t care about what happens regarding the climate because they are successful in part thanks to downplaying the dangers of climate change. I’m talking about people who run energy companies that specialize in the less green, more profitable fuels like oil and coal, and the politicians they buy, or politicians who simply hold anti-climate change positions to remain favorable in the eyes of their political peers. That’s like cheering for a team you don’t care about that plays a sport you don’t watch in order to be friends with the cool kids who aren’t really your friends (or cool) but are really wealthy. It doesn’t really help anyone do anything but get noticed. Now, thanks to a new set of rules from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) it will only hurt to take such a position.
FEMA is mandating that aid for disaster-preparedness will only be given to states whose governors will use it to help curb the negative impacts of rising temperatures and all that they bring with them. This means if you live in a state where your governor is an active denier or a great ignorer of climate change then you will be shit out of luck when you want financial assistance from the federal government for the sake of counteracting the harshness of nature. Now, FEMA’s not cutting off even the staunchest climate-denier domains from emergency help in events like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other storms and natural disasters. Nonetheless, FEMA now firmly holds that these events are more frequent and severe because of global climate change, and that any governor who refuses to acknowledge the science that shows this is “increasing the risk to citizens in that state”.
FEMA knows firsthand how much damage an extreme disaster fueled by global warming can render after the 2005 hurricane season which saw the likes of Hurricane’s Katrina, Rita, and Wilma – 3 of the most intense storms to ever strike land in the North Atlantic Ocean. FEMA was harshly, yet not unjustly criticized for their poor handling of the rescue and cleanup efforts in ravaged cities like New Orleans. It seems that they do not want to repeat those mistakes of unpreparedness and are forcing the executive leaders of all 50 states to follow suit in getting ready for the future as best they can. And they’d better get on board, because things are getting funky fresh in Antarctica, and that’s not good for anyone. The Totten Glacier is melting at a faster and more alarming rate than previously expected, and, in addition to the obvious issues of rising sea level affecting coastal communities, such melting of fresh water into sea water is a problem everywhere it occurs and pretty much everywhere else. As explained in this Washington Post article, the freshening of the oceans is disruptive to currents that help to regulate the climates we are used to in places like New York and London and, well, the whole world really.
Regardless of the apparent immediate need or lack of action, as the comic at the top implies it can’t hurt to prepare for the harshness of a climate change changed world because it will help to make our current one even better.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments or whatever then type them out below or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Flow on back next week for a topic dealing less with government agencies and depressing human-caused environmental influences.
Bless us all, Bill Nye especially,