Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Climate Sunday: In Honor of Ted Cruz

 

I've been remiss in not doing more "Climate Sunday" pieces, but just recently 2016 Presidential Primary Candidate, Senator Ted Cruz explained at the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners' forum that "the facts and data don't support" climate change. He dismissed it as a hoax and also probably worked that "not a scientist" thing in there, too. Cruz isn't uneducated and he isn't stupid--but the only bit of that I'll agree with is, well, no, he certainly isn't a scientist.

So in honor of Ted Cruz and the other politicians hewing to basically that same line--this post's for you!
 
With no further ado:

Climate models are proving to be deadly accurate. We can joke about the accuracy of weather people, but in the broader sense of being accurate about overall climate, we've seen conditions shape up pretty much as climatologists have predicted. They may have actually understated the case on ocean level rising, but it certainly has happened that, while pockets like the US east coast haven't been unusually warm, most of the planet has had successively warmer years. (The impact on oceans from the melting of ice can have impacts well beyond mere water-level rises, as well.)
 
We think of the Middle East in general as pretty hot, but this week Iran's heat index was an enormous 163 degrees. I'm not sure how people can breathe or move in that kind of swelter. In neighboring Iraq, people took to the street to protest electricity shortages that have cut A/C, which is absolutely a requirement to deal with day time temperatures that have reached 120 degrees. (The electricity has never been reliable since the US invasion.) Thailand has also suffered terrible heat and drought this year, with a terrible likelihood of crop failure for their essential staple, rice.
 
Here in the US, despite some rains, the Pacific coast is still suffering from extraordinary heat conditions. It's hot enough to cause a couple hundred thousands of salmon to die. Part of the problem seems to be a "blob" of unusually warm water, which is causing the deaths of many animals in the Pacific NE ecosystem, although this condition seems to be ideal for producing a toxic algal bloom. (The West Coast isn't alone--severe algal bloom is likely for Lake Erie, as well.) Things are tellingly bad when wildfire rips through rainforest

Basically, the facts and data from news stories that are pretty current actually very well support the idea that the planet is warming and lots of weird stuff is going on as a result. But I'm sure the comments of Cruz and his denialist coterie sounded awfully nice to the billionaire campaign donors who were likely in attendance at that forum. And the fact that they can buy an awful lot of air time for the candidates that they favor certainly contributes something to the cause--more hot air.

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