Climate Change. Part 23:
2017-OCT to 2018-FEB:
All UN states have signed the Paris Agreement.
Government report contradicts the President.
the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Temperature records broken.
Some EPA fake
news that's too good to miss. Sea levels rising.
Earth in Fire
2017-OCT & NOV: Two countries join the Paris Agreement:
During 2016, only two countries in the UN had refused to join the agreement:
Nicaragua: Although government officials are convinced that global warming is happening and that it is caused by human activity, they refused to join the agreement. Their objection was because it is based on countries making voluntary pledges. There are no penalties if these pledges are not met. They wanted a tougher, compulsory, and more ambitious agreement.
- Syria: The meetings that led up to the Agreement was held during the the heaviest fighting in the long-standing civil conflict in this country. Also, members of the government are under European and U.S. sanctions and could not freely travel internationally to attend meetings. 2
2017-JUN, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he was starting the multi-year process of withdrawing the country from the Paris Agreement.
However, on a positive note:
2017-OCT, Nicaragua signed the agreement. 3
2017-NOV: Syrian representatives announced at the COP 23 UN climate summit that they had signed the Agreement. 4
This means that as of 2017-NOV, all of the states in the U.N. had signed the Paris Agreement, but the U.S. was in the process of withdrawl.
2017-NOV: President Trump's beliefs on climate change. A Congressionally mandated study totally contradicts him:
During his candidacy and his presididency, President Trump has denied the existence of global warming, calling it a hoax created by the Chinese, motivated by their desire to damage U.S. companies financially.
For example, during a radio interview in 2015, he said:
"I’m not a believer in man-made global warming. It could be warming, and it’s going to start to cool at some point. ... Unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again. And it changes depending on years and centuries, but I am not a believer, and we have much bigger problems." 5
There is an essay on this website that contains graphs, extending over many years, of the world's atmospheric temperature, earth's surface temperature, glacier shrinkage, extent of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, and the rise in sea level over time. They prove that global warming is actually happening. Further, a measurement of the Sun's energy output shows that it is currently dropping, and thus cannot be the cause of the warming. The graph showing the rise in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) level in the atmosphere identifies the main cause. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. As a NASA report states:
"Sunlight passes through the atmosphere and warms the Earth's surface. This heat is radiated back toward space. Most of the outoing heat is absorbed by greenhouse gas molecules and re-emitted in all directions. ... [This warms] the surface of the Earth and the lower atmosphere. 6
Although CO2 is the main culprit, other gasses contribute to the greenhouse effect to a lesser degree. They include Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Methane (CH4).
As the title of the NASA report says, greenhouse gasses create an insulating "blanket around the Earth" that retains heat. 6
A mandate by Congress requires that a study be made of climate change every four years, that it be peer-reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences, and that it be released to the public. On 2017-NOV-03, the Trump administration released the latest "Climate Science Special Report."
The study says, in part:
"This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.
In addition to warming, many other aspects of global climate are changing, primarily in response to human activities. Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor." 5
Ann Carlson, a Professor of Environmental Law at UCLA, was asked whether there has been any previous occasion when a federally mandated report contradicted the established policy of a U.S. administration. She responded:
"I can’t think of another circumstance where a report coming out of the administration completely contradicts the positions of cabinet officials and the president himself. There is no nuance here: the report concludes -- consistent with the overwhelming scientific evidence -- that humans are the dominant cause of climate change and yet the administration either flat out denies the connection or completely minimizes it (except for a bit of finessing in confirmation hearings)."
Raj Shah, a spokesperson for the White House, said:
"The climate has changed and is always changing. As the Climate Science Special Report states, the magnitude of future climate change depends significantly on ‘remaining uncertainty in the sensitivity of Earth’s climate’ [to greenhouse gas emissions]."
This is a very important development, because getting the U.S. Government to pay attention and respond responsibly to climate change is a three step process:
- 1: To admit that climate change is happening.
- 2. To admit that climate change is primarily caused by human activities -- notably the burning of fossil fuels.
- 3. To do attack the problem by lowering the emission rate of greenhouse gasses.
Shah has apparently admitted that the first is true. If the administration can admit that human activity is the cause, then the third and final step will be do do somthing about the problem.
Don't hold your breath.
2017-DEC: End-of-year statement by the Union of Concerned Scientists:
As part of their year-end fund raising campaign, the group quoted possible predictions in the future under President Trump:
An additional 3,500 premature deaths a year if President Trump fully repeals the Clean Power Plan.
$5 billion in subsidies to ensure profits for owners of coal-fired power plants, if the Department of Energy implements its recently announced plan.
25 percent cut to the funding of the nation's clean air and water watchdog, the Environmental Protection Agency -- if its Administrator... Scott Pruitt gets his way.
An increase in the number of appeals to the Union's Science Protection Project, seeking confidential legal advice on preventing political interference in science at their agencies. More than 10 have already reached out by the end of 2017.
2018-FEB-19: Temperature records expected to be broken in Toronto, Canada:
There have been many statements in the media that are similar to following type. However, this one caught our attention because Toronto is just upwind from our location.
Environment Canada issued a special weather statement predicting that daytime high temperatures during the early part of the week of FEB-18 will reach +5 degrees Celsius (or 41º F). The high temperature on FEB-20 could reach +15 degrees Celsius (or 59º F). This will cause rapid melting of snow drifts, flooded roads, and flooded basements. 7
2018-MAR: President reluctantly signs bill to increase research into combatting climate change:
During the week of MAR-28, President Trump reluctantly signed a bill into law that incresases funding to three research groups within the Department of Energy:
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy received a 14 percent bump.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy got a 16 percent increase.
The Office of Nuclear Energy got a 19 percent increase. 8
2018-MAR-30: The Onion's comedic/fake/outrageous news story about the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency:
The Onion web site is described on Wikipedia as a web site whose:
"... articles cover current events, both real and fictional, satirizing the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. ... In 1999, comedian Bob Odenkirk praised the publication stating, "It's the best comedy writing in the country, and it has been since it started." 11
On MAR-30, an Onion article commented on the EPA's relaxation of automobile emission standards which will accellerate the world's rate of climate change. Their article begins:
"In an effort to guarantee Americans the freedom to pick whichever mode of rapid ecological decay they desire, the Environmental Protection Agency rolled back federal emissions standards Friday to provide consumers with a broader choice over the type of apocalyptic hellscape Earth will inevitably become. “Bleak, post-industrial garbage desert, nightmarish inferno of eternal noxious flames, or glowing green toxic acid swamp -- no matter which unsurvivable wasteland you favor, eliminating fuel economy and automotive emissions standards will provide car buyers far more options as to how their imminent dystopias will look,” said EPA chief Scott Pruitt ..." 12
It is a priceless satire,uncomfortably close to reality, that is not to be missed.
2018-APR-06: The city of Jakarta, Indonesia, is sinking fast: A widespread problem for many costal cities in the future:
Jakarta is the largest city in Southeast Asia. It is also the fastest sinking city in the world, sinking almost ten inches a year. About 40% of the city is now below sea level. The main cause is the existence of private wells for drinking water. Only about one-third of the population is served with piped water, so some residents are digging wells deeper in the ground to access ground water. The land then sinks because of the weight of the city's concrete and buildings.
Janjaap Brinkman, a Dutch hydrologist, said that an outer sea dike may delay the problem, but evacuation of 4 to 5 million people -- half the city's population -- seems inevitable. 9
A study by Cornell University concluded that, in 2060, about 1.4 billion people -- perhaps 14% of the world's population at that time -- will have to have relocated from costal areas to seek higher land. This will be mainly caused by a rise in sea level, which is itself caused by two processes:
- The water in the oceans heating up and expanding due to the rise in the Earth's surface temperature, and
- The partial melting of the Earth's existing glaciers.
Lead author, Charles Geisler, professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell, issued a press release, saying:
"We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner that we think. The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policymakers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground." 10
More developments are inevitable.
The problems aren't going to go away soon.
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
Image downloaded from FreeDigitalPhotos.net "World In Fire2, ©Danilo Rizzuti
Kevin Swanson, "Supreme Court: Reverse Obergefell Now!
Time for a Day of Humility and Fasting," Generations, 2017-SEP-07, at: https://www.generations.org/
"Paris accord: US and Syria alone as Nicaragua signs," BBC News, 2017-OCT-24, at: http://www.bbc.com/
"Syria signs Paris Agreement - leaving US only country in the world to refuse climate change deal," Independent, 2017-NOV-07, at: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Alex Kasprak, "White House Releases Report Contradicting Its Own Position on Climate Change," Snopes, 2017-NOV-03, at: https://www.snopes.com/
"A blanket around the Earth," NASA - Global Climate Change, 2017-NOV-07, at: https://climate.nasa.gov/
"Rain and spring-like temperatures expected in Toronto this week ," Toronto Star, 2018-FEB-19, at: https://www.thestar.com/
Brad Plumer, "C_IMA__ _HA_G_," New York Times's "Climate Fwd" newsletter, 2018-MAR-28, at: https://static.nytimes.com/
Pam Wright, "Jakarta Is the World's Fastest-Sinking City and It May Have Only a Decade Left," The Weather Channel, 2018-APR-06, at: https://weather.com/
Pam Wright, "2 Billion Could Become Climate Refugees From Rising Seas by 2100, Study Says," The Weather Channel, 2017-JUN-28, at: https://weather.com/
"The Onion," Wikipedia, as on 2018-APR-09, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
"EPA Rolls Back Emissions Standards To Increase Consumer Choice Over Type Of Apocalyptic Hellscape Earth Will Become," The Onion, 2018-MAR-30, at: https://politics.theonion.com/
The following reports in this section that discuss environment and climate change may be of interest to you:
Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.
Part 2: 2013/2014: Canada loses its seasons. 316 North American cities to be under water
Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change
Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.
Part 5: 2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species.
Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.
Part 6: 2016-SEP: Flooding on the U.S. East coast. U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying
Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Continued). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.
Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth
Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.
Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.
Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change
New heads of federal
departments. Extinction of 11 species.
Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 promised plans on energy and the environment.
Part 13: 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.
Part 14: 2017-JAN:
Recent climate change measurements.
Part 15: 2017-JAN to APR:
Climate Change beliefs are changing; more people
accept it as real, and are now debating its cause.
Part 16: 2017-JAN to APR: Donald
President. EPA Foe Installed as
Head of EPA!
Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide
in Atmosphere Reaches New High.
Part 17: 2017-JAN to APR: Studies of the effects
of sea-level rise in California between now and the year 2100.
Part 18: President Trump severs the U.S. from
the Paris Accord. U.S. and world leaders
Part 19: 2017: More Reactions to the U.S.
Withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Part 20: 2017: Group of 20 summit meeting. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.Is climate change increasing the
severity or frequency of hurricanes?
Part 21: Can government regulations help? Is Harvey a message from God? U.S. record high temperatures. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.
Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC, & GA.
Part 22: 2017-SEP/OCT: The most expensive recent hurricanes to attack the United States. Does God use Hurricanes to send a message? Conflicts; climate change causes rise in hunger.
Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2017-OCT-15
Latest update: 2018-APR-10
Author: B.A. Robinson