Climate Change. Part 36.
2019-JUN to 2020-JAN:
Lawmakers flee Oregon.
Topless German woman arrested.
Europe: Three-day heatwave.
Canada: Expert panel issues report.
June & July temperatures.
U.S. Methane emissions.
Worldwide student demonstration.
"Artificial leaf" developed.
Ozone layer in Antarctic shrinks.
Major wildfires in Australia.
2019-JUN-25: Republican lawmakers in Oregon flee state in order to paralyze the Legislature:
Over the previous five days, eleven Republican lawmakers have been absent from the Legislature. Some are believed to be hiding out in Idaho.
Democrats control both the House and Senate and have introduced a cap-and-trade bill to reduce the state's emissions by 80% on or before the year 2050. Without this group of eleven Republicans, the Senate does not have the quorum needed to vote on the bill. 1
2019-JUN-22-23: German police take action against topless women trying to cool off:
In Munich, Germany, people flocked to lakes and pools to cool off. Some women were sunbathing topless on the shores of Isar River during the weekend. The security guards ordered them to cover up. Other women took their bikini tops off in solidarity. The police were called; they ordered the women to cover up,
The Green Party raised the issue in Munich's city council. Dominik Krause said:
"It’s incomprehensible if men can lie in the sun topless but not women."
The Christian Social Union party (CSU) has opposed gender equality during sunbathing, and asked that the city statutes be amended so that women would be require to wear:
"... swimwear that completely keeps their main sex organs covered." 2
Curiously, they appear to regard women's breasts to be sex organs.
2019-JUN-26 to 29: A three-day heat wave hits Europe:
During the Summer of 2003, a heat wave caused 15,000 to 70,000 fatalities in Europe! (Sources widely differ on the number). Deaths were mostly caused by heat stroke or dehydration. Some drowned in rivers, pools, etc. while trying to cool off. The elderly and people who live alone were at the greatest risk.
Another heat wave, in 2018, caused at least 1,000 deaths. Many precautions were placed in effect througout Europe to minimize future heat-related deaths.
During the Summer of 2019, a new heat wave of unusually hot air from the Sahara Desert hit western and central mainland Europe. Most temperatures peaked on Friday, JUN-29. 8 Climate change is being blamed for causing the Sahara heat waves to become more frequent.
- In Spain, more than 500 firefighters fought a wildfire that was apparently started when some chicken dung spontaneously combusted. Speed maximums were lowered on some highways because the asphalt was melting. Zaragoza in the North of the country reached a maximum temperature of 44ºC (111 ºF) on Saturday JUN-30!
- In some sections of Italy, the large number of operating air conditioners caused the electrical power to fail, causing great distress.
- Montpellier, in the Hérault region of Southern France, reached a record high for the country of 45.9C (115 ºF)!
- London reached 33ºC (91 ºF); Paris 35º (95 ºF); Rome 37º (99 ºF). 3,4
2019-JUL-04: Canada: Expert panel issues report on climate change:
The Council of Canadian Academies issued a 70 page report titled: "Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks." It lists the climate change factors of greatest concern to the federal government: urban flood damage; coastal erosion, melting of permafrost and sea ice in northern communities; raging wildfires in the West; rising ocean levels; and fisheries. They suggest the climate-change adaptions the federal government should prioritize before the worst-case scenarios become reality. 5
2019-AUG-05: Record June & July temperatures beat or match world historical records:
Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, said:
"July has re-written climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national and global level."
The WMO also found that, during 2019:
- June temperatures were the hottest ever recorded during that month.
- July temperatures made the month either the hottest month in history or equal to the hottest month.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said:
"This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle. If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And, indeed, the iceberg is also rapidly melting. ... Preventing irreversible climate disruption is the race of our lives, and for our lives. It is a race that we can and must win."
The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center’s website referred to what is called a "positive feedback loop:"
"When the climate changes enough to warm the Arctic and to melt sea ice, the polar regions have less of a reflective surface. More heat is absorbed, which causes more melting, which amplifies the warming." 6
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), released a report that July 2019 experienced temperatures 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average. 7
Kyla Mandel, writing for Think Progress, said:
"The world just lived through the hottest month of the year ever recorded in human history. ... The world just lived through the hottest month of the year ever recorded in human history. According to data from Berkeley Earth, for instance, last month was 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.22 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels, just shy of the Paris Agreement’s aspirational target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees."
Petteri Taalas, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, said:
" July has re-written climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national and global level."
The extent of sea ice in the Arctic during 2019-JUL was 19.8% below the 1981 to 2010 average, and is the smallest extent since satellite records began in 1979.
Iceland lost its first glacier to global warming and will be installing a plaqlue which reads:
"In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it." 7
2019-AUG-30: Environmental Protection Agency proposes to loosen methane emmission regulations:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to loosen limits on methane emmissions by the oil and gas industries. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Releasing more of it into the atmosphere will accellerate global warming.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said:
"EPA’s proposal delivers on President Trump’s executive order and removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry."
The EPA also plans to challenge the legal footing that the federal government used to regulate methane as a pollutant. 8 This would eliminate any limits on methane emission.
2019-SEP-20 Students conduct worldwide protest to demand action on climate change:
A weekly demonstration in Sweden was started in 2018-AUG by Greta Thunberg, a teenager. It grew into a world-wide phenomenon on 2019-SEP-20 involving millions of students, called a "Global Climate Strike."
Greta was in New York City during the protest and addressed the crowd of about 100,000 people, saying:
"We are united by the science and we will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse, even if that means skipping school or work, because this is more important. Why should we study for a future that is being taken away from us? That is being stolen for profit. ... if you belong to that small group of people who feel threatened by us, then we have some very bad news for you, because this is only the beginning."
Isha Venturi, 15, a high school sophomore was also in New York City with her parents for the demonstration. She said:
"No matter how many times they try to ignore the issue, you can see every teenager in the area is here. We're not quiet anymore, and change is coming."
Sophia Nowlen, 14, in Marin County, CA held a sign that read: "It's only my future." She said that if governments don't act quickly, the world will become:
"... a desert. We're going to lose all the animals and all the ecosystems if we don't fight now."
Many protesters carried handmade signs saying slogans like: "If the world was cool we would be in school," "There is no planet B," and "Don't be a fossil fool."
About 800 events were held across the U.S. Demonstrations were also held around the world in more than 150 countries, including in Australia, India, the UK, Germany, Poland, and many African countries. They were held on the same day as the Peoples' Summit on Climate in New York City, which was organized by the United Nations Human Rights Office and other groups.
Addressing the Summit, Greta Thunberg said:
“I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!”
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.” 12
More than 2,300 companies worldwide have joined the "Not Business as Usual" alliance, and supported their employees leaving work and joining the protest.
Some of the protesters work at Amazon which currently obtains 40% of its energy from renewable sources. CEO Jeff Bezos has promised this will grow to 80% by the year 2024. 10
2019-SEP-23: President Trump mocks Ms. Thunberg:
He tweeted that she:
"... seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."
She copied Trump's comment into her Twitter bio, saying that she is:
"A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future." 11
2019-OCT-21: Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK have developed an "artificial leaf:"
Researchers have developed an "artificial leaf" which is powered by sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. It can produce syngas, which is a material that is currently used to produce a range of commodities, such as fuels, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and fertilisers. The "leaf" wokrs well, even with low levels of sunlight as on rainy or overcast days. Team member PhD student Virgil Andrei, the first author of the paper, wrote:
“You could use it from dawn until dusk, anywhere in the world.”
The process, scaled up, could conceivably satisfy "... the fuel needs to power heavy transport, shipping and aviation, sustainably," while simulataneously lowering the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and reduce the level of global warming. 13
Late 2019-OCT: Ozone hole in Antarctic atmosphere continues to shrink:
Jeanna Bryner, writing for Live Science, reported that the ozone hole over the Antarctic was at its smallest size since it was originally discovered in 1985. Ozone effectively filters the Sun's ultraviolet rays and reduces the amount that reaches Earth. The "hole" was caused by the human manufacture of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which were widely used starting in the 1930's for air-conditioning, refrigeration, insulations, propellants in aerosol cans, etc. The manufacture of CFCs was largely banned in 1996. 14
2019-DEC-23: Live Science lists some indicators of climate change:
- Russia: Fifty-two hungry polar bears were driven by thinning sea ice to go inland in search of food.
- Carbon Dioxide levels have reached the highest level in 800,000 years: above 415 ppm and continuing to rise.
- Permafrost in the Arctic are now melting.
- Anchorage, AK reached 90 Degrees F during the summer of 2019 for the first time.
- Arctic fires during the summer generated so much smoke that they were visible from space for the first time.
- 200 reindeer on the island of Svalbard in Norway died of starvation because climate change created a thick layer of ice on the ground and preventing reindeer from being able to eat vegetation.
- 2019-July was the hottest month ever.
- 217 billion tons (197 billion tonnes) of water flowed off of Greenland's ice sheet. Thisis the largest amount since 2012.
- 2019-September tied the record for the warmest September since record-keeping began 140 years ago.
- V. vulnificus, a flesh-eating bacteria has been migrating from the Gulf of Mexico and reached Delaware Bay.
- Desert bacteria is dying in the U.S. They help prevent erosion of the soil.
- Some studies indicate that as the sea level rises, volcanoes may erupt more often.
- Increasing precipitation is causing some areas of oceans to become more opaque.
- Pollen levels in the atmosphere are increasing, aggravating people's allergies.
- With the disappearance of sea ice, worms, sponges and other invertebrates are being exposed to longer intervals of sunlight, and could significantly decrease biodiversity of both the Arctic and Antarctic coastlines. 17
2020-JAN: Major wildfires in Australia:
The year 2019 in Australia was the both nation's hottest and driest year on record. The impact of high temperature and lack of rain are exacerbated by climate change. The rainfall was 37 mm which was 12% below the previous record in 1902. The average temperature was about 0.2°C above the previous warmest year in 2013 and 1.52°C above the 1961-1990 average. The drought and high temperature set the country up for major wildfires. The drought was particularly severe in the Southeast of the country. The Forest fire Danger Index (FFDI) during 2019-DEC was at either the "highest" or "very much above average" rating for almost the entire country.
The result was serious wildfires covering an area larger than the states of Massachusetts and New Hamphire combined. On JAN-10, two blazes joined up and produced a "megafire" covering almost 1.5 million acres (2340 square miles or 6,080 square km). About a billion wild animals and 25 humans are believed to have died by that date. Meanwhile, false news was being spread, blaming the fires on widespread arson by an organized group of dozens of criminals, and some left-wing "ecoterrorists." 15,16
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyper links are not necessarily still active today.
- "Senate Republican walkout..." OregonLive, 2019-JUN-24, at: https://www.oregonlive.com/
- "Naked rider, topless row as temperatures soar in Germany," CTV News, 2019-JUN-26, at: https://www.ctvnews.ca/
- Ian Livingston & Jason Samenow, "Potentially historic and deadly early summer heat wave to roast Europe from Wednesday through Friday," Washington Post, 2019-JUN-25, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- Phil Hoad, "Montpellier melts under a 45C high as Europe hit by record heatwave," The Guardian, 2019-JUN-29. at: https://www.theguardian.com/
- Moira Welsh, "Expert panel prioritizes Canada’s climate risks for federal government," Toronto Star, 2019-JUL-04, at: https://www.thestar.com/
- Nina Golgowski, "July Was The Hottest Month On Record, New Data Shows," HuffPost US, 2019-AUG-05, at: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca
- Kyla Mandel, "It’s official: July was the hottest month ever," Think Progress, 2019-AUG-15, at: https://thinkprogress.org/
- Madeleine Carlisle,"The Trump Administration Just Loosened Methane Emissions Rules. Here's What To Know," Time, 2019-AUG-30. at: https://time.com/
- " 'You Have Stolen My Dreams and My Childhood': Greta Thunberg Gives Powerful Speech at UN Climate Summit," Time, 2019-SEP-23, at: https://time.com/
- Linda Givetash, David Ingram and Farah Otero-Amad, "Millions take to the streets as climate strike protests hit cities across Asia, Europe," NBC News, 2019-SEP-20, at: https://www.nbcnews.com/
- "Trump Mocks Greta Thunberg’s Speech, She Shades Him In Her Twitter Bio." Bored Panda, 2029-DRP-23, at: https://www.boredpanda.com/
- Bob Allen, "Pro-Trump pastor Robert Jeffress uses Bible to debunk science of climate change," Baptist News, 2019-SEP-27, at: https://baptistnews.com/
- ‘Artificial leaf’ successfully produces clean gas." University of Cambridge, 2019-OCT-21, at: https://www.cam.ac.uk/
- Jeanna Bryner, "Ozone Hole Over Antarctica Shrinks to Record-Small Size," Live Science, 2019-OCT-22, at: https://www.livescience.com/
- "Weather bureau says hottest, driest year on record led to extreme bushfire season," The Conversation, 2020-JAN-08, at: https://theconversation.com/
- Bill Chappell, "Australia's Wildfires Spark Disinformation Battle As They Take A Tragic Toll," NPR, 2020-JAN-10, at: https://www.npr.org/
- Laura Poppic, "... Unexpected effects of climate change," Live Science, 2013-AUG-05, at: https://www.livescience.com/
Copyright © 2019 & 2020 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2019-JAN-10
Latest update: 2020-JAN-11
Author: B.A. Robinson