We Thought We Had Centuries. We Have 12 Years.

The time to act isn’t today or tomorrow. It was years ago. Today, the world’s climate continues to accelerate as governments cave to public pressure at a trickle, passing piecemeal legislation that only scratches the surface of what needs to be done to mitigate the worst case predictions for the climate emergency. When once we thought we had centuries, we now know there are only 12 years left.

One factor frustrating the issue is that the people who contribute most to the worsening climate are not the same people suffering from its effects. “Compare it to the map above. It’s not the same people at all. In economics this is called a ‘negative externality’. Some people get the benefits, other people get the bill.” says writer Indi Samarajiva, “America, Europe, Russia, and China get the benefits of pollution and fossil fuels. Which is perhaps why they are pretending the problem doesn’t exist. Or asking for timid solutions. Because they’re making money off it, and someone else is paying.” He links to a “more robust map” here.

The effects of climate change have been worsening for decades. In the beginning it was easy to write these off as flukes or natural fluctuations in climate. Today, it’s undeniable, with over 99% of scientists in agreement. Europe, a traditionally cool continent is trapped in the worst heatwave its ever seen, with never-before-seen 114 degree days in temperate France, and Swiss glaciers melting. We have entered the Anthropocene epoch, the first geologic era influenced by humanity. The sixth mass extinction the Earth has seen in its 4 billion years of existence, the Holocene Extinction Event. Previous named extinction events killed up to 83% of all life on Earth. The last recorded mass extinction event was the K-Pg Event, precipitated by the asteroid impact in part responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Already we see niche species struggling to survive, as ecological ‘surprises’ make generalist species more prone to stability. A paper by multiple scientists recently published to PNAS reads” Anthropogenic climate change is now adding strong trends on top of existing natural variability. These trends elevate the frequency of “surprises”—conditions that are unexpected based on recent history. Here, we show that the frequency of surprising ocean temperatures has increased even faster than expected based on recent temperature trends. Using a simple model of human adaptation, we show that these surprises will increasingly challenge natural modes of adaptation that rely on historical experience.”

Popular ocean-side vacation destinations are already seeing changes. In this instance, Amazonian deforestation at that hands of the notoriously corrupt Brazilian government are to blame. Most recently Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to fire an official over damning data on deforestation under his administration. The cutting down of forests, increased wild fires, and fossil fuel use drastically increases the CO2 content of our atmosphere, which is predicted to damage food supplies and even cognitive function.

“I don’t know what’s going on but it’s really not a good sight to see, you know what I’m saying? We’re tourists,” said Sed Walker, 48, who was visiting from Los Angeles.

A study published in July by the University of South Florida in the journal Science concluded that the seaweed problem, which started in 2001 and showed peaks in 2015 and 2018, is here to stay.

Satellite imagery shows blooms of sargassum form at the mouth of the Amazon. From there it spreads across the Atlantic, from the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico to Africa.

Phys.org

And those are tropical regions. The rapidly worsening climate emergency is now affecting our arctic regions at alarming rates that we didn’t think were possible for another lifetime. In Alaska, sea ice has entirely melted away for the first time; a region that even in warm summers retained some of its ice. “I’m losing the ability to communicate the magnitude [of change],” exclaimed Jeremy Mathis, an Arctic researcher and board director at the National Academies of Sciences in an interview with Mashable, “I’m running out of adjectives to describe the scope of change we’re seeing.”

Progressive government officials in the United States are slowly signing on to the Green New Deal, a sweeping and drastic mobilization of US resources on the scale of World War II to combat the climate emergency. Private organizations like the Sunrise Movement are also pushing for its extreme measures. If we do not act now, many fear that it’s not that our great-grand children will suffer, it’s that they won’t ever be born.

Trump Delivers Public Address After two mass shootings in two days, “We vow to act with urgent resolve.”

MSNBC

“We are a loving nation,” Trump speaks in a softer tone than he is known for, “and our children deserve to grow up in a just, peaceful, loving society.” The 45th President of the United States delivered a somber address today following two mass shootings over the weekend; one perpetrated by a racist white-supremacist, who expressed support for the Christchurch shooter, the other for unknown reasons. Trump commonly receives criticism from citizens and allied countries for his failure to condemn racists and white supremacists, and at times for being racist himself.

“We vow to act with urgent resolve.” states Trump.

“Today we also send the condolences of our nation to President Obrador of Mexico, and all the people of Mexico for the loss of their citizens in the El Paso shooting; terrible, terrible thing.” Despite Trump’s condolences, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced that families of the El Paso victims have plans to sue the United States.

“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”

Donald Trump

Trump’s comments today aimed to comfort Americans in a time of distress, but those who know the President’s antics have cause for alarm. Trump cites the internet as a source of radicalization for Right-Wing extremists. Given his history of cozying up to the leaders of nations fond of heavily censoring the internet, and Republican support for internet deregulation, proponents of a free and open internet should expect attempts from the Right to politicize these attacks to further their goals. Lawful gun owners are also on edge; previously Trump inflamed his gun owning constituency after the Parkland massacre, where he stated “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

Right-wing terrorist “MAGA Bomber” sentenced to 20 years in prison, mailed pipe bombs to Democrats and publically left figures

The 57-year-old Right-Wing terrorist popularly known as the “MAGA bomber,” because of the van he drove around Aventura, Florida plastered with pro-trump, anti-left stickers is to be sentenced today following his arrest for mailing explosive devices to Democratic lawmakers and others.

The bomber was reportedly obsessed with Fox News and Donald Trump. He would wake up to “Fox and Friends” and settle down with Sean Hannity. He listened to books-on-tape by Trump, and adorned his van with stickers of Trump and other Republican officials. He also abused steroids, something that authorities believe pushed the unhinged man further toward violence.

“Sayoc quickly became consumed by the toxic political environment that the 2016 election had ushered in. “He believed outlandish reports in the news and on social media, which increasingly made him unhinged,” lawyers said. “He became obsessed with ‘attacks’ from those he perceived as Trump’s enemies.” It got worse. Lawyers said that his steroid consumption fueled obsessive, paranoid and angry thoughts. “He conflated his personal situation with the perceived struggled of Trump supporters across the country, and even the President himself,” lawyers wrote.”

Tess Owen, Vice News
Inside Edition

The bomber plead guilty to over 65 counts including but not limited to “use of a weapon of mass destruction and illegal mailing of explosives with intent to kill.” The defense is recommending a sentence of only 10 years, citing a troubled past, but it appears likely he will receive a life sentence.

The MAGA Bomber’s attempted attacks are only one in the rising trend in Right-Wing terrorism, including an attack yesterday in El Paso, Texas that left 20 dead.

Update: the MAGA Bomber has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, with five years’ supervised release.

11 Billion Tons of Ice Gone In a Single Day

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The Arctic is accustomed to seasonal ice melt and regrowth, or at least it was. The Climate Emergency is changing that, fast. Greenland normally sees its annual melt begin at the end of May. In 2019, the melt came early. In the beginning of May. Admittedly, 11 billion tons of melt in one are not abnormal. What is abnormal, unprecedented even, is when it happens several days in a row. Melt of this degree wasn’t expected until 2070.

NASA

The Climate Emergency, formerly known as Climate Change, is ramping up. Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) has come forward, telling the world about Greenland’s mass melt-off. 197 billion tons of ice, gone. Many parts of the world have joined the fight against Climate Change, committing to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

CBSN

“It comes in a summer where the Arctic has experienced “unprecedented” wildfires, which scientists say have been facilitated by high temperatures.

Since the start of June, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), has tracked more than 100 intense wildfires in the Arctic Circle.

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at a faster rate than the global average, providing the right conditions for wildfires to spread, Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECWMF), told CNN last week.”

CNN

Unfortunately, net-zero by 2050 is not enough. To put the Climate Emergency in perspective, one could use an analogy. The Titanic. Climate scientists recently told the world that we have roughly twelve years left to curb the worst-case scenario projections for the Climate Emergency.

So imagine we are the Titanic, and we’ve seen the iceberg coming at us for forty years or so. Nobody really cared much or put much thought into it until the last twenty years. Right, here we are, twelve years to throw the ship into full reverse and dodge the deadly iceberg. Sounds like a plan, let’s do it. Only…that’s not what most governments are doing. The UK’s ‘net-zero by 2050’ plan is the equivalent of killing the throttle, but not reversing it, about twenty years after we’ve slammed into the ice and are well on our way to the bottom of the sea. The final cherry on top? Some people have seen the iceberg, decided it doesn’t exist, and started throwing passengers who do see it overboard.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Be Afraid, Very Afraid: Greenland Ice Sheets Cascading into Ocean 50 Years Ahead of Schedule — olddogthoughts

She also points to this recent science paper that finds a feedback loop. The white fluffy snow that used to cover Greenland reflects sunlight and keeps things cool. When the snow melts, the rock or ice underneath is duller and reflects less light, allowing for greater surface warmth. And more warmth means more snow melt, […]

Be Afraid, Very Afraid: Greenland Ice Sheets Cascading into Ocean 50 Years Ahead of Schedule — olddogthoughts

21 Dead in El Paso, Texas Domestic Terror Attack

Preface: this article will not name the shooter. We believe this only glorifies the killings in the shooter’s own mind, and the minds of others like him. Instead, we wish to celebrate the lives of the victims, and leave the murderer to be forgotten by history.

“We’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is to deliver swift and certain justice,”

U.S. Attorney John Bash

At least 20 are dead and dozens more are injured following the latest in America’s long trend of mass shootings. Saturday, 3 August, a 21-year-old man walked into a Walmart in the Cielo Vista area of El Paso, Texas with an AK-pattern rifle and murdered 20 people in cold blood before being captured alive by authorities. The shooter released a manifesto on a public forum shortly before the shooting, which cited racist and xenophobic motivations for the attack. He claims that his actions are a direct response “to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” He continues, “They are the instigators, not me,” it says. “I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”

In a press conference Saturday, law enforcement officials said they were exploring whether a four-page manifesto titled “[REDACTED]” posted to the extremist online forum [REDACTED] shortly before the shooting, was written by suspect [REDACTED], a 21-year-old white man from a town near Dallas.

Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

[REDACTED] allegedly walked into a Walmart in El Paso late Saturday morning and opened fire on shoppers and employees. Security footage of the scene shows a man entering the building and holding a long firearm.

The manifesto describes a mass attack as a response “to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

“They are the instigators, not me,” it says. “I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”

The manifesto includes overwhelmingly racist, xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric. HuffPost has reviewed the manifesto but will not provide a link to it. 

Carla Herreria, Huffington Post
The Telegraph

John Bash, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas says the suspect will likely be charged with “domestic terrorism,” and “coercing and intimidating a civilian population.” Additional charges like hate crimes are also on the table, given the release of the manifesto the shooter posted on a public forum before the attack. Bash says these charges may carry the death penalty. “We’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is to deliver swift and certain justice,” comments Bash.

This attack is one of two that happened this weekend. Another attack in Dayton, Ohio left 9 people dead around 1 a.m. this morning. Currently the second attack is not known to be right-wing motivated. Despite legislative inaction on gun control proposals, Americans are growing more and more weary of the attacks.

This latest attack is just one in a string of attacks connected by one thing: radical right-wing extremism. Recently, the FBI released a report warning the US about the growing threat of right-wing extremism. Instead of heeding the agency’s warning, President Trump and other conservative lawmakers have instead targeted anti-fascists, the main opponents to right-wing extremism, drawing criticism domestically and abroad.

Update: as of Monday, 5 August, a 21st victim has died in the hospital.

Violence Outside of Cincinnati Trump Rally, Pro-Trump Man Arrested

Trump rallies are known to be divisive events, each one full of Trump supporters and protesters alike. Police heavily patrol the events in an attempt to deter violence, but it’s not always effective.

Dallas Frazier, 29, is being held on a $10,000 bond after assaulting a 61 year old anti-Trump protester. Video of the incident shows Frazier exiting a vehicle and punching the older man several times before being summarily arrested by a nearby police officer.

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