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Climate Hustle

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

Posted on 17 February 2019 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review...

Story of the Week...

16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Cheers 'Beginning of Great Changes' as Climate Strike Goes Global

Because "present and future on this planet are at stake," say teen climate activists, "we won't be silent any longer"

School strike for climate Melbourne 11-30-19 

Students in Melbourne take part in a school strike for climate on November 30, 2018. (Photo: julian meehan/flickr/cc)

The world may be edging toward "environmental breakdown"—but 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg sees signs for hope.

Pointing to global walkouts planned for March 15, Thunberg—whose "school strikes for climate" helped galvanized similar actions worldwide—said, "I think what we are seeing is the beginning of great changes and that is very hopeful."

"I think enough people have realized just how absurd the situation is," she told the Guardian. "We are in the middle of the biggest crisis in human history and basically nothing is being done to prevent it."

In a sign of that realization, thousands of students from dozens of communities across the United Kingdom skipped class on Friday to join the ranks taking part in the weekly climate actions.

In fact, it's "incredible" that the movement "has spread so far, so fast," she told "Good Morning Britain." 

16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Cheers 'Beginning of Great Changes' as Climate Strike Goes Global by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, Feb 15, 2019 


Editorial of the Week...

My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

Across the country today, children left their classes to protest against climate change. This is my message to them

Student Rally in Brighton, UK 

 Students take to the street in Brighton Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian

The Youth Strike 4 Climate gives me more hope than I have felt in 30 years of campaigning. Before this week, I believed it was all over. I thought, given the indifference and hostility of those who govern us, and the passivity of most of my generation, that climate breakdown and ecological collapse were inevitable. Now, for the first time in years, I think we can turn them around. 

My generation and the generations that went before have failed you. We failed to grasp the basic premise of intergenerational justice: that you cannot apply discount rates to human life. In other words, the life of someone who has not been born will be of no less value than the life of someone who already exists. We have lived as if your lives had no importance, as if any resource we encountered was ours and ours alone to use as we wished, regardless of the impact on future generations. In doing so, we created a cannibal economy: we ate your future to satisfy our greed.

It is true that the people of my generation are not equally to blame. Broadly speaking, ours is a society of altruists governed by psychopaths. We have allowed a tiny number of phenomenally rich people, and the destructive politicians they fund, to trash our life-support systems. While some carry more blame than others, our failure to challenge the oligarchs who are sacking the Earth and to overthrow their illegitimate power, is a collective failure. Together, we have bequeathed you a world that – without drastic and decisive action – may soon become uninhabitable.

Every day at home, we tell you that if you make a mess you should clear it up. We tell you that you should take responsibility for your own lives. But we have failed to apply these principles to ourselves. We walk away from the mess we have made, in the hope that you might clear it up.

My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back, Opinion by George Monbiot, Comment is Free, Guardian, Feb 15, 2019 


El Niño/La Niña Update...

February 2019 ENSO Update: El Niño conditions are here 

After several months of flirting, the tropical Pacific ocean and atmosphere appear to have coupled just in time for Valentine’s Day and now meet the criteria for El Niño conditions. Is it true love? Time will tell, but forecasters expect weak El Niño conditions to persist through the spring.

Say yes

For a few months now, the tropical Pacific has met the first two criteria of our “Is It El Niño Conditions?” decision tree.

El Nino Decision Tree 

Summary of decision process in determining El Niño conditions. NOAA Climate.gov drawing by Glen Becker and Fiona Martin.

That is, the sea surface temperature in the Niño3.4 region of the tropical Pacific Ocean has been more than 0.5°C above the long-term average, and models were predicting it would stay that way for the next several seasons.

El Nino Graphic

Monthly sea surface temperature in the Niño 3.4 region of the tropical Pacific for 2018 (purple line) and all other El Niño years since 1950. Climate.gov graph based on ERSSTv5 temperature data.

What’s new over the past month is that we’re seeing signs of El Niño-related changes in the atmosphere, with increased clouds and rain in the central Pacific indicating a weaker Walker circulation. One measurement of the strength of the Walker circulation, the Equatorial Southern Oscillation Index, was -0.6 during January, indicating more rising air than average over the eastern Pacific, and less than average over the western Pacific. These changes are enough evidence that the atmosphere is responding to the warmer ocean, leading us to conclude we have El Niño conditions! 

February 2019 ENSO Update: El Niño conditions are here by Emily Becker, ENSO Blog, NOAA's Climate.gov, Feb 14, 2019


Toon of the Week...

2017 Toon 7 


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • A Swedish Teenager's Compelling Plea on Climate (Peter Sinclair)
  • Studies shed new light on Antarctica’s future contribution to sea level rise (Robert McSweeney)
  • Global coal use may have peaked in 2014, says latest IEA World Energy Outlook (Simon Evans)
  • Analysis: The climate papers most featured in the media in 2018 (Robert McSweeney)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #8 (John Hartz)
  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #8 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2017 Poster 7 


SkS Week in Review... 

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Comments

Comments 1 to 2:

  1. George Monbiot gets is so right:  "It is true that the people of my generation are not equally to blame. Broadly speaking, ours is a society of altruists governed by psychopaths. We have allowed a tiny number of phenomenally rich people, and the destructive politicians they fund, to trash our life-support systems. While some carry more blame than others, our failure to challenge the oligarchs who are sacking the Earth and to overthrow their illegitimate power, is a collective failure. Together, we have bequeathed you a world that – without drastic and decisive action – may soon become uninhabitable."

    Yes, and I think the reason we have done this is partly because are still in the neoliberal "greed is good" economic cycle that started in the 1980's with Reagon and Thatcher, where the rich were seen as saviours and above criticism, and any criticism was branded as envy or "class warfare".

    Tax was falsely branded as theft and government business regulations and environmental rules were  vilified by business people and think tanks, and they claimed it was for the public good to get rid of these  when it was really simply so that they could indulge their personal interests in an unconstrained way at the expense of the public at large. A library full of books has been written on it, including Monbiots own "How did we Get into this Mess" and the books by Joseph Stiglitz an economist.

    With neoliberalism some good underlying ideas somehow became twisted into something totally ridiculous that defies commonsense and reason. I honestly think that 90% of the time extremist ideology is the enemy whether of the extreme right or the extreme  left. We need a great deal more pragmatism if we are to get out of this mess.

    The tide is perhaps turning. The economist.com has just done an article on the attitudes of the millenial generation, and they are questioning neoliberal values, and switching on to environmentalism and equality.

    There simply has to be movement at the top of society and in politics. Most people are not going to cut their carbon footprints hugely until they see a lot of people doing this, and until they see movement at the top of society and in politics with a concerted effort to build renewable electricty grids etc.

    But what comes first the chicken or the egg? Politicians won't move until they see the public buying electric cars etc. Such a frustrating situation.

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  2. A perfect example related to Monbiot's article, from todays news: Britain's richest man quits the UK: Billionaire Brexiteer Sir James Ratcliffe 'relocates to Monaco in a bid to save £4bn in tax'

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