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2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

Posted on 2 June 2024 by BaerbelW, Doug Bostrom, John Hartz

A listing of 33 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 26, 2024 thru Sat, June 1, 2024.

Story of the week

Sometimes one story is not enough.

Our ongoing 2023-2024 experiences with lethal heatwaves, early wildfires and a threatening Atlantic hurricane season are reminders that climate progress in public policy and law has been glacially slow, far outpaced by inexorable radiative physics colliding with our CO2 emissions. We're hardly looking at a track record of unalloyed success.

Our list of articles this week gives some clues to why we're facing extreme conditions we could have better ameliorated, or even avoided. Published by DeSmogClimate Campaigners Must Understand the Implications of June`s Critical European Parliamentary Elections describes an archetypal competently organized and knife-edged campaign by the fossil fuel industry to undermine productive public policy intended to deal with our climate crisis. This disciplined task force faces a general public that routinely leaves more than half of EU parliamentary election ballots unfilled. It's arguable that the fossil fuel collective's concerted efforts (admirable skills— if aligned to a better purpose) with a healthy dash of public sloth and apathy are why we're now living in a world of extremes. 

Is rational acknowledgement of our predicament a lost cause? It might be better to think of this as a matter of momentum. If so, where can we see that? Another notable story this week happened in Vermont, USA and is covered by The Guardian's Dharma Noor`Game-changing`: Vermont becomes first state to require big oil to pay for climate damages. Let alone 20 years ago, this legislation would have been hard to imagine in 2014. It's an agonizingly slow and needlessly costly process but Vermont now has evidence of climate change in plain sight. Explanations of that evidence are accepted— and then form the basis of public policy to deal with outcomes. 

It's worth remembering: about 325 years have passed since Thomas Savery introduced the first coal-fired motive power apparatus to find a home in industry. Since then we've wrapped our entire culture first around coal and then adding liquid and gas hydrocarbons to the mix. 326 years of habit is a lot of momentum. In contrast, serious early warning of the side-effects of our expedient natural gift reached the ears of legislators and public executives some 59 years ago. Six decades is short compared to over three hundred years. What's more,  about forty of these years were pretty much completely wasted thanks to such foot-dragging as what's happening in the EU as described above. 

What we see in these two stories is that dots are being connected. Vermont's legislation will encounter a blizzard of court action but regardless of the exact outcome this furor wouldn't be happening if accountability had not been assigned. It's a watershed moment in the US, part of burgeoning global momentum. All signs are toward accumulation of legal and regulatory energy to deal with climate change— and with that we should expect climate progress to accelerate. As we see in Vermont, this advancement happens by taking a little time to see what happening— and then voting according to one's conclusions. 

Stories we promoted this week, by publication date:

Before May 26

May 26

May 27

May 28

May 29

May 30

May 31

June 1

If you happen upon high quality climate-science and/or climate-myth busting articles from reliable sources while surfing the web, please feel free to submit them via this Google form so that we may share them widely. Thanks!

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