2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #1

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week...  Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 

Story of the Week...

Katharine Hayhoe: 'A thermometer is not liberal or conservative'

Katharine Hayhoe 

Katharine Hayhoe: ‘Fear is a short-term spur to action, but to make changes over the long term, we must have hope.’ Photograph: Randal Ford

The award-winning atmospheric scientist on the urgency of the climate crisis and why people are her biggest hope.

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She has contributed to more than 125 scientific papers and won numerous prizes for her science communication work. In 2018 she was a contributor to the US National Climate Assessment and was awarded the Stephen H Schneider award for outstanding climate science communication.

In 2018, we have seen forest fires in the Arctic circle; record high temperatures in parts of Australia, Africa and the US; floods in India; and devastating droughts in South Africa and Argentina. Is this a turning point?

This year has hit home how climate change loads the dice against us by taking naturally occurring weather events and amplifying them. We now have attribution studies that show how much more likely or stronger extreme weather events have become as a result of human emissions. For example, wildfires in the western US now burn nearly twice the area they would without climate change, and almost 40% more rain fell during Hurricane Harvey than would have otherwise. So we are really feeling the impacts and know how much humanity is responsible.

Katharine Hayhoe: 'A thermometer is not liberal or conservative', Interview by Jonathan Watts, Science, The Observer/Guardian, Jan 6, 2019

Editorial of the Week...

Hope for a Green New Year

Democrats can’t pass legislation yet, but they can get ready for 2021.

Sunrise Movement Capitol Hill Dec 2018 

Supporters of the Green New Deal made their voices heard on Capitol Hill in December. Credit: Scott Applewhite/Associated Press 

Let’s be honest with ourselves: The new Democratic majority in the House won’t be able to enact new legislation. I’ll be astonished if there are bipartisan deals on anything important — even on infrastructure, where both sides claim to want action but what the G.O.P. really wants is an excuse to privatize public assets.

So the immediate consequences of the power shift in Washington won’t involve actual policymaking; they’ll come mainly from Democrats’ new, subpoena-power-armed ability to investigate the fetid swamp of Trumpian corruption.

But that doesn’t mean that Democrats should ignore policy issues. On the contrary, the party should spend the next two years figuring out what, exactly, it will try to do if it gains policymaking power in 2021. Which brings me to the big policy slogan of the moment: the so-called Green New Deal. Is this actually a good idea? 

Hope for a Green New Year, Opinion by Paul Krugman, New York Times, Dec 31, 2018

Toon of the Week...

2019 Toon 1 

Hat tip to Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

Coming Soon on SkS...

Poster of the Week...

2019 Poster 1 

SkS Week in Review...

Posted by John Hartz on Sunday, 6 January, 2019

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