Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Record heat wave in Europe begins summer 2019

One month ago, I reported carbon dioxide hit another record at 415 ppm.  I also followed up on my forecast for the global average surface temperature this year.
My prediction that 2019 would be a warmer year than 2018, which was the fourth warmest on record, looks like it will come true, although the planet is not on track for it to beat 2016 or 2017.  Instead, 2019 appears to be on track to become the third warmest year ever.  Welcome to the 400 ppm world.
That's for the global temperature, not about local temperatures, which are likely to still set new records.  That happened across Europe last week from Spain to the Czech Republic, which prompted PBS NewsHour to ask Why is it so hot in Europe?

An extreme heat wave is gripping much of Europe, breaking records and causing widespread misery. Temperatures soared well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in France, Germany and Spain. While the heat is coming from sub-Saharan Africa, some researchers say climate change is exacerbating and prolonging it. They warn more record highs are likely--and along with them, more deaths. William Brangham reports.
When I wrote last December that The Lancet reports climate change is a "medical emergency," the morbidity and mortality caused by more frequent and intense heat waves are among the main reasons why.  Time to share this sign from one of this year's Youth Climate Strikes again.

Panicking yet?


  1. I usedta panic. About a lot of things. To the point of buying "grow-your-own-food" survivalist books (shout-out Foxfire!) and burying gold (literally, 40 one-ounce coins behind my garage on the shore of Lake Superior) in the early 1980s (nuke war fears) to moving out of my native country in the mid-2000s (again, war guilt/fear). I've been doom-minded about the environment since the 1970s. Not to the point of PANIC, but anxiety, definitely.

    I reckon I've moved beyond that now. On the Kubler-Ross scale, I'd say I'm at "resignation" (a term she didn't use, but which is my form of "acceptance"). We're farked. But humanity has decided it WANTS to be farked. Easier to keep on with Business As Usual, for First-Worlders who have some ability to control their living conditions, instead of making changes that limit their unenvironmental consumption. The Yeastpeople continue eating the sugar and shitting the ethanol that will poison them! Ah well, no civilisation or species lasts forever... To broaden the H.L. Mencken quote, humanity deserves to get what it asked for, get it good and hard.

    Partly, my acceptance is a generational thing. I've lived for a lot more years than the number of years I've got ahead of me. And they've been AMAZING years! If my remainder is truncated, or spent in increasingly miserable circumstances, I haven't lost much in comparison to the wondrous times I've had. If I had the bulk of my life ahead of me, and it was going to be squandered by others, then I'd certainly be more aggrieved. Therefore, no more panic.

    My viewpoint is tempered, too, but the recognition that I might be wrong. After all, Ronald Reagan didn't get the world into an all-out nuclear war when I was living midway between K.I. Sawyer AFB east of Marquette (home to a SAC B-52 squadron!) and Duluth (grain/iron ore ports would be an excellent Russkie ICBM target!) My panicevent never came to pass. It seemed logical at the time, though. So maybe the climate collapse WON'T happen as quickly as it seems, and even if it does, so what if I don't keep breathing to age 70 or 80? They wouldn't be very fun years anyway, with increasing arthritis, cardiac problems, mebbe strokes, prostate issues...

    You're a movie guy, Pinku, from the same generation as me. Did you ever watch the original 1959 black-and-white version of "On The Beach"? I don't know when I first saw it, but it had a formative impact on my worldview (plus my impression of Australia.) Plucky people, knowing they were doomed, carrying on as best they could, then taking the suicide tablets when the inevitable was at their doorstep. I envision that could happen when the envirotastrophe becomes impossible to ignore -- at least for the self-effacing types who decide to go gentle, instead of lashing out at everyone around them in some vicious bloodfury.

    Pardon me if I have cited the film in previous comments on your blog. "On The Beach" looms large in my memory, and I often take trams down Swanston Street past the State Library building, which had a prominent setting in several scenes. "There is still time, brother..."

    1. The first time I remember panicking about the future and not just worrying about it was during the early days of the Great Recession, which was when I first started reading Kunstler and a doomer who never made it big and who has since fallen off my radar who went by the nom de net of Stranded Wind. I started stockpiling canned goods. Then Obama got elected and I stopped worrying.

      As for worrying, all throughout the 1980s, I would attend the U$C-UCLA football game (I'm a UCLA alum, in case you can't tell) and thank Providence that I was still around to enjoy it. That went away after first Reagan left office, then I stopped going to those games because I moved to Michigan, and finally the Berlin Wall fell, all in less than a year.

      I have watched clips of "On the Beach," but read the entire book when I was in middle school. I recall everything you wrote about it. I don't recall you mentioning it before. That written, I might just quote that paragraph in full. I'm looking for an entertainment-related post tomorrow and that fits the bill.

  2. "It's the end of the world as we know it
    And I feel fine."

    I should delete your weird spam, but I'm keeping it for the entertainment value.