WMO Warns Of Warming Oceans, AOC Offers Solutions To Tone-Deaf Congress

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There is news about climate change and it should scare the bejezus out of every one of us. The World Meteorological Association issued its annual State of the Climate report on March 28. “Climate change is moving faster than our efforts to address it,” António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations said at UN headquarters in New York.

WMO Climate Report
Credit: World Meteorological Organization

Warming Ocean Alert

The report reaffirms that the last four years have been the hottest on record and highlighted worrying developments in other climate indicators beyond surface temperature. “2018 saw new records for ocean heat content in the upper 700 metres,” the WMO report states. Data for temperatures down to 700 meters (2,290 feet) goes back to 1955.

Temperatures down to the 2.000 meter level are also the highest ever recorded, but data in that range first started being recorded in 2005. The most rapid temperature is being found in the Southern Ocean, threatening the Antarctic ice sheet.

“The data released in this report give cause for great concern. The past four years were the warmest on record, with the global average surface temperature in 2018 approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline,” Mr Guterres wrote in the report.

No Time For Delay

“These data confirm the urgency of climate action,” Guterres writes. “This was also emphasized by the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C. The IPCC found that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require rapid and far reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities and that global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050. There is no longer any time for delay.”

StewIndeed there is not. But in fact the world is moving in the opposite direction. As Joshua Hill reported this week, global carbon emissions were up 1.7% in 2018 as the world continues to place a higher value on shopping and personal amusement than preventing a mass extinction that will wipe out most of the living things presently living on this overstressed planet.

How can people put a higher priority on convenience and the race to consume more than their neighbors if it means destroying the Earth? If we knew the answer to that, we could take the steps necessary to prevent turning the world’s oceans into an oversize lobster pot. The truth is, only a handful of people are paying attention and the rest are falling asleep at night wondering how they can afford a gargantuan SUV or pickup truck to take the kiddies to school.

Profiles In Cowardice

Surely national leaders are taking the situation seriously, aren’t they? No, actually, they are not. The preening jackass with the orange hair continues to prance and posture for his adoring fans and mock renewable energy by telling them they won’t be able to watch television at night if the wind doesn’t blow. The man is so unrelentingly stupid he has never heard of energy storage techniques, some of which are almost as old as the electrical grid itself.

But what can you expect from someone who paid his lawyer to threaten schools not to release his grades or SAT scores? People who score 1500 or above on those tests don’t mind if the word gets out about how smart they are. People who barely break 600 on the College Boards mind very much if the world finds out how unbelievably ignorant they are.

The dumbest man in Congress, Senate majority leader Despicable Mitch McConnell, is excoriating Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for daring to suggest the government should lift a finger to help its citizens. In McConnell’s view, which is shared by most conservatives reactionaries, only corporations deserve tax breaks and free speech.

Ocasio-Cortez gave Despicable Mitch and his sycophants a well deserved kick in los cajones recently. Listen to what she has to say and the questions she asks, questions the deplorables in Congress would prefer to ignore.

It’s very, very late. If we don’t act, humanity will cease to exist on Earth. No religious or cultural dogma will alter that inevitability. Blathering about free market shibboleths won’t stop it. All that free market tripe might work if we had a few centuries before doom overtakes us but we don’t. We must act or we will die. It’s as simple as that.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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