Now it's so hot in Europe that dogs are having to wear shoes. While a nice sunny day may seem like the perfect time for a stroll with your pet pooch, Swiss police are urging dog owners to cover their pets' paws.
Better be glad if you live in such a mild climate -- like Florida -- in the summer. Recently, it was 46C in Portugal and 45C in Spain. That's 115F for all of us non-metric weather watchers.
Changes In Weather Is Not Changes In Climate
Weather is not the same everywhere, including at the end of my street. That is the same for climate and for global warming. Temperatures in some parts of the earth, like the Arctic and Antarctic, are changing very rapidly, and other parts are changing so as to hardly notice -- like Florida.
Yes it still is "as hot as Spain" literally, instead of hot as hell figuratively, on a summer day. Yet there is more to weather than just temperature. Suffice it to say it is hot everywhere comparably, if not during the day, at night, or at least warmer during periods of the winter months.
How Hot Is It?
2014 -2017 were the hottest years on record and 2018 is set to join them. El Niño will most likely be here again this winter. Record heat years occur with El Niños and cooler years with La Niñas. La Niña did appear briefly but she stuck her head out and El Niño was still lurking so she went to Newfoundland for relief. So now we can expect 2019 or 2020 to set new records.
10 Hottest Years from 1998-2017
There is a lot we know about climate change and a lot we don't know. While the earth has experienced warming and cooling periods throughout its existence, it has never experienced anything quite so drastic as our current warming temperatures. We are compressing as much warming as has occurred in the past millennial periods into centuries and decades.
What we don't know is how precisely our weather will actually respond to the rapid change in global temperature we are currently experiencing in the climate.
How Did 2017 Rank As "Hottest Year Per Region"?
Is It Later Than You Think?
We are quickly running out of time in order to avoid major disruptions on the minor end of our economic well-being to the drastic question of our own survival as a species. We just don't know for sure how bad it might be if we reach 2, 3, 4, 5, or more degrees centigrade higher than pre-industrial temperatures.
Rest assured we will suffer from the other results of climate change long before we suffer from global warming. Whether it be economic disaster from storms, droughts that limit the global food supply, immigrants on the move, or chaos evoked by authoritarian leaders seeking to make short-term gains, the disruptions from climate change will be diverse, drastic, and affect all economic classes, rich and poor.
Climate Science Is Not "Rocket Science"
We know what is causing global warming and the change in climate this time around. It is greenhouse gas emitted by human economic activity. We know how to limit it and have the technology to prevent it from happening. What we lack is the global political and economic will. As long as the United States retards the progress, we can not expect the rest of the world to carry the weight of the largest economy on its shoulders.
Most deniers of global warming stand in the way of addressing the problem not because they really deny the science, but because they are betting that weather changes are not that sensitive to global warming and there is plenty of time to act after they have extracted their short-term profits and advantages. But the ill effects of global warming are now and will only get worse with time.
Your Prosperity Awaits You
What is clear though is that the economic health of the world, and particularly the US and other industrial countries, lies not in extracting profits from that which causes global warming but that which solves it. The world stands at the first step of the greatest industrial revolution from which most will prosper to prevent global warming as we change the way we create and conserve energy.
All that must happen is for us to take that step and make that commitment.
Why Our Job Is Easy
Global warming will not be prevented by recycling, limiting personal carbon footprints, refusing to invest in fossil fuels, or marching on Washington, Brussels, Moscow, Beijing, Brasilia, or New Delhi. It will be prevented by showing up at the ballot box in overwhelming numbers to overcome those that would circumvent the appropriate democratic response to global warming. In the US, that is the Republican party and they must be defeated now and forever until they reform.
Our job is easy but is now. There is little sacrifice or expense. It is simply show up at the voting booth and bring everyone else with you.
About the Author
Robert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.
Creative Commons 3.0
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com
Sale Price: $24.95 $17.96 You save: $6.99
These experts take scientific findings about climate change and global warming and use analogies, striking images, and understandable graphics to make the global warming question clear to both skeptics and scientists. Dire Predictions shows the evidence and the causes that respected scientists have documented in IPCC findings and climate change studies — this powerful, illustrated book is updated with the latest IPCC information and is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding global warming and climate change and in joining the debate over the best way to combat global warming.
Sale Price: $18.00 $12.77 You save: $5.23
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Sale Price: $18.99 $16.96 You save: $2.03
In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.
Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.
Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.