Monday, February 17, 2020

On February 6 Antarctica Was Warmer Than Orlando, or Why I Support Only Sanders


Location of Esperanza Station on the northern tip of Antarctica

by Thomas Neuburger

The climate news out of Antarctica isn't good. As Vice News put it on February 7, "Good Morning. It's 65 Degrees in Antarctica. That's warmer than Orlando today."

Since then the news from the South Pole has gotten worse. From the World Meteorological Association on February 14 (emphasis added):
The Argentine research base, Esperanza, on the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, set a new record temperature of 18.3°C on 6 February, beating the former record of 17.5°C on 24 March 2015, according to Argentina’s national meteorological service (SMN).

A committee for WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes Archive will now verify whether this indeed is a new record for the Antarctic continent, which is defined as the main continental landmass.

“Everything we have seen thus far indicates a likely legitimate record but we will of course begin a formal evaluation of the record once we have full data from SMN and on the meteorological conditions surrounding the event. The record appears to be likely associated (in the short term) with what we call a regional "foehn" event over the area:  a rapid warming of air coming down a slope/mountain,” according to WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes rapporteur, Randall Cerveny. ...

WMO is seeking to obtain the actual temperature data for a montitoring station on Seymour Island, part of a chain of islands off the Antarctic peninsula. Media reports say that researchers logged a temperature of 20.75°C. Mr Cerveny cautioned that it is premature to say that Antarctica has exceeded 20°C for the first time.
Twenty degrees Celsius (68°F) is a marker for obvious reasons, an even number that's never before been crossed. It's been crossed now. You could wear shorts and a T-shirt on a 68° day, even on Seymour Island.

Building Rome in a Day

A personal note: As part of my "day job" I interact in many venues with people at the most progressive end of the Democratic Party infrastructure, and I keep being told by some of the smartest in these groups that we need to be practical (in the real sense, not the fake "I want to slow you down" sense) in our attempt to enact policies like Medicare For All and the Green New Deal. I keep being told that you can't build Rome in a day.

And those who say that are right in a sense; these things do take time. The Republican Party didn't destroy a third of the electorate and more than half of the federal government in one or two cycles — it took decades of evil, dedicated work and endless seduction of eager neoliberal Democrats to create the mess we're in now.

And yet, at the rate things are advancing — not just on the climate front but on the "rebellion against the pathological rich" front — we just don't have a decade to work with. The climate news says that. The election of Trump says that. We may not even have five years.

Which leads me to argue back: Look, even if we elect a better-than-Trump, half-measures candidate, we're still not better off. Our grandchildren will curse us all the same.

I don't think that sinks in, even to some of the better minds among them. Perhaps seeing a building that's about to fall, but hasn't, isn't enough. Perhaps the building has to start its descent before most in position to act will take the urgency of the crisis seriously. After all, the bricks haven't fallen on their grandchildren's bodies yet.

But they soon will, all too soon for all too many. It's not enough to act. We need to act in time enough to matter. I guess that's why I support Sanders and no one else, the only one who will even try to build Rome in a day.

A slow-handed, good-hearted captain of the Titanic is still a disaster just about to happen — a person blind to what hovers in the mist, a person who cannot feel its approaching breath.

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At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay we all get it.
1. Support only Bernie.
2. Do everything in your power to gain the nomination for him.
3. Work like hell to get nominee Bernie elected in November. But...

If #2 doesn't work out that way, what do you do? The only sane answer is to work like hell to help whoever is running beat Trump in November. I'll take to honest condemnation from my grandchildren for electing a half-measure. What I won't take is another 4 years of Donald Trump.

That's the $64,000 question to ALL the Bernie Bros. If, however it comes to pass, Bernie does not get the Dem nomination, are you prepared to inflict on the country 4 more years of the worst president ever? That was exactly what the Stalin-dominated Communist Parties in Europe did when, for misguided ideological reasons, they rationalized the rise of Nazism as a necessary step before the inevitable Communist revolution.

If that's the course you advocate, then whatever curse I've earned should fall 1000 times over on you.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Gadfly said...

Nope, Anon. The sane answer in such a case (which I'll be doing anyway) is to Vote Green. That said, Howie Hawkins, or whomever else might get the nomination, will ALSO be running to beat Trump. And whoever the Dems nominate. (I'll be voting Green even if Bernie is the nomination.)

As for your claims from history?

In 1932-33, the SPD in Germany refused to coalition with the Communists. It's called principle.

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump has taken us 3 steps backwards. Bernie is our only shot to go 4 steps in the other direction, Liz or Steyer maybe 2-3. Anybody else is 1 to zero steps back toward salvation from fascism. Bloomberg is just a Trump/Clinton golfing buddy good for some clubhouse guffaws/cocktails at the 19th hole of the Regime Change Country Club. Grandchild/Children are not allowed on the course.

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gadfly. Until the Green Party can form itself into a semi-serious opposition (like electing ONE member of congress or ONE governor) a vote for Green is equivalent to a vote for your favorite cartoon character. I was naive in 2000 and bought Ralph Nader's line that there wasn't "a dime's worth of difference" between Republicans and Democrats. I voted for Nader in a state where his vote total was greater than the margin between Bush & Gore. The rest is sad history. I'd say the nation got what it deserved, but that would be incorrect. We got far worse. Reminder - not long after 1932 the Socialists were sent to the camps with the same Nazi glee as the Communists.
11:03. Okay, we can agree Bloomberg is a noxious ass. You still need to stop deflecting and answer the existential question. If Bernie, no matter the reason, is not the nominee will you do everything in your power to prevent a second Trump term? Keep it simple. Worst case (Biden? Buttigieg?), which is more horrible to imagine - zero steps back from fascism or 4 steps further into fascism?

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Republican Party didn't destroy a third of the electorate and more than half of the federal government in one or two cycles — it took decades of evil"

truth. but it took decades of failures, refusals and collaboration of the democraps too. Clinton was actively evil, resulting in the 2008 crash. Obamanation was passively evil by refusing to put any bankers in prison for fraud... to name 2 of soooo many examples (Pelosi, reid, scummer, hoyer, dodd, frank...)

I get 9:39's terror. I truly do. But I'm with Gadfly on this. 40 years of lesser-evilism only got us trump. Continuing will only get us worse than trump. We must stop with the fear-based lesser evilism and start riding anti-red and anti-blue waves to something different...

But, 9:39, you needn't worry about the condemnation of your grand children. They'll all be dead long before they ever figure out that you didn't do shit to ACTUALLY help them.

I'll try and fail 1000 times before I acquiesce to mass suicide.

And, Thomas, as you'll continue to find as you continue to gather info on climate, it's already too late. The effects will only accelerate. Even southern white americans will see it pretty soon... and that's saying something.

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Support Bernie. But what can Bernie do when Pelosi and scummer won't allow GND to even be debated?

Or.. maybe this question might seem relevant... how much will big oil and big coal and big gas give to the democraps individually and collectively to make sure that GND NEVER GETS A HEARING? Pelosi and scummer are depending on this being a yooooge number.

And how much of that tidy sum will Pelosi and scummer turn their backs on in order to do the right thing?
I can answer that one. it's zero.

So... support Bernie. But to what end? nothing? does that sound like progress?

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To @9:39 yapping about "Bernie Bros" - eat shit. Take your Vote Blue No Matter Who garbage somewhere else. I will NEVER cast a vote for the racist/sexist billionaire Bloomberg, even if he's running against Trump. I suspect there are plenty of others like me. So maybe you should work on stopping him instead of whining about imaginary "Bernie Bros" who support the candidate with the most diverse supporter base of any candidate.

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Any Blue Will Do" ensures Republican Rule. Look at what "Democrats" just did to the Commonwealth of Virginia in their legislature, despite what the majority of their voters wanted.

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

look at what obamanation did NOT do despite what almost all of his voters wanted.

it's been the story for 40 or 50 years.

yet voters keep electing them.

you tell me where the problem lays.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"— we just don't have a decade to work with. We may not have five years."
RE climate change, we are Out Of Time. The change in the direction to catastrophe is already baked in the cake.


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