Saturday, February 13, 2016

Supreme Climate Change

The climate change agreement signed in Paris in December died in Washington this week.  Specifically, it died in this building.  
The conservative majority on the Supreme Court ruled to block President Obama's regulations on coal-fired electric-power plants pending the process of lawsuits against these regulations in making their way through the judiciary.  The hold is so unprecedented, even the opponents of the regulations didn't expect it.  The first case doesn't get a hearing until June.  In the meantime - and possibly long after - there's nothing the Obama administration can do about it. 
Why is this relevant to the Paris climate-change accord?  Because Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were able to use these regulations as proof to the rest of the world that the United States - virtually alone among countries with climate-change deniers in positions of power (though Australia also has its share) - was finally going to do something about climate change.  If these regulations get thrown out entirely - and the Court's ruling makes this far more likely to happen, given the leverage this action has given the plaintiffs - than the U.S. can't go ahead with the plan, the Paris accord falls through, and  America goes back to being the skunk of the world. 
Meanwhile, the Northeast this weekend is going through a severe mid-winter cold snap that, given that this is an El Niño winter, shouldn't have happened.  We are expecting low temperatures around zero degrees Fahrenheit with extreme wind chills in negative double digits, thanks to wind speeds over twenty miles an hour, before temperatures moderate on Monday . . . only to set the stage for snow that changes to sleet and freezing rain before finally going to plain rain on Tuesday, with even stronger winds and temperatures at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Did I happen to mention that Tuesday's rain will be "heavy at times?"  Dude, the possibilities for us getting another power outage between now and then are numerous.  Which is ironic, given that extreme weather resulting from climate change is indirectly caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as the coal burned in the very electric-power plants the President seeks to regulate.      
I think there's ample proof that climate change is real, given the whiplash weather we're about to get.  Too bad the far right in These States can't be satisfied with the obvious evidence.     

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