Climate Change Denial

Coal Ash Wednesday: Pandemic recovery is boosting coal burning

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2021 is shaping up to be a really bad year for global emissions:

The pandemic abruptly slowed the global march of coal. But demand for the world’s dirtiest fuel is forecast to soar this year, gravely undermining the chances of staving off the worst effects of global warming.

Burning coal is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, and, after a pandemic-year retreat, demand for coal is set to rise by 4.5 percent this year, mainly to meet soaring electricity demand, according to data published Tuesday by the International Energy Agency, just two days before a White House-hosted virtual summit aimed at rallying global climate action.

Any time you have an economic setback, the "easy way forward" is the first to get chosen. Coal deposits are still abundant, even after a few centuries of sustained mining, and they are relatively easy to access. In other words, it will take a continued (global) effort to promote alternatives, or the human race will always revert to that "easy" approach when economic pressure comes to bear. We have made much progress in the right direction:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Lame Duck continues to attack climate science

Trump replaces top scientist on Climate Assessment Team:

Michael Kuperberg, executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which produces the climate assessment, was told Friday that he would no longer lead that organization, people with knowledge of the situation said.

According to two people close to the administration, he is expected to be replaced by David Legates, a deputy assistant secretary at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who previously worked closely with climate change denial groups.

Trump is not just dumping kitty litter on the living room carpet on the way out, he's stacking the deck with things Joe Biden will have to fix when he takes office. Forgive the strained metaphors, but that's the best way to assess the behavior of toddlers. He can no longer set a policy agenda, but he can make it harder for his successor:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Trump puts climate deniers in charge at NOAA

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Because real science is a pain in the ass, or something:

Mr. McLean had sent some of the new political appointees a message that asked them to acknowledge the agency’s scientific integrity policy, which prohibits manipulating research or presenting ideologically driven findings. The request prompted a sharp response from Dr. Noble. “Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?” he wrote, according to a person who received a copy of the exchange after it was circulated within NOAA.

Replacing Mr. McLean, who remains at the agency, was Ryan Maue, a former researcher for the libertarian Cato Institute who has criticized climate scientists for what he has called unnecessarily dire predictions.

Just so you know how bad this is, Maue worked with an even crazier dude at Cato, who believes more atmospheric carbon is a good thing:

Skolstrejk För Klimatet: Triangle students join national movement

And the children shall lead them:

The Triangle Climate Strike in Raleigh is one of 800 events in the United States. On Friday morning, Chapel Hill high-schoolers will join students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University at the Peace and Justice Plaza. The activists will leave Chapel Hill at 9:30 a.m. and cycle 30 miles to the Triangle Climate Strike at Halifax Mall in Raleigh.

UNC-Chapel Hill organizers said the goals for combating climate change include reducing fossil fuel and stopping the use of coal-fired power plants, most notably the power plant operated by the university.

I could go on one of my usual tirades, attempting to grasp and portray the science behind the looming devastation of Climate Change. But today is about young people taking a stand, and carrying this banner forward. And I can think of no better young person to quote than Greta Thunberg, who sailed across the ocean to take her stand. The following is a transcript of her speech before the U.S. Congress:

To seem rather than to be: NC's Climate Change grade a farce

It looks good on paper:

The state has sector-specific programs and resources that address all five climate threats. The Strategic Plan for Addressing Health Impacts of Climate Change in North Carolina discusses the impact of extreme weather events, waterborne illnesses, and heat related illnesses on human health. Climate Ready North Carolina: Building a Resilient Future is a climate change adaptation plan that covers most hazards and sectors. It addresses projected changes in climate threats and their implications, as well as adaptation options.

The state has conducted a thorough sea level rise vulnerability assessment with detailed information on implications of potential sea level rise on North Carolina’s coast.

As to the two studies referenced, if you find even one of them in the General Assembly (with the exception of Pricey Harrison's desk), or anywhere in DEQ other than the back of a filing cabinet, I would be surprised. And of course we're all aware of the embarrassing fiasco surrounding the sea level rise assessment:

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