Climate Letter #1059

The great California drought has been linked to the loss of Arctic sea ice.  According to a new study the storage of more of the sun’s heat in the Arctic Ocean leads to changes in atmospheric circulation and cloud formation over the tropical Pacific, causing the high pressure systems that push away rain-bearing storms.  Some years can still be much wetter than normal.
–Something quite dramatic is happening just today in California.  My daughter whose home is in Ventura has lost all of her utilities but she is personally not in any danger.
Very hot weather experienced in one’s first year of life is shown to have negative effects upon reaching maturity.  This study made clever use of earning power as a proxy for general health and/or cognitive power, with results that are surely applicable to babies born in any of the world’s hot locations, today or in the future.
A major new investigative report has been issued by Inside Climate News.  This one is about how the fossil fuel industry, with Lamar Smith as a spearhead, has corrupted the science committee that serves the US House of Representatives.  Any action that would deal constructively with climate change has been stymied as a result.  The previous chairman, Sherwood Boehlert, a New York Republican, “believes voters don’t care as urgently about climate change as they do about jobs, health care and the economy.  People don’t think the environment touches them dramatically and personally, but it does,” he said.
If you ignore the climate change crisis can you also ignore the crisis being created by plastic waste?  From BBC News, the UN is preparing to accelerate calls for immediate action.
–The economic costs of exposure to toxic industrial pollution, with an emphasis on chemicals and heavy metals that reduce optimal brain function, has been recalculated and is said to be much greater than anyone has thought.  With everything considered it most likely exceeds 10% of global GDP, which is now $75 trillion.  It is all considered preventable, but no estimates are given for the annual cost of preventing.  And, for the sake of comparison, what are the annual profits of all those who do the polluting?
–The UN may actually be gearing up to tackle everything that is ruinous to the natural environment.  That includes practically all of the waste products of industrial civilization.  There is a remarkable convergence between the deadly emergence of greenhouse gas and all of the other named products over just a few short decades.  Dealing with them all as one package makes good sense, but is it possible to fight off the rising power of the giant corporations and their cohorts that keep pushing relentlessly for more of the same?
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