Climate Facts

GLOBAL WARMING HAS BECOME A CLIMATE CRISIS

Donald Trump, The GOP, Congressman John Ratcliffe and other climate change deniers say, “Climate Change is a Hoax created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. The Fact is: A recent landmark report on climate change from the United Nations spelled out the dire consequences of the planet’s warming. If emissions continue to rise at their current rate, the planet will warm by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) by 2040, leading to extreme heat waves, reduced rainfall, and frequent coastal flooding. This in turn could lead to waves of climate refugees which might destabilize governments. The authors of the UN report said immediate action was needed to prevent the current rise, including taxes on carbon emissions and getting rid of coal energy. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/reports.shtml

Climate Change Deniers say, “India and China are the worst offenders…the US has reduced omissions. The Fact is: China, the U.S., and India together emit half of the world’s greenhouse gases, but the U.S. emits the most per person by far. Prior objections that China and India were being excluded from commitments to reduce emissions are no longer valid, since they have both signed the Paris Agreement. Both countries are also taking action to address climate change.
China has launched a carbon trading plan in their power sector, and Indian companies are adopting internal carbon pricing in anticipation of their government’s aggressive renewable energy targets. Their motivation is largely to curtail very severe air pollution, but they also recognize that they are seriously vulnerable to the effects of climate change. China seeks to establish itself as a world leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency. China is already the world’s largest clean energy investor with $103 billion in 2015 – a third of all global renewable investment – with the U.S. a distant second at $44 billion.
India has undertaken a ‘national mission’ to deploy solar energy in cities and villages across the country. India is committing already to 175 gigawatts by 2022. That’s equal to about 200 coal plants!
The U.S. under Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord, the largest international treaty set to reduce emissions. https://citizensclimatelobby.org/laser-talks/china-and-indias-climate-commitment/

Climate Change Deniers say “The climate has been changing for years…it’s a naturally occurring phenomena” The Fact is: Data for the past 2000 years show that the atmospheric concentrations of CO2, CH4, and N2O – three important long-lived greenhouse gases – have increased substantially since about 1750. Rates of increase in levels of these gases are dramatic. CO2, for instance, never increased more than 30 ppm during any previous 1,000-year period in this record but has already risen by 30 ppm in the past two decades. The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere, as of 2018 is the highest it has been in 3 million years. 2016 was the warmest year on record. NASA and NOAA data show that global averages in 2016 were 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit (0.99 Degrees Celsius) warmer that the mid-20th century average. Seventeen of the 18 warmest years have occurred since 2000. Eleven percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are caused by deforestation — comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on the planet. – American Chemical Society https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/greenhousegases/industrialrevolution.html


Religion and Climate Despite misconceptions espoused by media and political figures, a belief in God does not equate to a lack of concern for the environment. Belief in God and interest in the environment do not always lead to behaviors that support the environment, however many religious people are concerned about the environment and its future. For many, this concern is borne from their faith. Muslims expressed a sense of accountability to God, and Jews invoked the concept of tikkun olam. Christians referenced the concept of stewardship and care for God’s creation. https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190650629.001.0001/oso-9780190650629-chapter-6 Young Evangelicals taking a stand for action on behalf of the planet. https://www.yecaction.org/
Fundamentalist and some Evangelicals believe that “The End is Near”. How do we talk with Fundamentalists about the current climate reality. Scott Coleman made this comment, “I think that if our faith leaders in the south were more outspoken about the importance of creation care, it would go a long way in helping to depoliticize environmental issues in our region. And if we could depoliticize environmental stewardship in the south, imagine the progress we could make with elevating environmental stewardship in southern culture.”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/19/talking-with-evangelicals-about-climatechange-south
U.S. cities are beginning to put in place long range plans to deal with the coming crisis. One expected result of climate change is an increase in the intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes
Miami – Dade County, Florida https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/climate-change-study-says-sea-level-rise-could-cost-miami-dade-32billion-for-seawall-construction-11201008
Charlston, SC -https://nextcity.org/features/view/climate-change-cities-planning-charleston-flood
New Orleans https://psmag.com/environment/confronting-climate-change-louisiana-shifts-from-resilienceto-retreat
Anchorage http://www.muni.org/Departments/Mayor/AWARE/resilientanchorage/pages/climateactionplan.aspx
New York https://www1.nyc.gov/site/orr/challenges/nyc-panel-on-climate-change.page
Seattle https://www.seattle.gov/environment/climate-change/climate-planning/climate-action-plan
Houston https://www.harcresearch.org/work/City_of_Houston_Climate_Action_Plan

Military Services view the Climate Crisis as a National Security Issue- The U.S. Navy is Planning for the long-term implications of climate change today. They view it is as important as planning for a major Pacific conflict was in the last century. To address climate change, the Department of Defense and Pacific Command in particular need a 21st-century War Plan Orange.
https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2017/october/war-plan-orangeclimate-change
https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2019/06/these-are-us-military-bases-most-threatened-climatechange/157689/
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/militaries-go-green-rethink-operations-face-climate-change-n99165

Online Resources:
https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/
https://www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/climate-education-resources/climate-change-impacts
-Judith Matherne

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