The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Hanging On By Our Fingernails…Biden’s Election And Our Climate
Dear Diary. Last evening when U.S. election results started to come in at 7 PM Eastern Standard Time I was thinking and hoping that Joe Biden would “crush it,” winning close to 400 electoral votes in a victorious landslide. After all, most national polls had Biden up by 5-10 percentage points, and every time modern American history that a presidential candidate has taken 53% or more of the vote, they do indeed win in a landslide as far as our electoral college system goes. And by the way, at what point in my life did this bleary-eyed meteorologist/climatologist find a need to become a political scientist?…just asking. By the time my body gave out with a need to go to sleep around 2 AM, I was so dejected that I tweeted out the following messages:
Evidently, statisticians did not take into account a large chunk of the American populace who voted for Trump but could not admit doing so when polled. From what I can tell, pollsters didn’t take into account the appeal of an autocratic strongman, propped up in part by racism. That’s why fascism once again is rearing its ugly head across the globe.
I’m feeling a little better about our chances this morning seeing that Biden is barely ahead in the swing states of Wisconsin, and Michigan, and not behind as had been the case when I went to sleep. In the swings states of Pennsylvania, and yes my home state of Georgia, many absentee votes are still being counted. Arizona and Nevada look like they will be called for Biden soon. If my home state of Georgia turns Democratic blue, it’s game over. Biden should win, and my vote would have been very meaningful. Still, Biden may only win the election by about 51% to 49% for Trump in the popular vote, so many prognostications were wrong. And, as of this writing due to our quirky electoral college Biden still may loose. However:
If Biden losses, I’m going to hold Dr. Michael Mann to his word, which states that it will be “game over for the climate.”
What is also looking worse is the outcome of our senatorial elections. A) Mitch McConnell won reelection from Kentucky and B) Republicans look like they will retain control of the Senate. If Biden wins without getting a democratically controlled Senate, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans will block any climate measures coming out of the still democratically controlled House of Representatives, which did lose a few seats to the Republicans this election cycle. More conservative justices will be appointed. Climate mitigation measures coming from Biden and the House would need to be watered down in the extreme in order to have a prayer of being approved by the Senate. The only way that climate measures would have any teeth is if Biden were to declare a national emergency, which I would recommend but would look very undemocratic in the eyes of the American people, circumventing our regular governmental process of how bills become law via the balance of power. Executive power in the United States, after all, is supposed to have its limits as prescribed by a Constitution that has worked since our inception as a nation.
Anyway, the election may not be decided in the next few days or even weeks, probably being argued and banded about by a multitude of lawyers. The climate does hang in the balance as I’ve often stated. Just as an example, the Paris Accords are now hanging on by a thread without U.S. leadership. Trump will kill this crucial international climate cooperation agreement just by being elected.
Today, I’ll be linking many articles on the 2020 election here with the most recent at the top of this list (as usual):
It’s very warm for this time of the year across most of the country. I’ll be listing some “ET’s” from Wednesday in the space below:
And from overseas:
Here is more climate and weather news from Wednesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”