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Scott Pruitt is a Bad Man

March 13, 2017 - Raise your hand if winter weather where you live has been abnormal. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have had record-setting amounts of rain. 2017 has been one of the fastest starting years on record in terms of the tornado count, which currently stands at 301 confirmed tornadoes. There is an historic blizzard taking place in the northeastern US as I write.

When you see words like "record setting" and "historic," think climate change. Otherwise, there is no change; events fall within an average range, established over decades or centuries. The events and patterns just described fall outside that range; they are therefore symptomatic of climate change. Every passing year gets warmer - and worse, by which I mean the damage done by storms measured in dollars, and the number of injuries or deaths caused by storms.

The warmer temperatures occur at night, by the way. Yes, daytime temperatures may also be hellishly hot, but they aren't at the cutting edge. It's nighttime temperatures that are jumping off the charts, and have been. For decades. Here in the PNW, another interesting measure might be the number of landslides caused by the overabundance of rain. Warmer air holds more moisture, and since wet places will get wetter (that's us), and dry places will get drier, another pattern to watch for.

And speaking of drought, forests around the world are at risk of death due to widespread drought. My husband and I saw this first hand in Yosemite last year. Forest fires are increasing globally. Without trees, we'll have a devil of a time stabilizing carbon dioxide levels. Too much CO2 means a planet that's too warm to sustain life. And that makes me think of Scott Pruitt.

To wit: the aforementioned chucklehead, now head of the EPA, maintains that "measuring with precision human activity [should read "human activity's effects"] on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous [sic] disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see." There is not tremendous disagreement about impact. For while 300 scientists urged that Trump withdraw from the Paris Accord, over 2,000 other scientists signed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2014 report, which describes page after page of mounting damage done by climate change.



With my thanks to theguardian.com and sciencedaily.com.

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