It’s hot out here!

The latest science news:

The world is on pace to set another high temperature benchmark, with 2016 becoming the third year in a row of record heat.

NASA scientists announced on Tuesday that global temperatures so far this year were much higher than in the first half of 2015.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, said that while the first six months of 2015 made it the hottest half-year ever recorded, “2016 really has blown that out of the water.” He said calculations showed there was a 99 percent probability that the full year would be hotter than 2015.

Dr. Schmidt said the world was now “dancing” with the temperature targets set last year in the Paris climate treaty for nations to limit global warming.

On the bright side, the sharpest, most thoughtful minds in the Republican party are currently meeting in Cleveland and I am sure they will have a smart, science-driven policy to address this :-).

UPDATE: And, damn, I wish I had read this incredibly on-point (actually published before the climate news) post from Chait:

Notably, after calling for “hard data” and then dismissing the IPCC — the body accepted by climate scientists as the leading authority — as hopelessly biased, the Republican platform does not specify which scientific authority it would accept.

The 2012 platform called for reining in the Environmental Protection Agency across a range of fronts. The 2016 platform wants to get rid of the agency altogether: “We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission.” The new platform also declares coal, which is far more carbon-intensive than any other source of electric power and also packed with other air pollutants, to be “clean”:…

Of course, since Republicans officially refuse to recognize scientific findings relating carbon emissions to climate change, it’s not clear what “clean” energy even means to them. If coal is clean, isn’t all energy clean?

It’s important to keep in mind that, aside from a handful of areas of special Trumpian interest, like making nice with Vladimir Putin, the Republican platform represents the consensus view of the party apparatus rather than the nominee. It’s concerning that the Republican Party has been overtaken by a dangerous maniac. But climate science is one of the issues where dangerous maniacs have been in control before Trump even came along.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to It’s hot out here!

  1. ohwilleke says:

    “But climate science is one of the issues where dangerous maniacs have been in control before Trump even came along.”

    Dangerous maniacs have been in control of a huge swath of issues at the GOP for a long time.

    For example, while many Americans have qualms about abortions, few are virulently opposed to birth control (used by more than 95% of Americans), but the GOP is in a manner that greatly increased the number of abortions.

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