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How Hot Was It Johnny? Part Two.
By Ernest Stewart

It was so hot today I saw a pigeon walking in the shadow of Orson Wells! ~ Johnny Carson

For a change, this summer was hot all the way through, and then some! Normally in Michigan, we get a summer that lasts 6 to 8 weeks, if we're lucky. This one lasted twice that long. In fact, it was the hottest summer on record globally. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or NOAA), as they reported this week. Of course, their records only date back to 1880; but climatologist Michael Mann told USA Today, "it is plausible that this summer was the warmest in thousands of years, perhaps even longer."

NOAA said that August marks "16 months of record warmth for the globe, the longest such streak in 137 years." No surprise then that, so far, this is easily the warmest year on record:

If it looks like global temperatures jumped last year and are jumping again this year, that's probably because we're in the midst of rising global temperatures, driven by human-caused carbon pollution, a.k.a. Global Warming.

In fact, paleo-climate expert Mann, director of Penn State's Earth System Science Center, says of the last decade's remarkable warmth that there is "compelling evidence that we have moved into territory unseen in more than a hundred thousand years."

Something that the world has know for years; but in America, where the corpo-rats that run this country and have denied their roll in creating this nightmare -- and where their well-placed bribes to politicians have kept us from facing the obvious. Even we have been dragged into the Paris talks last year to an ongoing effort of increasingly deeper carbon dioxide cuts aimed at keeping total warming "to well below 2 degrees C [3.6 degrees F] above pre-industrial levels." Trouble is, we've already passed that goal and the long hot summer is just the beginning of that. The parties even agreed "to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change." The time to cut carbon pollution sharply was last decade; but even doing it now, when it's too late, is much better than not doing it at all!

One of the effects of the long hot summer is that firefighters in California continue to battle the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur, recently becoming the most expensive wildfire in United States history. The blaze, which has been burning for almost two months, has cost $208.4 million to fight as of September 20, according to the Associated Press.

The fire began on July 22, with an illegal, unattended campfire. As of Friday, the fire was 71 percent contained. More than 2,000 firefighters are battling the fire, which has burned 121,000 acres, making it the 20th largest fire in California's history. Besides the Soberanes fire, there are some 35 active, large fires currently burning up and down the West Coast.

California has faced a fierce fire season so far this year, with more than 5,000 fires having burned since the start of the season. The state, which is still in the midst of a massive drought, has suffered from reduced snowpack and precipitation, leading to drier forests that fuel larger wildfires. Globally, fire seasons have gotten longer and the amount of land burned has almost doubled in size over the last 35 years, according to a study published last year in Nature Communications. In 2015, the U.S. Forest Service spent $1.71 billion fighting fires across the country, making it the most expensive fire season in U.S. history. That's $400 million more than this year.

The Forest Service said: "In 2015, the U.S. Forest Service spent $1.71 billion fighting fires across the country, making it the most expensive fire season in U.S. history.

"Climate change has led to fire seasons that are now on average 78 days longer than in 1970. The U.S. burns twice as many acres as three decades ago and Forest Service scientists believe the acreage burned may double again by mid-century. Increasing development in fire-prone areas also puts more stress on the Forest Service's suppression efforts."

Meanwhile, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a drought is the least of their worries; in fact, several thousand residents of Cedar Rapids left their homes Sunday as floodwaters began to spill out of the rising Cedar River; and Iowa's second-largest city worked to apply the lessons officials learned after the record 2008 flood. Oh, and everything downstream may be affected by this flood when it enters the Mississippi!

Again, the trouble is the politicians that've made this happen are still in denial; at least until the one percent's checks stop; and their followers keep shouting their slogans no matter how bad it gets; and because of this tiny minority, the vast majority of the people in the US and everyone around the world continues to suffer. Oh, and did I mention, it's because we're number one; and the only way you get to be number one is by being the meanest, nastiest, evilest, sons-of-bitches the world as ever seen; but because of the Global Warming deniers, we can add stupidest to that list, too!


11-14-1947 ~ 09-24-2016
Thanks for the music!

10-20-1952 ~ 09-24-2016
Thanks for the film!


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Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 40 (c) 09/30/2016