Megafires are becoming common!

What the US Forest Service once characterized as a four-month-long fire season starting in late summer and early autumn now stretches into six to eight months of the year. Wildfires are starting earlier, burning more intensely and scorching swaths of land larger than ever before. Risks for large, catastrophic fires like the Camp fire that leveled the town of Paradise in 2018 are rising…

More than half of the 20 largest fires in California history burned in just the last four years. Eight of the top 20 fires in Oregon occurred in that time frame too. Last year, Arizona saw the most acres burned in its history. California’s August Complex fire, which consumed more than 1m acres alone, became the first-ever giga-fire in 2020. The Dixie fire this year came close to becoming the second, burning through more than 963,200 acres…

The conditions that set the stage for a staggering escalation in wildfire activity in the American west are layered and complicated, but the climate emergency is a leading culprit…

There are still solutions and mitigations that could slow the shift in intensity – but researchers say that window is closing.

“The trends that are driving this increase in fire risk, fire size, fire severity over time are continuing – that’s climate change.”

Until and unless people press politicians to act upon climate change, reversing human-made trends decades in the making, the dangers to whole communities, whole states, regional disasters, will continue and increase.

New IPCC Climate Report is a guide to action – Time to choose our future!

It has been eight years since the last major report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), though it has produced smaller reports since then. But today, the first piece of the 6th Assessment Report is out. Most of it should not surprise you—the basics of climate science have been known for decades. And the general outlines were already obvious: almost all of the warming is due to human activities, and, without immediate action, we’re poised to blow past 1.5º C of warming.

Still, each report is a little more useful than the last, and we’re going to go over what has changed in terms of the science and what has changed in how that information is being shared with the public.

Today’s release is the Working Group I section of the report. It’s massive — a product of 751 scientists that references over 14,000 studies and data sources…Using the average of the last decade, the report notes that surface temperatures have warmed about 1.09°C (1.96°F) since the late 1800s. The new summary statement about humanity’s contribution to that warming says, “The likely range of total human-caused global surface temperature increase from 1850–1900 to 2010–2019 is 0.8°C to 1.3°C, with a best estimate of 1.07°C.” That is, humans are responsible for approximately all of it.

Putting this into historical context, the report concludes that the present state of the climate goes beyond anything the Earth has seen in quite some time: “In 2019, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years[…] Global surface temperature has increased faster since 1970 than in any other 50-year period over at least the last 2,000 years.”

Finally, projections of various future greenhouse gas concentrations highlight the futures we can yet choose between. It is still physically possible to limit warming to 1.5° C or 2° C, given the will to act. It is likewise still possible to cross 4° C or 5° C by 2100, given a sufficiently blatant disregard for current and future life on our planet.

So, what’s the heritage we leave for future generations. People who can afford the best, newest and (probably) most expensive will do OK. The rest of your family in the coming era will be cursed by our inaction…or grateful if we get off our rusty dustys and do something useful to halt and eventually reverse the trend. Scientists are actively pursuing guidelines. A number of educated politicians and activists are trying to provide leadership.

And the rest, a predictable lot, will wallow in the ethos of doing nothing or aiding the Know-Nothings of this century.

Microsoft will get new accounts they may not want!

Apple announced new features Thursday that will scan iPhone and iPad users’ photos to detect and report large collections of child sexual abuse images stored on its cloud servers.

“We want to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM),” Apple said in a statement.

“This program is ambitious, and protecting children is an important responsibility,” it said. “Our efforts will evolve and expand over time.”

Bravo!

Where we’re at…


Thanks, gocomics.org

The blistering, June heat didn’t stop Marine veteran Todd Winn standing outside the Utah Capitol to protest police brutality for hours…

“When I put on the Marine Corps uniform for the first time in 2004, I swore to support and defend the Constitution,” Winn wrote in an open letter in June. “There’s no qualification on that. It’s not until a specific date, or only for certain people.”

“As courageous voices around the world rise together in a deafening roar to oppose the injustices facing our fundamental human rights, I stand humbled among you,” Winn wrote. “Racism, bigotry, hatred — these deplorable ideologies lead only to misery and suffering. History has proven this time after time.”

Solidarity, Marine…solidarity. Thank you.