No on California Prop 23: Its getting HOT out here!


Los Angeles Bakes as Temperature Breaks All-Time Record
National Weather Service Thermometer Stopped Working

Temperatures hit an all-time high this week across much of Southern California – according to records that date back 133 years.  Capital Climate has the details.

UPDATE:  Meteorologist Jeff Masters notes “a station in the foothills at 1260′ elevation near Beverly Hills owned by the Los Angeles Fire Department hit 119°F yesterday–the hottest temperature ever measured in the Los Angeles area, tying the 119°F reading from Woodland Hills on July 22, 2006.”

Weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a great post at Weather Underground, “The Remarkable Summer of 2010,” which concludes, “it is probable that no warmer summer in the Northern Hemisphere has ever been experienced by so many people in world history.”  He reprints this graph

No to Proposition 23!For climate deniers and big oil interests, this is an unfortunate coincidence.  In the midst of the hottest year on record, they are the main supporters of Prop 23, a controversial ballot measure that would effectively repeal the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, “AB 32”.  CAP’s Jorge Madrid has the story.

Of course, a single day of record temperatures — even the all-time record — does not by itself prove global warming.  However, a week like this gives us a forewarning about times to come, especially since NOAA and NASA reported 2010 is the hottest year on record so far and Burt reports “The year 2010 now has the most national extreme heat records for a single year–seventeen” [while “No nations set record for their coldest temperature in history in 2010”] and in June and July alone, the U.S. set 1480 temperature records.

Burt has more U.S. records:

U.S. cities setting record warmest summer (June – August) temperatures
In the U.S.A., the following cities recorded their hottest meteorological summer on record (the most remarkable being the figure for Central Park in New York City where records go back to 1869 at the same location):

New York City (Central Park): 77.8° (old record 77.3° summer of 1966)
Washington D.C. National Airport: 81.3° (old record 80.0° summer of 1943)
Dulles Airport, VA: 77.8° (old record 76.8° summer of 2007)
Richmond, VA: 81.3° (old record 80.0° summer of 1994)
Atlantic City, NJ: 77.5° (old record 75.8° summer of 2005)
Philadelphia, PA: 79.6° (old record 78.9° summer of 1995)
Trenton, NJ: 77.7° (old record 76.5° summer of 1898)
Wilmington, DE: 77.8° (old record 77.7° summer of 1900)
Baltimore, MD: 79.2° (old record 79.1° summer of 1943)
Norfolk, VA: 81.1° (old record 80.0° summer of 1994)
Tampa, FL: 84.5° (previous record 84.2° in 1998)
Lakeland, FL: 84.6° (previous record 84.4° in 1987)
St. Petersburg, FL: 85.6° (old record 84.6° in 1987)
Asheville, NC: 75.4° (old record 75.1° in 1952)
Greenville, SC: 81.0° (old record 80.2° in 1952)

Definitive climate science tells us that global warming is real, and one of its chief effects will be staggeringly high temperature rise, especially over land “” some 10°F over much of the United States.

If we allow prop 23 to succeed, big oil refineries in the state could to continue to spew greenhouse gases without strict regulation.  Even worse, a victory for big oil in California could mean certain death for greenhouse gas regulation for the rest of the nation.

Dramatic increases in temperature pose immediate threats to all Californians:

Every year, California is ravaged by wildfires that cost the state nearly $800 million.  From 2001 to 2007, wildfires burned a total of more than 4 million acres and released an estimated 277 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, equivalent to adding an estimated 50 million more cars onto California’s highways for one year – according to Thomas Bonnicksen, professor of forestry from Texas A&M University.

Extreme heat dries up grassland and brush on California hillsides, making them a spark away from disaster. If average statewide temperatures rise to the medium warming range (5.5 to 8°F), the risk of large wildfires in California is expected to increase about 20 percent my mid-century and 50 percent by the end of the century.

The state’s most vulnerable residents – particularly children, the disabled, and seniors – experience increased risk for heat related deaths and illness during heat waves, which claims more than 690 lives per year according to the Center for Disease Control.  Add to this the countless Californian’s who make their living outside of a climate controlled environment – including agricultural and construction workers whose workplace can become a deadly hazard in triple digit temperatures.

Likewise, rising temperatures wreak havoc on the state’s already burdened electricity grid. Large scale power failures caused by heat damage and overloading of the grid are a serious threat to all Californian’s health and businesses.  Power interruptions are estimated to cost the United States between $80 and $135 billion annually according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

A twist of irony

California’s oftentimes unyielding sun could be harnessed to produce electricity, which can power the machines that keep us cool and comfortable during heat waves.  California is already the nation’s leader in solar power, and has the largest clean energy economy of the 50 states.  This leadership is a result of state policies providing financial incentives for clean energy development, renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.

Passing Proposition 23 would reverse California’s progress in solar and other forms of clean energy. The initiative would suspend the crucial price signal and market for carbon pollution that makes clean energy more profitable than dirty energy, and it would also threaten 72 other planned and existing state policies that are linked to it along with billions of dollars in direct investment in clean tech by the state and local governments.

Not only will Prop 23 make it harder to fight global warming, it will obstruct our goal to harness the sun for clean energy.

Prop 23 is a lose-lose scenario.

Guest blogger Jorge Madrid is a Research Analyst at CAP.  Joseph Romm assisted with this post.

h/t HuffPost for the banner headlines.

Here are five things you can do to win this fight:

  1. Visit the “No on 23″³ website, learn the facts & sign up:
  2. Educate yourself on how California’s climate & energy laws have created companies & jobs:
  3. Tell your friends by email, on Facebook, at work, & everywhere else.
  4. Participate in the debate. Write letters to the editor and post comments on blogs & websites.
  5. Contribute (click here). The other side’s leader, right-wing California Assemblyman Dan Logue, has publicly said he expects the oil companies to spend $50 million.

54 Responses to No on California Prop 23: Its getting HOT out here!

  1. Peter Bellin says:

    Good posting. It is important for all Californians to oppose Prop 23, and to consistently speak out against the misleading statements of the deniers.

    Your bullet points are spot on; I find myself considering joining Facebook so that I can spread the word on this and other issues.

  2. Raleigh Latham says:

    Donated $150 to No on prop 23, and convinced 5 people to vote NO, all californians, this is your duty to protect your livelihoods.

  3. Ron Broberg says:

    Feel free to delete this comment.

    Your ‘Definitive climate science’ and your ‘staggeringly high temperature rise’ links are to mail servers and not web servers. I doubt that very many people have the credentials to reach the link items.

  4. Scrooge says:

    Not to belittle any deaths from this heatwave but LA usually does have a low dew point which does prevent the heat stress from being as bad as it could. People from places like Georgia should take note if the temp was this high and the few point was around 80 and you worked outside you would die.

  5. mike roddy says:

    California will be hammered by global heating, but it will be worse in Phoenix. The combination of asphalt, humidity from golf course irrigation, water shortages, and temperatures in the 115-120 range will make the entire Valley of the Sun uninhabitable, and good riddance. Growing lettuce and playing golf in the desert from Colorado River water is pretty stupid anyway.

    In another few decades the city will look like abandoned areas of Detroit, with weedy former tract suburbs turned into squatter homes for desperate Hispanic families. Actually, that’s happening already.

    Much of the US will not have a viable climate in 2050, in fact. If you’ve ever been in 120 degree heat you’ll understand- not to mention having to huddle inside all the time and pay $400 a month AC bills. People will die from the heat, especially the elderly, but in places like India many more will either die or emigrate.

    That’s what makes the actions of the Kochs and Exxons so unbelievable. They are not going to wake up themselves, and must be stopped, through education, peaceful protest, and criminal prosecution.

  6. Scrooge says:

    Sorry meant dew point (typing on blackberry)

  7. Prokaryotes says:

    All it takes is a few days with these kind of temps, to get profound mortality rates. Now project a little into the future what we can expect with rising temperature values. We already committed to the path of un-habitable condition – still people want to put more fuel into it. And think again if you believe that your electricity will work all the time.

  8. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    It’s setting records again where I am, in the Utah desert. The AC is running. This area isn’t as hot as PHX, but w/o AC is pretty much a miserable place to be in the summer. Er…maybe I should say, also in the Fall.

    PHX has turned into a real mess of a city, and its days are numbered, as are those of Vegas and many other desert cities. I am looking to relocate myself, to a less arid climate (Bella Coola?).

    I think we’re going to see more nomads, as things get worse and worse. Where to go, is the problem…

  9. wag says:

    Why do people continue to cite numbers and statistics when talking about the risks of global climate disruption? Nobody cares about statistics. Messaging must be about morals and emotions, not facts and figures.

  10. Mark says:

    Not to worry, the fifteen or twenty million inhabitants of LA can just migrate to some other more liveable location, where as Joe said, they will be welcomed with open arms;

    besides, if you have a few million, it’s still nice at the beaches.

    [JR: welcomed with open arms … or at least arms!]

  11. Pete H. says:

    What are the current polling numbers for Prop 23?

    [JR: 40-38 yes-no. That ain’t bad, actually (since undecideds tend to vote no). But the real Big Oil money is yet to be spent — and Whitman is spending big bucks on GOTV. Still, I think we’ll win, but only if we don’t relent.]

  12. Kendra Smith:
    The long cool summer didn’t come anywhere close to setting an all-time record.

    As noted in the linked CapitalClimate post, even Santa Catalina island (“26 miles across the sea”) hit at least 103.

  13. Adam R. says:

    Kendra Smith says:
    September 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Good news. The long cool summer in southern California got no coverage on this blogg.

    How many all-time low temperature records were set in So. Cal. this summer?

  14. Michael W says:

    Joe, how about commenting on the reasons to vote yes on Prop 23? Assuming of course that we have entered the age of enlightenment, and tend to look at things with a balanced perspective.

  15. Adam R:
    Your link was actually to 1 specific day in California, but the point still holds. According to the NCDC, there have been only 2 all-time low temperature records set or tied in the ENTIRE U.S. IN ALL OF 2010 to date. Yesterday, there was 1 all-time high set (Los Angeles) and 1 tied (Long Beach). There were also 1 new and 8 tied in August. In July, there were 16 new all-time highs and 20 ties.

  16. MarkB says:

    Single Records, even all-time records, have fairly limited relation to global climate change. Even stunning maps like these:,mintemp,lowmax,highmin

    are limited to a single week in a small area of the Earth. What we do know is that 2010 is on pace to be the warmest or statistically tied for the warmest on record.

    Yet the science deniers have been eagerly touting California’s somewhat cooler summer as evidence against global warming, hoping to dupe enough people into supporting Prop. 23. The U.S. west coast, and perhaps Chile, have been below normal. Most of the rest of the world has been scorching. So now we have LA setting an all-time record high (in autumn of all seasons), grabbing headlines everywhere in California, and the deniers are in a frenzy.

  17. Steve Bloom says:

    The Field poll released Sunday shows Prop. 23 trailing 34-45. The difference from the LA Times poll Joe mentions is probably mostly due to the wording of the question, as discussed here. Encouragingly, the Field question wording is much closer to the actual ballot wording. Also, very recently there’s been a continuing drumbeat of anti-23 endorsements, including now Whitman, so as voters start to pay more attention to the election perhaps those are having an effect. The fossil fuel corps are in the bad position of lacking much in the way of fig leaves behind which to hide their involvement, and in the past when that’s happened with big-spending campaigns in California the result has often been a voter backlash. We can hope for the same here.

  18. Steve Bloom says:

    Just to note also that this heat wave is affecting pretty much all of the population centers in California, and is perfectly timed relative to the election. The cool summer could have done some real damage, but not any more IMHO.

    Joe, in case you hadn’t noticed, our friend Anthony had a more-ludicrous-than-usual posting in which he had the gall to make fun of Bill Patzert (whose meteorological shoes he couldn’t hope to shine) for pointing to atmospheric patterns as having made for the cool summer. Well, yes, Anthony, the weather does change, and in particular the early autumn is when we tend to get the sort of persistent offshore flow that enabled this heat wave. What a fool, but I suppose we knew that.

  19. paulm says:

    The same weather pattern that brought all-time record heat to the Los Angeles area Monday will be responsible for daily record highs being challenged from Medford, Ore., to Great Falls, Mont., and Denver.

  20. Peter Bellin says:

    As a resident of the LA area (Oxnard set a record of 100 yesterday), I should throw in the point that although yesterday was really hot, this type of weather is common this time of year. The heat is very dry, but very rarely lasts long.

    There was one study not too long ago that posited that coastal So Cal could actually be cooler – due to hotter inland temperatures enhancing the sea breeze. I don’t think coastal Southern California will have to migrate, if there is enough water available.

    On another note, the LA Times had an interesting report on fire risk due to the beetle infestation:,0,3315977.story

    The needle loss form the dead trees mitigates the fire hazard. The article does mention that climate change contributes to the effects of the beetle infestation. I don’t know if this was noticed in one of the news postings here.

  21. paulm says:

    Wilmington, N.C., was fire hosed by 10.33 inches of rain on Monday, making it the second wettest calendar day on record. The all-time record rainfall in a calendar day stands as 13.38 inches on Sept. 15, 1999, when Floyd struck the area.

    and guess what is to follow close behind….
    Huge Tropical Depression 16 Forms, May Soon be Nicole

  22. toby says:

    There is a “conventional wisdom” that if a ballot proposition yes or no does not break 50% in polling, its a goner.

    An exception was the gay marriage vote.

    However, it seems things are not looking good for prop 23.

  23. Bob Lang says:

    ExxonMobil has been the worst-performing stock in the Dow for over a year now. Probably for the first time in the 100+ year history of the company.

    If this continues the current management could be looking for work soon.

  24. Peter M says:

    Increasing water shortages in Phoenix Arizona- and heat will make it virtually uninhabitable in 20 years- Las Vegas will make out no better.

    Southern California will face water shortages and the heat faced like the last few days on a regular basis.

    It seems thus far Americans have not faced the kind of harsh weather events like those in Asia or Russia to take climate change seriously.

    Question is, despite the intense storms and floods this summer across the nation, the heat in the east & south, Midwest and now southwest- what watershed event will change the attitude of Americans and the media in realizing we are facing a hellish future, and something needs to be done.

  25. Dan B says:

    Weather all along the west coast was strange this year, spooky strange at times. The PNW had a balmy winter followed by one of the wettest springs on record then a short record breaking heat wave followed by a deluge – possibly the same system that dumped a foot of rain on Minnesota a few days later. The record breaking heat in LA was echoed further north with the highest dew points and relative humidity on record.

    Several things could contribute to cool wet conditions on the west coast as global warming ramps up. High temperatures inland produce a low pressure system (hot air rises) which pulls ocean air inland (think Golden Gate fog). As temp’s increase and number of days of higher temp’s increases inland – think record heat in land-locked states – ocean air flow (onshore) increases. Add 4% increase in atmospheric moisture levels to date, and more on the way, and you’ve got a recipe for wetter coastal conditions.

    What happens next is of greater concern – the weather “pattern” resets. The dry subtropical zone expands. LA gets Baja weather. San Francisco gets LA weather. Portland, at 45 degrees latitude, gets San Francisco weather some years and excessive rainfall others. This takes the great forests of the west beyond the brink.

    All the refugees of SoCal get to join in the massive firestorms and major floods – oh, that’s what they’d find in the rest of the world anyway.

    There’s no place to hide.

    Time to go full tilt clean and green.

  26. Richard Brenne says:

    Wag (#9) says we need no statistics, only morals and emotions. How about both? What we need less than anything is such binary thinking. You’re right that general audiences respond best to characters including good and bad guys, and to emotional stories. But there is a place for both, and here at CP the audience appreciates science-based facts.

    MarkB (#16) says that “Single records, even all-time records, have fairly limited relation to global climate change” but then he shows us a terrific map, makes great comments, and CapitalClimate (#15) makes even better points. Counting heat and cold records is enormously helpful. Mark, you’re right that global averages count for most, but counting up the records – with all-time records being the most meaningful of any single record – that go into the averages helps the public understand what we’re talking about and in a way that can and does relate to their lives.

    Peter Bellin (#21) tells us he lives in Oxnard and that “this kind of weather is common this time of year.” I lived in Westwood for 6 years and Santa Monica for 8 years (and once stepped in some oxnard) and of course you’re right about offshore flow winds typically producing heat waves in September and October.

    But all-time heat records like 113 at USC, 111 in Long Beach and 119 at a fire station around the 1200 foot level above Beverly Hills are, by definition, not common.

    Peter also mentions the L.A. Times article that cheerfully chirps that scientists have found that Pine Beetle kill doesn’t increase fire danger. Maybe not, but it’s killed 100 million acres in the American and Canadian West and that’s 100 million acres of carbon sink that has been removed with methane from decay taking its place, not to mention erosion and loss of topsoil, loss of habitat for species, local and regional warming, etc, etc, etc.

    Peter – who is obviously bright, well-read and thoughtful – also assures us that coastal Californians will be okay and not need to migrate, unless due to water issues.

    A positive outlook is generally better than a negative one, but when doing and studying science a realistic, fact-based outlook is best of all.

    With the pine beetle-forest phenomenon, the fate of coastal Californians and the fate of our species, it’s like we’re all represented by someone placed in front of a firing squad of at least half a dozen soldiers. Maybe one of the soldiers will miss and another have his gun jam. But unfortunately others will probably hit their target.

    Some things might turn out better than the pre-eminent scientists in a field currently think. But others will almost certainly turn out worse, especially since from the perspective of human history it is only within the last few decades and especially years that scientists are beginning to understand the horrible impacts humans are having on Anthro-Earth. As with most aspects of Climate Change, Peak Oil, Species Loss and most things, the trend is definitely toward things turning out worse than previously thought.

    I’m sorry to have to say all this, but I think the more we know and the more honestly we can face what we know, the better off we’ll all be.

  27. Steve Bloom says:

    Re #21: That’s much like a silver lining on a pile of dog poop, I’m afraid.

  28. Peter M says:

    A reset climate will also take place along the east coast. NYC in 20 years will have the climate of Present day Washington DC- while Washington will be like present day Charlotte NC. Charlotte will be like the Jacksonville FL of today.

    Boston will resemble present day Philadelphia.- the shift north of our climates will accelerate under a high emission scenario.

    Montreal Canada will be like present day NYC by 2030.

    The deep south will become a Savannah type of climate- with alternate periods of extreme tropical heat, cyclones and with periods of severe drought by 2050.

    The tri state area of Connecticut, south eastern NY and Northern NJ by 2050-2070 will resemble the climate that Charleston SC has today.

    These are massive changes- they began in the 1980s- and are accelerating.

  29. MarkB says:

    Steve’s link details the polling question difference between Field and LATimes. I’m not sure why Field would result in worse numbers for Prop. 23, since the question clearly puts Prop. 23 in a positive light. But question wording that favors the ballot measure yet still results in a rejection of it is a good sign.

  30. Colorado Bob says:

    Peter Bellin @ 21 –
    I saw beetle kill study about fire and dead trees . Given the area of dead trees there is one thing that should be noted whether these things burn or not. A living forest shades the snow pack & shields it from drying winds, they allow it to last as spring advances. What is clear, is that millions of acres in western North America will have this snow pack melted sooner than was once the case. A feedback at least until new growth can get standing. LA has one other problem with reduced flows into the Colorado River, turbines don’t turn if water isn’t high enough behind the dams.

  31. Colorado Bob says:

    Tuesday, 28 September, 2010
    New temperature reconstruction vindicates …
    Guest post by Ned

    A new temperature reconstruction has been published in the Swedish journal Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography. The reconstruction (hereafter Ljungqvist 2010) covers the past 2000 years for the middle and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

    This reconstruction includes a number of new proxies that have not been included in previous hemispherical or global temperature reconstructions, and avoids many of the proxies that have been the subject of contention in the past. The results are shown in Figure 1:

  32. From Peru says:

    A map of the heatwave:

    The area affected is very big, withe very warm anomalies extending half North America.

    It is also unusually warm in the Arctic Ocean, Antartica, the Amazon Basin and North Africa.

    If this is really a GLOBAL phenomenom!

  33. Colorado Bob says:

    Peru –

    It’s raining at Churchill, Manitoba , and 39 F ……

  34. Colorado Bob says:

    GFS Ensemble Computer Model for TD 16 –

    Given what happen in Wilmington yesterday , there is little reason to doubt that this thing is going to put down 6 – 8 inches of rain where ever it tracks. And according to that little line , it’s going over a lot your heads. Please no driving into low water crossings.

  35. John Hollenberg says:

    > Joe, how about commenting on the reasons to vote yes on Prop 23? Assuming of course that we have entered the age of enlightenment, and tend to look at things with a balanced perspective.

    I think you will find Joe focused on the science, the ramifications, and the steps we need to take NOW to avoid the very bad outcomes. However, I will come up with a few reasons to vote yes on Prop 23:

    1) You work for a Texas oil company that doesn’t give a damn about what happens to California or your fellow U.S. citizens in the future as long as they can turn a handsome profit this quarter.

    2) You own stock in said oil company and don’t give a damn about what happens to California or your fellow U.S. citizens in the future as long as the stock price goes up.

    3) You don’t believe in science or the scientific method (except when you need to see a doctor, take advantage of scientific advances which have given you the life style you now enjoy, or any other reason you feel like making an exception for).

    4) You don’t care what kind of world you leave to your children and grandchildren

    I am sure others can come up with additional reasons to vote Yes on 23.

  36. mike roddy says:

    Here’s a statistic not many people realize:

    Industrial logging releases about 80% of the site carbon into the atmosphere, and clearcut sites are hot and barren, treated with herbicides to allow monoculture seedlings to take root.

    A forest that burns only releases 20% of the site carbon into the atmosphere, since the rest is returned to the soil or captured as charcoal in standing dead trees (which also mitigate erosion). This data is not controversial among actual forest carbon scientists.

    Logged out areas are much more fire prone, too. Beetle kills are bad and will get worse, but logging is much more dangerous for the soil, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration. The US media doesn’t report any of this, because they don’t want to disturbe their pulp suppliers.

  37. Button Broken says:

    Share button is still broken

  38. Peter Bellin says:

    My reference to the article about pine beetle infestation and fire risk was to point out that the article clearly identifies climate change as a root cause of the beetle damage, and that tree thinning may not be needed to reduce fire risk.

    Too often, these articles ignore the climate change factor in this problem. This also calls into question thinning or culling of dead wood – this practice is not without damage potential, and at a minimum uses up resources.

    As others have pointed out, the pine beetle infestation has destroyed one type of forest – and we don’t know what will replace it.

    I am happy to report it is cooler now, at 9:41 PM. (Just kidding around…)

  39. paulm says:

    #33 Peru, that map is unreal.
    Now thats GW at its most picturesque!
    I have a feeling we are going to have a string of very warm years for the next few years.

    Things just seem to be clicking. Sun cycle, changed weather patterns….
    I think we have hit some sort of threshold.

    2010 ditto ditto+!
    This will mean speechless skeptics and acceptance from the mass.
    Not sure about the US GOP though:)
    It will also mean much suffering.

  40. Colorado Bob says:

    Re : water supply & lakes that hold them :

    Lubbock’s main water supplier has plumbed the murky depths of its reservoir to keep 11 Panhandle cities in water just dirty enough to drink.

    The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority switched on in September a special pumping system to siphon water from lake levels that have fallen beneath the reach of Lake Meredith’s water system.
    This is my domestic water supply. It is very close to Amarillo , Texas. Which this summer set it’s All Time Rain Fall Record. I am in Lubbock, which 2 years ago set it’s All Time Rain Fall Record . But none of these rains managed to fall on the the water shed of Lake Meredith. This story is talking about the entire square block that is the top of Texas. Some half a million people .

  41. Colorado Bob says:

    Prop 23 from the Same People that Brought You Rolling Blackouts.

  42. Sime says:

    Oil is finite and dirty, coal is finite and very dirty. Both will run out and become progressively more expensive as they do so, ergo you will have to change to clean energy down the line anyway so why not just cut out the “Oil Man” and be done with it…

    Sunshine is infinite and very clean, wind is infinite and very clean ergo neither is ever going to run out…

    Californians with families who want a clean stable future and environment are confused by these options…?

    I rather think big oil is going to get told not to “slam the door” on their way out out of “Progressive Clean California!”

  43. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    In Adelaide, in South Australia, we have set new records almost every year since 2000. Longest heat wave, ie temperatures greater than 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit)of 17 consecutive days. Longest run of temperatures greater than 40 degrees C(104 Fahrenheit), of six days. Earliest heat wave, November 2009, and highest ever November temperature. And highest ever recorded temperature,46.9 Celsius (I’d say c.118-9 Fahrenheit) in February 2009.
    And our neighbours in Melbourne suffered a mega-fire catastrophe a couple of years ago, when the weather went totally feral. They use a Fire Danger Scale, based on conditions of heat, relative humidity, wind speed and general aridity. It was set so that the conditions of January 1939, when fires devastated Victoria, were classified as 100. On the day of the recent fire disaster readings around 180 were common across the hills around Melbourne, and nearly 200 people died.
    What do you imagine the response of the denialists, and their propaganda apparatus, the Murdoch media, was to this disaster? Why,of course, it was to ignore the weather conditions, the recent history of three previous mega-fires in Victorias in the last ten years (fortuitously in sparsely populated areas) and instead blame ‘Greenies’ ie environmentalists, for the disaster. It wasn’t the weather, no of course not,but the evil Greenies who had stopped ‘hazard reduction’ burn-offs, because, vile creatures that they are, they ‘value trees more than people’. One of the more deranged Rightwing commentators, not even in the Murdoch apparatus, even had her view that the Greenies ‘responsible’ should be strung-up ie lynched, published in a so-called ‘quality’ newspaper.
    Naturally it soon emerged that hazard reduction has been at record levels in recent years, the only impediment the danger of fires getting away even in winter months, because the near twenty year drought has made conditions too dangerous.
    What I think escapes a lot of people is just how vicious and fanatical is the opposition to action on anthropogenic climate change, and any of the other catalogue of environmental crises. The rational, humane fraction of humanity, that cares about human suffering,our children’s future and the continuance of the human species, is up against fanatics with utterly closed minds, ferociously determined to defeat us. They see us as their enemies, and,if you peruse their rantings on blog-sites, as evil because we are ‘Communists’, ‘socialists’,’enemies of progress’ etc I wish you every bit of luck defeating 23, but I suspect that unless we confront the moral and spiritual nature of the forces aligned against us, we will suffer defeat after defeat, until it is too late,if it is not so already.

  44. Whatshisname says:

    In case you missed it or want to hear it again, here is Governor Schwarzenegger’s historic “Black Oil Hearts” speech. It begins about one minute and 30 seconds into the video segment.

  45. Esop says:

    I wonder if noted climate change denier and California resident John Coleman has been reached for a comment on the record smashing temperatures.

  46. Chris Winter says:

    The Huffington Post has a feature I just learned about, called “Fundrace 2010.” It uses public records to amass a database of political contributions you can search to find, for example, how much Barbra Streisand or Orson Scott Card gave, and to which party. (OK, you probably knew the party ahead of time, in both cases…)

    It’s also married to a GIS and will tell you how a city is leaning. Los Angeles is heavily Democrat, but has dropped by 2 percent since 2008.

    Looks like a very powerful tool.

  47. homunq says:

    I suspect that you could find just as many countries, and perhaps the whole world, with record rainfall for some or all months in the last 12, as you could for heat. Certainly, Mexico and Guatemala are both at all-time record levels for this point in the year; and (unscientifically) this list of floods shows a spike not present in the corresponding list of tornadoes.

  48. Roger B. says:

    Since Churchill, Manitoba has been brought up, I monitor temperature data for numerous towns in northern North America. Through August, Churchill has averaged 7.71 F above the 1971-2000 average this year. Here are some other temperature deviation values:

    Moosonee, Ontario +7.18 F
    Iqaluit, Nunnavut +6.98 F
    Goose Bay, Newfoundland +6.62 F
    Yellowknife, NWT + 7.12 F
    Sault Ste. Marie, MI +5.96 F
    Hibbing, Mn +3.24 F
    Prudhoe Bay, Alaska +2.60 F
    Nome, Alaska -0.49 F

    In Sault Ste. Marie, we have tied or broken 14 high temperature marks so far this year and no low temperature marks. Temperatures in northern North America were influenced by the El Nino in the winter and spring. In Sault Ste. Marie, we’ve been above average for all months of the year and even though September has been cool, it appears like we’ll end the month above average.


  49. Speedy says:

    How about showing temps in Celsius for the remaining 95% of the world?
    Severing the final ties to your former colonial masters by abondoning ther nonsensical units of measurement is more than 150 years overdue!

  50. hi y'all says:

    This is the most intelligent discussion I’ve read in response to a global warming/climate change article. Where are the tea party folks? Soon, they too will realize that they need to buy homes in Canada.

  51. What is even more remarkable is that we are seeing these events when global average temperatures are less than 1 degree C above pre-industrial levels and the forecasts are in the 4 to 6 degree range. Today also saw a report on the state of the world’s rivers from University of Michigan that found that the highest levels of threat were to rivers in US and Europe. A seperate study found the England & Wales managing to have just 5 out of 6,114 rivers in a pristine state. We desperately need an shift in the zeitgeist to rethink the way we grow things, build things, make things and move around.
    Some moments in history can have big impacts on national and international moods: think Cuban Missile Crisis for one example. 93% of CEO’s surveyed by Accenture for 2010 Global Compact Study said sustainability issues as critical to the future success of their business.
    Defeating Prop 23 may well be a turning point and I wish you every success in defeating it.

  52. Roger B. says:

    In response to message 50,

    Inasmuch as it’s a trivial matter to convert between temperature units and inasmuch as I expect that the majority of the readers of this site are American and prefer Fahrenheit temperature values, the temperature deviations in message 49 were expressed in Fahrenheit.

    My impression is that the anger you appear to express is due to the magnitude of the temperature deviations rather than the units used. Whether the deviations are expressed in Fahrenheit or Celsius, the magnitudes are substantial. This year, Hudson Bay (Canada) became ice free 4-6 weeks ahead of the average ice free date. That occurred irrespective of the temperature scale used to express the temperatures of the region.

    If you want global temperature deviation values, all you need to do is look at the monthly global climate reports by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    The magnitude of temperature deviations in the far north are expected to be substantially higher than the global average and that is of interest to me. Decadal temperature data since 1970 shows that that is the case for northern North America.


  53. Kriss says:

    In my opinion, this is really cool for this new / fledgling petition!!!! A Weatherford International employee, one the world’s largest oilfield services companies, signed the petition: “Stop Prop 23 in its Dirty oil Tracks! Vote No on Prop 23!”

    Please consider posting this to your FB and Twitter and emailing your friends about this new petition:

    The petition to the Koch Brothers and Tesoro and Valero states:

    We the Undersigned protest against the Koch Brothers and Texas Oil Companies Tesoro and Valero. Prop 23 is not representative of California’s interests, but only that of the Koch Borthers and Big Oil.

    We already voted for AB32. That bill enjoys wide support from a broad range of Californians. AB32 will provide jobs in our state, the kind of jobs we want in our economy — Clean Energy Jobs!

    Stop interfering with our laws. You do not live in our state. If you want to do business in our state, do so by abiding by our laws — or find locations elsewhere that are more agreeable with your goals.

    Please sign the new petition here: