Reprinted from Thom Hartmann Blog
Lawmakers here in DC are breathing a little easier this week now that the first heat wave of the season is past us.
But we're not out of the woods yet, and based on what we're seeing with the climate, it's likely only going to get hotter.
May 2016 was the 13th month in a row of record-breaking temperatures on Earth, marking the longest hot streak since our government's official temperature records began in 1880.
Then, June 2016 was the hottest June on record for the lower 48 states, coming in at an average temperature of 71.8 degrees, more than 3 degrees above the 20th century average.
So, rational people are worried about the planet heating up, and climate scientists are worried about the climate melting down, and Republicans are having their own absurd meltdown about "hot" videos online.
That's right, Republicans are less worried about climate change than they are about tackling pornography, because pornography's "harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions."
That's not a joke, the amendment to the Republican Party platform goes on to state that "we encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children's safety and well-being."
Seriously, and while Republicans are trying to crack down on the so-called pornographic public health crisis, we are now routinely seeing the impacts of man-made climate change all around us.
In just the last week, SuperTyphoon Nepartak in the Pacific Ocean forced the relocation of more than 400,000 people in Eastern China when it made landfall; flash floods in India killed at least 22 people and forced more than 170,000 from their homes (after months of severe drought that drained India's 91 reservoirs to their lowest points in a decade); and the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Southern Reef around Australia are rapidly dying because of warming oceans and unseasonal heatwaves.
Dr. Michael Mann recently explained on my TV show how a warmer planet can lead both to increased drought events, and to increased rainfall events.
The truth is, pretty much every aspect of this planet as we know it is changing.
Sea level is rising, heatwaves and droughts are more common, rainfall events and thunderstorms are becoming more powerful and less predictable, and the stability of crop systems across the planet are being threatened by the fact that seasons are becoming less well defined.
This animation from the Naval Research Laboratory shows Arctic sea ice thickness for 30 days up through July 8, 2016, and it shows clearly how much the ice is thinning or completely melting into the surrounding sea.