A Spectacle Both Awe-Inducing and Horrifying

A Spectacle Both Awe-Inducing and Horrifying

We're too spent with rage to rant about Thursday's latest unpresidented atrocity, but God knows many aren't. The Trumpster Fire's idiotic move to kill the planet - and never mind the children or grandchildren - has been savaged as stupid, reckless, reprehensible, grossly immoral, an international disgrace, "one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by a President" and "an inexplicable abdication of any semblance of responsibility or leadership" that makes it "inevitable that the history books will view Trump as America’s worst-ever president."

Following a speech by "an angry child" deemed "a towering pile of complete horseshit" - weirdly preceded by music from a Marine jazz band that prompted lots of Titanic jokes - furious vows of resistance came from seemingly everywhere. They  came from Pittsburgh, whose mayor rejected Trump's claim “I was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, not Paris” - they voted  overwhelmingly for Clinton - and insisted, "We will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement." The mayor of Paris wasn't any of it either. Nor were mayors across the U.S. Neither were states: The governors of California, Washington and New York, representing a fifth of U.S. population and GDP, agreed to form a United States Climate Alliance aimed at meeting U.S. climate goals.

Also joining the chorus: major CEOS; concerned scientists, including those at MIT whose research Trump mistakenly cited;  the Weather Channel, which undertook some serious trolling; Arnold Schwarzenegger of all people, who helped pass California's strict environmental laws to "choose the future" and the Pope, who likened climate change deniers to flat-earthers whose so-called argument "is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money." Others urged American voters to make both the 2020 election and 2018 mid-terms a climate referendum to "send the world a signal," even as the next few years will see other countries to "take up the mantle of leadership." John Kerry, noting Trump's moronic mistake "to put America last," on the "big fight he's started - let's go."

It better be fast. In an act of stunning synchronicity, Antarctica, the "icy underbelly of the planet" perhaps most visibly threatened by climate change, sent out a baleful message the same day as Trump's speech. After a years-long saga, researchers with Project MIDAS say a steadily worsening crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, a massive floating ice platform viewed as a natural laboratory for how ice shelves break, released a new update showing the crack grew an unprecedented 11 miles in just one week, bringing it to within 8 miles of open sea. It will likely soon break off, they say; when it does, it will produce one of the largest icebergs ever recorded - about 1,930 square miles, or the size of Delaware - representing 10% of the entire ice shelf's area. And that will be just the beginning. Scientists agree the vast majority of ice shelves are continually losing volume; the subsequent melt could raise sea levels at least 10 feet, profoundly changing the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula and  ultimately causing worldwide havoc. For now, MIDAS researchers are carefully watching Larsen C. Its collapse, they say, would create "a spectacle both awe-inducing and horrifying" - pretty much what we witnessed Thursday.

The Weather Channel website upped its ante Thursday

Larsen C slowly disintegrates.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

 Republican scientists at work

A powerful plea from Neil deGrasse Tyson: "This is science....It's in your hands."

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