Climate Change ☀️
Amid Texas storm, UN chief says it's 'complete ignorance' to say cold weather nullifies the reality of climate change
  • The UN chief excoriated leaders who suggest cold weather means global warming isn't happening.
  • "This is total lack of scientific knowledge, this is complete ignorance," Antonio Guterres said.
  • A fatal winter storm in Texas has sparked renewed discussions on climate change in the US.
In response to whether climate change is to blame for the intense winter weather in the US, the UN chief said global warming could make "all storms, all oscillations ... more extreme."

... Republican leaders and climate change skeptics have falsely blamed the outages on renewable energy sources and the Green New Deal, a Democratic plan to address climate change that hasn't actually been implemented. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state's power grid, said that most of the outages have been "primarily due to issues on the natural gas system."

The UN on Thursday released a new, dire report on environmental crises threatening humanity, zeroing in on climate change, biodiversity depletion, and pollution. It offers a blueprint for how the world can approach this trio of crises.

"Without nature's help, we will not thrive or even survive. For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature," Guterres said in remarks on the report during a virtual press briefing on Thursday. "Human well-being lies in protecting the health of the planet. It's time to re-evaluate and reset our relationship with nature."

In his remarks, Guterres praised President Joe Biden's move to return the US to the Paris climate accord, a landmark agreement between almost 200 nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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Texas Blackouts Point to Coast-to-Coast Crises Waiting to Happen
Even as Texas struggled to restore electricity and water over the past week, signs of the risks posed by increasingly extreme weather to America’s aging infrastructure were cropping up across the country.

The week’s continent-spanning winter storms triggered blackouts in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and several other states. One-third of oil production in the nation was halted. Drinking-water systems in Ohio were knocked offline. Road networks nationwide were paralyzed and vaccination efforts in 20 states were disrupted.

The crisis carries a profound warning. As climate change brings more frequent and intense storms, floods, heat waves, wildfires and other extreme events, it is placing growing stress on the foundations of the country’s economy: Its network of roads and railways, drinking-water systems, power plants, electrical grids, industrial waste sites and even homes. Failures in just one sector can set off a domino effect of breakdowns in hard-to-predict ways.

Much of this infrastructure was built decades ago, under the expectation that the environment around it would remain stable, or at least fluctuate within predictable bounds. Now climate change is upending that assumption.

... Sewer systems are overflowing more often as powerful rainstorms exceed their design capacity. Coastal homes and highways are collapsing as intensified runoff erodes cliffs. Coal ash, the toxic residue produced by coal-burning plants, is spilling into rivers as floods overwhelm barriers meant to hold it back. Homes once beyond the reach of wildfires are burning in blazes they were never designed to withstand.

... If the Texas blackouts exposed one state’s poor planning, they also provide a warning for the nation: Climate change threatens virtually every aspect of electricity grids that aren’t always designed to handle increasingly severe weather. The vulnerabilities show up in power lines, natural-gas plants, nuclear reactors and myriad other systems.

Higher storm surges can knock out coastal power infrastructure. Deeper droughts can reduce water supplies for hydroelectric dams. Severe heat waves can reduce the efficiency of fossil-fuel generators, transmission lines and even solar panels at precisely the moment that demand soars because everyone cranks up their air-conditioners.

Climate hazards can also combine in new and unforeseen ways.

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations