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Ground-level view of tornado damage. Unsure whether this was from

May 2011 in Joplin, Missouri, or December 2021 in Kentucky.

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Aerial view of tornado damage, 

May 2011, Joplin, Missouri.

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The tornado track in Joplin, Missouri, May 2011.  The sandy-brown arc, from left to right (west to east), is where the tornado pretty much scraped and leveled everything except the flat roads, and house foundations made of flat concrete, down to dirt.

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Damage on Gulf Coast from

Hurricane Katrina, August 2005

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Damage in New York City (Breezy Point, Queens), Hurricane Sandy, October 2012

PARADISE-FIRE-GROUND LEVEL.jpg

 

Plea for Congressional Hearings on Global Warming

>>  DURING 2022 ! ! !  <<

In addition to trying to help voters get ready to ask clear, informative, difficult-to-sidestep questions of candidates in races they will be voting on, I would plead with anyone who cares about global warming to begin calling for Congressional hearings about it, THIS YEAR, DURING THIS ELECTION CYCLE.

            Why the urgency? Why THIS YEAR?

            Answer #1: because the problems and threats are dire, urgent, and time-dependent.

            Answer #2: so that voters will better understand the relevant facts, information, and predictions, when they decide who to vote for, in November.

            Answer #3: most polls say that Democrats are likely to lose their majorities in both houses of Congress, in the 2022 elections. If that happens, they will lose the ability to call hearings, and to control what will be discussed at any such hearings. They can eliminate that risk, and force some direly-needed information to be placed squarely on the table, face-up, by simply scheduling hearings before the election.

 

            The list below contains my suggestions, for topics that should be raised during the first batch of any such hearings.

            The next page, in this website, contains several additional potential topics, but those get into issues such as justice, fairness, and accountability, which can be argued about forever, without ever accomplishing anything worthwhile. As such, they need to be actively and firmly set off to one side, so that they cannot become the things that the worst wrong-doers will seize upon, to further try to cloud and confuse the issues and questions of what needs to be done, now. They are included herein, because justice, fairness, and accountability are indeed supporting pillars of any decent and civilized society, and those on the wrong, parasitic, predatory, destructive side should be encouraged to ponder – starting now – how they, and their legacies, memories, properties, and offspring, are going to be treated, not by those in power now, but by either: (i) those who will be in power 20, 40, and 60 years from now, if indeed there are any such people; or, (ii) angry and violent mobs, who will indeed be seeking justice, but in forms that will focus heavily on revenge, rather than fairness.

 

QUESTION SET #1:

 

            What are the official positions of the highest‑level officers and top strategic planners in THE UNITED STATES NAVY, on sea level rise – including past numbers, current numbers, and projections into the future (with info on levels of confidence)? In specific:

            (A) Is it true that, when all the world's oceans are taken into account, worldwide ocean levels rose by an average of 8 inches, during the 100 year span, between 1917, and 2017? To briefly explain that time span, American naval bases began to be heavily rebuilt in 1917, to get ready for World War I, and to help the Navy move away from coal-powered steam engines, to diesel engines; and, by 1917, the technology had developed to a point where experts could accurately calculate sea level averages despite the fluctuations caused by tides and storms.

 

            (B) Is it true that the U.S. Navy also expects average worldwide ocean levels to rise by another 14 inches, in JUST THE NEXT FORTY YEARS? And, if so, WHY is the Navy expecting THAT to happen?

 

            (C) Who, in Congress, has the U.S. Navy been telling these numbers and warnings to, over the past 10 or 20 years? Did ANY of those Congressmen or Senators indicate an actual understanding and grasp of those numbers, and what they mean? And, which members of Congress seemed to have the BEST understanding and grasp of the facts, problems, and threats lurking in those numbers?

 

 

QUESTION SET #2 (to be asked of military experts, in this area):

            2A. Is it true that essentially ALL of the top planners, strategic analysts, and computer modelers, throughout ALL branches of the U.S. military, have reached a point where they now ALL believe, anticipate, expect, and predict, that climate change will become the single largest and most important factor, in America's international relations, and in triggering outright wars at dozens of locations, all around the globe? And, if it is not true that ALL of them agree with that statement, what is your best estimate of the percentages that do?

            2B. Do they believe that the border with Mexico needs to be fortified to a point where it can be defended – by military actions, which will need to include ‘shoot to kill' orders – in order to prevent hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of "heat refugees" from trying to move north, from Mexico and Central America, to escape from temperatures so high that they will be "rapidly lethal" to millions of people over 50 years old, in their countries? And, in what year did each branch of the military first begin to create computer models, and war-game scenarios, which began to weave in those types of predictions, as elements which had, say, a 30%, or 40%, or higher level of probability?

            2C. What are your assessments of books that have been published with "climate changes will lead to wars" warnings, such as Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats (G. Dyer, 2010), and Climate Wars: What People Will Be Killed For in the 21st Century (H. Welzer, 2015)? Which book do you believe is the single best and most informative book on this subject, for citizens and voters who are actively concerned, but who are not experts in the underlying studies, facts, and factors?

 

QUESTION SET #3:

            What do the Chief OPERATING Officers (COO's) of any Fortune 500 companies which have large and important outdoor operations say, and predict, about what they and their companies are thinking and doing, to get ready for global warming and climate change? And, ask the same question of the COO's of the 50 largest home and business insurers. Do ANY of those Chief OPERATING Officers – as in, even a single one? – simply dismiss and ignore the warnings from scientists, about changes in climate or sea levels, because they think it's all a hoax, as President Trump declared when he was in office? How many of those COOs still say that they think Trump was right, on that subject, now that Trump is no longer in office, and cannot direct the Executive Branch of the federal government to threaten or pressure their companies to remain silent, and passive, on that issue? How many are NOW willing to openly and publicly state (regardless of what they might have said while Trump was still in power) that they NOW think that Trump was badly wrong, badly misinformed, and badly misguided, on that subject? And, what do the COO's of home and business insurance companies predict is likely to happen, over the coming 10 years, to insurance premiums on buildings located in "coastal communities", as that term has come to be used?

 

QUESTION SET #4:

            What do genuine and serious experts, in both civilian and military positions, say and predict about "The Future of Florida"? What is their best assessment, as of now, of what is most likely to happen between now and 2100, and of the time frames which seem possible, and probable, for escalating damage caused by combinations of sea-level rise, and sinkholes? Do they foresee millions of refugees being forced to flee northward, from Florida, needing entirely new homes on higher ground? Do they believe that, between now and 2100, America will have to watch as an entire state becomes so badly battered, submerged, and destabilized that it no longer will be able to support "normal" government and civil society, with police and fire departments, utility companies which can provide public services, etc.?

 

QUESTION SET #5:

            What are the best, most useful, most helpful things that America can begin doing, now, to prepare for the onslaught?

            As just one example, should we create some sort of "Coastal Transition Financial Agency", to try to help coastal residents not be simply left broke and penniless, when storm surges and waves begin tearing down their houses? Or, should an agency such as that be empowered to provide stopgap measures, as insurance companies decide to simply abandon the coastal regions, and no longer offer any insurance at all, to places they know will be destroyed? Should we consider, for example, a clear and understood transition period lasting several years, where yearly insurance premiums for houses and other buildings will stop, and that money will be placed, instead, into some type of ‘cushion‑the‑blow' fund? Should building codes and zoning ordinances in all coastal regions be updated, to help places along the coast extend their ‘useful life' by at least a few years, in ways that are similar to New York City's “Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency” (ZCFR) laws, adopted in 2021?

            And, should Congress consider creating "utility companies for rebuilding", similar to other types of utility companies which provide things like electric power, natural gas, drinking water, and sewage removal? For those have never studied them, the laws that control utility companies evolved in ways which put them at controlled mid-points, to guard the public against the risks of abuse that arise from pure capitalism at one end of the spectrum, and outright socialism at the other end. Utility companies are privately owned, and profitable, and they issue dividends to their investors; however, the rates they are allowed to charge, and major investments they wish to make, must be approved by rate-setting commissions, which were created by state laws and which are designed to protect the public. They offer excellent examples of the problem-solving, deal-making, willing to compromise, balance-seeking approach to governing, which helped make America more stable, prosperous, and powerful, during most of the 20th century. That type of “bargain, negotiate, and find approaches and solutions that actually work” approach has been severely damaged, over the past 30 years, and has been pushed so far away from the playing field, it is no longer even on the sidelines; instead, it has been pushed out to where it is now beyond and behind the bleacher seats, where it can't even be seen from the playing field, and where any requests and pleas for reason and moderation are distant enough, and muted enough, to be safely ignored by those who only want to focus on getting re-elected. However, citizens and voters can at least hope that the massive disasters coming at us, due to global warming and climate change, might force Congress to shift back into a problem-solving mode, rather than its current "attack, criticize, refuse to compromise, and hammer any and all hot buttons, as hard as possible, and as often as possible" mode.

            So, Question #5, above, can be rephrased as follows: what would experts in finance, engineering, and ‘financial engineering' recommend, as the best ways for America to at least try to begin preparing for an unending and relentless series of climate‑related disasters?

 

QUESTION SET #6:

            Should America create some type of "public service period" which would either (i) require, or, (ii) enable and incentivize, people who have never spent any time in some sort of “public service”, to spend a year or so, working on projects that would serve the public good . . . such as, for example, helping clean up and rebuild towns and villages that have been devastated by flooding, fires, tornadoes, or hurricanes?

            To help put that question into better focus, below are some pictures of neighborhoods that were devastated, in recent years, by tornadoes, fires, and hurricanes. And, here is a crucial, critical, absolutely essential point, about tornadoes, fires, and hurricanes: ALL of those types of disasters will continue to grow stronger, more severe, and more dangerous and deadly, as the atmosphere and oceans all continue to grow warmer, year after year.

            No one can reliably-and-precisely predict just how much worse these types of warming-driven disasters will get, and how fast the rates of acceleration and increase will be, between now and any arbitrary cut-off year, such as, ‘Over the next 50 years’, or, ‘Between now and 2100’.

            Nevertheless, EVERY serious climate scientist KNOWS that each and all of those three types of disasters – tornadoes, fires, and hurricanes – are totally and undeniably in a category which can be briefly summarized as, “As our climate and oceans continue to get warmer and warmer, these types of disasters will not only get worse and worse, they also will become more and more frequent.

            The simple fact is that both hurricanes, and tornadoes, convert heat energy, into mechanical energy. Therefore, as more and more heat energy continues to be piled up, endlessly higher and higher, in the clouds, water, humidity, and air that ‘feed and fuel’ either a hurricane or tornado, then that hurricane or tornado will have more energy that it must somehow “throw off, and turn into mechanical energy.” Similarly, does any serious person doubt, or dispute, that if the atmosphere gets hotter and hotter, it will tend to breed, promote, and contribute to more fires, and larger fires?

            And so, the pictures below need to be seen, not as ‘terrible disasters’, but as ‘merely the entryway, to a series of even larger, worse, and even more terrible, destructive, and horrific disasters than these’.

            Please try to keep a basic, straight-forward scientific truth, principle, and entirely reliable, knowable, and inevitable prediction in mind, as you ponder the levels of damage that are already being caused, by these types of disasters. The scientific truth – the entirely knowable and reliable prediction – can be stated as follows: “These types of disasters will only get worse, and then worse, and then even worse than that, starting now, and going into the future.”

            That is a basic, baseline, starting-point realization, insight, and guiding principle. And now, here is where the “disaster levels” already stand, before they begin getting even worse:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

          In complete seriousness: "What WILL America do, and what CAN America do, to try to get ready to rebuild, not just a few, but multiple dozens of towns, cities, and neighborhoods which have been damaged as badly as the neighborhoods shown in the pictures above?" That is an absolutely (and even deadly) serious question. Every voter – and every member of Congress – who has enough brains and courage to actually THINK, should try to answer THAT question, before turning and dancing away from hard facts and reality, and grabbing onto some belief or position that seems to offer more comfort and reassurance, in the short term.

            One proposal, which I am putting on the table, face-up, can be summarized as follows:

            We need to begin seriously considering some type of “Public Service Corps”, which can provide hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people, to help do the repair and rebuilding work that will become necessary, here in America, as disasters such as major fires, severe hurricanes, and monster tornadoes become both more frequent, and more severe, due to global warming. And, instead of putting people into just one type of assignment for a year, the assignments should be shifted, every 2-3 months, to give people training and experience in a variety of useful, practical skills. Any team of skilled civil engineers could list at least 8 or 10 different types of work that people (especially recent graduates of high school or college) could be exposed to, all of which would be practical and useful in helping keep towns, cities, and societies functional, livable, and able to recover more rapidly from a disaster.

            It will take YEARS to actually develop, organize, plan, and create any sort of large-scale program such as this, before it can get started, for real. ANYONE who chooses to support it – and, anyone who chooses to oppose it – must recognize and accept that fact, and talk and behave accordingly. NO ONE should begin screaming and yelling things like, "We need to do this, NOW!!" THAT type of screaming and yelling can be (and will be) attacked, belittled, criticized, and dismissed by the powers-that-be, as ‘unreasoning hysteria’ and worse. So, we need to approach this subject, and discuss and debate it, more calmly, diligently, maturely, and professionally.

            My personal belief is that every American – regardless of age – who has NOT previously served in the military, should be “incentivized” to become involved, as a way of ‘pitching in’ and helping their fellow Americans, their communities, their states, and their society, form of government, and civilization. Clearly, different types of tasks will be involved, for people of different ages; and yet, even someone who is, for example, 70 years old, can show up at a community kitchen and help prepare and serve meals to people doing other public-service work, or can help monitor, contribute to, and improve the quality of work and care that are being performed at day-care centers. 

            A great deal more can, should, and will be said, about this, as the need for it becomes more and more pressing, then urgent, and then dire. My goal, in bringing it up now, is to try to help get it added to the mix – sooner, rather than later – during discussions and debates over how America should try to deal with climate change, so that we can start moving – sooner, rather than later – in a direction we will need to move in, some day, as the disasters grow even worse.​

Aerial view of "Camp Fire" (aka "Paradise Fire"),

northern California, November 2018

Ground-level view of Camp (aka Paradise) Fire,

northern California, November 2018

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