Are we even living in 2022?

Cabbages, kings, and boiling-hot seas.


‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,

     To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —       

Of cabbages — and kings —

And why the sea is boiling hot —       

And whether pigs have wings.’

...ships... Senate Budget chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is getting tired of letting Joe Manchin steer the ship of state, calling for a “major course correction.” “We have tried a strategy over the last several months, which has been mostly backdoor negotiations with a handful of senators. It hasn’t succeeded on Build Back Better or on voting rights. It has demoralized millions of Americans.”

If you haven't noticed the new layers available on Google Maps, are you even living in 20222

…cabbages… California grows the most produce of any state in the nation, including about 280,000 tons of cabbages a year. But it’s getting hotter, drier, and more toxic. “This report is unbelievably depressing,” said Riddhi Patel, a spokeswoman for the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, about a new climate assessment for California’s San Joaquin region, though she could have been talking about almost any climate report, let’s be honest.

The Central Valley is a little drier than it used to be.

For example, NOAA released the summary of its 2021 National Climate Report (the full report will be released on Thursday), which includes fun facts like:

  • For 2021, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 54.5°F, 2.5°F above the 20th-century average and ranked as the fourth-warmest year in the 127-year period of record. The six warmest years on record have all occurred since 2012.

  • There were 20 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2021, just two events shy of the record set in 2020. These events caused at least 688 fatalities and scores more injured.1 The U.S. disaster costs for 2021 exceeded $145 billion, which is the third-highest cost on record.

…why the sea is boiling hot… Another study just published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences answers the Walrus’s question. The seas have heated up with 14 zettajoules more energy in 2021, thanks to fossil-fueled global warming.

Not all reports are bad, though—Stanford’s Mark Jacobson has released a study that shows that a 100-percent renewable grid “running on wind, water and solar, coupled with storage, not only avoids blackouts but lowers energy requirements and consumer costs while creating millions of jobs, improving health, and freeing up land.” Yes, Virginia (and all the other states), a renewable grid is possible. Relatedly, the Senate Energy committee has a hearing looking at the future of hydropower today.

In good news: Dr. Kate Calvin, an esteemed climate and energy modeler (including GCAM and E³SM), has been appointed as NASA’s Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor, replacing GISS director Gavin Schmidt (@climateofgavin), who served as the interim chief scientist.

It’s really, really hot in Argentina. Sorry, penguins.

…whether pigs have wings… Neal Stephenson, whose latest book Termination Shock features an oil billionaire hoping to cool the planet through stratospheric geoengineering, is interviewed:

If you don’t have any perceptible downside or negative consequences, then why not sign up with or co-sign the latest conspiracy theory? I do think negative consequences definitely exist, but maybe the cause-and-effect relationship isn’t immediately obvious.

Q: What are those negative consequences? What do people stand to lose?

Well, the negative consequence is our entire civilization.

Hearings on the Hill:

  • 10 AM: Senate Energy and Natural Resources

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1. This is a massive undercount.

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