In Episode 106 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg continues his rant against the ubiquitous propaganda that normalizes the oppressive and dystopian pre-pandemic normality—or, as it is now incorrectly rendered, “normalcy” (sic). The opportunity for a crash conversion from fossil fuels that was posed by 2020’s pandemic-induced economic paralysis is now being squandered. As fossil-fuel prices soar, the Biden administration is continuing a Trump-era policy to aggressively open public lands to coal mining, refusing to return to an Obama-era moratorium on new leases. US greenhouse gas emissions dramatically bounced back in 2021, which was one of the five hottest years on record. A record was made for highest temperature ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. (The Northern Hemisphere record was reached in 2020.) The global mean sea level is rapidly rising, and will keep rising for centuries even if the Paris Agreement goals are met, as seems less likely each day. And all this as hospitals remain overwhelmed coast to coast, and the National Guard is being mobilized to keep them functioning. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
Production by Chris Rywalt
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Coastal sea levels in US to rise a foot by 2050: study
Sea levels along the coastal United States will rise by about a foot or more on average by 2050, government scientists find, with the result that rising water now considered “nuisance flooding” will become far more damaging.
A report by researchers from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other agencies also found that, at the current rate of warming, at least two feet of sea-level rise is expected by the end of the century.
“What we’re reporting out is historic,” said Rick Spinrad, the NOAA administrator, at a news conference announcing the findings. “The United States is expected to experience as much sea level rise in the next 30 years as we saw over the span of the last century.” (NYT)
‘Unprecedented heat wave’ hits Antarctica
Temperatures 70 degrees above normal in eastern Antarctica have baffled scientists, who say that the “unprecedented heat wave” has already changed the way experts think about the Antarctic climate system.
“‘It is impossible,’ we would have said until two days ago,” Antarctic climatology expert Stefano Di Battista wrote on Twitter. “From today (March 18) the Antarctic climatology has been rewritten.”
Temperatures at the Concordia Research Station, a French-Italian research station on the Antarctic Plateau, reached 10 degrees (minus 12.2 degrees Celsius), about 70 degrees warmer than average. (AP)
Ice shelf collapses in East Antarctica
For the first time since satellites began observing Antarctica nearly half a century ago, an ice shelf has collapsed on the eastern part of the continent, scientists said.
The collapse of the 450-square-mile Conger ice shelf in a part of the continent called Wilkes Land occurred in mid-March. It was first spotted by scientists with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and appeared in satellite images taken on March 17, according to the National Ice Center in the United States. (NYT)