In case you haven’t heard, the climate is changing. It’s getting warmer. It is obvious in my own yard. Flowers are blooming four to six weeks early. Buds on the trees are coming out. Bushes are blooming yellow. This winter there was only one kinda snowfall where we got maybe 2 or 3 inches. And other than one week of really cold weather in January, it’s been pretty mild by Chicago standards. Everyone around my age, I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, remembers cold, snowy winters with icicles hanging from our roofs, snow forts, snow men and snowball fights. Ice skating outdoors in the park. We all reminisce about the good ol’ days.

Those days are gone probably for good and without exception. Instead, our kids, grand kids and great grand kids are gonna be experiencing unimaginable summers. Already there are days here in the US where it’s too hot for planes to fly (no lift) and if you walk on the pavement barefoot you end up in the burn ward at the hospital. Certain places on the planet will simply become uninhabitable.

Here’s the scoop.

From E&E News

Lethal Heat is Spreading Across the Planet

Since 1970, more than 350 weather stations have experienced at least one six-hour period of a potentially deadly combination of heat and humidity. Scientists expect these episodes will increase as temperatures rise.


Deadly heat is expanding across the hottest parts of the world. And with just another degree or so of global warming, large swaths of the planet — including every continent except Antarctica — will at least occasionally face conditions that test the limits of human survival.

The places at greatest risk include the Persian Gulf, northern India, parts of Indonesia and eastern China, the northern coast of Australia and parts of coastal Central America.

With just a little more warming, these extremes will spread to more places.

Lethal heat is expected to spread quickly across the hottest parts of the world. But it’s also likely to creep into more temperate regions of the globe. The researchers found that parts of Europe, as well as the East Coast and Midwest regions of the United States, would see rapid expansions of potentially deadly heat in a 2 C world.

“There’s essentially very little risk up to 1.5 degrees — and then between 1.5 and 2, suddenly this risk is everywhere,”

“Everything will be fine and then suddenly it’s not — and when it’s not, it’s not going to be fine in a big way,” he said.

From E&E News

Scientists are Freaking out About Surging Temperatures. Why aren’t Politicians?

Western leaders’ attention is focused elsewhere as “unprecedented” heat warms oceans and land



The beginning of July marked the planet’s hottest week in recorded history. Last month was the warmest-ever June.

Meanwhile, the seas are heating up and temperatures in the North Atlantic in particular are “off the charts,” as European scientists put it.

Taken together, “it is a good demonstration of the fact that we are in uncharted territory,” 

Extreme heat can be dangerous by itself — a study this week found that more than 60,000 Europeans died due to heat last summer — and can have devastating consequences for ecosystems, which may affect food security.

Marine heat waves also threaten fisheries and, by extension, humans and animals that rely on them for food.

So now I hope I’ve made my point. Humanity is heading for some dire consequences of our unrelenting bad behavior. And following up again on what this means to the insurance industry, here’s more on that topic.

From E&E News

California’s Wildfire Insurance Problems are Getting Worse

The state’s last-resort insurer increased its risk exposure by $15 billion in February.


The FAIR Plan, which is an association of insurers required by the state to provide homeowner and commercial insurance to those with no other options, has been caught in a worsening spiral ever since record-breaking losses to wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Seven out of the top 12 property insurers, including State Farm and Allstate, have pulled back from California in some way over the past two years, blaming the cost of inflation and the increasing risk of climate-change-fueled wildfires.

 if a catastrophic wildfire tears through a community with a high concentration of FAIR Plan customers like Arrowhead or Truckee, the plan would levy heavy assessments on regular insurers who could pass along costs to other customers.

Now, I am going to update you on an issues that I have occasionally reported on over the past years. It pertains to lawsuits that have been filed against Big Oil Companies and governments, mostly by children (who are getting much older during this process). Here’s some news that relates to the current status of this issue.

From Grist

Big Oil Faces a Flood of Climate Lawsuits — and They’re Moving Closer to Trial

A quarter of Americans now live in cities and states taking companies to court over lying to the public.

Kate Yoder March 13, 2024

It’s been six years since cities in California started the trend of taking Big Oil to court for deceiving the public about the consequences of burning fossil fuels. The move followed investigations showing that Exxon and other companies had known about the dangers of skyrocketing carbon emissions for decades, but publicly downplayed the threat. Today, around 30 lawsuits have been filed around the country as cities, states, and Indigenous tribes seek to make the industry pay for the costs of climate change.

All the while, the effects of climate change — the heat waves, the blazes, the wildfire smoke — have only grown more obvious, and more costly. Last year, the U.S. recorded a billion-dollar disaster every two weeks.

“Last year was a really pivotal year in terms of getting past the industry’s big push and their delay tactics,” 

That might explain the spread of lawsuits from coastal cities and states to inland areas like Minnesota, Colorado, and most recently, Chicago

A study published in the journal Science last year found that Exxon’s scientists predicted the effects of climate change with startling accuracy in the 1980s. Exxon’s models nearly matched actual temperature changes over the past several decades.

From E&E News

Environmental Rights Gain Steam after Montana Climate Ruling

West Coast Democrats aim to amend state constitutions to include guarantees for a healthy environment.

LESLEY CLARK | 01/29/2024 

Proposals to enshrine environmental rights are picking up momentum in two Western states, months after youth in Montana used a constitutional provision to force the state to acknowledge climate change.

Montana judge ruled in August that the state violated the measure by enacting laws that ignore the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

 Among other protections, the so-called green amendment would recognize the rights of present and future generations to “a clean and healthy environment.

“Every law we pass opens up a lawsuit,” Lekanoff said in response to a question from Rep. Mary Dye, a Republican. “Are we more afraid of the lawsuit, or are we more afraid of doing the right thing?”

Finally this morning, let me leave you with another little tidbit that shows how technology continues to develop that is moving us forward toward a fossil free world. Granted not soon or quickly enough but nevertheless, there is growing progress showing that we are moving in the right direction.

From E&E News

Will the 1-Megawatt Motor Electrify Aviation?

Several research teams and companies have designed a lightweight motor that generates at least a megawatt of electricity. The achievement, they say, could eventually revolutionize air travel.

ABBY SHEPHERD | 07/21/2023 

 Researchers Say They are Close to Clearing a Long-Standing Hurdle to Aviation Electrification: the 1-Megawatt Motor.

At least three teams — from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the startup Wright Electric and aerospace company RTX — recently unveiled designs for the motors, which could theoretically power larger airplanes. The breakthrough, they say, could help clear obstacles faced by past researchers trying to electrify aviation, which accounts for more than 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The MIT-designed motor and accompanying power electronics system are the size of a checked suitcase, weighing less than an adult passenger. When paired with another electricity source — like batteries or hydrogen — researchers say it could run larger, commercial aircraft.

Eviation Aircraft — founded in 2015 — flew the world’s first all-electric passenger aircraft in September 2022.

The company’s Alice design is composed of two 700-kilowatt magniX motors and a 900-kilowatt-hour battery. The nine-passenger plane can operate on a smaller route of about 250 nautical miles — a large proportion of all routes flown by aircraft today, said Eviation CEO Gregory Davis.

“The industry is really in the early stages,” Engler said. “I don’t think of any one company that’s doing electric as a competitor, but rather, we’re all on the same team, trying to fight back against apathy.”

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