2018 Was A Raging, Howling Signal of Climate Change

Record rainfall and flooding in Japan, followed by a heat wave that sent tens of thousands of people to the hospital. Astonishing temperature records set across the planet, including sweltering weather above the Arctic Circle. Historic, lethal wildfires in Greece, Sweden and California, terrible flooding in India, a super typhoon with 165-mph winds in the Philippines, and two record-setting hurricanes that slammed the Southeast United States.
Natural disasters cost the world $155 billion this year, and several of them struck the United States particularly hard. Michael and Florence, the California wildfires and a volcanic eruption in Hawaii are all on that list, according to the Zurich-based reinsurance company Swiss Re. But it doesn’t match what happened in 2017. That was the costliest weather year in U.S. history, with more than $300 billion in damage, Woods Hole Research Center senior scientist Jennifer Francis said in an essay published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read More.

Backyard Talk

2019 – What Do Think Will Happen? Here’s some thoughts.

If you think the last two years were bananas, 2019 is going to be a real doozy.
My colleague, James Mumm at People’s Action Institute, wrote this insightful forward looking piece and thought I’d share it with you.  I spent the last few hours of 2018 thinking about what we need to do next year to defeat Trump and Trumpism. We played solid defense this year. We created a #PeoplesWave to take back the House and many states in the midterms. But Trump is still president and McConnell and the GOP have a stronger grasp on the Senate.
Here is what I know. Trump blames everyone but himself when things go wrong. Now that the economy is off the rails thanks to his erratic international and domestic actions, he is pointing fingers in every direction except where it belongs (squarely at himself).
Trump tries to act big because he feels small inside. His edifice complex will not bring him the love of his mother or father, nor the majority of the American people. Truth is, his world is very small. A shrinking circle of yes men and women, campaign rallies with diehard fans, and a chorus of Fox News right-wing extremists.
If you think the last two years were bananas, 2019 is going to be a real doozy. With an incoming Democratic majority in the House and Mueller’s investigation coming to a crescendo, the walls are closing in on Trump. His entire world is shrinking and that makes him panic.

  1. Trump will double down on anti-immigrant white nationalist populism.Trump is going to lash out with all the power of his office against immigrants, women, LGBTQ communities, people of color, low-income families. We will need to play ferocious defense against these attacks.
  2. The Trump 2020 campaign will swing into high gear and make us all fear that he could win again.I learned a hard lesson in 2016. Michael Moore and my mom both said that Trump was going to win. I scoffed. Well, I scoff no more. This could happen and it terrifies me (you too I bet).
  3. Trump’s instability and chaos will cause a recession.One year ago, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan rammed their tax scam through Congress. The result? Big corporations gave CEOs and investors one trillion dollars in the form of stock buybacks. The tax scam did not create jobs; it made millionaires and billionaires wealthier while creating a mountain of public debt that the rest of us have to pay off. Trump took a lot of unwarranted credit for the economy when it was booming. Now Trump will have to own the coming recession. And the next Democratic president will have to do something bold (see next prediction) to pull America out of a spiraling crisis.
  4. The word of the year in 2019 will be “Green New Deal.”This is a bold idea that Democratic presidential contenders will be wise to endorse. A Green New Deal that is 100% Just is a total winner. 100% Just means 100% renewable energy and 100% equitable for the communities of color and low-income communities on the frontlines of climate change. This could be the answer to how we save people and planet at the same time.
  5. Lightning will strike twice and the #PeoplesWave will continue with thousands of fearless progressive women, people of color and young people running for (and winning) local office. There are thousands of city council, county, school board, and more elections happening across the country next year. The country is changing from the bottom up and there is nothing that Trump and the GOP can do about that.