Mitch Perry Report for 12.14.15 - Warming up for a Tampa Bay Winter - Florida Politics

Mitch Perry Report for 12.14.15 – Warming up for a Tampa Bay Winter

Gosh it’s hot out there. That’s what went through my mind this morning when I went running at 5 a.m. Seriously, this felt like the warmest morning yet of what has been a very warm December in the Tampa Bay area.

Maybe it’s the El Niño affect, but this unseasonably warm winter weather isn’t relegated to those of us in the Sunshine State.

In Cleveland yesterday, it was 64 degrees, one degree off the warmest December day in the city’s history. According to Accuweather, for most of the east coast this weekend, high temperatures ranged 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for this time of year. Temperatures in some areas were predicted to climb to 30 degrees above normal this weekend.

Now let’s talk about climate change.

First of all, let’s state that weather is not climate. As NASA describes it, when we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather. However, this looks like it will go in the books as the hottest year in the history of the planet – again.

On Saturday in Paris, the United Nations 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) concluded with an agreement for a long-term goal to eliminate global-warming pollution in this century.

The accord achieved one major goal. It limits average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures and strives for a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) if possible.

It does not mandate exactly how much each country must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, it sets up a bottom-up system in which each country sets its own goal – which the agreement calls a “nationally determined contribution” – and then must explain how it plans to reach that objective.

Those pledges must be increased over time, and starting in 2018 each country will have to submit new plans every five years.

Naturally, GOP candidate for president bashed the proposal – at least those who even mentioned it this weekend. But the criticism wasn’t limited to Republicans.

“While this is a step forward it goes nowhere near far enough. The planet is in crisis. We need bold action in the very near future and this does not provide that,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement.

Perhaps will hear something of some substance on the issue tomorrow night when the GOP candidates debate in Las Vegas tomorrow night on CNN?

Or maybe not.

Oh, and in other news this weekend,  Saudi Arabia let women vote, as well as runoff office.

 

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.
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