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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SO WHO WILL BE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE USA IN 2020?


I initiated this three-part 2020 Presidential Election series on Friday.  Yesterday (scroll down to next posting) was part 2.  Today I will tell you who will win on 3 November 2020.

However, a lot will depend on one issue:  whether global warming is considered serious or not.  Gallup reports that 45% of Americans this year worry "a great deal" about global warming.  No doubt President Donald Trump's attitude about the subject and his decision to abandon the Paris Agreement have alarmed some.  Here is a timeline:

That 45%, I might add, is a three-decade high.  Here is another graph that indicates something happened after 2011:


Further, too, now more than two-thirds of our population actually feel that human activities are the cause of this effect:


But here is why I wonder if these beliefs actually will affect the presidential election much:
  • When Donald Trump got elected last year, he did this with the common knowledge that he felt global warming was a hoax.  Already, belief in this phenomenon was high and climbing, so why didn't this idiotic point of view hurt him?
  • People just cannot feel the difference in temperature from year to year.  If the atmosphere jumps 3.6 F by the end of this century, that is only 0.04 F each year.  However, scientists argue that less than a degree F--2.7 F instead of 3.6F--means that coral reefs will not all die and droughts would be half as serious.  But who listens to scientists?
  • It's even more non-discernible regarding sea level rise.  Sure,  projections show, perhaps, a 6-inch increase, but that is less than a tenth of an inch/year.  The future rise could be close to 50 feet, but you need to live to the age of 500 or so.  Going back in time that far takes us to around when Columbus was discovering America.  I'm, of course, being facetious, but people just don't seem to care that much.  Al Gore's second global warming film sank like a rock.  That is a fact.
  • I once thought that we would finally begin to demand action when a hundred million die one hot summer.  Then I saw on TV a blackout in Baghdad, where air conditioners became useless when the temperature was 125 F.  Very few deaths were recorded, and you saw women walking around covered in black.  The bottom line is that record global heat in the worst of summer will just not kill a massive number of humanity.
Decision-makers act when there is a traumatic cataclysm, and this signal might come from hurricanes:
  • While just common sense should be convincing enough, for as the ocean warms, there will be more ocean storms, science has shown that this already happening.  Another catastrophic disaster like Hurricane Katrina overwhelming New Orleans would definitely affect voters.
  • Something the Gore film said finally made sense to me.  As the surface of Planet Earth warms, more water will be vaporized.  Thus, storms can only get worse and worse.
  • However, Katrina was a dozen years ago.
Not sure how truly reliable this projection is, but I've recently seen sea level rise predicted to be almost 10 feet in Rhode Island by 2100.  NOAA's most recent (May of 2017) worst-case projections call for a South Florida sea level rise of more than 6 feet!

A final case in point, then, is that Al Gore beat George H.W. Bush in 2000 on total votes cast, but lost the election because of Florida and the electoral count.  Miami is the most endangered city in the USA because of sea level rise, so just here, the difference might be made.  The world actually is in worse shape.


Thus, will the environment be the difference maker in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election?  Almost any severe disturbance will mostly damage Republicans, as my HuffPo of almost a decade ago suggested.  I've already showed too many details, but let me provide just one more, from Pew:


You need to click on it to read it, but let me point out some highlights:
  • Is climate change occurring?
    • Conservative Republican  18%
    • Liberal Democrat              68%
  • Almost all climate scientists agree that human behavior is mostly responsible for climate change.
    • Conservative Republican  13%
    • Liberal Democrat              55%
  • Can climate scientists be trusted a lot to give full and accurate info on causes of climate change?
    • Conservative Republican   15%
    • Liberal Democrat               70%
How can politicians be so different in consideration of having gone through essentially the same educational system?

Thus, if global warming or any other environmental issue takes a leading role in shaping the attitudes of voters by August of 2020, I cannot imagine Donald Trump or Mike Pence (who has himself said:  I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican -- in that order) beating Al Gore.  But for all you Liberal Democrats reading this, don't necessarily count on this happening as a sure thing.

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At this time, unless something unusual happens, ocean storms Jova (heading for Hawaii), Gert (moving away from the USA East Coast) and Banyan (moving away from Japan) will all dissipate without affecting any populated area.

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