This afternoon I felt good for a couple of reasons. Marine air coming from the south finally lowered Salem-area temperature from about 113 to the mid 90s.
And the first 20 minutes of MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes featured the crazily high Northwest temperatures we've been suffering through as obvious evidence that dealing with climate change has to be the top priority in any Congressional infrastructure bill or bills.
So that's one good thing that came out of the past three days, when an amazing number of cities in Oregon and Washington not only broke their all-time high temperature record -- that record was demolished in, not surprisingly, a record-breaking fashion.
Meaning, as Treena Jensen, a meteorologist with the Portland office of the National Weather Service told Hayes, a town in Washington state broke its all-time high temperature record by 11 degrees, the largest difference between two record highs ever seen in the United States.
Hopefully the nation will see this hugely unusual Northwest weather pattern as a shocking example of how climate change is leading to extreme weather events that normally would be extremely rare, but will be disturbingly frequent as global warming increases.
A CBS News story says:
The heat wave baking the U.S. Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada, is of an intensity never recorded by modern humans. By one measure it is more rare than a once in a 1,000 year event — which means that if you could live in this particular spot for 1,000 years, you'd likely only experience a heat dome like this once, if ever.
...Turns out, the models were correct and we should expect extreme heat waves, even unprecedented ones like this to become more routine. "There is no context really, in the sense that there is no analog in our past for what we are likely to see this week," says Dr. Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University and author of the new book "The New Climate War."
But calling it a new normal does not suffice says Mann, "Some people called this a 'new normal. But it is worse than that," explained Mann. "We will continue to see more and more extreme heat waves, droughts, wildfires and floods as long as we continue to warm the planet through fossil fuel burning and carbon emissions."
You can see the All In With Chris Hayes segment about Northwest temperatures at the beginning of this video.
The segment features an interview with Washington Governor Jay Insleee about the imperative to make climate change front and center in every discussion of our nation's infrastructure needs.
Inslee said that $350 billion for fighting climate change was stripped out of the bipartisan infrastructure proposal agreed to by a group of moderate Democratic and Republican senators. That isn't nearly enough, yet it was too much for those senators.
Which makes it a necessity for Congressional Democrats to include that money, and hopefully much more, in another infrastructure bill that will have to be passed with only Democratic votes via reconciliation to avoid the inevitable GOP filibuster.