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Patricia Espinosa: UN Climate-change action is ‘changing the weather’

September 14, 2018

The UN’s top climate official declared Wednesday that climate-change action is “changing the weather.”

“By raising our ambition for climate action, we are doing more than just changing the weather. We are building a better future, a future that is cleaner, greener, and more prosperous for all,” said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in remarks at the Global Climate Action Summit.

Her comments at the summit, sponsored by California Gov. Jerry Brown, prompted a heavy dose of skepticism from critics such as Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.”

“By unambiguously stating the UN climate treaties and pacts can ‘change the weather,’ Espinosa is flashing back to previous beliefs that the bad weather events can be controlled and altered and blamed on a whole array of superstitious beliefs, including witchcraft,” said Mr. Morano.

Environmental activists routinely warn their critics not to equate climate with weather by, for example, pointing to unusually cold temperatures as a sign that climate-change disaster scenarios are overblown.

By raising our ambition for #climateaction, we are not just changing the weather, we are building a better future for all. Thank you for participating in #Talanoa4Ambition and contributing to address #climatechange, the biggest challenge of our time #ParisAgreement #GCAS2018 pic.twitter.com/oVoFFv1Jis Patricia Espinosa C. (@PEspinosaC) September 12, 2018

According to NASA, “The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time.”

Ms. Espinosa did not say which UN policies were responsible for changing the weather. The Paris climate agreement, which was adopted in December 2015 and had been signed onto by nearly 200 nations as of July 2018, is expected to take full effect in 2020.

The agreement is aimed at keeping the increase in global temperatures this century well below 2 degrees Celsius by encouraging nations to limit their greenhouse-gas emissions. President Trump said in June he would exit the deal over concerns that it would deliver little benefit at enormous costs.

Ms. Espinosa serves along with Mr. Brown as a co-chair of the summit, a massive climate-change event that runs through Friday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

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