A weekly collection of top articles on climate change and solutions.

5 Nov 2017

1) Nature Conservancy | Nature’s Make or Break Potential for Climate Change
preventing further loss of nature and investing in natural climate solutions are essential to climate stability.
2) Trump Is No Teddy Roosevelt to America’s Outdoorsmen | NRDC
It remains to be seen whether the 20 million hunters, anglers, campers, and other outdoors enthusiasts ... can persuade Zinke and Trump to reconsider the political wisdom of messing with national monuments and other federally protected lands.
3) Why the Post-Paris Climate Challenge Is Even Harder Than We Thought - Yale E360
...to keep warming below 2 degrees, we have to limit future global emissions to about 1,000 billion tons of CO2. Keeping below 1.5 degrees sets the limit at just 300 billion tons. The report says that if nations stick to their 2030 Paris pledges, 80 percent of the budget for 2 degrees will be used up by that date – and we would already be out of time for keeping below 1.5 degrees.
4) How can we ensure the energy transition leaves no worker behind?
In our enthusiasm for a new energy economy, we must ensure we do not leave people behind and that, rather, we create opportunities for economic development.
5) There’s a huge gap between the Paris climate change goals and reality - Vox
On climate change, as on other pressing global issues, the US is actively withdrawing from global leadership. We’ll find out next year whether the world can keep moving forward without us.
6) The key to tackling climate change: electrify everything - Vox
it is now clear that deep decarbonization will involve pushing as much energy usage as possible to electricity grids. Farsighted policy will seek to accelerate that process, achieving the enduring benefits of electrification that much sooner. Such policies would involve substantial investment in the short term for payoff over the long term, which is not exactly the forte of democratic politics in the best of circumstances
7) Conservatives probably can’t be persuaded on climate change. So now what? - Vox
What we have in the US is not a “difference of opinion” about climate change, it’s conservatives being mistaken about some very basic facts. They’re mistaken because they’ve been lied to and misled by leaders and influencers within their own tribe.
8a) Program on Climate Change | U Washington
Provide a framework for intense cross-disciplinary collaboration that furthers and supports research and education in climate science
8b) Climate Science is Core to Science Education - American Meteorological Society
It falls on educators and policy makers to provide an environment, from elementary through graduate school, that exposes students to the nature and meaning of science as well as the rich cache of scientific knowledge. It is essential that educators instill in the next generation the following: how and why science works; how it is self-correcting; the importance of evidence and the value of uncertainty; why through a series of stops, starts, and sidetracks it will move toward an explanation of reality; and why science is the basis for many of society’s technological advancements. Climate literacy in the next generation of U.S. citizens will ensure a firm foundation of knowledge and discourse as society faces decisions on how to best deal with a changing climate.
8c) NAAEE | North American Association for Environmental Education
Environmental education (EE) is a process that helps individuals, communities, and organizations learn more about the environment, and develop skills and understanding about how to address global challenges
8d) National Science Teachers Association
Promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all
8e) NCSE | National Center for Science Education - Defending the Teaching of Evolution in Public Schools.
Climate change is arguably the most pressing scientific issue in generations. How can we hope to meet the challenges of climate change if so few of us understand the basic science?
8f) Education | Climate Change Resource Center
Start here to learn about climate change, how it may influence land management, and what options are open to natural resource managers for responding to these changes.


10 Sep 2017

1) Five Ways Congress Can Help To Rebuild Stronger and Safer Communities After Harvey
The record-breaking flooding and destruction caused by Harvey serves as the latest example of how vulnerable American communities—large, small, rural, and urban alike—are to powerful storms. But they don’t have to be. Congress must take this opportunity to ensure that communities from Houston to Port Arthur, Texas, and beyond are rebuilt stronger and more resilient to extreme weather events—before the next storm comes.
2) Why the West Is Burning
... fires need to be treated like the disasters they are, and fighting them needs to be paid for in the same way we deal with other natural disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes. “Congress needs to step up and treat these infernos like the natural disasters they are,”
3) The Next Wave of Extremists Will Be Green
The definition of terrorism — which is highly disputed and varies country to country — matters, and it is usually a political question. I asked Neumann, the ICSR director, if a green activist committing industrial sabotage without human casualties in order to change government policy to improve the sustainability of the planet was really “terrorism.”
4) Five Things Congress Can Do to Help Communities Devastated by Hurricane Harvey
1. Reform Flood Insurance ... 2. Strengthen Flood Risk Standards ... 3. Fund Science & Preparedness ... 4. Strengthen Chemical Safety Standards ... 5. Pass Near-Term Disaster Aid.


3 Sep 2017

1) World's First Zero-Emissions Hydrogen Train Unveiled in Germany
The hydrogen ... train is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and emits nothing but steam ... The train claims speeds of up to 87 miles per hour and a hydrogen storage capacity for a 497-mile range.
2) Will New Scientific Breakthroughs Pave The Way For More Climate-Related Lawsuits?
... emissions attributed to just the 50 investor-owned carbon producers, including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody and Shell, were responsible for roughly 16 percent of the global average temperature increase and around 11 percent of the global sea level rise from 1880 to 2010. Between 1980 and 2010 ... [and] 10 percent of the global average temperature increase and about 4 percent of the sea level rise. ... 31 majority state-owned companies, including Coal India, Russia’s Gazprom, Kuwait Petroleum, Mexico’s Pemex, Petroleos de Venezuela, National Iranian Oil Company and Saudi Aramco, were responsible for about 15 percent of the global temperature increase and approximately 7 percent of sea level rise from 1880 to 2010. ... “Fossil fuel companies could have taken any number of steps to address climate change, such as investing in clean energy or carbon capture and storage,” said Peter Frumhoff, a study co-author and director of science and policy at UCS. “Instead, many of them spent millions of dollars to try to deceive the public about climate science and block sensible limits on carbon emissions. Taxpayers alone, especially those living in vulnerable coastal communities, shouldn’t have to bear all the costs of these companies’ irresponsible decisions.”
3) Pruitt slams scientists for talking about ‘cause and effect’ of Harvey, Irma
... Pruitt slammed scientists for discussing “the cause and effect of these storms,” saying that “to use time and effort to address it at this point is very, very insensitive to the people in Florida.” ... Pruitt himself apparently never wants to address the issue. Indeed, Politico reported Friday that “EPA’s climate change adaptation staff will be dissolved.” Specifically, this is “the team formerly focused on preparing for sea-level rise and extreme weather.” In other words, Pruitt would like to end all talk about climate change during a superstorm — and then ensure his agency doesn’t discuss how our understanding of climate change and sea level rise might help communities prepare for the next extreme storm. ... Trump’s EPA administrator isn’t doing his job of protecting the environment and public health — and educating the public about the serious environmental threats facing Americans. So he has no business criticizing climate scientists who are trying to do their job.
4) Bigger, stronger storms will mean more post-hurricane pollution — does Trump even care?
“Unfortunately, in the short time that the Trump administration have been in office, they have made communities more vulnerable to disasters like Harvey through a series of rollbacks of environmental protections and proposed budget cuts and failures to fill key posts in federal safety and scientific agencies.”  Last week, the Center for Biological Diversity released a report chronicling Harvey-related air pollution in the Houston area. They found that more than 5 million pounds of pollutants from refineries and petrochemical plants were released due to the hurricane. One million pounds of especially dangerous chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic, were emitted from oil industry giants like Exxon and Chevron after their facilities were flooded. ... a number of alarming moves made by the Trump administration prior to the hurricane: In March, Trump rescinded an Obama executive order asking government agencies to prepare for the effects of climate change. Two weeks before Harvey, Trump ended an Obama order aimed at strengthening coastal infrastructure to withstand climate change. Trump has also pushed for cuts to FEMA, NOAA and HUD that would help rebuild and protect against damage from bigger and wetter storms.
5) Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us
Yet Donald Trump and other powerful know-nothings in Washington seem perversely determined to ignore the lessons of Harvey, while doubling down on making things worse. Trump has crammed his administration full of climate-change deniers while pushing full steam ahead on more oil, gas, and coal production. His EPA chief, incredibly, has urged governors to ignore the Clean Power Plan proposed by the Obama administration, aiding conservative efforts to gut the policy. Days before Harvey drenched Texas, Trump rescinded Obama’s requirement that federal agencies take climate impacts into account before approving major infrastructure. And in a stunning insult not only to climate preparedness but the legacy of US space exploration, Trump nominated a climate denier with no scientific training to run NASA. When the president announced in June that he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, I wrote in The Nation: “To refuse to act against global warming is to condemn thousands of people to death and suffering today and millions more tomorrow. This is murder, even if Trump’s willful ignorance of climate science prevents him from seeing it.” That judgment grows more apt with each passing day we don’t reverse course.
6) Irma, Harvey reveal ‘massive national security risks’
We need to be planning today for the next event that will disrupt lives, safety, health and infrastructure at every level. First, we need to use flood and other risk standards that reflect the higher temperatures, warmer waters, and more intense rainfall of the current era. Second, we need to ensure that our investments in infrastructure take into account a climate-threatened future. The Department of Defense is beginning to make this commitment .... Finally, our military is a crucial part of communities across the country-we can see this vividly in the valiant rescues underway by men and women in uniform in Houston. Both civilian and military communities need to come together in planning for future extreme weather events. ... We ignore these risks at our peril. Not only our national security, but our homeland, is at greater risk until we take the climate threat seriously.
7) Keeping Heads Above Water: Lessons for Building Resilience After Flooding in South Asia and Texas
Poor communities—those who live on the cheapest land available, like floodplains, and who lack the resources to evacuate—suffer most when disasters strike. Harvey hit Houston's low-income neighborhoods hardest. Residents of the low-lying areas say that they have received little help evacuating, and many are struggling to find food, water and shelter. Long-term, they worry about the costs of rebuilding and if they can afford government aid loan programs.


27 Aug 2017

1) Trump Lies: The NRDC List
We are not holding our breath that President Trump will start backing up his administration’s environmental agenda with scientific facts. But we are holding him accountable for what he says. President Trump’s torrent of misleading statements and flat-out lies has an army of journalists working 24/7 to set the record straight. To help those who focus, as we do, on climate, energy, and other environmental issues, NRDC will call out Trump whenever he distorts the facts about such matters ...
2) Study: Katharine Hayhoe is successfully convincing doubtful evangelicals about climate change
... the trusted source approach is an effective one at breaking through individuals’ resistance to the realities of human-caused climate change.
3a) Climate change did not “cause” Harvey, but it’s a huge part of the story - Vox
... climate change made Harvey worse in 3 ways: First, it raised sea levels more than half a foot in recent decades. Higher seas mean more storm surges. Second, it raised the temperature of the water in the region, which means more evaporation and more water in the air. Third, it slowed Harvey's movement, allowing it to dump more water on Houston.
3b) Trump Revoked Flood Protections for Millions of Americans | NRDC
President Trump has decided to revoke the Federal Flood Protection Standard, making communities less safe and exposing the country to greater damage from disastrous flood events. The flood protection standard required federally-funded infrastructure, like public housing, hospitals, fire stations, and highways, to be built with a higher margin of safety against extreme floods and sea level rise.
3c) Harvey Didn’t Come Out of the Blue. Now is the Time to Talk About Climate Change.
Talking honestly about what is fueling this era of serial disasters — even while they’re playing out in real time — isn’t disrespectful to the people on the front lines. In fact, it is the only way to truly honor their losses, and our last hope for preventing a future littered with countless more victims.
3d) Harvey Is What Climate Change Looks Like
We knew this would happen, decades ago. We knew this would happen, and we didn’t care. Now is the time to say it as loudly as possible: Harvey is what climate change looks like. More specifically, Harvey is what climate change looks like in a world that has decided, over and over, that it doesn’t want to take climate change seriously.
3e) How Washington Made Harvey Worse
Environmentalists, taxpayer groups and other reformers across the political spectrum have tried to rein in the program, pushing to raise premiums to better reflect flood risks and limit repetitive loss payments. But they have encountered ferocious pushback in Washington from real estate agents, homebuilders and other development interests, as well as politicians representing areas that tend to go underwater.
3f) The National Flood Insurance Program was already $24 billion in debt before Harvey
The United States spends about $300 billion responding to natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. In contrast, we only spend about $600 million on mitigation — improving buildings so they won’t flood when the next storm comes. This is despite the fact that mitigation has a 4-1 payback ...
3g) How Donald Trump and Elaine Chao Sold Off Flood-Control Policy to the Highest Bidders
Experts in climate change, coastal management and environmental policy begged the administration to maintain the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard for “climate resilience.” ... But politically influential real-estate developers and builders lobbied for overturning Obama’s order. And they got their way, thanks in no small part to one of the industry’s most powerful allies in the administration, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
4) Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it - Local Futures
Actions at the personal and household levels will never be enough, on their own, to achieve a steady-state economy. We need to create new, post-capitalist structures and systems that promote, rather than inhibit, the simpler way of life. These wider changes will never emerge, however, until we have a culture that demands them. So first and foremost, the revolution that is needed is a revolution in consciousness.
5) Wind power costs could drop 50%. Solar PV could provide up to 50% of global power. Damn.
there are reasons to think wind and solar will start running into technical and financial challenges as their share of grid power rises. How much those challenges will slow them down is difficult to predict, but they’ll probably slow them down some. Getting to 50 percent wind and solar on a grid would be heroic; getting beyond that will require radical technological, political, and legal changes that go far beyond just wind and solar power plants themselves.


20 Aug 2017

1) Seven Reasons We Face a Global Water Crisis
Global warming make dry areas drier ... More people & more money = more water demand ... Groundwater is being depleted ... Water infrastructure is in disrepair ... Natural infrastructure is being ignored ... Water is wasted ... The price is wrong
2a) Here's How 139 Countries Can Convert to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
... successful implementation of the plan would mean that solar would provide 58% of the world's energy, 37% from wind and the remainder would come from a mix of hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal and wave energy. ... this transition would be expensive ... roughly $125 trillion. ... roughly equal to the direct price of the fossil fuel infrastructure.
2b) 100% renewable by 2050: the technology already exists to make it happen
People need to be clear that renewables are the way forward. We may differ with Jacobson and his team over the best type of energy storage, but there is a lot of value in this sort of ambitious roadmap. It emphasises the scale of the challenge, and, if done right, it should bolster general opinion and inspire action. The Paris Agreement was a good example of target-setting but details matter.
3a) Exxon researched climate science. Understood it. And misled the public
In its public-facing advertorials, Exxon stressed doubt; in its internal documents and peer-reviewed research, it did not.
3b) What Exxon Mobil Didn’t Say About Climate Change - The New York Times
Exxon Mobil misled the public about the state of climate science and its implications. Available documents show a systematic, quantifiable discrepancy between what Exxon Mobil’s scientists and executives discussed about climate change in private and in academic circles, and what it presented to the general public.
4) To solve climate change, solve income inequality
Holmberg, an economist, believes inequality is a byproduct of Wall Street’s preoccupation with short-term growth. She said that “public companies that only prioritize next-quarter share prices — and pump up those share prices through stock buybacks — are an enormous driver of inequality.” She added that “corporate short-termism, by its very definition, is bad for the environment because the same shareholder incentives that skew companies away from investing in workers, capital, and innovation discourage them from investing in, for example, green retrofitting of existing buildings, sustainable production practices, and even compliance with environmental regulations.”
5) California has a climate problem, and its name is cars
California’s experience shows that decarbonizing the electricity sector is both possible and profitable, but to reach its ambitious carbon targets, the state will now have to decarbonize transportation — which brings a whole new and daunting set of difficulties. ... transportation is the single biggest source of the state’s carbon emissions, more than twice as big as the electricity sector: ... The state can no longer pretend that its housing crisis is one thing and its climate crisis another. Smart urbanism is a key part of a smart climate strategy.


13 Aug 2017

1) Living Dangerously in an Era of Megafires | Paul Hessburg | TEDxBend
We have all seen the news--hotter summers, and bigger, badder wildfires. What's going on? How did we get here?Paul tells a fast-paced story of western US forests--unintentionally yet massively changed by a century of management. He relates how these changes, coupled with a seriously hotter climate, have set the stage for this modern era of megafires. He offers clear tools for changing course, a sense of urgency, and a thought-provoking call to community action
2) Renewable Energy Isn't Just Cutting Costs, It's Saving Lives
... renewables, particularly solar and wind energy, have significantly improved air quality in the United States from 2007 to 2015. The increased use of solar and wind resulted in thousands of lives saved.
3) Why Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us
The reason for the failure thus far of the environmental movement wasn’t that it appealed to humanity’s moral sentiments—that was in fact the movement’s great strength. The effort fell short because it wasn’t able to alter industrial society’s central organizing principle, which is also its fatal flaw: its dogged pursuit of growth at all cost. Now we’re at the point where we must finally either succeed in overcoming growthism or face the failure not just of the environmental movement, but of civilization itself. The good news is that systemic change is fractal in nature: it implies, indeed it requires, action at every level of society. We can start with our own individual choices and behavior; we can work within our communities. We needn’t wait for a cathartic global or national sea change. And even if our efforts cannot “save” consumerist industrial civilization, they could still succeed in planting the seeds of a regenerative human culture worthy of survival.


6 Aug 2017

1) How Fossil Fuel Money Made Climate Change Denial the Word of God
Conservative groups, funded by fossil fuel magnates, spend approximately one billion dollars every year interfering with public understanding of what is actually happening to our world. Most of that money—most of the fraction of it that can be tracked, anyway—goes to think tanks that produce policy papers and legislative proposals favorable to donors’ interests, super PACs that support politicians friendly to industry or oppose those who are not, or mercenary lobbyists and consultants, ... few investments can rival the return that the conservative donor class has gotten from the small cohort of evangelical theologians and scholars whose work has provided scriptural justifications for apocalyptic geopolitics and economic rapaciousness. ... “Throughout the history of the church, people have always found ways to use God and scripture to justify empire, to justify oppression and exploitation,” Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, an organizer with a pro-environmental Christian group called Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), told me. “It’s a convenient theology to hold, especially when we are called to drastic, difficult action.”
2a) Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say
But as he works to roll back regulations, close offices and eliminate staff at the agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment and public health, Mr. Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former agency employees.
2b) A Former EPA Adviser on How to Push for Environmental Justice Under Trump
I believe in the power of people. It’s what our country is founded on. I believe that everyday folks can find different ways to get engaged. You can get involved with local nonprofits or your local civic organizations. You can get engaged making sure that elected officials know what your expectations are, whether you write a letter, send an email, or send a tweet. But then you also have your own personal responsibility inside your home.
3a) Paul Hawken on One Hundred Solutions to the Climate Crisis
Once you have a problem statement, what you don’t want to do is basically just push people’s face into it all the time. What you want to do is say, “Let’s go solve the problem.”   What Drawdown is basically saying to the world is we’re focusing too much on the problem instead of the solution. We’ve never mapped, measured, and modeled the top solutions to global warming after 40 years of this being in the public sphere. We have in hand now, in a practical way, the solutions that are needed in order to reverse global warming.  If they continue to scale in a rigorous but reasonable way, can we in fact achieve that tipping point where greenhouse gases peak and then go down on a year-to-year basis?
3b) Turn 21 | Responsible adulthood as citizens of the planet.
The truth is that we can make do with less stuff. We can share more, buy less, and buy used. With less stuff comes less expense, with a wonderful byproduct of having more leisure time.
4) Net Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards
Adding up the costs of benefits of federal greenhouse gas emission standards yields a net benefit of $300 Billion per year by 2030, plus additional benefits of public health and more jobs. Thus, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
5) Trump administration refuses to close fossil fuel loophole, admits it will cost taxpayers millions
that coal and other fossil fuel companies should be required to pay royalties on the fair market value of coal. What the coal companies are really arguing is that they should receive “hidden subsidies” from the U.S. taxpayer ... taxpayers missed out on an estimated $28.9 billion in revenues over 30 years due to the failure of the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management to get fair market value for U.S.-owned coal mined in the region
6) Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 tn per year | John Abraham | Environment | The Guardian
First, fossil fuel subsidies are enormous and they are costs that we all pay, in one form or another. Second, the subsidies persist in part because we don’t fully appreciate their size. These two facts, taken together, further strengthen the case to be made for clean and renewable energy. Clean energy sources do not suffer from the environmental costs that plague fossil fuels.
7) The Nitrogen Problem: Why Global Warming Is Making It Worse
The combined threat of climate change and nitrogen pollution could soon mandate far more dramatic changes in agriculture.


30 July 2017

1a) Obama Emissions Rules Could Yield $300 Billion Annually by 2030
... The $370 billion in gross benefits includes the positive impacts of reducing 980 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, along with the health benefits of also reducing other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides. These benefits would be four times greater than the projected $84 billion in total costs of implementing major regulations crafted under the Obama administration ...
1b) If You Think Fighting Climate Change Will Be Expensive, Calculate the Cost of Letting It Happen
... Politicians sometimes argue that fighting climate change is bad for the economy. But climate change itself is bad for the economy. Investing in climate resilience is not only a national security priority, but an enormous economic opportunity. ...
2) Climate-smart soils
... implementation of soil-based greenhouse gas mitigation activities are at an early stage & accurately quantifying emissions and reductions remains a substantial challenge. Emerging research & information technology developments provide the potential for a broader inclusion of soils in greenhouse gas policies.
3) New Video Visualizes a Century of Global Warming in Just 35 Seconds
In just 35 seconds, a new video illustrates how drastically temperatures in each of the world’s 191 countries have changed over the last century.
4) Agroecology to the Rescue: 7 Ways Ecologists are Working Toward Healthier Food Systems
... encourage more ecologists to engage in ecological research that can impact food system change. Their expertise in the science of ecology can show how an ecological understanding of the design and management of food systems can help us take major steps toward sustainability ...
5) Less than 2 deg C warming by 2100 unlikely
The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0–4.9 °C, with median 3.2 °C and a 5% (1%) chance that it will be less than 2 °C (1.5 °C)


23 July 2017

1) Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution
But coal’s role in all this is not complicated. Locally, coal kills people through air and water pollution. Globally, coal kills people by exacerbating climate change. It’s unconscionable for any country to permit further coal expansion if there are reasonable alternatives. And there are reasonable alternatives, ready to expand. Maybe renewable energy, joined with efficiency, grid build-out, and energy storage, can cover it. Maybe it’s renewable energy and some nuclear power. Maybe it’s renewable energy, some nuclear power, some biomass, and some natural gas.
2) Dangerous Years: A Conversation with David Orr - Resilience
In David Orr's new book, he says: "We need people who make charity and civility the norm.  We need more parks, farmers’ markets, bike trails, baseball teams, book groups, poetry readings, good coffee, conviviality, practical competence, and communities where the word “neighbor” is a verb, not a noun.  We need people who know and love this place and see it whole and see it for what it can be."
3) Your Personal Consumption Choices Can’t Save the Planet: We Have to Confront Capitalism
Contra the austerity politics of Republicans and greens alike, a counterpart here could propose a program for full employment or redistributing funds from polluters to the communities they’ve poisoned or even nationalizing electric utilities. The lives of one percenters may get worse as we scale back emissions, but the 99 percent’s can get a lot better.
4) Are We Doomed? Let’s Have a Talk.
Just decarbonizing energy, while necessary, doesn’t adequately deal with systemic overshoot. Only a reduction of population and overall resource consumption, along with a rapid reduction in our reliance on fossil fuels and a redesign of industrial systems, can do that. Economic inequality is a systemic problem too. ... There’s no technological fix for inequality; dealing with it will require redesigning our economic system and redistributing wealth. Those in wealthy nations would, on average, have to adjust their living standards downward. ... the work of resilience building (whether top-down or bottom-up) must focus not just on maintaining supplies of food, water, energy, and other basic necessities, but also on sustaining social cohesion—a culture of understanding, tolerance, and inquiry—during times of great stress. While it’s true that people tend to pull together in remarkable ways during wars and natural disasters, sustained hard times can lead to scapegoating and worse. ... David Fleming’s book, Surviving the Future, and John Michael Greer’s, The Ecotechnic Future, both  offer useful thoughts ... We are approaching one of history’s great discontinuities. The best we can do under the circumstances is to get our priorities and values straight (protect the vulnerable, preserve the best of what we have collectively achieved, and live a life that’s worthy) and put one foot in front of the other.
5) Four Ways Anyone Can Take Climate Action | Climate Reality
Contact your legislators. Write Letters to the Editor. Talk to family & friends. Encourage your city to go 100% renewable.
6) Utilities Knew: Documenting Electric Utilities’ Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on Climate Change
Nearly 50 years after scientists began to warn the electric utility industry about climate change, some utilities continue to stand in the way of real progress in addressing the problem. It is a story with striking parallels to the investigations into ExxonMobil’s early knowledge and ongoing deception on climate change. Research has shown that electric utilities could face serious financial repercussions if ever held liable for the climate change damages incurred by their power plant emissions.
7) Koch Front Group, Fueling US Forward, Bashes Electric Car Tax Credits in Latest Misleading Video | DeSmogBlog
Koch-funded Fueling U.S. Forward has pivoted squarely from the oil and gas cheerleading that defined its first phase to deliberate attacks on electric vehicles and clean energy.
8) 8 Ways to Sequester Carbon to Avoid Climate Catastrophe
Reforestation, Carbon Farming, Other Vegetation, Bioenergy & Bury, Biochar, Fertilize the Ocean, Rock Solutions, Direct Air Capture & Storage
9) New Interactive Map Highlights Effects of Sea Level Rise
Our country must use the limited window of time before chronic inundation sets in for hundreds of communities, and plan and prepare with a science-based approach that prioritizes equitable outcomes.
10) Climate Signals
Climate signals are long-term trends and projections that carry the fingerprint of climate change. Examples of observed long-term trends linked to climate change include rising sea levels, increasing extreme precipitation, and warming sea surface temperatures. Model projections can identify conditions expected in a warming world such as an increasing frequency of intense hurricanes.


16 July 2017

(1) Memo to the President: Support for Green Climate Fund Puts America First
The GCF [UN Green Climate Fund] was designed as a multilateral financial institution focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation, along with an emphasis on leveraging the resources of the private sector. All these dimensions are essential for meeting the growing challenges of climate change. And given the complexity of coordinating the efforts of the various participating countries, the GCF has made tremendous progress in a relatively short period of time.
(2) How to Talk to Children About Donald Trump
It is also important for parents to encourage children to hold out hope for the future. Reassure them and remind them that no matter how bad things are, how bad Trump is, he is not a king. We are a democracy and we are all working hard to make sure we elect someone better in four years.
(3) Sucking Up CO2 Will Cost Hundreds of Trillions
... it’s going to cost today’s young people as much as $535 trillion to clean up the atmosphere by 2100 ... that’s around seven times the size of the entire global economy. In contrast, if the world starts reducing emissions 6 percent a year by 2021, it will only cost $8 to $18.5 trillion to extract enough carbon dioxide to avoid the worst dangers of climate change, or $100 billion per year on the low end.
(4) Earth to California: Don’t Let Big Oil Write Climate Rules
Assembly Bill 398 is the result of a quick-and-dirty backroom deal Gov. Jerry Brown struck with Big Oil to extend California’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade market to 2030.
(5) Learning gardens aim to grow student engagement in science
The University of Washington College of Education, Tilth Alliance and Seattle Public Schools are partnering to change this status quo and create more culturally and community relevant, field-based learning opportunities for students. Funded by a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the project will build outdoor learning gardens and draw upon local communities and green spaces at several Seattle schools while developing a robust curriculum for K-3 educators to engage students in complex ecological reasoning and decision-making.
(6) This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy
Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team. Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies.
(7) When Will Climate Change Make the Earth Too Hot For Humans?
... public complacency is a far, far bigger problem than widespread fatalism — that many, many more people are not scared enough than are already “too scared.” In fact, I don’t even understand what “too scared” would mean. The science says climate change threatens nearly every aspect of human life on this planet, and that inaction will hasten the problems. In that context, I don’t think it’s a slur to call an article, or its writer, alarmist. I’ll accept that .... We should be alarmed.
(8) The Energy Secretary Is Wrong: The Grid is Ready for Renewables - Yale E360
The biggest obstacle to the ongoing paradigm shift is the slowness of utilities and regulations to adapt. On one level, it’s hard to blame utilities, for they are organized to make profits by expanding infrastructure, not by being efficient or facilitating the distribution of other generators’ electricity. And many regulations were written before the advent of renewables, and don’t take account of new technologies.
(9) The GOP’s moral rot is the problem, not Donald Trump Jr.
Only in the crazed bubble of right-wing hysteria does an ethically challenged, moderate Democrat become a threat to Western civilization and Trump the salvation of America. ...Trump’s racists attacks on a federal judge, blatant lies about everything from 9/11 to his own involvement in birtherism, replete evidence of disloyalty to America (i.e. Trump’s “Russia first” policies), misogyny, Islamophobia, ongoing potential violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause (along with a mass of conflicts of interests), firing of an FBI director, and now, evidence that the campaign was willing to enlist a foreign power to defeat Clinton in the presidential election.
(10a) Extreme Carbon Inequality
The only beneficiaries of inadequate climate action in Paris and beyond are a much smaller elite with vested interests in the continuation of a high carbon and deeply unequal global economy. Between the Copenhagen and Paris climate conferences, the number of billionaires on the Forbes list with interests in fossil fuel activities has risen from 54 in 2010 to 88 in 2015, while the size of their combined personal fortunes has expanded by around 50% from over $200bn to more than $300bn. 2 Governments in Paris need to stand up to their influence, and stand up for their citizens – the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable among them first and foremost – if Paris is to deliver an agreement for those who need it most.
(10b) The Rich, the Poor and the Earth
The poor pollute less when less poor and the rich pollute less when less rich.
(11) How We Can Transition to a “Bottom Up” Economy
Enter a blessing of a book, Anthony Flaccavento’s Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up: Harnessing Real-World Experience for Transformative Change. Bottom Up is a comprehensive primer on the transition to a new economy—the place-based movement to rewire the economy for equity and ecological sustainability.
(12) Resisting Trump's Anti-Regulation
• SECTION 1 debunks the Trump Administration's standard claims for rolling back regulations. • SECTION 2 provides basic information about how regulations are made. • SECTION 3 offers advice about how to participate effectively in the rulemaking process. • SECTION 4 suggests complementary tactics to be used outside the rulemaking process. • SECTION 5 describes how to find out about de-regulatory actions and provides links to organizations tracking those actions. • The APPENDIX provides links to other helpful guides and materials.


9 July 2017

(1a) Did that New York magazine climate story freak you out? Good. - Vox
I just try to communicate like I would like to be communicated to, frankly and clearly, as though I’m talking to a friend in a bar. There are plenty of ways to communicate accurately — through hortatory rhetoric, poetry, painting, dance, “disaster porn,” whatever. Scientific data are not the only medium of communication or its only currency. Narrative and emotion matter too. Most people simply have no idea how scary climate change is. However that terrible urgency is communicated, the world is better for it.
(1b) Doomsday narratives about climate change don't work. But here's what does | Victoria Herrmann | Opinion | The Guardian
Instead of presenting narratives of helpless victims and an inevitable future of defeat, we should instead report on the climate change heroes who are doing everything they can to avoid that doomsday scenario. When people see strength in communities, we can overcome limiting labels like climate change victim and begin to dismantle our prejudices against people in need of resources.
(1c) When Will Climate Change Make the Earth Too Hot For Humans?
...there’s a well-known “positivity ratio” for optimal engagement of a 3:1 ratio of opportunities to threats. He says the New York Magazine piece was around nine threats to every one proposed solution. In other words, a tripling of the ratio in the wrong direction. ... about 80 per cent of media coverage on the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report used “catastrophe framing,” with less than 10 per cent using “opportunity framing.”
(1d) Fear Factor: A Defense of 'New York's Climate Doom Cover Story
To adequately respond to the climate crisis will require us to embrace the full range of human emotions, fear among them. Some days we will feel sadness, like when we hear about the bleaching of the world’s coral. Some days we will feel anger, like when we learn of another species cast into the void of extinction. Some days will bring optimism, a steely resolve fueled by seeing hundreds of thousands marching for science or rallying for clean energy. When all else fails, gallows humor might have to do. But if you’re not fearful about climate change, either you’re not paying attention or you’re fooling yourself.
(1e) Scientists explain what New York Magazine article on “The Uninhabitable Earth” gets wrong - Climate Feedback
New York Magazine published an article by David Wallace-Wells detailing the potential impacts of climate change if no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Much of the article explores “worst case” scenarios of change in the climate system and the resulting impacts on human populations....The reviewers found that some statements in this complex article do misrepresent research on the topic, and some others lack the necessary context to be clearly understood by the reader. Many other explanations in the article are correct, but readers are likely left with an overall conclusion that is exaggerated compared to our best scientific understanding.
(2) CLIMATE REFUGEES
Short videos of climate refugees
(3) Here’s how much climate change is going to cost your county
Atlantic coastal communities are projected to take a toll from rising seas and strengthening hurricanes, but also much of the South and Midwest will be hurt by a decline in farming caused by rising temperatures, along with increasing energy demands to keep up with the heat. Meanwhile, states in the north and northwest could see their fortunes mildly boosted by warming, with farming yields rising thanks to shorter winters and less need to ward off harsh cold in homes.
(4) Trump Administration is Reopening Case of Highly Controversial Mine in Alaska -
A broad coalition of fishermen, indigenous Alaskan groups, environmentalists, and local business people have opposed the Pebble Mine, which is being proposed by a subsidiary of the Canadian firm Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
(5a) Turning dirt into climate goals via carbon farming
Carbon farming is the umbrella term used for a growing suite of agricultural and land management practices that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in soils and plants. It can involve practices such as no-till and rotational grazing. Carbon farming can deliver a double benefit: improved agricultural production and sustainability; while simultaneously making the climate system safer for future generations.  
(5b) 6 States Tapping Into the Benefits of Carbon Farming
The Carbon Farming Solution, describes it as "a suite of crops and agricultural practices that sequester carbon in the soil and in perennial vegetation like trees." If carbon farming were widely implemented, it could return billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere—where there's currently too much, to the soil where there's too little. Carbon in the soil, i.e. soil carbon, becomes a resource that increases food, water and climate security.
(5c) Should Regenerative Agriculture Have Certification
Some groups want to compete with the organic label and raise the standards for eco-conscious consumers. But others worry that another label could end up sowing market confusion.
(6) Tillerson is as bad a Secretary of State as you’d expect the CEO of Exxon Mobil to be
Tillerson’s embrace of a 30-percent budget cut for State coupled with his mismanagement has left departmental morale and influence at an all-time low, even while our foreign policy appears to be run more by the president’s erratic twitter account than a well-run State Department. .... Exxon announced that the following year, “we will discontinue contributions to several public policy research groups whose positions on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner.” Exxon never stopped funding such groups. In 2015 alone, Tillerson’s company gave more than $860,000 to such science-denying groups as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), American Enterprise Institute, and Manhattan Institute. It also gave $5 million to the anti-science U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 2014 to 2018.
(7) Controversy Explodes Over Renewable Energy
The only realistic energy future that David Fridley and I were able to envision is one in which people in currently industrialized countries use far less energy per capita, use it much more efficiently, and use it when it’s available rather than demanding 24/7/365 energy services. That would mean not doing a lot of things we are currently doing (e.g., traveling in commercial aircraft), doing them on a much smaller scale (e.g., getting used to living in smaller spaces and buying fewer consumer products—and ones built to be endlessly repaired), or doing them very differently (e.g., constructing buildings and roads with local natural materials). If powerdown—that is, focusing at least as much on the demand side of the energy equation as on the supply side—were combined with a deliberate and humanely guided policy of population decline, there would be abundant beneficial side effects. The climate change crisis would be far easier to tackle, as would ongoing loss of biodiversity and the depletion of resources such as fresh water, topsoil, and minerals.


25 June 2017

(1) Daring to Dream in the Age of Trump
Adapted from Naomi Klein, No Is Not Enough ... free college tuition, double the minimum wage, 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as technology allows, demilitarize the police, prisons are no place for young people, refugees are welcome here, war makes us all less safe. ... a very good start would be accepting the premise that widening economic inequality and climate disaster are inseparable from systems that have always ranked human life based on race and gender, while the capacity to pit populations against each other based on skin color, religious faith, and sexuality has been the single most potent tool for protecting and sustaining this lethal order.
(2) Southern Co. Suspends Kemper "Clean Coal" Project, Warns Investors It May Recognize Losses up to $3.4 Billion
In a major blow to proponents of “clean coal” technology, Southern Co., parent company of Mississippi Power, announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today that it's throwing in the towel on efforts to generate electricity from coal and will instead use only natural gas at its flagship Kemper County, Mississippi power plant.
(3) Southwest's Deadly Heat Wave Previews Life in a Warming World
With moderate greenhouse gas emissions, along the lines of the Paris climate agreement, the average summer high temperature for the U.S. is expected to rise from a historical average of 74 degrees in the 1986-2005 to an average of 81 by 2100. With high emissions, the lab says we would see an average of 91 degrees in the U.S. Similar scenarios play out across the globe.
(4) Coal: New Film Shows How Bad It Is For Your Health
"historically people have benefited economically from the coal industry, but not just without enormous cost. Coal has polluted the air, the drinking water, the land and communities, which has affected millions of people. Also, coal mining companies have demonstrated a deep disrespect for the workers. The scientific evidence is clear about the terrible health effects on coal workers, but the coal industry has offered no counter."
(5) Exxon’s support for a carbon tax is the first step in big oil’s long, negotiated surrender
The company knows perfectly well it is in no near-term danger of being taxed. It will likely continue to support know-nothing Republicans and lobby against real-world climate policies. But putting its name on a carbon tax proposal — one explicitly tied to the 2D target — can also be seen as big oil’s opening bid in what promises to be a long and contentious negotiation over the terms of surrender. There is still plenty of resistance to come from oil and gas, plenty of political and legal battles, but momentum in policy and technology have brought the end of oil, or at least the end of big oil, into view.
(6) Coal Is a Dinosaur and so is the growth economy
That has implications for robust economic growth (it’s essentially over), and hence for war and peace, inequality, political stability, and further population expansion. Dealing with the end of energy growth, and therefore economic growth, is the biggest political and social challenge of our time—though it’s unlikely to be recognized as such. (Our biggest ecological challenges consist of climate change, species extinctions, and ocean acidification.) The impacts of the end of growth will likely be masked by financial crashes and socio-political stresses that will rivet everyone’s attention while a quiet trend churns away in the background, undoing all our assumptions and expectations about the world we humans have constructed over the past couple of centuries.


18 June 2017

(1) Despite Trump’s Threat to Eliminate, ARPA-E is a Success
ARPA-E supports the early development of risky energy technologies that have the potential to revolutionize and transform our energy system. It serves a distinct and critical role, bridging the gap between the national labs’ basic science work and DOE programs that support pilot, commercial-scale projects. ... The NAS report closes its findings with “the agency is not failing and is not in need of reform. In fact, attempts to reform the agency… would pose a significant risk of harming its efforts and chances of achieving its mission and goals.” ... Secretary Perry, the Trump Administration, and Congress should heed these recommendations and ensure that the U.S. continues to fund critical innovation and research programs like ARPA-E.
(2a) Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan
... the rebuttal ... argues that Jacobson and his coauthors dramatically miscalculated the amount of hydroelectric power available and seriously underestimated the cost of installing and integrating large-scale underground thermal energy storage systems.
(2b) Is 100% Renewable Energy Feasible? New Paper Argues for a Different Target
The paper also said Jacobson assumes that: The U.S. will continuously build out new solar, wind, and hydroelectric facilities at a rate that is six times faster than the fastest single year rate Germany achieved in their energy Construction of vast amounts of energy storage with an output capacity that is two and a half times the entire current U.S. electrical system, nearly all of which (99.7 percent) consists of two technologies that do not yet exist today at commercial scale, and for which there is no reliable cost information. More than 60 percent of all industrial energy demand could be rescheduled within an eight-hour window year-round.
(3a) The Science Behind Arizona's Record-Setting Heat Wave - Pacific Standard
Planes are grounded, tap water comes out hot, and we’d all better get used to it.... A new study released on Monday says that, by 2100, up to 75 percent of people worldwide could be subject to deadly heat waves should global warming continue on its current pace.
(3b) By 2100, Deadly Heat May Threaten Majority of Humankind
“This is what climate change means on the ground,” says Davis. Nor is it surprising there are 60 killer heatwaves a year, he added. Hotter temperatures are driving people to leave their homes and migrate.
(4) The First Official Climate Refugees in the U.S. Race Against Time
Having already lost so much of their land and their tribal heritage to the water, relocation is not just crucial for their personal safety but also for the longevity of their culture and traditions. “At one time, water was our life and now it’s almost our enemy because it is driving us out, but it still gives us life,” Comardelle said. “It’s a double-edged sword. It’s our life and our death.”
(5) Mindful of Water Scarcity, Cost, and Pollution, Tamil Nadu Turns to Sun and Wind Power - Circle of Blue
Having shed much of its allegiance to fossil fuels, India must now prove that it is capable of powering itself with cleaner, water-conserving alternatives. That is no small feat. India’s 2022 renewable energy generating goal is 175 gigawatts, which is 125 gigawatts more than the sector’s current capacity.
(6) Northwest Targets: Communities Threatened by Coal, Oil, and Gas
The Pacific Northwest is at a crossroads. Caught between inland North America’s huge fossil fuel deposits and Asia’s fast-growing energy markets, Oregon and Washington have been inundated by fossil fuel development proposals. Adding as much as 100 million tons of coal per year, a million barrels of oil per day, and staggering volumes of methane gas, the tally of recent proposed projects includes at least six coal export terminals, more than a dozen oil-by-rail facilities, and numerous fracked gas and petrochemical projects.
(7) Corn on the Cob Better than in the Gas Tank, Study Says
The results heavily favored corn as food: the economic value of corn came to $1,492 per hectare, while biofuel actually causes a $10-per-hectare loss in greater economic terms, they conclude. “These results conclude that feed production systems are more energy efficient and less environmentally costly than corn-based ethanol,”


11 June 2017

(1) Climate Diplomacy Video
Implementing the Paris Agreement and supporting nations to achieve their national climate targets remain a strategic priority of foreign and security policy. Furthermore, climate security risks have to mitigated, as climate change impacts such as water or food scarcity, land degradation, sea level rise and more exacerbate potential conflicts. Climate diplomacy helps to address causes and consequences of climate change in various ways. This video gives an overview of the diverse challenges, approaches and tools of climate diplomacy. It calls for a new era of climate diplomacy… see climate-diplomacy.org
(2) Climate Risk & International Institutions
Climate change is again among the top-ranked risks threatening societies, economies and international peace and security. There is emerging consensus that global governance actors have to find integrated responses and consider climate change impacts throughout the process of policy making, as well as in the field. In this video, representatives from UNEP, EEAS, Red Cross and G7/G20 share insights about how their institution perceives and acts upon climate and security challenges.
(3) Climate Diplomacy Initiative
Melting glaciers in the Himalayas and the Andes, more frequent storms in the Caribbean and Oceania, changing weather patterns in Africa and the Middle East: the challenges posed by climate change are enormous. The repercussions raise geopolitical questions, have implications for livelihoods and development, and necessitate a strategic response to ensure sustainable development. They raise questions that go to the heart of international politics...
(4) We Will Soon Be Using More Than The Earth Can Provide
.. the world is consuming far more than the planet can sustain, how do we bring ourselves into balance with Earth’s capacities? ... 1. Decarbonization ... Humanity’s carbon energy use accounts for 60 percent of the global ecological footprint. 2. Population ... reducing the current global average family size by half a child would push back Overshoot Day by 31 days. 3. Food production and consumption ... sourcing food locally, avoiding highly processed foods, reducing meat consumption, & cutting food waste by half could move Overshoot Day forward by 11 days. 4. Urban built environment ... increasing the energy efficiency of the urban built environment through measures such as efficient mass transit could advance Overshoot Day by 2 days. If we achieved all four of these priorities, we would bring Overshoot Day to December 13 and almost be in balance with Earth’s capacity to sustain us.
(5) Is Trump Launching a New World Order?
Trump - Dismantling The Liberal World Order of FDR: Supports Nations That Embrace Fossil-Fuels & Punish Those That Favor Renewable Energy Snubs NATO Withdraws from Paris Climate Agreement Aligns with Fossil-Fuel Powers (Saudia Arabia & Russia) - a Trilateral Alliance, against Post-Carbon, Green Energy States (China, Germany) Domestically: Has Crippled Renewable Energy & Expanded Exploitation of Fossil Fuels A world dominated by petro-powers will be one in which oil is plentiful, the skies hidden by smog, weather patterns unpredictable, coastlines receding and drought a recurring peril. The possibility of warfare is only likely to increase ... A world dominated by green powers, on the other hand, is likely to be less ravaged by war and the depredations of extreme climate change as renewable energy becomes more affordable and available to all.
(6) Remember the Population Bomb? It’s Still Ticking
And so we have Lesotho today — echoing Malthus, not the future intended by aid agencies. ... As Europe faces huge waves of migrants, those masses are dwarfed by the number of poor families seeking refuge within their own or nearby countries. In Somalia, more than a million are internally displaced, while some 885,000 have migrated to neighboring countries with displaced populations of their own. Unfortunately, the Trump administration seems bent on exacerbating the problem. It has cut aid for family planning and backed out of the global agreements that seek to avert the most devastating impacts of climate change, even as rising sea levels and drought-related famines threaten to create tens of millions of new migrants. A Trump wall won’t work against rising tides of people, any more than it will hold back the seas.
(7) Dealing with the ‘loss and damage’ caused by climate change
Scaling down our emissions and building resilience against climate change can only take us so far. Some negative impacts and damages are now unavoidable. The inevitable consequences of human-caused climate change have collectively come to be known as “loss and damage”.
(8) EPA Under Siege
“I think there’s a general consensus among the career people, that at bottom they’re basically trying to destroy the place.”
(9) UN Announces 23 New Nature Reserves While U.S. Removes 17
New UNESCO Biosphere Reserves protect sites across the world, while the U.S. and Bulgaria withdraw sites from the well-known program.


4 June 2017

(1) A Proposal for U.S. Leadership on International Climate Finance During the Trump Administration
A steep increase in climate finance from both public and private sources will be required over the coming years to curb greenhouse gas pollution and build resilience to the effects of climate change. Resilience is particularly underfunded, accounting for only 17 percent of public climate finance globally in 2014.
(2) Trump’s War on Oceans
President Trump’s ocean policy actions to date represent a direct attack on sustainable, science-based management of America’s marine resources and coastal economies. What’s more, the policies buck decades of ocean progress delivered by recent Republican and Democratic administrations alike to balance preservation, management, and use of America’s coasts and oceans. Trump’s proposals represent a dangerous outlier from mainstream ocean policy, one that will certainly face growing bipartisan resistance over the next three and a half years.
(3) Trump’s Climate-Change Sociopathy by Jeffrey D. Sachs - Project Syndicate
With its large, rich, fossil-fuel-intensive economy, the US has done more than any other country to bring about the global peril of climate change, so it should accept its responsibility in helping to get us all out of danger. At a minimum, America should be eagerly cooperating with the rest of the world. Instead, Trump’s sociopathic behavior, and the corruption and viciousness of those surrounding him, has produced utter disdain for a world nearing the brink of human-made catastrophe. The next human-caused climate disasters should be named Typhoon Donald, Superstorm Ivanka, and Megaflood Jared. The world will not forget.
(4) “Do you believe?” is the wrong question to ask public officials about climate change - Vox
The question Trump and his appointees should be asked again and again is not “Do you believe?” but “What is your plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?” You say you “care.” You say the administration is “environmentally responsible.” So what are you going to do about it?
(5) The Men Who Sold the World: Kochs Call the Tune for Trump, GOP on Climate - EXPOSEDbyCMD
“Republican lawmakers were moved along by a campaign carefully crafted by fossil fuel industry players, most notably Charles D. and David H. Koch, the Kansas-based billionaires who run a chain of refineries (which can process 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day) as well as a subsidiary that owns or operates 4,000 miles of pipelines that move crude oil.” The Koch network of funders spent an estimated $1 billion over the last few election cycles telling the Republican party what to do. “It is, perhaps, the most astounding example of influence-buying in modern American political history,” wrote Jane Mayer in the New Yorker.
(6) Federal Research Has Been Stoking Oil, Gas Interest in Bears Ears Monument for Years | DeSmogBlog
“Bears Ears could very well become another Standing Rock in both desecration and resistance — the latest example of a new colonialism, with the government bulldozing Indian sovereignty and privileging Big Oil,” Williams wrote on May 6 in The New York Times. “Bears Ears is a cradle of Native American history. Far from creating a 'midnight monument' willed into existence at the slash of a presidential pen, the Obama designation provides these sacred lands with the protection that has long been in the prayers and dreams of tribal leaders.”
(7) Trump Dismissed as "Climate Buffoon” After Paris Pull-Out
France, Germany and Italy responded to Trump’s decision “with regret”, and told the President they would not be renegotiating the Paris deal. French president Emmanuel Macron urged climate scientists and engineers to go and work in France instead. “The Paris agreement remain irreversible and will be implemented not just by France but by all the other nations. We will succeed because we are fully committed, because wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: make our planet great again.”



21 May 2017

(1) Trump will reportedly exit Paris climate deal, making us a rogue nation
“Will Trump repay Putin by ending Russian sanctions and killing the Paris climate deal?” ... But Trump can pull out of Paris, an agreement Putin has never liked, because it means a large fraction of Russia’s fossil fuel reserves would remain in the ground, unable to provide vast revenue for him and the Kremlin.
(2) A Decision Cruel and Callous | By Bhikkhu Bodhi | Common Dreams
The decision to leave the Paris Accord, however, should be seen not only as an act of foolishness, arrogance, and delusional thinking, but also as an appalling expression of cruelty. The decision is cruel because it reveals a glaring deficit of compassion—a callous lack of concern for the billions of people around the world who are endangered by a more hostile climate. Sadly, it is those nations and peoples with the lightest carbon footprint that are being hit the hardest.
(3) Donald Trump’s Withdrawal From the Paris Accords Is a Crime Against Humanity | By Mark Hertsgaard | Common Dreams
the president’s action was “a stunning moral abdication of responsibility to future generations.” To refuse to act against global warming is to condemn thousands of people to death and suffering today and millions more tomorrow. This is murder, even if Trump’s willful ignorance of climate science prevents him from seeing it. History will not be so blind.
(4) How to respond to Trump's America | Joseph Stiglitz | Business | The Guardian
But the rest of the world cannot let a rogue US destroy the planet. Nor can it let a rogue US take advantage of it with unenlightened – indeed anti-Enlightenment – “America first” policies. If Trump wants to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, the rest of the world should impose a carbon-adjustment tax on US exports that do not comply with global standards.
(5) 3 winners and 5 losers from Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement - Vox
US participation in the Paris agreement wasn’t going to stop global warming from happening — the train has very much already left the station. But it helped concretize our commitment to slowing our contribution to it, and our collaboration with other countries toward that goal. Scientists have found that 0.8 of a degree of warming could be avoided if countries stuck to their commitments.
(6) The 5 biggest deceptions in Trump’s Paris climate speech - Vox
This is as raw a tribalism gets. Everything is a contest. Foreign agents are infiltrating our pure, strong nation, weakening our resolve from the inside, so that they can violate us. And — worst of all for the tribalist, worst of all for Trump — they are laughing at us. You just know they are, all of them. We feel ridiculous and weak and the only way to restore our fragile ego is with dominance displays, to show everyone once and for all that we are in charge and the most important.


14 May 2017

(1) Looking for Trump’s Climate Policy? Try the Energy Department
... the world still needs major technological advances to halt global warming, like better batteries to integrate larger shares of solar and wind power into the grid, or carbon capture to curb pollution from cement plants. ... the Energy Department has nurtured these kinds of innovations, ... But those efforts would be drastically scaled back under President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal, released on Tuesday, which proposes to cut the agency’s energy programs by ... 18 percent below last year’s levels.
(2a) G7 split as leaders issue climate statement without US | Climate Home - climate change news
Trump’s “waffling” over the Paris deal had left him “in stark isolation ... The leaders from Europe, Canada, and Japan have made it crystal clear they intend to fully implement their national commitments under the Paris agreement and pursue efforts to decarbonise the global economy,”
(2b) Is the Paris Climate Agreement Dead? | Foreign Policy
The Trump administration faces a clear choice. Option 1: Stay in a global agreement designed around a bipartisan blueprint, show up to workmanlike talks and file required paperwork no one in Washington will read, and lean in aggressively to the commercial side by promoting U.S. clean-energy exports and investment overseas. Option 2: Withdraw, enrage virtually all our important allies and partners, cede market share to China, and face possible trade retaliation.
(2c) dear-mr-president-nyt-05-16-17.pdf
As businesses concerned with the well-being of our customers, our investors, our communities, and our suppliers, we are strengthening our climate resilience, and we are investing in innovative technologies that can help achieve a clean energy transition. For this transition to succeed, however, governments must lead as well. U.S. business is best served by a stable and practical framework facilitating an effective and balanced global response. The Paris Agreement provides such a framework. As other countries invest in advanced technologies and move forward with the Paris Agreement, we believe the United States can best exercise global leadership and advance U.S. interests by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort.
(2d) The Paris Agreement: A Good Deal for the United States. An Essential Deal for the Planet. | Earthjustice
With or without the United States, the rest of the world will implement the Paris Agreement. ... Other nations’ leaders aren’t wasting time denying climate change; in fact, they are moving forward to reap the economic and health benefits of the clean energy economy.
(3) If you want to solve climate change, you need to solve income inequality
“This is a time for people to get creative about how we can leverage the challenge of climate change to solve our inequality issues.” To protect the environment, “we need good jobs, we need a solid tax base, we need a good healthcare system, and we need criminal justice,”
(4) Rick Perry’s “review” of the energy grid is just what it looks like: a bid to save coal - Vox
There are more reasons why this bid to prop up coal is exactly what it looks like — including the absurdity of citing “fuel diversity” in defense of coal and the silly notion that grid cybersecurity is better served by baseload plants
(5) Focus on Carbon Removal a 'High-Stakes Gamble'
“Hoping that future generations might somehow figure out an atmospheric CO2 decline in a way that undoes climate catastrophe is just foolish,” he said, adding that it’s critical for humanity to pursue both emissions cuts and carbon removal technology as quickly as possible.
(6) EPA Clears Path for Alaskan Mining Project | Colorlines
The EPA announced today (May 12) that it will allow the Pebble Mine Project in Bristol Bay, Alaska to move forward with the approval process. Under former President Barack Obama, the agency denied the project access to permits in 2014. The mine ... would produce copper, molybdenum and gold. The concern had been how the mine would impact certain watersheds that are home to all five species of Pacific salmon ...


7 May 2017

(1) U.S. Native Coastal Communities Moving Due to Change Climate Change | Colorlines
Climate change is impacting the world and its inhabitants in various ways. But that impact is more visceral for some—particularly Native American communities that are on the coast. ... 17 U.S. communities have to relocate due to climate change, and most of them are Native American. Five are in the Lower 48, with the rest in Alaska.
(2) Will Trump’s spiraling constitutional crisis end up saving the Paris climate deal?
If America abandons the commitment the U.S. made in Paris — if we abandon over two decades of international negotiations that have given humanity its last, best hope to avoid catastrophic climate change — we will be a rogue nation, a global pariah like Putin’s Russia. And as I’ve discussed, our soft power, our ability to achieve outcomes we desire in other global negotiations, will collapse.


30 April 2017

(1) There Is Zero Reason To Exit The Paris Climate Accord, David Roberts, Vox
Bannon wants to keep Trump’s hardcore base on board by showing them that he intends to keep his most egregious campaign promises. Such a move might temporarily restore Bannon’s reputation as a key player in the White House. It might offer a thrill to Trump’s core supporters, at least for a news cycle or two. In exchange for that ephemeral political boost and a soothing stroke to Bannon’s ego, Trump could do serious, lasting damage — not only to the desperate global attempt to rally and prevent the worst of climate change, but to his own reputation, influence, and ultimate success. There’s just no reason to do it.
(2) For Effective Engagement: Hitting The Reset Button
This is the reason why a focus on values alone is not sufficient. Values belong in the pre-frontal cortex, where we can reflect, strategize, imagine, and yes, clarify our values. And this involves addressing our fear-based, short-term survival neural networks—in the limbic system. Meeting the limbic system with a values-based message is akin to being tone-deaf. Would you ask someone who is fearing for their security, if they “value” something? No. You would ask them what do they need, now, to feel safer and more secure, before you can engage in the conversation you really wish to have. If even a fraction of this were to be taken on board, we would immediately be redesigning our research, strategies and tactics differently. This means inviting new and different people to the table, beyond polling, surveying and focus group experts. We would pause to rethink the use of social marketing, such as ambassadors or champions, heavy reliance on celebrity endorsements, and coming up with yet another values-based messaging platform. We would be designing our research methods to really capture the deeper layers of anxiety, ambivalence and aspiration, by using more conversation-based approaches. We would be funding projects that leverage insights already gained from ethnography, marketing, psychosocial research and innovation sectors. We would not be focusing only on what people “view” or how to “mobilize,” but on what people are experiencing – where the anxieties, ambivalence and aspiration live, or what I call “The Three A’s.” And to do this, requires rethinking our deeply held, even cherished ways of doing things. It means being open to new and emerging practices, and collaborating with new kinds of practitioners from different disciplines. It also means recognizing that we are all in this together – that our lessons learned are what are going to help us protect and preserve the vulnerable human and nonhumans amongst us, who are depending on us right now to show up and be effective.
(3) Climate Politics: Environmentalists Need to Think Globally, But Act Locally
In our view, environmentalists need to defend environmental regulations by emphasizing their concrete benefits for well-defined constituencies, and mobilize those groups to protect their gains. Environmentalists should continue making broad, long-term arguments about addressing climate change. After all, there is an important political constituency that views climate change as the defining challenge for humanity and favors active advocacy on climate issues. At the same time, however, they need to find more ways to talk about local jobs and benefits from climate action so they can build constituencies that include both greens and workers.
(4) Three Paths - Resilience
The path according upon which humanity has a chance to find a just and sustainable world requires what is unthinkable yet mathematically impeachable and morally imperative: that we in America and Europe live more like African villagers, Indian subsistence farmers, and South American peasants.[xx] They must become our models for the triumph of human dignity and justice, not to mention sustainability. We, who have the appearance, at least, of a choice, must choose this sort of radical simplicity, embrace the hard work and the community interdependence, and abandon dreams that we might live without limits and be or do anything we can imagine (that godlike conceit was forged under the illusion that we have an infinite universe at our disposal[xxi]). This will never happen you say. It is unrealistic. People will never give up privilege unless they have to.[xxii] Congratulations: you have just chosen Path 2. But true enough, I can’t disagree, this skepticism is probably warranted, especially if the limits of human aspiration are to be pragmatic and strategic, if you can’t hope beyond the current political parties and already established life-paths for middle class people. For there is no clear path from where we are to a world of radically simple sustainability, except the one paved with cataclysmic violence and bloodshed, in which we will eventually be forcefully taken to our knees.[xxiii] But we might still stand up and declare, “this is the right path, this is what I support, this is where I will throw my energy.” There is no reason why we must continue to choose Path 1 or Path 2, or accept it–no reason why we must continue to pretend that our way of life or our side of the ideological divide (give or take a few ideological tweaks) is just and sustainable. There is no reason why we should continue to give our consent to the maintenance of either growth or inequality. Let us openly and loudly declare our commitment to our own eventual material poverty, and in this declaration find moral and spiritual wealth. Let us begin to proclaim the unthinkable and think it every day.
(5) Limits to Economic Growth?
From isolated projects/struggles to a movement with a narrative for the future of society. Many activists have realised the need to network and make alliances and need for political representation to combat the way that the toxic economy uses the state to advance its own purposes and agenda. To combat this the green movement must be more than a collection of isolated struggles and projects but needs to come together as a movement with its own ideological narrative for the future of society. This has included challenging the desirability and critiquing the prospects for the growth economy. Many groups therefore share an overarching vision of the need for a Great Transition – and for “Degrowth”.
(6) Ask Umbra’s 21-Day Apathy Detox | Grist
I’m here to ... offer the best tools, tricks, and advice to help you fight for a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. You’ll build civic muscles, find support buddies, and better your community!
(7) How Trump Could Spend $1 Trillion To Fix America | Grist
I think the modern environmentalist needs to be a pro-city person, but our pattern of infrastructure investment hurts cities. It induces people to spend their money inefficiently, by getting on the freeway to go to Walmart rather than walking to a store across the street. The more we can invest in making cities viable places — places where people want to live, places that can take care of themselves — the more cities will serve the aims of environmentalists.
(8) Why The Moral Argument For Nonviolence Matters
In a principled nonviolent approach, the goal is always reconciliation and steps toward beloved community. The goal is always to build and strengthen relationships and to bring people and communities together, not separate them. If we are not able to find ways to bring communities together, we will always have separation, violence and injustice. Even if you are able to achieve short-term gains, if relationships between people were harmed in the conflict and you are further away from each other as a result, then it is not a victory at all. If only your tactics are nonviolent and not your worldview, whatever issue you’re working on may get resolved, but the relationships don’t get repaired. We are in need of a truly nonviolent revolution, not just of systems and policies, but also of worldviews and relationships. We need to understand that people are never the enemy, that violence and injustice itself is what we need to defeat, and that the goal of every conflict must be reconciliation. Each conflict we face has to be seen as an opportunity to strengthen understanding between members of a human family that have grown so far apart that we have forgotten our dependence on each other. That is why we need a principled nonviolent approach to society’s ills. Because it is not just laws and systems that have poisoned us. It is a worldview that has made us forget that our liberation is bound up in the liberation of all people. And only a holistic nonviolent approach — one that involves both strategies and principles — can muster the force to stop injustice in its tracks while bringing communities towards reconciliation.
(9) No Country On Earth Is Taking The 2 Degree Climate Target Seriously - Vox, David Roberts
When climate activists say, "We have the technology; all we need is the political will," they act like that’s good news. But think about the political will we need: to immediately cease fossil fuel exploration, start shutting down coal mines, and put in place a plan for managed decline of the fossil fuel industry; to double or triple the global budget for clean energy research, development, and deployment; to transfer billions of dollars from wealthy countries to poorer ones, to protect them from climate impacts they are most vulnerable to but least responsible for; and quite possibly, if it comes to it, to limit the consumptive choices of the globe’s wealthiest and most carbon-intensive citizens.


23 April 2017

(1) Climate change poses ‘nightmare scenario’ for Florida coast
Who will be the smart money that gets out early — and who will be the other kind of money?
(2) Connecting the Dots on Ag and Climate Change
... truly climate-friendly agriculture is found in emerging soil science that shows ecological farming can draw down carbon from the atmosphere and put it back into the soil where it can contribute to healthy, functioning ecosystems. ... For most of this century, governments have invested billions of dollars in our fossil-fuel driven, chemically dependent agricultural model. Governments must instead invest in practices and people that promote a resilient and healthy climate, food, and water future.
(3) U.S. Participation in Paris Agreement 'Still Under Consideration,' Tillerson Says
"Pulling out would damage the United States far more than it would damage global momentum on climate action, ... It would undermine America's standing in the world, cede clean energy jobs and investment to China and Europe, and potentially even expose our companies to retaliatory trade measures.
(4) The Climate Denier Caucus in Trump’s Washington
With more Americans than ever worried about climate change, members of Congress are paying attention and many are starting to shift their tone. According to a recent Gallup poll, 71 percent say most scientists believe climate change is happening, 68 percent believe it’s caused by humans, and 45 percent worry about it a great deal (a seven percent jump from 2016).
(5) Pulling out of the Paris agreement will destroy the Trump brand
The supposed master of deal-making and branding will achieve permanent brand destruction and historical notoriety of the kind enjoyed by leaders like Neville Chamberlain and Herbert Hoover — all to destroy a global deal that requires minimal effort to fulfill.
(7) Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist
The challenge now is to create local to global economies that ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials – from food and housing to healthcare and political voice – while safeguarding Earth’s life-giving systems, from a stable climate and fertile soils to healthy oceans and a protective ozone layer. ... And that means going beyond redistributing income to pre-distributing wealth, such as the wealth that lies in controlling land, enterprise, and the power to create money. ... What we need are economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow.


16 April 2017

(1) Trump's Anti-Science Budget
Defunding science is like eating our seed corn.
(2) Starbucks, REI and Sound Transit Partner With PSE On Renewable Energy Project
... It allows customers to partner with PSE to use wind energy that meets their financial and carbon reduction goals as corporations are increasingly focused on reducing carbon footprints ...
(3) The EPA Reversed a Rule That Would Protect People from Toxic Water
As a mother, I’m frankly horrified that the EPA would put the safety of drinking water at risk for millions of Americans, but that’s exactly what they’ve done. Coming from West Virginia, where we’ve had enormous challenges with maintaining clean water supplies due to the coal industry’s political influence, I’m outraged that these common sense protections are under attack from the EPA itself. Having clean, accessible water is a basic right for all families, and it’s EPA’s job to ensure our communities have the clean water we need to stay healthy and thrive. Trump’s decision to attack our right to clean water on behalf of coal executives is just another indication of who this Administration works for - and it isn’t American families, but polluters.
(4) Neil deGrasse Tyson On Science Vs. Denial
Science has made America great.
(5) The Hunger President: Trump Doctrine Takes from Poor, Gives to the Rich
The failure of the international community — and particularly the United States — to help those in desperate need in Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria could become a powerful recruitment tool for anti-Western terrorist organizations. At the very least, the increased competition for limited resources will sharpen already-existing political and sectarian divisions. The Trump administration could continue to avert its eyes from famine. It could continue to deny the real-world impact of climate change. And it could insist that drone attacks from above are the only way of dealing with terrorists on the ground. But it won’t be able to pretend for long that these problems won’t ultimately affect the United States. The growing number of refugees pouring out of those countries and the growing anger of those who perceive that they’ve been abandoned by the West will necessarily have a blowback effect on the last superpower standing.
(6) Defeating Trump is Job One
Trump already has a long list of climate crimes. He has: **Revived the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines; **Appointed ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State; **Appointed climate denier Scott Pruitt to head the EPA; **Revoked the U.S. Department of the Interior’s “Stream Protection Rule,” which restricted dumping mining waste into surrounding waterways; **Ordered the EPA to review the “Waters of the United States” rule, effectively rolling back federal protections to some wetlands and isolated lakes; **Rescinded a prohibition of lead ammunition on federal lands and waters; **Withdrew an Obama EPA request for more detailed information on oil and natural-gas facilities; **Proposed a 31 percent budget cut to the EPA in the initial budget; ** Proposed one of the largest increases to the military budget in U.S. history, being one of the worst polluting sectors in our economy; **Ordered the EPA to reconsider car emissions requirements; Signed an executive order dismantling a huge part of the Obama administration’s climate agenda. This order reduces tracking of climate data, rescinds a 2016 moratorium on coal leases on federal lands, and begins the process of rescinding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan
(7) Climate Change as Genocide
... failing to halt the advance of climate change—to the extent that halting it, at this point, remains within our power—means complicity with mass human annihilation. ... in the era of President Trump, which means the federal government and its partners in the fossil fuel industry will be wielding their immense powers to obstruct all imaginable progress on limiting global warming. They will be the true perpetrators ofclimate genocide. ... Only dramatic and concerted action on multiple fronts can prevent the human disasters now unfolding in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen from becoming the global norm.
(8) "Reform" Won't Solve Our Biggest Problems
If it is true that modern capitalism is incompatible with effective action on climate change, if it is true that top-heavy, bureaucratic nations always eventually become captive to their wealthy citizens, if it is true that our centralized, complex, tightly networked systems in finance, agriculture, shipping and manufacturing are exceedingly fragile and prone to failure–if these all represent structural defects, then they cannot be addressed by tinkering or “reform.” Those in charge cannot be persuaded to “do something” which is contrary to the structural necessities built into these systems.
(9) Preparing For The Next Movement Moment
That evolution toward the ever-more-extreme position traps the group in its bubble, disconnecting it from the diversity of people who are open to change. ... this dynamic is one more reason why we can’t expect to make the most of movement moments unless we pay attention to the self-limiting aspects of internal movement life.
(10) The Trump Budget Cuts Hit Coal Communities and Workers Where It Hurts
[Given] President Trump’s professed support for coal country and coal miners, it is startling and contradictory that the budget blueprint ... defunds the very programs that are most actively helping economically struggling communities and workers in coal country.
(11) 4 Rules For Making A Protest Work
The whole goal of a protest movement is to create a political moment that decision-makers — the people in power — just can’t ignore. And protesters need to get creative in how to make that moment.
(12) Donald Trump And The Rise Of Tribal Epistemology
To understand the media’s dilemma, let’s revisit the classic liberal view of democracy, in which there is an area of normal politics bounded and structured by a set of shared rules and norms, enforced by institutions. This is still the view accepted ... by most of the mainstream political press. It prides itself on being a neutral referee, enforcing shared standards of accuracy and honesty. ... But what happens when political participants step out of bounds and violate shared norms? Is it the press’s role to defend those norms, to push back, or merely to report on what has happened?
(13) The Top 7 Ways the Trump Administration Is Attacking Science at the EPA
President Trump, Administrator Pruitt, and their allies in Congress want to obscure the science that clearly demonstrates the need to cut air and water pollution by the powerful corporate interests that offer them the greatest political support. Without hard science in the way, they can more easily spin the story they want to sell—that corporations can pollute unabated without hurting our lungs, waterways, and climate.
(14a) 6-Step Guide to Take Your Resistance to the Next Level
Trump may have big banks and the fossil fuel industry on his side, but the resistance movement has creativity, conviction, and people power. We’ve already defeated him in the courts, dwarfed his rallies with our marches, and made his Cabinet nominations the most contested in history. But we can’t stop until our air, our water, and our health are protected; we can all play a role in resisting these latest attacks. Are you ready to #ResistOften?
(14b) Fossil Free – How We Win
The Fossil Free campaign is just one part of the global movement for climate justice. We’re up against powerful actors that won’t give up their influence without a fight. We’ve experienced set-backs and should prepare for more. Just know that as long as we weaken acceptance for the industry and keep escalating pressure, we’re on the right track and gaining strength. This is how we win.
(15) Fossil Fuel Industry Steps in to Help Save Paris Climate Deal for All the Wrong Reasons
... both the coal and oil industries likely understand that their members could wield significant influence in global policy from inside the Paris agreement, which would be more difficult if the United States withdraws. If that were to happen, the value of fossil fuels originating in the U.S. could drop even further. While it may be nice to see these industries fighting for the U.S. to remain in the Paris climate agreement, it pays to remember whose interests the companies are really focused on: their own.


9 April 2017

(1) Is 100% Renewable Energy Realistic?
... the haziness of the long-term view argues for humility on all sides. There’s much we do not yet know and cannot possibly anticipate, so it’s probably best for everyone to keep an open mind, support a range of bet-hedging experiments and initiatives, and maintain a healthy allergy to dogma.
(2) How Carbon Capture Could Become A Rare Bright Spot On Climate Policy In The Trump Era
... The long-term future of CCS as a climate strategy, however, will require moving away from oil recovery and toward permanent geological storage. The United States has a vast network of underground saline aquifers that could, in theory, permanently store centuries’ worth of CO2 from all our existing coal and gas plants. (Though before proceeding, we’d need to study monitor these aquifers carefully to make sure the CO2 doesn’t leak out — if it does, that’s a deal-breaker.)
(3) Portland Public Schools First to Put Global Climate Justice in Classroom
“Climate education, especially in the age that we’re living in, needs to be a whole lot more bold than it is ... Responsible climate justice education has to help kids see how they play a role in creating a better world.”
(4) Donald Trump And The Rise Of Tribal Epistemology
To defend broader civic norms and liberal institutions — equality before law, freedom of religion and assembly, respect for science, basic honesty and consistency — is to defend the preconditions for the existence of a healthy, independent media. But it is also, inescapably, to be at odds with an administration bent on degrading those norms and institutions. That puts political journalists in a tenuous ... position.
(5) The Question I Get Asked, Bill McKibben
... “The most important thing an individual can do is not be an individual. Join together—that’s why we have movements like 350.org or Green for All, like BlackLivesMatter or Occupy. If there’s not a fight where you live, find people to support, from Standing Rock to the Pacific islands. Job one is to organize and jobs two and three.”
(6) Earth Day in the Age of Trump
How is it that a group as disorganized as the Trump Administration has been so methodical when it comes to the (anti) environment? The simplest answer is that money focusses the mind. Lots of corporations stand to profit from Trump’s regulatory rollback, even as American consumers suffer.
(7) Clean Water Is A Basic Human Right
As we invest in our public water systems — and we must — let’s remember to distribute costs equitably and not let rising water rates further exacerbate inequality. ... Sharing source water protection costs; capitalizing municipal, state and federal water infrastructure funds; and keeping water public and in the public eye are just a few of the many steps we can take to keep water affordable and inequality in check.
(8) How A New Way Of Thinking About Soil Sparked A National Movement
Known as the soil health movement, it is a management philosophy centered around four simple principles: reduce or eliminate tillage, keep plant residues on the soil surface, keep living roots in the ground, and maximize diversity of plants and animals. ... [Some Farmers] are growing more food while drastically reducing their use of inputs like herbicides and fertilizers, which is the ultimate strategy for becoming more profitable. Benefits on top of profitability include enhancing the health of ecosystems we depend on. The possibility of a win-win for farmers and the environment is a driving force for the movement.


26 March 2017

(1) Clean Energy Employs More People Than Fossil Fuels
“If we truly want to grow our economy, reduce air and water pollution, protect public health and create huge numbers of news jobs for American workers, we must seize the opportunity that is right in front of our eyes: invest more in clean energy including solar, wind, storage and energy efficiency.”
(2) Four-And-A-Half False Statements EPA Head Scott Pruitt Made In Just One Interview
In the days and weeks ahead, Trump and his team will be offering a series of false and misleading statements to try to make the case that the EPA Clean Power Plan and the Paris climate deal would hurt the U.S. economy and kill jobs, when all the evidence makes clear the reverse is true.
(3) Climate Change Skeptic Group Seeks to Influence 200,000 Teachers
... more than half [of high school science teachers] taught their students that humans are unequivocally causing climate change. But 31 percent of teachers told their students that the cause of climate change is still being debated.
(4) Reframing the Here and Now: How to Fight Back on the Climate Front
... Those of us seeking action on the climate front should recognize that there will be an unavoidable human cost to it and push for a compensation mechanism that provides job training and retirement packages to affected workers ... Climate change mitigation that doesn’t speak to basic needs like health, jobs and financial security – and an approach that doesn’t identify with people’s anxieties and insecurities in these areas
(5) Charts That Show Trump Isn’t Stopping the Renewable Energy Revolution
Global trends show some renewable energy technologies have reached 'grid parity' with fossil fuels—thanks to falling technology costs—meaning no financial support is required to make their cost equal to, or cheaper than, their fossil fuel competitors,”
(6) Global Anger and Dismay After Trump Slams Brakes on U.S. Climate Action
"If 'America First' means you want to lead, then you can't turn the clock back and rely on a century-old technology. You're missing the train," says Thomas Stocker, a climate scientist, ... "Whoever tries to change into reverse gear is only going to harm themselves when it comes to international competitiveness," said German environment minister Barbara Hendricks
(7) The Most Damaging Part of Trump’s Climate Change Order Is The Message It Sends
Trump seems oblivious to the gravity of what he’s doing, the potentially fateful consequences he is risking in exchange for little more than a photo op. ... Millions of lives and billions of dollars are at stake in climate change, along with untold suffering, unjustly distributed. Time is agonizingly short. Watching Trump bat the issue around for cheap populist huzzahs has the air of an absurdist nightmare.
(8) A List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment
The Trump administration’s tumultuous first months have brought a flurry of changes ... to U.S. environmental policy. Many of the actions roll back Obama-era policies that aimed to curb climate change and limit environmental pollution, while others threaten to limit federal funding for science and the environment.
(9) Making America Fuelish Again
Trump’s budget, his pledge to begin unravelling clean car standards, and now his climate change accelerating Executive Order represent a pure distillation of ideology and corporate interests triumphing over facts, reason and the rule of law.
(10) The “Can’t-Do” Approach of the American Auto Industry
It is unfortunate that an intelligent discussion of regulatory strategy and effectiveness is not possible in today’s ideologically charged political process. We need to get past the idea that all regulation is good or all regulation is bad. Regulation is an effort to influence corporate and individual behavior. The behaviors we seek with motor vehicle regulation are those that will deliver safer, less polluting and more cost-effective transportation.


19 March 2017

(1) The Superrich Have Profited From a Broken System—And Their Money Alone Won’t Fix It
The time has come for the very rich to engage in giving back not only with their money, but also with their total personal commitment to replacing the system that so benefited them. It is called philanthropy. Giving back will require significant humility and will be a true test of learning new skills. Turning money into healthy, living social and environmental systems is a very different—and far more difficult task—than turning once healthy living systems into money.
(2) World Meteorological Organization Issues Dire Climate Warning
"Trump administration and senior Republicans in Congress [who] continue to bury their heads in the sand.” ... our children and grandchildren will some day marvel at such deniers “and ask how they could have sacrificed the planet for the sake of cheap fossil fuel energy, when the cost of inaction exceeds the cost of a transition to a low-carbon economy.”
(3) Why the World Economy Has to Be Carbon Free by 2050 - The New York Times
Installation of renewables in the energy sector is doubling every five to six years and has been on this course for a decade. If we keep doubling at this pace, renewables will reach 100 percent before 2050. We can say good riddance to coal by around 2030, saving millions of lives as air quality improves. And bye-bye to oil by 2040. At this pace and scale, we can be close to carbon-free by 2050.
(4) Big Oil Replaces Rigs With Wind Turbines
Wind farms are especially interesting to Shell because they can power electrolysis reactions that make hydrogen, which the company says may be a major fuel for cars in the coming decades
(5) Seven Things That Need To Happen To Keep Global Temperature Rise Below 2C
... the G20 accounts for around 80% of the world’s total primary energy demand – including almost 95% of its coal demand and nearly three-quarters of its gas and oil demand. ... it is responsible for more than 80% of total CO2 emissions.
(6) Sea Ice Falls To Record Lows In Both The Arctic And Antarctic
Sea ice falls to record lows in both the Arctic and Antarctic
(7) Battling Climate Change in the Time of Trump
Though President Trump can choose to ignore climate change and line the pockets of oil, gas, and coal executives, most Americans know that, as a nation, we do not have the luxury of arguing the politics or putting our heads in the sand.
(8) Climate Change Is Not A Tech Problem, So A Tech Fix Alone Won’t Work
The strategies we highlight here largely fall into another category: solutions that emphasize place-based, social and behavioral innovations. We are not arguing against technology reform. We are arguing that climate change is not, fundamentally, a technological problem.


12 Mar 2017

(1) Trump’s Proposed NOAA Cuts Would Disarm Our Coasts
... although the effects of climate change remain among the greatest risks to the U.S. shoreline, ... In addition to climate adaptation efforts, they also support resilience against storms and other natural events, research on fisheries management, the preservation of wetlands ... and general community planning processes. “Just from a dollars-and-cents perspective, avoiding human suffering, why would you do anything to pull back on support where most people live and where most of the infrastructure is built?”
(2) The Ethics and Practicalities of Foreign Aid
“The State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps, and other development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way. As Secretary James Mattis said ... ‘If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.’ The military will lead the fight against terrorism on the battlefield, but it needs strong civilian partners in the battle against the drivers of extremism — lack of opportunity, insecurity, injustice, and hopelessness.”
(3) The Dance of Death | By Chris Hedges
The ruling corporate elites ... crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military “virtues” are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch. Education is designed only to instill technical proficiency to serve the poisonous engine of corporate capitalism. Historical amnesia shuts us off from the past, the present and the future.
(4) If the Answer is 'Tax Cuts for the Rich; More Pain for the Rest of us,' What Was the Question?
... investments in clean energy create three times as many jobs per dollar, as investments in fossil fuel energy do. ... they also give us cleaner air and water, and stem climate change ... So, it makes you wonder why Trump and the Republicans are on a jihad against regulations ... doing everything they can to prop up fossil fuel companies instead of becoming leaders in the energy sources that will dominate the 21st Century. ... For them, whatever the question, the answer is tax cuts for the rich and corporations, even if it means bad health, increasing impoverishment, and a killer climate for the rest of us.
(5) Trump And Climate Chaos: A Letter To My Daughter
... sometimes bullies win. Sometimes bad people get power. Sometimes a man who cares about nothing more than his own aggrandizement becomes president. But your mom and dad will fight along with millions of others. We will do everything in our power to make a difference.
(6a) Trump's Interior Dept to Retract Obama-Era Fracking Rule
"Backing away from these modest rules is doubly dangerous given the administration’s reckless plans to ramp up fracking and drilling on public lands across America, ... Federal rules are critical because state rules in places like Oklahoma have been appallingly slow to confront air pollution, man-made earthquakes, and other serious harms caused by oil companies."
(6b) Trump Took First Steps To Make It Easier For Frackers To Pollute On Public Lands
“This shortsighted decision tells communities that reasonable safeguards and transparency in drilling operations matter less to this administration than handouts to oil companies and other special interests,”
(7a) A Grim Budget Day For U.S. Science
"This budget proposal would cripple American innovation and economic growth, ... and would "lead to a U.S. innovation deficit, as it comes at a time when China and other economic competitors continue their investment surge in research and higher education."
(7b) These Climate Programs Would Be Axed Under Trump's Budget | InsideClimate News
President Donald Trump's first budget plan treats climate change as the hoax he once called it, slashing funding for federal action, international cooperation and research on global warming as part of $54 billion in budget cuts.
(7c) Trump’s Budget Poses A Major Threat To The Environment, Public Health
“More mercury in our air and more lead in our water may help the bottom lines of corporate polluters, but they would cause enormous health problems for people all across this country, especially low income and communities of color,” ... “would be devastating for America’s outdoor economy,” and warned that American’s national parks and refuges could see “mass layoffs and perhaps even closures, sending shockwaves through the local communities that depend on these special places to support hotels, outdoor shops, and guide businesses.”
(8) Trump’s Budget Sabotages America’s Best Chance To Add Millions Of High-Wage Jobs
China already has over 40 percent of all jobs in renewables globally, while the United States has under 10 percent .... Trump’s actions will insure that China remains first in this vital job-creating sector.
(9) The Perversity of Cutting the International Climate Budget - Center for American Progress
These countries [China, Mexico, Columbia, Peru] recognize not only the moral imperative of investing in low-carbon and climate-resilient development but also the economic and security benefits—and they will obtain the global influence that follows from these investments. Eliminating U.S. support for climate-related development assistance does not put America first.


5 Mar 2017

(1) Agriculture Begins to Tackle Its Role in Climate Change
Greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector in developed countries average about 12 percent, compared to 35 percent in developing countries, which makes agriculture a relatively less important solution in industrialized countries. Still, advocates are pushing agricultural interests and regulators in the U.S. to do their part ...
(2) Cutting Food Waste Is Saving Companies Money (and Helping the Climate Too)
For every dollar on average the companies spent cutting food waste, they saw a $14 savings in operating costs.
(3) Assisted Migration of Plants and Animals in an Era of Rapid Climate Change
Assisted migration of trees in an era of climate change.
(4) Climate Opinion Maps - U.S. 2016
70% in US believe global warming is happening. 53% believe it is due to human activities. 58% are worried about global warming. 82% support research on renewable energy and 75% believe we should regulate CO2 as a pollutant.
(5a) EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Denies That CO2 Causes Global Warming
Pruitt said today “I would not agree” that carbon dioxide “is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” Pruitt's comments were condemned by climate scientists. Former EPA Chief Gina McCarthy said "The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs. When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high." Climate scientist Kevin Trenberth said "Pruitt has demonstrated that that he is unqualified to run the EPA or any agency. There is no doubt whatsoever that the planet is warming, and it is primarily due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning of fossil fuels." Jamie Henn of 350.org said "Pruitt's statement isn't just inaccurate, it's a lie. He knows CO2 is the leading cause of climate change, but is misleading the public in order to protect the fossil fuel industry." Because Pruitt contradicted his testimony during his confirmation process before Congress, Michael Brune of Sierra club said "As Pruitt testified before Congress, it is the legal duty of the EPA to tackle the carbon pollution that fuels the climate crisis ... Pruitt is endangering our families, and any sensible senator should demand he be removed from his position immediately for misleading Congress and being unfit and unwilling to do the job he has been entrusted to do."
(5b) Call It What It Is: Climate Cover-Up
Like Pruitt’s own entanglement with oil and gas producers, the bizarre anatomy of denial has a long paper trail of “bankrolled public relations firms and their bogus fronts and campaigns have deliberately sought to manipulate the media, mangle the language of real science, and effectively derail any public policy or action to halt the spiraling climate crisis.”
(6) How Green Buildings Could Save Our Cities
Cities produce a vast amount of emissions and waste, putting a strain on both human and ecological health. But our buildings themselves may hold a solution. High-density urban areas—especially those built using green methods in design and construction—can be more energy efficient and pollute less.
(7) Trump’s Unifying Opportunity: Food Security
... Food, it turns out, is the great unifier. One of the few bipartisan pieces of legislation to emerge in recent years was the Global Food Security Act of 2016, which allocated over $7 billion to improve agriculture and nutrition in developing countries. The rationale, beyond the altruistic aspects of the legislation, was that investing in the alleviation of hunger, malnutrition, and poverty worldwide is squarely in the national security interests of the U.S.
(8) We Have A Magic Technology That Sucks Up Carbon
,,, simply allowing degraded forest areas to regrow could pull up to 330 billion tonnes of additional CO2 out of the atmosphere over the 21st century. ...Coupled with a reforestation program ... would put the world on track to achieve the 1.5C temperature goal of the Paris agreement. ... we need to “make forests healthy again.”
(9) Coal Lobbyist Trump Attorney Seeks To Bypass US Kids' Climate Lawsuit
“We have always viewed this case as the kids versus the federal government and the fossil fuel industry. Now that the fossil fuel industry has placed its former senior officers and paid consultants in positions of political power, the interests of both the government and the fossil fuel industry are completely aligned. Their political goal is to put oil and gas profits over the future of our country’s posterity,”
(10a) Scott Pruitt Denies Basic Climate Science. But Most Of The Outrage Is Missing The Point.
... climate denial is just the tip of the (melting) iceberg. The right’s refusal to accept the authority of climate science is of a piece with its rejection of mainstream media, academia, and government, the shared institutions and norms that bind us together and contain our political disputes. ... Pruitt’s comments point to something deeper and more corrosive than mere misinformation or misunderstanding. Explaining the basic facts of climate science (again) is utterly futile if the intended audience rejects the authority of climate scientists and scientific institutions. We’re eventually going to have to grapple with this crisis of authority. Until then, more facts and periodic outbursts of outrage are futile.
(10b) Dear Scott Pruitt: Stop Lying.
It is very clear what this administration is doing when we look at the way the Trump transition team was stocked with climate trolls, the way his appointees dodged and obfuscated in confirmation hearings in response to climate questions, and the way expected executive orders and budget priorities target climate change science and policy (and budgets)—the administration is dialing back progress on climate solutions and fostering a fossil fuel industry resurgence. Which helps the fossil fuel industry and screws the rest of the entire world, now and indefinitely.
(11) Oil Giant Shell Warns Public Faith In Fossil Fuel Industry Is 'Disappearing'
“I do think trust has been eroded to the point that it is becoming a serious issue for our long-term future. “If we are not careful, broader public support for the sector will wane. “This is the biggest challenge we have at the moment as a company ... the fact that societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing.” Mr van Beurden said Shell will increase investment in renewable energy to $1bn, still only a small part of its total annual spending of $25bn.


26 Feb 2017

(1) Trump Proposes 24 Percent Cut To EPA
Trump officials will propose a $6.1 billion budget for the EPA next year, a $2 billion cut from current levels ... The agency’s staffing levels would fall to 12,000 workers, from 15,000 currently ...
(2) Initiating a Global Citizens Movement for the Great Transition
Perhaps the spark that will initiate an unprecedented demonstration of global unity is not to be found in the human mind at all, but in the simple attributes of the human heart—as Raskin himself appears to intuitively recognise. He writes: “As connectivity globalizes in the external world, so might empathy globalise in the human heart.” The question that remains is: how can that collective empathy be initially catalysed, and on what basis—given the fact that tens of thousands of people are needlessly dying each day without sufficient help from governments or the public-at-large?
(3) Progressive 'Justice League' to Serve as Alt-Cabinet for Fact-Challenged Trump
Dubbing itself an "online Justice League" of sorts, a progressive "Shadow Cabinet" launched Monday, filled with "citizen secretaries" tasked with debunking President Donald Trump's lies and putting forth substantive, democratic, and justice-based alternatives to his administration's right-wing agenda. "Of course President Trump has legal legitimacy due to the Electoral College," the group wrote in a statement posted Monday morning on Twitter. "But he lacks moral legitimacy when he incessantly distorts, denounces, misdirects, cherry picks, and self-enriches in an almost Orwellian long con. Those engaging in daily disinformation deserve daily responses."
(4) ‘Shell Knew’: Oil Giant's 1991 Film Warned Of Climate Change Danger
Shell told the public the truth about climate change in 1991 and they clearly never got round to telling their own board of directors ... Shell’s behaviour now is risky for the climate but it is also risky for their shareholders. It is very difficult to explain why they are continuing to explore and develop high-cost reserves.
(5) Children's Climate Lawsuit Aims to Unearth Documents from Oil Group
... the plaintiffs accuse the federal government of violating their constitutional rights by knowing about the dangerous climate impacts of burning fossil fuels while supporting their development.
(6a) Threatening Clean Water for Millions, Trump Signs Off on Polluter Giveaway
"The Clean Water Rule is grounded in science and the law so that our streams and wetlands can keep us healthy and safe, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and beautiful places to recreate, ... In contrast, Trump's dirty water order is dangerous and illegal, based on corporate greed and unlawful environmental pollution." ... Trump is "putting the drinking water of 117 million people at risk, demonstrating that he puts the interests of corporate polluters above the public's health."
(6b) Trump to Rip Up Rules that Will “Cost Billions in Pollution & Cause 120,000 Premature Deaths”
... “repealing the CPP [Clean Power Plan] would result in an increase of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions of more than 500 million metric tons (MMT) in 2030 and 1200 MMT in 2050, contributing to global warming and severe weather events, such as hurricanes, floods and droughts.” The cumulative cost to the US economy would exceed $100 billion by 2030 and would reach nearly $600 billion by 2050. It would also “increase particulate emissions, causing more than 40,000 premature deaths in 2030 and more than 120,000 premature deaths in 2050.” “Repealing the Clean Power Plan would be a terrible mistake”
(6c) White House Plans To Cut EPA Staff & Eliminate Key Programs
... the EPA’s staff would be slashed from its current level of 15,000 to 12,000. Grants to states, as well as its air and water programs, would be cut by 30 percent. ... Grants to clean up brownfields, or abandoned industrial sites, the radon program, climate change initiatives and funding for Alaskan native villages would be gone. ... “This budget is a fantasy if the administration believes it will preserve EPA’s mission to protect public health,” said Gina McCarthy, former EPA head ... “These cuts, if enacted by Congress, will rip the heart and soul out of the national air pollution control program and jeopardize the health and welfare of tens of millions of people around the country,” said S. William Becker
(7) The Trump Administration and the Environment — Heed the Science - NEJM
it is abundantly evident that environmental processes related to globalization and the scientifically indisputable effects of greenhouse gases will play a growing role in causing disasters and other challenges to human health, it would be inappropriate and potentially disastrous to pause action on mitigation, particularly in concert with the wider community of nations.
(8) What We Need Are Farms That Support Farmers, Consumers AND the Environment
A shift in perspective that recognizes relationships among food, water, and energy systems and new metrics that value co-benefits to water and energy could go a long way toward further advancing agroecology.
(9) Strategic Communication on Sustainability
... they must be presented with a clearly articulated picture “of what producing and consuming less means on a practical level, and how the transition away from the current growth and consumption-based economic model begins."
(9) The Walking Dead in Washington
System change doesn’t happen incrementally and is not triggered by traditional political processes – it takes a crisis. With Clinton, we would have blundered our way closer to the cliff, deluded by small progress. With Trump, we may just wake up in time. The Great Disruption is now in full swing. We face the most important choice in human history – economic decline and the descent into chaos – possibly collapse – or transformation into a very different economy and society. Having the walking dead in Washington may be just what we need.
(10) From Soil to Sustainability
... “sustainability is not about windmills, hybrid cars, and green cleaners; it is about the way we live. It is about living authentically; it is about our relationship with nature, with each other, and with ourselves. To be sustainable requires a fundamental shift in our way of thinking and goes to the core of who we are as human beings.” I would only add that it is also about how we relate to soil!
(11) How To Push Climate Action Forward In The Trump Era
Average Americans are really busy. They’ve got families and jobs that take up most of their time and energy. They aren’t consuming the same in-depth stories, tweets, alerts, and morning newsletters that you are. ... Reaching them requires targeted efforts, localized strategies, and smart and consistent messaging.
(12) Why Do We Throw Away So Much Food?
The environmental impact of our wastefulness is extraordinarily high, considering the huge amount of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, and other resources needed to grow and transport food. And when it is dumped in landfills, decaying garbage releases vast amounts of methane.
(13) EPA Budget & Water Rule in Trump’s Sights
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been in Trump’s sights this week, after he signed an Executive Order dismantling Obama’s “water rule” and reports confirm he plans to cut the agency’s budget by as much as one fifth, laying off thousands of workers.


19 Feb 2017

(1) Trump, Putin, Exxon: What Is Russiagate Really About?
The Trump and Putin camps are acquainted. Putin helps Trump become president. Trump ends the sanctions that are holding back Putin’s economy, especially the Exxon-Rosneft deal. That the two men seem to share a love of autocratic government, of pressuring the media and judiciary to do their bidding, and of mingling their financial interests with their government power, does not lessen concerns that such a corrupt deal has been taking place in front of our eyes.
(2) America Is Suffering From A Very Real Water Crisis That Few Are Acknowledging
... the water affordability crisis is not something that is a few decades off, or even a single decade off: More than 40 million American citizens could find themselves unable to afford water in the next five years if both stagnating incomes and increasing water prices stay on their current trajectories.
(3) California Dam Crisis Could Have Been Averted
... “It’s irrational and risky to operate without considering modern” climate trends and the changes they could create in rainfall, snowpack, runoff and flooding
(4) Two Cheers For A Carbon Tax, But Don’t Expect It To fFx Everything
Fossil fuels now supply four-fifths of the world’s energy, a share that has dropped only slightly since 1990. To stabilize CO2 concentrations, we must essentially stop burning fossil fuels. How is this to happen? Supporters of a carbon tax hope that the market mechanism — higher prices for fossil fuels — will unleash a torrent of innovation: safer nuclear, less costly solar, better batteries. This is a leap of faith. Higher prices do not guarantee technological breakthroughs.
(5) System Change Will Not Be Negotiated
The fact that fossil fuels are not renewable does not deter the fossil addicts. In order to remove the cloud of dust (and doubt) over fossil fixations, the industry came up with the term clean coal, and the notions that carbon pollution can be tackled through carbon capture and storage or sequestration, or through types of geo-engineering. These unproven technologies are all ways of resisting the need for change and ensuring business as usual. The best possible outcome would be to postpone the evil day and build an uncertain future for our children.
(6( Economic Growth — A Primer
... our global economy is entirely unsustainable. We are hurtling towards an unlivable planet, scarce in necessary resources, yet overflowing with waste, and heated to a point where the planet’s ecology will spin out of control. But the official policy of every major government and international agency across the globe is to maintain economic growth. ... Economic growth is not sustainable—not even close. It is a material and energy intensive highway to ecological ruin. Unsustainable means “cannot continue.” Either it can’t continue because the materials needed just don’t or won’t exist, or it won’t continue because we will have made the world uninhabitable by trying to maintain economic growth, though it is more likely that we will see a mixture of the two, with lots of finger-pointing, blaming, and political and social disruptio ...
(7) To Billionaire Doomsday Preppers: Your Wealth Won’t Save You
Our current system of extractive capitalism is preventing the transformation required of us. We need to rewire ourselves as a species and change the economic system that is destroying nature and producing escalating inequalities. The question to those with wealth is: Will you throw your lot in with the rest of humankind and work for a system that gives us all the chance to survive and, possibly, flourish?
(8) How Electric Utilities Could Revive Their Sagging Fortunes And Decarbonize The Country
Total electrification of transportation and heating in the US would yield a 72 percent reduction in greenhouse gases from energy, almost enough to meet our long-term target. ... Utilities should wake up to the opportunity ... an electrified future in which they are the heroes of the decarbonization fight rather than the villains, with a vital role at the heart of America’s energy economy.
(9) Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against 'Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life'
The climate kids asked the court to declare that their constitutional and public trust rights have been violated and to order the government to develop a science-based National Climate Recovery Plan to reduce emissions to a climate-safe level.
(10) What Is Wrong with a Carbon Tax
Under Barnes’ schema, the government caps the supply of fossil fuels allowed into the economy. Next, energy companies bid against each other to obtain production permits in a government-run auction, thus driving up the price of each unit of carbon. As the cap gradually descends, additional auctions occur, thus further increasing prices and steering the market toward cheaper renewables. Meanwhile, taxpayers receive their dividend checks quarterly, as with the tax plan. The result is a carbon price determined by the forces of supply and demand instead of the dubious mathematics and ethics of mainstream economics.
(11) Forewarned About Environmental Damage
Hurrican Katrina, Coal Ash, Lead Poisoning, Algae in Lake Erie, Hanford Radioactive Waste
(12) Climate Migration Film Festival
Beasts of the Southern Wild, This Changes Everything, The Crossing ...
(13) Renewables Gain Market Share
Renewable energy appears unstoppable, with two US states introducing 100 percent renewable energy legislation, the solar industry reporting strong job growth and record solar power installations, and batteries attracting big investors.
(14) Trump’s War on Our Planet
Over the past four and a half decades, presidents from both parties have furthered environmental protections designed to keep the American people safe and healthy. But President Trump and the Republican‑led Congress are poised to wipe out these essential safeguards. America is now facing the worst assault against our environment and health in our history. President Trump has pledged to cripple the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, making it even harder to protect our natural resources—and, as a result, the well-being of all Americans.



12 Feb 2017

(1) I’m A Scientist. This Is What I’ll Fight For.
Science shows us ways of building a sustainable future — by reinventing our energy system, agriculture and cities. Science can build a future where people and nature thrive together, for generations to come. Ignoring science will doom us to an impoverished, degraded world. Our children deserve better than that, and only science points the way forward. ... But the War on Science affects all of us, and the things we hold most dear — including the greatness of America, the future of our planet, the decency of our society and the people we love. Without unbiased facts, an informed citizenry and the free and open pursuit of truth, we cannot be the America we want to be.
(2) How Labor and Climate United Can Trump Trump
Virtually every aspect of Trump’s agenda is bad for both working people and the climate. It harms people and planet to aid the enrichment and empowerment of the rich and powerful. It is phony on jobs, phony on trade, and phony on climate. It needs to be exposed as an attack not only on particular groups like workers, immigrants, and women, but on society itself. Labor and climate movements should work together in every venue they can affect to expose the harm that the Trump agenda will do to working people and communities.
(3) The Man Who Sued the EPA is Now Running It. What Does That Mean for the Environment?
Scott Pruitt comes to his new position with the heavy baggage of having devoted a good part of his career to opposing EPA ... Scott Pruitt comes to his new position with the heavy baggage of having devoted a good part of his career to opposing EPA ...
(4) Renewable Energy Draws Increasing Republican Support.
if Midwestern states like Kansas start leading on renewable energy, choosing renewable energy, working in renewable energy jobs, associating their state identity and state pride with renewables — that, more than anything, is likely to shift their opinions on global warming (and openness to serious climate policy).
(5) The Irreversible Momentum Of Clean Energy, Barak Obama
... I remain convinced that no country is better suited to confront the climate challenge and reap the economic benefits of a low-carbon future than the United States and that continued participation in the Paris process will yield great benefit for the American people, as well as the international community. Prudent U.S. policy over the next several decades would prioritize, among other actions, decarbonizing the U.S. energy system, storing carbon and reducing emissions within U.S. lands, and reducing non-CO2 emissions ...
(6) Why Won’t American Business Push for Action on Climate?
The Trump presidency complicates the calculus for businesses that need to manage an array of Washington issues, insiders say. “Companies absolutely care about climate change, but they care about other things too,” says Ceres’ Lubber. “They are balancing and juggling.” Corporations want Trump and the Republican Congress to support corporate tax cuts and infrastructure spending, and they do not want to become a target of a president who has been willing to call out individual companies by name.


5 Feb 2017

(1) Climate Economist Issues Warning Against The Cost Of Inaction On Climate Change
Nordhaus ... calculates the social cost of carbon (SCC) at $31 per ton of CO2 (almost twice his 2013 estimate). If that were a carbon tax, it would add about $0.30 to a gallon of gasoline.
(2) Russia and the U.S. Could Be Partners in Climate Change Inaction
Russian climate policy specialists think U.S. rejection of climate action would deal a blow to the emerging pro-climate voices in Russia. "Russia looks to the U.S. and China's plans on climate change," ... "China might be getting more climate-oriented but if the U.S. pulls out of Paris, it's a huge argument to Russia to go even more slowly."
(3) Trump Cronies Rewarded as House GOP 'Dirty Trick' Bolsters Big Oil
"If Congress and the GOP vote to stop this common sense regulation, some of the clearest winners will be the Big Oil cronies closest to Trump," ... "Today's vote in the House to repeal BLM's wasted gas rule was a win for the American Petroleum Institute, the Koch Brothers, and oil and gas CEOs, but it was a loss for the American people."
(4) Trump’s War on Climate Policy Threatens National Security
National security advisers have warned since 2004 that climate change is a “threat multiplier” whose impacts could vastly eclipse terrorism. These concerns have increasingly worked their way into U.S. national security strategies ......
(5) Trump Ignoring Climate Facts
Trump and his team are damaging the future health, safety and prosperity of the American people by undermining climate scientists and promoting ‘alternative facts’ ...
(6) Clean Energy: The Challenge of Achieving a ‘Just Transition’ for Workers
The US government has poured millions of dollars into helping out former coalminers, but that apparently didn’t help them to feel any less disenfranchised in the most recent US election. Many saw Donald Trump’s promises to bring back the coal industry as a final lifeline, while Hillary Clinton’s promise to bring new opportunities to areas affected by coalmine closures was interpreted as a threat.
(7) An Economy of Meaning, or Bust
We don’t have much time to make a transition from current systems to better ones. Mass extinction and other global catastrophes loom on the horizon. We face the unthinkable, not so much because a few CEOs, companies, or politicians have acted greedily (some have), but rather because today’s problem-solving systems didn’t evolve to help us meet real needs. They waste our precious time, as mentioned, rather than focusing our talents and natural drives on things that do matter, such as caring for others and the planet. ...


29 Jan 2017

(1) We Know Trump’s Cabinet Picks Are Wrong On Human-Caused Global Warming
Trump and his cabinet don’t consider climate change an urgent threat, no doubt because they wrongly think this settled question of human responsibility is still under debate. ... it will be up to the public to make their voices heard if we’re to prevent the incoming administration from fiddling while the world burns.
(2) Climate Change Denial Is Not Dead
We may have to withstand a vacuum in climate leadership at the national level for the next several years, given the stranglehold that fossil fuel interests currently have on the presidency and the Republican congressional leadership. Yet any continued delays in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions might well commit us to more than six feet of sea level rise and massive coastal flooding, more devastating storms, historic deluges and crippling summer heat and drought.
(3) Trump"s Censorship Playbook.
A war on science is a war he’s guaranteed to lose. Trump can deny the science, silence the scientists, censor their reports, even fire them from government agencies - but that won’t stop the Earth from heating and its climate from changing at a dangerous rate. At best he would survive a four or eight-year term, leave the planet a worse place for future generations, and be seen as a villain in the history books.
(4) Electric Vehicles Will Disrupt The Oil Market
fossil fuels could lose 10 percent market share to PV and EVs within a decade. ... “Growth in EVs alone could lead to 2 million barrels of oil per day being displaced by 2025, the same volume that caused the oil price collapse in 2014-15.”
(5) An insurgent in the White House
Mr Trump also needs to be persuaded that alliances are America’s greatest source of power. Its unique network plays as large a role as its economy and its military might in making it the global superpower. Alliances help raise it above its regional rivals—China in East Asia, Russia in eastern Europe, Iran in the Middle East. If Mr Trump truly wants to put America First, his priority should be strengthening ties, not treating allies with contempt.
(6) Don’t Expect Climate Action From Tillerson.
Merkley points out that China and India are both rapidly shifting toward renewables. He pushes again: Other countries are stepping up. Shouldn’t we? Tillerson stubbornly repeats that the US needs to be “part of the conversation.” In other words, no. He doesn’t think the US should lead on this issue. It took someone asking him directly to make that clear.
(7) A Cheaper Method For Carbon Capture.
... carbon dioxide is captured from a coal-fired boiler and converted into soda ash, which is used in glass manufacturing, sweeteners and detergents. The process is projected to save 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, a world first, according to Sharma. The cost of capture is about $30 per ton - about half the cost of other technologies in the market
(8a) Solar- & Wind-Energy Jobs Are Growing Fast
... solar and wind jobs are growing at a rate 12 times as fast as the rest of the US economy ... It's possible that Trump's promises to scale back environmental regulation and cut research in renewables may add new fossil-fuel industry jobs and even curtain growth in the sustainability sector, but market forces suggest it would be very difficult to stop the overall trend toward renewables.
(8b) For U.S. Jobs Creation, Renewables Are a Better Bet Than Coal
The solar workforce was about 374,000-strong, making up around 43% of the total employees in the power generation field. Wind power employed 101,738 workers, an increase of 25%. Coal, gas and oil-fired generation together accounted for just over 187,000 jobs, or 22% of the workforce. A majority of fossil fuel energy jobs are in mining and extraction rather than power generation, but these jobs are declining. Coal mining reached its peak employment in 2012, and now employs around 53,000. Oil and gas extraction jobs reached a peak in 2014 with 541,000 jobs, and in mid-2016 had 388,000 workers.
(9) A Message to Trump from Climate Scientists
Thoughtful, insightful video of climate scientists on why we need to act on climate change.
(10) Climate Change 101 Video
Good video by Bill Nye about the basics of climate change.
(11) Top 13 Clean Energy Developments of 2016
There were some exciting clean energy developments in 2016 ... Paris Climate Agreement, Developing Countries Using More Renewables, Federal Agency Rules Promote More Energy Efficiciency & Renewables, States Go Renewable, Corporations Use More Renewables ...
(12a) U.S. Climate Regulation - Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
This database organizes climate change-related regulations and other relevant actions (e.g., guidance documents) by agency.
(12b) U.S. Climate Change Litigation
Cases in the U.S. database are organized by type of claim and may be filtered by the principal laws they address, their filing years, and their jurisdictions. The database is also searchable by keyword. In many cases, the database includes links to decisions, complaints, motions, and other administrative and litigation documents ...
(13) Cnservatives Arguing For A Price On Carbon
The Carbon Fee and Dividend can usher in true energy freedom, job growth, and lower emissions. And what could we do with our dividend checks? Insulate your home, or take that vacation you’ve been putting off. Buy energy efficient appliances, or go out for a nice dinner. Maybe treat yourself to a bright red electric car!


22 Jan 2017

(1) All References to Climate Change Have Been Deleted From the White House Website
the official White House website had a lengthy information page about the threat of climate change and the steps the federal government had taken to fight it. At noon, at the instant Donald Trump took office, the page was gone, as well as any mention of climate change or global warming.
(2) Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism
... a list of “Pro-Free-Market Ideas for Responding to Hurricane Katrina and High Gas Prices” — 32 policies in all, each one straight out of the disaster capitalism playbook. ... in the package of pseudo “relief” policies is the commitment to wage all-out war on labor standards and on the public sphere ... strengthen the hand of the oil and gas industry. ... “automatically suspend Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws in disaster areas,” a reference to the law that required federal contractors to pay a living wage; “make the entire affected area a flat-tax free-enterprise zone”; and “make the entire region an economic competitiveness zone (comprehensive tax incentives and waiving of regulations) ...
(3a) Trump Tells EPA To Cut Climate Page From Website
... the administration had instructed EPA's communications team to remove the website's climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions ...
(3b) Trump Bans Agencies From 'Providing Updates On Social Media Or To Reporters'
... The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture have been placed under de facto gag orders by the Trump administration ... at least five the number of federal agencies which have been ordered silent by Trump in as many days.
(4a) Trump Is Getting Ready To Hammer The EPA
Trump’s team will move to tackle many of the existing environmental rules and regulations put in place under Obama.
(4b) Gutting the EPA Hurts Real People
Setting smart cost-effective public health standards has helped improve our air and water, drive innovation in clean technologies, and allowed robust economic growth to continue alongside. Let’s not turn back the clock on progress, putting our kids at risk of breathing dirtier air or drinking unsafe water. President Trump, what’s your plan to protect our children from pollution?
(5) Trump Can Make The Deal Of The Century On Climate
The good news, though, is that while meeting the challenge of transitioning to clean energy is formidable, it is also doable as a matter of innovation, policy and financing. We know what we need to do, and we can do it — if the political will is there.
(6) Real Facts Can Beat 'Alternative Facts' If Boosted By Inoculation
The challenge then is in delivering the facts and inoculation to the individuals who are being exposed to the misinformation. Conservative media outlets are the primary climate misinformation delivery system, but are unlikely to also publish facts and explanations about why their misinformation is wrong. However, while individuals who rely solely upon biased media outlets may be incurable, the majority of the public could potentially be inoculated against misinformation.
(7) A Globalism of the 1%: Donald Trump Against the World
As Donald Trump settles into the Oval Office this week, say goodbye to the one-worlders of the Obama-Clinton years and say hello to a new era of the one-percenters. America’s oligarchs will profit handsomely from the administration’s infrastructure program, its reconfigured trade deals, and its accelerated emphasis on resource extraction. For the rest of us, much pain will accompany the birth of this new nationalist world order, this confederacy of oligarchs. The world urgently needs a new generation of democratic internationalists -- or there won’t be much of a world left when Trump and his cronies get through with it.
(8) Climate Change in Plain Language
... we can make global warming more relevant to people by talking about why it matters to them, their families, and their daily lives.
(9) Solar Employs More People In U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal And Gas Combined
... solar power employed 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation sector's workforce in 2016, while fossil fuels combined accounted for just 22 percent. It's a welcome statistic for those seeking to refute Donald Trump's assertion that green energy projects are bad news for the American economy. Just under 374,000 people were employed in solar energy, according to the report, while coal, gas and oil power generation combined had a workforce of slightly more than 187,000.


15 Jan 2017

(1) Tillerson Is Wrong About Climate Risks
Tillerson would likely support lifting sanctions against Russia, which would allow ExxonMobil to extract tremendous reserves of oil from the country.
(2) Environmental Safeguards Provide Billions In Economic Benefits
The OMB report looked at a total of 21 regulations, mainly from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ... For those 21 regulations, the costs were estimated to be between $5.5 billion and $6.9 billion. .... The economic benefits from these same 21 regulations are estimated by the OMB to fall anywhere between $25.5 billion and $47.8 billion. ... for every dollar spent on environmental safeguards, the economy will experience a benefit of no less than $5, which means that these investments will yield returns of over 500 percent
(3) Barack Obama Transfers $500m to Green Climate Fund
Established in 2010, it is financed by wealthy countries and used to assist developing countries with adaptation and mitigation. It was widely seen as a key measure to bring both rich and poor countries to the negotiating table. Petition calls for Barack Obama to fulfil Green Climate Fund pledge Read more The US committed to transferring $3bn to the fund. The new instalment leaves $2bn owing ...
(4a) China's Xi Warns Trump Against Quitting UN Climate Deal
“We should adhere to multilateralism, honour promises and abide by rules, one should not select or bend rules as he sees fit,” said Xi.1 “The Paris Agreement is a hard-won agreement… all signatories should stick to it instead of walking away – it is a responsibility we must assume for future generations.”
(4b) China’s War On Coal
... the Chinese government ordered 13 provinces to cancel 104 coal-fired projects in development, amounting to a whopping 120 gigawatts of capacity in all. To put that in perspective, the United States has about 305 gigawatts of coal capacity total.
(5) InTrump Era, All Climate Progress Will Be Local
All this progress at the local level may seem paradoxical when we’ve just elected a climate science denier as president. But even most Trump voters don’t agree with his climate policies. That’s why activists are urging local politicians to adopt an ambitious climate agenda. “It’s important to remember the public overwhelmingly supports a cleaner, healthier future,”
(6) Top Climate Experts Advice to Donald Trump
... realise that the clean energy economy is the greatest, biggest job creator in history.
(7) Lessons From Trump's Election
We need to tell our stories better and learn to influence what stories get told. We need an endless series of reforms, from media and technology to education and healthcare. There’s more than enough work for everyone. There will be too much, and each of us will have to find a piece of the problem where we can be effective and stick to it. We’re going to have to build alliances – that means working alongside people with whom you agree about the big things and not quibbling about the little ones. We’re going to have to remember what kind of power civil society has and how to use it. We’re going to have to be brilliantly organised.
(8) How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
From cutting down on meat to contacting your local representatives and investing in clean energy, here are 15 ways to help reduce global carbon emissions ...


8 Jan 2017

(1) Henhouse for Rent — Only Foxes Need Apply
If Ivanka and Jared Kushner want to make a difference, they must confront Donald Trump now. They must explain to him he can both act on climate and, by embracing the great economic revolution of the 21st century, renewable energy, make good on his campaign commitment to restore manufacturing in this country. And they must urge him to reconsider his tragically misguided nominations for key government posts.
(2a) Obama Says Shift to Green Energy Is 'Irreversible'
On the Paris climate agreement, Mr Obama said this was a "fundamental shift in the diplomatic landscape which has already yielded substantial dividends". Pulling out of the agreement ... would see the United States lose its seat at the table, and be unable to hold other countries to their commitments ...
(2b) The Irreversible Momentum of Clean Energy
... no country is better suited to confront the climate challenge and reap the economic benefits of a low-carbon future than the United States and that continued participation in the Paris process will yield great benefit for the American people, as well as the international community.
(3) White House Urges Research on Geoengineering to Combat Global Warming
Many environmentalists have opposed geoengineering research on the ground it would be a distraction from the task of reducing the impact of climate change by cutting carbon emissions in the first place. Others say scientists should at least be getting a head start on research in case geoengineering is someday needed ...
(4) Answers to Climate Change
The science is complicated. .... quick answers to often-asked questions about climate change.
(5) Fossil Fuel Exports in the NW: Down But Not Out
As the U.S. continues to increase its production of oil and gas in the next decade, it could flip from being a net energy importer to a net energy exporter ... That would likely mean building more export facilities along our coasts, such as the proposed crude oil terminal at Gray’s Harbor.
(6) Clean Energy: A 'Just Transition' For Workers
“Let’s face it, it doesn’t really help us to solve climate change in a way that creates massive economic and social disruption. At the end of this, we want to come out not only with a world where emissions are down, but actually people have decent and better lives.” ... The US government has poured millions of dollars into helping out former coalminers, but that apparently didn’t help them to feel any less disenfranchised in the most recent US election. Many saw Donald Trump’s promises to bring back the coal industry as a final lifeline, while Hillary Clinton’s promise to bring new opportunities to areas affected by coalmine closures was interpreted as a threat.
(7) Republicans Want to Fight Climate Change, But Fossil-Fuel Bullies Won’t Let Them
A climate solution will require safe passage for Republicans through the political kill zone. Democrats can’t help with that. Environmental groups can’t help with that. Scientists can’t help either. It will take the corporate “good guys” to make that happen. Companies such as Walmart, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Google and General Mills signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge and do great work inside their fences and sometimes out through their supply chains. But U.S. companies don’t lobby Congress for climate action ...
(8a) Trump’s Sec. of State Nominee Refuses to Answer For His Company’s Promotion of Climate Denial
Tillerson is still lying about what Exxon knew about climate change. Asked directly about the company’s climate cover-up, Tillerson demurred and denied,” Boeve said. “We need a Secretary of State who acknowledges that the climate crisis requires bold action, not an oil industry CEO who is dedicated to spreading misinformation. Tillerson deserves a federal investigation into Exxon’s lies, not a cabinet appointment.”
(8b) #RejectRex: Protests as 'Big Oil Personified' Faces Capitol Hill Hearing
"All in all, it’s hard to imagine a single hire that could do more damage to the planet .... Making this man secretary of state rewards climate denial, further warps our foreign policy towards oil and does it at the precise moment when every bit of data screams that we should be going in the opposite direction."
(9) Ticking Carbon Clock Warns We Have One Year to Avert Climate Catastrophe
According to the most optimistic prediction, we have four years to kick our carbon habit and avert 1.5º of warming. ... And to limit warming to 2ºC .... we have nine years to act under the most pessimistic scenario, and 23 years to act under the most optimistic.
(10) Pricing Carbon: California’s Unfinished Climate Priority
We believe the best way to bridge this divide is to rebate a substantial portion of the revenue collected under a carbon pricing program back to California residents—ideally in a direct and tangible way that generates good will among new constituencies, not just actuarial tables promising a progressive outcome. Making carbon revenue benefits obvious to everyday people holds enormous potential, but will work only if a broad coalition of non-traditional organizations recognizes the benefits and works to support a bill.
(11) How Northwest Communities are Stopping Fossil Fuel Projects Before They Start
Portland is charting a course for local governments in the Northwest and beyond to use their powers to secure a future free of the economic whiplash, environmental degradation, and the health and safety threats that are endemic to the fossil fuel industry.
(12) Neighborhood Toxic Sites in Seattle
... within a three-mile radius of Downtown Seattle, DOE’s toxics map returned more than 800 sites ...
(13) A New Way to Calculate What Global Warming Costs.
A much-anticipated new report, just released by the National Academy of Sciences, recommends major updates to a federal metric known as the “social cost of carbon” — and its suggestions could help address a growing scientific concern that we’re underestimating the damages global warming will cause.
(14) Effect of Government Subsidies For Upstream Oil Infrastructure on U.S. Oil Production and Global CO2 Emissions
the U.S. has become the world’s No. 1 oil and gas producer. The oil production boom has been aided by tax provisions and other subsidies that support private investment in infrastructure for oil exploration and development.
(15) 3 Reasons Why Undermining the Paris Climate Agreement Would Be Bad for Business
If the incoming Trump administration is committed to supporting economic growth and job creation while protecting public health and the prosperity of future generations, the choice [between clean energy & fossil fuels] is clear.
(16) How Exxon Won the 2016 Election
The financial benefits of the 2016 election for Exxon (~$1 trillion)—to be attained by corporate power the company is building inside the Trump administration ... assisted by five Trump Cabinet nominees: former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state; Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) for Environmental Protection Agency administrator; Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) for secretary of the Interior; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for secretary of energy; and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for attorney general. Each of these nominees has either been employed by Exxon or received massive financial contributions from it.


1 Jan 2017

(1) Mexico’s Climate Migrants Are Already Coming To The United States
No one knows exactly how many people will be uprooted thanks in part to climate change; estimates range from 50 million to as high as one billion. It’s also challenging to predict which regions will be hardest hit, but places already struggling with drought and flooding “will see their problems increase,” Bradatan says. Southeast Asia, the Amazon Basin, and a lot of Africa are all vulnerable. Coastal areas and small island countries will face major displacement, too, experts say, as sea levels rise. In the Pacific islands of Kiribati and Tuvalu, for example, more than 70 percent of households say they’ll probably move if the climate worsens.
(2) As Seas Rise, Miami Development Continues Unabated
“The ice did not get the memo to stop melting in the year 2100,” adds Retired Admiral David Titley, the former chief naval oceanographer now teaching at Penn State. He cautions of sea-level problems ahead even if global temperatures are somehow capped at the 2°C threshold sought under the December 2015 Paris climate agreement.
(3) Indian Firm Makes Carbon Capture Breakthrough
By producing a subsidy-free carbon utilisation project, Carbonclean appears to have something of a global lead. But it is by no means alone. Carbon8 near Bristol is buying in CO2 to make aggregates, and other researchers are working on making plastics and fuels from waste CO2.
(4) Clean Energy Will Be A $50-Trillion Industry
But just because you can’t stop a revolution, doesn’t mean you can’t slow it. Tragically, voters have elected a science-denying President committed to killing U.S. and global climate action and zeroing out federal clean energy funding, a guy who is in bed with the enemies of clean energy, such as as Big Oil and Vladimir Putin. Trump has nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
(5) Here’s What Optimistic Liberals Get Wrong About Trump And Climate Change
To meet US climate goals, overall greenhouse gas emissions need to fall 80 percent or more by 2050. But apart from California, which is developing a comprehensive plan to tackle non-electric sectors, few states are really thinking about transportation or industry or agriculture. For the most part, that’s been the purview of the federal government, which under Obama has set stricter emissions standards for cars, trucks, household appliances, landfills, methane leaks from oil and gas, and so on. Now Trump plans to undo many of those rules — or at least refrain from strengthening them.
(6) China To Plow $361 Billion Into Renewable Fuel By 2020
Some 700 billion yuan to wind farms, 500 billion to hydro power with tidal and geothermal getting the rest ... expected an additional 3 million jobs, bringing the total in the sector to 13 million by 2020. Concerns about the social and economic costs of China's air pollution have increased as the northern parts of the country, including the capital Beijing, have battled a weeks-long bout of hazardous smog. ... renewables will still only account for just 15 percent of overall energy consumption by 2020, equivalent to 580 million tonnes of coal.
(7) Washington State Denies Lease Permit For Proposed Coal Export Terminal
If constructed, the terminal at Longview would be the largest coal export terminal in the country. ... If completed, the project would bring 16 coal trains a day through the town of Longview and would add 37.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to the atmosphere over a 20 year period ...
(8) Sensing Gains Ahead Under Trump, the Kochs Court Minorities - The New York Times
Since its start in the spring of 2016, Fueling U.S. Forward has sent delegates to, or hosted, at least three events aimed at black voters, arguing that they benefit most from cheap and abundant fossil fuels and have the most to lose if energy costs rise.
(9) As Donald Trump Denies Climate Change, These Kids Die of It - The New York Times
The basic injustice is that we rich countries produced the carbon that is devastating impoverished people from Madagascar to Bangladesh. In America, climate change costs families beach homes; in poor countries, parents lose their children.
(10) On Climate Change, Higher Education Leaders Call on Trump to Reverse Course | InsideClimate News
College and university presidents and chancellors are the latest group to publicly call on Trump to take climate change seriously. Since the 2016 election, groups representing more than 300 American businesses and more than 800 Earth scientists and experts have sent similar letters.
(11) Northwest Coal Exports: The End is Nigh
Northwest coal terminals would have boosted global carbon pollution; spread noxious coal dust along the rail lines and near the terminals; increased rail and road congestion; and threatened the rights and livelihoods of Native American tribes.
(12) Is Faster Economic Growth Compatible with Reductions in Carbon Emissions?
by 2100 C.E. moving from the medium to the low variant of the UN fertility projection leads to 35% lower yearly emissions and 15% higher income per capita. These results suggest that population policies could be part of the approach to combating global climate change.
(13) Trump to Cede Millions of High-Wage Jobs to China
Beijing will create 13 million jobs by 2020, investing $360 billion in clean energy, while Trump vows to abandon the sector.
(14) Putting People Before Nature
conservation will fail unless it finds a way to take care of people. Wilson’s poverty solution is to have people move to cities, intensify farming, and innovate like crazy to shrink the human footprint. ... Leisher’s solution is for people to improve their lives where they are, and for the rest of us to embrace ecosystems altered by people. ... “Conservation needs to ensure local people — many of whom are poor — benefit tangibly from biodiversity.
(15) All The Risks Of Climate Change, In A Single Graph
Three degrees over preindustrial levels, where we are very likely headed this century, puts us at high risk across the board, very high for those uniquely threatened systems. Five degrees, which is entirely possible, puts basically every human and ecological system at high to very high risk.