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.