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.