Each of us can make a positive difference stepping up & doing our best / Becoming Planet Citizens
Green Stories of the Day
|Line 65:||Line 65:|
<big>'''As the US Clean Water Act Is Undercut a First Study of Tampa Bay Plastic Pollution Reveals 4 Billion
<big>'''As the US Clean Water Act Is Undercut a First Study of Tampa Bay Plastic Pollution Reveals 4 Billion Particles''''</big>
Revision as of 18:19, 12 September 2019
- Green stories are changing the world. We encourage you to join in, create your own green stories, launch new initiatives, improve the environment, change the way governments run and how businesses work.
- It is y/our time to re-create the future to positively impact the quality and sustainability of life.
Mick Mulvaney, US President Trump’s budget director/chief of staff:
“Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward —
We’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
As the US Clean Water Act Is Undercut a First Study of Tampa Bay Plastic Pollution Reveals 4 Billion Microplastic Particles'
More from Tampa Bay: What Land Use Insanity Looks Like
On the West Coast of Florida, One of the Most Vulnerable Sites to Climate Change Impacts
Here's Hubris, Witness Full-on Irrationality in Full 'Peacock Splendor'
Preparing for Action -- September 20 -- Climate Strike
Future Coalition demands:
A Green New Deal: Building on “the” Green New Deal resolution in Congress, this calls for transforming the economy to 100% renewable energy by 2030, while creating jobs and ending leases and permits for fossil fuel projects.
Respect for indigenous land and sovereignty: Honoring treaties protecting indigenous land by ending resource extraction in and affecting those areas.
Environmental justice: Investing in the communities affected most by poverty and pollution.
Protecting biodiversity: Protecting and restoring 50% of the world’s lands and oceans and stopping all deforestation by 2030.
Sustainable agriculture: Investing in regenerative agriculture and ending subsidies for industrial agriculture.
CNN Presidential Town Hall on Climate Change / Sept. 4, 2019
CLIMATE ACTION IS THE REAL DEAL!!! #ActOnClimate
The Democratic presidential candidates are finally getting climate action on the agenda. Next to nuclear blunder, nothing is more important for our future. -- Jerry Brown
Adding climate change to school curriculums. Geoengineering. Thorium fuel reactors. A Blue New Deal. The Syrian war was a climate war. Climate distress included in asylum petitions. Food deserts. Climate denial is a literal sin. “Democracy” is a verb.
For the first time in the history of the country, these topics and others like them were discussed in detail by presidential candidates on live television, and all with the words “Climate Crisis” in huge letters above them on the stage and flashed in chyrons across the screen. Underscoring the gravity of the topic were constant updates on the ruinous progress of Hurricane Dorian, which reclaimed Category 3 status as it clawed its way toward landfall once again...
Ten candidates were given 40 clean minutes each to answer pointed, detailed, climate-specific questions over the course of seven hours.
Virtually every candidate described climate change as an “existential crisis” that needs to be addressed immediately.
“We are going to have to change the nature of many of the things we are doing right now... There will be a transition, and there will be some pain. We are going to have to ask people to make those changes now, even though they may be uncomfortable, for the sake of future generations.” -- Bernie Sanders
"The fossil fuel industry... They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your light bulbs, around your straws, and around your cheeseburgers. When 70 percent of the pollution, of the carbon that we’re throwing into the air, comes from three industries... the building industry, the electric power industry and the oil industry."'
"And why don’t we focus there? It's corruption! It's these giant corruptions that keep hiring the PR firms so we don’t look at who’s still making the big bucks off polluting our earth. And the time for that is past. We have a chance, a chance left in 2020 to turn this around. But we are running out of time on this one." -- Elizabeth Warren
Media & Social Media Begin Responding to the #ClimateTownHall
As concerns mount over the dangers of a rapidly warming planet, upstart food companies are targeting a major climate-damaging food: beef.
Beyond Meat and its rival Impossible Foods have recently grabbed headlines and fast-food deals for their plant-based burgers that imitate the taste of beef.
Thank you Planet Citizen Rebecca Moore
Visit GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands, for more on the G7 Summit
By the Washington Post Editorial Board / August 2019
The US President Talks of Buying Greenland
Minerals, oil and gas resources are talked of while some say the President has gone 'mad'
Iceland Holds Funeral for Glacier Lost to Climate Change, Set Up Plaque with Chilling Message
By Stewart Perrie
People living in Iceland are understandably devastated after news broke that one of their glaciers has all but disappeared because of climate change.
According to the BBC, it was officially declared 'dead' in 2014 when researchers found it wasn't thick enough to move, but the recent NASA pictures showed just how much ice had receded since then.
So, in honor of the glacier, a group of people travelled to where it once stood and held a funeral. In addition to that, they also erected a plaque that had a pretty chilling message attached to it.
"Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier," it reads.
"In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done.
"Only you know if we did it."
In addition to that scary message, it also notes the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere so that generations in the future have a reference point to look back on.
People brought signs that said 'Declare Climate Emergency' and 'Pull The Emergency Brake' as they hiked to the site.
Trump's latest -- Kill the Clean Power Plan
- States Sue the U.S.
- Via the Wall Street Journal (subscription) / States Sue Trump Administration Over Rollback of Power-Plant Regulations
- New York and California lead group saying the government isn’t meeting its Clean Air Act role
Trump: Cut Endangered Species Act Protections
- Via the NY Times / The New Threat to Endangered Species? The Trump Administration
- Via Vox / The Endangered Species Act is incredibly popular and effective. Trump is weakening it anyway
A million species are threatened worldwide. This is how Trump responds
United Nations: Eat less meat: UN climate change report calls for change to human diet
The report on global land use and agriculture from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes amid accelerating deforestation in the Amazon
Via GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands
Another Nuclear Weapons Control Treaty 'Bites the Dust'
Return to Doomsday
“The United States and Russia are now in a state of strategic instability,” Ernest J. Moniz, the former energy secretary, and Sam Nunn, the former Georgia senator who helped draft the legislation that funded the drastic reduction in former Soviet nuclear forces, write in a coming article in Foreign Affairs ominously titled “The Return to Doomsday.” “Not since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis has the risk of a U.S.-Russian confrontation involving the use of nuclear weapons been as high as it is today. Yet unlike during the Cold War, both sides seem willfully blind to the peril.”
On the 'Space Coast' of eastern Florida, at the launch pad site of the US space program, where the Apollo missions blasted off and Apollo 8 recorded "Earthrise" as our home planet appeared surprisingly out the spaceship's window, and Apollo 17 with its Whole Earth image that was the first of its kind taken by human hands, and Apollo 11 with its astronauts walking on the Moon, celebrating this month the 50th anniversary.
Now, as we remember the historic feats of humanity and science, we watch as the NASA space program site begins to slip underwater as the sea level rises.
USF researchers document Cape Canaveral launch complexes before they slip into the sea
The Atlantic Ocean will reach all of the launch sites within a few decades, but the buildings will live on digitally in 3D
Launch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
[Photo courtesy of the University of South Florida Libraries Digital Heritage and Humanities Collections]
Via NYT / Automakers secretly negotiate climate deal with California rebuffing Trump's mileage freeze
July 20th, 1969 / July 20, 2019
SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: It was a mind-changing year. Beginning with the historic "Earthrise" photo taken as Apollo 8 astronauts circled the moon in preparation for Apollo 11 and humankind's first step on the Moon.
History shifted, cognitive awareness changed as together we welcomed a new 'Whole Earth' vision.
We surprised ourselves, looking back for the first time at the oasis of Earth, our home planet in full blue-green color, all life as we know it suspended in the darkness and vastness of space.
This was to many, including your writer, the beginnings of the modern environmental movement. To protect and preserve life became an ongoing mission that we continue every day. A gift of life.
On this 50th anniversary of the 1969 Moon landing let's celebrate as planet citizen voyagers...
Energy: Renewable and Non-Renewable
Listings on Global Stock Exchange Change
- * https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3078491/oil-and-gas-firms-labelled-non-renewable-on-london-stock-exchange
League of Women Voters 2020
Climate change is rapidly escalating into the single greatest threat we face / #Climate Crisis
Green New Deal, Positions on the Issues, US 2020 Presidential Campaign
(July 3, 2019, updated weekly)
Comprehensive comparison of US Democratic Party 2020 candidates
Update On Democratic Party Presidential Debate
MOUNTING PRESSURE FROM climate change activists appears to be working on the Democratic National Committee, which has taken up consideration of proposals that could allow a presidential debate on the topic.
The DNC executive committee gathered... and referred two resolutions regarding climate change discussions to a committee. The committee has scheduled a vote on the measures on Aug. 23, according to activist group Sunrise Movement. A DNC official confirmed Tuesday that the next phase of the resolution process will begin in late August.
Activists said that last week's debates proved a conversation focused solely on climate change is necessary. Roughly 15 minutes of the pair of two-hour debates were focused on the issue.
Eight Minutes + Seven Minutes = 15 Minutes Among Twenty Candidates
As the US Democratic party holds its first 2020 presidential candidates debate in Miami...
Four hours of televised debate, how much time involves climate and/or 'existential questions'?
It's Now Obvious, the Democrats via their DNC Need a #ClimateDebate for #ClimateSolutions
The first climate question arrives more than 80 minutes into the Dem presidential debate on both nights
Photo via Vox
"Tonight’s debate made it crystal clear that the media and the political establishment are out of touch with our generation," said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement. "Our survival is worth more time than vague, irrelevant, and trivial questions posed 80 minutes into the debate to a few minor candidates."
GreenPolicy360: In 2016, during all the US presidential debates, a climate policy question was asked, what, once? Tonight (June 26th) the US Democratic Party starts their presidential campaign debate, in Miami, even as the current US pres denies the big picture, the climate/global/atmospheric threat, the existential challenges, the national/state and local #ClimateCrisis impacts.
For decades now the GreenPolicy team has warned of the gathering crisis and we have urged a New Vision, a strategic vision with New Definitions of National and Global Security. The time is now for the Democratic Party to step up and face the great challenge of our generation -- climate disruption, climate crisis.
In Florida, the consequences of sea level rise are vivid and VERY real.
Globally, this is an existantial crisis, climate disruption, that is, atmospheric disruption, what GreenPolicy360 calls the disruption of the "thin blue layer", earth's life protecting atmosphere.
Speaking of climate disruption, global security and protection/preservation of the atmosphere, watch this scientist talk of the clear and present dangers of nuclear war. We are "one mistake away" from nuclear war initiated by any of the nuclear weapons countries (the U.S., Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, France, the U.K., North Korea) leading to regional impacts spreading to global winter and collapse of civilization.
We need New Definitions of National and Global Security and concerted action now to protect our common security and prevent the fast escalating threats to life as we know it.
Existential Threats, National & Global Security
Via GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands
As the United States summarily ends its adherance to nuclear weapons control agreements, think about what's going thru the minds of North Korea, China, Russia... think about an INF negotiation, a New START negotiation... any nuclear negotiation ... as the US unilaterally abandons/withdraws from/violates (pick ur phrase) existing arms control agreements.
Recall this language in the JCPOA. Paragraph 26 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) states: The United States will make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA ... 1/3
and to prevent interference with the realisation of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified... The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions. 2/3
Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions specified in Annex II, or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part. 3/3
Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule that targeted coal plants
This Trump environmental rollback is a declaration of war against America and all of humanity. The president and his cynical enablers refuse to recognize that global warming is real and getting worse -- soon to be catastrophic. Stop this insanity.
-- Jerry Brown, June 19, 2019
Fox News / Pope warns oil execs of need for "rapid" energy transition
84 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump
Via the NY Times / June 3, 2019
A New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts more than 80 in a Trump administration 'aggressive schedule'...
Trump administration escalates war on climate science
"First of all we're just going to assume electrification of the light-vehicle fleet by 2040," Greene said. "Now people can argue whether that's going to happen or not, but it is doable. But we're still going to need liquid fuels for other parts of the transportation sector."
Those parts are more difficult to clean up: aircraft, ships, trains, trucks, heavy machinery. "Right now we don't see a way to avoid liquid fuels for those, but things happen, so you can't you can't say for sure what the future holds. But anyway we're going to go with the fact that we are likely to need liquid fuels into the future."
Fuel The Rest With Marine Algae
European Election Results: Green Surge in European Parliament
Green Party (EFA) could hold balance of power in EU parliament with est 70+ MEPs
Green Leader, Ska Keller, to become President of European Commission?
The presidency of the EU Commission, currently held by Jean-Claude Juncker, is among those up for grabs.
“Thank you so much for your trust in us Greens,” Ska Keller, candidate for the post of European commission president, told a press conference in Brussels.
“This is a mandate for real change: for climate protection, a social Europe, more democracy and stronger rule of law.” Above all, Keller said, the Greens “want to achieve climate action now – because if we wait any longer, it will be a disaster”.
Any parliamentary group that wanted Green support would have to “deliver on our three key principles: climate action, civil liberties and social justice”, she said. “For us it’s clear: this is all about content.”
Party leaders from parliamentary groupings are meeting in Brussels in an effort to agree on a "Spitzenkandidat" - lead candidate - for Mr Juncker's job. The Commission enforces EU rules and drafts EU laws, so it is the most coveted post in the 28-nation bloc.
The European Green Party — the federation of national parties that focus on environmental policies — surpassed all expectations in the Europe-wide vote. Buoyed by protest movements, increasingly stark reports from climate scientists, and galvanizing figures like Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, the party won at least 69 seats in the European Parliament, up from their current 50 seats. They will be the fourth largest group in the 751-seat body, which works with the European Union’s executive arm to propose and approve laws for the bloc.
Across much of northern Europe they made record gains, coming close to doubling their share of the vote in France, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland.
It was not just their environmental policies which captured the public’s attention, the group’s leaders say, but a focus on social justice and fairness, and a desire among the E.U. electorate to shake up the traditional parties and vote for people promising change...
For the first time, the big center-left and center-right groups – which traditionally worked together to dominate European policy-making – have lost their majority. So the first task for the European Greens is to work out their alliances in this uncharted parliamentary landscape, and figure out how to leverage their newfound influence.
Inslee’s campaign is systematically translating the Green New Deal's lofty goals — to decarbonize the economy sector by sector, in a way that creates high-quality jobs and protects frontline communities — into policy proposals, focused on an immediate 10-year mobilization. This isn’t just a campaign play, it’s a document the next Democratic president is going to want in-hand when the time comes to get to work. (And if that president needs some kind of climate czar ...)
OCO-3 News Coverage Should Have Been of a Globally Important Event
OCO-3 arrives at the International Space Station to begin its earth science-space mission. There's little to find in Media coverage on its real-world importance whether on Google News, Bing Search, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, pick your international news sources...
Yet, in fact and substance, the science of OCO-3 is critically important. Earth Science. Measuring CO2. JPL-Caltech/NASA, scientific inquiry at its best. Essential data and baseline information critical for informed policy and decision-making (yet President Donald Trump tried to kill the launch of OCO-3 and related US FY2018 missions to measure and monitor CO2).
A global security story... National security... Existential threats ...
OCO-3 Arrives at the International Space Station
OCO-3 was built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge for less than $100 million, using parts left over from its predecessor, OCO-2. Once the carbon observatory gets to the ISS, a robotic arm will mount it on the underside of the space station so it can keep a close eye on the carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.
That will help scientists answer questions about how and why levels of the greenhouse gas fluctuate over days, months and years.
“Our goal is to get really good data so we can make informed decisions about how to manage carbon and carbon emissions in the future,” said Annmarie Eldering, the mission’s project scientist at JPL.
Carbon dioxide makes up a tiny fraction of the molecules in our atmosphere — roughly 400 parts per million. But seemingly small changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have an outsized effect on the planet’s temperature.
“Carbon is really effective at trapping heat,” Eldering said. “Even changing the ratio from 300 parts per million to 400 parts per million makes a big difference.”
OCO-3 is so sensitive that it can detect changes as small as 1 part per million. So if CO2 levels go from 406 ppm one day to 407 ppm the next, the space-based observatory will record the increase.
Eldering, who also worked on OCO-2, spoke= about the difference between the instruments, the new information she hopes to learn from OCO-3, and how she and her team managed to keep their cool when their project seemed headed for the chopping block.
Q: What are the main science questions you hope OCO-3 will answer?
The big science question is about the movement of carbon dioxide between plants and the atmosphere.
If you look at the ground-based data, it almost looks like the planet is breathing. Plants in the northern hemisphere take up carbon dioxide as they grow in the spring and summer, reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by a few parts per million. In the fall, the leaves drop and carbon is released back into the air.
But every year is different. There are changes in the forests in Canada. El Niño years affect the carbon cycle.
What we want to do is find drivers of the plant uptake of carbon and use that to better predict what will happen in the future. If we have a warmer, drier climate, will plants keep taking up as much carbon?
Q: Why is it helpful to look at Earth’s carbon cycle from space?
We have Earth-based data, but having a satellite observatory lets you see things in a bigger context. That includes data over the oceans that the ground-based measurements generally don’t see.
Q: Can you give me an example of something you learned from data collected by OCO-2?
In 2015 and 2016, there was a global weather pattern called an El Niño that had a big impact on the carbon cycle in South America, South Africa and Indonesia, but in different ways.
South America had drought, so the plants there were not as active and did not remove as much carbon dioxide as they usually do. In the tropical part of Africa it was super hot, so the plant material was decomposing fast and releasing carbon dioxide. And Indonesia was on fire — that put a lot of carbon back in the air.
Before we would have said, “El Niño is affecting the tropics” and just leave it at that. Now we can tease that apart in more detail, and that is really exciting as a scientist.
Q: How is OCO-3 different than OCO-2?
The main purpose of OCO-3 is to make sure we have a continuous record of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, but we are adding some new capabilities. One of those is to take a snapshot of carbon levels over an area of 50 miles by 50 miles. This will feed a bunch of science investigations of emission hot spots, like cities or volcanoes.
We can also look at how plant activity changes over the course of a day, which is something OCO-2 could not do.
Q: How does OCO-3 work?
OCO-3 is a spectrometer that looks at Earth’s surface in three wavelengths: two for carbon dioxide, and one for the type of light your eyes see. Every molecule has a unique way that it absorbs light, almost like a fingerprint, and that’s what we exploit in our instrument.
If the CO2 levels are 405 ppm, we will see a certain amount of light change in the CO2 band. If it is 406, we’ll see just a bit more.
Q: President Trump tried to cancel this mission twice. How stressful was that for you and your team?
I’ve been over at JPL for 20 years now, and this is not the first mission I’ve worked on that has had funding ups and downs. We are fortunate that we have three branches of government, and that Congress is very active and has kept the importance of this work in mind as they created the budget.
My strategy for getting my work done is just to put on blinders and get the work done.
More Than a Carbon Copy: OCO-3 on the Space Station -- https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7364
OCO-3 Ready to Extend NASA's Study of Carbon -- https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7389
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/OCO-2
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Earth_Science_Research_from_Space
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Global_Security
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/New_Definitions_of_National_Security
Via the NY Times, May 6, 2019 / Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of the global biodiversity report findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.
According to Mike Barrett, World Wildlife Fund's Executive Director of Conservation and Science: “All of our ecosystems are in trouble. This is the most comprehensive report on the state of the environment. It irrefutably confirms that nature is in steep decline.”
(Source: Jonathan Watts, Biodiversity Crisis, Humanity at Risk, UN Scientists Warn, The Guardian, May 3, 2019)
Tags: #Biodiversity #Extinction #Sustainability #Wildlife
A new effort to save birds pinpoints in amazing detail where they fly
by Anders Gyllenhaal / Excerpt via the Washington Post and wire services
For years, as California's Central Valley grew into the nation's leading agricultural corridor, the region gradually lost almost all of the wetlands that birds, from the tiny sandpiper to the great blue heron, depend on during their migrations along the West Coast.
But a dramatic turnaround is underway in the valley. Dozens of farmers leave water on their fields for a few extra weeks each season to create rest stops for birds. The campaign has not only helped salvage a vital stretch of the north-south migration path called the Pacific Flyway but also tested a fresh model for protecting wildlife.
The experiment is built on new research by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which blends the sightings of tens of thousands of birdwatchers with satellite photos and wildlife data. The combination produces digital maps so precise that they can predict when and where birds will come through, so that farmers know when to flood their fields.
"The amount of information in these maps is way beyond what any single source or even combination of sources could give you, said Marshall Iliff, project co-leader of Cornell's eBird Project. "It's on a scale that's never been done before.
At a time when 40% of the Earth's 10,000 bird species are in decline, according to the State of the World's Birds 2018 report, the still-developing eBird Project helps to remake traditional conservation.
The way eBird works is simple: Cornell collects millions of sightings from birdwatchers using the eBird app that records the location of every species spotted. It computes where birds are over the course of the year, how they move with the seasons and which species are thriving and which are struggling.
Compared with the cumbersome practice of banding birds one by one to track their travels, eBird data produce a far more comprehensive picture for hundreds of species at a time. The targeted approach is also much less expensive than alternatives: The Central Valley "pop-up" wetlands - created by paying farmers small fees to keep fields wet for a few weeks - costs 85 percent less than buying land outright, according to the Nature Conservancy.
"We might only need to protect birds, or restrict, or change the way people use certain landscapes for maybe just a few weeks during the year, said Amanda Rodewald, Garvin professor of ornithology and director of conservation science at Cornell. "We now have the opportunity to dramatically transform how we approach conservation.
More than 400,000 birders have sent in 34 million lists of species in the United States and dozens of other countries in recent years. That makes this the largest citizen-science effort to date. Birders have reported seeing almost every species on Earth.
As the data have poured in, the research started to reveal important, concrete findings about how birds are adjusting to changing climates.
They show how species such as the American bald eagle, a major conservation success story, can be found in every state as its numbers and habitat expand. They show how other birds, such as some hummingbirds and warblers, struggle to adapt to warming trends, which are trimming breeding seasons and reducing their numbers.
Last fall, Cornell launched the stunning animated maps, which bring the migration to life by converting somewhat dry data into video illustrations that show routes birds take over the course of a year.
It's possible to watch the huge sandhill crane work its way from Alaska and Canada across the West and Midwest to Texas and Florida. The path of the ruby-throated hummingbird is shown shifting in a cloud of pixels from Canada down through the eastern United States to Central America. Another animated map shows the yellow warbler moving from the far north to Central America, passing through every state on its massive migration.
"People really get excited over the animations, Cornell research associate Frank La Sorte said of the maps that so far include about 100 species. "We look at them as science. But people are seeing the beauty in it. That's really helping to generate excitement."
This is the time of year when birdwatchers are getting out binoculars and hiking boots to immerse themselves in the spring migration. And Cornell hopes to boost eBird contributors with the Global Big Day, the annual count scheduled for May 4. About 30,000 birders around the world are expected to join the 24-hour push that tracks the yearly numbers for species.
One who'll be out birding for the count is Holly Merker, an environmental educator from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, one of eBird's top contributors. "Why wouldn't everybody be doing this?" she said. "It can make a real difference."
Tags: #CitizenScience #Biodiversity #Wildlife
Re: 'Global Big Day' / May 4, 2019
- • https://cornellsun.com/2019/04/29/global-big-day-24-hour-extreme-birding-event-to-take-place-may-4/
O'Rourke's climate change plan would "set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation."
"We need a guarantee that we will, in fact, achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and get halfway there by 2030," according to the plan. "For this reason, Beto will work with Congress to enact a legally enforceable standard — within his first 100 days."
The emission reduction goal is in line with the Green New Deal, a broad policy proposal from progressive Democrats to battle climate change among other issues, which is backed by several 2020 Democrats, including O'Rourke.
"By investing in infrastructure, innovation, and in our people and communities, we can achieve this ambition, which is in line with the 2050 emissions goal of the Green New Deal, in a way that grows our economy and shrinks our inequality."
When asked who is advising O'Rourke on energy, a campaign spokesperson told CNN, "Beto consulted with impacted individuals and communities, academics, scientists, entrepreneurs, advocates and activists, and local, state, tribal, and federal government leaders."
"Throughout this campaign, he has listened to Americans all across the country and made their ideas and concerns part of his platform as he he's held 113 town halls in 88 cities and answered 625 questions," the spokesperson said. "That's how he learned more about record f(l)ooding in Iowa, drought in Nevada, a fight over offshore drilling in South Carolina, historic conservation efforts in New Hampshire, plans to protect the water and forests of Virginia, and wind and solar job growth throughout Texas."
On April 22, 2019, Earth Day in the US
- - A coal lobbyist runs the EPA
- - An oil lobbyist runs the DOI
- - A Monsanto exec runs US Fish & Wildlife
- - A BP oil attorney is the nation's top enviro lawyer
- - A fossil fuel lobbyist is the EPA's air pollution chief
- - A big energy insider regulates our power grid
- Via Public Citizen
Via The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists / The original Earth Day in 1970 was an eye-popping success. An estimated 20 million Americans joined the events, 10 percent of the country’s population, making it the largest demonstration in U.S. history.
The 1960s and decade that followed also gave us 28 major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Before these laws, thick smog dimmed many U.S. cities in the middle of the day. In 1969, floating debris in Ohio’s Cuyahoga River famously caught fire, with flames towering five stories high. That same year, the oil slick from a Santa Barbara drilling accident spread over more than 800 square miles of water.
After seeing California’s oil-scarred shores, Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, came up with an idea. He proposed holding a “teach-in” — used by protesters organizing against the Vietnam War — to get college students around the country talking about the environment. He hired young organizers to make his dream happen, and it turned into Earth Day, a much bigger event that he’d ever imagined.
“He originally would have been happy if a few colleges or universities joined,” said Adam Rome, author of "The Genius of Earth Day". “He had no idea that it was going to explode into the consciousness of the nation.”
Earth Day Today, April 22, 2019
This year's Earth Day is "Protect Our Species" and draws draw attention to rapid global destruction of species and reduction of the world's plant and wildlife populations.
"All living things have an intrinsic value, and each plays a unique role in the complex web of life. We must work together to protect endangered and threatened species."
Greta Speaks to the European Union:
Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced
The Overstory / Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Global ecological collapse is the biggest story of our age. Broken cycles of air, water and earth are challenges against which trade wars pale in comparison. But it has also proved one of the hardest narratives for writers to tell. Novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road have offered powerful warnings about the aftermath of disaster, yet few writers have grappled with how the journey towards catastrophe unfurls. Any agency the natural world might possess – its ability to feel, communicate and adapt – has rarely provided more than background to humanity’s self-centred toil.
Richard Powers’s eco-novel The Overstory urgently challenges our ideas about humanity and nature.
Powers collapses the idea that human consciousness is paramount. The novel opens up questions about the “personhood” of plants, how ecology has shaped our minds, and the potential for digital life to shift our consciousness again. It also challenges preconceptions about hippy tree-huggers.
Most importantly, Powers queries earlier representations that might be cluttering our relationship to the natural world. In a section entitled “Trunk”, the activists camp out in the branches of an ancient Californian sequoia, and the tree’s monumental scale is an echo of the 19th-century romantic-sublime. Yet far from portraying nature as an “other”, to be conquered and surveyed, Powers gives us the experiences of daily, tree-top living... pulling the tone back towards the intimate and entwined.
Tracing the lives of nine individuals as they attempt to save the virgin forests of North America, the novel ties together the struggles of humans and plants, and reveals a world “where the wrong people have all the rights”.
Doing so requires a fable-like narrative that sprawls across decades.
The Overstory, the latest book from the American novelist Richard Powers, a writer who puts science at the heart of his fiction...
Ratcheting Up in the U.K. / Extinction Rebellion
Non-violent Civil Disobedience
A Roll-Role Model for Cities (and Landowners) across the Country
Like over a hundred other cities across the country, Ojai has been suffering from a contentious gas leaf-blower debate since they enacted a residential gas leaf-blower ban in 1999. There has been no effective enforcement mechanism nor did there seem to be any reasonable alternative to gas equipment. (Brooms and rakes are ideal for some residential properties, but they are not a practical solution for commercial and municipal crews, or the elderly, or those with larger properties.)
But in just the past five years — thanks to cell phones, laptops, and electric cars — incredible advances in lithium-battery chemistry and technology have dramatically increased the power, performance, and run-times of cordless electric lawn and garden tools. In fact the top-of-the-line equipment are now achieving gas-like performance even in all-day commercial settings — except they are quieter, cleaner, simpler, and much more cost-effective over time.
“The health and environmental impacts are substantial and will be enjoyed throughout the entire community, year after year. In embracing electric operations, the city of Ojai has demonstrated inspiring sustainability leadership and vision, and gifted its citizens a permanently quieter and cleaner future.”
Speaking to the young presenters... "2050 is just 30 years from now," said US Representative Kathy Castor, chair of the climate committee. "All of you will be about our age." Castor is 52. To avoid many of the most ruinous effects of climate change — namely debilitating droughts, historic flooding, and deadly wildfires — the United Nations has concluded modern civilization must slash carbon emissions to basically zero by 2050. / Via Mashable
The New Silk Road, China's Infrastructure Project Connects Continents
- Visit GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands, for the latest geo-political updates
On the Launch in the 1990s of the Virtual University and on the 50th Anniversary of the Open University
Salud, a Smile, and a Tip of Our GreenPolicy360 Hat
We are a movement... We are disruptors, occasional troublemakers, game changers.
We are the fuel of imagination
Kids in 123 countries strike to protect the climate
“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.”
An estimated 1.4 million young people in 123 countries skipped school Friday to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history.
Via deSmog / When President Trump nominated long-time Koch network insider and renewable energy antagonist Daniel Simmons to lead the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the administration's priorities for federal energy programs were made abundantly clear. Simmons had, after all, been serving at the time of his nomination as Vice President for Policy at a Koch-funded think tank that had, in 2015, called for the outright elimination of the very office he was tapped to lead.
The Trump administration budget proposal released this week, for fiscal year 2020, goes a long way toward delivering this wish to the Koch network, calling for a 70 percent reduction in funding for the EERE and scrapping entirely the Department of Energy’s loan programs. The EERE ultimately received $2.4 billion in the current 2019 budget, and the current Trump proposal would fund it at $696 million.
The DOE’s renewable energy programs have long been targets of the Kochs' network of “free market” think tanks and advocacy organizations, including the Institute for Energy Research (IER) and its sister organiation, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), where Simmons worked for a decade before joining the Trump administration.
In fact, while Simmons was VP of Policy at AEA, the group called on Congress to eliminate the EERE entirely...
In 2007, Simmons was responsible for producing ALEC’s report, “Energy, Environment, and Agriculture: A Guide for State Legislators,” which as the Energy and Policy Institute describes, “illustrates how the group works to manufacture doubt about the causes and risks of climate change and attack clean energy policies on behalf of its (now dwindling) network of fossil fuel and utility industry funders.”
More on Simmons at E&E News -- https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060054296
@South by Southwest / #SXSW
AOC: Don't Worship the 'Meh'
“Moderate is not a stance. It's just an attitude towards life of, like, ‘meh,’” she said, shrugging her shoulders for emphasis. “We’ve become so cynical, that we view ‘meh,’ or ‘eh’ — we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when ... the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions."
March 5, 2019
A "Beyond Carbon" Campaign
Michael Bloomberg: “I will launch... 'Beyond Carbon': a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy.”
Michael Bloomberg will be 'doing' environmental campaigning the next two years, not 'talking' and running for president...
March 1, 2019
Washington Gov Joins 2020 Race, Promises To ‘Rise Up to the Most Urgent Challenge of Our Time’
- Jay Inslee Promises to Run a Climate Action Campaign
https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/transcript-govs-michelle-lujan-grisham-jay-inslee-on-face-the-nation-february-24-2019/ -- https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/jay-inslee-announces-climate-focused-2020-presidential-run-does-he-stand-a-chance/ -- https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/01/politics/inslee-2020-presidential-campaign/index.html -- https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/01/washington-gov-jay-inslee-announces-presidential-bid/3025885002/ -- https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/03/jay-inslee-2020-presidential-run-climate-change -- https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/01/washington-governor-jay-inslee-launches-2020-presidential-campaign-1197170 -- https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-inslee-president-election-201900301-story.html -- https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/jay-inslee-presidential-candidate-2020-801415/ -- https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-political-scene/jay-inslee-wants-to-be-a-presidential-candidate-for-the-climate-change-era -- https://electrek.co/2019/03/01/jay-inslee-presidential-bid/
A Fable, a Rationalist, a Campaign for Our Times -- http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/jay-inslee-is-the-democratic-partys-sanest-2020-candidate.html
Apollo's Fire by Jay Inslee -- https://www.amazon.com/Apollos-Fire-Igniting-Americas-Economy/dp/1597266493
February 18, 2019
Chicago, Chicago, a town of renown, joining towns and states across the US going to renewable energy
February 13, 2019
Hearing: The State of Climate Science and Why it Matters
Committee on Science, Space and Technology
CLIMATE / Via E&E News
Democrats praise 'refreshing' change in Science Committee
The Science, Space and Technology Committee kicked off its long-awaited climate hearing this morning by agreeing on one basic fact: Climate change is happening.
Back in business! After a decade of inaction under a Republican climate denial party line, climate science is again in front of the US House of Representatives.
Climate change is happening. Science-based decisions are needed, resilience is necessary, a Green New Deal is proposed, and healthier, more secure communities are the goal.
February 12, 2019
Bugs Be Gone
Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’
The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found.
Insects... are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.
“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades. The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic...."
The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides. Urbanisation and climate change are also significant factors.
The new analysis selected the 73 best studies done to date to assess the insect decline. Butterflies and moths are among the worst hit. Bees have also been seriously affected...
“The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification. That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.” The demise of insects appears to have started at the dawn of the 20th century, accelerated during the 1950s and 1960s and reached “alarming proportions” over the last two decades.
In the tropics, where industrial agriculture is often not yet present, the rising temperatures due to climate change are thought to be a significant factor in the decline.
“The evidence all points in the same direction,” said Prof Dave Goulson at the University of Sussex in the UK. “It should be of huge concern to all of us, for insects are at the heart of every food web, they pollinate the large majority of plant species, keep the soil healthy, recycle nutrients, control pests, and much more. Love them or loathe them, we humans cannot survive without insects.”
Envisioning a Green New Deal
- • https://www.npr.org/2019/02/07/691997301/rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-releases-green-new-deal-outline
- • https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/7/18203910/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-green-new-deal-2020
Follow the Green New Deal progress at GreenPolicy360
Washington Post / Fact Checker Analysis
In 745 days, President Trump has made 8,459 false or misleading claims. - (Updated Feb. 3, 2019)
The Fact Checker’s ongoing database of the false or misleading claims made by President Trump since assuming office.
January 29, 2019
- Kamala Harris, U.S. presidential candidate -- https://twitter.com/KamalaHarris/status/1090091453341155328
January 27, 2019
January 24, 2019
January 19, 2019
The January 2019 Changing Climate National Defense report is organized into three primary sections:
I. Summary of Climate Effects and Resulting Vulnerabilities
II. DoD Efforts to Increase Installation Resiliency & Operational Viability
GreenPolicy360/Strategic Demands: The latest U.S. climate-related national security report is limited in its scope and, as a result, is severely limited in its ability to analyze and monitor the range of strategic environmental challenges in the immediate-, near-, and long-term.
A varying vision of these threats to security can be found at GreenPolicy360 and associate Strategic Demands.
The key to a "strategic realism" is contingency planning. Any full scientific assessment of security threats on the horizon is replete with environmental/global risks that are drawing daily into view. These risks are presenting clear and present danger, in U.S. Department of Defense terms, yet are being set aside due to political exigencies.
It is time for a new vision of security. Changing climate is a 360, 24/7 threat to the nation and to international relations. Climate change or better named for what it is -- climate disruption -- is the critical challenge of the 21st century. The defense establishment ignores this security reality at our joint peril.
January 17, 2019
Andrew Wheeler, Trump's EPA pick says climate change 'not the greatest crisis'. The former coal lobbyist took over the EPA when his predecessor Scott Pruitt resigned after months of controversy. Wheeler says, in confirmation hearings (reported by few media outlets), that "he is carrying out the president’s “regulatory reform agenda” and that the US is the “gold standard for environmental progress”.
The environment could become a top issue in the 2020 presidential race. Asked if he agreed with the president’s past statements that climate change is a Chinese “hoax”, Wheeler said he would “not use the hoax word, myself”. The latest major Trump resignations and firings. But Wheeler said he would “not call it the greatest crisis”.
“I consider it a huge issue that has to be addressed globally.”
Wheeler also told the New Jersey senator Cory Booker, a likely presidential contender, that he is “still examining” a November report from US government scientists showing the country will suffer from heat-related deaths, coastal flooding and infrastructure damage.
Booker said Wheeler’s regulatory changes “fly in the face” of that science, and the Massachusetts senator Ed Markey called it “unacceptable” that Wheeler would seek confirmation without being familiar with the report.
Wheeler was a lobbyist at Faegre Baker Daniels, where he represented coal company Murray Energy until August 2017. Murray Energy wrote the administration a list of rule changes that would help the industry, and they are largely under way.
January 14, 2019
More coal powered US power plants were shutting the first two years of President Donald Trump's presidency than in President Obama's entire first term. According to Data from Reuters and the US Energy Information Administration nearly 15,000 megawatts of coal-fired power retired from 2009 to 2012, while from 2017 to 2018 that number jumped to about 23,000...
January 5, 2019
The new normal is abnormal.
January 4, 2019
January 3, 2019
USA Today / Natural disasters in Texas on the scale of Hurricane Harvey's deadly destruction last year will become more frequent because of a changing climate, warns a new report Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, ordered by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in a state where skepticism about climate change.
"We need to stop making the old mistakes in local development that expose homes and businesses to risks that only become apparent when disaster strikes. To paraphrase the old saying, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure."
While climate change has largely broken down along partisan lines at the state and federal level, the nation's mayors have overwhelmingly put aside political parties to address the issue. A survey of mayors this year found that 57 percent of cities are planning to take climate-related actions in 2019. And dozens of the country's largest cities have committed to meeting the terms of the 2025 Paris Agreement on climate change, which Trump is withdrawing from on a national level.
"I think every mayor in the country would say it's their responsibility to do something," said James Brainard, the longtime mayor of Carmel, Indiana. "Our mayors are not sitting back. The mayors are the closest elected officials to the people and the mayors can make this happen regardless of what the federal government does."
Brainard, a Republican, said he doesn't consider climate change a political issue, but he acknowledged he sometimes has to tailor his message for different audiences. Liberal groups, for instance, love that the city replaced it's streetlights with LEDs, reducing electricity consumption and therefore the emission of greenhouse gasses. Conservative groups, he said, are usually more interested in the fact that the switch saves the city 20 percent on its electricity bill annually.
January 2, 2019
Globally, steel is responsible for 7 per cent to 9 per cent of all direct emissions from fossil fuels, with each tonne produced resulting in an average 1.83 tonnes of CO2, according to the World Steel Association.
And as the world’s population grows, demand is only predicted to increase....
“In principle there are technology routes to lower emissions from steelmaking,” said David Clarke, head of strategy and chief technology officer at ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer by tonnage. The catch, he added, was that “society would have to accept higher costs of steel production”....
A well-established alternative to blast furnaces are electric arc furnaces (EAFs) that melt down scrap, instead of using raw materials. EAFs are smaller, less expensive and, because they do not consume coke, pump out less CO2 than blast furnaces. They already account for about one-quarter of global steel output.
However, renewable energy sources alone cannot meet their enormous electricity demands — enough to power a town of 100,000 people. Another limitation is the supply of scrap, while the grades produced in EAFs are often not the right quality for certain applications, like automotive....
Swedish steel group SSAB is building a €150m pilot facility, scheduled for 2020, that would make the Nordic country the first to manufacture the metal without fossil fuels.
Hydrogen produced by electrolysis from Sweden’s abundant renewable energy resources will be used to reduce ore into a product called sponge iron, which can be converted into steel through arc furnaces.
But clean hydrogen production is expensive and would require a huge expansion of renewable energy generation capacity. South Korea’s Posco and Voestalpine of Austria are pursuing similar projects, although the latter said it could take two decades to become reality.
Until then, steelmakers are taking intermediary steps. Tata’s system removes several stages of pre-processing raw materials and, if combined with the capture and storage of waste gases, the company said it could lower CO2 emissions by 80 per cent.
December 30, 2018
Philip Shabecoff, a longtime environment reporter, has covered Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and every president in between.
Now, at age 84, he'd like to return to the news business to cover President Trump.
Shabecoff recently spoke to E&E News about his start in environmental journalism, why he thinks the Times owes him an apology and why he labels the Trump administration an "unmitigated disaster."
How did you get the environment beat?
I was assigned to the Washington bureau, and they asked me what I wanted to write about, and I said the environment. That was in 1970. ... The bureau chief told me at the time, "Well, that's not important enough for a full-time reporter in the Washington bureau, and besides, we need some help covering economics." It was not until I'd covered the White House that they let me cover the environment. And at first, not full-time. ... It wasn't until Reagan became president and Anne Gorsuch became EPA administrator and James Watt headed the Interior Department that it became a political issue as well as an environmental issue that they let me cover it full-time.
What were the most interesting storylines that you covered on that beat?
I think my first climate change story was in '78 or '79, and that was buried. The Times held it for a couple of months and put it on page 42 of the Saturday paper, which is as deeply as you can bury a story in the Times.
(SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: The climate change story of '78 referred to here was a historic event, the first US Congressional legislation passed to study Climate Change. George E. Brown of the House science committee put forward the National Climate Program Act. A memorable moment in time --- National Climate Program Act, Public Law 95-367 --- National Climate Program Act, Public Law 95-367, Sept.17, 1978 95th Congress)
Philip Shabecoff interview continues:
A decade later, I covered the hearing with [Colorado Democratic Sen.] Tim Wirth ... [and NASA climate change expert] Jim Hansen. I had interviewed [Hansen] and knew him, and it was the first major splash. It led the newspaper. ... I fully thought at that point there would be action on climate change, that the world governments would start doing something about it. How wrong I was.
Of course, there was the whole Gorsuch-Watt era, when they were trying to dismantle environmental regulations. ... Eventually, they both had to resign, even in the Reagan administration.
What was environmental journalism like in those days?
There was hardly anybody, just a handful [of reporters]. A few of us started the Society of Environmental Journalists with just a handful, and now there's about 1,500 or so, I don't know the exact number. There's a lot of talented environmental journalists out there now.
You know, I had to resign from the Times. Officially I retired, but I resigned because I was taken off the environmental beat in 1990 because my coverage about things like climate change was considered alarmist.
What's your take on the Trump administration?
It is an unmitigated disaster, and he should be — what he's doing to the rollback of environmental regulations and particularly what he's doing to ignore climate change and build up the fossil fuel industry should be considered a crime against humanity, and he should be sent to The Hague and tried.
How do you think Trump has influenced environmental journalism?
I think he's prodded it; I think he's energized it. I think it was sort of fading for a while. I think there's a lot of good reporting coming out of what he's doing. Unfortunately, most of the journalism about the environment is horror stories.
You've seen administrations come and go. Do you think that the Trump administration's environmental policies will be long-lasting?
They can certainly restore a lot of regulations, but the damage that is being done to the climate now, it cannot be reversed. The dumping of toxins into waterways cannot be reversed. I don't think the selling off of public lands can be reversed. The damage by oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge cannot be reversed. One could go on and on. I hope that — and God willing, there will be a next administration in 2020 — they can go back to having a sane environmental policy, but the damage will have been done.
The Trump administration isn’t about renewable energy, but thanks to the Washington, D.C., city council, it could soon be running on clean power. The council passed one of the most ambitious climate bills in the country on Tuesday requiring the District to get all of its energy from renewables by 2032.
The bill was introduced in July by City Councilmember Mary Cheh and was spurred along by a group of more than 110 environmental, justice and faith groups as well as unions. While it includes a host of new climate rules, chief among them is the renewable requirement.
December 21, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 launch
Today, Bill Anders says that the most striking image to him was not the Earth as seen from the moon, so much as it was the Earth receding in the distance as they left it behind on their outbound voyage. Arguably, that view has changed us — colored our attitude toward the environment, international affairs, our place in the universe — more than Apollo’s other accomplishments.
“It took a while to affect me,” Anders says, “this beautiful blue ball against the darkest black you could imagine, getting smaller and smaller as we went. It made me realize how insignificant our little planet was.”
Another Step toward International Cooperation: U.S. resists but chooses to sign agreement
The deal requires every country to follow uniform standards for measuring emissions. Analysts said it was now up to the countries to honor their commitments
Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy at the Union of Concerned Scientists summed up the need for action as the 24th international climate meeting concluded:
- “The real test is what happens when countries go home. All the decision text in the world doesn’t cut a molecule of carbon. You need action on the ground.”
Clean Air Cuts, Now Clean Water Act Rollbacks
- Environmental Protections Agency reports show the rollback of Obama-era regulations will leave 51 percent of the nation's wetlands unprotected
How 'Clean' is the climate/environment of the U.S.?
• Via E&E News / Trump administration breaks with its predecessors by using a 2006 opinion by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia...
Global carbon emissions reached record high in 2018
Washington Post today as nations hold climate talks in Poland... Latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing.
Donald Trump Only World Leader to Reject Climate Change in G20 Statement
In a communiqué released at the end of the summit, the signatories of the Paris climate agreement reaffirmed that the international accord “is irreversible” and that they are committed to its “full implementation,” promising to “continue to tackle climate change, while promoting sustainable development and economic growth.”
Except for the US, which got its own clause restating President Trump’s decision over the summer to remove the US from the agreement.
“The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment,” the U.S. clause reads.
Air Quality / Air Pollution
- Particulate air pollution is the single greatest threat to human health globally.
As the U.S. President thanks himself on a Thanksgiving holiday in November of 2018, and gives himself an "A+" grade on his environmental record, we recall his factual environmental record and his state denial of climate change and its proliferating dangers and risks. Since his administration entered office in 2017, decades of policies put in place to protect the environment have come under assault by federal agencies. The President has not 'done his homework' and has failed in his work. The reality presents a stark contrast to how the U.S. President sees himself and his 'success'.
U.N. climate report card: When it comes to cutting emissions, a dog ate the world’s homework / Via Grist
On Tuesday (Nov. 27, 2018), the U.N. released its annual report card on climate change (The Emissions Gap). The bad news is we’re failing to address the biggest problem facing humanity. The good news? There’s so much room to improve! — and cities and businesses could help pick up the slack.
First, our failing marks: After a three-year plateau, global emissions are rising again “with no signs of peaking,” according to the report. Countries aren’t hitting their Paris goals. In fact, we’re failing at those goals to such a degree that we are making the climate problem worse at an accelerating rate.
And, even if we hit our current targets, it wouldn’t be enough. Factoring in the most ambitious stated climate goals of every nation on Earth, we are still on track for emissions to keep rising beyond 2030. If you’ll recall, the recent IPCC report found that global emissions need to be half their current levels by that year for a shot at keeping warming below catastrophic levels. The U.N. report found that the countries of the world would need to increase the carbon-cutting power of climate policies five-fold in order to meet that goal of 1.5 degrees C warming.
- 27 November 2018
- Authors: UN Environment
The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as agreed at the Conference of the Parties in 2015, is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also calls for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The annual UN Environment Emissions Gap Report presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
View the Full Int'l Report on CO2 Emissions
Trump Says He’s Too Intelligent to Believe Climate Change Report / Via NY Magazine
White House: Federal climate change report 'not based on facts'
- Via the Washington Post / From Donald Trump's 'gut interview
- President Trump Says He’s Too Intelligent To Believe In Climate Change
- The government’s own climate report predicts the planet will warm dramatically by 2100 without urgent efforts to rein in emissions. Trump responds, “I don’t see it.”
- President Donald Trump asserted that he had “very high levels of intelligence,” and as such, did not believe in the scientific consensus surrounding climate change in a sweeping interview with The Washington Post published Tuesday (Nov 27).
- “One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,” said Trump, speaking to the Post’s Josh Dawsey and Philip Rucker. “You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean. ... As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it — not nearly like it is.”
- "You look at our air and our water, and it's right now at a record clean."
- (We do not have 'record clean' and the Trump record is one of increasing atmospheric emissions and loosening clean air rules'.)
- "And when you're talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over."
- ("Oceans are very small"? Oceans cover over 70% of the Earth's surface. And "sailing over?... What should one make of this comment?)
- "It just flows right down the Pacific, it flows, and we say where does this come from. And it takes many people to start off with."
- (The president has blamed China for creating the "myth" of climate change and global warming. Is he now saying that air pollution from China flows to the U.S. and "sails over"? Who knows what the president is saying as he says "where does this come from"...)
16th November 2018 / Reinsurance News
The UN Environment’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has announced a partnership with a group of 16 large, global insurers and reinsurers, to develop a new generation of risk assessment tools that enable the risk transfer industry to better understand the impacts of climate change on their business.
The 16 companies represent around 10% of global insurance premiums and $5 trillion in assets under management, and the pilot group will be tasked with developing analytical tools that they will use to pioneer insurance industry risk disclosures that fall in line with the guidelines and recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
The UNEP FI states that this will require member insurers and reinsurers to leverage the latest climate science, which includes the most advanced, and forward-looking climate scenarios that are out there.
The member re/insurers includes: Allianz, AXA, IAG, Intact Financial Corporation, Länsförsäkringar Sak, MAPFRE, MS&AD, Munich Re, NN Group, QBE, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Storebrand, Swiss Re, TD Insurance, The Co-operators, and Tokio Marine & Nichido.
UN Environment Chief, Erik Solheim, commented: “For generations, the insurance industry has served as society’s early warning system and risk manager by understanding, reducing, pricing and carrying risk. Its message now is loud and clear: climate change risk is intensifying and is a serious threat to the insurability of communities and economies around the world.
“An uninsurable world is a price that society could not afford. This is why UN Environment is working with leading insurers to understand and reduce risk, to seize unprecedented business opportunities in climate action, and to ensure an insurable, resilient and sustainable world.”
Results of the US Mid-term Congressional Election
- Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side / by David Sirota via The Guardian
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) is poised to take control of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Johnson was the first registered nurse elected to Congress, and will be the first chair of the committee with a STEM background since the 1990s, when it was led by former engineer George Brown (D-Calif.). She has a strong positive rating from the League of Conservation Voters...
- Remembering George Brown, chairman of the US House Science Com't over the years when it was committed to advancing science
Nov 6, 2018
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
(Dallas, TX) – Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) statement:
“I am heartened that Democrats will be in the Majority in the 116th Congress, and I cannot wait to get to work. If I am fortunate enough to be elected Chair of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, a Committee that I like to call the ‘Committee of the Future,’ I know that there is much that we can accomplish as Democrats and Republicans working together for the good of the nation. There is much to be done in the next Congress, and I believe that at a minimum we need to pursue an agenda that will:
- Ensure that the United States remains the global leader in innovation, which will require attention to a wide range of activities: promoting effective STEM education solutions, engaging the underrepresented minorities and blue collar workers in the STEM fields, supporting a robust federally funded R&D enterprise and emerging areas of science and technology, defending the scientific enterprise from political and ideological attacks, and challenging misguided or harmful Administration actions;
- Address the challenge of climate change, starting with acknowledging it is real, seeking to understand what climate science is telling us, and working to understand the ways we can mitigate it; and finally,
- Restore the credibility of the Science Committee as a place where science is respected and recognized as a crucial input to good policymaking.
“These three priorities will keep us very busy both legislatively and in carrying out the serious oversight that has been neglected by our Committee the past few Congresses. If appointed as Chair, I will work tirelessly to advance this agenda for the good of our nation.”
The EPA's Climate Change Page Is Just Gone Now
November 1, 2018 / Via Environmental Data & Governance Initiative / Motherboard
A report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative reveals that the removal of climate change information from the EPA website is set to be a long-term policy of the Trump administration.
EPA.gov pages that previously provided information about climate change have been changed from claiming that they are "updating" to an error message that reads, "We want to help you find what you are looking for," as revealed by a report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. The change indicates that information related climate change is not being “updated,” but removed entirely.
In April 2017, the EPA put out a press release announcing that EPA.gov would be changing to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.”
“The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency's current efforts,” the April 2017 press release reads. “The changes will comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including the use of proper archiving procedures.”
At that point, the EPA’s climate change subdomains were removed and were replaced by a page that said that the subdomains were being “updated.” The pages remained like this until the night between October 16 and 17, when the pages were updated to read “We want to help you find what you are looking for.”
There is no information related to climate change on any of the EPA’s climate change subdomains, and per the language of the EPA’s April 2017 press release, this reflects the priorities of the Trump Administration.
This is far from the first time that the Trump administration has removed information relating to climate change and environmental hazards. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, all references to climate change were removed from the White House website. In April of that year, the Department of the Interior removed references to climate change from its public-facing website. The Federal Emergency Management Agency does not even mention climate change in its five year plan released earlier this year.
The Trump administration has also taken tangible steps toward undermining environmental regulations. For instance, earlier this year, the Trump Administration revoked state waivers to the national Clean Air Act that allows states such as California, a major automobile manufacturer, to enforce stricter policies than the Clean Air Act Demands.
We live in an age of rapid and unprecedented planetary change. Indeed, many scientists believe our ever-increasing consumption, and the resulting increased demand for energy, land and water, is driving a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. It’s the first time in the Earth’s history that a single species – Homo sapiens – has had such a powerful impact on the planet.
This rapid planetary change, referred to as the ‘Great Acceleration’, has brought many benefits to human society. Yet we now also understand that there are multiple connections between the overall rise in our health, wealth, food and security, the unequal distribution of these benefits and the declining state of the Earth’s natural systems. Nature, underpinned by biodiversity, provides a wealth of services, which form the building blocks of modern society; but both nature and biodiversity are disappearing at an alarming rate. Despite well-meaning attempts to stop this loss through global agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, we are failing; current targets and consequent actions amount, at best, to a managed decline. To achieve climate and sustainable development commitments, reversing the loss of nature and biodiversity is critical...
Nearly 2 billion children – about 93 percent of the world’s children under the age of 15 – breathe toxic, putrid air that’s so polluted it puts their health and well-being at serious risk, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.
Many of the children die: The United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 600,000 children died in 2016 from lower respiratory infections caused by dirty air.
“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. “This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfill their full potential.”
Air pollution can affect children's cognitive ability and can also trigger asthma as well as cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease later in life...
LA Times / Trump administration gives itself A plus grade on environment
- Few would agree with the self assessment
A recent essay in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. by Harvard University researchers concluded that Trump’s environmental agenda “is likely to cost the lives of over 80,000 U.S. residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for many more than 1 million people.”
Yet the heads of Trump’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children characterized the administration this week as being singularly focused on keeping Americans, and particularly kids, safe from dangerous industrial practices.
The task force’s activities are “a continuation of the Trump administration’s commitment to preventing future generations from being affected by lead exposure,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, citing “great progress” in safeguarding public safety.
Andrew Wheeler, a former coal-industry lobbyist who now serves as the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said reducing exposure to toxic lead “is a top priority for EPA.”
Not really. Not if you define “reducing exposure to toxic lead” as reducing exposure to toxic lead.
“Like meat bees on baloney, the pollution lobby has swarmed the Trump administration from its inception,” said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.
“No number of press releases and statements by Mr. Wheeler or others claiming environmental and public health protection is a ‘top priority’ for this administration can change that indisputable fact.”
The Trump administration depicting itself as a champion of the environment is as ludicrous as its recent attempts to portray itself as a defender of protections for people with preexisting medical conditions.
It’s neither. The opposite, in fact.
“This rhetoric from the Trump administration is just painting over its refusal to keep our kids safe, not just from lead poisoning, but from toxic air and water pollution,” said Melinda Pierce, legislative director of the Sierra Club.
“Propaganda won't disguise the reality that Trump is responsible for the most serious attacks on clean air and water by any administration ever.”
Turning the Toxic Tide is a series of editorials published collectively by the six editorial boards of USA TODAY Network-Florida.
- October 18, 2018 / Today's editorial, Florida is at historic crossroads is the first in the series.
Chris Mooney / Washington Post:
Climate scientists have begun to focus on hurricane rapid intensification as an increasingly prevalent feature in the world we’re entering.
In a recent study in the Journal of Climate, researchers found more rapid intensifications in a simulation of a human-warmed world, and also that this would prove a key pathway toward more intense hurricanes... #RapidIntensification
October 12, 2018
Did global warming 'supercharge' Hurricane Michael?
Hurricane Michael exploded in intensity this week, from a rather nondescript tropical depression Sunday with winds of 35 mph to a Category 4 monster Wednesday with 155 winds.
When it hit land, it became the most powerful hurricane on record to slam Florida's Panhandle and the third-strongest U.S. landfall of all time.
Along with other weather factors, Michael's rapid intensification was fueled in part by unusually warm sea water in the Gulf of Mexico. Warm water of at least 80 degrees fuels hurricanes, and the water in the eastern Gulf this week was as much as 4 to 5 degrees warmer than normal.
Although random weather patterns certainly played a role, the warm waters in the Gulf have a “human fingerprint” of climate change, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate and hurricane expert Jim Kossin.
Penn State University climatologist Michael Mann told ThinkProgress that "once again we see a storm undergoing extreme rapid intensification over unusually warm ocean waters. We saw this pattern last year with Harvey and earlier this year with Florence and now, with my namesake, Michael.”
Weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said "there's no doubt the ocean water encountered by Michael was quite warm compared to the last three decades, especially near the coast."
A 2015 study on how ocean temperatures affect hurricane intensity in the North Atlantic found intensification increases by 16 percent for every 1.8 degree increase in average sea-surface temperatures... #HumanFingerprint
Americans win Nobel Prize of work on climate, growth
Paul Romer: "Many people think that dealing with protecting the environment will be so costly and so hard work that they just want to ignore the problem. They want to deny it exists; they can't deal with it. I hope the prize today could help everyone see that humans are capable of amazing accomplishments when we set about trying to do something."
Romer said that his research has left him optimistic that society can solve even a threat as deeply challenging as the warming of the planet.
William Nordhaus: Nordhaus has been called "the father of climate-change economics" developing models that suggest how governments can combat global warming. One key step he has endorsed is a universal tax on carbon, which would require polluters to pay for the costs that their emissions impose on society. By using a tax rather than government edicts to slash emissions, the policy encourages companies to find innovative ways to reduce pollution -- and their tax burdens.
Foreign Policy Magazine
The economist William Nordhaus will receive his profession’s highest honor for research on global warming that’s been hugely influential — and entirely misguided.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. After all, this isn’t just a matter of abstract academic debate; the future of human civilization hangs in the balance.
In the 1990s, Nordhaus invented the first integrated assessment models to explore how economic growth affects carbon emissions, and how climate change in turn affects economic growth. The basic mechanisms that Nordhaus described continue to inform the models that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses today. No one disputes that this qualifies as a significant contribution to the field. The question, rather, has to do with how Nordhaus has used his models to argue for a particular policy agenda.
The models showed that if we were to rapidly reduce carbon emissions in line with what scientists say is necessary to avoid climate breakdown – by putting a high tax on carbon, for instance – it would significantly slow down the rate of economic growth. As far as scientists are concerned, that’s not a problem; we should obviously do whatever it takes to avoid climate catastrophe. But for economists like Nordhaus, this is not acceptable. After all, the whole point of neoclassical economics is to do whatever it takes to grow economic output.
So, Nordhaus’ career has been devoted to finding what he calls a “balance” between climate mitigation and GDP growth. In a famous 1991 paper titled “To slow or not to slow,” he argued firmly for the latter option: Let’s not be too eager to slow down global warming, because we don’t want to jeopardize growth.
To justify this conclusion, Nordhaus manipulates what is known as the “discount rate,” which is how economists value the costs of climate breakdown in the present as compared to the future. It might sound arcane, but it’s really quite straightforward. A discount rate of zero means that future generations are valued equally to the present; a high discount rate means that future generations are valued less, or “discounted,” compared with nearer generations.
Nordhaus prefers a high discount rate—very high. Discounting the future allows him to argue that we shouldn’t reduce emissions too quickly, because the economic cost to people today will be higher than the benefit of protecting people in the future. Instead, we should do the opposite: Focus on GDP growth now even if it means locking in future climate catastrophe. This is justifiable, he says, because future generations will then be much richer than we are and therefore better able to manage the problem.
Using this logic, Nordhaus long claimed that from the standpoint of “economic rationality” it is “optimal” to keep warming the planet to about 3.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels—vastly in excess of the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold that the IPCC insists on.
It sounds morally problematic and flies in the face of scientists’ warnings, but economists and policymakers have lined up behind Nordhaus’s argument. They like it because it gives them license to carry on with the status quo and delay difficult decisions. President Trump, for instance, has been aggressive in his preference for growth over climate action. This is in large part what explains the fact that nearly 30 years after the first IPCC report was published, global emissions are still going up. It also helps explain why even with the Paris climate agreement in place, and with all of the plans promised by the world’s governments, we’re still headed for about 3.3 degrees Celsius of warming. It’s all eerily similar to the Nordhaus trajectory.
So how do economists get away with believing that these extreme temperatures are somehow okay? Because the Nordhaus model tells us that even the worst catastrophes will not really hurt the global economy all that much. Maybe a percentage point or two at the most, by the end of the century—much less than the cost of immediate action.
and at GreenPolicy360 and Strategic Demands
Special International Report Released / October 8, 2018
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change / IPCC
Thousands of scientists gather to bring together the last five years of advances in climate science to answer key questions for policymakers.
"Repeal of everything the Obama administration did."
Under Pruitt, "There was utter contempt for the career staff and the commitment to do whatever industry asked them to do."
"Today, the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth."
Elizabeth Southerland (Former director of science and technology in the Office of Water): What I perceived is that the new administration came into the EPA with complete contempt for the career staff in the agency. Not once did they talk to any of us about all these rules that they’ve been requested by industry to repeal.
"It’s not just that the actions of this administration failed to follow science and evidence and facts, but they are also in many cases unlawful."
Pathways Forward, Changing the World
New climate pledges announced by global leaders at the 10th Climate Week.
California Governor Brown opens the conference with a call to action. Taking innovation and solutions to scale ... pathways, policy action, transparency.
The Climate Group, bringing together over 200 governments and businesses spanning six continents and 43 countries with the goal of reducing GHG emissions toward net-zero by 2050.
U.S. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Releases Climate Science Statement
More than 50,000 members received the education group's position ... In part it reads: “Given the solid scientific foundation on which climate change science rests. . . any controversies regarding climate change and human-caused contributions to climate change that are based on social, economic, or political arguments—rather than scientific arguments—should not be part of a science curriculum.”
As an official position statement, it's definitely worth reading in its entirety.
One portion of the teachers’ guidance stands out as a 'clear warning to deniers to stop trying to infect our science with cynical politics'.
The appeal by some to “teach the controversy,” the statement asserts, is a rhetorical tactic not based on science.
“Scientific explanations must be consistent with existing empirical evidence or stand up to empirical testing. Ideas based on political ideologies or pseudoscience that fail these empirical tests do not constitute science and should not be allowed to compromise the teaching of climate science.”
Closing the Global Climate Action Summit, Governor Brown announces a partnership with Planet Labs
New Space Earth Science here we go ...
September 12-14, San Francisco, California
Green Politics in Action: California Builds Bridges to Extend International Cooperation
Renewable Works for Orlando
Get Going Florida! Your Energy Future Is Now
- Looking back at the environmental thoughts of Andrew Revkin and looking forward at human intervention to treat climate crisis: What About "Geoengineering"?
Who sets the global thermostat?
Imagine scenarios, the big picture, sequencing of engineering steps to slow climate change if global consensus on mitigation and prevention cannot be reached. To put it another way, if short-term thinking prevails and governments/business/human actions fail to prevent worsening climate-induced impacts, then what proactive actions can be taken before 'all hell breaks out' ...
HuffPost US to Kim Stanley Robinson
How do you define geoengineering and what are the forms it will most likely take?
I guess the definition would be something like “a deliberate planned attempt by human beings to mitigate the damages of climate change, of carbon dioxide and methane buildup in the atmosphere, and of ecological damage generally, by way of some action that is large-scale” — if not global in reach, then regional in ways that might have global repercussions.
Are you afraid for the future?
What makes you most hopeful for a future in which humans who aren’t ultrarich can still thrive?
Progressive taxation, progressive politics, the Paris Accords, the Endangered Species Act, leftists everywhere on Earth including China, environmentalists everywhere, the growing green-red coalition or united front of environmentalists and leftists, the creative power of STEM, the humanist traditions in philosophy, people’s concern for their children, the growing sense of a “global village” we are all part of, the urge to survive. These are some of the things that make me hopeful. Hope is stubborn. It exists in us at the cellular level and works up from there, as part of the urge to live. So hope will persist. The question is, can we put it to use?
Ride along with the 2018 Nautilus Expedition
This expedition takes the Nautilus team, and us, to little-known and unexplored regions of the Eastern Pacific ocean. #NautilusLive
“I call him Lord Voldemort,” conservation lawyer Bill Snape said about Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh...
This may be pushing artistic license just a touch, but... the multiple questions about the Heritage Foundation/Federalist Society choice for SCOTUS are now top of mind... the question of independent judicial review and/or money behind the nominee are out-of-the-starting-gate questions...
Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the US EPA, Resigns
- (Pink tinting added above by Josh Marshall / via TPM)
The Last Act
Pruitt seeks to limit EPA's authority to block water pollution permits
The proposed regulation would likely be the most significant change to how the EPA enforces the Clean Water Act’s restrictions on dredging or filling waterways in four decades.
June 23, 2018, a Thirty Year Anniversary
- June 23, 1988, an epochal day, a history-making day
On June 23rd, 1988, James Hansen testified to the US Senate.
Siterunner: Your GreenPolicy360 siterunner remembers back over the 1970s and 80s working environmental politics with George Brown as he pushed thru the first federal climate act, the National Climate Program Act of 1978 with a climate research program, this after his earlier work to establish the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts with California and Congressional legislators at the start up of the modern environmental movement.
More of James Hansen and George Brown --
US Environmental Protection Agency Updates
- “@EPAScottPruitt is the most corrupt administrator in the @EPA’s history.”
A demoralized workforce watching as its agency is dismantled by the very people charged to lead it: That is the grim state of affairs depicted by John J. O’Grady, a longtime employee in the Chicago field office of the Environmental Protection Agency, which is tasked with protecting the nation’s air and water, while preventing the exposure of citizens to harmful chemicals. The agency is doing none of that, in O’Grady’s telling, with career officials watching in dismay as EPA administrator Scott Pruitt seemingly lurches from one scandal to another while doing the bidding of oil barons and the chemical lobby.
“Morale is not good,” O’Grady said of the agency’s 14,000 employees. “It’s so low, you need a ladder to get out of the gutter.”
O’Grady, an EPA engineer who is also a chapter leader in the American Federation of Government Employees, a public sector union, made his remarks in an on-the-record breakfast with journalists at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C. Nearby, a television screen was tuned to CNN, where an anchor discussed Pruitt’s most recent alleged transgression: According to a Washington Post report published that morning, Pruitt had his most influential aide urging Republican donors to hire his wife Marlyn.
Via E&E News-Scientific American
June 5, 2018 / Freedom of Information Request To Be Acted Upon
EPA must produce the opposing body of science Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied upon to claim that humans are not the primary drivers of global warming, a federal judge has ruled.
The EPA boss has so far resisted attempts to show the science backing up his claims.
Not long after he took over as EPA administrator, Pruitt appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” where he was asked about carbon dioxide and climate change. He said, “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
The next day, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the studies Pruitt used to make his claims. Specifically, the group requested “EPA documents that support the conclusion that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change.”
On Friday, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, ordered the agency to comply.
“Particularly troubling is the apparent premise of this agency challenge to the FOIA request, namely: that the evidentiary basis for a policy or factual statement by an agency head, including about the scientific factors contributing to climate change, is inherently unknowable.”
If the case proceeds, it could mean that Pruitt would have to produce such research in the coming months or next year.
Trump’s NASA Chief: 'I Fully Believe and Know the Climate Is Changing'
“I also know that we human beings are contributing to it in a major way”
“As far as my position on climate change and how it’s evolved, I’ll be very open...” the new administrator of NASA said at a town hall Thursday (May 17) at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“I don’t deny that consensus that the climate is changing,” he said. “In fact, I fully believe and know that the climate is changing. I also know that we humans beings are contributing to it in a major way. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”
... whether Bridenstine’s views on climate change have changed or not, the views of his bosses haven’t, and this remains a point of concern for Bridentine’s critics. The Trump White House has proposed cutting or canceling many of nasa’s earth-science missions. So far, they’ve been spared. Republicans don’t have enough seats in the Senate to pass their dream budgets, so they’ve had to negotiate bipartisan budget legislation with Democrats. This setup has preserved most of nasa’s climate funding, but not all. The latest budget deal didn’t specifically mention nasa’s Carbon Monitoring System, a $10-million program to track greenhouse-gas emissions around the world. The Trump administration took that as an opportunity to terminate the program.
US EPA Administrator Back in the News
EPA staff Wednesday morning barred POLITICO and reporters from at least two other publications from entering a national summit on toxic chemicals, a day after a partial media blackout at the same event brought criticism from congressional Democrats and a pledge by the White House to investigate the incident... the Associated Press (reported) that one of its journalists was forcibly ejected from the building.
Pruitt scheduled the PFAS summit months ago, but it has attracted increased attention after POLITICO reported that senior EPA officials had helped block the release of an HHS study that would have increased warnings about the chemicals. EPA stepped in after the White House warned in January that releasing the study would create a "public relations nightmare."
Pruitt said he was unaware of that intervention, but it has added to the criticism he has faced from lawmakers and the public in recent months. The embattled administrator is facing more than a dozen federal investigations over his first-class travel, sweetheart condo rental from a lobbyist, heavy security spending and other matters.
By 2030, China and Taiwan are planning to ban all plastic bags,
straws, disposable food containers, plastic cutlery and cups.
Earth Science & Environmental Security
May 22 / News Reports / California
The New GRACE satellites are launched and on their way...
Two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On -- GRACE-FO -- satellites were released from the Falcon 9's second stage about 11-and-a-half minutes after takeoff. The five Iridium NEXT satellites followed suit about an hour later, after an orbit-raising maneuver by the second stage.
As the name indicates, the GRACE-FO satellites are replacements for an earlier pair that spent 15 years monitoring how water is distributed globally, measuring changes in Earth's oceans, glaciers and ice sheets while tracking sub-surface aquifers and soil moisture.
The original GRACE mission found that Greenland, for example, is losing 281 billion tons of ice per year on average while Antarctica is losing another 125 "gigatons" annually. One gigaton is the mass of water in 400,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
"GRACE was really a revolutionary mission for us understanding the water cycle and how the climate behaves and the trends that are taking place," said Frank Webb, GRACE-FO project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"This was a view we didn't have before of water on the Earth. We were able to see how water has moved from different parts of the Earth by actually measuring its mass. ... We were able to detect things like loss of ice mass from glaciers, ice sheets, Greenland, places like that, we were able to see storage of water on land where there were floods or depletion of water on land where there are large aquifers and we've been pumping water out."
The NASA-led research team ... used 14 years of observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission to track global trends in freshwater in 34 regions around the world.
The study, published in the May 17, 2018 issue of the journal Nature, also incorporated satellite precipitation data from the ESSIC-led Global Precipitation Climatology Project; Landsat imagery from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey; irrigation maps; and published reports of human activities related to agriculture, mining and reservoir operations. The study period spans from 2002 to 2016.
"This is the first time we've assessed how freshwater availability is changing, everywhere on Earth, using satellite observations," said Matt Rodell, lead author of the paper and chief of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "A key goal was to distinguish shifts in terrestrial water storage caused by natural variability—wet periods and dry periods associated with El Niño and La Niña, for example—from trends related to climate change or human impacts, like pumping groundwater out of an aquifer faster than it is replenished."
Loss of Permafrost: Ripple Effects Head South
The Great Thaw of America's North Is Coming
Texas Becoming Greener?
What About Pennsylvania?
May 6, 2018
By James Colby / EARTHx
Here is my Earth Day reflection: No single person, politician, political party, or nation can solve the climate-change or sustainability crisis. The responsibility falls on every human being on planet Earth. Young and old, left and right, and rural and urban citizens must unite, collaborate, and cooperate.
Business and industry, and federal, state, and local politicians must enact public policy that reflects sustainability. The first Earth Day” (1970) was excellent, in that the left and right united to change the American landscape and the world. Clean water, air, and soil became priorities, and the EPA was established to advance these goals.
Today, many citizens feel helpless and ask this: “how can I help?”
Some individuals think environmental issues are not important or real… or not concerns of their friends, family, church members, or talk-show hosts. If you are in this group, please consider this fact: Texas is not only Red, but Green. Many Texas Republicans view green living as excellent political and business goals, and reflect fiscal responsibility.
It is a fact: clean, renewable energies, economies, and jobs are now embraced by Americans of all ideologies. Texas, known for big business, big oil, and all sizes of pickup trucks is transforming into an environmental beacon...
- Bill McKibben: The Question I Get Asked the Most
- The questions come after talks, on twitter, in the days' incoming tide of email—sometimes even in old-fashioned letters that arrive in envelopes...
- "What can I do?" I bet I've been asked it 10,000 times by now... "What can I do to make a difference?"
Macron Speaks to US Congress
April 25, 2018
"Let us face it, there is no Planet B..."
"I am sure one day the U.S. will come back and rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement."
Methane, We're Watching
- Detecting methane from space
- There has been quite a buzz around this unique advancement in space, and the valuable data it will provide on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that accounts for a quarter of the warming our planet is experiencing today. Curbing anthropogenic methane emissions is one of the most efficient and economical options available to slow the rate of warming over the next few decades, while efforts continue to reduce CO2 emissions worldwide.
- "As a pollutant, methane is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-yr period and responsible for a quarter of the global warming happening today. That is a risk not just to emitters in the oil and gas sector, but to investors everywhere."
- Re: Methane Management / Harvard Investment Endowment Fund
- The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) planning to be the first environmental group to send its own satellite into space. The group's efforts are being funded through the Audacious Project, a joint effort of the non-profit group TED and philanthropic organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- “We need good solid data so that we really can support global action on climate change, and we’ve got to do it fast,” says Steven Hamburg, the EDF’s chief scientist.
- The most detailed measurements currently available of atmospheric methane concentrations currently come from a sensor aboard the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P spacecraft, which launched in October 2017. The Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument provides global coverage at a resolution of nearly 50 square kilometres, but those measurements do not capture the dispersed sources of emissions from oil and gas fields.
- Commercial firms have developed high-resolution sensors that can be placed aboard 10-centimetre-sided CubeSats to measure emissions from individual wells or other facilities. Those data are proprietary, however, and the measurements cannot be scaled up to the level of an entire oil and gas field.
- The Environmental Defense Fund team is designing MethaneSAT to provide more-precise measurements, at a resolution of 1 square kilometre, with global coverage at least once a week.
April and Birds On the Wing
Daphne with an Orphan
Orphans No More
The Oil/Gas Deal in the Arctic
"It was bigger than sending a man to the moon", re: US / Russia to drill in the Arctic
It's a big story, a 'follow the money' story, the story of oil/gas profits and global environmental costs...
Looking at Rosneft/Exxon's $500 billion Arctic deal, Rex Tillerson's appt as US Secretary of State, US/Russia oil/gas interests...
The political-economic reality in a warming North offers a rich bounty -- and pressing challenge to global security.
- February 22, 2018, the beginning of a SpaceX planetary network...
- Micro-satellites to deliver low-cost Internet access around the globe...
- SpaceX's ultimate goal is to provide gigabit broadband services worldwide...
Blue-Green Connection to Life on Earth
"The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One"
- "A single kind of blue-green algae in the ocean ('Prochlorococcus') produces the oxygen in one of every five breaths we take"
US Slaps Tariff on Solar Energy Panels
- Bank announces in Paris it ‘will no longer finance upstream oil and gas’ after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change
- The EU wants to make all plastic packaging recyclable, reduce single-use plastic and restrict microplastics. The plan would "lay the foundations for a new plastic economy."
Green Networking, Going Global
GreenPolicy360: Greening Our Blue Planet
VATICAN CITY, January 8, 2018 (Reuters) - Pope Francis called on Monday for all nations to support dialog to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and to work for a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons.
“Nuclear weapons must be banned,” Francis said, quoting a document issued by Pope John XXIII at the height of the Cold War and adding that there is “no denying that the conflagration could be started by some chance and unforeseen circumstance.”
He noted that the Holy See was among 122 states that last year agreed to a United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The United States, Britain, France and others boycotted the talks that led to the treaty, instead pledging commitment to a decades-old Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“It is of paramount importance to support every effort at dialog on the Korean peninsula, in order to find new ways of overcoming the current disputes, increasing mutual trust and ensuring a peaceful future for the Korean people and the entire world,” Francis said, addressing the nuclear crisis beween North Korea and the United States.
- Regenerative Green Best Practices
- "The World's First Professor of Planetary Health" / #PlanetaryHealth
2017 Green Stories of the Day / Edited/Re-published February 2018
New Definitions of National & Global Security
Rethinking Nuclear Risks
@GreenPolicy's associate, Strategic Demands
When Carl Sagan Warned the World About Nuclear Winter
News from the Int'l One Planet Summit
- December 2017, Paris, France
- France launches Make Our Planet Great Again grants
- EU funds will be focused on clean energy, and sustainable cities and agriculture
- The heads of several of the world’s space agencies have agreed to set up a climate observatory to pool data and share it with scientists across the world. The UK Space Agency has joined other organisations to commit to working together on activities such as increasing observations of key climate variables and validating the data.
- They aim to improve long term sustainability and accessibility of climate data captured by satellites.
- Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, who signed the agreement in Paris said: “The UK is working with international organisations to encourage the use of space data and technology to tackling climate change. It’s important we come together and agree to work towards improving the quality and sustainability of climate data from space and ensuring it is made freely available to researchers around the world.”
In September 2018, a follow on Global Climate Action Summit will be held in San Francisco.
- Co-chaired by Jerry Brown, the governor of California said of the next Summit:
- If we all work together, humanity can rise to the existential threat of climate change.
News from the Int'l Climate Conference in Germany
- UN Climate Change@UNFCCC
"The #ParisAgreement was a miracle - we must build on this miracle. We are on the road to hell without full Paris Agreement implementation"
- Andy Revkin@Revkin
- Read @ElizKolbert
- International research for global sustainability - https://mobile.twitter.com/FutureEarth
- Climate News - https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Climate_News
- Resilience - https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:GreenPolicy360_-_Resilience.png
- NASA OCO-2, critical measurements, critical mission - https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12478
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere through human activities...
- The OCO-2 mission represents an important advance in the ability to observe atmospheric carbon dioxide. OCO-2 collects high-precision, total column measurements of carbon dioxide (from the sensor to Earth’s surface) during daylight conditions.
- Scientists can also use model results to understand and predict where carbon dioxide is being emitted and removed from the atmosphere and how much is from natural processes and human activities.
- Carbon dioxide variations are largely controlled by fossil fuel emissions and seasonal fluxes of carbon between the atmosphere and land biosphere.
- OCO-2's unprecedented science is "a step toward answering critical questions about carbon dioxide and Earth's climate future."
- International Cooperation, Framework Convention on Climate Change
Only One Country Refuses to Support the Int'l Climate Agreement
November 7, 2017
Brown has been hailed in German media as the “anti-Trump” for his efforts to keep the United States engaged in the 2015 Paris agreement’s commitments to cut greenhouse emissions...
“It’s hard to get your mind around something so extensive,” said Brown, who was appointed by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the U.N. conference president, to serve as a special advisor for states and regions...
“Let’s lead the whole world to realize this is not your normal political challenge,” he added. “This is much bigger. This is life itself. It requires courage and imagination.”
- Dawning Thin Blue Perspective
- New Definitions of National And Global Security
- Fragile edge of our planet
- Thin blue line
- Mysterious rhythm
- Our next breath
- Heart struck with wonder
- Mind dizzy with awe
- -- Astronaut Douglas Wheelock @Astro_Wheels
- To highlight the global collaboration happening across the world -- http://www.climate-kic.org/
- War on the Rocks
- Look deeply at the threat -- https://warontherocks.com/2017/10/trumps-threat-to-nuclear-order/
- Today's 'Sunday Services' visits Patagonia, with a special thanks to Danny Moses, long-time, now retired, Editor-in-Chief of Sierra Club Books
- I climbed a path and from the top looked up-stream towards Chile. I could see the river, glinting and sliding through the bone-white cliffs with strips of emerald cultivation either side. Away from the cliffs was the desert. There was no sound but the wind, whirring through thorns and whistling through dead grass, and no other sign of life but a hawk, and a black beetle easing over white stones. ― Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
- There were no voices here. There was this, what I saw; and though beyond it were mountains and glaciers and albatrosses and Indians; there was nothing to speak of, nothing to delay me further. Only the Patagonian paradox: tiny blossoms in vast space; to be here, it helped to be a miniaturist, or else interested in enormous empty spaces. There was no intermediate zone to study. Either the enormity of the desert or the sight of a tiny flower. In Patagonia you had to choose between the tiny and the vast. ― Paul Theroux
- There is a saying in Patagonia -- que asegura a la persona que come el fruto del calafate, su regreso a estas tierras -- those who taste the fruit of the calafate will return to this land. I have tasted the calafate berry. ― Jeff Gnass
Environmental Security reasons why environmental protection regulations exist around the world --
- Deconstructing the Environmental Protection Agency / October 18
- A Frontline Public Broadcasting Investigation
- Prevent Nuclear First Use / October 16
- From our associate #StratDem -- http://strategicdemands.com/
- Planet Earth's "thin blue layer", strategic necessity
- Living Earth / October 13
- Planet Earth Flag Proposal / October 11
- Google Earth Goes Social / October 10
- Green Business Investing / October 9
- Investing with Green Values -- Green Money Journal
- Nobel Peace Prize goes to the "International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons" -- ICAN -- http://www.bbc.com/news/world-41528743
- Landmark Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Bans Research, Possession, Use, Nuclear Deterrence
- How Much Carbon Are We Emitting into Our Atmosphere? / October 5
Planet Earth, Planet Citizens, Planet Scientists / October 4
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Carbon_Sequestration -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Carbon_Sequestration
- Solar On Water, China on Top / October 2
- 'Sunday Services' - Looking Out / October 1
- http://www.earthpov.com -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/HelloEarth
- NASA Earth Science in Danger / September 30
- http://www.earthpov.com -- http://www.planetcitizen.org
- Forests: Sinks or Sources / September 29
- Four Times the Size of Manhattan / September 28
- Global Threats to Food Supply / September 27
- Time to Prepare for the Worst in Korea
- Updates on Nuclear Threat on the Korean Peninsula @ www.strategicdemands.com
- Threat Horizon
- From yesterday's stormy seas to today's performance by Jackson Browne and his band
- Some of them were angry
- At the way the earth was abused
- By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
- And they struggled to protect her from them
- Only to be confused
- By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour
- And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
- In the naked dawn only a few survived
- And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
- Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge
- After the US president threatens at the UN to "totally destroy" North Korea, the UN continues with its vote to totally ban nuclear weapons...
- The US president's speech at the UN -- Transcript
- GreenPolicy360 / Strategic Demands:
- A New Security Vision for the 21st Century
- Stanislav Petrov: Russia remembers - https://www.rt.com/news/403625-nuclear-soviet-officer-died/
- and then there's Vasily Arkhipov http://strategicdemands.com/remembering-a-day-in-1962/
- With synchronicity @work, a "1000 Cities Initiative" is announced -- https://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/patti-smith-rising-above-and-fighting-climate-change-art.html
- "Patti Smith's daughter explains, "that if 1000 cities come together and commit to becoming 100% renewable and transition off fossil fuels by 2040, we can turn the Paris Agreement into action."
- With synchronicity @work, a "1000 Cities Initiative" is announced -- https://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/patti-smith-rising-above-and-fighting-climate-change-art.html
- Patti Smith remembers an inspiration: “When I worked with Ralph Nader, one of the things that he taught us was that nothing productive comes from negativity or pessimism. So it’s important not to be drawn into a state of pessimism or paralysis, one has to take a breath and rise above it. I’m not saying that as rhetoric, I’m saying it as an action, as what I have to do myself. I feel the same way that you feel, that everyone else feels, but I refuse to be trampled by it, I refuse to be demoralized; I just keep on doing my work, our work.”
- Nothing to Worry About (Until It Comes for You) / September 15
- From Clearwater, Evacuating / September 8
- Time to evacuate. Will be back online next week. Stay safe all!
Strategic Demands / #StratDem
- A Losing Choice for NASA / September 5
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - https://www.nrel.gov/ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Renewable_Energy_Laboratory
- Renewable Energy World - http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/index.html / http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/energy-storage/top-news.html
- The Green Goal: A Clean Energy Economy - https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Renewable_Energy
- World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
- “The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvelous works that He has entrusted to our care...”
- Not Just Another Climate Speech / September 2
- By Dr. Joseph Romm, creator of climateprogress.org -- http://www.climateprogress.org
- Extreme Weather / August 31
- Boomtown Houston, Flooding Times / August 30
- H/t to ProPublica's investigative series on Houston in danger. Note the series beginning publication date, December 2016...
- Now Comes 'Hell and High Water' Harvey...
- Expanding 'Bulls-Eye': Houston, Texas / August 29
- Global Fact-Checking Projects in Countries -- PolitiFact is a networking model...
- "There are 96 fact-checking projects in 37 countries", beginning with the original PolitiFact project from Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida
- 'Sunday Services' / Eco-Schism in the Christian Faith
- Now there are some who believe in a 'global warming hoax', evangelism, prophecy, end times -- and there are those more 'on earth', who believe in 'our common home' and in a moral imperative to 'care for our common home'. Take a look at a profound schism growing within the Christian church, a 'split' in beliefs that will act to shape our future life, our future common life on earth, however we look at faith and religion. The actual number of Christians in the world is estimated in the range of 2 - 3 billion, with over 1.2 billion Catholics ...
- Here is US Senator Jim Inhofe, perhaps the most powerful man on environmental policy in the US Senate, his philosophy of a scientific 'hoax' and why he believes as he does, and why he wields his power to fit his religious beliefs...
- In stark contrast to the US evangelical religious views like Senator Inhofe of the oil/gas state of Oklahoma, here's Pope Francis, the first pontiff to name himself after the Catholic Church's patron saint of the environment, St. Francis. The Jesuit pope is promulgator of a first Catholic eco-encyclical and doctrine ... Laudato Si'
- Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma): "I disagree with the pope's philosophy on global warming. I am concerned that his encyclical will be used by global warming alarmists..."
- "My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous."
- New Views from Above / August 26
The US President, Nuclear Codes & 'First Use' / August 25
- Continuing On Topic / World-US News in Depth:
The US President & 'First Use' / August 24
- Update: GreenPolicy360 and the Strategic Demands team are reviewing a proposed bill that goes further than the Lieu/Markey 'first-use' proposal. Stay tuned. We'll be back...
The US President & Nuclear Codes / August 23
- James R. Clapper Jr., former director of US national intelligence, questioned president Trump’s fitness for office following the president's speech in Phoenix on Tuesday, August 22.
- “I really question his ability to be — his fitness to be — in this office... I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it — maybe he is looking for a way out.”
- Clapper continued in an interview after he watched Trump’s speech, saying that he is very worried about the president’s access to nuclear codes...
- “In a fit of pique he decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there’s actually very little to stop him,” Clapper said, referencing the president and the North Korean leader.
- “The whole system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”
- “U.S. national security policy rests on the assertion that 'forward presence' contributes directly to global peace and security. In Base Nation, David Vine examines, dismantles, and disproves that claim. He demonstrates that America's sprawling network of overseas bases imposes costs — not only financial but also political, environmental, and moral — that far exceed what the Pentagon is prepared to acknowledge. Base Nation offers a devastating critique, and no doubt Washington will try to ignore it. Citizens should refuse to let that happen.” --- Andrew J. Bacevich
- Green On an August Eve / August 21
- Trump's Climate Rejection / August 17
- The "Donald Trump Forest" project has been started by campaigners upset at what they call the US president's "ignorance" on climate science.
- Trump Forest allows people either to plant trees locally or pay for trees to be planted.
- Currently the campaign to compensate for the impact of President Trump's climate policies has 120,000 pledges...
- GrnPolicy Siterunner: Thinking of nuclear this morning when I woke and after checking Google News to see if nuclear war had broken out w/ N Korea ... and w/ China (China 'official' news yesterday: “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so”) and knowing the US and Chinese pres spoke by phone late yesterday, I began thinking of recent expert opinions I've read (w/ a h/t to Tom Nichols).
- Thinking about a Falk and Krieger piece who talked of a nuclear 'flamenco' a couple months ago, I began thinking about the current US Pacific Fleet admiral, Scott Swift, who last wk said he'd shoot off atomic weapons toward China if ordered by the president. The admiral's statement in Australia was then explained by a US Navy spokesman named Charlie Brown (not kidding). Here's the May 30th Hill op-ed, still timely:
- It's All Connected -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Relational_Reality.jpg
- The Nuclear Brink / August 9
- What Climate Change Report? / August 8
- On 'First Use' and Banning Nukes / August 7
- Preemptive, Preventive, and/or First-Use Strikes: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/no-one-should-have-sole-authority-to-launch-a-nuclear-attack/
- 'Sunday Services' - Jacques Cousteau's Grandson Speaking at the Bioneers Conference
- This past week GreenPolicy looked more closely at the Earth's seas and oceans
- Now, reflecting, we listen to a presentation by an environmental ocean exploring family
- This past week GreenPolicy looked more closely at the Earth's seas and oceans
- Ocean Circulation / What? "Nothing to See Here", Keep Paddling
- Kelp 'n Ocean Agriculture / August 4
- Sustainable Fisheries / August 3
- Earth Protection, Asteroids, Aliens etc... / August 2
- Wild Florida / August 1
"To see Wild Florida you've got to get down into the mud & back into the trees & up into the rivers & into the backwaters & dig around"
Clearwater, Florida, GreenPolicy360's terrestrial home base, geo-located on a limestone/karst peninsula that is still wild here & there...
- Food Is Med, Eat Healthy, Be Healthy / July 29
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Food -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Slow_Food_(Alternative_to_Fast_Food)
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Food_as_medicine.jpg -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Via_Dr_Stacey_Robinson.JPG
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Food -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Slow_Food_(Alternative_to_Fast_Food)
- Save Food. Don't Waste It / July 28
- Safe Water? See Your City / July 27
- Another Day of Lamar / July 26
- Lamar Goes to Greenland, Comes Back with a Message / July 25
- WASHINGTON — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) — who has spent his career cozying up to fossil fuel interests, dismissing the threat of climate change and harassing federal climate scientists — is now arguing that pumping the atmosphere full of carbon dioxide is “beneficial” to global trade, crop production and the lushness of the planet.
- Rather than buying into “hysteria,” Americans should be celebrating the plus sides of a changing climate, Smith argues in an op-ed published July 24th in The Daily Signal, a news website published by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
- Smith — who has used his power as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to push his anti-science views — kicks off his op-ed by claiming Americans’ perception of the phenomenon is “too often determined by their hearing just one side of the story.”
- “The benefits of a changing climate are often ignored and under-researched,” Smith said. “Our climate is too complex and the consequences of misguided policies too harsh to discount the positive effects of carbon enrichment.”
- Increased carbon dioxide, Smith writes, promotes photosynthesis, resulting in a “greater volume of food production and better quality food” and “lush vegetation” that “assists in controlling water runoff, provides more habitats for many animal species, and even aids in climate stabilization, as more vegetation absorbs more carbon dioxide.” Warmer temperatures, he notes, results in longer growing seasons.
- Smith goes as far as to make a case for why a rapidly melting Arctic, which scientists warn could cost tens of trillions of dollars by the end of this century, is a positive thing.
- “Also, as the Earth warms, we are seeing beneficial changes to the earth’s geography,” he writes. “For instance, Arctic sea ice is decreasing. This development will create new commercial shipping lanes that provide faster, more convenient, and less costly routes between ports in Asia, Europe, and eastern North America. This will increase international trade and strengthen the world economy.”
- Other Blue-Green Planets? / July 24
- Decommissioning the Fukushima reactors will cost 8 trillion yen ($72 billion), according to an estimate in December from the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
- Removing nuclear fuel waste from destroyed reactors may take as long as 40 years.
- A Photo App to ID Nature / July 22
- Thomas Pesquet, ESA astronaut: “Looking at Earth from above made me think about my own world a little differently, and I hope that the ISS on Street View changes your view of the world too.”
- Bioneers, Looking Back, Looking Forward / July 20
- Law & Environmental Protection / July 19
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Climate_Change_Summit_Paris -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Climate_News
- Brits/World Look at Calif & Climate News / July 18
- Act2Be & Become a Planet Citizen / July 17
- On This Day 72 Years Ago, the Nuclear Weapons Era Is Born / July 16
- "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
- Bugs on Earth and in Space / July 14
- Green Crowdpowered Air-Q Mapping / July 13
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Green_Networking -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Citizen_Science
- US Is More than DC on Climate Action / July 12
- Doom 'n Gloom or What? / July 11
- Mapping the Air Quality / July 10
- Green Ideas on a Sunday in July
Banned: Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons Adopted
July/August / Special Issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
2017 Doomsday Clock Statement
Draft Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons
- Nuclear Treaty / @ United Nations / July 5
Moving To Renewable Energy and Away from Oil/Gas Strategic Conflicts
- Volvo Goes Full EV / July 6
- http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2017/07/6.htm -- http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/volvo-going-all-electric-first-automaker-ditch-combustion-engine-n779791
- https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/05/volvo-cars-electric-hybrid-2019 -- http://www.cbsnews.com/news/volvo-electric-cars-combustion-engines-fate/
- http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2017/07/6.htm -- http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/volvo-going-all-electric-first-automaker-ditch-combustion-engine-n779791
Moving Toward Electoral Choice and Away from Global Conflict
- Your Vote, Your Voice
- https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-takes-legal-action-over-trump-election-commission-executive-order -- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/01/trump-election-panel-fraud-tweets-240165
- https://www.thenation.com/article/the-trump-administration-is-planning-an-unprecedented-attack-on-voting-rights/ -- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/30/how-trumps-nationwide-voter-data-request-could-lead-to-voter-suppression -- http://www.wsls.com/top-stories/demand-for-voter-rolls-shows-ugly-truth-about-trumps-voter-fraud-commission -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_suppression
- https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-takes-legal-action-over-trump-election-commission-executive-order -- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/01/trump-election-panel-fraud-tweets-240165
- Ecologists “are going to have this epiphany.” A University of California scientist describes the rapidly improving satellite view from outer space as a “macroscope.”
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Earth_Observations -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Micro-satellites
- Environmental Data & Blockchain / June 23
- Green Driving / June 22
- Saving Species in Kauai, Jurassic Land / June 21
- "New Space", Democratizing Earth Observations / June 20
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Democratization_of_Space -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Planet_API
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:New_Space -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Micro-satellites
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Democratization_of_Space -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Planet_API
- SCOTUS to Decide on Gerrymandering / June 19
- To Fathers & Mothers & Stardust / June 18
- Oppo Science @Work in Schools / June 17
- At the UN: Abolish Nuclear Weapons / June 16
June 12 / Reuters -- The U.S. said it would not sign up to a pledge by Italy, Canada, Japan, France, Britain and Germany which called the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change "irreversible" and key for the "security and prosperity of our planet."
As a consequence, Washington formally refused to back multilateral development banks — bodies designed to finance poorer nations and help them reduce their pollution emissions.
"The U.S. is now left as a footnote to climate action and that's very sad," said Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. "Everyone expressed their deep disappointment with the U.S. decision," she said.
- Sustainable Soil / June 13
- Global/Local Smog / June 12
- Opening Up the Arctic to Oil/Gas? / June 9
- "It's not a time for inertia, it's a time for radical change" -- https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19834
- "Simple" / June 6
- New Space, #EarthScience / June 5
- Yesterday Was a Bad Day
- The Consequences Start Now / June 1
- The US will be judged, this day will be long remembered.
- National Security & Global Security are interrelated. He doesn't know this. There's so much he doesn't know & so much he doesn't know that he doesn't know.
- “This current departure from reality in Washington will be very short-lived, that I promise you,” Brown told POLITICO in an interview. “I’ve spoken with Republicans here in the Legislature, and they’re beginning to get very serious about climate action, so the momentum is all the other way. And I think Trump, paradoxically, is giving climate denial such a bad name that he’s actually building the very movement that he is [purporting] to undermine...”
- Premier Li Keqiang of China said on Thursday that his country remained committed to the fight against climate change and to participating in international efforts for a greener world.
- “China will continue to uphold its commitments to the Paris climate agreement,” Mr. Li said, confirming a position his country agreed to alongside the United States in 2014, in what proved to be a watershed moment for the ultimate passage of the landmark accord the following year.
- “Step by step, and very arduously, together with other countries, we will work toward the goals set” by global leaders in 2015, Mr. Li said, standing beside Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Berlin.
- Ms. Merkel, who welcomed the Chinese commitment as “encouraging,” has been a leader in the global push for climate action since 1992, when she played a crucial international role in passage of the world’s first climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol.
- US business leaders point at downside -- http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/big-business-urges-trump-stick-paris-climate-accord-n766641 -- http://lowcarbonusa.org/business
- “If you have to go to a board of directors and say, ‘I have to make a multibillion-dollar investment that is multi-year,’ are you going to base it on two or four years in the political cycle or … on long-term economic, technological, and consumer trends?” -- Melissa Lavinson / The Atlantic
- Forward or back? -- https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html
- Backwards looking -- "The 22" -- https://www.axios.com/scoop-top-republican-senators-urge-trump-to-exit-paris-climate-deal-2421530161.html
- A policy direction from the US president that will live up to the challenges or deliver economic, environmental disasters.
- “I’ve always made more money in bad markets than in good markets.” -- DJ Trump, Quoted 05/23/16 - MSNBC
- Reflecting on Next Steps:
- The Trump administration: A bump on the road?
- Remember that a future president can rejoin the Paris global climate agreement with a 'flick of a pen'.
- "The noose tightens," Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change, told The Independent. The US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would only aggravate the climate change problem and make it much more difficult to prevent the crossing of a global temperature to a dangerous threshold. Three billion tonnes of additional carbon dioxide could be released into the air every year...
- "America’s Little Big Man -- http://billmoyers.com/story/little-big-man/
- Trump is teaching us how deeply disturbed our American world actually is"
- "America’s Little Big Man -- http://billmoyers.com/story/little-big-man/
- As the Dean of Tech Writing Moves On / May 26
- Axe Earth Science Missions / May 25
- Pope & a President Meet / May 24
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - Be Kind
- Costs of War via StratDem / May 20
- Freaky Friday, Nukes 'n Space Weather / May 19
- China & Energy, Not What You Think / May 18
- Nuclear Power Blues / May 17
- Earth, Sagan & DSCOVR / May 16
- Better Climate Observation Needed / May 13
- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Earth_Right_Now -- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Earth_Science_Research_from_Space
- 100 Climate Solutions / May 12
- Pope, No Nuclear Weapons / May 11
- Money, Politics & Climate / May 10
- Global Climate Politics / May 8
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / May 7 / "Road Map to Health"
- Stop Treating Soil Like 'Dirt' / May 6
- Northern Route thru the Arctic / May 5
- April 29
- EPA removes climate science website from public view after two decades in operation -- Here's the Pruitt #EPA "kicks" explanation -- https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-kicks-website-updates
An Archived Website of http://epa.gov/climatechange/ can be found at the Wayback Machine
- Sea-Level Projection / April 26
- Facts Matter! Science Matters!! / April 24
- GreenPolicy360.net -- Greening our Blue Planet
- GTN Climate / April 20
- Virtual Earth Maps / April 17
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - Virtual Reality Overview / Week 15
- April 1st
- "Physics... a framework for thinking" https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Tesla,_electric_cars
- "Results of the Privacy Protection Vote" / http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll202.xml
- http://www.thinbluelayer.com -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Environmental_Security,_National_Security
- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Air_Quality -- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Fossil_Fuels
- March 11th | #Fukushima
- March 9th | #ClimateChange #ClimatePolicy #US #California
- California Out in Front
- California Governor Jerry Brown
- US 'Clean Power Plan' Threatened
- March 6 | #Expertise #Science
- March 1
- Facts & Science, the basis of knowledge
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - "Thin Blue" / Week 8
- February 23
- February 22
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / Week 7
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / Week 6
- Planet, Alphabet-Google, Terra Bella -- Democratization of Space
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / Week 5
- 'Bridges to Babylon', recorded in Los Angeles @ Ocean Wave Studio w/ Billy Preston on Hammond. 'Saint of Me' - Live in Rio
- Japan has more car charging stations than gas stations
- February 1
- GPS satellites, distributed over 6 orbital planes, provide important context for ongoing and historical science missions, and enable new types of #EarthScience research not previously possible
- The data are publicly available, hosted by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and can be found by searching the data.gov portal or at https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/space-weather/satellite-data/satellite-systems/gps/
- GPS satellites, distributed over 6 orbital planes, provide important context for ongoing and historical science missions, and enable new types of #EarthScience research not previously possible
- January 31
- "Earth in Human Hands"
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - GOES / Week 4
- January 28
- National Resources Defense Council launches "onEarth-Trump V. Earth" to track environmental policy moves of the US president
- January 27
- Nuclear Issues / Cold War 2.0 -- Strategic Demands, GreenPolicy's associated site, investigates escalating #nuclear #proliferation
- January 26
- Climate Mirror: https://climate.daknob.net/
- The Climate Mirror Project is working to mirror and safely archive U.S. Govt. websites/datasets related to climate, climate change, and global warming
- Climate Mirror: https://climate.daknob.net/
- January 25
- Powerpak: 80 MWh Powerpack station from TESLA & Southern California Edison, biggest energy storage project in the world using lithium-ion batteries
- January 24
- The REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act of 2017
- The 'Most Dangerous Bill You've Never Heard Of Just Passed the House of Representatives'
- The REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act of 2017
- January 23
- Bill McKibben, former GreenPolicy360 advisor, speaks to challenges with Trump as the US president
- "THAW" in the Arctic: "It’s almost as if global warming is looking right back at you"
- January 21
- "Divisive Times" and the "Overview Effect"
- "Earth Right Now": Far Beyond an Inauguration Day
- January 19
- Environmental Protection Agency confirmation hearings: Does Scott Pruitt believe in the mission of the EPA?
- January 18, 2017
- US House Science Committee continues down the path of science denial
- January 16, 2017
- "Science on trial". Scott Pruitt comes to the Senate for confirmation hearings to head up the Environmental Protection Agency
- January 14, 2017
- "Being clever". Cities/states/countries confronting the risks of climate change by being out in front with clean energy action
- Tags: #EarthScience #PlanetCitizen #Green360 #ClimatePolicy #EnvironmentalProtection #NewDefinitionsofSecurity
- "Being clever". Cities/states/countries confronting the risks of climate change by being out in front with clean energy action
- January 13, 2017
- Skyscrapers in China in 2016 going up, up and up. Count 'em beginning with Shenzhen
- January 12, 2017
- Alliances at risk, national/global security at risk: President-elect promises to dismiss the international climate agreement
- January 11, 2017
- Pulling into the local supermarket parking lot, what do I see? An EV i3
- January 10, 2017
- Smoking killing millions a year, trillions in costs
- January 9, 2017
- First ongoing study of the Earth's upper atmosphere #EnvironmentalSecurity #Earth360
- January 7, 2017
- William Perry, 'prophet of doom', warns of nextgen nuclear weapons, proliferation and a new Cold War turning hot
- Visit GreenPolicy's associated site, Strategic Demands
- January 6, 2017
- NASA Climate Resource Center (and vital national/global security programs the Trump administration is threatening)
- January 5, 2017
- Offshore Wind Energy starts up on the East Coast of the US (illustrated with vivid images)
- January 4, 2017
- From the Obama administration's top science advisor, John Holdren, words of caution
- "Greening Our Blue Planet"
Frontlines of Green Best Practices
Green Policy ... Vision and #Resilience