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GreenPolicy360 Archive Highlights 2020

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Approaching 2021


Word - Truthiness.jpg


Remember when 'truthiness' was 'word of the year'?

This year a different version of truthiness has returned and is more dire. Facts are under assault, science is under assault. Science denial has proven deadly. 2020 has been a chaotic year, a divisive time.

We, at GreenPolicy360, continue to advocate for science and facts, fact finding and reasoned argument, science and logic.


Updated Nov 5 2020 - 29,508 false or misleading statements.jpg


Updated Oct 22 2020 - 26,548 false or misleading statements.jpg


As NASA has pointed out, managing a mission requires scientific measuring, data, facts.


You can manage only what you can measure Dr David Crisp, OCO-2, June 2014 m.jpg


 


๐ŸŒŽ 2020

 

December


Time lapse: How plants move in a 24-hour time period

"Open Sesame", Voila
Flowers Bloom


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'In a Last 2020 Rush'

Chaotic final weeks in office as defeated president threatens reprisals

Election loss denial accompanied by over 50 failed election challenge lawsuits and flurry of executive actions and orders


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Transition from President Trump Proceeds


President-elect Joe Biden begins to announce his 'Climate Team'


President-elect Biden to nominate N.M. Representative Deb Haaland from the Pueblo of Laguna. She would be the first Native American to head the Department of the Interior.


North Carolina's Secretary for the Department of Environmental Quality Michael S. Regan is Biden's pick to head EPA

If Regan wins Senate approval, the 44 year-old will be the first Black American to head the agency.


Re: the President-elect's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. Regan's career includes many years as a longtime air quality specialist at the E.P.A. working under both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He later worked for the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group.

In 2017, Roy Cooper, a Democrat, defeated Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, in North Carolina and tapped Mr. Regan to lead the state environmental agency.

There he replaced Donald R. van der Vaart, a Trump administration ally who has questioned the established science of climate change and fought Obama-era rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and championed a pro-business agenda of deregulation in North Carolina.

Supporters of Mr. Regan said he improved low morale and emphasized the role of science at the department. Several called it an obvious parallel to what he would be expected to do at E.P.A. where Andrew Wheeler, President Trumpโ€™s administrator and a former coal lobbyist, has discouraged the agency from working on climate change, and independent auditors have identified a โ€œculture at the topโ€ of political interference in science.


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U.S. to leave behind environmental policies of the Trump administration

In sweeping turnaround from Trump years of climate science denial and environmental policy 'rollbacks', the incoming Biden administration plans for a new green era


Gina McCarthy, who used her tenure as EPA administrator to build some of the most ambitious climate policies in American history, only to see them evaporate during the Trump administration, will be the top climate adviser to President-elect Joe Biden.


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Why did the U.S., under President Trump, retreat from confronting the #ClimateCrisis?


March 2017 / Mick Mulvaney, President Trumpโ€™s Chief of Staff, and U.S. 'budget director':


Mick Mulvaney announces the new Trump environmental climate policy:

โ€œRegarding the question as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward โ€” weโ€™re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.โ€

 

Mulvaney: We're Not Spending Money On Climate Change Anymore, "Waste Of Your Money" (Video)


Mulvaney March2017-ClimateChangeWaste.png


 


Too Intelligent to Believe in Climate Report.png

 

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NOAA chief: I never briefed Trump on climate


Donald Trump has called global warming a "hoax" on multiple occasions ---

The head of the government agency that monitors climate change says that he has never discussed the issue with the current U.S. President, Donald Trump. Acting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) chief Adm. Timothy Gallaudet: "I personally have not briefed the president on climate change."

President Barack Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, estimates that over eight years he briefed the president about climate change more than 50 times.


Measure-to-Manage



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2020 / As a President's term in office comes to an end
A President's 'false and misleading' statements have added up


Washington Post Fact-Checker
* https://www.factcheck.org/person/donald-trump/
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjeUoVOoTGM


Correcting the Record....


What is a 'Truth Sandwich'.jpg


 


2020


๐ŸŒŽ December


Time lapse: How plants move in a 24-hour time period
"Open Sesame", Voila
Flowers Bloom


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'In a Last Rush'

Chaotic final weeks in office as defeated president threatens reprisals

Election loss denial accompanied by over 50 failed election challenge lawsuits and flurry of executive actions and orders


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Transition from Trump Proceeds


President-elect Biden to nominate N.M. Representative Deb Haaland, Native American from the Pueblo of Laguna, as next Secretary of the Interior


Watch President-elect Biden Announce 'Climate Team'


North Carolina's Secretary for the Department of Environmental Quality Michael S. Regan is Biden's pick to head EPA. If he wins Senate approval, the 44 year-old will be the first Black man to head the agency.


Re: the President-elect's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. Regan's career includes many years as a longtime air quality specialist at the E.P.A. working under both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He later worked for the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group.

In 2017, Roy Cooper, a Democrat, defeated Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, in North Carolina and tapped Mr. Regan to lead the state environmental agency.

There he replaced Donald R. van der Vaart, a Trump administration ally who has questioned the established science of climate change and fought Obama-era rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and championed a pro-business agenda of deregulation in North Carolina.

Supporters of Mr. Regan said he improved low morale and emphasized the role of science at the department. Several called it an obvious parallel to what he would be expected to do at E.P.A. where Andrew Wheeler, President Trumpโ€™s administrator and a former coal lobbyist, has discouraged the agency from working on climate change, and independent auditors have identified a โ€œculture at the topโ€ of political interference in science.


U.S. begins move from environmental policies of the Trump administration

In sweeping turnaround from Trump years of climate science denial and environmental policy 'rollbacks', the incoming Biden administration plans for a new green era


Gina McCarthy, who used her tenure as EPA administrator to build some of the most ambitious climate policies in American history, only to see them evaporate during the Trump administration, will be the top climate adviser to President-elect Joe Biden.



U.S. to Hold Climate Summit


The US will hold a climate summit of the worldโ€™s major economies early next year, within 100 days of Joe Biden taking office, and seek to rejoin the Paris agreement on the first day of his presidency, in a boost to international climate action.

Leaders from 75 countries met without the US in a virtual Climate Ambition Summit co-hosted by the UN, the UK and France at the weekend, marking the fifth anniversary of the Paris accord. The absence of the US underlined the need for more countries, including other major economies such as Brazil, Russia and Indonesia, to make fresh commitments on tackling the climate crisis.

Biden said in a statement: โ€œIโ€™ll immediately start working with my counterparts around the world to do all that we possibly can, including by convening the leaders of major economies for a climate summit within my first 100 days in office โ€ฆ Weโ€™ll elevate the incredible work cities, states and businesses have been doing to help reduce emissions and build a cleaner future. Weโ€™ll listen to and engage closely with the activists, including young people, who have continued to sound the alarm and demand change from those in power.โ€

He reiterated his pledge to put the US on a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and said the move would be good for the US economy and workers. โ€œWeโ€™ll do all of this knowing that we have before us an enormous economic opportunity to create jobs and prosperity at home and export clean American-made products around the world.โ€


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Net Zero Energy Policy @GreenPolicy360


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December 12, 2020


The Climate Ambition Summit is NOW

Watch the live stream

And follow the conversation via the @COP26 Twitter feed

COP26 | #ClimateAction | #TogetherForOurPlanet


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Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature."

โ€œThe state of the planet is broken,โ€ said UN Secretary-General Antรณnio Guterres, reports the Associated Press. โ€œThis is suicidal.โ€

UN Chief's State of the Planet speech at Columbia University

Streamed live on December 2, 2020


State of the Planet - UN speech at Columbia - Dec 2 2020.jpg

 


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Global Climate Dashboard.jpg


It's #CyberMonday and here's a reminder from NOAA

"All of our Global Climate Dashboard data is FREE FREE FREE! Every day is a free NOAA data day!"

Visit NOAA Climate.gov and @NOAAClimate! Download Your Climate Dashboard & Share the Data!!


Planet Citizens

Planet Citizens, Planet Scientists

Climate News



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November 23, 2020


President-Elect Joe Biden Appoints John Kerry to Newly Created U.S. Climate Leadership Position

First-ever International Climate 'Envoy' to Join National Security Council with Presidential Cabinet-level Status


GreenPolicy360 & Strategic Demands applaud this historic, critically important shift in the U.S. policy and vision

For years GreenPolicy360 and StratDem have advocated Climate Policy become a U.S. National/Global Security priority


New Definitions of National & Global Security


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President-elect Joe Biden Picks John Kerry to Help Regain Global Leadership on Climate Change (Wall Street Journal)

Kerry is a former secretary of state who oversaw U.S. negotiations on Paris climate accord for Obama administration


John Kerry Appointed as Biden's Special Presidential Envoy for Climate


Former Secretary of State will be a special presidential envoy for climate, a role that does not require Senate confirmation


Newly appointed โ€œclimate czarโ€ and veteran diplomat John Kerry said the next US administration would treat climate change as a โ€œnational security emergencyโ€


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UN Climate Change (@UNFCCC)

The UNFCCC #ClimateDialogues (23 Nov - 4 Dec) are set to kick off, an important series of virtual events to maintain critical momentum for #ClimateAction and increased climate ambition in the run-up to the @UN Climate Conference.

From the Press Release / Climate Dialogues Set to Increase Momentum for Greater Climate Ambition

The Dialogues come at a crucial time as countries prepare to submit new or updated national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are at the heart of the Paris Agreement, by the end of this year.


โ€œThe Climate Dialogues are also a key opportunity to build on the work coming out of last yearโ€™s 2019 UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid, the June Momentum meetings, and the Race to (Net)Zero Dialogues... COP25 President Minister Carolina Schmidt from Chile said: โ€œCOVID-19 has postponed COP26 but it has not delayed the need for Parties to deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement โ€“ most importantly, the submission of more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions this year. The UNFCCC Climate Dialogues are critical to maintaining momentum in the multilateral process to ensure a robust international framework and climate action agenda as we move forward to COP26.โ€

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: "2020 has been a hugely challenging year. But ahead of COP26, we must keep driving forward action on climate change. The Dialogues will be a key part of this and will help us to make progress across all three pillars of the Paris Agreement. We must maintain this momentum through the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December where leaders will make climate pledges on mitigation, adaptation and support to help put us on the front-foot for a year of action in 2021."

For the Climate Dialogues, the UN Climate Change Secretariat is deploying an innovative virtual platform designed to allow visitors to watch events, engage via question and answer sessions and network with other visitors.

See the Climate Dialogues schedule here -- https://unfccc.int/cd2020/schedule


File:Global Climate Agreements Through the Years.pdf



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President-elect Biden planning to move fast on climate

The incoming U.S. president pledges to act to rejoin the international Paris climate agreement on his first day in office


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Joe Biden says the United States will rejoin the Paris International Climate Agreement on his first day as President


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As of Now, the U.S. Is Officially Out of the Paris Climate Agreement

President Trumpโ€™s withdrawal formally came into force the day after Election Day in the United States. Hereโ€™s what it means.

Nov. 4, 2020 / NY Times

WASHINGTON โ€” Au revoir, Paris Agreement. As of Wednesday, under United Nations rules, the United States is officially out of the global climate accord. Hereโ€™s a look at how it happened, what it means and what might happen next.

 

Nov. 3, 2020, in the US, Election Day
A Big Picture on an Election Day 11-3-2020.jpg

 


The Day After the U.S. Election, the U.S. Leaves the International Climate Agreement

What are the consequences of a U.S. retreat from cooperative climate action?

Via the Associated Press / November 1, 2020


The day after the presidential election, the United States formally leaves the 2015 Paris agreement to fight climate change. A year ago, President Donald Trumpโ€™s administration notified the United Nations that America is exiting the climate agreement. And because of technicalities in the international pact, Nov. 4 is the earliest a country can withdraw...

If the U.S. remains out of the climate pact, todayโ€™s children are โ€œgoing to see big changes that you and I donโ€™t see for ice, coral and weather disasters,โ€ said Stanford Universityโ€™s Rob Jackson.

Because the two presidential candidates have starkly different positions on climate change policy, the election could have profound repercussions for the worldโ€™s approach to the problem, according to more than a dozen experts.

โ€œThat election could be a make or break point for international climate policy,โ€ said Niklas Hohne, a climate scientist at Wageningen University in Germany.

In pulling out of the agreement, Trump has questioned climate science and has rolled back environmental initiatives that he called too restrictive in cutting future carbon pollution from power plants and cars.

American carbon emissions dropped by less than one percent a year from 2016 to 2019, until plunging probably temporarily during the pandemic slowdown, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. More than 60 countries cut emissions by higher percentages than the U.S. in that time period, according to international data.


Eleven years ago, the world was on pace to add about another 5 degrees (2.8 degrees Celsius) of warming. But with emission cut pledges from Paris and afterward, the world is facing only about another 2.2 degrees (1.2 degrees Celsius) of warming if countries do what they promise...

โ€œIf Biden wins, the whole world is going to start reorienting toward stepping up its action,โ€ said the Dean of the University of Michiganโ€™s environment program.

If the U.S. remains out of Paris, countries trying to cut emissions drastically at potentially high costs to local industry may put โ€œborder adjustmentโ€ fees on climate laggards like America to even the playing field, said Nigel Purvis, a climate negotiator in the Clinton and second Bush administrations. The European Union is already talking about such fees...


Climate Action Tracker ran calculations comparing a continuation of the Trump administrationโ€™s current emission trends to what would happen if Biden worked toward net zero emissions... (they) found that in the next 10 years a Trump scenario, which includes a moderate economic bounce-back from the pandemic, would emit 6 billion tons (5.4 billion metric tons) more greenhouse gases than the Biden scenario โ€” an 11% difference.

Other nations will do more to limit carbon pollution if the U.S. is doing so and less if America isnโ€™t, said Cornell University climate scientist Natalie Mahowald. โ€œIn terms of leadership, it will make an immense difference,โ€ she said.

In Paris, the U.S. was crucial in getting the agreement finished. The rest of the world ended up pledging to reduce roughly five tons of carbon pollution for every ton the U.S. promised to cut.


Read the full AP story by science reporter Seth Borenstein

Follow Seth on Twitter @borenbears

Read more stories on climate issues by The Associated Press at -- https://www.apnews.com/Climate


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Attempting to Setback Science & Environmental Protections

As the US continues its early voting whether to approve or reject another 4 years of a Trump administration

The November 3rd election results to have long lasting and profound consequences


The Trump Administration Is Reversing and Attempting to Reverse Nearly 100 Environmental Rules.

Hereโ€™s a List Tracking Trump Environmental Rollbacks. The White House has dismantled major climate and environmental policies focused on clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals. Hereโ€™s how it adds up (as of October 31, 2020).


More on Trump Administration environmental rollbacks/reversals/legislative and regulatory actions to end and/or limit environmental protections...


Environmental Deregulation, Climate Litigation

(from GreenPolicy360's Eco-Dashboard)


Climate Litigation Database



 

@GreenPolicy360


October 27, 2020


NOAA undergoes political changes - Oct 2020.jpg


READ MORE


(I)n an administration where even uttering the words โ€œclimate changeโ€ is dangerous, NOAA has, so far, remained remarkably independent in its ability to conduct research about and publicly discuss changes to the Earthโ€™s climate. It also still maintains numerous public websites that declare, in direct opposition to Mr. Trump, that climate change is occurring, is overwhelmingly caused by humans, and presents a serious threat to the United States...

NOAA officials have tried to get information about what role the new political staff members would play and what their objectives might be, with little success. According to people close to the administration who have questioned climate science, though, their primary goal is to undercut the National Climate Assessment.

The assessment, a report from 13 federal agencies and outside scientists led by NOAA, which the government is required by law to produce every four years, is the premier American contribution to knowledge about climate risks and serves as the foundation for federal regulations to combat global warming. The latest report, in 2018, found that climate change poses an imminent and dire threat to the United States and its economy.


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October 23, 2020 - After the US Presidential Campaign Debate

Two-Thirds of Americans Think Government Should Do More on Climate, a June 2020 research study and poll came to mind as the final US Presidential Debate Commission broadcast was held last night.

And "fumes" became a trending topic -- The president attacked clean energy, taking particular issue with 'windmills', when he falsely stated they โ€œkill all the birdsโ€. The US president then went on to talk about fumes... "the fumes coming up, if youโ€™re a believer in carbon emission โ€ฆ for these massive windmills is more than anything weโ€™re talking about with natural gas which is very cleanโ€.

'Fumes coming up' from 'windmills'? The US president is now claiming windmills (i.e., wind turbines) "kill all the birds" and produce fumes "more than anything we're talking about with natural gas which is very clean"?

What?

How do we keep up with what's in the US president's mind?

President Trump: "I never understood wind, you know I know windmills very much. I've studied it better than anybody."

โ€œI know more about wind than you do. Itโ€™s extremely expensive, kills all the birds, itโ€™s very intermittent. It's got a lot of problems..."

Wait, "kills all the birds"? Windmills are killing all the birds?


What is killing the birds in the US Trump.jpg


It is cats at the top of the bird killing list, and collisions with buildings, and loss of livable habitat that research studies point to as the big problems. Look at what the evidence indicates, the facts, the data. Review the real story. Take a look:


But what about "the fumes"?


TRUMP: โ€œThe fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything that weโ€™re talking about with natural gas.โ€

AP (Associated Press) Fact Check: THE FACTS: Thatโ€™s false. (Also, theyโ€™re called wind turbines. Windmills mill grain.)

Wind turbines produce pollution when they are manufactured and little to none when in operation, federal scientists say. Even taking manufacturing emissions into account, wind power is far cleaner than natural gas.

Scientists in the Energy Departmentโ€™s Natural Renewable Energy Laboratory calculate that wind turbines produce an average of 0.4 ounces of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour generated, over their lifetime. That includes emissions from manufacturing...


But what about "windmills causing cancer" as the US president often has talked about? Science doesn't recognize a cause-and-effect relationship between windmills and cancer, but science does recognize causes and threat of climate disruption -- and the critical need to shift to renewable energy and away from Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.


Strategic Demands

GreenPolicy36 and its associate, Strategic Demands, look to science as we advance strategic demands for "new definitions of national security". When we speak of an existential threat to life as we know it, a disruption of the earth's atmosphere, the consequences of global warming, we must talk about our common security and responsibility to protect and preserve our environment.

Last night's US presidential debate was educational, for all who watched, as it advanced a clear choice between policy visions for the US as it faces challenges and existential threat of climate change, and environmental security threats.

The brief time allocated for the 'topic' of Climate Change was an opportunity to inform, judge, and act.

Former VP Biden spoke in last night's debate of a need to transition from the oil industry to renewable, clean energy. The former vice president spoke of a global move to tackle climate change and of US opportunity to be a leader, and spoke of his political, 'unity' plan for a clean energy future, creating good-paying jobs with a massive investment and creating new environmentally-friendly industries.

โ€œOur health and our jobs are at stake,โ€ he said, noting that not only environmentalists but labor unions have backed his $2 trillion climate plan.

The current US president did talk about his retreat from international cooperation and climate action between nations, mutual action that is critically necessary due to overarching global CO2 and other GHG emissions that are a global, existential security threat.


TRUMP: The Paris accord meant โ€œwe were going to have to spend trillions of dollars.... They did a great disservice. They were going to take away our business.โ€

THE FACTS: The Paris accord, an international agreement that aims to halt the rise in global temperatures, is based on voluntary emission reductions. No nation was forced to do anything.


What is for certain is future generations will look back and judge failures to act against climate change during the Trump years...

The day after the US presidential debate, the judgments from the e-arena began anew. Scientists and environmental activists quoted in post-debate news reporting include:


Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State and member of the US National Academy of Sciences:

โ€œTonight's debate highlighted the starkest contrast imaginable between the two candidates when it comes to the defining challenge of our time."

โ€œOn the one hand you have Donald Trump who denies the climate threat and has sought to sabotage both domestic and international efforts to act, and on the other hand you have Joe Biden who has put forward a bold climate plan, recognizing the win-win scenario of a clean energy economy that promises jobs and a hospitable planet for us and future generations.โ€


Drew McConville, Senior Managing Director of Government Relations for The Wilderness Society Action Fund:

โ€œDespite President Trumpโ€™s claims of environmental heroism, nobodyโ€™s buying it. Itโ€™s no secret that his Administration and fossil fuel industry engineered a full retreat on climate action, the gutting of health and environmental standards, and the auctioning of Americaโ€™s most valuable public lands. In contrast, Vice President Biden has fought for clean energy and environmental protections, and he has committed to bold, science-based action for tackling the climate and nature crises as President.โ€


350 Action North America Director Tamara Toles Oโ€™Laughlin:

โ€œItโ€™s undeniable that climate is a top issue for voters. At tonightโ€™s final debate, Joe Biden demonstrated the capacity for leadership our country needs and deserves, including tackling the climate crisis at scale. He doubled down on stopping fossil fuel subsidies, re-joining the Paris agreement, and creating millions of good, green jobs."


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October 20, 2020

Noam Chomsky talks climate politics, the Global Green New Deal and the 2020 US presidential election


October 18, 2020

'"Climate Emergency", don't forget the climate crisis for a moment even as political chaos and a global coronavirus rage


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October 16, 2020:


Visit the new online talk by Charlene Spretnak

"Dynamic Interrelatedness: How Embodiment Works"

Speaking at TEC2020, Ecology & Research Channel: Practical tools for times of turmoil


Explore more of "Relational Reality" with Charlene's book that acts to change the way we see science and our eco-reality


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October 14:


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Emily Haber @GermanAmbUSA

German Ambassador to the US


Hannah Arendt, a German Jew, political theorist and philosopher, was born on this day in 1906.

One of her many legacies: Totalitarianism can flourish where people systematically refuse to engage with reality, and are ready to replace reason with ideology and outright fiction.


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Netflix's โ€˜David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planetโ€™ Is The Most Important Documentary Of The Year


The scale of the problem is so overwhelming, so gargantuan, that it can be difficult to absorb, and to communicate through a single documentary. But by framing environmental destruction through Attenboroughโ€™s eyes and unique career, A Life on Our Planet manages to humanize an issue that can often seem distant, and somewhat abstract.

Like the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, Attenborough attests to the fact that a significant amount of wildlife has been forever lost, painting a terrifying picture of a not-so-distant future in which humanity continues down the path of senseless self-destruction.


Watch the 'Life on Our Planet' Preview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-91umZ7cQE

Watch an Episode - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfO-3Oir-qM


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From GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands... Take a close look at the "Commander-in-Chief Back in the White House"


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The new encyclical from Catholic Pope Francis


Catholic Pope Francis sets out a 'transforming vision', a new encyclical in an era of crisis


Pope calls on global community to confront 'destructive effects of empire of money'

In his third encyclical Sunday morning (Oct. 4, 2020), Pope Francis denounced free market capitalism and the "magic" theory of trickle-down economics, saying the coronavirus pandemic has once and for all disproven the notion that economic policies that are aimed at benefiting the already-rich will benefit low-income people through job creation and investments.


Catholic Church Saint named Francis, and a Church's Pope named Francis

Today, Oct. 4 is the feast day of St. Francis, the Catholic Church's patron saint of ecology and nature, and the namesake of the first Catholic Pope named Francis


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Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Carmel Martin, Sr. Policy Advisor to the Joe Biden Presidential Campaign


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Double the Election Spending of 2016?


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Sept. 30


Via GreenPolicy360's Associate, Strategic Demands: The Day After the U.S. Presidential Debate


Sept. 29


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Sept. 28


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Sept. 26


If He Loses Election, Trump Promises Rally, โ€˜Weโ€™re Not Going To Stand For Itโ€™

The president tells the Newport News, Virginia, crowd that the only legitimate election is the one he wins

The U.S. president's speech in Newport News was the latest ominous sign that he may refuse to leave office if heโ€™s voted out. Asked at a press conference Wednesday if he would โ€œcommit to a peaceful transferal of powerโ€ if he lost the November election, Trump said ominously: โ€œWell, weโ€™re going to have to see what happens.โ€


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Sept. 24

New Questions raised whether the US president will attempt to dispute the results of the presidential election

โ€œWin, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power after the election?โ€ Brian Karem asked Donald Trump at the press conference.

The president answered: โ€œWell, weโ€™re going to have to see what happens,โ€ Trump answered. โ€œYou know that. Iโ€™ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.โ€

When pressed to โ€œcommit to making sure that thereโ€™s a peaceful transferal of power,โ€ Trump responded, โ€œGet rid of the ballots and... weโ€™ll have a very peaceful โ€” there wonโ€™t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it. You know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know better than anybody else.โ€

In an escalating attack on the legitimacy of mail-in voting the president has conducted for months, the president is claiming that tens of millions of extra ballots are being mailed out unsolicited and claiming without evidence that election election results are untrustworthy.

In an additional claim, the president is now stating he wants a new Supreme Court justice appointed before the election and no approval of the November 3 election without Supreme Court approval.

Other reports on Wednesday (9/23) cite news in The Atlantic that the Trump campaign, per sources in the Republican Party, is โ€œdiscussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states.โ€

The report goes on to explain: โ€œbased on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe harbor deadline expires.โ€



President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the expansion of mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic is a โ€œscamโ€ and that he needs the Senate to confirm his Supreme Court pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election. And he was open about why: Trump wants a new justice in place to ensure election-related cases are decided in his favor. โ€œI think this will end up in the Supreme Court, and I think itโ€™s very important to have nine justices,โ€ Trump said.

This is an extension of Trumpโ€™s earlier suggestion that he is โ€œcounting on the federal court systemโ€ to decide the winner of the presidential election in his favor. โ€œNow weโ€™re counting on the federal court system to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins. Not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later,โ€ Trump said at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Saturday, one day after Supreme Court Justice Ginsburgโ€™s death.


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Via The Hill / Nearly 40 Democratic senators call for climate change questions in debates


Sept. 23

Chris Wallace of Fox News announces the topics, as Moderator chosen for the first U.S. 2020 Presidential debate

The first presidential debate will be held on Tuesday, September 29 at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. The format for the first debate calls for six 15-minute time segments dedicated to topics announced in advance in order to encourage deep discussion of the leading issues facing the country.

Chris Wallace, moderator of the first 2020 presidential debate, has selected the topics for that debate.

Subject to possible changes because of news developments, the topics for the September 29 debate are as follows, not necessarily to be brought up in this order:

The Trump and Biden Records

The Supreme Court

Covid-19

The Economy

Race and Violence in our Cities

The Integrity of the Election

 

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On the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Her legacy of supporting equal rights based on gender and race, on dignity and human rights, on the environment and preserving quality of life will live on....

"She championed the rights of citizens to take action in court to prevent environmental harm. She defended the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and authored several of the opinions that gave EPA the power and responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases."


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E&E News

September 19, 2020 /

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could shake the foundation of America's bedrock environmental laws, leaving a chasm on the bench where once sat an environmental champion.


Politico

Ginsburg's long environmental legacy


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U.S. Natural Disasters / Extreme Weather

Costs are adding up


Extreme Hurricane Season in the Atlantic and US Gulf

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Atlantic sees 5 simultaneous tropical cyclones for the 2nd time ever.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continues to be unusually busy. In the second week of September, the Atlantic Ocean has five active tropical cyclones at once for just the second time in recorded history, according to CNN and ABC News. One is Hurricane Sally, a dangerous slow-moving hurricane impacting the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida as tracked by the National Hurricane Center. There's also Hurricane Paulette, as well as Tropical Storm Teddy, Tropical Storm Vicky, and Tropical Depression Rene.


โ—‹


Wildfires Rage Throughout the Western US

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โ—‹


Rebecca Solnit writes from San Francisco as extreme weather, heat and fires hit the west coast of the US


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The sky was the muddy yellow of an old bruise at 7am in San Francisco on Wednesday (Sept. 9), and by eight it was a dull orange and the darkness that felt like night was coming on. This morning was perhaps the most unnatural-feeling and unnerving of my life, with darkness rather than daytime rolling in. People around California reported that the birds that would normally be singing were silent. On some of the days, since the freak lightning storm in the heat wave of mid-August launched this explosive fire season, the sun has been red, and when the moon was full it was also red near the horizon, but this morning there was no sun to be seen through the murk. Ash was falling, the ash of trees, forests, homes, towns, dreams burning up. In the strange light, the world around us looked ghostly, otherworldly, unnatural, unnerving, disturbing. I know that the smoke, the light, and the heat have been worse almost everywhere else in the Bay Area from friends and family, and beyond the inner Bay Area are fires, blackouts, evacuations, and more than 14,000 firefighters doing their best against a monstrous new kind of wildfire. What is happening now is astonishingly worse than the western fire season ever has been before. There are catastrophic fires in Oregon โ€“ burning down a small town and prompting the evacuation of much of the small city of Medford. Near Oroville in northeastern California, a fire expanded by a quarter million acres in 24 hours, so far as the experts can tell. That is a new kind of fire and we are in a new kind of era. This is the fourth year of a climate-crisis fire season amplified in duration, scale, and intensity, and it is already worse than the last three in most respects. It comes on the heels of unprecedented heat throughout most of California, with temperatures most of us never expected โ€“ 121F (49.4C) in Los Angeles County last week...


Nearly 100 Large Wildfires Burning Across the West; Tens of Thousands Evacuated in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho


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Wind's AWEA and US power giants plan new industry body 'to make renewables dominant

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) plans to merge into a new clean energy industry body that will also include some of the largest US utilities, in a bid to make renewables โ€œthe dominant power source in Americaโ€


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Trump EPA Chief, Rollbacks of Environmental Protections

 

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Amazon Rainforest Fires Return

Brazil's Bolsonaro Again Denies the Damage


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'End of the Oil Age'?


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Then Comes the Spark

"The link between human-caused climate change and bigger fires is inextricable", explains a bioclimatologist at Columbia Universityโ€™s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. โ€œThis climate-change connection is straightforward: Warmer temperatures dry out fuels. In areas with abundant and very dry fuels, all you need is a spark.โ€


MAP (GIF)


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What's Going On In California?

David Romps, director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center, tells the MIT Technology Review that 'we are living in a fundamentally climate-altered world. Average daily highs for this time of year are now about 3หš or 4หš F warmer in Berkeley, California than they were at the beginning of the 20th century'.

โ€œTo cut to the chase: Were the heat wave and the lightning strikes and the dryness of the vegetation affected by global warming? Absolutely yes,โ€ Romps says. โ€œWere they made significantly hotter, more numerous, and drier because of global warming? Yes, likely yes, and yes.โ€


Friederike Otto, acting director of the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute says in an e-mail to MIT Technology Review, โ€œThere is absolutely no doubt that the extremely high temperatures are higher than they would have been without human-induced climate change. A huge body of attribution literature demonstrates now that climate change is an absolute game-changer when it comes to heat waves, and California wonโ€™t be the exception.โ€


 

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Death Valley News


"People ask me what it's like," says Mr. Heser, a Furnace Creek resident...

"The best way I describe it is you know when you're cooking something in your oven and you want to check on it, you open the door and you get that blast of hot air from the oven.... that's what it feels like."


California wildfires: thousands evacuate as โ€˜siegeโ€™ of flames overwhelms state

Via The Guardian

Hundreds of fires are raging across California, forcing tens of thousands of residents โ€“ who were already facing blackouts and the coronavirus pandemic โ€“ to flee their homes. The flames, sparked by lightning and stoked by a searing heatwave and ferocious winds, have been moving quickly, overwhelming the stateโ€™s firefighters and first responders.

โ€œItโ€™s kind of an overwhelming fire siege,โ€ said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLAโ€™s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

The state is currently battling 367 known fires, Gavin Newsom reported at a press conference on Wednesday. โ€œWe are challenged right now,โ€ the governor said. The state was struck by lightning 10,849 times over the course of 72 hours.

The unusual lightning storm and a historic heatwave have led to an especially fierce fire season this year, officials said.


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Trump lifts Obama-era regulations on methane, a potent climate-warming gas


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Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's Campaign, and the Democrat's Energy and Climate Platform


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75 Years Ago


As we remember Nagasaki


The risk of use of nuclear weapons has risen to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War.


As we remember Hiroshima


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"The horror of a nuclear detonation may feel like distant history. But today the risk of nuclear weapons being used again is high. Treaties to reduce nuclear arsenals and risks of proliferation are being abandoned, new types of nuclear weapons are being produced, and serious threats are being made. That's an arms race, and it's frightening. We must push all states to ban nuclear weapons and push nuclear weapons states to negotiate, in good faith, steps towards their elimination," said Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.


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Eight U.S. Vice President Contenders

Their policy records on Energy & the Environment


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100% Renewable Energy For 2,700 New EV Fast Charging Stations In USA

The plan aims to ramp up EV sales by making more fast chargers โ€” and more clean power โ€” available to drivers who donโ€™t have the security of a fast charger at home or work.


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Murdoch Family that Controls Fox Media Empire Imploding

Climate, Politics, News -- Inside the Family


Rupert Murdoch's media empire

News Corp hugely influential across the world

The Sun, The Times, Sky-Sky News, the New York Post, global satellite distribution, entertainment media and internet corporations...

Fox Corporation (legally separated from the News Corp as of 2013) - Fox networks, Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports


James Murdoch was previously regarded as heir apparent to his father's right-wing media empire, with its deep political influence around the world. He has grown increasingly critical of the firm's news outlets for their "denial" of the climate crisis


As quoted:

James and wife Kathryn grew increasingly vocal in expressing their progressive political views.

Following the deadly white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 James sent an open letter to company employees criticising US President Donald Trump's response. "I canโ€™t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis," he wrote. "Or Klansmen, or terrorists."

Last September he told The New Yorker: "There are views I really disagree with on Fox."

He made headlines again when he lashed out at the company's climate coverage during the summer bushfire crisis in Australia.

"Kathryn and Jamesโ€™ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,โ€ a spokesperson for Murdoch and his wife told The Daily Beast website.

"They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary."

Earlier this month it was revealed that James and Kathryn had each donated US$615,000 to Joe Biden's campaign, making them among the Democratic nominee's biggest supporters.

Now, with just three months until the US presidential election, James is completely untethered from his family's empire - raising the possibility he will become more outspoken about his political views and his concerns about the Murdoch empire's editorial positions.



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July 30, 2020

John Lewis asked The NYT to publish this on the day of his funeral. He writes, โ€œWhen you see something that is not right, you must say something ... Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.โ€


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July 27, 2020

WASHINGTON DC โ€“- Legislation introduced in U.S. Congress to close tax loopholes and eliminate other federal subsidies for the oil, gas, and coal industries

Right now, American taxpayers are on the hook for about $15 billion in direct federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. In 2019 alone, the oil, gas, and coal companies that receive these handouts spent $190 million lobbying Congress โ€“ for an over 11,000 percent return on investment. At a time when climate change is already causing devastating harm around the world, it makes no sense for Congress to continue giving away taxpayer money to the hugely profitable and highly polluting fossil fuel industry.


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'Tree, Hold on...'


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Even though the U.S. isn't part of an international treaty devoted to the issue

Via Bloomberg Law / Environment (@environment) / July 22, 2020

U.S. Senators emphasized bipartisan, global support for addressing the worldโ€™s ocean plastic pollution


Even though the U.S. isn't part of an international vaccine plan

Via Associated Press / Medical / July 15, 2020

U.S. declines to join global effort to ensure vaccine distribution around the world


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As U.S. Hurricane Season Starts...


Earth Science Research from Space


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Biggest-ever 3D map of Universe


Astrophysicists today (20/07/2020) published the largest-ever 3D map of the Universe, the result of an analysis of more than four million galaxies and ultra-bright, energy-packed quasars.

The efforts of hundreds of scientists from around 30 institutions worldwide have yielded a "complete story of the expansion of the universe", said Will Percival of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

In the project launched more than two decades ago, the researchers made "the most accurate expansion history measurements over the widest-ever range of cosmic time"...


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World Population Could Be 2 Billion Less Than Predicted in 2100


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This App Could Be a Game Changer

This could be a very big deal



Thereโ€™s an old truism in the business world: what gets measured gets managed. One of the challenges in managing the greenhouse gas emissions warming the atmosphere is that they arenโ€™t measured very well.

โ€œCurrently, most countries do not know where most of their emissions come from,โ€ says Kelly Sims Gallagher, a professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts Universityโ€™s Fletcher School. โ€œEven in advanced economies like the United States, emissions are estimated for many sectors.โ€ Without this information โ€œyou cannot devise smart and effective policies to mitigate emissions,โ€ she says, and โ€œyou cannot track them to see if you are making progress against your goals.โ€


Measure to Manage

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The ultimate solution to this problem โ€” the killer app, as it were โ€” would be real-time tracking of all global greenhouse gases, verified by objective third parties, and available for free to the public.

Now, a new alliance of climate research groups called the Climate TRACE (Tracking Real-Time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions) Coalition has launched an effort to make the vision a reality, and theyโ€™re aiming to have it ready for COP26, the climate meetings in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021 (postponed from November 2020). If they pull it off, it could completely change the tenor and direction of international climate talks.


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Read the Fracking Full-Cost Story


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"Build Back Better": The Biden Climate & Clean Energy Plan


Biden's climate initiative calls to chart the United States on "an irreversible path" to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

To do that, the plan would aim to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. It would also upgrade 4 million buildings and weatherize 2 million homes over four years to increase energy efficiency. And the proposal, Biden's campaign says, would seek to shift major cities toward public transportation and "create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure."


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In Memory of Huey Johnson

San Francisco Chronicle / pugnacious environmentalist passes away at 87


'Green Plans' ... California and global

Huey Johnson takes the long road

Rebels With A Cause Trailer

Resource Renewal Institute


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Remembering Cassini
There we are, home, 7.7 billion of us on that speck of light between Saturn's rings


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In the realm of 'Big Picture' thinking, the Hubble telescope, nearing the end of its mission, presents distant galaxy 'NGC 2775'


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A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Climate Change

Details of the Democratic Party's New Plan to Deal with the #ClimateCrisis

Via E&E News


The Select Committee on the Climate Crisis' majority staff report is arguably the most comprehensive climate policy plan in American politics, surpassing presidential candidates' proposals and previous congressional white papers in specificity and scope.

Taken together, its policy recommendations would reduce emissions 88% below 2010 levels by 2050 and generate benefits totaling roughly $8 trillion, according to an analysis by Energy Innovation, a nonpartisan environment and energy research firm (E&E Daily, June 30).

The goal is getting the nation to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That's the target widely agreed upon by Democrats and advocates to avoid the worst effects of climate change, based on science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report encompasses more than 100 bills, and the table of contents alone takes four pages. So what are the report's high points and takeaways?

Ambitious standards

The report's linchpin policies for both the power and transportation sectors reflect an ideological trend that's been building for years among environmentalists. In short, it's all about decarbonization standards.

For the power sector, the report recommends a clean energy standard based on H.R. 2597, from Rep. Ben Ray Lujรกn (D-N.M.), and various portfolio standards enacted by states, which aim to hit net-zero emissions by 2040.

For transportation, the report suggests a technology-neutral standard that would ensure all new light-duty vehicles are zero emission by 2035.

In the past, a carbon tax was widely seen by advocates as a catch-all policy for decarbonization, And while the report does recommend carbon pricing, it's as a complement to the standards that spell out explicit emissions and green technology deployment schedules.

National climate bank

The report also includes another policy that's gaining traction with environmentalists and Capitol Hill: a national climate bank.

It's an idea that's become popular in recent years. There are more than a dozen green banks operating around the country, funding clean energy technology and infrastructure resilience projects.

Together, they cobbled together more than $5 billion in investment from 2010 to 2019, according to an annual report from the American Green Bank Consortium and the Coalition for Green Capital...

Environmental justice

The report is heavy on environmental justice considerations, which is unsurprising given that environmentalists and lawmakers have highlighted environmental justice activists more than ever over the last year (E&E Daily, Jan. 31).

If all the report's recommendations were enacted, the federal government would have to vastly expand its environmental justice outreach through more aggressive enforcement at EPA and through the National Environmental Policy Act, among other policy avenues.

Perhaps the most wide-ranging recommendation is the "Environmental Justice for All Act," from Reps. Raรบl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Donald McEachin (D-Va.), a bill written with heavy input from environmental justice communities.

National supergrid

There's plenty of talk in the report about investing in infrastructure, but perhaps most important to the clean energy transition is its proposal to move toward a national supergrid.

Because wind and solar power stations are usually far from population centers, the country will likely need to build new high-voltage direct-current transmission lines across state lines to reach its climate goals...

Civilian Conservation Corps

The report endorses the creation of a 21st-century Civilian Conservation Corps, a job training program for young people to work in national parks and on public lands....


June 2020


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US Democratic Party Reveals Long-in-Development Climate Plan

Tampa, Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor out in front


Democrats move climate-economy-jobs legislation


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Louisiana attempts to outlaw dissent


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Southern slavery memories

Slavery was ending on 'Juneteenth', 1865

On June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was announced in Texas and the surrender of the Southern army of General Lee became 'official' as a final state heard the Civil War was over. Freedom had arrived.

Yet racism and acts of racism, discrimination, mass imprisonment and forced labor, peonage, brutality and worse, lynchings continued in the South as a terrible legacy. Within many political groups, Democrats-Dixiecrats and Republicans over the years, and formations such as the KKK, fear mongering and hate spread. This harsh reality was met with faith and courage, day by day, year by year, and gradually progress was made in the struggle against systemic racism. New voices and generations rose up. The 1960s marches, the Civil Rights Act, young voices with progressive beliefs grew, and expanded educational opportunity became reality in city after city. The racists lost in their attempts to stop progress. 'Dixie-Democrats' walked out of a changing Democratic Party in 1964 and 1968. The struggle continued in new ways across the US, and across the world.

The battle for civil rights and human rights continues today, generation to generation, across states and nations. With hope for a better tommorow being felt across the earth, an arc of justice can be seen growing.

Today, it's fitting to speak of a new Independence Day. A 'Juneteenth holiday' being spoken of brings remembrance of a celebration of freedom and is another step forward in a long journey.

We support the proposed new national Juneteenth holiday introduced this week formally in the US Senate by a TX Republican, John Cornyn, and in the US House of Representatives by a TX Dem, Sheila Jackson.


The 1865 Handwritten Order Marking Juneteenth

NYT / June 19, 2020: The original written order to Texans that โ€œall slaves are freeโ€ is found in a Union Army records book in the National Archives in Washington.

The re-location in the Army archive of the original announcement -- General Order No. 3 --- is historic.

The order was read aloud by a Union officer, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, in Galveston on June 19, 1865... That date, which became known as Juneteenth, has been celebrated ever since.


The discovery (of the order) was spurred by Michael Davis, a public affairs specialist for the National Archives who was writing a piece about the history of the holiday.

โ€œIn light of what has happened recently in our nation with police brutality, I wanted to make sure that we highlighted Juneteenth,โ€ Mr. Davis said in an interview. He asked his colleagues if the archives had any documents from that day in 1865, hoping to find something but not sure that he would.

Trevor K. Plante, the director of archival operations at the National Archives building in Washington, zeroed in on the Union Army records from Texas. And on Thursday, in the stacks on the 10th tier of the buildingโ€™s west side, he found a leather-bound book with a June 19 entry in neat cursive...

โ€œThe people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,โ€ it said. โ€œThis involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.โ€

The document, encased in its original binding, was legible and in good condition, Mr. Plante said. โ€œItโ€™s more powerful when you see the handwritten version of it, as opposed to the printed versions that came much later,โ€ he added, referring to the copies of Civil War documents that were compiled by the United States War Department (a precursor to the Department of Defense) around the end of the 19th century.


June 19th, Juneteenth 2020


A tip of our Green political hat to Will Sutton who writes from New Orleans on June 18, 2020 of a call rising across the U.S. for a national "Juneteenth" holiday.

Mr. Sutton speaks of a historic first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The first Southern reading of the proclamation was in what is now Hampton, Virginia, and more specifically on land that is now Hampton University, my alma mater. You canโ€™t attend Hampton and not learn about the Emancipation Oak.


Over two years later came another reading. The people of Texas finally heard of the Emancipation Proclamation...

June 19, 1865... the day they heard slavery ended. That day has been recognized โ€” and celebrated โ€” annually as Juneteenth since thatโ€™s the day that Union soldiers pulled into Galveston and told all who would listen that the Civil War had ended and enslaved people were free. Thatโ€™s about two and a half years after Lincolnโ€™s proclamation became law.
"Juneteenth", June 19th... For all who want to celebrate Juneteenth โ€” and I have been in that number โ€” I support you.


We at GreenPolicy360 support the call for and the cause of justice and freedom.


Celebrating Freedom & Resilience

Remembering a Great Oak Tree of the South

One day in 1863, the members of the Virginia Peninsulaโ€™s black community gathered to hear a prayer answered. The Emancipation Oak was the site of the first Southern reading of President Lincolnโ€™s Emancipation Proclamation.

With limbs over a hundred feet, the Emancipation Oak is designated as one of the 10 Great Trees of the World by the National Geographic Society.

~

In 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring โ€œall persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.โ€ Nonetheless, the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation. Lincoln recognized that the Emancipation Proclamation would have to be followed by a constitutional amendment in order to guarantee the abolishment of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution

The 13th amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the United States, passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, and the House on January 31, 1865. On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Joint Resolution of Congress submitting the proposed amendment to the state legislatures. The necessary number of states ratified it by December 6, 1865. The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."


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Global Temperature Summary / Earth Science

Globally, May 2020 is estimated to have been the warmest May since records began in 1850, exceeding the previously warmest year in 2016


The global mean temperature in May 2020 was 0.99 ยฑ 0.08 ยฐC (1.78 ยฑ 0.14 ยฐF) above the 1951 to 1980 average.

This is equivalent to being 1.36 ยฑ 0.09 ยฐC (2.43 ยฑ 0.16 ยฐF) above the 1850 to 1900 average, which is frequently used as a benchmark for the preindustrial period.

The global mean temperature anomaly in May 2020 cooled markedly compared to April (a decrease of 0.14 ยฐC) and was below the temperature anomaly of January through April, but still similar to values observed in November and December 2019 and among the warmest months ever observed. Due to higher weather variability during the Northern winter months, it is not unusual for the temperature anomaly in May to be somewhat smaller than those in January to March. Though the temperature anomaly is less extreme than in a few other recent months, it remains the highest temperature anomaly ever observed during May.


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Social Justice


Social justice is on peoples minds. It is overdue. It is our common responsibility, each of us, to do what we can to make a positive difference in these times.



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June 11 / Update & Apology

โ€˜I should not have been there,โ€™ Gen. Milley says of Trump photo op.

The countryโ€™s top military official apologized on Thursday for taking part in President Trumpโ€™s walk across Lafayette Square for a photo op after authorities used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the area of peaceful protesters.

โ€œI should not have been there,โ€ Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a prerecorded video commencement address to National Defense University, reports Helene Cooper. โ€œMy presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.โ€

His first public remarks since Mr. Trumpโ€™s photo op, in which federal authorities attacked peaceful protesters so that the president could hold up a Bible in front of St. Johnโ€™s Church, are certain to anger the White House, where Mr. Trump has spent the days since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis taking increasingly tougher stances against the growing movement for change across the country.


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Tuesday, June 9, 2020


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โ€ข #SocialJustice #EconomicJustice #ClimateJustice โ€ข


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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people across the United Statesโ€”and, in stunning displays of solidarity, around the worldโ€”poured into the streets Saturday demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice in the largest day of demonstrations since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis officers last week.

Enormous and diverse crowds of demonstrators marched in the streets of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, and other major cities in a striking display of non-violent mass action. Participants in the historic demonstrations voiced hope that the remarkable energy behind the protests can be transformed into a sustained movement for change. (Via Common Dreams)


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The Wars Come Home: Dissent and Discord in the US

Nationwide Demonstrations, a President's Threats


Washington Post / June 3 / Pentagon chief says he does not support the use of active-duty military forces to quell unrest, breaking with Trump


Repurposed from the Battlefields, Transferred to US Law Enforcement Agencies

Morning After Screenshots from DC June 2, 2020

The Wars Come Home


Deep Costs, Costs of War


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Washington Post: President Trump made 19,127 false or misleading claims in 1,226 days


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Attacks on Decades of Environmental Protections

Over 100 Rules, Regs, and Laws Ended

Wildlife Next to Fall


The Trump administration moved forward Friday (June 5, 2020) with plans to scale back a century-old law protecting most American wild bird species despite warnings that billions of birds could die as a result.

More than 1,000 species are covered under the law, and the changes have drawn a sharp backlash...


Ending Protections for Marine Conservation Monument Area and Fisheries

President Donald Trump rolled back protections Friday at a marine conservation area off the New England coast, signing an order to allow commercial fishing in a stretch of water environmentalists say is critical for endangered right whales and other fragile marine life. โ€œWe are reopening the Northeast Canyons to commercial fishing,โ€ Trump told a roundtable meeting with fishing industry representatives and Maine officials. โ€œWeโ€™re opening it today.โ€ The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the New England coast, created by former President Barack Obama, was the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, and one of just five marine monuments nationwide. The conservation area comprises 5,000 square miles (8,000 square kilometers) east of Cape Cod, which contains vulnerable species of marine, such as fragile deep sea corals and endangered right whales, which number only about 400.

The action comes a day after the equally sweeping rollback and proposed rollback of public health and environment protections by the Trump administration. On Thursday (June 4, 2020), Trump signed an executive order directing agencies to look for ways to override environmental laws to push big projects like highways and pipelines to completion.

And the Environmental Protection Agency proposed changing the rules for crafting air pollution limits under the Clean Air Act, in a way critics say will make it harder to move against dangerous pollutants in the future.


Unprecedented Attacks on Science, Environment and Health


"Donald Trump's administration has unleashed an unprecedented assault on our environment and the health of our communities. His policies threaten our climate, air, water, public lands, wildlife, and oceans; no amount of his greenwashing can change the simple fact: Donald Trump has been the worst president for our environment in history. Unfortunately, our children will pay the costs of this president's recklessness. Our organizations have repeatedly fought back against these attacks and we will continue to fight to ensure that our kids don't bear the brunt of the Trump administration's anti-environmental agenda."

-- Alaska Wilderness League Action, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, EDF Action, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society.


The Environmental and Energy Law Program at Harvard Law School and many public interest groups are tracking Trump administration rollbacks of decades of environmental protection law and government operational directives and practices.


Visit Harvard Law for latest news on Trump rollbacks of environmental/health/worker/public interest protections:

Environmental Law and Policy Trackers


Brookings Interactive Tracking Deregulation in The Trump Era โ€” monitors a selection of delayed, repealed, and new rules, notable guidance and policy revocations, and important court battles across eight major categories, including environmental, health, labor, and more.

Center for American Progress Law of the Land โ€” tracks legal battles over the future of Americaโ€™s public lands.

Center for Western Priorities Government Shutdown: Oil and Gas Permitting Tracker tracks new drilling permit approvals and applications processed by the Bureau of Land Management during the government shutdown.

Center for Western Priorities is tracking policies the Interior Department is hoping to enact. The policy changes include rolling back offshore drilling regulations, offering oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and revising land management plans to allow more drilling and mining.

Coalition for Sensible Safeguards Rules at Risk โ€” tracks rules at risk of being repealed or that have been repealed under the Congressional Review Act.

Columbia University, Sabin Center Climate Deregulation Tracker โ€” identifies steps taken by the Trump administration and Congress to scale back or wholly eliminate federal climate mitigation and adaptation measures.

Columbia University, Sabin Center Silencing Science โ€” tracks government attempts to restrict or prohibit scientific research, education or discussion, or the publication or use of scientific information

Earthjustice Overruling Trump tracks rollback litigation and outcomes.

Global Energy Institute (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) with support from Beveridge & Diamond Energy Tracker โ€” tracks regulatory, judicial, and legislative developments associated with the Trump administrationโ€™s energy policy agenda.

Harvard Law School Environmental & Energy Law Program โ€” EPA Mission Tracker monitors and analyzes the Trump administrationโ€™s dismantling of EPAโ€™s capacity to perform its public health mission, and Regulatory Rollback Tracker tracks the rule by rule, case by case rollbacks of the Trump Administration.

Institute for Policy Integrity Roundup: Trump-Era Deregulation in the Courts โ€” tracks the outcomes of litigation over the Trump administrationโ€™s deregulatory efforts, including litigation over federal agency rule suspensions; repeals; rescissions; efforts to weaken regulations through guidance, memoranda, amendments, or replacements; and other agency actions. Also, Health & Environmental Benefits Under Threat from Recent Environmental Deregulatory Actions lists the maximum value of the estimated benefits of selected rules as reported in the original regulatory actions. These estimates reveal the economic losses that the American public would experience should these rules be eliminated entirely. IPI has also built the Weakened Environmental Laws and Policies in Response to COVID-19 Tracker, which notes the suspension and altered enforcement of environmental laws and policies by federal, state, and city agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Employment Law Project โ€” tracks the Trump administrationโ€™s actions that impact workers (including worker safety).

National Geographic โ€” A running list of how President Trump is changing environmental policy.

New York Times / 95 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump โ€” updated every few months.

NYU State Energy & Environmental Impact Center โ€” Attorney General actions

NRDC Trump Watch โ€” monitors Trump administration's environmental actions.

Reuters, The Trump Effect โ€” Energy and Environment.

Save EPA โ€” maintains a master list of Trump administration EPA rollbacks and provides tools and talking points to support othersโ€™ advocacy about public health and environmental protections.

Union of Concerned Scientistsโ€™ Center for Science and Democracy / Attacks on Science โ€” disappearing data, silenced scientists, and other assaults on scientific integrity and science-based policy at the federal level.

Washington Post โ€” How Trump is rolling back Obamaโ€™s legacy โ€” updated every few months.

We Mean Business Climate Policy Tracker โ€” Points business to a practical climate regulation response.


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COVID-19 Global Pandemic Causing Cancellation of 2020 Internationanal Climate Conference - COP26

Glasgow meeting to be pushed back a full year?

UK government letter requests crucial Summit to be rescheduled for November 2021


The UK government has written to the UN's climate change secretariat to request a full year delay to the postponed COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, warning that the spread of the coronavirus pandemic around the world could make an earlier date unviable.

The UN is set to consider the request in the coming days and is expected to approve the proposed new dates, rescheduling the global summit for November 1st to 12th, 2021.

"Postponement of COP26 does not mean postponement of climate action," the government letter goes on to state. "We must scale up action to respond to the climate emergency. It is vital that all Parties increase ambition by submitting enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies that chart a path to net zero; that support is enhanced and the $100bn climate finance goal is met; and through scaling up action and support for adaptation."

Observers remain concerned that a long delay could minimise the ability of the COP26 Summit to shape economic recovery plans and ensure governments continue to prioritise climate action as they seek to rebuild their economies....


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Human Disruption:

Eradication of Species by the Human Species

Via the Journal of Nature

We are in the midst of a global biodiversity crisis, with severely limited resources for conservation action. At current extinction rates, we are set to experience unprecedented losses of species and their phylogenetic diversity (PD). PD is the sum of the phylogenetic branch lengths connecting a set of species to each other across their phylogenetic tree, and measures their collective contribution to the tree of life. PD quantifies the amount of evolutionary variation across a set of species4, and is thus a valuable tool for prioritising species and regions for conservation.

Phylogenetic Diversity is increasingly recognised as an important component of global biodiversity linked to increased ecosystem productivity and human well-being4,13. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognises the importance of conserving PD (in the forms of โ€˜taxonomic hierarchyโ€™ and โ€˜evolutionarily distinct lineagesโ€™) and has established a Task Force of the Species Survival Commission dedicated to PD conservation. Similarly, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) recognises PD as a key indicator of global trends in natureโ€™s contribution to people.

Read More - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16410-6


Researchers calculated the amount of evolutionary history - branches on the tree of life - that are currently threatened with extinction, using extinction risk data for more than 25,000 species.

They found a combined 50 billion years of evolutionary heritage, at least, were under threat from human impacts such as urban development, deforestation and road building.


In a global assessment of extinction of species, research team takes a much broader view of what's been happening to the natural world.



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Microplastic Pollution Across World Oceans: Enormous Disaster

"Particles may outnumber zooplankton, which underpin marine life and regulate climate"

Microplastic pollution vastly underestimated


Microplastics have entered the food chain in rivers, with birds found to be consuming hundreds of particles a day via the aquatic insects on which they feed.

Microplastic pollution has contaminated the whole planet, from Arctic snow and mountain soils to many rivers and the deepest oceans. It is also being consumed and inhaled by people, and the health impacts are as yet unknown.

Research published in the last month in 'Environmental Pollution' has found microplastics in greater quantities than ever before on the seabed and suggested that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of microplastics could be blowing ashore on the ocean breeze every year...


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Super Cyclone Amphan Threatens 500 Million

Cyclone-Hurricane, Cat 5, Hitting Bay of Bengal Tomorrow

Frequency of Intense Storms Increasing with Global Warming, Warmer Waters


Amphan: Bay of Bengal is world's hotbed of tropical cyclones

Extreme Weather Events

The largest bay in the world - 500 million people live on the coastal rim that surrounds it - is also the site of the majority of the deadliest tropical cyclones in world history

The "north coast of the Bay of Bengal is more prone to catastrophic surges than anywhere on Earth"


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On the Death of John Houghton


John Houghton was instrumental in founding and shaping the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The climate scientist led the panelโ€™s Scientific Assessment of Climate Change working group from its formation in 1988 until 2002. Under his guidance, the IPCC did more than any other entity to synthesize the science, sound the alarm of dangerous climate risk and make the case for immediate action, work for which the organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.


Testimonial from Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

The field of climate science lost one of its giants to COVID-19. Sir John Houghton was one of the founders of the IPCC and led its scientific working group for many years. He was also a man of deep faith. His granddaughter Hannah, who is currently studying for ordination in the Anglican church and doing her doctoral dissertation on climate grief, says of him, "when I was younger, my consistent memory of him was warnings over the devastation waiting us if we didnโ€™t act on climate change. But my other consistent memory will be his deep faith that he was doing work in service of the God he loved, and the world he loved." When he spoke of climate science, he'd immediately link it to the fact that the poorest and most vulnerable were those most at risk. His faith motivated his life's work and inspired countless other scientists, including me, and his last email to me, in connection to his autobiography ("In the Eye of the Storm," an apt description of his life in the center of the international negotiations on climate change for so many years - link below) was signed, "every blessing." I was honoured to write this brief essay in his memory with my own advisor, Don Wuebbles.


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(US Breaking News)

Nancy Beck Is Back

After a deeply controversial stint at the EPA, the former chemical industry executive nominated to be the nationโ€™s top consumer safety watchdog is now sidelining 'detailed guidelines' to help communities reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.


'Scaled-back guidance', brief edited document now being released

The White House ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revise an earlier draft it deemed "too prescriptive."

The new CDC guidelines, which appear to be watered down from previously leaked versions, provide brief checklists meant to help key businesses and others operating in public reopen safely. In separate one-page documents, the CDC offers decision-making tools for schools, workplaces, camps, child care programs, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants.


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(Global News)

Via Geophysical Research Report

With the passage of the first international agreement to limit atmosperic emisskons, the Montreal Protocol, CFCs were banned to protect the earth's ozone layer. A substitute product, HFC-134a, began to be used in cooling systems.

While HFC-134a was less damaging to the ozone layer, it was unfortunately a very powerful greenhouse gas, around 1,400 times more warming that CO2.

In an amendment to the Protocol, manufacturers in the US and Europe agreed to phase out HFC-134a. By 2017 all new cars had to use a different coolant for air conditioning called HFO-1234yf.

While this chemical doesn't damage ozone, and is not a greenhouse gas, it was found to break down to produce short chain PFCAs.

According to researchers, these chemicals can travel a long distance in the atmosphere and often end up in lakes and rivers. They cause "irreversible contamination" and can impact the health of freshwater creatures.

As research comes forward, it is becoming apparent that another shit in products, to a more biodegradle, less toxic product, will be needed. The environmental impacts to health, life systems, biodiversity, carry across borders...


Pandemic, 'It' doesn't stop at national borders

International cooperation is key to identifying and turning back the spread of coronavirus

Monitoring the COVID-19 world data


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Approaching 100 environmental rollbacks, Trump celebrates 3+ yrs in office


Via GreenPolicy360

Environmental Deregulation, Climate Litigation

Environmental Laws

Climate Litigation Database

Climate Deregulation Tracker (Columbia Law)

Columbia Law School - Climate Change Law

Envir Laws Rollback Tracker (Harvard Law)

'Silencing Science Tracker'


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A Note From NOAA

May 14, 2020


Global warming pushes April temperatures into record territory, as 2020 heads for heat milestone

Via Washington Post / New data, released May 4 from the European Unionโ€™s Copernicus Climate Change Service, lends further support to the prediction that 2020 will rank among the top two warmest years recorded.

In April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, using its own temperature monitoring data, reported that there is a 75 percent chance that 2020 will become the planetโ€™s warmest year since instrument records began in 1880, and very likely long before that.

This year is on track to be Earthโ€™s warmest on record, beating 2016, NOAA says.

Human-caused climate change from increasing amounts of planet-warming greenhouse gases is vaulting temperatures higher...


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Climate change news is big at the Pulitzers

Many stories and nominations, many awards


Staff of The Washington Post won the explanatory reporting Pulitzer for a โ€œgroundbreaking series that showed with scientific clarity the dire effects of extreme temperatures on the planet.โ€

โ€œToday in this country we are single-mindedly focused on a public-health crisis. But another worldwide public-health crisis is upon us,โ€ said Martin Baron, executive editor of The Post, in a piece for the Post. โ€œAs with the coronavirus, we are well served if we pay attention to the science. In producing this series, our staff not only paid attention to the science, but also built on it with deeper and more granular analysis. And then, with the full resources of our news organization, we put a human face to the numbers, showing the severe impact that extreme warming is already having on communities around the world.โ€


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More on the Heat, a Hot and Hotter Future


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Dandelions

Spring

Somewhere

Seeds

Soon to be

Freed

Into the wind

Floating

Destiny

 


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International Energy Agency (IEA): Renewables Grow While Fossil Fuels Demand Collapses during the Global Coronavirus Crisis


Covid Pandemic & Climate Disruption: Communities, Local and Global Developing Response Tactics and Shared Best Practices


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Science Counts: Use Good Science to Manage in a Crisis

When you talk about flattening the curve, you are talking like a scientist. Science in playing a critical role in motivating billions of people around the world to make tough, fundamental choices individually and collectively, to safeguard our future. As we flatten the curve, we have built a precious trust between science and society. As a scientist and an educator, my spirits are buoyed knowing that so many around the world are developing a new appreciation for what excellent science and science reporting looks like.


GreenPolicy360: Our Position on the Use of Science

Measure to Manage: Good science needs data


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Climate experts criticize 'dangerous' Michael Moore film

Planet of the Humans, which takes aim at the green movement, misleads by omission and misinformation

As Moore's film attacks a global move to renewable energy... fossil fuels, and unsustainable growth, continue to deliver real-world challenges

Human-caused climate change is a crisis-in-the-making


Read Post Carbon Richard Heinberg's thoughtful, nuanced 'Planet of the Humans' review and visit GreenPolicy's Climate News webpages here and here for our thoughts on this controversial documentary.


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How did US politicos act and what did they say on Earth Day

Pope Francis weighs in


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Earth Day Memories on the 50th Anniversary


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Earth Day 2020 50th Anniversary of first Earth Day "Teach-In" / April 22, 1970

Art by Olivia Schmidt / BY-NC Creative Commons / Use w/ Attribution + Non-commercial


On the 50th Anniversary

Memories on the Road to the First Earth Day


Steven Schmidt / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner


It started on a Schwinn bike in the mid-1960s. My road to April 22, 1970. The day that would be called the first "Earth Day"...

* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Earth_Day_Memories_on_the_50th_Anniversary


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Earth Day -- April 22, 1970

April 22, 2020 -- 50 Years On


Bioneers interview with Hispanic activist Arturo Sandoval:

You were part of Denis Hayesโ€™ team that produced the first Earth Day in 1970. What was that experience like?

ARTURO: It was my first time organizing on a national level. I worked with a very bright team. It was lots of work. It was very exhilarating. It completely exceeded anything we hoped to achieve. It was like holding onto the tail of the tiger. We were basically just trying to stay out of the way of a freight train coming down the tracks because the response to the first Earth Day was so overwhelming. It was huge. It was just unbelievable, and took everything we had to just try to connect the dots and get information out to the people and not get in their way.


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Project Coral / Earth Day News

Good news for preserving the only living coral reef in U.S. ocean waters

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/florida-aquariums-latest-discovery-may-help-save-americas-great-barrier-reef-from-extinction/


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Rolling Backwards


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Oil futures contracts go where they've never gone -- negative. We'll pay you to take our oil

A negative price has never happened before for an oil futures contract


Worst Day Yet for US Oil Markets

Trump - 'I believe in the free market'

Global demand drops for oil/gas

OPEC, Russia price war leads to int'l oil/gas price collapse


U.S. crude prices plunged to their lowest level in history as traders continue to fret over a slump in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. The price of the nearest oil futures contract, which expires Tuesday, was the hardest hit, detaching from later month futures contracts with a drop of more than 50%. This suggests that some believe there could be a recovery later in the year.

West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery tanked 69%, or $12.69, to $5.58 per barrel, its lowest level on record.


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From Bell Science Hour & Frank Capra

Produced & Distributed in 1958

We are heating the atmosphere, disruption is coming

Glass-bottom boats touring over Miami?


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Remembering the BP America Fire, Oil Blowout Spill in the Gulf

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank 5,000 feet beneath the Gulf

A Decade After

By Craig Pittman / Florida Phoenix


On March 31, 2010, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited St. Petersburgโ€™s Vinoy hotel to give a speech where he talked about how safe offshore oil drilling was. He was touting his book, Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less.

On that same day, then-President Barack Obama announced he would open a lot of the nationโ€™s coastline to drilling, including two-thirds of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, Florida legislators were considering allowing drilling in state waters just three miles off the coast, figuring that from that distance, the tourists wouldnโ€™t see it, so what could go wrong?

A decade later, this all seems remarkably stupid because within three weeks, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank 5,000 feet beneath the Gulf.

Two days later, on Earth Day, the damaged rig began spewing oil that coated coastlines in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and even Florida, ruining tourism, charter fishing and other industries that depend on clean beaches and uncontaminated water.

The BP oil continues polluting the gulf even today, according to recently released findings by scientists from the University of South Floridaโ€™s College of Marine Sciences. Itโ€™s still affecting fish and other marine species...

After the disaster, Obama appointed a federal commission to investigate what went wrong. The commissionโ€™s chief investigator, โ€œSamโ€ Sankar, said the commissionโ€™s recommendations called for imposing strong, clear regulations to ensure safety, evaluating the risks of another spill and making sure the oil industry can be held liable in the event of another disaster.

Of those recommendations, โ€œnone of them have been implemented"...



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Visit Strategic Demands


Cooperation Necessary Between Nations

The Gates Foundation announcement comes as President Trump moves to cut off funding to the World Health Organization...


Fact Checking and Media Literacy Must Be Upped During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic


From our associate, Strategic Demands

Measure-to-Manage Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Testing, Sound Science, and Smart Policy Management


You can manage only what you can measure Dr David Crisp, OCO-2, June 2014 m.jpg


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Coronavirus Disrupts Global Plans for this Year's 50th Annual Earth Day

Denis Hayes, an original Earth Day 'Teach-in Organizer, asks U.S. citizens to vote on November 3rd


As Iโ€™m writing this, the world has suffered 1,506,936 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 90,000 deaths. Of those, the U.S. has 453,748 cases and just more than 16,000 deaths.

The global economy is reeling.

Congress swiftly passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package. To put $2.2 trillion in context, that is more than three times as much money as national military spending.

Initially, President Donald Trump did not take COVID-19 seriously. On Jan. 22, he famously said, โ€œWe have it totally under control. Itโ€™s one person coming in from China.โ€ In subsequent weeks, he spoke at eight large rallies and went golfing six times.

He is taking it seriously now.

Understandably lost amid this death and tumult is the crushing impact COVID-19 has had on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Thousands of people around the world have worked for years to leverage a massive global Earth Day.


Earth Day, April 22, 2020

For two years, the Earth Day Network patiently laid the groundwork for gigantic crowds in 180 nations, from St. Peterโ€™s Square to Kolkata, from Rio to Paris, from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to Seattle Center. We built alliances with Greta Thunberg, Jamie Margolin, Alexandria Villaseรฑor, Lili Flanigan and thousands of other youth-climate activists; with 350.org, the Sunrise Movement, and scores of national and international environmental groups. We obtained commitments from Pope Francis and other religious leaders, heads of state and mayors, green corporate leaders and labor chiefs. We allied with the Smithsonian to enlist many of the worldโ€™s leading museums. We engaged colleges, universities and tens of thousands of K-12 schools; zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens.

The goal was to build an irresistible worldwide force to demand a global Green New Deal and, ultimately, solve the climate crisis.

Then COVID-19, the ultimate Black Swan, surged out of China and engulfed the world. All our marches, rallies and protests; our teach-ins, lectures and concerts โ€” everywhere โ€” were made illegal....


This April 22, we want everyone to stay in the safety of their homes. Spend some hours streaming talks and films and musicians (playing from their living rooms) at earthday.org. Check out opportunities for future engagement in King County at earthdaynw2020.org/...

But understand that the real challenge lies in the next six months. The 2020 U.S. election will be the most important of your lifetime. It can be an inflection point for the world.

The 2020 election will determine whether the great American experiment โ€” universal suffrage, separation of powers, Bill of Rights, rule of law โ€” will be resuscitated from the dark impact of the worst president in the nationโ€™s history.


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EV sales to plunge 43% this year โ€” report

Via E&E News / April 9, 2020

The one-two punch of pandemic and recession is likely to defer purchases of electric vehicles, leading to a precipitous drop in sales, according to a new report...


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Via Mashable / After Earth experienced its second-hottest year in 140 years of record-keeping in 2019, the first few months of this year have either broken historic monthly records, or come close. January 2020 was the warmest January on record. February 2020 was the second hottest such month on record... the European Union's climate monitoring agency EU Copernicus reported that March 2020 was "on par" with the second and third warmest Marches on record...

"The continued onslaught of record and near-record global temperatures is a reminder that, while weโ€™re understandably preoccupied with another crisis (the Coronavirus pandemic), a more formidable one in the grand schemes of things looms in the background," said climate scientist Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.

The consequences of a warmer atmosphere are countless. Most glaciers on Earth are fast receding. Wildfires are overpowering us. Meanwhile, the oceans absorb over 90 percent of the heat created by human activities. These boosted, above-average water temperatures amplify the marine heat waves that cause the bleaching and widespread deaths of coral.

"As I write this sentence, the Great Barrier Reef is suffering its third major bleaching event in the space of five years, an unprecedented and foreboding development," said Mann. "The ever-worsening nature of the climate crisis and the need to address it must guide any policy actions that are taken to address the Coronavirus crisis."


Death and Devastation of the Living Reef Ecosystems


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Ecology of Disease

NYT / 2012 - 2020

Looking at wildlife-borne viruses across the tropics, building a virus library. Most of the work focuses on primates, rats and bats, which are most likely to carry diseases that affect people...


First Post / India

Concern over 'Wet Markets' in China, Sale of Wild Animals Meat -- Bats, Pangolins, 'Crossover' Strains of Virus

SARS, MERS, Covid-19, new diseases, deadly threats


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Another Day: Here comes another environmental protection rollback

In the US: The Trump administration continues its attack on environmental protections


New Trump mileage standards to gut Obama climate effort


๐ŸŒŽ


As a deadly respiratory disease becomes a pandemic, as auto emissions cause toxic air pollution, lung disease, and threaten atmospheric disruption and climate crisis, the US moves backwards on health and forward-looking economics


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Ocean warming devastates the Australian Great Barrier Reef


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Countries Around the World Taking Varied Paths to Respond to Coronavirus Pandemic

Billions in 'Lockdown', 'Stay at Home', 'Social Isolation', Disease Prevention Measures

International Markets Collapse, Recession or Depression?

(March 25) President Donald Trump says he wants the nation "opened up and just raring to go by Easter."

"I give it two weeks," Trump said in a broadcast Fox News town hall, suggesting he was ready to phase out his 15-day self-isolating guidelines when they expire. "I guess by Monday or Tuesday, it's about two weeks. We will assess at that time and give it more time if we need a little more time. We have to open this country up."


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Earthview from DSCOVR on #International Earth Day


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๐ŸŒŽ


Increasing threats: New 'crossovers' and 'spillovers'

โ€œWe invade tropical forests and other wild landscapes, which harbour so many species of animals and plants โ€“ and within those creatures, so many unknown viruses,โ€ David Quammen, author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic, recently wrote in the New York Times. โ€œWe cut the trees; we kill the animals or cage them and send them to markets. We disrupt ecosystems, and we shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often, we are it.โ€

Research suggests that outbreaks of animal-borne and other infectious diseases such as Ebola, Sars, bird flu and now Covid-19, caused by a novel coronavirus, are on the rise. Pathogens are crossing from animals to humans, and many are able to spread quickly to new places...

A new discipline, planetary health, is emerging that focuses on the increasingly visible connections between the wellbeing of humans, other living things and entire ecosystems.


The SARS Covid-19 'Coronavirus' Genome


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At home due to the coronavirus? School closed? Time off from business as usual? Interested in listening into some streaming?

Perhaps in the mood for some educational, dramatic Podcasting? How about a mind-opening 3-season investigative series?

Ready?? How about Drilled... An exposรฉ, drilling down into climate science denial, the lucrative business of climate dis- and mis-information.

The eerie sci-fi movie music that launches the series gives us a sense of what's to come as we're reminded that so many disaster movies begin as a scientist's warnings are being ignored...

 


The Madmen of Climate Denial

Drilled: A True Crime Podcast about Climate Change

Apple Podcasts
Apple Podcasts-2
Google Play
Pocket Casts
RadioPublic
Stitcher
Spotify
TuneIn


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Coronavirus pandemic

Jack Ma Foundation to donate 500,000 testing kits, 1 million masks to the US

The pandemic can "no longer be resolved by any individual country."


Billionaire Jack Ma said his foundation will donate 500,000 testing kits and one million masks to the United States to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The statement posted to Twitter on March 13 was accompanied by a photo post signed by Ma. It read: "Over the past few weeks, Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation collaborated to source and donate much-needed materials to combat COVID-19 to afflicted areas in Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain. Now, we have sourced and readied for shipment 500,000 testing kits and one million masks to be donated to the United States."

Drawing from China's experience in dealing with the virus, Ma said speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus.



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Top scientist Dr. David Ho leading aggressive efforts to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus after winning a $2.1 million grant from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma

Coronavirus Outbreak: When Will We Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Feb 28, 2020


โ—‹


Global Pandemic: COVID-19 Can Help Wealthier Nations Prepare for a Sustainability Transition


Forecasts of the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic are growing increasingly dire as the scale and severity of the contagion expands. Global supply chains are collapsing, tourism is in free fall, and entire calendars of public events are being canceled. School closures and mass quarantines beyond China, Italy, and other frontline countries are leading to deeply curtailed consumer expenditures. The threat of a protracted global recession is with each passing day becoming ever more probable. Investors are looking to finance ministers and central bankers to further slash interest rates and to offer ironclad promises of generous fiscal stimulus. However, it is becoming apparent that the effectiveness of these strategies is extremely limited and will do little to steady anxious stock markets. Meanwhile, in the real economy, businesses are beginning to feel the tight pinch of dampened demand and preparing to furlough employees.

While the challenge of getting the coronavirus outbreak under control is surely ominous, it merits recognizing that from a sustainability standpoint we may have a rare window of opportunity. The challenge will be to lock in the reductions in energy and material utilization that are already occurring and will probably intensify in coming weeks and months. COVID-19 could inadvertently contribute to meaningful progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals...

An observation frequently attributed to Winston Churchill is that we should never let a good crisis go to waste. The coronavirus outbreak is a deeply unfortunate situation that is unquestionably causing widespread suffering. While this is regrettable, we should not dismiss that the event provides an opportunity to make some significant headway toward a timely and necessary sustainability transition.



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With Coronavirus spreading globally, climate organizing must find ways to protest against the climate crisis other than mass demonstrations


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Tesla: One Million 'Units'

Whirring Engines, New Factories in China & Germany

* https://electrek.co/2020/03/09/tesla-produces-1000000th-electric-car/
* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Going_Green


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In the Oil Patch, Prices and Production Plunge

House of Saud vs Russians vs US Shale-Fracking


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PLASTIC

By Tim Dickinson / Rolling Stone

MARCH 3, 2020

Every human on Earth is ingesting nearly 2,000 particles of plastic a week. These tiny pieces enter our unwitting bodies from tap water, food, and even the air, according to an alarming academic study sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, dosing us with five grams of plastics, many cut with chemicals linked to cancers, hormone disruption, and developmental delays. Since the paperโ€™s publication last year, Sen. Tom Udall, a plain-spoken New Mexico Democrat with a fondness for white cowboy hats and turquoise bolo ties, has been trumpeting the risk: โ€œWe are consuming a credit cardโ€™s worth of plastic each week,โ€ Udall says. At events with constituents, he will brandish a Visa from his wallet and declare, โ€œYouโ€™re eating this, folks!โ€

With new legislation, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020, Udall is attempting to marshal Washington into a confrontation with the plastics industry, and to force companies that profit from plastics to take accountability for the waste they create. Unveiled in February, the bill would ban many single-use plastics and force corporations to finance โ€œend of lifeโ€ programs to keep plastic out of the environment. โ€œWeโ€™re going back to that principle,โ€ the senator tells Rolling Stone. โ€œThe polluter pays.โ€

The battle pits Udall and his allies in Congress against some of the most powerful corporate interests on the planet, including the oil majors and chemical giants that produce the building blocks for our modern plastic world โ€” think Exxon, Dow, and Shell โ€” and consumer giants like Coca-Cola, Nestlรฉ, and Unilever that package their products in the stuff. Big Plastic isnโ€™t a single entity. Itโ€™s more like a corporate supergroup: Big Oil meets Big Soda โ€” with a puff of Big Tobacco, responsible for trillions of plastic cigarette butts in the environment every year. And it combines the lobbying and public-relations might of all three...



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COVID-19

World Pandemic: Coronavirus

Covid-19: Daily Updates


Covid-19: Day 62: March 1st: Trillions lost: In China, the 'factory of the world', virus could affect 42 % of China's economy

 


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Marine Heatwave - "The Blob"


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Gulf of Alaska closed for the first time ever

In an unprecedented response to historically low fish numbers, the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.

โ€œWeโ€™re on the knifeโ€™s edge of this over-fished status,โ€ North Pacific Fisheries Management Council member Nicole Kimball said during talks in Anchorage. Itโ€™s not over-fishing to blame for the die-off, but rather, climate change. Warming ocean temperatures linked to climate change are wreaking havoc on a number of Alaskaโ€™s fisheries, worrying biologists, locals and fishermen with low returns that jeopardize fishing livelihoods. A stock assessment this fall put Gulf cod populations at a historic low, with โ€œnext to noโ€ new eggs, according to NOAA research.

Up until the emergence of a marine heatwave known as โ€œthe blobโ€ in 2014, Gulf cod was doing well. But the heatwave caused ocean temperatures to rise 4-5 degrees. Young cod started dying off, scientists said. โ€œA lot of the impact on the population was due to that first heatwave that we havenโ€™t recovered from,โ€ Barbeaux said during an interview last month. Following the first heatwave, cod numbers crashed by more than half, from 113,830 metric tons in 2014 to 46,080 (a loss of almost 68,000) metric tons in 2017. The decline was steady from there.

 

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Net zero goal โ€˜greatest commercial opportunity of our timeโ€™

Every private finance decision must take into account climate change and how to decarbonise the world economy to net zero, incoming UN special envoy on climate action Mark Carney has told banks and investors.

Setting out strategies to mobilise private finance ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow, or Cop26, Carney said such investments โ€œcould become the greatest commercial opportunity of our timeโ€.

โ€œThe objective for the private finance work for Cop26 is simple,โ€ he said, โ€œto make sure that every private finance decision takes climate change into account.โ€

Appointed special advisor on climate finance to UK prime minister Boris Johnson, Carney, outgoing governor of the Bank of England, made the remarks at the heart of the City of London on Thursday.

โ€œAchieving net zero emissions will require a whole economy transition โ€“ every company, every bank, every insurer and investor will have to adjust their business models... This could turn an existential risk into the greatest commercial opportunity of our time.โ€


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Today is Launch Day

Announcing the Publication of The Future We Choose

Authors: Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

February 25, 2020


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Jeff Bezos of Amazon jumps in the fight against the #ClimateCrisis

"I'm committing $10 billion to start..."


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Climate Change Pushes January 2020 to Hottest in 141 Years

Feb. 13

The year has started with the hottest January in the 141 years that global records have been kept, and itโ€™s the biggest record-breaking marginโ€”1.14ยฐ Celsius above the 20th century averageโ€”achieved without help from a warming El Niรฑo event in the Pacific Ocean.

' The new monthly record set by January 2020, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, continues an aggressive trend toward higher temperatures. The four hottest Januarys on record have all occurred since 2016, and the top-10 warmest have all occurred since 2002...


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February 10, 2020 / 416.08 ppm


โ€ข https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/monthly.html

โ€ข https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/carbon-clock/


RISING EMISSIONS DRIVE GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX INCREASE


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President Trump's 2021 Federal Budget with (Proposed) Cuts to Environmental Programs


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Thread from Michael E. Mann

Climate disinformation and 'troll's lies' are not the way to go...


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The URL Says It


The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which has a $2.85 billion budget, was targeted for 80% cuts in the last White House budget request -- only to see Congress increase its funding instead.


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In the Permian Basin, New Mexico, Texas, Water & Fracking


In the "Oil Patch", reporting from the "most prolific oil field in the world"


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New Study: How Global Warming Climate Science Looks at (Cooling) Clouds


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Tesla, Electric Vehicle 'Magic'


Tesla roars past Volkswagen to become the second most valuable car company in the world


The stock price of the California-headquartered company is up more than fifty percent since Decemeber and has tripled since August. Tesla is now worth about $117 billion...



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January 2020


Guess What. What? You won't believe it. Believe what? Guess!


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EPAโ€™s New Water Rule a Mockery of Science and Clean Water Act

Union of Concerned Scientists | January 24, 2020


With the Environmental Protection Agencyโ€™s own data showing that nearly half of our rivers and streams and a third of our wetlands are in โ€œpoor biological condition,โ€ and with millions of Americans exposed to unsafe chemicals in water systems, this is a bad time to make a mockery of the Clean Water Act. But that is precisely what the Trump administration did this week when it issued its Navigable Waters Protection rule and completed its rollback of the Obama administrationโ€™s 2015 Waters of the United States rule.

Fitting of the Trump administration, the โ€œprotectionโ€ in the ruleโ€™s name doesnโ€™t really have anything to do with water. Not when it will reportedly remove half of the nationโ€™s wetlands and nearly 20 percent of streams from protection. It cannot be about water when the administration excludes from regulation other potential aquatic transporters of toxic chemicals, such as groundwater, rivers that run only during rainfall (a huge feature of the arid West), waste treatment systems, ditches, and ponds and depressions related to mining and construction.

No, the Trump rule is designed to allow oil and gas producers, chemical makers, agricultural interests, and developers to navigate a federal water regulatory world cleared of permits and penalties for pollution, a world not seen since the 1960s...



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Scientists warn that Earth is closer to disaster

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its symbolic Doomsday Clock closer to midnight, indicating that the likeliness of a human-caused apocalypse has increased since last year.

The Bulletin adjusted the clock to reflect looming threats from nuclear weapons and accelerated global warming.

The clock is now set at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to symbolic doom and the first time the hands have been within the two-minute mark.

"We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds โ€” not hours, or even minutes," Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We now face a true emergency โ€” an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay."

Former California Governor Jerry Brown, executive chair, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said: โ€œDangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder. Climate change just compounds the crisis. If thereโ€™s ever a time to wake up, itโ€™s now.โ€


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At the World Economic Forum

Marc Benioff announces financial backing for a new platform, 1t.org, that will support an ongoing global initiative to plant, restore, and conserve 1 trillion trees over the next decade, the Trillion Trees Initiative...

As reported in a study in the journal Science, planting saplings to regrow on land where forests have been cleared would increase global forested area by one-third and remove 205 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. This is two-thirds of the roughly 300 billion metric tons of carbon humans have put up there since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

โ€œThe point is that [reforestation is] so much more vastly powerful than anyone ever expected,โ€ said Thomas Crowther, a professor of environmental systems science at ETH Zurich and a co-author of the paper. โ€œBy far, itโ€™s the top climate change solution in terms of carbon storage potential.โ€


Some climate scientists who were not involved with the study disagree with its calculations and are warning against its โ€œsilver bulletโ€ message. Still, supporting natural systems that can soak up carbon is widely accepted as a major component of any climate change mitigation strategy โ€” in addition to deploying clean energy, switching to electric vehicles, and curbing consumption overall.


While many are proposing climate impact solutions, Donald Trump arrived at the economic conference in Davos, Switzerland bragging about US oil-gas production.


Watch at Davos


On the opening day of the US president's impeachment trial in the US Senate, Trump castigated climate activists after Greta Thunberg and young activists spoke of the need for immediate international climate action.


Trump Just Called Climate Scientists โ€˜Foolish Fortune Tellersโ€™

According to Trump, we shouldn't listen to those "alarmists," who want โ€œabsolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives.โ€


(Associated Press)

News on Greta's speech at Davos


(CNN)

News on the US president

President Donald Trump attacked climate activists as "perennial prophets of doom" on Tuesday while addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the agenda is focused on tackling the climate crisis.


โ—‹


Trump's remarks underscored the chasm between his denialist view of climate change and the overwhelming scientific consensus driving the rest of the developed world to action. Speaking shortly after the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg accused world leaders of not taking action, Trump rejected calls for urgent action and encouraged the world to instead embrace "optimism."

"To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse," Trump said.


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By a Two to One Vote

U.S. appeals court throws out youth climate lawsuit

January 17, 2020

A federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit by children and young adults who claimed they had a constitutional right to be protected from climate change, in a major setback...


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Another warning, after years of warnings

GreenPolicy360: In one generation the climate crisis has gone from the Energy & Climate warnings from the National Academy of Sciences in 1977 and the first US climate legislation put into effect in 1978 -- the National Climate Act -- drafted by Rep. George E. Brown to the environmental work of the first era of green political activists. The cumulative studies and reports of earth science, as with this report from NASA and NOAA that announces the hottest decade on record, continue to deliver overwhelming data that we ignore at our common peri. Even as the current president of the US willfully ignores the science, the physics and consequences cannot be ignored.


New Definitions of National Security are needed:


GreenPolicy360 is pursuing new definitions and strategies to confront the #ClimateCrisis

New Definitions of Security / GreenPolicy360


Earth science missions in space US circa2017.jpg


A Tip of Our GreenPolicy360 hat to 'Congressman of Big Science' George E. Brown and the first generation of Earth science pioneers

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