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Green Stories of the Day
Green stories are changing the world. We encourage you to join in, create your own green stories, launch new initiatives, improve the environment, change the way governments run and how businesses work.
- It is your time, our time, to change the world we know and experience. It is up to us to re-create the future, to dream, plan, and to positively impact the quality and sustainability of life on earth.
Cruise across the World Wide Web... Visit what's trending today across our Green-Blue Planet Earth
- Click on #trending green links and away you go ;-
Fact Sheet - Biden administration roadmap to build an economy resilient to climate change impacts
Google targets climate change denial
Google announces it is 'demonetizing content' that makes misleading or false claims about climate change.
As a result, content that calls into question or denies the scientific consensus around anthropogenic climate change will not have Google advertising alongside it. In addition, Google will no longer run any advertising that "contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change."
Climate Science at the Forefront as New Nobel Prizes Are Announced
STOCKHOLM / Via the Associated Press / October 5, 2021
Three scientists won the Nobel Prize for physics today (Oct. 5) for work that found order in seeming disorder, helping to explain and predict complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.
Syukuro Manabe, originally from Japan, and Klaus Hasselmann of Germany were cited for their work in “the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.” The second half of the prize went to Giorgio Parisi of Italy for explaining disorder in physical systems, ranging from those as small as the insides of atoms to the planet-sized.
In recognition of the climate challenges his work helped reveal, Hasselmann told The Associated Press he “would rather have no global warming and no Nobel prize.”
Across the Atlantic at the same time, Manabe told the AP that figuring out the physics behind climate change was “1,000 times” easier than getting the world to do something about it.
But he noted that those two things were related: Without an understanding of why the climate is changing — which his pioneering work provided — predicting such change “is no better than the prediction of a fortune teller.”
The prize comes less than four weeks before the start of high-level climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, where world leaders will be asked to ramp up their commitments to curb global warming.
Every Day ... for Over 50 Years
Landsat is tracking change on Earth
NASA - Global Climate Change
Images of Change
9 Things About Landsat 9 !!!!!!!!!
- NASA (2021)
New Landsat Mission Launches Successfully
Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland says the program provides "a rich form of data" that helps people in their everyday lives and is vital in dealing with climate change.
The U.S. Interior Department, the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA with the Congressional Science and Technology Committee (originally the Science and Astronautics Committee were responsible for building the original Landsat program (which overcame much opposition within the military). ERTS-1, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite, as the original Landsat satellite was officially first called, was 'greenlighted' to go as a real time earth observation mission in 1970. The vast digital database it gathered has proven over the years the wisdom of the visionaries who first proposed, drafted legislation creating, funding, then engineering, testing, launching and ably defending the Landsat mission from critics over the decades. Now the results are being re-considered for the unique value they provide in guiding policy discussion, debate and decisions. The Landsat library of imagery, millions of images, multispectrum observations of change on earth over the first fifty years of the mission's existence, are seen in a new light.
"We're in the thick of the climate crisis right now, we see that every day — drought, wildfires, hurricanes, Hurricane Ida that devastated parts of the South and went all the way up to New England," the current Interior Department head, Ms Haaland, the first Native American to hold the post said.
"Images like the ones that Landsat 9 will bring back to us will help to guide us in how we are approaching climate change, working to make sure that we can make the best decisions possible, so that folks have water into the future, that we can grow our food into the future."
Landsat 9 -- Unique Program of Earth Imaging, Open Access Data, and Environmental Protection
"Landsat has provided a critical reference for assessing long-term changes"
The Landsat Mission, Over 50 Years of Earth Science Observations
Landsat 9, NASA's most powerful Landsat satellite ever, is 'go' for launch on Monday, Sept. 27
Liftoff is set for 2:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT)
- Post to Facebook | Uploaded Sept 26, 2021
U.S. President speaks of pressing national and global challenges faced by today's generation
GreenPolicy360: Our "intergenerational" responsibility begins to be recognized, acknowledged and acted upon
In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly as president, President Joe Biden said the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other threats present world leaders with a stark choice at "the dawning of what must be a decisive decade for our world."
"We’re challenged by urgent and looming crises, wherein lie enormous opportunities, if we can summon the will and resolve to seize these opportunities," Biden said Sept. 21.
Biden addressed protecting the rights of women, nuclear disarmament, expanding individual liberty, and reducing global hunger, casting the U.S. as focused on diplomacy and partnerships.
"We are not seeking a new cold war, or a world divided into rigid blocs," Biden said. "The United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues peaceful resolution to shared challenges, even if we have intense disagreement in other areas, because we'll all suffer the consequences of our failure."
On climate change, "the scientists and experts are telling us we are fast approaching a point of no return."
Biden’s words about "approaching a point of no return" reflects the broad concern that the world is unlikely to be able to keep global warming to within the 1.5 degrees Celsius target of the Paris Agreement.
If the Paris Agreement targets are to be met, there may be very few years left for policy makers to start cutting emissions. Here we calculate by what year, at the latest, one has to take action to keep global warming below the 2 K target (relative to pre-industrial levels) at the year 2100 with a 67 % probability; we call this the point of no return (PNR).
In a landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released Aug. 9, 234 authors relying on more than 14,000 studies stated that "it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land."
As they gather at U.N., world leaders face furious push to act quickly on climate change
‘We really are out of time,’ Secretary-General António Guterres warns, imploring countries to set aside political differences
With only six weeks left until a crucial global climate summit in Scotland, presidents and prime ministers also face pressure to set aside these diplomatic tensions and act quickly and collectively to slow the warming of the planet... This week’s U.N. General Assembly marks one of the last high-profile opportunities for countries to publicly commit to more ambitious, concrete action to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of November’s climate summit in Glasgow.
U.S. Congress 'Gets Its Last Best Chance at Meaningful Climate Action'
Press Herald makes the point explicit... Will the Congress act??
- GreenPolicy360 / New Horizons of Security
New Definitions of National... and Global Security
GreenPolicy360 & Strategic Demands / #StratDem
GreenPolicy360/StrategicDemands: The key to 21st century security is "strategic realism". Any full scientific assessment of security threats on the horizon is replete with environmental/global risks that are drawing daily into view. These risks are presenting a clear and present danger, in U.S. Department of Defense terms. A 'clear and present danger' has yet to be acknowledged by the US Department of Defense, or in the US military budget that approaches $1 trillion in annual spending. Other nations continue a race seeing security in terms of defense/military spending. This cannot be sustained. Forward planning with a new and more acutely aware vision of security is demanded now.
GreenPolicy360 and its associate Strategic Demands challenge prevailing views that are not focused as they must be on existential threats of our era. A new vision of security must drive the politics of our times. New definitions of national and global security must become highest priorities.
We specifically point at the US 'National Intelligence Program' and its annual threat assessment reports. We see a shift taking place in the intelligence community (IC) as it is now beginning to recognize and acknowledge environmental security as a crisis that is no longer distant. The climate crisis is real. Severe eco-impacts are being experienced by communities, national to local, as science is reporting with voluminous data and attendant warnings.
Action is demanded. We must move climate and environmental impacts from 'irritants' to a central role as we rethink security risks. GreenPolicy360 and Strategic Demands point the way toward the new definitions, responses and solutions necessary for comprehensive, and sustainable security.
GreenPolicy360 Founder / Siterunner
New definitions of national and global security, new priorities are necessary for a more rational defense of our larger security interests... It is critical to move beyond the failed national security policies of the past.
Deep Costs of War, Failed Policies:
Time for a New Vision, New Definitions of National Security
Ambitious Biden - Aims for nearly half nation's energy to come from solar by 2050
From 4% to 45%: Biden Offers Ambitious Blueprint for Solar Energy
Department of Energy Solar Futures Study Provides Blueprint for a U.S. Zero-Carbon Grid
Sept 8, 2021
This Is 'Code Red'
"We got to listen to the scientists and the economists, and the national security experts, they all tell us this is code red," Biden said... "The nation and the world are in peril. That's not hyperbole. That is a fact."
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer
Climate change has turbocharged severe storms, fires, hurricanes, coastal storms and floods — threatening millions
Extreme Weather Now
“I'm a climate scientist and on Wednesday night, I watched the rain outside my New York City window break the local record for the most accumulation in an hour. It was an event that caused catastrophic flooding and infrastructure failures across both the New York Metro area and a wide swath of the Northeast US, delivered by the remnant of a powerful hurricane that had visited even greater destruction on Louisiana a couple of days ago. This is the point in the news cycle when I would normally be called upon to explain why, in a warmer climate, hurricanes and heavy rain events get more extreme. I can't do it. Not today. At this dystopian moment, I'm just not feeling it, and I don't think I'm alone. I have many friends and colleagues who study extreme weather, in academia, government and the private sector. I think I can speak for many of us when I say we're stunned.”
--- Adam Sobel / CNN / Sept. 2, 2021
“In the United States, we have something like 450 war museums. We just have one peace museum.”
Read more at Strategic Demands
Upheaval in Central Asia Impacts the Future of Clean Energy Production?
'Rare Earth' Minerals & Mining Are Strategically Vital in EV Manufacturing
Code Red: Now What? How Will We Respond?
Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) Tweeted:
This basically sums up our current situation. The “code red” IPCC report came out a week ago. Since then not one politician has been held accountable. Not one politician has been asked how they are going to act in line with this.
Thread 1/4 (Graph by @Peters_Glen)
August 15, 2021
From Strategic Demands as the U.S departs Afghanistan after 20 years of war
GreenPolicy360's associate and Editor of StrategicDemands.com speak out on a momentous day
August 11, 2021
Senate Passes $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan
Transformational climate, energy, environmental protections and economic restructuring
Democrats muscled through the measure minutes before 4 a.m.
Via the NY Times
>The blueprint now heads to the House, where lawmakers will return early from a scheduled summer recess the week of Aug. 23 to take it up. But moderate Democrats are also agitating for a stand-alone vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package, which could complicate efforts to swiftly pass the measure. Progressives have said they will not vote on the infrastructure bill until the House approves the budget package.
>(M)onths of arduous work remain....
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Click on the following PDF for hot links to Google News articles global and online
Biden Changes the EV Game
The Biden administration announced a target for electric vehicles to make up 50% of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030 early on Thursday. That includes battery, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles.
Auto makers, including Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler owner Stellantis will stand alongside President Joe Biden, pledging to meet the voluntary target, the White House said.
The EV charge, first led by Tesla and more recently joined at pace by traditional car manufacturers, now looks set to go up a gear.
Analysts at the brokerage Evercore said the targets could expedite adoption in the U.S. by several years, and expected big gains for EV and EV charging companies in the weeks ahead, singling out charging network operator EVgo in particular. There are more catalysts; the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill contains funding for EV charging points, and the coming budget reconciliation package is expected to include incentives.
The administration will be hoping to emulate Europe, which became the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market in 2020, before being overtaken by China. Europe adopted a two-pronged approach to boost EV adoption, introducing heavy fines for auto makers missing vehicle-emissions targets and offering consumers huge incentives to switch to electric vehicles.
No Turning Back
President Joe Biden said "there's no turning back" on the future of an electric auto industry Thursday as he signed an executive order setting a target for zero-emissions vehicles to account for half of all automobiles sold in the U.S. by 2030... a dramatic shift toward electric vehicles as part of the administration's broader agenda to tackle climate change and compete with China, a leader in the electric vehicle market.
"The question is whether we’ll lead or fall behind in the race for the future," he said before signing the order. "Right now, China's leading the race as one of the largest and fastest growing electric vehicle markets in the world."
Biden said his administration will develop long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards that would apply to heavy-duty vehicles in addition to cars, SUVs and pickup trucks, officials said. The Environmental Protection Agency also announced they're unwinding former President Donald Trump's rollback of near-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards for gas vehicles.
August 3, 2021 - In the U.S. Senate
Bernie Sanders talking in the Senate about what's next up -- transformational change, human infrastructure legislation and confronting the existential challenge of climate change.
Climate in the Infrastructure Bill: A substantial investment in resilience
Via the NY Times / August 2, 2021
As the United States staggers through another year of devastating wildfires, drought, storms and other calamities, the infrastructure bill before Congress would pour major resources into a response. The measure agreed to over the weekend includes billions of dollars to better prepare the country for the effects of global warming, in what could be the largest investment in climate resilience in American history.
Much of the money would go toward activities that are already underway, but which experts say the government needs to do more of as the threats from climate change increase...
Via the Washington Post
When it comes to meeting President Biden’s climate goals, the math is clear: Half of all cars and SUVs sold in 2030 need to be electric
Record-breaking solar-over-water production farm announced
July 22, 2021
Plans were unveiled today for the world’s largest floating solar power and energy storage system. At a cost estimated at $2 billion, the system will be developed by Singapore’s Sunseap Group in cooperation with Badan Pengusahaan Batam (BP Batam) operators of a free trade zone in Indonesia and installed at Batam Island.
Under an MOU between the two organizations, Sunseap will develop the floating photovoltaic system (FPV) and ESS energy storage system. The FPV is projected to have a capacity of 2.2 GWp and span around 1600 hectares, making it the largest FPV in the world to date. The ESS is also slated to be the largest ESS with a storage capacity of larger than 4000 MWhr. Construction is slated to begin in 2022 with a plan to be completed in 2024.
GreenPolicy360 says: solar-over-water production is a combo that will produce multiple benefits
We've discussed the new Over-Canal study with former Governor Jerry Brown -- the Solar-Over-Water plan is engineering meant for today's climate challenge
Solar panels over water canals and aqueducts could form a real power ticket in California -- and across the planet
Save water (lower water evaporation), create energy in ideal locations (a highest use for unused above-water space), provide worldwide potential for decarbonization to mitigate effects of climate change (with small- and large-scale solar production), construction can vary with modular design and construction lowering costs (solar-over-canals can act as highways for power delivery)
“The SolarAqua Grid model provides a combined, integrated response to addressing our water/energy nexus. It can help address California’s underlying vulnerabilities while meeting both state and federal level commitments to produce renewable energy, lower greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Solutions such as these are not only viable but more urgently needed than ever before, particularly as the region returns to what many researchers refer to as a paleo-drought — a worst-case scenario for water managers.”
Significant evaporation savings, as much as 82% ... That amount of water can make a significant difference in water-short regions.”
The UC Solar AquaGrid study comes at a time when there is growing urgency for shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. UC engineers are rethinking how aging water and energy infrastructure can adapt to the challenges of sustainable water management, catastrophic wildfires, multi-day power outages and the American West’s "megadrought” — an ongoing stretch of extended dry conditions worse than any experienced since 1603, according to a recent report in the journal Science.
“Aqueducts are the arteries of our economic and social development, and have captured the public’s imagination for centuries,” said former State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “A significant amount of our state’s electricity bill comes from moving, treating and heating water, so water efficiency is also energy efficiency. We need to find every way we can to use water more efficiently, including stemming evaporative loss, as we also scale up clean energy to meet the needs of the challenging century ahead under climate change.”
Energy and water co-benefits from covering canals with solar panels
Solar power development over canals is an emerging response to the energy–water–food nexus that can result in multiple benefits for water and energy infrastructure. Case studies of over-canal solar photovoltaic arrays have demonstrated enhanced photovoltaic performance due to the cooler microclimate next to the canal. In addition, shade from the photovoltaic panels has been shown to mitigate evaporation and potentially mitigate aquatic weed growth. However, the evaporation savings and financial co-benefits have not been quantified across major canal systems. Here we use regional hydrologic and techno-economic simulations of solar photovoltaic panels covering California’s 6,350 km canal network, which is the world’s largest conveyance system and covers a wide range of climates, insolation rates and water costs. We find that over-canal solar could reduce annual evaporation by an average of 39 ± 12 thousand m3 per km of canal. Furthermore, the financial benefits from shading the canals outweigh the added costs of the cable-support structures required to span the canals. The net present value of over-canal solar exceeds conventional overground solar by 20–50%, challenging the convention of leaving canals uncovered and calling into question our understanding of the most economic locations for solar power.
What the new U.S. Congressional budget deal means for climate policy
Via E&E News / July 15
$3.5 trillion budget resolution moves forward
Legislation being drafted include a clean electricity standard with the goal of reducing emissions 50% and hitting 80% clean energy by 2030
Proposed legislation to include a Civilian Climate Corps; expansions of clean energy; vehicle tax credits; clean energy accelerator; building weatherization program; federal procurement efforts and a fee on methane emissions
Clean Electricity Standard - CES
The budget resolution, which is not written yet, likely will not dictate which policies make it into the reconciliation package.
Current talks specify top-line numbers to each committee, which will then draw up more specific legislative language.
Typically, a CES is structured so that utilities are required to generate an increasing amount of clean electricity each year. Smith and other lawmakers have introduced versions of that model over the past few years, including in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s “CLEAN Future Act,” H.R. 1512.
To fit the policy into reconciliation, Smith said Democrats are looking at administering it via a system of payments and penalties.
“The way we envision this is that it would be a direct incentive payment to facilities for achieving the interim goals of adding clean electricity, clean power, combined with a penalty if they fail to meet those interim goals,” Smith said. “That is a pure budget process. In fact, it matches up, and it can fit within the existing Department of Energy programs.”
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) says Democrats have been discussing how to make the policy work with reconciliation “for months.”
“There’s been a lot of work done to structure it in a way that would be consistent with reconciliation,” Heinrich said. “I am feeling hopeful and optimistic.”
There are at least a half-dozen different legislative proposals for creating something akin to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the Great Depression era, only a few of which would put real money before the effort rather than a less daunting authorization.
In the administration’s infrastructure blueprint, President Biden pitched $10 billion for what he rebranded as the Civilian Climate Corps — $1 billion below what Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) called for in their bill to establish a “21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps” (Climatewire, April 1).
At the same time, 11 leading House progressives — including Green New Deal champion Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) wrote House Democratic leaders a letter last week demanding the Civilian Climate Corps receive $132 billion.
Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said these were details that would be worked out.
“I think it’s clear there’s support to address this,” Wyden said. “I want to make sure we get the funding necessary to really tackle the potential there.”
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), has a more specific vision for the reconciliation bill, saying the program would pay people $15 an hour.
“If they serve one year in the climate corps, $25,000 of funding for their college education or loan forgiveness,” Markey said yesterday during an event with Evergreen Action. “If they serve two years, $50,000 altogether that they’d be eligible for.”
“And by the way, under our concept, we’ll be doing it with AmeriCorps and help to lift the standards inside AmeriCorps as well, and how they get paid and what they are entitled to.”
Adding more 'in the House’
While the Senate deals with process, the House will likely be a focal point of politicking amid progressive demands for more spending and lukewarm feedback from the environmental community.
Green groups are calling for more than the Senate version...
“We will work on adding more in the House, but it’s a great start,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Environment and a leading progressive voice.
Jayapal, who has pushed for adopting the broader reconciliation bill before considering bipartisan infrastructure legislation, called the Senate plan an “important movement forward.”
Jayapal said she’s waiting for more details but expects the plan will also make good on President Biden’s push to eliminate fossil fuels subsidies, a top priority for her caucus.
“I just wouldn’t want people to think that if we do this package, we’re done. We’re not going to be done. There are going to be many, many pieces that we need to continue to do.”
Historic NASA and European Space Agency Agreement on Climate Science Cooperation
WASHINGTON — NASA and the European Space Agency have agreed to cooperate on future Earth science missions and related activities in an effort to better understand climate change.
The leaders of the two agencies signed a joint statement of intent in a virtual meeting July 13, declaring their plans to cooperate on Earth science research, particularly involving climate change, ranging from missions to research and applications.
“Climate change is an all-hands-on deck, global challenge that requires action now,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement about the agreement. “This agreement will set the standard for future international collaboration, providing the information that is so essential for tackling the challenges posed by climate change and helping to answer and address the most pressing questions in Earth science for the benefit of the United States, Europe, and the world.”
The partnership was formalized through a joint statement of intent, signed Tuesday, which outlines how the agencies will collaborate to ensure continuity of Earth observations; advance understanding of the Earth System, climate change and application of that knowledge; and collaborate on an open data policy that promotes open sharing of data, information, and knowledge within the scientific community and the wider public.
“Together, NASA and ESA provide most of the world’s Earth science coverage through our Earth-observing satellites,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science. “This transformative agreement will build on that capability, forging a critical international climate science partnership to tackle the most challenging climate questions in an integrated and strategic way. Not only will NASA and ESA work together to deliver unparalleled Earth science observations, research, and applications, but all of our findings will also be free and open for the benefit of the entire world as we work together to combat and mitigate climate change.”
“This is a massive step-up from anything we’ve ever done,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA, told FLORIDA TODAY.
“It’s more strategic, multi-mission, multi-science as opposed to just mission by mission which is how we’ve worked before.”
Of particular interest to coastal regions like Florida, at the frontlines of the impacts of sea-level rise, NASA and ESA are planning to extend Earth science research including Sentinel-6, flying two satellites to continue a three-decade record of sea level measurements. The Sentinel monitoring and tracking program includes NASA and ESA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States and the European Commission, Eumetsat and French space agency CNES in Europe. NASA launched the first European-built Sentinel-6 satellite in November 2020.
Recently NASA announced that it would pursue a series of missions called the Earth System Observatory, implementing recommendations of the 2018 decadal survey. NASA requested a $250 million increase for Earth science in its fiscal year 2022 budget proposal in May, and a House bill advanced by an appropriations subcommittee July 12 included that increase.
Laudato Si Pope Plans to Present Environmental Call at Upcoming International Climate Gathering
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis will attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November, health permitting, Scotland’s Roman Catholic bishops said on Monday (July 12).
The bishops confirmed the pope’s presence among other world leaders in a statement on their website.
“Having written to the Holy Father to assure him of a warm welcome, should he attend the conference, they are delighted to hear that he does hope to attend and would be glad to meet with them in Glasgow.”
The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, will take place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, UK.
Virginia Tower Norwood, a True Planet Citizen
- Landsat 1 and Virginia's Earth Vision Becomes Real -- and Multi-Generational
From Portland, Oregon, to Vancouver, Canada, the heat during the end of June didn't just break records; it buried them. Learn more in this Event Tracker post.
Via The Guardian
A “heat dome” without parallel trapped hot air over much of the states of Oregon and Washington in the United States, and southern British Columbia in Canada, in past days, shattering weather records in the usually temperate region.
Temperatures in tiny Lytton, British Columbia, hit 49.6C (121.3F) and set a Canadian all-time record, days before a wildfire tore through the town. Roads buckled under the heat in Washington and Oregon. Heat and heavy air conditioner use knocked out power for tens of thousands. The dead, thought to number in the hundreds, are not yet counted.
In Washington and Oregon, largely liberal, climate-conscious states, efforts to combat global heating have long been popular. The Washington governor, Jay Inslee, put himself forward as the “climate candidate” during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. He argued residents of the region would, in the absence of federal leadership, “do our part to address a global problem”.
Climate conversations have generally centered on what north-westerners could do to protect the planet or other people in places at greater risk of extreme heat. But after three days of temperatures near or above 100F (38C) in Seattle – a city where residents often describe the sixth month as “June-uary”, as temperatures rarely reach 80F (27C) – they’re increasingly concerned about themselves.
“It felt like we’d set our Earth on fire,” said Summer Stinson, a 49-year-old resident of Seattle...
Ron Merkord: Lytton, British Columbia, Canada. Named in 1858 for a novelist named Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Two days ago, it set Canada's all time temp record of 121.3F. Yesterday, it hit 121.6F. Today, it burned to the ground.
Bulwer-Lytton, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, is responsible for the saying "The pen is mightier than the sword". He is also the writer responsible for the beginning novel line called the worst ever written -- "It was a dark and stormy night..." In Lytton today, it was indeed a dark and stormy night.
Siterunner: For some 40+ years your GreenPolicy360 siterunner has worked in many varied ways to get the word out on the crucial importance of environmental security. From the first Earth Day to the first warning from the new committee of science with the push from Congressman George E. Brown, through various career incarnations I have attempted to 'work the message', gathering (curating as it's now called) the best science and writing up and sharing key strategies and goals even against the odds. The risks we have identified and shared have now turned into a crisis. Perhaps it is human nature to be overwhelmed, or what my teacher Hannah Arendt described as the 'Human Condition' as the realms of labor, work, and action. Many choose to go along to get along, and not act when the threats grow extreme, even existential. But to those who take the chance to make a difference and stand up and do your best to make changes that change the world for the better, I salute you for your bravery.
Now comes another warning from the international science community. This warning is dire. The latest news looms to such an extent as to be overwhelming, depressing and potentially driving us toward resignation and inaction, but it should not prevent us from action as Michael E. Mann's latest book, 'The Fight to Take Back Our Planet' argues persuasively.
Act with hope and not fear. Earth is in our hands. Take in the news, consider the science, then in your own way, act. Don't give up, never give up.
Devastating News: Climate Change Impacts to Hit Sooner than Predicted
Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to a landmark draft report from the UN's climate science advisors obtained by AFP.
Species extinction, more widespread disease, unliveable heat, ecosystem collapse, cities menaced by rising seas—these and other devastating climate impacts are accelerating and bound to become painfully obvious before a child born today turns 30.
The choices societies make now will determine whether our species thrives or simply survives as the 21st century unfolds, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says in a draft report seen exclusively by AFP.
But dangerous thresholds are closer than once thought, and dire consequences stemming from decades of unbridled carbon pollution are unavoidable in the short term.
"The worst is yet to come, affecting our children's and grandchildren's lives much more than our own."
Crushing Climate Impacts: Draft UN report
PARIS (AFP) / June 23, 2021 - Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to a landmark draft report from the UN's climate science advisers obtained by Agence France-Presse.
Species extinction, more widespread disease, unliveable heat, ecosystem collapse, cities menaced by rising seas - these and other devastating climate impacts are accelerating and bound to become painfully obvious before a child born today turns 30.
The choices societies make now will determine whether our species thrives or simply survives as the 21st century unfolds, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says in a draft report seen exclusively by AFP...
"The worst is yet to come, affecting our children's and grandchildren's lives much more than our own," the report says.
By far the most comprehensive catalogue ever assembled of how climate change is upending our world, the report reads like a 4,000-page indictment of humanity's stewardship of the planet.
But the document, designed to influence critical policy decisions, is not scheduled for release until February 2022 - too late for crunch UN summits this year on climate, biodiversity and food systems...
Via E&E News / June 16, 2021
Infrastructure / American Jobs Plan
Progressives escalate climate demands
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) ramped up the pressure with a news conference yesterday in which they said Congress should pass an infrastructure and climate deal by the August recess, or stay in town if it's not wrapped up.
"We need to move forward with 50 Democratic votes now that the Republicans have shown us they are not serious about creating clean energy jobs, jump-starting a clean energy revolution or adding the standards and investments we need to attack this crisis," Markey said.
To support a deal with the group of 10, Merkley said he would need to have 50 votes for a reconciliation vote in hand before the bipartisan bill "ever goes to the floor."
"We're telling you today we're going to get this deal," Merkley said. "We cannot let the American people down, and we cannot let our planet down. This has to be part of the deal."
House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said yesterday that the administration is giving the bipartisan Senate talks "a week or 10 days more, and that's about it."
He said his committee will mark up a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that cover the entirety of Biden's American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, including "social" infrastructure and climate. That would set the stage for a partisan reconciliation bill.
Should a bipartisan deal emerge, "we just take that part out of the instructions," Yarmuth said.
- "We have to identify the problem, then act in many ways to solve the problem. Global warming is the threat of our times."
- "We’re going to need to use every tool in the toolbox if we’re going to solve this problem."
- US Interstate Transportation System... EV Charging
- Next Generation Electric Vehicles Highway Funding
- Biden proposes $174B for Charging Infrastructure; Republican counter-proposal $4B
US Announces 'All Hands On Deck' to Meet the Challenge of the Climate Change Threat
News from the Frontlines of the #ClimateCrisis
"Earth Systems Observatory"
NASA will design a new set of Earth-focused missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes.
Earth System Observatory will deliver deep real time data.
Each satellite in the constellation will be uniquely designed to complement the others, working in tandem to create a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.
NASA's newly appointed and confirmed administrator, former US Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson spoke of the mission plan:
"The Biden-Harris Administration's response to climate change matches the magnitude of the threat: a whole of government, all hands-on-deck approach to meet this moment, Over the past three decades, much of what we've learned about the Earth's changing climate is built on NASA satellite observations and research. NASA's new Earth System Observatory will expand that work, providing the world with an unprecedented understanding of our Earth's climate system, arming us with next-generation data critical to mitigating climate change, and protecting our communities in the face of natural disasters."
Net Zero by 2050
The International Energy Agency weighs in with 'A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector'
End new oil, gas and coal funding to reach net zero, says IEA
Investors should not fund new oil, gas and coal supply projects if the world wants to reach net zero emissions by mid-century, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced today (May 18, 2021), in the top global watchdog's starkest warning yet to curb fossil fuels.
"The pathway to net zero is narrow but still achievable. If we want to reach net zero by 2050 we do not need any more investments in new oil, gas and coal projects."
No place for new fossil fuels if world is to reach net zero by 2050, says landmark report
Roadmap comes just months before UK hosts major global climate summit
Via The Independent
The International Energy Agency Issues a Landmark Statement About Fossil Fuels
Our hope for a livable world rests on a series of crucial sentences
By Bill McKibben
Via The New Yorker
The crucial turning points of the climate era can be found in a series of sentences, some of them pretty opaque, but all of them critical. The latest came on Tuesday morning in a report from the International Energy Agency, in Paris, and it could very well signal the start of the end of the fossil-fuel era. So it’s important to first set it in the context of a few other such statements.
In 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said, “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” Ever since NASA’s Jim Hansen told Congress, in 1988, that climate change was under way, the world’s scientists and governments had been scrambling to reach workable conclusions on which to base policy. This sentence was the key line of the I.P.C.C.’s Second Assessment Report: close observers understood that, over the objections of countries such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s scientific community was announcing, irrevocably, that global warming was very real.
In 2015, in Article 2 of the Paris climate accord, the world’s governments committed to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” This was the first time that the world had set a solid target, and that target was a hard one: holding the rise in warming as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a goal urged by climate activists and the most vulnerable nations.
In 2018, the I.P.C.C. reported on what it would take to meet that Paris goal, saying, “In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range).” Translation: if you want to have any chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, you have to cut emissions in half by 2030, and to net zero by 2050.
The statement on Tuesday from the I.E.A. is a recommendation. It reads, “There is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net zero pathway. Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required.” That emphasis is in the original—in fact, in the new report that sentence is in headline-size type, as well it should be. It says that, after two hundred and fifty years, in the view of the I.E.A., the time has come to stop exploring for oil, gas, and coal. No rational plan for getting to 1.5 degrees (or anywhere near it) can deal with any new supply. Instead, the “the focus for oil and gas producers switches entirely to output—and emissions reductions—from the operation of existing assets.” That is, we obviously can’t stop burning fossil fuel tomorrow, but we have to be headed decisively in that direction—which means stopping the development of new fields and draining what we must from existing fields to hold us over until we’ve built enough solar panels and wind turbines.
This message comes from a credible source—indeed, the I.E.A. has always been captive to the fossil-fuel industry, or at least to the countries, such as the United States, where that industry has held sway. For years, its forecasts of how fast renewable energy would spread were understatements; it was an engine of the status quo.
But now governments and corporations, pushed by civil society—and, perhaps, by a recognition of our climate plight—are suddenly committing to net-zero targets. Virtually all the big banks, for instance, have made this pledge. And now the I.E.A. has told them what it means. If they’re serious about it, they don’t just have to lend money to people who want to set up solar panels. (Clearly, they have to do that. “Policies need to be designed,” the report says, “to send market signals that unlock new business models and mobilise private spending, especially in emerging economies.”) Just as important, they must now stop doing what they’ve long been doing, which is pumping trillions of dollars into fossil fuels....
The fact that the I.E.A. is now saying this so loudly and clearly will be an immeasurable boost to campaigners around the world who have been working to block the fossil-fuel industry and its backers among the banks, insurance companies, and asset managers. It’s also a reflection of how much the world is changing. Part of that is due to the election of Joe Biden, of course, but the sheer logic of the scientific argument can eventually cut through even vested interest. It’s been an agonizing three-plus decades since Hansen’s warning, and that vested interest may have delayed action too long; waiting until the icecaps were actually melting was an incredible mistake.
But the strength of these four sentences is what our hope for a livable world rests on, the intellectual scaffolding erected by science and reason—and the passion of hardworking activists—on which to base our future. We will all find out if they’re strong enough for that daunting task.
EPA Moves Forward with Phase Down of Climate-Damaging Hydrofluorocarbons
Environmental Protection Agency proposal for 85% reduction in greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning
“The EPA is taking a major action to help keep global temperature rise in check,” agency Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement, adding that the action will spur “manufacturing of new climate-safe products.”
California plan" 80% EVs by 2035, 50-mile plug-in hybrids, tighter tailpipe emissions
California sets a template for potential federal regulation, but because with the restoration of California’s right to set its own emissions standards, it is likely to be the actual rule for the 12 states that have now adopted California ZEV policy.
Advanced Clean Cars II
The California Air Resources Board (CARB or the Board) staff invite you to participate in a public workshop to provide input on the development of the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) regulations. The ACC II regulations will seek to reduce criteria and greenhouse gas emissions from new light- and medium-duty vehicles beyond the 2025 model year, and increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) for sale.
Building on the September 2020 workshop, staff will present updated analyses and proposals to amend the Low Emission Vehicle (or LEV IV) Regulation to reduce criteria pollutant emissions and preliminary proposals to amend the ZEV Regulation. Staff will also present updates on projections of costs for future ZEV technologies and proposed measures to ensure ZEV durability and serviceability.
Biden administration moves to restore California emissions authority
Biden opened his first hundred days speech to the U.S. Congress by saying, “Madam Speaker and Madam Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium. It’s about time."
We saw something that we have never seen before in the history of the United States. Two women — serving as vice president and speaker of the house — next to the president during a speech in the House chamber.
ABC News’ David Muir said, “History already being made this evening … the moment that the vice president, Kamala Harris, arrived there in the chamber, being brought up to the dais. And the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, who made history herself, the first woman speaker, and, of course, all the history … that Kamala Harris has made. And the two of them now stand there together.”
Learning as he goes, no more futile negotiating...
“I’d like to meet with those who have ideas that are different,” the president said of his infrastructure plan. “I welcome those ideas. But the rest of the world is not waiting for us. I just want to be clear: from my perspective, doing nothing is not an option.”
President Biden is expected to use his first congressional address tonight to tout how the first 100 days of his administration have yielded the most ambitious climate policy of any U.S. president.
Next global climate conference -- Glasgow -- November 1 thru 12, 2021
By November, the U.N. climate negotiating process calls for 200 nations to ratchet up commitments to cut emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 2030. The rich countries need to come up with more money to help the poor countries develop greener power and adapt to climate change’s harsh realities. And nations need to agree on a price on carbon pollution after several years of gridlock. They must figure out essentially how to make it all work.
(AP) Biden’s summit, organized in less than 100 days, was designed to send the world off on a fast start toward Glasgow, and experts said it did so. They figure it pushed the globe anywhere from one-eighth to more than halfway along the journey, with mixed opinions on whether the United States did enough.
“If it were 100 miles to Glasgow, we have just done the first 12 miles on the lowlands, and we have a 88 hard miles to go, with a lot of difficult terrain to cross before we get there,” said Bill Hare, director of the German think tank Climate Analytics. Hare said while countries showed a significant increase in ambition to fight climate change, he was “hoping for slightly more.”
Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather, who directs climate issues at the Breakthrough Institute, was more optimistic: “I’d say this gets us about half the way (say, 50 miles) to where we need to get by Glasgow.”
Nate Hultman, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability, was even more optimistic: “This has ended up being a critical international moment that provided a strong boost. ... We’re now, I’d say, about 70 miles toward Glasgow.”
Earth Day Summit
Biden plans to cut emissions at least in half by 2030
(Washington Post/April 2021) President Biden this week will pledge to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by the end of the decade, according to two individuals briefed on the plan, as part of an aggressive push to combat climate change at home and convince other major economies around the world to follow suit... The planned U.S. pledge represents a near-doubling of the target that the nation committed to under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, when Barack Obama vowed to cut emissions between 26 and 28 percent compared to 2005 levels.
The Biden Team
An 'all-star climate team'
President Biden's emissions target stated for the virtual climate summit of 40 national leaders signals how aggressively Biden wants to move on climate change. The target Biden chooses “is setting the tone for the level of ambition and the pace of emission reductions over the next decade,″ said Kate Larsen, a former White House adviser who helped develop President Barack Obama’s climate action plan. Whatever emissions reduction target Biden picks, Larsen said, the climate summit itself “proves the U.S. is back in rejoining the international effort″ to address climate change.
The summit is “the starting gun for climate diplomacy” after a four-year “hiatus” under Trump, Larsen explained.
The emissions target has to be achievable by 2030 but aggressive enough to satisfy scientists and advocates who call the coming decade a crucial, make-or-break moment for slowing climate change. Predicted is a target that would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.
“Clearly the science demands at least 50%” in reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, said Jake Schmidt, a climate expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council. A 50% target “is ambitious, but it is achievable,″ Schmidt said. “People know what 50% means — it’s half."
(Associated Press) A 50% target, which most experts consider a likely outcome of intense deliberations underway at the White House, would nearly double the nation’s previous commitment and require dramatic changes in the power and transportation sectors, including significant increases in renewable energy such as wind and solar power and steep cuts in emissions from fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Anything short of that goal could undermine Biden’s promise to prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, experts say, while likely stirring up sharp criticism from international allies and Biden’s own supporters.
Nathaniel Keohane, another former Obama White House adviser and now a vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund, said experts have coalesced around the need for the U.S. to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
“The number has to start with 5,” Keohane said, adding, "We’ve done the math. We need at least 50%."
“Let’s stop talking about 2050," said Biden’s climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, who is leading White House efforts to develop U.S. climate commitments for 2030. "Climate activists should focus on strategies and actions now, in this decade" McCarthy says.
Ms. McCarthy’s friends say she is driven to build back a climate legacy that will outlast her second round in government.
She and a charged up Biden team are promising the Climate Summit will accelerate a deep and broad agenda of climate solutions...
Timelapse from Google Earth
Welcome to Timelapse !
Rebecca Moore: To explore Timelapse in Google Earth, go to g.co/Timelapse — you can use the handy search bar to choose any place on the planet where you want to see time in motion.
Director, Google Earth, Earth Engine & Outreach
Published Apr 15, 2021
Rebecca Moore: Timelapse has been developed using 24 million satellite images from the past 37 years -- from 1984 to 2020 -- before being compiled into an interactive 4D experience.
A tip of our GreenPolicy360 hat to George E. Brown Jr who envisioned the Landsat's mission and enabled its start up as a science leader in the US Congress, supporting and protecting its earth science mission over the decades.
and a salute to our friend and fellow Bioneer, Rebecca Moore, who first proposed Google Earth Outreach and has led many follow on initiatives, now including Timelapse, utilizing the Landsat database decades of images to bring us an unprecedented vision of earth's changes over time.
April 11, 2021
Heather Cox Richardson/Letters from an American via Substack 'independent writing'
Congress has been on break since March 29, and tomorrow members will go back to Washington, D.C., to resume work. The next weeks are going to be busy for the lawmakers, not least because the political ground in America appears to be shifting...
So, in the face of remarkably popular Democratic proposals to rebuild the country-- proposals that will kill the central principle of the Republican Party since the time of President Ronald Reagan that the government must get out of the economy—Republicans are split between their voting base, which wants Trumpian voter restrictions, and their donor base, which recognizes that those restrictions will destabilize the country.
The spring is going to see a remarkable game of political chess.
April 5, 2021
Rules of Procedure for 'The American Jobs Plan Legislation'
The U.S. Senate parliamentarian ruled today that Democrats can use special budgetary rules to avoid a GOP filibuster on two more pieces of legislation, setting the stage for President Biden's infrastructure agenda to pass in two packages with simple-majority votes.
The new ruling will enable Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to break up Biden’s infrastructure proposal into two legislative packages.
The first portion, a $2.25 trillion measure unveiled by the White House last month, includes more traditional infrastructure priorities. The second part, planned for later in the year, will include more people-focused spending priorities favored by progressives, such as expanded child care, free community college, universal prekindergarten and more affordable housing.
Biden’s big infrastructure plan hits McConnell, GOP blockade
Read the full article via the Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it’s more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden’s ambitious rebuild America agenda than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments.
On a collision course
Outcome could define the parties and the Biden presidency
The GOP strategy is reminiscent of the Obama-era blockade that helped sour voters on the Democratic president more than a decade ago. Then and now Republicans are intent on saddling Democrats with responsibility for all the taxes and spending to come, much as they did the 2009 rescue after the economic crisis, framing it as government overreach that piles on debt.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell set the defining tone for his party when he flatly declared last week he will fight Biden’s agenda “every step of the way...”
Biden’s package “is not going to get support from our side,” McConnell said.
After Barack Obama was elected in 2008, McConnell famously said his goal was to make him a one-term president. This time around the Republican leader appears to have a shorter-term goal at hand — he wants to win back the now evenly split 50-50 Senate.
“They’re so close to the majority in 2022, they can taste it,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist.
Democrats have Senate control because their party’s vice president, Kamala Harris, can cast a tie-breaking vote. In the House, the Democratic majority is holding on with just a handful of seats.
“They really don’t want to give Biden wins,” Conant said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has set in motion a potential process that would allow Biden’s package to advance without the typical 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster by Republicans. Instead, it could be approved with a simple 51-vote majority.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set a July 4 goal for House votes, but acknowledges that ambitious timeline may slip.
“The sooner we can get the legislation done, the sooner we can allocate the resources.”
The goal, she said, was “to get the job done as soon as possible.”
Pope decries spending on arms during pandemic in Easter message
April 2, 2021
Reactions to the Biden Infrastructure-Climate-Energy-Jobs Plan Begin
Administration sets a July 4th date as Congressional goal for passage
"It's a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we've seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago," Biden said. "In fact, it's the largest American jobs investment since World War II."
With bare majorities in Congress, Biden needs to win over virtually all Democratic lawmakers to advance his plan. Centrists so far have been tougher to lock down than progressives. The president and his allies also think it's good politics to at least try to work across the aisle.
"Ask around, if you live in a town with a Republican mayor, Republican county executive or a Republican governor," Biden said. "Ask them, how many would rather get rid of the plan. Ask them if it'd help them at all."
Mitch McConnell says the GOP won't support the infrastructure plan
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the infrastructure package won't get GOP votes, per Politico
Republican Party nixes the plan out of the starting gate
Press Release - Quote - "Behind The Veneer Of ‘Infrastructure,’ President Biden’s $2.25 Trillion Plan Is ‘A Way Of Accomplishing Many Of The Goals Of The Green New Deal’ And Not A Targeted Infrastructure Plan"
Tactics for passage come into view.... Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been looking into using a potential reconciliation approach that would trigger multiple reconciliation bills in a given year, leaving Democrats with potentially multiple opportunities to pass key legislation. This week's infrastructure package will be followed by another in mid-April, and Republicans' track record indicates they won't support that one, either.
While.... Progressives are proposing a ten-year jobs, infrastructure and climate plan
- From the President of the United States
GreenPolicy360: We are considering this plan as green politics in action, a renamed 'Green New Deal'.
March 31, 2021
President Introduces First Part of His 'American Jobs Plan'
Joe Biden: "Put simply, these are investments we have to make," Biden said. "Put another way, we can't afford not to."
The plan would make a massive investment in America's roadways, railways and bridges with a focus on clean energy.
It would spend $174 billion, or about 28% of the transportation portion, on electric vehicles. That includes a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle stations. It funds using electric vehicles in bus fleets, and replacing the federal government's fleet of diesel transit vehicles with electric vehicles. It also offers tax incentives and rebates for electric cars.
About $115 billion pays for fixing U.S. roads and bridges, selected by prioritizing those in most need of repair. This includes 20,000 miles of highways and roads, the 10 most "economically significant" bridges in the U.S. as well as 10,000 smaller bridges.
Another $85 billion is going for modernizing transit systems and $80 billion for a growing backlog of Amtrak repairs. Airports, ports and waterways also receive investments and improvements.
The largest part of the plan focuses on American homes, school buildings, underground water infrastructure and broadband expansion to connect rural America to high speed internet highways, enabling critical community development needs.
The 'American Jobs Plan' proposes spend $213 billion to build, preserve and retrofit more than 2 million affordable homes and commercial buildings. This includes the construction or rehabilitation of 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income owners. An additional $111 billion would go toward clean drinking water, including replacement of all lead pipes and service lines.
The plan sets aside $100 billion for constructing or modernizing public schools, while another $100 billion would be used to build high-speed broadband networks throughout the country. The goal would be for broadband to become universal for all Americans and to drive down the costs for internet.
The plan calls for $40 billion to improve public housing, $18 million for Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics, $12 billion for community college infrastructure and $16 million to plug oil and gas wells and reclaim abandoned mines.
Biden proposes spending $400 billion to improve access to quality, affordable home or community-based care for the elderly and people with disabilities. It would expand a Medicaid program to make more services available and eliminate a backlog that prevents thousands from getting care.
About $300 billion in the plan would be invested in manufacturing, including support for domestic production of technologies and critical goods. Around $50 billion would go toward semiconductor manufacturing and research.
The plan would spend $180 billion on new research and development with an emphasis on clean energy, fewer emissions and climate change research. That total includes $100 billion for worker training and an increase of worker protection systems.
- Statement from the President of the United States
- A Renamed "Green New Deal" Moves Forward
A Green New Deal (by another name) Moves Forward
Biden puts infrastructure plan at top of his agenda
March 26, 2021
In his first formal press conference President Biden announces "infrastructure" is "the next major initiative" after beginning his presidency focusing on the pandemic:
"As you've all observed, successful presidents — better than me — have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they're doing — order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done," the President explained.
Biden said he found it “frustrating” that the United States has allowed much of its physical infrastructure to deteriorate. He promised a wide ranging plan for infrastructure development in the U.S. will be unveiled when he visits Pittsburgh next week.
“I’ll be announcing the fight in Pittsburgh in detail is to rebuild the infrastructure both physical and technological infrastructure in this country so that we can compete and create significant numbers of really good paying jobs.”
The president said the United States “ranks 13th globally” and that “China invest three times more” than America in infrastructure. Biden went on to list some statistics that point out America’s infrastructure disrepair — like that more than a third of the country’s bridges and “186,000 miles of highway” needed repair.
Infrastructure is “the place where we will be able to significantly increase American productivity, while at the same time providing really good jobs for people,” Biden said.
“But we can’t build back to what it used to be,” the president said, citing the “significant damage” already done by global warming.
March 24, 2021 / Via Axios
- Is the President prepared to change the Senate’s filibuster rule? Is the President prepared to use reconciliation rules to pass major legislation?
March 23, 2021 / Via Axios
- Driving the news: President Biden is considering using budget reconciliation two more times this year to pass up to $3 trillion in spending aimed at core priorities, including infrastructure, climate change, education, taxes and health care, Axios' Hans Nichols and Alayna Treene report for Axios.
- Why it matters: Biden campaigned on big investments in areas like EV charging, grid modernization and boosting R&D, but specifics of his proposals have yet to emerge.
- And while a legislative strategy is still taking shape, using reconciliation would enable Democrats to bypass Senate filibusters.
- Where it stands: Stories Monday in the New York Times and Washington Post provide some broad-brush numbers on climate and energy pieces of the much wider — and preliminary — White House plans.
- Via the Washington Post
- "The infrastructure component of the proposal includes $400 billion in spending to combat climate change, including $60 billion for infrastructure related to green transit and $46 billion for climate-related research and development. The plan also would aim to make electric-vehicle charging stations available across the country."
- And the NY Times adds...
- "Documents suggest it will include nearly $1 trillion in spending on the construction of roads, bridges, rail lines, ports, electric vehicle charging stations, and improvements to the electric grid and other parts of the power sector."
Voting Rights, Election System Reform
Partisan battle in U.S., basic voting rights at issue, hundreds of state legislative bills propose changes to voting systems after 2020 election results
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fox News Channel
Trump praises, Biden decries Georgia's new election bill
The bill swiftly made its way through the Georgia legislature and was signed by Gov. Brian Kem
Joe Manchin Calls for Bipartisan Solution to Pass Sweeping Voting Rights Bill
White House appoints former NOAA leader Jane Lubchenco to key climate change role
She will be coordinating climate and environmental issues within its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Lubchenco is among the most prominent women in climate science, and in addition to running NOAA from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama, she also served as the first U.S. State Department science envoy for the ocean, from 2014 to 2016. Recently, she advised the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, a group that brings together 14 heads of state, including the leaders of Australia, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Norway, Palau, and Fiji, to commit to sustainable oceans management.
She recently helped organize a report for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy that found that ocean-based activities, such as restoring and protecting coastal habitats where mangrove forests thrive, could contribute as much as 21 percent of the emissions cuts needed to limit global warming to 1.5-degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.
OSTP is also responsible for overseeing the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which coordinates climate research among 13 different agencies. Every four years, this program produces the U.S. government’s definitive report on climate change science and impacts, known as the National Climate Assessment.
"Lucid Motors could be the next Tesla"...
March 16, 2021
- "More than an EV company"... Jim Cramer's next 'Big Prediction' as he talks about reciprocating engines as dinosaurs and the fast changing market for electric cars and transportation
- "The company shows great promise and the hype is real for it. Cramer’s claim that Lucid could be the next Tesla is perhaps not far-fetched, and investors should take the hint."
Banning New Gas Cars Is Key for Hitting EU’s Climate Goals
Via Bloomberg Green
The European Union must set a date to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars so that the region meets its aim of becoming climate-neutral, according to nine member states.
Tackling pollution from transport, which accounts for a quarter of EU greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the biggest challenges for the 27-nation bloc in its sweeping environmental clean up. Europe must give a clear signal to manufacturers, fleet owners and consumers to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, countries including the Netherlands and Denmark said in a document sent to EU climate and transport chiefs.
“If you take into account the lifetime of cars, you just need to stop adding new fossil fuel cars around 2030 if you want to be carbon neutral in 2050,” Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch state secretary for infrastructure, told Bloomberg News in an interview.
The latest push shows the tensions around translating ambitious climate goals into a reality. The bloc’s leaders endorsed in December toughening the 2030 emissions-reduction target to at least 55% from 1990 levels, compared with the existing 40%. In June the bloc’s regulatory arm will propose new regulations to align the economy with the new pollution goal...
To speed up the rollnout of zero-emissions cars Europe should also ensure a “super-efficient charging infrastructure” across the region, van Veldhoven said. “It should be as easy as charging your phone.”
Today's action by the U.S. 'officially' reverses ex-president Trump's most criticized climate decision which made the U.S. the only country in the world to pull itself out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement...
Within hours of his inauguration as president, Joe Biden signed an executive letter committing the U.S. to re-enter the international climate agreement
Here, a quick summary about the Polar Vortex explained by a respected science and weather expert, Marshall Shepherd
Read through a survey of science about a warming Arctic and the likely coming impacts on the continental U.S.
No, Texas Gov. Abbott, and Fox News opinion. Wind Farms are not close to being the main problem causing power outages in a historic (Polar Vortex, extreme weather) ice/snow/freeze in your state. Times are a'changing and so's the weather -- Arctic changes, polar winds don't and won't stay in the Arctic.
It's time to prepare, plan, change with the times...
Without planning, catastrophe
Don't blame renewable energy and wind turbines. Look at your natural gas turbines. Look at the statistics, the power production percentages of fossil fuels in Texas...
Look at your vulnerable electric grid, state deregulation, lack of planning and preparation...
Here, from the Houston Chronicle, reporting at the center of the U.S. oil/gas industry:
Ten days ago, (Texas stare energy system) ERCOT meteorologists warned powerplant operators the polar vortex could strike. But West Texas winds are weak in winter, and they make up a small proportion of ERCOT’s generation compared to fossil fuels. In winter, ERCOT relies on coal and natural gas peaker plants, because we do not have enough renewables in the right places, such as offshore.
ERCOT publicly reports what generators are offering and how much they actually provide to the grid. These numbers are available both a day-ahead and as it happens. You can also track which source of power—renewable or fossil fuel—is meeting its obligation.
Wind generators did not bid a lot of power due to the ice storm. Plenty of natural gas and coal plants made bids, so it looked like ERCOT was adequately supplied to meet record-high winter demand. Heroics like de-icing blades with helicopters seemed unnecessary.
ERCOT needed a little more than 70,000 megawatts of juice early Monday morning when the fossil fuel plants failed and took 30,000 megawatts off the grid. Wind came within 1 gigawatt of meeting its obligation and then wind and solar outperformed expectations during the day.
The fossil fuel plants failed because they were not prepared for the cold. Texas could have relied on wind, but operators opted-out of buying cold-weather add-ons used in the Arctic. Texas electricity generators did not want to spend the money to build resilient equipment because it would cut into their profits.
“Power outages in Texas have nothing to do with power generation technology,” said Jim Krane, an energy fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute. “Texas’ unwillingness to regulate turns out to be an unwillingness to buy insurance. Sure, it makes power cheap most of the time. But we wound up with a system designed for making a quick buck under optimal conditions. When something unusual happens, it’s a crisis.”
The Texas Legislature and the Public Utilities Commission could require Texas power providers to better prepare. But even after a similarly catastrophic failure in 2011, Texas regulators have failed to mandate a more resilient power grid.
Extreme weather events like the polar vortexes of 2011 and 2021 will become more common due to climate change, just as heat waves have worsened. If Texans do not insist on a stronger grid, we will spend a lot more time at the mercy of the elements.
More from the Houston Chronicle on the Texas grid, deregulation and go-it-alone state energy system
'We are willing to suffer more blackouts' says Rick Perry, former Texas Governor and U.S. Energy Department Secretary.
As GreenPolicy360 and our associate Strategic Demands have advocated for years, a "redefinition of national security" is essential as the U.S. goes forward. The nation, as with all nations, need to take into immediate planning and action clear and present danger of existential threats, climate change and nuclear weapons are threats for today's generation and future generations.
Environmental Security ↔ National Security
National Security: Enhanced via Environmental Security
With a shift in U.S. presidential administrations an opportunity presents itself. Security threats, denied by the previous administration, are beginning again to be addressed. Plans to confront and deal with the threats are being made operational.
Our point of view on the critical strategic demand for a new 21st century vision of national and global is being re-energized. From the new U.S. Biden administration and throughout the governing leadership, with executive orders and follow-on legislative actions, a strong push to redefine real security is rolling out. Yet, the legacy of a re-asserted nuclear arms race, and rollbacks of climate and environmental actions conducted for the past four years, leave us with an broad and deep agenda to set a new, forward-looking agenda in motion.
Here, Michael E. Mann begins to capture the moment in a USA Today opinion:
Now, Biden is gathering his council to assess the current and future dangers in this fight, including all 17 intelligence agencies; a general on the international front, John Kerry, who will also have a seat on the National Security Council and will direct our diplomatic efforts abroad; and another general on the domestic front, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy, who will coordinate climate action in the homeland.
President Biden has made it clear that climate is driving much of his agenda early in his administration, providing his green industry campaign donors with reason to celebrate.
Less than a month into his presidency, Biden has shut down work on the Keystone XL pipeline and banned future gas and oil leases on federal lands, pointing to a shift in energy policy that administration officials and Cabinet nominees have said are meant to yield significant economic impacts.'
AOC, GREEN NEW DEALERS REJOICE OVER BIDEN'S CLIMATE PLAN: 'IT'S ALMOST AS IF WE HELPED SHAPE THE PLATFORM.'
Last week Biden said:
"Today is 'Climate Day' at the White House which means that today is ‘Jobs Day’ at the White House. We're talking about American innovation, American products, American labor."
The green industry heavily relies on government-awarded funds, and with Biden promising to lean heavily in their direction, the industry as a whole contributed more than $11 million in political donations in 2020, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The center noted that while this amount pales in comparison to the $1 billion Biden's campaign raised in total, it is still more than double what the industry had given in the past.
Biden’s campaign, in particular, received more than $3 million that had been raised by Clean Energy for Biden, which describes itself as "a network of clean economy business leaders and advocates" that looked to get Biden elected and "advance policies, technologies and investment to address the climate challenge." The group says it plans to remain active under the name Clean Energy for America. The organization’s executive council includes more than 50 green industry leaders.
Factoids for perspective: The 2020 U.S. presidential campaign raised and spent billions of dollars, and was reported to be the most expensive in U.S. history.
The $14 billion sum is more than double of what was spent in the 2016 election.
The presidential campaign was expected to see over $6.6 billion in total spending, thru 2020 with congressional races finishing with over $7 billion.
President Biden rolls out an environmental protection and climate agenda
President Biden vows monumental action on climate change
Biden signing executive orders
Biden unveils climate change plan - CNN (Video)
Biden's energy policies get slammed in Louisiana
Presidential Executive Order Could Mean Big Changes To Colorado's Oil & Gas Industry (Video)
CBS This Morning - Biden administration focused on fighting against climate change (Video)
Environmental Justice and Climate
We need to do more / LA Times Editorial
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-IKIEdyZow (LA Times - Biden: 'Can't wait any longer' on climate crisis)
Fox News - Reps. Scalise, Herrell: Biden's reckless, job-killing energy executive orders must be reversed
Environmental Action Agenda - Out of the Starting Gate and Accelerating
Via Washington Post / Energy 202:
What's on the new administration's agenda today:
Oil and gas leasing: Perhaps biggest move is Biden's expected decision to halt new oil and gas leasing on federal lands. The drafted moratorium would not affect activity around existing leases, but would pause auctions for the right to drill on new parcels throughout much of the west as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. The order will also not restrict energy development on tribal lands.
Addressing environmental justice: The Biden administration will establish at least three different bodies meant to address the unequal impact of dirty air and water on poor and minority communities — an office of health and climate equity at the Health and Human Services Department, an environmental justice office at the Justice Department and a third interagency council at the White House. The White House will also establish another cross-government group to help communities transition away from fossil fuels.
Protecting nature: Biden also is planning to instruct the government to set aside nearly a third of the nation’s land and water by the end of the decade for conservation. Biden pledged during the campaign to pursue that “30 by 30" goal as means of blunting the buildup of greenhouse gases by sequestering carbon and preserving habitat for threatened plants and animals.
Tackling super pollutants: Biden will tell the State Department to send to the Senate the Kigali Amendment, an international agreement to slash the use of a group of human-made compounds that both contribute to climate change and deplete the ozone layer. The Trump administration never submitted the treaty to Congress despite the urging of both business groups and several congressional Republicans.
Kick-starting an “all-of-government” approach: Biden direct every agency to factor climate change into the decisions they make, including purchasing electric vehicles, getting power from carbon-free sources and bolstering the buildings and other federal facilities to the impacts of rising temperatures.
New U.S. Environment-Energy-Climate Team Brings Experience to Task Ahead
Via The Hill
Several of the new hires, announced over the past several days, are Obama administration officials returning to their respective departments.
At Interior, Elizabeth Klein will serve as deputy secretary. She was formerly the department’s associate deputy secretary. Kate Kelly, who held high-ranking positions at Interior under Secretaries Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar, will serve as the deputy chief of staff for policy.
Vicki Arroyo, who now leads the Georgetown Climate Center, and Joseph Goffman, who ran the Environmental and Energy Law Program at Harvard Law School, are returning to the EPA after both previously worked at its Air and Radiation Office.
EPA’s new chief of staff Dan Utech formerly served in the Obama White House as deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change. He will be joined by officials coming from environmental advocacy organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The Energy Department’s new chief of staff, Tarak Shah, is also a former Obama official, having worked as a chief of staff to the agency’s undersecretary for science and energy.
Andrew Light, who served as an adviser to the U.S. special envoy on climate change and also worked on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate-focused presidential campaign, is also joining DOE as its principal deputy assistant secretary for international affairs.
The Biden administration is also creating some new roles to further advance campaign pledges Biden made on issues like ensuring an equitable transition away from fossil fuels.
At DOE, the Biden team created new positions leading the department’s efforts on energy jobs and energy justice, which will be held by Jennifer Jean Kropke, formerly of an electrical workers union, and Shalanda Baker, who was a professor at Northeastern University, respectively.
These positions are expected to advance Biden’s campaign pledges to ensure that 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments go toward disadvantaged communities and that the agency’s actions on energy create jobs.
Baker in particular will look at the agency’s existing programs to ensure they are consistent with Biden’s energy justice campaign promises.
“It’s a very knowledgeable and experienced crew, and I think this will be a great reassurance to the career staff at the agency as well," said Stan Meiberg, a former acting deputy administrator for the EPA during the Obama years.
Series of executive decisions planned for this week
Biden will announce a U.S.-hosted leadership summit to take place on Earth Day as one of multiple actions aimed at addressing the climate crisis.
A memo outlining looming orders also signals Biden will sign an executive order that initiates a series of regulatory actions to "combat climate change domestically and elevates climate change as a national security priority."
An omnibus order will also reestablish the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as well as a memorandum urging agencies to make decisions based on available science and evidence.
Biden on his first day in office recommitted the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement and signed an executive order revoking a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and halting oil and gas leasing at a wildlife refuge in Alaska.
“On the Biden administration's very first day, it took several big steps in the wrong direction,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), the top Republican in the Senate, citing the Paris agreement and Keystone pipeline decisions.
BlueGreen Alliance: Next Steps
The BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of six labor unions and six national environmental groups, is gearing up for a significant staff expansion heading into the Biden administration, recently advertising for 11 new positions, including the 15-year-old group’s first field organizers and federal campaign manager. The staffing up, said Jason Walsh, executive director of the alliance, is a reflection of funders recognizing “the moment we’re in, both in terms of the scale of the crisis and the opportunity with the new Congress and a new president” — and also a signal that policy differences in the Democratic climate coalition will emerge in clearer focus over the next few months.
.... There will be more competition among climate groups for influencing policy, a preview of which emerged in September over a House energy bill that ultimately garnered 18 Democratic dissenting votes. The Biden campaign sought to align itself closely with unions on the trail, making BlueGreen a valued ally, though some of its other efforts to court environmental justice groups highlight policy differences that the new administration will have to navigate.
The BlueGreen Alliance, which emphasizes equity and the needs of working people in the U.S.’s response to climate change, rejects what it calls the “false choice” between economic security and a viable planet, according to an eight-page policy platform released in 2019.
BlueGreen’s focus on public investment, good jobs, and justice shares much in common with the federal Green New Deal resolution introduced in February 2019.
Their “Solidarity for Climate Action” report is in tension with those in the environmental movement who call for a more rapid transition away from oil, coal, and natural gas. BlueGreen says that the ultimate goal should be to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, but not necessarily end the fossil fuel industry itself, with its tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.
“We’re focused on what we can build together, not on shutting down projects or facilities,” said Walsh. “We’re focused on what unites labor and environment … [and] we’ll need that unity, we have literally no votes to spare.”
New President, New Approach to the #ClimateCrisis
The U.S. is no longer a rogue climate nation
In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden began the process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and to reestablish the scores of environmental regulations undone by his predecessor in the Oval Office.
Biden, seated at the Resolute Desk in the West Wing of the White House, signed the notice to re-enter the Paris accord Jan. 20 just hours after taking the oath of office. It was later deposited with the United Nations, and under the agreement, will take effect in 30 days, or Feb. 19. The U.S. will also have to submit a new greenhouse gas emissions-reduction plan.
The new U.S. President announced:
"We're going to combat climate change in a way that we haven't done so far."
January 20, 2021
Inaugural Speech: A Message from Joe Biden
46th U.S. President, Day One
"We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed."
Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris. Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, McConnell, Vice President Pence, my distinguished guests and my fellow Americans, this is America's day.
This is democracy's day. A day of history and hope of renewal and resolve through a crucible for the ages. America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.
We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
From now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago, violence sought to shake the Capitol's very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible to carry out the peaceful transfer of power, as we have for more than two centuries.
As we look ahead in our uniquely American way: restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on the nation we can be and we must be.
I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I know, I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation. As does President Carter, who I spoke with last night, who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.
I've just taken the sacred oath. Each of those patriots have taken. The oath, first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us, on we the people who seek a more perfect union.
This is a great nation. We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we've come so far. But we still have far to go. We'll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities, much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain.
Few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now. Once-in-a-century virus that silently stalks the country. It's taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some four hundred years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.
The cry for survival comes from planet itself, a cry that can't be any more desperate or any more clear. And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.
To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity, unity.
In another January, on New Year's Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, “if my name ever goes down into history, it'll be for this act. And my whole soul is in it.”
My whole soul was in it today. On this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause.
Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward, reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.
I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real, but I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we're all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never assured.
Through civil war, the Great Depression, world war, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments, enough of us, enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward. And we can do that now. History, faith and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.
This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we've acted together.
And so today at this time in this place, let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.
My fellow Americans. We have to be different than this. America has to be better than this. And I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome, as was mentioned earlier, completed amid the Civil War, when the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. Yet we endured, we prevailed.
Here we stand looking out in the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand, where 108 years ago, at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we marked the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office: Vice President Kamala Harris. Don't tell me things can't change.
Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace. And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground.
It did not happen. It will never happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.
To all those who supported our campaign, I'm humbled by the faith you've placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree so be it. That's democracy. That's America. The right to dissent, peaceably, the guardrails of our republic is perhaps this nation's greatest strength.
Yet hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans. And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.
Many centuries ago. Saint Augustine, a saint in my church, wrote to the people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor and yes, the truth.
Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.
Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand, like my dad, they lay in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering, can I keep my health care? Can I pay my mortgage? Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it.
But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don't look like look like you or worship the way you do, or don't get their news from the same sources you do. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes, as my mom would say, just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here's the thing about life. There's no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days, when you need a hand. There are other days when we're called to lend a hand. That's how it has to be. That's what we do for one another. And if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree.
My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we're going to need each other. We need all our strength to to persevere through this dark winter. We're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as One Nation. One Nation.
And I promise you this, as the Bible says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” We will get through this together. Together.
Look, folks, all my colleagues I served with in the House of the Senate up there, we all understand the world is watching, watching all of us today. So here's my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday's challenges, but today's and tomorrow's challenges. And we’ll lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
We'll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security. Look, you all know, we've been through so much in this nation. And my first act as president, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic. Those four hundred thousand fellow Americans, moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors and coworkers. We will honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be. So I ask you, let's say a silent prayer for those who've lost their lives, those left behind and for our country.
Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and on truth, a raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America's role in the world. Any one of these will be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we've had. Now we're going to be tested. Are we going to step up? All of us? It’s time for boldness, for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era.
Will we rise to the occasion, is the question. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must. I'm sure you do as well. I believe we will. And when we do, we'll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story. A story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me. It's called American Anthem. There's one verse that stands out, at least for me, and it goes like this:
The work and prayers of a century have brought us to this day.
What shall be our legacy? What will our children say?
Let me know in my heart when my days are through.
America, America, I gave my best to you.
Let's add. Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children's children will say of us: They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.
My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I'll defend our democracy. I'll defend America and I will give all, all of you. Keep everything I do in your service, thinking not of power, but of possibilities, not of personal interest, but the public good. And together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history. We met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch, but thrived. That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another and generations to follow.
So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith, driven by conviction, devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America.
The Lost Years: Environmental Setbacks under the Trump Administration
"'The lost years': Climate damage that occurred on Trump's watch will endure long after he is gone..."
In just four years, Trump has cemented a legacy -- particularly on climate change -- that will be felt by generations to come.
"It's pretty much been an unequivocal disaster," said Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey who was EPA administrator under President George W. Bush. "To just roll back [regulations] whole cloth because they came from a previous administration has made no sense, and really what's happening is that they're putting the health of Americans and the health of our environment in jeopardy.
"The mission [of the EPA] is to protect human health and the environment — pretty simple and pretty straightforward," Todd Whitman added. "It seems to me they've totally ignored the mission."
The most lasting part of Trump's climate legacy -- and one that cannot be undone -- may be the time the administration wasted in the face of a worsening climate crisis, some scientists and experts say.
"I'm kind of hopeful that many of the worst and most damaging climate policies are capable of being reversed," said Kim Cobb, a professor and climate scientist at Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. "But the lost years in terms of progress on emissions reductions we can't ever take back, and that is something that will have a finite impact on coming climate change impacts."
Trump's #EPA Saved the Worst Attack on #Environment for Last
By Ti-Hua Chang @tihuachang / TYT.com - The Young Turks
Will Take Time for #Biden to Reverse
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler has announced that the EPA has put into effect a rule banning the EPA from basing regulatory decisions on scientific studies that do not identify participants by name. This will effectively give many industries, including fossil fuel and tobacco companies, significantly more leeway to pollute and endanger the health of a broad spectrum of Americans, because many health studies routinely keep the identity of participants confidential to protect their privacy.
The rule, dubbed the Censored Science Rule, will have deadly consequences, says the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“If we cannot rely on studies using health data, we cannot set standards and it will cost lives. Tens of thousands of people die annually because of air pollution. If we cannot set standards to protect people, then we will see more deaths,” says Gretchen Goldman, Research Director Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists.
One of the largest environmental advocacy groups in the US agrees.
“The vagueness and ambiguity of the proposal makes it impossible for the public to understand fully what is at stake here. This is a broad and dangerous instrument,” says Senior Attorney Ben Levitan of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Both groups believe the Biden administration must prioritize reversing this ruling.
New director of Office of Science and Technology Policy
Change in direction, science to become key for the incoming U.S. president
President-elect Biden announces “science will always be at the forefront of my administration”
President-elect Joe Biden announced Friday (January 16) that he has chosen a pioneer in mapping the human genome — the so-called “book of life” — to be his chief science adviser and is elevating the top science job to a Cabinet position.
Lander is the founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and was the lead author of the first paper announcing the details of the human genome.
Biden is boosting the science advisor post to Cabinet level, a first in White House history
Lander will head a post left vacant by President Trump for 18 months
SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: A tip of the GreenPolicy360 hat to Congressman George E. Brown who first put forward the Office of Science and Technology Policy, recognizing the essential role science must play in rational, forward-looking U.S. political policy.
NYT: The appointments signal a drastic switch from the role of science in the Trump administration. President Trump left the position of science adviser empty for 18 months, while his administration routinely ignored the guidance of government scientists on issues including the coronavirus pandemic, chemical pollution and climate change.
Mr. Biden has made other White House appointments that could elevate the importance of science in decision-making, such as naming John Kerry, the former secretary of state and a Democratic senator, a special presidential envoy on climate change, and creating a new White House Office of Climate Policy led by Gina McCarthy, who served as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama.
President of the National Academy of Sciences: “Eric Lander is a true Renaissance scientist in his broad grasp of the many fields of science and their interrelationships. At a time when the nation and the world face complex challenges that will require harnessing the full power of physical, life, environmental, social, biomedical and engineering sciences, Eric is an inspired choice of a scientist of international stature to ensure that science guides sound policy.”
Change in Global Strategic Direction by General Motors / GM
January 27 Update
January 12, 2021
GM stock surges into record territory after unveiling new electric transport services business BrightDrop
January 12, 2021
Shares of General Motors Co. GM shot up 6.4% into record territory Tuesday after the automaker announced a new business called BrightDrop, which GM said will offer an ecosystem of electric products, software and services to help delivery companies transport goods more efficiently.
GM BrightDrop's first product, available in early 2021, will be an electric pallet called EP1. An EP1 pilot program, in partnership with FedEx Corp.'s FDX FedEx Express, has already been completed, with EP1s helping FedEx Express couriers handle 25% more packages per day.
The second BrightDrop product, available for order in early 2022, will be the EV600, an electric light commercial vehicle built to deliver goods over long ranges. The EV600 is expected to have an estimated range of up to 250 miles, with a charge rate of 170 miles of range per hour.
GM Announces Shift to Zero-emissions Future as Global Strategy
GM's stock has risen 48.7% over the past three months as the company has rolled out its new green energy-efficient strategy.
- Facts & Science Need to Come to the Front of Mind
- Remember when 'truthiness' was 'word of the year'?
- This year a different version of truthiness has returned and it, truth, is in dire straits. Facts are under assault, science is under assault. Science denial is left and right -- and has proven deadly as a Covid virus spread. 2020 has been a chaotic year, a divisive time, an ominous time.
- In the midst of it all, brave souls that we are at GreenPolicy360, we continue to advocate for science and facts, fact finding and reasoned argument, science and logic. Good luck in 2021!
Welcoming in 2021
'In a Last Rush'
Chaotic final weeks in office, defeated U.S. president threatens reprisals
Election loss denial accompanied by over 50 failed election challenge lawsuits and flurry of executive actions and orders
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 Trump’s administrator and a former coal lobbyist, has discouraged the agency from working on climate change, and independent auditors have identified a “culture at the top” 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 world’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: “I’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 … We’ll elevate the incredible work cities, states and businesses have been doing to help reduce emissions and build a cleaner future. We’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.”
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. “We’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.”
Net Zero Energy Policy @GreenPolicy360
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
Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature."
“The state of the planet is broken,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports the Associated Press. “This is suicidal.”
UN Chief's State of the Planet speech at Columbia University
Streamed live on December 2, 2020
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!"
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
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 “climate czar” and veteran diplomat John Kerry said the next US administration would treat climate change as a “national security emergency”
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.
“The Climate Dialogues are also a key opportunity to build on the work coming out of last year’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: “COVID-19 has postponed COP26 but it has not delayed the need for Parties to deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement – 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.”
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
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
As of Now, the U.S. Is Officially Out of the Paris Climate Agreement
President Trump’s withdrawal formally came into force the day after Election Day in the United States. Here’s what it means.
Nov. 4, 2020 / NY Times
WASHINGTON — Au revoir, Paris Agreement. As of Wednesday, under United Nations rules, the United States is officially out of the global climate accord. Here’s a look at how it happened, what it means and what might happen next.
- Nov. 3, 2020, in the US, Election Day
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 Trump’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, today’s children are “going to see big changes that you and I don’t see for ice, coral and weather disasters,” said Stanford University’s Rob Jackson.
Because the two presidential candidates have starkly different positions on climate change policy, the election could have profound repercussions for the world’s approach to the problem, according to more than a dozen experts.
“That election could be a make or break point for international climate policy,” 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...
“If Biden wins, the whole world is going to start reorienting toward stepping up its action,” said the Dean of the University of Michigan’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 “border adjustment” 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 administration’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 — an 11% difference.
Other nations will do more to limit carbon pollution if the U.S. is doing so and less if America isn’t, said Cornell University climate scientist Natalie Mahowald. “In terms of leadership, it will make an immense difference,” 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.
Follow Seth on Twitter @borenbears
Read more stories on climate issues by The Associated Press at -- https://www.apnews.com/Climate
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.
Here’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. Here’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)
- https://eelp.law.harvard.edu/2018/07/tracking-the-trackers/ | A List of Organizations Tracking US Environmental Rollbacks
- https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/tracking-deregulation-in-the-trump-era/ | Brookings - Deregulatory Tracker
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Environmental_Laws | Category - Environmental Laws
- http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/climate-deregulation-tracker | Climate Deregulation Tracker
- http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/climatechange/ | Columbia Law School - Climate Change Laws
- https://eelp.law.harvard.edu/regulatory-rollback-tracker | Harvard Law School - Envir Law Rollbacks
- http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/silencing-science-tracker/ | 'Silencing Science' Tracker
October 27, 2020
(I)n an administration where even uttering the words “climate change” is dangerous, NOAA has, so far, remained remarkably independent in its ability to conduct research about and publicly discuss changes to the Earth’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.
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 “kill all the birds”. The US president then went on to talk about fumes... "the fumes coming up, if you’re a believer in carbon emission … for these massive windmills is more than anything we’re talking about with natural gas which is very clean”.
'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"?
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."
“I know more about wind than you do. It’s extremely expensive, kills all the birds, it’s very intermittent. It's got a lot of problems..."
Wait, "kills all the birds"? Windmills are killing all the birds?
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: “The fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything that we’re talking about with natural gas.”
AP (Associated Press) Fact Check: THE FACTS: That’s false. (Also, they’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 Department’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.
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.
“Our health and our jobs are at stake,” 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 “we were going to have to spend trillions of dollars.... They did a great disservice. They were going to take away our business.”
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:
“Tonight's debate highlighted the starkest contrast imaginable between the two candidates when it comes to the defining challenge of our time."
“On 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.”
Drew McConville, Senior Managing Director of Government Relations for The Wilderness Society Action Fund:
“Despite President Trump’s claims of environmental heroism, nobody’s buying it. It’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 America’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.”
350 Action North America Director Tamara Toles O’Laughlin:
“It’s undeniable that climate is a top issue for voters. At tonight’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."
October 20, 2020
October 18, 2020
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
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.
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 Attenborough’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
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
- Double the Election Spending of 2016?
If He Loses Election, Trump Promises Rally, ‘We’re Not Going To Stand For It’
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 he’s voted out. Asked at a press conference Wednesday if he would “commit to a peaceful transferal of power” if he lost the November election, Trump said ominously: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.”
New Questions raised whether the US president will attempt to dispute the results of the presidential election
“Win, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power after the election?” Brian Karem asked Donald Trump at the press conference.
The president answered: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump answered. “You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
When pressed to “commit to making sure that there’s a peaceful transferal of power,” Trump responded, “Get rid of the ballots and... we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’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.”
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 “discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states.”
The report goes on to explain: “based 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.”
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the expansion of mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic is a “scam” 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. “I think this will end up in the Supreme Court, and I think it’s very important to have nine justices,” Trump said.
This is an extension of Trump’s earlier suggestion that he is “counting on the federal court system” to decide the winner of the presidential election in his favor. “Now we’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,” Trump said at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Saturday, one day after Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s death.
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
Race and Violence in our Cities
The Integrity of the Election
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."
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.
Ginsburg's long environmental legacy
U.S. Natural Disasters / Extreme Weather
Costs are adding up
Extreme Hurricane Season in the Atlantic and US Gulf
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.
Wildfires Rage Throughout the Western US
Rebecca Solnit writes from San Francisco as extreme weather, heat and fires hit the west coast of the US
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 – 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 – 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
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 “the dominant power source in America”
Trump EPA Chief, Rollbacks of Environmental Protections
Amazon Rainforest Fires Return
Brazil's Bolsonaro Again Denies the Damage
'End of the Oil Age'?
Then Comes the Spark
"The link between human-caused climate change and bigger fires is inextricable", explains a bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “This climate-change connection is straightforward: Warmer temperatures dry out fuels. In areas with abundant and very dry fuels, all you need is a spark.”
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 3˚ or 4˚ F warmer in Berkeley, California than they were at the beginning of the 20th century'.
“To cut to the chase: Were the heat wave and the lightning strikes and the dryness of the vegetation affected by global warming? Absolutely yes,” Romps says. “Were they made significantly hotter, more numerous, and drier because of global warming? Yes, likely yes, and yes.”
Friederike Otto, acting director of the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute says in an e-mail to MIT Technology Review, “There 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 won’t be the exception.”
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 ‘siege’ of flames overwhelms state
Hundreds of fires are raging across California, forcing tens of thousands of residents – who were already facing blackouts and the coronavirus pandemic – to flee their homes. The flames, sparked by lightning and stoked by a searing heatwave and ferocious winds, have been moving quickly, overwhelming the state’s firefighters and first responders.
“It’s kind of an overwhelming fire siege,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
The state is currently battling 367 known fires, Gavin Newsom reported at a press conference on Wednesday. “We are challenged right now,” 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.
Trump lifts Obama-era regulations on methane, a potent climate-warming gas
Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's Campaign, and the Democrat's Energy and Climate Platform
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
"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.
Eight U.S. Vice President Contenders
Their policy records on Energy & the Environment
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 — and more clean power — available to drivers who don’t have the security of a fast charger at home or work.
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
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 can’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 James’ 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,” 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.
July 30, 2020
John Lewis asked The NYT to publish this on the day of his funeral. He writes, “When 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.”
July 27, 2020
WASHINGTON DC –- 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 – 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.
'Tree, Hold on...'
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 world’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
As U.S. Hurricane Season Starts...
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"...
World Population Could Be 2 Billion Less Than Predicted in 2100
This App Could Be a Game Changer
This could be a very big deal
There’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 aren’t measured very well.
“Currently, most countries do not know where most of their emissions come from,” says Kelly Sims Gallagher, a professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. “Even in advanced economies like the United States, emissions are estimated for many sectors.” Without this information “you cannot devise smart and effective policies to mitigate emissions,” she says, and “you cannot track them to see if you are making progress against your goals.”
The ultimate solution to this problem — the killer app, as it were — 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 they’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.
"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."
In Memory of Huey Johnson
'Green Plans' ... California and global
Huey Johnson takes the long road
Rebels With A Cause Trailer
Resource Renewal Institute
- Remembering Cassini
- There we are, home, 7.7 billion of us on that speck of light between Saturn's rings
In the realm of 'Big Picture' thinking, the Hubble telescope, nearing the end of its mission, presents distant galaxy 'NGC 2775'
A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Climate Change
Details of the Democratic Party's New Plan to Deal with the #ClimateCrisis
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?
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 Luján (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...
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. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Donald McEachin (D-Va.), a bill written with heavy input from environmental justice communities.
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....
US Democratic Party Reveals Long-in-Development Climate Plan
Tampa, Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor out in front
Louisiana attempts to outlaw dissent
Southern slavery memories
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.
NYT / June 19, 2020: The original written order to Texans that “all slaves are free” 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.
“In light of what has happened recently in our nation with police brutality, I wanted to make sure that we highlighted Juneteenth,” 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 building’s west side, he found a leather-bound book with a June 19 entry in neat cursive...
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” it said. “This 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.”
The document, encased in its original binding, was legible and in good condition, Mr. Plante said. “It’s more powerful when you see the handwritten version of it, as opposed to the printed versions that came much later,” 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 can’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 — and celebrated — annually as Juneteenth since that’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. That’s about two and a half years after Lincoln’s proclamation became law.
- "Juneteenth", June 19th... For all who want to celebrate Juneteenth — and I have been in that number — 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 Peninsula’s black community gathered to hear a prayer answered. The Emancipation Oak was the site of the first Southern reading of President Lincoln’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 “all 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.” 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."
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 ± 0.08 °C (1.78 ± 0.14 °F) above the 1951 to 1980 average.
This is equivalent to being 1.36 ± 0.09 °C (2.43 ± 0.16 °F) 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 °C) 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.
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.
June 11 / Update & Apology
‘I should not have been there,’ Gen. Milley says of Trump photo op.
The country’s top military official apologized on Thursday for taking part in President Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square for a photo op after authorities used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the area of peaceful protesters.
“I should not have been there,” 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. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
His first public remarks since Mr. Trump’s photo op, in which federal authorities attacked peaceful protesters so that the president could hold up a Bible in front of St. John’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.
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
• #SocialJustice #EconomicJustice #ClimateJustice •
Saturday, June 6, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of people across the United States—and, in stunning displays of solidarity, around the world—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)
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
Washington Post: President Trump made 19,127 false or misleading claims in 1,226 days
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. “We are reopening the Northeast Canyons to commercial fishing,” Trump told a roundtable meeting with fishing industry representatives and Maine officials. “We’re opening it today.” 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:
Brookings Interactive Tracking Deregulation in The Trump Era — 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 — tracks legal battles over the future of America’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 — tracks rules at risk of being repealed or that have been repealed under the Congressional Review Act.
Columbia University, Sabin Center Climate Deregulation Tracker — 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 — 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 — tracks regulatory, judicial, and legislative developments associated with the Trump administration’s energy policy agenda.
Harvard Law School Environmental & Energy Law Program — EPA Mission Tracker monitors and analyzes the Trump administration’s dismantling of EPA’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 — tracks the outcomes of litigation over the Trump administration’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 — tracks the Trump administration’s actions that impact workers (including worker safety).
National Geographic — A running list of how President Trump is changing environmental policy.
New York Times / 95 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump — updated every few months.
NYU State Energy & Environmental Impact Center — Attorney General actions
NRDC Trump Watch — monitors Trump administration's environmental actions.
Reuters, The Trump Effect — Energy and Environment.
Save EPA — maintains a master list of Trump administration EPA rollbacks and provides tools and talking points to support others’ advocacy about public health and environmental protections.
Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy / Attacks on Science — disappearing data, silenced scientists, and other assaults on scientific integrity and science-based policy at the federal level.
Washington Post — How Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy — updated every few months.
We Mean Business Climate Policy Tracker — Points business to a practical climate regulation response.
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....
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 ‘taxonomic hierarchy’ and ‘evolutionarily distinct lineages’) 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 nature’s contribution to people.
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.
Microplastic Pollution Across World Oceans: Enormous Disaster
"Particles may outnumber zooplankton, which underpin marine life and regulate climate"
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...
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"
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 panel’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 didn’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.
(US Breaking News)
After a deeply controversial stint at the EPA, the former chemical industry executive nominated to be the nation’s top consumer safety watchdog is now sidelining 'detailed guidelines' to help communities reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
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
Environmental Deregulation, Climate Litigation
A Note From NOAA
May 14, 2020
Via Washington Post / New data, released May 4 from the European Union’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 planet’s warmest year since instrument records began in 1880, and very likely long before that.
This year is on track to be Earth’s warmest on record, beating 2016, NOAA says.
Human-caused climate change from increasing amounts of planet-warming greenhouse gases is vaulting temperatures higher...
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 “groundbreaking series that showed with scientific clarity the dire effects of extreme temperatures on the planet.”
“Today in this country we are single-mindedly focused on a public-health crisis. But another worldwide public-health crisis is upon us,” said Martin Baron, executive editor of The Post, in a piece for the Post. “As 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.”
More on the Heat, a Hot and Hotter Future
Soon to be
Into the wind
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
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
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
How did US politicos act and what did they say on Earth Day
Pope Francis weighs in
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"...
Earth Day -- April 22, 1970
April 22, 2020 -- 50 Years On
Bioneers interview with Hispanic activist Arturo Sandoval:
You were part of Denis Hayes’ 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.
Project Coral / Earth Day News
Good news for preserving the only living coral reef in U.S. ocean waters
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.
From Bell Science Hour & Frank Capra
Produced & Distributed in 1958
We are heating the atmosphere, disruption is coming
Glass-bottom boats touring over Miami?
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. Petersburg’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 nation’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 wouldn’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 Florida’s College of Marine Sciences. It’s still affecting fish and other marine species...
After the disaster, Obama appointed a federal commission to investigate what went wrong. The commission’s chief investigator, “Sam” Sankar, said the commission’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, “none of them have been implemented"...
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
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 I’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, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.” 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. Peter’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 Villaseñor, 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 world’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 — everywhere — 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 — universal suffrage, separation of powers, Bill of Rights, rule of law — will be resuscitated from the dark impact of the worst president in the nation’s history.
EV sales to plunge 43% this year — 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...
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 we’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
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
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
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
Ocean warming devastates the Australian Great Barrier Reef
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."
Earthview from DSCOVR on #International Earth Day
Increasing threats: New 'crossovers' and 'spillovers'
“We invade tropical forests and other wild landscapes, which harbour so many species of animals and plants – and within those creatures, so many unknown viruses,” David Quammen, author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic, recently wrote in the New York Times. “We 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.”
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
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 exposé, 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
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.
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
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.
With Coronavirus spreading globally, climate organizing must find ways to protest against the climate crisis other than mass demonstrations
Tesla: One Million 'Units'
Whirring Engines, New Factories in China & Germany
In the Oil Patch, Prices and Production Plunge
House of Saud vs Russians vs US Shale-Fracking
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 paper’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: “We are consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week,” Udall says. At events with constituents, he will brandish a Visa from his wallet and declare, “You’re eating this, folks!”
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 “end of life” programs to keep plastic out of the environment. “We’re going back to that principle,” the senator tells Rolling Stone. “The polluter pays.”
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 — think Exxon, Dow, and Shell — and consumer giants like Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Unilever that package their products in the stuff. Big Plastic isn’t a single entity. It’s more like a corporate supergroup: Big Oil meets Big Soda — 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...
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
Marine Heatwave - "The Blob"
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.
“We’re on the knife’s edge of this over-fished status,” North Pacific Fisheries Management Council member Nicole Kimball said during talks in Anchorage. It’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 Alaska’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 “next to no” new eggs, according to NOAA research.
Up until the emergence of a marine heatwave known as “the blob” 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. “A lot of the impact on the population was due to that first heatwave that we haven’t recovered from,” 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.
Net zero goal ‘greatest commercial opportunity of our time’
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 “could become the greatest commercial opportunity of our time”.
“The objective for the private finance work for Cop26 is simple,” he said, “to make sure that every private finance decision takes climate change into account.”
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.
“Achieving net zero emissions will require a whole economy transition – 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.”
Today is Launch Day
Announcing the Publication of The Future We Choose
Authors: Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
February 25, 2020
Jeff Bezos of Amazon jumps in the fight against the #ClimateCrisis
Climate Change Pushes January 2020 to Hottest in 141 Years
The year has started with the hottest January in the 141 years that global records have been kept, and it’s the biggest record-breaking margin—1.14° Celsius above the 20th century average—achieved without help from a warming El Niño 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...
RISING EMISSIONS DRIVE GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX INCREASE
President Trump's 2021 Federal Budget with (Proposed) Cuts to Environmental Programs
Thread from Michael E. Mann
Climate disinformation and 'troll's lies' are not the way to go...
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.
In the Permian Basin, New Mexico, Texas, Water & Fracking
In the "Oil Patch", reporting from the "most prolific oil field in the world"
New Study: How Global Warming Climate Science Looks at (Cooling) Clouds
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...
Guess What. What? You won't believe it. Believe what? Guess!
EPA’s New Water Rule a Mockery of Science and Clean Water Act
Union of Concerned Scientists | January 24, 2020
With the Environmental Protection Agency’s own data showing that nearly half of our rivers and streams and a third of our wetlands are in “poor biological condition,” 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 administration’s 2015 Waters of the United States rule.
Fitting of the Trump administration, the “protection” in the rule’s name doesn’t really have anything to do with water. Not when it will reportedly remove half of the nation’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...
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 — not hours, or even minutes," Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We now face a true emergency — 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: “Dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder. Climate change just compounds the crisis. If there’s ever a time to wake up, it’s now.”
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.
“The point is that [reforestation is] so much more vastly powerful than anyone ever expected,” said Thomas Crowther, a professor of environmental systems science at ETH Zurich and a co-author of the paper. “By far, it’s the top climate change solution in terms of carbon storage potential.”
Some climate scientists who were not involved with the study disagree with its calculations and are warning against its “silver bullet” message. Still, supporting natural systems that can soak up carbon is widely accepted as a major component of any climate change mitigation strategy — 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 ‘Foolish Fortune Tellers’
According to Trump, we shouldn't listen to those "alarmists," who want “absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives.”
News on Greta's speech at Davos
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.
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.
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...
Another warning, after years of warnings
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
A Tip of Our GreenPolicy360 hat to 'Congressman of Big Science' George E. Brown and the first generation of Earth science pioneers
A fundamental reshaping of finance due to climate change
Trump administration attacks the 'Magna Carta' of US Environmental Protection, the NEPA Act
Administration officials say they aim to "modernize and clarify" the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA.
NEPA is often said to be the Magna Carta of the environmental movement...
Letter to the Los Angeles Times and the United States from an Australian Citizen
In Germany, a New Year's Message
“Our children and grandchildren are the ones who will have to live with the consequences of what we do, or fail to do, today,” Merkel said in the written version of a televised address to be broadcast on Tuesday.
“That is why I am making every effort to ensure that Germany does its part –- environmentally, economically and socially –- to deal with climate change.”
“The warming of our planet is real. It is dangerous. Global warming and the crises that arise from it are caused by human activity. This means that we must do everything humanly possible to meet this human challenge. It isn’t too late.”
December 30th, as 2019 draws to a close...
SJS: Future generations will look back at our era and they will decide, and they will judge, who was on the right side of history...
World News / Reuters
December 30, 2019 / 6:37 AM
I wouldn't have wasted my time on Trump, says Greta Thunberg
LONDON (Reuters) - Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg said on Monday that talking to U.S. President Donald Trump at a United Nations summit on global warming would have been a waste of time since he would not have paid any attention...
Thunberg spoke in Monday’s BBC program with veteran British broadcaster David Attenborough, telling him how his nature documentaries had inspired her.
“You have aroused the world,” the 93-year-old Attenborough told Thunberg in reply, adding that she had achieved things “that many of us who have been working on the issue for 20 years have failed to do”.
Watch the BBC Skype call between Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough
When Greta Met David
Australia, 'Extreme Weather'... Wildfires Rage As Never Before
“If 800 million sounds a lot, it’s not all the animals in the firing line... Over a billion would be a very conservative figure...”
The scale is almost too big to fathom.
The level of ecological destruction underway is unprecedented.
More than 26 million acres of Australia have burned...
“You may want to think of dropping off some toys for the children of the firefighters,” the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is quoted as saying.
“These are things that people can do constructively. Australians, we need to rally together. The time for argument is not now.”
GreenPolicy360: The Australian government, ranking last in an international survey of national climate action, is pushing to speed up coal production and consequent CO2 emissions, a disturbing outlier position among nations.
Evidently history-making heat waves and temperatures, droughts and dystopian conditions across Australia are not, per the PM, a time for 'argument' or a change of national policy. The influence of climate change denial on Australia's politics, and Murdoch-influenced media reach in AU, its home base, and in the UK with Sky and US with Fox, is delivering a lasting legacy.
News Corp Australia dominates the country’s media landscape, publishing more than 140 newspapers and employing 3,000 journalists in print, broadcast, and online.
Postscript / January 14, 2020 (strife within the Murdoch family):
A spokesperson for James Murdoch and his wife, Kathryn, told The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright, “Kathryn and James’ 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. They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
President Trump's very bad year (and the future will be a judge)
Remembering William Greider, December 25th, Rest in Peace
GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: In May 1992 William Greider's book "Who Will Tell the People" was formally published. In pre-print it had already impacted the direction of the 1992 U.S. campaign of one presidential candidate, California Governor Jerry Brown. The "We the People / Platform-in-Progress" formed a critique of Neoliberal economics and global financial services. The book was detailed, convincing and powerful. It further developed Greider's analysis of 'Reaganomics' and served as a call for a new political economy. As powerful as was the case Greider made, and the Brown campaign's 'new economics' platform continued to build upon with needed electoral and economic reform, Brown and Greider were set aside by Democrats and Republicans.
Today, as 2020 approaches, the economic landscape portends increasing corporate dominance that Greider warned of and Governor Brown continues to confront... The people have been told. Political action, real change, is the most pressing challenge of our time.
William Greider's vision and legacy live on in his ideas carried forward...
The Greider Message & the Brown Campaign
At the 1992 Platform hearings of the Democratic party, a potential turning point for the Democratic party...
A Runner-up campaign is set aside as the Democrats party turns to Neoliberalism and corporate support
A Holiday Message
David Attenborough speaks of saving the planet (video)
Another squandered opportunity: Transition to renewable energy set back in the U.S. Federal budget
Coal, oil, gas provisions expanded
Electric vehicle, solar, renewable credits removed
The Oldest Forest: Discovering the Devonian Roots
“The origin of big trees and forests seems to be coincident in time with some dramatic changes in the Devonian ecosystem and climate,” said lead author William Stein, an emeritus professor of biology at Binghamton University.
“In particular, there’s been pretty clear evidence that there was a drawdown of CO2 levels from the atmosphere during this time,” causing global cooling, he added. “This is important because we’re, in a sense, looking at the opposite trending effects currently with people, deforestation, and global warming.”
After the Climate Summit in Madrid
As some 27,000 conference attendees return home, by most accounts disappointed with the results
We recall a recent interview with one climate scientist-activist from Texas, Katharine Hayhoe
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist who leads the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University and is the host and producer of the PBS series Global Weirding.
Via Forbes, Interview by Devin Thorpe
Hayhoe has a positive, upbeat manner that leaves people feeling as if she’s talking about planning the best birthday party ever rather than warning about climate change. Perhaps that is her appeal. She has earned a reputation—she’s been named to Time’s 100 most influential people list and Fortune added her to their World’s Greatest Leaders list—for being able to communicate climate science better than most.
She explains why a difference as small as two degrees actually matters, why she calls it global weirding, how she explains climate science to skeptics who are religious, and the respective roles of big business, entrepreneurs and individuals in fighting climate science...
"Climate change affects us all. And so, I was really happy to participate in a project called New Climate Voices. And people can find it online at newclimatevoices.org with a Republican politician, with the leader of a libertarian think tank and with a military general who all talked about solutions that are consistent with their values and their perspective."
What was achieved at the Climate Summit? Little progress.
The next conference of the parties may be in Glasgow, but the chance of any real success there will be determined, to a large extent by what happens in the EU-China summit taking place in the German city of Leipzig next September.
The hope is that by then the EU will have formalised its zero-carbon long term goal and also updated its 2030 pledge to cut emissions by 55% of 1990 levels.
The EU will likely try and secure agreement from the Chinese to improve their nationally determined contribution (NDC).
Back in 2014 the climate pact signed by President Obama and President Xi Jinping became the lynchpin of the Paris Agreement.
-- Former Calif. Governor Jerry Brown speaking at the AGU, December 11, 2019
You go girl. Thank you for being you and being out in front ...
Great Thunberg chosen as Time 'Person of the Year'. In response, the President of the U.S sarcastically mocks her and her climate work to his millions of Twitter followers
(CNN) On Thursday morning, the President of the United States sent a tweet to his 60+ million followers blasting a 16-year-old girl with Asperger's syndrome who has rallied efforts at fighting climate change around the globe.
"Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!" Trump wrote of teenage climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg. "Chill Greta, Chill!"
This isn't the first time Trump has gone after Thunberg.
"She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future," Trump sarcastically tweeted following Thunberg's speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly earlier this fall. "So nice to see!"
Sadly, Trump's response is predictable in the wake of the Swedish climate activist being named as Time's Person of the Year.
'Hans Solo' cares and is speaking up to make a positive difference. Are you too?
In Madrid, how did the first week of the 25th UN Climate Change Conference go?
Little to no news in the U.S. media on the great challenge we face with the nations of the world --- National security, Global security in great peril
In Madrid, U.S. Delegation Speaks Out
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, insisted that the US is still committed to the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement despite President Trump’s formal request to withdraw from the accord. Accompanying the Democrat politician was a congressional delegation including members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, a body established earlier this year.
“By coming here we want to say to everyone: we’re still in, the United States is still in,” said Pelosi. “Our delegation is here to send a message on Congress’ commitment to take action on the climate crisis is iron clad. We must act because the climate crisis for us is a matter of public health – clean air, clean water for our children’s survival our economy.”
Kathy Castor, chair of the select committee from Tampa Bay, Florida, spoke about plans to publish a climate action plan in March 2020 containing public policy recommendations. “We intend to follow the science. And we intend to ensure that vulnerable communities across America –and across the globe – have every opportunity to participate in this clean energy economy and transformation.”
World Weather Reporting: Hottest decade since weather-keeping records began
- Check out @WMO’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/WMO/status/1201810834080649216?s=09
2019 set to conclude warmest 10 year period on record. Temperatures are only part of the story. Many impacts on health, food security, migration, displacement, ecosystems and oceans. #StateofClimate report has input from many UN partners.
Full World / WMO Report -- https://bit.ly/2DHY4GS
In Madrid, world leaders arrive at the 25th UN Climate Change Conference
"We inherited the planet from our parents, and we need to hand it over to future generations" - @KurtykaMichal formally opens the #ClimateChange gathering before handing over its Presidency to Carolina Schmidt @CarolaSchmidtZ.
Recently a majority of lawmakers in the European Parliament voted to declare "a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and globally." The European Parliament vote to declare a 'climate emergency' stands in stark contrast to the United States and its president.
(CNN) Summit that could make or break the world's climate commitments
Around 25,000 people from 200 countries are descending on Madrid this week to attend the COP25 climate change conference. They include dozens of heads of state and government, business leaders, scientists and, of course, activists -- including Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered a sharp rebuke (see the video) to world leaders today (December 1st) ahead of the international climate conference in Madrid.
'War against nature must stop,' U.N. chief says
MADRID (Reuters) - The world must stop a “war against nature” and find more political will to combat climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, the eve of a two-week global climate summit in Madrid.
To fly or not to fly? Do what you can do to make a positive difference. That's what we say at #GreenPolicy360 #GoingGreen
Each of us can make a positive difference stepping up & doing our best / Becoming Planet Citizens
Climate scientists try to cut their own carbon footprints
Pope urges abolition of nuclear weapons during Japan visit
24 November 2019
Pope Francis has made an impassioned appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons during a visit to Nagasaki, one of the two Japanese cities targeted by atomic bombs during World War Two.
He decried the "unspeakable horror" of nuclear weapons and insisted they were "not the answer" for global peace.
At least 74,000 were killed in Nagasaki by the attack by US forces in 1945...
In a sombre ceremony, the Pope unequivocally condemned the use of nuclear weapons.
"This place makes us deeply aware of the pain and horror that we human beings are capable of inflicting upon one another"...
In Hiroshima today, Pope Francis declared the use and possession of atomic weapons "immoral."
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Looks to Cover Up Health Impact Science
The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to limit what scientific evidence can guide public health regulations echoes tactics used by the tobacco industry to invalidate science regarding the tobacco industry, scientists told Newsweek.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking...
The measure would make it more difficult to enact new clean air and water rules because many studies detailing the links between pollution and disease rely on personal health information gathered under confidentiality agreements. And, unlike a version of the proposal that surfaced in early 2018, this one could apply retroactively to public health regulations already in place.
“This means the E.P.A. can justify rolling back rules or failing to update rules based on the best information to protect public health and the environment, which means more dirty air and more premature deaths,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association.
Public health experts warned that studies that have been used for decades — to show, for example, that mercury from power plants impairs brain development, or that lead in paint dust is tied to behavioral disorders in children — might be inadmissible when existing regulations come up for renewal.
For instance, a groundbreaking 1993 Harvard University project that definitively linked polluted air to premature deaths, currently the foundation of the nation’s air-quality laws, could become inadmissible. When gathering data for their research, known as the Six Cities study, scientists signed confidentiality agreements to track the private medical and occupational histories of more than 22,000 people in six cities. They combined that personal data with home air-quality data to study the link between chronic exposure to air pollution and mortality.
Trashing the Oceans
Lost and abandoned fishing gear deadly to marine life makes up majority of large plastic pollution in the oceans, according to a report by Greenpeace.
More than 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, pots and traps used in commercial fishing are dumped and discarded in the sea every year, the same weight as 55,000 double-decker buses.
The report, which draws on the most up-to-date research on “ghost gear” polluting the oceans, calls for international action to stop the plastic pollution, which is deadly for marine wildlife.
U.S. Officially Rejects International Agreement on Climate
November 4, 2019
What can be said? It is a day that will be remembered as historical tragedy
The United States files paperwork to withdraw 'officially' from the Paris Climate Agreement
The Trump's plan to exit will take effect November 4, 2020, the day after the presidential election....
Civilization witnesses hubris and disassembling, an immeasurable immorality, a self destructive insanity is in evidence today
Secretary Pompeo ✔ @SecPompeo
Today we begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens. Ours is a realistic and pragmatic model.
3:41 PM - Nov 4, 2019
As a Juggernaut of Oil/Gas, Business-as-Usual, Wars for Control for Fossil Fuel Energy Define Our Era
Individual choices may seem insignificant -- they aren't, our choices can make a difference
A protest day today ...
Former California Governor Jerry Brown was testifying before the US Congress. He's not happy with General Motors/GM, and the attempted rollback of every green initiative of the past five decades by the current US president is cause for concern ...
WASHINGTON (Wire Services) — Former California Gov. Jerry Brown came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to give an impassioned plea for dramatic action to combat climate change, citing California’s wildfires as an example of the “life-and-death” stakes.
Accusing Republicans of being “flat Earth” science deniers, Brown defended California’s efforts to set higher fuel economy standards in the face of President Trump’s attempted rollback of such rules nationally, but called for far more dramatic action as well.
“California’s burning while the deniers make a joke out of the standards that protect us all,” Brown said. “The blood is on your soul here and I hope you wake up. Because this is not politics, this is life, this is morality. ... This is real.”
The former governor also predicted that electric vehicles would eventually triumph over traditional gas-powered cars, saying, "The combustion car is going the way of the dodo bird, and you better get with it or get out of the way."
The Republicans on the committee called for a adjournment of the hearing, so they could attend the president's impeachment hearing. Committee Chairman Rouda held a vote, the Democrat's prevailed to continue with the hearing.
"We're here to talk about the very pressing issue of cutting our carbon emissions and saving our planet," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And we have an entire political party that is trying to get out of their job, adjourn this hearing."
She continued: "I just want to know what the reason for such a disrespect of our process would potentially be. Do we have a reason for why this hearing is trying to be adjourned? Or, you know, do we have just like a cocktail party?"
Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) responded: "Yes. I have one. I have a real easy one. The oil industry is the second-largest industry in my state. My constituents expect me to be here. We are running an impeachment hearing down in the basement of the Capitol right now."
Ocasio-Cortez responded: "Wait, so is this about the oil industry or the impeachment hearing?"
Another day that begins to capture the state of American politics...
Climate-Related Disruption / Rolling Blackouts
Nearly All Nations Are In, US Is Odd Nation Out
Rights of Nature Constitutional Amendment Introduced in Swedish Parliament
Memories & Moments over the Years
At the Bioneers 2019 -- 30 Years On and What a Trip It's Been
Growing Transformative Solutions, Everyday a Vision of Possibilities & Change
- https://bioneers.org * https://bioneers.org/about/history * https://conference.bioneers.org * https://bioneers.org/the-green-new-deal
Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, co-founders of the Bioneers --- Welcoming all to the annual conference in Marin, California
Climate Change, Global Disruption
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to...
- John B Goodenough, M Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino
Their work to develop Lithium-ion batteries... "Their pioneering research is everywhere you look and a great example of how chemistry has paved the way for everything from the mobile phone in your pocket to the electric vehicles and home energy storage of the future."
Bonnie Charpentier, president of the American Chemical Society spoke of the battery's clean energy applications: "In the face of increasing threats from extreme climate change, today's announcement shines a welcome bright light on the portability of energy that has enabled unprecedented advances in communication, transportation and other tools to support critical aspects of life around the world."
The Earth just had its hottest September on record
Around 90% of the 🌎’s population breathe polluted air.
At the @UN #ClimateActionSummit, @PinskyMichael recreated the air of five major cities for the project #pollutionpods, designed to raise awareness about air quality and health.
Environmental policy... #Emissions #Pollution #Externalities #FullCosts #TruePricing #Cities #AtmosphericScience
Check out @UNFCCC’s Tweet:
When You Become Politically Effective...
The attacks come but they don't slow #ClimateAction
- By Charlie Warzel / NYT
"You are failing us"...
One Day in the Life of GreenPolicy360
Every day our team looks out at Green News on the web and then chooses (curates) the highlights and distributes stories of the day to our global network of GreenLinks.
Here is today's first group of potential Green News links. Guess what stories were chosen for sharing and networking?
Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases a major report this morning on the climate impacts for oceans and the world's ice sheets, which lays out in detail the threat from rising sea levels.
— Environmental advocates and state officials dismissed the Trump administration's threat as a political attack to pull billions of dollars in transportation funding from California over pollution.
— As the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee eyes a broader energy package, her committee will mark up some 20 bills today on everything from grid storage to energy efficiency.
SJS-GreenPolicy360 Siterunner / Greta Thunberg speaks of the beginnings of her strike and the global student climate strike calling for climate action now and her post is reposted across social media
Recently I’ve seen many rumors circulating about me and enormous amounts of hate. This is no surprise to me. I know that since most people are not aware of the full meaning of the climate crisis (which is understandable since it has never been treated as a crisis) a school strike for the climate would seem very strange to people in general.
So let me make some things clear about my school strike.
In may 2018 I was one of the winners in a writing competition about the environment held by Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper. I got my article published and some people contacted me, among others was Bo Thorén from Fossil Free Dalsland. He had some kind of group with people, especially youth, who wanted to do something about the climate crisis.
I had a few phone meetings with other activists. The purpose was to come up with ideas of new projects that would bring attention to the climate crisis. Bo had a few ideas of things we could do. Everything from marches to a loose idea of some kind of a school strike (that school children would do something on the schoolyards or in the classrooms). That idea was inspired by the Parkland Students, who had refused to go to school after the school shootings.
I liked the idea of a school strike. So I developed that idea and tried to get the other young people to join me, but no one was really interested. They thought that a Swedish version of the Zero Hour march was going to have a bigger impact. So I went on planning the school strike all by myself and after that I didn’t participate in any more meetings.
When I told my parents about my plans they weren’t very fond of it. They did not support the idea of school striking and they said that if I were to do this I would have to do it completely by myself and with no support from them.
On the 20 of august I sat down outside the Swedish Parliament. I handed out fliers with a long list of facts about the climate crisis and explanations on why I was striking. The first thing I did was to post on Twitter and Instagram what I was doing and it soon went viral. Then journalists and newspapers started to come. A Swedish entrepreneur and business man active in the climate movement, Ingmar Rentzhog, was among the first to arrive. He spoke with me and took pictures that he posted on Facebook. That was the first time I had ever met or spoken with him. I had not communicated or encountered with him ever before.
Many people love to spread rumors saying that I have people ”behind me” or that I’m being ”paid” or ”used” to do what I’m doing. But there is no one ”behind” me except for myself. My parents were as far from climate activists as possible before I made them aware of the situation.
I am not part of any organization. I sometimes support and cooperate with several NGOs that work with the climate and environment. But I am absolutely independent and I only represent myself. And I do what I do completely for free, I have not received any money or any promise of future payments in any form at all. And nor has anyone linked to me or my family done so.
And of course it will stay this way. I have not met one single climate activist who is fighting for the climate for money. That idea is completely absurd.
Furthermore I only travel with permission from my school and my parents pay for tickets and accommodations.
My family has written a book together about our family and how me and my sister Beata have influenced my parents way of thinking and seeing the world, especially when it comes to the climate. And about our diagnoses.
That book was due to be released in May. But since there was a major disagreement with the book company, we ended up changing to a new publisher and so the book was released in august instead.
Before the book was released my parents made it clear that their possible profits from the book ”Scener ur hjärtat” will be going to 8 different charities working with environment, children with diagnoses and animal rights.
And yes, I write my own speeches. But since I know that what I say is going to reach many, many people I often ask for input. I also have a few scientists that I frequently ask for help on how to express certain complicated matters. I want everything to be absolutely correct so that I don’t spread incorrect facts, or things that can be misunderstood.
Some people mock me for my diagnosis. But Asperger is not a disease, it’s a gift. People also say that since I have Asperger I couldn’t possibly have put myself in this position. But that’s exactly why I did this. Because if I would have been ”normal” and social I would have organized myself in an organisation, or started an organisation by myself. But since I am not that good at socializing I did this instead. I was so frustrated that nothing was being done about the climate crisis and I felt like I had to do something, anything. And sometimes NOT doing things - like just sitting down outside the parliament - speaks much louder than doing things. Just like a whisper sometimes is louder than shouting.
Also there is one complaint that I ”sound and write like an adult”. And to that I can only say; don’t you think that a 16-year old can speak for herself? There’s also some people who say that I oversimplify things. For example when I say that "the climate crisis is a black and white issue”, ”we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases” and ”I want you to panic”. But that I only say because it’s true. Yes, the climate crisis is the most complex issue that we have ever faced and it’s going to take everything from our part to ”stop it”. But the solution is black and white; we need to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Because either we limit the warming to 1,5 degrees C over pre industrial levels, or we don’t. Either we reach a tipping point where we start a chain reaction with events way beyond human control, or we don’t. Either we go on as a civilization, or we don’t. There are no gray areas when it comes to survival.
And when I say that I want you to panic I mean that we need to treat the crisis as a crisis. When your house is on fire you don’t sit down and talk about how nice you can rebuild it once you put out the fire. If your house is on fire you run outside and make sure that everyone is out while you call the fire department. That requires some level of panic.
There is one other argument that I can’t do anything about. And that is the fact that I’m ”just a child and we shouldn’t be listening to children.” But that is easily fixed - just start to listen to the rock solid science instead. Because if everyone listened to the scientists and the facts that I constantly refer to - then no one would have to listen to me or any of the other hundreds of thousands of school children on strike for the climate across the world. Then we could all go back to school.
I am just a messenger, and yet I get all this hate. I am not saying anything new, I am just saying what scientists have repeatedly said for decades. And I agree with you, I’m too young to do this. We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.
And if you have any other concern or doubt about me, then you can listen to my TED talk in which I talk about how my interest for the climate and environment began.
And thank you everyone for you kind support! It brings me hope.
Ps I was briefly a youth advisor for the board of the non profit foundation “We don’t have time”. It turns out they used my name as part of another branch of their organisation that is a start up business. They have admitted clearly that they did so without the knowledge of me or my family. I no longer have any connection to “We don’t have time”. Nor has anyone in my family. They have deeply apologised and I have accepted their apology.
Do what u can do, everything u can do ...
(as deniers and attackers deny and attack)
A thread for young people to listen to • https://twitter.com/caniwi_nz/status/1176887989940547584
The largest solar energy projects
Largest Wind Farm
- SJS/GreenPolicy360 -- We/GreenPolicy360 recommend a new descriptor for emissions-externalities-carbon pricing -- Not a tax, let's call it...
- +Emissions Cost... +EC
Visit GreenPolicy360 long-time friends, the Bioneers. Here's 'smart agriculture' @work -- regenerative ag, carbon farming
Trump says there's no climate crisis, back to his line 'it's a hoax'
BTW, the 'third pole' is melting too...
Climate change will affect the 10 major river systems originating on the Hindu Kush Himalaya mountain chain, and it could leave 1.6 billion people in Asia struggling.
We leave you with • https://www.nationalgeographic.com/rewindnature/
Carbon Budgeting as Financial Planning Budgeting
As #PlanetCitizens w/ GreenPolicy360, we turn to our friends at #GlobalCitizen for a deep discussion of a heating Earth, CO2 and a ticking clock
Continuing its deep cuts and rollbacks of environmental protections and safeguards
Today Sept. 19, the Trump administration rollsbacks clean air and auto mileage standards.
Rep. George E. Brown and the generation who envisioned and created these standards are set aside.
Trump's Losing Record on Energy and the Environment
Trump's Lack of Vision Pushing Fossil Fuel and Consequences
Local Clean Water News / Politics
Fox News US ridicules local efforts to cut back on single-use plastic un-recycled household items
As US Clean Water Act Is Undercut by Fox-supported US president, a first study of 'Tampa Bay Plastic Pollution' reveals '4 Billion Microplastic Particles'
Preparing for Action -- September 20 -- Climate Strike
Future Coalition demands:
A Green New Deal: Building on “the” Green New Deal resolution in Congress, this calls for transforming the economy to 100% renewable energy by 2030, while creating jobs and ending leases and permits for fossil fuel projects.
Respect for indigenous land and sovereignty: Honoring treaties protecting indigenous land by ending resource extraction in and affecting those areas.
Environmental justice: Investing in the communities affected most by poverty and pollution.
Protecting biodiversity: Protecting and restoring 50% of the world’s lands and oceans and stopping all deforestation by 2030.
Sustainable agriculture: Investing in regenerative agriculture and ending subsidies for industrial agriculture.
CNN Presidential Town Hall on Climate Change / Sept. 4, 2019
CLIMATE ACTION IS THE REAL DEAL!!! #ActOnClimate
The Democratic presidential candidates are finally getting climate action on the agenda. Next to nuclear blunder, nothing is more important for our future. -- Jerry Brown
Adding climate change to school curriculums. Geoengineering. Thorium fuel reactors. A Blue New Deal. The Syrian war was a climate war. Climate distress included in asylum petitions. Food deserts. Climate denial is a literal sin. “Democracy” is a verb.
For the first time in the history of the country, these topics and others like them were discussed in detail by presidential candidates on live television, and all with the words “Climate Crisis” in huge letters above them on the stage and flashed in chyrons across the screen. Underscoring the gravity of the topic were constant updates on the ruinous progress of Hurricane Dorian, which reclaimed Category 3 status as it clawed its way toward landfall once again...
Ten candidates were given 40 clean minutes each to answer pointed, detailed, climate-specific questions over the course of seven hours.
Virtually every candidate described climate change as an “existential crisis” that needs to be addressed immediately.
“We are going to have to change the nature of many of the things we are doing right now... There will be a transition, and there will be some pain. We are going to have to ask people to make those changes now, even though they may be uncomfortable, for the sake of future generations.” -- Bernie Sanders
"The fossil fuel industry... They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your light bulbs, around your straws, and around your cheeseburgers. When 70 percent of the pollution, of the carbon that we’re throwing into the air, comes from three industries... the building industry, the electric power industry and the oil industry."'
"And why don’t we focus there? It's corruption! It's these giant corruptions that keep hiring the PR firms so we don’t look at who’s still making the big bucks off polluting our earth. And the time for that is past. We have a chance, a chance left in 2020 to turn this around. But we are running out of time on this one." -- Elizabeth Warren
Media & Social Media Begin Responding to the #ClimateTownHall
As concerns mount over the dangers of a rapidly warming planet, upstart food companies are targeting a major climate-damaging food: beef.
Beyond Meat and its rival Impossible Foods have recently grabbed headlines and fast-food deals for their plant-based burgers that imitate the taste of beef.
Thank you Planet Citizen Rebecca Moore
Visit GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands, for more on the G7 Summit
By the Washington Post Editorial Board / August 2019
The US President Talks of Buying Greenland
Minerals, oil and gas resources are talked of while some say the President has gone 'mad'
Iceland Holds Funeral for Glacier Lost to Climate Change, Set Up Plaque with Chilling Message
By Stewart Perrie
People living in Iceland are understandably devastated after news broke that one of their glaciers has all but disappeared because of climate change.
According to the BBC, it was officially declared 'dead' in 2014 when researchers found it wasn't thick enough to move, but the recent NASA pictures showed just how much ice had receded since then.
So, in honor of the glacier, a group of people travelled to where it once stood and held a funeral. In addition to that, they also erected a plaque that had a pretty chilling message attached to it.
"Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier," it reads.
"In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done.
"Only you know if we did it."
In addition to that scary message, it also notes the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere so that generations in the future have a reference point to look back on.
People brought signs that said 'Declare Climate Emergency' and 'Pull The Emergency Brake' as they hiked to the site.
Trump's latest -- Kill the Clean Power Plan
- States Sue the U.S.
- Via the Wall Street Journal (subscription) / States Sue Trump Administration Over Rollback of Power-Plant Regulations
- New York and California lead group saying the government isn’t meeting its Clean Air Act role
Trump: Cut Endangered Species Act Protections
- Via the NY Times / The New Threat to Endangered Species? The Trump Administration
- Via Vox / The Endangered Species Act is incredibly popular and effective. Trump is weakening it anyway
A million species are threatened worldwide. This is how Trump responds
United Nations: Eat less meat: UN climate change report calls for change to human diet
The report on global land use and agriculture from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes amid accelerating deforestation in the Amazon
Via GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands
Another Nuclear Weapons Control Treaty 'Bites the Dust'
Return to Doomsday
“The United States and Russia are now in a state of strategic instability,” Ernest J. Moniz, the former energy secretary, and Sam Nunn, the former Georgia senator who helped draft the legislation that funded the drastic reduction in former Soviet nuclear forces, write in a coming article in Foreign Affairs ominously titled “The Return to Doomsday.” “Not since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis has the risk of a U.S.-Russian confrontation involving the use of nuclear weapons been as high as it is today. Yet unlike during the Cold War, both sides seem willfully blind to the peril.”
On the 'Space Coast' of eastern Florida, at the launch pad site of the US space program, where the Apollo missions blasted off and Apollo 8 recorded "Earthrise" as our home planet appeared surprisingly out the spaceship's window, and Apollo 17 with its Whole Earth image that was the first of its kind taken by human hands, and Apollo 11 with its astronauts walking on the Moon, celebrating this month the 50th anniversary.
Now, as we remember the historic feats of humanity and science, we watch as the NASA space program site begins to slip underwater as the sea level rises.
USF researchers document Cape Canaveral launch complexes before they slip into the sea
The Atlantic Ocean will reach all of the launch sites within a few decades, but the buildings will live on digitally in 3D
Launch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
[Photo courtesy of the University of South Florida Libraries Digital Heritage and Humanities Collections]
Via NYT / Automakers secretly negotiate climate deal with California rebuffing Trump's mileage freeze
July 20th, 1969 / July 20, 2019
SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: It was a mind-changing year. Beginning with the historic "Earthrise" photo taken as Apollo 8 astronauts circled the moon in preparation for Apollo 11 and humankind's first step on the Moon.
History shifted, cognitive awareness changed as together we welcomed a new 'Whole Earth' vision.
We surprised ourselves, looking back for the first time at the oasis of Earth, our home planet in full blue-green color, all life as we know it suspended in the darkness and vastness of space.
This was to many, including your writer, the beginnings of the modern environmental movement. To protect and preserve life became an ongoing mission that we continue every day. A gift of life.
On this 50th anniversary of the 1969 Moon landing let's celebrate as planet citizen voyagers...
Energy: Renewable and Non-Renewable
Listings on Global Stock Exchange Change
- * https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3078491/oil-and-gas-firms-labelled-non-renewable-on-london-stock-exchange
League of Women Voters 2020
Climate change is rapidly escalating into the single greatest threat we face / #Climate Crisis
Green New Deal, Positions on the Issues, US 2020 Presidential Campaign
(July 3, 2019, updated weekly)
Comprehensive comparison of US Democratic Party 2020 candidates
Update On Democratic Party Presidential Debate
MOUNTING PRESSURE FROM climate change activists appears to be working on the Democratic National Committee, which has taken up consideration of proposals that could allow a presidential debate on the topic.
The DNC executive committee gathered... and referred two resolutions regarding climate change discussions to a committee. The committee has scheduled a vote on the measures on Aug. 23, according to activist group Sunrise Movement. A DNC official confirmed Tuesday that the next phase of the resolution process will begin in late August.
Activists said that last week's debates proved a conversation focused solely on climate change is necessary. Roughly 15 minutes of the pair of two-hour debates were focused on the issue.
Eight Minutes + Seven Minutes = 15 Minutes Among Twenty Candidates
As the US Democratic party holds its first 2020 presidential candidates debate in Miami...
Four hours of televised debate, how much time involves climate and/or 'existential questions'?
It's Now Obvious, the Democrats via their DNC Need a #ClimateDebate for #ClimateSolutions
The first climate question arrives more than 80 minutes into the Dem presidential debate on both nights
Photo via Vox
"Tonight’s debate made it crystal clear that the media and the political establishment are out of touch with our generation," said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement. "Our survival is worth more time than vague, irrelevant, and trivial questions posed 80 minutes into the debate to a few minor candidates."
GreenPolicy360: In 2016, during all the US presidential debates, a climate policy question was asked, what, once? Tonight (June 26th) the US Democratic Party starts their presidential campaign debate, in Miami, even as the current US pres denies the big picture, the climate/global/atmospheric threat, the existential challenges, the national/state and local #ClimateCrisis impacts.
For decades now the GreenPolicy team has warned of the gathering crisis and we have urged a New Vision, a strategic vision with New Definitions of National and Global Security. The time is now for the Democratic Party to step up and face the great challenge of our generation -- climate disruption, climate crisis.
In Florida, the consequences of sea level rise are vivid and VERY real.
Globally, this is an existantial crisis, climate disruption, that is, atmospheric disruption, what GreenPolicy360 calls the disruption of the "thin blue layer", earth's life protecting atmosphere.
Speaking of climate disruption, global security and protection/preservation of the atmosphere, watch this scientist talk of the clear and present dangers of nuclear war. We are "one mistake away" from nuclear war initiated by any of the nuclear weapons countries (the U.S., Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, France, the U.K., North Korea) leading to regional impacts spreading to global winter and collapse of civilization.
We need New Definitions of National and Global Security and concerted action now to protect our common security and prevent the fast escalating threats to life as we know it.
Existential Threats, National & Global Security
Via GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands
As the United States summarily ends its adherance to nuclear weapons control agreements, think about what's going thru the minds of North Korea, China, Russia... think about an INF negotiation, a New START negotiation... any nuclear negotiation ... as the US unilaterally abandons/withdraws from/violates (pick ur phrase) existing arms control agreements.
Recall this language in the JCPOA. Paragraph 26 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) states: The United States will make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA ... 1/3
and to prevent interference with the realisation of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified... The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions. 2/3
Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions specified in Annex II, or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part. 3/3
Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule that targeted coal plants
This Trump environmental rollback is a declaration of war against America and all of humanity. The president and his cynical enablers refuse to recognize that global warming is real and getting worse -- soon to be catastrophic. Stop this insanity.
-- Jerry Brown, June 19, 2019
Fox News / Pope warns oil execs of need for "rapid" energy transition
84 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump
Via the NY Times / June 3, 2019
A New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts more than 80 in a Trump administration 'aggressive schedule'...
Trump administration escalates war on climate science
"First of all we're just going to assume electrification of the light-vehicle fleet by 2040," Greene said. "Now people can argue whether that's going to happen or not, but it is doable. But we're still going to need liquid fuels for other parts of the transportation sector."
Those parts are more difficult to clean up: aircraft, ships, trains, trucks, heavy machinery. "Right now we don't see a way to avoid liquid fuels for those, but things happen, so you can't you can't say for sure what the future holds. But anyway we're going to go with the fact that we are likely to need liquid fuels into the future."
Fuel The Rest With Marine Algae
European Election Results: Green Surge in European Parliament
Green Party (EFA) could hold balance of power in EU parliament with est 70+ MEPs
Green Leader, Ska Keller, to become President of European Commission?
The presidency of the EU Commission, currently held by Jean-Claude Juncker, is among those up for grabs.
“Thank you so much for your trust in us Greens,” Ska Keller, candidate for the post of European commission president, told a press conference in Brussels.
“This is a mandate for real change: for climate protection, a social Europe, more democracy and stronger rule of law.” Above all, Keller said, the Greens “want to achieve climate action now – because if we wait any longer, it will be a disaster”.
Any parliamentary group that wanted Green support would have to “deliver on our three key principles: climate action, civil liberties and social justice”, she said. “For us it’s clear: this is all about content.”
Party leaders from parliamentary groupings are meeting in Brussels in an effort to agree on a "Spitzenkandidat" - lead candidate - for Mr Juncker's job. The Commission enforces EU rules and drafts EU laws, so it is the most coveted post in the 28-nation bloc.
The European Green Party — the federation of national parties that focus on environmental policies — surpassed all expectations in the Europe-wide vote. Buoyed by protest movements, increasingly stark reports from climate scientists, and galvanizing figures like Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, the party won at least 69 seats in the European Parliament, up from their current 50 seats. They will be the fourth largest group in the 751-seat body, which works with the European Union’s executive arm to propose and approve laws for the bloc.
Across much of northern Europe they made record gains, coming close to doubling their share of the vote in France, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland.
It was not just their environmental policies which captured the public’s attention, the group’s leaders say, but a focus on social justice and fairness, and a desire among the E.U. electorate to shake up the traditional parties and vote for people promising change...
For the first time, the big center-left and center-right groups – which traditionally worked together to dominate European policy-making – have lost their majority. So the first task for the European Greens is to work out their alliances in this uncharted parliamentary landscape, and figure out how to leverage their newfound influence.
Inslee’s campaign is systematically translating the Green New Deal's lofty goals — to decarbonize the economy sector by sector, in a way that creates high-quality jobs and protects frontline communities — into policy proposals, focused on an immediate 10-year mobilization. This isn’t just a campaign play, it’s a document the next Democratic president is going to want in-hand when the time comes to get to work. (And if that president needs some kind of climate czar ...)
OCO-3 News Coverage Should Have Been of a Globally Important Event
OCO-3 arrives at the International Space Station to begin its earth science-space mission. There's little to find in Media coverage on its real-world importance whether on Google News, Bing Search, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, pick your international news sources...
Yet, in fact and substance, the science of OCO-3 is critically important. Earth Science. Measuring CO2. JPL-Caltech/NASA, scientific inquiry at its best. Essential data and baseline information critical for informed policy and decision-making (yet President Donald Trump tried to kill the launch of OCO-3 and related US FY2018 missions to measure and monitor CO2).
A global security story... National security... Existential threats ...
OCO-3 Arrives at the International Space Station
OCO-3 was built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge for less than $100 million, using parts left over from its predecessor, OCO-2. Once the carbon observatory gets to the ISS, a robotic arm will mount it on the underside of the space station so it can keep a close eye on the carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.
That will help scientists answer questions about how and why levels of the greenhouse gas fluctuate over days, months and years.
“Our goal is to get really good data so we can make informed decisions about how to manage carbon and carbon emissions in the future,” said Annmarie Eldering, the mission’s project scientist at JPL.
Carbon dioxide makes up a tiny fraction of the molecules in our atmosphere — roughly 400 parts per million. But seemingly small changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have an outsized effect on the planet’s temperature.
“Carbon is really effective at trapping heat,” Eldering said. “Even changing the ratio from 300 parts per million to 400 parts per million makes a big difference.”
OCO-3 is so sensitive that it can detect changes as small as 1 part per million. So if CO2 levels go from 406 ppm one day to 407 ppm the next, the space-based observatory will record the increase.
Eldering, who also worked on OCO-2, spoke= about the difference between the instruments, the new information she hopes to learn from OCO-3, and how she and her team managed to keep their cool when their project seemed headed for the chopping block.
Q: What are the main science questions you hope OCO-3 will answer?
The big science question is about the movement of carbon dioxide between plants and the atmosphere.
If you look at the ground-based data, it almost looks like the planet is breathing. Plants in the northern hemisphere take up carbon dioxide as they grow in the spring and summer, reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by a few parts per million. In the fall, the leaves drop and carbon is released back into the air.
But every year is different. There are changes in the forests in Canada. El Niño years affect the carbon cycle.
What we want to do is find drivers of the plant uptake of carbon and use that to better predict what will happen in the future. If we have a warmer, drier climate, will plants keep taking up as much carbon?
Q: Why is it helpful to look at Earth’s carbon cycle from space?
We have Earth-based data, but having a satellite observatory lets you see things in a bigger context. That includes data over the oceans that the ground-based measurements generally don’t see.
Q: Can you give me an example of something you learned from data collected by OCO-2?
In 2015 and 2016, there was a global weather pattern called an El Niño that had a big impact on the carbon cycle in South America, South Africa and Indonesia, but in different ways.
South America had drought, so the plants there were not as active and did not remove as much carbon dioxide as they usually do. In the tropical part of Africa it was super hot, so the plant material was decomposing fast and releasing carbon dioxide. And Indonesia was on fire — that put a lot of carbon back in the air.
Before we would have said, “El Niño is affecting the tropics” and just leave it at that. Now we can tease that apart in more detail, and that is really exciting as a scientist.
Q: How is OCO-3 different than OCO-2?
The main purpose of OCO-3 is to make sure we have a continuous record of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, but we are adding some new capabilities. One of those is to take a snapshot of carbon levels over an area of 50 miles by 50 miles. This will feed a bunch of science investigations of emission hot spots, like cities or volcanoes.
We can also look at how plant activity changes over the course of a day, which is something OCO-2 could not do.
Q: How does OCO-3 work?
OCO-3 is a spectrometer that looks at Earth’s surface in three wavelengths: two for carbon dioxide, and one for the type of light your eyes see. Every molecule has a unique way that it absorbs light, almost like a fingerprint, and that’s what we exploit in our instrument.
If the CO2 levels are 405 ppm, we will see a certain amount of light change in the CO2 band. If it is 406, we’ll see just a bit more.
Q: President Trump tried to cancel this mission twice. How stressful was that for you and your team?
I’ve been over at JPL for 20 years now, and this is not the first mission I’ve worked on that has had funding ups and downs. We are fortunate that we have three branches of government, and that Congress is very active and has kept the importance of this work in mind as they created the budget.
My strategy for getting my work done is just to put on blinders and get the work done.
More Than a Carbon Copy: OCO-3 on the Space Station -- https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7364
OCO-3 Ready to Extend NASA's Study of Carbon -- https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7389
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/OCO-2
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Earth_Science_Research_from_Space
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Global_Security
- • https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/New_Definitions_of_National_Security
Via the NY Times, May 6, 2019 / Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of the global biodiversity report findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.
According to Mike Barrett, World Wildlife Fund's Executive Director of Conservation and Science: “All of our ecosystems are in trouble. This is the most comprehensive report on the state of the environment. It irrefutably confirms that nature is in steep decline.”
(Source: Jonathan Watts, Biodiversity Crisis, Humanity at Risk, UN Scientists Warn, The Guardian, May 3, 2019)
Tags: #Biodiversity #Extinction #Sustainability #Wildlife
A new effort to save birds pinpoints in amazing detail where they fly
by Anders Gyllenhaal / Excerpt via the Washington Post and wire services
For years, as California's Central Valley grew into the nation's leading agricultural corridor, the region gradually lost almost all of the wetlands that birds, from the tiny sandpiper to the great blue heron, depend on during their migrations along the West Coast.
But a dramatic turnaround is underway in the valley. Dozens of farmers leave water on their fields for a few extra weeks each season to create rest stops for birds. The campaign has not only helped salvage a vital stretch of the north-south migration path called the Pacific Flyway but also tested a fresh model for protecting wildlife.
The experiment is built on new research by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which blends the sightings of tens of thousands of birdwatchers with satellite photos and wildlife data. The combination produces digital maps so precise that they can predict when and where birds will come through, so that farmers know when to flood their fields.
"The amount of information in these maps is way beyond what any single source or even combination of sources could give you, said Marshall Iliff, project co-leader of Cornell's eBird Project. "It's on a scale that's never been done before.
At a time when 40% of the Earth's 10,000 bird species are in decline, according to the State of the World's Birds 2018 report, the still-developing eBird Project helps to remake traditional conservation.
The way eBird works is simple: Cornell collects millions of sightings from birdwatchers using the eBird app that records the location of every species spotted. It computes where birds are over the course of the year, how they move with the seasons and which species are thriving and which are struggling.
Compared with the cumbersome practice of banding birds one by one to track their travels, eBird data produce a far more comprehensive picture for hundreds of species at a time. The targeted approach is also much less expensive than alternatives: The Central Valley "pop-up" wetlands - created by paying farmers small fees to keep fields wet for a few weeks - costs 85 percent less than buying land outright, according to the Nature Conservancy.
"We might only need to protect birds, or restrict, or change the way people use certain landscapes for maybe just a few weeks during the year, said Amanda Rodewald, Garvin professor of ornithology and director of conservation science at Cornell. "We now have the opportunity to dramatically transform how we approach conservation.
More than 400,000 birders have sent in 34 million lists of species in the United States and dozens of other countries in recent years. That makes this the largest citizen-science effort to date. Birders have reported seeing almost every species on Earth.
As the data have poured in, the research started to reveal important, concrete findings about how birds are adjusting to changing climates.
They show how species such as the American bald eagle, a major conservation success story, can be found in every state as its numbers and habitat expand. They show how other birds, such as some hummingbirds and warblers, struggle to adapt to warming trends, which are trimming breeding seasons and reducing their numbers.
Last fall, Cornell launched the stunning animated maps, which bring the migration to life by converting somewhat dry data into video illustrations that show routes birds take over the course of a year.
It's possible to watch the huge sandhill crane work its way from Alaska and Canada across the West and Midwest to Texas and Florida. The path of the ruby-throated hummingbird is shown shifting in a cloud of pixels from Canada down through the eastern United States to Central America. Another animated map shows the yellow warbler moving from the far north to Central America, passing through every state on its massive migration.
"People really get excited over the animations, Cornell research associate Frank La Sorte said of the maps that so far include about 100 species. "We look at them as science. But people are seeing the beauty in it. That's really helping to generate excitement."
This is the time of year when birdwatchers are getting out binoculars and hiking boots to immerse themselves in the spring migration. And Cornell hopes to boost eBird contributors with the Global Big Day, the annual count scheduled for May 4. About 30,000 birders around the world are expected to join the 24-hour push that tracks the yearly numbers for species.
One who'll be out birding for the count is Holly Merker, an environmental educator from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, one of eBird's top contributors. "Why wouldn't everybody be doing this?" she said. "It can make a real difference."
Tags: #CitizenScience #Biodiversity #Wildlife
Re: 'Global Big Day' / May 4, 2019
- • https://cornellsun.com/2019/04/29/global-big-day-24-hour-extreme-birding-event-to-take-place-may-4/
O'Rourke's climate change plan would "set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation."
"We need a guarantee that we will, in fact, achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and get halfway there by 2030," according to the plan. "For this reason, Beto will work with Congress to enact a legally enforceable standard — within his first 100 days."
The emission reduction goal is in line with the Green New Deal, a broad policy proposal from progressive Democrats to battle climate change among other issues, which is backed by several 2020 Democrats, including O'Rourke.
"By investing in infrastructure, innovation, and in our people and communities, we can achieve this ambition, which is in line with the 2050 emissions goal of the Green New Deal, in a way that grows our economy and shrinks our inequality."
When asked who is advising O'Rourke on energy, a campaign spokesperson told CNN, "Beto consulted with impacted individuals and communities, academics, scientists, entrepreneurs, advocates and activists, and local, state, tribal, and federal government leaders."
"Throughout this campaign, he has listened to Americans all across the country and made their ideas and concerns part of his platform as he he's held 113 town halls in 88 cities and answered 625 questions," the spokesperson said. "That's how he learned more about record f(l)ooding in Iowa, drought in Nevada, a fight over offshore drilling in South Carolina, historic conservation efforts in New Hampshire, plans to protect the water and forests of Virginia, and wind and solar job growth throughout Texas."
On April 22, 2019, Earth Day in the US
- - A coal lobbyist runs the EPA
- - An oil lobbyist runs the DOI
- - A Monsanto exec runs US Fish & Wildlife
- - A BP oil attorney is the nation's top enviro lawyer
- - A fossil fuel lobbyist is the EPA's air pollution chief
- - A big energy insider regulates our power grid
- Via Public Citizen
Via The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists / The original Earth Day in 1970 was an eye-popping success. An estimated 20 million Americans joined the events, 10 percent of the country’s population, making it the largest demonstration in U.S. history.
The 1960s and decade that followed also gave us 28 major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Before these laws, thick smog dimmed many U.S. cities in the middle of the day. In 1969, floating debris in Ohio’s Cuyahoga River famously caught fire, with flames towering five stories high. That same year, the oil slick from a Santa Barbara drilling accident spread over more than 800 square miles of water.
After seeing California’s oil-scarred shores, Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, came up with an idea. He proposed holding a “teach-in” — used by protesters organizing against the Vietnam War — to get college students around the country talking about the environment. He hired young organizers to make his dream happen, and it turned into Earth Day, a much bigger event that he’d ever imagined.
“He originally would have been happy if a few colleges or universities joined,” said Adam Rome, author of "The Genius of Earth Day". “He had no idea that it was going to explode into the consciousness of the nation.”
Earth Day Today, April 22, 2019
This year's Earth Day is "Protect Our Species" and draws draw attention to rapid global destruction of species and reduction of the world's plant and wildlife populations.
"All living things have an intrinsic value, and each plays a unique role in the complex web of life. We must work together to protect endangered and threatened species."
Greta Speaks to the European Union:
Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced
The Overstory / Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Global ecological collapse is the biggest story of our age. Broken cycles of air, water and earth are challenges against which trade wars pale in comparison. But it has also proved one of the hardest narratives for writers to tell. Novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road have offered powerful warnings about the aftermath of disaster, yet few writers have grappled with how the journey towards catastrophe unfurls. Any agency the natural world might possess – its ability to feel, communicate and adapt – has rarely provided more than background to humanity’s self-centred toil.
Richard Powers’s eco-novel The Overstory urgently challenges our ideas about humanity and nature.
Powers collapses the idea that human consciousness is paramount. The novel opens up questions about the “personhood” of plants, how ecology has shaped our minds, and the potential for digital life to shift our consciousness again. It also challenges preconceptions about hippy tree-huggers.
Most importantly, Powers queries earlier representations that might be cluttering our relationship to the natural world. In a section entitled “Trunk”, the activists camp out in the branches of an ancient Californian sequoia, and the tree’s monumental scale is an echo of the 19th-century romantic-sublime. Yet far from portraying nature as an “other”, to be conquered and surveyed, Powers gives us the experiences of daily, tree-top living... pulling the tone back towards the intimate and entwined.
Tracing the lives of nine individuals as they attempt to save the virgin forests of North America, the novel ties together the struggles of humans and plants, and reveals a world “where the wrong people have all the rights”.
Doing so requires a fable-like narrative that sprawls across decades.
The Overstory, the latest book from the American novelist Richard Powers, a writer who puts science at the heart of his fiction...
Ratcheting Up in the U.K. / Extinction Rebellion
Non-violent Civil Disobedience
A Roll-Role Model for Cities (and Landowners) across the Country
Like over a hundred other cities across the country, Ojai has been suffering from a contentious gas leaf-blower debate since they enacted a residential gas leaf-blower ban in 1999. There has been no effective enforcement mechanism nor did there seem to be any reasonable alternative to gas equipment. (Brooms and rakes are ideal for some residential properties, but they are not a practical solution for commercial and municipal crews, or the elderly, or those with larger properties.)
But in just the past five years — thanks to cell phones, laptops, and electric cars — incredible advances in lithium-battery chemistry and technology have dramatically increased the power, performance, and run-times of cordless electric lawn and garden tools. In fact the top-of-the-line equipment are now achieving gas-like performance even in all-day commercial settings — except they are quieter, cleaner, simpler, and much more cost-effective over time.
“The health and environmental impacts are substantial and will be enjoyed throughout the entire community, year after year. In embracing electric operations, the city of Ojai has demonstrated inspiring sustainability leadership and vision, and gifted its citizens a permanently quieter and cleaner future.”
Speaking to the young presenters... "2050 is just 30 years from now," said US Representative Kathy Castor, chair of the climate committee. "All of you will be about our age." Castor is 52. To avoid many of the most ruinous effects of climate change — namely debilitating droughts, historic flooding, and deadly wildfires — the United Nations has concluded modern civilization must slash carbon emissions to basically zero by 2050. / Via Mashable
The New Silk Road, China's Infrastructure Project Connects Continents
- Visit GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands, for the latest geo-political updates
On the Launch in the 1990s of the Virtual University and on the 50th Anniversary of the Open University
Salud, a Smile, and a Tip of Our GreenPolicy360 Hat
We are a movement... We are disruptors, occasional troublemakers, game changers.
We are the fuel of imagination
Kids in 123 countries strike to protect the climate
“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.”
An estimated 1.4 million young people in 123 countries skipped school Friday to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history.
Via deSmog / When President Trump nominated long-time Koch network insider and renewable energy antagonist Daniel Simmons to lead the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the administration's priorities for federal energy programs were made abundantly clear. Simmons had, after all, been serving at the time of his nomination as Vice President for Policy at a Koch-funded think tank that had, in 2015, called for the outright elimination of the very office he was tapped to lead.
The Trump administration budget proposal released this week, for fiscal year 2020, goes a long way toward delivering this wish to the Koch network, calling for a 70 percent reduction in funding for the EERE and scrapping entirely the Department of Energy’s loan programs. The EERE ultimately received $2.4 billion in the current 2019 budget, and the current Trump proposal would fund it at $696 million.
The DOE’s renewable energy programs have long been targets of the Kochs' network of “free market” think tanks and advocacy organizations, including the Institute for Energy Research (IER) and its sister organiation, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), where Simmons worked for a decade before joining the Trump administration.
In fact, while Simmons was VP of Policy at AEA, the group called on Congress to eliminate the EERE entirely...
In 2007, Simmons was responsible for producing ALEC’s report, “Energy, Environment, and Agriculture: A Guide for State Legislators,” which as the Energy and Policy Institute describes, “illustrates how the group works to manufacture doubt about the causes and risks of climate change and attack clean energy policies on behalf of its (now dwindling) network of fossil fuel and utility industry funders.”
More on Simmons at E&E News -- https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060054296
@South by Southwest / #SXSW
AOC: Don't Worship the 'Meh'
“Moderate is not a stance. It's just an attitude towards life of, like, ‘meh,’” she said, shrugging her shoulders for emphasis. “We’ve become so cynical, that we view ‘meh,’ or ‘eh’ — we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when ... the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions."
March 5, 2019
A "Beyond Carbon" Campaign
Michael Bloomberg: “I will launch... 'Beyond Carbon': a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy.”
Michael Bloomberg will be 'doing' environmental campaigning the next two years, not 'talking' and running for president...
March 1, 2019
Washington Gov Joins 2020 Race, Promises To ‘Rise Up to the Most Urgent Challenge of Our Time’
- Jay Inslee Promises to Run a Climate Action Campaign
https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/transcript-govs-michelle-lujan-grisham-jay-inslee-on-face-the-nation-february-24-2019/ -- https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/jay-inslee-announces-climate-focused-2020-presidential-run-does-he-stand-a-chance/ -- https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/01/politics/inslee-2020-presidential-campaign/index.html -- https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/01/washington-gov-jay-inslee-announces-presidential-bid/3025885002/ -- https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/03/jay-inslee-2020-presidential-run-climate-change -- https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/01/washington-governor-jay-inslee-launches-2020-presidential-campaign-1197170 -- https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-inslee-president-election-201900301-story.html -- https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/jay-inslee-presidential-candidate-2020-801415/ -- https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-political-scene/jay-inslee-wants-to-be-a-presidential-candidate-for-the-climate-change-era -- https://electrek.co/2019/03/01/jay-inslee-presidential-bid/
A Fable, a Rationalist, a Campaign for Our Times -- http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/jay-inslee-is-the-democratic-partys-sanest-2020-candidate.html
Apollo's Fire by Jay Inslee -- https://www.amazon.com/Apollos-Fire-Igniting-Americas-Economy/dp/1597266493
February 18, 2019
Chicago, Chicago, a town of renown, joining towns and states across the US going to renewable energy
February 13, 2019
Hearing: The State of Climate Science and Why it Matters
Committee on Science, Space and Technology
CLIMATE / Via E&E News
Democrats praise 'refreshing' change in Science Committee
The Science, Space and Technology Committee kicked off its long-awaited climate hearing this morning by agreeing on one basic fact: Climate change is happening.
Back in business! After a decade of inaction under a Republican climate denial party line, climate science is again in front of the US House of Representatives.
Climate change is happening. Science-based decisions are needed, resilience is necessary, a Green New Deal is proposed, and healthier, more secure communities are the goal.
February 12, 2019
Bugs Be Gone
Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’
The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found.
Insects... are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.
“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades. The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic...."
The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides. Urbanisation and climate change are also significant factors.
The new analysis selected the 73 best studies done to date to assess the insect decline. Butterflies and moths are among the worst hit. Bees have also been seriously affected...
“The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification. That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.” The demise of insects appears to have started at the dawn of the 20th century, accelerated during the 1950s and 1960s and reached “alarming proportions” over the last two decades.
In the tropics, where industrial agriculture is often not yet present, the rising temperatures due to climate change are thought to be a significant factor in the decline.
“The evidence all points in the same direction,” said Prof Dave Goulson at the University of Sussex in the UK. “It should be of huge concern to all of us, for insects are at the heart of every food web, they pollinate the large majority of plant species, keep the soil healthy, recycle nutrients, control pests, and much more. Love them or loathe them, we humans cannot survive without insects.”
Envisioning a Green New Deal
- • https://www.npr.org/2019/02/07/691997301/rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-releases-green-new-deal-outline
- • https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/7/18203910/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-green-new-deal-2020
Follow the Green New Deal progress at GreenPolicy360
Washington Post / Fact Checker Analysis
In 745 days, President Trump has made 8,459 false or misleading claims. - (Updated Feb. 3, 2019)
The Fact Checker’s ongoing database of the false or misleading claims made by President Trump since assuming office.
January 29, 2019
- Kamala Harris, U.S. presidential candidate -- https://twitter.com/KamalaHarris/status/1090091453341155328
January 27, 2019
January 24, 2019
January 19, 2019
The January 2019 Changing Climate National Defense report is organized into three primary sections:
I. Summary of Climate Effects and Resulting Vulnerabilities
II. DoD Efforts to Increase Installation Resiliency & Operational Viability
GreenPolicy360/Strategic Demands: The latest U.S. climate-related national security report is limited in its scope and, as a result, is severely limited in its ability to analyze and monitor the range of strategic environmental challenges in the immediate-, near-, and long-term.
A varying vision of these threats to security can be found at GreenPolicy360 and associate Strategic Demands.
The key to a "strategic realism" is contingency planning. Any full scientific assessment of security threats on the horizon is replete with environmental/global risks that are drawing daily into view. These risks are presenting clear and present danger, in U.S. Department of Defense terms, yet are being set aside due to political exigencies.
It is time for a new vision of security. Changing climate is a 360, 24/7 threat to the nation and to international relations. Climate change or better named for what it is -- climate disruption -- is the critical challenge of the 21st century. The defense establishment ignores this security reality at our joint peril.
January 17, 2019
Andrew Wheeler, Trump's EPA pick says climate change 'not the greatest crisis'. The former coal lobbyist took over the EPA when his predecessor Scott Pruitt resigned after months of controversy. Wheeler says, in confirmation hearings (reported by few media outlets), that "he is carrying out the president’s “regulatory reform agenda” and that the US is the “gold standard for environmental progress”.
The environment could become a top issue in the 2020 presidential race. Asked if he agreed with the president’s past statements that climate change is a Chinese “hoax”, Wheeler said he would “not use the hoax word, myself”. The latest major Trump resignations and firings. But Wheeler said he would “not call it the greatest crisis”.
“I consider it a huge issue that has to be addressed globally.”
Wheeler also told the New Jersey senator Cory Booker, a likely presidential contender, that he is “still examining” a November report from US government scientists showing the country will suffer from heat-related deaths, coastal flooding and infrastructure damage.
Booker said Wheeler’s regulatory changes “fly in the face” of that science, and the Massachusetts senator Ed Markey called it “unacceptable” that Wheeler would seek confirmation without being familiar with the report.
Wheeler was a lobbyist at Faegre Baker Daniels, where he represented coal company Murray Energy until August 2017. Murray Energy wrote the administration a list of rule changes that would help the industry, and they are largely under way.
January 14, 2019
More coal powered US power plants were shutting the first two years of President Donald Trump's presidency than in President Obama's entire first term. According to Data from Reuters and the US Energy Information Administration nearly 15,000 megawatts of coal-fired power retired from 2009 to 2012, while from 2017 to 2018 that number jumped to about 23,000...
January 5, 2019
The new normal is abnormal.
January 4, 2019
January 3, 2019
USA Today / Natural disasters in Texas on the scale of Hurricane Harvey's deadly destruction last year will become more frequent because of a changing climate, warns a new report Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, ordered by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in a state where skepticism about climate change.
"We need to stop making the old mistakes in local development that expose homes and businesses to risks that only become apparent when disaster strikes. To paraphrase the old saying, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure."
While climate change has largely broken down along partisan lines at the state and federal level, the nation's mayors have overwhelmingly put aside political parties to address the issue. A survey of mayors this year found that 57 percent of cities are planning to take climate-related actions in 2019. And dozens of the country's largest cities have committed to meeting the terms of the 2025 Paris Agreement on climate change, which Trump is withdrawing from on a national level.
"I think every mayor in the country would say it's their responsibility to do something," said James Brainard, the longtime mayor of Carmel, Indiana. "Our mayors are not sitting back. The mayors are the closest elected officials to the people and the mayors can make this happen regardless of what the federal government does."
Brainard, a Republican, said he doesn't consider climate change a political issue, but he acknowledged he sometimes has to tailor his message for different audiences. Liberal groups, for instance, love that the city replaced it's streetlights with LEDs, reducing electricity consumption and therefore the emission of greenhouse gasses. Conservative groups, he said, are usually more interested in the fact that the switch saves the city 20 percent on its electricity bill annually.
January 2, 2019
Globally, steel is responsible for 7 per cent to 9 per cent of all direct emissions from fossil fuels, with each tonne produced resulting in an average 1.83 tonnes of CO2, according to the World Steel Association.
And as the world’s population grows, demand is only predicted to increase....
“In principle there are technology routes to lower emissions from steelmaking,” said David Clarke, head of strategy and chief technology officer at ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer by tonnage. The catch, he added, was that “society would have to accept higher costs of steel production”....
A well-established alternative to blast furnaces are electric arc furnaces (EAFs) that melt down scrap, instead of using raw materials. EAFs are smaller, less expensive and, because they do not consume coke, pump out less CO2 than blast furnaces. They already account for about one-quarter of global steel output.
However, renewable energy sources alone cannot meet their enormous electricity demands — enough to power a town of 100,000 people. Another limitation is the supply of scrap, while the grades produced in EAFs are often not the right quality for certain applications, like automotive....
Swedish steel group SSAB is building a €150m pilot facility, scheduled for 2020, that would make the Nordic country the first to manufacture the metal without fossil fuels.
Hydrogen produced by electrolysis from Sweden’s abundant renewable energy resources will be used to reduce ore into a product called sponge iron, which can be converted into steel through arc furnaces.
But clean hydrogen production is expensive and would require a huge expansion of renewable energy generation capacity. South Korea’s Posco and Voestalpine of Austria are pursuing similar projects, although the latter said it could take two decades to become reality.
Until then, steelmakers are taking intermediary steps. Tata’s system removes several stages of pre-processing raw materials and, if combined with the capture and storage of waste gases, the company said it could lower CO2 emissions by 80 per cent.
December 30, 2018
Philip Shabecoff, a longtime environment reporter, has covered Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and every president in between.
Now, at age 84, he'd like to return to the news business to cover President Trump.
Shabecoff recently spoke to E&E News about his start in environmental journalism, why he thinks the Times owes him an apology and why he labels the Trump administration an "unmitigated disaster."
How did you get the environment beat?
I was assigned to the Washington bureau, and they asked me what I wanted to write about, and I said the environment. That was in 1970. ... The bureau chief told me at the time, "Well, that's not important enough for a full-time reporter in the Washington bureau, and besides, we need some help covering economics." It was not until I'd covered the White House that they let me cover the environment. And at first, not full-time. ... It wasn't until Reagan became president and Anne Gorsuch became EPA administrator and James Watt headed the Interior Department that it became a political issue as well as an environmental issue that they let me cover it full-time.
What were the most interesting storylines that you covered on that beat?
I think my first climate change story was in '78 or '79, and that was buried. The Times held it for a couple of months and put it on page 42 of the Saturday paper, which is as deeply as you can bury a story in the Times.
(SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: The climate change story of '78 referred to here was a historic event, the first US Congressional legislation passed to study Climate Change. George E. Brown of the House science committee put forward the National Climate Program Act. A memorable moment in time --- National Climate Program Act, Public Law 95-367 --- National Climate Program Act, Public Law 95-367, Sept.17, 1978 95th Congress)
Philip Shabecoff interview continues:
A decade later, I covered the hearing with [Colorado Democratic Sen.] Tim Wirth ... [and NASA climate change expert] Jim Hansen. I had interviewed [Hansen] and knew him, and it was the first major splash. It led the newspaper. ... I fully thought at that point there would be action on climate change, that the world governments would start doing something about it. How wrong I was.
Of course, there was the whole Gorsuch-Watt era, when they were trying to dismantle environmental regulations. ... Eventually, they both had to resign, even in the Reagan administration.
What was environmental journalism like in those days?
There was hardly anybody, just a handful [of reporters]. A few of us started the Society of Environmental Journalists with just a handful, and now there's about 1,500 or so, I don't know the exact number. There's a lot of talented environmental journalists out there now.
You know, I had to resign from the Times. Officially I retired, but I resigned because I was taken off the environmental beat in 1990 because my coverage about things like climate change was considered alarmist.
What's your take on the Trump administration?
It is an unmitigated disaster, and he should be — what he's doing to the rollback of environmental regulations and particularly what he's doing to ignore climate change and build up the fossil fuel industry should be considered a crime against humanity, and he should be sent to The Hague and tried.
How do you think Trump has influenced environmental journalism?
I think he's prodded it; I think he's energized it. I think it was sort of fading for a while. I think there's a lot of good reporting coming out of what he's doing. Unfortunately, most of the journalism about the environment is horror stories.
You've seen administrations come and go. Do you think that the Trump administration's environmental policies will be long-lasting?
They can certainly restore a lot of regulations, but the damage that is being done to the climate now, it cannot be reversed. The dumping of toxins into waterways cannot be reversed. I don't think the selling off of public lands can be reversed. The damage by oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge cannot be reversed. One could go on and on. I hope that — and God willing, there will be a next administration in 2020 — they can go back to having a sane environmental policy, but the damage will have been done.
The Trump administration isn’t about renewable energy, but thanks to the Washington, D.C., city council, it could soon be running on clean power. The council passed one of the most ambitious climate bills in the country on Tuesday requiring the District to get all of its energy from renewables by 2032.
The bill was introduced in July by City Councilmember Mary Cheh and was spurred along by a group of more than 110 environmental, justice and faith groups as well as unions. While it includes a host of new climate rules, chief among them is the renewable requirement.
December 21, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 launch
Today, Bill Anders says that the most striking image to him was not the Earth as seen from the moon, so much as it was the Earth receding in the distance as they left it behind on their outbound voyage. Arguably, that view has changed us — colored our attitude toward the environment, international affairs, our place in the universe — more than Apollo’s other accomplishments.
“It took a while to affect me,” Anders says, “this beautiful blue ball against the darkest black you could imagine, getting smaller and smaller as we went. It made me realize how insignificant our little planet was.”
Another Step toward International Cooperation: U.S. resists but chooses to sign agreement
The deal requires every country to follow uniform standards for measuring emissions. Analysts said it was now up to the countries to honor their commitments
Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy at the Union of Concerned Scientists summed up the need for action as the 24th international climate meeting concluded:
- “The real test is what happens when countries go home. All the decision text in the world doesn’t cut a molecule of carbon. You need action on the ground.”
Clean Air Cuts, Now Clean Water Act Rollbacks
- Environmental Protections Agency reports show the rollback of Obama-era regulations will leave 51 percent of the nation's wetlands unprotected
How 'Clean' is the climate/environment of the U.S.?
• Via E&E News / Trump administration breaks with its predecessors by using a 2006 opinion by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia...
Global carbon emissions reached record high in 2018
Washington Post today as nations hold climate talks in Poland... Latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing.
Donald Trump Only World Leader to Reject Climate Change in G20 Statement
In a communiqué released at the end of the summit, the signatories of the Paris climate agreement reaffirmed that the international accord “is irreversible” and that they are committed to its “full implementation,” promising to “continue to tackle climate change, while promoting sustainable development and economic growth.”
Except for the US, which got its own clause restating President Trump’s decision over the summer to remove the US from the agreement.
“The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment,” the U.S. clause reads.
Air Quality / Air Pollution
- Particulate air pollution is the single greatest threat to human health globally.
As the U.S. President thanks himself on a Thanksgiving holiday in November of 2018, and gives himself an "A+" grade on his environmental record, we recall his factual environmental record and his state denial of climate change and its proliferating dangers and risks. Since his administration entered office in 2017, decades of policies put in place to protect the environment have come under assault by federal agencies. The President has not 'done his homework' and has failed in his work. The reality presents a stark contrast to how the U.S. President sees himself and his 'success'.
U.N. climate report card: When it comes to cutting emissions, a dog ate the world’s homework / Via Grist
On Tuesday (Nov. 27, 2018), the U.N. released its annual report card on climate change (The Emissions Gap). The bad news is we’re failing to address the biggest problem facing humanity. The good news? There’s so much room to improve! — and cities and businesses could help pick up the slack.
First, our failing marks: After a three-year plateau, global emissions are rising again “with no signs of peaking,” according to the report. Countries aren’t hitting their Paris goals. In fact, we’re failing at those goals to such a degree that we are making the climate problem worse at an accelerating rate.
And, even if we hit our current targets, it wouldn’t be enough. Factoring in the most ambitious stated climate goals of every nation on Earth, we are still on track for emissions to keep rising beyond 2030. If you’ll recall, the recent IPCC report found that global emissions need to be half their current levels by that year for a shot at keeping warming below catastrophic levels. The U.N. report found that the countries of the world would need to increase the carbon-cutting power of climate policies five-fold in order to meet that goal of 1.5 degrees C warming.
- 27 November 2018
- Authors: UN Environment
The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as agreed at the Conference of the Parties in 2015, is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also calls for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The annual UN Environment Emissions Gap Report presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
View the Full Int'l Report on CO2 Emissions
Trump Says He’s Too Intelligent to Believe Climate Change Report / Via NY Magazine
White House: Federal climate change report 'not based on facts'
- Via the Washington Post / From Donald Trump's 'gut interview
- President Trump Says He’s Too Intelligent To Believe In Climate Change
- The government’s own climate report predicts the planet will warm dramatically by 2100 without urgent efforts to rein in emissions. Trump responds, “I don’t see it.”
- President Donald Trump asserted that he had “very high levels of intelligence,” and as such, did not believe in the scientific consensus surrounding climate change in a sweeping interview with The Washington Post published Tuesday (Nov 27).
- “One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,” said Trump, speaking to the Post’s Josh Dawsey and Philip Rucker. “You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean. ... As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it — not nearly like it is.”
- "You look at our air and our water, and it's right now at a record clean."
- (We do not have 'record clean' and the Trump record is one of increasing atmospheric emissions and loosening clean air rules'.)
- "And when you're talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over."
- ("Oceans are very small"? Oceans cover over 70% of the Earth's surface. And "sailing over?... What should one make of this comment?)
- "It just flows right down the Pacific, it flows, and we say where does this come from. And it takes many people to start off with."
- (The president has blamed China for creating the "myth" of climate change and global warming. Is he now saying that air pollution from China flows to the U.S. and "sails over"? Who knows what the president is saying as he says "where does this come from"...)
16th November 2018 / Reinsurance News
The UN Environment’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has announced a partnership with a group of 16 large, global insurers and reinsurers, to develop a new generation of risk assessment tools that enable the risk transfer industry to better understand the impacts of climate change on their business.
The 16 companies represent around 10% of global insurance premiums and $5 trillion in assets under management, and the pilot group will be tasked with developing analytical tools that they will use to pioneer insurance industry risk disclosures that fall in line with the guidelines and recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
The UNEP FI states that this will require member insurers and reinsurers to leverage the latest climate science, which includes the most advanced, and forward-looking climate scenarios that are out there.
The member re/insurers includes: Allianz, AXA, IAG, Intact Financial Corporation, Länsförsäkringar Sak, MAPFRE, MS&AD, Munich Re, NN Group, QBE, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Storebrand, Swiss Re, TD Insurance, The Co-operators, and Tokio Marine & Nichido.
UN Environment Chief, Erik Solheim, commented: “For generations, the insurance industry has served as society’s early warning system and risk manager by understanding, reducing, pricing and carrying risk. Its message now is loud and clear: climate change risk is intensifying and is a serious threat to the insurability of communities and economies around the world.
“An uninsurable world is a price that society could not afford. This is why UN Environment is working with leading insurers to understand and reduce risk, to seize unprecedented business opportunities in climate action, and to ensure an insurable, resilient and sustainable world.”
Results of the US Mid-term Congressional Election
- Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side / by David Sirota via The Guardian
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) is poised to take control of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Johnson was the first registered nurse elected to Congress, and will be the first chair of the committee with a STEM background since the 1990s, when it was led by former engineer George Brown (D-Calif.). She has a strong positive rating from the League of Conservation Voters...
- Remembering George Brown, chairman of the US House Science Com't over the years when it was committed to advancing science
Nov 6, 2018
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
(Dallas, TX) – Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) statement:
“I am heartened that Democrats will be in the Majority in the 116th Congress, and I cannot wait to get to work. If I am fortunate enough to be elected Chair of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, a Committee that I like to call the ‘Committee of the Future,’ I know that there is much that we can accomplish as Democrats and Republicans working together for the good of the nation. There is much to be done in the next Congress, and I believe that at a minimum we need to pursue an agenda that will:
- Ensure that the United States remains the global leader in innovation, which will require attention to a wide range of activities: promoting effective STEM education solutions, engaging the underrepresented minorities and blue collar workers in the STEM fields, supporting a robust federally funded R&D enterprise and emerging areas of science and technology, defending the scientific enterprise from political and ideological attacks, and challenging misguided or harmful Administration actions;
- Address the challenge of climate change, starting with acknowledging it is real, seeking to understand what climate science is telling us, and working to understand the ways we can mitigate it; and finally,
- Restore the credibility of the Science Committee as a place where science is respected and recognized as a crucial input to good policymaking.
“These three priorities will keep us very busy both legislatively and in carrying out the serious oversight that has been neglected by our Committee the past few Congresses. If appointed as Chair, I will work tirelessly to advance this agenda for the good of our nation.”
The EPA's Climate Change Page Is Just Gone Now
November 1, 2018 / Via Environmental Data & Governance Initiative / Motherboard
A report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative reveals that the removal of climate change information from the EPA website is set to be a long-term policy of the Trump administration.
EPA.gov pages that previously provided information about climate change have been changed from claiming that they are "updating" to an error message that reads, "We want to help you find what you are looking for," as revealed by a report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. The change indicates that information related climate change is not being “updated,” but removed entirely.
In April 2017, the EPA put out a press release announcing that EPA.gov would be changing to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.”
“The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency's current efforts,” the April 2017 press release reads. “The changes will comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including the use of proper archiving procedures.”
At that point, the EPA’s climate change subdomains were removed and were replaced by a page that said that the subdomains were being “updated.” The pages remained like this until the night between October 16 and 17, when the pages were updated to read “We want to help you find what you are looking for.”
There is no information related to climate change on any of the EPA’s climate change subdomains, and per the language of the EPA’s April 2017 press release, this reflects the priorities of the Trump Administration.
This is far from the first time that the Trump administration has removed information relating to climate change and environmental hazards. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, all references to climate change were removed from the White House website. In April of that year, the Department of the Interior removed references to climate change from its public-facing website. The Federal Emergency Management Agency does not even mention climate change in its five year plan released earlier this year.
The Trump administration has also taken tangible steps toward undermining environmental regulations. For instance, earlier this year, the Trump Administration revoked state waivers to the national Clean Air Act that allows states such as California, a major automobile manufacturer, to enforce stricter policies than the Clean Air Act Demands.
We live in an age of rapid and unprecedented planetary change. Indeed, many scientists believe our ever-increasing consumption, and the resulting increased demand for energy, land and water, is driving a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. It’s the first time in the Earth’s history that a single species – Homo sapiens – has had such a powerful impact on the planet.
This rapid planetary change, referred to as the ‘Great Acceleration’, has brought many benefits to human society. Yet we now also understand that there are multiple connections between the overall rise in our health, wealth, food and security, the unequal distribution of these benefits and the declining state of the Earth’s natural systems. Nature, underpinned by biodiversity, provides a wealth of services, which form the building blocks of modern society; but both nature and biodiversity are disappearing at an alarming rate. Despite well-meaning attempts to stop this loss through global agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, we are failing; current targets and consequent actions amount, at best, to a managed decline. To achieve climate and sustainable development commitments, reversing the loss of nature and biodiversity is critical...
Nearly 2 billion children – about 93 percent of the world’s children under the age of 15 – breathe toxic, putrid air that’s so polluted it puts their health and well-being at serious risk, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.
Many of the children die: The United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 600,000 children died in 2016 from lower respiratory infections caused by dirty air.
“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. “This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfill their full potential.”
Air pollution can affect children's cognitive ability and can also trigger asthma as well as cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease later in life...
LA Times / Trump administration gives itself A plus grade on environment
- Few would agree with the self assessment
A recent essay in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. by Harvard University researchers concluded that Trump’s environmental agenda “is likely to cost the lives of over 80,000 U.S. residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for many more than 1 million people.”
Yet the heads of Trump’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children characterized the administration this week as being singularly focused on keeping Americans, and particularly kids, safe from dangerous industrial practices.
The task force’s activities are “a continuation of the Trump administration’s commitment to preventing future generations from being affected by lead exposure,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, citing “great progress” in safeguarding public safety.
Andrew Wheeler, a former coal-industry lobbyist who now serves as the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said reducing exposure to toxic lead “is a top priority for EPA.”
Not really. Not if you define “reducing exposure to toxic lead” as reducing exposure to toxic lead.
“Like meat bees on baloney, the pollution lobby has swarmed the Trump administration from its inception,” said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.
“No number of press releases and statements by Mr. Wheeler or others claiming environmental and public health protection is a ‘top priority’ for this administration can change that indisputable fact.”
The Trump administration depicting itself as a champion of the environment is as ludicrous as its recent attempts to portray itself as a defender of protections for people with preexisting medical conditions.
It’s neither. The opposite, in fact.
“This rhetoric from the Trump administration is just painting over its refusal to keep our kids safe, not just from lead poisoning, but from toxic air and water pollution,” said Melinda Pierce, legislative director of the Sierra Club.
“Propaganda won't disguise the reality that Trump is responsible for the most serious attacks on clean air and water by any administration ever.”
Turning the Toxic Tide is a series of editorials published collectively by the six editorial boards of USA TODAY Network-Florida.
- October 18, 2018 / Today's editorial, Florida is at historic crossroads is the first in the series.
Chris Mooney / Washington Post:
Climate scientists have begun to focus on hurricane rapid intensification as an increasingly prevalent feature in the world we’re entering.
In a recent study in the Journal of Climate, researchers found more rapid intensifications in a simulation of a human-warmed world, and also that this would prove a key pathway toward more intense hurricanes... #RapidIntensification
October 12, 2018
Did global warming 'supercharge' Hurricane Michael?
Hurricane Michael exploded in intensity this week, from a rather nondescript tropical depression Sunday with winds of 35 mph to a Category 4 monster Wednesday with 155 winds.
When it hit land, it became the most powerful hurricane on record to slam Florida's Panhandle and the third-strongest U.S. landfall of all time.
Along with other weather factors, Michael's rapid intensification was fueled in part by unusually warm sea water in the Gulf of Mexico. Warm water of at least 80 degrees fuels hurricanes, and the water in the eastern Gulf this week was as much as 4 to 5 degrees warmer than normal.
Although random weather patterns certainly played a role, the warm waters in the Gulf have a “human fingerprint” of climate change, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate and hurricane expert Jim Kossin.
Penn State University climatologist Michael Mann told ThinkProgress that "once again we see a storm undergoing extreme rapid intensification over unusually warm ocean waters. We saw this pattern last year with Harvey and earlier this year with Florence and now, with my namesake, Michael.”
Weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said "there's no doubt the ocean water encountered by Michael was quite warm compared to the last three decades, especially near the coast."
A 2015 study on how ocean temperatures affect hurricane intensity in the North Atlantic found intensification increases by 16 percent for every 1.8 degree increase in average sea-surface temperatures... #HumanFingerprint
Americans win Nobel Prize of work on climate, growth
Paul Romer: "Many people think that dealing with protecting the environment will be so costly and so hard work that they just want to ignore the problem. They want to deny it exists; they can't deal with it. I hope the prize today could help everyone see that humans are capable of amazing accomplishments when we set about trying to do something."
Romer said that his research has left him optimistic that society can solve even a threat as deeply challenging as the warming of the planet.
William Nordhaus: Nordhaus has been called "the father of climate-change economics" developing models that suggest how governments can combat global warming. One key step he has endorsed is a universal tax on carbon, which would require polluters to pay for the costs that their emissions impose on society. By using a tax rather than government edicts to slash emissions, the policy encourages companies to find innovative ways to reduce pollution -- and their tax burdens.
Foreign Policy Magazine
The economist William Nordhaus will receive his profession’s highest honor for research on global warming that’s been hugely influential — and entirely misguided.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. After all, this isn’t just a matter of abstract academic debate; the future of human civilization hangs in the balance.
In the 1990s, Nordhaus invented the first integrated assessment models to explore how economic growth affects carbon emissions, and how climate change in turn affects economic growth. The basic mechanisms that Nordhaus described continue to inform the models that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses today. No one disputes that this qualifies as a significant contribution to the field. The question, rather, has to do with how Nordhaus has used his models to argue for a particular policy agenda.
The models showed that if we were to rapidly reduce carbon emissions in line with what scientists say is necessary to avoid climate breakdown – by putting a high tax on carbon, for instance – it would significantly slow down the rate of economic growth. As far as scientists are concerned, that’s not a problem; we should obviously do whatever it takes to avoid climate catastrophe. But for economists like Nordhaus, this is not acceptable. After all, the whole point of neoclassical economics is to do whatever it takes to grow economic output.
So, Nordhaus’ career has been devoted to finding what he calls a “balance” between climate mitigation and GDP growth. In a famous 1991 paper titled “To slow or not to slow,” he argued firmly for the latter option: Let’s not be too eager to slow down global warming, because we don’t want to jeopardize growth.
To justify this conclusion, Nordhaus manipulates what is known as the “discount rate,” which is how economists value the costs of climate breakdown in the present as compared to the future. It might sound arcane, but it’s really quite straightforward. A discount rate of zero means that future generations are valued equally to the present; a high discount rate means that future generations are valued less, or “discounted,” compared with nearer generations.
Nordhaus prefers a high discount rate—very high. Discounting the future allows him to argue that we shouldn’t reduce emissions too quickly, because the economic cost to people today will be higher than the benefit of protecting people in the future. Instead, we should do the opposite: Focus on GDP growth now even if it means locking in future climate catastrophe. This is justifiable, he says, because future generations will then be much richer than we are and therefore better able to manage the problem.
Using this logic, Nordhaus long claimed that from the standpoint of “economic rationality” it is “optimal” to keep warming the planet to about 3.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels—vastly in excess of the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold that the IPCC insists on.
It sounds morally problematic and flies in the face of scientists’ warnings, but economists and policymakers have lined up behind Nordhaus’s argument. They like it because it gives them license to carry on with the status quo and delay difficult decisions. President Trump, for instance, has been aggressive in his preference for growth over climate action. This is in large part what explains the fact that nearly 30 years after the first IPCC report was published, global emissions are still going up. It also helps explain why even with the Paris climate agreement in place, and with all of the plans promised by the world’s governments, we’re still headed for about 3.3 degrees Celsius of warming. It’s all eerily similar to the Nordhaus trajectory.
So how do economists get away with believing that these extreme temperatures are somehow okay? Because the Nordhaus model tells us that even the worst catastrophes will not really hurt the global economy all that much. Maybe a percentage point or two at the most, by the end of the century—much less than the cost of immediate action.
and at GreenPolicy360 and Strategic Demands
Special International Report Released / October 8, 2018
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change / IPCC
Thousands of scientists gather to bring together the last five years of advances in climate science to answer key questions for policymakers.
"Repeal of everything the Obama administration did."
Under Pruitt, "There was utter contempt for the career staff and the commitment to do whatever industry asked them to do."
"Today, the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth."
Elizabeth Southerland (Former director of science and technology in the Office of Water): What I perceived is that the new administration came into the EPA with complete contempt for the career staff in the agency. Not once did they talk to any of us about all these rules that they’ve been requested by industry to repeal.
"It’s not just that the actions of this administration failed to follow science and evidence and facts, but they are also in many cases unlawful."
Pathways Forward, Changing the World
New climate pledges announced by global leaders at the 10th Climate Week.
California Governor Brown opens the conference with a call to action. Taking innovation and solutions to scale ... pathways, policy action, transparency.
The Climate Group, bringing together over 200 governments and businesses spanning six continents and 43 countries with the goal of reducing GHG emissions toward net-zero by 2050.
U.S. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Releases Climate Science Statement
More than 50,000 members received the education group's position ... In part it reads: “Given the solid scientific foundation on which climate change science rests. . . any controversies regarding climate change and human-caused contributions to climate change that are based on social, economic, or political arguments—rather than scientific arguments—should not be part of a science curriculum.”
As an official position statement, it's definitely worth reading in its entirety.
One portion of the teachers’ guidance stands out as a 'clear warning to deniers to stop trying to infect our science with cynical politics'.
The appeal by some to “teach the controversy,” the statement asserts, is a rhetorical tactic not based on science.
“Scientific explanations must be consistent with existing empirical evidence or stand up to empirical testing. Ideas based on political ideologies or pseudoscience that fail these empirical tests do not constitute science and should not be allowed to compromise the teaching of climate science.”
Closing the Global Climate Action Summit, Governor Brown announces a partnership with Planet Labs
New Space Earth Science here we go ...
September 12-14, San Francisco, California
Green Politics in Action: California Builds Bridges to Extend International Cooperation
Renewable Works for Orlando
Get Going Florida! Your Energy Future Is Now
- Looking back at the environmental thoughts of Andrew Revkin and looking forward at human intervention to treat climate crisis: What About "Geoengineering"?
Who sets the global thermostat?
Imagine scenarios, the big picture, sequencing of engineering steps to slow climate change if global consensus on mitigation and prevention cannot be reached. To put it another way, if short-term thinking prevails and governments/business/human actions fail to prevent worsening climate-induced impacts, then what proactive actions can be taken before 'all hell breaks out' ...
HuffPost US to Kim Stanley Robinson
How do you define geoengineering and what are the forms it will most likely take?
I guess the definition would be something like “a deliberate planned attempt by human beings to mitigate the damages of climate change, of carbon dioxide and methane buildup in the atmosphere, and of ecological damage generally, by way of some action that is large-scale” — if not global in reach, then regional in ways that might have global repercussions.
Are you afraid for the future?
What makes you most hopeful for a future in which humans who aren’t ultrarich can still thrive?
Progressive taxation, progressive politics, the Paris Accords, the Endangered Species Act, leftists everywhere on Earth including China, environmentalists everywhere, the growing green-red coalition or united front of environmentalists and leftists, the creative power of STEM, the humanist traditions in philosophy, people’s concern for their children, the growing sense of a “global village” we are all part of, the urge to survive. These are some of the things that make me hopeful. Hope is stubborn. It exists in us at the cellular level and works up from there, as part of the urge to live. So hope will persist. The question is, can we put it to use?
Ride along with the 2018 Nautilus Expedition
This expedition takes the Nautilus team, and us, to little-known and unexplored regions of the Eastern Pacific ocean. #NautilusLive
“I call him Lord Voldemort,” conservation lawyer Bill Snape said about Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh...
This may be pushing artistic license just a touch, but... the multiple questions about the Heritage Foundation/Federalist Society choice for SCOTUS are now top of mind... the question of independent judicial review and/or money behind the nominee are out-of-the-starting-gate questions...
Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the US EPA, Resigns
- (Pink tinting added above by Josh Marshall / via TPM)
The Last Act
Pruitt seeks to limit EPA's authority to block water pollution permits
The proposed regulation would likely be the most significant change to how the EPA enforces the Clean Water Act’s restrictions on dredging or filling waterways in four decades.
June 23, 2018, a Thirty Year Anniversary
- June 23, 1988, an epochal day, a history-making day
On June 23rd, 1988, James Hansen testified to the US Senate.
Siterunner: Your GreenPolicy360 siterunner remembers back over the 1970s and 80s working environmental politics with George Brown as he pushed thru the first federal climate act, the National Climate Program Act of 1978 with a climate research program, this after his earlier work to establish the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts with California and Congressional legislators at the start up of the modern environmental movement.
More of James Hansen and George Brown --
US Environmental Protection Agency Updates
- “@EPAScottPruitt is the most corrupt administrator in the @EPA’s history.”
A demoralized workforce watching as its agency is dismantled by the very people charged to lead it: That is the grim state of affairs depicted by John J. O’Grady, a longtime employee in the Chicago field office of the Environmental Protection Agency, which is tasked with protecting the nation’s air and water, while preventing the exposure of citizens to harmful chemicals. The agency is doing none of that, in O’Grady’s telling, with career officials watching in dismay as EPA administrator Scott Pruitt seemingly lurches from one scandal to another while doing the bidding of oil barons and the chemical lobby.
“Morale is not good,” O’Grady said of the agency’s 14,000 employees. “It’s so low, you need a ladder to get out of the gutter.”
O’Grady, an EPA engineer who is also a chapter leader in the American Federation of Government Employees, a public sector union, made his remarks in an on-the-record breakfast with journalists at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C. Nearby, a television screen was tuned to CNN, where an anchor discussed Pruitt’s most recent alleged transgression: According to a Washington Post report published that morning, Pruitt had his most influential aide urging Republican donors to hire his wife Marlyn.
Via E&E News-Scientific American
June 5, 2018 / Freedom of Information Request To Be Acted Upon
EPA must produce the opposing body of science Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied upon to claim that humans are not the primary drivers of global warming, a federal judge has ruled.
The EPA boss has so far resisted attempts to show the science backing up his claims.
Not long after he took over as EPA administrator, Pruitt appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” where he was asked about carbon dioxide and climate change. He said, “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
The next day, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the studies Pruitt used to make his claims. Specifically, the group requested “EPA documents that support the conclusion that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change.”
On Friday, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, ordered the agency to comply.
“Particularly troubling is the apparent premise of this agency challenge to the FOIA request, namely: that the evidentiary basis for a policy or factual statement by an agency head, including about the scientific factors contributing to climate change, is inherently unknowable.”
If the case proceeds, it could mean that Pruitt would have to produce such research in the coming months or next year.
Trump’s NASA Chief: 'I Fully Believe and Know the Climate Is Changing'
“I also know that we human beings are contributing to it in a major way”
“As far as my position on climate change and how it’s evolved, I’ll be very open...” the new administrator of NASA said at a town hall Thursday (May 17) at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“I don’t deny that consensus that the climate is changing,” he said. “In fact, I fully believe and know that the climate is changing. I also know that we humans beings are contributing to it in a major way. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”
... whether Bridenstine’s views on climate change have changed or not, the views of his bosses haven’t, and this remains a point of concern for Bridentine’s critics. The Trump White House has proposed cutting or canceling many of nasa’s earth-science missions. So far, they’ve been spared. Republicans don’t have enough seats in the Senate to pass their dream budgets, so they’ve had to negotiate bipartisan budget legislation with Democrats. This setup has preserved most of nasa’s climate funding, but not all. The latest budget deal didn’t specifically mention nasa’s Carbon Monitoring System, a $10-million program to track greenhouse-gas emissions around the world. The Trump administration took that as an opportunity to terminate the program.
US EPA Administrator Back in the News
EPA staff Wednesday morning barred POLITICO and reporters from at least two other publications from entering a national summit on toxic chemicals, a day after a partial media blackout at the same event brought criticism from congressional Democrats and a pledge by the White House to investigate the incident... the Associated Press (reported) that one of its journalists was forcibly ejected from the building.
Pruitt scheduled the PFAS summit months ago, but it has attracted increased attention after POLITICO reported that senior EPA officials had helped block the release of an HHS study that would have increased warnings about the chemicals. EPA stepped in after the White House warned in January that releasing the study would create a "public relations nightmare."
Pruitt said he was unaware of that intervention, but it has added to the criticism he has faced from lawmakers and the public in recent months. The embattled administrator is facing more than a dozen federal investigations over his first-class travel, sweetheart condo rental from a lobbyist, heavy security spending and other matters.
By 2030, China and Taiwan are planning to ban all plastic bags,
straws, disposable food containers, plastic cutlery and cups.
Earth Science & Environmental Security
May 22 / News Reports / California
The New GRACE satellites are launched and on their way...
Two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On -- GRACE-FO -- satellites were released from the Falcon 9's second stage about 11-and-a-half minutes after takeoff. The five Iridium NEXT satellites followed suit about an hour later, after an orbit-raising maneuver by the second stage.
As the name indicates, the GRACE-FO satellites are replacements for an earlier pair that spent 15 years monitoring how water is distributed globally, measuring changes in Earth's oceans, glaciers and ice sheets while tracking sub-surface aquifers and soil moisture.
The original GRACE mission found that Greenland, for example, is losing 281 billion tons of ice per year on average while Antarctica is losing another 125 "gigatons" annually. One gigaton is the mass of water in 400,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
"GRACE was really a revolutionary mission for us understanding the water cycle and how the climate behaves and the trends that are taking place," said Frank Webb, GRACE-FO project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"This was a view we didn't have before of water on the Earth. We were able to see how water has moved from different parts of the Earth by actually measuring its mass. ... We were able to detect things like loss of ice mass from glaciers, ice sheets, Greenland, places like that, we were able to see storage of water on land where there were floods or depletion of water on land where there are large aquifers and we've been pumping water out."
The NASA-led research team ... used 14 years of observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission to track global trends in freshwater in 34 regions around the world.
The study, published in the May 17, 2018 issue of the journal Nature, also incorporated satellite precipitation data from the ESSIC-led Global Precipitation Climatology Project; Landsat imagery from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey; irrigation maps; and published reports of human activities related to agriculture, mining and reservoir operations. The study period spans from 2002 to 2016.
"This is the first time we've assessed how freshwater availability is changing, everywhere on Earth, using satellite observations," said Matt Rodell, lead author of the paper and chief of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "A key goal was to distinguish shifts in terrestrial water storage caused by natural variability—wet periods and dry periods associated with El Niño and La Niña, for example—from trends related to climate change or human impacts, like pumping groundwater out of an aquifer faster than it is replenished."
Loss of Permafrost: Ripple Effects Head South
The Great Thaw of America's North Is Coming
Texas Becoming Greener?
What About Pennsylvania?
May 6, 2018
By James Colby / EARTHx
Here is my Earth Day reflection: No single person, politician, political party, or nation can solve the climate-change or sustainability crisis. The responsibility falls on every human being on planet Earth. Young and old, left and right, and rural and urban citizens must unite, collaborate, and cooperate.
Business and industry, and federal, state, and local politicians must enact public policy that reflects sustainability. The first Earth Day” (1970) was excellent, in that the left and right united to change the American landscape and the world. Clean water, air, and soil became priorities, and the EPA was established to advance these goals.
Today, many citizens feel helpless and ask this: “how can I help?”
Some individuals think environmental issues are not important or real… or not concerns of their friends, family, church members, or talk-show hosts. If you are in this group, please consider this fact: Texas is not only Red, but Green. Many Texas Republicans view green living as excellent political and business goals, and reflect fiscal responsibility.
It is a fact: clean, renewable energies, economies, and jobs are now embraced by Americans of all ideologies. Texas, known for big business, big oil, and all sizes of pickup trucks is transforming into an environmental beacon...
- Bill McKibben: The Question I Get Asked the Most
- The questions come after talks, on twitter, in the days' incoming tide of email—sometimes even in old-fashioned letters that arrive in envelopes...
- "What can I do?" I bet I've been asked it 10,000 times by now... "What can I do to make a difference?"
Macron Speaks to US Congress
April 25, 2018
"Let us face it, there is no Planet B..."
"I am sure one day the U.S. will come back and rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement."
Methane, We're Watching
- Detecting methane from space
- There has been quite a buzz around this unique advancement in space, and the valuable data it will provide on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that accounts for a quarter of the warming our planet is experiencing today. Curbing anthropogenic methane emissions is one of the most efficient and economical options available to slow the rate of warming over the next few decades, while efforts continue to reduce CO2 emissions worldwide.
- "As a pollutant, methane is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-yr period and responsible for a quarter of the global warming happening today. That is a risk not just to emitters in the oil and gas sector, but to investors everywhere."
- Re: Methane Management / Harvard Investment Endowment Fund
- The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) planning to be the first environmental group to send its own satellite into space. The group's efforts are being funded through the Audacious Project, a joint effort of the non-profit group TED and philanthropic organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- “We need good solid data so that we really can support global action on climate change, and we’ve got to do it fast,” says Steven Hamburg, the EDF’s chief scientist.
- The most detailed measurements currently available of atmospheric methane concentrations currently come from a sensor aboard the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P spacecraft, which launched in October 2017. The Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument provides global coverage at a resolution of nearly 50 square kilometres, but those measurements do not capture the dispersed sources of emissions from oil and gas fields.
- Commercial firms have developed high-resolution sensors that can be placed aboard 10-centimetre-sided CubeSats to measure emissions from individual wells or other facilities. Those data are proprietary, however, and the measurements cannot be scaled up to the level of an entire oil and gas field.
- The Environmental Defense Fund team is designing MethaneSAT to provide more-precise measurements, at a resolution of 1 square kilometre, with global coverage at least once a week.
April and Birds On the Wing
Daphne with an Orphan
Orphans No More
The Oil/Gas Deal in the Arctic
"It was bigger than sending a man to the moon", re: US / Russia to drill in the Arctic
It's a big story, a 'follow the money' story, the story of oil/gas profits and global environmental costs...
Looking at Rosneft/Exxon's $500 billion Arctic deal, Rex Tillerson's appt as US Secretary of State, US/Russia oil/gas interests...
The political-economic reality in a warming North offers a rich bounty -- and pressing challenge to global security.
- February 22, 2018, the beginning of a SpaceX planetary network...
- Micro-satellites to deliver low-cost Internet access around the globe...
- SpaceX's ultimate goal is to provide gigabit broadband services worldwide...
Blue-Green Connection to Life on Earth
"The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One"
- "A single kind of blue-green algae in the ocean ('Prochlorococcus') produces the oxygen in one of every five breaths we take"
US Slaps Tariff on Solar Energy Panels
- Bank announces in Paris it ‘will no longer finance upstream oil and gas’ after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change
- The EU wants to make all plastic packaging recyclable, reduce single-use plastic and restrict microplastics. The plan would "lay the foundations for a new plastic economy."
Green Networking, Going Global
GreenPolicy360: Greening Our Blue Planet
VATICAN CITY, January 8, 2018 (Reuters) - Pope Francis called on Monday for all nations to support dialog to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and to work for a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons.
“Nuclear weapons must be banned,” Francis said, quoting a document issued by Pope John XXIII at the height of the Cold War and adding that there is “no denying that the conflagration could be started by some chance and unforeseen circumstance.”
He noted that the Holy See was among 122 states that last year agreed to a United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The United States, Britain, France and others boycotted the talks that led to the treaty, instead pledging commitment to a decades-old Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“It is of paramount importance to support every effort at dialog on the Korean peninsula, in order to find new ways of overcoming the current disputes, increasing mutual trust and ensuring a peaceful future for the Korean people and the entire world,” Francis said, addressing the nuclear crisis beween North Korea and the United States.
- Regenerative Green Best Practices
- "The World's First Professor of Planetary Health" / #PlanetaryHealth
2017 Green Stories of the Day / Edited/Re-published February 2018
New Definitions of National & Global Security
Rethinking Nuclear Risks
@GreenPolicy's associate, Strategic Demands
When Carl Sagan Warned the World About Nuclear Winter
News from the Int'l One Planet Summit
- December 2017, Paris, France
- France launches Make Our Planet Great Again grants
- EU funds will be focused on clean energy, and sustainable cities and agriculture
- The heads of several of the world’s space agencies have agreed to set up a climate observatory to pool data and share it with scientists across the world. The UK Space Agency has joined other organisations to commit to working together on activities such as increasing observations of key climate variables and validating the data.
- They aim to improve long term sustainability and accessibility of climate data captured by satellites.
- Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, who signed the agreement in Paris said: “The UK is working with international organisations to encourage the use of space data and technology to tackling climate change. It’s important we come together and agree to work towards improving the quality and sustainability of climate data from space and ensuring it is made freely available to researchers around the world.”
In September 2018, a follow on Global Climate Action Summit will be held in San Francisco.
- Co-chaired by Jerry Brown, the governor of California said of the next Summit:
- If we all work together, humanity can rise to the existential threat of climate change.
News from the Int'l Climate Conference in Germany
- UN Climate Change@UNFCCC
"The #ParisAgreement was a miracle - we must build on this miracle. We are on the road to hell without full Paris Agreement implementation"
- Andy Revkin@Revkin
- Read @ElizKolbert
- International research for global sustainability - https://mobile.twitter.com/FutureEarth
- Climate News - https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Climate_News
- Resilience - https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:GreenPolicy360_-_Resilience.png
- NASA OCO-2, critical measurements, critical mission - https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12478
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere through human activities...
- The OCO-2 mission represents an important advance in the ability to observe atmospheric carbon dioxide. OCO-2 collects high-precision, total column measurements of carbon dioxide (from the sensor to Earth’s surface) during daylight conditions.
- Scientists can also use model results to understand and predict where carbon dioxide is being emitted and removed from the atmosphere and how much is from natural processes and human activities.
- Carbon dioxide variations are largely controlled by fossil fuel emissions and seasonal fluxes of carbon between the atmosphere and land biosphere.
- OCO-2's unprecedented science is "a step toward answering critical questions about carbon dioxide and Earth's climate future."
- International Cooperation, Framework Convention on Climate Change
Only One Country Refuses to Support the Int'l Climate Agreement
November 7, 2017
Brown has been hailed in German media as the “anti-Trump” for his efforts to keep the United States engaged in the 2015 Paris agreement’s commitments to cut greenhouse emissions...
“It’s hard to get your mind around something so extensive,” said Brown, who was appointed by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the U.N. conference president, to serve as a special advisor for states and regions...
“Let’s lead the whole world to realize this is not your normal political challenge,” he added. “This is much bigger. This is life itself. It requires courage and imagination.”
- Dawning Thin Blue Perspective
- New Definitions of National And Global Security
- Fragile edge of our planet
- Thin blue line
- Mysterious rhythm
- Our next breath
- Heart struck with wonder
- Mind dizzy with awe
- -- Astronaut Douglas Wheelock @Astro_Wheels
- To highlight the global collaboration happening across the world -- http://www.climate-kic.org/
- War on the Rocks
- Look deeply at the threat -- https://warontherocks.com/2017/10/trumps-threat-to-nuclear-order/
- Today's 'Sunday Services' visits Patagonia, with a special thanks to Danny Moses, long-time, now retired, Editor-in-Chief of Sierra Club Books
- I climbed a path and from the top looked up-stream towards Chile. I could see the river, glinting and sliding through the bone-white cliffs with strips of emerald cultivation either side. Away from the cliffs was the desert. There was no sound but the wind, whirring through thorns and whistling through dead grass, and no other sign of life but a hawk, and a black beetle easing over white stones. ― Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
- There were no voices here. There was this, what I saw; and though beyond it were mountains and glaciers and albatrosses and Indians; there was nothing to speak of, nothing to delay me further. Only the Patagonian paradox: tiny blossoms in vast space; to be here, it helped to be a miniaturist, or else interested in enormous empty spaces. There was no intermediate zone to study. Either the enormity of the desert or the sight of a tiny flower. In Patagonia you had to choose between the tiny and the vast. ― Paul Theroux
- There is a saying in Patagonia -- que asegura a la persona que come el fruto del calafate, su regreso a estas tierras -- those who taste the fruit of the calafate will return to this land. I have tasted the calafate berry. ― Jeff Gnass
Environmental Security reasons why environmental protection regulations exist around the world --
- Deconstructing the Environmental Protection Agency / October 18
- A Frontline Public Broadcasting Investigation
- Prevent Nuclear First Use / October 16
- From our associate #StratDem -- http://strategicdemands.com/
- Planet Earth's "thin blue layer", strategic necessity
- Living Earth / October 13
- Planet Earth Flag Proposal / October 11
- Google Earth Goes Social / October 10
- Green Business Investing / October 9
- Investing with Green Values -- Green Money Journal
- Nobel Peace Prize goes to the "International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons" -- ICAN -- http://www.bbc.com/news/world-41528743
- Landmark Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Bans Research, Possession, Use, Nuclear Deterrence
- How Much Carbon Are We Emitting into Our Atmosphere? / October 5
Planet Earth, Planet Citizens, Planet Scientists / October 4
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Carbon_Sequestration -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Carbon_Sequestration
- Solar On Water, China on Top / October 2
- 'Sunday Services' - Looking Out / October 1
- http://www.earthpov.com -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/HelloEarth
- NASA Earth Science in Danger / September 30
- http://www.earthpov.com -- http://www.planetcitizen.org
- Forests: Sinks or Sources / September 29
- Four Times the Size of Manhattan / September 28
- Global Threats to Food Supply / September 27
- Time to Prepare for the Worst in Korea
- Updates on Nuclear Threat on the Korean Peninsula @ www.strategicdemands.com
- Threat Horizon
- From yesterday's stormy seas to today's performance by Jackson Browne and his band
- Some of them were angry
- At the way the earth was abused
- By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
- And they struggled to protect her from them
- Only to be confused
- By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour
- And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
- In the naked dawn only a few survived
- And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
- Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge
- After the US president threatens at the UN to "totally destroy" North Korea, the UN continues with its vote to totally ban nuclear weapons...
- The US president's speech at the UN -- Transcript
- GreenPolicy360 / Strategic Demands:
- A New Security Vision for the 21st Century
- Stanislav Petrov: Russia remembers - https://www.rt.com/news/403625-nuclear-soviet-officer-died/
- and then there's Vasily Arkhipov http://strategicdemands.com/remembering-a-day-in-1962/
- With synchronicity @work, a "1000 Cities Initiative" is announced -- https://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/patti-smith-rising-above-and-fighting-climate-change-art.html
- "Patti Smith's daughter explains, "that if 1000 cities come together and commit to becoming 100% renewable and transition off fossil fuels by 2040, we can turn the Paris Agreement into action."
- With synchronicity @work, a "1000 Cities Initiative" is announced -- https://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/patti-smith-rising-above-and-fighting-climate-change-art.html
- Patti Smith remembers an inspiration: “When I worked with Ralph Nader, one of the things that he taught us was that nothing productive comes from negativity or pessimism. So it’s important not to be drawn into a state of pessimism or paralysis, one has to take a breath and rise above it. I’m not saying that as rhetoric, I’m saying it as an action, as what I have to do myself. I feel the same way that you feel, that everyone else feels, but I refuse to be trampled by it, I refuse to be demoralized; I just keep on doing my work, our work.”
- Nothing to Worry About (Until It Comes for You) / September 15
- From Clearwater, Evacuating / September 8
- Time to evacuate. Will be back online next week. Stay safe all!
Strategic Demands / #StratDem
- A Losing Choice for NASA / September 5
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - https://www.nrel.gov/ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Renewable_Energy_Laboratory
- Renewable Energy World - http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/index.html / http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/energy-storage/top-news.html
- The Green Goal: A Clean Energy Economy - https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Renewable_Energy
- World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
- “The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvelous works that He has entrusted to our care...”
- Not Just Another Climate Speech / September 2
- By Dr. Joseph Romm, creator of climateprogress.org -- http://www.climateprogress.org
- Extreme Weather / August 31
- Boomtown Houston, Flooding Times / August 30
- H/t to ProPublica's investigative series on Houston in danger. Note the series beginning publication date, December 2016...
- Now Comes 'Hell and High Water' Harvey...
- Expanding 'Bulls-Eye': Houston, Texas / August 29
- Global Fact-Checking Projects in Countries -- PolitiFact is a networking model...
- "There are 96 fact-checking projects in 37 countries", beginning with the original PolitiFact project from Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida
- 'Sunday Services' / Eco-Schism in the Christian Faith
- Now there are some who believe in a 'global warming hoax', evangelism, prophecy, end times -- and there are those more 'on earth', who believe in 'our common home' and in a moral imperative to 'care for our common home'. Take a look at a profound schism growing within the Christian church, a 'split' in beliefs that will act to shape our future life, our future common life on earth, however we look at faith and religion. The actual number of Christians in the world is estimated in the range of 2 - 3 billion, with over 1.2 billion Catholics ...
- Here is US Senator Jim Inhofe, perhaps the most powerful man on environmental policy in the US Senate, his philosophy of a scientific 'hoax' and why he believes as he does, and why he wields his power to fit his religious beliefs...
- In stark contrast to the US evangelical religious views like Senator Inhofe of the oil/gas state of Oklahoma, here's Pope Francis, the first pontiff to name himself after the Catholic Church's patron saint of the environment, St. Francis. The Jesuit pope is promulgator of a first Catholic eco-encyclical and doctrine ... Laudato Si'
- Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma): "I disagree with the pope's philosophy on global warming. I am concerned that his encyclical will be used by global warming alarmists..."
- "My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous."
- New Views from Above / August 26
The US President, Nuclear Codes & 'First Use' / August 25
- Continuing On Topic / World-US News in Depth:
The US President & 'First Use' / August 24
- Update: GreenPolicy360 and the Strategic Demands team are reviewing a proposed bill that goes further than the Lieu/Markey 'first-use' proposal. Stay tuned. We'll be back...
The US President & Nuclear Codes / August 23
- James R. Clapper Jr., former director of US national intelligence, questioned president Trump’s fitness for office following the president's speech in Phoenix on Tuesday, August 22.
- “I really question his ability to be — his fitness to be — in this office... I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it — maybe he is looking for a way out.”
- Clapper continued in an interview after he watched Trump’s speech, saying that he is very worried about the president’s access to nuclear codes...
- “In a fit of pique he decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there’s actually very little to stop him,” Clapper said, referencing the president and the North Korean leader.
- “The whole system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.”
- “U.S. national security policy rests on the assertion that 'forward presence' contributes directly to global peace and security. In Base Nation, David Vine examines, dismantles, and disproves that claim. He demonstrates that America's sprawling network of overseas bases imposes costs — not only financial but also political, environmental, and moral — that far exceed what the Pentagon is prepared to acknowledge. Base Nation offers a devastating critique, and no doubt Washington will try to ignore it. Citizens should refuse to let that happen.” --- Andrew J. Bacevich
- Green On an August Eve / August 21
- Trump's Climate Rejection / August 17
- The "Donald Trump Forest" project has been started by campaigners upset at what they call the US president's "ignorance" on climate science.
- Trump Forest allows people either to plant trees locally or pay for trees to be planted.
- Currently the campaign to compensate for the impact of President Trump's climate policies has 120,000 pledges...
- GrnPolicy Siterunner: Thinking of nuclear this morning when I woke and after checking Google News to see if nuclear war had broken out w/ N Korea ... and w/ China (China 'official' news yesterday: “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so”) and knowing the US and Chinese pres spoke by phone late yesterday, I began thinking of recent expert opinions I've read (w/ a h/t to Tom Nichols).
- Thinking about a Falk and Krieger piece who talked of a nuclear 'flamenco' a couple months ago, I began thinking about the current US Pacific Fleet admiral, Scott Swift, who last wk said he'd shoot off atomic weapons toward China if ordered by the president. The admiral's statement in Australia was then explained by a US Navy spokesman named Charlie Brown (not kidding). Here's the May 30th Hill op-ed, still timely:
- It's All Connected -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Relational_Reality.jpg
- The Nuclear Brink / August 9
- What Climate Change Report? / August 8
- On 'First Use' and Banning Nukes / August 7
- Preemptive, Preventive, and/or First-Use Strikes: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/no-one-should-have-sole-authority-to-launch-a-nuclear-attack/
- 'Sunday Services' - Jacques Cousteau's Grandson Speaking at the Bioneers Conference
- This past week GreenPolicy looked more closely at the Earth's seas and oceans
- Now, reflecting, we listen to a presentation by an environmental ocean exploring family
- This past week GreenPolicy looked more closely at the Earth's seas and oceans
- Ocean Circulation / What? "Nothing to See Here", Keep Paddling
- Kelp 'n Ocean Agriculture / August 4
- Sustainable Fisheries / August 3
- Earth Protection, Asteroids, Aliens etc... / August 2
- Wild Florida / August 1
"To see Wild Florida you've got to get down into the mud & back into the trees & up into the rivers & into the backwaters & dig around"
Clearwater, Florida, GreenPolicy360's terrestrial home base, geo-located on a limestone/karst peninsula that is still wild here & there...
- Another Day of Lamar / July 26
- Lamar Goes to Greenland, Comes Back with a Message / July 25
- WASHINGTON — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) — who has spent his career cozying up to fossil fuel interests, dismissing the threat of climate change and harassing federal climate scientists — is now arguing that pumping the atmosphere full of carbon dioxide is “beneficial” to global trade, crop production and the lushness of the planet.
- Rather than buying into “hysteria,” Americans should be celebrating the plus sides of a changing climate, Smith argues in an op-ed published July 24th in The Daily Signal, a news website published by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
- Smith — who has used his power as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to push his anti-science views — kicks off his op-ed by claiming Americans’ perception of the phenomenon is “too often determined by their hearing just one side of the story.”
- “The benefits of a changing climate are often ignored and under-researched,” Smith said. “Our climate is too complex and the consequences of misguided policies too harsh to discount the positive effects of carbon enrichment.”
- Increased carbon dioxide, Smith writes, promotes photosynthesis, resulting in a “greater volume of food production and better quality food” and “lush vegetation” that “assists in controlling water runoff, provides more habitats for many animal species, and even aids in climate stabilization, as more vegetation absorbs more carbon dioxide.” Warmer temperatures, he notes, results in longer growing seasons.
- Smith goes as far as to make a case for why a rapidly melting Arctic, which scientists warn could cost tens of trillions of dollars by the end of this century, is a positive thing.
- “Also, as the Earth warms, we are seeing beneficial changes to the earth’s geography,” he writes. “For instance, Arctic sea ice is decreasing. This development will create new commercial shipping lanes that provide faster, more convenient, and less costly routes between ports in Asia, Europe, and eastern North America. This will increase international trade and strengthen the world economy.”
- Other Blue-Green Planets? / July 24
- Decommissioning the Fukushima reactors will cost 8 trillion yen ($72 billion), according to an estimate in December from the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
- Removing nuclear fuel waste from destroyed reactors may take as long as 40 years.
- A Photo App to ID Nature / July 22
- Thomas Pesquet, ESA astronaut: “Looking at Earth from above made me think about my own world a little differently, and I hope that the ISS on Street View changes your view of the world too.”
- Bioneers, Looking Back, Looking Forward / July 20
- Law & Environmental Protection / July 19
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Climate_Change_Summit_Paris -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Climate_News
- Brits/World Look at Calif & Climate News / July 18
- Act2Be & Become a Planet Citizen / July 17
- On This Day 72 Years Ago, the Nuclear Weapons Era Is Born / July 16
- "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
- Bugs on Earth and in Space / July 14
- Green Crowdpowered Air-Q Mapping / July 13
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Green_Networking -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Citizen_Science
- US Is More than DC on Climate Action / July 12
- Doom 'n Gloom or What? / July 11
- Mapping the Air Quality / July 10
- Green Ideas on a Sunday in July
Banned: Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons Adopted
July/August / Special Issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
2017 Doomsday Clock Statement
Draft Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons
- Nuclear Treaty / @ United Nations / July 5
Moving To Renewable Energy and Away from Oil/Gas Strategic Conflicts
- Volvo Goes Full EV / July 6
- http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2017/07/6.htm -- http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/volvo-going-all-electric-first-automaker-ditch-combustion-engine-n779791
- https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/05/volvo-cars-electric-hybrid-2019 -- http://www.cbsnews.com/news/volvo-electric-cars-combustion-engines-fate/
- http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2017/07/6.htm -- http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/volvo-going-all-electric-first-automaker-ditch-combustion-engine-n779791
Moving Toward Electoral Choice and Away from Global Conflict
- Your Vote, Your Voice
- https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-takes-legal-action-over-trump-election-commission-executive-order -- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/01/trump-election-panel-fraud-tweets-240165
- https://www.thenation.com/article/the-trump-administration-is-planning-an-unprecedented-attack-on-voting-rights/ -- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/30/how-trumps-nationwide-voter-data-request-could-lead-to-voter-suppression -- http://www.wsls.com/top-stories/demand-for-voter-rolls-shows-ugly-truth-about-trumps-voter-fraud-commission -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_suppression
- https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-takes-legal-action-over-trump-election-commission-executive-order -- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/01/trump-election-panel-fraud-tweets-240165
- Ecologists “are going to have this epiphany.” A University of California scientist describes the rapidly improving satellite view from outer space as a “macroscope.”
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Earth_Observations -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Micro-satellites
- Environmental Data & Blockchain / June 23
- Green Driving / June 22
- Saving Species in Kauai, Jurassic Land / June 21
- "New Space", Democratizing Earth Observations / June 20
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Democratization_of_Space -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Planet_API
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:New_Space -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Micro-satellites
- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Democratization_of_Space -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Planet_API
- SCOTUS to Decide on Gerrymandering / June 19
- To Fathers & Mothers & Stardust / June 18
- Oppo Science @Work in Schools / June 17
- At the UN: Abolish Nuclear Weapons / June 16
June 12 / Reuters -- The U.S. said it would not sign up to a pledge by Italy, Canada, Japan, France, Britain and Germany which called the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change "irreversible" and key for the "security and prosperity of our planet."
As a consequence, Washington formally refused to back multilateral development banks — bodies designed to finance poorer nations and help them reduce their pollution emissions.
"The U.S. is now left as a footnote to climate action and that's very sad," said Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. "Everyone expressed their deep disappointment with the U.S. decision," she said.
- Sustainable Soil / June 13
- Global/Local Smog / June 12
- Opening Up the Arctic to Oil/Gas? / June 9
- "It's not a time for inertia, it's a time for radical change" -- https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19834
- "Simple" / June 6
- New Space, #EarthScience / June 5
- Yesterday Was a Bad Day
- The Consequences Start Now / June 1
- The US will be judged, this day will be long remembered.
- National Security & Global Security are interrelated. He doesn't know this. There's so much he doesn't know & so much he doesn't know that he doesn't know.
- “This current departure from reality in Washington will be very short-lived, that I promise you,” Brown told POLITICO in an interview. “I’ve spoken with Republicans here in the Legislature, and they’re beginning to get very serious about climate action, so the momentum is all the other way. And I think Trump, paradoxically, is giving climate denial such a bad name that he’s actually building the very movement that he is [purporting] to undermine...”
- Premier Li Keqiang of China said on Thursday that his country remained committed to the fight against climate change and to participating in international efforts for a greener world.
- “China will continue to uphold its commitments to the Paris climate agreement,” Mr. Li said, confirming a position his country agreed to alongside the United States in 2014, in what proved to be a watershed moment for the ultimate passage of the landmark accord the following year.
- “Step by step, and very arduously, together with other countries, we will work toward the goals set” by global leaders in 2015, Mr. Li said, standing beside Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Berlin.
- Ms. Merkel, who welcomed the Chinese commitment as “encouraging,” has been a leader in the global push for climate action since 1992, when she played a crucial international role in passage of the world’s first climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol.
- US business leaders point at downside -- http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/big-business-urges-trump-stick-paris-climate-accord-n766641 -- http://lowcarbonusa.org/business
- “If you have to go to a board of directors and say, ‘I have to make a multibillion-dollar investment that is multi-year,’ are you going to base it on two or four years in the political cycle or … on long-term economic, technological, and consumer trends?” -- Melissa Lavinson / The Atlantic
- Forward or back? -- https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html
- Backwards looking -- "The 22" -- https://www.axios.com/scoop-top-republican-senators-urge-trump-to-exit-paris-climate-deal-2421530161.html
- A policy direction from the US president that will live up to the challenges or deliver economic, environmental disasters.
- “I’ve always made more money in bad markets than in good markets.” -- DJ Trump, Quoted 05/23/16 - MSNBC
- Reflecting on Next Steps:
- The Trump administration: A bump on the road?
- Remember that a future president can rejoin the Paris global climate agreement with a 'flick of a pen'.
- "The noose tightens," Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change, told The Independent. The US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would only aggravate the climate change problem and make it much more difficult to prevent the crossing of a global temperature to a dangerous threshold. Three billion tonnes of additional carbon dioxide could be released into the air every year...
- "America’s Little Big Man -- http://billmoyers.com/story/little-big-man/
- Trump is teaching us how deeply disturbed our American world actually is"
- "America’s Little Big Man -- http://billmoyers.com/story/little-big-man/
- Trump Tries to Axe Earth Science Missions / May 25
- Pope & a President Meet / May 24
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - Be Kind
- Costs of War via StratDem / May 20
- Freaky Friday, Nukes 'n Space Weather / May 19
- China & Energy, Not What You Think / May 18
- Nuclear Power Blues / May 17
- Earth, Sagan & DSCOVR / May 16
- Better Climate Observation Needed / May 13
- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Earth_Right_Now -- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Earth_Science_Research_from_Space
- 100 Climate Solutions / May 12
- Pope, No Nuclear Weapons / May 11
- Money, Politics & Climate / May 10
- Global Climate Politics / May 8
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / May 7 / "Road Map to Health"
- Stop Treating Soil Like 'Dirt' / May 6
- Northern Route thru the Arctic / May 5
- April 29
- EPA removes climate science website from public view after two decades in operation -- Here's the Pruitt #EPA "kicks" explanation -- https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-kicks-website-updates
An Archived Website of http://epa.gov/climatechange/ can be found at the Wayback Machine
- Sea-Level Projection / April 26
- Facts Matter! Science Matters!! / April 24
- GreenPolicy360.net -- Greening our Blue Planet
- GTN Climate / April 20
- Virtual Earth Maps / April 17
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - Virtual Reality Overview / Week 15
- April 1st
- "Physics... a framework for thinking" https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Tesla,_electric_cars
- "Results of the Privacy Protection Vote" / http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll202.xml
- http://www.thinbluelayer.com -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Environmental_Security,_National_Security
- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Air_Quality -- http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Fossil_Fuels
- March 11th | #Fukushima
- March 9th | #ClimateChange #ClimatePolicy #US #California
- California Out in Front
- California Governor Jerry Brown
- US 'Clean Power Plan' Threatened
- March 6 | #Expertise #Science
- March 1
- Facts & Science, the basis of knowledge
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - "Thin Blue" / Week 8
- February 23
- February 22
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / Week 7
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / Week 6
- Planet, Alphabet-Google, Terra Bella -- Democratization of Space
- Sunday 'Earth Services' / Week 5
- 'Bridges to Babylon', recorded in Los Angeles @ Ocean Wave Studio w/ Billy Preston on Hammond. 'Saint of Me' - Live in Rio
- Japan has more car charging stations than gas stations
- February 1
- GPS satellites, distributed over 6 orbital planes, provide important context for ongoing and historical science missions, and enable new types of #EarthScience research not previously possible
- The data are publicly available, hosted by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and can be found by searching the data.gov portal or at https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/space-weather/satellite-data/satellite-systems/gps/
- GPS satellites, distributed over 6 orbital planes, provide important context for ongoing and historical science missions, and enable new types of #EarthScience research not previously possible
- January 31
- "Earth in Human Hands"
- Sunday 'Earth Services' - GOES / Week 4
- January 28
- National Resources Defense Council launches "onEarth-Trump V. Earth" to track environmental policy moves of the US president
- January 27
- Nuclear Issues / Cold War 2.0 -- Strategic Demands, GreenPolicy's associated site, investigates escalating #nuclear #proliferation
- January 26
- Climate Mirror: https://climate.daknob.net/
- The Climate Mirror Project is working to mirror and safely archive U.S. Govt. websites/datasets related to climate, climate change, and global warming
- Climate Mirror: https://climate.daknob.net/
- January 25
- Powerpak: 80 MWh Powerpack station from TESLA & Southern California Edison, biggest energy storage project in the world using lithium-ion batteries
- January 24
- The REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act of 2017
- The 'Most Dangerous Bill You've Never Heard Of Just Passed the House of Representatives'
- The REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act of 2017
- January 23
- Bill McKibben, former GreenPolicy360 advisor, speaks to challenges with Trump as the US president
- "THAW" in the Arctic: "It’s almost as if global warming is looking right back at you"
- January 21
- "Divisive Times" and the "Overview Effect"
- "Earth Right Now": Far Beyond an Inauguration Day
- January 19
- Environmental Protection Agency confirmation hearings: Does Scott Pruitt believe in the mission of the EPA?
- January 18, 2017
- US House Science Committee continues down the path of science denial
- January 16, 2017
- "Science on trial". Scott Pruitt comes to the Senate for confirmation hearings to head up the Environmental Protection Agency
- January 14, 2017
- "Being clever". Cities/states/countries confronting the risks of climate change by being out in front with clean energy action
- Tags: #EarthScience #PlanetCitizen #Green360 #ClimatePolicy #EnvironmentalProtection #NewDefinitionsofSecurity
- "Being clever". Cities/states/countries confronting the risks of climate change by being out in front with clean energy action
- January 13, 2017
- Skyscrapers in China in 2016 going up, up and up. Count 'em beginning with Shenzhen
- January 12, 2017
- Alliances at risk, national/global security at risk: President-elect promises to dismiss the international climate agreement
- January 11, 2017
- Pulling into the local supermarket parking lot, what do I see? An EV i3
- January 10, 2017
- Smoking killing millions a year, trillions in costs
- January 9, 2017
- First ongoing study of the Earth's upper atmosphere #EnvironmentalSecurity #Earth360
- January 7, 2017
- William Perry, 'prophet of doom', warns of nextgen nuclear weapons, proliferation and a new Cold War turning hot
- Visit GreenPolicy's associated site, Strategic Demands
- January 6, 2017
- NASA Climate Resource Center (and vital national/global security programs the Trump administration is threatening)
- January 5, 2017
- Offshore Wind Energy starts up on the East Coast of the US (illustrated with vivid images)
- January 4, 2017
- From the Obama administration's top science advisor, John Holdren, words of caution
- "Greening Our Blue Planet"
Frontlines of Green Best Practices
Green Policy ... Vision and #Resilience