By Chris Mooney, Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis November 3
The Trump administration released a dire scientific report Friday calling human activity the dominant driver of global warming, a conclusion at odds with White House decisions to withdraw from a key international climate accord, champion fossil fuels and reverse Obama-era climate policies.
To the surprise of some scientists, the White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by law. The report affirms that climate change is driven almost entirely by human action, warns of a worst-case scenario where seas could rise as high as eight feet by the year 2100, and details climate-related damage across the United States that is already unfolding as a result of an average global temperature increase of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900.
“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” the document reports. “For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”
Permits Would Hurt Endangered Whales, Open Way to Offshore Drilling Opposed by East Coast Communities
Fueling U.S. Forward, the Koch-funded campaign to “rebrand” fossil fuels as “positive” and “sustainable,” has released a new video attacking the “Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars,” signaling a possible strategic pivot from straightforward fossil fuel cheerleading to electric vehicle (EV) and clean energy bashing.
The video and accompanying Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars web page feature blatant factual errors, misleading statements, and glaring omissions (all of which will be debunked thoroughly below), while essentially attacking electric cars for using the same materials needed to manufacture cell phones, laptops, defense equipment, and gas-powered cars, and which are even a critical component of the very oil refining processes that form the foundation of the Koch fortunes.
When Fueling U.S. Forward launched last August, the organization’s president Charles Drevna described the campaign as an effort to rebrand fossil fuels by focusing on the “positive” aspects of coal, oil, and gas. This newly released video seems to further confirm investigative journalist Peter Stone’s reporting from last spring that the Kochs were “plotting a multimillion dollar assault on electric vehicles.”
By Cathleen Kelly Posted on January 6, 2017, 9:51 am
The direct link between climate change threats and the duties of the secretary of state is strong. As droughts, floods, heat waves, and other symptoms of a warming world increase both in number and intensity—throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Arctic, Europe, and the United States—the next U.S. secretary of state will face urgent pressure to curb climate change and manage the effects of a warming planet that can no longer be avoided. Failure to do so will damage the global economy and destabilize an already wobbly security landscape, with potentially dire consequences for U.S. national security interests.
The next U.S. secretary of state must, as Secretary John Kerry has, protect U.S. foreign policy and security interests and demonstrate a track record of personal and diplomatic credibility. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for the job, former* ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, does not meet those qualifications.
Local approach being seen as most effective response to Trump decision to leave accord
When the American Renewable Energy Institute meets June 19-22 at the Viceroy hotel in Snowmass Village, organizers will face a more urgent call to action than during the past 13 AREDay programs.President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord Decision on June 1 prompted AREI to issue a statement about the need for a local approach to protecting of the environment from the potential impact of new national policies.
“Communities now have to take the ball in their own hands,” said Chip Comins, founder of American Renewable Energy Day and the organization’s CEO. “We need to move forward with the knowledge of this lack of national leadership and armed with facts about abject climate destruction, acidification of the oceans and deterioration of our soils,” his statement continued. “It has come down to the need for community resilience, cooperation and collaboration.”
The AREDAY Summit Speaker Series, electric vehicle expo, Impact Film and Community Conversions round out a program that runs June 19-24. The town of Snowmass Village is a partner in the event, according to a press release. The summit is open to the public, and regular priced passes are available for $1,395, according to the release. It also noted that the summit features “150 diverse speakers who will participate in over 80 dynamic panel discussions, armchair conversations, keynote addresses and top-level networking events.”
The theme for 2017 is “Protecting America’s Greatness: The Business of Innovation, Climate Leadership and Resilient Communities.” Attendees will have the chance “to engage with clean energy world leaders from the public and private sectors, including the fields of finance, politics, solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal and leading-edge energy technologies,” the statement continued.
Recent speakers have included the Prime Minister of Australia and Presidents of Iceland and the U.S., according to the release. Information is available through AREDAY.net or by calling 970-930-8002.
Claims of $1.4 trillion in lost opportunities
Implications of President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, which the AREDay organizers call “tinkering with the Earth’s life support” will be front and center at the summit. AREI President Sally Ranney, stated, “Scaring Americans by saying coal jobs will be shipped overseas is a ruse” and added that India recently canceled 14 coal fired power plants because solar energy prices hit record lows noting “that China’s solar output increased 80 percent the last the few months. Even the country of Jordan has a refugee camp that is totally solar-powered.”
Ranney also claimed the U.S. has the potential to lose out on approximately “$1.4 trillion in global business opportunities” by leaving the Paris agreement. Both Ranney and Chip Comins called for “peer to peer and state to state collaboration. States will need to demonstrate leadership on their own.” According to Ranney. “States, the business sector and philanthropy are going to have to step up. This triad will have a significant impact on keeping the carbon economy train rolling. We are not going to be derailed.”
Stronger hurricanes, hotter heat waves, more frequent wildfires and more severe public-health issues are all adding to the costs of climate change, which will reach almost $1 billion a day in the U.S. within a decade, according to a report released Wednesday.
Total costs to address the impact of rising temperatures will swell 50 percent by 2027, to $360 billion annually, according to the study from the Universal Ecological Fund. That equates to about 55 percent of expected economic growth in the U.S.
The report comes as the U.S. continues to reel from one of the costliest hurricane seasons in history. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have inflicted an estimated $173 billion in damage in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. On the West Coast, record dry conditions and heat have triggered wildfires in nine states. Unless the U.S. cuts fossil fuel use, the economic toll from such events will continue to rise, the study concludes.
“The increasing damage from climate-change related storms, wild fires, human health, agriculture loss and the like are taxing the potential of economic growth,” said James McCarthy, a Harvard University professor whose co-authors included Robert Watson, former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The researchers weren’t paid for their work.
By Farron Cousins • Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 11:20
In late March, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt decided that his agency would not place an outright ban on a pesticide manufactured by Dow Chemical called chlorpyrifos. The decision came after a federal court ordered the EPA to make a final decision on whether or not to ban the pesticide, which the Obama administration had proposed banning in 2015. The chemical has been on the market in the United States since 1965 under the brand name Lorsban and indoor use of the chemical has been banned for more than a decade.
In its decision to allow the pesticide to continue being used in the United States, the EPA went against its own agency’s findings that the pesticide presented unnecessary risks to American citizens. And while Pruitt’s EPA officials did not deny those findings, they did claim additional studies on the chemical were still needed before they could ban it, thus allowing the product's continued use.
11th ANNUAL AREDAY SUMMIT, Aspen, CO August 2014
Featured President Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Amory Lovins and more to promote the rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies via demonstrations, presentations, performances, film screenings and dialogue.
Sally interviewing President Jimmy Carter
WECAN engages women grassroots activists, Indigenous and business leaders, scientists, policy makers, farmers, academics and culture-shapers in collaboration. Our goal is to stop the escalation of climate change and environmental and community degradation, while accelerating the implementation of sustainability solutions through women’s empowerment, partnerships, hands-on trainings, advocacy campaigns, and political, economic, social and environmental action.
SUCCESS SUMMIT IN BOULDER COLORADO 2014
Important Links to Check Out
AREI/AREDAY - American Renewable Energy Institute
A Matter of Degree - Climate Conversations with Sally Ranney
WECAN - Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, Int'l
IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature
CAI - Climate Accountability Institute
Lighthawk - Lighthawk Flies for Conservation
Laura Turner Seydel - Creating a Sustainable and Healthy Future for our Children
Sally's Music and Art
Love is Where You Are
Painting in the field in Argentina